Not me alone in the no-sugar journey! Part -2

Surprisingly, my ‘no-external-sugar-to-the-diet’ journey is going quite well. No sugar cravings, so it is easier for me to ignore the sugar-laden dessert section, when I am eating out. Yeah, I can now safely say after about 2-months on this journey that I will be able to stick to this long-term.

Do I never feel like something sweet? But of course I do. It is natural, I guess. But whenever I have tried to say have a sweet or a cake, I have disliked the sticky sweetness which fills my mouth. Also since the palate is not used to such high doses of fructose, I tend to feel sick when ever I have attempted to have it.   So then what do I do? I pop few dates or raisins, or even have a spoonful of natural honey ..and voila I feel satiated.

As I heard someone say, “Sugar is not evil, but life is so much better without it”.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I am not alone in my journey of no-sugar. There is even a movie made on ‘Sugar’! THAT SUGAR FILM is coming to  cinemas in March 2015 – it promises to change the way we think about ‘healthy’ food! The movie is one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Guess who is starring in it?  Damon Gameau, the Australian television and film actor who has appeared in numerous Australian movies and also in the US series How I Met Your Mother. 

Hopefully ‘THAT SUGAR FILM’, will get a wider world-wide release, so that a lot more people can see it, and hopefully see the truth?

The trailer of THAT SUGAR FILM…

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Growing up …fast..

A mother always thinks she knows her child, or at least she ‘thinks’ she knows her child. I am no exception to the case.

My teen surprised me the other day. I realized that I did not know how fast he was growing up.

Parents and kids at school were shaken by the news of two sudden unfortunate untimely deaths of young lives in two consecutive days.

In one case his batch-mate lost his mother in a road accident and in the other incident, his friend lost his sister who was on the threshold of beginning a new life with her fiancé.

The evening his friend’s sister passed away, my teen suddenly came up to me in the evening and said he had something to tell me. I sat him down. He broke the news. I watched his face as he did. The still-innocent-child-face looked serious. The news stunned me; it was just yesterday I had heard about his batch-mate! Then he surprisingly forbade me from sharing the news with anyone yet, since he was unsure of how his friend would react. I respected the decision. By next day, the whole school became aware of the unfortunate second tragedy.

With important high-school assessments coming up, the teen is busy trying to wrap up study-portions. It is a busy, stressful time with teachers doing last minute revisions and the kids trying to solve mock-papers. In the middle of it all, my teen came up to me and asked me for permission to go and meet his friend (who had lost his sister) and offer his condolences and support at this trying hour.

My teens sense of empathy and concern, took me by surprise. He is growing up fast, I could see. I was surprised because I have seen many a grown-up not knowing what to do or say, when faced with a emotionally fragile situation. And here my teen was confident about facing such a state. In a sad way I was thankful that my teen was growing up with the right core values in life.

The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt ~ Max Lerner

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My experiment with white-table-sugar….

 My experiments with white-table-sugar


My experiments with white-table-sugar

One fine day I decided to bid adieu to white-table-sugar completely from my diet. So any sugar that I get now is from natural resources, like fruits and dry-fruits. And nope no sugar supplements at all.

Actually this decision happened not too long back, just a few weeks back; On 29th August 2014.

Why did I suddenly take this drastic decision? It was radical because I have had a major sweet-tooth; a sweet-meat everyday was almost a must for me. I used to get a withdrawal symptom if I did not have a sweet, or at least so I thought. I would get a headache!

Ok back to why I took the decision of no-white-table-sugar. Few personal-documented-stories of how no-white-sugar-diet actually made people feel way more active and less lethargic. Also, importantly I was not enjoying the sweet sugar taste as much as I used to enjoy before; many a times I would end up feeling uncomfortable, almost sick.

Has it been difficult? Surprisingly no! I have always enjoyed good Darjeeling-tea sans any sugar and milk, I just have it like that everyday now. Earlier I would put in a dash-of-milk and ½ tea-spoon of sugar, now I put none. The tea-flavors are much sharper and I get to relish the champagne-hue in my see-through-cup way better.  Even the coffee sans any sugar, tasted much better.

I have always liked dark-choclate, so sometimes I have popped in a small bit …that’s been my cheat till now.

Any downsides? Yes! I am unable to eat sweet pastries, cakes, sweet-meats. I feel physically sick; I feel like throwing up.

Upsides any? Numerous: Here go…

  • More energetic; less lethargic
  • No headaches!
  • Calmer ..yes, emotionally calmer
  • Less almost no acid-reflux in the stomach. My digestion seems to have improved. I feel so much lighter during the day.

