Detox, Food, Health and fitness, Introspection, Work life balance

Fitness Diary – Day 5

Intensive work calls, sick child at home, and kids’ dentist appointment – that was my day today.

I had my aha moment this morning when I realized that all this week I have slept well. A nice deep slumber for 8 hours. I have not had this kind of consistency in sleep pattern in a really long time. I thought it was attributable to the stress associated with the business of adulting (cooking, cleaning, nagging,… etc.). That might still be part of the reason but I think the true culprit is my caffeine intake. For whatever reason, I just assumed that my body is immune to caffeine. That an increased intake would not affect me as much. Apparently not. The amount of sleep I get seems to be indirectly proportional to my caffeine intake. Lesson learnt..!

Today’s focus was on nostril breathing three times per day. That is, close one nostril with the thumb, breathe in slowly. Close the other nostril with the pointer and breath out slowly. I did it twice when I was getting stressed out at work. I have to practice more to see if it works or not for me. The way I look at it, atleast it is better than escaping from the situation by surfing, whatsapping, facebooking etc.

Eats – ok. Baked potato for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch, a long list of snack (green tea, corn on the cob, nuts and raisin, apple), and dinner was split pea soup and grain based bread with home made basil pesto spread. Grapes and fig for dessert.

Hydration – did ok I think. Sleep – 9 hours of fragmented sleep. I liked the one hour of no screen time prior to bedtime. Jogging – 17 mins. 

What I am thankful for today?

  • TGIF. Amen to that!
  • I am thankful that intensive work calls are not the norm in my work life.
  • I am thankful that I could afford the luxury of keeping the sick child at home without having to take the day off. I am thankful that the sick child did not hinder my productivity at work.
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Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Introspection

Fitness Diary – Day 4

Oh boy, leading a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. I tell you, it’s  a full time job! No wonder, I keep falling off the wagon so very often. Nonetheless, it is a goal worth striving for. Baby steps, consistent efforts, incremental results. I tell myself, one day I will get there.  Even if I don’t, it’s worth trying and failing.

Today’s focus in the workshop is avoiding screen time for an hour prior to bedtime. This is very hard for me because that’s the time I spend catching up on pending work stuff, personal emails, writing blog posts, and watching T.V.  I don’t think I can do it on a daily basis. On the flip side, I see value in that idea. I am in front of the laptop for the most part of the day.  I keep wishing that I read more and spent more time with the kids, which is currently non-existent. May be this is an opportunity to see those wishes come to life – may be I can avoid screen time for half an hour before bedtime for 3 to 4 days during the week?  

Eats – not too happy, my portions were not good. Breakfast – chia seeds with fruits and nuts, lunch – good old quinoa salad, snack – poha with a mug of rasam, dinner – vegetable adai.

Exercise – 20 mins jogging. Meditation – 9 mins. Mind still wandering but came back to the present more often too. The sounds around me anchor me in the NOW than the breath. Hydration – again, didn’t count but I have a feeling I met the quota.

Things I am grateful for.

  • My cleaner. As I have written here before, I am fond of her. I am thankful that she cleans my house every fortnight. She does a better job than I would in half the time I would take. One big reason I am able to do volunteering activities is because I get to outsource the cleaning.  I also get the satisfaction of having made a small difference to someone’s monthly earnings.
  • Thank God for dosais and adais. For some the repetition may be boring, but for me it’s a life savior. Eating healthy, tasty, fresh, home cooked, gluten free, wholesome meal that can be made without too much planning as long as you have the batter ready. And how many variations one can make with them! Thankful for South Indian cuisine that makes gluten free diet possible for me.
  • My thanks to Da for taking care of dinner and giving Ram his bath tonight. I had to take care of pending work mails during dinner time to be able to  honor the one hour no screen time stipulation. All I had to do was ask him..!

Hope you are all well in your neck of the woods.

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Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Me

Fitness Diary – Day 3

With all the banging, drilling and thumping in the house due to construction activities, the day seemed busier than it actually was. It was a noisy day, literally and figuratively.

Eats – went ok. Same oats and berries for breakfast and quinoa salad for lunch. Had roasted poha-nuts-raisin for snack. I missed my evening tea but hanging in there. Dinner was dosai with avocado filling, and beans and sambar on the side. The workshop calls for gluten free menu, so no wheat based products. Dessert was mango and dried figs.

Exercise – 20  mins of jogging. Meditation – 9 mins. Hydration – didn’t keep count but I think I hit the 8 cups mark.

Today’s focus in the workshop was sleep. How well do you sleep? Is getting to bed a challenge for you? You all know that I need my 8 hours of beauty sleep. If I don’t get it, I end up in a vicious cycle of crankiness, high caffeine intake, general lack of discipline, and sleep debt. I don’t get the 8 hours of sleep on most days because either my commitments are demanding or the day has been so intensive that I need to unwind with some Netflix binging. While I cannot always control the former, I can manage the latter. I think I should practice hitting the sack before 10:00 every night.

Things that I offer gratitude for today.

  • I had three work calls today and I made the bad decision to work from home. Thankfully, the construction related noise was not as loud when I had to speak during the call.
  • My thanks to the wonderful wonderful world of podcasts. How would I manage all the dishwashing and the cleaning without the entertainment? In particular, I am thankful to Gretchen and Liz for their weekly Happier podcast, their podcast truly makes me happy. It’s like bantering with your girlfriends. It’s light but not fluffy.
  • Last but not the least, I am thankful for the Nutriage workshop. I have made some incremental lifestyle changes as result of this workshop over the years. And in the short-term, it gives me the focus and discipline I need to get back on track when I go astray.
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Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Introspection, Wishes

Fitness Diary – Day 2

After faltering, falling flat on my face, rising up only to fall flat faster and harder in August, I have taken up the two-week nutrition workshop. God bless the nutritionist for coming up with these seasonal workshops! As part of the workshop, we are are suppose to maintain a daily journal, reflecting on what worked and what didn’t, and express gratitude for three things every day.  I jotted yesterday’s thoughts on google plus. But switching to my blog starting today. 

Today’s focus in the workshop was hydration. For my weight, I am suppose to drink 8 cups of water. I don’t think I had 8 cups but definitely drank more than what I normally would. My eats were ok – oats with fruits for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch, banana for snack, and adai with sambar (poor combination, I know! But truth be told my adai is more like dosai than adai ) for dinner. The banana snack did not cut it out, I need to have something more substantial. I had sugar and caffeine withdrawals late evening. A couple of dry figs made a difference. Meditated for 9 mins – the mind was all over the place but it was peaceful just to sit in one place. I jogged for 20 mins today.

Three things I am grateful for today.

  • I had a productive day at work. Thankful that I could maneuver around a crisis situation at work and could knock of some critical To Dos.
  • Today, my childhood friend’s son turned 15 years old. I can’t believe 15 years have gone by just like that. I feel fortunate that I have been part of this child’s growing up and I am mighty proud of the fine lad that he is blossoming into…!
  • The 87 degrees outside – loved that I could could go out wearing my old salwar without having to worry about a pullover or sneakers.
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Inspiration, Introspection, Learnings, Little Moments, Me, Reading, Uncategorized, Us

On reading

We were resting in the tent indulging in the leisure that a beach trip rewards you with. I looked up from my book and declared to nobody in particular, “Poor Mr. Darcy. All because he was an introvert!” My unintentional and sudden outburst elicited uncontrollable giggles from my offsprings. After the amusement settled down, the first born quizzed, “Who is Mr. Darcy”, the second born questioned, “What does an introvert mean?”  Their questions were lost on me, as I had long delved back into the world of  Lizzy, Darcy, Jane and Bingley, oblivious to my curious boys. They gave up and ran back to the waves. 

It felt so good to be lost in this world that Jane Austen had built that it was a sweet burden to pull the mind back to where the body was. What fine writing!

The reading experience was reassuring because I was beginning to wonder if my love for reading was just a figment of my imagination; something that I made up in my mind. Perhaps I liked the idea of reading more than reading itself?  I felt like an imposter when I borrowed books from the library. Finally,  I feel liberated from those self-doubts! For sure, I can say, I too love reading!

A couple of weeks back during our road trip, the conversation meandered to reading styles and habits. I told the family how I tend to take a long time to warm up to characters and story plot. That I read the first few pages very very slowly, and at some point, there is a flip of the switch and the pace picks up. Hari, who likes to read books in one sitting, said he has a different style. “I love reading the first portion of any book. It is so exciting to get introduced to all the characters and see the story unfold. It is in the middle that I slow down.” Da, who is a very fast reader, commented that for him it is the last part of any story that slows him down. And not wanting to be left out, the voracious reader of the family, our Ram, piped in, “I don’t slow down at all. I like reading the first, the second and the last part”  Atta boy! I thought to myself. Not necessarily for what he said on his reading style but that he made his opinion matter. A lot of times, may be because he is small relative to the rest of us, we overlook him on subjects that involve deeper discussion but he always stands tall,  makes his voice heard, and weighs in with his thoughts. Never ceases to surprise me. Anyway, I digress.

This discussion was a revelation to me. It made me cognizant of my reading style and helped me figure out why I have been reading less. The first few chapters requires that I stick to the book, so it can grip me.  Without understanding that piece, I have been expecting to instantly immerse myself in the story and have ended up feeling utterly disappointed.  I am not sure I got my reading mojo back but it is good to know that there is some mojo left.

What is your reading style? Do you ever suffer from a reading block? What are you reading? What is next on your list?

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Experiences, Hari Katha, Little Moments, Milestones, Uncategorized

The adult in the child

It’s hard to pinpoint whether it’s the age, the gender, the birth order or his personality, Hari has a protective streak in him. You can see it loud and clear when he is with his little brother, but it is beginning to shine through when he is around me as well. It’s sweet, endearing, and heartwarming.

It was one of those evenings when we had flash flood warning with thunder and lightening. As predicted, the evening was rather messy. I was returning from dance class and as soon as I came home, Hari heaved a sigh of relief, a smile spreading on his face. “Are you ok amma? I was so worried for you with all the thunder and lightening outside. I am happy you reached home safe and we are all under the same roof.”  We gave each other the tightest of hugs that night, he out of relief from seeing me safe and sound and I from getting a glimpse of the adult in my sweet lovable child.

The construction workers were working on the kitchen window, which was a few feet away from the restroom window. I was articulating my reluctance aloud “Oh boy, looks like I just have to hold it in today till the workers leave. I don’t feel comfortable using the restroom with them working right next to the window.” A few minutes later, Hari came up to me. “Amma, the shutters are already down. There was a little see through, I stuffed our hand towel there so nobody will be able to see you from outside. You don’t have to worry now amma.”  I was pleasantly taken aback by this unexpected gesture over something that I said lightly without actually meaning it. If it had come from anyone else including Da, I would have gotten all righteous and unaccepting. I am very capable of protecting myself and problem solving, you know?  I don’t need anyone to save or protect me. But with this son of mine, I see the act for what it is; a basic instinct to protect someone you love and care. And I lapped it all up.

He is growing up, inside and out. And what a privilege it is to be such an integral part of it, seeing it unravel right in front of our eyes.

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Experiences, Experiments, Family, Little Moments, Memories, Milestones, Us

Solar Eclipse 2017

The total solar eclipse of 2017 was an underwhelming experience in our part of the country. From what I saw on the live streaming of the eclipse, for folks who experienced it first hand, it was spectacular and profound – the temporary darkness smack in the middle of the day, the sudden chilling of the air, and the realization that we are all connected by this cosmic energy. I can only imagine!

We too had our share of fun. Yesterday, Da had made a contraption out of a carton for our viewing. It was super fun parading in and out of the house to catch a glimpse of the sun and the moon playing tango.

I hear we will be in the path for the next total solar eclipse in 2024, so better luck to us then.

See that crescent shaped sun? 

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