And I’m Back!

Hey guys, I know I’ve been absent for a while… but I’m back!

I won’t bore you with a ton of stupid explanations. All you really need to know is that life has been busy and, while it’s busy still, I really miss writing here. So now I will!

HealthyLatinFood-IrinaGonzalez

You can expect more great original recipes from me, of course, but also something else…

I’ve decided to expand some of the things I write here. I mean, sure, recipes are great. We all love recipes. We all love learning how to make our favorite Latin dishes healthier, or how to incorporate Latin ingredients and techniques into other healthy recipes. And I love doing that. But I also love something else: writing about my weight loss, how I (try to) keep the weight off and what’s going on in the world of health and healthy eating.

And to be honest, I miss writing about those things. So why not do it here?

The other thing I should probably confess is that I am not exactly at the weight that I want to be. I’ve hinted about it before, but I am finally really ready to do something about it.

I rejoined Weight Watchers recently, and am pretty committed to more healthy cooking and some serious clean eating. I’ve even managed to lose some weight since, but I definitely have some ways to go. And I can’t wait to share the journey with you!

Want more Healthy Latin Food? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. And if you have any questions about my writing, weight loss or recipes, feel free to email me here!

Chef Ingrid Hoffman On Portion Control, Her Favorite Healthy Recipes & Splurging Sometimes

Approved Ingrid Hoffmann Image

February is Heart Health Month and, I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but seeing American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women information everywhere I turn. With heart disease being such an important topic in the Latino community, you can bet I’m noticing what’s being said – and one of the words of wisdom is coming from chef Ingrid Hoffman.

The star of Simply Delicioso on Food Network and author of the new book Latin D’Lite, I was lucky enough to sit down with the famed Colombian-American chef to talk about my (and her) favorite topic: healthy eating made easy for Latinos!

The fan of Latin food opened up about how she keeps a good figure (it’s easier than you think!), her secrets for portion control, how she keeps from over indulging – and when it’s okay to do so a little, the easiest way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our lives and her favorite go-to recipe for those nights when we all know that we’re too tired to slave away in the kitchen. Plus, I learned why she’s such a huge fan of Mazola® Cooking Oil, which has recently been found to be more effective in lowering “bad” cholesterol than the typical favorite extra virgin olive oil. I mean, who knew that our mami’s favorite can now easily become our healthy go-to?! I certainly didn’t! Read on for more healthy eating tips and tricks from chef Ingrid Hoffman. Continue reading

The Start of Healthy Latin Food

IrinaGonzalez_HealthyLatinFood_CubanSandwichAnyone that knows me is pretty well aware that I love to eat, and I love to cook. But what a lot of people don’t know about me is that, just over four years ago, I was morbidly obese.

Weighing in at 230 pounds on a 5’2″ frame, I was never happy with my body and constantly going on one failed diet after another. Although I had a lot of success with Weight Watchers in college, ultimately I made the difficult decision to undergo a gastric bypass on January 13, 2009.

I still remember waking up from the operation, and hating everything. My stomach hurt and I immediately regretted the decision. But that was then. A few days later, I recovered and began the arduous journey of losing weight once and for all. And it was a long weight loss journey, too, which eventually led me to a completely new lifestyle.

IrinaGonzalez_HealthyLatinFood_RoastedChickenAfter a lifetime of picky eating, I forced myself to try new vegetables, started cooking healthier, sharing my desserts and trying to exercise. The working out still isn’t going too well, but my eating habits are wildly different. I started learning about different ways of eating, completed a health coaching degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and have really grown to love my new healthy habits. I still laugh remembering how much I claimed to hate broccoli five years ago, and how much I love it now. I even love to cook healthy for my friends and family (like last year’s Christmas chicken roast).

When I first started cooking healthier, my absolute favorite thing to do was learn how to make a childhood favorite in a healthy way. And since I grew up in a Cuban-Russian-American household, many of the dishes I made included brown rice with black beans, homemade chimichurri sauce and, most recently, baked sweet plantains.

IrinaGonzalez_HealthyLatinFood_CuttingParsleyFor a while, I was sharing my recipes on a now-defunct blog before I had to give it up because life, and work, got too busy. Now I find that I’m missing writing about my adventures in (and out of) the kitchen, so here I am again–at Healthy Latin Food.

To be honest, I have a couple of pounds to lose, too. At my smallest, I was 120. These days I’m a little closer to 140 and, while I think I still look great, I’m not exactly thrilled with the number. Now I am using this (new) blog to propel me to lose a little weight, maybe start exercising and definitely to share my favorite healthy recipes. And, as you can probably guess from the title, it’s all about doing it with a delicious Latin twist.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of cooking, weight loss and learning how to keep the weight off, it’s that good-for-you food can definitely taste good. It’s about fresh ingredients, unprocessed foods and, most of all, a great spice rack. I hope you’ll join me on this journey, cook some of my recipes and share food with plenty of sabor!

What is your favorite Latin recipe that you want to see made healthier?

Want more Healthy Latin Food? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive e-mail updates. And if you have any questions about cooking healthy or weight loss, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!

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