Vaya Tyffyn: Hot Food Served In Style

Lunch hour or recess is every child’s favourite period in school.

Most of my school life’s fondest memories date back to the sumptuous lunch breaks. From sharing food to sparking new friendships to the worry of the pickle oil staining books to gobbling up the tiffin during a boring class well before lunchtime, the stories are endless for everyone who has been to school.

The one complaint I forever had about my school tiffin was, the food was never warm like it was in the case of my best friend who lived at a stone throwing distance from the school. She was privileged to have a house help deliver hot food exactly when the recess bell rang.

When Pari started school, lunch box wasn’t quite a worry because her school serves hot lunch and snacks in the school mess. But the monthly educational tours called for packing a tasty, heartwarming home-cooked meal which my daughter never seemed to enjoy. Her frequent complaint was she disliked eating cold food and preferred staying hungry overeating it.

This was when I discovered the Vaya Tyffyn.

Vaya Tyffyn Pin (1)

The website claimed that the stylish, stainless steel lunchbox kept the food warm, fresh and unspilled several hours after packing it and most importantly the lunch box was light to carry and came with a 1-year warranty.

These vacuum insulated lunchboxes are available in two sizes: Tyffyn 1000 and Tyffyn 600. I opted for the 600 ml variant.

This is the inside story:Vaya Tyffyn Parts

Vaya Tyffyn-2
These are the components of the Vaya Tyffyn (600 ml variant). Do note how the BagMat opens up to make a table mat and has the pocket to house the cutlery

My other prime concern was whether this lunchbox was convenient to carry for a child as young as mine. Surely, the designers at Vaya had thought this through because the tiffin comes with a slick and spacious BagMat that has enough room for the tiffin, water bottle, whole fruits, yogurt (Pari is keen on it), has a pocket for cutlery (that is so easy to misplace for children and often adults too) and best of all doubles up as a table mat while eating.

Vaya Tyffyn-6
The very stylish, slick, and spacious BagMat

If you’re a parent of a strong-willed child who loves making independent choices, like me, you’d be in habit of letting your child decide before buying anything new for them. That’s exactly what I did.

Vaya Tyffyn 600 variants
The Vaya Tyffyn is available in attractive design variants: Graphite, Maple, Wool, Cheetah and Dew

While I was keen on picking the Maple variant (for my love for a wood finish) Pari was charmed by the Wool variant. Her logic being, since we were selecting the new lunch box cause it kept the food warm, it was doing exactly what sweaters did for her in the winters. Then why not choose the lunch box that looked like wearing a sweater? Err…..right.

The real enticer for my little fashionista was the accompanying BagMat in mauve.

Placing an order was as easy as 123.

The good news is, when ordered from their global website, the order can be placed from any corner of the world.

My tiffin arrived in 5 days, just in time for Pari’s next educational tour-cum-picnic.

In peak winters, it was the perfect time to put the new tiffin to test. I prepared Pari’s two hot favourites, Toor dal and Sem phali aloo (String beans with potato) served with rice and roti. A wholesome home-cooked lunch that Pari loves when served hot.

Vaya Tyffyn-5
The adjustable partitions allow for up to 4 food items to be placed in the two containers.

That afternoon, when it was time to pick her from the bus-stop, I could see a smile on Pari’s face as she got down swinging her shoulder bag (the bagmat) with pride.

The first thing she said was “Mumma, aaj lunch bahut tasty tha, sabko naya tiffin bahut pasand aaya.” (Mom, the lunch was very tasty, everyone loved my new tiffin)

And thus began the happy banter on how the food was still warm when she opened the tiffin, how her friends were in awe with the BagMat, how cute the tiffin looked and there was no spillage of the runny dal”

“But were you able to open the lids easily?”

“I didn’t have to, Ma’am helped me do it without me asking.”

A knowing smile rose to my lips, I knew, the garma-garam khana and the stylish carry bag had delivered on its promise.

Since then, Pari’s class teacher and moms of four of her friends have enquired and gone ahead to buy their own Vaya Tyffyn.

My Experience:  

While the tiffin comes with instructions for the best performance, here’s what I learnt from regular use:

  1. To keep food warm for longer I place the empty containers in a tray of hot water for 10 minutes instead of just rinsing them with hot water, before filling the food in them. While filling food, I place the containers on my wooden chopping board that avoids loss of heat.
  2. When packing rice and roti, prepare them with extra moisture to avoid them getting dried in the hot containers. Make sure you fill containers to the capacity with piping hot food, much hotter than serving temperature.
  3. Place the food you’d like to keep hottest in the top container. Do not mix hot and cold food in the same lunchbox. I give yoghurt in a separate container that can be conveniently placed in the BagMat.
  4. The tiffin is best placed immediately in the BagMat that acts like an added insulating layer. Ensure that the tiffin and the BagMat stay vertical at all times to avoid any spilling of food.
  5. Steam trapped inside the containers can make opening the lids, despite the fantastic finger grooves, difficult. In the case of young children, advise them to seek help from an adult.
  6. My initial concern was that the tiffin’s bright colour might fade with repeated usage. I’m glad to report that I’ve been proved wrong.
  7. While the tiffin is great to carry to work and picnics, I think it is best suited for older children (say, grade 5 upwards) and college students.

Since my daughter has to carry it only once a month and has easy access to helpers in school who help her open the lids and layout hot food, I am fine with Pari taking it to school.

The tiffin came in handy in the past month when Pari wasn’t too well and I needed a lunchbox to pack home-cooked food for her during our outings.

Vaya Tyffyn-3

If you’re a parent looking for a tiffin that can serve the hot, fresh, nutritious ghar-ka-khana to your child, in style, this is just the tiffin for you.

It also makes for a fantastic gift for those who carry lunch to work and definitely for everyone who loves to eat hot food without losing its nutritional value by reheating it in the microwave.

Shop for your very own Vaya Tyffyn here.

10 Days into taking superfood Spirulina

Around a year ago when I started my journey of adopting a healthy lifestyle, besides including weight training I chose to give my diet a nutritious spin.

Over time, the one thing I learnt well is the importance of consuming a diet rich in protein to keep feeling full and energetic for longer while burning more calories than what fats and carbohydrates allow.

Every health and food magazine or column that I read, talk about superfoods these days. Their proven goodness and how we must include them in our daily nutrition plan.

In simple terms, a superfood is a natural product loaded with essential nutrients that provide multiple benefits to our body without being high in fat or calories.

This was when I read about the proven efficacy of the superfood Spirulina.

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green microalga that has lived on Earth for roughly 3.5 billion years. It’s a rich source of highly digestible and complete protein, nutrients and antioxidants such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, selenium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E and B-Complex.

During my research, I noted two things.

  1. The world can’t stop gushing over its benefits.
  2. The Internet is full of people vouching how disgusting it tasted.

Let’s have a closer look at them both:

Health Benefits of Spirulina:

Health Benefits Of Spirulina - Spirulina is a superfood that in its organic form is loaded with health benefits. #theerailivedin #spirulina

Given my age and family medical history I can safely say 9/10 benefits listed above are relevant to me.

Side Effects of Spirulina:

Spirulina is safe to use but the recommended dosage (2 to 4 tablets per day) should not be exceeded. It can produce a few light side-effects by virtue of the fact that it detoxifies and purifies the body. Spirulina can sometimes provoke migraines or light fever; for some, it can cause constipation, for others diarrhoea (particularly in strong doses). Spirulina is not recommended to persons suffering from fever, nor to those allergic to algae.

It is recommended to start taking Spirulina with weak doses and gradually increase.

Availability of Organic Spirulina: 

With so much talk about how disgusting it tastes, I was sure, I do not want to try it in powder form. That’s when I came across Parry’s Organic Spirulina available in tablet form.

I have to be honest, no health supplement, be it fish oil or multi-vitamins taste good. And I, who has a very strong sense of smell, never indulge in trying to smell medicines or supplements.

I bet you don’t either or do you?

I had a detailed discussion with my father (who is a medical practitioner) on its relevance and he was pretty satisfied with all he read.

These tablets are 100% organic and vegetarian, making them highly reliable. This is crucial because Spirulina is prone to contamination when derived from polluted water sources.

The Parry’s Organic Spirulina tablets are available to order on Amazon that’s where I placed an order for a box of 120 tablets for Rs 475.

Mango Walnut Spirulina Smoothie:

Parry's Organic Spirulina in a Mango Smoothie Recipe

If you’d Google search Spirulina, you’d come across many juices, shakes and smoothies prepared using Spirulina and all looking green in a not-so-tempting way. I believe, they were all made with the desire to tone down the bad taste of the Spirulina powder, which is fantastically tackled in the Organic Spirulina tablets (I have chewed one tablet, accidentally, and  I can safely say it was, by all means, acceptable though not very pleasant).

But the foodie in me was curious to explore how would a smoothie with Spirulina tablets taste and this is what I made.

Servings: 1

Difficulty Level: Easy

Ingredients: 

  • Fresh Ripe Mango – 1 diced into small cubes
  • Yogurt – 4 tbsp
  • Organic Spirulina – 2 tablets
  • Walnuts (or any nut that you like) for garnish

Parry's Organic Spirulina in a Mango Walnut smoothie

Method: 

  • Blend half of the diced Mango with yoghurt and divide into two parts.
  • In half of the mango and yoghurt mixture add crushed Spirulina tablets and blend for 20 seconds.
  • In a glass add few pieces of diced mango at the bottom, now pour the Spirulina smoothie. Add another layer of mango pieces and top it with the Mango, yoghurt mix.
  • Garnish on top with the nut of your choice.
  • Serve immediately.

Parry's Organic Spirulina Mango Walnut Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Tip: The sweetness of fresh Mango balances well the taste of Spirulina. If the taste bothers you, you could even alter the number of tablets used.

I highly recommend avoiding to add Spirulina in any juice or directly to milk or yoghurt without a fruit of choice, because the result is not very pleasant. Any fresh fruit can be used instead of Mango. Banana replaces it beautifully.

My experience with Spirulina: 

I have been taking the Parry’s Organic Spirulina for 10 days now. Though there have been no significant changes in this short span I have noted the following:

  1. It is best-taken post breakfast.
  2. My energy levels have boosted and I feel fuller for longer. The cravings that usually used to strike me around 11:30 am owing to the intense workout in the morning, seems to have been taken care of.
  3. Adding Spirulina to my diet has meant cutting out the need of any other nutritional supplements because it already contains them all (calcium, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, chromium, and potassium) including iron.
  4. It makes me feel dehydrated, pushing the need to drink water by up to three times the volume I drink normally.
  5. Initially, I got a mild headache that was very dull and lasted around three hours. Stepping down the dose helped tackle this.
  6. It gives me a mild heartburn, but eating it in the middle of my breakfast has helped solve this issue.
  7. I feel less bloated than before.
  8. I find it easy to digest as compared to the protein powder formulations that I have tried earlier.
  9. Taste is not an issue when the tablets are swallowed with water. Mild after-taste lingers for around an hour when tablets are crushed and used in a recipe.

It’ll be sometime before I can see any substantial results. However, the initial unpleasant symptoms seemed to have subsided well with minor adjustments. I am looking forward to noting its visible effect on my skin, overall health, energy and vitality while hoping for a controlled and sustainable weight loss in conjugation with regular workout.

*The packaging claims these are safe for all age groups (including children) and pregnant women. However, I’d recommend that if you suffer from a medical condition or are taking any type of prescribed medications you might want to consult your physician before starting taking these supplements.

**Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The future of classifieds – Quikr NXT

Few months back when I was introduced to Quikr, I could not help falling in love with its awesomeness. Since then, before shopping, I always check for deals on Quikr. Though Quikr has made shopping fit in my budget like never before, like all things in life, there’s a flip side to it.

When I’d post an advertisement on Quikr, in no time my phone and inbox were flooded with calls and emails in response. Undoubtedly it made me jubilant but it did get cumbersome at times. Imagine, having to answer multiple phone calls about the product I have advertised, while I am at work or have an important appointment or worst still, while putting my baby to sleep.

Not answering the calls would come across as outright rude and would pass on a negative impression on prospective buyers. This difficulty overwhelmed me when I was a buyer and my phone calls were repeatedly ignored by a handful of sellers. While the advertised deals were irresistible, my inability to contact the seller quickly left me frustrated having missed on some amazing deals.

This issue has been resolved by Quikr and how. That’s when Quikr NXT comes into picture.

Quikr NXT is a step towards smart, secure and simple transactions with the convenience of chatting.

Excited enough?

Hold on, let me share with you it’s mind-blowing features that are sure to make you jump off your seat.

The Quikr NXT where we can chat with prospective sellers & buyers.
The Quikr NXT where we can chat with prospective sellers & buyers.

1. Phone Number Privacy – Quikr NXT assures us complete number privacy. It just takes a simple setting to ensure that I interact with prospective sellers or buyers through chat yet never reveals my phone number. It is a very considerate step to ensure our safety. I wish to applaud Quikr for addition of this commendable feature because it ensures to make our shopping experience a safe and pleasant one.

2. Chat at convenience – With Quikr NXT we now have the freedom to chat with multiple prospects without the hassle of phone calls. Not only has it boosted the convenience, it sure has bagged me a lot of peace of mind. On one hand my phone stays free, letting me carry on with life normally. Secondly, I never miss out on any prospect buyers or deals that I want to bag. A total win-win.

Keeping track of all our past chats can be quite cumbersome and tedious for someone as forgetful as me. With Quikr NXT all my previous chats are at my fingertips and I don’t need to remember a thing. I love the way Quikr has been working at making shopping easier and simpler with such amazing fixes.

3. Photo Sharing – With Quikr NXT, I can now share the minutest details of my products, through instant photo sharing. It’s a great feature to let all prospective buyers and sellers be convinced having found all answers to their queries with photographs in detail and as many they like.

The best part is Quikr chat is accessible across Quikr’s mobile app, mobile site and even its desktop site. It is surely going to change the way India uses classifieds in a safe, convenient and smart way.