One Organic Pizza, Please

india restaurants, india hotels, india food, restaurant menu, menu, wholesome menu, health consciousness, healthy food, indian express news

EARLIER this month, Mumbai’s popular restaurant The Bombay Canteen sent out a tweet, inviting resumes of people with “a passion for food to come aboard, travel across India and develop relations with farmers and producers”. Within the next couple of days, the restaurant’s chef Thomas Zacharias received mails from over 80 candidates, most of whom, he says, were those looking to switch their career. While this reflects the popularity of the restaurant, it also shows how seriously Indians today are taking their food, especially the healthy variety. “Indians are not only recognising the vast variety of cuisines but also realising that eating healthy means eating fresh, locally sourced seasonal ingredients,” says Zacharias.

When The Pantry launched in Kala Ghoda in 2012, their promise was a menu that would not feature imported goods but ingredients that they would source from farmers in and around Mumbai. Organic and/or artisanal, their hams, cheeses, vegetables lent their menu a distinct touch. It’s been a format that many restaurants have since followed. Today, as they evolve, The Pantry reworks its menu every season to include specials and has also since introduced items that appeal to the health-conscious. For instance, there are organic waffles served with seasonal fruits, vanilla custard and honey, vegan milkshakes and home-baked granola, among other items, on their menu.

Likewise, Birdsong Cafe (Bandra), the Belgian chain Le Pain Quotidien, The Sassy Spoon (Bandra, Nariman Point) in Mumbai as well as Lean Chef (GK II), Organic Express (Gurugram), and Nourish Organics (Lodhi Colony) in Delhi-NCR, have menus that accommodate healthy food choices.

While a number of restaurants have begun to include such options as a part of their overall menu, in the near future, say chefs, the trend will shift towards superspecialised restaurants. For instance, everything on the menu of Mumbai’s Sequel, a cafe in Bandra, is gluten-free. In Delhi’s Shahpurjat Village, Greenr Store and Cafe promises a menu that promotes “vegetarianism and veganism”. Greenr, they claim, was started with the primary focus of endorsing “sustainable living” and making it “accessible and acceptable to an audience group that is eager to embrace it”. The restaurant offers a wide range of delicatessen and condiments that include raw and organic juices,
natural gelatos, organic coffee, and hand-crafted organic chocolates.

Located in GK-I, Delhi, Getafix too promises a “guilt-free indulgence”. They offer dishes that are usually considered comfort foods, such as pizza and burgers, in nutritious options. “At Getafix, we have managed to keep the food tasty, healthy and cost effective. A lot of young professionals live away from home, eating out almost every day. Many of them now realise they need healthier options and that a burger or a pizza can be done better than what they would get at an outlet of a chain. We will see a rise in the number of options for healthy food in the future,” explains Aanandita Chawla, co-owner of Getafix.

 

Turmeric Mask for Skin: One Ingredient, Many Miraculous Benefits

Has your skin become lifeless? Has your natural glow vanished by the pollution, which has settled on your face? Do you want to prevent pre-mature ageing and avoid wrinkles on your face? What if I tell you there is only one solution to all these problems and to top it all off it is something that is easily available in most of the Indian households, is easy on the pocket and hands down one of the most effective natural remedy

of all time? Okay, keeping all speculations aside, let me break the name to you, it is turmeric or haldi. Turmeric has long been considered as the ultimate home remedy for various kinds of health problems.

Haldi Doodh is every Indian mother’s go to health drink for their children. I personally remember how i used to dread every single night at the sight of my Maa’s bringing me my glass of Haldi Doodh (turmeric infused milk). Turmeric has so many benefits attached to it that I was never aware of back then but now I know exactly why my mother emphasised so much on consuming it.

Has your skin become lifeless? Has your natural glow vanished by the pollution, which has settled on your face? Do you want to prevent pre-mature ageing and avoid wrinkles on your face? What if I tell you there is only one solution to all these problems and to top it all off it is something that is easily available in most of the Indian households, is easy on the pocket and hands down one of the most effective natural remedy

of all time? Okay, keeping all speculations aside, let me break the name to you, it is turmeric or haldi. Turmeric has long been considered as the ultimate home remedy for various kinds of health problems.

