Celebrity nutritionist Oz Garcia will be reconnecting with his roots this weekend during a stop in Miami.
Garcia will be launching "Wellness Weekends" at the James Royal Palm Hotel in Miami Beach starting this Friday and Saturday.
Garcia, who spent a few years in Miami after leaving Havana, Cuba, is now based in New York. Although he keeps a strict diet, he said that won't keep him from indulging with his mom, who lives in Kendall, over the weekend.
"If you only eat Cuban food for 40 to 50 years, it's going to put you to an early grave with all the sugar that's in it," Garcia said. "But if I'm down there and mom wants to go have Cuban food, there's no question about it."
Garcia said there is a healthiness to enjoying food. Even a food that may be considered unhealthy is healthy if it will lift your spirits, he said.
"Once I used to be very inflexible," Garcia said. "I'm a lot more flexible - within limits."
The best day to be inflexible?
"Christmas Eve," he said. "My relatives make the puerco en una caja china, a chinese box where they dig a hole and put the pig in. There's nothing more delicious. Will it kill you if you eat it every day? Hell yeah, but Christmas Eve? You can't beat it."
For this first weekend, Garcia will lead wellness sessions that focus on functional eating and stress management. He will cover a number of topics such as power juicing, anti-aging techniques and sunrise meditation.
"I think it's important for people to make connections between what they eat and what they feel," he said.
The series will be ongoing and Garcia will most likely host a Wellness Weekend once a month.
The full weekend will come out to $620 per person, but people can attend individual sessions starting at $50.
For those who can't afford to attend, Garcia has some simple advice.
"I really believe in education," he said. "I make everybody read."
Garcia recommends the books of food writer Michael Pollan, Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook "It's All Good" and his own books on anti-aging and healthy eating.
"Given the way the world is now, you need to be better informed about how to take care of yourself," he said.
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