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February 11, 2021


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it will definitely be very different from previous celebrations with social distancing protocols still in place. It is a good time to ask Tissot’s brand ambassadors about a new kind of loving that they awakened to in the time of Covid. 

Model-turned-photographer and fitness buff Hideo Muraoka has always been into self-love. Though he is devoted to his wife, Fatima, and their two young kids, Hideo believes that we shouldn’t forget about our own health too. 

“By being physically and mentally fit, I can be a better father,” he explains. “That’s why I think meditation is important, especially in a time of crisis. So you can be sharp, mentally. Apart from yoga, I also work out regularly and maintain a healthy, balanced diet.”

Self-love is something that Hideo likes to impart to his family. Being a licensed yoga instructor is a plus; he is able to teach Fatima, who finds yoga a good complement to her other physical fitness routines. 

For Hideo, now is a good time as any to start on a health regimen. According to the young father of two, a healthy mind and body is a good way to build resistance against diseases. It will also help one cope with the uncertainties of the future. 

For Aliza “Chinky” Apostol and her husband, chef Robby Goco, love can be expressed through healthy, satisfying meals. With both assuming different roles in the preparation, the couple make a good team. “I don’t cook,” Chinky admits, “it’s Robby who does all the cooking.” “But Chinky does the setting of the table,” Robby adds, “and we talk about the theme. Sometimes I’d say, let’s do Asian, or Mediterranean.” “Or Chinese, Filipino … depending on the dishes prepared by Robby,” says Chinky. 

For couples who now have more time to cook for the family, Robby shared a special menu: Cranberry Grains Salad and his own version of a Greek favorite, Lamb Keftedes. “It’s quite simple,” shares Chinky, “and most of the ingredients are available in groceries or delis.” 

All you need to do is mix half a kilo of ground lamb meat (substitute with beef or chicken, if preferred), with a medley of finely chopped ingredients: toasted walnuts (2 tbsp.), sultanas or raisins (2 tbsp), mint (1 tsp) and parsley (1 tsp). To bind the ingredients, add 1 egg and half a cup of bread crumbs, before seasoning with salt. Mix well and shape into 12 50-gram meatballs. 

In a heated skillet, pour olive oil and brown the meatballs on all sides. In case more cooking is needed, Robby suggests sticking the browned meatballs in the oven (warmed to 175-C) for a few minutes. 

The Cranberry Grains Salad is just as easy, and nutritious. In a mixing bowl, pour all the roughly chopped ingredients: 2 tbsp. cilantro, 1 tbsp. parsley, 2 tbsp. capers (drained), ¼ cup sultanas, ¼ cup cranberries. Then add ½ cup diced red onions, 2 tbsp. slivered toasted almonds, 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts, and 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds. 

To all that aromatic mix, add 2 cups of cooked brown rice and 2 cups of lentils. Dress with 3 tbsp. lemon juice and 1/3 cup olive. Mix thoroughly, before seasoning with salt and pepper.

To finish the salad, Robby suggests serving it with a dollop of cumin yogurt sauce: Combine 1/4 cup Greek yogurt with 1/2 tsp. honey and 1/8 tsp. cumin. 

Chinky takes it up a notch by creating her signature tablescapes to match Robby’s cooking. “One good thing that came out of this pandemic, it’s how we got to spend more time together,” Robby shares. “We cook and eat meals together - breakfast, lunch and dinner.”  Chinky adds, “We have great conversations. Something we didn’t really have the chance to do before the lockdown, because everyone was just too busy with their own thing. So, in a way, this was really a good break for us as a family.”

Tissot’s brand ambassadors keep time with the Tissot Gentleman (on Hideo and Robby), and the Tissot T-My Lady (on Fatima and Chinky). The watches echo their personal mantras – sturdy, flexible classics (suitable from day to night), that can withstand the rough and tumble of the times.