This weekend was one of those weekends that was just great. A belated Belgian-Canadian Thanksgiving, good food, family, and an awesome 10k family race on on Sunday morning followed by post-run pasta and a movie night with J that involved popcorn smothered in dark chocolate, pecans and a pinch of pink himalayan sea salt (#yesplease).
Did you know Thanksgiving isn’t a thing here in Belgium? Well I decided to bring it here anyways because it truly doesn’t feel like Fall without a cozy Thanksgiving dinner – belated or otherwise (or superr early if you’re American!). I spent Saturday cooking with J’s mom, learning a thing or two about traditional Belgian cooking (aka being in awe of the best pumpkin soup ever). I made one of my favourite Canadian holiday sides – Maple Mustard Roasted Carrots, Turnip and Sweet Potaotes. Yum. And I also made another batch of my Maple Pecan Crumble Pumpkin Bread. I seriously cannot get enough of that bread! I love enjoying pumpkin in both sweet and savory forms – double yum.
Sunday morning we woke up early to go for a race in Bruges. But this wasn’t just any run, the course for this race, the “Urban Trail”, ran through the streets and into the quaint, old Medieval buildings of Bruges. We ran through so many little unique spots of the city I had never been before!
There were even people outside their homes to greet the runners with tables full of champagne, crackers or water to hand out. There were rock bands, drummers and marching bands playing along the way – it was such a fun and cool experience to be apart of. It was definitively not a race to finish in record time but a race to enjoy all the intricacies of the beautiful and old city of Bruges. I was having so much fun I was actually surprised when we arrived at the finish line because it did not feel like 10k at all – I wanted to keep on running and enjoying the city! Over 4,000 runners came out to run and we were given a little post-run brunch of orange juice, apples and chocolate buns.
I ran this race at my normal pace, enjoyed the scenery, and made sure to soak up every minute of the race experience. I felt great afterwards and did not feel like I had overexerted or pushed myself too hard. I truly believe that so many people (me being one of those people for most of my life) hate exercising because instead of it being something that is fun it is treated like a chore. I had a gym membership for most of my life and would use it for a week with good intention, it would then get ‘lost’ in the back of my wallet for the rest of the year until I forgot I had bought one in the first place. Stick me in a boring gym or a cross fit class and I will dread it. Instead of forcing myself to do something I dislike I’d rather put my energy towards focusing on the things that keep me motivated, active and moving that I love – like running, yoga, walking and dancing when I get the chance.
It’s about finding an activity that you truly enjoy, gets you excited and gets you moving. The feeling of being free, getting lost in my thoughts and hitting the pavement a few times a week is what I’ve learned to love and crave but for you it might be something totally different.
It’s about enjoying that piece of cake after dinner once in awhile just because it’s just good and getting active because it makes you feel ahhmazing and you love it.
Life is about enjoying every eat, every run and ever moment in between. Happy Monday everyone! <3
I regularly post pictures of what I eat and photos from my runs on the Ceara’s Kitchen Instagram Page – feel free to follow if you are like me and love browsing through photos of food and activity! 😉
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Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says
Happy belated Thanksgiving, my fellow Canadian! Hope you had a great feast, and holy cow, that popcorn looks amazing!
Thanks Denise!!! Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you as well 🙂
The vegan 8 says
Those photos are beautiful in Belgium! I’ve never been there. That Maple pecan bread sounds divine…2 of my favorite ingredients! Pecans are my absolute favorite nut, especially roasted and pureed into butter…omg! What a great run too, it’s been a long time since I’ve run. It caused me lots of injuries so I had to stop, unfortunately. I’m old I guess, lol!
I loveee Roasted Pecan Butter! It is one of my fav. nuts as well – especially during this time of year! Hope you are having a great week 🙂
What a great weekend!! A good run, tasty food….you really can’t beat that. Can’t wait to check out more of your recipes.
http://www.playingforeats.com | Carly
Thanks for stopping by, Carly! 🙂
ACE II says
fabulous job babe!! Keep it moving!! KEEP IT MOVING
Thanks baby! xo!
Wow, what a lovely Belgian-Canadian Thanksgiving! I remember I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Denmark and it was pretty low key. I’m hungry for Thanksgiving already and I don’t mind doing it early as an American (hehe)…we will celebrate it next month in America, lol! #YesPlease on that mouthwatering popcorn, save me a piece, would ya?! Well done, Ceara on completing your race, have a wonderful Tuesday morning! 🙂
Thanks Rika! It was a great Belgian – Canadian Thanksgiving! And the Belgians loved the holidays too 🙂 Hope you are having a great week my friend 🙂
You definitely had a great weekend Ceara! I love the pictures! All the food looks great, but that popcorn is my favorite!
OMG that popcorn = amazing! Thankds Mira!
Your weekend sounds so fun, Ceara! Congrats on all your race accomplishments! Totally love that last scenery photo. 🙂
Thanks Sarah – it was a blast! Hope you’re having a great week!
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
Love that you brought Thanksgiving to Belgium, everything looks delicious! The run sounded awesome too – love that you do are putting your energy towards the things that you enjoy and keep you motivated – totally agree and love that message 🙂
Thanks Kelly! 🙂
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
That sounds like you had a great weekend!
Thanksgiving isn’t a thing anywhere outside of USA and Canada. I think it is great to have a day to focus on being thankful.
I love having a day to focus on being thankful and love any excuse to have a wonderful gathering full of good eats and friends and family!
Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend Ceara. The food looks so good too
Thank you so much Hadia! Your kind words always bring a big smile to my face 🙂
Lol bringing thanksgiving to Belgium awesome sauce!!!!!!! Looks like you had a wonderful weekend and all that food! I love all that popcorn and a race to work off some of that good ole food!!
Hehe, you are too funny Shundara! This weekend was totally awesome sauce 🙂
Sounds like a really fun run to take part in and the food looks delicious!
Gayle @ Pumpkin N Spice says
Sounds like you had an amazing weekend, Ceara! That’s so fun that you brought Thanksgiving to Belgium. And I’ve definitely got to try your pumpkin bread! And congratulations on running your race! I’m glad you were able to take everything in and just enjoy. Have a great Monday, friend!
Thanks Gayle!! Let me know if you try the Pumpkin Bread – it’s my new favourite dessert 🙂 Hope you are having a great week!