The Nutritarian

Healthy Eating Insight

Oxidation, or Old Fruit = Less Nutrients

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jul• 06•12

The longer a fruit is exposed to air and light, the less vitamins and nutrients it will have.  So as sweet as the old brown fruit may seem, it may not be worth it with the added sugar content and lost nutrients.

Other things that can deplete nutrients besides light and air include:  Cooking, deep frying and canned fruits and fruit juices that are heated during processing.

Frozen fruits retain their nutrient content much longer than fresh, according to Holford, author of The New Optimum Nutrition Bible.

Fresh fruit should be consumed within a few days of purchase for optimal nutritional value.  This is why it is so important that the produce you buy from the grocery is fresh.  It also gives reasoning to buying local (less time from the farm to mouth, plus less cost to the distributing companies and less negative impact to the environment).

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BYOB in Chicago

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jun• 29•12

It is always nice to have a few BYOB spots on hand.

Source: MetroMix BYOB recommendations

Other Chicago BYOB spots from BlackBook Mag

More ideas…

Tatsu (Little Italy) – Amazingly fresh sushi with very reasonable prices.  No corkage fee unless you bring champagne, and an outdoor seating area that is perfect for people watching.
Bonsoiree (Logan Sqr/Humboldt Prk) – Save a few bottles of your best for the 4-, 7-, or 13-course tasting menu, but go with something light and versatile, like a Rosé that can match the eclectic assortment of dishes crossing your palate. Bonsoiree sounds amazing.
HB Home Bistro (Boystown) – This tiny favorite expands with every bottle opened to pair up with their Amsterdam-style mussels and sautéed tilapia—you might even consider bringing a Belgian brew, like Duvel’s blonde ale.
Schwa (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Yeah, you gotta call two months out to get a reservations, but at least you can swing by the corner wine shop on the way and grab a Riesling for the rabbit course.
Hema’s Kitchen (Lincoln Park) – Whether you’re heading to the locale in Lincoln Park or the one on Devon, pick up an amber lager sixer (there’s lots of chilled Kingfisher to be found in the markets on Devon) or a bottle of Chianti to complement your lamb curry.
Coast (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Brownbag a your own sake or a bottle of Prosecco, and chopstick in some ceviche and volcano maki when you’re between sips.
May Street Café (Pilsen) – Cuisine is Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, and American, so you really can’t go wrong with Merlot or a Cab.
Terragusto (Roscoe Village) – An Italian joint with a rustic, seasonal menu—a Montepulciano should interact with all the local ingredients.

Healthy, Practical Cooking

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jun• 28•12

My friend Ryan is debuting, “my life’s work wrapped into a tiny 23 minute bundle of love;).”

His “Simply Centered” live streaming cooking show is debuting tomorrow 6/28/12 at 10:30am.  If cooking healthy without sacrificing flavor is your style, check it out on Centered Chef’s FB or Today TV Live.

Foods for Healthy Weight Loss

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jun• 20•12

This site offers a tiered food classification that can be used as a quick reference chart for healthy food choices.   It shows healthy options in tier 1 and 2 such as quinoa, apples with the skin, and kale.   Tiers 4 and 5 list foods to try and consume less often for weight-loss purposes. i.e. processed meat, pastas, and anything sugary or fried.   The idea is to switch out things from tier 3 and 4 and choose tier 1 and 2 items instead.

Sweet Home Organics and Garlic Scapes

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jun• 12•12

Sweet Home Organic Farm in St. Charles, my hometown, turned me on to Garlic Scapes.  Much milder than garlic since odors were not seeping from my pours and breath as with the vampire repellent.   Certainly my new favorite right now.  Sweet Home Organics Farm produced some of the best purple kale I’ve had as well.

I steamed and seasoned the pretty, perky scapes and ate up the tender tendrils.  Served with steamed portabella mushrooms and aldente spinach pasta, the whole endeavor took under ten minutes and no fat.  An unbelievably healthy, simple, and delightful recipe.

A Healthy Brunch Celebration

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jun• 04•12

I celebrated National Eggs Benedict Day yesterday at Whole Foods with a plant strong vegan brunch consisting of a sweet potato quinoa patty, avocado and cashew hollandaise atop a whole grain Ezekiel muffin, kale slaw and a raw almond, date, strawberry oat bars.  Strawberry smoothies and tea to drink.  I left totally stuffed.  Delectable and healthy = happy.

Chicago Craft Beer Week!

Written By: The Nutritarian - May• 18•12

Uncommon Ground on Clark, winner of the 2010 & 2011 Governor’s Sustainability Award, and many other venues, are celebrating Chicago craft beer week May 17th-27th, 2012!

Here is the exclusive draft list for Uncommon Ground, made up entirely of Chicagoland brews!

Only $4 to $6 a brew! 


Two Brother’s Ebel’s Weiss

Half Acre Daisycutter American Pale Ale

Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsch

Revolution Coup d’état Saison

Goose Island Matilda

Tighthead Brewing Comfortably Blonde Ale

Wild Onion Hop Slayer Imperial IPA

3 Floyds Robert the Bruce Scottish Ale

Finch’s Brewing Threadless IPA

5 Rabbit Cervezeria 5 Vultures Oaxacan Dark Ale

Emmett’s Brewing Company McCarthy Red Ale

Virtue ‘Red Streak’ Cider

Carnivale Chicago 702 W Fulton Market

Written By: The Nutritarian - May• 15•12

Argentinean, Brazilian, Columbian, Cuban, Peruvian, and Puerto Rican Oh My!

Carnivale, from the Latin word, “Carne Vale” or “Farewell to the Flesh” eventually became a Brazilian tradition after the Greek festival honoring Dionysus (god of wine).  The fest is a massive celebratory indulgence of music, food, alcohol, and sex preceding forty days of personal reflection, abstinence, and fasting for Lent.  Sounds balanced.

Can you imagine the bustling atmosphere of raw energy one might encounter during such a celebration?  Such an environment abounds at Carnivale. So many distractions, none comparable to the outstanding culinary delights you will encounter.

My vegetarian meal was one of the best I’ve had.  Unique flavors of perfectly cooked seasonal vegetables tantalize the taste buds and you will not have to worry about oil overload, due to the pronounced freshness of ingredients.  Appetizers were fantasticly light, and participation in dessert, as hedonistic as it may seem, is worth it.  Order the Carnivale ice cream cake, an experience in itself that must be described.

Envision a tower of passion fruit, guava, and pistachio ice creams layered between moist, supple chocolate cake.  Start from the top and slip your warm spoon through each melting layer, gathering a taste of each flavor before gliding the perfect bite over fresh mango, raspberry, and basil drizzles that have been splattered about the plate.  You don’t have to come back to reality, this solid masterpiece was built to last, and share.  Just make sure it stays straight up.

Avoid unsafe food additives!

Written By: The Nutritarian - Apr• 30•12

According to a consumer food advocacy group, despite FDA approval, some food additives pose health risks.  Listed are those to be avoided:

acesulfame-K, artificial colors blue 1, 2, green 3, read 3, yellow 6, aspartame, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), cyclamate, olestra, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans fat), potassium bromate, propyl gallate, saccharin, sodium nitrate.

Superfood Shake

Written By: The Nutritarian - Apr• 17•12

Shakeology can be used as a nutritional supplement, healthy treat, or weight management tool. 

Superfood ingredients and benefits:

Superfood Nutrients Shake Ingredients







Protein & Amino Acids



Amaranth, Camu-Camu, Goji berry, Sacha Inchi, sprouted quinoa, whey protein.



Helps bodies build lean muscle, heal wounds, improve skin and hair. Supports optimal brain function; mental clarity, improved mood, and reduced cravings.
Digestive Enzymes



Amylase, bromelain from pineapple, cellulose, lactase, lipase, papain from papaya, protease. Helps the body break down food to increase nutrient absorption.



Pea fiber, yacon root.



Promotes intestinal health. Stimulates growth of friendly bacteria for better digestion.



Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, holy basil leaf, Maca root, Reishi mushroom, Schisandra, Suma root.



Plant derived agents that help adapt the body or protect it from stress. Adaptogenic herbs are unique from other substances in their ability to balance endocrine hormones and the immune system.
Phytonutrients “Green Super Foods”



Barley grass, blue-green algae, Chia seeds, Chlorella, flax, grape seed extract, Hydrilla, spinach, Spirulina, sprouted quinoa, wheat grass. Boosts immunity, helps fight diseases, has alkalizing properties that can slow the aging process and detoxify the body.
Antioxidants “Red Super Foods”



Açai berry, Acerola cherry, bilberry, Camu-Camu, Goji berry, grape seed extract, green tea, Maca root, pomegranate. Helps reduce oxidative damage in the body caused by free radicals. Oxidative damage is a major cause for degenerative (aging) conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure (which can lead to stroke), dementia, and arthritis.