Thursday, 29 September 2016

Listen To Your Heart

From the moment our heart begins to beat, it becomes our constant companion for the rest of our lives. However we seldom take any care of the organ that beats for us 24X7.Little do we realize that all it takes is a few #ChhoteKadam to keep it up to 50% healthier.

When life gets busy, prioritizing your health is a must..
6 Common Unhealthy Eating Habits that come in the way of keeping our heart healthy are.
Eating in front of the TV or computer
Eating when you are stressed, depressed or in a rush
Dining out (especially late dining)
Going grocery shopping while you’re hungry
Not being cautious of servings and portion sizes
Rewarding yourself with food

We put our jobs and other related commitments first, rather than health. We need to understand that our health is a priority and if we do not keep ourselves healthy, then we won’t be able to enjoy with our family and keep up with work targets. Goals should be realistic and fit into your lifestyle.

Eating Better so that the heart stays healthier.
Try healthy substitutes.
Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter. Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt. Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying, instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk. Prepare vegetables, eat a balanced meal. Eating your veggies will ensure you get the nutrients you need and will help fill you up so you don’t overload on the foods your body needs less of, such as rolls, stuffing and pie.

Staying Active is a very important step to keep your heart healthy.
Increase physical activity. Go for a family walk after each meal or gathering. Play catch with your kids. Take just 40 minutes for yourself and go to the gym to release endorphin's your body needs to stay healthy. Keep stress to a minimum. Plan ahead  with time management. Focus on one thing at a time.
Taking  out time to relax. Get enough sleep. Quality of sleep can impact your hearts health. Life is a balancing act, but your health should always come first. Now is the time to build heart-healthy habits. That means living a healthy lifestyle, including eating healthy, getting lots of physical activity and a full night’s sleep. Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the arterial walls. Learn helpful stress management techniques for you to reduce stress at work or to reduce stress at home in order to soothe your mind and body. These techniques include deep breathing exercises, daily meditation and finding time each day to do something you enjoy. Find physical activities you enjoy and stick with them. Jogging and yoga are great activities to keep you heart healthy. Regular heart screenings are important for maintaining a healthy heart.
Being Happy is also important for the well being of your heart.
Being Happy enhances the quality of you life and makes the heart healthier.
Just like food is a necessity in our life so is “Being Happy”
We must make an effort to stay in a happy state of mind. If we are happy then we are positive and this gives our immune system a boost. It increases our disease fighting capability.
Things that can do to be and remain happy are as follows.
List the things that give you happiness
It could reading, going out with friends, Playing a musical instrument, taking part in dramatics or theatre or any other activity that involves you positively and gives an outlet for your emotions to keep you happy.


 “I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association with BlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.”

Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji so it needs #ChhoteKadam Initiative

Hey is that not a phrase from a popular song? Yes it is but in a lot of ways our Heart needs to be taken care of like a child is taken care of by the parents.You need just three small steps or  #ChhoteKadam to make your heart 50% healthier.
Why do I say this?
Before I answer that let me tell you what does the heart do for you.
To begin with it starts beating for you even before you are born. It keeps pumping oxygen rich blood to every part of your body so that it can function properly.
It works even when you sleep.
Every time we are angry, excited,stressed, afraid on in a pressure situation the Adrenalin levels in our Blood rises and our heart begins to work that much harder.
In fact it works relentlessly throughout our lives and what do we give it?
1) We make it overworked by remaining stressed all the time.
When we are running the rat race of life running after dead lines and getting more stressed. Even being stuck in traffic jams adds to our stress levels and the brunt of all that is borne by our heart.
As our stress levels are high we are more stressed and our breathing gets shallow. Less oxygen gets into our system and we get feel tired and fatigued.
To top it we lead a sedentary lifestyle. We do not exercise and simply slump on to the couch and watch TV. To make things even worse instead of taking a healthy diet we gorge on junk food. Our regular and healthy hunger has taken a hit due to our craving for processed foods that are high in fats, sugars and are unhealthy for our bodies and heart. It is a vicious cycle. We are stressed so we just sit idle doing nothing .Then to feel better we fill our tummies with junk food that is neither good for our body nor our heart. It raises our LDL Cholesterol levels and all this leads to deposits in our arteries and thickening them this leads to hypertension and heart related complications. This increases our stress level further and the vicious cycle is repeated.

