eco-friendly · Food · lifestyle · Yoga

I turned vegan for 12 days

I had my ashtanga teacher training a week ago and following the principles of yoga. AHIMSA, the most practical way of practicing non-violence is being vegan. The shala does not allow meat products inside.

I’ve been wanting to try plant-based diet for a long time and I immediately grabbed this opportunity to do it. Everything was handed to me, breakfast, lunch and dinner. So here’s how it went.

The meals

Breakfast was prepared by our teacher, a glass of smoothie and fruit, usually apple or orange.

There was one day when we were given vegan bagel and vegan butter and to my surprise it tasted really good, better than regular butter even. I’m actually on the hunt for this.

Lunch and dinner was by the sexy chef. I was surprised with the variety of vegan meals that they offered.

The first day we had vegan kare kare with vegan bagoong. The karekare was the same minus the meat while the bagoong was made of fermented fruit, papaya I suppose. I wanted the bagoong to be saltier but it was still good.

Another one that was interesting was tofu satay

The tofu was a bit fried and was served with peanut sauce with salad and rice on the side. It was surprisingly filling.

Another one that was surprising was the monggo. I’m used to regular monggo with pieces of pork, but this had langka (jackfruit) instead. One of the best monggo that I had.

Pasta was a common dish, some with peanut sauce, another as a tomato based pasta and as expected, pesto.

The vegan cheese was almost true to the taste. It just had a faint spice that makes it different.

They said that the vegan cheese was a form of yeast, I have yet to research on that.

The last day was amazing. We had vegan barbecue and curry with chickpeas and my heart and tummy was very happy.

The bbq tasted like real meat. It didn’t have bad parts or hard to chew parts everything was good. I just couldn’t stop talking about it.

What are the changes that I felt

For starters, my bowel movement was amazing. It was consistent in the morning and it goes just naturally. It always feels light in the morning.

I also felt stronger. It was a yoga teacher training which means it requires us to study, practice yoga asanas and practice adjustments all in 12 days. There was no hot water for shower and I showered at night. Usually, if have a cold shower at night, I’ll have colds the next day but I didn’t for the whole 12 days. Also, I forgot to take my vitamins throughout the training.

I didn’t have dysmenorrhoea as well, and not a single pimple was seen. I usually get one or two before my period but I didn’t.

However, I got hungry from time to time. Probably getting a little more portions would be good but that’s easy to solve. The pros outweighs the cons.

Would I become a vegan?

Maybe, I’m trying to transition or at least eat more plant-based meals and decrease consumption of animal derived products.

I’m not saying I would be, but I like to. I know how it feels and it feels good.

Maybe I should change my blog domain soon. Hehe

Food

Butcher’s daughter

I’ve been eyeing this restaurant for quite sometime now and as always, spontaneous trips with friends are the answer to this.

Was it a good choice?

Restaurant details:

Address: 163 Aguirre Ave, BF homes, Paranaque

Store hours: 11am-2pm, 6pm-10pm

Ambiance

The place is homey and cozy. It has that cowboy barbeque feels with the wooden and metal interiors. The place isn’t that crowded because the tables are spaced wide apart.

I enjoyed the details of the restaurant. The decorations were made of chopping boards and the vibe was cohesive. I liked that even the ceiling has little paintings of shrimp or pigs on it.

Price

The price was fair. It may be a bit pricey but the serving was large. You get what you pay for in their restaurant.

Food

The food was flavorful. It lived up to the description on the menu and it was beautifully plated. It was a handful of serving that could really fill you up.

In the photo: Chicken zurich style with rice and mixed vegetables

In the photo: Grilled pork chop with mashed potato and macaroni salad

However, I must say the food was a little overcooked. The porkchop was a bit of a struggle to chew. The salmon was too cooked for my liking as well. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed my time in Butcher’s daughter.

In the photo: Salmon steak with mashed potato and coleslaw

Service

The waiters were knowledgeable of their menu providing objective and personal opinions about the food which helps you pick the best one for your taste. They were also attentive without being too invasive.

Overall thoughts

Was it a good choice? Definitely. Good food with good company is the best way to cap off a hectic workday. The food was comforting and I would definitely come back to try other dishes.

Food

Ichiro Ramen

I’m back with a food review! It’s a new found love of ramen that brings me here. I have been enjoying ramen for quite some time now but lately, I’ve been craving for it.

This restaurant in particular is newly opened. Let’s start.

