Sunday, November 29, 2009

Revisiting Life...

A dark stormy night,

Rain pouring, the stormy waters riled,

The winds incensed, the clouds seething

Nature setting up a jangling chord of dissonance.

Seeking for answers,

Finding a milion riddling questions,

I am drowning in uncertainity

Lost and not finding...

It seemed like the world was making peace,

A gentle breeze, the sea calm,

Like a Phoenix, igniting,healing and self-creating,

I revisit Life....

The past few weeks have been puzzling, introspective and extremely uncomfortable. Have I totally recovered...I don't think so. My voice for one is a "Lost Cause"...fighting a battle with Laryngitis and losing it...there were other decision making points...I think I have tried to approach every problem with a brave front and dignity...I guess the key to remember is I am not alone.
I have been attracted to the story of the Phoenix...Simurg (for Persians) and Garuda (for Hindus, Lord Vishnu's vehicle of choice)....a beautiful mythical bird with miraculous healing powers... a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet. Towards the end of its life journey, it sings a beautiful song, ignites and burns to ashes and from those very same ashes it is reborn...thus immortalizing it's existence...the concept is comforting.
Thanksgiving has been a quiet week...How has life been treating you?

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Dab of mustard Oil and a clove of Garlic

Have I ever told you how facinated I have been with alternative herbal health remedies - for the past two months given my little guy's bouts of illness from Viral fevers to colds to coughs to ear infections and allergies...I have seen a varied spectrum of germs....the pediatricians here mostly prescribe antibiotics of which I am very "anti" the researcher in me has been researching home remedies both Indian and American of doing 2 things this winter - (A) Build up immunity (B) Fight the flu
Let me start with the immunity builders first -
(A) Get your Omega 3 and Omega 6 -- I rely on my son's gummy bears (Flintstone)
(B) Rhinos Gummy Bear (Vitamin C, Zinc and Echnicea) --- you get these at Whole Foods
(C) Shatavari Kalp - A ayurvedic herb, that I mix into a cup of warm fatfree milk and drink on the mornings I am feeling run down
(D) A spoon of honey (whenever I feel like popping a candy into my mouth)
(E) Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (I buy raw pumpkin seeds from Whole Foods and dry roast them in the microwave)
(F) I just get into bed an hour early the nights I feel run down...curled up with my favorite cook book or listening to some soothing music
(G) A cup of herb tea (I love peppermint tea or chamomile tea with honey)

Some of my home remedies for the Flu -
(A) I drink hot cups of green tea with a splash of lemon and honey every 3-4 hours
(B) Plain clear chicken soup with fresh black pepper (the recipe is in one of my older blogs)
(C) I take Mustard oil - 1 table spoon, Crush one large pot of garlic and add black jeera (ajwain or Caraway Seeds) -- I boil for about a minute. I massage my son for 15 minutes with the warm oil. Let him soak it for another 15 minutes and give him a quick shower in Vicks Soothing Vaporub (Johnson Bath).
(D) I process 1 knob of fresh ginger with holy basil leaves (Fresh) and strain the juice. I add it to honey and take the syrup about 4-5 times a day
(E) My go-to-remedy - A strong cup of Indian Chai laced with lots of fresh ginger

One of my go-to-meals when I am ready for some home comfort is -- Khichadi ( I do vary the recipe -- I use Basmati Rice or sometimes Bhutanese Red Rice or Nutty Brown Rice, I roast the Moong Dal and I sometimes add in Carrots and Beans to give it the vegetables it needs to round it off as a complete meal)...
Here's to a healthful, restful and happy Winter for Y'All !!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hitting Ground Zero...

Yesterday, I was making my way to pick up K2 from his pre-school to get his H1N1 Vaccine, there was a slight dampness in the air from a drizzle, the skies were grey…yet, the ground had this wonderful freshly washed earthy scent (if I could bottle it I would!)…my mind was whirring by me…and I seemed to be moving on automatic. It hit me right there and then how close to Ground Zero I was. I think a lot of us spend most of our time keeping our lives compartmentalized, organized and functioning without realizing that it took very little to make it a bubbling seething cauldron of confusion, chaos and gratuitous emotions. A call from India 3 weeks back about a loved one’s health, a prolonged flu attack coupled with my son’s flu and ear infection, a whirlwind trip to the Far East that warped up my time clock and of course the incessant errands and constant mental chatter professionally plus my intense need to maintain some semblance of normalcy, all mingled together making my organized living, a living chaos. I went spinning in this roller coaster ride an unwilling party who didn’t really take back control and this week I said to myself – Enough Already! There shall be order from chaos (really I didn’t invent that term, the ancient Hebrews and Darwin had thought of it already). I am kicking back and trying to regroup on my way forward and honestly speaking the road ahead is as clear as mud.

Diwali came by in gloomy October, just as the sun lost a veritable battle of wills to the moon and we started having shorter days and longer nights…some days were spectacularly warm and we were able to take walks in the nearby trails…other days were so cold, we were stuck inside the house with a warm cup of herbal tea spiked with Orange Honey.K1 traveled to Europe for a week and when he got back I left for Asia for 4 days. I love being in Asia – the vibrancy, the constant movement, the heat, the people, the food and of course the shopping (And the bargaining) just make me feel in my element. I did take a small detour to the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddha’s, which was serene and picturesque, I prayed hard...ate wonderful dim sum and Cantonese renderings of the Chinese cuisine…work wise the trip was a success. I came back to non-stop action – from getting planning work done for work to getting my son ready for Halloween. K2 was a trooper – flawlessly executing on his master plan of getting the maximum candy loot – in a sing song voice saying – Hawwow Uncle/Aunty – TrickRTreat! I was amazed at the amount of candy he amassed.

I spent the weekend cooking up a storm from the pickings from the Farmer’s Market – Chinese Broccoli, fresh baby Pak Choi, Crisp Green Beans and Cucumbers, Arugula, Fiery Scotch Bonnet and Thai Red Chili Peppers. I also picked up Organic Brown Eggs (K2 loves EggnCheese now!!!), Asian Pears, Pomegranates, and Organic Apples. We ate this entire week at home which is very unusual but it felt good to be able to put healthy food on the table with minimal effort – A quick sauté of greens, a warm celery soup (with Carrots and Leek) and a grilled cheese, onion and tomato sandwich...20 minutes from Kitchen to plate (psst….the celery soup was a labor of weekend love which took 2 hrs to sauté, simmer and make…and then frozen but who is counting…). The next 2 weeks are crucial for me but I am sure I will emerge a stronger person emotionally and mentally…and if not – Hey! I lived and learnt!

How is your weekend treating you so far…?
P.S - The picture above is one of a street dimsum vendor in Mongkok who was shooing me away, telling me no pictures :-)