Chamomile tea benefits

tee-1740871__340It’s three months since summer ended and although we still have a little over two months to go before spring arrives, I think it is safe to say that I have found my superfood to fight my cold away.

For those who don’t know me, here’s a brief recap of my childhood and my encounter with cold. All my childhood up until l was 18, I have suffered from cold almost every month and each occurrence lasting up to 3 weeks and this goes on forever.

Between 18 to 25, I lived in a hot tropical place which helped me not catch cold and after that I moved to US and the stint continued every winter although not as much as I had during my teenage years.

Early this year, some time during May when I was feeling scratchy throat I took some chamomile tea and it immediately helped soothe my throat. I continued this whenever I felt a little sick going forward until Oct 1st; that is when I decided to take it regularly to see if that prevents me from getting cold. I use 1 teabag and refill water 2/3cups throughout the day sometimes even more.

To my surprise, this has been the longest stretch in my life since I have not had cold, that on top of several air travel that I did this fall including two trips to Canada in December.

Now, I don’t travel anywhere without carrying my chamomile teabags along. I plan to continue this until May and again start next fall.

Chamomile tea has antibacterial effects that helps to prevent and treat colds.

As with anything, it is important not to overdo it which is why I only take 1 teabag a day and keep refilling water to it.

Hope this helps for those who have been battling cold all their life like me.

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It’s never too late

candlelightI lost one of my dear friends few weeks ago to a road accident. The last time I met him was couple months before the accident when I attended his wedding party; and the picture of him dancing during the reception still remains on my mind. I couldn’t process that information back then, I still can’t.

A few days after he passed away, while searching for something on my cell phone, I came across the last text that I exchanged with my friend. It was on the eve of his wedding, he had invited me to a party the night before to meet his family and friends. I was running late and asked him if it’s too late to make it to the party. He replied saying – “It’s never too late”.

My dear friend left me with those beautiful words that I will remember forever. He was a cheerful friend who is always there for you. I didn’t have to tell him that I am upset or need his help. He was one of those who will be by your side no matter what, he was the friend I would hide behind in crowded parties. No matter what is going on in his life, he is always there spreading love and happiness to those around him.

I dearly miss him. I keep looking at his Facebook page hoping that he would reply to all the dear messages that his friends have left on his wall after he passed away. I contemplated writing this post for the past 4-6 weeks and then I remembered, it’s never too late.

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Don’t be a slave of your phone

phoneI have a 12 year old Beagle who even at this age loves to go for walks. In fact, it is because of her that I manage to fight off my laziness every morning and evening especially during weekends and go out for a short walk. It doesn’t matter whether it is raining or cold or sunny, every day somehow I manage to take her out. I liked going for walks even before I had my pet, but always had a hard time maintaining consistency. I would easily give up due to rain or other factors.

When I take my dog for walks, I never take my cell phone with me. I am not one of those who are glued to the cell phones all the time but I do feel tempted occasionally to check the news or other social sites when I have free time. Not taking my phone along during walks lets me focus on my dog, observe her how she loves sniffing through every single object she finds on the way, how she loves to pee even when she doesn’t need to go and how much she enjoys rolling on the grass. I love this one on one time with her and I think to some extent my dog looks forward to it as well.

The other day when I took her to the park, I noticed almost every other parent who got their kids to the park was busy on the phone. There was one near the swing whose kid was playing on the swing but the dad never really enjoyed that moment and was busy looking at the phone; and there were few others by the slide and the play area. Looking at that picture from far away made me very sad. I wondered why is it hard for people to give up their phone just for a few minutes and enjoy the moment with their kids or loved ones. When I can do it for my dog, don’t you think they should be able to do it for their kid?

I understand no one does these things intentionally and may be they were doing something important and I don’t blame them but all I want them to know is that sometimes it is important to enjoy the moment; do the things that you are meant to do. If you are playing with your child, give your 100% to it. If you want to play a video game, allocate a specific time and give it your 100%. Don’t try to mix and match, you’ll only end up wasting time and missing out on important memories. Also, don’t let devices control you, it should be the other way round. That is how it was built and that is how it should be.

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The power of Stoicism

balanceI have been reading The Daily Stoic the last two months and I must admit it is one of the best books I have ever read. It has helped me understand and see things differently. To be at a place where you can control your state of mind at all times is truly a great feeling.

