Baigan Bharta / Roasted Eggplant in Indian spices

Like I mentioned in my earlier post Kaacha Aamer Tok {Bengali style Green Mango in sweet & sour sauce}, I would be sharing some recipes that I already shared on the blog I shared with a good friend. Since I am more active here I thought its better to get them all under one roof. So here is Baigan bharta like I LIKE :-)

Baigan Bharta

Baigan Bharta… an extremely popular north Indian dish… This dish is about roasting the volupshious eggplant on open fire & flavouring it with Indian spices. In India itself you have a few variations of this preparation & I shall share the Bengali style variation called “Begun Poda” Begun means the eggplant & Poda means burnt… So this literally means burnt eggplant. However this is quite very down to earth kind of a preparation as compare to what the north Indians do. But I must confess, Even though I was born in a Bengali family, I m still a big fan of the north Indian variation simply because mummy always made it this way. The recipe I am sharing with you is my home recipe that mummy always makes…. but I m sure you will find many people doing it this way… as that is somewhat the traditional way of preparing baigan bharta. However curry leaves are optional, I just add them because I love the taste of curry leaves.

Ingredients
Eggplant – 1 big.
Green peas – 1/2 – 3/4th cup. ( I used frozen peas, you may choose to use fresh or frozen whatever is easily available)
Onion – 2 large, chopped
Ginger-Garlic-Green Chilli, finely chopped – 2 tbsp.
Curry Leaves – 4-5
Tomato – 2 medium, chopped
Cumin (Jeera) – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder (Haldi Powder) – ½ tsp
Red Chilli Powder (Laal Mirch Powder) – 1 & ½ tsp
Coriander Powder (Dhaniya Powder) – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder) – ½ tsp
Coriander leaves – Washed & Chopped.
Salt – To taste
Oil – 2-3 tsp.

Step One
Wash the Eggplant & Wipe it dry. Rub a few drops of oil all over the eggplant & poke the knife randomly to create small cuts all across. The random cuts will allow the eggplant cook evenly & faster. Let the eggplant roast on open fire Once done, drop it in a bowl of cool water, this will help you peel the skin easily.Peel the skin and mash the roasted eggplant & keep it aside.

Step Two
Heat oil in a kadai / pan / wok; once oil is hot add cumin (jeera) n let it splutter. Now add onion, ginger-garlic-chilli and curry leaves. Sauté till fragrant.

Step Three
Add the turmeric (haldi), red chill (Mirch), cumin (jeera),coriander (Dhaniya) powder along with one or two tsp water. Water will keep your spices a little moist & prevent it from burning. Sauté these spices for a few seconds only. Add chopped tomatoes and salt to taste. Give it a good stir on medium heat for few minutes. Add green peas and cover cook on low flame till tomatoes are soft and peas are cooked. If there isn’t enough moisture to cook the green peas, you can add 2-3 tbsp water.

Step Four
Once the peas are done add in the mashed roasted eggplant & mix in everything well. Let it simmer (with the lid on) for a while on slow flame. However please keep a note this is suppose to be thick and moist (And not watery). Just before you take it off the flame add chopped coriander leaves / Cilantro.

And its ready to be served. Serve hot with Indian bread or steamed rice. I love it with steamed rice :-)

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Deal with the Stigma… Deal with Depression around you!!!

