Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Winter is coming

I am going to start this post with this beautiful image.. Hope you enjoy the rest of the post as well :)

Winter is finally here at my door :) It was the first day of fog.. I almost sprung out of my bed, when I saw dense white fog, peeping in side my window..

I am so excited for the coming winter months. I just moved in to a new house and I'll start decorating my room and make it winter ready in coming week. We'll talk about that in my next post and now lets discuss some activities that you all should try, this December and January. 

Fun activities that will help YOU to have a happier winter... 


Create Ambiance! -- First and foremost! Buy a fireplace dvd, use candles that remind your of happy times, lighting, lanterns, teas, cocoas, make your home winter (holidays) ready :) 

Create a Work Coop -- work with friends/family to accomplish tasks that are long due 

Game Nights/Movie Nights -- with friends or family, try to find winter movies, my favorites are Christmas Hallmark Movies 

Organize/Decorate rooms: you can start by de-junking your home

Talk Therapy - find a friend or family member to talk to instead of staying isolated

Read a good book or have a Read-a-thon -- its a best time to complete that one novel that is sitting on your side table since you remember 

Try new recipes -- avoid the stress... just cook it out :) 

Buy new make-up kit, give yourself a makeover or enjoy a home spa 


Go see a movie -- make it a family night out

Sign up for a class -- be it cooking, language learning or guitar lessons, just do it 

Book a hotel or cabin for a quick get-a-way

Exercise -- go to the gym and start 2017 on a healthy note...Get a walking partner! (Can be a indoor activity too)

Find a patch of sunlight everyday -- enjoy the sunset 

Meet friends for lunch

Make a snowman -- if you live where it snows; Go ice skating

These are only ideas, develop them according to your taste and feasibility. Hope you all have a good, good winter. Make it magical and special some how. 

Thanks for reading


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Combat Air Pollution using Natural Purifiers

The mere thought of living in a toxic environment is appalling and what is research says that the air inside your home is actually 2 to 5 times more polluted and toxic than the air you breathe outdoors?

Over commercialization of goods created a web of harmful chemicals and toxics around us. Everything from the mattresses we sleep on, bowl we use for food to our kids' books and clothes contain these chemicals. The health experts says that even breathing around such things can be a cause of out toxic gases in take which leads to rashes, coughing, irritation in the eyes, as well as asthma like symptoms.

Formaldehyde, a toxic gas, is found in insecticides, glues, shampoos, shaving creams, carpets and other such items that we use on everyday basis. The chemical is actually a carcinogen and can be fetal for people with sensitive respiratory issues.

Furthermore, thanks to the Diwali 2016, the level of pollution in the capital is all time high. On 30 and 31 October, 2016, from 9 pm to the wee hours of the next morning, North India - especially parts of Delhi recorded PM 2.5 levels of pollution which is beyond scale of pollution values.

Natural Ways to Purify Air at Home

Many parts of the India are gasping for fresh air but shrouded in a thick blanket of smog (smoke + fog). It is unimaginable that people do not know how many types of pollutants they have in their house and they do not even open a window to have some fresh air. Here is the list of natural purifiers for homes and workplaces, which will keep our ‘Air’ fit.

1. Houseplants

Houseplants, is a but obvious way for purifying and rejuvenating the air within houses and workplaces, safeguarding people from any side effects associated with prevalent toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde and also benzene.

It's the best way to counter the impact of pollution indoors, particularly if you have a family member with some respiratory illness. It's suggested that you have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for efficient air cleaning to be accomplished. The best plants to filter toxins from the air are Peace Lily which prefers moderate sunlight, Lady Palm or Broadleaf Lady Palm which is adaptable but prefers bright, indirect light.

Areca Palm, Golden Cane Palm and Bamboo Palm grow in bright, indirect light and can be kept anywhere, especially in carpeted rooms or those which have recently been painted. Chrysanthemum, commonly referred to as Pot Mums loves bright sunlight, and Money Plant i.e. Golden Pothos - also called Devil's Ivy, Money Plant, Silver Vine are adaptable in nature.

Another houseplant which helps purify the air is English Ivy - often called Common Ivy or European Ivy and can be kept in rooms with computers, printers, fax machines. Boston Fern also grows easily in bright light and is best for hanging baskets. Spider Plant is useful in kitchens with gas stoves as it helps control carbon monoxide and xylene.

2. Activated Charcoal

A fantastic way to purify indoor air is with activated charcoal, also referred to as active carbon. It's odourless, highly-absorptive and works wonders with eliminating toxins from the air. Bamboo charcoal can do wonders as natural air purifier.

3. Salt Lamps

"Salt crystal products tend to reduce airborne irritants, pathogens and allergens by pulling water vapour out of the air. Himalayan pink salt is a natural ionic air purifier that pulls toxins from the environment and neutralises them.

Simply by adding a Himalayan pink salt lamp in your room or near your desk at the office does the trick, in terms of functionality and decor. You can leave it on at night as well, since the natural orange glow doesn't disrupt sleep hormones. Salt lamps improve air purification much more when they are turned on, but surprisingly work when turned off too.

4. Increase Ventilation

Better ventilation in homes reduces moisture levels, a major problem for indoor air quality. The trick is not just open a window and let all the outdoor air pollution enter in the living space. Instead, install trickle vents to purify and cycle the air you breathe indoors, like use of exhaust fans which help carry pollutants outside.

