Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bianca Gonzalez

REPOSTING an article I wrote for the Manila Bulletin just last month on popular TV personality Bianca Gonzalez and the new health beverage she’s endorsing. This was also the last article I wrote for the Well-Being section before recently starting my current job as Senior Writer and Editor for FAME Publishing, which produces the health magazines H & L (Health & Lifestyle), DiabetEase and Zen Health.

Photos taken from Bianca's Facebook fan page.


Even with such a whistle-bait figure, Bianca Gonzalez has never actually gone to the gym to workout. For most of her 27 summers, the bubbly TV personality actually admits to eating anything, has never been weight conscious and admits to running in their village and occasionally engaging in yoga as the only things that passes for a workout regimen for her.

That was until recently.

“I don’t think it’s in my genes to gain a lot of weight no matter what I eat,” she says. “But that’s also the case for most young people. No matter what I eat, I never get sick, I never get fat. But as I get older, I realized that I eventually start feeling the effects of what I’m eating.”

Gonzalez admits to a certain feeling of “heaviness” after eating certain kinds of food. The way she tells it, she seems to be experiencing something that the Chinese traditionally believed to be a condition called “internal heat.” This is what happens when hot, fried and spicy food causes imbalance in the body that eventually results in sickness.

To counter this and other health ailments and conditions, the Chinese came up what is now known as traditional medicines based on the primary guideline of the yin yang concept. The way the Chinese believe it, yin yang is based on complementary opposites within a greater whole as manifested in natural dualities like dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot.

In other words, it’s all about balance. And because yin yang is also a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts and yes, exercise, the Chinese do believe that good health begins by maintaining balance in the body.

“To control internal heat in the body in particular, the Chinese drink what is called a cooling tea,” adds Dr. Homer Lee-Lim. “This counters the bad effects of all the hot food that we eat.”

And that is what inspired Universal Robina Corporation to offer its own “cooling tea” with a no-brainer name like (what else?) Yin Yang Cooling Tea brewed from green tea leaves of Camellia Sinensis fused with three traditional Chinese cooling herbs, Mesona leaves, Liquorice root and Chrysanthemum flower.

Gonzalez, who now admits to including the cooling tea to her dietary adjustments that also now includes “more vegetables, hot tea after meals and everything else in moderation” also reveals that she has become more health-conscious than ever. In her own blog and Twitter account (iamsuperbianca), she’s more than proud to post more of her fitness activities that also now includes Pilates sessions and her desire to run some more.

With an unpredictable schedule that often consists of extended hours of taping and shooting, the pretty sensation who occasionally dabbles in acting and modeling (which she actually did prior to becoming a sought after TV host) admits that it’s not easy for people in her line of work to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially with plenty of food just right there for the taking during shows.

“Ang daming pagkain sa set at sa mga shows, I like junk food so mahirap din talagang maiwasan 'pag nandiyan na,” she sheepishly confesses to.

Sleep is likewise a precious commodity for someone like her and she considers it a big bonus to get the recommended eight hours of sleep for her age. “I try to get between six to seven a day. If it stretches to eight, that’s a real bonus for me,” she says.

But even before Yin Yang came along which she says gives her “a very light feeling” when she drinks it, Gonzalez already has an enormous amount of respect for the Chinese and their beliefs, especially after experiencing first hand how they brew their own tea.

“I once went to Shanghai to witness a tea ceremony and I discovered that each herb used has its own special purpose and that there are so many types of tea available aside from the ones that are commercially available,” she enthuses. “I was both amazed and impressed with the very precise and detailed way they make their tea that took years and years of practice. From then on, I never looked at tea the same way again.”

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