Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Bathtime Essentials v2011

Eversince I posted this confession, I've been swamped with a truckload of imaginary email probing for organic or all-natural products that I use to spoil my scalp and skin. Just like you, I dream to throw away products with harmful chemicals like parabens, triclosan and others and employed cruelty in my closet and maintain this healthy stash without breaking the piggy bank and the mutual funds. I'm glad YOU asked.

The Dalai Lama named spending solitary moments every day as one of the twenty ways to get good karma. Does bathtime count? It is my favorite me-time and it marks when I officially start and end my day. In addition to that, I feel most creative and in touch with my subconscious (next to REM) during shower. I've had myriad of Eureka moments while inside the confines of my favorite sanctuary. In my humble opinion, being extra seksi begins in the mind. And I take care of mine by choosing and continuously looking for what's best for the rest of my body.

What's been taking care of my scalp, you ask?

2011 saw me experiment in my product hunt. After using mostly Human Heart Nature for a year and realizing I've gone immune to their products in March, I opted to welcome other brands. I interchange HHN's strengthening and moisturizing shampoos with high preference for the latter as my hair dictates. For the hair mask variants, I love mango over gugo bark & avocado. It's refreshing!

This year, I ordered Ilog Maria's honey propolis shampoo, grabbed Nature's Gate's hemp nourishing shampoo from Healthy Options, Changpo Magic Straight Shampoo from The Face Shop and O.N.E. Naturales' solid shampoo and conditioner from The Nail Boutique & Cafe (also available in Watson's).

I appreciate how light and silky my hair felt with honey propolis shampoo. My best friend Atong told me it didn't work for her, though. It's the hemp nourishing shampoo that gave her the bounce she's looking for. When my hair was still a combination of natural curls on top and digipermed curls on bottom, it didn't welcome this particular shampoo. However, it responded well to hemp after the rebond. Interesting, eh?

Solid shampoos!

Atong once pointed out how weird it is that I use liquids like body wash and shower gel as soap and something solid as my shampoo and conditioner. How funny. I took me a long while selecting among their variants such as Goldilocks (for blondes, so it's out of the question), Hair Biscuit and It's Green. For P498 each, I had to choose well. (Just 2 rubs against your hair and it's bubbly enough. This shampoo is estimated to be equivalent to 3 eight ounces of liguid shampoos. Sulit!) I prefer Hair Biscuit's stimulating smell yet I eventually fell for It's Green's promise to give my dry locks its much-needed help. After all, organic products' scent typically don't last long. I don't regret going for It's Green, but I wished I didn't try the Hair Boost conditioner. It resulted to dandruff when I used it as a leave-on conditioner and it's not that impactful when rinsed. Good thing I bought it for P199 when it was on sale in Watson's.

Also, it claims to be eco-friendly but, as my best friend Lakapati pointed out, it's a lot of packaging for something so small (imagine the metal casing for the solid shampoo itself and the cardboard that houses this metal casing) which translates to more trash in landfills. Still, I'd like to give them props for such goal. In addition to that, I like the fact that it doesn't consume much space and it's my usual shampoo when I go on travel.

Changpo Magic Straight Shampoo

After having my locks rebonded, I decided to give Changpo a try. I wanted to know if I might not need another expensive procedure to tame my natural locks [and temporarily assure my boyfriend that I won't go the curly top route again]. The back of the shampoo bottle reads the shampoo is slightly acidic and one whiff of this shampoo and my nostrils detected it's far from organic. I don't like how it strips my hair of moisture but I might keep it until my natural curls start to show up to see if it really works. If the hemp nourishing shampoo worked after the rebond, this one just might work when the rebond lapses. Perhaps I should give the Changpo conditioner a chance? Let's see next year.

Food for my skin!

As you can tell, I use mainly HHN for my skin. Their shampoo doubles as body wash (how economical!). I love their facial and body scrub but I'm still looking for something with more texture. I particularly like the aloe and guava facial wash but I'm afraid it's already phased out.

Since I've heard Joyce Jimenez admit on national TV (I think I was in college that time) that she uses body oil after bath to lock in moisture, I was quick to follow suit. I gave up on this habit when my skin can't tolerate the discomfort when I get lots of sun exposure. (Yeah, I refuse to use my umbrella since day 1.) Now that I've evolved as a nocturnal desk jockey, I use Carica's extra virgin coconut oil and, with the discovery of my dosha, I'll try sesame oil next year. Any recommendations for me?

What else I've tried? Eucalyptus bath gel from Ilog Maria that I may not re-purchase. I enjoyed their calamansi & ginger soap and bamboo charcoal bergamot & lime soap and I'm intrigued to try sandalwood and honey soap and lavender soap next and see how the latter will help this insomniac experience deep sleep.

Giving the spiced vanilla variant a chance!

I've also tried The Body Shop's vanilla shower gel and, as expected from vanilla addicts like myself, I can't move on from the fact that they already discotinued it. How else will I seduce my boyfriend? Let's just cross our fingers that the soon-to-be-phased-out spiced vanilla shower gel will do wonders.

The deodorants I can rely on!

Aaaaand let's talk about the last product I use before I step out of the bathroom. The ones available commercially have aluminim content which causes Alzheimer's disease. Gasps. Switching to organic deos can be problematic for a Curacha like myself. As mentioned earlier, organic products don't really last long. Give it 8 hours or less and you should be re-applying it or rushing home. Take Alba Botanica's lavender deodorant stick, for example. I love its scent as I'm typically sucker for lavenders but it's not the kind that I will use before going to the gym or all-nighter activities.

Then there's All Organics' deo-spray. Sure, it also has aluminum but it's been broken down to tiny pieces and won't be as harmful. I tend to avoid it being sprayed on my face as much as possible. Plus, I love the fact that they have refill bottles.

I made a recent temporary switch to VMV Hypoallergenics after hearing about their Buy 1 Take 1 sale. Atong read about the raves in the forums, that this antiperspirant is stain-free, quick-dry and very reliable. It proved to be true! Waldo and I even had a tug-of-war episode as I refuse to give it away. But, hey, it contains aluminum zirconium and aluminum chlorhydrate. Sighs. Maybe I should really give it away. To someone else, yes? Definitely, I'll replenish it with All Organics' deo-spray.

Phew. That's quite long. I'm sure you have a longer list compared to this. How about you, what are your bathroom staples? Let me take a peek!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

caRAWling Christmas Par-tey

Because Raw Pinoys mean it when we say "Let's do this again!", we committed that the follow-up potluck par-tey must take place before this explosive year ends. Plus, it can't be an ordinary par-tey either; it's the happiest, healthiest Christmas par-tey me and my enzymes ever attended!


The gathering proved to be extra special for me as it's an opportunity to introduce the new man in my life to my old friends Lakapati and (Surprise! Surprise!) Grace, their respective partners and to the rest of my growing living food-loving friends. I haven't really expounded why I chose this particular path to wellness as I was expecting a forkful of raw treats and bottomless glasses of smoothies and kefir cocktail would pave the way. Besides, I refuse to sound preachy. Waldo's your typical athlete who would choose high-protein food (he loves lard the most) over my kisses. Ha!

Quite unflattering but the only photo evidence of bonding that night with Bes!

The boyfriend meets my girlfriends!

I didn't get to take photos, not even my own contributions like persimmons (that Waldo hand-picked from the grocery) and buko juice (for the smoothies). I seriously wish I could share photos of Chin Chin's apple salad, blueberry-buko smoothie and others. Here's a couple of goodies that we stuffed ourselves silly that evening.

Dexter's salsa! The color of raw!

Fresh spring rolls!

Chef Asha Peri's raw parfait

While the feast was ongoing, there were scheduled screening of documentaries like Forks Over Knives and others and healing lessons from energy healer, Daddy Oscar Sangalang.

Daddy Oscar teaches us how to approach asthma

Daddy Oscar shows us what to touch when suffering from fever and/or burns

Right after this, Waldo and I approached him. To my shock, he informed me someone was really envious of me and he also identified Waldo's major burden since childhood just by examining our palms. Something tells me it won't be our last time to dialogue with him. Will it happen in his upcoming detox workshop next month?

Such issues didn't linger in my mind. As always, Toni Bernardo and the rest of the band made us dance to the pulsating beats. Since I was unable to groove away during the first raw food potluck, I compensated for the lost time that evening. Much to Waldo's frustration. When the clock turned 22:00, he started reminding me I could use some rest. My not-so-effective delaying tactics allowed me to stay for just one more hour. Sighs.

Percs galore!

And we dance to the beats!

Getting the train started!

Who runs the world? GIRLS!

What's going on?

Some girls would really rather dance by themselves, no?

While we discovered who's the dancing king...

