How to Access Healthy Food and Meals in Your Community

GB_0314_FoodDeliveryMan 2By Deanna Pellino, nutritionist and brain injury survivor
Kylie James, B.Sc. (OT), OT Reg (Ont), Director at Koru Nutrition Inc.

On the road to recovery following a brain injury, there are a number of health professionals that come into your life, various medical and therapy assessments that you have to participate in; along with trying to get back to doing your everyday activities such as driving, returning to work and activities around the home such as meal preparation and grocery shopping.

Proper nutrition is an important part of the puzzle in facilitating your recovery. Key nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin D, essential fats and good sources of protein are but of few of the nutrients required to support healthy brain function. The best way to ensure that you are getting these and many more of the necessary nutrients is through eating whole foods.

Whole foods quite simply is fresh, unprocessed foods such as raw and unsalted nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. However this can be a challenge to find and purchase these foods following an injury due to difficulty accessing the community or grocery store, financial restraints or psychological issues such as anxiety in crowds, driving phobias and depression. Or it may just be that you’re not sure where to go to purchase these foods. So below we have put together some helpful resources that you can utilize to help access healthy good quality food and meal options in your community.

FRESH LOCAL FOOD

Check out where your local Farmers’ Market is at www.ontario.ca/foodland and you can find out what fruits and vegetables are available during that season. The harvest for the month of September brings us 32 different vegetables and 13 kinds of fruit. You’ll find mouth-watering recipes at www.ontario.ca/foodland/recipes, many of which require only 15 or 30 minutes to prepare.

MEAL DELIVERY SERVICES

For those who are unable to prepare meals for themselves; healthy options in the community tend to be limited to fast food restaurants in which their food is often loaded in refined carbohydrates, trans fats, sugar and a ton of preservatives, additives, colorings and flavour enhances, many of which can have a negative effect of the nervous system and are not conductive to recovering from a brain injury. There are, however, a number of businesses that will bring healthy, freshly prepared meals to you. What is an even bigger bonus is that these individual meal prices are often similar to the cost of buying those meals at the local fast food restaurant. There is a minimal number of meals that you will need to order but you can store these in your fridge or freezer. Menus offer a wide variety of dishes and diet options.

 

ONTARIO Wide Delivery:

In The Zone Delivery Inc.
Fresh, customized meals for healthy living, weight loss and weight management.

www.zonemeals.ca toll free 1.866.480.ZONE (9663) or 416.480.9663

Healthy Heart Meals

Freshly prepared meals whether you’re looking to lose weight or improve your health (please check their website to confirm delivery to your postal code area). www.healthyheartmeals.com 416.465.MEAL (6325)

Personal Gourmet

Both fresh and frozen meals personalized to a client’s needs. These foods contain no chemicals or preservatives and the meals have been designed by renowned health expert and nutritionist, Rose Reisman. www.personalgourmet.ca 416.721.0560

Toronto Delivery:

Nutrition in Motion

Customized fresh diet delivery program www.nimdiet.com toll free 1.888.NIM.2.U or 416.486.1646

Today’s Menu

Chef prepared fl ash frozen meals using grass fed and hormone free beef as well as lamb, pork and veal; poultry is grain fed, air chilled and local; sustainably sourced seafood and contains no preservatives or chemicals. www.todaysmenu.ca 416.698.8667

Green Zebra Kitchen

Vegan, organic, local, seasonal, unprocessed, gluten-free, dairy-free fresh meals; managed by chefs trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. www.greenzebrakitchen.com

BULK COOKING: SUPPERWORKS

Do you enjoy cooking but would enjoy it even more if you shared the work with someone who did all the prep work, the cleaning up afterward and offered you a cup of tea while you were going about the task? Supperworks is a meal assembly kitchen, and as their website says, it’s as easy at 1, 2, 3.

1. Choose from an extensive and flexible menu of healthy entrees (nutrition details are available).

2. Schedule yourself in for a one or two-hour cooking session. The time depends on the number of meals you will be putting together (one hour for six suppers or two hours for 9 to 12). Supperworks also gives you the option (at a small additional cost) to skip the cooking altogether. They’ll prepare a minimum of 3 meals which you can pick up.

3. Assemble your chosen meals at the scheduled time. Supperworks staff is close by to answer any questions or to offer help if it is needed.

Supperworks is slightly more expensive than meals made at home, but less expensive than takeout. One meal will feed 4 to 6 people and you have the option to easily divide it into two smaller meals. You can even schedule your cooking session as a social event with friends and/or family. Socializing and preparing meals makes for a great combination. Best of all, having a number of great tasting dinners ready to pull out of the freezer can really take some stress out of a busy day.

You’ll find their stores in Ancaster, Etbobicoke, London, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Ottawa (3 locations), Pickering, Toronto (3 locations) and Waterloo. Go to www.supperworks.com for more information.

GROCERY DELIVERY SERVICES

Shopping can be done from the comfort of your home, online or over the phone, with the following companies:

Shopease Foods Inc. (Ontario wide) www.shopease.com A member of the All-Natural Food Council of North America, you can book an appointment with them to customize your food package. Toll free 1.800.361.3418

Grocery Gateway (Greater Toronto Area) www.grocerygateway.com Operated by Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc., you can place your order using a mobile app that includes information on sales items, purchase history, instructions for preparation, ingredient lists and nutrition data. Longo’s prepared Farmers Market Fresh Dinners are also available for delivery.

MOBILE PHONE APPS

There are many apps to assist you with everything from planning more nutritious meals to finding healthy food. The following have been recommended by nutritionists:

HealthyInAHurry

From the food magazine Eating Well, offers 200 recipes from simple breakfasts to quick dinners and decadent desserts.

Fooducate

Allows you to scan barcodes for nutrition information and will suggest healthier alternatives while shopping.

MyFitnessPal

A food journal that lets you track your daily caloric intake (with its extensive database) and add in exercise. Community support and recipe ideas are offered too.

WholeFoodRecipes

From Whole Food Markets, this is very user friendly, creates shopping lists, gives you meal planning ideas and ways to use food on hand.

To accessing your health!!

For more information on nutrition for neurological health go to www.korunutrition.com ???