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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Found out someone formerly from work is now with BPI, where my dad used to work. I suddenly got nostalgic for 80s-style vanilla milkshakes! These were a treat for me back in the day. I would tag along to his workplace and he would bring me to 1851, their in-house club/resto where he would order for me some heavenly vanilla goodness and frothy whipped cream bliss!

When he was still in private practice, he would also take my siblings and I to another club on weekends. After swimming, I would have my (yes, you guessed it) milkshake (!) with either a burger and chips or a grilled cheese or ham-and-cheese sandwich. It was something I looked forward to. For a brief period, I associated milkshakes with joy and security, and bonding with my dad.

One day, I had an accident. I was grabbing some clothes to change into after school, and I pulled too hard on something and my entire cabinet (no, I did not have a closet back then) fell on top of me.  I yelled, cried and prayed loudly. I thought I was about die. I don't want to die! I kept repeating this, while the tears kept soaking my shirt. The help came but it wasn't immediate. One of our helpers thought it was odd that the house was so quiet, (yes, thank God I was a loud kid!) so she decided to investigate. She found me buried under the cabinet.

I thought I was okay, and I felt relieved help had come, but my arm was swollen. When my grandma found out what happened, she rushed me to the hospital. Pupunta tayong Makati Med, she said. My thought was...Makati Med? Milkshake!!!!  I kid you not. 

So after all the tests were done, it was found out the nerves in my right wrist had died, and that it would take months of rehab before I could write again. Which was okay since I was only in prep. I realize now that it was a blessing that my little arm slipped in the gap between the cabinet door and the cabinet, propping the cabinet an inch or two from the ground. If none of my body parts and/or clothes got caught somehow, the entire cabinet would have fallen on top of me, with the lower possibility of air. If help had come too late, I might have suffocated. There would have been no more Frannie. No more milkshakes at 1851, Floating Island, or the club.

A couple of years after the accident, the country experienced a shift from a dictatorship to a fledgling democracy. My dad had no desire to enter politics, but the woman who became president told him she needed good people in government who would not shirk a call of duty. All incumbents were removed from office and she would be appointing officers-in-charge for the different municipalities and cities while the elections were being prepared. He meant to stay as OIC for only a few months, but the months became years until the first election in 1988. Someone from work said, What kind of madness has gotten into you? 

The season of our regular milkshake dates had finally run its course. No, milkshakes hadn't gone out of style just yet, to be replaced by mocha frappuccinos and bottomless iced tea. But my dad suddenly got busier. Apparently, when you are in public office, even your weekends aren't yours. But I hated that feeling, of that fateful Saturday,  ready to go in my swimming gear, with my extra clothes in tow, only to be told we weren't going. 

And yes, milkshakes aren't in anymore. But I'm glad I can do something about that!

Here's a humble, raw take on my my childhood favorite vanilla milkshake. Any suggestions to make it more frothy would be super! 

Ode to the 80s Vanilla Shake
(1 serving)

2-3 frozen ripe bananas (peel the banana and place in a freezer bag in the freezer)
half a fresh banana 
nut mylk (Any nut mylk will do, but for this recipe, I used 1/2 c soaked, then dehydrated sesame seeds, plus 1 1/2 cups water, run through a blender, then strained. Save the remainder left on the strainer for breads)
cinnammon to taste
1 vanilla bean
4 pitted dates or 2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)

Blend the nut mylk and the vanilla bean in a high speed blender.

Strain through a nut mylk bag/cheese cloth/strainer.

Pour the strained nut mylk back into the blender and add the frozen bananas and fresh banana, along with the cinnamon with pitted dates/honey. Blend again.


Thursday, September 20, 2012



A— sees me eating the bananas I got from the gas station convenience store.

A: Hey Fran, do you have a favorite variety of banana?

Me: Umm, yeah. I forgot the name but it starts with an M.

A: Manana? :)

Me: Hahaha! It sounds like Marudo. But it can't be Marudo. That's the actor.

A: Janjoe?

Me: Zanjoe! Hahaha. No... I forget...

T: I thought there were only two types: Saba and lakatan. 

Me: Nope, there are a lot more.

A: What about the Dole bananas you got at the store?

Me: I'm not sure what they are. They're probably genetically modified to withstand pests and stuff (Lifesavers nonetheless!). Glad the gas station convenience store sells fruit :) What a lifesaver. 

