Canadian Blogger Series #13: Dear Alberta

Good Morning everyone! This week we have Miranda from Miranda’s Munchies blogging about Alberta. I absolutely love the open letter format of this post, such a great idea! Smile The pictures are stunning as well. Thanks so much Miranda, stop by her blog and say HI!

 

 

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training

8. British Columbia by Karen from Toronto Girl West

9. New Brunswick & Toronto by Cynthia from Cynthia’s Adventures

10. Alberta by Leigh from All You Need is Love

11. Ontario by Axel from Iron Rogue

12. Halifax by Glen from Healthy Halifax

 

 

Dear Alberta,

Maybe I should’ve told you sooner, but I’m leaving. If I could, I would stay. But instead, I need to pursue my graduate studies in Ontario. But I’m going to come home as often as I can. I promise.

But until that time, I want you to know that I’ve always appreciated everything you’ve had to offer,

though perhaps I wasn’t always vocal about it.

But now’s my chance.

I love your snowcapped peaks…

clip_image002The Mountains are perfect for hikes, scrambles, and climbs.

(The view of Mt. Temple from the summit of Saddle Mountain. Photo: Bartek Lenart)

 

 

your wild aspen parkland…

clip_image004 Elk Island National Park is filled with hikes and wildlife-spotting activities

 

 

your plentiful lakes…

clip_image006Astotin Lake, Elk Island National Park. Photo: Tom Blazejewicz

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East of Edmonton

 

 

the mysterious badlands where dinosaurs once roamed…

clip_image010Drumheller- Home of the Royal Tyrell Museum, which contains one of the largest display of dinosaurs in the world.

 

 

And your rich culture and history…

clip_image012Kalyna County is the church capital of Canada (St. Nicholas Ukr. Greek Orthodox Church- Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village) photo: Tom Blazejewicz

 

 

I’ll miss you.

Love,

Miranda

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View of the southside of Edmonton

 

 

Thanks so much Miranda!

Anyone visit Alberta? What was your favourite place to visit?

Canadian Blogger Series #12: Halifax

I am thrilled today to be bringing you a blog very close to the shores of my island! This week we have  Glenn from the blog Healthy Halifax telling you all about what it’s like to live on the beautiful east coast in Halifax! I absolutely love Nova Scotia, it’s just a quick hour flight from my city so I have been there often. It’s a beautiful province and the best part? It simply has the east coast charm that I have grown up with and love so much!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training

8. British Columbia by Karen from Toronto Girl West

9. New Brunswick & Toronto by Cynthia from Cynthia’s Adventures

10. Alberta by Leigh from All You Need is Love

11. Ontario by Axel from Iron Rogue

 

 

Canada’s Ocean Playground

 

The best part about this blogger series is that we’re all proud Canadians that want to tell the world about our favourite part of the country. Put all of our stories together and it’s not hard to see why so many people love our country.

 

 

My fiancée Lisa and I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We are a very active couple that much prefers being outdoors than in. Our province (yes we own it, haha) is the perfect place for people that love to get outside and take part in tons of different activities. I thought the easiest way to show you our province would be to show you pictures of us in different parts of the province, taking part in different activities at different times of the year.

 

One thing that I will say about Lisa and I, is that we love the ocean. If we were ever to move to another province it would most likely be BC. However I don’t see that happening any time soon. I raised an amazing son here and we are about to have a baby girl to join us in all our adventures. Ok enough chit chat.

 

Summer is our favorite time of the year and one of the most popular water sports to take part in, or at least try once, is surfing. Nova Scotia has attracted surfers from all over the world and they surf all year round. Fall is the most popular time, especially if it has been a good hurricane season. We like it when the storm misses us and we just get the surf! The picture below is Lisa on the day of our first lesson. That was one hell of a long day, followed by two days of muscle pain- but worth every second!

 

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Since Nova Scotia is almost an island it is not a shock that we have some amazing beaches. If you visit in the summer make sure you try to visit as many as you can. If you are in Cape Breton you can hit Ingonish beach. On the eastern shore you should not miss out on Martinique beach and a beautiful beach on the south shore is Carters! Also our favorite beach on the Northumberland shore is Melmerby. There are tons more and you may even find your own, if you look hard enough.

 

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Fall would be our second favorite time of year. Hiking is something that both Lisa and I love. We are always looking to explore trails that we have heard about and sometimes we just pick an area and park the car and go see what we can find. We have two favorite places to hike. Our first love is Cape Breton island. Yes, it is an island and Cape Bretoners are proud of that. In fact if it wasn’t for “That damn causeway” (as many would say), Cape Breton would still be an Island. Below is a picture of the highway along the coast of the Highlands National Park. A must for any hiker!

 

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Our second favorite place to hike is on the Fundy shore. You want to google Cape Chignecto and if you want to do the whole thing make sure you are in damn good shape and ready to spend 3-4 days on the trail. We have yet to complete the whole thing, just a lot of day hiking.

 

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Our winters are also a blast. Everyone has their favorite things to do from skiing to snowmobiling, to one of our favorites, snowshoeing. It makes hiking in Nova Scotia that much more interesting and it’s one heck of a great challenge and workout. Our skiing does not compare to other parts of the country, however it’s still awesome to be able to hit the slopes just 45 minutes outside the city.

 

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This blog does not even touch on the amazing food and drink that you can find in our world class restaurants. Oh and did I mention Halifax has the second most bars per capita in the country? Not that active and healthy people like to party…. We’re from the east coast after all!

I hope that this peaks your interest and makes you want to visit. See you on the trails!

 

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Thanks so much Glenn for showing us the beauty of Halifax!

Anyone ever visit Nova Scotia?
What’s your favourite season and why??

Canadian Blogger Series #11: Ontario

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first post of April from the Canadian blogger series. Smile This week’s post comes from Axel who blogs at Iron Rogue. He writes about living in the suburban life of Ontario. Much like Axel I enjoy living in the suburbs but being able to get into the city when I need to, I think it’s the best of both worlds! Thanks Axel!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training

8. British Columbia by Karen from Toronto Girl West

9. New Brunswick & Toronto by Cynthia from Cynthia’s Adventures

10. Alberta by Leigh from All You Need is Love

Hi, my name is Axel and I blog about triathlon and multisport fitness over at Iron Rogue. I live in Mississauga which is a city on the West side of Toronto and I grew up in Scarborough which is a city on the East side of Toronto. Life in Toronto was already covered by Rose from the Healthy Hipster, so I thought I’d address life in the suburbs.

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One of my favourite authors, Douglas Adams, in his book Mostly Harmless, talked about happiness being attained through having a beach house:

“A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind,”

“A beach house,” he said, “doesn’t even have to be on the beach. Though

the best ones are. We all like to congregate,” he went on, “at boundary

conditions.”

“Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind.

Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other.”

Which perfectly explains why suburbs are such popular places to live: we want access to both green and serenity and the utmost of modern convenience, culture and infrastructure. We want to live on that boundary condition.

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When suburbs are done right, they’re a mixture of residential, commercial and other zones such that citizens can access groceries and other goods as well as medical and other services easily – preferably occasionally on foot! When they’re done wrong, they are huge swaths of residential where everyone has to take a drive in their car in order to be able to do anything further than gardening their own yard.

If you live in the suburbs, you’ve probably got a gym or community centre fairly close to you so that you can exercise, however, the real upside is access to parks and trails. Dedicated paths are so much better than sidewalks or bike lanes on city streets for running, biking, roller-blading – whatever you can come up with! Playgrounds are designed for kids, but there are ways to sneak in a little exercise too. More and more often, classes like Yoga or Boot Camps are being held outside in parks and green space.

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Just don’t let your knee go past your toe – this guy was more interested in getting in front of the camera in time than proper technique!

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A suburb like mine will still let you get into the city if you need some hard-to-find nutritional super-food ingredient or if you want to take some kind of fitness class that’s a little off the beaten path, but just as easy to get to will be green spaces that let you experience nature. It can get a little disheartening when wildlife and civilization mix in ways that weren’t intended by nature (racoons at the neighbourhood patio bar, foxes crossing a mall parking lot – I’ve seen both of these), but the young at heart will try to get joy out of sights like these. Even a Hydro Easement (like the ones behind my house and the one near where I grew up) can provide exercise and wildlife opportunities – I used to see jackrabbits, now I see hawks.

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Certainly Ontario isn’t the only province with suburbs, but as one of the bigger provinces, and the most populated it’s bound to have more than its fair share. I hope you’re getting exercise and fresh air, wherever you are!

Thanks Axel!

What do you prefer, suburb or city life?

Anyone ever take a boot camp class or outside yoga?

Canadian Blogger Series #10: Alberta

Hi Everyone, I can’t believe we have made it to post #10 of the series! If anyone else would like to contribute to the series please feel free to leave me a comment or drop me an email. I excited to present the first post in the series from Alberta. Smile  I have visited Alberta a few times and can personally say it is beautiful! This post was written by Leigh from the blog All You Need Is Love! Thanks so much Leigh!

 

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Jaime from Embracing Balance

8. British Columbia by Karen from Toronto Girl West

9. New Brunswick & Toronto by Cynthia from Cynthia’s Adventures

 

 

 

Hi everyone! My name is Leigh and I have a little blog named all you need is love. I started my blog as a way to document my wedding planning and it has slowly but surely morphed into a running, recipes, DIY and CrossFit blog. I am currently living in Calgary, Alberta and loving it!

A little fact about myself is that I grew up in a really small south western Ontario town and was never able to enjoy the mountains. Now that I am living in Calgary, I can’t imagine moving away from them! Nothing beats seeing them on a daily basis on my drive home from work and from my front steps.

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Calgary is bustling city, yet has so much to offer. Whether it is a farmers market in the summer or floating down the Bow River or biking along the many bike paths, there are so many things to do here. Let’s just forget the pesky part of it being mighty cold in the winter though 😉

My favourite thing about Calgary is having the mountains less than an hour away from our house. Since living here, my husband and I have taken many day trips into the mountain to mountain bike, hike or ski (for him). It’s hard to say no to a gorgeous hike when you can do it in half a day.

  

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When talking about Calgary, I have to mention the ‘greatest outdoor show on Earth’, or Calgary Stampede as it’s also known. If you have never heard of the Stampede, it is a ten day extravaganza of cowboys, corndogs, rodeos, rides, etc. It is definitely something to check out if you are in the Calgary area between July 6-15, 2012.

Tell me: if you have visited Calgary, what was your favourite thing? If you have never visited, what is one thing you would love to check out?

Ps- if you are in the area on May 27, 2012, feel free to join me in participating in the Calgary Marathon There is a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon…something for everyone! A great way to see the city while getting some exercise clip_image007

 

Thanks Leigh, check out her blog here! Smile

Canadian Blogger Series #8: British Columbia

Good morning everyone from the East Coast today I have another post coming to you from the west cost – we have another taste of beautiful BC from Karen who blogs at Toronto Girl West. Seriously with all these gorgeous west coast posts I have got to get out there soon and see it for myself, enjoy!

 

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Jaime from Embracing Balance

 

Hello Everyone!

My name is Karen and I’m the blogger behind Toronto Girl West. And as I’m sure you gathered, I was a Toronto girl through and through. Until that is, I moved out to British Columbia for law school. And well, let’s just say I never went back.

 

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Why you ask? It was because apart from falling in love with a boy, I also fell head over heels for a province that turned out to be nothing short of spectacular.

 

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Sure I had always heard that BC was beautiful but once I saw how amazing it was I just couldn’t bear to leave the mountains, oceans, and old growth forests.

 

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Aside from gorgeous views, BC is also full of people that love healthy living. In part it’s because it’s a slightly counter-culture tree-hugging kind of place. But it’s also because the weather (at least along the Coast) is temperate most of the year.

 

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But rest assured, if you’re into winter type activities BC has loads of that too!

 

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In short, I hope that you do decide to venture out and discover Canada because it really is a wonderful place! And if you do, please stop by spectacular British Columbia and say hello!

 

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I’ll be the girl having the time of her life!!!

 

Thanks Karen, be sure to stop by her blog and say hi!! Smile

Canadian Blogger Series #7: Manitoba

It’s my favourite day of the week again because I get to post another great post about our beautiful country. This week’s post comes from Stephanie who blogs at Fit Mom in Training. She is showing off the beautiful province of Manitoba. Stephanie is incredibly inspirational, she just recently gave birth and is already posting about body after baby! Talk about motivation! Drop by her blog and say hi and of course congrats on the new baby!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

 

I live smack dab in central Canada. The prairies. The flat lands. There are some things Manitoba is famous for (super cold winters, super hot summers, the mosquitoes, and the long awaited return of the Jets to NHL hockey->Go Jets Go!) and some things it is infamous for (die hard sports fans, and an epic rivalry with neighbouring Saskatchewan over football bragging rights, for the record, they currently have the upper hand…for now).

 

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But what does MY Manitoba look like? All of these things and much, much more. As an avid runner and lover of being outside, I’m often called crazy for braving our sometimes extreme conditions for the sake of a good workout. I’ll admit, it’s not always easy to go for a run when it’s   -40C outside or on a hot summer night when speed work is a matter of survival from the hoards of hungry bugs waiting to pounce. But it doesn’t take much for me to forget the conditions around me and focus on the beautiful scenery instead.

 

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Many people would consider prairie living to be dull and remote. After all, we have no hills to climb up, no mountains to ski down and seemingly endless acres of farmers fields. All I can say is nothing can be further from the truth! There is a beauty in this province that remains undiscovered to so many! We have fields, lakes and deserts. Trails, hiking and canoeing abound and the camping is fantastic. I feel so privileged to live somewhere that I can find a sandy beach to lay on, an awesome trail to hike or a new area to bike through without having to book a vacation to get there. This means I can stay active in so many different ways that it’s very hard to get bored with such diversity at your fingertips.

 

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Anyone ever visit Manitoba? I haven’t but would love to one day!

Canadian Blogger Series #6: British Columbia

Hello everyone! I am thrilled to be presenting post #6 in the series, last week was about Victoria, British Columbia and this week the post is about the beautiful interior of BC. Reading all about BC makes me want to visit there ASAP! This post was written by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair. Amber’s blog was one of the very first blogs I ever read once I was introduced to the healthy living blog world. Reading her posts about training for marathons and living a healthy life is incredibly inspiring! Thanks to Amber for your gorgeous post this week! Smile

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

 

Hi everyone! I’m Amber from Girl with the Red Hair and I live in the Interior of British Columbia. Last week Jaime told everyone about Victoria, BC (one of my favourite cities actually!) so I’m going to talk more about the northern and interior sections of the province.
But really, I have to say I just ADORE British Columbia. There really is no other province I’d rather live in. Lakes, mountains, oceans – what more do you need?

 

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I grew up in Northern British Columbia which really doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves! It’s cold up there, yes, but it’s also incredibly sunny year-round and the scenery really is spectacular. I’ll always consider the north and the Peace region "home". But about four years ago I moved "south" to the Interior of the province and I honestly can’t imagine myself living anywhere else!

I currently live in Kamloops and I’ve fallen in love with the scenery and nature around here. The below photo was taken 0.25 miles from my house – and yes, I live IN the city, a 5 – 10 minute drive to Walmart or the downtown core!

