The Courage To Follow Your Dreams Lies Within

As a child, everyone has dreams. You dream of being a superhero who has a magical touch. You dream of being the best of all. You believe in your dreams and see yourself living the life you want. Growing up, you realise that life is not only roses and fragrance. You come across thorns and ditches. The dreams start fading, the superheroes vanish gradually and the picture of your best version is forgotten.

Yes, life is full of twists and turns. You can live a disappointed life, waiting for things to turn around. However, should you accept defeat? Should you live with the disappointments? So what if one path didn’t lead to your destination? Don’t you have the courage to start a new journey? Why do you give up hope? Why do you let yourself fall and sink? Why not choose to rise instead?

Dare yourself to rise above failures. It all starts from within. Unless and until you decide to rise above something that has drained your inner peace, you would only go in circles. It’s like losing weight on fad diets. You start with all your might and complete your first day of extreme dieting. Then your resolve fades a bit. Without a strong will to achieve your target weight, you will falter. And once you do reach it, do you stick on to the hard work? For most people, the answer is No.

Working on yourself needs patience, insight and true self-love. Life is short and once you realise that you are the master of your life, you will never waste a moment. How do you measure success? The answer is different for all. Some equate wealth to success. For others, it may be the perfect figure, the perfect job, the highest paying salary etc. Whatever your criteria are, ask yourself if you would be truly happy once you achieve that goal? Be honest to yourself as you answer this. To be truly happy, you should experience every moment in life. Being mindful of what is going on at this moment is what can help you love yourself. Once you start focussing on the present moment, you will appreciate all your blessings. You will begin to feel grateful for what you have. You will learn to silence the mind and listen to yourself. Now you are ready to face your challenges.

Break your hardships into smaller blocks and deal with them one at a time. Focus on your end goal, but remember to take baby steps. There is no harm in changing your path if ultimately it leads to the final destination. Trust your instincts to guide you in every situation. You don’t have to go through life lonely and sad. You have to move ahead strong and learn to enjoy your own company. Stop expecting others to accompany you. Some paths are meant to be travelled alone. You can do this because the power to overcome lies within. You are destined for greatness. All you have to do is allow it to happen!

“It’s Not Whether You Get Knocked Down, It’s Whether You Get Up.” – Vince Lombardi

“We May Encounter Many Defeats But We Must Not Be Defeated.” – Maya Angelou

“You Are Never Too Old To Set Another Goal Or To Dream A New Dream.” – C.S. Lewis

Top 7 Fitness Tips For New Moms

Are you a new mom? Welcome to the world of motherhood and  Congratulations on the new arrival! Entering this new phase is not the same experience for all. It is an overwhelming experience where you may have no clue on what is happening around you. The pre-pregnancy clothes do not fit, you have no time to be yourself, a small baby constantly calls out for attention and there is complete chaos around you. Amidst all this confusion, most moms neglect to take care of their own bodies. It is not their fault at all. It is just that you don’t get time to think about yourself. So chill. For those of you who have been fretting about getting out of shape, I have a few pointers which can direct you in the right direction. Let us start your baby steps towards making yourself fit and healthy!

Take it slow and steady

Never make the mistake of rushing yourself into a fitness routine. Your body has transformed and undergone major changes. So allow yourself time to heal. Take it slow and steady. One pace at a time. As it is, you will not be getting any rest with the busy ”getting -to -know -baby” stage. Just be mindful and learn to evolve into motherhood. It won’t be an easy journey, and it is definitely not one that you can quit. So train yourself to pause. Breathe deeply and know that you can deal with the extra kilos when you are ready.

Consult your doctor

Before you decide on any exercise regime, consult your gynaecologist. Make sure your body has healed enough to handle more pressure. Do not compare yourself with someone else who has just given birth and returned to their fitness regime. When your doctor says its fine to start, then you can go ahead and plan a workout programme. Not before that.

