Review : Birdsong – The organic Cafe

“Let’s visit that organic cafe!” are the words of my friend who was keen to try this place, but the funny part was we just knew only so much about it! So on doing some “Zomatoing” we find out the place and we were all excited to visit this place coz we are a bunch of health freaks with a soul of foodie;)

“Let’s visit that organic cafe!” are the words of my friend who was keen to try this place, but the funny part was we just knew only so much about it! So on doing some “Zomatoing” we find out the place and we were all excited to visit this place coz we are a bunch of health freaks with a soul of foodie;)

D-day arrived and we finally landed at Bandra, the hub of all the good life, but wait where is this cafe? so this was one of those days where google maps said arrived on location and yet I couldn’t locate the cafe. From opening maps , I finally stuck to opening mouth! And yes I succeeded in finding it. The place is tucked in a bylane opp Mammagato, a small path filled with Graffiti takes you to this Rustic place .

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The interiors have got a raw and fresh appeal which spells minimalism. Its got a quaint feel and as you enter you see a showcase with in house bakes and cookie jars. So I had already made up my mind about sampling some. So we ordered “the Green detox smoothie”, “Roast Chicken and toasted sesame” ,”Warm roasted vegetables and feta salad” and Finally my most awaited “Gooey chocolate cake”.

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The Green smoothie was refreshing with the right consistency and flavour. It was perfect for the likes of people who are on a DIET! The salads came in next, and for the first time , I found the vegetarian salad more tasty than my chicken one. The warm vegetable salad gets a ‘thumbs up’. The zucchini was grilled to perfection with drizzle of olive oil. Again a very healthy choice! And then the Dessert was a Killer! I loved the gooey chocolate cake coz it had a very succulent sweetness of dates which came in with every bite .A must try for those who are a fan of natural source of sugar.

All in all this place got me disappointed with its location and interiors, and the name got me interested in knowing about thier organic farm but they are 70% organic, so I skipped ordering the coffee. But the “Vegie salad” and off course the “Cake” took away all the may I say “Datey points”!

Must Visit if you are on a strict diet and want to still chill in Bandra. Tough Decision but we made one 🙂

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Makar Sankranti 

Today is the Festival which brings people together to celebrate the beginning of Uttarayan. The Shishir rutu with it’s winter chills is part of The “Aadaan Kaal”. This is the time of the year when the body’s strength or “Bal”, capacity for digestion is at it’s peak. Hence, the “Agni” or digestion capacity is at its best and especially with the drop of temperatures the body strives for heat, that is food converted into energy. 

Sesame seeds and Jaggery is used to make Laddus, chikki and A special stuffed roti. There is a special custom of wishing everyone with a “tilgul”, to forego all bitterness and welcome the sweetness of festivities into our hearts. “Sesamum Indicum” is heaty in nature and is hence apt to overcome the seasonal changes. The oil from these seeds is used for consumption in cooking , as well as an excellent lubricating agent for the body. Hence Oil massages are recommended with this oil.

Makar Sankranti is also the festival of kites, where people of all age groups gather for Kite flying. It is a funfilled activity which goes on for as long as the sunshines. It’s great fun to see so many colourful kites flying high in the sky.

At Home it is a feast of sorts, as we eat the delicious “gul poli”, roti stuffed with jaggery sesame seeds mixture and also a special subji made of the fresh seasonal vegetables called the “Bhogichi bhaaji”. Being a true Foodie, it is the amazing food that keeps me waiting for this festival. 

Wishing you all a very happy Makarsankranti! 😄 

Seeking “Lord Dhanvantari”

National Ayurveda Day! What a splendid occasion, especially for me who is a fresher Graduate of Ayurvedic Medicine, it gives me immense pride to be a part of this announcement. A moment which celebrates Ayurveda is an achievement not in terms of Creditability but Recognition and a tool to spread Awareness.

I am super excited to do my first Dhanvantari Pujan! It’s a memorabilia from Kerala, the framed picture of Lord Dhanvantari, purchased at the exhibition of International Ayurveda Conference that I attended earlier this year. Dhanteras from this year on wouldnt only mean Diwali but so much more.

 

‘Explore the Treasure’

“Panchakarma!!!” You Must have often come across this sign board on various occasions, maybe in your own locality, maybe in context to Ayurveda, maybe heard with Kerala, maybe seen on the glossies or maybe while surfing the net. I am sure most of you have a very unclear picture of what it really is and how it works,and had I not been from this field I would have also been one of you. Amidst all this confusion the real essence is somewhere lost and to seek it’s miracles it is very important to be found in time. 

First of all, it’s got nothing to do with “Karma” really but the act in itself is the reason for it being called ‘Panchkarma’. Ayurveda, Panchakarma and Kerala go hand in hand,and especially with all those fancy resorts where some of these treatments are offered at the Spa, where you can pick and choose from an array of options is just another misleading situation. 

Let me enlighten you about this very form of treatment which has been practiced for a very long time. It aims at maintaining and creating a balance of the bodily ‘Doshas’ or constitution. The aggravated doshas are withdrawn by preparing the body for the Panchakarma and eliminated during the course of treatment. This is all planned by the Vaidya in accordance with each individual’s body type, season, age,underlying ailments and doshas . A set of rules are to be followed before,during and after the treatment to maximise the results and reap the benefits. 

The treatment which comes under ‘Panchakarma’ are Vaman, Virechan, Basti, Raktamokshan and Nasya. The elimination of the constituents causing imbalance is through the external orifices. This brings back the equilibrium of doshas,good health and enhances immunity. So next time you hear of this word don’t get startled, share what you just learnt and don’t rethink to experience this treatment. 

TIP: Experience the essence of Panchakarma under a vaidya. Get a ‘prakruti parikshan’ that is analysis of body type according to Ayurveda when you meet me in person. This will benefit you to know indepth of your daily choices.

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‘Who am I?’

Everytime I meet someone new pleasantries are exchanged followed by my introduction, which mostly consists of name,my vivid interests,my school, college  and most importantly my education. I believe a self introductory session should only consist of all this. I cringe Everytime someone asks me about “oh so what does your father do” or “so which caste do you belong to”, does that mean you are weighing my identity based on these facts or would this help you in drawing a conclusion if I behave in a certain way?or are you going to verify if my father’s profession would land you any free perks? In my opinion a first meeting is a building block of any relation and therefore get to know the person rather than just making it seem like an interrogation! 

I love to meet new people, and the whiff of a new friendship changes into an aroma of a strong bond. Every equation brings with it a trove of emotions which are unique, touching different streams of the same soul. Valuing the people who impact us in so many ways is an art. Since a relationship is a two way effort, where two individuals set the equilibrium rolling, it’s only obvious for both to contribute. Yet acceptance is a very difficult thing to do, for we look at things the way we expect them to be and this is the problem area. Once we accept ourselves, accepting the other individuals becomes easier, although over a period of time. 

My current introduction is something I had dreamed of for a very long time and to see it add up next to my name is the beautiful reality. In a years span of hardcore internship, I am going to reap the sweet fruit in my hand, my “bachelors of ayurvedic medicine and surgery “. The animated expressions I got during the course of my degree when I was asked of my studies were quite a variety. There are so many doubts and preconceived notions that I really wish I could solve them all. Yes we are entitled to practice Allopathic drugs, we are also formally trained to do the basic life saving procedures apart from the Ayurvedic medicine being our strong point. Chawanprash is just one of the ayurvedic preparations, Ayurveda is so vast that a lifetime might fall short to understand all the indepth texts. Its our ancient medicine and we should be proud of it, but Belief cannot be bought, so if you don’t have faith in a certain pathy its chances of treating you are bleak. Only a tryst with ayurveda can enchant you. 

TIP: Never suppress the natural urges of body like micturition, defecation, sneezing, thrist, hunger, belch, yawn,tears, vomiting,sleep for it leads to many diseases as mentioned in texts as “Adharneey Vega”.

‘Live it up’

We all love to have a certain kind of Lifestyle,the one that suits our sensibilities to the “T”. We like to be the master of our ship.Some of us call it routine, and it decides exactly what is to be done when and how. “Aayushyo veda, Ayurveda”, that text which tells us about Living and everything to live it well.

Sometimes I wonder how did the Acharyas manage to study in depth so much about Life while they were alive, but what will  surprise you the most is that all of this still holds true in totality after so many years and they gave away this treasure to a fulfilling life. They didn’t even put us through a treasure hunt, maybe that’s why we are taking things so lightly.

The Daily regimen is mentioned as “Dinacharya”.The phrase ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise’ although not written in ayurvedic text but makes perfect sense, that is waking up early at “Bramhe murta”,around 4 am to 6am. This practice not only prevents concerns like constipation but also the other diseases which are an outcome of it, as ‘constipation is the father of all diseases ‘.

Having an early start to the day instills a sense of achievement in itself. The atmosphere is clean and peaceful. The concentration levels are at peak and the most of this time frame can be made by utilising this time to bathe,then meditate,chant or study. Unknowingly you would realise you have extra time in hand and would lead to better time management.

“Abhyanga” or the oil massage plays a vital role in the proper functioning of joints and lubrication,it also takes away fatigue and improves sleep. So ideally it should be taken everyday but in our busy schedules,we should take out time atleast once a week for it. It makes a great deal of difference and can be done by self or under trained therapist.The rubbing of fine powder called as “Udvartan” is followed next, which works like a body scrub,improving the tone of body. “Snaan” or bathing is an important everyday ritual and it is a means of purification not just externally but also mentally. The water used should not be too hot or too cold, preferably lukewarm water,especially on the body above shoulders use only cold water and below it suitable hot water. Also never take a bath after having meals. If these rules are not followed it may disturb the normal functions of body.

These are just a few aspects of following the ayurvedic lifestyle. Ayurveda believes in living a healthy and balanced life,thus preventing the diseases and if at all they occur curing them for good. As ‘Prevention is better than cure’, the equilibrium of doshas and strengthening of immunity is the core principle of ayurveda.
TIP: Living a good life is important and the cost of this is just making a few minor changes in our lifestyle to welcome the boons of ayurveda. Starting from today, lets live it up to have the best of life ahead.

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