How I lost 50lbs

June of 2015 I realized I hadn’t eaten meat in a few days so I said to myself “ok, let’s see how long I can do this.” At the time I was a full time consultant. I didn’t know what days I’d be in an office or on the go. I also had a bunch of veggies about to spoil. So I blended all the veggies with bananas and thankfully I love Talenti so I filled those empty jars with this new smoothie concoction and froze them. On my way out the door I’d throw one in my purse. If I was on the go that day it’s melt in perfect time for lunch. Ok so I did that for a week. Regular breakfast. Smoothie. Some kind of salad or veggies and dinner. I looked up in September and had lost thirty pounds. What?! Huh?! I had never!! 

It was then that I realized it wasn’t not eating meat. It was eating everything I associate with meat. The arroz con gandules, soda, fries etc. so now what?  I’ve lost a bit of weight. Gained some back. It’s now or never! I need to control my life! In the words of ever famous Big Pun “I just wanna live!!!”

I got a Fitbit and I love it! I love being in a competition with myself. I love the awards and trophies and recently fell in love with challenges. 

The Fitbit syncs with myfitnesspal. MyFitnessPal is an app where you can log workouts and food and more! So I started logging my food. At first I made sure to stay within the calorie goal. Once you master that master the nutrition tab. This is not easy! So many things that are sold are extremely high in sodium and sugar so this pushes you to cook at home. To add flavor at home I use Flavor God spices. 

So here we are. A few weeks from my vegiversary and I am down 50lbs. I haven’t weighed this amount since high school! Look out! I have just started!! 

Yo Amo a la Negra!

1456515372375

In recent months, the Afro-Latina movement has taken off like a rocket launch – and I love it! Much like the natural hair movement has taken off, many were participating and living the Afro-Latina life before, but somehow, more people are now jumping in and accepting and embracing this movement.

My love for La Negra started when I was born. My mom was dark skinned and my dad fair skinned, both of them from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and everyone called her Negra. I also have two sisters; one is a bit darker than me, and one is my mom’s color… a beautiful honey brown. So here I am, “blanca nieve,” (snow white) as I have come to joke about my color in my family, seeing all these beautiful women of color – literally – making moves. My eldest sister is a lawyer, and my older sister is a Fashion Entrepreneur.

My whole life, I would anxiously wait for summer to come so that I could tan and look like I belonged. I wanted to be darker than my sister. I hoped to fit in. So now, during this movement, I have come to realize how much the Latin beauty has been brought to an awkward standard of beauty. From the ancient “levanta la raza” (lift up your race), when being spoken to about dating darker or out of your race, to “pelo malo” (bad hair), being mentioned, it destroyed the belleza that people like me love!

I say all of this because I went to an event marketed towards Latina’s. This event also happened last year, though my sister was the one who attended. After we got home this year, we regrouped and my sister mentioned that the panel was the same as last year’s event. This event had easily over 300 Latina’s in attendance, from TV anchors to magazine editors to bloggers and regulars. White, dark, and darker. Despite that, the panel was filled with all “typical” Latina looking women… they all had light skin, dark eyes, mostly thin. Although they were from diverse ethnic backgrounds, there was not one Negra on the panel! Not one bella I could look at and think, “Momma, we made it!” In the networking portion of the event, I saw maybe ten Negras, my sister being one of them. One was la bella Afro-Latina, Jamel Martinez of Aint I Latina, a popular blog on Afro-Latina’s and the stigmas they face in their quest to be accepted. But the rest were women I didn’t recognize or know personally, and I realized that they were getting the side-eye from the other women, or that they were moving through the event as if they did not want to be seen.

Reflecting on that the next day brought tears to my eyes. All these movements and this event to bring together Latina’s missed the opportunity to take part in the #1 Movement right now in the Latina Community – Negras and hair!  When I looked up who put together this NYC event I found out it was a media company in Miami founded by Latinas… but you guessed it, not one Negra! So here are my suggestions to Brand companies that want the Latina following.  Include us all, know your market, hire what you want to see!  A good friend of mine Maria Flores, who happens to be Puerto Rican and Black,  owns Event Ninjas an event company that does everything from weddings to concerts on Governor’s Island! Just a few woman that SHOULD have been on the panel.  First and foremost my sister Sandra. She was the VP of Branding for Baby Phat and Phat Farm, a fashion buyer at the height of Delia*s popularity and currently owns her own business providing services including styling and branding.  Author Sulma Arzu-Brown de Honduras who has written Pelo Malo No Existe.  We have Dominicana, Miss Rizos in the Amo mi Pajon movement, who opened the first all-natural salon in the DR. She has been widely covered for living her life! From the NY Times to Junot Diaz, everyone is loving what she is doing. We have Negra celebrities like Lala Anthony, Christina Milian, and even Latino stylist to the first plus-sized model in Sports Illustrated, Oscar Montes de Ocas who was also in attendance at the event and could have been a great panel personality to discuss his entrepreneurship and style saavy!

We expect everyone to love us in all of our Negra-glory, yet we side eye each other. I hate to say it, but events like this add to the separation. I hope panels going forward include at least one Negra, one natural curly haired girl, and if providing freebies… some freebies from girls who rock their natural, curly hair!

 

These milkshakes are brining everyone to the yard!! 

img_2189-1.jpeg

     Everyone is flying to Black Tap  for these shakes but solely for how it LOOKS. Call me old fashioned but I still love QUALITY! these shakes were disappointing. As a chocolate lover it was sad to bite into the … Continue reading

Wheatgrass in my weightloss journey

GOL-wheat-grassOn June 5, 2015 I stopped eating meat.  This was not intentional.  I have done this 2 or 3 times in the past “just because”.  Once was when I was pregnant and I literally only wanted Honey Nut Cheerios and green grapes. Another time was in culinary school.  We were making veal stock and to see these baby calf bones cut up, killed my heart.  So this was nothing new…. so I thought.  I took this time as an opportunity to optimize my health.  My knees were hurting.  My back always hurt.  The time was NOW or never.  Summer was the peak of my consulting so I was running around on average 5 hours a day.  I made 6 green smoothies and Froze them.  Took 1 to work everyday and drank it while I was running around.  After about a month I felt better.  I weighed myself and realized I had lost 20 lbs! I found a picture in a dress I had worn last year for my birthday and the difference was finally noticeable to me.  Thanks to this social media age we are in- I noticed pictures say more! I had previously lost up to 40lbs but never “noticed” the difference and would get discouraged.  This time when I noticed the 20lbs fell off I took measurements and pictures.  I’m not 30 lbs down and trying to maintain it and go further! I started taking chondroitin and glucosamine for my knee and it worked immediately.  I also take B12, daily vitamin and recently incorporated Biotin to try and get my hair longer.  Another thing I found and loved was a product by Garden of Life.  It is a wheatgrass powder.  I combined one scoop with water and ginger crystals.  Now of course you dont notice what things do until you stop.  When I stopped making my wheatgrass drink I got sleepy earlier, more sluggish and my mind was not as sharp.  Here are 50 reasons why you should incorporate wheatgrass into your diet.  I hope I have inspired you to try it!

Agriculture crisis in Puerto Rico

cafe3On December 6 PBS posted this video about a local Chef ensuring all of her food is locally grown! How amazing is that.  A place known for its Sugar Cane… that started Domino Sugar!.. is now trying to get back on the map as organic and growing.  I mention this now because there is a very important little fact in this video that otherwise I wouldn’t have known.  There was a cargo ship that sank carrying food to the island.  Why is this important?  Because as of yesterday all Floridians thought they were in heaven when thousands of cans of Cafe Bustelo washed ashore!  After I research some more I will write another post on how the government actively offers incentives to landowners to not cultivate their land and not produce food.