Health – Losing Weight

Cinnamon Love

I wish I could claim that this was among the rolls I baked last night, but it’s not. It’s a classic cinnamon roll from our Cinnabon carb fix from two weeks ago. When you’re near a Cinnabon branch, you will definitely know it. The aroma of freshly baked rolls will definitely get you hooked. Specially at the Trinoma branch where it’s right smack in the middle of some of our favorite shops. You can smell the yummy cinnamon from a floor down.

My favorite from Cinnabon is the chocolate minibon, although now I find it a tad too sweet:

This is so rich, what with the cinnamon, plus the chocolate, and then the glaze. MmmMMMMmmMMmmm! Haha.

We also tried something new on this visit, their new Twist (forgot the full name), and the dulce (if I remember correctly). I liked the latter very much.

The new product Twist is a little too flaky and tough for me. I like my breads soft. The dulce are little bite-sized pieces of heaven. 🙂 Eating this much white bread makes me want to go on a crash diet asap and deprive myself. NOT! I did stay away from food that evening though.

I really was supposed to make cinnamon rolls last night, but found out that the pack of yeast I have in the pantry is already expired. Aw.

A little off topic, but have you guys heard of apple cider vinegar as promoting weight loss? I remember back in highschool mom used to make me this juice with apple cider vinegar. It’s not your normal sweet juice, but I did like having a drink everyday. It’s supposed to be a colon cleanser and also promotes general good health. I just don’t remember how many parts water and apple cider go together for a good combo.

The Biggest Loser Asia Season 2

The Biggest Loser Asia Season 2 premiered last night at Diva Universal (formerly the Hallmark channel).

We like watching it, my mom, dad and I, because you get to pick up some weight loss tips. The show’s really quite inspiring for people like me who struggle to lose weight. They’re definitely bigger than me, but they manage to exercise! I just wish I had the trainer to keep pushing me, and the kitchen crew to make sure I ate nothing but healthy food too.  🙂

The show’s website also has resources to help those of us at home who would like to lose weight. There are tips, and an online club. From there you’d also find a way to sign up for a 7-day free trial for a Fitness First club near you. There’s one in our office building, in fact, I used to go there many many years ago. It’s just a tad too expensive and not very effective for me without a trainer.

The show’s premiere would have been a good time to launch my health blog. Oh well, too late for that now.

Run for Hope

This Sunday, there will be a fundraising fun run for Jon Angelo’s Breathe Hope campaign. I would so love to go, but I have work that day from 5am.

But if you have time, and you’d like to run for fitness, and help at the same time, do Run for Hope!

Check out Jon’s Facebook page to get in touch with his Mommy Tet. 🙂

Bad Carb Weekend

I just had one. A bad carb weekend. I’ve stuffed my body full of bad carbs. White rice, and pasta. Ugh.

Winging it with a pseudo-South Beach Diet isn’t working for me. I really need a meal plan, and I should go grocery shopping for the kind of food that should surround me. I’d been eating rice with my meals (just a few spoonfuls, but it’s still rice) and I’ve had a few bowls of elbow macaroni pasta. Hay. The family can’t be blamed really, it is not their responsibility that they make all these bad carbs available. No one forced me to eat those. Haha.

It seems that being in the office, or out at the mall, makes it easier to eat healthy. Odd, but true. I’ve always imagined that being outside would mean exposing myself to temptation, but I guess it’s been awesome that there are just a lot of alternative eating places now that offers healthier alternatives. There are the sandwiches as Starbucks on whole wheat bread, the salads at Gram’s too. And recently, a new store opened at The Loop: Refresher’s

This store is green! They have packed greens and you choose what dressing goes with it (included in the price, unless you choose a premium dressing). If you want more than just greens, they have a nice selection of ingredients like egg, cheese, ham, etc. I get a very filling pack of yummy salad here for 90 pesos. If I wanted to save a little, I’d limit myself to only two extra ingredients.

So let’s back up, you pick a pack of greens, choose your toppings, choose the dressing. Then the staff tosses them all together for you.

You can then enjoy your salad at The Loop, or bring it home. I wonder though if the greens would wilt if I take one around lunch time but eat it at night? Hmm. They also have set salads, meaning they’ve chosen the topping already. There’s nicoise, weight watchers (or something), among others. I tried the tuna nicoise once and it had olives and peas in it which I don’t normally add to my salads. It was good.

They also sell salad dressing in bottles, and some sandwich spreads too. No added preservatives. They have coffee grounds too, some veggie chips, and potted herbs.

Last week, I walked from the office to the Digiprint outlet in Morato (I had a roll of film processed, see my Lomo and Toy Camera Photography post for the results). It wasn’t really that far, but because I was wearing my high heels (the same one I put on at Mayeen’s wedding), I felt that I needed to take a break at this nice place, HalfMoon Cafe. I noticed a long time ago that they seemed to have merged with the breakfast place I Have Two Eggs, but we hadn’t been there in a long time, years really. Since I needed to lay off my feet for a while and my stomach was grumbling, I went in.

It turned out to be a very good decision, I had found another place to satisfy my salad cravings.

