Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Rise Above Alopecia: Novuhair supports Alopecia Philippines


It may star with a simple case of falling hair, but if you are experiencing too many hair loss, then maybe it's time for you to see your physician. It could already be symptoms of Alopecia areata. This type of disorder highly affects one's self-confidence. It is uncommon in the Philippines but this is due to the fact that people get alopecia at different stages in life. 

arAlopecia eata is an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss is different in everyone. Some people lose it only in a few spots and create a bald spot or patches. Others lose a lot. Sometimes, hair grows back but only to fall out again later. As of this time, researchers still do not know the exact cause of this disorder. 

Most people are ashamed to come out in the open that they are suffering from this health condition, cases are not usually reported and so far, there is no existing statistics here in the Philippines. The good news is that there is a support group called Alopecia Philippines which seeks to help those with the condition to "SEE beyond Alopecia" : Support, Educate, Empower. Novuhair's brand ambassador, singer/songwriter and herself an alopecia patient is a founding member of Alopecia Philippines. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Makcik Nasi Lemak: Quezon City's Best Kept Secret of Authentic Malaysian Food


Makcik Nasi Lemak wrapped in banana leaves in chicken and fish variants

I have always been adventurous when it comes to food. Being Asian, I am partial to foods that use herbs and spices to enhance the foods flavors. I have a new food discovery that I would like to share with you. Have you ever tried Malaysians national dish called Nasi Lemak? If you havent tried it yet, please do. And in case youre craving for the real thingyou wont have to fly all the way to Malaysia to experience such. Makcik Nasi Lemak is here for you.

 Ready to makan?(read: Ready to eat?) The seemingly humble nasi lemak has always had greater ambitions of its own and has inspired Malaysians all over the world and take it to greater heights. You can find nasi lemak every second corner in Malaysia but too often, we take the genius of this complete meal for granted. As a culinary composition, nasi lemak ticks all the boxes for flavor, texture and when done right, beautiful presentation. What makes it truly brilliant is that it is also one of the most affordable foods that have those three factors were all looking for flavor, texture, and presentationif you ask me, these are the three most important aspects of any dish.

Makcik Nasi Lemak in Ikan (fish)

So what exactly makes Makcik Nasi Lemak different from all the other nasi lemak dishes I've tried before? Rich coconut rice, sweet and spicy sambal, hardboiled egg, crunchy peanuts, salty anchovies, and cooling cucumber; and thats before I even indulge on my Malaysian-styled fried chicken or ayam or my deep-fried fishmy inner Asian bursts to the fore upon trying on Makciks version of their nasi lemak. Makciks authentic Malaysian nasi lemak is enjoyed across such a diverse diaspora that you cant find from typical coffee shops to fine dining establishments.

 Makcik’s nasi lemak is quintessential comfort food; it’s something we can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; something that appeals across every class and every palate of our society; something that reminds us of life’s simplicity.

Malay food is known in terms of its spiciness. This can be seen from the preparation, methods of cooking, and availability and use of prominent ingredients, such as local aromatic herbs and spices. But even if you arent a fan of spicy foods, youd love to eat Makciks nasi lemak. Be it with chicken (ayam)or fish (ikan) or even plain and simple nasi lemak, Makciks is a true value-for-money.

Before I indulge for my lunch into Makciks interpretation of this unassuming dish, I tend to have some sort of ritual before I consume my nasi lemak. I mix rice and sambal along with the nuts and dried fish or anchovies. I had to do these first prior to moving on to the other condiments and ascertained my impression of the stallhomely and authentic.

See my amateur videos below:

While some nasi lemak rice is redolent with the scent of coconut, the rice at Makcik only had subtle fragrance and it had the right taste that I liked. Despite that, the grains were light and fluffy, making each mouthful a delightespecially when eaten together with their sambal.

Dont get me started on their sambal, their piquant sambal chili is one of the bests I have tried so far. We were given a generous portion of this fiery red sauce on the banana leaves and they really make the best combination even when eaten alone with the coconut rice. 

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Makcik Nasi Lemak in chicken

Makcik nasi lemak in fish

I'm happy to receive my Makcik nasi lemak lunch. But I was surprised to see a small note outside. 

Purple Plum Fairy enjoyed Makcik Nasi Lemak in Chicken

Makciks sambal delivered the right amount of heat, subdued by a subtle sweetness, resulting in a tantalizing and addictive accompaniment to the dish. Word of advice though: go easy on the sambal as we easily wiped out all the mounds of rice in our kitchen unknowingly.

Using special ingredients such as (if I am not mistaken), paprika, garlic, and herb-infused batter, their fried chicken wings were fried to a perfect golden brown. Despite being left on the side for some time (since I had to take photos and videos first before I was able to eat), they were still incredibly crisp and not cloyingly greasy. 

Ready to makan?

All thanks to the batter, the chicken wing can even be enjoyed on its own even without the sambal. There was a touch of spice that lingered for a split second at the back of my throat and herbaceous fragrance that dissipated in my mouth with every bite.  

