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Category: Health

Begin Body Beauty with Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred Series – The Sensitive Subject of Starting Sexy

Getting started is always I believe nearly half the battle in trying to set a good habit in place.  Physical fitness is the subject I’ve been most avoiding on the blog simply because I could never get started properly and be a sweating good example to you all.  I’m a bit tight financially at the moment so a paid workout program in a swanky all setup gym is just not yet in the budget range.   There was a time when I was more mobile physically, especially when I went on Living Asia Channel tours throughout the country as a writer, you can see how confident I was once upon a time in this photo taken by a fellow writer four years ago when I used to jump and flip all over the place especially at the beach.  Hello, thunder thighs.  I know for a fact that no matter how much I workout my thighs will always have some level of heft, I’m special that way.

If I could afford it, I’d go and do Barre (check out Rockwell and inside the Spa at BGC Fort) which is a stretching combination of ballet and pilates.  Pole dancing looked physically promising and it actually excited me (the actual workout) but honestly speaking straight from the heart my moral compass will never point me in that direction because of what the workout implicates too openly (no offense meant to those who pole dance, I’m a Christian, it’s really what I stand for personally).  Well, I’ve found a home video workout that isn’t new, it’s from 2008, but it works great for me and my mother so far and we happen to be a pair of NEARLY the worst couch potatoes around.  Now, we’re mashed couch potatoes.

HOW I FEEL 5 DAYS INTO IT: What I can say is the first two days made my body hurt but the tormenting strenuous parts of the routine were quite bearable.  I just finished the 5th day today early this morning and my muscles no longer hurt and my unused joints (shoulders/hips/knees) have ceased with the infrequent “snapping”, “cracking”, or “popping” sounds they were making before due to proper stretching and rotation, I’m quite excited to head towards the finish line of Level 1 and want to push myself further.

If she looks very familiar that’s because Jillian Michaels is THE original Biggest Loser coach for the acclaimed reality show.  My ultimate goal for myself was not to lose weight, in fact I believe “30 DAY SHRED” is actually a hardsell title for what is actually an awesome combo cardio-strength workout that’s been reduced to a window of a 20-minute everyday session at a new difficulty level every 10 days.  This is how simple it is and I love that you don’t need  A TON OF PROPS to get rolling with this workout.  All you need are a pair of light dumbells 1-3 lbs (mine are 3 pounds each) a workout mat, thick rug, or any mat you’re comfy lying down on, and 20 minutes  a day for 30 days STRAIGHT.  A laptop would be handy to play the workout DVD anywhere in the house where you feel comfortable to workout.  Anyone can make 20 minutes for a bit of exercise, you don’t find it, you make it.  The workout is simple, it consists of 3 videos of 3 intensity levels.  You do the first video workout for 10 days, on the eleventh day you begin the Level 2 video, and on the 21st day you begin the Level 3 video.  It’s that simple, then I believe you can continue with the Level 3 video as a regular workout routine once you complete the cycle.    For your benefit, I discovered the Level 1 Video was made available on YouTube, I don’t know how much longer it will be on there so best to check this out now while you’re interested, watch this, give it a go and show yourself how easy this 30-Day Shred workout really is…at the start.

Warning, you will sweat a lot and then be surprised at how quick it is, the only catch is you have to do it everyday, it is a 20-minute commitment ANYBODY can make.  Mom is on her fourth day of the Level 1 workout now, and I’m on my fifth, she joined me on the 2nd day.  I sourced the two other videos  but am truly planning to buy this DVD online and it’s available here from Amazon if you’d like to try another of Jillian’s 3-2-1 level method workouts you can try the more advanced and recent Ripped in 30 DVD , you can ask HouseofFlair to order it for you from the U.S. !… To full post & COMMENTS...


Be Over the Weather – Alcool de Menthe de Ricqles aka Ricqles Peppermint Cure

No, this is NOT for your minibar *yanks it back, strokes bottle*.  My mother brought two bottles of this crystal clear, French liquid home from Hong Kong.  She and I have never heard of it until someone insisted Mom find some and bring it home.  That someone is Gary Valenciano’s wife, my Ninang because she claims it’s really the best all around remedy (probably second to squalene in her book).  The wonderful thing about traditional vintage remedies is more often than not they’re brewed from the most effective natural ingredients and are therefore deemed to be more “harmonious” with the ailing body.  It’s no doubt that the Chinese herald their own Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa Sore Throat Syrup, which today rakes in heaping annual sales totaling about US$45 Million dollars.  From the West, the French have their own, this, a curious but potent, clear liquid by Ricqles prepared from peppermint leaves with a hard-to-remember full French title, Alcool de Menthe de Ricqles, more commonly known as Ricqles Peppermint Cure.  It’s such a novelty thing that I hold and behold it the way Alice does the Drink Me bottle.

