Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The truth about Vitamin C and what we should do to keep our immune system healthy

With COVID-19 sweeping throughout the globe, we're all worried about how we can improve our chances of not getting this scary virus. I'm a mommy and I'm worried especially because while the virus seems to spare kids and teens (thank You, God!), it's not so kind to people with weak lungs like me. I don't want my kids to be orphaned so I'm definitely making sure I won't get this COVID-19.

There's a lot of scary advice on the internet (stuff like drinking bleach and liquid silver!) that BBC has debunked. So, since I'm not a medical professional, it's very important that we turn to reliable and credible sources when it comes to our health. Welch's 100% Grape Juice asked me if I could share what I found out about how you can boost your immunity

Apparently, there's no single answer because according to Harvard Health, "The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony." What they mean is you have to take care of your entire body for your body to be strong. You can eat a plant-based diet and exercise 3 hours a day but if you're not getting enough sleep and your work is super stressful, your body will not be happy.

"Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy," Harvard Health said. They advised no smoking, eating a plant-based diet, regular exercise, to not be fat or too skinny, sleeping long and well, and to avoid stress. They also advised frequent washing of hands and eating thoroughly cooked meat to avoid infection.

Cooking more veggie dishes now!

Again, a healthy lifestyle won't guarantee you won't get COVID-19 but it improves your chances of recovery. I'm not living unhealthily but I get maybe 4 hours of sleep at night and I don't exercise. I also should eat more fruits and veggies! So one good thing that came out of this pandemic is my kids are now eating vegetables without protesting. Yey for small mercies!

I'm working on those aspects. I'll start exercising this week. I'll try to sleep more! And I'm taking vitamin supplements with my daily Welch's 100% Grape Juice. Harvard Health says, "If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs... taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system." 

Now here's something new I learned: Vitamin supplements can't prevent COVID-19 or any other sickness. But what about all those things we hear about vitamin C???

Vitamin C is still important to our health. We need it! According to Livescience, here are some of the important things it does:

1. It is an antioxidant that "neutralizes free radicals generated by the body's normal metabolism and by exposure to environmental stressors, including ultraviolet radiation and air pollution."

2. It synthesizes hormones that help our cardiovascular system respond to severe infections. COVID-19 is a viral infection so a strong and responsive cardiovascular is good news!
3. It builds collagen that keeps our skin and connective tissues healthy—good for those recovering from wounds.
4. "Vitamin C may also bolster the fatty membranes in skin and connective tissue, thus protecting organs like the lungs from pathogens." COVID-19 attacks the lungs so again loading up on Vitamin C is good!

5. "When bugs do infiltrate the body, vitamin C helps direct immune cells called neutrophils to the site of infection and defends these cells against free radicals." So while Vitamin C will not prevent an infection like COVID-19, a plentiful supply of it in our body is necessary for an effective immune response!

Welch's 100% Grape Juice is packed full of Vitamin C. So if you're looking to add more Vitamin C to your diet, chug a glass of Welch's 100% Grape Juice! I do!

Welch's is available at your favorite supermarket.

*This post is brought to you by Welch's 100% Grape Juice. For more information and healthy tips, visit www.welchs.com, like Welch's PH on Facbook, and follow @welchs_ph on Instagram.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Harry and Meghan: A modern fairy tale and yet very real marriage

Sigh. Such a gorgeous photo of the most-talked-about married couple in the world!

I don't really have anything "expert" to say about Harry and Meghan. Almost everyone remotely interested in royalty has given their expert opinion on the Duke and Duchess' resignation from royal duties (As a former royalty magazine editor, I did here: Royal Rift! All your questions on Harry and Meghan's resignation, answered!). Many are sad, many are supportive, and many are mad. I don't know why they'd be mad. It's not like Harry's leaving them haha.

But anyway, I've been meaning to write a blog post about this particular Brexit since January but everything's been moving so fast that it's hard to comment. I finally decided that ultimately I'm very happy for them and that they're a great example for all married couples everywhere.

Every married couple should leave their families. Yes, Harry isn't part of just any normal family. As a prince, he sure isn't just like us. But he's also not THE prince. He's just the spare. And while that must rankle to be known as the spare to the heir since birth, it finally worked out for him—he can actually break free. He's not the first royal in history to choose to step away from duty. Here's a short list:

1. (UK) King Edward VIII to marry Wallis Simpson.
2. (Netherlands) Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau to marry Mabel Wisse Smit
3. (Japan) Sayako, Princess Nori, to marry Yoshiki Kuroda
4. (Japan) Princess Ayako of Takamado to marry Kei Moriya
5. (Thailand) Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya to marry Peter Ladd Jensen

Harry and Meghan didn't lose their titles but they did give up their allowance, their HRH styling, and pretty much the respect of a lot of people. Ya. For choosing love and family over prestige.

I like their decision. I know people are saying Meghan bullied Harry into doing this but if you've watched Harry at all throughout his very public life, he's not the sort of man anyone can bully. And while there's that rumor that "what Meghan wants, Meghan gets," I don't see how that's a bad thing if what Meghan wants is a peaceful life. Sure she signed up for a very public life but I don't think she signed up for such racism and hate. 

I read this book recently and I came away from it just loving and admiring these two people who loved to make a difference in people's lives. They have charities, they use their platform for good causes, they are enthusiastic about helping others. And they met each other! He was a prince. She was a strong and confident woman—not a shy virgin teenager like Diana, not a quiet and obedient Kate. She was not, what is the word, moldable. I love that she was already all woman when they met and fell in love. And I can't understand how that wholeness makes people see her as a threat to men and marriage.

Marriage should be between two people complete in themselves. Marriage shouldn't be the answer to people broken and incomplete, looking for a fix in the other. You should come into the marriage as a whole person, ready to give your all. Traditionally, women are seen as these fragile creatures that needed tending. That should make us precious. Instead, men have used this required fragility against us—abusing women and their children throughout centuries just because we needed men to survive.

Well, not anymore. Ladies, don't get married because you need a man for his money or position or his strength. Earn your own money, make your own name, be strong on your own. The man you attract won't be controlling and abusive. He'll be an amazing guy. Just like how Harry was drawn to Meghan's strength, drive, and mission. And together? Wow, they're going to make a lot of difference in the world. They're already doing it. 

That's what marriage should be about—two strong people coming together and creating an even stronger alliance. This used to happen before—an alliance of kingdoms. But we should use that as a metaphor, an inspiration, for how we should see our own marriages, too. We are a team. We are one. No one is lesser, no one is greater. We are equal.

Anyway, I finally blogged about Harry and Meghan today because it's their last day as senior royals. After today, they will disappear from public life. They have plans to still be seen out and about, working for their livelihood (just like us!), but now they'll be private citizens. They're determined to be seen as a team, as a single entity—as married couples should be.

Good luck on your new adventure, Harry and Meghan! It's not going to be easy but no marriage is unless you remember to stick it out together. If you do that, you're going to be just fine.

P.S. I just love how their outfits on their final royal appearances are all matching. Clearly telling the world they are one!

Friday, March 06, 2020

My really nice wedding gift suggestions

I love weddings for selfish reasons. (1) I get to wear my gowns, (2) I get a good reason to get away from my kids hehe, (3) because of the sermon and witnessing the couple promise each other a lifetime, I'm reminded of how wonderful marriage is, and (4) I get to eat really yummy food! Weddings are the best!!!

Vince and I were at the wedding of Edward Bugia and Trixie Esguerra. I've known Trixie for years because she was instrumental in launching my career as a blogger ((and every big blogger's, too) and she now has her own agency, Launch and Meet. Edward is the very busy chef behind Pino vegetarian restaurant, BRGR, Pi Breakfast and Pies, Mimi & Bros, and Bean and Yolk. And I am their ninang sa kasal! So I just had to get them a gift from MY MC Home!

Here are a few of the gifts I considered for their marital abode:

While I wish I could've given them a four-poster bed with a pile of pillows, it's medyo over my budget at P39,950 ehehehe. I'm actually referring to the triptych of photos on top of the bed. You can have prenup or wedding photos printed that big on real canvas (not photo paper!) at MY MC Home for just P8,700!

I think every newlywed couple should have crystal goblets. Crystal vases. Crystal candy dishes. Crsytal decanters. WALA LANG! They're so extra. Let me tell you now: Marriage can be full of drudgery. Washing dishes. Doing laundry. Taking out the trash. That's why you need to give married people pretty things that remind them that marriage is actually magical.

Okay, extra not your thing? We can go practical. Here's a useful appliance for those couples who love green smoothies or who like grinding their own coffee beans. Your newlyweds can use the Tefal Fruit Sensation for making smoothies, soups and eventually baby food!

Here's another useful appliance, a toaster! I love toast. Toasting bread not only improves the taste and texture of bread, it also lowers the glycemic index and fat content of your everyday loaf (and then you spread tons of butter on it haha). What I like about the Gorenje toaster is it's so pretty! Definitely will add color and whimsy to the young couple's kitchen.

This bar cart! So sleek. Love it! Perfect for wheeling over your favorite cocktails while you lounge on the sofa or in bed. If you don't drink alcohol, you can put your coffee or tea paraphernalia instead. Or use it as a side table. So useful!

Every married couple needs nice new sheets. Because we need to make them love sleeping together—figuratively and literally. Nice sheets are so lovely on naked skin. MY MC Home has shelves upon shelves of bedsheets! There are printed sets, too.

Might as well throw in pillows! I can't get enough of great pillows. Married couples may have had their dreams come true but everyone needs to go to dreamland and new pillows will send them off nicely.

Okay, enough shopping! Just visit MY MC Home for more gift ideas for your friends and loved ones getting married (or for your own home!). Let's watch Trixie and Edward's wedding video!

Congratulations to my inaanaks! Edward and Trixie, be good to each other. As your sermon verse said (which was the same as mine!), "[Jesus said] 'I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.'" John 15:11-12.

Medyo mataas ang peg that Jesus established, seeing as He is divine and He gave His life for us. But what is marriage but a holy commitment and a giving of one's life every day till five-ever? Congratulations and best wishes!

MY MC Home has 3 branches: Level 3 MET LIVE Mall, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, 1302 Pasay City, at MC Home Depot San Fernando Interchange, Jose Abad Santos Avenue, 2000 San Fernando, Pampanga, and at MC Home Depot BGC, Taguig. You may also find more furniture and promos on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/mymchome and Instagram www.instagram.com/mymchome.

*This post is brought to you by My MC Home.