Watermelon Mocktail

This summer who is your favorite Hero or who are you fan of?
On this Foodie Saturday, let me confess that I am a big fan of this green, fat, round- round fellow, Mr. Watermelon.
He is simply amazing with it’s refreshing sweetness, rich burst of color, powerful health benefits, awesome flavor, and stimulating taste. Not only that, he adds brightness to your plate and reboost your body with antioxidant, fiber and Vitamins.

You all must be certainly enjoying its juice, but let us add something more, and turn it out into an interesting mocktail.

But before that let me tell you more about my hero, Mr. Watermelon.

A. It prevents dehydration, as made up of 92% of water.
B. It relieves muscle soreness due to amino acid present in it.
C. It keeps blood pressure low because  of pottasium in it.
D. It is very good for kidney and eyes.
E. It prevents asthma due to vitamin C and other nutrients.
F. It provides high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
G. It is boon for skin and hair as it contains Vitamin A.
H. It helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a heavy digestive tract,  because of its water and fibre content.

Ok, now let me share this felicitous drink with you.

Watermelon Mocktail

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Ingredients (for 6) :
8 cups seedless watermelon cubes
6tsp honey
1 lemon juice
1 cup water
2 cup club soda
Ice
Mint sprigs

Method:
Blend the watermelon in a mixer jar with some crushed ice, mint sprig and water in it.
Add lemon juice.
Add club soda for the fizz.
Serve chilled by decorating some mint sprig on the top.
You can strain the juice, but I avoid straining to retain the fiber.

It is one of the delicious mocktail and you will also agree after tasting it.
Let me know whether I am veracious or not. ☺

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LUCY (poem)

I am a learner. I learn something from anything, anytime and anywhere. And the best thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
While staying in Amarkantak, on a very chilled winter night, I wrote this poem.
Few puppies with their mother, homeless, without food, shivering in cold, taught me the harsh reality of life, taught me the value of tears, taught me the meaning of hunger and taught me the importance of a shelter.
Sharing with you my poem, “Lucy”, on this poetic Friday.

लुसी

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लुसी
और उसके पाँच बच्चे,
ठंड़ मे कंपकंपाते,
एक आशियाना तलाशते

किसी झाड़ी के नीचे,
किसी कुड़ेदान के पीछे,
एहसानों तले पलते,
वक्त के साथ खुद को ढलते

मासूम आँखें,
निरीह, अबोध,
हर रोटी के टुकड़े के लिए तरसते,
आपस मे मिल बाँट कर खाते

छोटी सी दुम को हिलाते,
आखों से विश्वास छलकाते,
अपनापन की साकार मूर्ति,
सच्चाई की वह जीवन्त कृति

आधी रात को करूण रूदन से,
अन्तर्मन को झकझोर कर,
उनके आंसुओं की मोल से,
सत्य को तोल कर

मैंने ,
जीवन के सत्य को पहचाना,
आंसुओ के मोल को पहचाना,
भूख के एहसास को पहचाना,
आशियाने के अर्थ को पहचाना।।

Prithvi Mudra

Here we are, with our next Mudra, on Yogi Thursday and that is the Prithvi Mudra.
Life is beautiful and one needs the proper attitude to realize it. Mudras like the Gyan Mudra, Prithvi Mudra and Prana Mudra  help in building a positive attitude.

Originated in India, Mudras have lived with us thousands of years through gestures performed during worship and Sandhya Vandana. Various Indian dance forms are also replete with silent eloquence of Mudra. If dance is the language, Mudras  are its words.

Prithvi  Mudra

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Prithvi Mudra is a practical kind of Mudra. It has two benefits at the same time. It increases earth element and decreases fire element. It is the only Mudra that has this kind of properties.

Formation:
Join the tip of the ring finger with the tip of thumb.

Other names:
Prithvi – vardhak Mudra
Agni – shamak Mudra

How it works:
The ring finger represents Earth element and thumb represents Fire element.
The Earth element is an important part of bodily tissues like bones, cartilage, skin, hair, nail, flesh, muscles, tandons, internal organs etc.
The Agni element is related to body temperature and metabolism.
Since the elements fire and earth have qualities opposed to each other, Prithvi Mudra when formed cools the body and reduces the fire and helps overcome disorders of fever and inflammation.

Benefits:
1. Treats lack of stamina or endurance.
2. Chronic fatigue, general debility and convalescence can be overcome.
3. Osteoporosis, diminished bone density and rickets can be cured.
4. Degeneration of articular cartilage is treated.
5. Brittle nails are set right.
6. Fever is pacified.
7. Ulcers in the mouth is cured.
8. Burning sensation in eyes, stomach acidity, hands or feet is pacified.
9. Enhances vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K.
10. Treats emaciation and weight loss.
11. Hair loss and premature greying of hair can treated.
12. Makes the mind generous.
13. It makes one feel happy and contented.
14. Complextion of the skin radiates with health.

Precaution :
If you are a Kapha prakruti (suffer from cold and cough) person, then do this Mudra in moderation only.

Time Duration:
You can practice it anytime you want. It has no particular time duration, but 15 minute thrice a day is the ultimate.

Speciality:
It reduces all physical weakness.

So here we go, start practicing and let me know how it is helping you.

The Awakening (story)

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The IIT campus had witnessed many love stories, but Kirti and Yash were known as the best couple, the love birds.
Final year was the peak anxiety time, all were waiting for the best companies to come for campus selection. Kirti and Yash were the luckiest one, both got selected by Google(the dream company of many).
Life was so blessed, smooth and easy. Kirti was the only child of her parents, very beautiful, intelligent and smart.  Her bob cut hair suited her personality.
Yash’s father was a Jamindar in one of the villages of UP (Jamindari pratha still exists in many villages there).
Kirti’s parents also liked this humble, good natured Yash. Her mother was a little upset with the fact that it will be an intercaste marriage, but later she accepted it too.
One day Kirti came back from office looking very tired and bit upset.
She came and sat with her father and said,” Papa, there is something to share with you.”
Her father turned and said,” Tell beta, I am always there for you.”.
Kirti said,” Papa you already know that Yash’s parents are very orthodox, now they are insisting him to get married, to a girl of their choice, but Yash is upset, he wants to marry me, but at the same time he is worried that in his village, no one will accept intercaste marriage. He is in a dilemma Papa, he cant make his parents sad, can’t let them down and on the other hand, he is worried  about me also.”
Her father was silent for a moment and then asked,” What did he decide  ultimately? ”
“Papa, he says, that he will marry that girl, just to please his parents, she will stay with them in the village, here we both will be happy together. ”
Kirti’s father sat up straight and shouted,” Don’t be an emotional fool, can’t you see he is cheating you, can’t you see he is buttering his bread on both sides.”
Kirti also sat up straight and said,” You are not getting it Papa, I don’t have any problem with this adjustment, the fact is, we love each other and the rest doesn’t  matter.”
By this time her mother also joined them and was stunned to hear this conversation.  She said,” Your Papa is correct, this is a wrong decision.”
Kirti got up and said,” You know, this is known as generation gap” and walked out of the room.
Her mother started sobbing, her father sat quitely and then said,”She won’t understand anything now, let her do what she wants. Time is the biggest teacher, she will understand it one day.  But now we can’t leave her alone.”
They went to Kirti, she was also sobbing.
Her father said,” Do whatever you think is correct. We are always with you.”
Kirti was happy, hugged them and said,” Thanks for understanding us.”
Yash went to his village, got married, came back and told Kirti,” Her name is Kamala, her father is very rich, she has done her BA (hindi), short heighted, bit plum, long hairs, average looking, nothing like you Kirti, we both are made for each other”.
Everthing was back to normal, they both started going for movies, dinners as usual.
Days passed.
Of late Kirti started noticing that Yash was going to his village often. Every time he has got a new excuse.  It’s a land settlement, mother is sick, time to collect  harvest money, renovation of their house and so on.
His phone was also busy all the time, lunch time he would sit alone and chat over phone for a long time with a smiley  face.
One evening, as both of them sat talking, Yash suddenly said,” Kirti why don’t you grow your hairs, long hair looks so good”.
Kirti stared  at him and said,” But you always liked my short hair, now suddenly…….”.
“No, no, I said it casually, forget it, actually  you always looked beautiful”, stammered  Yash.
Next day as they were working on their project, Yash asked,” What is your opinion  on this, Kamala?”
Kirti was surprised, “O hello, I am Kirti, not Kamala. What’s wrong with you, Yash? It seems you have started liking Kamala nowadays. ”
“No, never, you are imagining things,” Yash uttered.
In office, work pressure was increasing, as it was again time to select the best employee of the year, and this time the bonus was that the best employee will be posted, in their headquarters, California (US).
All were working really hard to achieve it.
Exhausted by the pressure, Kirti told Yash, “Let’s take a break and go for a movie today”.
And to her surprise Yash said,” Today I am going to my village, have taken a week off.”
Kirti reacted,” At this peak time, how can you take a week off? Something is really wrong and you have to tell me now.”
” It’s already 10am and my flight is at 12.15pm, let me go, I will come and explain everything. ”
“No Yash, tell and tell it now.”
“Actually I am going to be a father.”
“What are you saying?!,” screamed Kirti.
“Don’t panic Kirti, take it easy, just to please my parents.”
“Stop,” shouted Kirti, “Not to please your parents, you liar, what a fool I am, Papa was correct, I am an emotional fool, you cheater.”
“Kirti, I don’t have time to explain more, let me come back, I will tell everything.”
Yash left.
Next afternoon, Yash tweeted,” It’s a boy, I am a proud father now.”
In Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, he posted pictures of the threesome, a happy couple with a sweet baby.
Office Notice Board was full of, “Congratulations Yash”.
Kirti stared blankly at all this. “It was our dream Yash, how can you do this with me. You used me as a door mat. You made me realise how foolish I am”, she sobbed her eyes out like a mad women, in the bathroom. All her friends sat quitely with her. There were no words to console her.
And the next day, was the biggest day of the year. Kirti could hear, sitting in the auditorium, “The best employee of the year 2016 goes to … Kirti Menon!!!”
Suddenly  Kirti felt relaxed. She realised that she was not a door mat, she was a successful woman, she had the power to overcome all her weakness and now onwards she will live on her own terms and conditions. She walked up like a lioness to the stage to receive the award.
She came home to see all her friends and relatives already there for the celebration.
As she touched her parent’s feet she said,” Please forgive me, I was wrong, its not generation gap, its experience gap. You were correct. Actually you were correct all the time. Yash is my past now.”
Next week, at the airport, Kirti hugged her parents and said,” I am not only carrying your blessings with me but also carrying the biggest lesson of my life that don’t be an emotional fool.”
As the airbus soared higher, her parents closed their eyes to pray for their darling daughter, to pray for their little angel, to pray for the apple of their eye.