Understand your emotions

The postpartum time is a roller coaster of emotions. It is not only during pregnancy but also after childbirth that you get overwhelmed by all those emotions. You get stressed and tensed about how to manage the crazy routine you are living right now. Sleep deprivations, mood swings, physical ailments, mental stress and so much more will keep on occurring. It is not just you who goes through all this. Every new mom is a wreck. And each one is doing her best to accommodate all these sudden changes. So take some time off the overthinking and give yourself a break. As you slow down and prioritise, you can clear your head and find some time to take out for yourself. It can be as little as 10 minutes, however, at this point, that’s more than good!

Practical ideas you can adopt

Start with realistic targets

Realistic goals are easier to achieve. Do not strive for a 20 kg reduction in 2 -3 months. Set targets that motivate you and bring you closer to your target weight gradually. Aim for 0.5 to 1 kg loss per week. That’s a great achievement considering all that your body has gone through. And do not worry even if you do not achieve it right away. Once you have decided to start, the rest will fall in place.

Switch to clean eating and avoid fad diets

A big No to Fad diets. It is never healthy and not at all now. Your baby needs you to be healthy and well-nourished. If you are a nursing mom, always make sure that you are taking a proper, balanced diet that provides all the nutrients to your baby. Moreover never give your body more strain than needed. Consult a certified dietician. Do all the recommended tests. You need to know if you have any health condition that needs to be addressed before starting a new diet. Follow a proper diet that gives you all the food components in the required proportions. Food is a very important part of your life right now. Choose wisely and serve your body with the right nutrients.

Include activity time with Lil baby

Yes, this is a great chance to get fit as well as develop a bonding with Lil baby. Take the baby out for a stroll. As you push the stroller, use the chance to walk around admiring the beauty of nature. This practice helps the baby to develop a sense of liking for everything in nature. Talk to your baby and enjoy the moments. Soon enough, you will have to start running to keep up the pace with a toddler. So savour the stroller moments where you can pause and watch the birds fly past. Make it a routine for at least 30mns a day to take a walk outdoors. This helps the baby to adjust to this outdoor activity and expect it in his/her daily schedule. And you could do with the physical exercise too. 

Meditation

Practice meditation for inner peace. You cannot keep your body physically fit unless you are emotionally stable. Post-pregnancy is a time when you need all the emotional strength you can get. Being able to remain calm and composed will help you take better decisions. Find a guided meditation series you like and follow their instructions. Rest your mind and body. Silence may be hard to find now, however, get all your meditation apps ready and take your chance whenever your baby decides to nap. Even a 5 minutes relaxation session will do you wonders. Strengthen your mind to face the challenges of motherhood bravely.

Summary

I do hope you will think about the points we discussed today. Know that you are not alone and several others are facing the same situation. Let us take time to talk about other tips and pointers that can help you move ahead slowly. I will be back in yet another session with a list of nutritious food that will help you regain your strength. Remember that you are not in any race to get fit and slim. Give yourself the care and love you require with proper nutrition and healthy exercises. Take care !!

A Quick Fix Mango Pickle-Straight from Grandma’s kitchen

Back again with yet another delicious, mouth-watering recipe!

This time I am introducing the Queen of our hearts, The master chef of them all- My dearest Grandmom. There’s never been a day when we haven’t craved for those homely dishes prepared by her so lovingly. Even today, going home to enjoy her wonderful cooking is a treat for the whole family.

Today she presents a simple, yet spicy mango pickle which is easy to make and a sure-to-be favourite. Let’s dive straight in.

Tips to note

  • Always use mangoes with slightly tender skin
  • Store  the pickle in a clean, dry ceramic jar
  • If preserving for a longer time, make sure you sun dry the mangoes well till there is no moisture left.
  • Choose a sunny day for best results.

