“New year, new you” is the title and theme of most stories we see this time of year.
And it’s no wonder: With a new year comes the ideas and ideals of how we can improve our lives on various levels.
So with this, we thought it would be fitting to round up a varied selection of Toronto professionals and services that come to your home with the intention of helping to make your life easier and a little more manageable.
Here is our tried, tested and true top five list, why we love them, and how they can help you with the self-care you never knew you needed.
What it is: Handled Concierge provides clients with easy access to expert style assistance whenever they need it. The idea to launch Handled stemmed from founder Shira Yoskovitch’s own experience as a caretaker and busy professional. Finding there wasn’t enough time in the day to tackle her long to-do list, Yoskovitch combined her love of fashion and shopping with technology to create Handled.
How it differs from similar services: The initial stages of the process happen from the comfort of your laptop or mobile, where each client is paired with a Handler, who becomes acquainted with his or her needs and personal style. Clients dictate to their Handler what they want, and the entire shopping process is taken care of, including browsing, buying, delivery, returns for accessories, home gifts, and even alterations for apparel. Handled also offers styling services and closet consultations for those looking for the right look for an occasion or event, or for help building an everyday wardrobe of perfect pieces that work for a client’s lifestyle. One of the biggest differentiators is the wardrobe consultation, where the Handler takes time to understand clients’ style preferences by digging deep into their closets. Rather than simply purchasing a new wardrobe and getting rid of what doesn’t work, the Handler looks at what clients already have and shows them new ways to style or wear an outfit, or alter it so the fit looks and feels better.
Why we love it: Perfect for the on-the-go person who is always busy, Handled acts like a personal concierge, ticking off the boxes of to-do lists for clients who have trouble finding the time to complete tasks, and building clients a personalized style portfolio.
What it is: Well Told Health is an organic apothecary with five health boosters which provide North Americans with a clean alternative to supplements, delivered on a subscription basis straight to their doorstep. Each health booster is uniquely crafted from vibrant, certified organic food in sustainable packaging that includes transparent labels and substantiated science behind each ingredient. Better yet, the products are non-GMO, project-certified, vegan and entirely void of synthetics, fillers and isolates, in addition to being soy-free and gluten-free.
How it differs from other supplement companies: Well Told Health solely designs supplement blends that are legitimately impossible to obtain from a regular diet, such as medicinal doses of turmeric and vegan Vitamin D (my favourite!), developed from organic mushrooms, quinoa and spinach.
Why we love it: A homegrown Canadian brand poised to change up the stale supplement game, Well Told Health has a strong female entrepreneur at the helm. The line is also pretty to look at — the designer bottles could double as cotton ball and Q-tip holders in a bathroom. I have five different containers and stack them in a pretty-looking pyramid on my main bathroom counter.
What it is: A meal-kit service that delivers fresh ingredients with step-by-step recipes to make delicious home-cooked meals in about 30 minutes.
How it differs from other meal plans: HelloFresh provides the exact amount of high-quality, pre-portioned fresh ingredients needed to cook delicious meals — often taking prep one step further than other meal-kit companies by pre-slicing ingredients where possible. The items come in fully recyclable packaging and are a solution to food waste in the kitchen and grocery supply chain. HelloFresh uses locally sourced, seasonal ingredients from sustainable suppliers and is committed to supporting local businesses and communities.
Why we love it: The convenience! The service is perfect for those who have an on-the-go lifestyle but still want well-balanced and straight-forward meal solutions to make dinnertime easy and fun. The fact that they’re portion controlled helps to keep new year’s eating goals in control.
What it is: A dynamic, full-body workout suitable for all fitness levels that simultaneously combines stretching and strengthening while engaging all 650 muscles. This practice is said to increase flexibility and mobility for a healthy, toned and pain-free body.
How it works: Essentrics is a unique program and there are very few high-level Essentrics trainers currently in Toronto. One of those trainers is Lauren Finkelstein. While she teaches this class at a studio, she also offers one-on-ones from the comfort of your home (or group sessions if you want to invite some friends over and split her fee!). She arrives with a well-curated playlist tailored to clients’ preferences, played from her small but mighty speaker. There’s no equipment involved which makes the workouts easy to do at home. Only a small space is required and occasionally a yoga mat or chair.
Why we love it: I used to take her classes thrice-weekly at MISFITSTUDIO in Toronto’s west end, but once I moved, it became impossible to maintain practice. I found Finkelstein’s home visits worked better because I got one-on-one sessions (and attention), and having her come to me made me more accountable — I had to book her in advance, she was driving from afar, and I knew I was paying for an independent session, so I couldn’t slack!
What it is: Nutritionally balanced, plant-based oatmeals and complex carbohydrate grain mixes developed by two registered dieticians. Consumers can customize the base of their meal plans, which arrive on their doorstep on a subscription basis. With seasonal flavours like Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Oatmeal, Mexi-Taco Grains and Buffalo-O Grains, mealtime can get creative.
How it differs from other meal plans: YumiBox provides the base of the meal plan only, with a selection of healthy wholegrain products with a long shelf life, leaving it up to the consumer to source fresh produce to accompany the meal.
Why we love it: Yumi Box gives us confidence that not all grains must be considered evil, making it easy to incorporate the right type of healthy ancient grains into the diet.