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Sm mart a r t L iving Weekly Your Better Quality of Life Magazine • Rockford Region/Beloit/Freeport 95¢ • March 14, 2018

Right in Our Region

Cirque du Soleil ‘Corteo’ in Town

See Page 16

Window Treatments Made Easy Continue Your Higher Education Getting to Know Saint Patrick ‘Melt the Blocks’ on March 24


2 Tickets to Cirque du Soleil See Pg. 28 Details

Best of Life Information for Our Region’s Residents & Visitors Proudly Serving the Needs of 326,000 Neighbors - For Your Home, Health & Fun!

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In This Issue Right in Our Region ........................Cover & p. 16 Cirque du Soleil ‘Corteo’ Your Home .................................................. ..... 11 Hassle-Free Window Treatments Inspiration & Worship ......................................12 Different Folks Your Kitchen .....................................................15 American-Irish Stew Your Outing .......................................................19 Meltfest and Melt the Blocks Your Education .................................................21 Further Your Higher Education Your Health .............................................. ......... 23 What is Medical Massage? Your Fun ................................................... ......... 25

Restaurant of the Week ................................... 26 Thrive Cafe Dining Locally .......................................... ........ 26 Your Technology ...............................................29 Save Money on Your Bills

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Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Bill Hughes

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Executive Editor/Web Editor Chris Linden Managing Editor Lindsey Gapen Assistant Managing Editor Jermaine Pigee Editor Emeritus Janine Pumilia Graphics Director Blake Nunes Graphic Designer Samantha Behling Contributing Writer Peggy Werner, Paula Kalivoda Furniss

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Website Published by Hughes Media Corp. 222 Seventh St., Rockford, IL, 61104 (815) 316-2300, Fax: (815) 316-2301 Smart Living Weekly. Copyright 2018 by Hughes Media Corp., 222 Seventh St., Rockford, IL, 61104. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

Who Was St. Pat? S

pring arrives next Tuesday. Yes! But before that, on Saturday, March 17, Irish and not-so-Irish folk will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with wearin’ o’ the green, drinkin’ o’ the beer and other fun hoo-hah. So who was St. Patrick? Here’s the scoop, according to, and First, ol’ Pat wasn’t Irish. He was born in Scotland, which was then part of Roman Britain, in about 390 AD. You may recall that Rome had made Christianity its state religion a few decades earlier, in 323 AD. Second, Patrick wasn’t a saint. He was never canonized, although Ireland has certainly adopted him as their unofficial patron saint. He was an ordained priest and bishop who studied under Germanus, who was an official saint in both Roman and Orthodox Christianity. Kidnapped by Irish pirates when he was a teenager, Patrick was forced to tend sheep in Ireland as a slave laborer. As a stranger in a Celtic pagan world, he took refuge in the Christian faith of his childhood, something he’d mostly ignored back home. After six prayerfilled years, he received a vision telling him to escape to the coast. There, sailors whisked him back to his British home. In time, Patrick received a new vision instructing him to return to Ireland and preach Christianity, which he did for 40 years. First, though, he spent years in study under St. Germanus and became a priest and bishop. A small pocket of Christianity already existed in Ireland. Patrick fanned its flames, built churches and converted thousands, including influential pagan leaders. He did this, in part, by incorporating native Irish symbols into Christian worship, such as the Celtic sun emblazoned on the cross. He used the Irish shamrock to illustrate the concept of the trinity. Fanciful Irish tales – like one claiming Patbanished snakes from Ireland – sprang up after his death on March 17, 461 AD. Official saint or not, Patrick remains dear to the Irish and their nearly 35 million IrishAmericans descendants. It’s pretty amazing that we’re still celebrating his life 1,557 years later. So enjoy that green beer and have a great week! ❚ Janine Pumilia SLW Editor

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Y H  G

Window Treatment Shopping Made Easier I

By Janine Pumilia f you’re like most people, you don’t look forward to shopping for window blinds, shades, shutters, curtains or drapes. But you need them. Taking measurements, finding the right store, getting questions answered, figuring out which materials look best in your lighting conditions, ordering the right custom-fit items, waiting weeks for them to arrive and then installing the final products correctly – or finding someone to do it – can be time-consuming and frustrating. The 3 Day Blinds company simplifies this process for homeowners and business owners. “The best place to choose materials for your home or office is inside your home or office,” says Jenny BehningZiemke, Rockford-area design consultant for 3 Day Blinds. “We offer on-site consultation. I bring my showroom-onwheels right to you.”

