Friday, August 14, 2015

Green Smoothie Workshop by The Flow Tribe



Lately, The Flow Tribe have been doing more Green Smoothie workshops in the the city. We usually teach this during our retreats (www.flowretreats.com) but also offer it to corporate offices, schools and yoga studios. We reckon, many urbanites want to learn the art of transitioning to a healthier lifestyle and the easiest way to do so is learn how to drink your greens or liquid sunshine!


Yesterday, Holy Carabao sponsored our loot for the smoothies. We only use premium organic (and biodynamic, if available) produce because health-wise it makes a world of a difference!


Rawlicious same to distribute their famous green smoothie cocktails to the guests at LiFE Yoga Studio.


We also used superfoods to power up our beverages which was supplied by The Healthy Grocery.


For more information on how you can get us to conduct this workshop at your school or office, please email flowretreats@gmail.com

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Bookworm at the Scholastic Readers Cup 2015 in Manila

 


I am a voracious reader because I grew up reading all kinds of books we had in the house. One of my earliest dreams as a child was to have that grand library of Belle in Disney's Beauty and The Beast. Do you recall that scene? I am a self-confessed bookworm, to say the least. So, to be invited to attend the Scholastic Readers Cup in Manila was definitely a mid-week highlight for me!



The Readers Cup is a tribute to teachers, librarians, principals and school administrators whose work and leadership have paved the way for students to become better readers and good learners. This year, the Readers Cup was given to a number of local educational institutions nationwide including OSJ - Sto. Rosario Academy, OSJ - Holy Family Academy, St. Thomas Academy, Dr. Yanga's Colleges Inc., St. Paul College, Balayan, Iloilo Scholastic Academy, OSJ - Saint Joseph Institute, Saint Mary's Angels College of Valenzuela, OSJ - Saint James Academy, OSJ - Joseph Marello Institute, Sta. Teresa College, Notre Dame of Greater Manila, MGC New Life Academy and Falcon School.

Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of over 600 titles annually. Wow, if only I could be asked to curate and review a fraction of those books for my children, I would definitely do so! I remember growing up with the Harry Potter series. It was, in fact, on my birthday wish list which my parents gladly bought for me. Thanks, Mom for encouraging me to expand my mind by reading. And thanks to Dad for buying all the books at the bookstore for me and my siblings! It is nice to see the cycle of life alive with me now as I pass the torch of learning by reading to my little ones. Goodnight Moon is a Scholastic book favorite currently in our library for the kids.


Here are a few of my personal picks for my children which I need to get my hands on the next Scholastic Book Fair:




It is so uplifting to see Scholastic's efforts in increasing literacy through various programs wordwide. I spoke with Scholastic Asia's President, Mr. Frank Wong and Scholastic Asia's Vice President, Dr. Duriya Aziz on their thoughts on reading and their advocacies on building a literary community in the Philippines.






Here are my top take aways from our interview:

  • Reading is fundamental in learning and nurturing CREATIVITY. I can't help but remember a wonderful quote by Albert Einstein, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales". There is a study made in Emory University on how reading a novel changes your brain. Atlantic writes about it here.
"Scientists have proven in the past that reading stimulates many different parts of the brain. In a 2006 study, for example, research subjects read the words “perfume” and “coffee,” and the part of their brains devoted to the sense of smell lit up. While these studies have focused on brain activity while a person is reading, a new study suggests that reading doesn’t just make a fleeting impression. It may make long-term changes to to the brain."
  • People must read LONGER: To get real depth on topics on news and information, people must learn how to read longer. People nowadays rely on short snippets from the internet to get by. It is shocking to see students graduate from school without having read a single book in their life! Here are some unbelievable statistics from Statistic Brain:
Total percent of U.S. high school graduates who will never read a book after high school33%
Total percentage of college students who will never read another book after they graduate42%
  • READ ALOUD moments matter. This struck home for me. The bedtime ritual that we, parents do each night does make a tremendous positive impact on our children for life. Dr. Aziz says, "This is all about modelling good behavior. The 30-60 minutes that the parent or teacher uses to read to the children shows them what good behavior is all about." And we all know that children learn through imitation. So, it is our responsibility as adults to create that proper image for them to mirror. 
  • Real books are preferred by all. Both Mr. Frank Wong and Dr. Duriya Aziz agree that technology (Ipads,ebooks, etc) will never top the power of a real book to captivate our minds. Just the same way that the voice of a real mother, her cuddles and loving energy will never replace that of an automated machine. 
So, what else is new and exciting at Scholastic? 

One of the aims of Scholastic is to build a nation of readers in order to build a nation of learners. One of the ways they want to achieve this is through two key literacy programs they are launching called Literacy Pro and Literacy Pro Library which leverages on the advantages of the internet.

Scholastic Literacy Pro is an online monitoring program which provides teachers with accurate and timely reports on their students' progress and performance, giving them research-based insights to make informed teaching and learning decisions. It promotes the student's growth in reading by developing an individualized reading plan, with corresponding teacher reports

The Scholastic Literacy Pro Library is an ebook library which gives readers of different proficiency levels unlimited access to more than 650 fiction and nonfiction ebooks. With a guarantee of 150 new titles every three months and LitPro quizzes for all titles. Readers can browse at ebooks of different genres with complementing photos and illustrations. A word-by-word read aloud feature help younger readers master pronunciation while promoting listening comprehension. A glossary feature instantly links readers to the definition of difficult words. There is also an audio recorder which lets students practice fluency and a note pad which promotes writing skills. Students may also receive instant feedback from their teachers through the audio recorder. The Scholastic Literacy Pro Library also has a search and assign feature that helps teachers find the right books for each and every student. The best news is that this one-of-a-kind library may be accessed by students at home, in school, or anywhere with Internet access. Students may thus read to their hearts' delight. 

I may personally excel at Reading but I do not fair very well with Math. This has been my weakness since high school. Scholastic also has a new program that aims to solve every student's math conundrum with PR1ME™ Mathematics which is a world-class designed program based on the teaching and learning practices of Singapore, Republic of Korea, and Hong Kong that uses pedadogical in approach and instructional in design. Aha, perhaps I should personally give this a try myself.

While my son attends a Waldorf School which believes in delaying the academics (Reading/Writing, Math) until the ripe age of 7 (or until the falling of their teeth), I do believe that once their faculties are capable of grasping these lessons without overexerting the energy of the body, programs like these may prove to be very useful as well. Read all about how Reading is taught so beautifully in a Waldorf School here.

For more info on Scholastic products and programs, email educteam@scholastic.com.ph, you may also contact (02) 9447323 or visit www.ScholasticPrimeMathematics.com.

Monday, August 10, 2015

DIY Chocolate Almond Milk


Knowing that most commercialized milk products aren't safe for consumption (cows are pumped with antibiotics and hormones), I choose non-dairy alternatives for my kids at home. 

Here is something I served both my kids: homemade all natural almond chocolate milk which they loved!

Ingredients: 
A cup of almonds (preferably raw)
Water
Cacao powder from Bali Big Tree Farms
Sea salt from Ritual Shop, made in Pangasinan
Honey as sweetener
Chia seeds

Directions: soak your almonds overnight and throw the water you used to soak which contains all the enzyme inhibitors. Blend the rest of the ingredients together except sea salt and chia seeds which you sprinkle on top before serving.

So easy! Enjoy!


Thursday, August 06, 2015

Choose Otterbox for On-The-Go Lifestyles

Be honest: are you a klutz like me who drops the phone a lot and hope / pray / beg it lasts over a year? It seems like it's a real concern for many! OtterBox the current global leader in mobile device protection says so. Engineered to withstand drops, bumps, and tumble, their phone cases is definitely in high demand!

With origins from a home in Colorado (a place I have yet to visit for the great outdoors and YOGA!), they have expanded to global offices worldwide due to it's growth since it's humble birth in 1998.

Tenkiebox, the official distributor in the Philippines, introduces 3 new product lines to hit their stores this weekend! You have the option to choose from various styles depending on your preferred lifestyle.

From the beautiful and very manly Strada series...(the perfect gift for Daddies!)


To the chic My Symmetry single clear cases with changeable design inserts for people like me that get tired of how things look really quickly...


To the practical and functional Symmetry Folio covers.


And there's good news! If you're one of the first 100 who purchases any of their 2 new products (from the Strada series or Symmetry Folio), you'll be given a limited edition leather card case or the 3-in-1 phone lens (which I totally love by the way!)! Awesome, right?

Otterbox is available in kiosks nationwide
Follow@tenkiebox on Instagram and Twitter
www.tenkiebox.ph





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 Healing Benefits of AcroYoga


I'm not an AcroYoga teacher but I do enjoy getting together with people to do jams in the city or at some of our retreats out of town. The previous Flow Yin and Yang Yoga retreat group in Palawan was lucky enough to have Paul Verchere join us for some serious stretching. He is a Vinyasa Yoga teacher and a recent graduate of an AcroYoga immersion in Thailand. It's good that he's quite a big guy because he became the base for ALL of us that weekend.


To me, much more than for show, AcroYoga is a beautiful practice with healing benefits. Here are my top 5:

1. Face Your Fears: Many first-timers are terrified of the idea of "flying" or letting go. Whether they are crippled with fear from past trauma or just not into adventure, people slowly learn how to build trust which is one of the main themes of an AcroYoga session.


2. The Healing Touch: We yearn for touch because it is a fundamental need for life, a source of energy and yet we operate on very little tanks of love and touch. AcroYoga is a fantastic way to harness this energy when we connect with others. 


3. Play is a wonderful tool for you to take life less seriously. I also love using AcroYoga as a way for me to bond with my kids! Healing past hurts and quarrels can only take place in a relaxed state of mind and body. So, chill and have some fun!


4. On a physical level, turning yourself upside down has its obvious healing benefits for increased circulation and spinal decompression. Acroyoga is so effective in lengthening the spine and giving me an instant postural adjustment.



5. And of course, we help heal the world through positive collective energies. When we come together in a community of like-minded folks practicing peaceful activities, only good can come out of it. This is the reason why we come together at FLOW to increase good vibrations.

Find AcroYoga classes, immersions and trainings near you at www.acroyoga.org or join a FLOW retreat through www.flowretreats.com. 

If you're jamming in Manila soon, let me know? I just might join you! xoxo




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