Congratulations to FFC Oak Park’s January member of the month, Karen Mansfield! Karen shared a few thoughts about what membership at FFC means to her – here’s what she had to say:

1. What does membership at FFC mean to you?

Membership at FFC gives me an opportunity to gain a higher level of fitness.

2. When at FFC you will find me…

Cross-training on the equipment, in the classes, in the Pilates studio and in the pool.

3. I workout to…

Stay active in my retirement years and achieve my personal goals.

Karen Mansfield

Thank you for being a member of our community, Karen!

Join us Sunday, January 12 from 2 – 5 PM for an afternoon of crafts, games and fun!

About Parents Night Out:
We take the kids while you enjoy an evening at the theater, a romantic dinner, time with friends or quiet time with your partner. The evening will be filled with fun for mini members of all ages!

Member pricing:
$25 for one child
$30 for two children
$5 each additional child

Non-member pricing:
$30 for one child
$35 for two children
$5 each additional child

Dinner will be served. Ages 3 and up.

To register, contact Erica Estrada at

Looking for something active for the kids to do after school? Join us at FFC Oak Park for youth climbing classes! Choose between Mondays/Wednesdays or Tuesdays/Thursdays both from 4-5pm for these weekly climbing classes.

For more information or to sign up, email Amy Brown at

Nutrition Tips for the Holidays by Mike Glab, RD at FFC East Lakeview and FFC Boystown

Can you believe we’re already approaching the holidays and the close of the 2010s decade? For many people, holiday gatherings with rich meals, desserts and boozy drinks can lead to unnecessary stress surrounding weight, diet and appearance. This is largely based on the misconception that you will pack on the pounds this time of year, but did you know the average American gains one pound during the holidays?

It’s hardly worth flipping your existing nutrition routine on its head for a potential one-pound weight gain, so this post will look beyond the plate to provide guidance. Use one, some or all of these tips during the holidays, but always remember the most important tip of all: Enjoy your holiday meal!

Avoid making any drastic changes
Around the holidays people like to cut out carbs, start fasting or skip meals entirely. Their thinking is that these changes are going to offset the overindulgence of food and drink that occurs during the holidays.

My advice is to stick to your routine as much as you possibly can. Making one of the changes above can lead to unintended consequences such as undernourishing your body, underfueling your workout, low blood sugar and worst of all being HANGRY.

You can try something new when you can fully commit the time and resources it takes to see sustainable, healthy, habit changes. Working with a dietitian can provide you the guidance to achieve that!

Keep your routine consistent
Eat your familiar meals and snacks as close to the times you normally do leading up to the holiday meal. Provide yourself the level of nourishment you generally expect, and you may not be as tempted to overindulge at holiday meals.

This gets a little more tricky if you travel for the holidays. Bring balanced snacks for the plane or car ride like a banana and almonds, beef jerky and an apple, a cheese stick and baby carrots or a turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread.

Bonus: Here’s an example of a balanced, nourishing meal that requires very little prep in a travel situation: One whole wheat english muffin topped with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and banana slices. Wash it down with an 8 oz glass of cow’s, soy or pea milk for extra protein.

Practice mindful eating
Mindful Eating is a strategy used to call your full attention to the present meal. You can try one or more of the following strategies to help you eat more mindfully.

  • Eliminate distractions like your phone, television or computer.
  • Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues.
  • Focus on all sensory aspects of the meal: taste and flavor, mouthfeel and texture, smells, sounds and the colors on your plate.
    Appreciate food as fuel for your body.
  • Coping with (and eventually reducing) feelings of anxiety and guilt with food.

Mindful Eating is a great technique to use during the holidays because you are not required to significantly alter your diet. You are simply being more present at the meal and fully immersing yourself in the pleasure of eating. The goal is to replace any negative feelings with more self-control, awareness and positivity.