So the simplest thing that we can do is remain happy and cheerful.Happiness increases our positivity and our positive attitude leads to happiness.When we are happy our body functions better. Think of all those things or activities that give you happiness and make them an integral part of your daily routine. By doing so you are doing a great service to your heart. These activities can be like going out with your family on outings. Following a hobby. It can be anything that is close to your heart and gives you happiness.You may not be a great singer but still singing for yourself is a great therapy and keeps you happy.

Our body is a self repairing machine. The moment it finds the stress and strain levels going down the body's repair mechanism gets triggered. It boosts the bodies immunity system and prepares us better for a future stressful situation.

A very simple way to help our heart is a stress free brisk morning walk in the morning. The morning breeze is oxygen rich and refreshing and a walk in the park lowers our stress levels and puts us in a healthier frame of mind to face the day ahead. Going for a jog can do wonders for your health and the heart.
Do you know a long relaxing shower can be a great stress buster.
Spending time with a pet or pursuing a hobby or listening to soothing music can do wonders for your heart and health. A 20 minute daily exercise regime, yoga deep breathing and Pranayama are the must do things to take care of our hearts and health.

Eating healthy diets and at regular intervals goes a long way in helping our heart. Replace the processed foods and junk foods with fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, Pulses and other sources of protein like milk and dairy products can do wonders for our heart and health.

 The simple and basic #ChhoteKadam of "Stay Active" ,"Eat Better" and "Be Happy" are decisive steps in the direction of a healthy heart.

 “I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association with BlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.”

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Shop Till You Drop in Jaipur

Jaipur is a mix of the old and the new, traditional as well as modern. On one side there are the glitzy malls and on the other side the traditional bazaars where the locals as well as the tourist can shop till they drop.Here you would find plenty of traditional designs and ethnic color schemes.
My search for authentic Rajasthani designs and traditional leharia work led me to Bapu Bazaar Jaipur.

It is a market made with the traditional pink stones that gives Jaipur its name.
Standing at the entrance I wonder from where to  start shopping as the market is lined with shops selling all kinds of things from traditionally designed Saris for the women to finely crafted jackets for the men.
After comparing the rates and the designs I head towards a shop with the most exhaustive designs and very reasonable pricing.
I am here to buy a Sari for my mom and my second stop would be bangles and foot wear for my sister.
I begin to see the Sari's. Each one is more beautiful than the earlier one.
The shop keeper painstakingly shows, opens and displays each saree one after the other. Every time he does that a plethora of traditional designs and color combination flash before my eyes.
After every display He asks me if he should add the Sari to the shortlisted set of garments? So that I may make a final selection later on.

Now I find this to be a very difficult question to answer for each garment is like a piece of art vying for my attention and I am finding it increasingly difficult to pick one over the other.
I came to this shop with the idea of picking up one Sari but refusing so many beautiful garments is going to be a very difficult task. The Shopkeeper is very patient and helps me go through the short listed set of Sarees . The list has come down to over 25 Sarees. I must admit it has been a brutal decision to pick these and leave the others out .
This shop has a very fine collection of garments. I take a break and look around. They have bed sheets and spreads. Children's garments and traditional suits for ladies
Then my eyes got fixed on a beautiful Lehnga  and I begin to think this would be perfect for my sister.
The choice of Lehnghas are fit for a princess or perhaps a new bride.

 After this refreshing break I get back to work that is to reduce my set of selected sarees further down. I try very hard and trim my selection down to 10.
I do not have the heart or the energy to further reduce the number of sarees so instead of one I ended up buying ten !
I try to reason with my self that one does not come to Jaipur every day and  this wide collection of garments would be hard to find elsewhere.
Since the quality is good and the prices are reasonable I have every reason to complete the purchase.
Before I make the final purchase and leave my eyes get fixed on a traditional bright jacket . Though bright red is not my color and I have never tried it but what is the harm in trying it?
So I give it a try and Hey ! I seem to like it
So it gets added to my list of purchased items.
I ask the shopkeeper where can I find traditional  bangles for my sister and luckily the shop just adjutant to his sells all kinds of bangles.

That is not all a guy is selling the traditional foot wear as well.
Shopping for footwear completes my shopping for the day.
Before I leave I have to note the shopkeepers address so that on my next visit to Jaipur I can do some more shopping.
I can vouch for the designs and pricing. As for the quality the sarees after several uses and regular washing and dry-cleaning are going strong so are certainly made up of high quality material
This is a must visit shop in Bapu Bazaar and within its compound one can get ample variety of not just garments but also bangles and foot wear .

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Let us Live it up before we die

The Story starts with the words 


So it sets me thinking so someone has decided to kill oneself OMG! But then the mind begins to reason . The narrative starts with Dear world so the person writing these lines has still some emotional bonding left with the world why else would he address the world as “Dear World” ? Perhaps this person may not kill himself immediately. Hope that some good sense prevails or some help reaches him to prevent him from taking such a drastic step.
Such is the narrative of the story telling .It is gripping to tell the least. As the story progresses it progresses through the 31 chapters that are very well written. One is always involved with the 4 main characters Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani. It is hard not to relate to the highs and the lows of their lives.
As the story progresses it unfolds a tale of love, passion, revenge and deceit . I often felt that I am not reading a story but watching a movie for the story is fast paced. The author does not waste time in unnecessary detail perhaps it is the style of the author Sriram Ayer.
The narrative unfolds like a powerful screenplay where the most powerful scenes have been retained that tell the story of the lives of Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani as it unfolds in the backdrop of a college campus. Their lives have the fair share of sorrows & joys. All along there is an underlying melancholy that keeps building up the tension. Perhaps as a reader one can feel what the protagonists are going through. They all have reasons to live and sometimes reasons to die but one of them succumbs to the pressure of life and its stresses and calls it quits.Who did it is not something I am going to write here and spoil the interest of the readers .Instead I would share a gripping section of the story that made me think am I actually reading a story or watching the narrative unfold in the form of a film.
There is an instance in the story where the author in one of the chapters “CAESAR MEETS DRAUPADI” uses the words...

I begin to wonder have we not all experienced this emotion at some point or the other?
So what sets those apart who survive and move on to live another day versus those who quit and decide to end their lives?

There is a role play in this part of the story between Charu who plays Draupadi and a person who plays Caesar.
They have both lived their eventful lives and awaiting judgment near the Pearly gates.
I begin to wonder life is beautiful and Death is the ultimate truth but why shorten it by suicide. After we die ,all the hard work that we have done goes to waste. The grades that we have earned are of no use nor is the money that we have made. We would no longer be able to enjoy the company of our loved ones nor any worldly pleasures. So why quit? Let us live life to the fullest.

So what is my advise to everyone?
For one this is my survival guide that I use all the time
1) I keep telling myself that life is like an ice cream eat it before it melts. There is so much in this life that is enjoyable so we must make the most of all there is to enjoy. The nature, fresh cool breeze, the sunrises and the sunsets ,the chirping of the birds are all the simple joys of life. At times our day to day stresses get to us and we forget to enjoy this ice cream called life.
2) Life is like a pressure cooker. It is and I do not deny it. But just like the pressure cooker has a system to release the steam and a safety valve in case things go wrong. Similarly even we should have a safety mechanism. It could be a daily routine of yoga and breathing exercises.
3)Share your feelings with trusted close friends, siblings and parents who are our support system and the gas (read stress) release mechanism.
4) Always remember that death is inevitable and there is no escaping it but there is so much of life left to be lived before we die. For once we are dead and gone we cannot come back. Cannot spend time with friends, parents, loved ones, not eating of favorite food ,no ice creams !
5) In case you feel like killing yourself then talk to a counselor.
6)There are sucide helplines where you can call and talk to a person who would listen to you and who can actually HELP you.
7) It is a good idea to get in a positive frame of mind to do this
list all the positive things and joyous moments of your life
make a list of people who care for you and a list of people you care about go and spend time with them.
8) Remember life is not a rat race. There is so much more to it . Spend time with people you can confide in, your family and friends who understand you.
9) If you fell the pressure is perpetually there to kill yourself due to situations that are beyond your control get to talk to a councilor.
10) There are self help groups which one can join and under the guidance of a trained person one can learn to come out of a difficult situation of life ALIVE.