Restaurant details

Address: 248 Aguirre Ave, Parañaque, 1720 Metro Manila

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday 5pm-11pm

Ambiance

The place is quite small but is well kept. They have their own bathroom and the spacing between tables are adequate. Despite it being a busy time, I did not feel that it’s too crowded.

Price

The price is your usual ramen price. Ranging from 250-330 while add ons and side dishes costs about 200 and below. No complaints since the serving is enough for the price.

Taste

Ichiro ramen has 3 types of ramen and a couple of side dishes on their menu. I personally like tantanmen so I order that every time. I was also able to sip a bit of broth from their shio ramen because of my boyfriend. I feel that their base or broth is the same. It’s creamy and it only differs on the spice or seasoning on it. The noodles are firm but not too hard. The tantamen ramen had the right amount of spice.

However, I noticed that they weren’t consistent as the second time I went, my ramen was way spicier which made it difficult for me to finish it.

Saving grace would be their takoyaki, which never fails. One of the good ones that I tried so far.

Service

A+ for their service. The staff were nice and yet they were not as overwhelming when they assist you. They’re also knowledgeable of their menu and gives pertinent info that you might need.

Overall thoughts

It’s a good ramen place. I just wish they had more ramen choices. I would definitely go back for takoyaki. 4 stars for me.

Food · Travel

Cebu travelog

Ya girl needed some sanity time so one day when my friend and I had a rough day, we had an impulsive decision to book a ticket going to the queen city of the South, Cebu.

Before anything else, shout out to Ven for going to Cebu with me despite me being crazy and to T. Tinie for touring us around. 😘

Our ticket costed around less than 4000 for ven and I. I can’t remember the exact price but I think we got it on a seat sale.

First day.

Our flight was 10:00am and we landed in cebu around 11 or 11:30. I noticed that in Cebu, they have mybus, their version of p2p but we weren’t able to try it. T. Tinie picked us up and we went straight to 10 000 roses cafe.

It’s 30-45 minutes away from the airport (lapu lapu city). We paid 20 pesos as the entrance fee.

So this is what it looks like, however, instagram photos are deceiving. It is very small and I don’t think it’s worth the long travel to get here.

They also had a cafe where they served meals but it was a bit pricey. I was expecting rose inspired menu but it was just some regular cafe menu. The food was good though.

(in the photo: bacon rice meal)

After that we settled in our place and called it a night.

Second day.

Second day was our city tour day. Our first stop was Temple of Leah.

Leah is the grandmother of an actress here in the Philippines, Ellen Adarna. They have multiple businesses in Cebu.

This temple was built (and is still being built) as a sign of her husband’s love for her. This temple will house all of their pieces from around the world. I was joking that Leah had a bit of hoarding problem.

At present, only the plaza and the main entrance are opened to the public but you can peek through the windows to see some of her antiques.

(sneaky photo of the inside)

The area was build with lots of statues. It had a view of Cebu City.

By the way, there is a 50 pesos entrance fee and 20 pesos parking fee.

After that we dropped by house of lechon for our lechon takeout.

The famous Cebu lechon . In house of lechon (which has a lot of branches around cebu), a kilo costs 700 pesos. They have it in regular and spicy variants.

This one has a sauce to have the distinct cebu lechon taste. I was kinda disappointed with the lechon skin though because it wasn’t as crispy anymore but the meat tasted good.

This ice candy tree also caught our attention.

After our lunch and siesta time, we went around the city to check the famous Magellan’s cross and Sto. Nino.

(photo above: magellan’s cross)

At night we also tried their food park: sugbo mercado.

Sugbo mercado is a night weekend food park located in Cebu IT park.

There were lots of food choices from grilled seafood to ramen to desserts.

They also had live music to serenade you while you eat and bond with your friends and family.

The Pyramid also caught our attention.

It’s actually a cafe that’s shaped like a pyramid. In all fairness, they serve good food and drinks. We didn’t drink there but their cocktails and local beers look interesting.

(photo above: cheesecake and coffee)

Third day.

My favorite day! This is the day that we went to the beach.

We rented a boat for 1500, plus we gave the bankeros 200 as tip. We went island hopping around mactan.

The water wasn’t as calm but it wasn’t scary as well. I was just nervous that my phone might get wet from the splash of water.

We finally went to Sulpa island and decided not to transfer anymore. There was a 200 peso entrance and we paid 400 for the cottage.

