Columbus Food, Fitness + Fun: April 2023
April brought so many adventures to us! We were able to get outside a lot, enjoy the great outdoors, and explore more of what Columbus's health scene has to offer! We tried less restaurants this month, but attended more events. However, I have given tips and tricks on how to order healthier options at these restaurants as well as other foodie finds we indulged in. Along with restaurants, I tried a fair amount of group fitness classes and studios! April 17th kicked off Fit Week 614, in which many surrounding boutique fitness studios offered free classes for those who purchased a Fit Pass. Lastly, we loved connecting the dots on trails in Westerville! We spent a decent amount of time exploring by bike and foot. Enjoy this months "Columbus-healthy" offerings!
City: Dublin, Bridge Park
Date: March 31, 2023
Healthy Hack: lots of healthy protein rich sharables!
We rented an igloo at VASO rooftop in Dublin to host out of town friends! I had been to VASO before for cocktails but never tried the food until this occasion. The igloo was, I'd say, 70% heated. That being said, if you're coming on a cold day, be sure to layer up! We came on a 50 degree evening and the wind still seeped through. None the less, there were blankets, chairs, couches and a round table.
The food was awesome. The menu was entirely tapas style with a few larger plates. I'd still recommend sharing everything as it was easier to eat this way! Some notable features include the hummus, chicken meatballs, tuna tartare, calamari, and the potatoes! There was a decent amount of healthy options like the fiber rich potatoes and brussels, endless protein options and vegetarian items like sweet potato tacos.
VASO is known for their cocktails; so I highly recommend trying one! Mine was very light in terms of ingredients. It included gin, tonic, soda water and lemon. It was very tasty and refreshing.
2) Third & Hollywood
Date: April 1, 2023
Healthy Hack: most all of their ingredients are locally sourced. That being said, there are tons of protein and vegetable options!
I love Third & Hollywood! The owners of North Star created a more *upscale* version of our traditional favorite spot. On this evening, we wanted to take our friends (who are also mindful eaters) to this low key, dimly lit timeless joint. The menu is full of different proteins like fish, chicken and steak with fresh, locally sourced vegetables. My favorite salad, the Mexi-Cali salad, is served with steak. I swapped it for their special halibut and it was incredible! This salad has cabbage, greens, tomatoes, jicama, corn and their homemade biscuit croutons. It's also a huge salad; I never leave there still hungry.
3) Slurping Turtle
City: Easton Town Center
Date: April 7, 2023
Healthy Hack: multiple sashimi options and poke bowls; you can opt for greens as a base!
Slurping turtle is incredible. I love this spot because it's super relaxed with an up-beat feel. I know I can always get healthy options here, too. Mike and I went on a Friday evening and went all-out in trying different items on the menu. While we waited for our table (45 minute wait), we sat at the bar with a glass of wine and hamachi nachos. As you can see from the photo, the nachos were 4 wonton chips, delicately layered with hamachi and vegetables. It was light and refreshing; just what we wanted! As my main meal, I got the medium sized sashimi plate. It says this serves two-three people; but with no rice present, I think this is a decent meal for one. I also tried half the chicken bao bun, which was phenomenal! Mike got some ramen and sushi as well.
4) Matt The Millers
Cuisine: brunch, American
Date: April 9, 2023
Healthy Hack: When at a buffet, seek the proteins first! I always make one round and load up with pure protein, then go through the line a second time for fats, fibers and vegetables.
We spent Easter brunch at Matt The Miller's in Dublin. I have had their brunch once pre-COVID, and can remember how amazing all the food was. It lived up to the hype; everything was kept warm and replaced frequently. I loaded up on scrambled eggs, scalloped potatoes, ham, shrimp, salad and salmon. There were tons of protein options as well as vegetarian options. Side note, the cinnamon rolls were AMAZING.
5) North Star
Cuisine: Health inspired, farm- to- table cuisine
Date: April 15, 2023
Healthy Hack: The North Star salads are incredible and you can modify anything! I always ask for double chicken, no cheese or onion. They are extremely accommodating!
