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Ayur 1: Ayurveda Redefined

 

Customization, Co-creation, Prevention is better than cure, One size does not fits all, Like increase like, Everyone is unique, Everyone is special, are the few mantras which were kept in mind and well thought over by the Saints in India before they started creating the “Science of life” almost about 5000 years ago and they named it in Sanskrit as “Ayurveda“. Ayu means “life” and Veda means “knowledge or science“, Ayurveda at its core explains the immense power which exist in these two simple words and essentially if we are ignorant about this knowledge then we are missing on living life completely. Ayurveda in its simple essence reminds us that as a human being we are the part of this natural ecosystem which includes plants, animals, earth, water, space etc and God has created this system around us with sufficient immunity benefits to keep us safe and protected from various ailments to achieve optimal health.

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Unfortunately somehow on the way to our life, we have chosen a wrong path against this God’s creation with our own criminal choices of lifestyles and conveniently deviated ourselves towards the dark space of complete ignorance and thereby allowing “wellness products” available in the market to utilize us for their obvious benefits.

These criminal choices may include but not be limited to choices like: Following health and wellness gimmicks without knowing the basic principles of life, Moving away from simplicity, Too much brand consciousness, Following health as a trend or fashion, Adopting toxicity and Rejecting vitality. We often ignore to understand that many “health & wellness” products available in the market are targeting ignorant customers and using different ways to trap them to increase their customer lifetime value. These products use several ethical jargon to fool their customers and rarely practice these principles in the real business. Words like “Yoga” “Organic” and “Meditation” have become buzzwords in our society these days and the fact is that most of us are not aware about real meaning, purpose and application of these therapies in real life. Wellness industry has portrayed everything as a fashion and it is we, who should be blamed for believing and following these trends blindly.

Wellness industry has portrayed everything as Fashion and it is we who should be blamed, for believing and following these trends blindly

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We at ChicMonk believe that our mind, body and soul are the core reasons for our existence in this world and we should no let go our rights to live life at the mercy of these products or services only for a simple reason that we are ignorant about our own creation. Health and wellness is our right and should not be compromised with these industry gimmicks. ChicMonk will endeavor to empower you by breaking all the barriers and will be committed to create awareness about the self-enlightenment towards the complete health and well-being. In the next post, let us start our journey of self-empowerment with the simple understanding of Ayurveda.

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Quinoa – Mother Grain?

Quinoa is an ancient food–the Incas are said to have called it “The Mother Grain”. While many think of quinoa as a grain, it’s actually closer related to spinach, beets, and chard. When you cook quinoa, you are actually cooking seeds.

It actually cooks and tastes like a grain, making it an excellent replacement for grains that are difficult to digest or feed candida (a systemic fungal infection).

Quinoa comes in over 120 varieties, but the most common ones are white, red, and black.

With a slightly nutty but fairly bland flavor, quinoa is like rice in that it is a gluten-free dish that is well suited to pairing with other food flavors.

Some of the nutrients in quinoa include:

  • Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
  • Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
  • Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
  • Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.

Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.

Quinoa is especially easy to cook and can be enjoyed year-round because it’s versatile and light. You can use it in warming winter soups or refreshing summer salads.

Make sure you rinse your quinoa and use correct water ratio while cooking.

Quinoa can be your superfood: regulating your blood sugar, enhancing elimination, and keeping your heart healthy. Add this “mother grain” to your diet and enjoy the health benefits of quinoa, just like the Incas did thousands of years ago.

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Importance of Nowruz – The Persian New Year

 

Nowruz, also spelled Nerwoz or Noroz, translates to “new day” in Farsi — begin at the exact moment that spring starts. Iranians take that as the beginning of the year. This exact second is called “Saal Tahvil”. No-Rooz with its’ uniquely Iranian characteristics has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years and is deeply rooted in the rituals and traditions of the Zoroastrian, it is celebrated by Kurds, Tajiks and Afghans, among other cultures. And the exact time and date of the New Year can vary based on who is celebrating, and where.

Iranians consider Nowruz as their biggest celebration of the year, before the new year, they start cleaning their houses (Khaane Tekaani), and they buy new clothes. But a major part of New Year rituals is setting the “Haft Seen” with seven specific items. In ancient times each of the items corresponded to one of the seven creations and the seven holy immortals protecting them. Today they are changed and modified but some have kept their symbolism. All the seven items start with the letter “S”; this was not the order in ancient times.

These seven things usually are:

Seeb (apple)

Sabze (green grass)

Serke (vinager)

Samanoo (a meal made out of wheat)

Senjed (a special kind of berry)

Sekke (coin)

Seer (garlic).

Sometimes instead of Serke they put Somagh (sumak, an Iranian spice). Zoroastrians today do not have the seven “S”s but they have the ritual of growing seven seeds as a reminder that this is the seventh feast of creation, while their sprouting into new growth symbolized resurrection and eternal life to come.

Wheat or lentil representing new growth is grown in a flat dish a few days before the New Year and is called Sabzeh (green shoots). Decorated with colorful ribbons, it is kept until Sizdah beh dar, the 13th day of the New Year, and then disposed outdoors. A few live gold fish (the most easily obtainable animal) are placed in a fish bowl. In the old days they would be returned to the riverbanks, but today most people will keep them. Mirrors are placed on the spread with lit candles as a symbol of fire. Most of the people used to place Qoran on their Sofreh (spread) in order to bless the New Year. But some people found another alternative to Qoran and replaced it by the Divan-e Hafez (poetry book of Hefez), and during “Saal Tahvil” reading some verses from it was popular. Nowadays, a great number of Iranians are placing Shahnameh (the Epic of Kings) of Ferdowsi on their spread as an Iranian national book. They believe that Shahnameh has more Iranian identity values and spirits, and is much suitable for this ancient celebration.

After the Saal Tahvil, people hug and kiss each other and wish each other a happy new year. Then they give presents to each other (traditionally cash, coins or gold coins), usually older ones to the younger ones. The first few days are spent visiting older members of the family, relatives and friends. Children receive presents and sweets, special meals and “Aajil” (a combination of different nuts with raisins and other sweet stuff) or fruits are consumed. Traditionally on the night before the New Year, most Iranians will have Sabzi Polo Mahi, a special dish of rice cooked with fresh herbs and served with smoked and freshly fried fish. Koukou Sabzi, a mixture of fresh herbs with eggs fried or baked, is also served. The next day rice and noodles (Reshteh Polo) is served. Regional variations exist and very colorful feasts are prepared.

The 13th day of the new year is called “Sizdah Bedar” and spent mostly outdoors. People will leave their homes to go to the parks or local plains for a festive picnic. It is a must to spend Sizdah Bedar in nature. This is called Sizdah Bedar and is the most popular day of the holidays among children because they get to play a lot! Also in this day, people throw the Sabze away, they believe Sabze should not stay in the house after “Sizdah Bedar”. Iranians regard 13th day as a bad omen and believe that by going into the fields and parks they avoid misfortunes. It is also believed that unwed girls can wish for a husband by going into the fields and tying a knot between green shoots, symbolizing a marital bond.