Latin cuisine takes center stage in a new diet book that mixes cultural anecdotes, psychology and traditional ingredients to create a slimming regimen.
LatinaLista — What’s not to like about a diet plan that appeals to cultural pride, does side-by-side comparisons of itself with more popular plans and doesn’t just try to explain all the reasons for gaining weight, but literally holds your hand in cleaning out your life of all the bad habits and emotional luggage that triggered the scales in the first place?
“The Hot Latin Diet: The Fast-Track Plan to a Bombshell Body” written by FOX News Channel’s Dr. Manny Alvarez targets Hispanic readers, but is banking on the fact that everyone wants a “bombshell body.
Who doesn’t? But to follow the diet in Dr. Manny’s plan does require an immersion, of sorts, into the very soul of Latin culture — la comida (the food).
“The Hot Latin Diet” centers on the seven Latin powerfoods: tomatillos, garbanzo beans, avocado, garlic, cinnamon, chiles and cilantro. Admittedly, Dr. Manny is drawing upon his own Cuban-American upbringing in crafting a diet that uses traditional ingredients in Latin cooking that historically have benefited the body’s metabolism and flushes out toxins.
Providing informative trivia on each of the seven powerfoods, Dr. Manny highlights their beneficial role in Latin cuisine. For example, he tells us that while chiles do have a reputation for spontaneously unleashing a sweat, they actually have a cooling effect on the body. Though your tongue may not believe it, the chiles’ hot taste forces blood to rush to the “periphery” of the body where it cools down before moving to the center of the body where our temperature is higher. According to Dr. Manny, that’s why Latinos who live in tropical countries instinctively eat hot, spicy foods.
An interesting element to the book is that the author isn’t afraid to present seven of the most current popular diets and outline his likes and dislikes of each one and why, in his opinion, they don’t work for the long-term.
Part of his rationale is that it’s not just about the food but the overall motivation for the overeating. Hand-in-hand with that is understanding which foods are good for the body and which are not.
Enlisting the help of some well-known Latina chefs, Dr. Manny presents a three-track program with specialized recipes created to reflect on the healthier aspects of Latin cuisine. Unfortunately, if you’re in a hurry and cooking is last on your list of priorities, it may be difficult to follow the book’s recipes as each one does require substantial kitchen time.
But if your ultimate goal is that “bombshell body,” then sweating it out in the kitchen may prove to be the most enjoyable part of the whole process.