Monday, June 30, 2014

HOW TO SWITCH UP YOUR WORKOUTS #HowTo



Being a modern-day independent (now-corporate) career-woman, who is cursed by an insatiable need to stay on the move, traveling and "too tired from work" had become my go-to excuse for not staying disciplined. Now, hold on, you say, because blah blah blah abs. Well, my friends, I am here to talk about how we can cheat our busy schedules, and figure out ways around it to squeeze in a little fitness.

Here's a list of my favorites tricks:


  • When in a foreign country or such, walk as much as you can. It kills two bastards with one swat, you will get to see the city and work those glutes. Cardio, voila! Hence, when I was in Amsterdam, not only did I manage to stay fit, but I also got to see the red-light district, haha!
  • Use whatever is provided. If you have a little patio in your hotel room, in my case (above) a waist-high wall at Boracay Beach Resort - challenge yourself to 3 rounds of elevated suicide-planks. (If you're really lazy, just plank for as long as you can) 
  • Don't be afraid to try new things. I understand, you might not be much of a biker-babe, but you'd be surprised how warm a little bike-ride in the winter can make you feel.. and it's a fun way to get from point A to B.
  • Combine activities. Last year, I lost a crazy amount of weight just by loading my iPad with the series I was currently addicted to, and watching it while on the treadmill. It's truly the only way I can stay on one for 45 minutes without deciding I am bored and "rewarding" myself early with some gelato.
  • Do your housework. "Wait, what??" you say but seriously, you do not need a maid unless your apartment is starting to resemble Hiroshima. Crank up some Miley Cyrus or Rihanna, put on some gloves and get to work. You are an adult, you do not need a yaya. Also, this will burn calories, especially if you do some dancing in between.
  • Trick your body. Morning workouts are the most effective. The best time of the day to get your butt to the gym is in the morning, as soon as you wake up. You will burn calories more effectively, it will energize you for the rest of the day, and you will wake up in the process.
My wildcard tip is to buy workout gear that makes you stand out. Now enroll in a busy gym with attractive people, and you will be running those treadmills early in the morning while watching your TV shows in no time. No better motivation to get into shape than when you're in a room with a boy you crush, trying to get him to notice you, haha!

CHICKEN WITH GARLIC YOGURT AND COUSCOUS #ManicMonday


Whenever I feel like eating something yummy but no fuss, and don't really want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen while my food is cooking, I keep three things in mind:

1. Make something with chicken, 
2. Add lots of Garlic and 
3.Bake. 

For this week's #ManicMonday meal, I promise you that it will take all of ten minutes to prepare your food, and maybe 20 minutes to cook everything. What you will end up having for dinner is a healthy, flavorful and filling meal without a lot of time spent in the kitchen. Because, really, who has that kind of energy and motivation on a Monday?

Ingredients:

2 pcs chicken breast
½ cup plain yogurt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped (replace with dried if you don't have fresh)
salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 cup couscous, uncooked

How to:


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix yogurt, garlic, rosemary, lemon, salt and pepper in a bowl
  • Pour mixture over chicken breast
  • Bake for about 20 minutes
  • While chicken is cooking, make couscous in the microwave or stovetop using package instructions. This should only take 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, Top with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve chicken on top of couscous and enjoy!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

MAMA'S HUNGARIAN GOULASCH #SoulFoodSaturday



Having grown up on the other side of the world, our house was always filled with the scents of a typical European kitchen. Years later I still haven't mastered the perfect Adobo, I have to sheepishly admit, and I have yet to figure out what all the vegetables in a Sinigang consist of. On the other hand, my international cooking game has gone up a few levels.. Concocting my own versions of things I have tasted back home. But still, nothing compares to my mother's cooking. And I was lucky enough to have her as a houseguest, so I could bribe her with mango shakes and shopping until she finally caved and joined me in the kitchen to cook one of my favorite childhood meals, a Hungarian Goulasch.

This recipe can be customized as you go.. take note that you can add other kinds of vegetables, even potatoes, and it can be served on any kind of carb your heart desires. My go-to is always always always some oddly shaped pasta, in this case Fusili.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500gram beef (cut into chunks) 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour.
  • 1 red pepper (cubed)
  • 3 onions (chopped)
  • 1 medium carrot (chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (sliced)
  • 2 dried bay-leaves
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 2 tsps ground paprika
  • 1 small pack of tomato paste 
  • 1 1/2 cubes of chicken or beef broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • cooking oil 
  • spring onion or fresh parsley (chopped)

PREP

Lightly coat beef chunks in flour.

1. Fill a large pot with cooking oil, I used coconut oil but any will do, and fry the beef chunks on high heat until brown. Remove the beef from the pot, leaving the oil.

2. Add the chopped onions to the oil and fry lightly. Add the garlic & carrot and stir. 

3. Add ground paprika, cumin, broth cubes and 2-3 cups of water. 

4. Bring to a boil.

5. Once mixture is boiling, add browned beef, bayleaf and adjust heat to low.

6. Cover pot and let simmer, monitoring it to check if you need to add more water. (this takes around 45mins - 1hr, depending on the size of the beef chunks) Stir every now and then so the meat doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. (there has to be enough liquid covering the meat for it to slow-cook)

7. Keep checking the meat to see if it is close to being cooked tender, then add red bell pepper and let simmer for another few minutes.

8. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, according to your taste.

Serve on pasta, rice, potatoes or with bread.
 
I had mine on a double whammy portion of pasta. Aaaaand I went back for 2nd's. 

My post-binge nap was absolutely spectacular.

KITEBOARDING #WOOTW



So. Ever since I started blogging about kitesurfing, I have been getting absolute avalanches of questions about the sport. The sad truth is, locally, it still isn’t widely known as a “sport” but more like an added bonus to being lucky enough to live your life on a beach.

Well, it is an extreme sport, but what does that mean?

To break it down in non-pro terms, kiteboarding is a sport, in which the rider is attached to a harness around his waist, on which a bar is attached by a loop, this bar having either 4 or 5 lines, which are then attached to a kite, consisting of an inflatable tube and a canopy. The rider then steers the kite while standing on a board with footstraps, gliding on the surface of the water.

Confused yet?

Truth is, a kiteboarding crash course entails a lot of theory, physics and drawings (that I’m really horrible at). So there is no way I can break down the entire sport for you in one post. What I can do however, is explain to you, why kiteboarding is one of the best full-body workouts you could possibly get.

First, you are attached to the kite by your waist. This mean, your core strength is vital. The kite pulls you into the direction the wind is blowing (down-wind) and you have to use your core to resist its pull. Forget sit-ups, this is the holy grail of an ab-workout. And the best thing is, you're so busy riding that you don’t even notice you are working your abdomen. YES.

Second, your legs. You are riding, so you are standing and resisting the pull of the kite, yes? This means, you are flexing your leg muscles. Back leg bent, front foot pointed, toes flexed. And since, unlike surfing or wakeboarding, you will be riding with both stances as you go back and forth, HELLO LEG MUSCLES.

Third, your arms – I am always asked about how much arm-strength one should already possess, in order to start kiteboarding. The truth is, it might look like you are pulling your weight with your arms, but you really aren’t. Again, you are attached to the kite by your waist, so you really only use your arms to steer the kite by the bar. Yes, that will take some strength, but no, its not like having to do a pull-up. That being said, again, kiteboarding will build your muscles over time. So if you are building up to learn this sport, no you don’t need to sign up for cross-fit or start lifting weights to prepare for this.

Okay, did we cover all the bases? I do understand that this is very much a complex sport, and so I welcome you to ask away, if you have any remaining questions about kitesurfing and why and how else it may be a great thing to add to your bucket list. I will spare you from having to read this in form of a novel, so I’ll leave it at that – if you are looking for a lifestyle that will transform your body and build your physical strength – you wont find a better option.

