Yoga with Adriene – The 5 AM Mommy Experience – Day 1 Discern

Yoga with Adriene – The 5 AM Mommy Experience – Day 1 Discern

Being on the Yoga mat is an experience in itself. For me it is a huge responsibility but Yoga with Adriene walked me through effortlessly.

Off late, procrastination has become a part of my lifestyle. Approximately 4 months ago I fell in front of the ground while running and twisted my ankle, that was a kind of downfall to my fitness regime. As much as I should not blame that fall, I will, because that was something I still remember. Then started a series of injuries which has prevented me from being myself. Has it ever happened to you? You want to be yourself but some other power wants you not to be. Funny isn’t it?

So, not being myself is not my favourite game.

Not enjoying it but yes, I am also in the process of learning. Sometimes, being yourself also means posing limitations on the variety of things and emotions that you go through and feel. If you feel bad, and being yourself is not expressing it, then expressing your feelings may teach you something unique. That is my experience of these 4 months. Off course, I blame my depleted endorphin levels for all the emotional mess that I have been through.

And now, not being normal is my new normal 🙂

How did I come to terms to it? ( Well, I had no other option) I had to literally wrap my head around many many things happening at the same time.

For a hard core Taurean like me who loves being grounded for like eons, these small changes were like a huge life changing moments.

I dread for them everyday and they keep coming onto me. It looks like a huge red flag as they shake in front of a bull in bull flight. Do I fight? Yes I do and so far I am successful. In one such fight that I had, I have learnt to tackle it with yoga with Adriene. Those who know me know that I am not quite a Yoga person. Not at all. My patience levels are terribly low and I like some happening workout business ( outwardly), This was different though. I got to know about Adriene from a fitness community on FB. As my usual behaviour goes, I contemplated doing it for couple of weeks. But ultimately Adriene convinced me to take up her 30 day Yoga practice.

In this Ultimate Blogging Challenge I am going to write about how everyday is changing the way I process my thoughts.

Day 1: Discern

Adriene is all about calmness. She is so comfortable with herself that you feel like “Wow”. The first day of Yoga is Discern. She takes you through some simple moves which would help you find out why are you on the yoga mat ( that’s what she says). Being on the Yoga mat is an experience in itself. For me it is a huge responsibility but Adriene walked me through effortlessly.
I should brag here for a bit and tell that my 5 AM routine helps me the Yoga practice with calmer mind. Throughout the day it is simply not possible to walk through it. Though it is too early to say anything or tell anything about the practice that I am doing, creating a good space for your practice helps a lot. Find your own place in the house, terrace, gallery, garden anywhere for Yoga practice. One place dedicated to it makes a lot of difference. If you don’t have that place, then please try and create one.
After years of Jumping, skipping and doing umpteen hardcore exercise reps at 5.00 am in the morning, Yoga comes like a whiff of fresh air. I loved it to the core and I am looking forward for the next day Adriene. 🙂

This post is written for #UBC Ultimate Blogging Challenge for #blogboost #ultimatebloggingchallenge 

Food Resolution 2019 – The 5 AM Mommy

Food Resolution 2019 – The 5 AM Mommy

Hello everyone, here! Happy New Year 2019 to all of you. A fresh year starts and one can see 365 opportunities on 31st of December every year. A New year often ushers in a lot of positivity and  endless possibilities.Bidding goodbye to the last year and welcoming the new year has always been a moment of nostalgia. The year or years which are never going to come back. I get retrospective when the countdown to the new year starts. I suddenly realise the time which is passing by and which can’t be brought back. Time for me is more than a resource. It is a fourth dimension to my living existence. I have always been a time-conscious child and now a careful mother. Whiling away time or doing nothing given a lot of time  hurts me like nothing else. I respect people who spend their time meticulously.

About Planning And Time Management

The 5 AM Mommies believe in the miracle called planning and time management. It is an art as much as it is a science. Thus, new year is of immense importance to us. I am of the firm belief that not only a new year can change your life, but any fresh moment can transform your life and you will be like never before, only if you allow yourself the same.

I am a huge fan of resolutions. Getting new journals, life size planners at the beginning of any new year and planning the day, week and months has been a favourite affair of The 5 AM Mommies and now slowly the children also seen to imbibe it.

You can read our love for this all the time through our blogs. We second the thought that ,”If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Planning doesn’t assure success, but if we don’t plan we are left in a bewilderment which only few can relate to.

The 5 AM Mommies are health conscious. We are fitness freaks. We are marathon mommies and wish to handover/pass on  the torch of healthy eating to the coming generations.

This year I have made a few small improvisations when it comes to my food habits. Even if they are small changes they require 200 percent willpower to bring into practice.Please note that I am a vegetarian.

Here we go:-

Mindful eating:–  

Yes, we eat as per plan. But, the most important habit I want to cultivate this year is to sit calm while eating, recite a prayer and then eat every bite consciously. I have a habit of planning my food quantity as well,pre-hand. But sometimes when I need more energy, by eating consciously, I am going to listen to the need of my body and give it the fuel and the amount of fuel which is required at that point of time. It sounds simple but is a big task in itself.

Intermittent fasting:-

This is a growing and upcoming fad diet as you may call. I have followed  it in the month of December and found it very much useful to keep my mind away from food(which is the only comfort for me). So, when my body doesn’t need food, I am not going to load the calories just because I planned or because I am on a high or my mood is real low. Basically, I am not going to be an emotional eater.

Amp up my Hb, Calcium and Vit D levels:-  

As a mother, we often tend to ignore ourselves, grab whatever is available to eat. We mostly operate on low battery levels, thanks to running errands at our home. I have a resolution to have a tab on my daily intake of iron rich sources,( dates, spinach, pomegranate, apples, and beetroot) and also have a rich serving of calcium( ragi, tomatoes and many others).I take an oath to bring in the goodness of nuts and fruits to my plate. Dairy shall be given its due importance and it will find a way to my diet through a bowl of yogurt, curd or paneer.As I hate drinking milk. I am also going to bask in the Sun every 10 minutes  of the day.

Swap Green tea with the regular sugar tea or the masala chai:

Basking in the early morning rays of the Sun while sipping on fresh green tea, charges you for the day like anything. I am slowly getting into this habit and mind it, I have started to cultivate some harder ones from the last year.The purpose is to skip the empty calories the very thing in the morning.

Eating sweets and desserts guilt-free:-  

I have been brought up in a household where sweets (homemade) formed a meal at least twice a week. Celebrations meant sweets from Mom’s Kitchen. If I scored well in any exam, I could see the lovely bowl of Rasgoollas in the fridge the very next day. Growing up, every sweet bite felt criminal. But, indeed, sweets played a big role in making us feel loved, and also served a much needed pat. I have decided to incorporate 2 servings of sweet to my diet plan. And if someone offers me sweet, I will accept wholeheartedly without giving my diet excuses.

Good thoughts, Good relationships and good Times:-

Good food also means good time.Good time with family and friends. Good food also means good thoughts. I am going to nurture quality thoughts while preparing food for the family. Strong relationships bond over great food. Thus, I resolve to put more than 100 % while cooking thus, welcoming new times. Please note that we also run a food catering businessFood is medicine. I am going to stick to these resolutions at least for an year. I wish it becomes a habit by this 21st January, itself. I dare to make a wish! Do you?

This post is written for Ultimate Blogging Challenge 2019

#blogboost

 

Diwali Sweets – To eat or not to eat?

Most of us have grown up eating many homemade delicacies made by our mothers, aunts and other ladies, in our case dad and husband too. Indian food and festivals are inseparable. My mom used to have specific delicacies on festivals. She never made anything mismatch to that season of the festival. Say for example, for Nagpanchami ( It is a festival where we pray to the Snake God) she used to make naivedhya of Sakhar Bhat ( Sugar Saffron Rice). On the last day of Ganapati, that is on Ananta Chaturdashi, she used to make Banana Pachadi ( Kelachi Koshimbir) which she used to call as “ Anantachi Koshimbir,” these things were seldom repeated as may be those festive days would be perfect weather-wise to have this all. After her, I have never seen anybody so thoughtful with regards to food. Come rainy season and we used to refrain from Brinjal, Onion completely, and Garlic, the simple reason would be that rains make the digestion sluggish, if we eat something like onion, we would need a good digestive power, as the winter approach, the digestion gets back to normal and after Diwali, we can actually start eating Brinjal, Onions, and Garlic. There is a specific day called “ Tulasi Vivah” when one can start eating everything. Diwali sweets were made well in advance and were allowed to be eaten only on the Abhyangasnan Day ( Narakchaturdashi) the tradition which continues till date.

Why this much thought in eating?

Because our food science is very well advanced and it is as per the season. Seasons affect the gut and digestive power of the stomach. If we eat as per the digestive power, we are never to fail. I totally believe in eating seasonal food. Diwali is meant for eating. Good food and Good times equal Diwali. Diwali Palaharam is a matter of great interest across India. With the talks of diet and nutrition in place, life has become difficult.

How the supply in the market changes our perception of food.

7 to 8 years ago, PepsiCo introduced oats in India. The campaign was making India heart healthy. The campaign was successful and slowly other companies like Britannia, Kellogg’s also rushed to bring in the most healthy cereal of the world “ Oats.” Looking at the facts, it is apparent that slowly with these types of campaigns India has become 200 crore market for cereals which is nothing but packaged food presented wonderfully and advertised really well. Same goes with other packaged goodies such as Wafers, Noodles and so on. The question on my mind is why would we give up our food and go ahead to eat something which does not even taste a bit like Indian food. The answer is the power of ADVERTISING and BRANDING.

How colors, advertising, branding, and campaigns change the food scenario?

Nobody branded Poha, Upma, Idli, Dosa the way we are bombarded with Pizza, Noodles and Masala oats advertisements. Same goes with Diwali Snacks. After Navratri, you can watch Cadbury advertising about how to gift Chocolates ( Cadbury Chocolate Pack) this Diwali to your loved ones, neighbors and so on. I mean really? When did the warmth of homemade ladoo, murukku, shankarpali was replaced by something made in the factory with many other products with loads of preservatives?

Oats Chivda, Ladoo Without Sugar and Gluten Free Chakli

There cannot be Chivda without Poha, Corn Poha, or Sabudana Poha period. There cannot be ladoo without sugar ( palm sugar or jaggery are good replacements of sugar), and there cannot be chakli without gluten as Chakli wouldn’t happen if there is no Gluten in the mix. So, the gist of all the above is, as we always say, eat in moderation. Have those long walks every day consistently to feel good and fit.
No million dollar company can be worried about your heart, and it’s health though they claim. Ultimately, you are the only person who knows your body and its needs. So, eat homemade, think homemade and seasonal. Whether should you have all the sweets? Please have as you wouldn’t get the warmth and thought with which it is conceived and made.

Happy Diwali.

Kumudavalli

Kumudavalli

Dressed in a simple cotton saree with a huge bindi on her forehead carrying a round cane basket of flowers going for a door delivery of flower garlands Kumudavalli is all there to enchant you.

She is soft spoken but there is a kind of strength in her walk. As she crosses signals and busy roads, she is sure that her basket of flowers will be empty by the end of the day. Sometimes you would also see her chewing her favorite beeda but that too not very often. Every evening 6.30 to 7.00 she would start from her home walk all the way to Mylapore to deliver flowers.

Flowers are her life. They have helped her make a livelihood. Her son is now working in a big company and daughter duly married with kids. She is happy but says that she has to come and sell the flowers to keep herself busy.

You can get all types of flowers from her. But she is very fond of Tulasi. Whenever I ask her why she gets me so much Tulasi, she says “Put it near the feet of Lord Vishnu, he loves Tulasi.”

Kumudavalli has no marketing, no social media. All she has is word of mouth and an amazing customer service. When she first met me, we were staying at the rented house. One evening she came and told me that the house owner ( who were not staying there) used to get flowers from her for last 20 years and she would be happy coming to that home again and give me flowers. I was more than happy and said yes to her. One more trait of Kumudavalli’s flower business was that the flower packet was never more than Rs.10. If I ask her more flowers for some occasion, she would ask me money only at the end of the month. Her flowers were always fresh and she would know what goes on what day. For example during Ganesh Chaturthi days she would bring red flowers and suitable flowers to Lord Ganesha.

On Saturdays, which is called as a Lord Vishnu’s day in Tamil Nadu, she would bring suitable flowers to Lord Vishnu and loads of Tulasi.

Along with all the matching flowers she would put a gajra of either mogra, chameli, jai or jui,kunda and the likes. Here there is a tradition of giving flowers to any lady who comes home at any point of time in a day.

It is due to Kumudavalli’s flower packet that I have never missed giving flowers to any Sumangali ( Married Woman) coming home. One gajra will always be there at home no matter what.

She was the one who gave us amazing garlands for my Sister In Law’s engagement. These garlands were specially made with Rajnigandha’s flowers, with roses in between tied tightly with the thread made of banana stem. They are sure as heavy, but create such a beautiful memory of that event through their fragrance.

As the days of Shravan approach I usually tell her to include some bilvam in the flower packet.The bilva patram would be neat ( 3 leaves as a piece without any holes) and she would deliver it without any fuss. The price of the flower pack would be little higher like Rs.12 but her customer service is impeccable.

She knew that there is small kid at our home, as she came everyday, she would tie a gajra for my dear little K even when she had a boy cut. 🙂

I call all lady flower vendors Kumudavalli ( Kumuda – Flower Valli – Creeper). I feel that is the best name for all the ladies who deliver flowers to households. Kumudavalli coming to Shrilekha’s home does not know how to count. She is an old lady but looks stunning with two sided nose pin and a nice cotton saree. She usually tells Shrilekha to count and give how many flowers she has given in that month. 🙂 I always feel that she has a deep belief on the customer and the trade that neither of them would cheat her.

Above all, for all Kumudavallis there is the Lord who knows all the accounting 🙂 HE would never do anything wrong for these ladies who are working hard twinning flowers and threads for HIM.

Freedom from Unhealthy Habit – Hum Fit to India Fit

Freedom is subjective in every aspect of our life. As we go ahead and make vows to make ourselves fit along with many celebrities on the eve of Independence Day, we need to really identify what is that one unhealthy habit which is taking toll on our body. Identifying that first will help us take further steps towards fitness. What is the definition of unhealthy? Well, anything which is not in coordination with your body is unhealthy. Today, we are going to emphasize on sitting. As per the new norms “Sitting is the new smoking”. Knowingly or unknowingly we sit a lot throughout the day. While commuting in the car or the bus, while at the office, while dining at the restaurant, while at home watching TV and so on.

An average human being spends around 7 hours of sitting during the day which is way above the guidelines specified by World Health Organization.

Sedentary lifestyle has been told to be the root cause of many health related problems. Sitting is considered as bad, but sitting with bad posture makes it even worse. I have seen people in mid 30s having severe back problems. This is primarily due to prolonged and wrong sitting posture.

What can you do about it?

Move every thirty minutes from your place to another place if you are working at the office. Take short breaks in between work so that you have necessary break from prolonged sitting posture. You can also have fitbit telling you to complete 250 steps every hour so that you don’t remain sedentary throughout the day.

Bad sitting posture can be improved by getting a proper ergonomic chair. If that is not possible, see to that your back is straight while sitting and you are not exerting pressure on your tailbone. Generally, prolonged sitting makes us spread our legs on a stool or a chair. This changes the sitting posture exerting pressure on the vertebral column.

If you are working from home, sitting on the floor with back straight helps. Sitting on the floor and getting up every hour for short breaks may also help strengthen the joints. We sit on tables, chairs, sofas, car and most of us have completely forgotten how it is to sit down and get up without holding any object for support. There was a challenge on internet sometime before which prompted many people to get up from floor without any support.

Get a standing desk. This is my absolutely favourite. Getting standing desk is very comfortable solution to prolonged sitting. Get a desk with proper height so that you can effortlessly carry on your workday with it.

Instead of doing all these workarounds it is always better to move often and reduce the risks related to sedentary lifestyle. Freedom from something as unnatural as sitting ( on sofa, in the car, on a chair) is necessary today. We are born to be active and we should be throughout our lives. That is the real definition of freedom for the human body.

This blog post is for the independence blog train by UK and Sarah