*I looked up a previous blog post and the banana is called murado! :) It is a banana that is really creamy and sweet. I loooove these! I got to taste them when a coworker brought them back from Romblon as pasalubong. :)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

After the Juice Fast

Some stuff I noticed after the Juice Fast:

You know what? The zit has a black dot and I have no idea when it's going away, but other people are commenting that overall, my skin is looking healthy. I am super encouraged!

My clogged nose got unclogged. :)

I started eating solids. Here's what I ate:

The past three days, I was at a seminar. Since I didn't have a place to keep fruit, I decided to bring steamed rice and veggies been using a food steamer lately. It is really super easy to use. I slice the veggies, pop them in and set the timer. On Day 1, I had a bunch of bananas, a jar of green smoothie, my green juice, and my brown rice and 3 Lock-and-Lock containers of steamed veggies (one day it was sweet potato, garlic, sigarilyas/winged beans, white radish). I haven't been exercising all throughout the seminar and room is airconditioned to below 18 C, so by the end of the day, I am feeling like I need to defrost!

On the last day of the seminar, I went out for some Japanese with NFFs . John Pogi (the waiter!) said my order had walnuts (The walnuts turned out to be candied :( And silly me - I went ahead and ate them), mangoes, lettuce, tomatoes, shrimp and dressing. I let the others have my shrimp and dressing, while I had some of their tuna and salmon sashimi. I hope the food intolerance (to shrimp and sugar) doesn't come back to haunt me tomorrow :( I am also curious if I'll have insomnia later.

Update: No, I didn't have insomnia, but I got a zit :(

*Not raw food related:

On the upside, I did enjoy our little chat over dinner. I do not believe in accidents and I know we all got together in that class for a reason :) One of the gals is someone I met through a coworker eons ago. I enjoyed catching up with her a lot. It was also neat getting to know the others. I have a feeling we are going to be meeting each other again  real soon. :)


Stuff Raw Foodists Like #14 Bumping into Another High-Raw Foodist at a Resto and Asking What They Ordered

Need I explain more? :)

I'm not strictly raw anymore OK? This is what I'm eating:

Update in 2017: Back into raw! Let's do this!!!

I was at a Mediterranean Place. Bumped into Arvy! Hi! :)


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #13 : Pasalubong :)

Pasalubong – n. gifts usually in the form of, but not limited to food, coming from someone’s travels, intended to celebrate someone’s homecoming/ thanksgiving for a safe journey. the root word salubong means to meet. 
J came back from her babymoon from the States and her pasalubong for everyone was chocolate, which immediately took its spot in our special nook in the office, right on top of our filing cabinets, where pasalubong snacks are available to anyone who feels like partaking.

But mine was extra special because these were just for me.
Look at these beauties! Handcrafted, raw, gluten free, vegan chocolate. Yum. Mee. :)

I felt special because I usually don’t get pasalubong when people travel. And I don’t expect people to bring me back pasalubong. I know it is a hassle for them to go out of their way to get something just for me ---raw/organic/sugar-free treats are often pricier than their cooked counterparts, and fruits that have not been processed are usually subject to so many duties. But I super appreciate it when someone makes the effort to get me a raw treat from abroad when they come back :)

I was going to save one bar for today, then another for tomorrow, but I just couldn’t help myself. (Marshmallow test fail!) They were sooo yummy, J! And the side effects say it all!

The treats couldn’t have come at a better time too --- I've been feeling pretty discouraged lately, and they were a really nice pick-me-up! Thanks J! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Welcome back :) !

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Do you have a pasalubong culture in your country? What kind of pasalubong is your favorite?

I know my aunts in California really like Ding Dong and butong pakwan (salted watermelon seeds) and my landlady in Federal Way really likes Yes! Magazine. I also used to bring her Chicken Joy too, back when Jollibee in Southcenter hadn’t opened yet. I tried bringing back macaroons from Bizu to my cousin in Phoenix but those don’t really travel well.

(Can you say smash to smithereens seven times?)


Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Juice Fast Journal

Before Day 1.