So maybe I am bias, but there is a damn good reason why I have been doing this for 8 years and why I continue to teach it.


To try kiteboarding in Boracay:
 
www.kite-asia.com and normeth@kite-asia.com to visit my home-base in Boracay or stay tuned to my instagram for info about upcoming kite-camps. See y'all on the water!!!


Friday, June 27, 2014

AFFINAGE SAPPHIRE SEA-SALT SPRAY #BeautyBuzz



I have to admit, I am starting to miss my long hair. Not on the days when its scorching outside and even my bangs stick to my skin and I almost want to lie in a tub of ice until winter might fall on the tropics. But mostly, when I miss the beach and having my curls cascade down my back, thick with salt and each strand with a mind of it's own.

These days when I come out of the sea, my hair dries and starts to look like I have started my day by sticking a finger into a socket. While I usually my own sea-salt hair spray, which I will share in a different post, one of my favorite new hair products is the Affinage Sapphire Ice Sea Salt Spray. It's ridiculous-easy to use, pretty much a wash and go item every beach babe should have in stock. Shampoo, condition, towel-dry, spray and go.

This spray creates tousled waves, and most importantly, it is light and wont make your hair feel stiff or sticky.

AFFINAGE products are available at David's Salon nationwide.














[photo by Alexandru Barenescu for Cheeky & Coco Swimwear]

HENNY- SEA #TGIFToast



I won't even pretend and say I'm an occasional drinker, because then I'd have to explain the 6 bottles of wine I have in my fridge at any given time, and the half full ones of several harder types of alcohol on my kitchen counter. Having said this, I do have my preferences, and that is usually vino (in case you haven't guessed) and the different versions of the good ol' G&T (that's Gin & Tonic for you non-alcoholics out there) (P.S. How do you do it?!) This week though, I decided to re-open my bottle of Henny and experiment. I had guava juice in the fridge and some pineapple wedges and decided to roll with that. The result? Pretty darn good. Tastes like something you'd sip by the beach, like the Pina Colada's Gangsta cousin or Orange Julius on his 21st birthday.

Happy Friday! You deserve this! Here's how to make it:

I'm not a bar tender, so I used measuring cups! Ha!

1/3 cup Hennessy
1/2 cup Guava Juice
6 fresh Pineapple chunks
1/2 Fresh Orange
2 ice cubes

How to:

  • Throw everything in the blender and pulse until ice had broken down
  • Puree until well combined
  • Pour into an Old Fashioned liquor glass (or whatever glass, really. It's all I had because for some reason, I found a glass of Jack & Coke in my car after a night out a few years ago. Sorry Prive!)
  • Garnish with an orange wedge and down that bitch! (Just kidding! Sip it and enjoy!)



Thursday, June 26, 2014

SKIN CITY #TrendyThursday




The Preview Best Dressed Ball is tomorrow and the theme is Skin City, which, the way I understand it, is basically Hubadera Chic. Dressing more naked than usual is not really frowned upon on anymore, although there are still outfits that will raise eyebrows. I'm no prude, and I love me my cropped tops and short shorts, but I do have my limits when it comes to baring skin.

First of all, there is a way to make it look stylish and sexy versus slutty. My rule of thumb is really just show enough, and if you are constantly fidgeting with your top because you feel a nip slip coming every five minutes, you are TOO naked. If you feel conscious and uncomfortable, you are TOO naked. If you make other people uncomfortable, you are TOO naked. You get the picture.

I'm taking three trends that fit under the Hubadera Chic umbrella and will show you how to wear them while keeping your class, and your private parts in check.

