Knowledge Series, Musings, MyFriendAlexa2021, People

How Much Free Time is Good For You?

Free time is defind as the time when you are neither working nor studing but can do what ever you want. We always try to take out time from busy schedule to do things which give us happiness. A designated free time is all one wants to feel relaxed and happy. As an individual’s free time increases, the sense of feeling good also increases.

But how much free time is good for an individual? Suppose, you have been given a paid holiday assignment, where you can do what you want or whatever keeps you happy and with no end date. How long will you remain happy?

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, too much free time is a bad thing. The research analysed 21736 Americans and professors from Wharton and Harvard universities were involved in this research. They found out that too less of discretionary time is bad and so is the too much free time.

The moment of awe – Sunrise! Being with nature sooths our soul.

It has been observed that almost 120 to 150 minutes of discretion time every day is good enough. We know that time is money and money spent well brings happy feel. Free time every day increases life satisfaction and feeling of well being. Many of us are not happy inspite of having free time.

The problem is, many of us are spending our free time in ways that aren’t really making us happy, says James Wallman, author of “Time and How To Spend It.” You can buy this book by clicking on the link.

Leisure doesn’t improve quality of life unless one knows how to use it effectively”.

Spending time with friends is important.


Leisure time is any time when you’re not occupied with work or chores, paid or unpaid. “It’s the time equivalent of ‘disposable income. So how can we optimize the free time in the best possible way? While there’s no perfect activity that’s best for everyone, some experiences are useless like “junk foods” and others are like “superfoods.”

The “superfood” activities put you into “a state of optimal experience arising from intense involvement in an activity that is enjoyable,” according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Finding activities that lead to increase creativity and happiness is the key.

Experts believe that happiness can be achieved when the skills are being utilized. It results in feeling motivated and has a sense of “total control. Wallman says that any pleasurable activity that truly challenges us has the potential to lead to the elusive fullfilment which so many people are after from their leisure time.

Here are some suggestions to think about to invest your time and energy in:

  • Creating memories through experiences gives us stories to tell and share (on social media :P) gives happiness. For example, going out with a friend might lead to a better “story” than re-watching your favorite TV show alone in your living room. The experiences which developsl connections with other people provides purpose and meaning in our lives. And when you share a story with someone else, it results in developing kinship which increases the happiness even more.
  • Any activity that helps you grow as a person and gives you a purpose to your existence works better for your satisfaction and happy quotient. Learning new skills or capabilities, change your world view, lead to epiphanies or move you toward a greater goal are all “transformational.” This could be anything from learning a new recipe to taking an improvement class.
  • Unplugging from digital devices and notifications when you’re relaxing or spending time with others can help you tune into “real life”.
  • An 80-year long Harvard study showed that relationships,not money, predicted how happy and healthy one can become with age. Spending free time with friends and family members, or keeping in touch on the phone, deepens the relationships. By keeping in contact,it becomes easy to share the happiness with others.
  • Engage in leisurely activities which utilize the skills and passions, because we’re happier when we are fully engaged with something that requires all of our energy. Removing distractions while you complete a task or activity is one way to fully engage.
  • Some moments like watching a sunset or sunrise, spending time with children or visiting monuments improve mood. Perhaps being with nature or family can make you appreciate ordinary moments even more.
  • Being popular and well known in community is one of the traits of human beings care about in their social status. Rather than chasing more material possessions, giving back to the community through volunteering is one way to make the social status more meaningful, and make you feel that you’re playing an active role in society.

Spending time with family is fun.

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CAUSE A CHATTER, Knowledge Series, LIFESTYLE, top post on indiblogger

THE SUSTAINABLE DISPOSAL OF ELECTRONIC WASTE IN INDIA

Electronic waste is said to be a hazard for the environment. World over it has been a bigger issue as compared to India. Research indicates that electronic waste in India goes through many cycles of reuse, repair and resale. So, in fact, wasting is regularly deferred. In India mass collections of used electronics are repaired, refurbished, and re-sold to other businesses. Thus the waste is back into use. Producing new products from used parts or reselling your things to new companies is a good practice.

