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Golden Milk aka Haldi Dhood

Golden Milk aka Haldi Dhood

While waiting in line to grab my latte at my favorite cafe earlier this year, I overheard two other fellow coffee enthusiasts discussing the latest and greatest item on the menu called “Golden Milk.” Because my curiosity always get the best of me, I decided to ask the Barista to give me the 101 on this pretty insta-worthy Golden Goodness. The barista described the drink as “a warm drink made from steaming milk with aromatic turmeric powder and spices.”  

 

After I walked out of the café, I realized that the Barista had just described “Haldi Dhood” also known as “Golden Milk,” which has now become the new craze in cafes around the globe. For centuries, this so-called “Golden Drink” has been part of Ayurvedic medicine and is a staple medicinal drink in many Indian households. Back in the day when people didn’t have access to or couldn’t afford conventional over the counter medicine, this Golden Milk was the godsend solution to combat many serious health issues.

 

Many refer to Golden Milk as a “Super Drink” as it has many health benefits and is often used as an alternative remedy to boost immunity and treat chronic diseases. With its anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties, Golden Milk is very beneficial during the winter season because of its use in treating colds, coughs and several other respiratory tract infections.  It is also used to treat digestive problems and helps relieve gas, bloating and acid reflux. Additionally, Golden Milk is a great source of calcium, which is a necessary mineral to keep bones strong and healthy. The presence of calcium helps in combating arthritis pain and inflammation. This golden goodness can also assist in improving blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. With many countless magical prolonging life benefits, it is no wonder that Golden Milk has gained a cult following everywhere. Below is a simple recipe:

 

Ingredients:

•  2 cups of milk of your choice (dairy, coconut, or almond)

•  1 tsp turmeric

•  ½ tsp cinnamon powder 

•  Pinch of ground black pepper

•  Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder

•  Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

•  1 tsp raw honey to taste (optional)

Instructions:

1. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.

2. Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.

3. Drink while it’s hot

 

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Diwali, Dharma, and Resistance

Diwali, Dharma, and Resistance

As another Diwali approaches, we reflect on what Diwali means to us. The story of Diwali is nested among two timeless forces: light and darkness. Indians see it as an opportunity for a reset to the mind, body, or spirit. It’s easy to let the momentum of your life take you into a rabbit hole of thoughts that convince you that the path you are on only leads to darkness. Diwali reminds us that the paths to light were there all along.

The mind is capable of so much, yet there are times in our lives that we forget that it is capable of placing filters of darkness over our everyday experiences.

There’s this voice that emerges telling us that we’re not good enough, that we can’t overcome a challenge, or that the struggle is too much for us. In Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, he labels this voice as  “resistance”. He mentions that we must fight it anew everyday. Diwali is about the battle against our internal resistance. Your inner resistance prevents you from actualizing your path through the light.

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In science, we use the past as a way to predict future outcomes. The mind can use the past to create future misery. The paths paved by light remind us of our ability to change our relationship with the past, and ultimately use it to create a better future.

Simple things like forgiving yourself can function as a neurological life-hack. You can improve the quality of your life and align it with your dharma. You aren’t married to your past. It doesn’t have to be part of your personal ethos or part of your neurological system. It (the thought) isn’t you, and those neurons don’t have to keep firing.

As we focus on the spiritual benefits of forgiving ourselves, there are physiological benefits to this as well. You’ll reduce stress and anger, which can both cause or worsen diseases. The technical definition of forgiveness doesn’t revolve around perfection; it’s about developing and increasing understanding of situations that lead to hurt or anger. It’s about taking less personal offense, reducing anger, and not looking for blame. It is a stepping stone on the path to a growth mindset.

Planning is important, but it can often lead to paralysis by anxiety. We have to take that first diligent step. The step towards Diwali serves as a reminder of strength, diligence, and patience. Moving back towards the light can help us get out of our comfort zones and start a new chapter.

We wish you the best in your journey towards the light.

 Quote Forgiveness

 

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How to Make the Ultimate Smoothie

How to Make the Ultimate Smoothie

With summer in full swing, now’s a great time to start a new healthy habit! One great way to get more fruits and vegetables into your day, and one of my personal favorites, is by making smoothies. Smoothies are a quick and easy way to make sure you’re getting tons of important nutrients and fiber into your daily diet! The 3 key components to any great smoothie are fruit, greens, and liquid. Amounts and ratios of these 3 ingredients will vary depending on your preference. But as long as your smoothie includes all 3, you’re sure to have a nutrient rich meal right in your hand!

