Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Getting fit with Skechers Sport!

Well, I'm trying! It is not easy. I haven't really consistently worked out since... Let's see... Since before I got pregnant with my third son, Piero? Which means I haven't really exercised since 2013!

Good heavens. I need to get back in shape! I made up lots of excuses like I'm breastfeeding so I don't want to burn too much fat, or I'm too tired because, you know, three little boys. And taking care of them is already a workout, right?! Right!

Well, nope. Even with all the chasing around, lifting up, and carrying that I do, I'm kinda flabby everywhere. Look.

I know hindi halata because I'm skinny, but I'm really soft everywhere. Plus, I never really lost the baby belly. To this day, if I happen to not be wearing my Wink Postpartum Bikini shapewear, or if I was lazy and not engaging my abs, or if I was simply wearing something a bit loose, someone will congratulate me on being pregnant. Guaranteed. My baby is now 1 year and 2 months old. I really should start getting fit! No excuses na!

So there, as the photo above shows, nag-gym na ako. I'm wearing my trusty Skechers GOwalk shoes. I love my Skechers GOwalk shoes! But they're really just designed for walking so if I want to jog or run or dance, I should get a different kind of shoe. So, because I love Skechers na, I went to their big sale last month to get new shoes.

The staff at Skechers said that for my new needs (for, you know, gymming!), I need the Skechers Sport. It has memory foam so I'll feel comfy all day long, and it comes in many styles and designs so the kikay in me won't go blech. Syempre, as I was shopping, I just had to ask everyone on my social media which one I should get:
Super hit this post! On Instagram, people voted for the left. On Facebook, people voted for the right.

I voted for...

I LOVE MY SKECHERS SPORT! Look at the details:
Gray knit material. Pink polka dots. What's not to love?
The shoe breathes. So cool and fresh to wear.
Pink details never hurt!
Memory foam cushions feet. These are so comfortable!
The S is for Super. Well, Skechers. Skechers Sport. Super Skechers Sport! 

They're so pretty, I wear them even when I'm not in the gym! Now that athletic styling is mega huge because being healthy and fit is cool again, there's a lot of girls who've forsaken their heels for trainers. Like, street fashion now has girls in cute dresses with sneakers, or monochrome outfits paired with colorful trainers, or the sexiness of short shorts and mini skirts toned down with adorable trainers. It's becoming my fashion thing now, too! I'll do an #OOTD of me in my Skechers shoes soon!

But let's not forget that Skechers Sport is designed for sporty activities! So when Skechers invited me and other media personalities to a Zumba party a couple of weeks ago, gumising talaga ako nang maaga to go. If I'm serious with this getting fit thing, then let's do Zumba!

Skechers invited Colombian celebrity Zumba instructor Monica Pulgarin (in red) to teach us how to Zumba.
Whee! Guests get to wear a free pair of Skechers! These are just two of the many styles.
This is what I got! So sleek! Love. It!
Sexy ladies (and a few men) getting ready to get sweaty.
Monica (in cap) dances her way to our pounding hearts.

My friend Nicole Romero blogged about this fun party on Beauty & Sparkle: Skechers Zumba Fitness Fun. If you click on it, you'll see me super panget and pawis haha!

And here's Monica's take on the Zumba party:

Fun fun! Skechers is really making me want to get fit, ha. They're giving me and my family free shoes for a year just so I can get me and my kids out and running. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Skechers! I will really try hard to get fit na. Hopefully, as fit as Monica Pulgarin! Yes, I'm ambisyosa like that!

Skechers Sport is available at the following Skechers stores: Glorietta 2, TriNoma, Ayala Fairview Terraces, SM North Edsa The Annex, SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place Manila, Gateway Mall, Lucky Chinatown, Market Market, Festival Mall, Alabang Town Center, SM Fairview, SM Dasmarinas, Paseo Sta. Rosa, Marquee Mall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, SM Davao, Centrio Mall Cagayan de Oro and LimKetKai Mall CDO. Also available at SM Stores: SM Makati, SM Manila, SM Megamall and SM North EDSA.

Visit Skechers on Facebook
Follow @SkechersPH on Twitter and Instagram! 

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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The proper way to brush teeth, plus other facts I learned from Colgate

This post is brought to you by Colgate.

This year, I resolved that my family will actively care for our teeth. That means:
  • a visit to the dentist every 6 months
  • strictly enforcing brushing teeth at bedtime
  • supervising brush teeth time
  • no eating or drinking after brushing teeth
  • flossing
Yep, I confess that I've never been that strict with my kids with their dental health. Of course we nag the boys to brush their teeth (and they do!) but that's it—we just nag but we weren’t in the bathroom checking if they were doing it right.

So what's been happening all this time was the boys eating their Colgate Spider-Man toothpaste! Plus, after "brushing" their teeth, I allowed them to drink milk. Even though I failed to do my parental duty there, my 5-year-old Vito's teeth were spared. Three-year-old Iñigo's teeth had a different story. So their dentist gave us the instructions above and I'm proud to report we've been diligent about this and their teeth have been looking better. Yey!  

Those little cavities on Iñigo's teeth was my wakeup call. Dental health is really important, even with baby teeth. We parents aren't so careful with baby teeth because we know they'll fall out anyway. But the kids' dentist warned us that when baby teeth rot away or need to be extracted, the growth of the permanent teeth is terribly compromised. 

That scared me! So when Colgate invited me and a few other mom bloggers to their “Colgate Healthy Smiles for Healthy Lives” quiz-off at the Seda Hotel in BGC, off I went!

Glowie Robillo, Digital Marketing and Public Relations Manager of Colgate-Palmolive Philippines,  who also happened to be our quiz host, said, “Oral care is and will always be one of the core aspects of a child’s health and well-being. By presenting facts and debunking oral health myths in an engaging way, we are making it relevant to the representatives of new-age moms, the bloggers.” And yes, it was engaging! Colgate quizzed us on oral health myths. Here are two questions that my team answered incorrectly (oops!):

True or False: It is best to rinse with a non-alcohol-based mouthwash immediately after brushing.
FALSE. While the only mouthwash you should use must be non-alcohol-based, you must not rinse mouth immediately after brushing. In fact, you shouldn't even rinse your mouth. At all! Why? Answer this: What is the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your teeth? Flouride. Where is this flouride again? In the toothpaste. What happens when you rinse your mouth? You flush away the toothpaste. So where is the flouride now? Down the drain when it should be in your mouth!

Remember: Do not rinse! Spit out the foam and the food particles. Then walk away. Walk. Away!

True or False: The acidity of your food and drink must be considered before brushing teeth.
TRUE. We're all told to brush teeth after every meal. But don't be too enthusiastic. Acidic food weakens our tooth enamel. Imagine your teeth are still recovering from the acidic food and drink you just had and then you assault them with vigorous brushing. Oh my. Your teeth enamel will be damaged!

This actually happened to me. My former dentist told me my teeth are soooo clean and yet I had cavities!!! Why? Because I brushed immediately after eating and I brushed with extra gigil pa. My enamel weakened so bacteria had an easier time attacking my (ironically) super clean teeth.

After the quiz, Colgate’s resident dentists, Dr. Bong David, Dr. Louie Quiambao and Dr. Noel Luna, as well as the BSBF/Public Health/Professional Oral Care Digital Manager, Diomar Escat, busted even more myths and misconceptions and gave tips, too:
  • The perfect angle to tilt the toothbrush is 45 degrees for optimal reach. And gently sweep the brush down (upper teeth) and up (lower teeth). 
  • Always floss! The ideal length of floss is 20 inches. That's enough to take out all the gunk between your teeth.
  • Mouthwash takes care of the spaces inside the mouth that your toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Retain baby teeth or milk teeth as much as possible. As I said above, they play an important role in guiding the growth of permanent teeth.
The moms at the Colgate quiz-off had sooooo many questions about how to properly care for children's teeth. In fact, we even told Colgate that they should create infomercials so that these tips will be known by all, or at least by everyone who has a TV. For example, that no-rinse tip. It's so important! But no one knows they're NOT supposed to rinse out the toothpaste! Well, because of this blog post, now you do! 

