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Vitality Foods  - April 2016 - Santa Fe

Traditional Eating to Make You Energized and Strong

By Valeria Alarcón


What is traditional eating? Well, it’s definitely not conventional eating. I learned about traditional eating early on in my childhood when I moved from the coast of Ecuador to inner city Boston, Massachusetts at age 10. Within eight hours of travel my tropical sunny day quickly changed into a bone-chilling wintery night. As my brother Leo and I reunited with our parents I found myself feeling perplexed about the iced ground beneath my feet. I kept wondering how are we going to get food when the ground is frozen…? The next day my mother took my brother and I food shopping. She kept referring to the super market; we are going to the super market. The word itself was intriguing; I thought to myself “I can’t wait to see how super the market is going to be!” The literal translation of words was prevalent in my bilingual brain at that time. So off we went to get food at the super market. I recall arriving to this massive parking, which had massive one-story building in the middle of it and I thought…. “Well of course! They have green houses here for the winter months! How else will they grow their food…! The Americans are so brilliant.” As we walked into this blindingly bright, isle congested place my heart sunk and I quickly turned to my mother and asked, “Where is the food? I thought this was a super market?” She turned and said “This is the food darling, this is how Americans eat.” And I thought, Americans eat things…


Up until that moment I had never seen food in bags, boxes, or cans. The isles were filled with dehydrated, fake-colored and highly processed food; I was shocked… As a 10-year-old child I was confused that one of the most “progressive” countries in the world offered fake foods as a nutritional source. I literally cried for six months every time I ate. It was heart shattering that Oj, so brightly orange could taste like sugared/colored water, that a bright a red tomato can taste so bland and that butter could have a chemical like after taste. Of the many cultural shock I experienced in this great country of ours, food was by far the most shocking. So much so that within months of my arrival I started to get sick and eventually got diagnosed with diabetes. This is when I returned to my traditional way of eating, which means to consume the foods that are offered by mother earth, foods that are available regionally and seasonally.


Traditional eating invites us to engage with the cycles of nature and her bounty for it gives us what we need. For example people who live at sea level consume very different foods than those who live at 14,000 feet. I share this story to highlight the way of eating that promote health and vitality, there are foods that feed you and ignite you and there are foods that deplete you. The foods that support your health are nature based, which have not been treated with chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, hormones or GMO’s. You want to feel energized, strong, vital, and clear minded and healthy then I invite you to visit your local farmer’s market where you will find the bounty of your local harvest. Consuming natural foods grown right here in your backyard not only supports your health, but it also supports the health of our environment and the health of our local economy.




5 cloves of garlic minced

½ onion chopped

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of ginger

1 cup of orange lentils (also may use brown or green lentils – soak and rinse - or pre-cooked)

½ of quinoa

1 sweet potato chopped (leave skin on)

4 cups of chicken broth

1 cup of coconut cream



  1.  In a cooking pot sauté garlic, onion and spices in 2 table spoons of coconut oil

  2. Add lentils and sweet potato, sauté for five minutes

  3. Add chicken broth, bring to boil for 10 minutes, cover and simmer for 30 mintues

  4. Add the coconut cream, cook for another 10 minutes

  5. Enjoy! Serve with a whole grain toast and butter

Valeria Alarcón is a Holistic Health Coach and Advocate AADP, whose mission is to inspire, educate, and empower individuals who are committed to reclaiming life and vitality through health and wellness. 


As a cancer survivor Val knows what it takes to reclaim life and vitality, and she is delighted to be of support to her community. For more information visit



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