In and Out of Canada {Take 2}

Another year, another jaunt to Canada for the weekend.

Toronto, Canada. The land in which I undoubtedly consume an inordinate amount of carbohydrates and sodium. But goodness gracious, how can you say no to the fried rice and crispy noodles?

The food wasn’t nearly as important as the occasion and the company of course. My family took a little trek to Toronto this weekend to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th anniversary! How beautiful, eh? (← had to)

Friday

Early wakeup to leave the house at 6AM! I definitely should not have stayed up until midnight to watch gymnastics/procrastinated laundry the night before. But Simone and Aly were worth it.

Nectarine banana overnight oats as per travel tradition.

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I was also nearly half deaf on Friday because my right ear has issues (I was born with two ear holes instead of one in that ear), so I’m prone to infection and having too much stuff in my ear. One of the more gross facts that you didn’t need to know about me. But not being able to hear that well out of even one ear really made me appreciate the gift of hearing!

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some morning double rainbow action

Madre had been up in Toronto since Tuesday, since she was the executive party planner. Pop, Ben and I took Friday off of work to drive up, and it took wayyyy too long. A road trip that usually takes 9 hours took almost 12 hours. But we made it safe and sound, which matters most.

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Salad dipped in guac. All I can hear is Rachel saying to me, “Be better. Or at least be less weird.”

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so much of this

We rolled into our cousins’ place at around 6pm. We were staying with the fit family again 🙂 Obviously that meant doing handstands and cartwheels in the basement with my cousin Amy upon arrival.

My family took off again soon after for dinner with other relatives at Congee Queen.

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congee = rice porridge with lots of good stuff inside

Pro: it’s cheap, delicious food. Con: it’s cheap, delicious food.

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best fried rice ever with [fake] crab, roe, and eel!

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I am positive that I ate more at this dinner than I do at Thanksgiving.

Back at home, I showered, and my cousin and I stretched while watching the Olympics with our parents. Only at their house can I enjoy a big stretching mat and foam rollers in front of the television!

Saturday

I slept in until 8ish and headed to the basement to warmup and do Jen’s 1000 Rep Workout.

My legs were insanely tight from sitting all day Friday, so this workout was great for loosening them up, but I could feel that there was lots of lactic acid in my body (not soreness but all around fatigue/tightness/heaviness). All I wanted was to foam roll and drink water until the cows came home.

After showering (and getting my right ear to hear again!), I helped Amy make avocado egg toast for her and her dad. She saw on my blog that I ate it once 25793 times before and bought the ingredients to make it while I was visiting.

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I’m always a proponent of spreading the avo-egg toast love, and I’m happy that they love it!

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For myself, I ate some quick banana oatmeal with protein powder and almond butter.

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While Madre, Pop and Ben were setting up the hall for the anniversary party the next day, I got to hang out with Amy. We played “Just Dance” and a Mario Party “board game” on the Wii after breakfast.

Working out + Just Dance made me pretty hungry again in no time. I ate leftovers for lunch with my cousin’s family before they left for Kung Fu practice (NBD). As for me, I laid horizontally on their couch (I had a stomachache for a bit), foam rolled, and caught up on blogs and reading.

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I did some handstands too. Amy believed that I could do a one-armed handstand facing the wall (after seeing my failure last week), and I could! The power of encouragement, man.

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When my family got back home, we headed to 5pm Mass. This parish we visited had the most beautiful-sounding music ministry. I cried.

Then for my favorite meal of the trip at my favorite restaurant in Toronto— Ten Ren’s Tea House! Everything here is cooked with tea, and they obviously sell a million kinds of tea beverages.

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p.s. More often than not in Toronto, we share everything family style. #justAsianthings

I actually skipped a tea beverage this time because I wanted a tea dessert, and I’m not really a dessert-sharer, so…. I ordered a green tea soft serve in a waffle cone for myself, which was fantastic.

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I also had a couple bites of “brick toast” for the first time ever. It’s what it sounds like— toast the size of a brick that’s caramelized and topped with something yummy. Our table shared a sweet milk custard one and a peanut butter (!) one.

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We’re pretty sure it was natural peanut butter because LOOK AT THE WAY IT MELTS. It also wasn’t too sweet. The sweet milk custard one was even better though, honestly. Imagine creme brûlée on top of toast….Yeah.

I also had a few bites of this snow ice dessert.

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It’s shaved ice topped with coconut milk and four toppings. We got tapioca, taro, lychee jelly, and red beans. Tasty and refreshing!

I think the rest of the night involved more stretching and Just Dance. We didn’t throw knives this time around, darn it.

Sunday

The big day! My family headed to the hall to prep for the anniversary party all morning.

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Sidenote: I was tweezing my brows in the car (I was NOT driving) on the way to the hall, which I do not recommend for effectiveness, accuracy, or safety.

We did some rehearsing, some decorating, and LOTS of food scooping into trays. As we were transferring all the food (that Congee Queen catered) into smaller trays, all I could think was, “these noodles are perpetual…this fried rice could feed an army and a half…this is all the General Tso’s chicken in Canada.”

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Needless to say, many people had many meals to take home at the end of the party.

There were several heartfelt speeches, many songs, lots of laughs, a couple baby screams, and almost three hundred people celebrating my grandparents’ inspiring 50 years of marriage. I sang “La Vie en Rose” for them with my brother accompanying on the piano!

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DSC_2657Pop and his bros singing + Ben on the keys + pad thai 
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twins!

I wore spiky, pointy-toed heels for 3 minutes before calling it quits and switching to sandals.

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So many people worked very hard to plan, set up, and attend this celebration. Special shoutout to my mom and her family and friends, who were indispensable contributors to the setup and cleanup of the party. They’re amazing! Everyone on both sides of the family who helped and came out to the celebration are just remarkable.

Cheers to everyone and to my Mah Mah and Yeh Yeh!

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We were utterly exhausted after running around all day. To think that Pop, Ben and I had originally planned on driving home to New York overnight immediately after the party makes me want to die inside. Thank God we were all able to get Monday off work.

I did go on a walk with my cousin, aunt and uncle after dinner because the weather outside was perfect and the sky looked like cotton candy!

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homemade jello made by Amy, naturally sweetened with honey and lemon — so refreshing!

But after watching the 100m men’s track final at night, I went to bed at 10 and passed. out.

Monday

Pop took one of our cars to go back home early with his aunt, and the rest of us slept in a little bit before we hit the road with our other car. I ate some breakfast cookie dough cereal before saying goodbyes, and then we were off!

First though, some road trip snacks from the Asian supermarket.

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cart-basket contraption

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“meat floss” seems neither appealing nor helpful in any way

Lunch on the road:

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pork bun

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cold Taiwanese noodles

Also, we bought ketchup chips in unhealthy and healthier form.

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A Canada classic that makes ketchup lovers rejoice and ketchup haters question humanity.

The trip home was a lot better than the trip to Toronto, thankfully. We even got some good views of Niagara Falls at the border!

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Our last hurrah was dinner at a Japanese restaurant with my dad’s aunt. I shared an eel avocado roll with my mom and ordered steamed chicken and vegetables with brown rice for myself. I was honestly craving as little salt and oil as possible. I love those two things, but Toronto serves it on a whole ‘nother level.

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It was a fun mini vacation with my beloved family, but I’m excited to go back to work and not have as much acne on my face 😀

So tell me:

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever tried brick toast or Taiwanese snow ice?

How has someone encouraged you recently? 

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Athlete’s vs. Non-Athlete’s Day of Eats

I have a friend taking over the blog today!

Fellow blogger and Boston University Terrier {alum}, Gemma, reached out to me about a WIAW blog switch-up a couple weeks ago. At first, I wasn’t sure how that would fit in with either of our blogs, given the fact that she’s a rockin’ track star and I’m just…not. But she made the point that it could be interesting for our readers to compare the eats of an athlete and a non-athlete (who is trying to get her hormones in check).

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WHAT A BEAUTY.

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I hope that you can see between our posts that food intake truly depends on an individual’s body and goals, and you should not criticize the amount of food you need, just because someone else is eating a lesser or greater amount.

Head on over to Gemma’s beautiful blog, Actively Gemma to discover the life of a “semi-pro” athlete, life motivation, balanced living, hilarious vlogs, and Gemma’s amazing hair.

