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If you feel too out of shape, uninspired or overweight to even contemplate adopting a healthy lifestyle, you must reframe your thoughts. Right now, just think small.

“Small changes can eventually add up to huge results,” writes Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness. “If you are willing to work hard, educate yourself, and stay consistent, you can achieve results that last for the rest of your life.”

Even if you feel your opportunity to live healthily has passed, read what clinical nutritionist and dietitian Marla Feingold has to say:

“It’s never too late in life to make nutritional and lifestyle changes that lead to feeling well and healthy. The foods we eat and the way we live our lives have a tremendous impact on our day-to-day wellness. Nutritional adjustments are one of the most effective ways to fight chronic illness, whether it’s pain, fatigue or high inflammation.

Some of the country’s best health centers, personal trainers, dietitians, nutritionists and healthy food providers are located right here in the Chicago area. Locals have support everywhere along the road to better health, and we’ve listed some of those sources of support below.

Here are 16 resources in Chicago to get you on the road to a healthy lifestyle. You’ll see we’ve even included one specialist in sports dietetics because, before you know it, you could find yourself wondering what to eat on the day you run your first marathon.



Gyms, Trainers and Fitness Clubs

Chicago Athletic Club

With facilities across Chicago’s neighborhoods and trainers who consistently get great reviews, CAC is a health club that can meet most fitness needs. The flagship location is on Benson Avenue in Evanston, where the club was started back in 1980. Other locations include Lincoln Park, West Loop, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Bucktown and Webster Place. Studio 1002 Pilates in Lincoln Park offers private and small group sessions that are available to both CAC members and non-members.


POW! Mixed Martial Arts

In the West Loop, there is a 7,000 sq. ft. martial arts training facility that can accommodate beginners and experts alike. Located purposefully in the city’s former meat-packing district, POW! was founded by Katalin Ogren in 2001 with a mission to build more confident, fit, safe, healthy and productive Chicagoans.


Lateral Fitness

This upscale boutique gym offers everything from personal training and muscle activation techniques to group classes and endurance training. Clients achieve their fitness goals progressively, based on the understanding that sustaining a healthy lifestyle is a process.
The Lateral Fitness environment is exclusive: Groups are small, the trainers and instructors carefully selected, and you pay for only the packages you want. One of those packages is a lunchtime membership for people who want full access to cardio and strength-training equipment during the workweek lunch hours.


Training Ground

Body transformation is the goal at Training Ground in Palos Hills. With a variety of online nutritional coaching services through Ballinger Athletic Performance, TG also offers private training programs, large-group training for weight loss, and small-group training for strength and muscle gain.

Periodically, TG offers specialty programs such as GluteCAMP, which is designed to specifically work on and enhance the glute muscles. There is another, called BruteCAMP, where you work on building mass in the arms, chest and shoulders.


Amanda Mason

A personal trainer and health and wellness coach, Amanda Mason provides in-home personal training, nutrition coaching and fitness coaching that is transformational. Whether you want to be able to pick up your grandchild or hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, Amanda believes that training the body and mind will let you take on the challenge of your choice.

Her goal is to help you discover how to live your life to its fullest potential, achieving optimal health and wellness of the body, mind and soul.



Dietitians and Nutritionists

Christine Palumbo

This dietitian nutritionist who loves pizza and red wine is passionate about enjoying the best foods for optimal health. You may have read one of Christine’s columns in Good Sense Eating or in Chicago Parent magazine, or maybe you caught her on Oprah, Fox News or CNN. Christine is in demand. The Naperville resident has a blog full of healthy recipes at her website, Christine Palumbo Nutrition.


Eat Chic Chicago

Registered dietitian consultant, nutrition blogger and food expert Amari Thomsen offers nutrition and wellness coaching to anyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. At Eat Chic Chicago, Amari helps people realize their weight loss goals and assists those managing chronic medical conditions.

She also gives grocery list tips with specialty diet coaching, designed for those following vegan, Paleo or raw lifestyles. She also provides in-home cooking classes.


Victoria Shanta Retelny

A registered dietitian nutritionist, Victoria Shanta Retelny helps clients learn to eat healthily via education that touches on weight loss, heart health, diabetes prevention or management, fertility issues and women’s health. Her practice is located in Roscoe Village.


Healthier Tomorrows

Healthier Tomorrows in Lincoln Park works with their clients in developing healthy and satisfying relationship with food and their bodies, achieving their overall nutrition, health, and wellness goals. Founded in 2009 by dietitian Megan Campbell, the team of nutritionists at Healthier Tomorrows provides the following services, among others: working with eating disorders, addiction recovery, weight management, fertility and pregnancy and medical nutrition therapy.


Lara Field

Registered dietitian, celiac disease expert and childhood nutrition specialist, Lara Field is the owner and founder of FEED (Forming Early Eating Decisions) on West Fulton Street. She started FEED in 2008 while in clinical practice at the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Comer Children’s Hospital to offer personalized nutrition counseling based on science and rooted in reality.

The adjustments she makes to a client’s eating plan can be gentle or radical, but are made to improve everyday eating habits, manage food allergies and manage medical issues. At the same time, Lara stresses that food should still be enjoyable.


Venessa Rodriguez

Helping women with food and lifestyle choices, Venessa Rodriguez at Unveiled Wellness uses functional nutrition as disease prevention, to address digestive issues, and to address mood and energy problems.

Venessa’s one-on-one coaching sessions can be done in-person or by phone, and all programs are customized individually with seasonal detoxes offered. In addition to health coaching, Venessa holds group programs, cleanses, corporate talks, healthy market tours, classes and demos, workshops, and healthy house parties.


RDKate Sports Nutrition

Kate Davis is a registered dietitian and CSSD-board certified specialist in sports dietetics. She helps athletes learn what to eat, when to eat it and when to supplement, so that they become extraordinary competitors. Keep her services in mind as an aspirational goal.

Kate offers individual consultations from her Naperville office or via Skype. In addition, she offers team services such as seminars, lectures and group consulting that is limited to three to five athletes at a time. There’s also an individualized nutrition plan for race day, so you’ll know exactly what to eat, when to eat and when to take in fluid when you’re preparing for a big race.


WholeHealth Chicago

Marla Feingold from above is one of the clinical nutritionists at WholeHealth Chicago in Lincoln Park. Her speciality is in helping clients with inflammatory conditions, hypertension, digestive issues, and fatigue make diet and lifestyle changes. She is available for consultations at the office, by email and phone.



Healthy Food Providers

Factor 75

A healthy lifestyle is rooted in healthy eating, and this is where Factory 75 can help. The company plans, prepares and delivers nutritionist-designed, chef-crafted meals that not only taste great but also teach you how to substitute healthy alternatives whenever possible. The food is delivered weekly to your home in insulated boxes, so all you have to do is heat and eat.


Snap Kitchen

If it’s fresh, healthy take-away meals you’re looking for, there are two Snap Kitchen locations in Chicago, one in Naperville and one at Adams and Franklin. Open every day of the week, the stores have daily salads; cold-pressed juices; and dietitian-approved, portion-controlled meals made from local, organic ingredients. Each entree is refrigerated, not frozen, with simple instructions on how to heat in the microwave or oven.


Metabolic Meals

Wherever you are in Illinois, you can get you nutritional needs met with meals delivered to your door from Metabolic. You can choose a diet plan that fits your goals:

  • the Fit plan is for those who want to lose weight or maintain weight loss;
  • the Performance plan is a favorite of professional athletes;
  • and the Flex plan allows you to choose your portion size with two (instead of three) meals per day.


Images by:
Gabriele Forcina, Sabine Mondestin, Rudy Anderson, PublicDomainPictures

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