Haldi Doodh is every Indian mother’s go to health drink for their children. I personally remember how i used to dread every single night at the sight of my Maa’s bringing me my glass of Haldi Doodh (turmeric infused milk). Turmeric has so many benefits attached to it that I was never aware of back then but now I know exactly why my mother emphasised so much on consuming it.

What Does It Do? 

Turmeric provides flavour and colour to many cuisines but it doesn’t just cater to food it also has medicinal properties. Some other benefits attached to it is that it can be used as an excellent skin care ingredient. It helps in treating acne, lessens signs of ageing (wrinkles), helps reduce stretch stretch marks and also to remove pigmentation and tanning.Turmeric can also be used in face masks when combined with the right ingredients. It is suitable for both oily and dry skin type.

turmeric

How To Make Turmeric Face Packs At Home? 

Do not burn a hole in your pocket by investing in highend face packs with turmeric being one of their ingredients when you can make very affordable turmeric packs at home. So we have compiled face packs for different skin types and purposes. Select the one that is suitable for you –

1. Rose Milk and Turmeric Face Pack (Dry Skin)

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon fresh cream

2-3 drops of essential oil rose

1/2 table spoon rose water

Procedure: Mix all ingredients in a bowl well, make sure to get rid of any lumps. The mixture should be smooth, after preparing the pack take a brush and apply generous amounts of it on your face and neck. Let it sit for atleast 25 minutes, wash your face with lukewarm water and gently pat your face dry with a fresh towel.

turmeric

2. Chickpea Yoghurt and Turmeric Face pack (Oily Skin)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chickpea flour

1 tablespoon yoghurt

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 tablespoon water (to mix easily)

Procedure: Mix all ingredients together, if the mixture is too dry add more water accordingly. Smooth out the mixture and use a brush to apply evenly throughout your face and neck, wait for atleast 20 minutes for it to dry. Wash your face with lukewarm water and gently pat your face dry.

pack turmericPhoto Credit: Pinterest

3. Lemon Honey and Turmeric Face Pack (Skin Brightening) 

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (make sure to remove any seed)

Procedure: Mix all ingredients together and apply the mixture well on your face and neck using a brush. Let it dry for 20-30 minutes, wash it off with lukewarm water and gently pat your face dry.

turmeric packPhoto Credit: pinterest

4. Coconut and Turmeric Face Pack ( Acne Prone Skin) 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1/4 tablespoon of turmeric power

Procedure: Mix all ingredients well, apply it on your face and neck and wash it off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.

turmeric packPhoto Credit: Pinterest

5. Tomato and Turmeric Face pack ( Tan Removal)

Ingredients:

2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1/2 tablespoon yoghurt

ProcedureMix all ingredients, after obtaining a paste like consistency apply it on your affected areas (wherever there is tanning) and let it rest for 20 minutes then wash it off with lukewarm water.  

turmeric packPhoto Credit: Pinterest

6. Turmeric and Honey Pack For Dark Circles

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon yoghurt

Procedure:Mix all ingredients well, take a brush and use gentle strokes to apply it on your dark circles then let it rest for 15-20 minutes and wash it away with lukewarm water.

turmeric pack
7. Egg White and Turmeric Face Pack (Skin Tightening)

Ingredients:

1 egg white

1 tablespoon turmeric

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Procedure:Mix all ingredients well, apply it on your face and neck and let it dry for 25 minutes then wash it off with lukewarm water.

egg whites
Disclaimer:

What Does It Do? 

Turmeric provides flavour and colour to many cuisines but it doesn’t just cater to food it also has medicinal properties. Some other benefits attached to it is that it can be used as an excellent skin care ingredient. It helps in treating acne, lessens signs of ageing (wrinkles), helps reduce stretch stretch marks and also to remove pigmentation and tanning.Turmeric can also be used in face masks when combined with the right ingredients. It is suitable for both oily and dry skin type.

turmeric

How To Make Turmeric Face Packs At Home? 

Do not burn a hole in your pocket by investing in highend face packs with turmeric being one of their ingredients when you can make very affordable turmeric packs at home. So we have compiled face packs for different skin types and purposes. Select the one that is suitable for you –

1. Rose Milk and Turmeric Face Pack (Dry Skin)

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon fresh cream

2-3 drops of essential oil rose

1/2 table spoon rose water

Procedure: Mix all ingredients in a bowl well, make sure to get rid of any lumps. The mixture should be smooth, after preparing the pack take a brush and apply generous amounts of it on your face and neck. Let it sit for atleast 25 minutes, wash your face with lukewarm water and gently pat your face dry with a fresh towel.

turmeric

2. Chickpea Yoghurt and Turmeric Face pack (Oily Skin)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chickpea flour

1 tablespoon yoghurt

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 tablespoon water (to mix easily)

Procedure: Mix all ingredients together, if the mixture is too dry add more water accordingly. Smooth out the mixture and use a brush to apply evenly throughout your face and neck, wait for atleast 20 minutes for it to dry. Wash your face with lukewarm water and gently pat your face dry.

pack turmericPhoto Credit: Pinterest

3. Lemon Honey and Turmeric Face Pack (Skin Brightening) 

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (make sure to remove any seed)

Procedure: Mix all ingredients together and apply the mixture well on your face and neck using a brush. Let it dry for 20-30 minutes, wash it off with lukewarm water and gently pat your face dry.

turmeric packPhoto Credit: pinterest

4. Coconut and Turmeric Face Pack ( Acne Prone Skin) 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1/4 tablespoon of turmeric power

Procedure: Mix all ingredients well, apply it on your face and neck and wash it off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.

turmeric packPhoto Credit: Pinterest

5. Tomato and Turmeric Face pack ( Tan Removal)

Ingredients:

2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1/2 tablespoon yoghurt

ProcedureMix all ingredients, after obtaining a paste like consistency apply it on your affected areas (wherever there is tanning) and let it rest for 20 minutes then wash it off with lukewarm water.  

turmeric packPhoto Credit: Pinterest

6. Turmeric and Honey Pack For Dark Circles

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon yoghurt

Procedure:Mix all ingredients well, take a brush and use gentle strokes to apply it on your dark circles then let it rest for 15-20 minutes and wash it away with lukewarm water.

turmeric pack
7. Egg White and Turmeric Face Pack (Skin Tightening)

Ingredients:

1 egg white

1 tablespoon turmeric

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Procedure:Mix all ingredients well, apply it on your face and neck and let it dry for 25 minutes then wash it off with lukewarm water.

egg whites

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.

One School's Quest for Personalized Public Education

SAN DIEGO—To understand just how far Vista High School will go to keep kids interested in school, consider the case of 17-year-old Hernan Hernandez and his skateboard.

Hernan, an avid skateboarder, was bored in gym class. So were his classmates. So, late this spring, Hernan approached Principal Anthony Barela with a potential solution: What about offering them a skateboarding course instead?

“I’m pretty sure if you told them they could skate and get an A, they would do that,” Hernan told Barela, a former football coach who is maniacal about keeping Vista High School students in school.

Students walk across a grassy field in front of a school building.

Barela agreed: He’ll work with Hernan to design a skateboarding course, part of the school’s dramatic transformation toward meeting the needs and interests of the roughly 2,600 students, most of whom are Hispanic and working class, who attend this open-air suburban high school. Next year, Vista will enter an uncharted era: Every freshman will embark on a new curriculum designed to help them find and pursue their interests.

A $10 million prize from the national nonprofit XQ Super School Project is already overhauling Vista High, encouraging more cross-disciplinary, independent projects; enhanced access to technology; and close attention to social and emotional skills. The changes support a contention of high-school reformers nationally and some educators here: “The way we’re teaching students, it’s not working,” the Vista science teacher Allison Whitman said during a recent weekday before school ended for the summer.

District officials have been pushing similar changes in all of Vista’s schools since a series of student forums four years ago revealed an unexpected truth. After Matt Doyle, Vista’s acting superintendent, helped interview more than 2,000 middle- and high-school students about their school experiences and dumped all of his interview notes into a software program that identifies the most frequently mentioned words, one word rose to the surface: “irrelevant.”

“That was kind of a gut check for us,” Doyle said, and it prompted the district to issue a challenge to all its schools—to create classes more tailored to their students’ interests. Vista High School and Barela leapt at the opportunity.

