Saturday, February 22, 2014

What's Your Yoga Story?


A timeline of my yoga journey:

2008
- My first encounter with yoga was with Bikram Yoga Manila in Makati. I did it for two months. The classes were intensive and I liked the experience. It was also nice to practice with some local celebs like Dr. Vicki Belo, Ms. Tessa Valdes, Dr. Pie Calayan to name a few. Although the heat stretched my flexibility more than what I can already do, (I did gymnastics when I was young and I used to be a cheerleader in high school and college) I decided it was really not for me.

2009
- I discovered Vinyasa Flow Yoga at Pulse Yoga Greenhills. This was the style of yoga I got drawn to and still practice today. That time, I couldn't commit to a regular practice because the classes offered conflicted with my schedule at work.

2011 - 2012
- The urge to go back to practice became stronger probably due to the demands of my previous career in the oil industry and the stress it brought me. So, I found myself at the doors of Bliss Yoga. When I resigned and took a break from the corporate world, I traveled for almost three months when I returned, I looked for a yoga studio close to home.

2012
-  After arriving from the States, the first thing I did was to sign up for yoga class. My regular practice started with White Space Wellness. Their studio in Katipunan Avenue felt like my second home. I was very happy to finally find time to practice and was able to do it for six straight months.

2013  
- I signed up for the 15 day trial at Urban Ashram Manila - High Street when I started juggling appointments, running errands near the area. As I have said in a previous post, their studio is one of the most beautiful and creative yoga spaces I have ever seen! I admire their conscious effort in preserving the environment.

Then I came back to the corporate world plus two businesses on the side. I continued my practice through YouTube videos in the confines of our bedroom and attended free classes sponsored by the company I worked for taught by Louie Pilapil.

2014
So, here I am today practicing at Urban Ashram and plan to consistently do so until I am ready for teacher training.

Yoga has transformed me in many positive ways. Maybe not yet physically (lol) but I came to know myself better, deeper. I became calmer, saner, centered and stronger. I have been blessed with excellent teachers along the way. I am very thankful for that. Soon, I wish to share this passion with you.

Namaste!

How about you? What's your yoga story?

Photo taken using iPhone5

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pancake House's Spicy Chicken Fillet in Brown Rice Pilaf


Pancake House and me go way back. We used to have breakfasts on Saturdays with my dad in Magallanes once he's done playing tennis. I've been ordering the classic pancakes with bacon on the side, BLT sandwich, hamburger steak and classic pan chicken paired with a thick vanilla milkshake or cold calamansi juice on a rotational basis for as long as I can remember.

My sister loves the classic pan chicken and my brother's favorite is their hamburger steak. All of us love their banana split sundae. Of course, as we get older, our preferences change. There was a phase when I just ordered Pork Vienna or share a bowl of almondigas soup and a 3-pc classic pan chicken with Mike.

As I become mindful of what I eat, my favorite became the Spicy Chicken Fillet in Brown Rice Pilaf. It is served with garlic mayo and lemon wedge on the side. Besides being packed with flavor, it is healthy too! This is best when you're looking for a fiber-rich meal.

How about you what's your favorite Pancake House dish?

Photo taken using iPhone 5

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My BackJoy Posture +


Mike surprised me with a BackJoy Posture + for Valentine's day. He's not the hearts and flowers type. He gives well-thought of presents and according to his sister, the husband is slowly becoming part of an endangered species. I've been complaining about shoulder and back pains lately and this is probably due to bad posture, slouching while slaving away in front of a computer working, blogging etc. Clearly, he's been paying attention.

It took me a few days to get used to BackJoy Posture +. Now, I'm starting to love the support it gives me. It engages my core muscles, comfortably positions my pelvis, the tightness of my hips and the compression on my spine lessens. I feel the natural curve of my spine when I sit on it. I also use this when driving. Since I travel a lot, I plan to bring this along on the plane to make my future journeys more comfortable especially on long flights. Combined with my yoga practice, this will go a long way to prevent my shoulder and back pains to haunt me again. 

I suggest you give it a try. I highly recommend it. Just make sure to sit on it properly and let BackJoy work it's magic on your back. Of course, it cannot cure major back issues but it can help alleviate the pain. I cannot imagine not having one from now on. 

