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Hopping on the Green Juice bandwagon

1 May

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.

24 Apr

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!

IMG_4491

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

12 Mar
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

1 Feb

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

30 Dec

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

27 Sep

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:

11 May

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

Sarape Style Files: A case of the Mondays

23 Apr

Bueno pues… my weekend plans of attending the LA Times Festival of books were thwarted last minute. Plan B was not much fun at all, ¿pero qué le hacemos? Health comes first.

This is officially the second worst cold/flu of my life*. 10 days and counting, sigo afónica con un sore throat  to the point of answering a business call and having the guy identify me as “Cristina with the hoarse voice” (Ouch!)

Note to self: I will no longer try speaking today. Ya fue mucho “güiri-güiri”… I’ll try sign language.

(* The worst cold of my life was not actually a cold but pneumonia at the age of 9, which knocked me out of school for 2 weeks and forever left me scared of salir de la casa con el pelo mojado, but I digress.)

Today I had a case of the Mondays. It is raining in LA and I am trying to get back into the groove of things. This morning I got up like Linus from Peanuts, dragging my blanket, my bed calling out to me still. Does this ever happen to you?

Funny thing, on my way to lunch I saw this woman who was wearing a blanket as a raincoat. Well it’s not exactly a blanket, but a Mexican Sarape, the likes of which I had not seen for a while. Practical and warm? Yes. Stylish and pleasing on the eyes? Not exactly.

But it made me laugh. That is exactly what I felt like wearing.

Gripa, sal de este cuerpo ¡pero YA!!!!

Have a good week my friends.

Maybe it's not the best look in the world, but today I would've happily worn this outfit. Don't think it will make "The Sartorialist" any time soon!

 

 

 

First time hiking in LA: Fryman Canyon

4 Apr

Los Angeles is a wonderful and complex city, filled with freeways and concrete, but surrounded by hills and a sprawling landscape that every once in a while reminds you to connect with Mother Nature.

A mi no se me da mucho eso del hiking y los nature walks, neither am I the outdoorsy R.E.I. type. But when presented for the first time ever with an invitation to go hiking last Sunday, it was honestly an offer I couldn’t refuse. The place: Dearing Mountain Trail: Fryman Canyon to Tree People Park.

Starting the hike.

The location was right off Mullholland Drive (the famous spot of many movies and weird incidents) and it was a hike that promised a bit of adventure.

A group of newfound very cool friends, all experienced hikers and nature lovers, organized and lead the hike. So off we went.

It was initially a challenge for moi; going down a hill with slippery dirt, rocks of all sizes, not to mention ubiquitous poison ivy. When you haven’t done this, it can be a task not suitable for the faint of heart (ni para los que sufrimos de vertigo- at one point where I looked all the way down, I thought to myself, what was I thinking?!) But I kept trying to not look below, enjoy it as much as I could, and take a few pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, I may be eco-friendly, use those funky foquitos en espiral, and recycle often, but the thought of going too far with this did cross my mind. Some sections of the trail are extremely narrow and the way down looks quite bottomless.  (Or I may exaggerate. Aquí su segura servilleta se medio ‘panickeo’ cuando vio las profundidades de las barrancas, bien bien profundas y verdes. Pero mentalmente me puse a cantar la canción de “Sacaremos a Ese Buey de la Barranca” y me alegró el momento.)

Yet, the views are amazing and the walk provides time to meditate or just catch up with nature and make friends.  After a few hours on the trail, when we arrived back at the parking lot, I emerged with a newfound appreciation for nature in LA, and with a slightly improved concept of hiking.

This is another perfect example of why we are spoiled in California, with great backdrops and idyllic landscapes, a stones throw away from the city.

So I want to say Thank You AMIGOS- Gracias Ken, Aaron, Olivia, and everyone. They are new friends and made this experience one to remember. ¡Gracias a todos! And especially thanks to Loic for the post hike dinner. Truly a treat.

One of the views of the hike.

Poison Oak interweaves everywhere. It is not to be messed with! (Primera vez que la conozco en persona, pero de lejecitos.)

Ahi vamos todos, going up the hill.