Challenges ahead: With the major Indian festive season just few weeks from now, it would be a challenge saying no to the traditional mithai ( sweet-meats) which is offered on every occasion as a celebration. Will cross the bridge when it comes 🙂 Till now my journey of  no-white-table-sugar has been great. I have never felt better. Glad to have taken the sudden decision.

On a lighter note, I think I am sweet enough, so makes sense for me to go less on sugar !

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List of Incompletes ~Nithya Shanti

Sharing Nithya Shanti’s post on my blog post, since his words made so much sense and they resonated. Sharing them here instead of saving them somewhere else for a future read, because one never knows may be they would resonate with a few readers who drop by at my blog here?

It has been sometime since I penned my own words, I will be back soon! Till then …

List of Incompletes ~Nithya Shanti 

A few years ago I made a list of “Incompletes”, i.e. all the things which I had begun and committed to and not completed. It was a pretty long list and felt quite overwhelming. Still, writing it was a revelation and a catharsis of sorts. I made an intention to tie up the lose ends, complete what I could and let go of all the rest.

Part of this process involved un-cluttering. I began cleaning up, clearing up and giving things away. My email inbox went from 6,000 mails to less than 25 on average. I simplified my wardrobe to the most essential items that I actually wore regularly. I began giving away a lot of my books that I hadn’t read for years, no longer resonated with or needed.

I once went to a party with suitcase full of books and invited all the guests to take what they wanted – with one condition – they had to tell me why they selected the books they did before leaving. This led to beautiful conversations with many new people and also ensured that they weren’t adding to their clutter by mindlessly taking things without knowing why.

Along the way this powerful quote by Nisargadatta Maharaj inspired me, “The steady resistance to the unnecessary is the secret of success”.

To me this meant learning to say “No” more. I began reducing the number of projects I was involved in and also lovingly declining projects that others wanted me to be involved in by recommending names of others who I felt might be more suited for them. This felt lovely all around. I felt strong because I was being true to my values and inner being. The friends I recommended appreciated it because they got new opportunities as a result.

Last night as I was reflecting I realized I now had no significant incompletes remaining in my life. I was amazed and astounded how the power of intention had brought me to this place of being – light, clear and committed to only that which was most important, significant and true for me. I felt deeply grateful.

May this example inspire a few others to simplify their lives and live free from physical, emotional and mental clutter and to live a life free from the burden of over-commitment.

This is not usually something that happens overnight. It a journey of reflection, healing and letting go, and it can start today.

For those who would like to know more about Nithya Shanti…click on his website.. Here

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Music Magic Tu!

What is it about music that is so magical? This song is so obsessively on a loop, that I had to search for the lyrics and save them and share them on my blog!

Beautiful lyrics penned by Swanand Kirkire ( I honestly was touched by his magic post listening to the songs of the Sri Devi-starred English-Vinglish ). Rendered evocatively by Papon  and Shreya Ghosal.

The lyrics are in Hindi…but written in English.

Tu mera afsana
Tu mera paimana
Tu meri aadat, Ibaadat hai tu
Tu mera muskurana
Tu mera ghabraana
Tu mere gustaakhi ki maafi bhi tu

Tu meri rag rag mein
Tu meri nas nas mein
Tu meri jaan hai, aur tu meri rooh
Tu hi junun bhi hai
Tu hi nasha bhi hai
Tu hi duaa meri, sajda bhi tu

Arziyaan de raha hai dil, aao
Sun lo kuchh keh reha hai dil, aao
Aahatein kuchh nayi si jagi hai
Musiki ek nayi hai sun jaao

Arziyan de raha hai dil, aao
Sun lo kuchh keh raha hai dil, aao

Tu mera afsana
Tu mera piamaana
Tu meri aadat, ibaadat hai tu
Tu mera muskuraana
Tu mera ghabraana
Tu mere gustaakhi ki maafi bhi tu

Tu meri rag rag mein
Tu meri nas nas mein
Tu meri jaan hai, aur tu meri rooh
Tu hi junun bhi hai
Tu hi nasha bhi hai
Tu hi duaa meri, sajda bhi tu

Tu mera afsaana
Tu mera paimaana
Tu meri aadat, ibaadat hai tu

Jaagi si aankhon ko
De do na palkon ki chaadar zara
Rukhe se honton ko
De do na saanson ki raahat zara

In hasin raaton ko
De do na khwabon ki sauhbat zara
Khwahishein ye kahe
De do na apni se ulfat zara

Ranjisein bhul kar chalein aao
Arziyaan de raha hai dil, aao
Aahatein kuchh nayi si jaagi hai
Musiki ek nayi hai sun jaao

Arziyaan de raha hai dil, aao
Sun lo kuchh keh raha hai dil, aao

Bin tere zindagi yuhin bewajah beimani lage
Bin tere zindagi jaise adhuri kahaani lage
Bin tere bastiyan kyun dil ki suni viraani lage
Bin tere zindagi kyun khud hi khud se begaani lage

Marjiyaan mod kar chale aao
Arziyaan de raha hai dil, aao
Aahatein kuch nayi si jaagi hian
Musiki ek nayi hai sun jaao

Arziyaan de raha hai dil, aao
Sun lo kuchh keh reha hai dil, aao

Tu mera afsaana
Tu mera paiyaana
Tu meri aadat, ibaadat hai tu
Tu mera muskuraana
Tu mera ghabraana
Tu mere gustaakhi ki maafi hai tu

Tu mere rag rag mein
Tu mere nas nas mein
Tu meri jaan hai,aur tu meri rooh
Tu hi junoon bhi hai
Tu hi nasha bhi hai
Tu hi duaa meri, sajda bhi tu

Tu mera afsana
Tu mera paimana
Tu meri aadat, ibaadat hai tu

The video of the song..

Pssst! The movie releases on 4th July 2014!

Music is the strongest form of magic 

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People are like chef’s salads

People are like chef’s salads

People are like chef’s salads

People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict 

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Sound of Music at Salzburg Austria

Sound of Music, the popular Hollywood musical was filmed in and around the beautiful city of Salzburg

Sound of Music, the popular Hollywood musical was filmed in and around the beautiful city of Salzburg

Most tourists /visitors to the city of Salzburg, get reminded of immensely popular 1965 Hollywood musical, The Sound of Music when they visit the city. The reason is obvious; the immensely popular musical, which continues to enthrall audiences even today, was filmed here.

Notice how I refer the co-relation of tourist/ visitors with the popular musical? Well, because for most true-blue residents/ Austrians the musical does not have much impact. Is it because they disliked the musical? No, they liked their version (which was closer to truth and more real) of the Trapp-family story based on Maria’s memoir, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, written in the late 1940’s.

The 1950’s German movie ‘The Trapp Family’ was one of the most successful German films of its time. The Austrians loved it for its authenticity; the Hollywood version was really glossed over. (For eg, the Captain in the Hollywood musical was shown as very stern and uptight and strict with the kids, in reality Captain Von Trapp was a gentle soul, very attached to the children. Maria is fact was not as friendly and gentle as shown in the musical! (Sigh, I was really disappointed to know this fact; I have so loved Julie Andrews as Maria).

The musical The Sound of Music was based on the Von Trapp family who were popular in Austria for their musical talents. Also, while visiting Salzburg we were told, that Austrians really got to see the Hollywood musical only about 18 years back! So now you see, why the general Austrian or Salzburg-resident does not connect the beautiful city with the Hollywood musical.

There is truly so much more to Salzburg, than just The Sound of Music location sightings, but I will come to that in my later posts.

What about those who do connect Salzburg with the popular musical? Well, you can experience the sights, the sounds, and the locations where the filming was done via different tourist-service providers! Having experienced the services of ‘Salzburg Panorama Tours’, I would definitely recommend them. Their tag line says, ‘Proud to be operator of the original Sound of Music Tour’.

Stop by at the lake made famous by the boating scene. The Captain's backyard in the movie. Notice the Captain's house in the distance?

Stop by at the lake made famous by the boating scene. The Captain’s backyard in the movie. Notice the Captain’s house in the distance?

A 4-hour-guided tour, Panorama Tours takes one around almost all the popular locations sights where the filming of The Sound of Music was done. Take the tour and pretend to be Maria Von Trapp for some time! It’s especially fun when one ties to dance on the steps of the Mirabell Gardens (where part of the Do-Re-Mi song was filmed) or steal a kiss at the famous gazebo (I am sixteen-going-on-seventeen song was filmed).

Pretending to be Maria Von Trapp near the famous gazebo of The Sound of Music

Pretending to be Maria Von Trapp near the famous gazebo of The Sound of Music

We sang the songs from The Sound of Music, as we traversed the Austrian countryside to visit the sight locations in the outskirts of the city. Oh! It was such a delight, I tell you. You obviously need to be a fan of the musical to enjoy ‘The Sound of Music Tour’.

I love all the songs from the musical…but this one I particularly love!

Good Times, Good Music, Good Memories 

For those who would like to know the real-story of the Von Trapp family…a short documentary

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