Fitness Update

* Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post by the apps that I will mention in this post.*

Hello there! Salut! I am back to update you all with my health and fitness quest for a more healthier me. If you have read my previous post, Challenging Myself, I stated there my quest to take off sweets and rice. In addition to that I am also striving to jog, walk and swim (at least once) every week. My jogging partner is none other than my dad who is such a good driving force to push myself to jog even if my legs seem falling apart. Haha! He also happens to be my impromptu photographer.

Go run. 🏃🏻‍♀️

A post shared by Nica Gerona (@nicagerona) on

Taken last week.

When my legs' sweat flow like a stream. #satisfaction #jogging

A post shared by Nica Gerona (@nicagerona) on

Taken today, I promise to post everyday of my jogging adventures. For my swimming, I only swim once a week to help with the toning and another exercise to enjoy. My swimming partner is none other than my boyfriend. Heehee.

Water and I. 🏊🏻‍♀️

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We go swimming every Wednesday afternoon. Then we walk home afterwards. I am also doing progress with the no rice meals but still on the process of lessening the sweets.

🍫+ 🌶#ProudlyPinoy

A post shared by Nica Gerona (@nicagerona) on

🍫+☕️ #ProudlyPinoy

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I am really struggling on the thought of completely removing sweets. I so love cakes, frappes and chocolates. So, I am looking for alternatives and some “cheat” days to ease the process. Here is where Lifesum and the Apple Health app is such a big help. I learned of Lifesum from a Youtuber named, Olivia from LivsHealthyLife. She is a vegan who featured how she uses the app to balance her carbohydrates, protein and fat intake. I thought it was really helpful to use this app to monitor my intake and whether I can splurge a bit of chocolate for a snack as long as it is in within my caloric intake.

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My caloric intake and how many I burned from exercise and walking.

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Check out Liv’s channel on Youtube and here is where she featured the Lifesum app.

 

Another helpful app is the Apple’s Health app.

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I use this to monitor my steps and running distance. It synchronizes with the Lifesum app so it shows how many I burned from jogging and walking alone.

For now, I currently weigh 52kgs and have a waistline of 30 inches. Ugh! I plan to reach the 48 kgs goal and a waist of 26-25 inches. I hope I can make this!

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

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Challenging Myself

Hello there! Quick question, who here has read my blogpost last 2016? The Fitness Goals??? Hahaha. I know, I know I haven’t been faithful on that year and just after a week or so I lapsed. Anyhoots, it is always good to have a partner in your fitness journey to be inspired and motivated to push your limits. I guess, I have my cousin and a dear friend who joined me with challenge to thank for. Hehehe.

So, I am writing my first weekly challenge to take off sweets and rice on my diet. I would substitute my rice to some sweet potatoes or “saba bananas” or cardava bananas. But if there is no available substitute for rice, then eating the viand will do good. Tomorrow is the start of the first week and I will post weekly photos my meals as a proof that I didn’t cheat.

A side note: I will not starve myself on this challenge but will still enjoy a little bit of this and that. This is up until I get used to the situation. You should know that in a Filipino diet, rice is a staple. So this is truly a challenge for me, my cousin and my friend. I hope to make it this week and see you next Saturday!

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

Update: Healthy Options Hair Skin Nails Multi-vitamin

Why, hello there! I just want to give in a short update about my journey to healthier hair. In my previous blogpost regarding hair, I was taking up a multivitamin from Healthy Options. It was all going really well but I encountered some bits of problem.

Most hair vitamin results are seen after 3 to 6 months of usage. Since I take them twice a day it’ll be after 30 days then I will have to buy another bottle. That means I should take these for 180 days; which means I have to consume 6 bottles.

From my previous post, I did say that I am taking them twice a day. 😝😝😝 Which was a mistake on my part, not that it did something irreversibly drastic. But since it contain some fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) that when consumed too much could lead to serious side effects. 😱😱😱. That is why the dosage instructions said to take ONCE A DAY AFTER MEAL.

I have already taken up the 2nd bottle when I really noticed my shedding (haha, sounded like a pet there) increased. So, I did some research and realized that too much Vitamin A “could” be the culprit (*be reminded that I didn’t take any blood test to confirm this*). Since I deduced this rationale on my own, I had to stop for a while and reset my intake on May. So that means, I am back to zero by May.

Lesson learned: ALWAYS FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS! I did notice a difference though, on the falling hair when I stopped to reset it. I also have to work out on my sleep schedule and am currently taking up Vitamin C and Iron.

So by May, I’ll be back to record the effects on Healthy Options: Hair, Skin, Nails Multivitamin. This time, following the dosage instructions. :):):)

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

Summer-Proof Hair

If you live here in Manila, Philippines, you can feel the increase in temperature and humidity. It’s a definite sign of the upcoming summer, which is probably one of the seasons I love most minus the excess heat and sweat! 😫😝😁

Part of the usual summer routine includes swimming in salt or chlorinated water and basking under the sun. Sounds relaxing and fun, right? Of course it does! 🌞🌊⛱ But do you know, that your crowning glory gets affected; and if left unnoticed, could get damaged and leave you with wispy ends and a greenish hue? Eek! Sounds horrifying! 😨😨😨 But fret not, there are ways to keep your hair Summer-Proof.

Today’s blog post is a collaboration with Ghergich.com and Health Perch. This graphic helps provide information on minimizing the damage our hair will have to recover from. If your hair is damaged and chemically-treated, you should stop by and take time to read on the ways to protect your hair along with simplified tips provided in the graphic below.

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First, is understanding the effects of the sun, salty and/or chlorinated water. For bleached hair, you are probably aware that chlorinated water could make your hair go green! 😑Now that doesn’t look nice, unless you were planning to go all green. Hehe. You might even wonder why does it turns green in the first place.

Actually, it isn’t the chlorine that makes bleached or highlighted hair turn green. It’s the oxidized metals found in the water that gets stuck in our soaked hair. Our hair absorbs it all. To combat the greenish hue, try using a baking powder paste and rub it on your hair after swimming.

Frequent swimming in chlorinated or salt water could also lead to drying of our scalp. In the long run, it makes our hair dry and porous. Those who swim rarely are less susceptible to damaging their hair. However, it could leave your hair dry in a day or two.

To keep your hair summer-proof, it is advised to provide a barrier for your hair to protect it from the salty or chlorinated water. Barriers like oils (olive oil or coconut oil) and conditioners; just leave them for a few minutes to penetrate hair. Even showering with tap water prior to swimming will give your hair that added protection from the harsh environment.

Post-swimming care requires immediate rinsing of clean water and use of a clarifying shampoo followed by a conditioner. For those who frequently swim, I would suggest that you deep condition weekly and wear swim caps to further protect your hair. To deep condition, make use of either store-bought or natural deep conditioners. Health Perch provides us four options for natural hair conditioning masks.

For combating the sun damage, it is important to wear hats or applying hair serums that provide UV protection.

When drying your hair after a swim, it’s best to air dry. However, if you really want to achieve a blow-out look then try cutting down the time for blowdrying your hair on the lowest heat setting. After, blast it with cool air to seal the shine.

These are all simple tips that oftentimes we take for granted. I can really attest to the damaging effects it has done on my hair. I was a swimmer once in highschool and it really took a toll on my hair. But using deep conditioners and barriers lessen the damage it should have done. It also helps that I am currently taking some hair vitamins for an added boost to my hair’s overall health.

So take time to care for your hair, we only have one head full of hair and we might as well take good care of it. 💁💁💁

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Hair on fleek!

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt

Healthy Options: Hair, Skin, Nails Multivitamins

*DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post. All that’s written here and on the next post are 100% based on my experiences and opinions. I advice that before taking supplements to consult your physician.*

Hello there! This post would be a preliminary of a looong looong review. Don’t worry I won’t be flooding you too much of posts. But it’ll be divided into three parts with an interval of a number of days.

Currently, I am also doing my best to salvage and lengthen my hair (aside from exercising).😆 My hair as of now is a shoulder length long bob. Not thick but not dangerously thin as well. I have wavy hair that gets oily on the 3rd day of unwashing and is quite sensitive to stressful situations. My ends and texture get dry and rough when I am stressed and the opposite when I am well-rested.

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My hair was a bit behaved that day. 😝

I also shed a LOT. 😖Every time I would shower, the drain would get clogged immediately and it is not a good sight. My scalp at times, gets itchy cause it’s a bit dry and flaky.

So now that we have discussed what my hair condition is like; I then did some research on what to do. I encountered a lot of hair remedies, both natural and synthetic. But what caught my attention was the term hair vitamins. I remembered my aunt chugging them too and she’s got nice hair, despite the lack of veggies in her diet. Or perhaps she’s just got really nice hair. 😊😛😓😑

I then found out about a lot of branded hair vitamins and what components they have. I first tried buying them separately but it costs me more. The famous brands I saw were available in the US. Then, I remembered we have a health store here in Manila called the Healthy Options. They have a lot of US branded vitamins that are non-GMO, organic and at times vegetarian. I got their cheapest (😑😒) which is supplied and made by Healthy Options themselves.

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60 tablets for 850 Php.

Yep, that sure was their cheapest. The bottle says to take one after a meal. In that order it would last for almost two months or 60 days. But since I read some hair vitamins taken twice (1 in the morning, 1 at eve) with meals I decided to take that route instead. So my journey begins…

Most hair vitamin results are seen after 3 to 6 months of usage. Since I take them twice a day it’ll be after 30 days then I will have to buy another bottle. That means I should take these for 180 days; which means I have to consume 6 bottles. 😐. So far, it’s been only a week or two since I began taking the supplements.

They taste a bit fishy and smell really awful. But for the name for beauty, I’d take it. Although, I don’t still see a big difference on my hair. But I’ll get back to you guys on my 3rd bottle or on my 90th day. Wish me well!

Before I go, I’d like to list down the factors that you and I need to consider as it could affect my hair as well.

  1. Sleep- I sleep late this past few days. Like 12am late.
  2. Nutrition-Trying my best to cut down sugar. I eat mostly veggies, fish and fruits. Occasionally, meat during weekends. No pork.
  3. Hydration-Targeting to drink more than 2L a day. As the vitamins make my urine bright yellow.
  4. Stress-I am stressed. 😬
  5. Exercise-Exercising regularly. 😊

That’s all for now and do wait for the update on the 90th day.  😄

*Current hairlength: 15in when straightened*

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

Fitness Goals 2016 1

*DISCLAIMER: This post is like a diary of my fitness journey. I am in no wise a trainer or nutritionist, just a nurse following what she knows about health and fitness. Still, I would advise that you consult a physician, trainer and nutrionist for optimum health and fitness results. After all each of us are uniquely made.*

Last 2015, I embarked on a weight loss journey. I am not the girl with a whopping 300lbs weight, 40 to 50 in waistline and so. I was a 55 kgs girl (that’s 121 lbs), with a waistline of 31 in. I lost 7 kgs in a span of almost 5 or 6 months.

Within those months, I controlled my sugar cravings, exercised 5x a week with 40 minutes in an Eliptical Machine. I removed carbs fom my diet and stuck with vegetables and fruits. I lost weight, fit well on clothes, my tummy bulges were barely seen, a lot of people noticed the change and it felt great. I felt like I could shove my pride with all the people who doubted me, called me fat, or whatever.

But right after a medical situation in the family, plus a boosting pride that “I finally did it”. I then clamoured back into the arms of sugary cravings, excessive eating and zero exercise. Within a few months time, I gained most of the weight I lost. Then all the names of “fat” came along, tummy bulges, and clothes that once fit were making me look like “suman”.

Well, it did hurt to hear those again seeing that I was able to conquer it. But now, it is different. I decided to take a step by step approach for me. I read articles of people who love their bodies but would like to be fitter. Not skinny thin like what most media promotes. But the fitter, stronger body. The solution: Healthier meals and exercise.

Just last January 4, 2016, I asked my brother’s help. This time, no losing of weight but rather making my body stronger, more of the muscle type thing. But not really super muscled like joining the Body Building Contest. I wanted to be more toned.

My stats that time were 31 in waist, and weighing 52 kgs. I know there is more to measure for the beginning of a fitness routine but I am making with what I can and have. So starting with that intro, I took cardio and strength exercises every Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat.

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My diet should be balanced. I took off rice, but still have carbs in many other ways. I lessened my sugary cravings. Take note, LESSENED. I tend to get super cray cray without a week of chocolate. So I allowed myself to only one dark 70% and above chocolate piece.

There were also times where I ate rice. But I controlled it to a cup only. I drink tons of water and brought home packed meals for lunch at school, so I won’t be tempted to buy unhealthy foods. When I feel starving, I start off with water, then a small meal. Usually, our tummies would like to make us believe that we should eat a lot. So, what I’d do is that I would eat what I think is enough for my plate and just enjoy the meal. After that, I would realize that one meal is enough, no need for the second or third plate coming.

Today, January 25, 2016, I checked if there was any progress on my Fitness Goals. The results: 29 in waistline and 50 kgs weight! 😊😊😊No matter how little the progress is, it is still progress. With that I am proud of myself and my brother who patiently taught me. Hehe. I know now that I might not end up skinny as what the world dictates. But I can be fitter and to me that sounds more sexier.

Next Fitness Goals login: February 15, 2016

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

Follow me on my fitness journey on my IG account: @nicagerona #Fitness2016

Fitlife: Be-YOUTH-i-FULL

Aging is a word almost considered a “taboo” by some women in the topic of beauty. I mean, who among us would want to have wrinkles, droopy eye bags, a splotchy face, crow’s feet or whatever of those terms they use in skin stuff that doesn’t sound appealing. Of course, none right? Or maybe just some. Believe it or not, I think I am one of those who cringe at the thought of wrinkles and a combination of hideous acne scars. It is a sad truth my dear ladies and gents that aging is a normal process. Part of the human cycle, which only means we are all going there someday, unless you wanna die young (that I wouldn’t certainly bet on–MORBID). The fear of aging or on the effects of it is quite evident in today’s society. You can simply turn on your TV and voila! Beauty commercials that offer products with a so-called “Fountain of Youth”. Skincare clinics and beauty spas have sprung up like mushrooms in the Metro and most of us would want to get their hands on the latest juice of eternal youth in a fancy bottle or canister at some fancy store in the mall. I have nothing wrong against it, cause like I said I think I am one of them.

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I’m 22 years old and turning 23 in the next 7 months, whew! Still young though I would admit pollution, stress, lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet are its taking toll on my once flawless skin. Charaught! 😛 Like any other normal teen on the verge of puberty, I suffered from occasional pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and unnecessary heads (corny). But it was alright then, these tiny evil creatures just come and go without a trace for days. Then, I dunno if I was cursed or just getting into adulthood (OA yung cursed haha) that my pimples are overstaying on my face and worst of all, they are leaving marks! Que horror!! o_O Thankfully, I found a solution that worked well on me, however not all of us get that genie-in-the-bottle-miracle so quick and so, I will be sharing 5 articles that could deal with aging and other skin problems in the most natural way possible. Sorry for the ramblings haha.

1. Say “bye-bye” to dark spots and “hello” to a radiant glowing skin: 5 Natural Skin Lighteners You Can Find in Your Home by (ehem) yours truly. 🙂

2. No to the lines with: 7 Ways to Erase Wrinkles, Sagging Skin and Fine Lines Naturally by Karen Azeez

3. Start it from within: Start Your Anti-Aging Process With These 3 Antioxidant Juice Blends by Ashley Warwa

4. Get it from the ancients on: 3 Ancient Beauty Secrets You’ve Never Heard Of by Nicki Polizzi (source: The Sacred Science)

Lastly,

5. Upgrade your skincare with:  9 Skin Care Ingredients You Probably Never Knew About by Lilla Bessenyei

Take note that the effects aren’t like magically done overnight. You gotta start now and you have to be really patient to see the results. Just use them regularly and in no time you can say to your haters

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To connect with our writers kindly click their names to get to their sites:

Karen Azeez

Ashley Warwa

Lilla Bessenyei

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

GIFs are from giphy.com

Fitlife: Healthy Recipes

Hello Guyths! It’s the start of the summer season here in the Philippines and it is certainly getting hotter and humid each day. I bet a lot you have readied your bikini outfits and slimmed down for the beach! Who wouldn’t wanna look good while getting tanned under the sun, right? Although, I honestly won’t wear bikinis without any shirt on top hehe. Yeah, even if you force me to (like someone would?!? HAHA). Like any vacation, it is best enjoyed with good food, booze, and relentless partying though some might prefer relaxation instead. But then we feel guilty, cause after all the hard work to achieve that bikini bod, we throw in unhealthy heaps of junk food in our bellies. So why not try making healthy meals that are so good minus the calories and guilt!

My friend and co-writer Doris Dahdouh has shared three of her articles containing scrumptious recipes. I know I gotta try this someday, though I might improvise a bit with the ingredients that aren’t available here. Enjoy reading and eating!

1. Don’t Waste the Pulp! This one for all juice loving addicts out there! Hahaha. I’m one too, make good use of the pulp and you never have to feel guilty of any waste.

2. Nachos Minus the Guilt. I love Nachos! I think you can use this for Tacos too. Just add meat, and if you are a vegetarian try using the “veggie meat” substitute. Yum!

3. Incorporating Leafy Greens. You need to eat healthy, therefore you need to add greens into your meals. And Doris has shared her recipes on how to.

To know more about Doris, visit her FB page here.

There you have it. Healthy recipes to make for maintaining that beautiful body this summer!

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

Fitlife: Shedding Those Pounds

There was a time, when I dreaded stepping on to a weighing scale or even check my vital statistics with a tape measure. When Mom and I go shopping for new clothes, I would give a threatening look to the sales lady who’d say that I should wear a larger size of the medium sized dress I chose. UGH. Annoying. So tingin mo, mataba ako?!? Apart from that, my Dad would always tease me to exercise (which I rarely do), my brother and nephew would call me fatty. How dare they?!? HAHA defensive mode. But, I just kept going cause it’s my “thang”,  until I saw myself on the mirror and I know I’m not doing myself a favour.

If you’ll ask me what I did. I certainly won’t recommend it haha except for the exercise part. Definitely not a healthy way to lose weight and fit into that small size tube. Instead, I’ll share you some articles written in Fitlife.tv by my co-writers on how you should properly lose weight, maintain it,  clear our mistakes and get inspired.

1. Be inspired with Caroline Cosgrove’s article

Finding Purpose in your Struggle: Wendi’s Weight Loss Story

2. Maintain your sculpted body with Laura Morissey’s list of food

12 Foods to Sustain Weight Loss Following a Juice Cleanse

3. Feel the guilt of excuses on Nancy Bodreau’s article

2 Common Excuses That are Hindering Your Weight Loss Efforts

4. Discover what Carbs can do for you on Caroline Cosgrove’s article

5 Carb-Loaded Snacks to Promote Weight Loss

To know more about our writers, just click on their names to visit their site.

Caroline Cosgrove

Laura Morissey

Nancy Bodreau

And there you have it! I’m actually trying my best to get back on track of exercise to tone my body. I don’t have a great bod even with the weight loss hehe, so I’ll do my best to sculpt it instead. Always remember that every person’s body shape is unique, what matters is your health. Obesity is definitely not a good sign. So exercise moderately, visit your physician and know what exercises are good for you if in case you have heart problems or diabetes etc, eat healthy, don’t deprive yourself and be confident!

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!