Tag Archives: #Happiness

Five wonderful ways to make your life 10X happier and fulfilling!!

Image source: ‘5 Reasons Why Feeling Happy Depends on Your Viewpoint’ by Sally Stanleigh in bia.ca on Dec. 10, 2020.

That morning I woke up early. It was dark outside. The morning silence lay heavy. Crickets had stopped chirping and it was too early for the cock’s to cry out. Bleary eyed I peered closely at the bedside clock. It was 4.30 am. The weather already smelled of yet another hot summer day of May.

And then a fluttering noise startled me out of slumber! I propped up on the bed and strained to look for the source. There perching on the window sill and prancing around was my sweet little ‘angel’-cuckoo.

For a moment, I sat spellbound. It’s been almost a year since I last saw her in my courtyard frantically trying to troop in her two chicks, barely a month old; too agile to sit around, but too fragile to take care of themselves of their own. A flurry of thoughts woke me up nice and good. Outside the sky was beginning to pale as darkness slowly melted away.

Chores over, I sat in the veranda with a cup of tea in hand and wistfully gazed at the bird still perched atop the tree in the courtyard.

This time she was all alone!

Feature credits: ‘iStock’ by Getty images.

Somehow she reminded me of my mom, hard gritty and courageous, always ready to face the world squarely. Vivid memories of life with her are as fresh as morning dew even today . She would often tell us that every man is a jack around you and won’t be in two minds to deluge you with advices on how to get the most of this world. But all this will be worthless if you do not respect your curiosity and give a patient listening to your gut instinct. Nine out of ten times people will laugh at you more to make you cringe with helplessness and feel small for it helps them to assume privileged and great. Simply put, these people cannot muster enough courage to get what they want out of life.

It’s only years later after she is gone that I realize what she had meant then . The moment you let others stop you from pursuing your dreams, is the moment to say goodbye to them. Wish I had given an earful to what else she had to say at that time.

Much like the bird on the tree , she raised her siblings and bid everybody farewell when the time came. Its only after so many years that I could share a few more facts of life with you I wish I had accepted sooner. Everything would have been so easy!!

I agreed to approve of myself the way I was!

Image source: ‘Want to Enjoy Life? Don’t ‘Do What Makes You Happy” by Wanda Thibodeaux in inc.com

Whenever we are in a dark space emotionally, we naturally pick up a fight with ourselves and damn us for not being in control of things. Everything seems to spiral out of control and the more we push ourselves to straighten things up, the worse they become. On the contrary, when we feel okay and alive and kicking, we are more inclined to accept ourselves and appreciate the wonderful little things that life has given us and how terrific our body rewards us.

This made me realize that being successful is not about getting it done all the time. Its about getting right things done. Its about doing less but better. For once, I decided to befriend myself and felt proud of my achievements, no matter how tiny they were .

Essentially my perception of doing right things the right way changed all by itself. I just worked hard on bettering myself.

From moron to self indulgent: I found the impunity comforting!

Whether it is taking a long bath, scheduling morning leisure walks, following a regular sleep pattern or something as trivial as putting on a face mask, shaving or trimming the beard, or even watching our favorite movie, anything that we do to look good and feel good puts us on the right path; so’s how she would counsel me often in quieter moments, though she was always quick to add that self care meant differently to different people. 

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

The point that I gathered, is that once we take some active time out for ourselves, our journey to a meaningful day begins right then and there from that very moment.

I figured out my boundaries!

When we draw our boundaries, we actually define our needs and what others around us expect from us. I took time off to do a bit of soul searching. I found my circle , enlivened it and realized that pouring too much energy into other’s affairs was not fixing things for me. It’s only then I figured out that I actually needed to love myself a bit more than the others.

Left with enough time and energy, I felt less resentful and angry with myself for situations gone awry and happier with what was left with me.

Thought sharing never felt so bewitching!

For me the folly of one track idea of thought sharing slowly changed hands from a deceitful obsession to a vent to pour out my disquiet. I realized that once I dropped my guards and stop bothering myself with revved up emotions, things began to smoothen out and happen the way I wanted them to happen in the first place.

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

Contemplating and doing nothing always weigh heavily on us. I raked up courage for once, voiced my thoughts strongly, stopped weathering and revealed myself. Amazingly life thereafter took a turn from inept to pleasant and fulfilling. Talking about what is bothering or upsetting you always vents your repressed emotions, soothes your stretched nerves and leaves more space to do better things.

I learned to talk turkey and bump heads

When replying to text messages, attending calls, meeting friends and family and buzzing through social media does not feel like a huge task, its time to ring the bells. This is one tell tale sign that your mental space has convalesced for good. So, if you do not cancel plans last minute and actually enjoy being in touch with friends, you are definitely over the fence and no longer a fly in the ointment! Stay connected and feel that dismay no longer rattling you. Awesome miracles will begin to change your day.

Remember it is you who alone can decide who you are not once but every time with every action that you take, every principle you value and every rule you follow.” 

Feature credits: ‘iStock’ by Getty images.

I must have dozed off for sure for I woke up with a start! Somebody had rung the doorbell. The empty cup lay beside the chair. The sun had climbed over the horizon and the day was warming up. Instinctively, I looked out for the little bird. She was gone like a summer breeze; may be never to be seen again.

Days later as I pen these lines, I envy that little songbird. Her resolute flight from nowhere to my courtyard had unnerved me for a while. and reminded me of purposefulness and determination that I had vowed to myself but over the time had pushed into a corner. It reminisced me of all that I learned from Maa while trudging along the way holding her hands swaying from side to side as I grew up.

It gave me a cue to do a bit of soul searching and brawn to rewrite what had begun to fade out. I am also now wary of the pride that comes before the fall.

Thank you from my soul maa #The Mothers Day, for bearing me, rearing me and helping me to grow up to be the one I am now!!

He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.  —J.K. Rowling

SWEET, NATURAL AND SINFULLY DELICIOUS – TRY THESE 12 SUPERFOOD DEsSERTS FOR YOUR PEEPS THIS SUMMER!!

Creamy, gooey,  sticky and sweet desserts   with little or no milk, cream, butter or eggs? Sounds nightmarish for dessert lovers, right? But you couldn’t be more deceived! Decadent and simply delicious, these super food delights could be made without a hint of an animal product. Sparse in calories and dense in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, these foods have the punch to lift your mood besides lowering your cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiac diseases and a host of health hazards.

New and improved lifestyle and eating habits have seen traditional desert favorites change into more appropriate versions. It is now possible for you to have your cake and eat it too”. These healthy desserts are here not only to satisfy a sweet tooth, but also be a energy packed fuel source to help you ride through the day.

Here are 12 top of the chart super food desserts that you can indulge in guilt-free.

Coconut Aquafaba Macaroons

Image source: ‘Simple Coconut Macaroons’ by Joyce Gan in onegreenplanet.org.

When you can’t throw-in some aged Parmesan or thick creamy burrata on any old traditional desert for an instant flavor enhancement, it’s time to get creative and think differently.

Of course, when it comes to decadent desserts, egg, cream and butter seem to make appearances all too often but would you believe that even a vegan dessert like cute looking coconut aquafaba macaroons, completely plant based, healthy, and high in protein could be just as flavorful and healthy? Aquafaba is the viscous water in which legume seeds such as chickpeas have been cooked. Due to its ability to mimic functional properties of egg whites, aquafaba is used as an egg  substitute in this vegan dish. To make these vegan macaroons, you need unsweetened, finely shredded coconut.  You want to reign in the sugar rememeber !! and finely shredded coconut  to hold together in whipped aquafaba. which works best with no more than two and a half minutes of beating when it starts to get foamy with stiff peaks.

Made without eggs, condensed milk, or any type of dairy, macaroons are a tasty treats and a visual delight. All the coconut provides healthy fats, which is good for hormone balance, skin, and energy levels. With base made of unsweetened shredded coconut, almond flour, Himalayan sea salt and pure maple syrup or coconut nectar, coconut oil and vanilla extract pitch in to take your bagel game to next level of flavors.

Strawberry & lime cheesecake

One of the most luxurious and delicious cheesecake, this cheesecake is packed with berries and super foods that are a warehouse of nutritional benefits.

Made with fresh strawberries in the summer when they’re in season, and frozen strawberries in the winter, this dessert is  light, fruity not too sweet either. You can pair it with strawberry sauce, chocolate, coconut, or pretty much any other fruit. A chocolate drizzle could be just as perfect for any occasion.  A fruity, dense creamy delight, you could indulge in this tangy lime accent dessert, where its weird sourness won’t let you turn away.

Shortly before serving, spread a little bit of whipped cheese cream on top if you couldn’t do without that silky delicate smoothness and decorate with the  strawberries. Sprinkle a bit of grounded cinnamon on top and serve with the raspberry coulis and you will stop frowning! It’s so light and refreshing.

Berry & Cashew Cream Dessert “Pizza”

Pizza for  dessert? Weird but you heard it correctly. Indulge your sweet tooth with this delicious, healthy dessert “pizza”. The fresh berries, hearty whole grains, and savory coconut make it a unique vegan dessert option that is full of so many nutrients to fuel your body. Layers of maple-cashew cream, toasted nuts and fruits make it the ultimate health dessert that has tones of awesome textures and sweet berry flavor full of frozen goodness. Try it for one of those summer barbecue parties and its sure will be a hot favorite to spice up the bash.

Yep! This tasty, healthy food packed with berry goodness, also happens to be vegan and packs in plenty of proteins from cashews, almond butter, and hemp hearts.

Grasshopper Pie

Image source: ‘Grasshopper Pie’ by Kristina Vanni in thespruceeats.com on 28/04/2020

This incredibly easy no bake dessert is packed with nutrition and is an indulgent treat that tastes more like a thin mint cookie in frozen pie form!

It’s super easy to make and boasts of a fudgy crust with a light-as-air minty cream filling which is fluffy with a  super fresh minty taste that’s not so overwhelming either!! Pair it with chocolate if you find the flavors too subtle and want that extra tartness to bring a zing of flavors- like in those addictive cookies.

