I am always looking for the next fun and different exercise routine. It’s been an interest of mine ever since I first became a Health Reporter for Fox Chicago News many years ago. My pals in the industry are always keeping me posted on the latest technology or class that is sure to draw attention. This week while hanging with my friends the Shipp brothers at HIFI Fitness on Chicago’s near Northside they showed me Kinesis-Technogym. By using grips, cables, and weight stacks the body creates fluid movements through resistance based exercises. It’s so much better that weight lifting. You get tension and toning without discomfort. It’s hard but you can create so many positions to strengthen the body without causing injury. You can even do your favorite yoga poses. I think it’s especially great for women who don’t like weights but want to get stronger. and best part..you do sweat.
But the best thing on the menu is owner Johnny Tarrantino.
JT was one of the first friends I made here when I moved to the Windy City in 1993.
At that time he owned Jim and Johnny’s. Today his small Italian Eatery on Armitage attracts many loyal patrons because they know the meals are good and the price is right. Johnny caters to his customers and whenever I ask for a change on the menu I get it. It’s become a regular routine for me and my family. Johnny remembers the wine we like, the food we like, and always joins us for great conversation. Johnny has given me great advice over the years and his love for friends and family is inspiring. I remember meeting Johnny’s mother for the first time and hearing about the family recipes that had become part of the menu. Johnny is all about tradition and his Italian Roots. I have a deep affection for Italy and it’s yummy cuisine after living in Florence my sophmore year of College. I’ve been back several times and always enjoyed the people and their culture. Every time I go to Tarrantino’s it’s a pleasant reminder. My favorite dishes, the hearts of palm salad, the fish special with spinach sauted in olive oil, and well all the deserts even though they are not on the diet plan.
One of my passions in life is health and wellness. I believe we only have one shot in this world, one body, so make it a good and healthy one. So let’s all try our best to motivate each other to eat right and exercise and embrace prevention. One person who has taught me the value of good health and inspired me to invest in myself is Dena Mendes.
I call her my health guru. I met Dena a year ago. She is a three time Cancer Survivor and creator of Denashealthyu.com. Dena entered my life at a time when I thought I ate right and managed a pretty intense exercise routine. But I did not feel optimal health.
I learned, my program was all wrong. And believe me I have tried many regimens and work outs. The truth , I had digestive issues, had plateaued in weight loss, and had lost some of my endurance.
Dena took one look at me and in minutes was able to see my problems, obstacles and come up with a new plan that meant changing my attitude about food and life. She took me off wheat and gluten products and opened my eyes to choices that were more beneficial. I said goodbye to Dairy, Caffeine (and I love Coffee-just ask anyone), and that horrible little vice SUGAR. While that may sound drastic, going through the food aisle of Whole Foods became a new adventure. Vegetables and fruits I’d never heard of suddenly became tempting. Beets a sweet treat a new best friend. Even breads, pancake mixes, cookies all made from Rice products and sweetened with Agave nectar actually tasted good. The result was amazing. I lost ten pounds without trying. I gained more energy and clarity. I had an Aha moment. Dena also introduced me to a list of homeopathic remedies to treat ailments, like a cold, stomach bug, headaches. Remember I am a skeptical journalist. If you have ever seen my Health reports over the years you know I never boast about something unless I have tried it myself and truly believe in it. So here’s to Dena and no more diet plans, fads, or beating myself up because I can’t get to the gym.