Along with hundreds of samples, Ziemke brings with her a design degree, 28 years of experience in the window treatment business and knowledge of the latest trends and options. Clients are under no obligation to purchase anything during her visit, which typically takes two to three hours. She learns about your goals, studies your rooms and makes educated suggestions based upon your preferences. Do you need room-darkening or child-safe shades for a nursery or media room? Are you concerned about conserving energy or protecting a floor from bright sunlight? Do you want the option of rolling your shades up from the bottom and down from the top? Which colors would look best with your walls and floors? Which products are easiest to clean? Which ones allow natural light in a room but don’t allow glare on your computer screen?

Once you order, installation can be completed in less than a week. “We manufacture our own products and ship them to the installer within three days, which is extremely fast for custom window treatments,” says Ziemke. “We professionally install them for you and you’re all set. Easy.” Learn more at or set up a home consultation by calling (815) 242-0034. Be sure to ask about the buy one, get one 50 percent off sale currently in progress. ❚

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I  W

Different Folks “T

olerance” is a loaded word these days. Surely there are behaviors we shouldn’t tolerate. Terrorism, child or spouse abuse and dishonest leadership come to mind. But what about tolerance for those who are simply different from us? Jesus had a lot to say about that. For example, there are more than 300 verses about how we should treat poor people. Here is one: Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” – Luke 14:12-14 (NIV). By example, Jesus taught us to be gracious and forgiving of sinners, and to offer them a way out of the sin that imprisons them. (This is lucky for us, since all of us are sinners.) Jesus went out of his way to embrace people with rough edges – such as prostitutes and thieves – much to the dismay of pious religious leaders who treated them as outcasts. Among many examples is an incident in which Jesus came to the aid of a woman who was about to be stoned to death for marital infidelity. His response: “Let any one of you who is without sin throw the first stone at her.” – John 8:7 In verse 11, Jesus tells her he doesn’t condemn her, but adds: “Go and sin no more.” In our society, people born into various races and religions are often intolerant of one another. This was true in Jesus’ time as well. Jewish people understandably considered their religion to be the only legitimate one, having been led from bondage many times by supernatural acts of God and raised on the Old Testament. Yet Jesus had both the authority and the desire to break down walls of race and religion. After the resurrection, all people who chose to follow Jesus Christ were welcomed as equals into the fold. Even before his resurrection, Jesus showed kindness to outcasts such as a Samaritan woman he met at a water well. Samaritans were shunned by Jews, and yet, when she spoke of her belief in a coming Messiah, Jesus openly revealed what he hid from others who longed to hear the words: “I, the one speaking to you, I am he.” (John 4:26) Let's be "imitators of Christ." (Ephesians 5:1:2) ❚ – Janine Pumilia 12

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Celebrate St. Pat’s Day with American Irish Stew T

urn your St. Patrick’s Day celebration into a chance to enjoy Irish heritage with hearty foods and a lively atmosphere. • Decorate with purpose. Incorporate green into banners, streamers, candles or even use green light bulbs is fun. • Plan some simple activities to help the fun flow. Games like a “treasure hunt” for gold coins, limerick-writing competitions or even just turning up Irish-themed music can help get the party started. • Eat festively. Turn your party’s food and drinks into true Irish dining with some delicious recipes like this American Irish Stew, which includes beef, onion, carrots and potatoes for a tasty cultural meal. For more hosting tips and themed recipes for any occasion, visit culinary. net.

