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In the Philippines, vegetarianism is a relatively new concept. But its prominence has been growing fast.



When Jason Baker, director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia-Pacific, was only 18 years old, sometimes in 1990, he saw truckloads of chickens from poultry farms passing in front of their house in Detroit on their way to slaughterhouses.  “Once, a chicken fell out (of the truck) – she was so fat, she couldn’t even stand up.  Her beak was half gone and she didn’t have feathers in some places. We took her to a veterinarian, but it was too late; she had to be euthanized,” he recalls.  “There was no way I would eat meat again after that.” 

But while Baker’s decision to become, at first, a vegetarian (exclusion of meat from diet), and, eventually, a vegan (pure plant-based diet, with poultry products and milk also excluded) was triggered by his involvement in the animal rights movement, there are, as PETA itself states, as many reasons to be a vegan as there are vegans.


Humans, says Baker, started out as “naturally herbivorous,” with prehistoric men eating herbs first before eating flesh. But it was only in the 20th century that vegetarianism started to popularly become a way of living, with the likes of Mahatma Gandhi popularly known as vegetarians. Although many of the world’s religions and philosophies, such as Buddhism and Jainism, have long promoted vegetarianism, more recently, in a Hollywood-dominated era, supported by celebrities including Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Pamela Anderson, Alicia Silverstone, and Natalie Portman, among others.

In the Philippines, vegetarianism is a relatively new concept. In fact, PETA, dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of animals, including those that end up on dining tables, only opened office locally in 2004. Amazingly, says Baker, PETA gets more requests for Vegetarian Starter Kits from the Philippines than from just anywhere else in Asia, Africa, and South America.

Baker thinks this is largely because “around 90% of Asians, including Filipinos, are lactose-intolerant.” Thus, soy products have always been popular in the region, though, he adds, Filipinos are luckier because they have an array of vegetables to choose from, and, already, most food courts in malls have a vegetarian food stall, making vegetarian food as affordable and convenient as any fast food.


“Going vegetarian is the best thing anyone can do to improve their health, alleviate animal suffering, and save the environment,” Baker says.

According to, “going vegetarian is the single best thing that we can do for ourselves and our family.” This is because a meat-free diet that is rich in, among others, complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, omeg-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins “provides optimal nutrition for both children and adults, forming the foundation for dietary habits that support a lifetime of good health.”

Various studies continue to support this claim. The American Dietetic Association, for example, states that “vegetarians have lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.” Vegetarians tend to be slimmer than meat-eaters, too, making it a popular technique to lose weight among the weight-conscious.

Researchers from the University of Toronto have also found that a plant-based diet rich in soy and soluble fiber can reduce cholesterol levels by as much as one-third. And even more studies have shown that, on average, vegetarians and vegans are at least 10% leaner, and live six to 10 years longer than meat-eaters,” Baker says.

Admittedly, vegetarianism is not perfect. For example, since “vitamin B-12 is primarily found in animal sources, vegans need to take a multivitamin or B-12 supplement to get ample B-12,” Baker says. “But it is still possible to get most vital nutrients from a vegan diet – (after all) vitamin B-12 is also found in nutritional yeast, and many fortified cereals and soy milks.”

Beyond choosing to be healthy, however, turning vegetarian is, according to PETA, also “compassionate to the animals and the environment.”

“It is estimated that each vegetarian saves at least 83 animals every year,” Baker says, adding that “the world’s livestock account for 15% to 25% of overall global methane emissions — and methane is 24 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In the US, nearly half of the water, more than a third of raw materials and fossil fuels, 80% of agricultural land, and 70% of grain are used to raise animals for food. The animals, in turn, produce a whopping 87,000 pounds of manure every single second – (a quantity) 130 times the excrement of the entire human population, leaking into streams and rivers, and contaminating water sources.”

A vegetarian diet is, therefore, “not only healthy but also humane,” Baker says.


“Going vegetarian seemed difficult at first — I had loved bacon double cheeseburgers,” Baker recalls. “But I made the switch overnight. It’s just a matter of learning new food.”

Turning vegetarian is “easier than ever before these days since there are many more options. In the Philippines, soy products are everywhere; you don’t go to the taho (tofu), the taho goes to you.” There are also the “mock meats” long promoted by Seventh-Day Adventists as “mock meats” that is cholesterol free and generally lower in fat; the pervasiveness of the vegetarian products, such as those carried by shopping chain Rustans in its supermarkets (called Taste), from sliced soy meat, tofu cream cheese, soy cheese, mock tuna, and dairy-free chocolate; and the availability of more dining venues either exclusively catering to vegetarians, or re-configuring their menus to offer vegetarian menus (e.g. in Quezon City alone, there are about five all-vegetarian restaurants, even as pizza companies, such as Yellow Cab and Greenwich, make vegetable pizzas without cheese, and Wendy’s and KFC now have vegetable salads for the health-conscious), Baker says.

“Compassion will never go out of style. We show people that vegetarianism isn’t just about losing a few pounds; it’s about being humane and healthy,” Baker ends.

For more information on the benefits of turning vegetarian, visit,,, and

"If someone asked you about me, about what I do for a living, it's to 'weave words'," says Kiki Tan, who has been a writer "for as long as I care to remember." This one writes about... anything and everything.


Tips for walking 20,000 steps a day

To walk 20,000 steps a day you’ll need to cover a total of 10 miles. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds.



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To walk 20,000 steps a day you’ll need to cover a total of 10 miles. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. Here are a few tips to help you reach your goal:

Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes

The first step to walking 20,000 steps a day is to make sure you have the right equipment. Investing in a good pair of walking shoes will help to prevent blisters and injuries, and make the walk more comfortable overall.

Make Walking Part of Your Daily Routine

To reach your 10-mile goal every day, make walking a part of your daily routine. This might mean taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from where you’re going so that you have to walk more. You can also try waking up a few minutes earlier each morning to fit in a walk before you start your day.

Join a Walking Group

If you’re having trouble finding time to fit in 10 miles each day, consider joining a walking group or taking part in a local 5k race. This will help keep you motivated and provide social support along the way.

Start Small

Don’t try to walk 20,000 steps all at once. Start with a smaller goal, such as 5,000 steps per day, and gradually increase your mileage as you become more fit. This will help you avoid injury and burnout.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure to stay hydrated while walking by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will help you feel more energized and prevent dehydration-related issues, such as muscle cramps or fatigue.

The Bottom Line – BetterMe Can Help You Walk More, Every Day

If you’re looking to improve your overall health, walking 20,000 steps a day can help. This simple form of exercise offers a host of health benefits, from improved sleep and digestion to reduced stress and anxiety. To reach your goal, use the BetterMe Blog as a guide and stay committed every day. With enough dedication, you can achieve your fitness goals and transform your body for the better.

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How can the self-employed tackle burnout? Expert shares top tips

Self-employed people such as business owners or freelancers may be more susceptible to burnout due to long working hours and the weight of responsibility that they carry.



Photo by Nubelson Fernandes from

With workers returning to the office in their greatest numbers since the pandemic, the number of people suffering from burnout or stress-related illnesses is also on the rise.

Self-employed people such as business owners or freelancers may be more susceptible to burnout due to long working hours and the weight of responsibility that they carry. 

For many work and life have become intertwined, fortunately, Private Rehab Clinic Delamere has shared tips on how you can tackle burnout when self-employed and the common signs.  

How you can tackle burnout

1. Set Goals and Priorities

Having a mountain of work, with no plan in place to move forward can sometimes feel overwhelming. It can help to take a step back to assess which of your tasks need prioritising, and which ones will help you to achieve your goals.  

2. Speak to Your Colleagues or Clients

Being honest with the people that you are working with or for, about your mental health can often make things a lot a lot easier. You may be surprised at how understanding other people are of your situation.

By being open with others, you will have a better understanding of what to expect from each other, meaning that you will have a stronger professional relationship going forward.

3. Ask for Help

Never be afraid to ask for help if you feel that your stress is becoming too much to handle and you start to show signs of burnout. Getting external advice through counselling or therapy can give you a new perspective on a situation to guide you through any problems.

If you do not feel comfortable with counselling, then simply reaching out to friends and family can be enough to help you talk through your problems.

4. Schedule Time-Off

Sometimes when work life is becoming too stressful, all you need to do is take a short break from it all. Returning to work after a much-needed break can give a person a more positive mindset.

Those who are self-employed are often in charge of their own schedule and can over look the need to take holidays. In fact, some surveys have shown that nearly one in ten business owners go up to five years without taking a holiday.

5. Consider Changing Things

If your line of work is causing you constant stress and it feels that there truly is no way out, then it may be worth considering if you are genuinely following the right career path for you.

It may be the case that you do not need to change your career path altogether, but that your daily work routine simply needs to be altered. Consider making small changes such as your place of work. If you are stuck in an office or at home all day, you may benefit from finding a co-working space or coffee shop to work in.

Sometimes changes can be as simple as investing in new equipment or simply taking more regular breaks from your working day. By implementing these small changes you are less likely to burnout from stress.

6. Put Self-Care First

Work-life can be demanding, especially for any self-employed people who are under pressure to meet deadlines for various clients. However, when we demand too much of ourselves, it can be damaging to our physical and mental health.

Remind yourself that you come first. Maintaining a healthy sleeping and eating pattern, while keeping up a rewarding social life and strong relationships is more important to your mental well-being than anything you do while on the clock. 

Spotting the signs of burnout

1. Feeling Tired All The Time

If you are waking up feeling exhausted and find that you are still feeling drained even after you have been awake for a few hours and a cup of coffee in your system, then this may be a sign that you have burnout.

2. Lack of Motivation

During burnout, a person may find themselves completely withdrawn from their workplace or work tasks. Simply going through the motions while at work without any kind of motivation – or taking no joy whatsoever from your accomplishments at work – could indicate that you are experiencing burnout.

3. Recurring Health Problems

A person suffering from burnout may experience frequent and recurring headaches and muscle pains, as well as feelings of indigestion and stomach aches.

4. Feeling Irritable

Finding yourself easily irritated or frustrated, even by small things, and then snapping out at others is a possible sign that you are carrying too much stress from work.

6. Self-Deprecating Feelings

When someone is suffering from burnout it can have serious effects on their mental health. A person can have a heightened sense of self-doubt, feel like a failure and even experience impostor syndrome.

A person with burnout may also experience increased feelings of isolation and detachment from their colleagues, friends and family.

7. Increased Procrastination

When burnout occurs a person may find themselves avoiding their responsibilities, regardless of how small those responsibilities may be. Instead, a person will fill their time with procrastination and indulging in comforting distractions.

8. Coping Mechanisms

During burnout, a person may be more likely to turn to other comforts and coping mechanisms such as comfort eating junk food or even consuming alcohol and/or drugs. Engaging in any habit excessively to cope with stress may be a sign of burnout.

9. Change in Sleeping and Eating Habits

Stress can mess with our natural cycle and someone who is experiencing unnaturally high levels of stress may find that their sleeping habits are altered as they end up staying up late and sleeping in.

A person may also find themselves skipping or avoiding regular meal times, having a loss of appetite at some points in the day, or craving comforting junk food at others.

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6 Exercise safety tips

Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.



In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are more aware of their health and wellness. Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

Sprains, strains and injuries can happen to even the most seasoned athletes. When you’re testing your limits, even a minor injury can alter your performance. Consider products and supports like these from the CURAD Performance Series product line, available at Walmart and Amazon, to help you get back in the game quickly and safely.

Find more resources to support your fitness journey at

Keep Dirt and Germs Away

The more active you are, the harder it can be to find a bandage that stays with you all day or all game long.

Spray Away Sore Spots

Controlling mild pain can help keep you at the top of your game, and a topical analgesic works fast to heal common pain brought on by fitness and exercise, such as pain in knees, feet, shoulders and backs.

Put Pain in the Past

When recovery becomes the name of the game and pain relief is needed after daily workouts or bodily injuries. Cold packs work to heal bruises, reduce swelling and relieve headaches and general pain points while microwavable heat packs provide satisfying heat therapy to address sore and stiff joints, muscle cramps and tension.

Reduce Impact of Knee Strain

Weak, injured or arthritic knees can come from many sources, including tendonitis and a wide range of conditions that result in strain or overuse. An adjustable band can provide support for on-field sports and during workouts or everyday activities.

Manage Pain and Relieve Pressure

If you participate in endurance and strength exercises or certain sports, you may ask a lot of your joints. Kinesiology tape can be configured a multitude of ways to help reduce pain and improve blood circulation, as well as relieve tension and pressure.

Control Back Strain

When your back is strained, your body and performance can suffer. A mild or moderate sprain can benefit from strong support and compression.

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