This chocolate amaranth pudding is a great gluten free dessert to make and tastes amazing with a hint of chili and cinnamon. 

Chocolate amaranth Pudding

Today is going to be a long post. I am not only going to talk about this chocolate amaranth pudding (which is delicious by the way) but also something that I have thought about writing for a while. Tips for Weight Loss.

So the weight loss tag in the title is only for SEO purposes. What I really want to say is Tips for a healthier you.

If you have been reading my blog since the beginning (if you have, you know I love you- and am so grateful to you for sticking it out even when I have been inconsistent with my posts). If you have been reading my blog since the beginning, you know weight woes have always been there in my life. When I started this blog I was at my thinnest best. But then the first year of married life, I gained a significant amount of weight. The second year onwards I worked towards losing it and documented my journey as well. I did a month of gluten free sugar free diet,  a week of raw food, followed by training for a triathlon. That was the time I was my fittest. I have done a juice cleanse diet too. For the most part post that intitial weight gain, my weight has been constant and my diet has been healthy and while I never had a skinny body, I had a healthy, fit one.

In 2015, after I moved to Dallas and within a span of a year I gained 20 kgs. I increased sizes, and was the heaviest I have ever weighed. When I moved back to India, friends and family both were shocked with the amount that I had managed to put on in a span of a year. I wasn’t going through a great time emotionally and all that emotional eating took a toll on my body.

In the 6 months I have been back, I have managed to shed 10 of those kgs that I gained. If pounds is your language, thats 22 pounds for you. In the past in the same time frame I have lost more, but this time I didn’t want any drastic change and the transformation has been slower but consistency is what I was aiming for. Plus, I have been busier work wise too, so fitting a realistic weight goal was what I decided on. It took me a year to gain 20 kgs, I have given myself a year and a half at least to lose it. Actually it took less than a year to gain it, but you get the drift.

Today, I thought I will share tips that worked for me. But before that I want to address an even bigger issue that troubles me when people gain weight. I want to share TIPS with people who have friends and family that have gained weight. I want to tell them the appropriate way to talk to people who have weight issues.

Don’t let the first thing you say to a person you meet after a while be that they have gained weight.

People don’t realize how sensitive a topic weight gain is and while I know you are so very shocked what happened to your best friend’s body, or your aunt, or uncle’s body, that person already knows that they have gained a significant amount, and probably that is why were dreading and putting off meeting you. Don’t make their weight gain the first thing you say to them.

Greet them with a hello, a hug or a kiss even maybe. Ask them how they are. How their work is, how their family is. If they have kids, ask about their well being. There are a ton of topics to talk about besides their obvious weight gain. Talk about the weather, if you find nothing else. Make them feel comfortable before you make them feel conscious. Wait for them to bring their weight issue up on their own. If they don’t, let this meeting be just about stories other than weight. In case they do bring their weight up, be empathetic, and encouraging. Tell them something nice about them which is not weight related- could be that their skin is glowing (fat does that to you sometimes), could be that they are still carrying their weight stylishly and maybe then and only then offer them some advice on a weight loss technique that has worked on you or your so and so cousin from Timbuktoo.

Actually, that is the only tip I have since that’s the one that bothers me the most. The other more obvious tip would be to not constantly make fun of their weight. There are other ways to encourage your loved ones to lose weight. Making jokes about their fat stomach, or heavy bottom is NOT one of them. Also, be supportive.

For the ones who are trying to lose weight, or that extra flab, here are my two cents.

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The Spice MadamsSpiceMadam subscription box

I met Meghana at one of the pop up festivals in Dallas.  She and Kim, her business partner and co-founder of Spice Madam, were two bright and cheery people that you couldn’t miss at the festival. On the pretext of being a food blogger and photographer, and potentially interested in their spice boxes I took Meghana’s number. Honestly, I just wanted to be friends with her.

Meghana is one of those people, whose energy and spirit is contagious. Kim shares that same energy and the two make excellent business partners. When we met for coffee afterwords Meghana told me more about Spice Madam and I was intrigued by the concept.

Founded in December 2013, Spice Madam is a global lifestyle brand that brings friends and family together through food. Every month, Spice Madam subscribers explore, discover & experience a different culture through each box. The Spice Madams, as Meghana and Kim are known, create subscription boxes filled with global spices and recipes, music playlists and fun cultural facts. A shopping list & meal plan is included to save time for busy lives and the authentic recipes are researched and tested to ensure that every customer can make them in their home kitchens. I can attest to their recipes- I shot the recipes for their Senegal subscription box and each dish was something I would want to make at home.

Spice Madam Travelers kitLamb kebabs with sumac and pita bread Read More →

Chicken wraps from Shumaila Chauhan on Vimeo.

I am a sucker for subscription boxes. I love them. Curated artisanal ingredients packaged in boxes and sent to your doorstep- sign me up!

In the past, I have subscribed to many subscription boxes and am always on the lookout for new ones. Recently, Talya, who is part of the This Table team, got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in checking out their new gourmet subscription boxes. Of course I was.

Operating from Canada, This Table curates artisan food from local herbalists to olive farmers to creators of hand-picked berry jams. The packaging of the bottles and its contents does remind me of the Eat.Feed.Love boxes, probably because both of them are Canadian companies and curate from the same local artisans.

This Table Gourmet Subscription Box

Similarities aside, I do like how This Table gives recipe cards, along with a little information about the artisans’ story. The ingredients included are something that I would definitely use in my cooking, along with certain ingredients that will push me to be creative, like their lemongrass mint balsamic vinegar. Each monthly box carries a theme and the one that I received was centered around a gourmet picnic- so the recipes in the box were all recipes that can be easily transported and good to eat cold. The box also carried a letter with ideas for meals that you could prepare for a lunch in the park for 2 or 4, using recipes that were given in the box.

Besides the ingredients shown in the picture above, the box also contained 13 recipe cards.  Each recipe given uses the ingredients in the box sent. For the review, I decided to try their Cali Chicken wraps which uses the olive oil sent in the box; the herby potato salad, the dressing for which is made from the basil pesto bottle in the box; and the dark chocolate espresso cookies that uses the 2nd Crack Coffee beans. While I made a few changes to each recipe, all of them turned out great, and something I would definitely make again.

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