Ventilate the kitchen with chimney, since cooking can be a major source of indoor air pollution, especially if you have a gas stove. Scientists who measured indoor air quality found that cooking a single meal on a gas stove can produce levels of nitrogen dioxide that the EPA considers unsafe to breathe.

Also, after taking a shower, it is advisable to vent out all the steam and extra moisture in the air which can cause mold and mildew growth by turning the fan on.

5. Beeswax Candles

Opt, beeswax candles instead of petroleum derived candles which releases benzene, toluene and other chemicals in air. Beeswax candles ionise the air and neutralise toxic compounds and other contaminants. Besides improving the air quality at home, beeswax candles burn slowly so you don't need to replace them often.

In fact, pure beeswax candles burn with almost no smoke or scent. They are especially helpful for asthmatics and to remove common allergens like dust from the air.

Few Quick Tips
1. Carpets are a toxic sponge. Clean them often. Study suggests that if you use a doormat and take shoes off at the door, common toxins are reduced by about 60%.

2. Eliminate excessive moisture, dust build-up and the use of chemical products like paint, detergents, and synthetic fibers.

3. Quit smoking, and prevent guests from smoking inside your house.

4. Always lookout for natural alternatives for any household item.

5. If you have plants at home, clean leaves regularly to get rid of dirt.

6. Since dry cleaning solvents can be toxic to breathe, first let dry-cleaned items air outdoors before bringing them inside in order to prevent chemicals from entering your home.

7. Know the limitation of air purifiers, as they can help reduce some of the tiniest air borne particles to an extent but fail to get rid of larger particles effectively.

8. Clean your air conditioner to help keep asthma triggers away from your house. And as soon as you notice drips and leaks, get it fixed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Awesome Rawsome : healthy food diet

With all the advances in medicine, it is astounding to see how ill most of us are, especially with universal diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart problems etc.

So can food heal us? Or we need medicines and medicines and more medicines to be the part of our diet.

Most of us must have heard from our parents that a healthy (food) lifestyle is the key to success. But what we cook and we eat or for many families nowadays, what we buy, we heat and we eat is a matter of concern.

But what if there is a better way? A way that helps us recovers our health and look and feel ten years younger?

Eating raw

I was first introduced to the raw foods lifestyle when my grandmother said, chewing some nuts are good for my brain. I was struggling with my college studies and her advice helped me a lot…

A whole new world opened to me as I realised that there are people out there who are healthier and smart then me and almost never cook yet what they eat is tasty, varied and in its best form to release its vitamins and minerals.

Why eat raw?

Quite simply, to unlock the powerful nutrients and enzymes that raw foods contain; these are usually killed off at high temperatures and we end up eating ‘dead’ food instead.

Even worse, a significant chunk of the population depends on processed food, which is NOT food, merely junk masquerading as food. All the cereals, energy bars, frozen foods and packaged goodies lining the supermarket aisles are the cause of our declining health.

And when in desperation we visit our doctor, he is just as clueless and ends up prescribing a ‘pill for every ill’ to treat symptoms rather than address the root cause of the problem.

When we heat foods above 48°C we destroy live enzymes that assist in digestion and health. Raw foods alkalise the body, which helps to flush out toxins from cooked food. Cooked foods build up acidic toxins and can lead to weight gain and disease.

Because raw food is nutritionally dense, even a small quantity is more filling than a larger quantity of cooked food. The latter may taste nicer but all we’ve done is consuming calories, hence we get hungrier quicker as our body still craves the necessary nutrients.

Who is a raw foodie?

Anyone whose diet consists of 75% or rawer, live, nutritionally dense, unprocessed foods is considered to be a raw foodie. For the majority, we are nowhere near that goal and many of us will never be raw foodies.

How to begin

Admittedly, most of us will never go fully raw, but we can all incorporate raw elements into our diet and build up gradually. The easiest ways to begin are to:

1. Include freshly made salads as the main item at meal times. Instead of taking a huge helping of steak and creamy mash, try to reduce the cooked food on your plate and increase the amount of salad.

With so many varieties of salad to try, I am sure there is something out there for everyone.

2. Make fresh juices a daily part of your food intake. This means buying a powerful blender or juicer; the former will pulverize all the fibre as well, so you can drink your juice or smoothie consuming all the vegetable and fruit; whereas a juicer will give you a lighter drink, but you will miss out on the fibre.

Instead of having processed foods like cereal or rich foods like fried egg and buttered toast for breakfast, try to begin the day with a vegetable smoothie; it is filling, tasty, and won’t leave you feeling sluggish.

Aim to drink at least two glasses each day, or go on a juice fast one day a week, consuming nothing but vegetable juice all day long. Most people find the thought of drinking a vegetable juice revolting; I did too until I tried it – it was delicious! Sweetened only with fruit, it was satisfying and filling.

3. Go nuts – snack on nuts and seeds instead of crisps and biscuits and you will find that you never experience the midday energy drain that is common to most people.

Make your own raw snacks that are super delicious and good for you and you’ll never reach for a candy bar again.

For recipes click here.

PS: Make sure that you clean the food (vegetables, fruits, grains etc) as much as you can. Proper cleaning and rinsing with water is must to remove any sorts of bacterias, chemicals etc from the food item.

Comment below if you want more recipes. For this particular type of post, I would like to invite guest posts too. If you have any recipe, share with us, with your name on it and be a part of 'Mugdha Says'

Thank you for reading guys… stay healthy