That morning, I drank about 1.5 liters of water. Then about 10-15 minutes later, I drank calamansi water. Then after an hour I drank a green smoothie. For lunch I ate steamed salmon and steamed toge (mongo bean sprouts), no oil, no salt, no pepper. Drank lots and lots of water in between. For merienda, I had a banana-strawberry-kangkong smoothie, no water. I think it was about 12 saba bananas, and maybe 2 kilos of strawberries, with the sepals on (that's what you call those green leafy-looking things on the berries right? Oops, I hope my botany teacher isn't reading this!) and the leaves of a whole bunch of kangkong. No water in the actual smoothie. Drank water thirty minutes later. For dinner, I planned to put two watermelons in a blender, but after the first watermelon I felt full!  (Maybe it's the fiber from the seeds? I don't throw the seeds out; I let the blender crush them. Don't do this if you are using a regular blender, k? I use a 2-horse power blender)  Anyway, I think I'll eat this other melon for breakfast when I begin breaking the fast. Before bedtime, I took some tea to cleanse the digestive system so that the nutrients from the juice for the upcoming week would be more easily absorbed. I put my blender and rice cooker away!
I slept at 10.

Day 1.

I woke up my usual time, around 6, but I didn't get up until 6:30 :) 

I didn't notice if I was feeling sluggish. 
 No cravings. Although I did make mental notes on where I wanted to eat and what food to order after the fast :)
I took the elevator going up to my floor for a change. (I think I won't take the stairs going up this week to conserve energy. Oops, I did it going to the gym/badminton court around noon.Nope I didn't exercise. I went up without my gear just to say hi to the folks and take this photo as a spectator. :) But it was just one flight in between. . I didn't feel deprived watching them play. I was thinking about something for Saturday. 

Woot! I received a barrage of prayer requests. Whoa. How do I pray for them all? 
All in all, I drank 6 bottles of juice spaced approximately 2.5 hours from each other, with lots of water in between. Some of the juice I'm drinking isn't organic. I have a feeling the apples are from China. But oh well. It has some nutritional value still. I thought about cashew nut milk someone gave me for free, but I was thinking there would be solids in it. And I want this to be a completely solid-free juice fast. I'm thinking of freezing it to make ice cream after the fast. I could use the vanilla bean I got in Silang, Cavite and the rest of the saba that's almost ripe. Maybe a few cacao nibs. Hmmm hmmm hmm. Oooh yum. Sige :) Anobayan??!!!! I am not supposed to be thinking of food.
Went to PW at 7pm, chatted a bit with folks, but I didn't feel like hanging out so I could get home early and sleep early. I wrote some reflections.Then went to bed.
I wasn't hungry on Day 1! Even though people were talking about food and how much they miss it. I also felt alert. Uh-mazing.

Day 2

I woke up earlier today. Around 4am :) I beat the alarm by 2 hours! I drank .650 l of water, then about an hour later, I drank calamansi water with a bit of probiotics made from honey.
Morning exercise: Sit-ups
A thought I had on my way to work: I think I need to gargle or brush after drinking so I don't stain my teeth with the juice, especially the beet-pineapple juice :)
I wrote only one thing on my agenda for the day. :) Which I finished only half of!
9:23. I am a little hungry. Time for more juice. I am supposed to sip the juice slowly, I think, to let it predigest in my mouth. But oh my. I was gulping down a lot of juice. Hungry hungry.
I'm a little sleepy.
I wanted to hang out after prayer watch, but after a 30-minute meeting I decided go. 
Slept at 9:30pm :) Yay!

Day 3

I beat the alarm, but only by a few minutes. I drank a cup of calamansi water. Then I drank another .650 liters of water with a bit of probitics. (Yesterday, the calamansi-honey probiotic concoction didn't taste too good, so I drank the calamansi and probiotics apart from each other)
I am not feeling as alert as I was on Days 1 and 2. I even sent a text to someone it wasn't meant for :P
I have a windburn on my upper lip. I think tomorrow I should use a straw. 
I'm going online later to check prayer watch live stream. Then sleeping right away.
I am trusting in God for supernatural strength on Saturday. :)
I'm also a little cold.
Checked in with an accountability partner who is also struggling. 
I tell myself to smile intentionally.
On the upside: I was at a meeting and someone told me I looked younger. :) Someone brought green juice to the meeting and offered me some. Another person said, if I drank that I'd start looking like an infant. :) :) :)
I wasn't sure I could make it to PW tonight. I even told someone I'd just catch it on livestream, but I was in Makati in 30 minutes! I was only 3 minutes late. Oh yez! Caught up with my former dgroup leader :) She's the reason I made it to the first ever Volunteers Party in 2011 :) Love it :)
Ugh! I have a zit near my nose. It hasn't erupted but I know it's about to. Oh please, please, don't let it come out on Saturday! 
I felt more alert in the evening. Weird.This time I wanted to hang out and 'visit' after PW. As in. But I left right away. Slept at 9:30.

*A sidenote: A coworker's dog started drinking green juice and the mange went away. Hmmm.... Vaughn??? Sydney???

Day 4

I beat the alarm again! This time I woke up at 5. Drank .5 l water. Did some crunches without weights. After 30 minutes I drank .650 liters water with 4 calamansi. Then I drank another 1.5 liters of water with liquid honey probiotics. Got to work at 7:35!  I took the escalator but I didn't climb. I just let it bring me to my floor. :) First time in 2012 and in a while :)
Windburn is gone. Zit looks unsure if it wants to come out or not though. Urgggh.
I noticed my lack of alertness yesterday in a draft I wrote in email. So funny when you are not 100% :)
This morning though, I feel more alert, and I thoroughly enjoyed Quiet Time. Looking forward to PW later :)

Day 5

I took a birthday leave from work. The problem with not juice fasting at work and doing errands (I went to LTO to renew my license and did some errands for tomorrow's outreach) is the absence of the water cooler. The physician at LTO said my blood pressure was pretty good. I think it went up a bit though when this lady cut me in the line. Urgh. Why do I let things like this get to me? I should be able to let it go. I look healthy in my new license picture. The zit is still there and it is red, though :(  I think I felt dehydrated by the end of the day, even though I was drinking only liquid. So I just drank lots of water in the evening.

Day 6

Outreach day! I'm not hungry. Just super excited. I drank juice and lots of water while waiting for others to arrive, but I don't think I drank enough water, at the outreach. Zit is still there, but it is smaller. 
Sooo tired, but feeling uber blessed. I missed PW tonight. I'll catch the youtube video tomorrow. Lots to share. Next time na lang. I slept at 10 but it felt like 11.

You can't see the zit in this pic. Yay. 

Day 7

I drank calamansi water. Then .650 l of water. I drank some juice for breakfast and some more water. For lunch, I ate out with family. Mixed reviews about the weight. My sister said I looked the same. My brother-in-law said he thinks I got thinner. I feel thinner, but no one else has said anything really. I ordered a Salad ala Judy Ann (no dressing), then for a main I had a large brown rice risotto (no oil and butter) and Salad ala Fr. JG Bernas SJ (no dressing, no cheese) And for dessert I had another brown rice risotto. Regular. Drank water in between. For a snack, I ate 6 whole pieces of saba. I drank two bottles of juice, .650 liters each, before dinner. I think I'll drink more juice a little later. Tomorrow, I'm back to drinking green smoothies for breakfast :) Yay!

Some observations : 

I noticed that I did get a lot of brainstorms this week, but they were big picture brainstorms. I wasn't very detail-oriented, and in fact, I sent a couple of emails/texts to the wrong people and in some emails, the wrong attachments. There's a reason why we are discouraged to not plan anything or make major decisions during a fast! I won't plan any events during the week when I do a juice-only fast next year. My bad for 2012. But lesson learned.

What say we do a juice fast one day a week every week in 2012? :)


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Juice-only Fasting : Can a Skinny Person Do It?

Can a skinny person go on a juice-only fast?

Most literature out there seems to say 'yes', although I ran across a few that say 'no', especially if one has anemia or eating disorders.

For the studies that say 'yes', it is counterintuitive and surprising to read that a thin person can actually gain weight after a fast!

I have several contacts in Raw Food in the Philippines (most were overweight and one who was skinny) who have gone through juice-only fasts and came out healthier in the end. Very interesting eh? :)

I am going to a do a juice-only fast for a week beginning tomorrow. I am 5'1 1/2, 104 lbs. Skinny :) I'll let you know how it goes :)

For exercise, I will stop going to the gym and badminton courts and just take walks and do simple stretches for my back.

I know at least three other people doing the same thing and we will check in with each other daily.

You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another. (Prov 27:17, The Message)

Here are a few before pics:

No running...

No badminton, no gym... (sniff, sniff)

No late night socializing...

Just energy conservation, devoted to things that are Most Important.

An update soon!

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