Monday, 17 October 2016

Before you go Trekking ...

Trekking is defined as a long arduous journey made on foot but to me it is something that lifts my spirits and challenges me to the limits .I have done small treks in my younger days but ever since my friend shared his account of the Chadar Trek and The Everest Base Camp treks , I am dying to go on more challenging treks.

The Chadar (meaning blanket) trek is one such route that has been used since ancient times for transportation when the Zanskar river freezes down . The Zanskar region is located towards the south-east of Leh and is enclosed by the Himalayan , Zanskar ranges and mountains that border Zanskar and Kashmir valley.This Chadar trek basically  connects villages in the Zanskar valley  with Chilling  which is on the road to Leh, along the frozen Zanskar River. It is a hugely challenging trek where in one has to walk over the frozen river in bone chilling cold(with temperatures dropping to -30 degrees C ) carrying a large backpack .A task which needs peak physical fitness and great mental strength too .
But before setting for a trek, there are some basic necessities which need to be carried and I shall be sharing those with you today.
Here is the essentials Kit to carry when you plan to trek ,this would become far more elaborate if you are going to undertake a particularly difficult and harsh trek ,but below are the basics :-

1.       Navigation - A Route Map preferably laminated is the basic requirement .Additionally a compass and a G.P.S. are desirable.
2.       Sun Protection – Protective sunglasses to shield from the bright sunlight at high altitudes and a broad spectrum sunscreen are very important to avoid sunburns.
3.       Insulation – Wicking long sleeved Uppers and lowers , Fleece outerwear ,Hats ,Socks , gloves and waterproof jackets are some essentials that need to be carried .
4.       Lighting – A Flashlight and a headlamp with extra batteries would generally be needed.
5.       Fire – Matches and a light weight Lighter, a waterproof container and fire starter for emergencies.
6.       Repair Kit – Rough terrains demand an emergency repairing kit which should consist of a Swiss knife ,duct tape ,stove and mattress kits .
7.       Food - This would include Energy bars, Energy drinks, Chews etc. and a day’s extra ration for emergencies.
8.       Water – It is important to carry water bottles and water filters to avoid getting dehydrated while trekking.
9.       Shelter – Other than the essential sleeping bag and blankets, it is recommended to carry a tent, tarpaulin sheet and reflective blankets for emergencies.
10.   First Aid Box - A first aid kit for trekking should consist of the Antiseptic creams, antibiotics, Pain killers, Crepe bandages, splints, Chlorine tablets, Anti emetics , Inhalers etc.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Best Friends Forever !

 This 8th October 2016 will be a historical moment as at 8 PM , Zee TV will bring together two living legends of Indian cinema -  Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha ,for the very first time on a television chat show- "Yaaron Ki Baraat".It will be such a delight to watch theses legends sharing the story of their friendship .

The show will be hosted by the very popular Sajid Khan and Riteish Deshmukh and I am so looking forwards to seeing these legendary friends share small anecdotes of their friendship.

While on the topic of friendship ,let me today share my own little story of friendship .My best friend to this day is my school friend Sonika . 

People feel we are like chalk and cheese –poles apart even in our physical appearances. Herself being an imposing fair doe with a flawless complexion and myself a thin, brown girl who was often mistaken for being a “south Indian “ because of my well-oiled plaited hair!
She is a  pukka carnivore and I am a pure vegetarian .She is such a warm , bubbly , confident and extrovert person that people call her “supersonic “ whereas I am this mousy , brooding,  introvert person .
Through thick or thin !

I and Sonika became best friends in school .Both of us were new admissions to that school and found ourselves unable to gel with our new classmates .Luckily we both sat on the same bench and hit it off like a house on fire .We cracked jokes, drummed our fingers on our benches on the latest Bollywood songs and even ended up having a crush on the same boy! Of course , that never came between us because it was just a crush and we moved on with our respective lives .The big boards ensured that we were neck deep in studies and parted without any addresses or phone numbers to hold on to .
I missed her every now and then but could not find her .There was no facebook in those days !

Years later ,actually fifteen long years later (to be precise ) ,we met again by a lucky coincidence .I was working as a senior  homeopathic consultant in a very famous chain of clinics and was seeing cases that were escalated to me for review and … in she walked !My heart leapt with joy and rapture at her sight .I had found my long lost friend finally !We exchanged numbers and caught up on the last fifteen years that we had spent away from each other .
BFFs !

Unfortunately for me, I left that job soon and also had to change my phone number and somehow we  again lost touch  of each other .I know it all sounds so foolish  but this was the sad truth .
After leaving my job , I was going through a lot of upheavals that kept me on my toes .One day as I was going through a particularly depressing day , I started searching for old friends to divert my attention  .And thus started mission “Finding  Sonika “! I sat at my desktop for two consecutive days, peering at all possible spelling permutations and combinations of her name , checking out all the profiles with that name till I concluded that she was probably not on Facebook .But something within me egged me on to keep  trying,so now I started searching for her siblings whom I knew from our school days .

