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Bloggers for Bagels

Yo! Long time no blog. I’ve been working extreme hours and hanging out with my mommy. I’ve barely touched the my computer all week. Much to my dismay, my mom returned to New Brunswick today. But not without meeting some of my blogger friends first!

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Karen and Morgan! Two of my No Limits Canada partners in crime ;) Karen is in town visiting family and doing wedding stuff. I haven’t seen her since June when we were climbing mountains together in Banff!

As an homage to Morgan and her blog name, “Life After Bagels,” we chose What-A-Bagel as our meet-up location.

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It’s a quick and easy stop with tons of bagel choices along with sandwiches, soups and salads.

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Morgan is a bagel pro and advised me to get the marble bagel.

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I had mine with dill cream cheese made in house (along with the bagel, of course), smoked salmon, tomato, lettuce. 

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Paired with an apple and diet snapple. Which I now realize rhymes. What a poetic lunch.

It was so nice to catch up with my bloggie friends! We chatted about travel and half marathons. Karen just completed her first this past weekend!

Of course, it was made even lovelier by two wonderful ladies.

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Moms! My mom and Karen’s mom tagged along. What good blogging moms they are too, they put up with our picture taking and even snapped a few photos for us!

 

Even though I’ve been spending all spare moments with my mom, I have been dragging her out around town. I’m working on a freelance assignment on fruit stands in the city and got to play around with my camera.

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Local and cheaper than a farmers market. I love fruit stands. Best budget-friendly find in Toronto so far!

 

And with that, this busy bee is off. I’ve got a full Thursday on tap so I won’t be back until Fitness Friday. It’s gonna be a good one. All about running shoe brands. See ya then!!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite way to have a bagel? A true Canadian, I will always love my everything bagel with herb & garlic cream cheese from Tim Horton’s. Don’t hate!

Kombucha vs. Beer

Some great suggestions on how to save moulah at the grocery store in my last post! Ironic, because I definitely spent a lot of money on food today. But let’s start at the beginning…

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Ever have those mornings when you just can’t decide what to put on your toast?

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One piece was smothered with Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams + Marshmallow Fluff.

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The other piece had a slice of bacon and a fried egg.

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Sweet + savoury, gotta love it!

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Plus some fresh figs for good measure. These are definitely ripe, but still bland. I’m thinking they’re just sub-par figs? Anyone in Italy wanna send me some? :P

Kept the theme of fresh fruit going for my mid-morning snackage.

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Cottage cheese, almond butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, blueberries. Amazing combo.

No workout today, I like to give my body a break every 3-4 days. I still went to the gym though – but for work!! How weird is that? I love it. I’m training my first client on Monday and I’m pumped. Also, I got a call today for a second interview at Starbucks! Pretty excited for that too, as I genuinely love hawking lattes for people. If all goes well, work shouldn’t feel like too much work ;)

I’d gotten a few recommendations to check out the restaurant Kale, so I decided to hit it up for lunch while I was in the ‘hood.

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Kale is a vegan & organic buffet where you pay by the weight of your plate.

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When I first walked in, I was a little disappointed by the lack of choice. Usually these types of places have sooooo much to choose from.

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I tried to go small with my servings, but my plate still came to $12!

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Let’s see… there was a cabbage salad, dill and avocado salad (didn’t realize the avocado until I sat down, risked it and didn’t die… yay!)

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sweet potato stew… 

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shephard’s pie made with lentils…

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…soba noodle salad and curried tofu. I’d say my favourite thing on the plate was the above pasta salad. I really liked the parsley in it. I was disappointed with the shephard’s pie, which is too bad because it had so much potential! I probably won’t be going back based on the price for what you get, luckily there are tons of other great places nearby :)

Including a store dedicated solely to organization.

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I couldn’t help but walk in. It’s full of plastic bins and shelving, little trinkets and gadgets, it was fascinating. I walked out with a closet organizer I convinced myself I needed. Remind me never to go back in this store :P

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By the time I made it home, I was hot, sweaty, and in need of refreshment. I pulled out the kombucha I had chilling in the fridge. For those of you that don’t know, kombucha is fermented tea. That means it’s regular tea that has sat fermenting with a hunk of of yeast and bacteria in it. Averie has been making it at home and the whole process fascinates me.

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I’m all for a little healthy bacteria in my life, but this stuff scares me. I thought the peach flavour would mask any grossness (a proper word according to my Windows Live Writer), but it kind of tasted like vinegar. Expensive peach-flavoured vinegar. I think I will stick to my yogurt and fermented soy :)

By this time, my vegan lunch three hours prior had left me hungry again, and the kombucha left me still thirsty. There are only two remedies in circumstances such as these.

Beer + Burgers.

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Let it be known that I only ordered a 12oz draught of PBR, but ended up drinking two. My friends each ordered their own pitcher and the waitress said she couldn’t serve one table that much liquor at once!! Baahahaha. This is what happens when you get a group of Maritime journalists together.

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Chris + Nick on the left are visiting from Fredericton. That’s my roommie Billy on the right, aka “Marshal” ;)

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Me and Meg! She’s my other roommie/soon-to-be biking partner.

Don’t worry about all this beer you are seeing though, I balanced it out by going bun-less ;)

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Beef burger on bib lettuce with beets, chipotle ketchup, French’s mustard and pickles. W Burger Bar is one of those restaurants where you choose your patty, bun, and then toppings for no additional cost. Thumbs up!!!

The Maritime journalists continued on, while I hopped on the streetcar home. I had tofu to attend to.

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The main ingredient for the dish I’m bringing to a blogger potluck picnic tomorrow. You’ll have to wait and see what it is!

Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go pick the tofu out of my hair :P

Whole Paycheck

Hellohello! I had a blast reading through everyone’s random tidbits!! How fun!! Two extra tidbits I forgot to add yesterday:

1. I did a guest post on Deb’s blog on the method behind my homemade protein bars. Ch-ch-check it out!

2. I munched on something delicious while blogging last night.

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A take on Holly’s no bake protein cookies – peanut butter protein balls. To make this, I mixed together 2 tbsp chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp flaked coconut, 1 tbsp peanut butter, splash of water.

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All rolled up and stuck in the freezer for half an hour. The perfect bedtime dessert!

That little snack was just enough to hold me through my slumbering hours. I awoke this morning ready to refill my belly.

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Egg + bacon sandwich with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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Fruit salad with fresh peach, strawberries and blueberries sprinkled with cinnamon and coconut.

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Definitely a breakfast worth getting up for ;)

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T’was already stinkin’ hot first thing this morning, so I made my second cup of coffee iced. I just stuck the glass in the fridge for about an hour then topped it up with a pack of stevia, cold almond milk and ice.

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I continued cooling down all morning with Mr Freezes. They’re only 10 calories a pop. Which I suppose can add up if you like to eat them throughout the course of the day ;)

Enjoyed a leisurely morning watching the Tour de France. Contador is so close to catching up to Schleck, it is making me nervous. I’m an Andy fan…

Even though his arms are the same circumference as the frame tubes on his bike. Contador just looks like a villain…

Evil.

Moving on!

Snacked up in preparation for the gym.

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Lemon flavoured yogurt with 2 tbsp unflavoured protein powder, blueberries, plain rolled oats, cinnamon and more coconut. Gah! I want it to always be berry season! These bloobs were so good!!

My legs are a little wrecked from the torture exercises I’ve put them through this week, so I focused on upper-body weights today with cardio spurts in-between. Kept the weight heavy, reps low, and added a set to shock the ole’ muscles.

Cardio
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the rowing machine, alternating grip

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the stepmill

Alternating sets

Cardio
15 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute sprints followed by 2 minutes of walking

Phew!! I haven’t done a workout like this in a while and it was tons of fun. It took me almost 90 minutes, so don’t attempt it unless you’ve got extra time. I suggest it as a good rainy Sunday workout ;)

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Was positively starving by the time I got home and immediately whipped up a steaming plate of spicy chicken stir-fry.

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Chopped up a giant marinated jerk chicken breast bought at the local butcher, and stir-fried it with onions, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and hot sauce. So simple, and so delicious :) Kept me satisfied foreverrrr.

Good thing too! As I had another big shopping trip planned for today.

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Yes my friends, my first ever trip to Whole Foods!!

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I’ve heard good things about it all over the internets for years now. We don’t have one out East, so I was excited to pay a visit as soon as I got to Toronto. Food shopping > clothes shopping.

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First and foremost, I was really excited about all the free samples they had out. Sure, they were covered in germs from people’s sticky fingers. But free food is free food.

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My favourite aisle: the nut butter aisle.

In all, my Whole Foods trip was fun, but in all honesty I wasn’t that impressed! Most of the items you can find in smaller organic stores closer to where I live, so the trip out to Yorkville isn’t worth the time to me.

I did enjoy an iced cafe au lait on the bus home though :)

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Don’t be fooled, I didn’t leave Whole Foods empty handed. There were some splurges!!

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  • Deep chocolate VitaTops
  • Silver Hills Steady Eddie bread (got with a free coupon – review to come!)
  • Essence of Peach Kombucha iced tea
  • Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • Fresh figs
  • Jicama

The whole thing (not including the bread) cost me just over 20 bucks. Mmmm…yeah. I can see how they call it “Whole Paycheck” :P I was thisclose to buying Sunshine Burgers – but they were $6.99 for only three burgers, too rich for my blood!

The chocolate peanut butter though, I just couldn’t say no to.

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Protective seals are meant for licking ;) Not bad. I think I like Nutella better.

And would you believe it if I told you I’ve never tried a fresh fig before??

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I’ve had tons of dried figs, but fresh ones are so hard to find in New Brunswick. For some reason they are a lot more abundant in Ontario. I immediately tore into one once I got home.

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Yet another thing I think has been talked up too much. It was kinda bland? Not very flavourful. The texture is fun though!

Last but not least, for dinner I prepared a much cheaper version of any burger you’d find at Whole Foods.

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Yesterday, I bought a pound of ground turkey for $4. Then, for 79 cents I bought a can of black beans to add to the turkey to “plump” it up.

Mixed the two together with a clove of garlic and tbsp of chili powder.

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Ended up getting six large spicy black bean turkey burgers out of the mix. Take that Sunshine Burger :P

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I ate one on a half a pita, smothered in ketchup, mustard and pickles. They turned out really good!!

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With a side of jicama fries. Sliced them up and baked at 450F for about 35 minutes. I was expecting them to taste like yucca fries, but they weren’t anything like them!! They were still kinda crunchy and tasted like water chestnuts. Interesting. I think I will try the rest of it raw on a salad…

And with that, I am off!! Sorry to leave you so abruptly, but my roommie is playing a show tonight and I’m laaaaate!! See ya tomorrow!! xo

Question of the Day: How do you save money at the grocery store? I always buy the cheap canned goods, it can sometimes be a difference of two bucks!

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