Friday, 24 May 2013

My summer toture


Dilli jal rahi hai......uff!!! Its almost 46 degrees in Delhi....and my car ac has decided to connive along with the weather and broil me alive. The service center says they are going to charge me 10 grand to fix it....and this is after charging me 5.5 K for servicing and 3.5 k for battery change.
Anyway, let me not bore you with the tragedies of my life….let’s take on the topic on hand…..The Heat!!!!
Save yourself! Apparently one cannot escape this heat even in the supposed cooler climes of the hills. The temperature in places like Simla and Manali is also above 35 degrees. Now that sounds ridiculous.
I was so depressed in the morning when I saw that the new tomato plant that was blooming in my balcony is almost about to shrivel up and die. The small green and a few orangish red tomatoes are also losing their plumpness and hanging like bean bags to the plant. And this is after I have bought that green cloth to give them partial shade in this harsh killing sun. The most saddening part is that I never got to taste the tomatoes of my own garden (I like to imagine the potted plants in my balcony make up a mini garden)
Again I a, digressing.....so the main point is.....it's hot....and we need to protect ourselves. This is just the beginning of the season of diseases. Heat stroke is topping the list right now but as the weather will give way to rains and humidity all sorts of water borne diseases will also be knocking at your door......so.....my top tips for the summers.....to keep you cool...and healthy:

# don't drink water from a source whose purity you are not sure of
# don't eat anything that is not cooked in hygienic and trustworthy conditions
# don't even eat home cooked food that has been kept in the fridge for more than a day. With the electricity playing truant you can't be sure if the fridge had uniform cooling the entire day or not
# avoid non vegetarian, fried and heavy food
# opt for salads and vegetables
# increase the intake of water. Remember your body sends the thirsty signal only when you have ignored your water needs for too long. So drink before you feel thirsty

These are some very basic points.....more like common sense. I am sure we all have it.....but ignore it.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Create awareness against patents too Angelina.....please!!!

Angelina Jolie carries a faulty gene......BRCA1.....a gene that increases her risk of developing breast cancer by 87 percent and of ovarian cancer by 50 percent. This made her take the decision to undergo double mastectomy. 

For the uninitiated mastectomy refers to the procedure of removing breast. In simple terms.....Angelina Jolie got both her breasts removed to save herself from cancer. Devastating as it may sound.....but this decision just might save her life. 

Now a simple question is.....how can she be sure that she does have such a high risk for cancer.....well....we are told the BRCA gene analysis test can tell you so. But as Angelina puts it....the test is too expensive....making it out of reach for most women.  3000 dollars or about sixteen and half lakh rupees.........the cost is not the only factor....since an American biotech company hold the patent for the two genes that increase risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

In India......this kind of testing might not be a reality for a long time as there is still a legal battle being raged in the American Supreme Court against these patents. 

So while Mrs Pitt has a safer future and has done her bit in increasing awareness about this gene......we have to do our bit to increase awareness about the artificially created high cost and unavailability of a test that could save millions of lives. 

The debate of patents is ages old.....the companies say if they don't have patents.....they don't make profits.....that means no R and D ( research and development)......that means no new drugs. Where as critics of patents claim that these companies push up the costs and make them out of reach for the masses and also the patents hamper further scientific research by other entities. 

A recent Supreme Court ruling in India denied Novartis patent on a new version of a cancer drug. The company had made some minor changes that the SC didn't see as innovation and refused patent. Thus allowing many companies to produce cheaper copies of the drug. 

Angelina's story has once more made the patent debate more obvious.......made me question at least. Is medical innovation only for those who can pay for it.......why does Angelina get to play with her 10 or 20 adopted kids while some mother in Africa is putting up her kids for adoption because she is dying of cancer.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Big on binge!


Everyone has one of these days........the day that begins with bingeing....and ends with bingeing. I had mine today. Started the day with a cup of tea and a sensible helping of extremely nutritious and wholesome poha. Doesn't sound that bad.....does it? Well....then I chased it with two pieces of hazelnut chocolate and also decided to give into a couple of spoons full of my favourite indulgence.....peanut butter.

So the day started bad....but I am hoping it won't end bad. That's why I decided to type my way out of this bingeing. I am hoping this will distract me enough.
But I do have some tricks up my sleeve to escape these binging bouts.....let me share them with you. 

Every time you feel the urge to eat something threatening to take you over........try these tricks

# try drinking a glass of water....cold water works for me.....in fact sipping iced water keeps me engaged for a long time.
# iced tea or lemonade are more interesting options but try and keep the sugar off
# try brushing your teeth....the minty flavour helps
# try having chewing gum....if you have any
# distract yourself with Internet ( like I am doing right now) it really helps
# dust the house, clean the tiles, call a friend....do anything to keep your mind occupied

Bingeing is the result of an idle mind not hunger. Remember that!!!!! 

Lastly if nothing works......fix yourself a healthy snack...... :) yes yes! One multigrain sandwich won't hurt you. 

Ok, now I got to go and fix myself a sandwich ;)