For Christy Delp, her lifestyle and business are one.
"I don't eat anything from a box, bag or can," said Delp, 42, of Manheim Township.
She opened Deliciously Nutritious Café in Central Market in September. The café specializes in organic, and whole and raw foods, and caters to vegans, and people with dietary restrictions stemming from gluten intolerance and medical conditions.
Before opening the café, she dedicated years to studying nutrition through programs and while working at Sonnewald's Natural Foods in North Codorus Township. She also cooked at a former raw-food restaurant in New Oxford.
She became more serious about nutrition when her son, Clayton, 16, developed a severe soy allergy when he was 8, and her daughter, Geneva, 13, had digestive problems because of Lyme disease when she was 6.
"I realized that I can't go anywhere to eat healthy and that there has to be people out there just like me," Delp said.
I often notice the same thing when searching for restaurants to profile for Cheap Eats. I enjoy the comfort of knowing that I'll be able to order well-prepared food that's reasonably priced, yet healthy.
I stopped by Deliciously Nutritious for lunch on a Thursday. A few customers stood in line in front of me as I read the menu taped to plexiglass in front of countertops. Delp's commitment to nutrition glows as she works from her stand, a wall of slow cookers, ovens, a grill and a backdrop of floral wallpaper.
I ordered one of the specials, a Caribbean chicken salad, and an iced-mint tea with a little agave nectar. The chicken was marinated in a homemade Italian dressing. Cook Scotty Grim grilled the meat while Delp arranged a bed of arugala and spinach. Delp topped the salad with a mango salsa, a mixture of fruit, garlic and peppers.
The juices from the marinade and fruit gave the salad enough flavor to serve without dressing. Too often, salads at restaurants are ruined by a sea of fatty, high-sodium dressing. After my lunch, I knew that I had consumed food that was good for me and that tasted good, too.
Delp dedicates a lot of time to her quest to feed people nutritious food. She has a large, organic garden at her home, in which she grows the produce she serves. When buying other produce and meat, she visits local farms to ensure the products are organic or free-range.
Delp said customers have so far responded well to her stand and that people seem to have an interest in healthy eating.
As someone who's passionate about nutrition, I appreciate her effort to serve people healthy food. For people who share that interest and others who have dietary restrictions, trusting the people who prepare your food is essential.
It's a refreshing and possibly a model concept to assume that the food sold at restaurants is actually good for you.
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 771-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
LOCATION: Deliciously Nutritious Café, Central Market, 34 W. Philadelphia St. in York
CUISINE: Organic and whole foods
LEIGH'S PICK: Caribbean chicken salad, iced mint tea ($8)
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
PRICE RANGE: 50 cents to $7
KID'S MENU: Yes
DETAILS: Email email@example.com