Chicago’s First Juice Crawl!

Wanna hear some juicy gossip?  You’ve probably heard of bar crawls and food crawls…but we got something fresh squeezed and new just for you: a juice crawl!

Where did we find out about this sweet event?  Last week, we attended a Fuel Flow class with Mindfuel Wellness at the James Hotel.  Owners and fitness teachers, Jacquelyn Brennan and Kelly Moore, want to ignite a passion for wellness in individuals, corporations and the community.

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The Fuel Flow class is unique in that Kelly and Jacquelyn take turns leading and blend their diverse backgrounds in yoga and pilates.  We loved the pace of the class and the 15 minute segments of each discipline.

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Mindfuel Wellness offers personalized one on one programs, community building events and corporate wellness initiatives like kitchen takeovers or movement classes.

Following class, we were treated to juice samples from Real Good Juice Co. (a preview of juices to come) and snacks from David Burke’s Primehouse.

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Now what’s the “dill” with this juice crawl?

Juice Joints: Begin at City Press Juice in Lakeview, run to Real Good Juice in Old Town and drink up with a final sampling & toast at Harvest Juicery in West Loop.

Fit Points: Squeeze out some fitness as you crawl and run between juice spots, a total 4.8 miles.  All paces of runners/joggers/hop on a divvy bikers welcome!

Cost: $40

Click here to mix it up!

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You can also get a taste of Mindfuel with Kelly and Jacquelyn’s weekly Fuel Flow classes.

Dates and Times: Sunday June 5 & 12, 4:00pm-5:15pm

Location: Spring – 3940 N. Lincoln, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL

Format: An all-level 75 minute class alternating between Pilates and yoga.

Cost: $20 per class.

RSVP here

There are so many good juice spots in Chicago so we hope this becomes more than an annual event.  Where would you love to crawl to?  Let us know in the comments!

Brewing the Perfect Morning Cup with Big Shoulders Coffee

The ideal morning routine: Wake up, take a big morning stretch, walk out to find a barista making you an americano in your kitchen and a yoga teacher waiting in your living room to get you flowing.  Oh dreams!  More likely, you are running around with one shoe on wondering where you dropped your car keys the night before.

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Delicious aromatic coffee can help you feel like your wacky mornings are a little more relaxed.  Coffee isn’t only a eye opener in the morning but research studies show it can boost your workouts, improve mental clarity, and sneak some antioxidants into our cute “Bloggers gonna blog” coffee mug.

However, the way we go about brewing that coffee can make a huge difference in our morning jolt of java.

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We studied the intricacies of brewing the perfect cup two weekends ago at the Windy City Blogger Collective private roasting session at Big Shoulders Coffee. Founder, Tim Coonan, gave us an all bean access tour of The Roastery, where Big Shoulders coffee beans are delicately processed, like a green coffee caterpillar becoming an espresso butterfly.  As an artisanal micro-roaster, the company builds fair trade relationships and creates unique crafted blends and single origin coffees with bold tastes (herbs, toffee, dark chocolate) .

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Along with watching the coffee roasting process, we asked pointed questions to get to the real issue that many coffee guzzlers want to know.  How do we make the perfect cup of coffee?  Founder, Tim Coonan, poured out tips to ensure that each coffee brew is the best for you.

For us humdrum Autodrip consumers (that’s us!):

  1. Keep your coffee pot clean!!  Kate’s mom recommends 3 rinses with white vinegar to reduce mineral build up, followed by 2 rinses of water to get rid of the vinegar taste.
  2. Use fresh coffee.  The recommendation was that a ground bag of beans should last a week.  Get chugging coffee fans.
  3. Measure out 2 tablespoons of freshly ground Big Shoulders coffee per 6 ounces of water.
  4. Brew and enjoy!

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For the coffee savvy Chemex, Kalita Wave or Clever Dripper user (Tim’s personal faves for home brewin’):

  1. Again, keep your brewing vessel clean.
  2. Choose fresh Big Shoulders coffee and use within a week.
  3. Stop grinding the life out of your coffee (aka don’t grind coffee too fine)!  Match the grind to the brewing method.  Tim recommends a burr grinder.
  4. Using a scale, focus on the ratio of 1 part coffee to 15 parts water.  We hope you are good at math on this one.  Note: phones have calculators so…no excuses.
  5. Heat filtered water to 204 degrees.
  6. Now it’s time to put on your hipster clothes and get down to the Pour Over method.  Bloom the coffee by pouring in enough water to moisten coffee grounds but not to brew.
  7. After 1 minute of blooming, begin the brew the coffee by carefully pouring remaining water and controlling brewing time (3-4 minutes total) by slowing or stopping the pour as needed.

