A beginner’s guide to indoor plants

A beginner’s guide to indoor plants

Introduction:

I am having indoor plants for a year or so now. Initially, I was a bit scared because I do not have a green thumb. As we shifted to a new place, which had a lot of places to keep these indoor plants I decided to have some of them. But going to any nursery and getting them was a tough task.

One day I visited the CP Ramaswamy Art Gallery in Alwarpet and found that there were some good plants kept in the exhibition. The one which struck the chord was the bamboo plant standing tall. I quickly got it along with a money plant and an Aloe Vera sapling. I was scared because this was the first time I had indoor plants. It has been a year that we have the bamboo and I have propagated money plant very well in four to five small saplings.

Aloe Vera has already delivered so many small saplings…

 

I got the plants from the exhibition and a stall of The Artium by Rajalakshmi. Rajalakshmi has a studio in Kottivakkam. I have not visited her studio but she has a lot of nicely potted indoor plants. You might ask, one can get indoor plants from any nursery why such a reservation about getting plants from The Artium. My only way of answering to this is that the plants which I got from other nurseries in the past could not survive.

There may be a fault in my ways to look after the plant but the Bamboo has survived for a year and a half, lit up the corner of our home. please visit The Artium by Rajalakshmi to get wonderful plants which survive. 🙂 

Here are some points that are important while getting your indoor plants

  • The Direction of the House:
    • My home faces south and there is not much light inside the house during the day. There are very few corners which are lit up in the house. So this was a primary concern while getting the indoor plants. I kept Bamboo plant in such a way that it gets indirect sunlight from the entrance door. I guess that was enough for it. Bamboo is also a water plant, so I keep changing the water in around 15 days. The same row where we get ample indirect sunlight has four indoor plants, Philodendron, Money Plant, Bamboo and Snake Plant. Philodendron is a relatively new plant, not sure how would it behave but so far going well.
  • Soil or Water

    • My attempt at growing a money plant inside the house in soil was totally spoilt. For a brief period, I kept it outside. Aloe Vera and Money plant were growing together. But then, I tried taking out the growing nodes from money plant and kept them to grow in water inside the house. To my surprise, It was growing very very well. So, if any of the indoor plants are not doing well inside, please give it a chance to survive outdoors where you do not get direct sunlight. The sapling might bloom.
  • General Care
    • If you are planning to have a money plant in water, please change the water often. For Bamboo, it is okay to refill every fifteen days. But while doing so, wash the roots properly so that the infections if any get washed away.
    • For plants which are potted in soil, I feel a strict vigil on the water content of that soil and watering it when needed would help.  
    • Mobile phones, chargers, laptop chargers and other gadgetry should be avoided where the plants are kept.
  • The pots you use
    • I have used glass vase, a bottle, a mason jar, a tea kettle and repurposed wine bottles for growing my money plant and aloe vera. You can try your unused crockery for the same. Check out the type of plant you are potting and give it a try. It is all try-worthy.

Let me know if you have any existing indoor plants. Would love to know how do you care for them.

 

 

Every Summer Has a Story

Every Summer Has a Story

As much as people disgrace summer for the heat, children

love to spend their time without any timetable, books, teachers and school 🙂 Each one of us have been through this wonderful phase of our lives “ Childhood”. Summer is the time to relive these memories time and again. While I face the scorching heat while on roads, these beautiful memories make me nostalgic.

Here are some of my very special summer memories:

  • Waking up to the cuckoo’s coo, a typical morning alarm in India during summers
  • The opening of the carton of Alphonso mangoes specially brought from Nagpur
  • The breakfast of Aamras and roti. Topping aamras with ghee every single time before binging.
  • Indoor games with cousines like carrom, rummy, chess and now pallanguzhi
  • Filling water in cooler making it ready for hot and scorching summer afternoons.
  • Making of pickles, aam panna, appalam and papads
  • Relaxing on the lazy evening sipping on aam panna
  • Playing with water for hours together, to beat the heat
  • Reading champak, chanda mama, tinkle, chacha choudhary and saboo’s shenanigans.
  • The red hot petals of Gulmohar and Blushing Bahava or Yellow Bells
  • Evenings on the beach, eating candy floss

 

These are just some of them, I am sure you may be having many to add.

