Water habits you must adopt to lead a healthier life

water habits

About 60% of your body is made up of water. So? Well, it means that you gotta drink a ton of water! The logic is simple, our body cells need to be charged too and the charger happens to be a good 3-4 litres of water. The body uses water to digest food, maintain body temperature, sweat and even breathe! Our bodies lose water while performing these functions and it is unto us to duly hydrate. Lack of water in the body can cause fatigue, constipation, premature ageing, obesity, and these aren’t even the worst of the lot.

So, let’s promise ourselves today to be better drinkers, of water of course! Here are water habits you can adopt to lead a healthier and well, happier life.

Wake up, drink up!

You’ve probably heard this before but here’s some reiteration – one of the best habits is to drink water first thing in the morning. Drinking water on an empty stomach helps flush out toxins from the body. It boosts your metabolism and energy levels through the day. An easy way to set the tone for the day, isn’t it?

When life gives you lemons…

If you need a little more motivation to drink water, put slices of lemon in your water jug. You’re not just adding a slice of lemon into the water but also adding all the benefits the humble lemon brings with it. Packed with Vitamin C, lemon water can re-hydrate your body, cleanse your system and even freshen your breath. 

Timing is Key

Drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before each meal. This helps in weight loss as the body consumes lesser calories during the meals, and also aids the digestive processes. After a meal, give it about an hour before you drink more water. Also, drink a glass of water before you step in for a shower as it helps regulate blood pressure.

Download an App

Most people confess that they just don’t remember to drink enough water, they just don’t feel thirsty. Well, the truth is that you must keep your body hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty. An easy way to remind yourself to drink water is to download an app on your phone. There are plenty of apps that allow you to set periodic notifications to remind you to take a sip and some even let you set daily water goals. Now those are some real #goals! Try Daily Water and Drink Water. 

There you have it! Just 4 simple things that will result in a clearer skin, better digestion, more energy, stronger immune system, and the list can go on and on. What are you waiting for? Take a sip already!

Make the traditional Ellu Bella this Sankranti

Come January, India becomes abuzz with the celebrations of the harvest festival. Known by a variety of names across the country, the festival that marks the northward movement of the sun is called Sankranti in Karnataka. Although an age-old festival, Bangalore has managed to retain the joyous celebrations that bring families and friends together during this festival. The city comes to life with flower shops sprouting in every nook and corner, a sudden increase in coconut sellers on Bangalore streets, and the markets lined with sugarcane vendors. The city is almost garlanded with flowers and lights, staying true to its name – The Garden City!

A much-loved tradition of Sankranti is the preparation of Ellu Bella. Ellu bella is a mixture of sweets, coconut, jaggery, and nuts. Not only is it absolutely delicious but also a great seasonal snack, with each ingredient having a multitude of health benefits. What makes the tradition of ellu bella more special is that you don’t just eat it alone! The essence of the tradition is that you share and speak of only good things while you do so! Quite a good deal, isn’t it?

This Sankranti, bring out the biggest vessel you’ve got and make a large batch of Ellu Bella. Here are all the ingredients you will need:

Peanuts

Add about 3 cups of peanuts into a pan over medium heat. Dry roast the peanuts for about 10 minutes. To remove the skin of the peanuts, transfer the peanuts on to a towel after heating and just rub the towel with your hands. Keep the peanuts aside to cool.

Sesame Seeds

In the same pan, dry roast 1 cup of sesame seeds. Make sure the seeds don’t change colour or begin to crackle. Take seeds off the heat once they have slightly enlarged.

Gram Dal/Channa Dal 

On a low flame, dry roast channa dal for about 3 hours. Make sure the dal does not turn brown.

Dried Coconut 

Remove the outer skin of a coconut and finely dice into small pieces. You could either sun dry the coconuts for about 2-3 hours or dry roast them in a pan. However, experts have suggested that the sun’s natural heat is the way to go! 

Jaggery

Jaggery usually comes in large pieces. Chop the jaggery into small pieces using a knife or a pair of scissors. Add a little extra because jaggery happens to be quite the favourite! 

Mix everything together and add a colourful touch to your packets of ellu bella by adding sugar coated saunf and sugar balls into the mixture. Now all you have to do is put the mixture in small airtight packets and prepare to share! Ellu Bella is usually distributed with a sugarcane, betel leaves, bananas, and sakkare achu (sugar figurines). Go on, share ellu bella with your friends and remember to speak of only good things!

You don’t need to go to a gym to stay fit

Fitness should play an important part in everyone’s lives, however, it often takes a backseat because of work or other duties that hold priority over keeping a lean and fit body. Well, this shouldn’t be the case anymore as we are giving you 5 simple exercises you can do at home to remain fit and energetic. All you need is 20 spare minutes and a kickass attitude, simple enough eh?

We often underplay the importance of fitness in our lives, making it a second priority to work. Most people have the misconception that the process of keeping fit can be quite time-consuming. Well, we are about to tell you 5 simple exercises that require only 20 minutes and a kickass attitude. Not much, eh?

Two important things you must remember are that before you begin, you need a 5-minute warm-up routine and after you finish you need to cool down with a 5-minute stretch. This mantra will prevent injury and make your workouts more effective. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s begin, this speedy workout is all you need to burn those calories and lose any extra weight.

Jumping jacks – 2 sets [each set will have 20 repetitions]

If you’ve heard that jumping jacks is great for any at-home cardio workout, then you’ve heard right. Begin by standing straight with arms at the sides, jump to a position with the legs spread wide and the hands touching overheard [you can clap while doing, just for a bit of motivation] and then return to original position.

Jumping squats

Squats to a great way to build your leg muscles and can improve your upper and lower body strength. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands stretched out in front of you. Jump up and lower yourself by bending your knees and sit with your knees bent. Make sure you keep your back straight and don’t let your knees extend over your toes. Repeat this for 20 counts. 

Mountain climbers

This exercise starts with a downward dog position, a favourite among most yoga students. This post is great for stretching the lower back, hamstrings, lower legs and feet.  Kneel on the floor and bring your feet together behind you. Slowly bend forward to place your palms flat on the mat, positioning your hands shoulder-width apart. Push your body up with your hips pointed towards the ceiling. While holding this pose walk your feet up and down and after you get used to this movement, do it faster mimicking a climbing motion. Do this for 20 counts.

 

Planks with a twist

This pose starts with a plank. Hold the plank for 5 counts, then jump to the front where your hands are placed and stand up. Twist your body to the right and then to the left and jump back into plank position. Repeat this for 20 counts.

Cycling

Lie on your back and put your hands behind your head [similar to when you’re doing an ab crunch], begin a cycling motion with your legs and at the same time bring your right elbow to meet the left knee. Do this for 20 counts, moving as quickly as possible, making sure your legs are parallel to the ground while cycling.

That’s it. You’re done!

If you haven’t broken a sweat and you don’t feel the burn you, haven’t done enough. Give this work out a try and let us know how you feel after. Also, you can write to us if you want more information on a warm-up routine or a cooling down session.

4 Breakfast Recipes for the Busy Bees

breakfast

We’ve all been there, rushing out of the door with a piece of toast in our mouth. What most of us forget during this morning rush is that breakfast is and will always be the most important meal of the day. So, we’ve got 5 recipes that will help you get your daily dose of morning nutrition before you rush to work or do whatever you think is more important than breakfast.

Okay, let’s begin. We could quite easily say, just stack a couple of protein or yoghurt bars and grab one every morning but that’d be too easy and let’s be honest, it’s not real breakfast.

Avo on Toast

This one’s our favourite and will be yours in no time too. Mash up some avocado on put the gorgeous superfood on a crisp piece of toast, season with some salt and pepper. Add a dash of lemon juice for a little kick and voila, it’s ready. If you want to add some protein to the mix, top it up a sliced hard-boiled egg. You’re going to be energized and ready to on the day.  

Good ol’ oats

Oats is making a massive comeback in the brekky space. All you need to do is combine 1/3 cup of Quaker oats, 1/3 cup of plain curd, 1/3 cup of milk in a glass jar and refrigerate it overnight. If you’re a fan of berries and nuts then all you have to do is chop up a few and add to this wholesome mixture. What’s more, you could carry this to work and have it at your desk if you’re rushed for time.

Berry and Banana Smoothie

If you’re someone who skips breakfast entirely then we suggest you opt for this liquid diet. Add one banana and 1/3 cup of berries into a blender with a dash of milk and a few ice cubes. The result is a thick, delicious and fiber filled drink that will give you the energy you require to start the day.

Here are other smoothies you can try.

Healthy Fruit Bowl

The classic fruit bowl never lets you down. Chop up and mix and match any fruits you find in your fruit basket. It can be a mix of apples, bananas, papayas and oranges. Squeeze a bit of lemon to taste and there have it, a fresh bowl of goodness.

French Toast with Maple Syrup

If you’re used to having a piece of toast every morning, give it a French twist to make a healthy meal out of it. All you need to do is beat 2 eggs, 2/3 cups of milk and salt and dip slices of bread into this mixture. Heat some oil in a pan and cook the bread on medium heat. Cook till the bread is golden-brown and drizzle some maple syrup on top. If you’d like some colour in your breakfast, top it up with some strawberries and blueberries.

There you have it, 5 simple breakfast recipes. No more excuses for skipping the most important meal of the day!

Secret Santa

On a chilly December evening, Uncle Rana sat in his shop sipping on some aromatic filter coffee and talking to his customers. He noticed Kii passing by with a big package in her hand. He decided to have a chat with Kii and called out for her. 

kii and rana

 

Kii went on to tell Uncle Rana about Christmas celebrations in school. She was thrilled about her first one in India, decorating the big tree in school and singing Christmas carols every morning.

As dusk set in, Kii bid farewell to Uncle Rana and walked home with the big gift in her hand. She noticed all the balconies being lit up, heard a faint melody of carols from Aunty Susan’s home, and soaked in the smell of Christmas cookies fill the air.

3 cakes you can bake this Christmas

The bells are ringing and the choirs are singing! We hope you’ve decorated your Christmas trees and hung the wreaths. December brings with it all things Christmas and when Christmas is near, cakes aren’t too far away. This Christmas, kindle your culinary skills and bake your own cake. We are sharing a bunch of our favourite recipes (you’re welcome!) that you can try this Christmas season. Here they are:

Vanilla Cake

vanilla cake A simple vanilla cake is ideal for baking amateurs and Christmas is the perfect occasion to try your hand at baking. All you need are some basic baking ingredients and an oven.

Mix 200g of sugar and 115g of butter together in a bowl. Beat 3 eggs, one at a time, into the mixture. Then add 1 ¾ tsp of baking powder and 200g of flour to the mixture. Top it off with 2 tsp of vanilla extract.

Mix it well before adding 120ml of milk. Stir well till there are no lumps in the mixture. Grease the cake tin and pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven.

Best way to serve – With a scoop of choco-chip ice cream

Eggless Hide and Seek Cake

If eggs are a no-no for you, then we know that it can be difficult to find delicious cake recipes. Well, worry not, we’ve got you covered.

Crush two packs of Hide and Seek biscuits and put it in a mixer along with 2 tbsp of sugar. Add the biscuit mixture to 1½ cups of milk. Whisk till the mixture is smooth and without lumps. Add one teaspoon of baking powder and whisk again.

Before you move on to the next step, keep your microwave-safe bowl ready, grease it with some butter or ghee. To the cake mixture, add just a tiny bit of vanilla essence and 1 tsp of Eno powder. Don’t wait too long after you’ve added the Eno powder. Empty the mixture into the container and put it in the microwave for 10 minutes.

Best way to serve – With some Nutella frosting

Find more chocolate-y dessert recipes here

Banana and Jam Cake

If the bananas in your fruit basket are turning black, don’t throw them away! Mash ‘em up and bake a cake.

Peel about 3 bananas and mash them along with 1 cup sugar, ½ oil, and ¼ cup of jam of your choice. Put the mixture in a blender. While blending, add 3 eggs and some vanilla essence to the mix and blend for 4-5 seconds. In another container, mix 1 tbsp baking soda with 1 cup of atta. Add this atta mixture slowly into the blender. Blend till the mixture is smooth. Add some chopped almonds and raisins to the mix. Pour the mixture into the cake container and bake for 30 minutes in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Best way to serve – With a hot cup of coffee

Don’t forget to leave a piece for Santa!

Get all your baking essentials at www.kirana11.com 

 

Hot chocolate recipes you must try this winter

hot chocolate recipes

What gets better than a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter evening? Almost nothing! We give you a list of our favourite kinds of hot chocolates that you can whisk with almost no extra effort.  All you need is about 5 minutes and some culinary inspiration.

Keep your blanket handy because these hot chocolate recipes will make you want to snuggle up.

Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate

If you love your chai too much, we are going to tell you how you can give yourchai spiced hot chocolate hot chocolate the flavour of your favourite chai. Heat 2 cups of almond milk (even normal milk will do) and dip a tea bag of your choice into the milk for about 2 minutes. Then, add ¼ cups of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and a hint of vanilla extract. Stir well and sprinkle some ground cardamom on top, if you fancy. There you have it, hot chocolate with a chai twist.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

What could possibly make chocolate better? Give peanut butter a shot.peanut butter hot chocolate

Heat milk in a saucepan and whisk in the ¼ cups of unsweetened cocoa powder, a tiny bit of salt and ¼ cups of powdered sugar. Then add the 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Top it off with some crunchy peanut butter and whipped cream.

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate

Give the good old hot chocolate a coconut-y touch. All you have to do is coconut milk hot chocolatereplace normal milk with coconut milk. Heat coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat, add unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and whisk. Pour it into your favourite mug and there you have it! Just one more thing to make it the most delicious hot chocolate – top it off with a marshmallow or two.

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Here’s some good news for all you Nutella lovers, that’s right, give your hot nutella hot chocolate chocolate a Nutella twist. Here’s how: While adding cocoa powder and sugar to the milk on heat, add a generous amount of Nutella to the mix and whisk. What you’re going to have is a hot mug of chocolatey goodness. Drizzle some Nutella and pop some marshmallows on top, just to show off your presentation skills!

We’re having a sugar rush already! Which recipe do you want to try?

 

Foods to include in your grocery list this December

cashew

Don’t you just love December? The sweater weather, glittering fairy lights, hot chocolates and warm soups. As much as December brings with it all things nice, it is also the season when we become more susceptible to catching the common cold and flu. Having said that, there are ways to escape the flu and all you need to do is add these foods to your grocery list:

Honey

Nature’s sweet nectar, honey, is what you need to winter-proof yourself. Honey contains carbohydrates that are easily digested by the body to release energy and keep you warm.

Make a honey and ginger mixture to soothe throat irritation. You could also replace sugar in the classic gaajar ka halwa to increase your honey intake.

Dry Fruits

pistachio

If you’ve got your Diwali dry fruits still stocked up, you’re in luck. The cold weather makes us constantly want to nibble on something and nothing could be healthier than a handful of nuts. Dry fruits contain healthy fats that are essential in our bodies. Pack a small box of almonds, walnuts and cashews to work and snack on them whenever hunger strikes.

Buy dry fruits here 

PepperCumin

Make sure you sprinkle some extra pepper on your salad and make rasam extra pepper-y. Pepper contains anti-oxidants that help keep the flu at bay, helps fight infections and boosts your immunity.

Oranges

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so does an orange. These seasonal fruits help in the production of antibodies and white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infections and diseases.

Toss up those fruit salads already!

CinnamonCinnamon

Brave the winter with some piping hot cinnamon tea. Cinnamon is a winter warming spice that improves metabolism and aids in fighting infections. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your morning porridge or spice your tea with some ground cinnamon. It’s bound to keep you warm. 

Cozy up, winter is here! 

Smoothie Recipes to Kick Start Your day

smoothies

Smoothies are everywhere, at a restaurant, at the mall, even at a stall on the street. Smoothies are essentially fruit milkshakes as the core ingredients are fruits and milk/yoghurt. You know what’s the best part about them? No extra sugar! Smoothies get their sweetness from the natural sweetness of fruits. Who said healthy can’t be yummy?

A well-made smoothie can be a wholesome meal in itself with a good amount of nutrients. What better way to start your day than with a smoothie?

Mango Masti

mango masti

This smoothie is more seasonal as you have to make sure mangoes and strawberries are available in the market. If you get lucky then here’s how you can make your glass of deliciousness. Add 1 mango – skinned and cut, 5 strawberries – hulled and 1 cup coconut milk or ordinary milk (if that’s too much trouble). Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Your seasonal smoothie is ready!

Berry Blast

This vitamin-enriched drink not only tastes great but looks like a thousand bucks. All you need is half a cup of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, 1 pear and 1 apple peeled and cut into small pieces. Blend the ingredients well and pour the juice into a tall glass. Add some ice to the blender if the fruits aren’t chilled and enjoy your energy shot. Slurrrp.

Banana Booster

banana booster

This smoothie is ideal. Add 1 banana, peeled and cut, ½ cup of milk and 5 seedless dates in the blender. Blend well and pour the juice into a tall glass. Sprinkle some sunflower seeds on the juice to add a boost of copper and magnesium.

Buy bananas here 

If you’re keen on experimenting with your smoothies, try topping them up with a couple of the following staples, they’ll give you the necessary nutrition boost required to kick-start your day.

  • Hemp seeds – Vegan protein source
  • Flaxseeds – Rich in fibre and protein
  • Sunflower seeds – Boost of copper, magnesium and selenium
  • Chia seeds – Fiber-loaded and protein rich

Smoothies require simple ingredients, are easy to make, and most importantly, they are absolutely delicious! Do you have a favourite smoothie? Tell us!

Secrets to Happy Feet

They say beauty comes from within, which is true but we believe that it requires an equal effort from outside. Given pollution levels and constantly changing climatic conditions, we need a head-to-toe beauty treatment to keep healthy and clean. That’s right, look down ladies, we’re talking about your feet. If you want to flaunt those open-toe heels or strappy flats, make sure you’ve got your feet looking on fleek.

In truly caring for our feet, we must first acknowledge what they go through on a daily basis.

Apart from being squeezed into tight heels or resting in sweaty sneakers, our feet encounter a colossal amount of dust, brave the pot-holed roads and rocky footpaths, and even bear the brunt of some dog poo. Needless to say, we need to give some extra attention to what takes on all of our weight.

If not properly taken care of, our feet can become the cause of a number of problems. Here’s a checklist you can follow to give your feet the love they deserve.

pumice stone 1. Use a pumice stone 

Smoothen out the soles of your feet with a pumice stone to avoid painful calluses. All you need to do is set up a foot bath and soak your feet for about 10-15 minutes. The foot bath will make your feet soft, after which you can gently scrub off the extra skin with a pumice stone.

2. Moisturize 

If you’re prone to cracked feet, moisturization should be your daily mantra. If your cracks worsen during the winter months, wear closed shoes till healed. Even if your feet are crack-free, be sure to moisturize after exfoliating to re-hydrate. A simple foot cream is sufficient to give your feet the moisture they need.

3. Massagemassage feet

A long day at work or a long night at the club can tire your feet. Nothing solves this problem like a foot rub does. Apply a little lotion to your feet and massage by pulling your toes, pressing the bottom of your foot and cradling the heel. Believe it or not, a tennis ball could relax your feet. Keep a tennis ball under your feet and roll your foot over the ball starting from the toes, all the way back to the heels.

4. Trim those toenails

It’s not just your feet that need moisturizing! Apply some petroleum jelly on your toenails and massage them. It’s advisable you keep your toenails trimmed, filed and buffed. Long toenails can be susceptible to fungal infections and breakage.

Buy petroleum jelly here 

Most of your feet woes will be solved if you put comfort first. Comfortable shoes will not only do wonders for your feet but will also support your knees and your back. We know you love those heels, but ensure you don’t sacrifice your comfort too often.

Pretty feet can add an extra spring in your step. Make sure you give you them all the care and nourishment they need so they look young and healthy.