 

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We aren’t more than four hours of driving from the ocean, an hour from the mountains and you can drive 20 minutes in any direction and be at a lake. We’re also situated very close to the Shuswap and Okanangan, which are both amazing and beautiful areas of the province. I grew up spending summer vacations in the Okanagan so it sometimes seems surreal to now only live a 1 – 2 hour drive away!

And if you really miss the hustle and bustle of big city life the only thing that stands between you and a weekend in Vancouver is a scenic 4-hour drive through the mountains! But I kind of prefer the smaller city living myself 🙂 Did I mention I have a 10-minute commute and can get almost anywhere in the city in less than 30 minutes?

 

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Staying healthy in the Interior is easy. Our summers are some of the sunniest and hottest in Canada. We have an amazing farmers market that carries an abundance of fresh and local produce and goodies. There is no shortage of running paths and trails to run on – I actually didn’t even become a runner until I moved here – and you can drive for less than an hour and be at one of the best ski resorts in the world; Sun Peaks!

 

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I feel lucky and grateful on a daily basis to live in such a beautiful place!

Do you often feel grateful and/or lucky to live where you live? What kinds of things do you appreciate most about your city/area?

Canadian Blogger Series #5: British Columbia

Happy Pancake Day everyone! Today’s post comes all the way from the West coast of Canada, from Jaime who blogs at Embracing Balance. Smile BC is on my list of places I want to visit within the next few years. Jaime’s post with the stunning pictures makes me want to even more so! From me alll the way out on the East coast, thanks for sharing a little slice of BC with us Jaime!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

 

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for reading and supporting the Canadian Blogger Series, and an extra big thank you to Heidi for hosting us!

 

Over the past five years my blog and my life have moved from coast to coast and back again! I grew up on Vancouver Island in BC, lived eight years in Victoria, then moved to Halifax for a few years, and now I’m back in Victoria again. I’ve seen a good part of our huge and beautiful country due to that return move and I can honestly say that although I found a lot of amazing scenery and people along the way, Victoria is where it’s at!

 

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No where else in Canada can claim as mild a climate as we here in Victoria can. With the exception of the odd snowstorm once or twice per Winter, and our fair share of rain we can find ourselves happily outdoors almost every day. Rain is just an excuse to splash in puddles and buy cute boots anyway!

I mean honestly, it’s mid-February and I just went out to the gym in just a hoodie and yoga pants.

 

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It’s just so darn pretty! 🙂 Maybe I’m biased but would my pictures lie to you?

 

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Of course I’m enthralled by the food. Whether you want to eat out with friends, enjoy a romantic picnic in one of our bazillion parks, or just love to grocery shop like I do Victoria has it covered. All year round we have farmer’s markets, organic grocery shops, multiple micro breweries, award winning coffees, nationally renowned bistros, more cooking classes than you can imagine and of course there’s a variety of tempting bakeries and delicious cheese shops.

 

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Mmmmm….cheese. Oh hi! Sorry cheese is distracting.

When faced with the decision of whether to continue my Halifax adventure, possibly move somewhere else, or to come back to Victoria the decision was pretty easy. As a good friend told me…I’d been homesick since I left and this is where I needed to be.

I have amazing friends, a lovely social media community, supportive family and all the fresh air I can breathe. Add to that the ability to walk my dog any day of the year, and the opportunity to drink a different local beer every weekend and I’m a very happy girl.

 

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If you want to learn more about little ol’ me please pop on over to my blog Embracing Balance for a visit. 🙂 And if you are ever heading to Victoria, please look me up!

 

Anyone ever visit Victoria?

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend? I love Jaime’s idea of tasting a different local beer every weekend!! Smile

Canadian Blogger Series #4: Ontario

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Smile My Valentine’s gift to you is another Canadian Blogger Series post written by Rose from The Healthy Hipster!! Just reading her post about one of my favourite Canadian cities to visit Toronto, makes me excited for my upcoming work trip there in early April. Toronto is such a fun city, I just love to visit! Smile Thanks to Rose for this great post on Toronto, filled with healthy-living tips for the urban dweller.

