What to do when November hates Salad
By Karen Ogilvie
There’s something about November that makes eating healthy a sudden challenge. It could be that the drop in temperatures makes salads seem really undesirable, or the knowledge that the indulgence of the holiday season is right around the corner. Suddenly those hot, creamy soups and savory French fries seem a lot more appealing than that cold pile of lettuce that was so appetizing 3 months ago.
Luckily, salad is not the only meal option that helps to keep you eating healthy. And so when the cold weather hits, and you find yourself losing interest in your lunches, it’s probably time to start mixing it up.
Bring your own lunch. Most of us know that it’s typically a healthier option to bring your own lunch when possible. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what’s in it. Restaurants focus on making things you want to enjoy, which usually involves high fat and sugar content—the stuff that makes our mouths water. They want our taste buds to have a memorable experience so that we come back. They don’t care so much about moderation-- They want us to eat more. Figuring out what to bring for lunch can be difficult. But here are a few ideas to help make your planning easier:
If you don’t dig shrimp—switch for chicken, beef or chickpeas.
It’s like pasta—but with vegetables!
Ok, I know we just talked about not wanting salad, but the potato and kale makes this seem less like a salad. Plus—you can make this up on Sunday and have it last all week because the kale doesn’t get all wilted like lettuce does.
Eating out. Eating out on lunches when the weather gets cold is tricky because you tend not to want to go outside. So your options become anywhere within indoor walking distance. This gives you limited options that don’t extend much past Tim Hortons, the Market, and maybe Good Earth Café if you’re motivated. If you’re going to buy lunch, take the opportunity to venture a little further and take in some healthier options. Plus, the walk will get you moving! If it’s cold enough, a fast paced walk will add some cardio to your day. Soups always seem like a good idea, but there can be a lot of fat and sugar hidden in those. Try looking for stir fry bowls and sandwiches where you can see each of the ingredients.
The Bow Building: if you can get over to the Bow, then you can take advantage of the +15’s and suddenly your choices are endless! Look for options that are fresh, and that you can control the amount of sauce that’s put onto whatever you’re ordering. Places like Mercado are great because you can see it being made in front of you, so you have a better idea what’s going into it. Freshii and LA PREP are also great places for healthier options too.
Sidewalk Citizen: Sidewalk Citizen in East Village makes most things in house, and has a lot of healthier options. Plus, with Phil and Sebastien in the same building, you can grab a coffee on your way back as well.
Stay warm, and enjoy your lunches!