Sonnet's Haven

Health and Art Blend in Macrobiotic Prints


The Best Doctor in the Philippines

How many times has your doctor told you to “Boost your immune system by taking vitamin C, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water, and sleeping early”? I bet you don’t remember.

My doctor, Dr. Tan Ci Shou, gives more specific instructions to his patients to help them regain a strong immune system. He does not simply tell you what most doctors would, as seen in the foregoing paragraph.

Dr. Tan goes to the root of your health problem and cuts it, making sure it never grows back.

On your first visit to his clinic, which you will find at the Fu Yong Mansion in Ongpin, Binondo, Dr. Tan will check your tongue and pulse without using multiple medical apparatus. He only uses a tiny flashlight to get a clear view of your tongue. Once he’s done, he already knows what’s wrong with you.

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Are You a Threat to Nature?

I opted for macrobiotic because I wanted to be healthier.  Little did I know that changing my diet has reduced the number of nature’s killers. This link from a selfless person that I follow on Twitter broke my heart.

I respect people who eat animals, but I hope they would only patronize meat products from merchants who treat their animal produce humanely.  Animals should not be tortured just for human consumption.

Why did Jesus Christ eat fish and bread during his life?  Why did he teach his disciples to fish instead of how to slaughter a pig or cow?  Because food is meant to nourish, not to cause pain to others.


Mama Lou’s tuna macaroni with black olives.

Macrobiotic experts believe that you don’t have to overstuff your stomach to be satisfied.  And I strongly believe in this because overstuffing is, after all, another term for gluttony.

I just wish everyone stays healthy without feeling absolute disregard for the welfare of other living things.

Enjoy your meal!

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Sweet Mango Smoothie…or Maybe Sour?

Happy 2013!

T-shirt printing and packing kept hubby and I busy three months before Christmas.  One week before 2013 shoved 2012 out of the way, we were able to finish the last batch of the orders.

So, in the morning of Jan. 1, 2013 we did nothing but laze around, as Sonnet decided to spend the day with her favorite cousin, Gav, and her grandparents, who are my parents.

Jon and I, on the other hand, just had a mango smoothie in lieu of the santol smoothie, which I initially had in mind. It was one of those rare mornings that we did not want to miss, so instead of going to the market to buy ourselves the santols that we have been craving for since the night before, we decided to settle for a green mango smoothie.


Our mangoes’ peel was green, so we were expecting a refreshing drink, albeit sour.  I was halfway through peeling the first mango when I noticed  its golden yellow flesh.  I told Jon I have a hunch that we’ll be having ripe mangoes.  When I was done peeling the first mango, which had no tinge of green, I proceeded with the two others.

When the three, big, warm yellow mangoes were finally lying bare on the chopping board in front of me, I asked Jon if a glass of sweet mango smoothie would be all right since we obviously don’t have green mangoes.  He said yes, so I tossed the slices of mangoes into the blender and watched them start a swirling motion.

After a few minutes, Jon and I sipped our sweet mango smoothie…and to our astonishment, it was sour!

Oh well, we agreed that 2013 is sure going to be a year of surprises:)


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Cancer Treatment in the Pantry

It was out of curiosity that I stopped by this small herbal store, whose products have reportedly cured so many people suffering life-threatening illnesses.  I got one leaflet from the storekeeper and headed home wondering if what I’m about to read isn’t something that I already know.

The truth is, I’ve heard a lot of stories about that herbal store from my father who is an aficionado of alternative medicine.  According to Papa, the owner of the store has challenged contemporary doctors to a showdown; their prescription drugs vs his herbal drinks, which have cured kidney diseases, cervical cancer, diabetes, leukemia, ulcer, heart diseases, insomnia, and tonsillitis among others.

Nobody took the challenge.

Just to feed my curiosity, I went over the leaflet to find out more about the store’s products.  To my surprise, practically all the ingredients that they use can be found in everybody’s kitchen or garden such as bitter gourd or ampalaya, black beans, broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber, ginger, radish, apples, mangoes, oregano, papaya, Philippine lemon or calamansi, pineapple, red beans, pandan, it’s a long list I’m running out of breath.

All of the aforementioned ingredients are used by the manufacturer in their rawest form to maintain the good bacteria, which is believed to be the only thing that our bodies need to keep all types of diseases at bay.

In addition, the manufacturer of the herbal drinks stressed that cleaning your body organs will restore its functionality and strengthen your immune system.

After reading the entire leaflet it occurred to me that so many people are spending tens if not hundreds of thousands for the treatment of recurring health disorders when the fact is, the cure is just in their pantry.

One has to simply choose carefully what to cook and eat in order to feel and look healthy.

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Smoothie Time

As a kid, I was a big fan of chocolate milkshake.  I remember how I would always look forward to going home after school so that I could get my tall glass of yummy shake.

