A kitchen without knife – no way. We all very well know how important knives are for our day to today cooking. A good sharp knife plays a significant role in the kitchen. I am a kitchen gadget fanatic and when I got an opportunity to try and review the “Complete six-piece precision knife series set” from Edge of Belgravia I was super excited and immediately said yes. When I saw the knives that came all the way from the UK, I was utterly mesmerized. I should call these as black beauties.
I have mentioned about my love for kitchen gadgets on this blog many times, and I am repeating the same now :-). Peeling and chopping vegetables are one among the most common task in the culinary world. Some vegetables are easy to handle, but some are not. Even with easy veggies, we need to be careful while chopping and peeling. Then imagine the veggies like raw banana which is sticky and ridge gourd which has a rough skin. We need to be extra careful with those veggies. I firmly believe that safety should be the priority in the kitchen. With that said I always look for kitchen gadgets that ensure safety and at the same time that saves time in the prep work.
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of holiday season and holiday season of course means parties and get-togethers. Last year we hosted a small holiday party at our home for our friends and their families. Be it a family get-together or an office party, hosting is a pretty involved task. Rearranging furniture, cleaning and decorating the house and the list goes on and oh yeah there is food too. Today I am going to share my ideas on how to create a perfect cheese board for the holiday party. Hmmm…. why cheese board? (Spoiler Alert: Don’t miss the amazing contest to win a trip to Napa Valley, California! Details below.)
Chocolates – just typing the word makes me smile. When I crave for sweet, the first thing I lookout for is milk chocolate. It’s a universal truth that chocolate is one of the most popular sweet across the world irrespective of age and gender. Chocolate makes you happy; it lifts your mood and relieves your stress and a great relaxant too. One of the interesting chocolate facts is that, the smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation  Also we know that eating dark chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease.
My work out schedule got messed up during summer vacation and it was very difficult to get back on track. At one point I wasn’t doing any exercise including my favorite outdoor walking. The motivation came in the form of Beets Blu Smart Weighing Scale. When I saw my weight I was shocked to see that I have gained all the weight that I lost. (Thanks to my India trip and my laziness)
So I started my exercise routine again and started weighing constantly. Along with weight, the BMI plays a major role in determining the health risks in our body. There are lot of BMI calculators available, but we need to input our weight and height and they are the approximate values. This Beets Blu Smart scale shows a full body composition and BMI along with our weight. With this scale it’s possible to track measurements such as body fat percentage, muscle mass and lean body tissue. All measurements are instantly uploaded to the smartphone and accessible for analysis.
All you have to do is download their smart scale app in you phone and turn the blue tooth on. As you weigh yourself in the smart scale the measurements are sent to the app and you can read your other measurements right away.
What I liked about the app and the smart scale,
- Easy to use. No issue with data sync and connectivity.
- The app gives you the chart analysis of seven day and thirty day measurements which helps to know our progress.
- The app supports multiple profiles.
- The smart scale allows 3 metric systems which are easily configurable. (lb, st, kg)
- The weighing scale is strong and sturdy with one year manufacturers warranty.
- The app is available for both IOS and Android.
The only thing that I wished the app could have had is,
- The recommended measurements of BMI and muscle mass. I had to goto wiki for checking the standard measurements to compare it with mine.
Other than that I really liked the scale and the app. I used the app in my Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Image Credits: Beets Blu
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for the review. These are my personal opinion and I have not received any remuneration for these reviews.
My last post was about couple of blue tooth devices that I use during workout and mentioned that I do a lot of outdoor workouts. I use the “RunKeeper” app for measuring the distance and calories. I love that app. You can find my review here. I also wrote about “fitness blender” and thats a great website for strength training and for some basic yoga.
Today I am going to talk about another app. “MyFitnessPal”. When I started my personal training, my trainer was asking to write all I eat and maintain my intake calorie count. This was really difficult for me. I didn’t change my diet so writing calorie amount for my food (Tamil Nadu Style) became really difficult. I was doing a wild guess from internet and randomly adding calories. I was not happy about what I was doing. That’s when I found this great app myfitnesspal.
It’s a free calorie counter app and has over 4 million foods in its database. What I like about the app,
- Based on you weight, height and weight loss goal it tells your daily calorie intake.
- You can log your breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. It highlights if your food has more carbs, protein, or fat.
- The main highlight is that you can connect your other fitness apps like “Runkeeper”, “Endomondo” and “Fitbit”. It includes your burned calories from these apps and when you complete you log entry you get a picture of your intake and burned calorie summary.
- They have all Indian food. Look at this screen capture below:
- This screen capture just gives the different options for “Vathal Kuzhambu”. Look the drop down, it has even grand sweets brand calorie value. I was so amazed by this. :-) :-)
I know this is not an accurate count as the oil you use may vary and the amount of veggies you add may vary. But IMO, I felt the calorie count was reasonable and much better than what I was doing before.
It’s available for both IOS and Android. Let me know what do you think and also if there any other apps do share it.
Disclaimer: I have not received any remuneration for this review. Its just my personal opinion
Weight loss is one major issue that most of us go through at some point in our life. Last year I realized one thing that aerobic exercise alone is not going to help me to shed pounds. I need to do some strength training to shed some inches. So took a couple of personal training sessions and it helped a lot. I did learn about strength training but along with that learnt about Protein and about proper balanced food. I never did any dieting as such and never restricted or changed any food habits. Portion control and addition of right amount of protein helped a lot. I will write about protein separately. I started strength training at home and being in a sunny state I wanted to explore outdoor activities. Got a great group of friends and started to walk, hike and bike :-)
I use run keeper for these activities and this year I wanted to run but wasn’t sure how to monitor my heart rate while running and strength training. I want to maintain it at the desirable level. Don’t want to overstress myself. My main goal was to be in fat burn zone and to avoid palpitations. That’s when I found this beets blu HRM (Heart Rate Monitor). Beets Blu HRM is a wireless Bluetooth Smart technology HRM that pairs up with the workout apps. All you need is a smart phone and this HRM. You are good to go. It is a lightweight device that you wear in your chest and it has adjustable straps. What I liked about the device,
1) Its light weight and very comfortable to wear.
2) Long battery life.
3) Set up is easy (I complicated it though ;-) )
4) Lot of compatible apps. I felt iPhone had more than android but in general you have a lot of compatible apps.
Here is what I did to complicate the process; I could have avoided this if I would have read the instructions patiently.
1) Don’t try to pair up your mobile and the device. Once the device is on, the compatible app will find the device and pair it up from the app. For example, I use BLE HRM app in android. When I open the app, it searches for the available devices and pair it up from there and you are all set.
2) Slightly wet the electrodes before you start to work out which I completely missed.
These troubleshooting videos come in handy.
The device was worth the buy.
Along with this I saw this beets blu paper tag and got it. I will tell you why. The kiddo of mine, who is a lover of cars, uses our keys to play. He assumes his bike as car and uses our key to start (pretend) and play. One time he happily kept the keys inside the bike box (truck as he says) and I spent more than 15 mts. of the precious time in the morning to search the keys. Enough of blaming that poor guy, I by myself especially in gym will misplace the key during training. Now with the paper tag I don’t need to worry. I use it for keys but you can use it for any valuables. It is a blue tooth based tag to keep track of your valuable like keys, valets, laptop bag etc. All you need to do is install the paper tag app in your phone and insert the tag in your personal item. This tag helps you to detect the proximity of the lost items and alerts when goes outside the range by an alarm.
Here is the link to both the devices.
Disclaimer: I have not received any remuneration for this review. Its just my personal opinion
Back to school ad campaign started here in US. My kiddo started his KG. I don’t know how the time flew. Everyone will be getting ready to the regular school mode and mom like me would have already started worrying what to pack for lunch. I am packing his food for the past 3.5 years and its not something new but still I worry about that. Kiddo being a soup and pasta lover, loves to take them for lunch. Easy to prepare and easy for the kiddo to eat too. I don’t want the food to be piping hot, but I wanted it to be warm enough especially during winter, given that they are cheesy foods. Thats when I found this product, Thermos food jar.
Thermos is one of the popular brand in insulated food and beverages products. This comes as 12 ounce and 16 ounce jar which attached folding spoon. As they say in the product description,
1) It doesn’t leak
2) Its very sturdy. (I don’t want to repeat their product description and technology)
3) Its very true that it keeps the food hot. I tested it. :-) Even after 9 hrs, the food was warm, not hot but warm was more than enough for me.
4) Easy enough for a 5 yr old to open and close and use the folding spoon.
I wish they could make something as a square shaped box for rotis and stuff.
Note: They ask to pre-heat or pre-chill the jar before using hot or cold food. But I never did that. (morning rushes) Even then the food stayed hot.
So far this is what I have packed in this jar,
Rotis into pieces
***** Earlier cross posted here*****