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A Blogging Fiesta

Hellooo!! How was everyone’s weekend?? Everyone watch the soccer match? Don’t care? I’m indifferent, it’s Tour de France season people!!! :P

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I have this bad habit of walking into bakeries, not to buy anything, but just to drool over the things they have on display. I found one not too far from my new place that had some Toronto-style bagels (as opposed to Montreal style). I asked the clerk what made them Toronto style and she had no idea. Thanks.

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I had one for breakfast on Saturday topped with laughing cow cheese and egg whites.

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I don’t care what style of bagel this is, it was delicious. Getting things fresh from a bakery makes a world of difference. A million times better than any bagged stuff at the grocery store!!

After blogging yesterday, I really did drag my sorry butt to the gym. I told myself I’d take it easy, and that’s just what I did. 35 minutes of sprint intervals on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and 15 minutes of torture on the stepmill. Amazing how good an hour at the gym can make you feel for the rest of the day!!

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Popped the rest of the tempeh in the toaster oven with chopped onion and bbq sauce. Stuffed it in a pita with feta, tomatoes and romaine.

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I perhaps owe my first born to Lori for introducing me to the bbq-feta combo. SO good!! I still enjoyed the tempeh, however be forewarned, it’s not for everyone. I’ve heard it get compared to stinky feet before.

For dinner I went in the opposite direction. Traded in my vegetarian protein for some animal protein.

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Went to the grocery store and found these pork loins on sale. I then made up the following combination in my head as I browsed the grocery store aisles. Most of my dinners are created that way!

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Seared the chops on either side first, then cut them up and added white kidney beans, whole mushrooms and pesto to the pan.

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Meanwhile, I prepared a salad of simple garden veggies, including beets and olives because they rock my socks.

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You know what happened next…

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Haha, you can see the difference between the low light in my kitchen and the natural light in my living room. Anyways, the pork-bean-mushroom-pesto combo was amazing. Another great grocery store brainwave!!

And would you believe it if I said I was in bed before midnight last night? Yup! My body needed it as it’s still trying to fight off a stupid cold.

I woke up 9 hours later and immediately threw on my running gear for what ended up being a very hot 4-4.5 miles. I’d had intentions of being out earlier to run before the heat set in, but I slept too long!! It actually wasn’t that bad for being my first run in almost two weeks. But I am so happy I didn’t sign up for a half-marathon this year. I can’t imagine training in this heat. I’ll take the stepmill in my air conditioned gym anytime ;)

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I was still sweating even after taking a cold shower. I’d dreamed of thick and fluffy oatmeal pancakes but somewhere something went horribly wrong.

I made my usual protein pancake recipe (with 1/3 cup measurements) and didn’t bother blending it. They stuck to the pan!! I ended up with what looked like scrambled oatmeal.

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Some people may have thrown them out, but not I. Instead, I slathered them in almond butter.

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Then topped with yogurt, strawberries, blackberries and sugar-free syrup.

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And you know what? They tasted fantastic!!

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Best scrambled oatmeal ever. I’d actually make this again and again it was that good.

I made sure not to fill up on too many pancakes though, I had to save my appetite!!

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Suddenly, I don’t feel so strange for taking pictures of my food ;)

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Angela and I decided that a big healthy-living blogger fiesta was in order once I arrived in the city. She picked Calico Cafe based on their yummy looking vegan brunch menu and their ability to take large reservations! SO happy so many people could make it.

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Angela, Jess, Jenn, Therese, Callie

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Jenn, Kristin, Angela, Laura.  

Seriously you guys, how freakin’ lucky am I to be surrounded by so many fabulous women?? Also, anyone else ever notice that healthy living bloggers are always gorgeous and well dressed?? Just sayin!

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I ordered a chai iced tea to drink. Picture on the left was taken with my stock Canon Rebel lens, picture on the right was taken with Callie’s 50mm lens. Apparently they’re only 150 bucks or so and take stunning food photographs! I want one.

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Like many vegan restaurants, the menu at Calico Cafe is very unique. I ended up with a vegan omelette: creamy seitan filling, with potatoes, salad, toast + jam.

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The waiter told me the omelette was a mix of tofu and cornbread, but wouldn’t reveal anything else ;) This was my first time trying seitan and I really enjoyed it. It had a similar texture to tofu and was perfectly spiced in this dish.

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Thank you for coming out everyone!! I had a blast gabbing with them about everything from photography to seaweed to yoga. Next Sunday we’re doing a blogger potluck picnic, so if you couldn’t make it this time, e-mail me at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com for details!! :)

While delicious, my meal wasn’t very filling. I was hungry again by the time I got home.

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Angela was sweet enough to bring Glo Bars for everyone. I pretty much tore into mine the second I bust through the door.

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Impressed by the nutrition stats!

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I really enjoyed the taste of this bar. The peanut butter really stuck out, and the huge chunks of cranberry were nice. I also really dig the incredibly gooey and crispy texture. Thank you Angela!! Hopefully I’ll get to see you in Oakville soon ;)

 

On that note, I am going to wrap up this incredibly long post and leave you to the rest of your day. I’m off to read a book. Don’t be fooled by how smart that statement sounds, I’m reading Harry Potter for the gazillionth time ;)

 

Question of the Day: What was the best thing you ate all weekend?? I love asking this question because I always get such great answers!! Mine was the above “oatmeal scramble.” Kitchen disaster turned kitchen fluke!

Late Nights in the Tee Dot

Welcome to the weekend!!

I’ve been a little MIA again, but with good reason :)

After last blogging on Thursday, I went out with my friends, proceeded to drink more than intended, and didn’t get home until 3am.

What should have been a shitty morning on Friday (thanks to my weak minded-ness when it comes to cheap draft beer) was quite the opposite.

I got a job offer!! At a gym :D

I have yet to accept as I still have a couple more interviews. But I’m pretty frickin’ happy that after only a week of being in this city, I potentially have a job :)

I’d had high hopes of making it to a spin class Friday morning. Hopes that were dashed somewhere around 1am Thursday night. Instead I got to celebrate my job offer with a new blogger friend!!

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Morgan, from Life After Bagels is another Toronto-area blogger, but she can’t make it to the big meet-up I planned for this Sunday. A lunch date was clearly in order and she picked out a fabulous place called Utopia.

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Utopia is right next to Little Italy. I hadn’t been to that part of the city yet and it’s such a charming spot!! The restaurant is known for their burritos, so my decision was almost easy.

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They had so many fun burrito combos to choose from! I ended up with a Grilled Tuna Burrito: grilled yellow fin tuna, zucchini, onions, pesto, asiago cheese, lettuce, salsa. 

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Delicious combo. The tuna was well cooked and pesto makes anything taste amazing. I had an awesome time chowing down on this while gabbing with Morgan. We started brainstorming about all the fun blogger meet-ups we can do in the future – I can’t wait!!

The burrito kept me full for a while, so when dinner rolled around, I kept it simple.

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I’d only ever found seasoned tempeh “burgers” in New Brunswick, so I was pretty excited when I noticed all the grocery stores here carry the plain regular stuff!

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I sliced it up and put it between toast with almond butter, bbq sauce and lettuce. I know it sounds like a weird combo, but the bbq and almond flavour pair perfectly with the nutty flavour of tempeh.

And here is why I didn’t have time to blog yesterday – immediately after dinner I went to my first ever major league baseball game!

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Toronto is home to Canada’s only MLB team, the Blue Jays. My now deceased Papa was their biggest fan, so I will always have a soft spot for them.

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It was also my first time in the Rogers Centre (aka Skydome). It was a beautiful night to be sitting in there!! We also had a great view of the CN Tower ;)

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Roommies!

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We ended up leaving after the 7th inning, as the Jays were getting completely embarrassed by the Red Sox.

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*Sigh* at least we’ll always have the ‘92 & ‘93 seasons :P Good news for Kelly though!

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Somewhere around here I learned the term “street meat” and realized that watching baseball really does work up an appetite for hot dogs.

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So many delicious toppings to choose from, so dangerous because they’re going to fall all over the place anyways.

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Let’s see… there was ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut and corn salsa. All on a whole wheat bun of course ;)

I decided early on I wasn’t going to get drunk drink a second night in a row. I had legitimate hopes of going to a morning spin class again.

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Those hopes were once again dashed somewhere around 1am when we went to a fabulous bar called Sin & Redemption with an extensive beer menu. Once I saw the Fruli Strawberry Wheat it was all over.

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Delicious. I had just one and it was worth every sip! I’m a wheat beer gal to begin with, and the sweet strawberry was perfect with it.

I also got to experience the madness of Queen St W at 2am on a Friday night. That in itself is an experience. We met an interesting fellow who gave us 20 bucks for no good reason – these Toronto people are so nice!! :P

And with that, I’m taking my sorry butt to the gym. No spin class today, but maybe some fun on the cardio machines. I will make it to that morning spin class someday. Mark my words.

Top of the Muffin to You!

I’ve got a lot of food photos for today! Some days I don’t bother taking pictures of all my eats, others I’m all over it. Today was the latter, so let’s get to it shall we?

I reeeally wanted to make protein pancakes for breakfast this morning, but my plain cottage cheese had gone bad. I know tasting foods is always the best way to tell – but ew. Sour dairy freaks. me. out.

Anyways, the alternative was pretty stellar regardless – oats in a jar!

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It was 1/2 cup oat bran, 2 cups water, 2 tbsp protein powder, cinnamon, raisins and almond butter, of course ;)

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Looks disgusting but it’s ooohh sooo good. This is the best way to use up the hard nut butter at the bottom of a jar :)

 

I had the morning off, which meant time to go to step class! It was a different instructor today, she wasn’t as awesome as the last one. But the class was packed with energetic ladies, which perked me up! The moves are starting to come a little easier now. I noticed it felt like I wasn’t working as hard, so next time I’ll add a riser to my step (now that I’m almost sure I won’t fall of :P )

I was a sweaty mess when I came home. My shirt was soaked through! I stuck it out though so I could have a snack first.

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Half of a homemade protein bar and a couple clementines. Or tangerines. Little citrus fruit??

Since I was eating lunch at home today, I skipped the usual bread or pita and went straight for a giant salad. 

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  • romaine lettuce
  • yellow pepper
  • onion
  • tomato
  • sundried tomato tuna
  • Mediterranean cottage cheese

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The awesome thing about putting cottage cheese on salads is that it not only ups the protein but acts as a dressing. Yum!

And since I’m photographing everything today, there’s the usual sweet ending.

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I feel like I need something a little sweet to end every meal. So I like having half a square of Lindt chocolate. It’s only 25 calories, so it’s not like I’m breaking the bank. This is the fleur de sel kind. Just enough richness to tame that sweet tooth!

Unfortunately, big salads never hold me over that long. So I was snacky all afternoon.

I had some Mary’s crackers with soy nut butter.

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For some reason the soy nut butter tastes awesome with these crackers. This was my first time buying them. They’re alright – really hard and crunchy. I’ve never been much of a cracker person though, so I probably won’t spend the $4.50 on them again.

I haven’t been having the best day mood-wise, so I decided to give the whole “baking therapy” thing a try. I’ve been wanting to make muffins forever, so I went to the queen of healthy muffin recipes – Steph Chows.

I opted for the Cinnamon Roll Muffins based on the ingredients I had on hand. I don’t have any pumpkin though, so I subbed it out with a banana.

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I think I may have been a little too aggressive with my “swirling,” a lot of them just came out looking mangled! :P

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I of course ignored all cooling rules and had one immediately.

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With a little melted earth balance. Do I even have to say it was good? They taste more like cinnamon-y banana muffins.

The baking did help my mood a little too :)

Supper was totally random. Which in my kitchen always = delicious.

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A tempeh sweet potato quesadilla and broccoli.

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A wonderful combo actually! I pan-fried a cubed tempeh burger and miniature sweet potato in cajun spices then put it on an ezekiel tortilla with mozzarella and bbq sauce.  Squeezed in the george foreman and dipped in salsa!

I’m leaving for Windsor on Friday, so I’m trying to go the week without getting food. Should be interesting!

Work this evening was a boring city council meeting, but included the highlight of my day. My dad stopped by!! He’s a lawyer, and in town working on a case. Our schedules don’t really match up over these next couple days, so he popped into the media booth to say hi. I’m a total daddy’s girl, what can I say…

More muffin snackage happened upon my return to the office.

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Stuffed with a little PB… times two. This is why I don’t bake!!! I actually froze half the batch. Cheapest frozen muffins I’ve had in a while. Take that VitaExpensive. :P

Now I’m curled up in bed. Anticipating the results of my first slow cooker experiment.

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Ooooh…. What could it be?? :P Gonna have to wait till tomorrow! Night night!

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