Hopping on the Green Juice bandwagon

Everybody and their mother is talking about the wonders of green juice lately. We’ve been hearing about it here and there, but suddenly it’s trending all over the place:

They presented a segment about it on Monday morning during the Today show.

Dr. Oz has a special show tomorrow on the benefits and how to detox with it. (He’s doing similar topics all this week.)

Evan Kleinman from Good Food on KCRW just had a show dedicated to “juicing” last weekend.

This week I felt curious to try and stopped by Robek’s juice to have one of their new green creations. All in all, it was quite good. It set me back 5 bucks por un juguito bien chiquito, but what the hell. I felt healthy.

Today I made my own version, on the Vitamix, and it was even better. And I saved myself the cash.

My own version of the green juice.
My own version of the green juice.

I’m going to keep experimenting and next time I want to try it with kale.

Of course, nosotros los mexicanos have been drinking jugos naturales all along, and not to detox or to lose weight, but just because it’s a part of our lifestyle. I remember back in the day when I used to live in la Colonia Del Valle en el D.F., all the street vendors had crowds of people waiting in line  to get their jugos de frutas to start their day. Esos puestos eran un negociazo. And they had all sorts of fruit: papaya, mango, betabel, zanahoria, you name it.

If you want another good juice to try, here’s my post on the “Vampirito” juice. (It’s good for your blood pressure and energy levels.)

Ya estamos en Mayo, people. Summer is right around the corner…let’s get healthy for it.

It’s Margarita time.

Así es mis estimados, we’re getting closer to Cinco de Mayo. Maybe it’s the marketing behind the print ads, but I find myself craving a really good Margarita these days. Did you know it’s the most popular cocktail in the US? (According to CBS Sunday Morning.)

Earlier this year, we went to Rosa Mexicano on the Sunset Strip and I tried a Pomegranate Margarita que me encantó. It was delicious.

I’m looking for a similar recipe online and haven’t quite found it, so I guess another visit is in order. The texture is an amazing liquid “raspadito” that is tangy, sweet and sour. A few other spots in LA must have similar versions, so it’s time to explore.

Who wants to come with to the Margarita scouting? ¿Quién dijo yo? Of course someone has to volunteer to be the designated driver. Safety first, amiguitos!

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A big hit: Feria de la Salud y Bienestar presentada por Telemundo 52

La Feria de la Salud y Bienestar 2013 presentada por Telemundo, en el Convention Center de Los Angeles el domingo 10 de marzo.
La Feria de la Salud y Bienestar 2013 presentada por Telemundo, en el Convention Center de Los Angeles el domingo 10 de marzo.

Getting adequate and affordable healthcare is a concern for everyone, especially when you are uninsured and have a hard time paying for basic medical services to give you a profile of your health. Unfortunately, los Latinos somos de los que menos contamos con health insurance y menos vamos al doctor, so we rarely get tested for anything until we feel really sick. That’s a big problem.

We’re also a group at high risk for serious illnesses. The statistics are pretty alarming for diabetes, not to mention heart and cardiovascular disease. So it’s up to us to take care of ourselves as best we can and try to get to the doctor for checkups before a health crisis shows up. (If only we would do this!)

With the community in mind, the good people over at Telemundo KVEA 52 in Los Angeles organized their annual health fair, La Feria de la Salud y Bienestar, this last Sunday. The goal is to help by providing FREE medical services and wellness education for anyone who needs it. The downtown LA Convention Center was packed with approximately 30 thousand people of all ages and families of all sizes. Medical exams with on the spot results were provided by healthcare companies who partnered with Telemundo for this event. You could get screened for diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid disease, arthritis, have eye exams, receive dental care, wellness information, yoga classes, zumba dancing and win yearly gym membership prizes, y todo fue GRATIS.

People were in line by 8 in the morning, and by the time the event opened, thousands of people were already eager to receive their tests. Cortando el listón de la ignauración estuvieron el Doctor Ed Hernandez, California State Senator for district 24; Celia Chávez, President and GM Telemundo 52 KVEA Los Angeles; Dunia Elvir, from Buenos Dias, and Johanna Suarez, anchor, Noticias Telemundo 52 Fin de Semana.

You can imagine the lines were long, but the people were patient, sometimes a little antsy (especialmente cuando les estaban dando el piquetito del examen de la diabetes, que no duele nada) and everybody was extremely grateful. It was goodwill in action, as people left with a clearer picture of their health, follow up recommendations and resources to continue taking care of themselves para prevenir enferemedades y cuidar la salud.

