BluePrint Cleanse Giveaway

Aww hello Fall.  We love you and your pumpkin spice lattes.  Before you get plumpkin, however, a change of seasons is a fabulous time to adopt new healthy habits and shed old ones.  A juice cleanse may help you transition and reset your cravings.  We were invited to try BluePrint cleanse for free to eval the benefits of a fall juice cleanse.  This ain’t our first cleanse rodeo so we can tell you a thing or two about how this cleanse compares.  Let us remind you that neither one of us is a medical professional (we just play them on tv…jkjk) so these are our personal opinions and we can’t guarantee anything similar…except you may become a unicorn.  Here are our JAQs (Juicily Asked Questions):

Why do a Juice Cleanse:

Ummm…most co-workers look at you with curiosity and/or incredulity when you show up to the break room with your lunch bag o’ juice.  Proponents of juicing contend that it provides a waterslide of vitamins to your body and flushes out toxins.  We aren’t really sure but juicing is a good way to quickly get your 5 servings of produce a day, pulverize unhealthy habits and squeeze out a clean eating regimen.

What to do before:

Not the best idea to do that 2 am White Castle before you start a cleanse.  Ease into it and keep it light.  BluePrint recommends you avoid animal proteins, dairy and processed foods before AND after a cleanse, so don’t jump into a pudding cup after you finish.  Basically become a rabbit, a healthy rabbit who loves avocado, olive oil and crunchy greens.

Where did BluePrint come from anyways?

Sneezing and coughing can lead to a thriving business!  In early 2000, Zoe Sakoutis, a certified nutritional consultant, caught a monster cold and looked for solutions from a raw foodie friend.  The answer?  A strict 7 day cleanse.  The answer worked but Zoe wanted a way to replicate without all the daily juice machine cleaning.  Zoe paired up with her friend, Erica Huss, and thus BluePrint came to fruition.  Their cold-pressed juices are a blend of USDA-certified-organic fruits and vegetables.  Ingredients are sourced from local farms (including BluePrint’s own acreage).

What was BluePrint Cleanse like?

User friendly for sure!  Juices are numbered for ease of drinkage.  Like Brian McKnight says “Start at 1” and then move your way through the day to 6 in the evening.  You drink a bottle about every 2 hours.  Juices come in recycled plastic BPA free bottles and we also received a cute juice carrying lunch bag to tote our way around the day.  You need access to a fridge or ice packs in your bag to make sure your juices stay frosty.


Our renovation cleanse was recommended for the beginning juicer and featured 5 different juice combos to shun juice-logged feelings: 1) Green Juice 2) P.A.M.-Pineapple, Apple, Mint 3) Green Juice 4) Spicy Lemonade 5) C.A.B.-Apple, Carrot, Beet 6) Cashew Milk

“Best of Bottle” Juices?

Kate: Ok, so me and beet juice…not always friends.  Usually, it’s my most hated juice in the cleanse repertoire.  BluePrint’s C.A.B. juice has more ginger and lemon overtones and the beet doesn’t beat up your taste buds.

Monica: I love the idea of alternating juice with heavy fruits and vegetables to light lemon with a kick of either cayenne or ginger juice so I don’t get bored. The night ends perfectly with delicious rich Madagascar vanilla cashew milk….yumm.


Any side effects?

Constantly cold!

The distinct drooling effect over your co-workers garlicky noodles at lunch.

Missing the little things…like chewing.

What were the benefits?

Kate: I noticed I could taste everything more intensely (in a good way).   After the cleanse, veggies and fruits tasted more rich and vibrant.  I lost 2 pounds (probably water weight but heyooo, makes you wanna keep up the health and wellness juice jive).  I got a ton of vitamins directly deposited into my body bank account.

Monica: I was giddy and perky on 2nd and 3rd day, so much so that my coworkers thought it was due to a new guy in my life (though true haha but I’ve experienced the exact same thing during my first juice cleanse).  I didn’t need any caffeine to get through the day even post cleanse.  No more bloating and slimmer waist!