This is a new salad on the menu I had to try! The Townsfair salad, loaded with corn, tomato, avocado, almonds and chicken! I am also obsessed with their peanut (Buddha) dressing, so I used a side of that instead of the champagne vinaigrette. We also ordered the dip trio as an appetizer. It might not be the healthiest in the world, but when you're splitting amongst friends, they go quick! The pimento cheese and guacamole were both extremely delicious.
Gyms + Fitness Classes
1) The Yoga Factory
Class Type: Yoga Studio (and personal training studio)
Date: March-April 2023
This month, I have been attending The Yoga Factory, in Westerville! I actually bought the month long special for new members (50$ for one month of unlimited yoga) before trying a class. Come to Yoga Factory when you need all things restorative; I find even there vinyasa classes have such a healing touch that nothing is ever stressful to my body. This kind of practice is a good change of pace for me. Sometimes I look forward to hard vinyasas, where the sweat pours and the breathing is hard to control. At Yoga Factory, I NEVER experience this and it is a good Yin balance to my Yang personality. I've tried many style of classes and here are my favorite:
Yoga for Flexibility is always a packed room. People gather here to work on flexibility with yoga postures. I loved this Wednesday night offering and each class targeted a different muscle group. I took classes both with a hamstring focus and hip focus; two areas runners need to prioritize!
Vinyasa with Mckenzie is a beautiful flow in a smaller, quaint space. This class is the opposite than the one above; I've never had more than three people beside my flowing through sun A's and B's. I really like the way Mckenzie teaches specifically. She cues breath, energy locks, and perfect flows where poses lead naturally into one another. She always incorporates standing balance poses which are the most difficult for me.
Stretch and Destress on Sunday is a great class to head into the week with! This class is held at 5pm taught and by an adorable instructor who fills the room with burning sage before she begins. We do a lot seated; which allows more emphasis on deeper stretches and holds. It is very similar to a yin class however we don't hold poses for quite as long. She will encourage the use of props, too.
The only "knock" I have on The Yoga Factory is the ant situation. I almost always take home a few on my body! :|
2) Core Power Yoga
City: Downtown Columbus
Class Type: Hot Yoga Studio
Date: March-April 2023
Core Power Yoga is located in an ally right on the Short North.This studio is extremely clean and fully stocked. I went to my first lass during the 614 Fit Week and ended up attending more for an additional free week of classes. I really enjoyed this studio! It is hot (and I mean.... HOT) but doesn't skimp on the traditional yoga practices. Somehow, they managed to create beautiful flows and due breath in a heated room WITHOUT turning it into a workout class. Meaning, they don't have us running mountain climbers in down dog or pulsing in warrior 1. During my free week, I tried both Y2 (advanced vinyasa) and Yoga Sculpt (yoga with weights). Both classes were super fun and I can't wait to return!
Be sure to bring water to these classes as you will be pouring sweat during the hour long class. After Yoga Sculpt, I got super dehydrated and it threw my whole day off with fatigue and headache. It was my fault, I didn't drink enough water before!
Outdoors + Nature Spots
1) Towers Trail
Terrain: Paved trail exploring Westerville Suburbs and connecting to Ohio+Erie Trail. 3.05 miles from start to end.
Activity: Bike and Run
Date: April 8. 2023
One beautiful spring day, Mike and I went for a bike ride to understand the connections between all these trails! We started near our house at the Hoover Dam trial. We are lucky, it is easy to bike from our house to this location without the need of driving. So once we were on the dam itself, we biked the trail that follows Sunbury until it had us swoop under a bridge. Once we found ourselves on the other side of Sunbury, it prompted us to ride left onto Tower's Trail. Now this is the trail I want to spotlight in this series, but we rode on many trails following this one.
Tower's Trail is adorable! A nice paved trail that runs through many Westerville neighborhoods and through Tower's Park. We were in the backyards of many houses and spotted 5+ kid parks. We loved how populated the trail was with families, dogs, bikers, and so many others! This trail took us all the way to Cheryl's cookies headquarters. This is where we turned left onto the Ohio Erie Trail. I would feel very comfortable running this trail along with biking solo. With so many houses surrounding the trail, it seemed I was never alone!
