Love Thy Cuerpo: A Healthy Look at Body Image

For many mujeres, living up to the beauty ideals of the Hispanic and American culturas, is anything but easy. On a daily basis, we face unique body image issues -- “Am I skinny enough?” “Is my nose too big?” “Are my feet ugly?” -- and situations that can get in the way of our accepting and loving our bodies and ourselves. Here, five women share why they love and celebrate themselves -- we dare you to do the same con tu cuerpo!

I would stand in front of the mirror and rate each area of my body from one to 10. The part of my body that would never score well was my thighs.”

“They always looked so big and shaky. I hated them. It wasn’t until I started working out that I stopped obsessing over my legs. Then one day, I realized that my whole body, including my legs, was in good shape. My thighs were still big, but that’s just how my body was shaped and there was nothing I could do to change it. It also helped to see women such as Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian proudly displaying their big butts and thighs looking so sexy and confident. So I started accepting myself and now I think my thighs are sexy.”

- Nichole Moreno, 40

I'm on the shorter side with thick hips and a big bust, but I'm not any less confident.”

“Latinas, in general, are taught to love the shape of their body, knowing full well that it goes against the American standard of what has traditionally believed to be beautiful, which is tall, blond and blue eyed. I know that my shape and size are different, but I’m confident because being different is also beautiful.”

- Harumi Yoshida, 26

Although the ideal Latina body is supposed to be curvy and voluptuous, my hips are pretty narrow.”

“Luckily, my parents taught me to like my body ever since I was a kid. I learned very early how to be comfortable in my own skin. As a result, today, I know my body is beautiful and that anyone can be sexy at any size.”

- Karla Minchala, 25

I am a woman and we are all about change.”

“My weight fluctuates between five or eight pounds on any given day, depending on how much I ate the night before. So it is no surprise that my feelings about my weight and overall body also change depending on my mood, which also changes. I embrace the extra five pounds -- or 10. I embrace the ability to fill a dress that I couldn’t the week before. How boring would it be if we didn’t change? I love who I am today.”

- Yeilin Bonilla, 32

I was blessed with all of the hair DNA from both sides of my parents.

“I had hair everywhere: on my lips, chin, belly button, arms, legs. Even my toes! To make matters worse, my mom wouldn’t let me shave until I was in high school. For most of my life, I was ashamed of all that hair, and finally got rid of most of it with laser treatments. When it came time to take the hair off my arms, however, I couldn’t do it. At the last minute, I decided I wanted to keep it. I wanted to have something that reminded me of my parents and how I came into the world.”

- Johanna Robles, 37

Buena Comida to Combat Everyday Stress and Anxiety

A whopping one-third of Americans say they are living with extreme stress, according to the American Psychological Association and the American Institute of Stress. The good news? Nutrients found in certain foods boost the “happiness hormone” serotonin and reduce “stress hormones” cortisol and adrenaline. Here’s the skinny on energy-boosting, stress- and anxiety-busting nutrientes you can use:


Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables, contain this nutrient that keeps you full for longer, so you have energy throughout the day and avoid afternoon crashes. Complex carbs have been associated with an increase in serotonin, while fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels, which can increase under extreme stress.

Vitamin B and C

B vitamins, found in complex carbs and proteins such as low-fat queso, help to improve mood, increase energy and ease stress levels. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and dark leafy greens, will help boost your immune system, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety. So now you can relax knowing you’re taking steps to keep your body in germ-fighting shape, even if you’re feeling a bit worn down from work and the kids.


This nutrient, found in halibut, almonds and bananas, has been proven to relax and calm the body, relieve headaches and fatigue, and relax the muscles. So stash a bag of almonds at your desk for munching if your work situation is more stressful than usual, and add a dinner dish with halibut once a week to keep nerves at bay.


Omega-3 fatty acids, plentiful in foods such as salmon, sardines and walnuts, contain anti-inflammatory properties. Why is this important? Stress and anxiety affect the body and brain’s ability to regulate inflammation, which can promote the development of disease. Studies have shown omega-3s also relieve symptoms of distress and depression.


Caffeine, sugar and sugar substitutes, like corn syrup, provide a short energy boost now, leaving you more lethargic later. Healthy nutrients plus ejercicio -- another natural serotonin booster -- will leave you happy and reenergized to take on the most challenging of play dates, tight deadlines and those early morning traffic jams we all know too well! 

Celulitis: Top Five Myths

Cellulite, fat deposits beneath the skin, plagues the thighs and behinds of nearly 90 percent of mujeres -- even the most fit among us. And while there is no treatment for eliminating those pesky dimples, certain factors can reduce their appearance. With facts and myths abounding, Las Fabulosas tackles the top five.

1. Cellulite only affects older women.

Cellulite worsens with age, but it typically appears on women between the ages of 25 and 35. Determining factors can include genetics -- take a look at Mami’s hormonal factors -- and the reality is that as women get older, the skin thins and loosens, making cellulite more visible. 

2. Cellulite only affects women who are overweight.

Cellulite can affect naturally thin women who don’t exercise or eat a healthy diet. Cellulite is determined by the structure of skin, so weight is not a direct cause of cellulite. Excess weight and a buildup of fat, however, may make cellulite more visible.

3. Lifestyle is irrelevant.

Cellulite can worsen with unhealthy lifestyle choices. Stress, smoking, a high-fat diet and even overexposure to el sol can contribute to the severity of cellulite. Consume plenty of agua, whole grains, greens like broccoli and asparagus, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and berries to help eliminate cellulite-causing toxins from the body. Finally, your tans may initially mask the appearance of cellulite, but over time, harmful UV rays can weaken the skin and worsen dimples.

4. Cardio reduces the appearance of cellulite.

Fat-burning cardio is great for heart health and increasing circulation, but other exercise routines may be more beneficial for reducing cellulite. Build lean muscle and tone problem areas with strengthening routines. Short, high-intensity workouts that integrate weights, such as lunges, squats or resistance bands, will build smooth muscle tissue in your back, behind, thighs and hips.

5. Creams will cure cellulite.

Unfortunately, there is still no miracle cream to cure cellulite. In fact, there is no proven remedy for cellulite at all. Creams made to eliminate cellulite can help change the appearance of the skin, however, tightening and thickening the skin to make cellulite less visible. Look for ingredients such as caffeine and vitamin A.

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.