Monsoon- The Pitta Season!

Coming of the monsoons means that the season is changing and the humidity can take a toll of your body, espl the digestive fires.

From an ayurvedic perspective, the monsoon is the time of pitta or fire  aggravation leading to boils, fungal infections, bloating, hairfall, fevers and lower immunity, even body pains.

To stay healthy, just pay attention to the following-

  1. Avoid water retention- eat old grains such as rice, barley and oats as they are low on water. Indulge the seasons’ fresh produce like corn which reduces the water element and helps stay dry.
  2. Avoid gassy foods like rajma, chana as the air element in the atmosphere is already high and can cause body aches
  3. Meats, spices and fried foods which are high in pitta need to be eaten in small amounts only or given up.
  4. Keep skin infections away by putting in a few drops of citronella, tea tree and lemon essential oils in your bath water or simply adding a few drops to your pre-bath massage routine
  5. Indulge in panchkarma ayurvedic treatments to remedy the pitta elements
  6. Bring down the pitta element naturally by drinking cardamom lassi and coconut water.
  7. Avoid sour foods like pickles and ketchup
  8. Avid dairy products which are prone to bacterial infections in this season.

 

Just following the above will ensure that you have a safe and healthy rain soaked season.

Protecting Kids on the Internet!

The Internet can be a confusing and dangerous place. Without a safety net, many people can fall into the danger zones of pornography, predators, online scams, Internet viruses, and spyware. With such free access to the Internet around the world, many have abused it as an opportunity to take advantage of others.

But, there’s no reason to fear the Internet. When used properly, with the right precautions and the right information; the Internet educates, positively influences, and provides a creative outlet for today’s kids.

It can be scary for anyone to send a child out to roam the internet freely. There are ways to ensure that your child stays safe while surfing the web.

There are softwares you can install onto your computer that censors certain things from your child. Cyber safety for kids doesn’t just stop there. You should also teach your child about dangerous situations. This can help prevent cyber bullying and online predation.

What is cyber bullying?

Cyber bullying includes sending any mean, threatening, or hurtful messages or images; posting sensitive content about someone; pretending to be someone else to hurt them or make them look bad; intentionally excluding someone from an online group; etc. These actions are as hurtful as physical violence and should not be tolerated. The more time a child spends online, the more likely they will become a victim of cyber bullying. Types of technology include e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, text messaging, webpages, etc

How Can I protect my child from Cyber Bullying?

Unfortunately, cyber bullying has become a big issue today. Cyber bullying takes place in many places like social media sites or chat rooms. It’s important to keep an open relationship with your child so in the instance of them being cyber bullied they feel comfortable coming to you.

  • Talk with you child every day and listen to them
  • Keep track of your child’s mood swings
  • Join the sites your child is apart of and be “friends” with them and “follow” them
  • Educate your child on cyber bullying
  • If you suspect something is going on investigate it
  • Ask teachers, principals, and law officials for help

 

 

 Protecting The kids –How to-

1. Social Media safety

Social media sites are something to discuss with your child. Teach them, not to  add people on Facebook that they don’t know in person. Teach them to use that platform to keep in contact with friends and family they don’t see often.

Something you should know as a parent is the age restriction to have an account on social media sites. For example, Twitter and Facebook users must be at least 13 years old. There is no way to prove you are 13 years old so your 11 year old could obtain an account simply by changing their birth year by a couple years. Play an active part in your child’s social media accounts by knowing which ones they are on and what they do on them.

Sites like Twitter and Facebook have privacy settings that allow your information to be shared with everyone or only your “followers” and “friends”. For Twitter you can approve who follows you by changing your private settings. If your child has a Twitter account I suggest they approve and disapprove each of their followers individually. Most kids use Twitter to interact with friends while adults use it to share links with others and discuss trending topics. Also, let your child know that just because there is a spot for you to enter your phone number or location doesn’t mean you need or should put that information in there. The same goes for other social media sites. Remind your child that anything they post online is there permanently. Any status updates or posts can be accessed in a few clicks.

2. Install software

Installing restrictive software can help protect your child. There are many different options available to parents that have many different features. It is important to research the different programs and know what you want to protect your child. Restrictive software can be used to create a list of websites you allow your child to visit or can be used to restrict your child from visiting sites you don’t want them to visit. In my opinion, it is easier to create a list to allow them to visit than a list to restrict them from because there are a great deal of websites that should be restricted from children. Have your child tell you the sites they’d like to visit and go to them together to make sure they are safe sites. Then add them to your safe list.

3. Regulate the time your child has on the computer

Regulating the amount of time your child spends on the computer will help keep them safe from cyber bullying and cyber predators. Any child who spends too much time on the computer or other electronics will lose social time with family and friends who are close and may obtain poor socializing skills.

4. Talk to Your Child About Cyber Safety

There are many ways to approach your child about the importance of cyber safety. Keep in mind the age of the child you are talking with. You want to talk at a level that the child understands, but also make sure you do not scare them. Remember that most children won’t be accessing the Internet without your supervision until they can understand the concept of cyber safety so be sure you have the conversation at the right age and maturity level.

5. Clarify Personal Security

Remind your child that just because they are hiding behind a computer screen doesn’t mean they are hidden from predators. It is important that when children are online they do not share any personal information with others or post it online. You can compare this to talking to strangers on the street and it might make more sense to them. Personal information like age, address, phone number, e-mail address, location, schedule, and finance information should never be shared online. Information like this can be used to track or target a child. Remind your child to never share this type of information with anyone online even if it’s someone they know in person. Instead share the information with them in person or over the phone so you know it’s the person you think it is.

6. Be Alert

The best way to keep your child safe is to talk with them and be a part of their life. Know their interests and spend time with them. It’s important for children to have interaction with people in person and not just online. It’s also important for them to know the good and bad uses of the Internet. Talk with them about cyber bullying and cyber predators and answer their questions. In the case of your child being a target of cyber bullying or a cyber predator your child will feel more comfortable talking with you if you are an active part in their life.

 

Liver Spots

Age spots — also called liver spots are flat tan, brown or black spots. They vary in size and usually appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms — areas most exposed to the sun. They have nothing to do with the liver or liver function.

Age spots are very common in adults older than age 40. But, younger people can get them too, especially if they spend a lot of time in the sun.

Although age spots can look like cancerous growths, true age spots are harmless and don’t need treatment. For cosmetic reasons, age spots can be lightened with skin-bleaching products or removed.

Age spots are caused primarily by years of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. The use of commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also contribute to the development of age spots.

The pigment in the upper layer of skin (epidermis) that gives your skin its normal color is called melanin. UV light accelerates the production of melanin, creating a tan that helps protect deeper layers of skin from UV rays.

On areas of the skin that have years of frequent and prolonged sun exposure, age spots appear when melanin becomes “clumped” or is produced in particularly high concentrations.

Age spots typically develop in people with a fair complexion, but they can be seen in those with darker skin. Age spots:

  • Are flat, oval areas of increased pigmentation
  • Are usually tan, brown or black
  • Occur on skin that has had the most sun exposure over the years, such as the backs of hands, tops of feet, face, shoulders and upper back

Protect your skin from the sun by taking the following steps:

  • Cover your skin with clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants.
  • Use sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Try to avoid the sun at midday, when sunlight is strongest.
  • Use high-quality sunscreens that have an SPF rating of at least 30. Apply sunscreen at least a half hour before you go out in the sun. Reapply it often. Use sunscreen in the winter, too.
  • A simple blend of Lavender, Orange and Tea tree oils if applied thrice daily also helps fade out the liver spots quite effectively.

Going Grey?

White hairs are usually seen as a sign of getting old, so it’s understandable that you want to get rid of them. Luckily there are several things you can do to cover up white hairs, prevent more from growing and even reverse the process.

 

Preventing White Hair

Eat a hair-healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet plays a huge role in the health of your hair, so making sure your body is getting all the hair-friendly vitamins and nutrients it needs can help to prevent white hairs.

    • Make sure you are eating plenty of lean protein (hair is made from protein), fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Drink plenty of water for hydration.
    • More specifically, make sure you are getting enough of the vitamin B12 and the mineral zinc. If you don’t feel you are getting enough in your diet naturally.
    • Also make sure you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins A, C and E and of minerals like copper, iron and folic acid.
    • Biotin (sometimes called vitamin H) is another important vitamin for healthy, naturally-colored hair. It is found in foods like cucumbers, oats and almonds.

Avoid poor quality hair products. Poor quality hair products are full of chemicals such as sulfates, phosphates, chlorine and ammonia which dry out the hair and weaken the roots, making you more prone to white hairs. Therefore, you should stick to hair products with as many natural ingredients as possible.

Give yourself regular head massages. Head massages help to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which keeps hair growing healthily. If possible, massage a natural oil like almond or coconut oil into the scalp, as this helps to deeply moisturize the hair roots.

Take Melancor. Melancor is a tablet-based product which rejuvenates natural hair color by stimulating the production of melanin in the hair follicles. It can help restore color to grey hair, and also prevent new grey hairs from forming. It needs to be taken once a day and has no common side effects. It can be purchased online.

Coloring White Hair

Go for an all-over color. An all-over hair color will completely fill in any white hairs, making it a good option if your hair is more than 40% grey.

    • You can opt for semi-permanent colors which last for a couple of weeks, or go for permanent colors which will stay until the hair grows out.
    • If you’re trying to match the hair dye to your natural color, it’s probably a good idea to get your hair done professionally, as it’s difficult to predict how home coloring kits will react with your hair. However, many people use the necessity of dyeing their hair as an opportunity to experiment with a new color.
    • If you decide to dye your hair at home, avoid home coloring kits that contain ammonia, which can damage and dry out the hair.
    • Be aware that going don this route will require a lot of maintenance, as you will need to reapply the color (or at least touch-up the roots) every time the hair grows out.

Get highlights. Highlights are another option for covering up white hairs. Rather than coloring the whole head of hair, select strands are bleached or dyed in order to add texture and life to the hair.

    • Highlights can be very fine, adding subtle color and shine to to the hair, or they can be big and bold, adding variety and contrast.
    • Highlights will need to done by a professional hair stylist and can be quite pricey. However, they tend to last a little longer than all-over hair dyes.

Try henna. Henna is a form of natural hair dye. It contains no chemicals and will actually condition the hair, leaving it shiny and moisturized.

    • Henna will produce a rich red color in your hair. The lighter your hair (or the more white hairs you have) the brighter the red color will be.
    • One thing to be aware of is that chemical hair dyes cannot be applied to henna-treated hair, so make the decision to use henna on your hair with care, as you will be stuck with it for a while!

Experiment with more temporary solutions. If you’re not ready to commit to dyeing your hair just yet, there are other, more temporary solutions to covering up your white hairs.

    • Use hair mascara. This is exactly what it sounds like – mascara for your hair! It’s great for covering up individual grey strands around the temples and hairline. It will last until the next time you shampoo your hair.
    • Use a root concealer. A root concealer works like a dry shampoo – it comes in aerosol form and can be spritzed on any grey hairs near the roots, where it will adjust to your natural hair color. It will rinse out with your next shampoo.
    • Use color depositing shampoos and conditioners. Color-depositing shampoos and conditioners help to blend away white hairs by imparting them with a color similar to your natural shade. After one wash with the color-depositing shampoo and conditioner, the color should last through the next three washes.

Use natural hair rinses. There are many home remedies out there which involve rinsing the hair with a blend of different liquids, which can potentially add color. Whether any of these methods actually work or not is up for debate, but they’re worth a try!

    • Rosemary and Sage: Boil half a cup of rosemary and half a cup of sage in a large pot of water for about 30 minutes. Strain the herbs out, then leave the water to cool. Once cool, pour the water over your hair and scalp and leave your hair to dry naturally, then wash out using natural shampoo. Repeat once a week.
    • Amla: Boil a number of Indian gooseberries (known as amla) in some coconut oil until they turn black. Allow the mixture to cool slightly then apply to the hair and scalp, massaging in with the fingers. Leave for 30 minutes, then rinse out.
    • Black walnut: Crack open some black walnuts and add the fruit to a pot of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then allow to cool. Remove the walnuts from the water, then rinse your hair with it and allow hair to dry naturally before shampooing. Repeat twice a week.

Meditate to Relax

The world seems to be speeding up every day. We are working longer hours, we are busier than we have ever been before, the traffic is snarling more and more and our stress levels are going through the roof. The consequence to this is that more and more people are suffering from unparalleled stress and this can become dangerous and affect your ability to function effectively. One of the best tools to help you with stress is meditation.

The role of meditation is to slow your body and your mind down so that it gets to a point where it is easier for us to slow down and relax.

There are many techniques that you can use to meditate including a seated meditation or a lying down meditation. It is advisable to do the sitting method over the lying method because using the lying method so close to going to sleep you may tend to go to sleep rather than actually meditating. There is a clear difference between sleep and meditation.

The core difference is that during meditation your mind needs to be clear but focused where as during sleep, you do not want to be focused. You want nothing to be focused in your mind and you want your body and mind to get to that point where you shutdown.

Things to take care before meditating
1. Your meditation session should take no more than 20 minutes
2. Your meditation session should start 40 minutes prior to going to bed
3. Your meditation technique during the session should use either the deep breathing technique or basic number counting.
4. Do not drink alcohol, coffee, tea or any other caffeinated drink prior to sleep or you will affect the effectiveness of the meditation session.
Why you should Meditate?
Meditation is very important for you if you are facing any of these in your day to day life:
1. If you feel impatient all the time and snap easily at your partners or kids for any reason.
2. You feel there is lot going in your life and you are not getting time for yourself
3. You feel stressed, tired and worn out daily in day to day pressures at work or home
4. You feel dull and feel life is not worth living
5. You can’t focus on anything
6. You have a baby, you have home chores, you have so much to do and you feel irritated
7. You don’t get sound sleep at night and when you wake up next morning you feel lethargic and not fresh.
These all problems are more than enough for you to Meditate.

Meditation helps you to channelize your energy and bring peace to your mind, body and soul. The major benefits are as follows:

Greater peace of mind
Meditation gives us the opportunity to de-clutter and do some housekeeping of the mind. It’s not a time to organize thoughts, but rather to let your thoughts be. To put them aside and be present with yourself. As a result you’ll find a greater ease in living your daily life and finding peace of mind.

Greater self-awareness
Meditation helps us to reconnect with the present and experience our lives with self-awareness. We are then able to turn off the autopilot and respond to life as we truly want to – on our own terms and not based on the expectations of others or learned reactions and patterns.

Improved relationships
The self-awareness that meditation cultivates also helps us to see others more clearly, and with that clarity comes the opportunity to connect more deeply with others and build stronger relationships.

Respond to challenges with grace
Meditation helps us to relieve stress and see the present moment more clearly. As a result, we can better respond to challenges in a productive manner rather than react on autopilot and do or say things that we later regret

Increased energy
Meditation helps to calm your mind, but in doing so it also rejuvenates the body. Your mind and body are connected and will energize or drain the other depending on how you treat them.

Improved sleep
Meditation at any time of the day will help to calm your busy mind and improve your sleep. However, meditation in the evening has the added benefit of giving your body a break before bed. The rejuvenated, restful feeling you feel in your body after meditation, combined with a calm mind, is one of the keys to achieving your most restful sleep ever.

Improved focus
Meditation is an ideal solution. De-cluttering your mind, reducing stress and helping you to become self-aware are all ways in which meditation helps you to live in the moment and regain greater focus.

Improved physical health
Using meditation, we can better deal with and reduce the amount of stress in our lives. And, as a result, we can improve our health. The health benefits of meditation are difficult to quantify, but the personal experience of those who meditate regularly shows that there is a direct connection between meditation and improved health.

Still Skeptical? Take the 30 day meditation challenge and see for yourself.

Turmeric Latte or Haldi Doodh..you decide!!!

It is a drink fit for Midas, with an ocher color so vivid it doesn’t need an Instagram filter. It’s not made of gold, but it might as well be, given its cult following. “Golden milk” or turmeric latte – an unlikely combination of milk and juiced turmeric root – is 2016’s drink of choice.

In a new report on food trends worldwide, Google singled out turmeric’s ascent after searches for the spice increased by 56% from November 2015 to January 2016.

And fuelling that rise is its use in lattes: “golden milk” is among the top online searches associated with the spice. Turmeric lattes are now being sold at cafes from Sydney to San Francisco, and the drink is gaining fans in the UK and Netherlands too. On a recent trip to Europe, it was the bestselling beverage everywhere we went.

This is the same haldi doodh that our moms were shoving down our throats since times immemorial. This drink has the immunity boosting properties like nothing else and heals our damaged tissues faster than magic.

After ghee, homemade yoghurt and coconut oil, turmeric is the latest health-food trend to originate from the Indian pantry, another sign that the Indian subcontinent may be ahead of the hipster curve. Turmeric is part of Ayurvedic medicine – a holistic, all-natural approach to health that has been practiced for centuries in India – and a ubiquitous ingredient in curries and rice dishes.

Eat with your eyes!!!!

Or specifically, a mason jar full of salad. The internet is awash with blog posts and Instagram pictures of these artfully arranged jars, giving a visual sneak peek into every enticing layer, texture and color before you actually dig in.

It may sound like a triumph of style over substance, but it’s the perfect way to showcase a culinary masterpiece in such a portable (and quite adorable) manner. It’s the perfect formula for a happy and healthy desk lunch, perhaps even a Sunday picnic. And if you’re a fan of make ahead lunches or fed up of wilted vegetables and soggy crusts, it’s time you hop on the salad-in-a-jar craze

Here’s a step-by-step guide to packing the perfect mason jar salad with a gorgeous mix of greens, high protein grains and nuts for that added crunch. A few tips:

1. It’s important to add the dressing first, to ensure that the salad ingredients don’t get soggy or limp.

2. Then add your go-to grain or a protein, or anything that’s big and chunky.

3. Finally add the nuts, raisins and cheese or everything else that you want to stay dry until just before you dig in.

4. Throw in the leafy greens last, so if you empty the mason jar into a bowl, the greens make the salad bed.

Mason jar salads are guaranteed to have you eating with your eyes first, so your desk lunch will no longer be a sad state of affairs. But we concur: it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Our three mason jar salad ideas that will help you turn lunch into a perfectly portable art form. Get ready to be inspired!

Summer Foods

Summers are here and soon the magazines will be flooded with “summer detox” and similar articles. But then most things we read will either be a rehash of what we read last year or stuff that just doesn’t apply to our climate, temperament and palate. So here’s re-introducing grandma’s wisdom or you could call it just common sense. It’s the stuff that looks after the environment both outside and inside our system, it doesn’t call for Kiwis from NewZealand or Quinoa from South- America. Its about patronising our local farmers, relishing our home-grown recipes and yes eating food that makes you look as yummy as its taste.

Here goes the list

1. Matka water – Bring back the matka, the malmal cloth and khus grass, make it a centre piece, in fact. Add the khus grass to the bottom of the matka, pour water on top and wrap a malmal cloth around it. How does it help you? Well Khus-khus is India’s ancient secret of keeping everything cool, yes our people knew how to make water thanda even before the advent of refrigerators. The porous matka adds a unique taste and keeps water free of any pathogens – lets call it pure and mineral enriched. Lets call the khus-khus a herb and there you have it – pure, mineral rich and herbed water for a complete detox of the system. Well, if you had a business brain, you would be selling this water – anything in the name of detox works;) Khus is also called as Vetiver and you will find it in all high –end soaps and perfumes, not just for its distinct aroma but for its ability to reduce emotional anxiety and bring about a calming effect.

2. Dahi – For all those who suffer from constipation, gas and acidity in the summers, this one is an absolute must have on a daily basis. The thing though is that you must set the curd at home and with whole milk. This allows the essential fats, the Vit D and the Vit B along with the B12 to be retained. The process of turning milk into dahi naturally enhances the dahi with the “good bacteria”. Dahi will help make your intestines strong, reduce acidity attacks and keep the bloating down. For best results have dahi-rice as a meal.

3. Bel and Phalsa sherbet – Both are available at dirt cheap rates other than ensuring that no ulcer grows in your mouth or stomach during summers, it also works as an anti-obesity agent and most importantly has properties to prevent cancer.

5. Watermelon seeds – move over chia seeds. Before the age of internet and the flood of weight loss ads about watermelon seeds floated on every falooda, chaas and kheer in Indian homes. Not just a quick detox but an instant cooler and bloating reliever. Even a glass of water with soaked seeds can help you get thinner – try it before you wear your favourite dress or before you step out in style for that party.

6. Mango – before you want to strike it off your list, you must know that to look like a queen, you will need to keep good company of this king of fruits. Mango is great to taste, it’s a quick and effective cleanser of the entire system and an under-utilised (infact most times misunderstood) weight loss aid. Do soak it in water for about 20-30 minutes before consumption.

7. Coconut water – The divine nectar from the most divine fruit that India has to offer is not just a thirst quencher but has the perect balance of sodium and potassium required to give your skin a baby fresh look. Yes, it prevents dehydration too and is a well known cramp & migraine reliever during PMS trouble

8. Jeera – you may not have thought much of this humble Indian spice but it can detox your system, calm your nerves and aid your fat burning efforts this Summer. Roast it a bit and turn it into a powder – add it to your chaas with a pinch of kalanamak and you feel and look cooler than ever.

9. Jowar – Jowar is one of India’s ancient grain and naturally cooling in nature. So if you really want to overcome that weight loss plateau this summer, then bring Jowar rotis or bhakris back on your plate. You want it to work as a weight loss aid, then be generous with the ghee you add to the Jowar roti. Rich in Vit B1, Iron and fibre it can help you pick up the rate at which the body is burning fat. Its also popular in India as a brain food. You want to look sleek and smart, go get Jowar.