Filed under: Foodie Swellness

Fitness Swellness: What I learned at Sugo Sundays

boxing with Striking Concepts and Sugo

They had me at Sugo.

If you follow me on IG, you know I’m a fan of the food at Sugo, an Italian-American resto at Bloor and Lansdowne; I did an early carboload there for my Detroit Marathon last year, and just about two months ago, celebrated finishing the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (and Back Across Tennessee) with a meal there. The velvety sauce on the rigatoni, crave-worthy and the perfect comfort food!

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So when Sugo slid into my DMs and asked me if I wanted to participate in their first ever edition of Sugo Sundays, I was little confused as to what the goal of the fitness-focused workshop was but my immediate answer was yes, I’d love to take part!

For three Sundays in September, a group of about 20 or so of us met up at a track and first worked on a warm-up of dynamic stretches with some of the team from Myodetox, followed by a short run and running drills, then a kickboxing session lead by Striking Concepts. And last but not least, refueling on food from the team at Sugo, yasss!

(Plus, the folks from Myodetox offered some stretching and fascia work post-workout as well).

Sugo Sundays got me to foray into running again (I’ve been taking a rest since completing GVRAT mid-August), I had what is possibly my first (!) mini session doing fascia work with a physiotherapist (and I felt so much better afterwards–my body is a bit angry at me still from the 2000+ kilometres I did over the summer), and I found the kickboxing sessions enlightening; I’ve been to other classes at a few studios in the past but I find it’s very often not focused on form but rather just getting things done quickly in a HIIT format, and all I get mired up in is figuring out the damn sequence based on the numbers for jab, hook and cross. Here, thanks to Evan from Striking Concepts, I got to understand for example what angle my arm should be at, the proper positioning of my feet, and more.

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And from the refuel, I discovered that the Sugo kitchen can put out more than just great pasta. I missed week 1 of Sugo Sundays (it was a downpour and even though I’ve run and raced in the rain, I simply couldn’t get myself to bike to the track that day to start the workout drenched), so I missed the classic Sugo carb up (the meal was lasagna, still sad I missed out!). For week 2, the meals was keto (think trout and sauteed spinach) and week 3 was vegan (a quinoa bowl with tofu and an incredible chocolate cake), and both meals were very satisfying and ones I’d happily eat regularly. And I appreciated Sugo co-owner Conor Joerin saying that eating healthy means finding what works for you, adding that the team doesn’t eat pasta 24/7. So true, and why I bristle when people seem surprised I’ll happily eat a giant bowl of pasta or a plate of fried chicken. Do I eat that daily? Of course not! I eat what works for me.

I asked Conor what made them hold Sugo Sundays and he said he was initially inspired by a workshop he’d done with Lululemon a year or so agao and the lasting connections he’d made on that trip. With the pandemic and being a social person himself, he was felt this was a great way to build community and bring together healthy lifestyle-type folks with people from the restaurant industry (who, he noted, are not always leading the most active type of lifestyle). And he felt that with this continuing pandemic, and with us heading into the colder months, it was a great time to bring people together to make connections at a time when we all especially need it.

I’m sad Sugo Sundays is already over… but I can’t wait to set up an appointment at Myodetox and cook up something using the jar of organic tomato sauce made from tomatoes at Conor’s farm! Thank you to Sugo for the invite, and see you over a plate of pasta soon, or a slice of pizza (did you know they recently opened pizzeria Conzo’s next door to Sugo?)!

P.S. Conor promised us a few recipes from our refuel meals, and I’ll share those when I get them!

 

 

Leave a Comment October 4, 2020

Foodie Swellness: Cocktails for Cinco de Mayo

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While Cinco de Mayo is meant to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire, Google tells me it’s become more of a celebration in the U.S. than it is in Mexico, with a focus on Mexican-American culture. I have to admit: the only way I’ve celebrated it ever is here in Toronto and it has involved going out to enjoy Mexican cocktails and tacos.

And since I love any reason to celebrate those two things, and I’m betting a bunch of you do as well, I’m sharing a couple of the recipes I got to try recently at a dinner with Don Julio Tequila held at El Rey Mezcal Bar so that you can celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend in the best way. But you’ll be making these cocktails all season long. Trust.

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The Don Julio Paloma is the cocktail we kicked off the evening with. Palomas are one of my go-to cocktail orders in the summer, and yet I’ve never made them at home. The last time I had one before this dinner at El Rey was when I was in Mexico City in December, so now I’ll always associate them with that incredible city, which I’m dying to get back to as I didn’t get to try nearly enough of the food or saw only a tiny fraction of the sights. Hope to get back there soon. In the meantime, I’ll drink this cocktail and reminisce about the amazing sights I did see (I wrote about it for VITA)!

