I work out 4-5 times a week yet the weighing scale is slowly sliding upwards this month – I blame it on water retention, then stress and then lack of sleep…but in my heart of hearts I know it is my love of all things sweet and carbs ( read : rice)…this week saw me buying dessert by the truck load : Rubicon Carrot Cake , Beckmann’s Bearclaw and the famous Beckmann’s Cinnamon Roll …the siren call of sugar the last two weeks has been irresistible. So, even though tomorrow I plan to start being firmer in saying  “No to dessert” for the month… I have with me a “goodbye for now” slice of carrot cake to tide me over…omigod…the frosting on the cake should be outlawed…it is that good !!!



Some things have put me on short fuse this week – boxed perceptions, implicit put-downs, etc. etc…I remind myself a million times that I shouldn’t get angry, but when the emotion comes it comes. I understand anger is a manifestation of all things negative, a distortion of my true nature – yes I know the consequences are most harmful to but one person – me. Most of my anger is on past actions/events…reality is does it really help to waste emotions on something which cannot be altered…I tell myself to Be in the Present Moment (not lament past decisions). About 8 years back I had attended a seminar on Art of Living. One of the things taught was – For every rhythm in the mind, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath and for every rhythm in the breath there is a corresponding emotion. So, when you cannot handle your mind directly, you can handle it through breath…I am conscious about breathing my mind calm. I wish I  could say I am 100% there but the truth is this is  work in progess. 

Tomorrow is Poornima and I will remake this wonderful “Good Karma Porridge” for the Fam. Here is how it looks


To make it you need :


  • 1/2 Cup Organic Quinoa (wash a couple times in cold water and keep aside)
  • 1 large Organic sweet potato  
  • 1 Cup Trader Joe’s Vanilla Coconut Milk
  • Organic Sweetened Coconut Cream (to thicken)
  • Raw Sugar ( to taste) 

Boil the sweet potato ( 3-5 minutes). In parallel cook the quinoa in the vanilla coconut milk (10-12 minutes)

 Mash the sweet potato into the cooked quinoa. Now add 2-3 tablespoons of Organic sweetened coconut cream (adjust based on how sweet and creamy you want your pudding). Add sugar if desired.
Eat hot or cold – but remember to sprinkle liberally – toasted walnuts and cranberries. Enjoy for breakfast or as a healthy guilt free dessert. It is your good karma that you discovered this ancient Incan grain…savor
I am posting this recipe for my father…who saw the picture and asked me at least 5 times for the recipe (picture is taken on my camera phone)
So how is the week  treating you thus far? 

A long long day…brown bag lunch for K2 for a field trip, a car to be serviced, a spreadsheet to rebuild, a sweaty Zumba class…and I was looking forward to relaxing to a Farro Salad at Pasta Pomodaro…but my precocious son threw me a curve ball…Ma, how about we eat at home? The kid who probably single-handedly kept Pasta Pomodaro afloat was saying No to eating there…

We went to Whole Foods – I grabbed yet  another dozen of the Think Thin Bars, a clamshell of Organic Spinach when I felt an insistent tug…my son was pulling me toward the cheese section (Paul – the awesome cheese dude) – this is where he gets to take a tour of the world of cheese…his favorite kind Blue Cheese. P gave him the stinkiest of them all – roaring forties…not only did K2 finish a big chunk, he charmed P into “gifting” him a chunk of cheese – need I say I was impressed.

The past three days have been filled with sleepless nights and busy days…so most of the time my mind just wants to go blank….so what better way to decompress than a mindless romance novel…so my self-education for the past 2 nights has been this racy book – Love is Murder…want to judge me go ahead…but it has been so fabulous reading a book without thinking about it…

My Ma’s first question to me was – what did you eat? For K2 and me, I made today a 10 minute stew with Soofoo (it has barley, black lentils, green lentils, brown lentils, Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Oats, Rye Berries, Wheat Berries), Opo Squash laced with ginger and shallots — cooked in a tomato base. K2 seems to love this weird one pot dish which is awesome.

