Friday, 30 June 2017

Work at your own terms & conditions!

GST roll-out: Full list of items placed under highest tax slab of 28%!

New Delhi, June 30: Nearly 81 per cent of items under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would be charged at the rate of 18 per cent or below. The remaining items would attract a tax upto 28 per cent. According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the products placed under the 28 per cent tax slab would not adversely impact the lower or middle class. He further added that the existing levies have been kept in mind before placing a product in the 28 per cent slab, considered to be the luxury tax category.
In the GST Council meeting on June 11, a number of items listed under 28 per cent tax slab were brought down to the lower category of 18 per cent. Prominent among such items include computer printers and cinema tickets, priced below Rs 100. The tax rate of 28 per cent on hotels charging Rs 2,500-5,000 per night was lowered to 18 per cent. 
School bags, computer monitors, data projectors, car tyres and sugar-based products will continue to attract a GST of 28 per cent, despite appeals being made by the industry delegations.
The new taxation regime is set to be rolled-out today midnight, through a special session of the Parliament. The prime Opposition – Congress, along with Trinamool Congress, RJD, Samajwadi Party and BSP have decided to boycott the GST launch event, accusing Centre of providing inadequate time to the small and medium level traders to prepare themselves.

List of items in 28% slab of Goods and Services Tax (GST):

  • Sugar and sugar confectionery
  • Cocoa and cocoa preparations
  • Preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk; pastrycooks’ products
  • Miscellaneous edible preparations
  • Pan masala
  • Beverages, spirit and vinegar
  • Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes
  • Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement
  • Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes
  • Tanning or dyeing extracts; tannins and their derivatives; dyes, pigments and other colouring matter; paints and varnishes; putty and other mastics; inks.
  • Essential oils and resinoids, perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations
  • Soap, organic surface-active agents, washing preparations, lubricating preparations
  • Artificial waxes, prepared waxes, polishing or scouring preparations
  • Explosives; pyrotechnic products; matches; pyrophoric alloys; certain combustible preparations
  • Chemical products
  • Plastics and articles thereof
  • Rubber and articles thereof
  • Articles of leather; saddlery and harness; travel goods, handbags and similar containers; articles of animal gut (other than silk-worm gut)
  • Furskin and artificial fur
  • Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal
  • Paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard
  • Headgear and parts thereof
  • Prepared feathers and down and articles made of feather or of down – artificial flowers; articles of human hair
  • Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar material
  • Ceramic products
  • Glass and glassware
  • Articles of iron or steel
  • Copper and articles thereof
  • Aluminium and articles thereof
  • Tools, implements, cutlery, spoons and forks of base metal; parts thereof of base metal
  • Miscellaneous articles of base metal
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and re-producers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles
  • Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stocks, and parts and accessories thereof
  • Aircraft; spacecraft and parts thereof
  • Ships, boats and floating structures
  • Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus; parts and accessories thereof
  • Clocks and watches and parts thereof
  • Musical instruments; parts and accessories of such articles
  • Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories
  • Furniture; bedding, mattresses, mattress supports, cushions and similar stuffed furnishings; lamps and lighting fittings, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated name-plates and the like; prefabricated buildings
  • Toys, games and sports requisites; parts and accessories thereof
  • Miscellaneous manufactured articles
  • Project imports, laboratory chemicals, passengers’ baggage, personal importation, ship stores.
Among the industry delegations who have objected to be included under the 28 per cent tax slab, the most stringent protest came from the All India Tyre Dealers’ Federation (AITDF). The union claims that 28 per cent on tyres of animal drawn carts will ruin the rural logistic industry. The AITDF claims the GST would lead to sharp increase in prices of the caste, which in turn would cripple the rural economy.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Be a part of the amazing ECA Program!

Smriti stars with ton as India flatten West Indies!

