Inspired in part by daughter’s newfound health, family opens protein shake, tea shop in New Milford

NEW MILFORD — Jesenia Cintron is grateful every day for her youngest daughter Yasmine, who she refers to as a “walking miracle” — and part of the inspiration behind Cintron’s Nutrition, a health-minded business that just opened on Danbury Road.

Yasmine, now 13, was born with rare heart conditions including congenital heart disease, double outlet right ventricle, and heterotaxy syndrome.

“Our mission is to spread our testimony and be able to help children with severe health conditions by being a light in the mist of the storm,” said Cintron, 36, a Brookfield resident and mother of six who owns the business with her step-daughter Katherine, 25. “What we receive by grace we should also give by grace.”

Cintrons’, which is about 1,070 square feet and located at 131 Danbury Road, serves full meal replacements in the form of shakes, as well as other healthy products.

“All our shakes are full meal replacements and protein based,” said Cintron, whose husband Luis Cintron is a manager at Ullman Devices in Ridgefield.

All shakes contain between 200 to 250 calories, 24 grams of protein and 21 vitamins and minerals.

One of the most popular shake flavors has been Fruity Pebbles, Cintron said.

“It tastes just like the cereal,” she said.

Other flavors include Snickers, Pina Colada, and chocolate peanut butter.

All shakes are topped with regular or coconut whipped cream.

The reason for meal replacements, Cintron said, is that most people don’t consume enough vitamins and minerals from their daily diet.

The herbal teas on the menu are all 20 to 35 calories and contain no sugar. They provide energy and are sweetened with aloe, she added.

The Green Wave tea, made with aloe, lemon tea, limeade flavoring and topped with sliced lime and green apples, is named after New Milford’s High School football team.

Other tea flavors include tropical mango, watermelon chia, and orange lime twist.

Aside from shakes and teas, Cintrons’ sells protein waffles, which are also a full meal replacement — containing 24 grams of protein about about 260 calories.

The road to health

Cintron, who previously lived in Tampa, Fla., spent her entire pregnancy with Yasmine in and out of the hospital.

“I lived in the ER, getting IVs. I was very weak,” Cintron said. “I would try to go to work and I would spend seven or eight hours in the bathroom, throwing up.”

She later learned the electrical system of her daughter’s heart was backwards.

“Only half of her heart works,” Cintron said.

At that time, doctors told Cintron her daughter would only live to age 20.

She said, however, with medical advancements, it’s possible her daughter can live a longer life.

Since Yasmine was 7 months old, she has undergone three major open heart surgeries. While living in Florida, she and her family spent time at the Ronald McDonald house in St. Petersberg, Fla.

Yet, not only has she survived, she surprised many doctors over the years.

“Each time we had a scare and they told me she may need a procedure, such as a pacemaker, the next visit, the doctors would tell me, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing but her heart rate has risen 30 beats per minute. She doesn’t need it,’” Cintron said.

Today, Yasmine, a seventh-grader at Whisconier Middle School in Brookfield, is thriving, said Cintron, who calls her a “miracle baby.”

“Physical activity is on how she can maintain herself. When she gets tired or fatigued, she stops,” said Cintron, adding her daughter takes one aspirin daily and is on no other medication.

“If you didn’t see the scar on her chest, you probably wouldn’t think she went through so much,” Cintron added.

Cintron, who previously worked in the medical field as a medical assistant and receptionist, started Cintron’s Nutrition from her home in the middle of COVID-19 — in May of 2020.

“My daughter is considered high risk and wasn’t able to go to school, so I needed to figure out a way to help create an income to help my husband pay the bills without leaving my home. So, we started this,” she said. “It went very well but it was also very iffy because of the pandemic. A lot of people were a little hesitant to buy.”

Eventually, she said, she set a goal to open a storefront.

Customer Jim Welsh of New Milford said he and his wife Carolyn Welsh have been coming often to Cintron’s since they opened.

While his wife orders the shakes, Welsh, who is a Type 2 diabetic, said he especially loves the teas - and has tried most flavors.

“We’ve been trying to taste-test just about everything they’ve got going on down there,” Welsh said. “They’ll do very well, once people realize what they have to offer.”

Cintron’s has been giving out free samples of tea around town including at New Milford High School and local businesses.

“We’re just focused to get out in the community,” she said.

Cintron’s Nutrition, at 131 Danbury Road, suite 45 A, is open 7 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Cintron’s seats 14 indoors. Delivery is available to town residents. For more information, call 475-218-1013 or visit cintronsnutrition.business.site .

sfox@milfordmirror.com