Dengue vaccine is now commercially available in the Philippines. Watsons will offer dengue vaccination in select stores nationwide. Here’s what you need to know about Dengue Vaccination:
1. The vaccine is safe and has been thoroughly tested, based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines
2. Dengue vaccine has been approved in 14 countries where dengue is endemic including Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and the Philippines.
3. The dengue vaccination, to be taken in three doses at 0 – 6 – 12 months interval, can protect the individual from all four strains of the dengue virus.
4. The vaccine can be administered to people aged 9 to 45 years old.
5. The first vaccine against dengue, Dengvaxia, was created by leading multinational pharmaceutical company and an expert in the development of vaccinations, Sanofi Pasteur.
2017 Dengue Vaccination Schedule at Watsons Philippines Stores
April 30, 2017 – 1st dose
October 29, 2017 – 2nd dose
April 29, 2018 – 3rd dose
If you miss the above vaccination schedule, you can avail the next round on the following dates:
May 14, 2017 – 1st dose
November 12, 2017 – 2nd dose
May 13, 2018 – 3rd dose
Even if you or your child already had dengue, you can still benefit from the vaccine that protects you from more than 1 strain of Dengue virus. My personal experience with Dengue was plagued with stress, anxiety, worry, and uncertainty. The up and down of platelet count is an emotional roller coaster that can make anyone believe they are in the brink of death. In some cases, Dengue can be fatal as we all know.
Cost of Dengue Vaccine in the Philippines
P4000 per dose at Watsons
P12000 for all 3 doses at Watsons
Note that you have to buy on the scheduled vaccination dates so that the dengue vaccine can be administered by a nurse to you or your loved ones. It is very important to finish all three (3) doses of the dengue vaccine.
The Asia Health Index 2016 reveals a new generation among us Filipinos, that is Generation “O”. Generation O is not based on the year a person is born. Generation “O” means today’s generation that is overworked, overweight, and overwhelmed. The survey reveals a 7% drop in perception of overall health & well-being. There is also a 7% decrease in the perceived quality of physical health while there is a 4% drop in perception of good emotional health.
It is sad to know that many of us are starting a brand new year with these feelings of not getting enough time, money, and motivation to take care of ourselves – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
As a working mom, I understand how demanding modern life can be – it is overwhelming! My personal strategy in keeping in control, happy, and healthy is to take care of myself and make it my number one priority. Have you heard of the saying that you cannot take care and love others if you do not know how to care and love yourself first? This is true and I hope many of us realize this before it takes a toll on our well-being.
So, here are a few tried and tested tips for a healthier and brighter you this 2017 – all of which boils down to taking the time to care for yourself.
1. Manage your workload – if you feel you are overworked, stop dragging yourself down and feeling like a victim. Work is a blessing but too much of it can also be bad. Take responsibility by being proactive in managing your workload and if need be, communicating the adjustments that need to be done to your client or boss. If you start doing this i.e. managing yourself and being your own manager, you will instantly feel in control and taken cared of. Because no one else can manage yourself better than you!
2. Establish healthy routines that allow you to take care of yourself – set aside time in the morning to stretch and enjoy a peaceful breakfast to power your day, go for a walk during lunch time or freshen up yourself, or light up an aromatic candle to relax when you get home in the evening. These are just some ways to nurture your mind, body, and soul no matter how hectic your schedule is. Taking these small steps can instantly lend you a more positive and brighter disposition that motivate you throughout the day.
3. Eat smart – food is fuel and when your fuel is crap, your body (machine) will corrode and underperform. Imagine the gasoline commercials on TV, the same happens to our body. Eating nutritious meals on time allow you to feel nourished not to mention help you achieve a healthier weight and even more beautiful skin tone while preventing diseases.
4. Physical exercise – you don’t need a gym membership or equipment, simply going for a 30 minute run or brisk walk (just start somewhere) can increase your health and wellness significantly. Physical activity relieves stress, clears your mind, and make yourself feel healthy and here it goes again – taken cared of and loved. A bonus is that you will instantly fit in your clothes better and as you tone your body with exercise and eating healthy, it becomes easier to just wear anything at all without being conscious of bulges, etc. etc.
5. De-stress & worry less – I recently started using more aromatherapy to calm my body and mind, in the office, in the bedroom, and even when traveling. I found that having a small air humidifier with peppermint oil increased my focus when working and that using an oil burner with lavender oil helps me and my son go to sleep on time. These are small investments to calm yourself in the midst of stress. Remember, stress and problems will always be in our lives and it is how we manage our stress that can help us live happier and brighter while taking on these challenges.
Mommy Lace Tip: If you’re not yet interested with aromatherapy, try music therapy! Listen to solo piano music when trying to relax, focus piano music when studying or working, and a mood boosting playlist when you need the motivation to be more productive.
The Asia Health Index also reveals that Filipinos still worry about not having enough money. It is a common problem that I also think about. One way to be proactive and deal with this financial worry is by increasing your financial literacy by asking questions, researching about investing and buying insurance, and finally – protecting yourself and your family with the right financial products.
I’ve written about the Sun Life Fit & Well here, it is the most comprehensive health insurance to date that allows Filipinos like us to worry and stress less while enjoying our life. Having health insurance also allows you to take care of yourself when you cannot i.e. when you get sick and cannot work or produce income, a health insurance like Sun Life Fit & Well can take care of you from prevention to diagnosis and provide you with hospital allowance that can help replace your income when you’re unable to work.
I hope this post inspires you to take care of yourself this year, if you are a mom like me it is even more important to take care and love yourself because our children and family depends on us being healthy, productive, and happy. Have a brighter and stress-free 2017 Mommies!
As we enter the holiday season, it gets harder to spare time for ourselves to relax, rejuvenate, and get fit. Yoga+ Express is one of the answers to this challenge. They have several branches in the metro and everyday you can attend a class of your choice. Classes start as early as 6.30am until 7.30PM (Monday-Friday) and 10AM-3pm on weekends. Unlike many people think, yoga is not expensive and is for everyone of all ages, size, and shape.
I went to Yoga Express Legazpi for the Gong Bath class of yoga teacher, life coach, and theta & sound healer, Rosan Cruz. Rosan is my inspiration for living a happy, healthy, and positive life. I still remember when she taught me how to blend raw vegetables and drink them for health, beauty, and vitality. Two years after I still follow her advice everyday – and I feel great! Rosan is also a life coach and I am lucky she gives me pieces of advice when we meet, like about how not to absorb negative energy by focusing on my own happiness and things that I can actually control.
A gong bath produces amazing sense of well-being, relaxation, and relief from stress, anxiety, and negative energy. This is my second gong bath experience and I always feel light and happy after.
When I signed up for the special gong class, it was also the opening & blessing of the Legazpi branch. The place is full of positive energy and you will not only feel it from the ambiance but from everyone – the staff, the yoga teachers, all of them have a positive, happy aura that is such a relief when you come from the busy world outside.
They invited me to experience their opening ceremony that started with the blessing of the studio, followed by Rosan’s Gong Bath, a ceremony called Kirtan and Vrata, a healthy dinner buffet, and drum jam.
All of these activities reminded guests, friends, and partners on how to be happy, have fun with other people, and be open to new experiences. All the more, it made Yoga+ Express Legazpi a wonderful choice for yoga students of all levels. Here, everyone is welcome and there is no space for self-doubt or fear.
If you are thinking of starting to learn and practice yoga, visit Yoga+ Express Legazpi at 119 Dela Rosa Street, Legazpi Village, 6/F Jose Cojuangco & Sons Bldg., 1223 Makati, Philippines. You can also book classes online https://yogaplusexpress.com/legazpi/
We’ve all heard about why we should cut sugar from our diet – from diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and more. For those who are trying to lose weight and improve their figure, diets start with avoiding dessert and other sweets. As we approach the holiday season, many of us would forget all about the side effects of sugar and set our healthy diets aside.
This shouldn’t be the case and it is more manageable to have a balanced diet i.e. everything in moderation versus going extremes. For example, not enjoying desserts at all on ordinary days then bingeing and eating too much sweets on special occasions like Christmas or New Year.
Here are some easy and smart ways to cut down or reduce sugar from your diet:
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, please consult and ask your doctor before following any of these tips
1. Substitute- substitution is a good strategy to decrease sugar intake and even increase nutritional value. There are now plenty of natural substitutes for white sugar. These are the following:
a. Coco sugar – this brown sugar comes from the sap of the coconut and unlike white ordinary sugar, coco sugar retains vital nutrients and minerals. Coco sugar also contains fiber called “inulin” which slows down sugar absorption plus acts as prebiotic (food for good bacteria in your stomach).
b. Stevia – stevia is an all natural sweetener, it comes from the leaves of the stevia plant. Stevia is known to have zero calories, zero fats, zero sodium, and zero cholesterol. One of the brands known to many in the Philippines is Green Stevia, as endorsed by Kuya Kim Atienza.
I was able to try desserts made with Green Stevia on a recent trip to Tagaytay. We dined in Amacena Restaurant, and their chef – Chef Luigi Muhlach use Green Stevia for making this delicious cheesecake.
I try to be health conscious and knowing that my dessert is made with an all-natural, low calorie ingredient like Green Stevia – I enjoyed it even more. The cheesecake didn’t taste any different compared to when using ordinary sugar, in fact – it is more tasty and delicious, I am guessing the Green Stevia contributed to the crispy & decadent crust too!
When in Tagaytay, stevia plants are sold in places like Mahogany market. I tried taking care of one before but because of weather differences, it didn’t flourish enough for me to harvest many leaves! Buti nalang you can now buy ready to use Green Stevia in supermarkets.
c. Honey - honey is another natural substitute for sugar, made by nature’s hardworking bees, honey is also full of flavanoids, antioxidants, and is known for its anti-bacterial properties. It can also be used for cooking. Honey is my personal go to medicine also whenever I feel like a sore throat or flu is coming!
2. Drink smart- avoid soft drinks and opt for equally tasty, refreshing but natural drinks. If you will indulge in beverages, choose liquids that are not just delicious but also has health benefits. Iced tea is one of the most-served drinks in restaurants and during parties, try switching to a new kind of iced tea that is made from real black tea leaves and sweetened with stevia (as listed in tip #1).
Check out TrueTea Iced Tea which is new in the market, I was able to sample these recently and it tastes almost the same as the leading iced tea – minus the sugar. According to the packet, even diabetics can enjoy TrueTea iced tea because it is made with green stevia and not processed white sugar. It also has the health benefits of real black tea leaves.
One packet is good to prepare 1 liter of iced tea, nice to prepare and share for upcoming holiday parties and celebrations.
3. Choose complex, fiber rich carbohydrates – carbohydrates are also converted to sugar by the body but if you choose to enjoy complex and fiber rich carbs, you get a more steady supply of energy and avoid blood sugar spikes. Complex carbohydrates from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are also rich in nutrients that is beneficial to your body, this is unlike simple processed carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, etc. that are not as nutritious because they have been stripped off their natural properties.
At the end of the day, it’s also important to feel good about what you eat. Being healthy is not about deprivation but making smart choices and knowing what those choices are.
When your child has flu or coughs and colds, hearing them sniff and suffer from clogged, runny nose can make us moms feel helpless. Especially at night when we fear they are having difficulty in breathing or when our babies cannot sleep because of these symptoms.
You are not alone because I also experienced this with my son, Ashton. It was only when his pediatrician introduced using a nasal spray that solved this problem. Though I wish we were educated about nasal sprays earlier, nasal sprays that are also known as saline solutions help flush out mucus (sipon) to clear the nasal passages. The pediatrician prescribed using nasal sprays up to 4 times daily.
Nasal sprays are usually only made with sea water. My son always has colds so I have tried different brands like Sterimar and Salinase recently and because of the changing weather both my son and I suffered from flu. Both of us had clogged nose, running nose one day then dry nose on the next. We got one of the newest nasal sprays in the Philippines, it is called Humer.
Humer comes in different types and sizes – for adults & big kids, and for babies. This nasal spray helps to ease cold symptoms including allergic rhinitis and also recommended for daily nasal hygiene. I appreciate the unique and ergonomic style of the nozzle which makes it easier to spray the insides of the nose especially when administering the nasal spray on children.
The spray bottle is also hygienic in that it does not allow any of its contents to re-enter the canister. The actual spray button is also steady and easy to press & release. I first tried Humer Nasal Spray for myself. I suffered from dry nose – the feeling of having a dry patch inside the nose due to flu which contributes to having a lack of appetite. As soon as I used Humer, I felt my nose clear up and I was also surprised how it assisted in thinning & flushing out mucus. After using Humer, I immediately felt the need to sneeze and it was an instant relief.
WATCH: Humer teach moms & kids about Nasal Hygiene
Because of its hygienic design, I did not hesitate to let my son share the same product – of course, after cleaning the nozzle. It had the same result on my 6 year old, it cleared out his nose fast which made it easier for him to breathe and reduce sniffing. This also meant less irritability and tantrums because of not feeling well, hooray!
Now both me and my son, we always keep Humer close whenever we feel nasal discomfort or feel like we inhaled pollution, dust, etc. I recommend fellow moms to do the same and benefit from the advantages of nasal hygiene. For me, I am really wowed by how it helped me in our flu & cold symptoms. Using nasal spray is very easy but will make a significant improvement on you and your family’s well-being.
Getting fit is never easy especially for beginners. It’s been more than a year since I started strength training yet I do have my own struggles to conquer. The most challenging component of fitness is time, unless we don’t have to work or run a home then it won’t be an issue.
Some hacks I’ve done to make time for the gym:
1. Instead of mindlessly scrolling up & down social media – I use the time to get some work done in advance.
2. Ready my work at night so I can have a relaxed morning and time to hit the gym
3. Work out regardless of having a period – because sometimes, we finally have time to workout then we discover we have our monthly
period and skip the gym.
In fact, some of the best workouts I had were during my red days. Working out on the first day of menstruation should not be extraordinary if you are serious about your fitness goals. From my experience, working out during your period actually does the following:
Benefits of Exercise on your Monthly Period
1. Help relieve hot flashes on red days
2. Keep me calm and decrease irritability or grouchiness associated with menstruation
3. Relieve menstrual cramps on the tummy and on my legs
4. Improve menstrual flow
5. Decrease bloat
Tips on Working Out During Your Period
Please take note these are my personal tips and it’s always best to consult your physician
1. Drink enough water before your workout to avoid bloat associated with menstruation
2. Eat enough energy foods i.e. brown rice, protein or a healthy sandwich an hour before your workout – this will give you power to lift or complete your routines without feeling nauseous
This workout was on my first day
3. Wear proper gym shorts – I like wearing shorts vs. sports tights or leggings when I have my period. This prevents my napkin from being obvious and it encourages good circulation down there preventing menstrual odor.
4. Try using anion napkins or sanitary pads – before, I use whatever brand is available but recently I discovered the benefits of wearing anion napkins from a cousin who used to suffer from menstrual cramps. Anion sanitary napkins and liners help to eliminate bacteria, odor, and relieve menstrual discomforts such as cramps and dysmenorrhea. The brand I currently use is Jeunesse which is available at Watsons and other leading supermarkets, drugstores.
I follow Jeunesse on Facebook and recently won passes to their Fit, Food, and Fun event.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know by now one of my favorite tips – follow the brands you use on Facebook!
I appreciate free events like this because it’s refreshing to experience and learn new things, with different people, and without having to spend money. The Jeunesse #PositivelyBetter treated working moms to a free zumba class with Regine Tolentino, a hefty & delicious lunch buffet featuring food sponsors (there’s lechon!), and a free cooking class with mom-chef Len Santos Ding.
Chef Len Santos-Ding demonstrated how to prepare a healthy quinoa salad, and a quick & light cheesy pesto pasta dish
Jeunesse Anion treated participants to a delicious lunch buffet at The Marriott Hotel. This is the pasta station where guests can create their own customized pasta.
Crispy lechon all the way from Cebu
Healthy brown rice station
Strawberry panna cotta
The event was really wonderful, it is a dream to work out at one of Marriott Hotel’s ballrooms and participants could not ask for anything more. I heard that Jeunesse treats their patrons to a yearly event such as this. Everyone also went home happy with generous goodie bags and most of all, Jeunesse Anion sanitary napkins to keep us comfortable, active, and strong even while having our monthly period.
My very supportive husband joined me and was also given a Jeunesse loot bag, more anion napkins for me!