TBR 30: Eat Right Challenge Continues…

Tuesday, 2 August 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes


So our 30 day challenge ended two days ago. How did you fare?

As for my 30 days, I was eating properly probably 90% of the time. Admittedly, there were times when I couldn’t resist temptation or I just completely forgot about my commitment to eat properly.  Whoops. (Apologies for failing to remind you too since life got busy busy busy. I know you know that this was a commitment to yourself that you were responsible for anyway!) But, I also remembered not to be too hard on myself. That 90% of the time I was being good and that already made a huge difference in my health. That life also was meant to be lived and celebrated and that included tasting—not fully indulging—in some of the not so healthy stuff every once in a while.

While I congratulate all of us for reaching 30 days—did you?!—I also would like to remind you that the 30 days was only the beginning. Shouldn’t we all live healthier lives, uhm, forever?

Let’s try the TBR 30 again next time.  Maybe closer to Christmas.  By this time, I’ll try to get more support and help from friends.  Until then!

TBR 30: Q&A with Mitch Felipe-Mendoza

Wednesday, 13 July 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Hi TBR 30 Challenger: it’s Day 13 of our commitment to eat right for 30 days!  How have you been doing?  So far, we are over 100 runners strong and counting!


To help us stick with the program and learn more about proper nutrition, I’ve interviewed Mitch Felipe-Mendoza, one of my favorite nutritionists to bug about my food and weight concerns.  Here it goes:

1. What are the top 10 healthy foods you would recommend for us runners to keep in our pantry?

  • Fruits
  • Whole grain bread
  • Eggs
  • Wheat pasta noodles
  • Low-fat milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Wheat cereals
  • Low-fat, low-sugar granola bars
  • Canned tuna, salmon or sardines, beans and veggies
  • Low-fat, low-sugar spreads

2. What are the top 10 bad foods we should not even buy?

You can still have some but in moderation:

  • Processed foods like meatloaf, sausage, ham and hotdog
  • Fatty viands like bacon, fatty cuts of pork and beef, longganisa
  • Chips
  • Chocolates and cookies
  • Pork rind or Chicharon
  • Ice cream and cake
  • Cream cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Regular mayonnaise
  • Flavored drinks

3. Can you give us a sample of an ideal lunch or dinner meal for a runner?

  • Rice or pasta (choose brown rice and whole wheat pasta to get more fiber)
  • Veggies (go for fresh, green leafy veggies and fresh red tomatoes)
  • Protein (Choose fish, chicken and if you are trying to lose weight, eat meat 3 to 4 servings per week and choose grilled, boiled, steamed)
  • Fruit (always have a fruit for dessert as substitute for pastries or you can have a fresh fruit juice)
  • More water (avoid sodas or powdered juices)

The total amount and calories will depend on your activity level, weight, gender and goals but the standard serving is a cup of rice, ½ to 1 cup veggies, 1 to 2 servings (size of your palm- 1 serving if you are trying to lose/maintain weight) protein and a piece of fruit

4. What would you recommend as healthy snacks for runners?

  • Whole grain breads with low-fat, low-sugar spreads or tuna and veggies
  • Whole fruits or fresh fruit shakes (like banana, apple, mango)
  • Snack bars (low-fat, low-sugar energy snack bars)
  • Low-fat milk or chocolate drinks
  • Yogurt
  • Cereals with skim milk (choose cereals with less sugar, go for wheat)
  • Boiled eggs (lessen the egg yolk)
  • Saging na saba (without syrup)
  • Corn (with less butter, use reduced fat butter)
  • Fresh vegetable lumpia (with less nuts, meat and sweet sauce)

5. Can you advise us how to manage cravings?

  • Never skip breakfast (or your first meal upon waking up) to avoid cravings that usually set in after lunch or late night.
  • Stay away from low-carb diets to avoid sweet cravings like ice cream, pastries, and chocolates
  • Make sure that you get a sound sleep of not less than 6 hours per day
  • Stay away from craving foods (salty and sweet) during PMS
  • Ask the support of friend or your spouse to distract you whenever you crave for extra foods.
  • Drink more water instead of flavored drinks
  • Rest well, manage stressors and your emotions

6. What tips can you give to us runners on the TBR 30 Challenge?

  • Eat according to your goals and program. If you are running three times a week plus other physical activities like weights and cycling to maintain your fitness level, then stick to a healthy and balanced diet. If you are training for a marathon, increase percentage of carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight, avoid fatty foods and eat meat in moderation
  • Avoid overdoing your workout (too high intensity or too long) so you won’t experience too much stress, burnout and/or injuries. Start and progress gradually.
  • Log your experiences and progress. Choose the best self-monitoring tool that you can realistically complete – either a journal notebook, simple notebook with blank pages or you can log everything in a computer file or lifestyle applications.
  • Create a support system by asking participation of your family and friends. Get help of professionals.
  • Avoid eating out as much as possible and make an effort to prepare and cook your meals and snacks, to save calories …and money.
  • Having a healthy lifestyle is a life-long effort. Your 30-day journey can be a great jumpstart to eat healthier foods, to reduce stress and to improve your fitness level. Then it is your choice to step up to the next level.

Mitch Felipe-Mendoza is a lifestyle & weight management coach, fitness trainer and runner who has helped her clients manage weight and improve running performance by combining her background in psychology, exercise, nutrition, and injury prevention.  She is a contributor to The Bull Runner Magazine and is also a regular wellness contributor of Philippine Daily Inquirer and a weight loss columnist for Women’s Health Philippines.  If you have comments or questions, email her at mitchfelipe@gmail.com OR follow her on twitter @mitchfelipe for more tips and daily fitness and weight management updates


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!