5 Awesome Reasons to be on the Cohen Program in Summer

Choosing to embark on a life-changing journey to good health doesn’t require perfect timing. The best time to start is when you’re ready and your mind and heart are set to commit to this sometimes challenging, but oftentimes rewarding experience.

Yet, there are times when being on the Cohen journey at the right time is an added bonus. Here are 5 reasons why it’s a great idea to be on the Cohen Lifestyle Program in summer:

1  Access to the best produce.

The Cohen Lifestyle Program has a specific list of food that ensure clients have the healthiest and most nutritious food for weight loss. Summertime brings good harvest for mangoes, cauliflower, asparagus, lettuce, and more.

2  You won’t easily feel cold.

Rapid weight loss means losing a lot of fat in your body. Thick layers of fat insulates and keeps the body warm, so losing it means feeling cold more easily. As you lose the body fat, you won’t suffer too much from the scorching heat of the summer as others would.

3  You can show off your “new” body in summer clothes.

Speaking of a hot summer, Cohenites also have the opportunity to flaunt their new figures in summer clothes. So bring out those short-shorts, swimming trunks, and swimsuits!

4  Seemingly fewer temptations with less “reunions,” gatherings, and get togethers.

Compared to being on the program during the Christmas holiday, Cohenites will find less opportunities to be tempted to deviate. Since there are less get togethers – family reunions, lunches and dinners with friends, parties, etc. – you have no reason to say you “got tempted” to deviate. What you need to contend with, instead, are the outings. But fret not. “Outings” and out of town trips are the best places to enjoy freshly grilled seafood like squid, shrimp, or prawns that can be paired with grilled zucchini or a leafy green salad.

5  Hitting the 3L water quota is easy-peasy.

Struggling to hit your 2 to 3 liters of water? Now you won’t! Fill up your glass with ice and feel refreshed as you get hydrated.

Joining the Cohen’s Lifestyle Program is a great decision to make for anyone who is ready to improve his life and health, regardless of time of year. What is important is that you have chosen to start this journey now, and not a moment too late.


8 Things You Can Give Up for Lent

Cohenites who want to observe Lent can take their lenten observance a step further with sacrifices that go beyond abstaining from meat or even fasting. After all, Lent is a time to reflect on our lives and to look back on how well we have been treating ourselves and others. It’s really the perfect time to let go of bad habits and redirect our lives towards the good — be it for our spiritual life and our physical state. Finally, letting go of bad habits such as overeating and overindulging in sugary, fatty, and salty food, and transforming our lives into developing healthier habits is the best way to show our gratitude to the Supreme Being who gave us our bodies.

Here are some of our recommendations on what to give up — and gain:

  1. Go meatless. Of course this tops the list as this has been a practice that many Catholics have been observing. Nevertheless, being on the Cohen Program doesn’t excuse us from abstaining from meat. We have other options on our Eating Plan such as fish, cheese, and tofu to replace meat and poultry on the Fridays of Lent.
  2. Say no to sodas. Lent is a time for sacrifice, so what better way to make a little bit more of a sacrifice than by avoiding diet sodas. Besides, it’s good for you! Just drink your 2 to three liters of water!
  3. Limit your caffeine. If you rely on that cup of joe every morning to get you going, then cutting back on coffee to start your day may be a sacrifice for you. If you absolutely cannot go without caffeine, then just cut back to one cup a day.
  4. Cut back on your digital and online time. Surely some of us are guilty of staying up late because we’re glued to our smartphones or tablets even while in bed. So instead of losing good quality sleep time, turn off those mobile devices. It’s a sacrifice you’ll be thankful for when you see those pounds melting away.
  5. Give up sugar! Many studies have shown that sugar is the root cause not only of weight gain, but also of many inflammatory diseases such as allergies, diabetes, heart diseases, and even depression. Try to avoid even artificial sweeteners for just 40 days. Who knows, you might like how your body reacts to no sugar that you’ll stay off it for life.
  6. Stop complaining. True, it’s so easy to complain about giving up on all your favorite (fatty, high sugar) food that you love. So why not try to stop complaining about this, even for just 40 days? Besides, you’re doing your body a favor by avoiding these sugary, high fat foods, and at the same time, you’re also developing a stronger EQ.
  7. Resist those temptations to deviate! The Lenten season is definitely a great time to be on Cohen, as you can challenge yourself even more to resist temptations to deviate. Most of us have weaknesses that come in the form of sweets, desserts, junk, food, bread, rice, and pasta, and it takes a lot of willpower to resist them. If we fully commit to the Cohen Program, we can train our body to recognize food that are not naturally good for us.
  8. Change your mindset. The best way to be successful on the Cohen Program is to train your mind to see the good in eating healthy and changing your lifestyle. You may follow your Eating Plan to the letter, but if you continue to see these guidelines as a temporary adjustment and not a lifelong change, then it becomes harder to reach your goal and maintain your weight in the long run. Remember: the Cohen Program is not just about losing weight, it’s a lifestyle change for the better!

