Jul 26, 2012

Why Don't We Like hardwork?

I mean we are all hardworking. We cannot be in this state if people did not work hard for it. We always work hard so that things / future and present can be easier for us.

But I'm thinking more about the interconnectedness of every thing in this earth. Looking more into / about "food," it makes every thing is connected -- that thing called circle of life.

I go out run into the 'mini' mountain areas of Consolacion, then as I go nearer to the main road, I'll see pipes from villages / subdivisions (including ours) and SM flushed to the river. This waste goes to the sea or sipped by the soil. Fish eats trash, plants drink the water. Then, humans eat them all.

We have this "systematic" garbage collection system in the thought that our own backyard is clean in the most efficient way. But this garbage is kept in some landfill which unknowingly just leaked into some farm. Then, it all goes back to us.

I probably have read too much hippie books about food and such that I felt such a very self-righteous nuts!

After reading a few a lot of books about food and health, it seems that just eating healthy is not a long-term solution. We only have control of what we buy, but before buying those, we have no control of what happen to those plants.

So the long term solution would be to get loose and be a caveman -- free from all unnaturalities. You go out, eat what you can find along the way, then rest, and repeat the cycle. We cannot hoard food as there's no point as they get spoiled since we don't have any refrigerators.

But we do not like that, it seems to be a lot of hardwork for 'pity' stuff. We're meant to do greater things like invent mobile phones or computers.

I mean humans natural instinct is to be efficient. Efficient way of gathering food, then once we have an efficient way of doing things, we then look forward to make it more efficient like spraying pesticides which we then also consume, then more efficient, until it's too efficient, that we are left with nothing much to do but complain that it's still not efficient enough, or almost with nothing to do we got bored.

And, how about taking into consideration the "side effects" of having too efficient system and tools? Really, I don't know where do we get all those stuff to turn into electronic gadgets, and where to throw them after they get broken or outdated less than a year? All these to spare us from doing "hardwork."

Wouldn't life would mean much when we can just go wander to eat, rest, f*ck organically like cavemen! Then wander more, eat a different variety, f*ck more. It's what we really work hard for.

Worry about future? Why bother -- it's not ours in the 1st place. Somehow we're trained to think that the future is the big thing. What happen to living in the moment.

Well, this was supposed to be about food. Owkei, so I learned to make bread, edible enough to not poison me. So anyway, our bread is the basic bread -- no fillers to make it delicious. Ate Mona was complaining why are we not adding those ingredients to make it more delicious. And, it's hard to explain that we really do not need to eat a lot of it.

And then there's the tendency for me to be buying and wishing to buy this and that gadget to make cooking faster and easier. Thing is do I really need to do it fast and easy so I can save more time -- more time for eating? (Owkei. I'm being OA here as I know how hard it is for housewife and mom.)

Anyhoo, I guess the reason why cavemen were meant to work hard for their food is because Lord (or whoever made / programmed us) knows that eating more or being immobile is just not us.

And, now I'm hungry after this lengthy discourse!

a more varied routine and growing?

There was a time last year when I got to visit different HR heads of different companies, and it happened that probably 30-40% of them were batchmates and schoolmates. I found it a bit weird when I see them all in chic-y formal get-up with all that professional-executive-look makeup, when the last time I saw them they were all in shirt and jeans, and making "tambay" at school with banana-q's in one hand and notebooks and xeroxed copies on the other, with loud voices.

Then, suddenly, I saw them all dignified and who speak with authority in their offices. I found myself mute, and groping for ways on how to deal with their new image. You know that awkward moment -- I was about to shout at them and talk like we're just in the Gaisano / Batibot tambayan but instead just produced a "formal" smile to go with the ambiance.

In a way, they made/make me feel that I'm stuck when it comes to career growth. Especially when it got to the part where titles and such were discussed, and I had not much concrete thing to say about myself.

But anyway, I had enough of that drama.

Before, I always had a hard time saying I'm a housewife because I think I'm giving it injustice.

