Random Ramblings


I started 30 Days of Real Food yesterday.  My diet for most of the 1st quarter was unhealthy. In my 2018 Focus Points post, I said:

  • I’ll start strength-training and building some muscle
  • I’ll get my waist-to-height ratio to 47% by the first quarter of the month; and
  • I’ll achieve a fasting blood glucose of < 80 mg/dl waking up

None of that happened.  I’m disappointed in myself, but I’m trying to get over it by focusing on what I can do instead.

30 Days Real Food Scatterbraintures C


I’m following the rules from the Whole 30 website (click the link to find the specifics for each item below). I don’t think I’ll follow their list to the letter. My notes are italicized:

Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial.
— This is ok, artificial sugar triggers my IBS.

Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking.
I just bought Bignay Wine from my workmate. I’ll give the bottle to my dad 😭.

Do not eat grains.
I will eat rice occasionally. 3 meals/week max? We’ll see. It will depend on my morning glucose meter results.

Do not eat legumes.
I will still eat these occasionally. Green beans = ♥️.

Do not eat dairy.
For everything except butter, I will comply. I can’t digest too much dairy anyway.

Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.
I should spend time googling what carrageenan and sulfites are, but I’ll try my best to check for them in food labels. MSG is controversial. Some say it’s fine but since I’m avoiding processed foods which usually include MSG, I should be ok.

Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.
Wish me luck. 😟

Vinegar, salt, and canned tuna are my exceptions. I also want to cook meals with tomato sauce. I’ll just avoid those with high-fructose corn syrup and (added) sugar listed on the label.

30 Days Real Food Scatterbraintures B

More Rules / Guidelines

I will do a liberal low-carb diet (max of 100g/day) because I’m trying to fix my insulin resistance. This means I need to avoid high-sugar fruits too (e.g. starchy fruits like apples, bananas, melons etc).

I decided not to do any strenuous exercise as I try to reset my eating habits because I DON’T WANT TO DIE. I’ll continue doing light exercises (mostly just walking 😂) as I did the past 3 months. Maybe I’ll eventually add something like 10 squats a day, but basically I don’t want to introduce so many big changes to my body. Baby steps. I advocate not pushing one’s self too much, hehehe.

I will not be counting calories. I will go for intuitive eating instead. However, I have a tendency to binge eat like a goldfish even when I’m not hungry, so I’ll really try to pay attention to my hunger and satiety cues.

I might post daily accountability stories on Instagram but I don’t know if I can follow-through til the end.

* * *

Hopefully, I’ll report favorable results in 30 days. I don’t have a target weight or waistline, but I’m curious to find out what will happen. Starting measurements:

  • True Waist (taken from narrowest part of the waist) – 29.5 inches
  • Weight (taken first thing in the morning) – 125.6 lbs
  • Blood Glucose (taken before my first meal of the day) – 75 mg/dl yay!!! (last month I’m either very low or very high)

Part of my 2018 focus points is to be extra frugal. I have been successful on the makeup-and-skincare front. I was supposed to do a no-buy but we all know that’s impossible.

2018 started with a strong urge to buy NARS Powermatte Liquid Lipstick. I was going to treat it as my last hurrah before I formally start my Low-Buy, but when I checked the testers at the store, the product in each had separated. Shaking the tube would probably be enough to fix the problem but I decided it’s not worth it. Good save, I guess.

Limited Destashing

In 2017, I let go of a lot of stuff and scaled down my makeup and skincare collection to about 50%. However, that led to feeling entitled to shop. This year, I decided not to be as aggressive with destashing. I became more mindful and critical of my purchases when I set my mind to thinking that whatever I buy, I should be able to keep until its dying breath.

I still let go of stuff when I feel miserable trying to use them up. I also sold a lot of backup skincare products I know I won’t finish before they expire.

Skin Genie Lip Tint

Makeup Purchases

In January, I bought 3 lip tints after seeing myself in the mirror looking pale at the gym. I atoned for that by letting go of 8 lip products. I am proud to say I’ve been makeup purchase-free since February. HUGE ACHIEVEMENT. Total spent – Less than Php 500 (USD 10)

Skincare Purchases 1st Qtr 2018

Skincare Purchases

I spent most of the 1st quarter battling skin asthma. I’m allergic to egg, chicken and seafood but I can’t keep myself from eating them. I bought Dove Dermaseries for Itchy Skin and Aveeno Oatmeal Body Wash. I also bought several soap bars for sensitive skin.

After I finished a sample of Biore Watery Essence SFP50+++, I bought COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+++. I also let go of Sunplay Sport UV Sunscreen SPF120++++ with Wet Skin Technology. I decided I’m done with everyday sunscreens that make my skin feel tight and dry.

Skincare Purchases 1st Qtr 2018

I also bought Whamisa Original Toner (not in the photo) after emptying Klairs Supple Preparation Toner, but after finishing up about a fourth of the former, I let it go. My face always turns red and I get some inflammation that goes away overnight. I didn’t break out from it but I don’t really know what damage (if any) it’s doing given the skin reaction. Better safe than sorry.

Other purchases are:

  • Retin A 0.05% Tretinoin to replace Retacnyl 0.05% Tretinoin (expired)
  • Purito Vitamin C Serum (with Niacinamide) to replace The Ordinary 30% Vitamin C in Silicone
  • Olay Age Protect 18g
  • CosRx Aloe Vera Oil-Free Moisture Cream (I bought this and Olay because I don’t have a moisturizer that doesn’t have any acids in it. I wasn’t supposed to get two moisturizers, Olay Age Protect was an all-time favorite but I forgot it has salicylic acid).

The proceeds of selling my skincare backups covered a significant amount of my skincare purchases. Total spent (estimate) – Php 4900 (USD 98)


In February I started logging new acquisitions, purges, and empties. It’s good to see the exact amount I spent and the net decrease in my makeup and skincare collection. I wish I had done this when the year started.

Plans for April + Rest of The Year

On top of what I normally set aside in my savings account, I’ll continue saving the same amount of money I spend for non-necessities. This self-imposed rule kept me from buying makeup the past 2 months. Example: I wanted to buy Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick which costs Php 2,850. Unless I have another Php 2,850 to put in the bank, I’m not allowed to buy it.

I’m also imposing a 1-in-2-out rule for makeup and skincare categories I have too much of (eg lipsticks and foundations). I know–ruthless.

I plan on doing this update monthly instead. I needed to do a lot of recollection for this post! HAHA.

Semi-regularly, I go through my vanity to look for stuff to give away so they don’t go expired with me. Unfortunately, I found 4 products that went bad.

It could be hard to believe but I loved all of them. This is the reality of buying more than you need; You could end up with many things going bad if you’re not on top of shelf lives and expiration dates.

The Face Shop Miracle Finish Long-lasting CC Cushion | V205 Dark Beige

This is one of the face bases that got me a lot of compliments. It’s skin-like, semi-dewy, diffuses pores, and doesn’t look like it’s sitting on top of my skin. I was so happy when The Face Shop released darker shades that are yellow enough for me.

When I noticed that I was down to my last few uses, I picked up other bases to ‘save’ this cushion until a refill of my shade becomes available, but I recently found out that the brand doesn’t carry refills of the darker shades. All they had were the lightest shades. Are there really that many more pale relative to brown people in the Philippines? My skin tone isn’t even that deep (MAC C30-depth).

I don’t feel inclined to repurchase another compact. Aside from the refill issue, I believe cushions go bad faster because the product is exposed and you have to double-dip every time.

Inglot YSM Cream Foundation

Before trying out Shiseido Synchro Skin Foundation, this was my favorite matte foundation. It doesn’t look like it, but I got past half-way through the tube.

It gives a soft-focus matte finish (i.e., skin-like + pore-blurring). Inglot YSM is like a blur cream and foundation hybrid. It feels mousse-y and sets the bar for me in terms of lightweight-ness. Coverage is low-medium, buildable to a medium. I don’t understand how it doesn’t look cakey or feel heavy even when I layer too much.

My oils start to show by the 4th hour but it doesn’t look bad in person. I look dewy rather than greasy when my oils break through. Note that I have high tolerance for shine. I’m not really buying matte foundations for them to stay matte all day. I’m more into looking fresh and healthy.

I’m shade 49 when I’m NC30 and shade 50 when I’m nearer NC35. Php 1,195 for a 30ml tube.

Etude House AC Clinic Intense Pink Powder Spot

This is one of my favorite spot treatment products. I first featured this two years ago and my thoughts on it remain the same. It can significantly reduce inflammation overnight and while it can dry out a pimple, it doesn’t irritate the skin to cause dark marks. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t get to finish it. The past two years, I didn’t experience a bad breakout.

Aromatica Tea Tree 53 Blemish Spot (Treatment)

I usually use this under a hydrocolloid pimple patch. It has tea tree extract and salicylic acid. It helps calm down inflamed pimples. I think I should no longer consider myself to be as acne-prone as I was in 2008 to 2011. I overestimated my need for acne spot treatment products. I still have 2 unopened pouches of CosRx pimple patch and a 30ml bottle of The Ordinary Salicylic Acid.

Skincare gods, please grant me the wisdom to know when it’s time to give my backups away so they don’t go bad with me again 😬

Not considering everything happening in the world, my 2017 ended well. I started the “Year of Rae” project where I would make deliberate changes to get more of my sh*t together.

I was supposed to document this for accountability but the looming thought that I need to write about my activities afterwards, as I simultaneously figure out how I would do what I need to do felt overwhelming. I focused all my efforts on ‘just doing it’ which ended up being a good decision.

In 2018, I want to focus on 3 areas–personal finance, health and fitness, and personal growth. I’ll continue what I started early this year: establishing “systems”, habits, and deliberate actions to achieve results (Read: Forget About Setting Goals, Focus on This Instead). Hopefully, I’ll be more prolific in documenting my efforts.

I’m not big on planning for and laying out everything I want to accomplish for a whole year. I just listed down a few initial habits I want to reinforce and go from there.

Personal Finance

I want to be extra frugal in 2018. I got inspired by an article on NY Times about a woman’s experience of not shopping for a year. I haven’t worked out the ‘rules’ yet but I’ll be as rigid with this as I can e.g. absolutely no makeup and skin care purchases until I use up everything even if I’m left with products I’m not crazy for, as long as they don’t break me out.

I will also log my daily expenses for self-awareness purposes and to find out what expenditure I can eliminate. Any app recommendations?

Health and Fitness

I believe this is in line with my personal finance goals, too. Getting sick derails money-making and saving efforts, yo!

I lost 9 kilograms this year cutting down sugar and eating whole foods the past 4 months, but I’ve been on-and-off (mostly off) eating healthy for most of December. I got back on track this week. I decided not to wait until the new year.

This time, I won’t measure my progress with a weighing scale because I’ll start strength training and building some muscle. I’ll focus on non-scale victories as muscle weighs more than fat. My current waist-to-height ratio is 50%. I’m hoping to get it down to 47% by the first quarter of the month. I’m also hoping that my morning fasting blood glucose, measured with a glucometer, goes below 80 mg/dl.

Personal Growth

I haven’t given this much thought yet. At the moment I can only think of improving the number of books I finish and setting aside time for mindfulness by doing this: CEO Morning and Night Routine. I’ll do some variant of the routine to fit my lifestyle as I imagine real-life CEOs having executive assistants and/or househelp. Also, everyone in the vid is male and seemingly single but it’s worth noting that the routine is Arianna Huffington’s. I don’t have dreams of becoming a CEO, tbh, but I think this would benefit me ‘mental health’-wise.


Many people seem to scoff at New Year’s resolutions these days, but if you’re doing something like this, please share in the comments. Include the link if you have a post on it, too. I’d love to read them.

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA

Purge No. 7

I bought several The Ordinary products without giving much thought to how they would fit into a sustainable skin care routine.

Of everything I bought, I’ve mostly just been using Advanced Retinoid, Salicylic Acid, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, and the AHA + BHA peel.

Everything else just started stressing me out because I don’t know where and how to fit them in. I wish I have something valuable to say about Matrixil 10% + HA. It has a watery gel texture and it claims to help with wrinkles. I didn’t use it enough times to notice a difference.

Pixi Foundation Brush.png

Happy Skin and Pixi Face Brushes

Purge 8, 9, & 10
(Top to bottom: Happy Skin Powder Brush, Happy Skin Blush Brush, Pixi Foundation Brush)

For the kind of makeup look I go for every day (yung nag-makeup-ka-pa-di-naman-halata makeup look), I have so many makeup brushes. I’ll slowly let go of more.

These 3 are good brushes. I’m just not using them as much as the other ones I own. The Happy Skin Brushes do the job well. They’re soft and pretty to look at. The Pixi Foundation Brush is ok, too, but the head is too small for my preference. The brush doesn’t have a lot of yield because its bristles are short and VERY tightly packed. It could be a good substitute for fingers, but I already Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush for that.

Morphe E52 Brush.png

Morphe E52 Brush

Purge no. 11

Another good quality brush. I love how it’s tapered and huuuuge! I haven’t been using it as much because I use it to set my foundation, and I don’t often do the latter.