Taunton: Riding on a strong batting display by opener Smriti Mandhana and skipper Mithali Raj, India sealed a comfortable seven-wicket victory over West Indies in a group match of the ICC Women's World Cup at the County Ground here on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 184 runs, India achieved it with 45 balls remaining.
This is the second consecutive win for India in this tournament. They had defeated hosts and strong title contenders England by 35 runs on the opening day.
The West Indies, on the other hand, suffered back to back defeats. They had lost their opening tie to Australia.
The Indian run chase was spearheaded by Mandhana who batted through the innings, posting an unbeaten 106 runs. Her 108-ball innings was studded with 13 boundaries and two sixes.
Raj posted a patient 46 off 88 balls with three hits to the fence.
The Indian innings was off to a poor start with West Indies pacer Shamilia Connell sending back opener Poonam Raut in the very first over.
Deepti Sharma also did not last long as she was bowled by experienced off-spinner Stafanie Taylor.
However, Mandhana and Raj got together to put up a 108-run partnership to help India take the upper hand.
Raj was caught at mid-off as she failed to clear the circle off a delivery from West Indies off-spinner Hayley Matthews.
But Mona Meshram (18 not out) played a steady innings and gave good support to Mandhana to help India reach the target.
Earlier, a disciplined effort saw India restrict the West Indies to 183/8.
Put in to bat, the Caribbean team got off to a slow start with opener Hayley Matthews (43) and Felicia Walters (9) putting on 29 runs but ran out of ideas once the spinners were employed by India skipper Mithali Raj.
The Indian spinners -- Poonam Yadav (2/19), Deepti Sharma (2/27), Harmanpreet Kaur (2/42) and Ekta Bisht (1/23) -- shared seven wickets among themselves to rattle the West Indian batting line-up.
Indian wicket-keeper Sushma Verma also deserved due credit for the quick dismissals, as she effected as many as four stumpings during the innings.
Opener Mathews looked in good touch during her 57-ball knock which was laced with seven boundaries.
While the middle order failed to provide any resistance to the slower bowlers, Shanel Daley (33) and Afy Fletcher (36 not out) chipped in with a 30-run partnership for the seventh wicket -- the highest for the West Indies women.
Brief scores:
India: 186/3 in 42.3 overs (Smriti Mandhana 106 not out, Mithali Raj 46) vs West Indies: 183/8 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 43; Poonam Yadav 2/19, Deepti Sharma 2/27, Harmanpret Kaur 2/42)

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Are you ready to utilize the opportunities?

GST from 1 July: For small traders and unorganized players, the shift remains a challenge!

New Delhi: As the deadline to launch the biggest tax reform in the history of independent India nears, there is understandably some nervousness over what the Goods and Services tax (GST) regime will mean for the aam aadmi. It may not fuel headline inflation since most daily use products will be at neutral or lower taxation rate, but the transition from multiple taxation levies to a country-wide single system will not be without glitches. The worst to be hit under GST regime will be small businesses, the informal sector. These companies will find it hard to operate in the short to medium term, much like the demonetization era where their businesses were also hit the hardest.
To begin with, the compliance costs will be daunting for small traders where as big businesses will be better able to absorb such shocks. In a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said that GST is a technology driven taxation system which requires mandatory compliance through digital technology only. "It is a fact that as of now, nearly 60 percent of small businesses in the country have yet to adopt computerization in their existing business format. Therefore, though traders want to comply under GST, perhaps they may not be able to do so for want of technology. " The CAIT has sought an alternate mechanism to enable traders without requisite technological prowess to also comply from the law on day one, which is 1 July.
CAIT further states that half of the nearly six crore small businesses fall under the threshold limit of Rs 20 lakh and do not require registration under GST. Another about one crore traders may opt for 'Composite Scheme' but will have to get registered under the new tax regime. Remaining about two crore small businesses do not fall under any indirect tax law and will have to comply with the new rule mandatorily. " A large number of these businesses do not own computers since under the current VAT regime most of the tax compliance was done through paper formalities€¦." CAIT said.
Analysts at brokerage firm Philip Capital seemed to echo what CAIT said. In a note to clients last week, analysts said that larger companies are clearly better prepared for GST implementation with their IT systems in place. Smaller companies typically follow the lead of larger companies and will implement with a lag. For larger consumer companies, this better readiness could translate into market€share gains €"both in staples and discretionary. So the key beneficiaries of GST would be biggies like HUL, Colgate Palmolive, Havells, Asian Paints, Titan Industries, Bajaj Electricals and Crompton Greaves.
Taking the example of auto components, analysts at Credit Suisse said in their note to clients that the supply of unorganised goods seem to have dried up in the last month or so. Locally made unorganised batteries were hard to find as they were out of stock, and tyre dealers said that shipments of Chinese tyres have not really recovered post demonetisation. Though the analysts said it was yet to become clear if this is due to the unorganised players putting on a wait-and-watch hat or due to trade insisting on tax paid goods due to compliance fears under GST, they also noted that dealers thought the unorganised market will find it very difficult to operate in the GST era.
Take the local battery market with limited or no branding and largely tax evaded. Here dealer stocks were hard to find and the retailers alluded to the lack of supply from local/unorganised manufacturers in the past few weeks. Likely reasons for this could be: (1) the supply chain is now insisting on buying only tax paid/complaint goods and thus tax evaded batteries are not being bought by the trade, (2) unorganised players want to wait and watch until the dust settles post the GST implementation and will then take a call on resuming supply.
Analysts also say that share of the informal segment in the tiles industry will decline from 40 percent currently to 20 percent, a Mint report said. Similarly, nearly 60 percent of the ready-mixed concrete market is unorganised. In the light electrical segment, more than 35 percent of the businesses are in the informal sector. Industries like dairy, jewellery, air conditioners etc have highest component of informal sector €" over 70 percent. These sectors may witness greater difficulties in complying with GST norms than those sectors where large, formal sector businesses exist. Economists say that the informal or unorganised sector accounts for nearly 50 percent of India's gross domestic product and is responsible for more than 80 percent of total job creation in the country. Analysts at brokerage DBS said given the scale of the changes under the GST regime, implementation will be challenging.
The extent of readiness amongst businesses, consumers and the collection network will be the biggest challenge apart from the regulatory machinery. The government believes that some 80 percent of businesses (using the previous tax system) have already registered for the new GST network. Most large companies are geared up but the same is not true of small and mid-sized firms, especially in the unorganised sector. Teething issues are to be expected but should fade in subsequent months.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Join the amazing Wave3 Program!

The common mistake that makes your toilet a health hazard!

Most of us wouldn't consider the toilet a 'clean' place, but hygiene expert Stephanie from Expert Home Tips revealed to NetDoctor two common mistakes that turn it into a real health hazard.
Mistake 1: Not closing the lid when you flush
Despite many of us being brought up to 'put the toilet lid down' after use, a Scrubbing Bubbles survey found that 68 per cent of men flush with the toilet lid up. What's so wrong with this? Well, it turns out there's some scientific reasoning behind closing the lid before you flush.
Stephanie points out that the role of the flush is to take away the toilet bowl contents. This contains various bacteria including Salmonella and Shigella in high quantities. The flush must be powerful in order to carry waste away, and can fire up to 15 feet in the air as a result.
The dirty, contaminated water from our flush lands on other surfaces in our bathroom, be that the sink, floor, or worst of all, our toothbrushes!
Stephanie advises: 'The safest thing to do with regards to preventing the spread of germs in the bathroom, is to put the toilet seat down before flushing. This keeps any germs inside the toilet bowl, away from other surfaces we come in contact with.'
What happens when the flush isn't enough? Most of us turn to a toilet brush, but Stephanie has identified this as another area of concern:
Mistake 2: Not letting your toilet brush dry
Using the toilet brush to scrub away faecal matter and then storing it away in the holder whilst wet is a common mistake. The bacteria found in stools is transferred to the toilet brush, before being placed back into the toilet brush holder, which provides perfect conditions for germs.
Stephanie adds: 'Bacteria thrives in moist environments, so storing your toilet brush in this way encourages germ multiplication. In order to minimalize this risk, the toilet brush should be bleached after each use to kill germs, then left to sit over the toilet bowl until dry. It can them be replaced in the holder.'
Most of us can't imagine going to the loo without having a toilet brush handy, but some expert are very much against them.
The authors of The Cleaning Bible advise against using toilet brushes completely, calling them, 'an unworthy compromise for strict hygiene.' Instead, they recommend using rubber gloves and cleaning products to get the job done.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Work your way to success!

