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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Charcoal for skin? Why should you choose Supersmelly?

Charcoal for Skincare

What is activated charcoal?

A form of carbon that has low volume pores but can increase surface area for adsorption.

Why is it used in Skincare?

As mentioned above it could magnify the amounts of absorption and there by bring out dirt and impurities from skin. So skin looks clear and dirt free. This is why, activated charcoal finds it’s place is a wide range of skincare and personal care items.

Benefits of activated charcoal for skin

Activated charcoal for Skincare

Removes impurities

Since activated charcoal can absorb out toxins from body, the masks can help remove dirt and impurities from skin.

Reduces acne

Collection of sebum(facial oil) in skin pores can make them clog as a result of which you could see acne breakouts. Activated charcoal helps to bring out the excess oil from the pores and keeps them free.

Reduces oiliness

Activated charcoal helps in removing dead skin cells by exfoliation and helps in absorbing excess oil present in skin, there by reducing oiliness in skin.

Doesn’t adsorb vitamins

Though activated charcoal helps in clearing out toxins from skin, it doesn’t adsorb the needed vitamins and nutrients. Therefore skin remains healthy in a natural way.

Doesn’t cause allergy

Due to the nature of being inert, activated charcoal doesn’t call any allergies and most importantly it suits sensitive skin.

About the brand Supersmelly

Founded by a Super mom, Dipali Mathur Dayal and her friend Milan Sharma. Dipali Washington shocked to see the labels when she went to pick a deodorant for her tween. The ingredients listed made her think that this is not what teens would want. They need products that are all natural , safe and effective to use and not some pesticide in attractive labels and catchy bottles.

The brand name absolutely makes your head turn and ask many questions. One answer that is all the more satisfactory to give you a go and make you pick it up , they’re India’s first brand of natural and toxin free personal care products for tweens and teens.

Bright and glow

Bright and glow regime from Supersmelly

A combination of face wash and face pack formulated to give you the bright and glowing skin.

Charcoal and aloe Vera face wash

Face wash

Contains activated charcoal, Asian ginseng and aloe Vera . Activated charcoal helps in flushing out the toxins and helps in deep cleansing the skin.

The consistency isn’t runny and is just pasty enough to be squeezed off using. Upon continuous usage , the results are visible with bright and glowing skin. The face wash also helps in removing excess oil, there reducing chances for breakouts to occur. Also helps in killing acne causing bacteria.

I also noticed that acne marks which I had previously have started to lighten on continuous usage.

The face wash is made of natural ingredients with no toxins and parabens. Most importantly no chemicals.which would cause skin irritation.

The face wash helps in exfoliation thereby removing dead skin cells.

Suited for all skin types, the face wash is a good option to be included in Skincare routine.

Helps in de-tanning and achieve even skin tone.

The facewash is suited for anyone above 7years of age.

Activated awesomeness is the name of the face wash and keeps up to it name by giving you a bright skin.

Ingredients

  • Activated charcoal – Helps eliminate dirt and excess oil from skin.
  • Aloe Vera – Helps combat harsh effects of pollution,UV rays and acne.
  • Vitamin A C & E – Helps in boosting collagen production and healthy skin . Also helps against sun damage.
  • Asian ginseng – Remove dead skin cell and promote elasticity.

Price: Rs. 379 for 100ml on Amazon and on their website.

How to use ?

  • Wet face with water.
  • Squeeze little amount on hand or to a sponge.
  • Apply evenly, massage in circular motion.
  • Wash with cold water and pat dry.

Natural go glow activated charcoal face pack

Face pack

The face pack acts like a magnet. Yes, it pulls out all dirt and impurities from skin. Absolutely love how it removes effects of pollution and dust.

The face pack removes tan and gives bright glowing skin.

This is a cleanliness freak, because it helps wiping away dirt accumulation in the pores and helps in unclogging.

Helps in rejuvenation of skin, keeping it healthy.

Ingredients

  • Activated charcoal- removes dirt and excess oil. Helps in exfoliation as well.
  • Aloe Vera- Combats effects of pollution, UV rays. Provides moisturization.
  • Cocoa powder – Helps in brightening skill. Also reversal of damage from sun and tanning.
  • Bentonite clay or volcanic ash – prevents blackheads, helps unclog pores, flushes out toxins and skim regeneration.
  • Kaolin mud – Helps in cleansing and absorption of impurities.
  • Argan, olive, peach and apricot oil- helps in skin nourishment.
  • Multani clay : Helps in maintaining even skin tone and brightness.
  • Coffee seeds – Helps reduce puffiness and boost blood circulation.
  • Green clay – Exfoliates skin and reduces inflammation.
  • Dead sea salt – Helps in removing toxins, boost blood circulation and balance skin pH.

The mask doesn’t smell overly pungent, compared to the other charcoal mask that I have used previously. It’s light on the skin and easy to wash off.

Price : Rs. 599 for 70gms available on Amazon and on their website.

How to use?

  • Apply the mask evenly on to skin with bare hands or with a brush.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash off with cold water by gently applying circular motion on skin.

The mask and the face wash are available together as a combo known as bright and glow regimen for Rs. 978. They can also be purchased individually.

Reasons why you should try Supersmelly

  • Cruelty free as it’s not tested on animals.
  • Vegan friendly certified
  • Australian allergy certified
  • Dermatologically tested as hypoallergenic.
  • Made safe , nontoxic certified.
  • Australian certified as allergen free.

They also have a wide range of other personal care products like deodorants, moisturisers, lipbalms and sanitizer.

The products are available individually or as combos.

Check out their website to know more about them and to purchased products.

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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 we are pregnant

We are pregnant

BLURB

We are Pregnant” is a first of its kind pregnancy companion book with real-life anecdotes and expert inputs from doctors. In this book, Monalisa who is a mother herself has delved into various aspects of pregnancy based on her experiences, further enriched by those of other mums she has spoken to. She has talked about the ups and downs of the journey, emphasising on the fact that you are not alone in this. This book will help expecting mums and dads make sense of their pregnancy journey. We also hope along the way it also brings a smile on your face. The author has believes pregnancy is not an ordeal to be endured, rather it’s a journey to be enjoyed. Enjoy reading and we wish you a very happy, healthy and safe – pregnancy and childbirth.

MY REVIEW

A one of a kind book on pregnancy from Author Monalisa Bandyopadhyay. The book has everything about pregnancy from conceiving to cord blood banking.
Isn’t is nice when you have a one book guide that talks about the first test where you confirm pregnancy, the exact beginning of your wonderful journey ahead & going to cord blood banking that’s done after you deliver you baby.
The book answers a lot of questions that goes inside a pregnant woman’s mind. Googling it all up wouldn’t be a solution. The author in the first chapter says that choosing the doctor is the first step, because she would be your partner for every visit and for your final day when you deliver. Choosing someone whom you can trust, who talks freely is most important. She also says that just because you got your pregnancy confirmed by a doctor doesn’t mean you should continue with them. Choose the right one.
This book talks about the author’s pregnancy journey, events from her visits to Dr S and Dr.P whom she trusted most on the earth during her journey. The book has a Q & A section at the end of some chapter answered by doctors. Also some real life experiences of her friends who were willing enough to share their journey. I really loved the part where she has a section to  pen down our story as well.

The book also touches about informing the workplace, advice that starts pouring in, the doctor visits and the tests that follow. The ultrasound scans the prenatal classes are what you need to plan as well.
Weight gain and exercise is an integral part that needs to be discussed. Eat for two as they say is only the nutrients. The quality of the food matters than the quantity. Tips on what to and what not to eat also are listed which makes food planning easier.
A separate section on aches and pains starting from morning sickness, the heartburn, indigestion, varicose veins, swollen legs and how to deal with them .
Mood swings like I said is one of the parts of pregnancy journey that absolutely needs to be discussed openly. Especially with the better half. Look happy, be happy. So if it’s only from inside it would be shown outside.
The clothes, Skincare , makeup ,spa ,photo sessions every little thing is discussed in detail.
Child birth the day we have been waiting for , the day we had been preparing for, contractions and when exactly to start for the hospital, coping with pains. Reading this mentally prepared you for what you are about to experience.
Once the baby is out, the woman needs to recover, bond with baby, latching and pumping needs to be concentrated on. Breastfeeding DOS and don’ts , the changes the body undergoes are discussed.
The after delivery care for the woman and the baby, postnatal blues are some other topics discussed.
I really appreciate the author’s efforts to include not only her own experience but excerpts from other women too. I loved her writing style which was natural and how the way she actually felt was there in her words.

