Tag Archives: lifestyle

If Jesus Christ were a blogger

Have you ever seen any picture of Jesus Christ in writing posture? No, you won’t. Because he never wrote anything. But the largest number of books, in the world, is written about the works of Jesus and his sayings. He never wrote, yet some of his stories and parables are used even today for motivational talks. The phrases he coined have become part and parcel of many languages.

Why Jesus Christ never wrote is because he was always surrounded by thousands of people and out of them many were writers. They made note of all the works and sayings of Christ. It is said that hundreds of books were written by eyewitnesses who followed Jesus. Out of that, in the Bible, there are four books about the works of Jesus written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew and John were among the twelve disciples of Jesus. Luke, a physician, followed Jesus everywhere. And Mark wrote the eyewitness account as told by the favourite disciple of Jesus, Peter.

Every writer’s dream is that their work continues to live for ages. The words of Jesus reverberates even today.

Bloggers can learn a few lessons about how to blog from the way Jesus communicated and connected with the multitude.

He is a storyteller

Jesus uses many stories and parables to make the multitude understand the messages that he gives them. He tells them the story of the Good Samaritan, to teach the people that they must love their enemies. He tells the story of the master who gives talents to his three servants. Whereby he explains that the people must utilize all the resources that God has given them. These stories are nowadays used for motivational training.

He uses the right platforms for his sermons

At the time of Jesus Ministry, there were no sound systems. His audience belonged to every class of the society from beggars to Royalties. His listeners followed him in multitudes, to listen to his teachings. So he chose his platforms where his sound could be heard to the thousands that followed him.

It might sound exaggerating, but it is a fact that five to seven thousand people including women and children followed him everywhere. There are two stories in the Bible, of miracles, where he feeds five and seven thousand people who came to listen to him.

It is said about the famous sermon on the mount that, “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down………….and He began to teach them,……….”(St Matthew 5:2,3). Those who have visited Israel say that the mountain has a good echo system. Whatever Jesus said reverberated on the mountains and reached the multitudes sitting far away from him.

Another time he sat on a boat and talked to the people standing beside of the Lake. “Jesus got into the boat belonging to Simon and asked him to put out a little from shore. And sitting down, He taught the people from the boat.” (St. Luke 5:3) Again, here the water of the lake reverberates what Jesus says.

On other occasions, he spoke at the synagogues.  Every time his teachings touched the hearts of multitudes of listeners.

He had multitude of followers

A dream of every blogger is to have thousands of followers on facebook, twitter,  google plus and Instagram. Jesus was followed by thousands wherever he went.

He spoke with authority

You can speak or write with authority when you have mastery over the subject. At the age of twelve, Jesus was asking questions to the teachers and priests in the temple. And they were marvelled at his understanding of the scriptures. When his parents came searching for him in the temple he told them that he was in his father’s (heavenly father) home.

He always spoke with authority sometimes to the discomfort of the authorities and the religious heads. But whatever he said he had open supporters like his disciples and secret supporter like Joseph of Arimathea.

His words created ripple effects

He never wrote a  word. And whatever he said was written long after the ministry of Jesus Christ on Earth. Whatever he said was spread by word of mouth.

In the multitude of listeners, there were spies making a note of every word he said. There were teachers and religious heads waiting for a chance to trap him with questions. He had a good mixture of listeners and critiques around him.

From the public, he got instant reactions for whatever he did or said. The public was always aware of his itinerary.  One day Jesus decided to enter the temple of Jerusalem. When the people came to know they spread his path with their robes, held palm leaves in their hand and shouted Hosanna.

When Jesus entered the temple he saw it was turned into a marketplace. He drove all the merchants out with a chord used to driving out animals, saying “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’, But, you have made it a den of robbers!”

He said and did things what often others thought, but they never dared to express. Readers expect the bloggers, they follow, to write things that the reader often thinks but is unable to express. He expects the blogger to express  ideas with boldness, clarity and authority.

Is Medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) child necessary? (ADHD Part -I)

Do you know ADHD occurs in about 5% to 7% children? If a child behaves a little different from others, then teachers recommend them to be taken to the psychiatric counsellors. The counsellor might diagonise the disorder as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

There are many concerns among parents: Whether we should take the child for a counselling section? If the counsellor says that the child has to take medicine, then do we really have to follow the advice? Is Medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) child necessary? Will there be any side-effects of the medication? Will the child be branded as mentally unfit, if he goes for the counselling sections?

I had a discussion with Dr. Varghese Punnoose, an MD in Psychiarty regarding ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and its medication. He discussed every aspect of the disorder from the symptoms to the medication and the misunderstandings. Dr. Punnoose is specilaised in Child Psychiatry.  He is currently  Professor and Head of Department at Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala. 

Read on to know more about Medication for children with ADHD………..

When do you prescribe medicine for children with ADHD?

In moderate to severe ADHD, we give the option of medication to the parents. Medications are not prescribed on the first day that the child comes to us. The medication is suggested only after two or three sitting. After a complete assessment, if the child needs medication, the parents have to take the decision. The child is a minor by legal terms and they cannot take a decision on their own. And we do not force our decision. We give a recommendation of medication as an evidence-based scientific option. Medications available in India are mainly two types – Methylphenidate, a stimulant group of medication and Atomoxetine.

What are the concerns parents have regarding the medications?

Many a times parents are apprehensive about the medicines that the doctor prescribes for hyperactivity. They are doubtful that the medicines are sedatives which will damage the child’s brain or make him dull and sleepy. Or the child may develop some addiction or dependence on medication.

These are much-distorted facts which are being propagated partly from ignorance and partly from some vested interest.

These are much-distorted facts which are being propagated partly from ignorance and partly from some vested interest. These medicines are specifically developed by scientific authorities with evidence for their efficacy as well as safety. They are used all over the world. Methylphenidate is available in the last thirty/forty years. Atomoxetine is available for the past 10-15 years.

Is there any benefit of the medication?

They will not cure ADHD, but they will correct some of the symptoms of ADHD. 70% of the children will improve attention span. The child will be able to hold attention for a long time.  They can bring down hyperactivity not by sedating but by bringing down the extra overactivity. The brain gets a better control of motor activity.

Most of the side effects are not serious, that is why these medicines are approved for paediatric treatment.

There is no sedation or tranquillizing. The brain gets more ability to control the impulses. So the attention span improves that translates to improvement in academic functions. Hyperactivity and impulsivity in reduced. That translates to improvement in behaviour. 60%-70% children get benefitted from medication.

Will the medications cause any side effects?

Of course, they produce side-effects. But no major side effects like brain damage or addiction. Most of the side effects are not serious, that is why they are approved for paediatric treatment.

Government is very strict about approving medicines for paediatric cases. These two molecules have passed all the tests, and they are time-tested.

Loss of sleep

Medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) childThe possible adverse effects that we come across are if we give methylphenidate as a night time dose. The medicine will interfere with sleep. Usually, they are given as daytime dose – one in the morning or one in the afternoon.

Loss of appetite

Medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) childThe second problem is that they may produce loss of appetite and weight loss. In some children, it may produce anorexia, loss of appetite. But again it is for a limited period. After a few weeks, they will get out of it.

Growth retardation

Medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) childThere were apprehensions that use of Methylphenidate could result in growth retardation. But long-term follow-up studies have not demonstrated any significant growth retardation in children on Methylphenidate. However, height monitoring is recommended.

What is the consequence if the medication is withdrawn?

If at all the parents are worried, then there is no problem in withdrawing the medicines or discontinuing the treatment. Very rarely some children may develop liver dysfunction or some other issues for which the children are carefully monitored. But practically we do not come across such issues.

How long to continue medication?

There is no clear-cut answer because we cannot prescribe the medicines are not like a course of antibiotics for the infection. This is a system dysfunction which varies from child to child.

Initially, the children are monitored weekly, then monthly, then once in three months, once in six months. And if the attention span in improving and ADHD score is coming down and the child is able to manage without medication, then the child may not require medication.

If you discontinue, the only thing is that some advantage that you would get from the medication.

In most of the cases, children are diagnosed with ADHD when they are in fourth standard, fifth standard or sixth standard. And they may continue medication up to ninth, tenth or eleventh also. That varies from person to person. There is no worsening.

Sometimes parents are apprehensive that if they stop the medication then thinks will become worse. Nothing like that happens. Only thing is that some advantage that you would get from the medication will not be there if you discontinue.

Why there are some apprehensions regarding the medications?

There are apprehensions about methylphenidate, the stimulant group of medications. Methylphenidate can be abused by adults that is why there is a lot of restriction on prescription. Only a qualified psychiatrist can prescribe this medication. Because of the restriction, parents are worried that this is a very dangerous component. The abuse potential in the paediatric case is nil. This has been used for the past three or four decades.

Atomoxetine does not have such restriction for the prescription. Deciding which medication to give for the child is a clinical decision. There are conditions where we prefer methylphenidate and there are conditions where we prefer atomoxetine.

Is it compulsory to take Medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) child?

We always tell the parents that medication is not the only thing; it is part of the whole package. The main emphasis is on educating the parents and teachers and encouraging the child. All are involved to improve the behaviour of the child. In moderate to severe cases medications are used so as to take away the biochemical block. If the medication is taken then the behavioural therapy becomes more effective. But if the parents are unwilling then they are not forced to take medications.

What about suicidal behaviour due to Medication?

Suicidal behaviour is not related to ADHD. Impulsive behaviour may lead on to impulsive self-injurious behaviour. However, there are no such reports in India. Whenever there is such reporting it will be put to stringent examination by authorities like The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), of the United States of America. And if at all there is the slightest suspicion of such kind of a problem they will immediately order to suspend/ban the product.

If at all there is the slightest suspicion of such kind of a problem authorities like FDI will immediately order to suspend/ban the product.

The first common cause of death in adolescence is accidents, the second is suicide. For an adolescent to commit suicide there can be a large number of factors.  If the child was on a medication when he committed suicide then that has to put for scientific scrutiny. None of the studies so far have shown such results, if in case there were any issues stringent measures would be taken. So far no instructions have come. In India, approval is there only for atomoxetine and Methylphenidate.

How long will the medicine remain the system after the medication is withdrawn?

It will be there in the blood for maximum two days. It is not going to be permanently deposited in the system.

Should medication continue in adulthood?

Almost 60 percent of the symptoms may continue. Whether medication is to be continued in adulthood is a very controversial topic. In our centre, we do not generally encourage medication for the adult. We leave it as an option for children and adolescents.

Why controversies regarding ADHD?

Controversies happen because of overdiagnosis of ADHD. From certain reviews, I find that overdiagnosis is done in certain provinces in the United States. From there the movement has come that children are being medicated unnecessarily. The overdiagnosis issue is not an issue in India. Here the issue in underdiagnosis.

Why there are advocacies against medications for ADHD?

There should be some advocacy to protect the right of the citizen. Children need protection. Advocacy is good because there will be checks and balances. The opposite result happens when deserving children, who should get the advantage of medication, are denied medication because of the stir.

Medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) childDr. Varghese Punnoose specilaised in Child Psychiatry. He is an MBBS and MD in Psychiatry from Government Medical College. He is currently  Professor and Head of Department at Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala.

He authored a book ‘Manorogangal’, in malayalam, about Pshycatric disorders. There is one chapter on ADHD also. 

READ MORE…

What is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)?

How ADHD is diagnosed?(ADHD Part -III)

What is the behavioural approach used in ADHD? (ADHD Part -IV)

Around the world in a wheelchair -Nadia Clarke

You might know children with cerebral palsy, who is the child of your friend, relative or a neighbour, who is bed ridden and you sympathise with the family which is taking care of the child. Nadia could have ended up simply lying in a corner of her house had it not been for the determination of her parent and the will power of Nadia herself. Her parents ensured that she studied in a regular school with her 9 siblings, for which they had to change locations.

Nadia Clarke has cerebral palsy and she is deaf from her birth. At the age of 5, she got a wheelchair and a communication aid implanted on that. Her communication aid is her voice which she uses to communicate. Using the communicative aid is not easy.  When she is talking to someone, her support staff communicates to her using signs. Then she makes sentence using the communication aid. Her communication aid consist of hundreds of words. It takes couple of minutes for Nadia to form a simple sentence.

The process of communicating with the aid is lot of hard work for Naida and her support staff, and sometimes a bit boring for the listeners because of the  long gap in between the communication. But that doesn’t stop Nadia from communicating and globe trotting.

The Guardian Newspaper describes Nadia’s mother as someone with turbo energy which she has passed on to her children. Her parent were determined that she studied in a normal school, hence they had to shift to different localities to send Nadia to schools that accepted her along with her brothers and sisters.

