disadvantages of multitasking

Why I ain’t MULTITASKING anymore!

Less is more‘ doesn’t sound cliché if you know how evil multitasking can be…

It’s 5 a.m. .I jump up from bed as soon as the alarm goes off; all set to face a new day. I keep some black tea on the stove to brew and set off to brush my teeth, all the while checking WhatsApp and my inbox. By the time this is over, it is time to prepare breakfast, lunch, and pack my son off to school and so on… In the meanwhile, I start the washing machine, water the plants and turn off the stove for 15 minutes so that I can pack a little morning walk in between. Phew!

disadvantages of multitasking

Here is Why you shouldnot multitask

All this gets over by 9am. All work has been done but the feeling of mental exhaustion is enormous. And its time for a few more not so happy realizations. The black tea turned out to be way too strong. I couldn’t consume it more than a few sips. I had accidentally kept the salt in the refrigerator. So I had to waste a good 15 minutes to find it in the first place. This had an impact on the pace of tasks that followed. I couldn’t finish cooking lunch on time. The better half goes off in a huff complaining that he is late. Clothes had been put in the washing machine without sorting them. Turns out that the red from my son’s tee decided to play around with my husband’s white sports shorts. I realise the Jade and the Aloe did not need watering today. And I have drenched them to the core. Though I did accomplish so many tasks, the quality of work was not up to the mark.

Next, I have to print a few worksheets for my English grammar class. I put the paper in the printer, answer a few emails, pin a few interesting pins on balcony gardens and supervise my maid. The printing is on. A few sheets overlap and get stuck. Ouch! Again I waste my precious time. I remove the sheets that are stuck. I place fresh sheets of paper in the printer and start all over again.

By now I pick up my third bag of potato chips. All this multitasking has made me feel hungry. Mind you it’s not my stomach that asks for food. It’s my mind. Multitasking plays with your mind. It can turn you into a glutton. To hell with weight loss is what it tells you. It cooks your brain on a slow fire. By the time you realise the damage, it’s too late.

The next time around I make sure that printing is the only thing I do while it’s on.
By the time I sit down to write something, I’m so mentally exhausted that ideas simply refuse to ply into my mind. It’s more like an invisible fog clouding my brain. Nature has wired your brain in such a way that it can do a single task much better than performing many tasks simultaneously. In the long run, doing multiple tasks at the same time can lower your IQ and make you forgetful.

Benefits of NOT multitasking

So here I go again. LESS IS MORE. Do ONE THING AT A TIME if you want to:

1. Be More Productive
2. Get rid of Brain fog
3. Stay Mentally alert always
4. Make few mistakes
5. Maintain an ideal body weight
6. Stay away from Alzheimer’s and Dementia

And while you are reading this, be at it and nothing else…

Image courtesy Marcolm via freedigitalphotos.net

Nutritious Homemade Almond Health Drink Mix Recipe For Kids

Horlicks, Pediasure, Bournvita, Amway Protein Powder…the list goes on… You try to get the best health drink mix for your kids. T.V. commercials and enticing newspaper advertisements feature happy and healthy kids consuming these health drinks. And then you end up buying the same for your family. Of course, they have nutrients like vitamins and minerals, but in addition these are also loaded with added flavours and lots of synthetic stuff with confusing hard to pronounce names. In fact, I just noticed MTR badam mix has just 8.5 percent badam in it. The rest of it is made up of milk solids, sugar, starch, saffron, preservatives and the like. That’s when I decided to formulate a homemade health drink mix that would be pure and healthy for my child.

Homemade Health Drink Mix Recipe

This is what you need to make a pure and nutritious health drink mix at home.
Almonds – 250 grams
Refined Sugar / Organic Sugar– 100 grams
Cardamoms – 2
Saffron(Kesar) – 5 grams – optional
Water – ½ litre

How To Make It

home made almond powder

 

Boil water till it begins to bubble. Add almonds and keep them for 2 minutes. Turn off the flame. Transfer the almonds in another vessel and rinse them under cold tap water for another minute. Throw away the water. Place these almonds on a dry, absorbent cloth. The skins come off easily. Peel all the almonds and keep them on an absorbent cloth under the fan so that they dry well.

 

blanched almonds

 

Now, dry roast the almonds in a pan over a low flame for 1 minute. Allow them to cool. Add sugar and cardamoms along with the almonds into a mixer. Grind the contents to a fine powder. Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

This quantity will last for a week if you use 2 teaspoons per glass for three glasses. I suggest making this mix twice a month. Double the quantity of ingredients in that case. I used unrefined, organic sugar from 24Mantra.

Why do we peel off the skins?

The reason we blanch the almonds is to peel off the skins. According to Ayurveda, almond skins are difficult to digest and aggravates pitta in the body. Ayurvedic practitioners always favor soaking almonds overnight and peeling off the skins before consuming.

How Is This Homemade Health Drink Beneficial For Kids?

We all know the goodness of almonds. They are power packed with proteins, vitaminE and minerals like zinc. Almonds are excellent for brain and body development plus they impart excellent skin health. The best part is you can be absolutely sure of what goes in your health drink mix. So try this at home and enjoy its benefits!

For once, I wanted to get rid of everything chocolaty that has permeated our tastes! There are advertorials that show kids drinking milk only when it has chocolate mixed in it!  Not quite what I approve of! I was quite happy with this health drink mix. The results are equally good. My kid enjoys this drink. You can add saffron and dry dates powder too. It will turn out to be great!

 

Why I stopped cooking with aluminium!

This little story goes a long way! As a child, I always wondered why grandma’s aluminium cooking pots turned ugly after being used for some time! These vessels would get defaced with tiny black depressions and marks on the inner sides. That never stopped granny from using aluminium though! She would go to the market and buy new pots. She also had steel and earthen cookware but she always felt aluminium pots heated faster and cooked faster.

Why I stopped cooking with aluminium

Why aluminium is bad for you!

Those little black marks on the vessels are great causes for concern, though. It shows how reactive this metal is! Aluminium reacts immediately with acidic and alkaline food matter to form toxic compounds that leach into your food. Try cooking tomatoes, curd or tamarind in an aluminium vessel or sauté onions with a few tomatoes in an aluminium kadhai. You will see how the surface changes form after a few uses. Sometimes, the reaction is so extreme that the taste of food gets altered.

Now for a few startling facts!

Harmful effects of aluminium

Modern times have seen the decline of pure aluminium pots and pans. However, we still use a lot of aluminium for food storage. Aluminium foil wrapping, soda cans, soft drink cans, frozen and processed food containers…the list is endless. In fact, we use aluminium foil quite casually, for baking, packing food for our little ones etc., without thinking twice!
Aluminium compounds directly target your nervous system. Prolonged consumption of aluminium compounds can speed the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other debilitating conditions. This metal slows mental growth in children. It accumulates in various organs, causing illnesses in the long run.

So what kind of aluminium cookware is safe?

if you insist on using aluminium cookware, go for hard anodised aluminium cookware as the aluminium is well sealed inside a smooth and hard coating that won’t corrode easily. This prevents aluminium leaching into food to a huge extent.

Though it is impossible to root out aluminium totally from your lifestyle, try your best to avoid using it for cooking and food storage. So now it is soft drinks from tetra packs instead of cans for me! I use stainless steel tiffin boxes to pack food for kids. Aluminium foil is a strict NO in my kitchen. In fact these 7 super tips to replace aluminium foil in your kitchen are quite interesting! Do check them out!

Let me know if you know any more methods of cooking and baking sans aluminium foil! Would love to hear from you!


Aluminium Foil Image By Lewis Ronald (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

curry leaves for hair growth

5 Super Ways To Use Curry Leaves For Hair Growth!

Did you know that the humble curry leaves or kadi patta are power packed with nutrients that can give you thick, lustrous hair? It’s a pity that natural herbs as these are often underestimated. Luscious, dark green curry leaves are rich in essential nutrients that nurture your scalp and hair from the root to the tip.

Over the years, your hair loses its shine and healthy texture on account of various reasons ranging from heating tools, chemical hair treatments, prolonged exposure to the sun and lack of proper nutrition.

curry leaves for hair growth

photo credits: sue mah via cc by 2.0

Curry leaves can be applied externally to improve hair texture and cure dry scalp conditions. To encourage hair growth, you have to consume it daily besides using it for external application. These miraculous leaves encourage fresh hair growth besides reversing damage caused by heating tools, chemical hair treatments and exposure to sun.

