Milla Resort – They Speak Our Language! Comments Off on Milla Resort – They Speak Our Language! 1115

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“I always forget how amazing it is to be in nature until I’m actually out in the thick of it, and think to myself, ‘Oh yeah! I should probably do this more often’

I’m not a spiritual person, but it is always in the great outdoor that I’ve had the closest thing to a spiritual experience. Sitting out in the terrace between sets as the sun is rising and there’s nothing but you and the silence. Lying in the sun in the luxurious meadow with a good book or camping in the woods in the middle of nowhere, listening to the whisper of the wind and fall of the water. So much tranquility!

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Life in the countryside of Sri Lanka can be a truly spellbinding experience. In this part of the country it is generally warm during the day but surprisingly quite chilly towards the evening.

Surrounded by lush greenery and a secluded mango-fringed garden fronting the Uva country side, there is an exquisite Villa located in Buttala; one of the best parts of the country for combining lazy days around the lush greenery by exploring the country’s natural wealth.

Milla Holiday Resort has the ideal facilities for a family vacation and honeymooners to experience the village life in the countryside of Sri Lanka. It is unified by the fact that it is totally unique.

Set in Monaragala, the journey towards the resort itself is quite eventful with a few elephants parked in the middle of the road waiting to be fed by motorists bypassing them the Kataragama area. When entering the village, it presented a change of nature suiting to dry weather with where more shrubs and stretches of fields laden with golden crops. It was a joyful endless sight. As far as the eye could go, we saw standing tall plants with ripe grain as we were enchanted by the whole outlook of the village.Milla - 04

Boasting a village life in the countryside, the Holiday Resort offers relaxing stays amid a landscaped garden at Milla. The name ‘Milla’ is given as the whole structure is built centering a Milla tree shielding the resort. The rooms are built with rustic wood that blends with nature and open up to a private balcony facing dense vegetation and solid trees. Split into two separate eco-friendly units, the three bedroom bungalow has a panoramic view of the acres of organic garden heavy with its growth.

The villa has a spacious lounge, dining area and a BBQ facility outside in the garden. The villa’s restaurant serves interesting twists on classic local and international dishes sourcing many ingredients from its organic garden. Guests have the experience of picking various vegetables they would like to include in the meal right before it is prepared from the organic garden. The staff here is just amazing, and is willing to cater to your every whim. A leisurely picnic lunch under a mango tree with peacocks walking about freely is an experience that should not be overlooked.

 

A night at Milla Resort is not going to include a bubble bath and champagne cocktails but an authentic experience of a dip in the Kumbuk Oya. Fenced by the silence and acres and acres of Kumbuk trees, the coldest water which seeps through your body will transfer you to peacefulness.

Hidden away in the Monaragala District, just about 1Km from the Milla Resort is the Maligawila Buddha Statue, the tallest free-standing Buddha Statue in Sri Lanka, at 45ft high. Carved from a single piece of limestone rock, the statue dates back to the 7th century A.D. The site also contains a rock Bodhisattva, standing at 34ft tall. The site also lays claim to the only square moonstone in the world. The surrounding jungle and pleasant walk make it that much more magical. It’s also much more off the beaten track, hence generally you will have the site all to yourself.

In this part of the country, houses are usually inhabited by entire family generations. The people living in these rural areas are generally curious over visitors and quite welcomingly take you to their homes for a cup of tea. Eating simple food in rustic surroundings has its own taste, which you would surely appreciate. During this country side trip, you will experience various aspects of village life, their feelings and emotions, how they scrape a living. It is truly fascinating to experience the simple facts of life focused on fishing, wood carving, bakery, farming, village market, village trekking, a simple herbal tea with homemade kithul jaggery, can be a heaven on earth!

By: Chantal D.
Photography by: T. A. A. N. Siriwardane

Dining in Times of COVID: Insights from a Food Blogger 0 310

By Dhara Gunawardene

During the lockdown in April and May 2020, my culinary skills were certainly tested. The delivery services came back online about a month or so after lockdown, so I had nothing else to do but engage in the usual millennial things such as cook,eat, and make the occasional TikTok video. 

Having been confined to my home for nearly 3 months, I was forced to research recipes to keep my food blog going. However, all that changed eventually when we were finally allowed to step out of the house once again, and I was back to visiting my favorite cafes, having embraced all the COVID-19 precautions.

Something I noticed however was that in Colombo, it is almost a second nature to us to go out and explore new dining spots. We’ve always been ready to support and visit a new restaurant or café as soon as it launches

Although we were cautioned to be very aware of the risk the virus posed, we still continued to visit places that made us feel safe and comfortable. Even if I did not have my food blog, I would still have visited places where I felt safe.

