National Pistachio Day!

It’s so eassssy being green, if you’re a pistachio that is.  Pistachios are wearing little birthday hats as it’s their big day! National Pistachio Day is Friday February 26th and pistachios are ready to be snacked upon.   Other nuts … Continue reading

Meatless Monday: Vegan Brunch!

Re-Mix your Meatless Monday recipe list with a veg-tacular event this coming weekend: Slo’Mo Remix Brunch w/ Live Lynnette’s Lynnette Astaire Join Live Lynnette, wellness wonder woman (pictured below) for a vegan brunch sound tracked by sweet soul jams from top notch … Continue reading

Halos Mandarins Giveaway

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Why HALOOOOOO there!  We love giving away love to our readers but even better is a giveaway with pocket sized healthy treats, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  So have you ever tried Wonderful Halos mandarins?  At 50 calories each, these little orange fruits pack a punch of vitamin C without the seeds. We were given a bag to try but we’ve been buying these bebes in bulk since winter citrus became the rage again (or in season as the laymen say).  You can just throw them in your lunch bag, peel them without ruining your manicure, and with minimal desk mess.

But let’s veer off the beaten grove path.  You can also cook some sunny recipes with Halos to brighten up your day.

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One gloomy Sunday, we went bananas for mandarins with our brunch.

Baked Orange French Toast from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

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We kept close to the recipe but shaved off the zest of a Halos mandarin and subbed cinnamon for nutmeg.  Make sure you butter the pan or use PAM spray as our forgetfully blissful selves missed this step and our french toast had separation anxiety from the baking pan.  Taste overrides appearance, however, and this orangey french toast didn’t disappoint.  We tossed some mandarin pieces on top with a drizzle of pure maple syrup for pure deliciousness.

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Blueberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins from Damn Delicious

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This tasty and healthy recipe from home cook and blogger, Chungah An, features greek yogurt, fresh blueberries and orange zest.  These little muffins were simple to make, moist, fluffy and fruity!

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Looking for more Wonderful mandarin Halos ideas?  Wonderful Halos has a cool creative blog with more than just recipes.  Just in time for Valentine’s day, you can find sweet crafts and snacks to delight kids and adults alike.

Orange you glad we shared these recipes (hehehehe)?  Now for the giveaway details so you can make your own holiday halo-ful:

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Your Wonderful Halos Gift Basket giveaway includes a juicy bunch of Wonderful Halos mandarins,a Wonderful Halos branded lunch box, backpack, water bottle, chapstick (mandarin flavored), sunglasses and stress ball shaped like a mandarin.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway and happy halo-ing!

Sweet Scarletts Grapefruit Giveaway

Saying “so long” to sweet summer strawberry season can be saddening but as berries make their way out, sunny peak seasoned citrus can fill your fruit fancies.  Maybe grapefruit, however, isn’t normally your top citrus treat. Grapefruit can bring memories … Continue reading

Get Green with new OrganicGirl foods!

We’ve known about our namesake almost twinsie, Organicgirl greens, for over a year now.  Their organic pre-rinsed greens mixes have taken center stage in our fridge for months. Their spinach has starred in our green smoothies, their arugula pizzazzed our pizzas.  And yet, we were surprised to find out they had ventured into 2 new product markets, green juices and salad dressings.  Could they get any greener!?

As big Organicgirl fans, we got to sample both the dressings and juices at the recent Fit Foodie Run and (BONUS) were treated by Organicgirl to our very own bottles for further taste inspection.

We’ve been wondering, we have all these BPA free recycled clam shells of Organicgirl spring mix, what do we dress it with!?  Lemon Agave, White Cheddar, Fresh Tomato Italian or Kale Parmesan.

Can we put a squeeze of each on single leaves?  Each dressing has it’s only unique flavor profile that fits particularly well with the various greens that Organicgirl offers.

The Zesty Tomato Italian mingles with pepper greens, feta, artichokes, olives and roasted garlic.  For a fast and easy lunch, take a Toufyan multigrain pocket filled with greens, organic yellow cherry tomatoes, Morningstar Farms grilled chicken and dressing.

