For many people, the thought of leaving behind a lifestyle of healthy,nutritious eating is very undesirable and quite frankly…scary. For many it’s become necessity to have organic options. Many people worry about the quality of the food in Asia and how realistic it is to maintain an organic lifestyle once they touch down in Vietnam.
Where to get healthy food for me and my family?
If this is something you’reasking yourself prior to heading here, read on.
Depending on where you settle yourself, organic food will be more or less accessible in your local area. In Thao Dien (District 2), where the population of expats is booming, well-off Western influence is abounding. It is estimated that the number of expat-run companies outweighs the number of Vietnamese shops. Organic stores are on every corner (such a much surprise and also relief). As for the companies that are owned by Vietnamese investors, the majority of their customers are expats,so product is often geared towards the wants and needs of this population: healthy and safe food.
If you don’t drive motorbike, no worries! There are several organic stores that will send packages directly to your home. At 300k ($13 U.S.) you can get a mixed bounty of fresh foods efficiently delivered straight to your door. You can request other items such as lentils, beans, rice and most anything you can think of.
Natural cool items
If it’s organically made toiletries your after, there are plenty that stock these items too. A range of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, creams, lip balms,bug sprays: they have it all. All-natural cleaners of all sorts are even available in large grocery store chains. Popular items from the developed world such as organic coconut products (oil, cream, flour, etc.), chia, tahini, flaxseed,spirulina, probiotics and especially important… chocolate, can all be found here.
A great upside to living here is you can buy organic unpasteurized honey. Where I’m from in Canada, it’s impossible to sell this. Unpasteurized honey is very popular here; not only can you find it at Western shops but also local Vietnamese pharmacies, as the health properties of honey are widely known and used by Vietnamese people. If you’re more into manuka honey, it’s also available here.
Organic tropical smoothies and juices
If smoothies and juices are your thing, you’ll be in heaven. I regularly order-in smoothies from a local place that not only whips up delectable drinks, but also smoothie bowls for the days you want something a bit more filling. I’ve walked past at least two raw,cold-pressed ‘juiceries’ in my neighbourhood and have enjoyed a fresh mint-melon smoothie not 10 minutes from my house. If organic is an absolute must for you, always check to make sure first.
Another favourite of mine is a small stand (like an organic frozen yogurt bar) a short bicycle ride from my place. The owner takes pride in her all-natural, dairy and nut-free products, from tasty yogurt to real-fruit popsicles. And for your order she’s got all the fixins’: chia seeds, honey and dried fruit. It’s a perfect example of comfort food for the healthy
Having an organic lifestyle
As well, it is always recommended to stay connected with the Facebook expat groups. Many people make products themselves and sell them online (many offer delivery options too). I’ve seen freshly grown mulberries, blueberries and herbs among other items like solid perfume, honey, bread, tofu, humus and wine.
Needless to say, this has been one of the most pleasant aspects of living here. I’ve been able to continue living in a way that makes me feel comfortable and without compromising my health. So if Vietnam and organic living are both on your list of wants – you can get your organic cake… and eat it too.