Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Mahal ba? (Is it expensive?)

Whenever I get asked what I eat, this is a common follow-up question. 

And of course I answer what the price is of whatever it is I get, and often the asker reaffirms his/her underlying assumption - a high-raw lifestyle is just too expensive, too.  Hence, the reason to stay away from it. 
But consider this - how often does a person who buys cheap and unhealthy food get sick?

And how did this affect his/her expenses in terms of medicine, pay cuts due to absences and/or a lowered evaluation rating as a result of numerous absences?

It all adds up! And in the end, you did not actually save, methinks.

Health purchases are investments - I don't see immediate returns now - but I do know the dividends will be greater for the long-term.

Steven Covey in 7 Habits talked about minding your production capability (your goose-laying capacity) in addition to your production (your golden egg). If you don't invest in the maintenance of your machine, you will pretty soon have zero output.

When I lived in the States, I observed my health insurance go up every year. I made claims for my bouts with laryngitis (brought about by poor health choices and perhaps the hazards of the job), but in my naivete, still considered myself pretty healthy. I knew friends and acquaintances in Washington who did not report getting sick, just so that their premiums remained unchanged, but their food choices just kept them dependent on over-the-counter drugs.  I was also shocked at how often my friends'/clients' kids got sick - of course I have no statistics to compare this with the frequency of illnesses from when I was still in the Philippines, but I thought that the occurrences were a bit much.  And let's not even talk about their allergies! They would put my list to shame!

Is the perceived expense what's keeping you from choosing healthier food?

Or something else?

PS Another translation for mahal in Tagalog is love. In Ivrit (Hebrew) it is blessing. So yes, my food is mahal (love and a blessing).

Happy Valentine's Day :)

PPS Would you like to strike a balance between your production/production capability? Or are you doing this already? What steps have you taken? Let's talk on Kontactr! (If you've tried contacting me on the wordpress site, sorry, I am unable to respond there. Weird password issues. Try Kontactr again. Thanks!)

PPPS Are you interested in taking a food prep class for beginners? 


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Calamansi water in the morning

Calamansi water in the morning? You've got to be kidding.

How could calamansi, which we know has ascorbic acid (not a lot of it though), possibly be good for someone who wants to alkalinize her blood?

The first time I read about this in 2010, I was skeptical. It just seemed so counter-intuitive. But I was also desperate! I just wanted to try something for my skin that didn't involve steroids.

So I did, and it was the start of something good!

Today, when people ask me about what they can do to get alkaline, calamansi water is the first thing I recommend.

A friend with acid reflux has tried it for several weeks and she reports better BM and feeling healthier overall.

A naturopath in La Trinidad also recommends lemon water.

Other options to try is to do it with warm water. I am partial to doing it with room temperature water.

Do this for a week and let me know how it helps you!

Calamansi water

1 glass of warm or room temperature water
4-6 calamansi

Juice the calamansi and mix into the water.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Found out someone formerly from work is now with BPI, where my dad used to work. I suddenly got nostalgic for 80s-style vanilla milkshakes! These were a treat for me back in the day. I would tag along to his workplace and he would bring me to 1851, their in-house club/resto where he would order for me some heavenly vanilla goodness and frothy whipped cream bliss!

When he was still in private practice, he would also take my siblings and I to another club on weekends. After swimming, I would have my (yes, you guessed it) milkshake (!) with either a burger and chips or a grilled cheese or ham-and-cheese sandwich. It was something I looked forward to. For a brief period, I associated milkshakes with joy and security, and bonding with my dad.

One day, I had an accident. I was grabbing some clothes to change into after school, and I pulled too hard on something and my entire cabinet (no, I did not have a closet back then) fell on top of me.  I yelled, cried and prayed loudly. I thought I was about die. I don't want to die! I kept repeating this, while the tears kept soaking my shirt. The help came but it wasn't immediate. One of our helpers thought it was odd that the house was so quiet, (yes, thank God I was a loud kid!) so she decided to investigate. She found me buried under the cabinet.

I thought I was okay, and I felt relieved help had come, but my arm was swollen. When my grandma found out what happened, she rushed me to the hospital. Pupunta tayong Makati Med, she said. My thought was...Makati Med? Milkshake!!!!  I kid you not. 

So after all the tests were done, it was found out the nerves in my right wrist had died, and that it would take months of rehab before I could write again. Which was okay since I was only in prep. I realize now that it was a blessing that my little arm slipped in the gap between the cabinet door and the cabinet, propping the cabinet an inch or two from the ground. If none of my body parts and/or clothes got caught somehow, the entire cabinet would have fallen on top of me, with the lower possibility of air. If help had come too late, I might have suffocated. There would have been no more Frannie. No more milkshakes at 1851, Floating Island, or the club.

A couple of years after the accident, the country experienced a shift from a dictatorship to a fledgling democracy. My dad had no desire to enter politics, but the woman who became president told him she needed good people in government who would not shirk a call of duty. All incumbents were removed from office and she would be appointing officers-in-charge for the different municipalities and cities while the elections were being prepared. He meant to stay as OIC for only a few months, but the months became years until the first election in 1988. Someone from work said, What kind of madness has gotten into you? 

The season of our regular milkshake dates had finally run its course. No, milkshakes hadn't gone out of style just yet, to be replaced by mocha frappuccinos and bottomless iced tea. But my dad suddenly got busier. Apparently, when you are in public office, even your weekends aren't yours. But I hated that feeling, of that fateful Saturday,  ready to go in my swimming gear, with my extra clothes in tow, only to be told we weren't going. 

