Beginners guide to niacinamide #MyFriendAlexa

Lately, you could see the whole skincare world talking a lot about active ingredients. The most commonly talked about is Niacinamide.



Niacinamide also known as nicotinamide is a form of vitamin B3. An essential nutrient whose deficiency could lead to disorders of skin,kidney and brain. Taking niacinamide can prevent the deficiency.


The ingredient has much more to offer when it is used in the general skin department. Applying niacinamide topically is proven to help in treating skin conditions like eczema and acne.



Benefits of niacinamide


Niacinamide is mainly recommended for people who have puffy skin and rosacea. The anti-inflammatory properties aid in reducing the redness.
Skin immunity can be boosted as niacinamide helps in building keratin, the protein that keeps skin firm and healthy.

The lipid barrier that niacinamide helps in building aids in retaining moisture of the skin. This is much beneficial for people who have eczema or mature skin.

When you skin is smooth and moisturized due to topical application of niacinamide it helps in minimizing the pores.

Retention of moisture isn’t beneficial only when the skin is dry. Regulation of the amount of oil that the sebaceous glands produce is one of the most important benefits of using niacinamide.

Concurrent rebuilding of healthy skin cells and also protecting skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation is a benefit of niacinamide as well.



5% concentration of niacinamide in application can help in treating pigmentation and also fight against signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. The application also helped in fading dark spots. The results cannot be visible instantaneously but over a period of four weeks.



Niacinamide helps in treating aggressive acne conditions like pustules. The application over a period of time helps in improving skin texture and lesser number of lesions on the skin.



Niacinamide helps protect skin against environmental stresses like dust, pollution and sun damage. It also offers protection to regenerate the healthy skin cells.




FOOD over supplements



Instead of directly taking a supplement to lessen the deficiency it is always best to try improving intake of vitamins through food. Some sources of vitamin B3 are eggs,fish , milk and green vegetables. So next time don’t reject when your offered an extra portion of any of these over the table.


Ingredients that you can include in skincare routine along with niacinamide



Vitamin C, Kojic acid and hyaluronic acid are ingredients that can be paired with niacinamide in your skincare routine for clear skin.



How to use ?



Niacinamide can work wonders on your skin post cleansing, cause that is when your skin is free of impurities and oil.

Post that you can apply moisturizer and sunscreen before heading out.

The ingredient niacinamide can be included in your AM and PM skincare routine.



Here are some of my tried and tested niacinamide products


NYKAA SKINRX 10% niacinamide



This is mainly used for spot correction. The serum is composed of 10% niacinamide, 1% zinc and 1% alpha arbutin for spot correction of dark spots, blemishes and pigmentation.

The serum can be used in AM and PM routine.

Price: 799 quantity: 30 ml

Click here to buy



Minimalist 10% NIACINAMIDE serum



The serum is oil free and also has aloe vera juice as one of its ingredients for additional benefits. This serum is comparatively light weight and does not leave an oily residue post application.

Price: 599 quantity: 30 ml

Click here to buy :



Dot and key 10 % niacinamide spot corrector skin clearing serum



This formulation has 10% niacinamide, 1 % zinc and 1% hyaluronic acid. The serum also has sunflower seed extracts, pomegranate extracts and wheatgerm oil for additional benefits.

Price: 565 quantity : 15 ml

Click here to buy:



Few other popular niacinamide serums are listed below. I haven’t personally tried them out.



Mamaearth skin correct face serum with niacinamide and ginger extract

Click here to buy



The derma co 10 % niacinamide serum for acne marks

Click here to buy



Plum 10% niacinamide face serum with rice water.

Click here to buy

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Desi style pasta – no onion no garlic

Desi style pasta

We all know that pasta is an Italian dish. Be it the white bechamel or the red arabiatta, the flavours are mouthwatering and definitely would make you want more.

Garlic and herbs like oregano , basil take the level of taste to another world. They can taste bland but rich and flavourful with cheese and nutmeg.

But did you also know that you can make it in am Indianised way. Yes no basil, no oregano just Indian spices that can make mouthwatering pasta .

I did come across a lot of recipes named desi style pasta. It was navratri, a no onion no garlic time for us. Dinner options were making my head spin. I need a filling, lipsmacking dish that doesn’t require much effort or time. I also remembered the code no onion no garlic.

I had some uncooked pasta in the pantry waiting to be picked. So I decided to fulfill its wishes. That packet of pasta would be dinner tonight.

So here goes my desi style no onion no garlic pasta.

Ingredients

  • Pasta -200 GM’s
  • Salt as per taste.
  • Olive oil – 3-5 tbsp
  • Tomato chopped – 2
  • Capsicum chopped -1/2
  • Chilli powder-2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder-1 tbsp
  • Sugar -1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce -1 tbsp make sure you get the no onion no garlic variant
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Water to boil pasta
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Method:

  • Boil the water required for cooking pasta with a tbsp of salt and tbsp of olive oil.
  • Once water starts boiling add in pasta and cook till Al dente.
  • Drain and cool the pasta. Make sure they don’t stick to one another.
  • In a pan add 3 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Add chopped tomatoes,and sugar.
  • Cook until tomato is mushy.
  • Add chilli powder, coriander powder and pepper powder.
  • Cook for 3-4 mins until raw smell of spices go away.
  • Add chopped capsicum.
  • Cook closed for 2 mins.
  • Adjust salt. Add tomato sauce boil for a minute.
  • Add in the cooked pasta. Give it a mix.
  • Squeeze half a lime and turn off gas.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.
  • This can be served with just hung curd.

This pasta is spicy cause we use chilli and pepper powders together. As a variation instead of the three powders you could also add sambar powder.

The spice of the chilli and pepper, tanginess of tomato, sourness from lime make the pasta taste absolutely lipsmacking. You only need curd for a side. But of you are someone who loves spicy food, then you should definitely try this out.

Most importantly this has no onion no garlic so you can also make this during festivals or when you’re breaking a fast.

I paired this with capsicum and mushroom tempura and paneer capsicum stir fry. These again do not have onion and garlic. Do let me know.in comments if you’d want me to share those recipes.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Things you never knew about facial massage and rollers

Facial massage

What is a facial massage?

A facial massage is a technique, that can be done manually by hands or with helps of facial roller available in the market. The technique involves gently massaging the facial skin.

Why facial massage?

A facial massage helps in increasing blood circulation, destressing and decreasing puffiness. The result of which is a smooth glowing healthy skin.

Typically the face has over 40 muscles, so a massage is great for resolving sinus issues , decreased puffiness with lymphatic drainage. The excess fluid us diverted to the lymph nodes later flushed with the toxins out of the body.

Manual facial massage

Manual facial massage involves applying slightest pressure while massaging the facial muscles with hands. It’s one of the most simplest way to having a healthy skin.

How to do facial massage with hands?

  • Make sure you wash your face and your hands are clean.
  • Take a little amount of cream or serum you use in your palms.
  • Apply gentle pressure to massage face.
  • Massage lymph areas under the ears and side of neck.
  • Smooth the lines on forehead.
  • Use fingers to massage eye area and slide along temples.
  • Use only light strokes.

Directions to use in facial massage

  • Chin to lip.
  • Nose, nostrils and lips to cheekbones horizontally. To be precise along the smile lines.
  • Massage neck from bottom to chin vertically.
  • Eyebrows to forehead.

Massaging with facial roller

Facial rollers

A small roller pin like tool with rollers of different sizes on both ends. It’s used in facial massage and can be made out of gem stones.

Typically these rollers are used to distribute the facial care products over the face evenly. Also guarantees a deeper absorption into the skin.

Facts about rollers

  • Facial rollers cannot slim the face. Removing puffiness can temporarily make it appear slim.
  • Facial rollers can contour your face when using them up at an angle. Pushing the movement by down the ear.
  • They help flushing out the toxins, by stimulating lymphatic drainage. This achieved massaging in a particular direction.
  • Since it helps in destressing, it helps you in changing your mood.
  • Most importantly helps in deeper absorption of skincare products.

How to Massage using facial roller?

  • Generously apply serum or moisturizer. Lubrication is key else the roller might tag skin. This could even result in wrinkles.
  • Roll up from the neck. No back and forth movement.
  • From the jawline to ear. Apply gentle pressure on both sides.
  • Forehead to the temples. This should be done only in upward direction.
  • Horizontal over the eyebrows. Use it flatly.

How often and how long?

A facial roller can be used daily typically for a few minutes to get destressing benefits.

