Thanks for all of the interest in my summit recap and in my presentation! I promise to give you all info on how to view the talk when it’s available. Stay tuned.
It’s a beautiful day in Chicago, folks. My day started off with a nice workout in the Hyatt gym, a cup of coffee, and a little preliminary packing. Then, it was off to brunch in Logan Square with my Chicagoan friend Marc. Marc had suggested that we get out of the downtown area for a while and have brunch at Lula’s, a cafe that’s known for it’s fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. After Mara confirmed that Lula’s is indeed much loved by those who know good Chicago grub, I was pretty excited to try it.
Lula did not disappoint! Killer menu, with at least two vegan/veganizable brunch items, and a generally fresh, healthy feel. I loved the heirloom tomato decoration (Sabrina, this is right up your alley!)
After yesterday’s oatmeal mishap, I was sure to ask if their house oats (which were steel cut and organic) were vegan. They weren’t, but our awesome server assured me that they could be prepared vegan. And they were. And it was good:
I added some of the Justin’s maple almond butter that I found at my hotel cafe this morning. Not my favorite ingredient list, but it’s a good way to have some healthy fats at the ready when you’re on the go, and it sure tastes awesome:
Marc got the pancakes, which looked great:
And I think we both agreed that the coffee was top notch!
As was the view:
My only complaint was that the portion was a little small – I think I’m the only person I know who consistently finds restaurant portions to be far too tiny, rather than too large! So I followed it up with a bit of fresh fruit:
Brunch was refreshing in all of the right ways. After two days downtown, in tourist-ville, it was lovely to escape to another neighborhood. After a weekend full of food talk, it was great to switch topics to literature and music. And of course, good food is always restorative!
After brunch, Marc dropped me off at my hotel for checkout. Before I could go, I had to pack up all of my swag from yesterday’s summit! It’s too much to list, so I’ll let photos do the talking. Here are the vegan goodies I’m bringing home with me:
And the goodies that I knew I wouldn’t use, so I gave them to Marc:
As well as a beautiful and fragrant soap that Mara was kind enough to give me last night:
And world class Fitnessista macaroons from Gina. Wheeee! I can’t wait to eat these!
I gathered up my netbook and wandered around the lovely Millenium Park for a bit:
I love the architecture in Chicago:
Now, I’m settled cozily at a Caribou Coffee, getting some work done in the glow of free WiFi:
In the meantime, a little culinary housekeeping: a few of you have tried out my dehydrator free energy bars and found that they’re not holding together (which makes for awesome grawnola, but not an awesome snack bar experience). Sorry guys! This wasn’t a problem for me, but just in case, I think you should try upping the agave/maple syrup to 6 tbsp in the recipe if you intend to make it – I edited the recipe to reflect this. You may also wish to add 1 tbsp more of flax to the mix. Also, do NOT forget to very gently cut the dough into bars after an hour, then let them go for another few. If you try cutting after they’ve dried out too much, they will indeed crumble in your hands. Good luck, and I hope this fixes the issues!