American Irish Stew

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research Servings: 6

1 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/4 pounds beef, top round, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional) 3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks 1 Tb. chopped fresh rosemary 1 leek, coarsely chopped 2 Tb. chopped fresh parsley Salt and peper to taste

In large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 75 minutes, or until meat is tender. Stir in potatoes and simmer another

30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender. To avoid potatoes falling apart, do not overcook. Serve hot and garnish with parsley, if desired. Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate, 32 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 427 mg sodium. Source: Family Features. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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Cirque du Soleil Comes to BMO April 5-8 By Lindsey Gapen, managing editor


ore than 8 million people have seen “Corteo,” a Cirque du Soleil production that has toured the world. With talented acrobats, musicians, singers and actors performing in unison, “Corteo” makes it obvious that the human body is capable of extraordinary feats. From April 5-8, the Rockford region will have the opportunity to see the high-energy production directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca. Tickets are on sale at the BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, for six peformances. “I think what differentiates ‘Corteo’ from other shows is that we combine multiple artistic mediums,” says Mark Shaub, artistic director of the production. “Choreography, music, lighting, makeup – we bring these elements together to make the show stronger than its individual parts.” Shaub did gymnastics for 15 years


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before joining Cirque, and he’s been with “Corteo” off and on since the show premiered in Montreal in April 2005. For 10 years, the show toured across the world in a big top, visiting 64 cities in 19 countries. The big top tour ended in 2015, but the cast wanted to continue performing. “We’re so excited to bring ‘Corteo’ back to life again,” Shaub says. “When the big top shut down, we felt the show wasn’t over. It had more life. There are more people to reach. We’re excited to go to Rockford and other communities so more people can see ‘Corteo’.” The plot focuses on a central character, a clown, who pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere. The word ‘corteo’ is derived

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from the Italian word cortege, which means procession. “When the show starts, you see the clown watching his own funeral procession, but at that time we don’t know if he’s really dead or not, maybe he’s just dreaming,” Shaub says. “But then, ‘Corteo’ looks at everyone he met in his life when he was in the circus. We meet a lot of characters and see scenes that just

R  O R

celebrate life. It’s a beautiful show.” Now in an arena format, “Corteo” is the same show that toured the word, but with a few tweaks. During the big top tour, the cast always had multiple days to set up and take down the set. With an arena tour, the cast only has eight to 12 hours. “It’s a big transformation,” Shaub says. “We want to do same show and have it look and feel the same, so to make that happen there’s a lot of technology that goes into it. Artistically, we’re

putting ‘Corteo’ together the same way, but it’s a bit edited with two 50-minute acts and an intermission.” Ciprian Mihai Veres has been performing in “Corteo” since it began in 2005. As a professional dancer for nearly 20 years, his skills were easily transferred to the cirque production. Veres performs in two acts during the show: a trampoline act and a high-bar act, in which multiple gymnasts “fly” back and forth across bars. He’s also a backup for the clown role. “Our performers go through crying, happiness and lots of emotion during the show,” Veres says. “It’s a very familyfriendly show that’s great for kids.” When he joined Cirque, the skills were already in his body, but he needed to learn more about becoming an artist, says Veres. “Acting is what makes an artist

good,” Veres says. “It’s important to have all artistic skills in this show. It’s about knowing the music and knowing what to do if something goes wrong. We train about two hours every day while the show is touring.” Shaub tries to stay true to the production’s original goals. “Daniele Finzi Pasca had an idea and a certain aesthetic in mind when he created the show, so my job is to keep that in mind as new people come and go, but also to integrate their personalities into show to help it grow,” Shaub says. Shaub expects audiences to have multiple reactions to “Corteo.” “We want audiences to react emotionally, and there are many emotions to react with,” Shaub says. “Joy, happiness, excitement, but some parts you might want to cry. There’s an exchange of energy and emotions between performers and the audience. The performers get as much as they give on stage. As long as we take you on a journey, we did our job.” ❚

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Experience Downtown Rockford

Y O

Spring Must be Near: It’s Meltfest Time T he 5th annual Meltfest will take place Saturday, March 24 in downtown Rockford. This fun, family-friendly day was established as a way to celebrate the approach of spring, the melting away of winter and the melding together of our community members. A free festival with a little bit of something for everyone, this year’s Meltfest will include live music, ice skating, vendors, crafts, shows and entertainers. Proceeds will benefit Keeping Families and Communities Together (KFACT). If you’re ready to burn off some of your pent-up winter energy, you can sign up for the 5K run/walk followed by a free kids’ run. All 5K entrants will receive a commemorative t-shirt and finisher medal. This year’s bike ride will push off around 3 p.m., led by Team Fur Bandit. And if running and biking aren’t your thing, you can head to the downtown

YMCA (ID Pennock) for kayaking in the pool. Kids’ activities will include arts and crafts, magic and juggling shows and games at Prairie Street Brewhouse. There will also be free ice skating, outdoor activities and science shows at the Riverview Ice House. Many characters and mascots will be roaming about for meet and greets. Adult activities will include $5 beverage tastings at Owly Oop, from 3-6 p.m., and live music from 5-9 p.m. New this year, Meltfest is partnering with the River District Association to present “Melt the Blocks.” Restaurants and retailers throughout the River District will offer promotions and specials to add even

more fun to your day. Additional shopping can be found at Prairie Street Brewhouse, where vendors will be selling everything from gourmet dog treats to jewelry. Last year, Meltfest brought nearly 5,000 people downtown to celebrate the arrival of Spring! For a full schedule of Meltfest events, and to sign up for the 5K race, visit ❚

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Healthy Hydrogen Water on Tap! Water Wellness Presentation a video/slideshow presentation

if you’re an ATHLETE who wants to achieve better performance, or a PARENT who battles school and daycare viruses, or a HEALTH NUT and want to keep it going, or if you’re AGING, or SUFFERING from chronic health conditions, or simply a PET OWNER who wants the best possible health for your special friend – THIS PRESENTATION IS FOR YOU!

guest speaker

Steven Clarke

Three Time Options: NIU Rockford Conference Center

Certified Molecular 5800 E. State St – Rockford Hydrogen Advisor Nano-Hydration Specialist Thursday, April 5 ► 6:00 – 8:00 pm Water Wellness Coach Friday, April 6 ► 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Steven will present water wellness Emmanuel Episcopal Church in a unique and enjoyable way. Nation- 412 N. Church St – Rockford wide, many say they’ve learned more Saturday, April 7 ► 10:00 am – 12:00 about water in 1 hour than they knew in a lifetime. This new understanding “Hydrogen has therapeutic potential in of hydrogen and health is backed by over 170 disease models and in essenover 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific tially every organ of the human body.” research papers, most of them (Molecular Hydrogen Foundation) published since 2007!

Admission is FREE. Seating space is limited.

Please reserve your seat ONLINE today! NIU: Emmanuel:

Or feel free to call 815-262-6437 for more details Sponsored by Ionized Water Plus, LLC

Hydrogen Water ● Learn it ● Use it ● Benefit from it !


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F  E

Ways to Further Your Education Locally By Peggy Werner elping you to get more out of life by advancing your education is what Upper Iowa University (UIU) is all about. Founded in 1857, UIU is celebrating its 10th year of service to our region. This private, not-for-profit university is based in Fayette, Iowa and maintains a campus in Rockford at 1161 Tebala Blvd. “Our programs are designed to benefit working adults,” says UIU-Rockford Center Director Pamela Timmons. “Classes are eight weeks long and anyone can take one or more classes at the center or online year-round. With no application fees, entrance fees or entrance exams, everything we do is with the student in mind. With flexibility and a commitment to high standards and quality, we strive to meet the needs of all students.” To help more people reach their educational goals, UIU is offering a 10 percent discount to Rock Valley Col-


lege graduates. Over the years, the UIURockford Center has developed close relationships with many local community colleges. “There are a lot of people who graduate from Rock Valley but don’t attempt to earn a bachelor’s degree,” Timmons says. “This tuition grant is another way for us to partner with community colleges to help students continue and complete their educations. Our community has a lot of people with associate degrees, but we have a very low number of those with bachelor’s degrees and we want to see that change.” A caring faculty and staff helps students to reach their full potential, regardless of age, says Timmons. UIU students have more than 40 undergraduate majors and graduate programs from which to choose. Skilled professionals at UIU help students to make the most of financial aid.

