Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Sun is here...a mid summer thought

Hello summer!!!

So at last the hide and seek is over and the summer is fully here.its time to swap jumpers and cardigans with tees and skirts.Time to bid adieu to the winter wardrobe and shed those extra layers of clothing.

Summer is always very close to my heart.Those rays of shine gently spreading across.I am a summer person like many of you here.Summer is unbelievably a visual treat.

Life's been busy over the last few weeks,so my blog spot was also hibernating.I have just pressed the pause button to the hustle/ bustle of my life and here I am with my first blog post in the last three months and what else would it be about than my beloved summer.

Just went on a stroll outside and was fascinated by the beauties of Mother Nature,twittering of birds,blooming flowers,lush green trees,God is undeniably a master artist to create this world so beautiful.

I also thank God for letting me live my life to enjoy this summer,life is a precious gift of God,enjoy every moment,we may never know tomorrow may come or not.All we have is today,fill your day with gratitude,gratitude for what you have,fill your day with love,love for every one around you,fill your day with smile,as smile is infectious,do some random acts of kindness,the list goes on.

I filled my special pot with hot camomile tea as I sit in my balcony to have a good look on the stunning views outside.I have not filled my calendar with too many todo list today as this is the time to pause,to live in the moment and embrace whatever feeling that comes to my mind.

Embrace every mood,be fully present in your life.Enjoy your life before it's slip away as Life is to live.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Labour day

Labour day

I was very delighted to be in the room full of reviewers  to watch the preview of labour day with my husband .Extremely thankful for the mumsneters for giving this wonderful opportunity .

After dropping off my 4 year old to a friend who kindly offered child minding for the evening( with a trade in to do the nursery pick up for their children for 2 days next week)we rushed off to the venue in our lexus.(as usual we were rushing). I have been running the whole week like a head less chicken, so this invite to watch the preview was an oasis midst a busy week.

Synopsis:So here goes the synopsis of this moving drama of love and loss. It's a sun-dappled romantic fantasy of a lonely, depressed single mother (Kate winslet) and the mystery man (Josh Brolin) who not only sweeps her off her feet, but voluntarily sweeps her floor.Tolsteys Anna Kareneina starts with a saying every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, same way this movie brings to life every woman's unhappy loss/ separation are unhappy in their own way .

Adele is a lonely reclusive single mother raising her 13 year old son Henry in a small run down house in a small town.Adele and Henry meets the tall dark and dangerous stranger Frank in a shopping trip who approaches them( actually insists them) for a ride.Three of them goes to Adele's home to give Frank a place to hide out until nightfall, but he ends up staying there for four days as it turns out he is not that dangerous after all and easily slips into the role of father figure, handy man  and a lover for the lonely Adele.when police comes to arrest him he lovingly tie Adele and Henry to chair so they could tell authorities truthfully that they were held a captive .

I could not stop wearing me my shrink hat here as many a times it reminds me of the Stockholm syndrome , which is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and positive feeling towards their captors.

Actors and acting:We were taken in by the lead pairs brilliant acting and effortless chemistry.Certain scenes resonated with me, especially when Adele cries for her lost children, 2 miscarriages and a still birth. Kate Winslets brilliant acting reminds me of the time when I lost my first child to miscarriage and I shed few tears in her/ his memory .The actors play their part brilliantly.Frank and Adele may not be role models but they are enormously engaging friends for the thirteen year old Henry.

Director:Reitman keeps a strong grip on all the aspects of the story to prevent it from becoming corny, unduly melodramatic or obvious.There's a certain elegant simplicity to the movie's execution that maintains a spirit of familiarity but also keeps the material afloat.

Why should you watch:

Labor Day is an admittedly strange hybrid. Rarely have I seen such outrageous plot  executed with such lovely grace.It resonates with delicacy, passion and restraint, touching the heart in places where cynics fear to go.

A critiques view:

If you are looking for an entertaining family movie to watch at an end of a busy day labour day is definitely not for you as it is emotionally laden and has some creepy turns.Its bit a huge stride for a single mom with a teenager to fall in love with a convicted murderer who she has known for just four days , she also decides to cross borders with her son to spend a life long journey of commitment and love with the man who came to take them up for hostage( ? Profound effect of Stockholm syndrome ).but any way that's the realist in me who always take romance with a healthy side of reality.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Valentines day-a date with myself

A date with myself- valentines day

February - valentines day is round the corner, love is in the air, buy those special roses for that special someone, hearty dinner for two- what's all this hype about. Is valentine day a Commercialists con or a celebration of a heavenly bond?

Commercialists love affair with valentine day continue to raise despite its bad press among the mama bloggers, singletons and happily married couples.

What ever it is it is an another opportunity to celebrate love. One may argue that we need to celebrate love everyday , but even that be the case , it will be an occasion if we have the special day to celebrate the universal language of love.If love be the language there would be no war in the world and if one is in love with theme selves there is no defeat or heart break.No matter what we learn about love, it will continue to be one of the most meaningful and powerful forces on the planet, as it should be.Love it or hate it it's lovers day and it's here. I decided to celebrate it in a different way- celebrate my love for myself, the unique person I am as each one of us is.

I have read somewhere the key is knowing in your heart that the best way you can care for others is by caring for yourself. I know this requires a paradigm shift for many of us. Despite what we have been brought up to believe, Everyone benefits from someone who knows how to care for him or herself. Self-care sustains and enhances the health of all those around us. The flight attendants are right when they say: You have to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.

So here I am celebrating my special day with myself.

Remedies to get rid of dark inner thighs

Dark under thighs is a very common problem ,if you have a dark inner thigh don't worry you are not alone and it could be minimised.It could be caused by number of causes such us,

1. Hormonal imbalance due to PCOD or insulin resistance

2. Increased friction between thighs due to obesity

3. Pigmentation

4. Rarely due to a skin condition called acanthosis nigrans.


The best way to address this problem is to have a holistic health check with a medical practioners to rule out hormonal imbalance and addressing it.There are a number of way it could be minimised.

1. Lemon is a natural bleach,try rubbing a half a lemon on the inner thighs 15 minutes before bath.

2. Apply generous moisturisers like a vitamin E based one or cocoa butter after bath.

3. Try exfoliating the inner thigh area with a home made exfoliater like rice and sugar scrub or lemon,yoghurt scrub once a week,

Rice and sugar scrub: Mix together 2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and olive oil with sugar and rice flour( one teaspoon each) rub it on the inner thigh area and wash it after 15 minutes.

Lemon,yoghurt scrub: Mix together a teaspoon of lemon,yoghurt and oatmeal mix ,apply on your inner thighs and wash after 15 minutes.

6. You could also use soft scrubs like apricot scrub or diamond scrub available in shops.

7. Trying a Turkish hammam bath once a month is a luxury problem.

8.Papaya is known to have amazing whitening properties and it is for this reason why you can opt for using papaya soaps. These are rather inexpensive and you can easily get it at any pharmacies, groceries, or health and beauty sections in the department stores or malls. Word to the wise, use the one that says green papaya on it as the green ones re known to have stronger enzymes that can make your skin whiter faster.

9. Finally, here is the most effective and easiest technique that can instantly make your inner thighs whiter. Just combine a glass of milk and three tablespoons of honey. Mix thoroughly and soak a clean cloth or towel on this solution. Put it over the affected area for a couple of minutes. Repeat whenever necessary.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Wholegrain goodness challenge

It's a usual cliche that little things can make a big difference. This blog is about a journey that started with a small thing like taking a whole grain goodness challenge that made a big difference to our life in a way of healthy eating.

We started the whole grain goodness challenge today,basically it's about incorporating atleast one whole meal meal or snack per day in the family's daily diet over a period of two weeks. This initiative is started jointly by whole grain goodness a mumsnet. Many enthusiastic mothers are taking this challenge and mumsnet provided with a 10 pound supermarket voucher for 100 official challenge takers( I am lucky to be selected as one of them). My daughter was more excited than me when the supermarket voucher arrived by post. I took her to the shop to purchase some child friendly whole grain goodies.Over the next two weeks I would keep you all posted how we are getting on.
With the end of festive month , no holidays in sight and ongoing struggle to keep up with the new year`s resolution January is undeniebley the toughest month of the year .Thanks for the wholegrain challenge which came as a resolution recue and gave us a motivation to make a miserable month better by healthy eating.

Being a medic I could not refrain myself from lecturing about whole grain goodness.Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily. Whole grain foods have a lot of fibre and a higher saity index, it makes us feel fuller for longer.The message: every whole grain in your diet helps!


I usually include wholegrain in my daily diet ,the toughest part is to make my fussy eating five year old and thirty five year old(my husband)incorporate the whole grain in thier diet.

Day 1:
My first purchase for the challenge was a wholegrain cereal  fortified with vitamin D which I trade in for  breakfast today and it worked out well.Lets` see how it goes on for the next two weeks.I  also replaced my cooking oil with rapeseed oil for that added wholegrain zing in my diet.Rapesead oil is a monounsaturated fatty oil and it helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the blood.

The evenings closing in and temperature dropping down,I made an extra spicy chicken curry and brown rice for dinner,they are a perfect antidote for the freezing weather and replacing brown rice in the place of white rice is a healthy choice.

Day 2:
In our family we never miss out on breakfast because we strongly believe eating first thing helps to stabilise blood sugar levels which regulate appetite and energy levels.On the day 2 of whole grain challenge day I made a bowl of chocolate and banana porridge to start the day with a bang.
I got the recipie from a fitness magazine.
Recipie: Simply heat the whole oats and skimmed milk in a microwave for 2 minutes and then add 2 tsp of 70 percent cocoa powder and chopped banana.oats are a great source of cholesterol friendly beta glucan fibre and will set you up for a day.I also added some griddled tomatoes for a heart friendly lycopene boast.

Lunch:

Toasted whole grain bread with mushroom omelet :

Eggs are so versatile and create a healthy meal packed full of essential proteins and vitamins.combing a whole grain toast with an omelette is a very tasty and satisfying combination that would keep you filled in all day long.

Day 3:

Changing your life for the better is not always easy.There may be some deep seated negative beliefs buried within and unless we root them out and shake them off they will continue to sabotage the fitness attempts.Healing starts from within and I am one of those people who use food as an avoidance strategy for stress.So started using my mindfulness techniques today,so I paused for a moment before cooking white rice briyani for dinner today and skillfully succeeded in making a brown rice briyani.

Also when my hand reached for the choclate biscuit I skillfully replaced it with a whole grain biscuit with a hummus dip.

Day 4:

To stay with a plan can sometimes feel as elusive as chasing a retreating wave of cloud shadow across a summer's sun kissed lawn.today is one such tricky day with guest coming over for dinner , we initially planned to give our whole grain dinner plan a miss,but the endeavor in my stayed strong and we made a lovely oat coated makeral fish and sweet potato wedges for dinner.The guests were also very much impressed by the taste.


Day 5:

It's day five of my whole grain challenge and Friday my favourite day of the week.so I decided to add some reward to my family.Giving rewards now and then boast our inspiration to stay on track.I made some strawberry cupcakes from whole grain flour to treat my family and had a luxury manicure to treat myself.

Today's breakfast is a home made whole grain muesli topped up with berries and a dallop of Greek yoghurt.Adding berries to our breakfast gives an antioxidant boast.

Day 6 and 7- A zesty weekend treat

I usually plan in advance for weekend meals so that we don't reach for an unhealthy cholesterol laden snaks and crisps.I prepared the following foods in advance to fuel our weekend with zest and deliciousness.

1. Whole grain muffin,muesli with berries for breakfast

2.roasted nuts,bananas and Greek yoghurt for that lazy mid morning/ mid after noon snacks.

3.chicken stir fry,basmati rice,prawn gravey,mixed vegetable curry,quinoa which can be mixed and match for lunch and dinner.

I also did a fun filled activity with my arty crafty daughter to keep her motivated with eating whole grain food.

We took few plain white papers and collected few magazines , the activity is to identify the whole grain food , recipies from the magazine, paste them on the paper and arrange into a pretty recipie folder.It was a nice little crafty way to entertain a five year old.

Week two:

Well it's week two. My grocery delivery for this week arrived bang on time. This time around there were many whole grain materials in the delivery list.

There were moments in the journey when we felt like giving up but whenever those downward spiral hits we remembered the reason why we started this challenge in the first place- we wanted a better health and well being for our family, this thought helped us to keep going.

The the challenge appears easy it was challenging to keep on track at times. We decided to do it gradually by introducing one wholegrain meal a day  and divided it into easily digestable chunks( no pun intended).

When an action is repeated again and again it becomes a habit. Having atleast one whole grain meal or snack has become a habit for my family that we decided to contine this journey for the rest of our life.

What started as a simple fun filled challenge is now become a rewarding habit. All thanks to mumsnet and whole grain goodness for helping us to embark on such a fruitful delicious culinary journey.

The two weeks was exciting fun filled learning quirky wholegrain receipies and helping each other to stay on track. Though we did not shed pounds of weight in the two weeks I am sure this habit would definitely lead to betterment of health in long term.I am pleased to note my five year old carefully reaching for wholegrain bread in supermarket .



Saturday, 18 January 2014

Smoothies on the go



Well it's this time of the year when resolutions made and we struggle to keep them up, the simple advice to stick on to the resolutions is to keep them simple and achievable , my resolution for 2014 is to replace until one meal a day with a nutritious smoothy.here are few tried and tested homemade smoothie recipies that I am indulging on,

Blueberry smoothie: blitz blueberries , half glass of semi skimmed milk with 20 gram of porridge oats.

Strawberry smoothie: Blitz strawberries, almond milk and a teaspoon of vanilla essence for a superb strawberry smoothie.

Refreshing green smoothie : Blitz kale , mint and parsley( one portion each) with 2 bananas and a handful of gogi berries in a blender for a refreshing green smoothie,you can add a piece of ginger to add that extra zing

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Beauty from basics

The secret to beating the midwinter blues? No, it's not jet-setting off to some beachy spa (though we wouldn’t exactly turn that down). It's something a whole lot quicker, easier—and cheaper. 

In Today's busy life with the demands of work, relationships, kids, home and perhaps the occasional unplanned hour on twitter and Facebook we don't seem to have enough time to look after ourselves. Here are a few tips for the busy moms to take care of themselves with homemade goodies.

1. Banana face mask

Mash up a banana with a kiwi or half an avacodo , blitz the mixture with a teaspoon of honey.apply this tasty magic face mask on your face and leave it dry. Wash it warm water after 20 minutes to uncover a smoothly shiny face.

2. Luscious strawberry treat for the hair:

This home made hair mask is a treat for your hair. Mix 5 or 6 strawberries with  two tablespoons of yoghurt and white of a egg,whisk it gently and apply it on your hair and massage it gently. You need to add a bit more shampoo and conditioner while rinsing it. If you could do it atleast once a month your hair will be more glossier than the glossy magazines.

3.Triple oil treat for hair:

This simple treat once a week could make your hair more shinny and glossy . Mix a teaspoon each of olive oil, cocunut oil and almond oil and leave it in your hair for atleast 30 minutes before washing it up. This is a very simple and hydrating mask for the hair.

4. Cucumber yoghurt face mask :

This is a very hydrating mask for the face. Mix 2 teaspoon of Greek yoghurt with 2 teaspoon of mashed cucumber and one teaspoon of mashed parsley.

Apply a thick layer of the mixture into your freshly washed face. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with tepid water.You would be amazed on seeing the results.


5. Antioxidant rich face mask:

Loaded with antioxidants, both green tea and pomegranate can rejuvenate your skin.  This face pack can also brighten up the skin tone.  Make a paste of pomegranate in a blender, add 1 tbsp of yogurt, make some green tea and add 1 tbsp to the paste.  Add 1 tbsp of honey and apply this face pack on the face and neck and rinse off after 30 minutes.

6.Rejunuvating yoghurt and lemon face mask:

Mix a tablespoon of fresh yogurt, honey and lemon juice.apply evenly on face and wash after 15 minutes to uncover a fresh rejunuvated face with a smooth feel.

7. Exfoliating almond face pack

Mash half a banana and grind it with four or five almonds in a blender, add a few drop of rose water to it, this pack is ideal for most skin types to get softer and even skin tone.