1. SHORT SHORTS

I LOVE short shorts, but I think there's a difference between shorts and basically wearing denim underwear out. Go for the shorts if you've got great legs and want to show them off, but I don't think I need to see your actual ass hanging out, EVER. Leave something to the imagination and please, spare me from practically seeing your bunghole!

2. SIDE BOOB VS. UNDERBOOB and JUST TOO MUCH BOOB

Aaahhh, the side boob. For women like me who don't have much to offer in the boobage department, side boob tops are perfect! They show just enough to look sexy, but never enough to feel like you are going to get gawked at. Underboobs and Too much boob action, on the other hand, just looks cheap and porn-y. Steer clear. Don't be that girl.

3. CROPPED TOPS

Cropped tops are cute, and my favorite way to wear them is with a high waist skirt or shorts, when only a sliver of skin shows. It's fun, flirty and sexy and you can get away with wearing it to lunch as much as to after dinner cocktails. On the other hand, if you are in low rise jeans and a crop top that practically ends under your boobs, it seems to send a different signal, don't you think? Save those extreme cropped tops for the beach or a pool party and stick with the high waist-cropped top formula.

That said, I don't know if I'm going to be breaking any of my own rules at the party tomorrow. Ha! See you at SKIN CITY!


                                                                                                     * All images from PINTEREST

WHAT'S IN DANE'S BAG? #Feature



Here we go. I've seen so many bloggers do this, and I'm almost ashamed to admit that in my years of extreme narcissism, I have not once jumped this bandwagon, haha. Here are the every-day contents of my bag.. which really is more like a small weekend bag, filled to the brim with.. secrets!

For all my guy friends, who I have forced to carry my bag for me, which is something forever-countered with a peek into the bag and an amazed "What the hell is in this thing?! POTATOES??" - this one goes out to you too. Hahha.

From the top, clockwise:


  • Vintage YSL sunnies ("stolen" from Mom)
  • Dolce & Gabbana prescription glasses (because I'm BLIND)
  • Turquoise portable powerbank (because I always always always run out of battery)
  • 32gig Apple iPhone 5 
  • River Island leopard wallet
  • "David & Goliath" by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Maybelline lipstick in "Magnificent Mauve"
  • ZARA Woman Eau De Toilette
  • Vintage leather Cartier wallet (where I attempt to organize my bank account, and keep foreign currencies)
  • Daily Planner (can't-live-without)
  • Macbook charger (washi-taped with love)
  • Macbook Air 11" (my birthday gift to myself)
  • Oxygen Clothing tropical print clutch (which I use as a Macbook sleeve, because sooo pretty)
  • Keys + Gucci leather key chain
  • Adam & Eve fan from Museo Del Prado in Madrid (gift from Mom)
  • Favorite new carry-all tote, quilted and in black by REMUBLE (from the Change Clothes PH fundraising sale)

Now, wasn't that enlightening? I hope I didn't bore you too much. 

WHEAT GERM #TryThis



What is Wheat germ anyway? The word germ doesn't make it sound too appetizing but this tiny food is a powerhouse in the nutrient department, containing Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Thiamin, Zinc and Phosphorus. It is only a small percentage of the actual grain, but is responsible for growth of new wheat plants. Sadly, it is usually removed when wheat products like flour are processed. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients and there are definitely benefits to putting wheat germ in your diet. Luckily, even if most of our wheat products are processed and the germ is removed, we can buy wheat germ in most health food stores. 

I usually add wheat germ to my breakfast so I don't forget to eat it later on in the day. If I'm having pancakes, I sprinkle it into the batter before cooking. If yogurt is on the breakfast menu, I add it to that with some fruit for some crunch and a slightly nutty taste. More often than not, I go all out healthy for breakfast and have a smoothie of mixed fruits and vegetables and add my super foods in. An example would be a Lettuce, Spinach, Carrot, Pineapple, Mango smooth with Chia Seeds and Wheat Germ. Really though, you can add wheat germ to almost anything. Try some in your omelets or sprinkled in your soup!This is especially beneficial for those who don't or don't want to take supplements and could use the extra boost of nutrients in the most natural way possible.