And that gorgeous pastel green color is no food coloring but pops out of that super food protein medley! The protein powder is all organic, non-gmo, vegan and  gluten free. It  contains all the essential amino acids,18 grams of complete protein in every serving to be exact! Not to mention all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants each serving carries.

Try a few spoonful of the mint cream straight to your mouth before you even get around to pouring it on the crust. You could be practically drinking the stuff!!

Blackberry Poppy Seed Crumb Cake

Image source: ‘Vegan blackberry poppy seed crumb cake’ by Ve eat Cook Bake in pinterest.ch.

If you love crumbles, try this healthy version of a classic crumb cake with a wholegrain shortbread made from spelt (hulled wheat), nut butter, poppy-seed filling, fresh and sweet blackberries and laced with cinnamon. You’d love this because it’s forgiving and you could use a mixed bag of fruits to add zest to the dessert your way; even summer stone fruits like sliced peaches, plums or cherries could perk it up.

With a buttery crunchy topping, juicy veneer of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and a soft airy inside, this crumb cake looks stunning and it’s super easy to make!

Chocolate Brownie Dessert Hummus

Dessert hummus is a blissful way to muzzle your sweet tooth. Loaded with nutrients, naturally sweetened and totally guilt-free, this healthy chocolate hummus tastes surprisingly like actual brownie batter.

The recipe works great as a dessert hummus platter with fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, sliced apples, and raspberries. You can also spread it on pancakes, use it as a frosting for cake or vegan brownies, mix it into overnight oats or chia pudding or eat it straight from the bowl. The main ingredient in this brownie batter hummus is beans, and you could even try black beans, cannellini beans, hummus chickpeas or garbanzo beans. This is one of those deserts that could bowl you over with its tang of flavors.

Petha

Image source: ‘Delicious food of Raipur’ by Aarushi S. in budgetindianvacations.wordpress.com.

Petha is made by cooking winter melon (also known by the less appetizing name of “ash gourd”) in sugary syrup. Eaten as is or dipped in yet more sugar syrup, this delectable treat is made with winter melon and comes in different flavors and with unique add-ons, too. Discover the delicate flavors and natural freshness that comes packed in this confection flavored with pistachio, coconut, mango, or even laced with silky saffron. Winter melon is slated to have several health benefits, including easing off acidity and digestion issues. This soft fruity desert looks like dollop of crystal and is as pretty as it is sumptuous.

Ela Ada

Image source: ‘Ela Ada’ in myfoodmill. in on Oct. 4, 2018.

This is a snack that originated in the Indian state of Kerala and is quite popular as an authentic traditional delicacy made with rice flour, jaggery and coconut. It can be served for morning breakfast or even for evening snack with a cup of tea or coffee if you are an avid foodie and love sugary treats .Grated coconut and jaggery are nestled inside rice flour dough before being steamed inside a banana leaf wrap. It looks deceptively simple, but the banana leaf wrap adds another dash of taste to the little dumpling. Lightly sweet with a distinct fragrance, this is one perfect vegan dessert to cap off a rich nosh.

Banana & Chocolate Bread

Image source: ‘Eggless Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Loaf . Simple & delicious ‘ by Deba @PAB in passionateaboutbaking.com on Ap.29, 2019.

For those days when you crave for desserts but pull back for you are watching your weight as well, this all-time favourite cake made with ripe bananas & chocolate is your best bet. This dessert is an ideal eat on a day when all is not well or on a day you’re craving for comfort dessert! And, above all, it’s vegan and tastes just as good as a regular dessert. Combining the sweet flavor of ripe bananas with chocolate or cocoa powder, this dessert is very similar to walnut flavored banana bread. You could serve this dessert with a choice of frosting, but could also share it as a snack over a cup of tea or coffee.

Cinnamon Roll

Image source: ‘Cinnamon Rolls’ in bakefromscratch.com.

These pillowy soft and luscious homemade cinnamon rolls topped with a perfect cream cheese glaze are the quintessential deserts treat and so easy to make! A  delicious tasting cinnamon roll pairs in  raw nut and seed flours with  cinnamon spiced puréed figs and raisins- all pitched in. Roll up a batch or two and store them as a premade dessert in your freezer. They are so easy to slice when frozen and can then be dehydrated for a warmed “baked-like” texture.

Feature credits: kitchenstories.com

Always making for a perfect hit, this delight of a dish can lift a bleh day and carry it to a delicious end. So fragrant and not at all dry or crumby these cream cheese glazed rolls are simply delicious and make for an unforgettable flavor punch.

Coconut Cream Pie

Image source: ‘Coconut Cream Pie. The old fashioned way!’ by Barry C. Parsons in rockrecipes.com on Nov. 17, 2007.

A super food dessert version of the conventional coconut cream pie, this vegan recipe skips the cooking process and leaves out the eggs, milk, butter and cream too. Instead of dairy, rich almond milk and young coconut meat lend the dessert a cream pie-like consistency and is a perfect delight for those with big eyes for sugary treats when used with chia, coconut oil, cacao butter and Irish moss. In fact, this classic dessert is a hot favorite among those who love the earthy flavors. Coconut in the pastry cream filling gives it a refreshing burst of flavors. If you love treats with flaky crusts, thick and creamy fillings and a fluffy whipped cream topping then this pie is just for you!

Banana Cream Pie Parfaits

This vegan banana cream pie parfait is made with a buttery cracker and sweet coconut “crust”, layered with fresh bananas, homemade coconut pudding, and a dollop of whipped cream. Scrumptious, natural and low on sugar, this is one creamy dessert that you’d want to miss! You could top up your parfait with plenty of chocolate shavings for truly delicious afters. Simple and easy to make, this sweet, goodness loaded treat is any time delight especially during the spring and summer, when you’re looking for a yummy chilled dessert.

Feature credits: kitchenstories.com.

It’s never enough!!

The taste of sweetness is a completely natural inclination and reminiscent of our innate longing for gooiest, soppiest, mushiest and above all sugariest! While juicy ripe fruits could be our   first choice when reaching to quench this desire, there is no need to starve ourselves of sweetie delights that can spring a moment of happiness in our life. But then… there is always bias to abuse too much of a good thing. It would do some good if you could find a healthy balance between simple pleasures and excess, no matter how good sinking your teeth in a delicious dessert feels. All you need to remember; ‘too much of anything is bad and nothing works well if taken in excessive’. Going to extremes risks neck or nothing.

So, sit back after a hearty dinner, laze off and relish the magical sweetness of these delightful desserts – guilt free!!.

10 incredibly delicious guilt free street foods that bring a slice of heaven to your plate and are a joy to enjoy!!

It’s no longer simply food and drink sold in a public place, market or street! From a full time vegan to a diehard steak lover whatever you choose, you could find a whole range of eats that is full of good stuff and savory surprises- all natural with no added this, no added that.

All from a humble street side Hakka noodles loaded with crunchy veggies to Bad Brownies and Other Side fried chicken burgers to Truffle meatless burgers, the street foods never aced better and bigger.

For being Happy, Healthy and Hungry!

Fine! So you have decided to live a healthier lifestyle and gradually changing your ways- going to gym every other day and making healthy meal for yourself. You are determined to hold on to this change as long as possible and not think of it as a mere fad. But then sometimes not everything works out the way you want to. You may have chosen to eat at home rather than dine out with friends but then a situation has arisen and you couldn’t make it either way. You had always wanted to be sure of what you eat. You feel that you have had enough of recipes from internet and would want to try something new and exciting. And guess what!  Street side eateries come for your rescue. Appropriate to the kind of lifestyle you have chosen for yourself, you would want a taste of spices and flavors and meals without any guilt pangs. Street foods offer you choices straight from an epicurean paradise that are satiating and are actually healthy.

From mouth watering vegan Indian and Thai street foods, to Jamaican Jerks and American burgers, the recipe roll is enormous and sure could give you an unforgettable taste of spices, herbs and flavors. There are plenty of vegan low-calorie, keto, gluten-free street food dinners, as well as side dishes and snacks. Whether you’re vegan, plant-based or just trying to cut down on meat, street foods are just for you! From vegan burgers, hot dogs to a vegan lobster roll, the mildly seasoned, delicately spiced street foods are quick, easy and burst with flavors once in your mouth.

You can begin your gourmet journey by trying these ten tastiest street foods that are vegan, plant based and health some.

Tofu with spicy garlic prune sauce

Image source: ‘Asian tofu hashtag ‘ on twitter by Veg vegan meat on Jul 20, 2020.

A perfect vegan alternative to BBQ, the pan-fried Asian Tofu with spicy garlic sauce is quick, easy and packed with flavor! It’s a great midday eat and tastes heavens when paired with a Chinese sauce that’s sweet, spicy, salty and savory, all at the same time. Tofu is a great source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids, iron and calcium…so great for your bones, teeth and blood. It is marinated in sweet spicy garlic sauce and once it has soaked up the sauce, then pan fried till crispy on the outside and soft inside. Prune juice gives a deep caramelly sweetness and works as marinade. Perfect with rice and stir fried green, it tastes exquisite.

Lentil Fritters

Image source: ‘Recipes from around the world: Bhajias (Lentil Fritters)’ by Ben Hinson in recipesaroundtheworld.com on Jam. 23, 2016.

Tasty and delicious these vegan version of Takoyaki balls,  are soft, deep fried fritters made out of split green gram flour and topped with spicy green mint chutney and shredded radish, melt in your mouth with a spicy, tangy aftertaste.  A sprinkle of some lemon juice and this combo will leave you wanting more. Insanely crispy and crunchy these fried lentil (dal) fritters make for a mouthwatering savory snack. Tamarind chutney evens out the spiciness of green chutney and pungency of radish. So don’t forget to have it added to your plate.

Vegan Corn Dogs

Image source: ‘Vegan Corn Dogs’ in vegannook.com.

These vegan corn dogs have no sausages or imitation soy meat in them. Covered in a maize-flour batter, fried and then served on a stick these gluten free corn dogs use a meat-free hot dog, or if you prefer-a roasted carrot. Yet another healthy version of two classic street foods, cornbread and vegan hot dogs, pair in to create the ultimate fun food you would love to eat and feel good. Soft, fluffy corn bread and delicious hotdogs make for a satisfying snack or side for your next nosh rush! 