How to use curry leaves for hair growth

Curry Leaves For your Scalp – External Application

Curry Leaves Hair Mask

For this hair mask, make a paste of 2 cups dark green, fresh curry leaves. Add 2 tablespoons of curd. Massage it into your hair and scalp. Leave this mask on your hair for 30 minutes. Cover your head with a shower cap. This mask will cure dry scalp conditions including dandruff. After 30 minutes, wash your hair with a mild shampoo and rinse with warm water. Rinsing with warm water ensures that no oily residues of curd remain in your hair.

Curry Leaves Hair Oil

Instead of preparing a hair mask every time, you can make some curry leaf oil every week, for regular use.

Take ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds and 2 cups of chopped fresh green curry leaves. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan. Before the oil reaches boiling point, turn the heat off. Add the fenugreek seeds and chopped curry leaves into the oil. Allow this to sit overnight. Strain and store this curry leaf hair oil in a bottle for everyday use.
Check out this herbal hair oil recipe that you can make at home using curry leaves, hibiscus and henna for maximum hair growth.

Curry Leaves For Hair Growth – Consume Internally

Don’t cringe at the thought of having to eat curry leaves! There are tastier ways of eating these leaves instead of simply chewing them raw. You can consume curry leaves using these tasty recipes!

Curry Leaves Chutney

You can make this simple curry leaf chutney to go with your afternoon meal of rice. It tastes just as good with chapattis.

For curry leaves chutney, you need:

Curry Leaves – 1 cup
Onion – 1
Garlic – 10 cloves
Tamarind – size of a small ball.
Red chillies – 2
Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Urad dal – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste.

How to prepare

Sauté mustard seeds, urad dal, chopped onions, crushed garlic and curry leaves in two teaspoons of cooking oil, till the onions turn translucent. Add tamarind and salt. Allow this mix to cool. Grind to a fine paste and your healthy curry leaves chutney is ready.

Curry Leaves Dosa

This one is a super simple recipe. Make a paste of one cup fresh green curry leaves. Add this paste to ½ litre dosa/idli batter. Add salt to taste. You can make regular dosas as you normally do.

Curry Leaves Rice

For this nutritious rice recipe you will need:

Cooked Rice – 1 cup
Curry leaves – 2 cups
Garlic – 5 cloves
Hing (asafoetida) – a small pinch
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Red Chillies – 2
Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
Black pepper(whole) – ½ teaspoon
Fried chana dal – 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Cooking oil
Salt to taste.

How to prepare

Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them splutter. Add hang, crushed garlic cloves, urad dal, chana dal, black pepper, red chillies, coriander powder and sauté for a minute. Add curry leaves and tamarind. Grind this to a very fine paste.

Now heat 1 teaspoon of cooking oil or ghee in a pan. Add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add a few more curry leaves. Add the paste that you made. Add cooked rice and mix well. This is a nutritious rice recipe for kids and grownups alike and works wonders for your hair.

Using curry leaves for hair growth is an age old tradition followed in South India. And I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t like these methods of using curry leaves. In fact, you can grow a curry leaf plant at home to have a continuous supply of fresh curry leaves. Do try this natural fertilizer for curry leaf plants.

Do let me know if you tried any of these methods, in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!

Know your Cheese – Types Of Cheese In India

 

different types of cheese in india

Did you know that there are several types of cheese available in India? A few consider it safe to stick to a particular brand and kind of cheese. Since India is not a traditional cheese making country, most of us know nothing beyond the humble cottage cheese or Paneer. So when it comes to picking up cheese from the endless racks of dairy products at shopping malls, people stick to the basic processed cheese slices manufactured by Amul, Gowardhan, Mother Dairy and the like.

But then, you are losing out on a wonderfully delectable opportunity to taste some equally delicious varieties of cheese just because you don’t know all of them too well. From the easy- to- melt Mozarella to the firm and hard Parmesan cheese, how can you tell them apart? What are the benefits of each? And what the heck is Blue Cheese?

All said and done, we’re more than happy to show you the different types of cheese in India.

Types Of Cheese In India

Cheese Basics

To begin with, let’s get the basics right. The taste and texture of cheese is based on criteria like the duration of ageing, fat content, country of origin, the moisture content, the curing method used and whether it is goat, buffalo, cow or sheep milk. Did you know that a farm known as The Elk House in Sweden actually produces cheese from Moose milk?

Natural Cheese Vs Processed

Natural cheese is usually made by separating milk from water with the help of lemon, bacteria or vinegar. This is then mixed with curd in the coagulation process. The taste develops as the cheese ages. No preservatives, no chemicals. It is more solid in texture as compared to processed cheese and has lesser amount of moisture. However, unlike processed cheese, natural cheese separates into solids and oil when melted.

Processed cheese has a longer shelf life as a result of preservatives that go into them. It has more fat content, added flavours, emulsifying agents, whey, food colour and what not. It is creamier in texture and melts uniformly on your burger. It is cheaper than natural cheese.

It is for you to decide which one is a healthier option. Check out this link for how cheese is made .

 

Types of cheese available in India

Mozzarella Cheese

mozarella cheese, types of cheese in india

This semi solid cheese has a very creamy texture. Made from pasteurized buffalo or cow’s milk, it has very high moisture content. The colour is mostly white or a slight yellow depending on what the animal has been feeding on. It is mostly used in Pizza, Lasagne and Pasta on account of its stringy texture when melted. Mozzarella goes down well with raw salads too.

Emmental Cheese

Emmental Cheese, types of cheese available in India

A large rind of yellow Emmental cheese with lots of holes in it – I used to love watching poor Jerry save his cheese from the wily Tom. (These were a few cartoon shows kids watched back in the 80s – that’s when I grew up )
This is originally a Swiss cheese made of unpasteurised cow’s milk. This is a medium hard cheese with a nice, yellow colour. The flavour is a bit sharp and nutty. A typical slice of Emmental cheese has holes made by the release of gases caused by bacteria. It melts really well and is mostly used in grilled sandwiches and sauces or dips. In fact, it is traditionally used in making fondue.

Parmesan

different types of cheese in India, parmesan cheese

Parmesan is always on the list for a top cheese connoisseur. This is a hard grating cheese made of unpasteurised cow’s milk. It has a light brown shade of dry, crumbly straw. It can be grated over Pizzas, Pastas and soups. This cheese has a strong aroma and sharp, nutty flavour. The calcium content in this cheese is quite good.

Ricotta Cheese

ricotta cheese
By Daniele Pugliesi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dieter’s delight, fresh ricotta cheese is low in fat and high in protein. This cheese is made from milk whey that is usually left after cheese production. It tastes mildly sweet and can be used in desserts like cheesecake and Tiramisu. You can use it to thicken sauces and make dips for bread. Use ricotta cheese instead of paneer for a low fat version of palak paneer. You can even beat this cheese with sugar and used it in pastry stuffing.

Halloumi Cheese

different types of cheese in india
By Ewan Munro from London, UK (Clifton, St John’s Wood, LondonUploaded by tm) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Make spicy and yummy kebabs with this cheese. Halloumi is perfectly grillable. Made from sheep’s raw milk (some cheese makers take a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk), it tastes salty with a rubbery texture. This is meant to be grilled and eaten instead of eating it as it is. On grilling, it tastes crisp outside with a nice buttery centre.

Feta Cheese

types of cheese in india

This cheese is made from sheep’s whole milk. Loaded with 60 percent fat, this is a soft, crumbly textured cheese with small holes, which can be eaten as a snack or used as a salad dressing. It is usually kept to age for 4 to 6 weeks in salty whey and brine – so it’s also known as pickled cheese.

Blue Cheese

blue cheese
Blauschimmelkäse IMGP5469 wp by smial (talk) – Own work. Licensed under FAL via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t get flabbergasted with the varieties of blue cheeses available in the market. Blue veined cheese is marked by a distinct pungent flavour and rich, creamy texture. It is not a vegetarian cheese. You can buy the Danish daniblu variety of blue cheese here in India. It is very interesting to note how blue cheese is made . This can be sliced and placed on crusty brown bread or even added as a salad dressing. What makes it blue is Pencillium roqueforti which is a fungus that breeds on curds.

