Archive | Health RSS feed for this section

Health: Bikram Yoga

25 Aug

I practiced Bikram yoga about 4-5 years ago and I know that the practice requires discipline and determination. I do not remember why I stopped going, maybe because I moved back to the city.

In the past three and a half weeks, I practiced Bikram yoga nine times. I am shooting to practice 3-4 times a week. I bought a $35 groupon at my local Bikram yoga studio to get me started. The groupon was good for 2 months of unlimited practice.


On my first day, I decided to go at 7:00 a.m. – what determination, ha? My first day was not bad at all. After my first day back, I was sore. I just want to go back to sleep. I stretched muscles I forgotten I have – I had to take a pain reliever to get through the day.


I decided to take 4 days of break and the second time I went at 8:00 p.m. Now, my second day was discouraging, I missed 4 or 5 of the 26 poses. It was at the end of the day and I was dizzy doing most of the poses. I took some pain reliever and decided to take another 4 days before I go at it again.


Nice sweaty muscles … but this is not me


On my third day, I felt better. Before the class started, our instructor told us to respect our body and make the most of the poses within our limits, without judgment, without guilt. She told us to enjoy the class and just be in the moment. That class turned out to be great!


I practiced 2 days back to back and that turned out to be great too.

I am more flexible now and I have been practicing 2 days in a row in the past week. I cannot believe the improvements that I had. After two classes, I thought I would have given up by now. Well … I bought a new hot yoga mat, additional hot yoga towels and new hot yoga outfits. I’m doing this for a very long time.

Sweet tooth craving – Cupcakes

28 Jul

As much I want to remove sugar in my diet, when I see beautifully made cupcakes, I throw all the desire to be sugar-free. It wouldn’t hurt if I have one or two cupcakes! Does it?

Casey's cupcakes! Yummy!

Casey’s cupcakes! Yummy!

Look at me, I’m ecstatic! Give me some cupcakes …..

Lunch possibilities: Yam leaves (Talbos ng Kamote) with fried Tilapia

25 Jun

I’m on a roll for Filipino inspired dishes that I used to eat when I was growing up in the Philippines. I noticed that these are easy to make dishes and not fussy at all. To make it even easier, I bought the fried Tilapia at a local Asian grocery store. We used to have talbos ng kamote in our backyard and I remember cooking it with my childhood best friend. When I visit relatives in L.A. this is the dish I always ask for. If you eat too much of these leaves, it may cause some uncomfortable tummy gas … Oops, please say excuse me to the person next to you ~ LOL

Steamed yam leaves with tomatoes and fried Tilapia

I picked the young yam leaves with stems and also picked the older green leaves without the stem.  I steamed it for about 3 minutes and I mixed in some tomatoes, fish sauce, vinegar and ground pepper. What a nice lunch! Instead of Tilapia, I also eat it with grilled Bangus (milk fish) or grilled pork loin.

Yam Yam1

Yam leaves are rich in vitamins A and C as well as riboflavin, fiber and iron. The leaves are also high in polyphenols, specifically anthocyanins and phenolic acids which are being studied for their ability to fight prostate cancer. To best preserve the nutritional content of yam leaves eat raw or just slightly sautéed or steamed. – See more at:

Lunch possibilities: Adobong Kangkong (Water spinach) with Quinoa

24 Jun

Ever since I started my Ayurvedic program, lunch is my heaviest meal of the day. My parents gave me some of the Adobong Kangkong dish they cooked and I very much enjoyed it with Quinoa instead of rice.

Cooked Adobong Kangkong with Quinoa

Cooked Adobong Kangkong with Quinoa

My parents taught me how to make Adobo ~ It is easy to make and has 3-6 main ingredients: Vinegar (Datu Puti brand), Soy Sauce, garlic, onions, pepper corns, bay leaf. Some people add sugar, ginger and siling labuyo (fresh chili pepper). Put all the ingredients together, when it starts to boil, add the Kangkong. Yes, that is it!

Before cooking, separate the stems from the leaves. cook the stems first and after 5 minutes put in the leaves

Before cooking, separate the stems from the leaves. Cook the stems first and after 5 minutes add in the leaves

Kangkong or water spinach leaves are very nutritious, being rich in vitamins and minerals. It is naturally rich in dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Parks: Angel Island

13 Jun

Thanks to a Groupon for the Angel Island tram tour, I got an idea to visit Angel Island ( again. I’ve been there many times before, but hiking new trails is exciting.

Fun ferry ride

Fun ferry ride

The ferry is $13.50 per person, for a roundtrip ticket from Tiburon. It also include the park’s adult entrance fee. They take cash or credit cards, and you pay as you board the ferry. I suggest that you arrive about 15 minutes before the scheduled departure you selected (

Always layer your clothes because the micro-climate here changes quickly. Be prepared for 3-4 hours of hiking, and know your limits. We hiked 60 minutes up hill and 2.5 hours down hill, with a 30 minute break at the Mt. Livermore summit.

Ayala cove

Ayala cove

Can you see Alcatraz and the city view behind the fog?

Can you see Alcatraz and the city view behind the fog?

Old military camps down below

Old military camps down below

Re-enactment of time back then

Re-enactment of time back then


Angel Island hiking trails

Angel Island hiking trails

The view from Mt. Livermore

The view from Mt. Livermore

Foggy view of Mt. Tamalpais

Foggy view of Mt. Tamalpais

After Angel Island, a quick walk around downtown  Tiburon is refreshing.

Shark fins - Tiburon

Shark fins – Tiburon

Now, I can see the shark fins

Now, I can see the shark fins

Time for some gelato

Time for some gelato

A nice afternoon in tiburon

A nice afternoon in Tiburon


Lunch possibilities: Turkey wrap

12 Jun

A variety of healthy lunch choices is in everyone’s meal planning list. So, I re-visited this healthy lunch option after a friend reminded me of it ~ specially for those carb conscious people.

Start by laying the turkey cold cuts in a plate. You can use other meats too!

Start by laying the turkey cold cuts in a plate. You can use other meats too!

Add your favorite spread. I added hummus.

Add your favorite spread. I added hummus.

Then, add some veggies.

Then, add some veggies.

Roll it up ...

Roll it up …

Hold it firmly with your fingers and ....

Hold it firmly with your fingers and ….

Be ready to bite and enjoy!

Be ready to bite and enjoy! YUMMY!!!

It can get messy … have a napkin handy.




Two months of hiatus (Part 2)

5 Jun

Continuing on to my two months of gap in my blog due to some personal events. [Two months of hiatus (Part 1) ] As I mentioned before, my family and I thank everyone who continues to support me, my blogs and my adventures.

Update on my health

In the past few months my menstrual bleeding was out of control, causing Anemia. I went to Kaiser ER twice in less than one moth because of my low blood count and lack of energy. My medical doctors were gave me medications that were temporary solutions to the symptoms. They continued to search for the root cause of excessive bleeding. Last April 2014, my OBGYN found, through MRI, an Adenomyosis in my uterine lining and hysterectomy is medically recommended. At this point, I was physically and mentally tired from taking care of my parents. I was not ready for this news. Hysteria sunk in …


The fighter in me on the other hand looked at alternative ways to naturally melt away the Adenomyosis. My Ayuvedic doctors – Panchakarma, who are a husband and wife team (Dr. Suhas and Dr. Manisha), recommended change in life style to a healthy living and some powerful herbs along with it. Ironically, Dr. Suhas was the teacher of my former Ayurvedic doctor. I am on my 3rd week and so far so good. They also recommended acupuncture. I am lucky enough to have found a reasonably priced acupuncturist in San Rafael, CA,  ~ Marinwood Community Acupuncture, where I can go after work hours. I also incorporated regular therapeutic massages at Dr. Young Again in Daly City, CA.  and chiropractic adjustments at Align Chiropractic Studio at Mill Valley, CA. Wish me luck, I have another two and half months to go and if there are no changes in the size of my grapefruit sized Adenomyosis, I must got through hysterectomy, in October 2014.

Margie's Ayurvedic Program. Each person is different, you should consult an Ayurvedic Doctor

Margie’s Ayurvedic Program. Each person is different, you should consult an Ayurvedic Doctor

Here’s a blog that got me thinking of an alternate way ~

Two months of hiatus (Part 1)

3 Jun

I had two months of gap in my blog due to some personal events. These personal events got me pre-occupied physically, mentally and emotionally. I thank everyone who continues to support me, my blogs and my adventures. My family and I thank everyone who prayed for my Mom.

Update on Mom

Mom is recuperating from her heart attack last March 2014. Her Cardiologist placed a stent in the lower artery ( Her recovery is slow and she has a long way to go. My family is adjusting to her physical capabilities. I am very thankful for the In-home Supportive Services (IHSS) of San Mateo ( The IHSS provided additional family caregiver support to assist both my parents in their daily physical needs.

Mom at the hospital in March 2014

Mom at the hospital in March 2014


Mom on Mother's Day 2014

Mom on Mother’s Day 2014

Update on my health will be in my next blog. Keep tuning in.

Gift Giving: Handmade Tea Bags

5 Dec

I always wanted to participate in the annual Marin County employee craft fair. In the past, I sold dish gardens (See my past post  Flowers and Me) . This year, I made handmade herbal tea bags. An Ayurvedic blend with ingredients such as Fennel, Marshmallow root, Licorice root, Peppermint, Star anise and Lemon grass. This would be great as a holiday gift. I make the Ayurvedic Blend for myself and drink it daily, as recommended by my Ayurvedic doctor.

On the weekend that I was making my handmade tea bags, the central part of the Philippines (Tacloban) was devastated by a very powerful typhoon – Haiyan/Yolanda. I made 36 gift packs. I donated 2 of the gift packs to the craft fair raffle and sold the rest. I made a donation to help the victims of the typhoon and asked others do so too.

Here are pictures of my handmade tea bags. While I was making these, I dedicated my energy to the victims of the typhoon. I felt like doing this venture was like shooting several birds with one stone; (1) Do something I love, (2) Giving back to typhoon victims, and (3) My product contributes to ones health. Such a win-win situation! Yay!


I added more flavors and blends, and sell on-line:  –  Ayurvedic blend, Jasmine green tea, Pomegranate green tea, Licorice mint, Peppermint, and Chamomile.

“The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow-men; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt.” — Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832)

If you would like to donate some money to the victims of Yolanda. I donate through this 501(c)3 non-profit organization annually and I gave some extra this year.

Brussels sprouts

15 Jul


I love experimenting healthy ways to prepare food. When I was a child, I did not care much for Brussels sprouts, maybe because the way it was prepared. Now, when they are in season, I love it when it is grilled or roasted. It is pretty easy to prepare, just some olive oil, salt and pepper. It combines well with red beets and a healthy side dish to a fish or meat dish.



%d bloggers like this: