Experiences, Experiments, Family, Little Moments, Memories, Milestones, Us

Solar Eclipse 2017

The total solar eclipse of 2017 was an underwhelming experience in our part of the country. From what I saw on the live streaming of the eclipse, for folks who experienced it first hand, it was spectacular and profound – the temporary darkness smack in the middle of the day, the sudden chilling of the air, and the realization that we are all connected by this cosmic energy. I can only imagine!

We too had our share of fun. Yesterday, Da had made a contraption out of a carton for our viewing. It was super fun parading in and out of the house to catch a glimpse of the sun and the moon playing tango.

I hear we will be in the path for the next total solar eclipse in 2024, so better luck to us then.

See that crescent shaped sun? 

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Experiences, Experiments, Food, Kids, Little Moments, Milestones

Finicky to Foodie

The children’s lunch boxes for the most part are embarrassingly plain and simple for two reasons. Firstly, Hari and Ram prefer it that way. Secondly, like it or not, kids use lunch time more to socialize than to fill their tummies. Food is not a priority at school lunch time, at least not for my kids. So I stopped fretting about planning lunches long back and have learnt to focus on other meals that they eat at home instead.

A week back, the tween expressed interest in introducing variety to his daily lunches. There were a number of caveats thrown in. “Amma, no cheese, as it smells”, “I like the mac n cheese but it makes me feel heavy”, “I don’t want hot meals that go cold.”

If you pictured me rolling my eyes during this conversation, you are spot on. Past the rolling of the eyes, I did smile to myself wondering at how far we have come. What a finicky eater this child was as a toddler and what a foodie he has grown into! The child is still particular about what he eats and has strong likes and dislikes but a good meal makes him feel like he is at the top of the world. We brainstormed and came up with a menu that works for all of us – Hari, Ram and I. 

Monday – Pasta with seasoning

Tuesday – Buy from cafeteria

Wednesday – Aloo or paneer paratha

Thursday – Paniyaram

Friday – Rice and beans or leftovers from Thursday dinner.

And wait, wait, it’s not done yet. For the sides, a fruit and or nuts is acceptable. But on Fridays, the child requested that I  pack something that would surprise him. Again, another rolling-of-my-eyes moment. But again past that, I found the ask endearing and a way to add a little zing, a little something that would set Fridays apart from rest of the week, a little happiness boost. Plus, it seems like a nice way to build on my non-existent ability to surprise someone

Any lunch box ideas that has worked for you?  Any surprises that you would pack for your child? or would like for yourself in your lunch box? 

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Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Life, Me

February reflection

I kept up on mindfulness till mid-February. But the last two weeks saw me falling, falling and falling.  I was disheartened that I had not kept up the momentum but let’s face it. Not falling is not a realistic scenario. Atleast not for me. So may be the goal is to minimize the frequency of the fall and to pick myself up as quickly as I can after the fall. This month I will focus on eats, workout and meditation.

Coincidentally, I have enrolled in the advanced nutriage workshop, wherein we will design our own menu, eating clean 80% of the time, and allowing for indulgences 20% of the time. I want to specifically focus on cooking simple meals. Wish me luck.

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Experiences, Experiments, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness

Nutrition workshop

The first nutrition workshop for the year has kicked off. This time it is a 3-week program focused on helping us get back to healthy eating and healthy living.  I have done these workshops enough number of times to know the  drill – what’s allowed and what’s not. I have done it enough number of times to also know that half hearted efforts do not pay;  there is no shortcut to healthy living – you have to devote your time, energy and give it your all.

This week is week one. We are off gluten. One cup of caffeine. 

Truly thankful to this nutritionist who conducts these workshops to create positive ripples in the community.

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Detox, Experiments, Food

Go green!

The Eat Clean workshop is done. One of the things that I would like to continue is to have green smoothie for lunch once a week. Easier said than done for a reluctant green smoothie consumer like yours truly. For starters, the notion of drinking something green repels me. Secondly, not a big fan of eating raw spinach or kale. Why bother then? I love how the 16 oz of lunch makes me feel – full but light, sated and not craving. Even better, the next meal is so much more tastier because of the clean palate this one leaves you with. Not to forget all the nourishment that your body gets in the process!

If you ask me, it’s worth getting used to. Want to give it a shot? Here’s a recipe I followed last week that I quite liked – baby spinach (one can never get enough iron), celery stick (like the clean aftertaste), avocado slices (good fat for that feeling of fullness), berries (what with all those antioxidants), green apple (added mainly for volume) salt (flavor), aamchur powder (for that zing), ginger and turmeric (anti inflammatory). Blend them all together with water.

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Detox, Experiences, Experiments, Food, Learnings, Uncategorized

Detoxing

This week we are detoxing in the Eat Clean workshop. This means we are going caffeine free, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, and refined carb free this week. Of course, absolutely no processed food. It’s only for five days, so that thought is helping give me give my 100% to the program.

Workout for the day included 2 miles of walk/jog and some strength training. Today’s menu was:  

Breakfast – one big pesarat dosai with peanuts chutney

Morning snack – one tablespoon of chia seeds with 12 oz of water

Lunch – 16 oz of green smoothie – spinach, kale, mango, cucumber, berries blended with ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper, machur and water. Also, threw in a few almonds.

Snack – brown chickpeas with onion and tomato, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water, decaf green tea

Dinner – hearty brown rice, moong dhal kichidi

What were my learnings? Chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts are the only source of omega for vegetarians. Apple Cider Vinegar is a miracle drink that does wonders to your digestive system. Vegetables can be fermented and are excellent sources of probiotic. This quote had me nodding away – “What does not challenge you will not change you”

How did I feel – green smoothie kept me full only for a couple of hours. Glad I had a bigger snack. Did not crave for any particular food but have been having mild headache since tea time, which is fully expected.

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Detox, Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Eat Clean workshop

I have signed up for Eat Clean workshop led by the same nutritionist that organized the detox and smoothie challenge last year. I really like her approach and find it holistic and sustainable. The workshop is for a month with another month to practice our learnings from this month. The goal is to eat simple and clean. In other words, avoid processed food. Portion control is recommended if you want to shed some pounds.

Here are some habits I have picked so far or would like to pick going forward.

  • Start the day with lukewarm lime water
  • Get into the habit of eating a bowl of salad with lunch and dinner. She recommends 50-50 rule, that is 50% should be raw veggies and 50% should be cooked carb and protein
  • Think rainbow when you plan your daily menu – include food that is red, yellow/orange, purple/blue, green, white/brown, and green! Your body gets variety of nutrition meeting different dietary needs when you choose produce and dry fruits from these colors. Very manageable, just need to consciously make it a habit.
  • No refined sugar. Only one cup of tea or coffee per day. I use coconut sugar from Trader’s Joe as a sugar alternative.
  • Homemade sauces, dips, dressing and pickles – love making these…!
  • Recommended use of oil – olive oil for stir fry, sesame oil for Indian cooking, ghee/coconut for dhal and such.
  • Walk 2 miles per day

Things that I have not been able to keep up:

  • Hydration. Definitely behind on my water intake.
  • Minimize use of gadget before sleep time.

Two more weeks left in this workshop. I am behind by a week but I am glad I signed up and I truly hope this will be a lifestyle change.

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