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A Food Lover’s Paradise

I think I have finally digested enough to start talking about the food of the Foodbuzz Festival. I mean, that’s what it’s kind of all about, right?

I have done a fair bit of travelling to well known foodie destinations. But I think this one gets the cake (pun intended) as far as food consumption goes. And mygod. It was gooood. Here’s just a taste of it! (last pun, promise)

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Friday night’s Welcome Reception was held at the Herbst Pavillion at the Fort Mason Center.

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Beautiful views outside, but some nice foodie views inside too ;)

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Mission Mini cupcakes were all over the place as they were filming something for the Food Network.

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Free beer. Yesplease.

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Perfectly seasoned paella with octopus.
 
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One of my favourite things from Friday night. Not surprisingly, all made of pork.
 
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The apparently famous Spencer’s French Food Truck.

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But a little too greasy for my tastes.

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Some people weren’t into the esgargot, but I thought it tasted like mussels!

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More free beer.

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Paired nicely with ice cream.

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Danica insisted we try the curry wraps. By this point I was bursting and could only muster a couple bites of Janetha’s.

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Tooootally worth the tummy expansion that followed. Super spicy and in a soft wrap!

Amazingly, I woke up hungry on Saturday. After a short run along the waterfront, a visit to Tartine, and a couple breakout sessions, it was time to get our eat on again.

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This time at the Metreon, next to a park with flute players and elderly folk doing Tai Chi. I loved it.

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I’d say the Tasting Pavillion on Saturday afternoon was my favourite Foodbuzz event of the weekend.

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It was relaxed with ample time to eat and socialize. There was so much food. Not itty bitty samples of things either. We were allowed to help ourselves to as much as we wanted!

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I tried in vain to get a little bit of everything. But my belly just could not handle it. Which is saying a lot.

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Highlight here was mushroom soup.

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Trying my first ever red velvet cupcake.

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S’MORES. Made with Ghirardelli.

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Annie the Baker’s little drop of heaven cookies. Just like cookie dough.

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Waiting in line for 40 minutes for a famous Border Grill fish taco.

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Salmon with corn salsa that I will be replicating at home. SO good.

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Halibut with cucumber salsa. I also hope to make this soon!

Another first for me – my first ever fish taco! I feel as if I’ve really lived now…

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And would you believe, just hours later I sat down to a four-course meal?

I think it’s time to dig out the stretchy pants.

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Happy Waffle Wednesday!!!

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Today’s waffles are brought to you buy a match made in heaven.

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Peanut butter…

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and jam.

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I spread the peanut butter on top to make sure the flavour didn’t get lost. But then I stirred in some mixed berry jam with sugar-free syrup for dipping. My oh my. One flavour combo I will never tire of!

Now, if you don’t mind, I am keeping this post short tonight.

Why you ask?

Because I have to get up at 3am.

No, I don’t have a training client that early in the day (although, it’s not far off!).

Instead, I’m off to San Francisco!!!

I fly out first thing tomorrow morning for the Foodbuzz Festival. Hundreds of food bloggers will be celebrating in one place. Including some bloggers I’ve been dying to meet since I started blogging almost two years ago. And hopefully some new bloggers I have yet to meet!

I wasn’t originally planning on going to the Foodbuzz Festival. I mean, I’m not the kind of gal who just casually jet sets around the continent going to events, let alone to California for the weekend. But this East Coaster decided it was time to live a little, and what better way to do so than with a bunch of my favourite foodies :)

Per usual, I’ve forgotten all about business cards until the last minute. I was left handmaking some before the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago. This time around, I got savvy and printed some off my computer tonight.

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Not without a little pizzazz though. The first time around, I decorated my cards with Care Bear stickers. This time around, I used Dora the Explorer.

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Mature. I know.

Even better, Cathy hooked me up with Simply Bars to hand out at the festival! Anyone who gets a card gets a vegan gluten-free protein bar to boot. 

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If you’re going to Foodbuzz and want to try a Simply Bar, come find me and you’ll get one!

 

And with that, let the madness begin. I’m officially on the lookout for this dreamboat:

See ya from the West Coast!!!

Ready, Set, Blog!

For you non-bloggers, you may have wondered what that banner on the side of my website is. Always changing, always featuring mouthwatering dishes. Foodbuzz is a social networking site for food bloggers. Even better, they sponsor food blogs. By showing their banner, my wallet gets a small boost every month. Foodbuzz is an awesome community that brings us blogging foodies together, and it has proven to only enhance my blogging experience.

