4.30.2014

TOMS : One Day Without Shoes - Liberate your Feet!



I really admire people like Blake Mycoskie, founder of the brand TOMS, who can marry business and philanthropy and in the process make the world a better place. The story behind the brand and how it was created really touched my heart and the yogi in me.

Lifted from their official social media page :

" It all starts with NEED. Once the need has been identified, it is then addressed by developing a desirable product worth purchasing and carefully selecting experienced and respected partners. One person buys and one person is helped. A simple idea that has turned into a global movement. And what began in 2006 by TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie has now evolved into the exciting new chapter of ONE for ONE."

Blake was originally inspired by a trip to Argentina where he saw extreme poverty and health conditions and children WITHOUT shoes. He recognized that the traditional Argentine alpargata could be a simple yet revolutionary solution. To realized this mission, Blake made a commitment to match every pair of TOMS purchased with a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

Isn't that absolutely AMAZING? I am so inspired and I wish to one day have that bright idea which can help people in need and make a living out of it. And so when I saw the campaign of TOMS Philippines of "One Day Without Shoes", I decided to take the whole family and join in the movement. I knew it was gonna be loads of fun because my kids really love walking barefoot. I think I have exposed them to the farm life too much that they would really rather walk barefoot anywhere...yes anywhere even in the mall! Hahaha!



It was an afternoon of freebies, music and a relaxed summer outdoor vibe;

Cheers to being young, wild and free! Liberate your feet!


The first 50 participants got a free canvass bag, a TOMS shirt, stickers and stubs which were for the food stalls (popcorn and snowcones).

That's me surrendering my sandals to the lady at the booth and getting my stub. Goodbye shoes!



My son Henri giving his sister Sofia's feet some loving...yep! My kids are weird that way! hahaha!
Family pic WITHOUT SHOES -  Henri patently enjoying his free snowcone! Ahhh Life's simple joys!

Sofia getting her face painted

Loved the teepee set-up with colorful pastel handwoven mats inside

The nice chill vibe under the stars


Thank you TOMS for a fun-filled Tuesday afternoon!

Keep it real,
Pattie




4.29.2014

The Juice Barista





The Juice Barista is home-based business which is co-owned by a good friend Maika Perez who I met through a yoga retreat 2 years ago and eventually became my student in Barre3. She was kind and gracious enough to send me samples and deliver them to me personally! Such a sweet sweet girl! I've been following them in IG and am so proud of how the business has grown over the past year. Now you can get the juices in SLICE (BCG Branch), order online via their website http://www.thejuicebarista.com/ or directly through  Maika (0917-7958995) or Jarah (0915-5639785). 



Here are some of their amazing tonics and their health benefits:


KINGKONG APPLE PIE 


Ingredients: Water Spinach, Apple and Cinnamon


Ingredients found in this drink are known for these benefits:

This drink contains essential nutrients like vitamins A and C as well as a high concentration of beta-carotene. These nutrients act as antioxidants to reduce free radicals in the body, thus preventing cholesterol form becoming oxidized. Oxidized cholesterol sticks to the blood vessel walls, causing blocked arteries, heart attack or stroke.

It will boost immune system, detoxify the liver, control weight, regulate blood sugar, reduce pain linked to arthritis and reduce cholesterol.

This was my favorite out of the whole group because I really loved the hint of cinnamon combined with the apple flavor. It married perfectly together!



SUNSET BELLY BLASTER


Ingredients: Tomato, Apple, Celery, Carrots and Turmeric

Ingredients found in this drink are known for these benefits:

Tomatoes are packed with a whole lot of vitamin c and phytonutrients that both are fat killer. Vitamin C is what enables our bodies to burn fat that is already stored with exercise. The phytonutrient caretenoid serves as an antioxidant for our body that helps with losing weight and cardiovascular health.

Apples have pectin. Pectin actually restricts cells from taking in fat and it helps cells absorb water.

