Fusing Flavours with Canola

_JCH2561I had the pleasure of taking part in a great interactive workshop last week in Toronto. I love cooking and love knowing where my food comes from so I couldn’t refuse this invitation. The workshop organized by Canola Eat Well, gave us the opportunity to cook with one of Toronto’s top chefs, Dailo‘s Chef Nick Liu. He taught us how to make some of his famous wontons, which were inspired by his grand-ma’s recipe. It was great to get some of his cooking tips and also get him to show us the steps of the recipe.

_JCH2356_JCH2555_JCH2637_JCH2685We also learned a whole lot about cooking with canola oil. Some of the Canadian farmers that produce canola were present to teach us about how they harvest the seed, how to differentiate good from bad seeds, etc. It was great to get their perspective and find out exactly what the process behind making canola oil is all about.

_JCH2970_JCH2977_JCH3002_JCH3003I truly believe in the importance of knowing where our food comes from and educating ourselves on what we eat. Talking to the farmers themselves taught me a lot about the product and got me excited to try cooking with canola oil at home.

_JCH2227_JCH3148_JCH3123_JCH3218We finished off the evening with a great and important discussion about educating the new generation of kids on food and ingredients. I always try to share any knowledge that I have learned about food, eating healthy and buying local as much as possible so it was great to be surrounded by a room full of like-minded individuals.

_JCH3257_JCH3345For more information on Canola Eat Well, please go here.

All photos by: Jeffrey Chan

5 Questions With: Brianne Theisen-Eaton

Brianne Theisen-Eaton (2)Prior to hearing about Brianne Theisen-Eaton‘s story I had never heard of a heptathlete before. A heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events. The events are as follows: Day 1 (in order): 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m. Day 2: the long jump, javelin and 800m. Brianne is a Canadian heptathlete who will be competing at this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympics. She also competed at the London 2012 Olympics, won a silver medal at the 2013 & 2015 World Championships and was the reigning Commonwealth Games champion in 2014, just to name a few of her many inspiring achievements. For this summer’s games, she partnered up with Crest Canada as one of their ambassadors for their new 3D White line so that she can #SmileThrough this summer’s Olympics. She took a few minutes out of her insanely busy pre-Olympic schedule to answer a few questions about her journey thus far.

1) What first got you interested in track and field? Do you remember when you decided to become a heptathlete?

I liked all sports to tried track for the first time and fell in love with it. I decided to try the heptathlon the summer between grade 9 and 10.

2) What does your weekly training regimen as a heptathlete consist of?

During the week we train our hardest on Monday, Wednesday and Friday which covers technical events and running. Then on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we make things a bit easier by preparing for the throwing events and lifting. I finally get to take a break on Sundays, which are my only days off.

3) How has working with brands like Crest helped with your training and career thus far?

I use Crest everyday. I drink a ton of coffee and my guilty pleasure is candy, so it fits perfectly into my life, keeping my teeth white and healthy. Crest has helped to boost my confidence when I’m competing. I am happy to have Crest as part of the story and journey as an athlete.

4) What are some of your favourite places that you’ve had the opportunity to travel to and why?

I love Austria. Food is great and the fans are awesome. A couple of my favourite vacation places are Rome and Dubai.

5) What are your goals for this summer’s Olympics in Rio?

Go out there and do the best I can in every event.

For more information about Brianne and her campaign with Crest Canada, go here.

Washing Workout Clothes

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With the amount of time I now spend working out every week, I also spend a lot more time washing my workout clothes than I ever did before. I used to throw my workout clothes in with all of my other laundry whenever I did my wash but realized that it often didn’t get the stink out. If I also happened to throw in my husband’s workout clothes in at the same time, the stench was so strong that it would rub off on all of my regular clothes, which was no fun.

I also found myself going to my next workout and only a couple of minutes into it, my clothes would start smelling again. Unbeknownst to me, there is a thing called the “Rebloom” effect, which is quite common for workout gear because they are made from synthetic fabrics. Though great for sports and movement, these fabrics are not so great for odor. I quickly realized that because of these fibers, my workout clothes became odor magnets and would require special care.

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I gave the Tide + Downy Odor Defense Collection a try because I was looking for a way to avoid the “Rebloom” effect at all cost. What is great about the collection is that it cleans the garments right down to the fiber level to make sure the odor is eliminated for good.

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The product is simple to use. The Tide Pods Plus Febreeze Odor Defense is a 4-in-1 laundry detergent pac that removes odors from fabrics while also removing residue and surface stains.

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The Tide Odor Rescue With Febreeze Odor Defense is an in-wash booster that deep cleans the odor and dirt that has gotten trapped in the fibers. All you have to do is add it to your wash along with the pods.

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The final product to add with the detergent at the beginning of the wash cycle is the Downy Fresh Protect With Febreeze Odor Defense. This will not only eliminate the stinky smell from your activewear but will also seal in the odor protection technology so that your clothes feel fresh all day long.

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The products were super easy to use. All I had to do was to put the pods and beads in the water before adding my workout clothes. As soon as I took my clothes out of the washer and dryer, I could automatically smell and feel the difference. No more stench. Now I can confidently go to my workouts and not worry about my clothes “Reblooming” anymore!

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For more information about the Tide + Downy Odor Defense Collection, visit Tide.ca.

tideThis post was written in collaboration with Tide but all opinions are my own.

5 Things to do in Detroit

FullSizeRender(16)FullSizeRender(20)FullSizeRender(14)1) Start at the Detroit Historical Museum – This “pay what you want” museum is the best way to get started when you first arrive in the Detroit. You will learn so much about its creation, history, downfall and current resurgence. The museum is separated into different exhibitions that cover the automobile industry, to the creation of Motown, to some of the city’s greatest athletes and moments in sports. The museum is fun, interactive and teaches you a whole lot about the city, past and present.

FullSizeRender(2)FullSizeRender(3)FullSizeRender(4)FullSizeRender(1)2) Grab a drink at UFO Factory – This was hands down my favorite place we went to the entire time we were in Detroit. The reason being: it was a no frills, no hype, just laid back bar located in Corktown. The name drew me in immediately and to find out that the space was even cooler indoors, I was beyond stoked. You can order some great diner-style food from Laika Dog, with classic bar drinks while also picking songs out on the jukebox. The UFO Factory is also a great place to see live music.

FullSizeRender(17)FullSizeRender(18)FullSizeRender(19)3) Midtown & Corktown – These are two areas of the city that have been changing a lot over the past couple of years. Midtown is located along the east and west side of Woodward Avenue and north of downtown. Corktown is located just west of downtown Detroit, it is the oldest extant neighborhood in the city. Both areas of town are packed with beautiful lofts, little shops, restaurants, fitness studios and more. They are both a great place for an afternoon stroll, to grab a coffee or even get a workout in. You can also feel a real sense of community in both of the neighborhoods.

FullSizeRenderIMG_9699FullSizeRender(29)FullSizeRender(22)FullSizeRender(23)FullSizeRender(21)4) Visit the Eastern Market – This may be a classic on everyone’s list who goes to Detroit but the Saturday market is the best place to meet the most locals. You really can get a feel for the city, when you walk around throughout the market and the entire area. Signs like “Detroit Hutles Harder” or shops like Everybody Vs. Detroit showcase not only Detroiters’ strength but also their pride. So many people in Detroit wear apparel with the letter “D” or wear some of their local sports teams’ jerseys, logos, etc. The market has been encouraging local food producers and artisans for the past 125 years.

FullSizeRender(10)FullSizeRender(12)FullSizeRender(11)FullSizeRender(13)5) Don’t be afraid to explore – Detroit is full of really unique neighborhoods, but you have to be willing to explore to find some of the coolest things the city has to offer. Not every neighborhood is located side by side and sometimes, appearances can be deceiving. What may look like an abandonned, or not so great neighborhood can potentially have a lot to offer. Just by being curious and spending time driving around the city, I found so many great gems. The Heidelberg Project or even the Michigan Building, the former theatre turned into a parking lot are just some of the amazing things I saw during the weekend. The city is really a photographer’s dream. Though there is still a lot of rebuilding and growth to take place before the city can really thrive again, from the looks of it, thanks to some creative young entrepreneurs, the city really seems to be on an upswing and it couldn’t make me happier. There truly is something magical about Detroit!

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Mobile Travel

CaptureBeing an avid traveller, I am always interested in finding out some of the latest travel trends for Canadians.

Hotels.com recently released a brand new survey called the Mobile Travel Tracker they conducted across 31 countries and 9,200 travellers. One of the survey’s most interesting findings was that Canadians would rather travel with their phones and leave their loved ones at home. It’s no surprise to me that our mobile devices have become the most important travel companion in the past couple of years.

There are a lot of other great findings in this survey such as:

Secret Bed-Bookers – Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians admit to booking a hotel while between the sheets

Staying social – Nearly 70% of Canadians spend at least two hours a day connecting on social media while travelling

Spontaneous Stayers – 37% of Canadians have made a same-day hotel booking thanks to mobile, with 9% even booking their hotel in the airport departure lounge.

I can without a doubt say that I’ve done all of these before. Just last week, I booked a last minute hotel the day prior to my arrival in LA.

Travelling with a mobile device has completely changed the way I travel. Whether it is for bookings, to find a particular location, for transportation, connecting to social media, texting, taking photos, etc. I heavily rely on my mobile device whenever I travel.

I am excited to see just how much more we will be using our devices for travel in the future!

Live Out There

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Life is too short to be indoors. If I could, I would spend every single minute of every day outdoors, exploring the beautiful world around me.

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I recently discovered an amazing Canadian company called Live Out There. Their philosophy immediately resonated with me. The reason why the company started is to provide great gear for those wanting to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. In addition to providing great gear, they also focus a lot on local Canadian brands, making sure that was is made right here gets out.

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Live Out There recently started their personal shopping program who’s goal is to inspire people to get outside. With so many of us spending our days in offices and in front of computers, we could all use a little extra help to get out there. What’s great about their personal shopping is that you can shop based on budget, style, comfort and performance. What’s also neat is that you’ll connect with one of their specialists who will guide you along the way of your purchases and who will suggest some pieces that could be fitting for your needs. The service is free and offered by real outdoors-folk who truly walk the walk. An additional detail I particularly like is that there is no obligation to buy.

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To celebrate the launch of their personal shopping program, I’m giving you the chance to win $500 worth of gear and apparel from Live Out There. Check my post on Instagram today here for all the details! The winner will be notified by June 30th 2016. Must be a Canadian resident to win.

Photos & hair by: Cabello by Carolina

Taste of Toronto

10321591_554927434676762_5852993278947369256_oOne of my favorite food events in Toronto is coming up in just a few weeks. The annual Taste of Toronto will be taking place at the Garrison Common at Fort York from June 23rd-26th 2016.

There are many amazing chefs taking part in this year’s festivities including fan-favorite Chuck Hughes and local chefs Michael Hunter from Antler Kitchen & Bar, Ted Corrado from The Drake, Victor Barry from Piano Piano and Rob Bragagnolo from Carver, just to name a few.

Chris Kalisperas_MamakasChris Kalisperas, the chef at Toronto’s finest greek restaurant Mamakas Taverna will also be showcasing some of his cuisine later this month. He shared what it means to him to be a part of the event this year.

We are thrilled to be included in a world-class event alongside some of Toronto’s most accomplished chefs and coveted restaurants. Taste of Toronto is the perfect place for us to showcase our modern approach to classic Aegean Cuisine,” says Chef Kalisperas.

As for how this showcase differs from other events, the chef explains that “Taste of Toronto brings a high level of professional culinary execution to the food festival scene. They are able to secure a diversity of the best restaurants and vendors the city has to offer, in it’s ever-booming landscape.”

People in attendance will be able to taste some of the chef’s amazing dishes. “We are planning on offering a small sample of our authentic Greek menu from mezze to dessert: this includes our potato feta croquettse, lamb kontosouvli and finally baklava soft serve ice cream. Our hope is to invite guests to experience a small window into our Ossington Taverna.

As for the current food scene in Toronto, Chef Kalisperas had nothing but great things to say about The 6 “Toronto is a great hub for multicultural cuisine whereby chefs are able to create menus that represent and reflect their heritage. We offer a high level of consistency in food execution,” he concludes.

For more information on the Taste of Toronto and to obtain tickets, go here.

Why I Became Active Again

p12Turning 30 was key in my wanting to become very active again. Growing up, I played every imaginable sport and spent most evenings after school practicing a sport or taking part in a sports team.

p16During my teenage years, I remained active by dancing semi-professionally, paying my way through school by teaching dancing and doing little dance contracts here and there.

As soon as I hit university, my level of physical activity really decreased due to all the time I was spending not only studying but working on developing my career as a music journalist and photographer. I put aside sports and physical activity and instead spent several nights a week covering concerts. My irregular schedule and frequent travelinh made it difficult for me to partake in sports leagues or let alone take fitness classes.

p15When I moved to Toronto 7 years ago, I was still pretty unactive. One of the main reasons why I was unactive was financials. I barely had enough money to pay rent so I definitely couldn’t afford the $20-30 drop-in classes around the city, which is what led me to become more creative with my workouts. I first bought a bike and started cycling to and from work. Whenever I would travel, I would also plan some surf expeditions to get back into the water and be active.

p13And then I moved close to the waterfront almost 4 years ago and decided to give the sport I so hated growing up a try: running. The thing that I immediately loved with running is that I could do it on my own time and that it cost no money. It was also easy for me to pack my running shoes whenever I traveled so that I could run wherever I was. Though running has been an upwards battle, I have seen significant improvements just by sticking with the sport.

