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Posts Tagged ‘healthy options’


Mango

Last Sunday, a friend who came over for lunch brought a bagful of green and golden ripe carabao mangoes. We could not consume it in three days so I decided to make some smoothie drinks by simply adding a small can of evaporated milk, a few spoons of sugar and crushed iced. There you go, a sweet and refreshing glass of pure mango.

Most people say that the Philippines has the best sweet and delicious mangoes in the world and I agree. Summer is the best time that you’ll enjoy this fruit. I am planning to make a mango jam out of the remaining ripe ones. You might not believe this but I love green mangoes more. I enjoy eating them fresh, sliced with the skin on and just sprinkled with a pinch of salt. Heaven!

I also baked chewy oatmeal raisin cookies using yellow raisin instead of the dark ones. Yellow raisins have more natural taste, not too sweet and not too dry.  Preparing  something in the kitchen need not be that elaborate. It’s Holy Week  and I suggested to my son that we do away with meat for the whole week and eat sea food and veggies instead.

Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Tuesday!

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I knew that I won’t go back to being 100% fit the first time I heard the word “cancer” more than four years ago.  I have enough of hospital and doctor visits so I gave up visiting one. A month ago, I felt an excruciating pain on my left knee so I have to look for a doctor near our place and it was my first time to visit a government hospital. Consultation is free of course but there are charges for laboratory tests. Compared to private hospitals, they charge a bit lower than the normal rate. It turned out I have gout and I have to take medications for three months before I go back there again.  Visiting doctors and hospitals always reminds me of the ordeal I went through when I was having chemotherapy.

Last Sunday, I underwent Quantum Resonance Magnetic Analysis. The QRMA is a rapid (it only takes a minute), accurate, non-invasive testing method. “The main analysis items are over 30, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular condition, bone mineral density, trace elements, blood lead, rheumatism, lung and respiratory tract, nephropathy, blood sugar, stomach and intestines, liver and gall, cranial nerves, gynecology, prostate, bone disease, the trace elements of selenium, iron, zinc and calcium, etc.”  Suffice to say, I need to have a detox for three days and have to change my diet and eat more fruits and vegetables. I’ve been so careful with  my diet since I had surgery for  colon cancer so I’ve wondered why there are still so many health risks that need to be addressed. It is so frustrating to know that  despite being so careful about it all, the results are not good.  Lack of calcium intake when I was a kid contributed to the weak bones that affect me now. I don’t drink milk  and I never like its taste and mom used to say that I was completely breastfed as a baby. I could tolerate milk products though as long as it is not pure milk. 

The things you do to stay healthy but then how sure are we that the things we eat nowadays are free from chemicals that ravage our bodies? Even fruits and vegetables are not safe unless they are locally grown in your own backyard.

Health is wealth so they say and I agree.

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Finally, we’re done trimming  the carabao grass. It’s son’s day off so we spent the late afternoon finishing the patch of grass that we left yesterday. It’s summer here now and 4pm is still a bit too hot for gardening.   Took time out to take a few shots of our lovable and cuddly dog Kuchi. She’s been with us for more than two years now and she has definitely grown. She has learned to open our screen door at the back . She has grown a little longer with those short legs and fan-like tail to boot. She is so “makulit”, always inching her way to get inside and sleep under our dining table. Lately, this is her favorite spot, a small area in our garden.

Her name is Kuchi!

Her name is Kuchi!

I am saving on space so I compressed the photos. A friend is giving us a new  male puppy, a mixed breed of Japanese Spitz  like this one.  Dogs have been constant companions for us since we moved here nineteen years ago.  I call our backyard garden “pet sematary”, it is where our previous dogs are buried.  Remember Stephen King’s book of the same title?

We did our marketing this morning by going back to Pasig market, an hour trip from our place when there is traffic. As usual, I enjoyed the haggling, I am happy with even just a peso discount on fruits and vegetables.  It’s been some sort of ritual for Josef and me to eat breakfast at the nearby Jollibee outlet before going to the market. He would always order hotdog with egg  and local sausage (longganisa) for me either with two hot cups of coffee or hot chocolate drink.  We would go back there to explore the garden center we saw this morning. I would love to buy a pot  each of citronella, rosemary or marigolds. Citronella is the most common natural ingredient used in formulating mosquito repellents.

We’re having fun at making simple kitchen recipes again. This morning, Josef prepared lumpiang shanghai made of different veggies which we bought earlier. Then we recycled the left-over spaghetti sauce my making pizza  using sliced bread.

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IMG_5696Our Tootsie roll sandwich is made of flattened sliced bread, with ham and cheese inside and rolled in bread crumbs before frying.  It is best served hot.

One can always experiment on  these simple and easy to prepare snacks without making a dent on one’s pockets.

Or you can boil fresh corn or sweet potatoes and they will give you enough fiber and they are healthy.

So much for this, have to catch up on reading Archetype.

 

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It seldom happens now because they are always busy at work, yesterday though, Josef and his girlfriend Jovy took me to Mont Albo in Timog Avenue in Quezon City, a spa and massage facility that offers several massage therapies including body scrub. The three of us availed of the Hilot, a Filipino healing method practiced for  thousands of years. It is a total body massage characterized by slow deliberate strokes to remove blockages by using virgin coconut oil.  It was a very relaxing one hour therapy. The three of us also availed of the additional  Bentosa, a therapy used by placing suction glass cups at one’s back to remove energy blockages. Josef practically went to sleep when  the therapist did that because we could hear his gentle snore while waiting for ten minutes before they remove the suction glasses and resume massage of the arms  and legs. I used to have foot massages  before (another way to unwind and relax) in the nearby beauty salon but it has become quite expensive so I only go there when I need to rest and enjoy the quiet times.

New Year 14

We had an early dinner at Papa John’s  in  Tomas Morato before going home. I told Josef that we used to live in that area back when he wasn’t born yet. The quiet neighborhood in the early eighties has now become a busy avenue of several high-end restaurants and eateries.  It was my first time to sample Papa John’s cheese and bacon pizza and its crispy onion rings, better than what we usually order at Burgoo’s. Such  a lovely day to spend  it  with them. I wish that next time we do this, my daughter and son-in-law and of course my darling baby Nate  could join us.

The weather here for the past  two or three weeks was a good 20 degrees Celsius.  It is colder at night and windy in the early morning and late noon.  The coldest morning so far in Metro Manila was at   17.5 degrees Celsius early Saturday  while Baguio City was at its coldest at 8.1 degrees Celsius last Sunday. Most days it’s cloudy, a perfect time to catch up on gardening and do a little weeding too.  It’s  a lovely time too to read. I’ve done six books since the start of the year and I planned to read around 50 books till the end of December. I really hope I could do it since I neglected reading last year, read a measly 20 titles, I guess.

I am listening to Richard Clayderman  and Ernesto Cortazar  while writing this blog. It’s a lovely day :)

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Last Christmas, my daughter gifted me with a lovely glass infusion bottle and told me I can use it every day for whatever veggies and fruits I would like to use. I’ve been using it ever since.

water infusion

The first time I encountered the healthy benefits of water infusion was during our visit at Regina RICA in Tanay, Rizal two years ago. The Dominican sisters who manage the place had a big jug of water infused with some herbs which tasted so refreshing. I forgot what it was but that introduced me to an alternative way to drink water instead of just pouring it in a glass. I haven’t actually researched on the health benefits of water infusion but some of my friends say it is healthy. I found this site which featured lemon as its ingredient.  Interesting read,  lemon is used not just to flavor your drinks but  it adds more benefits.  I’ve tried combining celery stalks with cucumber and it was great. For some of us who are conscious of  our health (not getting any younger) and would love to try an alternative way to stay well, this is it.  You can use fresh herbs or fruits like lemon, oranges, lime, mint and other fruits available in the market.

  • orange
  • lemon
  • lime
  • grapefruit
  • cucumber
  • mint
  • orange
  • lemon
  • lime
  • grapefruit
  • cucumber
  • mint

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Two days ago, Josef and I did our twice a month marketing at our wet market here in Cainta. And look what I found inside the stall of my “suki” (favorite vendor), some fresh produce that are old-time favorites. I seldom see these in other stalls in the area, something as fresh as they look.

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I love zucchini but they are not regular fares in our household because I seldom see them in the wet  market and the ones they sell in supermarkets no longer look fresh. Do you eat fiddlehead fern? We call it locally as paku or pako. And boy, it really tastes good made into salad.  Those new slim and long green ones are called French beans,my suki said, and they are now locally grown in the uplands in Baguio.  How nice, can’t wait to taste this with a few drops of oyster sauce.

 

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Mom and I had this for lunch today, a yummy dish of tilapia  wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut cream.  Tilapia or St. Peter’s fish  could be cooked in so many different ways.  You can have it filleted, deep-fried or our usual way of cooking pangat. I like it cooked in kalamansi (Philippine lime) which I have plenty of  in our garden with chopped onions, green pepper and ginger. I was craving for something different  so I tried cooking it in gata using  two pieces of tomatoes instead of kalamansi. Mom loved it and she asked what the green leaves were.  I told her it’s a fresh harvest from the garden,some edible gabi leaves growing alongside my ampalaya plants. When you cook something with coconut cream, it needs to be a little spicy to go with the creamy taste of the gata.

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I asked  Josef what he wanted for our main meal yesterday  and he said anything would be okay. We’ve been on fish and vegetable diet since the start of the Holy Week, and I mean everyday and every meal. This was one of those recipes featured in the recent PinoyMasterchef  episode. Since I didn’t have pestle and mortar to grind the nuts big enough for topping, I just sprinkled them on top before frying. The nutty taste of peanuts and the creamy flavor of  butter mixed with the tartness(I substituted kalamansi) of lime made it more flavorful. Try it, it’s yummy.

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I told you, I am now enjoying myself  taking  a trip to  the wet market to buy fruits and veggies. The other day, I bought saging na saba (plantain). It cost P2.00 each and I bought 20 pieces. I thought of cooking it for merienda.

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My son love the crunchy maruya  which I made from  four pieces of  banana.  I put half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and half a teaspoon of baking powder on the batter before frying.  Son said it is better than a burger :) The cinnamon gave it that extra twist. It was so yummy.

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I boiled  some and used  a  few pieces for our nilaga, the P40 is really worth it. I also made ginatang saging, kamote and gabi.  You can also boil it and add sugar and tapioca pearls. Where could you find something this cheap and enjoy several ways of preparing it? It’s a comfort food and it is nutritious too. According to studies made, eating raw plantain reduces weight.

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It’s been a while and I really missed WordPress. There is something wrong with our server. For more than three  days now, the connection has been quite erratic.  When you’re blogging every day your thoughts come in burst of inspirations and it is easier to share. A week’s lapse seems a long time. I feel as if I have forgotten how to blog :(

Would you believe if I say that one of the highlights of the week is discovering new and old things in the wet market? I like going to the wet market twice or thrice a month with my son in tow, of course. Fruits and root crops are in season nowadays. I’m beginning to think it’s summer now because you can see summer fruits like mangoes aplenty.

IMG_4355 IMG_4373 Yeay, we bought fresh green mangoes to go with the bagoong alamang which I plan to cook with lots of chili. Sweet potato comes in different varieties, I bought the yellow ones. There are so many ways of preparing this, you can have it baked, simply boiled, make it into fritters or just mix it with other vegetables.  Turnips or what we locally know as singkamas are also in season now. I mix diced turnips with ground pork to make a simple siomai which is a favorite in our household.

I remember the times when I was in grade school and every summer break, we go to our relative’s farm in our place in Pangasinan and help them harvest peanuts. By the time we are ready to go home, we are loaded with a sack of freshly dug  sweet potato and peanuts. We boil them together in a large pot and enjoy eating them at night while we just relax and exchange ghost stories with my cousins.  Mom used to buy them in bulk and save them for rainy days for everyday snacks.  Those were the days when life was simple. I was fascinated seeing this sticky black rice and asked the vendor how it is cooked. He said that it is prepared same way you cook the white one. I bought half a kilo of this and two pieces of panocha, a type of mascuvado sugar made into rounded blocks and used for making sweets. This is the first time that I made use of  black rice, it needs more cooking than the regular sticky rice sold in the market.  Using two pieces of coconut and one piece of panocha, I made a rice cake which in our native dialect is called binanlay or biko in Tagalog. I love its purple color and the taste is a little different compared to the regular sticky rice sold in the market. It’s  another successful kitchen experiment, I guess :)

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It tasted so yummy that I intend to cook more of  it and top it with latik.  My son is also interested to learn how to cook  so I taught him how to make a simple vegetable lumpia using the fresh ingredients we bought at the wet market – carrots, Baguio beans, sweet potato and turnips. I love any kind of lumpia and this is good with spicy vinegar used as dip.

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It’s what I like about observing the season of Lent because we get to eat lots of fruits, fish and vegetables and a little of meat on the side. Abstaining from eating meat  most days of Lent and all Fridays of the year, we get to invent recipes that  need simple ingredients.  Eating healthy is eating well, don’t you think?

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