Celery is a negative calorie food containing only eight calories. It is high in vitamin C, calcium and is best enjoyed raw. Enjoying fresh celery juice before a meal can even help you lose weight. It contains apigenin, an active compound that slashes the risk of ovarian cancer.

Carrots helps to wash out fats and waste quickly as they contains carotene, a form of vitamin A which speed up our metabolism and make reactions in our cells to remove fat deposits from our intestines. 

Turmeric blocks fat in your diet.  It prevents unwanted storage of fat in the belly and it is perfect for times when you are trying to lose weight.




TANGO IN THE MANGO


Ingredients: Mango, Coconut Water and Cayenne Pepper

Ingredients found in this drink are known for these benefits:

Known as the King of Fruits and as being one of the most delicious, nourishing and refreshing sweet juicy tropical fruits, research has shown that the antioxidant compounds in Mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukaemia, and prostrate cancers. these compounds include quercetin, gallic acid, as well as abundant enzymes. One cup of sliced Mangos supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of Vitamin C, which promotes good eyesight and prevent night blindness and dry eyes. 

Nature's electrolyte rich "sports drink". Coconut water is an excellent way to reenergise, rejuvenate and rehydrate the body naturally. Only containing the essential electrolytes with zero fat, no added sugar, and no cholesterol. It promotes smoother, more hydrated skin and is low in acidity and high in potent antioxidants. Drinking a bottle of coconut water has the same short term hydrsting power as drinking one liter of water. Also containing more potassium than a banana and 15 times more than the leading sports drinks, to prevent cramping. 

Cayenne has the ability to ease upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhea.  It aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. Once mucus begins to leave the body, relief from flu symptoms generally follows. It is also a well-known digestive aid. It stimulates thedigestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This aids the body’s ability to metabolize food (and toxins). Cayenne pepper is also helpful for relieving internal gas. It stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination




Thank you again Maika for these wonderful tonics! I loved them all!


Juice away,

Pattie

4.19.2014

Easter Special : Sofia's 3rd Vintage Luau Celebration

I absolutely love planning parties and entertaining people. I have said this many times over that one career I will consider if given a chance is being a party stylist. And so I really look forward to every year where I get to practice this with the birthday parties of my two little munchkins. Last Friday, my daughter Sofia celebrated her birthday at the beach with family and some friends. I threw her a mini Vintage Luau party with all things DIY as I always do... from handmade cupcake toppers, menu cards and special "abstinence-friendly" (it fell on a Good Friday) menu. Nothing beats intimate celebrations prepared with lots of LOVE. Sharing with you details of her Polynesian Vintage Luau.



The Celebrant : 

The most beautiful little wahine 



Three Years Old 



Location/Setting : Tali, Batangas

Our family has been going to this beach for over 20 years now and it is a yearly traditional that we all look forward to. Every summer, we get a chance to use the Campos resthouse and spend a few days here to rest, relax and commune with nature. This year, it just so happened that Sofia's birthday fell on a Good Friday and we were scheduled to use the beach house so we had the perfect setting for the birthday Luau.



We had a small activity area for the kids with play doh and some coloring books to keep them busy;




Buffet Set-up:



It was a very simple and straight-forward set-up with 2 huge shell accents where I placed all the leis and some pineapples to give it the polynesian/hawaiian feel.





Since it was a Good Friday, I couldn't go all out with the food because people usually practice fasting and abstinence on this day so I served light and fresh afternoon snacks ;


 Sliced Papaya and Pineapple with Mint Leaves


 Tuna Poke (Polynesian version of Ceviche) - it's basically tuna sashimi (raw tuna) mixed with soysauce, sesame oil, chili garlic, chives and sesame seeds

 Cucumber Salad with Fresh Dill

Birthday Cupcakes with handmade toppers

 Birthday Chocolate Caramel Cake from one of her guests

Details:

 Food labels made with simple paper print outs and wooden clothespins

The birthday hashtag : #sofiaturnsthree 


 Handmade Lei which I ordered online

Paper Straws with hibiscus cut-outs


Activities :  

Coloring and Play-Doh Station for the kids

Afternoon football on the sand 


Coloring Books to entertain the kiddos 




 Limbo Rock - Boys First



 The girls also showed their back-bending skills


It was such a chill and relaxed party really perfect for the theme. We played the 50 First Dates soundtrack the whole time to set the "Hawaiian mood". The place, the set-up, the food and the company was perfect! I actually had a slight fever and cold allergies but that didn't stop me from making this fun little party for my daughter. 



