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Decolonize Your Diet

Decolonize Your Diet

Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing

Luz Calvo & Catriona Rueda Esquibel
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More than just a cookbook, Decolonize Your Diet redefines what is meant by “traditional” Mexican food by reaching back through hundreds of years of history to reclaim heritage crops as a source of protection from modern diseases of development.

Authors Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel are life partners; when Luz was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, they both radically changed their diets and began seeking out recipes featuring healthy, vegetarian Mexican foods. They promote a diet that is rich in plants indigenous to the Americas (corn, beans, squash, greens, herbs, and seeds), and are passionate about the idea that Latinxs in America, specifically Mexicans, need to ditch the fast food and return to their own culture’s food roots for both physical health and spiritual fulfillment.

Catrióna Rueda Esquibel received her PhD in the History of Consciousness Program at UC Santa Cruz (1999). She is the Interim Associate Dean in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. She is the author of With her Machete in her Hand (U of Texas Press, 2006). Her father’s family has lived in northern New Mexico for more than twelve generations. On her mother’s side, her great-great-grandmother, great-grandmother, and grandmother all migrated from Sonora to Los Angeles between 1913 and 1919.  Catriona is interested in diet and diabetes because her father and many of his siblings were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In one generation, as they moved from New Mexico to Los Angeles, their diet went from grass-fed beef, home-raised chickens, and home-grown vegetables and local herbs on the ranch to highly processed foods.

Luz Calvo received their PhD in the History of Consciousness Program at UC Santa Cruz in 2001. Luz is a professor of Ethnic Studies at Cal State East Bay, where they teach a course entitled, “Decolonize Your Diet: Food Justice in Communities of Color.” Luz traces their food genealogy to her paternal grandparents, who ran a Mexican restaurant in San Fernando, California, from the 1940s through the 1970s.  The Calvo business began when the grandparents began selling tacos to the cannery workers, with their grandfather purchasing fresh, seasonal ingredients from the LA Central market, and their grandmother preparing and packaging the tacos. Luz coedited the volume, Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements: Decolonial Perspectives.


  • Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing by Luz Calvo & Catriona Rueda Esquibel
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (October 13, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1551525925
  • ISBN-13: 9781551525921
  • Item Weight: 1.68 pounds
  • Dimensions : 7.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
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