Friday, March 11, 2016

The 6th MommyMundo Mommy Milkshake Run 2016

One of my resolutions this year is to get back in shape by making healthier food choices and engaging in regular physical activity. Admittedly, exercising has taken a backseat after I've given birth to my second baby.  My default excuse was that I'm breastfeeding and I don't have the time.  But now that my baby is more than 1 year old, I decided to prioritize my own health and well-being.

Since late January, I've been regularly hitting the gym doing circuit training and boxing.  While my weight loss has not been as fast as I would want it to be (age being the culprit as it slows down our metabolism), I'm starting to fit in some of my pre-pregnancy clothes. Weeee!  My husband and I have always been physically active in our younger years. Well, as you know things change once kids come in. But we both still like to continue the active lifestyle we used to have even if family life sometimes makes that quite challenging. Living an active lifestyle is not only beneficial for us. It is also an important habit to teach and pass on to our kids.

When I learned about the 6th Mommy Mundo Milkshake Run at the Bonifacio Global City on March 6, 2016, I didn't hesitate to sign up at once. We registered as a whole family but my husband came home sick from a business trip in Thailand a day before the event. We decided that only me and my 4-year old son, Caleb would go.

I was so excited because this was our first run together as mom and son. I prepped our stuff in advance and hit the sack early the night before the event so we could make it to the 5:30 AM registration. 

On the day of the event, moms, dads and kids of different ages flocked 9th corner 34th street in BGC even before sunrise.  Many parents came with their kids' strollers and some mommies wore their babies on slings! There were booths from the sponsors and stalls for food and refreshment. A tent served as a diaper-changing and breastfeeding station. How convenient is that? 

Rookie USA Apparel set up a Mega Blocks play area for the kids to enjoy

Breastfeeding station for nursing moms like me.  Beats NAIA 1... LOL!

Before the start of the run, a fitness instructor from Curves led the warm up and stretching.  Afterwards, the participants of the 5K run headed off 10 minutes earlier than the 3K run participants.  Majority joined the 3K and it gave thrilled my son to see so many kids and their parents at the starting line.

As soon as the 3K started, Caleb immediately dashed off and I had to catch up with him because he might get lost in the crowd. I think he thought it was a race. Lol! After 1 Kilometer, he was already complaining that his legs are starting to hurt. Good thing they had a couple of water/hydration stations by Waters Philippines and Gatorade. We kept a steady pace all throughout the route and what do you know! We made it to the finish line! I was so proud of my son!

Proud moment! We made it!

Guess where my tired finisher headed first? He was super thirsty! 

Enjoying sweet treats from Goldilocks 

The fun didn't stop at the run. No matter how tired my son was, he still had the energy to try out the toy pony ride at the Fun Ranch booth.

Moms checked out the fitness assessment/consultation at the Curves' booth.

Participants were given a loot bag of healthy products at the end of the event. My favorite was the lactation cookies and brownies from Mommy Treats and Dona Maria Jasponica Brown Rice. 

Thank you Mommy Mundo! We had an awesome and unforgettable mom and son quality time at Mommy Milkshake Run 2016.  This experienced inspired my son and he even urged me that we  run again in BGC.  Wow! So to this, I say, "Mission Accomplished!" We look forward to joining again next year and we hope that we'll be complete as a family by then. 

Photo c/o Mommy Mundo

Monday, February 15, 2016

6 Tips On How To Make The Most Out of Your Fruits and Veggies

A trip to the country's summer capital will not be complete without a visit to the infamous Baguio City Public Market.  It has been years since I last visited the public market and I don't know about you, but there's just something about it that makes a Manilena like me feel euphoric.

Perhaps, it is the wide array of goodies for pasalubong - Good Shepherd Ube, Romana Peanut Brittle, Garcia's Benguet Mountain Coffee, and oh, the abundance fresh produce that are so cheap compared to Manila prices.  

I remember asking for the price of Romaine lettuce. The friendly ate told me it's 80 Pesos to which I replied, "per head?" She said, "Hindi po, per Kilo." I was amazed. 1 Kilo is 3 huge heads of Romaine. Whereas in Manila, a small bunch of not-so-fresh-looking lettuce would cost about P100. Needless to say, I hoarded on fresh produce. How could I not, when a kilo of it is like the price of 1 piece in the supermarket? P20 per Kilo for cucumber, P40 for a Kilo of carrots P120 for a Kilo of fresh strawberries. P80 for zucchini.  Ahhh.. It was produce heaven!!!