Vista High School was struggling with chronic absenteeism, and, most vexing to Barela, 10 percent of students who entered as freshmen dropped out before senior year.

The idea officials came up with two years ago, called the “personalized-learning academy,” or PLA, eventually formed the basis for the school’s winning XQ-grant application, and will be the model for the curriculum that Vista rolls out this fall.

In September, Vista’s entire incoming freshman class of about 700 will be split into five “houses” of between 130 and 150 students and four teachers each, with the teachers trained to home in on the students’ strengths and preferences. The XQ prize money, paid out over the next five years in $2 million installments, will fund total conversion of the school by 2020.

For Barela, the barometer for success for the inaugural freshman class is straightforward: “If we don’t lose ’em,” the school is making progress.

Vista’s transformation comes in the midst of increasing national attention on the potential of personalized learning— and the new technologies enabling it—to solve a whole range of challenges facing schools, from student behavior, to job readiness, to academic achievement. The term encompasses a variety of techniques, often involving technology, meant to give students more control over what they learn and how fast they learn it. Advocates say it’s more effective than having an educator present one lesson, at the same pace, teaching a group of students with different interests and needs. But the approach is so new that, so far, little evidence exists to suggest it can deliver on its potential, and there’s little agreement about what it looks like in practice.

Vista’s willingness to extend personalized learning to all 25,000 of its students will make it one of the first districts in the country to take on the approach system-wide, Doyle said. And the changes at Vista High School will become a high-profile national test run of how a personalized-learning approach can work in a large, comprehensive public high school, the kind most U.S. students still attend.

Already, the new system at Vista is creating anxiety for students, teachers, and parents who are new to the approach.

“People are scared,” said Craig Gastauer, a former science teacher at Vista now leading the training for the school’s ninth-grade teachers, “because they haven’t seen it—they haven’t been able to wrap their minds around what this change is going to look like.”

Principal Barela, a devoted fan of the school’s successful athletic teams, is optimistic, and analogizes the school’s to new model to high-school sports. In sports, constant feedback from coaches helps athletes identify the skills they need to practice and then put to the test during games. There’s no question about whether those skills are relevant, Barela said; why not replicate that model in academic classes, allowing teachers to act more like coaches who work together with students to help them improve in areas they consider important?

Students prepare to present a final project in Jeb Dickerson’s 11th-grade history class in Vista High School’s personalized-learning academy. Next year, all freshmen will take part in personalized learning. (Mike Elsen-Rooney)

Vista’s personalized-learning overhaul next year, for all of its uncertainty, is not the school’s first foray into the approach. School officials have been closely watching the progress of the pilot personalized-learning academy. It opened two years ago, with a class of about 150 students who opted into the program as juniors with the option to continue through their senior years. The same offer was made to last year’s juniors, and the opt-in program for the upperclassmen will continue while all the new freshman embark on the class-wide, personalized-learning initiative.

And while early results from the pilot academy are promising, the experiment hasn’t always been smooth.

Hernan, the skater, participated in the pilot and found the freedom in class disconcerting. He became easily distracted by having a personal Chromebook laptop at his fingertips.

“There’s times where you are like, wow, I just wasted two hours,’’ said Hernan, who once spent the better part of a class Googling “Supernovas’’ during a unit on the Big Bang theory. His grades slipped over the course of the year.

Jeb Dickerson, who teaches American history to juniors in the pilot academy, found his students growing restless while working on independent projects he’d designed to give them more freedom.

“The teachers and students wanted something different, but we were not necessarily prepared, and [the students] were definitely not prepared to make good on that,’’ said Dickerson. “The direction I’m headed [in] is more structure,’’ he said, alluding to an important lesson he’s gleaned from the experiment. “I don’t think it conflicts with the idea of giving them more ownership.”

Vista’s early trials and errors echo the experiences of many schools trying the personalized-learning approach, according to Betheny Gross, the research director at the Center for Reinventing Public Education.

“One of the risks of personalized learning is that we move away from the traditional classroom, which is a one-size-fits-all model, to a different one-size-fits-all model,’’ Gross said. “Just this new version has beanbag chairs [letting students sit anywhere they want] and computers.’’