Jul 16, 2012

Michael Pollan Answers Readers??? Questions | Michael Pollan

According to the Environmental Working Group, the ???dirty dozen??? most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale/collars. The ???clean 15??? are onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and mushrooms.

Imagining Myself as a Yeast

I'm not sure if I should be happy / proud of myself that I skip the yummy stuff, and ordered a lonely veggie salad. I always look at "health conscious" eaters as boring as a dead grass. I mean what's the fun of chewing on leaves. Counting hair strands appears to be more exciting.

Let me clarify that I'm NOT aiming to be a pure vegan. They would actually say meat is good, but strive to get the organic meat. The internal organs of animals are actually rich in nutrients that are good for us. It's the feeds and injections and genetic mutations implemented on the animals that are not that good for us. That's why some people would go for pure vegan to skip the toxic from the meat. (Fish is another story.)

One of the main things that health / food books / articles, I read, are against is SUGAR, refined sugar. It's one of the things that causes inflammation (they would say that diseases like hypertension, diabetes, etc are inflammation). So my aim is to skip refined sugar. 

Anyhoo, last week, Mark and I went to Figaro. We're not hungry but we just went there to have that quick "together" moment (yaah, corny). We do always see each other, but it's different when it's just the 2 of us, that thing you know, which comes far in between.

It took me a few minutes to say my order as the fraps and iced coffees and muffins are calling me. But I closed my eyes, and think of myself as a yeast. Yeast is an ingredient in bread, which made it grow. Sugar feeds yeast, which makes the bread "grow". Salt kills yeast. So every time an urge for me to overindulge on sweets, I would imagine myself as a yeast, and no; I don't want my insides to grow much bigger. Sometimes it helps.

Last week at figaro somehow meant big deal to me. As it's the 1st time that my "yeast imagination" really worked. I felt a bit victorious over myself, that finally I was gaining some control over my sugar-whore self.

But then a part of me was also mourning. As they say food lovers are the best people to be around. Ownose, I no longer have any chance on being cool. Well, I'm still a food lover, almost-real food lover.

Jul 10, 2012


lately, i'm on a border of being obsessed with bread. i want to make the best bread. well, not really, th best. but i want to make a bread that has life.

a step in breadmaking that i most love and hate is kneading. though, there are gadget to do this, or there are ways you can skip this. but i love this part.

kneading is time consuming, can be frustrating. sometimes, i wanted to just throw away all the dough as it can get all sticky and ugly and just hard to make something out of it. but just like any thing in life, i just have to suck it up and have faith that it's going to work.

i guess that's why it can be therapeutic!

Jul 6, 2012

making food and food makers

I know how to cook, but I don't like to cook. I did not grow up having a help around, and so I know basic cooking enough to come up with a few basic dishes, decent enough to be edible; just give me half-day to prepare them though. Just let me do the laundry and other house stuff except cooking. Cutting stuff into this tiny eeny weeny pieces feels like a long nail scratching against the blackboard. It's how I loathe cooking. 

Lucky that we have Ate Mona who can cook ala kumbira style. Unlucky to my rusty cooking skill as it's now crumbled.

But with my goat religion, I found myself trying to reconnect with my little cooking skill as there are recipes I have a hard time explaining to Ate Mona, or there are things that I just need to try myself first.

With my new interest with food and making of it, I learned something about myself:

* I DON'T KNOW HOW to READ RECIPES or simply I could not follow simple instructions. I bought a few small recipe books which just end up gathering dusts. I would find myself reading a simple recipe again and again. Sometimes, I have to look at it for days before I could really internalize it. And, most of the time, I would end up just having my own recipe; cooking it based on my feelings It's one of the reason why I could not ask Ate Mona to do the cooking, as I don't know what instructions to give her.

Sometimes my own interpretative cooking comes out owkei, and sometimes, it ends up only I eating my own dog food. The problem with cooking based on my tastebuds' feelings is that I could not put it much into specifics so that Ate Mona or others can re-create them. A bit frustrating. But hopefully, after some time, I'd be more comfortable around cooking.

For example, this was what I was thinking of making, Asian Pear and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese.
But this was what actually came out from my own interpretation and hands. So far from the original, but I like it! Of course, I have not much choice!

