Review of Solaray IbuActin, an All Natural Inflammation and Pain Reliever

I recently discovered IbuActin at WholeFoods when I was looking for a natural alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen. IbuActin is touted as an all-natural alternative to Ibuprofen and promises all day, all body comfort.

While I rarely pop pills (supplements included) to numb pain, I decided to try IbuActin when I experienced persistent, all-day, unexplainable and unrelenting pain that kept me from enjoying the moment and basically, living my life, after a recent trip to India. The all day, all body message resonated with me loud and clear and I decided that taking this supplement to relieve the pain I was experiencing would be a kind and loving thing to do for myself. The supplement helped take the edge off the pain, got me unstuck and helped me move forward, when I needed it the most. The pain finally resolved after a month, and even though I took the supplement only a few times, I have decided that it has earned a permanent spot in my healing cabinet.

IbuActin by Solaray is an analgesic and inflammation-reducing supplement comprising of six pain-relieving herbs as active ingredients. Let’s examine each of these ingredients, get to know them and how and why they treat pain in a gentle, yet holistic and effective way.

Hops

Yes, the same plant that makes the popular booze, also relieves pain, treats inflammation, calms anxiety and soothes digestion. Before you get ready to grab a bottle of beer, the beer making process destroys the alpha acids, responsible for treating inflammation and pain reduction in Hops. So it is best to take traditional herbal preparations for pain and anxiety. A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the alpha acids in Hops demonstrated COX-2 (an enzyme responsible for inflammation) inhibition comparable to 400 mg of ibuprofen, but without the side effects of gastric problems.

Bromelain

An enzyme found in pineapple juice and pineapple stems, bromelain aids in the digestion of proteins, reduces inflammation and treats indigestion. Central and South America have a history of using bromelain to reduce inflammation and swelling and treat sprains.

Most research studies on the enzyme are at least a decade old, but a recent 2014 study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery showed that taking bromelain orally improved the quality of life of patients who had undergone surgery for impacted third molars. The study compared bromelain with the drug, diclofenac sodium and concluded that both the natural and pharmaceutical pain medications reduced pain significantly and improved the quality of patients after oral surgery. The study validated and strengthened the enzyme’s reputation as an inflammation and pain reducer. Earlier studies have reported bromelain’s role in reducing inflammation and pain in osteoarthritis and sinus infections. In Germany, the enzyme is an approved and widely used remedy to reduce swelling and inflammation in the nose and sinuses.

White Willow

White willow is the au naturel cousin of the ubiquitous pain and inflammation reliever, Asprin. The Greek Physician Hippocrates waxed lyrical about the qualities of white willow and ancient Egyptians used the herb to treat inflammation. The herb is extracted from the bark the white willow tree that is a native of Asia and parts of Europe. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine showed white willow’s ability to safely treat lower back pain. However, remember, if you are allergic or sensitive to Asprin, you are also allergic to white willow and taking the herb can cause undesirable effects.

Turmeric and Ginger

Inflammation is a normal response of a body’ s immune system to fight off infection from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. However, when things go awry, the body produces an inflammation response even when there is no infection to fight. Chronic low-level inflammation is the subject of a huge amount of research and is being implicated in every disease, ranging from arthritis to diabetes to Alzheimer’s to cancer. Time magazine called inflammation, ‘the silent killer’! Inflammation is not always silent though and can cause acute and chronic pain. Studies have consistently confirmed the role of two common kitchen spices, turmeric and ginger, to fight inflammation from arthritis and muskulosleletal pain. IbuActin contains 50 mg each of ginger and turmeric in a dose of 2 capsules.

Papain

Papain is a proteolytic enzyme found in the papaya fruit. While papain is often taken as an enzyme to aid digestion and soothe gastrointestinal upsets, an old German study confirms its ability to reduce pain caused due to Shingles. Smaller studies pinpoint to the enzyme’s role in stimulating the body’s own analgesia and relieve arthritis inflammation and pain. Further, due to enzymatic nature, papain gets rid of cellular waste that accumulates in arthritic joints. IbuActin contains 75 mg of the enzyme in 2 capsules.

To Sum it Up 

Two tropical fruits, two kitchen spices and a plant extract that makes a popular booze, combined together, make for a mighty fine supplement! With an ingredient list that reads like the who’s who of kick ass inflammation fighters, IbuActin is a good supplement to have around when you need some natural pain relief. Remember that it is not as fast acting as pharmaceutical analgesics and will only take the edge off the pain 

Sources: 

  • Natural Health: A Hopping Good Pain Reliever
  • Natural Health Research Institute: Hops, an Informed Opinion
  • American Cancer Society: Bromelain
  • About; Alternative Health; White Willow
  • American Journal of Medicine: Treatment of low back pain exacerbations with willow bark extract: a randomized double-blind study
  • International Journal of Rheumatic Disease; Protective effects of ginger-turmeric rhizomes mixture on joint inflammation, atherogenesis, kidney dysfunction and other complications in a rat model of human rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Livestrong; Papain and Bromelain-for-Joint Pain and Arthritis

 

Friday Five: April 24th, 2015

How about some random (as he calls them) observations on life by a teen for today’s Friday Five? Today’s Friday Five guest writer is Satvik. In his own words, “My name is Satvik Mojnidar and I am a freshman in Basis Independent Silicon Valley. One of my favorite subjects in school is Literature. I enjoy making other people laugh and my style of writing is more of a satire. My favorite go to sport is basketball and my favorite team is Oklahoma Thunders. I also like to play GTA on my PS3 and listen to music in my free time.”

Seemingly random, Satvik’s observations carry a singular encouragement to listen to the heart. His Five are just as enjoyable to read as they are astonishingly insightful. Hope that you will give this 15 year old cool dude a read.

Life has Procedures

Our life runs on procedures. If you want to play an instrument, follow steps one, two, three. If you want to write a book, put one, two and three together. If you want to make dinner, well, I think you should know what to do now, one, two, and three. It seems that in life, all you have to do are one, two and three to get around. There are instructional books on how to be successful, happy, or unique. We live in a world that runs on procedures, patterns, instructions, and it seems like the passion for life, the exploration of life has gone missing

As a teenager, every move I make has a consequence, good or bad. Every homework assignment is for the SAT, every test is for college, and every painful morning is for a good education, it is so that I can feel secure, financially. I go to a school that breeds and cranks out successful high-schoolers, those that go to Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, and eventually become millionaires, but it all seems empty, like there is something missing. They say that if I get good grades, good SAT scores and repeat steps one and two, I will go far, but I’m sure that even if that works, there will be a hole in you, realizing that you just spent four years doing steps one, two and three, what do you do afterwards? All you know now are steps one, two, and three.

Life goes by fast, and in the wake of all this we put money and status over the love of life, the taste for adventure, and fun in general. How about we live life a little more….. livelier?

Remedies for Writing Excuses

Writing is a tough job, that is a universally known fact, but without us knowing it, people have based hundreds of excuses on this  “tough job” idea. Here are three of the most used excuses.

  • People have been complaining about their lack of inspiration for thousands of years, its almost as old of a tradition as birthdays. It could be the most widely used excuse for writers. Travelling to exotic places has always kindled my spark of creativity. Let’s say you are having trouble writing. You decide you need some inspiration. How about a little trip to Cuba? Recently opened to trade with the U.S., it is like a place frozen in time. Old cars in perfect condition roaming the streets, it is almost as if you were back in the ‘50s. Beautiful beaches, pina coladas and an unnatural vintage air.  Won’t this inspire you?
  • People listen to music for everything. Driving, exercising, and even cooking. (Admit it, those exotic brazilian albums won’t play themselves.) Even writing can be an excuse to listen to your favorite songs. They think you’re writing that essay for English on your laptop, but actually, you’re jamming out to Bruce Springsteen while pushing random keys to make it seem like you’re typing. I like to listen to music while doing things alone, because it filters out all of the sound of this chaotic world, it only plays one thing, a melodious tune with a beat you can replicate with typing and head bobbing. Listening to music calms me down and gives me ideas for writing.
  • Writer’s block is the enemy to all writers. It is the lion to every gazelle, the baking soda to every bottle of vinegar; it is the most common disease afflicting writers. I have suffered from this, and trust me, there’s no cure for this, no immunization shot, and no alleviator. It can be a real pain, but, its also the greatest excuse of them all, one that can be used to do some crazy things. I’ll bet that if Charles Dickens had google, his most searched query next to “cute kittens playing basketball underwater ” would be “how to overcome writer’s block”. When I am hit with a writer’s block, going out for a run or shooting some hoops seem to help.

College Visits

Different representatives have come to my high school, talking about their respective colleges, trying to convince us to apply to their school, making it almost seem like we were choosing them instead of them choosing us.

They seemed passionate, but you could see that all of this is a mask. They were sizing us up, rooting out the stupid kids, avoiding the over­achievers, and smiling incessantly at those whose eyes bored right through their soul. After their little spiel, they would mutter the most cursed words for any college advocate in a school full of anxious teens, “Any questions?” Immediately, every hand would go up, except one or two. Now these college reps are smart, they glance at their watch, set a few brochures down, and make a run for it with hordes of kids trailing them, as if this college officer was some sort of celebrity and these kids were paparazzi.

Next comes the stampede. Kids realize that there are brochures sitting back at the room, and they rush to it. I’m just waiting for that day where on the news we find, like, three kids injured in a stampede during a UC Berkeley presentation. Isn’t this just like people getting injured during Black Friday sales? Ridiculous. At least this shows that the percentage of college graduates in the US will increase, right? I dream of a day when the college application process is less bewildering and more joyful.

Fashion Trends

Society is built on conformity, that’s why most people want the best smart phones, best cars and best computers these days. We see other people doing something that looks appetizing to us, no matter how stupid, we follow. Quite frankly, we are like sheep. We like to follow. We are so caught up in society that we don’t quite realize what we are doing, like sheep being controlled by sheepdogs. A lot of the new fads display this phenomenon. For example, who would have ever thought that bell­bottoms looked nice. When a few people stopped wearing them, so did everyone else. Not just in fashion, but in practically everything has this phenomenon been applied. Since when has Starbucks been so popular? Two years ago, only middle aged people went to Starbucks. Now all I see when passing by are large herds of wild teenage girls. Since when has it been “cool” to wear overly large glasses? Anyways, I know that with the fickleness of today’s fashion and fads, they will wear off soon. Just for fun, I think I should start a shot trend in the fashion industry. It’ll blow Forever Twenty­One out of the water. It will be time­saving, free, and quite universal style. I’ll call it  “AU NATUREL”

Wants and Happiness

Its is human nature to want, this is the motivation that pushes us to create new things.  Some of us want things that we might never get, but we continue to research, dream, and work towards that goal, may it be a new pair of headphones, or reaching nirvana. But once that goal is achieved, a feeling of emptiness settles in. I spent two weeks researching about the new Mac OS X Yosemite.  My computer is an old Apple Mac from 2008. Now, I did tons of research, I thought of all the new little features I would be able to discover, all the new software I could find, all the different aesthetic appeals I could use. Finally, I got Yosemite. I was stoked. I downloaded all the software and set everything up, which took another week, it was the most fun I had in a while, but now after all that it seems useless. I don’t need any of this. Who cares if my desktop picture is cool, no one’s gonna see it anyways, right? 

I play basketball because I like to play it, not for the trophies. I code because its fun, not because others might like my website. You see, true happiness comes from the process of doing something, not for anybody, not for anything, not even for your body, but for yourself.

 

 

 

Celebrate Earth Day with Mindfulness

On April 22nd every year we pause and reflect on the state of the planet. First celebrated in 1970, the Earth Day we celebrate in our present times honors what is considered the day on which the modern environmental movement was born. On this day, every year, we resolve to recycle, ditch plastic, save water, plant trees, support farmers and consume less. Anything you choose to do (or stay away from) to celebrate the day is honorable and every effort, big or small, counts.

This post is a gentle reminder to connect with nature and your surroundings today in a way that not only helps the environment but also benefits your health, because both the earth and you always have room for more tender love and care.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir

Ideally, one should not wait for Earth Day to roll around to take a walk with nature. But if the weariness of winter has stayed with you for some reason, today is a fine day to shed it. Go out and walk in a natural environment for 30 minutes. Several research studies have demonstrated the immense benefits of walking, ranging all the way from reduced blood pressure to a boost in creativity, but a 2012 study from Toronto published in the Journal of Affective Sciences reported that walking in nature significantly improved memory and cognition in clinically depressed patients as compared to walking in busy urban environment. Whether it is a walk in a park, a meandering in a deep dark forest or a leisurely stroll on the path along a river that flows close to where you live, the idea is to seek a place that is wilder than what you are used to. A spot where nature gently tugs at you, a place where you can smell the earthy smells of beginnings and endings and ultimately a setting where you are reminded that, “the earth is all we have in common.” (Thanks Wendell Berry)

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” –Thich Nhat Hahn

Mindfulness is a wonderful thing. Although the word itself may sound like it implies to a concept that is primarily of the mind, it primarily implies to awareness; of the mind, of feelings, of physiological sensations and of the surrounding environment on a ‘at the moment’ basis. Medical and social research has established that practicing mindfulness for even a few minutes a day can ward off stress and depression, make us smarter by increasing gray matter in the brain, increase attention spans, boost the immune system and even help fight obesity.

If you have pledged to become mindful of your environmental choices today, why not extend them to other areas as well? Pay attention to your breathing, your physical sensations, your feelings, your thoughts, the foods you eat and your surroundings. Start a mindfulness practice today where you pause whatever you are doing to claim the beauty in the now. Derek Rydall in his book Emergence: Seven Steps to Radical Life Change recommends a daily mindfulness practice that only takes a minute. It “simply is to stop whatever you are doing, check in, breathe, reconnect and give thanks to life. And then you can go back to whatever you are engaged in.”

Happy reconnecting with the earth and with yourself!

Happy Earth Day.

Sources:

Baycrest; A ‘walk in the park’ gives mental boost to people with depression

Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life; What is Mindfulness?

Derek Rydall; Emergence: Seven Steps for Radical Life Change

Image Credit: Sridhar Chandrashekar

Friday Five: February 27th, 2015

Today”s Friday Five guest writer is Archana Verma. A food educator, chef extraordinaire, classical music student and practitioner,  Archana is an astonishingly kind, loving and enthusiastic person and we are all in for a treat today. Her stream of consciousness is poignant, courageous, reflective, introspective and delicious. It will make you cry, wonder, engage in a deep conversation with yourself and want to, become a better person. It will also make you want to run to your kitchen and cook, as she has generously shared two wholesome and wonderful recipes here. Thank you so much, Archana!

Remember (Holding On; Letting Go)

A small voice from somewhere inside of me has been asking me this since the start of this year. Lately, I have been making frequent conversations with it. For 43 years, I had paid only occasional attention to this voice. I had the liberty to ignore this constant companion of mine. I had my younger sister for all my conversation needs – in times of joy, sorrow, despair, curiosity, celebration, anxiety, family gossip and anything else. Then, in 2014, she was gone. Just like that. 48 hours after I had spoken to her. Without warning. The muscle memory of picking up the phone while unloading the dishwasher had to be let go. The memory of our goofy, hysterical laughs had to be held on to. I grieved without knowing how to. I stayed stoic, without trying to. I thanked her for a wonderful soul friendship while being mad at her for suddenly deserting me. I cleaned her closet rejoicing in the memory of our shopping sprees together; I scolded her for forgetting to tell me when she had bought the beautiful red and black dress. I packed her beautiful clothes away in a suitcase for her 10 year old daughter to use them in future perhaps; I wanted to have all those clothes for myself as the last tangible memory and smells of her. How does one learn what to hold on to and what to let go? I want to hold on to the denial that death hasn’t visited my family seven months ago. I want to let go of the stark reality of its certainty.

And then, Time steps in. Patiently, relentlessly. Time makes a day turn into a week then into a month. Time loosens my grip on the denial and hands me the reins of memories to hold on to. Instead of picking up the phone I walk up to a picture frame. And I am taking tentative steps towards this new friend inside of me who says to me every day with wonder, ““yeh kahaan aa gaye hum, yunhi saath saath chalte”(How far have we come, just walking side by side). Waiting for me to let go and hold on.

Reevaluate (Responsibility; Rescue)

I want to help. I want to be useful. I mediate conflicts between adults. I cook feasts for family, friends, fundraisers and the homeless. I donate money to every cause that I am made aware of. I volunteer for hours every week. I spend large sums of money travelling across oceans to visit family. I even donate an organ or two at a mere hint of suggestion. Why do I do that? Is it responsibility or is my fear driven ego trying to rescue the world? Why do I feel responsible to respond to every call for help? Do I feel guilty of my abundance or am I afraid to feel value-less? Am I responsible or am I stoking my ego by becoming a self appointed rescuer? Am I shying away from the responsibility towards myself by losing myself in rescuing the world. After all, my rescue or ruin can be tangible and possibly quantifiable but whether or not I rescue the world can neither be quantified nor has to be tangible. Am I taking the easy route out? I panic. I take responsibility for myself. I try to rescue myself. I take meditation and yoga classes. I go on silence retreats. I seek healers and I read about spirituality like a thirsty traveler in the desert. I take music lessons. Everything brings relief; many times tears of relief and gratitude. Then the dementers return. I am always running scared that time is running out and I have failed. I binge watch Downton Abbey. I binge watch every romantic chick flick on Netflix. I love the numbness of a still mind while watching something on a screen. I also love the numbness of a still mind too busy in frantically catching up with the looming deadline of every volunteering responsibility I have taken on. I call for truce. I am told all I need to do is learn to breathe. Just breathe.

Can I rescue myself by taking the responsibility of just breathing for 30 minutes a day just for myself ?

References (Connecting people; Connecting the dots)

One day I woke up and a little voice said to me, “you are a switchboard operator”. I love people. I remember everyone’s birthday. I hang out with people from all walks of life. Humans attract me with their warmth, their achievements, their beauty, their wit, their generosity; their confidence; their vulnerability; proximity of their kids’ ages to my kids’ ages; online slots their love for food; their quest for spirituality; their book club; their creative gifts; their desire to make the world a better place. Someone asks me a question about something. A bulb lights up inside me shining on the name of a person who can answer their question. I connect the two. Someone needs a packet of medicine from India, a bulb lights up inside me shining on the name of the person who is about to travel from India to USA two days later. Someone is trying to move to USA and is looking for a job. The switchboard gets lit up. I contact someone in Nordstrom, someone in a school district, someone in Microsoft, someone in Starbucks. The resume is forwarded to a dozen places. A young family moves into my city. They are looking for good schools for their kids. I get a call on my switchboard. Someone has connected them to me. I am repeating – for the two hundredth time – list of all the good schools in the greater Seattle area. Someone gives me a cold call from Singapore and tell me they found my name and phone number online. That they are moving with their young family to Seattle and they are nervous. I receive them at the airport with a meal and take them to their apartment.

Is this my vocation? To operate the switchboard of humanity? Is that why I am collecting all the data I can on every possible human experience as fast as I can? Is that why I keep jumping from experience to experience? Experiences of exceling, failing, parenting; getting depressed, coming out of depression; learning yoga; Learning to meditate; going out partying; traveling the world; reading like a parched person drinking water; watching TED talks; getting lost in Facebook; sharing every heartwarming and heart wrenching story. I am collecting dots of knowledge and experience. I am collecting people in my life. Is it enough vocation to connect people and connect the dots I have collected?

Replenish (Seva , Sadhana, Satsang – Service, Spiritual practice, uplifting company)

Seva , Sadhana and Satsang are the three pillars cited for a fulfilling and joyful life. Seva replenishes the community. Sadhana replenishes the self and Satsang replenishes both the self and the community. These three have a few things in common. They all require building muscle memory. Each one of these is a choice. Each one has to be owned and practiced by oneself. It cannot be done for someone else or by someone else. The Universe constantly does our seva by providing us with incredible resources. We all know that there is no free lunch. So it is safe to say that there is no free seva. If the Universe is doing seva for us then we probably owe some seva too. Seva can be offered through body, spirit and money. Just like our neighbor cannot eat our food for us, or brush our teeth for us, our neighbor cannot do seva for us. Each one of us is capable of seva via a kind word, donation of physical time, talents and donation of money. We don’t owe seva to anyone. We owe seva to ourselves. Just like our neighbor owes seva to themselves. And neither of us can pass on the buck to the other. A compelling treatise on one kind of seva(donation of money) can be found in the book , The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer.

A spiritual practice can be of any form of connecting to the self beyond the physical existence and bodily functions. Yoga and meditation are two of the most commonly cited modes of doing daily Sadhana. There is a saying about meditation. It goes like this. Meditate every day for 30 minutes. On the days you are very busy, meditate for an hour. This counterintuitive truism holds true not just for a person but for the whole community. We have to focus on replenishing both ourselves and our community regularly. We all understand that a car cannot drive without fuel no matter how much the driver wills it to move. But we constantly forget this truth about our bodies as well as the natural and manmade resources. It is fascinating that no matter how fussy a toddler is, their parent insists on feeding them some bare minimum food because a body cannot stay hungry. But the same parent, keeps insisting that they cannot meditate; won’t meditate. Even when they have heard that meditation is essential for their wellbeing. They forget that feeding a child daily(no matter how unsuccessfully) builds the muscle memory of eating at regular intervals. Good eating habits don’t build instantly. Meditation is no different. One doesn’t become a meditator in one day. One doesn’t run a 5K or a half marathon in one try. One has to commit to training slowly, steadily, regularly. The muscle memory and endurance builds up slowly and then a 5K or a marathon seems effortless. Meditation is no different. The only difference between mediation and any physical endeavor is that in a physical endeavor one has to have a goal, one has to do something and one has to exert oneself physically. On the other hand the key to successful mediation is to remind oneself of three things: I want nothing. I do nothing. I am nothing. Just these three reminders and then just let oneself exist like a tree or a leaf or a flower. Just be. Just for a few minutes every day.

Satsang( uplifting company) is perhaps the hardest of these three endeavors. What company and family one interacts with are often dictated by circumstances beyond one’s physical control. One has to make an effort to glance in the rear view mirror of life and make a decision on whether the company they keep is uplifting them or not. My personal path to finding satsang was windy and foggy. At first the winds were exhilarating and the fog was alluring. Till the chill set in, freezing my voice and the feet – from repeatedly going into my mouth – became too painful. Now the winds don”t chill me  because I have cocooned myself with a jacket of observing. My litmus test for satsang is how I feel after being in company. If there is no urge for postmortem, no evaluation and berating of self or others after being in company then that was satsang. If I am  joyous and loud and a full participant in satsang and dont feel guilty or nervous or get  knots in my stomach afterwards, then I am in satsang.

Recipes (learning, sharing, improvising)

There is one thing that replenishes me and resonates with me every day. That one thing is food. Thoughts of food; dreams of food; reading about food; planning for food. I read cookbooks as novels. I am overjoyed at the prospect of visiting a favorite restaurant. I feel like I go into meditation when I cook for others. I feel I am extremely lucky to have been born in India that has incredible depth and breadth of culinary creations and then to have moved to US where food from all over the world is available in abundance. Food was my savior when I quit an unfulfilling but very lucrative career. A career for which I had worked very hard for more than 17 years from Kindergarten through Master’s degree. Once I quit working, I plunged headlong into cooking. I spent years recreating all the foods of my food rich childhood. Cooking saved me on my darkest days. And some of my most creative outlets have been through reverse engineering and envisioning recipes. I will share here two recipes that came to me unbidden. Taste of a food that I love is the closest I have been to Nirvana. And having tasted that, I want more of Nirvana, all the time.

Paneer Tikka

  • 1 lb paneer cut into cubes or 2 inch rectangles
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Tandoori Masala*
  • 2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Preheat oven to 450F In a medium size mixing bowl, make a marinade of all the ingredients except Paneer. Mix well. Then add paneer and gently all paneer pieces with the marinade. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. Take out the paneer and serve hot immediately. Or make Paneer Kathi Roll by spreading spicy cilantro-mint chutney on a flatbread, adding a few pieces of paneer tikka, sliced onions, sliced bell pepper and folding into a roll. (*In absence of Tandoori Masala – mix 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala(or curry powder), 1 teaspoon smoked paprika)

Roasted Chickpeas, Almonds and Cranberries Party Mix

  • 1 can garbanzo beans(chickpeas) rinsed and drained in a colander
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon any brand commercial chana masala
  • 1 teaspoon mango powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon smoked paprika( or to spice tolerance)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup cranberries (or raisins)

Preheat oven to 250F Place chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with oil. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, till chickpeas are mostly dry. Take out the tray, sprinkle the chickpeas with 2 tablespoon oil, cumin, chana masala, mango powder, salt, sugar and cayenne/paprika. Increase the oven temperature to 350F. Place the chickpeas back in the oven. Heat for 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a saucepan, heat the remaining one tablespoon oil. Roast slivered almonds till they turn very light brown. Remove from heat and add to the chickpeas. Stir everything together to coat the spices evenly throughout the chickpea-almond mixture. Add in the cranberries. Serve as an appetizer party mix or nutritious, high protein, high fiber afternoon snack.

Image Credit: Freedigitalimages.net

Five Reasons you Should Eat Ghee

The Sanskrit word for Ghee is Grhita, which means flowing luminosity, radiance and clarity. Take one look at a cup of freshly made warm ghee, and you will know that the ancients were right on their money. Ghee is the filtered golden liquid oil that is leftover when you gently heat butter until all the moisture and milk solids are removed from it. The resulting golden liquid is pure delight. It is delicious, nourishing and wholesome beyond compare. Here are five reasons why you should add ghee to your diet, pronto.

An Excellent Source of Vitamin A and Vitamin D and Vitamin K2

A spoonful of ghee contains a good amount of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K2, especially if the ghee is made from milk produced by grass fed cows. Vitamin K2 is as important as vitamin D when it comes to bone and skeletal health and heart health and grass fed ghee is an excellent source of vitamin K2. Also, ghee also contains a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a wonderful weight loss promoter in addition to slowing down certain forms of cancer and heart disease.

A Butyric Acid Dynamo

Meet Clostridium butyricum, a friendly gut microbe that lives deep down in your small and large intestines. If the name of these teeny tiny creatures sounds important, that is because they are – they are important for the production of a short chain fatty acid called butyric acid, which is in turn responsible for healthy digestion by promoting optimal gut mucosa, by blocking the growth of toxic bacteria in the gut and by maintaining electrolyte balance in the intestinal tract.

So what does ghee have to do with this microbe? Ghee is a natural and concentrated source of butyric acid and it helps in maintaining an optimal environment for these microbes to thrive and produce more butyric acid in turn! Essentially, ghee is both a butyric acid containing as well as a butyric acid producing food. Butyric acid is the prime energy source for your colon cells and super significant for digestive health, but its benefits are even more wide reaching in the body. It reduces inflammation, promotes thermogenesis, improves metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity.

Has a High Smoke Point

A high smoke point is a good thing when it comes to cooking, and ghee has a higher smoke point than many cooking oils. World’s Healthiest Foods estimates ghee’s smoke point between 400˚-500˚F (204˚-260˚C), as compared to butter’s 325˚-375˚F (163˚-191˚C). Smoke point is the point at which fats and oils begin to visibly smoke when heated to high temperatures. At their smoke point fats begin to disintegrate and form free radicals that are considered carcinogenic. So ghee, due to its stability is a dream to sauté, fry and cook with!

Two Words: Sensory Delight!

Whether it is its rich golden hue, or its nutty flavor, or its tempting aroma, ghee is a lovely fat, eating it is sheer pleasure and it invokes strong emotions! Food writers and chefs have a tendency to wax lyrical about it. Here is what some of them have to say about ghee.

Ratna Rajaiah, an Indian health food columnist writes, “Shut your eyes and imagine the unmistakable irresistible fragrance of food cooked in ghee wafting out of your kitchen!”

Susan Jane White, an Irish nutrition writer, declares, “Seriously. I want to smell like hot ghee for the rest of my life!”

Chef Carrie Nahabedian of Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago called Naha says, “With a rich, nutty flavor, it’s delicious on everything from lobster to Brussels sprouts.”

Rujuta Diwekar, nutritionist to Bollywood stars asserts, “Above all, nothing can compare with the taste of fresh hot ghee on dal, chawal or garam rotis—or even sautéed mushrooms.”

Deborah Madison, chef of Greens restaurant in San Francisco says, casino online “The flavor of this organic ghee (referring to Ancient Organics ghee) is so deep and rich with caramel overtones, that it transforms the simplest things, from a baked potato to a bowl of polenta.”

Ghee is a High Vibration Food

Our present day nutritional sciences are heavily based on the physical dimensions of food. However, there is much to food beyond the realm of calories, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Whether we are aware of it or not, what we eat has an effect on our subtle, subliminal bodies.

The Bhagvad Gita first classified foods that promote the purity and vitality of not just the body, but also the soul as satvik. According to Ayurveda, foods that bring forth the qualities of equanimity, peace, purity and joy are considered satvik. These foods are known to increase ojas or an inner radiance. Eating these foods result in the body and mind vibrating at a high vibration, which in turns results in bliss

Ghee is considered supreme among all satvik foods. The Bhagvad Gita simply states that ghee is God. While I’m not aware of the exact frequency in Hertz measure for ghee, I’m pretty sure that it is pretty high. I don’t have to make a case for ghee, it makes a case for itself. Its high vibration is palpable.

To Sum it Up 

Thousands of years ago, in the Vedic times, ghee was considered a symbol of purity and was used both as a food and in spiritual rituals such as lighting lamps and for fueling sacrificial fires. Not much has changed since then; ghee is still a divine aid that has great power to heal. We continually interact with the foods we eat, and in turn those foods exert a huge influence who we are and who we become. An ancient food, as old as the human race itself, ghee reminds us of the divine grace that permeates everyday life. So, make sure that you “interact” with it frequently, as it is not just a nourishing food, but also, sacred sustenance.

Sources:

  • Elephant Journal; Why our Bodies Love Butter and Ghee
  • Ratna Rajaiah; How the Banana Goes to Heaven
  • Deanna Minnich; Chakra Foods for Optimum Health
  • Andreas Moritz; Timeless Secrets for health and Rejuvenation
  • Susan Jane White; Gheelicious Stuff
  • Outlook India; In Praise of Ghee
  • Facebook; Ancient Organics
  • World’s Healthiest Foods; What are the advantages and disadvantages of butter and ghee when it comes to cooking?

Friday Five: February 13th, 2015

How about some link love for today’s Friday Five? Today’s Five are short and sweet and I’m linking you to five pieces around the Internet that got my attention. Read about how paying attention to your attention can help you focus more, how to get more out of your mornings even if you are not a morning person, the importance of knowing your lovely gut bacteria a.k.a your microbiome, a sweet little children’s book that will bring you back to yourself, and an easy to make Valentine’s Day menu that is as delicious as it is wholesome!

Attentional Plasticity

Want to become more productive and focus better? New research from Princeton University published in journal Nature Neuroscience suggests that our brains are capable of ‘attentional plasticity’. What does attentional plasticity mean? It is the brain’s ability to pay attention and stay focused, when checked on. It is a kind of meta-attentive state, if you will. Sounds like a paradox but periodically checking on the state of your attention, will bring back your attention and focus on the task at hand. Read how real time feedback about the state of one’s own brain helped the participants of the study maintain focus.

How to Cultivate a Morning Routine

Mark of Mark’s Daily Apple makes a case for having a morning routine. He writes, “You’ll be more invested in making healthier choices throughout the day if you’re already on a roll with an a.m. workout, meditation time and/or other positive behaviors.” Mornings  have a fresh and pure energy and bring promises of new beginnings. Most of us have night-time rituals, but it seems like most mornings, especially week day mornings, just creep up on us. Whether or not you are a morning person, the write-up has plenty of inspiration for either establishing or further examining a morning routine.

Your Microbiome and Why it is Important

Herman Hesse said, “I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.

Let’s change the blood in this quote to microbiome, and it turns out that our gut bacteria have plenty to teach us about our health and wellbeing, and it is time that we started listening. Our bodies are made up more of bacteria than human cells and the gut, is home of most of these microorganisms. Imbalances in gut flora result in chronic physical and psychological conditions, many of which can be corrected by bringing balance back to gut flora. Check out this infographic to get to know your microbiome a little better.

The Missing Piece

A beloved children’s book, The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein, contains a gentle yet powerful message for adults as well. I adore the book, it makes an excellent gift for kids all ages, but I also love the lovely reflections about the book in this Brainpickings essay. Click here to read how the missing piece in you, may just be you

Valentine’s Day Menu

And finally, what is Valentine’s Day without some delicious food? Here is a simple, wholesome menu for Valentine’s Day or any day, really.

Image Credit: Graphics Fairy

Capsaicin, the Hot Healer in Chili Peppers

In her popular book Mistress of Spices, Chitra Divakaruni wrote, “Chili, spice of red Thursday, which is the day of reckoning. Day which invites us to pick up the sack of our existence and shake it inside out.” Divakaruni’s description of chili peppers is metaphorical and creative, but the healing-heating-circulation boosting ability of the spice to “pick up our existence and shake it inside out” is real and research backed.

Think Fresno, Habanero, Serrano or Jalapeno and the adjectives that instantly come up are feisty, fiery, spicy or zesty. Add to them, Cayenne, Anaheim, Thai, Guntur sannam and Kashmiri mirchi, you have steered yourself into a super (hot) destination. The kind of destination where pain disappears and endorphins appear, cancer cells are crushed and the skin is flushed, circulation is boosted and the common cold, busted.

It is said that Christopher Columbus accidently stumbled upon the chili pepper plant in one of the New World islands and found that the fiery looking red fruit tasted a little bit like black pepper and dubbed it, red pepper. Through his travels, the red pepper fieriness spread far and wide, reaching, India, China and Thailand and the rest of the world. Chili peppers, native to South America, have long (they have an 8000 year old history) been associated with several health benefits. Historical accounts, according to the Smithsonian Institute report that ancient Mayans used them to treat infected wounds, earaches and digestive problems.

Capsaicin, the Compound Responsible for Chili Pepper”s Healing Fame 

Capsaisin, the compound in chilis that gives them their fieriness is also the one that is responsible for its healing medicinal properties. The compound is a well-known topical pain reducer. Walk into any drugstore and you will find several topical capsaicin creams, claiming to relieve pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, cluster headaches, psoriasis, mouth sores, etc. As a therapeutic ingredient, it works by initially stimulating and then reducing pain signals in the body. In a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) that affects the nerve fibers and skin, a 0.075 percent capsaicin cream brought significant relief to patients suffering from this hard to manage condition. Taken internally, capsaicin is a powerful inflammation fighter. It inhibits a neuropeptide called substance P that is associated with several inflammatory processes.

In addition, capsaicin works as an ulcer preventer, heart healer and mucus reducer. Contrary to the belief that chili peppers exacerbate ulcers, some research studies show that they can actually protect the stomach lining. A 1995 study from Singapore showed that eating chili peppers everyday reduced the risk of developing peptic ulcers by a whopping 53 percent. Other studies have shown the role of chili peppers in boosting cardiovascular health by reducing the risks of heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary online casino embolisms. And while there are several studies to support the mucus reducing properties of chili peppers, most of us have experienced its sinus clearing, mucus thinning properties firsthand.

Aches, pains, mucus and digestion aside, research shows that the compound is cancer preventive. In an October 2014 study funded by the American Institute of Cancer Research, researchers found that capsaicin kills lung cancer cells and slows the growth of tumor in mice. An earlier study published in the March 2006 journal Cancer Research showed that capsaicin stopped prostate cancer cells from spreading.

As if all these accolades were not substantial enough, a new study reports that eating chili peppers regularly prevents weight gain from a high fat diet. The University of Wyoming study presented at Biophysical Society’s Annual Meeting found that mice were fed a diet that had capsaicin in it, even though it was only a miniscule 0.01 percent of the diet, did not gain weight even when they were on a fat laden diet. The researchers believed that the weight prevention abilities of capsaicin are due to its ability to turn unhealthy white fat into fat busting brown fat through the process of thermogenics. Co-author of the study, Vivek Krishnan said “In our bodies, white fat cells store energy and brown fat cells serve as thermogenic machinery to burn stored fat.” Capsaisin had similar weight maintanance benefits as exercise, during which brown fat converts white fat into more brown fat.

What is left to Say 

Ready to shake your existence inside out and look svelte? Include chili peppers in your diet; eat them, but not too many. Remember that capsaicin only made up 0.01 percent in the mice weight loss study. Less is more when it comes to the spice. A Jalapeno (or Kashmiri mirchi) a day, will keep the doctor away.

 

Sources:

  • Goodreads; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Ratna Rajaiah; How the Banana Went to Heaven
  • Smithsonian; What”s so Hot about Chili Peppers
  • Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy; Capsaicin
  • Gut; Effect of Capsaicin and Chilli on Ethanol induced Gastric Mucosal Injury in the Rat.
  • British Journal of Nutrition; Effects of Daily ingestion of Chilli on Serum Lipoprotein Oxidation in Adult Men and Women.
  • The World’s Healthiest Foods; Chili Peppers, Dried
  • Cancer Research; Capsaicin, a Component of Red Peppers, Inhibits the Growth of Androgen-Independent, p53 Mutant Prostate Cancer Cells.
  • American Institute of Cancer Research; Compound in Chili Pepper Slows
 Lung Cancer Tumor Growth in Animal Study
  • Medical Daily; Chili Peppers May Solve Obesity Epidemic; Spice Up Your Weight Loss With These 3 Recipes
  • Image Credit; Graphics Fairy

 

 

Friday Five: February 6th, 2015

Today”s Friday Five guest writer is Nikita Taniparti. Nikita is a young woman of extraordinary light and love. A recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Nikita lives in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu and works for a  a Development Economics research organization that is based out of Harvard. In her own words, ““Nikita loves eating and writing and yoga, among many other things. She believes that there has to be a balance: of mind, body, and spirit. It is advisable to keep a balance in your life, to acknowledge the great powers around us and in us, and to live out this balance in all our endeavors. You can reach her at nikita.taniparti@gmail.com” 

Here are Nikita”s Five that have lots of love, lots of beauty, lots of delight and boundless heart. I hope that you are as moved by her Friday Five as I was.

Nikita1“How is your heart?”

Ask this of the next person you meet, and notice what their reaction is. They might pause in confusion, they might tilt their head ever so slightly as they process this innocent question, and they might even raise a suspicious eyebrow at you.

Most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous “Hi, how are you?” that is a sign that you acknowledge another person. And we usually proffer and expect a standard response: “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?”

But what about the fact that you might actually care about their response. You really want to know how they are, at this very moment. You want to tell them that their heart and their state of being are of importance. You want them to take this moment, and make it theirs. This moment is for them to reflect on how they feel, how they want to feel, and how they think you feel. How they feel is up to them to decide and express; this is their opportunity and moment to do so. You are there to listen and to accept, you are them for them.

We often fall victim to “too much busy-ness”, too much normalcy, and perhaps too much disengaged interaction. To step back from all the chaos, I ask people this powerful question when I want them to remember that they matter, that I genuinely want them to reflect on…themselves, and that I would be grateful if they felt comfortable sharing their heart.

Enlivening Silence

Sometimes silence is imposed upon us – the “silent game” is quickly becoming my favorite game to play with my little cousins. Sometimes we meditate on our desire to “learn to keep silent” in certain situations – there have been countless instances where if I could just have not said anything…sigh. Sometimes, silence is the only appropriate response to an uncalled-for remark, a somber and muted occasion, or an expression of disbelief at something ridiculous.

Whatever the reason and whatever the outcome, “being silent and not being silent are both ways of being human in this world.” Silence is as essential to being a social creature as is its absence. I practice silence when I am trying to be more aware, I regret silence when I should have done something, and I am humbled by its tacit influence over any group of people.

The next time you are silent, immerse yourself in this silence. Even if you are (like me) an an out-and-proud extrovert, you too will be surprised at how this hint of introspection and stillness can refresh your perspective, can satisfy your curiosity, and eliminate any rashness.

Incandescent Compliments

Of course Oprah has something to say about compliments: “How you make others feel about themselves, says a lot about you”. This theory that you project parts of yourself unto others when you either compliment or criticize them is not a new one. This is important because I firmly believe that people’s moods and feelings are extremely contagious – we project an image of ourselves unto others every time we relate to someone else. We all know those people who light up any room they enter; those people whose positive energy radiates all around them and affects everyone else to the highest empyrean of vivacity. I call this the “feel-good-about-life” effect. This person somehow makes everyone they come across feel perfectly okay with being exactly casino online who they are. And feeling that comfortable with yourself – that, is a priceless sense of elation. Sincerity can go a long way, and simple and honest compliments are good for the soul, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end.

Relish the Gush

They tell you to live in the moment, they say to take your pleasures seriously, and they tell you that you should be happy for this moment, for this moment is your life. “They” might have missed a few points in between. Why is it that we seek out moments of joy and laughter and love? How are these often disjointed and ephemeral instances of happiness connected? We gush about the times we enjoy ourselves, and we gush about relationships we treasure.

Someone once said, “life is but the accumulation of memories to live on and live by”. Our memories are nothing but the aggregation of life’s nostalgic moments. In the pursuit of “making each moment count”, it is the little things that matter. “They” also say that we should “enjoy the little things in life, because one day, you’ll look back and realize that they were the big things”. The little things can be anything: from the heady giddiness of a great dinner with friends, to the hour spent tending to the herbs in your garden, to the pleasure of pampering yourself with essential oils after a shower. How do they become the big things?

It’s the moments that cause us joy that we hold on to and remember, and it’s the collection of these moments that add up to a great day, or a great month…a great few years even. So relish these moments, seemingly innocent and trivial though they might seem; its more than likely that they are the precious memories you will relive so fondly later on.

Stretch every which Way

I know you know that it is important to stretch your muscles. I know you might stretch both before and after a workout. I know you stretch when you roll around on the bed wishing you didn’t have to get out of it. I also know that you feel really good whenever you do stretch your body (which of course, you do all the time, right?!)

Even if you get 0 minutes of exercise, please stretch. Even if you did eat 2 extra helpings of dinner and then indulged in a decadently rich chocolate dessert, please stretch. Stretch in the morning to kick-start your day and get your blood pumping, stretch in the afternoon when I know nap time sounds like the best idea ever, stretch in the evenings when you want to feel more Zen. It works wonders for your body and health.

However, stretch yourself emotionally too. Just like your muscles consistently need pampering and conditioning, so do your emotions. Our emotional reactions are dynamic over time and space, and to stretch your emotions entails many things. Accept your emotions as and when they come, reflect on your emotions as you experience then, and push yourself to broaden your emotional capacity to relate to other people and situations. When you’re young (and naïve) and learning, relish this opportunity to take emotional risks; when you’re older (and wiser), use your acquired emotional strength to be more discerning and choose to cherish the things you value most. Above all, young or old, stretch yourself to an emotional capacity that is new and challenging – it will be a challenge worth rising to.

 

We are Such Stuff that Dreams are Made On; Lucid Dreaming and Metacognition

A January 2015 study published in the prestigious Journal Neuroscience established a firm connection between metacognition and lucid dreaming. Metacognition is the brain’s ability to think about thinking. Lucid dreaming is a state of dreaming where the dreamer is aware that she/he is dreaming. Not only is the dreamer aware that he or she is dreaming, but the dreamer can actually steer the dream in a direction that he or she wishes to go by manipulating conditions in the imaginary confines of that dream. Sounds like a science fiction movie, doesn’t it?

A buzzword in recent times, metacognition is emphasized for success in the world, all the way from classrooms to boardrooms. A 2012 blog post in the Harvard Business Review proposed that metacognition was a skill that every global leader needed. Educational psychologists stress that higher order thinking and metacognitive abilities lead to successful learning. A metacognitive learner is more conscious, perceptive, reflective and aware of her/his progress along the learning path.

The fascinating study done by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry reported that lucid dreamers had both a bigger anterior prefrontal cortex, and also higher levels of activity in that area of the brain. The anterior prefrontal cortex of the brain is responsible for complex cognitive processes, such as self-reflection, which is basically the ability to think or meditate upon about one’s thinking, behavior and actions, also known as metacognition. Commenting on the results of the study, lead researcher Elisa Filevich said, “Our results indicate that self-reflection in everyday life is more pronounced in persons who can easily control their dreams.”

 An earlier study from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom concluded that lucid dreamers were more insightful and better at problem solving. The researchers said, “This suggests that the insight experienced during the dream state may relate to the same underlying cognition needed for insight in the waking state.”  

Artists, Metacognition and Lucid Dreams

Artists have intuitively known that the shape of their dreams has a profound effect on the shape of their art and life. Reflect on these quotes that were said or written at least decades before the above-mentioned studies were conducted.

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams, awake.” – Henry David Thoreau

“You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true,” – Richard Bach

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” – Vincent van Gogh

“To concern ourselves with dreams is a way of reflecting on ourselves-a way of self-reflection.”- Carl Jung

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” – William Shakespeare

To Sum it Up

Our sleeping and wakeful states are inextricably linked. It may seem like a no brainer but it has to be said, awareness during wakefulness translates to awareness while dreaming. Conscious focus is a hallmark of both of these states. If lucid dreaming leads to metacognition, metacognition in turn leads to lucid dreaming. Our nighttime meanderings inform and illuminate our daytime paths. Lucid dreams may be key to bringing ‘you’ back to yourself.

So can you teach yourself to lucid dream? The Internet is full of tips and techniques, but the first tip is already available in the above-mentioned study, start reflecting on your thoughts when you are awake. It helps “to sit on a rock … and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?”(thanks Carl Sandberg)

Paying attention to your dreams and keeping a dream journal also help.

Sweet (lucid) Dreams!

Sources:

  • Journal Neuroscience; Metacognitive Mechanisms underlying Lucid Dreaming.
  • Medical Daily; Lucid Dreaming Associated With More Pronounced Self-Reflection In Everyday Life
  • Medical Daily; Lucid Dreamers Benefit From Insightfulness, Have Better Problem Solving Skills
  • Harvard Business Review; A Skill that Every Global Leader Needs
  • Goodreads; Dreaming Quotes

Friday Five: January 30th, 2015

Today”s Friday Five guest writer is Kavya Mysore. Kavya a young lady, all of 23 years, is pursuing postgraduate study in Carnatic music. She has been schooled since birth in music and is the granddaughter of the eminent Bellary Venkateshachar, of the Bellary Brothers fame. Introducing herself, Kavya writes, “ I am very passionate about music (studying post graduation in music — Carnatic classical in Bangalore,India), gardening, photography, arts and travel. I aspire to be a philanthropist and a good human being apart from being a good musician and an artist, of course. I believe, I am here for a purpose. And that purpose is to serve society and people. My mission in life is to spread happiness, peace and love –unconditionally to anyone and everyone.” Such wise and beautiful words from someone so young! Hope that you enjoy her Friday Five.

Life — a Celebration! 

Yes, according to me, the very fact that I am alive, breathing, walking , talking, able to think , makes me feel so fortunate and grateful. I believe, life is the best gift one could ever have and its very important to be happy and grateful for everything while you LIVE.

Recently, there was a little challenge making rounds in a social networking site called ” Pay it forward” and I found it very very interesting and unconditional and hence took part in it :)

Read more about it here. So, ultimately what matters most to me is, to be happy :)

collage_20150130104825131Organic  Gardening

Growing your own food is The spray of your headlights hasn’t reached the driver approaching you, so what’s the hurry to go to low…Are you a commuter or someone who drives in heavy traffic often? casino online Then this video will definitely give you a new perspective on your driving style. an exciting and satisfying experience! I was introduced to organic gardening by some folks on Facebook. It was so interesting, that I decided I must grow something on my terrace. It took me a while before I could get comfortable with it, but trust me, it has been the best decision of my life. Watching them grow from seeds to seedlings to a sapling to a fully grown plant! That is something that everyone must experience. I feel so very humbled looking at them grow on their own. Nature is so very kind to us..the least that we could do is to pay back all the goodness by preserving our environment !

As of now, I have grown brinjal, tomatoes, beans, all types of greens, radish and beetroot. I am looking forward to growing many more veggies. If you are interested, click here to see a picture journal of my terrace garden.

Let Go 

As I am growing old, I am more confident about who and what I am and the most important thing I have learnt is, to let go!

Let go of everything that doesn”t matter to you anymore. Let go of that person who is not respecting your views or reciprocating your emotions. It is very important that one learns to let go of all the things that matter less and serve no more. It is also important to understand what really matters in life.

Live in the Moment

Living in the moment is something so very essential for a happy life. Being in the moment and making the most out of life is what counts ultimately. LIVE. LAUGH . LOVE.

You never know when you would be taking your last breath. Life is very uncertain and it is very important to make many happy memories when you are still alive :)

Gratitude Journal 

I maintain  two journals —

1. My first journal is where I update regularly (read :daily) about everything that has happened, both happy and sad moments

2. Gratitude journal — this is exclusively for all the positives in my life. I record everything that I am grateful for and make sure there is nothing “sad” here! My aim is to fill this up with as many happy memories as possible and when I grow old, I would love to read all them and have a smile on my face!