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Nature and Us

Nature & us

Nature & Us

In China, there are some sacred mountains which are breathtakingly beautiful. It is said that the energy that is generated on the mountains is special and can be distinctly felt. They were and still are the abode of Taoists and Buddhists. Both Taoism and Buddhism have a deep respect for nature. Humans are born from nature and depend on her for survival and development.

Taoism sees nature as their mother. They believe that mankind’s relationship with her should be one of respect and care.  Nature provides us with everything we need. Once we abuse this relationship by taking more than we need and giving nothing back, we can expect problems.

The Taoists practice Tai Chi, a mix of meditation and martial art. When they practice Tai Chi, they are learning to balance the inner energies through a focused, quiet mind and gentle movements. This begins with recognizing and respecting the body-mind relationship. We must realize the importance of good health and a balanced state of mind. Looking after ourselves involves self love and self discipline. We need to pay attention to the signals of the body.  We have to know when to rest and what to eat.  Once we neglect ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, our health and well being will suffer. If we fail to look after ourselves, how will we be able to care for others?  Caring for the environment would be out of the question.

In Taoism, there are many rules governing a novice’s training. They adjust their lifestyles and training according to the seasons.  In summer, they rise early and retire to bed early.  Taoists gained inspiration from nature when developing their teachings. Tai Chi also follows the principles of nature, such as, flowing like water, being as firm as a mountain and as resilient as bamboo. When their training has matured, their form looks natural and flowing, and their energy is smooth and continuous. At the end of training they understand what it means for the body-mind to be natural.

About 3,000 years ago when parts of China were experiencing drought conditions, the emperor offered a reward to anyone who could bring rain. Many people tried and failed.  Eventually, a Taoist came and took up the challenge. He meditated for a week. Then, he summoned his internal energy and finally, dark clouds appeared and it rained. When asked how he achieved this miracle, he replied, “When I first came to this area, I could feel that the people’s hearts were hardened and they had lost their harmony and balance. So for the first week, I had to strengthen and stabilize my own energy and it gradually affected the local people. Once their energy was harmonized, the natural environment became balanced and the cycle of the seasons returned.”

The above story may seem somewhat incredible.  However, we can all relate to feeling our energies drained after listening to people who always talk negatively. Yet, we know that we feel good when we are with people who are positive and enthusiastic about life.  Ancient cultures have long recognized the importance of the relationship between humans and nature.  We all need to respect ourselves, others and our environment.  This is the key to happiness and good health.

A recent study has revealed that nature makes us more charitable and concerned about others because nature enables human beings to connect with their authentic selves. Our authentic selves are inherently communal because humans evolved in hunter and gatherer societies that depended on mutuality for survival.

In addition, the richness and complexity of natural environment may encourage introspection and lack of man-made structures provides a safe haven from man-made pressures of society. Nature in a way strips away the artifices of society that alienate us from one another. This is the reason urban as compared to rural dwellers show more reservation, indifference and estrangement from others.

We are influenced by our environment in ways that we are not aware of. In truth, we are not protecting Nature; Nature is protecting us.  For example, trees and plants are necessary for the purification of our vital energy.  When Nature graciously protects and serves human beings, it is our responsibility to reciprocate.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Home Based Remedies – The Final Preview

Hi,

Here is the last and final preview of the ‘Home Remedies’ e-book.
I have tried my best to make it as comprehensive as possible with the following features:

1. Diseases and their home based remedies.
2. What to eat and what to avoid.
3. A list of wonder foods and their benefits.
4. A number of recipes using the above wonder foods as ingredients.

http://www.indian-cooking.info/EBooks/Preview_3.pdf

Please spare a few moments to have a look at the final preview and let me know.

I am in the process of providing the final touches before I upload next week.

This is going to be the first major product launch for me after almost a year of back breaking work.

