Saborcito

Here’s How This New York-Based Community Made Up Entirely Of Women Of Color Is Using Food To Heal In The Age Of Trump

Meals have been a powerful staple of community-building for centuries. For Latinos, each dish comes with the long and winding trail of our copious journeys and roots. For every ajo, salsa and papa rellena that tops your plate, there’s also a story of a culture colonized and/or a group of people forced to settle into foreign land. As a Latina, Destiny Arturet knows the value, power, and stories behind a good meal firsthand.

It’s why, after the 2017 inauguration, she joined forces with a friend to create Sister Circle Brunch, a community event that brings women and non-binary people of color together to promote conversation.

The Brooklyn, New York-based community feeds understanding and allyship to women and femmes of color.

Chanel Matsunami Govreau via @sistercirclebrunch / Instagram

The idea for Sister Circle Brunch came to Arturet and her co-organizer, Alisha Acquaye, right after the 2017 inauguration. The two women of color— Arturet is a biracial Puerto Rican and Acquaye is Ghanaian-American— had been attending an event called She Knows Now when they came across the first concepts for their idea. Seated among a group of women, Arturet and Acquaye could feel the stress and sense of loss within the room. The uncertainty of their safety and rights as members of Trump-led country hung stiffly in the air. That’s when a suggestion by a fellow attendee piqued Arturet and Acquaye’s interest.

Lauren Ash, the founder behind Black Girl in Om, had suggested holding sister circle Sunday brunches, gatherings where women of color could get together for physical and spiritual nourishment and help each other move forward. For Arturet, the suggestion brought about an instanr that she describes as a lightbulb moment.

“Regardless of the outcome of that presidential race, there was healing to be done,” she told FIERCE. “It became so apparent just through the debates and the conversations that were happening in 2015 and 2016 that a sleeping monster had awoken or was set free to destroy the social conscious of this nation.”

In March 2017, they hosted their first Sister Circle Brunch.

Soon enough, Arturet and Acquaye were hosting bimonthly events, where handfuls of women of color showed up.

Sara Haile via @sistercirclebrunch / Instagram

Initially, the two friends reached into their own personal network, inviting acquaintances and co-workers to join them at Arturet’s place for a potluck brunch and conversation. But after a few events, Arturet and Acquaye began to realize that their brunches were just beginning to graze an extremely unfulfilled need. After all, it’s not every day that women of color can walk into a space and openly discuss our experiences of how race, ethnicity and gender-identity affect us on a daily basis, particularly without judgment or having to explain ourselves. “It was just nice to be with like-minded women for a couple of hours on a Sunday and breathe,” Arturet explains before quipping that “the mimosas didn’t hurt either.”

Since its first few get-togethers, Sister Circle Brunch has expanded beyond Arturet and Acquaye circle of friends and colleagues. A little over a year since their first event, the group events are a melding together of old friends, acquaintances and strangers. Through the get-togethers, Arturet says that she has even rekindled old friendships from her college days. “People have actually reached out to us through Instagram and have come to the brunches without knowing anyone. That’s always a really beautiful thing to see,” Arturet says enthusiastically.

On any given day, the conversations will jump from self-care to motherhood, freedom, purpose, even taboo topics like money. Some Sundays, the group circles around an activity or theme. Last year for July 4, the women focused on the concept of freedom and raised questions about different aspects of liberation and what it can mean for different women. Each and every woman in attendance brings her own home-cooked meal and, at the end, the group takes part in post-brunch photoshoots.

For Arturet, the event has been essential to helping her feel more connected to her Latinidad.

Sara Haile via @misstauret / Instagram

“I’ve grown up in a world filled with white women,” Arturet says before describing how she was raised in a small town in the middle of Pennsylvania, one she describes as “still living in a racist past,” which also made it hard for her to understand and find comfort in her Latina identity. “I also went to a predominantly white college but made deeper and stronger connections with people of color there than I ever had in my life. “When I was in college,” she exclaims. “That’s so long to live life without being close to people of color.”

Arturet says her connections in college taught her more about herself but also the importance of terminology, language, nuance and racism within different spaces of color, and Sister Circle Brunch is allowing her to further her understanding of how to be an ally to other women of color — something she sees as essential to the growth and healing of all communities of color.

“I think this space is so valuable for that — because we’re fighting for the same things, right,” Arturet says. “But we have to understand each other and acknowledge that not every woman of color experiences the world in the same way. So, I want this to be a space of learning and questioning and healing and growing.”


Read: This Brazilian Entrepreneur Combines Her Passion For Vintage And Immigrant Rights To Make Change In Texas

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Let Us Shed A Tear For The Non-Floridians Who Have Never Experienced Publix

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Let Us Shed A Tear For The Non-Floridians Who Have Never Experienced Publix

Hi, hello, thank you for taking a moment to take a seat at my Ted Talk!

I’d like to take the time we have together today to talk about the wonder that is Publix.

As many of you fortunate enough to live in the Southeast know, Publix is a Florida-based grocery store with all of the class.

@CourtKramer39 / Instagram

They’re a place known for their remarkable customer service and clean aisles. At Publix, shopping is literally a pleasure.

That’s right folks, this is a place of impeccable cleanliness and organization.

@publix / Instagram

At Publix, no corner is left unswept and no aisle left without the item you needed.

And their subs have been bringing people to tears circa 1930.

@SunSentinel / Instagram

If you haven’t had an Italian sub from Publix what what WHAT are you doing?

Guys! This place is so good that schools literally send students there for field trips.

@MeadowfieldElem / Instagram

At Publix there’s so much to learn.

And their employees actually love working there!

And it’s probably because of their amazing benefits and vacation set up.

Recently a wave of Publix enthusiasts went viral for their devotion to the store’s key lime pie.

@pierceall / Instagram

An article by Buzzfeed boasted about the desserts greatness. And they were right.null

But KEY to the Publix experience has been the grocery chain’s dedication to Latino satisfaction.

@pbpost / Instagram

They literally have a STORE that focuses on Latinos called Sabor.

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New vest #publixsabor#nowisgreen#ilikeit ????

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The Southeastern-based store has run a line of Publix Sabor stores for years geared toward Florida’s Cuban, Puerto Rican, and other Latino shoppers. Recently they started to expand its offerings in heavily populated Latino populations with a Publix store called Sabor.

This place is the diggs guys! And they have all kinds of amazing foods to offer.

Like their commitment to the Cubano.

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????????????#winning #publixcuban #yesss

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Which for real will NEVER be good as your mother’s, but will always for real do everything to be top notch.

And their Tres Leches cake which is qualiT

Publix.com


And this is a fact that FOR REAL any Latino in the Southeast knows to be true.

No but for real.

It’s a taste like no other.

And beyond Tres Leche you can count on Publix to STAY stocked on your mama’s favorites.

Literally feels like home at the Publix in Little Havana guys.

And they for real have the hookup.

Yes they do.

Now go forth into the world my people and enjoy your limp meals at Whole Foods and Safeway!


Read: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls The Lack Of Black And Latinx Diversity At NYC’s Specialized Schools An “Injustice”

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We Talked to Latina Bloggers About Their Healthiest Food Tricks

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We Talked to Latina Bloggers About Their Healthiest Food Tricks

By: Lola Méndez

The first dishes that come to mind when we think of the diverse delicacies of Latina food aren’t exactly healthy staples. Sometimes, I just can’t resist the Uruguayan dishes of churros with dulce de leche, fried empanadas, and ñoquis doused in a creamy white sauce–not exactly nutrient-rich foods. Many of our most beloved Latino dishes are full of fat, salt, and sugar.

By folding in some of these healthy eating tips from our favorite Latina food bloggers you can have a more balanced diet. Cultivate a healthier meal plan so that you won’t feel guilty when you splurge on some of your favorite rich Latino foods. These Latina food bloggers prove that you don’t have to sacrifice taste in order to eat healthily.

Whenever I’m at a loss for how to make traditionally hearty Latino foods with a healthy twist I turn to Afro-Latina Dominican Cecilia Flores of Coco Verde, Latino Vegan Kitchen.

This mama can seriously make the most lack-luster veggies transform into drool-worthy dishes that will make you forget you ever enjoyed fried milanesa. Becoming a mother motivated her to clean up her diet. “It was really after the birth of our daughter that I started to seriously think about exactly what I was eating because I was determined to give her a good start and get her loving good foods,” says Flores.

This mama can seriously make the most lack-luster veggies transform into drool-worthy dishes that will make you forget you ever enjoyed fried milanesa. Becoming a mother motivated her to clean up her diet. “It was really after the birth of our daughter that I started to seriously think about exactly what I was eating because I was determined to give her a good start and get her loving good foods,” says Flores.

Flores had the same concerns that many of us feel when trying to think about incorporating more plants into our diets. “I started learning about plant-based eating and its benefits. The only issue was the food! I didn’t want healthier and plant-based eating to mean that I was leaving my culture and traditional foods behind,” says Flores. She began to get creative as she prepared and transformed the Dominican foods she loves with healthier ingredients.

Another Latina food blogger we turn to for healthy recipes is Mexican Ana Frias of Muy Delish.

The fondest memories from her childhood are helping her mother prepare meals for their family of nine kids in Mexico. But, it wasn’t until Frias started weight lifting that she got serious about sticking to a healthy diet. She believes that balance and moderation is the key to staying healthy. “Healthy eating is about moderation, not about being restrictive with the foods you eat. If you eat a balanced healthy diet and have a treat here and there, you’ll be less inclined to binge or stop eating healthy altogether. Extreme diets never work,” says Frias.

The founder of Muy Bueno Cookbook and author of “Muy Bueno” and “Latin Twist” is healthyish Tejana Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack. “I’m obsessed with my Mexican culture and sharing my family traditions. I create recipes with a healthy Mexican twist, which means less frying, less fat, high protein, and more fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables,” she says. She goes on to explain that she loves Mexican flavors, spicy food, and fresh ingredients, especially avocados. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fat and a staple in many ethnic cuisines from Latin America.

Her key to successful healthy eating as a Latina is dining at home often. “It’s easy to overboard when a never-ending basket of tortilla chips and salsa is placed on your table at a Mexican restaurant.” Chips and salsa are her weakness. “I know myself too well. If I open a bag of tortilla chips I will eat them all,” says Marquez-Sharpnack and honestly, we can relate! She continues to say that “If you know your weaknesses, try not to buy those items.”

Healthy Eating Tips from Latina Food Bloggers

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Tomato jam! A delicious (and relatively easy) experiment. So great for toast or as an appetizer for parties! Crackers with vegan cream cheese and tomato jam are my new favorite. One note: next time I’ll peel the tomatoes by blanching them because I didn’t like the pieces of skin left behind in the jam. Have you ever had tomato jam? What’s your favorite way to eat it?! 2 lbs of tomatoes (peeled and chopped) 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon of minced ginger 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp salt Dash of cayenne pepper Bring mixture to a boil in a pot (stir frequently so it doesn’t burn) and then simmer until it’s a jam texture (stirring occasionally, about 2 hours). Let cool, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container and enjoy! _____________________________________ Mermelada de tomate! Súper fácil y muy delicioso! Me encanta poner un chin sobre pan tostado o también comérmela con galleticas y queso Filadelfia (vegano). Lo único que cambiaría para la próxima vez es pelar los tomates antes de hacer la mermelada. No lo hice esta vez y en el resulto final quedaron pedacitos aunque trate te pasar la mermelada por la licuadora. Has probado la mermelada de tomate? Con que te lo comes normalmente?! 2 libras de tomates (peladas y cortadas) 3/4 taza de azúcar morena 1 cucharada de jengibre 2 cucharadas de vinagre de sidra de manzana 1/2 cucharadita de canela 1 cucharadita de sal Una pizca de Cayena en polvo Poner todos los ingredientes en una olla a hervir a fuego alto (moviendo la mixtura mucho para que no se pegue a la olla). Luego baja el fuego y deja que hierve a fuego lento hasta que tenga la consistencia de una mermelada (más o menos 2 horas). Deja que se enfríe y poner en un envase dentro de la nevera. Disfrutar!

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It’s easier than you think to make traditional Latino dishes healthier. If you want to incorporate more veggies Flores suggests using black beans instead of beef as they have more protein, fiber, calcium, and iron than beef and less sodium, cholesterol, and fat. Black beans are already a staple of many Latino dishes so you’ll likely already have some in your cupboard. Legumes are going to be healthier for your body and your wallet as they’re significantly less costly than meat. Give beans a chance and whip up Coco Verde’s Niños Envueltos of cabbage rolls stuffed with lentils and rice, preferably brown rice for more protein and fiber.

Some of the other items that Flores suggests every Latinx have stocked in their kitchen are whole grains like brown rice, sweet or red potatoes, dried beans (or low sodium canned). She supplements these with seasonal fruits and vegetables and pairs it all together for unique renditions of Latino dishes.

Frias thinks of creative ways to make unhealthy dishes better such as focusing on spices and salsas and baking instead of frying.

“I stay away from any high saturated fats like sopapillas and chicharrones. I still eat tamales and churros but only about twice a year,” she says. Marquez-Sharpnack echoes a similar sentiment in her approach to healthy eating. “Stay away from fried and fatty foods, choose dishes that are high in protein, and incorporate fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables into your meals.”

If a recipe calls for sour cream or mayonnaise, Frias substitutes with non-fat Greek yogurt which provides extra protein. Going cheese-free can be a challenge so she uses low-fat cheese in minimal portions and opts for lean meat over fatty proteins.

Snacking is hard to resist. Marquez-Sharpnack keeps lots of fresh plant-based supplies on hand such as fruit, veggies, and nuts. “I always have avocados and apples sitting on my counter and a bag of walnuts or almonds. Snack on healthy choices so that you are not starting and make bad choices,” she says.

Healthy Meal Ideas From Latina Food Bloggers

For breakfast, Flores recommends preparing overnight oats similar to avena. Muy Bueno Cookbook has a healthy rendition of old fashioned Mexican oatmeal avena. Breakfast is a surprisingly easy meal for folding in typical Latino foods such as cactus with this licuado de nopal. Avocados are great any time of day–add a Latino twist by skipping toast and serving your mashed avocado over a warm corn tortilla.

At lunchtime, Flores tends to turn to arroz con habichelas instead of rice and chicken. She likes to have a side of some maduros (her maduros pie is to-die-for) and some veggies. Calabacitas are a great side dish to have on hand. Frias says they can easily be turned to the main dish by adding some rotisserie chicken breast chunks. Another fail-proof side or main dish is Muy Bueno Cookbook’s Avocado and Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese which is full of healthy fats.

If you’re a meat eater, lunch is a great time to have seafood which is high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. The shrimp ceviche recipe that Frias swears by is easy to follow and can be eaten with or without baked tortilla chips. We’re also a fan of her shrimp tacos with mango salsa for an easy and healthy lunch–be sure to use corn tortillas instead of flour. If you want something a bit lighter go for Muy Bueno Cookbook’s Seared Ahi Tuna Salad. Many Latino flavors are bold and low calorie such as lime juice, chile, ginger, garlic, cilantro, onion, and parsley.

If you’re used to having beef for dinner make Muy Delish’s Albondigas Soup–Frias uses 98% lean ground beef instead of fatty ground beef. In the cool evenings of the winter, it’s too easy to fall back into unhealthy eating patterns as you’ll be craving hearty dishes. Marquez-Sharpnack recommends going for a portion of caldo de pollo instead as it’s loaded with protein and veggies and is super flavorful and comforting. Remember, adding veggies is the easiest way to make a dish healthier. There’s always room for more plants in traditional Latino dishes such as arepas, pupusas, tamales, enchiladas, and more.

Why Healthy Eating Matters for Latinas


High rates of health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes in Latino communities motivate Flores to encourage her fellow Latinos to eat healthily. “We’re oftentimes led to believe that genetics is the main reason for this, but in reality, it has a lot to do with what we eat! That’s also the hard part. A lot of what we eat is guided by where we live, especially for people that live in food deserts, or places where fresh healthy food or even supermarkets are very limited or unaffordable,” she says. Basically, you are what you eat, right?

Frias can relate to this on a personal level, as a major motivator for her own journey into healthy eating was that, like many Latino families, some of her relatives suffer from diabetes. “I believe that prevention is the best medicine. I don’t want to end up dealing with health issues as I get older if I can do something about it now. Si se puede,” says Frias. As Latinos, we have a high rate of obesity, heart and liver disease. “We must break that chain! All of these diseases are easily preventable just by eating healthy foods and having an exercise routine.” Recognizing food as nourishment is a key first step into becoming dedicated to healthy eating practices and decreasing chronic disease.

For Marquez-Sharpnack, it’s her mother’s healthy influence that inspired her to pass down healthy eating habits to her children. “It saddens me to hear that childhood obesity in the Hispanic population is growing faster than other segments of the population. Almost two in five Hispanic children between the ages of 2-19 are overweight or obese.” This urgent call for action shows the necessity for healthier eating in our communities–for the sake of our niños.


Read:7 Body Positive Latina Models That Are Killing The Fashion World and Beyond

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