Day 6: TBR 30 Eat Right Challenge

Wednesday, 6 July 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Wow. I had humble expectations for this group. I wasn’t sure how many of you were willing to eat right with me for a full month. But, it turns out that a lot of us—99 as of the moment (including myself and the “shy” TBR 30 participants who emailed or texted me about the participation instead of posting)—really want to eat healthy, but we just need something or someone to jumpstart it for us.

I realized many of us WANT to do it but still need some guidance on HOW to eat properly. So, I’ll try to interview nutritionists and experts and post them here. First interviewee will be the one I bug about my eating the most: MITCH FELIPE-MENDOZA. Expect that in a few days.

So, how have you all been doing the past 6 days? I hope you’ve been sticking to a super healthy and wholesome eating regimen. If you’ve slipped (like I did two days ago) then don’t be too hard on yourself (food is good after all!) and just do better in the next meal.

Here’s something I’d like us all to remember. It’s said so often but we need constant reminding especially when treats and junk are staring us in the face…


So, who’s the reader out there who wants to be the 100th participant of TBR 30? You can still sign in and join us.

Happy and healthy eating to all!

TBR on Food Magazine – July 2011

Monday, 4 July 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes, Press

Thanks to Food, especially Ianne Sison-Evangelista and Nana Ozaeta, for giving me the opportunity to write “Eat to Run” for the July 2011 issue of their magazine.  (Am I the only that’s noticed that when I’m injured, food is the only other thing on my mind? Hah!)

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I wrote about my daily food regimen, how I manage my cravings (really, I try my very best all the time!), my race day diet, must have pantry items, my favorite restaurants, and last but not the least, my favorite healthy recipes (thanks to Harvs for sharing!)  I also interviewed my favorite experts Harvie de Baron, Mitch Felipe-Mendoza, Coach Ani de leon-Brown, and Coach Dan Brown to provide you with tips on proper eating.

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– Grrr. Don’t laugh. I look bloated and like I just woke up here. And I really just did. –

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– This is really how my breakfast looks every morning. I use honey for my coffee instead of sugar and low fat milk instead of creamer or full cream. The apple and banana are midday snacks. Oh, and I usually drop blueberries, peaches, or almonds into my oatmeal to make it munchier –

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– I’m no cook, but one of my dreams right now is to take cooking classes (if I find the time). I’ve been eating my tuna-mushroom-spinach omelet with brown rice so often lately because I love it. My nutritionist friend Harvie always reminds me to vary my meals to avoid boredom, but what can I do, I can’t have enough of it! –

The First Day of the Rest of Your Healthy Life

Friday, 1 July 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Yey!  As I type this, we’re now 26 42 77 runners on the TBR 30 Challenge!


I’m feeling two things right now: 1) Excited about the journey we’re all going to go through together, and uhm 2) Nervous because, man oh man, there’s no backing out now! Hah! You probably feel the same way, don’t you?

To keep us all inspired, I’ve sought the help of past TBR Magazine covers Piolo and Karylle to keep us inspired.  Piolo said he was willing to hand feed the women strawberries dipped in dark chocolate while Karylle wanted to cook some healthy fare for the men, but shucks they’re too busy with showbiz commitments this week.  So, instead, we’ll have to settle with free downloadable images of them both that you can download and use as your wallpaper in your computers.  This should remind you on a daily basis to stick with your TBR 30 promise and, uhm, keep you inspired to get abs just like theirs in 30 days.

Click HERE to download TBR 30 Wallpaper of Piolo and Karylle – 1280 x 800 pixels.  (Please respect the rights of TBR Magazine and my favorite photographer, Ben Chan of Photovendo.)



Eat well, guys!  Hope to meet some of you face to face one of these 30 days!



Thursday, 30 June 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Here’s my official invitation to TBR 30, a 30-day challenge to eat more nutritious, wholesome food!



TBR 30 is a commitment to yourself that you will take care of your body by making wise and healthy food choices. That’s it!

It was a personal decision for me to focus on eating better in the next weeks and to look at food as fuel for running and other activities. While I eat healthy most of the time, I still fell into major cheat days with my munchies or made poor choices when I was hungry, especially after a long run! So, after getting tired of diets and pressuring myself to train more or eat less, I thought I should just adopt a more positive outlook and take on a healthier lifestyle for life.

Then, I thought of inviting all of you to do the same. Why not?! The hardest part in making this huge shift is to decide to start. So, I’m inviting you all to do it TOMORROW, JULY 1, 2011. Aside from that, it’ll make all of us answerable to each other. Plus, of course, it should be more fun.  (By the way, if you read this late, then just start midway. No prob!)

Again, TBR 30 is open to anyone and everyone. It’s also free.


TBR 30 starts on JULY 1 and ends JULY 30. Why a 30 day challenge?

Well, I know it takes 21 days to form a habit. So, if we reach the 22nd day eating healthy then we pretty much know that by the end of July, eating healthy won’t be a “challenge” but a “lifestyle.”

Whether only 5 or 50 sign up for TBR 30, I’ll be doing this, but I do hope you can take on the challenge with me.  Sige na!


TBR 30 is not about dieting. I won’t give you a detailed, restrictive diet for three reasons: 1) I’m not a nutritionist nor a dietitian. 2) Diets only make you feel deprived, which will lead you to cheat once you’re off it. (Believe me, that’s what happened to me in New York heehee.) 3) I HATE DIETING!  And, don’t tell Harvie, my nutritionist friend, nor Mitch Felipe-Mendoza, but I hate journalling my food intake too!

TBR 30 is not about losing weight.  Repeat after me: Our goal is to eat right, not to lose weight.  But, that’s not to say that we won’t be doing cartwheels if we drop some unwanted pounds or look a lot fitter after 30 days (which will most likely be the case!)

TBR 30 will not sell you any products or gear. Trying out new drugs, shakes, formulas, gear, or exercises to lose weight may work temporarily. But, sooner or later, we’ll tire of it and eventually go back to our old ways. Nope, this is not a sponsored challenge either.

TBR 30 is not a support group, diet group, or run group. We’re just a group of individuals who want to improve our health. If you guys, by any chance, meet face to face or become virtual friends, that would be great.


I thought of only 5 main points that should guide us during the next 30 days. CODE: TBR 30.


T: Take control. Are you hungry? Grab a bite. Are you full? Drop the spoon and fork when you are satisfied, not too full. Plan your meals wisely so you’ll be in control of what goes into your mouth and you have no excuses.

B: Be mindful of what you eat. Stop eating on the run (no pun intended) or tasting your kids’ meals and taking a bite from your officemate’s burger all day. Sit down at the dining table. Stare at your visually appealing food. And savor every morsel. (I’ve started cooking my healthy food myself!)

R: Read the labels. You’ve heard this a hundred times before and I’ll say it again. Choose raw, fresh food that actually come with no labels. Limit processed food. If you must eat them, choose the foods that have the least ingredients.

3: 3 major meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Plus, 2 snacks. Add an additional snack after dinner if you wish.

0: Zero stress over your weight. Zero pressure to stick to a strict diet. Zero guilt over mistakes or mess ups. If you slip, dust yourself off and eat properly in the next meal.


  1. Post a comment below saying: I’LL EAT RIGHT FOR 30 DAYS!
  2. Download this TBR30 which contains the guidelines mentioned above.  (Yes, yes, you can see I am completely inspired to do this and I hope you will be too!)  Print it. Post it in an area in your home where you’ll see it daily: the refrigerator or your mirror.
  3. Last but not the least, practice what you promised: EAT RIGHT THIS JULY!

Good luck to us!

Quit Dieting. Start Living.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes


I am so done with dieting. So done!

For the past couple of months, you were completely unaware—of course, I don’t tell you everything here—that I was frustrated about my ballooning weight. I couldn’t figure out why I was getting heavier when I was working out like a mad woman (double my usual training program since I added swimming) and eating much less, yet the numbers on the scale were going nowhere but up. To make matters worse, I got injured so no running and no gym only meant the numbers would soon get higher if I didn’t get answers to my questions.

Was I just getting old?

Did I have to eat even less than the little food I was eating?

Was I eating more than I actually thought I was? (Uhm, on some days I would say yes but what we don’t know—or admit—won’t hurt us, right?)

Did I have to add even more training hours to my already hectic sched?  (I welcome the idea of training more because I love it and it doesn’t feel like work to me, but I have a life too, you know!)

Was my body so used to running that I needed a new activity to jolt my metabolism?

Did I need to add more intense training?

Was lack of sleep and stress causing havoc in my system?

What do I do?!!!

I bugged so many experts and friends with all my questions. I asked my nutritionist friend Harvie de Baron of Hammer and he told me to eat more to lose more. I bumped into Coach Jim Saret of The Biggest Loser and asked him to reveal his secrets on dropping my extra weight.  He said I should intensify my training.  I even met with friend, nutritionist, and contributor of TBR Magazine, Mitch Felipe-Mendoza. She was so baffled with my weight gain that she even wrote an article about it on Philippine Daily Inquirer to answer all my queries…hah!  (Here’s the LINK)


Last week, I said to myself: enough is enough. One should not spend this much time worrying about the calories and fat, especially not runners like me!   After all, one of the reasons why I fell in love with running was because it gave me freedom from the scale!  It allowed me to focus on my passion for running while fitness and weight loss were simply bonuses for me!  I thought: Life is too short for thinking about numbers on the scale when I should be savoring healthy, wholesome food, enjoying my long runs, and living life to the fullest!

So, last Sunday, I made a pact with myself to quit dieting and stressing over the scale. I made a promise to myself to eat healthy, train wisely, and enjoy life more. I started eating more (oh boy, a lot more!), show up for regular training, and stop weighing myself. I did this all alone and, much to my pleasant surprise (and relief!), I dropped 4 lbs! I’m sure most of it is water weight but allow me to say: Wooohooo!

I still have 4 more to go to reach my regular weight. (Yes, I gained a total of 8 lbs that wouldn’t budge since February)  I’m committed to sticking to my commitment to myself. It’s not a diet. It’s not a training or nutrition program.  I didn’t use a new product.  It’s simply a promise to myself to nourish my body and subsequently nurture my mind and soul.

So, yes, I started this alone and did it on my own. But, I thought, it could be so much more fun (and perhaps a whole lot easier) if we all did it together virtually. Just a group of us promising to each other that we’ve committed to living better.

Are you game?  I’m thinking we can try a 30-day Challenge to ourselves to simply eat better.  I’ll work out the details and post it tomorrow.  We can start on JULY 1, 2011, the start of the month. Use the time from now until then to let the idea sink in and let me know if you’re up to it!  How exciting!