Click Here to have a look


Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Eat less to live more

 

Eat less to Live more

Eat less to Live more

   

Crash dieting is not possible for all of us for different reasons and is not advisable either. But maintaining good health is important for all of us. So, what’s the solution? Let’s adopt the middle path. Less eating can help us achieve our objective.    

Since ancient times when medical sciences came into existence, diet assumed great importance. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was the first man to establish that unbalanced diet and improper food are the causes of diseases.   

Dr. Samuel Hannemann, the father of Homeopathy, discussed effects of diet on a healthy body as well as on patients.  

Anything which is fully-loaded has some disadvantages. For example, just try to visualize a fully loaded bus or a fully packed luggage bag and how clumsy they are. For optimum performance there should be a little bit space in everything.  

Stomach, gall bladder, small and large intestines, rectum and the anus constitute our digestive system. These body parts expand and contract and help move the food forward. However, food taken in large quantities and gulped in forcefully, create dumping in the system. This drastically lowers the digestion efficiency. The quantity of digestive juices and acids are not enough to digest the voluminous food intake and indigestion results. This leads to stomach colics, flatulence, loose motion and vomiting.   

The stomach remains loaded with undigested food which begins to rot and this definitely is detrimental to the body. This is an invitation to many disorders. Ayurveda says that minimal diet is easily digested and as a result vital nutrients are supplied to the body for health and vigor.   

Food should be cooked at very low temperatures so that the nutrients are preserved, and eat only that much as is required by the stomach. One should never stuff or gulp morsels of food and dump the digestive system.  

Many would tell you that they do not feel energized after eating so much. The more you eat before you go to bed, the more tired you will tend to feel the minute you wake up. What is the reason for feeling so fatigued after eating? Isn’t eating supposed to give you more energy? The reason you feel so tired right after eating is because digesting food consumes so much energy. Unfortunately, only animals and babies retain their natural instinct when sick and they choose to refuse food.   

Here are some tips for you:  

Eat enough calories but not too many. Maintain a balance between your calorie intake and calorie expenditure—that is, don’t eat more food than your body uses. The average recommended daily allowance is 2,000 calories, but this depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity.   

Eat a wide variety of foods. Healthy eating is an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying foods—especially vegetables, whole grains, or fruits—that you don’t normally eat.  

Keep portions moderate, especially high-calorie foods. In recent years serving sizes have ballooned, particularly in restaurants. Choose a starter instead of an entrée, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything.  

Drink more water. Our bodies are about 75% water. It is a vital part of a healthy diet. Water helps flush our systems, especially the kidneys and bladder, of waste products and toxins. A majority of Americans go through life dehydrated.   

And finally,   

Don’t be the food police. You can enjoy your favorite sweets and fried foods in moderation, as long as they are an occasional part of your overall healthy diet. Food is a great source of pleasure, and pleasure is good for the heart – even if those French fries aren’t!     

Vaishali Parekh 

 www.indian-cooking.info  

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Winter and Your Health

We love freaking out in winter, don’t we? This is that time of the year when we feel so chirpy and energetic. Not like summer when all we can think of is the heat and humidity. During the months of winter the outdoor seems so beckoning. The urge to go out and savour the soothing sunrays is just irresistible. It even seems that we remain perpetually hungry during this season. Whatever we do and whatever we eat seems so ecstatic. Such is the magic of winter!

But we have to be aware! A few apparently insignificant ailments which occur during this season can spoil the day for us. A little precaution and care can help us overcome these nasty nuisances. Let me list them out as below:

 Influenza
Inspite of being a contagious respiratory infection, it is not a serious threat for most of us. But for the elderly who have a chronic health condition, this can turn out to be serious, even resulting in pneumonia.

Symptoms develop after three days of being exposed to the virus. They include fever, sore throat, running nose, cough, shivering, body ache etc. These symptoms can be quite severe and last for a long time.

The flu is highly contagious and if someone in the family contracts it then it is very difficult for the rest not to get affected. A mild pain reliever and a lot of rest and fluids constitute the best course of treatment. Take note that antibiotics do not work.

