Chinese Vitamix Knock Off 220v {15}

Chinese Vitamix Knock Off 220v

Last year or so I wrote about my green smoothies, and how I was enjoying getting into those. It is really exciting for me as I look towards my eventual retirement in the Philippines, because frankly it had been a little difficult to see how I was going to eat healthy there. The change of my diet to these smoothie (or shakes as they are known as there), allows me to take advantage of one the true benefits of the Mindanao region, the abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables.

At the heart of my smoothie making is the Vitamix blender. I have an older model – Total Nutrition Center VM0103. I do have plans to take that with me, if it’s still running, when I finally make the move. The problem with it is the voltage, which I’ve touched on before. In anticipation of that I have plans to use a 2000 watt step up/step down transformer, as the Vitamix consumes 1380 watts at peak. I consider this a temporary, or back up, solution.

I Want Hairy Ankles {2}

I Want Hairy Ankles

I’m a hairy guy. Everywhere except my head. Pilipinos naturally are less hairy, for the most part, but even by American standards, I’m just really hairy.

Additionally, as you might surmise, I’m white. Pretty stark white when I haven’t had much sun. When compared to the locals of the Philippines I stand out quite visibly. I recall hearing the term “ivory snow” from a couple of young girls that where admiring(?) me during my first visit to the Philippines. At least that is what is sounded like between the giggles they were exchanging.

Dirty Kitchen {7}

Dirty Kitchen

The first time I heard this term was in the inlaws’ balay. I couldn’t understand why there was so much pride in the statement, “we have a dirty kitchen.” I looked around at the the kitchen, and while it was a little messy, I couldn’t use the term “dirty’ to describe it and said as much. That got quite a few laughs. Another misinterpretation by the silly kano.

The dirty kitchen of the Philippines can best be described as an outdoor kitchen, or similar to a built in barbecue. It dates way back (Spanish influence?), and in the provinces it may be the only kitchen they have. At least it is more likely to have the outdoor “dirty kitchen” then the indoor kitchen, if there is just one.

Coconut Nectar {11}

Coconut Nectar

I’ve written previously about the many uses for the amazing coconut. It seems like I learn about another one every couple of months or so. My previous discovery, which was really just news to me and not anyone living in the Philippines, was the benefits of coconut water for replenishment. I’ll tell you, that industry has really taken off here, but that’s another story.

No, this time I come across Coconut Nectar, which is being touted as a low glycemic alternative to Agave Nectar. Agave nectar has gained quite a following lately, also, because of it’s nice combination of sweetness and low glycemic hit. Little did I know of the possible negative aspects of it, as always seems to be the case with anything sounding too good to be true. Honestly I don’t know what people should eat sometimes, as it seems everything has it’s objectors and nay sayers.

It IS Cheaper to Live in the Philippines {11}

It IS Cheaper to Live in the Philippines

I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. I could be referring to the economy, politics, life in general, any number of things (that clip from Network is as relevant today as when the movie came out), but in this instance I’m referring to what seems to be the nonsense that I keep reading over and over again on posts/articles, mainly from expats living in the Philippines. For some reason many seem to enjoy spreading the word that things are not cheaper in the Philippines. I don’t live there, yet, but let me tell you this, in case you are confused – IT IS CHEAPER TO LIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

I will give them this, there are some things that can cost more there, but even then, what is their reference? As an example, lots of things in Seattle cost me more than in Spokane, and vice versa for that matter. Overall, Seattle is more expensive to live in than Spokane though, and that is one of the reasons I moved here 20 years. Not the only one, though.

Tableya – Pure Cacao Tablets {5}

Tableya – Pure Cacao Tablets

In case you haven’t heard, dark chocolate, or pure cacao, is one of the latest health kicks here in the US. I had began to hear about pure cacao beans and/or nibs prior to my trip to the Philippines late last year. I even purchased some, and have begun adding them to my green smoothies and my hot cereal in the morning. They aren’t sweet, but I like them a lot.

While visiting Davao and Samal Island last year I got to take a trip to Bankerohan Market where we enjoyed the local favorite of sikwate. Sikwate (or sekwate) is a hot drink made from the pure cacao beans. I also picked up some of the cacao tablets for my trip back home. That was my first time to try the hot chocolate drink made of this pure cacao, and it was quite a treat for me.

Hot Yoga Home Studio {8}

Hot Yoga Home Studio

I’ve been doing Bikram yoga for about 9 or 10 months now. I’ve gotten better but have a long ways to go in many of the postures. It’s not about how good you are, at least that’s what they tell you, the benefits are received from the effort put forth. As long as you try to do the exercises correctly, you should gain 100% of the benefits.

I average about 3 days a week. I tried to go 5 days a week for awhile, and I was mostly successful in that regard, but frankly it just takes up too much time to do that. It takes up about three hours of the day, on the days that I do yoga. The class is only 90 minutes, but I need to get there early to change and setup, there is the cooling down time, and the subsequent shower/changing and the trip home. There is also laundry time needed for the soaked clothing and towels. It’s a good chunk of time regardless of how you count it.

The Elderly {2}

The Elderly

As is the case with so many thoughts I have lately, I can not help but consider how things are here in the US, where I live, versus the Philippines, where I wish to live. Sometimes it’s not a direct connection in my mind, but comes about after I’ve been faced with situations to deal with, and then later it becomes apparent that it will be much different in the future.

I’ve been noticing an aging issue(s) more and more recently here in America. As I drive a lot during the day because of my work, that is one of the first areas that it has become apparent, but there are many others.