What’s in Your Water?

What’s in Your Water?

I am the first to admit, I have been doing this all wrong. Sometimes it takes a little time and a little of your own research to open your eyes to what you are putting into your body. I was all gung-ho about writing something up on the tap water athletes in the gym were gulping down. Little did I know, my gallon of bottled water could be nothing more than glorified tap water…in a fabulous plastic container (which is a another monster for another day).

Let’s keep this basic. I tell people to drink more water all the time. How healthy is this? Sure it is healthy and essential to drink water but what about the extra stuff that is contaminating our drinking water these days?

I have known for a long time that I probably should invest in some sort of water filter for my house, but I have waited and waited and bought gallons upon gallons upon gallons of water from the grocery store. Funny story about this is every time I pull my cart up through the checkout line with 14 gallons of water, I get some priceless looks and comments.

A few of the more common comments are as follows:
“You must be thirsty.”
“Stocking up on water huh? Is there a hurricane/storm coming?”
“Woah…that’s a lot of water!”
“What are you going to do with all that water?”

At first I would get irritated and respond with some snarky comment:
“YOU should be drinking this much too.”
“No storm, just purchasing my weekly water intake, no big deal. How much water do you drink?”
“I am building an ice rink in my back yard.”
“Super thirsty, can’t wait to crack one open and chug it down.”

You have to understand how seriously annoyed I get every week when I cart 14 gallons into my house from my car. That’s 2 gallons per hand…which was no problem in sunny Florida, but let’s face it, now I live in Chicago and who has time for that in the cold and snow. So out of pure laziness, which is hard for me to admit, since we moved I’ve tried to leave the waters in the car…that doesn’t work in Chicago in the winter unless you plan on licking the ice block to get it to melt.

So here’s the deal. I found some pretty scary stuff in my research especially about my beloved bottled water. This quote from a Precision Nutrition blog was eye opening; “Bottled water doesn’t appear to be any better, safer, or purer than tap water. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S., less than one person is regulating the entire bottled water industry.” I also found 2 differing percentages one implying 25% of bottled water is just bottled tap water and another implying 40%….bummer. Not super reassuring.

What’s so bad about tap water? Take a look for yourself at the list of contaminants and their MCLs (Maximum Contaminant Levels)…I don’t need to reinvent the wheel here especially if someone else can explain it better and in more detail https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/. The good news is this stuff is being monitored, but personally I find it pretty scary to think about.

Here is a quick cheat sheet of a few potential heavy hitters in the contaminant department:
Arsenic (semi metal element that is tasteless and odorless, enters water supply through agricultural and industrial practices and natural deposits)
Long-term exposure could lead to skin issues, problems with circulatory systems, and potentially increases risk of cancer.

Atrazine (herbicide)
Long term exposure could be associated with cardiovascular system or reproductive problems. Associated with “de-masculinizing” male amphibians.
Check out this map on Estimated Atrazine Use in 2011 in the US. This does not imply that this is the amount in your drinking water in these areas just gives you an idea of where this herbicide is used in the US.

Lead (toxic metal found in and around homes i.e. lead-based paint, corrosion of plumbing)
Long term exposure (infants and children) could be linked to delays in physical or mental development. Additionally, kids could show minor deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Long term exposure (Adults) could be associated with high blood pressure and kidney problems.

Pharmaceuticals (Prescription and OTC Drugs, enters water supply through flushing, urine & feces of consumers, and disposing in landfills)
According to a media report small amounts of pharmaceuticals (hormones, mood stabilizers, antibiotics and other drugs) are in our drinking water supplies.
Although both sides of this debate agree there isn’t enough evidence of substantial health effects as of now, this became a growing area of concern when some fish, when exposed to estrogenic-like substances, showed both male and female sex organs (testes and an ovary). More research still needs to be done.

I completely understand we are exposed to a crazy amount of toxins on a daily basis and it is unrealistic to live in a bubble. That is not what I am suggesting, what I am suggesting is to do the research and make an informed decision about the water you are drinking. Again, water is essential and I am happy to stay hydrated and healthy, but what I realized through this process is I need to make some of my own changes. If I plan to drink the amount of water that I am now, I need to clean it up. Here is a quick list of some common household water filters if you are interested in doing more research.

Reverse Osmosis
Solid Block Carbon
Pitcher Water Filters


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As a largely uncoordinated child, I spent much of my youth with broken bones, missing teeth and injured pride as I stumbled awkwardly through team sports like basketball, soccer and softball. Quite inexplicably, I made the cheer squad in my freshman year of college, but quit after just one season and made no further athletic pursuits while in school. Perhaps fubsy young writers were meant to focus solely on their English degrees and grand notions for a publishing future.

