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coffee, cooking tips, culture, photojournal, travel

Recovery Food & Ottawa Roundup

While the last week of my life brought a whole new meaning to the phrase Spring Fever I seem to have finally made it through. Hooray!

As I was recovering, I received some lovely emails wishing me well (you’re all so sweet!) as well as a few asking me to post about my nutrition choices while recovering from an illness. I’m not sure if I follow any hard fast rules, I usually just give myself what I crave. This week that meant a lot of green smoothies, soups (lentil, butternut squash, tomato, etc.) and Ezekiel Toast Sandwiches with either almond butter, banana and honey or avocado and egg. I definitely favour starchy vegetables like carrots and potatoes and I can’t seem to get enough of oranges and kiwis (which also happen to be extremely high in Vitamin C).

Here’s a little cheat sheet:

In celebration of feeling a zillion times better, I am (finally) sharing some lovely shots from last weekend’s road trip…Broken down by category of things I love.

1) COFFEE. Bridgehead. Mandatory in Ottawa.

2) VEGAN EATS. 3 Course Lunch @ Zen Kitchen. I’m obsessed.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pepitas

Organic Greens

Vegan Reuben with smoked tempeh, house fermented sauerkraut & thousand island dressing on rye bread. Side of house made frites. 

3) CHEAP MANICURES.

4) Shopping BROWSING JEWELLERY.

5) DANCE PARTY!

Primping ensued… (We kept it real classy with beer cups….)

NDMA Live @ Fall Down Gallery (Accompanied by Live Model Body Painting)

Rafter Brews…

Hot date.

I don’t know why but something about this trip got me excited about summer and more summertime road trips…Look out Montreal 😉

photojournal, restaurants, travel

On to Ottawa Road Trek

I’m on the road today for a short but sweet visit to Ottawa, that other Ontario city. First stop: greyhound station (downfall of being completely and utterly carless)20120315-151039.jpg
Some relatively healthy (making due) road food!

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Egg white & Smoked Ham On a Whole Wheat English Muffin from Tim Hortons…doesnt look too exciting but tasted super delicious to early morning me!
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Gigantic bag of celery, fennel and organic heirloom carrots I packed from home.
20120315-164007.jpgVegan, Gluten Free Protein Bar.
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Stevia sweetened Vitamin water. Not the best choice but it was super hydrating after a couple hours of recycled air and kept me from caving and buying a chemical laden Coke Zero (weakness…)

And for my mental fuel?20120315-152336.jpg
David Rakoff’s Fraud on audiobook…because 1) He is a clever, charming, snarky & a Canadian born New Yorker 2) I can’t read in a vehicle and 3) The man has the sultriest voice imaginable.

Are you taking any trips over March break? What are your favourite road snacks?

blogs, cities, coffee, culture, photojournal

Healthy Hipster Q&A + A Long Weekend Roundup

Good morning everyone! And those of you living in Ontario Happy Family Day! Is that the worst name for a civic holiday of all time? Possibly. But I have a long weekend in February so who’s complaining?

First up, some exciting news! The Healthy Hipster was featured by Toronto-based sassfactory & pilates instructor extraordinaire Brittany on her blog Fine Tune Pilates. So if you want to hear me rant about exercise trends, scrawny hipsters, the fine art of gym fashion & songs I can’t stop listening to….Read the interview here.

I haven’t spent much time at home over the long weekend so my eats have been extremely grab and go. Reheated steel cut oats, almond butter & jam sandwiches, crackers, baby carrots & fennel, heaps of hummus & about 3 bars of dark chocolate have been my main sources of sustenance. Since these don’t sound like pretty pictures to me, I figured I would dedicate today to a photo journal of the things I officially deemed more important than elaborate meals this weekend.

Stuff I bought:

Tickets for two shows I am crazy excited for in March.

This almond milk cortado @ Capitol Espresso in Parkdale.

New jewellery. I saw this in a little vintage store and immediately exclaimed “IS THAT AN EAR CUFF!? ” Clearly it is now MY ear cuff.

Stuff I did:

Stopped into one of my favourite bars up on Bloor St. West The Piston…Don’t let the all black paint job or the lack of sign fool ya, it’s a friendly little spot that also happens to host some great live music shows. Thursday was no exception as one of my absolute favourite Halifax import bands The Taste tore the place down with swoonworthy Harry Nilsson style pop jams.

