Workshop On Millet Foods For Dieticians And Chefs, Day 2: How To Cook With Millets

If Day 1 of the Workshop On Millet Foods For Dieticians And Chefs was enlightening, Day 2 was even more so. Day 2 was when all participants couldn’t take their eyes off stage, when they watched goggle-eyed the magic being spun before them, riveted to their seats. Day 2 was as full of practical sessions as Day 1 was of technical ones, with a number of chefs coming up on stage to demonstrate all the delicacies that can be cooked using millets.

Check out my detailed post about the happenings of Day 2, just in on my photo blog!

Workshop On Millet Foods For Dieticians And Chefs, Day 1: An Overview

The 25th and 26th of July, 2017, saw a beautiful workshop on millet foods being conducted at the MS Ramaiah campus in Matthikere. This workshop – Workshop On Millet Foods For Dieticians And Chefs – was organised by the Government of Karnataka, in association with MS Ramaiah Institute, with the intention of spreading more awareness about millets and millet-based foods. This is an extension to the #LetsMillet campaign being vigorously undertaken by the Government of Karnataka, an attempt to reach out to the masses after the hugely successful Organics And Millets Mela held in March 2017.

Check out my detailed post on the key take-aways from Day 1 of the workshop, just in on my photo blog!

Echoes, Koramangala: Dining With A Difference

Last week, I was part of a bloggers’ table at Echoes, a newly launched restaurant in Koramangala, Bangalore.

Now, this is not your average restaurant, let me tell you. This is a restaurant with a difference.

Would you like to know what makes this restaurant stand out from the rest, or how my experience at the place was like? Do check out a detailed account here!

 

If We Were Having Coffee…

… I’d tell you that after buying an earthen surahi, experimenting with growing our own vegetables, and switching to hand-made, chemical-free soaps, we have taken a couple more steps towards healthier, more sustainable living. We have begun experimenting with a couple of entirely chemical-free shampoos and hair wash bars, virgin coconut oil, and sugar-free toothpaste. We still haven’t decided on brands that we would like to continue buying, as far as these things go, but I am excited about this. I am satisfied, too, happy that we are taking more baby steps towards our goal of going as much chemical-free as we can. I am also experimenting with unprocessed, organic apple cider vinegar in the bathroom, for my scraggy, dry-as-grass hair. It is still way too early to tell you how much we have been benefited by these changes, but I hope we reach a conclusion soon.

… I’d tell you of one more baby step we took recently to ensure the use of less packaged products. Instead of buying packaged wheat flour from the supermarket like we always do, we picked up wheat from a grain merchant and got it ground at an old-fashioned flour mill. Tedious process, but totally worth it. The colour of this flour, the texture, the taste, is so very different from packaged flour that it is a revelation. Now, I know my whole wheat flour is just that – wholly wheat flour! While I was at the flour mill, I was struck by how tough the operator’s job must be, and felt sad that these mills might be a thing of the past soon. 😦

… I’d tell you that, lately, we have been trying to rotate the foods that we consume, on a weekly basis. Oats, quinoa, ragi, rava, vermicelli, bread, butter, ghee, pulses, wheat, idlis, dosas, adai, rice – everything is now being consumed on a routine basis, not too much or too little of anything. The same is the case with the vegetables and fruits we are eating. I am very conscious, these days, of how many times a week we are eating rotis and rice, or how many times we are consuming processed foods like bread, rava and vermicelli. Sugar has been cut down, too. That said, all of this is still in the very initial stages, and we have a long, long way to go before we can proudly say we are a healthy-eating family. We do still have our cravings, our sugar fixes and pigging out of doors, but we are trying to be more conscious and aware about all of it.

… I’d tell you that I went in for blood work in an attempt to resolve the health issues that I was talking to you about, here. The results have left me only more confounded than before. My doctor tells me not to be worried, but I am. I hope to find a way out, to see the light soon. Please do keep me in your prayers, will you?

… I’d tell you that I am falling more and more in love with Bohemian and Turkish-style jewellery of late (There’s definitely something about my connection to Turkey, in spite of my never having visited the place!). Thanks to a picture of South siren Nayantara wearing a Bohemian neckpiece over a very simple cotton saree at a recent awards ceremony, I began checking out more such jewellery and falling head over heels for it. I even went ahead and picked up a Bohemian-style necklace for myself – now, I can’t wait to inaugurate it! And this comes from a person who finds it hard to get dressed, for whom junk jewellery was a big no-no till about a year ago! The further I dig into the world of junk jewellery, the more amazed I get these days. 🙂

… I’d tell you that, lately, I am also falling deeper and deeper in love with sarees, especially those simple handloom ones. I think they have a charm of their own. I think they look classy, and are suited for any occasion. I think you can wear them just about anywhere, as long as you pair them with the right sort of accessories. There are so many gorgeous sarees from different parts of India, and I so want to hunt down at least one piece of each for my wardrobe! That doesn’t bode very well for the concept of minimalism that is fascinating me too, these days. What do I do now, people? (On the subject of handloom sarees, you must check this out. Isn’t it sad that these sarees might disappear from the face of the earth, soon, if we don’t do anything to save them?)

… I’d tell you of how, lately, I have become a wee bit more conscious of where the clothes that I buy come from. I loved listening to the stories of the weavers and vendors about the clothes they sold, at an exhibition that I recently visited in HSR Layout. On the subject of conscious cloth buying, you must check out this video. It is an eye opener!

… I’d tell you how surprised I am that it is going to be Diwali soon! Last year’s Diwali is still so fresh in my mind, I can’t believe a full year has gone by – and I don’t remember doing anything particularly noteworthy in this one year.

… I’d tell you that I recently finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and Lisa Grunberger’s Yiddish Yoga. The first book was an utter disappointment, but I quite liked the latter. I will be putting up detailed reviews on the blog soon, hopefully.

… I’d tell you of how miffed I am that the husband is currently off on a sudden work trip to Kolkata, a place that I have always dreamt of visiting. The trip was so unexpected, and everything got finalised only at the last moment, so Bubboo and I weren’t able to accompany him, much as we would have loved that. First Istanbul, now this. I get the feeling the Universe has this big smirk on its face at having played this joke on me. Gah!

… I’d tell you of how tough it is to jostle for space with your parents, to try to reason with them and request them to let you bring up your child your way. It is a huge help having family nearby and we hugely appreciate their help (It is not for nothing that they say ‘It takes a child to bring up a baby’). I don’t subscribe to the belief that you should do every single thing for your child and your house with your own two hands, but with the whole lot of emotional drama that asking for support from parents or in-laws brings with it, I do understand the motive.

… I’d tell you of how it just doesn’t feel like Navratri in our little bit of the world. I would so love for something to happen to get me into the festive spirit, before the nine nights end. There has been no special cooking, no dressing up, no dressing Bubboo up, no going out to visit temples or golus, no watching of garba. 😦 I miss Ahmedabad like crazy at this time of year.

… I’d ask you if you had checked out Deepika Padukone’s Tere Saath Tu for Myntra. I absolutely love it! Here’s the link, if you haven’t heard it already!

… I’d also ask after you and your loved ones. I’d ask you what you have been up to lately, and what has been making you happy and sad these days.

***********

For Weekend Coffee Share, an interesting meme here. Do check it out!

Postcards From Channapatna, The Land Of Toys

So, the next story from our recent trip to Mysore is up! Do go here to read it.

I hope you have read (and enjoyed) my previous posts about this trip already. If you’ve not, please do the deed right away!

Of eating mysorepak straight from its place of origin

Notes from a sort of dosa trail in Mysore

A walk through RK Narayan’s house in Yadavgiri, Mysore

10 reasons why I enjoyed breakfasting at Malgudi Vattika, Mysore Road

On The Occasion Of World Elephant Day, 2014

I just got to know that yesterday was World Elephant Day 2014. I had never come across such a thing before, and was intrigued. I went on to read a bit about this day on the internet, and was quite surprised at what I found.

When did the day originate and why?

Apparently, this day was first launched in the year 2012 to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Asian and African elephants. Though this magnificent creature is much loved in general, there are a number of evils that have taken the elephant world in its grip – including poaching, ivory stealing and mistreatment of the animal. All of this together has resulted in a sad state of affairs, with the elephant population almost on the brink of extinction.

Recent figures indicate that there are only about 4,00,000 African elephants remaining worldwide, while this number is only 40,000 in case of the Asian elephant. Overall, the population of elephants has dropped by 62% in the last decade, with hundreds of animals being killed every day for illegal activities.

Doing our bit

I love elephants. I love how they are huge, yet so graceful. I love how they are gentle, yet strong. I love the tales about their memory and love that I have heard so many times over from people. I didn’t even know that they were on the brink of extinction, though. Sad.

However, I have decided to do my bit for the beautiful creatures now. Do you want to help as well? Here’s how you can, too:

1. Be aware

Be aware of the various evils perpetrated against elephants, and be ready to raise your voice against them. Read up about the injustices meted out to animals and vow that you will not support them, come what may.

2. Pledge your support

Pledge your support to organisations that are working to eliminate poaching of elephants, illegal trade of ivory, protecting the natural habitat of these animals, and finding solutions to areas of conflict between humans and elephants. You can help out either monetarily or physically.

3. Do not consume ivory

Do not consume ivory. Or any other product that you know has been procured by harming an animal, for that matter.

4. Do not support elephant use for entertainment or profit

Do not support organisations or people who mistreat elephants, harm their natural habitat, or use the animals for entertainment or generating profit.

5. Spread awareness

Spread awareness about the plight of elephants whenever and wherever you can. Encourage more and more people to become elephant-conscious, and to pledge their support to the conservation of these animals.

6. Buy fair-trade products

As far as possible, ensure that you buy fair-trade products, which have not led to destruction of forests or mistreatment of animals in any manner.

7. Support organisations that promote elephant-friendly products

Extend your support to those organisations that produce and sell elephant-friendly products. Help in spreading awareness about such products as well.

8. Visit elephants in their natural habitat

If you wish to observe elephants, do so in their natural habitat, in as non-intrusive a way as possible. Choose eco-tourism operators who can take you to places where you can see elephants being treated with dignity and love.

9. Brainstorm

Brainstorm with your friends, acquaintances, colleagues and family, and come up with ideas that you can practically implement to conserve the elephant population.

10. Support cultures that have lived in harmony with elephants

Study about cultures that have lived in harmony with elephants since generations. Do your best to support such cultures and practices.

References: World Elephant Day

Guest Post: Melanie Bowen

Melanie Bowen is an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies for cancer patients. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics. Here, she will be writing about the benefits of tracking your thoughts and goals—thoughts are merely thoughts but writing is the first step to taking action, organizing oneself and being proactive.

The fragile and fleeting nature of life is what, in large part, makes visible its beauty.  The time that every individual has is worth cherishing. Learning how to set goals that truly mean something to you is vital to finding purpose and enjoyment in your days.  Creating blogs that chronicle your journey through your most trying years will enable you to persevere in your efforts to make the most of you, in spite of the troubles that come rolling your way.

The secret to living a fulfilling life is learning how to remain positive throughout negative experiences.  Creating a blog that allows you to work your way through tough places  will help you to find a positive mindset that will enable you to foster your dreams most effectively.  People who have successfully mastered this skill are able to courageously forge on, in spite of any negative prognosis they receive.  Whether dealing with the loss of a loved one, have forms of financial stress, or learning to live with a major illness such as mesothelioma, individuals must maintain the need and discover how to keep their minds and hearts focused on the positive aspects of life.  This mindset allows them to proceed with determined action towards accomplishing their personal goals in spite of the obstacles that lie in the way.

Refresh Your Mind And Help Others

Much like journal-keeping, blogging enables people to unload their fears and share their thoughts.  Without a doubt, hardship has the ability to transform the mind and as people weather their personal storms in life, they can share the inevitable growth that occurs with others like themselves through their blog entries.  A single, heartfelt blog entry can dramatically alter another individual’s life and so in many ways, blogging is also cathartic in that reminds people that they are still invaluable additions to the world as a whole; able to contribute to it and improve upon it.

Staying The Course

Not everyone is able to remain uplifted everyday, regardless of diligent efforts to stay positive and to view the proverbial cup as being at least half full.  Life is never without its ups and downs.  A comprehensive cache of blog entries can remind you about the journey that you have taken and the accomplishments that remain important to you.  It is generally the case that staying the course becomes easiest when people use their own records of their personal journeys as their continual personal guides.  Goal setting through blogs is one of the best ways to continually reassess your priorities in life and make certain that you are taking the right steps for fulfilling your life dreams.   Accomplishing the things that matter to you most is the easiest path towards a healthy and fulfilling life and one that will be richly rewarding.