Happy New Year, you guys! I know, it’s February, but it’s my first post of the year and I couldn’t start it without wishing you! I’m probably being very presumptuous when I say ‘you guys’, because I really doubt if anyone is even looking at this! Do people read blogs anymore? I totally do, but I don’t know anyone else who does.
My last post was about breakfast bowls, after quite a while of blogging about travel! I guess it was a return to what I originally meant my blog to be – a little bit of everything – hence the name all mix fruit juice! And that’s how it’s going to be hereafter. (Something about the knowledge that very few people are reading your blog makes it easier to stop curating too much!)
2017 was very chaotic – a mixed bag of fun and stress. I am very grateful, though, because God has been extremely kind to us. My resolution for 2018 is to get fitter, both physically and mentally, and to lead a gentler lifestyle. I’m thinking I’ll do monthly updates here about how all of this is going.
So here are the things I started doing regularly in January:
1. Exercising regularly, 4 to 5 times a week.
2. Avoiding dairy most of the time, and eating clean overall.
3. Writing meditation – (it is the practice of repetitive writing, while sitting in silence. Look up likhita japa if you’re curious about this)
4. Wearing sunscreen every single day, whether I’m indoors or outdoors.
5. Going to bed earlier. (this is a direct result of exercise – the days I don’t exercise, I can’t fall asleep as easily)
I’m being pretty disciplined, and I’m happy about it 🙂
I’ve been posting some of my breakfast bowls on Instagram and Twitter. A few people DMed me to ask how I put them together, so I thought I’d do a small post here. These breakfast bowls really work for me because they take under 5 minutes to make, they can easily be made vegan (I’m avoiding dairy most of the time these days), I can quickly eat them even if I’m not hungry, they are FULL of nutrition, and they taste amazing.
These bowls typically have a base, and some toppings.
Some options for the base:
(1.) Oats or muesli, soaked overnight in a liquid of your choice – nut milk, regular milk, yoghurt, or even water.
(2.) Cooked oats – again this could be in water, nut milk, regular milk, anything.
(3.) A thick smoothie – you basically make a smoothie that is thicker than the ones you drink, so you can eat it out of a bowl with a spoon. You can choose solid ingredients like fruits, vegetables (beetroot, palak etc work amazingly well and add a beautiful colour), oats, nuts, avocados etc. and blend them with liquid ingredients like nut milk, regular milk, yoghurt, fruit juices, coconut water, etc. Many people add acai, matcha, kale, protein powders and various supplements, but I haven’t tried any of those yet.
If these smoothies sound like a lot of work, that’s only because I’m listing so many options. Most of the time, I stick to oats, coconut or almond milk and one or two fruits. But you can make your smoothie as simple or as elaborate as you like!
And now the fun part – the toppings! Here are some ideas:
* Fresh fruits
* Nut butters
* Chia seeds (a friend on twitter pointed me to this article that says there’s a choking risk with chia seeds – I thought I should just put it here. I continue to use them in my bowls, but you should make your own choices)
* Goji berries
* Flax seeds
* Melon seeds
* Pumpkin seeds
* Dry fruits and nuts – cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, figs, dates, apricots
* Coconut flakes
* Chocolate chips
* Bee Pollen
I don’t add sweeteners to my smoothies because the fruits are sweet enough for me. If I am making cooked or overnight oats, I add a pinch of coconut sugar. You could also use honey, jaggery, palm sugar, stevia, etc.
Hmmm that’s all I can think of. Just get creative, put whatever you want together, and enjoy! Here are some of my breakfast bowls that I’ve shared on Instagram.
1. Oats cooked in almond milk with a pinch of coconut sugar. Toppings: goji berries, bee pollen, chia seeds and pistachio butter.
2. Blueberry, Custard Apple and Oats smoothie. Toppings : bee pollen and chia seeds.
3. Banana-Oats smoothie. I added a small piece of beetroot to get this colour. Toppings : pomegranate, chia seeds and mixed dry fruits and nuts.
4. Oats cooked in Almond Milk. Toppings : drizzle of pistachio butter, bee pollen and goji berries.
5. Millets Muesli soaked overnight in Almond Milk. Toppings : banana slices and chia seeds.
6. Pineapple, Banana, Oats and Coconut Milk smoothie. Toppings : banana, chia seeds and a drizzle of coconut milk.
The best way to find cool recipes for your bowls is to scour Instagram and Pinterest. Let me leave you with a link to this board where I’ve pinned a few ideas I’ve come across. Happy eating!
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of my favourite times of the year in Hyderabad – everything is so colourful and happy. I loved it even when I was a very small kid, except that I’d never let my parents immerse the idol we bought for our home because it made me too sad.
On the morning after Visarjan (for those who haven’t heard of this – the Ganesh idols are immersed in water on the 11th day after the festival) day this year, I took some pictures at the flyover near Tank Bund. These are the Ganesh idols that couldn’t/didn’t get immersed on the actual day of immersion. It was a really long line of trucks – we must have seen at least 50, probably more, in the 25 minutes or so that we spent there. The atmosphere was carnival-like, with drums, Bollywood songs and a LOT of dancing. And also a bit of napping, for those exhausted from all of this!
I’m always torn between enjoying the gorgeous idols and the vibrant atmosphere and feeling sad about what this does to the Hussain Sagar lake. Anyway, here are some pictures (shot with my phone). You can also check out Visarjan pictures from 3 years ago, on my other blog, Aadab Hyderabad.
Obviously, I’m not done with my Kochi posts. The pretty streets of Fort Kochi have quaint names like Princess Street, Burghar Street, Napier Street, Rose Street and Lilly Street. These cobblestoned streets are lined with beautiful colonial homes that have been restored and converted into heritage hotels, home-stays, cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Some pictures: