By Pamela Francis
Many Southlakians think of themselves as living “inside the bubble,” but increasingly Southlake residents are making food choices, choosing medical providers and finding fitness options that are outside the established norm. In Alternative Southlake I’ll focus on alternative ways Southlake residents are approaching important lifestyle choices.
As concern about the way our foods are processed has grown, Southlakians have responded by finding food sources that provide local, organic healthy food. Indeed, Southlake is home to at least two food co-ops in which participants receive a shipment of food, usually fruits and vegetables, every other week. Urban Acres, which services Southlake prides itself on providing local and organic foods while supporting Texas farm families and artisans. In the past year, this impressive co-op sorted and distributed 400,000 pounds of local and organic produce to over 600 members in the DFW area and helped numerous Texas farm families survive the severe summer drought because of the co-op’s support.
On a local level, Steven Bailey says that the co-op started bringing its local and organic produce to St. John’s church in Southlake as part of its connection to the popular Camp Gladiator boot camp. Despite a small start, the co-op’s numbers are growing, particularly after a popular Groupon offering. Bailey cites numerous benefits to joining Urban Acres co-op including; each share of produce contains nothing but organic, and often local produce, it is very convenient since through automatic payments you simply show up every two weeks and receive an allotment of produce and it is a communal way to purchase and eat food.
Similarly, Your Health Source food co-op offers not only low-cost organic produce, but also grains, nuts, honey and personal care products. This co-op’s goal is to bring healthy organic food to communities such as Southlake and to support local, organic farmers. Southlake resident Amy Foreman who hosts the Your Health Source co-op reports that having a large selection of organic produce at a reasonable price is very important to her since she frequently creates smoothies and juices for her entire family.
And that same concern about making the healthiest possible food choices for her family is what led Southlake mom Jennifer Baldwin to start writing for the website and Facebook page http://healthymammas.com/. Together with two other writers, Kim Haile and Melissa Eads, the Healthy Mammas website was launched in May 2011 as a place to store recipes and healthy, fun ideas. Kim Haile reports that the trio was always sharing ideas about health, exercising and nutritional recipes via email and decided to share their wisdom with the greater community. The group now hosts not only the website but an active Facebook presence and sends out frequent emails featuring healthy family-friendly recipes. The Facebook page recently posted such various topics as the benefits of eating chia seeds, a recent Harvard study finding dairy not to be part of a healthy diet, and a recipe for black bean and corn quinoa.
So, while many of us may see ourselves as living ‘inside the bubble’, more and more Southlakians are looking beyond to search out alternatives – in food – and as later articles will discuss, medical practices and fitness routines.
Pamela Francis lives in Southlake with her husband and three children. After receiving her undergraduate and law degrees in the Northeast, she had the good sense to move to Texas in 1993. Since retiring from the practice of law in 2003, Pam has devoted her time to family, friends, charitable work and the elusive goal of keeping a fully stocked refrigerator while there are teenagers in the house.