Any other Lenten sacrifices you have made that’s not on this list? Share with your fellow Cohenites and let’s help each other maintain and achieve a healthy lifestyle through nutrition!

#BetterWithCohen #CohenLifestylePH

23 Ways to Make Your Home Cohen-Friendly

The first month of the year is almost over. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get fit, and eat healthier?

Studies show that habits form when done consistently for 21 days. Whether or not you’ve been able to succeed in following your resolutions for more than 21 days, the key is still trying your best to do them consistently. Here are some tips on how to make your home Cohen friendly and help you reach your healthy weight loss goals for 2017:

  1. Give away leftovers. Go over your pantry, dining table and counter tops and pack up those Christmas goodies that are high in sugar and fat. Those brownies from your officemate, the fruitcake from your tita, and that box of chocolates from your client – give them away.
  2. While you’re at it, gather those boxes of processed food such as crackers and chips, bottled sauces and dressings, ready-made instant food mixes, and more. Get rid of processed food in the house to avoid temptations.
  3. As soon as you get all unhealthy food out of the house, clear the clutter. Cleaning up your kitchen and dining room helps you be more focused on eating healthy. An organized kitchen also encourages you to cook more healthy meals and keeps you from eating junk food mindlessly.
  4. Keep fresh, weighed, and ready to eat and use chopped fruits and veggies in your fridge or freezer. This cuts back on food preparation time which leaves you with no excuse that you have no time to cook your healthy meals.
  5. Fix your fridge! Place these ready to use fruits and veggies at the center shelves so that they’re the first thing you’ll see and won’t be tempted to eat anything unhealthy.
  6. Drink more water by loading your fridge with bottles of ice water.
  7. Make your weight loss goals visible. Put your weight loss goals at the forefront by placing a photo of your skinny self or your brand new bikini for summer on your fridge or bathroom mirror. This will be a visual reminder for you of your goal weight!
  8. Stock up on spices and eliminate using premade, instant sauces and mixes which are loaded with salt and preservatives.
  9. Put oil in a spray bottle. Use only 2-3 sprays when sauteeing, which helps cut back on the fat you’re consuming.
  10. Get your Cohen tools out: digital food scale, spiralizer, chopper, steamer, etc. Having them within your reach makes food preparation easy-peasy!
  11. Create a Cohen-friendly zone.  Set up a corner where all your Cohen tools are located, such as your digital food scale, spiralizer, lunchboxes, water bottles, etc. are kept with your crispbreads, balsamic vinegar, Splenda or stevia, and a basket of fresh fruits and vegetables
  12. Use smaller plates. Replace big plates with smaller salad plates to train your mind that you’re eating just the right portion.
  13. Use your oven. An oven can be your best help in cooking multiple batches of your meals all at once. You’ll also use less oil when baking.
  14. Mark your home with food-free zones. Set a rule where certain areas of the home are “food-free” such as the living room, TV room and bedroom, to avoid mindless eating which causes weight gain.
  15. Remove all distractions in the bedroom such as a TV set, laptop or other electronic gadgets. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to create a relaxing ambience in your bedroom to help you sleep early and get a restful slumber.
  16. Let the light in your home. Open those curtains and let the sunlight into your home to get your body clock in sync with nature, which in turn encourages your body to burn fat more easily.
  17. In the supermarket, hit the fresh produce and fresh meats first. Avoid the middle aisles whose shelves are typically loaded with processed foods, junk food and sweets.
  18. Buy “real food.” Avoid buying anything instant, pre-made, or bottled which are high in salt, sugar, and preservatives. Remember: if it’s man-made, avoid it.
  19. Find an outlet for managing stress. Take a walk. Play some music. Dance. Read. Meditate. Stress is the top reason why we tend to eat high sodium junk food and overindulge in sugary “comfort food,” so it’s best to deal with stress without turning to food.
  20. Create a weekly menu. Planning the week’s healthy meals is key to sticking to your weight loss goals.
  21. Create ambience in the kitchen and dining area. Studies have shown that a relaxed dining environment keeps one from overeating. Dim those lights, add some soft music, and enjoy your healthy dinner.
  22. Plate it! Humans are visual eaters—not only do we enjoy our healthy meals more when they’re Instagram-worthy, we can also train our mind to eat healthy. Place vegetables at the center of the plate and move the meats to the side to rewire your brain that vegetables are as important as the mains—not just side dishes.
  23. Savor every bite. Eat slower and take your time to enjoy each bite of your food. Not only are you able to enjoy the flavors of your food more fully, you are also giving your brain enough time to process that it is getting nourished and is starting to feel full and satiated without eating too much.


Don’t be overwhelmed by what you need to do to achieve your weight loss goals. Start slow by making just a few changes at home, and slowly add more as you go along. What is important is that you are making changes towards a healthier lifestyle.

So whether you’re a new Cohenite still getting to know the program or a graduate or former enrollee who needs to get back on the program, we hope these tips will help you stay committed to your weight loss goals for 2017. Don’t give up, and remember that Cohen’s Lifestlye Centre will always be there to support you in your Cohen journey.

10 Sure-Fire Ways to Enjoy Your Cohen Journey

When I embarked on my Cohen journey, I knew I there were going to be many sacrifices to make in the six months or so that I would be on the program. To prepare myself for the major commitment that I was making, I decided to wait a few days before I delved fully into my Eating Plan. I started reading the manual – from to back and back to front – and asked the Centre’s consultants about everything I needed to learn to make sure I didn’t make a mistake. I made friends with other Cohenites through the Facebook group page. I created a schedule for my weekly menu (separate post for that), made a list of all the allowed ingredients that I liked, and built my menu around those ingredients I liked.

But to be perfectly honest, no one can be quite super prepared for starting a Cohen journey. Every day is a discovery or a challenge – and the key is to learn to make everything enjoyable and fun so you won’t easily give up when the cravings, temptations, or even just plain hunger, gnaw at you.

Here are 10 sure-fire ways that made my Cohen journey fun and enjoyable. I hope you find inspiration in them and find them helpful, too.

  1. Experiment with new recipes.

You don’t have to be a chef in the making or a Jamie Oliver to come up with delicious recipes out of the allowed proteins, vegetables, and fruits in the Eating Plan. You just need to open your mind to trying out different things together, and with trial and error, you’ll find yummy Cohenized recipes that you will enjoy while everyone else is eating greasy, salty, unhealthy food. When you’re feeling more adventurous in the kitchen and you know each EP ingredient by heart, you can check out: Cuuks.com for more ideas on which ingredients will work together.

  1. Learn more about the allowed vegetables, fruits, and proteins in you Eating Plan.

The Internet has a multitude of websites that talk about food – from produce to meats to spices and herbs. Read up on the various EP-allowed ingredients and see if you can come up with your version of recipes using these ingredients.

  1. Get to know herbs and spices, and read up on flavor profiles, food pairings, and recommended flavor combinations.

Tip #2 goes hand in hand with this one. As soon as you get your veggie, herb, or spice knowledge in place, you can go about trying out interesting flavor pairings between each of the EP ingredients. A “flavor profile” is defined by the encyclopedia A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition as “a method of judging the flavor of foods by examination of a list of the separate factors into which the flavor can be analyzed, the so‐called character notes.” Simply put, this is how you understand various tastes of food and how they combine to create interesting new flavors in a dish.

The Cooksmarts.com website has a nice infographic laden article called “A Study of Flavor Profiles” which is a great help in understanding how to create a balance of flavors. For foodies like myself who love to try a myriad of global and regional cuisines, check out PlanToEat.com’s article on “Learning to Cook by Flavor Pofile, not Recipe.” The article gives an easy to understand guide on which ingredients typically define a type of cuisine. So if you want to eat something Mexican, this article will tell you which spices are typically used in Mexican cooking, or which ingredients are usually the base flavors in Thai cuisine. Another read should be Kathleen Flinn’s “A ‘Cheat Sheet’ to Flavor Profiles.”