E waste

For example, an old computer monitor is always cited as one of the most polluting categories of E-Waste because of their leaded glass. But it is used in remanufacturing TVs. This extends the life of these electronic gadgets. The recycling of E-Waste, which can be chemically hazardous, is based on the value of materials. For example, a smartphone can have almost Rs.75 worth of gold in it. Such reuse of E waste is essentially a very creative skill. It is based in scientific knowledge. Most of these people who are doing it, do not have any degrees, but have learnt with experience.

They understand some basic aspects of electrical engineering, global electronics production, commodity trading etc. and they found out the useful rather usable part from any waste and reuse it. There is so much free-flow and movement in the used electronics economy that everyone who is involved in managing the waste explores whether a device or a part has another use or potential for use. The overall tone is of experimentation and exploration.

It’s about creative minds, figuring out how to make things which work or things which could be useful. This results in incredibly innovative ways of repurposing E-Waste. For example, laptop batteries were remade into batteries for children’s toys or mobile phone chargers. Some devices are repurposed to test other devices. For example, a small LED light can be used to indicate if a device is working or a wall outlet re-circuited and connected to a light bulb to test whether a circuit is working.

The professionals in the E-Waste industry, generally believe that nothing is useless. They have an underlying wise view with which they approach every item as having a potential use or value. Even if one person didn’t know how to use it, someone down the line would use them.

Everyone recognizes that waste is produced by the people or by the society. The things need not have to become redundant after use. The people need to approach things with a flexible view to their use and should be open to experimentation and finding a new way to use them.

Divide between people working in different segments of the used electronic industry ranges from small scale kabaddi walas to scrape dealers to large-scale traders, who travel internationally. The kabaddi wala mostly deals in regular recyclable, like, plastic, and paper earlier but added e-waste to their portfolio since electronics has more value than other recyclables . They are helping us to dispose off the waste in sustainable and responsible way but their important work is not recognized .

Our country and other South Asian countries which also have similar reused economies provide an important example for countries in the West. The developed world has lifestyles which is based on disposal rather than recycling. They are bigger culprit in harming the environment and planet earth. While we have a sound system in place with low rates of recycling and related reuse and repair. Even my kabadi wala, who did not speak English, know the term “use and throw” as “American way of life“.

There are burgeoning movements in the West now that support people to developing their repair and reuse skills. I am very hopeful at seeing these movements grow in the interest of environment. As far as India’s domestic industry is concerned, the government could provide more support to this informal sector and recycling enterprises with imaginations. The government can set up industrial areas with infrastructure to support the informal recycling sector . The industry experts can work with E-Waste recyclers by guiding and training them. This will help to provide a step forward that would reduce the wastage in the process of re-cycling. These recyclers definitely deserve our recognition and respect.

Sustainable disposal to save environment is the need of the hour.

It is high time, we show responsibility towards electronic waste disposal as a global community. Environmental pollution has reached to such a stage that our climate changes are threatening our basic survival. It’s time to opt for sustainable living and caring for environment. Let us celebrate every day as “environment day” by controlling our habits which harm the environment and planet earth. This is the only place we have to live. Let us join hands to save our home.

This post is part of #CAUSEACHATTER WITH BLOGCHATTER.

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, FOOD, Knowledge Series, top post on indiblogger

How about a Date?

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It’s quite ok to have a date, whatever your age! Isn’t it?

Yes,  dates keep one  quite healthy and happy and one should try to include them in the diet. Confused?

We are referring to dates  also known as khajur in Hindi. 🙂

This being Ramadan month, dates is one of the most popular foods that are served as part of Iftars. They are natural sweeteners. Many desserts are prepared using them without any added sugar.

Dates are said to be  originally from Iran, though it is now available and consumed across the world. Date Palms are mostly found in the deserts and they usually grow in clusters. I am born and brought up in Haryana and remember seeing dates trees while crisscrossing the state. As a young child, I find them  similar to  coconut trees.🌴 

I had eaten or rather seen for the first time raw red dates when I had first shifted to Ahmedabad in 2003. I have ever since become fan of those sweet bright red coloured wonder fruit after taking my first bite. 

The Middle East nations ( Iran, Egypt,Southi Arab etc.) are top dates producing countries. In these countries, dates are considered a staple food . The dates cultivation seems to be from the 6th millennium BCE. There are different varieties of dates available in the market now and each have diffrent taste and texture.

Dates is a nutritious fruit, especially when dried. It contains a lot of fibre and essential vitamins and minerals which are good for our health. Many people eat it as a dessert and they really make a healthy dessert but only if taken in moderation!

Let us see why dates are said to be an excellent food?

 

Dates have always been known for the rich concentration of antioxidants in them and help us prevent and combat a lot of infections. 

These powerhouse of antioxidants  protects human body cells from damage to oxidative stress from free radicals. Also, the carotenoids  in dates help reduce eye-related disorders. They are also richly endowed with flavonoids  and Phenolic acid. The dates have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the risk of cancer and help with heart issues.

Dates are good for bones as they have Copper, Selenium, and Magnesium in abundance. They also are a rich source of  essential Vitamin K . Vitamin K helps in coagulation of blood which in turnt helps in bone metabolism. In post-menopausal women, the Potassium in dates is beneficial by protecting the bone mass. Hence, eating foods rich in minerals that provide bone strength and keep them healthy is important.

Anything sweet is supposed to be bad for diabetics. However,  sweet foods with low glycemic index can be safely eaten by diabetics. Low glycemic index  means is that  the absorption of sugar into the blood will be slow. Dates have a low glycemic index. They are  rich in fibre which slows down digestion. The fibre rich dates also aids in bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Interestingly dates  also help to increase the production of insulin in the body. Hence can also prevent  from getting diabetes as the sugar absorption rate in the intestines is reduced. Overall, it can be considered a diabetic-friendly food.

Every want to reverse ageing. Our super food Dates come with anti-ageing factors. The Vitamin C and D present in dates helps maintain the elasticity of  skin. Funnily, most dates  (especially the dried ones) come with wrinkled skin but may help keep  skin free from wrinkles.

Studies have shown that dates can lower brain inflammations which are found to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies have also found that dates prevent the formation of plaques in the brain which cause to cognitive loss. This is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory properties mentioned earlier. The choline and Vitamin B in dates helps learning and memory functions.

It’s time to Date !

Dates being  good source of a lot of essential stuff that helps us stay healthy.

Come on, let’s go dating !

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, FOOD, Knowledge Series, top post on indiblogger

VITAMIN D

Top Post on IndiBloggerVitamin D has come to the forefront in 2020 as it’s suggested to be helpful in the treatment of Covid19 and was found to be good to increase immunity. But this sunshine vitamin is an essential ingredient to keep the human body in good spirits.

The prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency is reported worldwide, both in sunshine deficient and sunshine sufficient countries. Still, it is the most underdiagnosed and undertreated nutritional deficiency in the world. However, various studies showed poor Vitamin D status irrespective of age, sex, and geography.

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency: 

Vitamin D deficiency in India, a sunshine country has been a recent phenomenon but now Vitamin D deficiency is quite rampant in India. Apart from low intake in diet, people with liver, kidney and skin disorders also have Vitamin D deficiency. There are many reasons for it being so common in our country.

  • Increased indoor lifestyle, thereby preventing adequate exposure to sunlight. This is mainly in the urban population due to modernization.
  • Pollution can hamper the synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin by UV rays.
  • Changing food habits contribute to low dietary calcium and Vitamin D intake
  • Phytates and phosphates which are present in fiber rich diet, can deplete Vitamin D stores and increase calcium requirement
  • Increased skin pigmentation and application of sunscreens
  • Cultural practices such as the burqa and purdah system
  • Unspaced and unplanned pregnancies in women with dietary deficit can lead to worsening of Vitamin D status in both mother and child.

Consequences of Vitamin D Deficiency: 

Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean a deficiancy of vitamin D deficiency. Even without symptoms, too little vitamin D can pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:

Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Cognitive impairment in older adults
Severe asthma in children
Cancer
Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.
India being a tropical country has adequate sunshine. Most of the Indian population live in areas with adequate sunlight throughout the year and are expected to have adequate Vitamin D. Contrary to this, the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency is high in India.

Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency:
Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D — through diet and supplements. Although there is no consensus on vitamin D levels required for optimal health  and it likely to differ based on age and health conditions.

If you don’t spend much time in the sun or always are careful to cover your skin (sunscreen inhibits vitamin D production), you should speak to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.

Educational programs are a must to create awareness about Vitamin D deficiency as it is the most underdiagnosed and undertreated nutritional disease. Both physicians and the public should be made aware of its implications.

School going children should be made aware about the need for Vitamin D sufficiency and healthy lifestyle. Let us take charge of our own health.

Foods rich in Vitamin D:

Cod liver oil, and fish such as sardines, trout, hilsa, salmon, sword fish, mackerel, and tuna, are good sources of vitamin D. Egg yolk (both chicken and quail are good too). Mushrooms are the only known plant food that naturally has the vitamin. Leaving them out, be in the sun for about 15 to 30 minutes increases levels of Vit D.

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FOOD, Knowledge Series

Quinoa – The Superfood

Quinoa pronounced as kinuwa has recently been acknowledged as “superfood”.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a pseudocereal, as this grain isn’t from grasses like wheat and rice. Quinoa is the seed of Chenopodium quinoa and is closely related to bathua which is Chenopodium album (goosefoot).These gluten free seeds are rich in proteins, vitamin B, dietary minerals and fibers. It is also a good source of antioxidants called flavonoids.

A native of South American continent (Peru, Chile and Bolivia) for thousands of years, quinoa formed the staple diet of the Incas and their descendants. It dates back three to four thousand years ago when the Incas first realized that the quinoa seed was fit for human consumption. Quinoa “was the gold of the Incas” because the Incas believed it increased the stamina of their warriors.

The UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of its high nutrient content. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also contributes useful levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre.

Another advantage of Quinoa is that,it is the least allergenic of all the ‘grains’, making it a fantastic wheat-free choice. Like buckwheat, quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source. Quinoa is therefore an excellent choice for vegans.

Though quinoa is around for 1000 years or so, but it has recently attained a cult like status among foodies or health conscious people. Quinoa cultivation is one of the main livelihoods of Andean farmers, but now spreading to other parts of the world. In recent years, North America and Europe have taken up quinoa farming and India has recently joined in albeit on a smaller scale. Rajasthan, Andhra pradesh and Uttarakhand have taken the plunge, though not on a very large scale. I prefer to shop local varieties as they are fresher. I have procured my quinoa from very unlikely place – Beas, in Punjab.

When cooked, quinoa seeds become fluffy and creamy, but maintains slight crunchiness. It has a subtle nutty flavor and can be relished for breakfast (as a cereal), lunch (as a salad) or dinner (as a side dish). Since its bland in taste

I have added boiled quinoa in my salad and they perfectly gel with the taste. Lemon, salt and chat masala and lo, a tasty meal is ready in a jiffy!

Quinoa contains almost twice the fibre than most of the grains. More fibres means feeling full for a longer time, hence a favourite for weight loosers. Its suitable to give relief in constipation too. Fibre rich foods also lowers cholesterol and sugar levels, thus beneficial in heart disease and diabetes.

