This is why you’re fat

Last night, I ran into an old college buddy. His first words to me were “Ang taba mo!”

This is a real chocolate bar!Pasalubong from Ps Bernard. This box was literally full of chocolate. 30 people shared it, but they left the spoils with me. Ouch.

With Raz & ThonySee that large untouched plate in front? That’s mine. Round two.

The danger's not in the coffeeThe Dezaato Pan cafe amerikano was delicious (touch of sugar, that’s all). You don’t see the berry bread. You don’t see the choco log.

Photo 26End result: a life of fat.

How do you combat this? The easiest formula in the world, yet the most difficult to apply.

Burn more than you take in.

Hasn’t happened yet. Need more exercise! Need to eat more sensibly! Come on, Ganns! You did it before! Do it again!!


Dear Dad,

I just got home from work today. It was a long and tough day; You know that, You were there with me.

You heard my cry and saw my tears as I prayed this morning for forgiveness for my folly. You stood by as I dedicated today to You.

You saw me fall by the wayside when I had my chicken and salsa with a cup and a half of rice and one longganisa. You saw me dig into Crickette’s surprise cake and ice cream. You saw me wolf down those Meiji chocolates. You saw me eat my beef misono at Tokyo Tokyo. You saw me eat two-thirds of the Pic-a. You watched me make a total pig of myself today. I feel like vomiting, Dad. I feel awful, physically and spiritually. I’ve made a mess of myself again, and I’ve let You down.

Is this really my life, Dad? Should I accept that I just don’t have what it takes to be thin?

I’m sorry, Dad. I’m so sorry!

This is all I’m going to say to You on my blog, Dad. I’ll talk to You in a few minutes, just You and me. Please forgive me my iniquities and idiocies; I seek Your mercy and strength to get through this crossroads. I can’t do this anymore, I just can’t.

Continue reading “Crossroads”

Experiencing 7-11’s Big Bite Challenge

At 11am last Sunday, I swung by the 7-11 store along 32nd Avenue in Bonifacio Global City to accompany a friend who wanted to join the 7-11 Big Bite Challenge. Basically, you buy the Big Bite Pack – five hotdog sandwiches and a giant glass of sugar soda then wolf them down. Fastest man wins, like, PHP50,000 or something like that. Huge amount of money.

Anyway, so I went with my friend Stephen because he wanted to join the Big Bite Challenge. When we arrived, there was a television crew at the 7-11 store we selected. The three hosts of “Boys Night Out” (89.9 Magic?) were there, and apparently, they were awaiting a customer who would avail of that challenge so they could shoot it for MTV. So guess who was unlucky enough to be there at that time?

Stephen bought the hotdogs, signed the waivers, had me “witness” the contract, and chose his hotdogs. After one crew member asked unfortunately which variant I wanted – excuse me, I wasn’t the contestant! Can you blame him for thinking so, though? – Stephen took them over to a table and began to set up. After asking permission to shoot him, the TV crew set Stephen up and the three radio jocks interviewed him. Cue crude homosexual jokes. Then Stephen got to work. It was WILD. He just downed those hotdogs and everything else. When the smoke cleared, he finished 2:47. Like I said, it was WILD. Good enough for fourth in that store, or so I’ve heard. I’ll bet if he gave it another go-around, he may actually beat the record. I’m not kidding. It was his first time; he can do it better, the second time around.

I took some photos and a video of the actual gluttony eating contest, and that was that. It was my first time to experience something like that and it was kinda surreal. I’m real proud of Stephen, though. I wonder how he’d do with pizza…

The Fry Wars (or “Just when Jollibee was about to kick McDonald’s butt”)

Jollibee vs McDonald'sThe world loves fast food French fries, and in the Philippines, there are only two contenders: American fast food giant McDonald’s and Philippine upstart Jollibee. While general knowledge accepts that Jollibee is more popular than Mickey D’s on local shores, there was always one area where Ronald McDonald trumped the Jolly Bee: the french fry.

Recently, McDonald’s launched a larger-sized french fry option. Prior to the release of the largest size box of fries, McDonald’s and Jollibee had only two sizes: small (regular) and large. McDonald’s then decided to upsize its upsized fry offerings. In a rather confusing terminology shift, the new size, retailing for PHP55, was now called large, and the previous large was renamed medium. (Regular stayed, well, regular.) To make matters even more unusual, one could add a few pesos to a value meal to “upsize” their fries, but only enough to upsize to a medium, because one may only purchase the (now) large fries a la carte.

Jollibee followed a few weeks later, offering an option larger than large, and calling it, “extra large.” From my perspective, this was a no-brainer, but when compared to McDonald’s rather strange decision to rename its fry sizes, it seems particularly brilliant. The term “extra large” connotes more value than “large,” and offers a subliminal message that we’re getting value, no matter which we choose. (Compare this to McDonald’s terminology, which now expects us to accept that the formerly large fries are now just medium; where is the value in that?)

To top it all off, Jollibee introduces two fry dip options, cheese and salsa, for these large fries! AT PHP10 per serving, it’s a little pricey for its size, but tell that to your drooling five-year-old!

But just when you thought Jollibee had McDonald’s reeling on the ropes, lo and behold! The Ice Age 3 movie-product tie-in ushers in the return of the Golden Arches’ incomparable Twister Fries! Available for PHP55 a la carte (or PHP78 if you want a 16 oz blue-colored Sprite-powered float), Twister Fries are always a surefire bestseller at McDonald’s. If activity on Plurk is any indication, McDonald’s is firmly back in the ball game with the re-release of the Twister Fries. People are microblogging about it and returning to McDonald’s just to order it.

The Fry Wars just got hotter. What will Jollibee do now? Release its vaunted CrissCut Fries? Perhaps come up with something even more different? Will a third burger chain release a French fry that captures the local public’s imagination? Who knows what will happen next in… The Fry Wars!

Image lifted off, no copyright infringement intended.

Your nonstick pans can make you ill

For months, Cathy and I have become more and more concerned with our pans. Two of our pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), more commonly known as Teflon, which makes for great nonstick cookware, but not necessarily for our bodies and the environment.

PTFE can be toxic depending on how we use our cookware. While PFTE is generally stable and non-toxic, it begins to degrade when cooking temperatures reach about 260 degrees C (500 degrees F); if temperatures exceed 350 degrees C (660 degrees F), it decomposes, and fumes are then released into the air. These fumes can kill birds; they can also cause flu-like symptoms in humans.

Nonstick pans are also lethal to the environment. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used to manufacture the Teflon used in nonstick pans. According to Wikipedia, PFOA is a “toxicant and carcinogen in animals, persistent in the environment, and detected in the blood of general populations in the low parts per billion range.” It has been linked to infertility, birth defects, increased cancer rates, changes to lipid levels, the immune system, and liver.” DuPont, Teflon manufacturer, says there is no way at the present to manufacture Teflon without PFOA.

Apparently, international legislation would like to see nonstick pans completely phased out by 2015. If such is the case, then we’d better get used to dealing with other options. What options do we therefore have? Believe it or not, it may not be such a bad idea to use stainless steel. Some people are averse to using stainless steel, owing primarily to the difficulty of the cleaning process, but I’d much rather go with a tested conductor of heat that doesn’t release anything into my body or the atmosphere than with a nonstick that could potentially trigger my body into cancer production overdrive. (Read Is stainless steel good for you? or Stainless steel is great in any kitchen; read Season your pans for non-stick cooking for an opposite view.)

There are other “generic” options as well, including cast iron, aluminum, and copper. I’m not too hot on the idea of using most of these, though, because based on what I’ve read, once these cookware reach certain temperatures, there are chemicals or elements that can leach into your food or get released into the air.

Another option would be to try other cookware that don’t use Teflon. GreenPan is one such option. I’ve seen advertisements for it on the Lifestyle Network – or was it Channel 58 AFC? – for months. I also saw an Eco-Pan at the Landmark TriNoma. It looks eerily similar to the GreenPan, but without much literature about the products online – save for the Multiply page to which I’ve linked – I can’t offer much other information.

