Meal planning has become a very important part of my weekly routine. I've been very focused on eating healthy and following the 80/20 rule. We consume homemade meals made from mostly organic and local, seasonally-grown ingredients throughout the week, that we pickup from the local Farmer's Market, and then we treat ourselves on the weekends. There are lots of healthy things we should ALL be consuming everyday to help achieve optimal health and nutrition; I'm talking about more than just eating your fruits and veggies. So every week I plan out our healthy lunches and dinners, as well as make these protein-rich daily snack packs, to ensure that we are consuming plenty of antioxidants, protein and omega-3 fatty acid.
Here's a sneak-peak at what a meal planner's fridge looks like...
I've always been an avid snacker and my boyfriend works long hours at the office, so these snack packs have become a staple in both of our daily diets. It's a great way to get an assortment of your recommended servings from the dairy, grain, fruit and protein food groups, as well as some superfoods. Check out below to see what ingredients make it into our snack packs every day...
Here's What You'll Need... (per snack pack)
- 1x Gay Lea's Nordica Smooth Cottage Cheese - Lemon (other flavours available: vanilla bean and salted caramel)
- 1/2 organic apple (sliced)
- 1 cup of seedless red grapes
- 1 x Ozery Bakery Just Minis - Muesli
- 1pkg x Justin's Almond Butter
- 23 raw almonds (Learn why 23 almonds a day is important)
- 4-6 pieces of cheese
- 1x hardboiled egg
- 2x squares of organic dark chocolate (the higher the percentage of cacao, the better)
You'll also need:
*These containers are my favourite because the glass is oven and microwave-safe, the glass and plastic lids are freezer and dishwasher-safe, as well as BPA free, plus both pieces are 100% recyclable.
Interested in learning more about Gay Lea and their story? #BornOnTheFarm
Stay tuned for more posts...
Until next time… Enjoy!
Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. Product is available in Ontario only, at most major grocery stores (except No Frills and Walmart).
I've always been the type to go to the fridge and pour myself a big glass of milk. So when I got diagnosed with "Lactose-Intolerance", I thought my life was OVER! But let's back up a bit to give you the full story...
As a child I grew up on a 100-acre produce farm, and my mom was the daughter of a dairy farmer. So dinner always consisted of lots of homegrown veggies served with a glass of cold milk. It was learned behaviour right from a young age. Then in college when I was diagnosed with an ulcer (later to find out wrongfully diagnosed, we'll get to that. [P.S Ulcers run in my family]) I upped my intake of milk thinking I was helping by coating the lining of my stomach. Insert seven years of a daily prescription plus A LOT of milk and you get me curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor several times a week, unable to go to school or work. Ugh... Not fun! It was especially awful when I was stressed, which was a vicious cycle, cause "Hello!" I was stressed out about not stressing out and making myself worse! (Not to mention social media is a business that never sleeps; very demanding, fast-paced, resulting in lots of customer service and even reputation management/damage control - EVERY minute of EVERY day! = STRESSFUL, but I love it!)
Finally I'd had enough. So I made several appointments with GP doctors, switched doctors, switched prescriptions... Nothing helped. I had blood work done and G.I tract testing... Nothing to report. My former GP was very dismissive in my plea to help me figure out what was wrong with me. The last straw for me was when she sent me a very blunt email saying that my test results were normal, there was nothing wrong with me and, if I needed to, I could book another appointment. GRRR... Not cool!
With nothing to lose I sought out Dr. Shannon Vander Doelen, Naturopathic Doctor. Working with Dr. Shannon, not only did I discover that I had been wrongfully diagnosed with an ulcer when I actually had Hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) and years of prescriptions was making it worse, but that I was also lactose-intolerant. I remember sitting in her office repeating silently in my head, "Anything but dairy... Please don't take away my dairy."
Lacteeze offers a lactase supplement that is now permanent staple in my purse. So that in the likelihood that I'm out and might eat or drink something that has dairy in it, I can chew 1-3 of these minty flavoured tablets beforehand and be just fine. Not to mention, my Saturday ritual of eating custard and chocolate-filled croissants from the Stonemill Bakehouse at St. Lawrence Market is saved! Big thumbs up!
Eating healthy, and consuming lots of nutrients is a huge part of staying healthy and keeping a healthy lifestyle (along with physical fitness, of course). In my house we try to eat healthy and mostly organic, with the occasional treat and indulgence - You only live once, you know! But I have always found it challenging to consume all the fruit and veggies recommended for daily intake. I'm more of a serial snacker and prefer my meals to be small. So I decided I would give juicing a try a few months ago, and I have not looked back.
Now I'm not talking about a juice cleanse, I'm talking about simply incorporating juicing into your daily life. It took some A LOT of experimenting and research to find out what I liked and create my own daily juice recipes. I've juiced everything from red cabbage to beets, oranges, apples and berries, carrots to ginger, rhubarb and more. But this green juice recipe is my go-to and I like to take it to work with me, during the week, to enjoy in place of a coffee at the 2 OR 3 o'clock crash. It's also really great to enjoy first thing in the morning or post-workout.
Juicing can be a really fun journey for those that decide to embrace it! Based on your pre-determined health conditions or symptoms as well as your personal preference and taste buds - Do some research, juice various items individually to learn their flavours and then get creative and start to mix and match - Your body will thank you! Everyone is different and may like different flavours mixed together, so don't be shy, have fun with it! Juicing can be very beneficial to your health. Studies have shown that certain fruit and veggies can aid and even lessen symptoms of known health problems. Always talk with your physician or nutritionist if you have any questions in regards to your health.
Investing in a quality juicer is key! I have been using the Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed juicer and highly recommend it! I like to make a few days worth of juices at a time, storing them in mason jar mugs with lids in the fridge so they are ready to go throughout my work week. The Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed has an easy adjustable dial with multiple speeds for ease in juicing a variety of fruits and veggies (from soft fruits to hard veggies), a large pulp container, the handy juice jug, and most components are dish-washer safe!
Juicing is a great addition to anyones healthy lifestyle. Enjoy my recipe below, and stay tuned for future juicing adventures!
What You’ll Need...
- 1 bundle of organic kale
- 2 organic granny smith apples
- 2 organic kiwis (peeled)
- 1/3 of a cored pineapple
- bee pollen for garnish (optional)
(*Makes 1 serving)
Click the above image to shop the Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed from Hudson’s Bay!
Add the apples to the juicer.
Add the kale to the juicer.
Add the pineapple to the juicer.
Add the kiwis to the juicer.
The result! Yum!
Stir, sprinkle with bee pollen and… Enjoy!
Does this look delicious or what!?
The perfect beginning to each day (or ending to a great workout)! Cheers to your health!