Types of facial roller

  • Jade
  • Rose quartz
  • Amethyst
  • Obsidian
  • Metal
  • Teak wood

Jade and rose quartz are most commonly used rollers. Jade and metal are cold natured materials. So in order to have a cooling effect they needn’t be stored in refrigerator.

Rose quartz can withhold temperature, so for cold massage you can store the roller in refrigerator.

Jade is soft in terms of fragility with respect to quartz, hence quartz can last longer without breaking if accidentally dropped down.

Jade isn’t smooth in terms of stone texture, which helps in contouring due to the natural friction present.

Of all the rollers mentioned above , amethyst is said to give the skin purifying effects and also effective in treating acne.

On a concluding note, a facial roller is a good investment for healthy looking skin.

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Spicy cow peas kurma – no onion no garlic

Cow peas kurma with no onion and garlic

With dussehra a lot many of us were into fasting, some didn’t take non vegetarian food and few like me wanted to take food without onion and garlic.

Not only for dussehra but also for certain auspicious days we tend to avoid adding onion and garlic to food. In South India, typically during the month of Purattasi ( mid September to mid October) people generally give up non vegetarian food cause of devotion to Lord Narayana and it’s an auspicious month.

These ten days during dussehra, I avoided added any onion and garlic to food and didn’t consume any outside food.

Dinner options were getting very limited. For lunch I planned to make the neivedhyam ( offering) for the day , which would become our lunch as well. A variety rice paired with boiled and tempered lentils also known as Sundal in the south. This would be offered to the God and kolu at homes.

But dinner for a big headache. For a person like me who tries including if not garlic but onion in most dishes, cooking during these days was challenging. That is when I started whipping out recipes without onion and garlic. Believe me they tasted equally good. I’m here giving you a recipe of a kurma that has no onion and garlic, but had lipsmacking taste. This goes well with rotis, phulkas, plain rice and even pulaos.

Ingredients

  • Cow peas – 100 GM’s
  • Tomato – 2 chopped into chunks roughly
  • Red chilli whole – as per your spice level
  • Potatoes – boiled, peeled and cubed
  • Cloves -2
  • Cinnamon -1′ piece
  • Cardamom -2 pods
  • Ginger – 1/2′ piece
  • Turmeric powder -1 tbsp
  • Shredded coconut – 4 tbsp
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Oil for tempering and sautéing
  • Cumin seeds -1 tbsp
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Saunf / fennel seeds -1 tbsp
  • Cashew – 4-5 pieces
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Method

  • Soak cashew , cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, saunf in hot water for 20 minutes.
  • In a pan add oil saute tomato chunks, red chilli and ginger piece.
  • Once cooked until mushy ,cool it.
  • Once cooled add mushy tomatoes, soaked ingredients, shredded coconut and turmeric powder to blender and blend them smooth.
  • Dry roast cow peas in pan for about 3-4 minutes until you get slightly roasted aroma.
  • Boil it in pressure cooker with water and salt for about 5 whistles.
  • Release steam, cool drain and keep aside.
  • In a pan temper cumin seeds and add tomato masala paste.
  • Saute for a while add little salt.
  • Give it a light boil.
  • Add cooked cow peas and potato.
  • Mix it with the gravy, adjust consistency with water.
  • Boil for 5 minutes in simmer until you get kurma consistency.
  • Adjust salt.
  • Turn off gas ,add lemon juice ,mix and serve garnished with coriander leaves.

The quantity of ingredients mentioned above is for two people. You can scale up as per need.

The kurma is spicy cause of red chilli and ginger, with a light tinge of tanginess fro the lemon juice.

The kurma is a great side to rotis, phulkas, plain rice and pulaos. Do try out and let me know.

Cooking without onion and garlic is not difficult and there are lipsmacking recipes that taste equally good. I will be sharing a couple more if such recipes.

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Irresistibly lipsmacking recipes for toddlers #myfriendalexa

Toddlers are little humans who are just getting to know the world around them. Food, people, surroundings are what they start exploring with.

Looking around people analysing their behaviour from what they talk , do and eat always fascinates them. They try imitating and feel happy doing it.

Have you eve noticed the toddler demanding to eat like an adult. Yes they feel kind of accomplished or superior if their demand is fulfilled .

Quite often us adults are in a way responsible for the way they eat and also reject foods. Since I already told you they love to imitate this is not only in normal behaviour but also seen when choosing what to eat.

