#mitúORIGINALS

#mituFIT: No Excuses! It’s Time for a Mind & Body Makeover

We created #mituFIT because we’re fat. OK, that’s not quite right and not very nice, but Latinos, like a large swath of the U.S. population, are overweight. Problem for us? Our obesity rate is higher than whites — 44.4 percent vs. 32.8 percent — and our rates for diabetes and stroke are also higher. Scary, yes, but it’s not a death sentence. Enter the #mituFIT Challenge, a wellness program to make yourself fit and have fun during the process.

What It Is

Photo Credit: lzf / iStock

#mituFIT Challenge is a body and mind makeover that’s as simple as getting up in the morning. All you need is the desire to get fit. Swap some meals for healthier options, and get moving with some basic fitness routines. The goal is to improve your fitness by summer, but it all starts with today.

Why You Need #mituFIT

Photo Credit: svedoliver / iStock

The numbers show the obesity rate for Latinos, both men and women, is higher than that for whites. Combine with being overweight and it jumps to more than 77 percent, according to a Trust for America’s Health report. 13.2 percent of Latinos over age 18 have diabetes compared with 7.6 percent of over-18 Whites, while Latinos, Mexican Americans in particular, suffer 43 percent more from stroke.

Running Out Front

Photo Credit: mitú Network

Helping to lead the #mituFIT Challenge is Yovana Mendoza, or “Rawvana” to you and me. Rawvana is a Mexican-American from San Diego and a raw food advocate. She studied at the Living Light Institute and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and her aim is to “spread the message of health.”

How It Works

Photo Credit: klenova / iStock

The #mituFIT Challenge is designed to motivate you with easy routines for exercise, nutrition and overall wellness. The program runs from March to May and will feature daily challenges, videos and social media posts. Rawvana has solicited the help of some friends and influencers, who will also be taking the challenge to help motivate you every step of the way.

Who Is In

Looking good! ???????? Poniéndome a tono para empezar el reto #MituFit con todo ????????

A photo posted by Maiah Ocando (@maiahocando) on

The Pot of Gold

Photo Credit: IakovKalinin / iStock

What’s in it for you? Aside from feeling better, possibly dropping a pound or two and regaining your overall health, there is a prize — a trip to Mexico. To be eligible to win, you must do all challenges, take pictures and upload to social using #mituFIT.

The Timing of #mituFIT

Photo Credit: Dirima / iStock

Now’s the time to get started on your health. While the program has been in the “warm-up” phase for the past couple of weeks, the challenge officially begins on Monday, March 16.

The Social Web

Credit: mituLIFE / YouTube

Weekly videos in English and Spanish will air on YouTube with Rawvana. Influencers are sharing challenge acceptance videos to their Facebook pages and mitú’s Instagram will feature “swap-it” pictures. Recipes, exercises and more swap-its will be posted to mitu’s Pinterest while mitú’s Vine will provide an insider, behind-the-scenes look.

Stay Connected

La caminata del día de hoy y una vista preciosa! #mitufit #ejercicio #subidita A photo posted by Cris Ordaz (@mymakeupcorner) on

Recipes

Photo Credit: IgorDutina & juliedeshaies / iStock

Swapping is an essential piece to #mituFIT because food is not only the fuel to your success, but the vehicle to get you through the challenge. With #mituFit you’ll learn to make small, but significant changes to your diet, such as swapping cinnamon tea for your morning coffee, or opting for carob powder instead of chocolate, even reaching for stuffed peppers instead of chips.

Workouts

Photo Credit: warrengoldswain / iStock

Whatever you put in, you have to burn off. Exercise is another integral component of this challenge. Workouts will include simple sit-ups or squats, even jumping jacks, push-ups and burpees. It’s about movements that you can do anywhere.

Challenges

¿cómo va el calentamiento para el reto #mituFIT? ¿todo el mundo listo para este próximo lunes?

A video posted by MiTú Network (@mitunetwork) on

Communicate

Where to Find #mituFIT

YouTube Videos in English

YouTube Videos in Spanish

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Vine

Pinterest

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

Culture

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

I can literally talk food until my babas drip. Don’t judge. The comelón life chose me and I’m not mad at it. Because growing up Latino meant breakfast wasn’t always cereal, and dinner wasn’t always mac and cheese. I grew up con más sabor en mis platillos than most Americans. And, at the time, I didn’t even realize that many of the foods my family was trying to get me to eat were ancestral foods. From chocolate to cocoa and chia to nopalitos, I blame los ancestros for my obsession with food and all the glorious ingredients that have been passed down for generations.

My knees already feel weak, fam, because today I’m gonna be talking nopalitos. Ya me estoy chupando los dedos, thinking back to how I grew up with these babies always in the refri in that Nopalitos jar, ready to be thrown into a sauce or encima de una carne asada. It turns out this soul-feeding food is one of the OG ancestral foods that have been used by our people for thousands of years. Ahí les va un poco de historia:

The Mexica introduced the world to the “fruit of the Earth.”

In Náhuatl, the word for nopal translates to “fruit of the Earth.” I don’t know what the Náhuatl word for “bomb-delicioso” is, but in my opinion, that should also be the name for nopales. And the Aztecs must have felt this way too because one of the most famous cities in the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlán, the empire’s religious center – was named “prickly pear on a rock.” Iconic.

