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Food. Good food. And lots of it.

Bonjour!! I am in a bilingual city, I can say that here ;)

Wonderful questions and feedback on my last post: Ripped Arms: A How-To Guide. I made some clarifications in the comments section if any of you are interested. In terms of designing an arm workout, 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps of each a shoulder exercise, triceps exercise and biceps exercise, 1-3 times a week, is enough to do it. Got that? Just don’t forget about your other muscles too! ;)

I also got a great comment from Averie:

10 yrs of yoga gave me a foundation for everything, 4 mos of lifting is giving me some size :)

Couldn’t agree more. If you’re already athletic, but still want to see more arm definition, heavy weight lifting will get you where you want to be in no time.

Now this is where I seamlessly transition to talking about FOOD.


I really just want to show this pic of Sunday’s breakfast because my toes are stealing some of the spotlight in the bottom right of the frame :P One of the reasons why I love reading food blogs, as opposed to professional food publications, is the level of “real life” you get from photos such as these. Hello toes!


Rainier cherries are continuing to rock my face off. They taste milder than regular ones.


The last of my homemade rosemary yogurt biscuits topped with eggs and bacon. If it’s been a while since you last had this combination, I highly suggest you get on it. This is the best post-run weekend breakfast. The HEAB-ster just posted an even easier biscuit recipe just in case ;)


Okay, now that we are done ogling at breakfast, I must introduce you to Sunday’s lunch!! Sister Sara had tickets for a play and the theatre is conveniently located across the street from an amazing vegetarian buffet called The Table. I grabbed a little scoop of everything that struck my fancy. I’m a sampler.

Beet salad and carrot ginger salad.


A tofu patty topped with this sweet & sour onion sauce. They were highly recommended.

Some sort of black bean loaf.

Braised onions, roasted mushrooms and a tofu skewer.

As well as a bit of lentil quinoa salad and dandelion greens. The salads were a little lacklustre (surprisingly!). The hot foods were my favourite. Especially the braised onion and tofu patty. I want to recreate both!!

As we were leaving, Sara heard that you get 20% off if you’re going to see a play. We’d already paid, but we wanted our discount!! So we went back after the play for tea and dessert :)

I was still stuffed from my meal, so I stopped myself from grabbing a gazillion cookies and went with what looked unique.


Not your typical coconut pie. It was surprisingly light and fluffy, not at all chewy like a macaroon. A touch bland though, so I topped it with this:

Vegan rice pudding. I’m assuming it was made with coconut or soy milk. Made for an excellent pie topping actually!

Apple & mixed berry crumble with whipped cream. This was my favourite of the desserts. You can never go wrong with cooked apples.

And the tea!


The perfect flavour to pair with the desserts I’d chosen. I love me some chai!

Sara being her usual social butterfly self.


Me, being my usual contemplative self.

Another highlight from Sunday was biking down to one of Ottawa’s beaches. It may take a while for the idea of a beach not meaning “ocean” to sink in.

Sara and her sweet new bike pump. She’s a cycling queen.

Me just looking awkward :P My biking adventures in Ottawa have been my first of the season. It would be an understatement to say they came with a little apprehension. In fact, I had a moment of sheer panic within minutes of being back on the bike. But yesterday I started to feel relaxed again and less like I was chained to a death trap. Also impressed by how strong my legs got over the winter – hills are nuthin’ to me now!


Because of my new-found ease, we opted to take the long way home and enjoy some of the (weird) sights Ottawa has to offer.


Inukshuks on the river!!


Clearly, we had to stop and take silly photos with them.


I just wish I’d read this sign first. I maaaaay have decapitated a statue :\


Today’s breakfast had a significant lack of biscuits.


Eggs and bacon were instead eaten between two seedy pieces of bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato.


I made a fruit salad for us using watermelon, banana, cherries, lime juice and some of this stuff:


Peppermint honey!


From Alberta! It was very pepperminty, but added a nice refreshing kick to the salad.

Let’s see… there was also a notable breakfast dessert.

I love that my sister agrees with me that it is very important to have quality chocolate in the house at all times.


Camino Coconut gets a thumbs up!

It took me a really long time to get motivated to go the gym today. I am having motivation issues lately. I’m thinking it may be resolved once I finally get settled in Toronto (moving Thursday!). Until then, I forced myself to do a full-body lifting workout.

Started with a 10-minute run to the gym. I did three sets and 10 reps of everything. Colour-coded to indicate which exercises were supersetted together (ie no rest in between alternating sets).

Exercise Load Target
Sumo squat  70 lbs Quads, glutes
Wide-grip lat pulldown  60 lbs Back, biceps
Good morning  45 lbs Hamstrings, glutes, lower back
Incline push-up  bodyweight Chest, abs, front shoulders
Forward lunge  30 lbs Quads, glutes
Arnold press  15 lbs ea Shoulders
Overhead cable extension 30 lbs Triceps
Seated calf raise  90 lbs Calves
Incline curl  10 lbs ea Biceps
Captain’s chair  bodyweight Abs

I went up in weight on my squats… yayy!!! Only 60 lbs left to go until I reach my lifetime goal of squatting my bodyweight – ha!

Ohyes, then I ran the 10 minutes back to my sister’s place. Mygosh it was hot by then. Brutal.


Sister Sara said I had to try these tofu cutlets they carry at an organic food store called Herb & Spice.


I cut it up cold and put them on top of a salad (dressed with watered down hummus). I would have to agree with my sister, these are amazing!! It almost tasted like they were baked in cream of mushroom soup, but Sara says the spread vegepate on top. Genius.