Ingredients required

  • Mangoes (cut into medium square-shaped pieces) –1 kg
  • Chilly powder –1/4 cup (or as per how spicy you prefer )-Using Kashmiri chilly powder will give more colour
  • Asafoetida-3 tablespoons
  • Fenugreek +mustard –1/4 cup each (coarsely crush together in a blender )
  • Garlic- 15 cloves
  • Bengal Gram- two handfuls
  • Gingelly oil-1/2 cup

Method of preparation

Wash the mangoes well in running water. Dry them and cut into medium-sized cubes- 1*1 inches. Do not peel the skin off. So make sure you select mangoes with tender skin.

Add the required amount of salt (as per your taste) and mix the pieces well.

Dry the salted mango pieces in the hot sun for a whole day. The moisture should be completely dried off.

Once the initial drying has been completed, you need to prepare the spices.

*For best results, use fresh spices.

Add the required chilly powder, asafoetida and garlic to the dried mango pieces.

Then add the crushed fenugreek-mustard mixture to this.

Blend the spices well with the mango pieces.

Add the soaked Bengal gram .

Next pour in the required quantity of oil.

Mix again till the whole mango mixture blends well.

Keep the pickle in the hot sun again for three consecutive days till there is no moisture at all.

Transfer the pickle to a jar and pour some gingelly oil over the top.

Store in a clean, dry ceramic jar.

Let’s see what’s inside -Open your eyes to notice the beauty

One of my favourite quotes has always been- Never judge a book by its cover’.  Do you know how many people out there are judged and categorised just because of their skin colour? It is devastating to know that even today, discriminations tear apart a society that could have otherwise lived happily, being in peace with each other. So does it really matter that your neighbour is of different skin colour? Does it have any value thinking that your friend belongs to a minority group? I believe not. 

What counts is what’s inside of each human being. The intelligence, kindness and humane morality are what should be seen. When you look at a person, you need to see the human being within. You need to see how helpful he /she is. You need to see the divine upbringing within another person. We are all made of cells that breathe the same oxygen. So where did all this discrimination come from? Maybe once upon a time, rules were made to discriminate people. Is it necessary to continue with such rules? Can’t we, for once, just keep aside the differences in physical attributes and concentrate on how to grow together as a society dedicated to the prosperity of mankind?

People have been suffering in silence for years. Crippled with the stigma and mental trauma, they fail to seek assistance for fear of mockery. Isn’t it time to put an end to all this?  Self-love and mutual respect are the two weapons that should be drilled into our society. We have had more than enough traumas. Its now time to respect each culture and learn from each other.

 Couldn’t we just teach our kids to love and be loved without judgement? Is it not enough to suffer long term and hazardous health defects, unexpected tragic accidents? Can’t we all just focus on building what’s broken inside us? Together we are miracle workers. Let us say a natural calamity strikes. Is it more important to save anyone and everyone the way we should? Do we think of skin colour or gender discrimination then? No, I believe mankind has inborne humane values that got covered by the rules in society. People are good and given a chance, they will continue to do good. So let us keep aside our differences and show the world how strong we are. Not only when faced with adversity, but in times of prosperity too. Head towards a prosperous future holding hands together!

Are Endings New Beginnings?

Sunsets are the perfect examples to show you that endings can be beautiful too.  Watch a sunset and look at the changes the sky goes through every day. From that beautiful light blue hue, the skies fade into a pale scarlet or orange colour and then as you watch, it turns completely dark. However, the person watching this knows for sure that the next day the sun will rise again. The sky will burst into bright colours exploding with joy and hope again. Isn’t there a lesson to be learnt? Nature shows us daily that change should be embraced with excitement for endings are new beginnings.

The next time you feel completely drained and totally out of sync- remember the most beautiful sunset you have ever watched. There is a ray of hope in every situation. All it takes is the courage to change the way you think. The more you dwell on the existing situation, the deeper you fall. So change the thought. Your sunrise is just around the corner. All you need is to stop worrying and start exploring. The possibilities are unlimited.

Dawn is just a night away. Embrace the change even though it brings an end to all that you are familiar with. Consider it an opportunity to start afresh. Your past does not define you. Let go, pause and refresh your life. Get ready for your sunrise. The skies are about to explode into a rainbow of colours just for you 😊

The end is not the end in fact END means “Effort Never Dies” -APJ Abdul Kalam

In the end, one only experiences oneselfFriedrich Nietzsche

The end is never the end. It’s always the beginning of somethingKate Lord Brown

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln

Green Chilly Chicken Fry- A Crunchy Delight, Perfect For Dinner

Welcome to a tasty & crunchy chicken fry recipe, graciously explained by my Aunt, Mrs Sunitha Gopakumar-A talented master chef who prepares the most impressive and tempting dishes. With her innovative ideas, she excels in creating healthy eating habits for the entire family.

Crunchy Green Chilly Chicken Fry

Normally, frying chicken requires a lot of oil, however, this wonderful recipe allows you to prepare the dish with very less oil. Combined with the benefits from coriander and mint leaves, you have a nutritious treat, just perfect for your dinners.

Ingredients required

List 1

  • Chicken -1/2 kg ( cut into small pieces)
  • Lemon- one half (squeeze and keep the juice aside)
  • Salt- As per your taste

List 2

  • Green chillies- 5 (spicy chillies)
  • Garlic cloves- 3
  • Ginger -One medium piece
  • Coriander leaves- One handful
  • Pudina/Mint leaves- One handful
  • Curry leaves- One handful
  • Curd- as required for grinding the ingredients in List 2

Grind the above to a fine paste. Add curd carefully as the mix will turn watery if you add it all at once.

List 3

  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – For frying

Method of preparation

  • Marinate the chicken with lime juice and required salt. Keep aside for 1.5 hours. You do not have to keep it in the refrigerator.
  • In the meantime, prepare the masala paste by grinding the ingredients in List 2. As mentioned above, take care while adding the curd. You should have a fine paste which is not runny or watery. Otherwise, this will affect the texture of the fried chicken. So add the curd carefully, just enough to have a thick consistency.
  • After 1.5 hours, take the marinated chicken and add the ground masala paste to it.
  • Finally, add turmeric powder (List 3) and mix well.
  • Check if you have got the salt added as per your taste. It should be just right as we have let the chicken settle for 1.5 hours earlier. If you feel you need more salt, add it at this point.
  • Set aside for 2 hours maximum. (Though it seems to be a long wait, keeping the marinated chicken for 2 hours will give you the best results.)
  • Take a frying pan and add oil to it. This is a recipe which requires only shallow frying, so just pour the required amount of oil. There is no need to deep fry the chicken pieces.
  • When the oil is heated, add the chicken pieces carefully and close the pan with a lid.
  • Closing the pan will help the chicken cook perfectly and allow the spices to blend well to make the pieces juicy and yummy.
  • Open in between and turn over the pieces so that both sides will fry well.
  • Once dry, remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.

Let your tastebuds explode as you savour the finger-licking chicken pieces!

The Blogger Recognition Award

My heartfelt gratitude to Evelyn Kinya again for nominating me for the Fantastic Blogger Recognition Award. Thanks a ton for being such an encouraging person. All of you should surely visit her site and read her inspiring work at https://evelynkinya156.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/blogger-recognition-award/.

It’s a great way to show support to fellow bloggers. So Thank you, Evelyn, once more!

The Rules
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and give a link to their site
2. Do a post to show your award
3. Give a summary of how your blog started
4. Give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers
5. Select at least 15 other bloggers for this award
6. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and give a link to your post.

How I started ”Love your life”

I have always loved writing and have been a freelancer for quite some time. I wanted to have my own platform where I could write my views and share it with all. WordPress offered a great place to start, So here I am!

A piece of advice to new bloggers

  1. Never give up. No matter how small your article is, go ahead and give it your best.
  2. Be consistent in posting.
  3. Be patient and you will find success.
  4. Encourage your fellow bloggers on their journey too!

My Nominees

Keep in touch and spread the cheer!

THE LIEBSTER AWARD

For me, getting nominated to participate in the Liebster Award Nominations is a great appreciation.

My heartfelt gratitude to Everlyn Kinya who nominated me so thoughtfully.