According to legend, the city was built after an Azteca priest spotted an eagle perched on a nopal plant, carrying a snake in its mouth. The priest, obviously extremadamente blown away by this, ran back to his village just so he could gather everyone to check out this crazy eagle with a snake in its mouth. As they watched, the cactus beneath the eagle grew into an island – eventually becoming Tenochtitlán. I’ll give you 3 seconds to just process that. 1…2…3. Please take more time if you need it. The image of the eagle carrying a snake, its golden talons perched on a nopal growing from a rock, can now be found on the Mexican flag.

Today, we know that the Mexica were right to call nopales the plant of life.

In Mexico, it’s still common to place a handful of nopal flowers in a bath to help relax achy muscles. And nopales are becoming more popular than ever in beauty treatments to help fight aging. But, y’all are too beautiful to be needing them for that, so let’s talk about what’s important — eating them.

There are so many ways you can mix this iconic ingredient into your meals.

We should all be eating our green foods. Your tía, your abuela, your primo, everyone…except your ex. Your ex can eat basura. I said what I said. But, nopalitos are especially important. These tenacious desert plants can be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled, grilled – they’re even used as pizza toppings. Though for some people, nopales – with their spines and texture – can be intimidating. After cutting off the spines and edges, and cutting them into slices, they will bleed a clear slime. But boiling for 20 minutes will take care of that. Or make it even easier on yourself and avoid espinas by buying them all ready-to-go from the brand we all know and love, DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos.

Check it out, I’m even gonna hook it up with that good-good, because if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your nopales, I got’chu with some starter links to recipes: Hibiscus and Nopal Tacos, Nopal Tostadas, Roasted Nopales con Mole, and Lentil Soup con Nopales.  One of my personal favorite ways to eat them is in a beautiful Cactus Salad, full of color and flavor. Trust. I rate these dishes 10 out of 10, guaranteed to make your babas drip, and when you eat this ensalada de nopalitos, you will remember even your ancestors were dripping babas over this waaay before it was cool to eat plant-based foods.

So let’s give the poderoso nopal the spotlight it deserves by adding it to our shopping lists more often.

Rich in history, mythology, and practical uses, the nopal’s enduring popularity is a testament to its versatility. It’s time to give this classic ingredient the respect it deserves and recognize just how chingon our ancestors are for making nopales fire before plantbase foods were even trending.

Next time you’re at the supermercado, do your ancestors proud and add nopales to your shopping cart by picking up a jar of DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos. This easy-to-use food will definitely give you a major boost of pride in your roots. Viva los nopalitos bay-beh!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

mitúCares: Babes Of Wellness Wins Grant To Help Domestic Violence Survivors Heal Mentally And Physically

Things That Matter

mitúCares: Babes Of Wellness Wins Grant To Help Domestic Violence Survivors Heal Mentally And Physically

As our community works to beat and recover from the Covid pandemic, mitúCares wants to help those helping our community in this time. We asked all of you to nominate people who were making our community better with their work and you delivered. mitú is proud to announce that Babes in Wellness is one of two winners for the mitúCares grant program.

Babes of Wellness is more than a fitness business.

Founder Kat Novoa started Babes of Wellness with a vision to help people achieve wellness as well as physical fitness. Novoa started Babes of Wellness in South LA as an extension of her work as a domestic violence advocacy.

“I became a domestic violence advocate back in 2016 and in volunteering in these shelters and providing complimentary fitness classes for the survivors of violence that were at these shelters, I realized that fitness wasn’t enough for them. Once I introduced them to mindfulness practices like meditation, journaling, just affirmations, I really noticed a change in them and a shift in their mindset.”

Novoa noticed that the fitness industry was not a place that allowed for the mindful healing that can happen while engaged in physical fitness. The male-dominated industry wasn’t built to help with that kind of work.

“Women have been stigmatized for so long and sexualized because of our bodies,” Novoa says. “There’s not really an emphasis, especially in a male-dominated industry like the fitness industry, to take care of and tend to our emotional needs, our spiritual needs all in one place.”

The fitness professional wanted to make sure she helped the community that made her.

Novoa grew up in South LA and there was nothing the community like Babes of Wellness. She saw this as an opportunity to bring something to her community that will help people heal and grow, especially after 2020.

The pandemic has devastated low-income communities and communities of color. Our community has experienced the disproportionate impact of Covid with mounting deaths and financial losses. Unemployment surged and hospitals filled with our loved ones leaving a lot of damage and trauma from which we still need to collectively heal.

“Me, myself, I recently lost my dad due to Covid and I think that for me now that my business and the mission has really changed in the last few months for me,” Novoa recalls. “Now, more than ever, I feel even more passionate about helping our community and really teaching them these principles where they haven’t been taught. They’ve never had access or resources to someone who looks like them that cares about them and knows their struggles.”

Novoa plans to use the same skills and tools she uses to help survivors of domestic violence to find peace to help others heal. The boutique fitness studio is a place where people can find peace while working up a sweat.

Knowing that her work is helping people is the most important part of her day.

Novoa is moved by every client that tells her how much they get out of the work they do with her. Her plan is to make sure that everyone can get to their goals while enjoying the work.

“There was a girl that followed me on Instagram for a really really long time. Years. Prior to me going into this industry though mutual friends,” Novoa recalls. “She saw my journey and she thought 1) she looks like me 2) she’s female in a male-dominated industry 3) she’s Latina 4) she works with survivors of violence. She was a survivor of violence herself. She was overweight and she was really really insecure and she never thought that in her life she could look and feel and be the way that she is.”

Two years later and Novoa is still working with the client.

Congratulations, Kat!

READ: Domestic Violence Victims Have Been Using Code Words At Pharmacies To Escape Abusers During Lockdowns

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com