Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pretty Pregnant

Don't let your body blues get in the way of experiencing maternal bliss. Here's how to have fun during and after pregnancy. By Kaye Langit-Luistro

        It sure isn't easy being pregnant. You may look forward to the miracle of life and all that, but sometimes when you look at your protruding belly, darkened skin on the neck and armpits, nasty pimples and skin tags, you can't help but cry.

        All these conditions are hormone-related, says Dr. Dorothy Mildred Sia-Cu, diplomate of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) and consultant at the Manila Doctors Hospital. During pregnancy, hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and prolactin escalate to support your baby's needs. Unfortunately, they can also create havoc on your skin, body and emotions. Wipe the tears from your eyes and fret no more; you can do something about it!

Exercise. An exercise regimen can help reduce skin problems and other discomforts associated with pregnancy. Sia-Cu says that you can benefit much from swimming, walking, cycling and independent action stair-climbing if done for 10 to 15 minutes, 4to 5 times a week.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that the most appropriate form of aerobic exercise for a pregnant woman is the one that she most enjoys and can safely perform. Perform the "talk test" to check against overexertion. If you are able to talk comfortably while exercising, you are doing fine.

Pretty Pregnant by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Moms & Babies Magazine, March-April 2005

Just a week postpartum ( after birth), you can walk, lift weights, even for 10 minutes, says Kathy Kaehler, trainer and co- developer of the workout video Cindy Crawford: A New Dimension. The regimen boasts of exercises that any woman can do before, during and after pregnancy. You have to give your body time to regain strength and shed off unwanted pounds, she says.

Feed on fresh foods. Load up on brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat bread-food rich in fiber will prevent diarrhea and constipation. Get your share of lean meat, fish, seafood and tons of veggies and fruits. Extra helpings of tuna, salmon, tofu and soy milk will also do you a world of good. Sadly the Filipino diet lacks essential micronutrients, like  omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and iron needed to keep mother and baby healthy, observes Sia-Cu. On the contrary, Japanese staples of fish, rice, steamed veggies and tofu are rich in essential minerals. Japanese women as a result, are confident about their diet, and do not take supplements at all, Sia-Cu claims.

See A Dermatologist. Do not experiment with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or commercial preparations to cure acne flare-ups. Without proper guidance, your skin condition may worsen. Look for a qualified dermatologist to handle your skin woes.

Wear Flattering Clothes. Just because your pregnant doesn't mean you have to look dowdy. There are plenty of stylish maternity clothes available. Forget about the oversized dresses with huge baby collars and outdated lace. Now, you can wear dark- hip-length tailored blazers or sleeveless shirts paired with spandex pants during your time off from work.

Visit A Spa. Treat yourself to a back rub from a certified massage therapist. Just don't let her touch your tummy to avoid bleeding, premature labor, and other fetal complications, Sia-Cu advises. For tired legs and feet, opt for a foot spa. A basic procedure includes a scrub, massage and even a pedicure. A good spa sterilizes its nail apparatus to prevent infections.

Pretty Pregnant by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Moms & Babies Magazine, March-April 2005


Who says that only non-preggies can keep one? Having a vanity bag is a good idea, especially during pregnancy. If you like the way you look and feel while on the family way, you help yourself- emotionally and physically- overcome the effects of hormonal changes on your body. Remember, not all women are given the gift of pregnancy. Be proud of your brand new body. Stash these items inside your handbag to keep you feeling radiant and refreshed all day.

Pretty Pregnant by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Moms & Babies Magazine, March-April 2005

Hair treatments. Well-groomed hair is truly a woman's crowning glory. But go easy on it. Studies show that falling hair is a harsh side effect of pregnancy. Opt for mild shampoos, conditioner and hot-oil treatments. Hold the hair coloring until the baby's delivered. Commercial hair colorants have compounds that may harm the growing baby.

Facial products. Your sebaceous glands churn out more oil than usual so you'll need to consult an accredited dermatologist for the right facial products. He will help you find the right face creams and other needed skin treatments. Do not use products with tretinoin, a harmful ingredient to your unborn child.

Body lotion. You may have an oily face but certain parts of your body are dry and scaly. After a weekly body scrub and exfoliation, apply lotion over your skin's dry areas.

Body oil. To minimize the appearance of stretch marks, rub body oil on your tummy, three to four times a day. Medical doctors are divided when it comes to this issue, but experienced moms believe in the beauty benefits oils may bring to your skin.

Make-up. When you are under the weather, just reach for some hypoallergenic face powder, lip gloss, blush, eyebrow pencil and mascara. Voila! A dolled-up face may just bring out your cheery disposition.