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Thank you Windy City Blogger Collective for the coffee connection and Tim Coonan for the tips and tour!  Big Shoulders, situated at 1105 West Chicago Ave, is sold at various Chicagoland locations, like Target and Whole Foods, or you can purchase coffee online.  Now go find that other shoe and get to work, coffee cup in hand :).

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Ladies, This Weekend in Chicago is for Brunchin’ and Burnin’

Yes, it’s Monday and we are already dreaming of the weekend.  Those lazy Saturdays where you roll out of bed, throw your hair into a messy top knot and meet up with your gal pals for a hearty brunch.  This weekend, twist up the routine by adding some blowouts and beauty goody bags to that brunchin’.  Join Kathy Ruda, HERFITNESS health and fitness blogger, in her quest to raise funds for AVON 39 and breast cancer awareness.

Are you Burnin’ to hear all the Brunchy details?

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*Currently all workout classes offered at Brunch x Burn are full but Kathy is looking to expand them.  Stay alert by following the Brunch x Burn event on Facebook, fit family!*

When: May 22nd, 2016, 1-3 pm

Where: Equinox Gold Coast, 900 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

Brunch: Fuel your day with healthy juices from JuiceRx and tasty pastries from Beatrix

Blowouts and Braids: Check the Brunch x Burn page for updates! Blowout Junkie will make ya look fabulous (um hello blowouts usually cost like $35 and up so this ticket is a steaalllll)

Benefits: You will feel like a charitable goddess as you shake your glossy blown out hair. Bring some cash to for the raffle table and prep yourself for a bounty of giveaways.  Each guest will also receive a free HERFITNESS goodie bag filled with healthy snacks & discount cards from sponsors (think free passes to Equinox, Kind bars and more).

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Cost: Only $15 and your donation goes directly towards to AVON 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer.

Tickets! brunchxburn.splashthat.com or Follow Kathy on IG @kathyruda

Oo La La: Fresh French Fare in Humboldt Park

You relax with an espresso in one hand and a flaky croissant at finger tips reach.  Sun beams on you as you slowly sip and watch the world go by.  If you got no money for Europe but want to take a lunch mini vacay, Cafe Marie Jeanne is a tiny escape for your hour.

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Only 6 months out of opening, Cafe Marie Jeanne is situated in a prime corner of Humboldt Park.  This Parisian inspired cafe is nestled in a quiet yet booming restaurant area so you still feel serene when visiting.

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Executive Chef Mike Simmons, part owner, is an import from nearby Rootstock wine bar and yummy Lula Cafe in nearby Logan Square.  The menu focuses on a la carte grab and go items mixed with more hearty lunch and dinner fare.  Vegan and veggie options are available and there is a smattering of seafood for pescatarian as well.  A small wine and cocktail menu make this an unharried bunch destination as well.  Don’t trust the menu online, however, as Cafe Marie Jeanne picks up local produce, thus switching up some of the offerings based on what is most fresh and seasonally tasty.

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We noshed on 3 different dishes to get a feel for their lunch service.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

April, with snow and rain, and even the first day of May have not been too kind to us Chicagoan.  This steamy and creamy bowl of soup warms the soul with fragrant curry that tampers down the sometimes saccharine sweet potato.

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Raclette with Seasonal Roasted Vegetables

Our culinary pièce de résistance — Think of this as a fancy grilled cheese piled high with heart healthy veggies.  Roasted root vegetables give the sandwich a savory and filling profile.  The raclette, a semi-hard  cow’s milk cheese, is a magic melter, giving the crusty homemade bread a smattering of delicious fondue like goodness.

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White Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Funny story about white asparagus – many people don’t know it exists.  It’s like a ghost veggie.  Dig this weird veggie fact: white Asparagus lacks pigment because it is kept buried and deprived of sun, almost like it’s in a veg bomb shelter.  The lack of chlorophyll gives it a pale complexion in addition to it being more tender and mild than it’s hulk counterpart.  We liked the easy crunch of the asparagus but couldn’t taste anything outstanding in the hollandaise sauce.  Side note: it’ll still make your pee smell funny.

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Quick tip: Looking to explore more than one spot in the neighborhood?  Restaurant hop and grab a homemade piece of hibiscus key lime pie across the street at Spinning J, break out your cash and do a night cap at California Clipper or sip on more wine at Rootstock — all within walking distance!

 

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