6 Easy Homemade Body Scrubs For All Skin Types

What comes to your mind when you think of pampering your skin which suffers due to the harsh sun’s rays or to get rid of the dullness caused by the dust particles blocking your skin pores or the heavy pollution that steals the glow away from your face? Beauty experts will tell you that exfoliation is the best way to remove dead cells, rejuvenate your skin and bring back your natural glow.

Another piece of good news is that you can do it easily by using homemade body scrubs made with natural ingredients. Due to the abrasive nature of the scrub, which is vigorously massaged onto your skin, all the impurities get drained out leaving it clear, polished and refreshed. A body scrub can also help in improving your blood circulation and is believed to fight cellulite.

scrub

It is very important to keep two things in mind while choosing the right kind of body scrub for yourself:

First, know your skin type and secondly, choose the right ingredients that will suit it. To make this easy for you, we have put together six homemade body scrubs that cater to almost all skin types and needs. You can choose the one suitable for you and enjoy a spa day at home.

 

1. Brown Sugar Body Scrub (Sensitive Skin Type)

 

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (solidified but soft)
5-6 drops of any essential oil (rose, lavender, jasmine will gel perfectly)
1/2 tea spoon of Vitamin E (optional)

Procedure and application:

 

Take a bowl, mix all the ingredients together till you obtain a wet sand consistency and store it in a jar. Massage it on your skin properly or use an exfoliating brush and move in circular motions on your skin. Wash it with lukewarm water, dab your skin with a warm towel and don’t forget to moisturize your skin after you are done.

 

Benefits:

 

Brown sugar is less abrasive then raw sugar which makes it suitable for sensitive skin types. It facilitates relaxation, removes dead skin and even white heads.

2. Coconut Rose Sea Salt Scrub (Dry Skin Type)

 

body scrubCoconut Rose Sea Salt Scrub; Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Himalayan sea salt (you can use sea salt, Himalayan sea salt is just pink in colour)
1/2 cup of coconut oil (solidified but soft)
1/2 cup of dried crushed rose petals
5-6 drops of rose essential oil

Procedure and application:

Mix all ingredients together and apply all over your skin. Wash with lukewarm water.

 

Benefits:

 

It gives you a fresh glow, exfoliates your skin, facilitates blood circulation due the abrasive nature of salt and induces relaxation.

3. Coffee Body Scrub (Antioxidant Value and Fights Cellulite)

Ingredients:

1 cup ground coffee
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
5-6 drops of essential any essential oil (optional)

Procedure and application:

Mix all ingredients together and apply all over your skin. Rub in a circular motion for deep absorption of the nutrients and cleansing. Wash with lukewarm water.

 

Benefits:

 

The aroma of coffee incorporated with vanilla or other scented oils creates a very relaxed and a soothing experience and exfoliates your skin as well. Antioxidants in coffee can help in preventing premature ageing and are believed to fight cellulite.

 

4. Green Tea Body Scrub (Oily Skin Type)

green tea scrubPhoto Credit: Pinterest

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of brewed green tea
1 1/2 bag of green tea (not brewed)

Procedure and application:

Take a bowl, mix all the ingredients together till you obtain a thick paste like consistency. If your mixture is too watery, add more sugar to balance the excess water. You can even add vanilla for a sweet scent. Massage it on your skin properly. Wash it off with lukewarm water.

 

Benefits:

 

Green tea works wonders for oily skin. It exfoliates and removes dead skin, unclogs skin pores and induces freshness. Olive oil leaves the skin moisturized.

 

5. Tomato Sugar Body Scrub (Tan Removal)

tomato body scrubPhoto Credit: Facebook/24fitnesshot

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes
1 cup sugar

Procedure and application:

 

Puree the tomatoes in a blender and then in a bowl mix it with sugar.  Massage this mixture on your skin properly or use an exfoliating brush and move in circular motions. Wash with lukewarm water.

 

Benefits:

 

Tomatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C and replenish your skin with these nutrients. This homemade scrub can help in preventing acne, it lightens your complexion, removes tan, and makes your skin look fresh and smooth.

 

6. Lemon Sea Salt Scrub (Improves Skin Tone)

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Ingredients:

1 cup sea salt or epsom salt
5 spoons olive oil
1 whole lemon’s juice
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

Procedure and application:

 

Mix all ingredients and apply. Wash with lukewarm water. It can also be stored in a jar for later use.

 

Benefits:

 

Lemon brightens and lightens your skin tone, exfoliates the skin while olive oil moisturizes it leaving the skin feeling smooth and polished.

6 Easy Home Remedies for Tanned Hands

During summers, the heat doesn’t just dehydrate our body but also robs away all the moisture from our skinmaking it look dull and dry. The skin tans because of the UVA radiation from the sun. The UVA rays pierce into the lower layers of the epidermis and trigger the cells called melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, the brown pigment in the skin that causes tanning. Tanning increases the risk of pre-mature aging of the skin. Our hands are subjected to the maximum amount of sun exposure as they are rarely hidden from the harmful rays. This may cause an uneven skin tone and discoloration. To get rid of tanning, people may opt for harsh methods like bleaching their skin, but this causes further darkening and makes it rough and dry. Here are a seven home remedies for tanned hands that are completely natural and without any harmful side-effects:

6 Easy Home Remedies for Tanned Hands

1. Yogurt and Turmeric 

Take a bowl of yogurt and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Mix it together and apply it on your tanned hands. Rinse it off after 20 minutes. Yogurt contains probiotics which lighten the skin and moisturize it while turmeric improves uneven skin tone.

yogurt

2. Soaking in Lemon Juice

Take a bowl with warm lemon juice and soak your tanned hands in it for 20 minutes. After that, rinse your hands with cold water. The vitamin C in the lemon juice protects the skin cells from the UV rays. Make sure you moisturize your skin after this as the acidic lime juice may make your skin dry.

lemon

3. Aloe Vera

Take some fresh aloe vera gel from the sap of the leaf and apply it on your hands. Leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning. The gel consists of antioxidants that protect the skin cells and remove the tan.

aloe vera

4. Cucumber Paste

Take a cup of cucumber juice and add a few drops of lemon juice to it. Mix this with turmeric powder and make a paste out of it. Apply this paste, leave it on for half an hour and then rinse it off. This will refresh your skin and will help it regain its lost glow.

cucumbercucumber paste; Photo Credit: facebook/making natural cosmetics

5. Almond Paste

Take 5 to 6 almonds and soak them overnight. Later, blend the almonds with milk to make a paste. Apply this paste, leave it on overnight and wash it off the following morning. Almonds are rich in vitamins and riboflavin which protects the skin and improves its health.

almonds

6. Sandalwood and Turmeric Powder

Take a few teaspoons of sandalwood powder and turmeric powder and mix them. Add two-three drops of rose water to this. Mix them together and make a thick paste to apply on your hands. Leave this paste on for 30 minutes and then wash it off. This will improve the complexion of the skin and treat the damaged areas.

sandalwoodSandalwood and turmeric powder; Photo Credit: facebook/MDH organic health

If you have any other secret beauty remedies from your granny’s kitty, we’d love to hear about them!

Long Work Hours May Pose Heart Risk, Here Are 6 Foods Which Can Help Cut Down Stress

A recent study published in the European Heart Journal, comes as a wake-up call to all those who have been working extra hours at their workplace. As per the British study, spending long hours at work may increase the risk of developing an irregular heart rhythm — known as atrial fibrillation — as well as contribute to the development of stroke and heart failure, according to a study.

 

The study compared to people who worked a normal week of between 35-40 hours and those who worked 55 hours or more were approximately 40 per cent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation.

 Long Work Hours May Pose Heart Risk, Here Are 6 Foods Which Can Help Cut Down Stress

 

Mika Kivimaki, Professor at the University College London, “A 40 per cent increased extra risk is an important hazard for people who already have a high overall risk of cardiovascular disease due to other risk factors such as older age, male sex, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, smoking and physical inactivity or living with an established cardiovascular disease”

stress

“This could be one of the mechanisms that explain the previously observed increased risk of stroke among those working long hours. Atrial fibrillation is known to contribute to the development of stroke, but also other adverse health outcomes such as heart failure and stroke-related dementia,” Kivimaki added.

 

Researchers analysed data from 85,494 men and women from the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Finland who took part in one of eight studies in these countries. During the ten-year follow-up period, the researchers found 1,061 new cases of atrial fibrillation. This gave an incidence rate of 12.4 per 1,000 people in the study, but among the 4,484 people working 55 hours or more, the incidence was 17.6 per 1,000.

 

Long work hours has long been co-linked with stress and anxiety, this stress not only takes a toll on your overall behavior and social life but also poses a major threat to the heart health. Here are some foods which can help you cut down stress.

 

1. Oats: Mornings are the most stressful hours of the day. Start your day on a stress-free note. A bowl of oats and some fresh fruits finished off with a drop of honey, boosts positive energy as it is considered to be a serotonin enhancer, a chemical that makes you happy.

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Photo Credit: IStock

2. Lentils: Lentils are packed with all types of Vitamin B, nature’s own happy pill. It helps reduce tiredness and fatigue. Lentils also stabilize the blood sugar and fire-up your energy levels.

3. Banana: Bananas are rich in Vitamin C which is a great stress-fighting nutrient. It helps repair cell damage caused due to stress. Also, the potassium that it contains helps in maintaining healthy heart muscles.

banana peel

4. Orange Juice: According to the book, ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ by Dr. Vasant Lad, For anxiety accompanied by a fast heart rate, a cup of orange juice with 1 teaspoon of honey and a pinch of nutmeg powder can prove to be effective.

orange carrot detox drink

5. Brahmi: The wonder herb of Ayurveda, should be your next resort to beat stress, According to ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ by Dr. Vasant Lad, drinking a tea of herbs like Brahmi and Ashwagandha can help cut down on fear, anxiety and nervousness.

 

6. Coconut: The water, the flesh, the oil or the butter, all of the coconut is trending and for good reason. Coconuts contain medium chain fats that improve our metal health and infuse positive energy. The scent of the coconut is known

6 Tips To Make the Most Perfect Sandwich

Let us take a moment and thank a British aristocrat and a passionate gambler who has been credited for inventing one of the best comfort food of all times – the sandwich. Food historians claim that in 1762, during a 24-hour gambling bout, John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich wanted his food to be prepared in such a way that it wouldn’t interfere with his game. In his excursions round the Europe, he had seen grilled pita breads and small canapes and sandwiches served by the Greeks and Turkish people and instructed his cooks to invent a similar no-fuss dish where he did not have to use forks or spoons. And then, what his cooks presented him is often helmed as one of Britain’s biggest contribution to gastronomy – the first ever sandwich.

Quick, easy to make, wholesome and filling – a sandwich is a dream come true for all those who are pressed for time and ingredients or those who don’t really boast of the great cooking skills yet want to treat themselves with something delicious. Keep it as simple as you want to or get creative and spruce it up with the most exotic ingredients, there are a number of ways to make a great sandwich. Just bung in your ingredients, sauces, herbs and seasoning between two bread or bun slices and you are good to go. You can rarely go wrong with a sandwich, but at times minute errors in arranging a sandwich can spoil your overall experience like soggy sandwiches or ingredients slipping out of the sandwich. Follow these easy tips and hacks to enjoy your sandwich in all its glory!

6 Tips To Make the Most Perfect Sandwich

The Six Rules of Getting Your Sandwich Right

 

1. Choose your bread right

This one is no rocket science. Anybody who has ever had a sandwich in their life can tell that the bread forms the basis of the sandwich. For moist fillings, use dry and dense breads. A nice and thick crust helps in keeping the stuffing from going haywire and prevents the fillings from falling apart. You can toast it, serve it grilled, warm it up or have it cold. Toasting the bread brings out the sweetness of the bread. There is an umpteen variety of breads available in the market from the traditional white loaf to its healthier brown counterpart. You can also choose to go exotic with baguettes, buns and pita bread.

brown bread

2. The importance of the spread

Sandwich spreads play a much more crucial role than just adding flavor. They perform the vital task of lending moisture and giving your sandwich a creamy texture. You can choose from BBQ, mayonnaise and other spreads or experiment with healthier alternatives like pesto, whole grain mustard, hung curd or homemade salsa.

butter bread

3. Avoid sogginess 

Spread the sauce, mayo, butter or cheese till the edges to the seal the sandwich. Also, use wet ingredients like cucumber or tomatoes separately. Add them in the end, right before you are ready to eat the sandwich. Use cheese or meat as a layer between the bread and ingredients with high water content (cucumber, tomato). Using toasted bread can also come handy.