Bingo !

I found her brother online and  sent him a message through  his inbox and then sat with my fingers crossed .It was only after another three days of agonising wait that I got his reply where he forwarded her address and contact number .
Happy Times are Here to Stay

And then we were reunited again .She was my anchor in those tough times , steering me out of choppy waters and helping me emerge victorious out of the dark phase of my life .

Our friendship has stood the test of time and I hope it shall remain so in future too .Thanks for everything ,Yaar !

Thursday, 6 October 2016

My Experience with Permanent Hair Reduction through Laser treatment

Hello Girls !

I am sure many of you must hate scurrying to the beauty salon for  that last minute waxing like me .
With a busy work schedule and kids , taking time out for yourselves is a big luxury.Add to it the fact a that most parlors  hardly ever open before 10 a.m. and after 8pm and you always need to book an appointment in advance too.

Of late I had been getting offers from some Beauty and Skin clinics to try out their laser hair removal , but I was sceptic .I was sceptic ,because from what I had heard - it is very painful and needs regular visits plus it is a long term commitment because a single sitting does not root out the hair .You need at least 6-7 regular sittings about 4 - 6 weeks apart to see a significant reduction in hair follicles .So I kept saying no to laser hair reduction .

But a few months back , I had to appear for an event and needed to get a waxing appointment .I managed  to be there on time but despite having an appointment, I had to wait for a good thirty minutes before I decided that enough was enough and I could not wait any further .


It was then that I made up my mind to try the permanent hair reduction through laser treatment .At least once the treatment was over , I did not need to be at the mercy of beauty parlors and could enjoy smooth skin at all times .

The consultation room where a short medical history was taken 

I said "Yes" and turned up to meet Dr. Poonam Arya , who holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Cosmetology from the University of Greifswald ,Germany and is also a Senior Cosmetic Consultant at V.L.C.C.
I met Dr. Poonam Arya at her Radiance Aesthetic Clinic in Mayur Vihar phase 1, Delhi . She took a short medical history and then examined my hair growth pattern .She told me that she was going to use the Diode Laser on me as this was best suited to Asian Skins .Then she explained the whole procedure to me and offered to do a free underarms hair removal for me as a patch test . Since I had made up my mind ,I agreed readily and we started on the same day .


Points to take care before going for your appointment ( Pre -laser skin care )

  1. You should not wax at least 4 weeks before the appointment though shaving is fine .But shaving should also be avoided up to two days prior to your appointment .
  2. Avoid bleaching , it would sensitize the skin and your  hair would not absorb the laser once it loses its pigment .
  3. Exfoliation of any sort should be avoided a few days prior to the treatment .
  4. Use sunscreen and protect the skin  from harsh sunlight.

The Procedure - I was given a disposable gown to wear and the area to undergo laser treatment (in my case the underarms ) was shaved  and then an anesthetic gel was applied to numb the area .I was provided with protective glasses to shield my eyes from the radiation .After a few minutes of applying the anesthetic gel, a lubricating gel was applied which was also quite cool and then the laser was applied .

The Laser Room 
The doctor asked me if I was able to feel tiny sharp pricks on my skin while the  hair absorbed the heat from the laser and adjusted the frequency of the radiation to the optimum level that would give results but would also be bearable .

The whole process took less than five minutes and even though I felt the sharp pricks and the slightly hot tip of the laser gun (that's why the anesthetic and cool gel is applied ), it was much less painful than the sharp tugs of waxing !

Using a broad spectrum sunscreen or sunblock is very important post laser treatment

Once the process was over , an anti-inflammatory cream and a sunscreen with SPF 50 was applied to the underarms .I was advised to use them regularly .

Post laser skin care 
  1. No exfoliation , like scrubbing etc. to be done for at least one week. 
  2. Sunscreen with SPF 50 to be used every 3 hours to avoid tanning of the area and to avoid pain and irritation .Even though I got my underarms done , yet I was asked to follow the same precautions .
  3. No bleaching to be done .
  4. Shaving can be done after one week .
  5. Hair will loosen up from the roots and start falling off after about two weeks but the initial result may be patchy as our hair passes through different cycles of growth and rest at different times .

FINAL VERDICT - I did see 80 % of the hair fall out after 10 days of the procedure and even after one month only 10 -15 % growth was there but my fears were vanquished and now I am going to get all the sessions required to get smoother underarms permanently .

I rate the whole experience a 4.5/5 .

For those of you interested , here are the details

Dr. Poonam Arya
Radiance Aesthetic Clinic
(complete solution for Skin and Hair problems )
B-5 . Acharya Niketan ,
Mayur Vihar Phase 1 ,
Delhi -110091
Tel- +91 78369 55521+9198113 30272
E -mail :

Feel free to post any queries here and I shall try to answer them to the best of my knowledge .