For the deep-fried fish, there was a touch of spice that will tickle your tongue. At first glance, I thought it might be slightly tough and overcooked considering its doneness seen from its brownish side. But, do not be deceived by its looks as it was tender and nicely fried.

Makcik nasi Lemak Menu

Never have I expected myself to have nasi lemak by delivery, let alone enjoy it. But I am telling you, it was damn good. Their nasi lemak version is nicely balanced, with firm, fragrant rice, and flavorsome fried chicken wings. The chicken and fish are crisp on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside. The aromatic rice is perfectly steamed, making it the perfect canvas to go with the chicken or fish along with the condiments. I especially liked the sambal with ikan (fish) and swiftly made a clean finish even though my tummy was already quite full, to begin with. When you mix the sambal with dried anchovies, fresh chilies on the riceit was an awesome mixed together because they complement each other.

Order by calling the numbers below or sending them a private message on Facebook.


Curious and interested? Message them on Makcik Nasi Lemak Facebook account or call them at 0908-8753768 or 0917-5028599 to order. They deliver via third party delivery service.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. Prices and availability are subject to change. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The importance of using the right flour in baking


These past few months since the lockdown and community quarantine, it seems like everyone has to be productive and started doing something to keep their hands busy and their minds working. Others have become instant plant parents while others resorted to baking. Banana bread and focaccia are dominating on their Instagram and social media feeds. Others have been swapping recipes or use their kitchen knowledge to help other people by providing foods to the frontliners. All of these are ways on how we can better deal with stress and anxiety brought about by the pandemic. 

Speaking of baking, you don't have to be an expert to choose the right flour. But it helps to find the right texture and to get the right consistency as well on your baked goods. Check out this list and find out if you're using the right flour:

Choosing the proper flour gives your baked goods structure. The strength of flour is measured by the quality and amount of its gluten content. It’s what gives baked goods its structure and makes the dough elastic and firm, so it’s best to choose the best type for your recipe. All-purpose and whole wheat flours are made with harder wheat is higher in gluten and therefore good for breads and loaves. Meanwhile, cake flour is made with soft, finer wheat, and therefore good for delicate pastries like cakes and crepes. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Viviamo! Inc. holds first planning and journaling virtual summit


Viviamo Inc advocates for the power of journaling to find healing, clarity, and connection amidst the pandemic in its first planning and journaling online summit called #YouGotThis, featuring content creator Macoy Dubs, mental health advocate Cat TriviƱo, and more!

September 2020—With everything that’s been going on lately surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, it feels as though we haven’t been given enough time to prepare or process the drastic changes that have been happening in our lives. Given these negative events happening around us, our bodies might be responding to them in three possible ways: suppress feelings associated with the event, don’t actively process the emotions of the situation; or allow the experience to be the sole focus of our life.

“When you’re falling into any of these common responses, and find it hard to freely express your emotions with someone else, then a method that might probably work for you is journal therapy,” advises Darlyn Ty-Nilo, founder and president of Viviamo Inc.--the custom publishing company behind Belle de Jour Power Planner.

This method entails writing down your thoughts and emotions in your journal with the intent of processing them without any judgment from and of yourself and your emotions. This then becomes a powerful journey to self-healing.

With journal therapy, the left part of the brain becomes active, allowing you to be more creative in expressing your ideas. The more you pick up the habit of writing, the more you feel freer from the emotions you have bottling up. Doing so might even give you clarity and understanding of the negative events you have experienced.

Additionally, journal therapy can be highly beneficial to one’s physical and mental wellbeing:
It reduces stress. Journaling is an effective stress-management tool because it helps you prioritize your problems, fears and concerns. It can also track your day-to-day emotions, and recognize your negative triggers and learn how to better control them.

Keeps the mind active and memory sharp. Journaling can help your brain stay in tip-top shape. It helps improve your cognitive functions by boosting comprehension and increasing one’s memory capacity. As you reconnect with yourself, you are also keeping your brain engaged at all times.
Strengthen emotional functions. Journaling can be a cathartic experience for writers. It allows them to express their emotions, helping the brain regulate emotions. Journaling also gives the writers a sense of mindfulness, remaining present while gaining perspective.


How to heal that lockdown brain one entry at a time, so you can
power through.
2020 was a year of uncertainty and consecutive challenges. We spent most of our days in isolation that we’ve almost lost track of time. As we try to regain some balance and slowly recover from how the lockdown has affected our lives, we turn to build good habits that can help us cope and emerge stronger than before. One of them is through journaling.
Medical experts and psychologists have reminded us that keeping a journal may actually help us boost our mental health by helping us gain control of our emotions and plans. Here, we have listed down five more things that you can do better when you have a journal.
It helps you acknowledge and process your feelings better. We are coming from a time of emotional rollercoaster and situations that we are not really built for. Close interactions now scare us. We feel fear the moment we envision what the future holds for us. Some days, we feel grateful and moved by the possibility of caring from a distance. We miss the beach, we long for get-togethers.

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