Eating Healthy

It seems as though every year, everyone’s common New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier. It usually lasts for maybe a couple of weeks until everyone seems to fall back onto their old eating habits. However, that does not have to be the case this year. It takes time to find the right eating habits for you but once you do, there are a lot of benefits to reap from it – better health, better immune system, better skin and more.

Each body is different, so you need to find the proper eating diet for your body – what might work for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Here are some tips to begin your journey to eating healthier.

Ditch the Diet Consumption

For most, eating healthy means going on a weight loss diet. That is not the case. Diet does not necessarily mean restricting food consumption, it actually is defined as any and all foods that are consumed by an individual. It refers to the general consumption of the types of food someone eats.

Instead of labelling certain foods as off limits, instead label healthier foods with more positive associations such as strength and health.

Increase Nutrition Awareness

Food is nutrition. You want to be more aware of what you’re consuming and know the health benefits (if there is any) that it reaps. Here are some nutritional facts:

- Eat more whole nutrient dense foods. Eating more whole nutrient dense foods will provide you with more energy and health benefits than eating processed junk food.

-  Eat more quality food. Quality food is food that has no processed chemicals and preservatives. This will mainly be organic food that avoids using any chemicals or preservatives that can be harmful to your body.

-  Eating whole nutrient dense foods as well as quality foods will control your hunger satiety levels which is important because it will help you realize your body’s limits with food and prevent over eating of processed foods.

Listen to Your Body

One of the main things that people struggle with in eating healthy is how often to eat from snacks to the amount of meals one can have in a certain time period. There are a variety of different articles out there that will tell you that it is best to eat at certain times during the day etc. However, every body is different. The best advice is to listen to your own. Listen to your body’s signs – if it’s hungry eat, if you’re not hungry, don’t eat. It’s as simple as that. Just make sure to eat healthily.

There is no one exact procedure on how to eat healthy, but the best way is to consume healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and certain dairy products and pay attention to the way your body reacts afterwards. From that point, you have to decide what the best diet is for you and your body.

Tips for Event Planning

If you are planning an event, there’s a good chance you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed when it comes to all the preparations that need to be done. You no doubt want to make sure that your event is a rousing success and that it will make a great impression on everyone in attendance. So what goes into a great event? What can you do to make sure your event is remembered and your attendees eagerly look forward to your next one? Never fear, because we’ve put together a list of some of the best event planning tips to help you out.

Plan Ahead

This one is pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times the planning of events is rushed and things start to fall apart before an event is even held. Make sure to constantly be on the ball when it comes to the most crucial components of your future event. Do not procrastinate and try not to leave anything to the last minute, icluding smaller things that seem less significant and unimportant.

Get your Message across

If your event has an overall message that you are trying to send, it’s important that you understand how to get that message across to your attendees. After all, if the whole point of your event is to convey a message, it’ll be a failure if that message isn’t understood once your event is over. There are a number of ways to go about doing this; having guest speakers, effective signage, educational activities, printing informative pamphlets, all of these are great ways to help get your event’s message across.

Choose a great Caterer

Food is an amazing thing because it not only gives us undeniable pleasure, but it also brings people together in ways nothing else can. For these reasons, you need to pick the right caterer for your event. This is where Boutique Meals comes to the rescue! Not only do we offer a delicious catering service, but we also have the perfect venue for any event, personal or corporate, with our very own beautiful banquet hall!

Make it Fun

The last thing you want is for your guests to be bored. Filling your event schedule with fun and engaging activities and entertainment is going to go a long way in making sure your event is enjoyed by everyone in attendance. Consider hiring a DJ to liven up your event with music, or include an entertaining show of some kind for starters.

Follow up

One of the best things you can do is follow up with attendees after your event is over and get their valuable feedback. You can do this by including a questionnaire of some kind as part of a goodbye gift bag that’s handed out to guests as they leave. Feedback is extremely useful in improving any areas where your event came up short, and it’s going to do wonders for you when it comes time to plan your next event.

Follow these tips and your next event is sure to be a great success. Remember that Boutique Meals can be your one stop destination for planning your next event. We promise the best quality and a guaranteed good time!



