Over the past few years I’ve had a somewhat tumultuous relationship with yuppie health food.
On one hand, I totally want to buy and eat it on a regular basis. The idea of eating natural, organic foods just makes me feel healthy. How can you not feel good about eating things like organic fruits, vegetables, and grains or free range meats? If the health benefits aren’t enough, at the very least I want to eat these superior foods because they are shrouded in an aura of cool.
“…and last night, my dinner was to die for. Chris grilled some organic free range chicken. I topped it with a sustainable, local, organic heirloom tomato-based relish and served it over a bed of organic red quinoa.”
Ok, let’s be real. This has never happened in my world, but I would probably feel moderately cool and possibly marginally superior to my conversation companion if those words escaped my lips. In reality, I am much more likely to be on the receiving end of that comment feeling somewhat self conscious about my food choices.
You see, I have, deeply ingrained in me, some frugal sensibilities that preclude me from spending freely on products that I know are, debatably, overpriced. I also recognize that in order to rein in my typically excessive grocery budget, I need to pick and choose my “exotic” grains and organic fruits and veggies. Further curtailing my organics consumption is the issue of availability. Neither my typical Southern Indiana locale, nor my current home in Southern India seem to have many specialty health food options.
Or at least that’s what I thought until I accidentally happened upon the Indian version of a natural foods store this afternoon.
Not only did they sell hip products like organic red rice, millet, and “real food” bars, but they also had some of my favorite spices with English labels! Sadly, they did not have any fruits or vegetables, but I’m still super pumped about this little gem of a store in the middle of Chennai.
Remarkably, when we first arrived in Chennai, we stayed for nearly two weeks in the Sheraton across the street from this little store. Had I not been so leery of crossing the street at first, I probably would have discovered this place much sooner.
In addition to food products, they were also selling all kinds of organic soaps, lotions, essential oils, and even laundry detergent. In a very un-Chris-like manuever, Chris picked out five bamboo clam shells of organic handmade soaps.
Also pictured is a can of Masala Chai. I’m still avoiding caffeine because some pregnancy resources recommend that, but I can’t wait to bring this tea back home with me to try over the winter.
Better yet, did I mention that all of these yuppie foods that my frugal side usually cringes at the price tags on were reasonably priced? In fact, some items were even inexpensive.
Those spices in the picture above were just $0.85 each! The organic millet and organic red rice cost just pennies as well. This will definitely become a regular stop on my grocery shopping rounds!
What a great surprise! Now that I have some real spices in my kitchen, I can’t wait to plan out my grocery list before I head to the real grocery store tomorrow.
[Speaking of great surprises, see those orchids in the background? Chris was really sweet and brought them home for me last night. Thanks Chris!]