Boost Immunity With Honey Indian Gooseberry Preserve

 

indian gooseberry 2

In my previous post titled “Beauty and Health Benefits of Indian Gooseberry” I have already listed all the numerous advantages of adding Indian Gooseberry (amla) in our daily diet. I searched in my Mom’s recipe books and found this wonderful Honey and Indian Gooseberry Preserve. I have been eating a teaspoonful of the preserve with breakfast everyday ever since and am feeling great. Boost immunity with this super and simple recipe…

Ingredients

Indian gooseberry

1 kg Indian gooseberries (amla),

1″ size cinnamon stick,

2 cups water,

1/4 cup granulated sugar,

1/2 cup honey (or as per taste).

Method

Wash, deseed and chop the gooseberries into small pieces.

In a non-stick saucepan, boil berries, cinnamon, water and sugar.

Once they are cooked and soft, remove the cinnamon stick and discard it.

Add honey and boil till the mixture looks like jam. (approximate cooking time 1/2 hour)

Cool and store in an airtight jar.

Have one teaspoon every day for immunity, vitality, and an evergreen, youthful look.

Note 1: You can also have it as a topping with icecream or with pancakes.

Note 2: Diabetics can also have this gooseberry preserve because it has very little sugar. Most of the sweetness comes from the honey.

Note 2: If you like the flavour of cinnamon very much, you can add 1 tsp of the powder while cooking and leave it in the preserve.

 

Beauty And Health Benefits Of Indian Gooseberry

Indian gooseberry 3

In Ayurveda, the Indian Gooseberry (Amla) is used extensively in medications as well as beauty products. It is very rich in Vitamin C. It has an abundance of antioxidants, Vitamin B Complex, Calcium, Carotene, Phosphorus, and many other vital nutrients. It rejuvenates us mentally and physiologically like nothing else can.

The brain and nervous system, internal organs like heart, liver, urinary system, digestive tract, reproductive organs, from hair to feet; the Indian gooseberry has the capability of healing and keeping every part of your body healthy. It is known to even prevent cancer.

FIRST – THE BEAUTY ANGLE

Wrinkles and age spots

Amla is a powerful anti-oxidant. It controls the level of free radicals and slows down the process of ageing. It prevents wrinkles and age-related blemishes.

Hair care

Most herbal shampoos-conditioners and herbal hair oils have amla as a main ingredient because it is rich in carotene and iron. It acts as a tonic and improves the colour, thickness, texture and strength of the hair. It also prevents premature balding by keeping the hair follicles nourished.

AMLA FOR A HEALTHY LIFE

Consuming amla has manifold benefits:

Eyes

With its plentiful Vitamin A, eating amla is a wonderful idea. It improves eyesight and prevents:

  • Myopia,
  • Cataract,
  • Night blindness,
  • Macular degeneration (age related).

Heart

Amla stops accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels, thus preventing strokes and cardiac arrest. It regulates free flow of blood and keeps all the organs working optimally.

Bones

How many foodstuffs have both calcium and vitamins C and D like the Indian Gooseberry does? This calcium-rich fruit slows down degeneration of bones, teeth and nails and keeps them healthy. The vitamins help in proper absorption of calcium.

Blood sugar

The chromium content of amla improves the health of the pancreas where insulin is produced. In fact, amla should be a part of our daily diet as a preventive or curative for diabetes.

Metabolic rate

Proteins are vital for cell formation. We may consume protein-rich food, but if it is not digested and absorbed properly we feel tired, listless and we age faster. With consumption of amla you will feel a new vitality without needing tonics.

Female reproductive organs

The Indian gooseberry works like magic where the female reproductive organs are concerned:

  1. Amla prevents menstrual cramps which can be very painful,
  2. it prevents infertility and consequent depression.

Urinary tract

Amla acts as a diuretic. It increases the quantity and frequency of urination, thus

  • It gets rid of toxins,
  • Prevents water retention and bloating,
  • Moderates level of salt in the body  and prevents high blood pressure,
  • Prevents excess accumulation of uric acid.

Dietary fibre

Being a fruit, amla provides the vital bulk to keep the digestive system working in perfect condition. Many of the health problems mentioned above are an indirect result of bad digestion.

Immunity

The Indian gooseberry is like an astringent and has anti-bacterial properties. Regular intake of amla prevents frequent infections and improves immunity.

Considering the numerous beauty and health benefits of Indian gooseberry, it will be worth having every day to keep us young and healthy for a long time.

 

NEGATIVE THOUGHTS CAUSE CHRONIC DISEASES – PREVENTIVES

 

sad children

Chronic diseases have their roots in childhood and negative thoughts cause chronic diseases, because they create an imbalance in the physiological energy system. Knowing this, one can influence certain traits and emotions in children that would prevent the diseases. So let’s take some of the major organs and see which emotions will protect which organ:

CHRONIC HEART DISEASES

Early indications: Over excitement, timidity, cowardice, self-centeredness, compulsive deceit, lying,  etc.

How to overcome: Why do we use the term ‘braveheart’? By inference, development of qualities like courage, honesty, conviction, forthrightness and empathy for others will prevent chronic heart diseases. Group activities that compel children to socialise and interact more should be encouraged, especially outdoor games and sports.

CHRONIC RESPIRATORY DISEASES

Early indications: Depression/grief due to personal loss, lack of willpower, lethargy.

How to overcome: The lungs need space, literally! Why do we say, “Chest puffed up with pride?” These may be old fashioned terminologies but there is a science behind the words. Self confidence manifests in the form of an expanded chest and a straight-spine posture. Activities that will give a child a sense of pride or a feeling of achievement will be the best way to prevent chronic respiratory diseases like dramatics, elocution, sports, etc. Get a pet dog or cat for the child and see the miraculous recovery.

CHRONIC LIVER FAILURE

Early indications: Unjustifiable anger, jealousy, irritability, frustration, resentment, migraines, muscular tension, undue stress, etc.

How to overcome: Activities like art, pottery, sculpting, music, will teach the child qualities like patience and will channelise the mind towards positive emotions.

CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASES

Early indications: Extreme nervousness due to fear or shock, problem with retention of urine.

How to overcome: There is always a particular cause behind the child’s fears. Get to the root cause of that fear and remove the child from its vicinity; whether the fear is caused by a person or thing. Let the child learn safety, self-preservation, valour, and calmness through games and role play.

children 1

COMMON PREVENTIVES FOR CHRONIC DISEASES

What is the least common denominator in the ways to overcome chronic diseases? Children need to be taught how to relax, learn to socialise without feeling stressed out, and must develop an activity that prevents negative emotions.

Two most effective activities are yoga and Zen art:

Yoga – Pranayama (breathing exercises) and simple asanas that improve blood circulation and keep the chakras well balanced;

Zen art – The peacemaking effect of Zen art is unquestionably accurate.

It is true that negative thoughts cause chronic diseases. Hence, it becomes very important to channelise a child’s mind towards positive thoughts and actions. This is not only good for the mental well being of the child, but will also keep the internal organs healthy.

Take care and God bless…

 

 

6 WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED TOWARDS FITNESS

fitness 1

How many of us have started with a fitness schedule with real determination and then left off halfway through? This is a very common scene and very few really make it a part of their daily routine. I too went through this phase of starting-stopping-starting-stopping…till I realised I was cheating myself. One day I decided to make a list of what would give me the impetus to continue. These are the 6 ways to stay motivated towards fitness which I found most helpful:

SET FITNESS GOALS

fitness goal

No one travels without a destination. This is applicable not just to travel but to life itself. It is all the more necessary to set some target when you decide to take up a fitness program. Set a target of losing maybe one or two pounds per week.

Start with a few simple yoga exercises, especially pranayam (breathing exercises). Then add one exercise each week, like crunches, sit ups, weights, push ups, etc till you feel you have a good one hour’s schedule.

DIVERSIFY WORKOUT

fitness 2

Monotony will lead to boredom. That’s the most dangerous stage when you are on the brink of stopping your routine for the nth time. Divide your week into days when you focus on different aspects of the routine, for example:

Monday – 1 kilometer walk + pranayam;

Tuesday – Crunches + stretches + pranayam;

Wednesday – Cycling + weights + pranayam;

and so on…

Saturday – It’s Zumba time! Put on some fast music and dance till you have sweated out most of the toxins. Half an hour will be just fine for the purpose.

Sunday – No exercises. Give your body a break. It’s time to shampoo your hair, look gorgeous and have fun.

Stick to the routine you have chalked out as far as possible, but don’t let boredom set in. If necessary, remodel it.

WEAR SUITABLE FITNESS CLOTHING

fitness 3

It is very essential to be completely comfy while doing exercises. Wear your loosest Ts and track pants so that your movements are free and without restriction. I am not telling you anything new, I know! But how many of us have stopped exercising using the excuse, “I don’t have anything suitable to wear during a workout!” Any excuse is good enough when you are unmotivated. So stop looking for escape routes and get yourself a new sexy tracksuit.

GET A WEARABLE FITNESS TRACKER

fitness tracker

Many wearable fitness trackers are available at affordable prices. You can get a tracker compatible with either Android based or iOS mobile phones. Trackers basically record surges of movement and heart rate via algorithms, especially in intense workouts.

If you sincerely log-in your daily diet the tracker will also give a report on what is or is-not working for you. See the report every Sunday and decide what changes you need to make in your diet.

GET THIRD PARTY MOTIVATION

fitness 4

If you find it difficult to sustain, tell a friend to track your progress. If you are slacking or cheating on your diet, it is definitely going to show in your weight and shape! Your friend can double up as a tracker-cum-motivator so that you don’t give up all over again! Who knows? It may happen that while helping you to keep fit, your friend will end up being fitter than before.

WORKOUT WITH INTENT

Sometimes when we do things to please ourselves, after the initial excitement of doing something new the motivation wares off. So decide that you are going to lose weight for someone else – your partner maybe. A new slim, fit and gorgeous “you” will surely bring back the old spark in your relationship. Keep that as your intent and work towards it. I am gearing up to look great at my daughter’s wedding at the end of this year. So what is your intent?

No two people will find the exact same fitness program easy. Each one’s requirement and capacity of fitness is different. Also, there is no guarantee that the rate at which the workout has effect is the same in two different people so don’t compare your progress with someone else. Every time you make even the smallest effort to workout you are moving that much closer to your goal. Push harder and stay motivated towards fitness.

AYURVEDIC PREVENTIVE HERBAL TEA FOR INFLUENZA

Herbal tea 2

This year the Indian monsoon is more intense resulting in incidences of respiratory infections in children and adults alike. Many of my friends have been asking if there is a home remedy to prevent colds. Here is a wonderful herbal tea for acute respiratory infections that I discovered in my great grandmother’s old recipe book. So let’s PREVENT BEFORE WE NEED A CURE!

Preventive herbal tea for influenza

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Makes 1 cup of strong concentrate

Should be diluted while using (see method)

Herbal tea 1

Dry ingredients

2 cloves (laung)

2 peppercorns (kali miri)

Wet ingredients

4-5 Indian basil (tulsi)

1 stem of lemon grass (gavti chai)

1/2 inch ginger grated (adrak)

2 cups of water

Method for the herbal concentrate:

In 2 cups water add the dry and wet ingredients and boil till the quantity reduces to half, approximately 1 cup.

Keep aside. Strain after an hour and use as needed.

Method for herbal tea:

Prepare 1 cup of very mild black tea without milk or sugar. Use unflavoured tea leaves.

Add 1 tsp honey and stir. (Diabetics can skip this step)

Add the concentrate in the appropriate dosage, stir and drink it as hot as possible.

Dosage of concentrate:

Add 1 tsp of the concentrate (for children above 5 years)

Add 1 tbsp of the concentrate for adults in a cup of your usual black tea.

**Add ¼ tsp of the concentrate for children below 5 years.

This concentrate works like magic and prevents chest congestion that might lead to serious respiratory diseases. Despite preventive interventions children as well as adults are prone to frequent respiratory illnesses. Risk factors for colds like air pollution and fluctuating weather conditions add to our woes. Herbal tea prevents chest congestion in a smooth and effective manner. Stay healthy and stay blessed!

 

* Ideally, you must keep a gap of 3-4 hours before having it again.

** For children below 5 years consult the paediatrician before experimenting with home remedies.

HOUSEHOLD CHORES CUM FITNESS PROGRAM

slim woman

How many women of 40plus can devote special time for exercise? And who doesn’t want a slim and fit body? At 40+ lifestyle disease like heart, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, etc are slowly rearing their heads. Exercises help to increase stamina, remain fit and slim, improve metabolism and increase endurance. So here are useful ideas of household chores cum fitness program.

SKIPPING WHILE COOKING

skipping

Walking in the morning fresh air for half an hour each day is an excellent idea. But most weekday mornings go in cooking breakfast and rushing to work. At weekends there is the week’s laundry, cleaning and many more tasks. So this is what you can do:

First have a glass of your favourite fruit juice for energy. While cooking breakfast you need to go across the room for pans and ladles, food items, spices, dishes and spoons. All these are not kept in the same space.

While you go around the kitchen collecting the necessary stuff, instead of just walking, jump as if you are skipping without a rope. If that sounds stupid, well it is! The rest of the family will go ROFL!! But you just stick with the idea like I did and see the difference. Before long everyone at home will agree you have the slimmest body ever. Do just a few counts. You don’t want to strain the knees.

WALKING AND WEIGHT TRAINING – THE SUPERMARKET WAY

I do hope the supermarket is not too far away from your home! If it is within walking distance, then you can combine walking and weight training into one fitness routine.

shopping

This will give you overall exercise and tone the muscles of the arms while you carry provisions. Do this every alternate day or at least once a week. It will help burn calories and your cardio routine is also taken care of.

SQUATS WHILE CLEANING THE HOUSE

squatting

I am sure the rest of the family helps you with this task. But I suggest you keep the toughest corners of the house for yourself as a fitness gimmick. Normally you would stand and vacuum clean under couches, tables, divans, etc. Use a broom, squat and clean instead. Move across the room in the squatting position. You could do one room per day. This is the world best exercise for abs and thighs. It also strengthens the muscles around the knees.

SUPERMAN BACK EXTENSION AND MAKING THE BEDS

You would normally go around the bed to straighten out the four corners of the cover. This is the best time to do the Superman back extension exercise. (see below)

back extension

 

Remember, it is very essential to build up muscle mass along with burning calories. Follow these ideas of household chores cum fitness program and eat a high protein diet, and you’ll be looking trim and gorgeous in a month.

PERFECT RECIPE TO PREVENT COMMON DISEASES AT 40 PLUS

At 40 plus hormonal changes occur, causing health issues that might have a long term effect. Since we know that, let’s create an interesting meal that includes foodstuff to prevent common diseases. Sounds boring eh? But by personal experience I know that when I experimented with food rich in calcium and Vitamin D-3 my arthritic pain reduced considerably. From 2 pain killers a day I now need just 1 pain killer a fortnight, if at all! If I can do it so can you. So let’s cook…

DISEASES THAT CROP UP AT 40PLUS

The most common ailments that start surfacing at 40+ and the foodstuff that’s good for each:

  • Hypertension – whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, low fat dairy items, poultry, lean meats and fish.
  • Diabetes – whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Hypo-Hyperthyroidism – fish, low fat dairy items, eggs and poultry, vegetables.
  • Osteoarthritis – fish, vegetables, walnuts, greens, olive oil.
  • Water retention/bloating – fruits, vegetables, salads, eggs and poultry, whole grains.
  • Heart diseases – fish, soy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables.

LET’S SEE IF ONE MEAL FITS ALL!

So what are the common foods that can be called preventives for the diseases listed above? We have fish, vegetables and fruits. The not-so-common ones are walnuts, eggs and poultry, dairy, soy, meat. Whole grains are good for everyone irrespective of the state of health.

MENU FOR ONE PERSON:

1 shallow fried mackerel, 1 boiled egg in red sauce, salad, a small bowl of steamed brown rice and fruit with nuts & honey.

STEP 1 – RICE: Steam sufficient brown rice for one serving and keep aside.