Junk foods , ready to eat, fried foods, food containing maida gain more popularity through media and their peers. Kids also demand getting these at home.

I will not say that we should right away reject or deny. See of you are able to give in to them, but as a healthy option that you are able to offer.

Here are two recipes that never go wrong and I tell you that your toddlers would want you making this on demand frequently.

UPMA CHEESE BALLS

Upma cheese balls

Upma is most often a less looked upon option for tiffen especially by the spouses and the kids. With this recipe below I’m sure that they will trouble you to make upma here on.

Ingredients

  • Upma – 1/2 cup (100gm)
  • Besan / chickpea flour- needed to coat the balls. Say a 100gm
  • Cheese cubes -2
  • Salt- as needed
  • Oil for frying

You could alternatively do an air fry as well.

METHOD

  1. Make upma into balls but adding little ghee so that it’s easier to mould them as balls. I generally use semolina upma. You could also alternatively try with poha/vermicelli upma.
  2. Cut cheese cubes into bite sized pieces and place inside the upma balls.
  3. Make a batter of besan,salt and water . You could add pepper if you need spice. I’ve not because the upma already has enough spice. Make sure the batter is of dripping consistency.
  4. Heat oil in a wok. Add the besan coated balls and fry until golden brown.
  5. They could be had with tomato ketchup, mayonnaise or even hung curd.

You could also air fry them, as I had mentioned above. In that case you could coat them with bread crumbs post the besan batter coating. Leave for a while and then fry.

BUN PIZZA

Bun pizza on tawa

Kids often get tempted seeing the variety of pizzas shown on TV. More or less during dine in I’ve seen more of wastage when parents order pizza as per the kids choice. You could try the below method at home to make bun sized pizza. It’s satisfactory to the kid and also easy on your pockets. Most importantly it’s home cooked so you needn’t worry about hygiene.

Ingredients

  • Bun – 2
  • Cheese slices -2
  • Cheese cube -2
  • Mix veggies – onion tomato capsicum and baby corn
  • Pizza spice – 2 tbsp
  • Tomayo ketchup -2 tbsp
  • Oil as per need
  • Butter for toasting
  • Salt and pepper- as per taste

METHOD

  1. Add oil in a pan, saute all the veggies together . Season with salt and pepper. They only need to be half cooked.
  2. Add butter to the same pan and toast the outer brown side of the bun.
  3. Once toasted, apply tomato ketchup to the inner side.
  4. Place the cheese slice on top of the ketchup layer.
  5. Now arrange the veggies on top.
  6. Sprinkle pizza spice or individually sprinkle chilli flakes and oregano.
  7. Close with lid and cook until cheese melts.
  8. I bet you will never look to place an order for pizza.
  9. You could also play with toppings as you like it.

Do try these recipes and let me know in comments. This is my first recipe post. I’d be happy to take feedback.

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Skin exfoliation – How to and how not to. #myfriendalexa

Exfoliation

What is exfoliation ?

Our skin sheds dead skin cells on a periodic basis, removal of the dead skin cells from the topmost layer is called exfoliation. This removal is done by using granular products or chemicals. Each one of these has its own effects.

Benefits of exfoliation

Exfoliating the skin by removing the dead skin cells results in clearer and brighter skin. Skin exfoliation helps to unclog pores and remove the dry flaky skin that is caused when skin doesn’t shed completely. There is no use of applying skincare products on skin that is not exfoliated. Only when the dead cells are removed, it paves way for good absorption of skincare products.

Breakouts can be minimised when you do not have any clogged pores due to regular exfoliation.

Reduction of fine lines, sagging are what we want to keep skin healthy and for anti-ageing. Collagen is the key for the spotless and younger looking healthy skin. This protein helps in skin elasticity. If you need glowing skin, collagen is the secret ingredient behind it. Long term exfoliation, helps in increasing collagen production the natural way.

How often to exfoliate ?

If you are person with normal skin, you should do this thrice a week.

But if you have acne-prone skin, it is best to do it everyday. This should be done before using your cleanser since that will not completely remove the accumulation.

If you have sensitive skin, stick to exfoliating once a week.

When to exfoliate?

The ideal time would be morning, since at nights the skin goes to the repair and rejuvenate mode. This can soak up all the benefits. Make sure to use a good moisturizer post exfoliation.

