Conscious lounge

By Glauce Fleury

I’m not a morning person. Life has helped me not to be. When I was a child, I always had classes in the afternoon. Okay, I gave a hand to destiny by begging my mom to not enroll me so early.

When I got my first job (which started as an internship), I had to be there at 9 a.m. When I got my second job, I had to arrive at 10 a.m. And in my third job, my schedule went back to 9 a.m.

I know what you’re thinking. No! I didn’t have anything to do with that. It was really destiny this time. And don’t call journalists lazy. In my first two jobs (in newsrooms), there was always someone arriving at 6 a.m. I was lucky enough to not be chosen.

Last Saturday, though, I had to wake up before 7 a.m. Very unusual for a weekend. But I had to run errands and couldn’t postpone anything. When I finished what I had to do, I was hungry.

It was half past ten. As I’m vegan, the question was, “Where can I get a breakfast that is not made of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and toasts covered with butter?”

It didn’t take me much time to remember there was a place I wanted to go since they opened last year. I checked their website. They had started at 10 a.m. I looked at my phone. It was 10:30 a.m. Sweet!

I headed to Zend Conscious Lounge. Their menu is 100% organic and vegan. Not enough, 100% of their profits go to charity. Although their kitchen wasn’t open when I arrived, they were kind enough to get me a juice while getting ready for my order.

GF_Zend (5)YA quick look on the menu and I made up my mind: Eden juice (photo at the bottom) — cucumber, celery, kale, parsley, lemon, apple and E3 Live Algae — and Feature Quiche (photo above) — seasonal vegetables, vegan sausage, avocado, house dried romas, toast and spreads.

Short story: days ago, while at a grocery store, I asked about vegan quiches. The cook kindly responded, “There isn’t vegan quiche. If you find one, it’s not quiche.” Should I take him to Zend?

Chatting with Zend’s friendly server, I learned that their quiche is made of cashew and fresh veggies. The vegan sausage comes from beets (one of my favourite veggies, by the way). And the jam is made of caramel. Oh, wow.

Besides the attention to the menu, they put efforts into the space. It’s pretty and welcoming (the photo at the top of this post shows part of their internal wall). Their wood tables feature the hyped Himalayan salt lamps and a set of cards. Cards?

GF_Zend (1)Exactly. These cards are divided into four categories: Growth & Development, Joy & Happiness, Love & Connection and Soul & Purpose.

As you can imagine, it’s not a regular cards game. I’d call a real-life check or, perhaps, self-analysis moment. It doesn’t matter. It’s focused on our inner selves. It’s all about enjoyment.

The cards have actions you need to take. It could be a simple response based on your experience, feelings or thoughts, or involve other people — on your table or not.

For example, you could have to tell a (clean) joke, give a hug (obviously, with permission) or make an honest compliment to someone you don’t know at the lounge. Audacious and exciting.

Would you take the risks?

Photos credit: Glauce Fleury

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