Do the detox!

The festive season in India is in full swing and it’s really a hard time to stick to your fitness goals! Even if you do manage to get the will power to keep away from the delicious mithais and calorie laden snacks, you will always have relatives and friends cajoling you to eat at first and then literally stuffing them into your mouth! Balancing out all that junk you are going to eat is only possible if you inculcate a few healthy food habits that nourish your body and nullify the effects of all those evil goodies!

Here are 5 of the simplest detox solutions I indulge in and you should too!

Drink away!

Start your day with detox drinks and then you are free to eat what you want throughout the day! Burn fat, get glowing skin and shiny hair just by gulping a tumbler of infused waters like Strawberry Lemon Detox Water or nourishing beverages like a Wheatgrass Juice, Lauki Juice, Coconut Green Tea or a khatta-meetha Jaljeera. Nourish yourself inside out – one glass at a time.

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Oats are ‘Owesome’

Oats are not merely a breakfast staple anymore, you can very easily turn it into a fulfilling lunch and dinner! Rich in water soluble fibre it fills up the tummy and keeps it that way for a long time, urging you to eat again only once it is digested. Also, whenever looking for an instant energy boost, opt for oats! Homemade oats and dry fruit bars are your best bet during the festivals. You can add dry fruits, saffron and cardamom and other such desi ingredients to your oats bar and I promise you won’t be missing the mithais too much!

Yogurt will sort you out!   

When eating yogurt or curd, your body automatically is in a probiotic paradise – this healthy bacterium strengthens the digestive system as well as boosts the immune system protecting the body from various types of infections. Pretty useful to cure hangovers too! Make a smoothie out of it – add dry fruits, fresh fruits, spice powders, honey, veggies, oats and actually any ingredients you want or have a bowlful of it just like that and you will be sorted!

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Spice it up!

Spices don’t just help you counter all the mithais when it comes to taste it also counters the negative effect they have on your body! Spices like turmeric, cinnamon and ginger top the list of my detox favourites! You can make the most of the benefits from all three by drinking a cuppa of good old haldi wala doodh (or should we say turmeric latte at night before sleeping – add a bit of honey too! Cumin is another favourite – just boil it with some water and kadi shakkar/mishri and sip on it through the day – easy, peasy and delicious!

Be a fan of fruit!

Fresh fruits are by far the oldest and best way to nourish your body! On a detox diet chart pomegranates, berries and other deep coloured fruits are a favourite. A high anti-oxidant content is assured in all, most of these are also rich in fibre, vitamin c while being low in fat! Pineapples come a close second because of a component called ‘bromelain’, that improves the body’s immunity system. Check out this article on sanjeevkapoor.com to know how to glam up your fruit platter.

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These for me are some of the simple and most organic ways to detox, so you can enjoy your festivities to the max!

Happy cooking!!

Happy eating!!

Running for a cause

In today’s world success is a very subjective term, but I think if you are in a position to reach out to society and bring about a positive change in it – you are successful!I like to believe in a quote by Aesop that says ‘No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted’. I try doing my bit by supporting a few causes that are close to my heart – Forum For Autism being one of them.

I was introduced to the Forum For Autism little after its inception in 2001 and by 2004 I full-fledgedly pledged my support. During my decade long association with this parent support group for autistic children the one thing I realized is how unaware people are about this condition. There is a lot of insensitivity, where there needs to be plenty of love, care and patience. There is no doubt that living with autism can be complex and emotionally draining – for the child and more so for the parents. A support group of people who have dealt with or are dealing with the same condition helps make it much easier to go about. It is important to realize that autism is an absolute condition and does not have any guaranteed and miraculous cure. It is a psychiatric disorder that has different effects on different individuals, so much so that two people diagnosed in a similar capacity are likely to act very differently from each other. An early diagnosis and regular tests helps understand the pattern of the disorder and goes a long way in benefitting a child right through his/her life.

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Amongst the several workshops and activities the Forum For Autism engages in, the Standard Charted Mumbai Marathon is a must do for me! Running with these fabulous kids and raising funds for their betterment is something I look forward to keenly year after year. In the past 12 years our run has just got bigger and better – with family, coworkers, employees, friends and friends of friends joining in to support this noble cause!

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I am all geared up to do this run the following year too – Fundraising is on and so is the marathon prep! What cause are you running the marathon for this year? Let me know in the comment section below.

Also to know more about the forum for autism and to pledge support to this cause visit their website – http://forumforautism.org/

Till I write again

Give your Diwali mithai a dessert makeover!

Indian festivals were probably created so you could justify eating the delicious mithais our country has to offer! Serving up mithais on a platter for your friends and family to pick from just doesn’t make the cut anymore – you ought to add some oomph to your mithais to make them stand out!  That’s what I am going to tell you how to do. These are my tried and tested favourite recipe ideas to turn classic mithais into something exciting – that you look forward to serve and your guests to eat!

Gorge on Gulab Jamuns

These soft melt in the mouth dough balls are so delicious just the way they are, tweaking them too much would be a sin. Simply use them to make gulab jamun custard with jamun mousse. A cup full of silky custard studded with moist mini gulab jamuns topped with a light and citrusy jamun mousse. Since jamuns won’t be in season you can use any fresh fruit pulp or readymade berry compote, even orange marmalade works brilliantly to make the mousse. Another favourite is gulab jamun muffins. Imagine the joy when you bite into a soft muffin and are welcomed by the gorgeous sweetness of a gulab jamun pieces. A simple butter cream frosting takes this awesomeness to another level.give-your-diwali-mithai-a-dessert-makeover-gulab-jamun-mousse-skk

Halwa

While ghee and dried fruits are a requisite for most halwas there are a number of ways in which you can put a spin on this melt in the mouth dessert. The simplest way to do so is cut out crisp disks of toasted bread, top it with a quenelle of your favourite halwa and a sprinkling of dry fruit slivers. Arranged on a platter – these sure do look beautiful! If you are onto the dessert pops trend, then try out halwa pops dipped in chocolate and coated with crushed mixed dried fruits. When I make these pops I sprinkle some sea salt on the dried fruits to cut out on some of the sweetness of these pops! Smaller, better looking portions of halwa are a much better idea than cups full of them, isn’t it?

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Stun with sandesh

When it comes to Bengali mishti, sandesh is my eternal favourite because of the simplicity of the recipes and number of variations you can put to them. A basic sandesh is delicious and gets made with just 3 ingredients – milk, lemon and sugar. It is because of this simplicity of ingredients and flavours that you can play around with it so much. Rose syrup, orange drink powder, saffron strands, fresh fruits, gulkand, ground spices, dry fruit powder – you can go as far as your imagination and taste buds take you! If you want to go all out with preparing a stunning dish with sandesh, I insist you try this herbal petha paan sandesh with coconut rabdi – the plethora of tastes will definitely blow you mind!

May this Diwali bring plenty of love, luck, positivity and delicious food your way!

Stay safe, eat your heart out but make sure your work it off later!

Happy Diwali!

Happy cooking!

Happy eating!