eaten pork in (BIG GASP) thirteen years. I’m serious about the no beef lifestyle too… I even made pasteles this holiday season with chicken (HUGE GASP) not the traditional beef or pork. (Side bar: if you don’t know what a pastel is, ask me! Or any Puerto Rican… you are MISSING out. Go here for an explanation of what it is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteles#Puerto_Rico ) I’ve also been doing yoga 2-3 times a week and anyone that knows me knows I don’t get down with much exercise!I made a recent lifestyle change. I (GASP) gave up beef about six months ago. I also haven’t
What does this have to do with anything, you ask? HEALTH! LIFE! LONGEVITY! Recently my grandmother was diagnosed with diabetes. She also has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an under active thyroid. Seeing the dramatic changes she’s had to make in her lifestyle in order to maintain her health rung true to me, because I, like most people in my family (and probably yours, too), eat a ton of rice, a ton of fried foods, a ton of starch, a ton of sodium. I put sazόn and Adobo on everything. After doing some research, I learned that 10% of all Latinos over the age of 20 are diagnosed with diabetes. That’s a lot of people! It was scary to me as a Puerto Rican and Black woman to find that diabetes cases are most prevalent among Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Cubans (13, 11 and 8%, respectively). Also, Latinos are diagnosed 66 % more than Whites, second only to African Americans at 77%.
Food plays a large part in prevention of diabetes. While beautiful and delicious, the way we prepare our food is not always the healthiest for our bodies. This doesn’t mean you have to stop cooking or eating the food you love, because I know I will NEVER be able to do that. But, with simple changes, making health conscious choices and deciding to live longer can be easy
1. Small Substitutions that make big changes:
*Brown rice instead of white rice
*Whole wheat tortillas instead of flour or corn
*Low fat or fat free milk, sour cream, cheese
*Water instead of sweet fruit drinks and pops
*Baking/broiling instead of frying
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of vegetable oil or butter
2. Physical Activity! Here are easy/cheap/free activities you can do without leaving your neighborhood or home:
*Taking the stairs
3. Smaller portion sizes: healthy serving size of rice is only the size on an ice cream scoop, not half your plate!
4. Cook your own meals or prep meals ahead of time if you are often busy and tempted to eat out. Cooking at homes puts you in control of what goes into your body!
You don’t have to go on a diet or eat rabbit food to be healthy. No one want's to do that! A life style change is as simple as making a conscious effort to do better for yourself and your family. All you have to do is commit to your HEALTH, LIFE, and LONGEVITY!
*For more information about diabetes, see the following websites