In a few words, my passion is inspiring others to live a healthier life.
If money and time were of no concern, what would you do for the rest of your life?
Part of the excitement in what I do is always seeking new opportunities and making new connections, and I never want to stop doing that. I have recently started giving motivational talks on health and plant-based nutrition to companies around Miami and I enjoy being able to work on a macro level to inspire large groups of people. Eventually, I would love to travel around the world giving talks on plant based nutrition and healthy eating to impact as many people as possible. I also want to write books to share my passion and knowledge about food with people around the world. I want to build something really big and inspire many people.
What course in college had the greatest impact on you and why?
“International Relations Since 1945” was my first course with Professor Stephen Ceccoli, who later became my advisor and a great mentor. One day in class, he spoke about research with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the food supply. Before that, I had never heard about GMOs and was horrified to learn they were in the food supply. It sparked my interest in the subject, and I asked him to discuss it further outside of class. I never thought about food the same way after that conversation and it inspired me to learn more about food and share that passion with others.
Tell us a little about your first job after college.
I started working with my husband’s and sister-in-law’s business by providing translations for sport clients and professional soccer clubs. I always dreamed of having a job that would allow me to use my knowledge and skill with multiple languages, and it was a fantastic experience. I really enjoyed the flexibility and independence of working as an entrepreneur, so it inspired me to pursue my own business.
I launched my Food and Lifestyle consulting business in 2014 focusing on plant-based nutrition, and I work with individuals who want to improve their lifestyles by providing menu plans, recipes, grocery tours, and other tools to help them take control of their health. It is really rewarding to be able to change someone’s life. Soon after, I launched a translation business to fulfill my passion for languages. I am fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian, and I provide translation to individuals and companies around the world. I love being able to combine my passion for food and languages to work with many people around the world.
What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you?
Ever since I was little, my dad told me “You always have to try.” No matter what the circumstances, you always have to try. Even if it seems impossible, you have to at least try. Otherwise, you’ll never know what could have been.
What are some of your favorite pastimes and activities?
As a former NCAA athlete, I play tennis regularly with my husband, who also played professionally. I was also introduced to Latin dancing during my time at Rhodes, and I am glad I have tapped into that part of my culture as well since my father is from Cuba and my mother is from Spain. Additionally, I modeled professionally for many years in Europe and New York and I greatly enjoyed the creative side of photo shoots and embodying different emotions and personas. I also use my creative side in the kitchen, where you can catch me whipping up healthy plant-based dishes all the time. I love preparing different foods and trying new combinations. Finally, I love traveling and exploring new places.
If I were a book, I would be a plant-based cookbook full of delicious gluten-free and oil-free recipes from different cultures that match my love of learning about new cultures and enjoying plant-based food.
As a Phi Beta Kappa member and liberal arts and sciences graduate, why do you think the liberal arts are important? How has your education or membership in Phi Beta Kappa impacted your life, personally or professionally?
I had an incredible four years at Rhodes College and I am most grateful for the relationships I had with my professors. At the small liberal arts school, I was able to get undivided attention from my professors, who genuinely cared about my development. They always made themselves available to me and challenged me to go above and beyond. A liberal arts education also allows for students to take a variety of courses in different subject matters, which opens up the mind to so many more possibilities. It’s hard to know what you want to study at a young age until you’re exposed to different areas. My four years at Rhodes led me to many great opportunities, including working with Slow Food in Italy, getting my MA at NYU, and now, realizing my dream of running my own businesses.