Blog Meet Up 10.15.2011

At my first Blogger Meet-up back in July, I met some truly wonderful people, so I was excited when Marisa suggested a yoga and brunch get-together in the city.  Due to everyone’s busy schedules, only 3 of us were able to make it, but it actually turned out perfectly.  Since we were a smaller group, we were able to get to know each other really well and I learned so much about Marisa and Cate!

 

Meet the Bloggers

Both Marisa and Cate have very active lifestyles and blog about health & fitness.  I find both of their blogs to be very motivational, as they truly make working out look fun and healthy eating look delicious!  Additionally, they are both so inspiring to me for actively pursuing their passions:

Marisa (source: http://mindoverbooty.com/)

 

Marisa ofMind Over Booty‘ 

Marisa shared with us about her passion for helping build self-esteem in teen girls.  She previously worked full time with teens through Americorp, has served as a Girls on the Run coach, and is currently a contributor to Fitsmi, an online community for teen girls. Earlier this year, she decided to follow her passions even further by making the gutsy move of quitting her full-time job to go back to school, pursuing a Masters degree in either Nutrition or Public Health. (Oh, and of course I have to mention that she’s a vegetarian!!!)

 

 

 

 

Cate (source: http://goodforyoublog.blogspot.com/)

 

Cate of ‘Good For You Blog

Cate recently moved from Florida to Chicago, simply fulfilling a life-long dream to live in the Windy City. I love Cate’s positive attitude which helped her to reach the amazing milestone of losing 100 lbs in a healthy way.  In the process, she discovered a love of running and in the past year has run 2 half-marathons,  several 5Ks, a 10K, and is currently training for a 15K.  She too served as a Girls on the Run coach, and also volunteers at races around the city.  Cate is also my running buddy  we’ve done several of the Chick’s Night runs at Fleet Feet Chicago together.

 

Our Meet-up

We met in the heart of Roger’s Park at Imagine Yoga Studio, conveniently located just steps from the Morse Red-Line stop.

  

Marisa had done quite a bit of research and knew that Imagine is one of only 3 yoga studios in the city with $10 yoga classes.  We did the 9am Saturday morning Gentle Yoga class which I absolutely loved.  The gentle stretching was the perfect way to start out the day, and felt even more energizing than a cup of coffee!  I especially enjoyed gazing out at the blue sky and beautiful fall leaves as we moved through our stretches, poses, and sun salutations.

 

Next, we walked about a mile South to M.Henrietta for brunch, near the Granville Red-Line stop in the Edgewater neighborhood.  I love M. Henrietta for it’s charming, sunny atmosphere, delicious brunch, and a number of vegetarian and vegan options.

Scroll down to read a full restaurant review.

Overall it was a perfect morning, with great conversation, yummy food, and energizing yoga.  I’d like to thank Marisa, for planning such a great outing!

 

 

Source: Marisa of Mind Over Booty

Restaurant Review

I’ve been to M. Henrietta, and it’s sister restaurant M. Henry (in Andersonville) a number of times. Both restaurants specialize in brunch with creative and decadent offerings such as their infamous black-berry bliss cakes.  The restaurants focus on natural, seasonal ingredients and have a balance of offerings including both healthy and splurge items… AND both restaurants are BYOB!

  

(Note: M. Henry’s neighbor –  “On the Rocks” – is an interesting shop to wander pre- or post-meal, full of beautiful gemstones, fossils, and mystical items.)

Breakfast & Brunch Highlights include:

The menus at both restaurants are fairly similar.  At each restaurant you’ll find the following favorites:

I absolutely adore their Rosehip Hibiscus Iced Tea.  It’s lightly sweetened and incredibly refreshing.

They also serve delicious coffee, from local roaster Metropolis Coffee.  (Note: Metropolis Coffee has a wonderful cafe just steps away from M.Henrietta.  I love the cafe’s friendly & funky vibe and vegan snack options.)

The Latina Omelet is a very popular option at both locations.  It contains black-beans, chipotle sauce, sour cream, and wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese and is served with sweet plantains & house potatoes.

 

 

My favorite brunch item is the Vegan Epiphany plate at M. Henry which consists of a tofu scramble and something I’d never tried before – yuba (pictured far left).  These savory, crispy strips are made from the cream that rises to the top of hot soymilk when making tofu.  (Note: The M. Henrietta location does not offer yuba, but instead includes veggie sausage on the vegan plate.)

While both locations serve Breakfast, Lunch, and Sunday Brunch, M. Henrietta is the only location serving dinner.  Dinner there reminds me of my own home-cooking: the decor is cozy, the entrees are healthy and comforting, and the plates are loaded with colorful vegetables.  However, just like at home, the cooking is sometimes uneven – on a few occasions I’ve found the vegetables to be over salted, and while some items wowed, others were lackluster.  Overall, I think it’s a wonderful place for a casual, healthy dinner, though not a place I’d take someone I wanted to impress.

    

Dinner Highlights include:

I always inquire about their home-made Soup of the Day, which on one visit was this amazing thick & saucy Tomato Red-Pepper Soup.

The Country NutMeat Loaf dinner also satisfied.  The ‘loaf’ was bready & herby like holiday stuffing and was served with mashed rutabagas, an herb gravy, sauteed swiss chard, and a roasted tomato.

They also have various vegetarian Daily Specials and a wonderful Vegetable Cornucopia Plate (not pictured), that wows with roasted acorn squash, sauteed seasonal vegetables, and spicy crispy tofu.

 I’d love to hear from you:

What bloggers inspire you?

What is your favorite brunch entree and where do you get it?