JUICEtified

ImageYes, the title of my blog post is JUICEtified. Because drinking Juice has countless of proven and justified benefits to the body. When I say Juice, I meant fresh fruit or vegetable juice not the one bought in can or packs in the supermarket.

Those commercial juice surely have health benefits too and some are even fortified to give added nutrition. However, most of the tetra juices are very sweet which may not be too good for daily consumption.

I was a coffee, soft drink and alcohol drinker more than a juice fanatic in the past. I love drinking to socialize, relieve from stress and just be with my friends (or my lonesome at times). I even go to Wine Bar offering Wine Buffet for a very reasonable price. I loved Red wine and these wine buffet let me taste red wine from different countries like France, Italy, Romania, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and many others. I also stocked few bottles of wines and spirits in my pad so whenever I have friends coming over, we can enjoy few glasses or so. Or sometimes if I felt so stressed, I just sip a glass of wine then I’m fine.

I didn’t consider myself an alcoholic because I don’t drink wine everyday (or night) and on occasions that I do, I usually don’t allow myself to get drunk. However, towards December of last year, I sort of developed an allergy and according to the doctor the main culprit is alcohol. I thought I’ve eaten a kind of seafood that made me develop the allergy as it is almost simultaneous. I just came back from several back-to-back overseas and trip back home during that time. In one occasion, me and few other colleagues tried some seafood including Stingray. It was my first time to eat that seafood. About 1 or 2 days after, my body start to be itchy.

I remember there was also an occasion that I’ve eaten a lot of fresh oysters in a hotel buffet during Christmas and few days after I got a big red spot in my neck which resembles a hickey so some of my friends try to be naughty and asked me who gave me a kiss mark. LOL.

About 2 weeks ago when my family visited me in Bangkok for a week (which was my last blog post prior to this) , I may also have overeaten meat and seafood plus the very scorching heat of outdoor activities, I suddenly developed rashes in my chest.

Anyway, the doctor said there are certain triggers like food or alcohol but he told me to avoid alcohol if I can.
Seems life has been quite boring for me since then right? However, because I’m a firm believer of the saying “Health is Wealth”, I researched for some ways to live (or eat healthy).

There were a lot of topics in the internet suggesting people to be vegetarian for optimum health. But since I can’t give up crispy fried pork or KFC at this point, I searched for other alternative means.

Then I came across the blog called “Juicing for Health.com“. This blog I can say really convinced me to try drinking freshly juiced veggies or fruits.

The blog generously describes the health benefits of various fruits and vegetables and some helpful consumption tips and suggestions of which fruits or veggies are a good combination.

One day I decided to go to the nearest mall to purchase a juicer. I always had the impression that fruit juicers are expensive. I was very surprised when I realized that a good brand juicing machine costs less than THB 2,000 (approx. USD 64). There was a sale during that time so the discounted price was around THB 1,500 for a Tefal brand machine. Isn’t it really a good deal?

After that I went to the supermarket to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. I did my very first “concoction” of Orange and Carrot Juice that night. The taste was really refreshing and I felt my body is starting to detoxify all those bad cholesterol and gut in my stomach with a glass of juice. Ha ha ha. Of course, I’m just exaggerating.

Anyway, I continued reading the blog and got interested to try other varieties to benefit from it’s medicinal promise.

Over the next few days I tried Cucumber, Spinach, Beetroot and Bitter Gourd. Yes, you read it right- Bitter Gourd! This vegetable I believe is probably the most unappealing in terms of taste and texture to a lot of people. But reading the long list of benefits, I got encouraged to try it. Loving the juice of this veggie is an acquired taste. I had to try for few days before I started liking it. Now, I can drink a glass of bitter gourd (from 1 medium size gourd) juice in an empty stomach in the morning to get the maximum benefits. A caution though, you have to start with a small quantity at first otherwise you will have upset stomach the whole day.

I felt lighter, more alert and healthier after a month of drinking different kinds of juice. Since some of the juice serves as diuretic (to flush out toxins from the body), I lost weight a bit so my friends kept asking me why I lost weight. I jokingly told them I became vegetarian which they definitely will not believe me.

To reap the benefits of the juice, it has to be taken consistently (not once in a while). I read many articles about people looking very young and healthy because of regular consumption of these healthy drinks. Of course water must not be replaced by these juices. However, freshly made juice also aids in cooling off especially in this scorching summer. Try watermelon or cucumber and you surely will feel refreshed.

Some people may think that drinking fruit or vegetable juice is actually an expensive habit especially if the fruits are not in season. However, you can be smart enough to select what are in season so it is less expensive. There are a long list of fruits and vegetables you can choose from.

You may ask what is my favorite juice so far. I like Carrot Juice and Cucumber the most. Sometimes I mix them together. I also like Carrot and Beet Root but Beet Root is very potent so you have to put only a small or medium sized bulb for a start.

