Backyard to Table – Making Jams and Pickles The Grandma Way

Backyard to Table – Making Jams and Pickles The Grandma Way

Recently, I heard Rujuta Diwekar speaking about food confusion. She speaks about food many times and reiterates stuff like ” Eat local and seasonal food”. What she tells is nothing different that why my Aaji, Aaji in law and my mom practiced. It is just that we stopped listening to them as we grew up. Anything homemade has a charm of its own. I loved the way the whole family got engaged while aaji made papad and pickles. She also used to make Sandge ( grated mixed veggies dried in the hot summer sun) or vaththals as we call them in Tamil, on the side. The dried variety includes Moong Vadi, Carrot and other vegetable sandge, Layvadya ( Made out of leftover jowar porridge), Mor Mozhaga or Dahi Mirchi ( These were staples). Maybe in my next post, I will elaborate on each of them and write about the papad variety. But today I am going to share the mango jam recipe and pickle recipe which many of you asked.

My mom used to make amazing pickles all through the year. She believed in the goodness of pickles prepared in a specific season. In Summer, she used to make mango pickle which we used to call Big Pickle. Apart from the big pickle, there used to be one “Chalu Lonche” which can be eaten as it is made. The term Chalu means something which is in practice. So this pickle we could eat till the Big Pickle soaks in all the ingredients and gets ready for consuming. Apart from Big Pickle and Chalu Pickle, she used to make “Takku”. “Takku” is a spicy mix of grated raw mangoes, red chili powder and tampering with mustard oil. Takku stays around for 1 month and is a go-to accompaniment for hot chapati or poori. These were savory varieties of year-long mango treasure. Among the sweet varieties, she used to make mango jam ( Mango chunks and grated mangoes)  and aam panna ( sharbat). As the true Annapoorna that she was, in winters, people used to swear by the delicious vegetable pickle that she used to make. The taste of Amla Pickle still lingers in my mouth. Have you heard about curd pickle made with Amla, she had named it as “Raveni”.

This year 23 kgs of mangoes were harvested from the backyard and I did not waste a single mango. Used all of it to make these amazing varieties of real, homemade condiments.

Last year, while I went for cutting mangoes for pickle, there came a lady. She asked me, do you know how to make pickle? I said “ yes”. She said will you help me make it. I said I am not a “pro” but I can make it.

Since 2016, we have been making pickles with my sister’s mil “Ganga Narayanan”. Ganga Mami is Annapoorna herself and every pickle that she makes is tasty, stays well for years together. This time I wanted to try it out and give her some of it. Thank you Ganga Mami for making me adept with pickle making process. Can’t thank you enough.

As I posted it on my WhatsApp status and FB status, many people have asked about the recipe for homemade jam or Sakharamba/ Gulamba.

Mango Jam Or Sakharamba

  • Once you get the mangoes from the market or from the backyard, see that you soak them in water for at least an hour. After an hour take them out and let them get dried for further process.
  • As they look fresh without any oil on them, start peeling them and cutting them into small/ medium pieces. You can keep bigger chunks for the jam. You can even grate the mango for getting an exact jam-like texture.
  • Get a big kadhai or pan, and add 8-10 teaspoons of ghee. I used homemade cow ghee, but you can use any brand.
  • Add mango chunks. Keep it simmering till all the chunks become golden brown. Once the chunks are golden brown you can add the sugar/palm jaggery/jaggery to it. I eyeballed the quantity of sugar ( Approx 2 kgs for 4 kg of mangoes) as per the taste.
  • Mix the sugar and add water till it covers ¾ th of the mango chunks. Keep stirring. You can off the gas stove when you see that the water and sugar have combined really well, soaking in the mango chunks. Leave the sugar syrup little lose because after cooling down it hardens giving it a jam-like consistency.
  • Once the Jam or Gulamba has cooled down, transfer it in a bigger airtight jar.
  • Instead of opening a store bought mixed fruit jam or store-bought gulamba, this is a simple method to enjoy the goodness of homegrown mangoes in the summer.

How to make Mango Pickle

Mango pickle is the trickiest of them all. The reason behind it is that you have to look after the pickle like a baby. As you make it, you have to transfer it into airtight glass jars or the china clay pots which are specially made for pickles, cover the lid with a small muslin cloth. Keep mixing the pickle very 30 days once. I eyeballed all the quantities so this recipe wouldn’t be elaborating on the exact quantities but will give you a basic idea.

  • For 5-6 kgs of mangoes I used, 2kgs of Sesame Oil, 2 kgs of Salt, 1 kg of Chily Powder, 500 gms of mustard seeds ( Which were crushed into powder), Fenugreek powder ( very little)

Okay, enough of disclaimers. Here is a recipe

  • Mangoes need to be soaked in water and dried thoroughly
  • Once they are dried, cut them with Amba Fodni ( Mango Cutter ) or get it cut from the market
  • If you are getting the mangoes cut from the market see that you wipe off each and every piece
  • Soak the mango pieces in salt, keep it for 30 mins or so, then add Chily powder and mix well. Once it is mixed, add mustard powder, fenugreek powder. Keep it aside.
  • Take a big kadai, make it hot on the stove pour the oil and off the gas.
  • The oil needs to be warm while adding not hot.
  • Once you add the oil, mix it thoroughly.
  • As you transfer it in an airtight jar, first add a layer of salt to the jar and then fill in the pickle.
  • Keep the jars in a place where they get indirect sunlight.
  • In 4-5 days the Pickle will be ready to eat.

While I did the cooking part, I felt I have revived the trend of bringing in the whole family together for this culinary experiment of mine. My FIL got the mangoes from the backyard, my dad helped me peel it, cut and grate it. My husband helped to cut mangoes for the big pickle, my daughter was a witness to all the work that was going in. I hope she learned a thing or two. This is the way we can propagate the idea of sustainability to our next generation.

This post is a part of the Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest hosted by FashionableFoodz in association with Vikhroli Cucina and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest, FashionableFoodz or Godrej is not responsible for any infringement caused. #GodrejFoodTrends2018Contest  #GFTR2018

A Beginner’s Guide To Indoor Plants

I am having indoor plants for a year or so now. Initially, I was a bit scared because I do not have a green thumb. As we shifted to a new place, which had a lot of places to keep these indoor plants I decided to have some of them. But going to any nursery and getting them was a tough task.

One day I visited the CP Ramaswamy Art Gallery in Alwarpet and found that there were some good plants kept in the exhibition. The one which struck the chord was the bamboo plant standing tall. I quickly got it along with a money plant and an Aloe Vera sapling. I was scared because this was the first time I had indoor plants. It has been a year that we have the bamboo and I have propagated money plant very well in four to five small saplings.

Aloe Vera has already delivered so many small saplings…

I got the plants from the exhibition and a stall of The Artium by Rajalakshmi. Rajalakshmi has a studio in Kottivakkam. I have not visited her studio but she has a lot of nicely potted indoor plants. You might ask, one can get indoor plants from any nursery why such a reservation about getting plants from The Artium. My only way of answering to this is that the plants which I got from other nurseries in the past could not survive.

There may be a fault in my ways to look after the plant but the Bamboo has survived for a year and a half, lit up the corner of our home. please visit The Artium by Rajalakshmi to get wonderful plants which survive. 🙂

indoor plants

Here are some points that are important while getting your indoor plants

The Direction of the House:

My home faces south and there is not much light inside the house during the day. There are very few corners which are lit up in the house. So this was a primary concern while getting the indoor plants. I kept Bamboo plant in such a way that it gets indirect sunlight from the entrance door. I guess that was enough for it. Bamboo is also a water plant, so I keep changing the water in around 15 days. The same row where we get ample indirect sunlight has four indoor plants, Philodendron, Money Plant, Bamboo and Snake Plant. Philodendron is a relatively new plant, not sure how would it behave but so far going well.

Soil or Water

My attempt at growing a money plant inside the house in soil was totally spoilt. For a brief period, I kept it outside. Aloe Vera and Money plant were growing together. But then, I tried taking out the growing nodes from money plant and kept them to grow in water inside the house. To my surprise, It was growing very very well. So, if any of the indoor plants are not doing well inside, please give it a chance to survive outdoors where you do not get direct sunlight. The sapling might bloom.

General Care

If you are planning to have a money plant in water, please change the water often. For Bamboo, it is okay to refill every fifteen days. But while doing so, wash the roots properly so that the infections if any get washed away.

For plants which are potted in soil, I feel a strict vigil on the water content of that soil and watering it when needed would help.  

Mobile phones, chargers, laptop chargers and other gadgetry should be avoided where the plants are kept.

The pots you use

I have used glass vase, a bottle, a mason jar, a tea kettle and repurposed wine bottles for growing my money plant and aloe vera. You can try your unused crockery for the same. Check out the type of plant you are potting and give it a try. It is all try-worthy.

Let me know if you have any existing indoor plants. Would love to know how do you care for them.

 

Every Summer Has a Story

Every Summer Has a Story

As much as people disgrace summer for the heat, children

love to spend their time without any timetable, books, teachers and school 🙂 Each one of us have been through this wonderful phase of our lives “ Childhood”. Summer is the time to relive these memories time and again. While I face the scorching heat while on roads, these beautiful memories make me nostalgic.

Here are some of my very special summer memories:

  • Waking up to the cuckoo’s coo, a typical morning alarm in India during summers
  • The opening of the carton of Alphonso mangoes specially brought from Nagpur
  • The breakfast of Aamras and roti. Topping aamras with ghee every single time before binging.
  • Indoor games with cousines like carrom, rummy, chess and now pallanguzhi
  • Filling water in cooler making it ready for hot and scorching summer afternoons.
  • Making of pickles, aam panna, appalam and papads
  • Relaxing on the lazy evening sipping on aam panna
  • Playing with water for hours together, to beat the heat
  • Reading champak, chanda mama, tinkle, chacha choudhary and saboo’s shenanigans.
  • The red hot petals of Gulmohar and Blushing Bahava or Yellow Bells
  • Evenings on the beach, eating candy floss

 

These are just some of them, I am sure you may be having many to add.

 

Let us know what are your favorite summer memories? Comment below.

 

 

Mono-Travelogues – 1

Mono-Travelogues – 1

An early morning packup
A vacation after a long
Srirangam Bodi and nearby
Arun planned it all.

Happy,excited and nerve wrecking
The roadtrip that it was
Arun was the driver
And he drove it all along.

Srirangam Trichy –
Beautiful calm place
The old trees and the new
The coconut tall and the bougainvillea bloom
The small town made the memories loom

The grace of Lord spread all over
the sunshine on the rooftops
The Gopuram shines bright
At the dusk and at the dawn

Takes us back to the old days
Of Rajas and Maharajas
Grandeur! Is its name?

Stand in the queue
Look at the Lord
A moment of Darshan
Of the resting God

Of several sannidhis
And great architecture
Hide and seek of the moon
The devotees and the devotion

Sing a Bhajan or join both hands
Blessed are those who come here to this great Land……

Quest for Flexibility – Sun Salutations

Quest for Flexibility – Sun Salutations

Barbells before breakfast was my theme for the A2Z Blogger Challenge, well there are numerous posts which would help you assess what are you doing and whether you are doing it correctly, meal wise and workout wise. I deliberately did not post about what workouts can be done because as Rujuta Diwekar, a famous nutritionist in India says “Exercise is like your life-partner, choose it in the way that you can live with it forever.”

I love working out in a gym, or home gym, the dumbbells, and barbells give me a rush of energy and enthusiasm every time I workout with it. The soreness and more toned body is a reward for all those hours of exercise that I have put in. Now this Dil Mange More ( My heart wants more). More regarding flexibility and strength, so I have decided to broaden my horizon. For the past year, I was working out five days a week with three days of strength training and cardio as I feel. Which I changed 3 months to see a little change in the weighing scale. Cardio helped me lose 10 lbs along with strength training. My strength training routine continues, but I need more variety in cardio and some challenge.
So here I am embarking on the new journey – Sun Salutations. A tiny winy effort to make my body a little better regarding flexibility and overall strength. But then you would come across questions such as

  • Why Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations all of a sudden?
    Sun Salutation is a complete workout in itself. We can say a fantastic bodyweight workout. I wanted something which goes with the flow and the structure of the body. I am below the beginner level of yoga, so I thought this would be a good beginning.
  • What time is better to do Sun Salutations?
    Any time is OK as long if you are okay with your pre-workout and post-workout meal. For me as I get up at 5.00 AM, I can do Sun Salutations at the crack of the dawn which is the best time to do it
  • Can it be done every day?
    Sun-Salutations can be done every day, including the periods. Only inversions are to be avoided while being on periods.
  • How to do Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations:

  • How would it benefit?
    • Basic Flexibility
    • Glowing skin
    • Prevents hair loss improving blood flow to the scalp
    • Regular practice helps irregular menstrual cycle.

But more than all of this, I want to do it mainly because it would challenge my flexibility (which is zero at this point). Also, it is a workout which can be done anytime anywhere without much ado.

Have you thought about including Surya Namaskara in your workout routine? If So how? Would love to know.

 

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

The Art of Doing – Nothing

The Art of Doing – Nothing

The past week has been tremendously busy. Family gatherings, celebrations, functions and the overdose of love and affection from all sides. Sometimes I crave for such time as it is immensely satisfying. With a lot of parties come a lot of food, late night dinners, zero workouts and I often land in a Topsy Turvy Land which is not very familiar at all. I have said many times in my posts that routine is my paradise, how so ever boring it sounds it is the truth. So how do I get back to my routine is the real key to better productivity. I feel everything happens as a part of a cycle and to start, we certainly need to halt at some point. For me, that point is La Dolce Far Niente, which literally means the sweetness of doing NOTHING in Italian.

Recently I read a book called “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and for the love of “Julia Roberts” watched the movie with all my heart where “La Dolce Far Niente” term is pretty elaborated when she travels to Italy as a part of her expedition. Since childhood, doing nothing is my fantasy. Being a child I practiced it very well and was being called lazy many a times. But they never knew the real bliss of a person like me who knows how to do NOTHING. 🙂

Have you ever wondered how your day would be if you take time out for “La Dolce Far Niente”?

Doing nothing needs equal efforts as running on the treadmill because it requires a great determination to stop the urge which makes us do something or the other all the time.

We usually crave for weekends and small gateways to relax, what if we infuse these moments of “La Dolce Far Niente” in our routines just to sit back and stare out of that window, with zero intention and zero thoughts…that way it would certainly become a meditation of sorts where you connect with yourself on a deeper level.

Workouts make me happy, but doing nothing makes me happier so I am going to infuse my time of sweet nothings into my routine and see whether that scale really budges 🙂

What would you do to do nothing? Would love to know.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

Increase Your Stamina With 5 Simple Steps

Increase Your Stamina With 5 Simple Steps


Stamina plays an important role in your performance of daily activities. 90% of us do not have enough stamina to carry through the day which results in fatigue and leads to different health complications. Many people feel that they would lose whatever energy they have by working out. But that is a myth. Here are 5 top tips increase your stamina.

Tip: 1 Get yourself tested:

Baseline medical tests are important to find out how fit you are. It will also help you identify whether there are any deficiencies in your body.

Tip: 2 Start with a balanced diet:

Well, starting with a good diet is half way through the increased stamina. I have already talked enough about food in my article.

Tip:3 Play your favorite sport:

Playing your favourite sport is best to overcome fatigue. It will also help to boost your stamina. Your favorite sport being aerobic exercise it will help you strengthen your heart so that there is more oxygen for all parts of your body.

Tip: 4 Have smaller meals:

The flow of energy needs to be maintained throughout the day for your body. Eating small meals throughout the day helps to keep up the energy increasing the stamina.

Tip: 5 Increase your water content:
Reduce dehydration and fatigue by drinking water all day. It will give your body constant supply of oxygen.

Once the stamina is good, you are good to amp up your exercise and make the most of it.

Home Workouts For New Mummas

Home Workouts For New Mummas

In my circle, there are quite a few new mommas and I would certainly love to point them towards some basic workout routines which would help them being in the exercise routine and also shed some weight if needed.

So here we go.

Leslie Sansone

Leslie Sansone’s walking at home was quite a revolution in the USA. I would say in India, this is the much-needed change that everyone should embrace. Walking at home is a simple concept and you can easily do your 5ooo steps in 45 minutes of walking. She has combined 4 main moves into walking like side tap, knee ups, walking front and back and hand movements. You can even do it with ankle weights if you want to incorporate strength moves. Worth every bit of your time.

Bikini Body Mommy

https://www.youtube.com/user/BikiniBodyMommy

 

 

Well, if you really want to get inspired by this hot mommy, you can just visit her website or you tube channel. This workout is a real life challenge which Brianna has actually worked upon and is called a 90 day challenge. You can do these workouts from home with small dumbells. Absolutely doable with a kid around.

Blogilates

https://www.youtube.com/user/blogilates

 

If you are ready for a lil hardcore stuff here is blogilates. I love Cassy and her 30 day challenges. Just go to blogilates.com and see what all she has to offer. Plenty of workout sheets, meal plans and loads of motivation. I love her love of pink. ❤

Jillian Michaels

Jillian is a fitness goddess. Her workout videos are intense and not to be tried without consulting your doc if you have delivered recently. If you would have been a serious exercise junkie before and would like to continue being one now, this is a great start.

Fitness Blender – Kelly

https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender

 

Those mummas who are ready for strength training workouts. I would highly recommend fitness blender workouts, which are light and are like having a personal trainer at the comfort of your home. I loved these workouts because they are simple, can be done anywhere.

While doing all these, remember, no exercise can outdo bad food. So clean up your food as much as you can, normal indian food would serve the purpose. Eat to your hunger. If you are breastfeeding eat 500 calories more than usual. If you are counting calories great! if you are not, thats fine too. A good 30 mins of workouts with better eating will surely fetch you more stamina.

Stay Blessed, Stay Beautiful!

P.S:- I have tried all the above workouts. If you have any question you can get back to me 🙂

Gearing Up for A Walk With Fitbit

Gearing Up for A Walk With Fitbit

Its 5 am in the morning, and I wake up to a lil vibration on my left wrist, in half sleep i try to find the snooze button but promptly it again wakes me up with its vibrations. As I wake up, i glance at a new entrant in my gadgetry, Yessss! I am the new owner of fitbit, which is a famous fitness tracking device.
Once, I am up, the app pops up saying, you are 1234 steps ahead of ms.X and I get super charged up to let them behind with some added steps….the lazy me crops up and says… have a cup of coffee and then lets take them onn..by the time I have my dose of caffine, ms.X has already moved 1234*2 steps ahead making the contest difficult for me, I think, oh yeah, she is not in my time zone..and leave it to that.
The morning chores bring me to a total of 1000+ steps and I am figuring myself in the last two slots of fitbit challenge group. Never mind, after all, others are in different times zones, they may have treadmills to tread and increase the step count me thinks. Plus, I have so much work to do…(as if no one in the world really works as hard as me)
Somehow by the noon the step count is 2000+ and I finally think feel like moving a bit adding up the step count..but the device shows up the low battery signal and I have to wait till it charges because “there is no point walkin if I don’t have my fitbit on”.
office work and some meetings, a bit of commute and the step count increases only by 1000, now I have treaded 3000 steps which is a good feat, I think to myself, I still have a few hours to go and compete with these extra talented, and active ladies, I also remember “Sitting is the new smoking” proverb which is coined by a famous celebrity nutritionist, but  I can’t help myself doing the new form of smoking because, the standing desk has been hijacked by my team member and I have no option but to sit and work. I just hope that I get many calls to increase the step count, but that doesn’t happen either..I don’t know when it was the last time that god heard my plea.
By 5.3opm, I would have crossed the 4000 mark and feel awesomely proud of myself, just then Fitbit app says you and ms.X are too close for comfort, or ms. X has just tiptoed you. I feel like asking these ladies whether they have treadmill desks or they have an active jobs like postman, salesman or the likes. How on the earth can someone walk 15000 steps a day? everyday???
Its already 9.00 pm, I have hardly crossed the 5000 step mark and my eyes are red urging me to sleep, fitbit pops up and says its time to wind up and get a good night’s sleep. I finally feel that this device cares for me..otherwise the whole day, it just tells me that I am a useless person, moving my bum less often than others.
My sore heart and legs do not let me sleep, they keep reminding me of the deadly device called fitbit which helps me torture them to the core. I quickly take note and slip into my good night’s sleep, after all I am a 5am mommy.

Fuel Up Your Workouts

Fuel Up Your Workouts

Easier said than done! In a hustle and bustle of today’s “instant” life, we often pay less regard to the pre-workout and the post workout meals. Now I can see some raised eyebrows with surprise. Wondering that how will you reduce by eating just before exercise?

Indeed, if you are one of those fitternity members, then you might be knowing the importance of this meal which should never be compromised on.

And if you didn’t know this then this post is to make sure you never skip a banana before that 5 km run. This is a guide for runtastic players who want to improve their performance.

Why pre-workout meals?

Consider your body as a car. So, without petrol would the car function? On the similar lines, it is essential to eat before a workout. Else, you are at the risk of slow results and of course injury to the muscles.

It is always advisable to have a balanced meal consisting of the three important macronutrients viz carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the right proportion.

The benefits of a pre-workout meal are:-

  1. More energy:- It is a known fact that body breaks down carbohydrates and uses glycogen stores to produce energy. Eating carbohydrates will definitely mean more energy while at workouts.
  2. Increase muscle Anabolism and reduce catabolism:- If you are building on muscles then let not your hard-earned muscles wear up by not eating before the exercise. The amino acids from the muscles will be used by the body after the glycogen stores, thus depleting the muscles. Enhance your muscle-protein synthesis by getting a great pre-workout meal.

So what should I eat before my exercise?

Fats:- As much as fats are a great source of energy they can also make you sluggish and lethargic.
Proteins:- A great source of protein can increase the amino acids levels which can be used by the body after glycogen stores get over and before the body utilizes its muscle protein.
Carbohydrates:- If the workout is scheduled within 30 min-1 hours, then having a simple carbohydrate diet sounds great else always bank on the complex low GI carbohydrates which will not allow a sudden dip in the blood sugar levels.

Here are a few examples of pre-workout meals:-

  • Bananas :-Natural sugar, fibers, simple carbohydrates. A great source of potassium as it is, this fruit is my favorite pre-workout snack.
  • Curd/ Greek yogurt & goodness of dry fruits:– You may consider this meal to be consumed an hour before the exercise. The dry fruits are a rich source of sugar and protein is coupled with the greek yogurt.
  • Oats and porridge:- This can be eaten before an hour of long workout stretch.It is indeed a great source of soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates.
  • Rice, chicken and the vegetables:- The best source of lean protein and carbohydrates this meal can be consumed before 2-3 hours of your workout.
  • Fruit smoothies:- Prefer this when you are low on energy and you want fast acting glucose.
  • Omelet:- Promote muscle growth by having omelet before 2-3 hours of workout.
  • Protein Bars and Protein Shakes:- This protein loaded bars or shakes are the best consumed for another quick go work-out.
  • Apple and peanut butter:-  So if you have 30 min for your workout and you want some quick bite then this is the best option.
  • Roti, Ghee, and Jaggery:- For Indians, this is a great option to munch before a workout.

Try some of these pre-workouts and let us know how was your training session? Did you feel energetic through it or lethargic. Also, if you are already having preworkout meals and if we have skipped something please feel free to add.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

3 Amazing Benefits of Triphala Choorna

3 Amazing Benefits of Triphala Choorna

How many of you have heard about Triphala Choorna and the benefits of Triphala Choorna? My father used to take it quite regularly. His hot favorites are Harada Choorna and Triphala Choorna. Some days before, I had a severe gastric issue as I ate 4 pods of freshly brought jackfruit. I was uncomfortable and started having chest pain so much so that I could not sit, walk or do anything. My sister who was working with me asked me to take a lemon water concoction to ward off any bloating or acidity. I had a better idea instead. There was Triphala choorna bottle hanging around since 4-5 months. We hadn’t used it. I immediately gulped down one spoon of Triphala choorna with warm water and Voila!!! My chest pain was totally gone. I was feeling lighter and better.

What is Triphala?

Triphala is a combination of three fruits named Amalaki (Amla), Haritaki (Harada), Bibhitaki (Behada). Harada choorna is also very popular for keeping the digestive tract sane. Harada as we say in Marathi also helps to control intermittent coughing.

Amalaki ( Amla): Helps manage pitta and natural functions of the liver as well as immune system

Bibhitaki (Behada):- Supports respiratory system. It is an amazing anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Haritaki ( Hirada):- Has a great effect on all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). It is a detoxifier and helps maintain weight. It also aids the healing process.

Benefits of Triphala:

Improves eyesight: Yes, this is an out of the box benefits but my dad usually tells me to wash my eyes with Triphala water. He says it will help ward off the tiredness of the eyes due to longer exposure to the computer screen.

#improveeyesight #eyesightimprovement

Boosts your immune system: Amalaki or Amla helps boost the immune system. It aids blood circulation by cleaning digestive tract.

Makes your skin glow: Well, this is a by-product of getting your digestive system clean. As the digestion is back on track you are bound to be blessed with glowing skin.

There are many benefits of Triphala but what worked for me the best is its cleansing property. It is not like you hog on and then take Triphala to ward off the evils of bad food eaten at the equally bad time. It is about creating the harmony in the body which reflects on your face.

A very simple and effective product of Ayurveda which you should give a try. What do you do when you face the digestive system issue? Do you approach Ayurveda or you trust Allopathy? Would love to know. 

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

 

Exercise Without Realising

Exercise Without Realising

I am a lover of routine so much so that for years you can put me in the same routine and I would not complain, I love status quo, and changes make me mad 🙂 But still whenever I feel to exercise without realizing, I go back to my childhood days to bring back the charm to my otherwise strict regime.

Dance:

My childhood days were busy. I used to sit down only for reading a book or for doing homework, most of the other times I was a busy child hopping from one class to other. I learned a lot in my childhood, and dance is the first thing which comes to my mind when I think of those days. We had these numerous dance competitions in our school, and I used to be a part of all of it. I never realized then that I was dancing my way to fitness. 🙂 As soon as I settled in a city, I enrolled myself in Kathak Class ( A classical dance form of India). Twice a week it works as an efficient fitness routine and also relaxes me. Dancing is a good exercise. It works on the core and stability.

Jump Rope:

Those days all children used to play in their front yards for a couple of hours in the evenings. Today also in gated communities you can see children playing, but then the percentage of that carefree play has come down considerably. Girls used to enjoy playing jump ropes. Two girls used to hold it at its end, and one would jump on it. That was fun. I use to jump rope now when I feel that I need to do effective cardio in less amount of time.

Hopscotch:

This is something I love playing with my daughter. While I was a child, hopscotch in many different forms used to be played in the front yard. Usually, we played single-legged hop, with a small piece of flat stone on the head. Now, when I recall it, I feel amazed by the capacity of this simple game. One legged hop with something on the head is a great lesson for balance and stability. Playing Hopscotch with my daughter is the favorite fun workout which we are going to cherish for years to come.

Tree climbing:

This was my favorite past time in childhood. My grandma’s place had a number of trees, and my uncle was an amazing tree climber. He taught me how to climb up and get down on trees and walls. It helped me to strengthen my muscles and workout without realizing it then. Though I am there in the city since last 20 -25 years, I love big trees that I come across while walking on roads. There is no way that I can climb the tree. But there is a rock climbing arena nearby, which I should join soon. 🙂

Cycling:

I used to cycle to my school. I had a fantastic friend who used to come home, and we both used peddle our way to school over an exciting chat. Reviving those days is so much fun now. I have got a cycle which I use when I feel bored with the routine. A 5-6 km ride around the city makes me and my soul fresh.

Bring back those amazing games that you used to play as a child, incorporate them into your fitness routine and never realize the calorie burn 🙂 

 

 

My connection with super soft roti – Indian Flatbread

My connection with super soft roti – Indian Flatbread

Roti, the normal version of the Dramatic “Roti, Kapada Aur Makan”, or The “Do Waqt Ki Roti” has been in my life since the day I was born in the central part of India.Super soft rotis are a norm in all Indian households.I was born in Nagpur to father who belongs to the Marathwada region and mother who belonged to Vidarbha region. Both regions still have only one thing common which is Roti. The way they make it and the way they eat it both differ.
I was brought up in Bhandara which is a total Paddy belt like Namma Tamil Nadu. I am lazy by nature and thankfully I am a daughter-in-law of Tamil Nadu where I don’t have to make 30-40 rotis every single time. I mean morning and evening, the way my mom used to do. Nagpur is changing day by day, as most of the people have a lady who comes home exclusively to make rotis so that the lady of the house does not exert on that part. This is such a liberty which was not there when my mom was alive.
I still remember her bangles used to tinkle when she used to make roti early in the morning around 5.30. She was working in the bank so before she set out for work, she always made sure that her family has enough good food to eat. As she left for her heavenly abode, I and my sister promptly took her place. Those were the days when we used to make 50-60 rotis when the guests were around and 30-40 when there were some and 10-20 when only we three were at home. It was a norm and we could hardly do anything about it.

As I got married, I could not make rice properly, but who was worried? I could make fluffy fulkas without much fuzz. I could make Three/ Four Fold chapatis, Puran Poli, Paratha and everything with the glutenous whole wheat flour.

What makes the Roti Super Soft?

Selection

Well, the wheat grains are carefully chosen from the wholesaler and ground at a local flour mill. The flour then is brought home and kept aside open to cool down.

The Storage

Then it is kept in a steel dabba preferably, my mom used to have 10 kg dabba exclusively for Atta, I have 5 kgs. That type of storage makes it happy is what I feel. In the humid environment like Chennai, it has to be kept very carefully to protect from moisture.

The Kneading

Normal kneading with ample water does the trick. Dad tells not to pamper the atta and keep it aside once it is bound. In 10 mins, we can knead again to a proper consistency.

And Lots of Love 🙂 

Recently I have got the Pearl Millet, Ragi and Jowar atta just to reinforce my roti making prowess. Well, I really faired well with Pearl Millet Roti which is called as Bhakri in Marathi. I got a certificate from my dad that he has taught me well 😉 

Here is my attempt.

 

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

Decide Your Fitness Goals

Decide Your Fitness Goals

Deciding your fitness goal is very important for the health and fitness journey. Weight loss, Strength, Fat loss, Endurance, Stamina and lot more can be your goals. But how to go about deciding a goal and slowly planning for it is a great challenge as we lead very busy lives with the commute, calls, meetings, discussions and especially junk. I have written about the circadian clock which our body works on. This circadian clock is a body clock. Our current lifestyle has tampered our body clock in such a way that it leads the body to FAIL. I am no doctor but I know it by experience. My body started giving me red signals when I had acute IBS. I understood the importance of good food and better exercise only when I faced a serious problem. I never knew how to set up a goal for my body which it will be able to take up.

Here we discuss these different goals which body can set and also the way to measure them.

    • Weight loss:
      • Most common of all and drives the fitness industry.
      • Healthy weight loss for a month can be around 2-3 kgs depending on the workout and food that is being eaten
      • Anything beyond it is unhealthy weight loss
      • A normal weighing scale would help measure it
    • Fat Loss
      • This is a kind of a tricky thing
      • Fat loss is something which is the most desired outcome of the workout
      • Would not show up on the weighing scale but you can see that your inches are dropping down with fat loss.
      • So it is absolutely possible to get lean without losing your weight.
      • Can be monitored with Body Fat Calipers
    • Strength
      • Strength training results in fat loss
      • You can gauge your strength using the weights that you can lift easily
      • If you are lifting 5 kg dumbbell and after some days you are lifting 10kg without compromising on your form then your strength has definitely increased.
    • Endurance
      • Endurance is the way you push yourself for any cardio or aerobic activity which uses oxygen in the body immediately
      • Athletes train for endurance while performing sports.
      • If you plan to be a runner, instead of working on the muscles you should do endurance workouts.
    • Flexibility
      • I find flexibility very alluring
      • Flexibility training helps to reduce injury and improve posture.
      • It also relaxes mind and body
      • Yoga is the best way to go about Flexibility training.

My goal is to work on Strength and Endurance so I couple both workouts accordingly. What is your workout goal?

 

Clean Eating- A Modern Diet With Old Wisdom !

Clean Eating- A Modern Diet With Old Wisdom !

Clean Eating- A Modern diet with old wisdom!

Met an old friend on a Friday night bash!

My friend:- Oh! I have eaten a lot today, no workout too! I may have to skip my lunch tomorrow. Else how can I make up for this indulgence? “

I wondered and laughed in my heart that she had almost forgotten about the number of glasses she had poured in. I also thought that according to her logic if she counts those then she can’t eat food for the whole next day to compensate for the sin, she has committed.

I gave her peck for her innocence and yes this post is dedicated to other fitternity members who should know what to eat and how to eat. It is a known fact that “30 % of the gym and 70 % of diet”.

“Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.”

Weight loss is a word which is very close to my heart. This is my second journey towards the same goal, now of course it is the postpartum weight!Thanks to my all day home(read as study and TV) and  no play attitude in my childhood days! I am blessed with a metabolism of a buffalo and to speed it up yes! I exercise. It is indeed my way of life today. I miss cycling as I never enjoyed the ride in my high school days. I want to relive my childhood back again by an hour of outdoor activity. Sounds like a child!? I know but I love to.

Many people suggest fad diets and yes the internet mommies like me are very vulnerable to those illusions. GM diet, Keto Diet, Whole thirty, Paleo, many more fantastic names to enlist here. I have tried a few only to realise that I was in great health when I was eating from my mother’s kitchen. Infact, when I read about “CLEAN EATING” I was about to close the window until I realised that it is the same way of living which our mother and grandmother fed us with. Not digging too deep  into the subject but I outline the basics of Clean Eating!

Eating clean is not something to be defined but here are a few basics.It is a change in lifestyle which can itself yield a transformation.

So let us know what are those simple sustainable changes:-

  1. Do not fall prey to shortcuts diets while you are on the making of fitter selves.Don’t lose faith as the results take time.
  2. Eat frequent small meals:- The idea is not to starve yourself and then fall into the trap of bigger portion to satisfy the loud hunger. Three big meals and two-three small fillers are great to go. Frequent eating also boosts up your metabolism.
  3. Balanced diet and Portion Control:- A balanced diet means incorporating the goodness of carbohydrates(the complex the better), the lean protein , the good fat (Yes! Fat is good to mobilise other fat from the body) and the fibres in correct proportion, in addition to the various vitamins and minerals. Portion control comes with mindful eating. Curb the distractions while you take your food.
  4. Avoid processed and refined foods:- However tempting and easy it may look. Always bank on the whole grains, nuts, legumes and pulses instead.
  5. Patch up with good fat:- It is a misconception that fat is all bad. Good fat is essential for the body as much as any other nutrients.
  6. Drink two-three litres of water every day:- We humans often confuse thirst with hunger and then gulp on those extras.

Remember the more consistent you are, the more consistent are the results. A journey to a fitter world can’t be achieved without consistency and sustainable changes.

 

Body Basics – For Strength Training

Body Basics – For Strength Training

Body – The place of worship.

Your body is your place of worship. This sounds so cliche but I would say today it is the most abused entity in the whole world. We are what our body is well 50% and 50% mind I am sure. So before embarking on this journey let me just quickly walk you through some basics of the body. Body parts as they call in the bodybuilding terms. While building the body each of this part is worked out to bring out the best in that muscle. Body is an amazing machine if you slack it slacks and if you push it pushes all the limits.

Bulking up – A strict NO – NO

Most of the women are not interested in weight training or bodybuilding in the fear of bulking up but the truth is WOMEN NEVER CAN BULK-UP. Women should do weight training progressively and plan food accordingly. If you have been going to the gym for 5 years and are lifting the same 3 kg, 5 kg weights then you may not see the desired result. The body needs to be challenged at every stage of working out. Increasing your weight lifting capacity is the next move for all ladies who are working out for a long time. I am sure most of you know it but here are my two cents.


Here are the body parts that need to be worked on.

  • Chest:
    • The chest is a major muscle group in the body which includes Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis minor generally we term them as Pecs.
  • Shoulders
    • Shoulder muscles are called as Delts named after deltoid, on the front and back side.
  • Arms:
    • Biceps: The most loved muscle group for all gym goers because this is where it shows up.
    • Triceps: Triceps is the posterior side of biceps, this is the part where most of the ladies struggle. This is a part which jiggles more and needs to be worked upon.
  • Abs
    • The core muscle group of the body
  • Quads
    • This is my favorite muscle in the body. It has a lot of strength. These are the thigh muscles.
  • Calves
    • Calf muscles are something I am working on for a long time. I love calf muscles of runners. It shows the hard work and dedication.
  • Hams
    • The backside of thigh muscles. Working on them is a pain but I still love it.
  • Glutes
    • The hip muscles which is the biggest muscle in the body. Working on them the toughest job in the universe.
  • Lower back
    • These are above your hip muscles. Working on core works simultaneously on the lower back.

Let’s check out what needs to be done to bring these muscles back to life. 🙂 in my next post. 

 

A Lifestyle Change Begins with A Single Step

A Lifestyle Change Begins with A Single Step

Wellness of mind and body:

Wellness is generally underrated and also highly market driven. I say so because we are a kind of sales and marketing driven economy since the Britishers left us. I always feel that they never left us for good. They left us because they knew that they had already created a potential market for many things in India. Wellness of mind and body can never be overlooked. In my experience, my mind is pretty much driven by my body. And the day I do not work out my mind is tossed. The daily dose of endorphins is the must for maintaining my sanity and to carry forward the day as it should be. The workout is a compulsion not because my body needs it but because it sets me free.

How did I start my fitness journey?

My fitness journey started when I started working in Mumbai and had acute gastric issues due to the graveyard shift which I used to do for a company. It was pretty bad to the level that I started getting my throat sore quite often due to the acid reflux. A doctor told me, a well-balanced diet and a good exercise routine might help. That’s where I climbed the stairs of a Gym called Gold Gym in Thane.

Those days were of cardio. You just had to break your sweat on elliptical and treadmill to reduce a few kilos of your weight slowly. It was all about weight loss back then but 10 years on, the food and fitness industry has changed amazingly for good.

Home Gym:

Today we are in a better place to understand what is needed by the body and can plan accordingly. We have many forms of workouts suiting different body types. At your place and at your pace is the new mantra.  I have a home gym set up which has some dumbells, barbells ( Bar and plate), a mat and a will to workout.

What is your workout routine? How do you do it? Would love to know.

Top 5 Summer Drinks for Kids:

Top 5 Summer Drinks for Kids:

Summer is here well almost and the heat is on. The days are longer and hotter, but fortunately the nights are pretty cooler and the dawn is cooler too but this is not going to last long. Come April and Chennai will be scorching hot. My daughter has already started asking for some cool sharbat along with her school water bottle. Instead of going for some aerated drinks, I plan to give her something which will cool her down in the hot summer day school.

  • Lemonade
    • This is our favorite due to its tangy and refreshing taste. Our dear Nimbu pani with a tinge of sugar would just wash away your summer blues with its freshness. Nimbu pani with soda is just a no-no if you really want to reap the benefits of the drink. I remember the summer afternoons where we used to play carrom with our cousins and at 4 o’clock we used to be hungry and thirsty too. My grandma usually prepared the nimbu pani with black salt known for its digestive properties. It used to be fun then.
  • Aam Panna
    • Green mangoes have made their way to the market. Most of the households have been introduced with season’s first mango by now. Aam panna (Mango Pulp Sharbat) is the most common beverage in north India and South India too. My mom used to cook the mangoes in the cooker and take out pulp. Then she used to mix it with sugar and keep it for making sharbat when needed. We used to literally thrive on that Aam Panna  and used to drink it often. It is said that the Aam Panna protects us from the hot wave which is prevalent in the northern India.
  • Buttermilk
    • Buttermilk is a staple in many Tamil Households. I have very good memories of buttermilk. My sister got engaged in 2014 in the month of April. Me and her MIL were prepping for the wedding. Usually, I used to drop in to see Amma just around noon after finishing my office work. The moment I used to step in she would ask me, will you drink a lil buttermilk Snehal? Well, I could never avoid it, and I used to relish every bit of that amazing buttermilk topped up with small green mango chunks. Buttermilk is mixed with rice instead of curd in south india as it is a coolant.
  • Coconut Water
    • Coconut water is a perennial drink in Chennai. It is available at every nook and corner of the city. My FIL takes the little one for a walk in the morning and gets her a dose of Coconut water everyday. He usually insists to have coconut water in the morning instead of evening.  Coconut water is the best for pregnant ladies and is the purest form of water even for Babies.
  • Khus Sharbat
    • Khus is called as Vala in marathi and Vetiver in tamil. Just putting khus in water would make it the best drink. It has coolant properties, it is diuretic and has soothing effect in summers.

I belong to Nagpur and the summers in Nagpur are horrible. For many years, I used to relate Khus smell with summers of Nagpur. After coming to Chennai now, it is more about coconut water and buttermilk. What are your favorite drinks for summer?

