Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Superfood Grocer Haul

Since I make my own food most of the time, I try to get the most out of what I eat. I let food be my medicine by eating good-quality food. I'm on the lookout for weekend markets that sell local produce at a fraction of the cost, bonus too for organic finds (I'm not super strict on the organic food, but I know and recognize that there are food that as much as possible we get organic such as greens, eggs, etc.). It makes meal prepping so much more fun because I'm working with a rainbow of high-quality ingredients.

I've been adding superfood to what I make.  Superfoods are food that will not turn me to a superhero but it is a fun (marketing) term used to describe food with health benefits that our body needs. I would like to think of it as getting nutrients from other food sources or to up the nutritional value of my food by sneaking in some other food sources. Popular superfood include chia seeds, quinoa, flax, etc. Since most superfoods are plant-based, it makes those with a plant-based diet or those with seafood allergy to still get nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids other than fish or seafood.

I already have food like chia seeds, flax, and quinoa in my stock so I thought I'd add more to my stash. Doing more research led me to the Superfood Grocer website, and I purchased a few products from their list which I would like to show you.

Superfood staples (L-R): Spirulina, Maca Power, Raw Cacao Nibs, and Chia Seeds

I purchased these items in separate days, since I purchased them through their dealer stores such as Rustan's Supermarket and The Green Company. For this time, I decided to go to the physical stores since I like seeing what I buy. Also, it's like making a little trip and discovering new places too where I can source out materials.

Chia Seeds, Php350 (1/2 lb)  and  Php625 (1 lb)
 I really use chia seeds  and they are practically in almost all of  my breakfasts. Chia contains fiber, protein, and omega-3. They are fun to work with. When you soak them, they form a jelly-like coating that thickens up smoothies.

Use chia seeds to make coconut-chia pudding. Just add some mangoes and you have a dessert that reminds you of a popular Thai dessert. Added to overnight oats, it gives you that thick, creamy consistency.  One bag of chia seeds last really long for me (unless you make chia pudding everytime), since a tablespoon is more than enough for topping for my granola or oatmeal already.

You can take a cue from my friend Jinky, where she placed chia seeds on her Bayani Brew drink. It adds an interesting texture and keeps you fuller so you don't go mindlessly snacking throughout the day.

Raw Cacao Nibs, Php 225 (1/2 lb) and Php 395 (1 lb)

Cacao nibs are quite interesting because they look and taste like dark chocolate. These bits that look (and taste) like chocolate-covered raisins contain magnesium and manganese as well as iron. They also contain antioxidants that the body needs to fight free radicals.

Mix these in oatmeal or your granola and yogurt or have a few when you're craving for chocolate. I purchased a small packet of cacao nibs from a different brand a while back, but they were a bit too nutty and bitter for me. This one, since they are coated with raw sugar are a bit yummier and sweeter. You can actually include them in homemade trail mixes you can take when you want a snack wherever.

Maca Power, Php 850 (1/2 lb), and Php 1,600 (1 lb)
I'm actually curious about Maca Power because it practically contains everything I needed in my life right now plus there were so much good reviews about it. Sleep is important. It's the body's natural way of repairing itself.  I've actually planned my day and my life that I should get proper amount of sleep every single day. Since working out is practically my job and my life right now, I need faster recovery so I don't run on empty batteries and an injured body. All you need is 1/2 teaspoon blended into your smoothies, juices, oatmeal, etc. It also doesn't interfere with the taste of my smoothies. Actually, with life so busy and running on instant and fast paced and all these Facebook statuses that I read of people running on coffee, 2 hours of sleep and ready to beast mode at work, we should have this all the time. It's been a week of taking my Maca Powder (I add it to my smoothies and oatmeal). I haven't had coffee the entire week and I have this steady energy like I supercharged my fire meridians. I don't have broken sleep (like being interrupted midway). My sleep is steady and I constantly wake up at 5:00 a.m. every single day. It's like being a car getting VIP tune-up service every single time.

Spirulina, Php 400 (1/4 lb), Php 700 (1/2 lb), and Php 1,300
What actually got me wanting to purchase a packet of spirulina was because it gives a pretty blue color for my smoothies and colored pasta. This spirulina however, is more a deep blue-green color rather than navy blue. However, even though it didn't color my pasta or smoothie to a blue color, it's still worth it to have some spirulina present. Spirulina in the highest known natural protein source.  It has the highest concentration of protein per gram compared to any food on the planet. Any food, yes, that includes protein from animal sources and the yucky monggo. It contains powerful antioxidants, aids in quick recovery and for breastfeeding mommies who are getting umay with eating 25,745 malunggay (moringa) leaves in all forms (including in yucky monggo soup). I have this in smoothies and smoothie bowls. I even made fresh pasta with spirulina.

I do have to warn you though, that spirulina, since it comes from algae, may have an initial fishy smell. However, those who tasted it says it tastes like seaweed or nori. I'm thinking of adding this to my vegan puttanesca sauce next time as an alternative for anchovies.

The Superfood Grocer website has the most complete listing of food we could include to stock up our pantries. I'm eyeing on the camu camu berry on my smoothie next time as well as chlorella. They also have starter packs for those who want to get started on including superfood in their system. The website has all their products but if you are like me and like looking at the actual product before buying, they also have partner stores listed in their site. The groceries though like Landmark, Rustan's, and Robinsons contain just the quinoa, chia seeds, flax, coconut sugar, and cacao nibs. For the maca power and spirulina, you may have to go to organic food stores. Next time, I shall try ordering online. If you're at a loss on how to incorporate them in food, the website also has (plant-based) recipes for you to try.

I've got so much ideas now on my smoothie bowls and juices and I always look forward to making breakfast and meals supercharged with superfood. If you have an idea, let me know how to use them.

Store Directory

The Superfood Grocer;;

The Green Company
San Juan: 17-D DPL Bldg, M. Paterno St., San Juan. (02) 5315201;
QC: 920 Banawe St. Brgy Manresa, QC (02) 3512982
Pasig: Ground Floor, Ace Plaza Hotel and Suites, United St. cor. Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig (02) 9416165;

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gelish Dip: No-chip, High shine safe and fast nail color made affordable

We all love our gel manicure. For most of us, it stays put like an annoying suitor that will not let go even if nail regrowth is pretty obvious. I like the fact that as soon as the procedure is over, I'm super good to go, no need for "flyaway" nails like Edward Scissorhands in fear of smudging your freshly-painted nails. Gel polish is perfect for weddings when you are super busy the day before your wedding you need to do your nails like 2 days before and still have shiny, gorgeous nails on the big day. It's perfect when you travel so you have nice, Instagrammable-worthy nails perfect for your food photos and flatlays. No need to worry about chips at times like these.

I was invited to try Gelish's newest nail system - The Gelish Dip, a revolutionary acrylic powder nail system that allows you to get gel-like perfect nails without the need of a UV or LED lamp.

This service is faster and simpler than our usual gel polish - it takes just 20-30 minutes for both hands. That's half a lunchbreak so you have more time to eat or coffee or whatever.  Also, for those who do not prefer gel polish because of the cost, Gelish Dip is super affordable as it costs only half of what we would usually pay for a gel polish service - Php 450.00. This service also is gentle on the nails and does not strip the nail of its protective barrier - perfect for girls like me with thin nails.

The service is available at all Beauty and Butter shops (we currently have three here in Manila - SM Jazz, SM MOA, and SM Megamall).

Dip Powder in Scandalous

The difference from a traditional gel manicure and the Gelish Dip is that instead of bottles containing the nail polish in liquid form, the color actually comes in a jar in powder form, similar to caviar nails or glitter nails. There's so much colors and finishes to choose from (around 120!) so they've got you covered with all the colors of the rainbow and more.

Instead of a UV lamp, they have an activator, which cures the color.

The product is also safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mommies so no need to worry about getting your mani-pedi fix. If anyone is scared of cross-contamination from the dip powder, you would be glad to know that technicians really clean the nails of each individual client very well with properly sanitized materials (Beauty and Butter has their equipment in sealed packages before the nail technician uses them on the client, which the client has to sign first) before dipping your nail in the acrylic powder.

Choosing colors is hard!
Since it was my birthday when I had this service done, I chose something glittery gold, because what is life without glitter?

