Take your fruit servings much beyond an apple a day, and check out these wonderful recipes. I do not want to say anything more. Remember to try out these recipes and I am sure you will thank me as you taste them. Basil Lime Fruit Salad Lime and basil make this fruit salad extremely colorful and tasty. To speed up the preparation process, chop the fruit and make the infused syrup from beforehand. Keep the two separately refrigerated. Mix syrup and fruit together prior to serving. Ingredients Water, 1/2 cup Sugar, 1/2 cup Lime rind, grated, 1 tablespoon Basil leaves, packed, 1/2 cup 1 pound strawberries, quartered, 3 cups 1 medium pineapple, cubed, 4 cups 4 kiwifruit, peeled, lengthwise halved, sliced, around 1 1/2 cups 2 large mangoes, peeled and cubed, 2 cups Preparation Combine ½ cup water along with sugar in a saucepan. Boil the ingredients. Cook for around one minute or till you find that the sugar has dissolved. Take it away from flame and stir in rind and basil. Once you cool it, take a fine mesh and strain the mixture of sugar and water through it into a bowl. As you do it, discard the solids. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients including the pineapple. Gently toss after drizzling with the sugar blend. Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto This dish, which happens to be a delightful appetizer, is a wonderful combination of the salty, savory and sweet. You will love this dish and so will your guests. Another exciting thing is that you just need six ingredients to make this dish. Ingredients Goat cheese, ¾ cup Fresh thyme, chopped, 1 tablespoon Minced shallots, 1 tablespoon Black pepper, freshly ground, ¼ teaspoon Prosciutto, 6 thin slices Whole pitted dates, 24 in number Preparation Get the oven preheated to 350 degrees. Take the first four ingredients and combine them in a bowl. Get the dates lengthwise sliced without cutting through the other side. Open each date and put in about one teaspoon cheese mixture. Take one prosciutto and make it into 4 similar sized pieces by cutting half lengthwise followed by crosswise. Repeat the procedure with the other prosciutto slices, making a total of 24 pieces. Take the prosciutto pieces and wrap one date with each. Then over a parchment paper lined baking sheet, place the dates. Bake in the preheated oven for around 10 minutes or till you find that the filling within is completely heated up. Serve as soon as ready. Chocolate Amaretti Peaches Try out this refreshing yet simple peachy dessert and I am sure the entire family will love it. Amaretti cookies make this dish all the more delicious with their crunchy texture and unique amaretto-almond flavor. Ingredients Brown sugar, 2 tablespoons Crushed amaretti cookies, 1/2 cup (around 8 cookies) Ripe peaches, 4 large, halved and pitted Butter, 8 teaspoons Cooking spray Bittersweet chocolate, 1 ounce, shaved Preparation Get the broiler pre-heated. Take a small bowl and in it, mix sugar with cookie crumbs. Take the peach halves and make their center hollow with the help of a melon baller. Take the cookie crumb mixture (about one rounded tablespoon for each peach half), and fill the peach halves. Over each of the filled halves, place about 1 teaspoon of butter. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes till you find that the butter has melted. Evenly dust out with chocolate. Prior to serving, cool for approximately 5 minutes. Avocado Strawberry Salsa This salsa is sweet and delicious and you can serve it will sautéed fish or grilled chicken. If you want, you can also munch on it during snack time with some baked tortilla chips. Ingredients Avocado, peeled, finely chopped, 1/4 cup Strawberries, finely chopped, 1 cup Red onion, finely chopped, 2 tablespoons Lime rind, grated, 1/2 teaspoon Fresh cilantro, chopped, 2 tablespoons Jalapeño pepper, seeded, finely chopped, 2 teaspoons Fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons Sugar, 1/4 teaspoon Preparation Take all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl, and gently toss to combine. Serve as soon as mixed. Ginger, Apple and Carrot Refresher This is a wonderfully tasty refresher that is low on fat and tastes awesome. Prepare it in a jiffy and […]


Mood swings may seem something very petty, but they are more serious than that, especially when they start affecting our social interaction or work. There are certain people who tend to think that mood swings are external but this is not true, because mood swings have their own clinical basis. Before talking about how to cope up with mood swings, let us explore the causes. Hormones are a major cause, so if it’s temporary for you, just handle those phases with care, but if it is persistent, take a doctor’s help. Another reason may be stress. So, you have to find ways in order to relieve your stress. Again, irregular sleeping patterns may also lead to mood swings, so you must take care of the quality of sleep and the sleep timings. Also, excessive alcohol or caffeine intake may be a cause. Now that you have some of the most common causes of mood swings, here are some ways to deal with this problem. Get good amount of sleep If you are in serious need to control mood swings, just forget everything and sleep. Sleep in the best way to do away with crankiness, and as Dalai Lama rightly puts it, ‘sleep is the best meditation’. Eat healthy and eat regularly How do you feel when you are hungry? I do not need to tell you the answer, right? Right now, I would like to talk about the type of food you eat. There are some foods that cause depression, such as fatty food, processed food, food containing large quantities of sugar, and so on. Since the food we eat has a considerable effect on our mental condition, it is very important to take care of what we are eating, in order to manage mood swings. This is what I usually do on a daily basis to take in healthy amounts of organic fruits and vegetables. It is needless to say that you must limit your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. For me, it was immensely difficult since I was madly in love with coffee, and could not even think of beginning my morning activities without sipping on a cup of coffee. But gradually, when I started having mood swings, my physician told me to cut short on coffee. It was like taking half of my heart away from me. But I have compromised a lot. Previously 6 to 7 cups of coffee was normal for me, but now I have brought it down to just 1 to 2 cups (a drastic compromise indeed!). Alcohol was not an issue for me as I am a non-alcoholic person, but for those who have a penchant for alcohol, I would advise them to remain within limits. Drink water Water can bring down the chances of any disease, leave aside mood swings. I am sure you have been advised by many to drink lots of water. Do not ignore the advice, but actually help yourself to lots of water daily. After you get up in the morning, the first thing that you should have is water (and not tea, coffee or any other beverage!). Always keep a bottle of water handy near you, so that you can always drink water randomly, which will fulfill your water requirement. Exercise Like drinking water, this is also a very common piece of advice, which is again commonly ignored. Exercising helps both the mind and the body. The most important thing about exercising is to search for those particular activities which you enjoy doing, so that when you are exercising, you will not feel like being pushed to do a difficult and seemingly impossible task. For instance, if you enjoy being in the company of nature, you may opt for cycling, hiking, bike riding, or simply walking. Remember that exercising does not mean that you will always have to do serious workout. You may also go for swimming, if you enjoy it. Consult a doctor If your mood swing has become a persistent issue, I would suggest that you consult a doctor. Are you one of those who are against seeing a doctor for such issues? Then think again. When you have mood swings you do feel […]


I am really happy in my life. I think this is the best way to start this write up! Whenever I talk to myself, the only thing that I tell myself is “Jess, you are a lucky, gal! You’ve got a gem of a hubby in Ted and wonderful children in Beth and Clara!” I know there’s a lot who are happier than me, and a lot who are not as happy as I am! I cannot say I don’t care about others, simply because I do care and a person with a happy life really makes my day! You know the first and foremost thing that you need to do to keep your life and days wonderfully happy is feeling satisfied with the life you have, and feeling content with whatever you have got. I have done so, and frankly speaking that has been the secret of my happy life of late. Previously, I used to lead my life just for the sake of leading it. It was just a routine life – comprising of my household duties, my office hours, and that’s it. However, then I thought of changing it, much due to one of my colleagues who had taken a “how to lead a happy life” course. She changed my view towards life. She taught me to set goals for my life. It’s not that I wanted to set goals of summiting Mt. Everest or to be an astronaut. I started setting little goals, and made sure that the goals I set for myself are in synch with the life that I lead with my family. Penning down the day to day events, moments of grieves and ecstasies and the likes, and trying to achieve little things like preparing a never tried before dish, or designing the birthday card for Ted and my daughters, made all the difference. It changed the meaning of my life. I started to make friends. No, do not let alarm bells ring in your stomach. It’s not about going for an extra marital relation or something like that. It is pure and simple friendship. Now it might either involve making new friends of various ages through social media sites, or reviving the old friendships, finding out the old, forgotten friends of yesteryears and school days. They make wonders. It did for me, and I am sure it will do the same for you as well. Previously, I used to compare myself with the ones who are more affluent than me. This comparison used to poison my mind, and did all the damage. Not anymore! I stopped comparing with others, and refrained myself from setting unrealistic standards. I started to be true to myself, shrugging off the objectives that I will never be able to meet, and instead concentrating on the ones that I will be able to achieve. This gave me the boost, which made my life happier and with a lot of challenge that I love to accept. Another great secret to be happy is to spend lots and lots of time with your family. Well, I understand that often it is not possible given the demands of your job, if you are working. But if you maintain a proper schedule, you can definitely find out some time for your family. The smile that you can bring on your kids’ faces simply by being with them, will definitely make you happy. Try to spend at least some time amidst greenery. It opens up your mind and makes you rejuvenated and happy. I have a small garden and daily in the morning I spend around 10 to 15 minutes along with my husband and children there. It makes all of us refreshed. We also get some scope to connect with each other. Another exclusive way to be happy is to care for somebody who is less fortunate than you. It might be a fellow human being or an animal which needs love and care. I started visiting an old age home with my elder daughter a few years back and still continue to do so, doing whatever little we can do at our end to help the elderly and the aged. Think […]


So, you want to wake up in the morning, feel fresh and start gearing up for those activities that will help you reach your destination in life. A majority of people can meditate, work, study or exercise at any time of the day except in the morning. So, is there anything that can be done to fight the morning blues? If you ask me, I will say definitely, why not? Given below are the smartest ways to feel fresh after you get up from bed in the morning. Read on and stay fresh! Avoid dinner immediately before bedtime Yes, I know. Many of us have the habit of having a hurried dinner and rushing to the bed to grab the pillow. But it is not good for your health in the long run. The entire process of digestion takes some time so it is not right to lie down immediately after a meal. Leave a gap of at least a few hours between your dinner and bedtime, and you are bound to feel fresher the next day. Pray and meditate before sleeping at night A friend of mine has introduced me to this wonderful habit. Try it and you will find that it really pays off! If you spend just half an hour in meditating and praying, you can keep aside all the past worries, and move ahead towards a worry-free future. The main thing is that meditation teaches you to accept that the past is already gone so it is useless being anxious about it, and that while we are asleep, the future cannot be altered. Friends, I must tell you that practicing meditation is a great medication for stress, and when you have a stress free sleep, you obviously get up fresher in the morning. Say no to chocolate, red wine and coffee at night It is obvious that if you want to wake up fresh in the morning you need a good night’s sleep and red wine, coffee or chocolate can ruin that. Scientifically speaking, it has been seen that these things cause sleep disturbance much more than anything else that we consume. By hindering the functioning of the intestines, they will make your sleep very light or will frequently wake you up. The best thing is not to go for these things after you have your lunch. The only thing I tend to take at night is my daily dose of fresh organic juice. This for me has done wonders for my health drinking it on an empty stomach at night and I can wake up each morning without feeling groggy and ready for the new day ahead. Go to toilet It might seem funny if all of a sudden I tell you to go to toilet, but believe me, getting relieved as much as possible before going to bed does help. The kidneys will function all through the night and by morning time, the bladder will be filled. In case the bladder gets filled up early, there will be the urge to go to the toilet at night, and you have to compromise on your valuable sleep time. Many people have the false notion that good sleeping is all about maintaining the total time required for sleep. But it is crucial to stay asleep continuously for a period since it takes certain hours to enter into that ‘rest zone’. Taking a toilet break prevents your body and mind from getting into that ‘rest zone’. Sleep with the window open If you keep the window slightly open while sleeping, the poisonous carbon dioxide will escape. At night, by keeping the window open, you will prevent this gas from filling up your room, since you release a lot of carbon dioxide when you breathe in your sleep. Moreover, by keeping the window open, you also allow oxygen to come in, which in turn helps to regulate the room’s temperature. Stay away from killing noise I may sound weird, when I say it, but yes, noise is actually a silent killer. Exposure to noise at night time actually shortens your lifespan. It is true that the roaring traffic or any other harsh noise is actually a killer in […]


Is the scorching heat of the summer making you irritated? How about a steaming bowl of soup? Doesn’t sound quite right? Well, you will definitely love my idea when I tell you to go for some chilled soups. Here are some recipes that I have not only collected from friends, relatives and acquaintances, but also tried with great success. Yes, they are yummy! Loaded with veggies and seasonal fruits, these soups are also quite colorful and refreshing. Curried Zucchini Soup Do you wish to have some variety? You can conveniently replace all or part of the zucchini with yellow squash. Ingredients 1 medium onion, chopped Olive oil, 2 tablespoons 1clove garlic, minced Low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, 4 cups Zucchini, trimmed, coarsely chopped, 2 pounds (about 6 in number) Curry powder, 2 teaspoons Reduced-fat sour cream, 1 cup Black pepper, freshly ground Salt Fresh cilantro, chopped, 2 tablespoons, for garnish Preparation In a pot, warm oil over medium heat. Cook a bit after adding onion, till it is soft. Add curry powder and garlic and stir for 1 minute till you get the fragrance. Add 1 tsp. salt, broth, zucchini, raising heat to moderately high. Cover and simmer. After some time remove cover and simmering in medium heat, cook till you find that the zucchini has become tender. Take away from heat and allow cooling. In a blender, puree soup in batches till a smooth mixture is obtained. Transfer the entire soup blend in a large bowl and allow chilling in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. Season with pepper and salt; whisk in sour cream, just prior to serving. Place in chilled bowls, use cilantro for garnishing, and then serve. Ginger and Carrot Soup Try out this wonderful combination of ginger and carrot. I am sure it will help you beat the soaring temperature to a certain extent. Ingredients 1 medium onion, chopped 2 tablespoons, olive oil 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated 2 pounds carrots (10 to 12), sliced 1 clove garlic, sliced Freshly ground black pepper Vegetable broth, low-sodium, 6 cups Salt 1 cup plain yogurt Juice of 1 lime Lime wedges for garnishing, if required Preparation Get the oil heated in medium heat. Put in onions; sauté until pulpy. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté till it gives out a fragrance. Stir in carrots in medium to high heat. Take broth in pot and simmer after covering. Bring heat to moderate after removing the cover, so that a simmer is maintained. Cook for around 25 to 30 minutes till you get tender carrots. Allow soup to cool after removing from heat. Puree in blender and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. Add yogurt and lime juice just before you serve. Use salt and pepper for seasoning. Garnish the chilled soup with lime wedges and serve. Spinach and Avocado Soup I have tried this cool yummy dish a number of times and everyone in my family loves it. You can make this soup all the more delicious by using some crabmeat. Preparation 1 medium onion, chopped Olive oil, 2 tablespoons Frozen chopped spinach, thawed, 1 10-oz. package Reduced-fat milk, 2 1/2 cups Tabasco, 1 teaspoon All-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons Low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups Avocados, ripe, peeled, pitted, chopped, 2 in number Freshly ground black pepper Juice of 1 lemon Salt Lemon wedges for garnishing, optional Preparation To heat the oil, take in a big pot and heat over medium flame. Cook after putting in onion and continue stirring till it is softened. In order to extract any additional moisture present, squeeze the spinach. Over medium to high flame, stir the spinach within the pot and mix well after sprinkling flour above it. Pour in broth and milk. Stir constantly and cook ensuring that the mixture does not boil. In fact, you should cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until you get a slightly thick mixture. Leave for some time to cool after removing from heat. Apply pepper and salt for seasoning. Processing in batches, puree spinach blend in a processor till you get something smooth. Reserving 2 cups of soup transfer the rest in a big bowl. In the blender add […]