How To Make Your Old, Slow Laptop Feel Like New Again!

Using a speedy laptop is infinitely more satisfying than staring at a frozen screen for minutes/hours/days on end.
If you want to give your laptop a spring clean, we've got some tips covering the latest versions of Windows and macOS.

How to clean up Windows
The most effective way to clean up the clutter on Windows is to remove apps you don't use: They take up disk space, they take up memory, and they give the operating system unnecessary work to do. In Windows 10, you can uninstall apps from the Apps section of Settings (which also shows you which apps are taking up most room).
After you've dealt with apps you don't need, you can turn your attention to personal files. Again, be ruthless with the ones you don't actually need-free tools like CCleaner and Duplicate File Finder can help you hunt down files that aren't doing anything but taking up room, though you do get full control over what's erased and what isn't.
Windows actually has its own cleaning tool that you can find by typing "disk clean-up" into the search box on the taskbar, and clicking on the top match. Select the types of files you want to remove, from temporary installation files to old antivirus definitions (click on any entry for more information), then select OK to start the clean up process.
To really tidy up Windows, you need to get it back to something approaching the state it was in when it was first installed, and thankfully the latest versions of the operating system make this much easier than it used to be. If you open Settings then click Update & Security, you can find the relevant options under Recovery.
Click Get started under Reset this PC to roll back your Windows software. You have the option to keep your personal files in place if you wish, but all apps and settings will be removed, so it's important to make sure you've got backups of your important data and know how to reinstall your applications again. It's a drastic move, but it can make a big difference in cutting down on the clutter and digital debris on your system.
How to clean up macOS
A lot of the clutter-cleaning tips we mentioned above for Windows also apply to macOS. For example, you can start by uninstalling all the applications you're not actually using very much-on macOS this is done by dragging the relevant icon from the Applications window to the Trash, or clicking and holding an icon in the Launcher and clicking the cross icon, or using the built-in uninstaller to get rid of a program.
Then, it's on to files-do you really need all those vacation photos your cousin sent you? Or downloaded movies you're never going to watch again? The latest Sierra version of macOS comes with built-in tools that can help here: To find them, open Spotlight (Cmd+Space) then type "Storage Management" and open the top hit.
All of the options here can help you remove files you don't need on your system, whether it's old emails that can be archived or iTunes movies that are safely backed up in the cloud. Work through the recommendations as you need to, or click through the individual entries on the left (applications, documents, and so on) to take a more hands-on approach.
If you feel the tools integrated into macOS just aren't doing an effective enough job, you can enlist the help of a third-party program like CleanMyMac, which covers everything from redundant program files to old mail attachments. It's smart enough to know what you need to save and what can be safely jettisoned too.
Finally, as we mentioned for Windows, a complete system reset is the most drastic and also the most effective way of cleaning up macOS-just make sure all your important files and folders are backed up first. You need to reboot your machine and launch the Disk Utility to get started, and Apple has a full guide to the process.
From Esquire UK

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Check out the world of TripleClicks!

Big Day for Afghanistan and Ireland as Test Status Looms!