With all the good bad ugly things you read and see on social media, how often do you see or read post’s, tweets, story shares about Depression? Not as often… It definitely does not have the space and recall of any kind. The question here is “Are we an ignorant society”?, “Are we intolerant to psychological health issues?” Or “we are in denial”? Why this unrealistic taboo still exists in this society?. Depression is real, it exists and our friends, family and loved ones need our support to fight it out.
Negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, misery, fear, guilt, helplessness and anger are some common emotions that usually pass after a while. As these negative emotions start clinging on to someone, making their state of mind, and emotional balances out of control and hindering everyday life, it’s time for help. Depression or Clinical Depression is a serious yet common, but treatable disorder that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or economic and social status. With a rush of negative emotions, Depression can be overpowering and overwhelming. This feeling of depression and anxiety is not the same as those bad days that give you a reason for being sad. While fighting clinical depression one can be Depressed for no reason at all, can be depressed even when everything in their lives has been just perfect, it’s a feeling of emptiness that leaves one drained out. Loss of appetite, lack of sleep, poor concentration, anxiety, low self-esteem, and loss of interest in things one loves are some difficult emotions that one has to fight day in and out. And what makes it all the more difficult is the societal intolerance one has to go through. Flashes of negative emotions in itself are so much to handle, but does it stop at that? No… A depression sufferer also has to look for ways to deal with perceptions of people around them. Be it career, relationships or support, the discrimination and transpicuous stigma affects the everyday life of a sufferer. This intolerance and negative approach associated with depression is shoddier than the sickness itself. Lack of knowledge, compassion and tolerance makes the recovery a bumpy aisle. Clinical Depression has to be treated with much required medical attention, however, if you really wish to bring back your loved ones to their invincible self, you may begin with a promise to yourself to lead this with perseverance and absolute altruistic care. Behavioural challenges and a bad weather like distressing mood is not just exhausting for the one who is fighting depression but also quite demanding for family and close friends. The expedition may begin rough making it all look so thankless but a diligent support surely has some long-term rewards in the store.
Depression is an intractable challenge that needs a multidimensional approach to eliminate it from our society. The stigma attached to mental health disorders is the major roadblock to recovery & this has to be stopped. For centuries stigmatization subsists screening a depression sufferer with apprehension, distrust and perplexity. If an individual is being treated for depression, will the employer understand? May be yes, but the sufferer may not believe so because there stands a chance to lose employment. This gap of confidence between society and a person fighting depression has to be bridged. May ne not, because there are no policies to deal with it. To be able to help someone with Depression the most important step is to stop the stigma attached to Depression creating a congenial environment for the sufferer. This clean, sociable and compassionate environment will not only enable us to accept the limitations of a person fighting depression but at the same time give them a tolerant environment to talk and get help for recovery. It is important to understand it is nobody’s fault between the sufferer and supporter, however, it’s the supporter who has to be patient and handle situations with only one point agenda of recovery. Medical attention plays a vital role in improving psychological disorders, however, making them easily available is what needs attention. Another aspect is to understand the fact that depression does not come by choice & hence the sufferer does not have the choice to walk out of it as and when we need them to. It’s a complex process to bring them back to self and it is possible only with a society that has an open mind, compassionate heart, determination to embrace the pain in others and finally aspire to break free from age-old stigma about mental disorders.

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What to you choose to attract this year? (Article published by Society Magazine, Qatar)

Since Jan I am writing for Society, a Qatar based magazine. Even though I have posted the article links on my page I thought sharing it here would be a great idea. So I am beginning with my article “What to you choose to attract this year? published in Jan 2015. I would be sharing all the features really soon.

Image Credit - Society Magazine Image Credit – Society Magazine

As the month of hope and new beginnings arrive it’s quite usual to see the near and dear ones working on their resolutions. It’s furtively common to have a candid chuckle on how fragile resolutions could be. Do we really have to wait year-long for January to make a beginning? The answer is NO. Every sunrise is an opportunity to ASK what we wish to have. Every morning breeze is an opportunity to show gratitude for what we have and all the good things that are on the way for us. So why not treat every morning like a new beginning? Let’s begin this year with a promise to ourselves to be positive and believe it’s all there in the universe. All you need is, ask for it and you will have it!!
As we continue to live in a narrow passage of our beliefs, it’s never too late to accommodate this undemanding philosophy that says “Thoughts become things”. The fact is we are manifesting all the time. Our thoughts are constantly in a tête-à-tête with the universe. It’s about connecting our thoughts and positive energies to the universe because this is what helps manifest. The vibrations sent out to the universe help manifest a desire, however, in order to achieve this; the conscious and subconscious minds, emotions and energies have to be aligned. This simple, yet complicated conjecture is nothing but “law of attraction”. Every individual is a magnet that has the potential to attract the things that they want indisputably. If you continually think about something, want it more every time, you eventually manifest the thought in your life. As the quality of thought improves so does the life. When the mind conceives it, heart believes in it, the universe works to reward us with the most awaited gift.
The concept of law of attraction is simple yet complicated. It undeniably sounds easy, but occasionally fails to show results because one may not be doing enough to translate thoughts into reality. To make it work, the first step would be to know what one wants and wants desperately. It’s a step towards self realization. When you ask yourself “what is it that I really want” you will see something’s that you needed so badly till this moment has actually slipped down the list. Once the wish is known, however impossible it looks the challenge is to believe it is already yours. One has to live every moment thinking and believing in what they want. Keep the doubts and fear away and let the positive energies work for you. Whatever is going on in the mind is what we attract. So why choose to be negative? If thoughts make us, positivity is the key to happiness. Think positive and attract happiness and peace.
Law of attraction is a concept that can support to lead life with optimism and conviction. Best advice would be to never test or try it as a magic wand. The more you practice it, the more you learn to be positive and enduring. Here are a few things that can help accelerate manifestation and can enable one sail through this journey of simple existence.

1) Affirmations – Affirmation is an encouraging self talk. Making a list of things you wish to attract and reading the list out every morning and before you hit the bed keeps these wishes in conversation with the universe all the time. Having this list on a white board in your room or on the soft board at your work station will keep reminding you and the universe what these wishes mean to you. The list you make should be a list of intentions and not intended actions. For e.g. I will be regular to the gym. Going to the gym is an action, but not the result you are looking for. You affirmation can be “I am healthy and happy” OR “I am fit, healthy, attractive and happy”. For a positive start at work, your affirmation possibly can be “I believe in myself and my capabilities” OR “I am consistently offered new opportunities followed by success” Affirmations are not just for your eyes, you can always begin your day with a verbal positive affirmation. Began every morning on a positive note with a positive affirmation like “Day by Day… Everyday… my life is getting better and better”

2) Visualization – Day dreaming is not bad at all if you are dreaming for a purpose. Visualization is a meditation technique that elevates our senses and emotions using pictures that our mind imagines. One can practice visualization anywhere. Nevertheless, if you are new to this it will take a couple of days for you to get in the groove. To visualize, find yourself a quiet place, take a comfortable position, have clear intentions of what you wish to imagine, clear your mind of all other thoughts…. In this state, your mind is a canvas for you to paint your imaginations to bring them to life. Having a clear mind may sound difficult and may need a bit focus and effort, but just know it is possible. If your thoughts bother you too much backward counting can be very helpful and I am saying it with experience. It’s all about positivity. Negative thoughts attract negative things…. So keep your visualization to ease positivity in you.

3) Gratitude – We all have something or the other to be thankful about. While the other side of the coin says we all have something or the other to worry about, to be sorry about, to feel bad about or to feel angry about. It’s simple to focus on the good things happening to us and show gratitude for what we have. The more you feel happy and peaceful for what you have, the more you attract. It is an absolute way to bring more into your lives. So appreciate what you like, say thank you for someone’s hard work, be thankful for all that you have in life and feel the happiness reassuring yourself that you have in abundance.
This new year, bring out the “NEW YOU” with affirmative thoughts, meditative visualization and expressing gratitude. Wish you all a thoughtful and positive year ahead!!

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Quick & Easy Coconut Cookies!

Coconut Cookies

These cookies are so very easy and delicious. Definitely worth a try. What I like about the recipe is it is extremely simple. I did not use any tool to make the dough. Just mixed it all one at a time it was just perfect.
Following is the link for the recipe source. Please note I have used fresh coconut and it turned out so yummy!!
http://prachisvegkitchen.blogspot.com/2013/12/eggless-coconut-cookies.html

Coconut cookies

Do not forget to drop a line and share a pic if you try it out in your kitchen.

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Chicken & Capsicum Rice

I often make this rice for my son but I must say I love it as much. This mildly spiced rice is a volcano of flavours in every bite. Below mentioned quantities are good enough for 1 person, so you can double it up as per your need. I have used boneless chicken cut into very small pieces to make it easier for my little one to eat, you can always use chicken on bone.

Chicken & Capsicum Rice

Chicken & Capsicum Rice



Ingredients

Olive oil – 2-3 tbsp.
Whole spices – Cardamom 3-4 / Clove 3-4 / Cinnamon (half an inch), Black pepper (4-5)
Onion – 1 medium chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Rice – 1/2 cup Basmati rice.
Chicken – (I used about half a cup chopped boneless chicken. Ideal proportion for Rice & Chicken would be 1:2)
Capsicum – 1/2 cup chopped
Tomato – 1 small chopped
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – to taste
Mixed herb – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste.

Step One
Wash rice, let it soak for about 10 minutes. Chop the onion and capsicum and keep aside.

Step Two
Heat oil In a pan, add the whole spices followed by onion. Sauté till translucent. Add the garlic paste and sauté for a minute or two. Add Chicken, turmeric and sauté.

Step Three
Add capsicum and give it a stir. Now add coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper powder & mixed herb. Sauté for a minute, add chopped tomato & salt.

Step Four
Add soaked rice and give it a mix. Add 1 cup warm water & let it simmer. Once the rice is 3/4th done, cover the pan and cook till the rice is ready.

This flavourful rice can be served with raita.

Do not forget to post if you try it out in your kitchen :-)

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MOISTUREX – Best ever Emollient, Humectant Cream

I am in my favourite city… Mumbai…  having a lovely time with family and friends.
Whenever in Mumbai i make sure i buy a stock of this amazing Emollient and Humectant cream and take it along. Its not available in Qatar or any other place i know. I still thought of writing a quick review about this product along with its composition so you can pick up one if you are in India or look for a substitute with similar composition.

image

I am always troubled with dryness… my skin,my hair are nothing but dry and troublesome for me. I was prescribed Moisturex by a dermatologist when i had extremely dry foot with portions of thickened skin in here and there.
I must say this works beautifully. Regular use for a couple if weeks leaves you with lovable skin. On applying it does feel greasy so best time to apply it is just before u hit the bed, but repeat application during d day works for great results. Within few minutes of application greasy touch just disappears leaving your skin smooth with a layer of waxy coating.

Here is the composition incase you wish to look for a substitute.

image

Hope this helps & leaves you with happy the amazing results!!

Posted in Product Review | 4 Comments

What does it take to be a cooperative co traveller??

Not once but so many times i have come across this situation and sadly it disheartens me everytime!!  Last nite on board a Doha-Mumbai flight me and my toddler were assigned seats in two corners. I know you would think airlines should be careful about alloting seats to toddlers but my husband works for this airlines and we travel on staff ticket and first preference is given to other passangers and staff is alloted leftover seat. SO i can only be thankful being alloted a seat. Coming back to the pain…  i wonder what difference it makes if you have to move from one seat to the other to help someone. In past i have been in the same situation and sadly on asking for help people say sorry….  is your window seat more important than a toddler being with his mother in a 3hr flight?
Last night i had two wonderful ladies sitting beside me and i asked them if they were travelling together and they said no… i checked if they can help me swapping the seat and the lady next to me kind of agreed while thinking if it will be convinient
I offered her to walk her to the seat to ensure no troubles for her. And then the other one shoots… she says this seat is way far from this one… so you should go there and request someone from there to come here… according to her it would be an incentive to move to a seat closer to the exit gate… i wanted to ask her… really? Why cant you keep quite when you cannot help? Her advice was a pain for me, the girl who agreed to swap suddenly kept quite and i felt she would be happy to stick to her seat. Flight is about to take off and my son is still on my lap as crew is not able do to much on a full flight!! I asked for a baby seat belt preparing myself to travel on one seat for both of us. Crew tried checking again if someone could help and people said no as they would not want to seperate from their familes or friends they are travelling with!! Finally the girl who agreed earlier agreed to move happily…  i cannot thank her enough… she made things really easy for me!! My husband would not take a blink to say yes to this kind of a situation to help someone and i know there are many such helpful people but sadly i dont come across many!! People… moving closer to the exit gates has no benifits really… the plane does not move till the last passanger is out….  its great to travel with your loved ones but does it take alot to know that a toddler cannot sit away from his mother for a 3 hr or even shorter flight?
I am writing this post requesting all you readers to help your fellow travellers…  some small gestures make big impressions…  i will never forget the kind girl who helped me and i thank her for making my journey stress free!!

