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Love in 6 Kittens, Ticks and Madre de Cacao

For several years, I secretly longed for kittens as I missed the days that Castor, Pollux and Fuma were tiny and cute. My boys are still pretty cute but evolved into their own respective beings with very distinct personalities and specific demands, including predilections–they were less demanding when they were tiny is really all I want to say. Little did I know I would take in more than 3 cats, in fact, stumbled upon six newborns found in the trash. Today we woke up with the sound of multiple cries and we found out that an unnamed stranger put 6 little kittens in a plastic bag, right next to our community garbage bins and kept them hidden under a piece of plywood. Knowing they will never survive and no one will take them in, we made an irrevocable decision to take them in without any plans if we are keeping them all or fostering them until we can find new human slaves parents for all of them later. We didn’t even bother telling and preparing our über territorial cats of five to six-ish years. May the one who threw these babies be held accountable for his actions (I dare say kidnap and frustrated murder) and may he wake up to compassion. I had the privilege of caring for different types of animals growing up but in that fairly robust list of critters, newborn kittens (infested with ticks, mind you) are nonexistent. Good news is, we can learn and we are blessed with many friends who are experienced raising very young kittens–and successful at it too. So, here we go. Slightly, I get teary eyed as I say goodbye to my goodnight’s sleep for a few weeks and some of our plans since these kittens will need a lot of care until they can do it for themselves. Here’s to hope that we know what the heck we’re doing and foster these kittens well. Little did I know kittens this size need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, then you need to help them pee and poop too right aftereach feeding (definitely not prepared for this) need to be warm as they cannot control their body heat yet so that means stealing my husband’s socks and wrapping the hot bottles with it. I am sure he won’t mind. And I’ll have to give the critters another madre de cacao bath to get rid of the tick infestation (happy to report that... read more

A Vegan For Every Reason

I suppose the hearts who used to read my blog wonder what happened to me during my nearly 1.5 year hiatus. To put it simply, I was “growing”–both literally and figuratively. My last post is essentially telling everyone we are moving to a new house and how unpacking drove me a little insane–I changed my domain twice and lost two years worth of blog entries, focused on hugging my cats most of my time, to say the least. Little did I know that the last two years is about reevaluating my path, and deepening and growing vigorous roots in veganism. People who know me are well aware that I started this journey in late 2010 (perhaps even earlier), with so much focus on reclaiming my health through raw vegan food. At the time and for some time, it was just that, food–there is absolutely nothing wrong with it–until I discovered that food is a single part of the entire picture. Like Yoga, asana is only one of its 8 limbs. There is more to it than I thought. I experimented tirelessly with the aim to find what kind of vegan diet works best for me and this is where I found 80-10-10, a fully raw lifestyle based on fruits and vegetables. Since I am known for being an idealist and a bit of an extremist, I dove in, head on and smashed in 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day in mostly fruit for months waiting for “results”–I was hoping to get fitter–and the results I got is gaining almost half the excess weight I lost a few years back. Before I go any further, I am not blaming my weight gain on 80-10-10, I blame it on my excitement to log in empirical data (aka experience) without adequate education on physiological science and full awareness of my starting point. Not to mention that I transformed into a sedentary office potato whose only major activity almost on a daily basis is working in the kitchen. Literally, I lost all common sense that I do have to burn most of what I eat and I cannot eat the entire world without sweat and putting my body to good use. Going back, what I find balancing for my constitution and disposition right now is eating mostly raw, high carb, low fat, whole, vegan (although I will partake of vegan cookies and processed food on occasion) food. Mostly, I subsist on green smoothies for breakfast and lunch if I am incredibly busy, and loads of rice, beans, lentils, leafy vegetables for dinner.... read more

We’ve Moved

photo from Home Fries It has been two weeks since we moved to our new home and we’re only halfway done with all the unpacking–not to mention organizing everything to fit our new casa. Relocating two adults, three cats, one kitchen and whittled-down stuff can be nerve-wracking and energy taxing. Before I go on a long tirade how it has been for my family of five, let me tell you that I took my sweet time oscillating between the state of whelm and gratitude for fresh starts in the last three weeks. Boy, it’s so much easier to be whelmed than be enthusiastic as you grow older. Making the decision to move was definitely not penciled in for this year. The mere fact that we have been dealing with a slippery wet floor each time it rains hard which lead us to shut down our kitchen operations and caused ceaseless whining and annoyance from our cats each time are enough reasons to jump ship. Time to chuck the idea of moving later and move ASAP. After hours of being on all fours, armed with a wet rag and a bucket. KK and I just said it out loud, “We have to move. I hope we can move somewhere super close by where we can fit everything plus a dedicated area for KNL.” Lo and behold, after 24 hours, we found such a place two blocks away. Now, if only we can manifest the unpacking and reorganization just as fast however, these require time and patience. In the midst of the organized chaos of opening and emptying boxes, we slowly resume our living food operations. We understand that even with the best of planning and intentions, it is just as important to respect the “flow of things” . KNL is undergoing massive transformation–to which I will give a more detailed update when it’s time–since June and while moving to the new HQ makes the development slower than what is desired, it simply is nothing more than... read more

Manic for Ice Cream

The scorching hot summer sun makes the average citizen long for the beach, jump in cold water, take frequent showers, turn on the a/c to full blast, sweat like a pig, develop migraines and during unfortunate times, suffer from heat stroke. These days, any excuse to open the fridge, down cold treats are welcome, especially if we’re talking about my husband–when under the hot sun, is no different than the average citizen. KK LOVES ice cream and this love goes straight back to more than 30 years of beautiful and poignant memories. He can eat a pint in less than 10 minutes, I kid you not. When the temperature rises to as hot as 38 to even 40 degrees,  I do not have the heart to raise my hand and stop KK from grabbing the closest half-gallon tub of ice cream to cool himself down. My husband doing this almost daily made me uncomfortable because I know there are a lot of hormones (because of the cow milk), artificial flavors, refined sugar, stabilizers and other things I cannot even pronounce in ice cream so I started making the kind of ice cream our bodies will thank us for eating: Raw (hardly processed, 100% nutrition) , non-dairy, coconut-based, no extenders, stabilizers, white sugar and no artificial anything. The plan is to stuff the freezer to the brim and give the husband zero excuse to buy commercial ice cream, especially when what I make tastes much better and is nutritionally superior. So far we have two half-gallon tubs in the freezer (awesome way to recycle all those ice cream tubs from the store). Tomorrow, I shall make durian ice cream or perhaps passion fruit and orange sherbet? The options are endless. Super soon, our kitchen will offer these–and more flavors– for sale. Watch out for... read more

Thoughtful Thursday: Is there such a thing that’s truly ours?

photo from Today I went through the massive repository of photos with quotations which at certain points in my life sparked bundles of cells inside. This time, it’s Steve Jobs, the visionary behind Apple and Pixar–more importantly, he was a devoted father and adoring husband. I love Steve Jobs. Not because he developed the iPhone, iPad, iPod, etcetera but because he was an ever seeing eye, observing so many simple things invisible to most people. He was also one of the rare kids who survived adulthood. Steve always saw the connection between two points and brings it to life so we can all purchase it at $300 a pop at an average. In his last days on a hospital bed, he continued to design products to give hospital patients the best of the Apple experience. He is by virtue, a connector of truths delivered in packages people make cults out of.So, what is my point? If one of the greatest visionaries in the world said creative people didn’t really do anything but just saw something, then why do we give so much value on receiving credit and giving credit when it’s due? At the end of it all, it’s not his or hers or ours, it has always been something that was already there long before anyone recognized its existence. The only credit we ought to give and receive is for seeing, not for creating. After all, how can you create anything that already exists? So what if someone copied your invention? Someone else is bound to invent it anyway. So what if someone took your post and posted it without your permission? You just penned down what you saw, not what you own. So what if they didn’t mention your name? You know you did that anyway. So why fuss? Smile. Know and be grateful that you’ve seen as most hearts take... read more

Are GMOs Safe?

Once upon a time, I had dreamed of becoming a Genetic Engineer because I thought I will help create a better world by understanding DNA. DNA has long fascinated me–sans the actual science. Never really understanding the ecological and human health implications of GMOs until I became a professional and transitioning towards more conscious lifestyle decisions, beginning with what I eat. Sad to say, most produce grown through the monocropping grid are GMOs and here in the Philippines, there are so many hybrids and GMOs out in the market. The largest GMO company in the world, Monsanto has a big representation in the land I call home making me question the safety of what we are eating. So are GMOs safe? Here’s my case. Man is the most ingenious species in the planet, with each problem and threat to the species, it meets with creative solutions. One of the most pressing challenge is how to safeguard food security for the ever increasing food demands of the continuously rising global population. To meet the challenge, man ambitiously created the technology allowing gene modification. One of man’s most drastic solutions to the challenge is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) or Genenetically Engineered Organisms (GE). GMOs allow plants to express and actualize gene traits that are normally not inherent to their particular species for the sole purpose of high crop yield and resistance to pesticides and herbicides. Over the years—without long-term safety studies–man consumed hybrid rice and corn, tomatoes resistant to frost courtesy of a flounder (fish) gene, pesticide-resistant soy, potatoes, among others. These crops made its way to grocery shelves and produce aisle in bags of chips, soy sauce, ketchup, tofu, flour and much more. Large food and GMO seed corporations and their several scientists claim GMOs are safe yet current studies show this is not the case. Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM (Genetically Modified) foods. According to renowned doctors and biologists, GMO contributes to deteriorating health worldwide. And the findings of the studies include the following: AT RISK: Pregnant women and babies – GM soy were fed to female rats and most of their babies died. In the same study, the group of female rats fed natural soy, only 10% died. GM-fed babies are smaller and are likely infertile. Male rats fed with GM have blue testicles compared to the normal pink color plus their young sperm is altered. In India, most buffalos who consumed GM cottonseed had... read more

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