RAW – Refreshing Ayurvedic Wellness


There are plenty of questions that circle around the subject of raw organic juices and cleanses. If its something that’s unheard of to you, do continue to read.  

Although many believe this to be just a fad, the reality is that it isn’t. It is clearly a far more fresh and clean alternative to vegetable and fruit juices, and a safer and healthier alternative to feed and cleanse our bodies.

RAW incorporates 100% organic cold pressed juices made of vegetables, fruit and herbs that are locally sourced and ayurvedic approved. In case you’re wondering as to what ‘cold pressed’ means, it refers to juice that uses a hydraulic press to extract juice from vegetables and fruits. These juices can last up to three days if refrigerated.

“The idea was to promote a healthier lifestyle; to create awareness about the harmful foods that we are feeding our body and that instead, we need to feed it proper nutrients, and cleanse it every now and then,” said Ronali. The idea came to her while she was at church, on the first Sunday of the year 2016. When she got back home, she jumped on the bandwagon and began to research on the topic of raw cold pressed juices and was fascinated by what she found.

Unlike most juices available at restaurants and cafes or even sold at grocery stores, cold pressed juices include a much larger percentage of nutrients without the added preservatives, water, sugars or flavours. These juices are far more easier to digest and absorb into the body. Taste was a very important factor when Ronali created them and before you jump into conclusions about how bad it might be, each one tastes refreshing as they include 20 – 30% cold pressed fruit juice and 80% cold pressed vegetables and herbs. In every 350ml jar, the juice concentration is quite high, and they are well balanced in terms of flavour and easy to consume.

To ensure quality and high standard in what she produces, Ronali runs quite the effective eco-friendly and sustainable business from her home – from sourcing only organic vegetables and fruits (also growing a few in her garden), to using solar power to generate energy for cold pressing the juices, to then using the waste as compost and fertilizer in her own garden. Each juice is packed in a reusable and sterilized glass jar and delivered in a reusable cloth bag.

What started out with just three juices to the name has now expanded to a range of 12 juices. Each juice has specific benefits. “It was important to me that before I grew my business, I created awareness regarding how beneficial raw organic juice can be for your mind and body. It’s easy for someone to say we can just add raw vegetables and fruit and herbs to our every day diet but the proper amount (400g of organic produce) that needs to be consumed daily is a bit hard to match, which is why it’s easier when it is in a pressed juice form that has your daily requirement. I initially had stalls at multiple pop ups and was able to sell out in nearly all of them because there were a great many people who were and still are very much interested in healthier and clean lifestyles. I consult an Ayurvedic doctor as well as a natural medicine doctor to ensure each juice combination is balanced and healthy to consume,” she added.

Fresh organic produce of karapincha, gotukola, celery, mukunuwenna, thebu, watermelon, ginger, mango, cucumber, pumpkin and more are delivered every two to three days and Ronali also ensures to visit the farms every couple of months to ensure the highest quality and standards are met. When the orders became more than she herself could handle, she went on to hiring staff to cold press the juices every single morning and also streamlined deliveries that happen twice a day. Orders are taken generally within a 24 hour notice period.

“When it’s your own homegrown business, the job satisfaction is greater. But it doesn’t mean I’ve had it easy either – coming up with a single combination of cold pressed juices can be quite a challenge with limited produce available organic because it’s important to have a balance of health benefits and flavour. I am passionate about what I do and I love every minute of it regardless of the little hiccups along the way. Of course I’d also love to expand in the future and be able to create more raw juices. The dream is to have a proper manufacturing plant so I can streamline the process more thoroughly, able to increase the shelf life of the juices and also to have them be available island wide,” said Ronali.

Benefits of an organic raw cleanse:

  • Visibly clear skin 
  • Heals internal cells and organs 
  • Clears the mind 
  • Gets rid off bodily toxins 
  • Cleanses the body 
  • Increases energy and overall health 

Juice cleanse

  • The Classic Raw Cleanse (one day) includes six juices and one herbal tea 
  • The Lazy Raw Cleanse (one day) includes four juices 
  • The Pro Raw Cleanse (two day) includes 12 juices 
  • The Advanced Raw Cleanse (three days) includes 18 juices 
  • The Raw Green Cleanse (one day) includes six juices 

 

For more details visit http://www.rawsrilanka.com

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Lime & Co. Midi

Sea salt infused breeze fills the air and I awaken from my lounge spot beside the cool blue pool. I seem to have fallen asleep during the middle of the day on a glorious Saturday, but I am not one to complain. Work or otherwise, my reasons for being here don’t matter right now. What matters is that I feel relaxed and happy.

I’m at Lime & Co. Midi, an eco-friendly economical accommodation brand, located just a mere minutes away from the Midigama Town and a hop, step and a jump away from the beautiful Indian Ocean on the southern coast of the island. Home to ten double/twin rooms and two dorm rooms, this budget-friendly property has been aesthetically designed, keeping the surrounding environment in mind. The structure was built around the existing coconut trees, instead of cutting any down to create space, and also designed to ensure natural ventilation and air flow throughout the property.

The space is decorated minimalistically and has quiet nooks for someone like me; who enjoys reading, lounging by the pool and simply staring into the clear blue sky with no agenda ahead of me. Not that I have no agenda, but we can get to that later. Right now, my mind can only focus on the afternoon breeze, the sound of the occasional train passing by (which I don’t mind really) and the pool beckoning I take a dip.

Getting there 

Traveling down south isn’t much of a hassle anymore thankfully – for those of you who own a vehicle, it’s altogether a mere 2 hour drive from the city of Colombo (taking into account the crazy traffic before the Kottawa entry to the Southern Expressway) and then the rest thereon. Midigama is about a 30 minute drive from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort. For those of you who like the convenience of taking the highway bus from Maharagama, you could get off at the traffic lights at the end of the expressway and get on a regular bus heading to Matara and get off at the Midigama Town.

You can’t miss the spot as the property wall facing the roadside has a lengthy tropical illustration. Did I also forget to mention that the beach is simply across the road and also boasts one of the more quiet and secluded spots in the area? July/August isn’t really the right time to hit the waves but you could wet your feet or have a short swim closer to the coast if you’re up for it and the tide isn’t high. Midigama is also home to some of the best sunsets on the southern coast.An ideal time to visit however would be from October to April.

In keeping with the economical theme, Lime & Co. Midi does not offer meals but does provide a communal kitchen space that guests could use to cook meals for themselves. The kitchen is complete with a refrigerator, stove top with pots and pans and utensils, a water filter, reusable glass bottles and plates and water glasses. If you’re not someone who wants to be cooking while on vacation, there’s a tiny roti shop a mere walking distance that serves home-cooked rotis with yummy fillings like cheese and tomato. There’s also Mama’s, a five minute walk down the road that does a vegetarian rice and curry buffet and worth a visit. TripAdvisor would be your best bet in helping you find other good places to dine at in the area, depending on your budget.

I always make sure to carry a book when I’m traveling. You never know when you might have a couple of free hours to lounge and unwind by yourself, and as an avid reader from childhood, I can’t pass up the opportunity to catch up on a good book even if I’m on holiday. As much as I enjoy doing so in my own bed at home, there’s something about laying back on a hammock between two coconut trees, with the occasional rustle of leaves and trees nearby to create the ideal reading atmosphere. My current read is Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner. I’ve not previously read any of her books, but the title of this one intrigued me and so far, I’m hooked.

A few hours into the afternoon and I believe a dip in the pool to cool off is a good idea before the sun disappears and the water becomes too cool for my liking. I’ll leave the workload for tomorrow; today calls for a full on relaxed itinerary.

Things to do

If you’re an outdoor kind of individual, there’s plenty more to do in the area. Excursions can be arranged within a few hours, or with 24 hours notice the most. Whether it’s boat safaris on the Madu Ganga or Koggala Lake, visiting turtle hatcheries on the coast, or taking on bike or walking tours in Galle, boredom won’t kill the vacation mode. The Yala and Bundala National Parks are approximately a two hour drive away (depending on the glorious Sri Lankan road traffic) and are definitely worth a visit, especially during this time of the year.

A couple of laps to and fro and I seem to have cooked up a good appetite for dinner. I’ll hold off trying to nibble on some snacks because there are couple of good restaurants and cafes towards Ahangama (about a 10-15 minute tuk ride away). Cantina Lanka serves up some good pizza and tacos, whereas Mojo has a killer spicy chicken salad that I have been loving very much. The coconut roti tacos with prawn and homemade curry mayo sauce is a favourite at Spice Lane. If you’re up for it, the Galle Fort is also home to plenty of places you can dine at.


The rooms at Midi keep with the minimalistic vibe; the cement cut floors and lime washed walls add a natural cooling effect so there’s no necessity for air conditioning at all. There’s shelving and racks for storing your belongings during your stay and there are leafy paintings on the wall which add an island feel to the room. The bathrooms have been designed with an open space concept so it does not include a door to separate it from the room. It’s cement finishings give it a nomadic and simple vibe and it doesn’t hurt that the shower head has awesome pressure and includes hot water too.

I’m rudely woken up the next morning by the blasting of a bus horn from the main road nearby. It’s not a welcoming feature of my stay unfortunately. My ideal Sunday would be to naturally wake up close to noon. Anyway, I’ve also got some writing and emails to respond to, so I take the opportunity to make myself a cup of coffee at the communal kitchen and use one of the dining spaces to get some work done. I also manage a few social media accounts on Instagram and Midigama has been quite the tropical backdrop for plenty of island vibe posts.

Come noon, it’s a quick lunch on the way back to the Southern Expressway at the Galle Fort and home sweet home. It’s crazy how the weekend simply flies by and I hate the notion of having to mentally prepare myself for work the next day. But two days at Midi has certainly given me a mental boost and I feel refreshed and revived to tackle the coming week.

If you’d rather spend your money on good food and budget your way through on accommodation, I’d highly recommend checking out Midi on their main website for some good offers or even via Airbnb. The brand has a similar property in Kabalana as well, and have sister properties under the name Ceilao Villas in case you’re interested.

Have a good week!

A Fusion of Spices


There are plenty of places to eat down south no doubt, but when you head towards Ahangama, your choices tend to be very limited. Whilst many of the dining spots steer towards either local cuisine or the typical Sri Lankan favourites like pizza and pasta, Spice Lane brings a fresh outlook on fusion gourmet food.

Aimed at the every day traveller as much as the local foodie, it is a food nook that is located in Kabalana, on the southern coast of the island, the restaurant is headed by Chef Nav, who hails from Sydney, Australia.  

Open only for lunch and dinner, all days of the week except for Mondays, the meals served at the restaurant are created with an emphasis on the many spices found in Sri Lanka. From the local favourite cinnamon to aromatic nutmeg, fresh coriander to cumin, there’s attention to what each spice brings out of each dish; whether it’s the simple yet flavoursome appetizers or the scrumptious mains.


Having been to the Spice Lane a couple of times myself, here’s what I’d recommend and suggest you give a try and why; the trevally ceviche (includes a fresh mango purée that adds a tangy flavour and served with papadums), the pol roti tacos with prawn, homemade lunu miris and curry mayo sauce (which also happens to be a major favourite amongst other diners), roasted chicken marinated in spices and treacle (served with sweet potato mash flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg and yet another homemade curry sauce) and the beef burger (made of a freshly made pattie, garnished with melted cheese and eggplant served on a homemade brioche bun with sweet potato fries and garlic aioli). Each dish has been carefully crafted, ensuring flavours fuse together to create a mouthwatering experience with each bite.

From homemade pasta (ravioli) to in-house baked brioche buns, freshness and the best in quality is what Spice Lane prides itself upon. The atmosphere at the restaurant is very relaxed and easy-going. There are no fancy trimmings of décor but the simplicity is quite appealing.

Chef Nav is self-taught and passionate about food and serves what he calls modern Sri Lankan inspired fusion cuisine, using fresh local seasonal ingredients. Having spent his early childhood on the island, his culinary influences are a combination of local flavours and produce, and modern Australian cuisine. His aspiration to introduce a different approach to food, while sticking to a certain level of authenticity is what gave birth to Spice Lane.


Photography by Christian Hutter

 

Make Everyday Matter 

Inhale. Exhale. Make every breathe count.

Here’s the thing; we’re all struggling to fit in and find a spot in this so-called ‘rat race’ called life. What is the race all about any way? Why do we take it so seriously? Why are we constantly after something we’re not even sure of and not making every single day of our lives matter?  

Stop. Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale.

According to Richard Branson, there’s no necessity of separating work life and play/personal life. One must simply find a balance of the two to make a life. If you aren’t finding some form of enjoyment in the daily work that you do, if there’s no passion towards the career you are building, if there’s no sense of happiness derived from the everyday job, then what’s the point? 

In order to make your every day count, be sure to fill it with a career, a job that satisfies your passion and aspirations. Once you begin to find enjoyment in what you do, when there’s a smile spread across your face at the end of a hard days work, it is then that you come to realize, the hustling and the bustling is worth it. If it isn’t, you’re simply wasting your own time.

Do something fun while also setting goals for yourself. Visit a new city or country every four months or six months of the year. Do something you’ve never done or thought you could never do. Set experiential standards that will both enrich your personal life and also motivate you. 

Your goals do not have to be extraordinary to matter; all you need are ones that will work for you and enable you to become a better version of yourself.

Challenge yourself. 

Push your limits. 

This doesn’t mean you have to go to extreme lengths of any sort, but give yourself a positive and encouraging nudge every now and then. Pat yourself on the back when you’ve accomplished something. Reward yourself when you’ve achieved a goal. Treat yourself to a massage, a new dress or book, a holiday someplace you’ve never been before, or indulge in a fancy dining experience; whichever way you choose to celebrate overcoming obstacles and challenges in life, don’t forget to take a deep breath and appreciate the journey that got you there.

Life doesn’t have to be all work hard and no play. It’s okay to have a break every now and then because you deserve it. Capture these moments, whether in the form of a photograph or keep a journal. Most often we tend to let life’s best moments pass by without truly living it and then as the years go by, memories tend to slip by as well. One way of capturing them in by taking a photograph or actually writing down how you felt in a personal journal.

It’s easy to sit back and watch the day/s go by but more often than otherwise, we tend to lose track of time and suddenly it’s a week, a month or even a year later that we’ve come to realize how much time we’ve wasted. 

Don’t let this happen too often; your time is now. 

Make it matter.

Good luck!