Flu vaccines are not always effective in prevention but can reduce the severity and related complications. Vaccines are strongly advised for the elderly with chronic health issues. It is necessary to get a flu shot every year because the effectiveness of the shots are for a year only and also the viruses keep on varying.

Colds
The world’s most common illness! More than a hundred viruses are responsible for it so it can be safely said that there is almost no escape. The virus begins to multiply as soon as it enters through the nose and throat, giving rise to a number of symptoms like sneezing, coughing, body ache, running nose, fever, nasal congestion etc. They are similar to influenza but the effects are less severe and short lasting. The duration of suffering is a week or two.

The best form of treatment is a mild pain reliever and a lot of rest and fluids specially fruit juice. Over-the –counter medicines might relieve some of the symptoms but they won’t reduce the duration of the illness nor can they prevent or cure.

While there are no vaccines but there are ways to reduce our chances of catching a cold. We should strengthen our natural resistance by consuming nutritious food and getting enough sleep and exercise. We should avoid the cold and dry air because the dryness causes the membranes in our nose and throat to crack. These cracks are the pathways through which the virus enters our body. Avoid direct contact with the infected and wash your hands frequently.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Hired help to stay healthy

A month ago I realized that it was becoming very hard for me to keep on maintaining and updating my site all by myself. Of course my hubby is always there to help me out but it was proving too much for him also. He has his own professional assignments and on top of that maintaining my site was a bit tough for him. So we both decided that we need to hire a developer who would remove some load from our shoulders. This was the only way we could manage stress.

I started sending word out over the internet about my need and the response was beyond my wildest expectations. I received around 200 resumes and it took a lot of time for me to go through every one of them. I wanted to give everybody a fair chance and wanted to select the best.

Ultimately a shortlist of 80 resumes was ready with me. I started interacting with those 80 prospective candidates via email and the list was further shortened to 20. Then I began interacting with these guys over the phone and the list was further shortened to 5. Finally these 5 guys were invited for personal interviews and out of them one was selected. Whew!

The entire process took a month. But at the end I was left with a feeling of sadness and a heavy heart. I felt very sorry for those to whom I had to say no. But this is life I guess. Happiness and sorrow both go hand in hand.

From 1st Feb 2010 the new recruit would join me officially as a web and content developer. He would also assist me in promotional work and I am sure he would be a great stress reliever for me.

So my dear viewers, I am confident that from now onwards I would be able to give you much more.

NOW BE READY FOR MORE!

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Is Solar Eclipse harmful for Health?

For all of us the sight of a Solar Eclipse is wonderful as well as highly intriguing. We consider ourselves so fortunate if we get to catch a glimpse of the Ring of the Sun. People all over the world get so excited by this celestial phenomenon. We also come across so many myths. 

Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse and Health

 

We Hindus, hold the sun in awe because it has awesome powers to create as well as destroy. So we are sometimes in great doubt whether to believe them or not. What to believe and what not to believe? Is there any iota of truth in those myths? 

What we are concerned about here is, does solar eclipse harm our health? 

We Hindus are of the opinion that we should not eat or drink during this period. Pregnant women should not venture outdoor otherwise the baby runs the risk of developing birth defects. Our ancient scriptures say that consuming food during this period activates the ‘Tamas Guna’(malicious and vicious thoughts) which creates great disturbances in the mind. That is why during Solar Eclipse we Hindus meditate and chant the Almighty’s name. 

But till date science has not been able to come up with proper explanations to justify the above actions. It has not been explained what harm would happen if food is actually consumed during this period. On the other hand we all know that science has its limitations. 

So finally it all boils down to our beliefs. If we believe in our scriptures and our ancestor’s wisdom then we better stick to them. But if you are guided by science then just go ahead and have a normal day. 

BE GUIDED BY YOUR BELIEFS. 

Vaishali Parekh 

www.indian-cooking.info 

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