UIU provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,800 students through its Fayette Campus, its 25 U.S. education locations and locations in Malaysia and Hong Kong. It also participates in the Principles of Excellence and Yellow Ribbon programs and repeatedly has been named a top Military-Friendly University by Military Advanced Education & Transition and Victory Media. Call Timmons at (815) 332-1414 or email her at Learn more at ❚

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Medical Massage Targets Root Causes of Pain By Peggy Werner


edical massage takes the benefits of physical therapy to an even deeper level to relieve pain and speed up recovery time, according to Chris Scott of Chris Scott Wellness, 1752 Windsor Road, Suite 202 in Loves Park. Medical massage, also called clinical massage, has become more accepted as part of mainstream medicine and is being recommended more often by physicians, in conjunction with physical therapy, for treatment of several physical conditions including low back pain, shoulder injuries, arthritis, whiplash, headaches, neck stiffness and sports injuries, he says. “Medical massage focuses on a specific area of the body, working muscles at a deeper level, sometimes applying pressure to a certain point for several minutes, to achieve a desired result,” he says. “The job of the medical massage

therapist is to treat the root cause of pain by working tissue deeply, carefully, slowly and methodically, to break up knots and re-align fibers to make permanent changes in the tissue, so it can be hydrated and healthy again,” he says. People who can benefit from medical massage will usually be referred by their doctor and with just one, one-hour treatment will see positive results. However, most people need a series of treatments to eliminate pain and restore normal functioning, he says.

Unlike a full body massage that is meant to make people feel relaxed and revived, medical massage pinpoints problem areas, but is not painful. “It should be a pleasant experience, not just during the procedure, but immediately following treatment, and for days after because the patient feels relief from pain,” he says. In business for more than 25 years, he opened his own clinic in 2014, specializing in pain management with Medical Massage Therapy and Myofascial Release. With two physicians and three therapists on staff, medical massage appointments account for about half of his business, he says. For more information or to make an appointment, call the clinic at 815-9773747. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment only on Saturdays. ❚

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Y F Autumn just might be the best time of year.   The sun is a little lower (and prettier), the air is a little crisper (and cleaner) and the leaves cascade  down in colorful splendor.   This fall, spend some quality time in the fun, nearby, value-packed Rockford Region.  See stunning fall colors at 

Real. Original. SM

Anderson Japanese Gardens, the finest in North America.  Visit beautifully  spacious Rock Cut State Park.  Don’t miss Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, with more than 500 different species of trees, shrubs and vines, all 


glowing in autumn’s glory.  Indoors, our concert and theater season will be  gaining momentum at Coronado Performing Arts Center, a beautifully  restored downtown vaudeville house.  Plus, our Riverfront Museum Campus  will be coming alive for the whole family.  Visit today for  a full list of autumn special events, festivals, gardens, golf and more. 

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau NWQ_fall.indd 1

102 N. Main St.

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau


Attractions & Events

Traveling Gods of Wealth Through March 23, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.Rockford, IL 61101 1.800.521.0849 4 p.m. Wright Museum of Art, Beloit College, (608) 363-2702, ❚ 9/10/07 2:07:37 PM

FAM Native American Artists Through March 24. Featuring work by contemporary Native American artists in FAM’s permanent collection. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, RAM: 77th Young Artist Shows High School Division on display through March 31; Youth Division April 8-May 6. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. This juried competition features exceptional pieces by students in grades 9-12 in schools within 50 miles of RAM and students K-8 in Winnebago County. RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, AE: “Best of Enemies” Thru March 18, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. The amazing true story of bitter antagonists C.P. Ellis, Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, and Ann Atwater, an African-American civil rights activist, who move from mutual loathing to friendship. Artists’ Ensemble (AE), Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, (815) 3945004, MPAC: Celebrating Women in Music March 16, 7:30 p.m. In honor of Women’s History Month, this concert features classical compositions by women, performed by regional women. Mendelssohn Hall, (815) 964-9713, Expressive Writing for Healing March 17, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Ages 13 and up. A step-by-step guide to using expressive writing as an effective means of healing. Reg. req. Nordlof Center, (815) 987-6660, Community Forum March 18, 2-3 p.m. Panel discussion on

Discover the beauty of prairies on March 28 at Severson Dells Nature Center in Winnebago.

how regional governments can cooperate to be more competitive nationally in attracting businesses and other amenities. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, Clara Barton: Patriot Angel March 18, 4 p.m. Actor, writer and storyteller Susan Marie Frontczak brings history to life as pioneer nurse Clara Barton. George Williams College of Aurora University, Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, Guided Tour of Midway Village March 24, 10:30-11:30 a.m. A trained interpreter gives visitors an in-depth look at Rockford’s history. Learn anecdotes not available on the self-guided tour. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, (815) 397-9112, A Visual Exploration of the Prairies March 28, 7-8:30 p.m. Beginner and seasoned naturalists are invited to discover the hidden and often-missed beauty of our local prairies. Severson Dells Nature Center, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, Maple Sugaring March 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn how and why maple trees produce sap, which are the best to tap, how syrup is made and how science has modernized this ancient seasonal practice. Severson Dells Nature Center, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, ❚

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Healthful, Fresh Fare at Thrive Cafe

By Peggy Werner


n expanded menu, longer hours, new equipment and new seasonal items at Thrive Café, 6731 Broadcast Parkway, are making the Rockford area a much healthier place to live. Owner Jason Rager is a personal trainer and has a strong commitment to helping people live healthier lives by making all menu items from fresh ingredients with no additional fat, sugar or dairy products. “Customers are so excited about what we have to offer,” says Rager. “Because everything is fresh and made to order, we get a lot of people wanting to eat healthier because they are ill or on a special diet, or just following a national trend of everyone wanting to eat healthier.” New this spring are items that can be made with hot food because of a new grill that was installed earlier this year. All bowls, wraps and salads can

be topped with grilled chicken, salmon or tuna and hot vegetables. Other new items are cleansing vegetable juices, cashew nut milk, shrimp spring rolls, a vegetable quiche and a caramelized onion and mushroom quiche, both made with a sweet potato crust. All salad dressings are made in house and are gluten-free and dairy-free. Among the most popular protein smoothie is the “Cool Down,” made with Almond Milk, Spinach, natural peanut butter, banana, protein powder and cinnamon. Exotic fruit smoothies include the Dragon Slayer, made with Dragon Fruit, coconut water, banana, pineapple, mango and chia seeds. Super food micro bites are made with peanut butter, granola, guiltless chocolate or tropical mango. Rager started out in the summer of 2015 with Thrive Café at Peak Sports

Club, 4401 Peak Drive, specializing in freshly made cold pressed juices and smoothies, and that location remains open. He opened the second location about a year ago, with an expanded menu and seating for up to 20 people. Thrive Café on Broadcast Parkway is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sundays. ❚ ❚

Top Picks for Local Restaurants Baci’s Kitchen  Fast-Casual American and Italian specialties, Giordano’s  Casual/Italian. Stuffed pizza, salads, entrees, dine-in, carry-out. 2990 N. Perryville Road, inside A Perryville sandwiches, desserts. 33 Executive Parkway, Rockford, (815) Place. (815) 329-6922. Open 7 days/wk. at 8 a.m. BkLD. Com- 398-5700. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11 pm. plete menu at GreenFire  Upscale-Casual/American contemporary. SeaBravo Pizza  Italian/American. 376 Prairie Hill Road, South Be- sonal cuisine; local-sourced ingredients; gourmet market; loit, Ill., (815) 624-7900. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $. live entertainment. 6795 E. Riverside Blvd., Rockford, (815) Capital House  Fine dining, sushi bar, gourmet coffee (martini 316-3473. BkLD M-F 11am, Sat-Sun 8am. Bar open late. $$$.

bar awaiting liquor license). 308 W. State St., Rockford, (815) 708- Hearthrock Cafe  Restaurant/cafe. Baked goods, coffee, 8989. BLD M-Th 8am-4pm, Fri. 8 am-10pm, Sat. 11am-10pm. breakfast, lunch. Inside Benson Stone Co., 1100 11th St., Closed Sunday. $-$$$. Rockford, (815) 227-2000. BkL M-F 7:30am-3pm; Sat. 8amCiao Bella Ristorante Upscale-Casual/Italian-American. Dai- 3pm. $-$$.

ly specials. 6500 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill. (815) 654- Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria  Casual. Pizza, Italian favor9900. LD M-F 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 5-10 p.m. $$ ites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., Costa’s Ristorante  Upscale-Casual/Italian. 133 Blackhawk (815) 633-7500; 5801 Columbia Pkwy., Rockford, (815) 2275577. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. Dr., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-4707. LD Daily 4pm. $-$$.

Cucina di Rosa  Italian Bistro/Bakery 1620 Bell School Road, Prairie Street Brewhouse  Upscale-Casual/American. 200 Rockford, (815) 395-5040. BkLD. Homemade gelato, baked Prairie St., Rockford, (815) 277-9427. LD Sun-W 11am-10pm, Th to midnight, F-Sat to 2am. $-$$. goods, pasta, frittatas, more. M-Sat 7am-9pm. $$ Dos Reales Mexican Restaurant  Casual/Mexican. Authen- Taco Betty’s  Casual/Mexican-American. 212 E. State St., tic dishes, lunch menu. 5855 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 227- Rockford, (815) 977-5650. LD Daily 11am-1am. $$. 4979. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm. $-$$.

Thrive Café  Casual/Cafe. Salads, wraps, sandwiches, smoothies, cold-pressed juices. Inside Peak Fitness, 4401 Peak Fresco at the Gardens.  Casual/American Café. Fresh, local-sourced ingredients. 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, Drive, Loves Park, Ill. BkLD M-F 6am-8pm, Sat 8am-2pm. ❚ (815) 316-2256. BkL Daily 7am-3pm. $$


Smart Living Weekly

March 14 To advertise call 815-316-2300

In the Spotlight Bravo Pizza


ith more than 40 years in the restaurant business, Joe Ocello knows how to create an authentic dining experience. Since opening the first Bravo Pizza & Italian Restaurant location in 2001 with wife Francesca, the couple has been refining its classic Italian fare. Most items are made from scratch, ensuring a home-made meal with fresh ingredients. The Italian beef, served au jus or with tomato meat sauce, was named Best in the Stateline by in 2013. Top sellers include Italian meatball sandwiches, fettucine Alfredo and fish specials. “We make it all ourselves. Each meatball is about a quarter pound apiece, so they’re huge,” says Ocello. Bravo has locations in South Beloit and Poplar Grove. Both offer a full-service bar, catering, carry-out and delivery services. Learn more at ❚

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March 14


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It’s ‘Not that Hard’ to Pay Less for Tech By Peggy Werner


customer walks into EZ Satellite and Wireless, 6239 N. 2nd St. in Loves Park, and within a few minutes leaves happier than when he came in, after finding out how to pay less for internet, phone and television services. During the customer’s visit, EZ Satellite and Wireless Owner and General Manager Charles Zambrano asks him questions about the number of televisions in his home, his favorite channels, whether he enjoys streaming and recording, how many phones he has and if he needs high-speed internet. Zambrano’s goal is to help every customer save money. “Most customers are paying too much, up to $250 for phone, television and internet. I can save them $50 to $100 per month. With every customer, I can offer them the best each company has to offer,” he says. “A lot of people are not happy with

their tech services, but they’re afraid to change or don’t have time to do the research to find a better deal. It’s not that hard to get a better deal and start saving money,” he says. Zambrano’s business has doubled since he moved it to the Loves Park location from Roscoe two years ago. Although he plans to open a second store in the future, a more immediate goal is to start selling, installing and servicing security cameras and surveillance systems within the next few months. What sets his business apart from others, he says, is personal attention, good customer service and honesty. “I make sure the customers know exactly what they are getting and that they are not paying for services they don’t want or need,” he says.

EZ Satellite &Wireless is an authorized dish network retailer licensed to offer services from any other provider using dish, cable, internet and home security, such as Rise Broadband, Comcast, Frontier, HughesNet, DirectTV, Digitenna and Protect America. Learn more by calling EZ Satellite & Wireless at (815) 957-4335 or by visiting the office. ❚

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March 14



Smart Living Weekly

March 14 To advertise call 815-316-2300


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Smart Living Weekly

Issue 1

Smart Living Weekly March 14, 2018  

Featured in this week: Cirque du Soleil 'Corteo' in Town. You and your family will live smarter and better lives, every week of the year, wi...

Smart Living Weekly March 14, 2018  

Featured in this week: Cirque du Soleil 'Corteo' in Town. You and your family will live smarter and better lives, every week of the year, wi...