The Piston. Source: BlogTO

I also popped into Nobody Writes to the Colonel to wish a happy birthday to my good pal Graham Wright. I’d never been to this spot before but it’s warm, cozy atmosphere put everyone in a particularly adorable mood I think.

[Cute, fuzzy red pics courtesy of Spencer MacEachern]

Friday was a big ol’ Motown dance party called The Big Sound, featuring a local Toronto indie bands singin nothin but the hits. It. Was. Amazing. Don’t believe me? Watch this.

And you guessed it, I’m off again to enjoy this last day of long weekend freedom! Although I must say I’m looking forward to posting some new recipes this week as domestic self is feeling rather abandoned at the  moment and the kitchen is calling my name!

photojournal

North Country Christmas


Its no secret that I love my city, and urban living in general. I revel in the opportunity to participate in that same “hustle bustle” some folks can’t stop complaining about and move to get away from. However, during the holidays season, I must admit that even I get rural fever. So when my mum and her backwoods ranger offered up their home for our family Christmas celebration this year, I jumped at the the opportunity to pull on my toque, don a full set of long johns & lace up my hiking boots for some time in the North.

I’ll try to keep the exposition brief and instead allow you to take a voyeuristic glimpse into our woodsy winter holiday…

My sister and her beau.
My mum and hers.

Post-hike sustenance.

They still had pumpkin spice tea…Christmas miracle!

Christmas Day Breakfast.

Hot bowls of oats filled with banana, cinnamon & nutmeg. Toppings included homemade praline syrup & (dairy free) whipped cream!

While I’m glad to be back in weather that is only moderately chilly, with a jam packed social calendar and a debaucherous downtown New Years on the horizon…it was a truly special Christmas this year. I’m so grateful for the time I got to spend in the ridiculously beautiful outdoors with my even more ridiculously beautiful family. 🙂

cities, culture, photojournal

GET FESTIVE. CRAFT//CONCERT//PARTY.

Is it just me or has the first stretch of December flown by! Between working three jobs (ya you heard that right) and holiday preparations, it feels like I haven’t had a moment to spare. My meals and gym trips have been pretty dull so let’s move straight to the good stuff…HOLIDAY FUN!

First snowfall! Caught one on my nose and couldn’t stop giggling…

I kicked off the Holiday Season in a big way this past weekend with a whole buncha seriously festive activities. Here’s a little rundown…

CRAFT.
City of Craft, to be precise.

This is my absolute favourite craft show of the season in Toronto and I look forward to it every year. This year it was spread out over two buildings and while I didn’t come home with my usual armloads of stuff, I was terribly inspired by everyone’s hard work.

Pendants and knitwear and leathergoods OH MY!

Isn’t there a DJ at every Craft show? That’s a thing outside of West Queen West right? Ahem…

Ultimately I left with some beautifully printed paper items that made the whole visit worthwhile.

Photos courtesy of Celine Kim.

CONCERT.

A little festive music with some old friends, the boys from Toronto’s own Tokyo Police Club. I went to the last of three shows they sold out at the Phoenix, which is an all-ages venue in Toronto that I used to go to all the time in high school. The whole night was nostalgic and adorable, basically a heartwarming holiday blast. It was almost too wholesome due to the median age at the show being about 16. I felt a bit too old to be there I must admit….

The highlight of the night was when they brought out the fellas from Born Ruffians, The Arkells, Said the Whale & The Fabulous Yawn to sing a rousing rendition of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.”


I warned you it was wholesome.

Don’t worry. We more than made up for it at the after party later in the evening. Healthy Hipster Holiday Kryptonite = Tequila & Soda. And no, you don’t get to see those pictures 😉

PARTY.

Every year my Jewish father throws a Christmas party at his loft (Yup. Modern Family has nothing on me).

A Kir Royale (Champagne & Cassis Blackcurrent Liqueur). My holiday drink of choice.

I promise I’ll be bombarding you with loads of recipes & holiday food + fitness tips in the coming weeks but for the moment….

How are you kicking off your Holiday Season?

dinner, photojournal, restaurants, travel

Untraditional Holidays & A Harvest Meal

As the Thanksgiving long weekend approaches here in Canada I’m sure many of you are getting ready to head home for the holidays.

