10 Ways You’re Making Your Kids Fat

photo-1I love my family. We all do. But I also know that, when it comes to any family, there are some habits that we have that just aren’t really the best.

You know what I mean–from keeping chips in the house to boring old cereal for breakfast to always making your kids clear the plate, there’s definitely a few habits that we all have that we should quit.

Trust me, I know, because although I don’t have kids, these are all the things I had to start telling myself in order to lose weight. Read on for what I mean in the 10 Ways You’re Making Your Kids Fat. Continue reading

Cuban-Style Shepherd’s Pie

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Lately I’ve had the craving for the weirdest thing: Shepherd’s Pie.

You see, I studied abroad in London during college and, although it’s rare, once in a while I will crave something from those days. Typically it’s something more like fish & chips (fried fish with french fries) or occasionally Indian food (chicken tikka masala is said to actually come from the UK, not India). But this time it was the simple Shepherd’s Pie–a dish made with beef typically cooked with peas and carrots, then topped by mashed potatoes and baked. But this time I wanted to make it myself and I wanted to add a lot of the Cuban flavors that I grew up with. So, voila, my Cuban-style Shepher’s Pie was born! Continue reading

5 Things Friday (Exercise and Caffeine, Best Restaurants & More)

IMUSAMcCorcmickI would say that May is off to a good start, don’t you think? The weather here in New York is vastly improving and between me exercising more these days and eating vegetarian at least a few days a week, I am feeling pretty great.

I did have a big scare with my weight last weekend, though. I hadn’t stepped on a scale since early April and the number I saw was completely unacceptable. Although I am still within my normal range, I am starting to get to a number I really do not like. It’s what I think everyone who has lost a significant amount of weight would say is their “scary number”, the number where everything starts to really go south. But instead of completely freaking out, I am doing something about it this week. And all of that includes having more Latin superfoods, easy lunches, drinking my greens and more. Check out what I’m reading in this week’s 5 Things Friday–and what you can be doing, too!  Continue reading

Mashed Boniato (Cuban Sweet Potato)

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Sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes and, being Cuban, the one I grew up with is the one that you will most commonly find there: the boniato.

Boniato is know as the Cuban sweet potato with its dry, white flesh and skin that ranges in color from pink to purple. Although also commonly referred to as a Florida yam, it is indeed a sweet potato that is often used in Cuban cuisine. I love them because they are an excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber. But, I have to admit, I never tried making mashed potatoes with boniato until this past Christmas.

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#MeatlessMonday: 10 Latin Vegetarian Dishes

LatinVegetarianI know it’s Cinco de Mayo and everyone in the U.S. is likely celebrating this Mexican-American holiday by, well, imbibing some margaritas and whatnot. But today is also #MeatlessMonday, a trend that I happen to love (and do) very much.

I love eating vegetarian (like my favorite tomato-cucumber salad, which I Latin spice up with cilantro and chili powder) because it allows me to add more vegetables to my diet. And I do mean “add more vegetables” to my diet, not the “I’ll just have a cheese pizza” type of vegetarianism. Instead, I use what is called “crowding in” with my diet–meaning that instead of subtracting the “bad” foods, I simply add a lot more “good” foods and the bad stuff simply doesn’t fit in anymore.

I also love converting some of my favorite Latin recipes into vegetarian recipes, like making vegetarian arroz con pollo, kale and cheese tamales or spinach and mushroom enchiladas. To celebrate this weekly holiday, and to remind myself to always have more vegetables, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 10 Latin vegetarian dishes. Take a look! Continue reading

5 Things Friday (Spring Recipes, Slow Cooker Reviews & More!)

smoothiesI have to admit: this week has turned out great for me! After a way-too-hectic last week, I’ve thankfully had time to recharge my batteries and get back to the things I love to do (and eat) on a regular basis. Plus: two pretty big accomplishments!

First of all, I’ve started making morning smoothies again. I’ve realized that I just don’t have time in the morning for a proper breakfast and so getting back to making smoothies, like my Pink Power Breakfast Smoothie, has been amazing.

The other accomplishment is that after months of talking about it, I’ve finally rejoined the gym and started going on a regular basis. It’s been harder than I realized, but going in the mornings and committing to just 20 minutes a day has been achievable. Not easy, of course, but definitely getting better–and I’m so proud of myself for it!

So what else has been going on this week? Well, I’ve reviewed some slow cookers, read a really great book, explored some Spring recipes and got inspired to cook a very special dinner later tonight. Check out my 5 Things Friday!
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Thai Soba Noodles with Cachucha Peppers

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I first learned about cachucha peppers when my mother started growing them in her garden. As her plant flourished, the native Cuban peppers (or aji cachucha as they’re known in Spanish) made their way into my kitchen.

The peppers are a variety of the South American sweet pepper, which make their way into dishes like Venezuelan Hallaca (a savory tamale-style dish) and Puerto Rican sofrito (a sauce with onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes). With a similar look to the habanero, they range in color from pale green to bright red and orange, and are actually surprisingly mild. I love the smoky and sweet flavor that I’ve used in everything from roasted tomato salsa to a classic arroz con pollo. Although I often use it to make Latin dishes, I’ve started to learned just how versatile this little red pepper is. Continue reading

Pink Power Breakfast Smoothie

HealthyLatinFood_PinkPowerSmoothieAfter a couple weeks of having plain toast for breakfast or, even worse, not having breakfast at all because I was too busy running out of the house on time, I’ve decided it’s time to get back to my healthy habit of making smoothies.

Never one that was afraid of a challenge, and because I knew I’d be going back to the gym this week, I decided that there was no better place to start than a protein-packed smoothie thanks to Greek yogurt.

Of course, I’m also always a big fan of using what else I have around the house–this time it included dragon fruit and Meyer lemons that I recently received as a gift from my parents. Sure, it might sound like a weird combination but what I loved about this smoothie is that both raspberries (which I bought) and the dragon fruit have a ton of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Tell me, is there any better way to start the morning? Nope! Continue reading

10 Healthiest Latin Fast Foods Under 500 Calories

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I’ve had a pretty busy week and, because of that, I haven’t had time to put anything down. In fact, I haven’t even had time to cook anything–and sometimes that means relying on getting food that’s a bit faster.

As someone who’s lived through the obesity epidemic myself, and who is always trying to get other Latinos to make healthier choices, I hate to admit that sometimes fast food is just the best option. The thing is, though, just because it’s “fast food” doesn’t mean that it can’t be at least moderately good for you–and low in calories.

That’s how I came up with this list of 10 Latin fast food dishes that are actually under 500 calories. Isn’t that amazing? From Panera’s Black Bean Soup to Subway’s 6″ Turkey Jalapeño Melt sandwich, check out the full list! Continue reading

5 Things Friday (Cameron Diaz, Childhood Obesity & More!)

tacoalpastorOkay, it’s time for 5 Things Friday and this is typically the time that I overshare a little bit. And I think that’s okay, right? You’re not judging me, are you? Anyway…

I’m loving life right now. Ever since my birthday, I think that things have been going really well for me. The only caveat? I’m not actually at the weight that I want to be at. Back when I lost over 100 pounds, the lowest I got down to was 120 pounds. It was a bit too much for me, actually, but I was happy to be in the 130’s range. These days, though, I have to admit something to you: I’m in the low 140’s range. And that’s really cool not with me. Which is why, with my birthday and everything, I am really going back to healthier eating and going to the gym. Think I can do it? I’m not sure. But here’s hoping! And here are some awesome links that I’m reading this week, too. Continue reading

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