Chop to it! Win Quick Healthy Dinners with ChopBox

Have you heard the news that Americans can’t/don’t cook?  As a country, we spend more time watching cooking shows than actually cooking.  Cooking, however, allows us to have more control over what we put in our bodies than eating takeout or processed pre-cooked foods.  So if you can’t cook (yet) or feel like you are too busy, healthy meal delivery services can dissolve both of these problems while being affordable.

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ChopBox is a Chicago based company that provides:
  • Family friendly dinner kits for 4.  Price per person is around $10 a person, less than you usually spend at many healthy fast restaurants.
  • Pre-portioned meals changed weekly to add variety. They do the shopping and portioning. You cook and enjoy!
  • Delivers the recipes and ingredients directly to your house so you can get your chef on.  Unlike other meal delivery service, you can either try ChopBox once OR sign-up for weekly meal service.

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Now We’re Cookin’

We were given 2 meals to sample in exchange for an unbiased review:
  • Tofu Stir Fry with rice noodles and veggies
    • Bright colorful vegetables and perfect amount of tangy sauce.
    • Delicious, filling, and we had more than enough for 4 people.  YAY healthy leftovers!

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  • Raspberry Pecan Crusted Chicken with sauteed asparagus and jasmine rice
    • Crunchy dark green asparagus, spicy sweet raspberry sauce and juicy pecan crusted baked chicken…yum!
    • Recipe cards are colorful with easy step-by-step instructions.
    • (Tip: Make sure you read carefully.  Kate missed the fact that egg white was pre-portioned and included, thus she needlessly cracked two eggs and wasted them.  Umm and she overcooked the jasmine rice so try not to multi-task).

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  • Both recipes were ones that Kate hadn’t made on her own so you get guidance and encouragement to try new foods.

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To the Chopping Block

  • The weekly menu options are a bit more limited than other meal services we have seen and/or tried with slim to no vegetarian options.  ChopBox is willing to work with you on any allergy or diet requests, however, so put your foodie desires out there.
  • If you are an experienced chef, you may want to add your own flava’ to spice it up to your taste.
  • If you don’t cook AT ALL, please note that you will need some basic ingredients like salt, pepper, olive oil, and pans to make these meals work.
  • You may have to chop ingredients 😉 for some recipes so we hope you have some decent knives.  The chicken dish actually required very minimal prep (no chopping) compared to the tofu.

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Wanna skip the line tonight?

  • Enter here to WIN your own ChopBox and feel like the next Master Chef.
  • Giveaway runs from July 11th-July 18th.
  • You must live in the following states to win and delivered: Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana.
  • Ready to roll with a ChopBox?  Sign up here!

 

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Win: The North Face Ultimate Trail Running Pack

Are you itching to blaze your own trail?  We have the giveaway to stoke your fire for outdoor fitness!

We’re partnering with The North Face, maker of top quality outerwear and outerwear (and Chicago’s God send for winter coats), to get you on your path with a prize pack including entry to The North Face Endurance Challenge Series Wisconsin and your own trail running kit.  You gotta look good hitting those trails.

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Trace the Trail History

The North Face Endurance Challenge Series is the largest trail running series in the world.  The series of weekend race festivals takes place between April and December in six locations across North America. Remaining races are in Ontario, Wisconsin, Utah and California.  With 7 distance options ranging from 5K to 50 miles and a Kid’s 1K race, there’s something for everyone, from beginning to hardcore runners.

You may even catch a peek of ultrarunning stars from The North Face athlete team, including Dean Karnazes, Rob Krar, Dylan Bowman and Rory Bosio, at one of the events…perhaps flying past you on their way to their finish line.

This famous race series bloomed from Dean Karnazes’ 2006 quest to run 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 consecutive days (say whaaaaa!?).  Nearly 90,000 runners have participated since the inception of The North Face Endurance Challenge.  Wanna learn more about what would inspire someone to run 50+ miles?  Check out our interview with ultrarunner, Rob Krar here.

