Pork Belly Tacos with a Side of Anxiety : My Journey Through Depression, Bulimia, and Addiction

Pork Belly Tacos with a Side of Anxiety : My Journey Through Depression, Bulimia, and Addiction
Yvonne Castañeda
February 2022
Young Adult Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography
5 x 8
Trade Paper

“There are wounds of the spirit impossible to heal alone. Yvonne Castañeda is a healer healing others by sharing her own story. This book resonated deeply with me, as it will with many who are lost when their DNA contradicts the image of the ideal.”—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“An astonishing memoir, overflowing with compassion, honesty and hope. Castañeda fearlessly captures how immigration can eat the body and the lifelong healing that such injuries require. One of the bravest debuts I’ve read in years.”—Junot Diaz, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

In Pork Belly Tacos with a Side of Anxiety, Yvonne Castañeda 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 solución to her past struggles.

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