Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Language of Food

chit juan 2By Chit U. Juan | On a recent trip to Legaspi City in the southeastern tip of the main island of Luzon in the Philippines, I was to attend a dinner with academics who were guests and speakers at the 3rd International Colloquium of the Bicol University Graduate School. As soon as we reached the mall, the rain poured and there was no way I could even alight from the car to join my party. Instead, we made a quick decision to join the dinner of Father Jovic and my colleagues at the Social Enterprise Development Center where I sit in the Board as an Independent Director.

So in the rain we went to find this special place called Iking’s or Mr. D’s Pizza as it is written on the menu.
Continue reading The Language of Food

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Whole Wheat Couscous Salad with Za’atar Roasted Eggplant

A Reblog | By: kabcphotography | In Tel Aviv, with 85 degree weather,  its hard to say that its Fall. As much as I love long summer days filled with the beach and watermelons, I truly miss the feeling of Autumn. I miss apple orchards and pumpkin patches and the scent of warm spices.

While patiently waiting for soup season to kick in, I’ve prepared a light, whole grain salad filled with mediterranean flavors.
Continue reading Whole Wheat Couscous Salad with Za’atar Roasted Eggplant

Piad’s Seafood Restaurant in Dumangas

By: Flavors of Iloilo | A Reblog | Famous for a row seafood restaurants dotting the coastline, a certain portion of the town of Dumangas is like a magnet to travelers as well as foodies who opt to enjoy seafood and homestyle Ilonggo cuisine at affordable prices. A few days ago, our Lamon-Lagaw group had our first out town lunch break (yup, we all went back to our respective works after) at Piad’s Seafood Restaurant in Dumangas. Traversing the Iloilo Coastal Road, it was around 30 minutes of smooth driving, scenic land and seascapes and almost zero traffic. At times, ours was the only vehicle on the road!
Continue reading Piad’s Seafood Restaurant in Dumangas

Is Bacon Bad For You, or Good? The Salty, Crunchy Truth

By: Kris Gunnars | A Reblog  |  Many people have a love-hate relationship with bacon.

They love the taste and crunchiness, but are still worried that all that processed meat and fat may be harming them.

Well, there are many myths in the history of nutrition that haven’t stood the test of time.

Is the idea that bacon causes harm one of them? Let’s find out…
Continue reading Is Bacon Bad For You, or Good? The Salty, Crunchy Truth

Savoring the foods of Spain, Mexico and Cuba in Boracay

By: Karen Bermejo | A Reblog | Since it started its operation in August 2005, Olé Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant has since become one of the most active restaurants in the island paradise of Boracay.

As what this Spanish word means, it has done a “good job” in serving its customers from over one hundred countries that have visited this unique and very palatable place, represented by the flags at the entrance of the restaurant.

Olé for some is also an expression of excitement.

Thus, the restaurant offers an exciting gastronomic experience of Spanish, Mexican & Cuban cuisine, and Filipino dishes too.

Olé is famous for its Spanish Paella, Mexican Fajitas and Cuban Palomilla Steak with Black Beans.

ImageMexican FajitasImageSpanish Paella

Other favorites include Nachos & Tacos, the Chicken Curry, the Filet Mignon and its various Fish and Seafood Entrees.

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An Olé in Boracay experience is never complete too without the cold and hot Tapas, or Spanish appetizers and snacks with over 28 choices which include – Gambas Ajillo, Tabla de Chorizo, Shrimp Cocktail, Tabla de Manchego and Jamon Serrano which could tempt anyone to just eat more.

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They also have a brand new breakfast menu that features healthy dishes made with poached eggs, salmon, spinach and other all the good things to eat.

Other choices include the famous favorites like French toast, pancakes; and eggs which could be cooked in nine different ways depending on how you like them.

For those in plant-based diet or in meatless lifestyle, Olé also offers vegetarian delights.

Indeed, there is something for everyone.

You can feast at Olé 24 hours a day and choose breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes all throughout the period.

