Sonnet's Haven

Health and Art Blend in Macrobiotic Prints


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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.

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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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Thank You, Healthy Co-bloggers!

It has only been two months since I revived my blog to talk about how macrobiotic diet improved my health.  I gave it a fresh look because I wanted it to reflect who I am today, and the ways in which I take care of my family and myself.  I did not expect other people to find my new blog appealing, especially in this age of junk food and vices.

Surprisingly, it appealed to some people, those who have obviously not abandoned their health principles despite the toxic elements that surround them every day.  I should know because there are also things (and people) in my life that try to influence me, and make me veer from my goals.  Unfortunately for them, I am stronger than they think I am.

I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to http://www.igamemom.com, http://www.fitnesscoachjohn.wordpress.com, http://www.idolanuel.com, http://www.sweetchildofminebook.wordpress.com, http://www.farthingaling.wordpress.com, http://www.adoptingjames.wordpress.com, http://www.negtech.wordpress.com, http://www.chrismartinwrites.com, http://www.hikingphoto.com, and http://www.aselpunzalan.wordpress.com for showing some appreciation for the simple yet helpful health topics in my blog.

I may not know all of you personally, but knowing that there are still health conscious folks like you in this planet gives me peace of mind.  When I die someday, I hope that your children or your grandchildren, whose lives you have affected, will continue to influence my daughter who is, after all, the sole heir to this blog.

Stay healthy!


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Craving for Fried Food?

Since starting my macrobiotic diet, I have religiously stayed away from fried food.  One day, though, I tried something different.

Mama paid me a visit and brought some uncooked spring rolls.  She said they contain carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and ginger.  I would normally eat vegan spring rolls fresh or steamed because this is always the best way to eat spring rolls.  Then I remembered that Sonnet told me earlier that day that one of her classmates had let her taste something during lunch period in school; crunchy and juicy were the adjectives she used to describe the dish.

That made me feel slightly guilty because I realized that I have been depriving my daughter of food that other kids would just eat on a daily basis.  I realized that it won’t hurt to give her some fried food once in a while, and I can make this possible without palm oil or vegetable oil — the culprits of arterial diseases.

I drizzled the pan with some olive oil before heating it.  Next, I placed the spring rolls in the pan to fry for two minutes.  Aside from its aroma, which palm and vegetable oils are devoid of, olive oil has so many health benefits.   It’s rich with antioxidants that protect the skin from all possible toxins.  It also retains moisture in the skin, thus keeping it soft and supple.

Regular use of olive oil will also prevent all types of cancer.

Aside from all of its health benefits, olive oil makes for excellent fried food; so, why settle for unhealthy oils?


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Health Benefits of My Favorite Food

Merriam Webster defines diet as “food and drink regularly provided or consumed.”  Although you can also define this word as eating and drinking sparingly to reduce weight, it would be unfair to stick only to this definition.

Macrobiotic diet has nothing to do with cutting off weight, at least for me, since I have never had weight problems.  I don’t know if this can be attributed to the nature of my work, or maybe to my parents who would constantly preach about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Aside from getting rid of the eczema on my right hand, which is now completely gone, there is no other reason why I got into the macrobiotic diet.  This health care program helps prevent diseases that hinder the body from functioning normally.  Besides, I am one of the few people who refuse to take medicines and go to the doctor.  Truth is, I can flush off fever with water and fresh fruit.

Just like everybody else, though, I am getting older.

When you are in your mid-30s you have to take extra care of yourself because you’ll never know what can hit you.  Since I refuse to take  vitamins and food supplements, I decided to overhaul my diet.

I removed unnecessary items, namely: white rice, white bread, fried food, palm oil, vegetable oil, artificial sweeteners, and anything packed with preservatives.  I told myself that everything has to be fresh.

Thank you, Mama and Papa, for this box of healthy chocolate.

So when my friends learned about my advocacy for better health, they said I should do away with chocolate, too.  I curiously asked them, what is wrong with chocolate?

Nothing.

Bitter dark chocolate offers an array of health benefits.  Vain people, especially those who spend thousands for cosmetic procedures, should know that chocolate tightens and strengthens skin collagen.  By eating this delicious treat in moderation, you can actually maintain your youthful features and save a chunk of money, which you would have otherwise spent on a medical procedure that will only last a year or two.