We were welcomed with seashells to eat. We bought uni for 300 (8pcs)

They grilled some for us and it’s actually good.

We chilled and talked here for a couple of hours.

I suggest you bring snacks or meals when you go island hopping. The locals can grill food for you for a price (I think).

But please be mindful of your trash. If you can, please bring reusable items and avoid using single use utensils.

Fourth day.

This was our last hurrah and our friend brought us to a complete game changer.

We woke up early and drove for about an hour and a half or two to get to Carcar. (Riding a bus going there is also an option)

Carcar is famous for their lechon and chicharon. I never understood why cebu lechon is special…

That is until I ate carcar lechon.

It was a wet market for lechon. You might think, meh it’s just that lechon but boy oh boy.

It was seasoned and marinated well. The skin was crispy. It didn’t even need sauce! I even brought some home to manila because I wanted my family to taste it.

I bet my mom will love it had she been here.

Lechon in carcar costs 400 pesos per kilo.

After that we bought chicharon from luis and matmat. 1/4 kilo costs 150 pesos.

After that we drove back to the city to buy the famous danggit and cebu chorizo.

We went to tabo-an market to buy the perishable pasalubongs.

Cebu chorizo has sweet and spicy variety. I forgot how much it costs but it is less than 300 pesos a kilo.

We bought dried fish (danggit) for about 280 pesos for 1/4 kilo.

You can also buy the famous dried mangoes and otap here in tabo-an market.

Just be prepared to smell after shopping here. Hehehe.

And that concludes our Cebu trip. It was a much needed detox from work and people and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Again special thanks to Ven, t. Tinie, tita and tito for accomodating us and being with me on this trip.

Where to next? Hmmm.

Food

Ilonggo Food Company

I recently attended a convention in BGC where we had to rent an airbnb so save travel time. Our place was right in front of ilonggo food company and we were hungry for good food.

I’m personally not a fan of filipino food restaurants because I believe my mom’s cooking is the best. However, there are always exceptions.

Restaurant details

Address: Commercenter BGC, Ground, 4th cor 31st St, Taguig, Metro Manila

Contact number: 09178274264

Opening hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm

Ambiance

The place is very cozy and it offers tables for small groups and big groups. Somewhat like a family dining area where people share food. The interior looks homey and is best for dining out with friends and/or family.

It also has a tindahan feel for the cashier and kitchen area. I wasn’t able to take photos of the seats since I was already hungry.

Price

Price ranges from 200 above which is affordable given that the food is for sharing. Servings are mostly good for 2-3 people. However this will become costly if you’re dining alone.

Taste

We asked what the best sellers were and of course inasal would be one of them.

Their inasal is good for 1-2 people. It’s good. It has the distinct inasal taste without being too oily. Best paired with soy sauce, calamansi and chili.

I have a thing for lemongrass tea and I was happy to see this in their menu. Their version has a sweetness to it but you can still taste the lemongrass. Bonus points for using bamboo straw 🤩

We also got pinakbet topped with lechon kawali. They did not skimp on the vegetables. It was cooked perfectly, not too mushy and soft but not undercooked.

Another best seller that they recommended is the kansi. This is my first time trying kansi and this probably raised the bar high. To me it felt like a hybrid of filipino signature dishes: bulalo and sinigang. It had bone marrow with a sour broth. It may look boring but each bite was amazing. They also served this with a lot of meat. The soup was refillable too!

This is their chicharon rice which can stand on its own. It’s possible to be meal on itself. Highly recommended. 👍

Service

The servers were attentive and accomodating without being intrusive.

Overall thoughts

This is a good restaurant for family bonding. The food might be a little above the affordable side but you get what you pay for. Would definitely come back to try more dishes. I heard that even people who doesn’t like lumpia enjoyed their lumpiang shanghai.

Food

Nomi Matcha & Acai

I’m personally not a fan of matcha and matcha flavored things but I’m willing to try it especially when packed in a unique way.

My friends and I tried this matcha cafe and BGC and I might say, it did not disappoint.

Restaurant details

Ambiance

I wasn’t able to take photos of the place but I’ll try to be as descriptive as I can.

The place is dainty, walls were painted with a light millenial pink with green accents. Comfortable couches were placed although there are still some wooden chairs. On the table that we sat on, we sat on a small sofa instead of separate chairs. There were also cubicles that let’s you have more privacy, I noticed that people staying there usually have their laptops on, probably working or whatever. But on these places, matcha puns were written on thought bubbles. Very instagram friendly.

