This past week, my husband and I had the opportunity to get away for a few days. Dustin had a wee break in his work schedule, so we took full advantage and set off to Boston, MA. For me, this destination was a first as I had never been before. A return visit was had by Dustin, as wonderful memories emerged from when he last roamed these streets when he was 18 years old, with his school friends. During our stay, we were very fortunate as Mat Lalonde graciously opened his home to us.
We arrived at the airport on Thursday afternoon and took the “T” (transportation system) to Harvard Square. I immediately walked up the stairs from the subway and was taken back by its historical beauty. It was filled with shops, restaurants, bookstores and cafes. People were everywhere! From there, I gave Mat a ring and he ran over (literally) from his lab to meet us, showed us the way to his house and gave us a key. With a presentation to give, Mat jetted back to work.
In the 3 days to follow, Mat kindly lead us around the comfy confines of his “bubble”, a.k.a his hood. He will be the first to admit that he is a spoiled brat when it comes to having easy access to F*CK#NG amazing food. I am not even kidding when I say we ate like total kings and queens, throughout this entire vacation. Not to mention, sidenote: waking up to the aroma of Mat cooking duck eggs, hickory smoked bacon and lamb sausages on both Saturday and Sunday morning. Seriously, best smell of life!!! Anyways, as we toured around in his car, with Dragonforce pumping, I became increasingly envious each time we were exposed to a new destination. It definitely made me realize how “behind the times” we are in Canada with regards to the extent of the healthy food market. I love grocery shopping here and appreciate the wonderful stores we do have, but this experience was like no other.
At every single stop, I was wide eyed “like a kid in a candy store” (how ironic). I caught myself as I stared in awe, repeatedly saying, OMG!!! On Friday night, we joined Mat on his grocery shopping excursion to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Yes, I know we have Whole Foods here, but in reality it doesn’t even compare! I literally could have spent hours perusing inside this gigantic food haven. I didn’t know where to look, there was just so much that caught my eye. I wanted to try it ALL. As we continued on, Mat loaded the cart with many of his staple items and threw in a few new products for all of us to try.
This kind of venture continued on the following day, as Mat took us to two more incredible specialty shops. The first one was Formaggio Kitchen and then we were off to Savenor’s Market. Again, practically drooling, I strolled around gazing at all the wonderful products. Fridges and freezers filled with assorted grass-fed meats, shelves packed with different types of oils, preserves, fine dark chocolate…oh and top notch micro-brewery beers (Dusty’s non-Paleo luxury item). While on these little runs, recurring themes kept popping into my head – easy ACCESSIBILITY, high QUALITY, tons of VARIETY and reasonable PRICE points. This “bubble” had it all…why the hell would anyone want to leave? A complete and utter dream for any Paleo/Primal eater out there!
One of the best parts of this trip was that we had the chance to try some new foods/products, of which we probably would have never given a second glance. I was a newbie to the bolded items below on the list, all of which I can say were awesome…especially the sardines!!! (to my surprise). Finally, to top it all off, we spent some time cooking and baking recipes together in the kitchen. Stay tuned for the details and photos of these yummy dishes in an upcoming post!
All in all, a trip to remember for sure…from wicked shopping to great chats (with a couple “dumb blonde” moments in between) and from fantastic food to a 3 am mobility session, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Thank you Mat for welcoming us into your precious “bubble” and for being a terrific host. You have enriched our lives and inspired us to continue to learn and grow in so many ways. It is also my mission, to take more time this summer to explore Toronto a little deeper and hunt for some rare and amazing finds!!! I will be sure to post about them!
Mat’s Grocery Shopping List
- organic sauerkraut
- organic lemon juice
- Bubbies pure dills
- Vita coconut water
- omega 3 eggs
- duck eggs
- fresh herbs
- freeze dried blueberries (our pick)
- Himalayan pink salt
- Trader Joe’s organic beef jerky
- Peter Gillham’s natural calm
- young coconuts/coconut flakes/coconut milk
- variety of meat from his CSA (fridge/freezer)- whole chicken, ground pork/beef, lamb sausages, hickory smoked bacon, beef/pork franks, beef round roast, beef for kebabs, organ meats…
- organic broccoli, onions, cucumbers, rainbow carrots, zucchini, celery avocado, baby romaine, spring mix
- Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste– fennel
- raw cashews and macadamia nuts (not typical, but we were going to make nut butter)
- red bananas (novelty item for me to try)
- pure dextrose and heavy cream (NOT TYPICAL! for baking a special treat)