But something unexpected happened in 2007. I caught wind of the Nike+iPod Sports Kit that Nike had released not one year earlier. For reasons I can no longer recall, I decided that this fitness technology (a then-little-used phrase) deserved space in my life. I purchased my first pair of running shoes, along with the Nike+ sensor kit, and started apprehensively pounding pavement.

Spoiler alert: I was not a great runner. But I was consistent. (And, blessedly, I discovered I wasn’t quite so uncoordinated as I’d once been.) I built up mileage, ran my first 10k, lost nearly 70 pounds, and found a new sense of empowerment that led to more confident choices in every aspect of my life. While I grew as an athlete, I also grew as a professional, accelerating in my career as a writer, and as a risk-taker, at one point even pausing my career to pursue a culinary degree.

There is no question that physical feats and even the smallest measure of athletic prowess can inspire boldness in seemingly unrelated endeavors. I have rediscovered this truth throughout my adult life, and I have witnessed in others the transformative impact of leaning into an athletic identity, no matter how we define it for ourselves.

This is what I live for as a coach: Helping everyone I meet recognize and embrace not only their athletic potential but also the broad impact of training and growing that potential. We all have a different starting line, but I am proud to coach at a gym that believes in meeting every member where they are. Whether you have spent your whole life identifying as an athlete or denying all along that you possess any physical prowess, there is a starting line for you at Bluprint and it leads to a journey that is utterly worth the undertaking.


Bachelors in English/Communication
Bluprint Professional Coach Development Program
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer




Rowing is a sport that can show you just how strong you are and just how hard you can push yourself. Just when you don’t think you can go any more, you find that little bit extra. When you challenge yourself in rowing, all the other challenges you face seem to pale in comparison. I can’t count the number of times I have been met with an obstacle in life and found confidence in my ability to overcome that obstacle stemmed directly from pushing myself in the sport of rowing. I want to help you find your outer limits and then break through them.

Originally a soccer player, Devlin started rowing to keep in shape in the soccer offseason. Training indoors throughout the winter months in Connecticut, by the time Devlin had made it through a full season of scholastic soccer and club rowing he had won a district championship (soccer) and a national championship (rowing) and was faced with a decision. Several medals and accolades later, Devlin finished his four years at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA as a national champion, a three year varsity letter winner, a captain of the Men’s Rowing team, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics. Devlin moved to Chicago in 2012 to see about a girl (to whom he is now married) and became the Programs Manager of Recovery on Water, a rowing team for patients and survivors of breast cancer in 2015.”


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
BS Physics (Saint Joseph’s University)
USRowing Level 2 Certified Coach
Cancer and Exercise Specialist Training Certified
Bluprint Fitness Professional Coach Development Program




Growth happens when you willingly put yourself in an uncomfortable position. This statement guided me towards Bluprint and since joining this awesome community I’ve been in a constant state of discomfort, which has led to so much growth. 

I played baseball since I was 4 years old up until my sophomore year of college. When I stopped playing, I found the gym to be a place of solitude. It was where I felt my best. I started my fitness journey with traditional weight training. I spent most of my undergraduate and graduate student years working out in this fashion and at various points felt like I wasn’t doing enough. When I moved back to Chicago, I knew something had to change. I needed to be challenged. I needed to be held accountable. I needed community. & I needed something that fit into my schedule. 

I found bluprint during the pandemic and immediately felt at home. This place changed my perspective on health and fitness and I knew after a few months of joining I wanted more. After 8 months of being a BP athlete, I stepped into the coaching arena. Coaching brings me joy. It’s where I get to bridge my passion for teaching and learning with fitness. I’m grateful to be a part of this community and to be working with you all.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Bluprint Fitness Professional Coach Development Program




Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a Strength Coach one day. Born and raised in Downers Grove Illinois, I was raised playing any sport that involved a ball and contact with my brother’s and cousin. In highschool, I chose to focus on soccer and went on to play on the inaugural team at the University of Illinois of Chicago where I completed a degree in Kinesiology Exercise Science and a Minor in Nutrition.

My soccer career came to a close after I endured my second ACL & Meniscus tear playing semi-professionally for the Chicago Red Stars Reserves. After I re-gained enough strength after surgery, I knew I needed a gym that had the ultimate programming that could feed my competitive spirit, help me build strength and endurance while staying injury-free. Those standards have been far exceeded ever since and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the team to take what I have learned to coach athletes from all ages and levels of fitness.

In addition to coaching at BluPrint, I am a software Sales Representative and can understand how hard it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle working a 8-5pm+ corporate job. BluPrint will be the gym to take the thinking out of workout plans, hold you accountable to making 3-5 classes a week, help you achieve the body you never thought you could and most importantly keep you injury free while doing so!


BA Kinesiology Exercise Science with a Minor in Nutrition (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Sports Recovery Specialist (Chicago Recovery Room)
Parisi Speed Coach (Parisi Speed School)
Mental Health Advocate




I’ve always loved a good challenge. Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, I dabbled in team sports and gymnastics, but I didn’t find my passion for personal fitness until the end of college. I started challenging myself with 5ks, “Insanity” workouts, and Tough Mudders and slowly moved on to Spartan races, half marathons, and full marathons. One day I told a friend, “I could never run a marathon!” and the next day I signed up for the 2015 Chicago Marathon. I hated thinking I couldn’t do something. My first marathon was my first experience with following a training plan. I learned that my body – all of our bodies – can do incredible things with consistency and a plan. Six years later, I still love following a fitness plan and seeing the results of my hard work. I became a coach because I want to help other people find that same success and feel proud of the work they’ve put in. I love fitness, but I’m nerdy about nutrition. I earned my “nutrition coach certification” from Working Against Gravity this year and am excited to see how this new knowledge can help me serve others.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
WAG Certified Nutrition Coach
Bluprint Fitness Professional Coach Development Program




Born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago, I grew up doing as many sports and activities as my parents would allow. As I got older, I became a competitive sprinter, swimmer, cheerleader and dancer and later ventured into long distance running and yoga. Discovering Bluprint was life-changing. I can confidently say I’m in the best shape of my life thanks to this gym and its coaches. Being part of this crew has also led to amazing friends and an overall healthier routine.

When I’m not at the gym, I spend most of my free time volunteering at Chicago Animal Care and Control, playing trivia, going to music festivals/concerts, traveling, and hanging with my husband and pup.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Bluprint Professional Coach Development Program
MAT (National Louis University)




Growing up in New England I was always surrounded by sports, we were always watching sports or playing sports. Basketball and soccer were my personal favorites and I played them up through high school.

After high school, I knew I wanted to go to a university where I could watch big time athletes play and that took me to University of Florida – Go Gators! I studied Business Administration and minored in Health Science Education. After graduating in 2008, I stayed in “The Swamp” and got a job at the local gym – Gainesville Health and Fitness. After a couple years in the customer service side, I became a NASM Personal Trainer which was one of the most influential and important decisions of my life.

Fitness has always been a huge part of who I am and I wanted to share that with other athletes by inspiring people to lead healthier lives. Shortly after becoming a Personal Trainer, I was eager to learn more about how nutrition maximized the results we strived for in the gym. I received my Precision Nutrition Level 1 to enhance my nutritional understanding. After many years of personal training under my belt I met Byron and we continued to push and grow together as fitness professionals. We got our L1 CrossFit Certifications (and a few years later our Level 2) and made the move to Chicago to pursue taking over a CrossFit Gym called RowFit.

We re-branded, moved down the street, and continued to grow into the Bluprint Fitness we are today. We will continue to grow through constant learning, always striving to be the best we can be for our FitFam – the Blu Cru. I am committed to thoughtfully and safely building up my athletes by meeting them where they are at on their fitness journey and motivating them to become the best versions of themselves. I promise to always practice what I preach, lead by example, and empower my athletes with  thoughtful and educated coaching.


CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Specialty Courses
National Association of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer (NASM)
Precision Nutrition Level 1
Kettlebell Concepts Level 2 Trainer (KBC)
BA Business Administration/Minor & Specialization in Health Science Education (University of Florida)




My goal is to educate and inspire communities to improve their quality of life by creating a Bluprint for success. Health & fitness are my passion and I want to accompany athletes along their journey to better health and performance.

Byron was destined for a love of health & fitness from an early age, being the son of an Olympic runner. He spent his childhood playing outdoors and getting involved in as many sports as possible. Byron settled into his “athletic niche” when he entered high school, directing his focus on football and weightlifting, where he competed at a high level. He then spent his freshman year as a walk-on with the University of Florida football team until he decided he wanted to focus his energy on school & business. Byron has spent the last 6 years in the fitness field.


CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Specialty Courses
Powerlifting Trainer
Mobility Trainer
USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach (USAW)
National Association of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer (NASM)
Kettlebell Concepts Level 2 Trainer (KBC)
AA in Accounting (Santa Fe College)
BA in Business
Administration (University of Florida)


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