Today was a food-filled day. My family had plans to celebrate many things tonight: my grandpa’s 75th birthday, my college graduation, mother’s day and (the upcoming) father’s day. Lots of celebrations at once = lots of food. Wait, are you thinking that because we’re combining multiple things in one day, we’d have less food? Clearly, you don’t know my family
Because I knew I would be “whooping it up” tonight (my step-grandma’s phrase for “going all out”), I knew I would need to put in a hard workout. Yesterday I ran and did a lot of strength training, so I decided to switch up my cardio today by using the elliptical. I generally switch the incline and resistance a lot during my routine to keep myself entertained. This time I recorded what I did, in case you would be interested in trying out a different routine!
Warm-up: 10 minutes on the elliptical (didn’t record the resistance/incline)
60-Minute Elliptical Workout
Cool Down: 5 minute cool down (didn’t record the resistance/incline)
All-in-all, it was a great workout and I had fun doing it! Knowing that I will only be on the specific “level” (of resistance and incline) for at most 4 minutes helps to keep me going. Gotta love small goals!
After this workout, it was time for a quick lunch (1 Van Waffle with 1 TB of Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee PB, 2 Egg Whites, and 3/4 cup blueberries) before getting showered/styled/etc. for dinner with the family.
Tonight my family and I went to Piccolo Sogno in (of course!) Chicago. They serve Northern Italian cuisine – aka lots of fish and not much red sauce- and it was delicious. Their outdoor seating is the perfect match to their food. It’s beautiful, fun, and makes you forget you’re in the city. The space is similar to a courtyard, and filled with trees and small hanging lights. After seeing the area, I was excited to see what the food would be like; I knew it had to be good if the outdoor space looked so great. But, I have to admit one thing…because my family
likes loves to eat, we actually had appetizers before going to Piccolo Sogno. We had amazing cheese, liver pate, and shrimp at my grandparents condo before leaving…to get more food. Good thing I had that workout earlier!
Once at Piccolo Sogno, my family started off with two appetizers: the antipasti plate and calamari. Their antipasti special today was filled with delicious vegetables, as well as some meat and cheese. Being the huge veggie lover that I am, I definitely
stocked up on enjoyed the asparagus, carrots, artichokes…and well, everything. The calamari was also great. My family generally orders fried calamari when we are out at restaurants, and theirs was one of the best I’ve had. The breading was very light and crispy and not overly oily (I hate when I’m biting into oily, heavy breaded calamari!) For dinner, my family all ordered the sea bass special- except for me. I don’t remember the details on it because not only was it not on the menu, but it wasn’t on the specials menu either! After having a bite of my mom’s, I can assure you that their fish is delicious – but I really can’t help you out besides that I ordered the Margherita pizza and changed it up a little by adding roasted peppers. The pizza was very similar to traditional Italian pizza- thin, light, and delicious. If I went back again, I would probably order the fish or a pizza with meat on it, though. The Margherita (+ roasted peppers) was good, but wasn’t as flavorful as another pizza place I love in the city. (Nope, not giving name out- you’ll have to wait until I visit again for the name, details, and pics) I also enjoyed their Insalata Mista salad with the pizza. It was very light and fresh – the perfect pairing with pizza.
Source: Piccolo Sogno Gallery
Because we were celebrating my grandpa’s birthday, among other things, they brought out a plate of their biscotti and a candle. My dad had told me that their biscotti was great but I wasn’t sure how much I would like it. I mean, yeah, I love cookies but biscotti is usually so dried out and hard as a rock. I’d like to keep my teeth, thank you very much. But when I saw it I decided to risk it. I’m glad I did. The flavors were so delicate and delicious, and I kept asking myself “What flavor is that? I need to make something with this flavor at home…“
If you’re in Chicago and looking for an escape from the hustle & bustle, definitely head to Piccolo Sogno. It’s the perfect place for a celebratory dinner, a date night, or just a relaxing meal. To the owner of Piccolo Sogno, I’d like to say one thing: Great job picking out the name- the food & atmosphere really was a “little dream.”
Questions for you:
What type of workouts do you like to do for cross-training?
If you live in Chicago, which restaurants do you like to go out to?