August 13, 2012

In Ecuador You Can Be Healthy...



In Ecuador you can be healthy because…
There are numerous natural health food stores located within the city (mostly in the historic center) of Cuenca and they have products to relieve many health ailments. You would be amazed when you see some of the natural medicines and herbs that are available to purchase in these health food store.
 

Medicinal Herbs
There are a lot of medicinal herbs in Cuenca. I’m not talking about vitamin tablets and such but the plants harvested for medicinal purposes; these whole herbs are made into tinctures, teas, poultices, lotions, to administer according to the health affliction. Most people know that pharmaceuticals are made from herbs, but only a tiny fraction of the herb is used to make a pharmaceutical drug, the rest of a tablet or pill are chemicals and additives that can be dangerous to your health.
There are no health police here telling growers they cannot sell their medicinal plants to the public. They just grow it and many Ecuadorians buy it and take care of their health problems without being dependent on doctors and pharmaceutical medications. There are many homeopathic doctors here in Cuenca as well.  In Ecuador you can be self sufficient in health!
Fresh Culinary Herbs at the Mercado
You can go to any one of the three Mercados located within the city of Cuenca and buy fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, chamomile, oregano and so much more. It is amazing all the fresh herbs and medicinal plants that one can buy fresh from the farmer here! About once a week we get a big bunch of fresh basil and make fresh pesto (Frank’s favorite dish) with it. We also buy fresh cilantro. We love Ecuador for the fresh abundance practically right outside your front door.
Grow Your Own Food
Almost everywhere in Ecuador, including Cuenca, you can grow year round. Cuenca has two seasons for growing. In the summer it is rainy season but you can grow hot weather plants like tomatoes and basil. In the winter it is perfect time of year to grow cooler weather plants like beets, carrots and greens. In the winter, Frank has fashioned a greenhouse for the basil and tomatoes. We have in the garden growing right now, red potatoes, kale, radish, beets, rosemary, basil, and some tomatoes. 
 kale-left, beets-right and in the back- red potatoes
basil and tomato plants in the greenhouse below
Of course the food is such a great price here some of you may wonder if it is worth it to grow your own food? Well cost is not the only consideration: you can’t beat freshly picked vegetables just before dinner, it is nice to be able to walk outside into your organic vegetable garden and pick fresh garden greens and tomatoes for your dinner salad! Not to mention the convenience factor, especially when living without a car.
Mineral Springs (Banos by Cuenca)

They’re called “mineral” springs for a reason. The water comes fresh out of the Andes Mountains and is full of rock minerals that are good for your health. They say that soaking in these hot springs (not too hot) relieves many health ailments. We do not know if that is true but it certainly can’t hurt you? At Banos here in Cuenca you can also get a massage and mud wraps, etc.
Walking in Cuenca
Everyone loses weight when they come to Cuenca, at least everyone we have talked to. Why? We believe it is because of the fresh food with no hormones, (hormones make you fat) and the fact that Cuenca is a place where you want to be outside walking; everyone walks in Cuenca. There are people walking around no matter where you are at.

Yes, you take the bus for longer distances but on nice sunny days, you may just decide to walk instead of taking the bus or taxi. Walking a lot, coupled with fresh food, fresh herbs, you can’t beat that. You can be healthy in Cuenca! 
And for more information about going local and finding some of the best prices in Cuenca see the latest edition of the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide. 

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