Nadia completed high school and level 2 in health and social care. Here next aim is to attend the university.

Nadia has got indomitable spirit and she is supported by an organisation 1 voice. She has travelled  around the world to Europe, US, Asia, Australia, etc.  She blogs about all her experiences in her blog.  One of her dream destination was India, and so now she was in India and she is quiet excited to visit Taj Mahal.

When she came to India she visited Anchal-Centre for differently abled children. She interacted with the children and their parents using her communication aid and her interpreters Samantha Jayne Green and Tanya Louise Perry. Sibi, a student of Anchal refused at first to dance because she thought her costume was too long and she might fall. But the teachers and parents convinced her to dance. Before leaving Aanchal Nadia called Sibi and congratulated her for being so brave to overcome the obstacle.

Nadia is all smiles always from her childhood picture upto now. She goes around the world and encourages children like her to move ahead in life and to explore opportunities. She says her biggest  gift in life was the communication aid. She says for deaf and dumb people the aid protects them from abusers, because they can always communicate.

When asked about the secret of her evergreen smile she said that her mother told her to wake up with a smile and to remain positve always.

In conversation with Grady Long

Grady Long’s video had gone viral where he sings ‘Aayiram Kannumai‘ at the ‘Kairali Gandharva Sandhya‘ in Kerala. He sang in the presence of eminent singers K J YeshuDas and Usha Uthup and there were a couple of other stalwart musicians present including the composer of the song, Jerry Amaldev.

Grady says he was surprised by the rousing applause from the audience. His plan was just to sing and leave the stage. But he became an overnight celebrity in Kerala, and in the last one year the video of the song has been shared and viewed tremendously  on the social media.

 

 

 

Before singing the song, Grady tell the audience that he was introduced to malayalam movies by his malayali wife…..

I got an opportunity to have a video conference with Grady, his wife Suja and Children.

Speaking different languages is a talent, and Suja got the talent to speak different languages fluently. She uses English, Spanish and Malayalam in her daily conversation. Though Suja left Kerala for the US at the age of 4, she put in lots of effort so as not to forget her mother tongue.

After her marriage with Grady Long, 15 years ago, they both used to watch a lot of malayalam movies, whereby Grady learnt malayalam movie songs that included Aayiram Kannumai.

When malayli kids born and brought up abroad or outside Kerala, say that malayalam is difficult to master, an American son-in-law of Kerala sang the evergreen song with relative ease. He also gave beautiful musical twist to the song which surprised Jerry Amaldev and K. J. Yeshudas, and they appreciated him.

Suja Long is now on the mission to train their three kids to speak in malayalam. She even posted her first video of teaching her children basic malayalam. Her video has got good review from the media. She plans to make more videos in the coming days.

 

 

Before his tryst with malayalam music, Gary was already a well accomplished singer in the US, singing with many bands. He sings in various Genre and different languages like Spanish, German and Latin. He was also popular for singing Bollywood songs. Gary has also sung Tamil songs.

He will be singing more songs in India very soon, for which he will travel to India with family. He will keep us updated on the developments. And in the meantime Suja is teaching children malayalam so that they can communicate well in Kerala. Both Grady and Suja agree that to learn any language you need to speak the language, and you will make mistakes which is part of the learning process.

We wish Grady and Suja Long all the very best for their upcoming projects.

Meet Sophia Banks who styled Priyanka’s most googled 2016 Oscar Outfit

Priyanka Chopra’s Oscar outfit, styled by Sophia Banks, was the most Googled Oscar Dress of 2016. Choosing the right kind of dress and accessories takes months of preparation and hard work. Sophia Banks has worked with Celebrities like Amber Heard, Sharon Stone and John Travolta. Here is an interview with Sophia Banks, where she talks about her work with Priyanka Chopra; her professional life and her future projects:

Tell us something about yourself?

I moved to the USA, Launching a fashion boutique was the next step for me, it was called ‘Satine’ and quickly became award-winning Hollywood hotspot. Satine was written up in all the fashion magazines, shopped by celebrities  and because of its fashion forwardness, step me up as a ‘Trend Forecaster’ from which started my career as a fashion consultant. I began to consult to top fashion lines and design for them. One of my favourite projects was for fashion house Rodo where I was flown to Italy to design shows.

As well as styling I have been recently working as a director on fashion Commercials.

Which all celebrities have you worked with?

Of course Priyanka Chopra.

Amber Heard, Sharon Stone, John Travolta, Leighton Meister, Shay Mitchell, Erika Christensen and many more..

Sophia Banks the stylist of Priyanka Chopra
Checking out an Outfit with Priyanka Chopra
As a celebrity stylist, what are your responsibilities?

When I first start working with someone I create a style guide for them which we follow for them as a guide. I also create a trend book for them for the season.

Then I help shop and buy their entire wardrobe. I also search the world for the best dress for ever red carpet event so they make it in press all over the world.

For a lot of my clients, I do all the costume for films, TV and commercials as well.

It is my job to set a goal with them such as be a style icon or get most googled fashion dress of the year and then reach that goal.

How did you choose the famous Oscar dress of Priyanka Chopra that was the most googled outfit of 2016?

It was so amazing working with her, she is such a wonderful, kind, beautiful person who works so incredibly hard. We always had such fun choosing dresses.

For the Oscar look as it was a big deal we were very involved in the selection of the dress. We of course requested many gowns and flew to Montreal where Priyanka was filming to do a fitting with about 40 gowns in tow.

We then did the fitting and the white was a top option along with many others but it needs alterations.

What is your opinion about Priyanka Chopra?

I think she is an amazing, beautiful and incredible woman. She is also such a hard worker, she is always flying somewhere to shoot something between the USA and India. Her success is an example of what happens when you give everything it takes towards your goal.

I also love her attitude to life, she is super fun loving and easy going. We always had fun together.

Sophia Banks who Styled Priyanka Chopra
Sophia Banks in a television interview
Have you been to Priyanka Chopra’s home Country, India?

Yes I have, I am originally Australian, and so I have travelled to India and all over. It is one of my favourite countries, I love it there. It is a spiritual place for me, there is something special once you land.

Do you have future plans to work with in Bollywood or with Bollywood Celebrities?

Yes I am in talks with new clients right now and am excited to work with some amazing Bollywood talent. I am also working on my first script and am possibly looking at filming in India, so I think I have a lot of future there.

Off-road and On-road experience with TATA Hexa

When I got the invitation for ‘power packed, feature loaded, adrenaline pumped’ TATA Hexa #hexaexperience, I took my family along for two reasons. Firstly, I gave up travelling long distance on road because of excruciating pain due to arthritis; and secondly, my family is better at judging the features of a car. We decided that if the off-road rides were too bumpy and rough,  then my family will continue with the ride, while I watch them from the arena.

Tata Hexa

Hexaexperience Centre

The ambience at the #Hexaexperience centre at Gurugram, was inviting. There was only reasonable crowd who had come seriously to have an #Hexaexperience. And in addition to sitting in a car driven by an expert for the off-road experience, you could also self-drive on road if you own a drivers licence.

tata hexa

Special ride for Kids!!!

When we went for the off road ride, the kids were taken for a special ride, where they were taken for a spinning, speed drive and a little of the bumpy rides, excluding some of the extremely rough hurdles. Kids returned smiling, and a small complaint that ‘Uncle did not take us on all the hurdles’.

Tata Hexa

Attractive Exterior

While waiting for our turn for the off-road experience we could see four Wild Hexa speeding and spinning on the dusty ground. The six-seater TATA Hexa is huge and attracts attention with the grand exterior.

tata hexa

Designed for Hills and Sports

The Seats were extremely comfortable, and there was enough leg space with seat belts for all the seats. We were taken for the rough and tough drive, with sudden breaks applied at close intervals. The car went spinning fast three time, and then we crossed a huge muddy pit with utter grace and elan. Then we had a ride up an artificial hill, a hill hold and a hill descent. Hexa has special features for Hill hold and Hill Descent control.

Tata Hexa

Amazing Wheel Balance

Another amazing hurdle is balancing TATA Hexa on three, 19″ Machined-cut Alloy, Wheels. While sitting inside you do not feel the jerk, but when you watch the video here you will understand the adrenaline feel of the vehicle.

Then we went for the on-road drive. There was Air Conditioner for all the the three row, so the ride was quite comfortable. TATA Hexa got Sports Mode with Race Car Function, by which the car races at amazing speed at the same sudden breaks can be applied with relative ease, without causing discomfort to the passengers. There are a number of exclusive features for the car making it unique, state of the art and giving a tough competition to Cars like Innova Crysta.

I spent few years of my childhood abroad, hence a desi product appeals to me only if products – be it chocolates, cosmetics or electronic gadget – meet all the international standard of quality. Hexa, according to me, is absolutely abiding to the international standards of quality. Sitting inside the car I felt like the product could give tough fight to any foreign brand. And in addition during the three hours that I spent at the #Hexaexperience centre, I forget about my pain. I feel TATA Hexa is absolutely suitable for long rides for people suffering from pains like me. The pricing of the Car is said to be between the range of 12 lakh INR to 18 lakh INR.

Tata Hexa

In addition to the #Hexaexperience, there was also a dog show for adoption of abandoned dog. There was also the food corner with amazing food. The free coffee served at the counter was one of its kind. The coffee first looked like black coffee, and on stirring with the spoon the creamy milk got mixed and the taste is still there at the tip of my tongue.

TATA is known for quality be it steel, coffee, tea, coffee or cars. Hence Hexa will surely set new standard for Cars in India.

Follow traditional diets to reduce obesity

While being interviewed for the post of a dietitian , a candidate was asked if she were a poor housewife and she wanted to cook a nutritional meal for her husband what would she cook. She said she would prepare drumstick leaf curry and sardine curry. Two items very cheaply available in Kerala two decades ago.

Nowadays our concern is about obesity. How to prepare food that is nutritional and reduces obesity. The answer is there in our traditional diet, the ingredients are available in the market. We can also grow a few vegetables in our little balconies.

I feel that ‘elaborate daily meals’ is the fad of the 21st. Having tasty food three times a day and ensuring right combination of food is as a result of the consumerist culture of today.  In my childhood days, on a normal day, I don’t remember having the right kind of accompaniment for a breakfast dish: Instead of chutney or sambar there will be sugar with idli, and instead of puri with chole there will be puri with mango pickle. The right combinations were available only on special occasions. Most children in my native village use to have pazhamkanji (old rice) for breakfast.

There were many reasons for the mismatch in food combination:

  • Shops were few and far between
  • Very few cooking gadgets
  • Unavailability of ready-made ingredients
  • Less income
  • Taste was of least priority
  • No choice: we ate what was put before us
  • Very little exposure to restaurant food

Nowadays we give the highest priority to taste, whereby nutrition comes second in importance. We ensure to have apt combinations for the meals and also taste should be as good as the restaurant one. So we add a lot of masalas and sometimes cook the food for a long time so as to get a particular tasty texture. Since tickling the taste palate in of utmost importance, we prepare different types of food every day. If yesterday we had roti, today we have puri and tomorrow idli. According to experts if we have the same kind of food every day we consume less, on the other hand, if different kinds of food are cooked then we have more food since we relish a new variety of food. For instance, the cooked rice left overnight soaked in water (pazhamkanji) and consumed for breakfast, was a tradition in Kerala. There are many nutritional benefits of pazhamkanji. Why not follow traditional diets to reduce obesity.

Go back to traditional diet………..

Nowadays we revive our tradition in our dressing, family values and ceremonies. When it comes to food, we take the tastier options of different cultures and from a tradition of our own. Why not instead of just adopting the tastier, easier, convenient and happier traditions, let us also adopt some of the tougher and bitter traditions which gave our ancestors a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tough dietary tradition followed by our ancestors and may help to reduce obesity:

Same diet every day

We know very well the staple diet of our ancestors. My ancestors used to have rice;  they had rice for lunch and dinner and sometimes even for breakfast, which is known as pazhamkanji (old rice), considered as one of the most nutritional breakfasts in the world. According to some medical experts, if we stick to our childhood diet in adulthood, then we remain healthy lifelong.

prominence for nutrition

Our ancestors never added flavour to make the food tastier. Every ingredient had some kind of nutritional content. My ancestors used jaggery, (containing antioxidants and mineral) in coffee, tea, sweets, etc. They had green leafy vegetables with rice for lunch. And the labours had pazhamkanji for breakfast which gave them stamina for their hard labour.

