Originally posted February 18, 2013. Revised May 2015.

New Year Balloons.jpg

Despite the fact that we’ve already reached the middle of February, I feel as if the year has just begun. Setting goals for the New Year may seem invalid to some, but to me, the timing is perfect. You see, sometime between college and starting my first professional job I stopped making New Year’s resolutions. I don’t remember why I gave up on the notion that turning a single calendar page would prompt major changes in my life, but when I did, I felt a huge sense of relief. No more self-inflicted pressure to “make something happen” to satisfy an old ritual, instead I started looking forward to a new year of possibilities. Now when the proverbial clock strikes midnight on December 31st, I’m looking forward to special occasions like my kids turning another year older, family vacations and holidays we’ll be spending together.

This New Year’s Eve was a little different. It was different because throughout 2012, I pushed myself beyond my personal and professional comfort zones. My goal was to create a presence in the wild world of social media. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I was determined to do it–kind of like when I was four years old and insisted on jumping off the high-dive at the public pool. I remember walking toward the tip of the diving board, taking a deep breath and just jumping (like my daughter in this photo!). Once I hit that water and swam back to the surface, it was exhilarating! This time around, I knew achieving my goal wasn’t simply a matter of “jumping in”; I had to commit myself to learning about social media and follow in the path of dietitians and bloggers who were already in the thick-of-it.

In the summer of 2012, my journey began. I found a web designer who completely transformed my home-crafted web site into a beautiful, professional site that showcased all of my work. Flying by the seat of my pants, I pushed my way through social media, print and broadcast. I muddled my way through Twitter and began following my mentors, replied to tweets, participated in chats and shared photos from every cooking class and speaking event on Twitter and Facebook. Throughout the year, I accepted almost every offer to write articles on health and nutrition and wrote until my head throbbed, eyes stung and back ached. I took every feasible opportunity to network with colleagues in person and through social media. Attending the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) and the Latinos in Tech and Social Media (LATISM) conference influenced major shifts in my career, steering the course of my work from what it has been for the past 14 years to what is is flourishing into...and I couldn't be happier. 

Looking ahead to a bright new year!

To say I’m looking forward to what this year will bring is a massive understatement. In the next week I’ll be posting my interview with renowned executive chef and restaurateur Ronaldo Linares. Introduced via Twitter by Chef CJ Henry, Chef Ronaldo and I instantly bonded over our love of cooking Latin-inspired dishes, teaching others to cook and our lack of computer savviness (!). Ronaldo’s family has owned Martino’s Cuban Restaurant in Somerville, New Jersey for over 20 years, but his recent appearances in both Food Network’s competitive cooking show Chopped and the BBC’s Chef’s Race: U.S. vs UK have catapulted him into the media spotlight. He took time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions about food, familia and his passion for cooking. You’ll definitely want to read this post as Chef Ronaldo is also sharing his mouth-watering recipe for Pejesapo “Monkfish” Ceviche.

In the queue is an interview with pediatrician and healthy food advocate, Dr. Kevin Strong, MD. Dr. Strong is CEO and Founder of Dunk the Junk, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and encourage our country’s youth to eat healthy food, drink more water, cut out sugary foods and beverages and overall “dunk the junk.” A mission we should all support!

Keep checking back here for healthy recipes, cooking tips, fun interviews, simple and reliable nutrition information, gorgeous photos and so much more. This year is off to an amazing start and the best is yet to come. Thanks for following along!

I love inspirational quotes. Here is one that applies to ANY day of the year:

“Here’s to the bright New Year,

and a fond farewell to the old; 

here’s to the things that are yet to come,

and to the memories that we hold.”