Flavor Profiles with Taylor Rae Almonte #010
Meet Taylor Rae Almonte (@taylorraealmonte), athlete, activist and co-founder/creator of Act-ivism, as she shares about her work, inspirations, and care for traditions, new and old.
Through this series, our aim is to share the stories and work of those who inspire us most here at Loisa - those who bring their own pure flavor to this world and elevate our lives by doing so.
A little bit about Taylor Rae Almonte
Taylor Rae Almonte is a Brooklyn based actor, athlete & activist. She utilizes her unique skillset to educate, empower and amplify marginalized voices in all aspects of her life. Her fitness activism work—combining the mental health benefits of movement with the opportunity to educate and raise funds for social justice organizations—is her focus. Taylor is on the founding board of Claim Our Space Now, a non-profit organization whose mission is emboldening urgent action to dismantle white supremacy and save Black lives. She is the co-founder and co-creator of Activ-ism, an anti-racism wellness program, with her good friend Kira West. She is also a founding member of Fit For Us, a national organization that advocates, empowers and serves Black fitness professionals and underserved communities. Her favorite quote is, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, we are the change we seek.”
What brought you to what you do today?
I felt like I had to do something to create real change in my community and to fight for racial justice, and I knew I could not wait. I had not seen any other trainers using their platforms for activism, but I thought, why not be the first. Often we wait for someone else to do something, or speak up, or make a change, but the only real way to manifest the world you want to live in is by going out and helping to create it.
What's inspiring you most these days?
My mom always inspires me. She’s a preschool teacher and has always guided me to serve others and look outside of myself for purpose. Right now more than anything, I think the idea of giving myself grace and patience, and kindness is very powerful. Being inspired and motivated is not always easy or even possible, but being kind to yourself no matter what your best is that day is always a good choice.
What is a meaningful tradition in your life that revolves around food?
For as long as I can remember, holiday dinners with my family meant one table of our traditional foods—pernil, pasteles, empanadas, arroz con gandules— and then one table of American food—mashed potatoes, baked ham or turkey, and candied yams. Now, having a fiancé who is half Chinese, holidays still look the same, but on that one table we now have wontons, noodles, sticky rice, and duck. I love the idea of keeping traditions alive while simultaneously making new ones.
What's a dish that transports you to a certain place, no matter where you have it?
Cafe con Leche takes me right back to my grandma’s kitchen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. She used to take out these beautiful little teacups and make me coffee every morning as a kid. I don’t eat dairy at all these days, but every once in a while I’ll use the teacups my grandma left me when she passed, steam some milk, put in way too much sugar, and spend a moment with my grandma.
What are you excited to cook up next?
I’m excited to finally learn how to make pasteles with my mom this Christmas. I’ve never actually seen them be made; my grandparents always cooked them up before we got to their house, so I am excited to go through the long process and be able to save that tradition and pass it on to my kids someday.
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Find Taylor on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/taylorraealmonte/
And check out past newsletters here: https://www.taylorraealmonte.com/blog