As adulthood stepped in, my fondness for milkshake waned gradually as hot and cold coffee drinks began to rule my heart.  It was during my stint as a newspaper reporter that my addiction to coffee started.  I was fresh out of college then and I noticed that everybody in the office had coffee mugs on their desks which concealed heaps of instant 3-in-1 coffee mix in drawers.  Even if I wanted to have my dose of milkshake from a small tumbler, the feeling of embarrassment hampered me.

I thought drinking coffee would make me appear more mature, responsible and capable of handling the toughest field assignments.  So I started drinking coffee until I eventually let the culture swallow me.

For many years I have been a slave to coffee beverages but when I got into macrobiotic two months ago, I noticed that my addiction to this caffeinated drink just decreased.  Instead of getting my usual morning cup, I would opt for a fruit smoothie or combine a fruit with a vegetable.

Apple-carrot for the ones that I love.

Cucumber-celery smoothie

In the afternoon, I would usually spend my smoothie time with my daughter and husband.

They cannot get enough of the apple-carrot variant, papaya, and cucumber-celery smoothie.

My personal favorite is the cucumber-celery with a dash of ginger. Jon tasted it once and said it’s better than John Smith’s.  This remark made me love him even more:)

Fruit and vegetable smoothies apart from my other macrobiotic meals have helped me eradicate the recurring eczema on my right hand .  I plan to keep these in my diet forever.  Though I still get my occasional cup of coffee, I no longer see it as a staple in my life but a once in a while treat.



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Fruit and Veggie Overdose is still Good

Before starting the day’s work, I would normally read a book but today I opted for an online article from Yahoo  titled “21 Mistakes Healthy People Make.”

The said article focuses on 21 activities that appear good and healthy but in reality, too much of these can put one’s health on the line. I’ve listed some of them below.

1. Too Much Exercise, Less Sleep – According to the Yahoo article, there’s no point getting up too early in the morning to hit the gym if you’ve had less than seven hours of sleep.  Doing this often can lead to an array of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and depression among many others.

2. Supplements Galore – The article cited a 2011 study that revealed 40,000 women who took dietary supplements have higher risk of dying before their time.  It is not advisable to take multiple health supplements so slow down on those pills.

3. Preventive Tests – Many long term care (LTC) articles suggest people to undergo certain medical tests to find out what they are at risk of acquiring or developing health-wise.  Unfortunately going through all the tests will overexpose you to radiation which can damage your health a great deal.  One has to consult his physician first.

4. Antibiotics Abuse – Taking too much antibiotics kills all the good bacteria in the body.  I myself  don’t trust antibiotics because these hinder people’s growth, too.

5. Postponing Medical Care – Do not ignore that pain in your tummy or you might end up with pancreatic cancer. Pain in your left arm could be more than a sign of tiredness.  You could be at risk of stroke so head to your doctor immediately.

6. No Fruits and Veggies in Diet – Did I just scream, “go macro?” Anyway, the article states that eating at least five servings of fruits and vegges daily reduces your risk of heart disease, all types of cancer, and helps you lose weight. There’s never been a case of fruit and veggie overdose, thus proving that these are the healthiest food on this planet.

7. Build Healthy Friendships – I absolutely believe that it is impossible to achieve a healthy lifestyle if you are surrounded with people who either pig out or engage in vices.  So, choose your friends.

And I have to get down to work now to keep my bank account healthy.




The mystery of a Santol

Last Sunday, Mama asked some people in the neighborhood to harvest Santol in the backyard. Later in the afternoon, I was surprised to see sacks and pails of the fruit. I had no idea there was this much in the tree because looking at it from the ground, I could see very few fruits.

Although I’m not fond of eating Santol, I like its characteristics. It bears an element of surprise which is not common in other fruits. Some fruits taste sweet from the outside down to the core. Others, on the other hand, are sour from the first slice to the last.

The Santol is a unique fruit since it’s full of secrets. Why its skin alone does not give a clue about its ripeness. Aren’t fruits supposed to give off an odor or at least feel soft in one’s hand when they’re ripe? A Santol doesn’t. You have to peel and taste it to find out.

Once you’ve peeled the fruit, you have to suck the Santol’s flesh to relish its taste. The fruit is often sour that’s why I was surprised our neighbors claimed the ones from our tree taste sweet. Honestly, I only like the flesh that surrounds the Santol’s seed because it’s very sweet. Avoid swallowing the seed though for you might suffer an intestinal problem.

You discover a lot of things from the Santol. It’s not a boring fruit that leaves nothing to the mind after its consumption. The fruit’s skin and pulp represents the unexpected events in one’s life while the seed personifies something or someone you can enjoy but never have to yourself.