The Evolution of Meals on Wheels

The restaurant and grocery industries are starting to be given a run for their money with the emergence of Meals on Wheels, a service that supplies and delivers restaurant quality meals right to your doorstep. It’s a system that is designed to provide food and nutrition to those who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. While Meals on Wheels is just emerging now as a viable industry, its roots actually go all the way back to World War 2. Read on to learn about the evolution of this delicious industry.

The Original Meals on Wheels  

Meals on Wheels originated in the United Kingdom in the year 1943, during the heavy air raids over Britain known as the Blitz. Because people’s homes had been destroyed they had no way to cook for themselves. The Women’s Volunteer Services for Civil Defense took up the task of providing food for these people by using prams to transport the meals, and keeping them warm using straw bales and old felt hats. Meals were also delivered to WW2 servicemen in the UK.

Meals on Wheels America

Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s, Meals on Wheels steadily grew in places like Australia, USA, and Canada, with small home delivery programs popping up in various cities throughout these countries. In 1974, Meals on Wheels gained a considerable boost when Meals on Wheels America was created; it is still to this day the oldest and largest national organization of its kind and supports more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition organizations across America.

The Industry Today

Today, Meals on Wheels is a rapidly growing industry with plenty of programs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. These programs focus on supplying meals, both hot and ready to serve, and cold and ready to microwave, to anyone in need; the main recipients being the elderly. Doing much of the legwork today are volunteers who donate their time to helping those in need get good meals and proper nutrition. The industry is making a positive change in society, as home-delivered meals have been shown to increase nutrition intake significantly and improve the overall quality of life of those who receive them. This boost in quality of life has also led to less need for hospital care.

What the Future Holds

The success of home-delivered meal programs has attracted the attention of some big players in the food industry such as Tyson Foods Inc., Martha Stewart, and the Kroger supermarket chain. The involvement of such big names suggests that Meals on Wheels can go nowhere but forward. As people become more health conscious, meal delivery services adapt and are now offering healthy alternatives to eating out, as well as options that cater to specific diets. Still, there are many that think Meals on Wheels is simply a fad that will eventually fade. However, it is difficult to ignore the benefits of home meal delivery service and all signs currently point to it being here to stay.

Meal Delivery is the Future!

Ask any of your friends and family how they’re doing and you’ll hear the same answer more often than not, “Busy”.  It might be accompanied by an eye roll or a sigh but the fact is that many of us today are caught up in what feels like a whirlwind of activity.  Between work, household chores, yard maintenance, kids and their school activities, and trying to squeeze in a bit of social time... too often our mealtimes are hurried occasions that involve at least one evening at the drive thru or ordering in.  Unless you’re truly on the ball and plan ahead, meals can, unfortunately, become just one more thing to add to your already packed list.

Luckily, there is hope on the horizon.  Until fairly recently, options were limited to either having meals mapped out well in advance, or lowering normal meal standards and eating out or ordering in.  If you’re looking for a better option to fit into your schedule, cut out much of the planning, limit your hassled line ups at the grocery store and maintain your desire for more healthful meals, you’re in luck.  Meal deliveries are on the rise, and it’s not quite what you might think.  Companies have clued into the fact that a growing number of households are concerned about what they’re feeding their families and that even in the midst of our busy lives; we want to eat fresh, wholesome food.  Meal kits come with fresh, pre-measured ingredients, a step by step recipe, and are easily delivered right to your door.  All you have to do is pick which ones you’d like for the week, and follow the recipe for a home cooked meal your family will enjoy, some meals are even pre-cooked!

The benefits of these meal deliveries are numerous.  They eliminate the need to plan meals on your busiest days, and they wipe out those rushed grocery store visits. If anything it’s nearly if not faster than getting fast food because it’s brought right to your door!  The pre-measured ingredients and recipes mean that your meal comes together quickly and easily, sometimes it’s as easy as heat and eat!

Businesses are cropping up all over Canada as the idea catches on and households take advantage of the convenience of healthy, home cooked meals.  Some companies offer delivery on a weekly or bi-weekly basis while others offer a designated pick up location.  Most have an online site where families can select the meals they would like for that week and make payment.  It’s been suggested that the meals can be on the pricey side, so this may deter some households, but those who are regular purchasers feel that the returns far outweigh the downsides.  But factor in the portion sizes, and in the long run it could match your weekly food intake very closely. It doesn’t eliminate the need to grocery shop, but it eliminates much of the stress of having a balanced diet.

How to plan your wedding reception

You’ve picked your date, your wedding party is giddy with anticipation, you’ve started dreaming about the dress, and you’re on the hunt for the perfect location.  Planning the reception can be an even bigger process than the wedding ceremony itself, and it takes some know how to avoid disappointment.  First of all, be aware that most reception venues book a year and even two years in advance, so don’t hesitate to start early.  The sooner you make contact, the more likely it is that your venue of choice will be able to accommodate your needs.

How big a party are you expecting?  Someone with a small wedding won’t need the same banquet hall as someone planning a bigger affair with a multitude of guests.  Consider how big of a space you’ll need so that nobody is gasping for breath because they’re squeezed in too closely.  You’ll need to not only think about room for dancing but also how much room you need for all of your dinner tables and chairs to fit comfortably. Will the venue accommodate a DJ or a band?  This will entail a stage or at least a corner designated for your musician of choice.

You’ll also want to make sure that there is sufficient parking for all of the vehicles that will need space for the evening.  Nobody wants to totter on heels from half a block away.

Curb appeal is also a factor; does the venue play host to a nice setting where pictures can be taken?  Is there a spot for people to rest outside if they choose to go out for a breather?  Is the building well maintained and does it make a good impression from the curbside?  Is the interior kept up with fresh paint and clean floors, and are the bathrooms clean and in good repair?

Decorating and bringing in personal touches is also an important factor so ensure that the venue will accommodate the décor that you’re planning.  Can they help by renting chairs, tables, coverings, and maybe even special lighting?  Is there a microphone and sound system available to you?    These are all things that you can rent elsewhere but the more items that are already on sight the less you’ll have to worry about transporting them to and fro.

Is there a kitchen available to you or will meal delivery be required from elsewhere?  If you’re having your dinner catered it’s a big plus to have a usable kitchen on site and means that the food can be fresher and hotter than if it’s brought in.  You will also want to check and ensure a liquor license won't’ be a problem if you’re having some type of bar setup. 

Banquet halls tend to be a great venue of choice and more and more brides are finding that their needs are all accommodated by this type of setting.  Most are even decorated in an eye-pleasing fashion, meaning not much more décor is necessary.  Banquet halls can provide a classic and intimate setting for all of your wedding needs, culminating in an occasion your guests won’t soon forget.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Banquet Hall

Congratulations!  Planning your wedding can be an exciting time for any new bride to be!  One of the first things on your list is likely going to be finding your banquet hall venue.  With so many different options it can be a mind boggling choice, but there are a few things to think about that just may make your planning go a little more smoothly.  Take a read below!

1.       Wedding size

Maybe you’ve only just sent out the invites and you’re not quite sure how many of your friends and family will ultimately show up.  That’s ok, but it sure helps to have a general idea of what size your wedding will be.  Your venue will vary greatly for a party of 60 than for a bigger wedding of 200, and you’ll want an ideal venue to accommodate whatever size you’re looking at.   Having a rough idea of how many bodies you need room for will at least help you to cross certain locations off of your list as being too small or too large.  A key issue that sometimes get missed is whether or not you’ll need handicapped access to the location.  Do you have anyone coming that will require a wheelchair?  How about octogenarians that may have difficulty making it up a large flight of stairs? 

2.       Season

What time of year are you planning your festivities?  Different venues have different looks depending on what season you’ll be visiting.  Some are perfect for a dream wedding in the middle of winter while others might play host to gorgeous gardens for a spring or summer wedding.  Trees and landscape will also factor in; is there a pond that would be ideal for pictures or are you hoping to capture fall colours?  Visiting the grounds of your chosen locations and discussing what they look like during different times of the year will help you weed your list.

3.       Time

Make sure to visit locations at different times of the day or, if you know what time you’d like to get married, be sure to visit them during that time specifically.  If you’re speaking to the hall coordinator at noon but are planning a 5pm wedding, you’re not getting the best idea of what the venue will look like during your ceremony.

4.       Full Service or Non-Full Service

One isn’t better over the other, but you’ll need to know whether your hall rental includes chairs, catering supplies, linens, etc or not.  Take a look at parking access as well – you don’t want guests scrambling for change at a parking meter if the venue doesn’t have the parking capacity.

5.       Wedding Style

If you’ve opted for a themed wedding, the banquet hall can play a part in that theme when chosen carefully.  Think about how you decor will fit into the hall.

If you’re getting married in the Toronto area, make sure to give BOUTIQUE MEALS a call; our Banquet Hall is the ideal location to make your wedding dreams come true!

Can't stop eating junk food? 5 tips to help you kick the craving.

We’re bombarded these days by so many food advertisements.  Turn on your TV and you’re going to come across a sea of processed food dancing across the screen and tempting you with their “flavours”.  We get bombarded again when we hit the grocery store or nearly any checkout line.  Bright colours, packaged treats; the big guys know how to advertise and they do it well.  Healthy people know that the way to a healthy body and mind is to stick with natural, whole foods; the less processed the better.

How does one avoid temptation and start on the right path to food that will improve your overall wellbeing?  Boutique Meals presents you with 5 of the best tips to steer you in the right direction below.

1. Plan ahead!!

Whether it’s only a day in advance or a full week of meals at a time, whatever method of planning ahead works best for you, go for it! If you can’t make meals ahead of time, at least determine your meal plan a couple of days in advance so that you can prepare your shopping list.  If you stick to the list, you’ll be far less likely to give into the temptation of tossing random snacks into your basket.  As an added bonus, because you know from your recipe or meal plan exactly how much of each ingredient you’re going to need, there will be less food waste.  No more bags of soggy spinach forgotten at the back of the fridge!

Get family members involved when possible – make cooking a social time for friends and family and get them to pitch in.  It’s more fun when you have company and because you’ll know what the meals are ahead of time, it’ll be easy to delegate which kitchen job suits each member of the family.

2. Don’t deny the occasional treat

If you deny your cravings, you’ll only obsess about them.  Sometimes you can satisfy your craving with a healthy alternative, but sometimes that one treat is the only thing that will do the trick.  The key to healthy eating is moderation; it doesn’t mean denying yourself the occasional indulgence, but it does mean ensuring that the indulgence is no longer one of your staple foods. 

Stick to up to 6 smaller meals throughout the day to help keep cravings at bay.  It also helps to keep a good supply of healthy snacking foods for when you just want something quick and easy.  At times it’s the idea of having to wait for our food that leads us to fast food or other unhealthy alternatives.  If you have a snack that’s quick, easy, and nutritious, you’re already ahead of the game!

3. Explore your options

Don’t stick to peas and carrots and anticipate that your new healthy eating is going to catch on and be enjoyable.  If you explore different foods and ways to cook them (or eat them raw) then you’ll be more motivated to stick to the plan.  Your local library is a great resource for cook books, and you’ll be able to change them up as often as you like.  Many grocery stores offer free magazines featuring interesting recipes, and online is a wealth of ideas for every taste.

4. Keep it simple

A lot of foods are wonderful eaten raw, so explore options like salads, which are far more exciting when more than iceberg lettuce and some grated cheese are involved.  Salads can incorporate pasta, delicious homemade dressings with wholesome ingredients, and veggies and fruits, nuts and grains.  Try tossing with feta or goat cheese, or chopped avocado is a beautiful creamy alternative to cheese.  Explore the world of herbs for flavourings and look for short, simple ingredient lists on products that you can read and understand!  Recipes don’t have to be complicated to be delicious.

5. Steer Clear!

Stay away from the bad food aisles!  If you don’t bring it home, you’re less likely to be tempted into eating it.  Stock your pantry and fridge with things you know you like and actually contain some nutritious value.

Even with helpful tips, we know you lead a busy life; not everyone has time for meal planning and preparation.  Most families rely on the income of both parents and we know you’re tired at the end of the day. If you’re finding time an issue, and healthy eating has fallen to the wayside, we can lend a hand. 

Boutique Meals has the best meal delivery system in Toronto. At Boutique Meals, our gourmet meals are cooked by professional chefs so we can deliver healthy, delicious, and nourishing food to your family without the planning, stress, and mess!  Our meal deliveries are done every Tuesday so you end up with a home cooked meal on your table without ever stepping foot in the grocery store or washing up!  Get yourself out of the frozen food aisle and back to a time when meals were done right.  Call Boutique Meals today!