Blog Archives

The Food Photography Society

I’ve been hanging out with bloggers again…

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If this keeps up, I’m going to start thinking taking pictures of your food is normal :P

It came to our attention that Callie had both never been to Fresh before and is moving out of town soon.
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Fresh is a popular Toronto vegan/vegetarian restaurant that also specializes in juices. Tonight, we hit up the Bloor location. First time in The Annex neighbourhood – very cool!

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Fresh is always busy and does not accept reservations. We ended up waiting an hour for a table – twice the amount of time we were told – so when we were finally seated they brought us free sweet potato fries!

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BlogTO, my Toronto restaurant resource, rated these the best sweet potato fries in the city. I thought they were just good. A little on the soggy and floppy side.

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Besides eating, one thing us bloggers know how to do well is talk. Gabgabgab about everything from spin classes to embarrassing tales of clumsiness.

I showed up starving per usual, eating a whack of sweet potato fries and a nibble of Callie’s Avocado White Bean Dosa. Kinda like a crepe!

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I’ve so far tried the wraps, bowls and salads at Fresh, leaving only their burger left to try. My tummy growled in approval at the thought of the Deluxe Burger:

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I luuuurve Fresh’s vegan mayo. I tried to make vegan mayo on my own once and it was downright disgusting. The Fresh stuff is creamy and delicious.

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The coleslaw was pretty good too. Lots of cabbage with a nice oil dressing. 

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The burger was giant. Shortly after snapping this photo, the top bun fell off.

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So far I think the wrap has been my favourite Fresh menu item, but the burger was a valiant effort on their part. I ended up getting full halfway through, so I just ditched the bun and ate the patty.

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Where’s the beef??

Happy bellies all around!

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A snippet of our fantastic Toronto blogger crew: Kristin, Morgan, me, Callie, Angela, Miranda. Quote of the night came from the poor girl next to us who had to snap this photo with a million different cameras: “Are you guys in a photography society or something??” Baaaahaha. Nah, I’m just a very lucky girl who happens to be surrounded by wonderful ladies who share all my passions :)

Speaking of passions, before I sign off I have to scream about this one thing from the mountaintops. It’s called the

CLIF MOJO PEANUT BUTTER PRETZEL BAR!!!!

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Bought at Trader Joe’s out of curiosity at the lowlow price of one dollar.

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Dare I say the best bar I’ve ever had?? I do. I dare say it. Y’all, it had real pretzels and peanut butter chips. It was the perfect mix of chewy, crispy, sweet and salty. The nutritionals are spot on for when I’m feeling snacky. Plus, it is even tastier than those darned Nature Valley Sweet & Salty bars I used to be obsessed with back in the day.

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I chased it down with a Diet Coke. Just keepin’ it real ;)

See ya tomorrow for Fitness Friday! Tomorrow we’re talking weight lifting sets, what they are and how to use them properly. I’ll also be adding new routines to my Workouts page within the next few days – I’ll keep you posted!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite kind of burger? I love bison burgers. Topped with ketchup, mustard, relish and a pickle :)

It’s All About the Food

Hello friends!! Hope your weeks are off to a great start! I was all grumpy about returning to work yesterday, then I showed up and remembered how much I like it and had a pretty good Monday! :)

As promised, today’s post is all about the food. If you’re catching up, here are my other Chicago/Healthy Living Summit posts:

Chigaarrgoh
Deep Dish
The Summit

First off, I need to give props to my favourite treats provided during the conference. On Saturday, Athenos stepped it up for their sponsored break and had some delicious goodies.

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All “my kind of food.” Tortilla chips with a feta dip (crazy delicious), hummus stuffed cucumber, chicken and feta skewers, watermelon/basil/feta skewers, legitimately tasty pita chips with more hummus. Thumbs up!

My favourite meal came on Sunday with the Bagel Thins sponsored breakfast.

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They had a table set up where you could pick plain or low-fat cream cheese and choose all sorts of mix-ins for it. They then whipped up your speciality cheese on the spot. I thought it was a really neat idea.

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This breakfast was already in line to be my favourite because I showed up starving after getting lost on the fun run. Any food at that point would have been scarfed down and claimed as the best meal ever! :P

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Above photo credit goes to the amazing photog Arnold/Oroweat had around all weekend. Check out the photos here.

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I was feeling something savoury after the hot and sweaty run. I called mine Upstream Cheese and added salmon, capers, cucumber, carrot, scallions, and a pinch of salt.

