Gravy, stuffing, cookies, pie. These aren't exactly health foods. Luckily for you, there are restaurants in town that can help reverse the damage from your holiday binging.
Green Corner You’ve drunk the Christmas beers. You’ve popped the sparkling wines. You’ve served your last punch bowl. So by New Year’s Day, you’re ready for a detox. Sisters Elizabeth and Colleen Murzyn’s recently opened shop offers something completely different to drink: Juices. These are not your sweet Jamba Juice variety, though. They’re made with superfoods like kale and spinach, though “they actually taste really yummy,” claims Elizabeth. After the pair did a week-long detox in Turkey, the two returned to Chicago and realized there was a demand for juices and juice cleanses, which involve drinking six juices a day (and nothing else) for three to seven days. “It allows your system to take a break from digestion,” Elizabeth explains, which she says is ultimately energizing. For those with more modest New Year’s resolutions, Green Corner also will offer smoothies and an all-organic selection of pastries (from Bleeding Heart Bakery), coffee and tea. 1880 N Damen Ave (773-292-4393). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72.
Cousin’s I.V. Raw foodists are rejoicing that chef Mehmet Ak is making 100 percent raw, 100 percent vegan and mostly organic renderings of Turkish and American classics. But they’re not the only ones who will enjoy his delicious “pizza”—a flaxseed cracker topped with garlicky tomato sauce, fresh avocado and marinated mushrooms—and his lively marinated spinach. The nutty “zoom” burger and sprout-heavy tabouli, on the other hand, are probably easier to swallow for raw foodists, if only because, for them, there aren’t many other options. 3038 W Irving Park Rd (773-478-6868). Bus: 80.
Freshii This Canadian health-food chain has brought healthy options to the artery-clogging Loop lunch scene, but we’re more impressed by the swell-sounding menu descriptions than the actual food itself. Still, dieters can keep lunch low-cal with tofu wraps, salads and brown rice bowls, but we prefer to get our calories with the tart frozen yogurt topped with fresh strawberries and toasted almond slivers. 311 S Wacker Dr (312-435-0311). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs), Pink, Orange to Washington/Wells.
Protein Bar After losing 60 pounds on a high-protein diet, owner Matt Matros decided to spread the healthy-lifestyle love to Loop workers with this acai-and-agave-nectar haven serving fruit-blended protein shakes and bowls of steel-cut oats (also, of course, mixed with protein powder in a variety of flavors). The peculiar mouthfeel of protein powder disappears into a hot bowl of McCann’s oatmeal—especially the “Pancake in a Bowl” version, hit with maple syrup and cinnamon—and quinoa topped with black beans makes for a hearty, healthy lunch. 235 S Franklin St (312-346-7300). El: Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Quincy/Wells.
Karyn’s Fresh Corner Karyn Calabrese’s menu is 100 percent vegan and 100 percent raw (that is, uncooked), so you probably have to be a vegan raw-foodist to truly appreciate what she’s doing. But some dishes taste good no matter what your eating habits are. The “seaweed dim sum,” a dumplingesque appetizer, is filled with a creamy mixture of avocado and kalamata olives. 1901 N Halsted St (312-255-1590). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Armitage; Red to North/Clybourn. Bus: 8, 72, 73.