The glitter polish took two coats and I left with super sparkly nails level 100 which got me singing Beyonce's "One Night Only" in my mind. Glittery polishes look gorgeous in whatever angle and the colors come to life with the sparkle, even for me who wears short nails a lot. I just have to remind you that the glitter dip powders can get quite messy (just like working with glitter for any purpose) so have a scarf or towel ready to cover your dress or bag should you be going somewhere and not have glitters all over you. Check out how the nail tech magically transformed my glitter dip powder to a liquidy, glittery gold nail color.

Depending on your activities, the Gelish Dip promises up to 14 days of no-chip gorgeousness. If you're a bride, it's perfect for the wedding day and honeymoon travel photos. I'm thinking of gettting a holographic-looking one in the perfect occasion, say an event or if i'm travelling. Whaddya think?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

#Bambikitty2017: The Gift of Giving Back

Before, I used to make wishlists for my birthday and Christmas. These wishlists are  like gift registry for people to refer to in case they want to give me something, hoping I get those. Usually, my list has something super wishful (like a designer bag or something) to something simple like a prepaid reload card. One time, as I was cleaning out my stuff, I thought, do I really need any more new things on my birthday? I have all the makeup I need in the world and my closet clearly is doing some de-stashing.

Last year, I spent my birthday in silence, having greetings only to those who really knew the dates. I liked the silence. This year, it was semi-silence. Obviously, everyone in the studio knew what day it was. What I did though, was instead of asking for gifts, I gave. For those who wanted to give me gifts, I asked them to give to animals in need - either feed a stray dog or cat, adopt from an animal shelter, or donate to animal welfare groups.

The eve of my birthday fell on a Wednesday and I had a class that day. I had a simple celebration after my class with the YogaHive staff and some of my students. I taught a relaxing yin class, since I told my students I'll be nice, particularly working on the digestive system since we would be eating that day (What is a Bambikitty birthday without awesome food, right?)

In place of cake, I ordered kitty-themed leopard print cupcakes from Shake and Bake, who did my lemon birthday cupcakes a few years back. The cupcakes were white vanilla cakes with rich dark chocolate filling. The leopard-print fondant design had a mild melon flavor, which complemented everything well. 

I didn't plan on cooking though since I thought I'd be busy. However, I awoke that Wednesday early so I made my favorite go-to truffle mushroom pasta and became generous with the truffle oil and parmesan cheese. I also ordered pizza.

It's my birthday so all diets are thrown away and I served my favorite chips - Doritos Taco and Cheetos Jalapeno (whoever heard of a birthday with boiled chicken breast and sweet potato? Ew). 

The cat food is a gift for me from my regular students, Princes and Gerwin for my kitties. We did not serve cat food that day. They did bring vegan salad though for everyone to share. 

There were also Wildflour assorted pastries from my student, Tita Bebette. We all had these to share and they were all so good! 

Also, I haven't realized that it's been already 6 months that I'm officially teaching yoga in a yoga studio, with my name in class schedules. I must say time does fly fast when you're doing something you love. It's so inspiring to see my students get stronger and better with their practice no matter what age or body type they have. Whenever they tell me how much they love my classes or how torturous but awesomely good the stretch feels, I still get that kilig feels. It also inspires me to grow even more, to be more dedicated to my practice and to become a better teacher, that's why I'm saving up for more workshops and immersions (yes, my dear students, more and more stretchies for you. Like a  TV shopping ad, "Oh but wait, there's more!")

I chose to give in my birthday this year - teaching class, feeding people, sharing food, and feeding stray animals. I gave my cats yummy food from Bow and Wow. This year, my wishlist was empty. No fancy branded makeup I would want to have. No designer sneakers. No big gift to self (my pasta maker was a 2016 birthday and 2016 Christmas gift to self) . I also chose to let go. Not just by doing detox diets (which I don't) but by emotionally detoxifying myself of what does not serve me and whatever holds me back, which has been themes of my classes. In fact I've noticed, I've bailed through countless pole and hoop moves solely because of fear. It's like pole drops - you just gotta do it. Despite an empty birthday wishlist, my heart stays full. As I learn to detach (starting from my hair) and let go, a chance for growth paves its way. 

The month has been good to me. Let's make the rest better.