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In honor of Halloween, I think I’ll disguise myself as a healthy food that’s not really healthy. I have plenty of ideas: carrot cake, oatmeal cookies, pumpkin bread, blueberry pancakes and my latest discovery, mashed green plantains.

woman with two donuts over eyes

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in Washington Heights lately. It’s a vibrant, family-friendly neighborhood in New York City with a large Dominican population that spawns fabulous Caribbean restaurants and Latin American bakeries. I discovered Mofongo, mashed green plantain. Plantains belong to the same family as bananas. Healthy, right? On the prowl for a recipe to duplicate the sensational taste, I discovered much to my consternation that the classic Mofongo recipe calls for fried pork rinds. Ew!

It’s much easier to maintain a healthful diet with your own home cooking, but due to frequent road trips this past year, dining out has been unavoidable. I began these trips with all good intentions, ordering salads with dressing on the side and leaving with half my meal in a doggy bag. But that got old and bad habits began to return. The cold weather has been a deterrent to walking. With Halloween in a few days followed by Thanksgiving, there isn’t much hope of a comeback any time too soon.

Healthful eating and exercise can be as habit-forming as candy, caffeine or anything addictive. It’s a discipline and a mindset that picks up momentum over time; a special type of high that proliferates into other areas of your life. I can’t wait to get that mojo back.

woman in yoga pose

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In the past, I’ve found inspiration from new cookbooks, fitness apps and devices, and self-proclaimed gurus. I just bought a spandex travel band with pockets to hold personal items while power walking. If that doesn’t work, I plan to use the band to seal off my mouth before I delude myself into believing that apple muffins, mango smoothies and pecan rolls are super foods.

spinach pie

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