Vegan Korean Cauliflower Wings

Image source: ‘Does anyone know if the Korean Fried Cauliflower from The Cheesecake Factory is vegan?’ by feverdream girl in reddit.com.

Korean-style cauliflower wings, battered and drenched in a spicy, tangy glaze gochujang maple glaze and baked until caramelized, could make you forget the mushy vegetable that finds it way so often to your platter at home. You could have mock chicken version to make it vegan but cauliflower is a finger-licking good substitute for meat. Once baked or roasted, it gets a meat like texture that’s really enjoyable. This dish is also a visual treat, thanks to the vibrant red pepper sauce and cooling cucumber yogurt dip.

Sweet Potato

Image source: ‘Double Baked Sweet Potatoes ‘ in macheesmo.com on Sep.25, 2019.

Steamed or roasted and cubed this tuber when served hot with a generous sprinkle of chaat masala( snack spice) a dash of lime and a bit of star fruit for that extra tang, works as a high energy booster and is one good relief for those who go-to-street snack everyday and those who worry about the belly before the bite.

This popular tangy and savory street food is a guilt-free alternative to fried foods. Lengths of tubers are roasted on embers and then the smoky cubes are tossed in a special blend of ‘spices’ and tamarind chutney.

Interestingly, this sweet tasting root vegetable is now a millennial food obsession. Just one serving of this roasted potato could deliver a whopping 400% of daily vitamin A quota; essential for both eye and cardiac health. What more… despite its starchy rep, sweet potato is the new diabetic super food, thanks to its low-glycemic index .

Momos

Image source: ‘Keto Momos Recipe’ in instafitness.in.

When it comes to street food, how could anyone miss out on such an essential dish? It’s surprising how something so small can be so filling! Momos are so exquisite that this food has turned synonymous with students to shoppers, to corporate workers. As street food banter goes, you won’t find a better hot steamed goodness that knocks up different versions all the time. From fried to tandoori and chicken to paneer, you get all kinds to satiate your craving for a hot plate of delicious food.

Pretty easy to make vegan; ask for those with veggies inside, or a mock-meat if you’re looking for a recreated meat dumpling. Served alongside some vegan-friendly soy sauce this is one go to dish for brunches and afternoon grub rush!

Som tam ( Papaya Salad)

Image source: ‘Supatra’s Green Papaya Salad Recipe (Som Tam Thai)’ in templeofthai.com.

A delicious Thai salad, Som Tam is a green papaya salad that combines all four tastes – sour, chili, sweet and salty. A healthy and tasty treat for brunch, lunch or a casual light dinner, this dish is all about sliced sour fruits, veggies like green papaya and tomatoes and other ingredients as lime, palm sugar, chili, garlic, dried shrimps, fried peanuts etc. which are all pounded together in a mortar and unleash an explosive blend of flavors once in your mouth. Yard-long beans, hog plums, eggplant, and the dish’s star ingredient unripe, shredded green papaya, all combine to create a celebration of contrasting flavors and textures. Delivering carotenoids three times the amount of tomatoes and carrots, this dish, lowers the risk of macular degeneration, is anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor and effectively lowers cholesterol levels.

Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)

Image source: ‘Beyond Phở : 5 Other Irresistible Vietnamese Noodle Soups’ by Viet Doan in delishably.com on Feb. 6, 2020.

If you have no more 20 minutes for a quick bite, your best bet lies with this ‘bowl of medicine’. Experience the magic of this noodle soup where broth is everything.  It’s light  full of flavor, deceptively beefy, savory, complex, has a delicate richness and is filled with a dense aroma of spices like cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. The fragrant broth is fortified with vermicelli rice noodles, strips of lean beef or chicken or mock meat, crunchy bean sprouts, and topped with heaps of greens like basil and coriander. The soup is utterly addictive and every spoonful leaves you wanting more! A storehouse of essential amino acids and minerals, this is one wholesome dish that is anti inflammatory and helps in building up a healthy gut.

Jamaican jerk tofu skewers (vegan)

Image source: ‘Jamaican Jerk Tofu Skewers’ by Kate in veggiedeserts.com on Jan.7, 2020.
Source: ‘Sweet and sour tofu skewers GIF ‘ by @Infinity in facebook.com on Jul.28, 2019.

Experience the tropical flavors of the Caribbean with spicy, flavorsome jerk seasoned and fruity, sausage-laden skewers served with rich and creamy coconut rice, if you fancy food that doesn’t have meat, but is a brilliant alternative that can satisfy your taste buds. This street food isn’t really about heat- it’s about creating a delicious combination of organic vegetables and eye smarting spices. Allspice, cinnamon, thyme, onion and garlic all come together to make a tasty yet easy marinade for the tofu. With tossed veggies on the side, these skewers taste great and are ready in 15 minutes flat. Grilled on the barbecue, grill pan, pan fry or bake, this easy vegan dish is a great way to your round off your snacking rush!

From Chops to Chows: The delicious fun comes wrapped in health and happiness!

Are you on a diet regimen?  Or maybe you are a buff person! Whatever…your bid to have a flavorsome, exciting and healthier lifestyle should not be foiled just because you could binge on the limited food options available for you? You should be creative enough to come up with healthier menus, and street foods are an excellent option for you. There are a lot of healthy street foods which you can try and which won’t wreck your fitness when you bite into them. Think about this next time you rush out of your home without a scrumptious breakfast, or your Office when you have no more than 20 minutes for a quick grub for lunch or your college when your canteen menu despairs you. For sure, you’ll be able to find more dishes on the street that fit to your healthy lifestyle!

Sounds strange?  But trust me, this food works! Just dig into an inspired salad or side and experience layers of delight and happiness on your plate!!

These diet friendly low calorie vegan curries could bring singing flavors and layers of happiness to your plate!!

If you are wondering how to bring zing to your plate in 20 minutes with something that is thick and flavorful, is packed full of goodness and is free of heavy animal products, delicious vegan curries could be the right choice for tonight’s menu. If you’re counting on calories, these guilt-free curries all come under 400 calories and still pack flavors. So put down that take-away menu and try one of these low-calorie protein rich curries instead. Vegetarian and low on spice these incredible curries will leave you bewitched!!

It’s hard to believe but curries could actually be good for your wellbeing. From easing arthritis to protecting from Alzheimer, the list is surprisingly overwhelming. If you look at the medicinal effects of spices that go into curry making; turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamom, ginger, garlic and capsicum all are fired with strong anti-bacterial properties. Working as good preservatives garlic, cinnamon and cumin could even get rid of 80 percent of meat borne bacteria while ginger slows down bacterial growth by as much as 25 percent.

So what’s there that make vegan curries so good when it comes to minding your health. Why are these respected as an all time pepped up feast that never falls flat?

Let’s find out;

Ginger

One of the main ingredients in a lip smacking vegan curry, ginger contains antioxidant zingerone that reacts with radicals which cause tissue damage and joint inflammation, Works well to relieve the arthritis pain! The other two antioxidants viz. gingerol and shogaol are traditional cold remedies and works best when consumed as raw ginger extract.

Curcumin

This is  a primary active compound of turmeric found in curry powders, and often used neat, it slows down the plaque formation in the brain, the primary cause of Alzheimer. Strong on anti inflammatory properties it pairs well with GI tract, guards against heart attacks and prevents cancer of the colon.

Onions

Onions contain an agent called diallyl sulfide that encourages the body to make more of the cancer-fighting molecule glutathione-S-transferase. These enzymes work to detoxify the harmful stomach bacteria and promote digestion.

Garlic

Besides helping in lowering cholesterol, garlic also contains a potent anti-cancer agent called Allicin that shields stomach from cancer by pushing the production of protective enzymes.

Cumin

Cumin contains phytochemicals that combine with vitamins and other nutrients in food to prevent cancer and heart ailments by blocking various metabolic pathways. Caravel and Limonene, two major anti carcinogen agents retard the growth of prostate cancer.

Allspice

Allspice also known as Kabab Chinni is a berry-based spice used in a lot of Indian cooking and contains eugenol, an antioxidant that builds up trypsin a digestive enzyme and so are all friends to GI tract.

Capsicum

Capsicum the main phytochemical found in red peppers is an anti inflammatory agent  which helps reduce cholesterol formation and also a major constituent in topical formulations for arthritis relief. Eating it raw though doesn’t always work the same way.

Cardamom

A strong antiseptic and antimicrobial spice, cardamom comes in seeds, is a mild aphrodisiac and helps in soothing an irritable intestinal tract.

Coriander

Considered a strong anti-inflammatory agent this spice is capable of reducing symptoms of inflammatory GI tract diseases.

These one-pot curries know how to pep up your menu!

More often coming in bright golden hue and complex flavors, curry is an amazing choice for so many reasons. It warms you up, make you feel full and adds some zing to your plate. And there is a bonus too! It’s quite healthy and wholesome. Scoring big over Paleo recipes, curries could probably win you over if vegan diets become more your thing. Yep, there are whole lots of plant based curries that are easy to make and quickly leave the cooker. Just one pot or pan and flat 30 minutes could whip up flavors that may leave you looking for more!

If the thought of ethnic food stirs you up and if the idea of stepping out of the box no longer intimidates you; its time you tried a perfect Indian curry dish. If you have experienced Indian food, you know just how delicious a vegetarian dish could be! If you haven’t, curry is the perfect recipe to start with at home. Yeah!  And if you do Meatless Mondays, this could work up a terrific fare. It is so healthy and there are so many vegetarian variations you could do with it; just about any veggie works well.

Here are 12 crazy delicious vegan curries to tickle your fancy and tempt you to fix some space for one of these on tonight’s dinner table !

Red Lentil ( Masoor dal) Curry

Image source: ‘Healthy Low-Sodium Red Lentil Curry’ by Susan Edelman in onegreenplanet.org.

No one wants to spend the evening washing a pile of dirty dishes. No worries!! You can cook this curry in only one pot. Even better, you can have this flavorful curry on the table in less than 30 minutes.  I can’t think of a better way to eat dinner than this quick, healthy, and delicious one-pot curried lentil recipe!

With 126 calories per serving of 1 cup (100 grams), this curry has 6.2grams of protein, 4.2 grams of fats, 416 mg. of sodium, 15.9grams of carbs, vitamin A and C, fatty acids, amino acids, 28 mg calcium and 1.9 mg of iron.

Pigeon pea Curry

Image source: Cumin-Scented Pigeon Peas with Mango (Mango Curry with Toor Dal)’ in tastespace.wordpress.com on April 21, 2012.

Pigeon pea( Dal in Hindi)  is easily known and referred to as split pulse (lentils, beans or peas). This curry bets on yellow peas, blending alongside the flavors of cumin, mustard, onion, chilies and fresh ginger. A brilliant go-to dinner recipe on lazy, gray days, this curry is cheap, healthy, flavorful and heavy on protein and goes easy on fat. Complete with exotic flavors a bowl of this warm filling curry tastes amazing and is good enough to become your daily staple food. Each 100 grams serving contains 3.3 grams of fat, 16.9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 6.9 grams of protein, < 0.1 gram of salt and 439 mg of potassium. What more could you ask for?

Coconut Quinoa curry

Image source: ‘Vegetarian Green Coconut Curry with Quinoa’ by Kristen Stevens in foodandwine.com in Feb. 2014.

This recipe requires one pot only; your slow cooker. Just pitch in some sweet potatoes, broccoli, quinoa, chickpeas and coconut milk into your slow cooker along with some spices, and turn it on. Flat 30 minutes active time in kitchen and a delicious aromatic treat is ready!. Each 100 gram serve carries 140 calories, 4.00 grams of proteins, 5.70 grams of fat, 14.40 grams of carbs, 2.50 grams of fiber besides 2.90 grams of sugar and zero cholesterol.

Curried Quinoa with Butternut squash and Chickpeas

Image source: ‘Squash, Spinach & Chickpea Curry with Turmeric Blend’ by Lisa Turner in cleaneatingmag.com.

Butternut squash is a hearty and super healthy way to add some oomph to plant-based recipes like this one. It’s a perfect 25 minute star dish for weeknight dinner and great for getting rid of any veggies hanging around your fridge. Once done garnish the dish with fresh parsley and you’re good to go. Try this curry with rice and naan, though brown rice particularly tastes good with this curry. Each portion (245 grams serves 4) carries 236 calories, 36.5 grams of carb, 6.5 grams of protein, 8.2 grams of fat, 105 mg of calcium and 3 mg of iron besides 602 mg of sodium and 683 mg of potassium.

Coconut Chickpea curry

Image source: ‘Easy Chickpea Coconut curry soup’ in cearaskitchen.com on Jan.24, 2018.

This curry is one healthy source of fat that could leave you feeling full and satisfied. Throw in some chickpeas, coconut milk and fresh veggies and you’ve got a super healthy meal to tide you over. If you are searching for a curry recipe that is heavy on proteins but light on the heat – look no further. Each 100 gram serves 148 calories and brags of 6 grams of fat, 17.6 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, 3.3mg of iron, vitamin A and C and 51 mg of calcium.

Spicy Chickpea -Cauliflower Tandoori

Image source: ‘Spicy Chickpea and Cauliflower Tandoori’ by LiveKindly in livekindly.co.

If you are a protein buff then a bowl of this savory curry could be the right choice for you. Easy and colorful this recipe contains a whopping 23 grams of protein per portion. It’s also got heaps of fiber and serves you yummy nutrients. Drop in a pinch of asafetida and bit of dried chili to push the flavors without burning your taste buds off.  ‘Are you sacred of chilies? Not always hot, capsaicinoids in chilies add great flavors, work as metabolic enhancer and are rich in vitamin- A & C and minerals like iron  potassium. And what’s not to love about this devilish fruit that pips in anti oxidant stuff too?

Thick and flavorful, this recipe packs in enormous goodness and could leave you a lot happier and contented.

Thai Noodle Curry

Image source: ‘Spicy Vegan Thai Curry Noodle Soup’ by Jalisha in eatingveganwithme.com.

This curry is more like a cross between a Thai curry dish and a Thai noodle dish. Rice noodles, red curry paste and coconut milk all come together to stir up a deliciously creamy noodle bowl; and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes! If you’re looking for a protein to pair with this then Thai Coconut curry tofu would blend perfectly with it.  Naturally vegan, gluten free, creamy and packed with veggies, coconut milk and spices in this curry turn it into a gleeful warming family meal. Loving the sound of that? I ‘m sure your guests will too! Nutrition wise, it fares evenly. Each 100 grams serves 58 calories, 1.50 grams of protein, 10.70 grams of carbs, 0.60 gram of fat, zero cholesterol, vitamins and minerals that include essentials like iodine, zinc, potassium, sodium and calcium.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry

Image source: ‘Sweet potato, Chickpea and Spinach Jalfrezi curry’ in supervalu.ie.

If you think that vegan food equals bland food, then this curry will prove you all wrong and it‘s so simple to make! Low on fat and calories, this one-pot curry is full of sunshine flavors and could make you long for more. With all the goodness of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, and coconut milk, it is seasoned with Indian spices like garam masala, turmeric, cumin and dried chilies and cooked into a creamy, rich, fragrant and hot treat in under 30 minutes. It’s mild enough for the kids to enjoy, but still packs a punch! Each one bowl serve (245 grams) packs 293 calories, 5.1 grams of protein, 22.3 grams of fat and 515 mg of sodium.

Chana( Garbanzo bean) Masala Curry

Image source: ‘Super Easy Chole Masala / Chana Masala recipe’ by Bharat Wadhwa in bharatzkitchen.com.

Authentic Chana masala curry is typically made with grounded whole spices and dried mango powder. These are cooked in some oil to bring out the best of flavor and fragrance. Garam masala options are the traditional ones and you could actually experience a delightful sensory overload. Blended mix of coriander, cumin, cardamom (green and black), cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and other spices lends an unforgettable tone and turn the curry into a quality bite in under 30 minutes. If you are looking for shortcut to a rich, long simmered flavor, use whole tomatoes crushed in the curry. Diced tomatoes give more chunky results. And what more! If you add some baby spinach, your dinner bowl turns all colorful and nutritious!

Nutrition wise, a 245 grams one bowl portion (serves 4) carries 443 calories, 12.1 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbohydrate, 15.2 grams of protein , 65 mg of sodium, vitamin A, B , E , K1 and C, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium and host of other nutrients.

Citrus Pumpkin Curry

Image source: ‘Tangy Tamarind Pumpkin Curry Recipe’ by Pooja Thakur in archanaskitchen.com on Nov.7, 2016.

If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, you probably have figured out by now that the pumpkin spice fetish is these days bigger than ever. 

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash (like acorn and butternut) and a part of the gourd family and the Indian way of cooking it leaves a mesmerizing tingling aftertaste.

A unique gluten free curry it combines the sweetness of the winter squash with the savory-spiced flavor of curry. it is an enchanting display of bright colors – orange, yellow, and red – infused with citrus accents which are a due change from potatoes and chickpeas. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious and offers a unique blend of veggies -both sweet and savory.

Pumpkin curry in fact is a warming match appropriate for the crisp days when pumpkins and other winter squashes come to harvest. It is best cooked until just tender but not mushy. Baking and braising (or sautéed until lightly browned) are the best ways to cook it.

The nutrition profile of pumpkin is pretty stately too .  It’s packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals—including more potassium than a medium banana! One-cup serving of pumpkin curry has 50 calories, 2 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber,  vitamins and includes minerals like potassium, zinc and phosphorus. The show grabber though, are the carotenoid compounds that give the pumpkin its bright orange color. One of these- the anti oxidant beta carotene- potentially reduces risk to quite a few major diseases.

Mushroom Matar ( Pea)  Masala

Image source: ‘Restaurant Style Matar Mushroom Masala’ by Neetu Suresh in cookpad.com .

Mushrooms bring different texture and earthy flavor to this vegan, gluten free, soy free Indian curry where they pair well with peas and make a rather unbeatable combination that is hearty and healthy. You could make the sauce even creamier by adding cashew nut paste and tangier with more tomatoes. A dash of spinach makes it a satisfying flavorful meal that is up for grabs in flat 20 minutes . Pumpkin seeds, silken tofu or plain unsweetened yoghurt could make it even more delicious. One cup serve (230 grams) carries 156 calories, 9.4 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and vitamin A and C, calcium and iron in significant amounts.

Red Kidney bean curry

Image source: ‘ Red kidney bean, chili & ginger curry’ in taste.com.au.

Imagine buttery soft kidney beans simmering in a curry base flecked with lightly caramelized onion and garlic with rich coriander and tomato aroma assaulting your senses!! This curry is perfect served with fragrant basmati rice garnished with cilantro and minced red onion. You could add a bit of mint for that extra freshness. Blending spiced tomato sauce with fresh coriander turns the dish a beautiful bright red orange color. This curry tastes heavenly when freshly grounded black pepper in it, builds up as you eat. Nutrition wise, each 100 gram serve carries130 calories and contains 14 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 410 mg sodium, vitamin  A (2%)and C ( 6%) and calcium and iron ( 8% each).

If only there was a better way to eat for your well being!

Not many meat lovers find meat curries healthy either. Kormas and pasandas (a popular meat dish from the Indian subcontinent) for instance though delectable contain frightening amounts of cream. The average chicken tikka masala contains about 1,500 calories. Dishes such as rogan josh, madras curry, jalfrezi and sags (with spinach) are no less creamy but make it to the plate for carrying just as many healthy spices.

This leaves the least fattening combination of one of these vegan curries with steamed and lightly garnished rice, or anything oven baked (tandori) coated in yoghurt and spices but not fried.

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art

Yeah, you have heard this before! For many of us the insufficiency of a vegetarian diet and hazards of non veg foods is both in a way accurate and inaccurate at the same time. Besides the verdict varies  between us. If you think that ditching meat or switching to some other source means you will automatically land up with equal or better source of nutrition, then you are off target.

That ethical take on vegan vs non- veg issue aside, if you were to swear off the meat and animal products, would that mean a ‘magical’ weight loss and a healthy you? Certainly not. Very few of us get to choose between vegan, vegetarian / non vegetarian way of food habits. Everyone in fact just keeps eating what their family chose for them since childhood.

So, it’s for you to choose between fried meaty treats and healthy delicious plant based foods. You could always brush aside that buzz over taste, smell and texture and dig in what you like most. After all healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. But you would do well if you sleep on this; if your co worker is noshing heavy meat burgers and fries every day, is he or she likely to be healthier than you?

And don’t forget….we become what we eat.!!

These awfully adverted rude foods have actually brought the fun back into snacking!!

Rude foods are finally bringing the fun back into snacking. Organically produced muesli and porridges packed full of tasty fruity bits and extra textures are jostling and finding space in daily breakfast tray, disproving the cynics who thought that such cereals were boring.

Weirdness is all sweet and savory

We all love deliciousness of certain words. These are the words that bring everyday food to life. Even something as modest as a chocolate could make you salivate when dressed with warm adjectives like rich, thick, gooey, creamy, silky or frothy. Appetizing words like simmering, browned, roasted, spice tempt you to try out a newer recipe each time you visit a non-descript out of  the way café with equally tempting offerings.

The cake fluffy as a pillow, toasty brown bedecked with plum colored cream swirls, looks like a homespun triumph. The cream of mushroom is all butter laden cognac kissed charm. Succulent and plump shrimp sautéed with chili flakes and served with salad of oyster mushroom, cucumber and corns, all fresh, vibrant and crunchy, is just spicy enough to make you sit upright.

More lightweight than a brittle these are the foods that work wonders over a cup of coffee. If you could soak all day in these awesome foods, then what is this ‘double entendre ‘all about? 

May be it’s about a  food—even the one you normally like—that can be described in a way that totally robs the joy of eating it.Yucks!! this food’s worth a second tasteyou would describe a tomato if you don’t agree that a good tomato is ripe, sweet and juicy. Slimy, jellylike substance around the seeds, thin skin and grainy pulp” would keep you at bay from even a salad staple. And it sure wouldn’t inspire anybody to rush out to a nearest oyster bar and stay calm when faced with a plateful of barnacled, irregular and slimy oysters on your table. Aesthetics of devouring shellfish would give way to horror in no time and you will never manage to extract oysters from their watery home! 

Food that we consider inappropriate for consumption is usually a sell-short version of undercooked, overcooked, burned or mystery portion in an old margarine tub at the back of the fridge; lamenting veggies weeping at the bottom of the crisper or the leftover of greyish congealed gravy with fur and fuzz sprouting from things. The kind of stuff nobody would want to or ever should eat. Adjectives like grisly, withered, rubbery, curdled and moldy perfectly make for a food that is beyond its prime. This is what plainugly’ food is all about.

But have you wondered that what the French consider delectable- snails in a sizzling garlic sauce– may well be another culture’s nightmare?

But what happens when a flavorsome food is named weirdly?

From coddled eggs to Witchetty grub, it’s not unlikely that the weirdness of names themselves would keep even the most enterprising foodies at arm’s length. For one coddler is a porcelain cup with a lid and none would dream of eating pottery and anything ‘ witchy’ sounds downright dangerous and equally distasteful.

But the fact of the matter is that weirdest foods are not always that weird. Coddled eggs are in fact lightly steamed or baked (in hot water bath) rendering only the whites to be slightly cooked. Likewise Witchetty grub is the larva of a moth that feeds on wild bush called by the same name. Packed with proteins it can be eaten raw or soft cooked and tastes like scrambled egg and for some it even reminds of chicken.

So why not call them by the name everybody is familiar with ? Why not just use words like “sausage” instead of “mystery meat”? For a few it could be for fun’s sake but for most it’s akin to putting punch back into the very act of snacking.

Here are some of the freak foods that are ubiquitous and grossest at the same time. Known passionately and devoured eagerly, these dishes are not entirely inaccurately regarded as ‘mystery foodsand often carry even weirder ingredients.

Bubble & squeak

Image source: ‘Classic British Bubble And Squeak’ by Decatur MacPherson in 12tomatoes.com

If you think that this food hails of something close to a living creature that bubbles and perhaps squeaks when served on your platter, then you couldn’t be more far from truth. This food has origins in Great Britain and actually contains leftover fried veggies. Loved as a side dish to morning breakfast, it’s meant to sound awful because the dish made from cooked potatoes and cabbage when mixed together and fried literally bubbles and squeaks while over the fire.

The Imam Bayildi (literally Imam fainted)

Image source: ‘IMAM BAYILDI (A stuffed eggplant recipe from Asia minor)’ by Evelynathens in food.com

Now this one is far weirder and you couldn’t possibly have the slightest idea of what could there be in the dish. It’s actually a recipe from the Turkish cuisine and is generally made from whole eggplant, garlic and tomatoes and simmered in olive oil. Imam bayildi could also be made from baked tender aubergines with aromatic tomato and onion stuffing. Legend has it that it was so delectable that it made even the Imam faint with pleasure at the delicious flavor of this dish.

Bat Milk yogurt

Image source: ‘The 20 Most Inappropriate Food Product Names Ever’ by William Lewis on Jan 29, 2015 in top13.net

This weird brand of yogurt made from cow’s milk comes from Brazil and certainly has nothing to do with bats. From a Brazilian brand Batavo, this yoghurt created a fusion of two words by combining a Portuguese word, “batter“, with the English word, “milk” hence creating one of the offensive words, “BatMilk.” Even then who would want to have BatMilk ?

Only Puke crackers

Image source: ’31 Truly Unfortunate Food Product Names’ by Jessica Misener in buzzfeed.com on Sep 30, 2013

Words often mean different things in different languages, as this awfully adverted food proves. This Chinese snack is actually known as Only Pukeet and is oddly named because the last two letters on the bag were horrible prints making them virtually invisible. These honey bean crackers remind people of vomit and couldn’t possibly really make you want to eat them either.

Century eggs

Image source: ‘Century Eggs with Mala Chili Sauce’ by Lady Home Chef in ladyhomechef.blogspot.com on April 27, 2017

There is no way you could even dream of eating a 100 year old egg. But when you do eat, you are actually eating an older, rotten, black version. This recipe calls for eggs being preserved in clay and ash for few months. Once ready, these turn into a savory comfort food. Of course, no health issues here. Intimidating but it is a convenience food.

Bangers and Mash

Image source: ‘Bangers & Mash with Guinness Onion Gravy’ in johnsonville.com

The English always have had a penchant for weird names. This eat also known as sausages and mash, quintessentially has British-Irish origin and consists of finger sausages served with mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy. Including one of a variety of flavored sausages made from pork, lamb or beef, this is a dish you’ll find anywhere in the fancy restaurants and pubs across England. It blends well with other luxury ingredients and is super delicious too!!

Clootie dumpling

Image source: ‘Clootie Dumpling! posted by SOCIAL:FIFE ⋅ on Jan 25, 2015 in socialfife.wordpress.com

Based on name you wouldn’t have guessed it right. This in fact is a desert pudding made of sweets stuff like dough, dried fruits and sugar, all held as a dumpling within a strip of parchment and fabric. The name clootie comes from the cloth it‘s boiled in, as cloot is scots for cloth. Traditionally you would boil the dumpling straight on the cloth rather than lining it with paper first. You can also steam it in a pudding basin if you wish to experiment.

Sweetbread (Offal)

Image source:’ What is Offal? Types, Nutrition, Benefits, & Uses’ in discover.grasslandbeef.com on Nov. 25, 2019

It’s hard to win you over as an exciting believer of this ‘complicateddish. It is neither a sweet nor a piece of bread and contains animal meat as the key ingredient. Sometimes also known as ‘Offal’, the thymus or pancreas of the animal is behind one of the main ingredients. Many sweetbreads come from veal meat or lamb but beef and pork sweetbreads are the revered ones.

Welsh Rabbit

Image source: ‘Welsh Rarebit’ in foodandtable.com on May 20,2018

If you think that it is a rabbit dish from Wales, then you are in for a surprise! This one is in fact a vegetarian dish and for some odd reason has been so weirdly named by somebody who was either incredibly clever or mighty confused. No rabbits; it is rather melted cheese over toast or crackers. The English nonetheless brandish a fancier version with actual rabbits.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Image source: ’11 Things You Didn’t Know About Rocky Mountain Oysters’ by Sarah Anderson in thrillist.com on Aug.22, 2015

These are not oysters and neither seafood. Purposefully but so inaccurately named, these are actually testicles from animals like goats, sheep calves. So, how did this dish come to be? At the end of the day most big ranches would end up with hundreds of these and just to make economic sense out of it, make use of them by cooking and eating. For few it may go off well but for most it is an ugly food, absurdly described that fails to whet appetite.

Ladyfingers

Image source: ‘Ladyfingers Recipe & Video’ in joyofbaking.com

No! You have guessed it all wrong. It’s not a savory dish made out of okra pods but a delicious little dessert. These are in fact low density, dry egg based sweet sponge biscuits cakes made out in the shape of a large finger. Essentially, they’re dip-able, finger-shaped cookies that are so delicate that even Keats had to write about them. Ladyfinger cakes are undoubtedly an intricate creation and are  considered to be one of the rare bakers’ arts.

Crunky Ball Nude

Image source:’ The crudest foods: From ‘Crunky Ball Nudes’ to hot ‘Urinal’ cordials’ by Yaron Steinbuch in nypost.com on Jan 28. 2015

One of the most hilariously named Korean candies, this is a provocative confection made with hazelnut paste and malt covered in crisped rice and chocolate. It looks more like an unsophisticated version of a Ferrero Rocher. These candies come packaged in a plastic barrel with a flip-top, which is quite a fun. Each ball is about the size of a grape and covered in tiny rice crisps.

There’s very little chocolate though that could show through. The rice crisps are nuttier and taste almost like cornflakes or sesame seeds and are within each ball too. The chocolate is thick with dusky hints of malt. The texture pairs well with the airy puffs of rice.

Even infamous is sometimes delightful

With names like Pee cola, Cream colon biscuits, Golden gay time cookies, instant ramen ‘Soup for Sluts’ and ‘Urinal’ hot drink, at first glance these foods could put you off when feeling impish. But words mean differently for different languages. Some of the most delectable spreads are the most unfortunately named foods in the world.  It’s not surprising that the idea of adverting these nasty named foods as an epicurean delight is fast catching up since they mate so well with the duality of happiness and health. It’s startling that even the most weirdly named cuisine is not considered a redemption dish anymore!!

If you haven’t tried one of these freakish sounding foods so far, it’s time to reach out. The queerness is just the result of terrible branding or probably their awkward names are a result of their true name meanings having lost track over the time.

Whatever…names apart, you know how to pull it off when gravies and curries, sweet and savory and traditional and classical meet the challenges to keep the textures right even after a long journeyfrom wok to platter.

12 high protein delights where serving size scores big over portion size

Your serving size might be the reason you are getting Fat. Or maybe you are over-indulging in ‘healthy’ food one time too often. May be you have missed the good ones and everything that followed is devastating your diet plan. It’s time you learn to get fewer spoons in your food and discover which nutriment could just work great for you.

Should you have too much of good food!

“Anyway, it’s healthy.” If this is how you would react then in all probability you are eating too much of a good food and may be one time too many. Needless to say we fall prey to temptations sometimes and often cheat ourselves for the fun of it. Over the years food portions and servings have grown in size and so have the waistlines.  A bagel that sized 3 inches and carried 140 calories not so long ago, has fattened to 6 inches and a whopping 350 calories.

When we look for healthy foods we are suddenly beset by the misbelief that we can have as much of it as we want without the consequences. Sometimes we even find it thoughtful that we can eat our way to negative calories and a promising health.

So what to eat and how much to eat?  Let’s clear the air.

Are you indecisive about nutrition?

Nutritional studies usually run aground for the simple reason that it’s pretty hard to figure out what people actually eat. Sizing a tomato before eating is difficult to remember than how many times you ate it last year. Nutrition judgments could go awry and be distressingly inexact for the same reason.

For this simple relatable reason you just couldn’t do any better by sticking to a one particular diet and size. Eating a variety of fresh food and cutting back on processed ones is the simplest way to ensure that you get what you need most, even if the reality isn’t as exciting or new as you might wish it was. And then you may also wonder how the microbes in your GI tract will behave. Will it somehow change you whole nutritional plan?

No way, this is more about your personalized nutritional response than anything else. Micro biome science doesn’t carry necessary evidence to back up its use. For now, it’s wait and see and then wait and see more. It turns out science is often wrong on the way to being right.

Most roads lead to fineness proteins that strengthen bones, cartilage and skin and could improve your mood swings by regulating body hormones. With some health rewarding combination of these impressive foods, all equations work just fine without sabotaging weight loss goals!

How many times you have returned home exhausted, and either grabbed whatever you could on the way or called that local takeaway joint? Probably many more times than you wish you didn’t remember.  

It’s not so uncommon to find those who rush out of home for a 8-10 hr job each day and for whom a quick cup of coffee is the only choice to kick start their day.  A rush to street joints and a hasty bite of those street foods without fretting over the food value is a poor choice. The unfortunate part is that these people miss out on the importance of having high protein foods each day 24/7. Even high protein snacks fail in hitting your macro goals that range from reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass to healthy bones, cartilage, skin tissues and blood. For every kilo of bodyweight you need 0.75 gram of protein each day; that sum up to 56 gram daily if you are of an average built.

If you are keen on being lean and sinewy and alive outside, you need to up your protein intake by all counts. Just how much of what that will keep you stoked all day without worrying about the waistline? Let’s figure out here;

Egg

Image source:: ‘Go (over) easy on the eggs: ‘Egg-cess’ consumption linked to diabetes. in Newsletter of 14 Nov.2020 Univ. of South Australia.

An average 50-gram chicken egg provides approximately 70 calories of food energy, 6grams of protein and approx. 5 grams of fat. More than half the calories found in egg comes from the fat in the yolk which in turn contains 2/3rd of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg of cholesterol.

On the other count the egg white consists primarily of water (87 percent), protein (13 percent), little fat and virtually no cholesterol. Once boiled these miracle orbs provide you significant amount of several vitamins and minerals that include vitamin-A (19% of daily value or dv), riboflavin (42 % of dv), pantothenic acid(28% of dv), vitamin-B12 (46 % of dv), choline (60 % of dv), phosphorus ( 25% of dv), zinc ( 11% of dv) and vitamin-D ( 15% of dv).  But remember, how you cook an egg affects its nutritional value. Packed with nutrients, calorie for calorie, an egg is pretty much like any other food and makes portion control easy even for the most unwilling.

Just boil two of these, cool and dig in!

Cheese

Image source: ‘The 9 Healthiest Types of Cheese’ by Lizzie Streit in healthline.com

The protein content in cheeses varies between Parmesan, Swiss, Pecorino, Edam and Gouda but offers the most bang-for-buck. A 100 gram serving provides between 26-35 grams of protein with around 1.3 grams of carbohydrate. Paired with anti oxidant grapes or blue berries it could make you jumpstart even after the 3 pm slump.

Yogurt- Greek or Regular?

Image source: ‘Strawberry Yoghurt Recipe’ by Meghna Wani in parenting.firstcry.com

Regular and Greek yogurt are made from the same ingredients but differ in nutrients. While regular yogurt tends to have fewer calories and more calcium, Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar — and a much thicker consistency. Both types pack probiotics and support digestion, weight loss, and heart health.

Let’s find out which scores most on nutrition;

Protein 

A typical 170 gram serving of Greek yogurt contains 15 to 20 grams of it, the amount equivalent of 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams which could make you may feel hunger pangs sooner.

Carbohydrate 

A smart choice for those who watch their waist lines Greek yogurt carries half the carbs as the regular kind – 5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Further, the straining process leaves this yogurt less likely to hurt those who are lactose intolerant. No matter which one you opt for, just go for the one that is less sugar added.

Fat

Be wary here. A 200 gm serving of Greek yogurt packs 16 gm of saturated fat – or 80 percent of recommended daily allowance if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. On the other side, regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in a typical 225 gram serving. Saturated fat raises total and “bad” cholesterol levels.

Sodium

An average serving of Greek yogurt could provide you as much as 50 mg of sodium, about half the amount most brands of the regular kind carry. Too much salt spikes BP and increases the risk of heart ailments. Recommended intake puts cap at 2300 mg a day or 1500 mg if you are older than 50, have hypertension, diabetic or suffer from chronic kidney disease.

Calcium 

Regular yogurt serves 30 percent of your daily requirement while Greek yogurt sheds some of its calcium through the straining process. A 170 gram cup of Greek yogurt nonetheless provides at least 20 percent of your daily need. Still worried about your calcium intake? Just add another serving of milk or stir almonds into your serving each day.

Edamame beans (Immature soya bean)

Image source: ‘Edamame-Black Bean Salad’ by Betty Crocker Kitchens in bettycrocker.com

Green soybeans certainly don’t sound inviting, yet they’re a great source of protein. Like meat and dairy, these greens provide all of the essential amino acids your body needs. One 50 gm serve contains around six grams of protein and four grams of carbs.

Fish

Image source::’Why Is Fish Good for You? Because It Replaces Meat? ‘ by Roni Caryn Rabin
 

When you pick up one of the packaged tuna, salmon or mackerel options you indulge yourself in the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose from various options – with or without dressings and other ingredients like bulgur wheat, lentils and quinoa.

Tofu

Image source:: ‘ Deep-Fried Tofu With Dipping Sauce’, by  Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee in latimes.com

Meatatarians may be skeptical but this could very well make them sulk no longer. With 8 grams of plant based protein and 1.9 grams of carbs, each 100 gram serving of tofu could be a delightful addition even to most eclectic non veg spread. Its smacks great when chopped into cubes, pan fried with spices and then dunked into onion tomato ginger gravy. Take a bite of this portable protein and I’m sure you wouldn’t find it super weird any longer. It’s great at sucking up the flavors of the dish it is prepared in and is a versatile addition to a meal. After all it is curdled soya milk and is made pretty much the same way most cheeses are made. Firm tofu (soya bean curd) contains about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving.

Lentils

Image source:’ Madras Lentils’ by Linda in thewanderlustkitchen.com

A great source of protein, cooked lentils carry about 8.84 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Red or green, lentils can be added to stew, curries salads or rice to give that little extra punch of protein to a lunch or dinner spread. Apart from protein and fibre, lentils carry key nutrients including iron and potassium.

Chickpeas

Image source: ‘how to make espinacas con garbanzos here’ by Lauren Aloise in spanishsabores.com

Highly versatile with plenty of recipes you could relish chickpeas by adding them in stew or curry or even enjoy it oven roasted and spiced with paprika. Even hummus which is again made from chickpea paste is your healthy, protein rich mouthful alternative to butter. High in protein, each 100 gram serving of cooked chickpea contains about 7.25 gram of it.

Peanuts

Image source: ‘Eat Peanuts: You May Live Longer’ by Jennifer J, Brown in everydayhealth.com

Protein rich, brimming with good fats, peanuts are your complete protein snack. An 8 gram tablespoon of peanut butter spread over your sandwich could leave your gut feeling happy. Each 100 gram serving carries about 20.5 gram of protein.

Quinoa

Image source: ‘How to cook Quinoa (and what to do with it!) ‘ by Kylee in kyleecooks.com

Quinoa is a complete protein grain. A cooked 100 gram portion contains about 8 grams of protein. It is also rich in other nutrients, including magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. You could relish quinoa as a fill-in for pasta, in soups and stews or even choose to sprinkle it on a salad. It just savors great with any combination.

Protein-rich veggies

Image source: ‘8 High-Protein Vegetables You Must Start Eating Right Now! by Sarika Rana in food.ndtv.com

Eaten alone many of these dark-colored, leafy greens  are not enough to meet your daily protein requirement , but a few vegetable snacks can increase protein intake, particularly when consumed along with other protein-rich foods.

A single medium stalk of broccoli has about 4 grams of protein while kale gives you 2 grams  per 100 gram serving. 5 medium sized mushrooms likewise contain about 3 grams of protein. For a happy eat you could try a salad of baby greens with some quinoa sprinkling for a protein rich nutriment.

Seitan (Wheat meat)

Image source: ‘Instant Pot Seitan’ by Liz in zardyplants.com

Seitan is made from mixing wheat gluten with various spices.  This complete protein however is best avoided by people afflicted with gluten intolerance because of its high wheat content. It turns into a protein-rich wholesome meat substitute for you when cooked in soy sauce. One 125 gram serving could supplement you with as much as 24 grams!

Foraging for bottom line!

If you feel that your jeans are hugging you tighter than usual, don’t blame all that food. It’s your personality that actually make you decide how much and when should you eat. Most extroverts are more likely to eat out with friends and tend to have bigger portions of less healthy foods. Conscientious ones who abide by the rules are unsurprisingly the healthiest. These are the ones who would rather nibble on a carrot stick instead of chips when the urge to eat hits. Then there are those also who are prone to emotional eating and are disoriented enough to usually eat dense and high calorie foods.

This eating awareness may discomfort you but it’s not meant to make you self conscious or feel scared of food. It’s here only to make you realize that what and how much you put into your body might not be right choice. May be it’s not what your body actually needs. May be you are eating more out of habit than want.

So, take a break between those bites and remember that some 20 years ago, people were just as satisfied with one half the size. You would or wouldn’t be, is uncertain but at least you will know what and how much you have eaten. Meanwhile keep servings in mind when looking for a quick bite.

You may find an easy way to avoid over-doing but be on guard for times when it’s not so easy to count.

“I could never make heads turn” and I never rued for not being the object of desire.

People around me could never gather enough courage to say that they never found anything attractive in me, but somehow I knew. I was no freak and I had no great looks… at least not good enough to be an object of desire. I just couldn’t make heads turn..! I was the one who desired rather than be the one who was desired.

Still, it’s taken some getting used to.

I would be lying if I were to say that I didn’t miss the thrill of being wanted. The subtle pleasure of acquiescence to somebody’s needs, the opportunity to say ‘yes’ instead of being asked,  ‘would you’?

The other day, a man -friend of a friend, distantly acquainted sat next to me in a local coffee shop. I could never figure out this day why he said what he said a little while later in a low voice leaning across. I can never make out, if it’s the academics that make everything desirable or if it takes sensuality out of everything”. He held my gaze after he’s done. It occurred to me that he was mocking me. Not giving up…so I smile and say, “It’s probably a little bit of both” and lean in for just a moment. The brazen ugly sparkle in his eye bemused me… the way he took a jibe at me. Then I lean away again and say, “But it’s’ probably more of the former, because I am married, happily so and gotten everything I want from this happenstance.”

I felt uncomfortable for quite some time … It scared me. Are we so free to say about things that are so unshakeable part of how we are to ourselves?

Today, though it’s a relief. I have seen people hide the truth of aging over their lives, chasing the desires and fantasies that I have neither had the time nor the inclination for. This is my body and I live in it more happily than I would endure the awful things I’d need to do to make it appear young again!

That the years weigh heavily on me, is because they were good years lived well and I have no intention to bid farewell to good things that lit up my sky today… everyday.

I wonder what makes us yearn so fervently to be desired, to wear a charm mesmerizing enough to change moods and make heads turn. What stokes the fear of being left behind’ that would otherwise carve an emotional wreck out of us ? Is there a way out?

Slight Smiles, Head Tilts, Tousled Hair: what this ‘allure’ is all about!

When it comes to beguiling, your looks could make you incredibly appealing even if for a short while. But deep down, we all are attracted more to carriage than other elements.

Humans are not as mysterious as they think. We have fairly expressive facial and body language cues to reveal our inner thoughts. Smile amongst them serve best in igniting the attraction even though it is not a definite facial cue.

The truth behind attraction rings differently for different persons.  I have always regarded it as a kind of invention. I think of it as an irresistible force to which we usually are in so thrall that we ignore its power to limit our choices. When we desire for someone, this all-consuming feeling turns overwhelming.  And when we become icons of attraction, we begin to fulfill all the slush fantasies.

Maybe… this is how it is meant to be. An overwhelming desire for another person stemming from a good deal of good looks!.

“If you knew the secret of Life, you too would choose, no other companion but Love”.- Rumi

It’s hard to believe in crush at first sight,  but I do believe in desire at first sight and I also believe that the knowledge of how to look attractive “has the highest regard and selling price tagged to it these days.

The inevitable business of finding happiness begins right here, something that is so hard to come by that we just couldn’t find it once for all and keep it safe in our pockets! Weirdly, as we chase it in seemingly brighter spots outside of us, describing happiness has turned complicated and experiencing it even more expensive.

The world is changing and so are we…looking for honest answers to how to be a head turner.

Searching for Answers in happiness sales!!

I am not getting into details of the trillions spent in selling happiness, but isn’t it true that every year with an increase in happiness sales (beauty products, luxury possessions, marquee outfits), the incidences of mental health concerns are only rising?

I find that our biggest mistake is that we have come to commercialize the path to happiness. From buying confidence swelling beauty products to selling vacuum cleaners to a happy family, all are there with the sole purpose to catch an eye and externalize happiness.

The joke is on us. It exists for free and not far, within each one of us. Haven’t we overrated our sense of happiness? Aren’t there so many other emotions to embrace besides this blind hunt to look great?

It could be the very cause of unhappiness!

I looked beyond grudges

My woes would have had lived on if I were to keep raking myself with this one single thought. What could possibly be wrong with me? Why people do not find me attractive enough to be desirable? Instead I chose not to shoot myself in the feet and  went about living a life aging gracefully and chasing desires and pursuits I never would have thought to be such a joy…the thrill of wanting myself…the joy of yielding to somebody’s needs.

Beyond the man made myth of finding joys in unseen lands, I realize that I am actually happier today for having struck fascination to myself.

It all adds up. Being okay with both the troughs and crests and not demanding highs alone, is all about growing subtly in life. I withdrew from this mindless chase to be wanted’ one out of a hundreds of emotions, glamorized and boldly coveted. I probably saved myself from pitching into dark depths of depression, anxiety and other inconsolable personal and social challenges.

Believe me, we cannot be happy “at all times”. That would be a manic behavior. But once you realize that it’s not inlooksbut in the meaningwe put to it that we find or miss this amazing emotion. The more we see it in what we have” and appreciate “what is”, the easier it is to find it.

After all I could succeed in hoodwinking my identity crisis!!

FIVE SIMPLE LIFE LESSONS THAT COULD MAKE PEOPLE FIND YOU MORE #ATTRACTIVE- BESIDES LOOKS!

Not everything’s always about looks.!!

Being attractive to other people is not always dependent on how we look. How many times have we seen the attraction go flying out of the window, the moment he or she opens his or her mouth? Truth is…the key to everything that fascinates others lies within us.

Find out what could make people find you awesome and more attractive- beyond the physical.

Sometimes even science can’t convince me. The most important characteristic is also the most basic. If I were to ask you what quality would you prefer most in a person, wouldn’t it be … kindness? Predictably, this is one positive sentiment that is shared right across the board and perhaps one benevolent choice that could make heads turn in appreciation.

This is kind of baffling!!.. because no where would you find advice on how to be niceexcept that we’d all be so much better off simply by being kind rather than spending hours in front of the mirror. And it doesn’t take a lot to reveal this. Being on time, letting the other order first and choose where to sit and being polite to the waitress… these small acts of kindness are clear ways to show that you are concerned…. and in all probability kind too.

But isn’t it true that when it comes to make a choice, it’s what the other person represents and symbolizes is more compelling and attractive? None of us would miss the opportunity to be rather the one that others look upon us to be, than judge ourselves the way we truly are.

Believe me, we all would readily gift ourselves this much of concession whenever the need arise.

The ultimate hunt : It’s ‘nice’ and ‘sensible’ that finish first

When men think of a companion they imagine a woman who is open for adventure, sensual and cares little or nothing for what others think of her. These are the women who prefer to play by their own rules and live by their share of ikigai.

Women also have their share of stumbling when it comes to being hearty in their priorities. Sensible choices manifest in laboratories only. It’s a bit different in real life. Slave to habits, women usually have a hard time breaking cycles of poor choices and keep falling for the wrong kind of guy. Even after they get burned they would go out and do it again.

Sadly, expectations do sometimes turn into ruined intentions. In a world where we endure a monotonous life with an overwhelming number of rules and regulations, we find allure of even bad mates as incredibly appealing. Sometimes the temporary excitement that this fascination represents is too much to just let go..

So, how do you find preference over others, when you know that people may doubt what they see in you but will believe what you do?

The fastest way to do this happens only if you turn yourself into a bundle of curiosity and start learning a few simple but rewarding tricks.

These three simple actions are the recipe to quick and amazing results. Follow them and you could actually redefine yourself as more attractive a person besides your looks, to be the right choice for those who prefer a healthy and everlasting relationship.

Forget playing it cool.

Even speed dating events – where decisions are made in mere matter of minutes- simple interest builds up attraction. So how to make heads turn and others take notice of you? Listen closely, inquire moderately, hold your tongue so that you appear more polite and less inquisitive and ask questions that are witty but not frivolous. Believe me, these are known to work like an aphrodisiac!!.. could kindle a flame in your companion and in all probability make the other person find you more attractive than ever before.

Consider body movements.

These simple muscle flexing activities are controlled by the limbic part of the brain, the one that is responsible for our feeling of fascination, attraction and eventually love. Leaning towards the other person, smiling, keeping eye contact, are the three positive body actions that needs no words to build a connect to your advantage.

A smile is worth more than a thousand words.

“The things  I found most beautiful about a person are almost never physical”. # Slickwords

A positive personality always bridge emotions and physical attractiveness. It’s not groundbreaking of course but men are indeed attracted to pleasant, cheerful and positive women. These personality attributes blend easily not only because of their intense physical appeal but because they carry social attraction as well- a key issue when it comes to choosing a soul mate.

Of course, a lot depends on the context of the man in question, his age, maturity level, relationship status, and current needs in life— just a few of the many factors that are key to his attraction toward women.

This isn’t to say that you need to put on a happy face 24/7, but if you focus on being friendly and are open to meeting new people, it’s a win-win. Wisely put it’s all about having a open mind, warm heart and longing soul behind a smiling face that makes the day for those who are in the fray to win.

The truth holds something more respectful for a woman. It’s her unique hobbies, skills and interests that make her more attractive as a relationship partner. There certainly is no need for her to be the same as everyone else to be attractive. Being herself is always a much better choice. The more she could demonstrate her true self, the more she could make a man feel as if he has met the most wonderful person of his lifetime.

Happiness is actually is one most attractive emotion expression and a smiling face draws admiration all round. A scowling one definitely isn’t the right choice for anybody to draw attention let alone win over appreciation. When you smile and generally look happy, you look more open and less intimidating.

Remember…a smile could move mountains!!

Down to basics of attraction

Deep down, do guys really prefer nice women?

Yes, but men strongly associate nice woman as one who is not twice as funny, exciting and open as they fantasize.  Of course this is not meant to be a blanket statement and often not true, but then perception is everything.

And how could a girl attract a nice guy?

The best she could do is to demonstrate alluring qualities of a bad girl as imagined to have, without actually being bad. Its not a hard guess to know what guys want. She could show that she is open to trying new things, love being funny, adventurous, exciting, and has a sensual side too, without staging all the drama that a typical male fantasy brings to the table. The more she could portray these while still being the one elusive nice girl, the more she could make a man feel weak at knees.

For men, the excitement of an adrenaline rush would not be easy to pass by.

Don’t let go of people who could make you smile, laugh and feel loved

Being and remaining attractive to other person could be hard when you are looking for a long term relationship. Even in a new one, finding ways to spruce up your attraction don’t come easy. But, lesser attraction doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed. If you run out of luck to look attractive to your partner despite having tried different techniques, its time to revisit your relationship.

Sometimes attraction thins away when we ignore what we have faltered in.

It’s all about priorities and deciding what one truly wants in life. Once we come to terms with the poor choices that we make while trying to look amazing to other and what we truly want in the other person instead, we can help ourselves and make the right decisions. Could there ever be a better emotional reward for us than to turn compelling and truthful in our choices?

Being attractive and building upon a soulful relationship has its own share of sins and doesn’t come easy. You need to take time off to get to know the other person, change from strangers to friends and see them in every single light you ever wanted in the first place.

So, learn to revel in your true self and the better side of you will find ways to reveal itself… beyond physical of course.

With any luck you might find the mysterious connection of being attractive –inside out more rewarding than you would have ever thought.

Seven timeless habits that could help you win Friends and influence People !!

Each one of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits “.    -Fulton J. Sheen

You could be really good in your work and yet marvel at the ease with which your Boss sums up the day with a flourish. But when have you ever been just what you loved in the first place? You are merely defined by your roles. Your desire to be more than a performer and be a McCoy in ‘fit all’ roles is a moot point of social absurdity in your everyday life.

So!…ever wondered what allows him to achieve so much with so little efforts?

Like the top of the tree, it is our personality that people see first. Of course image, skill, and techniques carry their influence, but the real source of lasting effectiveness lies in strong character, the roots.

These timeless insights hold the key to most of our personal and professional life issues and could well change the way you may be interpreting success.

Everything begins with an end in sight

Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to” said the Cat... “I don’t much care where…” said Alice…“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

From Alice in Wonderland

Living by the design of things is the first step to a private victory. A clear vision of what you want and for what purpose, decides what is and what is not important for you in the day. Once this becomes visible you can create a personal mission and live by it for improved outcomes.

Always remember that mental creation always precedes physical creation. Once you begin to visualize the outcome in every area of life before you act, your blueprint to success starts taking shape. Your vision becomes your guide for day to day decisions.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

When this happens, it’s time to reshape your future. But just don’t let others do it for you or even circumstances decide for you. What more turn a blind eye to the wisdom of others. Consider it only as a temporary restraint , no more.

Be responsible for your choices for you chose wisely

“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”                                                                                                     -Viktor Frankl

For the third time this week, your company is rumored to be undertaking restructuring, for Covid crises have hit its anchors hard. You feel threatened and might even believe it to be true. You are aware that the finance department is searching for ways to latch on the expenses and save on company’s dwindling resources.

Lately you have suffered a bout of anxiety and have started feeling the scrutiny of the management. Recent failures stem from obvious reasons but the management has so conveniently begun to blame you and hold you squarely for dips in performance. Every day in Office you could feel your Boss staring at you across the floor with utter disdain in his eyes boring down your neck. You are damn sure that your impunity is short lived.

You believe that you have contributed significantly over the past seven years but you are not certain that the management is even aware of your value addition to the company. You and your team had worked so hard to develop good relations both in- house and with businesses but seems like everybody is turning a blind eye to your sweat.  Your department is slated to be downsized and you may be fired.

The first thought that will cross your mind is, what has conspired against me? Am I merely a victim of circumstances? or have I not made my choice wisely?

It’s not unnatural to defy the habit of choice. Most of us do not allow ourselves the freedom to choose between choices and rather resign to turn of events and circumstances.

So what could you do to un-ruffle the wet feathers? I would say you hit the pause, mull over it and then react proactively.  Think of what all lies all beyond your present. Start choosing between the options if you think you cannot salvage anything from this unworthy situation. Focus on what lies ahead than stay fixed with your present misadventure. Whatever you do, just be compelling in your choices and actions.

In any case your dependence on this job is no more than a private victory’ bereft of any synergy with your capabilities. Shed your loneliness and learn to expand your circle of influence. Be more aware of yourself and become a transition person. Your ‘interdependence’ shall change hands with independence ‘in no time and creativity shall take hold of your life for good.

One thumb rule that you should never let go is  learn to be yourself and focus on things you can influence. Only then you can expand your knowledge, experience, trustworthiness and above all your circle of influence.

First things always come First

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least”.                         – Johann Goethe.

Prioritization of things has an unmistakable reputation of giving better results and fewer hiccups. Focus on things that are important and urgent first and put the unimportant ones at the back of the shelf, although you have to deal with them anyhow.  

This rule defies all logic, for you may be required to multitask and deliver altogether, but remember, it is the compass that must always come before the clock because  where you are headed is more important than how fast you are getting there. So always live North of the line and remember what is urgent need not always be important. Needless interruptions, unnecessary reports, meetings, phone calls, mails may be urgent but not important. Crisis, pressing problems, deadline driven projects, meetings reports override all other priorities and come first above all. Likewise issues like preparation, planning, recreation, relationship building is important but not urgent. Trust me, effectiveness stems from your integrity once you begin to act on your priorities.

Image source: Photo by Elias de Carvalho on Pexels.com

Fall for the habit of mutual benefit : Its intoxicating to think win-win

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other “.                      – George Eliot

Effective long term relationships thrive only on mutual respect and benefits. Foster them. Strike rich relationships . Work on the belief that there is plenty out there and more to spare. Once you have struck a balance between courage and consideration, your win-win systems have already been built with faster solutions to problems. Workaround for a solution that works good for both rather than look for success expending and excluding others.

Believe me, these win-win frameworks work great when you are clear and vocal in your expectations, eager to delegate responsibilities and ready to work with conflicting priorities.

Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban on Pexels.com

Learn to understand to be understood

“Listen or your tongue will make you deaf”     – Unknown

To communicate and understand each other, you must learn to listen, for listening empathically is your first step towards influencing others.

Most of us do not spare necessary time and effort to properly diagnose the symptoms and rush to prescribe solutions. We assume that we have understood the issue well and hasten with a quick advice. This usually falls flat for we communicate from our own frame of reference. This is nothing unusual for we all are blessed naturally with this gift of communicating. We advise, probe, interpret and evaluate based on our own experiences and motives. We communicate merely our likes and dislikes. So what happens is that we feel we do not understand and likewise the other person doesn’t feel understood. This contemptuous disregard for each other’s ideas, priorities, intent and  an overwhelming urge to prevail upon, will fail you to ‘hit the brief’ every time you turn vocal .

The key to this mutual miscommunication lies within you only. Give a patient hearing to what others have to say and you will find that you are more likely to get the results you want than ever.

Solutions to complex problems have their roots in clarity on real issue. And what more once you learn to listen you can always teach to learn.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

“The enemy of the best is the good”.            -Voltaire

People are often overwhelmed by the difference of opinion, perspective and the background of the issue. Rummaging through umpteen courses of actions is merely confusing and often let you down.

One way to swim out of this cesspool of uncertainty is to identify the common purpose, look around you, search and learn the differences. Once you have done so, rewire your mindset. Celebrate these differences rather than tolerate or even accept them and you could well be rewarding yourself with the third alternative “Our Way”. Once you get rid of first two choices-‘my way’, ‘your way’; you are more likely to end up with an idea that is better than what you started with.

And when would you know that you have created a third alternative? You will get to know this; when you have a change of heart, see things differently and begin to find a new way together. For once, fall in for the habit of creative cooperation and see amazing things begin to happen.

Use a benchmark to check your effectiveness

“To keep the lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it”- Mother Teresa.

Focusing only on getting the golden eggs has always been a lot more ineffective than nurturing the goose that lays them.

While we learn to renew ourselves regularly we often encounter mental obstacles such as feeling too busy, lack of enough self discipline to stick to our commitments. These are harassing moments and need you to be strong. Even your petty chores like mind over mattress’ (getting up in time), eating healthy or sticking to reading regimen even when you are busy will sharpen the habit of renewal.

In turn you will have an insight of your effectiveness from your point of view as well as from the viewpoint of those around you. Better still set up a benchmark to see if your capacity has improved, relationships have bettered and there is continuous improvement in your productivity. As you explore you will become more aware of your level of effectiveness.

Once you recognize how you want to see yourself and how others see you, things will turn easier and your ‘Private victory’ will morph into a ‘Public victory’. Things once familiar and dull will for once start looking amazing and may even reveal the real McCoy in you.