Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Tale a Two Cities

Due to family circumstances, I currently reside in two different cities in two different states. The cultural differences are as vast as the amount of land that separates central Louisiana from southwest Colorado.

My gastronomic upbringing included large amounts of non Paleo foods, such as rice, French bread, gumbo. All which have been replaced when I began my Paleo journey a few months ago. Do I miss them? Not really, not anymore.

I struggle stocking my pantry where I live in Louisiana. The merchants don't cater much to the small population of Paleo disciples at this time. While we can find dairy substitutes for milk, my love of yogurt has not be satisfied in some time. I could travel two or more hours away to either Lafayette, Baton Rouge, or New Orleans that have local health food stores that carry more Paleo friendly items, but that is not convenient with my work and grad school schedule.

So when I come home to Durango, Colorado, I straight for the airport to Nature's Oasis to stock up on the foods I crave and fill my Paleo pantry. Nature's Oasis caters to foodies regardless of dietary preferences. The quality of produce, meats, seafood, bulk and prepared foods brings in Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and everyone in between to prepare meals for the modern family dinner table.

 When I was a child, my Aunt Lela made Dateroll every Christmas. It was my favorite holiday treat. I found these almond date rolls at Nature's Oasis yesterday. The mini rolls are made from the two ingredients, almonds and dates. The first bite transported me back to Aunt Lela's holiday baking without the butter and sugar. Guilt free treats. Score!.
 Nature's Oasis carries So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer. While I use steamed coconut milk in Louisiana, this gives my coffee and tea a more satisfying taste. Because the expiration date on coconut milk is significantly longer than cow's milk, I don't feel wasteful buying a product I can only use for one week.
Probably the best part of being in Durango, other than spending quality time with my beloved husband, is getting to eat yogurt again. Nature's Oasis carries more than one kind of coconut milk yogurt. This is my spurge for the week. Who knows when I will have this creamy treat again. So I indulge.

And this brings me to my ultimate question. How can those of us who follow the Paleo lifestyle, but live in remote parts of the country, gain access to more quality products? I know there are some pretty pricey products available, but not necessarily what consumers are wanting. Most dairy products require some sore of refrigeration, making mail ordering an impossibility or ridiculously expensive.

We talk about health disparities in our society, and this is another example. I see my choices as the following: continue to accept Louisiana limitations or take a large ice chest on my next trip to the Big Easy, load up on all my favorites on my quarterly visits to Colorado, or open my own health food store and pray I will have enough customers to keep me in business. Open for suggestions and advice from others in the same boat.

Here's to one's indulgences.


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