The iron in quinoa helps in healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin formation. It definitely is good for women, who are generally anemic. Iron carries oxygen to our whole body. The oxygen in blood helps in muscle contraction , brain function, regulation of blood temperature and energy metabolism.

High manganese, magnesium and B2 in quinoa improves tissue growth, alleviates blood vessels, detoxification, healthy bones and teeth and protects from injuries due to free radicals. So, overall a power packed performance from nutritional powerhouse !!

Besides adding it to salad, it can be used in the similar way, as we make milk – daliya by replacing daliya with boiled quinoa. It can be eaten in place of oats and can replace noodles in soups. Since quinoa is somewhat bitter in taste, it’s good to wash the boiled seeds under plenty of water before using in any of the dish.

I am sharing few recipe links below. They may help you in creating your own signature recipes. Quinoa is band in taste and hence will absorb the taste of spices of the dish.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2364643/spicy-tuna-quinoa-salad

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/one-pot-chicken-quinoa

Healthy cooking folks!!
 

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Google, I love all your freebies!!!

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“Googly” was the only word nearest to “google” in my childhood, growing years and late twenties. It’s the kind of balling which is unpredictable. I was never a cricket fan. Am still not. So “googly” never meant anything to me.

But replace the “y” by “e” and it becomes the lifeline of almost everyone now. “Google” has become the most dependable partner of life. Do I see spouse growling? 😛

Google has entered into every sphere of life of every smartphone user.

Google apps keep us updated about the things which are important to us. Answer to questions like nearest restaurant, petrol pump, temple etc with in fraction of a second makes life so easy. The more it’s used, the more it gets better as we get hack of it.

Search and browse:
– Nearby stores and restaurants
– Live sports scores and schedules
– Movies times, casts and reviews
– Videos and images
– News, stock information and more
– Anything that you’d find on the web

In the morning, to know the happenings of the world, get the news from Google News app in mobile or check stock market, movies and events or get updates about your interests. It organizes the happenings around the world.

Google news gives full coverage with just at the tap. It’s almost impossible to keep up with every story available on internet. “Your briefing” selects the relevant news for you and is updated throughout the day. It brings local as well as world stories.

Google news gives you everything online about a story and organises highlighting different perspectives, FAQs and timeline of key events. It uses the credible publishers and diverse resources from around the world.

While on a walk or exercise (with earphones intact in ears) enjoy nonstop music from Google Music app. Choose your favourite singer, genre, period, Indian, western, american… , you name it and it’s there. Google Music spoils one for the umpteen choices it offers.

Google Fit is there to measure the steps takes or distance covered, heart rate checks etc. My day starts with google fit as I go out to walk first thing in the morning. I wish, if google fit adds the calorie intake option also by selecting the food eaten, It’s going to be my all in one health-keeping app. “Google” – Are you listening?

Get to a healthier and more active life with the new Google Fit!

It’s hard to know how much or what kind of activity you need to stay healthy. That’s why Google Fit worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to bring you two new activity goals that can help improve your health: Move Minutes and Heart Points

• Move Minutes
When it comes to your health, it’s important to move more and sit less. Earn Move Minutes for all of your activity and get motivated to make small, healthier changes throughout your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or catching up with a friend over a walk instead of a coffee.

• Heart Points
Activities that get your heart pumping harder have tremendous health benefits for your heart and mind. You’ll earn one Heart Point for each minute of moderate activity, like picking up the pace when walking your dog, and double points for more intense activities like running. It takes just 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week to reach the AHA and WHO’s recommended amount of physical activity, which is shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep, and increase overall mental well-being.

Google Fit will also help you:

TRACK YOUR WORKOUTS FROM YOUR PHONE OR WATCH
Get instant insights when you exercise and see real-time stats for your runs, walks, and bike rides. Fit will use your Android phone’s sensors or Wear OS by Google smartwatch’s heart rate sensors to record your speed, pace, route, and more.