Also, you can check out my half of this WIAW collab while you’re there! I show how I eat just as much (if not, more) than Gemma, even if my only “workout” of the day was chores and 8 minutes of abs.

Spotlight on Gemma now! (Green = me talking because I can’t keep my mouth shut.)

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Hi, everyone!  I’m Gemma from activelygemma.com! I’m a semi-professional athlete for Ghana and a recent grad of Boston University. (YAAAASSS.) I wanted to show what an athlete eats on a pretty daily basis and how it can differ (or be pretty much the same) as you!

For those of you that don’t follow my blog (which I’m assuming is a lot of you), I started a new training cycle last week to help me get ready for the All-Africa Games in September. Last week was pretty tentative as I got back into the training mindset, but this week felt like I pretty much jumped head first into things. I wanted to share what I ate to keep myself fueled all day!

I start every day with breakfast, of course!  Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.08.31 PMmulti-grain whole wheat toast, 3 sausages, a handful of grape tomatoes, an omelet with spinach and cheese, and green tea

Usually I don’t eat anything elaborate for breakfast. Most of the time it’s just two fried eggs, toast, and green tea, or oatmeal and green tea. Each day has been difficult in it’s own way, so I’ve been trying to eat a bit more to make sure I have the energy to tackle everything. (Hang in there, girl!)

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2 chicken egg rolls with a side of duck sauce and spinach salad with grape tomatoes and Caesar dressing

I had a late practice Wednesday, so when I got home I wanted something quick and filling, so that I could spend a little more time on actual cooking. I bought the egg rolls because they were on sale in the freezer aisle, and figured they’d be the protein portion of my meal. (<— I love the way she thinks.) I paired them with a simple spinach salad and my favorite dressing, Caesar.

And for those that may want to know what my workout was:

  • 3x Standing Long Jump, Standing Triple Jump
  • 3x15m Alternating Bounds, Right Right Right…, Left Left Left… Each w/7m run in
  • 4x30m Alternating Bounds w/ 15m run in
  • 4x60m Straight Leg Bounds w/30m run in

(Editor’s note: In my head I just see Gemma flying across the track like a gazelle.)

It’s definitely more of a track and field centered workout – I don’t think I’d expect just anyone to do a purely bounding workout, unless they wanted to, of course, haha.

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tortilla with seasoned ground beef, spinach, sour cream, and cheese

Second dinner was just a re-styling of some leftover meat from Taco Tuesday. (Awesome that she had this second dinner, not worrying about “right times” to eat.) I just warmed up the tortillas and beef, and through on the toppings I was in the mood for. I had about 3-4 of these before I got full.

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homemade granola bars and vanilla yogurt

30 minutes later I was hungry again, so I grabbed a quick snack of vanilla yogurt and homemade chewy granola bars. It’s just regular yogurt. I keep telling myself to try to switch to Greek, but I just can’t get past the flavor of it. I think I just need to find a brand with the right vanilla taste.

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To finish up the night, I had about a bowl and a half of my favorite cereal — bran flakes! (Where are the raisins!?)

By this time (around midnight), I was pretty tired and forgot I was documenting my food, and I gobbled up the cereal before I remembered to take a photo of it. (Me. All the time.) So here’s what the box looks like instead 😛

Welp, that’s pretty much it.  I wanted to show that athletes eat about the same things as most people do on a day to day basis.  I have no special restrictions or anything, so my general rule is to avoid obvious sugars (candy) and just try to stick to the healthier options. I hope you enjoyed! You can check out my blog activelygemma.com to catch more of what I eat, as well as find my weekly workouts, recipes, vlogs, and more!

And of course a special thanks to Alison for the collab! (Thank YOU, Gemma!)

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I hope you all enjoyed and found value in this neat WIAW switch-up. I am truly inspired by Gemma’s balance, poise, and athleticism. Thanks for being here on DMAG today!

Follow Gemma on Instagram and Twitter!

So tell me:

Have you ever done track and field? Have you ever done track workouts?

If you’re an athlete, do you have a special eating protocol?

What is your favorite cereal? Lucky Charms or Raisin Bran for me.