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Month: November 2016

Terminal Illness and Death- Quality or Quantity, the Debate Goes On

Terminal Illness and Death- Quality or Quantity, the Debate Goes On

What’s more important to You, Quality or Quantity of Life? How far do we want to go to prolong our lives?

What a complex life!! Amidst the web of relationships I am entwined in, I am caught in this strange cycle of life and death. Where birth brings in joy death sure does bring sorrow.  But strangely, in my 36 odd years of existence, I have learnt that not always must death bring in sorrow. I have had situations in life when the death of my loved one has brought in an altogether different feeling. It is that unique feeling of relief and sadness mixed together.  At such times, you seldom shed those tears of sorrow, but give a sigh of relief instead, thanking God that the life has come to an end. Strange isn’t it, but I have experienced this weird feeling twice in my life.

Appa’s last few years were a fierce battle- with cancer. And it was not only his, it was all of ours. Metastatic colo-rectal cancer has a poor prognosis with only 5% of the cases crossing the five year mark, post diagnosis. I still remember the doctor telling me this. Yet, we decided to go ahead with the fight. Despite the multiple surgeries, and numerous rounds of Chemotherapy, Appa didn’t make it to the five year mark. Amma and I still ponder over the fact whether it really was worth fighting such an aggressive form of cancer, ‘cause despite the treatment prolonging his life by a year or so, it did reduce the quality of his life drastically, and also burnt a big hole in Amma and Appa’s savings. A healthy Appa was reduced to a mere frame.

I still remember the last day of his life. As the body began the process of shutting down, I sat by his side rubbing his palm that was turning cold by the minute. The cancer had spread through his body and the pain it caused is indescribable. As I sat there that night, I said those silent prayers hoping those few traces of life would leave his body soon. Every minute of pain, seemed to be a lifetime. And finally after more than twelve hours of moaning in pain, Appa slipped away slowly.

I was glad his life ended!!!!

My Paati was the kindest souls in my life. I still remember my childhood days spent in her lovely little home in Chennai. The kitchen would be stocked up with the most yummy savories and sweets and every meal would be a surprise.  She did belong to a generation that was far healthier. No wonder Paati outlived many family members who were younger than her, finally closing her eyes at the age of 97. Despite having lived a contended life, her last few months were spent simply lying on the bed. Unable to move, due to a stroke, she would have pipes to feed her and an attender who would take care of the body and its needs. It seemed to be a mere existence as Paati slowly failed to recognize any of us. It was a painful sight to see the woman who taught me so much, to be motionless. For some strange reason, her life clung on to her body, refusing to let go. Unable to see her that way, I would secretly pray the ordeal ended. And finally when it did, I gave a sigh of relief!!

Advancements in modern medicine present us with opportunities to live longer lives and keep life threatening diseases at a chronic stage for longer periods of time. But is it worth being kept alive in this way? Just how far do we want to go to prolong our lives?

It’s truly tough determining this, because there is no one right solution. The process of knowing what you want may take time and deep reflection as well as conversations with your loved ones. Of course we all want our loved ones to live for eternity, but prolonging life and living life are two totally different things.

Isn’t quality of life more important than quantity???

Book Review- The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna

Book Review- The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna

So folks, she’s back again! And this time not as the columnist who tickles those “Funny Bones”, but as a fiction writer, well, a short story writer to be precise. Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs. Akshay Kumar is out with her second book. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad hit the stands a couple of days ago.  Her earlier work of non-fiction, despite all the negative criticisms, did quite keep me entertained. This time around, Twinkle Khanna brings four women-centric short stories packed into one paperback. With 287 pages I managed to complete it entirely in one sitting. It indeed is a light read.

Let’s get to the first story, about young Lakshmi Prasad – a simple narrative of female empowerment in rural India. It is the story of courage and hope when Lakshmi stands up against the patriarchal practices in society and guides them to look beyond. Noni Appa, in the second story finds love blossoming in her life during her twilight years. The third story of Elisa finds her searching for love over multiple marriages. But the most inspiring of them, is the fictionalized story of the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, inventor of low-cost sanitary napkin machines. This Padmashri Awardee and his life have always intrigued me. It was a pleasure to read a story loosely based on his life.

All the stories broadly touch upon issues concerning women, their rights and concerns,mixed along with Twinkle’s signature style humor. Fairly simple writing, except for the use of unnecessary “superfluous” adjectives at junctures in the story. The underlying issues the book addresses isn’t something we haven’t already heard about. But of course they do need to be spoken about repetitively in a patriarchal society such as ours!!

So did I like the book? I wouldn’t really call it a great piece of fiction, but definitely appreciate the attempt made by Mrs. Funny Bones.

The art of writing short stories requires a certain skill, of being able to invoke the right emotion in those few pages and lines. And this is where Twinkle’s stories fail miserably. I wasn’t drawn to the characters nor did they leave a lasting impression. The writing was indeed simple, but it seemed more like fictitious commentary. Her tongue-in-cheek humor seemed way too out of place in many parts of the story. Though I was glad the stories had a happy end to it, they seemed blur and hurried. Agree that these are short stories, but the rate of build-up of the story and its winding up, just didn’t seem to correlate.

The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad failed to leave a lasting impression. Twinkle Khanna is surely better at writing weekly columns. Fiction doesn’t really seem to be her forte.

Weight loss with Truweight-Review

Weight loss with Truweight-Review

Heard of Super Foods? Surely, it is a commonly trending word, and if you are those health conscious individuals or, are in a weight loss mode, it’s definitely not a new term. Consult any nutritionist and he could well give you sermons on the advantage of including these in your daily diet. Garlic, blueberries, spinach or grains, technically a super food is one that is nutritionally dense, and hence considered to be good for one’s health. They are mostly plant- based but in recent times, dairy and fish have been included too.

Super foods, entered my life, when I was desperate to lose that post pregnancy flab of mine- without compromising on the nutritional element of my diet. In fact, I prefer referring to them as a “Super Diet”, instead of just individual super foods. The “Super diet” emphasis is on a healthy, balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods. I stress on eating a variety of foods, to ensure I get enough of the nutrients my body needs. No crash diets for me or weight loss pills either. It’s all about a balanced diet along with my daily dose of morning walk to energize my body and mind.

Getting to Truweight

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Truweight is a weight loss company that helps people dealing with obesity, lose weight with nutrition counseling. Their expert team of nutritionists will counsel either online or at their weight loss centers to advice on diet and regime, without the use of any weight loss pills or belts.

Nutrition and diet is key in losing weight. And Truweight understand this. It brings in over 35 such super foods working purely on getting one’s diet right. It guides you to consume the right kinds of food, keeping in mind health as well as focusing on losing one’s weight.

What’s your body kind?

Aren’t we all different? In every single way-physically and mentally. So shouldn’t weight loss methods too be as per our body kinds? Truweight thus provides expert weight loss consultation and optimal diet suggestions as per one’s unique body type. You could meet their expert nutritionists who will analyze the body type to ensure effective weight management.

Super Diet with Super foods- My Experience and Review

It indeed was a generous package that I received from Truweight. The super diet kit is designed by food scientists, who have tweaked the common daily foods making it a winning Truweight formula. The variety is good with tastes that sure do tickle buds. I set myself a target of a week, where I included the snacks and healthy options into my diet.  I must say, I loved the taste and it did leave me feeling lighter and refreshed. Here are the options I tried.

The Breakfast Option 1478758191746Quinoa Dal Dosa: This teeny-tiny, grain-like seed packs some serious nutritional prowess. With a mild, nutty flavor and a texture similar to rice quinoa is one of the only grains or seeds that provides all nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce themselves. And it’s filled with protein. The Quinoa Dal Dosa is a ready-to-cook mix. Mix it half an hour prior to cooking. And enjoy a healthy and protein rich breakfast every morning. A perfect alternative to the traditional dosa.

Soulful snacks

Love your mid-morning snacks? Yet feel guilty about consuming that packet of namkeen? Try one of these. They are healthy and tasty too

1478759515814Fruit Trail mix: With up to 50% less fat, the mix is loaded with nutrition and includes roasted and flattened Bengal gram, green gram, puffed pearl millet, flax seed and melon seed. So eat without the gilt.

Oats mixture: Yet again a healthy option loaded with the goodness of roasted Oats.

Quinoa and seeds mix with Jalapeno seasoning: Contains quinoa, amaranth and various seeds like sunflower, peanuts, and flax and melon seeds. Quinoa and amaranth are traditional gluten-free foods which have been celebrated as mother of all grains by old civilizations. The snack contains mono- & polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, several vitamins like B-group vitamins, vitamin E and crucial minerals like Magnesium & Selenium.

For the Sweet Tooth

Granola Bar: Made up of rolled oats, jowar and nutty almond, this crisp bar is perfect for that sweet tooth craving.

Protein rich granola ladoo is specifically formulated to provide protein & fiber the two nutrients which are lacking in modern day diet. It is a source of beta glucan from oats. Enriched with honey, almonds & sunflower seeds, it is a tasty way to meet hunger cravings between meals.

Beverages

Teatox: Teatox is a good combination of green tea and herbs. It improves metabolism and helps in detoxification.

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Hibiscus tea: A refreshing herbal tea made from the dried crimson-petaled Hibiscus flower. It is enriched with vibrant color, flowery aroma and rich flavor. It contains vitamin C and anthocyanin. It is a good option for replacing regular tea/coffee.

Shake a day: A delicious drink filled with the goodness of whey protein. Rich in branched chain amino acids, whey has a high Protein Efficiency Ratio.

Amla drink: is a source of vitamin C and promotes metabolism and healthy digestion.

Exercise contributes only 20-30% to weight loss. Rest of the 70-80% comes from your diet. If you keen on not only losing weight but also eat and live healthy, super diets may well be your option. Try out the Truweight’s approach to weight loss evaluating your overall health by making customized meal plans and guiding you at every step to lose weight.

Please note: You are not advised the program if you are pregnant or lactating. Anyone with any major medical condition should consult their physician before starting this program.

Male Contraceptive – Shouldn’t Men Shoulder The Responsibility For Contraception Too?

Male Contraceptive – Shouldn’t Men Shoulder The Responsibility For Contraception Too?

My  post featured on Womens Web.

Trials of a male contraceptive were recently abandoned when a handful of men experienced side effects deemed ‘minor’ in women on contraceptives. Is this fair any more?

“Phir se?” I gasped as my domestic help announced the news of her pregnancy. She did look weak and tired. Three pregnancies and two abortions had practically reduced her to a mere frame. Savitha has been a part of my household for over five years now and over these years, from being the typical memsaab; I had become an elder sister of sorts to her, and she would often seek guidance.

“Savitha, Your body is too weak; you may not be able to sustain the pregnancy or an abortion. It’s a big risk.” She lowered her eyes, as I said this. They spoke volumes…..

Read the rest of the post here : Male Contraceptive – Shouldn’t Men Shoulder The Responsibility For Contraception Too?