Thursday, April 27, 2017

Philam Vitality Active App

A few years ago, I was into running. I would run 3k every other day. Occasionally, on weekends I'd join a 10k race. My time wasn't that bad either. Sub-40 for 5k, 1 hour 30 minutes PR for 10k. Not bad, di ba?



running with our friends


In 2009, with running coach Rio dela Cruz


Fast forward to the present where I move around a lot doing errands, but I don't have a dedicated fitness regimen. I can't even remember why I stopped running in the first place.


It's also a good idea to use a foam roller to self-massage after every fitness activity. They say that a foam roller helps loosen tight muscles help in reducing cellulite and blood congestion + boosting tissue hydration. 


But since I discovered Philam Active Vitality App, I've been motivated to get back on a fitness regimen. The Philam Active Vitality App is a mobile app that instantly rewards you for hitting your fitness targets. Get cool rewards by making every step count. Just track your steps and walk some more—you’ll be surprised at how easy and rewarding it can be.




What Is The Philam  Vitality Active App?

To make living active easier and more accessible to many Filipinos, Philam Life formally launched the Philam Vitality Active app. The app is a simplified version of the Philam Vitality program which is designed to reward its users for every personal health goal they achieve.

Introduced in 2015, the Philam Vitality Program seeks to help its customers make better decisions that contribute to their overall wellness, and rewarding them along the way.


How To Use The App

Every user is tasked to complete a short questionnaire to calculate one’s Philam Vitality Age as a gauge of how well he/she lives. They will then be given weekly challenges that they can accomplish by completing a certain number of steps as measured by a fitness device or free fitness app. For every challenge successfully completed for two consecutive weeks, users will receive exciting rewards such as free passes to SM Cinema, SM Ice Skating, SM Bowling, Blink, and Exploreum.


How to get started with Philam Vitality Active?

Complete these steps to start with your Philam Vitality Active journey:
1. Download the app from Apple App Store Philippines or Google Play Store. 
2. Register for a free account. It will ask you to enter a code so that you can earn rewards. You may use either activemika OR activealyssa as the code.
3. For Philam Vitality members, please log in with your existing username and password. 
4. Complete the Vitality Health Review to get your Vitality Age. 
5. Make sure you have a working fitness app or device that is compatible with Philam Vitality Active. Pair up your fitness tracking app or device with the Philam Vitality Active app. It's okay even if you don't have a FitBit. If you are using a Samsung phone you can have it sync with S Health. Just toggle options where your phone can measure your steps. If you are using a diff brand of Android phone or iOS, you may download free step counter apps for Android and iOS like Runkeeper or Strava so you can use your phones with the Philamlife Vitality Active app.
6. Start tracking your exercise with your fitness app or device. Simply meet your weekly activity target for two consecutive weeks and enjoy instant rewards.
  
Even if you don't have a fitbit, like me, you can still use the Philamlife Vitality App 
by downloading and syncing with any compatible app.



What are the rewards?
Available rewards to choose from are:
Free P200 hotel/resort accommodation from Agoda, One free movie rental with Blink, Free entrance to the dome theatre at Exploreum, Free P200 of call & text credits on your Globe Postpaid plan, Free P200 of call & text credits on your Globe Prepaid, Free up to P200 worth of GrabCar ride in Metro Manila, Cebu and Bacolod only, Free P200 worth of shopping in Lazada, Free one game of bowling at SM Bowling, Free 2D movie ticket at SM Cinema, Free one hour of ice skating at SM Skating, -Free P200 of call & text credits on your Touch Mobile Prepaid.

Do the rewards motivate you to keep moving? Hahaha! Sarap di  ba? You get fit and then you get rewarded pa!

For more details, like Philam Life on Facebook or visit philamlife.com/vitalityactive.



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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: DIY Poke Bowls (What Is It + How To Make It)


Poke Bowls is basically like a deconstructed sushi. 
Whatever ingredients you think will tastes great in your sushi, all thrown into a bowl.



Poke bowls have taken over my IG feed. Parang everyone is raving about it.

I didn't know what it was or even how to pronounce it until a friend explained to me that it poke bowl is to Hawaii, what donburi is to Japan. But first things first - it is pronounced poh-kay. Parang okay with a P.

Even if I didn't know what it was, I know I wanted to try it! So when I found out that there was a poke resto in Estancia, I dragged my family there.

Dragon Bowl from Poke Poke Estancia. 
Salmon, Shrimp, Unagi, Onions, Cucumber, Mangoes, Feta Cheese, Mayonnaise, Sriracha Aioli



A few days after, I was eating another poke bowl, from The Wholesome Table naman this time.
Raw Salmon, Wakame, Brown Rice, Leeks, Japanese Mayo, Romaine, Ebiko, Furikake, 
Togarashi Spice, Pickled Ginger



According to Wikipedia, poke bowls are:

Raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as an entree. Poke is the Hawaiian verb for "section" or "to slice or cut". Increasingly popular ahi poke is generally made with yellowfin tuna. Adaptations may feature raw salmon or various shellfish as a main ingredient served raw with the common "poke" seasonings.

