Sunday, February 25, 2018

6 Benefits of home cooking

When it comes down to feeding your body, nothing is superior to preparing your food from scratch, with quality ingredients and made with love. If you have never experienced this phenomenon then try it out for 90 days and see how you feel. Let’s take a look at why preparing your food is a win-win situation for everyone.

1. Saves money
Packaged and prepared meals cost you considerably more than cooking with raw ingredients at home. Preparing meals at home can save you money.

2. Saves time
In the time it takes to drive to a restaurant, place your order, wait for your order, return home and serve the meal,  or even in the time you eat at the restaurant, you could have made a three-course meal from scratch with time to sit and eat too. For those on a busy schedule, prepare half the week’s meals on a Sunday and the other half mid-week, which can allow time for relaxation or beneficial exercise.

3. Less salt and trans fats
Preparing meals at home allows you to control the amount of salt and oils you use in your recipes. This in turn reduces the possibility of weight gain and clogged arteries.

4. Balanced meals
Taking the time to plan your weekly menu not only helps to save time and money, but also provides a way to create meals with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, plus all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for the adult and child’s body. When eating balanced meals your body feels satisfied, has fewer cravings and this in turn prevents late-night snacking.

5. Hygiene
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 76 million people are poisoned by food each year in the United States. This is caused by food-borne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites that can seriously harm you. Forty cents of every U.S dollar spent on food is for restaurant or prepared foods, which allows for more possibility of consuming cheap foods prepared by inexperienced handlers, posing a greater risk of improper cooking and/or cross contamination of foods. When preparing meals at home you can better control the temperatures when cooking meats, keep hands and countertops clean and properly wash your raw produce.

6. Weight control
I am not saying this out of my hat- research is saying - that people who eat home cooked meals tend to be healthier and weigh less than the ones who eat restaurant food often.

(Cooking is definitely an essential skill to have for both genders.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blood is thicker than water...

I have had some amazing friends, that I am still friends with. They helped me to be the person that I am today. Be it happiness or sadness I still feel comfortable sharing stuff with them. I remember the day when I moved to Seattle, I did not cry leaving my mother but I cried when my best friend (sakhi as I call her) showed up.

But then the bestest of my friends have been my cousins and relatives my age, I get along with them even better than my non-family best friends. There is this instant connection, belongingness and care when one hears that we are a 'family'. Yes, this post is about family.

If I look back at my life I have been the closest to my family members, I can not stand a single word against any of my family members. If and when I have been through the darkest phases it is the family who has helped me the most. Same goes for me - if anything had to happen to any of my family member I would want to drop everything and be of help. I am glad that I have a sane family who understands and care for each other.

There are some weird type of families, like, four brothers living on four floors and yet no one talks to each other, fighting over an estate that the parents left for them, like the vultures fighting over dead bodies.

There are gossiping families, the ones who gossip about every family member in their absence and are not loyal to each other. All they have for each other is disrespect and poison. It is not surprising that such families do not stick together. They fight, quarrel, yell, scream, gossip or try to control or demean others.

And yet I feel that if something drastic had to happen in one's life, say cancer, then it is the family that would come for help, doesn't matter what the past equation has been.

There comes a phase in life when you love your friends more than your relatives or family, but then eventually one realizes that it is not about likes or dislikes or whom you want to go watch movies or party with, it is about  - for whom does your heart ache when you see them in trouble? For whom can you not stand a single word against? Who would drop everything and be with you if you had been in a bad accident? I bet most of the names would be your family members, isn't it?

And that's why they say 'blood is thicker than water'.

Do you agree?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Easy ways to read more books

  1. Pick short and easy read - If you are new to reading then start with short stories, or a book of your interest which isn't too long. Finishing a book quickly will motivate you pick up another one, provided you enjoyed your first one. The books I read the fastest are murder mysteries, I don't like suspense.
  2. Choose a medium that works for you - Some people prefer e-books while others (like me) prefer a physical book in the hand and an audio book. Whatever your choice, pick one and carry it with you at all times (or have one available on your phone).
  3. Carry a book when you travel/commute - If you use public transport, use that time to get your reading in. I am a big fan of audio books and finish at least one audio book every week during my nasty commute time.
  4. Read while you’re waiting - Waiting for a friend who is running late for lunch/coffee, waiting at the doctor's office, waiting for the flight to board, - all good times to read. Audio books can be read while commuting, cleaning, cooking or taking care of any chores.
  5. Read before you go to bed - This is when I get maximum physical reading in, right before I sleep. I try and keep aside 30 minutes to get some reading in with the goal of finishing at least one book per month.

Hypocrites or a**holes

If I like you, life is easy. I take interest in your life and work and am concerned about your well being and supportive towards your goals and I make every effort to keep in touch with you. If I am neutral towards you, life is still easy. I am polite and civil towards you when our paths cross.
If I don’t like you or get an inkling that you don’t like me/ are trying to avoid me/ are giving me an insulting treatment then – life is again easy, because I don’t give a second thought about you, I won’t bitch and whine about you to people around me but at the same time I ensure that our paths never cross. I do not call you socially, I do not make plans to meet you, you might not even be on my friend or phone list. I do nothing. I don’t allow you to occupy my brain space.
You know what I don’t get…when people clearly do not like someone or do not agree with their fundamental view on life -professionally/morally/socially – and still continue to be social with them. A lot of people are perfectly fine with everyone around them ONLY they bitch about people on how they can’t stand someone or how someone did them wrong (but it can not be told from their interaction with anyone).
If you ask me I am wary of people who are nice with everyone because you never know who they are really fond of or who are they bitching about… I have realized that straight forward people are considered a**holes (I am one such) but I prefer to be friends with a**holes any day, because if they are friends with me then I know that they are in it with a genuine interest.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Introducing a Vlog

I am starting a video log for movie reviews, book reviews and such. This is the first video that I made, hope you like it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Big Bad World

Fashion/ personal style blogging has become a new Vogue, a platform to try and get people to buy more, spend more, want more … and some times it also sets unrealistic standards for women. Of course not every style blog can be categorized in the same way but it is definitely getting harder to differentiate one blog from another.
When I started a personal style blog my biggest goal and vision was to show how many combinations can be created with just some basic stuff in the closet, and that one can be well and sensibly dressed without spending loads of time or money on it. A lot of people suggested that I should add variety of location and better my picture quality… sorry I can’t!  I do not want to spend more than two minutes to take pictures because as I said it is not worth spending too much time on clothes :-).
I never get ready just for the heck of taking pictures, I take pictures sometimes when I get ready for office or wherever the heck I am going. Most fashion blogs show women wearing these really fancy clothes, makeup, jewelry, hairdos and wearing new item in every post, I can’t do that, or for that matter I haven’t seen any women around me dress like how they do in fashion blogs. It is simply unrealistic. I want to share only doable styles.
On my blog you will never find one new item introduced with every post. It is just the same stuff repeating over and over again in many ways possible. Shopping was never my hobby and it never will be, if anything shopping stresses me out. I do not want to encourage mindless consumption with my style blog. But I want to encourage feeling excited about even the basic clothes and colors that you have in your closet.
I do think that fashion blogging is already past it’s peak because every unique idea gets beaten down till it becomes main stream. There are only so many ways in which clothes can be worn, and someone somewhere has probably already done that, so obviously I am not guaranteeing that what you see here is going to be unique, because nothing is unique. You might be wearing very similar combo as the person sitting next to you but the only differentiating factor would be your personality and the confidence with which you carry yourself.
A lot of brilliant and amazing personalities I have met have had sloppy style sense and I have also met some prim and properly dressed people who were not so nice people, so there is no association between clothes and personalities and no one is forming a judgement about you based on your clothes, the ones who do are idiots so never mind about them. On a day to day basis I hardly ever notice what others are wearing, so if you ask me what were your team members wearing today then really I don’t know, I wouldn’t be able to tell if they wore the same thing for the whole week. I am sure most people don’t notice it and what you wear is only to make yourself feel good.
All I can say is wear what you want to wear, it doesn’t matter, but again wear what ‘you’ want to wear, like how ‘you’ want to see yourself and not based on someone else’s idea of styling.
Look for ideas on personal style blogs, see how you can apply them to your existing closet and you are good to go. If you plan to get clothes and wear them how the fashion bloggers are, then you are probably going to get lost in the big bad world of mindless consumption, or at least that is what I think.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Skin Care

Know your skin type – is it dry/ oily or sensitive?
If you are here to note down a list of any fancy fast working skin products then you will be disappointed, I have none.
  1. Secret to keeping the whole body soft and healthy-looking lies in moisturizing.
I have a dry skin type, that means my skin feels very tight after bathing or any contact with water. I have a dry hand and dry lip symptom too, I get chapped lips all the time.
So what do I use?
a. I do not use soaps in public restrooms – restaurants/ theaters etc. they are by default harsh and do not suit me. I always carry either a soap bottle or sanitizer/wet wipes in my purse.
b. Almond oil – it is excellent for skin – it makes the skin look healthier, reduces dark circles, it cures skin problems like eczema, acne.
c. Citaphil and Vaseline are my all time favorite moisturizers, vaseline is best for lips too.
  1. Secret to good skin is NOT using loads of skin care products
Skin care products claim to be working fast like magic but they do more harm to the skin than anything. Go for the natural fixes instead. For example, before going to bed massage your face with coconut oil for at least 20 seconds – it takes away any makeup products used and keeps the face moisturized throughout the night.
Aloe Vera, castor oil, honey, cucumber and sandalwood powder are excellent for skin.
  1. Secret to a glowing skin is EXERCISE
I have seen many people who do not necessarily have a spectacular skin – but when they start working out, running, biking and whatnot – their skin starts to glow! Reason is simple – exercise increases blood flow and blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the entire body including skin. Marathon runners, bikers and generally people who workout regularly have radiant skin.
  1. Secret to healthy skin is DIET
French fries, hormone-laden meats, fried food, chips and generally all types of junk food is ALSO bad for the skin. Simple and nutritious diet does good to the skin too (as much as it does good to the entire body).
  1. Drink ….WATER
Drink at least 8 glasses a day, it helps to rid the body and skin of toxins.
  1. Last but not the least – SLEEP
Sleep strengthens your immune system, it keeps your heart healthy, it boosts your mood, it is important for your physical and emotional well being (as much as exercise and good diet is). Seven to eight hours of sleep is required by the body. If you want good health – sleep, if you want to lose weight – sleep, if you want to live long – sleep and if you want good skin —- sleep!
I hope you find these tips useful.