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Taking pictures of taking pictures ;)

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The bagel thins were just okay. I’m not a huge “thin bread” person. If I ate more bread it may be an issue, but I only have a couple slices a day, so I like to have the real hearty stuff when I do.

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Where’s the rest of my bagel?? :P

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I also jumped for joy when I saw Sunday’s breakfast had eggs + sausage. Saturday’s breakfast was all carbs and left me feeling icky after. This body needs some protein :)

A lot of bloggers were also handing out goodies over the course of the weekend. So happy I ran into Valerie! ;)

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The only thing better than homemade business cards are business cards that come with chocolate…

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After the satisfying breakfast on Sunday, Callie and I hit the road. But not without a very important stop first…

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Sad fact: there are no Trader Joe’s in Canada. I’ve been reading about this store foreevveerrr on blogs and on the internets and was superduper pumped to finally check it out. For Canadians that have never heard of it, it’s just a healthy/organic store that carries a lot of neat products under the Trader Joe’s brand.

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Happy shoppers!! (ps the above photo was taken with Callie’s camera!)

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I got tons of great TJs suggestions from you guys, but I tried to keep my goodies to a minimum. First, because I already had two full bags of food to bring home with me. Secondly, it had to last the nine hours back home!

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I picked this up to eat for lunch in the car.

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The whole container was only 100 calories and 14g protein. The taste was a little off though, egg salad needs mayonnaise and egg yolk, this had neither.

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Eaten on top of these crackers, which are quite tasty.

Callie and I then proceeded to snack on our Trader Joe’s goodies for the whole drive home. Me more so than her because I had both of my hands free and nothing better to do ;)

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I had some of Callie’s peanut butter filled pretzels. I purposely did not buy these because I knew they would be a “danger food” to have in the house. They were beyond delicious, reminding me of a better version of peanut butter Ritz crackers.

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I’m not crazy about these, but they make for a good quick chocolate fix, and the stats are a million times better than peanut M&Ms.

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We have dried mango in Canada, but it’s always really hard to find dried fruit that isn’t sweetened. Why do they always add extra sugar to it??

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Reminds me a lot of fruit leather, and very mango-ey.

The first time I saw this stuff on Paige’s blog, I freaked out. It looked amazing.

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I was so amazed when I pulled out the banana and realized it was one big flattened piece! 
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At first, I sandwiched some almond butter between it…

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But the flavours weren’t quite right, so I added a little more AB and rolled it up.

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Omgamazing. I can see this being the perfect pre-workout snack.

Callie and I also had a bunch of coupons in our swag bags that could only be used in the U.S. We stopped at a Krogers in Michigan to put them to use, but unfortunately they didn’t have a lot of what we were looking for. I decided to try out a Chobani for $1.19 (which is a crazy good price for Greek yogurt compared to Canada)

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Topped with a Mix My Granola sample also from the Summit swag bag.

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Loved the texture and flavour of the Chobani, plus it was super filling!! I wish we could get little tubs like this in Canada, it’s such a great way to get a little protein in.

Also bought at Trader Joe’s…

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Clif flavours you can’t find in Canada, also at half the price they’re sold for in Canada.

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Suflower seed butter and corn salsa.

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New blue cheese Laughing Cow flavour that hasn’t made its way up north yet.

I always wondered how the U.S. Laughing Cow slices are 35 calories a piece while the Canadian ones are 45 calories for two. Check it out!

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American version on the left, Canadian on the right. Who knew??

I combined my new Laughing Cow and corn salsa for lunch yesterday.

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On a sandwich with smoked tofurkey.

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Maybe an odd flavour combo, but it was positively delicious.

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Meanwhile, I tried out the sunflower seed butter for breakfast this morning – on top of a yogurt bowl mixed with protein powder, blueberries, oatmeal cinnamon and syrup.

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I’ve had plain, natural sunflower seed butter before and found it to be good, but a touch bitter. The Trader Joe’s stuff is lightly sweetened and salted and so much better. My gosh, I really loved it.

Last but not least, I picked up some new gum flavours!!

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It’s a well-kept secret that I am an obsessive gum chewer. Truth of the matter is, I really love gum. So finding these new-to-me flavours was really exciting. So far the Stride citrus mint is my favourite!

 

I still have a lot of leftover coupons from the Summit that I can’t use in Canada. Once I get them organized I’ll be giving them away on the blog as a little consolation prize for those of you who couldn’t make it to the Summit – so stay tuned!

 

Question of the Day: What would be in your specialty cream cheese? I wish they had maple syrup at the table, because maple salmon would be mine!