...somebody's doing what he loves best: Waldo doing mitts (sort of) with the dancefloor!

When I started to feel knee pains for overdancing, I just watched him and this beautiful crowd lovingly...

We didn't hold any Best Dressed Raw Pinoy and Pinay competition that night, but I would like to nominate Chin Chin for that special award. Her shirt says it all!


Aaaaaaand Christmas par-tey ain't Christmas par-tey without the raffles! With or without ampalaya juice, I'm just too bitter to appreciate this bit. All the time! Check out these cool prizes while I hug myself here.

This prize is brought to you by INDIGObaby!

My BFF Lakapati is giving away this bound sunshine! But, noooo! I didn't win.

And the grand prize goes to me...NOT! Blah.

Photos grabbed from Ingrid Dimaculangan and Imee Contreras. Without their permission.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Real-Life Goddess: Nicole Andrea

Thanks to graduate school and other stuff I'm occupied with, I missed countless opportunities to hang out often with cool people from a particular stage in my life. Let's take Nicole Andrea as today's example. We have a couple of mutual friends in the workplace yet our interactions were just limited to mere hi-hello and love-your-outfit-today exchanges. When I found this particular album of her favorite PostSecret finds posted on Facebook and discovered she's passionately blogging about breastfeeding (link to follow!), I can't help but feel bad that it took that long to connect with a kindred spirit. I've always been drawn to her sweet, smiling eyes and envious of her hips but I have no recollection of verbalizing those compliments in her presence. Here's our chance to get to know her better.

The PostSecret is out!

Lornadahl: How's motherhood and the additional pounds that won't go away?
Nicole: Motherhood has been a blast! My family used to tell me that I would never get pregnant because of my weight, and even my ob gynecologist told me I would have a hard time getting pregnant 'cause I was so big (then) so when I did get pregnant, I was happy. I love kids and my daughter is a huge blessing. The pounds have piled on unfortunately! I tend to go with hearsay a lot so when people used to tell me that by breastfeeding the baby you’d lose the weight, I happily breastfed. Unfortunately no one told me how your appetite doubles while breastfeeding since I have to produce so much milk. I still feel like I’m eating for two sometimes!

Lornadahl: Where can I get those hips?
Nicole: From my genes! I have huge hips and thunder thighs and my ass is huge but I love my booty!

Lornadahl: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Nicole: Still very fasyon, but in a larger scale! I love wearing off shoulder blouses, or blouses that show my ample cleavage! I used to hate leggings, but now I can’t live without them.
Lornadahl: I've learned to love leggings, too! Which celebrities serve as your style icons?
Nicole: My friends used to tell me I looked like Sharon Cuneta, and even though I secretly agreed, I used to protest loudly. Overall I love looks that are classic and timeless, so Katie Holmes and Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey Hepburn on a PostSecret

Lornadahl: Have I told you our former officemate Tatang would call me Elaine Cuneta? Nothing prepared me for it! What's the best fashion accessory for big women?
Nicole: I love empire-cut blouses, because they tend to hide the flab during the ugh-I-feel-fat days, but I love anything that emphasizes my assets, blouses with deep necklines, or ones that show off my back.

Lornadahl: How do you deal with I'm-so-fat-and/or-ugly days?
Nicole: I stay home! Hahaha.

Lornadahl: Would you agree that guys only chase after skinny women?
Nicole: No! I know guys who wouldn’t go near skinny women with a ten foot pole. They love women with a little meat in them.

Lornadahl: If you were to appear on a billboard or magazine cover, how would you look like?
Nicole: Probably in a well-cut dress to emphasize my curves with the Metro Manila skyline as my background.

Lornadahl: If you were to endorse a local clothing for big women, what would it be and why?
Nicole: I love Tubby! And Maldita. They have nice blouses. I also shop a lot in SM, they have a wide range of brands and sizes.

Lornadahl: What's the secret behind your self-confidence and body acceptance?
Nicole: I feel that if I meet a guy who can’t accept me for what I look like then he’s not worth it because I think I’m pretty fab. There isn’t any secret I guess, there are days I also feel down about myself, but most of the time I love being me. I remind myself everyday that I need to love myself first, no matter how big I am.

Lornadahl: What is beautiful about being big?
Nicole: There’s more to love!!! I love the curves of big women, and the big breasts!! I feel like big women can do anything.

