Wellness is Sacred. Business not to corrupt it.

Image credit Pinterest

Wellness is a fundamental right of everybody. Wellness coaches, promoters, researchers are all important in the wellness ecosystem.

It’s a billion dollars business and rightly so. But it’s sacred too. Biased and thus corrupted misinformation should be banned.

Researches and some of them winning Nobel Prize are important source of information. Role of experts then are to communicate these findings to people in simple explanations and advices.

Such experts do well to personalise the expertise by offering coaching and practice sessions and charge for that. That’s alright and welcome.

But there could be instances where such experts with large following, adjust the concept to favour business lobby for extra money. This is dangerous. This could make the wellness efforts less efficient. This should be avoided and prevented.

We need honest advices. Participants should see the truth and adjust their routine to derive maximum benefits.

Be healthy, be happy!

Wellness is Sacred. Business not to corrupt it.

It’s Cricket! Not Quite!

Bats’ in

Kudos to the Indian Premier League (IPL) organisers for conducting this year’s matches among the difficulties of the pandemic.

But it’s not quite the same without the crowds and the cheer leaders in their magnificent costumes, or the shortage of it.

IPL is a bit too much, as it’s every night for many days. But we tune in for the excitement it brings. And when you don’t have a team from your territory, you tend to support your favourites.

That’s why many people like me, support Chennai Super Kings as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is there.

And yesterday’s was a mixed bag, as it was okay for either team to win.

But someone wins due to carelessness of the officials is not exciting finish. Third umpire has the support of digital proofs to take care of any ‘bare eye’ decision of on field umpires and for that matter spectators in the stadium.

But when millions of us are getting the review of the third umpire with the digital replays, it’s not cricket Mr. Third Umpire to make such a mistake. The bat’s clearly in and a team is robbed of the victory by a studied decision which became stupid.

It’s Cricket! Not Quite!

Growing Avacado From Seeds.

Growing tree from seeds is the natural process. But modern planting is about faster methods like budding and grafting. Except of course the staple grains which are broadcast with seeds.

Avacado is good fat and for a Keralaite like me, an acquired taste. Then why not grow avacado!

I have seen the trick of growing it in water and decided to try. Pierce the seed on sides with small sticks so that it can rest on the sides and float on water in a small container or bottle. And i placed it on the terrace for the ample supply of sunlight. The right way is to use three sticks, but I have used only two.

Success, it’s sprouting. First the root came down into the water to draw the nutrients and then the leaves. I have to transfer it to a pot and eventually to the land for my own avacado tree.

Growing Avacado From Seeds.

Unda Payasam. A Traditional Kerala Sweet Dish.

Childhood memories are probably the fondest and naturally there’s a concern when some of the reasons for such memories disappear over time.

One such thing facing extinction is the ‘unda payasam’ a typical Kerala dish. It’s a true Kerala dessert as a key component is the ‘ethakka’ the Kerala banana.

I used to like Unda Payasam, equal to or more than the ‘Ada Pradhaman’ the numero uno of all payasams.

That’s why I thought of making it when I got some ethakka. Of course, I am drawing from memory and taste as to how it would have been made.

Ingredients: 1. Kerala banana ( ethakka) 2 medium size, 2. Rice powder 1 cup, 3. grated coconut 1/2 cup, 4. Coconut Milk (thick) 1 cup, 5. Jaggery 1/2 cup, 6. Ghee 1 tablespoon, 7. Cardamom seed powder 1/2 teaspoon, 8. Salt.

Mix rice powder with grated coconut and some salt and add hot water to make into a smooth paste.

Unda

Take 3/4th of the dough and make into small balls. Make small balls as it will slightly expand on cooking. Place them in a steamer and steam for about 15 minutes.

Ethakka

Cut the Kerala banana into small pieces. Heat the ghee in a pan and roast the banana in it. Roasting for a few minutes is sufficient.

Payasam

Take the rest of the dough in a hard bottom vessel. Pour about 4 cups of water and place on the burner. Add grated or powdered jaggery according to the sweetness required. Allow the mixture to come to boil.

Add cardamom powder and mix well. Add the steamed undas and roasted ethakka and allow the jaggery to get absorbed in them too.

When the payasam assumes a slightly thick constituency, add the coconut milk. Reduce the flame and allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Unda Payasam is ready. The sweet and slightly sour ethakka is giving the payasam a unique and delicious taste. Also the rice undas make it a rare pleasant feeling.

Mighty pleased at recreating the fond memory and in reviving this traditional dish. Simply yummy and absolutely satisfying.

Unda Payasam. A Traditional Kerala Sweet Dish.

Lauki (Bottle Gourd) Barfi. And I Made It!

I follow the YouTube channel Zaikastreet for some good recipes. Here’s one which attracted me and I can’t believe, I made it!

The channel has recipes ably demonstrated, but some of them are in Hindi. This one is in Hindi and I will try and describe how it’s made.

The ingredients are Bottle Gourd about 750 grams, Kova (boiled down thick milk extract) from a litre of fresh milk, sugar, cardamom powder, nuts and food colour. Silver food leaves (I didn’t have).

Peel the gourd and cut into 4 or 6 pieces. Remove seeds and grate the entire gourd. Squeeze by hand or in a cloth to remove water.

Pour one tablespoon of pure ghee into a pan, and heat on medium fire. Add grated louki and stir till the remaining water is dried out and the vegetable is cooked (15 minutes). Add sugar to taste and stir for another 5 minutes.

Now mix the Kova and continue stirring. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder and some of the broken nuts. I used cashew, almonds and kismiss slightly roasted in a teaspoon of ghee. Add two drops of food colour (I used green). Stir the mixture well till it become into a consistency for spreading on a tray.

Grease the tray with some butter and spread the mixture evenly in it to the desired thickness. Spread the remaining nuts sporadically on top and level using a wooden spatula.

Ideally the silver leaves on top would have made it look more store like.

Keep aside for an hour or so, if necessary in the chill tray of the refrigerator.

Cut into squares and the barfi is ready. I have the best taster at home who’s a fantastic cook too. And Sunu (my wife) said ‘simply amazing’.

Subscribe to YouTube channel ‘zaikastreet’ for more such recipes simply and ably demonstrated.

Here’s the video link to the barfi

Lauki (Bottle Gourd) Barfi. And I Made It!

Coffee Beans And A Chocolate

Amul has done it again! This time with a coffee flavour. Lovely chocolate with the goddess of coffee. I am now a total fan of Amul Chocolates.

Sometime back I wrote about their 55% cocoa dark chocolates. And then they came up with a fruit and nut one. There are other varieties too.

Another attraction is the price. Dark chocolate is ₹100 ($ 1.35) and this one is ₹125 ($1.7). All for 30 chocolate squares weighing 150 grams.

There is added sugar. But then, like the famous statement about Greta Garbo, ‘if mind has to sin, it can at least compliment itself on the best choice’.

Well done Amul. I like what you are doing.

Disclaimer: it has nothing to do with the most famous name associated with the company Amul. That it’s my namesake Kurian with an e.

Coffee Beans And A Chocolate

Fasting Benefits! We Haven’t Seen All Yet

Intermittent Fasting has numerous benefits. Starting with the basic weight loss to such unbelievable benefits like prevention or reversal of deadly diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even Cancer.

There’s one beautiful thing also in there, anti-aging! How cute is that! Especially for someone like me.

A Japanese study in 2019, on four humans,reveal many things. Yes only 4 people, but humans. And if nothing else, it’s sure to lead to extensive studies to make us all look younger.

Scientists found 42 beneficial compounds, 30 more than previously found in 34 to 58 hours of fasting. These compounds that assist in slowing aging are activated some 60 times their normal when fasting extends to 58 hours.

I am already on a 20 hour fasting, daily, hoping to bring in ‘autophagy’ the 2016 Nobel Prize winning revelation that repairs damaged body cells for numerous benefits including anti-aging.

Perhaps I may move to a 58 hour fast, once in a quarter, to look young.

Fasting Benefits! We Haven’t Seen All Yet

Butternut Squash Into Pumpkin Pie.

Butternut Squash on grocery store shelf always attracted my attention and I bought one.

It’s a pumpkin family one and pumpkin pie came to mind. And I wanted to make it the Indian way for ease of finding ingredients.

One of Tarla Dalal’s Website recipe was adopted for this time consuming dish. It even said garam masala for ingredients.

Mix one cup of maida (refined flour) with cold butter and half a teaspoon of salt. Make into a coarse breadcrumbs consistency. Add some cold water to make into a soft dough. Cover and allow to chill for half hour.

Cut and deseed the butternut squash into wedges and bake on a slightly greased tray for about 45 minutes in a preheated oven.

Roll the soft dough on a floured surface into a 12 inch diameter crust base. Slightly grease a pie dish or tart pan preferably with removable bottom and place the crust base in and adjust the sides. (I didn’t have a proper tray for this in Bangalore and hence just used a silver foil).

Scoop the baked and softened butternut Squash wedges and mash into a purée. Add condensed milk, two tablespoons of baking powder, one teaspoon cinnamon powder, 3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, half teaspoon ginger powder, half teaspoon powdered cloves and salt. Mix well so that there are no lumps in the mixture.

With a spoon fill the mixture into the chilled crust and bake for about 40 minutes or till the filling is set and the top has turned into a nice golden brown.

Certificate came from one of the best cooks, Sunu, my wife who said yummy scrummy.

Butternut Squash Into Pumpkin Pie.

Just An Idea Now. Like It’s Said ‘Watch This Space’.

I am a dedicated practitioner of intermittent fasting and to me, it’s the best wellness program available.

I have been reading a lot on the subject and have been listening to many opinions, research findings and guidelines.

And, in turn, the key messages are passed on to a small group that I mentor on the subject.

Individual objectives vary. For example, I started with desire to lose weight. 14 kgs down in an year and half, I have perhaps met it.

Now I am looking for autophagy stage and hence extended the fasting hours to 20.

Reading and listening to many articles and videos on IF, I get the feeling that each expert has own objective and design.

That’s why this idea. Why don’t I extend the mentoring to cater to individual needs of the participants. It’s not managing their goals (at least initially) but to facilitate it.

The promise is to be unbiased. That means a lot.

Just An Idea Now. Like It’s Said ‘Watch This Space’.

Size Matters! Of The Waist!

This is not to show off, as much more are to be achieved. This is a promotion of something I am passionate and upbeat about. That’s Intermittent Fasting.

I have been sincerely following Intermittent Fasting since January 19, 2019 and I love the results. I am in fact mentoring a group to showcase the best wellness program.

I used to be waist size 40 at one time. Well I was 38 when I started Intermittent fasting. Some 14 kgs down now, I am acquiring a new wardrobe with size 34.

Credit goes to Intermittent Fasting, given that my regular workouts of swimming and gym are in jeopardy. Of course I workout with modified exercises and intense yoga.

Weight loss is just a side effect of the benefits rich intermittent fasting. But reductions in waist size and belly fat are just priceless.

Size Matters! Of The Waist!