She’s a fitness-focused chef; he keeps the city’s star athletes in shape and in alignment. Together, Shauna Shaik and Dr. Jason Jared are making Chicago a healthier place.
Dr. Jason Jared and Shauna Shaik are each following their passion to help clients stay healthy and fit. Photo by Lisa Sciascia at Lang House.
There’s no shortage of star power when it comes to the celebs and athletes who rely on chef Shauna Shaik, founder of Fit Foodie Kitchen, and husband Dr. Jason Jared, DC, founder of Old Town-based Trifactive Sports Injury + Performance Clinic.
Jared trained actress Sophia Bush for her long days of filming on Chicago P.D. and has helped athletes ranging from members of the Cubs and White Sox to various Kona-qualifying Ironman triathletes stay at the top of their game through performance acceleration work. Shaik’s hit list includes a personal chef stint with Bush and other One Chicago stars plus a bevy of Chicago Blackhawks, including captain Jonathan Toews.
It’s all about empowering people to live better, says this dynamic duo. “I’m like an Italian grandmother—I love feeding people,” says Shaik, who has a commercial kitchen in Pilsen and a cookbook in the works. “But I want people to be confident that they’re doing something good for their bodies.”
Shaik ’s eat-the-rainbow philosophy—expressed in a paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free packaged meal service—offers a balance of different crunchy, creamy and chewy textures that layer flavors with house-made sauces and garnishes like crispy prosciutto and fennel fronds. The dishes are deliciously hearty—think coffee garlic-grilled flank steak with chimichurri and paleo sesame ginger Scottish salmon—but portion-controlled to not induce a food coma. No matter what, her mantra is that it has to look appealing. “We eat with our eyes first,” the Kendall College culinary alum says. “We’ve already decided something is going to taste good just by looking at it.”
That philosophy pairs well with Jared’s, who aims to get injured athletes back into shape fast—on average, he says, it takes him just a month to complete his treatment plan based on the ideology that dysfunction develops over time out of compensation and leads to inflammation, pain and decreased performance. “Once we decrease the dysfunction, we can help your body recover from compensation patterns,” Jared says. That’s the direct opposite of the sit-and-wait philosophy much of the traditional medical world uses, which simply avoids irritating the problem instead of removing muscle and connective tissue adhesions to improve one’s range of motion and thus avoid creating new injuries.
When they aren’t working, the pair—who met online and emailed for three months before meeting— enjoy being “failed” foster parents to two adoptive greyhounds, noshing on sushi at Agami, and visiting craft breweries like Begyle and Half Acre in their North Center neighborhood. And to keep their busy lives connected, they’ve resorted to an unusual method: bathtub dates.
“If we have a stressful day, the first thing I’ll say is, ‘Tub date tonight with a glass of bubbly?’” says Shaik, who also balances a full-time job as a strategic global account executive at a major tech company. “Then we’re able to relax and talk about the day and connect.”
“We are definitely not a 9-to- 5 couple,” Jared admits. “Our lives are go-go-go from the time we get up. We always have a bunch of projects. It’s fun because we’re always talking about what’s next.”
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY BY LISA SCIASCIA; SHOT ON LOCATION AT LANG HOUSE