Bottled water. You need at least 2 liters of water a day to keep you hydrated so drink up! Adequate water can also decrease symptoms of morning sickness.

Caffeine-free herbal teas. Now that you are pregnant, stay away from caffeinated drinks such as coffee and sodas. Caffeine may rob calcium from the bones making you prone to fractures. Caffeine-free tea is a healthy, soothing option for moms who need more than plain water.

Supplements. Take the right vitamins and supplements. Ask your physician which pills to take at certain stages of pregnancy. As a rule of thumb, folic acid should be taken during the first months of pregnancy, iron during the fourth month of pregnancy and calcium and vitamin A at the start of the second trimester.

Packed veggies and fruits. Strips of carrots with fat-free Caesar salad dressing or sliced apples, oranges and bananas keep you from munching processed chips and sodas.

Portable music player. Slip a small player into your bag. Research shows that listening to the classics soothes frayed nerves and improves the baby's mental health.

Inspiring book. Find a book that feeds your body, soul and spirit to ease feelings of discomfort associated with childbearing. Surf the net to check out what other moms-to-be are reading.

Mini-diary. Keep tabs on your fears, insecurities, hopes an dreams. Sometimes all you need is to express yourself fully-free from judgmental remarks.

Pretty Pregnant was first published on Moms and Babies Magazine (now Moms Today) in its March-April 2005 edition. For more articles on childcare and parenting, please go to this link as well as this one.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Food Musings: A Look At Takoyaki's History & Tamayaki Philippines' Delish Takoyaki ♪♪♪

"When life gives you wheat flour, make Takoyaki." 

Japan literally gave our favorite lemon quote a new twist and revolutionized Asian food culture as we know it today.

During two extremely difficult times in history, namely the Tokyo Earthquake of 1932 and the aftermath of World War II, rice was scarce and the Japanese turned to flour to satisfy their hunger. They made batter-based dishes topped with special sauces to survive with flair.

Even as Japan came back from the ruins, locals didn't discard this flour-based food rather tried hard to improve on it. As life became much better, the Japanese added more ingredients like eggs, meat and seafood into the mix.

Four uniquely tasting batter-based dishes came out of Japan's colorful food history:  
    • Okonomiyaki - a special kind of grilled egg pancake. 
    • Choboyaki -      ball-shaped batter composed of red pickled ginger, green peas, soy sauce and then cooked on a cast-iron griddle. 
    • Radioyaki -       slightly larger than choboyaki but made more interesting with the addition of sinewy meat.
    • Takoyaki-       resembling choboyaki but made use of octopus as the primary ingredient.

In 1935, Endo Tomekichi, a street vendor in Osaka wanted to add another dish to his already popular offerings of okonomiyaki and choboyaki. Sparked by the knowledge of a certain akashiyaki (boiled octopus in an eggy batter) a well-loved treat in Akashi located in Hyogo Prefecture, Endo became convinced of incorporating octopus into his new street food menu. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

Here in the Philippines, I get my favorite Takoyaki from Tamayaki.

Tamayaki's takoyaki  is simply divine! It is literally crunchy on the outside and significantly plump with an eclectic mix of meat and cabbage on the inside. It is unlike the other takoyaki treats I've tried before which unveiled a gooey residue once I sank my teeth into them. 

Tamayaki's version is really all meat which makes for a fulfilling snack. What's extra special are the abundant toppings that add a degree of woodsy nuttyness to an already fantastic snack.

Tamayaki Philippines

That is, of course, if you don't mind adding around Php 60-70 to your usual fare of Mall Cart Takoyaki. But if you do choose to indulge in your craving, you will never go wrong with Tamayaki.

 Hmmmm...Which one should I try first?
Tutapel @ Tamayaki Philippines

Many assume that since Tamayaki's lifeline is Takoyaki, the franchise must have started in Japan. On the contrary, the company has traced its roots back in China and in only a little below 3 years, Tamayaki's clout has extended to Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Australia, and the Philippines.

Just like Takoyaki's precursors, Tamayaki's Takoyaki has morphed into 12 tasty versions:
      • Tamayaki Seasoned Octopus   Php 115
      • Tamayaki Kani & Shrimp          Php 115
      • Tamayaki Squid Satay              Php 115
      • Tamayaki Kani & Mozarella     Php 115
      • Tamayaki Grilled Steak            Php 125
      • Tamayaki Chicken Teriyaki      Php 95
      • Tamayaki Mussels & Cheese    Php 125
      • Tamayaki Smoked Mackarel     Php 105
      • Tamayaki Ham & Mozzarella   Php 105
      • Tamayaki Fish Fillet                   Php 105
      • Tamayaki Korean Pork BBQ    Php 95
      • Tamayaki Double Cheese        Php 115         

Tamayaki Philippines' Menu


Tamayaki PH
♪♪Good! It is really worth a try.

Tamayaki Philippines
Phone: 705-1856
Landmark Makati
SM City North Edsa
Fisher Mall
SM City Fairview


Monday, September 15, 2014

Take Part In Coldstone Creamery's I SCREAM MONDAY PROMO!

Rainy Days and Mondays need not get us down at all.

Coldstone Creamery Philippines gives students a special reason to be excited by offering 20% off on all its Signature Ice Creams!

Coldstone Creamery Philippines' Signature Ice Creams

You can also take these frozen delights to the next level by transforming them into Coldstone's Signature Creations.

Here's a peek at two of their bestsellers.

Cheesecake Fantasy. An exciting fusion of Cheesecake Ice Cream, Graham Cracker Pie Crust, Blueberries and Strawberries served in this uniquely delish waffle bowl.

 Coldstone Creamery Philippines

Strawberry Rendezvous. Strawberry Ice Cream filled with yummy toppings: Graham Cracker Pie Crust, White Chocolate Chips, Strawberries and Banana. A definite must-try!

Coldstone Creamery Philippines

Salivating much?

I don't blame you.

Here's the guide to all things spectacular:

Coldstone Creamery Philippines

To avail of the I SCREAM MONDAY PROMO, simply present your School ID at Coldstone Creamery branch near you.

Here are the Promo Mechanics:

  1. Promo runs from September 15, 2014 to December 22, 2014.
  2. Only students with their school IDs presented may avail 20% Student Discount on Signature Ice Creams every Monday only.
  3. The student discount cannot be used in conjunction with other on-going promotions and discounts.
  4. The student discount is non-refundable, non-transferable and non-convertible to cash. 
Coldstone Creamery Philippines Hurry! 

Don't forget to bring your classmates, barkada and BFFs to make the whole Coldstone experience extra memorable.  

Coldstone Creamery Philippines

Coldstone Creamery Philippines
Coldstone Robinsons Galleria
Coldstone Serendra
Coldstone SM North Edsa
Coldstone SM Mall of Asia


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Catch Amorita Resort at the 25th Themes & Motifs Wedding Expo Today At SMX MOA

Stunning Amorita Resort joins the highly-anticipated Wedding Expo Philippines put together by Themes and Motifs, regarded as the country's most prestigious wedding fair organizer.

"Soft sand, cool ocean breeze and the gorgeous sunset. Amorita is located on a scenic end of Alona beach, offering majestic views of the sea and its intimate size makes it the perfect destination wedding venue."

Having experienced Amorita Resort with the whole #fambam last year, I'm afraid I can't refute the resort's claims at all. If you've been there, I believe you feel the same way.

On that note, here's a sneak peek at picturesque Amorita Resort. 

Catching the Light at Picturesque Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

A Second Look at Picturesque Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

Third Time's A Charm @ Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

Sweets for Your Honey @ Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

Terrific View @ Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

The whole #fambam at Picturesque Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol 

Into Saffron's Gastronomic Feast @
Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

A Glimpse of Saffron Restaurant @ Amorita

 Eating with Style at Picturesque Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

Healthy Goodness @ Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

Classic Hors D'Oeuvres @ Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol

Personal Chef anyone?
Taken @ Picturesque Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol 

Catch a glimpse of Amorita Resort tonight until 8 at booth E11 at the SMX Convention Center Manila for the 25th Wedding Expo to start planning the wedding of your dreams. 

Amorita Resort
Tel. (632) 5539549 or (632) 8561443

Themes & Motifs Wedding Expo

Blog On Cue: Picturesque Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Get A Chance To Win 8 Giant Red Velvet Cuppies From Cupcakes By Sonja!

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy cupcakes. And that's kind of the same thing." 

I can't help but snicker with delight when I first came across this quote in one of the popular social media sites. Truth is, eating cupcakes is one of my guilty pleasures. And, Cupcakes By Sonja tops my list of favorite confectioners.

Unlike other cuppies I've tasted, each baked item from CBS tastes significantly different from one another which makes for an interesting experience. At least the cuppies I've tried were far from dry and were in fact, memorably moist, with each flavor celebrating its intrinsic flavor to the core.

Cupcakes By Sonja

I'm happy to announce that Cupcakes By Sonja is turning 8 this month of September. To celebrate this milestone, CBS is raffling off  8 Giant Red Velvet Cupcakes!

 Cupcakes By Sonja

Visit any CBS store from now until September 30 and simply fill out the form at the bottom of your receipt for a chance to win a Giant Red Velvet Cupcake!

 Cupcakes By Sonja

The best thing is, there's no minimum purchase required.

Isn't that great?

Don't forget to #SpreadTheSweetness !


Cupcakes By Sonja

Cupcakes by Sonja

G/F Serendra Piazza
Bonifacio Global City
Tel. 915-29-36/856-03-08

2/F Glorietta 2 Bridgeway
Ayala Center, Makati
Tel. 625-48-84

P1 Level Power Plant Mall
Rockwell Center, Makati
Tel. 949-80-46

Shangri-la Plaza
L?G East Wing Shangri-la Plaza
Tel. 955-10-73

Rustan's Fresh
G/F San Antonio Plaza
Forbes Park, Makati

Greenhills Shopping Center
G/F The Promenade Extension
Greenhills, San Juan
Tel. 463-48-20

Robinson's Galleria
2/F Robinson's Galleria
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Tel. 570-39-93

2/F Trinoma
Quezon City
Tel. 901-30-92

SM North Edsa
2/F Main Building SM North Edsa
Quezon City
Tel. 373-03-40

SM Manila
Garden Level, SM City Manila
Ermita, Manila
Tel. 353-31-12

Ayala Fairview Terraces
G/F Ayala Fairview Terraces
Quezon City
Tel. 956-89-64

SM Megamall
G/F Mega Fashion Hall
Mandaluyong City
Tel. 463-33-95

Blog on Cue: Why We Can't Get Over Cupcakes by Sonja!

Cupcakes By Sonja


Friday, September 12, 2014

Get the Lactobacillus Fix

Are probiotic drinks really healthy? By Kaye Langit-Luistro

        Loaded with live lactobacilli, probiotic drinks are claimed to aid digestion, thus keeping upset tummies at bay. Studies also show probiotics balance out the presence of bad bacteria in the intestines and churn out antibodies in return.

        Though established reports are still unavailable at this time, Edgardo M. Bondoc, MD, a gastroenterologist and director of the Institute of Digestive Diseases at St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City, admits that probiotics are especially helpful to those who have bacterial overgrowth, diarrhea, received a course of antibiotics, and even inflammation of the colon.

        Still, what puzzles even the most ardent of probiotic drinkers is this: how much should you consume daily? For preventive purposes, studies show that a reasonable dose would be 4 billion organisms everyday. This translates to half a container, considering the fact that most drinks have approximately 8 billion lactobacilli per 80 ml canister. But for therapeutic purposes-fighting an intestinal infection or coping with an illness- you can take between 5 and 10 billion organisms, two to three drinks a day.

Get the Lactobacillus Fix by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Prevention Magazine Philippines, 2002

        But Dr. Bondoc says you do not need to follow this guideline to the letter. The fact remains that probiotics are not miracle cures to everything that ails you.

        These products hardly have any side effects as long as you do not overindulge. Simply remember to keep probiotic drinks refrigerated between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius to keep friendly organism alive. "Just follow the manufacturer's instructions for optimum results," Dr. Bondoc advises.

Get the Lactobacillus Fix was first published on Prevention Magazine Philippines in 2002. For more articles on childcare and parenting, please go to this link.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Stop Those Nosebleeds!

Five tips for first aid relief. By Kaye Langit-Luistro

        With these supposedly cooler months still searing hot on some days, it'll just be a matter of time when your little boy or girl gets a nosebleed, especially if you or other members of your family were prone to nosebleeds during your youth.

        Nosebleeds in both adults and children are caused by a number of factors including localized infections, dried nasal mucus membranes, arteriosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), high blood pressure, certain disorders that lead to bleeding of the nose (such as leukemia, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia or dengue hemorrhagic fever) and injury (nose fractures or repeated injury from constant picking.) Low humidity on days that are hot and dry can dry out the nasal cavities and also lead to nosebleeds.

        Most nosebleeds are not serious and can be stopped in 10 or 15 minutes without hospital treatment. However, if your child's nosebleed crops up every month without any substantive reason, according to pediatrician Lourdes Dolojan, MD, consult your physician right away. This will help you explore options before it truly becomes unmanageable.

Stop Those Nosebleeds by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Prevention Philippines, December 2002

For easy to follow first-aid techniques, says Dr. Dolojan, "just remember the acronym TAP-D2."

Tilt your child's head forward and not backward to avoid blocking the airway.

Apply ice packs on the side of the nose bridge to ease pain and prevent swelling.

Pinch the soft part of the nose below the nasal bone from 10 to 15 minutes.

Dash to your nearest health practitioner and seek medical attention if bleeding persists.

