Foodie Pack Rat

122 comments

That is what Eric called me when he saw the huge bag of food I am bringing home!

We have had such a great getaway to Chicago. Eric says that it was the first time in a long time that he has truly disconnected from work- no cell, no email, no pager. He said it was such a nice rest! I am happy for him because he has been working like crazy lately. I am trying not to think about the 350 Glo Bars that I have in cue for me when I get home! It is going to be a crazy Thursday + Friday and then we hit the road again to visit family for the weekend.

Sooooooooo, what souvenirs does a food, baking, and cooking obsessed gal bring home from a great city like Chicago? Let us take a gander…

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Have you ever tried any of these foods??? :)

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I’m very excited to try this White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter!!!!

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I bought the Amazing Grass sample from Whole Foods and I am going to use it on the plane today to mix in with my water.

And this Himalayan Sea Salt on the far right that I have heard so much about!

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Also VERY excited to try these TJ’s dried banana slices! I heard they are amazing spread with nut butter. :)

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I noticed that the prices in the Chicago Whole Foods were so much cheaper than the Whole Foods in Oakville and Toronto!! Just for example, the Artisana Coconut Butter was $6 cheaper in the Chicago Whole Foods than in Oakville/Toronto. Crazy!! I was going to buy one, but Eric reminded me that my suitcase was already pretty heavy from the other food. :(

Food kill. :(

I also got this super cute twig spoon + knife set from Anthropologie.

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Vegan overnight oats here we come!!!!

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Back to last night!

Shortly after hitting publish, I crashed on the bed and Eric and I slept for a solid 45 minutes. I am not a napper by any means so when I do crash, I know I really need it. I felt so much better when I got up!

We headed out for a late dinner around 8pm.

On our way, we came across the set for the next Transformer’s movie!!!

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The Transformer’s crew member shattered the dream of a 6 year old in a 28 year old’s body. He saw Eric going to touch the fake cement and he said ‘come on man’ and just shook his head in disappointment.  I giggled profusely and made fun of Eric for getting in trouble. He was crushed to say the least.

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For dinner, we were not up for anything crazy so we went to the closest and easiest place by our hotel- Argo Tea! We love this place. Eric and I are both total tea lovers so it is a match made in heaven.

I tried the Hibiscus tea this time and it was delicious!

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I had the chickpea salad for the second time and it was still as awesome as I remembered it. ;)

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Eric had chicken and basil, tomato, and mozza sandwiches that he adores.

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We are very impressed with Argo Tea. Everything is well done from the healthy food options to the creative and unique teas that are offered. The atmosphere is also wonderful, spacious, and cozy complete with desks for laptops!

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Argo Tea would do WONDERFULLY in Toronto!! Right now it is only in Chicago and New York, I believe.

Then we went to the lakeshore to get some pictures.

Beautiful cityscape at night. :)

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This morning we decided to go on a run-bike outing along lakeshore!

We split an Empower Glo Bar (from the swag bag!) and an orange for pre-exercise fuel. :)

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Empower is one of my favourite flavours so I was very excited to eat it finally!

Along with a conference orange..

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And some Herbal lemon verbana geranium herbal water (also from the swag bag!). It was wonderful! Very herbal tasting. No added sugars or artificial ingredients.

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Then we set off for a 4 mile run along Lakeshore around 8am. It was gorgeous outside…nice and cool!

Eric rented a bike!!!!!

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He was NOT impressed with the basket on the front! Oh my gosh we laughed so hard. He kept making me giggle on the run with his antics.

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One last trip down the gorgeous lakefront path! So sad to leave it.

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Bye bye Chicago, it was a wonderful vacation! :)

We did 4 miles in 35 minutes. We are heading out to breakfast now and then packing up and hitting the airport. I will see you tonight! :)

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{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia (It All Changes) August 18, 2010

Flattened bananas are my crack. Just sweet enough that I don’t miss the muffins that will make me sick. :-) Enjoy them!

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Lindsay @cookveganlover August 18, 2010

loved smooshed banana! suggestion: take a piece and top with nutbutter and roll up- so good!

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Jessica @ How Sweet August 18, 2010

I hope you love the White Chocolate Wonderful! I am addicted.

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Lauren August 18, 2010

I second that. The stuff is soooo tasty. :)

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Chelsea August 18, 2010

Third-ed! All of their stuff is delicious!

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QueenofFitness August 18, 2010

i will fourth that!!! i could that entire jar in one sitting. the chocolate dreams is also to die for! it is hands down the best chocolate vegan PB. if you look at the back of the jar there is a blip about the cafe in NYC. been there. sandwiches are pricey but delish. i had to buy a 6 pack of PB on my visit. when i get jars of this i have to hide them from myself. the maple PB is good too but i will take choco-late anyday.

