Dragon Fruit 101

Got dragon fruit? It’s a lot more common now in Tagaytay, and if you have no idea how to eat this, here’s how: You know it’s ripe enough for eating when it’s still firm but gives with a gentle squeeze.

Got #DragonFruit? It's a lot more common now in Tagaytay, and if you have no idea how to eat this, here's how: You know it's ripe enough for eating when it's still firm but gives with a gentle squeeze. Slice it lengthwise in half, then scoop out the fleshy part with a spoon. The skin isn't for eating, so toss that out of the way! Slice up the stuff you scooped out, and serve chilled. Enjoy! #HowToEatDragonFruit #HowToSliceDragonFruit #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #HealthyEating #HealthyFood #TagaytayCountryLiving #TagaytayCountryLife #TagaytayLiving

Slice it lengthwise in half, then scoop out the fleshy part with a spoon. The skin isn’t for eating, so toss that out of the way!

Tarragon plants arranged in pots at a farm in Tagaytay.

11 Things To Know About Tarragon

Tarragon is an aromatic herb that thrives in the cool uplands Cavite weather of Tagaytay. Cultivated mainly as a culinary herb, tarragon also has a number of medicinal properties and health benefits.

There are a lot of resources found online on just about anything you need to know about tarragon, as well as books on herb gardening and haute cuisine that mention this popular perennial herb.

We’ve gone so far as to compile some of the more essential items here on Tagaytay Living, so here are 11 things you need to know about tarragon.

Grab Some Organic Goodies For Mom

Celebrate Mother’s Day in Tagaytay by going organic. Places like Gourmet Farms not only offer farm tours, as well as potted plants and pasalubong for sale, they also have a farm-to-table restaurant with all sorts of healthy organic dishes for the more health-conscious mom.

Celebrate #MothersDayinTagaytay by going #organic. Places like Gourmet Farms not only offer farm tours, as well as potted plants and pasalubong for sale, they also have a farm-to-table restaurant with all sorts of #healthy #organic dishes for the more #healthconscious mom. #ThingstoDoinTagaytay #WhatToDoinTagaytay #WhereToEatinTagaytay #HealthyLiving #TagaytayCountryLife #GourmetFarms #TagaytayLiving

#ThingstoDoinTagaytay #WhatToDoinTagaytay #WhereToEatinTagaytay #HealthyLiving #TagaytayCountryLife #GourmetFarms #TagaytayLiving

Gourmet Farms
Km. 52, Aguinaldo Highway, Buho, Silang, Cavite
Phone Number/s: The Dining Room – (+63 46) 865.1064 and (+63 917) 585.4674; The Country Store – (+63 46) 414.0209 and (+63 920) 949.7728; Manila Office – (+63 2) 757.3001 local 404/405

Fresh Veggies From Leisure Farms

Just outside the supermarket over at Robinsons in Tagaytay is a stall selling fresh veggies from Leisure Farms for cheap– you can get a bundle of romaine lettuce, or bell peppers for just around Php45.00, and they’re grown locally from nearby Amadeo, Cavite.

Just outside the supermarket over at #Robinsons in #Tagaytay is a stall selling fresh veggies for cheap-- you can get a bundle of #romaine #lettuce, or #bellpeppers for just around php45.00, and they're grown locally from nearby #AmadeoCavite. #FarmFresh #FreshVeggies #HealthyLiving #BuyLocal #TagaytayFoodAdventure #TagaytayLiving

#FarmFresh #FreshVeggies #HealthyLiving #BuyLocal #TagaytayFoodAdventure #TagaytayLiving

The best of Metro Tagaytay lifestyle and business is on TagaytayLiving.com. Image taken directly from the TagaytayLiving.com account on Instagram. Visit Tagaytay Living on Instagram to know where to eat, where to stay, and what to do in Metro Tagaytay.

Unplug and Work on a Few New Projects

#Tagaytay is a great place to #unplug for a while and work on a few projects #offline. You can find a nice corner and work on some #art, for instance. (Taken by @renziebaluyut at the #TimeoutAtTagô #photography #workshop with the good people of @MañosaProperties. #WhatToDoinTagaytay #CountryLiving #ArtsandCrafts #TagaytayLiving

#Tagaytay is a great place to #unplug for a while and work on a few projects #offline. You can find a nice corner and work on some #art, for instance. (Taken by @renziebaluyut at the #TimeoutAtTagô #photography #workshop with the good people of @MañosaProperties. #WhatToDoinTagaytay #CountryLiving #ArtsandCrafts #TagaytayLiving

The best of Metro Tagaytay lifestyle and business is on TagaytayLiving.com. Image taken directly from the TagaytayLiving.com account on Instagram. Visit Tagaytay Living on Instagram to know where to eat, where to stay, and what to do in Metro Tagaytay.

Load Up on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Reposted from @ninadumpamua: It’s going to be a healthy week with (an) abundant supply of #organic fruits, veggies and chicken from the farm! #organicLife #straightFromTheFarm #tagaytayfarm #myfitnhealthyLife #stayFresh #fitmua #TagaytayLiving – from Tagaytay Living on Instagram.

Reposted from @ninadumpamua: It's going to be a healthy week with (an) abundant supply of #organic fruits, veggies and chicken from the farm! #organicLife #straightFromTheFarm #tagaytayfarm #myfitnhealthyLife #stayFresh #fitmua #TagaytayLiving - from Tagaytay Living on Instagram.

Live the Metro Tagaytay Lifestyle with TagaytayLiving.com. Image taken directly from the TagaytayLiving.com account on Instagram. Visit Tagaytay Living on Instagram to know where to eat, where to stay, and what to do in Metro Tagaytay.

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Roasted Rabbit with Olives and Feta Cheese, by Melissa Clark of the New York Times.

Nutritious, Delicious Rabbit Meat

Metro Tagaytay is a great place to start a rabbit farm.  In fact, there are already a few farms in the neighborhood that are raising rabbits for food and for business.

Did you know that rabbit meat is in many ways healthier than chicken, beef, or pork?  Rabbit meat has been gaining popularity due to the greater demand not just among chefs and restaurateurs, but also with people living with cancer and diabetes. Read up on this article on the nutritional value of rabbit meat.

Fenkata – Rabbit stew with bits of bacon, Maltese sausage, potatoes and peas. Photo by Bellyfirst.

Fenkata – Rabbit stew with bits of bacon, Maltese sausage, potatoes and peas. Photo by Bellyfirst.

When rabbit meat is on the menu, expect controversy to follow. It is socially acceptable to use farm animals, such as cows and chickens, as food; however, many people balk at the idea of eating rabbit, according to a July 2008 “Washington Post” article. Despite this resistance to consuming rabbits, this lean meat serves as a healthful and nutritious alternative to beef and pork.

What Really Happens To Your Brain And Body During A Digital Detox

In an interesting social experiment involving digital detox, scientists observed 35 people totally cut off from their personal gadgets in the Moroccan desert. The results were life-changing. Original article from Fast Company.

We feel guilty that we’re constantly plugged in.

We sense that our smartphones are making us less focused, that constantly checking our email and Twitter is making us less productive, and more disconnected from our real lives. But what do we really know about how our devices are affecting us? We have plenty of anecdotes, but the science of how always-on technology impacts human behavior is still in its infancy.

Results from the few studies that have been done are troubling. Social media appears to promote narcissism, smartphones could be causing insomnia, and screens seem to be making our kids less empathetic.

Kovert builds products that help people better create boundaries with their technology.

“I don’t want my children growing up like this,” Kate Unsworth, the 27-year-old CEO of Kovert Designs, tells Fast Company. “Reading these studies convinced me that we need to do something. But it will take more than just individuals unplugging periodically. It will take a change in social values and etiquette.”

Kate Unsworth

Kate Unsworth

Unsworth founded Kovert in 2013 to spur this social change. She describes the company as a research organization with a product wing. Based both in London and New York, her 20 employees include neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who design experiments to learn about exactly how technology is changing people’s bodies and behaviors. Kovert uses this qualitative and quantitive data to build products that allow people to set boundaries with their technology. Kovert has produced a range of connected jewelry—in the same vein as Ringly—that allow the wearer to put away the smartphone, but to be alerted if there is something that requires immediate attention. (They’ve sold out of the current line; products become available again next month.)

But to Unsworth, the really exciting work at Kovert is gathering data. She claims that these consumer products are just one way to get people interested in the larger mission of her company, which is to help people detach from technology to live happier lives. After a year and a half of bootstrapping her company, she tells Fast Company, Unsworth has recently closed a round of seed funding from a range of investors in the U.K. and the U.S. This investment is allowing her team to design and conduct new experiments.

Two months ago, for instance, she invited a handpicked group of 35 CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other influencers on a trip to Morocco to study their behavior with and without technology. (Kovert paid for the trip, since Unsworth didn’t want to restrict participants to those who were wealthy enough to afford it.) She also brought along five undercover neuroscientists to observe the group.

On the first day of the trip, the group spent time getting to know one another at an upscale hotel where they had plenty of access to their smartphones. But for the next four days, Unsworth took the group into the Moroccan desert and required all guests to give up all their devices as part of a digital detox. Neuroscientists observed every aspect of people’s behavior both in the context of being plugged in and unplugged. They studied participants’ facial expressions and physical movements, as well as how they related to one another. This is what they observed:

Digital detoxing in Morocco.

Better Posture, Deeper Friendships
After three days without technology, people’s posture noticeably changed. They began to adapt to primarily looking forward into people’s eyes, rather than downward into their screens. This opened up the front of their bodies, pushing back their shoulders and realigning the back of their head with the spine. “A wonderful side effect of this is that people’s general energy opens up,” Unsworth says. “They appear much more approachable when they enter a room.”

This better eye contact also appeared to encourage people to connect with one another more deeply. They were able to relax into conversations and seemed more empathetic toward one another.

Google Is A Conversation Killer
The content of conversations changed when people were without technology. In a connected world, when a general trivia question comes up, people immediately Google the answer, ending that particular line of questioning. However, without Google, people keep talking as they look for an answer, which often results in creative storytelling or hilarious guessing games that lead to new inside jokes. “These are the conversations that really form bonds between people,” Unsworth points out. “You gain insight into the way someone’s mind works, and it is not typically a conversation anyone has had before, so it is engaging and memorable.”

Improved Memory
Even after a few days without technology, people were more likely to remember obscure details about one another, such as the names of distant relatives mentioned in passing. The neuroscientists believe that this is because people were more present in conversation, so their brains were able to process and store new information more easily. With the many distractions of technology, our brains have been trained not to register seemingly insignificant details. These minor facts are actually very important in the process of bonding and learning about other people.

More-Efficient Sleep
The guests on the trip said that they did not have to sleep as long, but felt even more rested and rejuvenated. The neuroscientists believe this is because the blue light from screens suppresses melatonin in the body, which makes us more alert as we are going to sleep. Studies show that people who check their phone before going to sleep—and, let’s face it, that’s most of us—don’t get particularly high-quality rest.

New Perspectives
One of the most powerful findings was that people tended to make significant changes to their lives when they were offline for a while. Some decided to make big changes in their career or relationships, while others decided to recommit to health and fitness. The lack of constant distraction appeared to free people’s minds to contemplate more important issues in their lives, and it also made them believe they had the willpower to sustain a transformation. (Of course, there was no control group that detoxed from devices while remaining in their regular work and home routines.)

Participants in Kovert’s digital-detox experiment left intent on making permanent changes in their use of technology.

“It seems grandiose to say this, but many of our guests said that this was a life-changing experience,” Unsworth says. “They said that they wanted to permanently change their digital habits by disconnecting from technology at night and over weekends. They wanted to introduce some of the benefits of the digital detox into their everyday lives.”

(Article by Elizabeth Segran for Fast Company.)