Love handles, Actually


Today marks the one-month anniversary of my departure from Calgary, in search of a new adventure, a new beginning, and ultimately a new home. I am also in search of a new gym.

A month of living (quite happily, I hasten to add) on restaurant food and occasional home-cooking with various relatives, interspersed with about 4 half-baked workouts and approximately 3 vegetables, has taken its toll. As I type the big words, I can feel the love handles moving ever so slightly.

New York started out the adipose assault. With the classic American truck stops followed by all of NYC's assortment of restaurant and roadside choices, the game was over early in the first period. I knew it was trouble at our first roadside stop, when the vending machine happily ate my dollar, I punched D3, and the pizza-flavored Combos slid from their coiled prison down to the tray below.
I find the above "Real Cheese" claim highly dubious.

From that point on, with places like Stanton Social House and Bar Carrera (the latter - a wine/tapas bar - was an accident - we were starving after walking around for a hours looking for a place that had room), there was no looking back. Both spots were really cool and the food was excellent. Both were lively, filled with good music and good-looking people. Carrera was really affordable as well.

Paris, as anyone knows, is made for eating. Although it helps to have a local show you around as they do have a number of places that cater to tourists and are not necessarily the best quality.

Where the city catches you is in the small patisseries and boulangeries on every corner (mentioned in an earlier post). One of the deadliest was literally right next door to my apartment, where I was defenceless against the Viennoiserie aux Amandes (or in English, "crack"). An almond-paste-filled Danish, essentially. And having one of these, sometimes two, per day is simultaneously totally recommended and totally not recommended.

Metro stations advertising full-on, 4-day exhibitions devoted to chocolate

And here in Amsterdam, cheese and bread and cheese are staples of the diet. With occasional extra cheese.

Of course, virtually every meal is accompanied by wine in Paris (cheap and very good quality bottles can be had for 4-8 Euros), and beer in Holland (A glass of Amstel Bock, a new favorite, can be had for 2.50 Euros). I suspect this is not helping either.

The good news? I joined a gym yesterday here in Amsterdam just three minutes from home - Your Fitness Centre

The better news? Here at my local Coffee & Company, three feet away, behind the glass, I see My Chocolate Brownie.