 Traditional poke seasonings have been heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. These include soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. Others include furikake (mix of dried fish, sesame seeds, and dried seaweed), chopped dried or fresh chili pepper, seaweed, sea salt, ish eggs, wasabi, and  onions. 



*     *     *     *     *

We just stayed home last Holy Week, and I bonded with the girls in the kitchen. For Good Friday, we just checked what we had in the pantry, and luckily enough we had everything on hand for a California Roll Poke Bowl.




You can easily make your own poke bowl at home. Tbh, when I saw the menu for the DIY poke bowl at Poke Poke in Estancia, I realized it was so easy to recreate it at home and I only have to pay half of what it cost to buy the ingredients myself.

Anyone can do it. First, it doesn't need any cooking skills whatsoever. You just dump everything in a bowl. That's it!

Another beauty of the poke bowls is that they can really be as simple or as adventurous as you want. Poke bowls know no bounds, depending on your taste and the ingredients you have on hand.

Because what we had on hand that day was only the usual ingredients for a California Roll Sushi, and all the groceries were closed that day, then we decided to just make this kind of poke bowl.

from left to right: (top) kani, furikake, avocado
(middle) spring onions, black sesame seeds, mangoes
(bottom) carrots, togarashi spice, cucumber



California Roll Poke Bowl How-To:

1. Base. We used a base of white sushi rice. If you prefer, you can also use brown rice or quinoa. Or for a lighter version, you could serve poke over kale, leafy greens or zucchini noodles instead of sushi rice.

I didn't have sushi vinegar on hand, so I just improvised. But sushi vinegar is widely available in the grocery. If you plan ahead, you can skip this step right here. As I was saying, I didn't have it available so I placed 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup mirin, 1/4 cup white sugar in a bowl, heated it up until the sugar melted. Mixed this liquid with 6 cups of cooked Japanese rice. Cover until ready to use.

2. Topping
The usual ingredients in a California Roll are mangoes, avocado, cucumber, carrots, nori, sesame seeds. But feel free to pile on the toppings.

Poke Bowl Topping Ideas
Avocado
Edamame
Cucumber
Masago (fish eggs)
Seaweed salad
Shredded nori seaweed
Furikake
Pickled sushi ginger
Wasabi
carrots
shredded lettuce/cabbage/kale

3. Sauce. I just mixed some Kikkoman soy sauce with wasabi paste and mixed until well blended


Directions:
Put a scoop of rice in each bowl. Top with desired toppings. Spoon soy+wasabi mixture over. Top with Jap mayo, black sesame seeds, furikake and slivered nori.








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Monday, April 17, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: What To Pack In Your Family's Travel First Aid Kit

I’ve got all our summer plans booked and organized.

Last week, I restocked my family's travel first-aid kit.

there's a link to a FREE PRINTABLE version of my packing list at the end of this post


My girls are on a short trip with their ah-ma (my husband's mom) for some bonding and shopping because girls really do bond as they shop, di ba? Hahaha!

While the husband and I will be accompanying our fave son as he competes in his first ever international competition later this month. As it is with boys, I'm sure our trip will be spent eating more than shopping. Which is fine with me, as I'm not much of a shopper anyway.

As with every trip, I make sure that I prepare all the essentials so I don't have to worry about the what-ifs. Any experienced traveler will tell you, things can and occasionally do go wrong on any trip, and taking a well-stocked first-aid kit is always a good idea.

My medicine kit has evolved and been refined over the years. For a long time, I carried a big box like container because most of the kids' medicine was in syrup form so ang dami kong dala na naka-bote pa. But thankfully, since I've got teenagers now, my current container is a slim flat one and we just have one kit shared by everyone.

I just used a thin plastic container I bought from SM Home in Megamall. 

I actually make one big first-aid kit that stays in the luggage and another small one that can fit our bags.

The small plastic containers I used below are actually just the plastic containers from USBs that I got from press kits. They are the perfect size for a few tablets, some betadine and alcohol swipes, and band-aids.



What I pack in my travel first aid kit





The basics

The amount to bring will depend on the size of your family and the dosage/frequency you have to take it.  For my own kit, I always bring medicines good to take for 3-4 days, or the duration of the trip whichever is shorter.

1. Fever/Pain: 
Paracetamol (Tempra or Biogesic)

2. Colds/Decongestants:
Sinupret
Neozep Forte
Sinutab

3. Pain killer:
Mefenamic acid 500mg

4. Diarhea:
Loperamide
Oral Rehydrations salts

5. Allergy medicine:
Cetirizine 10mg
Loratadine 10mg
Benadryl AH 25mg.

6. Betadine wipes, alcohol wipes, bandages, bandaids, gauze + tape

7. Eye drops:
optique
tobradex

8. antibiotic ointment/disinfectant:
cutasept
bactroban

9. eczema management:
coconut oil
Zenutrients Argan All Around
Elica
Calmoseptin

10. acid reflux management:
sodium bicarbonate tablets
Gaviscon

OTHERS:
Digital thermometer
Kool Fever

I have a son who I brought to the ER several times, thrice for wounds that needed to be sutured. I jsut found this one at Amazon and I bought it. It seems like a good thing to keep in handy. It cost about $8.50 for 4 sachets.