Lornadahl: How do you respond to the argument that obesity is unhealthy?
Nicole: I agree, but then I also say that as long as we choose what we eat, avoid the obvious then we’re just like any other person. There are people who are thin as a rod and yet they’re the ones with health problems. You’d expect that someone my size would have blood pressure problems, but I’m actually pretty healthy, thank God! I just drink A LOT of water.

Lornadahl: Given a chance, would you join reality shows like "Biggest Loser" or "Thintervention with Jackie Warner"? Why or why not?
Nicole: Sure why not? I actually considered auditioning for Pinoy Biggest Loser, but at that time I had just given birth so I wasn’t ready yet, plus I was (and am!) still breastfeeding.

Lornadahl: What do you say to people who say you’re addicted to food?
Nicole: At least I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol or cigarettes! Haha!

Lornadahl: How do you feel if people stare at you? yell degrading stuff at you? Do you ever experience that?
Nicole: I don’t really care, I haven’t actually experienced that yet, but I have a feeling if I do, I’d stare them down and ask what their problem was.

Lornadahl: Do you believe that thin privilege happens? Which of those apply to you?
Nicole: I can be sure that if I need medical or legal help my size will not work against me. – while I was pregnant we were really concerned about issues that were normally associated with heavy women like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Thankfully I didn’t suffer any of these.
I am not identified by the size of my body. – unfortunately, I’ve gotten used to being called “Ba”, short for taba.

Lornadahl: Do you ever confront people? What happens when you do?
Nicole: Not really, 'cause there’s no sense in it. People are entitled to their own opinion. Like one time a radio DJ said he would never date a woman over 200 pounds because obviously they don’t have self-discipline. It’s a matter of adjusting your attitude towards yourself and people like that. If they can’t accept you because of how much you weigh then you don’t need people like them.

Lornadahl: What do fat people want to be called?
Nicole: I’d say normal, because we really are normal people. We like the same things thin people like, we eat, sleep, breathe, go to movies, go to bed, go shopping. We cry, laugh, we get hurt. Everything about us is normal.

Lornadahl: Does a big woman's self-appreciation and self-love root from the culture/environment she's accustomed to? What can you say about Filipinas and their self-appreciation?
Nicole: In my case I would have to say no. Because people really look at being fat as a disadvantage and as something that shouldn’t be, whereas I’ve reached a point that I accept I may not be as thin as my sister and I’m ok with that. I love my sister and love that she’s sexy and gets to wear nice clothes, but I’m comfortable in my own skin also. As for Pinays, I wish they wouldn’t glorify being thin so much and just accept who they are. I’ve spoken to a llooootttt of my friends who are like 4-5-7-10 pounds overweight and they whine about being so fat. I mean, what’s that?
Lornadahl: What would you tell your daughters Bea and Ariana if they ask, "Why are you fat? Why can't you be like other mothers?"
Nicole: I have this thing that I’m trying to raise them to accept who they are, and all the people around them. Basically without seeing what they look like, what they have or don’t have, I tell them all the time God created us equal, especially Bea who’s also a chubbier than normal, I tell her all the time how pretty she is and that she can be whoever she wants to be. I believe in positive reinforcement. I also tell both girls I love them both very much all the time, I even name body parts like I love your tummy or your nose.

Lornadahl: Let's assume that your daughters will turn out to be plus size when they grow up. How will you convince them that it doesn't make them a lesser person?
Nicole: By leading through example. I want to be larger than life, and I want my girls to see that. I try to do as much as I can to show them that being fat or big isn’t a disadvantage. As long as they eat healthy and are both healthy and their weight doesn’t hold them back in reaching their dreams, I don’t care.
Lornadahl: Some big girls are unaware that they're beautiful and sexy. What would you tell them?
Nicole: I’d tell them to look inside themselves, what they look like isn’t who they are. We need to realize that what the scale says doesn’t define us as a person, it’s just a number. So is our jeans size, I don’t let myself be bothered over how many Xs precede the L in the size of my clothes. I’m happy, I’m comfortable with myself. I’m just being me.

***End of Interview***

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What's In My Lunchbox Today? Persimmon-Bok Choy-Cucumber Smoothie

I found a green smoothie recipe that required 4 very ripe persimmons, 1 stalk of celery, 1 handful of baby spinach, 1 handful of dill and 2 cups of water. When I unexpectedly found persimmons in a nearby market, I grabbed a handful and racked my brains for the other ingredients. Yes, memory gap happens. Daily!

