Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Garnier Ultra Blends -Blackberry and Henna Conditioner Review

I wanted to review this conditioner along with the shampoo review itself but was a bit occupied and could not do it but better late than never and so here is the review of Garnier Ultra Blends Blackberry and Henna Conditioner .


Price - Rs 75/- for 75 ml

PROS of Garnier Ultra Blends -Blackberry and Henna Conditioner

  1. Affordable and easily available 
  2. Sturdy and travel friendly packaging
  3. Easy to work with, spreads easily on the hair shafts 
  4. Mild fruity fragrance
  5. Leaves hair softer than without conditioner  

             CONS of  Garnier Ultra Blends -Blackberry and Henna Conditioner

  1. I do not like the fragrance, good thing that it's mild and does not linger 
  2. It does not make much of a difference to the hair texture ,I feel the hair is smoother to some extent but it is not a significant change
  3. The effect on my hair lasts hardly for one day 


FINAL VERDICT - I rate it a 3/5 .
I have generally skipped using this after using the Garnier Ultra Blends -Blackberry and Henna shampoo and I found that the effect was better if I used it with the shampoo .Nothing noteworthy here ,it is an average product and I will not be buying it again .

Monday, 15 August 2016

Type 2 Diabetes - Its Causes and Treatment

Every year , more than one million people in India are dying of Diabetes , the silent killer .Earlier it was predominant in affluent and urban population but the rural and urban divide is slowly diminishing .Here is a general overview about this disease .


What is  Diabetes ?

 Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high and lead to multiple organ involvement and even death .

The hormone insulin – produced by our pancreas – is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood .A decrease in the levels of Insulin causes Diabetes and results in increased blood glucose levels .

There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes – when the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin .
Type 2 Diabetes – when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or produces sufficient Insulin but the body's cells don't react to insulin this is also called as Insulin resistance .

Symptoms of Diabetes - Symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are the same

The symptoms of diabetes occur when the  lack of insulin causes raised blood glucose levels and the glucose is not utilised by the body .This leads to cell damage and so to get rid of this the body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by excreting more glucose in the urine.

The initial symptoms include:

1.feeling very thirsty despite drinking more water
2.passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night in large quantities
3.feeling very tired and lacking energy
4.weight loss and loss of muscle bulk or wasting

Risk Factors 

  1. Decreased Physical activity - Physical activity may decrease with age too and hence the forty and above population is at a higher risk .
  2. Diet - Consumption of a diet high on saturated fat, simple carbohydrates (such as white bread, white flour, pastries), sugars and salt all help to contribute to diabetes if taken in excess.
  3. Age - Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age. This may be because people tend to gain weight and exercise less as they get older.
  4. Genetics - Genetics is one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Your risk of developing the condition is increased if you have a close relative such as a parent, brother or sister who has the condition.
  5. Being overweight or obese - You're more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you're overweight or obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.
  6. Stress levels - High stress levels trigger hormones that can cause the Insulin levels to reduce and predispose to Diabetes .
  7. Ethnicity - People of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean and black African origin are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.


Prevention of Diabetes Type 2

1. A positive family history of Diabetes puts you at a higher risk The closer the blood relation,the higher the risk .Hence annual check ups after 30 are mandatory .The earlier the detection,the better the outlook .

2. Diet - A balanced diet which is low on processed food and high on fibre, protein and vegetables is helpful in controlling and preventing Diabetes .

3. Exercise -Regular exercise even up to 20 minutes of brisk activity daily , is known to increase insulin sensitivity which helps in preventing type 2 Diabetes .

4. A healthy weight - Maintaining a healthy weight by regular exercise can prevent Diabetes .A BMI around 20-25 is recommended .

 BMI = ( Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters x Height in Meters )

Fat deposition around the abdomen particularly increases your risk.

Women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their waist measures 80cm (31.5 inches) or more.
Asian men with a waist size of 89cm (35 inches) or more have a higher risk, as do white or black men with a waist size of 94cm (37 inches) or more.

Diagnosis of type 2 Diabetes

A fasting venous whole blood glucose of more than 110 mg% (venous plasma glucose > 126 mg%) OR a random venous whole blood glucose level of more than 180 mg%, (venous plasma glucose > 200 mg%), confirmed on repeat testing, in a patient with characteristic sign and symptoms of diabetes, is diagnostic.

Other methods of screening are the blood HbA1c (Glycated haemoglobin) levels and the Oral GTT(Glucose Tolerance test ) and Urinary Glucose estimation .

Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Based on the risk factors and associated disease/s ,your diabetologist will chalk out the right treatment plan for you ,that may include -A healthier diet plan ,regular exercise ,weight reduction and oral medications (pills) and/or insulin to help you meet your target blood glucose levels.

In case you already have developed Complications of type 2 Diabetes,like retinopathy , hypertension or angiopathy (vascular disease ) then you may need specialised tests and care accordingly .

This article has been posted in collaboration with Manipal hospitals,the best institute in Diabetes care ,to help spread awareness about Diabetes and its complications.


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

You can do it,if you can dream it !

“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Dreams are important .They are important because they make us unique ,they make us what we are today and what we aspire to be tomorrow  and to some extent what we can achieve through our dreams .A life without dreams is like a plain sheet of paper ,it has no meaning , no significance !

I too have  a dream –That of going to Kailash Mansarovar .Not because of any deep rooted religious sentiments but because of the untouched serene beauty of that place .Maybe the fact that it is nestled at such high altitude is what has been its savior and has helped maintain its beauty and sanctity so far.It seems as if the clear, blue waters of the Mansarovar lake seem to beckon us humans to stop ,reflect and introspect upon the enormity of the  damage  that we have unleashed on this earth because of our greed .

Every few weeks after the rigmarole of the city life ,I feel this urge to pack my bags and "move away "from this systematic, mechanical chaos.Or should I say " move closer "to the country land , to green meadows among clear skies and  vast spaces  where you could wake up to the chirping of birds .Yes, where you could wake up not just open your eyes .I remember during my stay in the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve ,the night came alive with the hooting of the owls and the non-stop chirping sounds of the crickets and even chattering of the naughty nocturnal monkeys .At dawn, as the rays of the morning sun hit my face and woke me up ,I could hear the loud screaming of the peacocks the chirping of the sparrows ,the calls of the cuckoo and so many others that I could not even identify .I suddenly felt alive , the rays of the sun falling on my bare skin felt energizing and innervating .

As I breathe in the crisp, fresh air I want to breathe in longer and harder as if I want to store this pure air somewhere deep  inside of me .I love to just lie down and repose and let all the sights , sounds and smells permeate all my senses .The feel of the soft grass under my bare feet ,the sharp smell of the small flowers blooming in abundance ,the sounds of faraway people ,animals and birds .I want these sounds to bury the other sounds that always ring in my ears  like the ticking of the clocks and the honking of the horns .

There is a thrill in the wild .An anticipation, also a fear of the unknown, of what your next step may bring you face to face with .It may be a beautiful butterfly fluttering off, disturbed by the trampling of the thin flowering stems as you negotiate the winding tracks of the forest, bringing a sudden smile to your tired perspiring face .It may be a cobra, slithering off as you freeze mid track!

As I go back to my city life ,where appointments need to be fixed , schedules have to be met ,places need to be reached – all without throwing a glance around us ,I try to derive tranquility and meaning from that little bit of the forest that I am carrying back with in me .

There was once a time on earth when humans and the beasts could co-exist in harmony .I wish we could find ways to exist without being a threat to all other species on this planet and even to ourselves .I wish more and more people would wake up to the reality of this self –destruction and join in the efforts of conserving our fast vanishing forests.

Well !This is too is another of my dreams !

“I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra #DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!”

Friday, 29 July 2016

A trip down memory lane - My Visit to Mumbai and Shirdi

Mumbai holds a special place in my heart because this is the place where I spent my teenage years and somehow out of the so many cities that I visited so far,I still long for the vibrancy of Mumbai .

After God blessed us with our second child,we wanted  to visit Shirdi to pay homage to Sai Baba .I know many would snigger at this but again there are some feelings that you just can't explain logically ....So when the opportunity arose ,we decided to take a trip from Delhi to Mumbai and further down to Shirdi and back to Delhi .Since kids were accompanying us,we did all the hotel bookings for Mumbai and Shirdi  in advance and then we booked Air India Airlines tickets and flew to Mumbai Once there,a prepaid taxi took us to our Hotel Ameya .

Again,there were purely sentimental reasons to book that hotel .It was the place where I had stayed during my training before joining as a consultant for Dr. Batra's Chain of Homoeopathic Clinics .The brochure had looked promising enough but to my dismay the place was now in shambles but because it was situated in the heart of Dadar and hence well connected to the whole city ,we decided to stay on in that Hotel only .

In front of the Famous Taj Hotel, note the covered monument undergoing renovation post the unfortunate 26/11 attack

The Majestic Gateway of India 

The beautiful Kamla Nehru Garden is famous for its "Boot House" and floral diversity
 The next day we booked a taxi and went sightseeing which included - Siddhi Vinayak Temple ,Haji Ali Dargah,The Hanging Garden,The Tarapore Aquarium ,Juhu Chowpatti beach ,The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (earlier known as the  Prince of Wales Museum )which houses  Indus valley civilization artefacts as well as artefacts from the Maurya ,Chalukya period and modern Indian History.We could easily manage all these places in a day as most were a short distance from our Hotel .

My kids loved the peda prasad (and what a huge variety of peda flavors they had !) at the Siddhi Vinayak Mandir .I was amazed to see the Bandra -Worli Sea link .Who could have imagined this architectural wonder possible a few years back !

The Golden Pagoda on the way to Essel World is a sight to behold

Further on the itinerary were the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Essel world-the amusement park .Essel world was a cherished place for us kids when we lived there and similarly The Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Kanheri caves were an often visited picnic spot for us.

A warm and colourful and musical welcome as we got down from our ferry
The kids were spoilt for choice with games and activities 
The water park in the sweltering heat was a big respite at Essel world

So the next day, we took a taxi that took us from Dadar to Borivali and from there on we took a boat ride called Ferry to Essel world.My kids were squealing with joy as the Ferry chugged into slicing through the sea waters towards Essel World.Luckily,Essel World still is a great place to hang around and my kids and even we adults could not have enough of it .By the time we were done with all the rides ,it was already evening and since the National Park closed by 5 pm,we grudingly had to shelve that programme and the kids were too tired anyways .So we took a taxi back to our Hotel.

Luckily we were in Mumbai in the mango season and our hotel was very close to the market so we indulged in the best Alphonso mangoes throughout the two days that we were there .This was another highlight of our trip.

The Golden Alphonso Mangoes

The same night we took a pre-booked Volvo bus to Shirdi and snoozed our way to Shirdi .We landed there early at 5.30 am and our hotel was a 5 minutes walk from there .Once there,we freshened up and after a light breakfast proceeded to the Darshan which started at 11 am .Unaware of the fact that one  can get registered online for Darshan which could have saved time,the two of us spent about three hours  in the queue taking turns to hold the kids in our laps alternately.

We were able to pay our respects and were out of the Dwarka Mai compound( the place where Sai Baba lived in Shirdi ) by 2 p.m and had a hearty lunch of Misal Pav and Pav Bhaji at The Udipi Restaurant .

A sweet shop catering Pedas and Chaklis in Shirdi

Too tired but satisfied we came back and spent the evening at the hotel sleeping off the evening .At night we ventured out to get our daily fix of alphonso,our golden addiction, but strangely the only fruit available throughout shirdi was the humble guava .
After exploring the city we came back as there's not much to explore except for a few saree and crafts shops there .

The next day we had asked the hotel to arrange a taxi and we set out for Ajanta and Ellora caves , which is about 270 kms away from Shirdi.The economy here  is mostly agriculture based and it was a delight to drive though the red soiled fields .We had Vada Pav (what else ?) for breakfast on the way with cutting chai and finally eached the famous rock cut Ellora caves.It was sweltering hot outside  and inside the huge caves one also felt a bit dizzy but the ruins were marvellous being carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries..It was sad that the acid rains would slowly eat into these beautiful sculptures and maybe there would be no Ellora in the next ten years !
A Yakshika at Ellora

Lord Shiva with his consort Parvati
The life like carved Elephants at Ellora

Imagine carving statues out of a mountain in the 6th century with those primitive tools !

Exhausted from the heat and the hiking and with a Flight Schedule to adhere to,we again had to ditch the visit to the Ajanta caves , a fact that I really rued , for I was very excited at the prospect of visiting the world famous Ajanta cave paintings .
The beauty of these sculptures is beyond words

The Taxi took us to the Aurangabad Airport and from there we took a direct flight to New Delhi .And thus we concluded a whirlwind but memorable yatra .

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Darshan Chaat Bhandar Review

      If you live in North East Delhi , chances are you might be aware of this little shop on a cart selling mouth watering Dahi Bhalla papdi ( a sweet,tangy and spicy indian snack made with fried lentil balls dipped in yogurt and served with green chutney and sauces with some crunchy fried wafers thrown in ).


Location - Since it is a Thela (push cart) there is no permanent address ,but it is located near Rajpur Transport Authority ,on Rajpur road ,near 5/9 under Hill Road ,Delhi 110054 .This is an area close to Civil lines ,Delhi .


Price - Rs 60 per plate , they even pack it for you at an extra charge of Rs 10/- .I must say I was also very impressed with the neat and hygienic packing at par with Halidram's and Bikaner sweets . The portions are generous and a plate is a mini meal .


Ice in the curd not only helps to keep the curd chilled and give respite to the palate but also keeps the the curd from turning sour .


This joint has been operating for many years and the person handling it is very dextrous at producing the chaat with in a minute .Though a roadside joint ,the vendor takes care to keep it as hygienic as possible in such surroundings .


This is the end product of the quick tossing , turning and churning by the vendor .Juicy,soft bhallas and crunchy papdis in sweet and sour curd with sweet khajoor(dates) chutney and spicy green mint chutneys, garnished with sliced ginger and pomegranate seeds . I am sure you will come back for seconds if you love Dahi bhallas .

The finished product at your service 

FINAL VERDICT - I rate it a 4/5 .No minus marks for the taste , minus marks only for it being a roadside mobile joint with no air conditioning and seating .If you can brave the weather and the waiting , you will love this stuff .

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