Now it’s your turn!

You can WIN a 3 DAY CLEANSE from BluePrint!  Click here to enter and start commenting.  You can still be “winning!” without winning with Gilt City BluePrint Cleanse Dealio.  Extra bonus news: BluePrint cleanse is debuting limited time fall dranks so ditch the Pumpkin Spice and try a six pack of 1 of 4 new juices for FREE when you buy a three day cleanse and enter the code “HARVEST“.

Don’t forget to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway!

Farmhouse Chicago: A ChiOrganic Girls Review

Whaaa…we found a place that embodies our blog namesake.  River North is hiding a gem of a restaurant, Farmhouse Chicago, right underneath our CTA riding noses, literally.  Farmhouse partners with local Midwestern farms in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin to provide us city slickers with farmtastic vittles.  We were treated to a VIP 5 course tasting event recently to check out new menu creations and learn about Farmhouse’s holistic approach to restaurateur-ing.  The first thing we noticed about Farmhouse was the rustic and cozy decor.  Co-owners, Ferdia Doherty and TJ Callahan, explained that even the furnishings promote local moods with reclaimed art touches from retired Chicago bars and restaurants and salvaged furniture from the south side.


Chef, Eric Mansavage, detailed each course’s farm connection and ingredient alchemy as we nibbled our way through the Midwest.

Note* No Monicas were hurt during this dinner.  Her vegetarian ideals remained intact as Kate took one for team meat!  Rest assured, Farmhouse has plenty of farmiliar vegetarian options on their everyday menu.

Course 1: Ellis Farms Green Grapes and Ham Market Amuse

First, don’t act like you know what an amuse is…unless you’re a foodie.  Just in case, an amuse is bite-sized hors d’œuvre.  We were amused by this fancy PBJ with on a crostini.  Tasting notes: Crunchy, yummy, grapey, give us moree than bite sized, please!


Course 2: Green Acres Farm Chilled Melon Soup, Summer Bread Salad, Spiced Yogurt, Crispy Njuda, Mint


This is like a food dictionary lesson!  Njuda is a spicy spreadable pork sausage, like pig pate, hahaha.  Although we weren’t big fans of the chilled cantaloupe soup (maybe too sweet?), the summer bread salad with crisp radish and tart yogurt tickled the tongue.

Course 3: Grilled Rushing Waters Rainbow Trout, Black Garlic Roasted Tomatillos, Black Bean Relish, Swan Creek Bacon Lardon


So, normally, seafood fans we are not (as Yoda would say) but hey, the force was strong with this fish.  The skin was on but, shocker, it was actually smoky and delicious with a flavor reminiscent of bacon.  The fish was not “fishy” but freshy.  It was mild with a melty texture.  The black bean relish on its own would have been a crowd pleaser as well.

Course 4: BBQ Short Ribs, Butter Poached Indiana Shrimp, Hazzard Free Farms Pimento Cheese Popcorn Grits, Sweet Corn

Chef, Eric Mansavage, described this cornucopia (aha!) as Farmhouse’s version of surf and turf.  Full disclosure, not a shrimp fan, but the short ribs were tender and surrounded by a delicate moat of popcorn grits.  It’s like going to the movies and bringing a rib in your popcorn box.

Course 5: Peaches and Cream Ice Cream Sandwich, Mick Klug Farm Michigan Marmalade, Milk Jam and Ice Cream, Vanilla Bean Shortcake20150901_193928

If you know the Peaches and Cream song sing along….peaches and creaaam.  Juicy Michigan peaches, peach marmalade that was almost like carmamel-ade, and sweet cream ice cream nestled between 2 pillowy cookies.  Ob-vs we love dessert.  Even Monica could chow down on this soon to be farmous goodie.