* I did not know kitchen stuff and gadgets are to DROOL for. Before, I never understand some girls' obsession over kitchen stuff. But that one trip to Rustan's (Ayala, cebu) kitchen appliance section to find a good replacement for my mother's less-than-a-year juicer made me drool over these shiny stuff in different shapes and sizes.

If before, I could stay forever in the pens section of bookstores. Now, the kitchen appliance section is my newfound "happy place."

Yes, I'm talking about this now because they're having SALE. Aside from that their a tad pricey, I really have not much idea of how to use them.

I'm eyeing this food processor which is on sale, but I'm still complicating about it over and over again as I don't want to be just another dust-gatherer at home.

* I attended a cooking (breadmaking) class. I wanted to make simple whole-wheat bread, pita breads for consumption at home. As it's difficult to find them, and they easily spoil.

Knowing myself, I never had thought about cooking class. But after my failed attempt at creating a simple pita bread, I thought of attending a breadmaking class, just to get the basics.

So one day, I found myself in a group of mommies, who are really into cooking. They're all not first timers of Caro & Marie classes. One has a food business, one already went to culinary school, and others attended classes to while their time away.

Spot the clueless
It was fun. My only gripe was that I could only replace 20% whole wheat of the flour in the recipe. =( So all the ingredients were sugar (flour) and sugar (sugar) and sugar. Sorry, the goat is mean. =|

Jul 5, 2012

My New Shoes

There a lot of thoughts I wanted to write down but I don't know where to start so let me start with my latest purchase. It's actually a slippers, or rubber footwear, a relative of crocs. This was the same brand from my last "decent" footwear. I tend to love this "rubber" kind of footwear as it's no biggie when they get dirty.

Yesterday, I was in Ayala from yoga. And, I saw that all stores are hanging SALE posters. So when I saw this shoe brand was on sale, i got myself one. I wanted the orange but I guess the thirty-year-old in me said it's time to retire the orange fandom.

So I got what the sales lady thought fits me best. I just could not trust myself when it comes to fashion.
Prior to getting these shoes, I got a few "fresh" stuff from Metro Gaisano's grocery. This is in line with my (trying to be) goat-ery. I do take this goat religion seriously. But offer me sweets and junks, and I'd calculate all the whore sugars in there, think twice, and still devour them all. =)

I guess a sign that I'm really taking it seriously was when Migi was asked where was his mother, and his reply was, "Tua sa merkado. Nagpalit og sagbot."

Every time, I got to be in Ayala, I'd never fail to stop by at Rustan's and Super Metro's grocery, they carry a few organic vegetables. It can really be pricey, but I'd still buy them, not really much because of the healthy part. But, more of, because I want to support their business and of promoting the so-called "organic" movement. Hopefully, time will come, when organic becomes the regular cheap thing that there's no need for label.

I realized that food or attitude towards food is sooo hard to tweak on. It's stickier than politics. Mark and I have been on and off for years of trying to achieve some level of healthiness when it comes to food. It's much much harder than running. I guess because changes in food touch all parts of us -- physical, mental, emotional, psychological, social. I would find myself at the end of day restless craving for sugar. I was used to having lots of sugar that my body was crying for it when its quota is not reached at the end of the day.

I guess it also has to do that after all the hard work just to survive, this little pleasure from yummy foods would also be taken away. As Mark would always say that food is the cheapest/easiest form of entertainment. To take it away seems to be so cruel.

In my part, it took a "death threat" for me to work on it. As I mentioned before, I brought my mother to alternative / homeopath doctors (licensed). But we stopped it, then went asking advice from the conventional doctors. And, we make up our own treatment which is actually just about foods. Homeopath and conventional doctors are at the opposite ends of the pole. They just could not meet halfway. Homeopath does not believe in conventional pills and medicines and conventional doctors also do not have much faith in alternative thought. I'm still looking for that doctor who is in the middle.

Anyway, my mother is now following a diet protocol given by her friend whose mother got well from it. The diet was randomly given by a doctor they just met who advised them to cancel her mother's operation, and instead put her on that diet. The name of the doctor is Leyson, but is not based here. And, so I'm looking for this doctor.

Thank God, my mother is doing okay. I won't say much because I don't want it jinxed. But all I can say that what they say that Food is medicine is true. It does not necessarily come cheaper than undergoing some surgery or whatnot. But it can be a good journey to get on. =) Ours actually just started.

After getting my new shoes, I signed up I and Mark for a 16k run this Saturday. This is my "comeback" after Kawasan Falls Marathon when I felt burned out from running.

My singlet size is SMALL, my first ever size small top since college(?). I love this race. =)
On a last note, my husband's Saucony Kinvara 2 shoes is for sale. Please see details here >>.

yet another 1st-day highs

This is quite a stale post. With now 3 kids to put to school, it took a bit more time to finally settle in to a routine. Before you make babies, think about this: If my kid was only 1, we could wake up 6am-ish; but with 3 kids, we have to be up by 5am-ish as there are 3 people to take care of plus we have to give time to their squabbles of who's got to do this and have that.

This was my 5th year of experiencing 1st day highs. But it was my youngest, 3rd baby's 1st day ever of / to experience school.

So honestly, I'm no longer excited with 1st days of classes. It's chaotic from waking up, feeding, add in their squabbles at home, figuring how to transport these 3 little people, to school and back home. I wanted it fastforward to August when every thing seems to settle, when routine has figured out.

An additional challenge was thrown in when the youngest did not like "school." Weird because I never encountered this kind of attitude towards school with the older 2. Migi and Meg were excited about schooling. But Mati was, "di ko school school. sige lang school school."

Anyhoo, he's quite owkei now with the school though from time to time he would absent saying "sige lang ko school school."

Other than that, Mati seems to be fine in school around girls. =)

Buying school supplies included ice creams and kiddie rides.

Mati gets to have all the hand-me-downs from both her Ate Meg and Kuya Migi. I am taking advantage that he still do not yet demand any thing what his classmates are having. So he got most of Kuya's worn out uniforms, and Meg's pink backpack because I'm using Migi's. =)
One thing that took us forever to be final about was the transportation. I really hate this part as I felt it's too much waste of time and gas. Why can kids no longer just walk to school on their own?!? There's too much gas and human resources spend on just transporting kids to school. Walking to school is fun; kids will learn a lot.

Anyhoo, Migi and Meg used to go via school's carpool. But, sometime last year, Migi complained about the carpool's sched. He'd be picked 5am-ish, and be dropped home already 6pm-ish. So we gave in to his demand, pulled him out from carpool, and instead had a suki tricycle driver to send him to school, which I also prefer as we no longer need to wake at as early as 4am. (Yes. I know it's nice to be an early riser but I don't think we'll ever be that rich to own a farm that we need to be so up early to tend the farm. But, dear Lord, can we have a forest instead please!)
So original plan was we'll have manong suki tricycle driver send them to school in the morning; then when going home, it will be via school's carpool. But weird that Mark volunteered to drive the kids to school every morning. One thing that Mark would not be is to take part with the kids' school stuff. Maybe, he now feels like doing that father part, if ever there is such thing.
But still how I wish they can just walk to school. But anyhow, it's fun to be sending them to school. It's bliss to hear their chatters and fights during the commute to school early in the morning. Mostly, it's Mati who could not shut-up.

Going home, Migi and Meg are carpooled. While Mati have to be picked up yet as his class is only 2 hrs.
The best seat evah Funny how I only thought that tuition fee is the main task when sending kids to school before. But it's actually just a tiny part of the whole.

Being the mother with the oldest and most number of kids, I've been asked many times for my thoughts about "schooling." Thing is I don't think I'm the best person to ask about schooling. After Migi got rejected from his and our very first school application, I got brokenhearted that I tend to be indifferent towards school. But most of the time, I just give out generic answers and thoughts about school.

But I guess, as a parent, we can only see what we want for them. It's hard to know the bigger factor which is what our kids really want for theirselves. So for me, the "school" is nothing to be so fanatic about. =)