Through running, I have met some amazing people who have inspired and motivated me to get into racing and get even more active. I started doing any and all kinds of sports at home and also when I was on the road. My motto has become – do everything, regret nothing!

p14Thanks to training and meeting all sorts of athletes, trainers and nutritionists, I have learned so much about the importance of leading an active and healthy life, especially as you grow older. I always loved being active and playing so many sports growing up, I’m thrilled I am now very active again. Not only has it helped me with anxiety, stress, insomnia, self-esteem, etc., it is also key in preventing all sorts of diseases and health issues. Having not been dealt the best family genetics, I want to make sure I keep any potential health risk as low as possible.

Why are you active? What motivates and inspires you to get out there?

p2Photos & hair by: Cabello by Carolina

What I’m wearing: Hyba Mesh Short (get it here), Hyba Racerback Medium-Impact Sports Bra (get it here), Hyba Loose Fit Tank (get it here).

This post was written in collaboration with Hyba but all opinions are my own.

5 Things to do in Hamilton

FullSizeRender(12)I recently went on an impromptu daytrip to Hamilton to discover some of the city’s latest and greatest restaurants, shops and attractions. The day spent there went by way to fast and I’m already itching to head back to discover even more gems in this booming town. Here are some of my recommendations from this quick trip.

1) Go for coffee – Hamilton has some of the best and coolest coffee shops I’ve seen in all of Canada. Everywhere you look, there’s a cute coffee shop nestled on a street corner, that is designed beautifully and that offers delicious beverages and snacks. Whether it would be Cannon Coffee Co., Relay Coffee Roasters, Smalls Coffee, Pinecone Coffee or my latest discovery Durand Coffee, you are sure to get your java fix while in the city.

IMG_8843FullSizeRender(4)2) Visit the James St. North District – This super cute area of Hamilton is the perfect place for a morning stroll. Stop by the many boutiques (like the incredibly cute White Elephant), grab a snack from Mulberry Street Coffeehouse or from Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery. New businesses are popping up in this area every couple of weeks.

FullSizeRender(10)FullSizeRender(9)FullSizeRender(5)FullSizeRender(8)FullSizeRender(11)3) Grab lunch at Butcher and the Vegan – Located in the Barton Village, this newly opened restaurant is a great spot for a mid-day break. All of the food they serve come from a 100km radius of Hamilton. Additionally, they serve a mix of meaty and vegan dishes that will surely please everyone’s taste buds. Their farm to table menu is fresh, tasty and original. Their “Every dish under the same roof.  Every dish made with love. Everyone together.” philosophy is one I can totally get behind.

FullSizeRender(1)FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender(2)4) Wander around Locke St. – This super cute street in Hamilton is located in a quiet area of the city. It’s the perfect place to go grab a fresh juice from the brand new Glow Juicery, or some cheese from the Cheese Shoppe. They also have a handful of restaurants, local specialty boutiques and even a whoopie pie shop. The row of houses converted into shops are what make the street even more unique and charming.

FullSizeRender(6)FullSizeRender(7)5) Snack on a Donut Monster. These local donuts are made fresh from scratch daily in small batches. You can find Donut Monster in more than a dozen retailers around Hamilton. They are some of the best donuts I’ve ever had. A must: their brown butter donut!

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Bike to Work Day

p18Today is Bike to Work Day! If there’s one thing I love about Toronto is that I get to bike to and from work every day at least 6 months out of the year. There’s nothing I love more than a leisurely bike ride to start off and end my work day. It clears my head and is a form of meditation for me. While I’m biking, I’m 100% in the present moment, I’m not on my phone, I’m looking around at the beautiful scenery and am fully immersed in my cycling experience. Cycling in Toronto has taught be to be a better and safer cyclist, opting to always wear a helmet, get great bike lights, etc.

p21I can’t think of better shoes to bike in than these UNEEK shoes by KEEN. Excited to have them on my feet throughout the summer!

p19p7Bike Month kicks off today in Toronto. For all the details, go here.

p9p1Photos & hair by: Cabello by Carolina