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Tricia August 18, 2010

I fifth that! That stuff is AWESOME! I agree that the Chocolate Dreams is even BETTER, so if you can get your hands on that -definitely get some. Oh and I LOVE Justin’s PB too. Good finds! Your trip looked so fun!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) August 18, 2010

we have those rental bikes in denver and they’re so much fun! i would love to try sunflower butter…holy delicious!

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Anna @ newlywed, newly veg August 18, 2010

Your Chicago trip looks like it’s been such a blast!!! So glad you enjoyed the city! Ps–I love those go raw chips and ‘cookies’– very tasty!

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Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 18, 2010

OOooh I tried the WCW peanut butter as soon as I got home – it’s lovely!!
Hehe, you sure did like Argo Tea! That place was so good..I don’t even like tea, but their pom tea was the best :D
Annnd I’m so jealous, it looks so much cooler in Chicago now – where’s the sun gone!?
Have a good last day :)

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Abby August 18, 2010

I just watched the second transformers last night!!! I am SO jealous you got to see the set.

Last time I was in Chicago, I saw the set of Nicholas Cage’s “Weather Man”. That was 6 years ago!

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 18, 2010

How much does it cost to rent a bike?

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Sana August 18, 2010

I think it was $10/ hour or something?

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Callie August 18, 2010

Sounds like so much fun. :)
I’d love to ride one of those rental bikes one day. haha.
Have a nice last day.

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Jessica August 18, 2010

Trader Joe’s flattened bananas are addictive! I have a hard time not eating the whole thing in one sitting!

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 18, 2010

White Chocolate Wonderful and Sunflower seed butter!!! Nomnomnom :) Love those two.

And seeing a movie set must have been AWESOME! Although at first glance I thought you came across a horrific wreck until I noticed the caption. Had me scared there for a second. :P

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Wei-Wei August 18, 2010

SO MUCH FOOD! I’m jumping in my seat looking at you talk about White Chocolate Wonderful. It sounds… WONDERFUL!

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Lea @ Healthy Coconut August 18, 2010

Your pictures captured Chicago so well. I want to go back very badly now. I love Chi-town. Last time I went, those rental bikes were not available or we didn’t see them. I definitely would have rented one.

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Mallory @ Little Miss Locavore August 18, 2010

As someone who discovered trader joes just in the last year, I am totally in love. They have a great nut and dried fruit section and lots of organic choices throughout the store. My only gripe is all the packaging on the produce, but I’m getting produce from the farmer’s market now so oh well. Where is the White Chocolate Wonderful from? Trader Joe’s?

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Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 18, 2010

Oh the Just Mango is pure heaven. I usually have to hide it from myself, because I can’t stop at one piece. Eric and the bike: hilarious.

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Rachel August 18, 2010

Hi Angela!

I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now and I really enjoy it!

There is a brand of sunflower seed butter called Sunbutter and I am their #1 consumer. They haven’t declared me as such, but I’m pretty sure I’m up there. It’s so delicious and I prefer it to peanut butter.

Peanut Butter & Co. products taste great, but I stopped eating them because of the Palm Oil content (saturated fat). I’ve read that the healthiest nut butter products for you are those that you have to stir, and so I’ve been following that rule.

Enjoy!

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AdrienneCarolyn August 18, 2010

You can buy all the Peanut Butter & Co products at Whole Foods in Toronto….I’m sorry to say that I thought the White Chocolate Wonderful was way too sweet :-(
I suppose it’s still good in small doses though, or to make banana soft serve yum! I like the dark chocolate one better :-)

I’m a huge fan of different sea salts. I get pink himalayan (so pretty) and other cool salts at Noah’s in Toronto or any of those over-priced gourmet shops!

I want to go to Chicago now so badly!!!

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Heather ODonnell August 18, 2010

White chocolate peanut butter is the best thing in the world!! I buy it whenever I can find it and I usually have to hide it from myself or else I would lock myself in a closet with the jar and a spoon.

I dehydrate my own bananas and mangoes. The bananas I sometimes use as spoons in the peanut butter. (don’t judge me) :-)

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Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' August 18, 2010

I’ve never noticed those flattened bananas at Trader Joe’s! I’m going to have to look for them next time! My suitcase looks the same way after a good “foodie” trip– it’s almost embarrassing how much stuff I try to squeeze home after a trip to NYC! :D

Glad you guys had a fun vacation!!

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Bridget August 18, 2010

I almost bought some of the white chocolate wonderful pb last week, but didn’t because I had a feeling I would get too addicted. Me + nut butters = dangerous!!! haha

I’m so glad you guys had a nice time in Chicago :) In spite of all the pizza, there are so many healthy food options there!

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Kristy@ KristyRuns.com August 18, 2010

Wow. I’m really sad that y’all are leaving Chicago. I’ve loved seeing all of the beautiful places you’ve discovered. Can you please stay? K. Thanks. ;)

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Lauren August 18, 2010

You guys got to do the best stuff on this trip! Like seriously, the Transformers set?!? Can’t believe they wouldn’t even let Eric touch it.

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Robin August 18, 2010

Those pictures are gorgeous!!! Wow. You must have had an awesome trip and definitely a great run in a city so beautiful.

I haven’t tried any of that TJ stuff. I might have to stop by after work to get some mango slices ;)

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Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA August 18, 2010

I’ve gotta say I don’t think I’ve tried any of those foods! But it looks like a really good stash.

And the Transformers set looks really cool! Glad you guys got to see it.

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Amber K August 18, 2010

I wasn’t a fan of the white chocolate peanut butter, it was sickeningly sweet to me. Soo weird, since I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth. I’m addicted to their dark chocolate peanut butter though. The best thing to add to smoothies or even just straight from the jar. YUM!

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Holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 18, 2010

What beautiful skies! Your mini vacation looked just perfect.

I have not tried those flattened bananas from TJ’s, but I’ll have to pick some up. I love the white choc PB. It is so good!

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Maria August 18, 2010

I was JUST thinking about that chocolate bar yesterday and how much I want one! Now I definitely need to make a trip to Trader Joe’s, it’s so worth it!

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Kristy August 18, 2010

Beautiful pics, looks like you had a great time in the city. I’ve never seen those banana slices at trader joes, going to have to check them out next time!! Thanks for sharing!

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Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker August 18, 2010

That bike rental thing is really cool! I’ve never quite seen anything like it. And I like your foodie loot. Looks like a lot of tasty stuff. Glad you had such a blast in Chicago!

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Jamie J. August 18, 2010

I just recently started reading your blog and thought I would post this for you.

I noticed that you bought some of the Justins PB. I have found a website that sells these individual packets for cheap. They have a few flavors. Here is the website. http://www.minimus.biz/Justins-Natural-Honey-Peanut-Butter-Blend-F06-0158502-1000.aspx

That website has some awesome individual sized items for a great price. I think if you spend more than $20 you get free shipping too.

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Rhea (Greek Feaster) August 18, 2010

Hey Angela! Looks like you guys had a great time. Eric is so cute with the little bike basket!!
I have tried a lot of those foods, including the TJ’s chocolate bar (very, very tasty), mango (one of my staples!), Justin’s Chocolate PB, Teavana tea (what kind did you get?) White Chocolate Wonderful (overhyper, IMHO- it just tasted like sweet PB to me). I have had other Vosges bars, but not the Creole flava. They make an incredible wasabi sesame bar!

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman August 18, 2010

I tried that Trader Joe’s chocolate and I was not impressed. It was almost waxy. Oh, and love the spoons from Anthropologie. I love that store. I think if I could ever get trapped overnight in a store, like they do in the movies, I’d pick there.

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Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure August 18, 2010

Wow seeing all your goodies makes me excited to go grocery shopping this Friday… its funny I’ve become such a health foodie that I get excited to find a new kind of nutzzo or yummy mango slices!

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Emily @ Run Emily Run August 18, 2010

I used to stash a reusable grocery bag in my suitcase whenever I traveled because I knew I’d end up bringing a whole bunch of food home with me, but now that I live in NY it’s harder to justify because I know I can get pretty much anything I want here. I still end up shoving a few things in my bags usually, though! Also I’ve been meaning to try Argo. We just got one near my work.

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Elli @ 16 and Losing It August 18, 2010

So much food! It all looks delicious! And those pictures form your run are gorgeous!

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Kristina August 18, 2010

Oakville Whole Foods always has the White Chocolate Wonderful PB. For a yummy dessert, I spread it on a ww wrap, nuke it for 25 seconds, then wrap it around a banana. Also a good pre-run snack!

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Hayley August 18, 2010

I have a friend who was in Chicago this summer doing an internship. He also visited the Transformers set and managed to snag a few pictures with some of the actors. Looks like you had a great last day in Chi-town!

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sarah August 18, 2010

I wish they would get Trader Joe’s in Canada. I’m so jealous of all the yummy and cheaper food you can get in the states!

i totally want to go to Chicago now :)

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anneliese August 18, 2010

I love your blog! It is a hidden gem! Your trip to Chciago came at such a great time for me because the hubs and I are headed there this fall. I now have a secret stash of local eateries which is heaven for me!

I love the TJ bananas as well as all the GoRaw products. Not a fan of the justin’s butters because of the palm oil in it. I either grind my own nuts or buy a pure nut butter with no added ingredients. I found pink himalayan salt at TJ’s but my husband wouldn’t approve of the purchase because it was produced in Africa. Let me know how it is….

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Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 18, 2010

What a cool vacation! I love that you got to see the transformers set! Have a safe flight Angela :)

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