This salad is really good! It had strips of beef tapa, eggs, croutons, mangoes that weren’t sour, tomatoes and greens. The house dressing was good too. I had coffee, and I proudly shunned from the chocolate bibingcrepe in the menu. haha!

I think it’s wonderful that more and more places are offering Halo or Splenda without one having to ask for it. Is it more expensive for coffee shops to stock on this sugar substitute than refined sugar? I guess so. It’s sad though because outside HalfMoon it says that they have Roti bread. When I asked the waiter, he said that because they’re merging with the other restaurant, the asian café offerings were no longer available. What’s left is only the bibingcrepes. Oh, those are sinful!

Anyway, as soon as I stepped out of HalfMoon, I felt my feet start to hurt again. There were tricycles just across the road waiting to take me to where I was going but I was determined to walk my way to Morato circle. I didn’t stop to eat and then just give up, did I? So I made the trip and took a couple of snapshots using Pinky. I hope the shot of the boy scouts’ memorial comes out good.

Okay, here are the last food photos for today. This is from our last meal at Kenny Roger’s Roasters at SM North:

Healthy, no? But, I’ll have to confess that we couldn’t resist the new desserts that the waitress was offering. I just had to try their new pannacotta and crème brûlée!

It was my first time to try crème brûlée, it’s a lot like leche flan pala but less sweet, and with the torched sugar on top. Incidentally, P-Dub published her crème brûlée recipe on PW Cooks. You have to go checkout that recipe, you’d know why I so want to make crème brûlée! I don’t care about having to do SBD phase one all over again if it means I can make this and have it too before the strict phase. Haha 🙂 Go see the recipe!

Photowalk: Lamesa EcoPark

It was on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon in July that we finally succeeded in going out for a photo walk. Our destination: the LaMesa EcoPark in Fairview, Quezon City. The Lamesa Ecopark is situated inside the LaMesa Watershed, the primary source of drinking water of about 12 million Metro Manila residents (source). According to the LaMesa Ecopark website, the watershed is 2700 hectares big! Of this, 700 hectares is the reservoir (dam) itself, with the surrounding forest being the remaining 2000 hectares. The reservoir supplies clean drinking water to Metro Manila, while the forest helps clean the air.

A long time ago, my grandfather used to bring the entire family to picnics at LaMesa Dam. I was either too young to remember those trips, or I wasn’t born yet at the time. I do remember cousins, my parents and aunts talking about those picnics though. Due to lack of funds for the MWSS which manages the area, the surrounding park had fallen into ruin. In the last decade, the ABS-CBN Foundation, through its programs for Bantay Kalikasan, endeavored to rehabilitate the park and reforest affected areas. The 33-hectare public park is found along the natural boundaries of the watershed and is 40 meters below the reservoir. Proceeds from the entrance fees are used towards the continuous efforts to preserve the health and beauty of the watershed.

I first visited the park years ago when they had just reopened it to the public. My day brought us there with my mom, my nephew Esban and his older sister Dal. We had wanted to swim in their pool but there was just too many people. We ended up just having a picnic (without a table because all were taken and there were no huts at the time) under the trees, and then we had so much fun dancing and laughing while bathing in the rain. Yes, we danced in the rain because the sky really went all out while we were there. It was so much fun. 🙂

Since getting Maxine last year, we have wanted to troop to LaMesa to practice shooting. We’d always thought it would be a hassle to commute to the place. Boy were we wrong! We took a cab from here to EcoPark and it cost around 150 pesos, but it was easy peasy. From there, you could just hop on to a tricycle – they’re right outside the exit waiting to take you to Commonwealth Avenue where you can take a jeepney, FX or taxi to wherever you’re going.

Though I was already sleepy on the way (I came from shift, and had work that evening too), I went prepared. My camera battery was fully charged, I was wearing tights and rubber shoes for freedom of movement, and a comfortable shirt. After all, the trip had two goals: to break a sweat walking, and to practice our photography. We successfully did both! Now, we plan on going out each week. Whoever said you can’t hit two birds with one stone? I actually hit several here: bonding with the boyfriend, practice photography, have more physical activity! Doing all these work like all the best weight loss products available out there.

It’s difficult to pick just a few favorite photos to showcase here, so if you’d like to checkout all the photos, they are on this Flickr set.

Let’s start with some flower shots shall we?

I love how this one came out. It was a really vibrant blood-red color. I forgot which part of the park this was in though.

I don’t really wear yellow, and not much orange either, but I love the two colors together be it on these flowers, or on a fire tree. 🙂

I love the purple tinge on these small flowers. It would have really been good had there been signs near these plants so we would know what they’re called, Hehe. I think that this photo could be used as background for a card. 🙂

I didn’t use any textures on this photo yet the bokeh effect was amazing. I think it took on the shapes of the small leaves of these small flowers that stood unbending against the wind.

Now, who says plants need flowers to be beautiful? These certainly look pretty on their own:

I didn’t just take shots of the fresh, thriving and beautiful. There were other interesting stuff around too. The ecopark is a true thriving ecosystem, there was lushness all around but there was also decay and somehow, also death. This post is already long enough as it is so sharing those other photos will have to wait another day. If you checkout my Flickr set though, you’ll see them all there. 🙂

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