Hydrate with non-caloric beverages
Liquid calories are the sneakiest of calories. According to one study, liquid calories make up 22% of calories in the average American diet. For some perspective, that is 440 calories per day in a standard 2000 calorie diet or 3,080 calories per week!

Soda is basically liquid candy and empty calories. One 12 ounce cola is 150 calories, exclusively from added sugar. Fruit juice isn’t much better, even if it’s 100% derived from fruit. One cup of apple juice contains 115 calories. When it comes to alcohol, on average, a 12 ounce beer is 153 calories, a 5 ounce glass of wine is 125 calories and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor is 100 calories.

Try hydrating with non-caloric beverages or, at the very least, alternate the above high calorie drinks with non-caloric beverages. Non-caloric beverages include:

  • Water
  • Sparkling water
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Black coffee

Enjoy the holidays!
Holiday weight gain is drastically overhyped as the average American gains about one pound during this time of year. The strategies above will provide you guidance and help alleviate any food-related stress during the already stressful holiday season. Enjoy your time with family, friends and food during the holidays.

Mike Glab is the RD at FFC East Lakeview and FFC Boystown and can be reached at Contact Mike or your FFC RD to help you work through these strategies and more!

Live Science

Don’t spend the holiday season in pain! Here are some things our Physical Therapists can do for you:

  • Physical therapists are trained diagnosticians. You do not need a physician’s referral to start physical therapy with our clinical experts…visit us today!
  • Physical therapists treat balance disorders. Avoid slips and falls with a balance test and put aside fears, improve strength and coordination and lessen symptoms.
  • Physical therapists treat neck pain and headaches, too. Don’t let holiday stress get the best of you, physical therapists can often stop headaches before they start.
  • If you are experiencing any of these issues or have sustained a recent injury, please see one of our clinicians for a complimentary injury screen and experience the power of physical therapy!

Injury Screen Times:

  • FFC Boystown: December 17, 4 – 6 PM
  • FFC East Lakeview: December 9, 3 – 4 PM
  • FFC Elmhurst: Walk-ins Welcome
  • FFC Lincoln Park: December 12, 4 – 5 PM
  • FFC Oak Park: Walk-ins Welcome
  • FFC Park Ridge: December 4, 7:30 – 9:30 AM; December 11, 5 – 7 PM; December 18, 4 – 6 PM
  • FFC South Loop: December 11, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • FFC Union Station: December 18, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
  • FFC West Loop: December 10, 4:15 – 5:00 PM

Join us Friday, December 20 from 6 – 9 PM for some holiday festivities at the Kids Club! Dinner will be served. Ages 3 and up.

$25 for 1 child
$30 for 2 children
$5 each additional child

To register contact, Erica Estrada at

Looking for a place to host a birthday party or special event? We can help! We offer a variety of packages to fit your needs for your special event. Parties can include access to the pool, rock climbing wall or sports court.

For more information, contact Erica Estrada at

The holidays are right around the corner and with them comes time with family, friends and of course, delicious food! This doesn’t have to lead to a wider waistline. Join Allison Koch, FFC Oak Park’s newest Registered Dietitian, for this complimentary nutrition seminar where she’ll cover tips to help you navigate through the hectic season without packing on the pounds. She’ll also share secret ingredient swaps that will lighten up your favorite dishes without anyone noticing. This seminar will be held on both November 19 and November 20 at 7 PM.

Seats are limited, so RSVP to Allison at to reserve your spot today!

You get the night off to sip while your kiddos have fun painting! Drop the kids off at the club on Friday, November 22 from 6 – 9 PM for a kid-friendly painting party for ages 3 and up. Dinner will be served. Pricing for the event is $25 for one child, $30 for two children, and $5 each additional child after two.

To register, contact Erica Estrada at

Join us on Thursdays and Fridays at 10 AM in November for Primal Mobility. These mobility sessions will help improve strength and mobility, decrease pain and increase body awareness, core strength and athleticism. Justin will lead Primal Mobility on the basketball court.

Contact Justin at if you have any questions.