4. Substitute traditional ingredients for fresh change

Traditional favourites like lettuce and tomato lend moisture, crunch and freshness and provide a foil for heavy, rich ingredients, but the high moisture content, and storing them for a long time may make the bread soggy.There’s perhaps no other food with which you can get as imaginative. You can skip the traditional tomatoes and try roasted peppers, sauteed onions or carrots for the crunch. You can also add a zest of fresh change by using spinach or cabbage instead of lettuce.

egg and cheddar sandwich

5. Avoid your sandwich from falling apart

Don’t you just hate it when you bite into the sandwich you just built for yourself by meticulously arranging the choicest of ingredients, and it immediately falls apart. A certain know-how of science can save you from the slippage. Your sandwich may have the best ingredients but it lacks friction. Relax, it is not as complicated as it sounds, it is all about the order of your ingredients. Identify the slippery ingredients like cucumber or tomatoes and keep them aside. Take the spread that you are using, say mashed avocados or marinara sauce and layer it on your bread slice, the next layer to come should be the rough greens like Arugula or Lettuce. Now, layer your slippery ingredients. Make multiple layers alternating between rough greens and slippery ingredients. Now, if you bite into your sandwich the friction between the rough greens and the slippery ingredients would save your sandwich from falling apart.

sandwich

6. Keep it simple

As imaginative as you may want to get with your sandwich, there is a point where you have to tame those horses running wild with creativity. It is always advisable to not over stuff your sandwich with too many ingredients or sauces. Sprinkle some herbs or seasonings to add the finishing touch. Balance out your flavours. If the ingredients are heavy, then you can use light sauces or maybe vinegar to bring certain evenness to the taste.

 sandwich

This Monsoon Load Up On These 6 Vitamin C Rich Foods to Keep Infections At Bay

The Monsoons are finally here. As the country welcomes its first spell of showers, the season is also bringing with itself wave of infections and diseases commonly associated with the monsoon. The damp weather has already taken its toll on overall immunity of several people making them susceptible to many diseases  like cold and flu, throat infections and stomach problems. So what can you do keep away from infections this monsoon, an increased intake rich vitamin C may come in to be to be handy.

 

According to Shilpa Arora, Macriobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, “Seasonal veggies and fruits have phytonutrients which are needed to fight bacteria and infections.Jamun, cherries, peaches and guava have abundant vitamin C which can help strengthen the immunity.”

This Monsoon Load Up On These 6 Vitamin C Rich Foods to Keep Infections At Bay

Bangalore based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, also backs the idea of going high on Citrus foods this season. “During the monsoon season, your immunity goes down as the microorganisms have sufficient moisture to grow and therefore, you become more susceptible to diseases. To keep them healthy, powerful antioxidants are needed which are rich in vitamin C. Staying hydrated at all times, eating green leafy vegetables and loading up nuts and seeds daily are some preventive measures”

 

The humid weather is making people increasingly vulnerable to infectious diseases, experts are urging children to increase intake of Vitamin C rich food, which can help kill infected cells in the body

 

A recent study by Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science has also found the molecular mechanism by which Vitamin C impedes and even kills Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non-pathogenic bacterium.Humid weather during monsoon leads to various types of fungal infections of legs, skin and nails.

 

S.K. Mundhra, head of internal medicine at city-based Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, says, “It is advisable to consume at least 500 mg of Vitamin C on a daily basis as it helps in improving immunity, reducing the severity and duration of common cold, flu and infections. But remember to restrict the intake to not cross more than 1,000 mg as excess in anything can lead to side-effects. “

 

Here are some Vitamin C Rich Foods you should start stocking immediately

 

1. Jamun

jamun

The seasonal delight is not only treat to the taste buds, but is also infused with abundant Vitamin C content to give your immunity the much needed boost.

2. Peach

Image result for Peach

Have them whole, or use the tarty fruit in your salads, jams, or smoothies, but make sure you load up on this wonder fruit to keep the infections at bay this monsoon.

 

3. Lemon

lemon 620x350

Lemons are an important source of Vitamin C. According to National Institute of Nutrition, our body requires 40 mg of Vitamin C every day. Vitamin C is great for immunity and essential for healthy collagen formation-framework of our skin and bones. It also facilitates optimum and efficient absorption of iron. Lemons are the easiest way to meet your daily dose of Vitamin C,” says Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Dutta.

4. Amla

Related image

Indian gooseberry or amla is undeniably a powerhouse of nutrients. Amla is an excellent source of Vitamin C, hence it helps boost your immunity, metabolism and prevents viral and bacterial ailments, including cold and cough. According to Ayurveda, amla juice is known to balance all the processes in the body and brings to equilibrium all three doshas – vata, kapha, pitta.

5. Cherries

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This vibrant red fruit is a great blend of sweet flavours with a tingle of sourness and adds the perfect pop of colour to your desserts. Infused with great amounts of vitamin C, Cherries are one of the best bet this season.

6. Litchi

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Rich in vitamin C, lychee also has more than 100% of the daily requirement of ascorbic acid (ABA) in a single serving which works exceptionally well for boosting your immunity. Vitamin C in Litchi stimulates the activity of white blood cells that defend the body against foreign materials.

6 Immunity-Boosting Foods for Kids This Monsoon

While we want to make the most of the rainy season, the thought of catching infections and flu persistently lurks at the back of the mind and the concern grows even greater when it comes to children. Children with their developing immunity system are especially prone to catching such infections in this weather. The damp weather makes them susceptible to many diseases which are commonly associated with the monsoon season like cold and flu, throat infections and stomach problems.

According to Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, “During the monsoon season, your immunity goes down as the microorganisms have sufficient moisture to grow and therefore, you become more susceptible to diseases. Since children are more carefree and like to stay mostly outdoors, they are definitely more vulnerable to infections and health issues. To keep them healthy, powerful antioxidants are needed which are rich in vitamin C. Staying hydrated at all times, eating green leafy vegetables and loading up nuts and seeds daily are some preventive measures.”

 6 Immunity-Boosting Foods for Kids This Monsoon

Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner also believes that parents must exercise extra care for children during the monsoon season. She suggests, “A pinch of turmeric in a glass of lukewarm water first thing in the morning especially in this season can work well to build a stronger immunity. It must be ensured that you keep them away of all processed and fast food items and the worst health enemy – white sugar. Stay clear of white flour, it affects the health and immunity of your child in way more ways than you think. Research has shown that having a teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil daily can also boost your immunity.”

Immunity-boosting foods that your children should have right now

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a great immunity boosting spice which should be included in your daily diet. Nutritionist Meher Rajput of FITPASS explains, “Turmeric’s active component ‘curcumin’ makes it a powerful antioxidant. Add pinch of turmeric to milk and give it to them before bed time. Adding some saffron (kesar) will further enhance the healing properties of the milk.”

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2. Vitamin C rich foods

According to Shilpa Arora, “Seasonal veggies and fruits have phytonutrients which are needed to fight bacteria and infections. Jamun, cherries, peaches and guava have abundant vitamin C.”

jamun

3. Dry fruits and nuts and seeds

Children can be fussy about fruits and vegetables, but they may like to chomp on crunchy dry fruits and nuts like cashews, almonds and walnuts. You can make an interesting trail mix for them. Nutritionist Meher Rajput also backs the idea of loading up on nuts, “Have them in any form, dry or roasted. Walnuts, almonds, dates and raisins are good sources of vitamins and antioxidants. They are high in protein and sources of good fats which would also ensure that the energy levels of your child are always high.”

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4. Mushrooms

According to Nutritionist Meher Rajput, mushrooms are loaded with vitamin D and antioxidants which play a role in building immunity. To make it fun for children, include them in sandwiches and spruce them up with other seasonal veggies. You can also give them a hot mushroom soup to slurp on.

mushroom

5. Meat and Fish

Have them in soups, curries, sandwiches or salads. Whether it’s chicken, mutton or fish and seafood, all of them are rich in protein. Not only does our body need protein to build and repair its tissues, but it also plays a vital role in boosting white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infections. Meat also supplies Vitamin B, zinc, iron and even Omega-3 fatty acids (from fish and seafoods) -our body uses in keeping up its defense mechanism.

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6. Dairy Products

Milkshakes, smoothies and fruit yogurt can break the monotony of having to gulp down a tall glass of milk while boosting their immunity.

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Make monsoon fun for you kids by keeping them safe, protected and energised with these nutritious foods.

 

6 Tips That Will Help You Take The Best Food Photographs

Do you wonder how some people always manage to ace their food pictures and the ones you click, in contrast, look all dull and boring? Social media platforms are now overloaded with pictures of food that are beautiful, tasteful, enticing and sometime just plain gorgeous. Food photography is a skill that can be developed over a course time with the right knowledge and know-how. Because, if you are not tempted while looking at your own food pictures, then something must be wrong, right?

It is essential to note that some of the most appetizing photographs of food across social media haven’t been captured using a high-tech, expensive camera equipment. Thus, while DSLR cameras may give you a slight edge over others, getting an aesthetic food photograph needs more than just hi-end gadgetry. You humble smartphone can deliver good pictures too if you follow a few important points. To begin with, a well-captured food photograph possesses the capability to reflect the inherent taste of the food item that is clicked. That is how powerful the photograph must be.

6 simple, and important, things to keep in mind to get the best food photographs.

 6 Tips That Will Help You Take The Best Food Photographs

1. Light will guide you: 

For any photograph, whether it’s a portrait of a person, a landscape view or a food picture, adequate light is the most important aspect that must be taken into consideration. Natural light beats any other source of artificial lighting. It helps capture the nitty-gritties of the dish thus making it more appealing. Light must always come from the front or the side and make sure never to shoot in excess light as it defeats the purpose of the photograph. Avoid using the flash mode while clicking pictures of food, as the flash tends to create reflections giving the food a different orientation.

2. Angle: Depending on the food item, the most suitable angle helps enhance the photograph. While certain items will look best when shot directly from top, others will stand out when shot from the side, for instance, a multi-layered cake.  Some items like a burger will look best when shot at eye level. The angle is a subjective yet an essential characteristic in food photography. Try framing the shot using a few different angles before you zero-in on your preferred choice.

3. Pick a point of focus:

Here, we mean the ‘hero’ of the shot and the part you want people to pay attention to most. This is especially helpful when shooting in crowded or cluttered spaces. You should be able to pick the dish/platter and make that the hero of your photo. If one is shooting on a dining table, for example, make sure you include only the essential items on the table in the photograph. Otherwise, the attention is diverted away from the dish. Decide what is significant for the composition of the picture and what is not. Focus on what will make the photo look complete and avoid over crowding the shot.

4. Close up or not?


How ‘close’ do you want to see the food in your picture? A lot of people like taking only close-up shots of food and ingredients, and in most cases this works. Plated dishes, with a play of colours could look good in a wider view too. Try a few and see what does justice to the dish you are taking pictures of.

5. Interaction is the key: 

Food photographs look a hundred times more appealing by adding a human element. It increases the level of engagement for the viewer, making it appear more real. Thus, while shooting, make it a point to hold the item in your hand, for instance. Compose the picture in a manner that incorporates some human element.

6. Props make all the difference: 

Even the most palatable dish can look unappealing if not presented well. Thus, props make all the difference. It is of paramount importance that the correct cutlery, utensils, mats etc be used in food photography. Use clean plates and try and make use of white cutlery, which enables the food colors to stand out.

Ansel Adams once said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”, and with the essential steps mentioned above, you are sure to make the best photograph possible. Happy clicking!

 

6 Easy Gym Ball Exercises for Beginners

A gym ball or an exercise ball is made of soft elastic with a diameter of approximately 35 to 85 centimeters and it is filled with air. It is used in physical therapy, weight training, athletic training and regular exercise. There are numerous names for this ball like the balance ball, fitness ball, pilates ball, or the birth ball. It has been proved to be of great help in improving cardio endurance, balance and strength. For those recovering from injuries, gym ball exercises are very effective as they reduce spinal and muscle strain during movements. Most people may think that these exercises are more child-like, but they aren’t as easy as they appear and need to be performed in the right manner to produce results. Here are a few gym ball exercises that you can try if you are a beginner.

6 Easy Gym Ball Exercises for Beginners

1. Over-Head Ball Squat

In this exercise, both your arms and legs are put to use. While holding the ball over your head, bend your knees and do a squat. Performing 10 to 15 of these, strengthens your arms, shoulders and deltoid muscles. This is an easy and effective exercise and all that is required is a gym ball.

2. Standing Ball Squeeze

This exercise works on your hips, lower back and inner thighs. First, stand straight and place the ball between your legs, next to your knees. Then squat down, forming a 90-degree angle and squeeze the ball. Remain in this position for as long as possible and stay balanced. The bigger the ball, the tougher it is to perform this exercise. Beginners can take the support of a wall or chair, if they find it too hard to stand straight. Perform this 10 times for 35-45 seconds for effective results.

3. Standing Plank

This exercise benefits your shoulders and arms and increases the intensity of a normal plank. Take your left leg and stretch it behind, while resting your arms and elbows on the ball. Take your right leg and stretch it behind, making both the feet meet. Do this 6 times, 30 seconds per set.

4. Triceps Dip

This exercise works on your upper body and strengthens your triceps and biceps. To perform it, you need to sit on the ball with your legs forming a 90-degree angle. Keep your knees apart from each other and place your hands on your hips. Slowly move your hips forward so that they are a few inches in front of the ball. Then, use your triceps to lower your arms down a few inches and return to the starting position. Make sure your back remains upright and repeat this 10-15 times.

5. Ball Jog

This exercise strengthens your core and makes it firm. Sit up straight on the ball with your feet firmly pressed on the ground. Move your knees up and down to bounce on the ball. Try to bounce as high as possible and for 2 to 5 minutes for 5 sets. This will keep your heart rate up and can also be used as a warm-up exercise.

6. Hands off

This exercise works on your abs and core. To perform it you need to lie flat on your back on the ground, with your arms and legs stretched out. Hold the ball over your head with both your hands and transfer the ball from your hands to your feet. Continue this movement repeatedly and make sure that only your hips and butt touch the ground.

Always remember to get proper guidance from your fitness trainer before you embark on a new journey.

6 Dishes from Udupi Every South Indian Food Lover Must Try

If there’s one Indian dish that can give Butter Chicken a serious run in terms of International presence, it’s the Masala Dosa. I’ve stumbled upon multiple versions of this crispy dosa slathered with a potato filling (known as palya in Karnataka) from Denver to Melbourne. The Masala Dosa is one of the most ordered dishes in restaurants in Chennai, Bengaluru and other parts of South India but many foodies agree that the origins of this dish point in one direction. Udupi might be a tiny town north of Mangaluru but Udupi and neighbouring towns like Kundapura are a haven for foodies. One of Udupi’s best known contributions is its now ubiquitous Masala Dosa, but that’s just one of the many unique snacks that you can savour in and around Udupi. From cylindrical idlis to dosas crafted in rice flour, we pick some of Udupi’s must try snacks:

6 Dishes from Udupi Every South Indian Food Lover Must Try

1. Masala Dosa

 

This is one dish you won’t have trouble finding across India. The classical Udupi version is golden brown and crispy. I love how it gently disintegrates into tinier crispy bits, some restaurants (like Woodlands in Chennai and Bengaluru) used to insert a tiny banana leafwith freshly churned butter inside the dosa. This butter would melt inside the dosaalong with the masala on its way to your table. Pangala in Manipal (Udupi’s twin town) serves one of the best Masala Dosas in and around Udupi and is a big hit with the town’s large student population.

masala dosa

2. Kaddubu or Moode

My first memory of the Kadubbu takes me back to the iconic Dasaprakash restaurant in Chennai. From Kadubbu to Moode (or Mude) to Gunda, the locals use quite a few terms to describe this uniquely shaped cylindrical idli. It’s the same batter cooked in a different mould. The conical moulds are crafted with jackfruit leaves and placed in a large vessel inside a conventional pressure cooker. It’s also cooked in Kedige (the local name for screw pine or a type of pandanus leaf). Some local restaurants in Udupi serve it with etty (prawn) chutney.

