• Courtesy Nohelia SiddonsCourtesy Nohelia SiddonsWith a growing obesity epidemic in children, fitness expert Nohelia Siddons recommends discovering what motivates our kids in order to find new and fun ways to encourage healthy habits.

    Nutrition: How can parents make eating healthy an appealing choice?

    · Play with your food!: Make meal time fun. Be creative when putting dinner together; try making animal shapes or funny objects; make "carritos" (or cars) out of a piece of lowfat cheese with a piece of fruit or vegetable on top. Siddons likes to play "Who's the biggest rabbit" with her 5 year- old son: whoever eats the most veggies at dinner, wins.

    Fun and games to help your child learn about nutrition

    · Cook with your child: Involve your children in the food preparation process. Not only will they learn new skills, they will also relate food and cooking to a good family memory.

    · Make smart choices in restaurants: Pick the healthier items on the menu for yourself and your child, and enjoy what you eat during your

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  • A recent CDC study revealed that Latino children are becoming obese at an alarming rate, with Hispanic boys ages 2-19 more likely to become obese than children of other US ethnic groups. We reached out to Miami-based family and children fitness coach Nohelia Siddons to find out more about this growing problem and what steps families can take to fight obesity at home.


    Possible explanations:

    · The gorditos philosophy: The Latin American notion that a plump child is a healthy one ("los niños gorditos son niños saludables") may have have its roots in that many years ago the skinniest children got sick frequently or even died from malnutrition. We know now that's no longer the case, yet we've got some tias who still love to pinch our cheeks and abuelas who insist on keeping you fed at all hours of the day.

    · Lack of physical activity: According to a recent study, Hispanic kids spend more time in front of the TV than playing outside with their friends. Add to that the

    Read More »from Telling Fat, No Más: Confronting the Obesity Epidemic Affecting Our Kids
  • (13/iStockphoto)(13/iStockphoto)I'm willing to bet that no matter how modern you consider yourself to be, you have "knocked on wood" or touched a Buddha's belly to avoid bad luck. And while fairly common, not all superstitions are created equal. In this country, the superstitions we share may have more than one version depending on a person's given culture or background. Take for example Friday the 13th; while Americans consider Friday as the day to avoid, Hispanics shiver at having to go out on a Martes 13 (or Tuesday the 13th). Cross your fingers and let's wish for the best as we take a look at the possible sources for our fear of 13 and how superstitions are interpreted around the world.

    The story behind 13

    There are a number of instances in lore and literature that have made 13 the number to avoid. In the Last Supper, Judas Iscariot, the odd thirteenth man, betrayed Jesus. In Cabbala and in Nordic folklore there are 13 bad spirits, while in the Tarot the number refers to death; in the Bible, Revelation Chapter

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  • Getting into a new mortgage after losing a home may be difficult, but not impossible. Find out what you'll need to buy your next house and make it last.

    The housing crisis, and its consequent credit crisis, has affected virtually every family in this country; Hispanics have particularly taken a substantial financial hit. According to the Pew Research Center, the average equity on a Hispanic-owned home dropped to $49,145 in 2009 from nearly $100,000 four years prior. The burst of the housing bubble added to massive job layoffs led to a nationwide financial disaster. By 2009, the average wealth of Hispanics dropped 66% compared to the 16% drop suffered by whites and 53% by blacks.

    (The American Dream/iStockphoto)(The American Dream/iStockphoto)So, how do you recover if you were caught in the downward spiral? How do you start again?

    With these questions in mind we approached CNN financial commentator and Yahoo! Finanzas columnist Xavier Serbia to find out how to deal with a foreclosure and what steps you can take to restore your credit

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  • I always had big birthdays growing up in Puerto Rico; my mom and my grandma made sure I had lots of balloons, a nice cake with matching dress and lots of amiguitos. I still remember my fifth birthday party when my abuela had the neighborhood "cake lady" match the bizcocho to the exact blue of my dress.

    Planning the Perfect Quinceañero

    Of mothers and becoming a grown-up

    So, you can imagine what a big deal my Quinceañero was gearing up to be. It was supposed to be a small gathering at home to celebrate my turning 15, but this one was in my Mami's hands- literally. She was sewing my dress, her best friend was on stand-by to make a multi-tiered cake, and grandma kept adding dishes to the already stretched-out menu. Less than a week before the big event, I march into my mother's room, eyes moist, heavy breathing- just like your garden variety sufrida de telenovela- and tell her, "I'm sorry, but I don't want a Quinces birthday party." Nobody had even asked me if I wanted this

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  • John StavropoulosJohn StavropoulosGrowing up in New England, Venezuelan Terry Romero had struggled with her weight throughout her teenage years and decided it was time to eat healthier. Motivated by her vegetarian friends, the poor treatment of meat market animals and a move to New York during the 90's sealed her decision to become a vegetarian. "After a couple of years of being vegetarian I already wanted to cut out dairy and eggs. Some of the cookbooks at the time, if they didn't have meat, they would put like 10 eggs [into a recipe]. And I was saying to myself, I don't like that either…this isn't really very healthy," says Romero, who wanted her first solo cookbook to show her passion for Latin American cooking. 

    Viva Vegan! is born

    The cuisine of her ethnic background has so much to offer, she says. As a matter of fact, she had her first vegetarian meal in a Venezuelan restaurant during the 1980's. Impressed by the vegetarian transformation of traditional dishes, Romero felt restaurants the U.S. weren't

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  • By: Chef Ariel Rodriguez Palacios


    It's the million dollar question: How can I prepare a different meal every day? Virtually everyone struggles with avoiding the culinary rut; it's time to cook lunch or dinner, and you don't know what to make anymore.

    I will give you several ideas below so you can excel every day and keep your family happy. The secret is to switch-up recipes, try other cooking methods, add different side dishes and sauces, and incorporate new ingredients.

    I know, you love cooking but you don't always have the chance to experiment or risk ruining your meal. That's OK. The first step is to fill your pantry with enough ingredients to prepare a delicious dish quickly and easily, anytime you want. Nowadays, practicality must come first.

    The first thing is to do some smart shopping. Buy everything on your grocery list, but don't forget to add a few cans of tuna, kernel corn and lentils; cake mix with a distant expiration date; a variety of pre-made gravies

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  • Makes about a dozen 6-inch dough rounds
    Time: About 35 minutes, not including the chilling time

    This produces a pastry crust that can be baked or fried and filled with just about anything for delightful empanadas. Although you put it together like a pie crust, this dough is less fussy, more forgiving. The result is a tender crust that's not overly flaky or greasy and is up to the task of holding even the juiciest fillings in place. There is no denying that making empanadas-especially mixing, rolling, and cutting out the dough-can be time consuming. Make time work for you by putting together some (or even all) of the components a day in advance. I highly recommend mixing, chilling, and cutting the dough the night before, so that when it's empanada time, you can focus on making the filling and baking them.

    CREAMY CORN-FILLED EMPANADAS (EMPANADAS HUMITAS)CREAMY CORN-FILLED EMPANADAS (EMPANADAS HUMITAS)Tip: Drop a few ice cubes in the water for colder water that helps keep the gluten strands in the dough shorter. Shorter gluten equals a more tender pastry. And tender pastry

    Read More »from Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Wheat Empanada Dough Recipe
  • Makes about a dozen 6-inch empanadas
    Time: About 1 hour, not including making

    Empanadas are a real treat stuffed with a creamy corn filling, a favorite filling in Argentina and Chile. Humitas is the name for a whole family of baked or steamed foods made with pureed fresh corn that are found all over South America, and they're so good you'll feel as if you're getting away with something with every delicious bite. As with most regional recipes, there are many variations on how chefs like to season their humitas; I like adding chives, green onion, or even spring garlic scapes for zesty pungent zing in the sweet corn filling.

    1 recipe Wheat Empanada Dough (see recipe here), cut into 6-inch rounds
    3 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
    3 tablespoons finely chopped chives, garlic scapes, or green onions
    1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
    5 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed and drained, if frozen; removed from 6 to 8 ears of corn if fresh)

    Read More »from Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Creamy Corn-Filled Empanadas (Empanadas Humitas)
  • Serves 4, or 2 to 3 really hungry hombres
    Time: About 30 minutes
    • Gluten Free, Soy Free

    Posole is a Mexican long-simmered stew chock full of history, endless variations of ingredients and the common thread of hominy. And sometimes you need hot posole stew and you need it . . . almost now! Posole loves to be topped with lots of salad-like ingredients-crunchy cabbage, radishes, avocado-that coolly contrast with the soothing, warm tomato stew below. I'm a fan of canned hominy for fast and easy posole making. The canned stuff just requires a brief rinse to use, is cheap, and is ready for whenever you need this quick cooking posole.

    Tip: If you have a little more time, try roasting any dried red chile (or two or three) for really flavorful Quick Red Posole with BeansQuick Red Posole with Beansposole.

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large poblano chile or green Cubanelle pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
    1 teaspoon red chile powder, such as

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