London: Afghanistan and Ireland are poised to become the 11th and 12th members of Test match cricket's close-knit club on Thursday when the sport's governing body meets in London.
It's been almost two decades since Bangladesh were the last country to be granted Test status but International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson believes both Afghanistan and Ireland have impressive credentials.
"It's never wise to try and make a call too early, but certainly the applications of both are very well founded," said Richardson. 
"They both, on the face of it, meet the majority, if not all, of the full member criteria that has been set. 
"I'm optimistic that they'll be given serious consideration to have every chance of succeeding."
No longer rank minnows, Asghar Stanikzai's Afghanistan are up for consideration following their victories over Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup in March.
Unlike the sport's other major players, Afghanistan was never a colony of the British Empire.
Instead many Afghans' first contact with the sport took place during the 1980s and 1990s, as refugees fled to Pakistan to escape the Soviet invasion.
Cricket struggled under the hardline Islamist Taliban, who viewed sports as a distraction from religious duties - and famously shaved the heads of a visiting Pakistani football team as punishment for wearing shorts.
But it has become hugely popular in the country since the regime was toppled in a US-led invasion in 2001. 
Recent successes, particularly in last year's ICC World Twenty20, have further raised the country's profile.
Spinners Rashid Khan, who idolizes former Pakistan international Shahid Afridi, and Mohammad Nabi both made their mark in the Indian Premier League.
Khan was the sixth-highest wicket-taker in his debut IPL with 17 scalps, and the pair broke into the top 10 of the ICC one-day international bowling rankings during the just-concluded tour of the West Indies.
'Best decision of the century'
Their former batting coach and former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif said a place among the Test nations was well deserved and would benefit them in the future.
"Afghanistan deserves Test status because their performances are good. Once they get to play Tests, more and more players will come forward just like happened in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - Kenya suffered because they were not awarded," he told AFP.
"I think it will be the ICC's best decision of the century."
Last year, Afghanistan's national team shifted its base from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Noida, Delhi, while India's former batsman Lalchand Rajput replaced Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq as their national team coach.
There are nevertheless questions about how well Afghanistan and Ireland will do in the game's longest format. 
Bangladesh famously floundered for their first decade while New Zealand took 26 years to win their first Test.
Ireland, meanwhile, have beaten the West Indies, England and Pakistan in their time.
However, standing on the verge of Test status is a far cry from the years when the highlight of Ireland's season was the visit for a one-off match by the touring Test team to England or, in alternate years, a two-day game at Lord's against MCC, invariably made up of Minor County players.
The old Irish Cricket Union was founded in 1855 –- Phoenix Cricket Club, founded 25 years earlier, is one of the oldest in the British Isles - but it was not until more than a century later that the Ireland team first made the rest of the cricket world take notice.
On July 2 1969, Ireland dismissed the West Indies for just 25 at Sion Mills in a match recorded for all time by television. 
It has gone into folklore that the West Indies, who had flown in the night before, after the conclusion of the Lord’s Test, had immediately availed themselves of some typically generous Irish hospitality. 
But whatever the truth of that, they were bundled out in 25.3 remarkable overs.
Ireland knocked off the runs for the loss of one wicket, but with the game over so quickly, the teams agreed to play on and West Indies even had a second innings, reaching a more respectable 78 for four, after Ireland had declared on 125 for eight.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Dream big... Aim high... Sky is the limit!

Godzilla 2 goes on floors, makers confirm new monsters!

The shooting for “Godzilla 2” directed by Michael Dougherty has begun in Atlanta. Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures announced the news confirming the full cast, official synopsis and production details of the upcoming monster movie, reported AceShowbiz. The sequel to the 2014 film was previously titled “Godzilla: King of Monsters”, but the statement released by the production companies did not refer to the movie by any title, suggesting the name might undergo a change.
According to the synopsis, “The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. “When these ancient super-species-thought to be mere myths-rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.”
The cast includes Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and Zhang Ziyi.
“Godzilla 2” is scheduled to release on March 22, 2019 in the US.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Healthy & Delicious tiffin recipes for kids!

Healthy Wraps

Wraps are a healthy snack option as they can be made with rotis/ chapatis & stuffed with vegetables that full of nutrients. Wraps can be made in multiple ways & look very appealing. Apply little cheese spread on rotis and fill them up with veggies of choice like cooked carrots & spinach leaves, sliced cucumber & chopped tomatoes. Roll the chapatis and secure them with a toothpick so that they do not fall apart while they stay in the tiffin boxes. 

Healthy Vegetable Sandwiches

There are many ways of putting healthy sandwiches together. Here’s a version that is not too time consuming to make as well as very healthy. Slice 1 cucumber, 1 tomato, 1 boiled beetroot and 1 boiled potato. Apply some butter on the bread loafs and place all these ingredients on the slices. Sprinkle salt and some ketchup for taste. If your child expects something more exciting, adding some chaat masala or a slice of cheese will add more flavour to the sandwich. You can also add a layer of lettuce leaf. Eggs are known to be powerhouses of nutrition and sandwiches filled with boiled egg slices along with some salt, pepper and mayonnaise also make for wonderfully delicious and healthy meals for kids. 

Healthy Vegetable Idlis

Idlis are considered as one of the healthiest Indian breakfast snack. Made with fermented rice and urad dal, idlis are a great source of carbohydrates and proteins. They are light and easily digestible. If you wish to amp up the nutrition quotient of idlis, add some vegetables to them. Most kids are fussy when it comes to consumption of vegetables; hence smartly incorporating vegetables in food works well for parents. Bring together some healthy vegetables like carrots, french beans, cauli flower and chop them finely. Mix all these veggies together and combine them with the idli batter. Add some salt and mix everything well. Heat sufficient amount of water in a steamer. Grease the idli moulds with oil and fill each one of them up with spoonfuls of batter. Place the idli mould in the steamer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Incase you do not have a steamer, you can make idlis in a pressure cooker too without the whistle. “Creative Commons Vegetable Idli” by Zee Patel is licensed under CC BY 4.0


Mothers of fussy food eaters, here’s something for you! If your kids show resistance in consuming vegetables, here’s a smart way to get veggies in their stomachs. Boil some spinach, broccoli, bottle gourd (lauki), pumpkin and carrots in a pressure cooker. After 1 whistle, shut the gas and allow the pressure cooker to cool off. Once cooled, remove the vegetables and puree them in a blender. Mix this puree in 3-4 cups of atta (wheat flour), along with some salt and jeera powder. Knead it the way you would for rotis. Once the dough is ready, make small balls and flatten them out individually with a rolling pin. Pour some ghee on a hot tawa and place each piece on the tawa and flip till each side is cooked evenly. Pack these parathas with some homemade chutney or ketchup and hopefully your kids will love it. “Creative Commons Stuffed muli paratha” by Zee Patel is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Image for representation purposes.


Theplas are a healthy & fuss free snack option for kids. Take some methi (fenugreek) leaves, wash and chop them. Take 2 bowls of wheat flour and half bowl of gram flour (besan) and mix together. Add the methi leaves to this. To this add 1 spoon of ground ginger & garlic. Add salt, half spoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of red chilli powder (depending on your child’s tastes), 2 teaspoons of oil and knead the entire mixture into a soft dough. Then just like parathas, make small balls out of the dough, flatten then with a roller pin and fry on a hot tawa in ghee. “Creative Commons Thepla served with raita” by Kanikatwl is licensed under CC BY 4.0


Poha is a complete meal in itself and is a great source of iron and carbohydrates. Here’s how we make it for kids – Rinse about 1 cup of poha (beaten rice) in a strainer 2-3 times and keep aside for a few minutes. Over rinsing poha will lead to breakage and sogginess hence be careful during this process. In a non-stick utensil heat some oil. Add mustard seeds, peanuts and curry leaves. Fry them for a minute or two and add salt, turmeric powder and stir. Then add the poha and give everything a good mix. If you wish to add potatoes, add 1 chopped potato at the first stage itself when you pour oil in the utensil and cook till they become brown and tender. You can make poha with brown rice poha too. Follow the same process as above. “Creative Commons Cooked Poha” by ampersandyslexia is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Semolina (Rawa/ suji) is an excellent source of phosphorus, zinc and magnesium – something which kids need in the years they are growing up. Hence including an item like semolina in their meals is a must. And what better than the classic upma? Dry roast about 1 cup of suji in a heavy bottomed pan till it turns brown and keep aside. Add oil in the same pan along with mustard seeds, urad dal and chana dal. Add some chopped onions, curry leaves, carrots and french beans. Sprinkle some salt and give everything a good stir. Once the ingredients begin to cook a little add the roasted semolina and stir. Add about 1 ½ to 2 cups of water. Keep stirring it to avoid any lumps. Cook till the semolina absorbs all the water and you achieve the desired texture. “Creative Commons Suji Upma” by Ravi Talwar is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Healthy Burgers

Kids and burgers have a historical love story. The smile on their faces the minute they spot a burger, is priceless. Though burgers usually figure in the “junk food” category, they can be healthier versions produced at home. For the patties – Take 2 potatoes, 1 carrot, some green peas and some spinach leaves. Boil them in the pressure cooker. Switch off the flame after 1 whistle. After the cooker cools down, strain out all the veggies and mash them with a potato masher. Add some salt, red chilli powder (depending on your child’s spice threshold), jeera powder and chaat masala. Make round shaped tikkis out of them. Coat them in besan (gram flour) and shallow fry them. Place them between whole wheat or multigrain burger buns along with a slice of tomato, cheese and lettuce leaf. If you child likes ketchup, then add that as well. Secure burger by inserting a toothpick in the centre so that it stays stable till your child opens the tiffin box. “Creative Commons Veggie-Burger” by Sujalajus is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Homemade Cookies

Cookies work best for toddlers and pre – schoolers who go to school a couple of times a week or for 2 – 3 hours everyday.Take 3/4 – cup granulated sugar, ¾ – cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup salted butter, 2 large eggs, 1-teaspoon vanilla extract, 1-teaspoon table salt, 1-teaspoon baking soda, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pre heat the oven to about 200 degrees Celsius. Bring all the ingredients together and make a dough. Now take scoops from dough and make cookie shaped dollops. Place them on a baking sheet. You can flatten and size them as per your requirements. Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes and your cookies should be ready. There are very fancy and innovative baking cookie cutters available in designs of cartoon characters, animals and stars. You can make dough cut outs from these moulds too and bake them. 

Colourful Mixed Fruits

Simple, light and very filling. This option is a great one when kids experience days of upset stomach and poor appetite. Also most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. They are essential sources of many nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folic acid. Just bring a handful of sliced fruits together. Combine some cut apples, bananas, grapes, oranges with any seasonal fruit. If berry – fruits are easily available in a market near you, add those too. Sprinkle some salt and mint leaves for flavour and a colourful tiffin box is ready.

Friday, 9 June 2017

It's time to reclaim your lunch break!

Despite the fact that most of us have lunch breaks written into our job contracts and are therefore entitled to them, it's surprising how few people take advantage of them. Although taking a lunch break might be guilt-inducing for people who work in offices that encourage a "working lunch" culture, taking that hour out of your work day to focus on yourself is an important practice that can have positive effects on your physical and mental health. Read on for four reasons that'll convince you to reclaim your lunch hour.

Stress Relief

High stress levels can affect your mental health and lead to anxiety and depression. If you simply don't have the time to go for a run or fit in a yoga practice to relieve the stress, stepping away from your triggers - like work -can be just what you need. Taking a lunch break gives you the chance to eat your way to stress-relief and practice a quick feel-good-inducing activities.

Better Blood Circulation

Taking time away from your desk at lunch time requires movement. Stretching isn't just something you do to begin and end a workout; it's important in your everyday life, too. Going for a short walk during your lunch break gives your muscles a good stretch, which improves blood circulation and maintains range of motion in your joints, thereby making our bodies less susceptible to dizzy spells and cramps and helping us avoid injury.
Vitamin Top-Up
Although you can eat your way to healthy vitamin D levels, taking a break from the artificial light in your office and walking out into the daylight can greatly improve your body's intake. When human skin is exposed to direct sunlight, namely UVB sun-rays (with sunscreen on!), it produces vitamin D. A deficiency in this vitamin can affect you in many ways including anxiety and depression, diabetes, and bone diseases.

Improved Concentration

You may think sitting down at your desk all day increases your productivity, but in actuality it does the opposite. Taking regular breaks isn't a waste of time; it improves your cognitive function by giving your mind something else to focus on in between stressful or pressurised tasks. Any time out works to deactivate and reactivate your goals which gives you a new sense of purpose and focus when approaching a task.

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