Sunday, July 21, 2019

30th Birthday Trip at The Machan Feat. Volkswagen Vento & Peesafe

It was my 30th Birthday and I wanted it to be special and memorable. Hence wanted to go somewhere, but with the Mumbai floods and flights being cancelled and uncertainty I thought it was best to go somewhere around. A few years ago I had received an ad from The Machan, Lonavla to celebrate my birthday there, and it had since then been on my bucket list. So I thought, why not check that off the list? It's nearby and should be beautiful during monsoons. This was the first trip after kiddo that me and the husband went alone.


Lonavla during monsoons is absolutely magical, enchanting and breath-taking. But also risky, and you need a good reliable car so that you are not stuck anywhere. I was super happy to get the Volkswagen Vento's latest model for the trip. A royal midnight blue colored beauty - automatic dual shift gear system, rear parking camera, auto dimming rear view mirror, cooling glove box and more. Our drive was smooth and enjoyable instead of being stressful. And knowing that there are two front airbags makes you feel safer too.



We reached the property in about less than 2 hours from Navi Mumbai (remember to offline the map because once you start the upward hill climb, you loose connectivity). It was a beautiful place - truly a forest area where the only sounds you can hear are of rain, streams and birds. There was mist and fog everywhere, we were amidst the clouds and we had our own treehouse! The property is really well maintained, spick and span. The staff was polite and courteous too. 


How it could have been better? Our landline was not working and we had to wait for it to be fixed so that we could order room service, the in-room and al-a carte dining menu is very limited and check-in time could have been little earlier so that one can make the most of the stay (It is 2pm, 1pm at-least would be nice). But the nature, the tranquility and our jungle Machan with outdoor bathtub was an out-of-the-world experience overall. I was also glad to plan our trip during weekdays (Thursday-Friday) so that we escaped the traffic and crowd everywhere. Even the tariff is a little lower on weekdays.

I was also carrying a spray can of PeeSafe - because it's monsoons and you tend to want to pee a lot more, and by spraying the peesafe you get rid of all the germs and sanitizes the toilet seat. If you are a female reading this blog, you know how dreadful UTI's are and you definitely do NOT want that happening. Hence, better to carry a travel-sized bottle of PeeSafe. Got to know of it from watching Girliyapa's video, so thanks guys!

Follow me on Instagram to see more pictures from the trip!



Saturday, July 20, 2019

1 week of Vegetarian/Eggetarian Keto - What worked and what did not

I have been putting on weight rapidly. Every time I climbed the weighing scale, I would get dizzy by seeing the increasing grams and kilograms. But I am not innocent too - no balanced diet, eat whatever and how much ever and absolutely no physical exercise at all. With a sedentary lifestyle and desk job, I should not have been surprised.

I knew a few people who religiously followed a Keto diet and claimed to have lost kilos and inches. What attracted me to this diet was that you were not expected to stay hungry at all, and could eat delicious things like omlette, cheese, nuts and paneer. I did not mind at all.


I went to a nutritionist, and simply asked her for a weight loss plan and she herself suggested 1 week of Keto. I was surprised that only a week, because everyone else who did it told me you need to follow atleast for minimum 15 days to a month (which was too much of a commitment for me tbh). So I was happy at the 1 week plan - and how hard can one week be right? Oh it was a loooongggg week I tell you.

Keto, if you don't already know, basically is cutting all carbs from your body, so no sugar no carbs means no wheat no rice no bread no fruits. Only protein and vegetables.


What I ate:
My plan had me drinking black coffee/tea instead of regular tea, a green smoothie twice a day (I had it once a day on most days because I just did not have it in me to make it twice and drink it). For breakfast I'd have boiled eggs or omelette and then stored walnuts, almonds and peanuts at work for before and after lunch hunger. For lunch I ordered salads daily (burned a hole in the pocket FYI), but I did not have the time or energy to prepare something in the morning. Evening snacks would be nuts and some black coffee again, or green tea. Dinner would be soup followed by a paneer preparation (paneer bhurji, tawa paneer etc).

How I felt:
First two days were tough, hence I started on Saturday so that I was not getting affected at work. By Monday i.e. Day 3 I felt great - I felt light, full of energy. I also weighed 500 gms less already and that made me feel nice. But by day 5 my energy was gone, I had ache in my body - had recently joined Zumba and now on Keto I was just not able to put energy at class. Soon even walking became painful. When I asked my nutritionist why this was happening, she said this shouldn't be happening. She refused to believe I lacked energy, since I was eating and was not starving myself.


Why I had to stop:
By end of the week i.e. 7th day, the weighing scale showed 2kg drop on the weighing scale, which was great. Maybe if I continued for another week I would have lost more weight and maybe even felt better. But being a working mom and a foodie - I just could NOT continue on this diet. No time to cook and experiment plus was so tired of paneer and egg! I guess if you're a non-vegetarian you get a lot more options.


What I gained out of it:
I got accustomed to giving no sugar to my body and got used to having black coffee instead of sugary tea and coffee so have switched to that. Now that I have tried this, I know the importance of eating clean and working out - to give me good long term results! Because I had to limit carb intake during Keto, it made me look behind every packet and check it's carb content - I never used to check the nutritional facts earlier - so that's another good habit picked up!

Summing it up, my weight is not so out of control that I needed to do this self-inflicted torture. For those who are recommended the diet for medical purposes, is surely is better than other diets where you got to starve. But I will focus on doing physical exercise and eating healthy! Let me know how did Keto work out for you, via comments below..

Saturday, June 22, 2019

#HappyTummiesMeet by Enterogermina


I recently attended a blogger’s meet with my kiddo after a long time. And it was a fun and informative one at that! As a mother, you must have experienced diarrhea in your baby or toddler/kid at some point of time. Even as adults we get absolutely weak, the kids cannot even express themselves properly. Here are somethings I learnt at the event:

All the awesome mommy bloggers & their kids at the event.
1.     Types of Diarrhea
Did you know that there are two types of Diarrhea? Viral and Bacterial. Viral diarrhea is more commonly seen than bacterial. Common symptoms in kids for diarrhea are frequent passing of loose stools, dehydration and weakness. But signs to be alert and visit the doctor at the soonest are – If child is inactive and not playing, urine is dark in colour, less frequent and concentrated (signs of dehydration) and is complaining of a griping stomach pain. As long as child is active and playing, things will get fine.
There also is something known as seasonal diarrhea – generally occurring towards end of summers and start of rainy reason – hence now is the time to be extra cautious!

2.     Types of Bacteria
Most of us know that there is good bacteria and bad bacteria. It’s important to balance the bad bacteria with good. This was explained really well at the event via a skit where there was a red coloured bad bacteria character and a blue coloured good bacteria character telling the kids more about bacteria.

Kids really enjoyed meeting the good bacteria!
3.     How to manage diarrhea?
Lot of liquids. Curd is important. One new thing I learnt is a 14-day course of zinc as it helps manage diarrhea. Another very important thing is to avoid milk – grannies will ask to continue giving milk but it should be avoided. Breastfeeding can continue as it is. Doctor’s will not recommend antibiotics for viral, it may be required for bacterial only after doing a stool test. So avoid asking for a “fast solution” because some things take time! Enterogermina is Pediatricians’ No.1 Choice in managing diarrhea.



4.     How to prevent diarrhea?
Prevention is better than cure and just by following some basic hygiene rules we can help prevent diarrhea. Clean, safe drinking water (always carry your own water bottle at the park or mall or while out on a vacation), and washing hands with soap, specially before eating. Though the older kids will be able to follow this, teething babies will grab whatever they find and put it in their mouth – hence more prone to diarrhea. Hence look out for the symptoms.

Activity where they had to feed Popeye good food. My kid got pani puri.
5.     Experience at event –
All the kids and mommies had a fun time interacting with one another. Dr.Zinal gave an informative session on some myths and facts around diarrhea. It was insightful to learn about how zinc helps manage diarrhea and also that one should not let the kids get anemic, iron intake is very important to increase immunity again. So iron rich food is a must! I loved the activity where the kids had to decide which was good or bad food to feed Popeye and also the skit with the good and bad bacteria! Wonderful ways to teach kids good habits and important health related things in a not-boring way!

Giving our feedback to the team.

If you have any questions regarding managing diarrhea, do comment and I will try my best to get the answers to you from the experts.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Lego Avengers Endgame - War Machine Buster Set - Product Review

The Avengers Endgame craze has absolutely taken over my household. The last movie of the decade, the ending of an era, such nostalgia! I obviously saw the movie on the first day - and the kiddo, younger brother and me were in for a surprise just soon after - when we received a Lego Avengers Endgame Set - for the War machine buster. Mind you, that by itself is a spoiler, because it tells you that War Machine will be there in the movie!

 

If you've seen the trailer, you know that the Avengers assemble in an all new suit and avatar to take on Thanos. If you're a Marvel and Iron Man fan, then you know Iron Patriot or War Machine. The set comes with 300+ pieces to build the war machine along with characters for War Machine (Played by Don Cheadle in the movies), ant man and a couple of outriders.


Iron Patriot or War Machine was created as an alternate Iron Man suit by Tony Stark, and was first used in Avengers Age of Ultron to tame the Hulk. The sheer detailing in the Lego Avengers set received was brilliant - the fingers and thumb of the war machine, making sure the face inside the iron patriot armor is brown to resemble that of the actual character, the suit and everything else. Simply amazing.

Watch the unboxing and time-lapse video I have a created :


Product information:
  • Build the posable War Machine Buster mech toy, with an opening minifigure cockpit, 6-stud rapid shooter, 2 detachable stud-shooting cannons, 2 flick missiles and gripping hands, and battle the Outriders!
  • Includes 4 minifigures: a War Machine figure and Ant-Man, each featuring new Avengers team suit decoration, plus 2 Outriders
  • War Machine Buster mech model measures over 6” (17cm) high, 2” (6cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide
  • 362 pieces – Marvel superhero toy construction kit for boys and girls aged 7+ and for fans and kids of all ages; This LEGO Marvel Avengers War Machine Buster 76124 building set for kids can be built together with all other original LEGO playsets and LEGO bricks for imaginative play
  • Recreate exciting action from the Marvel Avengers movies with this fun-packed creative building toy

You can purchase it online from Amazon, makes a perfect gift for any die-hard Avengers fan!


Monday, April 29, 2019

Grandma's Recipe: Sweet Corn Bhel

My grandma makes this really nice Sweet Corn Bhel/Chaat, and I had not had it since years. She does not keep to well these days and hence seldom is in the kitchen. But after a few failed attempts of ordering corn chaat in various restaurants, I finally told her that it's been so long since I had it. And she made sure I had the good old corn bhel on my visit at mom's for summer vacations, and I made it a point to observe and focus on the recipe, and it is surprisingly easy!

Here's what you need -

Servings (6 to 8)

3 cups of boiled sweet corn
1 dry coconut (cut into small pieces and then grinded in the mixer)
3 medium sized potatoes boiled and chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes - finely chopped
2 medium sized onions - finely chopped
2 green chillies
Nylon sev
Juice of 3 lemons
4 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
Bread croutons (or small bread pieces fried till light brown)

Method

1. Once you have prepared all the ingredients for the bhel, put a kadhai/pan for the gas burner and add 2-3 teaspoons ghee/oil.


2. Add the onion and sauté till a li'l cooked (we don't want it to be completely soft and brown). Add green chillies and chopped tomatoes. Cook till all the water from the chopped tomatoes evaporates.



3. Add the chopped boiled potatoes, sugar, salt and lemon juice. After cooking a little add the boiled corn and shredded coconut (leave some coconut for garnishing).


4. Finally add the bread croutons and nylon sev and mix well. Taste once and add salt and lemon juice till it matches your liking.


5. Garnish with the coconut and some more nylon sev and coriander leaves (if you want) and serve hot.


The final result is a yummy corn bhel with flavors of coconut and the veggies! It is not supposed to be a spicy dish at all, but if you are a fan of spicy, then you can add more green chillies.

Do let me know how did it turn out for you!




Monday, April 22, 2019

E for Extra, E for Vitamin E!

Are you someone who feels tired even when you’ve just gotten up after 6-8 hours of sleep? Feel lethargic all the time and a lack of energy? I was in that category too until a few years ago when I decided to make certain lifestyle changes.

By lifestyle changes, I mean eating right. I don’t believe in the concept of dieting, so when I say eating right I mean smaller but more frequent meals and keeping a balance of greens, fruits, pulses, proteins and carbs.

And having an active lifestyle also needs physical activity; as simple as walking, jogging, dancing, cycling, swimming or practicing Yoga. Being a woman who is entering her 30’s, I have also started caring about my bones, maintaining hormonal balance and handling PMS issues.

But being an eggetarian (no seafood or meat in my diet) I know me and my family lack certain nutrients – which have to then be consumed via supplements – very important!


Because we don’t get enough sunlight, we need supplements for Vitamin D, and Omega 3 if we don’t eat fish. There are plenty of food options for Vitamin C: the first thing that comes to your mind will be citrus fruits, but not many are aware of the 5th in the alphabet i.e. Vitamin E and its benefits and sources. As defined on webmd.com: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is found in many foods including vegetable oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and wheat germ oil. It is also available as a supplement.

Vitamin E is basically an antioxidant. This means it protects body tissue from damage caused by substances called free radicals, which can harm cells, tissues, and organs. They are believed to play a role in certain conditions related to aging (hence people say Vitamin E is good for the skin, hair, overall beauty etc.).
The body also needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria. Source:medlineplus.gov


So how does one get some Vitamin E in one’s diet? It’s time to go nuts because these yummy nuts are a rich source of vitamins! Almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are Vitamin E rich. Greens like spinach and broccoli are rich in Vitamin E too, and I make sure to give that in soup form to my kid and the entire family (DM / Comment for a really tasty broccoli recipe).

It’s summers, and mango lovers should rejoice because mangoes are a rich source of Vitamin E too! Vegetable oils are a good source of Vitamin E too (we use sunflower or soyabean oil in our household).

So what are you waiting for? Plan your food chart, meals and exercise routines and get fit!

IND-OTH-1904-0184




Sunday, March 31, 2019

Gautam Hari Singhania lends his support to Government for infra up-gradation of Mumbai!

At a time and day when Mumbai is competing with Singapore and Hong Kong to be the financial capital of the world, it is in dire need of infrastructure augmentation. 

The country’s financial capital i.e. Mumbai needs robust infrastructure is an understatement since the city face multiple challenges, which are unique and probably not been witnessed by any other city across the globe.

Take for instance, Greater Mumbai with a population of 16.4 million houses twice as many people as those in New York City. Suburban Mumbai has a density of 20,925 persons per sq. km which is twice as many people as that in New York (10,630 persons per sq km). That is absolutely shocking!

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ashwincjohn/16407777033

Mumbai Metropolitan Region with 1,700 times lesser area can be home to the entire population of Australia. Can you imagine that?

Sensing the need of the hour, the Maharashtra Government and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are working in tandem to spruce up the city’s transportation network besides the up-gradation of the urban infrastructure.

Being born and brought up in Mumbai, I know how bad things are, with the state of bridges and all the recent collapses that are happening. The population is ever-growing and we need to upgrade accordingly.

And in support of the Government and the civic body is renowned industrialist, Mr. Gautam Hari Singhania, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Raymond Group.

Mr. Singhania recently organized a presentation by Mr. Abhin Alimchandani, Chairman STUP Consultants, which holistically covered the issues of infrastructure development in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, for prominent citizens of Mumbai.



Commending the work done by MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) and the State Government, Mr. Singhania remarked that the governments are criticized if they don’t do anything and also receive brick-bats if they do something. 

Admitting that there will be issues in implementing projects of these scale, Mr. Singhania said the presentation was an attempt to create more awareness about what the government was doing, He felt that the infrastructure projects such as Navi Mumbai International airport, Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, metro rail, coastal road and mono rail will change the face of the metropolis in the days to come. A temporary inconvenience for the better future of the city!

While there will be short-term environment issues while undertaking these projects, the Raymond CMD said imagine the reduction in the carbon foot-print once the travel by road is reduced by one hour for each vehicle.

Besides, these projects will create more jobs and entail huge investment and we should thank the government for undertaking them, he concluded.

I too, believe that things will change for the better in my city, and am glad that initiatives are being taken.