5 Super Food To Swear By

5 Super Food To Swear By

Weight and food have inverse proportion in my life. I could not couple both of it successfully. Some way or the other my resolve gets dissolved 😉
Trying to figure out whether strength goes well with food. So far it does. No matter what is the weight or the BMI, good food equals good energy and hell a lot of good work throughout the day. It is always good to have food which is sustainable instead of having something which you can not have on daily basis. India is known for the variety of foods. While being at home, it is just not possible to avoid food which is hygienically made to taste amazing. My quest to find some super awesome foodstuff has just started and here are some gems.

Rice:

We as a South Indian household eat rice regularly. I have been on and off it since last few days, but I have realized that there is nothing which calms my stomach like rice.
I am talking about boiled rice which is brought from our farm. This rice has been processed but to the lowest level and brought for consuming. We cook it with the old traditional south Indian way in which we take out the excess water from the rice. We do not use cooker for rice cooking, and it has served the best. As a North Indian now, I have started liking the “Vedicha Sadam” which is nothing but rice made without a cooker. Rice is a super food, I have told the reason already. I suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) eating rice has calmed my gut down, and now I can be without any medication. As a Maharashtrian, my staple food was always rice, dal, and ghee which stands true till date.

Bajra:

This is pretty new to my kitchen, but South Indians use it quite often concerning Kanji or Ambil ( In Marathi). Bajra roti is used in Maharashtra especially in the western parts of Maharashtra. Bajra roti with ghee and jaggery is the staple food of many Maharashtrians. As I researched its nutrients, I found out that a 100 gm of Bajri has approximately 67 gms of carbohydrates and 12 gms of protein which is the highest among this food group. Bajra Kanji, Roti or Khichadi is a must have in the summer. In Maharashtra, the central part we have Jowar or Sorghum for making stew and roti called as Bhakri.

Ragi or Nachni:

The goodness of ragi is to swear by. We gave Ragi Sattva which is the purest form of Ragi to my daughter during 5-9 months of her age which were the formative years. She never had cerelac or similar food. Ragi is again an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates. 100 gms of ragi contains around seven gms of protein. As my dad tells, ragi helps in reinforcing the strength of bones and is a must-have for ladies of all ages. Instead of any store made health drinks, Ragi kanji one time a day would be a great thing to do.

Jowar :

Sorghum or jowar has a special place in my heart. My grandma used to make amazing Jowar Rotis or Bhakris for all of us when we were young. My dad usually tells me to amp up my food with a Jowar Roti. Grown up with the goodness of Jowar he feels that I lack a proper eating habit ( while saying that he has turned a blind eye to my BMI). But yes whatever he says has a meaning, so I have successfully incorporated Jowar in my diet at least two times a week.

Kulith or Horse Gram :

I am not used to this grain, but it is used in most of Maharashtrian as well as Tamil cuisine. In Tamil cuisine, they make a tamarind stew called Kozhumbu, and in Maharashtra, they make a different kind of curry with Horse Gram Powder. We can also use it as a salad coupling with other salad greens. Have you used any of these grains in your daily food? If yes, then please let me know how. Would love to know more.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

A musical ode to the day

A musical ode to the day

It has been a week that my routine had dwindled due to a viral infection. Following a routine is very easy for me because routines are no-brainers (true to my Taurean roots), put the bull in a changing situation and it would get annoyed for sure. That’s what happened over the whole of last week.

Come Monday morning, I stepped out of the bed listening to “Kausalya Supraja Rama Purva Sandhya Pravartate” MS Subbulakshmi at her best to wake up Lord Venkateswara in all his glory. Thanks to my neighbors, who start their day well before 5 AM. I mostly get up to the Suprabhatam and the smell of sambar which mami makes for their household.

Morning Raga:

My sister’s Mother In Law routinely listens to songs while she is cooking. She is a Carnatic music connoisseur and loves to go to musical retreats held in the city of Chennai in Margazhi Season and otherwise. Listening to songs in the kitchen is all about taste I must say. These songs which amma listens are not any way disturbing the peace of the household, it, in fact, mingles with the chores and the morning humdrum of the kitchen. This makes it more desirable. There is a harmony of filter coffee smell, Carnatic music, and her own so-hum.

I listen to a variety of songs in the morning which brings in a lot of positivity and goodness. Being in Chennai it is mostly Carnatic because Chennai Mornings are magical. The sunrise, kolam ( rangoli ), filter coffee, sambrani smell and mallipu smell. It all creates a space which needs to be filled with Carnatic renditions.

Starting with a swag:

As the day starts gripping everyone, I start my work and all I need is an upbeat song of Salman Khan mostly the trending one is “Swag Se Karenge Sabka Swagat” incidentally this is the favorite song of my 7-year-old along with “ Selfie Le Le Re”. It just takes you out of the sluggishness of the day.

Rocking Afternoons:

Afternoons can be swept under the Justin Bieber/ Miley Cyrus songs. Little K is a fan of JB and as she comes back from school she likes to listen to all JB songs. I surrender myself to the new age music connoisseur and admire the freshness of the songs. 

Melodious Evenings:

Once the tone of the evening sets in it is all about the melodious 90s. The “ Wadaa Rahaa Sanam” or “ Sundari Kannal Oru Sethi”.Rakamma Kaiyya Kattu” of Rajani to “Manram Vantha” of Mounaragam. The pehla nasha of JJWS or “Rang Bhare Badal Se” from Chandani.

Soothing nights:

The sky darkens one more shade and the evening slips into the night, the time when one can easily go to memories of the 60s. I usually set up Binaca Geetmala on my system and complete the remaining work. Switching on the radio and listening to 104.6, on a viewer’s choice program I often listen to Norwegian Woods by The Beatles or “The way make you make me feel” by Michael Jackson. Sometimes it’s Pink Floyd, or Top of the world by “The Carpenters”. Music soothes the soul and purifies it. I am sure you guys must be having your favorite songs which bring you back to life. Would love to hear about them.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.