What else is moving and shaking in my world? I constantly get haunted by the verse from Frost’s poem –
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep…
Yet for tonight I will settle for but one night of deep, worry-free sleep.

Last week has been brutal…busy, yet there was a small part of me which sat back inside, untouched waiting for the weekend to come in and the noise in my head to settle down a little bit, re-energize and rethink priorities. However, when Friday came along, I sat typing away furiously at the keyboard till K1 dragged me away for dinner…we went to Kitcho…and partook a modern interpretation of Japanese Fusion…replete with good food and a little giddy from the Nigori, I realized I was “full of it” i.e, full of myself.

I read this article here that nailed the point in the head for me – I am a perfectionist and the ever-growing To-Do list is a source of discomfort : I expect to be able to check things off and move on, unfortunately life is not that compliant and don’t get me wrong I am not complaining BUT I sure as hell am uncomfortable.

So I told my mind to take a break – watched Rizzoli & Isles and Closer non-stop on Friday night till late…still managed to get up early and cook a mean meal before 10.00 AM…just chilled around and about. I started reading this book there is a lot of hoopla about called “Hunger Games“…I liked it so much I rushed to our library and got the next 2 books in the trilogy…almost done with Part 2 of the Trilogy and am regretting not watching the movie in the theater.We watched two movies Breakaway (which was boring and predictable) and Paan Singh Tomar (was gripping and real and a world I couldn’t relate to….abject poverty, violence and outlaws)…

My Sunday jaunt to the Farmer’s Market with the two boys : I managed to curb my inherent greediness when I see so much fresh produce and indulged but a fraction of my weekly indulgence : a pound of cherry tomatoes, shallots, garlic, thai chilly peppers, italian sweet peppers, Opo Squash, 2 bundles of beets,  sweet muscat grapes,  parsley, new potatoes, 2 Duck Eggs and one bear claw (picture below and it tastes to die for, if you like almonds…from Beckmann’s — and one of my son’s favorite treats that he gets once a week)

Photo Credit : goes to Beckmann’s Bakery 

K2 is bathed, fed and asleep. We have pretty much nailed laundry, finished grocery,  the house spotless…the weekend almost gone, am I ready for yet another mindless busy week — unsure and yet being Pollyanna about it ain’t half bad and as the enlightening Yahoo article says : living  a full life is about shifting perspective,  acceptance of outcomes and Humor…one memory I have of my first Zumba class is being in the first row and getting almost every step wrong but having giggles galore (why because I found it funny to look at the mirror and actually see myself making those mistakes)…it isn’t surprising that I have been a regular zumba person the past 12 months…am I good at it…no but I think I am learning and that is all that matters.

How was your weekend? Any shifts in perspectives?

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing – you must be the change that you want to see in the world

For me to quote Gandhi is an irony – I respected him but was never a pacifist, I abhorred any form of injustice and could never keep my big mouth shut…be it slapping someone  double my size who was eve-teasing a timid classmate on the bus to refusing to bribe a police man who had wrongfully confiscated our kinetic honda….there are “n” number of incidents in my life where my choices decided my place in life and it is a place I am happy in…of course there are moments where I have the “what if” questions in my head but I am happy with the majority of the choices I have made in my life…I am ok with not grazing with the herd…and standing out, if  I believe I am walking the right path…

A realization I had late in life in my 8th week of pregnancy was that my baby was what I eat…so I started my treks to the sunday farmer’s market…slowly as my pregnancy progressed I made new friends in the market, people I knew by name – who sold me the freshest eggs, the sweetest strawberries, the strangest looking sunchokes, sumptuous pies, locally sourced honey, and many other things…I learnt that Zucchini flowers could replace pumpkin flowers in the fritters I made that reminded me of home…for the past 6 years I have been mind fully moving a lot of our eating habits to organic foods…watching Aamir Khan’s “Satyameva Jayate” made me feel good about my decision. To A my brother who tells me I have a tendency to over-correct…whatdya say now? This week has been mind-opening  food wise with a constant deluge of movies like : Food Fight, Ingredients and Toast