STEP 2 – MARINADE: Prepare a marinade of ½ tsp olive oil, ¼ tsp red chilli powder or paprika, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 2 pods of grated garlic, ½ tsp lemon juice and salt to taste. Apply the marinade on the mackerel and keep aside.

STEP 3 – EGG IN RED SAUCE: Hard boil one egg. In a pan take ½ tsp olive oil and sauté 1 medium sized onion till golden brown. Add puree of one tomato. Fry till it loses its rawness. Add ½ tsp pepper powder or chilli flakes, salt to taste and simmer for a minute. Peel and cut the boiled egg into half and add to the sauce.

STEP 4 – SALAD: Finely chop 1 tomato, one sprig of spring onion and ½ a cucumber. Mix together in a bowl. Add ½ cup low fat yoghurt (curd), ½ tsp black pepper powder, ½ tsp dry oregano, ½ tsp sugar (or sugar substitute) and salt to taste. Mix well and keep aside.

STEP 5 – FRUIT & NUT: Chop 1 apple and 1 walnut into bite-size pieces. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper powder and 1 tsp honey and stir.

STEP 6 – FISH FRY: Now that everything else is ready, on a non-stick pan shallow fry the mackerel for one minute on either side.

There! You have a complete meal of fish, whole grain, vegetables, fruits, nuts and eggs. Preparing this awesome meal doesn’t take more than 20 minutes but it is packed with all the nutrients that women of 40+ need in their daily diet.

Ladies, I am sure you can come up with many more delicious recipes to prevent common diseases. Please try out different variations on the theme and share your ideas in the comment box below. It will be fun to try out something new. Stay healthy and enjoy life.

 

 

Note: Free images courtesy Unsplash and Pixabay.

Top 5 Trending Fitness Programs

 

Yoga 1 (2)

Today fitness programs are not restricted to just losing weight. The reasons for selecting a particular program would depend on the person’s requirements. The most popular ones in the year 2016 are:

  1. Gym – The most common reason for joining a gym are slimming and body sculpting. With specific exercise routine and an appropriate diet regime, trainers can get you into shape in a matter of months. This makes it the best choice for sports persons or those connected with television and showbiz. But there are special fitness sessions for older adults just to remain healthy.
  2. Yoga – This is the most popular form of fitness activity. The asanas (exercises) and pranayam (breathing techniques) help all age groups. Some asanas improve retentive power and concentration.
  3. These are especially useful for children. Personality development is another good effect of fitness program. Adults can benefit by improving self control, mental endurance, and develop a positive attitude in life. It prevents health issues as well as to cures them. You have plenty of options like Power Yoga, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Vinyasa and Bikram.
  4. Dance – When you want to lose weight, develop speed and agility, and enjoy at the same time dance is the best idea. No shortage of choices there. Currently, Zumba and Salsa are in. These forms appeal to most age groups and any gender. If you want to focus on abs belly dancing is a brilliant choice. Body sculpting happens automatically while you are having fun.
  5. Martial arts – This is serious business! Martial art as a fitness program needs dedication. There are many forms like Aikido or Karate, western boxing or kickboxing, swordsmanship or archery which are popular today. Every martial art requires years of exercises and practice to build physical and mental endurance, speed and agility, alertness and quick response, etc. The main goal of this type of fitness program is self defence. But it is also a stress reliever, as you can get rid of all the pent up tension during your practice sessions. You don’t need to worry about a separate routine for slimming. Martial art does it all.
  6. Pilates – This involves proper breathing techniques, muscle control, endurance, concentration, mobility of joints, and flexibility. Some exercises focus on cardio. In short, Pilates is an all-in-one fitness program. It builds up stamina in a slow and controlled manner.

Popularity of wearable fitness monitors

Wristwatches that track your exercise routine are an inseparable part of your fitness program. The sensors in the watches monitor your heart rate, sleep cycles, breathlessness, etc. They also give a status report and tell you if you are cheating.

A plethora of wearable trackers are available at affordable prices. The Apple Watch is compatible with iPhone4 series and later models. There are innumerable watches like the Garmin Forerunner or Fitbit One that co-ordinate well with Android mobile phones.

Whether you select one of the trending fitness programs or an easier alternative, the key to a healthier “you” lies in dedication and persistence.