 

Let’s start at the beginning. Fruits, and especially berries, are packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber! Adults need 2 cups of fruit per day. Putting fruit into a smoothie helps you get the recommended amount in a fun and easy way. I like to use fresh and frozen fruit in my smoothies. Adding a fresh fruit, like half a banana, makes the smoothie extra creamy. Frozen fruit is also great because it saves money and time! Frozen fruit is picked and frozen at peak freshness so you get the optimal amount of nutrients Here’s a tip: stock up on your favorite frozen fruit when it’s on sale. Not only will it save you some money, but you won’t have to worry about your produce going bad! Using frozen fruit also means you don’t have to use ice cubes which saves you a step in the smoothie making process. About half a cup of fresh fruit and 1 cup of frozen fruit should do the trick to make your smoothie flavorful and creamy.

 

Next is the greens. Putting kale or spinach in a smoothie may seem a little scary, but trust me! Adults need 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day, and that includes leafy greens. Once they’re blended up, all of the other fruits and add-ins will mask the flavor of the greens. So, if spinach or kale isn’t your thing, just give it a shot; you can barely taste it! Adding 1 cup of leafy greens to your smoothie will increase its nutrient content and cover a large part of your recommended vegetable intake for the day.

 

Now we need to get that creamy smoothie consistency. Adding a little amount of liquid will make your smoothie extra thick; adding more liquid will make it smoother and easier to drink through a straw. Depending on the kind and amount of liquid you use, you could be adding some healthy protein to your day too! Adding yogurt or milk will make the smoothie extra rich and incorporate some protein into your day. Try using half yogurt and half liquid if you want! Start with a little and add more liquid as you continue to blend. You can always add more liquid, but you can’t take it back. Don’t be afraid to try different things to find what works best for you!

 

Lastly, there are some extra add-ins that you can put in your smoothie to make it your own! Things like honey, peanut butter, protein powder, cinnamon, ginger, chia seeds, and many others could really take your smoothie to the next level by adding more nutrients and flavor! Smoothies make a great on-the go- breakfast or snack. Here’s another tip: prep your smoothie the night before in the blender and put it in the refrigerator. Then, in the morning, all you have to do is take it out and push a button! Smoothies are all about trying new combinations and experimenting with different ingredients and ratios. If your first smoothies doesn’t come out so great, try again the next day! Soon you will learn what works for you, what combinations you like the best, and what consistency you prefer. Happy blending!

 

SB TABLE 1


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How does India use social media?

In India, around 462 million people are online. That’s only 34.8% of the total 1.3 billion population, but India has the second most social media users in the world. Since 2015, the country has experienced a 30.5% increase in social media users.

 

 

Mobile data, or access to the internet on a smartphone, has become affordable and ubiquitous in India. In 2017, 1.06 billion persons, 79% of the population, had a mobile subscription. Just by looking at those numbers, we can say that accessibility of the internet in India will become widespread in the next few years.  

 

As per the 2017 statistics, there are more than 260 million social media users in India. Among those active users, Facebook is the most prominent social network with around 241 million users. The next largest social platform is LinkedIn which has 42 million users. The third largest network, with 23.2 million active users, is Twitter. Moreover, Google.co.in is the most visited site in India, followed by Youtube.com.

India - Largest user base of Facebook

 

 

Social media users in India spend most of their time on Facebook. India has the most extensive base of Facebook users with 241 million users followed by the United States with 240 million users.

 

Rajesh Prabankhar, an analyst, reports that users of social media in India are mostly young urban males below the age of 34.

LinkedIn – 42 million users in India

LinkedIn is the second most popular social network in India with 42 million users. It is just behind the United States which ranks number one regarding users.  

 

The business head of LinkedIn in India, Hari Krishnan, said in an interview that the use of mobile devices has changed a lot in LinkedIn users’ behavior. They mostly focus on four key things - user profiles, inbox, groups, and status updates.

YouTube – The second most visited site in India

 

 

Many young people in India are running YouTube channels. They have become full-time YouTubers and are turning it into a profession.

 

If we talk in broader terms, video consumption is also on the rise. YouTube is the second most visited website in India as per Alexa.   

Isn’t Twitter famous in India?

Only 17% of the total social media users in India use Twitter. However, we have witnessed an increase in the number of Twitter users in recent years. Presently, Twitter has around 23.2 million active users per month.

Who is famous on Twitter in India?

Based on follower count, here are the top 3 accounts on Indian Twitter:

 

1.       Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi: 41.9 million followers

2.       Indian film actor and producer Shah Rukh Khan: 34.8 million followers

3.       Indian film actor Amitabh Bachchan: 34.0 million followers

User’s behavior in India

According to a report, the behavior of social media users in India is not dissimilar from rest of the world. 53% of users look for sales and discounts, 50% of users wish to know about industry trends, and 48% wish to seek advice on using or maintaining products and services.

