Coach Leti chooses recipes based on flavor, ease of attaining ingredients, ease of cooking instruction, and the nutritional element offered. Some of the recipes are originals by her or her family, and others are from various resources that she has fallen in love with. So grab a glass of wine, light a candle, turn up the music, and head to the kitchen!!!
Fusion of Love and Flavor
Get ready to take out a pen a paper so you can create a chart to keep up with me, as I explain my background!
I am Colombian born, right from Bogota, the capital. At the age of approximately 18 months I was adopted into Italian-American family and brought to the US and raised in NYC. When I was a teenager, my friend introduced me to a Portuguese-Indian guy an who would become my husband a year later. Soon after, we started a family, which would eventually consist of 2 kids. Due to the diversity, I always joked that they were very confused ethnically! Do you have whiplash?!?!
This all translates into very diverse food in my kitchen! Your taste buds can travel the world in just a week if you stay over my house! Sunday may include antipasto or caprese salad followed by gravy, penne pasta with meatballs and pork braciola. A few days later, you may find Chana Masala (chick pea curry), and later on in the same week, you may be served Arroz con Coco y Lentejas (coconut rice and lentils).
I will admit since becoming a health coach, things have changed a bit! We still eat international but not quite as rich. We tend to lean more toward the vegetarian and healthier dishes as my husband does have diabetes. He is not currently on medication and it is my goal is to keep it that way!
The health issues that have plagued my home have been the major motivators for our lifestyle change. I’ll be the first to admit, when you love food, change does not come easy but with love, the right attitude and time it has happened. Not every day is perfect and that’s okay, we live by the 80/20 rule and the motto that, “life isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress” by Brendon Bruchard. This is a theory I strongly stand behind when coaching others towards a healthier lifestyle.
Lastly I encourage all of my clients and you who are reading this to try to change your view of cooking if you’re one of those people that hate to cook. Yes, cooking for a family can be stressful, especially when everybody likes and wants something different or when you have a hectic schedule, BUT what I encourage you to do is maybe once a week, either by yourself, with the kids or even your significant other, make your dinner and prep a special event. What I mean, is make it a time to do an activity together. Here are some tips:
- put some music on….no TV
- have a glass of wine if that is something you enjoy
- light a candle or two (not scented)
- break out the china, even if it’s just the two of you!
- Dress the table up nice and fancy…get creative!
- share the prepping, one washes the veggies, the other chops
- simply have fun, dance, laugh, taste with your fingers, smell the ingredients, and serve it pretty, like they do in the restaurants (doesn’t have to be perfect but try, put the effort in. Remember food is about the senses, smell, taste, look and yes, touch, even the texture is fun!
- don’t worry about making it perfect, leave that up to the fancy restaurants.
- if prepping with kids, let them have fun.
- let them get their hands dirty.
- studies show if you rename the foods with fun names, kids tend to want to try it and will like it more as opposed to the same foods with the normal names.
- let them explore and taste while they prep.
- let them make their own combinations, even if you think it’s gross. Let them figure it out.
- don’t yell if they spill or make a mess.
- have them help clean up afterwards
Prepping a meal as a family even with preschoolers, teaches them more than you could ever know. It gives them self-confidence, it strengthens family bonds, it sends them a message that they are important, it teaches teamwork, it gives you a chance to teach about food while your prepping and it gives them a chance to ask questions about food and explore their taste buds. To this day I LOVE when my kids, now 30 and 24 years old, help me in the kitchen and I LOVE date nights when my husband and I prep our meal together! Hope I didn’t bore you and I hope you found some of these tips helpful!
"In food excellent medicine can be found, in food bad medicine can be found,
good and bad are relative"
an excerpt from De Alimento
This is one of my favorites because it is quick and easy and completely heart healthy! Avocado is considered a healthy fat that scrubs the vessel walls! It is also leaves you feeling full for hours. You can have fun with this super easy recipe and alter it to your own liking.
*Expert tip: squeeze a little fresh lemon or lime, you can even use it from the bottle to keep it from turning that ugly brown!