Load Up on Goodness at Arla Goodness Station at SM Aura

The holiday binging is over. It’s time for us to get real with our new year’s health and fitness resolutions.

As a licensed nutritionist,  I always tell my clients, it’s neither just about diet or exercise, it’s both. You can’t just exercise more than you eat, to achieve your fitness goals, because you simply can’t outrun a bad diet. What we put into our bodies will actually leave a lasting mark in our bodies more than we think.

I’m glad more and more healthy concept stores and restaurants are opening up in Manila and even in Cebu. Having been here in Manila for 6 months now, I can say it’s much easier to live a healthy lifestyle here than in Cebu, in the sense that a lot of healthy concept stores with certified organic products are available. You’re bound to find at least one in your neighborhood. This is a sign that there is a growing awareness and demand for all natural, organic food. And my dream would be for this real kind of food to someday be affordable and easily accessible for most.

Fortunately, more brands and companies are learning to believe in the same idea, that real food should be available for everyone. And Arla is one of them.

If you’re not familiar with Arla Foods, it is an international dairy company owned by 12,700 dairy farmers form Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Well-known brands like Arla, Cocio, Lurpak and Castello belong to the Arla family. It is also the world’s largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.

We know how eating healthy can be quite a challenge when at the malls, and not to mention, expensive.  

Arla has recently installed a pop-up cafe at SM Aura—the Arla Goodness Station

The Arla Goodness Station serves a 3-course set meal of freshly made soup, a bowl of succulent salad, and a hearty sandwich that will definitely fill you up with goodness while being good to your wallet, too. The sets range from P250-350.

With everything made from scratch and all-natural ingredients, you’ll even learn about how to #LetInTheGoodness in your own home everyday. The dishes feature the different varieties of Arla cheeses and the station will also be serving up tidbits of information on how to eat “clean” at home.

You can choose from 3 set combos or you can also mix and match to create your own set:

Set A:  P250
Soup: Roasted Tomato Soup
Salad: Greek Salad
Sandwich: Three Cheese Panini            

This classic combo of grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup is made more nutritious with a serving of the refreshing Greek Salad.

I love how the salad is made from marinated cucumber strips and features Apetina feta cheese. This is my choice of feta cheese when I purchase from the grocery.

Interestingly, the soup is also topped with Arla cheesy spread which adds to the richness of the soup.

The cheese sandwich was a tasty indulgence in Arla’s Mozarella, Gouda and sharp Cheddar. Oh so good!

Set B:   P300
Soup: Brown Rice and Caramelized Mushroom
Salad: Garden Salad with Seasonal Fruit
Sandwich: All Natural PB&J                                                                                

The brown rice and caramelized mushroom soup actually took me by surprise and I’d have to say it was my favorite among everything. The play of textures from the rice were so interesting and the depth of flavors from the mushroom were definitely a winning match.

Fruits, are always welcome in my salads, thank you!

And boy, is this is one jam-packed sandwich. The Arla cheesy spread balances the richness and richness of this sandwich. Definitely a kid’s favorite.

Set C:  P350
Soup: Chili Con Carne
Salad: Caprese
Sandwich: Corned Beef Sandwich        

The chili con carne was a nice, hefty heartwarming soup. And I’m not normally a chili bean soup fan but this was actually pleasant, with spices all toned down to the right mildness and topped off with some nice gooey cheddar cheese.

Before you call out the corned beef sandwich, this is definitely not chucked out of the can. This sandwich uses only real and authentic corned beef made from scratch. The flavorful and tender meat is paired with Arla’s Emmental cheese and some tangy horseradish cream.

If you ask me, the Arla Goodness Station is a perfect lunch stop for when you need something light yet substantial, quick and most importantly, nutritious. You just know it’s good for you.

The salads are tasty and fresh, the soups hearty, and the sandwiches are more filling than they look! Nutritious food can definitely be delicious! The set meals are actually a great way to have at least two servings of vegetables in one meal, which I highly encourage my clients to do. 

And of course, Arla and Cocio beverages are also served at the station. I loved the Cocio dark chocolate milk with the set meal.

If I go back, I think I’d create my own set, having the Brown Rice and Caramelized Mushroom Soup, Greek Salad and Corned Beef Panini.

The Babe with Marco Lobregat of Geiser Maclang
Thank you so much, Marco and Arla for having me at the launch of the pop-up station! And for this haul of Arla goodness to bring home! :)

Do yourself some good. Drop by the Arla Goodness Station when you’re at SM Aura to fuel up on goodness! They’re only available until February!

Don’t forget to share your Arla Goodness Station experience with the hashtags:

Arla Goodness Station
2nd floor, SM Aura (outside Toy Kingdom)
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig 1634 Philippines

Instagram: @arla_ph


My Pamper Sesh Weekend at Vivere Salon & More

I had the ultimate pamper sesh weekend thanks to the grand launch of Vivere Salon and Ooh La Lash at Glorietta 2 sometime in September. It couldn’t have been a better timing because coincidentally, I was to visit my hometown Cebu that following weekend for a wedding.