Seasoned Cheese

You can buy a whole lot of seasoned cheeses like Jeera Cheese by La Ferme, Auroville.

Cheddar Cheese

types of cheese available in india

Cheddar is always made of pasteurised cow’s milk. Dense and creamy, it earns its name from a process called cheddaring – in which stacks of pressed curds are placed on one another to remove moisture. Then these are cut into small pieces and again stacked up in layers. This process is repeated till almost all the whey and moisture goes out of the cheese. This accounts for the crumbly, layered texture of cheddar cheese after it is aged for around 9 months or more.

Gouda Cheese

aged gouda cheese in india

One of the oldest cheeses in the world, Gouda cheese traces its origin to Netherlands. It has a high calcium and fat content. It can be aged anywhere between 3 months to five years. Properly aged Gouda cheese has a sweet milky flavour. Usually it is given an orange colour by adding natural colouring pigments like carotene. Relish it with fruit and wine or sandwiches. You can add it to salads too.

Of course, this is a very teeny weeny list of types of cheese available in India. More and more cheese makers in India are venturing into the manufacture of exotic European cheeses.

Where to buy good quality natural cheese online

All leading online grocery stores like Bigbasket.com, Nature’s basket by Godrej, Localbanya etc. sell leading brands of good quality natural cheese. In fact, Nature’s Basket has an entire section devoted to cheese. You’ll find a good variety – Brie, Emmental, Cheddar, Blue cheese and some nice goat cheese too.

A basic search on JustDial or Google Search will give you a comprehensive list of gourmet cheese retailers and shops in Mumbai. Buying online is more convenient I guess if you don’t have the time, that is.

Check out this interesting and inspiring list of excellent quality natural cheese makers in India .

And Yes! Please do share with our readers in case you know of good cheese retailers or shops in India, in the comments section below.

how_to_get_rid_of_pimples

How To Get Rid Of Pimples – 5 Instant Remedies

Wondering how to get rid of pimples overnight? Take a look at these 5 instant remedies to remove pimples from your face real fast!

how_to_get_rid_of_pimples

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A swollen, red pimple can give you nightmares especially the night before a wedding function or right before a corporate presentation. What it also means is that you may have a series of ugly breakouts all over your face.
Better to nip it right in the bud and make your pimple shrink and disappear! Now who has the time to mix all sorts of things to come up with a perfect face pack or maybe some messy cream to remove those pimples? One of these instant remedies for pimples can do the trick for you!

How to get rid of pimples? – 5 Instant Remedies

Aloe Vera Gel

aloevera

I vouch for this one! Aloe gel miraculously reduces the size of your pimple overnight. It gives instant relief from redness, itchiness and inflammation. Aloe has loads of antiseptic properties that heal instantly. Scoop out some gel from an aloe leaf and apply it directly over your pimple. If do not have an aloe plant, go for some pure Aloe Vera gel from FabIndia. Aloe Gel from Aroma Treasures also works fine! Both these brands show fantastic results in diminishing acne, pimples and zits.

Banana Peel

uses of banana peels

This is unbelievable but true. The uses of banana peels have always been underestimated. Scrape some fibrous pulp from the inner part of a banana peel and apply it over your pimples. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Lutein present in banana peels help shrink pimples real fast. Apply at least 4 times in day. You’ll find encouraging results in one day. Use the green Robusta variety for best results.

Organic Turmeric Powder

turmeric for women

Apply a paste made of water and pure, organic turmeric powder over your pimples. Turmeric is a known anti bacterial agent that also prevents scarring. Turmeric leaves stains though. You can apply this on days when you may not have to step out of your home. I usually buy Organic turmeric powder online from www.bigbasket.com . Brands like from 24/7 Mantra or Pro Nature are good preferences for both culinary as well as cosmetic uses.

Lacto Calamine Lotion

lacto_calamine_for_pimples

If you have Lacto Calamine handy, use it to prevent scarring and more breakouts. Lacto Calamine reduces the size of your pimples besides giving instant relief from itchiness and redness. Apply overnight for best results.