Rasai Machang (@rasaimachang) started out in 2015 as a hobby, but has since evolved into a passion that combines my interest in photography and food.

Being a part time blogger and full time foodie, has steered me to land a job in the food industry. To my friends and family, it came as no surprise when I joined a successful group of restaurants as their social media executive, but to me, this was not what I studied for. 

Having a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design, I never knew that a deep interest in food and dining could land me a job that paid to eat. This is something that my waistline does not thank me for. This amazing job has also allowed me to observe spending habits, as well as the ever-changing restaurant culture and food trends. 

What I’ve learned is that people get bored very fast. Restaurants and cafes need to keep up with trends, or they get left behind. Many restaurants closed down in 2020 due to a lack of cash flow, but also for their inability to think outside the box. 

Restaurants that thrived on dine-in customers, including tourists, soon experienced empty tables and snail-pace days. Why? They could not adapt fast enough to survive. Many restaurants quickly hopped on local delivery platforms and managed to keep their sales going. Some restaurants in the South that were heavily relying on tourists, moved their restaurants closer to Colombo to cater to the local market.

What I admired about some cafes and restaurants was how hard they worked to push through and survive these uncertain times. They changed their menus, changed their marketing photography style, upped their social media game and gave crazy offers. All this, to survive for a better day. 

Who helped them the most? Their loyal patrons did. People ordered delivery, takeaway, and some brave souls would even visit and sit at their favorite dining places despite the fear of COVID-19.

The new ‘restaurant culture’ is one where people are nervous about stepping out. Besides the fear of infection, most people have less money in hand these days. Some have lost jobs and others are on reduced salaries. Due to this, the average spends at restaurants is lower. 

I’ve also noticed that people prefer ordering directly to their homes no matter the restaurant, just because they’re safer and more secure in their own home rather than at a restaurant with other diners. Spending habits have decreased, and people, including myself, tend to go for deals and promotions rather than spend the full amount. 

In these unpredictable and unnerving times, people are looking for the new thing, the new deals; some kind of  distraction. Restaurants put out new menus and new items, for people have a form of escape.

Social media plays a major role in the customer decision making process. For example, when you hear about a new restaurant or café, you would immediately search for them on Facebook, Instagram or Google. If that  restaurant has an effective social media feed, it’s guaranteed that people will keep visiting for the aesthetic appeal. 

I follow this method as well; I only visit and review a restaurant once I have researched their establishment and seen their feed. It is important to me that restaurants have a strong brand, because it helps them create a loyal fan base and it helps them generate more foot traffic.

Food culture depends a lot on the trends around the world; what’s hot and what’s not. Then again, social media plays a big role because you see trends online and then try to follow a similar design.

In my view, restaurants and cafes should understand their local market and then cater to it in their own distinctive ways. It will be a while before tourists return, however it is only the locals who can help sustain and grow businesses. 

Since people cannot travel out of Sri Lanka, it is also important to create dishes and dining experiences unique to Sri Lanka. We shouldn’t copy and try to be like international restaurants, we should set our own standard. We can certainly emulate or be inspired by international players but not copy blindly. 

It’s very important to remember that when we had zero foreigners visiting, we always had the support of local customers. The minute you forget who you are really catering to, (pun intended), is when you stop being relatable. 

Being relatable is so important because people want to identify with a brand. They want to feel good and be appreciated when they visit. I do believe that restaurants in Sri Lanka could also use influencers to further promote their brand. It is certainly a cost for the restaurant industry, but sometimes you have to lose a little to gain a little.

I for one, can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2021. What I love about this industry is that it’s always changing, it’s always evolving and adapting. It’s amazing! And it’s even more amazing how we bounce back and how much support restaurants and cafes get from their loyal patrons. It’s this love and support that can help make or break a brand.

I certainly urge people to use caution, but also don’t forget to support your local restaurant or café. They need your help and you need food. It’s a win-win situation! Because, after all, you are the trend maker.

From fat to fit 0 1459

‘Fitness is about much more than exercise. It is a catalyst for positive change, and it affects every aspect of your life’

Your body archives only what your mind believes!

Have you tried to lose weight but failed diet after diet?

Are your energy levels low, especially in the afternoon!

Do you find your stress levels so high that you find it hard to enjoy life, be more productive at work?

If you answered yes to any of these, then I have just the answer you’re looking for;

Being healthy has become very popular in Sri Lanka as much as around the world, and continue to grow every day. In fact it has become the number one activity in Colombo. Every day thousands of people go to the gym, or yoga, or aerobics…. It just goes on…

Eating a healthy balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise is essential in maintaining physical and mental health and well-being. Not only are these effective in preventing excess weight gain or in maintaining weight loss, but healthier lifestyles are also associated with improved sleep and mood.

The obesity level remains worryingly high, with nearly 30% of the global population being overweight or obese. This figure is set to rise to almost half of the world’s adult population by 2030, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. The fundamental cause of excess weight and obesity is an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure.

Globally, the intake of energy-dense foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar has increased. We also consume insufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains and oily fish, which has an additive effect on the health impact of poor diet.

(Source: Science Daily)

It has been proven by studies that the average person wishes that he was in better physical shape, including me. Lifestyle advice should be appropriate, personalized, safe and effective as well as ensuring equality.

Therefore, we spoke to a person who has learned it the hard way and found answers to all the questions that pop up every day in our minds.

Chamara, who has been overweight in his whole life, having six packs was just an impossible dream because he was gaining weight just by looking at food. He had been working out for more than 11 years with just one goal in mind – losing fat. He had followed every possible diet but nothing had really worked. After struggling for many years with no proper result, he finally understood the right way to lose fat and stay healthy.

Being a professional diet, workout and nutrition consultant for more than 10 years, Chamara spoke to BiZnomics about fitness, healthy eating and simple ways to make lifestyle changes to achieve the impossible goals.

BiZnomics: What was the turning point in your life?

Answer: Being overweight and unhealthy in the better part of my life, my confidence and quality of life were severely affected. I realized that I couldn’t live my whole life not knowing what it feels like to be truly proud of my body; even though I had been working out for more than 11 years without achieving a significant change. Finally I realized there were many misguidance when it comes to losing fat, starting from the diet. Fitness is about so much more than exercise. It’s a catalyst for positive change, and it affects every aspect of your life. I believe that after many years of struggling, I found the right and the most effective way to lose body fat and at the same time eat healthily without restricting oneself to live with salads.

BiZnomics: What evaluations do you conduct with a new client eager to begin a fitness regimen?

Answer: I prefer to meet the person however, if I can’t get the information over the phone. I make the diet and workout plan practical as possible so that they can be consistent on it. Their usual meal time, amount intake, number of workout days per week, workout time, their normal activities, age, height, weight, their body measurements are all important to compare the results.

BiZnomics: Do you do any changes to training or meal plan during the session?

Answer: Yes, I do every week if I don’t see any results. I don’t give just a workout or diet plan, I provide a service that truly works if they are consistent on it.

BiZnomics: How do you motivate discouraged individuals?

Answer: Motivation is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to exercise. It is human nature to try to avoid pain and discomfort. Once you understand firsthand the tremendous impact fitness can have on your life, you can push through any self-imposed limits. When people are at the brink of wanting to give up, I try to bring them back to the bigger picture.

Bionomics: What type of training do you carry out?

Answer: Resistance training and cardio like jogging, walking, cycling.

BiZnomics: Do you recommend dietary supplements to enhance your client’s performance?

Answer: No, being consistent with the diet and workout is enough to get the result.

BiZnomics: What are your thoughts about vegan food and organic food?

Answer: I personally think it is best to have organic food because they contain fewer synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and are also free of hormones and antibiotics. Being vegan is a personal choice. They just have to make sure of having a balanced diet that contains enough protein, carbs and fat.

BiZnomics: What qualifications made you the best person for this?

Answer: Personal experience, and understanding nutrition and how it works.
It’s not about what you’re eating, it is about how your body reacts to that.

BiZnomics: What mantra do you live by?

Answer: “Never trade what you want most for what you want at that moment”

BiZnomics: What impact do you want to have at the world?

Answer: To be great in what I do and to be a person who can truly make a change in someone else’s living pattern. Our environment does not sufficiently enable the public to make healthier choices easily. Unhealthy diet and physical inactivity contribute substantially to the global burden of disease.

Life is all about compromises, right?
Well, if you think you can ignore your bad eating habits
Just because you exercise regularly, think again.
A mistake that many people make is thinking
that if you burn off a ton of calories at the gym
you can eat whatever you want.
Or, if you’re ‘naturally’ thin you don’t have to watch what you eat.
Unfortunately, trading an hour in the gym for a greasy double.
cheeseburger or relying on a good metabolism to take the place
of healthy eating habits completely misses the point of living a healthy lifestyle…..

Stay tuned for our next edition on Chamara talking about “Why you should make a healthy food choice”

By: Chantal D