It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


Ask Dr. Gourmet

Many foods in your recipes are not available near me. Suggestions?

I just set up a plan at the website. Here's the trouble for me: I live in a very small town in Appalachia with the nearest city with food selection is 50+ miles away. Ideas? A lot of the menu items aren't available locally.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Salmon FiletsI can certainly sympathize. Before I moved to New Orleans I lived in Northern Virginia, just outside of a little town of 20,000 and about an hour away from Washington, D.C.. The closest quality grocery store was over 60 miles away. It really forced me to plan my meals: once a week I would make the drive to the grocery, along with an ice chest, and I would purchase everything I needed that I couldn't get in my local grocery stores. That included buying fresh fish (here's an Ask Dr. Gourmet question about the best way to store fish), but frozen fish can also work well.

The Dr. Gourmet Meal Planner can help you with that planning. Once you have your meal plan the way you want it, print out the weekly grocery list(s) and head to the store. Alternatively, we have created a version of the menu plans that serves up only comfort food recipes, and those ingredients will be more readily available for you. When you create your profiles, check the box labeled "Choose Comfort Food Recipes Only." The resulting menus will have meals that you should be able to shop for at your local grocery store.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet