Dec 5, 2015

Desert camping in kuwait

Those who live in Kuwait know that there is nothing much to see around.There used to be this rock formation in Khiran but now unfortunately that too is inaccessible , thanks to the construction of the new city around an artificial waterfront We just thought it must be some mud and sand piled up solid only to find out at the scientific aquarium that the rock formation in Khiran is millions of years old . Im glad before they sealed it off.....I got a chance to climb and photograph myself on it.

Recently hubby took some time off and I decided to dry my eyes out searching for something new to see in kuwait.Something that doesnt drain your wallet dry . A chalet is a 120+ kd a day....a day at the resort usually means one has to book a room at the hotel to enjoy personal beaches and swimming pools.In case anyone of you reading this post knows of great spots around kuwait....do leave a kind recommendation in the comment box.

So I came across this place called Jedalliyat.If you type this name in english...you will never find it.But Im leaving a link below and the bird mark is the Jahra reserve and thats jedalliyat.The site describes it in detail and as usual...people arent allowed in without the proper permissions.

http://www.kuwaitbirds.org/places/jahra-pools-reserve-jpr


We were heart broken but were happy to know that we now know of 2 reserves in kuwait and its a great thing.Im all for a green kuwait and after having lived in concrete jungles here in kuwait since birth..Im glad there is still some form of greenery around.

From there, I found out about this place called AL Mutla ridge.Just type so and you will get a map to the very picnic spot.I thought we would be the only people there but to my surprise, people were coming in and out of the place.Once you cross the weather balloon that looks like a plane of sorts...you climb onto the next bridge and drive left and you can see a road that goes up the peak.There is some repeater station there and pipes are being laid and there is a KOC company I think a little ahead.Thus, the road.It would be good if you have a SUV but I have seen sedan cars go over those high bumps as well.

If you like the desert...this is the perfect spot.It was extremely windy...I mean I kept thinking anyone weighing 40 kgs would just fly off the peak.Its Jal al Zour by the way.The view is absolutely stunning.Im a desert lover and  like my husband...so we are super comfortable around sand.You can even see the jahra reserve from there.....its amazing.

Heres a link from a couple of travellers to that very place and after that I put in my own simple pictures which I took yesterday.Hope you guys enjoy your trip.Since its super cold...people wear and carry a lot of warm clothes.Every hair follicle on my head was shivering.We can take 50 Celsius calmly but 10...we freeze to our very bones.

https://alohakuwait.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/mutla-ridge-the-iraq-border/

And the great part...my pictures.....











Oh some camel herders had beautiful white camels running around grazing on some greenery sprouted due to the recent rains.You could rent the ATVs there too.....at the base of this peak...you can have horse rides.....I think there was a donkey too...not sure though....there are a few mobile bakalas selling basic BBQ items like coals and all...There are no bathrooms and toilets.So if anyone in the car feels the need, you can use the toilets at the petrol stations which are devoid of hand soap and tissues.Gotta carry your own there.Learnt from personal experience.If you intend to sit for a couple of hours, it would great to carry portable tents around.We literally travel with our diwaniyas in our car.












Loving me.....



This has been a difficult topic ....Like till I got married I never loved me.I thought I was ugly, dark and hated my pictures being taken.My entire college life I was friend zoned by the opposite sex and thought I wish I had long hair...I wish I had fair skin....I wish I was thin...I wish someone called me beautiful.I could never accept a compliment....I would think in my mind...."yeah.... Go ahead and pity compliment for my ugliness."A video on youtube brought back so many memories.......Even as a child..I called fat and ugly and I felt so left out when people complimented my sister all the time.

Never do that to someone....I do get scared of piercings and extreme tattoos and gothic fashion..thats because I hardly get to see them and when I do..I have no idea how to react.

It all changed when I met my husband.He constantly reminded me that I was a beautiful person inside and out.As I gained some confidence in myself...I grew my hair long.I was told long hair looked bad on me..but then I did.....I was surprised.I started taking care of myself and then in time , started thinking..I should love me for who Im and only when I accept Im gorgeous.....



Dick Solomon from 3rd rock from the sun......I loved his dialogue...."Oh my God, I'm gorgeous"....so different but confident and totally into himself.eheheheheh....

Beauty is but skin deep as the phrase goes....but there is nothing wrong in appreciating the beauty...just like this girl did in the video below.I would totally react that way if someone called me beautiful.....tearful and wouldn't believe it....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW8BDgLpZkI


Please watch this video.........Its beautiful and so is everyone else in it.....

Jun 7, 2015

Ramadan cooking - Potato Crouquettes

Ramadan cooking - Kabsa rice

Ramadan Food Part- 1 Intro

Ramadan is 10 days away and as usual, as it approaches every year,so many things have to be put to order.

Firstly, for those who are diabetic and have certain diseases, the medications and their timings get altered,so I think many people consult their doctors as the first few days can be very difficult.The sugar is going down...Blood pressure gets unstable..but most of us...have all these sorted out already.

Secondly, making prayer a must in my routine.Now to be frank I make it a priority to do my prayers and read the holy book as much as possible.I abstain from some of my favourite things and a change of lifestyle happens like my hubby quitting smoking during the day.

Thirdly, cooking.What to cook???? A question every woman asks herself.There was a time when iftari was all about stuffing our faces with pulaos and biriyanis and heavy stuff,trying to replenish or make up for all the hours you didn't hog.In the end,we just gained weight and what should have helped you lose some pounds become the romantic affair of eating and piling the pounds on.

Anyways, lots of people have gatherings they attend.Families or friends coming over or inviting us over to open fast.Over the years, we have changed the way we eat especially during Ramadan.

Why am I boring anyone reading this....we are here for the food! I love to cook and try out recipes,so always on the look out for improving My skills ,be it cutting or cooking.Just to bring a change in the usual food,I have decided to put up cooking videos I watch on YouTube of these amazing people who have a great passion for cooking,are foodies and put out recipes for daily cooking,simple cooking or extravagant, sweet or spicy or savoury.

But I will put up recipes that are more Indian or Pakistani or Arab.I love sweets but being diabetic wont put up those videos.Also,I ain't putting up the normal recipes that we generally cook.I hope you will enjoy these posts from these women and men.



May 4, 2015

Smart phones

Everyone owns a smart phone...from the security guard to a maid to people in offices ...everyone.We are enslaved to this technology which is only here to stay and wont go out of our lives anytime soon.I just recently got my first smart phone and to be frank,once I got the hang of it...I too am addicted to my phone.But not the extent ,yet, That I need to click pictures of the food before I eat unless its very special or new...ahem ahem...yes...I heard that !!!!!!!!!!!

Anyways..i came across a bunch of posters online which pretty much explain this zombie life we have accepted in the name of smart phones being our first best friend.With Internet, the era of handwritten letters went away...so much so that people use auto correct at all times because they are unsure of the words they typed in the sentence or the grammatical errors.

They don't need discussion coz the poster says it all.....







Actually with the above poster...I would have loved to own a camera back then to make a record of some beautiful moments of history like a rare animal or plant or some new discovery or anything that taught about the ancient times...that which we only decipher now.

Sad reality...cant speak for other countries or wont...but it does happen .And its very unfortunate....

Feb 9, 2015

Yoghurt

I don't think there are very many homes that don't have yoghurt.Yoghurt is a one goodness which you can either get at the local market or make it yourself at home.Good yoghurt being the one with cultures.Most yoghurt that we get in the market always says there is some prebiotic culture in it ,which is a good thing.

Now the beauty remedies that I'm going to mention here includes yogurt as a main ingredient.Just for reference...yoghurt shouldn't be too runny.If you have sort of runny yoghurt, you can always take a cheesecloth or clean cotton cloth, throw in the yoghurt,tie into a pouch and hang it over the sink or in a colander and let it drain overnight or for a couple of hours. The resulting yoghurt is thick,super creamy and ah ! so beautiful to hold in your hands.


Besides yoghurt being used in main courses and salads or as a drink...it has other wonderful uses.You don't have to throw it away just because the date will be up the next morning.


OK to the point now: 

Sunburns and Tans: Well, they say its not good to sit in the sun without protection and there's a technique to Tans.I'm an Indian ,so I have my all natural tan.Anyhow.....come back from a trip at the beach....apply or lather on some yoghurt over your face and body and leave it so for 15 minutes.Then wash it off with cool water.You can add a bit of turmeric powder or haldi to the yoghurt if you want.

Moisturizer: can give good moisture to your skin...so if you have dry skin or blotchy skin...try this remedy.

Acne: It says its great for acne.I wouldn't know about acne coz I have combination skin and break out rarely.But if you have acne, apply yoghurt and keep it on half an hour and wash it off with cool water.

Wrinkles: It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles.It contains Alpha-hydroxy acids which is good for the skin.

Hair: It works as a conditioner and prevents dandruff.Apply on hair and keep it on for 25 minutes and then wash it off with mild shampoo.If you have frizzy hair, this is absolutely fantastic.I have personally tried this,so its fabulous.I can vouch for that.

Top 7 benefits of Curd for Hair Shining

  1. Apply the paste of curd  and gram flour into the hair roots. This prevents hair loss and dandruff problems.
  2. The mix of pepper with curd, if use for head wash twice or thrice a day, provides shining, soft hair and also helpful in overcoming of dandruff.  This mixture strengthen the hair and prevent hair fall.
  3. Curd is responsible for healthy hair, silky hair, smooth hair and overcome dandruff.
  4. Apply curd cord on the scalp and left it for 20 minutes. Wash it, helps to give shining  and free dandruff hair. Curds provides many nutrients for silky hair.
  5. Apply the paste of curd and methi  powder over your scalp, left it for some time and wash it. It is good for your shining hair.
  6. If somebody needed shining hair, it is advised to use the paste of curd, henna and eggs.
  7. To overcome the problem of  dandruff,  you may use the paste of curd and lemon. Left over the scalp for 20 minutes and get shining hair.

Fenugreek - Kitchen medicine

I have barely hit my 40s and I have so many health issues that sometimes I laugh at myself.I'm like a melting pot of every illness.With the kind of lifestyle one has made oneself used too....diseases like diabetes, hypertension,cholesterol ,uric acid...these are household names nowadays.But back when I was kid...it was like grandma has diabetes..or great someone has something.Lets face it....we are what we eat.We no longer have access to organic food...we have fruits and vegetables that are available in every season..thanks to genetic engineering or whatever...we have fruits and veggies that are larger,shinier and look more plastic than real.Since these things are beyond our control as we live in concrete jungles..we can always revert to age old remedies our grandmothers used and spoke about and we ignored cause we were the educated and modern generation who leaps for things rather than walk for it.

Let me not make this a lament for our bad choice of food consumption and go in directly to the topic of the day...fenugreek.

I had a total hysterectomy last year and I'm in my mid 30s ,due to medical long standing medical problems.So I was plunged into menopause overnight.I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypertension almost a decade back.Because of my menopause, I suddenly had high sugar levels and my blood pressure was always more than 140/90.I didn't go for the hormonal treatment as my Gyni suggested I better not go the therapy as I had just weaned off of prednisolone ,which I take for my rheumatoid arthritis.

So since I have started taking overnight soaked fenugreek seeds in water every morning, on an empty stomach,with every passing week,my blood sugar is going down (getting better) and losing a little weight too.Blood pressure is still a bit cranky but hopefully that too shall get normal.I stress a lot over nothing sometimes...oh the fenugreek seeds...

So here's the benefits which I have copied from various sites.Please read and inshallah,it may prove helpful to you or someone you love.

Firstly, This is fenugreek seeds.

South Indians use this very often in most of their sea foods and herbal medicines.....so it isn't greek to us....


We add the leaves to some of the dals and eat it as well.They are absolutely delicious.

Fenugreek seeds have been found to contain protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and diosgenin (which is a compound that has properties similar to estrogen). Other active constituents in fenugreek are alkaloids, lysine and L-tryptophan, as well as steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin).

What are the Benefits of Fenugreek?

Due to its estrogen-like properties, fenugreek seeds have been found to help increase libido and lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause and PMS. In India and China it has also been used to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems (wounds, rashes and boils), treat sore throat, and cure acid reflux. Fenugreek also has a long history of use for the treatment of reproductive disorders, to induce labor, to treat hormonal disorders, to help with breast enlargement, and to reduce menstrual pain. Recent studies have shown that Fenugreek helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and may be an effective treatment for both type 1 and 2 diabetes. It is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits.

Uses of Fenugreek

HOME REMEDY FOR BALANCING CHOLESTEROL

Studies have found people who took 2 ounces (56g) of fenugreek seed each day had significantly (around 14 percent) lower cholesterol levels after 24 weeks, and had lowered their risk of heart attack by more than 25 percent. Therefore, a recommended remedy for lowering cholesterol is to take 2 ounces of seeds throughout the day. The seeds can be sprinkled onto prepared food, or they can be consumed with water if they are in capsule form.

TREATING DIABETES AND LOWERING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

Studies have shown that participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating fenugreek seeds. Therefore, a recommended home remedy for treating Type 2 diabetes is to consume 500mg of fenugreek seed twice daily.

HERBAL CURE FOR SKIN INFLAMMATION

Research has shown that Fenugreek is an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, and gout. Therefore, a simple skin inflammation remedy is the following:
  • Take a spoonful of fenugreek seeds and grind them into a powder.
  • Mix the ground powder with warm water.
  • Take a simple piece of clean cloth and soak it into the mixture.
  • Apply the soaked cloth directly onto the affected skin as a poultice.

NATURAL CURE FOR HEARTBURN AND ACID REFLUX

Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine. Therefore, for an effective remedy against heartburn or Acid Reflux, simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds onto your food. Another option is to take one teaspoon of seeds and swallow them with water or juice before any meal.

HOME REMEDY FOR FEVER

The Fenugreek herb has been known to help reduce fever when taken with lemon and honey, since it nourishes the body during an illness. Therefore, to treat a fever, simply consume one to two teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds three times a day along with an herbal tea (such as green tea) with a teaspoon of honeyand lemon juice. Some health food stores also sell herbal Fenugreek teas, which can be used instead of the green tea.

BREAST ENLARGEMENT

Fenugreek is often used in many teas and other products that help balance women's hormones and/or enlarge the breasts. Therefore, a simple home remedy for breast enlargement is to make Fenugreek a part of your regular diet. A common suggestion is to consume up to 3g of Fenugreek seed per day.

REMEDY TO EASE CHILD BIRTH FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Fenugreek stimulates uterine contractions and can be helpful to induce childbirth. However, pregnant women should only use this remedy for inducing labor after consulting with their doctor.

REMEDY TO AID MILK PRODUCTION IN LACTATING WOMEN

Fenugreek has been known to increase milk production in lactating women. Research has even shown that milk production can increase by over 500 percent within 24 to 72 hours after consuming this herb. Although it is not known why this happens, researchers speculate that the oil contained in fenugreek seeds plays a role. Therefore, a recommended remedy to increase milk flow is to consume one capsule of fenugreek seed (at least 500mg) three times a day.

What are the Side Effects of Fenugreek?

While Fenugreek is generally considered to be safe when used moderately, there have been reports of a few minor side-effects. Nausea is one common side effect, while other people have reported gastrointestinal discomfort (diarrhea and/or gas). Also, when using this herb topically on the skin, it is important to watch out for skin irritations and rashes.

Fenugreek use during pregnancy is not recommended, since it has the potential to induce labor. If you are pregnant and wish to take it, you should do so only after consultation with your doctor.

If you are currently taking any oral medications, you should always use this herb at least 2 hours before or after these drugs. This is important since Fenugreek fiber has the potential to interfere with the absorption of oral medications due to its mucilaginous fiber (which gives it a moist and sticky texture).

Where and How to Buy Fenugreek

Fenugreek is often available in capsules, seed, and powder form at many health food stores. The seeds can also often be found at Indian/Pakistani grocery stores. You may also be able to find packaged Fenugreek herbal tea bags.
Ways that I consume fenugreek seeds:
I soak half a teaspoon of the seeds in a little warm water overnight.In the morning the water will be slightly yellow to the color and you can drink it on empty stomach an hour before anything else.
Also you can add a little of seeds into your black tea and have so.
You can dry roast them in a frying pan,taking care not to burn it, and then powder it up.Add a little of it over yoghurt or anything else or eat it just like that in the morning.
I hope this piece of information has been helpful .

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