It’s much easier to eat healthfully in Guanajuato than it is in the United States. This is because there are vegetable vendors at every corner and we can go out every day for provisions on foot. At home, we have to get in the car and drive for about 10 minutes to the nearest grocery store. And the food is considerably more expensive at home than it is here (UPDATE: In 2017, our monthly grocery bill in the U.S. was $1300. In Mexico it’s $150 per month).
We don’t eat refined sugars, trans fats, dairy products, wheat products or anything manufactured on machines used to manufacture wheat or dairy. We don’t eat MSG. We do eat meat and eggs. I can hardly believe all the things we don’t eat. Not so long ago, the prospect of cutting all refined sugars out of our diet, and dairy products would have reduced me to tears, but honestly, it’s not that bad. Now that we don’t eat addictive foods anymore (those listed above), we don’t really crave them either.
Before we cut out the addictive biggies listed above, it was hard to deal with changes in our diets when we traveled. We had cravings that couldn’t be satisfied. In China, for example, it isn’t easy to find cheese. We thought we’d die without it. In Costa Rica, it was nearly impossible to find breads that didn’t have trans fats in them. We searched in vain for the entire trip to find a bread-replacement. It was uncomfortable and I think I ate more of things like oatmeal cookies and crackers to try to satisfy my addiction to gluten and wheat. This trip has been different. We buy fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, honey, olive oil, and maseca flour. These are our staples and we can make a surprising diversity of different things from these basic and very healthy ingredients.
Luckily, the Unicornio Azul and the Comercio Mercado have soy milk, rice milk, and coconut milk options. There are several Unicornio Azul stores in Guanajuato. Food at the vegetable stands is fresh; straight from the farm (and brought in on the back of a mule that morning) and if we need a snack, we can always eat bananas or oranges. We buy fresh corn tortillas hot off the presses. They’re still warm and steamy when our tortilla lady wraps them up.
When we first got here in Guanajuato, food options such as rice and corn pasta were available at the Unicornio Azul, but they don’t carry them in inventory right now. The La Marina Mega in Pozuelos has a La Comer, though that has rice and corn pasta available in an impressive “imports” section. The Unicornio Azul also has tofu most of the time, but they don’t keep a big stock of these things. Mexico is like that. I expect for there to be certain ingredients at the grocery store in Nebraska. It’s rare for grocery stores to be completely out of something that I buy regularly, but I never really know what will be available here in Guanajuato, Mexico. The key is to eat a lot of fruits and veggies (these are always available) and a diversity of different foods and adapt to what’s available.