Easy Cures Story (Interview with Entrepreneur Tina Vitas)

I meet a lot of interesting people during the workshops that we conduct at Manila Workshops. One of the interesting people that I have met was Tina Vitas. Tina is the owner of Easy Cures.

Having coffee with Entrepreneur Tina Vitas of Easy Cures

Tina’s Story

I studied in Boston University for college, worked in Los Angeles for 3 years and then worked in New York for 9 years before finally making Manila my home again in August 2003. I got the inspiration to open an online store for natural remedies – Easy Cures – from watching my Mom do this as a hobby for 30 years. She was in the costume jewelry business.

On top of that, I held her hand through a health crisis as she approached her 70’s where we discovered a few different alternative healing modalities that worked for her.

She is obviously a fabulous inspiration for me being an ultra-successful businesswoman. She is also my favorite person in the world, my best friend and my mentor (we have very different ideas about how to run a business since I tend to be more modern, in general).

I thought that bringing these products that have helped us on our journey to health, wellness and happiness to a wider audience online would be a great idea, in tune with the times. After being employed in the corporate world most of my life and having dabbled in a few different businesses (restaurant, food, fashion, fragrance, education), I wanted to do something that resonated so deeply with who I am as a person and where I am on my life journey. I am on a continuous personal evolution and spiritual awareness & awakening.

I am a consistent practitioner of Vinyasa Yoga at Urban Ashram Yoga and Kundalini Yoga at Sat Nam Shala in Urdaneta with Madonna English. I meditate daily for about 20-25 minutes. Although I am not 100% vegetarian, my diet has very little animal protein in it. That is deceiving because I love to eat (chocolates, ice cream and pastries are a weakness, thus, I have to budget them strictly on a weekly basis). I’m dining out with family & friends about 5 to 6 times a week. I lived and worked in New York City for nine years. If I can walk it, I will. I support the Missionaries Of The Poor in Sta. Ana which is my charitable institution of choice and I also support the Library Renewal Partnership. I am a member of the US Alumni Club PH, Asia Society and the Business Professional Women’s Group.

Easy Cures Story

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?

Tina: Its an online store for natural remedies. Officially started in May 2016.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Tina: The target market for natural remedies, in my mind, is anyone who has the consciousness that there are alternatives to Western medicine and harsh, chemical-laden products that are commonly found in the market today. But because one of our star products is for aches & pains, the natural market for this would be someone who is a bit older, approaching forties. Or someone, even younger, who is extremely active or has a recurring condition that can be managed with such natural remedies.

 

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Tina: Obstacles for a start-up entrepreneur who is self-funded is almost always the available resources – money, marketing, staffing, logistics etc.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Tina: What I encountered is that many people still shy away from purchasing online. It will still take some time for Filipinos to be completely comfortable with e-commerce in the way they are with bricks & mortars stores. Having accepted this year, I decided that I have to compliment my online store with offline partner stores who share the same values & mindset at Easy Cures. Filipinos, particularly if they are buying something that needs to be tried and is also not yet a known brand, will want to see the product in person. The actual product experience is important to them. It builds trust and reputation faster than if they just read about the products online. Online and offline work well together and can drive each other.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Tina: Patience, flexibility and grit.

Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder?

Tina: Ask for help from others. You’d be surprised at how accommodating and generous people can be when asked.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Tina: A start-up business is very unpredictable. Finding your market who loves you/your products is key to growth and will take time. After you find them, you have to make sure you keep them coming back. Know from the very beginning that you will question yourself many times during this journey and you will also change your roadmap because reality requires it. But if you truly believe in what you are trying to do, keep going at it. You and your goal will find each other, eventually….. It takes time!

This is a product that I love very very much!

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Tina: Nope, not everyone has the ability to handle the unpredictability, the inconsistency and the build-as-you-go structure of starting and running a business. At the start, you will be doing pretty much everything and involved in every detail.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Tina: Through family & friends. I have raised capital before with another business, through a bank loan. I don’t recommend it. The larger the capital you raise, the bigger the pressure you feel to deliver in a short amount of time. For me, at least, this has resulted in my making decisions that I would not have made had I continued to be self-funded or funded with a limited amount of money.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Tina:  Social media and SEO. I also sponsor health & wellness related events. Grow online with the help of offline.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Tina: Online platform for the store, Facebook Instagram, Google Analytics & SEO.

Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important?

Tina: It’s a long, winding road. Remind yourself always why you started in the first place and have fun! Have a few businesses, if possible, so you have different income streams at any given time.

Ginger: Wise words from a very wise woman! I hope you continue to inspire more people, Tina! 

 

Contact information about your business:
Website: http://www.easycures.com.ph/
Email address ask@easycures.com.ph
Mobile Number +639178117580 on Mobile, Viber & WhatsApp
Facebook Page: @easycuresph
Instagram account: @easycures.ph
Pinterest: easycuresph

9 Fitness Applications that We Have Tried

A one hour workout is 4% of your day. No excuses!

We went on a downloading spree of different fitness apps. I guess we felt that the more fitness apps you download, the greater the chances are of becoming the ultimate epitome of sexiness this year. We tried and used all of these fitness applications, and since we don’t want you to waste your phone’s memory by downloading each and every one of them, we will share our review (most of the feedback was from my husband… hehe!).

Adidas Train & Run
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The first one is Adidas train & run. You can create your very own customized running plans. It takes a bit of getting used to, it seems. It works on the concept of blue/green zones during your workout (which I don’t really get). Also, I aside from not the vague functionality, the prompts aren’t telling me to slow down or speed up. The nice thing though about it is that it creates calendar entries for you depending on your plan. It syncs with your calendar, but bit of a hassle when you uninstall it.

Will probably delete that. 😛 But hey, Adidas, just bought a new pair. Maybe you need to up your game in the app department.

Zombies, Run!

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In “Zombies, Run!”, you basically pretend you’re running through a post-zombie apocalypse wasteland. You’re a runner collecting stuff and as you listen, there are some story elements. A bit of a disappointment though. We were hoping that it would be more interactive (ie. if I slow down, I get eaten by a zombie) – but it’s not. It’s really just a radio play. Lots of dead air, too, in between. Good acting, execution could’ve been better.

Runtastic

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The third one is Runtastic. I haven’t really used it since my data is Endomondo. I got it on sale, so I will try it out. An annoying thing though is that I bought the app, but seems that I still need to buy the training plans. Meh. It’s how Endomondo’s doing it also though – with a subscription instead. Bought that one too (I think).

Sleep as Android

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The fourth app is called Sleep as Android. I was able to get the unlock at P15 last Christmas! This one’s nice! It’s basically an Alarm clock, but it’ll wake you up when it’s best for your body to wake up (i.e. you’re not in deep sleep). You place it beside you on your bed as you sleep so that it tracks your sleep cycle. It seems to be working but not sure if it’s just some weird placebo effect.

Couchto 10K Running Trainer

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The fifth one is Couch to 10K Running Trainer. It’s basically a set of audio prompts designed to tell you when you should run and when you should walk, based on the Couch to 5K program made by Josh Clark. The app is designed to help you gradually build up endurance to do a 5K/10K while minimizing injury. It’s one do the good ones, so far. Seeing the checks against each day/program is pretty satisfying.

Endomondo

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I’m sure most of the fitness enthusiasts reading this know Endomondo. It’s a darn good app, but what’s a little bit annoying (since I bought this app), I expected the feature set to be available. It seems though that some parts of the app, like the training plan – you still need to subscribe to. It’s around P1000+ per year lang (pretty affordable) but still, I already paid for the app. 😛 Come on!

Jawbone

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The 7th one is UP by Jawbone. It’s connected to my Move. The nice thing about it is that it connects to MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, Runtastic, etc – almost all of them. It gets my data from those other sources, also. It motivates me to do 10K steps/day since, otherwise, I have to eat less — it makes a negative calorie (basically I have to burn that much) entry in MyFitnessPal when I don’t reach around ~7000 steps.

Misfit

misfit

This 8th app is connected to my wearable which is a Misfit Shine. It can connect to MyFitnessPal, so it’s pretty convenient. The application/wearable tracks my sleep (when I had light sleep and restful sleep). It tracks my steps via points though which is indicated in that big wheel. The steps and calories are shown below. I love using this because it’s simple to use.

My Fitness Pal

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The last one is called MyFitnessPal. Almost all of the food I eat is on the app! It even has a barcode scanning function which makes entering the exact amount of calories super easy. It even has this yummy chicharon one my officemates brings — Chicharabao (chicharon from Carabao). I scanned the barcode and it was there. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

So that’s it! Here are all the apps that my husband has!

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Take note though, he plans to remove the following: Runtastic, Adidas, Zombies Run. Runtastic is redundant with Endomondo. Adidas is redundant with all the other ones I’ve already started with. Zombies Run is not compelling enough. 😛

Again most of the views in this post are that of my husband and I share most of his views! I tried out the apps in his phone, too, and I completely agree with him. Hope we encounter better apps soon! For now, I think I’ll stick with my Misfit, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal apps!

PS. For those who want to try becoming a fitness blogger this year, check this out (http://manilaworkshops.com/events/fitness-blogging-101)

write-your-way-to-fitness

Hot Hubby or a Sexy Wife

I’m sipping my green tea over ice at Starbucks. I ordered it because I felt that green tea is healthier than ordering iced chocolate. I have not researched it yet and I need to look for clinical studies to back it up. On another note, do you know that Starbucks serves veggie sticks and oatmeal already? I am elated. Finally, other healthy choices that I could order.

These past few weeks have made me more conscious and deliberate about making healthy choices. And it’s not about eating well only. For example, every time, I would go to a meeting, I would open my Endomondo app to see how many calories I would burn if I walked instead of took a cab (i would pick the former since I set a goal of burning more calories this January).

All of these things I do because I want to become healthier (and being sexy follows… It’s a side effect). My husband started his journey earlier. He started with making right choices and taking The Right Approach to fitness. The right approach is a regimen that we follow. I urged him to take it since I was worried about his health.

We, wives/mothers and girlfriends, are (I believe) the best friends, motivators, counselors, muses nurses and even personal trainors of our men. It’s a big role that we play, and definitely a role that we play with love and respect. We know that the men in our lives make us whole. As Tom Cruise would say, ‘you complete me’; we know that they complete us. We love them for being great providers. We love them for just being there as a shoulder to cry on when we feel the world is against us. We love them for just being who they areand for constantly being patient with all of our mood swings.

I don’t know about you but this were all the reasons that I needed to take on my role as an adviser to tell him to take his health seriously. I am no nagger (you can ask my hubby). When it came to his health though and asking him to lose weight, I was a little bit more annoying. Yes, i admit, this topic came up more than a dozen of times and it wasn’t because i wanted a hot hubby (although, I admit, that would make our lives MORE interesting *winks*), but it was more for his health.

He was constantly having migraines. He would have them almost everyday since a bad attack would last two days. He would vomit a lot. He would stay in bed the whole day and the worst part is if he had it on weekends, when he was supposed to spend it with Zeeka, our daughter. I became worried. I didn’t want it to be other than migraine so just to be sure, I urged him to get an MRI. Thank God, the results were normal and it was just migraine.

That was he time I asked him to take care of his health and go on a no starvation and ‘eat more to lose more’ diet. We took his initial stats and it showed that he had a viceral fat percentage of 12%. Viceral fat, for those who don’t know, is the fat surrounding the organs. It’s hard to lose that kind of fat (compared to subcutaneous fat, which is he fat near the skin). The normal viceral fat % is 5% and below.

After undergoing the regimen for one month, we were happy that his migraines were less frequent (close to gone) and his viceral fat was down to 10%. He also lost 12 pounds and his stats indicated that he gained muscle % and loss body fat %.

This is how my hot hubby looks now:
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20140112-124914.jpgI know I am not one who’s fond of before and after pictures, but I am just so proud of my husband. This photo is not photoshop-ed as you all know i’m a photoshop dummy. These pictures are as raw as they could get with my hubby wearing the same shirt.

My hubby is as stubborn as hell and it would most likely that stars would fall than me convince him to diet and exercise, so I was shocked that he agreed to undergo this program. I guess he also realized that health is the most important gift that he could give his family. I am proud of his achievement and excited for my results. I started with the program last week and i have 3 more weeks to go.

Are you and your husband/boyfriend ready to yake this fitness challenge with us? Do you care enough about each other’s well-being and are you ready to make 2014 you fitest year ever? Let’s chat over coffee or juice so that we can share this regimen with you! Pm me on Facebook, email me at ginger(at)mommyginger.com or leave a comment below and let’s meet!

All of us can be a hot hubby or a sexy wife to our spouses! Let all achieve a healthy 2014!

A Drop Dead Healthy Lady

I’m reading this book entitled Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs. The book is about the quest of the author to become as healthy as man can ever be. It tells of his escapades on trying different diets, exercise regimen, etc. It is just so hilarious! I have just started reading it last week and I can’t put it down. The author reminded me so much of my husband, EJ (they even have rhyming names).

Drop Dead Healthy

My husband is a funny guy and his witty remarks and geeky appearance (I even met him when he had braces) are his charm. He’s 5’10” and 187 pounds. He actually has thin limbs which makes him look just right, but like most men in the Philippines, he has a big belly. I have always wanted him to be more conscious about his weight and I also have always wanted him to be more active, but again, like most men in our country, the calling of digital devices (games, etc.) is just too hard to resist. He’d rather just lie on the couch and read than go on the treadmill with me.

It was then quite a surprise that he agreed to take on the challenge of being healthier with me this 2014 (take note, I didn’t say thinner). Yes, both of us want to be healthier. We want to live healthy lives so that we could live longer to see our grand kids in the future. Both of us agreed to achieve the following:

A. Be more active – I have a goal of going on the treadmill at least three times a week. Ej has his own goal to walk around more when time permits. I realize that I can’t expect the same thing from him since we’re individually used to different things, so any effort on his part to ‘move more’ is greatly appreciated.

B. Eat healthier – We vow to eat healthier. Nope, we won’t go on any special type of diet. We just agreed to eat a balanced meal everytime and to avoid the food that we need to avoid. We plan to follow the recommended food portions with lots of vegetables and fruits (sources of fiber), carbohydrates and protein sources in one meal. We plan to avoid junk food (chocolate, chips, pastries, fast food, etc.) and avoid food that is deep fried. We plan to drink at least 8 glasses of water. The diet that we follow is really simple when you think about it. I’ll tell you more about it on my next posts.

C. Take vitamins and supplements – Humans cannot actually take all the needed vitamins by our body through food intake. This is the reason why we need vitamins. I just religiously started taking vitamins and supplements again and I am taking this.

LifePak

it’s called LifePak and I like it because I feel more energetic and I think it increased my metabolism. The other thing I noticed was that I don’t lose as much hair anymore. I’m still breastfeeding so I have lots and lots of falling hair. Aside from this multi-vitamins, we are also taking supplements that assist us in maintaining our healthy regimen (food intake) and helps hasten metabolism. Just email me at ginger(at)mommyginger(dot)com if you want to learn more about these vitamins.

Ej started his journey even before Christmas. I started with my journey to a drop dead healthy body just yesterday. I actually can’t wait to lose 20 pounds and to feel healthier. My goal is really to achieve the body and the fitness level that I had when I was still in College. Impossible? I don’t believe so. I believe that everything is possible!

I weighed myself yesterday using a Karada scanner and these were my stats:

Ginger's Stats Pre-Diet

My goal is basically to lose 10 kg within the first quarter of this year (from 64.9 kg to 54.9 kg). How about you? What are your fitness goals for 2014? Let’s journey together!