Posted in Canada, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Food, health, Life, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Can’t Tell You How Much I Hate Getting Older…


Words cannot describe how much I hate getting older.

The grey hair.

The lack of hair.

The grey arm hairs… Ugh. I’m not even that old. At least I don’t feel that old.

Well, I didn’t feel that old, until this morning. This morning was a big ‘ol dose of reality check for me.

You see, up until a couple of years ago, I played competitive ball hockey in a league, as I had been doing since I was 19-years-old. That makes it around 25-years, give or take a year here and there.

Some years I played on 2 teams, some years 3-teams, and at the time when I met my wife, I was playing 4-nights a week.

Those 4 nights dwindled to 2-times per week, and then to once a week. A torn calf ended my ball hockey play and I haven’t played since. I think about playing again, but at my age, and having gained a “few” pounds paired with the fact that I’m out every evening with the kids at programs, means I just have no time.

Fast forward to November 2018, and I accepted a contact with Intuit Canada, the makers of TurboTax, to be their spokesperson, and blog editor. The job was amazing! The people were amazing. My boss was beyond amazing and the role was so much fun! The only downfall was that I literally sat at my desk for 8-hours a day. I had an hour drive to get there and an hour drive home and there was no time for exercise.

I put on a few more pounds.

I was feeling very uncomfortable.

Walking up the stairs became a chore, and I was winded when I got to the top. I knew it was time to focus back on fitness. When the kids went away to camp, was when I started exercising again. Walking on the treadmill, eventually running on the treadmill and trying to ease my fat ass back into working.

I even agreed to do a fitness class with my wife (something we have never done together) at the fitness studio that she goes to. I did a class called Chiseled. She took a different class.

The class was great, and the instructor was awesome. She was dynamic, engaging, informative and she helped me sort out the exercises and the correct techniques.

Almost 3/4’ers of the way through the circuit, I felt that I was done. Exhausted. Not that I couldn’t lift anymore, but that my heart rate was elevated, and not having had breakfast, I felt nauseous. I just needed a break.

I’ve had this feeling before when I played ball hockey and took time off due to children or injuries. The next game back was usually a tough one.

So I sat down on the chair to catch my breath.

And passed out.

When I awoke, there was a juice box in my mouth, I could hear, but not yet see, the trainer and a participant who happened to be a doctor, checking my pulse, and when I opened my eyes, and started to feel a bit better, I apologized (I’m so Canadian) and said that I over did it.

I finished the juice box, and started to regain my focus when the doctor / participant said, don’t worry, the EMT is here.

My eyes popped wide open.

Umm, you called the ambulance?

Always do, she said.

I was so embarrassed. This has never happened to me before. Ever.  UGH.

The EMT’s checked on me, and we agreed that it would be best if I could, to walk outside so they could run some tests. I walked out on my own power – now feeling almost completely back to normal, and into the ambulance.

The look on my wife’s eyes was something I will never forget. She didn’t say anything, but her eyes spoke volumes. Then she said to me, “When I said to you don’t die in the class, I was joking.”

I explained that I overdid it and having not eaten, my blood sugar must have bottomed out.

In the ambulance, they checked my blood sugar, my heart, my blood pressure, and all we fantastic.

I was totally back to normal.

I signed some papers, agreed to go visit my family doctor soon for a physical, and I ate a whole lot of humble pie.

We got into the car, drove home, and all I kept thinking was that I’m not that 20-year-old kid anymore who could play 4 games a week. I’m older, heavier, and man, do I hate getting old.

So how was your Monday?

 

Posted in Daddy, events, family, health, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy

Happy Birthday to The Urban Daddy Dinosaur


So today is my birthday.  I’m not normally a fan of birthdays – something about getting older, and all the unnecessary attention that it brings – but I had to share a conversation that I had with my son.

Him: “Happy birthday Dad.  What do you want for your birthday?”

Me: “Nothing, thank you.  Just lots of hugs.”

Him: “Okay.  That’s easy.  What are you going to do differently this year?”

Me: “Ummm…. I’m going to lose a pound of weight for every year old that I am.”

Him: “Won’t it be difficult trying to lose 150 pounds?”

Posted in Community, Daddy, family, Food, health, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy

Our Morning Smoothie: Simple, Healthy, Delicious.


Last month, the kind folks at Almond Breeze reached out to me and said this;

“Hey Urban Daddy!  Are you familiar with Almond Breeze?”

I replied with this; “Familiar???  Absolutely!  In fact, my oldest son and I have a smoothie for breakfast EVERY morning, and instead of using milk, we use unsweetened Almond milk from Almond Breeze!”

“No way”, was what I got back.  “Would you share the recipe for your audience, and we’ll send you some Almond Breeze.”

“Ummm, yeah!  Of course!”

So because we received chocolate almond milk, vanilla almond milk, regular almond milk and unsweetened almond milk, this constitutes a paid post, or compensated post, and as such I must (and I am) declaring it to be so.

The cool part, is that its already something we use, and enjoy, and have been using for years since we cut back on our milk.

Here is our breakfast every single morning;

Into the blender goes the following ingredients:

2 cups Almond Milk, from Almond Breeze.  I like the unsweetened, my son likes the sweetened ones, and before we got to make our first smoothie, he had polished off the chocolate Almond Milk, and by the end of the week, the Vanilla was gone too.  It’s high in protein which helps him as he swims competitively and needs to keep all that muscle on…

I digress… Back to the blender.

1 large banana

a handful of ice cubes

a table spoon of peanut butter

and that’s it!  Blend it on the smoothie setting, and drink and enjoy.

Sometimes, we add, protein powder for him, and a huge handful of spinach for me.  Sometimes I’ll pour in some left over coffee, add a touch of honey and some fibre, but the main ingredients remain the same and it is SO yummy, and fills me until noon.

 

So here are the facts about Almond Breeze which I did not know – so likely you did not know either…

  1. Almond Breeze is like a family themselves as they are owned by the Blue Diamond Growers who have been in the almond business for more than 100 years.
  2. Almond Breeze is one of the only brands to grow their own almonds

So let’s think about this for a second from the context of parenting and being a family.  Our family doesn’t have a family business which is passed on from generation to generation where the newer generation learns from the older generation and does that work with pride in order to keep up the quality and the respect the family name has earned.  There is a lot of pride, but also a lot of pressure!

It also surprised me – but makes a lot of sense – that this is the only almond milk producer who makes their own almonds.  I’m sure it’s a technical process and finding the right almond for the milk must be difficult as it has to be tasty, not spoil quickly and must be in an area where it leaves the smallest carbon footprint to make the product in order to keep the price reasonable.

It makes me feel comfortable knowing that the almonds are coming from a place where the growers actually care about the product because it’s not just the brand which is on the shelves, but it’s also the growers and their families.

Posted in Canada, Coffee, Community, Daddy, disaster, family, government, health, news, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Thursday Thirteen, Toronto

WTF is Going on? 13 WTF Events from The Urban Daddy: Thursday 13.


This has been a WTF kind of week!  I had so much going on that I had to take all my notes and throw them into a Thursday 13 list, of 13 WTF Moments.

  1. North and South Korea peace – WTF?  Does anyone believe that peace is going to change the way poor North Koreans live?  This guy in North Korea had his brother poisoned…

  2. Now I’m CERTAIN that Donald Trump is going to take credit for North Korea coming into the fold and agreeing to de-militarize, and seek peace with South Korea.

  3. Bill Cosby – Guilty – WTF took so long?  He was a great role model and changed the way TV portrayed African Americans, however, he drugged women and raped them.  That cannot be forgiven.

10.  Am I the only person who works out of coffee shops when meeting clients and who always checks his earphone when listening to something on the phone or computer to make sure it’s the earphones I am hearing, and that I’m not annoying the rest of the shop?  3 times this week patrons were listening to crap with their headphones on, and the sound was blaring out of their device.  They kept cranking up the volume until I had to notify them…

9.  I’m creating the Coffee Shop Police Etiquette Program

8.  Remember when a former Toronto Mayoral candidate threw a sexual harassment complaint against TVO host Steve Paikin, and instead of firing him, TVO hired an investigator to determine the legitimacy of the complaints?  Turns out no proof was found to substantiate the claim.  Good on TVO for getting on top of this right away (pardon the pun) and now what happens to the host, Paikin, and complainant, Thompson?

7.  Why do people bring food into coffee shops, then proceed to sit there – chow down their meal – then leave without buying anything?  More importantly, why does it always appear to me that these people have either really huge amounts of food, or are extremely messy and chew with their mouths open?  Is this a subtle way the coffee shop is trying to tell me to buy more food / drinks or leave?  They have this guy in the back and they sick him on patrons?  Better him, than the mouth-noise guy, the guy with the disgusting mouth noises, or the dancer who – no matter the weather – is wearing a tank top and just gets up and starts dancing…

6.  There is a “thing” for men who cannot get “laid”?  Is this real?  When I was growing up, if the girls didn’t look at you, you changed.  Your clothes, your hair, your weight, you got better educated, you learned to be a better person…  Clearly, for Millenials, this is WAY too much work, so it’s better to complain to others and then kill innocent people.  Enough already!

5.  With a Provincial election coming, FINALLY, in Ontario, and the Liberal government preparing for the crash, word comes out that a policy they created has come back to bite them in the ass.  LOL.  They created a policy where the Auditor General would review the books and records of the government prior to an election and confirm the amount of surplus or deficit the government has.  Well… The Liberals said the deficit would be only $2-3 billion dollars, but the AG said, nope.  It’s closer to $11-billion.  Thanks for the lies, deceit and for bankrupting this province!  See ya, Libs!

4.  I have a GREAT piece on minor hockey corruption coming shortly.  A must read!

3.  I agreed to coach my eldest son’s baseball team again this season, and I only had one request of the league… As a die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fan, please, please, please do not make us the Yankees again this year.  I cannot for the life of me say, “Go Yankees”.  I can’t.  Like the Fonz cannot apologize.  Guess what???  We’re the Spankees again this year.  UGH.

2.  A 23yo Quebec mother was charged with 2nd degree murder after her 2-year-old daughter was stabbed to death, then her body dumped in a garbage can.  I don’t know what to say about this other than what kind of a person takes a child’s body and dumps it in the trash… Words cannot describe…

… and the number One WTF Moment from this week…

  1. Toronto – my city, my home, streets from where I grew up, worked and where my family lives and works… The tragedy, the senseless violence.  Such and evil human being.  Thank goodness for the residents of Toronto who tried to stop this lunatic, or save the victims, or pull people out of the way… Toronto the good, overshadowed Toronto the sad.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, Food, health, money, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, travel

Travel With Kids! Yeah! As Much As Possible, Please!


I opened my Twitter feed this morning (I’m @urbandaddyblog if you’re not following me yet – and if you’re not… SHAME!) and the first tweet that greeted me was this one;

“Up next with on Travel Edition. Are healthy eating and traveling even possible with hotel stays and security restrictions? Tune in to hear more…

Then I thought about all of the travel we have done over the years with the kids and food, make that nutritious food, has never been an issue… anywhere!

By “travel”, I’m not just referring to East York, Mississauga, or GASP, Richmond Hill – which if you live in or near the Greater Toronto Area, you will know take 40 minutes to an hour no matter what time of day, and literally used to take “5-minutes” when I was younger…

Here are some of the places we’ve taken the kids (current ages are 8-13);

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • PEI
  • England
  • France
    • Paris 3 times
    • Drove the country heading south
  • Spain
    • Barcelona
    • Madrid
    • Seville
    • Drove the country / took trains
  • Italy
    • Venice
    • Rome
    • Amalfi Coast
    • Florence
    • Drove the country / took trains
    • Tuscany
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Holland
    • Amsterdam
    • Ghent
    • Edam
  • Florida

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

We’re big into the experience, so I’m not including cruises, but we backpack – take the least amount possible, and when we look for places to stay, there are no hotels.  We want to experience our destination as the locals would, which is why Air BnB is great for us.

With Air BnB not only do we save on accommodations because 5 people at hotels require an extra room, or extra charge, but we ensure we have WiFi, Air Conditioning and most importantly a kitchen!

With a kitchen, the food, especially healthy food, never becomes an issue.   We are so lucky to have a spouse who is almost certified as a nutritionist, and who is so incredibly organized that when we (read: she) plans our accommodations and itinerary around grocery stores so we can gather the food we need for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Without having to rely on eating out all the time, we save money, and eat much better and much healthier, plus we have snacks available for taking with us on our excursions / day-trips.

That’s how we get to experience the world with children, while eating healthy, and having a ton of fun.