Saturday, March 4, 2017

Healthier Me in 2017

The start of the year always has me thinking about ways on how to improve my lifestyle. I always like to think what new thing I can change or add to my routine that will make a significant impact to my health and that of my family's.

But being healthier doesn't mean changing my entire routine. Sometimes, all it takes are a few simple changes lang. Because if it's a big change and it's something that you cannot maintain, then sayang lang. It’s all about the small but moves that you can maintain which will reap huge health benefits in the long run.

1. Replace White Rice with Whole Grain Rice

"Brown, red and black rice are whole grain. That means it contains all parts of the grain — 
including the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ and the carb-rich endosperm.
White rice, on the other hand, has had the bran and germ removed, 
which are the most nutritious parts of the grain."

We have been doing this for several years already because malakas kami talaga sa kanin. We cannot live without rice... wait, correction, lots of rice. My kids are endurance athletes, so they really require a lot of carbohydrates to fuel them. 

I've read a lot about how white rice can lead to diabetes, or about how it is an empty food with no nutritional content. But on the one hand, there are others who also say naman that brown rice is high is arsenic, which can be toxic when taken in high quantities. Parang walang panalo, ano?

To cut the debate short, what I decided to do is to mix everything!  I think everything in moderation is the best.  Tapos!!!

For more about why you should choose whole grains, read this article.

2. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables

In an effort to increase my family's fruit intake, I now serve fruits as a mid-day snack/merienda. 

They say that the recommended daily minimum of fruits and vegetables is 5 servings. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example.

Naku, my family needs to double up on what we are currently consuming. I just usually serve fruits during dinner. But recently, I have started serving fruits as mid-day snacks na din to increase our intake.

If you cannot see yourself eating fruits and vegetables that often in a day, you can also try having your daily serving as a smoothie. I see a lot of people in IG doing that nowadays. I want to start doing that din at home, but in the meantime, as I try to figure out the logistics needed to do this on a daily basis, I will be having my smoothie bowl fix at Bliss Bowls.

Bliss Bowls is the passion project of my friend, Pam Basa-Siao. I always look forward to her IG posts whenever she would share her vegan food discoveries, whether it's something being offered in a restaurant or a dish she whipped up in her own kitchen.

When she shared with us late 2016 that she was in the process of putting up her own smoothie bar, I couldn't wait to taste her creations. It looked super good in the photos she shared; and knowing Pam, I know that nothing but the best ingredients go in each bowl.

Bliss Bowls is Manila's first Smoothie Bowl Bar 
100% pure fruit, vegetable, and superfood smoothie bowls with no ice, water, dairy, or sugar added. Visit them at the 4th level of Megamall, in front of Fitness First.

My friends and I finally tried it a few weeks ago. We went in for lunch, and surprisingly the smoothie bowl really did fill us up. We got a bowl of four different flavors and just shared so we can try more flavors. It was unexpected, but we all loved the green bowls and they were the first to be finished.

Surprisingly, my fave bowl turns out to be the Amazing Kale, made with kale, banana, mango, spirulina and chia seeds. 100% pure fruit, vegetable and superfood.
Absolutely no ice, water, dairy or sugar added.

3. Stay Hydrated

If you struggle with drinking enough water during the day, try keeping a water bottle near you at all times to help serve as a reminder to keep sipping throughout the day.

It can be hard to remember to drink the amount of water our body needs to stay hydrated all day, kaya even if my kids are all teenagers already, I still require them to carry around a water bottle... even when we are just at home. It serves as a good reminder talaga to stay hydrated throughout the day when it is visible.

Our fave brand at the moment is Tiger. Their 350ml stainless steel containers perfectly fits inside our bags, and they are light enough to carry around, too.

I also love their newly released bottle which features a flip-top cover, which makes it even easier to stay hydrated even when I'm on the go.

 COCONUT WATER over sugary juice drinks

We live in the tropics, and let's face it, sometimes to beat the heat we are tempted to reach for something cold and sweet. For many, a cold bottle of juice or soda is the first option.

