Posts Tagged ‘soul train’

Cleansing your system of toxins and bad habits: The Master Cleanse

In Philippine Star Column on August 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm
Soup opera: Break your fast with vegetable soups that are packed with goodness.

There is probably nothing more musical to one’s ears than the words “You look great! You’re so payat!” For most of us weight-obsessed individuals, the battle of the bulge takes up much of our daily conversations with friends, family and even total strangers. Have you ever gotten the “Hey! Have you lost/gained weight?” in place of a simple “How are you?” Our foreign visitors often have to be briefed that the mention of their current state of, well, body mass index is as normal as talking about the weather and they should not take offense. No matter what time of year it is in our country, thin is always in. I still remember those (including myself) who go on one ridiculous regimen after the other in the months leading up to Christmas because, we all know, even an Olympian will not be able to resist the temptations laid before him on a noche buena spread.

I can safely say I’ve been on both crazy to not-so-crazy diets, ones with ridiculous anagram meanings, to ones that were healthy, but needed medical supervision in order to do it without going stir-crazy. I had come to a part of my life wherein I was just plain old tired of yoyo-ing from one dress size to another. Not to mention that drastic dieting does take its toll on your skin and well-being. Sure, you can lose a dramatic amount of weight if you want to in a very short period of time, but if you didn’t change anything else about you (say, your attitude towards food and/or stress) you’ll just binge your way back to overweight glory in no time. Looking at the mirror and wondering where the skinniness of my youth went was not the best way to start or end the day.

It was early in this year that I made the conscious decision to pay equal focus to both my mind and my body. So I enrolled in yoga teacher training and for that whole month, I went vegetarian. Thirty days of intense yoga plus lighter fare started to make a difference in my overall well-being. Since some yoga poses require you to carry your own body weight, a shrinking body mass helps your practice dramatically. That month I must have dropped almost 10 pounds and was feeling strong and more aware of my body, so I then decided to do a detox, choosing Stanley Burrough’s Master Cleanse. A caveat: I am not in any capacity a nutritionist, but I have learned to do my due diligence before starting something new. The Master Cleanse, known more popularly as “The Lemonade Diet,” works on the premise of cleaning out your system completely and providing a brand new spanking “you” inside, after a minimum 10-day rest period from all the food and beverage that you may be addicted to. If you think you aren’t addicted, see how long you can go without sweets, coffee or even processed foods such as white rice or cheese.

This cleanse asks you to rid yourself of your bad food habits by committing to only drinking a concoction of organic lemons, water, cayenne pepper and grade B maple syrup, combining it with light to no exercise, and rest. Going into the diet, you have to start to wean yourself off of meats, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods, etc., so that by day one you can go through your day with a thermos or two filled with liquid gold. This detox is not for the fainthearted. You have to commit and realize that a majority of your eating habits (the bad ones) are due to your emotional attachment to food, drink and even the social relationships you associate with eating. The first two days are relatively easy; pride is what can carry you through the first 48 hours, plus by the second day you may already lose two pounds, which feels pretty good. It’s Day 3 that is the biggest hurdle (at least in my case). Much like a drug addict or alcoholic goes through withdrawal symptoms, I got a headache and the sweats (others got stomachaches or feverish symptoms) and you feel like you need a food “hit.” You just have to keep drinking the lemonade blend and even more water and, if you find yourself constipated, an herbal laxative tea.

Days 4-6 is when it begins to dawn on you how little you need food, or at the very least, how much food and drink you over-indulge in, because you are now feeling more alert and strong considering it’s been days since your last swallow of solid food. Days 7-8 are also challenging because you may start to argue with yourself, and say things like “I’m more than halfway done, I can quit now.” Or “I’ve already lost almost 10 pounds, I can stop this!” You can lose about 1-2 pounds a day on a Master Cleanse,” but bear in mind that 60 percent of what you lose is water weight. By Day 9-10 you are feeling stronger than ever, lighter, and if you have had problems sleeping, you will find that you don’t need to sleep as often or as long and still feel energized. Not to mention your skin and eyes are brighter than they’ve ever been. If 10 days is your maximum, then start to wean yourself back to the non-liquid intake slowly. I would highly recommend the super food smoothies of Edgy Veggy ( or the slow-cooked vegetable soups of Real Girl Toy Kitchen (www.realgirltoykitchen) to help you break your fast over Days 11-13.