Taking a mini break. Every once in a while you would find these kind of spots, with a bit of space for conversation.

When coming to a fork in the road, naturally we had to go in the direction of the rainforest.

Nice group shot by the lovely Ms. Erin Tamayo. We stood by the sign just to prove we had "arrived" at the rainforest.

Another group shot of the hiking friends.

Post hike rest and stretch at the parking lot. There is free parking, by the way.

A view from the trail. This is a great place for meditation and nature appreciation.

National Wear Red Day: Supporting Heart Health and Go Red Por Tu Corazón

3 Feb

Today, February 3rd, is National Wear Red Day and if I may, I’d like to make a little public service announcement on behalf of the American Heart Association and Macy’s.

When was the last time you ever thought about YOUR HEART? And I mean your heart as an organ that keeps you alive, not as a symbol of romance or love, or broken heart that inspires a sad love song.

It’s a very startling statistic to find out that women rarely pay attention to the fact that heart disease, and cardiovascular disease, are the number one killers of women. We think that heart attacks are exclusive to men. But I was shocked to find out that it takes more lives than breast and ovarian cancer among women, and that we do not consider the risks.

The Go Red Por Tu Corazón campaign website, en español! Hagan click para ir al sitio.Tell your mother, tell your sisters, tell your friends.

To raise awareness of heart disease among women, the American Heart Association launched an initiative called “Go Red for Women” back in 2004, and you will be happy to know it has made a difference.

They have also, very wisely, created the initiative in Spanish, calling it “Go Red Por Tu Corazón”  (love the title in Spanglish!) and is reaching out to the Hispanic Community. Díganle a sus Mamás, a sus Tias, a sus Hermanas, a sus Amigas que lo lean. Spread the word!

I encourage you to visit the website, in Spanish (click here) and in English (click here) and learn how to participate, create awareness and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. It’s worth a few minutes of your time. It even has recipes and very useful tips on how to recognize the symptoms and warning signs of a stroke.

One of the sponsors of this campaign is my favorite store- MACY’S- who has contributed $28 million dollars to the cause since 2004.  They have a special sale going on today Friday Feb. 3, for anyone who shops at the store and is wearing red. What a great idea, since today ando de rojo! I think I’m gonna save me 20% on my purchases.

You can contribute and make a $2 dollar donation by getting the Go Red pin at Macy’s and by shopping on the exclusive WEAR RED items they have benefiting the American Heart Association.

You can purchase this pin for $2 and support Go Red Para Tu Corazón.

And you can also use the power of social media to donate. Visit the Macy’s fanbook page (click here) and create a Valentine by February 14th. They will donate $2 for each Valentine card sent, with a total of up to $250 thousand dollars in support of the Go Red Campaign. ¿Quien me quiere mandar una tarjetita de San Valentin?

Macy's is a wonderful sponsor of the Go Red Campaign. Click on the image to support the cause on their facebook page.


Walking the AIDS WALK LA 2011

18 Oct

The annual AIDS WALK Los Angeles took place last Sunday October 16th and it had an impressive turnout. I’ve done this walk for 3 years in a row and this year I noticed people were happier and much more spirited. Maybe it had to do with the weather, which was Biu-Ti-Ful…a bright, crisp, spotless LA Sunday morning, perfect for a 6 mile (10K) walk on the West Side.

I walked as part of the Macy’s Team, thanks to the invitation of my friend Olivia. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, Macy’s is committed to the community and especially to the AIDS cause, donating millions of dollars each year. (So think of that every time you shop and know somehow it comes back to benefit someone else.)

It was fun to rediscover the neighborhood most of us drive through but never really notice when we’re on Santa Monica Blvd., or Melrose, or La Brea. We got to see all the little shops, restaurants, art galleries and murals at a walking pace, and we did a little window shopping and dreaming too.

Here are a few pix from the event and if you want to support this wonderful organization, please visit the AIDS Project Los Angeles website at apla.org

The Macy's Team at AIDS Walk LA 2011.

Meeting point was the Pacific Design Center.

