Wednesday, June 24, 2009

News for This Week

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
*One of my friends has a cupcake stand at the St. Albert Farmer's Market this Saturday, June 27 from 10 am to 3 pm. She will have 4 kinds of cupcakes (her icing is the best in town!) and 4 kinds of cookies (yummy chewy goodness!). Her company is called Buttercupcakes - check her out! Let her know you found her through here...maybe you'll get a free sample!

*They're offering an incredible discount for manicure/pedicures this weekend and next weekend! $20 for manicure, and $25 for pedicure. Check out her schedule here.

*My friend's dad is an artist, and him along with a few others has an exibition at the Centre d'arts visuels de l'Alberta. They have acrylics, watercolors, and mixed media & drawings. Go check it out, it's free!

*The Audrey Ochoa Trio will be performing at Sobey's (downtown) on Friday and the Wafer Thin Mints will be performing on Saturday. Go for a buck a shuck and a bucket of 4 beers for $12!

*It's Edmonton International Jazz Festival Week! Click here for their schedule! On Saturday they have a free event called Jazz in the Park, and you know Cheap Chicks love free!

*This is a bit of a shameless plug - but my husband and I are putting on an Abundance Game on Sunday, June 28 at 1 pm at our place for $2! Click here to register.

*The next buffet at Padmanadi is on Canada Day on July 1! Come out at lunch or at dinner for the most delicious vegetarian food you've ever had!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wecan Food Basket Society

Friday, June 19, 2009
First, I must apologize for not posting last week. It was a crazy week with business ventures, meetings, and conferences. I am sorry! I am going to make it up with this post and some news to watch out for this weekend! Please forgive me!

Location: Various throughout Edmonton
Price: $12 for meat, $8 for produce, or $20 for both

As much as Cheap Chicks like to go out and eat, sometimes a nice home-cooked meal is just as good if not better than restaurants. With Dan's Paella (best in town!) and Bryan's lasagna and famous Caesar salad (recipe available if requested!), it's a wonder sometimes why we leave home!

The Cheap Chicks, along with 10 others are pushing ourselves for the next 18 weeks with the Transformation Challenge! With that it means more fresh-cooked meals at home and less processed food at restaurants. With the economy the way it is, grocery cost is the only thing not going down. So Cheap Chicks went out and found you Wecan Food!

The Wecan Food Basket Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable and fresh food across Edmonton. You can buy fresh meat and produce each month for more than 25% lower than retail price!

The great thing about this program is that it's opened to EVERYONE because they believe that we all have a right to proper nutrition at an affordable price.

For a $5 annual membership fee, it allows you to place as many orders as you want. They have 3 options they provide: a fresh meat order for $12, fresh produce (includes both vegetables and fruit) for $8, or a complete order of both for $20. There is no limit as to how many orders you place! So whether you're a small or big family, we can always use fresh food!

WeCan has locations all through Edmonton, including surrounding areas like Leduc, Spruce Grove, St. Albert, Drayton Valley, and Wetaskiwin. You place your order at the location closest to you by the first Friday of each month, and you get to pick up your order the third Thursday or Friday that month! This is perfect for some of us who may not budget all that great and still get fresh food before end of the month!

We got our first order in June, and I definately think we got our $20 worth! We got one whole pineapple, a bag of green apples, a bag of bananas, a cumcumber, a cauliflower, and a bag of potatoes. We also got 3 chicken thighs, half a kilogram of ground beef, and just over a kilogram of a pork roast. I know if we were to get this at the grocery store, we would be paying over $30! Not to mention this is good quality food!

Without the wonderful volunteers that put in many many hours each month, we would not be able to have affordable fresh food! They're always looking for more help and I encourage you to explore their website!

Don't have a Dan or a Bryan in the house? Have no fear! Check out this cool blog for fresh food recipe ideas! I'm sure you could use one or two!

Have you placed orders with them before? What was your experience like?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick Tidbit

Friday, June 12, 2009
Just some quick reminders of what's coming up! Enjoy :)

*If you want to check out Sobey's Live Music, Lionel Rault Trio is playing tonight downtown. Grab a glass of wine, order a dozen oysters and enjoy the music!