Everyone’s experience with The Master Cleanse is different, so let me just share mine. I lost about 11 pounds during the time period and gained back four. But, since my appetite and stomach had decreased in size, I was no longer as hungry as I used to be, and my metabolism had also increased and hasn’t decreased since the fast. I am at my lightest weight now, having lost an additional 15 pounds since going off the fast in May and I’ve dropped three dress sizes. A detox is for an overall rehaul that can result in not only cleansing one’s body but kicking dependence on food to make one feel good. Check out to see if this is the detox for you.

Reposted from:

SOUL TRAIN By Katrina H. Holigores (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 9, 2013 – 12:00am

A fat-converting hormone is new weight-loss secret

In Philippine Star Column on August 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Blame it on the hormones: If followed strictly, the HCG diet can result in a weight loss of two to three pounds a day.

The “ber” months are fast approaching and if the rainy weather has kept you covered up, you may not notice you’ve packed on a few pounds. Rainy weather or not, this columnist likes to eat, so rain or shine I never shun a lunch/merienda or dinner date and this has left me rather displeased with the image I see staring back from the mirror. My lifestyle is relatively active, but no amount of yoga or workout seems to match my food intake so rather than spend on a whole new wardrobe (which would just allow me to eat more) I decided to look into diet options. There were the more commercial choices, such as South Beach or the growing-in-popularity Cohen diet; but in the span of a week two friends turned me on to the benefits of the HCG Program and I took that as a sign to try something relatively new.

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and, yes, quite a mouthful to say, hence the shortened version which is easier to remember. Before I begin, a caveat: I am not a dietician, a doctor or a nutritionist by anyone’s standards; I simply did research on my own and HCG fell under the homeopathic way of losing weight. If, after reading this, you feel HCG is for you, take the time to do your own study, and definitely ask your doctor if this is something you can do. The regimen is definitely not easy, because aside from ingesting the drops sublingually (three times a day 10 to 15 minutes before each meal) you have to combine it with a 500-calorie-a-day diet. Yes, you read right: 500 calories a day and that’s it.

So how exactly does HCG work? As explained in the info sheet I got with my kit: “Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced in women during pregnancy. As soon as the new embryo starts to develop, the mother’s body begins releasing large amounts of HCG into the bloodstream. Current scientific philosophy believes that HCG helps maintain the pregnancy and the early growth of the fetus. By moving nutrients from the mother’s stored fat supply into the bloodstream, HCG helps ensure that the developing fetus always has an adequate food supply, even when the mother is eating too little.” In simple English, if you are keeping your calorie intake on a lower than normal level, HCG kicks in and uses your “abnormal” fat and converts it into energy. To quote the website: “In the 1950s, Dr. A.T.W. Simeons discovered that HCG can safely be used as a weight-loss aid in people who are not pregnant. It works for both women and men. He found that HCG moves about 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day of stored fat into the bloodstream where it becomes available for metabolism. With these additional nutrients in the bloodstream, a person can successfully stay on a very low-calorie diet without experiencing extreme fatigue, weakness, or hunger.”

Followed strictly, people can experience a dramatic weight loss of two to three pounds a day. Also, since HCG “grabs” from abnormal fat, you may soon kiss that double chin, potbelly or inner thigh jiggliness goodbye. A childhood friend of mine, who started the diet a month before I did, lost 43 pounds in under two months and good-naturedly joked that one of her chins disappeared. She was very strict, though, as the HCG diet recommends you remove all oil from your lifestyle; she even changed her oil-based cosmetics and refrained from getting massages. Other results weren’t too dramatic, in my case (and this is because I cheated quite often). I averaged about four to five pounds a week. I didn’t feel sluggish or weak (dizziness can also be a side effect in the beginning) but I did sigh and whine a lot while inputting my calorie count into my iTouch. (Oh, if you are going to do this, I would highly recommend you download the free app called Calorie Counter by My Fitness Pal which has relatively accurate calorie amounts and even includes some Filipino dishes like adobo and karekare.)

The program recommends you follow its four phases: Loading (right before), Core (during), Transition (as you are about to end) and the most important, Maintenance. These steps allow you to get into the habit of portioning and bring greater awareness of how much food your body really needs in order to function. You will be surprised at how little it does need; in fact, fluids are way more important (and I mean water and fresh juices, not sodas and coffee!).

It’s been almost three weeks since I finished my HCG regimen and even with two holiday jaunts, I have been able to keep my weight down although it is still a struggle not to go for seconds or thirds at hotel buffets. All in all, I was able to break my weight plateau and reawaken my sleepy metabolism. Plus the HCG kit, which is good for a month, cost me only P5,000, quite reasonable. Other friends have since jumped on the HCG bandwagon and each experience is different: the results are strongly dependent on whether you follow the caloric restrictions or not, there is no other excuse. If you’ve had a love/hate affair with your scale or are tired of crash diets, it may be time to give HCG a try.

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For inquiries and orders, text 0916-3267667 or email

Mercury in Retrograde-How to Deal with it

In Living a Life Off-Center on August 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Reposting from a good friend, you guys feel something’s going (or been going awry) since mid July…take a deep breath as you may feel off-centered in many ways til September:

Mercury in Retrograde (Aug 2 to 26, 2011)

Hang up and hang on....

What To Expect & Keys To Dealing With These Dynamic Energies according to Elizabeth Jones:

It is quite likely that you will experience some of the more challenging or difficult aspects of this influence. So I have listed here some things that you may experience are during this time:

** You may feel ungrounded and off center.

** You may feel spacey, disoriented and even confused or dizzy at times.

** If you are “ultra sensitive” to your surroundings you may pick up on others fear, confusion, etc. Be sure to clear your space often! (Taking a shower while visualizing any toxic or negative or draining energy leaving your physical, emotional, mental and etheric bodies is a simple, effective way to do this. ** And call on Archangel Michael if you feel you need extra protection or buffering.)

** The “veils are thin” between the realms. As a result you may sense things that you don’t ordinarily. ** This may be through your vision, hearing or even impressions. Please know that just because you are “picking something up” does not mean it is accurate or real. Ask that the frequency be raised. Then “check out” again what you are perceiving. OR sleep on it, certainly before you take action based on a hunch. This said . . .

** Intuition will be stronger for many, so it would be good to include these insights into your decision-making process. In fact, your intuition may be more accurate than your logic-reasoning mind.

** Your imagination may be hyper-active now. Keep in mind this may not always be a positive thing. Don’t let it take you in uncomfortable directions!
Here are some both practical and spiritual ideas that will help you to deal with the above as well as ways to raise the frequencies of this influence:

*** Clean and clear off the clutter from your work space, altar or meditation space. This clears the way for you to receive undistorted messages, healing, insights and guidance from your higher realms that is less likely to be distorted or unclear.
*** Adopt the mindset that there is a spiritual aspect to everything that is going on and especially to what is occurring before you in this moment.

*** Ask for clarity and guidance about what that is.

*** Do pay attention to details, just don’t get lost there.

*** Get extra rest as the physical body will most likely not have as much energy as usual.

*** Pay careful attention to what is on your mind when you awake as it is certainly possible that you have a message waiting for you!

** Look for the mystical in everything as it may be most apparent if you really see what is right before and around you.

*** Reconnect with your vision! Find ways to get inspired! Do a vision board, read or listen to those things that inspire you, channel a message to yourself from your Soul. During this time the mind is more open that usual to being enlightened, illuminated and inspired.

*** Visualize what you know is a higher expression of your own Divine self. Hold that vision in your mind’s eye for a few minutes each day.
Sending you many blessings of Grace and Light during this most dynamic time

Edgy Veggy

In Philippine Star Column on May 13, 2011 at 1:24 am

Vegetarian delights delivered to your doorstep


I’m an old-fashioned foodie. I like my meats, my desserts, my alcohol, my sidings, my degustacion and my weekend market indulgences. But I also believe in balance, and I have had my fair share of detoxing days, when I give my digestive system a much-needed rest from working so hard to break down what I’ve put into it. Once upon a time, for about a year, I was a pescatarian, although there were some days when I would even avoid seafood. Things were going well for about 365 days until the memory of a Quarter Pounder with cheese brought me down to my carnivore knees. Suffice to say, as much as I’d like to be completely and utterly disciplined with my diet, I have many, many moments of weakness. So I’ve decided to just stick to eating what I want when I want but with awareness, and as much as possible, choose a healthier but still tasty alternative.

Enter Edgy Veggy, a delivery service of vegetarian fare that promised to be delicious, low calorie and freshly made. Founder Denise Celdran recounts the day she was bringing about 20 kilos of tofu steaks to feed some local prisoners (during a yoga workshop) and was dismayed when the warden would not allow them to bring in the already cooked food. Not wanting to throw away all that food, she promptly texted and called every vegetarian friend she had, and within an hour, her food was sold out. Celdran then put up a booth in the Legazpi Market which lasted two and a half years. “I decided to leave the market and deliver to homes instead since it became apparent to me that more of my customers wanted regular access to healthy food and not having to wait a whole week to stock up,” she says.

Taking a look at her menu, I thought I might like to try a vegetarian-filled weekend (this after an Easter break spent wolfing down burgers and bacon during a trip abroad) so I asked her to send over her best-selling dishes. Saturday morning, I received two containers, one with “fauxbada” (their vegetarian take on the white bean and sausage-rich Spanish fabada asturiana) and a vegetarian kare-kare, plus two of her juice tonics which Celdran recommended I take one to two tablespoons of every morning. The first tonic, called 3C, was made out of carrots, celery and cucumbers — which, in a nutshell, was primarily for digestion, or to be more graphic, to help one’s toilet visits become more regular. The Edgy Veggy menu has a description of the other benefits of taking 3C: “Carrots are known to have anti-carcinogenic properties, are good for the eyes and increase immunity. Carrots are also high in vitamins A, C, beta-carotene, antioxidants and digestive enzymes. Celery is high in vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty of essential amino acids. It contains eight families of anti-cancer compounds. It is a gentle natural diuretic and laxative. It is also anti-inflammatory, balances the body pH and is good for the kidneys. Cucumber is high in potassium, contains erepsin (to digest protein), promotes the growth of hair, and is beneficial for rheumatic conditions (high uric acid). It is also a natural diuretic.”

For those who suffer from respiratory ailments, I would recommend the second tonic made out of oregano. Oregano has components that are good for sinus and lung congestion (it helps in removing phlegm) as well as anti-bacterial properties that may boost one’s immune system. If you work out regularly, it is also known to aid in increasing muscle and joint flexibility. Both tonics were pleasant tasting and I now have them both before sitting down for breakfast. I’m now on the waitlist to try Edgy Veggy’s concoction of taheebo which is targeted for detox and weight loss.

And what about the dishes? The fauxbada was, for me, the knockout champion. It was rich without being heavy, very tasty and filling and didn’t make me miss the meats that are normally included in the original dish. The kare-kare was also good, rich with greens and taste, but I was a fauxbada fan right off. Since each portion is good for two (and these portions are fairly generous), I did survive my weekend just having veggy fare and even shared some with my family who were pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of each dish.

“Edgy Veggy was started because most vegetarians don’t get enough protein and eat too much sweets and carbs,” shares Celdran. “Our dishes provide quality vegetable protein sources from tofu, beans and nuts that can be eaten fresh or frozen for future consumption.” I thought this would be great to recommend to those who want a healthier/meat and dairy-free version of South Beach, or for my pregnant vegetarian or pescatarian friends who are advised by their doctors to add more protein to their diet. With Edgy Veggy delivery, you now have a way healthier and less fattening but delicious alternative to fast-cooked, high in fat and sodium, ready-to-eat meals in the metro.

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Delivery miminum is P500 for Makati Area and Ortigas Commercial Business District, Blue Ridge, Greenhills, Corinthian Gardens and White Plains area. For other areas within Metro Manila, add P100 delivery fee. Orders should be placed before 4 p.m. to allow for next day delivery. To place an order, make comments, suggestions or make dietary or special dish requests, text or e-mail 0918-9089958 or

Reposted from SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated May 13, 2011

Change your life in a month (and the world too)

In Living a Life Off-Center on May 1, 2011 at 3:34 am

So how would you like your life to change in a month? Or even less? I thought that this would be great to share being it’s the first of May, so you have the rest of the month to practice 29 days of giving 🙂

My Integrative Bodywork therapist, Carol Cano, gave me this as homework, as a continuation of the healing that I am undergoing under her very able hands and counseling.

If you have felt that you are ready for change, if you are thisclose to wanting total transformation and if you are also one of those who feel the urgency in raising the consciousness of others, then this movement is definitely for you.

What is the best way to get what you truly wish? Let go…and give. Give from the heart. The 29 Gifts founder Cami Walker (and author of the book) suggests ways in which you open up your heart by giving to someone on a daily basis. this goes farther than merely plonking some money down for a charitable cause, because the gifts in themselves may not even be of a material nature.

29-Day Giving Challenge is Walker’s website and it is filled with suggestions and stories from people all over the world who have taken the 29 day challenge of giving.

The wonderful thing about this is that it teaches you that the best gift is not necessarily the most expensive one, it can be as simple as spending time with someone who needs company, or sharing a recipe for the best chocolate cake which is someone’s favorite. In other words, the gift giving needs to be sincere and from the heart. It cannot be “planned” if it is to come from the heart. It comes as spark of an idea an “Oh! I think so-and-so would love this or like this!” with no hidden agenda or interior motive. It simply to give…and give out of love.

Just to share,  yesterday after my yoga session I was in conversation with my yoga teacher and she commented on how she was in need of an acupuncturist. The one that she was going to was too far for her to visit on a regular basis and hadn’t gone to a session in a long time. As the conversation ended and I walked away it suddenly hit me that I DID know of an acupuncturist, who not only could give her a private session (in her home) but also held his weekly practice in an area more accessible to her. I ran back to her in glee and happily shared this information and I could tell it “made” her day so to speak and actually made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. In fact, as I write this down, I feel warm and fuzzy inside all over again. What a marvelous gift, both to her and to me.

I have documented each and every gift I have given for the last 18 days and I have to say that it has made a difference in my life, even on an energy level. There has been change, and it has been nothing short of Divine and I don’t think I’ll stop at 29 days 🙂

It is my heartfelt wish that all of you get onboard the 29 days of giving challenge 🙂 When you are integral in helping someone feel happier (not that that is your responsibility-but it is nice to be a part of someone’s joy) then you are a definitive part of increasing the overall happiness around the world. You are part of the opening of a conscious heart, you become a significant player in changing the world, with love. One day at a time.

I’d like to leave you with a video of Cami Walker explaining the 29 Gifts Movement on the Today show:

Meatless Mondays Movement

In Living a Life Off-Center on February 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I’m such a foodie. My close friends, family and even regular readers of my blog now that food is such a priority in my life. But, I’ve also learned (not recently, but it’s taken me this long to finally do something about it) that the production of meat and poultry can be (or already is) detrimental to the environment.

I don’t think I will have a big problem giving up poultry, it’s more my penchant for steaks, burgers and a local dish called “sisig” which are my downfalls. I should stop complaining though, I’ve had a good run with food, all kinds of food from different countries. An acquaintance of mine, who is a fabulous chef and has whittled himself down to a very slim figure remarked “I have been lucky enough to have tasted some of the best foods in the world, so now, I thought I’d work on being the best me I could be.” So true. We have had our time to indulge and there is no time like the present to think of the bigger picture and that is what is all around us-our world.

So, looking at my own health and the health of the planet, I am joining the Meatless Mondays Movement. Wish me luck everyone!

Once a week be meat free

Take a look at their website and see if this is something you’d like to do. If you skip meat and poultry once a week you will certainly not starve.

Check out their website:

You can actually get “starter kits” and downloadable posters and graphics so you may help them spread the word. There is a big impact when you and your household refrain from meat once every seven days, find out more and help raise awareness.

So, can you be meat free once a week? I’m sure you can!

Yes to a different drumstick!

It’s also known that if you want to have a more connected spiritual relationship with Source Energy, the less animal products you consume, the easier the connection can be make. We are always advised to practice loving kindness towards EVERY living being.  I hope that I can eventually extend Meatless Mondays to Meatless MWFs.

Stay tuned.


May the Force be with You

In Living a Life Off-Center on January 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Even though it’s already 2011, I tend to believe more in the energies of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This is why I am still continuing to do a little spring “purge” (it’s a lot more powerful than just a spring cleaning). Aside from scouring through my closets and bookshelves for things I no longer need, have outgrown or will never use again in order to give them away (one person’s trash could be another person’s treasure) I have also been digging up old articles, pics etc to see if I can find any  “treasures” in them.

I stumbled upon editorials I used to write as Contributing Editor to Super! In the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Since I have committed to posting something every day in my Soul Train blog I felt it would be good to rehash some of the things I’ve written and repost.

I hope this helps any and all souls in training 🙂 Do remember this was written six years ago as we were approaching the second quarter of the year.

May The Force Be With You

A different kind of swoosh!

Same s–t different day. Sound familiar? Same old, same old. These are standard answers for many of my peers and even the more youthful of my friends have used the word “boring” to describe their current situation in life, work and sometimes their future’s outlook. Being stuck in a rut just sucks. Artists call it a “block”, executives call it a “dead-end job” students call it “practicum” and I call it a “telenovela”. Maybe I meant same s–t different network.

