My neighborhood and the neighbor I always wanted

My neighborhood and the neighbor I always wanted

Hello guys,

When we moved to the new home a couple of months ago, I thought that I would be able to gel up with a lot of people. For the last many years we (husband and I) have been living in a condominium. And a condominium life sucks. Well, not every time. But the place where we lived before our current house was kinda boring. No one knew who lived next to whom. Not that it’s NOT common. That’s how a condominium life is. But when we decided to move to an independent house, I was excited more than usual. Because I would have more space, I would shift closer to friends, and especially because I would have a sense of community living here.

When we shifted, it was almost spring. Though there were days when it would snow.  And knowing myself who feels extreme cold in normal weather too, I would say it was winters for me. Does not matter what they decided to call it, spring or summer whatever! So, in the initial months, I would rarely see anyone. But I would hope that very soon the neighborhood would turn green. That I would see lovely faces and we would walk and talk. Honestly, all I had in my mind was an image of a wonderful neighborhood. However, it was different. Not that my neighborhood is not good, but then! You see similar faces every day. They will look at you, smile at you and very very rarely it would go ahead to a formal chhit-chat. In the house right to ours, there lives a big family. I haven’t seen them all together, though I know they are six in count and they rarely strike a conversation. I would label them as shy, very shy yet very sweet people. The conversation here would mostly end at ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’, ‘How are you doing?’

In the house left to us lives a couple. An elderly couple. They appeared more friendly and weren’t that shy. There was a comfort level, more because we could speak the same language. Uncle would give us lots of advice on how to do gardening and other stuff. Since this is our first experience living in an independent house, there is always so much we are unaware of. Like where do we keep our plants in the winters, which nursery is the nearest, where to buy a good snow shovel from. Uncle was ready to guide. Our conversations were not very frequent but most of the time it would go beyond ‘Hii’, and ‘Hello’.

Once my husband and I were worried about why our plants were dying even though we would water them so regularly. I remember my husband was watering the plants and I was standing there discussing the same. I guess Uncle overheard our conversation therefore, he interrupted , ‘Summers are bad. Especially the summers of May and June. During these months when the sun is burning the world with its heat, it’s pretty hard for the plants to survive without water.’

‘But I am watering them every day!’, my husband said.

‘Twice. You have to water them twice. Have you seen the grass at your end? I think you need to water them too. Twice every day’, he suggested.

The other day, I saw her wife walking in the park. It was morning 6:00 am and I was up for running. Our eyes met, we smiled at each other, and then she joined me when she talked about her family. Apparently, the couple lives alone while the daughters who are married, live a couple of hours away.

I had finally found a neighbor whom I could actually call a neighbor. That was now more than just a familiar face. A couple of days ago I said to my husband, ‘This Diwali festival let’s ask them to visit our home. We can invite them for an evening snack or dinner.’
We had agreed to this, but then something happened that almost broke our hearts yesterday.

So, a few days ago, our neighbors were busy with the painting of the house. I said to my husband, ‘Why are they getting the gates painted? I somehow feel that they are getting it ready to sell the house.’

‘Oh no, I don’t think so! Uncle is always busy doing some modification in the house!’, my husband was confident that his heart would remain in place always.
However, today we saw the board for registering the house on sale.

‘Coming soon! For sale!’
That moment nothing broke our heart more than the board.
We felt dejected. A feeling of betrayal flooded our bodies.

Of course, it does not make sense. Why should we feel bad about it? We are neither their relatives nor friends. But how can you make your heart understand who always makes plan and love to remain in the world of dreams? Dream of finding a family-like neighbor. Yesterday when we were outside, we saw Uncle returning from somewhere. He smiled looking at us when my husband went ahead to talk to him.

‘Oh! You are selling this house!’

‘Yes! Our kids live in Caledon and my wife and I are planning to buy a house near to them. We have grandkids and we want to see them as often as we can. Staying near to them would make things easier for them and for us too.’

While that made sense on Uncle’s behalf, we are still very sad. We can see them busy with house hunting, we can see how they are sorting things and throwing the unwanted stuff out of their house. In between our eyes meet, and we smile at each other.

But our eyes have a different story to tell now.
Story of uncertainty and anxiety about who would be our new neighbor.
Though we label ourselves as optimistic people, I will miss them being around. And for unknowingly giving us the feeling of having a warm neighborhood.

Thank you, Mrs. & Mr. Silva!
You guys will be missed!

My Firsttt Rranttt!!

My Firsttt Rranttt!!

Hello People!!!