To complete your sumptuous meal, another must try is their Spanish national drink, the Sangria. They also have a wide selection of wine from Spain, France, America, Australia and Chile at their bar. Beer lovers too could feast on over 20 selections of imported drinks. For healthy buffs, fresh special fruit shakes are also on their menu list to choose from.

The latest news from Olé is that they are expanding to cater more diners.

Come October, the second floor will soon be available to cater hungry locals and tourists alike – to bring its famous dishes to more customers.

What could be better dining experience is having the nicest people around. Olé thus have a capable, large staff supervised by experienced managers.

So, the next time you visit the island, give yourself “a treat you deserve.”

Never miss to drop by at Olé Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant along D’ Mall Boracay.*

To know more about Olé Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Boracay, visit their website at http://www.oleinboracay.com/

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by SugarWithaSpice on September 18, 2013

Bloglink: http://sugarwithaspice.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/savoring-the-foods-of-spain-mexico-and-cuba-in-boracay/

The Colors Of Health

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dorota.sssBy Dorota Trupp, Nutritionist | A Reblog | According to a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health, eating plenty of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables helps prevent neurological disease. The combination of nutrients in these foods also enhances your brain function, making you a happier, more optimistic person.

So, you may ask, what is it about colourful fruits and vegetables that makes them so special? Well, it turns out that a heightened level of antioxidants is the magic ingredient that benefits our neurological health.

Previous studies have pointed to the link between positive brain function and antioxidants, especially vitamin E. The Harvard study focused on a type of antioxidant known as a carotenoid, a natural pigment that gives vegetables and fruits their bright colouring, from yellow through orange, red and deep green. It found that carotenoids have particularly strong health-enhancing qualities – so strong, in fact, that individuals whose diets contained large amounts of this antioxidant were revealed to be more likely to exercise and have an advanced degree!

In addition, when we look at the cultures that consume natural foods rich in carotenoids, we see that they are generally very healthy and experience a lower mortality rate because of chronic illness.

I bet that any parent who reads this will want their children to consume more-colourful veggies and fruits to ensure they have a better start in life!

Brightly Coloured Vegetables

Which fruit and vegetables are the most beneficial?

Any of the brightly coloured fruits and vegetables at your local fresh food market are a good choice. But remember that variety is important. Include on your shopping list vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, red paprika, sweet potatoes, beetroot, broccoli, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, asparagus and herbs such as parsley, dill, thyme, coriander and basil. Fruits that are abundant in carotenoids include apricots, mangoes, cherries, strawberries, other berries, citrus fruits and cantaloupe.

This is really just a rough guide. The main thing is that the brighter, more intense is the colour of a plant, the richer is its antioxidant content.

3-7 servings of colourful vegetables and fruits a day

How many servings do I need to get the full health benefits?

It’s been recommended that you should have somewhere between 3–7 servings of colourful fruits and vegetables each day – the more you have, the better it will be for you!

A Taste of Happiness

Should I eat these foods raw or cooked?

All fruit should be consumed raw, when it is at its ripest – this is when it will contain the highest levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. The best option is to buy naturally ripened fruit from your local farmers market or organic grocery store.

Some of the vegetables mentioned above may need to be cooked to make them easier to digest. When you do this, add some butter from grass-fed animals, which is also abundant in antioxidants such as vitamins A, D, E and K2. In salads, you can use extra virgin olive oil, which contains vitamins E and K. To maximise the bioavailability of the antioxidants in vegetables, don’t forget to mix them with ‘good’ fats, such as those found in animal-sourced fats, nuts and unprocessed vegetable oils.