The biggest challenge in wanting something different is people are not often willing to DO something different. I’ve read that if you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result, then you’re a horse’s ass (Ok I added the horse part) In a nutshell, your situation will only change when YOU change, so today let’s talk about change, or at least making some changes. Tomorrow we welcome the first day of May, not only do we enter into the second quarter of 2005, in Western hemispheres Spring is in the air, and for most species of flora and fauna, life begins in the Spring. In a galaxy far, far away, it also marks the opening month of a small, under hyped sci-fi movie entitled Revenge of The Sith. (Yes, there is a connection, patience.)

Whether your Jedi Master is Yoda or Buddha the “force” is something to be reckoned with and not taken lightly. In Chinese philosophy it is called “qi” (pronounced chi) which means the circulating life energy that is thought to be inherent in all things. In simpler terms, it’s the life force. You may not be aware of it, but your surroundings, the way you live, the way you think have already caused clogging in your qi and the qi around you. If lately you feel you’ve been down on your luck, stuck to a routine, uncreative, and unhappy then it may be time for a change of scene. The wonderful thing about changing your “qi-nery” is that it is simple, inexpensive and can be done by anyone, anytime.

Ready padawan? Look around you. What is the state of your house? Apartment? Bedroom? Office? Unopened mail, unwashed clothes, unread books, dried out pens, betamax tapes (?!!!) memorabilia from the 70s and 80s that are so decrepit in appearance that they wouldn’t be displayed on Ebay. Wasted space is wasted energy. How you live is a reflection of how you are. Think of your body like your bedroom, how much clutter will it take in your inner interior design for you to finally do something about it? Let’s get started:

Have nothing around you that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful. There exists a metaphysical law saying that if we desire more abundance in our lives we must create space for it. How can more good come into our lives if there is no room to accommodate it?

Start to give. What may no longer be useful and beautiful to someone may be a treasure found to another. Look at your closets, bathroom counter, library, drawers, gadgets, music and video collection. Is it possible that these things you no longer need or desire could be more beneficial to and/or serve others? Even when you’re cleaning and clearing out remember not to make a mess of things.
Some rules: (applicable to public officials too)
If you take it out, put it back
If you open it, close it
If you throw it down, pick it up
If you take it off, hang it up.
If you really don’t need it give it to someone who does.

Move 27 objects. (Huh?) Literally, PICK UP and MOVE 27 objects in your home that have not been moved in over a year. No one is going to mind if the left bedside lamp is now on the right, move the books you still love from the lower shelf to the upper shelf. Arrange a series of picture frames in a different way. Maybe the dining room table would look better if it faced a window, those knick knacks, touristy souvenirs could use a reshuffle… (oh my God the Christmas lights are still up?!!!!) So what’s happening now? Are you perhaps getting more creative? Maybe a little more imaginative? (how the hell am I going to explain this to my mom?) What is certainly happening during this process is that you are doing something DIFFERENT 27 times and all of a sudden you just start to FLOW.

When you move things around energy transforms from potential to kinetic. Your mind expands, you break your routine and you allow the vital universal life energy to swirl inside and around you. True creation is based on intuition and not on manipulation. I will be bold enough to say that when this is done in the spirit of fun and lightness you will actually start to FEEL the positive energy released throughout your surroundings. The added bonus in doing this makeshift spring cleaning is that you may stumble upon something you once thought was lost, or forgotten. YOU. (cue: voluminous, orchestral background music.)

A spray to chase those doggy (smell) blues away!

In Living a Life Off-Center on January 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

First off, let me introduce the newest (and probably favorite) member of the family. Kaiser, a one year old Weimaraner, has been our heartsaver since we got him in Feb of 2010. Dogs are very, very, healing animals. They generate as most of you know, unconditional love and stare up at you like you were the best thing since…er, bone marrow flavored treats.

Kaiser's Christmas portrait

To have a dog at home is a true joy, especially one as affectionate as our beloved “grey ghost” and even if we try to keep him indoors after his outdoor runs and walks he still gets the usual doggy smell despite weekly baths with herbal soaps or shampoos.

Smile wide for the camera....

Thankfully, on a recent trip to Mercato Centrale in The Fort, my mom came across a booth that was selling natural soaps and air fresheners and was pointed towards this “Mood” Spray that had eucalyptus. The booth owner said that it was mild and non-toxic, the first thing my mom asked was if it would be able to perfume Kaiser up a bit and we were assured that even if he licked himself after being sprayed that no harm would come to him.

For man, and their best friend

For the last two days we are glad to report that our four legged friend has not been as “aromatic” as he was before, and he hasn’t exhibited any signs of personality change from ingesting something that could be poisonous. We don’t spray a lot on and we still make sure he has his weekly baths. Maybe the eucalyptus sense clears away some of his doggy decongestion as well!

Shiny, scented coat!

Indulge yourself with a chocolate bath

In Philippine Star Column on October 7, 2010 at 11:58 pm


A chocoholic's dream come true


The wonderful thing now about many of our bath products is that they come in all sorts of smells and textures. What you would normally find in an herb and spice shop can now be massaged into your hair or on your hands. Sweet everythings as well are now added ingredients in your bathroom armada; take a look at your shower shelf, I’m pretty sure you’ve got bottles and jars that can make you smell like a freshly cut bouquet of flowers, to a more invigorating, energetic sprig of mint, or for the teenager at heart, bubblegum.  I prefer clean scents myself and shy away from soaps and shampoos that have a very strong fragrance; it just makes me think that a lot of chemicals were used in the producing of a scent that smells even better than the real thing.

In a friend’s house I chanced upon her basket of bathroom goodies and a product caught my eye. It was a cleansing gel that said Mint Chocoholic Dreams by Vitaoils. I guess what really caught my eye was the word “Chocoholic,” because left to my own devices I would probably have this dark coated treat on a daily basis. My primary thought was, if I can’t eat it every day then it might be a good idea to have its scent readily available. I checked the ingredients, saw nothing chemically frightening and was intrigued that it contained a “healing”  mulberry oil. The bonus was that the whole bottle of 300ml was about P150. Thinking I had found a steal, I decided to get another cleansing gel labeled Vanilla Beam; it seemed like a great opportunity to try two of my favorite foodie scents in one go.


Vanilla helps calm your nerves


I laughed when I returned home and added two bottles to my shelves, I really did have a preference for things scented with chocolate (cocoa butter lotion) and vanilla (in candle form). I made a mental note that if I liked this particular product I would try their other fragrances such as lavender- scented Be Calm and The Wonder Tree which had tea tree oil and was recommended for anti-bacterial cleansing especially for those with acne and the dreaded “bacne” (back acne). Reading the labels again I was pleased to find out that aside from satisfying my desire to be surrounded in any way possible by chocolate, I would also be able to improve the elasticity of my skin and diminish the appearance of stretchmarks. True chocoholics know that their addiction (especially in its darkest form) actually contains antioxidants the cleansing gel also made used of peppermint to add a nice little buzz to the senses. This was to be my morning gel for sure, since I was going to try the Vanilla Beam which promised a more calming respite from the daily stresses of living when used.

The healing mulberry oil as constant ingredient is also worth a little investigation. According to the VitaOils website, mulberry in itself (its Latin name is Morinda Citrafolia-but some are more familiar with its name “noni”) is considered a medicinal  plant with a whole range of uses. Practitioners of ayurvedic and/ or alternative medicine have claimed that the noni fruit contains many active constituents that are extremely beneficial to human physiology. It has been used as a natural moisturizer keeping the skin from “cracking” during extreme conditions and when ingested alleviates digestive problems such as nausea and diarrhea. To be fair, the list is quite long and mulberry seems to be an excellent cure-all for most physiological problems. It even goes as far as saying that it may trigger the production of seratonin in the brain. Seratonin deficiency has been found to be one of the causes of pathological conditons. In simple terms more noni can prevent you from becoming loony.


Four now, two more scents to come!


I’m not sure how true all the stuff I read was, and I do remember when there was a time that drinking noni juice was all the rage, as its marketers claimed the same thing, you could cure almost anything (although most bought it as it claimed weight loss and better skin) but all I wanted was to make sure that the stuff I bought wasn’t going to be drying or harmful and smelled good enough to eat. The Mint Chocoholic Dream was lightly scented and you could smell it a lot more once applied to damp skin. It was also not greasy and didn’t foam too much which for me is an indicator that it wasn’t heavy on chemical components. After drying off, the scent of chocolate with a little tinge of mint did remain and my skin did feel smooth. An obvious winner there on the first go. The Vanilla Beam didn’t give me as much of a connection, although it felt the same, light, not greasy and washed off right away, yet leaving the skin smooth  and pleasantly scented.

Once my stash runs out I will, without hesitation, get another chocolate “hit” and perhaps go out of my comfort zone and remember my mental note to try another fragrant offering.

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Check out VitaOils website at  or call tel. 215-5152 or 929-4549 to find out where to purchase them.

Reposted from The Philippine Star)Updated October 08, 2010

Flower power can help you bloom inside and out

In Philippine Star Column on September 16, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Several years ago I was in the market for something that would give me regular sleep and just calm me during certain work-related anxieties. I was definitely not looking for prescription medicine and I certainly wasn’t about to go to a shrink for answers. Yoga at that time helped, of course, but it wasn’t as if I could just do a sun salutation series on the office floor or in between meetings, I needed something a little more convenient and safe. An aunt turned me on to her “hobby,” which was Bach Flower Essences or remedies.  She explained to me that this was a homeopathic solution that was beneficial for everyone  and then she pulled out about three boxes of small bottles. Each bottle was labeled with the name of a flower or plant, some of which I had never heard of, like Agrimony, which is supposed to help someone be more truthful about their worries and emotions.  These floral remedies were created by Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) who was born in the UK and practiced Western medicinefor over 20 years until his interest in immunology propelled him to find a more natural way to prevent disease. Bach believed that illness was the result of disharmony between body and mind — an external expression of one’s emotional negative state. He made up his mind to work on his own “cures,” leaving his lucrative London practice to work in Wales and the English countryside.  It was here that he could fully concentrate on finding a new system of healing using plants and flowers. During the spring and summer months he prepared new herbal remedies and in winter he treated patients for free.

Make your own liquid bouquet!

Unlike essential oils that are normally used for aromatherapy (massages, oil burners), Bach Flower remedies are turned into elixirs that you can actually drink. They are mixed with spring water or fresh water (there is a measurement) and you are recommended to take a couple of drops a day, depending on what your requirement is. Dr. Bach came up with 38 essences and later on divided a person’s ailments into seven types, namely fear, uncertainty, lack of interest in the present (perhaps a more formal way of saying ADD or spaced-out), loneliness, over-sensitive to influence and ideas (read: drama queen), despair or despondency, and over-care for the welfare of others (I think this is a nice way of saying mind your own business!). The process of getting your Bach Flower remedy is quite fun, especially since you’re not necessarily limited to one “essence”; you can actually mix and match and come up with your own liquid bouquet.  The first way, or more traditional way, is to choose according to your need from the seven that were indicated above. For example, if it’s loneliness then you can have a nice little mix of Water Violet, which will help you in your relationships with other people, plus a little Heather for those days when you are by yourself for long periods of time.  Bit of a control freak? Then stir up a concoction of  Beech (helps you to become less critical of others) and Vine (respect other people’s ideas and views). Of course, the elixir is more potent when just one is used, but if you are unsure of what it is exactly that ails you, a nice little mix is always helpful. A tip, if you’re not sure, then make an elixir for uncertainty out of Ceranto that claims to help you trust your own judgment in decision making.

The second way, which is what my aunt advised me to do as she laid all the bottles in front of me, was to choose intuitively, in other words, choose by “feeling” what was right for me. I selected two on the basis that they sounded like flowers I would like visually (or the smell of), like wild rose and honeysuckle. Ironically when I was made to read up on them (as my aunt prepared the mix) it did resonate with my experience at the time. Both flower essences were categorized under “insufficient interest in the present moment,” the wild rose was for taking responsibility of your own life, and the honey suckle for letting go of the past — in short, to keep me grounded in the present moment, in the now so to speak and to stop worrying. At that time I was at a crossroads in my career, and I was subconsciously looking for a way to deal with it rather as I was already functioning on a rather apathetic auto-pilot state. In the following weeks I obediently took the elixir every time I felt worried and anxious, especially when I returned home from work. The most immediate effect was that I slept better at night, and the long-term effect was I eventually made the decision to leave my job. Within a month, I was happily surprised by a job offer — one that was certainly nowhere near my expectations at the time. I’m not saying that Bach Flowers are a magic potion and cureall for everything, but in my case, the soothing of my state of mind certainly didn’t hurt, and my change in my overall state probably allowed more beneficial experiences to come in.

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For more information on how to have a Bach Flower Remedy Session in the Philippines contact Tina at 0928-5050202