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Leah Bostrom


Best of Health & Fitness 2018

By Tara Gardner, Laura Hine, Marjie Killeen, Jacquelyn Lumley and Alyssa Zacek

Portrait by Sam Grant


Best of Health & Fitness

Radiating wellness in her every step, certified health coach Leah Bostrom has found her calling. “I help people make changes they will enjoy, so they last,” Bostrom says. “It’s empowering to notice that you’re feeling better and more energized. Then you want to know what else you can do—that’s how the magic happens!” Through her company, Chia Leah (1222 Washington Court, Wilmette), Bostrom runs nutrition workshops and cooking lessons, but her real gift is working with entire families to change their shopping, cooking, exercise and even sleep habits. “I do pantry purifications and take clients to the grocery store,” says Bostrom. “Even though it sounds like a lot, I focus on baby steps and establishing sustainable habits over time.” As the mother of three kids (one with food allergies), Bostrom also understands family dynamics and kid tastes. “Each family is so different. It’s like a puzzle to solve, figuring out what’s going to work for this family’s particular needs.” –LH 

If you think hours of cardio and healthy snacking are key to getting a slim, strong physique, consider booking a consultation at Jim Karas Intelligent Fitness & Wellness (179 E. Deerpath Road, Lake Forest). “Snacking and cardio both encourage your body to store fat and eat more,” says founder Jim Karas, a 30-year fitness expert and author of six books. “And you wonder why the five-year success rate of weight loss is 2 to 3 percent?” Like his Lincoln Park facility, Karas’ new Lake Forest location is intended to be a one-stop shop for fitness and includes personal training as well as recovery treatments like cryotherapy, massage and bodywork. Don’t feel like traveling to the gym? No problem. An elite personal trainer will come to you. It all begins with an initial assessment for $150. “Even if you don’t continue (with us),” Karas says, “you’ll be shocked by what you can learn about your body.” –MK