Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Let’s go beyond fried food! Here’s a recipe for sinigang na salmon sa miso

Sinigang na salmon sa miso
Sinigang na salmon sa miso

I did have my stint at culinary school, but I feel in my heart that my passion for cooking is genetic. How else would I learn how to cook regular dishes without any supervision or a recipe book in front of me? I rely on both of my sense of taste and sight. My mom always tells me that her mom didn’t teach her neither, it just came naturally. But I do study to learn the basics (what to do and what not to do) and also to acquire further knowledge in cooking and baking. And one thing that I love about cooking is that you discover something new in the kitchen every time you cook.

Not everybody is meant to be the queen of the kitchen, but I know that for most of the people out there, they don’t really have a choice because they’re married or living on their own. Not all of us can afford help, go through a culinary course, or order take out foods every day. That’s why I feel bad when I hear my friends tell me that all they feed their children is fried food. Honestly, it took me a while to perfect the art of cooking fried chicken, but frying is the simplest form of cooking for most of the moms out there.

It will be good if once in a while you’ll feed your love ones something nutritious aside from fried chicken, fried eggs and hotdogs. They need nourishment and it’s about time that you man-up and start familiarizing yourself with different types of cooking.

You don’t need to be a Martha Stewart; Rachael Ray is fine (Rachael Ray did not graduate from any culinary school). Don’t be discouraged when you don’t succeed during your first try. It takes a while, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that the kitchen is not as frightening as it used to be. Here’s one recipe you could try:

Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso

Ingredients for sinigang na salmon sa miso
Ingredients for sinigang na salmon sa miso

Ingredients:
1 kilo of Salmon (whatever part is available in the market will do)
1 pack of Sinigang sa Miso mix
Sili
Onions, ginger
Talbos ng kamote (or, if you prefer, kangkong)
2 cups of water

Usually in sinigang, you just boil the meat and then add the vegetables and the sinigang mix. I find that it tastes better when you sauté it first with onions and tomatoes, but since I’m using fish and Miso mix, I’ll use ginger instead of tomatoes. Ginger is pampatangal ng lansa, so you don’t really need to put a lot. Depending in the part of fish that you’ll use make sure to mix it gently because you don’t want to end up with a mushy fish in your soup. Put at least two cups of water, and if you want it to be more soupy, then you can add more water. Just make sure to taste everything along the way. Then pour in the sinigang mix, plus the vegetables. Wait for it to boil, then it’s done.

Sinigang na isda usually doesn’t take long to cook. You just have to make sure that your vegetables are cooked, and you’re ready to serve your Sinigang. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here. I’ll try my best to answer all of your queries. Until next time!

 This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Lessons from LBM

February’s been a busy month for me. Maybe it’s because of all the activities that I did that my body gave up on me, literally. Age is slowly creeping up on me. In my early 20s, I can stay up without sleep for three days straight and still function normally. During my Manila Bulletin days, deadlines and overtimes are nothing to me. I don’t even take any supplement vitamins, and mind you, my lifestyle then was so different from what I practice now.

Toilet

I’ve been down for almost a week because of diarrhea. Yes! Some might still consider discussing diarrhea as taboo, but people do get sick from it a lot (it’s #4 on Philhealth’s Q1 2011 list!) so I’ll talk about my one-week experience of it.

Thank God for Gatorade and hydrates. I survived because of these two. At first I tried plain water to replenish my body with the fluids that I kept on flushing out. But on the second day, I literally had to drag my body out of bed to go to the bathroom. I felt too weak already. Plus the fact that my mouth and my esophagus seemed to be in agreement that no solid food will enter my body while going through this diarrhea phase.

The doctor gave me medicines to prevent me from vomiting, but the tummy ache I chose to let out all the toxins and just ate apples instead. The apples did help. It’s funny how when I’m feeling normal, I don’t like the taste of apples, but when I’m sick, I can eat it with much gusto.

Things that I’ve learned from this period of “momentary weakness”…

  1. You’re not too old to want your mommy to be by your side. It’s a comforting feeling. And, she’ll get you whatever it is that you want 😉
  2. Always have Gatorade, hydrate and or an alternative first-aid remedy in the house. You’ll never know when sickness will strike and sometimes, it takes forever to find simple things like saltine crackers in your not-so-dependable neighborhood tindahan.
  3. Make sure to seek the help of a professional. Don’t self-medicate, especially with children. It’s better to always be safe than sorry. No matter how trivial the sickness or symptom is, your friendly doctor will tell you what to do.
  4. I believe in mother’s instinct. But I also believe that ONLY YOU can know what’s wrong with you. I usually do “no.2” thrice times a day, but last week, I was going almost every hour. So I knew that something was wrong. It’s best to understand your body dynamics.

Many times, life’s lessons come from simple things 😀

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

A simple recipe for Ginisang Ampalaya (Bittermelon)

My family loves Ampalaya. It’s one of the few vegetables that my sister actually eats. Since she’s a very picky eater, we usually plan our meals around her favorite dishes. Here’s a simple recipe of Ginisang Ampalaya, especially useful now that it’s the Lenten season and some people would prefer eating non-meat dishes.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Ginisang Ampalaya2 small size Ampalaya
5 medium size ripe tomatoes
Garlic and onion
Some fresh shrimps (depends on the size that are available in the market)
Salt, pepper and vinegar to taste

Directions

I boil my Ampalaya for a few minutes just to lessen the taste of bitterness in them. I don’t overdo it because I still want the crispness of vegetable. I then sauté the onions, garlic and tomatoes. I wait till the onions turn translucent before adding in the shrimps. I have pre-cooked shrimps already, but fresh shrimps are always better. Then, add in the Ampalaya, and season it with salt and pepper. You may add water if the tomatoes are not juicy enough. Then before simmering it for a few minutes, I like to add a touch of vinegar in it. Not too much, just a tablespoon or so, to enhance the acidity of the tomatoes. Don’t mix it yet, cover it for a few minutes then it’s done.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Condoms: not safe sex

Got these from the Food and Drug Association of the US. Interesting facts that our very own Department of Health does not tell us:

DOH: Condoms are 100% safe and effective. (Heard the DOH Usec say this over at TV Patrol.)

FDA: The surest way to avoid these diseases is to not have sex altogether (abstinence). Another way is to limit sex to one partner who also limits his or her sex in the same way (monogamy). Condoms are not 100% safe, but if used properly, will reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Protecting yourself against the AIDS virus is of special concern becuase this disease is fatal and has no cure.

More from FDA:

What is the government doing about condom quality?

Manufacturers “spot check” their condoms using a “water-leak” test. FDA inspectors do a similar test on sample condoms they take from warehouses. The condoms are filled with water and checked for leaks. An average of 996 of 1000 condoms must pass this test.

Will a condom guarantee I won’t get a sexually transmitted disease?

No. There’s no absolute guarantee even when you use a condom. But most experts believe that the risk of getting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases can be greatly reduced if a condom is used properly.

In other words, sex with condoms isn’t totally “safe sex,” but it is “less risky” sex.

These are what DOH should really tell us. Not spend a freaking $8M to buy condoms from the US! $8M can create freaking jobs and get these sexually active peeps busy with earning money instead of having sex. Gosh how many malnourished kids could be fed with this!!! Not to prevent 100 HIV infected Filipinos from spreading the virus! Millions of other Filipinos can benefit from food and shelter. 😥

Remember, condoms only REDUCE probability of HIV. It doesn’t exactly protect you from it. Besides, if you have HIV, why they heck do you want to spread the virus? Duh?! And a chance of getting 1 of the 4 defective condoms?!?

And the Catholic Church must have done well for our country to only report HIV cases (what, 100~1,000 of them?) just in recent years, whereas the US reported 12 million cases EACH YEAR! Correlate that with condom use (FDA statistics). Ehem.

This is a repost from “Eat My Chalk Dust”. You can view the original post here.

This post was written by Trish Castro.

My fight against backaches: a more comfortable laptop workstation

I work long hours on my laptop, and by the time I log out, I usually have a good ol’ backache. That’s no mystery—laptops are really not ergonomic, and that’s the reason why they’re not supposed to be used for hours and hours straight. But I’m not some rich kid who can buy a separate PC just to have a more ergonomic set up. I knew I was ruining my posture, and while I didn’t have the money for the most obvious solution, I had to be resourceful and find an alternative.

The problem with a laptop is that there’s really no way to make it ergonomic on its own. Your arms must be L-shaped while typing, and your eyes must look forward into the screen. That’s impossible when the screen and the keyboard are attached to each other. To make things worse, I often use an office desk of the usual height, which means the keyboard is too high for my arms and the screen is too low for my eyes. I unconsciously end up frozen in a hunched position, which I’ve little doubt is too reminiscent of Quasimodo.

I thought of two ways of solving the problem: 1) setting the laptop at the right arm height and then pumping out the video on a separate monitor that’s at eye level, or 2) lifting up the laptop screen at screen at eye level, and then using a separate keyboard at arm height. Since I didn’t have the space for a new monitor, I scrapped the first option out. I’ve seen set ups that involved using a laptop lift/stand, so I thought that might work, but then I realized that my laptop doesn’t open up wide enough for these stands. My laptop’s screen would end up facing downwards.

laptop desk, keyboard, DJ laptop stand, and laptop
My home workstation: laptop desk, keyboard, DJ laptop stand, and laptop

Luckily, after months of searching, I found the solution: use a DJ laptop stand and a laptop table. The DJ laptop stand will lift my laptop high without demanding that it open as much as the usual stand would, and the laptop table will hold both the stand+laptop and an extra keyboard. Thank God for that DJ laptop stand. I’m no DJ so I don’t really know what they use these stands for, but I sure am glad that they’re there.

So here’s the full list of components:

Computer chair

Got it from Festival Mall for P1k+. There are better ones out there, but I’m on a budget.

Laptop desk

It was on sale at Handyman for P400, so I grabbed it immediately. But I think prices are ordinarily around P500. Be warned: a lot of laptop desks that are for sale are for your bed, especially the ones at CD-R King. They’re not what you want if you’re setting up a real workstation. Before you buy, make sure that the laptop desk is the right height for someone seated.

Keyboard

Mine is a very expensive Apple Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard. It retails for around P5k. I had my reasons for buying it, but most people would be fine with an ordinary USB keyboard. There are some that sell for P200 at CD-R King.

DJ laptop stand

The one I got doesn’t seem to be commercially available here in the Philippines. I bought it from this guy here, who shipped it in from abroad. (Edit 2016/10/05: That link no longer works, but I’ve also found the laptop stand at Lazada.) This model is very sturdy and heavy, and it works great for a semi-permanent set up. If you’re a mobile worker and you want to bring it around, you can get a Stanton Uber Stand, but that’s more than three times the price of mine.

Mouse

You don’t expect to use the trackpad much in this setup. I already had a wireless mouse which a friend gave me as a gift, so I was good to go. But if you don’t have a mouse yet, CDR-King sells a whole slew of USB optical mice for only P150.

A few more photos:

View from the top
View from the top
Box for the DJ laptop stand
Box for the DJ laptop stand
DJ laptop stand
DJ laptop stand