Types of exfoliator

Manual exfoliators which can be the scrubs available OTC or DIYs at home. They can be abrasive so you must be careful while choosing them.

Chemical exfoliators are those with AHAs, BHAs and salicylic acid. They’re chemicals with acid which react with skin to remove the dead skin accumulation. They give you a uniform exfoliated look compared to the manual one’s.

Don’ts of exfoliation

1. Exfoliate very often if you have normal skin. Twice or thrice a week should be fine.

2. Exfoliate broken or irritated skin. Especially if you have shaved or waxed.

3. Use random exfoliators that you get.

4. Rub the skin or use rough motions to exfoliate.

5. Use body scrubs for face. They are harsher and apt only for body. The facial skin is delicate and requires specific product.

Do’s of exfoliation

1. Pick the right exfoliator that suits your skin.

2. Apply moisturizer generously post exfoliation.

3. Exfoliate in the morning and stick to the time. Not alternating day and night.

4. Invest in a good gentle scrub if you place to do it daily.

5. Wash off with cold water and pat dry.

DIY scrubs at home

  • Salt scrub – One tbsp of salt, half a tbsp of almond, coconut or sesame oil and 2 drops of essential oil.
  • Sugar scrub – One tbsp of salt, half a tbsp of almond, coconut or sesame oil and 2 drops of essential oil.
  • Oatmeal scrub – Two tbsp of oats, two tbsp of sugar, one tbsp of oil and 2 drops of essential oil.
  • Coffee scrub – Two tbsp of coffee powder, two tbsp of sugar, one tbsp of oil and 2 drops of essential oil.

These are readily available ingredients at home that can help you with exfoliation and also ones with which you can alternate. If you find any irritation or redness post exfoliation discontinue using it.

It is widely said that chemical exfoliators are better since they are less abrasive. The acids react with the skin and peel of the dry and flaky skin. But these exfoliators need to sit on the skin for a longer duration for the reaction to happen. However in a physical exfoliator do not rub and perform circular motion for more than three minutes.

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Image source : pixabay.

Review of New borns and new moms #myfriendalexa

New borns and new moms

BLURB:

As soon as a baby is born, a woman’s life is engulfed by inevitable chaos. Newborns and New Moms dispels the confusion new mothers in urban India often go through.

Drawing from her own experience as a mother and her years as an accomplished and empathetic family physician, Dr Farah Adam Mukadam offers valuable tips and advice tailored for Indian parents through a book that:

Prepares a mother for her new life once the baby comes home
Validates Indian traditions surrounding childcare from a scientific and modern perspective
Provides insights about what to expect from family members and how to handle complex domestic circumstances after childbirth
Covers pertinent topics like mastering breastfeeding, accepting your changed body, postpartum mental and sexual well-being and readjusting to work after maternity leave
Contains useful tips for expecting couples in the age of Covid-19
Packed with wisdom and strengthened by real-life examples, this accessible how-to is the inspiration you need to embrace and enjoy motherhood.

MY REVIEW :

Whoever said that a toddler is a blender without a lid failed to relate this to a new mothers brain.

Being a new mother myself, there were a lot of things running in my mind. The baby, my toddler, my elderly parents and the covid pandemic that added itself to my ever piling up list of worries.

It was the right time that I grabbed Farah’s book which was exactly like she had a CCTV control room at her office.

A new mother is confused about her capabilities of mastering Breastfeeding, accepting her bodily functions post delivery, mental and sexual well-being yes that’s important too after delivery and adjusting herself to workplace post maternity.

Farah writes about postpartum care of the new mother. Most households have a similarity in the confinement period, belly binding ( you need not be in a hurry, but yes you could do it if you are comfortable and want to get back to pre pregnancy body ) .

The diet that the new mother is advised to what she can and what she has to avoid inorder to have a smoother transition.A set of general guidelines outlining the must be done and mustn’t be done. The meal should be simple, light, according to the mother’s taste and special foods that need to be mandatory in her meal. A lovely meal plan for new mothers charted by Farah is an easy guide for all new moms. The meal plan makes it easy for making prior preparation so that she doesn’t have to spend much time cooking.

Baby’s sickness and health is the four chapter where we get to know about various conditions pertaining to baby growth, brain development, colic, spit up and constipation. The doctor unapproved substances like Kajal, castor oil but are a must as per family traditions are very well explained on why being termed as unapproved.

Breastfeeding chapter discusses about the basic know how’s , preparation and must haves.A separate section about saboteurs and self doubters is something I really enjoyed reading and relate much. The field of lactation is been made aware only recently. We only knew about gynecologist and paediatricians. But the role of lactation consultant in between these two is known recently and is helping families from switching to formula and instead correct issues in breastfeeding. The appearance of bumps during breastfeeding, the causes and first aids to be followed are explained clearly so that you can conclude what you are suffering from.

A separate chapter on body image issues faced by women postpartum clearly explains why women look the way they are post delivery. A workout routine and eating right to keep metabolism levels up also helps new mothers to get back to their pre pregnancy weight.

PPD or postpartum depression would be the next word on Google suggestions if you type postpartum. Farah discusses about mood swings and ways to divert yourself.

The bedrooms after the baby, right from sleeping with the baby to getting back to sex life what you need to know is just waiting for you to read. All your doubts and inhibitions would be cleared very well once you read this book.

Just a like an extra wish, as a new mother, you could also offer your advice and care to couples who are planning for pregnancy during this time of #pandemic . Yes Farah has an exclusive epilogue just to address this.

At simple usage of words, mix of her personal and other real life experiences from patients, Farah makes this book a go to guide for every #newmother .

BOOK DETAILS

Format : Paperback

Pages : 288

Publisher : Pan

Price : Rs. 319

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Farah Adam Mukadam is a family physician from Bengaluru, India. She completed her MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal and holds a Diploma in Family Medicine. She is a mother of two kids, a six-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter. She is a consulting physician at Narayana Hrudalaya Multispecialty Clinic, Bengaluru and has a special interest in providing breastfeeding and postpartum support to new mothers. She has a YouTube channel called ‘Momstein’ where she often busts myths around contemporary medical aid.
Instagram @dr.farah_momstein
Facebook @dr.farahadam


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Review of words from my window: A journal by Ruskin bond #myfriendalexa

BLURB
I need a window to look at the world without; for only then can I look at the world within. A room without a window is rather like a prison cell, and the soul is inclined to shrivel up in a confined space. … Car horns, children calling to each other as they return from school, a boy selling candyfloss, several crows chasing a hawk! Never a dull moment. And the magic mountain looks on, absorbing everything.

MY REVIEW

Ruskin bond, a personal favourite right from childhood, and was a fan moment when I got the journal words from my window. 📝 A lovely collection of all his thoughts from the various windows that have shown the author some picturesque views.
📝Some that show busy streets, some on the roof with a top view, some opening to wide mountains. 📝They all have played a major part on influencing his writings which we have been reading in the past.
📝 Complete collection of a number of short verses and lovely watercolor painting to support them hand in hand.
📝A cherished possession for all Ruskin bond fans and a wonderful gift to anyone who loves books and picturesque views.
📝Loved the note signed by the author that left a personal touch.
📝The lined pages that give you a feel to compile some of our own experiences is definitely making the book a special one to combine memories from his and our lives together.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruskin Bond’s first novel, The Room on the Roof, written when he was seventeen, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then he has written a number of novellas (including Vagrants in the Valley, A Flight of Pigeons and Mr Oliver’s Diary), essays, poems and children’s books, many of which have been published by Penguin Books. He has also written over 500 short stories and articles that have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014.

Ruskin was born in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, and grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Simla. As a young man, he spent four years in the Channel Islands and London. He returned to India in 1955. He now lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his adopted family.

Dan Williams (Illustrator)
Dan Williams lives and works in London. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1989 he has worked with many distinguished clients in the publishing world. In 2018 Dan illustrated a short prose poem by Khaled Hosseini entitled Sea Prayer. An emotional response to the current refugee crisis, it has since gone on to receive international acclaim.

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Review of N for Nourish by Pooja Makhija #myfriendalexa

BLURB

Do you know why eating right is so important? Because it’s food that makes you zip through classes, tear across the football field or win that game of chess. The right diet influences your mood, your thoughts and even your ability to have fun.
With the aid of innovative models and striking visuals, this book will help you understand the components of a healthy diet, what makes the five fingers of nutrition (and how they turn into a power-packed punch) and the importance of sleep, water and exercise in your day-to-day life. Not only does this contain the ABCs of nutrition but also a series of amazing facts about how food can change your life.
N for Nourish will make you look at yourself and what you eat in an absolutely new light!