Reading the book made me realize how easy it is for us to get driven away by external factors. A rogue driver, a loud colleague, a self absorbed friend or just about anything in life that goes wrong makes us feel miserable and react in a negative way.

How about seeing things differently. For instance getting mad at the rogue driver implies that we are allowing the driver to control our mind and body. Do we really want to give that person that kind of control over us? I started asking this question to everything in my life. When there are disagreements at work or at home, I stopped getting angry at the other person because I don’t want to give others that kind of power over me.

How we react to situations is completely our choice. We all have heard this multiple times but how often do we actually put it into practice. To practice self awareness, to think about what you are thinking and how you feel and behave is the key.

I will post more about this in future posts. It is a great principle and I believe the more people know about it, the better our world will be.

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Opportunity comes when you least expect it

opportunityJust when I thought my life was going nowhere, opportunities kicked in. Life can be complicated sometimes, especially at work. One day I am all happy and satisfied and then all of a sudden one day, I start to doubt if I am following the right path. I start to doubt my choices and whether my career trajectory is going in the right direction or not.

Just when I was battling with these ideas and pondering what to do next, out of nowhere a great opportunity arises that made me reinforce my decision and convinced at least for now that I am going in the right path.

The point is, good things often happen when you least expect it. Life is full of surprises – one day it can be gloomy and the other day there can be sunshine. Make sure to enjoy each day as it comes, do not wait for the events of the day to decide whether it is good or bad. Each day as you wake up tell yourself that today is going to be a happy day regardless of how it pans out. Starting your day with a positive attitude shuns away all the negative emotions and even if things don’t go as expected, you are prepared to face it positively.

Try it out and you will be surprised how much of a difference this small change can make.


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Health Benefits of Barley

barleyIt’s been a while since I did a post on superfoods. I discovered barley last week accidentally. Although, barley is no stranger to me; one of my earliest memories of barley dates back to my pre teen years when my parents fed my brother with barley water while he was recovering from jaundice.

Fast forward to 20 years and last week my husband got some barley while shopping for groceries hoping to drink the water. I used the drained barley to make some risotto and it turned out quite good. Curious whether its good for my health, I started researching and was pleasantly surprised at all the benefits this little grain has.

Lose Weight – Let’s start with the obvious and also the one that most people are interested in. Barley does help reduce weight. It has high fibre content and low in calories which means it makes you feel fuller faster and longer.

Cancer – Barley is rich in plant lignin’s which help protect us from cancer as well as heart disease.

Arthritis – Barley also has Copper which strengthens the bones and make the joints flexible thereby reducing arthritis.

Vitamin B – Great source of vitamin B.

Gallstones – Barley is rich in insoluble fibre and helps reduce triglycerides thereby avoiding stones and facilitates proper kidney function.

Zinc – Barley is rich in zinc as well which promotes healing

Vitamin C – Barley is rich in vitamin C which contributes to healthy skin and also improves immunity.

These are just some of the key benefits, there are many more benefits in this mineral packed grain.

Like everything else, excess of anything is not good for our body. To maintain a proper balance, its best to add variety to your meal. I usually try to incorporate different kinds of grains like barley, quinoa, millet, rice and wheat in my meals throughout the week. Similarly a proper balance of fresh fruits and vegetables is also important.

Ultimately, you are what you eat and what you eat in your early years plays an important role on how healthy you would be during your old age, its never too late to start eating healthy.

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Do you appreciate the good part of your life?

waterfallsA couple weeks back, I decided to keep a daily journal about “3 things that made me happy” on that day and as I started writing I felt awfully sad because I was finding it hard to come up with even one thing that made me happy. I felt sad and depressed wondering is there nothing in my life that I am happy about? Is there nothing that I appreciate?

It is easy to think about what all is going wrong in your life rather than enjoying the good part that’s happening around you. We are focused so much in the wrongs that we often forget to appreciate the right. I started this exercise to rekindle that appreciation. It was hard at first to come up with the list but as day passes by I am beginning to see things differently.

I won’t say things are different now, I still got all my complications and hardships and goodness in my life. It’s just the matter of how much importance I give to each of those aspects in my life.

When we think of addiction, often alcohol, smoking and drugs come to our mind but did you know complaining and gossiping is an addiction too? Do you have people around you who always complain? They don’t seem to be happy no matter what the situation is.

Don’t let the bad events take over good things in your life. Give more importance to what make you happy and wipe away the bad incidents from your memory.

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