Neighboring countries may help boost health awareness of Filipinos

With cheaper airlines, more Filipinos are being exposed to various food and beverages abroad. Taiwan is one neighboring countries which seems to have more healthy products in their shelves especially beverages.

Known for influencing us on the milk tea market, it seems to offer more than just its delectable milk tea.

A sea of tea varieties and other healthy beverages.

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  1. Variety of Teas. Fruit Teas are “in”.

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  1. Jelly Teas with specific benefits

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  1. Vegetable Juices.

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  1. Fruit Juices.

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  1. Alkalized Water.

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FUTURE POTENTIAL: With the quick mushrooming of Family Mart in the city, it is not far from impossible that some of its house brands enter the Philippine market soon.

 

 

 

Veggie Zen

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Operating with most of its proceeds going to the Zen Buddhist monastery, this vegetarian restaurant in San Juan is a must-visit! It boasts of its affordable yet a wide variety of surprisingly delicious vegetarian items. Some bestselling items are:

 

Veggie Tacos and Simpaoku with Cashew Nuts,

  1. Oakwood Mushroom is the restaurant’s best selling item. A breaded mushroom, which is delectable to taste — Perhaps similar to Calamari. Each order is already good for 2 and is friendly on the pocket. Roughly around P120 only.
  1. The Tacos also capture hearts not only amongst vegetarians but meat eaters as well. Its crispy taco shell and soy-based meat will make anyone come back for more.
  1. Simpaoku is a stir-fried breaded mushroom with bell pepper and carrots in sweet and sour sauce. Roughly around P170.
  1. Laing, one of the best in town. Truly flavourful despite the no-meat recipe.It has the right spicy-ness balanced by its coconut-flavored taste. One serving is good for 2-3 people.

And of course, they also serve healthy beverages: Barley with Edamame, Fresh Lemon Juice, Wintermelon tea, etc.

FUTURE POTENTIAL: It’s affordable yet deliciously healthier dishes are its promising strengths that can help it stay in business.

Vegetarian restaurants that can offer vainds, which can easily become a favorite even amongst non-vegetarians at a friendly price, are keys to stay in the business.

Healthier go-to-groceries

Despite its few numbers, Healthier Go-To-Groceries seem to have been steadily gaining a wave of supporter.

A few of them are in your neighborhood.

  • Echo Store has been continuously expanding since it opened its first branch last 2008 in Serendra. A mini-grocery on its own, majority of Echo store’s products is locally sourced from fresh produce; packaged goods to personal care items.
    • It also supports an array of indigenous tribes and women who have created some of the products in Echo Store.

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  • Earth Origins sells organic vegetables, meat and various packaged food items some are locally sourced, other package snack goods are imported from more developed countries which have more health conscious consumers.

 

Organic Meat and Egg on sale

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A plethora of healthier snacks

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FUTURE POTENTIAL: With the Philippine’s good economy, these groceries are rooting itself in the FMCG landscape and seem to have a growing potential as more and more Filipinos become conscious of what they eat.

Health Trends in the Philippine Market

With faster lifestyle and wider access to loads of information, consumers have more choices and are starting to be more conscious on items they buy. The consumer landscape is changing at a more rapid rate than what we have seen in the past decade.

Health is one category in which this rapid change can be quickly felt. From food, beverage, RTW to the service industry…according to Euromonitor data, a London-based market research firm, the growth in health and wellness industry will continue in 2015 and is seen to further grow particularly packaged goods. We can say that it seems that this trend is here to stay.

Here is a list of trends spotted in the last few years:

  1. Selling beyond sales, patronizing of products and services that support “human values” than just the sales

e.g.  The Marginalized, The Uneducated, The Poor

  • National Book Store encourages individual donation of school supplies. They provide a set of notebook and pen for customers to tangibly see what is going to be donated to less fortunate kids.

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  • Starbucks supports initiatives in the building of classrooms in Mindanao just by purchasing bottled water. For each Hope in a Bottle purchased in Starbucks stores, 100% of HOPE’s profits went to build a Starbucks classroom for students.

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  • Echo Store is a social enterprise carrying green, fair trade products created by the marginalized community groups from different parts of the Philippines.

 

ECHOStore Signage on Wood Planks 1.37m x .28m.cdr

 

 

  1. The mushrooming of “Go Local” products and cafes
  • Bayani Brew

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  • Bo’s Coffee
    • The cafe sells local coffees e.g. Cordillera, Sagada, Kitanlad etc…

 

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  1. The growing support for healthy restaurants and mini-groceries
  • Vibe Cafe

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3. Fitness that incorporates fun and innovative specialty trainings

  • Think about boxing gyms or martial arts studios as some obvious examples. specialty fitness is all the rage, and things like martial arts, dance or even trapeze are being brought to the Filipinos such as Martial Art Studios, Parkour,  The Factory, and Ninja Academy.

 

  • Specialty fitness programs that focus on a particular style of exercise, piece of equipment or even philosophical approach are exploding across the country. Some focus on interval training, others on yoga or Pilates, etc.

 

  1. Support for alternative health therapies

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  • Living Life Well located in Megamall’s Atrium Center has been offering Alternative Healing Therapies e.g. acupuncture, ventosa, pranic healing, etc.

 

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  • Ayurvedic Wellness center in Quezon City. With an in-house ayurvedic doctor, the clinic provides Ayurveda treatments based on one’s body constitution

 

  1. Wellness in the medical community

“West meets East”

No longer just focused on western treatments, the Philippine medical community acknowledges the need for holistic treatments. In recent years, it is incorporating preventive wellness programs in their health service.

  • The Medical City and St. Luke’s had given birth to Wellness Departments
    • The wellness departments offer alternative wellness therapies e.g. Acupuncture and Functional Medicine services. The offers either prevent aggravation of existing illnesses or help patients recover from existing ones.
  • Centro Holistico
    • Built by doctors who found passion in promoting and practicing Integrative Medicine – wherein theories of both alternative medicine and conventional western medicine are used in diagnoses and treatment of patients- this newly built clinic is gaining ground in Alabang.

*Source: Euromonitor.com

(credits to the owners of the photos)

 

** Details of some trends mentioned here will be expounded in the upcoming articles.

Why Yoga in the Corporate Set-Up?

 

IMG_4322 Employers these days are being challenged with the increasing demand of their clients. The theme faster, better and cheaper are becoming the norm. Meeting crazy deadlines, the need this “now” or needed this “yesterday” all while sustaining high quality at a seemingly lower price are creating stressors not only to the business but also the employees’ lives. This scenario makes it all the more challenging for companies, as they now have to deal with their most valuable asset in delivering this new client demand. The workforce.

In recent years, employee satisfaction is no longer defined by just salary and career opportunities alone. With the daily grind of work, more employees are increasingly getting sick and realize that they are living an unhealthy lifestyle.

People start realizing the value of not just having work-life balance but also the importance of their own health in leading happier lives.

Given these challenges, employers’ are now offering wellness alternatives and one of them is YOGA.

How can yoga help with the rapid changes in business demands?

  • Yoga helps detoxify the body from the inside out. It can improve bowel movement given the various poses that stimulate the digestive system. Perspiring during a class also help sweat out the toxins from the body.

  • With increase blood circulation, the practice helps to re-energize the body as oxygen is better distributed in other organs that do not normally receive good oxygen supply.

  • With proper breathing exercises, yoga also helps in calming the mind.

These are just the few benefits of the practice. When done regularly it alleviates a person’s overall health making one feel better physically, which in turn directly impacts one’s mood and disposition in daily life.

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Eventually, (with other work factors set aside) the practice can help create happier people who are more productive at work leading to increase employee satisfaction and perhaps can even translate to a better client satisfaction on the overall.

The Practice

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Whie in the middle of Marichysana D, “What to eat after practice? A mouth-watering vegetarian adobo, raddish cake, my favorite gingery mongo soup? What for dessert? Cappuccino gelato, moist choco cake,strawberry coco ice cream? Need to finish that report, revert to office emails, prepare for a meeting, etc.

The list goes on …

Sometimes I would catch my mind going ahead of the pose or counting how many poses left before Savasana. At other times I hear my mind creating all excuses on why not to do the pose or why I need to do a pose.

The MIND. It’s quite an animal to catch…. with all its distractions and dramas, I’ve always wondered how do we still its raving waters?

In the past days of daily yoga practice, I realized that the authenticity of our intent set at the beginning of the practice helps us go beyond the struggles of the mind. Fully connecting to the breath and trusting our grounding opens us up to the flow of the practice.

With the intention of opening the heart and with full awareness on breath and bodily movements, the dance of breath is being invited and the practice just arises as long as Intention and Focus are there.

Regardless of the pose, of the perceived limited practice time, of perceived body limitations, of our seeming self-criticizing judgments, of whatever excuses we have in mind, allowing the mind to step aside opens the heart to the flow.

Fully connecting to our feet, feeling every muscle and sensations we can muster, acknowledging our bodies as part of the earth, it becomes our grounding.

Feeling our chest open and crown of the head connecting to the Great One above, it becomes our guide (As we are reminded that something is bigger/greater than us).

Then things just start to flow.

I cannot further emphasize the importance of continuously not pausing the breath and flow of movement. The tool seems to work for me to silence the monkey mind… Move without overthinking so the mind cannot catch up. I guess this is what I love about the practice. It is a life tool just as with the other practices (e.g. qui gong, jet kundo, other martial arts) it silences the mind so the self can arise.

Do the poses without the drama. Doing too much (giving in to the ego) or doing too little (a form of escape, running away from one’s self and issues) does not help. Wherever we are in the practice for the day, remove the dramas and self-judgment. As one of my teachers would say, “Just do it BUT with full awareness.”

Move and Flow with the heart open and the feet grounded acknowledging…

… the power of the earth

… the existence of things greater than us – God, the ONE divine, the Great Spirit , Christ, Allah

… and most of all the strength we have in ourselves

And hopefully before we know it, the seed of the real practice is growing inside us, carrying it with us even off the mat.