B Inspired

A Call for Help & Compassion

How can I abandon this little creature above? Please lend your voice to this important cause and sign the petition. Tell your friends, family and co-workers about this heart wrenching situation. My deepest gratitude. – B

This is a call for help and compassion from our lawmakers and influencers in India. India comes under scrutiny for many reasons, one of the biggest being our obstructionist attitude. Anyone who has ever had to get any work done, knows just how hard it is to obtain documents, permissions for simple procedures without having to jump through hoops, inefficient systems, corrupt practices and other unpleasant inconveniences.  We all talk about and frown upon the United States taking extremes measures to combat certain problems. India has begun to do the same thing with a vengeance but with less method and intelligence.

Yesterday I was thinking about visiting my family in India, but I was instead enlightened about a very harsh and what seemed like to me to be an impulsive law that was recently passed in India in April 2013.  As a solution to curb illegal imports and dog breeding, a blanket law was passed that banned ALL tourists and visitors from visiting with their pets, regardless of whether your pet is neutered or spayed in which case cannot be used for breeding at all. The law allows you to bring in a maximum of two pets, ONLY if you are relocating to India for good, after a continuous two year absence from the country. This law is unfair, doesn’t solve the real problem and has forced  people to abandon their innocent pets and give them up to shelters, which is sad considering that so many of them already had loving forever homes but will now be homeless.

I am reaching out to every one of you out there, who can help spread awareness about this terrible law that is doing more harm than good. Please help spread the word to everyone you know and encourage them to spread the message.

Please sign the petition and help bring change to this unfair and heartbreaking law. I cannot imagine what pet owners living overseas must be going through in light of this new law. Being torn between their home and family and their lives in other countries. Such an unnecessary heartache.

Please spare a few minutes if you understand and feel for this cause. We must bring a change, for the good of all animals who will be adversely affected by this new law.

Petition Link : http://chn.ge/1cpk3vz

 

 

Lunch

Cilantro being my favorite “green” while being a hardcore meat consumer, I am now getting reacquainted with nature and its abundant offerings. My new favorites are arugula and black kale. Didn’t know vegetables could be delicious.

 

Breakfast Smoothie

A delicious green smoothie. Great as a post workout or breakfast drink. It’s rich and filling. Quantity of ingredients (strictly organic) are my preference, customize to your liking.

Juicer: The NutriBullet

Ingredients: All Organic

1.  Blueberries – 1/2 cup

2. Strawberries – 2

3. Blackberries – 1 to 2

4. Raspberries – 2

5. Banana – 1

6. Baby spinach ( Regular is ok too) – Big handful

7. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 Tbsp

8. Chia Seeds – 1 Tsp

9. Pomegranate Powder – 1 Tsp

10. Aloe Vera – 1 Tbsp

11. Hemp Protein / Brown Rice Protein – 1 scoop

12. Wheat Grass powder ( I use Amazing Grass ) – 1 scoop

13. Water –  1/2  to 1 cup ( depending on the consistency you prefer)

New Year, New Health

It’s 2014 and every one is once again thinking about their health.  Like many others I too am long overdue for getting into shape. Resolutions are cheap and everyone makes them. Few disciplined and determined ones see results. Others forget about it within a month or two.  2001 was the last time I had a personal trainer. I worked out everyday. I even drove in traffic all the way to the other end of the city for it. I was committed.

 

Years passed by and I got distracted. I was having a long passionate affair. Though it is only recently that I began to notice its destructive qualities. Well, love is blind. Yes, my love for food. It is a relationship that seems fun and satisfying in the beginning (my beginning lasted about 10 years) but one day you look around and realize your relationship has taken over everything. Your work, your friends, your family and you suddenly realize just how toxic it has been. One day I woke up and looked around too. Around my body, that is. I realized I had completely given up my jeans. Today it’s a dream to be able to fit into a pair without double digits.