 

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

 

 

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Hi everyone!

It’s the Healthy Hipster here with the onerous task of representing Toronto in the Canadian Blogger Series.

 

I’ll start with a quick caveat: Toronto is a city of incredibly diverse lifestyles and experiences so I really can’t claim to represent "normal" or "typical" Torontonians…I’m pretty sure those people don’t exist. But it’s precisely this openness to new ideas, identities and people – what I like to think of as Toronto’s fluctuating cultural identity – that makes me love this place so much!

 

So to get back to the topic of today’s post I would go over some of the challenges I obstacles I faced I moved to Toronto as far as healthy living was concerned…along with some of strategies I came up with to overcome them. Hopefully these tips will serve up some inspiration for Hogtown residents like myself (don’t ask me to explain this nickname…I can’t) as well as as Haligonians, Vancouverites, et al.

 

Top 3 Obstacles to Healthy Living in an Urban Context (And How to Get Past Them!):

1) City living is exhausting.

One thing I noticed when I moved back to Toronto after years of living abroad was how incredibly run down I felt at the end of each day. It took a little figure out why I was feeling this way because I worked the same hours, slept the same amount and maintained a similar diet but clearly…everything was not as it had always been. Ultimately I realized that just the mere act of living in a city involved a huge amount of what I have since dubbed Cardio LIFE. Cardio LIFE involves the countless small acts of physical exertion we put ourselves through on a daily basis just to go about our daily lives. If you live in the suburbs and have access to a car, these tasks may be minimal. However, in downtown Toronto we’re basically in training for the Cardio LIFE Olympics.

A typical day in training involves…

– Walking…everywhere

– Lugging groceries

– Sprinting to catch public transportation

– Biking (for when you give up on public transportation)

– Laundromats & everything associated with them.

– Doing housework by hand (because you know we can’t fit a dishwasher/vacuum cleaners in our teeny apartment)

– Stairs. 4 story walk up to my apartment, anyone?

– And finally…pursuing any kind of social life because it often involves some combination of all of the above.

 

How I got past it:

Easy. I adjusted my food, sleep and fitness schedules to account for the added physical strain of urban living.

  • I eat much more frequently now and I always bring food with me wherever I go. 
  • I started working out and doing yoga in the mornings because I know I’ll have no energy by the time 6pm rolls around. 
  • I started going to bed a little earlier on weeknights to account for the lack of sleep I’d probably get on the weekends.

Just a few small changes made a big difference and I’m happy to say that I’m back to my super-energetic-except-before-my-morning-espresso self.

 

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2) No sense of "healthy living" community.

This was a bit of shock for me actually because there are so many people in Toronto who pursue healthy lifestyles! However, I never found very many places to really connect and could never shake the feeling that I was getting sized up every time I was in a group fitness class or standing in line at Whole Foods. I ended up feeling pretty alienated by this because I had loads of friends that I could see movies, go for coffee, eat brunch, go dancing and gossip with…I had nobody close to me that could tell me where to find the cheapest locally sourced kale or the best morning vinyasa class. I know, I know #firstworldproblems, right? But it still felt endlessly frustrating…

How I got past it:

Two words: Farmer’s Market. Find the local one in your area and become a regular. You’ll make fast friends with the vendors and other shoppers too…and trust me when I say that these folks will be your greatest resource for information on food, health, fitness and lifestyle tips that are specific to you and your community.

 

Some of my favourite Toronto farmers markets include: Dufferin Grove, Sorauren Farmers Market and the Evergreen Brickworks Market.

 

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3) No access to nature.

Sure it’s hard to get that feeling peace and relaxation that comes along with being in nature when you’re in the heart of downtown Toronto but I’m skipping straight to the solution here….

