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Friday, December 10, 2010

Rawkin' Gift Ideas for your Raw Friends

1. Live sukang tuba.

Raw foodies who don't yet own ozonators love to use this to soak their fruits and veggies! It's also perfect for making veggie kinilaw, and all the other yummy veggie dishes. We can't get enough of this!

2. Virgin coconut oil.

We love making raw desserts with cold-pressed virgin coconut oil! Almond-chocolate bites anyone?

3. Extra virgin olive oil.

Look for the expeller-pressed kind.

4. Gift certificates.

5. Potted herbs.

Basil, mint, parsley, oregano, marjoram, etc. etc.

6. Kitchen equipment.  

Knives, knife sharpeners, bamboo sushi mats, cutting boards, zesters, storage bins, sprouting jars, compost bins, dehydrators (hahaha, asa pa!). Sky's the limit!

7. Raw food demos.

Sponsor a raw friend's food demo. Or take a class yourself and surprise him/her with your new raw-mazing kitchen skills! Lessons by Bahay Kalipay (I heard they are coming back to Manila in January!) and Dahon Kusina.

What other gift ideas rawk? Let me know!! In the subject line, write "Rawkin' Gift Ideas for your Raw Friends". Please include your full name and delivery address. For condo addresses, please inform guards to accept items on delivery. Deadline for entries is December 31st, 2010 :)  

The best response wins a set of 3 pieces of item #5 (Potted herbs) AND and a gift certificate in the equivalent amount of your currency (basis will be Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas rates) at a raw restaurant nearest you.   A winning entry from overseas (outside the Philippines) will get item #2 (Virgin coconut oil) plus the gift certificate. 

This contest has expired.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream

Watch Ortrud as she demos strawberry-banana ice cream on the Vitamix Blender.

I have since gotten a Vita-Mix blender for myself and I can tell you that this is a great way to rupture the walls of the plant cells in the greens that go in your green smoothies, enabling your body to digest the greens better. (Thank you to Victoria Boutenko for her research on this!)

Let's say you are blending wheat grass with some saba bananas for your breakfast smoothie. If you make two batches, one in your regular blender, and one in your Vita-Mix, you will see the difference. Your regular blender will have little pieces of wheatgrass floating around while your Vita-Mix concoction will have a smooth consistency.

I have wanted a Vita-Mix for so long that I considered asking my sister to buy it for me when she was in the States a few months ago, but I found Ortrud Ting Yao on Google and decided to go with her. It was a little frustrating to get the Vita-Mix on my first attempt because their credit card machine was offline, thereby setting me back by about a week to get it (no worries; it wasn't their fault!) but I can tell you that the wait was definitely worth it!

Is a Vita-Mix blender a kitchen essential for the raw foodie?

This is  debatable. Most raw foodies will say you don't need one. If your blender has a "pulse" setting, they will recommend that you use this to blend ingredients well. A regular blender will do.

I personally wanted one for myself because I have used my regular blender at least twice a day for several months now and it gets pretty warm even without running for very long.  I didn't want to replace a blender every few months, and I wasn't about to give up my green smoothies. :) Also, the blades of my regular blender wore out in a few months and the greens just ended up moving around in little pieces. Prior to ever considering raw, a vegan blogger I followed recommended it. The promise of a 7-year warranty was what ultimately sealed the deal.

So it's really up to you! :) I just really like mine :)



Here's a great tip I got from Asha Peri, a raw foodie who runs Dahon Kusina and Creative Space: Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of your Vita-Mix so that you prolong the life of your blades.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Sergei Boutenko!

Belated happy birthday to Sergei Boutenko! To honor his birthday wish, I am posting his original Green Smoothies video:

What benefits have you experienced after starting a green smoothies habit? Mine are: more energy and no more cravings for Tropical Hut hamburger and Via Mare's fried crispy dilis, vinegar, scrambled egg and white rice.  (I only started craving these when I went raw.  I never craved these things the year I was vegan and eating mostly cooked food.  I never even craved hamburgers the whole time I was vegetarian!) When I stopped craving these foods, I was better able to stay on raw for much longer.

Let me explain. I had made three attempts to go raw in the past. (Two of the three were 99% raw attempts, with only condiments and nori being the only cooked food I consumed) Once in 2008 or 09, when I took my first raw food class, I thought I’d give raw a chance. The raw food class however, was offered by vegetarians who used raw food merely for detox – they never really encouraged going raw full time. I wanted to try going raw full time, but by the time I hit my second week, I was dreaming of eating some childhood favorite meat treats.

I made another attempt early this year, but then it happened again! I was craving meat after my second week. I gave in to the craving and tried eating chicken. Since I was vegetarian for a long time, I could not eat meat without tasting blood. Seriously. Even if it was cooked well enough, I could actually taste it.  If bloody taste wasn’t the issue, it was something else, like the meat feeling like carcass. Organic, free-range chicken was a big improvement to non-organic, but the bloody taste was still there. This led me to try kosher meat for the first time. I enjoyed it immensely (no bloody taste, no carcass texture) but it also meant spending a lot more just to keep up the better-tasting meat fix.

When I discovered some health issues in early August, I knew I needed to make a decision. I prayerfully considered going high-raw full-time, which meant really seeking help and not just Googling piecemeal information.

This time, I decided that I would go high-raw instead of 100% raw. I asked for support from family and close friends. I asked God for supernatural help to stay on course and not give in to food cravings. Without any fanfare about my decision, friends, colleagues and acquaintances started forwarding me seminar info for short raw seminars. Most people I met who heard that I was going raw were encouraging. I can count the fingers on one hand those who blatantly challenged my position during that break-in period.  

A really good friend saw a post on Facebook I wrote to a contact considering going vegan, and she sent me one of Sergei Boutenko’s Youtube Videos where he mentions green smoothies.  I researched a bit more and found Victoria’s book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food, which I immediately started reading.

Victoria says that after eating raw for quite some time and experiencing its wondrous benefits, their family hit a plateau, and she felt that even she regressed. This led her to research about what was lacking in her diet: greens, and she found that the tastiest and most efficient way to incorporate greens was to make green smoothies.

The idea of green smoothies was not new to me. I started making smoothies early this year after taking a one-day raw course taught by Aileen de Guzman. Her recipe was perfect for the green smoothie newbie: really yummy, hardly used any water, and used a tolerable amount of greens. (Think 55% fruit, 40% greens, 5% amino acids) It made less than a liter of green smoothie but it was good enough as a stand-alone breakfast item. It did have quite a variety of fruit though. I let other people try the smoothie, and they all liked it! It was perfect for encouraging a few diabetics to get more greens in their diet. The thing was, I did not make them everyday on each of my attempts to go raw. 

Victoria’s book paved the way for that aha moment. I was reading about this guy who cured his eczema by eating a completely raw vegan diet, but after a while, he started craving meats. I checked his earlier protocols and found that he was eating mostly fruits, which reminded me of my previous raw diets. I thought I would check to see if the green smoothies would arrest those cravings.  

And they did!

These days, my green smoothies are much simpler. The ratio is about 50-50 now. Half fruit, half greens. No added amino acids through flax seeds, no oils, no extraneous ingredients, nada. I try to take into account some rules of raw food combining, and some of the tips Sergei gives in the video as well as tips given by Victoria Boutenko in 12 Steps to Raw. (Although when I’m short on fruit I do break the rules!) I am able to make 2 batches of green smoothies. 1 for breakfast and 1 for dinner, a liter each. Then I also eat more sprouts for lunch, or a snack, or in a green juice. I find that when I eat more greens than fruits, I am able to stave off those irritating cravings.  I still haven’t broken into the 60-40 smoothie zone, though. (60% greens, 40% fruit)

All that to say, thank you to Sergei (happy birthday again!) and most especially to your mom, Victoria, for giving me that “aha”! moment. Thank you to my family and friends for your support. And Thank You to God for giving me a chance to take care of my body before it was too late. Thank You for allowing me go beyond just two weeks of high-raw. To You be all the glory! 


Just a reminder: 

When you make your nutrition-dense green smoothie, plan to enjoy it by itself; do not drink it as an accompaniment to your meal. If you mix it with food that does not combine well with it, your stomach will hate you for it. To be on the safe side, it is best to have your smoothie on an empty stomach. :) I take my first smoothie 30 minutes after I take calamansi water in the morning, and my second smoothie when I get home from work :). 