*We have a few more hours to fundraise for Homeless for a Night! Please help us by clicking here.

*Tomorrow (June 13) is the opening day for the St. Alberts Farmer's market! Come early for toonie pancakes, or show up at noon for free pulled-pork sandwich. For more info, click here.

*On Sunday (June 14), there's going to be a Vegetarian Food Fair organized by the Buddha's Light International Association. There will be more than 50 different vegetarian dishes from different countries! $20 a person, you can find more details here.

*Amanda just wrote a new post about a vegetarian buffet on Wednesday June 17, don't miss it!

*We wrote about Bellyfit a couple of weeks ago. Haven't tried it yet? Your first class is always free! Click here for the summer schedule.

*Are you dying to sweat it out after reading my post on Moksha Yoga? Only a few more weeks left to take advantage of the $5 community classes! See here for the schedule.

Padmanadi's Father's Day Buffet

Location: 10626-97th Street, Edmonton, Alberta
Date/Time: Wednesday June17th, noon-10pm
Price: $15

When we were in our late teens Carly once decided she was going to be a vegetarian. She wasn't sure why; she just decided. For any of you who know of her love for rare steak (and by rare I mean seared on the outside and practically raw on the inside) this may come as a shock. It certainly did for me! I said "What?! Ok..." I played the supportive friend. Her mother on the other hand did not. "What?! Are you crazy? Well you are going to have feed yourself because I am not going to cook anything special for you. I don't know how to cook vegetarian food!" Carly's vegetarian endeavour lasted about 3 days. Maybe she would have been more successful if she had found a restaurant like Padmanadi to eat at.

Padmanadi is an entirely vegan restaurant located in China town. They offer "a blend of Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisine". In addition to regular service, every month they have a buffet dinner and Carly and I went for our first Padmanadi buffet experience a few months ago. When we got there the line up was out the door! Buffets work on a first come first served basis and they are extremely popular so be prepared to wait. That night we didn't have to wait too long though. A table was ready for us within 15-20 minutes. The restaurant was not super large and it was packed! At times throughout the night the buffet line up wound from the buffet at the back of the restaurant to the front door. When we first got there though it wasn't too bad so we dropped our stuff at the table and got in line. The buffet looked great. There was steamed rice, a couple noodle dishes, some stir-fried veggies, and 3 or 4 "meat" dishes. We loaded up and went to sit down.

For those of you who have never tried mock meat before be prepared. It's not going to be exactly like chicken or pork or whatever is being imitated, but its close enough that I marvel at it every time I have it. It's something you really have to try for yourself, and it's not everybody's cup of tea. A verbal description though just doesn't do it justice. The point is however, meat or no meat, the food is delicious! My favorites are the ginger beef (I think it's supposed to be beef) and the yellow curry which is ALWAYS way to spicy for me but I have two helpings anyways!

For more information about Padmanadi and its story check out their website above. The restaurant is run by Kasim Kasim, the owner, and his family (if they have time ask them the story about their names), and you can really feel that the restaurant is a family business! The walls are covered with photos of the family and customers and you can really tell that Padmanadi and the owners have touched people beyond just serving them good food.

Padmanadi's next buffet is Wednesday, June 17 in honor of Father's Day. So if you haven't tried vegetarian cuisine come out for the experience, and if you already enjoy vegetarian cuisine just come out for the delicious food! Carly and I plan to be there as usual! We are aiming for three helpings - wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Moksha Yoga

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Location: 14927 111 Ave
Price: varies
Phone: 780-481-3070

I've always been a big fan of yoga, but when the idea of hot yoga was brought up, I thought, "are you crazy?" I pictured this sauna with a bunch of really sweaty people smelling like dead rats (as my mom would describe the worst smell in the world). Not to mention just how do they propose I do the downward facing dog in 40 degree-heat? I can barely walk when it's above 25! I was intrigued bythe idea, but they say curiousity killed the cat, and I didn't want to take the chance.