I also noticed that they put in details that people will not easily notice like the fake grass enclosed in their long glass tables. They also had matcha facts around the place.

The place was very cozy and quiet, it would allow you to focus on your work or just have your relaxation time.

Price/Serving

The food is pricey. I was shocked that a piece of smore (literally one marshmallow about 1-2 inches) costs around 250 pesos. The serving was too small for the price but you’re also paying for the ambiance.

Presentation

I might say, hands down to the presentation. Everything looks pretty, as millenials would say, instagram worthy.

Photo above: matcha mix platter (legendary greenies, matcha churros, tea-ramisu dream and green cookie monster)

The smores was kinda underwhelming but it was a blessing in disguise that the smore wasn’t that frozen so they torched it in front of us.

They’re drinks are also dainty, it’s my first time to see a restaurant serve a drink with bamboo straws.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s the banana tropics drink.

Taste

Their desserts vary in terms of how strong the matcha flavor is. Personally, I don’t like how it tastes. I feel that I’m eating grass, (I know people would react violently to this) but some of their desserts are good.

The frozen smores were good, the earthy taste of the matcha ice cream compliments the sweetness of the torched marshmallow. The irony of hot and cold got me too.

The mix platter was a good deal, I suggest you get that if it’s your first time to try the place.

Out of the four desserts, I liked the churros most and the tiramisu least.

The churros was crisp (not crunchy) and the matcha cream filling blends with the cocoa-ey taste of the churro itself.

The cookie was okay, it’ s a cookie with a hint of matcha.

The legendary greenies (brownies but it’s green) and tiramisu was too overpowering for me. It had the most matcha powder and the flavor was too intense for me. My friends liked it though.

Service

Service was quite good, not annoyingly too much but they still cater to your needs. 4/5 for service.

Overall thoughts

It’s a dainty and cute cafe. The menu was interesting and true to it’s theme. The desserts were well thought of. I would suggest it to a friend.

Food

Backyard Kitchen + Brew

I rarely go to UPTown mall so we decided to eat in a restaurant that we haven’t tried. I searched up and there were a few recommendations but going through a mall can be confusing sometimes. So we landed here, and in all fairness, it wasn’t a bad idea.

Restaurant details:

Branches:

  • L2 UP Town Center, Katipunan Brgy UP Campus 961 5717
  • Lower Ground Floor, Circuit Lance, Brgy Carmona, Makati City 960 9629
  • GF, The Grove by Rockwell C5, Brgy Ugong, Pasig City 941 1895
  • 4F UPTown Mall, 9th Avenue 36th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City 960 4148

Opening hours: Mall hours

Ambiance

I don’t know how to describe it but it has sort of cowboy-y but kinda rustic feel to it. The place feels like a barbecue in your backyard. That’s probably how I would describe it. I like that the place is not crowded and the couches and even the tables and chairs are ab bit apart so you feel that you have your privacy despite being in a mall.

Service

I like how they are attentive and yet they don’t mind you when you don’t want them to. They can respect privacy and not check up on you too much that it gets annoying. They serve fast and they get things right.

Price

I say for the type of food that they serve, it is a little bit pricey. Food ranges from P249 pesos upwards. Probably because we can say that they “bedazzle” common food. Not too much to complain.

Food

When they say that this is the food, they mean it. True to the description on their menu. However, I feel that there is nothing special about the menu, they just deliver what they have well. For example:

I ordered thrice- cooked crispy pork cheek which is essentially a fancy version of lechon kawali. They served it on top of brown/black rice with caramelized onions and cherry tomatoes.

It is crispy, yes, it tastes good, yes but I feel that there are other restaurants that can serve this the same way that they did. I do have to commend their plating, though. Slow clap for them.

My boyfriend ordered their version of pares (I can’t remember how they call it and zomato’s menu is not updated, I’m sorry). It tasted like pares, nothing special about it.

side note: what is PARES?

The term Pares commonly refers to Beef Pares, a braised beef meal served with rice and a bowl of soup that originates from the Philippines. (from google)

It had that distinct Chinese cuisine taste to it, which is common in pares. It’s fine.

Overall thoughts:

It’s an okay restaurant. I don’t think it’s anything that I would crave or go back to because I really want to but if I am within the vicinity, I probably would eat there again. three stars.