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 Photo: Martin Barraud
Photo: Martin Barraud

Tame Seasonal Affective Disorder With This Map

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Photo: Martin Barraud

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Julie Smolyansky is the C.E.O. of Lifeway Foods, the Morton Grove-based company that specializes in kefir (or, drinkable yogurt that's loaded with health benefits.) Though her demanding job keeps her busy as could be, Smolyansky still upholds her company's image—and lives out its mission—by creating an impeccably healthy lifestyle for herself and her family.

Since it's that time of year when we could use a little mental and physical boost, we asked Smolyanky to map out some of her favorite Chicago spots for staying fit, sane, and in sparkling health. Here's her greatest-hits list of juice bars, gyms, grocery stores, and more.


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Universal Sole Downtown

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"Packet pick up is always fun at my go to spots for running apparel and shoes. Both Dave and Lisa Zimmer at Fleet Feet and Joel Fienberg at Universal Sole have the coolest running gear. I stay motivated with new purchases to brave whatever elements the Windy City has in store for year round running on the lakefront." [Photo: via Universal Sole]

Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

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I've been a member here since 1996. Originally a gym rat obsessed with aerobic classes, I transitioned to running outdoors on the lakefront year round, and keep the gym for one of my favorite toning classes, Full Body Architect. But the best part about this gym is the family- friendly atmosphere. Every class is offered to children. When my daughters were younger, I often relied on the child care drop in they offer while I caught a quick workout. We love this place during winter months when the kids need an outlet for their energy." [Photo: via Lakeshore Sport & Fitness]

John's Place

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"One of my favorite family friendly restaurants for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I love the grilled shrimp salad and kids love their pancakes, which we always order with extra peanut butter. On warm weather days we adore the neighborhood al fresco dinning and playing at Trebes Park after our meal." [Photo: via Facebook]

Vosges Haut-Chocolat

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"I was thrilled to learn dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, and Vosges has the highest quality and most delicious truffles in town. Just one high quality truffle is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth without guilt and Katrina Markoff's ability to tell stories about her ingredients from around the world is like being transported to exotic far away places without leaving home." [Photo: via Facebook]

Whole Foods Market

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"Being an exclusively organic household, we are so fortunate to have this is organic Mecca within walking distance. I have been in countless grocery stores around the world and my share of Whole Foods markets in the United States and the U.K. and this is one of the nicest and largest in the country. It's on par with European markets, and offers ample selections of gourmet cheese, meats, and seafood, You can have a glass of wine while you shop. Of course it helps that they have an incredible selection of Lifeway kefir products!" [Photo: via Yelp]

Starfruit Cafe

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Starfruit Cafes are the retail shops owned by Lifeway. "I drink several green juices throughout the day. If it has kale, it has my name on it. Green veggies are loaded with antioxidants and anti-cancer properties. It would take all day to eat the same amount of greens in a salad as you get in a green juice, which is why I added juices to the menu. My favorite is the green cleanse. Starfruit goes an extra step in the juice area by adding probiotics." [Photo: via Facebook]

Yogaview Division

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"After long runs wreak havoc on my body or when my soul just needs a chance to realign, I head to YogaView. The space alone centers me and offers a spiritual energy for deep reflection, nurturing, and gratitude. Namaste comes easy here." [Photo: via Yogaview]

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

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"This hotel has my favorite spa in the city. I go here when I'm drained and over capacity or after long-haul trips when I need TLC. You can catch a workout in their private gym when you book a massage or facial; you can also take a steam/sauna and soak in the hot tub. It's one of the only hot tubs located within a spa in the city. I give myself extra time to read the paper or work off my handheld in the relaxation room. For a quick, less expensive no frills alternative I run into Massage Envy." [Photo: via Waldorf Astoria]

Universal Sole Downtown

"Packet pick up is always fun at my go to spots for running apparel and shoes. Both Dave and Lisa Zimmer at Fleet Feet and Joel Fienberg at Universal Sole have the coolest running gear. I stay motivated with new purchases to brave whatever elements the Windy City has in store for year round running on the lakefront." [Photo: via Universal Sole]

Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

I've been a member here since 1996. Originally a gym rat obsessed with aerobic classes, I transitioned to running outdoors on the lakefront year round, and keep the gym for one of my favorite toning classes, Full Body Architect. But the best part about this gym is the family- friendly atmosphere. Every class is offered to children. When my daughters were younger, I often relied on the child care drop in they offer while I caught a quick workout. We love this place during winter months when the kids need an outlet for their energy." [Photo: via Lakeshore Sport & Fitness]

John's Place

"One of my favorite family friendly restaurants for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I love the grilled shrimp salad and kids love their pancakes, which we always order with extra peanut butter. On warm weather days we adore the neighborhood al fresco dinning and playing at Trebes Park after our meal." [Photo: via Facebook]

Vosges Haut-Chocolat

"I was thrilled to learn dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, and Vosges has the highest quality and most delicious truffles in town. Just one high quality truffle is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth without guilt and Katrina Markoff's ability to tell stories about her ingredients from around the world is like being transported to exotic far away places without leaving home." [Photo: via Facebook]

Whole Foods Market

"Being an exclusively organic household, we are so fortunate to have this is organic Mecca within walking distance. I have been in countless grocery stores around the world and my share of Whole Foods markets in the United States and the U.K. and this is one of the nicest and largest in the country. It's on par with European markets, and offers ample selections of gourmet cheese, meats, and seafood, You can have a glass of wine while you shop. Of course it helps that they have an incredible selection of Lifeway kefir products!" [Photo: via Yelp]

Starfruit Cafe

Starfruit Cafes are the retail shops owned by Lifeway. "I drink several green juices throughout the day. If it has kale, it has my name on it. Green veggies are loaded with antioxidants and anti-cancer properties. It would take all day to eat the same amount of greens in a salad as you get in a green juice, which is why I added juices to the menu. My favorite is the green cleanse. Starfruit goes an extra step in the juice area by adding probiotics." [Photo: via Facebook]

Yogaview Division

"After long runs wreak havoc on my body or when my soul just needs a chance to realign, I head to YogaView. The space alone centers me and offers a spiritual energy for deep reflection, nurturing, and gratitude. Namaste comes easy here." [Photo: via Yogaview]

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

"This hotel has my favorite spa in the city. I go here when I'm drained and over capacity or after long-haul trips when I need TLC. You can catch a workout in their private gym when you book a massage or facial; you can also take a steam/sauna and soak in the hot tub. It's one of the only hot tubs located within a spa in the city. I give myself extra time to read the paper or work off my handheld in the relaxation room. For a quick, less expensive no frills alternative I run into Massage Envy." [Photo: via Waldorf Astoria]