'True friends are like diamonds - bright, beautiful, valuable and always in style.' Wise words from the simple life reality star, quote from Nicole Richie. This past Valentines day I flew across the country to Toronto to visit my best friend living in the big city where we had a much needed girls weekend/galentines. With the after work flight and the three hour time difference I got in very late, so went to bed right away when I arrived. We had a fun filled jam packed few days ahead so needed to get our beauty sleep.
Saturday morning came early with a wake up call at 8:30 am, which was actually 5:30 am pacific time. We were up and out the door sharply at 9 am. Not quite being ready for the day I was quickly awaken by brisk wind and -13 degrees. It was only a 10 minute walk to SpinCo in downtown Toronto but it was a cold one, being from Vancouver I was wearing ankle socks and running shoes so my ankles were freezing! Once at spin class we quickly warmed up. It was a tough workout but the instructor had some great tunes to push through. A good sweaty workout is the best way to start the day. Remember, you will never regret a workout so get your booty into gear and get a move on.
Then we headed to a spot a few minutes away around the corner for smoothies, Café' Bolo! (This became our routine for Sunday as well, spin and smoothies amazing combo 😉).
Our next stop was the Fairmont Royal York for high tea. It was so fun and a great way to spend the afternoon lunchtime. We had fancy mini sandwiches, treats, tea and Prosecco. After all of the snacks at tea we were quite full and needed to get a good power walk in so we headed to the Eaton's Centre for some window shopping. On Saturday we were sticky researching options of items we were thinking about, plus we were too full to actually try anything on. We wondered around, people watched, got a skin care tutorial/tester at the Dior counter and took notes on things we wanted to buy our future selves... ie Lady Dior!
Sunday it was get up repeat step 1 (spin), 2 (smoothie) and 3 (shopping) but this time it was off to YorkDale shopping centre! But first we needed refuel for our power shop so we headed to Tora for some amazing sushi. We sat at their sushi bar where we could order right from our seat on a touch screen and when it was ready it arrive on a slider belt right to our seat. I have never been to Japan yet but apparently this is what their sushi bars are like. It was so efficient, exciting and quite a different experience. The food was delicious and the presentation was amazing. Five star ⭐️ napkin review for sure!
After we got what we needed from our shopping trip we headed on the train back into the city to relax before heading to dinner to surprise another girlfriend with my visit to town. We met up at a vegan restaurant called Fresh. It was a perfect healthy option for our healthy girls weekend. To drink I tried one of their Kombucha Cocktails called the grapefruit butterfly. It was so refreshing and I would love to go back and try it again (I am going to somehow attempt to recreate it at home one day, but I have a feeling it won't quite be the same.) It consisted of butterfly pea flower, cold pressed organic pink grapefruit & lemon, agave, sparkling mineral water, craft ginger kombucha. For my dinner I ordered the goddess bowl - steamed baby bok choy, swiss chard, kale & broccoli, house-made taberu rayu, ginger chili tempeh, pickled ginger, sunflower nori gomashio, tahini sauce on top of soba noodles. It was so filling and delightful and I enjoyed every bite! Another 5 star ⭐️ napkin review!
Since it was the long weekend I had Monday off which meant one more morning to visit, tour around the city and one last adventure to get a quick pedicure before heading home. For brunch we found another great plant based with some west coast California vibes to it, Calii Love. I felt like I was walking into my happy place, the tile at the front door said 'Aloha'! For my morning caffeine I had a matcha green tea latté with a combination of almond, coconut and oat milk (the combo of milks made it so creamy emulating real milk so much more in the frothier to create the foamy goodness). Then to eat I had the Blessed bowl - Baked Egg, Quinoa, Kale, Beyond Meat Vegan Chorizo, Smashed Avocado, Pico De Gallo, Black Beans, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, Chipotle Nacho Ranch Dressing. It was the perfect brunch for a travel day back home with 5 starts all around ⭐️.
Lastly, to mention a cute little coffee shop we stopped at where I had a Chi Tea Latté (almond milk). They even put an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on my latté to make it extra delicious. I was in love with their signature pink lids for the cups it made me wish we had a cute little café with fancy pink lids in Vancouver too.
Overall I have been thoroughly impressed with the variety of plant based meals in Toronto. Hopefully soon I will be back to visit again and try a few more.
I have been trying eat plant based as much as possible but the month of February was the love your body challenge with Tone It Up so with workouts I would eat a balance of everything #TIUapproved meals. Now that the 4 week challenge ended I have gone back to eating majority plant based and it has been so fun to find new restaurants. I cannot wait to discover many more animal friendly restaurants!
My surprise trip turned out amazing and I am so thankful for my best friend! Remember, even though we are miles a part, a good friend is always close to the heart ♥️ !
Happy February everyone.