Beets, Birthdays and Boats

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!! Y’all are too sweet. I’m kinda in that part of my 20s now where they all blend together. Won’t have another exciting birthday till I’m 30 ;)

Started the day off wonderfully – I slept for almost nine hours!!! Insane, most nights I’m lucky if I get seven.

I brought a packet of multigrain instant oats with me to my mom’s. Mixed it in with some of Mark’s vanilla protein powder and topped with banana+PB.

Check out Mark’s bowl! I had a little breakfast envy :P


I believe he said it was Kashi Honey Almond Flax, yogurt, berries, banana and cinnamon. All mixed up into a yog mess of course ;)

After some caffeine and digestion, it was time for the gym! Went to the co-ed Nubody’s downtown as they have a better weights section than the women-only gym. Why do they do that?? Women need good weights too!!


Minutes Level Effort
0-3 10 low
3-5 11 low
5-6 15 high
6-8 12 low
8-9 16 high
9-11 13 low
11-12 17 high
12-14 14 medium
14-15 16 high
15-17 14 medium
17-18 17 high
18-20 14 medium


Exercise Weight Reps Sets
One-arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 8 3


Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  75 lbs 8 3
Incline push-up bw 12 3


Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Single-leg romanian deadlift w/ row 20 lbs 6 ea leg 3


Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 8 3
Plank bw 60 sec 3


Minutes MPH
0-1 3.0
1-3 3.5
3-4 8.0
4-6 3.5
6-7 8.5
7-9 3.5
9-10 9.0
10-12 3.5
12-13 9.5
13-15 3.5


For some reason, I just could not get my heart pumping and my muscles didn’t feel that exhausted. I think I was partially half-assing it, and part had way more energy than I’m used to from the sleep.

After the gym, I met up with my dad for a noon-hour brunch (yes, I get that’s technically lunch). We were both craving eggs and fresh fruit, so Cora’s was the natural choice.

I ordered Peggy’s Poached.

One poached egg, one piece of toast, cottage cheese, mixed fruit.


Not shown is how I massacred that egg on the toast, and poured the cottage cheese all over the fruit. It was delicious!

And a steamy Americano to go with.


My dad got eggs benedict with ham.


Totally hit the spot!

After br/lunch, I went shopping with my mom and nana. Some bee-day purchases included a nice purse to hold my DSLR, bread pan, measuring spoons and a vegetable peeler. Tomorrow I’ll be conquering the Running Room!

Dinner was yet another amazing meal – my mother and I went to a local sushi place called Pink Sushi.


I love celebrating my birthday with my mom. I kinda feel like it’s just as much her day as mine. I mean, she actually did all the work ;)

We wanted a little bit of everything, so ordered the sushi & sashimi combination boat. 


It started with some miso soup that I didn’t eat. I don’t really care for miso – too salty!


And then our boat of sushi arrived.


I totally failed at capturing its sheer magnificence on film. It was a thing of beauty!


Every birthday should involve a boat of food ;)


It really did have a little bit of everything, but I think my favourites were the rolls with teriyaki sauce, and the plain pieces of salmon.


My mom and I were in food heaven the whole time. It was amazing. We totally killed that boat.

Until next year my friend…

And what’s a birthday without cake!?


Cake I made myself of course – that’s half the fun!

After much debate, I decided on red velvet cake as I’d never had it before. But my mom isn’t the biggest fan of food dye (she was a microbiologist, so with good reason). We tracked down a decent looking recipe that uses beets for the red colouring. So I basically made a beet cake for my birthday :P


Yes, one is now “over the hill” after the age of 24. And yes, I’m “still cookin’” ;)

Low Fat Red Velvet Cake (Chocolate Beet Cake)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup  1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/3 cups non-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups beets, peeled and shredded 4 large beets, cooked and mashed

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in buttermilk. Beat in butter, egg substitute and vanilla. Add beets. Pour in prepared cake pan. Bake 45 minutes. Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese 250g light cream cheese
  • 12 oz. 20ish oz fat-free frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat Neufchatel cheese until smooth. Stir in thawed whipped topping and powdered sugar.

I then decorated it expertly…

Then cut myself a giant piece. It’s my birthday – I’m allowed a giant piece of cake!!


It’s reddish, perhaps a nice mahogany? It’s a wonderfully dense and moist cake. You can almost taste the beets, but I think it gives it a really nice earthy sweetness. And the cream cheese frosting is of course to die for. 

Now I’m just relaxing with the fam. I bought some nail polish today (which I haven’t owned since the age of 13) so I’m thinking of giving myself a manicure. I wouldn’t want anything more on the day of my birth than to relax and be with the people I love!!


Oh! And check out my horoscope that was in today’s paper:

In the year ahead, there are indications that you could become involved in an endeavour that would yield a second source of income, which could grow into something bigger. But you’ll have to be extremely patient.


How cool is that!? I’m hoping it’s PT or blog related – or both! :D


Question of the Day: What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe in that stuff? I’m an Aquarius and I totally do. Yes, horoscopes are generalized, but I like to believe there’s some mysterious meaning behind it all ;)

Hope you’re having a great weekend too!!

Posted on January 23, 2010, in Fun, Restaurants, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. Happy Birthday!! Your cake looks amazing!

  2. Happy Birthday, Susan!
    Seems like you´ve had the most amazing b-day celebration. Such delicious eats! Seriously!
    I´m aquarius too. I was born in February 9th on 1995.
    Oh, and by the way, I´m a huge fan of your blog ;)
    Have a nice weekend!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  3. Happy birthday, Susan! It looks like you ate well! Love the beet cake. I’m going to have to make your cream cheese icing some time in the near future.

  4. Happy birthday (again)! I love red velvet cake–half of our wedding cake is red velvet with cream cheese frosting. And in honor of your birthday I bought new running shoes!

    I’m a Gemini. I think it means I’m bipolar and can’t focus on any one thing for too long, which is pretty much true.

  5. Sounds like an awesome bday! I don’t know as I would call running intervals at 9 mph to be half-assing it, though…..

    I loooooove cream cheese icing. I don’t even need any cake with it, just right off the spoon, thankyouverymuch.

    I don’t really believe in horoscopes “as says Homer Simpson “Stupid bloropope”, but I am a gemini and sort of fit the profile at the twins. :D

  6. Yum, the Beet cake looks great.
    My Birthday is on Tuesday (jan 26th) and I too like reading my horoscope!

  7. Lynn at The Actors Diet

    i’m a capricorn; i seem to relate to the stuff i looked up – personal space, practical, not being pressured – but likes antiques and expensive gemstones?! couldn’t be farther from the truth!

  8. Happy Happy Birthday! I hope 24 is a wonderful year for you :)

    I love Cora’s – great place for a birthday breakfast! I really want to make that cake for my own birthday too

    I’m a Pisces – in some ways I’m like one, but I’m not sure how much I believe in it. I find it hard to ‘believe’ everyone born at the same time of year is alike…

  9. happy birthday!!! you look so pretty :-) i adore cake with thick sugary frosting andon my birthday i GO TO TOWN ;) love the sushi boat – i’ve never seen that, so cool.

  10. Happy Birthday, love!

    I’m a Leo. I think I have attributes of a Leo but I don’t particularly believe in horoscope business because I think anyone can take away part of a horoscope and make it their own. They are so vague, you know?

  11. erintakescontrol

    Your cake looks amazing! I am a Sagittarius but only read horoscopes for fun!

  12. Happy Birthday!! I will be 25 in September so I’m not far behind. I am a Virgo and I fit the profile to a T

  13. Happy Birthday! You look great. Love your blog and your tweets! <333333

  14. Sprinklessss! Happy birthday!


  15. I’m a Pisces, and typically my horoscope relates to my life in some way. I think it’s pure coincidence but I read and believe. I love knowing and expecting!!
    Happy Birthday, the cake looks fab!

  16. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Sweet 16!!! You don’t look a day over it btw :)

    Sushi. OMG I wish I wasnt allergic to fish. I used to loveeeee my sushi before i respected my food allergies. Ended up in the hosp one night after sushi so now i respect them. Sigh. It looks sooo good, and sooo much fun!

    The cake: It’s a wonderfully dense and moist cake.. JUST the way I like cake. I mean dry cake is bleh. Thx for the recipe adapatation info.

    And again, happy bday!!!!!!!!!! :)

  17. WOW 2 great meals in 1 day!!
    diner AND sushi!?! AWESOME!

  18. Happy birthday!!

    I love, love, love the sushi boat! Sushi is my new “thing.” I also love what you did with your birthday cake! I believe I saw “natural” food coloring agents at Mother Earth’s (Whole Foods-like store) that are dye free and I believe the reds used beet juice. I’ll investigate next time. I’m with your mom, food coloring is scary stuff.


  19. Happy Birthday. I LOVE’s honestly amazing. it looks so good. I have been meaning to try the beet cake I must do that.

    I am a virgo…through and through :)

    Happy Birthday.