Why do we revisit our life as we know it at least twice ( for sure) in our lives :

  1. On New Year’s Eve
  2. On our Birthday’s

The years are galloping by – don’t know when I left the teenage and hit adulthood and have been officially middle-aged for a while now…any regrets, of course a number but my perspective now is to look at the glass half full vs. half empty. Does that mean I have become Ms. Sunshine & Sweetness….not really — I still terrorize K2 to write a journal, take a nap, eat healthy stuff….and nag K1 to take the garbage out, listen to me (yeah like that’s happening),  cut the veggies etc….but I do believe this year I learnt to prioritize what matters most and I think what matters most is My Family — I love them and I know that they define me and my existence. I have prioritized happiness – I know life is not always fair and maybe I don’t get what I want or deserve, yet when I take a step back and get a handle on where my life is, I feel grateful…I feel blessed and I choose happiness. I have prioritized inner peace – I choose to kick out that ANT  that was trying to make a place in my mind…making me question the purpose of living, futility of existence etc. etc…I have prioritized health be it my weekly treks to the Farmer’s Market, my foodie adventures in my local market, cooking grains with weird names ( quinoa, farro, amaranth…) or my energizing Zumba classes, relaxing Yoga classes and nature walks with the 2 K’s…

Breakfast yesterday was a blast from the past…something Ma used to make time and again for  me and I am keeping the cycle going –  the little guy loves all things eggs. I am sure y’all have your own version of good old scrambled eggs and toast.

For akoori (parsi scrambled eggs) and Toast

  • 2 Organic Jumbo Brown Eggs ( Olivera Egg Ranch)
  •  4 Egg Whites
  • 2 Thai Chili Peppers (Teng Lee Farm) – finely chopped
  • 1 vine ripened Tomato (Rensendiz Farm) – finely chopped
  • 1 Purple Spring Onion (large) (Rodriguez Farm) – finely chopped
  • Fresh Cilantro (Rodriguez Farm) – finely chopped
  • EVOO
  • Organic Turmeric Powder, Roasted Cumin Powder
  • Beckmann’s Oat Bran Bread

Add 1 tbspoon of EVOO to wok. When the oil heats — add the turmeric and cumin powder – it hisses and sizzles. Then add the chopped onions and the chillies (no chillies for K2). Once it has browned ( go with your gut, its all about the smell and the look). add in chopped tomatoes and cook. While the tomatoes are cooking I break the eggs in a bowl and lightly whisk with some salt ( I used some pink australian sea salt that I had, that I needed to use). Add the eggs to the mixture. Stir till the eggs reach the consistency you like ( I like it really well-done, not soft and runny). Add some organic TJ’s Ketchup (maybe a spoonful, don’t ask me why, I just like it this way).  Sprinkle the cilantro on top.

In parallel make your toast -I usually enjoy my toast with my akoori…one bite of toast and one bite of the egg — some kind of heaven that is. K2 likes his toast with Nutella or Chocolate Peanut Butter and K1 with regular peanut butter 🙂

For me the meal takes me back to childhood but I am conscious that every bite of this meal is locally sourced/pesticide free/organic . This is one of the fool-proof meals that K2 will eat without a single complaint. I usually pair it with a bowl of cut peaches or strawberries to make it a breakfast-dinner kind of a meal for him (when I am unusually tired or usually lazy 🙂 ). Sending this over a topic close to my heart : Let’s Cook: Kids Specia being hosted by Tickling Palates

How do I plan to spend my birthday – work, hug my son, work some more, talk to Bapa, work some more, hug K1, work some more….have a really lovely meal ( I am really craving Ethiopian….why is it that the Peninsula has no good Ethiopian?)…So Another year goes by and life goes on too…

Truth be told I avoid Cosmopolitan like plague – I am probably the last person who wants to – wow him  or look 15 at 50 or dress to kill or lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks (or maybe I am just a realist ;))…however when Yahoo homepage had a highlighted article with the title – 12 things women do better than men…but of course I had to click on it…if you would rather read the real deal rather than my take on it click here