Enjoying her birthday cupcakes


 The mandatory mother and daughter shot

The crew at sunset



Mahalo and Happy Easter!


- Mommy Pattie





4.12.2014

Barre3 Body Blast Faves : DIY Yourself Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

The Barre3 Philippines' studio launched the 7 Day Body Blast Program 2 weeks ago and as an instructor, we were encourage to participate in it to set an example to our students/clients. This 7 day program is designed to help you shed a little unwanted weight but gain more energy. It's a schedule complete with a nutritional plan and recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus recommended workout both in the studio or the barre3 online workouts http://www.barre3.com/videos/. This "Feel Good Fast Formula" is actually very simple and easy to follow. The meals were basically SSS (triple S) - Smoothie for breakfast, Salad for lunch and Soup for dinner. I'd like to share with you some of the recipes which I loved the most out of the whole program starting with this DIY Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette. Cilantro or locally known here in the Philippines as "wansoy" happens to be one of my favorite herbs not only because it's very distrinct, very "Asian" flavor but also it's benefits. Pain and symptoms of inflammation can be quelled by the continued use of cilantro, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. 



This recipe is taken from the Barre3 website : 
DIY SALAD

INGREDIENTS AND PREPARATION:
Choose at least 3 different kinds of salad lettuces: arugula, belgian endive, butter lettuce, cabbage (red, green napa, savoy), curly endive, dandelion, mesclun, mizuna, mustard greens, radicchio, red leaf, lettuce, romaine, spinach, watercress.
Top with at least 4 different fresh veggies: avocado, beets (steamed or grated raw), broccoli (raw or gently steamed), carrots, celery, cucumber, fennel bulb (chopped or sliced), herbs (chives, parsley, oregano, mint, cilantro, dill), radishes, seeds (raw sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame), snap peas, spring onions, sprouts.
Choose at least one good protein source: chicken, fish, hard boiled , egg, legumes, nuts or seeds.
CILANTRO BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

INGREDIENTS:
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon


PREPARATION:
1. Add all ingredients to blender and pulse to blend.
2. Taste and add more lemon and salt.
Makes enough dressing for the week!

Eat your greens,
Pattie

Homemade Yogurt and its Health Benefits




I have been getting a lot of requests on this topic and so I promised to post the recipe here at my blog this weekend. I have always been a fan of yogurt. It is one of those items that are always in my grocery list. I eat yogurt with fresh fruits, muesli, etc and also add it into my smoothies once in a while. During my Ashtanga teacher training 2 months ago, I was absolutely delighted that my Guru Jovan served us and taught us how to make it at home. He provided me with the started "curd" that you need to culture the milk. 



First let me begin by giving some of the health benefits that we can get from eating yogurt. And just what are the health benefits of yogurt?

Your body needs to have a healthy amount of ''good'' bacteria in the digestive tract, and many yogurts are made using active, good bacteria. One of the words you’ll be hearing more of in relation to yogurt is ''probiotics.'' Probiotic, which literally means ''for life,'' refers to living organisms that can result in a health benefit when eaten in adequate amounts.
Yogurt also comes from milk. So yogurt eaters will also get a dose of animal protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium, and magnesium.
Benefit No. 1: Yogurt May Help Prevent Osteoporosis
''Adequate nutrition plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, and the micronutrients of greatest importance are calcium and vitamin D,'' says Jeri Nieves, PhD, MS, director of bone density testing at New York’s Helen Hayes Hospital.
Calcium has been shown to have beneficial effects on bone mass in people of all ages, although the results are not always consistent, says Nieves, also an assistant professor of clinical epidemiology at Columbia University.

