Toronto sign in front of City Hall
Canada, Toronto, Wellness

4-Day Self-Care Retreat in Toronto, Canada: Day 2 – Move

Featured image: Toronto sign outside the city hall.

Note: this is part of a 4-part series. Click here to catch up on day 1.

Coffee + reading: one of my favourite pastimes

My morning started off with strolling over to Dineen Coffee for some breakfast. This was rated as the #1 place for espresso in Toronto. I do not drink espresso, so I had a latte instead. I opted for the chia pudding for a light breakfast. It was quite nice topped with the granola and coconut chips. I took a seat outside in the patio where I was unable to connect to wifi but that was a good excuse for me to pull out my Kindle to do some reading. My book of choice for this trip: Gandhi: An Autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth. It provides great insight into the thoughts of a leader who admits to his own faults and flaws throughout his life to become the man that he is known to be. It’s not an easy read but will provide a lot of cultural context, which can be quite interesting. It also got me thinking about my eating habits. I don’t think I will ever be able to give up on meat completely but I do think that it will probably be better for my physical health to eat more vegetables and less meat.

Latte and chia pudding @ Dineen Coffee
Latte and chia pudding @ Dineen Coffee

Move: exercising my mind and body

The good thing about my gym membership at GoodLife is that there are locations throughout Canada. With there being one within 200m of my hotel, I did not have any excuses not to attend a class while I was here. I quickly changed and headed over to complete a few sets of my physio exercises before my BodyFlow Class, This class combines tai chi, yoga and pilates. It is not very physically-demanding, so I usually take this class to improve my mental health as well as physical health.

My fave: rice + noodles

I head back to the hotel to wash up before heading out for lunch at Manpuku, a cute Japanese restaurant. It was a quick 10-15 minute walk but it was difficult to find as it was located next to a food court. It was quite busy at lunch time but I was able to get a table for one in no time. I ordered the onigiri and original udon with rice cake. The onirigi was very well-seasoned with tofu filling (although I swear I ordered the vegetable one. No biggie). The udon was flavourful and hearty.

Onigiri + udon @ Manpuku Cafe
Onigiri + udon @ Manpuku Cafe

Does it “spark joy”?

After lunch, I walk over to Eaton Centre for some shopping. To set the context, I hate shopping. I don’t tend to do it often and when I do, I get disappointed because I can’t find anything I like; however, it has come to the point where most of my closet is full of clothes that I hate to wear and actually contribute negatively to my well-being. As Gretchen Rubin explains in her popular book, The Happiness Project, and in Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, it is important for me to declutter my closet and only have in it items that I would actually find joy in wearing. It wasn’t a life changing trip, but I did manage to try things that are different than what I’m used to. I also made a couple purchases of things that do “spark joy”, which will allow me to donate those at home which no longer do that for me.

Comfort food after a productive day

I took a break at the hotel. Then Aaron came back and we caught up for a bit, before we both headed out for dinner. My restaurant choice for dinner was Gyugyuya – a cozy little restaurant nearby for my Japanese curry fix. It was the perfect place to eat solo as they had plenty of counter-seating. The service was super fast and I got my gyu curry in a matter of minutes. I did pretty well with having little meat for breakfast and lunch but the beef curry looked too good to say no to. It definitely did not disappoint. Imagine thick, tasty Japanese curry poured over a bed of white fluffy rice, paired with crisp cabbage, a perfectly hard-boiled egg and on top of all that, a layer of thinly-sliced nicely-marinated beef. I was actually worried it wasn’t enough food initially but I was more than satisfied by the end of the meal.

Gyu curry @ Gyugyuya
Gyu curry @ Gyugyuya


I walked back to the hotel and decided to stay in for the rest of the night. I walked more than 15000 steps today, so my legs deserved a break. I spent the rest of the evening working more on my 8670 hours project before drifting off to sleep.


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