Alejandra (we call her Alex) is an M.D. that is board certified in both Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. The combination of those specialties means Alex has a unique and refreshing take on medicine – one that I feel integrates very well with the city of Austin. Rather than make a cursory diagnosis and prescribe routine medications to address one’s symptoms, she tries to understand the how and the why behind any ailments – trying to address things on a nutrition and lifestyle perspective first.
The office for her practice (Nourish Medicine) is located in the beautiful Casa De Luz community, which has to be one of Austin’s hidden gems. I admit the first time I encountered or even heard of this place was when I came out to her office for this shoot.
Casa de Luz is an all-organic food and community center. Unlike a traditional restaurant, it offers a more communal and family dining experience. You don’t order off a menu, but simply get breakfast, lunch, dinner (and optionally some dessert). The cooks then prepare a new 100% organic, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free meal for you everyday ($7 for breakfast, $12 for lunch / dinner). You can even sign up as one of their volunteers and help prepare the meal with the cooks – what better way to learn than hands-on at the side of a chef? They’re very sensitive to any allergies or dietary restrictions you may have, so just ask and they’ll prepare something specially for you.
I love the concept of this place and I got a seriously hearty, homemade meal when I was there – we’re talking posole, mixed green salad (with hempseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds), and an entree consisting of sweet grain rice with a tamari gravy, blanched greens with almond cilantro parsley sauce, and pickled red radish. So yum!
Oh, and did I forget to mention that the setting is absolutely gorgeous?
Nestled under lush vegetation and palm trees, it feels like you’re miles away from the city in a private tropical oasis. Casa de Luz has established a community focused on nourishment and well-being. With a yoga studio, a vegan dining hall, and Alex’s Nourish medicine clinic practice it really does a great job of achieving a small village feel. The few moments I was there it provided a calming, almost sacred, escape to the everyday. Definitely check out it out and meet the greet people behind all these great services.
I almost forgot, Alex also came over our place and showed us how she makes her now-famous Green Pina Colada smoothie. For that recipe be sure to check out these posts on The Kitchn…