Lose Weight With Cold-Weather Ensaladas

Why wait for summer to get your green on? Adding spices and cold-weather frutas and verduras, like grapefruit or beets and broccoli, make a healthy salad the perfect meal option.

“I love to feature bold, fresh flavors with herbs like cilantro, spices like cayenne pepper and fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season,” says Michelle Rivas, health and wellness aficionado at The Healthy Latina. Try to be as colorful as possible when putting a salad together. The combination of fresh fruits and vegetables in a salad will keep you full from fiber, in addition to providing essential nutrients. “Don’t be afraid to add a protein other than meat, like beans or nuts,” says Rivas. “Make salads more filling with fiber from quinoa or multi-grain rice.” For a dressing, Rivas always starts with a little olive oil for the flavor and the healthy fats. Aquí, some of Rivas’ favorite recipes.

Kale and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients (amount to your liking)

Cucumbers, chopped

Kale, chopped

Broccoli, chopped



1. Cook quinoa in organic chicken broth, and add to a mix of fresh, chopped broccoli and kale.

2. Top with an organic garlic dressing, or Rivas’ dressing recipe below.

Black Bean Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing


3 ears of corn

1 can of black beans

1 package of fresh tomatoes on the vine

1 package skirt steak pre-cut into strips

Olive oil

1 bunch of cilantro

3 limes

1 avocado

Salt and pepper


1. In a large pot, set water to boil. Shuck the ears of corn and place in the pot with water. Do not salt the water because it will make the texture of the corn tough. Let boil for eight to 10 minutes.

2. While corn is cooking, open the can of black beans and strain the water out. Place in a large bowl and let sit. Dice the tomatoes into chunks and place in the bowl with the beans.

3. In a medium bowl, drizzle olive oil and toss skirt steak strips with salt and pepper. In a large pan, heat up a drizzle of olive oil and add the steak.

4. As the steak cooks, remove the ears of corn from the boiling water. “Shave” the kernels off with a knife and set aside.

5. For the dressing, loosely chop the cilantro and set aside. Juice the limes into a blender and add cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Blend the dressing until it is fully combined and the cilantro is very small.

6. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside. While the pan is still hot, toss the corn for extra flavor. For the final touch, slice an avocado and serve!

Sweet and Spicy Dressing


1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Whisk ingredients together and splash over a bed of baby kale and spinach.

2. Add cut-up orange slices, sliced raw almonds or pistachios, and your favorite vegetable medley.

Postres Saludables Without the Weight Gain

Though millions make New Year resolutions to eat healthy and lose weight, it’s not always easy when your body is craving postres. Fortunately, you can reach your goals and satisfy your sweet tooth. “With the popularity of gluten-free and the “Paleo diet,” baking substitutes for flour, sugars, oils and dairy are easy to find at your local store,” says Maribel Marmol, healthy food blogger at food 4 thought NYC.


  • Whole-wheat flour or coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour to increase your fiber intake, keeping you fuller longer.

  • Fruit, such as applesauce or crushed pineapple to replace the empty calories of refined sugars. These fruits pack in vitamins and minerals, while making cakes and cookies moist and flavorful.

  • Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, whole milk or cream cheese. This ingredient has the added benefit of calcium and protein without the high calories.

Healthy French Toast Recipe to Try:

Gluten-free Peach French Toast with Cardamom

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 8 to 10 slices


1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

5 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/8 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peach Sauce

3 peaches, cored and sliced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

French Toast

2 eggs

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Optional: Maple syrup and Greek yogurt for topping


Prepare ingredients and grease 8”x4”x2.5” loaf pan for bread. This step can be done one or two days before. Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet to the dry and mix well. The batter will be thick by the time you’re done. Add batter to a greased loaf pan and place in heated oven. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool completely before removing it from the pan. *Note: Since this is gluten-free bread, the loaf will not rise like regular wheat-based breads. Doesn’t make it any less tasty, but you should have a heads up! Heat a small saucepan or frying pan over low to medium heat. Add sliced peaches, spices, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir until the peaches start to disintegrate and the juices are bubbling. Remove from heat. Cut thick slices of cooled coconut flax bread. Mix French toast ingredients in a shallow bowl. Add bread slices and cover with mixture on all sides. Allow it to soak while heating a medium frying pan with coconut oil over medium heat. Once hot, add up to three slices to the pan with tongs. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until slightly browned. Arrange toast slices on a plate, top with peaches, syrup and yogurt. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top. Serve!

Healthy Cake Recipe to Try:

Upside Down Strawberry Cake

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 12 to 14 pieces


1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 cup strawberries, sliced

Drizzle of honey


1 cup unblanched almond flour

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 F. Add butter to an eight-inch cake pan and place in oven. Once melted, swirl butter to coat the bottom and sides of the pan and set aside. Whisk all the dry ingredients in one bowl (coconut flour, almond flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, salt). In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix the wet ingredients (coconut oil, eggs, honey, vanilla) together thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients along with the Greek yogurt and mix well, creating a thick batter. Sprinkle the coconut flour into the pan over the butter and drizzle with honey. Place the sliced strawberries along the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Scoop the batter over the strawberries and level out with a spatula. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean from the center. Remove and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before flipping the cake out onto a serving plate.

Is “Sugar-Free” a Danger to Your Health?

For many working toward weight-loss goals, choosing sugar-free foods and drinks would seem right. But did you know that anything labeled “diet” is loaded with artificial sweeteners, which have the potential to do more harm than good? “The only benefit to ‘sugar-free’ food is if it is really devoid of both sugar and artificial sugar,” says Dr. Zina Kroner, who practices at Advanced Medicine of New York, PLLC. Here, why sugar-free shouldn’t be a staple in any diet.

