Hi, I’m Brenda, I live in San Diego where I attend the University of California San Diego and study sociology. But what does that have to do with food, right?
Well, a lot.
Let’s begin with the food part. In 2009 I began on a journey to reclaim my health. Tipping the scale at almost 280lbs, I had no clue how to begin addressing the never ending list of health problems. I knew I had to change what I ate, and I knew I had to start moving. Fortunately and unfortunately, we live in a world where there is consistently new information on how to go about this. After years of struggling with yo yo dieting, extreme low calorie diets, over exercising and so much confusion about food, I found the answer. There is no one size fits all plan to health. We are all so different, not just in our genetics, but in our backgrounds.
Now, enter sociology.
After losing and maintaining a weight loss of 120 pounds (if you’d like to read more about my weight loss click here), I began to receive a lot of questions about my weight loss. I also began to listen to the experiences of those who had been struggling with their own weight loss. I soon started to notice that it was more than just calories, diet, and genetics. When it comes to health, let’s face it, class and race play a huge role.
Looking back at my own experience, my cultural environment initially influenced how I ate. Before losing weight, the cultural environment I was living and experiencing had a fast food diet as the norm.
Even more importantly, the physical environment I was living in (a lower class neighborhood) had an infrastructure that didn’t allow for a safe place to exercise. Also, let’s be honest, how many nice gyms and nice health food stores do you find in the hood?
It truly wasn’t until I moved up and out that I was influenced to make a change. Living in a neighborhood with health food stores, plenty of gyms to choose from, safe parks to run in, farmers markets… all of those things helped me get to where I am. This is where I had to check my privilege. Would I be where I am today?
I originally started this blog as a way to share recipes and tips on how I maintain my health, as many out there are always asking how I do it. And to be honest, it was also a result of some heavy procrastination during the school quarter. But as I went along I realized my true passion was not just the cooking aspect, but the interesting politics that revolve around food. Who gets to eat organic? Who can afford sustainable practices?
Well, here we are.
Although I still plan on sharing what I’m up to in the kitchen, because who doesn’t love a donut recipe? I would also like to explore how food plays such an important role in our lives, beyond our kitchens. Too often we overlook how something that seems so simple and innocent, like food, can actually be quite controversial. I hope that this will also help some folks realize that some of the struggles you face are not only your own struggles, but all of ours.
Now, some fun facts…
- In 2013 I completed a yoga teacher training program (RYT 200).
- I own an absurd amount of books, despite not having the time to read them or the space to keep them.
- I’m an introvert, although most people find this hard to believe.
- I was born and raised in East Los Angeles (a true Angeleno at heart).
Finally, if you have any questions or just feel like chatting, feel free to send me an email. Or if you’re on Instagram, follow me on there, it’s also where I share a lot of what I’m eating… if you’re into that.