Do not put any nasal pack (made of sterilized gauze) in your child's nose nor allow him to pick at the clot or cough forcefully for the next 48 hours, Dr. Dolojan advises.

Stop Those Nosebleeds was first published on Prevention Magazine Philippines in December 2002. For more articles on childcare and parenting, please go to this link.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Parenting, Part 2

During my stint as a magazine writer (2002-2005), I was tasked to do a story about the plight of grandparents at the time. What I realize now is that my interviewees might have aged since its publication, but grandmas and grandpas here in the Philippines have remained pretty much the same. They still love their grandchildren to bits and dote on them to the point that they've become important figures in their grandkids' lives.

Maybe quite unheard of in other countries, is that Pinoy grandparents in particular are not only involved in childcare but are also actively contributing to their grandkids' growing financial needs. What's worth mentioning is that instead of regarding such responsibility as an unnecessary burden, Pinoy grandparents view this unusual development as an energizing factor in their old age.

This particular Pinoy tradition though has received polarizing views throughout the years, with some sectors finding it hard to understand why instead of enjoying retirement, grandparents are still beset with problems in raising their grandchildren.

Whichever school of thought you're coming from, it is undeniable that Pinoy grandparents are truly in a class all their own! It's simply amazing how they've never ceased to inspire us with their unconditional love and sacrificial giving all their lives.

Here's a second look at my article first seen on Health Today Magazinea decade since publication.

Parenting, part 2

Many seniors are taking a second turn at parenting. Here's how to perform the parenting encore with aplomb. By Kaye Langit-Luistro

        "All my worries seem to vanish whenever my 3-year old grandson calls me Lola," says Lydia, a 64-year-old retired nurse. "I'm also elated when he compliments my cooking and shares his food with me."

        Lydia is one of the approximately 75 percent of Asians over the age of 60 who have grandchildren. Most grandparents start playing this title role between 49 and 53 years. However, because of the increased teen pregnancy rate, more and more parents are becoming grandparents much, much earlier-sometimes in their 30s.

        Aside from taking care of her grandson, Lydia makes sure that her 90-year-old mother receives all the love and attention she needs. She also nurses her husband who is undergoing hemodialysis twice a week. Despite her grueling schedule, Lydia makes time to bathe her grandson and 1 year-old granddaughter almost everyday, change their clothes and even give them medicines.

        "You can't expect their nanny to do everything," she says. "If you want to be certain that everything's done right, you must do them yourself."


        Lydia makes sure her house rules are consistent with the wishes of his grandson's parents. "Anything I do with and for my grandchild, I consult first with his parents."

        Some grandparents withhold vital information about their grandchildren from the parents. Family and relationship experts, however, believe that this practice undermines the relationships among the parties concerned. This is one of the reason why a majority of parents never seem to appreciate grandparents'way of raising their children.

        Nancy doesn't keep secrets from his grandson's parents and never asks her grandson to lie for her. Grandma Celing, on the other hand, is very cautious when it comes to giving her daughter childcare and parenting advice. Instead, Celing works as a "team player," and foster openness and understanding in the family.

        Celing discovered that the bond she has with her grandchildren is very different from that between her and her children. Her advice to other grandparents: "Learn from the mistakes you made when you were raising your children and try not to make them with your grandchildren."


        Laugh a lot, have fun, says Nancy. "Don't feel embarrassed to express how happy and excited you are about being with your grandchildren."

        Plan games and activities with their parents ahead of time so that come playtime, you will not run out of ideas, advises Nancy. Lydia asks her grandson what he wants to do and gives careful thought on how appropriate the activity is to his age before they begin. Pete Galvez, coordinator of The Yogurt Company, a support group for senior citizens based in Metro Manila, found out that his two grandchildren enjoy watching stage plays and concerts.

        "Giving children choices increases their self-confidence and is a great training tool for them," says Lydia.


        Although it is difficult to turn down your grandchildren's requests, grandparents must learn to say "no" whenever necessary, Celing stresses. Children must learn the value of obedience and self control. Celing says she wants to prepare her grandchildren for the real world where wanting doesn't necessarily mean getting.

        Nancy also believes that grandparents should not use presents to win their grandparents' affections. "Gifts are more meaningful when they are unexpected." Gifts don't have to cost a lot. Research shows that "time together" is the best gift you can give to your grandchildren.

        For Celing, being a grandparent is a privilege. "It offers many of the joys of being a parent without the daily responsibilities and struggles of parenting."

Parenting, part 2 was first published on Health Today Magazine in May 2004. For more articles on childcare and parenting, please go to this link.

Happy Grandparents' Day!