2015 Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Every year I do one big sweep of shopping right after Thanksgiving and act like I’m done with buying gifts for the year. My family is incredibly easy to shop for since everyone asks for workout clothes and I can do one big swipe of my Macy’s card, get free shipping and some Star Rewards and knock all of their gifts out. Needless to say I go about 20 days thinking I’m in the clear, only to realize there are many more people on my list I need to shop for. And then the panic ensues.

We’re just about at that panic point with one week until Christmas, so here’s my 2015 Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide to save you. I’m also frantically knitting earwarmers if that’s helpful too.

Gifts Under $20

You don’t have to break the bank to let someone know you love and appreciate them. After all, it’s the thought that counts. Perfect for your work bestie, dog-walker, book club buddy and Classpass sister. Combine with something small and you’ve got the perfect present.

Starbucks Floral Double Wall Traveler $19.95

The tumbler of your dreams.

The tumbler of your sweet, coffee-filled dreams.

C9 Champion Women’s Gloves $11.20

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 10.11.48 AM

Perfect for the cold-weather run or the freezing morning commute.

Jump Rope $11.97

Jump around.

Jump around.

Four Sided Grab Bag $5

Send a little love from my favorite boutique in Chicago. Super fun and full of surprise.

Send a little love from my favorite boutique in Chicago. Super fun and full of surprise.

Gifts Under $50

These gifts mean serious business. We’ve crossed over into the “I bought it for you but I really thought about keeping it for myself” category. I won’t tell if you buy two. Promise!

Fabletics Salar Legging in Foiled Flurry Print $27.47 

Shine bright like a diamond with these at the gym.

Shine bright like a diamond with these at the gym.

Hydro Flask $34.95

Hot or cold. Just like your feelings.

Hot or cold and comes in black. Just like your feelings for winter.

Yurbuds for Women $39.99

Turn your friends into Beliebers.

Turn your friends into Beliebers.

Cast Iron Kettlebell Set $38.49

For the kettlebell kween.

For the kettlebell kween.

Nike Pro Dri-FIT Embossed Heights Vixen Half Zip $48.75

Someone on my list actually is getting this. LOVE.

Someone on my list actually is getting this. LOVE.

Splurge $$$

For someone special. Or for yourself. Let’s be honest, you deserve an amazing Christmas too.

Angela Roi Moa Black to Benefit Melanoma Fighters $165.00

I put this here because I want it for myself. Gym bag. Fashion tote. Computer carrier.

I put this here because I want it for myself. Gym bag. Fashion tote. Computer carrier.

Birchbox Subscription $110 (for 12 months)

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 10.44.20 AM

For the beauty products junkie.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!!


Becky G and AT&T Latino “You Love It” Contest

This is a sponsored post. I was provided compensation to attend the event. All thoughts, views and opinions are my own.

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, I got together with AT&T Latino for a private event with Becky G, rapper, singer, Latina and actress, to launch their new contest to record a cover of her new song “You Love It” to win a trip to Miami.

Backstage VIP Pass - Becky G

Backstage VIP Pass – Becky G

I was able to head backstage and interview Becky G about the contest and, of course, ask how as an 18-year-old on a music tour with a blooming acting career has time to workout and stay healthy. I’m still not entirely sure how, but she recognized me! She also won a Latina 30 Under 30 Award in 2014. I was speechless! Of all the places she’s been and the people she’s met, I couldn’t believe she said I looked familiar.

“I am pretty active because I’m always on the go. Eating healthy is one thing. I absolutely love food. Eating food for me is not to avoid the unhealthy things but eat everything in moderation. Having a little bit of what you like and making it into smaller portions. Food is happiness!” she said.

As far as working out goes, she’s just about to start training for her upcoming role as the Yellow Power Ranger in the new movie and preparing to do a lot of her own stunts!

“Occasionally working out when I can squeeze it in. I have a trainer, Nelita (Villezon), we train with mixed martial arts and conditioning because I’m singing live. But it’s tough!”

Becky G took to the stage and performed two of her songs live and raw. She shared a lot about her personal life and the struggles her family went through when she decided to pursue an entertainment career.

Here’s a quick video clip of her performing her new song “You Love It.”   

Enter into the #attbeckygcover #contest and record your own You Love It cover! #sponsored A video posted by Michelle Rivas (@healthylatina) on

Be sure to enter into the contest to win a chance to meet her in Miami! More details for the official entry can be found here.

  1. Listen to “You Love It”
  2. Create your own unique cover
  3. Enter and upload your post on Twitter tagging @ATTLATINO and use #ATTBECKYGCOVER #CONTEST
  4. Accept the official contest rules

Also amazing side note, I was able to hang out with Chicago blogueras, the Boriqua Chicks!


Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!!

The holiday season is officially here! The list of everything I’m thankful for this year is overwhelming. My family is moving back to Chicago from Arizona to be closer to me, I am the recent adoptive mother to the cutest little puppy in the whole world (unbiased opinion), and am so blessed to have a great job, a wonderful boyfriend and amazing friendships. What are you thankful for this year?

I’m heading over to my grandma’s today for the official feast and traditional watching of football. This year it’s the Chicago Bear’s game against the Packer’s so in a house full of die-hard Bears fans, it should be interesting.

I did a preview of the traditional Thanksgiving meal on Sunday modifying all of the foods to be gluten, soy, dairy, egg and wheat-free. I didn’t use specific recipes for each, but was inspired to make similar recipes my family makes every year. In my last post, I talked about my grandma’s stuffing (made of white bread and Mexican rice), but this stuffing recipe was modeled after my mom’s. She makes her own french style bread to make the cubes for it and it takes so much time and effort to put together. The result is glorious though and all the hard work is worth it!

My timeline was a little bit different. I had a friend visiting from Los Angeles over the weekend so Sunday was my only day to cook. I had never attempted making a meal this big before, so it was either going to be great or disastrous. Fortunately, my boyfriend was willing to try the results either way.

I shouldn’t be so surprised, but everything was delicious! The amount of time it takes to make was such a rude awakening! I learned a few key things though:

  • Never attempt mashed potatoes in the food processor. The result is glue and it’s okay to want to cry afterward
  • Gravy with almond milk doesn’t quite taste the same but it’s still pretty decent
  • The turkey is going to take a lot longer than expected if you keep opening up the oven to check on it
  • It’s okay to eat everything out of order and dip into the sides early

Paleo-Friendly Turkey

I chose a 7lb Jennie-O turkey breast since it was just for me and my boyfriend and I wanted a lot of leftovers. Jennie-O provided me with coupons for the turkey, but all cooking was on me! I made an herb rub using olive oil, rosemary, thyme, sage and bay leaves. I brushed this all over and stuffed the bird with an apple sliced in half, half an onion (leftover from my stuffing recipe), garlic cloves, and a lemon sliced in half. I wanted to give the turkey as much flavor as possible without drying out.

I let this cook for roughly 4 hours until it was golden-brown and cooked all the way through. For the first hour and a half, I covered the turkey in aluminum foil so it wouldn’t burn or dry out.

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Using a bag of fresh cranberries, I washed them and poured them into a small pot and began heating at medium heat. I poured in a cup of water and poured 1/4 of a cup of organic blue agave in with it. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer. The overall result was amazing! Just the right amount of sour bite and a little bit of sweetness. If you need a little more sweetness, just add some more agave. A little amount goes a long way!

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Paleo-Friendly Sweet Potatoes

Coconut oil is a paleo-follower’s best friend! While the entire meal wasn’t totally paleo (I’m pretty sure stuffing doesn’t fit the program), these sweet potatoes were my favorite thing! I’m definitely going to make them on a regular basis, holiday or not! I used white sweet potatoes for no real reason (they taste exactly the same as the orange ones) and chopped into medium cubes. I used a pan on the stove to fry in the coconut oil so they would get crispy like hash browns. I will probably bake them next time since they would cook just as well in the oven.  I shelled and chopped up a 1/2 cup of unsalted pistachios (provided by Wonderful Pistachios) and garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds. The end result was a gorgeous and refreshing take on the usual butter/marshmallow mess! The coconut oil added a sweet flavor and the crisp pomegranate seeds and pistachios made a pleasant crunch. So good! 

Gluten-Free Mexican Stuffing

I tried to combine the best of both worlds with this stuffing recipe adapting my mom’s and my grandma’s into one. I’m going to add some red pepper flakes next time (as with everything) it needed a little extra kick.

I removed the casing on 4 spicy Italian sausages and combined with 1/2 a package of Jennie-O turkey sausage. This made it a little bit lighter and added a sweet flavor to balance out the spice. I pan cooked this in olive oil, drained the grease and set aside.

In a medium bowl, I chopped 1/2 an onion, 5 stalks of celery and garlic. I pan fried using the same pan I cooked the sausage in. After it was lightly seared, I added to the bowl of sausage and set aside.

On a baking sheet, I spread out 1/2 a package of chopped gluten-free corn tortillas. I tossed in olive oil and baked in the oven for roughly 20 minutes until golden brown. When they were cool, I tossed together into the bowl with the vegetables and sausage mix, mixing in 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp of the rosemary, thyme, sage and bay leaves mixture I used for the turkey. I poured 2 cups of chicken broth into the mixture so it would cover the majority of the tortillas leaving a few on top to get crispy. I baked at 350 degrees in the oven for 30 minutes and couldn’t resist as soon as it came out. So so so good!

Gluten-Free Mexican Stuffing

Gluten-Free Mexican Stuffing

Now I won’t share the mess that was the mashed potatoes, but lessons learned for next time! I had used almond milk and olive oil and salt. Incredibly easy, but I know now to get a hand mixer.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Solving Eczema: Holiday Edition

If there is one thing I try to hide from people, it’s the fact that I have dry, itchy skin that often turns into hives and a red rash as a result from scratching. It’s not cute. I have trouble sleeping and wake up scratching. I avoid hugging as certain detergents, perfumes and fabrics can cause me to itch. I wear long sleeves and jackets so people don’t ask me if I’m “ok” since it’s most prominently on my arms.

My usual answer is yes, I’m fine. And no, it’s not contagious. But thank you for making me uncomfortable.

The Early Years
Like 1-3 percent of the adult population, I was diagnosed with eczema as a kid. Mixed in with memories of playing Barbies and playing outside, some of my earliest memories are of me crying while my mom tried to console my scratching with fresh aloe vera, topical creams and visits to allergists and naturopathic doctors.

I was put on a specific diet following the “prick” allergy test. Unfortunately, the test results contained many false positives. I wasn’t allergic to the majority of the foods and avoiding them left me annoyed that I couldn’t eat the same foods as my siblings. Think of all the chocolate I missed out on!

Life Now

Eczema is tied to allergies and asthma, especially in adults. One doctor I saw called this the medical trifecta. As one to never be outdone, naturally this is me.

Over the summer, I was talking with one of my friends about food allergies. She had a rash on her chest and discovered it was related to food allergies. This got me thinking. Since I didn’t have asthma as a kid, but developed it later in life, did I potentially develop allergies too?

I started reading and researching everything I could. All new, old and relevant data on eczema and the linkage to food allergies. The scientific data isn’t particularly strong, and I’m already doing everything I can from a prescription standpoint. Maybe it is time to take my search for relief elsewhere.

This Brings Me to Thanksgiving

Photo via NY Times

I’ve never made a turkey before and this year, I’ve accepted the challenge. But not just any challenge. I’m going to make a full Thanksgiving meal with no dairy, wheat, soy or eggs. My friends at Jennie-O were kind enough to provide coupons to help support this endeavor. They have an Oven-Ready Turkey (Gluten-Free) that sounds like the perfect thing for my novice cooking skills!

Comment below with a turkey tip for me and you could win a coupon for your own bird!

Stay tuned. This should be interesting…



Just Signed Up for Bloglovin’

It’s amazing I’ve made it this far along in my blogging career without joining Bloglovin’. What have I been doing???

If you have a blog or any recommendations on who to follow, please comment below! Let’s be friends!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Let’s Get Political This Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and everyone is doing their best to remind you that they support Latinos in the United States. If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you know there is a lot at stake here for Latinos in the next election. One candidate in particular is causing a lot of uproar within our community and Latinos, especially Millennials, are starting to take a stand. Gloria Estefan, Pitbull, Carlos Santana, Shakira, and more released a song this week called “We Are All Mexican” that Emilio Estefan says is a musical“celebration of Hispanics and our accomplishments.”

The song is pretty catchy and it has a great message about unity, but the music video is a little ridiculous. It needs to be revamped to be more professional…

No matter what political party you’re affiliated with, what you believe, and who you support, it’s important for you to exercise your right to vote. By 2016, 28 million Latinos will be eligible to vote, and as the second largest, fastest growing, and youngest group of Americans, Latinos hold the key to our country’s future…but only if we vote.

Voto Latino hopes to increase voter registration for 2015 to 2016 to change behavior for US Latinos from simply celebrating our culture and community each year in September and October, to taking action that will celebrate our culture while empowering our community.

The Healthy Latina blog has partnered with Voto Latino for this Hispanic Heritage Month of Action to help increase voter registration and raise awareness of healthcare issues in the United States. Each presidential candidate has a unique platform that will change the way we buy and receive healthcare, and you have a voice to decide what happens.

Check out the Hispanic Heritage Month of Action website with more information on where and how to register to vote. Some states allow you to register online, so there are no excuses! Register to vote today!!


Understanding Health Coverage en Español

Health coverage is a complex thing to understand, especially when most resources are only available in English. With the introduction of exchanges, you now have the freedom to shop around and decide which coverage is best for you and your family. But how do you know what is best for your family when so much has changed in the marketplace? Should you stay with the insurance your company offers? Or should you sign up with an exchange? Open enrollment is just around the corner and a new resource is available for Spanish-speakers to get up to speed on how to make smart health coverage choices.

It’s as easy as ABC.

A-B-C – as easy as 1-2-3

The website, Access Better Coverage en Español shares easy, digestible information for Spanish-speakers to understand and evaluate health coverage. ABC en Español has videos, tips, and checklists on how to select, shop, and buy health coverage.

With a quick Seguros de Salud 101 video, complexities in health insurance like deductibles, copayment, and coinsurance are explained. The website even has a glossary of terms to help bridge the gap when you’re discussing health coverage.

Many factors go into selecting a healthcare plan, but the website explains 5 steps can help you get exactly what you need.

  1. Review the type of plan and provider network – Is your doctor, hospital and pharmacy in the network? You can reduce costs by going to in-network doctors and preferred locations since they are covered under your plan. If you choose to go out-of-network, you will incur additional costs that may be unnecessary.
  2. Calculate your premium – How much will insurance premiums cost each month? Can you afford to make the payments and any additional costs each month? Is there another insurance plan that may be cheaper? By evaluating these costs upfront, you will be able to make a smarter selection.
  3. Deductibles – How much do you need to pay in out-of-pocket costs before the rest is covered under insurance or co-insurance? You may need to pay 1,000 dollars or more before insurance covers additional doctors appointments, hospital visits or prescription drugs. Many plans with high deductibles feature low monthly premiums and many low deductibles feature high monthly premiums. Knowing how much you have to pay upfront can help you make the best choice for your family.
  4. Copayment and coinsurance – Copayments and coinsurance mean you will have to pay for something. With copayments, you have a pre-determined amount to pay each time you receive a service. If you see a specialist, you may incur a fee for each visit. With coinsurance, you are responsible for a certain amount of the payment for the service. Some plans will cover 80 percent of your service and you may be responsible to pay for 20 percent of the service. This can happen even after you have hit your deductible too.
  5. Prescription drug coverage – Are the drugs you take regularly covered under your plan? If you or someone in your family has a chronic condition, this is crucial. You can save hundreds of dollars each year if you do your research before selecting a plan and choose the plan that covers some or all of the medications you need.

Overall, this website is a great place to start when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Health coverage is complex enough, even without a language barrier, but bringing things back to basics with ABC en Español can make all the difference and help save you money.


This post was sponsored by Access Better Coverage and PhRMA. 


Candlelight Yoga on Michigan Avenue

Summer in Chicago is officially coming to a close. It’s been weeks of on and off rain and I’m starting to break out the sweaters and the boots for an inevitable 8 month winter. With this in mind, when given the opportunity to participate in candlelight yoga on Michigan Avenue during a perfect evening of 73 degree weather, I jumped at the chance!

Post-work workout brought to you by Lolë and Classpass

Post-work workout brought to you by Lolë’s White Tour and Classpass

There was something so calming and present about being in the middle of the city on the Magnificent Mile surrounded by people shuffling and yelling and sirens and being able to shut it all out for a few moments of peace.

Awkward selfies trying to show how many people made it out!

Awkward selfies trying to show how many people made it out!

I work on Michigan Avenue and walk the street every Monday through Friday. Speed walking along and doing my best to avoid getting caught behind tourists snapping photos. A girl’s gotta make it on the express bus! But I only occasionally take a moment to take it all in and be present. My mind is always running and I hate to think that I’m just running on autopilot at this point.

The Wrigley Building is one of my favorite's along Michigan. Perfect evening!

The Wrigley Building is one of my favorite’s along Michigan. Perfect evening!

The moment we started steadying our breathing, it was all over. The stress of the city washed away and I was left alone stealing glances of the beauty around me.

I’m tempted to show back up on my own for a solo yoga session in the same square along the river, so if you see a crazy girl with a yellow Lolë mat, be sure to join me.


The Rise of the Healthy Breakfast: Summer Tropical Parfait Recipe

A couple of weeks ago I started a new job. New places mean all sorts of new perks and one of the major bonuses to this new place are free bagels every Monday. Not just any bagels from the fridge section. I’m talking about freshly made Panera Bakery bagels in every flavor with every kind of cream cheese. There’s at least one for each person in the office. Which means I don’t have to have one, but it feels like I need to have one. I’m drawn to bagels. They have always been my downfall.

Don’t get me wrong, bagels are not evil nor should you feel guilty for indulging. But these free bagels tend to hang around for the entire week as our staff kindly places them in plastic freezer bags and organizes them by flavor in the fridge. I had three bagels my first week. One was for lunch. The joke among my friends was that I went to this new job because of the bagels. Something had to change.

I love breakfast. Enough to eat breakfast foods for every meal of every day. Everything about breakfast is wonderful and it was high time I started prepping a healthy breakfast I didn’t hate.

Delicious results below.

Summer is here. So is breakfast.

Summer is here. So is breakfast.

Summer Tropical Parfait 


  • 3/4 c. Fat Free Greek Yogurt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 3 oz. fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 c. granola (I used Post Great Grains Banana Nut Crunch Cereal)
  • 1 tsp. organic agave nectar


  • Slice banana and chop pineapple chunks and add to base of parfait glass
  • Artfully spoon greek yogurt on top of pineapple chunks and banana
  • Add a layer of cereal
  • Add another layer of greek yogurt and top with cereal
  • Drizzle with agave (to taste)


  • What you need...
    What you need…
  • B-A-N-A-N-A-S
  • I prefer plain yogurt, but sub for vanilla if you'd like!
    I prefer plain yogurt, but sub for vanilla if you’d like!
  • Drizzle crunchy deliciousness
    Drizzle crunchy deliciousness
  • Add pineapple
    Add pineapple
  • Top with more yogurt and granola cereal
    Top with more yogurt and granola cereal
  • Agave is for more than tequila!
    Agave is for more than tequila!

Enjoy this recipe as a pre-workout snack, midday pick-me-up, or a traditional breakfast!


Post provided me with a box of Great Grains Banana Nut Crunch Cereal and recipe (modified). 




Red Carpets, Los Angeles and One Really Amazing Latina 30 Under 30 Award

It’s official! Thanks to fabulous readers and voters (like you) I was officially a Latina 30 Under 30 honoree!

To provide a little back story, way back in August, I found out I was nominated by Latina Magazine for the prestigious 30 Under 30 award. I was not only shocked by the nomination, but the other nominees included Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Bella Thorne and so many other amazing and inspiring Latinos.

Latina 30 Under 30!!!!

Through the whole voting process, no matter what happened, I was so excited to be included and recognized. I blog about Latina health. I am not a movie star or a YouTube personality or a singer. I am passionate about the importance and visibility of this issue, but the fact that The Healthy Latina blog was even on the list was beyond anything I was expecting just a few short years after starting it.

For two rounds of voting, I was neck-and-neck with Bruno Mars and if I ever meet him, I’ll be sure to bring it up, but I beat him! The amount of support I received throughout this entire process was so humbling. I love how health is becoming such a huge topic and I’m so proud to be a voice for the cause.

So with that, I jet off to Los Angeles to walk to red carpet! I had major issues with my dress arriving in time, so a little secret for you all, my sister (who was also my date) brought me a dress from Arizona! As soon as I got to LA, I walked out of the terminal and saw a little man with a sign and my name on it! It’s always been a dream to have a professional driver come pick me up like that! It’s something I’ve only ever seen in the movies.

I checked into my hotel, met up with my sister and her fiancé and grabbed some tacos from the takeout place across the street. When in Los Angeles, am I right?

‏@Latina #Latina30Under30 honoree, @HealthyLatina, is getting her hair done thanks to @garnierUSA! #ReadyToParty

@Latina Magazine covered the whole event

After that, I went over to the Mondrian Hotel and met the Latina editorial and style staff! As if that wasn’t enough, I was getting full hair and makeup from my very own style team provided by sponsors Maybelline and Garnier. I even got one of those director’s chairs with Latina on the back.

Saying I’m not used to the full star treatment is an understatement! This was so unlike any experience I had ever had in my life. Take a peek at the photos of my “Old Hollywood Glam” look!

  • My hair and makeup team!
    My hair and makeup team!
  • The full glam team!
    The full glam team!
  • Feeling like a celebrity in hair and makeup!
    Feeling like a celebrity in hair and makeup!
  • Working on my eyes.. yes, I'm a spaz
    Working on my eyes.. yes, I’m a spaz
  • Am I ready yet?
    Am I ready yet?
  • Inside the Glam Suite
    Inside the Glam Suite
  • Sisters or Best Friends?
    Sisters or Best Friends?
  • The answer is both!
    The answer is both!
  • Here we go!!!
    Here we go!!!

When it was time to walk the red carpet, I was almost certain my heart was going to stop. If there’s anything I fear, it’s a ton of cameras flashing at once and everyone asking you to look at them. It was terrifying, and you can tell just how nervous I was at the end of my red carpet interview with ABC Family when I turn to my friend and say an enthusiastic OMG.

  • Do I look nervous?
    Do I look nervous?
  • What about now?
    What about now?
  • Walking into the event
    Walking into the event
  • Prepping for my interview with Fusion
    Prepping for my interview with Fusion
  • Talking Latina Health and what's next for the Healthy Latina blog
    Talking Latina Health and what’s next for the Healthy Latina blog

As soon as I walked into the event, it was gorgeous. So many beautiful faces and genuine Latina leaders. I met Chiquis, Adrienne Bailon, Natalia Anciso, Melanie Iglesias, Bella Thorne, Fifth Harmony and the Latina Magazine staff. I also did an interview with Fusion!

  • This is gorgeous!
    This is gorgeous!
  • Latina 30 Under 30 Honorees Natalia Anciso and Melanie Iglesias
    Latina 30 Under 30 Honorees Natalia Anciso and Melanie Iglesias
  • Covergirl Bella Thorne and I
    Covergirl Bella Thorne and I
  • Chiquis and I with our final looks!
    Chiquis and I with our final looks!
  • The cute, petite and fabulous Adrienne Bailon and I!
    The cute, petite and fabulous Adrienne Bailon and I!
  • My awesome date (my sister Amanda), Natalia Anciso, Massiel “Mankofit” Arias and I
    My awesome date (my sister Amanda), Natalia Anciso, Massiel “Mankofit” Arias and I
  • Natalia Anciso and I
    Natalia Anciso and I
  • My interview with Arielle C. from Fusion
    My interview with Arielle C. from Fusion
  • Excited faces
    Excited faces
  • Usual sister antics
    Usual sister antics

Thank you again for such an amazing opportunity and a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Here’s to many more celebrity sightings and getting Latina health topics discussed in the media!