DON JULIO PALOMA

Ingredients  

1 ½ oz. Don Julio Blanco

½ oz. Grapefruit Juice

 ½ oz. Grapefruit Sherbet

½ oz. Lime Juice

1 ½ oz. Soda

Pink peppercorn

Strawberry and chilli salt

Method

Combine all ingredients except for soda in a shaker tin, shake for 30 seconds and strain into a glass that’s been half-rimed with salt and filled with ice. Top with soda and a grapefruit half-moon.

Grapefruit Sherbet

  • Zest of 1 grapefruit
  • Juice of 1 grapefruit
  • Equivalent amount of sugar to grapefruit juice by volume
  • 10 pink peppercorns

Add all ingredient to a pot and heat until sugar dissolves.  Allow to cool complete, then fine strain and use.

Don Julio Jalisco Express

The second cocktail we had as we enjoyed the starters was the Don Julio Jalisco Express. I love pineapple and enjoyed how bright and refreshing this cocktail is. I admit I can pretty much guarantee I am too lazy to make this cordial to enjoy this cocktail if I’m just at home myself, but I’d make it if I were hosting a summer BBQ.

DON JULIO JALISCO EXPRESS

Ingredients

1 ½ oz. Don Julio Blanco

½ oz. Trinidad Pepper

½ oz. Lime

½ oz. Black Pepper Cordial

½ oz. Fresh Cucumber Juice

½ oz. Fresh Lime

1 ½ oz. Soda

Mint

Method

Combine all ingredients except for soda in a shaker tin, shake for 30 seconds and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a straw, a cucumber ribbon and a fresh mint tip.

Trinidad Pepper, Lime and Black Pepper Cordial

  • Zest of 3 limes
  • Juice of 3 lime
  • Equivalent amount of sugar to grapefruit juice by volume
  • 5 Black peppercorns
  • 2 Trinidad peppers

 Add all ingredient to a pot and heat until sugar dissolves.  Allow to cool complete, then fine strain and use.

Salud!

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment April 29, 2019

Foodie Swellness: How I snackKIND

Kind Snacks

I’m always struggling to add more routine to my schedule but the nature of my work means I’m almost always running around the city and fitting in things whenever I can, and that includes working out, spending quality with friends and, of course, the pets (Billie Jean needs to get plenty of exercise!), and eating well.

Having healthy snacks makes my life a helluva lot easier. I don’t always have time to make a smoothie or bake superhero muffins, so snacks from Kind Snacks, for one, often save the day. So I’m so happy to join the #snackKIND movement as an ambassador!

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I’ve long been a fan of their bars. You can see the whole ingredients they’re made of, and when you compare it to other bars on the market, they contain much less sugar (5 grams compared to 23 grams). And they have such a variety of flavours (and gourmet combinations at that!), so there’s always something that appeals to me (almond sea salt and dark chocolate when I’m craving something more dessert-like, or almond coconut when I want something with a hint of tropical funcoconut always takes me away to a faraway beach).

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Add to this some of their newer offerings and I’m a snackKIND fan for life. The Breakfast Bars are more substantial in size and it’s something I can eat quickly and easily as I’m rushing out and onto a streetcar to get to a meeting. The Almond Butter Breakfast Bar has saved me from starting off the day hangry more times than i can count. And because some days I schedule my day so tightly going from one event to another and I forget to schedule in important things like stopping for a bite to eat, I always try to keep either a Kind Bar or a Kind Healthy Grains bar in my purse. The Healthy Grains bars are more like the granola bars I grew up with (and they’re thinner and crunchier than the Breakfast Bars) and these convenient 150-calorie bars are filling enough to keep me going until I have time to stop for a meal. My fave is the Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt, perfectly sweet and savoury. (Oh, and the Healthy Grains bars are all gluten-free, for those of you who follow a GF diet!).

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Last but not least are their Pressed by Kind Bars. I think of these as healthy versions of a fruit roll-up. They’re only made of either fruit and veggies or fruit and chia, and sometimes I’m just more in the mood for something fruity and not nuts, grains or seeds, and since I can’t stash a fresh fruit in my purse all the time (I’ve had too many apples and bananas get too bruised and forgotten about in the depths of my handbag!) I can stash one of these bars as an essential emergency fruit snack. Since these are conveniently portable (more so than fresh fruit), I also often travel with a Pressed by Kind bar when I’m out of town. Oh, and each bar is two servings of fruit (and getting my RDA of fruit and veggies is something I’m always working on!).

Are you a Kind Snacks fan, too? I’d love to hear your faves (I’m sure I haven’t tried all the flavours yet!).

(sponsored)

 

 

Leave a Comment November 19, 2018

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