                                                                                                            ( photo courtesy of prafulla.net)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

VEGETARIAN VS. VEGAN #AllTheRage



When I was 12, I proudly made an announcement to my parents that I had suddenly become a vegetarian. Naturally, as a 12 year old, extremely awkward looking, frizzy-haired child-like know-it-all, who spent all her time playing sports, over-plucking her eyebrows and reading books under the sheets past bedtime, my parents merely shrugged it off as yet another phase my incessant teenage boredom had led me to. Strict as they were, I was told I wasn’t going to get any special meals prepared to suit my sudden teenage lifestyle change.

One of the things we often aren’t prepared for, is that this choice can have a huge impact on your daily routines, but you do get an amazing amount of benefits out of it – most especially when you consider yourself an animal lover and have a strong opinion about the way animals are treated before they land on your dinner plate.

Let’s break it down simply:

Vegetarianism is practicing abstinence from consuming meat – red meat, poultry, fish, seafood. For years, before “Veganism” became a thing, all those who abstained from meat etc, and animal products such as eggs and milk, were considered Vegetarians.

What changed the game was when Vegetarians started creating sub-categories to suit their own versions of being “Vegetarians”. Pesco-vegetarians, for example abstain from eating all meat except fish. Ovo-vegetarians allow themselves to consume eggs, and lacto-vegetarians include dairy products in their diet, but not eggs. There is even such a thing as “Pollotarianism”, meaning you only consume poultry as an exception, but no red meat or fish. Confused yet?

Veganism provides a much stricter diet, as opposed to the more flexible practice of Vegetarianism. Vegans avoid all meat, poultry and seafood, and all animal by-products such as eggs, milk and even honey, and also ruling out products that have been processed using animal ingredients such as marshmallows, chocolate, cookies, ice cream, mayonnaise, yogurt etc. Vegans focus their diets mainly around grains, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables, which results in a fresher, healthier diet, considering many of these animal-ingredients-containing foods that are suddenly taboo, also contain many controversial and harmful artificial flavorings and colorings, that are still up for debate in terms of toxicity on a long-term scale.

Thus, while Vegans have to practice an incredible amount of discipline in choosing what foods they can survive on, that offers the amount of nutrients our bodies have adapted to, the bottom line is that just by cutting out all things chemically influenced we are offered by our controversial food industry, Vegans are already one step ahead of us. They simply are avoiding many of the harmful and seemingly invisible little toxins that the rest of us animal-eaters are putting into our bodies.


Now, having said that, I myself love a good piece of medium rare steak and nothing floats my boat like a viciously calorie-rich Lasagna, but every now and so often, I enjoy a fresh rich green salad topped with pine nuts and allow myself a Vegan toasted coconut chocolate chip cookie and then I’m back to feeling like that confused little 12-year-old girl, consumed by her indecision and love for bacon, and wanting to possibly attempt yet another lifestyle-change.

FU RAMEN at Wrong Ramen #WIAT (What I Ate Today)



In a city saturated with Ramen restaurants, how does one stand out? Well it seems that Wrong Ramen's strategy was to do the opposite of what all other Ramen places were doing, which was playing up on the authenticity of it's food, giving their consumers the idea that this is what the hot noodle soup would taste like if we were actually in Japan. Wrong Ramen cheekily asks via a poster on the wall, “Is it better to do Wrong Ramen right or Right Ramen wrong,” and after trying their FU Ramen, I could totally say eff you to authenticity, at least while confined within the restaurant's walls.

Don't get me wrong, I love “real” ramen as much as the next person (not that I'm a ramen expert but you know what I mean!), but what I like about this place is that it doesn't try to be what it's not, and this particular FU Ramen, with it's fried egg, spam, bacon and cheese, seems like a dish created at 3 a.m. After a drunken night with friends. And because of that, I absolutely love it. It has all the elements of comfort food- it's warm, and it has processed meat. What more could you ask for? Despite it waving it's flag of “wrongness,” the place is definitely doing something right. Now that the rainy season has started, I'll definitely be back!