 

3. Bajjari Dosa or Neer Dosa

This airy, incredibly light dosa can probably be folded to fit into your palm. Made with a thin batter – that’s almost the same consistency as a Rava Dosa batter, with rice (better when soaked overnight) and coconut. It’s why it’s called Neer (water) Dosa. It makes a perfect accompaniment with some of the region’s meat and seafood gravies. Mathsya, one of Chennai’s true-blue Udupi restaurant, serves this dosa with a simple mixture of freshly ground coconut with jaggery.

neer dosa new

4. Goli Baje (aka) Mangalore Bonda

Mitra Samaj located next to Udupi’s iconic Shri Krishna temple is one of the town’s best known food institutions. This modest eatery serves a variety of Udupi snacks all day but it’s their Goli Baje that is their signature dish and usually available around 4 pm – tiffin time. This delectable deep-fried snack combines maida (Flour), rice flour and curdwith a smattering of green chillies and ginger. You can sample authentic versions of this dish at Palmgrove Hotel in Chennai or Ballal Residency in Bengaluru.

 

5. Mangalore Buns

Sweet or savoury? The only way to know is to sample this unique dish that can pass of for a poori or even a katchori but tastes distinctly different. Locals call this fluffy poorilookalike, a bun. The bun gets its subtle sweet taste from overripe bananas that are mashed into the maida and let to ferment for a few hours (overnight is even better). The flavours are further enhanced with a few cumin seeds, sugar and curd before they are deep fried just like pooris. There’s a tiny Woodlands restaurant in Udupi that serves an authentic version of this dish, you can also sample this at restaurants like Mathsya and Ashoka Hotel in Chennai.

6 Easy Home Remedies for Tanned Hands

During summers, the heat doesn’t just dehydrate our body but also robs away all the moisture from our skinmaking it look dull and dry. The skin tans because of the UVA radiation from the sun. The UVA rays pierce into the lower layers of the epidermis and trigger the cells called melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, the brown pigment in the skin that causes tanning. Tanning increases the risk of pre-mature aging of the skin. Our hands are subjected to the maximum amount of sun exposure as they are rarely hidden from the harmful rays. This may cause an uneven skin tone and discoloration. To get rid of tanning, people may opt for harsh methods like bleaching their skin, but this causes further darkening and makes it rough and dry. Here are a seven home remedies

for tanned hands that are completely natural and without any harmful side-effects:

1. Yogurt and Turmeric 

Take a bowl of yogurt and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Mix it together and apply it on your tanned hands. Rinse it off after 20 minutes. Yogurt contains probiotics which lighten the skin and moisturize it while turmeric improves uneven skin tone.

yogurt

2. Soaking in Lemon Juice

Take a bowl with warm lemon juice and soak your tanned hands in it for 20 minutes. After that, rinse your hands with cold water. The vitamin C in the lemon juice protects the skin cells from the UV rays. Make sure you moisturize your skin after this as the acidic lime juice may make your skin dry.

lemon

3. Aloe Vera

Take some fresh aloe vera gel from the sap of the leaf and apply it on your hands. Leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning. The gel consists of antioxidants that protect the skin cells and remove the tan.

aloe vera

4. Cucumber Paste

Take a cup of cucumber juice and add a few drops of lemon juice to it. Mix this with turmeric powder and make a paste out of it. Apply this paste, leave it on for half an hour and then rinse it off. This will refresh your skin and will help it regain its lost glow.

cucumbercucumber paste; Photo Credit: facebook/making natural cosmetics

5. Almond Paste

Take 5 to 6 almonds and soak them overnight. Later, blend the almonds with milk to make a paste. Apply this paste, leave it on overnight and wash it off the following morning. Almonds are rich in vitamins and riboflavin which protects the skin and improves its health.

almonds

6. Sandalwood and Turmeric Powder

Take a few teaspoons of sandalwood powder and turmeric powder and mix them. Add two-three drops of rose water to this. Mix them together and make a thick paste to apply on your hands. Leave this paste on for 30 minutes and then wash it off. This will improve the complexion of the skin and treat the damaged areas.

sandalwoodSandalwood and turmeric powder; Photo Credit: facebook/MDH organic health

If you have any other secret beauty remedies from your granny’s kitty, we’d love to hear about them!