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The Kale Parmesan, reminiscent of pesto, meshes with super greens, quiona, baked butternut squash, red and green bell peppers, and pumpkin seeds.

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Continue fall trends with White Cheddar dressing drizzled over a spinach, green apple, dried cranberry salad with walnuts or hold on to summer with Lemon Agave dressing, watermelon, pinches of cayenne, jalapeno and that baby spring mix we mentioned. Another quick lunch creation to add with raw organic greens include cucumbers, veg grilled chicken and shaved Parmesan.

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Also, check out this super cool blog, Nutrition Happens, for even more recipe ideas.  Let’s get drizzical, drizzlical (Olivia Newton John reference!) with these new drizzly dressins’.

Next, the super secret just released Organicgirl “Get Real” Juices

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Fair Warning: If you are the type who loves your juice super fruity fruit loop flavored, these may seem a little..umm..veggie heavy (aka healthy tasting).  However, fear not.  Organicgirl tells you these organic cold pressed vegan juices are “More Greens, Less Fruit” so you can’t act like you didn’t know.  They are way lower in calories (think 45-60 for a full bottle) and way way lower in sugar so you won’t feel like you are crashing after drinking them.  Additional goodness: They have 2-3 servings of veggies in each bottle so it’s an easy way to down a head o’ lettuce or two to start your day or supplement your lunch. 4 veg-rrific options await you: The light and lemony “Brighten Up”, The minty cucumber “Be Cool”, The King of All Greens and ruler of the iron throne (hehehehe) Kale Rules and….

Our vote for best Organicgirl juice: “Fuel Your Ride” with 84% Greens and Veg, pumped up with kale, carrot, spinach, cucumber, beet and parsley.  We suspect the beet and carrot create a magical spell to make the kale less bitter.  Don’t be green with envy (HA!) other juices.

You can find Organicgirl products at Mariano’s (unless it’s Sunday when everyone snags all the baby spinach and makes us sad.  Don’t go on Sundays, people) as well as other food retailers in your salad-hood.

Go Macrobar for Vegan Energy

Good things come in small packages!  That’s what Kate always says about her height and what Monica says about GoMacro’s Macrobars.  Pocket sized (more like IPhone sized for your back pocket) Macrobars pack a healthy snack punch and cater to an array of dietary needs and taste preferences.

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Sweet back story: Co-founder, Amelia Kirchoff, grew up on a cozy London farm where her parents used the minimal produce they grew to sustain themselves. In 2003, after being diagnosed with breast cancer and enduring a lumpectomy and brachytherapy, Amelia turned down additional treatments  and turned up for a macrobiotic diet and lifestyle. Amelia’s adult daughter, GoMacro co-founder and CEO, Jola Sonkin, supported and joined her in her lifestyle change.

Macrobiotic nutrition focuses on increasing your intake of whole grains, produce and beans while limiting or excluding meat, dairy, eggs and processed foods.  Controlled amounts of fish and healthy dessert are acceptable so Amelia ventured into the world of scrumptious vegan goodies with farm fresh fruits and grains from their Midwest family farm.

GoMacro meditates on basic tenets to guide its products: Sustainability, Giving Back, Macrobiotics, Wholesomeness and (Hip Hip…no hippos or any other animal for that matter!) Vegan

Macrobars go for the green-gold with plant based proteins, gluten/additive/GMO freedom, organic origins, compostable containers and a reduced carbon footprint.

Our must have Macrobars:

Our taste buds meandered around the tropical tastes of the Balanced Goodness Macrobar, with coconut and crunchy granola. We are suckers for coconut!  The Sunny Uplift with tart cherries and sweet berries tempted our tummies with it’s ripe chewy fruit bits and the Morning Harvest Macrobar with apple and walnut reminded us of a warm baked apple on a crisp autumn day.

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Macrobars have a tiny ingredient list and there is no foreign” hydra-processed-glutamate PBA” (we made that up) Frankenstein like ingredients. Expect brown rice syrup or coconut sugar, nut or seed (!) butters, cacao and more fruit than an orchard squeezed into a colorful pouch. Kate went on a stint of what she calls the mornin’ Macrobar mania.  Basically, it means you roll out of bed as late as possible, pack a Macrobar, fresh pressed veggie juice and an apple in your bag for a breakfast that lasts til’ lunch.  Trusted by athletes (like the LA Clippers) and fit dabblers (like us) alike, Macrobars offer balanced energy as well without the crash.

Macro-your way to Whole Foods or online to treat yo’self with a full sized Macrobar or a Macrobar mini for those max hunger moments.

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.

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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.

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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.

The Paleo Vegetarian Diet: A Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

We bet you’re wondering by the title how Paleo and Vegetarian can even be in the same sentence together.  You’re probably also looking at a pack of bacon and wondering: “Is this vegetarian”?  No my friends, bacon isn’t veggie friendly … Continue reading

Chicago, Lettuce Eat Healthy with Just Salad

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Just Salad…the restaurant title explains some of the genius of Chicago’s brand new salad eatery chain, a transport from the NYC.  It also makes us think of “Just Jack” and believe us, these salads will make you wanna do the same Will and Grace character Jazz Hands!

The first Just Salad location, placed conveniently for the downtown business set or tourists/culture lovers is just steps away from Grant Park at 20 E. Jackson.  Vibrant orange and lime green accent walls add energy to Just Salad‘s design and the Chicago location is situated in the historic Gibbons building which adds to the charm of the atmosphere.  Just Salad separates itself from the downtown munch bunch by providing quality healthy food with affordability.

These key points will make other eateries green with envy:

  • Just Salad‘s menu is created by a registered dietitian and nutrition info is readily available.
  • Protein offerings range from grass fed meats, sustainable creatures of the sea (aka seafood), organic tofu, & humanely raised antibiotic free cluckers.
  • Many produce options are GMO-free, organic and even local when possible.  Veggies are baked, raw or steamed and never canned (hey hey no BPA!)
  • Just Salad encourages us to reduce, reuse, recycle and be rewarded!  You can purchase a reusable ultra cute salad bowl and every time you bring it back for a salad refill you score extra toppings or CHEESE.

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So what did the Chiorganicgirls (royal we) think of it?  Well dang, who doesn’t love a good fresh salad.  As you walk in, you enter into a world of your salad imagination.  Like Chipotle x2, there’s a long topping assembly like starting with a bevvy of green choices.  Romaine, kale, mixed greens, spinach, and other lettuces start you off and then your head begins to spin (salad spin, ha) with the possible salad combinations.  The produce was very fresh, colorful and crunchy.  The portion size for the price was superb and the reusable salad bowl held about 2 servings of salad=only about 4-5 bucks for a big serving of salad with primo toppings.

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If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, you can start with a signature salad recipe.  Our favorites were the Thai Chicken Crunch with romaine, red cabbage, celery and crispy wonton pieces, and the (what did you like Monical?).  There’s even a Chicago inspired salad, the Windy City Kicker, with Italian sausage, giardiniera,red onions and celery.  If you wanna get really jazzy, get your Dr. Frankenstein on and create your own crazy salad (butternut squash, falafel, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, horseradish chive dressing…you monster!).  We also really loved the menu because it’s colored coded to help you avoid allergy or even preference snafus.  You can easily tease out sneaky hiding seafood, gluten, or dairy.  Finally, don’t let the name fool ya.  Wait for it!  SURPRISE, there is more than just salads at Just Salad.  Wraps, juices and smoothies are available too.  We def need to go back after some sweaty warrior II poses at the Millennium Park summer yoga to try the Peanut Butter Chia Warrior with almond milk, chia seeds, PB, agave nectar and banana.  Doesn’t that recipe make you want to do Just Salad Jazz Hands now?

No?  Well how about a Kale Yeah (sorry had to!)

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JUST SALAD is open!

20 East Jackson Blvd

S State St & S Wabash Ave

Hours:

Mon – Fri: 10:30am – 9pm
Sat – Sun: 11am -8 pm

*We were not compensated for our opinions but did get to try some yummy free salad.

Fit Food Delivery with Factor 75

Does anyone feel a small scream in their throat when they see Christmas decorations coming out the day after Halloween?  Yep, it’s the kickoff to the whirlwind holiday season, that season of cookies and brownies and parties. And soon enough, our thighs are looking like those gigantic turkey legs that people get at county fairs.  When you’re busy, how do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Well your own personal in-house chef works…if you’re Beyonce.  If you aren’t channeling your inner rich chick, however, there are some options to keep you eating well.  Thankfully, the trend of meal deliveries has flown into our lives and we are gobbling up the idea!  This past week, we got to try Factor 75.  So what factors would make you choose them as opposed to another meal delivery service?

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Eating healthy could not be easier. https://www.factor75.com/

1) Options!  You don’t have to sit on Santa’s lap to get what you wish for with Factor 75.  Everybody loves options, especially those with more restrictive dietary needs.  When we checked in to pick our food, it was easy to balance our different desires.  We chose 2 vegetarian meals, 2 gluten free meals and one snack.  Factor 75 hooks up almost any eater with paleo friendly, dairy free, vegetarian and gluten free possibilities.  Factor 75 has also partnered for Aritzone and sources local ingredients so you can not only eat clean, but with a clean conscience.

2) Ease!  Who doesn’t need a break from shopping cart collisions and entertaining long lost cray relatives?  Your Factor 75 meals are cooked up by a chef, delivered by a nice FedEx person right to your door, and all you do is heat those puppies up and eat.  Can we also mention no washing dishes either?!  *High Five*

3) Holiday looove!  Remember that dude you only dated through New Years?  Factor 75 is low commitment.  Try 5 meals and if you aren’t feeling it, you cancel.  If you like it, continue that relationship til’ Easter!

 

What did we eat, tho?

Kate’s Foods

The spicy paleo meatballs, made from grass-fed beef, had a hint of cinnamon that made them stand out from a boring ol’ chunk of meat.  They came with a side of brussel sprouts, cooked with celery root and mushrooms in a brown butter sauce.  The meal was hearty, quick to heat up and kept me full until a late dinner.Downloads6

The chicken sausage with apple and pumpkin hash and a frittata was my second dish.  The chicken sausage and hash were tasty but the frittata was just ok.  I think it’s because I don’t like reheated egg that much (personal problem!).

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Monica’s Foods

Sometimes I wake up late and don’t have time make my own breakfast (hitting the alarm clock for that “5 more minutes”). That’s where Factor 75 comes in handy with super goji berries mixed in steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon spice.   I’m not used to steel cut oats so I added a lil’ more sweetness with brown sugar.  Of course, you need a bit need protein to survive the workday so a hard boiled egg is included as well.

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After work is over and I finish yoga class and my health coaching program homework, I have no time to cook but (yay) my Factor 75 dinner menu is sitting in my fridge.  The vegetarian dinner option I selected was Southwest Quinoa bowl with mixed beans (black, white, pinto & kidney), red onions, cilantro and mashed sweet potatoes were hidden on bottom with sides of cheddar cheese and a chipotle aioli.

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Shared goodies (Holidays are about sharing, yeah?):

The superfood bites were healthy and tasty super stars with chia, flax, cacao nibs, coconut, oats, honey, and applesauce. Hey buddy, these were way better than a crappy fruit cake!

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Are you ready to take a break from the cooking grind?  Try Factor 75 here, and when you purchase 4 meals, get a free meal on us (see, we like to give!) when you sign up using the code “CHIORGANICGIRLS” as well as a free healthy Ebook with tons of tips.  Let us know what you think too! We would love to try a few more recommended meals (maybe the autumn stuffed acorn squash or butternut squash lasagna…hint, hint) to save us some time after standing in those Black Friday lines.

Happy munching!