Fall Feasts… Yes, I’m Talking About Posole.

I’m having a difficult time grasping the fact that the weather is changing here in Chicago (Still trying to block out all memories of the Polar Vortex last year), but alas, the leaves are changing and it’s time to bundle up. I may be the only one in their 20’s who despises pumpkin spice lattes, but my tables, pantry and protein shakes have all been featuring a bit of orange and spice lately.

Since the start of Fall, I’ve taken it upon myself to try a different soup recipe every week. I’m still catching up on these as I tend to breeze past the photo-taking phase and jump into the vamos a comer phase. One of my favorites is a traditional Latin soup called posole or pozole, depending on where you’re from. Although made with chiles, the soup is not particularly spicy and offers a lot of bold, fresh flavors.

Every familia has their own adaptation of the soup, so there really are no wrong answers here. If you try it, be sure to tag @healthylatina or #healthylatina so I can see how it turned out! Enjoy!

#healthylatina chicken posole

Note: you will need a blender for this recipe and it’s enough to serve 8-10 people

Posole Pollo Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 oz dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (two small packages)
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 25 cloves of garlic (I promise this is real)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons oregano (Mexican if you can find it)
  • 1 package of defrosted chicken breasts
  • 1 large can of hominy
  • 1 cabbage
  • 2 small radishes
  • Several avocados 1/3 per person served
  • Several limes
  • EVOO (Channeling my inner Rachel Ray)

Directions

  • Pour a little EVOO in a large pot and add the large onion pieces and whole garlic cloves. Allow to sizzle for a few minutes while stirring to avoid burning
  • Add the 10 cups of chicken broth, oregano and 3/4 of the cilantro and let the broth boil. Add the chicken to the pot and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes (check the chicken, as necessary)
  • Using a strainer spoon, separate the cilantro, garlic cloves and onions from the broth. Place in the blender and mix with a little bit of chicken broth. Blend until smooth and add back to the large pot of chicken broth
  • Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and use a fork to shred. When finished, add back to the pot of chicken broth

For the chiles

  • Using tongs, hold the dried chiles over the stove top flame like you’re flipping a tortilla. Allow to briefly toast (without setting on fire)
    • I’ve skipped this step before and haven’t been able to notice the difference in taste, so if you need a shortcut, you won’t lose any flavor
  • In a separate pot filled with water, boil the chiles for 30 minutes. Drain the chiles and place in the blender adding a ladle of the chicken broth
  • Blend until smooth and pour the contents into a shallow pan. Cook for about 10 minutes. Using a strainer, place a large bowl underneath and pour the contents into the strainer to “catch” the liquid in the bowl underneath. This separates the skin of the chiles so you don’t get a gritty feeling with the soup
  • Add the chiles to the large pot of soup and add the hominy as well. Allow to boil for an additional 10 minutes and you’re set to serve!

For serving

  • Slice the avocados, radishes, cabbage and the limes and use the additional cilantro to garnish
  • Allow your familia to pick and choose what they want to add to the soup and enjoy!

 

 

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Class Pass Comes to Chicago

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to check out a new fitness craze that’s popping up around the United States. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be fairly indecisive when choosing what workout I want to accomplish. Some days its yoga, most days it’s running and every so often I’m up for a Crossfit class. Living like this in the city can get expensive, especially when your amiga runs out of gym guest passes and you’re left spotting the $25 “intro” fee each time. Estoy aqui que decir, there’s a better way!

Post-FlyWheel class and clearly #livingthesweatylife

Post-FlyWheel class and clearly #livingthesweatylife

Class Pass Launch

I attended the ClassPass launch event at FlyWheel Chicago in Gold Coast. I hadn’t taken a FlyWheel class before but I walked into it with the general understanding that it was a spin class. I was wrong. This isn’t your typical just “change your resistence” class. This was a full-on battle of the legs, butt, arms, power and competitive spirit. And it’s a lifestyle. Everywhere I turned, the #NeverCoast motto was there como un signo telling me I could do more and try a little harder. We used weights, we were competitive and we danced… all on a bike.

How it Works

Through the ClassPass site, you get access to an extensive list of boutique gyms in your area for one price. If you want an aerial workout one day, pilates the next, spin and then a barre class; you can have it. Best of all, you schedule your classes online and are guaranteed a spot. It’s the ideal choice for a chica on the go who doesn’t want to get stuck in a workout rut.

I briefly had a chance to speak with co-founder Mary Biggins about the company and where they are currently available. They’re working to expand their reach, so look for this new alternative in your area soon! Be sure to send a shout out to @classpass and let them know you’re looking for them and #livingthesweatylife.

With a ClassPass trial, I had the chance to attend a few more FlyWheel classes and check out another gym in the area called Shred 415 which offers interval workouts using a 4 stations, 15 minutes format. ClassPass is helping manage the cost of a membership to a list of boutique gyms without imposing any workout limitations or breaking your budget.

When was the last time you tried something new?

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The Healthy Latina has been nominated for the Latina 30 Under 30 Award!!

Opening up an email from Latina Magazine is exciting enough, but when you get one that says you’re nominated for the Latina 30 Under 30 award, IT TAKES THE CAKE!

I hope you can imagine my squeals of excitement!!

30 Under 30

After looking into the contest a little more (and swooning over the fact that my name is next to Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez and Naya Rivera), I realized the winners get to attend a celebrity event AND get a feature in the January issue of Latina!

Voting continues through the end of September and you can vote once a day. Check out the page here and vote for the Healthy Latina blog here!!!

Saludos y abrazos to everyone who continues to support and read The Healthy Latina Blog!

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Will Run for Chocolate: Hot Chocolate 15/ 5K Race Entry Giveaway

It’s time for another giveaway! If you haven’t already heard of America’s Sweetest Race (see previous post) the Hot Chocolate 15/5K race is coming to Chicago in just a few weeks! And I’ve got the golden ticket!!

If you love running, love chocolate or love both, this is the perfect way to welcome Fall and get in the holiday spirit. Whether you’re in Chicago, Columbus, Phoenix, St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Philly or San Diego, the Hot Chocolate 15/5K giveaway applies to you! Check out the Hot Chocolate 15/5K website for information on race dates and let me know where you’d like to attend. Winner will be chosen by 10/24! 

Of course, I’m secretly hoping the finish line will be serving Abuelita’s Hot Chocolate. Think it’ll happen?

Entering to win is incredibly easy!

Comment below with your favorite Hot Chocolate tradition, recipe or memory or send a tweet to @healthylatina using the hashtag #WillRunForChocolate to win! 

I love the marshmallow man stress ball! Perfect for the holidays coming up!

I love the marshmallow man stress ball! Perfect for the holidays coming up!

You’re all winners!

Everyone who signs up for the race will receive a free travel mug at packet pick-up by using the code HEALTHYLATINAMUG!

Comment below or send a tweet! Hope to see you there!

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Catching the race bug…what’s next?

Is it just me or does everything revolve around running? I know I’m not the only one who gets asked what their weekend plans are and the response is in miles. There are thousands of runners in the United States and plenty of Latinas out to conquer the races.

Just today I’ve been cheering on my Latinas Saludables in San Francisco at the Nike Women’s Marathon. I ran among them last year and finished my first half marathon! If you aren’t already aware, the “race medal” is a Tiffany’s necklace. They know women all too well.

And since it was their 10th anniversary of holding the race in San Francisco, they opened up a special line of products this year. Behold, Nike X!

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Be sure to say congratulations to my fellow Latina health bloggers; Fit Latina–Alexandra Morbitzer, XoXo Lizza–Lizza Morales and Latino Fit Club–Carmen Melgoza as they finished the Nike Women’s Marathon this morning!

Upcoming Races

My next race is the Carrera de los Muertos or Race of the Dead in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood on November 2nd! If you’re in the area, sign up and support Latino health and Fitness through the United Neighborhood Organization. It’s a 5k and registration is still open! I’ve heard that many people dress up for an extended celebration of Día de los Muertos so I will be sure to take some pictures and share in my recap!

That same weekend, I’ve got another race on Sunday! It’s one of Chicago’s greatest race traditions; The Chicago Hot Chocolate Race! Also known as America’s Sweetest Race, the 15/5k is on November 3rd in Grant Park in the heart of the city! I am a Hot Chocolate Blogger for the race and will be hosting a giveaway! Look for an upcoming post with information on how you can you can win a free registration or receive a free mug for signing up!

Sweetest Race in America!

What races do you have coming up? Comment below!

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Twenty-Six Point Two: The Chicago Marathon

Last week, I completed my first full marathon! That’s 26.2 consecutive miles!! And I survived!!!

They don't have water at the finish line...

They don’t have water at the finish line…

I will admit, there were moments where I didn’t think I was going to finish it (I had a minor setback at the Mile 15 medical tent) but we’ll get to that later. I walked away from the finish line with a medal and a Goose Island 312 in my hand! Here are all the wonderful, fun, emotional, exhausting and beautiful things I experienced during the long race weekend.

Friday

I took the day off from work because my boyfriend was in town and I knew the expo and packet pickup was going to be a crazy time. If you’ve ever raced before, you know how huge and exciting these things can be. There are so many vendors, giveaways and new runners to meet. By the end of it all, you’re ready to race the moment you walk out the door!

EXCITED!

EXCITED!

That night, I also came across a new friend at the Blackhawk’s game! And Chicago won so that was a blast!

Tommy Hawk really liked me

Tommy Hawk has a thing for runners I guess

Saturday

Only one day left ’til race day so the last of the preparation was in order. And by preparation I mean eating and resting and eating and resting and then eating again and sleeping. My aunt and uncle took me to the Signature Room for lunch which is at the top of the John Hancock Building in Chicago. If you’re ever visiting, I would highly recommend stopping by for dinner or a drink at the Signature Lounge one floor up.

The view from the Signature Room

The view from the Signature Room

For dinner we went to Rosebud in Little Italy. It’s in the heart of my neighborhood and one of my favorites. This portion was enough to last me a few days.

Can you say carb-loading?

Can you say carb-loading?

Sunday

After months of training and eating well and testing out fueling techniques, the day had finally arrived!!! It was an early 4:45 a.m. rise time as the corral gear checks opened up at 5:30 a.m. I felt surprisingly ready and was focused more on the fact that it was freezing than being nervous.

I had a few friends coming into town for the race and met up with former ASU Sun Devil, Jessica! Here we are in front of the starting line.

So cold. So ready.

So cold. So ready.

After we crossed the line, all bets were off! I could not believe how many people were running! And even more people out on the streets of Chicago braving the cold to cheer on the crazy! I’m so thankful for the supporters because they push you to keep going no matter what! The whole experience was so inspirational.

Before the race, I was talking with a co-worker about how the most important aspect of racing is to appreciate the experience. As runners, we get so caught up in working hard and training for the best time we forget that it’s supposed to be fun and silly and enjoyable and it doesn’t matter what time you get as long as you have fun.

I'm a dork posing for my Tia to take a picture!

Posing for my Tia to take a picture!

Thank goodness for that conversation because I got stuck at Mile 15 with a minor setback and was in the medical tent for a good 20-30 minutes. I finished much later than I anticipated, but walked away with a great experience and plenty of room for improvement for the next race.

Sitting down and eating was wonderful!

Sitting down and eating was wonderful!

I was so blessed to have my family, friends and boyfriend to cheer me on during the race and am so grateful they were able to experience this with me. The Chicago Marathon also has a runner’s tracker so my family in Arizona was able to virtually be with me the whole way. I’ll never forget my parent’s call at the finish line to tell me how proud they are of me.

My aunt, uncles and cousin came out to cheer!

My aunt, uncles and cousin came out to cheer!

Also, the race winner’s swag was pretty cool too! I wanted to wear this out and about for the next week. I still can’t believe that I finished. I saw a great sign along the race and it read, “Pain is temporary but bragging rights are forever!” So with that, I leave you as the Healthy Latina AND Marathon finisher. Saludos, Latinas! When’s your next race?

My first medal!

My first medal!

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Fall Fashion: The Fitness Look Book

Today is the first day of autumn! In the spirit of all things fall, let’s talk about workout wear when the weather changes. The mornings are getting crisper, a hint of color is hitting the leaves, and I’m training for the Chicago marathon.

I used to be one of those chicas who cut up old t-shirts and ran in shorts from the little kids section of target because they were cheaper. Alright, I’m still one of those people, I just don’t leave the house without changing first.

At some point along my fitness journey, I discovered that with actual athletic clothing I’m more motivated to work out and hit the gym. And I’m fairly certain that you will be too. When you pull on those spandex leggings, it’s like everything is right in the world and you’re ready to conquer some serious [insert choice phrase here] kickboxing. I started asking for workout clothes for Christmas and birthdays and began picking up pieces here and there and eventually created a great collection of spring, summer and fall clothes for any workout.

For the record, Chicago is a very fashionable place. Latino Fashion week is coming up just in a few weeks as a matter of fact! It’s also a very cold place. And I’ve spent the last eight years “roughing” it out in the desert with warm weather and lots of sunshine. So in the spirit of high fashion, looking great and avoiding hypothermia while you glisten, check out these fashionable looks from Nike’s fall line in a cool page-by-page online booklet.

Recognize any familiar Chicago places?

Recognize any familiar Chicago places?

This week I took a trip after work over to the Nike store on Michigan Avenue and tried on some of the spotlight pieces for their fall line. You should know that I love so much about the Nike brand. The entire company is founded on the idea that anything is possible if you have the right mental and physical strength to do it. And the right tools to help you get there.

The dream

The dream

I believe that investing in quality is a lesson we all will learn one day, and I apply that lesson to athletic clothing. When I feel my best, I perform my best. As a runner, as a student and as a Latina.

As a runner, Nike Free Runs are perfect for me. I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon last year in San Francisco and even did a computerized test to see if I was in the right shoes. Turns out I was! After seeing these beauties, I think I need to test them out for myself. I wouldn’t recommend them for running in the rain or the snow though based on their lighter fabric. But on a dry day, I could definitely rock these.

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My biggest problem with finding running tights and leggings are my hips. I’ve got a little Latina curve going on and for some reason most designers ignore the fact that I need pants that will stay up and not cut off the circulation around my waist. I found the perfect match in the Nike Sculpt Pant.

Heaven in fabric form and the new Latina staple

Heaven in fabric form and the new Latina staple

I honestly felt like a piece of artwork. I would wear these everyday if I could! There is a little bit of wiggling into these as they are a tight, but the end result is well worth it. You ever have one of those days where you just don’t feel like your midsection is where you want it to be? These are the pants for that and you don’t feel like you’re gasping for air or unable to move. I felt a few size smaller after putting these on and wanted to lace up and head for a run then and there. I also wanted to start singing Como la Flor in the dressing room. Something just felt so Selena about them.

We should know that this isn't me, but how amazing do these look?!

We should know that this isn’t me, but how amazing do these look?!

Another amazing item out in the Nike look book is their Tech Pack. I appreciate moisture wicking fabrics while I work out. I actually have the last year’s version of this style inspiration from while they were still developing the technology for this. And let me tell you, I have been supremely happy with my old jacket. And I’m dying to get my hands on one of these.

Introducing Nike Tech Fleece. All the benefits of fleece but without the pilling inside and out.

Introducing Nike Tech Fleece. All the benefits of fleece but without the pilling inside and out.

The Tech Fleece Cape is definitely going to be one of my Chicago winter staples. I can already tell. I was talking to an employee in the store about it and she called it the “socially acceptable snuggie!” A comparison which I absolutely love!

I can't decide if I love the grey or the red more!

I can’t decide if I love the grey or the red more!

What are your fall and winter workout staples? Check out the Nike Fall look book and let me know your thoughts! Share in the comments section below or tag a photo with the hashtag #HealthyLatina on Twitter or Instagram!

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Photos courtesy of Nike. 
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Dinner for one: Healthy recipes by yours truly

To start things off, I want to say felicidades to the two lucky readers who won $50 Walmart gift cards! Thank you to everyone who tweeted and commented for a chance to win! Also, a big thank you to Walmart and #WMTfresh for the opportunity to host a giveaway. Who doesn’t love gratis, no? I will say, I was overwhelmed to see there were more than 50 entries! Keep reading and you just might see a few more giveaways coming up. Maybe something to do with cooking? *hint hint*

Which leads me into my exploration of all things healthy, delicious and subsequently all things for one. Living on my own means cocinando para uno. Which unfortunately means too many leftovers and wasting food.

Growing up, cooking meant feeding 6 people. As you can imagine, my recipes and perceptions are a tad bit off. The only way I know how to cook spanish rice is enough to feed an army. And after the fourth day of arroz con pollo for lunch and dinner, it’s just time to move on.

Here are a few of my latest (single serving) healthy creations!

Healthy Avocado Gourmet Grilled Cheese

I love grilled cheese. All the enticing buttery, melty and crunchy goodness but I don’t like the calories from it. I decided to use multigrain wheat bread, low fat brie cheese (another obsession), avocado slices, fresh spinach and olive oil butter to create this sabroso sándwich.

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The Cheater’s Guide to “Homemade” Soup

I don’t always buy organic chicken noodle soup in a can, but when I do, I add fresh kale. As you can see, I’ve been on a kale kick lately. It’s a filling superfood packed with fiber and essential vitamins. Spruce up your favorite soups and sauces with a little bit and prepare to be amazed. You’ll almost forget you didn’t have to let it simmer for hours before enjoying.

Another heavenly kale creation.

Another heavenly kale creation.

The Kale and Quinoa Salad that takes the cake

I really hope you’re open to the idea of kale. It’s green, leafy and perfect. For this dish, I cooked quinoa in organic chicken broth and added it to a mix of fresh chopped broccoli and kale. It’s a great meal to carry when you’re on-the-go and will keep you full for hours.

  • Chopped cucumbers, kale and broccoli.
    Chopped cucumbers, kale and broccoli.
  • Quinoa close-up
    Quinoa close-up
  • Your how-to guide to better eating
    Your how-to guide to better eating

What’s your favorite meal to make when it’s just you at the dinner table? Share your thoughts below!

Walmart provided me with gift cards, but the thoughts and tips shared in this post are entirely my own.
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10 Produce Rules to Follow and #WMTfresh Giveaway

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us and summer is coming to an end. If you follow @LatinaHealthy on Instagram, you’ll see a few of my latest healthy recipe creations, including this amazing Kale and Broccoli Salad with steak, avocado and Annie’s Organic Green Garlic salad dressing!

Follow @latinahealthy on Instagram for more healthy recipes.

Follow @latinahealthy on Instagram for more healthy recipes.

There are few things I love more than summer fruit and “fresh from the garden” taste, but don’t let the end of summer get you down. Follow these 10 tips de mi familia for making the most out of your produce selections and enter to win the giveaway sponsored by Walmart.

  1. Don’t wash fruit right when you get home, but wait until you plan to eat it. Use an all-natural fruit wash to help remove any unwanted dirt or residue.
  2. Never put tomatoes in the fridge.
  3. Have a plan for when you are going to eat fruits and vegetables so you don’t let them get overripe.
  4. Put fruit like nectarines and peaches in a brown paper bag overnight if they are not ripening quick enough.
  5. Hang bananas to keep them fresher longer.
  6. Leave grapes on the vine as long as possible and freeze them for a quick summer treat.
  7. When bananas, blueberries and strawberries are overripe, cut them up and freeze them for smoothies. Ripe bananas can also be used for baking and can act as a natural sweetener.
  8. Keep produce where you can see it in the fridge. When it’s right in front of you, the chances of reaching for a healthy snack increases and it’s easier to incorporate into a meal.
  9. Squeeze lime juice on apple slices to keep them looking fresh and stay crisp longer. Put the slices in a container with peanut butter for the perfect on-the-go snack.
  10. Enter to win the Healthy Latina #WMTfresh Giveaway sponsored by Walmart and receive a $50 Walmart gift card!

Comment on this post below or tweet “I want to win a $50 Walmart gift card via @healthylatina! #WMTfresh” to be entered into the drawing. Two winners will be selected by September 5.

Walmart provided me with gift cards, but the thoughts and tips shared in this post are entirely my own.

 

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‘Fresh Crew’ Black Bean Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing Recipe and Giveaway

Summertime is full of outdoor barbecues, games, family gatherings and the occasional trip to the beach or the pool. It’s in those moments you wish you didn’t go for the cheeseburger or second helping of arrachera, right? When it’s your turn to entertain, keep it healthy and try a lighter, fresher menu.

As a member of the Walmart ‘Fresh Crew’ sponsored by Walmart, I was able to tour the produce section of the Chicago Neighborhood Market. While I was there, I picked up a few things for a black bean salad and got a little creative in the process.

Pin this image!

Check out Pinterest.com/latinahealthy for more recipes!

Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This fresh, crisp salad is perfect for summer nights. I paired it with pan seared skirt steak and tomatoes with a side of avocado.

  • Black beans
    Black beans
  • Gotta love Illinois sweet corn!
    Gotta love Illinois sweet corn!
  • Boil for 8-10 minutes
    Boil for 8-10 minutes
  • Always make sure you wash your produce. Whether it's from the store or your garden.
    Always make sure you wash your produce. Whether it’s from the store or your garden.
  • "Shave" the kernels off
    “Shave” the kernels off
  • Be sure to chop up a little
    Be sure to chop up a little
  • Combine with the beans and tomatoes
    Combine with the beans and tomatoes
  • Squeeze the lime juice into the blender
    Squeeze the lime juice into the blender
  • Keep squeezing!
    Keep squeezing!
  • Roughly chop the cilantro
    Roughly chop the cilantro
  • Blend the lime juice with a little drizzle of EVOO
    Blend the lime juice with a little drizzle of EVOO
  • IMG_4043
  • Add the tomatoes just before the steak is done
    Add the tomatoes just before the steak is done
  • Pan sear for a few seconds for flavor
    Pan sear for a few seconds for flavor
  • Finalmente! You have a gorgeous dinner!
    Finalmente! You have a gorgeous dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 package of fresh tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 3 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 package of skirt steak pre-cut into strips
  • 3 limes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch of cilantro

Directions

  • Start by prepping a large pot with water and set 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 8-10 minutes.
  • While that 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.
  • Drizzle olive oil in a medium bowl and toss skirt steak strips with salt and pepper. Heat up a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil and add the steak.
  • As the steak cooks, remove the ears of corn from the boiling water. “Shave” the kernels off with a knife for each of them and set aside
  • 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 fully combined and the cilantro is very small.
  • Remove the steak and tomatoes from the pan and set aside. While the pan is still hot, toss the corn in the pan for extra flavor.
  • For the final touch, slice an avocado and serve! That’s it!

Thank you to everyone who has entered the Walmart ‘Fresh Crew’ Giveaway! You still have time to enter! Comment on this post below or tweet “I want to win a $50 Walmart gift card via @healthylatina! #WMTfresh” to be entered into the drawing. Two winners will be selected by September 5.

Walmart provided me with gift cards, but the thoughts and tips shared in this post are entirely my own.

 

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