And yes, milkshakes aren't in anymore. But I'm glad I can do something about that!

Here's a humble, raw take on my my childhood favorite vanilla milkshake. Any suggestions to make it more frothy would be super! 

Ode to the 80s Vanilla Shake
(1 serving)

2-3 frozen ripe bananas (peel the banana and place in a freezer bag in the freezer)
half a fresh banana 
nut mylk (Any nut mylk will do, but for this recipe, I used 1/2 c soaked, then dehydrated sesame seeds, plus 1 1/2 cups water, run through a blender, then strained. Save the remainder left on the strainer for breads)
cinnammon to taste
1 vanilla bean
4 pitted dates or 2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)

Blend the nut mylk and the vanilla bean in a high speed blender.

Strain through a nut mylk bag/cheese cloth/strainer.

Pour the strained nut mylk back into the blender and add the frozen bananas and fresh banana, along with the cinnamon with pitted dates/honey. Blend again.


Thursday, September 20, 2012



A— sees me eating the bananas I got from the gas station convenience store.

A: Hey Fran, do you have a favorite variety of banana?

Me: Umm, yeah. I forgot the name but it starts with an M.

A: Manana? :)

Me: Hahaha! It sounds like Marudo. But it can't be Marudo. That's the actor.

A: Janjoe?

Me: Zanjoe! Hahaha. No... I forget...

T: I thought there were only two types: Saba and lakatan. 

Me: Nope, there are a lot more.

A: What about the Dole bananas you got at the store?

Me: I'm not sure what they are. They're probably genetically modified to withstand pests and stuff (Lifesavers nonetheless!). Glad the gas station convenience store sells fruit :) What a lifesaver. 

*I looked up a previous blog post and the banana is called murado! :) It is a banana that is really creamy and sweet. I loooove these! I got to taste them when a coworker brought them back from Romblon as pasalubong. :)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

After the Juice Fast

Some stuff I noticed after the Juice Fast:

You know what? The zit has a black dot and I have no idea when it's going away, but other people are commenting that overall, my skin is looking healthy. I am super encouraged!

My clogged nose got unclogged. :)

I started eating solids. Here's what I ate:

The past three days, I was at a seminar. Since I didn't have a place to keep fruit, I decided to bring steamed rice and veggies been using a food steamer lately. It is really super easy to use. I slice the veggies, pop them in and set the timer. On Day 1, I had a bunch of bananas, a jar of green smoothie, my green juice, and my brown rice and 3 Lock-and-Lock containers of steamed veggies (one day it was sweet potato, garlic, sigarilyas/winged beans, white radish). I haven't been exercising all throughout the seminar and room is airconditioned to below 18 C, so by the end of the day, I am feeling like I need to defrost!

On the last day of the seminar, I went out for some Japanese with NFFs . John Pogi (the waiter!) said my order had walnuts (The walnuts turned out to be candied :( And silly me - I went ahead and ate them), mangoes, lettuce, tomatoes, shrimp and dressing. I let the others have my shrimp and dressing, while I had some of their tuna and salmon sashimi. I hope the food intolerance (to shrimp and sugar) doesn't come back to haunt me tomorrow :( I am also curious if I'll have insomnia later.

Update: No, I didn't have insomnia, but I got a zit :(

*Not raw food related:

On the upside, I did enjoy our little chat over dinner. I do not believe in accidents and I know we all got together in that class for a reason :) One of the gals is someone I met through a coworker eons ago. I enjoyed catching up with her a lot. It was also neat getting to know the others. I have a feeling we are going to be meeting each other again  real soon. :)


Stuff Raw Foodists Like #14 Bumping into Another High-Raw Foodist at a Resto and Asking What They Ordered

Need I explain more? :)

I'm not strictly raw anymore OK? This is what I'm eating:

I was at a Mediterranean Place. Bumped into Arvy! Hi! :)


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #13 : Pasalubong :)

Pasalubong – n. gifts usually in the form of, but not limited to food, coming from someone’s travels, intended to celebrate someone’s homecoming/ thanksgiving for a safe journey. the root word salubong means to meet. 
J came back from her babymoon from the States and her pasalubong for everyone was chocolate, which immediately took its spot in our special nook in the office, right on top of our filing cabinets, where pasalubong snacks are available to anyone who feels like partaking.

But mine was extra special because these were just for me.
Look at these beauties! Handcrafted, raw, gluten free, vegan chocolate. Yum. Mee. :)

I felt special because I usually don’t get pasalubong when people travel. And I don’t expect people to bring me back pasalubong. I know it is a hassle for them to go out of their way to get something just for me ---raw/organic/sugar-free treats are often pricier than their cooked counterparts, and fruits that have not been processed are usually subject to so many duties. But I super appreciate it when someone makes the effort to get me a raw treat from abroad when they come back :)

I was going to save one bar for today, then another for tomorrow, but I just couldn’t help myself. (Marshmallow test fail!) They were sooo yummy, J! And the side effects say it all!

The treats couldn’t have come at a better time too --- I've been feeling pretty discouraged lately, and they were a really nice pick-me-up! Thanks J! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Welcome back :) !

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Do you have a pasalubong culture in your country? What kind of pasalubong is your favorite?

I know my aunts in California really like Ding Dong and butong pakwan (salted watermelon seeds) and my landlady in Federal Way really likes Yes! Magazine. I also used to bring her Chicken Joy too, back when Jollibee in Southcenter hadn’t opened yet. I tried bringing back macaroons from Bizu to my cousin in Phoenix but those don’t really travel well.

(Can you say smash to smithereens seven times?)

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