Irina Gonzalez

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. 

The Best Valentine's Day Gifts for the Latino Foodie
The Best Valentine's Day Gifts for the Latino Foodie

Valentine's Day is coming soon! Do you know what you're getting your sweetheart?

If your love is a big fan of food, cooking and all things culinary, then you know that you're with a Latino foodie--and we've got some gift ideas for you! Whether your cutie is a chocaholic, a kitchen gadget geek or just loves cooking up a storm, these 14 best Valentine's Day gifts for the Latino foodie are just right.


Read more
Matrioshkas
10 Things Only a Russian-Latino Could Teach You About Russia

It might seem like a crazy combination, but being a Russian Latina is a lot more common than you would think. How did it happen, exactly? Well, back in the 1980’s when the U.S.S.R. and Cuba were communist buddies, a lot of (mostly) Cuban men went to Moscow to study in college. And that’s how my parents met: both studying engineering at what is now the Moscow Power Engineering Institute.


Read more
Coffee Rubbed Carnitas Tamales with Salsa Verde to Celebrate Dia de la Candelaria!
Coffee Rubbed Carnitas Tamales with Salsa Verde to Celebrate Dia de la Candelaria!

Today isn't only Super Bowl Sunday, but it's also Dia de la Candelaria. This special holiday is a Mexican Celebration that's actually a fusion of Catholic influences and native Mexican tradition. Today we celebrate with friends and family, filling our lives (and bellies) with tamales as we devote to the Niño Dios (Baby Jesus)!


Read more
Real Latina Rocks a Cool Super Bowl Look
Real Latina Rocks a Cool Super Bowl Look

It's the Super Bowl this weekend! And we, like the rest of the U.S., simply can't stop talking about it. But whether you're rooting for the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks (or, admit it: only there for the commercials and the halftime show with Bruno Mars), we're wondering--but what to wear?!


Read more
Urban Minorities & Food Desserts
The #1 Reason Why Latinos in Big Cities Struggle to Eat Healthy

We see it more and more: ads to quit smoking, billboards talking about healthy eating, Michelle Obama teaming up with NBA champs in support of Let’s Move! The push to move our country to eat better and exercise more is almost everywhere. Except, apparently, in some of the biggest cities in America. 


Read more
Juicing 101: 5 Tips for Salma Hayek's Favorite Healthy Trick
Juicing 101: 5 Tips for Salma Hayek's Favorite Healthy Trick

It’s officially a new year and we’re all thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight in 2014 or simply wanting to embrace a healthier lifestyle, we know how you feel! Which is why we are embracing one of Salma Hayek’s favorite health tricks: juicing! Whether you’re new to cleansing or are a seasoned lover, we have the best tips and tricks to embracing more fruits and veggies this year—all while trimming your waistline in the process.


Read more
Slow Cooker 101: 5 Things Every Latina Needs to Know

As the weather turns from kind of cold to really chilly, there’s nothing we love more than turning to our trusty slow cooker for tonight’s heart-warming meal. Whether you call it by its brand name (Crock-Pot) or haven’t actually heard of this really handy device, we’re here to tell you that it is THE must-buy kitchen tool. There’s just something magical about putting all of your ingredients in the pot, setting it to cook for hours, and coming home after work to a house smelling wonderfully like dinner.


Read more
Real Latina Rocks Sparkly Eye Makeup for the Holidays!

With a few days before Christmas and just over a week before New Year's, for this week's Latina Style Wars we were inspired by all of the sparkly lights! We asked you to send us your prettiest, most glitter-filled beauty look and you did not disappoint!


Read more
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.


Read more
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!


Read more