Drink and Gain

Last few days were a real hectic time for me. Emotional setbacks, unscheduled meals, tiring days, resettling and a new school routine for my kids. All the meal timings were disturbed, sleep pattern was new as now it’s a early morning school for her. So I was very uncomfortable making meals and there was lack of energy all the time. But then I switched to some tasty, healthy energy bound drinks which really helped me for the whole days work. Even my elder daughter and my brother loved these specially served and home-made drinks. You will love them too, easy to prepare, less time consuming and nutritive.

cocoa energy drink
cocoa energy drink

COCOA ENERGY DRINK

1 CUP MILK

½ RIPE BANANA, CUT

2TSP SUGAR

2TBSP OF UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER

Take a mixer or a blender container, put banana, milk, sugar and cocoa powder. Cover it and blend well till banana is pureed. Your energy drink is ready.

This recipe is really good and gives you a two to three hours burst of energy. You can have a low-calorie drink by adding skimmed milk instead of whole milk and sweetener or sugar free in place of sugar. This will cut down on your calorie count and keep you full for long. Also a great weight loss mechanism, you can have twice or thrice, or a large glass and skip a meal as well.

chocolate energy drink

CHOCOLATE ENERGY DRINK

2 CUP MILK

1 EGG

2TSP SUGAR

2TBSP OF COCOA POWDER

½ TSP VANILLA

Mix all ingredients well in blender and serve the drink chilled. This drink is protein-rich and gives you a boost for the day. Try it now.

low cal drink
low cal drink

LOW CAL DRINK

1 CUP SKIM MILK

1 CUP STRAWBERRIES

1 BANANA SLICED

Mix well in blender and add 2 drops vanilla. It will make about 2 cups. It just gives you 125 calories, and tastes amazing.

strawberry drink
strawberry drink

STRAWBERRY DRINK

½ CUP STRAWBERRIES

2TBSP HONEY

2TBSP LEMON JUICE

1/3 CUP DRY MILK POWDER

½ CUP ICE CUBES

Mix all ingredients and blend them into puree. Add ice cubes and blend again and here is a great drink.

CHEERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Healthy Meals

OH!  Another day, another meal, you wonder what to cook, that’s interesting to eat and look! How many times do we enter the kitchen and roll our eyes upwards?

Here are some easy to cook recipes for your family which tastes just as good as they look. Ample opportunity to use seasonal vegetables and ingredients. Stir that ladle, whip up an exciting dish and chase your kitchen blues away.

GARLIC VEGETABLE MEDLEY

200 grams broccoli;

4 sticks of celery cleaned;

25 grams butter mashed

1 clove crushed garlic.

broccoli celery
Garlic Vegetable Medley

Cut the broccoli into small florets and finely slice the celery. Melt the butter in a large pan with the garlic and add the vegetables. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes, then cover the pan and cook gently for a further 2-3 minutes before serving.

Goodness quotient : Broccoli is a very good source of calcium, vitamins C and A. Butter increases deliciousness and also adds to the total calories.

CUCUMBER AND YOGURT SOUP

1 large cucumber;

1 tbsp olive oil;

1 small onion, chopped;

2 ½ cups hot vegetable stock;

grated, peel and juice of ½ lemon;

1tbsp fresh chopped dill;

1/3 cup of thick plain yogurt;

salt and pepper to taste.

cucumber yogurt soup
Cucumber and Yogurt Soup

Cut a 2 inch piece of cucumber, then chop remainder. Put oil in a pan, add onion and cook gently until soft. Add chopped cucumber, stock, lemon peel and juice. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until cucumber is tender. Puree in a blender, turn into a bowl and cool. Stir in half the yogurt and chill.

Check seasoning, then thinly slice the reserved piece of cucumber. Serve the soup, garnish with thin slices of cucumber floating on the surface and the remaining yogurt spooned on top.

Goodness quotient : It’s a good combination of vegetables and milk products. It provides protein, energy, vitamin A and C and other minerals.

PEPPERED NEW POTATOES

500 grams new potatoes;

20 grams butter;

freshly ground black pepper to taste.

peppered potatoes
peppered new potatoes

Boil the potatoes, still in their skins, for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Drain, then toss with a generous knob of ready made black pepper butter (or butter with plenty of milled black pepper). Serve immediately.

Goodness quotient : Potatoes are ready source of energy because of their carbohydrate content. Butter adds calories.

I love trying various recipes, preparing them for kids and providing nutrition through their favorite foods is the aim.

CHEERS!!!!!

The POOP Tales

Now that I am the proud mother of an albeit squeamish, borderline aggressive, probably even slightly disgruntled, but pretty much potty trained twenty-seven month old girl, I can share some of my experiences, crazy moments and funny episodes. Although it wasn’t that easy, I tried providing a few fancy supplies and books, they really helped. The little one started announcing from a couple of weeks when she has to poop. Sometimes I get to see those pressurized-poopy-faces which are an indication, but the pants are full within the minutes of the announcement. When she is made to sit on her potty-seat she wants to sit on the big toilet, and when on the big one, wants me to bring her wonder-chair (sometimes me and Ashita call her potty seat by this name). But I can now happily say that I no longer worry about her. It was not my first hand experience on potty training, already raised a 7 year old, but a different stroke altogether, rather funny than serious.

One of the most charismatic and exasperated aspects of young children are the extremes to which they experience life. Each victory is FASCINATING and must be celebrated, and each defeat is THE WORST INJUSTICE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD! As parents, our best bet is to ride the wave with them in the moment, and then course correct as needed once cooler heads prevail.

Sometimes though, you just have to step in.

As I can recollect a few instances here, my little child is currently amazed with all things bathroom-related. And why not? She LOVES washing her hands in the sink, I can keep her there for the whole day and every single time she decides to sit on the potty she’s met with a steady stream of cheers and applause.

potty

Once, she wandered away from the family, then came running back a few minutes later with a huge smile on her face, and these words in her heart:

ANIKA : Potty! Potty!

ME : Anika…do you want to go sit on the potty?

ANIKA : No! Wash hands!!

ME : Oh…you want to wash your hands?

ANIKA : No! Wash hands potty!

(Pause)

ME : Did…did you wash your hands…IN the potty?

ANIKA (ecstatically): YES!!!

SILENCE on my side….. HAPPINESS on hers

Someday, there’s a chance that someone will tenderly hold her hand while slipping a ring onto her finger. When that day comes, I will remember THIS, and laugh.

As adults, we all pretend that we do not need to throw out waste from our bodies, even though literally every single one of us does it every single day, of course, unless something is wrong. Then, once you have kids, your life seems to REVOLVE around the stuff. You clean it, talk about it, worry about it, and you CELEBRATE it.

I remember when ASHITA was 3 years old, every single time she pooped in the potty, she identified the shapes, sometimes it was the gun, or the snake, a whale and once it was a CASTLE. With great anticipation it was discussed in the family.

Then a few months later, the topology vanished and she became an avid reader or call her an avid-potty-time-reader. Spending almost 20-30 minutes on her reading-chair (that what I call for her). Now that reading makes her poop, I have to hand her the book, in case she forgets to take it along with her. Otherwise it can be a-no-call-day. Though I never really understood the logic, how is reading and pooping related?

poop

There are so many episodes of frustration and laughter. When one day the little one was playing with her kitchen set, just beside me and I was juggling with my work on the laptop. I was happy, how involved she is in her play and allowing me to work. She offered me a cup of tea in her play, after a while another tea and then the third. I was so engaged in my work, that I didn’t notice her much. Then she came up to me and it went like this,

ANIKA : mamma, take!

ME : now what?

ANIKA : mamma take…… take!!

ME : enough tea now, I don’t want

ANIKA : not tea

ME : then????? (without any attention)

ANIKA : POTTY!!!!!

ME : what????? (With all my attention at her)……… (amazed, angry, frustrated, and a laugh)
Sometimes the only way to survive the potty training phase is to laugh your way through it. We have also tried singing the poop songs. As weird as it feels, we have talked poop and counted farts. If you have laugh-out-loud potty stories, do share!!

DREAMZ can hear YOU !!!

I am a dreamer. I look up to the things I yearn for. Be it a nice sexy dress, a big lavish house, a pair of elegant stilettos or may be an amazingly happy and well set life. Whats the harm in thinking high and out of your shoes. Keep trying and keep dreaming, may be one day you touch the moon or if not the moon you may still be among the stars. I also try and tell my 7 year old daughter to dream and think big and out of the box. If kids are encouraged to dream big and aspire they will be able to gain more self-confidence.

dream

Most often we don’t get everything we desire in life.Aspirations can become dreams at any point of time in life. We need to realize the dreams on an emotional level in order to provide moments of joy, hope,and enthusiasm and also a motivational positive attitude towards life.

Every child should have the right to dream, to hope that tomorrow holds something new and big for them, to believe that they can have something special in their lives, and to experience the carefree joy. Whether it is a trip to Disney, meet their super heroes or ride a bike, a child’s dream has the power to change their lives. After their dreams, most often, kids feel stronger and happier. For a kid, dreams can be tremendously motivating and exciting. It can change a child’s prospective, inspire them and give them strength.

I began to realize how important it is in life to be an aficionado….. if you are interested in something, go for  it at full speed, no matter what….. Grasp it with both hands.. love it, hug it, and above all become ardent about it.

If God really gave it to you it’s yours………. if he did not…… don’t try to keep it…….. let it be………. but don’t stop dreaming and don’t let the craving cease.

If you got to force it….. leave it alone.

Today is the oldest you have ever been and the youngest you will ever be.

Take it all , one day at a time and enjoy the journey.

Be brave and say YES, your dreams can hear you. Wrap yourself in a beautiful blanket of self worth. Life may knock you down few times, you may experience sadness and failures. But always get up and move on. One day you will forget the reason you cried for and the pain whoever gave you. Give your child the strength to dream. So smile, laugh, love, believe, forgive and of all Dream.

A HUG means a THOUSAND WORDS

A professor at a medical college asked his class (especially the men), “what is your largest sense organ?”

After snickering, looking embarrassed or cringing, the braver of the youngsters venture some rather amusing guesses, before the professor corrects them, delighting in educating them.

The SKIN (much to the students’ disappointment) is the largest sense organ of the body, which is why all of us have such a strong, innate need for touch. No matter what the age, the gender or time of the day, the simplest physical contact can trigger emotional and mental connections, and can greatly influence your moods. It can lift your spirits when you are low, create security when you feel vulnerable, calm you down when you are angry……. in your relationship with your partner too, non-sexual touch is a reaffirmation of all that your relationship stands for and holds incredible potential as the “glue that binds you two” .

hug

Long before an infant learns to communicate through sight and sound, he is receiving messages through touch. Premature babies who receive touch in their first few hours after birth, thrive much better than those who are isolated. Older children who are not touched often enough, have a harder time in socializing and are incapable of forming relationships of any kind. Adults who do not receive touch are more prone to illness and depression.

But somewhere down the line, as an individual grows from infant to child to adult, touch gets treated more and more as a luxury, sometimes as an avoidable contact, seldom, if ever, as a need.

Apart from reinforcing the foundation of your loving relationship, touch also lowers your blood pressure, gives you a sense of well-being and helps keep you healthy. And the best thing is that touch has the same benefits for both – the person who touch and the one being touched.

As one of the whimsical poster puts it,

” Hugging is healthy. It helps the body’s immune system, cures depression and reduces stress. It’s invigorating, rejuvenating and has no unpleasant side-effects. Hugging is all natural. It’s organic, naturally sweet, has no pesticides, preservatives or artificial ingredients, and it is 100 percent wholesome. It involves low energy consumption, yet high energy yields. It’s inflation and theft-proof, non-fattening, non-taxable, non-polluting and of course, always fully returnable.”

So hug your children, your friends, but most of all your spouse. It will truly enhance your relationship.

CHEERS!!!!!!!!!!!

Ganeshotsav (part 2)

Ganpati Bappa Morya !!!

There’s been a festive look all over with the beginning of the Ten days Ganpati celebrations in Maharashtra.Lord Ganesha idols are brought home and families worship them, joined in by friends and families. Traditional meals are served on these days (simple and pure vegetarian fare) and a traditional sweet dumpling called ‘ modak’ is distributed.

Ganesha at our home
Ganesha at our home

Kids and me, have been doing the preparations from a few days for the Ganeshotsav. We painted the pieces, put them together and arranged the background and set up the place for the Ganpati pooja. We keep it simple by offering coconuts, fresh fruits, fresh flowers, garlands and sweets.

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how we prepared for the sthapna
We also applied some mehndi / henna on our hands. Ashita asked me to draw tattoo on her feet. I tried my best, I am not at all good, with shaky hands completed the task and made them happy and content. Here’s a glimpse.

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It’s always great to inculcate the importance of festivals to kids. I love when they want to know more. Ganesha also represents wisdom and symbolizes humanity. Here is a great post on the significance of Lord Ganesha’s idol. Amazingly this depicts that his creation is to tell humanity how to live happily in this world. Though the explanation has touch of spirituality but understanding its essence is not difficult. So this Ganesh Utsav, let’s try to be a Ganesha. Live life brightly being a Ganesha !!

GANESHOTSAV (part 1)

The ten day Ganeshotsav or the Ganpati festival grips Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune and other cities in Maharashtra region) in its zeal and grandeur. Beautifully decorated pandals (tents) are glorifying every nook and corner, festive lights are enlightening the streets and the euphonius beats of dhol (drums) coupled with devotional songs are oscillating through the air.

LORD GANESHA
LORD GANESHA

Lord Ganesha is the God of Wisdom and literature. The beliefs and stories basically prove Lord Ganesha as a problem solver in our lives.Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati.

The unexpected showers in the city and Ganpati Bapa’s arrival have spread the jubilant delight for the devotees.

No Ganeshotsav celebrations are complete without gobbling on the enticing modaks. Right from baked to fried modaks and modaks with mango filling to chocolate layers outside, these sweet rice dumplings witness innovations every year. We are making white and milk chocolate modak flavors at home.

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I always want kids to be a part of the festival celebration and preparations. This year also we shared some Ganesha stories, watched the animated movie and started with the decorations. I bought the thermocol cut-outs from the market which we have been painting since last week, now ready to display.

thermocol cut outs
thermocol cut outs

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Ashita tried her hand on the free painting style using Fevicryl hobby ideas acrylic colors

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Anika was also part of our fun and learning this time. She made the paper cup Ganesha (much part was of course done by me). But ultimately what I had were happy-elated-contented-kids with insight about the mythology and immense craft skills, not to forget a not-so-furious-grouchy mum.

20150916_210859[1] 20150916_210917[1]The final piece is yet to come in my next post. (Ganeshotsav (part 2) )