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Lessons from Eat Better: A Muni Cebu HOHOL with Youth for a Livable Cebu


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#MUNIonThis: What if we told you that eating better was not only healthy, but easy and fun?

A typical Friday night in Cebu is usually spent with family and friends over a hot cup of coffee or a cold bottle of beer. Very rarely would you see a group of people gather on a Friday night to talk about food. Eating would probably not have raised many eyebrows, but talking about food? And yet, there we were, almost thirty of us gathered at Abaseria Café on March 15th, pumped to hear the speakers talk passionately about the different facets of eating better.

Youth for a liveable cebu

Growing your own food

First up was the energetic Fiona Lim from Youth For A Livable Cebu (YLC). Fiona talked about Urban Farming and how growing your own food not only ensures that it is safe and healthy to eat, but also that the vitamin content is at its highest level since its straight from your garden.

She reiterates how urban farming can help the environment by conserving fuel and lessening our impact on the planet. More importantly, Fiona says, “Think about how much you can save now that you don’t have to pay for overpriced vegetables at the supermarket!”

Fiona also showed us that growing our own food is much simpler than it sounds. She suggests options like vertical farming, hydroponics and aquaponics for those of us who are not endowed with big backyards.

lazy chef lunch club

Preparing your own food

Next up was Chef Chip Lopez from The Lazy Chef Lunch Club. Chip is best known for creating vegetarian versions of classic street food and fast food dishes to satisfy her own meat cravings.

She aims to change the way people perceive healthy eating by making vegetables fun and enjoyable, and thus shared different tips and techniques on how to eat and prepare healthy food.

She also pointed out that eating better was more than just about labels and diets, but a deep, profound connection between the mind and the body. She showed the importance of practicing mindfulness and  listening to how your body feels after eating a certain type of food.

Chef Chip says, “To facilitate and sustain a lifestyle change, one must find joy in what he or she is doing– and that means eating healthy food that actually tastes good.”

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Integrating healthy eating into an active lifestyle

Last but definitely not the least was the lovely Jennifer Martinez of YogaHub Cebu. Jen (or Grace, as her friends fondly call her) has been a pescatarian for 13 years and became a full blown Vegetarian last 2010. She embodies an active vegetarian lifestyle with her trimmed and toned physique and effortless beauty.

She showed us how eating better has not only improved her performance (running a top yoga studio is not easy) but has also helped her become a better yogi by learning to take care of her body.

However like most of us, Jen has her weaknesses too. She shared how she too often takes ‘cheat days,’ but combats this by working harder the next day. “Its all about balance,” she says. Ask Jen if her diet affects her performance and she might just show you her ninja moves.

So, what does eating better really mean?
And how do we incorporate it in our daily lives?

One main takeaway that night was that you don’t need to have a farm, be a chef, or practice yoga to eat better. Ultimately, it is about striving to be better – a better worker, a better mother, a better teacher, a better friend, and a better human being. All of us, regardless of culture, religion, age or sexual orientation, strive to have quality of life — one rid of diseases and problems. We all want to maximize the time that we have, and eating better will definitely help us achieve that.

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