Days had passed since this discovery but I was still yet to find time to search for the other ingredients. But what else can you expect from someone who failed the marshmallow test several times in this lifetime? I fished for the available greens in the fridge and combined them with the persimmons.

The rawk stars!

Ready to mingle!

Ready, set...


What's in my lunchbox today? Persimmon-bok choy-cucumber smoothie!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


What's my birthday gift for myself? A pair of running shoes to abuse for the next 3 or more years. I know I have a weak-knee sob story to consider, but hey, I've babied my joints for so long. In my recent conversation with Muay Thai fighter, Dodong Galindez, otherwise known as Buhawi in the circuit, he said injuries are supposed to make a particular body part stronger. I suddenly feel sorry for subscribing to orthopedists' watch-your-knee warning for so long. I should get back to sweat + strengthening sessions! Stat!

Besides, it's my turn to keep my pinkie promise. As I've mentioned in this entry, I've challenged myself to bring out the sporty stuff that's been gathering dust in my closet and shoe rack. As they say, there's a Sporty Spice in everyone.

My own adiSTAR Raven 2 and my hot legs!

Being a cheapskate that I am, I still ask myself why I bought something top-of-the-line. All I wanted is something that will provide support and that will make my flat feet happy. I've tried on Super Nova for women but, as always, they don't have my monster size. Instead, the staff made me put on Super Nova for men. I don't mind the bright orange design and I'm relieved it looks unisex, but I'm quite uncomfortable that I'm using something specifically made for men. Arte lang! As soon as I wore this stylish and waterproof pair, I felt ready to run away wearing 'em. That sole-searching adventure got me drained and starving kasi.

That mandatory photo opp with my ka-pinkie promise, Rush

The outfit that made officemates go, "Try mo mag-pink, teh!

Today's Outfit:

Pink tank top

Pink lace bra from I Love Cocco

Hand-me-down jacket

Denim miniskirt from Her Bench

adiSTAR Raven 2

Photos from Rushelle Barrameda.

What's In My Lunchbox Today? Cucumber Mint Chia Smoothie!

In an attempt to appease my recurring craving for Tempura Japanese Grill's cucumber mint smoothie, I decided to concoct one myself. So I brought out cucumbers, peppermint oil and the remaining chia seeds in the kitchen.

However, it got problematic when Papa poured too many for a single drop of peppermint oil. It tasted like your typical minty mouthwash vs smoothie! We tried to salvage it by adding stevia, but it proved to be futile. We should have increased the base to distribute the peppermint oil. Baby oh, well.

The rawk stars!

Soak and stir the chia seeds for 15 minutes. Make it gelatinous!

What's brewing?

What's in my lunchbox today? Cucumber mint chia smoothie!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nail Loft Revisited

Preparing raw food, particularly green smoothies, had subsequently diminished my passion for nail polish. I used to alternate having my nails painted and keeping them polish-free to let them breathe for a while, but recent months witnessed them being plain and simple. And I don't feel less of a lady for such.

However, thinking about this sweet November's last Irie Sunday made my dying relationship with nail polish resurface. From my signature puta red polish, I wanted something different. Something that proclaims "Jah love!" when I raise my hands to the live ska music that evening and from that point on. Rasta colors, please!

Yesterday, I decided to sqeeze in some me-time between attending our Church's 29th anniversary noontime service in Crossroad 77 and the last leg of my birthday celebration with the beautiful boxers in The Collective. Although me and my desk jockey friends had a long history of destress episodes in their outlet in Sct. Ybardaloza, my friend Atong and I decided to have ourselves pampered in Nail Loft's outlet in Libis instead. It's my first time there and I didn't miss the relatively small space in the Sct. Ybardaloza.

Ooooh! The parade of nail polish!

Being a typical home-service type of client before, I found Nail Loft's wide array of polishes from Orly, Essence, China Glaze and Opi impressive. For nail treatments that didn't cost me P500+, they really stayed longer on my nails.

Foot soak for my unhappy feet!

My neglected hands meet the lukewarm water for a cleanse

Gasp. Where did my hands go?!

Please forgive myself for being unable to take BlackBlurry™ photos of the nail polishes that I chose the previous evening. If my memory serves me right, I asked for Orly's bustop crimson, lemonade and wandering vine. However, lemonade wasn't as bright as I expected. It was rather faint still after 2 coats.

My rasta nails blend well with my pipe necklace!