Are you eating Cancer? #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 #Instacuppa

What is Cancer: “Cancer” – one barbaric word that gives me jitter every time I encounter it. It is a very common disease nowadays and according to British Journal of Cancer, 1 in 3 people will get it at some point in their life. It is a fatal disease which starts when cells grow uncontrollably and crowd out normal cells making it difficult for the body to function the way it should. Every cell in our body has its own certain job and when these cells are damaged or worn out, our body produces new cells and old cells are replaced by the new ones. The cancer cells keep on growing and making new cells, crowding out the normal cells.

How it is treated: Some cancers spread and thrive rapidly while others grow slowly, hence the treatment for both is different depending upon the type and stage of cancer a person is. Few are treated with surgery, few with radiations while others respond well to chemotherapy. When surgery is the best option and is performed to eliminate the cancer, there is a possibility that the surgeon might take out some or all of the cancer affected body part. Like in breast cancer, a part or the entire breast might be removed. Similarly, the entire prostate gland might be removed for treating prostate cancer. However, surgery is not needed to treat all types of cancer. Blood cancer (leukemia) is best treated with drugs and this process is termed as Chemotherapy (Chemo). Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. It can be given by IV (into a vein through a needle) or via pills to swallow. Chemo drugs travel to almost all parts of the body hence they are useful for cancer that has spread. Radiation is another way to kill or hinder the growth of cancer cells. It can be done alone or along with surgery or chemotherapy depending upon the type and severity of the disease. Radiation treatment is like getting an x-ray.

Types of Cancer: Cancer cells can spread to any part of the body causing cancer of the particular organ. Various types of Cancer are lungs, breasts, cervical, prostrate, skin, blood (leukemia), endometrial, thyroid, stomach, pituitary, cervical, anal, liver, esophagus, eye, gall bladder, penile, pancreatic, kidney, uterine, vaginal etc.

Causes of Cancer: There are various causes to this complex disease, however doctors may not be able to tell the exact cause. A few common causes are smoking, consumption of tobacco and alcohol, sun radiations, heredity, obesity, unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle etc. I have lost my beloved one to Cancer, seen her in extreme pain, fighting but finally losing to it. Lately, I have heard many cases where people who had been healthy eaters, much focused on their health, fitness and diet were still battling with this frightful scourge and unable to find the answer for their question “WHY ME?”. This made me wonder and ponder about the possible eating habits which are overlooked because of ignorance and lack of knowledge, hence I did a lot of research on the topic and concluded “Having a healthy diet is important but alone it will not help you. You need to delete cancer-causing foods and add cancer eradicating foods in your daily diet”.

Here I am sharing a list of few commonly used foods which are said to have carcinogens and can cause Cancer, measures to avoid them and ways to stay away from this brutal curse.

Smoked Foods: According to NCBI, smoked foods contain injurious carcinogens called “nitrates” and “nitrites” that prevent them from rotting and keep them fresh for a longer time. When we cook smoked foods, nitrates and nitrites are converted into N-nitroso compounds which include nitrosamines and nitrosamides which can increase your risk of developing cancer. Frequent intake of smoked foods has more chances to develop cancer hence regulate the consumption. Excess of everything is bad.

BPA lined Canned foods: You must have heard this term “BPA” a lot. Ever thought what exactly it is and why many products mention “BPA free” on their packing? What’s the difference in BPA & BPA free? Well, it stands for “Bisphenol A”. Its a toxic chemical which is used to make certain plastics and products like CDs, DVDs, plastic bottles etc. Sadly, it is linked to several illnesses like cancer, obesity, sugar, reproductive abnormalities, heart ailments etc. Many food companies coat the lining of their canned foods with BPA which gets mixed up with the food later and could harm us severely. Many countries like Canada, the European Union, China and the US have banned the use of BPA in baby products like baby bottles, sippers and baby food packaging too. Canned foods are quite convenient these days and easily available like tomatoes, kidney beans, soups, corns, fruits etc. but it is up to us to decide and choose between comfort and health. Prefer using fresh food only instead of buying the canned and preserved ones. In case, fresh vegetable is not available, prefer frozen over canned but prefer fresh as first choice. Use glass and stainless steel containers instead of plastic. Look for foods packed in glass jars or tetra packs. Never heat food in plastic containers in microwave, even if it is microwave safe and BPA free.

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Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils and Trans fats: Hydrogenation is a process in which hydrogen is added to liquid unsaturated fat to convert it into solid fat and during this process, a type of unnatural fat is made which is termed as “Trans fat”. Trans fats increase your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes and breast cancer too. Example of foods containing hydrogenated oils and trans fat are cookies, crackers, doughnuts, fried foods, muffins, pies, cakes. Limit how often you consume these. On the Nutrition Label, check the amount of trans fats and pick items with “0 g trans fat”, also look for “No hydrogenated oils” in the ingredients list. Use non hydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, mustard, coconut, sunflower or olive oil. 

Non-Organic Vegetables and Fruits: Crops that are grown using pesticides, harmful chemicals, GMO seeds and herbicides are likely to cause cancer because all these chemicals contain carcinogens and are dangerous. Prefer buying locally grown produce or organic vegetables and fruits, if they are not available and you have no choice but to eat non-organic ones, then make sure you wash them very well using a brush before consuming. Washing does not eliminate all the pesticides residue, but can reduce it. Try to have a kitchen garden of your own. You need not to have a huge space for it, you can grow them in pots too.

ORGANIC

Excessive Sugar: I had read many posts about sugar stating it as “White poison” or “Cancer’s favorite food” and I regulated the use of sugar in my daily diet but later I did a lot of research and found that there is no evidence that sugar causes cancer but yes, there is an indirect connection between sugar and cancer. Consuming lot of sugar is not good for body, we all know, as it can lead to weight gain and increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and certain cancers too. According to NBC News, after tobacco and smoking, obesity is the one of the biggest cause for cancer. So, people having a sweet tooth, check on your sugar intake. Nothing is bad if eaten in moderation. To satiate your sugar cravings, pick up a fruit, raisins, dates or even dark chocolate. Avoid sugary drinks, flavoured yoghurts, breakfast cereals as these contain excessive sugar. Check the ingredients list and choose lower sugar options. Don’t say NO to sugar but limit the usage as its good for overall health perspective, not cancer alone.

cancer sugar

obesity

Microwaved Popcorn: Who does not like to munch on this healthy snack but you need to monitor how it is made. If you are consuming popcorn prepared in a microwave, think again! Microwaved popcorn is one of the cancer-causing foods because the bags are lined with Perfluoroalkyls, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) to prevent the oil from leaking through the bag on heating it. When we heat the popcorn packet in a microwave, these chemicals end up in the popcorn. Many studies show that PFOA has been associated with tumors in animal organs. Also, PFOA plant workers are highly prone to develop prostate cancer. Rely on the traditional way of making it in a pan as its safe and healthier. Takes few minutes only.

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Grilled Meat: Grilled meat is heaven for non veg lovers, isn’t it? But research shows that it can increase the chances of getting cancer. Barbecuing and cooking meat under a fire can form carcinogenic compounds “heterocyclic amines” and “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” which are linked to cause cancer based on the research and studies carried out on animals. According to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the 5 worst foods to grill are:

  • Chicken breast, skinless, boneless, grilled, well done
  • Steak, grilled, well done
  • Pork, barbecued
  • Salmon, grilled with skin
  • Hamburger, grilled, well done

But there is a good news too!!! Research suggests ways to  lower levels of carcinogens in your meat by marinating it well before cooking. This will help to keep the surface of the meat from getting very hot. Microwaving before barbecuing can also help.  Ensure it is cooked well as undercooked meat is not suitable for consumption. Cook at proper temperature, not too hot.

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Soft Drinks and Sports Drinks: As I have mentioned above sugary drinks can cause cancer, many studies have confirmed that soft drinks like soda, sport drinks can cause cancer. Due to excessive sugar, they increase the insulin production in the pancreas doubling the risk of pancreatic cancer. Try natural drinks like nimbu pani, coconut water, buttermilk. Infused water can be a great alternative too.

infused

Processed Foods: According to a report commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund, based on a review of more than 7,000 clinical studies that examined the connection between eating habits and cancer, it was founded that processed foods and meats are not healthy and should be avoided as much as possible. Processed meat is made with meats from animals, raised in animal feeding farms. These animals including farm fishes are fed growth hormones and many other drugs. These meats also contain nitrite to add color and flavor to the food. As I have mentioned above, nitrite are converted into nitrosamines in the body; which are strong cancer-causing chemicals and increase the risk of stomach and other cancers.

processed foods

According to The BMJ, another major cancer causing agent is processed food as it contain artificial colors, humectants, emulsifiers, artificial sweeteners and flavoring agents. Many processed foods have large amount of white refined flour, which is also a very unhealthy choice for eating as it goes through a dangerous process of manufacturing and contains many harmful chemicals.

Stick to the food in its natural state as much as possible. Add whole grains, fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet. 

Preservatives: Preservatives are used to keep food fresh, edible and safe for a longer period of time. Many flavoring agents, colors, additives, salt, sugar, MSGs, dyes, extracts, oil etc. are the most commonly used preservatives. According to Cancer Council NSW & International Agency for the Research of Cancer (IARC), preservatives increase the risk of cancer. Instead of packed juices, consume the fresh ones. Mother Nature has so much to offer, why to opt for artificial foods?

preservatives

JUICES

How to prevent Cancer: As there are many causes for cancer, there is no foolproof way to stay away from this evil, however certain changes in diet and lifestyle may lower the risk. Apart from the italicized tips given above, consider a few more below:

1. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats: Add Carotenoids rich foods in your diet. These are the pigments that give color to various fruits and vegetables like carrots, brussel sprouts, squash, cantaloupe, sweet potato, kale etc. Add antioxidants like artichokes, all type of berries, pecans, kidney beans, dark chocolate etc to your diet. Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and beans. Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C like oranges, guava, kiwi, green and red peppers, papaya etc. Add fibre rich foods. Add seeds, nuts, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids for healthy fats. Add immune boosting herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric, basil, rosemary, and coriander.

2. Done overcook food as it kills many useful vitamins and minerals. Undercooked food is equally harmful.

3. Use vegetable stock for cooking your vegetables, soups, dals or even kneading flour.

4. Use steel and glasswares and try to avoid plastic as much as possible.

5. Prefer to cook oils on low heat as low-heat cooking or baking (less than 240 degrees) prevents oils or fats from turning carcinogenic. Consider other healthier cooking options like baking, boiling, steaming, or broiling instead of deep-frying, pan-frying which require high heat cooking.

6. Store oils in in airtight containers in cool dark place as they become rancid when exposed to heat, light, and air.

7. Maintain a healthy weight: Weight gain, overweight and obesity increases the risk of many cancers like bowel, breast, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, kidney, gallbladder, esophageal, and ovarian cancers, so keep a check on your weight always.

8. Exercise for at least 30 mins daily, stay physically active and say no to sedentary lifestyle to decrease the risk of colon, endometrial, and postmenopausal breast cancer.

9. Limit alcohol intake. 

10. Breastfeeding is highly recommended for mothers for up to 6 months. More the merrier. This not only decreases the risk for the mother to develop breast cancer but also breastfed children are less likely to be overweight.

11. Regular check ups: Regular annual check ups are always advisable for timely and early diagnosis of any disease including Cancer. Don’t wait for any symptom to get it checked. Make sure to get an annual complete health check up done for yourself and your family.

12. Vaccinations: There are vaccines available to prevent cancers like cervical cancer, liver cancer, anal cancer, vaginal cancer etc. Talk to your practitioner about it and get it done.

Hope you like this article. Do share your thoughts with me. Eat healthy, live healthy.

Note: This article has been written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.comFashionablefoodz.comAllaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.

Tips on buying a New Car, from my personal experience

             This is a sponsored post

For a middle class family, the two biggest investments are housing and car. So, if you are planning to buy your first car and clueless how to go about it, I am here to help you with a few tips from my personal experience which might help you to make a decision wisely:

Research and homework: Walking in casually to any outlet to explore the cars would not be a wise idea as you will end up nowhere and come back home totally confused. Moreover, the smart salesmen will smell and circle you like a prey. So, before visiting any dealer, do some research and don’t let them take you for a ride. Points to keep in mind are:

  1. What is your requirement, make, model, style of the car.
  2. How much you are willing to spend – the budget.
  3. What features you actually need and what are the extras which can be avoided like heated seats, built-in navigation, built-in music system which can be bought at a much better and less expensive price. VIN etching, rear camera, dealership maintenance plan, extended warranty, rust proofing, paint protection are a few add-ons that can be avoided.
  4. You need to determine the affordability also, whether you want to purchase a diesel or petrol or gas driven cars.

There are many online car compare sites which you use and search cars matching your requirement. Once you know which all cars are within your budget and meeting the other needs too, you can read experts and users reviews about those cars on various internet sites and get an idea about the overall performance.

Explore and Compare dealerships: The market is full of car dealerships offering various brands under one roof so when it comes to choosing a dealer, there are few points to consider like what is the final invoice cost of the car offered by the dealer, what are the delivery options, what discounts or sales they have, after sales service, what loan options and schemes they have. You also should ask for the complimentary products they will offer after the purchase like paint protection, an extended warranty, prepaid maintenance plan etc. Different dealers have different prices based on their location and other dealers are aware of this fact, so you can use this point in your favour and bargain. Stick to your guns and ask for a discount politely.

Take Test drive: Before buying a car, taking test test drive is as important as trying clothes before buying. You need to know if its suits your requirement or not. If you plan to fit a child seat in your car, bring it during your test drive and practice. It is the best chance to observe how comfortable the seats are, how relaxing the driver seat is, boot space, suspension, will it fit into your parking area or not, how smooth and quiet the car is, how much is the leg space, easy to use controls are there or not, performance on various roads, what are the safety features, consumption cost, mileage, view from the mirrors is clear etc. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or use any features during the drive. You are going to spend a lot of money on this purchase, so being sure is important.

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Financing: Once you finalize a car in you mind, check about the loan with the car dealers and your bank. Most of the times, the dealer’s rate are much higher than that of the banks but there is no harm checking with them and you never know you get a better deal, hassle-free, at one place only. It’s always advisable to take a loan for a shorter period – 40 months or so.

To calculate your car loan, here is a link that will help you: 

https://www.cars.com/car-loan-calculator/

Close the deal and take delivery: Take a final look of the car for any dents, scratches that might have occured during the transport and after proper demonstration, if you feel the car, dealership, rates, loan, insurance all are in place and look OK, it’s time to pay and take the delivery. You can do the paperwork and take the delivery at their outlet and drive your four wheeler home else you can request the dealer to deliver it at your place. You can ask the salesman about any features like pairing bluetooth with your phone or switching on headlights, fog lights or any other safety feature etc.

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Last and the most important step: Enjoy your long drives!!!

 

 

My top three Indian holiday destinations

I am a travel enthusiast and very fond of traveling and exploring new destinations. This travel bug bit me in the very early years of my life when we used to plan a trip mostly to the hill stations during summer vacations. I have a lot of cherished memories of my childhood with my family and cousins. Here sharing my top 3 picks in India which I would love to visit any given day:
A.) The city of lakes, Nainital: As I have mentioned above, I love traveling and have travelled extensively in India and abroad but my first choice and the most loved travel destination is and will always be Nainital. I was 6 years old when I first visited this breathtaking place, situated in the Uttrakhand state of India. Every single memory is still afresh in my mind and I have been there 6 times so far. It is one of the most popular place to visit for North Indians during summers as its close to Delhi and other neighbouring cities and just an overnight journey from my city, Lucknow. It is a great escape destination so people flock there to beat the heat in summers. It’s one of the favorite choices for honeymooners too because of its accessibility and mesmerizing charm.
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Kathgodam and you can take bus/taxi from there till Nainital which is an hour drive. The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport. Taxis and buses are easily available from the railway station as well as airport.
Best places to visit: 
1. Naini Lake: The main center of attraction and the most relaxing spot of Nainital is Naini lake which is the first sight you will get on reaching Nainital. It’s in heart of the city, surrounded by the splendid natural scenic beauty of lushy green hills. There are many other lakes also which are at Bhimtal, Khurpatal, Naukhuchiatal, Sattal & Shymaltal. You can take a stroll around the serene lake enjoying the “bhutta” and pop corns and also go for boating.
naini lake
2. China Peak or Naina Peak: If you are interested in trekking, this is a place for you as it is situated at the highest peak of Nainital. It gives a panoramic view of the city and valley. People visit it to view the sunrise and sunset.
 
3. Tiffin Top: Another beautiful spot that gives you a stunning view of the city and The Himalayas. Its famous for hiking, horse riding and “not to miss” sunset and sunrise.
4. Snow View: This is my most favorite spot as it can be reached by a cable car, which itself is an adventurous thing to do. This gives amazing views of The Himalayas, lake, city and the highest peaks.
5. Cave Garden: This is a hidden gem of Nainital which I discovered lately in my last visit. There are 7 interconnected caves which can be reached through quite narrow paths. Kids love this place because of the adventure and musical fountain. Definitely a must see place.
 eco-cave-gardens
6. Naina Devi Temple: This is an ancient temple located near the Tibetan market and can be reached on walk. I relish the special peda prasad there. It gives a beautiful view of the Naini lake too.
 
7. Kainchi Dham: This is a peaceful place around 20kms from Nainital and I visit every time because me and my family are devotees of Neeb Karoli Baba, who was an incarnation of Lord Hanuman. Divine place totally. People still experience the miracles here. You can reach there by taxi or bus.
Kainchi
8. Shopping: Traveling without shopping is no fun. I never miss visiting Tibetan Market during my trip to Nainital. You get excellent stuff – clothes, pullovers and even toys at a negotiated price. Also Nainital is famous for its candles which you can buy from any roadside shop across the city.
Another attractions of the city are Nainital Zoo, Hanumangarhi temple, Mukteshwar Dham, differents Taals, Governor’s House, Gurudwara situated near the Tibetan market and many more.
Special Food: Bal Mithai, a sweet that tastes like chocolate, perfect for people having a sweet tooth. Two types are available, with or without white tiny sugar balls. I prefer without balls as it makes way too sweet.
bal mithai
B.) Goa: Another favorite location of mine is definitely Goa as my love for beaches is undying. I visited in Sept 2014 with my husband when the monsoon just hit turning the city even greener and more captivating. I find it the perfect time to visit as the weather was lovely with little drizzles sometimes and less crowded. Though we miss water sports because of off season but no regrets as rest fun compensated the adventure especially bike rides in rains. Sounds romantic right?
Goa is divided into two parts – North and South. North Goa is famous of its nightlife, clubs, happening beaches and hip hop life whereas South Goa is for nature lovers. It’s a peaceful part of the city and have equally thrilling beaches. It’s one of the top honeymoon destinations in India and an eternal favourite choice for foreigners too, visiting India.
How to reach: Then nearest railway stations are Madgaon and Vasco-da-gama and the nearest international airport is Dabolim. Taxis are easily available there and can transport you to Goa in 40 minutes.
Best places to visit:
Goa is a versatile location where you can relax your bum enjoying the sunset on sandy beaches, drive through lush green areas, have fun at clubs, cruise and casinos, experience the adventure of watersports and much more. My top favorite sights to visit are:
us
1.) Baga-Calangute beach stretch: Situated in North Goa, on the shores of Arabian Sea, Calangute is known as the “Queen of beaches”. It is the most happening spot where you can experience the popular water sports, parasailing, jet ski and the best nightlife. You get the best seafood which you can enjoy at the beach side restaurants in candle light with some rock music around. Colorful souvenir shops will draw your attention selling leather goods, exquisite handicrafts etc.
calangute
baga
2.) Benaulim Beach: Situated in South Goa away from the hustle bustle of the city, a long stretch of empty sand, this beach is a great place to relax and perfect location for tourists seeking peace and tranquility. This enchanting serene beach has loads of scenic beauty and is famous for fishing and is mostly less crowded which makes it an ideal spot for rejuvenation. Here you can also enjoy the watersports and rocking nightlife in bars /pubs around or enjoy a candle light romantic dinner in the starry night in the presence of moon and beach.
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goa
Other popular beaches are Colva Beach, Anjuna Beach, Agonda Beach, Vagator beach, Candolim beach etc.
3.) Aguada Fort: This is one of the most visited destination in Goa. It has one of the oldest lighthouses of Asia, constructed way back in 1864 by The Portuguese to guide ships into safe harbour. This well preserved lighthouse overlooking The Arabian sea, gives breathtaking views and is a perfect sight for camera lovers for capturing the best pictures. There is a jail (prison house) in the fort which remains closed for the public. Accused of the crimes like narcotics abuse, drugs sale and trafficking were lodged there.
aguada fort
4.) Chapora Fort or “Dil Chahta Hai” Fort: This is another popular destination for tourists which overlooks the Chapora river, hence the name. The classic fun movie “Dil Chahta Hai” about male camaraderie was shot here in 2001 and this destination became even popular for the tourists to click similar pictures posing with their friends. People spend their evenings here chilling out and admiring the spectacular sunset. A must go place for sure.
chapora-fort
5.) Basilica of Bom Jesus: This is one of the oldest churches in India which gives you a feel of ancient architecture. It contains the body of St. Francis Xavier and holds paintings of scenes from his life. This Saint was said to have miraculous power of healing.
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6.) Spice Plantation: I absolutely loved this place. It was a treat to eyes and body visiting Spice Plantation situated in a lushy green area. Learned about various flora in a guided tour along with Goan cuisine in authentic earthen pots and Feni tasting. If you are nature lover, I bet you won’t regret as it will give you altogether a different experience in Goa. You can also buy authentic herbs and medicines for many ailments from here.
spice plspice
7.) Dudhsagar Falls: This magnificent waterfall forms the border between Karnataka and Goa states, surrounded by deciduous forests and rich biodiversity. The best time to visit this attraction is monsoon when the falls are fed by rains forming a huge force of water. You can reach by road and the nearest railway station is Castle rock station. You can get in a train from here and disembark at the Dudhsagar stop. There is no platform, so travellers have to climb down the steep ladder of the compartment in a short 1-2 minute unscheduled stop and from there, they have to walk about a kilometer on the tracks to arrive at the falls. Its not at all easy to reach this place but if you are an adventure lover, you can give it a try.
dudh
Dona Paula: Earlier known as Oddavell, Dona Paula is another sought-after spot in Goa situated few kilometres away from Panaji at a breathtaking beautiful sea stretch. It is a secluded bay and quite a picturesque location which makes it a not-to-miss major attraction. The amazingly spectacular views and stunning beaches makes it a perfect place to sunbathe and relax. It holds the renowned National Institute of Oceanography, which is a also a popular sight to visit. Many movies have been shot here as the location is so serene and alluring especially during the monsoon. Cabo Fort and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are the two must visit spots nearby.
Must do things in Goa are water sports, experience the nightlife at Mambos and Tito’s club, cruise and bike riding.
Other places of interests are Church of St. Cajetan, World Wax Museum, Museum of Christian Art, Goa Science Centre, Chitra Museum, Church Lady of the Rosary, Shanta Durga Temple, Mangeshi Temple (Temple of family deity of The living Legend Lata Mangeshkar and her family)
Special Food: Feni, a cocktail made of cashews and liquor, cashews, Bebinca, a type of cake.
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C. Backwaters of God’s Own Country, Kerala (Alleppey Houseboat): I went to Kerala on my honeymoon way back in 2008 and its indeed the most beautiful and magnetic state of India. It was a 8-day trip and we covered Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Alleppey, Kovalam and Kanyakumari. Every destination has its own charm, be it the tea plantations and hills of Munnar or wildlife of Thekkady or windswept, stunning beach of Kovalam or the villages and backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom. However, my most loved part during my trip was the houseboat stay and I always recommend people to travel to Kerala and experience the backwaters and houseboat trip once in your lifetime. We were isolated completely from the world as there was no network connection in our phones and no internet. We leisurely explored the beauty of the place, the wind, the rain, serene ambience, the most splendid wonder of Kerala to the most.
alleppey-houseboats-day
The most popular backwater destination of Kerala is Alleppey. It has scenic beauty in abundance, magnificent lagoons, lakes, villages and freshwater rivers. To explore the attractions, taking an overnight cruise or a day cruise would be a great idea. We took overnight cruise, boarded at 12 Noon from Alleppey to Kumarakom and were offered coconut water as the welcome drink. Meals are included in the package, we opted for vegetarian meal and were served fruits, rice, curry, papad, sambhar, salad and many other delicacies. Meals are cooked fresh in the houseboat kitchen only. Snacks, tea/coffee/juices are served time to time. Honeymooners can request special arrangements like flower decoration, candle light dinner etc. which can be honored to make them feel special.
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Special Note: Don’t forget to carry mosquito repellant as they will be your companion there throughout.
There are three types of houseboats available in Kerala:
  • Standard Houseboat
  • Deluxe or Premium Houseboat
  • Luxury or Super deluxe Houseboat
How to reach: The nearest airport to Kumarakom and Alleppey is Cochin International Airport. You can book a taxi from there to reach there.
So, these are are my top 3 favorite holiday spots. Would love to know about yours too.
Note: This article has been written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.comFashionablefoodz.comAllaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.

And I Ask Myself, “When I Got So Blessed?”

Every morning, I find myself longing for few more minutes of sleep when I feel your tiny fingers on my face trying to open my eyes and waking me up.

I find myself whining secretly when you ask me to play blocks for the nth time in a day.

I find myself praying more and more and asking Lord to give me more patience than I can seem to marshal on most days.

I find myself wishing having some “ME” time, alone, pampering myself, during the day.

I find myself wishing mealtimes were not so much of a struggle, and that you eat whatever served to you happily.

I find myself wishing for a magic wand so that the mess on the floor that you do the whole day, vanishes in a jiffy.

I find myself longing for carefree get together with my buddies without worrying about anything.

I find myself yearning for sipping coffee in your Dad’s hug and the same cuddling from him every morning, before you came to us.

I find myself dreaming about a vacation, far far away from the round-the-clock demands of parenting.

I find myself plunging through the bedtime routine, which gives me a few extra minutes of “me time” once you are in your dreamland.

But in the midst of all this, you cuddle your warm little body against mine. You look up at me with those twinkling eyes, grinning, and say in your kiddish and most harmonious voice, “Mommy, Mommy” and if I get lucky sometimes “I love you”. In that moment, I feel, despite all the odds, all the imperfections, both of you still love me so purely and perfectly. And I ask myself, “When I got so blessed?

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A day in the life of Twin Mom #SuperBloggerChallenge#Instacuppa

Mornings in our house are full of love, kisses, cuddles, tears, promises and hugs. It looks like a man, well-armed, is going off to the war, kissing and hugging his kids with a promise to be back soon in the evening. After that last promising hug, my twin toddlers run to the main door to see off their Superman and taking the last glimpse as he heroically drives off to his job. And then starts the real game as they turn back to me as if to say, “So what’s the plan…it’s just you and us again Mommy”.

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After washing and dressing them well, I enforce breakfast rules, serve their and my plates and beg them to eat and let me have my tea in peace. Yes, I successfully finish my “cold tea” (it’s a special tea only for mothers) after reheating it 20 times in an hour and then finally drink it cold in a sip.

