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Sudarsan will represent India at Moscow Sand Art Championship

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sudarshan sand artist

Bhubaneswar, April 10: Internationally renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik from Odisha will perform in the 10th Moscow Sand Art Championship 2017.

The championship would be held from April 22-28 at Kolomenskoye, Moscow in Russia.

The theme of the competition is “The World around US”. Several sculptors selected from different countries are going to participate in the championship, said Sudarsan.

He won gold medal for his sand sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi on world peace in Moscow.

He was awarded Padma Shri by Government of India in 2014.

Wefornews bureau

Health

Switch to stevia for a sweet, healthy lifestyle

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stevia leaf
Stevia leaves have almost no calories and does not increase blood glucose.

New Delhi, April 20: In the midst of today’s hectic lifestyle, let’s spare a thought for one of the biggest threats to our health and general well-being: Excess of processed high calories and sugar. It is said that “prevention is better than cure”. Does this mean we should stop consuming food and drinks which have sugar? Maybe not.

What if someone told you that you can maintain the sweetness in your life without adding any calories? And this, from a natural source with the same sweet flavour that your taste buds love? And, yes, with no harmful side-effects? Sounds too good to be true, but nature has gifted us “stevia” — a plant which has sweetness in its leaves — a sweetness that surpasses that of sugar, sugarcane juice, honey or coconut sugar.

Given that stevia can replace unwanted sweetener calories, it can be the one tool for cutting calories from the Indian diet without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. Plus, it is safe for people with diabetes and is also tooth friendly.

Here are some of its advantages:

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Stevia does not increase blood glucose: Numerous studies have been conducted on the use of stevia and its effects on consumption. The stevia plant’s leaves contain naturally sweet molecules called steviol glycosides, which can be up to 400 times sweeter than sugar, but studies have shown that stevia has no effect on blood glucose levels. Thus, one can consume it without fear of affecting the blood sugar level.

Stevia leaves have almost no calories: It’s a gift of nature that has been used in various parts of the world. The leaves have been used by Guarani Indians in Paraguay for several hundreds of years to sweeten their “matte” (tea). In the 1970s, the Japanese picked it up as a natural sweetening option. Today, it is the No. 1 sugar substitute in Japan and the fastest-growing sweetener in most markets in the developed world like France and the US.

Global safety recognition: Stevia sweeteners are permitted for use in foods and beverages in countries around the globe. Over 200 global studies have illustrated stevia’s safety for the entire family. Studies have also shown that it is safe for pregnant women. Stevia is safe for people with diabetes as it does not contain any calories or carbohydrates and therefore does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. It has zero glycemic index.

Stevia v/s artificial sweeteners: Realisation of the harm caused to health from consuming excess calories from sugar was the reason that ignited the search for substitutes, or artificial sweeteners. Saccharin, aspartame sucralose and the like became popular substitutes and then went out of favour owing to concerns from public about their origin and perceived lack of safety.

What evidently seals the deal in stevia’s case as a sugar substitute is the fact that it is zero-calorie, zero-fat and 100 per cent natural.

Imagine your rassogulla or gulab jamun without an overload of sugar, serving your child tomato ketchup without thinking of the extra sugar and calories, enjoying a serving of ice cream, cool carbonated drink without any sugar at all. The latest varieties of star leaf stevia can make the greatest taste possible without any harm or guilt.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Food, yoga, parenting and complex love squares

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Book Release

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Fill yourself with joy at the idea of food as what we eat is a part of who we are; know the importance of preparing the body and soul for a healthy change from a celebrated yoga expert; get access to an exclusive handbook on parenting of teens that focuses on decoding the insecurities, dilemmas and interests of our youngsters to understand them better; and read the complicated love tales of three men who end up falling for the same woman.

For this weekend, IANS bookshelf has interesting reads for different age groups.

1. Book: Eat Up; Author: Ruby Tandoh; Publisher: Hachette; Price: Rs 499; Pages: 248

Think about that first tickle of hunger in your stomach. A moment ago, you could have been thinking about anything, but now it’s thickly buttered marmite toast, a frosty scoop of ice cream straight from the tub, some creamy, cheesy scrambled eggs or a fuzzy, perfectly-ripe peach.

Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Food nourishes our bodies, helps us celebrate our successes (from a wedding cake to a post-night out kebab), cheers us up when we’re down, introduces us to new cultures and – when we cook and eat together – connects us with the people we love.