Fresh Tuesday

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What does freshness means to you??
Today I dedicate these beautiful lines of ‘Samuel Ullman’ to this beautiful Tuesday.

“Youth is not a time of life,
It is a state of mind,
It is not a matter of rosy cheeks,
Red lips and supple knees,
It is a matter of the will,
Quality of the imagination,
A vigor of the emotions,
It is the freshness of the deep springs of life”.

Very well said, don’t you think so?
And you have guessed correctly, today we are doing something with freshness.
I am coming up to you with age old tested Citrus Facial Refreshner.

But before that let me know, what does freshness means to you??
— starting the day with yoga?
— meditation ?
— hot shower or cold shower?
— listening to your favorite  song?
— a satisfying sleep?
— washing face with cold water? 
— a good walk?
— nice music?
— smile of your baby?
— sipping your favorite  juice?
— chirping of the birds?
— a blooming flower?
— your favorite hill station?
The list is endless, it can be anything.
Think on it and you know why?
This ‘me time’, this thought procedure, will connect you better with yourself.

And for me, freshness means all of these but what appeals to me the most is…breathing. As long I am breathing, I am enduring  freshness.
And also, I like to improvise because I think it brings certain freshness.
So think on it, share with me also😊😊

And let’s do this simple DIY project.

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Citrus Facial Refresher

You need:
Water – 2 cups
Vitamin C – 1 tablet
Lemon peel of 2 lemons
Spray  bottle

Method:
Boil 2 cups of water and add one vitamin C tablet to it. Keep the water overnight, by adding peels of two lemons. Put it in spray bottle and ‘Jaadu’, it is one of the best citrus facial refresher.
Keep it in refrigerator and use it chilled.
Try maadi!☺

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Shabri Ke Ber

Let us unwind this Herbal Monday with a fact that there were 53 Mondays in the year 2012. The next time this will happen will be in 2018.

Okay facts apart, today, let us enter the magical world of Ber, that is Jujube Berry. It is also known as Zizyphus.

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In mythology, this was the very same famous fruit which Shabari, an old lady, served Lord Shri Ram in Ramayana, when he arrived at her hut. The old lady was so full of devotion while serving Shri Ram that she tasted every single Jujube fruit, to ensure that it’s aptly ripened, before serving it to Lord Ram. The Lord, being compassionate towards his devotee accepted those fruits with love.

There is a funny analogy which says that a household with marriagable daughters will as surely attract suitors, as a fruit laden Ber tree will attract stones from children, in attempt to knock the fruits off the tree.

Let me add one more. In Pakistan, Bers are also used as metaphors. They say that if you have an unresolved quarrel with a relative or a close friend, you should go over and immediately talk it out coz relationships aren’t Bers. You see, if we leave alone the person with whom we have quarreled, the rift just widens between us. On the other hand, if a Ber falls apart from the tree and onto the ground, instead of getting damaged, the fruit just gets better! If we smooth things over after a quarrel the relationship too gets better like a fallen Ber.

Let these berry interesting tales lead us to look at its another avatar, that is its medicinal values!
The fruit has been used in traditional  medicines as an emollient, expectorant, coolant, anodyne and tonic.

Benefits:
1. Calms the nervous system.
2. It is a good source of vitamin C, potassium,  B-complex, riboflavin, thiamin and pectin.
3. It is free from cholesterol and has negligible level of sodium.
4. It has immunostimulant, antioxidant and wound healing properties.
5. Some of the triterpenoic acids isolated from the fruit are also believed to be useful in fighting cancer and HIV.
6. It aids in controlling body weight.
7. It enpowers the digestive system.
8. It promotes healthy teeth, muscles and bones.
9. It gives healthy and younger skin.
10. It relieves abdominal pain.
11. It fights Alzheimer.
12. It is a real powerhouse of energy.

This Ber is not just a fruit, it is a full fledged medical shop!😊😊

I remember that my Dadi used to make a paste of Ber leaves and apply on our foreheads, when we kids had fever.
It is said that the paste made out of leaves of Ber should be applied externally to relieve burning sensation and fever. It helps to bring down the body temperature.

Apart from Ber pickle, I will also discuss how we can use the dried Ber, after the blooming season is over.

BER JUICE

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Deseed the Ber.
Dry it in Sun till it is thoroughly dried.
Store in a dry container.
Take a handful of dried Ber and boil it in 1litre of water.
Boil till the water is reduced to half.
Cool it, strain it.
Serve it chilled.
Can add sugar/honey in it.
Can add few drops of lemon juice.
Can add few cloves.

This is going to refresh you and it is a long lasting power-packed body-coolant.
Best ever summer drink you can think of!
Consumption of this juice increases energy, builds up stamina, heals injuries quickly and lowers pain.

Next Monday, we will continue with Dried Ber Chutney and Ber Pickles.

So what are you waiting for? Start relishing this amazing fruit to enjoy the blissful benefits.

Weekend Fruit Drink

Hi, it’s Foodie Saturday again. Thanks for liking the carrot welcome drink.

It’s summer and to beat the heat, let’s  continue with more of chilled welcome drinks.

By the end of the week, we usually have some fruits left in the fridge, let’s make a healthy weekend clearance drink out of it.

Why should we have fruits, a kid can also reply to that. But what are we losing by not having fruits?

Well it’s the same question with two angles and to make the angle straight, let us check what fruits give us —

— Fruits are source of essential nutrients, including potassium, dietary fibre and vitamin C.
— Dietary Fibre from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol level, may lower risk of heart disease.
— Most fruit are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories.

The list is endless, and the recipe is painless. So what for we are waiting?
Here we go—-

WEEKEND    FRUIT    DRINK

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Ingredients:
Milk 1litre
Musk melon 1/2
Banana 1
Apple 2
Cheeku 1
Ripe Mango 1
Grapes 50gms
Any other fruit if you wish
Honey 2tbsp
Sugar accoding to taste
Crusted nuts and raisins
A scoop of vanilla icecream

Method:
Peel, deseed and cut all the fruits.
Mix all ingredients together except nuts and icecream.
Blend this in a blender.
Serve chilled.
Top up with nuts, raisins and icecream.

It serves six.

If summer is not the excuse good enough to try it, I don’t know what else will be.
Take care.