Review

MY REVIEW

Been a fan of her after eat delete and eat delete junior.
Was eagerly waiting for N for nourish.
First thing when I got my hands in this. I knew I could have solutions for fuzzy eating problems.
🍉 Five fingers of nutrition – Carbohydrates ( simple and complex) , vitamins,minerals, proteins and fats . The chapter describing the importance of each element and how to be consumed.
🍒How to eat -Making fist( meal having five fingers), eating at home, every two hours, to know the friends(categorising food as friends) great concept of classification. Knowing right proportions to eat.
🍓What happens when- the I’ll effects of skipping breakfast, too much of junk or sugar consumption, not having good sleep, not having enough water , not doing much of exercise.
🍑the food world and the food alter egos – talks about environmental exposure to food.
🍊- eating for future – talks about eating for exams, sports happiness.
🍇H for help- explains about the nutritional facts and the food labels that explain them.
🥥On the whole a book that teaches you goodness of food and also ill effects of having junk and sugary foods. The exercises at the end make the book even more interesting.
Loved the colorful illustrations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pooja spends most of her time telling adults what to eat-adults like Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor. But she also counsels children like you and her two daughters, who are about your age. She teaches children about the wonder and magic of food, and she finds that giving them the right tools at the right time helps them reap lifelong benefits. And even though she’s strict about her kids eating right, she is-by her own account-a fun person to live with. Pooja resides in Mumbai but eats everywhere.

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Review of The happy fruit adventures #myfriendalexa

BLURB
What if happiness was a fruit and life a jungle, one had to cross to find it? Two nineteen-year-old boys set about a journey through a jungle called ‘life’ in search of the happy fruit. They both take different paths. On their way, they come across various challenges and distractions, myriad beasts and men. From insight-the owl with a unique power, to monster pessimism-the giant snake with legs to stand on. The boys find it the most enchanting place but an evil outcast named doctor Diablo forms an army to take control of and annihilate the jungle. But a chain of sudden events puts the teens between him and his fiendish objective. The boys find support from master experience, who reveals what lies ahead; commander courage, who leads the way into battle; and princess envy, who brews a mysterious, pulpy potion. Will the boys win the war and find the happy fruit? The happy fruit adventures is an exciting, allegorical tale about the journey of life.

BOOK DETAILS

Format : paperback

Publisher : Readomania

MY REVIEW

A book that describes life and the challenges it throws upon us . How do we survive? How do we tackle them? Wait this is not a non fiction self help book.
It’s a fictional book but also one that can make you learn things about life.
The comparison of happily as a fruit and life as a jungle is mind-blowing setting a solid plot. The two 19 year old boys who set out on a journey to find happiness is greatly explained in an enjoyable fictitious manner.
The challenges that are thrown at these boys and how they tackle is what we learn from the book. Most often we take the road that people take very often, the one that is well-known and easier.
I loved the meaningful naming of each character and the subsequent thought that went behind it.
A simple and an engaging narration while teaching you the life lessons makes this a great book to read .
The Uber cute illustrations are definitely a plus and kudos to the cover design and the map.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
P. K. Hari Ram Narayanan was born in Bangalore, India. His father got transferred often, so he grew up in a variety of places ranging from the tranquil Kavaratti Island in Lakshadweep to the buzzing capital city of New Delhi. Hailing from a family of eminent writers, he was exposed to the classics of literature from a young age. His first published article, ‘Mouse click for a toothpick’ appeared in The New Indian Express when he was at school. He went on to write in other renowned publications such as The Hindu, India Today and The Economic Times. In 2017, he won the NaNoWriMo challenge and he was also one of the finalists of the ‘Write India Contest’ held by The Times of India. The Happy Fruit Adventures is his first book. For his day job, Hari works as a marketer for Zoho, where he writes about leading teams and managing work in the modern office. He has travelled extensively across the United States, Europe, Australia and of course, India talking about how Zoho’s offerings can help businesses work better. He lives in Chennai with his wife Krithika. When at home, both have their noses buried deep in some form of writing or are busy planning their next getaway.

I am taking my blog to the next level with blogchatter’s #myfriendalexa.