Baking Soda

This humble ingredient from your kitchen shelf is capable of drying out even the most stubborn pimple. Apply a paste of baking soda and water over your pimples. It extracts excessive oil and impurities from pimples, shrinking them in the process. People with sensitive skin must do a skin patch test before trying this remedy. Excessive use can cause skin irritation and redness. So use a minute quantity enough to cover your pimple that’s all.

These remedies work really well on healing and shrinking pus filled pimples as well. Any more instant remedies on how to get rid of pimples on face? Do share these time savers here!

home_remedies_for_gas_problem

7 Instant Home Remedies For Gas Problem

These are 7 easy home remedies for gas and bloating. You do not have to wince in discomfort at the thought of crushing this and boiling that and coming up with a meticulously prepared concoction to get rid of foul smelling stomach gas. 

Passing wind way too often lately? Trust me; though everyone does this once in a while, only a few are brave enough to admit it. Trouble starts when it begins to occur frequently when you’re among people. No one likes to be around those who smell of nasty undigested matter eaten the day before. Keeping all this in mind, I thought of coming up with this simple list of 7 single ingredient home remedies for gas problem which are absolute time savers and equally effective.

Instant Home Remedies For Gas Problem

Asafoetida (Hing)

asafoetida_for_gas

This pungent Indian spice has been used since ages in Indian cooking for its flavour. Though it may smell awful, this is an instant gas buster. Take two pinches of powdered asafoetida or hang and place it on the back of your tongue. Gulp it down with a glass of warm water. You’ll burp out gas and feel better in ten minutes or so.

Cumin (Jeera)

cumin for gas problem
Keep dry roasted and powdered cumin handy. Consume half a teaspoon of cumin with warm water. This helps in digestion and gives relief from gas.

Dabur Hajmola

Dabur Hajmola For Gas


These are ayurvedic digestive tablets made from a mix of herbs, spices and edible salts that alleviate gas problem and speed digestion. Hajmola comes in four flavours – tamarind, mint, lemon and regular. You just have to suck on one or two tablets to feel better.

Mint

mint for gas problem

Chew on 10 fresh mint leaves if you grow them or keep stock of them. Mint is a powerful digestive aid. It lets Fennel (Saunf)
fennel_for_gas
Traditionally, all Indian meals are followed by using fennel seeds as mouth fresheners. These seeds double up as (digestive aids as well. Chew ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds to flare up your digestive juices, especially after a heavy meal. This prevents bloating and gas. Chewing fennel also gives relief from gas instantly.

Black salt (Kala Namak)

black_salt_for_gas
Suck on some black salt for relief from bloating and gas. Black salt speeds up elimination of accumulated stomach gas.

Disprin
This one gives you instant relief from headaches caused by build up of stomach gas. Disprin makes you burp soon enough. Make sure you don’t take disprin on an empty stomach, though.

Try any one of these home remedies for gas problem and follow it up with Apanasana if possible for best results.

Yoga For Gas And Bloating

Apanasana (Knee to chest pose)

This is a yoga pose that helps you to expel stomach gas from both ends. It needs to be done in seclusion (obviously…it would be so gross if the world hears you fart!)

Lie down on your back on a mat. Keep your palms facing downwards on your knees. Inhale slowly. While you exhale, pull your thighs towards your chest with your arms. Clasp your arms around your knees. Inhale slowly while trying to pull your thighs away from the chest while holding them back with your arms. Now exhale and rock your back gently from side to side or from front to back. Now inhale again, then exhale and release your legs. Resume the original rest pose. Repeat this exercise five to six times. Practising Apanasana gives relief from digestive disorders, if performed regularly.

 

Do you have any other instant home remedies for gas problem? I would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below.

Photo Credits: wackystuff licensed underCC BY-SA 2.0

uses of banana peel

6 Surprising Uses Of A Banana Peel

banana peel for face
Source: Claire Knightsr via CC BY-ND 2.0

Think twice before tossing over a banana peel into the trash can! This seemingly useless waste does not deserve to end up in some distant landfill and rot away! Not before you have used it to reap its benefits! Get to know the uses of a banana peel before you throw it!