Benefit No. 2: Yogurt May Reduce the Risk of High Blood Pressure 
''We observed a 50% reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure among people eating 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy a day (or more), compared with those without any intake,'' Alvaro Alonso, MD, PhD, a researcher in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in an email interview.

Benefit No. 3: Yogurt With Active Cultures Helps the Gut

Yogurt with active cultures may help certain gastrointestinal conditions, including:
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Colon cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • H. pylori infection

Benefit No. 4: Yogurt With Active Cultures May Discourage Vaginal Infections

Candida or "yeast" vaginal infections are a common problem for women with diabetes. In a small study, seven diabetic women with chronic Candidal vaginitis consumed 6 ounces of frozen aspartame-sweetened yogurt per day (with or without active cultures).
Even though most of the women had poor blood sugar control throughout the study, the vaginal pH (measure of acidity or basicity) of the group eating yogurt with active cultures dropped from 6.0 to 4.0 (normal pH is 4.0-4.5). These women also reported a decrease in Candida infections. The women eating the yogurt without active cultures remained at pH 6.0.


Having said that here's the much-asked about homemade recipe as I learned it from my guruji. What I love most about this one is that I do not need to measure the temperature and just base it on the "feeling" (very yogi philosophy I must say) unlike all the recipes you will find online which requires a lot of measuring and checking of temperature. I trusted the procedure and have been making it ever since. Here it goes;


GURUJI'S HOMEMADE YOGURT

INGREDIENTS

2 Liters Full Cream Milk *

*According to him, this won't work with soymilk/almond/nut milk as the fat is needed for the bacteria to flourish

3 tbsp. starter culture/curd 

* You can buy the starter in select Indian stores/groceries 


PROCEDURE:

1. Place milk in a pot and heat up only until a slight simmer ( DO NOT LET IT BOIL!)
2. Turn-off heat and mix to slightly cool down.
3. Use your finger as a guide to see whether you are at the RIGHT temperature. When you can fully immerse your finger (meaning it is not THAT hot anymore then it is ready.
4. Pour in the starter culture and mix for a few minutes.
5. Cover the pot and place in a warm area of your kitchen or inside the cupboard.
6. Leave for at least 6 hours or until it sets (you can check by shaking the pot, if the yogurt doesn't "move" as much or is not too liquid anymore then it is ready). You can go up to 12 hours if you want it more tart.


7. Transfer to a jar.container and store inside the refrigerator.
8. ENJOY!

I hope this very simple recipe inspires you all to experiment and make your own yogurt at home. Like me, cross it out from your grocery list as well! Not only do you save money, you also improve your health and well-being. Happy yogurt-making!


Pattie

P.S. I would appreciate feedback to those who try this. I would love to hear from all of you.


4.06.2014

Breakfast : Banana Cream Pie Overnight Oatmeal

Breakfast is one meal you should never skip (EVER!). It's actually my favorite meal of the day because it sets the pace and gives me the fuel and energy I need to get through the rest of the day. Start your day right with this truly amazing and ridiculously easy BANANA CREAM PIE. You really just put everything in and let it sit overnight. I actually got the original recipe online but just gave it a tweak. :)



BANANA CREAM PIE OVERNIGHT OATMEAL 


Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1/2 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice, I often use soymilk/almond milk
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I started making my own yogurt last month and have no plans of buying commercial yogurt ever! Thank you to my Ashtanga guru Jovan for sharing with me his recipe and starter curd)
Instructions
  1. Add the first three ingredients to a mason jar.
  2. Mash up 2/3 of your banana and add to the jar. Slice the remaining 1/3 into the jar.
  3. Add optional yogurt and put the cover tightly on the jar and shake, shake, shake.
  4. Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you will have a delicious, dessert-like oatmeal ready and waiting for you!

I topped mine today with organic blueberries which I got from the weekend market! Yummy in my tummy! Happy Monday!





-Pattie

P.S. 
Let me know your thoughts and share some of your recipes! Would love to hear from all of you!