You can take the girl out of chicago…

…but you can’t take Chicago out of the girl!

This post is a special treat from my bestest friend in the world, Jess. We’ve been best friends since we were 5 years old and have remained closer than ever. After college, Jess moved to LA to get out of the Chicago cold and has fallen in love with the restaurants, nightlife, and culture. I am thrilled to have Jess as today’s guest blogger! Not only is she gorgeous, but she is one of the smartest people I know and an incredible writer. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I do!

I am honored to be featured on Newtrition. As a Los Angeles transplant there are definitely days that I long for a Chicago dog, deep dish pizza, and an Italian beef sandwich. Sometimes I even dream about Lou Malnattis. However, I am really lucky that LA has some of the healthiest restaurants in the country. My eating and exercise habits have immensely changed since moving to the west coast. There are some places that I would truly miss if I ever moved back to the Midwest. For those who are taking a trip to LA, I recommend you visit the following places.

Real Food Daily – For those of you who cringe at the thought of eating vegan, I challenge you to try the RFD nachos. This place has made me love cashew cheese much more than the dairy option. It’s also much better for allergies. I also was introduced to the wonders of blackened tempeh here. This meat alternative is delicious and spices up any salad. I am not a fan of eating chicken in restaurants as I have no idea what hormones and antibiotics it was fed. Blackened tempeh is a yummy, healthy option that everybody should try.
True Food Kitchen – Who doesn’t love farmers markets? I shop at the Brentwood Farmers Market almost every weekend because there is nothing better than farm to plate food. True Food Kitchen is a new Santa Monica restaurant that is centered on the principals of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Food Pyramid.  To them, “sustainability means taking the time to locate the very best produce, meat, and seafood partners in each community”. Since the products are locally grown, the menu changes frequently per season.

Pressed Juicery – I am a juice fanatic. Pressed Juicery now has two locations in Malibu and Brentwood and sells 100% raw and unpasteurized juice. My personal favorite is the apple, lemon, ginger. Many people in my office have also tried their juice cleanse. Their website offers a quick test to determine which level cleanse is right for you.  For those of us who don’t have the time to make our own fresh juice, this is the place to visit.

Maha Yoga – I have always been a huge yogi, but sometimes class was more relaxing than hard. Not the case at Maha Yoga. Steve Ross, founder of Happy Yoga has built a place where “happy yoga” is practiced. If you’re lucky you might even get a back massage during class. Some may call this practice yogaerobics or hip hop yoga. Each time I walk out of the breezy music filled studio, I feel like I just jumped into the ocean. These classes are not for beginners and are extremely vigorous. For those who want to stretch and sweat, Maha is your place. Check out instructor, Tom Morley on Exercise TV.

Runyon Canyon – This is the place to see and been seen in LA. I know a girl who will go there every morning just to check out Alexander Skarsgard. One should not visit LA without taking in a glorious and sweat inducing hike. The dog watching is also as great as the people watching. There are three trails and one even includes a hike past an abandoned mansion and a farm completed with horses. You can see the entire city all  the way to the ocean on a clear day. Yoga is offered in the park on the weekends.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Great post Jess! You are the best!


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