Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Getting Fresh

This past weekend was another trip to Toronto to celebrate +Adam Farhat's birthday and to run 21.1 kilometres for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

This meant it was an uncharacteristically tame time when it came to eating out. Mixing birthday indulgences with appropriate pre-race food had me pondering healthy and delicious meal choices for lunch the day before the race - as that should be your carb-o-load meal so that your body has more time to absorb the nutrients and energy rather than having it at dinner. As I learned whilst researching what we should eat morning of (which you will find out in a bit). I also learned that if you haven't been planning your meals properly leading up to the race, you're pretty much f*cked no matter what you eat the day before. 

enjoying healthy happy birthday cupcakes
Since I'm not a big pasta person unless it's covered in cream sauce or pesto and adorned with extra cheese and maybe even some fruit (figs? poached pears? YUS) - I thought about what other healthy carbs would be good fuel for us. 

Google search: Toronto restaurants sweet potatoes

That took me to a blog featuring the best vegetarian restaurants in Toronto and number one was Fresh

Among some noodle bowls, salads, and wraps that seemed very Freshii/Green Rebel, they had the most deliciously described veggie burgers:
"Our high-protein, made-from-scratch almond & grain burger patty is served on a whole wheat bun with a side of marinated kale slaw."

AND they had sweet potatoes.
Decision made.

We went to the Spadina location at 4 p.m. on Saturday (late lunch - got distracted whilst shopping. FYI there is a Disney Store on the 2nd floor of the Eaton Centre) and it was busy. It is a sign of good food to come if you have to wait during off-hour eating periods.

Luckily for everyone involved as I was starving, we only waited about 10 minutes. And we were productive during the time in deciding upon what we'd be having.

It was a very dreary day and the inside of the restaurant was warm, busy-but-in-a-calm-buzz sort-of-way, and the staff were casual and friendly.

To start, we split the sweet potato fries which are over-generous in amount and added avocado chipotle dip. 

Adam got the works burger: savoury miso gravy, dill pickle, tomato, napa cabbage, hot banana chilies, lettuce, & grated carrots
+ cheese

I got the bbq burger: bbq sauce, quinoa onion rings, garlic mayo, napa cabbage, hot banana chilies, tomato, lettuce
- hot banana chilies

All the combinations looked amazing, but I really wanted to try the quinoa onion ring. And who doesn't love garlic mayo?

quinoa onion ring: it's different - good, but I prefer regular onion rings

LOVE messy vegetarian food. There isn't enough opportunities to get your hands dirty while eating tofu.

The slaw was well marinated so it had a softer texture (something I never have the patience for) but there was a tad too much dressing going on which was easily remedied by straining the vinaigrette from the leaves. 

By the time we'd consumed the fries and burgers, we were more than comfortably stuffed. I was dying to try a dessert - the walnut brownie particularly - but with the race moments away, I thought better than pressing the limits of my foodaholism.

We left there so happy - I cannot wait to go again next time I am in Toronto. Although everything on the menu looks sumptuous, I don't think I could ever go and not order a burger.

We were full up until bedtime, having an apple and banana with almond butter as dinner/bed-time snack. 

The next morning, other than being ridiculously cold and tired (6 a.m. - 4 degrees outside, feels like 2), we felt in tip-top form and headed to McDonald's for our pre-race meal. 

Put your disapproving facial expressions away - McDonald's can aid in a very good pre-workout/race meal. Before a long run you are looking to consume:
- starchy carbs
- protein
- minimal fat
You can have coffee if it's a normal part of your day.

So, ditching the hashbrown, we each had an Egg McMuffin sans meat, taking the top off (the half without the egg and cheese) to put on peanut butter and a sliced banana (which we brought from home), and a coffee.
So, requirements met:
- starchy carb: english muffin and banana
- protein: egg
- minimal fat: cheese slice and peanut butter

This is an improved meal plan from previous 10k races we've done together which included the hashbrown and left out the banana...

And to prove there is a method to our madness, we both beat our times from last year. Your welcome McDonald's. 

waiting to start

a fellow runner

around 13k

18(ish)k #nofilter

fabulous finishers

fabulous drinks @ 7 West

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