“The manufacturer is so dedicated to peppermint that they control the entire process, from growing to processing to packaging. Several drops into a teaspoon with sugar calms almost any stomach ache.  It is an excellent flavoring agent in cooking. I also carry it while traveling; a few drops into a glass of tap water makes a nice ‘eau de nuit’. This has been a staple in our home for over twenty years.– David R. Good, reviewer on

Ricqles is a brand established in 1838.  Peppermint Cure is said to relieve a number of common bodily afflictions from topical to intestinal, and it’s even mentioned as a FLAVORING AGENT in cooking by some reviewer on Amazon, Peppermint Cure is bound to rock my boat (summons imaginary yacht), what with its cute vintage label and all.  We associate the French with wine and liquor so much that by the bottle you think it’s bound to belong in the minibar.  Disclaimer detour, this isn’t a full review.  I’m not sick and don’t have any burns or bites plus this is mom’s unopened bottle, for now let it be a visual “TA-DA!”.

“Use as an essential antiseptic for preventing risk of infection in minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites. Also recommended as an all season remedy for everything from indigestion, bad breath, the blues, headache to cold/flu. With a natural peppermint scent that vanishes instead of turning musty, this French made product epitomizes a clean and gentle preparation.” –

What to do with it ? Oh, what to do!  Reviews and descriptions of this online call it nearly everything short of water poured from the Holy Grail.  It’s even recommended for burns, cuts, bites and for annoying but well-meaning people with bad breath (shocked face)…how big can a little product like this get?  I wonder if it’ll shrink a zit.  The box, by the way, certainly screams Doraemon don’t you think?  By the soundz of it I’m waiting for the box to morph into him.

If it removes my makeup, Heavens be praised I’m sold.  On Amazon this costs about US$10.00, from online Asian retailers I’ve seen this priced for as low as US$8.00.  I’m guessing it would be easy to find this in traditional medicine pharmacies throughout Asia that import European products, but most probably not here in the Philippines, best bets would be Hong Kong or Singapore.  This officially qualifies as a lovely addition to my upcoming Ultimate Girls’ Apocalypse Kit simply because it does so much so you can’t be without it.

 … To full post & COMMENTS...


Dry, Dehydrated, Oily, and Sensitive Skin – My Insights About Four Dreaded Skin Types

I find that there are certain things us women need to know or remember about the dreaded skin types.  There are lots of misconceptions about the causes and solutions and having been educated a little bit more on the subject of skincare by my French makeup teacher in Singapore perhaps I can help settle the score once and for all.  I’m here to smash some myths about these skin types, so please take a comfy seat and pay attention!  This isn’t the usual I promise you.

Mind you, I am not a dermatologist but I have access to a good one, I think she’s one of the best in the country, but I’ve only gone to her because of chronic rashes once in awhile, and I also talked to my aunt a bit who is a non-practicing med school graduate.  Click Read More to see what I’ve learned and have to say about four dreaded skin types.


The Best Anti-Aging Product is…

…sleep.  I’m the eldest among 28 cousins, here are two of them, both taller than me, both passionate, stylish, active teens.  Beauty needs no face in this scene, they’re quite pretty as they are in this shot, detached, and blessed.  K and G are napping quite effortlessly in this shot taken last summer.  So, how am I?  Lately, quite sleepless, as I battle through whatever it is I’m battling through.  Both cousins are taller than me.  Once upon a time my Yaya only knew ineffective ways of lulling a child to sleep, which involved emotional blackmail, pinching, and making the peace sign over both my lids insisting that my rapid eye movement proved I was rebelling against her.  Result, I hardly ever napped in peace, until she was replaced, and I never got mybonus growth hours in.  What are your natural methods to prepare yourself for sleep, are you vigilant in making proper time for it?  Sleep is important, which is why this post ends here.  Goodnight, God bless your dreams.… To full post & COMMENTS...


Blogger Bonding @ Qi Wellness Spa, Dec.18 – way overdue

Last December was a blur to say the least and it was the most tiring Christmas season I’ve ever had so far, but somewhere in the middle was a welcome break, or at least the key to one.  Please pardon me for this way overdue post.

On December 18, a lazy (not for those in the Christmas rush) overcast Saturday, I was invited by lovely Liz of Project Vanity to meet up with other beauty and lifestyle bloggers at the Qi Wellness and Reflexology Spa in Salcedo Village, Makati.  I arrived and said hello to Jane (sorry, forgot what her blog’s name was, I’m so bad at this) and Liz when I entered the waiting area and we quickly plopped ourselves on several chaise loungers. Continue reading to see the bloggers I met up with.

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