I want to give my family a better alternative, and I think coconut water is the better choice than a sugar-filled juice or chemical-laden soda. Obviously, nothing is going to hydrate better than regular water, but sometimes if we want to switch things up and we crave for something sweet, then go ahead and indulge on fresh buko juice.

It's a hassle to go buy buko and crack up the shell at home, di ba? That's why I'm happy to discover that Just Coco delivers pure and fresh coconut water! Just Coco offers the convenience of fresh buko that's naturally extracted and bottled fresh. No sugar, additives or preservatives added.

Just Coco takes care of the "dirty work" for us. They extract and bottle the juice and then deliver. Just order 1 day before intended delivery date. Just text 0926.725.2000 or 0925.522.7873 to inquire.

Just Coco is the better way to hydrate as coconut water is naturally packed with nutrients, minerals and vitamins so you are getting more from every glass versus artificial juices and soda.  

My kids are endurance athletes working out for more than 2 hours each day so their bodies require a huge amount of electrolytes!
Just Coco is perfect thirst quencher as it has a low carbohydrate content as well as electrolytes. 

Offer an alternative to soda drinks 

Gerolsteiner originates from Germany’s Volcanic Eifelis where the unique geological character produces highest quality of mineral water coming from the special combination of carbonic acid and prehistoric volcanic activity. Interestingly, this special mélange of minerals and trace elements produces a naturally smooth taste that helps to neutralize the body’s acidity.

I confess, my husband loves soda. If I don't limit him, he can drink quite a lot.

So when I discovered Gerlosteiner Sparkling Water, I let him try it as an alternative to soda. Whenever he has to meet his soda fix. I just offer a bottle of Gerlosteiner Sparkling Water. It's a dietitian-approved soda alternative to nix calories and sugar.

If you’re looking for options to keep you well hydrated or ways to make water more appealing, a bottle of Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water is perfectly good for you.

It can also be used to liven up cocktails, and other non-alcoholic drinks without the guilt but still tastes amazing.

4. Become More Alkaline

Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass is FDA-approved and the only wheatgrass brand that uses leaves and the roots for maximum amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll. 

I consciously avoid acidic food and consume more food that are alkalizing. I have been suffering from acid reflux for several years now, so I watch my diet to make sure that I don't trigger my acid reflux.

One of the food that has the most alkalizing benefit is wheatgrass juice. I've tried it freshly juiced, but it is honestly so so inconvenient to juice wheatgrass. As I have mentioned in the beginning of this post, I'm all about simple routines that I can maintain long-term.

Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass is convenient while helping me maintain my body's alkaline level.

"Wheatgrass helps balance our body’s (and stomach’s) pH by reducing acidity in the blood. Wheatgrass helps maintain a good alkaline/acid ratio, which helps relieve GI problems, including constipation, ulcers, ulcerative colitis and diarrhea. A 7.0-7.4 pH is ideal for the human body, and regular consumption of a wheatgrass supplement will help maintain it."

If you love the idea of lemon infused in your water, then you will also love the new variant of Easy Pha-max Wheatgrass that offers wheatgrass and lemon combined into one. You’re likely to get hooked for its zesty taste and double dose of detoxification and weight loss benefits. Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass Lemon is available for only P1, 095 per box of 25 pcs.

5. Schedule “ME” time
having a relaxing mani-pedi session at The Beauty and Wellness Lounge

As moms, we often put others' needs before our own. But we have to remember that we can't pour from an empty cup. It's also important that we set aside time to care for ourselves. 

The Beauty & Wellness Lounge  is a one-stop pampering venue offering nail care, 
body massage, waxing, and eyelash extension. 
It also serves snacks and drinks so you can better relax and enjoy your treatment.

I try to find time in a week to do something for myself. Sometimes, it could be a mani-pedi session with friends, but oftentimes it's brunch because it's the most convenient time for all of us to meet-up. 
Sometimes, it could be something as simple as taking an afternoon nap, or enjoying a book. 

What matters is that setting aside time for self-care should be viewed as a necessity and not a luxury.

How about you? What things do you plan to do for a healthier you this 2017?