In Eat Up, Ruby Tandoh celebrates the fun and pleasure of food, taking a look at everything from gluttons and gourmets in the movies, to the symbolism of food and sex. She will arm you against the fad diets, food crazes and bad science that can make eating guilt-laden and expensive, drawing eating inspiration from influences as diverse as Roald Dahl, Nora Ephron and Gemma from TOWIE. Filled with straight-talking, sympathetic advice on everything from mental health to recipe ideas and shopping tips, this is a book that clears away the fog, to help you fall back in love with food.

2. Book: Own The Bump; Author: Payal Gidwani Tiwari; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 196

Keeping in mind the fast-paced lives of nuclear families and sometimes unhealthy lifestyles, Bollywood’s celebrated yoga expert, Payal Gidwani Tiwari, brings to fore the importance of preparing the body and soul for such a change.

From pre-pregnancy to post-natal, Tiwari utilises her age-old knowledge of yoga and provides essential advice to take care of oneself before, during and after the birth. Her workout sessions are specially designed for modern parents.

3. Book: Paranteen; Author: Prakriti Prasad; Publisher: Rupa; Price: Rs 295; Pages: 185

Children act as our biggest stress busters, bringing happiness and meaning into our lives. Overcome with love and commitment to raise the best kind we invariably stretch our time, attention and wealth. Just when we begin to revel in the camaraderie we share with our growing child, teenage strikes. And lo and behold! Our lovable bundles of joy suddenly turn into our biggest stress creators. All the laughter and banter in the house tend to get replaced by unwarranted outbursts, tears and verbal duels, which constantly test our limits.

Teenage can be stressful both for children, who experience all kinds of physical and emotional changes, as well as for parents who find themselves emotionally drained dealing with constant authority challenges, indifference and slammed doors.

This exclusive handbook on parenting of teens focuses on decoding the insecurities, dilemmas and interests of our youngsters in order to understand them better. It emphasizes on keeping all channels of communication open and addresses an entire gamut of teenage issues pertaining to peer pressure, gadget addiction, underage drinking, stress, anger, complacency and privacy to name a few.

Armed with a better understanding of teenagers instead of archaic perceptions of parenting, we can hope to not just steer our children towards excellence, but even make friends for life with our teens.

4. Book: Love Curry; Author: Pankaj Dubey; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 250; Pages: 202

Three flat-mates in London begin to see how different their lives are and at the same time how similar their backgrounds. And when life begins to deal its rough cards, how easy things become when they are all together.

Ali is a Pakistani chef with the dream of setting up his own nihari restaurant. Shehzad is a cool tattoo artist from Bangladesh with a broken past, and Rishi is an Indian with nondescript skills.

They all make one mistake: that of falling in love with the same girl. They become arch-rivals. But when their worlds turn topsy-turvy, they have no one but each other to turn to, learning that love is as much about letting go as it is about possessing.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Women prefer verified profiles in life partner search: Survey

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New Delhi, April 19: A majority of women prefer to go for verified profiles when looking for a life partner on online matrimony platforms, according to a survey.

Shaadi.com conducted a survey to understand the need for safety while looking for a life partner.

When young singles were asked about “The first thing they look for in a profile, posted on a matchmaking/dating service”, 62 per cent of the respondents said photographs, 24 per cent of them said verified profiles, 10 per cent of them said basic details (name, age, location) and four per cent said hobbies.

Finding a life partner online is more widely accepted now than it was in the early 2000s. However, women continue to exercise more caution during the selection process as compared to men.

The survey highlighted that 91 per cent of the women respondents give high importance to verified profiles while looking for a partner, whereas for men this stands at a mere 40 per cent.

Verified profiles is not just an elimination factor but is becoming an important determinant to initiate conversations. When women were asked “What would increase their likelihood to reach out to profiles?”, 82 per cent of them said verified profiles. Other factors such as multiple photographs and family information were only 13 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

The online poll received over 7,400 responses (42 per cent of them were men and rest were women) from young Indian singles aged between 24 to 35.

Gourav Rakshit, CEO, Shaadi.com said: “Member security is our primary focus, and our security systems constantly evolve with changing user behaviour and trends. To that end, we have added Aadhaar to our existing profile verification programme.”

IANS

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