Biggest brands in India

Facebook

The most prominent brand on Facebook, according to Socialbakers, is State Bank of India. State Bank of India has the most number of fans with 15,221,645 likes on their Facebook page.  

 

The second most popular brand on Facebook is Samsung Mobile India with 156,507,479 likes on their page. Tata DoCoMo comes in third with 12,827,231 likes on their Facebook page.

Twitter

 

 

The most popular brand on Twitter is the Indian commercial bank Yes Bank with 3.33 million followers. Number two is Ridlr Mumbai, a mobile ticketing app, with 3.1 million followers. The State Bank of India is also a famous on Twitter with the third largest follower base of 3.24 million followers.

Most innovative social campaign on social media

The 2017 campaign “Indian Food League” was run by the snack brand Hippo. It was simple, but the idea was innovative for Indian fans. The focus was on India’s love for cricket and putting regional dishes against each other.

 

The campaign was run in 2017’s cricketing season and depended on the understanding that families and friends eat together while watching cricket. Using Facebook and Twitter as the hub of their campaign, the company encouraged users to comment on a virtual chalk sheet that shows the day’s menu.

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Lohri - A Winter Time Delight

Lohri - A Winter Time Delight

India is known for holding colorful festivals that pay homage to the changing seasons, Lohri is no different. Lohri is held on January 13th of every year and provides another beautiful opportunity to rejoice with and cherish your family and friends. It’s primarily a Punjabi festival celebrated in Northern India but, people from all around the world take part and relish in Lohri activities.

 

Lohri celebrates the passing of the winter solstice. This signifies that the shortest days of the year have passed and, with more daylight hours to come, it also symbolizes the alleviation from the dreary winter.

The History of Lohri

Source: Twitter- Ghanchi Media

 

Lohri is an ancient festival with roots in the history of the Indus Valley Civilization. It’s incorrectly believed that Lohri marks the end of peak winter chills, and welcomes spring. However, it actually signifies the harvest of the Rabi crops.

 

‘Fire’ is a prominent element during Lohri. It stands for fertility, energy, regeneration, and spiritual strength. Fire is so popular that some incorrectly believe that Lohri celebrations present an occasion to worship the fire deity, Agni.

 

Source: Newsx

 

Bonfires are held across the land. They represent Agni and people pray to the Sun god for favor and protection. Worshippers use this time to show gratitude towards the Sun god for providing warmth to the Earth. They throw foods into the bonfire like peanuts and til (sesame), gur (solidified sugarcane juice), and rewaries (an Indian sweet made of til) while dancing merrily around the bonfire and singing folk songs in unison.

 

It has become trendy for newlyweds to throw sesame seeds into the fire in hopes that they will have a child. For this reason, families with new brides and grooms normally show even more zeal during the Lohri celebrations.

The Indian Robinhood – Dulla Bhatti

Dulla Bhatti's grave at the Miani Sahib Qabristan in Lahore. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Lohri doesn’t just depict a seasonal change or the harvesting of crops. It also is a commemoration of the legendary character ‘Dulla Bhatti.’ Folklore tells us that Dulla Bhatti (shortened from ‘Abdullah Bhatti') took from the rich to give to the poor. He also saved young girls from forced slavery among other acts of heroism.

The presence of Dulla Bhatti dates back to the reign of Mughal Emperor ‘Akbar.’ Akbar allegedly executed Dulla Bhatti for his revolt. Dulla Bhatti adopted two young girls ‘Sundri’ and ‘Mundri’ whom people remember through Punjabi folk songs such as ‘Sunder Mundriye’.

How Do People Celebrate Lohri?

Source: Pressks

 

Lohri celebrations are similar to traditional Punjabi-Indian customs. People wear colorful clothes, sing folk songs, and dance to express their joy. Children wake up early and go door to door singing the folk songs. People reciprocate by rewarding the children with money. In the evening during sun down, people gather around the bonfire. They throw in sesame seeds, peanuts, and puffed rice into the fire to express their devotion and gratitude.

 

Various delicious traditional dishes made from seasonal food items mark the day. The famous makki di roti with sarson da saag is the preferred dish for dinner. The til rice, gur, rewari, and gajjak are usually served as desserts.

 

The celebrations do not end with Lohri. Rather, the festivities extend to the following day as Maghi, as known in Punjab, or Makar Sankranti, as named in the other parts of the Indian subcontinent.

 

Lohri is one of the few Indian festivals that follow the solar calendar while the other follow the lunar cycle. Lohri provides a much-needed occasion during the peak of winter to celebrate with the family and reunite with those we love.

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