Carb Friday!

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I’m Full 38

In honor of my 38th post, I decided to copy an idea from Eater Chicago, a website I frequent, study and admire. For those of you who are not familiar with Eater, familiarize yourself. Eater inspires me on a daily basis. Shocking, right?

Every few months, Eater updates their list of their chosen 38 essential restaurants in Chicago. The list is in no particular order and the restaurants range from trendy hotspots to taco stands. I love the Eater 38 and have brainstormed my own 38 for months. And so, to my readers, I present: The I’m Full 38. Same concept. My opinions. Enjoy!

1- Girl and the Goat

2- Xoco

3- Birchwood Kitchen

4- Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab

5- Antique Taco

6- George’s Hot Dogs

7- Bob San

8- Table 52

9- Gilt Bar

10- Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

11- Greek Islands

12- Roots Handmade Pizza

13- Thai Lagoon

14- Cumin

15- Eleven City Diner

16- Pasta Palazzo

17- The Bristol

18- Butcher and the Burger

19- The Frontier

20- Fat Willy’s Rib Shack

21- Jin Ju

22- Manny’s Deli

23- Slurping Turtle

24- Frances’ Deli

25- Sai Cafe

26- Nightwood

27- The Purple Pig

28- Davanti Enoteca

29- Big and Littles

30- Paramount Room

31- Scofflaw

32- DMK Burger Bar

33- Chicago Cut Steakhouse

34- Urban Belly

35- Belly Shack

36- Little Goat

37- Nana

38- Au Cheval

An Old Favorite

In a city filled with restaurants filled with menus filled with items like crab brain fried rice, there is sometimes something to be said for a consistent staple that you can always count on. Bob San has been in my life for years. As a college freshman, my brother and sister-in-law introduced me to it when I visited them for a weekend. Their crunch roll is the main reason I moved to Chicago.

Granted, my first few years at Bob San were mostly spent banging my fists on tables in order to achieve the perfect sake bomb. These days, I feel much more comfortable drinking a cranberry juice and banging my fists on the table because my DirecTV is out.

I have yet to order something at Bob San that I wanted to send back. Asparagus beef roll? Succulent. Cucumber salad? Light and refreshing. Their rolls are simple, not too fancy and most importantly, fresh. The restaurant’s ambiance perfectly mimics the food. Though there are always tables filled, you don’t need need to make a reservation three months in advance, or at all really, especially when you are picking it up and eating it in bed, like me.

Pictured is my typical order:

-Asparagus Beef-asparagus wrapped in thin beef and teriyaki sauce

-Negi Hamachi- yellow tail and scallions

-Chili Spicy Tuna-tuna with scallions in special spicy chili sauce

-Crunch-shrimp tempura, spicy mayo, eel sauce, tempura crumbs

-Philadelphia-smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese

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Think this was a shared order? I’ll let you guess.

 

Modified Monday

After eating just fruit and vegetables for three days, I felt a strong desire to break the fast but wanted to try and make something satisfying, yet relatively healthy. With plenty of leftover vegetables and lemons, I opted to modify this recipe that I found, as always, on Pinterest. I sauteed together a container of sliced mushrooms, half an onion and half a container of spinach. I also subbed garlic powder for fresh garlic, half and half for the milk and cream and used lemon pepper instead of black pepper. It was delicious, fresh and easy to make. I hope you try it out and go nuts with your own substitutions!

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Multitasking

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Finished product

Modified Monday- Cleansing Addition

Until recently, the only cleansing I knew was using my Clarisonic brush and prescription soap from the dermatologist. Over the past few months, I have researched different kinds of juice cleanses. I have seen friends do them and thought it might be something worth trying for three days. One might ask (and a few actually did), What is your reasoning for a juice cleanse? Do you want to lose weight? Kick sugar cravings? Shrink your appetite? While all of these things came to mind, for me, it was more of a control issue. I wanted to be able to prove to myself that I could drink only juices for three days straight. Last week, I bit the metaphorical bullet and decided to stock up on the ingredients for the 3-day Dr. Oz juice cleanse.
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Doesn’t sound too bad right? I like fruit. I like vegetables. I like almond butter.
Before I even started, I modified it. I didn’t buy the coconut oil or the supplements. The recommended lavender and Epsom salt detoxifying bath (not shown) seemed treacherous with last week’s 80 degree temperatures, so I opted out of that as well. Drink the shakes and call it a day. That was my motto. Truthfully, if I could go three days without meat, caffeine, carbs (YIKES) and dairy, I considered that a personal accomplishment. Below is a diary of my three day cleanse. Some may say I can’t consider what I did a cleanse. For me, it was hard, it was horrible and I hope I never have to do it again.

Tuesday

-Breakfast Drink: It was much better than I expected. I would drink it by choice for breakfast, with a side of pancakes.

-Lunch Drink: I took two sips of it and almost gagged. How can one really drink an entire cucumber, four celery stalks? Who am I, a brontosaurus? It was at this point that I decided if I could stick to fruit, vegetables and some nut butter for three days, I would still pat myself on a back.

-With the lunch drink eliminated for good, I made a salad of vegetables and lentils for lunch and had an apple and soy nut butter for dessert. This felt like a burger and fries and I was only a few hours into it. Uh oh.

-I came home from school ravenous and ate a quarter of an avocado (taken from my dinner shake) and drank the dinner shake sans avocado. The dinner shake was not quite as bad as the lunch shake but it still took a lot for me to choke it down.

Made it through modified cleanse day one. Go me!

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Lunch smoothie aka swamp in a blender

Weds

-Morning drink-went down easy

-Lunch-I made another salad, similar to day one and had pineapple for dessert.

-Snack- I came home from school and ate some avocado and cauliflower. Cheetos sounding extremely delicious right about now.

-Dinner-Since the cleanse says you can have an additional drink of your choice, I made the breakfast drink for dinner.

-After dinner- My head began throbbing and progressed into one of the worst headaches in my personal history. I went to bed at 7:30 with a wrapped strawberry popsicle on my forehead. I didn’t eat it, but I thought about it.

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Breakfast smoothie

Thursday

Last day, yippee!
Breakfast and lunch went the same as the previous two days, however, my lingering headache was too much too handle and around 1:00, I broke down and had a cup of coffee.
For dinner I made a smoothie of pineapple, berries, spinach, flax seed and almond milk. I was pretty juiced out at this point and was more or less trying to use up the leftover produce.
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So, there you have it! My first and last “juice” cleanse. Judge me if you will but I was pretty proud of myself for making it through those three days. I don’t weigh myself, so I don’t know if I lost any weight, but I didn’t feel much different Friday than I did on Monday. Everything in moderation seems like a much more practical way of life anyway. Everything but doughnuts.