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Deep Dish

I have a confession to make.

Before arriving in Chicago, I did no research on the city.

I didn’t look at the Healthy Living Summit schedule.

I didn’t even get a good grip on where Illinois is on the U.S. map.

But I did spend hours researching deep dish pizza.

The content of the summit itself will be saved for another blog post. Right now, it’s a Saturday night, and I feel like we need to keep it on the lighter side ;)

Lori used to live in Chitown and gave me a bunch of restaurant recommendations for deep dish pizza. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little girl. No. Really.

Lou Malnati’s, while not the best according to the experts, is sufficient enough and was close to the hotel. Sold.

A lot of the conference folk had fancy dinner plans for this evening. I just told people that if they wanted greasy, cheesy deep dish, to meet me in the lobby at 6pm. We had a good showing.


You probably recognize some of these faces as some of my new blogger friends! Sarah, Miranda, Callie, Julie.

Seeing as we didn’t have reservations and it was a Saturday night in Chicago, the hour-long wait for a table was expected. Lessened by the free thin crust samples at the counter ;)


Callie and I had agreed that splitting an individual serving of pizza would be in our best interests.


When in Chicago!

IMG_0882 IMG_0886



Omg. The cheese. It was as thick as the crust. The sausage was pretty good too. I hear you can get deep dish with one slice of sausage patty that covers the whole surface of the pizza. Whoa.


Callie and I also split a Malnati Salad for, ahem, “balance.” Although, I’m not sure how balancing bacon bits are ;)


After dinner, we decided to walk the pizza off and see some of the sights Chicago is known for!




A lot of us went to the photography session at the conference today, so we had fun playing around with the settings on our cameras!







We then went up to a vegan restaurant called Karyn’s On The Green to meet up with some of the other bloggers.



They had a pretty neat looking cocktail menu.


I went for the Green Mojito.


At 9 bucks a pop, it was my only cocktail, but a delicious one at that! By this point however, I started to crash and my ability to socialize plummeted. I promise to give you a more in depth scoop from the day when I return to the comforts of my Toronto home.

By the bye, toooootally weird to tell people here that I’m from Toronto when I’ve only been living there for six weeks. I feel like such a faker! :P


Okay, the bed calls, and I’m getting up to do the 5k fun run in the a.m. AND my first ever visit to Trader Joes! Youbetterbelieveit. Then the 9 hour drive back to Canada :\

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!


Question of the Day: Trader Joes experts – what should I get??


Yo! I’m here!!



Callie and I drove for 8 hours from Kitchener to get to Chicago for the second annual Healthy Living Summit. 200+ healthy living bloggers such as myself, all together to well, talk about blogging and healthy living ;)

This post will be short on words, heavy on pictures. This weekend I’m soaking it all in, on Monday, I’ll let you know how it all really went :)

First of all, I realized too late that I might require some business cards. Arts & crafts anyone?


Yes, Callie and I were up until midnight hand-making business cards. They are novelty items. Catch them on eBay soon ;)


We were up and at ‘em much too early to tackle the long haul to the Windy City.




As a side note, if you are a Canadian road-trippin to the States, don’t forget to bring US cash for the road tolls! Oops.


Callie’s cinnamon hummus. To die for.



The Congress Plaza Hotel is huge, old, and really cool.


Needed fuel immediately upon arriving:


Thanks to Cathy from The Simply Bar for sending some bars for the Summit!


The American drinking age is a total bummer.

IMG_0814 Outfit!!

My first ever Blue Moon:

Thumbs up!! Very similar to Rickard’s White.


HLS Roomies!!







Yup. It’s been a long day. But a good day. Saw some familiar faces, met some new faces, looking forward to what the day of the conference has to bring :)


Have a great weekend everyone!! xo

A Random Waffle Wednesday

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!


This week’s waffle is brought to you by blueberries.


The usual protein waffle recipe made with a quarter cup each of whole wheat flour, unflavoured soy protein powder and egg whites, teaspoon each of baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla, and a half cup of almond milk.


Topped with a mixed berry yogurt whisked with almond butter, fresh blueberries and a drizzle of syrup for good measure. Nom to the nom.

Lookie what I got today!!


Seeing this for the first time was so cool. Caitlin’s blog was the first food blog I ever read. I’ve been following her since 2008. I always knew she had that spark in her, and I am so happy she has become successful doing something so positive (to see what it’s about, check out Operation Beautiful here). Dude, she’s an author! Of a book!

Even cooler, I’m in the book :)


I submitted a blurb on overcoming gym anxiety and I’m stoked it made the cut into the final product. There are tons of bloggers I recognize in there. Really says a lot about how wonderful this blogging community is :) Oh, and you can read the full-length story on how I overcame my gym fears here.

Just a few years later, the girl who used to get panic attacks stepping into a gym now works at one. Can you believe it? In fact, the gym is probably one of my favourite places to be. I even hang out there to work out once I’m all done training. Here’s the fun full-body weightlifting sesh I tackled today:

Warm-up: 15 minutes on this elliptical:

Precor Elliptical Machine

A Precor CrossRamp. I don’t normally use this machine as I find the range of motion is weird for my legs. The little ramp in the front moves up and down, while guiding your feet along the same plane. It definitely challenged my leg muscles, but I just couldn’t get a high heart rate on it because the motion wasn’t natural for me. It’s important to experiment and find ellipticals that work for you!

After the warm-up, I grabbed a 20 lb kettlebell and did 3 sets of 20 kettlebell swings.

I felt comfortable doing this because I’ve done a kettlebell class before. I definitely recommend getting instruction from a pro before attempting these, as it’s suuuuper easy to injure yourself! On the bright side, it’s an awesome move ;)

Then 3 alternating sets:
Cable twisting standing chest press (12 reps)
Squat to cable row (12 reps)

Followed by 3 straight sets of 20 tactical lunges with a 20lb kettlebell. For this one, you pass the kettlebell between hands under your knee as you lunge forward, you can watch a video on it here.

Then 3 more alternating sets:
Barbell upright row (12 reps)
Dumbbell straight leg deadlift (12 reps)

Circuit done 3 times through:
Skull crusher (8 reps)
Plank on a bench (60 sec)
Barbell curl (8 reps)
Jump squats (20 reps)


60 minutes on the dot! This one had my heart pumping throughout. Usually I lower the weight on the isolation moves, but today I upped it to really hammer those muscles ;)


Finally, it’s been a while since I did some of the blogger questionnaires out there. Thankfully, Crystal nominated me for this award and I couldn’t resist but participate!



Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Share seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate fifteen newly discovered blogs.
  • Let your nominees know about the award.

*Ahem* Thank you Crystal for giving me this award!!!

Okay, the 7 things

1. My middle name is Elizabeth.

2. I re-read each Harry Potter book with each new book release, meaning I’ve read them 30 times.

3. I was born with a black eye.

4. If I could choose, my last meal would be my Nana’s egg sandwiches and potato salad.

5. My heart almost physically aches every time I see a dog.

6. I love the smell of second hand cigarette smoke.

7. My feet went down a shoe size when I lost 30 lbs.


Okay, so I honest to goodness do not have the time to go through 15 blogs, but I really love passing these things on. Instead, I tag the first 15 people who commented on my last post:

darryn (brio.gusto)










Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)


Morgan @ Life After Bagels




And I don’t have time to let y’all know you got the award! Soo, uhhh, I hope you read this! :P


You may be wondering why I don’t have time… well I’m leaving for Chicago tomorrow!! Okay, technically Kitchener, then driving to Chicago all day Friday. But it’s after 11pm and I leave at 10am tomorrow and I haven’t started any preparations whatsoever. Oh yeah, and I still have work to do for my real job! Aahhh, leaving things until the last minute, story of my life ;)

Can’t say I’ll be back with an update tomorrow, but I’ll try my darndest on Friday to get something up. I’m still contemplating how to blog about the Healthy Living Summit, seeing as 199 other bloggers will be covering all the same stuff. All I can say is that I’ll try to reflect it through my unique perspective as best I can ;)


See ya from Amerrrica!!! xo


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