So with the load of fresh produce we brought home came the dilemma of how to make the most out of the veggies I've hoarded. It has been 3 weeks since our Baguio trip and I'm proud to say that none of it had gone to waste. And mind you, I did not force my family to eat salad all week. 

With some creativity and online research, allow me to share some tips on how I've managed to make the most out of our fresh fruits and vegetables.

1.  Store vegetables properly.  Keep them away from extra moisture in the chiller.

I've stored them separately in manila paper and wrapped them tightly in sturdy plastic bags.

2.  Separate broccoli florets from the stalk.  

Consume the florets within a few days after purchase. Cut stalk into small pieces, wash and blanch if desired (optional). Place in small containers and store in the fridge.

Blanching is the process of quickly plunging vegetables in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and shock it in cold icy water to stop the cooking process.

3.  Serve veggies the way you enjoy best.

That way, eating veggies won't be such a chore, especially for your kids. Personally, I like to stir-fry veggies in a wok, add some ham and tofu. Voila! Fast and nutritious meal for your family.

 4. Store herbs in ice cube trays. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

Now you have available herbs anytime you need them for cooking.
Fresh Wansoy/ Cilantro for Asian dishes and Rosemary herbs for
chicken and meat dishes

5.  Make infused water and fruit-veggie smoothie. 

Infused water is known to have a number of health benefits including ridding our bodies from toxins, boosting our metabolism and satisfying our sweet cravings.  How I wish I can buy a kilo of Lemon for just P100 so I can put as much lemon in our water everyday.

For the fruit-veggie smoothie, I combined carrots, strawberries, cucumber and malunggay, added soymilk and put them in the freezer. Instant fro-yo for my kids to enjoy as snack.

Infused Water:  Cucumber, Lemon slices, Mint Leaves
Fruit-Veggie Smoothie:  Carrots, Cucumber, Strawberry, Malunggay and
Silk Soymilk

6.  Make your own ready-to-cook frozen meal.

Preparing your own frozen meal will surely come in handy when there's not enough time to prepare lunch or dinner. For vegetables, I chose to prepare lumpia or spring rolls. 

When it comes to lumpia, you don't have to limit yourself to the same old boring mung sprouts (togue) and cabbage. I've created my own recipe by mixing all these vegetables:  Zucchini, sayote, carrots, Kani crabsticks and Cilantro (wansoy).  I stir-fried them with garlic and onions and drizzled some sesame oil.

Hope you like these tips. Let me know if you have something to share. I can't wait to go back to Baguio and panic buy fruits and veggies again. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Spend Real Quality Me-Time

I've been wanting to spend the little time I have for myself in more productive and meaningful ways, but I always find an excuse not to do so. On top of that list is being more physically active.

As a stay at home mom, I often question where my time goes. The everyday routine of bathing my kids, preparing their meals, feeding them, breastfeeding my baby, cooking for the family, changing nappies, grocery shopping and so on and so forth eat up my 18-hour waking time that there's hardly enough time left for myself.  Once in a while, I'd get some 15-20 minutes of so-called me-time in-between the hullabaloo but I find myself using that time not very wisely.

And not having real quality time for yourself is a very dangerous thing. Because this spirals to a myriad of excuses to use what little time we have for ourselves to use what little time we have ourselves to do mindless activities that are not necessarily beneficial to our well being - like late night binge-ing on chips while watching TV or shopping for things we don't need at Ensogo.

Not a good thing...

And so I decided to change that this week. I started by setting the goal to use the little free time I have to get back to being active. When we still didn't have kids, I'd workout in the gym for hours. Of course I can't do that anymore so I started by working out in our condo gym and swimming in the lap pool. Initially, my goal was just to regain my strength and endurance from my C-section 9 months ago.  Last week, I told my husband I'm ready to go with him for spinning classes on Saturday. He pushed me further and said that he'll start training me for boxing on Sundays. Now my muscles are all sore from working out 5-days straight last week. But was it worth it? Oh yeah! Getting back to being active made me feels so good inside and out.  And what do you know, I'm also back to blogging. 

I'm excited to where this simple step to spending real quality Me-time is going to take me. As I said in my IG post last Saturday, it's now or never. No More Excuses.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Easy Maya Banana Cake with my Pre-Schooler

One of the things I love about being a SAHM is being able to do fun activities with my kids any time of the day. 

For our merienda, I decided to make an easy Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake with my 3-year old, Caleb.  He's into fast food/Play-doh Ice cream lately so he got really excited when I told him we're going to bake his favorite Banana Cake together.

The Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake recipe only calls for a few ingredients:

1.  Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix 230 grams

2.  3 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil

3.  1/4 cup Water

4. 2 Ripe Bananas

5. 1 Medium Egg

Because I love nuts, I added half a cup of almonds slivers. Walnuts would have been better but we only had almonds in the pantry.

Caleb identified the ingredients like he was on a cooking show. He also learned about some basic baking utensils like the measuring cup, measuring spoon, wire whisk and baking pan. By the way we only used 1 egg for the cake.

Any good chef should have excellent knife skills. I showed him how to slice the first banana and look at how he sliced the second banana almost perfectly. He's now promoted from using the plastic knife to the dinner knife. This is a big step for my junior master chef! 

The recipe is very easy, a three- year old can do it without any fuss - just mix all the ingredients together. Actually, you don't need a whisk to put them all together, but of course I won't disappoint his fascination to the whisk.

Our finished product after 30 minutes. 

Yum yum!  

It's never too early to involve our kids in the kitchen. When Caleb was younger, he would just observe and help put ingredients in the utility bowls. I feel proud that he can now slice the bananas and mix without making so much mess. Easy banana cake today, chocolate souffle tomorrow. Who knows!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Learning about Tire Vulcanizing

I have been driving more than half my life and I am blessed that I seldom get into any kind of car trouble. That's a good thing because the only thing I knew about car maintenance is to fuel up, add water to the radiator and fill air to the tires.  I know that as a driver I should take interest on these things. Admittedly though, I had always relied on the men to do the job of car repair and maintenance - my dad's driver, my dad or brothers. 

When I got married, I thought that my husband would also take care of these things. After all, he's the man of the house and this is his responsibility, right? Much to my dismay, he did not baby me this way.  

It was long overdue anyway. I started learning about "car stuff"  when I got married. Instead of doing it for me, Randy taught me how to go to LTO to have my car registered and also bring my car to the shop every time it needed some repair or maintenance work. So for the past 5 years, I've learned about aircon condensers and evaporators, starter and other terms or car parts which seem like French to me. 

One time I was in a gas station to fuel up and fill air in my tires when the manong told me that there's a slow leak in one of my tires because of a nail tack. It was a good thing I was 10 mins away from the house so I called up my husband to ask what is the best thing to do. He told me to go straight to this tire shop around the corner of our subdivision and have my tires vulcanized.

While there are a lot of vulcanizing shops, I wouldn't suggest that you just head on anywhere. It would be nice to get a referral from someone to be sure that the vulcanizing shop is reputable. Also ask if they do cold patch vulcanizing. I learned from my husband about another method - heated patch or "tusok" as they call it. This is an old method that will just ruin your tires even more.

So when I got to Jonel's Tire Shop in Levi Mariano, I acted as if I know what I was doing. Hahaha! I first asked how much their vulcanizing service is and the manong said 100 Pesos which is the amount my husband told me. I told him that my husband went to their shop before (I-name drop lang even if he doesn't really know my husband para at least manong would know that my husband can get back to them just in case they do a lousy job..)

First thing he did was remove my tires was to use a wrench to loosen the nuts.  He showed me the part where there was an air leak and got the nail out.

Using a tire changer, manong removed the tire from the rim. He then used a buffer to clean the surface where the patch will be placed.

This is manong's makeup kit, este, tool kit. He placed the patch on the inner part of the tire so it was not at all visible from the outside. He let it dry for a few minutes.

After which he soaked the tire in water to check for "bula" (bubbles)

He installed back the tire and I'm good to go!

The entire vulcanizing process took about 15-20 mins.  You may choose not to give a tip because the P100 payment is actually the tip itself. 

It looks pretty simple, but I was actually proud of myself for being able to do it instead of waiting for my husband to handle it for me. If I did so, the tires might have deflated and he'd have to take it out and replace it with the spare one which is more time-consuming.

So sometimes, it's also good for us women and mommies to learn about basic car troubleshooting and maintenance instead of always relying on our hubbies to do these things for us.

How about you, do you handle car issues yourself or rely on your husband to do it?