Well for me, this is not always a straightforward endeavor…To be honest my family is less than traditional (remember a few posts back when I mentioned I grew up on a hippie organic farm? You get the idea…) This year I decided to do my trip “home” the week before Thanksgiving, visiting my mum and her fella (the Backwoods Ranger) for a little hiking, camping and general adventuring in the North. Then on Sunday I will have my “traditional” Turkey day meal with the folks I like to think of as my friend-family (or my family of choice). While I appreciate tradition as much as the next gal, I kind of love my plan this year because it works for me and the people I love.

I was also glad I chose to go North when I did because the leaves are right in the middle of changing and the colours were breathtaking.

One night I was invited over for dinner at our family friends Jim and Carolyn’s cabin home in Massey, Ontario.
We sipped Chardonnay on the porch as the sun went down.
 I roasted up some fennel, onion & asparagus…Plus some unpictured buttercup squash.

Carolyn showed off her new quilting fabrics to Mama Hipster.The Backwoods Ranger (+ his brother Jim…who is…also a ranger) fired up the BBQThen we feasted on a delicious pre-holiday Harvest Meal. (Those squash seeds were roasted up using this delicious recipe)The next day we woke up early to go for a hike. We grabbed an on-the-go breakfast from Tim Horton’s. I opted for plain mixed berry oatmeal with a side of peanut butter mixed in and a plain egg patty on the side for some added protein.

Not to get down on the ol’ Canadian maple…but I think birch trees are my favourite.

Oh yeah that wasn’t terrifying…

I’m back in the city today and so excited to spend the holidays with my friends here. But I can still smell the campfire on my clothes….and that’ll definitely keep me smiling all weekend long. 😉

breakfast, dinner, photojournal, travel

Bits and Bites from North Country

After a brief but memorable 5 hours on the greyhound I arrived safe and sound to the teeny town of Lively, Ontario.

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I was greeted by chilly sweater weather, lots of hugs and a warm bowl of turkey chili I layered over some fresh spinach. If I can pry this recipe from my mum I will share it cause it’s a keeper! So far all she’s shared is “fresh veggies, no garlic.” A mysterious creature my mother is…

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Breakfast the next morning was entirely non-optional. Mum wanted poached eggs. I obliged.

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Followed up with some tea on the porch…

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Now all thats left to do is lace up my boots and hit the trails.

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guest post, inspiration, photojournal, travel

Guest Post: Mama Hipster’s Guide to Canoe “Tripping” in the Near North

The following is a guest post from one of the healthiest, hippest chicks I know….Oh, and she also happens to be my mother! A few years back Mama Hipster moved from urban/suburban Ontario to middle-of-nowhere Northern Ontario to be with her love (a happy-go-lucky backcountry ranger) and pursue her dreams of becoming an educator. These are her reflections on some recent experiences camping and canoeing in the Canadian wilderness. 

A dry bag, a compression bag, a Gerber tool, quick dry clothing, water purification; these were just a few of the things I needed to learn about when I decided to canoe and camp out to the middle of God’s country nowhere.

Glorious does not express what it was like on the River. The weather from the moment I left home until I returned was blue skies, hot summer sun in the day and fresh autumn air at night. The sounds were of paddles moving through water, wind rustling trees, loons, and Canadian geese flying 20 feet overhead in V’s, whippoorwills and chickadees waking me in the morning with their chirping. The smells were of earth, fire, food, coffee and fresh air. I only learned enough this summer about ‘tripping’ to go out for short periods at a time and it took a lot for this urban princess to get that far; but it was something I have dreamed about doing my whole life. The sensation of being alone in the wilderness, prepared to handle the elements is, I believe, not meant to be described. It is meant to be lived, cherished and let go of.

 

Some tips from my experiences:

1) PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

I became aware that planning the route to your destination is crucial. One or two short portages are manageable, but if your packs are too heavy or not packed properly they can make a trip miserable and potentially unsafe for those not physically able to manage. Paddling in places where there are no portages is called a ‘floater’ trip; I highly recommend this when challenging yourself against the elements is not one of your goals.

