Second Anniversary!

 

June 16, 2017 was our second anniversary as a couple. We originally planned something different (petting zoo and farm visit), but since this semester of law school has begun unexpectedly early, I’ve been pressed for time.

That’s okay, though. We still did something animal themed – we visited a cat cafe in Maginhawa Street!

Here are some pictures of Cat Cafe Manila, the very cute and quirky place we visited. Most of the cats are rescued, but they all look very happy and well fed! I’m not the biggest fan of felines, but my boyfriend used to own lots of them. And, I must say that I’m coming around to liking them as well! 🙂

Processed with VSCO with  preset

Bonus: cow-themed cafe! 😀

It’s no secret that my boyfriend is enamored with cows. To be honest, I always buy him cow stuff whenever I spot them because they’re kind of rare compared to the usual cat, dog, bunny, etc. objects. One of my presents for him for our anniversary was a cow-themed mouse pad with a bouncy nose!

We ordered chocolate and cookie butter milkshakes topped with whipped cream. The staff allowed us to place our own toppings, so I went wild with gummy bears, cotton candy and konpeito. They were delicious, but we couldn’t finish them because we were already full. We actually planned to go to a unicorn-themed cafe, but when we arrived there we found out that it was more of a My Little Pony store.

Good thing we saw this cafe across the road! We were the only customers at that time, so it was very relaxing. Even the seats had a Holstein pattern! It was very quiet and comfy, and I recommend going there for some me-time.

All in all, it was a fun day. Even though we didn’t get to do what we originally planned, what’s important is that we still spent the day together. Here’s to more years together in the future! ❤

Cat Cafe Manila
2F 189 Maginhawa Street
cor. Makadios Street, Sikatuna Village
Quezon City

A Taste of Heaven Milkshake Hub
71 Maginhawa Street, UP Village
Diliman, Quezon City

 

My New Pre-diabetic Control Diet

Hey, guys! How are you doing?

I’ve been struggling with pre-diabetes for the last few months. Thankfully, because of my awesome doctor, I’ve found a way to control it without taking any medication! And it’s all based on the food I eat.

2015 was a pretty hard year for me. I was on steroids for an illness, which caused me to retain water and gain extra weight. I wasn’t overweight by any means, but I looked chubby nonetheless. I think that my body type is most comfortable at 95-105 lbs, and I was easily 120 lbs at that time.

To add to that, I found out that I was pre-diabetic. I guess my old diet of eating ice cream for breakfast wouldn’t fly anymore. 😛

I was pretty pissed off. I vowed that once I was off the steroids and I got my old body back, I would start eating healthily!

I officially stopped taking steroids on November 2016. In a month, I lost 20 lbs. And the day I hit 98lbs was the day my doctor advised me to try a low-carbohydrate diet.

Diabetics might be familiar with this diet, but for the uninitiated, let me explain briefly. The point is to eat only 50 grams (or lower) of carbs in one day. This means no bread, no potatoes, no sugar, no pasta or noodles. Most fruits are out. The diet mainly revolves around meat, fish, fat, eggs, veggies, avocados, and berries.

EASIEST. DIET. EVER.

Low-carb diets are great for blood sugar control, as I’m sure you’ve all heard. I’m not going to write all the specifics here since they’re easy to Google, and I’ll link some references below in case you’re interested. But within a month, my blood work drastically improved. I have so much energy, I’m clear-headed, I sleep well, and I have zero cravings for carbohydrates. 😀

Before you start whining that you can’t live without whatever food you’re addicted to, STOP! You can eat whatever you want, as long as it falls within your allotted number of daily carbs. Plus, there’s always sugar-free ice cream, dark chocolate and sugar-free soda!

Here’s a little photo blog of what I usually eat!

IMG_20161225_200416_810

IMG_20161124_151308

IMG_20170108_130959_998

IMG_20170108_164728_918

IMG_20170208_070901_260

IMG_20170211_093349_076

IMG_20170214_155701_907

IMG_20170305_150058_764

IMG_20170204_182826_160

IMG_20170219_183413_579

IMG_20170316_090751_886

I’m definitely not preaching that this is the only way to control your blood sugar levels, but if you don’t want any medication, you can give it a shot. But remember, ask your doctor first!

Low-carb diets are also reportedly good for weight loss. For that, you’ll have to eat lower than 20 grams of carbs per day to induce ketosis (which is different from ketoacidosis). My boyfriend is trying that right now, so I’ll report back after a month to see if it’s effective!

Here are some useful links:

Reddit

r/keto for xx

Diabetes Daily

Guide to Low Carb

Diabetes Doctor

DiaTribe

There you go. 🙂

I just wanted to share my new diet with you guys because I was so happy with how it was working. Sooner or later, as long as I stick to this way of eating, I’m pretty confident that I’ll get out of the pre-diabetic risk I’m currently in.

Fingers crossed!

IMG_20170317_075522_811
Peace out LMAO

Help Me…

I just contracted a severe food-borne illness from eating a ton of raw beef. Which was supposed to be for Korean barbecue. For 6 people. Yes, I’m a glutton. But hey,  I’m underweight, I need all the food I can get.

Plus, raw meat tastes so good. Why doesn’t cooked meat taste as nice?

Anyway, I’ve been throwing up violently for several hours now and my insides are cramped like hell. I feel nauseous and dizzy and for some reason, I remembered my poor old blog and how much I’ve been neglecting it. So here I am, dropping off a post.

I really need to start blogging again.

*covers mouth*

Gotta run. I will never eat raw beef again!

Becoming Minimalist Day 2: What Exactly Am I Getting Myself Into?

Hello, everyone! I knew I said I’d be back after a few days, but life happened and I was unable to make good of my promise. And I think I probably should stop making concrete assumptions as to when I’d be back again, because well, as you can see it’s out of my control.

Anyway, how has everybody been? I’ve been having a pretty good week so far. I had muay Thai sessions with my cousin Thea, cuddle time with my boyfriend, and I’ve been catching up on anime and TV series. Naruto Shippuuden’s new episodes are so good, especially Shikamaru’s parts! As for the TV series, I’ve been watching Lucifer, Pure Genius, Supernatural, Criminal Minds, and Criminal Minds : Beyond Borders.

Speaking of muay Thai, i was so exhausted afterwards that I promptly became sick. Gah. I should either up my resistance by exercising more, or tone back on the physical activity…I think I’ll just exercise more! It’s fun, and I get to work out all my rage issues in a non-harmful way.

Last time, I told you guys I’d tell you all about the basics of minimalism. I’m about to get into it now, so get yourself a snack or something to drink, settle back, and read on.

Have fun!

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism covers a lot of ground. It can be design/architecture, an art style, or a literary technique. It can also be a lifestyle. According to the website Becoming MinimalistMinimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.

A quote from Vironika Tugaleva says, “Our culture has bred consumers and addicts. We eat too much, buy too much, and want too much. We set ourselves on the fruitless mission of filling the gaping hole within us with material things. Blindly, we consume more and more, believing we are hungry for more food, status or money, yet really we are hungry for connection.”

Take a second to think. Do you really need EVERYTHING you own? Do you love each and every item you possess, or are they draining your focus, your resources, your energy? Do you even remember all of them? Yeah. You don’t.

Why Did I Choose Minimalism?

There are few things that I’m passionate about, but if I were forced to name them, they’re the following: environmentalism, anti-materialism, and conscious consumption.

The opposite of minimalism is excess, which is hard to escape from today. Our whole lives are controlled by materialism. Over-consumption is hurting not only the environment, but also ourselves. Although it’s true that being a minimalist doesn’t mean consuming nothing, it’s also true that you will HAVE to be more mindful of your consumption. You can’t own as much stuff as you used to, so you’ll be forced to evaluate each purchase and each item you choose to keep.

screenshot_2017-02-08-06-53-25-98
Even my Instagram is taking on a minimalist theme! 🙂

A relative of mine criticized me when I explained the above. She said that anti-consumption and being frugal was bad for the economy. I countered by saying that the economy will be fine, it’s flexible and will be able to adjust. As long as enough consumers start buying things that have less of an environmental impact, the supply will slowly transition to producing less of cheap, single-use, easily destroyed items.

After all, isn’t is far better to support your local economy? For example, it’s better to buy in-season fresh produce locally from a farmer’s market, instead of a bag of frozen veggies from the supermarket. I find that today’s modern business and economic systems are largely based on greed. Large-scale manufacturers have no regard whatsoever for the environment or ethical costs, so why should you support them?

That’s not the only reason why I find minimalism such a good idea. As I’ve mentioned above, I love nature and the environment, and I try to live an environment-friendly lifestyle. This includes trying to minimize waste and being aware of the products I choose to buy. Plus, not buying things all the time helps the environment by reducing the demand, and therefore reducing waste and resources!

Committing myself to minimalism means that I choose to live simply, with only a few possessions. Living with only the bare minimum really throws all your stuff in a new perspective. You’ll be forced to reuse and recycle, to buy nicer things that will last longer compared to cheap and flimsy items, and keeping only the things that you love. Look at it this way – would you rather be surrounded by a lot of crap you don’t care about, or a few things that you absolutely love?

Being intentional with your purchases reduces your personal impact on the environment more than you know.

Philosophically, minimalism implies that intangible things are more important than material objects. Personally, I have found that I enjoyed my life more when I spent money on travel, experiences and people I love than mindless shopping. Also, less shopping means less possessions. That will reduce the time you need for maintenance and upkeep, resulting in more time to pursue your interests. Less possession = less distractions. Win!

Minimalism is not a be-all, end-all to magically alleviate the stress from your life. That being said, it IS very helpful, especially if you’re a stressed-out person who has to make lots of choices on a daily basis. When done properly, it can weed out a significant amount of stressors in your life, such as what to wear, what to eat, how clean your house is, etc. And as you settle into a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll find that you will have to worry about insignificant things less, and focus more on what’s important to you.

And that, my friends, is a pretty sweet deal.

BONUS: Some resources to get you started!

Becoming Minimalist

Reddit

BRB, Currently Dying from Influenza (just kidding)

*written Friday, 1-20-2017*

Hey guys! I’m back…after a couple of unexpected trips for work and an even more unexpected illness. I had influenza AND a sinus infection and I was literally withering away for the past week. Now I feel a bit better, which means I don’t feel like dying – or murdering people – anymore.

*coughs dramatically*

Anyway, I’m a person who CAN’T stay still at home. As soon as I realized that I don’t feel dizzy anymore every time I stood up and I don’t puke my guts out every couple hours or so, I headed out. And here I am!

“Here” means a café pretty near home. Still, it’s the outside! With people! Where I can hear other things aside from the echoing of my own coughing, which was depressing as fuck. I’m developing a slight headache, meaning I have to head home pretty soon, but for now I will stay here and draft this post. It probably won’t get posted until next week, but whatever. At least I got a head start!

I know I have another post scheduled, but I’m feeling chatty right now so this will have to do. Deal with it! It’s not every day I voluntarily talk to people, after all. 😛

I’ve had a not-very-anti-consumerist morning, which is now starting to make me feel bad about myself. First of all, to celebrate my taste buds returning to active duty and the cease of my appetite from its self-imposed hiatus, I went to McDonalds. Ordered chicken, fries, apple pie, Coke Zero. Not very pre-diabetic friendly, but I wanted to eat!

Yeah, well, I managed to finish exactly ¼ of my food. I tried to force myself to eat, but it was either force-feed myself or puke, so I just left. Food wasted. Damn it, Jen!

On the other hand, at least I didn’t indulge too much in carbs because if I did, my doctor will have a field day giving me his predictions of my impending diabetes-filled doom.

I then went to the mall. I ended up with a microwaveable lunch container, a mesh laundry bag, a black wallet, a bottle of black hair dye, a spill-proof glass bottle, and a tablet sleeve with a keyboard.

Before you start laughing at me and accusing me of not staying true to my anti-consumption principles, let me defend myself:

The lunch box and water bottle will allow me to bring lunch to work. I won’t have to buy from fast food places every day anymore! The water bottle will kick my ‘going out for bubble tea’ habit. I can just bring my own drinks to work.

The laundry bag is self-explanatory, so I won’t even mention that. The wallet is a plain and minimalist one, and I intend to keep it simple and clean and not crammed with cards and receipts like my previous one. The black hair dye is because I want black hair again but I’m too lazy to return to my regular hair place (hi, David’s Salon in Walter Mart).

The keyboard and sleeve is for the purpose of minimizing my gadgets! I posted this photo on IG last week explaining my intentions of digital and electronic minimalism. I travel a lot, so instead of bringing multiple gadgets with me, I’ll be smart and bring only my tablet! That way, I can get my work stuff done AND play games.

untitled

I recommend getting a dual-boot tablet for this purpose, so you can use either Window or Android operating systems to suit your needs. Instead of bringing a tablet and laptop with its battery packs and cords, etc., when I travel I can now pack lighter and just bring my tablet.

So what is the point of this post, you might ask?

I think my minimalism journey is more about my penchant for efficiency. The more I downsize, the more I discover that I don’t really need as much stuff to survive. I can either find something to suit multiple purposes or simply just do without. And the more I’m realizing this, the more consumerist baggage I shed, the happier I feel.

I’m still so new to this whole thing, but I’m sure that I’m getting it right, one step at a time. 🙂

Becoming Minimalist Day 1: Why I Chose Minimalism

Have you ever looked around your house or room or even your desk at work and thought, how the hell did I end up with so much stuff?

That was me, almost every day.

I honestly don’t know how this downward spiral began. I guess I’m not as horrible as I think I am, since as a kid I read books like Walden and the Gospel According to Larry series. That helped me from making mindless purchases, but that still didn’t stop me from stocking up on useless crap.

eliminate-the-unnecessary1

I used to walk into my room and hit my shins on bins of clothes that couldn’t fit into my closet (and I had THREE full-sized closets at home…not counting the clothes I have at my cousin’s house, where I stay when I’m working). I would trip on the extra pairs of shoes that I owned. I would take FOREVER to find something I was looking for, simply because my room was cluttered with so much stuff.

One day, I was late for work because I couldn’t find my ID. I was digging through my work bag and couldn’t find it, so I dug through another bag, and another, and another…

That was when I realized that I had a huge problem.

I had too much stuff!

I sat there on my bed (strewn with clothes and notebooks and God knows what) and did some hard thinking. I didn’t need all the crap that I owned, and all this extraneous items laying around were actually hindering me rather than helping me. Why did I even keep them around? I didn’t even like half of what I own!

That’s when I hit Reddit and started looking for resources on how to downgrade. That, in turn, led me to YouTube, then to books and sites that helped me learn about minimalism.

And today, here we are! I have downsized my belongings to almost half, and I’m not done yet! I’m only starting, but already I feel less stressed and so much lighter.

Related image

I feel so good now that I’ve let go of most of my material possessions that it’s inspired me to dig deeper and learn more about minimalism! And this blog series that I’m starting will help me document my progress. If you learn a thing or two while reading it, that’s great. And if you have any suggestions, feel free to drop them below!

Today is just a getting-to-know-post to explain how I got into the lifestyle. Tomorrow I will give an brief introduction about minimalism, explain more about it, and link some of the resources I found helpful when I was starting out. But for now, I have to go. Thanks for reading!

xoxo