There are two proverbs about how Onam is to be celebrated. Ullathu kondu Onam pole which means
celebrating Onam with whatever little is available; and Kanam vittum Onam unnanam which
means one must celebrate Onam even by selling one’s property.
Onam is a harvest festival celebrated in Kerala. Onam is a time of bountiful. There is no dearth of food commodities for serving lavish sadhyas (feast) for ten days of Onam. Therefore the term Onam is used to represent abundance. If plenty of dishes are cooked in any house throughout the year then people say ‘for them every day is like Onam’.
Onam is more about food than anything else. What you consume on each day of Onam is almost a ritual. Traditionally after the elaborate cooking on ThiruOnam (second day of Onam), there won’t be any cooking on the next day that is Munam Onam. In some places whatever is left will be consumed as Pazhamkanji (fermented rice gruel) on the fourth day of Onam that is Chadayam.
This year’s Onam for me was the actualization of the first
proverb – an Onam celebrated with
whatever was available in the Kitchen
As Onam was in the middle of the week and Kids were in the
Middle of their mid-term exam, we couldn’t shop for the Onam sadhya. Besides,
our Malayalee uncle who supplies Kerala items at our home every week gave a
miss this Onam season. We had decided to have an elaborate Onam sadhya later in
the week, but, on Thiruonam day, when people started posting images of their sumptuous
sadhyas on WhatsApp and facebook we changed our mind. We decided to prepare a
sadhya with whatever ingredients were available in the kitchen (ullathu kondu Onam pole).
There was green gram, split chickpea, jaggery and coconut
available. So I prepared green gram stir fry (Payar thoran), fried green gram
curry (Payar curry), Chickpea payasam (kadala parippu payasam) and fried
coconut chutney. The accompaniments
included tender mango pickle, banana and pappad. And there was ghee to flavour
the brown Kerala rice.
The frugality in the number of dishes was because I was confined to the four walls of an apartment is a metropolitan city. Had I been in Kerala, even in the gravest of situation, I could prepare some more vegetable dishes by picking up leaves, roots, stems, fruits and flowers from the edible plants around my house.
If there is plantain tree then I can prepare banana fry or stir fry, Banana flower stir fry and banana stem stir fry. Two or three taro stems will be enough for a stir fry. One or more of a variety of edible leaves like Veli cheera (sweet leaves), kuppa cheera (amaranth leaves) and chembila (colocasia leaves ) can be easily tossed into a stir fry. According to traditional medical practitioners, most of the leaves around our houses are edible and nutritious, provided they are washed thoroughly.
Coming back to our Onam in the city this year- it was a high-protein Onam Sadhya. Delicious to the core and the banana leaves
gave a complete feel to the Onam celebration. There were seven dishes,
one-third of the number of dishes normally served for an Onam Sadhya.
The next day Munam Onam (third day of Onam ) we received a pass for Onam Sadhya at Kerala House. It was one of the best sadhyas I had in my life. I felt like I was attending a typical Hindu wedding in Kerala during my childhood days. I was reminded of another Onam proverb Onam und ariyanam which means Onam can be experienced only by having an Onam sadhya.
After Priyanka Chopra’s Oscar outfit became the most googled outfit in 2016, I got a chance to interview her stylist Sophia Banks. For that interview, I contacted Ms Banks directly via email and she personally handled the communication. Two years later she is a busy director in Los Angeles, and my communication for this interview was handled by her team.
Here is the interview with Sophia Banks where she opens up about how she balances her career and family. Her achievements prove that a woman can achieve her dreams with her grit, determination and hard work. Read on to know more…
Hi Sophia, it is nice to interview you after a gap of two years. What a
career growth you had in these two years. From a celebrity stylist to a Movie
director, how was your transition?
Thank you so much for catching up! Two years has really flown by. So much I could say about my transition into film making but, to start, I think that I was more nervous in the beginning to make the change than I should have been. That was one of the reasons that I did not pursue this as my career, to begin with.
A lot of people might not know that I actually started in film over 15 years ago. I went to school in Sydney but was discouraged to become a filmmaker and director because I was told I “couldn’t carry heavy equipment” as a woman. There were many more reasons that I was given by my “peers” at the time not to pursue the career that I really wanted to and it was suggested that going into Costume Design would really suit my gender role more.
That is how I eventually ended up becoming a celebrity stylist in the first place, which was such an amazing experience and one I will always cherish and be grateful for.
Luckily, many years later, the industry started to make major changes and a friend of mine and I were having a conversation about it one day. She pointed out that with all of these new improvements and the public eye being aware of the problems of lack of diversity that it was perhaps my time to fulfil my true passions. That is where it all started.
How do you manage to wear many hats? What are the various roles you handle right now, apart from being a stylist and a director?
First and foremost I am wearing the role of “mom” to my amazing and beautiful 10-year-old daughter. She is the biggest inspiration for me to work hard and be a success so that I can show her that we can do whatever we set our mind to and especially as a single parent, it is important for me to balance my work life and family life.
I want her to have the knowledge that she never has to sacrifice one for the other. I also currently have projects in both Television and Film on top of the commercial work that I direct so there is always something in development or in production. Balance and consistent hard work are how to make it all successful in the end.
Tell us something about your Short Film, ‘Unregistered’?
Unregistered was my first narrative short film. It’s a Sci-Fi love story that takes place in the not-too-distant future, Los Angeles, where the Government has enacted a “one child per household” policy in order to prevent a second famine.
Our story follows a young couple in love, Rekker (Trevor Jackson of ‘Grownish’ and ’Superfly’) and Ata (Dylan Penn) who are trying to navigate through their life, school and a semblance of a normal teenage life while living in a covertly hostile environment.
All seems to be well except that Ata is hiding something from Rekker which will test his love for her when he finds out.
Unregistered made it’s World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and has now been selected for 10 Film Festivals including the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival this August.
How did you come up with the project?
My grandmother is a survivor of the Holocaust and as a child, she would tell me stories of the oppression that her people experienced from the Nazi regime. She told me of the horrors of losing your loved ones with no way to fight back and what it is like to not only experience for herself but to have seen others experience the complete loss of their freedom.
It struck a chord with me and her words were always ones that I wanted to tell within a story. That is why I love living in a country like America. Of course, no place is perfect but in a country like America you see that the underlying theme to a place like this is “Freedom”.
My film explores a cautionary tale of what could occur when that theme is taken away from its people if we continue in the political climate that we see today.
How well was the film received by the critiques and audience?
It was such a wonderful experience to see people from all walks of life and backgrounds in those theatres and enjoying the film. You put heart and soul (and a lot of sweat) into making something that hopefully will resonate with others.
I could not have done it without my incredible crew (such as Co-Writer Erin Dignam and DP Paul Cameron, ASC). It also would not have been the same without the incredible cast that we were lucky to work with.
Overall, I was incredibly humbled to have received the incredible honour of being the only woman selected in the sci-fi genre section for Tribeca. From there it has only continued to gain attention.
Are you planning to make more movies?
Yes, I am actually working on developing several projects. I am also attached to three films set to shoot one after the other here in the next few years.
I have signed with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) for my agents as well as Circle of Confusion as my management team since the release of Unregistered. We are all working as a collective team to put out some amazing new projects together which I could not be more excited about.
What other endeavours are you planning in future?
Aside from our preparation for shooting my first feature by the end of this year, I am currently working with my development team on a series for “Unregistered”.
Commercial work has always been something that I love to do in between my other projects so I am also flying out to Australia for a large commercial project there, then flying back to LA for two new projects. It has really kept me busy!
Other than being the stylist of Priyanka Chopra’s Outfits, what other
association do you have with India?
Currently not as much as I would like! When I was heavily involved as a stylist I would work with Indian designers all of the time. I love the flair and unique take on fashion in India.
Today I would love to branch out and shoot projects in India if the opportunity were to arise. The landscapes and beauty of the country are breathtaking.
As long as you persist through barriers, continue along your path no matter what comes your way and to always stay true to your vision. Thank you for reading along about my story and I hope it inspires you.
What message do you have to give for the readers of Lifestyletodaynews?
I think that the biggest message that I would like to convey is that any person who has a goal or a purpose in life has a chance to make that dream a reality.
Today the most vulnerable mother on earth is Mother Earth
herself. She has been exploited beyond repair, and if we do not pay heed to her
distress signal, then another mass extinction is not far away. On this mother’s
day we need to act on her behalf and that too on a war footing.
Natural calamities are common and weather changes are unpredictable. Wild fires, thunderstorms and flood are occurring on an unprecedented scale and causing mass destruction. We talk and write a lot about curbing climate change and about recycling, reusing and reducing. We talk a lot about reducing carbon footprints. But we take little action.
Mother Earth knows about our indifference to the critical
issue, so she sent a kid. A Girl who speaks like no one else does and makes
every adult and kid sit up, and not just listens, but take action.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl, from Sweden, has become a global celebrity among the kids when she decided to school strike for climate change. In November 2018, she decided to bunk school and protest every Friday in front of the Swedish parliament so that action is taken to combat climate change. She wants the Swedish Government to reduce the Carbon Emission as per the Paris Agreement.
Greta is a special child. At the age of 11, she was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and selective mutism. And because of her condition, she speaks only when she needs to and she can see everything black and white. Experts say that since she is on the Autism spectrum she is obsessive and quite blunt on her views.
Greta knows the data of climate change by heart. She analysis and views the future crisis is a way that climate activists have never done so far.
She is from an illustrious family. Her grandfather and father are famous actors and mother a famous opera singer. She began her activism at home first. She made her family become vegan because having meat increases carbon footprints. She told her father that owning two homes increased carbon footprints. She made her family travel on foot or bicycle.
She avoids flights because air travel is the major cause of carbon footprints. Greta declined to receive an award because she had to board a flight to attend the award function. Her mother gave up her illustrious career because she had to travel frequently by flights.
Gretas strikes for climate change inspired children the world over. In December 2018, 20,000 children went on strike in 270 cities. Her action has made politicians say that kids have begun to protest because adults fail to respond to the dramatic changes in the climate. Her logic for evading classes for the cause in simple. She says that what is the use for the kids to study for a future which is not there unless action is taken to reduce carbon footprints drastically.
She says we have already exhausted the carbon footprints by 1987. Our budget on earth is over. We need to act fast. All the talks and studies have been done in plenty. What is now need is action.
Thousands of species are getting extinct each year because of climate change. We need to curb our Carbon footprints and take action to bring our Mother Earth back to life.
On this Mother Day we need to have more Greta’s to protect Mother Earth and all the Flora and Fauna.
Within a few weeks, India’s first Internet Car, MG Hector, specifically manufactured for the Indian Roads and Climatic conditions will be launched. A first of its kind, the brainy Car manufactured by MG Motors, a century-old Britsh Sports Car manufacturer, understands, commands and responds when you say something. In this age of Smart gadgets, the cars are becoming iSmart with this innovative connectivity technology.
The iSmart Next Gen Car provides an integrated solution in partnership with leading technological giants, Cisco, Microsoft, Adobe, Cognizant, Panasonic, Unlimit, Nuance, TomTom, Gaana, Accuweather, SAP and iTeligence. The iSmart consist of embedded connectivity solution, maps and navigation services, voice assistant, pre-loaded infotainment content, emergency and concierge services and built-in apps. It also supports OTA (Over the Air) updates.
The Head Unit
The 10.4″ Head Unit, is the largest in its category in any cars, and bigger than any tablets available in the market. The brain of the system is installed in this head unit. The unit is preloaded with an entertainment content which will be updated OTA (Over The Air).
iSmart Mobile App
Every MG Hector owner would get a downloaded iSmart App for their mobile phone. A number of actions can be carried out by the App: Fuel level and vehicle range. Lock and unlock status. Remotely switchonthe Climate control on the hot day when the car has been standing in the sun. Speed Alert Security Alert And many more features……………….
Hello MG: Voice Assist
MG Hector iSmart system comes with a cloud-enabled; AI-based Voice Assistance enabling over 100 voice commands to control the vehicle. These includes commands like “open sunroof”, “Climate Control”, “Open Window”, “Radio Control”, “search embedded songs” and “navigate to places”. Apart from accents, the system also recognised differences in semantics in speech.
E-Call: Safety and Security feature
MG cars come with an instant emergency response system. In case of an accident, if the airbags are deployed, E-call is automatically triggered. The information of the exact location of the occurrence is transmitted to the pulse hub team. They try to connect with the Head Unit, if there is no response they call the owners phone and in case there is no response they call the emergency contact number.
Music by Gaana
MG Hector is preloaded with Gaana App and premium account with ad-free music and download capability. The owner would get the largest collection of latest music, smart playlist and presonalised recommendations.
OTA (Over The Air) Updates
MG India is introducing OTA feature for the first time in India. This will make sure MG cars gets updated as and when new updates are available. Hence the system would get new look and themes periodically.
Developers and partners over time would be able to bring in many more features and services, unimaginable today. All available to MG car owners via a simple update.
Privacy and Cyber Security
Data related to driver and vehicle analytics will be stored locally in the Microsoft Azure Cloud DC in India. MG is working with Microsoft around the world to ensure the utmost standards of cybersecurity are available. #MGDriveIn
Many a time we know a melodious movie song by heart, but we do not know who sang the song. We watch a lot of Bollywood movies, and all we recognise are the actors. Most of the time we do not know who the singers or the directors of the movie. There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. We remember the actors we see, but do not remember the singers we hear.
Thanks to social media and Google, I discovered recently that many of the famous songs that we often keep humming were sung by Hema Sardesai. She has sung over 60 Bollywood songs and all of them were super hits. For instance Badal pe paon hai from Chak De India and Awara Bhanware an A R Rehman song.
She has got the rare accomplishment of singing the duet with top Bollywood superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Govinda and Salman Khan. One of the five songs she sang with Amitabh Bachchan is Chali Chali in Baghban. This years women’s day post is dedicated to Hema Sardesai because apart from being a prolific playback singer, she is also involved in many social causes like women empowerment and Save the Girl Child.
In 2017, She gave an audio interview for the Radio Playback India program Ek Mulakat Zaruri Hai. Here is an excerpt from the interview with Sajeev Sarathie:
How was the early stage of your singing career?
Those who work with principles and values will face difficulty in achieving anything in life. I consider my music a gift of God, and so I do not let any harm to happen to that gift. Besides, I believe in giving high status to women. Like in any other industry in the world some people see women as a sex object, and that happened with me also.
Whatever I achieved is because God wished that I achieved that in life. I have a struggled a lot in the industry. Initially, I walked out of every studio. I wanted my voice to reach everyone by doing what was righteous before God. Because God was with me, I could achieve something. I got the opportunity to sing with great singers like Sonu Nigam, Kuma Sanu, Shaan and Udit Narayanan. And by God’s grace, the more than 60 songs I have sung are all super hits.
What is the secret behind your Bubbly posture?
I give credit to my smiling face and energetic song performances to the blessings of my Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
How was you experience working with the music directors?
All of them know my mind. They knew that I will work only if I got respect. So wherever I went, I got respect.
Hema Sardesai made her American debut with an International single in English ‘Power of Love’.On this Women’s Day we wish her all the best for her future endeavours in Bollywood and Hollywood.
Thanks to Sajeev Sarathi for permitting to use the complete interview for this blog post.
The morning routine of most men hasn’t evolved to this day beyond shaving and washing face with the closest bar of soap. Time has come when changes must be made! Why? There are many reasons. First of all, skin is your biggest organ and if you want to look nice you should pay more attention to it. Other than that, well ladies love guys that look and smell fresh.
I know that you are not one of those guys that will spend two hours in front of the mirror, neither am I. During past few months I was checking for some grooming products for men that are easy to use, don’t take much time to apply or wash. Of course, you will be thanking yourself one day for actually doing something for yourself before it is too late.
Cleanser with Charcoal
The key ingredient in this cream is charcoal that is known to be one of the best absorbing materials. It is like a magnet that captures dirt from pores. Once you wash your face with it, you will have that squeaky clean feeling. A small package of this product will last you for a long time if it foams really well.
When your skin is full of dirt after a day out, workout outdoors or any other a bit more extreme situation you will need to pull cleanse properly. Exfoliating Scrub is amazing grooming product that will take care of anything. What is more important, it is great to use before shaving as it will clean dead cells from your face.
I have really sensitive skin so whenever I change my shaving cream I get a nasty rash. Anyway, a friend of mine was using a Shaving Cream and forced me to try it. Being a good friend, I just took it to prove that I’ll get a rash. First of all, to clear this up – no, there was no any kind of rash. Moreover, I was feeling amazing after shaving. The scent is so amazing that I had a feeling almost all day that I got my morning shave in some exclusive barber shop. This cream is not cheap but it is well worth every cent!
Post Shave Balm
For the past 5 years, I am using the same Post Shave Balm. It is a must for me. Its alcohol and fragrance-free balm with vitamin E and chamomile. As I said, I have a great difficulty keeping my skin rash free so I will recommend everyone to use it. In combination with my Shaving Cream, it works amazing. You won’t need anything more than this.
The anti-ageing serum is not a must for sure but when you decide to put a little effort to keep yourself clean and protected during the day. The cream that I use is clinically tested and proven to deliver anti-ageing results.
Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel for Men
We all know that amazing “racoon” morning look with black circles and puffy bags under eyes. In order to fix this issue, Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel with cooling effect is interesting grooming product that you should consider. It comes with a roller ball that helps with applying it around the eyes.
Beard Oil – Conditioner and Softener
If you have a beard, you really need to consider using a product that will keep it nice, straight and fragrant. Moreover, it will clean those nasty skin flakes. I use a beard oil which is suitable for all skin types as it comes with vitamin A, Jojoba Oil, Sandalwood Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil. It comes in a pretty small bottle but you will need just 2-4 drops of bear oil to make your beard softer and shinier.
We don’t live in a cave anymore. If you want to feel good and look good you need to take care of yourself. Self-confidence is the biggest problem for every modern man. By using grooming product for men that I have listed, you will not lose belly fat or be prettier but you will be more appealing for sure. So, next time when you take your date to a dinner and rise your wine glass you will be confident that you look best you can.
Emil Sipos is Google Analytics Certified webmaster, SEO specialist, professional blogger, knowledge seeker and passionate traveller. His current focus is on lifestyle, personal improvement, wine glasses and other things that can make his life better and more interesting.
Many styles divas this summer season was spotted in boho chic outfits– a combination of traditional and trendy, organic, colourful, printed, detailed, and folk-inspired garments with modern garments.
The bohemian/gipsy fashion look prominent in the 60’s and 70’s revives from time to time. Boho means the style drawing influence from the culture of the gipsies or bohemians who were travelling people, and ‘chic’ means elegance. After spending time and effort to mix and match the garment with the accessories – hats, boots, bandannas, necklace, ear rings and belts, a boho chic style exudes the feeling that you look chic in spite of hardly sparing any effort to look elegant.
Boho chic evolves every time it becomes a fashion trend, blending the latest trends and ethnic look with the funky, exotic, hippy style. This season the boho chic outfit is a combination of the ethnic with the modern wear – Palazzo Pants, Skirts, Dhotis worn in combination with Crochet Jackets, Blouse and Noodle Strap Tops.
Thea Porter the pioneer of boho chic style
Boho chic style was introduced by Thea Porter in the 1960’s during the time of economic woes. She had Beatles, Pink Floyd, Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway and Barbara Streisand as her customers. Her loose, draped shapes and fabrics have since become part of the style of stars. Her designs were inspired by her upbringing in the Middle East – Jerusalem, Beirut and Damascus, that also reflected in her love for antique materials like French Voiles, Ottoman velvets, Swiss chiffons, Indian handprints, Islamic embroidery and brocades of Damascus.
Keith Moss and Sienna Miller
After thriving as the style of the celebrities in the 60’s and the 70’s, the style was revived in 2005 by Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. They become synonymous with the boho chic look when they bohemian inspired on many public appearances.
How to achieve a boho chic style?
Boho Chic style reflects the personality – a nonconformist, and adventurous self, who wants to carve an individual identity. You can wear fluid clothes, long drapes or shirts with folk inspired motifs or colourful traditional prints. Team it with a boot and wear a lot of jewellery – large slouchy bags, sandals, beaded necklaces, drop earrings and colourful bangles. Keep the hair loose and wavy so that it appears like the hair has been undone. To get a complete boho chic like use a hat, a hairband, a scarf around the head or a turban.
Indian tradition inspired boho chic
In India, Boho Chic outfit is a popular trend with the celebrities and popularised among the consumers by boho chic brands like Global Desi by renowned designer entrepreneur Anita Dongre. Her boho chic garments are popular among college students and office goers who find the mix and matching style blend with the Indian culture as well as suit the global culture of the corporate workplaces. Anita Dongre’s collection includes block prints, Indian motifs and designs on ethnic wears like palazzos, Patiala, Churidars, shorts and long skirts. The Kurtas with ethnic design go very well trousers and jeans. An advocate of environment-friendly wears, she has brought a range of boho chic outfits using fluid fabric made from environment-friendly natural fibres.
Accessories an essential for the Boho look
The boho chic look is complete only with the right kind of accessories – large slouchy bags in folk designs, sandals, colourful necklaces, drop earrings and bangles with the ethnic design. The latest boho chic fashion is to keep the accessories, minimalist, whereby presenting the look of being boho chic while remaining rooted.
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.
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.
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.
Resists heat; provides Vitamin C and anti-oxidants; prevents Dehydration, diarrhoea, Indigestion and Constipation; an effective solution for Diabetes; checks Anemia and Improves digestion.
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.
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.
Gooseberry extract is rejuvenating and it is used as a remedy for jaundice, dyspepsia and cough.
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.
The ripe fruit keeps the body and mind cool, cures acidity also. It helps to improve the digestive system and controls diabetes.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
On Good Friday a 38 year old, obese, friend decided to fast by skipping breakfast and lunch. She ended up for the next 5 days in Intensive Care Unit of a hospital suspecting cardiac arrest. She vouched never to fast again. This was a unique experience for me as usually after religious fasts – fasting, prayer and denial of certain food – people say they feel better physically, mentally and spiritually. So I began the research to ascertain whether fasting is good or bad for health.
I discovered that fasting is not just a religious custom but the most ancient and cheapest form of treating diseases. Fasting Therapy is widely being accepted to drastically improve chronic and debilitating illness like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and diabetes. “Fasting is a simple, elegant therapy that has amazing medical benefits. It effectively treated high blood pressure, overcame Type II diabetes, consistently produced dramatic improvements in autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and provided effective relief for asthma attacks and migraine headaches.” says Michael Klaper, M.D. a gifted clinician, internationally recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health.
The cause of most of the diseases is the accumulation of excess and poisonous substance in the body. People, especially in the cities follow a sedentary lifestyle and consume excess food resulting in overburdening the digestive system. By staying away from food for a few days the elimination system in the body removes the poisonous substances accumulated inside. Read this post to find out knee replacement can be avoided by ayurveda.
Fasting sounds like an easy home remedy, because most people skip breakfast as part of dieting. Fasting however should be taken only for a certain duration of time, under professional guidance. Fasting for a prolonged period can be dangerous, so before fasting you must know the benefits and procedure of fasting. And also you must know when to fast, how to break the fast and when not to.
Only a well-experienced doctor, who uses fasting therapy as a treatment, can provide answer to the queries. So I had an interview with Dr. Matthew Brennecke, MS, ND, a board certified naturopathic doctor, in Colorado, who prefers fasting therapy to pharmaceutical medication for his patients. Here is the interview with the doctor :
Only a well-experienced doctor, who uses fasting therapy as a treatment, can provide answer to the queries. So I had an interview with Dr. Matthew Brennecke, MS, ND, a board certified naturopathic doctor, in Colorado, who prefers fasting therapy to pharmaceutical medication for his patients. Here is the interview with the doctor :
What are the benefits of fasting?
There are a lot of benefits to fasting. It gives the vital organs complete rest. It stops the intake of foods that decompose in the intestines and poison the body. It empties the digestive tract and disposes of putrefactive bacteria. It gives organs of elimination an opportunity to catch up with their work and further promote elimination. It re-establishes normal physiological chemistry and normal secretions. It promotes the break down and absorption of exudates, deposits, effusions, diseased tissue, and abnormal growths. It permits the conservation of energy. It clears and strengthens the mind. It improves function throughout the body. It can restore a youthful condition of the cells and tissue, which rejuvenates the body.
Does it cure any disease?
But it doesn’t cure anything. Curing is possible,but it takes work and you can start by exercising and putting the right foods in your mouth.
Does fasting mean abstaining from food for a certain time?
Not only is there quite a bit of confusion regarding fasting, but there are also many fasts to choose from. Are you going to water fast, juice fast, do a master cleanse, etc.? Which one is right for you? This usually depends on the disease we may be using it for. Oftentimes, we choose fasting as options to decrease symptoms experienced by the patient when it comsto IBS, arthritis, thrombophlebitis, or skin afflictions. But, we have to be careful to avoid starvation, in which vital organs can be broken down for proteins, unmonitoredketosis, which results from the breakdown of fat, or electrolyte imbalances,which can cause a whole host of issues. If we want an opportunity to cure any of our chronic disease, we needto start making the right choices when it comes to diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.
What are the procedures to begin and break the fast?
(I’m a little uncomfortable answering this procedure question because if it is printed, it might encourage people to start a fast on their own without consulting a doctor beforehand). I can say that when breaking a fast, do it slowly. It usually takes about 4 days to get back to eating normally. Usually starts with vegetables, then adding in fruit, then small portions of regular meals, then can start eating normally on fourth day. The longer you fast, the longer it takes to break the fast. This is where the doctor needs to be on-board. These 4 days of breaking the fast is some of the hardest and vital parts of the fast as it is slowly introducing food back in the system. The most important thing is to no overeat when the fast is over.
Can a person undergoing medication take a fast?
This depends on the medication. Most medications will be fine to fast with, but there are instances where taking medication while fasting is very dangerous and could be deadly. For instance, taking insulin for diabetes while fasting could result in hypoglycemia, which can cause dizziness, unconsciousness, or even death. I have to emphasize that seeing a doctor before starting a fast is vitally important.
How much awareness do general public have about fasting therapy?
Not much awareness at all. Most people don’t fast or even understand why someone would fast, but they also don’t realize the benefits that can be had from fasting. Fasting is an underutilized therapy that has the ability to help the patient feel better in the long run. But, then again, fasting also puts stress on the body in not having easily accessible nutrients flowing through the gut at all times.
Do people come to you asking for fasting therapy or you recommend it?
Both. Most of the time I recommend it because it has the ability to help the patient out. But, I always do a physical exam, run blood labs, and take into account the patient’s general constitution before I make the suggestion. If the patient is emaciated, I don’t recommend fasting. If the patient has any extreme weakness or degeneration, I don’t recommend fasting. If the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, I don’t recommend fasting. If the patient is low count in basic blood labs, I don’t recommend fasting. If the patient is elderly or pregnant or a child, I don’t recommend fasting. If the patient has problems with their nervous system or heart disease or difficulty breathing, I don’t recommend fasting.
Can an obese person of 40 yr, who has never fasted, successfully undergo fasting therapy?
Yes, but as stated above, the proper blood labs and physical exam must be done beforehand to determine whether this person is a candidate for fasting therapy. There are many instances where middle-aged obese people have great success in fasting and reap some incredible benefits. They can lose a significant amount of weight within days of starting a fast. But, it does take the patient’s dedication to endure the fast. Fasting can be extremely difficult for people, especially the first few days. You oftentimes feel like you’re starving, get dizzy, have low energy, get headaches, but those feeling do pass most of the time by the third day.
About the Doctor
Dr. Matthew Brennecke, MS, ND is a board certified naturopathic doctor practicing at the Rocky Mountain Wellness Clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. He prefers using natural therapies to pharmaceutical medication when possible, so as to limit side effects to treatment and sees a variety of patients with a range of chronic conditions. He can be reached at Twitter@RockyDocFOCO or on Rockymountaindoc@yahoo.com
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,…….
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.
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.
Crushed pepper with honey gives immunity against a cough and cold.
In the winter season if you take a spoonful of honey every day you can prevent a cough and nasal blocks.
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).
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.
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.
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, ……..