Welcome to Ambitious Kitchen, I’m Monique. I’m incredibly happy you’re here!

The goal of this blog is to provide you with healthy inspiration, whether it’s in your kitchen or in your life.

My Wellness Story Part 2: Finding Balance

What will I find on this blog?

Everything! Most of the food I create is geared towards those with active, healthy lifestyles. You’ll find plenty of good-for-you meals to share with your family, friends, and recipes the love in your life will adore. I like to get creative, using unique ingredients and pairing different flavor combinations. I have to admit that I am an avid baker so I’ll probably throw a few crazy desserts at you, too.

Outside of the kitchen I’ll share fitness inspiration, my travel adventures,  products that I’m loving, and maybe a few photos of my cat, Milly.

My passion for cooking and baking came at an early age while assisting my Puerto Rican Mother in the kitchen, and my Father, a man who made his own pies, pancakes and an incredible yellow cake with chocolate buttercream (and a splash of coffee!). Thus on this blog you will be sure to find sweet treats, Spanish inspired cuisine and of course, my flair for healthy eating.

Paleo Chocolate Chunk Cookies

If you’re new here, start with this salad, dive into these enchiladas, and then finish with a truly life-changing cookie.

How did you start your blog?

The best kind of food is the kind that inspires, tells a story, and is shared with the ones you love. This is why I launched Ambitious Kitchen back in 2011 — because over the years I learned how powerful food can be in our lives. While I was in college I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise in order to avoid facing some deep-rooted hardships from my past.

What started as an extra workout during the week quickly turned into counting every calorie, labeling certain foods as “good” and “bad,” and eventually lead to my battle with an eating disorder.

However, facing these hardships allowed me to re-focus on finding a balance with both food and exercise — something that I know can be a daily struggle for so many people (and I’m right there with you!) You can read more about my wellness journey Part 1 and Part 2.

Creating and sharing these recipes over the past few years has taught me how to eat well and eat deliciously.

Flexibility is key, and we won’t compromise on taste here — promise! I write this blog to share the love of a feel-good salad, a kick-ass workout, a fluffy stack of pancakes, and a hope that these posts inspire you to find balance in your life. I learn a bit more about myself with every recipe, and I’m confident that you will too.

 

What’s happened since then?

It’s been a whirlwind! I won Nordic Ware’s Bundts Across America recipe contest, Fage’s recipe contest, hung alongside Bobby Flay, shared my recipes on the Food Network’s HealthyEats.com and have been featured on numerous cooking sites such as the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Today.com, Self Magazine  and Cup of Jo. In less than 3 years, I was able to quit my corporate job to work on Ambitious Kitchen full time.

Enter 2017. The past couple of years have been big ones for me! I was selected as an ambassador for Under Armour Women to inspire women across the globe, and hired my first full-time employee, Abra (@abraowens), to help manage my awesome brand partnerships and continue to pursue my dreams.

This fabulous kale waldorf salad has chopped chicken breast, avocado, goat cheese, tart cranberries and crunchy toasted walnuts. Tossed in an easy light balsamic vinaigrette.

One of my biggest accomplishments was co-founding Healthy Glow Co., a fitness and nutrition website, and launching our first product, the Healthy Glow Guide. Our guide contains a flexible 6-week program with easy, tasty recipes for each day, plus go-to workouts, grocery lists, and inspiration throughout.

It's LIVE: The Healthy Glow Guide by HealthyGlow.Co!Healthy Glow Co. is all about finding a balance between food and fitness that fits your healthy lifestyle — getting rid of the guilt associated with having a treat, going out with friends, and taking a rest day, so that you can live LIFE.

Throughout this journey I’ve met incredible friends while learning about myself and the passion I have for food, nutrition, self-awareness and balance.

 

 

 

 

Wanna know more?

I moved to Chicago from Minneapolis in 2014, and Tony and I bought our first place in 2016. We’ve been busy organizing, decorating, and making this place a home. Check out our master bedroom here.

Travel is also a big part of my life. I love adventure, exploring new places, meeting new people, and (of course) trying new foods. In 2009 I briefly lived in Australia where I learned to surf at some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. I also drank a lot of wine. It was unforgettable. You can read more about my travel adventures in my travel sectionMost recently I’ve been on hiking adventures in the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Austin and more.

What else? I love to workout and believe that moving your body is one of the best kinds of stress relief. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream is my favorite dessert and I can never get enough peanut butter. I’m obsessed with Mariah Carey and always will be.

 

Most recently though, I got engaged to the love of my life, Tony. We’re currently planning for a late Fall 2017 wedding.

I'm engaged! #ambitiouskitchen

Above all I believe in passion. Find something you love and do it. That’s what I’m doing here.

If you are interested in working with me, please contact abra@ambitiouskitchen.com. Media kits are available upon request.

Thanks for being here. I love you guys more than you know. xo!