Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Meal Subscription Services - Chef's Plate


Last week I received my first shipment of Chef’s Plate – a service very similar to “Hello Fresh”, which I tried a little while ago. I received an offer through a friend who was already using this service and decided to give it a try – see below how the two compared.

The first Chef’s Plate meal was “Quinoa Meatballs” (meatless) and turned out well. It was something different which is basically one of the main points of using such a service – trying to ‘switch it up’ in the kitchen a bit. The second meal was “Vij’s Family Chicken Biryani” and it was quite delicious. 

 Ingredients for Quinoa Meatballs

Meatballs about to go into the oven...

The Biryani!

I looked into these recipe/meal subscription services a little bit more, and was happy to discover that there is actually one based in Calgary! I am going to have to try this one, because local is always better. If you’re in Canada and looking for options near you, you can check this out: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/everyday-cooking/photos/canadian-meal-subsciption-box-services/ As one might imagine, there’s more options for eastern Canada.

One other thing I will note…similar to what I did for Hello Fresh, I asked Chef’s Plate about their protein sourcing. They got back to me right away: “We work with the best suppliers to provide the freshest and most ethically and locally sourced ingredients where possible. Our proteins, with the exception of some fish/seafood are sourced from Ontario”. Honestly, I was hoping for something a bit more specific. They said that as requests such as these increase, they would possibly display this type of information in the future on their website. When I asked Hello Fresh the same question, they were able to send me two company names who they were using for their protein sources, although I have only ever purchased the veggie options from them.

I would encourage you all to ask questions like this in abundance from wherever you get your food -- whether that be through a meal subscription service, or even at your grocery stores. We deserve to know where our food is coming from, and we should try to get as much as we can from local sources. I do like the concept of these services, as I think it's a great way for people to get cooking more at home. But it is important to ensure they are sending quality ingredients as well as ethically treated animal proteins. If you're purchasing from one of these companies, ask them where the food is coming from and who their suppliers are. 

Hello Fresh
Chef’s Plate
Selection of Recipes & Plans
Choose from three plans: (Veggie, Family, Pronto). Each plan comes with three meals and there is no selection among meals under each plan. You can skip each week if you like.
Chose from two plans: 2 –person plan or Family plan. Chose 2, 3, or 4 meals for the week. 2-person plan you select from 7 possible recipes; 4 recipes for Family plan. You can skip each week if you like.
2 for pronto & veggie and either 2 or 4 for Family plan
2 servings for 2-person plan, and either 2 or 4 for Family plan
Freshness / Quality of Ingredients
Time to Prepare
30-40 mins
30-40 mins
Ease of Recipes
Approachable – some kitchen know-how required
Approachable – some kitchen know-how required
Customer Service
 Prompt. Helpful.
 Prompt. Helpful. Could be more specific about sourcing.

As you can see, there are way more similarities than differences, although the big difference is that Chef’s Plate gives you options, and Hello Fresh does not. However, I am just wondering if it’s better to not give options as far as sourcing quality products go? If you'd like to try it out yourself, use this link to get three free plates: Chef's Plate Offer

I will be trying this Calgary option out soon, called Jolly Table and will let you know how that goes! Stay tuned. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Nutritional Wisdom by Marc David

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to share with you a book that you all could benefit by reading: Nutritional Wisdom by Marc David. I think we all fundamentally realize that eating is much more than a rote physical task where macronutrients get digested, absorbed and ultimately eliminated. However, very few of us pay much attention at all to the equally important roles that emotion and spirituality play in the daily act of feeding ourselves. “Food is meant to nourish us, not merely provide nutrients”.

In the past, I have talked about how we tend to look outside ourselves for answers to our questions – including how to properly nourish ourselves. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t consult experts in their respective fields when we need good advice, but especially when it comes to something as individual as diet, we need to step up and become our own experts by listening to our bodies and the information it tries to impart to us. “The body is a superior source of nutritional information for one simple reason: IT DOES NOT LIE”. This (among many others) is one of my favorite quotes from Marc David’s book. “Once you have decided to eat, consciously choose what to eat. In fact, go to an authority for advice: your body.” Instead, we search out the “perfect diet” to TELL US what to eat – but I’m sorry to tell you, it just doesn’t exist.

As a future holistic nutrition practitioner, I view my role as one important tool in toolbox of resources available to people. I will be able to offer helpful advice, source and provide sound scientific research to back my recommendations, work with a clients wants and needs (based upon their individual requirements), and even impart insight into body system connections that clients are unaware of. (This is why I am going to school)! But at the end of the day, I intend to empower my clients to really start listening to their own bodies.

Taking this a bit further, I wanted to discuss another quote from Marc’s book that made me almost want to cry. You guys, one thing that taking this holistic nutrition course has reminded me of, is that OUR BODIES ARE FREAKING AMAZING -- even if you don’t like the way yours looks. It’s just incredible what our bodies do for us everyday, despite all the disrespecting we do to it. Our bodies are these amazing machines which we 100% take for granted. Every. Single. Day. And when I read this one thing, it made me so incredibly sad: “When the mind continually commands the body to act against the body’s wisdom, the body desensitizes itself to the fundamental biological messages that inform us about our well being”. Our bodies, which are so incredibly smart and know exactly what they need, are constantly being “vetoed” by what our minds want. This includes overeating (“I am full “says the body), smoking (“that makes me sick” says the body), doing anything in unhealthy excess (“that’s enough” says the body) not slowing down (“I need a break” says the body), not listening (“hello, is anybody hearing what I am trying to tell you?” says the body)….I could go on and on L And you know what our bodies do? They tolerate it…until they can’t.

So imagine this scenario in which our own bodies keep trying to tell us things like “stop eating” but we don’t listen, and instead we gain weight and then end up hating our bodies because we believe them to be imperfect and separate from us. How ridiculous is this??? Do you guys find this as seriously sad as I do or is it just me???

Of course, this is such a complicated subject, which is why I encourage you to read this great book. It’s easy to read, and at the end of every chapter, Marc reviews key lessons and offers reflections in the form of personal questions to bring about more awareness. Towards the end of the book, Marc lists 20 Principals of Ordered Eating and 5 Steps to Whole Body Eating. If you have ever struggled with food, you need to read this book. Please let me know what you think once you’ve read it.

I will leave you with this final quote (all quotes in this post are from the book):

“The inability to release food is at the root of our most challenging eating habits. Even though we have finished a meal, the eating has not really ended. The mind may continue to munch on thoughts of food, dieting, body image or optimal nutrition. Do you realize the tremendous amount of energy spent holding on to these things?”

Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

Read my latest blog post on You Ate:  https://youate.com/tips/september-stress-autumn-anxiety/ And my smoothie recipe!