She is doing a tremendous work with her blog 3am Thoughts.Do visit her site and appreciate her work https://evelynkinya156.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/the-liebster-award/ .

Lets see the rules to be followed by the participants.

THE RULES

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Share 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and make them happy.
  • Make up to 11 questions and ask them to your nominees.
  • Notify your 11 nominees.

11 facts about me

  • I love meditation.
  • I enjoy me time once a while.
  • My world revolves around my kids.
  • I believe in positive thinking.
  • I love spreading lots of cheer around.
  • I take my commitments seriously.
  • I dedicate myself to hard work.
  • I keep myself updated on new trends in my career.
  • I love cooking.
  • I believe in the power of prayer.
  • I believe in pursuing yoga for a sound body and mind.

Answer to 11 questions Kinya asked me

1.Why blogging

Blogging is my way of spreading around positivity to all my lovely readers.

2.What’s the most inspiring quote you’ve ever read?

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.” —Thich Nhat Hanh.

3.What do you think makes a good blog?

Sincere words from a loving heart makes a world of difference. A good blogger should be genuinely concerned about the well-being of his audience.

4. What’s your favorite pastime?

Spending a peaceful evening with a cup of coffee and my favorite book.

5. What is the one thing you’d like to change about your country and why?

While it is exciting to live in such a diverse country, it would be great if people didnt make discrimation between religions.

6. Which is the best movie you’ve ever seen?

Bharatham- A movie in my native language.

9. What is your motivation in life?

The urge to do my best in whatever I engage in and be there for those who need my support.

10. Who are your most favorite writers and their works?

Barbara Taylor Bradford- A woman of Substance

Thich Nhat Hanh-The miracle of Mindfulness.

11. Describe yourself in 5 words.

Simple,loyal, enjoys small moments.

MY 11 QUESTIONS TO MY NOMINEES

1. What do you find great happiness in?
2. What would you wish for if you had three granted wishes?
3. Who inspires you the most ?
4. What helps you get back on your feet after a setback?
5. If you could go back in time, which decision would you change?
6. What do you want your blog to achieve?
9. What are three ways to motivate yourself?
10. Who would you choose to be if you had a choice?
11. Describe yourself in 5 words.

My nominees

https://powerofpies.wordpress.com/

https://best-of-the-midwest.blog/

https://rontamirnehr.com/blog/

https://reksmemoirs.co.in/

https://itsinnerpeace.home.blog/

https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/

https://waelsworld.blog/

https://en.gravatar.com/alcunningham1

https://fajclub.wordpress.com/

https://viralimages.pw/

Anyone else who would love to be nominated

Keep spreading the cheer!

A Tangy-Green Chicken Curry Exclusively For You

Welcome to another session of utterly delicious cooking.

Meet my dear sister in law- Mrs Priya Rajagopal, an all-rounder who creates magic in her kitchen. Here she is, bringing a ton of relief to all those busy moms with an extremely easy to prepare yet healthy & nutritious chicken curry.

Tangy-Green Chicken Curry

While chicken on its own is an extremely good source of protein, this dish has the added benefits and increased nutritional value from mint leaves and coriander leaves. These two ingredients make this tangy-chicken a treasure house of health benefits. So let us dive in!

Ingredients required

List 1

  • Mint leaves -30g (washed and chopped)
  • Coriander leaves-30 to 50 g (freshly chopped)
  • Green chillies- 10 (medium-sized)
  • Pepper cons- 12
  • Garlic -12 cloves
  • Ginger -A small finger-sized piece
  • Cinnamon powder-2 sticks or 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves -3
  • Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste.

List 2

  • Chicken- 650g (sliced into medium pieces)
  • Onion- 1 (sliced into thin pieces)
  • Lemon – one half (squeeze to extract the juice and keep aside)
  • Oil -As required for sauteing
  • Salt -As per your taste
  • Pepper powder -As per your taste for additional spice
  • Coriander leaves – For garnishing (optional)

Method of preparation

  • Take a thick bottomed pan.
  • Add the required amount of oil.
  • When the oil is heated, put in the chopped onion slices.
  • Saute the onions on medium heat for 7-8 minutes till they turn light brown.
  • Next, add the chicken pieces to the onion
  • Add salt as per your taste and stir to mix the contents well.
  • Now take the ground green masala from List 1 and add it to the chicken-onion mixture.
  • Stir them well so that the spices are absorbed into the chicken.
  • Keep the pan closed and let the chicken cook well.
  • Stir in between to ensure that the chicken pieces simmer and blend well with the ground spices paste.
  • At this point, if you feel that you need a more spicy taste, add powdered pepper (according to your preference).
  • After the chicken has been cooked to perfection, sprinkle the lemon juice kept aside.
  • Turn off the flame and transfer to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves or mint leaves (optional)
  • Serve hot with rice or Rotis.
  • Get ready to savour the tangy chicken curry!

Useful Tips To Manage And Lower Your Blood Pressure

Picture courtesy:-.https://www.lark.com/

High blood pressure- Should you be worried about it?

When you pay a visit to the doctor, you must have noticed him taking your blood pressure and noting it down. Any idea what the readings mean?  Today we are having a very simplified explanation of what your blood pressure means, what the levels indicate and how to manage high blood pressure by adopting a few lifestyle changes.

Its common knowledge that the heart is the major organ responsible for pumping blood to all the other parts of the body. This blood delivers oxygen and essential nutrients to every cell in the body, which in turn increases the efficiency of the body organs. The blood circulation is also essential in the removal of waste and carbon dioxide from the body.

What is blood pressure?

This term denotes the pressure or force exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries when it flows through them. It is measured in units known as millimetres of mercury-mm Hg.

I have attached a chart on blood pressure levels here which adheres to the guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA).

Picture Courtesy: American Heart Association
https://www.heart.org/

Dangers and risks involved

When the arteries are clogged or become narrow due to some medical condition, it becomes harder for the heart to pump the blood smoothly. When there is an obstruction to your normal rate of blood flow through the arteries, the blood pressure readings show variations.

 There are certain risks that come along when your BP stands elevated constantly. The most common risks include

  • Nausea
  • Short temper
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased heart rate
  • Palpitations

 The worst-case scenarios include :-

  • Heart failure,
  •  Kidney failure,
  • Respiratory issues,
  • damage to blood vessels,
  • vision loss

Control High BP by adopting some healthy  lifestyle changes

Yes, there are risks attached, however, you have the power to keep your blood pressure in control.

The first and foremost solution is to visit your doctor and get proper medical guidance. Undergo all the required tests and follow your doctor’s instructions. Avoid self- medication as it will not do you any good. You may not be aware of  your health condition accurately and could cause more harm. So take the medicines as prescribed by a certified doctor after proper examination.

Lifestyle changes to adopt include :-

  • Start a high fiber diet
  •  Eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid high- fat rich foods
  • Include whole grains in your meals
  • If you are fond of non, vegetarian food, go for skinless poultry and more fish
  • Reduce the amount of white sugar. You can substitute with jaggery, organic brown sugar or honey.
  • Strictly restrict your salt levels.
  • Include a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Avoid tobacco and eliminate smoking
  • Practice stress- relieving techniques like yoga, meditation, listening to music etc as a daily routine
  • Take steps to ensure you get a minimum of 6 hours of deep sleep

How to keep a check on your blood pressure

  • Go for regular check-ups
  • Always seek a doctor’s advice in case of any symptoms
  • Don’t go overboard about checking your pressure frequently. That itself is a cause of stress.
  • Keep your medication handy and be regular in taking them
  • Share your worries with friends and family

Note to self:-

Your mind can control your body. So  keep repeating positive affirmations like

  • I am in perfect health
  • My BP levels are perfectly normal.

Saying such positive words will give you a brighter outlook and will give you the hope to fight against any illness.

Stay healthy, stay positive!

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