I'm a sucker though. Let's face it, if everyone is doing it, chances are, I will eventually jump on the boat too. So when my friends Lisa & Candice called at 6 pm one evening and invited me to try it out, I internally struggled and wanted so desperately to say no, but I wanted so badly to fit in that I agreed!

Getting to the place was pretty easy, and there was plenty of parking. We got there a few minutes early and there was a long line up already!

For newcomers, they have a special deal where you can get a one-week unlimited pass for $20. For returning students (and at the time, I wasn't sure why anyone would want to return), it's $16 drop in rate with various prices available if you want to buy in class cards in packs of 5, 10, 20, or 50 (you mean people come back 50 times?!).

The place was a lot more modern than I anticipated. I'm not sure what I was expecting - the idea of sweat and stuff, I guess I was imagining a damp, dark, and just a hole in a wall. I was definately proven wrong! Maybe hot yoga wouldn't be so bad afterall!

Going into this super packed room, you could instantly feel the heat. The lights were down and they ask that you respect the silence. I put my yoga mat down and just laid there enjoying the solitude. I had a good feeling about this. I almost fell asleep waiting for class to begin!

It just so happened that the first time I went for hot yoga, we had an instructor that enjoyed taking poses to the next level! We were holding poses for a few seconds longer and we were doing just one more set each 40 degrees, it was as if I was run over by a truck...10 times. I was DRIPPING sweat from places I never even knew had sweat glands! When they told me to bring a towel, I thought it was for afterwards, but my towel was soaked 10 minutes into class!

Was I more flexible? I didn't notice! I was so immersed by the fact that my ENTIRE body was like a human waterfall. I made it half way and I had to rest (thank goodness I wasn't the only beginner there at the time!), and I drank my whole bottle of water by the end of class. I thought I would be more self conscious about how I looked and stuff, but really, there was just no room for that at all! I was not only distracted by the neverending flow of liquid coming out of my body, but I was also trying really hard to concentrate on all the different poses. There was just not a moment where I could even glance around to see how everyone was doing.

Surprisingly, the room didn't feel unsanitary nor did it smell like dead rats. It was super spacious and could easily fit 40 people (but we squeeze in 50 at max!). They have cork studio floors which were super comfortable to walk on, and they use radiant heating panels to save up to 40% energy! Even their cleaning products are environmentally friendly.

Did I go back? Why yes, I did! I thought for $20, I may as well make use of my unlimited pass! Even though I didn't fall in love with hot yoga the first night, I definately grew to love it in the past few months. In fact, now going to both hot and regular yoga, I do notice that I am more flexible during hot yoga. Sure, during the tree pose, my foot would keep slipping off my sweaty leg, but overall, I do notice how much further I can stretch myself in the heat, and I always feel so refreshed and awake afterwards. Yoga instructors varies at Moksha yoga, but they really are all super fantastic. One thing I absolutely love about yoga is that all the instructors are so zen and peaceful, and it really calms the busiest minds.

Couple things to note: Please don't make a last-minute decision to go to hot yoga like I did. If you're going to go, plan it out and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day. Eat light before class. Trust me, I didn't do this and I thought my head was going to split in half and I thought I was going to pass out! Freeze a bottle of water the night before and bring it to class, you'll be thankful for something cool to drink at 40 degrees. And when you feel tired, it's okay to take a break and go into child pose. It took me a couple of months to get through the entire class without a break.

At $16/class, this normally wouldn't be something I would recommend as affordable. But what's awesome about this place is that they offer "Karma Classes" on Friday nights at 9 pm for a minimum of $5 donation with all proceeds going to a different charity every month! What's more, for the month of June, they have in-training instructors and offering "community classes" on Wednesday at 9:30 am and Fridays at 6:30 am. It's hard to find regular yoga at that price, let alone hot yoga!

They offer change rooms with shower stalls. They provide soap and a place to leave your stuff. Their tap water is also filtered and cold incase you run out of water. Mat rentals are also available, check the website for more details.

If you're going to be sweating this summer anyway, why not sweat it out at Moksha yoga? The owner Angie is an awesome and positive person who always greets you with a smile! If you're feeling a little restless lately, I promise you a little dose of sweat will give you the experience you'll never forget!