Trupp School Australia
The Trupp Cooking School Blog
http://www.truppcookingschool.com/blog/

Images:  Lead Photo; A Google Image. All other images by: The Trupp Cooking School

References

Ryan Jaslow, ‘ALS risk reduced by eating brightly coloured vegetables, study suggests’, CBS News, 29 January 2013, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57566420/als-risk-reduced-by-eating-brightly-colored-vegetables-study-suggests/

EurekaAlert!, ‘Eating bright-colored fruits and vegetables may prevent or delay ALS’, 29 January 2013, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/w-ebf012513.php

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Bloglink:  http://www.truppcookingschool.com/blog/2013/07/23/the-colours-of-good-health/

Excessive omega fatty acids may make inflammation worse, not better

Salmon Plated

By: Randy Shore, Postmedia News  | A Reblog  | Research at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus is calling into question the value of fish-oil based supplements as a way to combat cardiac and inflammatory disease.

Fish oil supplements fed to mice already on a diet rich in vegetable oil interfered with the ability of tissues in the gastrointestinal system to repair themselves, according to recent research by Sanjoy Ghosh published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Additional unpublished results point to a similar effect on cardiac tissues.

The cellular disruption that led to tissue injury — called oxidative stress — appears to be caused by the combination of omega-6 fatty acids in vegetable-based oils and the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, according to Ghosh, an assistant professor of biology.

In the past 50 years, North Americans have replaced much of the saturated fat in their diet with unsaturated fats, dramatically increasing their consumption of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and altering the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Previous studies of human populations that consume large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids as part of their normal diet suggest a protective effect against cardiac and inflammatory disease.

But when researchers added the omega-3 rich fish oil to the diet of mice to see if it would reduce the inflammation caused by omega-6 rich vegetable oils, they were stunned when it made matters worse.

“Our hypothesis is that levels of omega 6 are so high in our bodies that any more unsaturated fatty acid — even omega 3, despite its health benefits — will actually contribute to the negative effects omega 6 PUFA have on the heart and gut,” said Ghosh. “When there is too much [polyunsaturated fatty acid], the body doesn’t know what to do with it.”

This is not the first time that Ghosh has produced findings that turned popular notions about nutrition and health on their head.

As a graduate student Ghosh discovered by accident that so-called “heart healthy” oils rich in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids inflicted damage to the hearts of rats and neo-natal pigs.
The result was so shocking that Ghosh was turned down for publication by all the major scientific journals.

‘Vegetable-based oils like corn and canola were promoted to the public as a healthier alternative to animal-based fats, but there was never any research that said they are any healthier’

The results of the rat-based study were eventually published by the journal Nutrition in 2004.
Subsequent research vindicated Ghosh and opened up a new line of scientific inquiry questioning popularly held notions about the health benefits of vegetable-based oils.

“Vegetable-based oils like corn and canola were promoted to the public as a healthier alternative to animal-based fats, but there was never any research that said they are any healthier,” said Ghosh.

In fact, recent research has linked excessive levels of omega-6 to colitis, insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity, he said. And people’s attempts to “balance” omega-6 levels with omega-3 supplements may be damaging their health.

‘There is no magic pill that fixes a bad diet’

“There is no magic pill that fixes a bad diet,” he said.

“The vast majority of studies that show omega 3 oils are beneficial are based on eating fish, not pills,” he said. “When you eat a lot of fish you automatically eat less of other oils and it’s a healthier balance.”

The polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils have only been added to the human diet very recently, roughly coinciding with a steady rise in diet-related illness, he said.

A diet rich in saturated fats and healthy unsaturated fats will promote a more natural balance of fats

A diet that includes foods rich in saturated fats, such as cheese and butter, and healthy unsaturated fats, such as those in olive oil and nuts, will promote a more natural balance of fats, not unlike the Mediterranean diet, he said.

Photo: A Google Image

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Bloglink:  http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/01/23/excessive-omega-fatty-acids-may-make-heart-health-worse-not-better-b-c-researchers/

Six Writing Lessons From The Garden

veg gardenBy: Deborah Lee Luskin  |  A Reblog  |  I love to garden. It’s a meditative activity – something I can do while my mind freewheels. Last Sunday, I found myself thinking how preparing a small vegetable patch is like writing a book.