Vivere Salon is a premium salon staffed with expert stylists who have been trained by the prestigious Vidal Sassoon Academy— the “Harvard University of hair education.” It promises to create cuts that are meant to simplify your beauty routine by making sure you don’t just look great when you walk out of the salon.

Founded in 2003 with its flagship branch at Robinsons Galleria, Vivere Salon continues to grow rapidly. They now having branches nationwide and recently just launched the 10th branch at Glorietta 2.

You can find Vivere at the ff. branches:
Robinsons Galleria
SM Megamall
Gateway Mall
Festival Supermall
Fairview Terraces
Lucky Chinatown Mall
Robinsons Midtown
Marquee Mall
Glorietta 2

Vivere Salon at Glorietta 2 is sleek, bright and clean. You know you’re in good hands the moment you step into the place.


The Ultimate Taste Test 2016: Be a Food Critic for a Day!

Hey, foodies!

Big thanks to those of you who answered the survey in my previous post to cast your votes for this year’s The Choice Awards! The votes have been tallied and the winners will be awarded by none other than Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and members of my foodie family, The KTG (Kain Tulog Gang), this Saturday, September 17 at Function Room 3 of SMX Aura.

I’m so excited to find out who the winners are! Yes, even The KTG don’t know who the winners are yet so it’s all fair and fun!

And it only gets better, as the recognition day will also be celebrated together with The Ultimate Taste Test. Ever dreamt of being a food critic? This is THE day!

The Ultimate Taste Test is the most anticipated event of foodies in Metro Manila. Brought to you by Our Awesome Planet and San Miguel Lifestyle Brews, the celebrated food-tasting event gives you a chance to sample mouth-watering new flavors from over 40 home-based food businesses and new discoveries in Metro Manila. And not only that, you get to judge and make your top picks. All that for just P550 for an all-day pass from 11 AM – 9 PM, with free beer!

The top participants who get ratings of 3.8 and above get to be featured on the food blog pioneer, Our Awesome Planet, which will give them the boost they need to make it out in the market.

Check out the list of participants you can expect at the event:

What: Ultimate Taste Test 2016—Be a Food Critic for a Day!
When: September 17, 2016, Saturday, 11.00 am - 9.00 pm.
Where: SMX Aura, Bonifacio Global City
Ultimate Taste Test Fee: P550/head.

Inclusive of:

Food Taste Portions from a minimum of 40+ Home-Based Food Vendors & New Food Discoveries for the entire Saturday

A bottle of San Miguel Super Dry, Premium All-Malt or Cerveza Negra
(For foodies 18 years old and above only)

Food Critic Ballot for voting your favorite food discoveries.

Buy your tickets now! Here’s how:

1. Online via Event Brite:

2. via Bank Deposit:

Creative Juice Communications, Inc.
BPI Acct. No: 2671-0007-33

Pls email to admin@ultimatetastetest.com with subject: "UTT Ticket payment". Kindly wait for acknowledgement of receipt.

3). Buy directly from Creative Juice office, our official event partner for Ultimate Taste Test 2016:

Creative Juice Communications Inc.,
2F Fun Ranch Building, Frontera Verde, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City
Office Numbers: 470-99-25 or 570-78-27
Office Hours: 9am to 6pm

Look for Sonia LeaƱo or Gemma Surdilla

See you there!


The Choice Awards 2016: Manila's Voice for Best Restaurants and Food

Life has been an adventurous blur the past few months, having had just two weeks to pack up and leave my whole life in Cebu for a whole new journey ahead of me in Manila.

So, it’s been more than two months since I started living here and I’ve slowly settled in. Although I’m homesick already, there are several things I’m glad about being here. First of all, continuing education for my profession is now more accessible since most of the seminars and conventions happen here. So, I get to save on airfare since I’m here now! On the other hand, Manila is a top food destination in the country, with new restaurants popping up seemingly every day.

With all the restaurants around though, how do we know which ones to put on top of our list?

Well, who better to ask than only the best food bloggers in the country? What are food bloggers for, right? But, the food bloggers are no snobs. They are also curious about the crowd favorites. And thus, The Choice Awards was born!

The top food blogger of the Philippines, Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, along with the World Food Expo (WOFEX) and the blogger collective known as The KTG (Kain Tulog Gang) have joined forces to so aptly create this one and only people’s choice awards for their favorite food, restaurants, bars and more—or simply, The Choice.


Ooh La Lash! Now Open at Glorietta 3

Perfectly groomed brows and long, lush lashes can change your life. But you already knew that. The question now is—do you know where you can go to get the safest and most natural-looking extensions?