The Abbey, the famous spot in the West Side, was the site of the VIP breakfast before the walk.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez from the U.S. House of Representatives during her speech at the VIP breakfast. She promised to continue the fight for equal rights for homosexuals.

The starting line at Santa Monica Blvd.

Walking past the Marc Jacobs Store on Melrose.

The Paul Frank store is hot pink!

Around 30 thousand people showed up. This is 3rd Street and La Cienega, looking west.

 

Certificate of completion, another 10K under the belt!

 

Otra paranoia más: the correlation between cell phones & brain cancer

1 Jun

Add cell phone radiation to the ever growing paranoias on our list.

Yesterday the Word Health Organization issued a warning heard around the world,  saying “Heavy use of cell phones MIGHT cause brain cancer.”

Uuuuuuuts… de veras que cuando no es Juana, es Chana.

Do we need another reason to get freaked out by everyday life? To think that 30 minutes a day on the cell phone could potentially expose us to harmful radiation is not something we want to consider as we’re chatting away on our mobiles.

Heard an interesting conversation on “To The Point” with Warren Olney on kcrw.com today.  It was interesting to hear the skeptics versus the doctors versus the middle of the road scientists. Basically the middle of the road people say nothing is proven yet, but we’ve only had cell phone technology for less than 20 years, and it’s too soon to come to any conclusions. But imagine 5 billion people use cell phones every day and if any of these warning were true, we’d have to change our phone habits, which at this point is very unlikely.

I wonder if they’re doing more research on the subject? In the meantime I think I’m going to use my speakerphone much more often and think about getting a landline, again. El miedo no anda en burro señores.

To hear the debate on “To The Point,” click here to go to kcrw.com And check out if your phone is on the list of top radiation emissions: from CNN en Español.

Cell phone headlines on the front page: "Comunican y Enferman" on La Opinion today.

“Womentum” at the Revlon RunWalk for Women 2011

9 May

Revlon RunWalk for Women was held last Saturday at the LA Coliseum.

Last Saturday at the LA Coliseum, almost 75 thousand people turned up for the annual Revlon RunWalk 2011 in honor and support of women who are fighting and beating cancer. Entire families and people of all ages showed up to honor the women in their lives. It was an empowering and uplifting event, and you could feel the love and energy everyone brought to the occasion, which was called “Womentum” ( a very creative and clever name, if you ask me.)

It was also nice to see Halle Berry, the beautiful actress and Revlon spokesmodel, in person, welcoming everybody at the starting line and cheering people on. She was there along with Alyson Hannigan,the actress from American Pie,  Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family, and Lilly Tartikoff, who heads the RunWalk effort.

The co-sponsors of the event were Macy’s and Toyota, with teams representing and doing the walk as well. It’s nice to see Macy’s continues to support great causes in support of women’s health and the community. Thanks to Olivia, Cause Marketing Manager at Macy’s,  for inviting me to the event. All in all a great day!

The Macy's Team, proud to support the cause at RunWalk.

Lilly Tartikoff with Halle Berry, getting ready to pose for photographers, before the event began.

Another shot of the celebrities at the event.

Halle Berry welcomes the crowd and motivates everyone to keep supporting the fight against cancer.

The starting line had confetti blasts, and off they went.

It was really exciting to enter the Coliseum through the tunnels at the end of the 5K.

At the Coliseum finish line, everybody had a party at the end.

Better get moving people.

25 Apr

Let’s file this one under Health Tips: buenos, bonitos y baratos

Ay, ay, ay. Feeling a little weird this morning. Maybe because the weather finally changed in LA and it’s getting nice and warm. And I’m feeling big and heavy (Ooops was that my inside voice?)… Confieso que I had a little too many sweet treats for Easter.  Prácticamente celebre todo el weekend, and today I’m paying for it.

On my ride to work today, I heard this piece on NPR about physical fitness vs. sitting all day. It made me think about how much time I spend SITTING DOWN. Whether at work or watching my tivo’s (hello Reina del Sur!) I can tell you, it’s at least 8 hours. Even if I walk for 30 minutes plus, those 8 hours sitting down are taking a toll on the body.

So if you have 7 minutes, listen to this piece. If you don’t, and you also spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer,  just make it a point to move, stretch or walk in place for at least one minute an hour. The body needs to snap back into movement for all the time it’s spent idle, and we need to move and contract our muscles, otherwise we’ll lose them. (Como dicen por ahi, “Use it or lose it.”)  So now I’m setting up a reminder on the computer to prompt me to move every hour for a few minutes, which is what they recommended in the piece. Click below to go to NPR.

Sitting All Day is Worse for You than You Think. April 25, 2011. NPR

And since we’re on the subject of sitting down in front of the computer, here’s a great tip that mi Tia Marie sent me over the weekend. We should all be improving our posture as we sit and type, otherwise we’re going to look like Hunchbacks of Notre Dame in our old age (Cancelado. Cancelado. Cancelad0!)

Here’s the clip. Put it to use and have a great work week.

¿Cómo vamos con esas New Year’s Diet resolutions?

9 Jan

¡Pues yo mal! Pero hoy ya me dio en cara y decidí que hay que renovar esos planes. Enough is enough. We’re 10 days into 2011 and I will admit I have not made the effort.

Anyway, since I’m in Mexico City, todavía, I’ve been observing the diet over here and it ain’t pretty. Not to get all preachy and regañona, pero en general hay muy mala alimentación. Carbs, fats, sodium, azúcar, calories in every way shape and form. People consider chicharrones (pork fat) a mid afternoon snack. They hardly drink water. Not referring to an agua fresca, but an agua-agua, you know, h2O, the kind we’re supposed to drink 8 glasses a day of. It has to do with the economy and it has to do with the culture, but when you see people on the street eating like this since early in the morning, it makes you think about the consequences. No wonder we’re one of the most obese countries in the world!

Muy bien dicho! Caricatura por Abel Quezada, foto tomada de su exposición en el Museo de la Ciudad de México.

Dos puestos típicos en una calle en el DF.

Pues sí. Aquí nomás esperando sus tortas para llevar.

Quiero un “quick fix”

20 Dec

A little something for everybody.

Cuando ando por las calles de México me sorprende ver la cantidad de farmacias  en cada esquina y la cantidad de puestos “de mentiritas” con remedios caseros/alternativos para todo tipo de malestares, condiciones, enfermedades, etc. Sobrepeso? Acne? tienes el flu o te falta energía? You name it, they’ve got a fix for you. Who knows if it’ll work? People still buy them.

Según la cantidad de establecimientos de este tipo que existen all over the place, parece que es muy buen negocio y parece que la gente se cree lo que les prometen cuando compran este tipo de productos.

But if you ask me, they don’t seem to be working because Mexicans are still one of the most obese populations on the list, with serious health problems. That isn’t changing anytime soon when you see people having candy for breakfast and Coca Cola instead of water.

Used to be you could get away with buying all sorts of medication without a doctor’s prescription at the pharmacy.  Sore throat and a fever? Take a Pentrexil. Can’t sleep? Get some Tafil and call me in the morning. Now things are different and you absolutely need a prescription to buy anything stronger than an Advil. This does not sit very well with all the people who loved to auto-medicate themselves. Porque ahora si tienen que ir al doctor and God forbid he/she prescribe a basic formula for well being: like limiting junk food and alcohol, no smoking, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise. Eso nomás no se nos da.

This store was so popular it had another outlet at the same mall.

We should all be paying attention: Cancer Awareness Week

17 Apr

(Para mi amiga Marisol Rosas, the bravest ‘Previvor’ and fighter I know. Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending out all our good vibes so you can be well soon. Ánimo, Te queremos mucho!!)

Cancer is that subject that you never want to deal with, the word you never want to hear, the illness that most scares us. As Woody Allen says in one of his movies, “The most beautiful words in the English language are not ‘I Love You’ but ‘It’s Benign.” (He’s right!)

