Monday, 28 January 2013

7 Cup Burfi
             What is 7 cup Burfi ?

This delicious Indian sweet, as the name suggests, is prepared with 7 cups of ingredients. It is extremely simple, can be prepared at a very short notice and tastes heavenly :-D Ingredients are simple, what we always have in the kitchen and can be prepared in minutes. Be it the unexpected or sudden arrival of guests, or when the kids demand or when suddenly you have a craving to eat fresh sweets it is the time to prepare 7 cup Burfi. Go ahead and indulge !

How to be a successful Blogger ?

Hello senior bloggers ! I am a fresher here and already have become a big fan and have got addicted to blogging. When I tried to explore the to learn more about it, one thing I noticed that most of the experienced bloggers have taken pains to give tips and have written posts to give guidance to the freshers. How endearing and thoughtful!

I think as an experienced blogger when one come across questions and doubts at bloggers' forum one feels obliged to guide and write such a hub. To be frank though I am a raw new comer, I am also tempted to give advice and guidance sometimes on forums when I know the answer. But naturally! It is like one week old baby giving advice to the newborn " cry! then only mother will give you milk!"

How to do the Diet-that-works and The art of Living

                        Nutritional Diet Plan    
How to diet? I think this is the oft repeated question in this universe. God up there is very smart. He knows the weakness, the greediness of we human beings. He created so many wonderful things to eat and enjoy but created us in such a way that we can eat so much and not more. Therein he kept a message, " Ati sarvatra varjayet" - too much of anything is too bad. But in spite of this we tend to indulge and over eat and then start visiting the internet asking " How to diet? "
There are as many diet programs as the number of people who want to do it. But here I am giving not just diet tips but tips to a healthy living, and take you to a place where not only can you follow a strict and proper diet but can recoup yourself and regenerate your body.The Place is Ujire - Nature Care Center - about 2 kms from Dharmasthala in Karnataka, India, a place which teaches us a healthy way of dieting.
Natural Healing College                                 
I visited ujire in the month of August 2012. I had heard a lot about this naturopathy center, but was under the wrong impression that it had only a weight reduction program. But on the contrary it is a place which teaches us the art of living in a healthy and positive way. Before visiting this place, a few years back I Practiced Yoga, Pranayama and lost Weight, but wanted to visit this place for their holistic healing process.

This center is promoted by natural healing college which teaches right from - how to lose weight, what are organic foods, what is organic method of growing, - to - how to massage, what is massage, and what is nature and natural healing.
The center organizes yoga and pranayama classes, teaching [bhramari pranayama] , bhastrika pranayama, imparting in- depth knowledge as to what is yoga and how holistic yoga is helpful for our overall well being. Having learnt yoga and pranayama by watching videos, [pranayama videos by baba ramdev] this practical training session was an unforgettable experience for me.
There are varying accommodation facilities, suitable to every purse.The cost for boarding and lodging together is in the range of Rs. 3000 to Rs. 12000 for a stay of ten days. Additionally, for every massage or treatment or therapy, they charge an additional 100 rupees per day. 

Papaya health benefits                                       
There is a very simple procedure of admission. Immediately on arrival there will be a medical check up by the in house doctors, and depending on our health needs the treatment card is prepared and the diet plan is prescribed. Attention is given to the smallest details like the juices to be given to us, the quantity of food and fruits and the type of yoga class we must attend.

Hey! don't start smiling or heaving a sigh of relief at the thought and the mention of the word juice and food. It is just plain simple healthy nutritious diet with a very BLAND taste. The idea is to give healthy food but to stop us from craving for it. Were they successful ? May be they were, but we were not! Throughout the stay of ten days the only thing we could think of was the tasty food or rather lack of it!
So you are invited here only if you have a strong will power and willingness to get healthy and lose weight, else you will be running back home within no time! There are ABSOLUTELY NO SHORT CUTS.
 Best eating habits for weight loss
Though the admission and treatment procedures are simple, the rules and regulations are very strict, reminding you of your school days! On arrival at the gate of the center, all our bags will be whisked and each and every bit of eatable we have will be confiscated. No outside food is allowed, there are no tea or coffee shops, and the only shop allowed inside the premises sells just soaps and towels!.
As a result, the sights you witness at the dining area are worth watching. Those who had indulged in every possible snack and CHITRANNA back home will be holding their fruits and juices precariously in their hands, munching lingeringly with a forlorn and lost look in their eyes. I bet they would be dreaming about their kitchen and dining room back home !
There are different diet foods provided : boiled diet, raw diet, and juice diet. The food tastes the same on every day and for every meal. If you have tasted the food on one day, then you have tasted it for all the days! The boiled diet is a cup of boiled rice with a little green gram dal, and a few vegetables - cucumber, ash gourd or sorekai – that's it! - and just a pinch of salt and pepper. To drown it there is a choice of soup or buttermilk - Soup is vegetable stock of the boiled vegetables mentioned above and butter milk with no salt or sugar ! Plus one cup of ripe papaya cubes or one apple i had started getting aversion to, after eating everyday.

 The evening food again will be the same set of vegetables and two dry chapatis and everything else remains the same. Those on raw diet get a salad of cucumber or carrot – except the cut vegetables, it has nothing else which merits it the name salad. – if you are lucky on a day you may find finely chopped apple or pineapple in your plate! No salt or spice !
And if the doctor so feels, he may further cut down you food to one apple or a cup of papaya with either buttermilk or soup. Mind you, if you think of having buttermilk instead of soup – sorry madam, you need doctor's permission – who will be supervising the activities in the dining hall - before taking your plate. Once you cross this step, you will not get a change of food, Sorry.
And for the unfortunate souls, who are facing the problem of obesity, only a glass of juice four times a day and during lunch time and dinner, they will keep the juice made from lime and honey and one can have an extra cup or two! But beyond that if there is tiredness, the only option is to drink lots of water. In spite of this strict diet, though the faces are sullen and steps are dragged, there will be a glint of light in the eyes of those inmates, who most probably will be looking at themselves post diet regime in a slim and trim avatar. I was also eagerly waiting to my POGO, My Sleeping Dog .
 Healthy dinner ideas
Have I drawn a very bleak and scary picture? cheer up! If you are not able to hold or sustain, you can approach the doctor who will visit your room twice and your diet can be switched to the better level or the number of chapatis can be increased albeit at the risk of reducing the chances of your weight loss.
For the fortunate few who need not worry about their weight, there is an option of ragi ganji in the morning and sprouts and cucumber slices in the evening, plus a cup of milk at 9 pm in the night. But once you enter here you can forget about the taste, salt and spice ! The idea behind this, as per the booklet provided by the hospital is that not only should you eat SATWIK food, but should lead a satwik life too.

So once we realize the benefits of healthy protein snacks, healthy dinner ideas, fruit snacks and healthy dinners recipes being offered here,it is easy to follow the routine of food - as to what is good for our health, what good for our skin and what all should be our ideal recipes back home. We will start liking and indulging in health care, forgetting the unhealthy snacks and start having healthy dinner ideas.
Weight loss spa
The daily routine at the slimming center is : getting up at 5 AM, going for a walk, yoga and pranayama from 5.30 to 7 A.M. After that it is juice time – whichever juice the doctor has prescribed for you , it can be lemon and honey, carrot juice, ash gourd or bitter gourd juice and then it is time for mud pack in our rooms, where we will sleep with a mud pack on our eyes and tummy for 20 minutes. Thereafter it is on to the treatment area where we will be receiving the treatment our doctor has prescribed for us.
These treatments are any day better than the best of world class spas' treatment. It consists of a verity of water treatments like hip bath, whirlpool bath, spinal bath, cold and hot water immersion bath, jet bath.... Then there are steam bath and sauna and a whole lot of oil massages or the unique and most effective mud pack and haldi pack on the whole body... you name it and they have it. It is totally a concept of being back with the nature - treating us with five elements earth, wind, water, fire and the sky. And a big salute to the attitude of the staff involved in the treatments. With a smile on their lips and a spring in their feet they carry out their services diligently. They are virtuous to a fault.
Independence Day ! 
Each treatment is given with utmost sincerity and dedication and you will feel like you are in the lap of your mother.
On a bright and sunny Sunday morning on 15 th of August we had the fortune of being at the place and in the serene environment witnessing the flag hoisting and singing the National Anthem with a pride. After the ceremony like school children we were thrilled when trays filled with some covers were brought to the venue. There was excited murmurs of laddoos, chocolates, sweets all around. I was a scene to look at the faces of the recipients when they opened the covers only to find two dry dates and two tiny pieces of rock sugar! What a healthy celebration!
 What is nature - Get the answer here.
The building spread over a vast area designed by a french architect is such an architectural delight that you can view a garden and rain from the window of each and every room and hall.
Look at this! It is the photo of our bathroom window and the scene beyond. The well ventilated and strategically located rooms a midst greenery, treatment and yoga center, green gardens and beautiful blooms everywhere, birds chirping all around you, soar your spirits and you will have springs in your steps when you head back home, not just because you are returning home but also because you have lost all those extra pounds !

On the last day of our stay, they conducted classes on how to diet, how to have a good healthcare plan, and have a healthy living without medicines and medical needs. On cooking pattern, we were advised to eat healthy natural food minimizing the usage of gas and electricity and electric equipment, to drink organic milk and maintain diet and follow the fitness programs taught to us. Like a perfect host, they guided us on the advantages of having required milk and sugar products which is far better way of our health insurance than running for loans to maintain our medical needs.

Sankramana - The Harvest Festival of India
Sankranti, the festival of harvest is here. I can't help getting nostalgic about the festivities we enjoyed back then in North Karnataka where the celebrations meant devouring in the  rustic and ethnic flavors, eating loads of sweets, Sajje (bajra) roti, butter, ennegai palya and ellu holige and wearing new clothes. This is the festival of harvest, the til or sesame seed crops are brought home and it was a way of expressing gratitude to the elements of nature and mother earth.

Every Festival in India has a great significance, worshiping different Gods, savoring a particular dish during that festival. This cannot be termed as a mere custom or meaningless ritual. The great Indian sages had a specific purpose behind every ritual. A prayer is not to ask God to give us what we want but  to make us strong to learn to accept what we get. Sankranti, the festival of India, also popularly known as Pongal in south India signifies the transmigration of Sun from one rasi to another. Makar Sankranti refers to transition of Sun from Dhanu rashi to Makara rashi.