Things That Matter

These Substitutes Make Our Favorite Latino Foods Healthy, Delicious, Satisfying, And Good For You

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We’ve decided to make healthier food choices this year, without cutting out on the pleasures of having a good and delicious Latin meal. Here’s how our family is changing up the way we eat in the new year.

1. Cut back on meat, especially red meat.

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We love meat and would probably never go vegetarian, let alone vegan, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cut back on meaty foods. Instead of eating meat (bacon, ham, carne asada, pork, chicken), every other day attempt to eat it once a week. Substitute fish or meatless products. Have you ever tried Soyrizo? It’s so good!

Think about the healthy foods you do like to eat, and eat more of that.

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Who doesn’t love avocados!? While avocados may be high in fat, it’s a good kind of fat. Avocados are also high in fiber, which is great.

Have you ever tried cucumbers con sal y limon? It’s so good. Cucumbers have a ton of positive nutrients including antioxidants, it promotes hydration, and it can contribute to lowering blood sugar.

Everything should be consumed in moderation especially alcohol.

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This is probably one of the toughest things to cut back on, and it’s not because we love drinking night and day, but we do love to socialize. Socializing always comes with drinking, but alcohol has a ton of sugar and is loaded with calories. Typically a margarita has 150 calories, and you know you can never have just one.

Cutting back on drinks is hard but doable. Try low sugar drinks and/or refreshing and healthy mocktails.

Cheat days should be limited to once a week.

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Restricting fatty foods shouldn’t mean you have to ban them from your life, that will most likely make you want them even more. If you truly want to eat those loaded nachos, have them once a month, and make a note of it so you keep account of what you’re doing. If you can’t cut them out that much, treat yourself once a week.

Plan out your meals. 

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If you’re one of those people who eats last minute, meaning if you find yourself hungry, you turn to eat anything quickly, that is how you’ll get in trouble.

Planning what you’re going to eat a week ahead, even a day ahead, will make you more likely to make better choices.

Decide what meal gives you the most fuel.

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There’s an age-old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That can be the case for some people, but that’s not the general rule. So if you feel that lunch gives you the most energy, make that your bigger meal. Eat smaller meals for breakfast and dinner. Just understand when your body needs fuel and feed it at that time.

It’s okay to make limitations but do not starve yourself.

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As we said, healthy choices are all about moderation, but never about starvation. Your metabolism needs to keep moving, so if you skip meals or not eat, your metabolism will just stop itself and the result is completely devastating.

Make pragmatic choices.

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When attempting to make healthier choices, be sure to be rational about what you are going to eat, and when you’re going to be eating. Think about your meals, the ingredients, and how it’s going to be cooked. By being pragmatic, you will make smarter and healthier choices.

Sub meat with meatless foods.

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Have you ever tried meatless tacos or seitan asada? Yes, that’s a thing. There are so many ways to incorporate tofu, or meatless products into your meals.

Cut back on tortillas.

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As much as we love eating tortillas with everything they also contain a lot of carbs. The low-calorie tortilla is a good substitute, but in my opinion, they are not very good. What we decided to do is instead of buying a whole pack of tortillas, we made them ourselves. That means we can omit the salt, the lard, and anything else, and just include the basics. That also means the size is much smaller, which is a very good thing.

Top Latin foods with more veggies.

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Rather than load nachos, tacos, burritos, or any Latin food with cheese, sour cream, or meat, load them up with lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, carrots, any veggie that you like. Latin foods tend to be more vegetarian or vegan with meat added later. Keep to the basics and you will see a feel a change in yourself.

Don’t use lard as an ingredient.

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Some Latin foods such as refried beans and tortillas call for lard as an ingredient but putting straight up fat is not a healthy choice. Some people opt to use shortening instead of using lard, but we don’t use either. You truly don’t need it at all.

Try dairy free products.

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Two main ingredients that most Latin foods contain is cheese and sour cream, but if you don’t want those added calories, try using dairy-free sour cream and dairy-free cheese.

Make your own food instead of eating out.

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The food served at restaurants, whether it’s fast food or not, contains so much more sodium and butter. You truly don’t need to cook with those amounts. If you make your own tacos or your own nachos, you will be saving yourself hundreds of calories.

Skip the salt and use herbs, garlic, and other seasonings

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Rather than using salt to add flavor to your meals, they’ll become more flavorful if you use other kinds of seasoning and herbs. The meals will instantly be more unique.

Take advantage of the fruit.

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Yes, fruit has a lot of sugar which equals carbs, but it’s so much better if you eat plantains, or a mango rather than eating ice cream or chips, you will notice a huge difference in yourself.

Incorporate fiber in your meals.

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Beans, one of our favorite foods, has a ton a fiber. In fact, a lot of Latin foods including avocados, nopales, and much more.

Don’t like veggies? Try superfood powders.

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If you’re not a fan of eating salads or just eating vegetables, you still need those nutrients. One great substitute is incorporating superfood powders into smoothies. That is an instant and nutritious meal.

Good fat vs. bad fat.

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As we said before, some fatty foods like avocados and beans have lots of great nutrients that will benefit your health. That also includes extra virgin olive oil, so when you’re making those huevos rancheros, be sure to put some EVOO in the pan for those good and beneficial fatty foods.

Don’t think of food as your enemy, enjoy it.

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Once you start to consider that food isn’t a crutch or comfort food but rather fuel to energize your body, you will start eating better. Just because us Latinos love to eat yummy foods, doesn’t mean there isn’t really good substitutes out there.

Just remember, we need food to survive, not to make us feel heavy and/or tired, so have fun and enjoy those meals.

READ: 20 Foods And Drinks That Instantly Take Caribbean Latinos Back To Their Childhood

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Old video format – This Taqueria Faces Severe Backlash After It Names Tacos Like ‘The Wall’, ‘Lock Her Up’ And ‘The Immigrant’

Entertainment

Old video format – This Taqueria Faces Severe Backlash After It Names Tacos Like ‘The Wall’, ‘Lock Her Up’ And ‘The Immigrant’

We’ve all heard the divisive and hateful rhetoric that’s come out of not only Trump’s mouth but, really, from pretty much the entire administration. From ‘the wall’ to ‘lock her up’ and ‘the immigrant’, never have so many words so quickly entered the mainstream lexicon.

And yea, many of those words don’t carry any hateful or racist meaning by themselves. But when taken in context, they have been used to belittle and straight up attack entire communities.

So when news broke out that a restaurant in New Mexico has plastered a whole bunch of these words all over their menu, many were left scratching their heads.

A restaurant in New Mexico with a menu full of foods bearing politically charged names is giving the internet something to taco ‘bout.

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The Urban Taqueria, which recently opened in Albuquerque, offers customers a range of burritos boasting names like “Lock her Up” and “The Wall” as well as tacos that have been dubbed “Bad Hombre” and “The Immigrant.”

The owner of the eatery, Hanif Mohamed, denied he was trying to spark controversy with the menu names — seemingly inspired by President Trump’s rhetoric. Instead, Mohamed said he hoped it would prompt conversation during a particularly polarizing time in American history.

And with names like ‘Bad Hombre’, ‘The Wall’, and ‘The Immigrant’ we aren’t too surprised.

In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Mohamed, a native of Kenya who immigrated to the US in 1992, said “When I created the menu two-and-half-years ago, we had the ban on Muslims. My kids asked me, ‘Are we American or Muslim?’” The menu, he decided, covered all subject matter.

The offerings are not meant to insult his customers, says Mohamed. In fact, he says they’re a “conversation starter” and educational by nature.

“Outsourced,” a taco with tandoori chicken, raita, tamarind salsa, alludes to the U.S. practice of outsourcing jobs to India, while “The Immigrant,” a vegan taco with organic green chile and fried potatoes, represents Irish refugees fleeing the Potato Famine in the 1800s.

The owner, an immigrant himself, claims that “99%” of people haven’t had any issue with his menu.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who walk in, more than 99 percent, don’t seem to have an issue with it,” Hanif Mohamed, owner of Urban Taqueria, told KOAT. “The menu’s not designed to insult people or hurt people, but it’s just meant to keep the conversation going as to what’s happening around us.”

Some locals have disagreed with Mohamed’s view on the menu.

“The way things are right now. It’s not good,” Juan Hernandez told KOAT. “We need to have respect for others and have limits.”

University of New Mexico professor Patricia Perea added: “It seems fun, it seems like you can make fun of this and maybe make it lighthearted, but you really can’t, you’re offending a whole community.

“It’s normalizing the terms and potentially turning them into funny or humorous terms, and the more that you do that, the more likely people are to repeat them and perhaps forget the contexts in which they were said.”

But there were many people who supported the menu choice as well.

Others disagreed and said the restaurant was just making a brave choice with their names. “To me it’s not offensive,” Christy Garcia told KOAT. “I just think it’s interesting that they decided to be so bold with the names.”

The restaurant and its menu has received positive reviews online. “Awesome menu names!!!! Love the creativity! Don’t cave to those so easily offended. They can simply choose not to eat there,” wrote Amber Atchley Cokins in a review on Facebook.

“Great food, and atmosphere. Customer service is good. Love the names of the dishes,” added Autumn Blake.

And as one Twitter user pointed out, maybe this was all just a successful marketing gimmick.

But we’ll be the first to point out that no business should ever use the trauma and hate experienced by a community as a marketing ploy. The words on this restaurant’s menu have been used to demean and attack minority communities, but especially Latinos.

Sponsored – How Every Soccer Mom Feels During Fútbol Season

Culture

Sponsored – How Every Soccer Mom Feels During Fútbol Season

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Being a mom is special for so many reasons. There’s the love that you have for your child, for starters. And then there’s all the amazing things that come along with parenting – helping your kiddo as they learn to read and write, watching them make friends, and of course, the moment that they join their first sports team. In this case little league soccer

Despite the craziness of life and balancing of hectic schedules, a fútbol mom always finds that magical, unexpected energy when it’s time to cheer on their baby at a soccer match.

Here’s how every soccer mom feels during fútbol season (aka the craziest sport season).

1. You’re besties with all the other soccer moms.

Let’s be real: one of the best parts about being a soccer mom is all the chisme. Latina moms love to be social, so it’s no surprise that you love soccer season. You keep up with all the gossip with the other moms, while everyone cheers on their kids.

2. There’s always a fear of running out of snacks.

There is nothing scarier than a bunch of ravenous, hungry little soccer players, and luckily fútbol mamás always turn out when it comes to snack duty. Is there a little competition to be the mom with the best snacks? Of course there is. This is little league soccer, people – it’s serious.

3. You have to be the mom who cheers the loudest.

If you don’t lose your voice from cheering, were you ever really there? It doesn’t matter how long, busy, stressful the week leading up to the game was or how crazy work and life got – soccer moms always have that surge of unexpected energy when it comes to a fútbol game.  

4. It’s better to pretend you saw your kid make a goal than say the truth: you were scrolling through Instagram.

It’s impossible to catch every single goal that a kid makes, give yourself a break. Sometimes it’s just better to pretend to have seen the goal than to confess that you missed it because of Instagram. Moms are only human, ok!

5. You know when it’s time to bust out the custom-made soccer jerseys.

Those fabulous fútbol jerseys you made that say, “Go team go!” on them. Your kids might be mortified by these, but totally worth an eye roll from them.

6. Rain or shine, you’re there. With ponchos and umbrellas for everyone!

Being prepared – and not just with snacks and cheers. You’re prepared for every single situation, including bad weather. The other moms are grateful when you start handing out the extra rain ponchos and umbrellas. Your over-prepared abuela would be proud.

7. You’re ready to step in as the coach at a moment’s notice.

You’re not just a fan of your kid, you’re also a huge fan of fútbol itself! You know the game better than anyone, and you’re ready to step in as a substitute coach whenever they might need you. Which, of course, is rarely ever, but a soccer mom can dream, can’t she?

There’s something so fun about being a soccer mom. Life can be so busy and stressful, but when that unexpected energy hits you the second you pull up to the fútbol field, there’s simply nothing better.

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