This afternoon, Cathy and I bought a GreenPan (the 28cm New York, whose handle allows for the pan to be used in baking, how awesome). According to the literature, it is PTFE- and PFOA-free; production of the pan emits up to 60% less carbon than Teflon-coated pans; and the packaging is made with recycled material, designed to be easier for recycling. It conducts heat so well that it takes less energy and heat to cook one’s meals. Cleanup is easy and convenient, and it’s guaranteed for two years. (Use Messy Bessy Ecofriendly Dishwashing Liquid, or make your own! There’s a great recipe here; all ingredients, including pure glycerine, are available at SM supermarkets.)

It was a heckuva lot more expensive than I would’ve imagined, but I feel much better for it. Better to spend a little more now and be safe than sorry in the long run, I always say. Okay, I don’t always say that – actually, I never say that – but if it’s good for my family and the environment, it’s worth the investment.

Enjoying Zen Zest’s Sparkling Sugar fragrances

Zen Zest Sparkling Sugar - Vanilla Ice CreamHave you been to a Zen Zest kiosk lately? They’ve launched a new line of fragrances, body butters, and body polishes based on sugary goodies, and my mouth is literally watering with the recollection of the four variants, collectively known as the Zen Zest Sparkling Sugar collection.

My favorite of the lot is the Vanilla Ice Cream variant. Cathy spritzed herself with some of that and I just wanted to eat her up. There’s something in vanilla that’s just inviting. According to the bottle, there’s vanilla bean and milk in there, and it just drove me nuts. I wanted to eat her up!

The other three Zen Zest Sparkling Sugar variants are (in order of my preference) Key Lime Pie, Watermelon Sorbet, and Cherry Cheesecake. All four smell delicious, and aren’t so badly priced, so I don’t have to take out a few payday loans to afford the whole collection.

Surprise! Organic lettuce is cheaper!

Cathy, Nathan, and I were out shopping at SM North EDSA when I decided to pass by the organic area of the vegetable section. A few minutes earlier, I popped a PHP62.00 200-gram bag of mixed greens from Dizon Farms into my cart for the lemon butter tuna salad with capers I was planning to make myself tomorrow night for dinner.

I then picked up a bag of the organic lettuce and was surprised to see that the hydroponic lettuce cost just a little over PHP40.00 for 200 grams! Furthermore, it was a nice Romanian lettuce, fibrous and flavorful, unlike the usual mixed greens mix which doesn’t have much color and texture.

If you like salads, don’t be afraid to buy the hydroponic lettuce. It’s just as good, if not better, than regular big farm lettuce, and as it turns out, it’s even cheaper!

Jack ‘N Jill Pic-A rocks my world!

Jack ‘N Jill Pic-A first entered my world two Thursdays ago, May 30. My officemate Teri and I did a snack run at Market! Market!, and I recall it surprised me to find a Jack ‘N Jill snack that was so large. It is large. 180 grams of pure snacky goodness! I tried it and was instantly hooked.

What I love about Jack ‘N Jill Pic-A is that it’s a delicious combination of three terrific Jack ‘N Jill snacks: Nova (our local version of Frito-Lay’s Sun Chips), Tostillas (Doritos), and Piattos, which has no international equivalent. It’s like Frito-Lay’s Munchies, which has Sun Chips, Doritos, and Rold Gold pretzels, which is fine because me no likey pretzels. There are two variations of Jack ‘N Jill Pic-A: BBQ Overload, which is the one I tried, and Ultimate Cheddar.

Unfortunately, since that Thursday, I had not been able to find another bag of Pic-A. Market! Market!, SM Hypermarket, Mercury Drug, Rustan’s, nothing. It had been almost two weeks! Then, this morning, at 2AM, during an early morning snack run with Cathy – McDonald’s Shake! Shake! french fries, Chicken Nuggets, and a double cheeseburger – I found it at 7-11 Banawe!

Jack N’ Jill Pic-A retails for PHP34.75 at Market! Market!, but I bought it at 7-11 for PHP44.00. Well worth my money. I LOVE IT.