“AY SUS!” The Cookbook

Entrepreneur and nutritionist Cleodia Martinez begins a culinary evolution with a cookbook of plant-based recipes for popular Filipino dishes.

“AY SUS! Whole Food Plant-Based Global Filipino Cuisine” bridges Filipino fiesta flavors with the health benefits of whole food plant-based nutrition. It is an ode to the classical, a recognition of the global taste embraced by the Filipino diaspora.

Cleodia, a first-generation Fil-Am, knows the topic by heart. She grew up in the Philippines and moved to the US as a skinny 19-year-old. Friends warned her that American food would make her fat, and it did.

Her life changed during the COVID-19 pandemic when she went from “surviving to thriving.” She assessed her life and decided to “connect my mind, body, and spirit.” The first step was obvious: a healthy, nutritious diet.

She looked for a sustainable diet and found inspiration from the Filipino song “Bahay Kubo,” when families would source vegetables from their backyard. This intimate connection with the land nourished a natural plant-based lifestyle.

The result of journaling her daily diet, “AY SUS,” is a collection of recipes she tried in her journey from unhealthy and overweight to fit and fabulous. The book is her testament to the nutritional vibrancy of plant-based cuisine and lifestyle by offering healthier choices without sacrificing the flavors of Filipino cooking.

Why “AY SUS?”

“AY SUS” is a play on ‘sustansiya’. Sustansiya is the Filipino word for nutrition.

“AY SUS!” recipes are designed with home cooks in mind, providing clear, step-by-step instructions and enticing full-color images for guidance. Each recipe is also a tribute to the Filipino cultural cuisine.

“This book is an invitation, my hands are reaching out to you – to get to know the magic of plants through the flavor of Philippine cuisine and global tastes embraced by the Filipino palate,” Cleodia wrote in “AY SUS.”

Available online at cleodiamartinez.com/cookbook or from any Real Food Retail outlet in Metro Manila.

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