Colgate did a good job enlisting mom bloggers for their efforts to educate parents on proper oral health care for the family. With more and more moms turning online for information (vs traditional sources like their parents and magazines), we mom bloggers have a duty to spread important and science-supported health information!  

Glowie Robillo said, “As long as Colgate is alive and well, it will continue to promote the oral welfare of every Filipino family. Healthy lives start with healthy smiles.” 

True. I just had a visit to my own dentist (see this blog post for that sad story) and I was really discouraged that my neglect of my own oral care because I was too tired and busy to be more careful has resulted to a big financial cost. My necessary dental treatments will cost our family budget P111,000—money that could've gone to Vito’s tuition, a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, or simply to healthy food. I'm so disappointed in myself! 

That's why I promised that we will be more diligent with our health—everything from careful brushing of our teeth, eating better food, and taking vitamins to exercising. I'll share more about our health adventures on this blog so I’m accountable!

Remember: Angle must be 45 degrees! Brush gently. Spit, do not rinse. 
Meanwhile, visit the Oral Health Center for more information on Colgate products and tips on proper oral care! 

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How to help Syria's refugees

My heart has been heavy over the weekend because of the refugee crisis happening in the Middle East and in Europe right now. I was especially affected, as the whole world has been, by the death of little Aylan Kurdi. Together with his mother, his brother and many other Syrians crossing the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe, Aylan drowned and washed up on a Turkish beach.

It was everything about him that crushed my heart. How he was dressed for a journey that must've been so exciting because I'm sure his parents told him they were going to a better place, a safe place. His little shoes that look just like the little shoes I Velcro on my sons' feet every day. His red shirt just like the ones I put on my Iñigo, who wears red all the time. In fact, whenever 3-year-old Iñigo saw the photo of 3-year-old Aylan on the news or on my Facebook feed, he asked, "Is that me, Mama? Am I dead?"

I won't say anything more about this distressing crisis. I had thought before, when the Syrian civil war started almost 5 years ago, that it's so far away. Poor people. I hope they sort it out. I hate how apathetic that sounds but my last five years have been full—I got pregnant three times, gave birth three times, am raising beautiful boys, changed careers. Life has been amazing. Absolutely amazing and yet every day, I find something to complain about.

Not anymore.

If you would like to understand how the civil war in Syria started, this comic strip describes it succinctly: Syria's Climate-Fueled Conflict.

This short article also describes the history of the conflict with the environmental factor removed: Why People are Fleeing Syria.

Here is an old video of actress and director Angelina Jolie meeting a group of Syrian siblings. It is heartbreaking how they keep smiling through it all, like this is their life now and while they don't understand it, they persevere:

If you need to read something more recent, here is an essay of writer Neil Gaiman who visited a refugee camp, no, he visited a refugee city in Jordan: "So many ways to die in Syria now."

If you would like to help the Syrians and other refugees, you can donate to the following organizations:
  • Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) - They have three ships patrolling Mediterranean waters to rescue refugees.
  • Red Cross - I checked our local chapter if they have a way for us Pinoys to donate to the Syrian refugees. Found none (although there is a donate button there for victims of the devastating Nepal earthquake). So if you like Red Cross, donate via their international website.
  • Save the Children - Donations will buy safe drinking water, nutritious food, tents and sleeping bags, and even diapers and wipes. I especially like how they renamed this whole horror from "migrant crisis" to "CHILD crisis."
  • World Vision - Funds will go to providing the basics from water, food, blankets to education and a safe place for children to play.

Last of all but for me the most important, please pray for them—the people of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan all fleeing from the war in their countries. Pray for their safety, their health, their protection, their spirits, and that families will be kept together. Please pray for their evil governments, that they stop this horrific crime they are doing on their own people. Please pray for the countries these refugees are fleeing to, that their hearts will soften and accept these refugees into their countries especially now that winter is coming.

I am also praying for myself, for God to remove the now-burning hate anger for Assad and his regime, and for all the monsters who kill children and destroy families. There is a deep sadness in my heart that I just can't shake off. God have mercy on us all.
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