Clean & Mean Routine: Tip 3 – Exercise 4x a Week

Monday, 27 January 2014  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

TBR Clean & Mean Routine is a series of nutrition and wellness tips from for people who wish to start the year right by living cleaner, healthier lives. New tips are posted every Monday from Jan. 13 to Feb. 24.


As mentioned, our TBR Clean & Mean Routine is about eating clean food. It’s also about being MEAN. M in Mean is for meals of three and snacks of two. E is for EXERCISE at least 4x a week.

This week, focus on engaging in a physical activity at least 4x a week.


For me, these are the criteria for your ideal workout:

1) Challenges your body – While any kind of movement, like a stroll in the park, will burn calories, it just won’t be enough if you want to get fitter. Choose an activity will get your heart pumping and also toughen you up mentally.

2) Fits your lifestyle – The activity has to fit well into your daily schedule and the rest of your life. It should not interfere with your obligations in life such as family and career. It should be something you can afford. It should be something you can do regularly without being too much of an inconvenience.

3) You enjoy doing it – Go for an activity that you would do simply because you love it and not because you have to burn the calories from dinner last night or you have to look great for an upcoming wedding.

4) It is sustainable – Think long term. Start an activity that you can see yourself doing for at least 6 months. Even better if you can see yourself doing it for the rest of your life.

Having mentioned that, it doesn’t mean that you can only choose one activity for the entire week. You can have a variety of workouts throughout the week and this is actually better so that you use different muscle groups and even avoid injury. For example, triathletes will typically juggle swim, bike, and run workouts throughout the week with some strength and flexibility workouts thrown into the mix.


Since you’re on this blog, I’m assuming that if you’re not running yet then there is at least an interest in starting. Good for you. It is my opinion (and yes I must admit I am biased) that running is the best cardiovascular activity you can get into. It is affordable (just get a good pair of shoes), convenient (just head out the door), easy (choose to go at your own pace!), and efficient (one of the activities that can get you to burn a ton of calories in just an hour.)

I’ve been running for almost 8 years now. It surprises some non-runners or beginners when I tell them that I run just 3 to 4x a week. Even when I’m training for a marathon, I run a maximum of 4x a week and cross train on other days to allow for recovery and keep injury at bay.

Most beginners still have the misconception that runners run every single day. They think: “I can’t be a runner! I don’t have time to do it!” Truth is, squeezing in an hour of running on 4 days of the week is easy. Just quit lurking of Facebook and Instagram, skip watching TV, or run before dinner. You’ll find that it’s pretty easy to get a workout into your day.


As mentioned in the past tips, our goal isn’t to start a new diet or fitness regimen. It’s to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.

My hope for you is that you find the workout that you’ll love. That you start engaging in this new physical activity with goals of becoming better at the sport and progressing in your skills rather than staring at the numbers on the scale. That you lace up your shoes and head out the door with enthusiasm and excitement rather than dreading the couple of hours of suffering and sweat. That, in time, you find yourself waking up to workout without giving it a thought because it’s just as regular as brushing your teeth.

And, yes, I will understand if it isn’t running. Although I will tell you that you’ll be missing out bigtime!


If you want to join me and others on our TBR Clean and Mean Routine for 2014, just do this:

Post a comment on TBR FACEBOOK PAGE that you commit to practicing the tip for the next 7 days. If you don’t have FB, you can post your comment on this blogpost.

Watch out for our weekly TBR Clean & Mean Routine tip every Monday. I will ask you to post a comment on each of those weekly tips until February 24.

Throughout the week, feel free to chat and converse with others in the TBR FB Page who are trying to apply the weekly tips in their lives.

By the first week of March, I will ask you to submit a story on how this plan worked for you and what changes you saw in your life. The most compelling and interesting submission will win a pair of running shoes from me.

Let me know how this week goes for you! See you next Monday!

TBR Clean & Mean Routine – Part 1 & Part 2
Tip 1: Eat Clean
Tip 2: Mealtime: Listen to Your Body

TBR Clean & Mean Routine for 2014: Get Fit and Lose Weight (Part 1)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

I woke up on the first day of 2014 and, guess what, I was unafraid of the numbers on the weighing scale! Yeees!

You may be thinking: “What’s the big deal?”

