Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Road Eats

It's nearly Christmas and many of us will be hitting the road to visit family and friends.

Cakewalk and I will be doing a LOT of driving over the next week or so.

As you know, faithful readers, I am trying not to buy food outside of the home (with reasonable exceptions of course.) Which led me to post about how to eat well when traveling.

First, you need to plan ahead. Make a list, check it twice and hit the grocery store. Don't do this 10 minutes before you need to leave. Give yourself enough time to get what you need without making rash decisions. And give yourself time to get it home, prep it if needed and get it packed appropriately.

Next, you need to think about things that hold up, can handle only a moderate amount of refrigeration (or none), and can easily be eaten driving down the road. Yogurt, por ejemplo, is not a good choice unless it's for the passenger and you have a very good cooler.

If you think you will need caffeine, I would consider purchasing sodas now and putting a few on ice. This will save you time and money at gas stations.

Finally, and this should be obvious by now, you should have a good cooler on hand. If you don't have one, you can always purchase one of those styrofoam ones from the store. I know it isn't the greenest option and I know it adds to your bill, but in a pinch it's a decent solution and still preferably to purchasing every snack and meal at a fast food joint.

So what should you pack? Here are some suggestions that I have found work well, but I'm always open to others:
  • Cut up celery, carrots, bell peppers, etc into sticks for easy munching. Carrots and celery are obvious, but try other raw veggies too like red peppers or snow peas.
  • Fruit that isn't too messy: bananas, apples, pears, etc.
  • Or have fruit already cut up into pieces in a tupperware type bowl. This may only work for the passenger. Don't try to spear fruit with a fork while driving. But some you could eat with your fingers if they aren't tooooo juicy.
  • Muffins are one of my favorite travel foods. You can make a bunch at a time, they don't have to be kept cold, they hold up for days, and they can be very filling and healthy. I made oatmeal and cranberry muffins with a touch of brown sugar for a recent trip and was glad I did when the breakfast options were sparse.
  • Bagels are pretty easy to eat in the car, unless you require a truck load of cream cheese on them. But who needs that, right? There are a few different types you could try. First, try buying "day olds" from your local bagel shop. These will be cheaper and already packaged in a bag so you can toss them in the car. Or, you can buy a bag in the freezer section or bread section at your grocer. But remember that not all bagels are made the same. They can have 100-400 calories each. And some have HFCS and some do not. I really like getting cinnamon raisin because I know they taste great plain.
  • Make sandwiches such as PB&J or turkey and cheese. Try making variations of the originals. Try a different type of cheese than American. Or try a spicy turkey meat. Try a different nut butter. Or use an unusual jelly/jam. One of my favorite sandwiches was a PB&J made with natural peanut butter and my boss's peach and rosemary jelly. You can also vary the type of bread you use. Try rye or pumpernickel. Or make sandwiches using pita bread. Hummus with spinach on pita is tasty and different. Make them ahead, and wrap them individually. Of course, these will need to be in the cooler. I would recommend putting them on top so they don't get smashed or soggy.
  • Dry cereal makes a good snack. I've especially like eating shredded wheat without milk. It's perfect finger food. They now have a bunch of different flavors, including chocolate. While these do have sugar, they also have a decent amount of fiber, making them a better snack choice than combos from the gas station. (Although I do love me some combos now and then.) You can really eat just about any cereal with your hands, even flakes. Try mixing cereals in individual baggies for a fun treat. I like mixing a sweet one with a healthier one like frosted flakes with kashi.
  • Make your own trail mix. I know I posted about this somewhere, but I can't find it to give you the linky. Sorry dudes! But basically, to make your own trail mix toss together some nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, soy nuts, etc), some dried fruit (raisins, cranberries), a bit of candy if you like (chocolate bits), pretzels, coconut (if you like that junk, I certainly do not), or whatever you like. Just try to make sure you have some nuts for protein and not too much sugar or salt. I would recommend putting this into individual baggies too. It will make it easier to eat and will help with portion control.
  • Make your own peanut butter (or nut butter) crackers. Buy some saltines and make little peanut butter sandwiches. These don't have to be cold and can be eaten easily for a little protein on the drive. You can purchase saltines with less salt or you can even try the "whole grain" ones, although I don't know how whole grain they are and I kinda have my doubts. Check the fiber content. If they have more than regular crackers, give them a try. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. Of course, you can use whatever crackers you want, they don't have to be saltines.
I hope this list gave you some good ideas. Even if you only pack some snacks and still eat your meals out, you will have saved some money and calories. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. But do remember that if you stop at a fast food establishment or a convenience store, you can still make wise choices. It doesn't have to mean you have to throw in the towel and overindulge. At gas stations you can usually find nuts, peanut butter crackers, milk and juice, pretzels, and even cheese sticks, fruit or sandwiches. But if you do eat Combos once in awhile, I won't scold you. ;)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saving Money The Realistic Nutritionist Way

I just posted about goals. Here is another goal idea for ya that I recently imposed on myself.

After examining my bank statements for October and November, I realized (DUH!) that I spend a lot of money on food and drinks away from home. This included a coffee while meeting friends at the coffee shop, a diet coke from the machine at work, a bagel from Mickey D's, a lunch from Noodles, some candy, etc etc etc.

I made an excel file and looked at exactly how much I had spent on legitimate groceries (TJ's, Harry Peet, Papa Spuds, etc) and how much I had spent on food from all other sources.

I didn't think it would be that much, but it was! And I bring my lunch most days. And I don't ever order anything too pricey. But all those small charges really added up.

Plus, let's be honest, it was all stuff I could live without. I mean, there are some days when I don't have a lunch with me and I need to get food, but otherwise it was extra junk and neither of my bottom lines needed it, if ya know what I mean. ;)

So I decided that for the month of December I would not spend money on food, drinks, snacks, etc outside of grocery shopping unless I really had too (ie when I traveled for work and had no kitchen or fridge). And so far I've stuck to it. It's been hard at times. Some days I didn't feel like packing a lunch. But I did. Some days I really wanted a diet coke, but if I didn't bring it from home, I didn't get one. Some days co-workers went to get coffee and I...ok, I did break down and get one cup of coffee. It was one of those bone chillin' days a few weeks ago and it smelled so good and I only got a small cup of black coffee. But otherwise, I've stuck to it.

And I know I've saved a lot of money. And I know that I'm eating better because of it. True, I wasn't usually eating anything that bad, it adds up.

I'm not saying that we should all forgo our beloved, overpriced coffee from the shop that shall not be named, our lunches out with friends or treat now and then. But if decide to cut back just a little, I think you will see some more money in your pocket, more than you think, and you may even be able to cut some calories without even missing them.

So why not make this one of your new year's goals?

  • You could go cold turkey for a set amount of time like I did (with reasonable but enforced exceptions, of course.)
  • Or you could set a dollar amount limit for each week.
  • Or you could specify the one thing you will allow yourself and cut out the rest. Although I would encourage to TRY to cut out that one thing or try to find other ways to get your fix, because that is probably the one thing costing you the most.
Get creative! You may find you like cooking at home or bringing your lunch. You may feel better without all that caffeine. Or you may find you like homebrewed coffee better. Or you may find you feel better without as many diet cokes each day. Or you may find you don't hit that afternoon slump quite as hard when you don't hit up the snack machine. Or you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. You may find yourself in another part of the world. You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. You may ask yourself: well... how did I get here?

11 in 2011: Goals for Another Year

As another year rolls in, we are all starting to look at our waistlines and shake our heads.

So we join gyms and buy fancy ipods and new shoes and set super high, pie-in-the-sky nutrition/diet goals.

You may (or more likely may not) recall that I am not a fan of drastic lifestyle change (or attempts at drastic lifestyle change.) Setting your sights too high or approaching change unrealistically sets you up for failure.

Instead, I like the idea of setting an achievable, specific goal (or goals.)

For instance, I have a friend who is not a runner and who wants to lose some weight. Instead of jumping on the latest diet bandwagon or killing her at the gym BL style, she decided to set goals for walking a certain number of miles. Now that she is close to achieving that goal she has set her sights on a half-marathon. But she is giving herself time to properly train and prepare for it....she's looking at one next fall. As she trains she will get stronger, she will lose weight and she will feel better side effects. I think this is a great goal for the year and I admire her for it!

So I've decided I need to set a goal for myself. This year (2010) my goals were to PR on the 5K and finish a half marathon. I did both. I also completed a 10 miler with Sir Cakewalk, and trained with weights to get stronger so I'd look good in my strapless bridal gown.

What now? I could work on getting a faster half marathon time or I could train for and run a full. I'm also thinking about doing 11 in 2011, meaning 11 races or physical activities. That would mean a lot of races, but they could be of varying distances.

What do you think?
What should I do?
Any races/activities you'd recommend?

What will YOUR goals be???

Monday, December 20, 2010

Psychedelic Fruit Salad

Last night I went to see TRON. I thought the movie was ok. The soundtrack was awesome.

I share this because it meant I didn't have enough time to do my usual lengthy shopping trip, dinner cooking and lunch-for-Monday prepping. I had to come up with something quick.

I knew I had just picked up some brown rice pasta that a friend recommended from TJ's. I also knew I had some discounted kiwis that I had bought several days before and that were probably bad or going bad quickly. Discounted produce is a great way to get stuff way cheap. You just need to use it before it goes bad. I usually head there first when I hit the produce section because I'll try to make a meal around whatever bargain I find.

I knew I also had some real feta (we usually have it on hand) and some olives.

So I decided to make a pasta salad and a fruit salad.

For the pasta salad I cooked the pasta. I had never cooked brown rice pasta before so I wasn't sure what the consistency would be like. When I thought it was done I drained it, cooled it a bit and tried a piece. OOPS! It wasn't cooked all the way. I started a new pot of boiling water and cooked it a few more minutes until it was tender.

The noodles were tasty. They are actually a little firmer and chewier than regular pasta. It was a nice change. I didn't buy them because they are "healthier" than regular pasta or because I'm jumping on the gluten free band wagon. I just wanted to try something different and they were the same price ($1.99) as the other stuff. They would be a great option for those who are gluten intolerant/celiac. But if you are just looking for a lower calorie pasta option, keep looking.

Anywho, I cooked the pasta, chilled it down and then tossed it with the olives, a minced green pepper ($0.99), some celery I had on hand (I always have celery), some pimentos I had in the pantry (aka red pepper pieces), a can of garbanzo/chickpeas, a little EVOO, vinegar, tabasco, S & P. I didn't mix the feta directly in but just put a little on top of each serving once in the bowl.

This was sooooo good!

And it made a great lunch for me today along with some psychedelic fruit salad.

When I hit the store I was in a hurry. So I looked to see what I could toss with those kiwis. Mangos and persimmons were on sale. I got one of each along with the green pepper and some milk.

While the water was boiling for the pasta I chopped up all of the stuff for the salad and all of the fruit.

It made a very bright orange fruit concoction. Man was it tasty!

You can try making your own pasta salad and/or psychedelic fruit salad.

For the former, chop up whatever raw veggies you like or have on hand and toss them in with any kind of beans. If you have fresh herbs, toss those in. If you have a oil based dressing you like (like a good Italian), use some of that. It's quick, filling, cheap, tasty, and refreshing.

For the latter (not ladder), chop up whatever fruits you like and gently mix together: apples, berries, pears, bananas, mango, kiwi, persimmon, grapes, etc. It may end up looking something like this:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Secret Santa Recipe & Random Thoughts

I just got a gift from my Secret Santa. He/She/It gave me a recipe that is right up my alley! I can't wait to try it!!!

It uses curry, veggies, couscous, chickpeas, ginger and feta....all some of my favorites! Thanks Santa, whomever you are.

Hopefully I will get to make it soon and then I'll officially share the recipe.

But tonight I'm making Shrimp n Grits n Greens since I didn't make it last night. Last night was a leftovers night.

Now I just have to decide if I'm also going to try to run tonight. Do you run in the snow? My sidewalks are slushy and might get icy tonight. But I am overdue for a run.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Healthy Mexican Cuisine

In response to a recent post which was in response to a post which was in response to a comment to a post, I got the following question regarding making recipes healthier:

"ooohhhh..mexican food. we love mexican and eat it probably 4 times a week. Are there healthy alternatives to common mexican foods (like fajitas, enchiladas (my fav), quesadillas and tacos)??"

I think healthy Mexican food is easy. True Mexican cuisine usually IS healthy (or healthier than our Americanized version) because it involves fresh ingredients.

If you make your own Mexican food at home, it ain't hard to make it healthy and tasty.

I already posted once about making healthy veggie tacos with peppers.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Saute or grill fresh veggies or saute frozen veggies like peppers, onion, carrot, mushrooms, etc.
  • Grill a chicken breast and shred it or grill a steak and slice it thin (or leave out the meat all together.)
  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour because they are smaller AND have less preservatives AND a lot less calories.
  • Use low fat sour cream or greek yogurt.
  • Add chopped lettuce and tomato
  • Make your own guacamole to top each fajita. Or use avocado slices. Avocado is packed with healthy fats. Plus it's goooooood.
  • Make your own pico de gallo or use prepared salsa and add liberally. Salsa is very low calorie.
  • Get a block of part skim cheese and shred some. (This is MUCH cheaper than using the already shredded stuff, but if you are short on time that is fine too.) Or try using feta cheese, Mexican cheese or make your own cheese.
  • I would start by cooking up some fresh veggies. Try using broccoli in addition to peppers, onions, carrots, etc, for example.
  • Cook and shred some chicken or beef.
  • Make your own enchilada sauce. I don't have the recipe at my fingertips that I've used before but there are a ton out there and they all seem to be similar. Here is one from Emeril. It isn't hard to make.
  • Wrap up your enchiladas filled with fresh veggies and meat, place them in a baking dish, pour the sauce over top, then sprinkle with low fat cheese and bake.
Dang kay-suh-dill-uh:
  • I don't have much for ya here. I mean, it's cheese and tortilla, essentially. However, you could add some meat or veggies or salsa or fresh avocado and be sparing with the cheese to cut back on fat and calories.
  • Also, if you don't saute it in butter like they do at the restaurants, it will help. You can make them in a pan with non-stick spray or try making them on a George Forman type grill.
  • I think I already addressed some ideas for this one in the previous post previously referenced.
  • But I would add that you could add ground meat. Ground turkey or low fat ground beef, sauteed with some taco seasoning would be tasty.
  • Or try making fish tacos with fresh tilapia and then go lighter on the toppings.
  • I used to make burritos when I was in college and didn't have much money for fancy food.
  • Get some big tortillas, but try to find some that are whole wheat.
  • Make some rice. You can use instant or a steam fresh bag of white or brown rice would work great.
  • Cook up whatever you have on hand or have easy access to. Burritos can be more creative than the other foods. You could all sorts of veggies or meats and top them with all kinds of crazy sauces. For instance, I used to saute veggies and tofu with teriyaki sauce and put that in my burritos with rice. Or, at a friend's house I recently had a sweet potato and black bean burrito that was delish. She made them up then baked them so they would be crispy on the outside. It's really up to you, based on your preferences and what you have.
Sides and other things:
  • You can make black bean soup for an appetizer or for a great, easy meal.
  • You can add an easy salad to any of these items. Just chop up some romaine, a little onion or pepper, and top with avocado slices or pico de gallo. Or use a healthy dressing, preferrably homemade. At the same friend's house that made me the sweet pot burrito, I also had a salad such as this that used pico instead of dressing. It was spicy and a nice change from the dressing laden salad.
  • Black beans and pinto beans are a great side that are super healthy. Lots O fiber and protein. You can add cumin or chili powder or salsa to them for some extra flavor.

Buena Suerte!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipe Makeover: Cauliflower Soup

This week I will be making the following meals:
  • Monday: Stir fry with one batch having tofu and onions and one half having chicken (to please onion hatas in the household)
  • Tuesday: Shrimp & Grits with Greens. I will use my standby skrimp and grits recipe and will saute swiss chard on the side. Then I'll top the grits with the greens and the srimps. Yes, I know I misspelled "shrimp" twice in this bullet. I did so because while working at a seafood restaurant for 10 years I heard it prounounced all three ways. I also got saLmon, till-A-pee-A, maui maui, and key-babs.
  • Wednesday: Cauliflower Soup. I got a head of the veggie from my produce box last week and haven't been able to decide what to make....roasted cauliflower? casserole? mashed? But soup sounds good and I found a recipe that looks great, although it needs a few healthy tweeks. And that is the subject of this post!
  • Thursday: No clue...leftovers or potluck.
  • Friday: Indian food at one of the best restaurants in the triangle. It's on the house as a wedding present!
So the recipe for cauliflower soup calls for the following:
  • Broth
  • Whole Milk
  • Half and half
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Flour
  • S&P
  • Herbs

And the instructions are basically:
  1. Saute the carrot, celery and onion in some butter. (Bonus points if you know what this is called.) Then add chopped cauliflower and saute. Allow to simmer.
  2. Add the broth and simmer some mo'.
  3. In the meantime, melt more butter in another pot. Add milk and flour to it and whisk.
  4. Then, add half and half to this white sauce before pouring the sauce into the simmering soup pot.
  5. Toss in some herbs and S&P and allow to simmer even mo'.
  6. Finally, add sour cream to the soup.
Now, I am all for enjoying a homecooked, whole fat meal once in awhile. In general, you are still better off eating something with whole milk and cream and butter that you've made at home than you are eating out because you can control the ingredients and the portions.

But, in regards to my last post about substitutions, I thought I'd propose a recipe makeover.

Here is what I suggest to change to still make a delicious soup but that cuts some fat and calories:
  • Broth --> Broth is fine or buillon or homemade stock
  • Whole Milk --> 2% milk. It's still rich tasting but cuts out a lot of fat and calories. I wouldn't suggest skim milk, because it will make the soup more watery and you will lose some flavor and richness. I suggest local and/or organic milk if at all possible.
  • Half and half --> Omit. Use more milk instead.
  • Butter --> I would suggest using less butter overall. Or, you could saute the veggies in a little olive oil in the beginning and use a little butter to make the white sauce, just less than in the original recipe.
  • Sour cream --> Plain greek yogurt will have the same taste and richness but will cut fat and calories and add protein
  • Cauliflower --> No need to change
  • Carrot --> Ditto
  • Celery --> Ditto again
  • Onion --> Ditto again again
  • Flour --> I would keep this the same rather than switching to a whole wheat. You may be able to use less. But you have to use some or your sauce won't thicken.
  • S&P --> Use sparingly or to your own taste.
  • Herbs --> If possible, use something you grew. If not, try to find some fresh herbs at the store. But, alas! if you don't have fresh herbs at your disposal, use dried, but don't be afraid to use a good amount. Just add some, taste, add more, taste, etc until you find what you like. Most poeple don't use enough.

So I didn't do anything drastically different. But if you follow these changes, you will still produce a yummy soup. But you will have cut out a lot of saturated fat and reduced the overall caloric total.

Do you have a recipe you'd like me to makeover? Email it or comment on this post. I'll feature it on another post.

Dorky math sidenote:

Check out the picture. Note how it is almost a pentagon in outline. Look closer and you can see a center point, where the florets are smallest. Look again, and you will see the florets are organized in spirals around this center in both directions. How many spirals are there in each direction?

Take a look at a cauliflower next time you're preparing one:
  1. Count the number of florets in the spirals on your cauliflower. The number in one direction and in the other will be Fibonacci numbers.
  2. Take a closer look at a single floret (break one off near the base of your cauliflower). It is a mini cauliflower with its own little florets all arranged in spirals around a center.
    If you can, count the spirals in both directions. How many are there?
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reader Question: Healthy Substitutes

No, I don't mean sexy temporary teachers.

I recently got this question:
"I have some friends who bake using alternative, healthier ingredients for a similar taste... ex. apple sauce instead of oil and whole grain wheat, etc, etc. I'd be really interested in a post about other alternatives like this if you know about them."

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Applesauce for oil in just about any baked good
  • To cut down on calories or sugar, replace half with splenda or stevia. I don't typically recommend this because I'm not a huge fan of sugar substitutes. But it's a nice tip for the diabetic.
  • Instead of sugar, use honey. However, do remember that honey is still sugar and has calories. But you typically need less of it, comparatively. It is not a one-to-one substitution. And also remember that very young children should not eat honey.
  • Instead of mayo or sour cream, use plain greek yogurt. It can be used to make a ranch dip, or as a topping, or in any recipe that you would use mayo or sour cream. You will cut down on a LOT of fat and calories and add protein.
  • You can bake and cook with wheat flour instead of white flour. But it will affect the items. So you might want to try it in a few different recipes to see if you like the end result and flavor. You can also do half whole wheat and half refined/white flour.
  • Nufchatel cheese sounds fancy, but it is low-fat cream cheese. If you've ever bought cream cheese labeled low fat, you've bought nufchatel. It works just the same as the full fat version but with less calories and fat, duh. And it tastes about the same. Stay away from fat free cream cheese though. It tastes horrible and has a ton of added junk. This is generally true of fat free items. They often have MORE preservatives and chemicals than the "unhealthy" full fat item. But low fat choices typically just have some fat removed and taste just as good.
  • Instead of instant oatmeal, try using regular oats or steel cut oats. The package will give you cooking instructions, which may vary. It may take longer, but these are much better for you.
  • Brown rice for white rice is always a good choice. But it isn't a free pass to gobble down a full Pei Wei serving of it. It has more fiber and will make you feel full longer. It does take longer to prepare if you buy it au natural. But you can buy the instant versions or it even comes in steamable frozen bags.

I think that's all I have for ya right now. But I'm sure more will come to me!

Thanks for the question!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Almost That Time Again: Will YOU Accept the Krispy Kreme Challenge?

The date is set!

Registration is open!

Will you accept the challenge?

In about 2 months, several thousand people will try to eat a dozen donuts....while running a 4 mile race!

Will you be among us?

That's right, I said "us." I plan to register as a casual runner (not a challenger) because I love Krispy Kreme donuts, and do not wish to make myself sick of them, literally. I may try to eat one during the race. But I can't barely keep down Gatorade when I'm racing. Sir Cakewalk, who cannot back down from a challenge, (Boys!), plans on attempting the full feat of eating a dozen donuts, running the race, and not up-chuckin.

For complete caloric information on this event, see my earlier post.

Who's in???

Locally Inspired

I've already read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle once. But I wanted the Hubster to read it too. Lately he's been talking about wanting to buy a small farm someday where we can grow our own veggies, have a few chickens, and maybe even have a cow for milk. So I knew this book would be right up his alley.

On our recent trip to an out of town 10 mile road race, we began listening to the audio book. We both love audio books and I felt like we needed a break from our current one, The Mists of Avalon.

I love this book and I love hearing the author narrate. Her voice is calm and reassuring but you can feel her passion for the subject matter...eating locally.

So now I am re-inspired to eat more local items. I'm not espousing an all or nothing philosophy. I cannot embrace a lifestyle devoid of olive oil, chocolate, coffee, and international spices. But I do think we can all make better choices and buy some items locally. And, as I believe I've stated in a previous post, local, fresh food tastes soooooooo much better than conventionally grown posers.

I just put in my weekly order with Papa Spuds. This week we will be getting chard, kale, oyster mushrooms, black walnuts, flour, and cauliflower.....all local and pesticide free.

This week I plan to make:
  • Kale chips. These are super simple and delicious. You just toss chopped kale leaves in EVOO, S&P and bake until crispy.
  • Chard and mushroom quinoa. I found a recipe online that I'm gonna try.
  • Roasted cauliflower casserole
  • Oatmeal and fresh cranberry muffins (with local oats I already have, the new flour, and fresh cranberries that are not local but are worth the splurge once a year.)
This weekend, after I return home from yet another trip out of town (my 3rd weekend OOTer in a row), I plan to purchase some local eggs and maybe some goat cheese.

Sunday I think Cakewalk will make us some homemade dough for pizza. I also may try my hand at cheese again for the pies. I have local buttermilk ready to be cheese-ified. (This is the easiest cheese EVER to simply heat up buttermilk to a specific temp that I cannot recall right now and then scoop out the cheese as it develops. It ends up looking and tasting a bit like crumbled feta.)

I'm so excited! I'm even asking for two related books for Christmas: Local Flavors and Home Cheese Making.

Do you buy any local foods? Does your area have a local speciality?