So, I have decided that I am gonna rant here. This blog has been dead for almost a year. Mainly, because I wanted to build a website like Kris Carr. Or maybe like James Clear! A website that offers hope, health, healing and much more. A website that talks about ‘something useful.’

However, if there is something helpful or useful that needs to be published it needs extensive research and exploration. It takes time. Something I don’t have. Especially when you can find hundreds of such informational material on the internet. Nope! I don’t want to demean what they are doing. Because they have build credibility. Because every time I need some genuine advice on healing or habits, I look up to them.

But then it makes me think about my website.
What’s that ‘something different’ I am gonna offer?

This question depressed me so much that I completely stopped writing. But now I have decided that I will write. Well, nothing informational every time but mostly rants.
Ummmm.. You can call it rant or you can call it my daily interesting encounters.
Well, I don’t know if it will be interesting.
I was reading a book called Book of Delights by the American poet Ross Gay, and everything he has written is nothing less than mystic. He says that all the essays in the book are his everyday encounters. And then I look at my life.

What’s so interesting in my life to write?

A husband who sits in the front of TV whole day watching cricket match or Big Bang theory for the 1000th time, or some crap on YouTube, AND me.
Poor me!

Did you just see? I have nothing, absolutely nothing interesting to write. Many people write/talk about their interests. Something common to talk about makes them best of best friends.

But I don’t have any interests.

Except reading books and writing on a lesser known platform Quora, I don’t have any interests. Oh, wait! I do have an interest!! Yes! I love meditation. Every day I sit for almost two hours to meditate (wow! That’s some number!!!!)

But now I think that’s because it does not involve any activity. I just have to sit and don’t do anything. Basically I am lazy and meditation is an escape route to show that I am productive while the truth is that I am just being dull, slothful, lethargic!

I look at my friends who are so busy living their lives. They work, they take care of their kids, they keep their house clean and still shine in the party. And then I look at me (I tried looking for an emoji perfectly suited for the mood, but could find none). I don’t work, I can’t keep my house clean, I don’t have kids and I honestly I suck at parties. Most of the time it feels like I have just gotten up from the bed. Especially when I look at my friends all dressed up. Ummm.. I should thank them for not outcasting me them from their circle.

Anyways, I am writing all this while waiting for my food order. My husband and I are on fasting today. My husband does the fast because of some religious reasons while I do the fast because it saves me from cooking (Yes, one more reason to label me as ‘Lazy’). But then fasting is tough too!! And therefore, most of the time by the evening I have this great urge to break the fast. I curse myself for not staying true to myself and pledge that this won’t happen the next time. Well, this ‘next time’ has yet not arrived. Because like every time, I broke my promise today too. Very soon a restaurant will deliver a southwest wrap for me.

And yes! It’s here with a knock on my door. That’s when my today’s rant will end.
If you think you liked it, that does not make you awesome. That makes you lazy and uninteresting like me.
If you are still here, you can visit the website again, as I plan to post my rants weekly.

And I swear I would be lazy for this too.

 Your lazy blogger,

Ankita

Foods that fight Cancer

Foods that fight Cancer

Hello People!

Cancer– More than the disease, it has become a research topic for me. There is a lot more reading done by me on how to ‘live better with Cancer’. In the process, I came across many people who are living with Cancer and are pretty healthy, and active. I mean look at Kris Carr! Once you know her more, you can’t thank her enough for her books and blogs, and articles where she talked about her story, and how she is living WITH the disease, and doing everything she can, like a normal person. (Don’t trust me? Go to her Instagram!)

Her story inspired me to read more about how diet accelerates healing and contributes to our well-being. (as well as of Chris Wark who wrote Chris Beat Cancer). More and more research and I was amazed to know how a specific diet upgrades our body and vice versa. Current research has shown that certain elements in a particular food may significantly reduce the risk of Cancer is healthy individuals and slow its progress in those already suffering from the disease.

Nature is the best physician. She heals three-quarters of all diseases and never badmouths her colleagues ~ Louis Pasteur.

Preventing Cancer through diet is the equivalent of non-toxic chemotherapy because it makes use of the anti-cancer molecules present in food. These molecules fight cancer at the source before it can reach maturity and threaten the normal functioning of the organism. For example, fruits and vegetables contain appreciable quantities of compounds/molecules known as phytochemicals which are responsible for their color and organoleptic properties (properties affecting organs and senses)and show powerful anti-cancer activity.