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

#ChhoteKadam to a Healthier Heart

According to the statistics released by W.H.O. on World Health Day, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are now  the leading cause of death globally. About 38 million  people die every year from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) which includes cancer, heart diseases and stroke, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases .Out of the these ,82% premature deaths occurred in developing countries like India .


But all is not lost yet , here is the silver lining to this dark cloud .

Recent findings from the World Heart Federation reveal that even small lifestyle changes like being active, eating better, and staying happy can make your heart up to 50% healthier.

This rang a bell with me and as I hold the finger of my young one , I make a  promise to myself to make changes to my lifestyle and stick around even after twenty years to see my kids blossoming .

 1. Being Active  - I have made it mandatory to walk at least 10,000 steps every day- come what may ( this I manage with little help from my fitness app ) .
An inactive person takes just about  3,000 steps or even less just in their daily activity of moving around the house. A daily average of 10,000 steps is equivalent to approximately five miles of walking during the day.This is approximately equal to the minimum daily exercise that is  recommended  by most health organisations to reduce health risks.

2. Eating Better - I would sometimes skip a proper breakfast and scrimp on salads and fruits out of sheer laziness .Now I make it a point to stock up my pantry with seasonal fruits and vegetables and make sure I have at least two fruits everyday and have salads with my meals .I also ensure that I have my daily quota of protein through sprouts , milk, eggs, soy and nuts .A protein rich breakfast  helps in a getting a leaner , meaner body .

3.Staying Happy - Being a health professional the above two ( staying active and eating better ) were easily taken care of since we keep enforcing this to our patients that they should have at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily and should exercise for at least 20-30 minutes daily ,but it is the third part of the getting healthier programme i.e. "Staying Happy " which is the most difficult to implement because this means changing your attitude to life situations and dealing with conflicts and unfavourable conditions in a different manner .

Here is how I am trying to achieve that .

Saying "thank you " - Gratitude towards people around you can actually make you feel better and create an atmosphere of positivism .It helped in  reducing my cribbing and made people more empathetic towards each other .Appreciating people and the efforts they make for us is important .

Loving yourself - Being a perfectionist , I always find faults with myself and keep criticizing myself and pushing myself .I identified this negative trait which I earlier thought  was my competitive streak and remodelled my behaviour .I try to be kinder to myself if I fail and take things more easily .I do push myself but in positive manner , reinforcing my belief in myself and my abilities and if things do not work out to my expectations , I try to accept them and move on .

These are my little steps to a healthier me ... what are yours ?

“I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association with BlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.”

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Lotus herbals Whiteglow Hand and Body lotion Review

With dresses and skirts becoming the "in" thing once again ,keeping the arms and legs even toned and sun protected becomes necessary .Body lotions with added SPF are generally pretty good for this purpose so today Ishall be  sharing my experience with  Lotus herbals Whiteglow Hand and Body lotion .


Price and Presentation - Rs 295/- for 300 ml . This comes in a white plastic bottle with a pump dispenser .Sturdy and convenient to use . I think they have now discontinued with this product and relaunched it in the "Safe Sun " range as nourishing body lotion with  SPF 25 in the trademark orange colour Safe Sun range .


    PROS of   Lotus herbals  Whiteglow Hand and Body lotion      
  1. Easily available and affordable .This one bottle with daily use is going to last two months very easily for me .
  2. Contains SPF 25 ,which is the minimum sun protection advised by dermatologists for daily use.
  3. I found its claims to lighten , whiten and brighten , true to some extent .The lotions leaves a thin matte cast which makes the skin look fairer on application.After using it for one week ,I find that my feet that get tanned easily  are looking less tanned and hence I find that this is effective to some extent surely .My skin looks more even toned .
  4. It has a thick consistency but spreads easily and gets absorbed fast .The fact that it is not very thin and runny helps in controlling the amount that I am using and helps in reducing wastage .
  5. Gives a matte finish within few minutes of application because of which my arms and legs do not look oily or sweaty , which I quite liked .
  6. Claims to contains natural extracts of  liquorice, green tea and lemon extracts to help in brightening though the actual ingredient list shows the same ingredients including parabens that regular sunscreens contain .


CONS of Lotus herbals  Whiteglow Hand and Body lotion 
  1. The fragrance is initially flowery but within seconds changes to a chemical smell though it is not strong and neither very noticeable , but to me ,that is a disadvantage because I like smelling good .
  2. Even though it claims to be a natural/herbal product it is actually a synthetic product with added natural extracts to strengthen their herbal claim.
  3. It mattifies after application which may be a con in the dry and cold weather .


FINAL VERDICT - I am not a whiteness freak but I found that this body lotion protected my skin better against tanning and sun burns and gave a more even toned look to my arms .Also I am happy that this does not make my arms sweaty and greasy .The only thing I do not like is the medicinal fragrance .
I am yet to use it in the winter season to see if it makes my skin dry or keeps it soft .

Till then, I rate it a 3.5/ 5 .