• Tips to Staying Healthy This Fall

    It’s officially fall which means the onset of colorful leaves, cooler weather, and some great new menu items at Original Soul Vegetarian. Another byproduct of the weather change? Cold season. Luckily we have you covered at the Eternity Juice Bar. Need to cleanse your system? Order the Detoxification which is a delicious blend of juices from grapefruits, lemons and oranges combined with distilled water and brown rice syrup. Feel a cold coming on? Get an Immune Booster, which is a shot of horseradish, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar. It’ll kick the cold right out of you. Need some other healthy tips this fall to keep you feeling good all season long? Here are five key ones:

    1. Sleep. The recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night is one good way to keep your immune system up and running.
    2. Exercise. Exercising on a regular basis keeps your body fit and your immune system healthy.
    3. Reduce Stress. Easier said than done but it is essential in maintaining your health. Cut out as many of the stressors as you can and find ways of coping with the ones that you can’t dismiss from your life. Deep breaths and self care can go a long way.
    4. Antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which play a central role in keeping your immune system operating properly. One of the many benefits to a vegan lifestyle is that you are probably getting plenty of those. So come in and eat up!
    5. Wash your hands. Whether you’re riding the L, at work, or playing with your kids, the best way to avoid contracting and transmitting germs is by regularly washing your hands. Doctors recommend that you scrub with soap and warm water for 30 seconds.

    Stay healthy!

  • Spinach the Super Food!

    Daily Dish at Eternity Juice Bar: Sesame Spinach

    You may have heard spinach be referred to as a “superfood.” But, like many, you might wonder “What does that actually mean? Why is it so good for me?” A superfood is one that is full of nutrients and supports overall health. And boy is this leafy green packed with goodness. There are tons of reasons why you should be eating spinach but we’ll stick with five for now.

    1. Spinach is good for your bones. It is rich in Vitamin K which strengthens bone mass.
    2. Eating spinach keeps you healthy. Packed with Vitamin C, it boosts your immune system so it can fight off diseases.
    3. Studies indicate that spinach helps prevent against prostate and colon cancers. Spinach has flavonoids which have anticancer properties that decrease your risk for cancer.
    4. Spinach is mineral rich—potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc are all found in spinach. Minerals are very important to our bodies. For example, potassium is essential in controlling blood pressure and heart rate and copper helps with red blood cell count.
    5. Spinach is full of antioxidants. These protect against aging and some diseases.

  • Crazy for Carrots: Health Benefits

    Quick Eats at Eternity Juice Bar

    Carrot Supreme: Yesterday’s Dish of the Day

    At Eternity Juice Bar we try to make healthy food quick and accessible to you. That’s why we have “grab and go” lunch packs made fresh daily. We have lots of wraps and sandwiches available and decided to start featuring a “dish of the day.” Yesterday it was Carrot Supreme.

    So what are the health benefits of carrots? One, carrots are full of Vitamin A, which helps with vision. Two, carrots are an antioxidant-rich food, which studies indicate can prevent some cancers and cardiovascular disease. Three, working in combination, Vitamin A and antioxidants help protect your skin from sun damage.

    Today’s dish of the day is kale salad with tomatoes, onions, and spices. Check out a previous blogpost on all of the benefits of kale.

    Your health is your wealth. Fuel your body, feed your soul.

  • Tasty Tofu: Why it’s Good for You

    Jerkfu Wrap

    When cooked right, tofu is quite delicious (as evidenced by our Jerkfu Wrap pictured above). In addition, tofu is also really good for you! Derived from soybeans, tofu serves as a great meat-substitute for those that want plant-based protein. Tofu is also full of important minerals like iron and calcium. In fact, tofu has been found to overall be good for your health. Tofu has proven to lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular well-being, which decreases your risk for stroke and heart disease. Rich in iron (and selenium), tofu helps keep your energy level up. High in calcium, tofu ensures stronger and healthier bones and lowers your risk for osteoporosis. In addition, the isoflavones in tofu help prevent certain cancers.

    Nutritional Facts (per half cup/4 ounces serving of raw, firm tofu):

    • Calories – 95
    • Protein –10 grams
    • Carbohydrates – 3 grams
    • Fat – 5 grams. Low fat tofu contains 1.5 grams
    • Saturated fat – 0.1 grams
    • Cholesterol – 0
    • Calcium – 230 mg
    • Iron – 4 mg
    • Magnesium – 40 mg
    • Phosphorous – 140 mg
    • Potassium – 160 mg
    • Sodium – 7 mg
    • Fiber – 0.5 grams

  • Restaurant Philosophy

    Your Health is Your Wealth

    At Original Soul Vegetarian, we take a lot of pride in our food. Everything is made fresh daily and we use ingredients that are plant-based and chemical-free. We believe that soul food isn’t just good for your soul; it’s good for your body. So when it comes to planning the menu items, we choose ingredients that are full of nutritional value. For example, the vegan burger pictured above is packed with protein.

    Why are we so focused on the health benefits of our food? Because we firmly believe that “your health is your wealth.” What do we mean by that? Your health is your greatest resource. You can have all the money in the world but you can’t really live if you don’t have your health. Being healthy—free of both physical and mental injury—allows you to do the things you actually enjoy. If you are tired, ill, sick, depressed, anxious, or stressed, you get by with just doing the things you have to do to survive not the things that you enjoy. But if you are healthy and happy, you can lead a vibrant, active, and full life. That’s why we serve food as medicine.

  • Is Meat the New Tobacco?

