At Belle Isle Bayou—named after one of the five islands off the coast of Louisiana—executive chef Byron Boquet crafts a menu of fragrant and tasty Cajun and Creole dishes. Red beans and rice are slow-cooked, allowing flavors to become complex, while the etouffee features morsels of crawfish, shrimp, or blackened fish in a spicy roux. Those longing for a sultry, humid evening on the bayou can turn off the hot water and exit the shower, heading instead to the Louisiana-inspired eatery to enjoy traditional gumbo or jambalaya accompanied by a selection of lagniappes such as dirty rice and greens.
With 45 academies across 16 states, Championship Martial Arts instills confidence, self-discipline, and healthy lifestyles in men, women, and kids of all ages through its fun karate classes. Certified instructors help adult students burn fat and build muscle with motivating, no-pressure karate courses, while kids and teens learn respect and teamwork with youth classes for ages three and up. Under the watchful eye of skilled martial arts experts, martial artists safely punch, leap, kick, and block their way to personal achievement and good health.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths.
At Massage Connection, licensed massage therapists aim to ensure that "every sight, sound, smell, and touch" makes clients feel good. While kneading muscles with light or firm hand movements, massage professionals attend to the client's comfort level, adjusting their methods to optimize relaxation and muscle health. Massages target basic aches and pains as well as the needs of expectant mothers, athletes, and milkmaids. Other spa services, including body scrubs and mud-mask treatments, draw out impurities and leave skin feeling supple. In contrast to relaxation-based options, sauna-treatment sessions promote weight-loss by warming the body, inducing sweating, and burning fat.
Variety is key at My Yogurt. The healthy-dessert purveyors boast a range of options including non-dairy, gluten-free, kosher, low-fat, non-fat, and sugar-free yogurt. Visitors can watch their creamy delights swirl into cups or cones and top off desserts with candies, fruits, and cereals.
The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse?here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness?from power to cardiovascular endurance?through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete?a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.