The article made me smile…for all the tips I don’t want from Cosmopolitan, this one mostly hit spot on (and it was unusually backed by tons of studies ) — As they said it – Hello, ego boost! Now read on :

1. We’re cleaner. Our house looks like someone just moved in (yes I am not too modest am I)…Cleanliness is almost an obsession with me…and it is not seamlessly easy…nope…it is hard work and I am pretty much at it 100%…from sweeping, mopping, dusting, organizing, donating, throwing, craiglisting, cataloging….if I left this to K1 and K2….ahem! me thinks that is definitely something that will give me nightmares…

2. We interview better. I think women handle stress better and generally prepare more.

3. We evolve hotter. Apparently women are getting better looking through evolution; meanwhile, men are staying the same…I guess my beautiful mother did not read that rule  book and I ended up looking like my dad 🙂

4. We survive car accidents more often. This is sad but true: Men are 77 percent more likely to die in a car accident than women, according to a study done by Carnegie Mellon University. If I could get a dime for every time I have told K1 and K2 to wear their seatbelts, I could probably retire and buy an island in Indonesia…with lush coconut trees, endless yoga retreats, amazing nasi gorengs, massages thrown in….ok ok…I digress

5. We’re better at seeking comfort. A Mind survey of 2,000 people revealed that women are far more likely than men to talk through their problems. Fifty-three percent of women talk to their friends about what’s stressing them out, as opposed to 29 percent of men — thanks to that friend of mine who spent an hour out of his busy life today talking to me…I owe you one!

6. We’re more recession-proof. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80 percent of those who have lost their jobs since December 2007 have been men. Ouch. This could be because male-dominated fields have been hit the hardest, like manufacturing and finance. That really sucks…but hey, maybe it’s time more men became nurses and educators (I have nothing more to add I think Cosmo says it all too well…)

7. We graduate college more often. I think women are in general more tenacious than men and like to see things through

8. We eat healthier. A survey of more than 14,000 people, conducted by the University of Minnesota, showed that women choose far healthier foods than men. The ask around our house is – let’s go out, can I get Pasta, Pizza…but I do believe I am teaching K2 to make healthier food choices, appreciate the importance of eating local and seasonal and more importantly identify his produce…I have learnt a lot along the way too – my discovery in the past couple weeks – Lemon Cucumber

9. We have stronger immune systems. No one gave me this manual…doesn’t ring true in our house…I am the one who is a “baby with the sniffles”…K1 and K2 are resilient.

10. We live longer. Among the world’s population of those who are over 100 years old, 85 percent are women, according to the New England Centenarian Study. In general, women continue to live five to 10 years longer than men as well (no embellishments from your’s truly here…what possibly could I add)

11. We’re better managers, especially in this economy. This one is a little controversial, but a slew of experts are confident that women make greater bosses because they are better listeners, mentors, problem solvers, and multitaskers than their male counterparts. In a recent Daily News article, management expert Jay Forte said, “It’s a very service-oriented economy, so you need employees to be motivated. Women are better connectors than men and more astute about knowing how to activate passion in their employees…(no embellishments from yours truly, seriously I don’t think I could have put this better)

12. We invest better. A study of 100,000 portfolios showed that women’s investment returns outperform men’s, 18 percent to 11 percent. This could be because women are typically more cautious with their investment decisions and think longer term.

10/12 is not a bad score — finally Cosmopolitan hit a chord which only Senge, Covey, Dan Pink, Karl Marx, Freud, Maslow and Cooley had hit…Love it !!!

A good friend who is an excellent architect with years of experience hit anomie (want to read my post on PMs and anomie go here) and  I actively encouraged him to investigate options beyond his comfort zone. He decided to give Product Management a go and I think he loves it with caveats…as I warned him and a number of my other friends — Being a PM is an extremely rewarding job, yet you need patience and you need the will to last the grind ( something that over the years I seem to be losing)…at the end whatever career you choose, ask yourself the question : is this something both my head and my heart wants me to do?

Life has been a good teacher in general but over the past 5 years so has my son. My son reminds me every day of the following things :

(A) Prioritize  : K2 is ruthless about what matters in his life – it is his playtime, his ipad time and then parents time… I have learnt from K2 whether it is a backlog plan or my meal plan at home, it is critical that I get to first things first…one of them is weekly meals for my family…I came up with a grandiose weekly plan, haven’t yet gotten around to executing 100% to plan — hey but it is prioritized.

(B) Communicate : whether it is a “small” question to letting us know he needs to use the bathroom, to he is hungry, sleepy or grumpy…K2 communicates…it is annoying at times but useful most times…I would rather he tell me he has a tummy ache to me second guessing it. Similarly whether it is to Development, Sales, Customers, peers or Management – I believe in appropriate data and information sharing. Every quarter after revenue was posted – I did an all-hands with the development team to walk them through revenues, wins-losses, roadmap snapshots and the next 3 month outlook …I think these communications helped serve the purpose of Establishing Direction and there was no alienation from the product (remember Karl Marx).

(C) Simplify : Man tends to overcomplicate, overthink life…K2 breaks things down to the basics (classic Maslow) – “When you learn how to say yes to the things you want in your life and no to the things you don’t want in your life – your life becomes simpler.”

(D) Think Win-Win : As we grew up in India our life was very competitive — we learnt to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We thought about succeeding in terms of someone else failing–i.e.,  if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. Life almost became a zero-sum game.– however, with K2 I see that he is in a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions — he wants to share, his attitude is “there is plenty for all

This weekend – I conquered my fear of heights to help Krish conquer his…we watched Madagascar 3…strolled the farmer’s market and splurged on the healthy (beans,brocolli, brinjal) and the not-so-healthy (pies and brownies)…we stared at the Golden Gate bridge in awe and explored Sausalito (for the first time)…ready for Monday and the rest of the week. As my Ma and Bapa tell it – sometimes it just about changing the perspective and life falls into place….how has life been treating you?

I was not exactly thrilled when I went to drop K2 in his KG class today and I felt a tug on my tee…it was his worldly classmate L (who almost feels like a mini adult)…she said um…k2’s mom did you know A is K2’s girlfriend, I didn’t know how to react to that statement and yet again did something atypical of a mom (or typical, you tell me)…like an ostrich I stuck my head in the sand. K2 looked embarrassed and looked everywhere but at me…and quickly ran into his class his ears red. Have I grown so old, that I can’t relate to the affections and affectations  of our young ones…when we were that young, we were not so worldly wise…I pray for a few more innocent years, spent laughing and playing with friends, watching birds and loving toys, chasing after bunny rabbits and negotiating for fossils from amazon.com…

K2 has been bugging me for cupcakes the entire month of may…and most days I have been so tired that I have pretty much lay on the sofa like a log watching mindless TV …with an extra appendage my laptop…dinners cooked few and far between, treats – none…so this long weekend, I took the box of pancake mix that was staring accusingly at me and threw together a spectacular muffin — want to have it for breakfast…be my guest, dessert…but of course!

You Need for “Think in the Box” Muffins

  • 3 Cups of Fiber One Complete Pancake Mix
  • 2 cups of Apple Sauce (Santa Cruz Organic)
  • Handful of Chopped Almonds (as much or as little as you can take)
  • Handful of Blueberries /Cranberries  (as much or as little as you can take)
  • 2-3 Tablespoon Honey
  • 8 oz Silk Almond Milk

Preheat the oven to 400 F Mix in a big bowl till all ingredients become one …add to a greased muffin pan. Bake till done…about 25-30 minutes. K2 had 3 on the first day…this recipe goes out to “S”…who reminded me of me from 21 years back… It also goes to Divya’s Culinary Journey  for her event “Showcase : Desserts”

Sometimes thinking within the box  is as creative and fulfilling as thinking outside the box…

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