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January 3, 2020


“I don’t like salads,” my niece tells me. “Eat sautéed vegetables,” I tell her. There are always different ways of taking vegetables, but please make sure you know the source.

“I like bokchoy more than pechay because the pechay tastes like gas”, said my friend while partaking of our vegetable Kare-Kare.  I thought to myself, “It’s not the pechay. It’s how it’s grown,” and asked her to try the pechay from our ECHOfarms.

Truly, our Pechay Tagalog is sweet and tasty. Sometimes, when I eat it somewhere else, it does taste like kerosene or probably the chemical used to ward off the insects. So, it’s all in the traceability and source of the vegetable, not the vegetable variety.

Pechay with Bagnet Salad

Our ampalaya is small and cute, and really not for commercial sale. It’s because it’s so difficult to grow ampalaya without spraying pesticides once the fruit starts to grow. So we shamefully selfishly just keep it for our own use.

And that’s the story about organic farming. You may not be able to grow as much for commercial sale, but you can surely grow enough for your family’s needs. At our modest farm, we grow enough just for the ECHOcafe needs and those of our household. But at least we know the source of our vegetables, more often than not.

Today, and specifically at the start of the year, people try to eat more vegetables and less meat, after all the meatful holiday occasions and parties. Though they may fail in their “master cleanse” diet, they still try to eat more greens and healthier choices. The key is in substitution. Choose tofu instead of meat. Choose fruits instead of fruit juice. Choose salad instead of vegetable tempura. Do it sooner so the weight goes away sooner. Do it later and some may choose to stay on.

I remember weighing myself at the gym 24 years ago. Every year, however, there is a pound or two that choose to stay. And somehow if you shave it off early enough, maybe a pound can stay every two years or every three. Not bad for our aging bodies…so 24 years later, I have added only 11-15 pounds, not 24. Now that’s success…for me at least. If I choose to remove those 11 pounds, I may look older than my age. So, I’m happy just letting that one or two pounds stay on.

Here are some tips to prevent the holiday pounds from staying on for the year:

  1. Eat less fried food. Choose boiled or steamed food.
  2. Eat less meat. Choose more vegetables and tofu (at least for a month).
  3. Eat less pastries and cakes. Choose fresh fruits.
  4. Skip dinner some days of the week. Have a fruit and vegetable shake instead. It’s filling.
  5. Do not skip breakfast. You can even binge at breakfast, eat a light lunch and sleep early to skip dinner.
  6. Avoid the following for a month: croissants, alcohol, and soda.

Eat greens and make sure they are organic.

Then, weigh yourself after a month. You will get back to your pre-holiday weight or maybe even back to your weight last New Year’s.

Don’t’ let those pounds creep in or they can stay there forever.



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