Yesterday’s CHEW Health and Wellness Tour of Chicago was amazing! I had such a blast and would recommend anyone and everyone to do it!
The tour met at Green City Farmer’s Market in the heart of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. We stopped at Tiny Greens, a farm in Urbana, IL that sprouts greens and sells them to put on salads or sandwiches. They sell everything from sunflower and cilantro to broccoli and onion sprouts! We got to sample all sorts of sprouts, but my favorite were these delicious black onion sprouts!
Our next stop at the farmer’s market was Potter’s Crackers. These homemade crackers come in a variety of flavors including flax seed, rosemary, and garlic. They were quite delicious but rather pricey.
Throughout the tour our guide consistently emphasized the importance of greens in one’s diet and how they are extremely under-rated, which I totally agree with! A lot of people get nervous about buying greens because they feel like they don’t know how to cook them. Our tour guide had a great idea; she buys collard greens and then uses them as wraps for lunch. She makes a sweet wrap with almond butter sprinkled with granola and a chopped apple wrapped up in a collard green leaf or makes a savory wrap using hummus, veggies, and protein such as chicken. I’m going to have to try these!
After the market we met with a yoga instructor in the park for a 20 minute yoga class. It was so great to be doing yoga outdoors, I felt totally connected with nature! Then we walked through Oz Park on our way to get some frozen yogurt.
We all stopped by this fountain for a photo op and to cool off! There were a total of 8 of us on the tour, 4 of them being friends of mine!
Then we arrived at Starfruit, which reminded me a lot of Berry Chill but they use Kefir instead of regular yogurt. Kefir contains 10 probiotic cultures per cup which help strengthen the immune system and aids in digestive health. Kefir is a great source of calcium, protein, and fiber and can even help with lactose intolerance.
We got to sample pomegranate and vanilla frozen kefir as well as the Berry Good 4U smoothie which contains blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries, pomegranate acai kefir and vanilla kefir. All of it was so delicious I never wanted to leave!
Then off the Lululemon Athletic we went. We got a tour of the store and had a chance to shop around and cool off in the air conditioning! I of course fell in love with a pair of plaid running shorts that I want to go back and buy to wear for my half marathon in August!
After Lululemon we walked over to LUSH. If you have never been to LUSH you have to go! They have so many wonderful beauty and bath products that are all handmade! Check out these colorful bath bombs and bubble bath bars!
They even have face masks that are made fresh on a daily basis! We got to try a ocean salt scrub on our hands as well as some lotions and massage oils; all of which were amazing! I will definitely be returning to LUSH to stock my bathroom with a few of these goodies!
The tour continued on. Just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, we went to Karyn’s Raw! Karyn Calabrese helped pioneer the raw food movement and Karyn’s Raw is a holistic health center and cafe that sells everything from raw/vegan smoothies and snacks to books on detox and holistic supplements to keep you energized and radiant!
We got to sample a Morning Cleanser smoothie made of Karyn’s Green Meal, apple juice, Rejuvalac, banana, flax oil, and Lecithin. We also sampled some dips including a vegan sour cream, a beet puree, hummus, and a vegan cheese dip!
And get this! I got to meet Karyn! She just happened to be in the store during the tour along with her famous mentor! I wasn’t able to get any pictures with them, but it was surely a great surprise!
Here we are at the cafe; Jess and Catherine are enjoying their green Morning Cleanser smoothie shot!
Sadly the tour had to come to an end, but the great thing was that we ended at the new Whole Foods Market on North and Kingsbury! If you live in Chicago and have never been to this particular Whole Foods you must go! This place is HUGE and its absolutely incredible, they have it all! Out on the back patio you can eat lunch and enjoy the view of the Chicago skyline over the Chicago River. It was such a gorgeous day, there were even a group of kayakers going by as we took pictures!
I ended up staying at Whole Foods for a bit to grab lunch and shop around a bit before heading home. This tour was an incredible way to spend my Saturday, not only did I meet some great people who love health and wellness as much as I do, but I got to experience new places around the city and even came home with a vast array of goodies, coupons, and a complementary nutrition consultation with our tour guide and founder of CHEW Chicago, Jessica Marie, who is a Holistic Nutrition Practitioner!