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

How many turkeys are happy they won't be eaten by the vegans today :)?

Have you ever eaten Tofurky? I loved it! But I sadly can't eat it anymore. (Soy is an allergen for me, plus it doesn't really go with the raw lifestyle I want for myself.)

Have you ever been invited to a dinner and the family who invited you made or bought something special just for you? (Shout out to to the Scrantons in Federal Way, WA and the Birds also in Federal Way, WA!)

How are you celebrating your raw Thanksgiving? What kind of menu will you have? I'm obviously not celebrating Thanksgiving here in the Philippines, but it's nice thinking about the creative lengths people will go to celebrate the holiday somehow.

So many things to be thankful for! May every day be a day of giving thanks.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Pinoy Organics at Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City

Ladies and gents, if you are able to drop by Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City tomorrow, look for Pinoy Organics at Tent 1. I am grateful to Jhoey of Pinoy Organics for hooking me up with the sprout people (they sell alfalfa, bean, and mustard sprouts) at Alabang Country Club market. Jhoey's Market-to-Plate tour also helped me figure out which herbs to use for making delicious pineapple smoothies. Jhoey says the market runs from  Saturdays and Sundays till Feb 11, 2010.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Vitamix Blender

A lot of vegans (especially the raw vegans who enjoy live green smoothies) swear by it.  If you would like to see for yourself what the fuss is about regarding the Rolls Royce of high-speed blenders - head to the Serendra Christmas bazaar on November 21st for your free live demo!

Credit cards accepted.

Thank you to Ortrud Ting for the tip!

Search for vitamix blenders tnc


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Floral Feast at SM Mall of Asia

Head on over to the atrium section of SM Mall of Asia to check out the Met traveling exhibit of Fr. Manuel Blanco's lithographs of Philippine flowers!
Here's one of a red santan. I love it! We still have a red santan bush from my childhood and it still brings back memories of my playmates and I eating the sap. Don't laugh. You did it too! Aminin!

The exhibit is there for another week before it moves to SM Megamall.

Contact the Met for more info.

I hardly ever go to MOA, but I so appreciate their free wi-fi!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kudos to Seoul Seoul!

Seoul Seoul, located on Madrigal Avenue, ATC, indulged my request to have a raw entree. Though not necessarily on their menu, they gave me a delicious combo of their fermented veggies plus some fresh toge with sesame oil and special salt.

Incidentally, there is a new Seoul Seoul Korean-Japanese food mart nearby and was able to get wakame and some nori.

I did not get to take a photo of the meal though. :( Must. be. more alert next time! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Why am I not hungry?

Is this normal for a raw foodie?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October harvest!

Chili Peppers from the garden! Watch out, hantik!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sergei's Raw Food Kids video

I am reading Victoria Boutenko's book, 12 Steps to Raw, and a really good friend forwarded this link to me. She didn't know I was reading the book, but she knows I am exploring going high-raw to address some health issues. Sergei happens to be Victoria's son, who had diabetes before the entire family shifted to an all-raw diet. Enjoy!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Vegetarian Celebration

World vegetarian month is around the corner! Come join a discussion group for local celebrations! Drop me a line at gulaygirl10 at gmail dot com.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Vegan Buffet!

There is a vegan buffet on September 22. Kita kits?!/photo.php?pid=340740&id=122198197807611&fbid=147967898563974&ref=nf


Friday, August 27, 2010

Chili Peppers!

E planted these chili peppers and now I have my raw material to make homemade organic pesticide! Thanks E!

She also waters my herbs with rice wash when I'm away. Yay for garden helpers!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Contest time!

Do you keep a plant on your office desk? What kind is it and how do you keep it alive? Is it low or high maintenance? 

The best response wins 3 kinds of herbs to start a mini-garden! 

Contest is open to Metro Manila residents only.

Email gulaygirl10 AT gmail DOT com a photo of your plant on your office desk, a description of its maintenance, and your preferred time for delivery at your delivery address. Include your name and cell number.

One entry per contestant. Forward this post to your friends!

Note: the plant prizes are outdoor plants, not desk plants.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Full-time Gardener Needed!