 

I’ve gotten frustrated and sick of it many times, though not enough to bring about change. Living in a place where winter seems like the only season, doesn’t help. Six months you’re comfortably wrapped up in layers. No one cares what’s underneath, you don’t seem to care either. This doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to shed the pounds. I’ve just been delusional and impatient about it. I wanted instant results. I didn’t want to work hard for it. I tried every diet, pill, patch and injection that’s sold to us idiots. Got sucked into buying a Pilates DVD, Yoga on my mac and P90X. They are all great programs, IF you do them. I was always motivated and excited the night before, but when morning came, it was a different story. I hated getting out of bed; I’m just not a morning person. Then you feel that morning hunger and you immediately begin thinking about delicious food. It’s a vicious cycle.

 

Last year I was introduced to this wonderful phenomenon called Ayurveda. I have to admit. I was blown away. Ayurveda means the “ Science of Life”.  It is NOT a diet. It is as all good things, a lifestyle change. It shines a new perspective on how you see food and your body in the simplest ways.

 

Like yoga, Ayurveda too is about balance. It brings your body to an ultimate balanced state. It’s not about crazy diets and exercises. For those who aren’t aware, Yoga and Ayurveda come from the same five thousand year old ancient Vedic texts from India. Companies, spas and studios sell yoga under fitness, but the truth is, what yoga essentially does is bring balance to your body in the most optimum way. Once your body and mind are balanced and aligned, fitness and good health are mere outcomes. Yoga creates a holistic mind body synergy.

 

Ayurveda is just the food aspect of this wonderful enriching bank of knowledge.  The west is slowly beginning to accept the wisdom of its truth, in science. Respected personalities like Dr. Oz have already talked about its benefits. Deepak Chopra has commercialized its knowledge to the world. Now that Oprah’s friends have talked about it, it’s sure to become the next big thing since yoga.

 

So here’s what it’s about:

 

According to Ayurveda our bodies are categorized into three types called Doshas. We each constitute of two, one being more prominent than the other. The three types are:

  1. Vata
  2. Pitta
  3.  Kapha

 

There are many places you can go to online to do an extensive quiz to determine your body type. It will ask you questions that may seem crazy at first, but just go along with it and complete it. Your answers will determine your Dosha (body type).  Reading about your specific type is a real eye opener. You might think a psychic wrote it, but its just science. These body types determine what elements (air, water, earth and fire) they relate to. Our bodies are 70% water; it’s not hard to believe that our bodies are in some way connected to the other elements as well.

 

Each body type is different and each combination taking into account the more prominent one all mean different things. According to Ayurveda, there are some foods that are known to pacify your Dosha (which in turn bring balance to the body) and some that aggravate your dosha (bringing imbalance resulting in sickness and disease be it colds, migraines, fatigue or other serious ailments). Then Ayurveda simply provides you with a list (for each body type combination) of fruits, vegetables, grains, oils, herbs that tell you which ones will pacify your dosha and those that will aggravate (ones you should completely avoid), and a list of neutral ones which can be consumed occasionally.

 

In the beginning I had tried this solely as an experiment, but I saw results right from day one.  One important thing I suddenly became conscious of during the day was that I wasn’t overeating. My usual need to do so just wasn’t there anymore. I also didn’t crave any junk food. Was it really that simple? Yes.  I simply eliminated certain foods and added certain others and that’s all it took. It was bringing balance to my body in a way I had never imagined.

 

The hardest part for over weight people is to be able to say ‘no’ to the wrong foods and controlling portions. It is hard, but it doesn’t have to be anymore. Ayurveda had another little secret tucked away in its vast sea of knowledge. It talked about the six tastes.

 

  1. Sweet
  2. Bitter
  3. Pungent
  4. Salty
  5. Astringent
  6. Sour

 

It said that if you manage to satisfy all six tastes in every meal you will never again over eat or crave the wrong foods. I thought it sounded brilliant, but again I needed to test it for myself. Then I remembered that in any traditional Indian meal, they seemed to have at least a small amount of every one of those six tastes. I never before realized their purpose. Ayurveda gave meaning to traditions and food behaviors Indians have passed along through many generations.

 

If you have Indian friends or are an Indian you must have heard about this not so attractive looking paste in a bottle called Chyawanprash. Most people are disgusted by it. It’s probably an acquired taste, but after reading about Ayurveda I realized just what and why it was. First of all it IS an Ayurvedic creation. Secondly, it consists in one spoonful every one of those six tastes they spoke of. Even if you just eat a spoon of that with every meal you are essentially covering all six tastes and you shouldn’t have any unwanted cravings. Besides that it is also known to aid in digestion as well as be an overall natural holistic health supplement for the body if taken regularly. Protects you from all kinds of common ailments.

 

So all those people with new resolutions for a healthier you, be sure to read up about Ayurveda. Give it a shot. Try something different. Don’t deprive yourself. Don’t get obsessive. Stay calm, meditate and be open to new experiences.

 

Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy New Year! Here’s to bikinis and shirtless

moments! ;)

 

 

Resources

 

BOOKS:

Those of you excited, inspired and wanting to learn more about Ayurveda, these are the three books I would recommend.

I bought all of the books on Amazon.ca (Yes, for once they had something I needed)

1.) Life of Balance by Maya Tiwari

Has the Quiz, Explanation about the body types, Detailed food list, and also recipes (a little on the Indian food side ( Punjabi, North Indian food, what people in North America know as “ Indian” food.)

 

2.) The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amrita Sondhi

It has fantastic recipes of pastas, Beverages, Desserts, salads, Indian food, and a whole lot of other things; ALL based on specific Dosha types. Great for new beginners as it does all the work for you.

It also has the Quiz, I recommend you do the Quiz in this Book AND also from book 1. Do the Quiz from both books so you’re absolutely sure about what Dosha you are and you can start eating accordingly.

3.) Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra

It is a great introduction to Ayurveda and its origin, and he explains it in relevance to the world we live in today, especially for those in North America.

Also has the Quiz (but I recommend not doing his, its not as extensive as the ones in Book suggestions 1.) and 2.)

If you have any questions or need help I’d love to try my best to answer them from what I’ve read and learnt or at least I will take that extra step to Google, (if you are feeling lazy) to point you to the right direction.

AYURVEDIC PRODUCTS:

And if you’re interested in looking for Ayurvedic products (supplements, foods and other health care products) check out

http://www.himalayahealthcare.com/ if you’re in India and

http://www.himalayausa.com/ if you’re in North America.

AYURVEDIC AND ORGANIC TEAS

www.shantitea.com based in Canada. They have a really great selection of teas and blends. They are amazing teas that come with brewing instructions to brew them at their delicate ideal temperature. I use the Cuisinart Variable Temperature Tea maker. For the lazier people you can use the more expensive Breville Automatic one that makes you that perfect cup of tea (it’s actually pretty awesome, I know someone who owns one)

JUICER:

I purchased the OMEGA 8006 Third Generation Juicer two years ago. What an invention! It is a Low RPM (80rpm) Juicer. Centrifugal juicers use fast moving blades to slice and crush your produce to extract the juice. This method generates a certain amount of heat. Heat destroys key enzymes and nutrients present in the juice. The fast speed and blade action also introduces air in the process leading to premature oxidation. This one does none of that.

It is a fantastic juicer. Juices just about anything you put through it even Wheatgrass. It is great for leafy vegetables too. It even makes almond milk and Pasta! I always wanted to eat a butternut squash just never knew what to do with it, so I put it into the juicer and out came a delicious creamy peach colored drink. Try it. I also added one apple and a small piece of ginger along with it.

Since I’ve used it, here are my reviews.

1.) Super easy to clean for lazy people like myself and hence I end up juicing even twice a day because it’s not a big deal to clean nor is it messy like the only other ever juicer I owned which was the Jack ElaneLallane, total piece of garbage.

2) It’s well designed. Drops the juice in a container and the pulp into a different one, nothing sits inside the juicer that you have to scrape off in a nightmarish cleaning job.

3.) Looks pretty, works well and is built like a tank. Also has a 15 year fully covered warranty on it.

4.) The only drawback is that you have to cut whatever you put in there. I used to be a hard-core meat eater and knew very little about vegetables, so the cutting task actually helped me connect with my food. You take the time to understand and learn what you’re putting into your body, we become conscious of what we eat. So it helped me slow down my busy mind, and helped me connect again. The leafy vegetables though I put straight through I don’t usually cut them.

For People in Toronto

I bought the juicer at this health care store in Toronto Called the Health Service Center, they had some kind of discount on it. Not sure if they still do.

Here’s their website they also deliver for free http://juicers4life.com/

I am super excited to have been able to share this with you. I hope you find success and it brings you closer to your health goals. You’re welcome to share this post with your family and friends.

Hope this was a fun read for you. You can write to me at info at bhargavijoshi dot com.  Happy New Year!

Love & Light

B

LovEvolution

Lesson # 1:  If he hurt you, it is not because he wanted to, nor is it your fault.

14-17yrs: A high School sweetheart

My first, true love. I’m sure ever girl has her story about that ONE. I have mine too, and like the majority of us, it is a love lost (for those minorities, who end up marrying their high school sweethearts, we’re happy for you).  For the rest of us, this experience makes quite the impact in our lives.  It was the first time we ever loved and it was the first time we had our hearts broken. We’d be lying if we said it didn’t affect us. We all know, boys at that age are rather stupid and know not what they do or why they do it. It’s that simple. Universally known fact, maturity is a gift they receive much later in their lives. This message is for all the teenage girls out there who will fall in love for the first time.

 The Lesson: Don’t let these early heartbreaks scar you for life. Don’t build walls around yourself and grow a thick skin.  I did, and I simply couldn’t see or feel even if something good slapped me in the face. What happened then is not your fault, you did nothing wrong.

I realized this, but only ten years later, when I received a letter. It would have saved me a lot of bad decisions, had it made it to me years before. In the letter, he wrote what I really meant to him, a lot of “If’s” and how terribly sorry and stupid he realized he was and if he had the maturity then, that he has today, things would be very different, for both of us.  It took 10 years for me to realize that I had in fact done nothing wrong. I beat myself up for no reason. Spent the rest of my years bringing baggage of heartache, trust issues and all other ingredients for a perfectly failed relationship.

Thankfully its never too late, and I wish I could photocopy this letter and send it to ever little teenage girl whose had her heart broken for the first time, and somehow wont forget it. For this letter, I thank you.

Lesson # 2: Love from a pure heart; recognize it and keep it.

19-25yrs: A serious relationship

I was lucky to have a man in my life with an unbroken spirit and an incredible passion for life. A spirit so wild, it knew no boundaries. He laughed like the world was being tickled. When he was sad, everyone else wanted to cry. When he got angry, everything was afraid of him and when he loved, every single woman wished she had what I had. His love, like him was the purest and the strongest thing I have ever known to exist.

Like most things, we don’t realize what we have until we lose it.

The Lesson: Remember Lesson # 1. Don’t bring baggage from previous relationships to ruin something genuinely good. Forgive. Forgive those you blame, and forgive yourself for whatever it is you thought you did, that made you believe that you don’t deserve the best. You always deserve the best. Once you realize that, you will learn to see and appreciate when something good happens to you and you will learn to cherish and keep it for life.

Lesson # 3: Young men, calculate matters of the heart with their mind. An experienced, older man calculates matters of the heart with his heart.

