Showing posts from February, 2014

Indoor green- Health Book Day 53

My hometown (Dehradun) where I grew up is a beautiful green place surrounded by hills and clouds. In spite of living in a house on first floor,
we never had a dearth of plants as my mother nurtured lot of plants in terrace, balcony and entire staircase. I missed the natural beauty when I came to Delhi. With changing lifestyles and shrinking spaces, houses do not have gardens or lawns anymore. I so wanted greenery around me.

On my last birthday when two of my close friends asked me what I wanted as birthday present, I bluntly demanded for indoor plants. They counteracted it with their frowns and even tempted me with gifts other than plants. I did not budge. They thought I was crazy. At last I got 2 beautiful indoor plants as my birthday presents!
Why indoor plants? Well they have several benefits that you might not have been aware of. The benefits cover a spectrum from physically cleaner air to direct beneficial effects on psychological health, task performance, illness reduction and …

The Beet Treat- Health Book -Day 34

Often my mom prepared vegetable soup with a good amount of beetroot in it. The soup looked red..blood red! I used to be scared of consuming the veg soup thinking that she would mix chicken or some nasty non veg piece in it. Since I am the only vegetarian in my family, they regularly conspired by disguising non veg in veg dishes. However, my fears for the red-blooded soup vanished soon as I learnt about beetroot's properties and later the benefits. My dad had a stroke few years ago. The doctor suggested beetroot soup. Why? because it helps in lowering blood pressure. Beetroot is a great source of nitrates, which is converted to nitrites and a gas called Nitric oxides. These components help to widen the arteries and lower blood pressure!Beetroot contains large amount of soluble fibers, flavanoids and betacyanin. The latter gives beetroot its red color and is a powerful antioxidant thatreduces cholesterol and does not allow it to deposit on the walls of the artery. Hence making your …

The Papadum Show- Health Book: Day 52

The crispy, crunchy snack is a store house of benefits, which many are not aware of. As a child I loved the fried papad served with Khichri or during evening snacks. Now when I am on the healthy track, I was taken aback by what I researched on Papad. No, don’t mistake me for a PhD holder in papad, but I am only adding value to your healthy life style.
Papad is made of lentils or chickpea flour, hence it is a healthy thing to consume. However, the way you cook it, gives direction to the nutrition of the same. Many people deep fry it (Like my my Mom did when I was young). Refrain from deep frying that kills the nutrients of papad and adds cholesterol. The healthiest way of preparing is to roast it on stove or microwave it. Papad is very low on fatty acid and cholesterol. Hence recommended for heart patients or those on dieting plan.It is high in carbohydrates hence a rich source of energy for daily activities or exercising.Papad has dietary fiber content that can reduce your risk of car…

Breathe happy- Health Book: Day 51

Have you ever wondered why do people have fresh flowers with a nice fragrance in their rooms? Why are wedding spots showered with scented flowers and petals? Why are aromatic oils used in massage or spa therapy? Well, fragrance plays a great role in our lives. Let me share few shocking revelations of importance of aroma or fragrance in our lives.
Insomnia and stress with fragrance of lavender, vanilla, coffee and roses- Of late, I had been complaining of insomnia. Not that I am writing this post because I found a solution to it, but because while researching on the aspects of fragrance, I chanced upon various benefits of fragrance. Treating insomnia was just one of them.
It is said that the smell of lavender can help to treat insomnia, anxiety, stress, and post-operative pain. Aromatherapy with lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift mood in people suffering from sleep disorders. This is one of the reasons why spas use …

Toast to roast- Health Book :Day 50

Did you know that roasted grams or bhuna chana has several benefits that can meet the deficiencies of your body? Don't tell me that you didn't know that! Okay you can raise a toast to the healthy roast then :-) Well, roasted gram or bhuna chana is a healthy snack for everybody. Why should you eat roasted grams, let me cite few reasons in my Year Health Book -
It is an outstanding source of manganese, folate and protein ,copper, phosphorous and iron. I really don't need to quote the benefits of these minerals for you, however let me do that for few of them.
-Maganese contributes to formation of bones, blood sugar control and production of collagen in skin.
-Folate aids fetal development in pregnant woman's womb, production of red blood cells, controls heart diseases and reduces depression.
-Phosphorus forms healthy bones & teeth, improves digestion and helps the body absorb Vitamin B.
-Roasted grams have loads of dietary fiber which and this helps prevent constipat…

The serious most condition

It was way back in 2004 when I was pursuing bachelor degree and was very new in the capital city of Delhi. Life in a metro for a new comer is always difficult. However, thanks to my two other roommates Divya and Swati, from my hometown Dehradun, who cushioned my life with their warmth through my thick n thins. Not that I liked warm weather, but life was easy with them amid all struggle & problems. And the biggest problem in our life was our landlady.
A middle aged lady with 2 kids and husband working in a different city, had rented the house’s 1st floor to three of us. However, little did we know that she had decided to screw our peace of mind. Since all three of us (Divya, Swati and I) worked in night shifts, we routinely returned home in the wee hours of the morning. The house had a common entrance which became a big setback for us. Initially the house owner agreed to the terms and conditions of our working hours. She happily unbolted the gate for us initially, within the first…

Condition Serious?

The hostel was immersed in dark apart from the porch light at the hostel entrance near the reception. It was 3 am by the clock. I felt thirsty and woke up to refill my water bottle. It was a pleasant April night and Bangalore has always been known for it's lovely weather. We were through with our 2nd semester exams two weeks ago and all of us were relaxed, looking forward to some newness and fun. We had been 'promoted' as 'seniors' and officially possessed the licence of ragging freshers! Alright, lets not call it ragging, because it was banned in college. We called it "Interaction with juniors".
When Smita was missing I dragged myself to the refrigerator with eyes half open, only to realize that Smita, my room mate was missing from the room. I rubbed my eyes to get a better view of her bed.
"Shit!" my heart skipped a beat. "Where the hell had she vanished at this odd hour? Ghosts wont do that. Did the bed swallow her?" I murmured to m…

Wrist 'watch'- Health Book Day 44

Do you work out on the entire body but your wrists show thin and weak? Ah! This holds true especially for those who don not do weight training or are more focused into abdominal exercise. I am no different. I was fully focused on cardio and abs exercise with least or no efforts on my wrists, resulting which they appear thin and weak.

Sharing few exercises my gym coach taught me to build strength in wrists.

1. Wrist circles : Warm up with rolling your wrists. Make a fist with both hands and slowly make a circular motion in one direction a few times, then switch to counterclockwise. Repeat the process with both the hands.

2. “Jingle the” dumb bell: The lightest weight of the gym for women and beginners is ideal to start. All you need to do is rest your elbows on a flat hard surface and hold dumb bells with palms facing ground. Without moving your arms, move your wrists up and down in a slow motion. Reverse the position of your wrists and roll your wrists up and down with the dumb bell i…

Where does heaven exist? (Guest Post)

This is a guest post from a budding poet Sumit. Sumit Chaudhary who writes under the pen-name "Armitunum" is pursuing his Bachelor Degree from IIT Kharagpur.  Apart from writing he has keen interest in music and plays piano. His poems and short stories are very simple, articulate and inexorable.
I interacted with him on a forum in Facebook and was surprised to see pure and poetic thoughts in a young person like him. Perhaps it is the IIT that makes him serious? Just kidding! Reach him at and
This is a touching poem titled "Where does heaven exist" by Amritunum

I don't know why Maa went there, I miss her more and much and more today, Mumma please come back here, I need you right away.
Does heaven have a phone number? Or its way goes through platform 9-3/4? Is it in books made of ivy timber?
Or is it somewhere deep down my floor? If it has a phone number how many digits is it? Will it be an international call or …

Cornot Snack- Health Book- Day 43

"Let's go for coffee!"
"Lets have tea and biscuits"!!!
"How about cold drink and bread pakoda"?
I grew tired of listening to my energetic colleagues during every break that we take. While I had shunned unhealthy eating a long time back, it becomes difficult to keep the temptations under control. I chalked out an easy way for these tea/coffee breaks. Instead of throwing trash in my body, I'd rather eat something healthy and nutritious. And this is what I made- Cornot Salad! Wondering what it is? It is a mixture of corns and carrots, the term Cornot was of course devised by me!
Method- Pressure cook a cup of corns. (Corns are easily available in Safal/Mother dairy stores and even with the local vegetable vendors)
Chop 1 medium or 2 small sized carrots.
Squeeze lemon juice and add chaat masala. Cornot You can make the mixture and store in refrigerator overnight. Carry it to your office next day and enjoy a healthy snack. I certainly don't need to …

Poetry- Guest post

Meet Andrew Alpin,born and brought up in Kolkata, loves music and to read books on philosophy and occult. His love for mountains brought him to Darjeeling where he stayed for 6 years. Now works as a restaurant manager and a part time web content specialist in Kolkata. He has been writing poetry since the age of 19. Inviting him for a guest post was a great experience. You can reach him at or get in touch with him through his FB profile
Can you imagine somebody writing such beautiful verses of poetry in childhood? I was very young when this poem was written.  Read two verses penned by Andrew in 1989 and 1990. 
Wind on the ridge
Wind on the ridge Blowing strong and free I hear your mighty voice Roaring through the trees Wind on the ridge You shall not seem to mind Each time I cross these rocky paths My spirit I come to find 1989
Pain Life is weary And living is full of pain Like a tired flower all withered I long for t…

10 reasons to have Green Tea- Year Health Book: Day 42

Originated in China, Green Tea was used to heal wounds and control bleeding. The practice continued in Chinese medicine and later in traditional Indian medical science too. Just like the difference between white bread and brown bread, green tea happens to be better than black tea pertaining to the processing. Green lea is not fermented unlike black tea hence retaining the antioxidants  and other beneficial properties. A cup of green tea can give you several benefits like no other thing. For some, green tea tastes bad. However, green tea is a powerhouse for you. 
Sharing 10 reasons why should you have green tea- Prevents Cancer- The natural chemicals of green tea, called polyphenols provide anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. Research shows that green tea drinkers compared with non-drinkers are less likely to develop pancreatic cancer, particularly in women. Reduces Cholesterol- Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to ba…

De stress with SPA- Year Book, Day 39

Amidst my daily exercises, yoga and healthy diet, I suddenly came across something that I had never tried before. It was an amazing Spa therapy! I had always been apprehensive about getting a spa done pertaining to the odd stories heard from many. Secondly, I never had a chance to experience wellness through spa. This one just fitted the picture so well.

Located in the main market of Delhi’s South Ex-2, Four Fountain Spa, specializes in massage and spa therapies. You can rejuvenate yourself while de-stressing and healing by the physiotherapy way. “Touch therapy” has been known and practiced in India since ages. Four Fountain Spa helps you feel de-stressed by working on the points of your body. I opted for half an hour foot-reflexology to awaken my tired legs.

The ambiance takes away half of your stress. The moment you enter the place, the soft lights, the sweet aroma, the comfortable seating arrangement and unique aesthesis, instantly have a soothing effect on you.  The friendly staff i…

Destress thyself- Health Book Day 38

Exercise, coupled with good nutritious diet is the key to a healthy body and mind. We don’t have open space to walk around. We stay in high rise apartments with every item that makes life comfortable. But does that make life healthy? Even if we have space, we don’t have the time to utilize it. We seem to be on our toes always. After returning home from a tiring day at work, 90% people don’t feel like exercising. Either they would be too tired, lazy or stressed out. Alright then, if you fall in the above category, these exercises are you-
Practice deep breathing or Bhastrika- Sit in padmasan (lotus pose), bring the tip of your index finger and thumb together and place your hands on your knees, palms facing up. Arms should be straight. Close your eyes and inhale slowly. Hold your breath for 4-5 seconds and exhale slowly but deeply. Repeat the entire process 3 times. Then inhale exhale deeply with full force. Repeat 5 times. While exhaling, imagine your fatigue and negativity flushing ou…

Back ache? Health Book- Day 37

Recap- Yesterday was Dhanuraasan (The bow pose). Read the full post here- Today is a simpler one, named Bhujangaasan or the Cobra Pose. This is a back bend that stretches muscles on the front of the torso and strengthens your arms and shoulders. This is also a part of the sun salutation (Surya Namaskaar) sequence.

Step 1- Lie face down on the floor on yoga mat with your palms flat, placed beneath your shoulders. The tops of your feet should be flat on the floor. Step 2- Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders and brush your elbows against your rib cage. Close your eyes and inhale slowly. Feel the stability in your pelvis, thighs and tops of your feet.  Exhale gradually before opening your eyes. Step 3- As you inhale, steadily straighten your arms and lift your chest from the floor. Do not fully straighten them as if may feel uncomfortable. Extend through and deepen your stretch to create an even arc in your back. Step 4- Push your upper body off the floor…