The connection between healthy eating and better living is personal for Chef Anthony Vidal of Las Vegas, NV. He has Type 2 diabetes and a family history of heart-related illnesses. This father of three is taking steps to assure his family will not soon experience the heartbreaking loss of another loved one. Diabetes claimed the lives of both his mother and aunt over the past two years.
He has been involved in “Flavors of the Heart,” the American Heart Association's multicultural food festival in Las Vegas, since its inception three years ago. He says, “I love creating heart-healthy recipes to show that healthy cooking can be delicious. Being a part of this event means so much to me because it makes people aware of the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.”
“In my case, I finally decided it was time to break the cycle. So much loss in our family was so difficult. When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes I knew I had to change things. Now I am very careful about what I eat and what my children eat. I do not allow soda or candy in my house. My kids eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day.” His top tip for cooking and eating better is to cut out processed foods. He notes, “We all have busy lives, but the right food choices can save our lives.”
He adds, “My goal is to teach my own children the right way to eat and live their lives. And now, I make healthy lifestyle choices myself so I will be here for them – to attend their weddings, watch their children grow and enjoy life to its fullest.”
Chef Anthony was the featured Heart Chef at the 2013 “Flavors of the Heart” food festival. Check out more about him and his prize-winning recipe for Portobello Mushroom Caps on pages 38 and 39 of the “Flavors of the Heart” e-cookbook which contains all the festival favorites.