Train for the Trails

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Need trail training buds?  Take advantage of free coached workouts with The North Face Mountain Athletics Training Events in Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. or San Francisco.  Mountain Athletics Trainers, like our sponsor trainer Lauren Fairbanks in Chicago, accept you where you are at and push you to be your best…even if you huff and puff to run a quarter mile.  Ready yourself with tips and tricks for getting fit with upcoming guest posts from Lauren!

 

Ready for Race Details

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What: The North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin

When: September 18-19, 2016

Where: Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin (free parking provided as well as free nature!)

Race Options: GORE-TEX® 50 Mile, 50K, Marathon, Marathon Relay and Kid’s 1K race held on Saturday, and the Half Marathon, 10K, 5K races and Kid’s 1K race on Sunday

Check out our awesome 1st 5K trail run experience and tips for The North Face Endurance Challenge at Kettle Moraine here.  We aren’t quite at that 50 mile distance yet, but you can run with us in the 10K trail run through gorgeously wooded Kettle Moraine State Park.

Ready to Win

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Our goodies at 2015 Endurance Race Challenge

YOUR PRIZE: One free registration  for any distance (worth between $35-$95) in the Kettle Moraine State Park, Wisconsin Event  September 17-18, and a training kit (shirt, shorts, shoes and running jacket…worth a lot of moolah!).   Check out our pictures to see examples of what your kit might contain.  We absolutely love our The North Face fuzzy warm hats, rain proof jackets and tough trail running shoes and are sure you’ll love yours too!

Contest Duration: Contest runs June 3rd through July 3rd

How to enter: Send an email to us at chiorganicgirls@gmail.com with the subject line “Endurance Challenge – I want to run” and share why you want to run The North Face Endurance Challenge.  Best entry wins!

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

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.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!!!

*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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An Honest Tea Honestly Brewed GIVEAWAY!

Caught ya with the word giveaway eh?  Yes, honestly we love giving stuff away especially when it’s a product we like too. This spring, Honest Tea launched two herbal non-caffeinated spiced teas to spice up your seasons.  Honest Tea was started by two entrepreneurs, Seth Goldman (co-founder and current TeaEO) and Barry Nalebuff (co-founder), who were looking for a less sweet, more flavorful alternative to soda. Fun Fact: It’s also rumored to be President Obama’s choice for thirst quenching but don’t let your political beliefs sway your taste buds!

We were given samples of the new Unsweetened Ginger Oasis and Cinnamon Sunrise Herbal Teas to check for quality control before offering you all a whole case of these goodies! It’s too good to TEA true (hehehe, if we don’t laugh at our own jokes who will). These teas are organic, Fair Trade certified (nothing like a company who prides itself on helping others!) and bikini body certified (our own moniker for no calories, beachhhhh).

So what’s the flavor, tell us what’s the flavor?  We are channeling early 90’s music for this one.

Tea-totalers and non teetotalers alike will like these teas.
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Can’t you imagine heating up some peaches with a little bit of this tea for a tasty cinnamony dessert?

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  • Ginger Oasis Herbal Tea: Organic Indian ginger, green rooibos, and Egyptian lemongrass are twisted together for a swish of citrus and spice.

Ginger is one of our best tummy tamers after an overindulgence.  Overindulgence seems to be synonymous with summer so don’t take our advice to try this tea too gingerly!  Also, doesn’t ginger go really well as a mixer for a summer adult beverage?  We keep it clean for the kids but you get it…wink*.

Both teas are offered in 16 ounce glass recyclable bottles (so you can reuse um at your next outing!).  Now on to the winnings!  Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway below and tell us what type of tea you love in the summer in our comments section.  The winner will receive one case of either Cinnamon Sunrise or Ginger Oasis Herbal Honest Tea!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Win a Sweet Holiday Prize Pack from Madhava!

The holiday season brings about so many chances to celebrate…and with celebration comes lots of food, glorious food.  But there are benefactors who want to help you celebrate AND minimize the impact on your health.  Recently, we were contacted by Madhava … Continue reading

Run the Night to Save Some Light! Join the 5k Energizer Night Race

Just as we started to begin to bear running outside again (shaking our fists at the lingering Polar Vortex), we were presented with a chance to not only stretch our fledgling run skills but also to help improve the quality of lives for others.  Sure, fun runs abound in the Chi.  There’s beer runs, chocolate runs (yum), Santa runs, Neon Color Glowy Runs and so on.

But your 5K can be silly and charitable!  Imagine, for example, running down Lake Shore Drive in the dark with a set of bunny ears on.  No, this is not your typical wild Saturday night.  This is the Energizer 5k Night Race for a Brighter World and we are your run ambassadors!

SO why do we need to make a brighter world?

The mission of the Energizer Night Race is to spread awareness of the dangers of unclean lighting.  When you participate in the Energizer Night Race in Chicago, you can help the 1.3 billion people that lack electricity.  Your time running will aid in Energizer’s efforts to donate over 14 million hours of light to families around the world through their partner, One Million Lights – a non-profit that provides clean, safe, affordable solar lighting to rural communities globally.  When we were reading through the info, we were surprised to learn about the usage and dangers of kerosene lighting which is still prevalent in many countries.  To be honest, we sometimes don’t consider all the comforts of home we have!  Are you inspired to lace up those shoes yet?  Here’s the details of the race!

 Energizer Night Race for a Brighter World

Saturday June 7, 2014

Lakeshore East Park

6PM Race Day Packet Pick-up/On-site Registration

7 PM Pre-Race Festivities

8 PM 5K Race Step Off

8:45-10:00 PM Post-Race Celebration

(Keep the bunny ears on for that extra party ‘je ne sais quoi’)

 

Your $35 entry fee includes your Energizer LED headlamp, bunny ears, event shirt as well as pre and post race entertainment.

 

And now we want to spread the positivitenergy™ to you!  We have race GIVEAWAYS so spread the word to keep the lights on!

To win, please tell us how you light up others’ lives and an email where we can reach you.  Deadline May 24th, 2014.

 

Prizes (click on each to see the prize):

2 Free Race Entries

5 Energizer® 3 LED Headlights

Energizer® Solar™ LED Flashlights 

Sign up, spread the word, put on those ears and run faster than a…well, faster than an Enegizer bunny, that’s apropos right?

 

Luna Fest Ticket Giveaway: Celebrate Womanhood with your Lady Friends and Luna Bar

Now that Valentine’s Day has passed in all it’s choco heart shaped romance filled blaze of glory, we think it’s about time you show a little non-stereotypical love to your lady friends.  How do you do this, you ask?  Take them to LUNA Fest (coming to Chicago on Thursday, February 27th), the perfect opportunity to grab your gals for a night out that you can feel good about.

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Luna Fest gives 100% of ticket proceeds back to the community.

  • 85% of proceeds will be provided to Step Up Women’s Network, a Chicago based organization that promotes success for young women from often ignored communities.
  • 15% of proceeds will be provided to the Breast Cancer Fund, a national organization that seeks to identify and eliminate environmental contributors to breast cancer.

So what will you be doing at this awesome event?

LUNA Bar and Style Chicago will be your hosts for the Chicago premiere of LUNAFEST and kick it off with a cocktail reception featuring wines from Clif Family Winery, PERONI beer, specialty LUNAFEST cocktails and local foods from LYFE Kitchen, RA Sushi and Tesori.  Oh and we know from experience there will be tons of Luna Bars there to sample!  We can’t wait to snag the chocolate dipped coconut ones.

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The fest highlights nine inspiring short films by women filmmakers, for women, which may cause the following reactions as you may possibly be…a woman:

  • Raucous laughter
  • Intense conversation and serious debate
  • Extra huggy behavior from your friends
  • Tears (bring some tissue)

Or maybe a more meaningful symptom such as:

  • A call to community action

To win a ticket for you and a friend, either comment on our Facebook page or this blog post about the friend you would bring to LUNAFEST and what makes her Luna-worthy.  The winner must provide names of both guests and email addresses for ticket confirmation.  The giveaway ends February 20th at 5 p.m.

What if you don’t win?  Well, you can still come!

LUNAFEST Chicago takes place, Thursday, February 27, 2014 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications – 360 N. State St., Chicago

Cocktail Reception: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Showtime: 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Tickets: $25

5 dolla dolla bills off when using the code: LUNA5.  Tickets must be purchased in advance here.

Happy commenting and may lady luck shine upon you!