New healthy restaurant opens its doors in Northeast El Paso

Claudia Flores, Staff Reporter

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With many options such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food, Healthy Desires Café opened its doors in Northeast El Paso on Saturday, Dec. 2.

“We wanted to make a different option, I’m at the gym five days at week and one of the biggest problems of trying to live a healthy nutritious life is that there is nowhere to go that is fast and healthy,” said Ron Bermudez, 37-year-old co-owner of Healthy Desires Café.

The new café made sure every group in the community has complete access to a wide variety of plates and items they can consume.

Debra Alderete, a multidisciplinary studies student at UTEP and customer, said that this was her first time at the café.

“I love it they have wonderful vegan and vegetarian options,” Alderete said. “I’ve been a vegan over four years now and I had a wonderful portobello mushroom with kale and brown rice bowl and a chocolate cupcake. And I will be back because it was very tasty.”

Co-owner and pharmacist, Joya Bermudez, said that as they were getting things ready to open the restaurant, the menu evolved.

“I have a lot of family that’s gluten-free, so we decided why not to just give the healthy option, but also to cater to some of the groups that don’t get catered to, especially in this area,” Bermudez said.

For many, the challenge of eating healthy comes down to cutting sugars and carbohydrates. The bakery, Buffed Baked Goods, joins Desire Healthy Café to provide the community with healthy desserts.

“Everybody is looking out for a quick fix, but there is no quick fix on trying to lose weight and nutrition is about what you put into your body,” said Silvia Ortega, owner of Buffed Baked Good.  “I’m trying to bring the aspect of protein factor, low carbs and gluten-free with my pastries.”

Rose Luevano, a 64-year-old customer, said the café was an excellent idea and really needed in El Paso.

“As we get older, there are certain things that happen to our bodies, joints. Just in general it is good to think about our future and if we can think with a healthy mind and body, things will be great,” Luevano said.

For the owners of Healthy Desires Café, their priority is to offer the community fast, on-the-go meals, but with a nutritious and healthy twist.

“From the pharmacist’s point of view, Hispanics have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the USA,” Bermudez said.  “One third of all Hispanic women end up with diabetes, which is huge. So having healthy options especially in this city is big.”

Ortega said that this venture is all about educating people about the importance of not giving up eating what they like, but to tweak what people eat and learning to eat in moderation. She said the vision is to provide quicker options such as meal preps at a reasonable price.

“As far as my pastries catering to different types of people,  my pastries are gluten-free, which means they’re oat based and they’re made with brown sugar, which I’ve been able to get people off honey buns,” Ortega said. “I used to weight 250 pounds and now I’m at a healthy 160 pounds, and it’s just like I said, there is no quick fix. It is a constant struggle every day, but we need to know that what we’re putting in our bodies is really important.”

Healthy Desires Café also offers protein milkshakes, organic teas and meal preparations starting as low as $5 per plate.

“The United States has become that ‘ l’ll stop at McDonald’s and get a burger on the go’ instead of going home and preparing a salad,” Bermudez said, “I think that the most important thing is that we want to keep our family around and as soon as we start to change what we eat and consume. The healthier you eat, the longer we are around.”

Healthy Desires Café is located on the 10710 Gateway Blvd. North, St. B-8. They are open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information and to see their menu, visit http://healthydesirescafe.com.

Claudia Flores may be reached at [email protected]

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