Munch on: Here are 7 healthy yet delicious snacks for each day of the week

Baked potato chips are healthier than fried chips.

There’s a common perception that diet food is boring. But that’s not true. You can eat healthy without compromising on taste, and yes, that includes low calorie desserts too. Diet food contains fewer calories, and serves as a healthier alternative to conventional snacks such as potato chips, burgers and other fast food. Some diet foods are full of antioxidants, essential nutrients. Experts at list some of the healthy diet snacks and food that could be consumed on different days of the week.

* Mondays: Diet chivda is a mixed snack popular across India and served with hot beverages. It is made of ingredients such as flattened rice, dried peas, raisins, and so on. Available in different combinations, diet chivda is an excellent healthy treat as most of the ingredients are either dried or baked, and contain little to no oil or fat.

* Tuesdays: While fried potato chips top the list of unhealthy foods in the world, its diet version is the opposite, without compromising on taste. Diet potato chips are mostly baked and use little to no oil, and make for a yummy snack between meals.

* Wednesdays: Chira (flattened rice) is the main ingredient in poha. When lightly roasted, it can be mixed with various spices and consumed as a healthy snack throughout the day.

Granola bars are loved by gym-goers. (Shutterstock)

* Thursdays: A container of masala chickpeas packs several vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and protein, keeping one fuller for longer.

* Fridays: Quinoa has become popular over the years both as a superfood and a versatile ingredient. Native to South America, it is prepared by being boiled in water. The nutrient-rich grain is mostly consumed as part of a salad, but there are treats such as quinoa puffs that are equally healthy and delicious.

* Saturdays: A favourite among gym goers and fitness aficionados, muesli or granola bars are the perfect choice that also boost metabolism. A great alternative to candy bars, they can satiate anyone’s sweet tooth or sudden cravings without any adverse effects to health. Muesli bars are made up of refined flour, hazelnut, cashew, almond, dark chocolate, honey, oats, butter, and sugar.

* Sunday: Although a new entrant in the list of healthiest foods, kale chips have quickly become one of the most tried new ingredients in the global food market. A close cousin of the cabbage family, kale has a high fibre content and low calories, making it a great diet food.

On Mandela Day, Mumbai girls get hygiene kits, sanitary pads

The South Africa Consulate on July 18 commemorated Mandela Day by distributing packaged hygiene kits to school girls that contained sanitary napkins, soap, hand towel, sanitizer, toothpaste and toothbrush. The Consulate along with the Nargis Dutt Foundation, an NGO, also provided 176 of these girls with a year’s supply of sanitary napkins. “Not only will this help in maintaining hygiene but the making of sanitary pads will also create jobs for women with a special sanitary pad manufacturing machine launched by the Nargis Dutt Foundation,” the Consulate said in a statement.

Nelson Mandela, Mandela day, Nelson Mandela birth annniversery, Hygiene kits, sanitary napkins, sanitary pads, Nargis Dutt Foundation, Mumbai girls, Indian Express News

South African Consul General M.L. Ramokgopa raised concerns over the high drop out rate among girls at school. “Women and girls lack hygiene supplies and as a result of which they do not attend schools or work or indulge into any kind of activity during their menstrual cycles. Lack of affordability, accessibility and awareness are the primary reasons why school girls are forced to drop out.

“Through this initiative, we would like to help these girls keep up with their education every month. And we only hope to see this change in the coming years, where every girl has access to hygienic mediums and can live a routine life to study or work,” Ramokgopa was quoted as saying in the statement. In recognition of Nelson Mandela’s contributions to democracy, racial justice and reconciliation and his service to humanity, the United Nations has declared Madiba’s birthday on July 18 as International Mandela Day.

How I start my day

How I start my day
The greatest investment you’ll ever make is in yourself. This applies to how you start your day. My day actually starts the night before. I write down what I want to get done the next day, and when I close my eyes to sleep, I work on the intention of being excited when I wake up.

I urge people to bring out the super hero in themselves. I meditate and visualise how I want to feel on each day, and when looking through my plan, I say an affirmation of “thank you” for the blessings given from the Creator. I write (poetry, journal, blog, or my novel), and then walk outside for at least a mile and pray and meditate.

I have worked on this routine for a year now. The beautiful thing about staying true to a routine is it helps me to be more creative and productive. I get more done in those two hours than I do the whole day. My morning routine sets me up for success because it’s not about doing things without any thought. I wake up excited about the day ahead and pursue my life in an intentionally beautiful way.

DU fucchas ready to spend 30K to 50K to look their best on day one

Delhi University’s new academic session kick-starts tomorrow, and freshers, it seems, don’t want to miss a chance to look their best on day one. Such is the craze to make the perfect first impression that some of them are willing to spend upto `50000 for it.

From clothes to shoes and looks to gadgets, the freshers are spending anywhere between Rs 30,000 to Rs 50000. “Getting into DU is a dream-come-true for me. I want to look perfect on my first day, therefore, I have asked my designer to stitch me something chic. I have also asked her to come up with three other dresses that I plan to wear in the first week of DU,” says Sakshi Sharma, who has got admission in Kirori Mal College.

From picking  chic dresses to expensive gadgets, fucchas are spending extra money to look perfect on day one in college.

City designers admit that they are thronged by fucchas looking for designer looks. “College students are the one who at times start a trend. They want stylish yet comfortable clothes and this time round, the girls are asking mostly for dhoti capes, flashy shirts and stylish printed pants. The boys are opting for a complete denim look — both shirts and pants in denim fabric. The price for such designerwear for girls and boys ranges between Rs 7000 to Rs 50000, depending on the fabric and design,” says Urvashi Jain, spokesperson of designer Naina Jain.

City salons are also flooded with a gamut of requests from students. Akansha Verma, manager at Cut and Style Saloon in Kamla Nagar Market, says, “We are working extra hours because of the rush. Most of our customers are girls, and each one of them come with a unique request. While some are asking for neon hair, others want curls with highlights. Cost of hair colouring starts from Rs 4000 and can go up to Rs 10000. Also, we have different offers, to attract as many students as possible.”

A similar rush is visible at other parlours too, courtesy the offers. Shweta Kushwaha, manager at Kuts and Kandy in Hudson Lane, says, “During admission season, we offer various discounts for the students. For them, it’s really important to look nice on day one.”

As girls perfect their looks, boys are going gaga over high-end gadgets. Ajay Aggarwal, owner of a mobile phone shop, says, “Students want a phone that has a good selfie camera. They don’t mind spending Rs 30000 but the gadget has to be something that they can show off.”

Delhi Police, college students and authorities brace for day one of Delhi University

The new academic session at Delhi University (DU) begins on July 20. And freshers have mixed feelings — nervousness about whether they’ll ‘fit in’ and excitement to step into a more chilled-out phase of their lives. Some even fear being bullied. But here’s what: From the various college authorities and societies to student political parties and even the Delhi Police, everyone is working towards ensuring a smooth run for the anxious fuchchas.

“We’ll welcome the freshers with chocolates and roses, and brief them about the syllabus and course details, as there are minor changes in the syllabus every year that freshers don’t usually know of,” says Shauryaveer Singh, a student of Campus Law Centre and a member of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).

Picture for representational purpose only.

For safety and a ragging-free campus, the student political wing has made a list of locations where CCTV cameras are required. “University is planning to install cameras in the campus premises and have asked for recommendations as to where they should be installed. We have noted down 23 locations to ensure security, especially for the girls,” adds Singh.

Some drama always helps! So, besides orientation programmes, fuchchas can expect anti-ragging plays on campus. Dr Rama, principal of Hans Raj College, shares, “The seniors students will stage plays on the anti-ragging theme. A committee of teachers will also monitor the college premises.” She adds, “No one will be able to bully anyone and if any student faces any issue, they can contact me without any hesitation.”

Above all, Delhi Police plans to tighten vigilance. “We will deploy more female officers, dressed in casuals, in the campus. Women helpdesks will be established at Arts Faculty, Miranda House, Ramjas College, Kirori Mal College and Hans Raj College. We will coordinate with the anti-ragging committees of each college and department,” says Jatin Narwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North).

More so, “the Delhi Metro has been requested to make announcements in trains and stations about DU being intolerant towards ragging,” reads a release issued by the varsity.

World Chocolate Day: How to make Chocolate Truffle Tart

Chocolate Truffle Tart is a classic. Loved by all, it’s a sure shot way to make yourself happy and of course, make your loved ones happy. If you still haven’t tried making one till date, then we say it’s about time. This easy recipe by Chef Ashish Rai, Head – Culinary, Barbeque Nation is a great way to start your culinary journey.

Indulge in some Chocolate Tart this weekend.

For crust
½ cup – Confectionery sugar
1½ cup – All-purpose flour
1 cup – Butter
5-6g – Baking powder

For filling
½ kg – Dark chocolate compond
100g – Butter
1 – Egg
½ cup – Heavy cream
¼ cup – Suagr
A few drops of chocolate essence
Cocoa powder for garnish
Icing sugar for garnish ( optional)


For crust
* In a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture turns into a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations on the sides.

* Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10-12 mins, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

For Filling
* Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.

* Whisk together eggs, cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until it’s well mixed.

* Pour filling into the cooled crust and rap the pan once on counter to eliminate any air bubbles.

* Bake for 20-25 mins until the filling is set keeping a gap of 1 inch from the edge. Check that the tart is slightly puffed but the centre trembles slightly when pan is gently shaken. Centre will continue to set as it cools.

* Demould it and cool tart completely. Sprinkle cocoa powder over it.

* Take a heart shape cutter and sprinkle icing sugar in the center of the tart.

Third edition of momo fest in Delhi-NCR extended by a day

Momo lovers have a treat coming up with Momo Festival, a three-day gala where several variants of the snack will be available under one roof.

Earlier, it used to be a two-day affair, but for the third edition, it has been extended by a day.

The variety of momos will be a balance of steam, fried, tandoori, gravy, vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, boasting a large number of variants including chocolate momos, vodka momos, changezi chicken momos, Darjeeling momos, vegetarian spicy lemon momos, pan (sweet pan) momos, shrimp momos, achaari momos and more.

GoBuzzinga is bringing together 25 momo vendors of Delhi-National Capital Region, offering more than 100 variants at the fest, which will take place from Friday till Sunday at DLF Mall of India, read a statement.

“It is amazing how much the vendors of Delhi have experimented with what used to be basic vegetable and chicken filled steamed dumplings. There are more than 400 different varieties of momos available in the streets of Delhi and NCR. And, we’ve brought together the most awesome ones at one venue,” said Shantanu Verma, CEO and founder at GoBuzzinga, the organising company of the event.

“This festival is a tribute to the rich tradition of street food of Delhi, and there are many more such hidden gems in the Capital that we hope to explore with our festivals. We are soon expanding in other cities too, and we are going to take these festivals with us as well,” Verma added.

What happened when I started throwing my legs up a wall every day

Google throws up a lot of weird things when you search for something online. During one of such searches, I came across the legs-up-a-wall pose that helps relieve lower body stress. It didn’t look tough and what it promised was worth a try!

Game for trying this new technique, I took my yogamat, got my legs up on the wall. While my dog didn’t really fancy the move, sniffing me constantly to figure what was going on, the asana indeed was quite easy to get into.

Different websites suggested differing duration, but I went with the 10-minute one as it didn’t require much time. I played some meditation music I downloaded from iTunes and closed my eyes.

Called Viparita Karani, the legs-up-a-wall pose is said to reverse the stress of sitting all day – a thing that I am extremely guilty of. Wanting to know how it works, I figured that when we lie in this inverted pose, the body drains fluids that are pooling in your legs, causing them to stress out. This waste doesn’t otherwise leave our body easily but the drainage gets easier with this asana. Not only that, it also helps in a positive circular flow to your core.

After doing it for a week, I realised that not only lower body, it helped me relieve stress in the neck and back too.

Eventually I started to enjoy this me-time and tried just to focus on the music, not anything else.

Sitting is the new smoking and we all working professionals need to get this stress out of our bodies. I highly recommend it to all working professionals who are guilty of sitting too much.

Points to remember: Keep your butt as close to the wall and try to form a 90-degree angle. You will feel your hamstrings stretch.

Delhi University: 10,000 seats still left after first day of admissions under fourth cutoff list

Admissions to around 79% of seats in Delhi University had been approved by the end of the first day of enrolment under the fourth cutoff list.

With only a little over 20% seats still up for grabs, admissions to popular honours courses such as Economics, English and BCom had been closed at many popular colleges. Seats are fast filling even at the colleges where seats are still available and students may need to rush before Saturday to secure a place.

DU has around 56,000 seats for undergraduate courses at its 60-odd constituent colleges, of which around 50,000 are for merit-based undergraduate courses. A little over 10,000 seats were still up for grabs at various colleges.

By Thursday, admissions to 39,495 seats had been confirmed. 36,836 students had paid their admission fees by 6 pm, said DU officials who work with the admissions committee.

The Non Collegiate Women’s Education Board (NCWEB) had also released its third cutoff list along with the fourth list for regular colleges. Of the 12,500 seats available for NCWEB, admissions had been approved to 2,408 seats.

Seats are still available at colleges such as Gargi, Hindu, Ramjas, Lady Shri Ram College, Miranda House, and others.

Ramjas College has approximately 100 seats left. Seats are still available for honours programmes in Political Science, Economics, English and History. Students who have scored 96.5% or more may be able to secure BA (hons) Economics seat at Ramjas.

 DU has around 56,000 seats for undergraduate courses at its 60-odd constituent colleges, of which around 50,000 are for merit-based undergraduate courses. A little over 10,000 seats were still up for grabs at various colleges.

LSR has seats still available for courses such as Psychology, Journalism, English, and History. “We have filled approximately 590 out of the available 700 seats,” said Suman Sharma, principal.

Miranda House, had faced over-admission for Chemistry (hons) programme during the third cutoff. But they still have seats available in four courses, including BA programme and BA (hons) English.

“We have been more busy with ECA admissions… We have around 30 seats for sports and 20 for ECA. We reserve 5% supernumerary seats for Sports and ECA combined. We have more seats for sports as sports is specialised and ECA talent is widespread across colleges anyway,” said Pratibha Jolly, principal of Miranda House.

Students who have sought admissions under the Extra Curricular Activities quota, and have made it to the merit list, will be notified of the colleges’ admission list on Friday. Students then will have Saturday and Monday to get their admission confirmed at the colleges concerned.


Eating tomatoes every day may reduce risk of skin cancer, finds study

If you love eating tomatoes, then here’s another reason to keep up the good habit. A recent study has found that eating tomatoes daily brings down the risk of skin cancer, especially in men, by half.

Through a study conducted on mice, researchers explained how nutritional interventions can alter the risk for skin cancers. Male mice were fed a diet consisting of 10% tomato powder daily for 35 weeks, then exposed to ultraviolet light. They experienced, on average, a 50% decrease in skin cancer tumours compared to mice that ate no dehydrated tomato.

“The theory behind the relationship between tomatoes and cancer is that dietary carotenoids, the pigmenting compounds that give tomatoes their colour, may protect skin against ultraviolet (UV) light damage,” said study co-author Jessica Cooperstone from the Ohio State University, US.

Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective antioxidant of these pigments.

Researchers said certain foods, when consumed over a lifetime, can alter development of certain diseases. (Shutterstock)

Cooperstone said previous human clinical trials suggest that eating tomato paste over time can dampen sunburns, perhaps thanks to carotenoids from the plants that are deposited in the skin of humans after eating, and may be able to protect against UV light damage.

Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective antioxidant of these pigments. However, when comparing lycopene administered from a whole food (tomato) or a synthesised supplement, tomatoes appear more effective in preventing redness after UV exposure, suggesting other compounds in tomatoes may also be at play, the researchers stated.

The team found that only male mice fed dehydrated red tomatoes had reductions in tumour growth. Those fed diets with tangerine tomatoes, which have been shown to be higher in bioavailable lycopene in previous research, had fewer tumours than the control group.

Cooperstone is currently researching tomato compounds other than lycopene that may impart health benefits.

“Alternative methods for systemic protection, possibly through nutritional interventions to modulate risk for skin-related diseases, could provide a significant benefit,” Cooperstone said. “Foods are not drugs, but they can possibly, over a lifetime of consumption, alter the development of certain diseases,” she said.

The study appears online in the journal of Scientific Reports.