Irina Gonzalez Director of Audience Development

Irina Gonzalez is the Director of Audience Development for Latina.com and The Latin Kitchen, where she oversees social media, content partnerships, writes and edits, and more. An NYC-based journalist, web editor, and food writer, she started her career with an internship at Latina magazine while receiving her bachelor’s at New York University. Her work has appeared in Time Out New York, MamasLatinas.com, FamilyCircle.com, TheFrisky.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, and more. When she’s not checking out the latest taco restaurant in New York City, scouring for the best tapas in Barcelona, or dreaming of visiting Alex Atala’s restaurant in Brazil, she’s blogging about her favorite recipes, healthy eating tips and maintaining her 100 pound weight loss on HealthyLatinFood.com. You can always find her on Twitter (@msirinagonzalez) & Instagram (@msirinagonzalez) talking about her latest delicious meal.

 

Favorite Latina fashionista:  Naya Rivera. She always looks amazing on the red carpet and, I mean, have you seen her latest Latina cover? Yowza!

The Latino celeb I'd want to be best friends with: Demi Lovato. I think we’d have a lot of fun bonding over how much we both switch our hair colors.

My first celebrity crush: Ricky Martin! Back in his “Maria” days, he would make me swoon like no other. Um, still kinda does…

Something people don't know about me: I lost 100 pounds thanks to a gastric bypass—and subsequent reconstruction surgery—done in Colombia. Since then, I taught myself to love eating (and cooking!) healthy Latin food and have embraced spreading the message that it IS possible to eat flavorful, good-for-you meals to other Latinos. Well, except when I get those sudden cravings to bake something positively sinful… All in moderation, right?

Guilty pop culture addiction: Well, I’m a pretty heavy TV and chick flick addict, but I’d say my guiltiest is The Vampire Diaries. I don’t know what it is about that show. Oh wait, yes I do! #DelenaForever.

My Latina Role Model: Definitely Shakira. The work she does with her the organization she founded at just 20 years old, Piez Descalzos Foundation, her continuing work as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, and many other charitable ventures—all while continuing to be one of the top recording artists, and now a partner and mother—make me love her even beyond her unstoppable hips that don’t lie.

Fun Memory from My First Day at Latina: My fun memory actually came a few days BEFORE my first day, when I got my nails done with shellac manicure for the first time—and my boss loved them so much that he put them on Latina’s instagram. That’s when I knew I’d really fit in!

Two words that describe Elvis Crespo: Unbelievably addicting. I just can’t keep my body from dancing whenever I hear “Suavemente.”

If I met Jennifer Lopez, I would: Thank her for her unwavering support of the LGBT community, for which she has just received the HRC Ally for Equality Award.

Movie that makes me cry: Come on, do you even have to ask? It’s Selena.

Celebrity I'd switch teams for: Sara Ramirez, without a doubt. I mean, haven’t you seen Callie Torres’ underwear dance?! Hot.

Latino artist on my iPod right now: Bruno Mars. I just can’t stop listening to his new album!

Favorite Interview with a Latino Celeb: Well, as a huge foodie, I have to say it’s definitely Aaron Sanchez. I’ve spoken to him in person twice and he always makes me laugh and teaches me something new about food or cooking.

Favorite Latin dish: You expect me to pick just one?! Well, if I have to, I’d say there is nothing better in this world than perfectly prepared platanos maduros fritos (fried sweet plantains).

Favorite Spanish-Language Song: That’s like picking a favorite kid! Well, it’s a tough choice, but I have to go with Gloria Estefan’s “Mi Tierra.” It always brings me back to my Cuban roots.

Proudest Moment as a Latina: I don’t know that I could truly say that I have one big moment that stood out. For me, proud moments happen whenever I do something small, like write a story that elicits a reaction and means something to someone else or when I give someone a piece of advice on how to make their Latin dishes less fattening and more weight loss-friendly and they thank me for it. What makes me proud is incorporating my culture and pride into my everyday life, and sharing that with others. 

10 Ways to Not Gain Weight During the Holidays
10 Ways to Not Gain Weight During the Holidays

We know the hardest part of the holidays (gaining weight) comes as a direct result of the easiest part: eating. Indulging over the holidays is a common practice, but don't regret that third piece of pie when you jump on the scale come January 1st. Follow our 10 ways to not gain weight during the holidays and you’ll be much happier (and healthier) come 2014.


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Sombrero and Maracas
10 Gifts You Should Definitely NOT Get a Latina!

We all need a little shopping help around the holidays. The thing we don't need, though, is a horrible gift that we can't return. You all know what I'm talking about: that scarf that's the wrong color, the universal remote that makes you go "huh?," the book that you have no intention of reading. There are a lot of bad gifts out there so, yes, we had to do it: we named them. These are the gifts that you should definitely NOT get a Latina!


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Yvette Prieto & Michael Jordan Expecting First Child Together!
Yvette Prieto & Michael Jordan Expecting First Child Together!

It’s more happy baby news! Basketball legend Michael Jordan and wife Yvette Prieto have confirmed to People that they are expecting their first baby together. 


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10 Ways to Cut Calories This Thanksgiving
10 Ways to Cut Calories This Thanksgiving

We at Latina recently had a very lively discussion centered on one very complicated question: Is it ok to overindulge on Thanksgiving? 


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Pomegranate Mezcal Punch That's Perfect For the Holidays!
Pomegranate Mezcal Punch That's Perfect For the Holidays!

Celebrating the holidays has never been easier than with this big-batch of PAMA Paloma, a delicious Latin-style punch made with Del Maguey Crema (a perfectly smoky mezcal) and PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur.


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Mexican Cola Video
WATCH: Mexican Cola vs U.S. Cola in the Ultimate Taste Test Showdown!

Have you heard all of the excitement over Mexican coke? The growing popularity of the hecho en Mexico soda can't be disputed. Available now anywhere from your corner bodega to fancy NYC bakery Momofuku Milk Bar, we sat down to do the ultimate face-off. 


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Krysta Rodriguez Interview
EXCLUSIVE: 'First Date' Broadway Star Krysta Rodriguez on Romance & Show Business

Broadway and TV star Krysta Rodriguez is currently lighting up the Great White Way with Broadway's musical comedy First Date. After a stint in NBC's Smash as Ana Vargas, Krysta plays jaded dater Casey who agrees to be set up with Zachary Levi's nice guy Aaron. 


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10 Sexiest Tequila Gifts for the Cocktail Lover
10 Sexiest Tequila Gifts for the Cocktail Lover

We all have that friend or family member in our lives. The person whose signature drink is all things tequila. Whether they're the kind to drink it straight (out of Himayan Pink Salt Glasses, perhaps?) or enjoy a good tequila cocktail for brunch (like the Bloody Maria Spice Blend) or are looking to up their margarita game (with a Margarita Molecular Mixology Mix, of course), we've got the 10 sexiest tequila gifts that any cocktail lover with just adore. The best part?


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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Vibrators

Okay, let’s be honest: how much do you really know about your buzzing best friend? Whether you own a discreet vibrator, are a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey-style play or haven’t even brought yourself to try one out, we bet some of these facts will surprise you.


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10 Ways You Know You're at a Latino Thanksgiving
10 Ways You Know You're at a Latino Thanksgiving

When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving, we all have our own ideas of a traditional meal. While your non-Latino friends will be celebrating the holiday with a buttered turkey, sweet potato casserole and a classic stuffing, your table will look just a little different.


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