This Beef Stew recipe comes from Chris Kresser’s website. It’s paleo-approved, gluten-free, and simply delicious.  Upon making it I had food for days upon days — this recipe is good for 6 servings or more.  In Chris’ recipe, celeriac root is called for, but I substituted taro root in for another nutrient dense alternative.  It came out to be fantastic.  I also called this [Adobo] for all the Filipino cuisine lovers because this is essentially a “fancy” take on beef adobo.  And dang it is good!



I posted a cooking video for this recipe — check it out for some visuals!  But trust me, this is an easy recipe. You just need to buy the right ingredients, chop em up, and combine them in the slow cooker (or over the stove on low temp) for several hours.




After a few hours of slow cooking, the stew was soupy like this ^

I let it cook for a while longer.  If you like it more soup-like and the beets crunchier, you can take it off the heat at this time.

If you want everything softer, cook it down until it is more like this….



After 6 hours of slow cooking, my yellow beets and taro root absorbed the herbs and juices to the consistency of my ideal texture.  Success.

For the next few days, I had quick stew meals for lunch and these beef omelettes for breakfast.  I love how leftovers can so easily evolve into delicacies ;]



On another day I had a side of stew with my marrow soup and curry scramble.  The possibilities are unlimited….


Now what you need to do:


  • 2 lb. beef chuck or round, cut into two-inch stew cubes
  • 2 TB lard
  • 6 shallots, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree or 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine (if you would prefer not to use wine, substitute 1 1/4 cups additional stock and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 TB dried herbs de Provence (or if you’d like, make your own bouquet garni with fresh herbs–thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, bay leaves, and any others–tied in cheesecloth)
  • 2 cups yellow beets, peeled and cut in 1 to 2 inch chunks
  • 2 cups celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks, about 1 large or two small celery roots. Substitute turnips, carrots, parsnips, etc, for the beets and celery root; just check carb value of your substitutions (on if on low carb plan
  • 4 strips orange zest
  • fresh parsley for garnish, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Heat an oven safe pot over medium heat. Add the lard and onions. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add 6 of the minced garlic cloves and cook for one more minute (save the other 2 for the end).
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients except the fresh parsley. Make sure the liquid completely covers the beef, and add more wine and/or stock if necessary. (If using a slow cooker, transfer the onions and garlic from the pan to the slow cooker, add all ingredients, and cook on low for 4-6 hours).
  5. Stir and allow to come to a gentle, very low simmer. Cover with the lid of the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 4 hours, stirring every hour or so.
  6. The stew is done when the beef is fork tender. At the end of cooking, add the remaining 2 cloves minced garlic and cook for 5 minutes more.
  7. Serve the stew, and garnish with the fresh parsley.


I never go without breakfast, lest I be extremely hangry and on the brink of hulking for the rest of the day…my preferred meal involves salmon, eggs, and veggies. None of this croissant and OJ nonsense..


This combination is beautiful and quick to do in the morning.  It’s merely:

1) baked salmon with tomato/basil hummus (from local farmer’s)

2) sautéed veggies (farmers market spinach, onion, tomatoes) with garlic hummus

3) avocado with lemon pepper, and fried eggs.   Boom.


The key to any efficient and successful breakfast is order of operations.  For this meal it was

1) lather some tomato/basil hummus on the salmon and pop it in the oven at 350 – 375.

2) while thats savory-ifying, quickly chop and sauté the veggies with some coconut oil and spoonful of garlic hummus in the pan without cutting your finger off,

3) while that yumminess is sautéing, fry some eggs in another pan

4) while all three are baking/sauteing/frying, slice the avocado and ready the plates.


In 25 minutes you should be ready to plate and then it’s SNAP SNAP of the camera and BAM, you are on your way to a happy, healthy, and productive day.  You will be so satiated by the end of it so you won’t be at all temped to stuff your face with donuts and other pastry bull at work.



My mouth is watering again..


