Well, it is nearing midnight which means this day is almost over. I don’t have any big announcement, giveaway, or candle in a bowl of oatmeal to mark this day. Just a slight nod of the head and tip of the cap to the year that was.
One year ago, on July 14, 2009, I started a new blog. I’d been blogging for six months prior about my journey to my first triathlon. Once that was done, The Great Balancing Act was born as a way to continue my chronicles of leading a happy, healthy, balanced life. Special shout-out to Ellie who came up with the blog name!
To say a lot has changed since I began this blog one year ago would be an understatement. If someone had told me one year ago that this is what I’d be doing, where I’d be sitting, while typing up this blog post, I wouldn’t have believed it. Only because one year ago I don’t think I was capable of doing the things I’m doing today. But each day that has passed since has been a day of growth.
Here’s a measly selection of some of the year’s most notable occasions:
Took care of the world’s cutest dog (I’m biased)
And that last link is from yesterday’s post. Today, I spent the day being shown the ropes at the new gym I’ll be training at. I can’t believe how my life has changed since I began this little blog one year ago. All I can say is that I enter this next year with open arms.
Bring it. ;)
Aaaaand I’m back.
Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!! Mine was action-packed, which would have been fabulous if I wasn’t coughing up a lung. After two months of living out of suitcases, sleeping in strange beds, and literally traveling across a continent, my body is finally saying “enough.” Okay body, you win. Instead of exercising, I’ve been feeding it. There seems to be no better way to celebrate moving to Canada’s biggest city than a weekend of testing out all the wonderful food it has to offer.
Also close by is this quaint little coffee shop, where I currently sit, filled with comfy chairs and a welcoming staff.
Pictured is a chocolate cinnamon pastry of sorts. It tasted much better than it looks. Their pastries are all dense, but super flaky, which in my opinion is the best way to have them. Apparently they come from a popular bakery in Toronto called Miss Cora’s Kitchen.
Remember that giant enchilada from our first day here?? Well Sara and I got two more meals out of it.
For breakfast on Saturday, we cut the leftovers in half and topped each with a fried egg. Voila! A Mexican breakfast! This was SO filling. Eggs + beans + cheese = no hunger signals for five hours.
Once again, the sustenance was required, for we had another long day ahead of us.
Shopping!! Sara and I had big plans of starting on Queen West and making our way to the second-hand shops in Kensington. But we never made it off the first street!! I picked up some very cute items which I’m sure you will see over the course of the summer. My wardrobe was reduced to one suitcase before I left New Brunswick, so my circulation these days is pretty small :P
We eventually started to get the hunger tickle around 2pm. Sara mentioned there was a great place called Fresh around the corner and I jumped. I’ve heard all about this place from Angela!
It’s a pretty popular vegan restaurant in Toronto that also offers up great juices. I highly suggest you peruse their menu. It was so hard deciding on something!!
I started with a juice.
I’m not a huge juice person, but I thought it couldn’t hurt with my wicked cold. Went with the Immune Boost: carrot, beet, apple, ginger, vitamin C, echinacea.
It was actually really good! Only complaint is that it was warm, could have used a few ice cubes.
Sara started with a carrot coriander soup.
Which I had many bites of, for the sake of “the sickess.” The toasted coconut on top was a nice touch.
Sara also ordered a big salad, but I can’t for the life of me remember what kind it was. The crispy tofu on top was really good though!
Fresh is famous for their “bowls” so I knew it’s what I had to go for. I settled with the Jerusalem: hummus, grilled spinach, tomato, cucumber, parsely, red onion, sunflower sprouts, olive oil, tamari, mixed herbs, lemon & chili powder.
The waitress asked me if I wanted hot sauce and I thought why not…
I have no idea what this hot sauce was, but it was good!! Fresh will definitely be a re-visit for me :)
The eating didn’t end there though, ohno. By 6:30 we’d made our way to Lemongrass too meet up with our Aunt Heather. Apparently it was the first Thai restaurant to open in the city!
That peanut dipping sauce was to die for. Omg. It took everything I had not to stick my finger in it and just eat it that way.
The three of us then split three dishes:
Holy Basil Crab. Delicious, but super messy to get into. The crab wasn’t shelled but covered in sauce. Tricky!!
Bok choy. The token green.
Pad thai. With chicken and shrimp. I’m not a huge noodle person, but really enjoyed this!
Dessert was honey ginger tea, again, for the sake of “the sickness.”
Me and Heather!
The family bonding didn’t stop there. We then rushed off to meet up with my two cousins, one of which was my bestie growing up.
Some of my best childhood and teenage memories were shared with Ellen! I’m super excited to be in the same city as her again. We’re amidst cooking up a stellar fitness plan, so I foresee more fun times in our future :) I may be leaving some family behind, but it’s pretty nice to be close to other family now!
In all, Sara and I were out and about for 12 hours yesterday, leaving at noon and returning at midnight. Thanks to a newly bought eye mask, I conked out for a solid 8. I could have slept longer, but alas, we had more eating engagements to attend.
The owner started chatting with us and said she started the Sunday brunch years ago as a nod to a huge brunch your Jewish grandmother may have made. Everything is made at the cafe, including the breads and smoked fish. Yesplease.
Challah french toast and smoked salmon scrambled eggs. The french toast was my favourite of this plate. I’ve been told that challah is the best bread for french toast and I am now a believer!!
Potato latke topped with an apple sauce and a cheese blintz topped with a berry sauce. The latke was amazing because it was deep-fried. And let’s face it, deep frying things makes them delicious. The blintz I could have gone without. The texture was weird and I didn’t like ricotta. Not for me I guess!
Did I mention there was live Klezmer music?? There was live Klezmer music.
I missed some of the breads the first time around, so I grabbed two pieces. One topped with a homemade smoked salmon cream cheese the other with havarti and smoked herring. In the back was my second favourite thing from the buffet – a beet and smoked herring salad. Sounds strange but it was dreamy!! I think the base for it was cream cheese or sour cream or something. Awesome.
Not entirely sure what all of these are. The thing in the back is an apple streudel of sorts. The pinwheel in the front had a date puree. The chocolate square was like a chocolate mousse cake (excellent). That brown clump was pretty interesting. My first thought was that it was a butterscotch fudge thinky, but it had little sugary pieces in it reminiscent of cotton candy!! Sara said it could have been halvah, but I’m not sure if it fits the bill. Anyone out there know??
Well, that just about wraps up my first weekend of eating in the city!! I’ve already been exposed to so much new food, and it’s only just a small microscopic dent in what Toronto has to offer. However, once I hit publish, I’m walking down to the closest store to pick up a giant bunch of kale to make a green salad the size of my head. I am then going to lay in bed reading a book for the rest of the night. It would be nice if I no longer sound like I smoked a pack of cigarettes and downed a pint of Jack Daniels before my job interview tomorrow!! Operation: Get a Job is now in full swing. Wish me luck – I might need it!
EDIT: Don’t forget! There’s a Toronto meet-up happening next Sunday. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details!