Goals and Reader Challenge!

A thought just occurred to me as I was uploading my food photos from today. Ever find it strange that other food bloggers say calorie counting is too much work? Or that it’s obsessive and makes them think about their food too much? Um, I don’t think anything requires more work or is more obsessive than taking pictures of what you eat and posting it on the internet. Just sayin’!

So last night I slept for 8 hours for the third night in a row. I had three people tell me that I looked good today, including my boss who asked what I was doing in Saint John because I looked “healthier.” Well jeez louise. Perhaps there’s something to this “sleep” thing after all? :P Okay, no more telling myself 6 hours a night is sufficient – 8 hours every night this week. If I blog about it, I have to do it. Anyone else with me??

All the sleep helped me power through a stellar spin class this morning. I was on my ‘A’ game and it felt gooood. However, realizing I forgot my post-workout iced coffee in my fridge at home was not good. Had to make a mad dash to the cafeteria for the hot stuff as soon as I got there.

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I love the taste of coffee, but I have to admit, I really don’t care for hot drinks. I think I may actually prefer it iced now!

Breakfast was odd but super filling!
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That would be a Maple Nut Clif and two boiled eggs.

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I really dug this breakfast. I’ll have to recreate it with my own bars ;)

Speaking of my own bars – I had a Cherry Dark Chocolate as a snack.

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Lunch was leftovers from last night.

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My hamburger/bean/tomato sauce mix was super duper filling and I didn’t even make it to the carrots. Beans are the most filling food ever. No contest!

After eating at my desk, I did the impossible. I drove to the grocery store, picked up a week’s worth of food, drove to my apartment and put it away, then drove back to work, all within my hour-long lunch break!! Phenomenal. I love grocery shopping on the weekends, but hate doing it on weekdays. I think I may have spent less money too because I didn’t have time to scour the aisles and buy random products :P

My poor office mate, I then subjected her to the stench of canned smoked herring this afternoon.

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On top of a couple rye crackers. The smell of boiled eggs seems to go away pretty quickly, but the fish smell definitely lingered! I eat and drink like an old man.

Came home to a fridge full of fresh ingredients, so a big ole’ salad was the natural choice.

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  • spinach
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • pickled beets
  • green olives
  • feta cheese
  • grilled pork chop (cut into pieces)
  • tzatziki

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My new favourite thing is pickled beets! Try ‘em! Beets are so sweet that they aren’t as “pickly” tasting as cucumbers. Also, you hardly need any dressing if you add them to a salad (although tzatziki never hurts).

I’ve been buying pork chops lately as my weekly “raw meat” purchase because they’re one-third the price of chicken breasts. Crazy! $3 for two chops, $9 for two breasts. I was asking my dad about the price difference, because he knows the answer to everything. Well apparently, he asked his dad, my Grampie the same thing. He went into this big thing about how the pork industry in Canada is in rough shape. They can’t compete with the high production of corn-fed pork in the States.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into the Canadian meat industry ever since watching Food Inc. Surprisingly, there are a lot of differences. For example, it’s illegal in Canada to use hormones or steroids on chickens to make them bigger, which we know is not the case in the States. Also, the Atlantic Superstore gets their beef from the US, which means it’s subject to all the things cows in the States are allowed to ingest. Instead, we deport all of our great Albertan beef! Boo.

 

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes! Monthly Goal Check-In!

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. My subletter was here just an hour ago to sign an agreement!! Consider that one MAJOR check on my to-do list :D The car thing is going slower, I may have to get my mom to sell it after I leave in June…

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Fail. But I did make some good contacts this week in terms of freelance writing work.

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. This is proving harder than I thought! I already have so much on my plate, it’s hard to bring new things forward. I did knock off a kick-ass recruiting video last week which I’m pretty proud of :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I clearly did the best at this one! I already feel a gazillion times more confident AND excited about personal training after just one weekend of classes. I talked everyone’s ear off about it today :P

5. Run outdoors again. Check! Got my second outdoor run of the season in on Wednesday. A 4-miler in the beautiful evening sunshine. Unfortunately, the weather here as taken a turn for the worse. I woke up to snow this morning and it’s going back down to freezing this week. What a tease of spring!

 

Question of the Day: Anyone else in for a sleep challenge this week? I’m thinking a giveaway might be a nice motivator for this one. Pledge to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, then next Monday I’ll take giveaway entries by asking how many hours you actually got. It’ll be fun! Well, in a sleepy kinda way ;)

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