Entrepreneur Christina Lagdameo believes that one doesn’t always need a brick-and-mortar location to get people healthy.
The cofounder of Plana Forma, a program based on Physique 57—a workout that combines Pilates, ballet, yoga and plyometrics—has branched into selling healthy snacks online, and now offers a Plana Forma Online Workout Tutorial.
Honest Junk, the brand of nutritious snacks, is produced in partnership with Celine Gabriel Lim. The latter started on a gluten-free diet but couldn’t find affordable, gluten-free food.
Last year, Lagdameo and Lim launched Honest Junk with the help of a nutritionist. At P85, Zooper Cookies are gluten-free, vegan, low in sugar and infused with phyto food malunggay. The cookies are made with rice and coconut flour, with coconut oil as binder.
The low-sugar gummy animals, worth P65, are flavored with malunggay, strawberry and mangosteen. Soon, Honest Junk will sell vegan jellies using pectin.
“Since they are low in sugar, Honest Junk is good for diabetics. A 100-gram bag of cookies has 18 grams of sugar,” said Lagdameo. Diabetics are prescribed to limit sugar and carbohydrate intake at 45 grams per meal.
With Honest Junk, Lagdameo has been teaching her children about healthy snacking. She is weaning them away from processed snacks rich in fat and sugar. Healthy snacks expose them to child-friendly nutrition education. Children learn how to make a distinction between purposeful and senseless snacking.
“My children don’t eat as much sweets. They’ve gotten accustomed to snacks with low sugar content. Their palates don’t crave it as much as before,” says Lagdameo.
Studies have shown that healthy snacks, taken in modest amounts, make the children more alert and energetic. They also become more open to trying out healthy and quality foods.
Lagdameo notes the snacks are not meal replacements. “It’s just a healthier alternative. We are offering parents affordable products that won’t put a dent on their wallet.”
Sales have been through Facebook. The snacks started retailing at Real Foods in Molito Mall in Alabang.
Meanwhile, Plana Forma, which Lagdameo established with her partner Iya Guingona Lagdameo, is six years old, and has expanded its range of services. Plana Forma is the first studio in the Philippines to put up an online workout tutorial. For subscriptions of P650 or P850 a month, subscribers can access the studio’s library of workouts and exercises in the comfort of their home. The programs have been developed for home use, as they incorporate props such as a chair or a towel. They run from 15 to 30 minutes.
Plana Forma already has 600 subscribers, catering to people who travel, or extremely busy professionals who don’t have the time to go to a studio. The workout also engages friends and family members.
“We’ve had people say that they grew stronger from the home classes. Plana Forma reaches people outside of Metro Manila. Most studios are going online abroad. In this day and age, you need to be more visible on the internet,” says Lagdameo.
Still, there’s a huge market of die-hard fitness buffs who want to sweat it out in the studio.
Asked how Plana Forma has survived despite all the fitness trends, Lagdameo replies, “People say they’ve worked up every muscle.”
Forma Core works out the midsection in relation to the larger groups of muscles. Forma Pointe combines core workouts with basic ballet movements to develop longer muscles and grace. Then there are programs that aim to build strength, endurance, buttocks and thighs, and 30-minute intense workouts for the urban warrior.
The studio has a tie-up with Munch Manila, a low-carbohydrate diet delivery service, for clients who want to combine healthy eating and exercise for healthy weight loss.
Despite her busy schedule as entrepreneur and restaurateur (she owns two restaurants in Manila), Lagdameo finds time to work out four times a week at Plana Forma. She does Zumba; Core Plus, an intense overall conditioning program; and the 30-minute Abs and Arms or Thigh-Seat Express.
On looking young at 39, Lagdameo attributes it to her efficient team and progressive partners. “It’s not all roses when you get into business. Sometimes you want to throw in the towel. You need that ‘me’ time to declutter your thoughts to face the challenges ahead.” —CONTRIBUTED
Visit www.forma-asia.com. Plana Forma is at 17/F Frabelle Building, Rada St., Legazpi Village, Makati. Call 09176584640. The Quezon City branch is at 3/F Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato. Call 8453866. Visit Plana Forma F and Healthy Junk on Facebook.