They also had a chance to meet and greet (con besos y abrazos bien apretados) a la Doctora Ana Maria Polo from Caso Cerrado (quien tiene un fan base impresionante y apasionado),  Adamari Lopez, from Un Nuevo Dia (que es la persona más linda y atenta y simpática que se puedan imaginar) and some of the Telemundo 52 news anchors (muy guapos y queridos por su público) so that was very cool.

All in all a great day, which reminded everyone que lo más importante que puedes tener en tu vida es tu salud… Ya con eso, es ganancia.

Great job Telemundo 52!

At the Feria opening, Johana Suarez, from Telemundo 52, California State Senator, Dr. Ed Hernandez, and Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chavez.
At the Feria opening, Johanna Suarez, from Telemundo 52, California State Senator, Dr. Ed Hernandez, and Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chavez.
There were booths for every health care concern and service.
There were booths for every health care concern and service.
At the Telemundo 52 booth, people waited patiently to meet with the celebrities.
At the Telemundo 52 booth, people waited patiently to meet with the celebrities.
Photo opp! Tomate la foto con tu artista- standee favorito: Jose Luis Pila y Aracely Arambila de la Patrona; Rebecca Jones y JenCarlos Canela de Pasion Prohibida.
Photo opp! Tómate la foto con tu artista- standee favorito: Jose Luis Pila y Aracely Arámbula de la Patrona; Rebecca Jones y JenCarlos Canela de Pasión Prohibida.
California State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez and KVEA Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chávez.
California State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez and KVEA Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chávez.
Noticias Telemundo 52 weekend Johanna Suarez and a fan.
Noticias Telemundo 52 weekend Johanna Suarez and a fan.
FERIA sign
All exams were free to everyone.
The screening area, where people waited for their tests.
The screening area, where people waited for their tests.
The diabetes exam, un piquetito nada mas.
The diabetes exam, un piquetito nada mas.
Eating well prevents disease. En este saloncito de daban tips, to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle.
Eating well prevents disease. En este saloncito de daban tips, to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle.
Puppet theater, to explain Obamacare. Hey that's very clever!
Puppet theater, to explain Obamacare. Hey that’s very clever!
President Obama explains Obamacare en español. Kids and adults were very attentive.
President Obama explains Obamacare en español. Kids and adults were very attentive.
Clases de Yoga para todos. Deberiamos hacer esto todos los dias!
Clases de Yoga para todos. Deberiamos hacer esto todos los dias!
Teaching kids to eat well, with veggies and fruits.
Teaching kids to eat well, with veggies and fruits.
Para adelgazar y divertirte, clases de Zumba que pusieron a bailar a muchos.
Para adelgazar y divertirse, las clases de Zumba pusieron a bailar a muchos.
Celia Chavez, Adamari Lopez y Dunia Elvir, de Telemundo.
Celia Chavez, Adamari Lopez y Dunia Elvir, de Telemundo.
Mucha gente se acercó a saludar a Adamari López de Un Nuevo Dia.
Mucha gente se acercó a saludar a Adamari López de Un Nuevo Dia.
Feel the love! La Dra. Ana Maria Polo de Caso cerrado, muy querida por sus fans.
Feel the love! La Dra. Ana Maria Polo de Caso cerrado, muy querida por sus fans.
Todo el mundo recibió un abrazo fuerte de la Dra. Polo.
Todo el mundo recibió un abrazo fuerte de la Dra. Polo. Tiene fans de todas las edades.
Los anchors de Telemundo 52, Edgar Muñoz y Ana Patricia Candiani, con Jessica Carrillo de Acceso Total y Alejandro Navarro de los deportes.
Los anchors de Telemundo 52, Edgar Muñoz y Ana Patricia Candiani, con Jessica Carrillo de Acceso Total y Alejandro Navarro de los deportes.

Help your heart: Today is National Wear Red Day @Macys

February is here and it’s time to make a little public service announcement on behalf of our corazoncito.

The American Heart Association and Macy’s have designated February as “Heart Month” and the moment for their “Go Red for Women/ Go Red Por Tu Corazón” campaigns. So it’s time to do a little check up and be aware of the symptoms of heart disease and heart attacks. It’s something nobody wants to think of, but the statistics say that heart disease and cardiovascular disease kills more women in the USA than any other illness. That’s pretty shocking. But we can all do our part to prevent this and save the lives of everyone we love.

For the past ten years, Macy’s has partnered with the AHA to support their programs, donating 40 million dollars to the cause. This month we all have a chance to support this campaign as well, just by shopping at Macy’s and wearing red to create awareness.

If you visit a Macy’s store today, Feb. 1st and wear anything red: your clothes, an accessory, scarf, red lipstick or even red nail polish, they will give you a discount of 10% or 20% on a wide assortment of selected merchandise. You can also purchase a Go Red pin for $2 at any Macy’s checkout and 100%of this goes directly to the AHA. Be sure to check out the website for more details at http://www.macys.com/gored. If you can’t make it today then go this weekend: the Go Red sale goes on till Feb. 3rd.

Visit the website at www.macys.com/gored for more information on the Go Red Sale.
Visit the website at http://www.macys.com/gored for more information on the Go Red Sale.

And if you’re in need of a red dress for Valentine’s Day or just because el rojo es tu color: Macy’s has 3 exclusive designs to promote the Go Red campaign that are really cute. With the purchase of any of these dresses, a donation of 10% goes back to the AHA. So you’re shopping and promoting a good cause. (That’s the excuse. I’m getting the Ellen Tracy wrap dress, which is very versatile.)

Here are the 3 dresses you can buy at Macy's and 10% of the sale goes back to the AHA. Dresses by Kensie, Ellen Tracy and the new Marylin line exclusive at Macy's.
Here are the 3 red dresses you can buy at Macy’s and 10% of the sale goes back to the AHA. Dresses by Ellen Tracy (left), Kensie, and the new Marylin line exclusive at Macy’s. Photo courtesy from my friend Martha Gil de Montes on her Twitter @MarthaMacys

You can also check out the site for the American Heart Association at www.heart.org and see all the health tips and information they have on your heart’s health. They also have a site en español so you should definitely see it: Go Red por Tu Corazon.

What I want most for 2013: Amor, Dinero y SALUD

Here we are at the end of the year, standing before the precipice of 2012, y que conste que  I don’t want to make any references to “la mentada” fiscal cliff...

Alas, maybe you too are taking stock of the year that was and all that we want 2013 to be.

As if to remind me of the priorities in life, en estos días a mi como que se me atravesó un flu-like symptom-bug at the worst possible time. Just when I thought I was going to enjoy some R&R south of the border con la familia, que me ataca un really bad cold con tos, dolor de garganta, dolor de oído y todo el kit…Not exactly how I wanted to spend my holiday vacation.  Oh how I longed to be “buena y sana” para irme a visitar a mi familia y amigos. Pero esta gripa me tumbó all week. Bah-humbug!

Thank goodness que en México la farmacia está just a few steps away y que pude encontrar uno que otro remedio. There’s a modern day herbolaria called Bótica Guadalupana in my hometown that has all sorts of remedios naturales, herbs and cures, to make teas or syrups or whatever works. My Mom got me the “Te Bronkis” que dicho sea de paso sabe a rayos y mentadas de madre. Don’t even ask me what’s in it because it doesn’t even say on the label. Es un menjurje misterioso!

Even though it did the trick for a while, upon my return to the States I didn’t want to risk anything at the border crossing, so I decided not to bring it with me. Bad move! I sure wish I had more of the gooey boiling tea that soothed my coughing and aching which has since come back with a vengeance.

(Side note: I guess the replacement of the Q’s for the K’s is not limited to texting teenagers and “flojo” spellers, even the branding people at Bótica Guadalupana have made the move. It may also be a visual trick, as Té Bronquios takes up more label space than Té Bronkis. But I digress…)

Santo Remedio for a while.. el "Te Bronkis" de la Guadalupana worked. Just don't ask me what's in it.
Yes, the Santo Remedio worked for a while. El “Té Bronkis” de la farmacia Guadalupana looks weird and tastes like dirty socks. But it stopped the coughing. Just don’t ask me what’s in it.

So if you ask me, what I really want for the New Year is to feel better.

Which brings me to my next point. My  only “salida a la calle” was to the supermarket the first night I arrived. At the checkout counter I noticed that the old adage about using “chones rojos” to ring in the New Year is alive and well in México. They had them placed right by the checkout counter, para que no se te olvide. (How convenient!) I haven’t always believed that wearing red underwear on the night of Dec. 31st to January 1 brings passion and love and a newfound novio in the New Year, but being the supersticious mexicana that I am, I never wanted to jinx it. So I try to go red, you know? Whether or not it worked I guess it depends on the year. Ya ni me acuerdo.

