Photo Cred Lisa I had a noon appointment downtown and was too lazy to make a lunch to go and too hungry to wait until I got home. So I Yelped the closest vegan spot and decided on Hibiscus in Kensington Market. Since complaining about the vegan food in the city I decided to make more of an effort to try new places, and I'm glad I did. Hibiscus is on the east side, about halfway down the Augusta strip. It was packed, and rightly so the food was good, quick and cheap. I ordered the large bowl, which was a mix of kelp, quinoa, yams, beat, lentils, tofu, sprouts, chickpeas and on and on it goes. Plus a tasty raw cracker on the side and all for about $8! And if that wasn't enough, the people working were so friendly! I especially enjoyed the happy-go-lucky fellow at cash. I'll be back, Hibiscus is too good.

Photo Cred Lisa The Schnauzer Brothers are on 4 week of their transition to a bones and raw food (BARF) diet, something I've been wanting to do for ages. I tried several years ago with Sanchez but he ended up with a bout of panreatitis and I panicked and put him back on his kibble. Part of the panic was due to not having a vet I could turn to for guidance. No one seemed clear on the diet requirements of the breed, some telling me Schnauzers can't process high fat and/or high protein diets, others saying they don't have special diet needs at all. Regardless I was very uncomfortable with making the switch. As time passed the more I learned about the effects cooked and process foods have on the body, both human and canine, the more unhappy I was feeding my boys kibble. Finally I found my way to East York Animal Clinic , there I spoke with Dr. Anya and we came to the decision to switch The Brothers to a raw diet including lots of fresh veggies, fruit, quality oils, flax, eggs, chicken and bones. I'm also including mineral supplements and enzymes for Sanchez who is 8, Clyde is 3 and made an easy switch without supplements. They are loving it, Sanchez can't get his meal down fast enough and usually tries to dig into Clyde's. And while Clydey had been hesitant about the veg only, he was an enthusiastic eater once I added the meats. For the first three weeks I was making all their meals, but quickly became bored with the amount of effort required and decided it wasn't sustainable. I started with Tollden Farms this week, the guys are even more eager for meal time, and it's as easy as feeding them kibble. Tollden was highly recommended by my GF worked in the BARF business. I'm so happy we've made the change, I will keep posting on their progress and improvements .

Photo Cred Cat Here is the breakfast muesli I make on a Sunday and will last all week (and Kods eats it too).  This is a very loose recipe as I usually just eyeball the amounts.  It's all good stuff so a little bit more or less, here or there, works too. Makes  approx. 10-12 servings (heaping 1/3 cup of muesli to 1 cup of hot water) 1/2 pack chia seeds (150 g) 1 1/2 cup organic large flake oats 1 tsp ground vanilla bean OR vanilla extract 1 tbsp cinnamon 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup coconut flakes 1/4 cup coconut oil 1/3 cup goji berries 1/2 cup dried cranberries Hand mix all ingredients together and store in glass container on counter or fridge.

Just got back from our, what now seems to be annual, summer trip to Eastern Ontario. We hit Ottawa up for a wedding, then promptly to Grande Jean's family cottage on Big Rideau Lake for a week. Being from Southern Ontario, the tropical hot spot that it is, my family didn't spend time in the east end of the province so it's kinda new and fun for me. We took a day trip to Perth, which was surprisingly picturesque and drove the Number 2 back to Toronto to wind our way through all the little towns that line the route. It's really quite gorgeous, I'm so looking forward to my August weekend in Port Hope! While prepping for a trip in which you won't fall victim to the 24hour roadside stop for sustenance can seem like too much effort, it really isn't and in the end you'll be grateful. Save yourself the energy of hopelessly looking for real food at a gas station, and feel right about your choices. I took these goods with us for the long drive there and back, 1L mason of green smoothie mini mason of sprouts, seasoned with salt, pepper and amazing olive oil 1 apple & 1 pear OR a few peeled oranges I wanted to take something I could grab on the quick as a meal, so I made a nice big batch of magic muesli which lasted me the entire 10 days, plus some sharing. I bring my blender when I can and wow did it come in handy at the cottage. We enjoyed our daily green smoothie or juice, plus some dangerous fruit cocktails on the dock!! Overall it was a balanced trip, some indulgences, lots of gorgeous, local and organic foods, sunshine, awesome scenery and good people! Thank you.

I was in Ottawa over the weekend for the wedding of friends Peter (The Joynt) and Marjorie, it was one of the most fascinatingly personal events I've ever been invited. I have attended some lovely weddings over the years, but this bride and groom really hit the mark with their planning, reflecting who they are as individuals and as a couple. Lovely. On Sunday I had some time to spare so I made my way over to Wellington Street West to check out the one and only raw cafe in the city, Simply Raw Express. Owned and operated by Natasha Kyssa who seems to be a bit of a local raw celebrity. She's been doing this for over 20 years, and has that beautiful living glow and a welcoming demeanour. The express cafe is just that, express! There is a cooler with lots of quick takeout items, I grabbed the Fresh Thai wraps and ordered a My Thai smoothie. Both were delicious! The place was very welcoming, there were lots of people working and many took the time to have a chat with me, including Natasha, which I always appreciate. They also have a greeter who welcomes patrons and walks them through the setup. Pretty great idea since living foods is still foreign to most and can be intimidating. They just opened weeks before, I'm looking forward to going back on my next visit to OT to see how they're coming along. They had a good selection of living lifestyle basics like superfoods, brushes and equipment. Plus the Hintonburg strip is perfect for a smoothie and a stroll.