Clad in a fiery red dress that brought out the glow in her cheeks, singer-actress Rachel Alejandro looked every bit the modern, beautiful and ultra-fit woman that she is for the launch her new book, 21 Days to a Sexier You, which she co-authored with her sister and The Sexy Chef health food business partner Barni.
Almost two months into the Metro Manila Film Festival success of “Ang Larawan’s” movie adaptation, Alejandro is back to her fashionable wardrobe and curvier frame after portraying the role of Paula, the younger of two spinster sisters, across West End darling’s Joanna Ampil. More than deglamorizing for the part, Alejandro also revealed how she had to lose several pounds to depict the impoverished state they were in from the beginning of the Nick Joaquin classic. “If you saw me in Larawan, I was very slim because I really had to go on a strict diet look that thin on the big screen,” Alejandro recalled. “So I guess you can say I know quite a lot about losing weight as you will see in this book,” she added with a smile.
As purveyors of the health food delivery service The Sexy Chef since 2004, the Alejandro sisters have truly embraced every aspect of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, 21 Days to a Sexier You is already their third book to date that provides diet tips and recipes, with this first publication under ABS-CBN Publishing incorporating fitness regimens as well.
According to the 43-year-old “Nakapagtataka” hitmaker, 21 Days will prove to be very timely for readers what with specific content to shed light on the high-fat/low-carb diet fad that everyone wants to try these days.
Better yet, it also lists a new diet plan that promises easier and faster weight loss, even for those experiencing a weight loss plateau despite cutting calories and exercise.
Formulated with celebrity nutritionist Nadine Tenco, the food and beverage recipes of 21 Days are in fact anchored on the power of the “Fat Fighting-4,” namely calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and Vitamin D.
“Individually, each of the four nutrients we have in the books can contribute to weight loss but together, they can turn your body into a burning machine,” the sisters wrote in their book.
As for their chosen title, Alejandro clarified that the book does not claim that readers who follow the weight loss plan will be beach ready with hard abs, biceps and all in a matter of 21 days. What they develop is the kind of mindset that is necessary to get them through to their ideal weight.
“Studies suggest that it takes at least 21 days to build new habits, hence, our effort is for our readers to develop good and healthy habits that hopefully, after their 21-day trial, they could sustain,” she explained.
Desire over discipline
Admittedly, Alejandro noted that adopting healthy habits is easier said than done, especially since food is “one of life’s greatest pleasures.” As such, she encourages readers to get into their best shape by harnessing a force much powerful than self-discipline—desire.
“The idea of desire struck me while watching Naomi Watts in this TV show—she has her life together but ended up doing all the wrong things. Eventually her perfect life started spiraling out of control,” Alejandro shared with The Manila Times at the sidelines of their book launch.
“Hence, more than free will, it is our desires that propel us to do things, especially the difficult ones. In the case of weight loss, it’s more natural for us to be passionate about food, but I think what will make us let go of that passion is when we start visualizing what we desire to be,” the actress added.
And by that, she doesn’t just mean looking good.
“This is not to say that everyone who needs to lose weight do not have fulfilling lives. It’s just that maybe, if to some degree, there is discontent in you—from the way you at look yourself or if you’re becoming unhealthy and you can no longer run after your children—that’s when your desire to be better could kick in,” she thoroughly explained.
Finally, she and her sister revealed the best way they’ve proven in weight loss—and that is to start thinking beyond losing weight.
“Mas maganda isipin, ‘Ano yung makukuha ko pag ginawa ko to? Pag nag tiis ako?’ Just keep those thoughts and keep on visualizing your desires, even just for the first 21 days, to get to your goal.”
The 21 Days to a Sexier Your Cookbook plus Weight Loss Plan by Rachel and Chef Barni is now available in leading bookstores nationwide.