I am searching for an honest, hardworking farmhand to work on our suburban garden in Alabang full-time.
Applicant must have farm experience (organic or non-organic), must be from Northern Luzon (preferably), must be willing to undergo additional training for organic farming, and should be willing to relocate to Muntinlupa.

Please email resume to:
gulaygirl AT gmail DOT com

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Raw food

Hey all!

Are you interested in attending a raw food prep class? I have been raw on and off since last year - mostly to get the health benefits! I've met a few people who've become healthier just going on high raw, and they inspire me to keep going!

                 Portabello burgers. Yummy. These taste really good, even for non-raw foodies!


How'd your garden fare during Basyang?

Grass trimmer

I am officially scouring the market for a grass trimmer and/or gardening shears!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Direct Soil Incorporation

I am unable to tend to my compost daily, so like I said in a previous post, I keep my organic compostables (all plant material except for human hair and fingernails) in covered catchall jars, then empty them once a week. For my purposes, the easiest and most hassle-free composting method is direct soil incorporation. I am also not in a hurry to plant in this part of the garden, so a slow rehab is really what I'm planning.

Here's what I do:

I dig a hole about 8 inches deep, empty all the compostables into it, then, completely cover the hole with the soil I dug out. I do not water any of the covered compost holes (I started in sunny April) but the official rainy season has started (It's June now) and they've been getting a steady supply of rainwater since then.  The grass nearby is growing rapidly and I am pleasantly surprised. (Note to self: must mow the grass soon.) I was expecting results to come in next year (our soil is really in dire need of rehabilitation), but this early, I'm seeing signs of improvement. We even have a new visitor to our garden. Is s/he here to stay?

If it's a sunny day, as soon as I open the catchalls, flies are ready to get at the waste. I empty the containers as fast as I can, then immediately cover up the waste with the soil. Then the flies have a party by the containers unless they are rinsed immediately. On a rainy day, it's much easier to dig the pit and not have any of the flies bother me. Ooh, I so love the rain! And gardening in the rain!

And that's it! I let the items just decompose on their own.

Since there isn't much oxygen involved, it may seem like the nutrients will be considerably less, than if I do basket-open-air composting or turn composting. However, this is the most convenient method for me given my schedule, and the fact that I don't want to unnaturally control the flies.

Anyone else out there doing direct soil incorporation? Anyone noticing dramatic changes in your soil/garden?

How about the basket-open air composters/turn composters/vermicomposters? Any violent reactions? :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guess who decided to stop by?

Aside from the pesky ants, guess who dropped by the garden?

A bayawak! Woohoo!!! (For my readers abroad, that's a kind of endangered monitor lizard) I'm really excited about this development because I'm assuming that the lizard finds the garden a great place to hang out in. I feel even more convinced that composting the slow way (direct soil incorporation) is the way to go. I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to do something to speed up the fertilization process, but I opted to go slow and natural. I love that our endangered friends are appreciating it!

By the way, I'm a little scared to come up close to the bayawak. This gal even had her picture taken by one. Sorry, but not for me, thank you. Maybe I'll be able to take a picture of it one day. 

I was a little concerned that Mr. Lonely (the free-range rooster) was going to have a hard time dealing with the lizard, but he's a bit of a bully and will probably make his presence felt. I am glad we don't have any chicks because bayawak like to prey on the hapless little things.

Trivia: When I did my immersion in Pampanga for college, my host family (the dad was Aeta/"kulot", the mom was from the lowlands/"unat") wanted to feed me bayawak. I'm super glad they weren't able to catch any. I didn't realize they were endangered until now. :(  Click here  for an article on the bayawak recently appearing on the endangered species list.

An epiphany: I don't want to get rid of the ants anymore. I just want to keep them away from the vegetables.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ants on the ground, ants on the ground...

I've noticed a lot of ants among the plants lately - some of them are attacking my sweet basil :(.

I want to keep them away, but only using organic pesticides.

Which organic pesticides (homemade or store-bought) have you used for your plants?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Independence Day Iron Chef White House

Mark your planners! June 12th, 8:30pm (Lifestyle Network)  is the Philippine premiere of Iron Chef White House!

Watch Filipina Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford team up with Bobby Flay, versus  Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali to cook dishes out of the White House organic backyard garden.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Don't Shock Your Plants!

The plants probably enjoyed the heat the past few days, but I was so ready to welcome the rain today! Hooray, rain!

I used to avoid gardening before 4pm  because it was just too hot. After speaking with a few farmers from the north, I now realize that my selfish reason for waiting until it was much cooler, was good for the plants too!

According to James Amparo, who is encouraging other farmers to use organic fertilizer,  the best time to water plants is before 9am and after 4pm, (I'm speaking Philippine time here; can't really speak for other climate zones) to prevent "shock".  This also explains why farmers get up really early to tend to the farm then "take a break" during the hotter parts of the day, then resume when the temperature goes down. Jhoey from Pinoy Organics has a pretty good analogy for it: A glass container kept in a freezer breaks when hot water is poured into it.  James adds that if you see a plant that is withering, let it be, then only water it outside of the 9am-4pm window. 

Plants do have an internal heat shock system, but they can only take so much stress. And let's not forget the gardener!


Monday, May 24, 2010

An inspiring thought...(for me at least!)

A few years ago, I drove 256+ miles with some friends to Tonasket, WA to visit my aunt and uncle's farm. My friends still beg me to take them there. They even ask me if the farm is rented out because they want to go even if I don't accompany them! That was how relaxing, peaceful and beautiful our stay was. Farming is hard work, but you could hardly see the stress in my aunt's face. That made such an impression on us. We all loved our jobs, but it was nice to think about what it would be like to live away from the city and on that gorgeous apple farm and lakehouse.

The lakehouse :)

Rows of trees :)

Canada is just beyond the lake :)

For the time being, I'm perfectly happy being a part-time suburban gardener. But who knows? Maybe I'll farm someday :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Market-to-Plate Tour Launch May 22, 2010

Southern gardeners, (or gardeners not from the south who want to take a trip on down)

I am attending this event by Pinoy Organics and Feed 5000. There is a market tour, followed by a cooking demo by Chef Len Santos.  Based on the info I've gathered at the site, it seems like a way to connect participants to sources of organic produce, such as rice, at market prices. It's good marketing. (Sorry for the pun) I don't really mind falling for it though - just as long as I get the info on where the herbs and other produce are!

I don't know the organizers personally, but I think it would be great to come since the fee is P1000 and it includes materials and the food tour. What it doesn't include is gardening materials if you want to get your hands dirty. I am bringing my own!   I do know that my contact at Pinoy Organics is "Jhoey", and that s/he will be part of the tour, and that a few people attending aren't familiar with BF, hence the many changes to the meeting venue.  I'm not posting those here as they are subject to change.  Anyway, come!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Avocado-banana dessert

I was planning to make a smoothie, but I discovered I was out of almond nut milk!

What I made instead was a sugar-free dessert that tided me over to lunch!

Avocado-Banana Dessert



1 organic avocado
super ripe bananas (I used to use just one or two like in the 2010 photo, but now I like using the entire bunch!!!)

optional: 1 dash of chia

               1 tsp or so of cacao beans

Place in a blender then serve immediately. Makes one "creamy" serving.

Do I take better photos now? Hehe :)


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I am really excited to start organic gardening! 

We have always had our garden in Alabang, but I never took an interest in it until I started to go hardcore vegetarian, which was 2008. I was vegan, living in Medina, WA, and I had a housemate who was into organic composting. She was into green smoothies and making salads, all with ingredients from her garden, while I made most of mine from produce from the grocery. (I wasn't even into smoothies then!) Then a few other friends in the Seattle area showed me lovely, pesticide-free produce from their backyard vegetable gardens. While teaching at a Montessori school, I met parents and colleagues who were into organic products and farmer's markets. 

It was only recently that I discovered  how enjoyable it is to feel the soil in my hands, being out with Vaughn (our half Belgian-mastiff, half-Doberman), watching him eat mangoes and macopa (yes, he loves fruit!). 

Right now there are parts of the garden that need to be rehabilitated because of some soil problems. It has become a bit rocky and sandy. For those parts, I've begun direct soil incorporation organic composting. 

In this blog, I'll posting about how I am getting my garden started, the bugs along the way, troubleshooting, updates on the soil rehab project, and just the sheer enjoyment of  being outdoors in 90-degree weather all year round! 

See ya around :)

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