So start to be healthy, drink your juice regularly.

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Family Fun in Thailand

It’s been 4 years in the making!

Last 2 weeks I was so busy. Busy with work and arranging itinerary for my so-called VIP’s.
You see, I’ve been working in Bangkok for nearly 4 years now and it will be the first time my family (not entire though) will visit the Land of Smiles- Thailand.

I would’ve wanted them to come earlier but as some of my regular blog readers would know, the past 2 years had been quite a roller coaster ride for me and my family. My Dad was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer and they have to stay home as much as possible due to frequent visits to the Doctor. He died early last year.

It was really my earnest wish for my parents to visit the place I now consider my 2nd home. I know my Dad really wanted me to just work in the country so the family could be together but I would always tell him I had to grab this opportunity. It also helped us financially speaking during his sickness.

Some years ago, I had the chance to take both of them to Ilocos Region during a business trip. The room and transfer was free anyway so I just had to pay for their meals and other miscellaneous costs. They would always tell their friends and relatives about how memorable that trip was and how beautiful are the places we’ve visited. Apart from that we would go to some nearby places like Baguio, Tagaytay, etc. if our busy schedule permits.

Going back to the Thailand trip, it was postponed further as my Mom had some problems in securing her passport due to her birth records cannot be found in Manila so they have to go to the province to secure the documents. Anyway, it finally happened mid of April in time for Thailand’s longest and happiest event- Songkran Festival or their Thai New Year.

My Mom, my youngest Sister and her Boyfriend arrived in Bangkok on 13 April which is the first day of Songkran. Traditionally, Songkran is a water-splashing festival wherein everyone just literally splash water to each other either by water gun, hose or any thing they can use to throw water to expecting or non-suspecting passersby.

I had to meet them at the airport so I really carefully walked along the street from my pad to the main road and gingerly took taxi. I was successful not to get wet.

After they arrived in my place and had few hours of rest, they began their 1-week journey with a visit to one of the biggest shopping mall in Bangkok, MBK or locally known as Mah Boon Krong. It is the counterpart of Greenhills Shopping Center in Manila but maybe 5x bigger. You can buy clothes, souvenirs, cellphone and all those gadgets in this mall.

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After MBK I took them to Siam area which many consider is the very heart of Bangkok. We visited few other shopping malls like Siam Center and Siam Paragon.

Next day I took them to the traditional places tourists visit such as Royal Grand Palace, Wat Po, Chatuchak Weekend Market. It was such a scorching hot day so it made our activities on that day more tiring. They enjoyed the cheap price of clothes and souvenirs though.

Before heading home, I let them try Thai Massage. It was indeed a great relief after walking almost the whole day!

Next day I took them to Holy Redeemer Church which is one of the few Catholic Churches in Bangkok. After that we went to Platinum Fashion Mall for more shopping. At night, I took them to a Dinner Cruise along Chao Phraya River.

Monday is still a holiday because of Songkran. My Thai boss and her family took us to the ancient capital of Siam (former name of Thailand), Ayutthaya to visit the ruins of the old city as well as the Bangpa-In Summer Palace. We also rode an Elephant which is a first time experience for me and my family.

We had our lunch in a popular restaurant by the River. We feast ourselves with a variety of Thai and Seafood dishes including the highlight of the restaurant, the grilled King Prawn. It’s very large and costs THB 300 a piece. Good enough to indulge once in a while.

We visited Bang Pa-In Royal Palace which is also known as Summer Palace. Entrance to the Palace is THB 100 per person for foreigner and it is convenient to rent a Golf Cart as the complex is big and if the weather is very warm, walking is discouraged.

The Palace has a mix of Thai, Roman and Chinese style structures. The lawn and gardens are well maintained and such a refreshing view.

Within the next few days we did more activities. We went watching Siam Niramit, dubbed as Thailand’s Must See Show. I’ve watched several other shows like Alangkarn Show, Tiffany Show and others but I must say that Siam Niramit is the best of them all in terms of grandeur and production value. Too bad they don’t allow photography or video inside the Theater but there are many interesting things in the Theater grounds that is worth taking few snapshots.

We stayed in one of Bangkok’s finest 5-Star Hotel, lebua at State Tower near the Chao Phraya Riverside Area. The hotel offers picturesque view from the balcony. We were assigned in the 57th floor of the hotel so you can just imagine the unobstructed magnificent view of the city.

Not only is the view the selling point of this hotel but all the spacious and luxurious guest rooms. We were assigned in the Club Floor Room with access to the Executive Lounge and the bath amenities are Bvlgari. You will literally bathe in perfume when using the toiletries.

We capped their  one week holiday with a drink in the hotel’s rooftop bar located at the 64th floor called “Sirocco- Sky Bar”on their last night in Bangkok.

It was such a memorable trip for my family. I would surely be glad to welcome them again and other family members too.