Add some bitter in platter

Post delivery diet in my village includes a jaggery sweet mixed with equal amount of fenugreek powder. This bittersweet combination is said to be the secret of the stamina of the elderly women in their 70’s even after giving birth to 7 to 8 children. Many good medicinal food items are bitter, so we must make it a habit of giving bitter food to kids. I know a mother who never gave sugar products to her daughter till she was 5 years old. She was given only naturally sweetened products like fruits and vegetables. And in the meantime, the girl became more interested only in naturally sweet products.

Seasonal diet

When I visit my mother’s village home there are no rewards for guessing what my mother will prepare for me. During the mango season, there will be mango thoran (Thoran is shallow frying of any minced vegetable, mixed with grated coconut and spices), mango curry, mango pickle etc. During Jackfruit season there will be jackfruit chips, mashed jackfruit, jackfruit seed fry, jackfruit halwa etc. And if there is a bunch of banana: first there will be banana flower thoran; then a few raw bananas will be fried or made to thoran; then the rest of the bananas will be kept aside to ripen. Now the inner portion of the banana stem will be made into thoran ( very rich source of fibre and good for the kidney stone).

Strict meal timing

In my village, if someone asks you at 1:30 PM that if you had lunch and you answer is in the negative, then the villagers will rate you as an undisciplined person. In my village, people follow an unwritten schedule for food: Breakfast at 7:00; Lunch at 1:00; Tea at 3:30 and Dinner at 7:00.  In our busy office schedule, we might say maintaining a strict timing is impossible. I know a number of people in various kinds of occupation who stick to their traditional diets and habits, no matter which part of the world they are, or how much work pressure they have.

A friend once said that the Tamil Brahmin community follows their dietary tradition no matter wherever they are. To make her point more clear she said just watch a Tamil Brahmin at a Buffet in a Five Star Hotel. They will look at all the dishes and finally settle down with idli and sambar, or rice and a veg curry.

I think we all need to follow the dietary tradition of our ancestors and not be carried away by all the tasty, enticing odour and attractively presented food items that will pave way for obesity.

Good news about rheumatoid arthritis

Two years back I spent a month in an ayurveda hospital to recuperate from the side-effects of an accident. While lying in the hospital I saw many patients of different age groups suffering from various forms of arthritis. Since I was undergoing ayurveda massage the only activity  I could do was to browse the net on my little mobile phone.

I read many online articles by medical practitioners and patients about the causes, symptoms and treatments for arthritis. There were many stories by arthritis patients about how they lived with the condition. Just like when you read the symptoms of any mental disease and you feel like you too got the mental disease, after reading about the symptoms of various forms of arthritis I felt I got one or all forms of arthritis. After reading the life stories of some arthritis patients, I imagined myself with a walking stick after few years. Then the doctor advised me to stop reading.

After returning to Delhi, I met rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients surviving on pain Killers and they felt doomed.  One even described arthritis as a ‘dirty disease’. The online articles about arthritis and the experience of the patients in Delhi were similar. They all felt the same way;

  • There is not cure for arthritis
  • One day you are going to be bed bound
  • The doctors only prescribe pain killer, which has side-effect

And so I concluded that there is no use in taking medicines for arthritis, and all you can do is learn to live with arthritis.

After two years when I went to Kerala last month, I met a few young rheumatoid arthritis patients in their early thirties who were mostly detected with the disease only after they fell paralysed. I found positivity in their and their care takers attitudes. The patients lead a normal life while still continuing with the medical treatment. Rewinding memories to my days in the hospital I remember meeting patients and hearing stories of recovery and how Ayurveda helped them stays active.

I saw some videos of interviews by ayurveda and allopathic doctors in Kerala who claim that if arthritis is detected at an early stage, the disease can be cured and that in the last two decades many medicines have been discovered to cure arthritis.  What I understand is that the people in Kerala approach arthritis not as a deadly disease but as a lifestyle disease like diabetes or cholesterol, which can be kept in control. There is no fear or phobia about the disease.

Delhi and the western countries, from where most of the articles on arthritis originates, are developed place, where people lead a fast life and so they follow only the allopathy treatment. Kerala is the land of Ayurveda, where even the Keralite diaspora living in different parts of the world rely on Ayurveda for many ailments – especially medications post delivery.  Nowadays some keralite patients combine ayurveda and allopathy, or allopathy and homeopathy etc.

  • Maybe there is a difference in the way Keralites deal with pain and deformity.
  • Maybe the lifestyle in Kerala helps them deal with the disease is a better manner.
  • Maybe the authors of articles online are those with acute arthritis.