(Vista has opted for rolling chairs that students can wheel around instead of beanbags, and every student will have a personal Chromebook.)

Principal Barela said the experience of the teachers in the pilot academy pushed him to focus more on teacher training this fall. The challenge ahead, Barela said, is to find a balance between teachers butting in to students’ work and teachers giving them free rein—that will be part of the training. Finding the right balance might also mean taking risks on topics not traditionally covered, one reason Barela was so open-minded about Hernan’s skateboarding proposal.

Kelly Humann, the PTA president and a parent of a 10th-grader, has seen personalized learning work at the magnet middle school (a selective school that admits students by application) where she’s also sent her children, but wonders how it will translate to a much larger high school where not all the students necessarily choose to be there. “We’re all worried to see how it’s going to be implemented,” she said.

But Humann said the approach, at its best, can reach students at varying academic levels in the same class. The middle-school program worked equally well for her high-achieving daughter and her son in special education, she said. And Vista High School’s personalized-learning experiment is causing parents who might typically opt for selective high schools to consider sending their kids there, Humann said. “I’m excited … a lot more kids are going to experience what my kids have experienced from the beginning.”

 

Vista’s experiment comes at a time when schools across the country are turning to personalized learning as something of a pushback to test-heavy instruction and as a way to prepare students for jobs of the future, said Gross of the Center for Reinventing Public Education.  “We’re coming out of a prior wave of reform that was very focused on testing,” Gross said. “We kind of lost sight of the kids in all of that.”

In addition, the low cost of technology that allows different students to work on different projects at the same time has made personalized learning an even more attractive route, Gross said.

Early data from Vista’s pilot program suggests that, for most students, the more-flexible class environment of the personalized-learning academy has been helpful. Of the first cohort of juniors, 60 percent boosted their GPAs, school officials say.

Teachers also reported a big improvement in student behavior. Barela said 70 percent of the students in the pilot academy improved their attendance, and there was only one disciplinary referral in the academy during the first cohort’s first semester. “We have so many kids who are typically on that fringe, in class regularly and participating … who felt like they belonged here,” Dickerson, the 11th-grade history teacher, said.

Teachers could also better handle disciplinary issues because they’d developed deeper relationships with students, and they were able to rely on other teachers in the academy because they shared students and had more time to collaborate with each other, said the 12th-grade history teacher Matt Stuckey.

For example, when one senior cursed at another student in the middle of a presentation, Stuckey calmly approached the student and walked outside with him while another academy teacher carried on with the class. Stuckey learned more about the conflict—the two students were longtime friends, and had gotten in a fight—and resolved it without punishing the one who’d cursed. Later, the student approached his teacher and offered a mea culpa, acknowledging that he’d lost his composure.

Dickerson believes the academy’s approach played a role. “I’d like to think, at least in theory, [that] personalized learning is about taking responsibility for oneself,” Dickerson said. If the student hadn’t been a part of the pilot personalized-learning academy, he said, the conflict “would’ve never happened that way. They’ve had a lot of time to explore themselves and their values.”

Vista’s pilot personalized-learning academy helped the school win the highly competitive XQ competition, and they have lots of ideas for what they’ll do with the money. About half of the first $2 million installment will go toward training staff, Doyle said. Teachers will get a four-hour block of time during the school day each week to meet with a small group for planning and training, Barela said.

Another $800,000 will go toward updating classrooms. The school will distribute rolling chairs and Chromebooks, as noted, and several flat-screen TVs per classroom instead of one projector, so that groups of students can project different images at the same time.

Though Barela’s immediate hope for personalized learning is to improve attendance, his plans for the next five years are more sweeping. As part of the XQ grant requirements, the school identified several performance goals. Vista committed to improving not only its graduation rate, but also students’ college readiness and state math and reading exam scores by at least five percentage points by the time the incoming freshman class reaches its senior year.

Some Vista students from the pilot academy won’t know for sure how, if at all, personalized learning changed their high-school experience. Hernan, the skater, didn’t sign up for this fall’s academy, fearing the freedom would prove too tempting and his grades would continue to slip.

