Rosie Glow Wellness

Mind body health for the deeply fabulous


Chicago RAW, Spirulina and (Really) Black Cherry Smoothie

Aw hey you! Warning: I have a feeling this post is going to be a major brain dump, given that I’m up even earlier than usual with what I think is a sinus infection that’s sending little ouchy ripples through the canal where my ears, nose and throat meet every time I swallow. Or inhale. Or blink. (That’s what I get for for letting my sister’s students squirm all over me last week and incubating said kid germs in an airplane/petri dish in the sky.)

First order of business: yesterday, I promised some thoughts on Spirulina… and today I’ll deliver. But there’s backstory! With me, there’s always backstory. So, you all know that I’m weird (and high maintenance-crunchy) about my hair, right? Short story: I’ve been growing out a pixie cut while simultaneously bleaching the bejeezus out of my locks for what feels like FOREVER, and I’m abnormally invested in my hair’s health. So I was venting my heady spleen, as per usual, to my under the table naturopaths/personal chefs/therapists/hair stylists over at Chicago RAW, Carole and Polly:


How cute are they?!

RAW, or Raising Awareness Worldwide is a cafe located in the French Market in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood… and it features what is unquestionably the best raw food I’ve ever had. (Sorry Karyn and Sarma! Close but no sprouted nut!) Everything on their menu is BEYOND delicious, from raw juices, soups and smoothies; sprouted sandwiches with raw hummus, raw “egg” and “tuna” salads; to vibrant salads and lavish entrees like raw-violi, raw pizza and collard burritos…


My favorite kale salad!


Raw pizza


Raw collard burritios

…to crazy decadent desserts like lemon squares and tiramisu. In addition to my go-to lunchtime salads (when I don’t have time to pack a lunch. My wallet is crying as I type this), I most often buy what I consider staples from RAW: that is, salad accoutrements that make all of my meals more delicious and last me the week. I’ll often buy one or two different salad dressings from RAW (I’m OBSESSED with their raw catalina dressing, and this week I bought raw caesar as well), and these dehydrated onion-y, nutritional yeasty, nutty, crunchy things:


So much better for us than those sesames sticks I was raving about last week!

If you haven’t tried RAW, you need to. Pop by for a sample! Carole and Polly will make you feel like a queen and let you try whatever they’re making. And if you do visit Carole and Polly, tell them Rosie says hello 🙂

ANYWAY, I’m going to direct the conversation back to mah hurr, as I’m wont to do: Polly told me that spirulina powder will make my hair grow like wildfire. Sold. She and her husband have been adding spirulina powder to their morning smoothies every day and BOOM, they look like Rapunzel and Fabio, respectively (ok, I’m taking some liberties.) Plus, this little blue green algae is insanely nutrient dense and health promoting, in general. Good for our insides AND our outsides!


I contain a sh*t ton of protein, iron, chlorophyll, good bacteria, antioxidants and all. of. the. vitamins. Muahahahahahahaha! Ha.

But friends and countryfolk, know this: on its own, spirulina tastes disgusting. Not neutral, not salty like nori chips: pond scummy and stomach turning. Fo’ reals. I wanted a way to mask an entire tablespoon of the stuff in a smoothie, because I’m a go big or go home kind of girl when it comes to health experiments. (I’m NOT, however, a go big or go home kind of girl when it comes to Loop bars or extreme sports. Just so you know.) So, inspired by Gena’s Deep Blue Sea Smoothie, I bring you the Really Black Cherry Smoothie.

Really Black Cherry Smoothie
(Spirulina powder literally makes this smoothie black in color!)

1 small steamed beet (about 1/3 c)
2 c unsweetened frozen cherries/berries (I’m partial to Trader Joe’s Very Cherry Berry Blend)
1 frozen banana and/or 1/2 c frozen mango
Fresh lemon juice to taste or 1 peeled and deseeded meyer lemon
1 scoop VEGA Vanilla Almondilla protein powder or 1 packet stevia
1 T spirulina
Dash of sea salt

I almost don’t want to post pictures of this smoothie… it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had put it in a glass instead of a bowl:




Black smoothie, messy counter


Oh mannnn, I KNOW what this looks like.


Is this maybe a little bit better??

Not totally appetizing all swirled up in a bowl like that… BUT, I couldn’t detect the spirulina AT ALL. That said, my taste buds are somewhat desensitized when it comes to green-ness or, it would seem, sea weedy-ness, so you might want to start small with a teaspoon or two of spirulina and taste as you go. Plus, if you use VEGA or a similar whole foods protein powder (I like this one because cherries and almond flavor are bosom buddies), this smoothie clocks in at 20+ grams of protein. Not too shabby.

All this to say, I hope to have waste length hair by noon. Who’s with me?! Anyone else out there have spirulina questions? If you can’t read the label above, I used Sunny Green powder, and I would recommend the more easily absorbed powder over spirulina supplements if you’re able. Who else is feelin’ good on this Thursday?