How to make 2018 a great year!

How to make 2018 a great year!

December is here and we are just nearing an year end. Many of us must have had resolutions and through the year hardly 2 of them would have been accomplished, I bet. Some of us would just have not set up any resolution just because neither of them gets fulfilled but some of us would have done what they had decided pin to point this year.

We have hardly some days left ( 17 days to be accurate) and here is a foolproof guide to make it awesome in the last month.

How would you do that? Well…read on..

Knowing what you want from yourself:

  • Divide your life into Work, Family, Personal, Social categories
  • Deduce which of the following areas you would like to improvise on
  • Say for example Family, break down the things that you miss out on the family front.
    • Family
      • Dining together
      • Spending time with each other (Going for concerts, movies, get togethers)
      • Being with children ( Helping them with their chores and studies)
      • Playing with children ( Outdoor activities like trekking, hiking etc.)
  • Once you have the above list ready you can just tick on the action item for the coming weekend. Action item is nothing but a task which can be performed immediately. 

    • Family ( Action Items as per the priority)
      • Dining together ( 1 – Can be done today )
        • Check availability of all the family members including timings
        • Plan dinner accordingly.
      • Spending Time With Each Other ( 4 – Can be done on Sunday)
        • Check the tickets for concerts,movies or check invites for the get together if any
        • Send RSVP for get togethers
        • Take consent from the family on Saturday to book tickets.
      • Being with children ( 2 – Can be done today )
        • Helping children with their chores, is best done on weekend.
        • Check whether they have any homework left or any project work to be submitted over the weekend.
        • If exams are on, you can sit with them for preparations
      • Outdoor Activities ( 3 – Can be done on Saturday )
        • These activities can be planned in advance or on the go.

This is how in the next 3 days you will accomplish something which you have been planning for a long time and have been procrastinating for the whole year.

This is just the example.

The whole point of making these 17 days amazing is avoiding procrastination. 

If you are struggling to start the workouts – you are not alone. I am there in the boat too and I desperately want to go back to my workout routine. Somehow, things are not falling into place or I am waiting for too long for them to fall in place. 😉 To start the workouts, the best way is

  • To identify which time suits you the best.
  • Start with your favourite workout
    • Walking is the best thing to do when you want to start the workout
    • Home workout videos
      • I love home workout videos, generally they are the best when you stay in a unpredictable weather
        • I already have enlisted number of home videos in my this post
    • Run
      • Participate in any of the upcoming marathons to get the workout.
      • Some people need constant motivation like some challenges or marathons to be regular with their workout
    • Hobbies
      • Is there any class that you started last year and have stopped going?
      • Zumba, Aerobics, Bharatnatyam, Kathak? Start it all over again to get in your dose of endorphins.
    • Yoga
      • If you have been practising Yoga, this is the time to start it all over again but in case you would like to start, you have some wonderful help on you tube. Will detail out in the next post.
    • Cycling
      • Cycling is my best friend. You can start weekend rides with your friends and join any facebook group for cycling. They take longer rides on weekends. Workout with fun is the new name of Cycling

Most of us, including me suffer the new age issue called “Meal Planning”. Especially after marriage my meal planning prowess has grown multifolds. After a baby it has gone to a whole new level. If you would like to be food conscious, these 17 days can make or break your new year in terms of food.

You must be knowing that it takes 21 days to make a habit, we already have 17 in our hands. Men and Women both can do meal planning and it is a super easy stuff. 

With only 17 in hands..we have a lot of accomplish without procrastination..so are you game?

 

Diwali Sweets – To eat or not to eat?

Most of us have grown up eating many homemade delicacies made by our mothers, aunts and other ladies, in our case dad and husband too. Indian food and festivals are inseparable. My mom used to have specific delicacies on festivals. She never made anything mismatch to that season of the festival. Say for example, for Nagpanchami ( It is a festival where we pray to the Snake God) she used to make naivedhya of Sakhar Bhat ( Sugar Saffron Rice). On the last day of Ganapati, that is on Ananta Chaturdashi, she used to make Banana Pachadi ( Kelachi Koshimbir) which she used to call as “ Anantachi Koshimbir,” these things were seldom repeated as may be those festive days would be perfect weather-wise to have this all. After her, I have never seen anybody so thoughtful with regards to food. Come rainy season and we used to refrain from Brinjal, Onion completely, and Garlic, the simple reason would be that rains make the digestion sluggish, if we eat something like onion, we would need a good digestive power, as the winter approach, the digestion gets back to normal and after Diwali, we can actually start eating Brinjal, Onions, and Garlic. There is a specific day called “ Tulasi Vivah” when one can start eating everything. Diwali sweets were made well in advance and were allowed to be eaten only on the Abhyangasnan Day ( Narakchaturdashi) the tradition which continues till date.

Why this much thought in eating?

Because our food science is very well advanced and it is as per the season. Seasons affect the gut and digestive power of the stomach. If we eat as per the digestive power, we are never to fail. I totally believe in eating seasonal food. Diwali is meant for eating. Good food and Good times equal Diwali. Diwali Palaharam is a matter of great interest across India. With the talks of diet and nutrition in place, life has become difficult.

How the supply in the market changes our perception of food.

7 to 8 years ago, PepsiCo introduced oats in India. The campaign was making India heart healthy. The campaign was successful and slowly other companies like Britannia, Kellogg’s also rushed to bring in the most healthy cereal of the world “ Oats.” Looking at the facts, it is apparent that slowly with these types of campaigns India has become 200 crore market for cereals which is nothing but packaged food presented wonderfully and advertised really well. Same goes with other packaged goodies such as Wafers, Noodles and so on. The question on my mind is why would we give up our food and go ahead to eat something which does not even taste a bit like Indian food. The answer is the power of ADVERTISING and BRANDING.

How colors, advertising, branding, and campaigns change the food scenario?

Nobody branded Poha, Upma, Idli, Dosa the way we are bombarded with Pizza, Noodles and Masala oats advertisements. Same goes with Diwali Snacks. After Navratri, you can watch Cadbury advertising about how to gift Chocolates ( Cadbury Chocolate Pack) this Diwali to your loved ones, neighbors and so on. I mean really? When did the warmth of homemade ladoo, murukku, shankarpali was replaced by something made in the factory with many other products with loads of preservatives?

Oats Chivda, Ladoo Without Sugar and Gluten Free Chakli

There cannot be Chivda without Poha, Corn Poha, or Sabudana Poha period. There cannot be ladoo without sugar ( palm sugar or jaggery are good replacements of sugar), and there cannot be chakli without gluten as Chakli wouldn’t happen if there is no Gluten in the mix. So, the gist of all the above is, as we always say, eat in moderation. Have those long walks every day consistently to feel good and fit.
No million dollar company can be worried about your heart, and it’s health though they claim. Ultimately, you are the only person who knows your body and its needs. So, eat homemade, think homemade and seasonal. Whether should you have all the sweets? Please have as you wouldn’t get the warmth and thought with which it is conceived and made.

Happy Diwali.

How do I decide the party menu?

How do I decide the party menu?

Festivities are around the corner. It is almost Diwali, there would be get togethers, family gatherings, friend meet ups and so on in the coming days. More often it so happens that the party food gets too heavy on stomach and there start the episodes of indigestion. The simple mantra for all the party hoppers is to eat moderately. This is not a great advice but I have something more to say.

As hosts of the party one has tremendous responsibility to keep the menu in check. Most places we see amazing spread of food. Loads of items but very little attention is given to the real nutrition factor or matching factor of the food.

Understanding the food groups and their right combination is very important as we have already insisted in our previous blog post.

Here are some pointers that all hosts can implement.

Age group and type of people you are serving

It is always better to identify the type of people you are serving, it also helps to know their age group. Old people may not like the same food as kids.

Food pairing

Our Indian food system has in built pairing. So, while deciding menus it is better to take a note of that. Also if you are serving multi cuisine food then have two items of the same cuisine complementing each other. Poori, Aloo, Shrikhand is a good pairing nutrition wise. It is a balanced meal. Biryani, Vengayam Pachadi and Gobi 65 is a complete meal in itself. Parathas with Pickle or Raita is a complete meal. While deciding food pairing never pair a chinese item with Indian.

The sauces which chinese items have do not complement the Indian foodstuff.

Keeping Manchurian with Biryani is a no-no.

When you have sandwiches in your menu, having Parathas is like giving high dose of Carbohydrates.

Sandwiches complement with something like fruit salad or custard which is light on stomach.

About three course meals

If you are looking at a three course elaborate spread. Soups and Starters should be carefully chosen. Soups are to enhance the appetite, they also need to be light on stomach.

For any normal day, cream of tomato, pepper rasam are the best soups to start with.

If you plan a Chinese meal then mixed vegetable soup, manchow soup is fine. Starters can be selected based on that day’s your preference of food.

While eating in the restaurant too, keep the difference between Chinese Cuisine and Indian Cuisine in mind before ordering.

Desserts can be chosen wisely too. If you have served a very heavy dinner you can even skip one. For heavy dinners, you can keep something light as Rasa Malai, or Rasagulla. I prefer keeping dessert in my main course mostly.

 Items for Children

Children are picky eaters so it is better to know their preference before planning. As per recent trends pizza, burger, noodles are some of the preferred choices for kids. Including something which is not junk like Parathas (whole wheat), Puris, Rolls is a wise decision. Also you can insist on the importance of having no junk in your party.

Get-togethers are fun but it is time to celebrate responsibly. Deciding the menu with seasonal foodstuff and gauged nutrition is worth appreciation.