MONITOR YOUR GOALS
See your daily progress for Heart Points and Move Minutes. Meeting your goals each day? Based on your activity and goal progress, Google Fit will help you adjust them so you can keep challenging yourself to achieve a healthy heart and mind.

MAKE ALL YOUR MOVEMENT COUNT
If you walk, run, or bike during the day, your Android phone or Wear OS by Google smartwatch will automatically detect and add your activities to your Google Fit journal to ensure you get credit for every move. Enjoy a different type of workout? Select it from a list of activities like pilates, rowing, or spinning, and Google Fit will track all the Heart Points and Move Minutes you earn.

GET COACHING THAT FITS YOU
Get customized tips and actionable coaching, like help adjusting your goals based on your activity

CONNECT WITH YOUR FAVORITE APPS AND DEVICES
Fit can show you info from many of your favorite apps and devices to give you a holistic view of your health, so you’ll never lose track of your progress. These include Lifesum, Wear OS by Google, Nike+, Runkeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal, Lifesum, Basis, Sleep as Android, Withings, Xiaomi Mi bands, and more.

CHECK IN AT ANY TIME
See a snapshot of your activity history across Fit and your integrated apps in the redesigned journal.

Now going out in any unknown territories is not worrisome at all. Google Map hai na. 🙂

I am sure, everyone reading this post have used google maps  many a times in recent years. I had been to Jaisalmer last year. It’s a desert town with almost no human interaction for kilometers together. Google map was the only guide on those lonely roads. Thankfully, there was Jio signal in the remotest area, which in true sense is the best thing happening in internet connectivity in India.

Google Photos to keep all digital memories safe and always accessible.

Google Photos , the new photo gallery from Google, is ever ready to keep our photos and videos  automatically backed up and organised. It makes sharing easier and never run out of space on your phone.The best place to keep unlimited photos and videos for free in High Quality. The treasure trove can be accessed through any device and from photos.google.com.The photos are safe, secure and private to you. The photos are searchable by the people, places and things in them – no tagging required. The automatically created movies, collages, animations, panoramas make it lot more fun. Photos can be shared, viewed and stored in motion too. Advanced editing tools will give enhance your pics.Adjust lighting, contrast, colour and vignette, or pick from 14 innovative photo filters to make your pictures look great with one tap.

SMART AUTOMATIC ALBUMS
Tell better stories, without the work. Automatically get a new album with just your best shots after an event or trip, then invite others to add their photos.

SEND PHOTOS IN SECONDS
Don’t waste data texting and emailing photos. Instantly share photos with any contact, email or phone number, straight from the app.

SHARED LIBRARIES
Share without sharing. Grant a trusted person access to some of your photos, such as just those that they’re in.

REDISCOVER
It’s easier than ever to relive your memories. Get collages of photos that you took a year ago on this day – perfect for #tbt.

CAST
View your photos and videos on your TV with Chromecast support.

I am sure many of you must have digitised your earlier photos and kept it safely in google photos. The earlier printed photos get spoiled after some time but not digitised version. Finally, a photos app that’s as smart as you.

Google docs , sheets and slides for innumerable jobs, one needs to do. What a convenience ! No need to keep any papers and so environment friendly way to keep all the documents.

 

Duo for that wonderful video calls. Not a very popular option right now as compared to whatsapp video calls, it’s definitely a choice offered to people who want to exercise it for clearer video and voice.

 

Last but not the least, the eternal Gmail. Gmail has made postman out of job. 🙂 All our communication to the world is through gmail now. Even the wedding cards have gone digital and sent through emails.

Google Play is the most known application from Google and is the free marketplace to download any mobile application which is required  on mobile. It has added so much convenience and ease of use of resources available  and results in personal and professional learning and entertainment.

Google Movies to watch movies and TV shows at your pace and place. It’s another way to enjoy movies, TV shows etc other than Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Google Drive to keep all documents, everything and anything in safe without any worries. It’s safe way to keep all your soft copies without any worries and tension.

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