Below is a map of the trail specifically. I drew a red circle around the trail in its' whole. You can see how it connects to Ohio+Erie trail and Sunbury.
2) Indian Run Falls
Terrain: A mix of dirt and wood bridges
Activity: Hike (short, less than one mile)
Indian Run Falls is located in Old Dublin, behind the Dublin Veterns Park. This small slice of heaven is truly a hidden treat. I stumbled upon this 1 mile down-and-back walk after getting some Starbucks and wanting to spend extra time outside before heading home. This trail is probably not worth driving to for specific hiking since it is short and relatively easy. But if you're adventuring around Dublin for the day, I highly recommend wearing your tennis shoes to get in more steps on this trail!
Events, Businesses + Products
1) Ohio State 4 Miler
City: Downtown Columbus (Campus)
What: 4 mile race that took you through campus! This event celebrated the spring football game and ended on the 50 yard line!
Distance/Time Commitment: 4 mile race/ 10AM- finish
Healthy Hack: This course had rolling hills! Be prepared to sweat since it is in the later morning hours. The sun was shining and we had a great time!
What a fabulous race! The OSU 4miler is the day after the Ohio State spring game. We went to both events and had a blast the entire weekend. This race is a scenic 4 mile course that winds through campus; that being said, remember campus has a few hills! But in Columbus, you don't ever experience inclines that don't also have a descend. They perfectly mapped this course so the last .5 miles was downhill. If you're tracking your pace, this is a huge advantage! The end of the race is on the 50 yard line. So incredible! After leaving the shoe, the post race after party awaits with huge medals, bananas, water and more.
2) Taste Of Yoga Event
City: Darby Creek Park
What: The Beauty Boost (Columbus) held a "Taste Of Yoga" event inviting yoga studios to host 30 minute tasters of classes they offer. Along with yoga, the event center was popping with other fun companies that offered massages, hair braids, mental health counselors, and more.
Healthy Hack: Attending this event, I was able to try Engage High Degree Fitness Resotrative Style class! I really enjoyed the slow stretches post-run.
This event, held by the Beauty Boost Columbus, was a treat to attend! I won tickets through a social media giveaway and I am so glad I got the opportunity to join. Outside of the many class offerings happening during the event, I received a bag full of free class passes to 20+ studios around Columbus! This gift bag in itself was worth the normal ticket cost (30$). At the event, you had options to drop into different 30 minute yoga classes held by different instructors and studios. Outside of the main hall, multiple health and wellness companies lined the halls with their booths offering demos and giveaways!
From what I understand, Beauty Boost Columbus hosts multiple events per month. I am absolutely going to attend more as this event was so fun!
3) 614 Fit Week
City: all over Columbus
What: A week of free and discounted classes at surrounding columbus fitness studios.
Healthy Hack: Take a break from your regular scheduled program and try new classes!
The week of April 17th launched 614 Fit Week held by 614 Magazine! I have participated in this week in years' past and I could not wait to try new studios and return to some old classics for a discounted or free cost! Each day, I went to a participating health-focused company and tried their services. Here are the events I attended:
Monday: 614 Fit Week Launch Party (downtown); all studios and participants held tables with free giveaways, demos, and information.
Tuesday: Yoga On High 12:00 Heated Vinyasa. I absolutely loved this studio, class and instructor. It was the perfect amount of complex to traditional yoga. It is honestly what I am looking for in a studio and will most likely be purchasing a membership. All classes were free this week with a 614 fit pass.
Wednesday: F45 New Albany 4:30-5:15 class. This class was a cardio based circuit that was super fun! I have been to the New Albany location many times now and always enjoy going back.
Thursday: The Now Massage in Dublin. I got an 80 minute sports therapy massage for the price of a 50 minute massage. It was one of the best massages I've gotten in Columbus and I will absolutely be back!
Friday: Core Power Yoga Y2 class. This class was HOT. I was enjoying the vinyasa until my blood sugar dropped about 35 minutes into the class. I left early, but was excited to try the next class (free classes all week with 614 fit pass).
4) One Church
What: Non-Denomenational Christian Church
Healthy Hack: Spiritual wellness is health :)