Hello June!

And just like that it’s June. While May typically seems like a long month, this year it seemed to fly! Work has been busy and then add in Mother’s Day and Memorial Day and just like, that’s a wrap. May was/is also busy and exciting because I’ve been officially named an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Media Spokesperson . While I’ve known since the end of March, my term didn’t start until June 1st, but in May we had a couple of calls in preparation for our term to come. I’m beyond excited and grateful for this opportunity over the next three years. The AND ‘s mission is to accelerate improvements in global health and well-being through food and nutrition and as an official Academy Spokesperson I am the face and voice of the organization. I’ll help contribute to print, broadcast, and electronic media interviews to help highlight Registered Dietitian Nutritionists as the nutrition experts. Again, beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media Spokesperson 2019-2022

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media Spokesperson 2019-2022

I thought I’d kick the blog and my term of being an Academy Media Spokesperson off with 5 fun facts about me. I have been writing my blog for the last 6 years, so some of this might not be new to those that have been following me. But for those new followers, welcome, and for those long-time followers, you might just learn something new.

I am a Miamian. I was born and raised in Miami. I’ve lived in Tallahassee, Fort Myers, Dallas, and San Diego, but now have been back in Miami for the last 14 years. The Miami New Times wrote an article about "How You Know If You're A Miamian" . Most if not all are true I am fluent in Spanish, with English being my 1st language and not being native, but you do need to understand Spanglish as well. Chancletas are my #1 form of footwear. I do use my horn quite a bit - the drivers here are horrible! Cafecito is a must and is meant to be shared. And not everything happens in South Beach, even though the news media likes to say places/things are there. I love Miami and I love the tropical weather. Although as we enter the summer, the humidity and heat can be quite brutal. But then I have to remember that’s why we are lucky enough to have tropical fruit…so, I can’t complain. Miami is home.

Never met a sunrise I didn’t like..

Never met a sunrise I didn’t like..

I am left-handed. And while this may not seem like a fun fact, it does define me in a lot of ways. I am horrible at directions. Ask me to read a map, and I’m like what’s that? I almost always end up going the opposite direction of what’s intended. Thank goodness for GPS on my phone! I do blame this being backwards on my being left-handed. And while this is not a proven fact, I do believe it has to be part of it. It really is a right-handed world when you think about it. Where are the numbers on a computer keyboard? Where is the clutch on a stick-shift car? Subtle but all things I’ve had to adjust for in my lifetime. And as the saying goes, “lefties are more creative and artsy” I beg to differ with that. Although I do find my creative outlet in food, so there’s that.

One of the easiest yet most artistic food pictures that I’ve done.

One of the easiest yet most artistic food pictures that I’ve done.

A couple of years ago I started a journey of making everything homemade. I started off with bread and that was a bust - kind of started with the hardest thing to make and should’ve left that for the last (although I have had recent success). But I’ve made everything from homemade ketchup and mayonnaise (vegan at that) to homemade graham crackers and marshmallows, for some of the most epic s’mores in my life (and I didn’t even think I liked s’mores till I had them homemade). I document the journey not for people to think, “oh I could never do that” but rather to show people that we’re all on a journey and that each person’s path to health is different. Mine is to try and make things as minimally processed as possible. That’s my goal. Not everything I make is healthy per se, but rather a challenge for me to see if I could even make it from scratch. And along the way I encourage and teach people how to make some of the simple things - showing that incorporating a homemade salad dressing isn’t that difficult, or making brown rice perfect every time can be done. My belief is simple, just like Michael Pollan says, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” I’m not here to say to make everything homemade, but I am here to challenge people to try and make a few more home-cooked meals, and maybe along the way pick up a few new healthy habits.

I’ve never initially called myself a runner. But since running a marathon I think that qualifies as calling myself a runner. Running wasn’t something that came easy to me. I started years ago after walking a full marathon. It’s kind of like, I walked a full marathon, so what comes next? So I started doing running intervals and I’ve never looked back. I typically run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute. My running partner Marcela I believe can run straight, but seeing as we were going to run a full marathon she thought the intervals might be a good idea. Running can teach you a lot. I wrote a whole blog post about it. You can read about it here. But what I will tell you is that exercise for me is one of the best stress relievers, ever. When I was training for the marathon I had said all along I was doing it for my friend Marcela. In the end it’s what saved me from a really stressful time in my life. So I’m always telling people to find whatever joyful movement they like - keep trying stuff until you find what you like to do. I also do yoga, although I’m not as consistent as I’d like. And I love volleyball. I can play for hours and hours and not even realize the time has gone by. Being left-handed comes in handy with volleyball, probably because I can hit with both hands and no one expects that. Yep, find your joyful movement. It helps manage stress and makes me a nicer person. Promise.

I love food, period. I don’t think that was the main reason why I entered into the field of nutrition, but it is an added benefit. So when asked what my favorite foods are, it’s kind of tough. I mean how can you narrow it down to just a few, am I right? If I went by categories that might be helpful, but then the list might go on forever. Instead, I’ll just list a few random ones, none of which go together, but I’d eat in a heartbeat.

  • Tacos. There are so many variations and toppings too, so it’s like they never end up repeating. Pickled onions, cabbage slaw, salsa, yep, endless possibilities.

  • If I’m narrowing down fruit - it’d be passion fruit, mango, and lychees - and don’t get me wrong, I love a good strawberry or Cara Cara orange, but if I only was able to eat 3 fruits for the rest of my life, it’d be passion fruit, mango (there are over 500 varieties), and lychees. Yes, I’m lucky to live in South Florida where we grow them all.

  • Chimichurri - I guess that could go with tacos, ha! Chimichurri is a great sauce to add to food. And while people might associate it with being drizzled over meat, as a vegetarian there are plenty of veggie dishes I’m able to add it to too. Delish!

  • And desserts, I mean, it typically is what’s the latest one I’ve made homemade. I just made homemade French Vanilla ice cream with ice cream sandwich cookies, but panna cotta is a really quick and easy dessert that looks fancy smancy but again is so easy to make. The funny thing is I don’t really love cookies, but I do love a good doughnut or slice of cake. Cakes are still my nemesis when it comes to frosting, so maybe that’s why they’re not on the top of the list, but I do love a good cream cheese frosting. Bottom line, I love food.

So there you go, 5 fun facts about moi, with a little extra commentary to boot. As I said, if you’re a long-time follower, thanks for all your loyalty and reading the blog over the years. If you’re a new follower, welcome, thanks for coming, and hope you come back. Leave a comment if there’s something you’d like to see. Happy June!