May 28, 2015

Five reasons why I opted to be a Human Nature dealer

Human Nature personal care and household products

Human Nature has been my brand of choice for personal care products for many reasons. I am still using other organic brands but Human Nature has such a growing variety of products that their products make up most of my toiletry items. Here are my reasons for patronizing this brand.

I want to use safe, natural and toxin-free personal care products.
Most of the personal care products being sold in grocery aisles are full of known toxins as classified by the Environmental Working Group. Parabens, which are found to negatively affect metabolic and endocrine functions, are routinely added to beauty products to lengthen shelf life. Talc, which has been found to be present in breast cancer tissue, is a most common ingredient in powders and face foundations. Triethanolamine and triclosan, commonly used to make soaps, sanitizers and deodorants antibacterial, kill off the good bacteria in our skin.

Human Nature products are free from parabens, triclosan, talc, triethanolamines, silicones, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances and many other toxins. It is a peaceful thought to know that my family is skipping a host of topical toxins by using bath and body products which are plant-based and toxin-free.

I want to get discounts on my natural toiletries.
Becoming a Human Nature dealer instantly entitled me to a 15% discount -- all for a dealership package of P799. There are actually 3 registration packages to choose from:

Registration Package 1: The Bestsellers’ Sample Pack which is worth P1,002.25 at SRP but can be yours for only P799 because of the 15% discount. This includes the following:

  • 11 small samples or product testers (50 ml or 50 g bottles) of Human Nature’s bestselling products
  • 10 magalogues
  • 10 product fliers

Registration Package 2: Full Business Development Pack which is worth P2,688.50 at SRP but can be yours for only P1,999 because of a 25% discount. This package includes the following:

  • 26 Human Nature products
  • 15 magalogues
  • 20 product fliers

Registration Package 3: Hybrid Sample Pack which is worth P2,688.50 at SRP but can be yours for only P1,999 because of the 25% discount. I like this package because it allows you to choose some products. The package includes the following:

  • 11 of Human Nature’s bestselling products worth P1.002.25
  • 10 magalogues
  • 10 product fliers
  • products of your choice worth P1,600 at SRP

Note: All dealer registration packs come with your own Human Nature dealer ID and access to training.

To maintain your 15% discount (for Registration Package 1), you need to have a monthly personal purchase of P800. If you want to level up from a 15% discount to a 25% discount, just make a purchase of P1,500. At this point I found that I was buying more than my family can use up which is why I decided to sell the surplus. Here is my Be healthy and well Facebook store.

Here is the FAQ page on how you can climb up farther on the discount level.

I want to introduce my family and friends to the beauty of natural health and beauty products.
These products are safe, healthful, effective and reasonably priced. Unlike most MLM or networking products, they are sold at fair price. They really are too good not to share. I am not comfortable with personal, direct selling, which is why virtual persuasion via this blog post appeals to me. There is no actual pressure, if you know what I mean.

I want to support a pro-health, pro-poor, pro-environment and pro-Philippines social enterprise.
I have talked at length on the Human Nature story here, please take time to read it so you will understand how worthy of our support this company is. I know it is not the only social enterprise in the Philippines, as there are lots (and I’ll be featuring them one by one, in time), but Human Nature does have a track record for helping out victims of calamities, building houses for the poor, paying more than the minimum daily wages for their workers, using only local and environmentally-safe ingredients and supporting other social entrepreneurs. It really is a noble company.

I want to earn income by selling surplus products.
Being able to use healthy products is good enough. Getting discounts while doing so is even better, but you know what, being able to earn income for all the good reasons above is close to ideal.

If you want to be a Human Nature member or dealer, click here if you live in the Philipines, here if you live in the US and here if you are in Dubai. And if you want to reward me for referring you to this noble company, let’s be in the same group. Type in my name (Michelle Mabalod) and Human Nature dealer ID number -- 120701 -- on the referrer blank and we will be in the same group. Of course, this is totally optional and you can choose not to do so. With or without me, the membership package prices would be the same of course.

If you do register under me, please contact me so I can get to know you. It would be awesome to have you in my group.

May 24, 2015

Rambutan -- what's with this hairy tropical fruit?


Rambutan is one of the more common tropical fruits around and one that Westerners would find exotic. What it lacks in visual appeal it makes up for by the charming, mildly sweet and tangy flavor of its white, jelly-like flesh. All hairy and spindly and red, rambutan is not one fruit you would easily fall in love with at first sight, but one which would beguile you at first bite.

My family used to have a couple of prolific rambutan trees and I remember my big family of 8 siblings plus some extended family feasting on a mound of rambutan fruits every day or so. We used to try so hard not to mind the annoying swarm of black, harmless ants that for some reason are so enamored with rambutan fruits. Those pesky "sulom" as we call them would crawl all over the fruits and reach our arms and necks, but eat delicious rambutan we still did, black ants notwithstanding.

Rambutan is Nephelium laapaceum, that pinkish to reddish spherical fruit covered with a sparse matting of spindly, hairy extensions. The term rambutan comes from the Indonesian root word rambut which means hair. It is mainly a tropical fruit, native to Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Rambutan may not be as potent an antioxidant as Acai berry or pomegranate but it offers a little of most everything that is good -- natural sugars, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here’s a shortlist of the health benefits rambutan fruit offers.
Traditional medicine.
Rambutan is traditionally used in Malaysia and Indonesia to treat various illnesses, including the lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

  • Rambutan leaves are made into poultices and applied on the temples to relieve headaches.
  • Rambutan leaves can be mixed with water, mashed into a paste and its extract squeezed out to give an excellent hair tonic and hair grower.
  • The bark is made into a decoction and is used to treat oral thrush or candidiasis.
  • Frequent eating of rambutan fruit is believed to kill parasites in the intestines.
  • In Indonesia, rambutan fruit has long been used to treat dysentery.
Has anti-obesity potentials
The journal Carbohydrate Research published a study which showed that an extract from rambutan hulls is able to inhibit fatty acid synthase which is an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of fatty acids. What this could mean is that rambutan hull extract may yet prove to be the elusive anti-obesity medication.

It contains the antioxidant Gallic acid which scavenges for free radicals, preventing them from causing oxidation and inflammation in the body.

Good source of nutrients

  • Rambutan is a significant source of calcium which, along with phosphorus, is important for bone and dental development.
  • It is also a good source of potassium which is important for blood pressure management.
  • It is a good source of magnesium, a mineral which is involved in over 300 metabolic pathways.
  • It is an excellent source of iron which promotes oxygenation of the blood.
  • Has moderate amounts of copper which is necessary for the generation of both red and white blood cells.
  • Is a source of manganese which is responsible for activating various body enzymes.
I hope you’d have more respect for the humble and not so pleasant-looking rambutan. It does pack flavor and nutrition beneath all that hairy queerness.


May 22, 2015

Puso or rice cooked in a pouch made of woven coconut leaves -- why it rocks

puso or rice cooked in a pouch made of woven coconut leaves
Puso is one of the curiosities here in the Philippines. It is a single serving of rice cooked inside a pouch made of woven coconut leaves. It is a handy-dandy rice-on-the-go that we buy whenever we are on the road -- and we were mostly on the road the past 2 weeks.

You see we try our best to visit our parents (on both sides, or, my parents and my in-laws, that is) at least once a year. We do it despite the arduously long road and boat trips and the horrendously high fare rates because our parents are growing old and we too, are not getting any younger and we know we should deliberately and purposely find time for them.

If you find yourself on the road soon, and with no other recourse except to eat while on board a ship, or worse, stranded on some out-of-the-way nooks because of a flat tire or whatever, I highly recommend you bring puso with you, along with some food. Here are some good reasons for patronizing this traditional cooked rice commodity.

Puso is handy.
I could kiss whoever it was that first thought of making puso. Why, it’s a single serving of rice that is so nifty and handy. It comes with a sling for easy handling and a compact, tightly packed and natural packaging that is perfect on-the-go. It’s really the best rice package for travel, camping and eating out on some beaches.

It’s lightweight and not messy. Simply make a slit across the coconut leaf pouch and you’ll have hot and fragrant rice. The coconut leaves also keep the rice warm much longer. It’s easy to reheat too -- just steam it or leave it on top of newly cooked rice.

It is fragrant.
There must be something about the woven coconut leaf pouch that imparts a naturally fragrant aroma on the rice. It’s akin to the aroma of pandan which is a favorite rice add-on here in the Philippines. Try eating freshly-cooked puso and you will understand how much more aromatic it is than ordinary rice that’s cooked in a pot.

Puso is healthful.
I think buying steamy hot rice packed in flimsy cellophane or plastic bags or styrofoam bags is downright toxic. Sadly, it’s the norm in most Filipino roadside and bus stop eateries. Heat releases toxic chemicals from plastic products and so it would be wise to just buy puso instead. Who knows? Coconut leaves might even impart nutrients and antioxidants to the rice.

Puso is indigenous.
Age-old traditions such as the making of puso -- especially if they prove themselves to be healthful, frugal and smart -- need to be revived, supported and promoted, in my opinion. I would be saddened if the puso industry would go extinct soon. I would be sad in behalf of all the coconut leaf weavers and the puso-makers and traders. I hope I could learn to make puso in my lifetime. It’s a charming traditional rice cooking method that I just have to learn.

This blog post may be all about the humble puso but I hope you would see the big difference this classic Filipino rice cooking method makes. 

Have you eaten steaming hot puso before? Did you like it?
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