It's that time of the year again, the weather is getting colder, people are getting lazier and the snacks seems to be everywhere. Most of us tend to put on a few pounds during the colder months and we often equate it to the fact that we are less active, we avoid the outdoors and we're subjected to insane amounts of decadent holiday dinners.
But the reality is, your body is actually working against you.
With all the cool things the human race has achieved, it's easy to forget that we're basically just animals ruled by primitive impulses. But whether we choose to ignore them or not, these impulses are very real and we often have little or no control over them.
One thing our body responds to strongly is seasonal changes. In this case winter is culprit, and there are 2 factors that trick your body into thinking you're constantly hungry: The dark and the cold.
The cold weather signals to your body that winter is coming, so you better be making reserves to be able to survive. So you're not really hungry, you're just cold. But you're body is too stupid to realize you have access to grocery stores so instead it tricks you into thinking you're hungry.
To make matter worse, the days are shorter and we're spending a lot more time in the dark. However, since we aren't nocturnal creatures, your body is constantly pushing to consume more in the daytime.
If that wasn't enough to deal with, we also have to consider the holidays. This time of the year, your brain often equates happiness with food. That's because holiday food is tied to good memories. In this case the hunger is actually you memory tricking you into eating that slice of cake, because you are reminded of how happy you felt the last time you ate it.
But thankfully you aren't completely at the mercy of your impulses and there are things you can do to control that winter appetite: Keep healthy snacks on hand in case those cravings kick in, try to be more active even though it's winter, make sure to get as much sunshine as you can and avoid holiday treats at all costs.
La Maison Onyx is a pop-up that will run between July and October, giving marginalized chefs a stage to showcase their culinary expertise. Up first is Saint-Henri's Tropikàl Restobar, a Caribbean and Afro-Latin restaurant, which will be there from July 7 to July 27.
Tropikàl will be followed by Maquis Yasolo, an Afro-Québécoise restaurant in Saint-Henri. Later, MasterChef Canada’s Marissa Leon-John of Elle Jay’s Private Dining and Afro-Vegan chef Evy Mendes of Cantine Toca Toca will be serving up delicious eats.
La Maison Onyx is an initiative by DESTA Food, a Black youth network and non-profit business incubator for Black businesses.
According to a DESTA Food statement, La Maison Onyx will feature street food-style menus using local Quebec products, chef-led market tours at Jean-Talon Market, and on-site food demonstrations.
More chefs and Montreal restaurants will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
MTLàTABLE is back with set menus at your favourite eateries!
MTLàTABLE is back this year, and around 100 Montreal restaurants are participating in the city-wide food festival between June and October. You can get three-course meals at some of the city's best eateries starting at $20.
MTLàTABLE has revamped its format for 2021 complete with table d'hôte menus, fresh local produce and prizes you can win for simply dining out.
You can filter your preferences by neighbourhood, price, cuisine and more.
Contests & weekly draws
Each meal you buy at the festival's participating restaurants makes you eligible to win one of five weekly draw prizes like a $50 SAQ gift card and a $75 pre-paid VISA card to spend at the participating restaurants.
There are also eight 'Food & Fun Packages' to be won throughout the event, which include two nights in a Montreal hotel.
All you have to do is scan a restaurant's QR code every time you visit to earn a 'fork' and participate in the weekly draw.
Quebec-grown produce & food products
This year's edition of the festival will also focus on fresh seasonal harvests in Quebec, with recipes tailored to in-season produce.
In June and July, restaurants will serve dishes with beets from the Montérégie region, strawberries from Île d’Orléans and raspberries from the Eastern Townships, as well as broccoli from the Capitale-Nationale region, zucchini from the Laurentians and other green vegetables from Quebec.
In August, field tomatoes, leeks, blueberries, and green beans from across the province — from Bas-Saint-Laurent to Lanaudière — will adorn restaurant plates across Montreal.
In September and October, the fall harvest begins, and restaurants will serve soups and stews that include Quebec carrots, morels, oyster mushrooms, eggplants and acorn squash.
Autumn brings the return of apples to Quebec orchards, and restaurants will make use of locally-grown apples on their dishes toward the end of the festival.
Swing By This Sandy Beach In The Middle Of Downtown
Where: Saint James United Church, 463, rue Sainte-Catherine O., Montreal, QC
When: June 4 to September 26, 2021
Why You Need To Go: Yes, you read that right — just outside Saint James United Church is the coolest sandy beach hangout, where you can even bring booze. It's the most relaxing place to chill in the middle of the downtown core.
To celebrate its new location in the Old Port of Montreal, One Babo is serving up $2 bubble teas all day Saturday starting at 12 p.m., as long as you follow its Instagram page. The first 50 people will actually get their boba totally free.
One Babo, formerly called One More Thé, has another location on Chemin Queen Mary in Côte-des-Neiges. This is its second time opening in the Old Port after the previous location had to close last year due to COVID-19.
"This year, we were lucky to be able to open once more in our favourite place in Montreal, but in a different spot," said Karen Chen, One Babo's external coordinator.
Chen described One Babo as an international expansion of a Taiwanese boba chain.
"We specialize in authentic Taiwanese boba drinks with an innovative twist, with unique flavours and toppings for everybody to enjoy," Chen said.
Here's what you can expect to find on the menu on July 3:
Classic One Babo Milk Tea
Jasmine Tea Jelly Lemonade
Black Iced Tea with Boba
Violet Crystal (Yakult®)
Grapefruit Green Tea
Pouchong Rice Honey Tea with Boba
The drinks will be served in "regular fat cups," according to Chen, and they will all include a topping!
$2 Bubble Tea at One Babo
When: Saturday, July 3, from noon to 9 p.m.
Address: One Babo (previously known as One More Thé), 3, rue de la Commune O., Old Port of Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: Taiwanese bubble tea in fat cups for $2 or possibly even free — this is a boba lover's dream.