Sheryl Jesin


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Banana blueberry carob smoothie

Sometimes I get into a smoothie rut. I have a few basic combinations that I rotate, but sometimes my palate is looking for new flavours.

I often look to other blogs for smoothie inspiration. A few days ago, Gena over at Choosing Raw posted about a flavour idea that caught my eye: a blueberry carob smoothie. I bought some carob powder a few weeks ago and was not quite sure what to do with it. With Gena’s recipe in mind, I decided to add it to a smoothie.

I loosely followed Gena’s instructions and combined a banana, frozen wild blueberries, purple kale, coconut milk, cinnamon, carob powder, a medjool date, Sunwarrior protein powder, and some ice.

The smoothie was absolutely delicious. As Gena points out, the carob added a certain sweetness that really compliments the blueberries. The carob also completely covered the taste of the kale and protein powder. I don’t mind the taste of either, but it was still nice.

Have you made any interesting smoothies lately?

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A Whole Foods Lunch

I have been doing a lot of our grocery shopping lately at Whole Foods. It may be more expensive than other grocery stores, but the produce is so much fresher – especially the organic items. I don’t know of another grocery store that consistently has fresh organic kale week after week. If it exists, please let me know. We also buy little to no meat on a weekly basis, and that saves a lot of money on the grocery bill.

When I’m at Whole Foods, I sometimes treat myself to lunch at their salad bar. It truly is outstanding. Today I had a selection of vegan and gluten-free items. My lunch consisted of curried chickpeas, quinoa with sweet potato and spinach, steamed kale, raw kale salad with beets, coleslaw, and a salad made from cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.

Benjamin and I shared this when we came home from the store. I think he loves their salad bar as much as I do. It was good till the last drop.

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Happy birthday to me

Another birthday has come and gone.

This year, the celebration began with an early morning run on a cold and crisp day.

We ended the day with some delicious, gluten free vegan cupcakes.

And what happened in between the beginning and the end? A lovely day spent with my husband and kids. Who could for anything more?

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A work of art

I have a love hate relationship with Yorkdale Mall. I hate it because it is hard to go there without buying something that I really don’t need. Malls truly are an example of excess consumption. Nevertheless, I also love Yorkdale it because it can be a good place to walk and entertain the kids on brutally cold winter days or scorching hot summer days.

Last week I found myself checking out the new expansion at Yorkdale. There are a number of brand new stores, including the North Face, Kate Spade and Ann Taylor. There are also a number of stores that moved to new space in the expansion, including two of my favourites, Club Monaco and Lululemon.

I was really struck by Lululemon’s new facade. There are no windows and no mannequins. Instead, the entire facade is a 3D mosaic made out of 35,000 small wooden blocks, that when viewed together look like a maple leaf.

These wooden blocks come from over 20 different species of trees. They are leftovers from the workshop of Brothers Dessler, two Toronto woodworkers.

It is really not often that the facade of a store is worth talking about, but I really feel like this is something special to see.

The Brothers Dessler hope their mosaic creates a moment of reflection, rather than consumption. That is difficult to achieve in a mall, especially during the holiday season. I hope that it works for the many people who walk by the store in the upcoming weeks.

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Runmute

Today I experienced my first commuting run, or as I like to call it, a runmute. What does this mean, you ask? I commuted somewhere via running. I had to be downtown this morning for a few hours, so I took the subway there, and ran home. The distance was only 5k, but it was all uphill, which made it a challenge.

To accomplish this, I wore my running capris, t-shirt and jacket, and running shoes downtown to my appointment. It was chilly in the morning so I wore my winter coat and brought a backpack with that contained some snacks, water, my wallet and my phone.

I know I talk a lot about Lululemon, but one reason I love their gear so much is that it is functional, but also fashionable. So it all easily translated from appointment to running, looking and feeling appropriate for both.

When I was done my appointment, I stuffed my winter coat into my backpack and off I went!

It was such an amazingly gorgeous day today that I had to stop 1k into my run to take my (light weight) running jacket off. Yes, I ran in capris and a t shirt at the end of November. What a treat!!

I remember when I used to work downtown, I had a colleague who ran to work, and I thought he was crazy! Now I think back to those days and wish that I had joined him. It must have felt amazing to start a day of work after a refreshing run (rather than a smelly subway ride).

I plan on continuing my rumute, even as we move into winter. Just add another layer or two, and I am set!

Have you ever runmuted? Or commuted on a bike?

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Vegan food in a food court? Yes!

I was pleasantly surprised today when I decided to check out the new food court in the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. I tend not to expect much when I am at a food court. The offerings are usually greasy and full of meat, cheese, and gluten – all foods that I try to avoid when possible.

The new Urban Herbivore outlet in the Eaton Centre is raising the bar for healthy food court eating. I decided to order their vegan Moroccan stew, a delicious medley of chick peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, celery and onions, cooked in a delicious tomato based sauce, served on top of brown and black rice. On the side came a salad of mixed greens, topped with shredded beets. The stew was fragrant and filling and I didn’t leave a drop on my plate. The salad was fresh and the dressing was just right.

I love that in the new food court, your meal is served on real plates with real silverware. You can get a glass of water on the side. I can only imagine how much waste is diverted through this. Truly amazing.

Sadly, the line ups at the “regular” food court restaurants (McDonald’s, KFC, etc) were huge. I can’t imagine what I would feel like after eating a greasy meal of fries and fried chicken. I am honestly surprised people still eat that crap.

But let’s focus on the positive – that you can get high quality plant based food at a food court. Pretty impressive!

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A busy fall day

I know that winter and cold, dark days are on the way. So, when today presented itself as sunny, mild and lovely, I decided to spend the day outside with the boys.

We began with a run. I ran 4 glorious miles while pushing 75 lbs of kids and 30 lbs of stroller. It’s been a while since I’ve pushed both boys in the Chariot, and wow – it is a workout!!!

We then made our way over to the Brick Works farmers market. We had a bit of time to buy some delicious produce, and then spent some time playing outside. They have an amazing outdoor kids area, with little huts made out of branches, hills to run up and down, and even a campfire where they were cooking some yummy food. We had some chickpea rotis that were great.

Our last stop of the day was the park. The boys ran around for a couple of hours, and enjoyed the sunshine.

It was such a fun day. I hope to keep spending time outside, even during winter.

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