One of my initial hesitations about this whole “attempting to be healthy” hullabaloo was the toll it would take on my social life. I love to eat and most of my bonding sessions with my closest friends are almost always over lunch/dinner/merienda. There are so many wonderful conversations exchanged over meals and I was worried that by attempting to change my eating habits it would be detrimental to my relationships as well.
Lalo na dito sa Pilipinas, people tend to have this bullying attitude towards people who choose to become more careful about their food intake. I’ve mentioned this already before, the casual and tactless teasing can really be hurtful at times. It seems like you really can’t win. If you gain weight people are quick to say “Uyyy, tumaba ka na!” then if you try to lose weight or adapt healthier lifestyle habits, tutuksuhin ka naman ng “Uyyy, ang arte mo naman! May diyeta-diyeta ka pa!”. That’s why every time I encounter someone (be it an acquaintance or old friend) who’s trying a new sport, exercise, diet, eating program, etc. I always try to offer words of encouragement instead because I know these decisions are hard to make and even harder to stick to. Believe me, I KNOW. If we could all just support one another in our respective self-improvement projects, whether it’s related to our health, fitness, family, religion or careers, then that would be so much better rather than spreading negativity.
I consider myself very, very lucky because I haven’t really encountered any “bullying” when it comes to my lifestyle changes—in fact, I’ve encountered the complete opposite. I’ve been receiving so much encouragement from my loved ones! My mom prepares healthy meals for me whenever I come and visit them in Alabang every Monday. My sisters in law Cecil and Mic both subscribe to the REAL food philosophy for their households and often send me links and recipes. My close friends Alessa, Noelle and Rica are all happy vegetarians. And all my other girlfriends are into living happy and balanced lives too.
For the past month, I’ve been resto hopping with my girls and surprisingly I’ve found it easy to stay healthy even while dining out. Although it takes a bit of effort on my part these days because I usually have to google the restaurant menu a night before and scour their list for healthier choices. It’s a bit OC but being mindful about your food choices makes you appreciate what goes into your body 🙂 Of course, it’s not a 100% sure shot deal because unlike preparing food at home wherein you know all the ingredients that goes into each dish—there’s a big chance that there are preservatives, msg, too much salt/sugar in the sauce/dressing/marinade of a particular dish that appears “healthy” which could remain unaccounted for in your computations. But come on, you could let those little things slide. As long as it still is a healthier choice than a clear BAD BOY, then you’re still in a much better position than going for something completely greasy and smothered in fat. The goal is to have both nutritious and delicious meals—each and every time. It can’t be just nutritious and NOT delicious, sayang lang ang pera mo kung di ka masaya sa kinain mo. And it can’t just be delicious without the nutrition because then you’re packing in extra pounds and not keeping your body nourished. Each meal has to be a marriage of both satisfaction and nourishment.. because that’s how God intended it to be! 🙂
Okay, so that was quite an intro. I’m so sorry for boring you with all my food posts—NOPE, I have not turned into a foodie blogger overnight. I promise, it’s just a current obsession of mine for now. Hahaha 🙂 Anyway, here’s a rundown of the new restaurants I visited this month with my girlfriends. I have a few close circles of trusted girlfriends and eating is our favorite activity!
4th Floor, Shangrila Mall
With My Ateneo Barkada: Gin, Alessa, Noelle and Muffin
I am smitten with this restaurant. Absolutely smitten. What’s not to love about this restaurant? It’s farm-to-table approach makes it an instant winner in my book. They aim to provide all natural, often times organic, “we make it from scratch” kind of dishes to their customers. It’s a bit on the pricey side but well worth the splurge especially since they only use premium ingredients for their dishes. I love, love, love their cheese platters and salads! And they have a deep menu when it comes to their drink choices—you’ll find all sorts of shakes, teas, elixirs, and even freshly brewed coffee here.
Serendra, Bonifacio Global City
With My Grade school turned Bible Study buddies: Stella and Sheila
Since Sheila was celebrating her
32nd 13th birthday this January, we decided to go fancy schamncy for our lunch date. Mamou is definitely date-worthy, birthday-worthy, anniversary-worthy, basta magisip ka ng kahit anong okasyon–pwedeng pwede! This is still one of my ultimate favorite restaurants in the whole of Metro Manila. I never get tired of eating here!:) Their steak is the closest thing to the heavenly Peter Luger steaks we enjoyed in NYC. As a healthier alternative, I ordered their Truffled Veggie Dip with Whole Wheat Toast and the super refreshing Healdsberg Harvest salad. This salad was so good, we requested for a second order! Hahaha!
Aguirre St, BF Homes Paranaque
With My Breakfast Show BFFs: Ria and Gel
After several failed attempts, I finally made it to the much raved about Sensei Sushi. We all know Sushi and Sashimi are very healthy (of course, you can have the Jap mayo on the side to make it even healthier!)! I could eat sushi forever and ever. Sensei Sushi is a hole in the wall Japanese restaurant that offers designer sushi platters good for sharing. I used to enjoy Omakase’s sushi back in college–but I am now a Sensei convert. Their sushi combos are much more creative but still adhering to classic Japanese flavors. Nothing too pretentious or out of this world. You get good sushi at really reasonable prices. I suggest you visit on a weekday because this place gets packed during the weekends.
SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City
With My Confidantes/ Mommy Mentors: Cecil and Rica
This get together happened just a day before Rica gave birth! I always appreciate restaurants with pretty interiors—and SHINE definitely “shines” in this department. It’s a very photogenic restaurant and stands out so beautifully in Aura. I had their salad with a generous serving of dates (I love dates) and it was very filling 🙂 I have yet to try their entrees and other dishes, maybe on my next visit!
So there, these are the note-worthy restaurants I tried in the past month. I was very happy with my meal choices in each resto 🙂 🙂 Hope to see you guys dining in these restos in the near future too. Hooray for foodie havens like these!!!!