    Beats.Bears.battlestart galatica

  20. balancejoyanddelicias

    happy Birthday!!! great day of celebration and food! :D
    I like reading zodiac sign because it’s fun not because I really believe it! ;)

  21. Looks like a great day! I totally thought that poached egg was a lump of butter…haha. Bookmarking that recipe- really want to try red velvet cake! Hmm. I wonder if you could get your 5-a-day with beet cake, carrot cake and zuchinni bread :P

    I didn’t read your horoscope because it is yesterday’s and that’s bad luck, apparently…so yes. I guess you could say I am a wee bit superstitious and believe in horoscopes!

  22. Happy birthday again! Your birthday eats look like MY ideal birthday eats! I love poached eggs, sushi and CAKE! Mmm, looks fab!!

    I am a Leo, and I totally believe in the horoscope thing! My boyf is an aquarius like you =)


  23. Happy Belated Birthday!

    I would love a sushi boat for my birthday that thing looks amazing!

  24. Your title reminds me of The Office :)

    That cake looks fantastic! The spinkles? I LOVE! That sushi boat is so fun. Your birthday presents sound like a food blogger’s dream – enjoy!


    I’m a Cancer but I don’t read horoscopes so I couldn’t tell you if they apply to me or not!

  25. Sounds like a great way of celebrating your birthday. Happy Belated Birthday!

  26. Happy Birthday girlie!!

    Love the sushi boat and I wonder if I could fake out my honey with the beet cake! ha!

  27. Another reason we are long lost twins: I’m also an Aquarius! Feb 10 birthday for me. I’ll be 26 this year. I typically don’t believe in horoscopes… unless they are really awesome. :)

    Sounds like you had an amazing birthday!!! I love going out for sushi, too. But my favorite asian food has to be japanese hibachi.

  28. happy birthday! what a fun day and so many good eats. i have always wanted to get a sushi boat so i am officially jealous. seriously, that couldnt look more amazing!!!!! and i am uber impressed with your cake too. its tradition in my family to have an ice cream cake but your homemade one looks really yummy!

  29. Happy Birthday! I am in awe of your beet cake – genius.

  30. Happy 25th! ;)

  31. Glad ya had a nice birthday!
    Brunch and sushi look great:)
    yummy cake- you so deserve every yummy bite!

  32. hooray! your birthday looked like it went off with a bang and finished the same. that is so great. the beet cake is awesome and i am drooling over the BOAT! props on getting a workout in on the beeday, not something i can say for myself! love your apron :) i am a gemini and i always find my horoscope to be right~ but then i kinda wonder if there are written in a way that EVERYONE can relate, ya know?

    hope your sunday is going good! love ya!

  33. Hi Susan, I’m new to this whole blogging thing, but have been following yours for a while. Just wanted to givr a happy birthday shout and let you know that your Blog has some great stuff on it. Keep the balance comin’!

    – Kris

  34. Eating out twice in one day AND shopping with Mom?! AND cake?! I am so, so jealous. My mom hates shopping. It’s a huge deal to get her out to do it. The sushi dinner looks awesome…I am really craving sushi lately after reading about it on a lot of blogs this past week.

    I’m a pieces…but I am totally NOT a pieces, if you know what I mean. The fact that I am so uncharacteristic of my sign makes me skeptical of the whole thing.

    I’m so glad you had a great birthday!

  35. happy beet cake day! that looks AMAZING! and the color of beets is truly one of the prettiest colors in the world…i LOVE that you added that to your cake!

    happy birthday (again)! so glad you had a fab day, and i LOVE your horoscope. i am a sagittarius, and it is so true. i am a firm believer in the stars and ways of the world :)

    happy day lady!

  36. Ohmigosshhh I am in love with this birthday post! From the beet birthday cake (I thought I commented on this already? I forget so long ago) to the Peggy’s Poached! That is my kind of plate and breakfast joint! The plates and americano are beautttiffuuul. and sushi boat! I am a huge sushi fan too. Especially just plain sushi and sashimi. Nom.

    And you are so gosh darn pretty Susan. Seriously- the new do is majorly working out for you.

    I don’t really have a strong belief of signs and zodiac stuff- but I do read them and I like them! I too am an Aquarius so I like your fortune! :) xoxoxo

  1. Pingback: Time to Get Serious « The Great Balancing Act

  2. Pingback: Toronto’s “Best”: Sushi Marché | The Great Balancing Act

  3. Pingback: The Birthday Pie | The Great Balancing Act

  4. Pingback: 26 Years « The Great Balancing Act

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: