Healthy Living Blog Tour of Cleveland: Part 2

If you want to get caught up on this story, check out Part 1 of our Tour here. The short story: Positively Cleveland brought me up to the city to cruise around with fellow healthy blogger, Alicia, from Poise in Parma, to check out all the healthy things you can do as a tourist (or resident) in Cleveland. Since fitness, travel, and blogging are all 3 of my main jams, this seemed like the perfect weekend getaway!

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On Saturday morning, day 2 of our Cleveland tour, Alicia and I met up for brunch in Ohio City, at Town Hall. From the moment I stepped out of my Uber car, I knew this was going to be a great spot to eat. Even though it was raining a little, the huge garage door style walls were up and open to let in the fresh air. TownHall, named Cleveland’s Best New Restaurant and Best Place for Brunch sports a really incredible menu, designed with something for everybody. They’ve got gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, as well as a juice bar, espresso bar, and regular bar. Their food is also organically driven, sustainable, and locally sourced. Top that, every other brunch place around! I ordered the Green Thumb juice (kale, celery, lemon, ginger, and apple) and my usual eggs, bacon, and potatoes. Everything we had was delicious and I was thinking it’s a good I don’t live here or I’d be spending every morning (and dollar) at this place. With wifi, electrical outlets all over, and a dog-friendly patio, this restaurant was definitely my jam. (I’m definitely coming back the next time I’m in town.)

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We were supposed to grab our rental bikes and cruise out immediately afterwards, but the weather was hampering our plans, so we delayed them a bit and walked around the corner to the famous West Side Market. As you step inside this building, built specifically for this marketplace in 1912, you’re presented with row upon row of fresh food, waiting to be purchased and turned into a delicious meal. You’ve got the meat section, the fish section, the pastry section, the produce section and it’s absolutely slammed with customers ready to purchase any and everything. This market has been rockin’ since the 1840s and it doesn’t look like it’s slowed since.

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And not only was this booth sporting locally raised meat, but also supported Equality and the Human Rights Campaign! #doublewhammy #equality

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I could have sat up in the balcony area and people watched all morning long, but the weather was clearing so we were on our way to bike around Cuyahoga National Park! Thank goodness for car chargers because we were out of juice from all our photo-taking and social media-ing.

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We had rented bikes from Cleveland Bike Tours and had planned on biking the Tow Path that Alicia frequents, but the rain made the dirt path too muddy for us, so we had to make due with the paved walkway.

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Positively Cleveland had us team up with Cinecraft Productions to film parts of our bike ride, so were donned with GoPros, put on our best “just-riding-normally-while-being-filmed-by-a-camera-crew” faces and had a blast cruising around. #nothingtoseehere

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Post-ride we had to hurry home for quick showers so we could get to our evening plans: Dinner and Baseball!We met up at the raved-about Greenhouse Tavern, Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s flagship store (he has 4 other restaurants around his native city.) It’s quite close to the ballpark and on bustling E. 4th Street you can catch a table outside, where no cars are allowed. Because it was completely packed though, we dined inside. With a huge collection of old, all Ohio-made, vintage bikes on the walls and VHS tapes lining the shelves, you can tell the owner appreciates art and entertainment.

Our very passionate waiter, who wouldn’t allow me to order two of the drinks/entrees I wanted and instead made other recommendations, was my second favorite part. I was initially surprised by his show of force, but he was amazing. I can definitely appreciate the thought behind his suggestions, as they turned out to be spot on. My Crunchy Kale salad was wonderful, very lemon-y, and I was kind of kicking myself for not also ordering the Red Basket Farm Tomato that Alicia ordered. Thankfully, she let me have a bite of hers. Y’all. Those tomatoes! And my strip steak was so good I wanted to order another… but since we’d stuffed ourselves silly of all the amazing, locally sourced veggies and meat, we couldn’t fit another thing in our bellies. (There are absolutely no photos of mine from this part of the evening because I was busy devouring everything they put in front of me. Nothing beats fresh food prepared by an amazing chef, and perfect wine.)

IMG_0822Guess which is healthier: 8,000 calorie nachos or Stadium Peanuts?  ; )

We sauntered over to Progressive Field and up to our seats we’d managed to score in the team’s Social Suite. The view was amazing, the weather cool, but enjoyable, and a foul ball actually flew up into our box! Thank goodness the guy in front of us caught it, because my baseball nightmare has always been getting knocked out cold by a stray foul ball… High five, buddy.

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The night couldn’t have been any better, (well, if my numerous attempts at getting on the jumbo tron’s “Dance Cam” had been successful, it would have been perfect) AND the Tribe won!

As Alicia drove me back to my hotel for the night, we talked about what an amazing weekend we had, how grateful we were that we had so much in common and got along so well, and how we couldn’t wait to meet back up again. Since my work takes me to northern Ohio quite often, I’ll be looking quite forward to my next trip to Cleveland, and to hang with my new bud. Thanks so much to Positively Cleveland for the amazing weekend, and to my host, Alicia for showing me all the wonderfully healthy activities and restaurants the city has to offer. It’s great to be able to travel without having to sacrifice your healthy living habits.

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And a last shout-out to all the places we visited on our whirlwind, two-day Healthy Living Tour: Evo Yoga, Paladar, Lululemon, TownHall, Westside Market, Cleveland Bike ToursThe Greenhouse Tavern, The Cleveland Indians (Go Tribe!).

This trip and both posts were sponsored by Positively Cleveland. All thoughts/opinions are my own. You can read Alicia’s posts 1 & 2 here and here.

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Healthy Living Blog Tour of Cleveland: Day 1

Fitness + Travel… this is essentially my life.

IMG_2274It took me about 12 attempts to get this hotel window selfie… I hope you appreciate it.

I travel frequently all over the country for work, and probably go to Ohio every other month. I’d only been to Cleveland once before, but hadn’t really experienced much of the city. I was really excited when Positively Cleveland, the city’s visitor bureau, invited me up for a Healthy Living Tour, hosted by Cleveland health blogger, Alicia H., of Poise in Parma. It’s awesome that Positively Cleveland has a website that not only lists museums, restaurants, and the usual city guide info, but also lists its upcoming running and cycling race schedule, trail maps and national park information. They’re not just trying to “entertain” you while you’re in town. They’re trying to introduce you to all the ways the city can keep you active and outdoors, two things that are truly my jam.

Traveling all over has it’s obvious advantages, but one of the hardest things about being on the road frequently is keeping up healthy habits. When you’re out of town and off your normal routine, workouts tend to get pushed to the back burner and finding restaurants that offer healthy options can be hard to come by if you aren’t familiar with the area. There’s so much listed, it actually seemed like a daunting task to narrow it down. I’m so grateful Alicia put together such a kickass weekend for the two of us. Here’s what went down:

When I pulled into town last Friday night, I checked into my room at Aloft Cleveland Downtown. I’ve spent my fair share of nights in hotels all over the world and the things I love most, simplicity, comfort, and productive design, were all included in this stay. I had an awesome bed, a great view while working at the desk (complete with all the outlets I needed for my various electronics), and a great group fitness schedule in the hotel’s gym. While my schedule was too packed to take advantage of any classes there, I love any hotel that provides their visitors with several options to keep consistent with their workouts! Taking advantage of group classes is a great way to get your workout in without having to think about what you’re going to do, wonder if you’re doing it correctly, or being tempted to stop too early.

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After freshening up in my room, I headed about 15 minutes southeast of downtown to meet up with Alicia and take her Friday evening Vinyasa yoga class at Evolution Yoga. After the 5 hour drive, my body was ready to loosen up and it felt great to keep things mellow in mood, but challenging, physically. Alicia taught a great flow and the hour flew by. We even got to rock out some fun inversions. I suck at inversions, but I’m trying to hold a handstand for more than .5 seconds so any practice helps…

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Next on the schedule was dinner, as we were both ravenous by this point in the evening. The restaurant was located in Eton Chagrin, a boutique shopping center not far away that includes Apple, The North Face, Anthropologie, and Lululemon. Danger! I was able to keep myself out of Anthro, but we did make a quick pit stop at lululemon, because some things just can’t be helped…

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Alicia raved about the gloriousness that was Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, and so that was our destination for the evening. After having a delicious guacamole appetizer with chips of tortilla, yucca, plantain, and malanga, I ordered the Blackened Fish Tacos with a cilantro adobo sauce that made me completely thankful for my sense of taste. Overall it was a fabulous meal to share with a new friend. It was wonderful to share such an amazing meal and chat up another blogger, dog-lover, and fitness instructor. We could have sat there for far longer, but had a busy day lined up for Saturday… so we clinked our margarita and mojito glasses in toast to a great weekend kickoff and called it a night.

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IMG_0748Me, taking a photo of Alicia (and our drinks), taking a photo of me and our drinks. #shitbloggersdo

If you’d like to check out any other part of our tour, search the hashtag #ThisIsCLE and you’ll see our other posts from the weekend on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram… if you didn’t already see us blowing up your feeds. Day 2 is coming soon!

 

{This post was sponsored by Positively Cleveland. All thoughts/opinions are my own!}

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