Sunday, January 17, 2010

Health in your hands

Health is in my hands...or so I believed. I always thought I was on track healthwise by maintaining a good balance of exercise and diet. I have always been regular with exercise and have always maintained a frugal diet. However I was in for a shocking discovery. Recently me and my husband checked in at a local hospital for a battery of medical tests covered in the health package that was being offered as an incentive at my husband's work place. Like all healthy people, I was convinced that none of my tests are going to highlight any caution or read anything negative. However one week later when the reports arrived we realized that both of us were way past the accetable limits of cholestrol and tryglycerides. In fact what was alarming that there was absolutely no manifestation when in fact the cholestrol levels were shooting through the roof. The cardiac surgeon advised increase in fiber intake and to completely avoid any sweet and fried food. The diet needed to be supported by daily aerobic exercise such as a brisk walk. It made me think at this rate I was perhaps headed for a cardiac arrest maybe by the time I touch 40. It made me also think why are all the good things in life sinful? Fried potatoes, ice creams and desserts and I can go on. I remember my days as college going kid when internet and media had not invaded our homes and our lifes and in a way we were blissfully unaware of leading a heatly lifestyle. There was a certain joy in eating food without the guilt of how many calories we were consuming. Ignorance was really bliss I say.

So lifesytle diseases, the new age word that has been written about so much was more closer home and I had to do something about it. If I did not succeed in reducing my cholosterol levels, I was going to have to rely on pills for a life time. Since that was unacceptable I decided to take control of the situation and made a few changes in my diet and exercise. I drastically reduced sugar intake, added more fiber to the diet like carrots and radish in meals and oats for breakfast and also shifted from doing just weights to taking a brisk walk. Sure enough the test results done a month and a half later showed that all this had paid off. My husband's triglycerides are back in the normal range and my cholestrol has dropped. I am still slightly over the upper limit but the results have been encouraging.

I often dream of being fighting fit at forty and perhaps this was a check done at the right time. I have decided to go in for a health check up every year from now on. What good is a long life without good health?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Terrace Garden

Gardening can be quite a stress buster. I did not realize this until I had a small terrace garden set up. I have all along seen my mother nuture and grow plants of different varietes in her garden but now that I have my own house I realise what a pleasure it is to grow my own.
Though my garden is small it took quite an effort scouting around for pots and plants. I made trips to several nurseries and zeroed in on plants of my choice. Before that I had to decide the layout and accordingly decide on the number of pots and their sizes. Finally Golden bottle brush and Frangipani it was that I would plant in the bigger pots. My terrace is graced by sunlight only for a couple of hours in the mornings in winter and Balsams not only thrive in such conditions but also add vibrant colours to the otherwise green garden. Yes Frangipani too would need sunshine and I am hoping and waiting for the day when I get to smell the sweet fragrance of its flowers. A small swing, a couple of chairs and a coffee table complete the garden making it the perfect place to relax and unwind so much so that I cannot help but write a poem on my lovely plants....

You bring smiling sunshine in my life
As I look at you I cannot escape a smile

With multitude vibrant colours you bloom
Making sure to take away all the gloom

U teach me to be selfless at best
Expect none in return but give joy with zest

But that is not all that I learnt from you
Lessons of life, so simple yet so true

You have lots to teach than meets the eye
Not mere beauty as deemed by a passer by

The cold of the winter fails to diminish your glow
With each falling leaf more confident you grow

Knowing in your heart that when comes spring
A new lease of life with it, it will bring

A new brighter self will be revelaved
The old and dried, cast away or peeled

A glorious new you sashaying in the breeze
An avatar donned once back from freeze

New shoots, new blossoms and new leaves
An opportunity to thrive that you have seized

As I sit besides you on the swing I dwell
Will your virtues rub on me as well?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Year end reflections

Yet another year goes by
And I begin to wonder
Have I stopped to spare a thought
About all the things that are to ponder

Good things, bad things, things that happened
Things that happened to me
Things that I had to work hard for
Things that happened for free

In friends and family and their love
My guardian angels I found
Who were there to help me cope
With the pressures of life as they mount

Friends who spread the Christmas cheer
Taught me the art of giving
Took time out from busy schedules
To share some wisdom and preaching

Unabashed love showered by a son
As mother-son bond grows tight
Is it God that I am experiencing?
Or am I basking in His light?

Neighbours saw each other through thick and thin
They were absolutely God sent
To care for us when we were sick
To sit with us by our bed

Reflecting on life in retrospection
Part of life are ebb and flow
Moments of high and moments of low
But they all sure help you grow

All my loved ones,near and dear ones
If it weren't for you I wouldn't be me
It is only your abundant love I seek
I consider myself blessed you see