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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Tastebud Tours

One huge treat at the Healthy Living Summit was an offer to go on a Tastebud Tour of Chicago, which was sponsored by Arnold and Oroweat. We went on Saturday night once the conference sessions and all the food breaks were over and it was so fun! It was a walking tour where we got to taste a bunch of local food and learn fun historical facts about Chicago. First stop was The Brighoff, Chicago’s oldest restaurant with German food.

We each got a mug of their famous rootbeer, which was delicious. I only had a few sips though!

And people were served brats with potato salad:

But they were super accommodating and made me a pierogi with sweet potato salad (plus the two other vegetarians on the tour).

It was AWESOME though definitely heavy on the butter. The sweet potato salad was really light and a little crunchy, which was surprisingly good and a nice contrast to the pierogi.

Other quick stops were made for popcorn:

A mix of caramel and cheese popcorn – so good!

Plus, the best brownie I’ve ever tasted in my life:

It was fudgey and melt-in-your-mouth chocolately delicious.

We also stopped for Chicago hotdogs, which are loaded with tons of toppings.

Mine was called a Walk in the Park since there was no hotdog, but it was still a full bun! Tomatoes, pickles, mustard, relish, onions.. delish.

Next stop was the Billy Goat Tavern.

As made famous by Saturday Night Live.

There was an open kitchen which I always like.

And most people had cheeseburgers, but I got a grilled cheese.

I put a bunch of relish and pickles in the middle and it was goood. As if we hadn’t had enough, they gave us some local chocolates to go.

We were indulged by the owner about how the company started and how much they’ve grown over the last several months.

Overall, an amazing experience! This tour was held especially for us, but they normally do the tours 7 days a week during the day time. The one stop we missed was deep dish pizza – which I was pretty upset about since I didn’t have a chance to ahve it at all during my time in Chicago. i have to go back!

While this was definitely NOT the healthiest, it was great to taste some local food and get to explore the city on foot. The restaurants were super accomodating for vegetarians which I always appreciate. Here’s a shot of our group, posing around a cow!

I need to go back, if only to eat some authentic deep dish pizza. 🙂

And now back to the present!

After this morning’s latte (which was incredible btw – I never have those because they are $$ so it was a nice treat!) I had a banana

1.5 for the banana + 2.5 for the latte = 4 points for breakfast.

Lunch was leftover Chipotle:

With an extra tomato sliced in for good measure. I’m estimating this at 6 points (11 total minus 5 for dinner last night!). I need to figure out how to make that corn salsa because for me, that’s what makes the bowl. I was trying to figure out WHY this was so good, since I often throw together black beans, corn, tomatoes, and other things in this bowl – but I think what I’m missing is the corn salsa! Does anyone have a good recipe for corn salsa??

I just munched on a cup of grapes (1 pt) for a snack:

Tonight, I’m volunteering at a cooking class that normally costs $60 to take. This is my first time assisting with a class so I’m pretty excited to see how it goes. It’s actually a sushi class, which I’ve never made before, so wish me luck! While this is “volunteer” I am really interested in getting more involved in real volunteering and giving back to the community.

Do you do volunteer work? What do you do? Do you like it? How much of a time commitment is it? Looking for ideas!

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12 Responses

  1. I have been volunteering at the National Building Museum in the Gift Shop for 5 years now.. the 2nd Sunday of Every Month and I LOVE it. It’s a great way to visit this beautiful building.. and check out their new goodies in the shop! Love it!

  2. You definitely just cemented the fact that I NEED CHIPOTLE NOW! I will have it for dinner tonight…provided I can convince my husband he needs it too 🙂

    I agree – their corn salsa is amazing. If you ever find a recipe that’s close to it please share! (Same goes for their guac!)

    Can’t wait see how the cooking class goes – I’ve never attended one but have always wanted to!

  3. Oh, all that food looks so delicious. Also, thank you for your encouraging words. I appreciate it.

    You are doing a wonderful job, and have come so far….I’m sure you’ll figure out your running thing.

  4. Over the last year, I’ve slowly started volunteering for Girls on the Run. I can’t really do the mentor program, but help at the races and stuff- I highly recommend it!

  5. I volunteer with a program called time to invent! It is great! Basically mentors (me and other people in science, technology, engineering, or math related fields) go to low income schools and teach them about the design process and do some really fun experiments along the way. It is really great because it gives me an opportunity to look at my career from a fresh perspective and I like to see how into inventing things the kids get! It’s great to see the smiles on their faces after they’ve made something they’re proud of! Not that this particularly applies to your field of work, but you could do something that involves mentoring kids or young adults!

  6. I love making sushi!

    I volunteer for a few feeding the hungry programs in the area. It only takes a few hours a month and I feel like I’m doing something great for the community!

  7. My oh my – what a great way to explore the city!

  8. Is that Garrett’s popcorn?? If so, mmmm!! I love Chicago! I haven’t been there in almost a year and the thought makes me cry inside. Its such a shame you missed out on deep dish. For someone who loves cheese, deep dish is where its at.

  9. wow that sounds like an awesome place to volunteer at. you better have taken pics of your sushi missy!!!!!!! 🙂 ive always wanted to try to make my own sushi at home.

    that popcorn from the tastebud tour was so good.. 2 best flavors ever

  10. okay when i make corn salsa i use:

    1 bag of frozen corn, defrosted
    2 large jalepenos, diced
    1 tomato, diced (you can leave this out)
    1/2 large red onion, diced
    some squirts of lime to taste)
    a whole bunch of cilantro
    some chili powder (just a tad to give it a kick)
    salt and pepper to taste

    the key is to let it sit for a couple of days and let all the flavors mingle together. salsa gets better as it sits.

  11. Um, that non hot dog looks so good! I love pickles 🙂

    I can’t believe you had all of that leftover from dinner.. what a perfect lunch!

    I used to volunteer at a cat shelter. It was fun! I did it for over a year but then I moved far away from the shelter so I had to stop. The only thing that sucked was that I wanted to meet people and I ended up being by myself every time I went. A cool thing that they did was only have you do 2 shifts a month so it was less likely that you’d burn out.

    I recently volunteered at a kids can cook class! It was fun, but it was an adult class and I wanted to volunteer with kids. Kind of hard when you work 9-5!

  12. did you like the billy goat!? we go there everytime we are in chicago. such a FUN place 🙂 i love the sign that says “a very insecure person.” last yr i was able to sneak a picture with a friend unknowingly standing underneath. classic.

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