Lesson 1: Writing is Solitary.Scarecrow

For the first time in thirty years, I’m planting the garden solo. My husband helped me install the fence posts (just as he built the studio where I write), but he prefers to nurture the orchard. I’m on my own, just as I write by myself during the week while he’s off tending to his patients’ health.

Lesson 2: Selectivity is Good.

There was a time when we grew and preserved all our food – but no longer. We’re now supplied with locally grown produce from a neighbor’s organic farm, so I’m only planting high-value items that are harder to find in local markets – shallots and leeks, fennel, veg garden2escarole and Brussels sprouts – as well as items we consume in quantity – cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, hot peppers and a wide assortment of culinary herbs.

I’m leaving the prosaic vegetables – the zucchini and green beans, the carrots and potatoes – to the production professionals. In a similar way, I’ve retired from the teaching, managerial and editorial jobs that others can do as well as or even better than I can. No one else can tell the stories I imagine, so I’m concentrating on them.

Lesson 3: Limits are Helpful.

GardenPrep050513I started by limiting the scope of my garden. I’ve fenced off an eight- by sixteen-foot rectangle to keep the free-range chickens out, and to keep my intentions focused – and manageable. Our previous gardens were huge, time-sucking affairs, and sometimes we raised an equal quantity of weeds as tomatoes. Similarly, over the past year, I’ve drafted thousands of words about my character’s life. But recently, I’ve come to realize that the story I’m telling takes place over the course of nineteen months. So that’s what I’ll develop; everything else must come out, just like the weeds.

Lesson 4: Wrisundialting Takes Time.

At the outset, a hundred and twenty-eight square feet looks just as big as a 100,000-word novel, and turning it over with a hand fork appears as daunting as filling a ream of paper by pen. My husband offered to do this heavy task for me; he would have had the garden-plot ready in less than an hour. I thanked him and said I would do it myself. It took me three hours, during which time I meditated on how preparing the garden is like writing a novel. I stopped only for water and to take pictures for this post, which I was composing as I dug.

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Lesson 5: Small Tasks Yield Success.

A week earlier, I’d covered my plot with a tarp to warm the earth and kill weeds. The weeds continued to flourish, however, and the prospect of turning the soil by hand and pulling the weeds out by the root was too much. So I put the tarp back in place and working a small section at a time uncovered only a quarter of the space. After I turned those thirty-two square feet, I peeled the tarp back again, turning and weeding the next section. Now, the job was half done. I folded the tarp back again and again, always giving myself a small, measurable task that I could reasonably accomplish. Writing a book is just the same: I break each chapter into sections, and each section into paragraphs, each paragaph into sentences, each sentence into words. Each time I stuck the fork into the soil, it was a reminder that books are written one word at a time.

Working a small section at a time.

By the time I had raked the soil into beds and outlined the footpath with string, my neck was sunburned, my back was sore, and I was ready for a bath. I was done – for the day. I now had a well-defined garden plot with clearly outlined beds as weed-free as a clean piece of paper. Even though I was done-in, I’m anything but done. In fact, I’m just ready to start.

GardenPrep8Ellen, the novel I’m crafting, is further along than my garden. But the garden is a good reminder about how to maintain forward progress on this first draft. My afternoon preparing my garden yielded these six truths: 1) Even though I work alone, I’m deeply engaged with my characters; 2) every time I cut out a scene or a character or an unnecessary word, I gain a clearer sense of what aspect of the story to nurture; 3) knowing the limit of the narrative has helped me focus on the story I have to tell; 4) drafting the novel is taking a long time – and I make progress daily; 5) I experience the elation of success when I set myself small, measurable tasks; and 6) every time I finish a section, a chapter, an entire draft, I’m ready to begin another section, another chapter, another draft.  And even when that’s done – even when the writing and revision are finished – there’s another whole set of steps to see a book to completion, but those are chores of another season.

This growing season has just started. I tell myself, if I write word by word, weed by weed, my effort will blossom, and in time, I’ll see my book in my readers’ hands.

Meanwhile, I have a lovely garden bed ready for seeds.

photo: M. Shafer

photo: M. Shafer

Author Deborah Lee Luskin gardens and writes in southern Vermont and can be found on the web at www.deborahleeluskin.com

Building a Bamboo Future

The founders of Green School gave the award winning design-firm, Ibuku, the task to build the world’s “Greenest School.”

Every step of the design and construction process was unique. Instead of traditional blueprints, architects build bamboo models to scale with bamboo sticks. The sticks were bent, cut, and woven until the perfect model was created. The usual onsite visual of bulldozers moving the earth was nowhere to be found. The land remained as it was.  Buildings were designed to rise out of the earth’s natural contour, ensuring as little disturbance to the surrounding environment as possible.

Green School in Bali - Instead of traditional blueprints, architects build bamboo models to scale with bamboo sticks

Given both the setting of Bali and the sustainable task at hand, it is hardly surprising that Ibuku choose bamboo as their building material of choice. It is one of the fastest and most resilient growing plants on earth, and as such, environmentally-friendly.  “With very few resources or attention, a bamboo shoot can become a structural column within three years,” says Elora Hardy,  CEO of Ibuku. “And a building built from that bamboo could stand strong for a lifetime.” (View Slideshow)

The choice of bamboo, created strong buildings but also allowed for unique designs. Unlike the typical four-walled, cement classrooms, Green School rooms were woven together, creating spectacular webs of bamboo. Every formation there is unique and more complex looking than the last. Dynamic spirals and shapes spring from the ground creating spectacular open expanses, reflecting the magic spaces present within nature.

Green School in Bali completed architectural design by Ibukuarrow green with text

The designers, architects and local Balinese craftsmen behind these living structures have done an excellent job in imitating and integrating the beauty and complex perfection of the school’s tropical surroundings. Buildings weave harmoniously through the beautiful backdrop, integrating with the environment instead of standing apart from it. Aesthetically these bamboo structures entice a great sense of wonder and achievement. They are bamboo works of art that stand as a true testament to the creative potential and infinite possibility that lies within this resilient building material.

GBTV brings you the second in a series of guest blogs from Green School in Bali.  Their first blog, Welcome to the Greenest School on Earth, was an introduction, not only to their building practices, but to their amazing concept in teaching. This blog takes us behind the scenes to the details of building with bamboo.

Visit Green School for more information, Like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter. Find out more information about Ibuku and their work with Green Village Bali.

Bloglink: http://greenbuildtv.com/blog/building-a-bamboo-future/#more-12016

In Asuncion, Paraguay, Small-Scale Charms and a Complex History

Roasting a chipa caburé, a type of cake, in a tatakua, or traditional oven.By: Seth Kugel |  A Reblog  > Roasting a chipa caburé, a type of cake, in a tatakua, or traditional oven. Cooking a chipa caburé in a tatakua is surprisingly like roasting a marshmallow in a campfire. After wrapping dough around a stick, you place it just barely inside the edge of the domed brick oven and rotate it slowly. Get too close to the wood fire and the exterior burns; rotate it just enough and it browns beautifully as the inside cooks through, ready to be slid off the stick and eaten hot.

I roasted my first ever chipa caburé – a corn, cheese and manioc starch cake the size of a corn dog with a doughnut hole where the dog would be – on a recent Saturday in the home of María Jacinta Leguizamón. Doña Jacinta, as she is known, lives in Asunción, the rarely visited capital of the rarely visited (and landlocked) country of Paraguay. On weekends she runs an informal prepared-foods service out of her humble home for the Loma San Jerónimo neighborhood, selling traditional foods like chicharo huiti (pork meat coated in corn meal) and sopa paraguaya, a tender cornbread. Nearby were the tatakua, a couple of gobbling turkeys and a slew of family members. “She’s anti-commercial,” her daughter-in-law, Zunilda Arce, a pediatrician, told me. “She does it the way you’re supposed to do it.”

arrow green with textCuzco and Rio de Janeiro need not fear: Asunción, a city of about 500,000, is not poised to become the next tourism capital of South America. But it is a fascinating window into Paraguayan history and culture. Over the last 150 years, the country has been beaten up by two punishing wars and one wicked dictatorship, but has emerged with a fierce and peculiar independent spirit represented by (among other things) a national indigenous language — Guaraní — that just about everyone mixes liberally with Spanish. The city (and country) make for an interesting side trip from Buenos Aires or Iguazú Falls — or, though it would be a bold call, a trip of its own for travelers who prefer their destinations off-beat, unexplored, mighty friendly and shockingly inexpensive. Asunción was a bargain in just about every way imaginable (except for the $160 entry visa for Americans); for starters, its buses cost 2,000 guaraníes, or 50 cents at 4,000 guaraníes to the dollar, and get you just about anywhere.

At Bartholu’s, sandwiches go for less than $5, and diners can customize them with a long row of toppings.Seth Kugel At Bartholu’s, sandwiches go for less than $5, and diners can customize them with a long row of toppings.

But it is not a journey of the obvious. A good orientation involves reading a little history – you know, history, the part of the guidebook you usually skip past – and soaking up two powerful museums that go a long way to explaining Paraguayan identity.  > Read More

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Bloglink: A Reblog from | The Frugal Traveler > http://frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/in-asuncion-paraguay-small-scale-charms-and-a-complex-history/?smid=fb-share&_r=0

Your Life is Too Valuable to Waste Chasing Possessions

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

By: Joshua Becker | A Reblog | There is more joy in pursuing less than can be found in pursuing more. In many ways, this is a message that we already know to be true.

It’s just that, since the day we were born, we have been told something different. We have been told that possessions equal joy. And because we have heard that message so many times and from so many angles, we have begun to believe it. As a result, we spend our lives working long hours to make good money so that we can buy nice stuff.

But when we again hear the simple message that there is more joy in pursuing less than can be found in pursuing more, it rings true in our hearts… because deep down, we already know it to be true. We know that possessions don’t equal joy. And we know that our life is far too valuable to waste chasing them.

It just helps to be reminded from time to time. So today, remember…

  • Our life is short. We only get one shot at it. The time goes by quick. And once we use it up, we can’t get it back. So make the most of it. Possessions steal our time and energy. They require unending maintenance to be cleaned, maintained, fixed, replaced, and removed. They steal our precious attention, time, and energy and we don’t even notice it… until it’s too late.
  • Our life is unique. Our look, our personality, our talents, and the people who have influenced our lives have made us special. As a result, our life is exactly like no one else. And just because everyone else is chasing material possessions doesn’t mean we have to too.
  • Our life is significant. Far more than success, our hearts desire significance because significance lasts forever. On the other hand, possessions are temporal. They perish, spoil, and fade. And most of them, by design.
  • Our life is designed to inspire. Let’s make footprints worth following. Nobody ever changed the world by following someone else. Instead, people who change the world live differently and inspire others to do the same. Possessions may briefly impress, but they never inspire.
  • Our life is important. Our heart and soul makes us valuable. Don’t sacrifice your important role in this world by settling for possessions that can be purchased with a card of plastic.
  • Our life deserves better. Joy, happiness, and fulfillment are found in the invisible things of life: love, hope, peace, and relationships. And they are not on sale at your local department store. Stop looking for them there. People who live their lives in the pursuit of possessions are never content. They always desire newer, faster, or bigger because material possessions can never satisfy our deepest heart desires.

Be reminded that your life is far too valuable to waste chasing material possessions. And find more joy today by choosing to pursue “better,” rather than “more.”

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joshua-becker-becoming-minimalist1Bloglink: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/your-life-is-too-valuable-to-waste-chasing-possessions/

Joshua Becker is an author and blogger and host the blogsite: Becoming Minimalist.