A Dangerous Diet Tool: Reaching for a diet soda or sugar-free cookie can actually have the opposite effect when you’re trying to lose weight. “One will gain weight on artificial sugars made in a lab, as they can worsen insulin resistance,” says Dr. Kroner. Insulin resistance can contribute to serious health concerns, including obesity.

Health Issues: Aspartame, which contains the toxins phenylalanine and aspartic acid, has been linked to side effects such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, depression and visual changes, says Dr. Kroner. For Latinas with diabetes, which is on the incline, sugar substitutes can worsen the disease. “Phenylalanine and aspartic acid have been shown to stimulate the release of insulin and leptin, leading to insulin resistance and worsening of blood sugar control,” says Dr. Kroner. “With diabetes, the goal is to improve insulin sensitivity.”

Alternate Options: If you’re still looking for a secret ingredient for weight loss, Dr. Kroner recommends stevia, a plant that has been around for 1,500 years and is considered the safest sugar alternative. Stevia can be used to sweeten recipes such as hot cocoa, banana bread and chocolate chip cookies -- without harmful side effects. Or, try foods made with healthier sweet ingredients such as Greek yogurt, applesauce or honey. For soda junkies out there, the safer alternative is regular -- in moderation. Or, try flavored water or flavored seltzer for a sweet, carbonated kick.

Food Storage Made Easy

Keeping your cocina stocked with fresh foods is a great way to ensure a healthy diet for la familia. But a big shopping trip can become messy if you forget what you bought. Avoid wasting comida and dinero by properly storing all your food items, with tips from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Food Storage Made Easy

A stocked refrigerator can be a blessing, but “it’s a good idea for people to think about air flow and make sure they can see that air will be able to circulate,” says Kasey Christian, a spokesperson with the NCHFP team. Avoid overcrowding by cleaning out the refrigerator regularly. A full freezer, on the other hand, is more energy efficient than a partially filled one. To stay organized, Christian recommends keeping a list of what you put in and when it was packaged. When shopping, note “sell by” and “use by” dates.

Storing Hierbas: Dried herbs and spices should be stored in airtight containers, in a dry space away from heat or light (think: clean cupboard). Herbs stored in the cupboard can be kept for one to two years, according to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Fresh herbs require more maintenance to last. Herbs such as basil and cilantro can be stored for up to a week on a table or countertop, in a glass with about one inch of water. Be sure to trim the ends before placing in the glass. Herbs can also be wrapped in a moist paper towel and stored in a re-sealable bag. Different herbs need different levels of moisture: cilantro and parsley need more, while herbs such as rosemary and thyme need less.

Storing Verduras: Most fresh vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer within an hour of purchasing at the grocery store, with the exception of veggies such as sweet potato, tomatoes and onions. Colorado State University provides the following guidelines for storing commonly consumed vegetables in the refrigerator.

  • Corn and mushrooms - Up to two days
  • Green beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, lettuce and peppers - Up to one week in the refrigerator
  • Carrots - Up to two weeks in the refrigerator

Storing Fruta: Most fruits can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, with the exception of apples, avocados and bananas. Peaches, nectarines, pears and plums should ripen at room temperature before refrigerating. Check all fruit before refrigerating to make sure there isn’t any mold (or remove any moldy pieces) to prevent spreading.

  • Berries such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries - Up to two days
  • Green and red grapes, peaches and pears once ripe: Up to five days
  • Cut melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew - Up to one week
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit - Up to three weeks

Storing Carnes: Meats are the most important food to refrigerate or freeze immediately after purchasing: They should never be left out for more than 1-2 two hours. When storing meat in the freezer for longer than two weeks, take it out of its original packaging and store in a freezer storage bag.

  • Chops (lamb, pork, veal) - Up to four days refrigerated; up to six months in freezer
  • Ground meat - Up to two days refrigerated; up to four months in freezer
  • Steak - Up to four days refrigerated; up to one year in freezer
  • Lunch meats - Up to four days refrigerated; up to two months in freezer
  • Cooked meats - Up to four days refrigerated; up to three months in freezer
  • Chicken and turkey - Up to two days refrigerated; up to one year in freezer

Romantic Valentine’s Date en Casa

A Valentine’s date doesn’t necessarily mean fancy dinners or expensive gifts. This year, get creative and think outside the chocolate box. “Stay home and celebrate by bringing the outside in,” says Lisa Velazquez, a love coach and founder of Lisa Talks Love. Velazquez shares her top ideas for bringing out the romance on Valentine’s Day -- and every day.

Prepare in Advance: Build up the anticipation with your partner by having a little countdown to Valentine’s Day and leaving written notes to each other prior to the holiday. “Remember little tokens of appreciation,” says Velazquez. “Do what you did when you were single, such as sending a cute or sexy text. That way, you’re igniting the fire before you get home.”

Go All Out, Stay Indoors: Prepare a space in your home for your romantic date that is off-limits to kids. Hire someone to cook, and get dressed up as you would for a night out. For your date night, turn the living room into a dance floor, and the dining room into an elegant candle-lit restaurante. If you’re the more casual type, have an indoor picnic in the living room. “Remember why you got together in the first place,” says Velazquez. “Let your man express his emotions, and be an interested listener.”

Involve the Kids: Before your romantic date, get the whole family involved in celebrating. “Teach kids to express their love in healthy, creative ways,” says Velazquez. Plan a Valentine’s Day breakfast and pass out tokens, such as flowers, to each other. Make your child his or her favorite individual meal. Share the reasons you’re thankful for your kids, and help them to do the same for you.