Farmhouse owners are expanding their acres with the new Farmbar in Lincoln Park, set to open in October.  They can also subsidize your love of cider as they own Brown Dog Farm and its filled to the bushel with apple, pear, peach and cherry trees.  Can we get a Yum Yum?  We love their down to (the) earth mentality and will definitely root our way back to try their veggie options.


Are you a Farmhouse Fan?  Tell us your favorite dish!

AMped and Gilt City Present Sound Off Yoga!

Did you ever wish you could block out the noise of the world around you? Accessorize your yoga with sound proof headphones and merge the beauty of the city with the quiet of nature. Join Gilt City, AMped and Sound Off on Saturday September 19th for bending, balancing, brunching and rooftoping it up on the gorgeous Vertigo Sky Lounge.  Bring your mat (the event is BYOM) and your hunger while you leave your stress at home!

Your ticket gets you ALL these goodies!

  • Admission for one to AMped x Sound Off Summer Series Open Air Rooftop Yoga Experience led by Zen Yoga Garage on Vertigo’s Rooftop on September 19, 2015 (9:30 or 12:30 time slots)
  • Coconut water by Vita Coco (mmm we are hoping for the coffee kind)
  • Healthy bars from KIND (yum coconut almond!)
  • Australian yoghurt from Noosa Yoghurt
  • Bottled water by Essentia (Alkaline water to promote a healthy PH)
  • Dried super fruit by Sant
  • Organic juices from Organic Girl
  • Coffee from Passion House Coffee
  • Organic, chia-based drinks by MammaChia
  • Chair massages by Body Works
  • Complimentary mimosa courtesy of Vertigo Sky Lounge
  • Noise-isolating headphones bring the DJ and teacher directly to you sans cab honks and construction clamor.

Ticket sales end in 3 days so don’t wait. Get rid of your case of the Mondays by dreaming about this relaxing Saturday!

Gilt City’s AMped x Sound Off Experience

Pay it Forward with My Fit Foods

Back to school time brings joy and challenges.  The world just seems to speed up and you have less and less time for meal prep.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  So why not strike against prepping!  Chicagoland My Fit Foods can help busy people feel less busy.

This quick healthy food chain started in Houston before spreading it’s healthy roots to five different states.  All foods are gluten free and many are paleo-friendly.  On our visit to My Fit Foods we noticed how it separates itself from other convenient health meal services with its offering of supplements, protein powders, and muscle building snacks.  They have a registered nutrition on staff who works with you to set goals and keeps you in check.  A 21 day challenge option can be a best bet for someone trying to make healthy eating a habit.  Sunny, the registered dietitian at the Clybourn location of My Fit Foods, explained how different types of fitness goals, including weight loss, gain, toning or bulking up, could be integrated into the meal plan.  Sunny doesn’t stop at just nutritional counseling.  She encourages participants to work out and lends a listening ear for clients, even if they slide off track.  The meals are very meat focused, however, and as there is only a smattering of veggie options, this service wouldn’t be the best bet for strict vegans and vegetarians.  Carnivores rejoice, however, with a bevvy of meaty flavors.

Kate’s favorite dish was the turkey chorizo egg white omelette with seasoned sweet potatoes.  Monica’s favorite breakfast (one of few vegetarian options) was the “Fit Energy Bar” consisting of a yummy peanut butter cranberry bar with berries and non-fat greek yogurt.


We also loved the daily cleanse ingredients available for purchase.  Get a daily dose of energy with liquid B12, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and unsweetened cranberry juice and ditch the caffeine habit.  We liked to sprinkle turmeric and chili powder in for a little extra vitamin va va voom.


Ready to bite into a quick bit of healthy food?

My Fit Foods is currently promoting Pays “Fit” Forward this September every Friday with a focus on friends and charity.  Healthy eating is taking on a whole new meaning of “feel good,” with My Fit Foods’ “Pay Fit Forward” campaign.  During the month of September, My Fit Foods’ is encouraging their guests to share healthy lifestyle habits with friends, whilegiving back to those in need.  Guests who purchase a meal at My Fit Foods during participating “Pay Fit Forward Fridays” will be offered the option to donate a FREE meal either to a friend, or to a local hunger-relief charity.

“My Fit Foods is committed to making healthy flavorful meals convenient and accessible for everyone,” said David Goronkin, CEO of My Fit Foods.  “We recognize that it is much easier and more fun to adopt healthy habits with a friend or partner.  We look forward to having our guests come in and participate, whether it’s sharing a delicious meal with a friend or paying it forward to a local charity.”

As part of the “Pay Fit Forward” program My Fit Foods retail stores will guarantee a donation to each of the local charities within the respective markets.  Donations in Illinois will go to the Lakeview Pantry, one of Chicago’s largest and longest-operating food depositories.  Wanna double the impact?

My Fit Foods invited celeb besties Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens; Mandy Moore and Minka Kelly; Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough to eat at My Fit Foods during the month of September.  If any of these celebrity duos accept and visit any My Fit Foods retail store during the month of September, My Fit Foods will DOUBLE its Pay Fit Forward hunger-relief charity donation.  Guests and social media users can help My Fit Foods rope these BFFs into the action by tweeting and using the hashtag #PayFitForward.

Disclosure: Thank you to the Clybourn My Fit Foods location and Sunny, the kindest registered nutritionist around, for free meals and knowledge in exchange for this post.

Giveaway! Pure Canada Maple Syrup

If you read our last post, we tried to coerce you into running the Fit Foodie 5k…we are still trying.  Come with us!!

One of the sponsors of the race is Pure Canada Maple with their delish maple syrup.  Who can say no to a big ol’ stack of pancakes with maple syrup?  You can even modify them to make them healthy no grain paleo banana cakes…or something goodish for you :).

Here’s some things we didn’t know about PURE CANADIAN maple syrup!  Don’t be going for none of that processed syrup wanna-bees.

  • It has many health benefits for runners (or wanna be runners like us).  It naturally contains essential vitamins and nutrients such as maganese, riboflavin, zinc (just in time for cold season), magnesium and potassium.  Many of these are vital elements for muscle repair.
  • It doesn’t cause the same blood sugar spike as many sugars and alternatives like the oh so pervasive corn syrup.
  • It contains polyphenols similar to those you find in healthy tea, red wine and flax seed and 54 different antioxidant compounds.
  • It has simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down by the body into glucose and used for fuel during exercise.

Follow us on race day and look for our #ILOVEMAPLE tweets to learn more.  Oh, and, wanna win some satisfying syrup?

Enter our giveaway and tell us in the comments what fit foodie recipe could you use Pure Canadian Maple Syrup in to win a maple prize pack*.  We would love some roasted brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of Pure Canadian Maple Syrup.


*Prize pack may include a variety of the following items: maple water, maple syrup and other maple themed items.

Infographic shared from the Pure Canadian Maple website.

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Fit Foodie 5k Race Weekend: The Most Delicious 5k Around!


Yoga + Fro Yo Running + Risotto Boxing + Bacon…+ Beer Who says you can’t enjoy fitness AND food.  Certainly not us as we are 2015 Fit Foodie 5k Race Ambassadors! Cooking Light & Health Magazine are sponsoring a calve … Continue reading

2nd Annual Be Healthful Retreat!

We love spending time with our ladies but the dinner, drink, repeat thing can be unhealthy!  Get that girl bonding time in AND do something that can change your body, mind and heart with the 2nd annual BeHealthful Retreat and Conference series.


What: 2nd Annual BeHealthful Retreat and Conference hosted by Balanced Babe and sponsored by Jewel Osco

  • Interactive Panels & Workshops
  • Yoga and Movement Gallery
  • Holistic Oasis Marketplace with free spa services and light bites
  • Two zen lounges to chill out
  • Cooking demos, shopping, product samples

When: Sunday September 27th, 11 am-5 pm

Where: Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th Street, Chicago, IL 60609—-free parking included

What are we looking forward to?

Shooo.  BeHealthful is sporting an all star line up of fitness instructors!  Rebecca Niziol, known for leading supremely relaxing yoga classes at Exhale Spa, is leading a meditation to close out.  This will be sorely needed whether you sweat it out with a high intensity interval training sesh (HIIT) with Betina Gozo, Crosstown Fitness and Nike hard hitter or several other fitness options.

Opportunities for personal growth abound!  Sessions like “Strategies for Leading a Fearless Life” and “The Art of Pitching” will stretch your mind.

Mmm how do you choose from so many spa options?  Manicures, eyelash applications, hand massages, art therapy…better get there early!

Ready to buy tickets?  Purchase them here and grab your gals for a healthful day of food, fitness and fun!


Rooftop & Food Clicks: Cuisine for Cancer Review

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending an awesome 1st: the 1st Annual Cuisine for Cancer event presented by Imerman Angels and Sleefood, founder of ChariPick.  Should you consider attending this event next year? The answer’s a resounding YAY!

First, location location location!

Morgan Manufacturing sports a gorgeous rooftop, 360 views and cool street art lingering below.  With semi private cozy couches and ample space, we couldn’t get enough roof time.  We were also floored at the end of the evening when we realized the venue was 3x the size than we originally thought as we stumbled into a huge dance area and dessert nook.




Second, cuisine and charity!

What lame-o doesn’t love tacos?  And why doesn’t the taco emoji exist yet, we must know.  The Latin cuisine theme birthed 20+ unique tacos from famous Chicago restaurants like Mercadito and Carnivale.


At almost every taco stop, guests got a chance to enter to win gift cards or goodies from the restaurant.  Each restaurant was also paired with a cancer charity.  We loved that each charity was represented by volunteers and you could learn more about each org at every taco detour.

*Only suggestion, more vegetarian tacos would be a nice touch.  Monica munched on too many a lettuce and salsa taco while Kate had a taco tub full of options.


We are super excited for the return of this event next year and hope you come too!  Stay taco tuned for the future date.

Fitness Friday: Equinox Ropes and Rowers

For those who haven’t been to Equinox, you’ve been missing out on a luxury fitness experience.  Think top tier fitness instructors, a wide array of fitness tools at your fingertips and a cool lavender towel resting on your neck after busting your butt.  If that weren’t enough, Equinox’s group fitness classes keep you on your toes as they constantly think of new ways to challenge your svelte regime.


Equinox has two new classes in heavy rotation: Best Butt Ever (who can say no to that! Bounce a quarter off this pup) and Ropes and Rowers.  We wrangled our schedules to make time for Ropes and Rowers and the calories were roasted!  We loved the interval format as we moved through 4 different stations: Rowing, Battle Ropes, Step Work, and Weighted Exercise Balls.


Here’s how to survive this intense class and feel like an Olympic Champion:

  1. COME EARLY! We had a major fitness faux pas as Kate thought the class started at 6:30..soo…but our instructor Tanya from Equinox Lincoln Park not only made space for us but took time to get us set up and explain what was happening.
  2. Get tough!  Neither one of us have experienced a Battle Rope before.   Battle Ropes are said to improve body balance, encourage functional fitness and boost mental toughness.  Our favorite station included thwaping this heavy rope first, then pulling the ropes (attached to a heavy weight) all the way to you, and finishing with pushing the weight all the way back to start.  Killer abs here we come. 20061180962_9b45200960_z
  3. Pace yourself and keep going!  Even though the class isn’t super long (40 minutes with about 5 minutes of stretching), you will be surprised how exhausted you get after donkey kicking, speed water rowing, and Russian twisting your tail off!  One of our rowing segments, consisting of 100 meter row sprints, took our breathe away (and not in the romantic way)! 19881273140_94eede02cf_z

Ready to battle?  Check out Ropes and Rowers at any Chicagoland Equinox.  Has anyone experienced the battle royale of battle ropes?  Let us know what you think!!