TIP: ‘floater’ means no need to carry your packs and canoe over land because in this 50km section of the Spanish River there is no water that can’t be traversed (assuming you have at least one experienced paddler). Bottom line, easier and more fresh food can be taken along for your dining pleasure.

2) FOOD

For meals:

I pre-cooked chicken and beef, packed the first day’s lunch in its own ‘clear dry sack’ separate from the other food, I placed food into plastic ‘lock-n-locks’ to take up as little space as possible and it all went into a barrel that seals and floats if your canoe dumps. Our dinner menus included Chicken stir fry for day one, Beef Fajitas for day two, veggie enhanced KD for day three with lots of salad fixings on the side.

For snacks:

We took eggs, ham, yogurt, cheese, crackers, pepperoni sticks, smoked almonds, ‘GORP’ – Good Old Raisins and Peanuts (and don’t forget to throw in some M&M’s) tuna, pickles and cracker thins to.

And to drink:

I (like my daughter) can’t survive anywhere without a good cup of coffee. So I took along pre-ground beans to brew in the camp percolator. I also brought along some tea which was a delight when we pulled off the river for the day and some exquisite Red and White cartons of Ontario wine that made our dinner time meals very civilized.


When I said to my partner Mike, “I wish I didn’t have to leave,” he says “the wilderness is not a place to go to escape from civilization.” The back country gave me a chance this summer to find solace in the simplicity of just existing; each day was unique and long like those I remember from childhood. I think we all live in two interconnected ‘wild worlds’ – a bustling urban landscape and an untouched wilderness.

Surviving the crash of these two worlds is not always comfy but it is thrilling.

cities, community, culture, healthy treats, inspiration, photojournal, snacks

EAT/ART/REPEAT

Today was one of those Saturdays when I left the house with no plan at all, but by the end of the day I realized I spent it doing just what I wanted.

Grabbed lunch at one of my favourite West end haunts, Cafe Bernate.

My standard order...Bernate Salad with chicken and a side of crusty bread

Dark roast coffee + steamed almond milk + REFILLS. Bad news.

Then I made my way further west to Trinity Bellwoods Park to check out the events of the day which just happened to be the…

Lucky me!

The park served as the perfect canvas for all the lovely art pieces on display, with a bright blue sky and autumn leaves as far as the eye could see.

Everyone was lying around being stupidly adorable…And there were babies and puppies galore!

I didn’t want to be that guy taking photos of all the art, but I couldn’t help snapping a shot of these adorable little terrariums by local artist Jessie Trott.

Stopped in for some more caffeine and sustenance at a little organic food stand school bus.

munched on one of these baseball-sized banana apricot oat cookies. Wholesome sugar free nommm...

Sometimes nothing beats an adventure in your very own neighborhood to start the weekend off right!

inspiration, photojournal, travel, weddings

Whimsical Woodland Wedding

 

On September 10th, 2011 Christel and Gregory got married and they did so in a fashion only two such odd and interesting creatures could have dreamt up.

The ceremony took place in a chapel at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I got all gussied up.

The bride arrived with a backpack in tow (pictured below as she shared a sweet moment with mum before events got underway).

When I boldly inquired what on earth her satchel could be for, she simply responded: what else would I carry my Kierkegaard in? What a mystery my Christel is!

I soon understood, however, when the reverend cited Kierkegaard at the end of the ceremony…

Marriage is and remains the most important voyage of discovery a human being undertakes.

Weeping ensued. On to the reception.

As previously mentioned the theme of the wedding was cryptozoology (otherwise known as  the study of “hidden animals” or mythological creatures). Thus upon entering the garden reception, we were greeted with a table full of mythical creature bait. Apparently the Kraken likes salt beef and the Loch Ness Monster is partial to shortbread.

We were also greeted with tables full of fresh salads, grilled chicken and salmon.

 

 

My plate was full to the brim with greens, cous cous, mango chutney and salmon. Local Nova Scotia white wine a dreamy addition.  

The dessert tables were carefully guarded by creatures of all sorts. 

Guests ate their meals in the garden and made visitations to the princess on her thrown of choice…

My offering to the happy couple…in keeping with all things mythological creature based.

Early morning flight was SO worth it. I left this glorious day one happy (very choked up) lady.
Congratulations to Christel and her blushing groom. 😉