Okay so technically yes, it is February. But I’m not letting that get in the way of sharing my second part of my January favorites (I did part one a few weeks back). The past few days (and weekend) have been nothing but chaotic filled with birthday celebrations and drinks, not a lot of sleep and then getting back into a solid workout schedule thanks to ClassPass. I didn’t even have time to grocery shop… always the worst scenario… so I ended up having eggs for lunch and dinner. Napping > grocery shopping in my list of Sunday priorities. No shame.
Now that I’m back into my weekly routine and got a full night’s rest, I’m ready to chat what’s been going on this past week.
For starters, my best friend from freshman year of college (Darby) came to visit my friends and I this past weekend to have a conjoint birthday dinner. While going out three nights in a row was fun and I’m glad I got to do the typical 21st birthday dinner and drinks sha-bang, going out in downtown Chicago Saturday until 2a.m. and waking up for a 7:30a.m. for a Flywheel class Sunday morning was not pleasant. Not only was I sleep deprived but I had a miserable sore throat and body ache most of the weekend. If you know me, you’ll know I don’t drink to begin with nor am I really ever sick so both going hand in hand was a killer combo.
Any time I’m sick I down all of the healthy spices like it is my day job. Ginger tea, turmeric elixir juices, green juices… you name it, I’m doing it. I’m always one to invest in my health and to cure any illnesses in the most natural way possible so if I’m ever spending $10 on a juice, you can bet it’s when I’m sick.
One of my favorite take-away food shops in Chicago, Kitchfix, makes this golden smoothie that I’ve been dying to try with coconut milk, turmeric, raw honey and ginger. Instead of going out to buy it the other day, I bought the ingredients instead and whipped it up in my handy dandy beauty of a Vitamix. I’m hoping to post the full recipe this coming weekend! Stay tuned. It is SO delicious and such a switch-up from my usual overly sweetened smoothies.
I DID bite the bullet on buying a smoothie Saturday when I took my best friend to Real Good Juice Co. a.k.a one of my all-time favorite smoothie shops in Old Town. Picking a smoothie joint in Chicago is honestly so hard when you want to factor taste+price+aesthetic all into one. Real Good Juice nails each of those categories and they get bonus points for being in my favorite Chicago neighborhood.
We both ordered “smoothie bowls” which I was disappointed to see came in cups. I realllly can’t stand when places do this yet I was so thrilled with the taste and texture. They both could have been a bit thicker but the paleo granola on top, cacao nibs and coconut were UNBELIEVABLE. My smoothie (left) was the “Afternoon Snuba in Cabo” that had coconut cream and coconut nectar, banana, cacao nibs, almond milk and mint leaves. *Major swoon* Darby – my best friend – ordered the one on the right, which was the “Kal E. Kapowski” with kale, coconut cream, almond butter, dates, cinnamon and banana.
We both were pretty full off of just having the smoothie for our late morning snack/early lunch if you will.
I’m ready to go back for more and more endless Real Good smoothies. If you’re ever in the area, you HAVE to check them out and grab their “Punky Juice-ster” matcha milk or their coconut yogurt.
If you’ve been reading along with me for the past six months to a year, you know I try my best to achieve balance in my life – most importantly with food and drinks. To be honest with you, I hadn’t drank a full drink in over a year until this January. Not only does alcohol not really make me feel my best but it’s hard to find a drink at any restaurant or bar without a ton of added sugars. Something I can be a nut over. This weekend I let loose a bit and embraced being in the city with my best friends for my 21st. We had dinner at Siena Tavern (my favorite Italian restaurant in the city) and we all ordered the No. 1 cocktail – absolut, ginger zest, lemon and sage tincture. Something totally up my alley – simple and including ginger! Too bad I could only taste the absolut but it was still fun to try.
For food, I split the Harvest Salad (butternut squash, apples, pomegranate and spiced hazelnuts) and the Broiled Salmon (tamarind glaze, carrots, lentils) with Darby. So me. I loved it and wanted MUCH more.
After dinner, we headed to Three Dots and a Dash. Ever since last summer, I’ve been dying to go here and while I wasn’t completely blown out of the water, the drinks were decorative and great for photos. My drink: Saturn (gin, passion fruit, lemon, falernum, orgeat) and my friend Ana’s: Painkiller No. 109 (virgin island and jamaican rums, coconut, passion fruit, pineapple, cream).
Now that the long weekend and birthday festivities are over, I’ve been back to work, studying, recipe development and planning trips on trips! I posted about it via Instagram yesterday but March 6-9 I am going to NEW YORK CITY! I really am way too excited. I went for my 16th birthday and haven’t been back since.
I’m going with my good friend May and you better believe we’re going to hit By Chloe and CHALAIT. I think I will drink my weight in matcha lattes within those 72 hours.
Other places I’m dying to go in the next few months are LA, Columbus and Kansas City but we will see where the wind blows this chickpea 😉
Happy Wednesday, friends!