• 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!

  • 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.

  • Bananas for Bananas: 5 Reasons to Eat Them

    Today’s ice cream flavor of the day is banana. Here at Original Soul Vegetarian we carefully select all of our ingredients to make sure that our food not only tastes good but is good for you. Deciding the flavor of the day for our soy ice cream or what goes into the Eternity Juice Bar shakes is no different. So why are we so bananas for bananas? Let us count the ways…

    1. Bananas get the FDA stamp of approval. Bananas can lower blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular diseases due to being high in potassium and low in salt.
    2. Bananas improve your mood. Bananas are high in tryptophan which triggers the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.
    3. Bananas improve learning. Bananas are high in potassium which helps you stay alert and learn better.
    4. Bananas aid digestion. Bananas produce digestive enzymes and are a natural antacid. If your digestive system is out of whack, eat a banana.
    5. Bananas make a great pre- work out snack. Bananas will give you an energy boost, maintain your blood sugar, and protect against muscle cramps.

    Serving food as medicine. 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.

  • 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.

  • Your Health is Your Wealth: Benefits of Kale

    Original Soul Vegetarian has been serving vegan soul food for over 30 years and has been named “Best Soul Food” by Chicago Reader’s Poll for the last three. Original Soul Vegetarian takes all the flavor and concepts from soul food cooking with an added vegan twist to make for the tastiest and healthiest soul food in Chicago.

    Cooked greens have long been a staple side in soul food cooking. Here, at Original Soul Vegetarian, you’ll find that we use a lot of kale in our dishes. This is partly because kale is delicious. And partly because of all of the health benefits you get from eating kale. At Original Soul Vegetarian we live by the motto that “your health is your wealth” and we make sure to serve food that is not only tasty but healthy too. So that’s why kale greens are frequently part of our dinner specials.

    Five reasons why kale is so good for you:

    1. Kale can lower cholesterol and is great for your cardiovascular health.
    2. Kale is a good detox food. Fiber and sulfur both detoxify your body and keep your liver healthy.
    3. Kale is high in vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin A helps with vision, Vitamin C is good for your immune system, and Vitamin K protects against cancers and is important in maintaining bone health.
    4. Kale has anti-inflammatory properties and is filled with antioxidants.
    5. Kale is high in calcium and iron. Calcium is essential in maintaining metabolism and decreasing the chances of bone loss and osteoporosis. Iron is important in transporting oxygen throughout the body.