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Zarela Martinez is one of the most celebrated Mexican chefs in the United States. At one point, she owned restaurants, wrote cookbooks, hosted a PBS series and throughout her career, helped introduce Americans to the richness of Mexico’s many regional cuisines. Then, in 2004, Zarela was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. It’s a neurological disorder that causes the loss of fine motor skills and, in its later stages, dementia. It can be extremely debilitating. The diagnosis would have devastated some people— but not Zarela. Her philosophy of self-healing is this episode’s Sabiduría, or words of wisdom.

 

Photo by Laurie Smith

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