Aside from its aesthetic attributes, cacao also reduces stroke and regulates blood pressure.  Anyone who is at risk of arterial diseases should consider including dark chocolate in his diet, as this prevents blood clotting and plaque buildup on the artery walls.

Chocolate, however, is not just a disease prevention tool.  Notice that when you bite a chocolate bar you are happy in an instant.  This is because chocolates release a chemical compound, the same compound that a person’s brain releases when he is in love or attracted to somebody.

Chocolate is also an excellent memory enhancer, thus perfect for people whose jobs require them to be multitasking.

That said, I’ll now go and get a piece of my yummy Royce.


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Aiming for Longevity

I just read an online article about a woman in Georgia who had just passed away.  She was 132.

In the comment box below that article, many readers agree that it is not the number of years a person lives that matters but how he lives his life.  It’s true but part of me wants to disagree, as I have yet to meet a person who wants to die tomorrow because he’s accomplished a good life already.

Having been to many a funeral  I have heard time and time again relatives and friends of the deceased say, “she’s too young to go,” “the accident took him too soon,” or “we are not prepared for this.”

Those words only prove that everybody aspires to attain longevity for himself and the people he loves.

I feel for women who spent nine months carrying their babies in their womb, only for these sweet angels to come out dead.  I feel for men and women who lost a parent, sibling, child, or friend to a chronic disease or for substance abuse. I feel for very young children, who are barely in their teens, but counting their days on earth because they have been medically diagnosed with an illness that could kill them anytime.

Most of us have probably heard our parents say at some point in our lives , “We want to live to see you succeed in your chosen career path” and our grandparents say, “We want to live to see our grandchildren.”  Unfortunately, not everybody gets to live to 90 or 100.

However, healthy people, especially those who claim to have good genes, are capable of stretching their years.  Being devoid of illness or disability does not give them the license to act irresponsibly because I know of gym regulars and athletes who ended up strapped on their beds.  How they ended up there can be traced to their lifestyle and all of its dangerous staples.

To ensure longevity, start eating healthy food.  Some items that fall under this category are fruits, vegetables (most especially members of the cruciferous group), wheat bread, brown rice, and don’t forget lots of water.  Get at least 7 hours of sleep,  do physical and mental exercises, and please spare yourself from worrying about trivial matters or issues that will only result in emotional distress.

A healthy lifestyle results in longevity.  So take this or suffer.


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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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That Pumpkin Changed My Hubby

My husband was raised in a household of veggie experts. My late mom-in-law and dad-in-law’s spacious kitchen always teemed with all kinds of light and dark vegetables, and their veggie recipes are to die for.  I just noticed that dad and mama always required heat in preparing all these.

So yesterday morning while discussing what to have for lunch, I told hubby that macrobiotic chefs suggest the balancing of cooked and raw vegetables in accordance with the yin and yang philosophy.

It’s only the brown rice that I cook well and always  see to it that two cups of rice equate to six cups water because following the 1:1 ratio will harden the rice.

Anyway, so we were talking about using heat scarcely in cooking and he tells me, “Sweetie, I really love the fact that you are being more experimental in the kitchen nowadays but I cannot sacrifice my stomach.”

Still, a guy who can’t cook has to eat what’s on the table. For yesterday’s lunch I prepared pumpkin stuffed with yogurt glazed chopped cabbage. This was inspired by some of the best macro blogs that I have been following for over a month now.

Pumpkin stuffed with yogurt glazed cabbage

I blanched one -fourth squash (one-half is preferable for this recipe) and let it drip for a while. In another pan I sauteed minced garlic, onions and ginger before mixing in the chopped cabbage for a microsecond to avoid overcooking.

Next, I poured the mixture into the carved squash and glazed it with regular yogurt. Served it on the dining table and Jon remarked, “it looks yummy but can I bite into it the squash?” This left me in stitches.

We proceeded to eat and what do you know, the serving spoon never left Jon’s hand. He told me that he loved the crunchiness of the leaves and how the ginger’s tangy flavor blended with the smooth texture of the yogurt.

We were in the middle of this momentous event when Sonnet arrived from school. She went to wash her hands and when she came to the table, lunch was history for Jon and me.