It’s that time of year again. The shops are dead, the gyms are full, and everyone is doing some sort of cleanse, detox, boot camp or diet trend in order to “get healthy again”. You may be one, you may have been one, or you may never be one. But let’s be honest; there is nothing wrong with any one of us trying to better our health, and after the indulgent holiday season, you just may need it. Since Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, said “let food be they medicine and medicine they food”, why not turn to the local Niagara food scene to keep you on track and keep the good times rolling
Aiming to avoid or eliminate alcohol after all of your holiday celebrations?
Not every adult needs a boozy beverage with their meal, and some local spots have met the non-alcoholic challenge head on with some amazing options. Take OLiv’s (St. Catharines) Balsamic Blast, for example; their take on a traditional Italian soda with a balsamic flair, allowing you to choose from various fruit-flavoured balsamics that brings a tart and surprisingly refreshing twist to the drink
Hambrgr (St. Catharines) offers classically-brewed non-alcoholic root beer on tap from Nickel Brook Brewing Co. if you’re missing that draught experience
Want a room with a view? Canyon Creek, a steakhouse located in the Fallsview Casino, has hopped on the mocktail train, introducing 3 new non-alcoholic bevvies for those avoiding the sauce. Their most interesting is the Canyon Nojito, a virgin take on a mojito with fresh mint, lime and strawberries to make you feel like your alcohol-free cocktail is just as special as it’s booze-filled friend. Are you afraid of the “big bad chain”? Remember that these places employ locals just like anyone else, and that the owner of Service Inspired Restaurants (think Canyon Creek and Jack Astor’s) started out and lives right here in St. Catharines.
Trying to go vegan…ish
Whether you are looking to go full on vegan or just want to begin reducing your intake of animal-based foods, new research is showing that a reduction in meat and dairy is good for your body and good for the planet, so win, win. The good news is this no longer means you need to be super picky about where you eat, nor when.
While Rise Above is always a good choice, new(ish) to the all-vegan restaurant scene is the Lemon Tree Bistro, boasting a vegan Mediterranean menu including a completely plant-based (and soy-free!) calamari with a vegan tzatziki for dipping. #drool
Or you can up the ante on that tasty avocado toast (#millennial) you’ve been making yourself and head to The Yellow Pear for their amazing vegan version of this offering served on locally baked Con Gusto Bakery sourdough. Ask about their vegan brunch bowl as well; it’s amazing, I promise
Looking to keep those carbs down this year? (Insert fist bump or eye roll here
We have all heard that carbohydrates are essentially the devil these days. And for some, this is true, with carbs having a detrimental effect on certain people’s body systems. If you have decided to give a low carb, paleo, or keto diet this year, don’t think you need to cook for yourself at every meal.
It may seem weird to head to St. Catharines’ oldest craft brewery for all of your low carb needs, but the owner, chef & brewers have worked together to create menu items that are true to pub fare (think dips, nachos & wings) but that can also keep you away from all those heavy carbs. Just ask your server for the many keto offerings
Rosie’s Breakfast Café has a keto menu that allows you to pick from several menu items that let you stick to your low carb goals while your buddies can have a potato and toast-filled breakfast, so everyone is happy.
Want to take it home or bring food to a friend’s? Check out the Itty Bitty Pie Company’s low carb options include both desserts like coconut cream pie to savoury options like cauliflower mac and cheese.
The moral of the story? It’s no longer necessary to become a hermit to stay healthy, so your social life can live on and stay strong.