    After decades of Big Tobacco marketing cigarettes as glamorous, the tide has finally turned. Smoking is generally recognized to be linked to all kinds of negative health outcomes including a shorter life expectancy, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. But Big Tobacco isn’t the only one. The meat industry is responsible for just as many deaths and poor health outcomes as smoking.

    The three most fatal diseases in America are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. All three have been found to be linked to the overconsumption of animal products. Not surprisingly, vegetarians and vegans have significantly lower rates of these diseases than meat eaters. Doctors have been able to not only prevent, but also reverse, heart disease in patients who switch to vegetarianism or veganism. In addition, doctors and researchers found that better eating habits (less animal products) and exercise are just as helpful at preventing cancer as quitting smoking.

    Your health is your wealth. This is why we serve food as medicine.

  • 5 Reasons to Go Vegan

    Five Reasons to Go Vegan

    You’ve probably heard before that “you are what you eat.” What does that really mean? Well for one thing, every 35 days your skin replaces itself and makes new cells from the food that you eat. So what you put in your body becomes you. For another thing, the foods you eat fuel your body to handle the day ahead. Sugary, processed, and high-fat foods can cause you to feel tired. That’s why at Original Soul Vegetarian everything we serve is plant-based, animal and chemical-free, and we use unrefined sugars, flours, and/or rice. Besides being “you are what you eat” here are five other reasons to go vegan:

    1. Vegan diet is cholesterol-free! This in turn lowers your risk of heart disease, which is the number one leading cause of death in the United States.
    2. Being vegan is good for the environment. Animal agriculture causes over fifty percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change.
    3. Veganism is linked to longevity. On average vegetarians and vegans live 6 to 9 years longer than their meat eating counterparts
    4. Obesity rates are significantly lower for vegans (3x) and vegetarians (2x) than meat eaters. This not only means looking better but also feeling better. Obesity is a huge risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.
    5. Going vegan is good for the mind. One study indicated that vegans have lower rates of anxiety and depression than their meat-eating counterparts. Eat well, feel well.

    Your health is your wealth.

  • 10 Foods That Decrease Stress

    10 Foods That Decrease Stress

    Soul Food is often equated with comfort food. Here at Original Soul Vegetarian, we serve food as medicine that comforts your mind, body, and soul. All of our food is plant-based and chemical-free. If you find yourself in need of comfort food and wanting to “eat your feelings” there are a few foods that are proven to help reduce stress. So put down the potato chips and grab one (or more) of ten vegan foods listed below that will actually calm and sooth you:

    1. Berries. Berries are full of vitamin C, which has been shown to decrease stress levels.
    2. Avocados. Avocados have lots vitamin B, which lowers stress, and potassium, which reduces blood pressure leaving you overall less anxious.
    3. Cashews. Cashews are a great source of zinc, which is inversely correlated to depression and anxiety.
    4. Chamomile tea. Studies indicate that chamomile tea has calming properties and promotes sleep.
    5. Garlic. Garlic is full of antioxidants and boosts the immune system (which gets compromised by stress).
    6. Oatmeal. Oatmeal actually gets your brain to produce the feel-good chemical serotonin.
    7. Oranges. Like berries, oranges are full of vitamin C and eating them you can reap all the same benefits but with a different taste.
    8. Bananas. Bananas also get your brain to create serotonin, which calms you and boosts your mood.
    9. Dark chocolate. In moderation, dark chocolate (the vegan kind) lowers blood pressure and improves mood.
    10. Walnuts. Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acid (so you don’t need to eat fish to get it!) which helps prevent memory loss and has been shown to help depression.

    Your health is your wealth. Fuel your body with food that soothes you.

  • Vegan Lifestyle Can Keep Asthma Away

    Owner’s Kids: Vegan Raised

    Arel Brown, son of the founder and now current owner of Original Soul Vegetarian, has been vegan his whole life and raised his own family in this lifestyle. When Arel met and married his children’s mother, she had a little girl, Baht zion, who had active asthma. When Baht zion was three, the couple made the decision to stop giving her dairy. Upon becoming vegan, Baht zion no longer needed an inhaler. For an entire decade, she lived without any of the signs or symptoms of asthma, which had been so prevalent in her early childhood.

    Adolescence, however, is often characterized by experimentation, rebellion, and independence and, upon becoming a teenager, Baht zion made different dietary decisions. At the age of 13, she introduced dairy back into her life. After 10 years of being vegan and symptom free, Baht zion’s asthma returned. Just one example of the health benefits of veganism.

    Here at Original Soul Vegetarian, we serve food as medicine. Your health is your wealth and we want to make sure what you put in your body both satisfies your taste buds and your body’s nutritional needs.

  • 5 Tips for Healthy Summer Living

    Chicagoans boast that no city is better than Chicago in the summer. Here’s some tips to keep you healthy and happy all summer long so you can make the most out of it and enjoy everything that the city has to offer!

    5 Tips for Healthy Summer Living:

    1. Protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses that shield 99% of A and B Ultraviolet rays.
    2. Get outside and exercise. Experts say that you need 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (or 75 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise) a week plus strength training twice weekly. So walk, run, bike, play beach volleyball, take advantage of free yoga in Millennium Park, or rent a Divvy.
    3. Get some Vitamin D. If you’re outside for short periods of time, lay off the sunscreen, which prevents your body from absorbing Vitamin D from the sun. However, make sure to lather on some SPF if you’re going to spend hours outside to protect against skin damage, wrinkles, and cancer.
    4. Eat berries. This is prime berry season and they have lots of antioxidants and fiber, which can reduce risk of illness, keep cholesterol low, and prevent some cancers.
    5. Stick to a normal sleep routine. While it’s tempting to stay up later in the summer, try to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep. It’ll make for a happier, healthier you.