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Basic Meal Plan - Toronto
Basic Meal Plan - Toronto

What's a good meal plan to eat on a regular basis in Toronto?

Toronto is the epicenter of food in the country. The food in Toronto is much different in variety and quality than any other place in Canada, and most states.

Which ingredients are the best to eat?

Toronto also experiences wild weather changes, from 40C in summer to -40C in winter.

Whether you are staying at a hotel, airbnb or your own home, here are some staples to keep you fit and energized in the fast-paced city.

If you commute or simply visit downtown, you may be away from home for 10, 12, up to 16 hours at a time. This is due in part to traffic (even on the TTC) and also because it's easy to get caught up in Toronto with it's million of shops, clubs and cultures, and any long-lost friends (or new friends) that might pop up. Also see On-The-Go Guide.

This is why it's important to eat nutrient-dense and simple food - convenient to make food.

During Summer, We eat in summer less carbs, as it is hot and we don't need the extra calories.
To avoid eating too much carbs, eat one meal, usually either lunch or dinner, without carbs. Try to eat only one source of carbs per meal, or smaller quantities of 2 kinds of carbs. Eat extra lettuce or similar fresh vegetable when eating more carbs. For example, Tacos might be served in corn tortillas with a bit of refried beans in or beside them. Eat no more than 3 corn tortillas and one servin of beans, then if still hungry eat tacos made on lettuce shell, or simply as a salad.

Bok choy. It's a convenient vegetable for when you are making a meal and don't want to cook vegetables or have little time to prepare. Bok shoy is almost everywhere in Toronto, though the best selection is at Nation's, they have all kinds ranging from small 2 inch tall baby bok choys with dark green leaves. The variations continue up to the size of a Napa cabbage, and we find the largest bok choy which resembles the Napa can be used much like Napa: it is soft like lettuce and can be eaten raw very easily. The smaller bok choys are a bit chewier and harder to eat and take longer to cook. We have since switched to either Napa or the large Napa-like bok choy and chop it and top with noodles and broth and it's an instant pho dish with a daily dose of green leaves. Can't believe it took us nearly a year of eating bok choy to discover this fantastic ingredient.

It also makes a great Chinese chicken salad for those lazy or rushed lunches: Chopped Napa or bokchoy, cooked chicken meat either hot or cold, and drizzled with sesame oil. Add anything else you like. We would add fresh grated garlic at the last minute.

Organic Ginger

Organic Rainbow Carrots

Summer
Pre-breakfast: Bowl of milk/cream with banana, berries and nuts. Bake berries the night before to make them soft and syrupy.
Fresh-squeezed juice. Convenient and easy, with citrus abundant, juice must be drunk within the first few minutes it's been squeezed - it oxidizes that quickly. Tangerine juice is preferred due to nutrient density and salvestrol content, which is higher than other citrus, especially if organic. Any orange citrus works. If none on hand, use juice of half a lemon per glass of water.
Juice option: put ascorbic acid in the juice.
Breakfast:
Eggs.
You may be tempted to get the cheap eggs at Shoppers. Don't do it. We found that they are often inconsistent in colour and low quality - the yolks are thin and pale, sometimes almost white.
As one of the most important foods because of it's complete nutritional profile, it's worth it to get the higher quality eggs. Try a few brands to compare the yolk colour. We found one at Nations - it's the Jumbo sized eggs, the biggest ones they have in the store. The bonus is they are often double-yolked, making breakfast even easier and using less eggs per meal. They cost $3.29 per dozen. The large eggs at Shoppers cost $1.88 at their cheapest, and regular price $2.69. The Jumbo size are well worth it for an extra dollar.

Many of these eggs will come from local farms in rural Ontario. The majority of Ontario, with the exception of Toronto is all about farming. It's likely that while living here you will meet and get to know some farmers.

Winter
Pre-breakfast: Bowl of oatmeal. Add a spoon of coconut oil, lecithin, and butter, cream, and grated nuts and/or baked berries to make it as nutrient-dense as possible. Oats are different from other grains in that they are less processed and left as a whole grain, the fibrous shell prevents the carbs from being absorbed and many who are eating gluten-free, low-gluten, or bread and rain-free diets can eat oatmeal without a negative effect. Note: Get organic oats as grain crops can be heavily sprayed with glyphosate and other pesticide. Bob's Red Mill brand was recently found to have glyphosate contamination, so don't buy that brand. If oatmeal is not possible, try a small bowl of red cargo rice boiled with cream and water- it makes a decent substitute for oats.
We do this in winter because the extra calories are burned much quicker when facing the cold.

Breakfast:
Rosti with Eggs, Bacon and Saurkraut, and Creme Fraiche. Boil the potatoes the night before and make rosti the German way. Pairs very well with eggs and bacon. Saurkraut pairs very well with meats like bacon, wiener, or kolbassa. Creme fraiche or sour cream pairs with everything. Must include saurkraut and creme fraiche in each meal to support healthy gut flora.

Summer: Tacos
Winter:
Cabbage rolls, or roast meat with roast veg.

Ginger tea is a staple in winter time. Gingerol dries up runny noses and sticky throats.

Summer

Light, cold salads. Lettuce, sprouts, tomato with topping of meat, fish or boiled egg, chunks of cheese and sour cream. Homemade vinagrette with good quality vinegar, and a squeeze of an orange.

Cheese plate with cold snacks. Can be eaten as a light meal or snack, and can be eaten as often as needed in a day.
Similar to an antipasto, the idea here is cold foods, with little or no preparation required. We don't want to cook too much in the Summer due to the heat of the stove and the heat generated in our bodies by physically working.

For Cheese Plate: Cheddar, Gouda, and mozzarella cheese, which can be easily found made locally. Black Diamond brands are best and often on sale. Olives. Tomatoes. Lettuce/Sprouts. Liverwurst. This is pork pate, get locally made. It's fresher and made with care and tradition, and also much less expensive. Herbed liverwurst is absolutely delicious.

Sides.
Serve with each meal: homemade sour cream, tomatoes, fresh lettuce, cheese. Cherry tomatoes are convenient - no slicing required- and abundant.
Winter
Lunch: Soup. Any kind of hot soup. Pho is easy and fast to make.

Many people in Toronto can get worn out after the fast-paced days and the many, many restaurant meals. It is too tempting to try them all.

In the end, a basic meal plan for life in Toronto comes down to nutrient-dense ingredients that are simple to prepare and can be made with endless variations.
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