Episode 62: A Tale of Two Dinners (Part 2)

January 12, 6:00pm, Sunday. Some of my college blockmates agreed to meet up over dinner, partly to bond, and partly to welcome Jelou, a fellow classmate who arrived from Canada for a vacation. Well, they always spend time together, but I digress; tonight, we’re having a reunion.

The place agreed upon was Green Pastures, located at the fourth floor of the EDSA Shangri-La East Wing. Green Pastures is the restaurant of Cyma’s Chef Robby Goco. It opened just around August last year, and is now one of the most successful restaurants in Metro Manila.

Green Pastures was filled with customers when I arrived. Of course I was prudent enough to secure a reservation. It felt painful to see how many patrons are in the restaurant, but they have a perfectly good reason to enjoy the place.

The restaurant takes pride of its organic, locally sourced, all-natural, farm-to-table cuisine. To drive home that point, it features an open kitchen setup where you can see how the food is prepared. There’s also a farmhouse-themed vertical garden.  The menu also seems to change every season. This means everything is guaranteed to be farm-fresh.

After picking up Jelou at the ground floor, we met up with Nina, a former reporter, and her husband at Green Pastures. Amer, now a teacher in Baguio, caught up with us a bit later. In the end, there were only five of us having dinner; we were expecting more of our blockmates to come.

We had to wait for a while to get seated, and a bit longer before our food arrived. That’s because, as I see it, almost everything’s made fresh and from scratch. The prevailing joke was that maybe they had to harvest the vegetables and butcher a few animals on the spot. Nevertheless, the servers, busy as they are, were accommodating and patient with us, which made the long wait more bearable.

First on the table was the January Salad, a salad with fermented tea leaves, a variety of seeds and herbs, tomatoes, and river shrimps. It’s supposedly a cleansing dish that will help detoxify our stomachs.

Next was the All’Amatriciana, pasta made with house-made passato, pancetta, red onions, pecorino, and buccatini.

Then came Roast Organic Chicken, plain and simple roast chicken on a bed of asparagus.

We also had a side order of lightly fried potato fries with cheese and a creamy garlicky dip.

For drinks, Jelou ordered a glass of Iced Tea with Organic Honey. Mine was a variation – GP Style Iced Tea, blended with ginger, apples, pears, and honey. The waiter said the GP Style Iced Tea also has cleansing properties, so I’m supposed to feel uneasy in the stomach anytime soon (I got home just in time, if you know what I mean).

For dessert, we tried out the Milkeggshoney, organic white honeycomb topped with citrusy-sweet curd and Greek yogurt. It’s sweet, creamy, and crunchy, but then you have to have a bit of everything in a spoonful to get its full flavor.

Green Pastures has a lot of other healthy yet interesting dishes in the menu; such as the artisanal cheese, organic pork and beef and vegetarian burgers, other variations of their pasta, and duck-based dishes like the “Duck You!” (a set meal of duck fat fries, duck skin chicharon, and duck confit). Duck fat is kinda healthy and all, but for someone like me whose cholesterol level is on catastrophic levels, well… I’ll have to reconsider.

They also have organic coffee (some of which are from the Cordilleras, smoothies, and elixirs made from fresh fruits and vegetables.

It’s not surprising that Green Pastures is a popular restaurant. It provides a great breather from the usual heavy, filling restaurant fare. In a time when “healthy living” also means dining healthy and sensibly, organic foods are at the forefront most of the time. Fresh meat, seafood, and produce have been the best choice for those who would like to fill themselves up with taking in too much oil and preservatives.

Come to think of it though, healthy dining becomes a norm every January, or at least a few weeks after Christmas and New Year, when we’ve had enough of alcohol, meat, and other heavy holiday fare. This must be why organic food, like gym memberships, becomes a hot item around this time. Here’s hoping it’s not the case.

As for me, who fattened myself with the world-wide raid at Spiral, I’ll have to be on the lookout for places like Green Pastures. I gotta remind myself often to eat less and sensibly, and get something healthy to keep my body in fit shape.

After everyone took their leave and went home, I sent a quick message to Jelou, asking her how she’s doing. I was really glad to see her, after all.

Jelou said she’ll stay with her folks for a while, and then stay again in Manila for a few days before leaving for Canada again. I replied (non-verbatim), “We should call for out other blockmates and go out again. Even if it ends up with just the two of us going out, it will surely be fine.”

To this day, she never texted back. (Cue canned laughter, extend by five, cue clapping, cross-fade to Sting’s “Everybody Laughed But You”)


Episode 47: The Joys of Steaming, and then some

No thanks to my circumstances, I’m expected to watch what I eat. It’s actually a good thing that I can’t eat out often, which means I have to either buy cooked food or cook stuff myself. Even then I have to choose what to eat – less salt, less fat, little to no preservatives, and so on.
In my pursuit to stay healthy (or at least look like one), I started working on what I believe to be one of the simplest cooking methods of all: steaming.
Steaming is healthy for those looking to reduce their fat intake. Steaming cooks the food gently (which means it doesn’t get overcooked or burnt), and it retains nutrients. It’s easy to do, and it keeps food moist and fresh. I also notice that excess water and fat are drained from meat while steaming.
Steaming is cooking your food with steam, or that’s what I thought. It turns out to be a complex process: you have to keep the nutrients locked in, along with the flavor and juices. The steam you use matters. You have to choose your garnishes and flavorings well. Even where you cook it, whether over rice, broth, or water, makes a difference. The food itself – chicken, fish, or vegetables being the healthiest choices – plays a big factor too.
There are a lot of recipes for steamed food in books and the Internet, but some of them require cooking other stuff over a stove, which is fine, I guess. But I was aiming for a pure steaming recipe, which seemed to be hard to come by. Hence, I tried to make a mix-and-match of sorts on my own.
My first brush with steamed food was a variation of steamed chicken.  First, I made a marinade of 1 ½ cup of soy sauce, ground pepper, and ten pieces of calamansi. It’s actually the standard marinade I use on fried tilapia. I marinated a chicken breast on the mixture for about one hour, or so I intended, because it ended up sitting in the ref for six hours, which was just around dinner time.
I let the chicken dry and drip off the excess juice before cooking it over steamed rice. Steamed rice and chicken in one go!
The end result was strangely satisfying. The chicken was not as salty as I thought it would be. The meat was a bit dry and flaky but evenly cooked. It had a sweet-sour-salty aftertaste in it.
I used the same combination for steamed tilapia, which turned out better than the chicken.
On my second try with steamed chicken, I added chopped chili peppers and julienned ginger in the marinade. The chicken ended with a tangy taste with a hint of spiciness. Much better, I say. I did the same with tilapia, with similarly good results.
My third shot involved vegetables. I marinated a chicken breast, wrapped it in foil, added a bit of the marinade, and steamed it along with a few slices of broccoli, potatoes, and carrots. The chicken went well and even infused a bit of the vegetables’ taste. The vegetables, well… I guess I should have steamed them outside the foil.
My most recent mix involved ten slices of calamansi, an orange, julienned ginger, and chili peppers. I let a chicken breast sit on it in the ref for an hour (which ended up as six), and steamed it while wrapped in foil as usual. By the way, I eliminated the soy sauce from the marinade since I thought using soy sauce often is bad for me.
This by far is the best I’ve gone with steamed food. The chicken was juicy, soft and tender, with a hint of citrusy sweet-sour-spicy. I saved up some of the chicken’s juice and drenched my steamed rice with it. The whole meal screamed “steamed chicken goodness” all over.
Apart from cooking, whenever I have leftover takeout food, I steam it over rice to keep it warm and moist. I also steam eggs, tuna flakes, and even roasted food like lechon. Eccentric, isn’t it?
While I’m at it, I’d like to brew a few more variations of my marinade before switching to a new steaming style, like rubbing spices on the meat, steaming it in a broth (what kind of broth, I’m not even sure), or testing my marinades on pork and seafood. If I intend to stay healthy, I should start with what I eat. That’s why I took up steaming. I’m sure there are a lot more ways for me to learn in that aspect.

Aikyatchi: Happy Birthday, Ryback!

Today is the birthday of WWE Superstar, Ryan Reeves, AKA Ryback. He’s become one of my favorite WWE wrestlers so far. If you’re following this blog’s Facebook page, you’d notice the Twitter hash tag #FeedMeMore. That’s his chant.

This massive wrestler from Las Vegas stands 6’3″, and weighs in at 291 lbs. He started out as a contestant in the WWE reality series “$1,000,000 Tough Enough” in 2004. After working with several wrestling outfits, he joined WWE in 2008, first under the ring name Skip Sheffield, and then under his current name Ryback.

His Twitter profile describes him thus: “A mental machine and a psycho for success, Ryback has arrived to do things nobody has ever dreamed possible. His life, his rules, there is no stopping Ryback.”

Ryback is known nowadays for his insatiable appetite for destruction, mowing down everyone in his way. Everyone he faced so far had been brutally laid low by his attacks and body slams. But during his stint at Tough Enough (he lost but still got a developmental contract), it was revealed that he also has an insatiable appetite… for food.

So that must be where his “Feed me more” chant came from!

It’s not surprising given the kind of build Ryback has. I guess the best explanation for this is that he has a very fast metabolism, which is good for him since he works out really hard. (It helps that not only did Ryback actually train in professional wrestling and other sports, but he also studied fitness management.) And as far as I know, fast metabolism = faster burning of calories = weight loss = less fat = more muscle.

Anyway, as a tribute to this hungry (food-wise and fame-wise) wrestler, I made this music video featuring his theme music. Now that I think about it, this is probably the one thing people who work out shouldn’t do to boost their metabolism: all-you-can-eat buffets. (Okay, maybe once in a while, but still.)

I wish Ryback would come visit the Philippines. We’d love to see him in action, and he’d love to try out our local cuisine.

Happy birthday, Ryback!

Episode 38: Gout

It started with a sharp pain in the right foot. Then the pain spread to the ankle, toes, and heel. A few hours later, my foot became hot and swollen, and I couldn’t walk or move around. A few days after, my right knee and other foot started to swell too. 

It was unthinkable, but I had to admit it’s true. Yup, I got gout.
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by high uric acid levels. Gout occurs when the uric acid in the blood turns into crystals that deposit in joints, tendons, and nearby tissues. A person can have a higher chance of getting gout if one is overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish.
The most common symptom is swelling, redness, and tenderness of the joint at the toe, though the heels, knees, wrists, or fingers can be affected. Patients may also suffer joint pains, fever and fatigue. The pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks, but if left alone for too long, it may lead to chronic arthritis and kidney stone formation.
Doctors may prescribe a dose of pain relievers like ibuprofen, corticosteroids or other medicines. Expect the symptoms to gradually disappear with 24 hours. Losing weight and resting the affected joint is also recommended. Sometimes, a patient is given meds that reduce uric acid buildup, which had to be taken for the rest of their lives.
As I would eventually find out, food has a role in preventing gout attacks. Limit intake of beef, pork, poultry, fatty fish and seafood, and alcohol. Cut back on fat, and avoid foods that may trigger gout attacks such as white bread and organ meats. Eat low-fat dairy products, as well as foods with complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat grains, fruits, and vegetables. Also, drink lots of fluids, especially water.

So I rattled off all the stuff I can find out about gout while I was having attacks, but guess what I actually had to endure to get well?

I live alone, so I was basically bedridden for the first few days. Since I live at the 5th floor of a condominium, I had to climb and walk down stairs everyday. I travel by motorcycle, but I have to kickstart its engine since the electric ignition’s not working. I also have to walk around without cane, by the way.
The doctor prescribed a weekly dose of pain relievers for me to take, apart from my multivitamins and maintenance drugs. Keeping my swollen foot rested the least I can do. I manage to keep it elevated once in a while, though.
I have to drink three liters of water everyday (as prescribed by my doctor) to flush out the uric acid and other toxins in my body. Liquid cleansing diet FTW. I cut back on pork, beef, fried and oily foods, and switched to chicken and vegetables for several days. I also had to eat less rice, the most difficult part of the diet. It’s hard to maintain a gout prevention diet when every food place and restaurant you pass by only have stuff that could hurt you, but somehow I managed to survive.
Thankfully, after two weeks, the gout attacks lessened and I was able to walk properly again.
Having gout was a scary experience for me as a foodie. I’m now supposed to be careful with everything I eat and drink. I have to watch my cholesterol levels, drink a lot of liquids, and cut down on meat and seafood. I can’t eat fried foods or rice whenever I please. This much I have to worry about on top of my old health problems.
In short, if there’s a time for me to take better care of my health, it’s now. I definitely don’t want to get sick again.
(Thanks to WebMD.com for the information about gout)

Episode 34: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

What is real food, and what does it take for one to enjoy it?

Nowadays we’re so used to eating processed food. We indulge in fastfood, junk food, and pre-packed, heavily preserved meals. It turns out that this way of eating becomes part of a lifestyle that would eventually kill us.

Unhealthy eating leads to a variety of lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity, heart problems, diabetes, osteoarthritis and cancer. At least 2.8 million adults around the world die each year as a result of being overweight. About forty-two million children under five are already obese.

To solve this, English chef Jamie Oliver started a campaign back in 2010 to encourage everyone to eat nutritious food, learn healthy eating habits among families, and choosing real, fresh food. This is what he called a “Food Revolution.”

Again, what is real food, and what does it take for one to enjoy it? Apparently, it’s easy to enjoy real food if you know where and how to start.

All those veggies… @_@

This was the focus of the launching of “Food Revolution Day” held on May 19 at the Center for Culinary Arts. Food lovers, chefs, schools and restaurant owners gathered to answer Oliver’s challenge to educate, empower, and inspire people to “stand up for real food”.

Joan Manalang, ambassador of Food Revolution Philippines,
talks about Jamie Oliver’s campaign for real, healthy food.

The Philippines is in dire need of knowledge about healthy food. Filipinos a long time ago were slim, lean, and much healthier-looking. This changed due to the fastfood culture we learned from American and other Western influences.

Oliver urges everyone to go “back to basics,” which means knowing what we eat, what’s in it, and where it comes from. For him, food prepared in factories with heavy doses of preservatives is not the way to go.
Being an agricultural country, this was not meant to happen in the Philippines.

Chef Tinette Miciano of Twenty One Plates
demonstrates how to cook vegetable and tofu spring rolls without oil.

Cooking meals at home is the soundest advice for those who want to make sure what they eat is affordable, healthy, and free from unwanted ingredients. It’s also a great opportunity to try out ways to make food delicious without sacrificing health benefits and vice versa. Not to mention that packed lunches are actually much cooler than fastfood.

Home-made yoghurt

Cooking healthy dishes involves monitoring the food we cook, and what we put in. There are lots of ingredients that can be foregone or added in small quantities to maintain the balance between benefits and taste. Examples are substituting tofu or fish for meat, adding extenders to rice, or cooking with little to no oil. Eating healthy, after all, is choosing what to add or not to add in your food.

Food blogger Marie Pascual talks about encouraging children to eat healthy.

Children should also be involved in shifting to real food. Parents should establish good food habits, whether at the market or at home. Kids should see that adults at home eat vegetables and other healthy food. They can also help out in the kitchen so they can understand what they are eating. Vegetables may be disguised in dishes until they’re ready to look at them face to face and eat them.

Nutritionist Nadine Tengco talks about ways to enjoy rice
as part of a healthy diet.

Oliver’s Food Revolution not only tackles healthy food, but also food security. Fresh sources of food are running low due to global warming. Fresh ones become too expensive, while the rest are probably filled with pesticides and other chemicals.

Schools and offices are encouraged to patronize locally sourced, fresh food for a change. Salads, juices, and fat-free dishes may be served in canteens. Campuses and companies may also build farms or gardens where they can grow their own food sources.

Center for Culinary Arts president Anna Guerrero
discusses the effects of global warming in the world’s food supply
Dinner plates like these can be prepared with homegrown vegetables and animals.
Squid ink bread. Yummy.

The Philippines joined more than 60 countries all over the world in celebrating “Food Revolution Day”. However, this campaign is meant not just to be a one-day learning event. Hopefully, this would pave the way to a continuous, conscious effort from all sectors to build a food program based on healthy, natural choices.

On a personal note, being health-conscious means having to stay away from fatty, heavily processed foods that may worsen my condition, being hypertensive and all. I’m glad to know it’s still possible to eat heartily and stay healthy at the same time.

To sum it up, being a healthy foodie depends on what and how much I eat, what’s in my food, and what I add in it. With this in mind and lots more that I can learn about food in the future, I hope to make Oliver’s Food Revolution my own revolution as well.

Episode 31: Feeding the body and soul at Oh My Gulay!

If there was one restaurant in Baguio that I regret not being able to appreciate early, it’s Oh My Gulay! (OMG!). Sure, I pass by it from time to time to have coffee, but I’ve never dined there. That was because my idea of a pastime other than having coffee was a heavy meal over beer and cigarettes. Hey, I was young.

Oh My Gulay! (OMG!) is a vegetarian restaurant at the fifth floor of the La Azotea Building along Upper Session Road. The place is owned by Baguio artist Kidlat Tahimik, and has been a favorite spot for artists, writers, and coffee lovers looking for a quiet place to hang out.

OMG! commands a great view of the city from the back of La Azotea. The restaurant also shares the floor with an exhibit area and arts center. Upon entering the area, one can marvel at the garden-like ambience, the tropical greenery, the wooden bridges and the pond, the wooden hut, the stage with its sculptures, and the curiosities that occupy every nook and cranny. Come to think of it, Baguio’s art scene is active, which is why such places flourish here.
In our recent visit to Baguio, MC and I decided to eat something light for brunch. The most sensible choice at the moment was Oh My Gulay! (OMG!). We were going to eat light, after all… or so we thought.
First on the table was the Chow-Chow Noodles, egg noodles served with vegetables sautéed with garlic and flavored with spicy soy sauce and hoisin.
Along with it was a plate of Anak ng Putanesca, pasta topped with sautéed garlic, capers and olives, and enriched with pomodoro cheese and spices.
On the side was Talong Parmigiana, deep-fried eggplant set on a crisp baguette and topped with basil oil and special sauce.
Not far behind was the OMG Sandwich, the vegetarian version of the club sandwich with tomates, crisp cucumber, and egg, and served with a green salad.
We finally had crepes for dessert.  There were two varieties that we tried – the Super Sosy (peaches and cream) and Mansanas (caramelized apples), both light with a blend of sweet and fruity. It was only then that we began to feel stuffed.
OMG! does justice to Baguio’s reputation as a source of fresh vegetables and fruits. One can be sure the food is hot, freshly-cooked, and made from the freshest ingredients. The best part is that it offers vegetarian cuisine – exactly what health-conscious people need.
It’s nice that the whole area houses paintings and other artworks by other local artists. One can walk around and appreciate the artworks, or sit quietly and let the words flow from your head to your notepad or laptop.
Now here’s a thought: Going vegetarian is a difficult feat. Seriously, eating vegetables is great. It cleanses the body, aids in weight loss, keeps us healthy, etc. It’s the stuff we hear from our parents when we’re coaxed into eating vegetables.
The problem is that we’re too used to eating meat. Most of us consume a lot of pork, beef, and/or chicken all our lives, and nothing else. Thus, we fail to realize the importance of eating a balanced meal, and we pay for that when we grow older. I did.
Vegetarian cuisine isn’t as difficult to digest as we thought. Of course we do have vege-meat, tofu, and all those alternatives to meat, but apparently, nothing beats eating vegetables. It’s good that there are restaurants that serve vegetarian and other healthy cuisines.
It also helps to know that being healthy is a state of mind. Where you dine and what your senses ingest can influence what you eat. A person surrounded with beautiful things and sounds is assured to have a relaxed, stress-free mind fed with inspiration instead of junk.
And that’s what OMG! is all about – nourishing the body with good, healthy food, and feeding the mind and soul. Bonus points for enjoying all these in Baguio, a city that’s nostalgic and romantic and inspiring… Okay, I‘m trailing off.

Episode 14: On being a healthy foodie, and then some!

Being a foodie doesn’t mean enjoying food and drink with reckless abandon. A food lover must still look after his health, especially in this age when hypertension, diabetes, cirrhosis, and other lifestyle ailments are partly the result of bad eating habits.

The worst lot of all (and everyone’s worst nightmare) is that dreaded feeling of growing fat – the growing bulge on the stomach, the sluggish feeling, the tendency to crave for more food, not to mention the frustration you get when your flab pops out of your clothes and your pants no longer fit. All together now: “IT’S TOO, IT’S TOO TIIIIIGHT!”

These (including the tightening pants) are the reasons I started working out at the gym last February. I thought I just had to lose all the pounds I gained through the years, especially from the eating raids I’ve gone to.

Every night (at least four to five times a week), I go to a 24-hour gym in Malate for my workout. Yes, Malate, the same place where Matsuri Bayashi and most of my previous hang-out spots are. It doesn’t help that near the gym is a mini-eatery and a ramen house that slashes 50% off its prices once every month.

My first workout routine consisted of 35 minutes on the treadmill, 20 sit-ups at the sit-up machine, and 20 minutes on the strider machine. I also lifted two 5kg dumbbells occasionally for good measure. I spend at least two hours doing my exercises.

I stopped working out last June when my cardiac arrhythmia manifested. After some time, my doctor told me to stop taking my medicines, relieve stress, and then he allowed me to get some exercise. I can’t do a lot of vigorous exercises, though.

Recently, I changed my whole routine by doing weight exercises. My new routine goes as follows: Do 40 situps. Lift two 10lb dumbbells overhead 25 times, then to the front x25, then to the sides x25. Do 25 squats with a 20lb barbell. Run (or use the strider) for 5 minutes. Do 60 leg extensions with 20lb weights. Repeat all over 2-3 times. Ouch.

Resistance training makes my muscles feel heavy and painful from time to time, but since I feel less flab and more solid mass in me, I know I’m doing it right. Also, lifting weights also helps increase my strength and cardiovascular endurance, as long as I don’t overdo it.

Now there’s one thing I have to admit: I still tend to eat as heavily. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not driving myself into a yo-yo diet, or that I stuff myself and then try to lose everything by working out (the food tour at Bonifacio Global City doesn’t count). It’s just as I said: I still eat a lot… though there were some changes in my diet.

I stopped eating pork (though I still end up doing so especially when I’m with my siblings), and shifted to beef and chicken. I’m recently into fish and seafood as well, especially salmon (except that I only get to eat salmon sushi) and tuna (especially Century Tuna).

I heard from the bodybuilders at the gym that eating protein-rich food helps shed unwanted pounds. That’s apparently because protein helps burn more calories while developing lean muscle (it seems fat gets burned faster than protein). Protein also makes the belly feel fuller and more satisfied, thus curbing your appetite.

I’ve also started drinking more water and juices, especially Fit-‘n-Rite (an L-carnatine-laced juice drink) and Gatorade. Lately, though, I just drink lots of water. Now it turns out that drinking lots of liquids, especially water, actually increases metabolism, which helps in burning calories, thus speeding weight loss. That liter of water I guzzle down every morning probably helps.

Thankfully, I’m able to drastically cut down my smoking and curb my alcohol intake. However, instead of beer (sorry, Lalaine), I now drink sake. Yup, Japanese sake. That’s because Japanese sake is stronger, tastier, and now doctors are saying that sake has lots of good cholesterol and amino acids that are good for the heart and liver. (Moderation is the key, as always, when it comes to drinking stuff such as these.)

The only thing I’m unable to stop stuffing myself with is rice. I love rice. Rice is life, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says; unfortunately it has so many carbohydrates that eventually get stored into fat. Yikes.

Some recommend brown rice for meals instead of white rice. That’s because brown rice has more fiber content, which helps flush down toxins in the digestive system. Pasta and bread are also believed to be healthier alternative carb sources. Thing is, no matter what I do, I still prefer white rice. Double yikes.

When I first weighed myself last February, I was obese and in bad shape. I weighed about 220lbs, plus the visibly ugly bulges here and there. It didn’t help that I was also a nervous wreck, but that’s another story.

Last night, I tipped the scales at 194.7lbs. Not really much of an improvement from 220lbs, but at least my belly flab is smaller and looser, my appetite is better and I crave less junk food and drink. I now sleep well, and I get relaxed more easily. The best part? My palpitations and chest pains have become less frequent (although they’re still painful when they do hit me).

I’ll still continue working out as much as I can, not only to keep my weight in check, but also to build up my muscles and keep my heart as healthy as possible. Maybe some time, I’ll try training in martial arts or practice yoga, or maybe at least I’ll do harder workouts just to make myself stronger.

Being healthy is fun. Even if you eat what you want, you still find ways to indulge in nutritious food and healthy dining. A proper diet, rest, exercise, and a lot of positive thinking and motivation paves the way to becoming a strong, healthy, happy foodie.

Just a thought: if there’s one other thing I’m having a hard time letting go of, it’s cake. Especially dark chocolate cake. They pack a lot of calories, they’re sweet, and they’re addictive. Thankfully for me, all I can eat nowadays is dark chocolate cake. Dark chocolate is good for the heart. A bit of chocolate every now and then, just like love, is good. Most of all, eating cake even just once a week is a good way to reward oneself for being a hardworking health nut.