Inspiring family and friends with healthy island Cupkey desserts
Fitness Coach Marisela Leon Unda was in search of a way to give her son the yummy, satisfyingly sweet treats he so enjoyed without serving him the empty, unhealthy calories that go into cupkey desserts made with white flour, dairy, and refined sugar.
Because 12-year-old Sebastian has Down syndrome, the mother of two who moved to Key Biscayne from Caracas, Venezuela, along with husband Jorge, nine-year-old daughter Paula, and black Schnauzer Wenky three years ago, made it her mission to find a solution.
The whole family joined in to thoroughly research recipes with a low glycemic index that are healthier and minimize associated risks toward obesity and diabetes found in typical bakery aisle processed desserts. Sebastian’s approval was the ultimate green light to proceed with new recipes.
The recently debuted “Cupkey” comes in flavors like Blue Key blueberry, Coco Key coconut, Cacao Chip Key chocolate, Banana Nuts, and Vanilla Chip Key. They are made with organic ingredients like almond flour, palm coconut sugar, local key honey, and cacao powder.
Unda’s entrepreneurial venture in honor of Sebastian–and in hopes of providing him with a future job and legacy–is a huge hit in the family’s key community, and especially with her team of runner friends known as the “Key Biscayne Glammers,” who log 15-30 miles a week jogging together on the island and competing in area races.
What do you love most about your work?
I love to help others and achieve goals and this new business is a way of showing my son and others I work with in my coaching that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
What do you love about working in Key Biscayne?
It is a very friendly community where you can get to know people easily and they are open to learn about other cultures and are very involved in a healthy lifestyle. There are also wonderful places to enjoy sports in a natural environment.
What is your favorite food?
Cupkeys! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I wrote a book about my experience as a woman whose first son was born with Down syndrome. It’s called “Mas alla de tus ojos” and was published in Madrid, Spain by psimatica editorial four years ago.
What is the proudest moment of your career?
When my son approved my healthy Cupkeys. When people believed in me and gave me a chance to be a part of their life whether through exercise and fitness training or with my Cupkeys.
What is your advice for someone who is just starting out as a baker?
Try, try, and try again…until you get the perfect recipe.