 

Let us know what are your favorite summer memories? Comment below.

 

 

Mono-Travelogues – 1

Mono-Travelogues – 1

An early morning packup
A vacation after a long
Srirangam Bodi and nearby
Arun planned it all.

Happy,excited and nerve wrecking
The roadtrip that it was
Arun was the driver
And he drove it all along.

Srirangam Trichy –
Beautiful calm place
The old trees and the new
The coconut tall and the bougainvillea bloom
The small town made the memories loom

The grace of Lord spread all over
the sunshine on the rooftops
The Gopuram shines bright
At the dusk and at the dawn

Takes us back to the old days
Of Rajas and Maharajas
Grandeur! Is its name?

Stand in the queue
Look at the Lord
A moment of Darshan
Of the resting God

Of several sannidhis
And great architecture
Hide and seek of the moon
The devotees and the devotion

Sing a Bhajan or join both hands
Blessed are those who come here to this great Land……

Quest for Flexibility – Sun Salutations

Quest for Flexibility – Sun Salutations

Barbells before breakfast was my theme for the A2Z Blogger Challenge, well there are numerous posts which would help you assess what are you doing and whether you are doing it correctly, meal wise and workout wise. I deliberately did not post about what workouts can be done because as Rujuta Diwekar, a famous nutritionist in India says “Exercise is like your life-partner, choose it in the way that you can live with it forever.”

I love working out in a gym, or home gym, the dumbbells, and barbells give me a rush of energy and enthusiasm every time I workout with it. The soreness and more toned body is a reward for all those hours of exercise that I have put in. Now this Dil Mange More ( My heart wants more). More regarding flexibility and strength, so I have decided to broaden my horizon. For the past year, I was working out five days a week with three days of strength training and cardio as I feel. Which I changed 3 months to see a little change in the weighing scale. Cardio helped me lose 10 lbs along with strength training. My strength training routine continues, but I need more variety in cardio and some challenge.
So here I am embarking on the new journey – Sun Salutations. A tiny winy effort to make my body a little better regarding flexibility and overall strength. But then you would come across questions such as

  • Why Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations all of a sudden?
    Sun Salutation is a complete workout in itself. We can say a fantastic bodyweight workout. I wanted something which goes with the flow and the structure of the body. I am below the beginner level of yoga, so I thought this would be a good beginning.
  • What time is better to do Sun Salutations?
    Any time is OK as long if you are okay with your pre-workout and post-workout meal. For me as I get up at 5.00 AM, I can do Sun Salutations at the crack of the dawn which is the best time to do it
  • Can it be done every day?
    Sun-Salutations can be done every day, including the periods. Only inversions are to be avoided while being on periods.
  • How to do Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations:

  • How would it benefit?
    • Basic Flexibility
    • Glowing skin
    • Prevents hair loss improving blood flow to the scalp
    • Regular practice helps irregular menstrual cycle.

But more than all of this, I want to do it mainly because it would challenge my flexibility (which is zero at this point). Also, it is a workout which can be done anytime anywhere without much ado.

Have you thought about including Surya Namaskara in your workout routine? If So how? Would love to know.

 

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

The Art of Doing – Nothing

The Art of Doing – Nothing

The past week has been tremendously busy. Family gatherings, celebrations, functions and the overdose of love and affection from all sides. Sometimes I crave for such time as it is immensely satisfying. With a lot of parties come a lot of food, late night dinners, zero workouts and I often land in a Topsy Turvy Land which is not very familiar at all. I have said many times in my posts that routine is my paradise, how so ever boring it sounds it is the truth. So how do I get back to my routine is the real key to better productivity. I feel everything happens as a part of a cycle and to start, we certainly need to halt at some point. For me, that point is La Dolce Far Niente, which literally means the sweetness of doing NOTHING in Italian.