But he did come away from the experience with a better sense of how he works as a student. “Whoever you are and how you work with others and with yourself,” he said, “that’s basically what it all comes back down to.”

Hernan plans to dedicate his senior year to working on a skateboard apparel company called Brofu that he founded with some friends. He’ll take courses in graphic design and photography offered through the school’s vocational-tech program to get better at designing clothes and digital marketing, while sticking with more structured classes for his core academic subjects.

And even though Hernan won’t be in personalized-learning classes anymore, Principal Barela thinks Hernan’s experience wasn’t in vain. ”For me, that’s a total win,’’ Barela said. “He’s taking an active role in his learning. Fantastic.”

“Triphala is one of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs”

In India, for the launch of the world’s first ever Genomeceuticals range of products, Dr Dan Gubler, chief scientific officer, Unicity, feels good health is the right combination of nutrition, exercise and science-based supplementation.

Diet
Modern diet is bad. It is loaded with processed and fast food. When it comes to diet, one should steer clear of simple sugar. A healthy diet is one that has adequate protein and moderate fat. “We also have a copyright on the 4:4:12 diet. It means there should be a gap of four hours between your breakfast and lunch, another four hours between lunch and dinner and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.” Dr Gubler tells that when one is constantly eating, their insulin rises and the sugar stays high, which is not ideal for a healthy body.

Fitness
Interval training is very effective for staying fit and active. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Tabata are good. One must try to do it for at least 3-5 days a week. “Having said that, the best exercise is the one you like to do because then you are most likely to include it in your daily routine.”

Ayurveda treatments for weight loss (Thinktock photos/Getty Images)

Supplements
“Poor diet, lack of sleep, stress all impact your health. Regardless of how much you plan to have a balanced diet, your body will suffer without proper supplementation – but it should not be just any supplement. It is important for supplements to interact and maintain health at the human genome level.”
Nature has so much to offer and for our science-based supplements, we extract natural fibers, vitamins and minerals from nature’s offerings.

Focusing on Indian Ayurvedic plants, Dr Gubler talks about the benefits of triphala. “Triphala helps maintain skin health and is a very useful plant used in Ayurveda. We take a science-based approach and standardize the bio-active components of the plant. It requires a very special technique, which cannot be replicated by anyone.”

The One Diet Change That Led to Charlize Theron’s Weight Gain–Induced Depression

Charlize Theron is no stranger to body transformations—the Oscar-winning actress completely altered her appearance for 2003’s Monster. Wearing prosthetic teeth and gaining 40 pounds, the actress went from beautiful Hollywood ingénue to a worn-down, unattractive serial killer. Now, 15 years later, the 41-year-old actress and producer says transforming her body for a role was not so easy this time around. In an interview with Variety, the star gets real about the challenges of putting on weight for a film (the upcoming Tully) and how it wasn’t as easy as it was in her 20s to get back into shape.

For her new action film Atomic Blonde, the actress underwent an intense training regimen to portray a fearless, tough-as-nails international spy. Shifting gears completely for Tully, Theron gained 35 pounds to realistically portray the mother of three children. The star says that major changes to her diet, including an increase in sugar intake, along with a struggle to lose weight, put her in a major panic and led to a bout with depression.

“It was brutal in every sense,” says Theron. “This time around, I really felt it in my health. The sugar put me in a massive depression. I was sick. I couldn’t lose the weight. I called my doctor and I said, ‘I think I’m dying!’ And he’s like, ‘No, you’re 41. Calm down.’”

During training for Atomic Blonde, the actress suffered more physical setbacks. In addition to twisting her knee and bruising her ribs, she also cracked two teeth from clenching her jaw hard while fighting. “It happened the first month of training,” Theron says. “I had severe tooth pain, which I never had in my entire life.” At first, she thought the pain was from a cavity, but right before filming started her dentist recommended she have emergency dental surgery.

Although it was painful, the action star didn’t let the physical setbacks hold her back from kicking butt on set. “Having to cut one of the teeth out and root canals,” Theron says. “It was tough. You want to be in your best fighting shape, and it’s hard. I had the removal and I had to put a donor bone in there to heal until I came back, and then I had another surgery to put a metal screw in there.”

One board and one exam: Is it a good idea?

The last couple of months saw the usual annual frenzy over the results of various board exams and entrance exams. Of late, these announcements are slowly acquiring a certain degree of predictability. The CBSE topper inches closer and closer to the unrealistic 100% total. The Bihar board exam topper routinely goes to jail. We see full-page advertisements from various IIT-training institutes claiming most of the IIT toppers as their own.

In the midst of all these, there was also a significant announcement by the Union minister of human resource development, Prakash Javadekar, saying there would soon be a single national board for India, which would be created by combining boards such as the CBSE, ICSE and others. As it is going to be a central government initiative, it may well be a case of CBSE board attempting to swallow some of the others.

On the face of it, it may not be such a bad idea. We are surely not going to miss the state boards like Bihar board, where ranks and results have been up for sale. Even in other state boards, where exams are conducted scrupulously, the questions are often repeated from the past years. Those staple questions typically test only rote-learning – betraying a lack of imagination and creativity on the part of the question-setters.

Board exams

However, CBSE itself does not come out in flying colours. There are more than 15,000 CBSE schools in all over India. Why is it then that in international tests like PISA and TIMSS, which benchmark school students in various countries, India languishes at the very bottom? Why does the corporate world constantly bemoans India’s unemployable youth?

Why is it that even our best schools are considered to be of poor quality compared to the international standards? In my opinion, the root cause is government regulations of the wrong kind, of which CBSE is the main flag-bearer.

To understand it, sample these rules from CBSE affiliation rulebook:

“The size of the library must be 14m x 8m and it must stock a minimum of 1500 books.”

“The head of the school should have a master’s degree and a degree in education and at least 8 years of teaching experience or 5 years of administrative experience in a recognised high school.”

According to the first rule, we don’t have to care about what sort of books we stock in a school library, we must be concerned more about its size. According to the second rule, our revered former president APJ Abdul Kalam would not have been eligible to run a school if he chose to set one up. Forget about running one – he would not even have been eligible to teach – as he did not have a degree in education.

So if we really have to set up a single national board, we must not use CBSE as the model. We must think anew. We must get over our curious obsession about input rather than output. We should banish the Soviet-style mindset that quality can be controlled by central diktat and a maze of regulations.

If we aim to create a single national board, it should focus on real-life skills and thinking orientation. Instead of dictating classroom sizes, it should promote a vibrant classroom environment. It should offer students a wide variety of choices, rather than forcing on them the same menu of subjects. It should aim to be at par with the best international boards like IB, CIE or Edexcel.

However, that may be too much to ask. Big bang reforms like that have less chance of materialising. Change happens incrementally. And if you look closely at the statement that the minister made, you find a glimmer of hope. He mentions that the main purpose of this single board will be to conduct examinations. If this proposed single board conducts a skill-oriented, world-class, aptitude test – which becomes a single window of the entrance to our colleges – that might well transform Indian education system.

We Indians can do everything if exams demand it. If exams demand that we have real-life skills – our teachers will prioritise those skills and students will try hard to acquire those skills. If exams demand that we get better at thinking, applying logic, and reading proficiently, then there is hope our students and teachers will focus on those areas. So, if there is really a single exam after the 12th standard which is skill-oriented, the whole school education system may change overnight.

This is not such a radical idea. Countries such as the US have a single exam – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which is the gateway to most colleges. It will be easy to implement – the minister does not have to take on entrenched boards and force every one of them to conform to the same curriculum. The whole issue of marks disparity between different boards will not arise either.

I run a school which has been celebrated for waging a battle against rote-learning. At Levelfield School, we teach students to read well, apply their mind, solve problems. We won awards, we have been compared to the Phungshuk Wangdu’s dream school. We have been regularly rated among the top-10 schools nationally in standardised tests. But even we are often held back by the stifling regulations of the board. Near the board exam times, our students get derailed from their quest of acquiring 21st-century skills. To find any kind of success (which begins by gaining entry into a college), they must first pay homage to our obsolete system of memory-driven board exams.

So, I would appeal to the minister – change the system. Make it easy for the innovators to create world-class schools in India. Use our obsession for exams to cure our obsession for rote-learning.