BOOK DETAILS

Format : paperback

Publisher : Rubric publisher

Pages : 262

Price : Rs 399

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Monalisa is mother of a school going kid who equally balances her career and family responsibilities. This is her first book which she was inspired to write based on her experiences during her pregnancy and childbirth. She holds an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and has worked extensively in the financial services sector in India and abroad.

Review of UNEARTHED – An environmental history of Independent India

BLURB

Protesting against dams, protecting tigers, hugging trees, saving seeds, making room for elephants, battling mountains of waste, fighting air pollution, coping with soaring temperatures-India and its people have shared a remarkable relationship with the environment.
From the Green Revolution to the National Action Plan on Climate Change, Unearthed: An Environmental History of Independent India chronicles the country’s historical movements and significant green missions since 1947. Interspersed with lots of trivia, tales of eco-heroes and humorous cartoons, this easy-to-read account uncovers the story of a past with the hope that we will rewrite India’s future.

REVIEW

A book that treasures the environmental history of independent India. Divided into portions that discuss about white revolution, green Revolution,dams and climatic changes the book has a multitude of reasons to be the best gift one can have to know about the environmental  history of the country.
A book that can bring in environmental cautiousness in future generation to preserve nature and make it the core motto of the society.
The tiger tales chapter that explains the nearly extinct or towards extinction of our national animal due to TCM .

Water scarcity , afforestation, nuclear energy the book covers vast topics supported by loads of facts, people behind the movement and illustrations.
The book is easy to read for kids and also a great one for adults.
Written in simple language the book is  a great gift to kids.
A few notable events like the Bhopal gas tragedy, acid rain effects on Taj Mahal and other monuments and also about uranium poisoning in Punjab.

The idea is to make kids aware of what happened over the years and to implant thoughts of preservation.

BOOK DETAILS

Format : Paperback

Pages : 232 pages

Age recommended : 10 and up

Publisher : puffin books

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Meghaa Gupta’s tryst with environmentalism began in 2013, when she was commissioned to compile a book on environmental courses and careers for students in India. From passionate teachers and students to eminent professionals, the journey exposed her to the fascinating work being done in this field. Her writing has also appeared in TerraGreen, Careers360 and The Hindu and she has contributed to WWF-India’s One Planet Academy. She is deeply interested in exploring how young people relate to the natural world and has conducted a series of workshops with school and college students in association with WWF-India. Meghaa works in children’s publishing and this is her third book.

Also check what Sanandita writes about optimism and What amritha writes about free play way.

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Review of oils and herbal powder – Shesha beauty

Ayurveda and usage of herbs in skincare and haircare has been done generations past. Usage of herbs, concoctions to make oils and powders for cleansing and wellness has been there for ages.

I recently came across shesha beauty which has a wide range products for hair and skin which help you combat all skin and hair problems.

Their products are made of goodness of natural Ayurveda and from our very dear god’s own country , Kerala. It’s the brainchild of an ex-amazon engineer, Renji , who hails from a family of naturopaths and Ayurvedic Doctors. She missed the goodness of authentic Ayurvedic products from her very own land which gave birth to shesha’s evolution.

Their oils are cold pressed and all natural. The powders for face and hair are all from natural ingredients like tulsi, orange peel, rose petals and so on.

The products are 100% natural and cruelty free. They are free from paraben and sulphates which makes them skin and hair friendly.

Having a no stretch mark belly and a clear and healthy skin is all what women dream about. This combination of oils and powder from shesha will surely make your dream come true. I’d definitely say these are my postpartum saviours and a regular in my skincare regimen.

I tried a couple of their oils and powders for a really long period before I came up with my review.

Nalpamaradi tailam . Known as natural illuminator, this oil is used to illuminate skin and to remove tan. Helps clear scars, acne marks and uneven skin tone that causes pigmentation. Usage is really simple. Take the required amount and massage on to skin until it gets absorbed and leave on for half an hour. You can then wash off with mild soap. The oil is beneficial is removing scars, pigmentation and is all natural.

I started using this when I was pregnant and pigmentation was a problem that led to stress. The oil has been working well to remove blemishes.

Price : Rs .250 for 50ml

Dhanwantram tailam. Pre and post natal massage oil. A traditional oil that helps in alleviating pain, rejuvenates muscles and increase immunity this oil is apt for pre and post natal massages. These are period which require massaging of skin to improve elasticity and strengthening of muscles. Regular usage also reduces stretch marks effectively during and post pregnancy. Made from authentic Ayurvedic formulation this oil is made from all natural ingredients and is not so sticky when applied. The oil can be massaged until absorbed by skin and left for half an hour. This can be washed off with mild soap in a warm bath.

I’ve been using this regularly post delivery and trust me it’s been the best savior of postpartum recovery.

Price : Rs. 250 for 50 ml

Tejaswini face wash powder. Green gram Bengal gram are skincare secret ingredients passed on from generations. This face wash powder is soap free , and helps absorb oil and makes its oil free. Can be used as daily scrub for face and suited for all skin types. Helps prevent acne and blemishes updated n regular usage. What else does a girl need when there is an all natural face wash. Usage is making the powder into a paste with water or rose water applying on face , scrub for 15-20 seconds and wash off for all day glow.

I’ve been using this for about two months and feels so good to be back with grandma’s Skincare secret.

Ingredients : almond, green gram, bengal gram, orange peel powder, rose petal, aloe Vera, avarampoo, hibiscus.

Price : Rs. 399 for 50gm

Kasturi manjal powder . Known as wild turmeric this is a staple in all Indian households. A must have ingredient for natural Skincare, this powder helps protect skin from harmful radiation. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties which help fight acne causing bacteria. A lovely uplifting aroma arises when using this powder. Helps in removing blemishes and acne marks this powder also helps in increasing skin luminosity. When mixed with Coconut oil can be used for spot reduction of scars. When mixed with water can be applied on to face, massaging in circular motion and washed off with warm water.

Kasturi manjal is a staple in our routine from being a baby. It is incorporated into bath powders to reduce hair growth and keep skin healthy.

Ingredients : Wild turmeric, lemon, orange and tulasi leaves.

Price : Rs 399 for 50gms.

Extra virgin coconut oil . Made from 100% natural coconut milk, the oil is apt for haircare in treating dry and sensitive scalp. Helps boost volume and improve hair growth.

An excellent massage oil for babies with all natural nutrients. A natural makeup remover this can be used in daily Skincare routine. I’ve been using it for me and as well as my baby for regular oil massage.

Price : Rs 299 for 200 ml.

A 100% all natural and trusted brand where you can buy Ayurvedic products for skin, hair and body wellness from our god’s own country. You can shop them at https://www.sheshabeauty.com

Check out what seems has to say about jaggery and what Amritha has to about gardening.

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Staying positive when you’re pregnant during Covid19 times

Staying positive when you’re pregnant

Pregnancy is a great period and one of the most looking forward moments in a woman’s life. Though there are a lot of stressful moments , the anxiety and happiness to welcome a new human being she created sure does bring in a lot of excitement.

Being pregnant in covid19 times

But coming to our current situation of the global pandemic #covid19 and the continuous lockdowns that are imposed I came to know that a lot of women went into stress and depression.

✔️Keep your mind open for changes happening around. With lockdown in place new rules are made every minute so don’t keep your mind rigid. Be open to changes.

Think happy be happy. St

✔️Stay calm and all this is just temporary and will be alright in a few days. The changes happening around are just for few days. Things would be back to normal in few days. Focus on your baby and keeping yourself stress free.

✔️Keep tracking baby growth with apps like @oviahealth @babycenter. Tracking baby growth is of utmost importance, the current situation shouldn’t hinder you from doing it in regular basis. Know your baby well. We now have a lot of applications on phone to help us with it.

✔️Make sure you don’t miss your doctor appointments or scans. Lockdown is not a reason to skip appointments or scans. Even if your hospital isn’t accepting patients, there are a lot of maternity speciality or childcare hospitals which are working in full swing to help pregnant women at this pandemic times.

✔️Don’t miss out on your walks or light workouts. The terrace or the car parking could be a great place to walk. A mild workout is necessary during this time. Most commonly people can opt for walking as it’s less strenuous and also aids good physical activity.

✔️Make meals that is favourite to you and your family. This is a great time to start experimenting new cuisines . With no time restrictions to pack lunches for kids and family, you’re at your ease to try out those new dishes , videos of which you had saved long back.

✔️ Set up a candle light dinner with your partner, while the toddler can spend time with grandparents. Who said you can’t go on date nights when you’re pregnant. Going out could be risky during this time but a good dinner at home cooked by both of you together sure does rekindle the spark and gets the libido working.

✔️ Pretend play a sleepover with your toddler. Toddlers are great mood changers. One smile from them or a tiny action sure does light up our minds. Especially if you take part in their pretend plays, it makes our mind relaxed and also makes them happy. You can also read about various activities to do along with them . Read on activities to do with toddlers to know more. The kids could also be a little out of routine, due to lockdown me staying home; which could make them cranky at times. Moreover the new arrival taking the attention would be playing a part in their mood swings. Speak to your partner on how you could handle it. You could also read along how to handle work and make time for them here.

✔️ Don’t get upset if things don’t go as you planned. It’s okay that sometimes things don’t go as per plan. Think of plan B. Divert yourself and don’t keep brooding about what didn’t happen. Just think there is a better way to handle right in front of you. Getting upset or depressed sure will affect your baby too.

✔️Divert yourself into something more interesting like sewing, crochet , doodling or listening to some peaceful music. Picking up a new hobby is always fun. But when you are doing something for the little one inside it doubles the joy and satisfaction.

✔️Devote time to reading good books that boost positivity. Parenting books provide great knowledge at this time. You could also read about how to handle your labor in a relaxed manner. There a lot of books that help how to lead a happy life like IKIGAI.

✔️Talk to your baby in the womb. That is much more comforting. Babies start responding to the mothers voice sooner. It could be in the form of kicks. Start talking to him/her , trust me this will have greater benefits once they’re out.

✔️Self care is much needed and you don’t get better time to do it than to maintain and enhance that pregnancy glow. Get all the scrubs and face masks that are hiding in your closet and waiting to be used. Get going girl,it’s time to bring out that glow. I had a lot of time to try out products and my most favourite and a great recommendation for Ayurvedic products are here. You could take a look and invest , I’m sure you won’t regret buying.

✔️ Maintain a pregnancy journal of start writing posts on to a blog. Document what you feel. If you’re well informed of health sciences during pregnancy you could write on that. This would help fellow women who are pregnant. If you need help on how to start a blog you can read on. How to start a blog.

✔️Most importantly step out for some fresh air and breathe. Fresh air is all we need to keep our mind relaxed it also helps you in bringing in a lot of positivity.

On another note I came across a wonderful technique that my friend had shared, an idea about a gratitude bubble and being grateful and thankful at the end of day for things that we would like to make a note. Do read about it here. I’m sure this would be a great way for positivity too.

The points that are documented above are based on my experience as a pregnant mom during #covid19. I know that many of you or people whom you may know might feel the same. Do share this with them and make them stay positive. We can get through this sooner.

“I am learning how to grow my blog with Neha from Bloggingmadeeasier.com. In case if you are interested – Learn how to grow your blog here . In this learn how to grow your blog will link to this post https://bloggingmadeeasier.com/grow-your-blog-challenge-fundamentals-of-a-profitable-blog/”

Related read : Improving child immunity during Covid19.