Nourishing the Modern Lifestyle: A Guide to Nutritionally-Balanced Meals + How Ready-to-Eat Meals can Fuel Your Overall Health

Nourishing the Modern Lifestyle: A Guide to Nutritionally-Balanced Meals + How Ready-to-Eat Meals can Fuel Your Overall Health

The Challenges We Face

Living in a fast-paced, on-the-go environment poses so many challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Despite being more educated and aware of the importance of health, Canadians are grappling with increased rates of chronic diseases, obesity, and mental health disorders. We know what to eat, yet many of us struggle to put that into action in our daily life. A likely culprit may be the time that’s required to truly prioritize our health. Once recipe hunting and filtering, meal planning, grocery shopping, food prepping and cooking are all considered, not only do you have less time for your hobbies (assuming cooking isn’t one of them), you also have less time to exercise, see friends, and read that book you’ve been meaning to get to for months. 

In response to this challenge, you may have noticed that recently there have been many ready-to-eat meal companies popping up. The focus of these companies is to take the meal planning, prepping, and cooking out of your hands. These services ensure that you can spend that time in other areas of your life. Mi BOWL Meal is one of these companies. With a focus on providing meals that are nutritionally-balanced, delicious, and caters to the Asian palate, we’re making it easier to eat well throughout your bustling days. 

Over the last month, we’ve worked with Gabi Abreu - Toronto-based Nutritionist and Founder of the Working Woman’s Health Collective (WWHC) to better understand the nutrition side of things. Below we run through some key nutrition facts that we’ve developed together, which we hope you can implement in your day-to-day routine. 

The Significance of Balanced Nutrition

Health Canada reports that there has been a rise in chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, soaring obesity rates, and prevalent mood and anxiety disorders. Couple this with increasing rates of education, there’s clearly a disconnect between awareness and actual health outcomes. 

Physical activity is part of the equation but our focus here is on the pivotal role of daily nutrition in reshaping our health. Meals and food that give you the nutrients you need to fuel your workouts, support your mental health and reduce risk of negative health outcomes need to be an essential consideration for your everyday life. 

But how do you do this? Fueling your bodies with the right nutrients is paramount. Nutrients like protein, omega 3 fats, fibre, and B vitamins play a critical role in not only giving us energy to fuel our days, but also to support our mental health. Despite bodies of evidence that show us the importance of these nutrients, many of us don’t consume enough on the regular. 

5 Balanced Meal Ideas to Support Your Overall Health:

Gabi has helped us select five balanced meals from Mi BOWL’s rotating weekly menus that contain these nutrients and essential fuel. 

  1. Baked Salmon with Black Bean Sauce and Brown Rice 酱烤三文鱼配糙米饭- Packed with Omega 3s that are found in fatty fish like salmon, this meal has anti-inflammatory properties essential for good mental health.
  2. Chicken with Black Bean Chilli Sauce and Brown Rice 剁椒豉汁蒸鸡配杂粮饭 - This meal is protein-rich and packed with fibre. Protein is essential for muscle recovery after a workout and provides your brain with the building blocks needed to make neurotransmitters (brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, etc)  responsible for mood regulation and good mental health. 
  3. Thai Basil Pork Stir-Fry with Brown Rice and Fried Egg 泰式打抛猪肉饭配荷包蛋 - This and all Mi BOWL Meals contain a selection of leafy greens and other vegetables (carrots, zucchinis, broccoli, cauliflower, etc). Vegetables are packed with B Vitamins that are essential for promoting dopamine and serotonin that are needed for good mental health.    
  4. Japanese Chicken Curry with Brown Rice 日式咖喱鸡配杂粮饭 - Many curry bases use a health dose of turmeric, well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Common mental health issues like depression and anxiety are increasingly linked to neuroinflammation. A 2020 meta-analysis from Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition suggests that the anti-inflammatory elements in turmeric may help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. 
  5. Sautéed Pickled Beans with Minced Pork w/ Rice 酸豆角炒肉末饭 - Pickled and fermented foods are a good source of probiotics (the good bacteria that your body needs for optimal gut health). Good gut health supports immunity, mental health,  helps to maintain a healthy weight and more! 

As we embark on this journey, we aim to guide you towards nutritionally-balanced meals that not only address the challenges of modern life but also foster a healthier lifestyle in a sustainable manner. Stay tuned for practical insights and more expert advice to help you nourish your body for the long and strong game ahead!

Check out one of Gabi's Picks in an upcoming menu!

This article was written in collaboration with Gabi Abreu, BSc (Nutrition). Gabi is a Dietetics graduate, nutritionist, and founder of the Working Woman’s Health Collection. WWHC was created with the purpose of inspiring women to achieve a healthy relationship with food while taking into consideration the busy lifestyles that we live in today.

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