For a bit more than a month I stayed at my parents’ home in the suburbs of Toronto. I couldn’t go back to my apartment in Québec City to be with my husband soon after my neck surgery. I couldn’t go back to work at the mine because my broken neck needed many months to fully heal. So I didn’t have much of a choice but to just chill at home.

I did have a choice, however, over how I spent my days at home. It could have been extremely boring yet I busied myself with various activities:

  1. Writing/blogging
  2. Cooking
  3. Completing insurance paperwork
  4. Walking for exercise
  5. Reading cookbooks/cooking magazines/fiction

I didn’t even have time for Netflix! Can you believe that?

I don’t think the first deserves further proof or explanation because here we all are! I have truly found immense fulfillment in sharing my story with you all during the last month and a half. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as I have enjoyed writing it. And it’s not over yet! 😊

My culinary adventures continued and really took off at this point in time:

Lentil salad with oven-roasted kale
AMAZING bean and couscous stuffed red peppers – click for the recipe!
(Nearly) vegan carrot cupcakes
(Nearly) vegan carrot cupcakes. Used some Greek yogurt in there but you can sub apple sauce!
Experimenting with broccoli rabe to make...
Experimenting with broccoli rabe to make…
A white bean and broccoli rabe ragoût
My nth version of healthy banana bread
Toronto Veg Food Fest – click for my post about it!
Oven-roasted tomatoes with fennel seeds - yum!
Oven-roasted tomatoes with fennel seeds – yum!
Learned how to perfectly poached eggs!
Learned how to make perfect poached eggs!
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My all-star croustade aux pommes (apple crisp) – click for the recipe!
When we enjoyed authentic Mexican food on Mexican Independence Day with my friends Rohit and Adhelly
We were to dress up in either red, green, or white (Mexican flag colours) and Rohit awarded me with best costume ;)
We were to dress up in either red, green, or white (Mexican flag colours) and Rohit awarded me with best costume 😉
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I bought this book because I was so inspired by Masterchef Season 6 runner-up Derek
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THE TERRIBLE FIRST ATTEMPT AT “REAL” PLATING. LOL. I made some baked salmon with a quinoa grapefruit salad. I even drew out how I wanted it to look like… but everything just toppled over itself. I was so hungry already that I didn’t care anymore 😛
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Making a Filipino ube macapuno cake with my sister
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For my dad’s birthday!
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Perfection

Walks with my brother:

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At first he walked alongside me, but became so so bored of our walks! He then thought of longboarding as I trailed behind and had a lot more fun going out with me 🙂
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Enjoying the great (suburban) outdoors

Three weeks post-surgery, I had a follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon Dr. J. We took an X-ray of my neck and saw that the plate, screws, and artificial bone were still in place.

This was actually the first time I even knew about having artificial bone in my neck. LOL. I clearly wasn’t paying attention post-surgery. Though the artificial bone cannot be seen in an X-ray, it is implanted with tantalum metal that is visible in an X-ray. Therefore the presence of the tantalum implants showed that the artificial bone was still intact. Pretty cool, right?

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Entire x-ray with plates and screws from C5 to C7 (wiring is from a previous surgery)
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Tantalum implanted into (“invisible”) artificial bone as seen in the intervertebral disks

Other great outcomes of this appointment:

  • My dressings were removed! Both my neck and hip incisions healed nicely.
  • I can wash my hair now! YESSSSSSSSSSSS
  • I can attend cooking classes now! But Dr. J warned me that other people in the class may be wary of me and my neck brace. I told him I would go to one class and see how it goes first.
  • I can take French classes now!
  • I can go back to my apartment in Québec City now! I was permitted to go only by plane.

For someone living with so many restrictions for the last five months, this was quite the turning point for me. I arranged my flight to Québec City (with a wheelchair and all that good stuff) THAT SAME AFTERNOON. Talk about excited?

I was to leave Toronto in two weeks’ time. I had a lot of things I still had to complete before leaving (insurance paperwork, cleaning up my things at my parents’ home and practically MOVING, etc.).

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I sent this picture to my husband to show how much I ENJOYED sending our insurance all our bills and documents
I raided my closet to get rid of old, unwanted clothes and donated them
I raided my closet to get rid of old, unwanted clothes and donated them
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Bridal books and magazines I cleaned out to lend to Adhelly and Rohit
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Walking with my other brother Alvin, rain or shine
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How I got a haircut in a neck brace
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My first professional haircut in six months. LOL

More of me making a mess in the kitchen:

Taught my younger brother to cook some dishes like a baked salmon
Taught my younger brother to cook some dishes like a baked salmon
The first time I cooked steak to
The first time I cooked steak to “teach” my younger brother (I haven’t eaten beef in the last eight years)
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Click for my made-up recipe of shrimp and medley grain cheese bake with broccolini!
Click for my made-up recipe of shrimp and medley grain cheese bake with broccolini!
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Making apple bread pudding
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Can you tell how much I love walnuts?

The next thing I knew, I was in the airport for my flight to finally be with my husband… to make a mess in our kitchen this time. 😉

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