I could sense that the approach to arthritis was different in both part of the world, so an interaction between patients on two sides of the globe will provide new hope for arthritis patients.

Ministry of environment issues draft notification to check lead in household and decorative paint

According to a notification by Ministry of Environment, metallic lead in household and decorative paint exceeding 90 parts per million is hereby prohibited. The Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change in India, issued the draft Gazette Notification on 8th April, 2016, of certain rules to regulate the manufacture, trade, use, import and export of lead contents in household and decorative paints.

Bureau of India Standards (BIS) shall be the nodal agency for the purposes of these rules and shall implement the provisions of these rules. These rules may be called the Regulation on Lead contents in Household and Decorative Paints Rules, 2016.

Presently there is not mandatory regulation to limit the use of lead in paint. The notification comes after persistent campaigns by consumer organisations and environmentalists as Lead is a major health hazard.  Lead poisoning may lead to genetic disorder, anaemia, learning disability, joint paint, and a host of other ailments. In most countries their are strict regulations to curb the use of lead in paint.

The following conditions shall be applicable namely:

  • The manufacturer or importer of the product shall label its product stating that the lead content does not exceed 90ppm and such labelling shall be durable and legible
  • The labelling shall contain the name of the manufacturer and the importer
  • The stipulations regarding the content of lead shall apply to paints manufactured on and from the date of coming into force of these rules
  • Every manufacturer or importer of product shall have a valid certificate of approval of the nodal agency for the manufacture of the product in India or for being imported into India
  • Every manufacturer or importer shall submit a schedule for drawing samples by the nodal agency by 31st March every year for subjecting its product for verification for conformity with the provision of rule 2.

Any person or organization desirous of making any suggestion or objection respect of the present draft rules may forward the same by writing by mail or fax for consideration of the central government within sixty days to W. Bharat Singh, Joint Director, Ministry of Environment.

Also Read: Be part of the Big Impact: Stop Lead Poisoning

Print your ads on paper cups

In a previous post I mentioned how ‘peppy gifts’ are soon replacing business cards because gifts are a faster means to strike a rapports with the target customers. Now, Gingercups.com has cup up with a effective Idea for offline marketing of online companies. They print ads on paper cups to garner the attention and interest of the target customers. As soon as a company register with Gingercups.com they can decide on a tagline and design of the papercup. Now gingercups will print the cups and market them in offices, parties, colleges, etc. Gingercups makes attractive flyers too for the marketing camapigns.

PEPPY GIFTS BETTER THAN BUSINESS CARDS

The concept of Paper Cup Advertising

GingerCup’s marketing strategy entails bringing a brand into the limelight through exquisitely designed printed paper cups used for tea/coffee. The strategically designed quality paper cups feature the client’s logo, website address, offer code, contact details, etc. upon them. After getting designed, they are then printed and distributed for free where they are likely to come in contact with targeted audience. The expert team at GingerCup first decides the right set of people to target, the quantum of cups to be distributed, and the places where the cups are to be distributed. A purposefully designed quality tea cup gets the brand noticed and spoken about. People seem to enjoy every sip of their kick-start drink (tea /coffee) and thus spend ample to have it. So, while having it, they see an alluring ad right in their hand. Resultantly, it is not only welcomed but also shared further through word of mouth.

Enticing Flyers

Not all the flyers in the world are distributed with a strategy. GingerCup does it purposefully. It is beyond someone’s imagination how the booming online world can be a boon for an offline marketing campaign. Right from shopping clothes to give them for laundry, from buying books to ordering a pizza, everything is done online. We know everything which is bought has to get delivered at a customer’s place. GingerCup prints enticingly designed flyers that speak about their clients’ brand / product / service and all the essential information the targeted audience would require knowing about them. Having tied up with the delivery providers, GingerCup gets the flyers delivered at a place along with the products being ordered online. In a fit of excitement to open a newly bought item, people notice what comes along with it. It then makes it certain for the flyer to get read and create an impact about the advertised brand on the reader’s mind.

Carrying a distinctive strategic approach, these marketing methods are easy on the pocket and fertile enough to breed the desired level of brand recognition for an advertiser. Therefore, when there is every possibility of an online ad getting scrolled down, GingerCup’s potential ad weapons are hard to ignore. Indeed, it is something here to stay.