Culture

15 Quick, Easy, and Healthy Foods to Eat This Winter

These 15 foods are good for your body, and they don’t involve much time in the kitchen. It can be tempting to sit down on the couch, watch tv, and wolf down too much junk food, especially when the weather gets colder.  As Americans, we tend to make poor choices when it comes to what we eat, choosing food that tastes good in the moment but doesn’t have much in the way of nutrition. And type 2 diabetes, a disease tied to poor eating habits, has a disproportionate impact in the Latinx community.1 So here are 15 foods that you should be eating more of – and why.

Bagel with Peanut Butter and Honey

Instagram @blackseedbagels

Just toast a bagel and then spread natural* peanut butter on it. Top it off with a bit of honey. If you like banana, you can slice one up and throw some on the bagel too. Peanut butter is a solid source of protein, and it’s low-carb. It also has vitamins: E, B3, B5, and B6.2 Honey has several types of antioxidants which help your body fight disease. It also contains less sugar per gram than regular sugar. 3

*there should only be one ingredient in your peanut butter – peanuts.

Oatmeal

Pixabay @iha31


Oatmeal can be microwaved as long as you don’t use steel-cut oats. Just put the oats in a bowl, add just enough water to cover them, and microwave for a few minutes. Done. Optional – throw a bit of milk, some agave, and some fruit on top for breakfast (or dinner, no judgement). If you don’t have fresh fruit, you can use frozen, just add it to the oats and water before microwaving. Oatmeal has high levels of several minerals and contains antioxidants. And because it is so filling, it has been linked to weight loss.4

Oranges and Bananas

Pixabay @elljay


It doesn’t get much simpler than this – just peel and eat. Oranges have Vitamin C and antioxidants.5 Bananas have been shown to help with weight loss and help moderate blood sugar levels.6

Spinach Salad

Pixabay @showmeyourflowers


A quick and easy salad – spinach, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and croutons. For dressing, splash on a bit of olive oil and any type of vinegar. Add salt and pepper if desired. Buying prewashed spinach will help save time, otherwise, be sure to rinse thoroughly, as spinach tends to have dirt clinging to it when you bring it home. Vitamins A, B6, B9, C, E, and K1 are all found in spinach. It also is an excellent source of iron, and has antioxidants that have been linked to slowing the aging process of our cells. Finally, it helps with your eyesight and has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Roasted Garlic

Pixabay @remcoosculiflower


Roasted garlic is a gourmet food that is crazy simple to make.  Take the garlic, brush off the outer skin, cut the very top off, dip it in olive oil, place it on tin foil, and throw it in the oven at ~400 degrees.  Take it out about a half hour later, and you’ll have mushy garlic goodness that you can spread on some bread or add to pretty much any vegetable dish. Garlic helps prevent colds, improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and is associated with a longer lifespan.

Vegetable Soup

Instagram @ralphsfarmmarket


Surprisingly easy to make, and super quick if you can buy your veggies pre-chopped. You can literally use whatever vegetables you want. In the winter, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion are all available and a nice place to start. Just combine the vegetables and water in a large pan, bring to a boil and then lower the temp to medium. Cook until the veggies are tender.  If you have any oregano, basil, or chili powder, go ahead and throw some in there. Adding a splash of soy sauce will give it more depth. Carrots have Vitamin A which is beneficial for your eyesight. 9 Celery has numerous antioxidants.10Onions have been linked to a decreased risk in certain cancers.

Lemons or Limes

Pixabay @congerdesign


Tired of plain water? Toss in a bit of lemon or lime juice. You’ll get hydrated plus you’ll have the benefits of citrus. Lemons and limes contain vitamin C, which has been shown to help fight colds. They also contain antioxidants, so they’re an ally against many types of chronic diseases.

Omelette

Pixabay @mhburton


Contrary to popular belief, eggs + vegetables and (a little bit of) cheese is a healthy choice.  Just add the eggs to a lightly buttered or oiled frying pan, throw in some chopped veggies, and heat on medium until cooked.  Add a little bit of cheese on top immediately after cooking. If the cheese doesn’t melt, you’ve got too much on there.  Add some jalapeños for additional nutritious benefits. The egg whites and the yolk are both good for you.  Egg whites are filled with protein. And nutritionists tell us that egg yolks “contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body…”. And eggs do not increase your cholesterol.13 Jalapeños, or any chiles you’d like to use, contain capsaicin, which actually increases the amount of fat your body burns.

Coconut Water

Pixabay @Gadini


Another incredibly easy food to prepare, coconut water is found in young coconuts. Just punch a small hole in a coconut and pour its water into a glass. Or take a reusable straw, push it right into the soft part of the coconut, and drink from there. Coconut water is just as good for you as any sports drink for hydration and replacing your electrolytes.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

pixabay @skeeze


When making mushroom soup, it’s best to have at least 2 types of mushrooms.  Clean them and cut them up.  Then put them in a pot, along with some onions and a bit of oil. Cook on medium heat until the onions soften. Then add soy, almond, or cashew milk. (You can also use cow’s milk, but then you have to be careful not to overheat it). Continue cooking on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper, and you’re done. There are many benefits to eating mushrooms.  They contain antioxidants, B vitamins, copper, potassium, and beta glucan. Beta-glucan reduces your risk of Type 2 Diabetes, improves cholesterol, and benefits your heart.

Broccoli with Lemon

Instagram @dietistensval

Take some broccoli and toss it in lemon juice, then heat in a lightly oiled frying pan for a few minutes on medium heat. That’s it. Broccoli has vitamins A, B9, C, and K. It also has sulforaphane, which has been tied to slowing down the aging process.

Stir Fry

pixabay @caramiagudelis0


Veggies + Oil + Skillet = Stir Fry.  Again, buying pre-cut veggies will save you time here but either way, it’s simple to prepare. Just toss the vegetables in a pan that is lightly coated with oil. Cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat – until veggies are tender. Like the vegetable soup, what vegetables you use are completely up to you – pretty much any combo works but get some bok choy in there if you can.  Some other ideas are bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, green beans, and onion. The reason you want bok choy is because it contains phytonutrients, which are tied to a reduction in risk of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Avocado Toast

Pixabay @tommileew


There’s a reason why avocado toast has been a favorite these last few years – it’s good for you and takes less than 5 minutes to make. Peel an avocado and spread it on whole grain toast*.  Commence eating.  The avocado has a lot of potassium which acts as an electrolyte. Electrolytes keep your fluids in balance, and your nervous system in proper working order.

*If possible, do not use white bread as it has little nutritional value and is high in sugar.

Fruit & Yogurt Bowl

Pixabay @shnomoe


Put about a cup of plain Greek yogurt in a bowl, throw some berries on top, and add a dash of sweetener for a healthy fruit-based yogurt. By making it yourself, you avoid the preservatives and unhealthy sweeteners commonly found in single-serving packages of yogurt. Berries are low calorie, contain antioxidants, and have been linked to prevention of several types of cancer.20 Greek yogurt has a lot of protein and very few carbs or fats. It also has calcium, which is good for your bones and teeth. Greek yogurt also helps keep your stomach on point, is associated with weight loss, and helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

Hot Chocolate

Instagram @ketowithcherryl


Congratulations, you made it to the end of the list! As your reward, here’s a type of food that you probably thought was terrible for you, but is actually really good for you. Dark chocolate. To make hot chocolate, drop a tablespoon of cocoa powder (found in the baking aisle) into a mug, add milk, and microwave.  Once it is heated up, stir and the cocoa will dissolve. At this point, you can add a sweetener like stevia if you’d like.  If you have any flavorings like vanilla, almond, or cinnamon, those can all be tasty additions as well. Chocolate contains tons of different antioxidants, lowers your risk of heart disease, and can help with memory problems.22 And while this version of hot chocolate isn’t Abuelita™, it is definitely abuela-approved.  

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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