PS: posting from a smart phone so please ignore my typos :-)

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Maldives for a family holiday!!

Why Maldives
I was all excited and packing my bags for Sri-Lanka but the happiness did not live long :-( We had to drop the idea after the news on communal unrest in some parts of Sri-Lanka. Its not so easy to plan last minute travels with an Indian passport & we started looking for places we could travel with least planning. There are few places (we would like to visit) that offer Indians visa on arrival. Maldives is one but I kept postpoing the idea of a holiday here for two reasons… I am quite close to an aquaphobic & this fear of water extends for my little ones safety too. But like I said options were few & we badly needed a break. I couldn’t so no when dear husband said “I am there, you will be fine and have a lovely time… I promise” So MALDIVES!!!

Maldives

Maldives

Maldives

Maldives


About Island & Stay
Any island here is heavenly beautiful & screams serenity but your overall experience is highly dependable on the resort you choose. Its one island, one resort in here so its best to spend some time researching and reading reviews before you book your stay. Most resorts were booked on the dates we wanted to travel & hence we picked up what was available. We stayed at Adaaran Club Rannalhi, I will soon post a review on this resort. Most resorts offer Half board or full board option and it’s not a bad idea to go for full board because you will not have any options other than your resort. Adaaran Club Rannalhi offers full board option that includes selected drinks (both alcoholic & non alcoholic) and snacks too. If you are a water baby unlike us you can spend all your time exploring the sea and the beauty beneath. Breathe fresh air, soak in sun, Enjoy the blue waters, have a drink, pamper yourself in a spa and spend a perfect holiday. Even though we are not water babies really we had a wonderful time together. Wonderful just for the family time spent away from the rest of the world. My toddler loved spending his time by the beach, enjoying the waves washing off the sand on his feet, making sand mountains with daddy, watching herons, watching crabs and posing for the camera ;-) When you have little ones with you, you enjoy everything that they do… so yes we did all that he did and enjoyed to the fullest. A glass of beer & wine was a reward for mum & dad though!!

Maldives

Maldives

Maldives

Maldives

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What to carry
I am not very good at travelling light but I have to say you don’t need much. You will spend most of the time relaxing at the beach or swimming & floating… so you will need some breathable clothes. Do I need to mention a beach wear?? Its a must have!! Most resorts will not allow you enter the restaurant areas in beach wear so a beachwear cover-up is a must have. You don’t need any shoes here, so a pair of beach slipper is more than enough. Sun protection creams and lotions should top your packing list. I packed Garnier Ambre Solar shimmering high protection lotion & loved it!! Caps or head bands are not a bad idea too. Equipment for water sports are easily available on rent with most resorts but if you have your own, best to take it along. I always travel with light snack and munchies for my little one but even if you do not have kids along its best to have some of your favourites for yourself. I packed some dry fruits as my son snacks on them, long life milk (small packs) for him again, short bread (walkers is what my son loves), and some chips. Some resorts do have on island doctors or pharmacy but its best to carry personal medication. We packed my little ones medication but nothing for us. I landed with a terrible headache and I was lucky to get ibrufin from the pharmacy at the resort. To capture all these lovely moments you definitely need a Camera. So your camera and charging equipment’s are must.

This is a perfect holiday destination if you wish to get spoilt doing nothing :-)

Maldives

Maldives

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10 things that helped me reduce weight and cholesterol

I feel extremely happy to cook for others… and at the same time being a foodie love to treat myself too. I have always made efforts to eat healthy and control my portions however sometimes our efforts are just not enough. Only after I realised my husbands bad cholesterol levels had shooted up, I decided to make some changes in our eating pattern to hit the bad guy!! The reason i am blogging this is because this has worked wonderfully for us… My husbands bad cholesterol levels dropped drastically while good cholesterol levels improved but with a wider scope of improvement. Both me and my husband lost weight in a healthy way feeling really energetic.

So here is my list. Don’t forget to comment below if there is anything else you thing works better and can be added to the list.

1) Bed Tea – I start my day with a glass full of warm water + 1 tsp honey + 1/2 tsp Cinnamon power. Honey and cinnamon both are wonderful natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. Mix of honey and cinnamon helps cleanse the digestive system, improves digestion, helps cure bad breadth, works well for chronic cold, lowers cholesterol, reduces blood sugar levels (so great for diabetics) and to top it all enables weight loss.

2) High Fibre Breakfast – Earlier sandwiches were our favourites. But with the mission of reducing the overall calorie intake and having fibre rich food made me to shift to oats porridge for breakfast. At least 4 days a week we started having oats for breakfast. I cook my oats (3 tbsp.) in one cup of water, 1 and 1/2 tsp. raw sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 5 -6 walnut pieces broken in smaller pieces and a pinch of salt. You can even use flax seed instead of walnuts Once cooked just add 1/4th cup or less low fat milk and simmer till creamy. Oats makes the breakfast fibre rich, walnuts again fibre rich and source of Omega 3 fatty acids, Cinnamon to add up to the benefits. 2 days of the week we opted for Bran flakes with either soya milk or low fat milk. Provomel organic vanilla flavoured soya milk is our favourite. 1 day of the week is a treat day with either one whole egg and 2 slices of whole meal seed bread or 2 egg whites and one yolk omelette with 2 slices of whole meal seed bread.

3) Switch to Brown – We are rice lovers and we love basmati. But recently we switched to to brown rice (have to mention I always have a stock of white basmati rice for the special days). We have 2 – 3 rice meals through out the week and brown rice keeps us up with our fibre rich diet challenge. Brown rice contains much higher fiber content as compare to white. Brown rice being mineral and fibre rich reduces cholesterol, Controls sugar levels (so great for diabetics again) and overall enables weight loss. I buy Tilda basmasti brown rice, however i have tried some other brands in past (which i do not remember) which not being basmati were as good. So take your time to figure out your choice of brown rice. I will soon post the way to cook your brown rice perfectly :-) Also, i switched from white sugar to raw sugar. I had used brown sugar for my bakes earlier but did not know about raw sugar till i saw my good friend using it. I don’t know much about raw sugar but i know i am away from the chemicals like sulphur dioxide that is used to bleach the crystals and also some others like phosphorus acid, calcium hydroxide etc. used to absorb the natural impurities.

4) Add wheat bran to our diet – Bran is again a fibre rich addition to our diet that helps lower the cholesterol. We prefer eating phulkas / Indian flat bread (will soon post a very helpful link on making phulkas). All i did is made the dough with 50% whole wheat flour and 50% What bran. These are as tasty and a healthier version of regular phulkas . Once the dough is ready i just add a tbsp. of olive, knead it and leave it for a while before i start preparing the phulkas.

5) Add Beans to our diet – Beans are again high in fibre and antioxidant rich. I just made it a point to prepare 2 bean meals a week. Majorly I alternate between red kidney beans and garbanzo bean (Chickpea). Also served small portions of bean salad on other days. My bean salad has nothing but beans, cucumber, tomato, olive oil, salt, garlic powder and lime juice. Also Moong sprouts are quite a part of our meals.

6) Fruits – Both of us don’t really like fruits except for some seasonal fruits like mangoes. But we started having a fruit mid morning (after about an hour or two of breakfast) every day. Fruits that we often eat are Apples, Strawberries, Pear, Watermelon, Mango (when available), papaya and Pomegranate.

7) Vegetables – We eat a wide range of vegetables however some that come to my mind right now are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Capsicum (bell peppers), Green bean, Spinach and Carrot. Even though vegetables were very much a part of our diet the preparation would be rich. Now I choose from some simple recipes which need very little oil.

8) Healthy Snacking – Honestly I am not very creative in this zone. I have few things in my list that we stick to and it has worked very well with us. Our favourites are nuts (Walnut, almond, pistachio), Khakra (Wheat crispies that you can find in your Indian supermarkets), Bran Rusk, Wheat crackers, popped rice (sometimes). And of course we all know, fruits are the best munchies.

9) Cucumber everyday! – I made sure we have it everyday. I just make it a salad with some olives and tomatoes, or grate it and mix it with some lowfat curd (with a pinch of salt and sugar). Cucumber has many many benefits… it rehydrates your body, flushes out toxins, enables weight loss, reduces cholesterol, regulates blood sugar levels (so great for diabetics) and improves digestion overall. So don’t you have a reason to add them to your daily diet?

10) Food rich in Omega 3 – For non vegetarian meals we rely on chicken and fish. Some fish (Tuna, Salmon, Anchovies, Sardine etc.) are great source of Omega 3. Some other sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are flax seed, walnuts, beans, spinach, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and olive oil. I use olive oil in my salads, in my stir fried vegetables and while kneading the phulka dough to add some Omega 3 to our diets.

I did not mention in the list above but writing it here as a reminder… DO NOT FORGET TO DRINK ENOUGH WATER!!

This diet has worked for me with controlled portions and use of very little oil in anything that I cooked.

Hope this helps you keep yourself and your loved ones healthy!!

Posted in Everyday Chitchat, Health | 4 Comments

Must-Have Summer Bag Essentials

Summer is in and the sun is up and screaming. While many of you enjoy tanning on beaches & sipping beer, some wish spring stayed forever :-) Its really hard to keep your self looking & feeling fresh all day specially if you are going to be out in the intense sun for too long.

Hand bag must haves for summer

Hand bag must haves for summer

Here is a list of few things that might help you live through a sunny day.

1) Sun protection cream – Take it as seriously as you care for an appropriate footwear on your favourite outfit :-) You just can’t do without it. Even if you are indoors most time, you still need sun protection. You have a wide range of products available in the market & its best to pick up SPF 30 and above. You have many moisturizing creams with SPF but majorly the SPF is 25 and below. I am using Avène Very High Protection Cream SPF 50 + right now & you can read the review HERE. Another favourite Product is Shahnaz Husain 8 in 1 Nano Sun Block SPF 25. This product range is just awesome & you do have higher SPF’s available in the market. It’s not just about protect your face & neck, you must use it on your body too. There are easy to use SPF sprays available in the market that saves you the hard work of applying the SPF lotion on your body.

2) Sun glasses – Reduce the glare, look & feel good with sun glasses. Sunglasses protect you from external factors resulting in dry eyes. Also, reduced glare gives you a better vision. There are many styles & designs available in the market. Check out THIS post to see style trends I blogged little while ago.

3) Hat / Umbrella – Hat is a must have accessory for summers. Heat often makes your hair loose moisture & leaves them dry and unhealthy. A hat will not only protect your hair from heat but also add a style statement. While buying one you must look at the designs that are travel friendly that fits in your bags easily.

4) Wet facial wipes – Beating the heat is definitely not so simple for people who spend most of the time outdoors. Wet facial wipes are very handy to gently cleanse the face and feel fresh. I use Nivea face wipes, It’s really gentle and comes in a travel friendly pack.

5) Face mist – My favourite face mist is “The Body Shop” vitamin E face mist. And this product is in my hand bag all year-long… It’s perfect to revitalize your skin & give a you a refreshing lift.

6) Bottle of Water – Stay hydrated with loads of liquids to beat the heat and keep your body nice and cool. It’s great to infuse your water with Cucumber, lemon, strawberries, or mint. It will not only add flavour but also add up some nutrition. Other than water, Coconut water, Lime Juice, fruit juices are great ideas to keep the heat away.

Irrespective of weather, I am sure you always have your favourite lip balm, moisturizer, hair bands, comb, perfume etc. making your hand bags heavier ;-)

What is it that one favourite thing in your handbag that always goes with you? It’s really hard for me to name just one!!!

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