Wrong Ramen is located at Forbes Town Center, Forbestown Road, BGC. Tel: 8238249

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

HOW TO USE A HAIR DONUT #LikeSo



You've all seen those spongey- donut shaped things at stores, and probably wondered first of all what it even is, and second, what people do with it. Well, I was one of those people until I realized that all those girls I used to envy for seemingly having so much hair that it was just so big and perfect when set in a bun all had the same little secret- the HAIR DONUT. Yes, that's what it's really called! I vaguely remember using one when I was learning basic hair in Make-Up school but I had completely forgotten about their existence, until more and more, I would see them at shops (usually near the check out or in the accessories section) I decided to buy one and see if I could achieve the perfect ballerina bun with my new toy. Here's what I did:

  1. Tie your hair up into a high ponytail. The higher the better. I usually put mine right on top of my head.
  2. Put your ponytail through the hair donut, and spread your hair into sections, almost like a starfish.
  3. Wrap your hair around the hair donut by section, and secure with hair pins.
  4. Use a bit of hair spray to make sure your hair stays in place.
  5. Voila, you are done! Accessorize by tying ribbons or putting flowers in your hair. Go ahead and play!

EASY FRESH SUMMER SALAD #TuesdayTummy



I’m going to feature an array of salads on the blog, not only for its nutritious significance, but also to show that a salad need not be boring. As a child, we rarely ever served a lunch or dinner without a salad, and it is a tradition I have gotten so used to, and that I’m grateful to my parents for. And the beauty of a perfect salad recipe is that you can add as much of the ingredients you love as you want, hence, the possibilities to healthy eating are endless.

INGREDIENTS

  • -       ripe tomatoes (cut into chunks)
  • -       cucumber (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • -       Granny Smith green apple
  • -       kesong puti (soft white carabao cheese)
  • -       Extra virgin olive oil
  • -       Red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • -       5 leaves fresh  (finely chopped)
  • -       salt and pepper to taste

For this recipe, you can also add other ingredients, like pine nuts, green or red bell pepper or avocado – again, the whole point of a good salad is that its not only healthy, but also tasty, so always feel free to modify the ingredients a little to suit your taste.

1.     Combine tomatoes, onions, cucumber in a large bowl.
2.     Place extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a separate bowl and whisk until combined.
3.     Drizzle dressing on the salad and mix lightly to distribute evenly.
4.     Crumble white cheese and top salad.


Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2014

HEADSTAND #HowTo



Getting a headstand right may seem like a daunting task, and it may take quite a bit of practice and multiple attempts to get your feet over your head and keep your balance, but once you get there, you will absolutely love it. Aside from the “Hey, look at me, I can do a headstand,” factor, there are actually quite a few benefits you can get from being upside down for a few minutes a day. You strengthen your core by using your abdominal muscles to keep your balance, and get your upper body toned because you are supported by your back and shoulder muscles. It is also said to improve brain function by sending blood to the head, as well as aids in digestion. It's no wonder the headstand is called the King of all Yoga poses! For those who want to practice their headstands, here's how:

  1. Start on all fours and put your head on the ground. If you are a first-timer, you may want to do this against a wall to start with. Don't forget to put a mat on the floor before you attempt this!
  2. Wrap your hands around your head and keep your elbows out.
  3. The first way to get into a headstand is to extend one leg up and gently push your other leg into position. This is probably the easier way and best for beginners.
  4. The more advanced way would be to bend both knees and slowly lift both up, using the wall to help stabilize and balance until you work your way to a full headstand position.
  5. Start of holding this three times for about ten seconds each try. Gradually increase by ten seconds everyday until you can hold for about two minutes.