Salad also included some wonderful local spinach – yum :)

Late this afternoon I continued my quest to find a decent cottage cheese in Ontario… IMG_9094 
Half a cup of Liberty 1% cottage cheese on top of the leftover fruit salad from the morning.
It was good but still not great. Also, Liberty is significantly more expensive than other brands.
I miss my Scotsburn 50% less sodium cottage cheese!! They need to supply outside of the Maritimes!

For dinner, I made Sara and I bison burgers using my mother’s method of locking all the juices in (start with a hot pan, then lower it down to cook)



Sara doesn’t keep  ketchup in her place (the horror!), so I loaded up on the tomatoes, and ate it on pita bread. A Susan version of a hamburger thin if you will ;)


Roasted corn in the oven. So easy. Throw it in, husk at all, and cook at 400F for 30-40 minutes.

Yellow zucchini roasted in rosemary and olive oil. I could never find this anywhere back home!!

All yellow vegetables tonight :)

Sara and I then sat around contemplating what we could do this evening. We both agreed dessert was in order, but I’d already eaten three pieces of chocolate today (as I do every day, fyi).

Somehow we decided it was a good idea to walk 30 minutes to this delightful place called Oh So Good near the Byward Market.

We got a little lost on the way, but the extra walk was worth it. They had a wide array of different cakes and sweets. My eyes immediately set on the white chocolate mousse cake.

Seriously you guys, I’m not a huge cake person, and I loved every bite of this. Incredibly light and fluffy, with shaved white chocolate on the top. Both Sara and I agreed that the small layer of jam in the center made the cake.

Sara got a slice of the chocolate truffle cake. The chocolate was definitely of high quality and fresh because it was the first piece from the cake!

We both enjoyed our cake with a cuppa tea. We briefly discussed the calories in each slice, and agreed it was a pleasure too great to pass up.


That’s why you walk to the cake ;)


See you tomorrow!! xoxo

18 Things From Ottawa

1. Being met by a smiling sister

We were almost diverted to Toronto because an airplane went off the runway at the Ottawa airport when we were about to land. So I was especially happy to see this face waiting for me!


2. Surviving the car drive from the airport


Sister Sara, although being a licensed driver for over a decade, is still something of a newbie. This has by far been the most dangerous part of my trip so far ;)


3. My sister’s cute apartment


Including hand-made decorations by me from 1994!


As well as a toaster oven with a warning I probably could have used once.



4. Talking to my mom and Nana on Skype


Everything about this shot is perfect. My confused grandmother, my mom super close and off the screen, me in the corner with the camera to my face…


5. Poutine


I’m surprised some of you didn’t recognize what I was holding up in the teaser photo from my last post! A sign that I have been a bad Canadian blogger. Please meet one of our best dishes: poutine.


That would be french fries + cheese curds + gravy. This is the Elgin Street Diner speciality, were they use a mushroom gravy. To. Die. For. Traditional Quebec poutine is made with beef gravy, although turkey is my favourite. Also, Holly informed me that the term “cheese curds” in Wisconsin is usually used to describe battered cheese. Poutine is just made with the regular curds (which are kinda like squeaky blobs of cheese).


6. Breakfast on the balcony





7. New weight lifting moves

Back: Compound rows thanks to Janetha (please excuse the meathead link, but the move is the first video on the right :) )

Biceps: Standing dumbbell cross-chest curl

Triceps: Single-arm 90 degree cable extension (from Oxygen Magazine)



8. Unintentional vegetarian days

After a week of eating hardly anything but beef in Alberta, filling up on vegepate has been a welcome addition to my diet.


Especially when eaten my favourite way – on a pita with cheese and hummus.


Homemade sweet potato and black bean salad courtesy my chef sister.


And lots and lots of greens



9. Almost getting killed on a bicycle in rush hour traffic

…and forgetting we’d promised “not to mention this to mom” ;) I also learned that the back of my ankle is a very, very bloody spot. Thank you to the kind people of Ottawa who helped me as I stained their sidewalks with my blood.


10. Watching my sister’s rowing practice


…and then hopping in the speedboat with the instructor to watch!! I got to see the sights of Ottawa (including Parliament) from the beautiful Rideau Canal. I also got bit by the rowing bug…must look into Toronto teams…


11. Indie rock concerts


Including dancing to the sounds of Library Voices alongside my big sis :)



12. My insatiable sweet tooth

Despite living off a diet of red meat and refined sugar in Banff, my taste for the sweet stuff is still going strong.


My sister, just like my mother, has excellent taste in chocolate. Feels like I never left home :)



13. Decadent yogurt

Read: 7% fat. It’s like a much better and fluffier version of ice cream.

Which makes a most excellent topping for coconut oatmeal.



14. Exploring a new city



And still finding a piece of home :)


15. Hanging out in coffee shops


Bridgehead is like the Evelyn’s of Ottawa – they’re everywhere!!!


16. Running along the Rideau Canal


Including the 1-mile to the gym and back. Makes for the perfect warm-up and cool down for weight lifting!


17. Getting caught in my first Ontario-style rain storm

That lonely tent is what could have been of the Taste of Wellington event today. Boo :(


18. Catching up on Glee


…while getting a major crush on Jesse St. James. Yet I am oddly more intrigued by Finn after finding out Cory Monteith was a 9th-grade drop-out. Le sigh. Some things never change…


Till next time!! <3