My girls are well aware of the fact that work-out is very important for everyone so they make sure Mommy is not just sitting leisurely and sipping her tea. They start all their demands while I struggle to fuel myself for the action packed day. Breakfast is the perfect time for them to pee, poop, spilling corn flakes all over, asking for the toy which they no longer play with and Mommy has dumped it in the storage and keep crying their lungs out until the neighbors come and frown at us.

Then comes another project of making the bed and cleaning the overnight cluttered house. Poor Mommy doesn’t know beds are not just for sleeping but also they make the best jumping ground. They jump, jump and jump until one of them hurt themselves and come to me crying. Restart jumping after 5 mins of comforting hug from Mom.

Around noon, when it’s their time to take a nap, I feel so accomplished that half day is gone and as soon as I start fantasizing about my coffee, they would start another drama. All their fights will come to an end and all of a sudden they will become the best of friends who want to talk, talk, talk and giggle while I try to make them sleep. Bribe game comes to my rescue then and as they doze off, I feel like the highness for two hours.

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These two hours, I behave like a tip-toed thief in my own house who fears to be caught up again by the little hands. So, I quickly grab my lunch, coffee and laptop and start picking up my office assignments. A little sound from their room before their two hours nap, sounds the scariest thing in the world to me.

By the time, girls get up, it’s already evening and only few hours left for our Superhero to return from work. We eat, we sing, we read, we play, we dance, we cry, we fight in these 3 hours until I finally give up and put on their cartoon for sometime so that I can cook and we can have something in the dinner.

we

And that’s when the Papa’s court begins: “Enough girls” – no more drinking water and eating anywhere except the dining table.”

“Quietttttttttttt now – no more shouting and sword fights, sit in different corners.”

“That’s it – Put on your hairbands and wear pajamas and look like a human.” “No more cartoons now!!! etc. etc. etc.

Sometimes these law and orders are manageable because it’s evening and we have two more working hands around. But what to do when he is at work and I have to deal with the two of them. When I need to cook, eat myself, feed them, finish other endless stuff and at the same time keep them away from killing each other?  I find myself struggling with these Papas’ rules.

On one hand, being a better parent than me, I want he should also have a say in things. I definitely don’t want to challenge his authority and chop him off at the knees. But, on the other, I can’t live up to these rules that he puts in place in anger, which are momentary and not feasible for our family. I feel he is secretly planning to ruin my life dropping some new rules like a grenade.

Making him feel less important is rarely an effective strategy for success, it has never worked in the past so I try to look at the things from his perspective. I try really hard to understand his rule book. He is an Engineer by profession and his instinct is to come up with a solution to any problem. He tries to fix everything in place. But with two hyperactive toddlers at home, can anything be really fixed at its place?

We repeat this process for the full week until finally the most awaited day, Saturday hits and we fall into our weekend routine with an extra set of hands. We do breakfast, lunch, errands together and something fun as a family as Daddy dear is home and not just bossy and boring Mommy , we eventually hit a bump in the shopping mall for weekly shopping.

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Being the single point of contact for India operations in my Organization, I always have a lot in my plate which I try to finish during their afternoon nap and in the night once they are in their dreamland. It’s often chaotic but we are consistent in our routines to keep us sane and alive. As the day ends and we tuck our minions to bed, we hug and congratulate each other for surviving one more day successfully.

Note: This article has been written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.comFashionablefoodz.comAllaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.

Let´s talk blogging #Superbloggerchallenge2018

TINA SEQUEIRA

blogging-18050045 highs in my blogging journey

  1. The humble beginnings: When I started my first blog back in 2006 much before I was married. I actually had readers way back then when blogging was almost alien in India. It was my younger brother who moved to Finland then who suggested that I have a blog of my own. He knew how much I loved to write and express myself. And so, I created my first blog on blogger more than a decade back. You can check my very first blog here: https://pensense.blogspot.in/2006/10/for-your-eyes-only.html
  2. The Tina Edit: Getting back to blogging after a long sabbatical from it with a whole new blog identity ´The Tina Edit´(now 7 months old). I had fun creating the logo of this site, choosing the template and customising it to suit my personality, announcing it to the world and taking it to the next level. To see my baby…

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Give your loved ones the gift of health #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 #Instacuppa

Hello Friends,

Whenever it comes to gifting, I always look for unique ideas and purposeful stuff. I recently came across an interesting brand Instacuppa with a great range of products. Its inviting name drew my attention and I clicked on their website https://instacuppastore.com/

They aim at manufacturing healthy products, hence minimizing the use of plastic and using bamboo or glass. The products are BPA free, lightweight hence easy to carry for every age group which makes it a perfect gift option for everyone be it teenagers, mid-aged or even old members of the family. After a workout, it will be a perfect partner to sip your drink and feel rejuvenated. People who have a traveling job throughout the long sunny days, it will be a perfect option for them too to boost their stamina, keep themselves refreshed and hydrated. People who have a sedentary job like my husband, who is an engineer, it’s a nice partner for them too, as keeping the bottle at their workstation will remind them to drink water regularly and code coolly. So, all in all, a great product.