 

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LOOK CLOSER! See that? It’s a teeny tiny parkette awkwardly placed in the middle of that busy intersection. And over there? An actual park like Trinity Bellwoods that’s chock full of tall trees, hyperactive puppies and giggling babies. Way the heck over there? That’s High Park! Did you know it has a zoo inside? And outdoor shakespeare in the summer? And cherry blossoms in the spring? Or Riverdale Farm? That’s an actual farm smack dab in the middle of the East End! Not to mention other less central destinations like the Toronto Island or the Scarborough Bluffs.

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There’s plenty of natural beauty in our urban landscape…all you have to do is see it.

 

I’ve got plenty more to say about the city but for now I’ll leave it at that! Thanks again to Heidi for hosting the Canadian Blogger Series. It’s been such a treat reading these posts week to week. And I hope you’ll all stop by and say hello over at The Healthy Hipster real soon!

 

Live in a large city? Anything you’d add to this list?

If you live in a small town why do you love it there?

Thanks again to Rose, drop by her blog and say Hi!  Smile

Canadian Blogger Series #3: Yellowknife

Hope you all have had a wonderful start to the week! I am excited to present the third post in the Canadian Blogger Series written by Scott from Your Inner Skinny. Scott has written an inspirational post about the beauty of Yellowknife as well as the hardships of living there. Scott’s blog and healthy living journey is so inspiring to read about. It is truly an honour to have him posting as part of the Canadian Blogger Series. Enjoy!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

 

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I’ve lived all over Canada. I was born and raised in Prince Edward Island. I went to college in New Brunswick, I got my first web design job in Ottawa, Ontario and spent a small amount of time living Gatineau Quebec. I spent eight years in Halifax, Nova Scotia and I even did a short a four month stint in London, England as well.

But with all of the moving and living and traveling I’ve done in the last 13 years, I never pictured myself living in the Arctic, which is where I’m writing to you from today. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to be specific.

 

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I try to live a very healthy and active lifestyle. I never want to be that guy in my “before” picture again, so eating well and being active are a necessity for me. When I moved to Yellowknife this past June, I didn’t realize that it was going to be as difficult as it has been to eat well, eat healthy and eat clean foods.

Because we are so north and remote, and there isn’t much in the way of farming up here, there’s an issue when it comes to getting fresh produce and sometimes even something as simple as chicken breasts. I’m not even talking organic, free range or grass fed, I’m talking about your every day fruits and vegetables and meat. If you want to go organic, if you can find it, you’re going to pay for it. Two small grass-fed steaks cost me $30 the other day. A dozen organic eggs runs about $7.

 

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Earlier this year, I walked in to the grocery store and the produce shelves were completely empty. It was a scary sight.

 

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The winters are pretty crazy here. I’ve seen it as low as -42 C without the wind and the coldest I’ve seen it so far with the wind was -48 C. People keep telling me this is a mild winter but I’m hoping I don’t see it dip in to the -50s this year.

 

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A few weeks ago I wrote about how it’s hard to be motivated with the cold and then when you throw in the fact that we only get 3 hours of daylight… It can get you down. The city tries to keep us active and we have some very nice facilities in Yellowknife for sports. There’s volleyball, a great multi-plex hockey rink with an Olympic sized ice surface. We have a swimming pool. A curling club. And we even have two indoor turf fields for football and soccer. There’s lots of opportunity to be active, but who the hell wants to leave their how when it’s -40 C outside and it’s been dark all day?

 

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Now the flip side to the cold, dark, crappy winters… We have STUNNING summers here. With 20+ hours of sunlight each day and more lakes than you can count (and I lived in the city called the “City of Lakes”) and when the temperature hits 25C, it’s a great place to be. There’s beach volleyball. Softball. Hiking. Swimming. Fishing. Boating. We even have a golf course that is all sand and you carry a mat around with you and hit off of it. It really is “God’s country” up here in the summer.

 

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There aren’t many fancy restaurants or big name stores and the closest city is a 16 hour drive away, but what Yellowknife lacks in amenities, it more than makes up for in character.

 

Has anyone else witnessed empty grocery shelves or temperatures like that!? Despite that it truly looks like a beautiful place to live, thanks Scott!