This week is “National Minority Cancer Awareness Week” (NMCAW) from April 18 through April 24. The American Cancer Society is urging Hispanics and all minorities to be aware of the statistics and recommendations to prevent cancer. We like to avoid screenings and checkups, and yet they are essential, just as eating good food and exercising frequently. We need to know these things and apply them to our daily lives to prevent and fight cancer. Health is our most important possession and we must all keep doing our part to be a healthy community. Even Placido Domingo, who was recently treated for colon cancer, acknowledged that he was lucky because he was treated early for it. And now he’s back to work, as you can read in the article (here) from the LA Times.

Here is the information the American Cancer Society shares in honor of Awareness Week:

Statistics

  • Hispanics are the fastest-growing and youngest minority group in the US.  45.5 million or 15 percent of the total US population is Hispanic.
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Hispanics, accounting for 20 percent of deaths in adults and 13 percent of deaths in children.
  • About 1 in 2 Hispanic men and 1 in 3 Hispanic women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
  • Cancers of the stomach, liver, and uterine cervix have the highest incidence and mortality rates for Hispanics, especially among first-generation immigrants to the U.S.

Recommendations

  • Community-level engagement to work with families to promote a healthier life-style and include nutrition and physical activity.

-increasing access to healthy foods in schools, work and local eateries

-provide safe, enjoyable spaces for physical activity

-increase access to preventive services such as screenings

  • The American Cancer Society recommends regular screenings to improve the chances of a cure for some cancers by detecting it at an early stage.

-For women in their 20’s and 30’s, Clinical Breast Exam are recommended, preferably at least every three years; Women 40 and older should get mammograms annually.

-Colorectal screening is recommended for men and women starting at age at the age of 50

-Men should discuss prostate cancer screenings with their doctors to determine what level of screening is appropriate.

-Cervical cancer screening should be done every year.

  • Access the American Cancer Society website for more information, resources, services and programs at www.cancer.org/espanol or call toll free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for information in English and Spanish – 1-800-227-2345.

Trying to be healthier… paso a pasito.

16 Feb

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

- Michael Pollan. “Food Rules: A Eater’s Manual”

If on January 1st you made the resolution to eat healthier this year and you just realized it’s February 15th …welcome to my world. Yes, I’ll admit I’m not one to preach about healthy habits, losing weight or having the willpower to resist chocolate chip cookies, but I admit lately I am obsessed with being healthier and taking care of myself. (Or at least obsessed with research on healthy things while I put them into action..hey I’m honest!)

If this is something that interests you as well, here’s a couple of mentions that are noteworthy:

Last week, Oprah had a show about Diabetes with Dr. Oz that made me stop in my tracks and finally understand the damage sugar does to out bodies. Dr. Oz explained it with cool graphics and in plain English, in a way that even kids would get the message.

If you missed it, here’s a link to a similar article by Dr. Oz on the Huffington Post . Or you can always go to Oprah.com to look for it. Oprah says she wanted to do this show because African Americans suffer from this disease at an epidemic rate, as well as Hispanics. I guess I don’t have to tell you that we all have family members or know of someone with the disease, so the statistics must be right: From 1990 to 2000, there was an increase of 61% of adults with Diabetes living in the US. (from the American Diabetes Association.) It more than doubled in ten years!

I forwarded the article to my family so hopefully they read it and understand it (and stop drinking sodas!! please) but I guess I should lead by example…right?

So today I went to the supermarket with my beautiful grandmother, mi Mama Lilia, and took note of everything she bought. She is turning 91 this year, mostly cooks everything she eats and is doing pretty well generally for someone her age, which I find remarkable. (Of course, she also has a sweet tooth and loves cakes, cookies and chocolate, so there’s room for improvement!)

Here’s a picture of a few of the things she got today: notice a pattern?

All green and all good: from the supermaket today: chile verde, nopales, lentejas verdes, peras, brocoli, piña, limones, gengibre, repollitos verdes y espárragos.

So no promises out loud, just to myself. I’ll try to be greener, healthier and a little more conscious of what I eat this week…for starters, lunch today it was lentil soup with tomato, onion and chilito verde. Muy buena!

Here’s the link to the New York Times article “Rules Worth Following, For Everyone’s Sake” based on Mr. Pollan’s book.

I guess it’s not too late to change and we owe it to our bodies, so we can keep going. Don’t you think?

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