25-26yrs: A new beginning

I never really plan these things, and neither do I go looking for love. I met a young man, fresh perspective, little experience with matters of the heart when it came to women, but with a heart of gold nonetheless and a positive attitude ready to take on this world. Still untouched by conflicts life throws at you. A man with the outlook of a baby, always wanting to learn new things, always trying to be better, always trusting, always seeing good.

I seem to keep company with those in their 30’s and 40’s, for whom life had already been cruel, had rigid opinions (myself included) on how they saw life, what they thought of people and society and how they dealt with situations, therefore this young man was a breath of fresh air.

His constant need to be better, for himself and for those around him, is to me an incredible and rare quality. This is why I fell in love.

He being conscious and aware of others feelings at all times, that sensitivity is what humanity lacks today.

But with a young heart comes a young mind with less experience. Too many calculated moves, too much analyzing. A few problems here and there and out come the calculations, they weigh the pros and cons and based on their hypothetical results of how the future will end up, they pick up their things and walk away.

The Lesson: Experience has taught others better. Having the true love of a man or woman isn’t that common. If you are lucky enough to come by it or if it is offered to you remember Lesson # 2: Love from a pure heart; recognize it and keep it.

 

Life goes on and you move on. You take the good memories from what you had, and remember all the lessons you learnt on the way. These will help you get through the many more lessons life will throw at you.

But you can’t help but wonder when all these lessons will end, and you can write your final paper about the last man you will love and grow old with.

 

 

 

Pedalestrian Postman

For a country whose address format isn’t very standardized, you often wonder how the Indian postman finds the location of every address he needs to deliver to.

Unlike North American addresses that start with;

The condo/house number + Street name,

Apt/Suit number,

City,

State and zip code.

Country

 

Indian’s try to be a little more precise while still managing to remain quiet vague

  • Apt/Suit number + “Name” of building (so if you were on a street, instead of being able to figure out whether the numbers go in an ascending or descending order from where you stand) you are faced with random names for buildings. If you’re building is part of a complex then get ready to add yet another name to the address.
  • Hopefully a street name (walk on any street and you’ll be lucky if you can spot the name of the street you are on. Street signs are usually obstructed by trees, objects, vandalized or are simply non-existent.
  • Landmarks Words like opposite/Diagonal/ next to/Across/Behind are common within an address (So here they figure, since they troubled you earlier with having to find a building’s  “name”(opposed to a number) and a hidden street board, they decided to be kind and give you something more specific to work with, therefore they created “Landmarks.” They are extremely important and are India’s very own and true latitude and longitude figures. This is what the postman uses to navigate.
  • Some will be kind enough to mention the “floor” on the address
  • Next comes the locality/district you reside in
  • Then come the city, state, zip code and finally the country.

So a typical address is a good 7-10 lines. This is what an Indian address looks like:

Mr. Sanjiv Gupta

213 Vasan Udyog Bhavan

Sunmills Compound,

Senapati Bapat Street,

Opposite Phoenix Mills,

2nd Floor,

Lower Parel W

Mumbai

400013

India.

Most other countries are flustered when they try to mail something to India and the recipients address space has room for two lines but you need ten.

So if you stood on a street trying to do an Indian postman’s job no matter how fantastic you thought your sense of direction was, you will either spend an entire day looking for perhaps one or two locations at the most or you wouldn’t budge because you wouldn’t know what direction to move in.

Detailed maps are non-existent; GPS is a new concept (I pity the guy whose job it is to map India) and just barely catching on. One can’t help but admire what the Indian postman does ever so efficiently.

In spite of the crazy system, some Indians still have the audacity to complain and yell at a postman when he is a little late or lost. Of course the system is flawed and it’s the government’s responsibility to fix it, but until then the postman is doing the very best he can under the circumstances and doing a pretty kick-ass job at that.

INTERESTING FACT : The life of an Indian postman is often difficult. He is usually equipped with a rusty bicycle with only a fragile binder clip at the back of his bike to hold letters. It is hence not uncommon to see a trail of letters left behind as the regular Indian postman cycles to his destination.

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