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In Pork Belly Tacos with a Side of Anxiety, Yvonne Casta eda shares vibrant stories of her childhood growing up in Miami as the daughter of humble immigrants from Mexico and Cuba . . . and how she came to develop an unhealthy relationship with food.
To help ease her mami's nervios, Yvonne becomes a perfectionist from a young age, achieving high grades at school and mastering the piano. But as her Cuban family members openly make comments about her awkward desarrollo, or puberty, Yvonne enters a new phase of self-consciousness that begins her obsession with weight.
She abandons the piano for the high school cheerleading team, and reinvents herself, becoming both skinny and popular. However, as a first-generation adolescent born in the United States, Yvonne wrestles with the conflict between the cultural norms of her Hispanic/Latino heritage and American societal expectations.
Plagued by doubt and low self-esteem, Yvonne begins a vicious cycle of weight gain and loss, as she battles Bulimia Nervosa. Beleaguered by feelings of guilt, shame, and inferiority, she develops anxiety, depression, and a reliance on dangerous coping mechanisms.
Ultimately, sage advice from her dear abuela in Guadalajara, Mexico, guides Yvonne to a realization that shifts her perspective of herself and the purpose of her life, providing a foundation for inner peace, and la soluci n to her past struggles.