It’s refreshing to know that in the age of processed and fast-food meals, there are still alternative dining places that offer “clean” food with recipes stripped off of preservatives and chemicals that could harm our bodies in the long term. Coming off from another revitalizing yoga session from Life Yoga, I ventured to the adjoining cafe Vibe Superfood. Just a cursory look at their menu and reading witty, music-inspired names of the dishes instantly put me in a good mood. I placed an order for their Curry Me Away (a song from the Doobie Brothers) and Matcha-Twenty (from the band Matchbox Twenty) and got excited for the treats to come.
The shop looks rather nondescript from the outside save for a simple, elegant signage that announces “Satinka Naturals” and a blackboard that says, “A piece of the mountains in the city”. Well, the second one got our attention. As is common with some other establishments, the promise can be just that – a promise premised on purely commercial purposes, just enough to pull in a customer for the first time but not for a return visit. Happily, Satinka Naturals’ advertising sign is not mere rhetoric. In fact, the more often we visit, the more delighted we are in discovering, not just healthful foods, but also nuggets of health wisdom from its owners, Satinka and Shaller, who both hail from Kalinga.
It’s a week after a week-long photo assignment down south and I was back to attending meetings and presentations aside from writing. Hardly a good time to try out a 1800 calorie daily diet. I didn’t even remember weighing myself for a before and after comparison, not that I’m overweight but on hindsight, that’s well and good. In my busy-ness, I wasn’t even really keeping track of what the courier delivered every night for eating the next day — I merely made mental notes of what made a nice impression on my palate.
I must admit, I never really had any inclination to go on any sort of rigid dieting as I’m blessed to have a fast metabolism though as someone who used to be ACE-certified in Lifestyle and Weight Management, I’m no stranger to diets. Five days of 5 meals daily (3 main, 2 snacks) would be too much to detail in this short post/review so I opt to instead list my impressions on the offerings that are more memorable than the others, as well as my general impressions.
It must be the cool weather, the bountiful freshness of greens in the region and the creative vibe the city of Baguio exudes that makes food tripping in Baguio so fun. A recently opened creative space called Ili-likha Artist Village, which is getting quite an attention from foodies and artists alike. A hub for healthy eating, they have a Kiwing na Kahoy Food Community and each member establishment offers something different. One we tried is Balbacua at Urban Kamote, bringing a famous Southern Philippines dish to the highlands of Baguio.
When the temperature in the city goes up, heading off to the highlands becomes a very appealing proposition. For Metro Manila folks, that’s either Tagaytay or Baguio. Well, your Happyfoodies had the pleasure of hieing off to Summit Ridge in Tagaytay for the weekend, partly to gorge on food, and to balance the weekend with some healthful activity.
Let us count the ways: an hour of badminton, an hour of yoga on Saturday, a little bit of Zumba come Sunday (pardon us as two left feet couldn’t do justice to those flashy dance moves and as far as your Happyfoodies are concerned, the booty is meant to be used as final repository of digested food, not for those impossible-to-mimic booty shakes).
Hmmm, sounds like those activities may mean we have some serious caloric deficit to make up for. While spending the weekend in Tagaytay have almost always come to mean bingeing on food (Bulalo and Crispy Pata come to mind), alcohol, and sleep (or all three for those with Bacchanalian inclinations), the C2 Classic Cuisine (C2 in short) restaurant in Summit Ridge have a more sensible alternative – a healthy menu. The idea is sans fanfare: use whole foods and cook them simply so you get to taste their healthful, wholesome goodness.