Meal planning can be a hard thing for some. The idea of actually taking the time to think about what you want to eat, what ingredients you’ll need and then making the meal can be quite tedious. But for those of you who do it weekly can attest to, when you take the time on your weekend day, it saves you so much time and potential headaches of that dreaded question “what am I going to eat?”
Meal planning can be broken down into a few simple steps. Find a protein source (whether it’s a plant based or animal based protein), some fibre (through fruits, vegetables and/or whole grains) and add in a little healthy fat to top it off! With these basics, you’ll ensure that you can stay satisfied and feel like you’ve eaten for (hopefully) until either your next meal or your between meal snack. If you need inspiration for recipe ideas, there are numerous cookbooks available or you can even use websites and social media! If you don’t know where to start, you can always ask your trusted dietitians to help you out ;)
Once you’ve figured out your recipes then it’s time to make sure that you have the ingredients. Make your shopping list and go shopping! Get home with the groceries and decide which recipe to start with and ready, set go!
Meal planning and prep can take as little or as much time you want. Only want to make one big meal and eat leftovers for the week? Then do that. Want to make multiple meals for the week in a day? Go ahead. There is no right or wrong way. All you need to do is start with one meal and go from there.
Today, I’m giving a shout out to a friend and co-worker, Kayla (@kaylarrothe) for her superb lunch today! We were all in awe of what she made for her lunches this week. Shrimp rice paper wraps with a spicy peanut dipping sauce. Yum! It’s a different take on a regular sandwich or tortilla based wraps. And what’s fun about it is that you can put whatever you want in them! Kayla decided to use shrimp as her protein, cucumber/carrot slices and lettuce as part of her fibre and the healthy fats (with a little bit of protein) coming from the spicy peanut sauce.
What are some of your out of the box lunch ideas?
Have you ever asked yourself what are the differences between all the oranges out there? Maybe even questioned, which one should I buy? I am here to give you some answers!
There are basically two groups that oranges can get put in to: sweet and bitter. We mostly eat oranges from the sweet group. You may have heard some of them:
- Valencia: the most common. They are juicy and aromatic. Their peel is rather thin.
- Navel: also common an example would be Cara Cara. They are large and seedless. Their skin can be rather easy to peel.
- Blood orange (or Moro): is a natural mutation and they also have a high antioxidant content. They have a sweet flavour and can be cooked. And like the Navel, their skin is easy to peel.
- Temple/ Less Acid Variety: because they are less acidic, they are not good for juicing. They can be sweet and juicy, with not many seeds.
The Mandarin oranges are also included in the sweet group and of these you will also recognize tangerine, satsuma and clementine varieties. They tend to be smaller and sweeter than the above oranges. The tiniest of them all is a Kumquat. What’s fun about these guys is that you can eat the peel too!
The bitter orange group contains three varieties; Seville (known for making marmalade), Bergamot (good for its peel in Italy as well as flavouring Earl Grey Tea) and Trifoliate Orange (also known for making marmalade).
Oranges are most known for the amount of vitamin C that they carry, but they also have a good amount of fibre, antioxidants such as phytochemicals, vitamin A, some B vitamins and even minerals like calcium and potassium!
Orange season runs from October through to the end of February. When buying oranges, choose ones with a good, vibrant colour. That seem heavy to hold, give off a sweet smell and when squeezed slightly the flesh will bounce back. It is best not to store them in the fridge right away, but kept on the counter for about 1-2 weeks, then they should be put in the fridge. There, they can be stored for maybe 1-2 more weeks. Avoid too much moisture as mold could form and start to rot the oranges.
Before eating (or peeling) the orange, consider washing under cold water to help remove some of the pesticides that the farms had to use. If you don’t wash first, when you cut or break the peel, some of the pesticides can break through and contaminate the flesh.
My favourite oranges are the blood oranges and the best way to eat it? Plain and simple, wash, peel and eat!
What’s your favourite orange?
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.