Hola! I’m Cristina, the one-woman show behind the health and wellness blog, The Castaway Kitchen. I’ve always loved food, and come from a family of avid cooks and foodies. My mom owns a farm-to-table café in Miami, Florida called Green Gables Café, which is where I got my start cooking professionally. It was there that I was able to really hone in on my natural ability to create tasty food and build efficient chef skills.
Growing up with Cuban immigrants as parents, my comfort foods were quite different than that of my peers. While my friends had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, I had a thermos full of picadillo and rice. Oh yes, my mother was serious about food – even before her restaurant years, she always cooked from scratch at home and I learned everything from her.
Fast forward through seven years of professional cooking, working for two years as a stay-at-home mom (my toughest but most rewarding job yet!), entering my 30s and experiencing the health pitfall that followed, I moved to Hawaii and hit rock bottom, health-wise. Overweight, inflamed and depressed, I knew something had to change. During those years, my eating habits spiraled downward and I turned to sweets to cope with the stress of life. As you can imagine, this landed me in a bad place.
One day, I decided I had enough. I wanted to be happy, to thrive and to live a positive life. So, I cleaned up my plate, and focused on healing, self-care and enjoying all the amazing outdoor activities Hawaii had to offer. Three years later, I am a new person – thriving, healthy, strong and most of all, I live my best life every day. When my focus went from coping mechanism to nourishment, from guilt to celebration, I began to curate my plate with superfoods that fueled my body the way it needed to be fueled. I had energy to spare, and began to love weightlifting and hiking.
Navitas superfoods have been key in my diet. Always my go-to when I shop at Whole Foods or Costco, the nutrient-dense ingredients are staples: from Chia Seeds and Pumpkin Seeds with hormone-balancing and anti-inflammatory properties to the antioxidant-rich Cacao Powder.
The power that food has – not only on our health, but on our mood – is truly incredible. As a working mom on the go and a military spouse, being healthy is key. I wanted to be that mom that could keep up with my kiddo, running after him as he rides his bike, playing for hours on the ocean with my family and taking them on adventures. Today, thanks to a positive outlook on life and nourishing foods, I AM!
Living your best life is a two-step process. First, change your mindset. Don’t think of eating healthy as a have to, think of it as a choose to. You choose to be healthy, you choose you. Second, practice self love. Celebrate the body you live in, sleep more, move more and smile more. We’ve got one life to live, so let’s make it a positive experience!