Amazing Uses Of Banana Peel

Banana peel for face

Simply rub the inside of a banana peel over your pimples or acne. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing with plain water. The acne simply disappears after repeated application, thrice daily, over two to three days. I generally do not believe in following such home remedies without actually trying them out. It worked for me. The experience of this lady where she used a banana peel for face to get rid of acne, is what got me to try it out!

Banana Peel For Insect Bites

Are you allergic to insect bites, especially mosquito bites ? Before you get an allergic reaction, simply rub the affected area with the inner side of a banana peel. It gives relief from pain and itching.

Banana Peel For Warts

Place the inner side of a banana peel over a wart. Attach it to the area with some duct tape and leave it on overnight. The wart comes off the next day. Clean the area with a disinfectant and apply some healing ointment. Thats all.

Eat a Banana Peel

Not as they are, of course! You can add bake cakes out of them, make chutneys and even stir fry them. Banana peels are a powerhouse of nutrients – vitamins, potassium, magnesium and anti oxidants. There are so many lip smacking recipes using banana peels you can try out at home. Try this yummy Bengali banana peel chutney recipe  or Kerala Banana peel thoran(dry stir fried vegetable side dish). Don’t roll up your eyes at this – You can even bake a deliciously slurpy banana peel cake and eat it all alone!

Banana Peel scrub

Mash up the peels of a ripe banana. Throw in 2 tsp ground oats. Mix well. Use this as a scrub to exfoliate your face or body, twice a week! It gives your face a soft feeling, besides cleansing it thoroughly. All this without any chemicals!

Banana peel – an excellent fertilizer and aphid repellent

Banana peels can be used as a fertilizer as well as a bug repellent. Cut banana peels into tiny bits. Roughly spread them over the top soil of your plants. See how aphids stay away from them. These peels will also decay and fertilize the soil in the process.

So don’t bin the banana skin! Do let me know if you have come across any more uses of banana peel for face! Feel free to drop in a line!

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Keratin Hair Treatment

Keratin Hair Treatment – Do you really need it?

Today almost every young woman or girl wishes to flaunt hair like this!

keratin hair treatment

Source: studio1452 Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Heads with fabulously shiny, silky crowning glories with smooth, straight hair! Sure it does feel great to look great. However, hair straightening and keratin treatments come with certain minus points attached. Planning to go for it? Here is what you should be aware of.

What exactly is Keratin Hair Treatment?

Keratin is a natural protein that is present in your hair shafts. Keratin hair treatment is a type of permanent hair straightening methods.

How is Keratin Hair Treatment done?

First of all your hair is washed off all impurities till it is squeaky clean. After towel drying or blow drying (some products require damp hair while some specify dry hair), your hair stylist applies a keratin based hair straightening product all over your hair. This is then left on your hair for some time. Your stylist would then use a flat iron to make sure the heat packs the product right into your hair. Once done, you’ll be advised not to wash your hair for 3 to 4 days as it takes time for the product to set in. Also make sure not to use hair clips or bands as they can alter the shape of your hair.

Pros of Keratin Hair Treatment

This gives you silky smooth frizz free and easily manageable hair in all seasons. You need not even comb it at times and it’ll look as good as ever. This method is preferred more than Japanese hair straightening and other chemical hair straightening methods.

Cons of Keratin Hair Treatment

This is not permanent. You have to retake a Keratin treatment session every 3-4 months to maintain the look. As with all chemical processes, this may damage hair over a period of time. Hair breakage may occur if the stylist is not careful while applying heat. It is important to visit a reputed salon with an experienced hair stylist for such treatments.

Those with dry, damaged and lifeless hair due to rebonding or frequent coloring can opt for Keratin based treatments. Same goes for those with extremely frizzy and curly hair. This actually smoothens and strengthens frizzy hair shafts by filling up uneven spaces in them, albeit for a short period of time.

Things to Note:
Avoid keratin treatment formulae that contain formaldehyde. Use shampoos meant specifically for hair that has undergone Keratin treatment. You can ask your stylist for reputed brands that do not contain sodium sulphates as these can render such treatments useless.