While many articles that talk about what Cancer is, how Cancer cells work, and all the detailing because it makes my head go mad. I start imagining my body, and all the different reactions going inside. Lol. Therefore, let’s talk about ‘Healing’. And here is the list of the food which can do wonders. Yaay!!

  • Cabbage Family: Members of the cabbage family are known as crucifers or cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain important amounts of many anti-cancer compounds that slow the development of cancer by preventing carcinogenic substances from causing damage to cells. (They contain an exceptionally high amount of Glucosinolates which release two classes of compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanate when chewed). The vegetables which are included in the Cabbage family are Brussels sprouts, Collard Green, Kale, Watercress, Turnip, White or Red Cabbage, Brocolli, Cauliflower, bok choy. Brocolli and Brussels sprouts are exceptional sources among all these and should be eaten regularly. Cruciferous vegetables should be hooked lightly and thoroughly chewed to get the best of them.
  • Garlic and Onion: Garlic and Onion belong to the Allium family. What makes them special is that the odorless plants release a strong flavor and aroma. This characteristic is due to the presence of several sulfur-containing phytochemicals, molecules whose chemical structure includes an atom of sulfur. As soon as Garlic/onion is crushed, the compound Allicin is quickly converted into several compounds including ajoene, diallyl sulfide (DAS), and a host of others which have proved to show very strong anti-cancer activity in LAB. They are also known to flush foreign substances with carcinogenic potential out of the body. In fact compounds in garlic also attack tumor growth by directly attacking tumor cells and destroying them through apoptosis which in turn reduces the DNA damage.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric has an honored place in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition. It is considered a food with cleansing and purifying properties and is used widely to treat ailments including digestive disorders, fever, infection, arthritis. In fact, Chinese medicine also uses turmeric to treat liver ailments, congestion, and bleeding. The curcuminoids are principle compounds present in turmeric. They are responsible for turmeric’s intense yellow color Curcumin possess complex pharmacological activity, including antithrombotic, hypocholesterolemic, and antioxidant properties as well as very strong anti-cancer potential. The laboratory tests have shown the effect of curcumin on cancers including Leukemia cells, colon, breast, and ovary cancer. Other studies have suggested that curcumin prevents the growth of new blood vessels thus depriving tumors of their source of energy. It is important to note that a molecule contained in pepper increases the absorption of curcumin by a factor of 1,000, a property that can be exploited to maximize curcumin’s potential health benefits. The daily absorption of a teaspoon of turmeric to soups, salad dressings, pasta is a great way to increase its intake besides adding it to curry. However, don’t forget to add pepper to it!
  • Green Tea: Tea is a complex beverage, it contains hundreds of chemical compounds that give it its distinctive aroma, taste, and astringency. One class of compounds predominates, making up about one-third of the weight of the tea leaf: these are polyphenols knows as flavanols, most commonly known as catechins. Catechins are the heavyweights responsible for the anti-cancer effect of Green Tea. Green tea contains several catechins, the star among them, with the highest anti-cancer activity of all, is EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate.
    While the catechin content of green tea varies greatly depending on are of cultivation, harvest season, in general, Japanese Green Tea is better than Chinese Green Tea. (Here is the link on which Green tea is the best.)
  • Berries: Of all the phytochemical compounds associated with berries, Ellagic acid is the most likely to interfere with the development of Cancer. This molecule is a polyphenol with a unique structure found mainly in Raspberries, Strawberries, and certain nuts like Hazelnuts and pecans. In numerous laboratory studies, researchers at Ohio State University have found that black raspberries inhibit the development of oral, esophageal and colon cancers in rats. Besides ellagic acid, berries also contain Anthocyanidins responsible for all the vivid colors found in many fruits and vegetables. High  Anthocyanidins content is responsible for a strong antioxidant property available in berries. Blueberries and other berries may be eaten year-round. Defrost frozen berries and use them as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, and other desserts.
Besides this Omega-3 is also a wonderful add-in when you are eating to prevent or get rid of Cancer. I haven’t done my research on it and therefore couldn’t write much about it. However, I can assure that it is no less than all the above-mentioned superfood. My cancer diagnosis motivated me to renovate my own diet, and I have made sure to add all the above in my daily dose of nutrition. There has been enough research on how diet can help accelerate the healing but it makes me sad about how we take this factor not so seriously. The best healing can occur only if we complement the doctor’s treatment with a healthy and cancer-fighting diet.

When you have Cancer, there are many things you can’t control however, I can promise you that there still are things you CAN control. And it all starts with what you have on your plate.

Health and healing on your way..

Ankita

Reference:- Foods that fight Cancer