Case and point: Project Food Blog.

I’m one of almost 2000 food bloggers competing in the contest. It consists of a series of food blogging challenges, with one blogger named the top foodie. He or she gets $10,000 and a regular feature on the Foodbuzz website.

Not bad, eh?

The competition kicks off this week, with voting opening on Monday, September 20. The following is my first submission for the contest. Expect to see a lot of food bloggers writing similar posts over the week. If you like mine best, I’ll remind you next week to support me with a simple click. Deal? Deal. Now let’s get to it.

 

“Why are you taking pictures of your food??”

Anyone who is a food blogger has probably received this question at some point. In restaurants, cafes, food fairs, even by roommates or family members. I first began food blogging with a site called Trying For A Tri. Its purpose was to chronicle the trials and tribulations leading up to my first triathlon. Much of that included what I was eating daily to fuel my training.

When I started The Great Balancing Act, I wanted to expand my horizons. Food and fitness are large part of healthy living, but I wanted to focus more on taking those two areas and balancing them out with family, friends, work, LIFE. There is no doubt I am borderline food-obsessed, but I love the idea of sharing food that works in an everyday lifestyle. That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly ;)

Sometimes, I eat really healthy.

I like to share these meals because they show how easy it is to incorporate simple, healthy foods into your everyday routine. They can also introduce others to new ways of combining foods!

I love to cook, bake, and generally just spend time in the kitchen. Sometimes I make up recipes

…and sometimes I follow them.

Then sometimes, I don’t make anything at all. I eat food just for the sheer ridiculousness of it.

 

“But you work out all the time, so it’s okay.”

Actually, no. I am just another girl trying to make good decisions for her body all the while having a little fun. Yes, I am a personal trainer, and yes, I do work out frequently (not all the time!). But this doesn’t mean I can eat whatever I want, or that I eat super healthy all the time! Like the name of my blog suggests, it’s all about balance.

I lost 30 lbs two years ago by overhauling the way I ate. Not necessarily for the better, but I’ve been doing the best I can ever since. It’s so easy to be too strict or too relaxed with your eating habits. Even worse, it’s too easy to become obsessed with your eating habits. My blog is a way to not only balance out those good and bad foods, but balance out food in general with the rest of your life.

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“Does that camera ever leave your side?”

No. No it does not. My camera is my baby. An extension of myself. In a former life, I worked as a reporter with a focus in broadcast journalism. I hosted a TV show, interviewed people, while regularly hiding behind a microphone and camera lens. Permanently documenting the events around me is a second habit. To whip out my camera in public and say “I have to take a picture of this!!” is just who I am.

Taking pictures of my food has never remotely irritated me. I love putting together a fabulous dish, finding a good pocket of light, and letting the shutter loose from a gazillion different angles and perspectives. I sometimes feel like I view the world through the eyes of a picture frame and am always excited when I can capture that and put it on screen for others to see. Besides, food is beautiful. Even oatmeal.

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“What makes your food so special?”

It’s not. And that’s the point. I don’t use crazy expensive ingredients. I’m not a vegan/vegetarian/onlydrinksjuicetarian. I don’t spend hours slaving behind a stove, nor do I have a big family to cook for. I hate washing fancy kitchen appliances and when I’m hungry, I won’t wait hours to prepare a dish.

For me, it’s all about using just a few simple ingredients to make stellar flavour combinations. Friends, I am all about the food combos.

Dates + cashew butter, smoked salmon + jam, hummus salad dressing, carrots + salsa, cream cheese + marshmallow fluff, bacon peanut butter. I’m not writing the next Joy of Cooking here, but I do like to think I share some of the simplest pleasures of food.

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“How do you find the time?”

Easy. You make time for the things you love. Blogging about my food has never felt like a chore to me. I look forward to sitting down and writing a blog post every day. Writing about food, and blogging in general, have changed my life. When I first began, I saw it as a good way to do some recreational writing and keep myself on track with triathlon training. Now it is one of my greatest joys. Even more, I am beyond thankful to have amazing people who choose to read it every day. I can sit here and ramble about food and exercise all I want, but it doesn’t really begin to take shape until those words are read and interpreted by others. So thank you for playing such an important part in this great balancing act of mine :)

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