Run then Eat at Mercato Centrale

Wednesday, 30 November 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

After an easy run last Sunday with friends (tapering off for California International Marathon already), I dropped by Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City to buy food for a potluck lunch with my mom and siblings.  My sis, Janice, was there to help me choose among the tons of food. Janice co-owns Mercato Centrale along with Anton and Rache Diaz and RJ and Vanessa Ledesma.

– with my Ate Nice –

Now on to the food…drool drool. There was a wide variety of healthy food to choose from for us runners…

1) MUESLI-GRANOLA KITCHEN AND BAKESHOP: cookies, crunch bars, loaves and muffins. They have variants with no sugar added or using natural sugar replacers from sugarbeets.

– Oooh I liked this dark choco-dipped barmuncher. As crunchy and yummy as biscotti. –

– Liked this no nut-sense mini bars. It’s whole wheat and portable. Good alternative to junk –

– Muesli-Granola mix using brown sugar. Great for a healthy breakfast –

– Gift boxes and canisters for runner/athlete friends –

2) PAO YING FOOD: dimsum. Options for whole wheat or multigrain dimsum in regular or mini sizes called Smunch

– I love siopao! (In fact, my dog was named Siopao!) I bought a pack of multigrain siopao with assorted flavors: Veggie, Spinach, and Mushroom. Easy to “baon” for days when I’m rushing –

– Bobby and I chanced upon the Choco Smunch: siopao with chocolate. I wasn’t able to taste it, but this gives me a good reason to return to Mercato –

3) AUNTIE MAY’S: For your favorite Pinoy breakfast

– Tapsilog, simply one of the best post-run meals. P120 at Auntie May’s –

4) J. CUPCAKES: cupcakes, cookies, rolls, and other goodies

– Strawberry Granola cupcake! Yummy and on the healthy side too. P55 per pc –

– Made by J or Jules herself –

5) MERRY MOO: homemade ice cream using fresh local dairy


– smooth and creamy! –

6) SOYA STYX: healthy nibbles made from Soya

– Soya Styx were crunchy and tasty. Chili & Garlic flavors P80. Basil P90 –

7) SWEETS GALORE: chocolate crips

– Dentelle Au Chocolat. I probably finished my pack of these quicker than I could say its name! My kids loved this too. Less guilt since its dark choco! P195 for 150g. –

8 ) FRUIT SHAKES: the best during a hot day, especially after a run

– Fresh fruit shakes P35 to P65 –

I spotted other non-food items for us runners too…


– Messy Bessy gift packs. Various products. I’m a huge fan of the Sports Spritzer and Little Warrior –

– Drop this in your gym bag or running shoes to deodorize –


– Nice little green tin cans for hydration. Prices range from P1150 to P1550 depending on the size –



– We all need our massage to loosen up those tight muscles. This is perfect for your own use or as a gift. P350 –

It was nice to see so many runners there coming from Run BGC and McHappy Fun Run, two races that Sunday morning. Made new friends and bumped into old ones! See you at Mercato!

– Families that run together, eat together. This running family came from McHappy Fun Run –

– Gail and Reg from Skechers shopping for desserts after Run BGC. Nice meeting you both! –

– Young runners enjoying their post-race meals at Mercato after Run BGC –

– Bumped into good friends, Art and Vima (Kulit Runner) and Bobby, who came from Run BGC –

MERCATO CENTRALE DAY MARKET – 8th & 34th St. (near Lexus Showroom and beside MC Home Depot), Bonifacio Global City, Saturday and Sundays (7am to 2pm)

MIDNIGHT MERCATO – 8th & 34th St. (near Lexus Showroom and beside MC Home Depot), Bonifacio Global City, Fridays and Saturdays (10pm to 3am)

For those down south, there’s also:

SODERNO @ MOLITO – Food, Fashion, Arts and Crafts, Saturday and Sunday (7am to 4pm)

SODERNO NIGHTS – Molito, Friday and Saturday (6pm to 3am)


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!

Salad for the Stomach (and the Soul)

Thursday, 24 July 2008  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

In an effort to banish the blues this week (caused by tactless people, mischievous househelp, chaotic schedule, etc.), I decided to put on my frilly, pink TBR apron—the one I own only in my delusional Martha Stewartesque world—and whip up a Salad Nicoise for dinner last night.

You must know that this was a special occasion due to the fact that I never cook.  Never.  The closest I ever get to our kitchen is when the kids and I cook their gelatin.  And I don’t even boil the required 1 cup of hot water myself!  For me to actually pick a recipe from a magazine was a feat in itself.  Well, in this case, it wasn’t too difficult since the magazine was my favorite, Runner’s World August issue.

I stumbled upon the recipe a few nights ago soon after I had felt guilty, bloated, unsatisfied by all the junkfood (read: jalapeno cheetos) I’ve been devouring for the past month.  As I browsed through the recipe (over my bulging belly), I knew that I should start eating healthy again.  Tomorrow was the day, I thought.  And, it had to start with nothing else but a totally enticing and delectable sounding salad:  the Salad Nicoise (my favorite salad actually).

The following day, I headed for the supermarket to purchase the red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lettuce, and other ingredients.  Oh, I forgot to mention my favorite capers which was an added treat to the TBR version of this salad recipe.  And, last night, after a 7km run on the treadmill (yes, I’m back on the machine), I whipped up the meal in no time and munched on it like a ravenous little rabbit.  (I ate it so quickly, in fact, that I was halfway through when I thought of taking the photo below.)  

 RW Salad Nicoise

– TBR version of RW Salad Nicoise, August issue. Admittedly, it doesn’t look appetizing in this photo, but my photography skills are to blame for that. –

Needless to say, it was delicious (although no one else can vouch for my claim).  Yes, it did alleviate the stresses of the week.  It made me feel strong, healthy, happy—just like Martha Stewart…after she was released from prison, that is.