The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Rachel Schipper

The Bay Street healthy eats cheat sheet

December 2 2013 2 December 2013

One of the most common concerns I hear about is how to eat well when you’re busy. Rushing out the door before getting a chance to eat breakfast, skipping lunch or finding a healthy dinner when you’re at the office are all common challenges.  So too is having low blood sugar by noon, which triggers cravings for sugar and simple carbohydrates.  Then comes that dreaded January day when you realize your clothes are snugger than they used to be, and you have a chocolate hangover (at the very least). 

As we launch into the holidays, rife with parties, too little sleep, year-end deadlines and even some of the negative nutritional side-effects of vacation – help is just outside the door.  Or in this case, just under the door, in the PATH that connects so much of Toronto’s financial district.

Here you’ll find easy ways to nourish yourself on Bay Street, and holiday deals to make doing so even sweeter.  The vendors selected here offer a terrific range of healthy options to suit any diet, whether you’re doing a raw vegan-style detox, looking for warming omnivorous options, or just want to try something new.  One of my favorite things about this particular cast is that so many of them were started by corporate types who were inspired to make available food that they personally wanted to enjoy where they worked.  All dishes come with a hearty dose of entrepreneurial spirit and vision.

Boost your immunity

Did you know that your gut is a key player in immunity?  Making sure your digestive tract is populated with good bacteria is an easy way to boost immunity, maintain energy, avoid winter colds, and stay away from digestive upset that can accompany the mountain of chocolates, wine and cheese you may indulge indeKEFIR in the Bay Adelaide Centre offers a delicious way to enjoy these good bacteria, offering a pure form of Eastern European health food made with just two ingredients: cow’s milk and kefir culture.  Many lactose intolerant people are able to consume fermented dairy products because the bacterial culture has already broken down the lactose for them, so it's ok that they don't have the enzyme to do the work.  deKefir also offers some creative ways to dress up this simple food.  Toppings for this breakfast or afternoon snack include home-made granola, figs, pomegranate, wild Ontario currants, lychee, pomelo, persimmon – and any number of fresh seasonal ingredients.

Relax your muscles, sleep better, and de-stress

So there is just about zero chance that you are eating enough vegetables.  Try counting 10-12 servings a day, and see how far you get!  Plant-based diets have incredible health benefits, and while they’re not for everyone, eating more vegetables will do your body good.  Dark leafy greens in particular are rich in magnesium, a nutrient that 65% of Canadians show deficiency in.  Getting enough magnesium contributes to decreased muscle tension, lower stress and better sleep.  When it comes to making vegetable consumption easy and delicious, there are some excellent options on the Street. 

Wheatless, meatless First Canadian Place newcomer Kupfert & Kim offers unique combinations of plant-based (100 percent vegan) and mostly organic foods that draw inspiration from an impressive range of culinary traditions with spectacular resultsFlavours like cashew cream and almond chili kefir lime sauce remind me of the very best in NYC gourmet foodtrucks, and their green smoothie will convert even the most skeptical taster.  You may forget this is a healthy meal, unless you’ve already figured out that those are the best kind.

Many credit Freshii with changing the game when it comes to healthy food options in Toronto.  Started by Winnipeg-born entrepreneur Matthew Corrin, Freshii offers a creative range of pre-designed or do-it-yourself wraps, salads, bowls and soups that feature fresh produce, great protein options, and superfoods – as featured in their new superfood dressings like zesty avocado and miso sesame.  Their popular Thai Green Wrap is wrapped in a collard green, offering a delicious option if you want to cut out processed carbs and add another vegetable serving to your nutrient-packed day.

In addition to offering creative combinations of healthy grains (brown rice, quinoa), lean proteins (roasted chicken, harissa-rubbed chick peas) and fresh vegetables (daikon, avocado, and fresh herbs like cilantro and mint) IQ Foods in the TD tower and at Brookfield place had me at breakfast.  Toast-eaters can enjoy it topped with avocado or a smoked trout combination called “tartine”, and those looking for an omega-rich, vegan protein breakfast that is terrific for digestion will find it with chia seed pudding.

Get that “home-cooked” meal

Remember those days when you could go home for lunch?  A family owned Canadian company since 1956, Longos prides itself on prepared food at its downtown locations that rivals the best home-cooked food.  Or better, depending on your cooking skills.  Options include a popular kale salad, a wide selection of lean proteins like fish and chicken (always made from fresh, not frozen ingredients), and cooked vegetables.  They also offer hearty warm breakfast options and a full salad bar.

Popular since the late 1990’s Seinfeld import of New York’s fictional International Soup Kitchen, the Soup Nutsy is a favorite place to find gourmet, hearty soups downtown.  The approximately fifteen varieties made fresh daily include heartier classics like chunky chicken noodle, and vegan options like vegetable miracle diet.  Soup meals include fresh baked bread, fresh fruit or vegetables, and can also be combined with sandwiches or salads. 










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Rachel Schipper is a former Wall Street lawyer. She founded Curated Wellness to provide practical and innovative wellness coaching and workshops to lawyers and other skeptics in a rush.

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