Those with dandruff and other scalp conditions should absolutely avoid Keratin treatments till these conditions have not been cured. Visit a dermatologist if required.
So if you have naturally strong and healthy hair, do think twice before visiting the salon for keratin hair treatments.  And those with a lesser healthy mane can visit the salon for a monthly Hair spa treatment instead. Finally top it all with regular hot oil massages using a nice home made herbal oil and a follow a healthy diet for strong and shiny hair.

Natural Remedies For Mosquito Bite Allergy

Mosquito Bite Allergy- Natural Remedies For Children

Natural Remedies For Mosquito Bite Allergy

Nasty mosquito bite allergy symptoms leave kids feeling itchy and uncomfortable all over. This irritation subsides after sometime. However, some children get symptoms that go beyond the tell-all, red, itchy bump. Swelling, pain, hives – tiny, red, itchy eruptions surrounding the bite or  all over the body. This is what we need to worry about. Allergic reactions to mosquito bites need to be looked into immediately. If ignored, the bite may swell, ooze with pus and the child may get hives all over the body. These bites also leave behind unsightly black marks or scars. Severe reactions include anaphylactic shock with difficulty in swallowing and breathing. What happens is your immune system begins to react to the proteins present in the mosquito saliva. These are simple and effective home remedies for mosquito bite allergies.

Effective Natural Remedies For Mosquito Bites

mosquito bite allergy

Aloe Vera

Scoop out some fresh gel by scraping the insides of an aloe Vera leaf. This cooling pulp soothes the affected area immediately. If the area of the bite is oozing, aloe gel drains the swelling and heals the wound. Apply four to five times daily till the itching and swelling subsides.

natural remedies for mosquito bite allergy

Turmeric and Coconut oil paste

Make a paste of turmeric root and coconut oil. You can also use 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder instead. Go for pure, organic turmeric powder like the one from 24 Mantra or Organic India. The normal brands like Everest, Eastern etc. have no aroma and have artificial colours added. Turmeric helped my little one who is also allergic to mosquito bites. A little messy, but very effective natural remedy for mosquito bites and other insect bites.

Neem and Tulsi paste

Grind a few fresh neem leaves and tulsi leaves into a fine paste. Apply this paste over the affected area. You may also bathe the child in boiled and cooled neem water for a few days.

Triphala Bath

Boil 3 teaspoons of Triphala powder in 2 large mugs of water. Allow to cool. After bath, use this water as for the last rinse. Triphala is an excellent skin tonic. It provides relief from mosquito allergy symptoms.

Prevention is always better!

Dress appropriately

For children prone to insect bite allergies, make sure you clothe them with long pants and long sleeved dresses when out playing in the garden, especially after sunset. Mosquitoes are often attracted to heat, which is why kids must wear light coloured clothing that absorbs less heat.

Natural Mosquito Repellant

mosquito bite allergy - natural remedies - camphor

Crush some camphor in 1 cup coconut oil. Put this mix in an airtight glass jar and place it in the sun for 10 minutes. Apply a little of this oil all over the exposed areas of the child’s body to prevent mosquito bites. This is better than applying mosquito repellent creams like Odomos and Good Knight.

Mild Baby Soap

mild soap for children - skin allergy

For kids prone to skin allergies in general – Use mild baby soap like Seba Med with an ideal PH value of 5.5. You can also use Grade I soaps with T.F.M above 80 – 90 percent like Anuspa soaps – they are delicate and nourishing for the skin.

Foods To Avoid

Avoid certain foods like shell fish, prawns, brinjal, certain nuts and certain packed and processed foods, especially ones containing MSG. You will have to find out what causes skin allergies and then avoid these items in your kid’s diet.

Build Immunity

Chyawanprash for immunity

Chyawanprash, cod liver oil capsules, triphala are all good in building immune strength. Opt for pure, organically prepared Chyawanprash and Triphala instead of commercial brands like Dabur. I prefer Organic India products. Add to this fruits, vegetables and
fish and you’re done. It can be difficult in getting your child to consume all this. It is up to you to coax them. In fact, you end up doing the same in case of allopathic medications, so why not convince kids to have some pure Chyawanprash instead.

These are a few simple natural remedies for mosquito bite and other insect bite allergies. In case of new born babies and toddlers, it is best to consult a medical practitioner. These natural treatment methods are mostly for children aged 5 and above.

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