But now I noticed they are also pushing yellow underwear, supuestamente for money and more money. ¿PERO de cuándo acá?! Who thought of this? That’s totally pushing it and abusing my marketing sensibilities. No les creo! And it’s not just any yellow but the brightest yellow Pantone Yellow C Auto racing Yellow there ever was. Pa’que se note el interés. Considering the options at Soriana, maybe they want you to try a red bra and a yellow calzón. Or viceversa…But I didn’t buy any.

Had they had a bright green, “el verde es vida” then maybe I’d bite. Ahora que estoy con gripa maybe I should start a trend of my own. Green calzones anyone? It’s the “healthy” choice.

And on that note, I want to wish you a Happy New Year, my dear friends and readers. Much Health and Happiness and Time to enjoy it all... As always, so grateful for your company, comments and visits. Please come back for more in 2013. Gonna try and keep it interesting.

Besos y Abrazos,

Cristina

Chones Rojos y amarillos, para el amor y la abundancia...muy a la mano en las cajas del Soriana.
Chones rojos y amarillos, para el amor y la abundancia…muy a la mano en las cajas del Soriana para que no se te olviden.

Joining the Vitamix Lovers of America

Señoras y Señores, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have the honor of introducing the kitchen appliance/gadget/marvel that has me hooked, the fabulous Vitamix.

I know I’m late to the game by at least a few decades, and it’s been a staple of serious cooks and chefs for all time, but since it has just entered my life recently, I feel compelled to share the good news.

(Ya habia leido en todos los cookbooks de moda that the Vitamix was something else. Even my bff la Gwyneth Paltrow said in her cookbook “My Father’s Daughter” that she recommends it for your kitchen and that it would change your life…claro que yo no le quise creer, ay si, bájale Gwyneth, pero como siempre, she was right! My previous blender doesn’t even stand a chance next to it.)

Fruits and veggies have never been my favorite items on the list, and I’ve always eaten them “muy a huevo” just because they’re good for you. However, since the Vitamix came into my life, it’s suddenly all I want to get at the supermarket.

This is now my inside voice at  the Whole Foods produce department, “Ah! Look at all those veggies! Que bonitos beets! I can make a juice! Mira las strawberries! I can make a smoothie in 60 seconds. I wonder if these fruits go well together? Let’s see.” And then I get $38 dollars worth of organic fruits and veggies.

So, yes, I feel a change a’comin’! Next week I’m moving into “Green Smoothie” territory. A ver que tal.

You can check out the company page here (hey it’s Made in the USA!) and on QVC.  Yes,  it’s the priciest kitchen appliance in its range, but the Vitamix is worth every penny… And that’s my two cents worth.

The fruits for my morning juice were: grapes, peaches and pears.
A quick run on the Vitamix and voila! It was very tasty.
I never eat these veggies by themselves, but I can drink them all together. Carrots, beets and celery look all happy and bright.
The Vitamix is ready to rock n roll.
They call this the “Vampiro” juice because of it’s health benefit to the blood. The color is very beautiful.

What to do this weekend in LA:

Spring is in bloom and here we are already in the second weekend of May. Ayer festejamos a las Mamás mexicanas y el domingo May 13 we do it again para las Mamás in the US. Did you already get you Mom a nice gift? I hope you did!

But there are other things to include into your weekend festivities if you live in LA.

The Lea-LA Book Fair (La Feria del Libro en Español)  opens today at the Convention Center in DTLA, organized by la Universidad de Guadalajara. It’s a 3 day event that promises interesting book selections and purchases, and a number of author presentations and conferences. Click here for the complete program and go support la lectura en español. It is a free event for the entire family, lleven a los niños y compren libros en español, para que se vayan acostumbrando.  Goes on from Friday May 11 to Sunday May 13, 10 am to 6 pm.

Lea LA starts Friday May 11 and goes on til Sunday May 13, from 10 am to 6 pm. Don’t miss it.

Another big event this Saturday is the annual Revlon Run-Walk at the USC Campus in LA. It’s a major fundraising event for the fight against breast cancer. I’ll be participating in this walk with Team Macy’s, which is a major sponsor of the event and always supports the cause with a big team of volunteers and walkers. If you know anyone who is going through cancer, and you want to support them, you may want to check out this link and see how you can get involved.

Revlon Run Walk is happening Saturday May 12 at the USC Campus. Join the fight against Breast Cancer at do.eifoundation.org