Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Love & Lemons

Love and Lemons by Jeanine was actually one of the first food blogs I discovered when I began delving into the world of healthy living blogs. I was immediately in love with the clean design of the her site and the simple, yet captivating food photography. At Love and Lemons they’re all about the vegetables, again Jeanine doesn’t label herself vegan or vegetarian, but is more about sharing ideas and inspiration for how to make veggies taste amazing. Many of the recipes are vegan though, or can easily be adapted, so it’s a great resource to bookmark when you’re stuck for a dinner idea. A few recipes I’ve enjoyed from Love and Lemons are these Chickpea Raddichio Wraps and this Sweet Potato Surprise, I’ve made both of these numerous times and they’re delicious!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

21 Ways to Prevent Hair Loss!

At last Gentleman, you have noticed the receding hairline on your forehead! And you lovely lady, why are you so worried about your thinning hair? There are a good lot of ways that can stop your hair loss trend and bring back good volume to your “head-crown!” I am going to give away 15 sure-shot ways to prevent hair loss so that you can then work upon your hair growth regime to bring back your crowning glory! But before that take notice of a fact related to your hair loss, it’ll prove helpful to you.
Normal Hair Loss- nothing to worry about!
We all lose some hair strands each day. So, it’s normal to see some hair coming off your scalp when you brush your hair daily. Normally we lose about 80-100 strands daily due to the end of life cycle of a hair strand. If that’s the matter, you don’t have to worry a lot. Just continue to have a stress-less healthy lifestyle including balanced diet. It’s when you see an abnormal loss of hair that you should start taking measures to stop this. There are many causes of hair loss. You may lose hair due to some hormonal changes, unhealthy lifestyle, junk food devoid of nutritional value, stress, some medication, vitamins deficiency, thyroid problems, menopause etc. Whatever the causes, you should try to eliminate them first and then resort to these home remedies for hair loss.
Actual Hair Loss- Get, Set, Go….
Massage, massage and massage…
More and more people are adopting regular head massage to cure as well as prevent hair loss. Why is massaging your scalp so important? It increases blood flow to your scalp! When blood flow to the hair follicles increases, it conditions the scalp, and strengthens the hair roots. The warmed up skin during massage opens up the blood vessels that help in greater nutrient intake. Don’t forget that hair is one of the important part of your body that also needs sufficient nutrients to grow and remain strong. Proper conditioning through oil massage also prevent dandruff which is yet another cause of hair loss. Not only this, massaging is relaxing and it relieves you off stress, another cause of hair-loss. When hair massage is so beneficial, why not make it a regular habit of massaging hair twice or thrice a week? It will definitely prevent hair loss and make them healthy and shiny. But what oils to use for head massage? I’ll tell you.
Best oils to prevent hair loss
These can be categorized into two, in fact, three groups- Herbal Oils, Essential Oils and Carrier Oils (also called base oils). Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils before they can be applied to the skin for massage. That way, while you need to use carrier oils with essential oils, you can use natural herbal oils directly on your scalp for massage. Here’s the list of herbal oils that you can use for head massage in order to prevent hair loss.
 
#1 Coconut Oil Massage


Coconut Oil is perhaps the best oil for preventing hair loss. This oil is used extensively in India and no one can doubt the quality of hair that Indian women possess. Coconut oil acts as sealant by preventing hair from losing its moisture. Apart from the fine nutrition that it provides to your hair, the lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial properties that keep away your scalp from infections.
 
#2 Olive Oil Massage

Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants and thus provide great nourishment to your hair. It also penetrates hair shafts better and prevent them from narrowing down by controlling the hormone called DTH. The extra virgin olive oil is best one when it comes to hair loss as it is rich in vitamin E and mono unsaturated fatty acids that not only prevents hair loss but also promotes hair growth.
 
#3 Almond Oil Massage

Almond Oil is perhaps the most nutritious oil with its rich contents that include Vitamins E, D, iron, magnesium, calcium, and fats. In fact, almond oil can also be used carrier oil when applying essential oils to the scalp. It gets absorbed slowly and deeply into the hair which makes it a perfect base for essential oils. This way you can get benefits of both- herbal as well as essential oil!
Now, it’s the turn to know the essential oils that are best for preventing hair loss.
lavender, cedarwood, thyme and rosemary
 
#4 Lavender Oil Massage

Lavender Oil with its wonderful fragrance is beneficial for preventing hair loss due to its antioxidant nutrients as well as antifungul and antiseptic properties. This oil derived from lavender flowers treats dandruff as well as itching, controls hair breakage all to prevent hair loss. It deeply conditions the hair and also controls dandruff. Lavender oil is widely used to treat alopecia areata too. Alopecia areata is a condition when excessive hair is lost and that too in patches. In such extreme cases daily massage with lavender oil is required. Jojoba and grapeseed oils can be used as base or carrier oil for any essential oil including lavender.

#5 Rosemary Oil Massage

Rosemary Oil, obtained from rosemary leaves, is yet another essential oil used to prevent hair loss even for acute alopecia areta condition. This oil stimulates the hair roots and increases blood circulation in the scalp leading to hair growth too. Jojoba oil, grapeseed oil as well almond oil prove to be great carrier oils for rosemary oil. So mix it with one of any carrier oils and massage your scalp daily or weekly as per your hair loss status!
 
#6 Geranium Oil Massage
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Geranium Oil, extracted from plant’s leaves and stalks is good for both dry and oily hair. It basically works on the sebaceous glands on your scalp and helps in regulating the secretion of sebum. This in turn strengthens hair while making them smooth and silky. Carrier oils are same as for other essential oils- jojoba, grapeseed, almond or coconut oil.
 
#7 Super-Tip for Hair Loss…

This is something you’ll love to massage your hair with. This is a lotion prepared with a variety of essential oils. First, I’ll tell you how to make this lotion for hair loss prevention and then how to use it. You’ll need the following ingredients in the exact measure as written below:
  • Rosewater- 50 ml
  • Distilled water- 50 ml
  • Apple cider vinegar- 15 ml
  • Rosemary Oil- 5 drops
  • Jojoba Oil- 6 drops
  • Carrot Oil- 3 drops
  • Geranium Oil- 3 drops
Now how to use this lotion to massage your hair to reduce hair fall!
  • Mix all the above oils and water and give a good shake.
  • After washing hair, dry your hair partially.
  • Now take some lotion, about 2 teaspoons, that you have prepared after mixing all the above oils and rose plus distilled water.
  • Rub this lotion gently on your scalp.
  • Store the rest of the lotion in refrigerator.
  • When you take out the lotion again next day, you will see the ingredients in it separated.
  • Shake the bottle again.
  • Now apply as you did the previous day.
  • Massage your scalp daily with this lotion and see how you prevent your hair loss in only few days.
Eat Right to Prevent Hair Loss
Without strong foundation any building can fall. Same is true with hair. If you don’t provide right nutrition to your hair, they’ll eventually fall. So, start eating and rightly so for your hair too. Haere’s what all you should include in your diet to prevent hair loss.
 
#8 Omega- 3 Fatty Acids
 
Why have Omega 3 fatty acids?
They can easily reach your hair scalp and cell membranes deep into your scalp. This provides nourishment to follicles which not only prevent hair loss but promote its growth. Secondly, they also make your hair more elastic so that they do not break easily. They also cure dry itchy skin, thus preventing dandruff.
What to have?
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Soybeans

#9 Zinc Rich Foods
 
Why have foods rich in zinc?
Deficiency of zinc is one of the major causes of hair loss. Zinc builds proteins (so essential for hair growth), creates DNA and boosts tissue growth and repair. It also regulates hormones which includes testosterone, high levels of which can lead to hair loss.
What to have?
  • Seafoods like oysters and crabs
  • Lean Beef
  • Wheat Germ
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin, squash and sunflower seeds
  • Nuts
  • Pork and chicken
#10 Protein Rich Foods
 
Why have protein?
Because our hair is primarily made up of protein. So, if you don’t eat protein rich food, you don’t have hair. Protein deficiency can also lead to graying of hair.
What to have?
  • Milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Lentils
  • Seafood such as salmon
  • White meat- poultry
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Lean Beef

#11 Iron Rich Foods
 
Why have iron rich foods?
Iron is the carrier of oxygen within your body. It’s deficiency can mean less oxygen reaching your head and less oxygen means poor blood circulation which in turn will definitely lead to hair problems including hair loss.
What to have?
  • Egg yolks
  • Red meat
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Dry fruits like prunes and raisins
  • Mollusks such as oysters, clams, scallops
  • Turkey
  • Beans, lentils, soybeans, chickpeas
  • Liver
#12 Vitamins A and C
 
Why have vitamins?
These vitamins help in producing sebum, the oily substance that is secreted by our hair follicles to prevent hair from breaking off. Vitamin C also improves iron absorption. However, don’t go overboard. Excess vitamin A can even lead to hair loss. So have this vitamin in moderation.
What to eat for vitamin A?
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Spinach and Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Winter squash
  • Mustard greens
  • lettuce
What to eat for vitamin C?
  • Papaya
  • Bell peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapples
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Oranges and Kiwi fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
Use Herbs to Prevent hair Loss
If your hair loss is acute and you think you take perfect diet then also are unable to prevent hair loss, some herbs may help you to overcome your problem. Some Indian as well as Native American herbs can prove to be good remedies for hair loss.
 
#13 Bhringaraj (Eclipta Alba)

This herb, Bhringaraj, is one of the main components of ancient Ayurvedic hair oils and hair tonics meant for preventing hair loss. It is the established Ayurvedic medicine to cure baldness and premature graying of hair too.
How to use Bhringaraj to prevent hair fall?
Get some Bhringaraj leaves and prepare a special hair oil through the below mentioned method.
You’ll need:
  • Bhringaraj plant/ leaves- 50gm
  • Coconut oil – 200 ml (you can also use sesame oil or any other oil as a base oil, but coconut poil is best for the purpose)
  • Fenugreek seeds – 2 teaspoons
Follow the below steps to make bhringaraj oil at home
  • Crush the leaves of Bhringaraj plant or grind it. Howver, do ot make it a paste. They should be partially grounded.
  • Boil coconut oil in a pan.
  • Add the crushed Bhringaraj leaves and fenugreek seeds to the boiling coconut oil.
  • Let the mixture boil for about 10 minutes until when you see big bubbles formed in the oil.
  • Put off the flame and let the oil stand overnight in the covered pan.
  • In the morning, strain the oil into a glass jar or bottle.
  • Use the oil for massaging your head scalp- daily.
If you can’t find Bhringaraj plants,you may even buy readymade bhringaraj oil sold in the market and even available online these days.
 
#14 Indian Gooseberry or Amla (Phyllanthus Emblica)

Amla, yet again an Indian herb is a rich source of vitamin C and iron. This herb is used since ancient times to prevent hair loss. You can also take advantage of this readily available herb.
How to use Amla reduce hair fall?
You’ll need:
  • Amla pieces
  • Coconut oil
If your amla pieces are dried, you can use them directly otherwise dry them up in shade.
  • Boil Coconut oil
  • Add the dried amla pieces and let it boil for the time until it gets dark in colour
  • Put off the flame and let the oil get cool.
  • Take out the pieces of amla and use the oil for massaging your hair scalp.
Another way of using this herb is to soak the amla pieces in water overnight. It’s better if you soak it in an iron vessel. Next day when you shampoo after oil massage, use this water to rinse your hair.
 
#15 Ghritkumari (Aloe Vera)

Not only Ayurveda but even the ancient Egyptian medicine used aloe vera to prevent hair loss. Aloevera contains enzymes that can eradicate dead cells on our scalp so that they do not clog the hair follicles. Clogging of hair follicles prevent nutrients from entering the hair roots. Aloe vera’s alkalizing properties also help in maintaining hair’s pH level at optimum level promoting hair growth.
How to use aloe vera to prevent hair loss?
Prepare an aloe vera hair mask. You’ll need:
  • Aloe vera gel extracted from aloe vera plant – Half cup
  • Castor oil- 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder- 2 tsp
  • Basil powder- 2 tsp
Mix all the above ingredients to get a thick mask.
  • Apply this gel mask to your scalp.
  • Cover yopur hair too with this mask.
  • Leave the mask on hair for about eight hours. If you can do it at night, its better. Just wear a shower cap before going to bed.
  • Wash off this mask using a mild shampoo
  • Do this once a week for a few months to get a good volume of hair.

#16 Yucca Plant and Yucca Root Powder

Native American tribes use Yucca plant root for preventing hair loss. Yucca root and even yucca root powder can be obtained from grocery stores. You can make yucca root shampoo at home.
You’ll need:
  • Yucca root powder- 1 tablespoons
  • Water- 2 cups
Mix yucca root powder with water and blend it, if possible in a food processor. You will get a foamy smooth liquid through this procedure which can be used to cleanse your hair.
You can use yucca root in a different way too.
  • Take a piece of yucca root.
  • Peel off the outer brown layer of your yucca root. This will show up the fleshy white inside of the root.
  • Now using a hammer or some other tool like it, smash the root to get its pieces.
  • When you run a piece of such yucca root under water, you’ll get a leathery bar soap like thing with which you can shampoo your hair.

Manage your Stress
Believe it or not, if everything’s right- the diet, vitamins and nutrients intake, what can be the root cause of your hair less may be the big villain- Stress. So, you need to find out the reason for your stress and eliminate that. Here are some suggestions that you can adopt for reducing and managing your stress levels. However, your stress is unique to you and you only need to find the perfect way to deal with it. Hope positive- that’s the first thing you can do to remain stress-free!
 
#17 Do Meditation

Meditation is simple and you don’t need to spend any money on it. Everyone can practice meditation. When you do meditation, you can focus your attention. You are able to eliminate the entangled thoughts that crowd up your mind and cause stress by inducing hormonal imbalance. Meditation promotes your emotional and physical well-being including your hair’s health!
 
#18 Breathe deeply

Deep breathing is the basic to many Yoga techniques. It is simple, easy and can be done anywhere while doing anything. You just need to take a five minutes break, sit straight (if not possible, stand straight), close your eyes and focus on your breathing process. Inhale slowly through nose, feel the air passing down till your abdomen and realize its making its way up till your head. Now just reverse the process, feel the air climbing down and gradually exhale it out through your nose. Deep breathing is a foolproof way of
 
#19 Exercise, even if in moderation

Exercise is not just to keep your body fit, it also makes your mind stress free. Any exercise- walking, yoga, swimming, aerobics, playing etc.- release feel-good chemicals in your body keeping whole of your body and mind stress free and healthy.
 
#20 Express yourself, vent out feelings
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Social support is crucial in dealing with stress. Talk to others- your spouse, friends, family members- face-to-face or at least on phone. If somehow, you can not talk to anyone, write down your experiences and feelings. Maintaining a daily diary or a ‘feelings-journal’ too can prove to be a great stress buster. Keeping yourself stress free will not only save you from chronic diseases but also from hair loss!
 
#21 Take Good Care of your Hair

Taking care of anything eventually preserves it and promotes it. True for hair too! Fix a good cleaning regimen for hair, do not use harsh chemicals for coloring or styling your hair, and be gentle to your hair. Here are some more tips to take care of your hair to prevent them from falling off.
  • Avoid constant heating and drying procedures on your hair. Heat tends to weaken hair proteins leading to hair-loss. Thus hair dryers, hot curlers, hot brushes, hair straighteners, hair fasteners etc. should be used sparingly if at all.
  • Avoid using tight low quality rubber bands, elastics etc. on your hair. Tightly done hair styles can lead to their breakage and eventual hair loss. Medical condition which leads to hair loss due to too tight hairstyle is called ‘traction’. Better avoid such hairstyles.
  • This trick to prevent hair loss, I bet, you know already- avoid brushing wet hair. And also use wide tooted combs and brushes with soft bristles.
Reading all the above tips may give you a feeling as if hair care is a challenge. However, once you make a habit of taking proper care of your hair and also change your lifestyle to include good diet and exercises for body and mind, you’ll feel, how simple it is to pamper your hair!
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Five Tips for Getting Started With Windows 8.1

Change is always hard. We get accustomed to doing things one way, and when something comes along to mess that up, our natural reaction is to revolt.
It’s no surprise, then, that Microsoft didn’t get the warmest reception when it releasedWindows 8 last year. Designed to be an all-in-one operating system for both PCs and tablets, Windows 8 was a stark departure from previous versions of the OS, and required a steep learning curve that involved juggling between two interfaces and giving up some familiar favorites like the Start button, among other things.
To address some of those issues, last month Microsoft released Windows 8.1. The update brings a series of tweaks and new features that generally make the OS better — though, if you found Windows 8 confusing, you still will in this new version. But, since this is the future of Windows-based machines, it might be time to learn some of the ins and outs of the OS. To help you out, I’ve outlined some tips for using Windows 8.1.One note before getting started: Windows 8.1 is available as a free download to Windows 8 users. Those with older versions of Windows will have to pay $120 to upgrade, and their machines have to meet the minimum system requirements. If you fall into the latter group, it might be better to hold off until you need to upgrade your hardware.

MAKE IT PERSONAL
When you first boot up Windows 8.1, you won’t notice a huge difference between the latest update and Windows 8. You still get the tile-based Start screen, but it’s a lot more customizable than the previous version.
Screenshot (1)
For example, you can now change the background image by accessing the Charms menu (to do so, swipe in from the right side of the screen, or point to the lower- or upper-right corner if you’re using a mouse), selecting Settings, and then Personalize. Meanwhile, right-clicking or doing a long-press on a tile brings up options to resize it (large, wide, medium or small), remove it from the Start screen, and more.
A quick swipe up from the bottom of the screen (or clicking on the down arrow in the bottom-left if you’re using a mouse) also brings up a view of all your Apps. You can make this your default Start screen by swiping in from the right side of the screen, selecting Search, and then typing “Taskbar.” From there, select the Navigation tab, and then check the box that says, “Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start.”
For those who aren’t ready let go of the past just yet, Windows 8.1 now gives you an option to boot directly to traditional desktop mode. The setting is hard to find, though, so be sure to check out my colleague Walt Mossberg’s explainer on how to enable that feature.

A NEW START (SORT OF)

Screenshot (7)
One of the more welcome features is the return of the Start button.
When you switch to desktop mode, you’ll find it in the bottom-left-hand corner, but it doesn’t function in exactly the same way as before. Tapping or clicking will simply return you to the modern tile-based Start screen, rather than launching the traditional Start menu.
If you right-click on it or do a long press, however, you’ll get a pop-up window that provides access to tools like the control panel, task manager and shutdown/restart. There are also other utilities, including Programs and Features, where you can uninstall or change desktop apps and Power Options for customizing your battery settings.

MULTITASKING USING SNAP VIEW

Windows 8 already offered a function called Snap View that allowed you to view two apps at once, but the screen was split so that one app took up a majority of the room, while the other only took up about a third of screen space. This made it difficult to see or interact with anything in the smaller window. But with Windows 8.1, you can now split the screen to your liking.
Screenshot (2)
To begin, start by opening an app from the Start screen or the Apps-view screen. Next, slide your finger from the top of the screen down to about the middle of the display, or until the app window shrinks. Then move the app to either the left or right side of the screen.
Afterward, you can return to the Start or Apps screen to open your second app, and it will automatically appear next to the first app. By default, Snap View splits the screen in half, but you can change that by dragging the black bar that separates the two apps to the right or the left.
Depending on your screen’s resolution, you can have up to four apps open at once.

CHANGING DEFAULT APPS

Screenshot (5)
Naturally, Microsoft would love for you to use its native apps (Internet Explorer, Xbox Music, and so forth) for all your tasks, but if you have a preference for a certain Web browser, email client or mapping app, Windows 8.1 will allow you to set them as your default.
To do so, open the Charms menu, select Settings, and then Change PC Settings. Next, click on Search and Apps, and choose Defaults at the bottom of the list. Here you can select which apps you would like to use for Web browsing, email, music, video, photos, calendar and maps.

TURN A WEBSITE INTO AN XBOX MUSIC PLAYLIST

I thought I’d end with a fun one. Windows 8.1 offers a pretty nifty feature that allows you to create a playlist in Microsoft’s music app, Xbox Music, based on a website. Yes, you read right — a website.
Screenshot (4)
Just visit any page that talks about music or musicians (for example, I went to hip-hop site Okayplayer.com), open the Charms menu, select Share, and then Music. After a couple of minutes, you’ll see a playlist created based on artists or songs mentioned on the website. Give the playlist a name and tap Create Playlist, and the next time you open Xbox Music, you’ll find it saved under the playlist section.
Windows 8.1 might still have some fundamental problems — it’s still very much geared for touch devices, and the number of Windows 8 apps needs to grow — but the update brings some nice improvements. And if you plan on continuing to live in a Windows world, you will need to learn the new OS at some point, so you might as well start now.
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