If you’re a bookworm, an awesome book to read about “culinary creativity” is “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.

  1. Test out new kitchen devices and tools.

First things first: the best investment you can make while on the Cohen program (after the program itself) is a heavy duty, digital food scale. That will be your bestfriend for the next six months or so, so find one that can withstand constant use and is so reliable that you won’t be afraid that it will conk out anytime. Bonus tip: Find one that uses AA or AAA batteries rather then the round watch batteries that are harder to find. Why? Because you wouldn’t want to be caught dead preparing your food and finding out your food scale just died on you and you can’t find batteries anywhere. An AA or AAA-run scale is a much better option since you can just “borrow” the batteries from your TV set’s remote control. If you travel a lot for business or leisure, you ABSOLUTELY MUST get a Joseph Joseph tri-fold digital food scale.

Joseph Joseph triscale in green.
This is to give an idea about the size of the  Joseph Joseph triscale. It's just as big as a pair of sunglasses or a power bank.
This is to give an idea about the size of the Joseph Joseph triscale. It’s just as big as a pair of sunglasses or a power bank.

It’s small, just about the size of a power bank or a pair of sunglasses. It retails at around Php 2,500 to 3,000 here in Manila, and the one I saw was in the Fisher Mall department store along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. You can get it cheaper from Amazon.com or other online shopping sites, and you can just find someone who can ship it here to Manila for a fee. Otherwise, befriend other Cohenites and you can all order together and have the package shipped to you to break down the costs.

When I started on the Cohen program, the hottest kitchen appliance was the Philips Airfryer. The airfryer is a cool cross between a convection oven and a deep fryer. I love my Philips Airfryer – not just because it was a surprise gift from Hot Stuff – but because I can make breaded chicken or fish, cinnamon stewed apples, zucchini chips, and even Croque Monsieur or French toast in it without using oil. It cooks food really fast and supposedly healthier because the food is cooked with 80% less fat. It’s a worthy investment that me and my Cohen friends swear by, since you won’t be the only one benefitting from it. One of my friends had made lechon kawali in it for her hubby and the result was supposedly a crispy-licious success! And hey, you can make sweet potato fries for the kids!

Another kitchen tool to invest in would be a “spiralizer” to make zucchini noodles. I don’t have one – I’m not too keen on zoodles – but the Cohen Lifestyle Centre Facebook page had posts about it and where to buy one. Look for the post and read the comments.

Other Cohenites had good recommendations and tips on which brand was good, price ranges, and durability. Other kitchen tools that can help make your Cohen food prep easier: standing grater, oven toaster, steamer, and a good, reliable coffee machine. 🙂

  1. Play with your food.

I used to take food plating for granted when I cook at home, but recently, Hot Stuff made me realize how much fun it is to eat when the food on your plate looks good. There will be days when you won’t have time to even prepare your Cohen baon but there will be days when you can make time to prettify your food. It doesn’t matter that your meal is just yogurt (but don’t get me wrong, Rizal Dairy Farm’s low fat Greek yogurt with mangoes is my absolute favorite EP meal), but a few fancy kitchen moves will make your meal a super enjoyable one.

Tenderloin Steak on Roasted Bell Peppers
Tenderloin Steak on Roasted Bell Peppers

I’m not a food styling expert, but some of the things I keep in mind when plating food are: color, texture, and height. And don’t underestimate the power of pretty dinnerware – from plates to placemats to table napkins.

  1. Keep your own recipe/log book.

Aside from the cookbook that the Centre gives out in our kit, I also kept a small notebook dedicated to writing down recipes I got from the Cohen Lifestyle Centre Facebook page. Here, I jot down my own ideas, too, of dishes I’d like to make, ingredients I’d like to try next, and herbs and spices I want to experiment with. I make sure to write down my notes as well of meals that I liked, which ones worked, and which ones I would never ever want to do again (hello, steamed bokchoy and pechay).

  1. Check out other supermarkets, groceries, and weekend markets.

Metro Manila is fast becoming a really cool place to live and eat with its numerous weekend markets, re-done and upgraded supermarkets, and artisanal food craftsmen. While I’d always loved going to the supermarket even when I was younger, I enjoyed this errand even more when I started my Cohen journey. Apart from scouring the supermarkets to hoard my monthly supply of Jacob’s Hi Cal Original, Meiji plain, Bulla Lite n’ Healthy yogurt, and Swiss brown mushrooms, I also liked looking for good meat butchers, fish mongers, and fresh produce. The supermarkets I particularly liked are:

  • S&R for the cheeses that come in bulk, Bulla yogurt, chicken breast fillets that are roughly 100g each (compared to SM or other supermarkets which runs out of chicken breast fillet or have but only those that weigh 60-75g each, so you’re left with a little cut up piece to add to your meal), and Truvia
  • Makati Supermarket Ayala Alabang for its good fresh meat section and cheese selection
  • Puregold Shaw or Alabang for its limited but really fresh produce, particularly cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage
  • Landmark Supermarket in Makati for its really good selection of fresh produce (they have nice, plump, and happy-sized native tomatoes!) and stocks and stocks of Meiji Plain crackers that you can hoard from without much guilt
  1. Try other cooking methods.

Don’t limit your dishes to sautéed. I think sautéed food can be really, really sad on a daily basis for six months. If you love and respect food the way I do, you’d try not to eat sautéed food only, otherwise, you’ll begin to hate your EP and you most definitely wouldn’t want to do that. Try steaming, poaching (cooking in little liquid until the meat or vegetable cooks), airfrying, toasting in an oven toaster, or grilling (without oil). Just think of the many possibilities you can come up with for your vegetables alone. Cauliflower – many a Cohenites’ favorite – can be steamed, roasted, grilled, poached, boiled, or airfried.

  1. Pick your favorite ingredient for the month or week.

Go through your Eating Plan and pick a particular vegetable that you like that you can imagine eating for a week or so. You can buy this vegetable or protein and come up with new recipes or flavor combinations in various cooking techniques to make your meal more interesting.

An example would be cauliflower, for instance. If you’re not much of a veggie person, I think cauliflower is a good way to ease yourself into a lifetime eating plan where vegetables have a major place in your daily meals. As I mentioned in #9, cauliflower is a such a versatile vegetable that you will not get tired of in a week or two. If you find that the supermarket you go to has a healthy supply of good quality cauliflower, you can grab a couple of heads and come up with a good number of dishes with cauliflower as the lead star. Your next month or week can be zucchini, the next week lettuce, the next cabbage, and so on.

  1. Decide on your “Happy Food.”

This is the most important Cohen piece of advice I can give you. Your Cohen journey will be infinitely more enjoyable once you find your “Happy Food” that you can eat over and over again every week. This should be the dish that you will look forward to making and eating every single week – a dish that will not only follow your Eating Plan to the letter, but also something that you will happily enjoy for its taste, satisfy your hunger, and remind you that eating healthy IS also delicious.

My “Happy Foods” (yes, I have three) are: (1) Rizal Dairy Farm’s low fat Greek yogurt or Bulla Lite n’ Healthy yogurt with ripe mangoes, a dash of cinnamon, and crushed Jacob’s Hi Cal original crackers; (2) feta salad with mixed lettuce, cubed fresh apples, and balsamic vinegar; and (3) Cohen pizza which consists of mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes on Meiji plain crackers and seasoned with oregano, thyme, and basil topped with mozzarella. I always look forward to these treats, and Hot Stuff and I have decided to keep this on a regularly rotation even after my Cohen journey has ended.

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The key to staying committed to the program, really, is to find ways to make the six months as easy and fun as possible. I don’t believe in “scaring” yourself about food and how hard it is to follow a healthy diet plan, because ultimately, this will be negative self-fulfilling prophecy that may result in you failing to commit to the plan.

I’m pretty sure you and other Cohenites have your own nifty ways to make your Cohen journey enjoyable. If you have other tips, feel free to post it in the comments area. 🙂 Happy Cohen journey! 🙂

Funny or Odd Things You Learn When You’re on Cohen

I’ve been on the Cohen program since March 2014 and these are the funny or odd things I learned since I’ve been on the program.

(This was written while stuck in EDSA traffic on the way home from Makati to Ortigas with a full bladder after finishing half the day’s 2L water consumption.)

  • the difference between zucchini and cucumber 
    Zucchini vs. Cucumber
    Zucchini vs. Cucumber
  • the taste of spoiled or expired yogurt
  • the subtle differences in the tastes of sugar, artificial sweetener, and stevia
  • flat shoes vs. 4-inch high heels 
    Why, hello there 5-inch platform shoes!
    Why, hello there 5-inch platform shoes!
  • where the cleanest and empty bathrooms are
  • how 20 minutes in traffic feels like a lifetime when you need to pee
  • how different herbs taste against each other
  • the difference between a large and a medium and a small (or even an extra small!)
  • the difference between cravings and deprivation
  • crossing your legs without flesh pinching between your legs
  • the “thigh gap”
  • how perfectly fitted underwear makes you look awesome
  • how faith, hard work, commitment and trust can propel you to great heights
  • the difference in how people actually look at you and treat you
  • how 2.5 or 5 hours can feel like forever when you’re hungry and 4 weeks can seem like a breeze in between weigh-ins
  • cauli rice, enoki pasta, and Cohen pizza
  • unfounded unreasonable guilt:
    • guilt over deviating
    • guilt over not being able to go out to see friends
    • guilt over taking care of yourself first before others
    • guilt over not sharing your food
    • guilt over not caring for your health and body before
    • guilt over spending so much money on yourself
    • guilt over looking/staring at yourself too much when changes start to take place
    • guilt over not eating what your guests serve you
    • guilt over requesting for “special food”
    • guilt over still wanting to eat good, sumptuous food
    • guilt over being more health conscious

10 Little Changes to Make to Help Nudge Weight Loss

Anyone on the Cohen program can start feeling a bit anxious somewhere along the way while on EP. Sometimes, this feeling of anxiety about losing more can be felt once we start seeing changes taking place in the body. It can get pretty exciting once the weight starts to go down and your body begins to get smaller, that you’ll be eager to speed up the process. 

Photo by marin from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.
Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While it’s not advisable to force your body to lose more weight than it actually can, some Cohenites have tips on how to help your weight loss along with minor changes. Here’s a list of some of these tips I’ve gathered from fellow Cohenites:

  1. Don’t deviate. This is a given, but must be reiterated to remind us that any deviation will only slow down the weight loss process.
  2. Drink lots of water. Try to hit 3L every day, but not more than, as this might cause overhydration.
  3. Get deep sleep for at least six hours.
  4. Don’t eat crispbreads and your fruit allowance.
  5. Don’t drink any soda – light, zero calorie or otherwise.
  6. Don’t use any sweetener.
  7. Drink strong coffee and/or green tea.
  8. Don’t use light mayo.
  9. Take out salt, pepper and dry herbs. Replace them with fresh herbs only.
  10. Eat raw tuna and vegetables instead. Chef Kerwin recommends a ceviche-style version which sues tuna, lettuce, tomato, and onion “cooked” in vinegar.

I’m not sure if all these will work, but it’s worth a shot. Nothing to lose except those excess pounds.

Let me know if any of these work for you!

Boracay Travel Tips While on EP

I love going to the beach, and when The Significant Other surprised me with a trip to Boracay last June, I couldn’t help but squeal in glee!

However, I was in the middle of my EP then, and I had to make arrangements so I wouldn’t deviate. The Cohen FB page has several posts on tips on what to do while traveling on EP, and one of the posts included one Cohenite’s Boracay experience.

I made an effort to find Cohen-compliant food while in Boracay, and here are some of the lessons I learned which I hope you’ll find helpful should you find yourself there while on your EP.

Before anything else, try to answer this question: How long will you be there and where will you be staying? If it’s a nice hotel, make use of the fridge and store yogurt there if you want to bring yogurt. If not, have one of the restos there make your breakfast of eggs with some veggies.

Otherwise, here are some tips and suggestions:


  • Best to go to D’Talipapa to get fresh seafood that you can weigh yourself and have grilled. Just make sure you have a really good digital travel scale with you. D’Talipapa opens early morning so you can have your food ready in the morning.


(Photo above is grilled squid from D’Talipapa with Aria’s grilled asparagus with garlic.)

  • If I remember correctly, the grilled squid above cost me less than Php 170 pesos total for the raw squid AND the paluto fee. We bought 1/4 kilo (250 grams) for Php 70 and we just measured the raw squid what I needed for my meal allowance on my digital travel scale. I got many weird looks from the paluto staff when we were cutting up the squid into pieces to weigh it accurately, but I think they were more curious than weirded out. 🙂
  • You might have to pay the full paluto amount though, since most paluto restos charge a minimum amount for a specific weight (probably Php 150/500 grams or so. My apologies, I didn’t pay much attention to the actual rates.) For this we paid Php 100 for the paluto.


  • There are very few options for veggies in Boracay. You can get your veggies from the restaurants I’ll mention below. Otherwise, you can bring raw unsliced zucchini which won’t spoil or rot quickly, or any other vegetables you like.
  • ARIA has a side dish called “Asparagi verdi saltati in padella,” which is just asparagus sautéed in butter and garlic. You can have them just grill it – without or with very little olive oil. That’s Php 180/order regardless of weight (but without the taxes.) Make sure they don’t use butter!
  • – ARIA also has “Insalata di mare,” which is a salad with squid, shrimp, and fish with tomatoes and celery. The seafood is boiled (or blanched). You can ask them to modify it, i.e. take out the fish (I think it’s mackerel which is not Cohen-compliant), ask for more greens or other veggies that are compliant, and replace the citronette vinaigrette with balsamic or red wine vinegar vinaigrette instead. That’s Php 490/order (exclusive of VAT, I think.)
  • You may opt to request for a change of veggies. I requested for additional arugula for my salad, but with extra charge of roughly Php 50.
  • There’s also “Bietola lessa” in ARIA which is Philippine bokchoy blanched and drizzled with olive oil and lemon dressing. You can just have them blanch it, then seasoned with salt & pepper. That’s Php 160/order regardless of weight (exclusive of VAT).
  • For ARIA, you can get in touch with Tennyson Viray, Restaurant Manager, at tennyson@aria.com.ph or 0917-5659662. He’s a very nice guy, very accommodating. The rest of the Aria staff are also very accommodating, and they even remember your request if you go there often enough. 🙂


  • CYMA Boracay has a roasted bell pepper and Greek feta side dish that I loved. Just tell them specifically to make sure it’s GREEN bell peppers. This is a bit priceier at Php 390, I think. (With VAT and service charge, I believe.)
  • You may get in touch with CYMA Boracay at cymagreektavernaboracay@gmail.com.


  • HEIDILAND DELI at D’Mall has Emmi low fat plain or Greek yogurt, but that runs out really, really fast because they don’t stock up too many of it. It’s very sour, so you might want to add Splenda or stevia to it, and just buy your fruits from D’Talipapa. Just take note that one cup may not be enough for your weight allowance. One cup is Php 107.


(Emmi yogurt from Heidiland Deli. It was the last cup available when I bought it. I just bought the mango from D’Talipapa.)


  • JONAH’S can make you a fresh fruit shake without the sugar syrup. If it’s a mango shake, just tell them to make it with one mango and just water, no sugar. You can just add your Splenda or stevia after.
  • REAL COFFEE has really good coffee, of course, and the view in the morning is AMAZING. ☺ Also do check-out ARIEL’S BEACHFRONT for really good coffee and an amazing Station 1 beachfront view. (Photo below is from Ariel’s Beachfront.)



  • For your proteins, go to BORACAY STEAKHOUSE. Their tenderloin steak is supposedly about 200+ grams per order, but ask them to show you the piece so you can check for fat/marbling and weigh it yourself. (Generally, their steak cuts are lean and so amazing! Very tasty and tender, and hardly needs seasoning.) For some steak cuts, I think you can half it to make two servings pa. That’s roughly Php 640, depending on weight per piece. They’re open to halfing your order and getting one portion pa lang while they keep the other half muna until your next meal. They usually open around 11 am, so best to call ahead of time so they can cook your food and you can just pick it up when you’re ready.
  • To get in touch with BORACAY STEAKHOUSE, you may email them at winnielevai@hotmail.com. Owner is Aisa Levai, and her mobile number is 09105711274 or landline (63)(36) 288-6102.
  1. TIP 1: The ARIA grilled asparagus is a good pair with the BORACAY STEAKHOUSE tenderloin steak. 😉
  2. TIP 2: Bring a squeeze bottle of Carmela Tanjangco’s Balsamic Reduction, just in case.

Hope these help! Have fun at the beach! ☺