Supplements
For travel, the only supplements I pack are vitamin C and Probiotics




For sports-related travel:


1. Sunblock. I make sure to use a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, meaning it offers protection against UVA and UVB. Read up on the difference here.

2.Insect Repellant
Zenutrients bug balm
Cycles stickers

3. Relief for muscle pain
Fastum
Zenutrients Muscle Balm
ice gel packs

4. Ear Drops (Swimmer's Ear)
Synalar Otic



Ever since hitting the big 4-0, my body has started to ache a little bit here and there. I noticed that I needed a little more of gentle care. I have started bringing around my own care kit full of products that are tried and tested to make me feel better.
Zenutrients Muscle Oil in a roll-on dispenser goes in my everyday bag to soothe away tired muscles caused by lola-moments. Fine, rayuma and arthritis! Pangalanan na yan! hahaha! It's pain relief on-the-go. The Zenutrients Muscle Balm naman is a lifesaver whenever my swimmers complain of muscle ache after a tiring training set. It smells so good also because of the camphor that my kids naturally fall right asleep after I massage them.

Hopefully we won't need to use our first aid kit, but I’ve certainly found that the best approach to family travel is to be prepared.

Is there anything I’m missing here? What do you put in your medicine travel kit? DO SHARE!

I'm also sharing the PRINTABLE file of my Travel Packing List. All you need to do is to click on the downloadable link to my PDF file, and from there you can print it out.




Click HERE for a free downloadable version of my packing list 



And if you’re interested to know what I think are the essentials for when our teens travel without us, please check out my post on Teen Travel Essentials (For When They Travel Without Parents)

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Reminiscing About DIY Birthday Parties + The Little Whisk

Now that all my kids are teenagers, no one gets excited for birthday parties anymore.

I would ask them if they want me to throw them one, and sadly, they now all decline my offer.

I remember when they were all much younger, I would make intimate DIY birthday parties that would allow me to express my creativity. I would DIY galore!

The most fun I've had was when I hosted a crafternoon birthday party for B.
I had a craft table set-up. The girls all had their own craft kits bundled up in a cute feline princess box. I printed out the instructions for each craft and laid out some samples to inspire and guide them.


Some of the crafts they did that afternoon:


Ang cute di ba? And to think, most of the materials were just upcycled 
from ordinary household materials

You can read all about the crafternoon  party here: http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2012/03/a-crafternoon-party.html



*   *   *

Another memorable one was when I threw a SPArty for J. All pof her friends were treated to an hour of foot soak and cleaning, foot massage and pedicure, too!


She just loved the experience of gathering all her good friends in one place 
and having lots of girly fun with them. 




We did a lot of DIY for this party also. We baked our own cupcakes. I designed the birthday banner and had it printed out. It's still with us up to this day. We take it out every year during B's birthday and hang it in our dining room. For me, it just makes the  banner more special because it has celebrated so many birthdays with us already.




*   *   *

But even if they have outgrown DIY birthday parties, they still request for me to bake something to give to their friends.

Carrot cupcakes are a fave, it's one of the most requested flavors by all three kids. They asked me to make it so many times already.





A Thomas the Train themed cupcake for when R was still in pre-school


Cookies of all kinds and flavors are also another favorite




Just last year, B requested for matcha cookies


There was also a year when J requested me to make cookie cups



That's it! I'm done reminiscing. Hahaha!

Last year, J requested for flamingo sugar cookies as birthday treats for her friends.

Decorating sugar cookies is not my area of expertise, and so I had to call in my friend, Maggie of The Little Whisk to help me out.


Maggie is a work-at-home mom of two boys. She started doing decorated sugar cookies as a hobby. When she was planning for her eldest son’s birthday five years ago, she was looking for cookie and cakepop suppliers for her Dr. Seuss theme but she couldn't find a supplier. That’s when she got interested in baking and decorating treats like cakepops and cookies. 
It started as a hobby and she would bake and design for friends and family. Until pretty soon, people she didn't even know would order from her. She is the best sugar cookie supplier out there. She's very easy to talk to, and you can really rest easy knowing that she always exceeds her clients' expectations.
My daughter was very happy with the The Little Whisk cookies she ordered from her. Just have a look at them.

The Little Whisk is a home-based supplier of decorated sugar cookies, cakepops and cupcakes for any event. It aims to make any event and every celebrant feel extra special through our treats. Our goal is to make events more special and to put a smile to anyone who receives and tastes the treats.
 The Little Whisk specializes in decorated sugar cookies. They create customize inspired and intricately-designed cookies depending on the customer’s preferences. The customers can either show a peg or tell the theme of the event and we will send over some sketch or design pegs.


Here are some of her works:







And I'm saving two of my most favorites for last...



Ang gaganda di ba? For more photos of Maggie's cookies, visit The Little Whisk on IG and FB.


To know more about The Little Whisk



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