Sunday, 30 June 2013

Home remedies for Healthy Life


1. For increasing heat in the body :



  • Drink 1/2 glass of hot water every 30 minutes till you feel fresh.
  • Take the following with hot water :
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric powder + 1/2 teaspoon of grounded Bishop's seeds (ajwain) or 1/2 teaspoon of Mahasudarshan powder.
  • Rub the sole with soft nylon brush 5 to 10 minutes - three times a day, till the soles are warmer than head.

2. For removing the excess heat in the body :


  • Take first thing in the morning 1 teaspoon of Haritaki Churna ( Harde powder - Powder of Terminalia Chebula Retz) + 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for 8 to 10 days continuously, then twice a week This will also keep the bowels clean.
  • Take powder of 15 black pepper, 2 teaspoon of crystal sugar. Blend them in 1 1./2 glass of water and drink as first thing in the morning for 10 days. After 10 days, add 5 almonds in blending and drink for further 10 days.This is very useful even in Jaundice, Psirosis, Sunstroke etc.
  • Take 5 black pepper 10-12 black raisins, 1 teaspoon of saunf, soak them in one glass of water in the evening. Next day blend them and drink it in the afternoon. A useful drink in summer.
  • Take equal quantity of cumin seeds powder, black pepper, saunf, amla powder,crystal sugar, ginger powder. Grind them into powder and keep it in a bottle. Take 1 teaspoon of this powder with water in the morning and evening.

3. For Tonsils :
  • Mix 2 drops of glycerine tannic acid with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Apply it on both the tonsils inside the throat and then gargle with lukewarm salted water. Do this two to three times a day.

4. Bleeding or pain in gums :
  • Massage the above mentioned mixture glycerine tannic acid and turmeric powder on gums and then gargle with lukewarm salted water.

5. Earache and Pus :
  • Put 2 drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in the ears.Clean the foams and then put ear drops.

6. To activate Kidney :
  • Over and above giving Acupressure treatment for 2 minutes three times a day, drink 1 cup of black tea ( put 1 cup of water to boil, put in it 1 teaspoon of Mamri ( Darjeeling ) tea. Boil till the water is reduced to 1/2 a cup. Filter it and add /12 a cup of water. Drink as first thing in the morning for 12 to 21 days till the first urine of the morning becomes clear and odourless.
  • If possible, daily drink silver charged water 2 glasses reduced from 8 glasses.This treatment may be tried once a year. With this treatment dialysis and even operations for kidney transplantations are prevented.

Friday, 28 June 2013

How to lose weight with Yoga and Kapalabhati Pranayama

                                                                              
Healthy way of losing weight          


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The earliest memory of me checking my weight was when I applied for a job at the age of 18. I was 5.2" with a weight of 52 kgs. I had always been conscious of my weight since then, both from the point of looks and health, and have been steadily monitored it. Even after my two pregnancies, I had taken care to get back into shape once the children started growing up. But then suddenly I lost control. Though I was aware that I was putting on weight, as invariably happens once you near forty, I just could not control it. Suddenly one day my weighing machine showed 71 kgs and I panicked.


Never skip breakfast
Then started my rigorous journey of exercises, experiments with diet, trying every trick of the trade, but to no avail. The first thing I did was to skip my breakfast and eat light which proved counter productive as the early morning empty stomach made me weak and moody and in fact my weight increased.

Walking and Jogging
Then I started walking and jogging. Both my friend Kalpana and myself would set out in the morning at 6 o'clock to Krishna Rao park and jog. Alas! Being very beautiful and attractive ( seriously :-), when we started jogging, we not only had the company of dogs wagging their tails running behind us, but some grandpas also started to accompany us to every corner of the park trying to show off their wrinkled biceps! We were in no mood to pamper and provide free entertainment to these oldies a la Ashok Kumar in Shaukeen and soon did a disappearing act.

Aerobics           
After Ashok Kumar, came Rekha. Yes forever young rekha, a great inspiration to us with her aerobics practiced sexy and lustrous body. Off came Jane Fonda and her DVD, (of course she was an inspiration for REKHA too ) and there started the aerobics dances at home. No doubt it gave some free relaxation and entertainment to my hubby, who would sit behind me with his coffee cup when I practiced in front of TV. It kept me extremely fit and energetic, but weight loss? No sir. Sorry.


Liquid diet          

So it was back to basics again. My father had once narrated, how during his young days, on the advice of some Ayurvedic doctor, had survived on a liquid diet for a month and had lost almost 20 kgs. But there was a hitch. Every morning you have to drink one spoonful of castor oil on an empty stomach which was supposed to cleanse your system. Not only the taste of the castor oil but the failure to attain weight loss has left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Weight loss fads and gimmicks by clinics 
Then came the wonderful advertisement from VLCC, a health clinic which promised an assured weight loss of 5 kgs for 5000 rupees in 10 days. What is 5000 rupees compared to a sculpted body? Off I rushed to their center and was thrilled to bits when I lost 750 grams on the very first day. Yes sir that's how they measured - in grams! I calculated in my mind, if this is the result in a single day, where would I be after 10 days! All my tight dresses pushed at the back of my wardrobe started dancing in front of my eyes. Ha! Only dreams are made of such stuff. What was actually being done in the clinic was, like in a physio therapy lab, they would connect low voltage wires with pads to our body and make us lie down for 45 minutes. Immediately on coming out they would ask us to urinate and then check weight. Naturally, when your body is heated, the fluids would dry up and the body would lose some weight. After coming home, I drank lots of water and ate one small custard apple and maintained the diet chart they had provided. Next morning I was aghast when the scale tilted to an additional kg. Instead of admitting the shady deal, they had the audacity of admonishing me for eating a custard apple. So the crux of the matter was, had I stopped eating and drinking lifelong and continued with their ironing, I would have lost a lot of weight. But the better sense prevailed and a bid a hasty retreat.
Yoga - Pranayama - Holistic treatment by Baba Ramdevji


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Every cloud has a silver lining. It came in the form of Yoga Guru Baba Ramdevji. One morning when I was surfing through Aastha channel, I came across the live telecast of Yoga Shivir being conducted by Ramdevji where the participants were sharing their experience of losing 5, 10 even 15 kgs of weight. As I was always inclined towards Indian system of medicines, Yoga and Ayurveda, and also impressed by the rhetoric and impressive oratory skills of swamiji, I thought to give it a try as I had nothing to lose except weight! I ritualistically started practicing the yoga and kapalbhati pranayama as propagated by him every day. When I first checked the weight after one month, I could not believe my eyes. The scale which had almost stuck at 71 showed 70. It inspired me so much that every month on the same date I had a steady date with the weighing machine and it never failed me. Each month it was a reduction of a minimum of one kg. After I reached 61, I have been maintaining the weight. I know if I push a little harder I can go down by another 3-4 kgs. Mmm. Will do it soon.
Maharshi Patanjali - The Yoga Sage from India
It is an ancient breathing technique taught by Indian sage Patanjali, a breathing exercise for our internal organs. Just the way we do push ups and bending and stretching exercises for our external body, the pranayama is for the naval and heart centers. It activates the cells, removes toxins and fights obesity in abdominal region and helps digestion and tones down the abdominal muscles.

What is kapalbhati ? 
The method of doing kapalbhati is simple. Just sit in sukhasana or padmasana, hold your thumb and index finger touching and resting lightly on your knees with palms turned upwards.Sit in a calm erect position closing your eyes. Inhale slowly and exhale forcefully through your nose. This will cause the abdomen to contract and activate the inner organs. Repeat this process in a cycle of ten rounds and gradually increase to a batch of 5 or 10. But those with high blood pressure or heart disease should not do this.

Advantages of Kapalabhati
The added advantage of kapalbhati pranayama is that not only does it cures the body ailments and drastically reduces the weight scientifically, it is also a great mind healer, making you emotionally strong and at peace with your inner self and also with your surroundings.
The points to remember is that this pranayama should be done on an empty stomach and at your own comfortable pace. Once you gain confidence with your practice, you can increase the duration to 15 to 20 minutes. The results are instantaneous.
So go ahead. Tone up your mind and body with yoga and pranayama. It will remain your friend for life.

Maha Kumbha Mela - The Cultural extravaganza of India

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The images of Indian cultural extravaganza, The Maha Kumbha Mela are flashing across the media - both print   and visual, all over the world. There are images of sadhus, tents, temples, lamps and of course foreign visitors. But I am afraid  instead of highlighting the essence and the cultural value of the mega event, the focus is more on getting the snaps of the nude sadhus or sadhus smearing ash on their bodies or wearing odd costumes, lengthy hairs or nails. Besides the  ash smeared ascetics, wide-eyed stars and tourists and millions of pilgrims thronging the Ganges for a holy dip, there are a lot more interesting facts and intricacies involved in this mystique event.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF KUMBH MELA?


The Puranas - holy scripts of India - link the origin of Kumbh Mela to the origin of the universe. Scriptures narrate that once Durvasa Muni, the short-tempered sage,  came face to face with Indra on his elephant. A pleased Durvasa offers his garland to Indra. Indra nonchalantly places the  garland on the trunks of his elephant, which throws it down to the ground and stamps on it. Durvasa, loses his temper and curses Indra to lose all his opulence and the demiGods, afflicted on the one side from demons and on the other side by the curse of Durvasa lose all their power in the three worlds.So the demi Gods led by Indra and Vayu bereft of all their power and strength approach Lord Brahma to seek his blessings and his help to regain their supremacy.Lord Brahma takes pity on them and along with Lord Shiva leads them to the Supreme power, The Lotus feet Lord Vishnu. 

Vishnu being omnipotent is aware of everything and offers a solace. He advises the demiGods to make peace with  demons and churn the ocean of milk where the rope will be serpent Vasuki and the churning rod would be Mandara Mountain. The nectar - Amrutha - will come out of churning which will make the demiGods strong and immortal. When the Amrutha Manthana - churning of the ocean ends with the arrival of the nectar, a tussle erupts between Demi Gods and Demons and Lord Vishnu taking the shape of Mohini wins over the asuras and give the nectar to Gods. But in the ensuing melee between Gods and Demigods  four drops of nectar supposedly fall in four places Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik and this has made these places with their rivers the most sacred places on earth.It is at these four places that Kumbha Mela is celebrated. 

The ardh Kumbha mela is celebrated  at Haridwar and Allahabad every six years and Purna Kumbha  Mela takes place  once every twelve years at four places Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. The mela alternates between Nashik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. Allahabad, the place where Kumbha Mela is being held this year is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Sangam, meeting place of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati, at Prayag where bathing for purification from sin is considered especially auspicious.

There is a mention about the Maha Kumbh in the diary of Chinese traveler Huang Tsang back in 602 - 664 A.D. during his visit to India during the reign of Harshavardhana.It is the serene and pious atmosphere at the Himalayas and Ganges which was responsible for the positive impact on the hearts and minds of those visiting these places. Unfortunately the human greed has been polluting the land, water and air over the years and it is taking ugly proportions with the passage of time. The rural people who live one month 
every year in January in this place are called Kalpa Basis  Seers claim that a person who undergoes the Kalpawasa vrata is honoured with the title of Kalpawasi. They spend their entire time in Kumbh Mela living an austere and minimalistic life. Kalpwas is religious and spiritual sermon and scientists claim that spending a month at mela has a very positive impact on their hearts and minds.

This year in a study conducted by the social psychologists of British and Indian universities it is found that the Kalpa Basis return home healthier despite the fact that they have just one meal per day.Though they supposedly live in messy, unhealthy and unhygienic conditions, their health improves because of the environment and medicinal plants and air. Imagine what would have been the results if the Ganges were to be in her original purity.Under the aegis of many social and environmental organisations [river pollution control] [Ganga river basin management plan],steps are constantly being taken to prevent contamination of water and control water pollution.


River Ganga, popularly known as Ganges is held in highest reverence in India and its sanctity can never be lost in globalization of Indian culture. Indian culture and work culture in India cannot be representative of India unless the purity and sanctity of the Ganges is restored. As much as the Taj Mahal is the representative of India calling the world tourists, the festival hosting India can retain its cultural value not only by publicizing the Kumbh Mela but taking 
the Kumbh mela tours as divine Kumbh yatra.


The sheer scale and complex dynamics of the mela provide a big canvas and a platform in the study of socio-economic management. At an average estimate more than 100 million people are supposed to attend the mela this year. The Harvard University is engaged in studying the logistics that go into the organisation of the festival of this big magnitude. It is here that our country's history and heritage take a center stage. Imagine providing the facilities of 
health, sanitation, water, food and transportation to this enormous gathering where on the wide open land a city pops up and facilities are provided to millions of people.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Finish The Sentence Friday Blog Hop (FTSF) # 25

"If I could have dinner with anyone in history it would be with..."


This post is my contribution to Finish The Sentence Friday Blog Hop (FTSF) by JANINE, KATE, DAWN and STEPHANIE.                                                                    
 
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I consider myself very fortunate that I am born in India, a country which hosts one of the famous Seven Wonders of the World - TAJ MAHAL. And given a chance I would like to have a dinner date with the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan  You may want to know why...But first things first.




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Having born in India, Taj Mahal has been an integral part of my studies. In history classes in schools, we were taught " Shahjahan built Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz." Since then it has been a constant refrain whenever Taj Mahal was mentioned.


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Then we grew up with a regular dose of love and romantic saga from bollywood where every other romantic song was picturised with a backdrop of Taj, a symbol of eternal love.And it was only recently that I had an opportunity of visiting Taj with my husband and children.


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The majestic view of the Taj, the splendid Mughal architecture, the marvellous marble structure with intricate carvings left us spellbound. We could not help remembering Shahjahan, his love for his wife,his board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri,generally considered to be the principal designer.


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When we took a India Golden triangle tour of Agra, Delhi and Jaipur, having an opportunity to visit the empire of the Mughal,we had our share of fun too when we were given plastic socks and we were made to walk like ducks!
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We took with a pinch of salt the narration from the guide when he showed us this image and claimed it to be a "owm" a Hindu symbol integrated with Muslim architecture.






Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor is well known for his contribution to arts and architecture. So deep was his love for his wife Mumtaz and so disheartened was he when he lost her that he built a grand, artistic and a marble monument which became one of the seven wonders of the world.

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When I stood in front of the great monument, the image of the eternal lover crossed my mind along with several other great actors right from Dilip Kumar and Madhubala to recently shot Katrina Kaif. The films Taj Mahal to the latest Slumdog Millionaire danced before my eyes.


So recently when an e-mail started doing the rounds with a lot of accusations against Shah Jahan in the net, I was shocked. The following were the allegations targeted at him which put him totally in a negative light.


(1) Mumtaz Mahal was Shahjahan's 4th Wife, out of his 7 wives. That means, he married "3" more ladies after her.

(2) Shah Jahan Killed Mumtaz's husband in a battle ground to marry Mumtaz.

(3) Mumtaz died giving birth to their "14th" child.

(4) After her death, Shahjahan Married her sister.

(5) Shah Jahan ordered to kill all the workers who built Taj Mahal.



So, in this context, given a chance, I would like to have a date with Shah Jahan and put certain questions to him. Not only do I want to know the truth, but one should not speak evil of the dead and he should be given a fair chance to defend himself.


If what is being proclaimed in the e-mails is true, so be it. But without knowing the facts or having proofs it is unfair to accuse a dead Emperor.


I would like to know :


Is it true that he killed Mumtaz's husband to lay a claim on her?


Did he really love Mumtaz to such an extent that he had that urge to build an
eternal monument in her name?



If so, then why did he remarry after her death?


Even if it is an absolutely personal choice, how could he justify himself for being the reason behind the death of Mumtaz who has to undergo pregnancy and childbirth for an unbelievable fourteenth time?


I don't believe in the allegation that he got the hands of the artisans severed or killed them because India is a country of artists and sculptors and by cutting even thousands of hands, one can't expect the Indians to stop to recreate the magical sculptures. And how can a person having such a romantic heart even think of something so barbaric? 

So Jahapana here is your chance ........



Deepavali...... With Besan Undi, Chakkli, and Chooda !!!

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The festival of lights and stars is here again. Lights, sweet and celebration! Lamps painted with colours and decorated with glasses!
But the name deepavali painting  brings back another memory. That of my Amma painting the bathroom before every deepavali with white and clay mud.Then filling the water in HANDE with fresh water and decorating with delicate rangolis and diyas. Not only the  bathroom but the entire house was filled with beautiful intricate rangoli designs and light from the earthen diyas throwing wonderful rhapsody of light on the dark nights. What a wonderful way of celebrating and worshiping the elements!


Today there are rows and rows of sweets prepared with all possible dry fruits and decorative motifs filled in the house.But I can't help getting nostalgic about " ele shyavige paayasa "  and " sandige"  in the night followed by kheeru poori, Jamoon made from fresh dilliwala khova on the following days. Shall I let you into a little secret? Amma used to prepare hundreds of gulab jamoons from fresh khova of which some 20-25 were always set aside by her in a secret little carrier. They were all preserved for me " sannaaki " ( the little one ) to be savored after festival when all the sweets were exhausted. Yumm!!!

As for Naraka Chaturdasi ......


What ? Is it ? Asking me  whether I know that Naraka chaturdasi is the celebration of the death of Demon Naraka, son of Bhudevi in the hands of his own mother who was incarnated as Sathyabhama and was killed at the behest of Lord Krishna ? Yeah sure, sure. I had read about that.

But the word Naraka Chaturdasi  rings in the memory of the day when we started bursting crackers. It was the time to get up at dawn, perform aarathi, get our share of money put in the aarathi by dad, brother, uncles to be shared by us women folk. Though this was a bonus, there was a   down side too ! The compulsion to forego the bursting of  dangerous crackers to boys. Though   never bothered about the equal share in property, during Deepavali we made anna to count each and every piece of crackers and distribute equally among we children.

Somewhere I have read that Deepavali is also celebrated as a festival  culminating the return of pandavas from thier vanavasa and agnathavasa. But the only thing we had learnt from Pandavas was to play PAGADE! Albeit nobody could beat or come anywhere near shakuni in his skills (?), there used to be Dharmarayas and Duryodhanas in equal numbers.
Without the onslaught of TVs and computers, we used to have very lengthy days and yet they were not enough to satiate our desire to play more. Entire locality used to assemble in somebody or the other's house every day during the festival and the games never used to end. Haan kabhi kabhi Mahabharat hote hote bach jaate the!

The ultimate treat of Deepavali was the Naastha ( snacks) wherein we used to get invitations for diwali pharaala each day from friends and relatives for almost a fortnight. And a sumptuous treat of besan undi, chakkli, gilaganchi andchooda, daani used to follow... The taste still lingers.....



Do you want the recipes? sure here they are !!!

Tulasi-basil-festival-of-india

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This extended festival of lights has always enchanted and enthralled me since childhood. Amma would say " keep some crackers for Tulasi Lagna" and we would obey, eagerly waiting for the D day. I would invariably ask amma whom Tulasi is getting married to and she would smile and say " Damodara i.e Krishna ".

Then she would narrate the story. This is the story of Vrinda, the daughter of giant named Nemi and the faithful wife of demon Jalandhar. Being born in ocean, Jalandhar
claimed supremacy over the ocean and all the treasures churned out  during Samudra Manthana. He declared war over Gods and could not be conquered because of the boon that he would be free from death till his wife Brinda was chaste. Vishnu, in order to kill Jalandhar, assumes her husband's form and beguiles Vrinda. When she realises this, Vrinda curses Vishnu to become a stone ( Saligrama ). Vishnu regrets his action and in admiration of her impeachable chastity and piety, transfers her into the sacred Tulsi plant and promises to marry her annually on this day of Kartik month. The story is registered in my mind along with the heavenly aroma and the taste of laddige prasada amma would prepare on that day. ( yeah, I will give you the recipe!.)

The Tulasi plant and Parijata flower connected with our rich culture and vibrant heritage have always remained my favorites.  Parijatha with its divine and pristine beauty and Tulasi with her love for Lord Krishna and with the  her medicinal value have been on the top of my priority list of home plants. It has been my cherished  dream to have a big Parijata tree in my aangan along with rows and rows of Tulasi plant.

Alas!  I always proposed and thieves disposed. On many occasions whenever I chanced upon Tulasi seeds, plants or seedlings at resorts, gardens and friends' houses, I would beg or borrow and bring them home. Living in a west faced house, I was always forced  to plant the seeds and saplings  on the compound in planter box.


I would squeal in delight when rows of seedlings would take life. But invariably in a week or so, to my chagrin,  my saplings would start disappearing. I had  neighbors who would put up beautiful pots and plants on footpath without any problem and here I was losing every single sapling to these thieves. But like a never- say-die Trivikrama and Bhageeratha I would go on and on with my efforts and face the same results!


As if this was not enough, I had this " Gow Matha ", always pulling out my little "babies", if by any chance left by those thieves with her long tongue right in front of my eyes, disregarding my shouts and threats. I am really dismayed by their attitude and judgement! I have seen in many areas, besides their huge gardens, these "RICH(?)" people will occupy footpaths with  mini gardens and these "holy cows" sitting by the side of these gardens lazily munching with semi closed lids, never daring to even glance at the plants. Is it fear of "RICH N POWERFUL"? Naah! Methinks she just loves the taste of our little angels,  put up with all the love of our heart and soul !

I would try to deter her with some prickly boundaries. No sir! She would care two hoots for such silly tricks! As a last resort one day I put some big glass pieces as boundaries for my planter boxes. Hey! Don't look so flabbergasted! Genuinely I meant no harm, just wanted my kids to grow! Don't take side with her, she was not as innocent as she looked. I stood there when she  arrived and we both stared at each other. She would look at me and then at the glass boundary and at the plants beyond ! Did I see a glint of amusement, sarcasm or was it an indulgent motherly look  at we selfish human beings  in her eyes? Whatever -  she decided not to pursue and left me alone with my plants since then.

Before I could heave  a sigh of relief and hope that all is well, this extraordinary incident happened.  One evening around 7.30, both myself and my husband Prakash were talking  in the balcony in the first floor. Suddenly Prakash looked down and exclaimed " Look! somebody is lifting your Tulsi pot!" This fellow beat everybody else in the game! Instead of plant, he had lifted the whole pot and before I could come out of my dismay and shout, he just coolly walked off !

I pulled Prakash's hand and dragged him down, pushed him onto  his bike and hopped behind him in my nightie.For  5-10 minutes we had totally lost any trace of him. But soon we could spot him walking in the next cross, holding the pot to his chest. As Prakash drove his bike by his side, I jumped from the bike, ran across and held him by the collar of his jerkin like a Jhansi Ki Rani!

All the anger and frustration towards my unknown thieves came surging as I gave him a sound  piece of my mind. So stunned was he at being caught and at my verbal tirade that he even forgot to close his open mouth. By this time a few passersby had gathered, who were both angry at his misdemeanors  and bemused at my histrionics and  heroism! Like a trophy I carried my Tulasi back home amidst much fanfare from my husband and kids. But since then I have almost given up the hope in the face of such onslaught by these "petty" thieves, and my dream of having my little rows of Tulasi has remained just that... A dream...
One day... Maybe one day.............



             LADDIGE          ( Groundnut and Hurigadale Laddu )

THIS IS SUCH A DELICIOUS AND MOUTH WATERING DISH, HARDLY TIME CONSUMING AND SO EASY TO MAKE THAT EVEN BEYOND THIS FESTIVAL  I   ALWAYS PREPARE IT WHICH IS RELISHED BY MY FAMILY AND  FRIENDS WITH DELIGHTFUL GLEE.

Ingredients :

Roasted and pounded Groundnuts    :    2 cups ( They should be pounded into big pieces,size of hurigadale  )

Hurigadale                                       :    2 cups
Jaggery powder                               :    1 1/2 cups
Ghee                                               :    1  cup                       
Elaichi powder                                 :    1 tea spoon

Preparation           :


In a thick bottomed kadai heat ghee and jaggery powder only till jaggery melts. Remove from the heat. Add elaichi powder, ounded groundnut, hurigadale and mix well. Wait till the heat recedes and then roll into laddoos.


HAPPY UTHANA DWADASHI !

Thursday, 20 June 2013

How to do the Diet-that-works and The art of Living

Nutritional Diet Plan                                                               


How to diet? I think this is the oft repeated question in this universe. God up there is very smart. He knows the weakness, the greediness of we human beings. He created so many wonderful things to eat and enjoy but created us in such a way that we can eat so much and not more. Therein he kept a message, " Ati sarvatra varjyayet" - too much of anything is too bad. But in spite of this we tend to indulge and over eat and then start visiting the internet asking " How to diet? "
There are as many diet programs as the number of people who want to do it. But here I am giving not just diet tips but tips to a healthy living, and take you to a place where not only can you follow a strict and proper diet but can recoup yourself and regenerate your body.
The Place is Ujire - Nature Care Center - about 2 kms from Dharmasthala in Karnataka, India, a place which teaches us a healthy way of dieting.
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Natural Healing College                                 
I visited ujire in the month of August 2012. I had heard a lot about this naturopathy center, but was under the wrong impression that it had only a weight reduction program. But on the contrary it is a place which teaches us the art of living in a healthy and positive way. Before visiting this place, a few years back I Practiced Yoga, Pranayama and lost Weight, but wanted to visit this place for their holistic healing process.
This center is promoted by natural healing college which teaches right from - how to lose weight, what are organic foods, what is organic method of growing, - to - how to massage, what is massage, and what is nature and natural healing.
The center organizes yoga and pranayama classes, teaching [bhramari pranayama] , bhastrika pranayama, imparting in- depth knowledge as to what is yoga and how holistic yoga is helpful for our overall well being. Having learnt yoga and pranayama by watching videos, [pranayama videos by baba ramdev] this practical training session was an unforgettable experience for me.
There are varying accommodation facilities, suitable to every purse.The cost for boarding and lodging together is in the range of Rs. 3000 to Rs. 12000 for a stay of ten days. Additionally, for every massage or treatment or therapy, they charge an additional 100 rupees per day.
 Papaya health benefits                                                  
There is a very simple procedure of admission. Immediately on arrival there will be a medical check up by the in house doctors, and depending on our health needs the treatment card is prepared and the diet plan is prescribed. Attention is given to the smallest details like the juices to be given to us, the quantity of food and fruits and the type of yoga class we must attend.
Hey! don't start smiling or heaving a sigh of relief at the thought and the mention of the word juice and food. It is just plain simple healthy nutritious diet with a very BLAND taste. The idea is to give healthy food but to stop us from craving for it. Were they successful ? May be they were, but we were not! Throughout the stay of ten days the only thing we could think of was the tasty food or rather lack of it!
So you are invited here only if you have a strong will power and willingness to get healthy and lose weight, else you will be running back home within no time! There are ABSOLUTELY NO SHORT CUTS.
 Best eating habits for weight loss
Though the admission and treatment procedures are simple, the rules and regulations are very strict, reminding you of your school days! On arrival at the gate of the center, all our bags will be whisked and each and every bit of eatable we have will be confiscated. No outside food is allowed, there are no tea or coffee shops, and the only shop allowed inside the premises sells just soaps and towels!.
As a result, the sights you witness at the dining area are worth watching. Those who had indulged in every possible snack and CHITRANNA back home will be holding their fruits and juices precariously in their hands, munching lingeringly with a forlorn and lost look in their eyes. I bet they would be dreaming about their kitchen and dining room back home !
There are different diet foods provided : boiled diet, raw diet, and juice diet. The food tastes the same on every day and for every meal. If you have tasted the food on one day, then you have tasted it for all the days! The boiled diet is a cup of boiled rice with a little green gram dal, and a few vegetables - cucumber, ash gourd or sorekai – that's it! - and just a pinch of salt and pepper. To drown it there is a choice of soup or buttermilk - Soup is vegetable stock of the boiled vegetables mentioned above and butter milk with no salt or sugar ! Plus one cup of ripe papaya cubes or one apple i had started getting aversion to, after eating everyday.
 The evening food again will be the same set of vegetables and two dry chapatis and everything else remains the same. Those on raw diet get a salad of cucumber or carrot – except the cut vegetables, it has nothing else which merits it the name salad. – if you are lucky on a day you may find finely chopped apple or pineapple in your plate! No salt or spice !
And if the doctor so feels, he may further cut down you food to one apple or a cup of papaya with either buttermilk or soup. Mind you, if you think of having buttermilk instead of soup – sorry madam, you need doctor's permission – who will be supervising the activities in the dining hall - before taking your plate. Once you cross this step, you will not get a change of food, Sorry.
And for the unfortunate souls, who are facing the problem of obesity, only a glass of juice four times a day and during lunch time and dinner, they will keep the juice made from lime and honey and one can have an extra cup or two! But beyond that if there is tiredness, the only option is to drink lots of water. In spite of this strict diet, though the faces are sullen and steps are dragged, there will be a glint of light in the eyes of those inmates, who most probably will be looking at themselves post diet regime in a slim and trim avatar. I was also eagerly waiting to my POGO, My Sleeping Dog .
 Healthy dinner ideas
Have I drawn a very bleak and scary picture? cheer up! If you are not able to hold or sustain, you can approach the doctor who will visit your room twice and your diet can be switched to the better level or the number of chapatis can be increased albeit at the risk of reducing the chances of your weight loss.
For the fortunate few who need not worry about their weight, there is an option of ragi ganji in the morning and sprouts and cucumber slices in the evening, plus a cup of milk at 9 pm in the night. But once you enter here you can forget about the taste, salt and spice ! The idea behind this, as per the booklet provided by the hospital is that not only should you eat SATWIK food, but should lead a satwik life too.
So once we realize the benefits of healthy protein snacks, healthy dinner ideas, fruit snacks and healthy dinners recipes being offered here,it is easy to follow the routine of food - as to what is good for our health, what good for our skin and what all should be our ideal recipes back home. We will start liking and indulging in health care, forgetting the unhealthy snacks and start having healthy dinner ideas.
Weight loss spa
The daily routine at the slimming center is : getting up at 5 AM, going for a walk, yoga and pranayama from 5.30 to 7 A.M. After that it is juice time – whichever juice the doctor has prescribed for you , it can be lemon and honey, carrot juice, ash gourd or bitter gourd juice and then it is time for mud pack in our rooms, where we will sleep with a mud pack on our eyes and tummy for 20 minutes. Thereafter it is on to the treatment area where we will be receiving the treatment our doctor has prescribed for us.
These treatments are any day better than the best of world class spas' treatment. It consists of a verity of water treatments like hip bath, whirlpool bath, spinal bath, cold and hot water immersion bath, jet bath.... Then there are steam bath and sauna and a whole lot of oil massages or the unique and most effective mud pack and haldi pack on the whole body... you name it and they have it. It is totally a concept of being back with the nature - treating us with five elements earth, wind, water, fire and the sky. And a big salute to the attitude of the staff involved in the treatments. With a smile on their lips and a spring in their feet they carry out their services diligently. They are virtuous to a fault.
Independence Day ! 
Each treatment is given with utmost sincerity and dedication and you will feel like you are in the lap of your mother.
On a bright and sunny Sunday morning on 15 th of August we had the fortune of being at the place and in the serene environment witnessing the flag hoisting and singing the National Anthem with a pride. After the ceremony like school children we were thrilled when trays filled with some covers were brought to the venue. There was excited murmurs of laddoos, chocolates, sweets all around. I was a scene to look at the faces of the recipients when they opened the covers only to find two dry dates and two tiny pieces of rock sugar! What a healthy celebration!
 What is nature - Get the answer here.
The building spread over a vast area designed by a french architect is such an architectural delight that you can view a garden and rain from the window of each and every room and hall.
Look at this! It is the photo of our bathroom window and the scene beyond. The well ventilated and strategically located rooms a midst greenery, treatment and yoga center, green gardens and beautiful blooms everywhere, birds chirping all around you, soar your spirits and you will have springs in your steps when you head back home, not just because you are returning home but also because you have lost all those extra pounds !
Consolidation
On the last day of our stay, they conducted classes on how to diet, how to have a good healthcare plan, and have a healthy living without medicines and medical needs. On cooking pattern, we were advised to eat healthy natural food minimizing the usage of gas and electricity and electric equipment, to drink organic milk and maintain diet and follow the fitness programs taught to us. Like a perfect host, they guided us on the advantages of having required milk and sugar products which is far better way of our health insurance than running for loans to maintain our medical needs.
VEDIC MANTRA
SARVE BHAVANTU SUKHINAH, SARVE SANTU NIRAAMAYAAH
SARVE BHADRAANI PASHTYANTU MAAKASHCHIT DHUKHA BHAAG BHAVET