Recently I read a book called “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and for the love of “Julia Roberts” watched the movie with all my heart where “La Dolce Far Niente” term is pretty elaborated when she travels to Italy as a part of her expedition. Since childhood, doing nothing is my fantasy. Being a child I practiced it very well and was being called lazy many a times. But they never knew the real bliss of a person like me who knows how to do NOTHING. 🙂

Have you ever wondered how your day would be if you take time out for “La Dolce Far Niente”?

Doing nothing needs equal efforts as running on the treadmill because it requires a great determination to stop the urge which makes us do something or the other all the time.

We usually crave for weekends and small gateways to relax, what if we infuse these moments of “La Dolce Far Niente” in our routines just to sit back and stare out of that window, with zero intention and zero thoughts…that way it would certainly become a meditation of sorts where you connect with yourself on a deeper level.

Workouts make me happy, but doing nothing makes me happier so I am going to infuse my time of sweet nothings into my routine and see whether that scale really budges 🙂

What would you do to do nothing? Would love to know.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

Increase Your Stamina With 5 Simple Steps

Increase Your Stamina With 5 Simple Steps


Stamina plays an important role in your performance of daily activities. 90% of us do not have enough stamina to carry through the day which results in fatigue and leads to different health complications. Many people feel that they would lose whatever energy they have by working out. But that is a myth. Here are 5 top tips increase your stamina.

Tip: 1 Get yourself tested:

Baseline medical tests are important to find out how fit you are. It will also help you identify whether there are any deficiencies in your body.

Tip: 2 Start with a balanced diet:

Well, starting with a good diet is half way through the increased stamina. I have already talked enough about food in my article.

Tip:3 Play your favorite sport:

Playing your favourite sport is best to overcome fatigue. It will also help to boost your stamina. Your favorite sport being aerobic exercise it will help you strengthen your heart so that there is more oxygen for all parts of your body.

Tip: 4 Have smaller meals:

The flow of energy needs to be maintained throughout the day for your body. Eating small meals throughout the day helps to keep up the energy increasing the stamina.

Tip: 5 Increase your water content:
Reduce dehydration and fatigue by drinking water all day. It will give your body constant supply of oxygen.

Once the stamina is good, you are good to amp up your exercise and make the most of it.

Home Workouts For New Mummas

Home Workouts For New Mummas

In my circle, there are quite a few new mommas and I would certainly love to point them towards some basic workout routines which would help them being in the exercise routine and also shed some weight if needed.

So here we go.

Leslie Sansone

Leslie Sansone’s walking at home was quite a revolution in the USA. I would say in India, this is the much-needed change that everyone should embrace. Walking at home is a simple concept and you can easily do your 5ooo steps in 45 minutes of walking. She has combined 4 main moves into walking like side tap, knee ups, walking front and back and hand movements. You can even do it with ankle weights if you want to incorporate strength moves. Worth every bit of your time.

Bikini Body Mommy

https://www.youtube.com/user/BikiniBodyMommy

 

 

Well, if you really want to get inspired by this hot mommy, you can just visit her website or you tube channel. This workout is a real life challenge which Brianna has actually worked upon and is called a 90 day challenge. You can do these workouts from home with small dumbells. Absolutely doable with a kid around.

Blogilates

https://www.youtube.com/user/blogilates

 

If you are ready for a lil hardcore stuff here is blogilates. I love Cassy and her 30 day challenges. Just go to blogilates.com and see what all she has to offer. Plenty of workout sheets, meal plans and loads of motivation. I love her love of pink. ❤

Jillian Michaels

Jillian is a fitness goddess. Her workout videos are intense and not to be tried without consulting your doc if you have delivered recently. If you would have been a serious exercise junkie before and would like to continue being one now, this is a great start.

Fitness Blender – Kelly

https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender

 

Those mummas who are ready for strength training workouts. I would highly recommend fitness blender workouts, which are light and are like having a personal trainer at the comfort of your home. I loved these workouts because they are simple, can be done anywhere.

While doing all these, remember, no exercise can outdo bad food. So clean up your food as much as you can, normal indian food would serve the purpose. Eat to your hunger. If you are breastfeeding eat 500 calories more than usual. If you are counting calories great! if you are not, thats fine too. A good 30 mins of workouts with better eating will surely fetch you more stamina.

Stay Blessed, Stay Beautiful!

P.S:- I have tried all the above workouts. If you have any question you can get back to me 🙂

Gearing Up for A Walk With Fitbit

Gearing Up for A Walk With Fitbit

Its 5 am in the morning, and I wake up to a lil vibration on my left wrist, in half sleep i try to find the snooze button but promptly it again wakes me up with its vibrations. As I wake up, i glance at a new entrant in my gadgetry, Yessss! I am the new owner of fitbit, which is a famous fitness tracking device.
Once, I am up, the app pops up saying, you are 1234 steps ahead of ms.X and I get super charged up to let them behind with some added steps….the lazy me crops up and says… have a cup of coffee and then lets take them onn..by the time I have my dose of caffine, ms.X has already moved 1234*2 steps ahead making the contest difficult for me, I think, oh yeah, she is not in my time zone..and leave it to that.
The morning chores bring me to a total of 1000+ steps and I am figuring myself in the last two slots of fitbit challenge group. Never mind, after all, others are in different times zones, they may have treadmills to tread and increase the step count me thinks. Plus, I have so much work to do…(as if no one in the world really works as hard as me)
Somehow by the noon the step count is 2000+ and I finally think feel like moving a bit adding up the step count..but the device shows up the low battery signal and I have to wait till it charges because “there is no point walkin if I don’t have my fitbit on”.
office work and some meetings, a bit of commute and the step count increases only by 1000, now I have treaded 3000 steps which is a good feat, I think to myself, I still have a few hours to go and compete with these extra talented, and active ladies, I also remember “Sitting is the new smoking” proverb which is coined by a famous celebrity nutritionist, but  I can’t help myself doing the new form of smoking because, the standing desk has been hijacked by my team member and I have no option but to sit and work. I just hope that I get many calls to increase the step count, but that doesn’t happen either..I don’t know when it was the last time that god heard my plea.
By 5.3opm, I would have crossed the 4000 mark and feel awesomely proud of myself, just then Fitbit app says you and ms.X are too close for comfort, or ms. X has just tiptoed you. I feel like asking these ladies whether they have treadmill desks or they have an active jobs like postman, salesman or the likes. How on the earth can someone walk 15000 steps a day? everyday???
Its already 9.00 pm, I have hardly crossed the 5000 step mark and my eyes are red urging me to sleep, fitbit pops up and says its time to wind up and get a good night’s sleep. I finally feel that this device cares for me..otherwise the whole day, it just tells me that I am a useless person, moving my bum less often than others.
My sore heart and legs do not let me sleep, they keep reminding me of the deadly device called fitbit which helps me torture them to the core. I quickly take note and slip into my good night’s sleep, after all I am a 5am mommy.

Fuel Up Your Workouts

Fuel Up Your Workouts

Easier said than done! In a hustle and bustle of today’s “instant” life, we often pay less regard to the pre-workout and the post workout meals. Now I can see some raised eyebrows with surprise. Wondering that how will you reduce by eating just before exercise?

Indeed, if you are one of those fitternity members, then you might be knowing the importance of this meal which should never be compromised on. And if you didn’t know this then this post is to make sure you never skip a banana before that 5 km run. This is a guide for runtastic players who want to improve their performance.

Why pre-workout meals?

Consider your body as a car. So, without petrol would the car function? On the similar lines, it is essential to eat before a workout. Else, you are at the risk of slow results and of course injury to the muscles.It is always advisable to have a balanced meal consisting of the three important macronutrients viz carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the right proportion.

The benefits of a pre-workout meal are:-

  1. More energy:- It is a known fact that body breaks down carbohydrates and uses glycogen stores to produce energy.Eating carbohydrates will definitely mean more energy while at workouts.
  2. Increase muscle Anabolism and reduce catabolism:- If you are building on muscles then let not your hard-earned muscles wear up by not eating before the exercise. The amino acids from the muscles will be used by the body after the glycogen stores, thus depleting the muscles. Enhance your muscle-protein synthesis by getting a great pre-workout meal.

So what should I eat before my exercise?

Fats:- As much as fats are a great source of energy they can also make you sluggish and lethargic.

Proteins:- A great source of protein can increase the amino acids levels which can be used by the body after glycogen stores get over and before the body utilizes its muscle protein.

Carbohydrates:- If the workout is scheduled within 30 min-1 hours, then having a simple carbohydrate diet sounds great else always bank on the complex low GI carbohydrates which will not allow a sudden dip in the blood sugar levels.

Here are few examples of pre-workout meals:-

  1. Bananas- Natural sugar, fibers, simple carbohydrates. A great source of potassium as it is, this fruit is my favorite pre-workout snack.
  2. Curd/ Greek yogurt & goodness of dry fruits:– You may consider this meal to be consumed an hour before the exercise. The dry fruits are a rich source of sugar and protein is coupled with the greek yogurt.
  3. Oats and porridge:- This can be eaten before an hour of long workout stretch.It is indeed a great source of soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates.
  4. Rice, chicken and the vegetables:- The best source of lean protein and carbohydrates this meal can be consumed before 2-3 hours of your workout.
  5. Fruit smoothies:- Prefer this when you are low on energy and you want fast acting glucose.
  6. Omelet:- Promote muscle growth by having omelet before 2-3 hours of workout.
  7. Protein Bars and Protein Shakes:- This protein loaded bars or shakes are the best consumed for another quick go work-out.
  8. Apple and peanut butter:-  So if you have 30 min for your workout and you want some quick bite then this is the best option.
  9. Roti, Ghee, and Jaggery:- For Indians, this is a great option to munch before a workout.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

3 Amazing Benefits of Triphala Choorna

3 Amazing Benefits of Triphala Choorna

How many of you have heard about Triphala Choorna and the benefits of Triphala Choorna? My father used to take it quite regularly. His hot favorites are Harada Choorna and Triphala Choorna. Some days before, I had a severe gastric issue as I ate 4 pods of freshly brought jackfruit. I was uncomfortable and started having chest pain so much so that I could not sit, walk or do anything. My sister who was working with me asked me to take a lemon water concoction to ward off any bloating or acidity. I had a better idea instead. There was Triphala choorna bottle hanging around since 4-5 months. We hadn’t used it. I immediately gulped down one spoon of Triphala choorna with warm water and Voila!!! My chest pain was totally gone. I was feeling lighter and better.

What is Triphala?

Triphala is a combination of three fruits named Amalaki (Amla), Haritaki (Harada), Bibhitaki (Behada). Harada choorna is also very popular for keeping the digestive tract sane. Harada as we say in Marathi also helps to control intermittent coughing.

Amalaki ( Amla):– Helps manage pitta and natural functions of the liver as well as immune system

Bibhitaki (Behada):- Supports respiratory system. It is an amazing anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Haritaki ( Hirada):- Has a great effect on all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). It is a detoxifier and helps maintain weight. It also aids the healing process.

Benefits of Triphala:

    • Improves eyesight: Yes, this is an out of the box benefits but my dad usually tells me to wash my eyes with Triphala water. He says it will help ward off the tiredness of the eyes due to longer exposure to the computer screen.
    • Boosts your immune system: Amalaki or Amla helps boost the immune system. It aids blood circulation by cleaning digestive tract.
    • Makes your skin glow: Well, this is a by-product of getting your digestive system clean. As the digestion is back on track you are bound to be blessed with glowing skin.

 

There are many benefits of Triphala but what worked for me the best is its cleansing property. It is not like you hog on and then take Triphala to ward off the evils of bad food eaten at the equally bad time. It is about creating the harmony in the body which reflects on your face.

A very simple and effective product of Ayurveda which you should give a try. What do you do when you face the digestive system issue? Do you approach Ayurveda or you trust Allopathy? Would love to know. 

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.