The product range includes InstaCuppa Cold Brew Coffee Maker | Fruit Infuser Pitcher | Iced Tea Pot 1300mlInstaCuppa Double Walled Glass Green Tea / Detox Infuser BottleInstaCuppa French Press Coffee Maker 600mlInstaCuppa Fruit Infuser Water Bottle – Polar Edition 1000mlInstaCuppa Fruit Infuser Water Bottle 1000ml and many more.

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So, the question you still might have is what exactly these products are used for? So, here, I explain the same. As we all know, drinking 2-3 litres of water daily cleanse up your system and keeps you away from many diseases. Instacuppa adds taste and health to your life. Instead of drinking plain water, try infused water which is not just tasty but healthy too. It is made up of fruits, herbs, vegetables which are easily available. The commonly used ingredients are lemons, mint, cilantro, berries, mango, cucumber, apple, coconut, basil and many more. You can use any ingredient of your choice and go creative with it as much as you want. You need just need to soak up the fruits and herbs of your choice in filtered water in an infuser for few hours and your drink is ready. These bottles are easy to clean, so you can stay hassle free. I call it “Hassle-free, efforts-free health”.

Infused water has other benefits too like it:

  • Boosts your stamina.
  • Keeps you in shape.
  • No sugar additives and preservatives intake.
  • Because of its taste, you end up drinking more and more, hence your skin glows.
  • Helps you lose weight.
  • No cravings for aerated drinks.
  • Remove toxins from your body.
  • Keeps your organs like kidney, liver, lungs, intestines healthy and away from illness.

So friends, beat the heat this summer with these infused water recipes using Instacuppa products. Stay hydrated, give the gift of health to your loved ones.

Note- *This article is written as a part of #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com ,Fashionablefoodz.com, Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused*

Detoxify yourself, stay healthy, stay hydrated, stay fit with a magic drink #Instacuppa #SuperBloggerChallenge2018

Detoxification is a process of cleansing the blood and removing the toxins from our body. Liver is the main detoxification organ of the body however toxins are also eliminated through various other organs too like kidney, intestines, lungs etc. It is advisable by the healthcare practitioners to cleanse your internal organs also on a daily basis like we clean our external ones. But, most of us do not know about the importance of detoxification yet, hence do not focus much on it which leads to inviting many other illnesses in a long run. Here I am sharing an easiest way to detoxify yourself without putting much efforts, and just by drinking Infused Water.

What is Infused water and how to make it:

Infused water is a detox drink which is made of fruits and veggies extract. These are soaked in water and over a period of time, the flavours are infused in the water and your magic drink is ready.

There are many recipes available for preparing this drink. The most commonly used ingredients are cucumber, mint, lemon, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, coconut, basil etc. I am sharing my favorite one here which my Mom used to make:

Soak half lemon+coriander sprigs+cucumber+mint leaves in filtered water for few hours and here is your drink.
Note: Peel off the lemon rind to avoid bitterness.

Also, you need a good quality detox infuser. I recently came to know about an interesting brand Instacuppa which I’m sharing with you today. It’s products are 100% BPA free, durable, lightweight, handy, easy to carry and clean too. The best part is instead of using plastic, they use bamboo or glass which are eco-friendly and healthy choices. My take: https://instacuppastore.com/collections/instacuppa-detox-water-bottles to prepare this drink.

bottle

Instacuppa range:

Other products include Instacuppa French press Coffee makers, Instacuppa fruit infusers https://instacuppastore.com/collections/instacuppa-fruit-infuser-water-bottles/products/instacuppa-fruit-infuser-water-bottle-1000ml, Instacuppa stainless steel tea infusers/ strainer balls, Instacuppa premium milk frother handheld and a few more. You can visit their website for complete details: https://instacuppastore.com

Other benefits of Infused water:

Apart from detoxification, infused water has many other health benefits:

  1. As it is made up of fruits and herbs, it’s tasty, improves your mood, fuels you with nutrients for action packed day.
  2. It helps you keep hydrated all day long.
  3. As it fills you up, you don’t feel hungry, hence helps losing weight.
  4. It has no added sweeteners and preservatives, so sugar intake is controlled.
  5. It has zero calorie, helps you stay in shape.

So, what are you waiting for? Show some love to yourself and try this magical drink. Go creative and make your own recipe of infused water using Instacuppa infusers. Don’t forget to share your experience.

Stay healthy, stay fit.

 

Note- *This article is written as a part of #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com ,Fashionablefoodz.com, Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused*