Tag Archives: lifestyle

A day in the park and yoga

Well-Kept with a diversity of flora and fauna, the District Park of Janakpuri is one of the best parks for morning routines in Delhi. Therefore the best place for beginning the day in the park and yoga

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

Hence, from the break of dawn, people staying in the neighbourhood come to this Sprawling Park.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

Not only the leafy foliage acts as the oxygen chamber but also the shady trees provide relief from the sweltering heat in summer.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

As a result, in the green expanse people walk, jog, exercise, gym, play team sports and meditate.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA
1.25 Km longs tails for walks and jogs

Moreover, even on the most crowded day, this idyllic park provides quietness and solitude.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA
Fragrant and Medicinal Eucyalyptus

The Fragrance of the Eucalyptus fills the air throughout year. The intoxicating smell of the Saptaparani in the autumn evenings harbingers the winter.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

Now that the pandemics slowed the lifestyle, the park repaired by itself. The monsoon made the park even prettier.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

The grassy lawns are greener, and the flowers are in full bloom, unhindered by humans.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA
Walking barefoot

The paved paths make walking and jogging smoother. You don’t need shoes; you can walk barefoot unhurt on the 1.25 km long trail.

MORNING PARK WORKOUT
MORNINGOpen Gym

People of all age groups come here. Some come to relax and chatter, while others come to tone up their body and mind.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

Some of them have been coming to the park for 40 years. They share a special bonding with the trees and the park dogs.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA
A permanent resident of the park and a friend of reqular visitors. Pampered with food.

Mynah, Crows, Sparrows, Pigeons and Squirrels are some of the permanent residents of this park.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

Now that the traffic is less, you can listen to the birds chirping.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA
The leafty foliage to heal writers block

In addition, If you experience writer’s block, you can get healed when you walk through the shady paths covered by the canopy of tall, leafy Eucalyptus, Ashoka and peepal trees.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA

Besides the colourful foliage of the Amaltas, Gulmohar and Bougainville on the vast expanse of the parks provide a visual treat.

MORNNG PARK GAMES

When you walk through the park, some people get noticed because of their unique mannerism in walking, jogging and meditating.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA
Padma Mayurasana/Lotus Peacock Pose

Mr Krishnan is one such regular visitor where for beginning the day in the park and yoga. He walks on the trails and does yoga on the grassy lawns.

A DAY IN THE PARK AND YOGA
Mayurasana/Male Peacock pose

Yoga is one way to remain healthy and maintain mental equilibrium in this pandemic.

 YOGA POSTURE
Halasana/Plough pose

When we approached Mr Krishnan, he agreed to show us yoga asanas that will be beneficial for various diseases.

YOGA ASAN
upta Konasana/Reclining Angle Pose

As a matter of fact, he said he never he allowed a video shoot of his daily yoga practice.

WALKING IN THE PARK AND YOGA
Matsyasana / Fish pose

Meanwhile as he demonstrated the yoga postures, we watched and listened to him with silence and concentration.  

Watch the Video:

Dr. Mathew, a public health expert, answers questions about COVID-19

The more the questions answered, the more the number of doubts about Covid-19 during the pandemic. The readers of Lifestyletodaynews.com had a plethora of questions about COVID-19 ranging from precautions, medication, and the long term impact of the virus. Dr. Mathew Varghese, a Public Health expert and orthopedic surgeon featured as a real-life hero by Bill Gates, was kind enough to answer the question in the mind of the readers. He spared time for an in-depth video interview about almost every issue relevant to a common man in the present scenarios. Read on to find the informative answers which are educative in nature:

According to experts, the pandemic is not going to end in July, will it end?

The experts are basing their information on facts of previous epidemics and the behavior of Coronaviruses. You had SARS1; we had Middle Eastern Respiratory Disease. These are the experiences that help to guide us in our understanding of this disease.

By Mathematical models, they show that possibly by July, or maybe even August, the epidemic will reach a peak, and gradually settle.

A definite time? Difficult to answer

Historically if you look at epidemics, they have all been like this. Including the Spanish flu, which came, lasted for quite some time, and then eventually disappeared. So it is not that these pandemics will be there forever.

They will eventually be overcome by human immunity and resistance to fight against viruses. Therefore it is difficult to answer when this pandemic will end.

How long will it last?

We do not know. But usually, pandemics have a history of infecting a certain number of people and then petering out.

So there is a growth curve, which may be steep or slow, reaches a peak, and goes down.

When a large number of people have herd immunity

That growth curve starts going down, only when a certain proportion of the population is infected, which then has the resistance to fight against it. This resistance to fight the virus is called herd immunity.

When the infection has immunized a large number of people in a community, they have herd immunity.

What is the percentage of people that need to be infected to get herd immunity?

There are experts that, until recently, have been saying 60%. But some recent reports say that when even up to 20-30% of people are infected gives you sufficient herd immunity for the pandemic to end.

Somewhere between 20-60%

Anyone who says that this is going to end in 10 days or 15 days is all guesswork. We do not know, but we hope, once herd immunity of a certain proportion somewhere between 20-60% is reached, we will have overcome the pandemic.

Will the virus be eradicated?

In Coronavirus, we do not have a vaccine as yet. It will take about one, one and a half years at least before a vaccine comes.

Even then, if you look at the few vaccines available today, they do not provide you with permanent immunity like smallpox or oral polio vaccine.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

They give you a limited period of immunity. Flu vaccines need to be given every year to protect the elderly from the effects of flu-related pneumonia.

We do not know how effective will the vaccine be for Coronavirus. We have to wait and see. Until then, we cannot answer this question, can we eradicate it or not? But looking at the past behavior of flu unlikely we can eradicate it forever. 

Is there any possibility of home testing for Coronaviruses, and is that legal?

As yet, there is no home testing available, so the question of legality does not come. We do not have such a test.

At this point, we do not have any home testing

In the future, there may be, and it may be useful to test that. But at the same time, at this point, we do not have any home testing available with us.

IMMUNITY

Is immunity the biggest weapon against Coronavirus?  

Yes, you know what the first virus identified was? It was a plant virus, Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), in 1891. The first human disease-producing virus, you know when it was identified? 1901, it was a yellow fever virus. Remember, till today, 120 years down the line, we do not have a drug to cure virus illness.

When somebody says that I am immune, it could be because they had an infection or they have been vaccinated and become immune.

We overcome virus illnesses by the body producing antibodies that fight the viruses, kill the viruses, and we win. Those antibodies that the body produces are what give us the immunity.

When somebody says that I am immune, it could be because they had an infection, or they have been vaccinated and become immune.

We overcome virus illnesses by the body producing antibodies that fight the viruses, kill the viruses, and we win. Those antibodies that the body produces are what give us the immunity.

So is this natural immunity?

No, it is a healthy individual who can raise antibodies in sufficient numbers and strengths to fight the virus. When you say you have excellent resistance, you are saying you are a healthy person without any malnutrition, without any other illness, which may be lifestyle diseases or other diseases that make you vulnerable and immune-compromised. Therefore you are susceptible to get the infection.

It is a healthy individual who can raise antibodies in sufficient numbers and strengths to fight the virus.

How to increase immunity?

Your health is based on a balance of things—a Balance of what you eat. You have to have a balanced diet, which means a proportion of food has to be carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Labourers need to take a large number of carbohydrates. At the same time, inactive people take fewer carbohydrates, less fat, and more protein. Besides, you need to have a balance of physical activities also.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

But that’s not sufficient.

You need to have minerals. Minerals like Zinc, like Copper, various other minor elements are required for your enzymes in your body for fighting and producing cells for fighting viruses. We get these elements from natural food that we take, like the vegetables, nuts, and the pulses.

We need to take a balanced diet; stay healthy and physical activity keeps our body fit. Intellectual pursuits keep our mind fit.

Physical health, mental health, well-balanced nutrition are foundations for good immunity.

So we need to have good physical health, good mental health, and proper nutrition-balanced to maintain our body health. That is the baseline foundation for good immunity.

PREVENTION

Most people have to venture out for work, essential, medical emergency, so how do we protect ourselves from being infected?

This is basic. Everyone has to remember. First, we have to understand how the virus spreads. The virus spreads from one person’s breath to another person’s breath.

The virus spreads from one person’s breath to another person’s breath.

If you are close to each other and breathing into each other’s nostrils or mouth, you are infecting each other. If a person is within your breath air distance, you are likely to get infected if the other person is infected.

How do we prevent this?

We can’t stop breathing. You continue to breathe. So we need to wear a mask.

1. The first safety step is a mask, a good mask.

A cloth mask with porous layers in it doesn’t work. It has to be a mask with multiple layers that prevent the virus. Remember, viruses are tiny particles. It can go through the pores of your cloth mask.

Therefore you need to have a mask that has a filtration capacity to filter the viruses.

Mask to protect you from the other person’s breath.

Remember, any mask is better than no mask.

So if you don’t have any masks, then use a multilayered cloth mask. At least two or three layers so that the probability of the virus entering your airway is less than normal.

2. The second safety step is to keep a safe distance.

It is debatable, whether you say one meter or two-meter or whatever.

Generally, a minimum of 1-meter distance should be kept. That is important to prevent you from getting infected from the other person’s aerosol. It is the droplets that come out of his breathe when he breathes.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

Remember if you are shouting, or you are singing you bring out more aerosols. So if you are standing opposite somebody who is singing and is likely to send the aerosol down the line further, maybe 3 meters, 4 meters also, be careful. So it is essential to have the mask.

Sometimes these aerosols, small droplets, fine droplets, containing virus particles, land on your hands. And any human being touches their face at least 20 times in an hour. So from our mouth, from our nose, from our eyes, we get the viruses on to our hands. When we touch an object, we transfer the virus from the hands to the article.

When we cough without a mask, we put those aerosols on the objects around us. The objects around us are contaminated, and if somebody comes and touches those objects, we transfer the virus to the hand.

3. The third most important safety step is Hand Washing.

Regular hand washing, especially if you have touched foreign objects outside your house. Unless you are in your home where somebody is infected, and home quarantined, don’t touch any article that he has touched.

Don’t go to him closer than one meter. Don’t go to him without the mask. You have to be very careful. Any object from outside that you have touched wash your hands.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

Any unknown person bringing you an object, wash your hands. Anybody giving you some items through courier, wash your hands soon after you have touched. If you have a doubt, leave the object untouched for 5-6 hours, and that is sufficient enough to be sure there are no viruses on the packet.

How to wash our hands?

I say that soap and water are enough to wash hands.

Soap and water is the best.

Why do you say that?

Washing hands with soap and water are the best way. The virus has a coating. That coating is easily washed away by soap because it has got a lipid content.

What are Lipids?

Lipids are fat-related substances. You know oils are washed only very effectively with soap. Therefore soap is more efficient than plain water or even sanitizer.

Are you not happy with sanitizers? Why?

  • It is expensive.
  • It is difficult for poor people to get sanitizers.
  • They finish off in no time.
  • Because you want to conserve the amount of sanitizer you use a small amount. You put a little bit on your palm and rub. That is not sufficient.

Use it liberally. Back, between your fingers, your thumb all have to be. And that is the same technique for washing also.

Do liberal, not thrifty use of sanitizer. 

So the steps for cleaning your hands with sanitizer, washing your hand with soap and water, remain the same—every finger, front, back, thumb separately. Palms everything has to be adequately cleaned.

Soap and water are the best. But in the absence of that, you can use a sanitizer. Make a liberal use, not of a thrifty use of sanitizer.

Should we also use soaps for washing vegetables and fruits and packed groceries?

No, you don’t have to do that. We cook and eat Vegetables. Washing them with plenty of running water is sufficient. On top of that, you are cooking it. However, if you have salads that you are consuming, make sure that you have washed it thoroughly with running water.

You don’t have to use soap. I have seen people using Soda bicarb, washing soda, detergents. No. Some of the detergents will soak into these vegetables; some of these may be toxic.

Washing vegetables in plenty of running water is sufficient.

Especially washing soap, you don’t want to intake them into your body. So running water is good enough.

If you are too anxious, you may use warm water and wash these vegetables that you are going to consume raw. Or the fruits that you are going to eat, clean them thoroughly with water. Running water is good enough for you.

There is a recent report that sunlight will help you fight the virus. How useful is sunlight to fight the virus?

Sunlight has a spectrum of rays, from the very narrow spectrum to the very long spectrum – infrared to ultraviolet. Ultraviolet rays do kill viruses, but they need to lay exposed for a specific time.

 If you are thinking of getting yourself sunbathed, remember Ultraviolet rays are also harmful to your skin. We do not recommend it as a method to protect yourself from the virus.

Drying and keeping objects in the sunlight for 5-6 hours may be good enough.

However, if you are thinking of keeping objects in the sunlight, which have possibly contaminated, you may keep them out in the sun, leave it. Just drying and remaining in the sunlight for 5-6 hours may be good enough.

One essential item which you may use the sunlight is for your masks. Any surgical mask, which you buy, can be reused, provided you dry it sufficiently.

Any surgical mask can be reused, provided you dry it sufficiently.

You take four masks, number them 1,2,3,4.

1st day wear Mask No. 1.

2nd-day mask No. 1 goes on the washing line. Leave it in sunlight and use mask No. 2.

3rd day the second-day mask goes up the washing line, and then you wear mask No. 3.

4th day, mask No. 3 goes on the washing line, and you wear mask No. 4.

5th day, Mask No. 1 comes back, and you recycle it to a maximum of about 28 days.

You can use one set of four masks for 28 days. This method is found sufficient for the recycling of your mask. And that is the only area where I would use sunlight to sanitize the mask.

QUERIES

Curiously, some of the coronavirus positive cases have never ventured out of their houses, for six months, and followed all the precautions at home, how could that happen that they got infected?

Highly improbable that they have had no contact, and yet they got infected. The virus did not come out of thin air. It arrived through a source that was infected.

It has to be they handled some object or met somebody, coming to their house, who was infected and became positive. The chain of infection does not continue without any interaction.

The virus did not come out of thin air.

There has to be some interaction from some infected person, either directly or indirectly through objects of exchange. Maybe notes, handling notes. Perhaps some package that was given by a courier.

There have been reports of Pizzas delivered by pizza delivery boys who were infected, and they infected people.

It could be from anything that the virus landed on your body.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

There is a doubt in everyone’s mind that we are already infected and healed from Coronavirus in these three months.

Yes, it is possible. Many of us had mild flu, cold, cough, and no other symptoms, and we became all right.

It is possible that you are infected, and you got cured.

That is what happened in the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt where tests showed 60% of the young, healthy men were infected but asymptomatic. So you may be infected, and you got cured.

In such cases, will we be able to find out if we were infected?

Yes, there is a way to find out, and that is by testing for antibodies.

The problem with this test is that the antibody tests are not as reliable as the antigen test that we call the real-time PCR. Those are far more sensitive and far more specific. At the same time, the antibody tests are non-specific and not so reliable. The testing for antibodies will help us identify these cases.

The testing for antibodies will help us identify these cases.

What is an antibody?

The antibody is a body substance created by our cells to fight the virus. So it is something in your blood that is protecting you from infection from the future. So if you have an infection, initially, there is no antibody because the virus is an entirely new organism that has entered your body.

The antibody is a body substance created by our cells to fight the virus.

As it enters, the body recognizes it as a foreigner and starts fighting it. As it fights, the antibody level increases until it reaches a peak, and the body wins, or sometimes the virus wins, and the body dies. Usually, the body wins. 99.5% of cases the body wins. And we can eliminate the virus. So testing for antibodies will help us identify these cases.

Are there any long term side effects for a Coronavirus patient?

Since being identified, the virus has been only six months old, causing its symptoms and the disease. It is too early for us to say if any complications are long term.

In the short term, we know what is happening. However, long term, we do not know. Only time will tell. Most viruses do not leave long term effects except for diseases like poliomyelitis, and a few other viruses that cause long term damage to the body.

Most viruses do not leave long term effects

But by and large, coronaviruses do not belong to that category, and therefore we do not expect there will be any long term effect. But time will tell. At this point, I can’t answer that question.

When primarily the elderly and those with comorbidities have succumbed to Coronavirus, some young, healthy people with no health issues died due to Coronavirus, what could be the reason?

Again difficult to answer. But in my hospital, I have been keeping track. We have a 200-bed Corona ward in our hospital. We have been regularly treating Coronavirus patients right from the beginning of the epidemic.

We have had many cases coming to us. What we have found is 90% plus of those patients that have died, whether they were young or they were old, were diabetics. We don’t know what happens in them. For some reason, people with diabetes have been vulnerable.

For some reason, people with diabetes have been more vulnerable.

And those that have died have shown significant changes in their lungs. And what was described in the lungs, earlier thought to be pneumonia, was later on found to be not pneumonia, but clotting in the lungs’ vessels.

What do lungs do in our body? They oxygenate the blood. This oxygenation happens because blood is flowing through the alveoli in the lungs.

Some have what is known as ‘Cytokine Storm.’

And when the blood vessels are clotted blood flow cannot happen. Oxygenation cannot occur, and the patient dies in the absence of oxygen, because of the tissues not getting oxygen for survival. That is what happens. Some of the patients, young and dying, are described to have what is known as ‘Cytokine Storm.’

What is a Cytokine Storm?

It is a reaction committed by the body to fight the virus, but the response is an overwhelming reaction, and that causes side effects to the patient, and the patient dies from it.

The younger people dying are usually ones who had a cytokine storm, and mostly, these are the ones with diabetics or some other major illness.

What is the precaution to be taken by pregnant women, especially while going to the hospital for checkups?

The precautions remain the same—Mask, distancing, hand wash.

Remember when you are pregnant; a pregnant mother is two lives; the mother and the child. So there is a double reason to be as cautious as possible keeping away from

  • Crowded outpatient areas.
  • Closed and poorly ventilated areas.
  • Poorly ventilated doctor’s chambers.

Make sure that when you go, you should have seen the clinic earlier. It should be well ventilated. The number of air chambers should be good so that your probability of getting the infection is low.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

Can we accompany our child along with us?

I would not recommend that. Except in a dire situation, where no one else is at home to protect the child, to be with the child, you may carry the child.

Remember, children may be impulsive. They suddenly go and touch things, they may suddenly interact with people, and they may also pull off their mask.

Take children with you only in a dire situation, where no one else is at home to protect the child.

Therefore, because of the impulsiveness and unpredictability of children’s behavior, we do not recommend that children be accompanying pregnant mothers for antenatal care.

ADVICE TO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

You have directly handled patients during prime times, be it HIV+ve or Coronavirus patients, what is your advice to the medical service professionals who are directly dealing with Coronavirus patients?

My advice remains the same. If you protect yourself, you will be able to take care of your patients better. While I have seen so many patients who are Coronavirus positive, frankly infected, I have dealt with them without fear.

For the last 31/2 months now, I have been dealing with patients every day. But I take my precautions. My job as a physician is primarily a responsibility for patient care.

If you protect yourself, you will be able to take care of your patients better.

I have taken the Hippocratic Oath, and I will care for my patients, come what may. And this was what we noticed when the HIV epidemic came up. Huge stigma against those people with HIV. Then they started coming up with innocent victims of HIV. Those are all judgmental issues.

We should not be judging people for an infection. We should not be stigmatizing people for their disease. Our job as professionals is to take care of these patients. We do it to the best of our ability, without any stigma. However, while we do it, we protect the patient, and we shield ourselves.

How do you do that?

  • Make sure that you wear a surgical mask. If it is close contact, it has to an N95 mask that you need to wear.
  • If you are going to do an invasive procedure, you must wear gloves.
  • Or you must wash your hands before and after you touch the patient.
  • As far as possible, keep away from the breathing area of the patient.

How do you assume that you have not got an infection from somebody? Possibly, You got infected without having any symptoms. You need to wash your hands before you touch the patient. And after touching the patient, you protect yourself by rewashing your hands.

If you have to touch the face, the eyes, the nose, mouth of the patient, or any other invasive examination, make sure that you are wearing gloves. Do not do it without gloves.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

Maintain distance. Any object that you use on the patient should first be sanitized, used, and sanitized again. Like the Stethoscope that I used for seeing the last patient with a backache, I sanitized it with sanitizer.

I am an orthopedic surgeon; you will wonder how the corona patients come to me. Yes, they come to me with a backache. Body aches are usual in viral infections.

The protocols are the same: Protecting yourself and protecting the patient.

They came to me with backaches. Neither did they know that they had corona, nor did I know that they had corona. I examined them. I suspected based on some of the questions that I asked. I sent them, and they were confirmed to be coronavirus patients.

We need to be careful. The protocols are the same: Protecting yourself and protecting the patient.

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and malaria, does that mean that those with these conditions can kill two birds with one?

Don’t get wrong impressions.   The diseases of Lupus and Rheumatoid, these are autoimmune diseases.

What are autoimmune diseases?

These are diseases that the body’s immune system fights its cells. Usually, our immune system fights foreign cells, viruses, bacteria, allergens. But in this type of condition, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or Rheumatoid Arthritis is Autoimmune diseases where the body fights its cells and causes illness.

You are not winning two wars at one time.

So the body’s immune system is busy fighting its cells, therefore when an invader comes, you are vulnerable. So even if you are taking Hydroxychloroquine, your invader will have the upper hand. It is just like internal strife is the right moment for an external enemy to fight and win over you.

Similarly, malaria is an external infection because of a parasite. So there is a fight between the body and the malaria parasite. So you are fighting one war inside your body. When another invader comes, even if you are taking Hydroxychloroquine, that invader has the upper hand. So that kind of cross-protection does not happen. So you are not winning two wars at one time.

Some people still believe that Coronavirus is a myth or a conspiracy. What do you have to say?

As yet, there is no evidence to show that Coronavirus is created as part of bioterrorism. We do not have any reasons for that. There are hypotheses, but it has not been proven anywhere. We do not have any basis for saying that.

The only proof we have is, Coronaviruses ordinarily seen in bats and some of the animals, and most commonly in bats have 500 species of Coronaviruses.   They are a real storehouse of Coronaviruses, without any disease in them.

Bats are a real storehouse of Coronaviruses, without any disease in them.

But when it jumps from bats to human beings, you have the disease coming. Had there been an intermediary? We do not know. 

Remember, when we tinker with nature too much, when we tinker with the animal kingdom’s natural habitat, in the animal kingdom, we are likely to have an interaction between the viruses in the animal kingdom and the human interface. And that is when we have diseases jumping from animal kingdom to humankind.

When we tinker with the natural habitat of these animals, that is when we have diseases that jump from animal kingdom to humankind.

So the key message in this pandemic is that we should not ruin our environment, we should not destroy our forests, and we should not unnecessarily damage our animal kingdom. We are all part of an ecosystem; we are part of that ecosystem; we have a responsibility to protect the ecosystem for staying safe.

Concluding Message

The virus is here, it will have a natural peak, and they die down naturally. The vaccine is the way to protect it for the longer-term. But a vaccine will take a minimum of 11/2 years to come by.

Until then, the only way to protect from the virus is by preventing the spread of the infection from one human being to another.

  • Wearing a mask
  • Keeping a safe distance
  • Washing your hands regularly.

Stay away from places that people gather as we do not know who is infected and who is not infected.

Thank you so much! Keep safe! All the best!

Dr. Mathew Varghese is a Public Health expert and Orthopaedic Surgeon. He is currently the Head of the Department of Orthopaedics, St Stephen’s Hospital, New Delhi. His work with polio patients caught the attention of Bill Gates, who named him a real-life hero who inspired him in his blog.

12 tips to productively engage Kids during the lockdown

As schools are closed around the world, keeping kids productively engaged at home has become a major challenge now.

The thought of staying at home with kids during the lockdown has built up a certain level of stress and anxiety, especially for overworked mommies. Juggling Work-from-home, helping kids with online classes and household chores in the absence of a serving maid has increased stress and anxiety.

For kids, their attention span is limited to a maximum of 20 minutes. Maintaining balanced positive emotions are instrumental for their mental well-being. Parents can and should decide to engage their children in activities which they find beneficial and entertaining.

Daily routine is the key

Begin with a routine both for kids as well as parents.

To the extent possible, maintain a regular schedule for the child. Preferably in consultation with them maintain a schedule around their daily activities like mealtime, reading time, online classes, bed timing, e-device using houses, etc.

Identify the hours when the child is free and these are the hours you need to keep them engaged.

List out activities that your child can do independently and those that would need supervision. The schedules should for the kid be drawn keeping this in mind.

This will help you as well as the kids to feel at ease while also maintaining discipline.

It is advised that parents should try and get maximum of their work done during the children’s naptimes.

Stay Active

Physical exercise is one great way to get a day started. Make them join you for morning stretching exercises or yoga or any work out indoors. This engages the child and at the same time helps them to be fit and active.

Let them learn to embrace each day with gratitude and make children learn something new each day.

Social Connectedness

Give time to children to connect with their extended family and friends through audio and group video calls during this period. Make them discuss how everyone else in the family is coping in these hard times.

This also helps them to be socially connected and responsible. This also helps to know their extended family better.

Family time should include personal time for each other as well as edutainment time (combination of education and entertainment).

Picture Courtesy: Edible Garden

Control Media content

Children are watchful about what is going on around them. Regardless of age, every kid is aware that the conventional lifestyle has currently taken a pause.

Limit the amount of screen-time focused on COVID-19. Too much information can lead to anxiety.

Older children who are exposed to news and social media can feel the heat already. So communication becomes very important wherein talking with your children in a calm, and simple way enables you to control their anxiety as well as yours.

Productive screen-time

Of course, it is essential to limit your child’s screen time, but if right balance is struck technology can be a great way to engage your child.

 It is practically impossible to limit screen-time these days. Instead it is advisable to find ways to make this time more productive.

Look for online creative classes based on your child’s interest. Post lockdown, there are many short virtual classes on Music, Dance, Art, sketching, photography, etc.  

Take advantage of the free online virtual tours like zoo tour, museums around the world, etc. This can help the child a virtual holiday and also learn about new places sitting at home .

Introduce them to good educational apps that aid in a great way to support the school assignments.

Develop Life skills

Irrespective of the gender, teach or involve your child in basic life skills such as cooking, cleaning up room or other household chores, depending on the child’s age.

Baking is one kitchen activity that most kids would love to do along with their parents. Helping with taking out the ingredients, licking the sugary whisk, making shapes out of moulds, checking the oven to watch them bake, decorating it on their own, their cute interaction and the never-ending queries – adds up to the excitement and in the process they get to learn new things.

Role-play activities

The joy of role-play is that kids can choose to become anyone they like for a short time, and the choice is endless! 

Allow your child to dress up themselves and get into somebody else’s shoes or in an imaginary situation and ask them to do a role play and share their thoughts.

Trust me, it’s much fun!

Picture Courtesy: Edible Garden

Art therapy

Allow children experiment and explore new skills like Origami, playdough or any such art/craft ideas. Yes, there are many physical and mental health benefits associated with it.

Origami helps develop hand-eye coordination and mental concentration. Play-dough encourages the child to improve his/her creative imagination and enhances the child’s pre-writing skills.

Encourage them to start reading books

If you don’t have access to physical books, encourage them to read e-books or nowadays, with the help of a couple of apps and sites, hundreds of Audiobooks can be accessed for free. Audiobooks are of great interest to children.

Blackboard corner/Fun wall

Give them a corner of their own to explore in their room, decorated with big black chart paper (blackboard look) and chalks to paint on. Make your child do art work or learn or may be write on what they learnt each day or use it to create a check-list on what they plan to do the next day, etc. This truly can be a fun session, especially when they get to see that their parents are monitoring it.

Picture Courtesy: Edible Garden

Group-activity

Create an activity plan in consultation with parents of their friends and engage them to do some activities together over video calls. This could be, reading s story books with good moral and values ,developing story from a given thread ,narrating about a book they have read/animation movie they have recently seen, doing some DIY activities together, watching documentaries, playing quiz (that’s a school activity for my son), etc.

This activity is a great solution if you need to go for online meetings with your colleagues or just that you need some you-time.

Mess-free activities

Provide them with any non-hazardous objects/waste materials that you have at home and ask them to create anything that their mind says to.

There are many mess-free ideas, simple creative activities/games all over the internet which needs minimal products and also less supervision. You would be surprised to see that some of these activities will have a striking resemblance to what you would have also done as a kid in your childhood. There are many Art and Science based activities that are deeply connected to what the preschool focuses on and promotes learning through it.

Colourful wooden toys, Magnatiles or just everyday items around the home can be used for these activities. Magnatiles serve as a great learning tool for children, as they engage children in creative play and helps them learn and practice  a variety of skills and concepts.

These kind of activities /games has proved to be having fun and a great stress buster even for the adults as well.

Remember, this lockdown is a luxury period and can be considered a boon wherein you get to spend quality time with your little ones, which is otherwise out of the question especially as working parents. Let us make the best use of it.

ALONE we can do so little, TOGETHER we can do so much” — Helen Keller.

About The Author

Sanitha Jubin is a Keralite nurtured in Middle East, settled in Cochin, presently residing in Hyderabad. Human Resource Professional with over a decade of experience in the IT Domain. Now pursuing her passion as a lifestyle consultant. The interest areas include but not limited to culinary, costume designing and conducting grooming sessions for   aspiring managers.  Check out her culinary skills and Artwork on  instagram.com/sans_platter

Picture Courtesy: instagram.com/ediblegarden & Sanitha Jubin.

Migrant workers are not beggars

“Your salary and my monthly earnings are almost the same Mam” Kumar said. As usual I was travelling by chartered bus with my colleagues. And Kumar was incessantly bragging about his rags to riches story. Kumar was the driver of the chartered bus ferrying us from office to home. He was in Delhi for over a decade and now he owned a house and a car which he used as a taxi. He always hinted that he was financially well off than us, the educated class.

Success stories like Kumar’s inspires millions of youngsters from villages to folk to cities to earn their livelihood and eventually fulfil their dreams. The dream of a migrant worker to the cities in India varies from sending some money back home, building a Pucca house in the village, giving good education to kids and to move up the ladder of the society from poor to middle class lifestyle.

A decade ago, while traveling to office, I could see truckloads of families setting foot to the City. With dreams in their eyes, hope and happiness, tiredness of the tedious journey hardly mattered.

The winter mornings were filled with picturesque scenes of mothers preparing rotis on makeshift chulha (Oven) and children sitting around enjoying the warmth of the fire. The smell and smoke of the cooking and huddling of the little ones gave the impression of a village in a city.

Their makeshift shanties were insecure. I asked my friend “why don’t these men come alone, why do they bring their women and children to this unsafe City?” She said “Just like our fathers brought our mothers and us when they migrated to cities, these men also want to be with their family”.

We forget that we are all migrant workerss to the City. Every city dweller is a migrant worker. We are glorified migrants. Two decades, four decades, maybe hundred years ago families came in search of greener pastures and found a firm footing.

Education is what differentiates the glorified migrants from the modern migrant workers in India. According to reports a majority of the migrant workers in the past 10 years are uneducated. Leave alone education, they cannot even read and write.

Million dollar smile. Author: Unknown

Take the example of my maid. She is from a landowning family in her village. There is an air of dignity around her. She and her husband came to this city 30 years ago and now their family consist of 30 members including children, daughters in law and grandchildren. She does not believe is giving schooling for children because she says there will be no dearth of menial jobs in the city. Madams and Sirs in Kothis (bungalows) cannot survive without a train of helpers in the form of drivers, maids, gardeners and so on for which education is not required.

She will prepare dozens of rotis and aloo sabji (potato curry), in the morning, and leave for work. Children will have the rotis until it is over and then they survive on langar, food from the house of employees and Maggi. Take a survey and probably the migrant workers might be the largest customer base of Maggi. Roti and Kapada (food and cloth) they get in plenty from the employees.

What clothing and food to accept was a matter of choice. It was my maid who told me that the bread that I bought mistakenly for wheat bread was actually ginger bread. She knows because one of her other employees buys ginger bread regularly. The migrant workers have got an exposure the sophisticated city lifestyle, that the middle will never get to experience. An office boy once said that if you want an imported winter jacket go and stand shivering on the roadside of Lajpat Nagar. Some rich man will come and give you a Jacket.

Never in their wildest dream did they dream that corona will create a great barrier between them and their employees. The overflow of food items from the employees came to a grinding halt. The migrant workers suddenly realized that they are the have nots. Suddenly the were flushed out of their rented homes like the cockroaches are eliminated with hit spray.

They knew they have something which the we have not. They are land owners back home. Now whenever the migrant workers are interviewed about the food that they got they will say that ‘we are treated like beggars’. Migrant worker got a dignity. If we got an apartment in the city, they got a piece of land in their village. They expect to be treated with dignity.

One reason that only 30,000 migrant workerss returned from Kerala and 2 million are still staying is because of the food. The migrant workers were given food of their choice.

For the migrant workers who are walking towards their homes or those who are travelling by buses or trains, we must be sensitive towards what food we offer them. Give them food that can stay fresh for 3 or 4 days, like lemon rice, masala poori, and pickle. They can be given some energy bars instead of Parle G biscuits. The taste of the energy bar should be favourable to them. It is not what you give, but how you give that matters. Instead of using the situation as a photo op or as an opportunity for charity, support them as a friend or brother.

Let them walk, we cannot stop them from walking. We can help them by making their walks comfortable. Offering them the right kind of food, foot wear and clothing. Just like The Mahatma and the Buddha they are walking towards enlightenment and freedom.

Meet women fashion entrepreneurs in India

The Indian fashion industry is one place where you can find several women entrepreneurs. Through their creations, they nurture some of the subtle aspects of nature, culture, tradition, and environment. A woman knows best how to bring out the best in her creations. She knows how to protect and give a breath of new life to those things from the bosom of mother nature that are on the verge of extinction.

Sustainability is the watchword these days. Creating sustainable products is not just trendy; it is the need of the hour. Climate change and the environment depletion make us all sit up and think about what we can do to save mother earth as we know her. These women fashion entrepreneurs are on the path of sustainability.

Here are interviews with a few women fashion entrepreneurs in India, who have carved a niche for themselves in the field of fashion and sustainability.

Rebecca Reubens

Rebecca Reubens

Dr. Rebecca Reubens core expertise is for bamboo and rattan. She is the founder of Rhizome, a multidisciplinary sustainability design studio. She is a world bamboo ambassador for the World Bamboo Organization. A trained industrial designer from the National Institute of Design, India, she focuses her creations on design, craft, and sustainability. She is associates with multi-governmental institutions, governments, NGOs, SMEs, and communities in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Rebecca is the author of the book, ‘Bamboo: From Green Design to Sustainable Design.’

Here is an interview with her, where she talks about sustainability, her journey so far, and her experience of being a woman entrepreneur:

About her enterprise

Tell us something about Rhizome, India’s first multidisciplinary sustainability studio?

Design impacts sustainability because it orchestrates how materials are harvested, produced, used, and discarded. The question is whether you want to take accountability for these design decisions and their impact on sustainability. Rhizome, since its inception in 2009, does commit to doing this. We go beyond the environmental aspects and also consider the social, economic, and cultural elements which influence sustainability.

What can we expect to gain by visiting your studio?

Bright minds hard at work and sound design! 

Who can visit?

Anyone and everyone

Journey So far

From your student days at NIFT, how has your journey been so far?

Exciting and always growing larger and yet quieter. Moreover, the scope and understanding of things that impact design required consideration while designing expanded exponentially. Whereas, the ego has become smaller.

About Sustainability

Why have you chosen bamboo and sustainability?

I chose bamboo because of sustainability. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials known to man and needs leveraging for sustainability. While I don’t only work with bamboo – I work with other sustainable materials as well.

Bamboo is my material of choice because I have been working with it for almost two decades now. I began my bamboo journey as a student at NID, then as a part of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, and finally through my practice.

What are your future ventures, especially at this time when a sustainable lifestyle is become a necessity due to compelling environmental reasons?

We have a new brand of sustainable jewelry called Baka. We are also moving into the fashion space. 

Fashion Tips

How can the college-going youngster and the young office going population adapt bamboos and sustainability in their lifestyle?

Buy less, and what you buy, buy sustainably. Read and keep yourself informed. Check up on tall claims and beware of greenwashing. Pick the real ones – we all know who they are – and buy things that are classic and will last you longer. Buy into experiences rather than ‘stuff.’ Look at alternate service models rather than ‘stuff.’ – take public transport or an Ola instead of buying a car.

How can the common man, especially the college-going and the office going people make the best use of your creative collection?

Our collections are convenient and competitive in terms of price and performance. They are a good design. So it is simple – buy them, use them, don’t throw them away. Get a piece customized from us – we want you to love what you own and keep it forever.

As a successful woman entrepreneur, how was your journey so far?

It was possible only because of support from my family and friends. Cultivate a strong network – this is what will catch you when you jump into the universe with eyes wide open. 

Women’s Day Message

It would be super if there were no women’s day – because gender equality existed. Unfortunately, it does not. Some of us are more privileged than others – we need to speak up and be the voices of those who cannot speak for themselves. Fight for equality – quietly and loudly – make sure you are heard and seen if you are privileged. Be the change you want to see.

Rebecca Reubens

Medha Khosla

Medha Khosla

Medha is the founder of the designer brand Anomaly that focuses on workwear wardrobes. The clothes are designed for Indian professionals and created using natural Indian textiles. She completed her academic studies at the prestigious Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, New York. Armed with the skills, expertise, and exposure of working and studying in New York for ten years, she returned to India. Anomaly has become well-known within a span of four years since its inception.

About her enterprise

Tell us something about your brand, “Anomaly’?

ANOMALY is a premium clothing brand specializing in high-quality essentials for men and women. Since we are a brand born out of dislike for excess, desire for subtle detail, and clean design, we create classic, everyday staples crafted from natural, Indian textiles.

Journey So far

Tell us about your journey till now?

It’s been a rewarding and challenging journey at the same time. Being a first-generation entrepreneur and never having worked in India before, I’ve faced many difficulties in setting up our studio and workshop. Finding the right team is an ongoing work in progress. I have had to fight many battles to execute my vision and goals for Anomaly. But, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else as I continue to grow and meet incredible people along the way!

As a successful woman entrepreneur, how was your journey so far?

The journey was exacting, rewarding, full of hurdles, and excellent opportunities at the same time. At the same time, it is no doubt challenging to navigate a man’s world in business. It is inspiring to build a business from the ground up and enrich the lives of our workers and karigars with relevant skills. I have decided to keep going no matter the challenges because resilience and perseverance are essential to continuous success.

About Sustainability

How are your creations sustainable?

We holistically approach sustainability from designing smaller collections, using ethical and lean production methods to manufacture based on need/orders.

We use only natural textiles like cotton, linens, and silks to ensure each textile scrap gets upcycled into trimmings, home accessories, and fabrics. Our philosophy is ‘less is more,’ and we believe in practicing sustainability in every aspect of the design, sourcing, and manufacturing process.

What are your future ventures, especially in providing sustainable products?

We are working on building our accessories range into an exclusively sustainable collection of upcycled home goods. Strengthening our business as an ethical production house for other brands and startups is very important to me as I firmly believe our studio has the right skill set for helping other like-minded brands grow. We would like to tie up with more prominent companies/corporates to develop a line of sustainable clothing or accessories for them – this would be an incredible step forward for us to execute a shared vision on a larger scale. 

Will sustainable fashion become affordable to the larger population?

First, we need to identify what affordability means to the average Indian buyer and educate them on why it is better to choose a sustainable garment or textile over synthetics and cheap mass fashion.

There is a lack of awareness amongst the average consumer, and so they decide to opt for inexpensive clothing over a well-made, ethically produced, and beautifully designed apparel.

Sustainable fashion cannot be cheap because a lot goes into the development and creation of a garment from the design to sourcing to execution. We need to stop comparing everything to mass fashion instead of focusing on why sustainability is more valuable and imperative in today’s world.

Fashion Tips

How relevant and affordable it is to the college-going and the young office going population?

We focus on elevating classic silhouettes into contemporary garments relevant to a broad audience from 25-65 years. Our styles are not trend-based but designed for everyday wear and all seasons.

Our price points are very accessible, primarily since we only use 100% natural, high-quality textiles to create a superior quality product. We don’t compromise on either and keep our prices very competitive at the same time.

Now slow fashion and repeating garments are becoming a trend, can you give some fashion tips to the young generation about what factors they have to take into account to look trendy and presentable every day?

Taking care of one’s garments is essential. We recommend choosing the right detergents and hand washing whenever possible for longevity in one’s wardrobe. I recommend finding unique ways to style one’s staples to feel and look presentable. The more we care for our garments, the longer they last and stay relevant. 

Women’s Day Message

Keep breaking barriers and follow your passions. Don’t stop trying and be prepared for failure. Women hold this world together, and this is the time for us to push ourselves to the forefront – be seen and heard.

Medha Khosla

Image Courtesy: Rebecca Reubens and Medha Khosla

The perfect restaurant for an authentic Onam Sadhya in Delhi

We went to Mahabelly for a family dinner on our wedding anniversary. We waited for our turn for one hour outside the Restaurant because they are very strict about serving on a first-come-first-served basis. You either book your table online or book on the spot outside the Restaurant.

The unlimited chilled lemon juice served to those who waited outside cooled the irritation about the long wait. That too on a wedding anniversary.

Art & Design

Onam Sadhya in Delhi
A perfect blend of the tradition and the modern

A perfect blend of the tradition and the modern Once we went inside, what struck me was that this Restaurant stood apart from all the other Kerala Restaurants that I visited so far. Usually, Kerala Restaurants give priority only to food; however, at this Restaurant, there is a Kerala ambience because of the art and design of the Restaurant. There is a mix of tradition and contemporary in every aspect, right from the name of the Restaurant, ‘Mahabelly’. Onam marks the annual visit of the legendary king Mahabali.

The Funny Posters

Onam food in Delhi
The funny posters attract everyone’s attention

Funny posters attract everyone’s attention. The funny banners attract everyone’s attention because they reflect the current demography of Kerala. The bar named ‘Mala Bar’ displays the signboard of a Kerala Toddy Shop. And the washbasin, shaped like a Urali, traditional copper cooking vessel of Kerala.

The customers are of mixed demography, “We have a mixed group of people coming here, not restricted to any single demography as such. We have a lot of Malayalees visiting us who are our bread and butter. Apart from them also have people from the North, the locals from here and also a lot of foreigners.” Says Zachariah Jacob, one of the three partners, of Mahabelly.

The Food

Onam lunch in Delhi
Tasty, authentic and attractively served

Tasty, authentic and attractive On that day, we had Kappa, fish curry, Kerala porotta and Chicken roast. The food was delicious, authentic and appealing. Located in Upscale Delhi, the rates seem reasonable.

We all thought that this is the best Kerala Restaurant in Delhi. I emailed to Zachariah, to allow me to write a review about the Restaurant. He invited me to experience an Onam sadhya when there was a shooting going on by Red FM. Mahabelly has got great reviews by almost all leading media houses in India.

So this review is not a sponsored post. To inform you that if you want to experience one good Onam sadhya in Delhi, during the Onam season, Mahabelly in Saket, is the right option in Delhi.

Onam Sadhya

Onam Sadhya in Delhi

On September 10th, 11th and 12th Mahabelly Restaurant will be exclusively serving authentic Onam Sadhya, during lunch and dinner with ingredients brought from Kerala. There will be around 21-25 dishes, including two yummy payasam, served on original banana leaves. The rate is ₹888 per head, which is all-inclusive.

For those who cannot do without non-vegetarian even for an Onam sadhya, there are a few non-vegetarian starters also available.

Kerala Toddy

Onam dine out in Delhi

About serving Kerala Toddy, Zachariah said, “We are not serving Kerala toddy. Unfortunately, the licensing rules do not allow us to serve Kerala Toddy here. At the same time, we have a lot of other options, especially southern themed cocktails, curated for the kind of cuisine we serve.”

So this Onam, if you are in Delhi on September 10th, 11th or 12th, celebrate the visit of our beloved king Mahabali by having an authentic Kerala Sadhya at Mahabelly Saket.

HAPPY ONAM

Meet Sophia Banks who styled Priyanka’s most googled 2016 Oscar Outfit

Priyanka Chopra’s Oscar outfit, styled by Sophia Banks, was the most Googled Oscar Dress of 2016. Choosing the right kind of dress and accessories takes months of preparation and hard work. Sophia Banks has worked with Celebrities like Amber Heard, Sharon Stone and John Travolta. Here is an interview with Sophia Banks, where she talks about her work with Priyanka Chopra; her professional life and her future projects:

Tell us something about yourself?

I moved to the USA, Launching a fashion boutique was the next step for me, it was called ‘Satine’ and quickly became award-winning Hollywood hotspot. Satine was written up in all the fashion magazines, shopped by celebrities  and because of its fashion forwardness, step me up as a ‘Trend Forecaster’ from which started my career as a fashion consultant. I began to consult to top fashion lines and design for them. One of my favourite projects was for fashion house Rodo where I was flown to Italy to design shows.

As well as styling I have been recently working as a director on fashion Commercials.

Which all celebrities have you worked with?

Of course Priyanka Chopra.

Amber Heard, Sharon Stone, John Travolta, Leighton Meister, Shay Mitchell, Erika Christensen and many more..

Sophia Banks the stylist of Priyanka Chopra
Checking out an Outfit with Priyanka Chopra

As a celebrity stylist, what are your responsibilities?

When I first start working with someone I create a style guide for them which we follow for them as a guide. I also create a trend book for them for the season.

Then I help shop and buy their entire wardrobe. I also search the world for the best dress for ever red carpet event so they make it in press all over the world.

For a lot of my clients, I do all the costume for films, TV and commercials as well.

It is my job to set a goal with them such as be a style icon or get most googled fashion dress of the year and then reach that goal.

How did you choose the famous Oscar dress of Priyanka Chopra that was the most googled outfit of 2016?

It was so amazing working with her, she is such a wonderful, kind, beautiful person who works so incredibly hard. We always had such fun choosing dresses.

For the Oscar look as it was a big deal we were very involved in the selection of the dress. We of course requested many gowns and flew to Montreal where Priyanka was filming to do a fitting with about 40 gowns in tow.

We then did the fitting and the white was a top option along with many others but it needs alterations.

What is your opinion about Priyanka Chopra?

I think she is an amazing, beautiful and incredible woman. She is also such a hard worker, she is always flying somewhere to shoot something between the USA and India. Her success is an example of what happens when you give everything it takes towards your goal.

I also love her attitude to life, she is super fun loving and easy going. We always had fun together.

Sophia Banks who Styled Priyanka Chopra
Sophia Banks in a television interview

Have you been to Priyanka Chopra’s home Country, India?

Yes I have, I am originally Australian, and so I have travelled to India and all over. It is one of my favourite countries, I love it there. It is a spiritual place for me, there is something special once you land.

Do you have future plans to work with in Bollywood or with Bollywood Celebrities?

Yes I am in talks with new clients right now and am excited to work with some amazing Bollywood talent. I am also working on my first script and am possibly looking at filming in India, so I think I have a lot of future there.

5 summer drink recipes to beat the heat

On scorching summer afternoons, you see parents giving chilled juice bottles to kids as soon as they alight from the School bus. Only a few kids are lucky enough to get such minute parental attention as in most homes both parents are working. After School kids come home and serve the food themselves with the result most kids do not eat and drink on time. Drinking a lot of water is very important in the summer season, but due to tiredness and laziness kids will avoid drinking water.

Many kids suffer from stomachaches and they sometimes faint in the classrooms in summer. There is a general feeling of lethargy and sickness which may be the sign of not taking a lot of water to stay hydrated. A medical professional once told me to take a lot of seasonal fruits during the summer like watermelon, pomegranate and strawberry. Kids do not eat fruits unless given forcefully and parents do not have the time to persuade them. The healthiest and the easiest way to make the kids intake the fruits is to prepare juice and refrigerate them.  When the kids return from school the first thing they will do is to open the refrigerator and have some cool homemade, refreshing summer drinks.

It is not true that kids do not like homemade food.  Parents who cook regularly at home say their kids like homemade food. (Tip: understand your kids taste bud and cook accordingly.) The 5 summer drinks mentioned here are not as sweet and yummy as the packaged drinks, and you won’t find them on menu cards, but once the kids develop a taste for these drinks they will drink it without any compulsion.

The summer drinks mentioned here are for people of all age groups and you can easily prepare them using ingredients that are regularly used at homes. Unlike the aerated, sugary, soda drinks, that just quenches the thirst these healthy summer drinks option also provide necessary vitamins to resist heat and diseases.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Aam Panna – Raw mango juice, a refreshing summer drink

Raw Mango Juice (Aam Panna)

As a child, the only time I loved having aam panna was while travelling by train during summer vacations. My Mother carries the aam panna pulp in a small container and sugar in another. We, siblings, make friend with other kids while travelling together for two days. Mother prepares the juice and serves to all the kids. Aam panna in those moments were rejuvenating, soothing and enjoyable like never before.

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Ingredients

Raw Mango – 1 Medium Size

Sugar/jaggery- As required

Cumin Seed – 1/4 tsp

Water – 2 cup

Method of preparation

Steam the mango in a pressure cooker/ steamer. Remove the peel on cooling and extract the pulp. Add the cumin seeds, sugar and two cups of water. Stir well. Pass the concoction through a strainer to remove the pulp. You will get a translucent juice.

Health Benefits

Resists heat; provides Vitamin C and anti-oxidants; prevents Dehydration, diarrhoea, Indigestion and Constipation; an effective solution for Diabetes; checks Anemia and Improves digestion.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Gooseberry extract (Nellikai Arishtam) – a summer drink to resist heat stroke

Gooseberry Extract (Nellikai Aristam)

Gooseberry has many medicinal properties hence the extract is known as aristam (medicinal wine). Gooseberry is prepared with jaggery so as to keep the percentage of alcohol low. Mother used to prepare Gooseberry liquor at home which is similar to the process of wine making except that yeast and sugar is not used. Gooseberry extract is the best resistance against heat and resists many diseases. In Ayurveda gooseberry is an essential ingredient for hair products due to its cooling effect.

Ingredients

Gooseberry – 1 Kg
Jaggery – 1 Kg
Cloves and Cardamom – Powdered

Method of preparation

Select fresh gooseberries, wash and dry them. Make small holes on the gooseberries with a fork. In a porcelain jar, place one layer of gooseberries followed by a layer of powdered jaggery. Finally, add the cinnamon and clove on top. Close the lid tightly, cover the lid with a cloth and keep it undisturbed for 2 months.  By now the Juice is extracted. Squeeze and strain the juice and store it for more than a year in a cool, dry place. For kids, a spoon full of gooseberry extract diluted with water is highly refreshing for the whole body.

Health benefits

Gooseberry extract is rejuvenating and it is used as a remedy for jaundice, dyspepsia and cough.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Bael (Stonne Apple) Juice – A traditional Indian summer drink to beat the heat

Stone apple (Bael) Juice

There was a bael tree in front of the temple near my home. In those days Bael was common, large fruits hang on the tree like Christmas hangings. When the fruit falls, the hard shell breaks and the yellow pulpy fruit inside is visible. Some passerby will take the fruit and have it. I did not know the value of the fruit until coming to Delhi, where you have to buy the fruit and juice. In the villages in North India Bael (Stone apple) is a holy fruit and the fruit juice is considered as an excellent heat resistor.

Ingredients
Bael / Wood Apple – 2 medium size
Jaggery – 2 tbsp
Salt –  A pinch
Cumin Seed – 1 tsp
Water – 2 glasses

Method of preparation

Split the fruit using a pestle, and scoop the pulp. In a bowl, mash the pulp so as to soften the pulp and separate the seeds. Now add a glass of water and pass the juice through a strainer. If required add more water and press the pulp so that the juice is separated and only the fibre remains in the strainer. Add the rest of the ingredients – jaggery, salt and cumin seed to the juice. Blend it in a mixer and serve it.

 Health benefits

The ripe fruit keeps the body and mind cool, cures acidity also. It helps to improve the digestive system and controls diabetes.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Watermelon Crush – A summer drink which requires no water to be added

Watermelon Crush

Watermelon is sweet and watery so there is no need to add water. We can add some flavours to make the juice tastier and healthier.

Ingredients

Watermelon – 1 medium size

Sugar – 2 tbsp.

Mint leaf – 3 to 4 Nos.

Lemon juice – 2 tbsp.

Method of Preparation

Peel the watermelon and remove the seeds. Blend the chunks in a blender for a minute. Now add the sugar, mint leaf and lemon juice. Blend it again. Pour it directly into a serving glass and cover with a plastic sheet before refrigerating.

Health benefits

Watermelon consist of 90% water, hence the juice helps to stay hydrated and prevents heat stroke. The fibre in the fruit helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract. According to some studies, a glass of watermelon juice before an intense workout helps to reduce muscle soreness.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Lemon Juice – Easiest and most common healthy summer drink

Lemon Juice

When you want to have some chilled summer drink, the first option that comes to mind is the soda lemon juice. Many small juice sellers become famous due to the twist they provide in the lemon drink. In my hometown, a juice seller got customer queuing up because of his famous lemon juice with ginger extract. Multifarious tweaks can be added to the lemon juice, here is the simple recipe that I prepare almost every day:

Ingredients

Lemon: 1/4 Cup

Sugar: 1/2 Cup

Water: 1 Cup

Salt: 1/4 tsp

Method of preparation

Mix the Lemon juice with sugar, salt and water and keep it in the refrigerator. Lemon juice will remain fresh for two to three days.

Health Benefits

Lemon juice helps you to stay calm and cool. It helps to improve the immune system, cleans the stomach and purifies the blood. Lemon is also useful in treating arthritis, rheumatism, obesity, constipation and dental problems.

8 Home Remedies for Fever and Cold

home remedies for fever and cold

Every working parent lives with the nightmare of children falling sick. When the dreaded thing happens, parents, have to ensure that the fever doesn’t go high resulting in pneumonia, fit or other complications. Before consulting a doctor, there are many preventive measures that can be taken using ingredients in the kitchen to ensure that the cold and fever doesn’t escalate. Home remedies for fever and cold are risk-free and without side effects.

Children are prone to cold and fever mostly during climate changes or when they are exposed to a new climatic condition. Home remedies for fever and cold will keep them immune to viral attacks. Give them a balanced nutritional diet and let them play outside the closed air-conditioned accommodations at least for an hour every day.Whatever steps you take there will be an occasional attack of fever and cold; Parents have to keep aside some day-off for such emergencies. No escape from that!

Always keep handy a few easily available ingredients, that are useful for home remedies for fever and cold. Whereby you can start natural, no side effect, remedies as soon as you see the first indication of cold or fever. Even when there is no sign of fever give a spoon of honey and inhale vapour steam after playing in the water, having a lot of ice creams or when someone else having fever or cold,…….

Also Read:5 summer drink recipes to beat the heat

Products mentioned below are always available at home. As the products are all natural, you can administer preventive dosage even at the slightest doubt of fever or cold attack. Home remedies for fever and cold are natural products from the kitchen, so they produce no side effect when used as a precaution against the onset of fever and cough.

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Take a few leaves of Tulsi, wash it thoroughly and press the leaves to extract the juice. Add a tablespoon full of honey to the Tulsi extract.

Shallots

Sometimes referred to as small onions, shallots extracts are an elixir for fever and cold. Peel off the skin, crush, and then extract the juice from the shallots. Give the shallot extract in combination with honey and Tulsi juice.

Pepper

Crushed pepper with honey gives immunity against a cough and cold.

Honey

In the winter season if you take a spoonful of honey every day you can prevent a cough and nasal blocks.

Inhaler

Whenever there is a stuffy nose or a cough, use an inhaler added with some inhalation medicine. Close the room and leave the inhaler switched on for some time (Make sure to maintain the water level in the inhaler).

Crystal Sugar

There is a variety of crystal sugars with medicinal value. Crystal sugar can have every day. Babies can be given the sugar either as a powder or mixed with water.

Liquid Diet

Children refuse to take food when they have cold or fever. It is said that consuming less food is a natural process of the body to fight the fever and cold; there is no need to forcefully give food. Always give water as the body should not be dehydrated.

Rest

The best remedy for fever is to take complete rest. Most children recover after getting one day of complete rest – No games, only sleeping and drinking a lot of water. Parents should take a day off to give the child complete care & Love.
In addition, also keep some medicines handy at home as a cough syrup, a paracetamol syrup, capsules for inhalation, ……..