First thing’s first, remove that scowl off your face. Di na uso ang Scrooge. Start the year with a smile.

Secondly, it’s a big deal for me because, for the first time in my adult life, I didn’t stress over my weight during the Holidays. Truth is, I usually gain 3 to 5 pounds during the Holidays and I spend the first quarter of each year working out to death to melt the fat off my jelly thighs.

But, this time, I was pretty confident that my weight was stable not just through Christmas but all throughout the entire 2013! What did I do differently? I finally made peace with food.

I would say 3 things helped me to maintain my weight and change my eating habits:


All my life I would go on periodic diets in futile attempts to drop a few pounds. I tried the Cabbage Soup diet, Skyflakes and Skim Milk for dinner diet, Nothing after 6pm diet, fasting on bread and water (like a true Catholic school girl LOL), and even diet pills. I would cancel out entire food groups—no carbs, no meat, no dessert—for weeks. I even tried Cheat Day Sundays last 2012, which only taught me to deprive myself all week and binge on weekends so much so that I’d wake up with a migraine on Mondays.  I lived many many years in fear of food thinking it was my biggest enemy. Worse, I would lose weight then gain it back…or even more.

In 2013, I didn’t diet AT ALL. But, before you think I could eat everything I wanted, it was more of just adopting a healthy lifestyle so that I didn’t feel like I was dieting.  I ate healthy food most of the time, but I allowed myself to eat junk—Cheetos, soda, brownies—once in a while and in moderation. (Hey, life is short and I believe we all should live it fully!)  By never feeling deprived, I realized that I rarely even craved for junk and, on the rare occasion that I did, I wouldn’t even devour the entire pack like I used to.

REMEMBER: It’s not about what you eat sometimes, but it’s about what you eat most of the time.


I had a paradigm shift with food. I stopped thinking about what I shouldn’t eat. I changed my focus on all the good, nutritious, delicious food that I could nourish my body with and those that could help fuel my running and triathlon. This is called “crowding out.” By filling myself with nutritious, wholesome food, I didn’t have much space for the junk.

REMEMBER: Food is fuel.


I worked out 6 days a week with Monday as my only rest day. I would run 2-3 times a week, swim twice a week, bike twice a week. Earlier in the year, I would also do Bikram Yoga. After Ironman Cebu 70.3, I enjoyed my workouts immensely as I focused more on fitness rather than a particular race.

Working out isn’t about dropping pounds anymore (unless I overate the night before LOL). It has become a regular activity that is as routine as brushing my teeth and showering.

If you’re too busy to commit to 5x a week, then 3x will do.  Just make sure they are efficient workouts so as not to waste your precious time away from work or family.  Workouts should also be fun.

REMEMBER: Don’t think about it. Just do it.

So, in case you woke up this morning fearful of the numbers on that scale or fitting into your favorite jeans, don’t stress. You are not alone! That’s exactly why I shared my learnings above for you.  Just like you, I’m still a work in progress.  I also have a lot of healthy resolutions and goals for the New Year.  I’m also taking up a course on Holistic Nutrition and Wellness and I try to practice everything I learn to nourish my own body and mind.  I would say what I learned was one of the key factors that helped me adopt a healthier lifestyle…and also the fact that I’m aging haha.

In my next post, I’ll be launching my TBR Clean & Mean Routine for 2014.  It’s a plan I initially made on my own for myself.  But, I realized I could share it with all of you and invite you to join me on this.

It’s a very simple plan on how to live a healthier, happier life without over complicating matters.  (I hate diet plans that have you making baon fruits while everyone is eating normal restaurant fare or those that have you counting calories before you dig into dessert.)  I’ll be sharing with you weekly tips on how to eat well and live well and you have to agree to work on the tip for the entire week.  I’m hoping by the end of the entire program, you would have at least kept one of those tips and practiced it as a habit.  This is a plan that can get you to lose weight and get fit in a simple way without taking too much time or causing inconvenience with the rest of your life.

Are you game?  Watch out for it!

TBR DM: 1st Weight Management Session

Saturday, 26 November 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Last November 22, 2011, TBR Dream Marathoners who had the good fortune of obtaining limited slots for the free TBR DM Weight Management Sessions with Armand and Mitch Mendoza met up for their 1st session.  The first get together was held at Jamba Juice in Bonifacio High Street.


Jamba Juice Managing Director Sharon Fuentebella gave all of us a warm welcome plus yummy Strawberries Wild samples for all the runners.  I gave a brief talk on my own nutrition and diet tips while training for a marathon.

– Sharon of Jamba Juice talks about what runners and Jamba Juice have in common: health and fitness –

Miriam Valero, a TBR DM Batch 2011 alumni shared her success story on her weight loss while training for TBR Dream.  She told us how she changed her lifestyle by increasing her activities to running and Barre 3 workouts, eating lighter dinners, and limiting her indulgence for sweets.  She talked about her once seemingly impossible goal of fitting into her 20-year-old jeans and surprised us when she said, for the first time, she was wearing the jeans she spoke of!

– Miriam Valero, TBR DM Alumni, lost almost 20 lbs with the help of Armand and Mitch –

– Miriam in her jeans. Ton talaga! By the way, Miriam and Ton met at TBR DM Weight Management Program last year. Now, they’re good friends and run buddies –

Armand Mendoza then discussed the weight management program and the goals for the entire group.  During the talks, Mitch Mendoza weighed in all of our participants and had them fill up questionnaires.

– Mitch weighs in our runners. This is so nerve wracking –

From now until marathon day, our runners will be noting down everything that enters their mouth in a food journal.  They’ll also be meeting once a month with Armand and Mitch for consultations.  Oh, I’m so looking forward to seeing all the wonderful transformations in this group!  All the best to you guys!

– with Jim Fuentebella of Jamba Juice –

Thanks too Jamba Juice for hosting our event!

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!


Day Two: Misibis Bay Fitness Escape

Friday, 20 May 2011  |  Bullish Insights, Healthy Food + Recipes

Day 2: May 18, 2011 | Wednesday

The day started early at 4:45 am for our ATV ride right outside Misibis Bay. We had a clear view of Mayon Volcano and the ocean as we drove around the area feeling like we were literally on top of the world.

– All aboard our ATVs! –

– Check out the awesome view behind us! –

We stopped at a secluded yet secure area and then began a steep 30 minute trail walk towards a hilltop that offered us even a more scenic view. Wow, this was truly rejuvenating not just for the body but for the soul.

– Trail walking and, for the more adventurous, maybe trail running –

– Reaching the top! –

After a quick change, we all met at the beach for Mitch and Armand’s Beach Boot Camp. This was a series of short bursts of cardio activities like running, high-knees, etc. interspersed with strength and core training. It was a fun but need I say challenging workout.

– It was hot and tiring, but I’d do anything for a good workout –

– Push ups until our arms went numb. Well, at least mine did! –

– We survived…with hundreds of calories burned to boot! –

To cool down (but not exactly slow down), we jumped into the pool for an Aqua Aerobics session. Wow, I never knew how difficult seemingly simple arm and leg movements are when done under water. Definitely great for toning those arms and legs!

– Never thought aqua aero could be this fun! –

After a healthy lunch, we hopped onto the speedboat towards Pututan Island for some cave exploring!

– Ready for the boat ride –

– We saw Mayon from the boat. I was speechless –

We climbed 120 steps up towards the cave only to rapel down into it. Once inside, we submerged ourselves into the oh-so cold water and viewed the rocks and stalactites formed over the past hundred years.

– Those 120 steps was easier than we thought. Now onto the cave –

– After a muddy rapel down, we all made it to the bottom! –

– We climbed, and crawled… –

– …walked and laughed all for some cave fun –

With that busy sched, we had our share of relaxing downtime too. We had a healthy salmon sandwich snack by the beach served by the excellent staff of Misibis. If we had special orders, such as coffee or yogurt, they provided these with a smile. Fantastic!

Before dinner, Mitch led a lifestyle modification talk where she offered individualized advice to each of us based on our interviews and assessments. I will share with you what she said about me in a later post, but can I just say she was spot on?!

– Mitch discussed healthy lifestyle eating habits –

Dinner was a healthy Filipino dinner by the sea again. I had to run off and leave them though as my masseuse—along with her massage bed and lavender oil—was waiting at the villa.

Previous: Misibis Bay Fitness Escape – Day 1