Whoa, almost forgot about the side of sweet potato!  Added another dollop of garlic hummus with that.  Mhmm. I love sweet potatoes any time of day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert…

Happy healthy eating 🙂


#eat well

#live unlimited

This is a sensational recipe from “Roy’s Fish & Seafood” that features buttery melt-in-your-mouth sea bass on a bed of crab meat cooked in a coconut-wine reduction.  You’ll need to get some ingredients from your local Asian market to start.  If you want to prepare an amazing dish to stun the palette…well this just turned out absolutely amazingly.




The recipe… I just snapped straight from the book. makes things easier: 



So I followed everything except for the heavy cream in the reduction, which I substituted with coconut creme. I also used clarified butter instead of regular.  It was fantastic. 


I would recommend starting the crab mixture reduction first, as you need to reduce down to 1/4 cup which takes time.  Prepare the fish last since it only takes a few minutes to sear.





The deep creamy, tangy flavor of the sweet crab reduction paired with the spicy, vinaigrette-like sauce and perfectly seared bite of fresh fish was an experience of dazzling wonder for the tastebuds…


Several people have asked me about modeling…..they want to know “how do I become a model?” or “how can I get my child started in modeling?”

                I watched Cameron Russell’s TED talk a few weeks ago. As a model, she brings up some valid points in an honest discussion about the power of image, the beauty ideal, and insecurities in the fashion industry.  She says, “I won a genetic lottery and I’m the recipient of a legacy. This is a legacy that was built for me and this is a legacy that I’ve been cashing out on. Saying you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying you want to win the Powerball when you grow up. It’s out of your control and it’s awesome and it’s not a career path. I received all these benefits from a deck stacked in my favor.”
               She commented on the racial bias of the industry noting research from 2007 referencing up the 677 models hired during New York fashion week only 27 were nonwhite….which is less than 4%. Referencing her retouched photos, she notes “these are not pictures of me, they are constructions. Image is powerful, but also image is superficial. How we look, although it is immutable and superficial, has a huge impact on our lives”.
                Personally I do not define myself as a model.  Modeling is part of what I do, not who I am as a whole. That being said, let me break down aspects of the industry from a few years of my own experience:
  1. There are different divisions of modeling. High fashion/ Runway [think NY Fashion week, Vogue ]  Commercial/ Print [ catalogs, magazines, store posters, online images, billboards, TV commercials ]  Sport/ Fitness [ sports brands, fitness magazines]  Hair Modeling [ hair campaigns, hair shows ] Fit Modeling [brands use fit models with specific measurements to assess sample clothing on the human form and make sure the garment fits as planned ] Plus size [where size 8/10 is marketed and defined as “plus” (which is another topic in itself, since this is actually the average woman, not some exception)
  2. If you’re interested in modeling, you need to figure out what your division is.  What is your look and how is it marketable?  High fashion and runway is glamorized and what people see as the “ultimate” in modeling.  In reality, the industry only accepts very tall girls who are naturally thin and then pressures them to get thinner to fit a 0 and below.  Of course dissertations have been written on the cyclical nature of the beauty ideal and marketing, but I won’t go into all that right now. The fact is, if you are not 5’10” and 34 – 24 – 34, don’t even THINK about becoming a high fashion runway muse. The current standards don’t allow it. These gigs I have never aspired to because I know I don’t have that frame type and could never abuse my body to fit those standards.  My look is commercial and athletic, therefore I do commercial/print/sports/hair/and fit modeling gigs.
  3. Then you need to find model agencies where you live. You need an agency to book work. People who claim to be a professional  “freelance” models are not making money out of it.  Major advertisement goes through model agencies in major cities ( NY, LA, SF etc) to find and hire talent.  They don’t search model mayhem and hire randoms.  If you want to try and make a living from model gigs, you must have one or more agencies. The process for getting represented by an agency typically involves submitting yourself online or in person at a “go-see” or “open call” where the agent takes a look at new talent. They want to see women 5’8″ and up who are young, slender, and have clean, clear features and versatile looks. Meeting with an agent is the best bet for finding out if you have the look they want. If so, they will sign you, if not, you will need to try another agency.   If all the agencies tell you no, you should probably find another kind of job.  That said, you could be represented by 5 agencies (one in every county in your area) and still not make money if you aren’t booking work.  So, it’s not just cut and dry.
  1. An open call for an agency will typically ask you to bring a couple digital snapshots of yourself in swimwear, not professional photos. They want to see what your body looks like naturally. If you sign with the agency, you can start developing your portfolio by working with photographers who can give you professional images to capture a variety of your looks. Your portfolio is what markets you to clients for submissions and castings.
Well these are the basics of getting work as a model… hope it helps those who asked.

Deep tissue. Trigger point. Sports massage. Myo-fascial release therapy.

I’ve been getting massages regularly for several years now. It’s really important for injury prevention and muscle recovery throughout the training season of any sport.  The thing is, quality massage is expensive in the US compared to other places… rates start out at $60-80/hr.  However, it is wayy more affordable in other countries like the Philippines (where I’m tempted to get a massage every other day!)
A standard “relaxing” massage will cost you 250 pesos per hour, or just over $6.  It’s amazing how massage in Southeast Asia is more of a commodity than luxury.
 So last time I was in Manila, I wanted to find a good sports massage with therapists who could help fix my muscle imbalances.  The 250 peso massages are nice and inexpensive, but the therapists focus more on a relaxing approach rather than applying hard pressure to really work out the problem areas.   After asking around a bit, Monching at TeamPH told me about Peak Form.  And let’s just say, at this clinic you will not need to ask for “harder pressure please.”  Instead you’ll be biting down on the pillow trying to keep yourself from from screaming bloody murder.
Okay, this may not sound appealing for those who like to avoid pain.  But the thing is, if you are active and have many knots in your muscles……you need to get them worked out.  Even if you are not an athlete training , you still carry a lot of tension from the normal work day and can really benefit from firm massage intended to release problem areas.
First, the therapist does several minutes of laser and ultrasound therapy. This is to stimulate and warm up the muscle prior to deep tissue work.  This part is totally painless.
Then the treated area is massaged out.  HARD.  Don’t underestimate the ability of Jhana, Tara, Nhia, and the other therapists to really get in there and use their elbows to dig the $h!# out of the most painful spots in your muscles. This is what helps break down scar tissue that has built up from training overuse or injury.
[Luckily there are no photos of me during this part. It wouldn’t have been pretty]
Afterwards,  the therapist stretches everything out, which feels great after the myo-fascial release therapy…
To finish up, cryotherapy is used to thoroughly  cool down the muscles. Instead of submerging in an ice bath, this machine is used to blow ice cold air directly onto the skin through a hose.
The therapists at Peak Form are very personable. They actually remember your name and are very warm and friendly. The equipment is new, clean, and everything well maintained.  The clinic has a modern, almost futuristic appeal. Rates for a session start at around 1,200 pesos and treatment is around 1.5 hours.  I call this amazing value for your money!  Now if I lived in Manila, I would probably visit twice a week…. man, if only they had locations in California. 🙂
Peak Form is located in the Fort on the second floor of Riovana. The address is 9th Ave corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City.  (63 2 478 9408)



If you have been already, would like to go, or like the concept of what they are doing at Peak Form, *Like* their page!





Here is a bit more on the clinic… they also do acupuncture and kinesio-taping!

Peak Form: Recovery Center

Runners, after joining a race or while training, recuperate either by resting at home or going to a spa.  Others who feel some aches and pains proceed to a physical therapy center or consult a sports doctor.

What this hub presents is the comforts of home, the leisure of a spa, the modernity of a physical therapy clinic and the tested concepts of sports medicine.  The perfect mix…

What we have to offer (all under one roof):

Sports Doctors – Orthopedic Surgeons and Physiotherapists

* Although we do prefer that individuals with injuries be assessed first in a clinic, our doctors will be more than willing to see patients by appointment.  The center will be manned by nurses and physical therapists but there will be appearances by doctors as well as conditioning and running experts.

Our Orthopedic Surgeon is Dr. Gar Eufemio.  He finished as Chief Resident of the UP-PGH Department of Orthopedics.  He had his fellowship in Sports Medicine at the University of Cincinnati.  He served as the founding head of the UP-PGH Department of Orthopedics Sports Clinic for ten years.  He is the Head of the Ortho-Rehab-Rheuma Division of the De Los Santos/STI MegaClinic and has set up the Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Units of Healthway Medical Clinics and My Health Clinic.  In 2008, he was the “Godfather” for the European Sports Medicine Travelling Fellowship program.  In 2011, he underwent additional training, this time on platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, in Milan, Italy.  He practices in Cardinal Santos Medical Center and in MegaClinic.  He will serve as President of the Philippine Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine for the next two years.

Conditioning Specialists

Sports Medicine is not just a matter of treating injuries when they happen.  More and more, prevention is being thrust into the limelight.  And what better way to prevent problems than to have your body in the best possible shape it can be?  From improving your resistance to maximizing your strength, balance, coordination and skill, our expert is the best in the business, Coach Jim Saret  (most of you know him from his stint on “The Biggest Loser”).   In the field of sports, the people ‘in the know’ know who he is… A product of Brigham Young University, he has worked with PBA and college teams, and members of the national squad.  He is currently a Consultant of the Philippine Olympic Committee and is the Training Director of the Milo-APEX Running Clinics.  Unlike other coaches and trainers who attend short courses and consider themselves as “experts”, he has been going abroad regularly for updates and re-accreditation.  He has been at the top of his field for more than a decade…

Nurses and Physical Therapists

They have been hand-picked from over 300 applicants.  We are proud of our lineup.  They are intelligent, charming, young, enthusiastic, athletic and energetic.


Quite literally, in this center, “East meets West”.  We have a team of acupuncturists headed by Dr. Philip Tan-Gatue.  He graduated from the UP College of Medicine then trained in Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Later on, he went to The China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences for further studies.  He is currently the Section Head of Acupuncture Services at The Center for Wellness and Aesthetics at The Medical City.  Who will understand pain and its management better than an acupuncturist who is also a disciple of modern medicine?


This is a new piece of equipment and there are very few top notch physical therapy centers that have this.  Runners complain of muscle and tendon soreness and joint aches during and after runs.  This slows them down in terms of training since they still have to mend.  What we do with this machine is literally freeze the pain and swelling away.  You only need a few minutes in one area, and we’ll get you back to working out in no time.

Laser and Ultrasound Therapy

These are the basic tools in physical therapy centers; they remain the gold standard in the treatment of inflammation.  They are very helpful in dealing with muscle spasms and any form of swelling.  Patients are known to fall asleep during treatment from the soothing effects of these equipments.

Sports Massage

Athletes are prone to developing fibrous tissue or nodules between the muscle and fascia (the paper-thin covering).  We often hear the words ‘lamig’ or ‘hangin’, terms used by masahistas.  Obviously, medically speaking, there are no such entities.  Scar develops frequently due to overuse and improper technique as well as a poor understanding of stretching, warming up and conditioning.  Myo-fascial release therapy is a technique developed to break down scar tissue (which is the enemy) and help muscles regain proper flexibility and strength.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

This the new buzz word in the management of sports injuries.  Elite athletes like Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Brandon Vera and an increasing number of PBA players and members of the national team are fans of this innovative form of treatment.  It is a simple clinic procedure and takes all of half an hour to finish.  First we extract 15 cc of your blood, place it in two test tubes containing a cell separator then spin it for a few minutes in a centrifuge machine.  Afterwards, the athlete’s plasma rises to the top while the other blood components sink to the bottom.  All the healing cells and growth factors (the good stuff) are in the plasma.  We extract this and inject it directly into the damaged tissue, under local anesthesia of course.  It is very well tolerated even by our wimpy patients.


We see these techni-colored tapes on almost all the body parts of athletes.  Nope, it’s not just for ‘porma’… It follows the priniciple of muscle inhibition and facilitation.  Depending on how and where the tapes are applied, muscles can be rested or assisted.  It’s complicated but it’s been proven to be effective.

Thai cuisine is an amazing, balanced bouquet of fantastic, bursting flavors. Tom Kah Gai has the most wonderful quintissential Thai ingredients to make regular old chicken soup taste like a sad, bland fish bowl. The lemongrass, chili, and coconut components of Tom Kah take your tastebuds on a rollercoaster ride of bliss. And you will never want for another soup.

I visited Thailand earlier this year and was shocked when I witnessed some fellow tourists patronize the local Starbucks and McDonalds, drooling over the thought of a hamburger.  I was somewhere between slapping the living daylights out their faces and regurgitating all over their liquid-sugar-lattes and processed-fried-piece-of-$h!t-“chicken”-nuggets. At the very least I told them: Seriously people – here we are in the heavenly paradise of all-you-can-eat-authentic-Thai-food-mecca and the first thing you crave is some utterly abominable fast food from immoral companies that have greedily taken over the world.

Anyways, I made some Tom Kah the other day. I was pretty happy with how it came out. I made a bunch and saved the rest for the next day’s breakfast. (I don’t discriminate at breakfast.) It was even yummier after the lemongrass had more time to marinate and reveal its lemongrassy goodness.


2 cups coconut milk

5-6 cups chicken stock

1lb boneless chicken (sliced)

1-2 stalks of lemongrass (cut into 3 in sections)

2 chili peppers (halved)

1 ginger root (chopped up)

A bunch of mushrooms (sliced)

2-3 tbsp of chili sauce

Splash of coconut oil

Splash of chili oil

Splash of lime juice

Splash of patis (fish sauce)

Cilantro to garnish

(other versions include sugar, shallots/garlic, coriander, galanga -none of which I included this time)

You may find these ingredients at an Asian supermarket like 99 Ranch and Seafood City.

Once you have it all ready, heat up the coconut milk and chicken stock in a pot and add everything. Boil it and let simmer for a while.  You know its easy like soup.

There were many “splashes” of ingredients because as you taste test you may want to add more or less of a flavor.




TRISWIM – This stuff is awesome.  As a triathlete I spend a lot of time in chlorinated pools and slimy bodies of open water. (Have you ever swam sans wetsuit at Naples to emerge with a thin film of green all over you? Yeah…)

I always use the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash after a swim to neutralize some of the effects chlorine has on my hair and skin.  Honestly it works well and I don’t reek of chemicals for the rest of the day… NOT nice for castings or photoshoots.  If  I don’t use it, my hair has a tendency to bunch up and harden instead of flowing freely and luxuriously. And hey… I like to take care of my mane.   I have long, thick hair, so I like a product like this that actually works to  eliminate chlorine odor.

The lotion feels amazing as well. It’s nice and moisturizing and I don’t have to use that much at once, so it lasts quite a while.

One of the most important aspects I consider in hair products, body wash, and lotion is the scent.  I have a nose like a bloodhound and am extremely sensitive to scents…it’s kind of a curse.  As in, walking by perfume stores makes me want to gag and sparks an immediate headache.  Same thing with overly scented cheap shampoos and washes.  The smell of that stuff leaves a lingering aroma on me throughout the day that has my head pounding by the time I go to sleep.

Thankfully, TRISWIM has a citrus-like scent that is not pleasant and not overpowering at all. It has never given me a headache. I like that. Else, we may have had to part ways long ago…