Change your posture. Change your life. =)

Photo taken using iPhone5

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta


It's been a while since I posted about my culinary pursuits. I'm back on track with my meal-prep routine. This helps both me and the husband to eat properly by avoiding fast food chains and save moolah from buying expensive healthy meals from cafes and restos around our workplace. Anyway, since we both love CPK's Kung Pao Chicken and Yellow Cab's Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta, I took the liberty in preparing one from scratch. I'm sharing with you this quick recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsps Lee Kum Kee Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsps Lee Kum Kee Chili Garlic Sauce. You can reduce this to your liking. Our preference is on the spicier side.
  • 1 1/4 Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
  • 5 Tbsps Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce
  • 4 Tbsps water
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large pieces of chicken breast fillet (I used the Bounty Fresh brand)
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 kg to 3/4 kg of cooked spaghetti noodles depending on your sauce to noodle ratio preference
Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, mix the sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, char siu sauce,oyster sauce, water and brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized pan, saute the garlic and onion in the olive, add the chicken, shiitake mushrooms and peanuts
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, add the liquid mixture in the pan
  4. Add the noodles.
  5. Mix until noodles are properly coated with the sauce.
Serves 2-3 depending on one's appetite. Enjoy!

Recipe from Food but altered to our liking

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My First Apple & Bee Products


Check out my new Apple & Bee foldout bath bag in Lovehearts. It is made from certified organic cotton, hemp jute and calico. It is also waterproof on the inside. This came as a late Christmas present from my boss. It's a long story. Anyway, I first came across this brand when I was browsing the shelves of Flight 001 in Bonifacio High Street. I am immediately taken with their designs!  I really appreciate good craftsmanship especially on products that are good for the environment.

If you've been following my humble little blog, you would know that I like organic, sustainable, eco-friendly stuff and how I love to patronize products of companies with environmental causes. I'm happy that Apple & Bee is one of them. They are a carbon neutral company based in Australia. They are also the founders of The Bee Foundation. They raise money and promote awareness about the health and importance of honey bees.

As a frequent traveler, this foldout bath bag will come very handy. I can just hang it on the wall or on the steel bar by the door.


And because I loved this design, I bought a matching Apple & Bee envelope makeup bag in Lovehearts too! This came with an Apple & Bee branded dust bag.


These bags are the perfect fusion of sophistication, form and function. How about you? How green are your bags?

Photo taken using an iPhone 5

Drink Spruce!



I'm officially joining the juice craze. I've said it so many times before but I will say it again. I'm not the type who follows the hype and becomes part of the bandwagon faster than the speed of light. I like to do some research first. So far, juicing is one of the exceptions that proves the rule in my book.

I'm still trying to figure out this whole juicing thing. I am not a big fan of eating whole fruits except for a few preferred ones. Maybe it's because of the texture and the whole peeling process. I don't have this issue with vegetables though. Anyway, juicing is a good alternative for fruits and vegetables you normally wouldn't eat plus it's about time I travel the healthy route.

Among all the cold pressed juices out there, Spruce was the first one that got my attention. 
  1. Spruce is using the Norwalk Hydraulic Press which is considered to be the holy grail of all juicers. Check out this comparative study. Now, I understand why the brand's pricing is a bit more expensive. Having this lean mean green machine is an investment. 
  2. There are so many flavors to choose from and based on reliable reviews, their juices tastes really great.
  3. I love their packaging! I appreciate businesses who take the time out to take care of every little detail in building their brand. I can feel their passion.
Earlier today, I bought my very first bottle of Spruce at Wildflour Cafe + Bakery Podium. Yay! I chose Lady Luck. It was sweet with a slight kick of ginger. I loved it! I'm going to try the Apple of My Eye and Formula 1 next. I also want to detoxify by doing a juice cleanse for a day or two. But for now, replacing one meal is enough. I need to practice first. Lol.

For a complete list of what Spruce offers and where to find their products you may visit their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Hooray for Healthy!

Photo taken by my friend Purple Rain using a Samsung S4

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hanamaruken Ramen

Mike is part of the ramen-obsessed crowd. I think he played a significant contribution to the rise of the ramen locally. Ramen restos are sprouting everywhere like mushrooms. My trusted foodie resource says that ramen is the second among the top eight food trends in the country for 2013. Our latest ramen adventure was at Hanamaruken Ramen located in Trinoma.

Whenever we visit new restaurants, it has been a practice to diversify our orders so we can try a little bit of everything.

I got the Happiness Rice Bowl. It's pork rib on steamed rice. The meat literally falls of the bone and is very flavorful.


Gyoza for us is always a great idea. It complements the dishes we've ordered perfectly.


The star of our dinner date was the Spicy Tobanjan Ramen.


Everything we ate were delicious. The whole experience was transcendental, I totally forgot to take photos of the restaurant's interiors!

We will be back.

Photos taken using iPhone 5



 
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