Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to make a lunch in 5 min

Necessity is the mother of invention, and when the stomach is empty and time a scarce commodity you need to improvise. 
So here is a 5 min recipe to satisfy the hunger pangs and you know what it is freakin healthy and delicious....

You will  need (this can feed 1 person, for more people you do the math)
  • One ripe avocado.
  • One ripe, red, plum tomato.
  • White vinegar -- 3 to 4 tablespoons
  • Extra virgin olive oil (preferably 1st cold pressed and unfiltered) - 3 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper - to taste

1. Peel the avocado and mash it - u can do it with your hands (sanitize/wash them before :)).
2. Dice the tomato in small pieces.
3. Add vinegar and olive oil.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as per taste.

Enjoy it with whole grain baguette. This food is filling, healthy and quick. 
I love it....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To the brain, getting burned, getting dumped feel the same

Found this article on CNN (health section). I believe majority of us can vouch for it, experientially:).

"Science has finally confirmed what anyone who's ever been in love already knows: Heartbreak really does hurt.

In a new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have found that the same brain networks that are activated when you're burned by hot coffee also light up when you think about a lover who has spurned you.

In other words, the brain doesn't appear to firmly distinguish between physical pain and intense emotional pain. Heartache and painful breakups are "more than just metaphors," says Ethan Kross, Ph.D., the lead researcher and an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

The study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, illuminates the role that feelings of rejection and other emotional trauma can play in the development of chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, Kross says. And, he adds, it raises interesting questions about whether treating physical pain can help to relieve emotional pain, and vice versa.

"What's exciting about these findings," he says, "is that they outline the direct way in which emotional experiences can be linked to the body.

"Kross and his colleagues recruited 21 women and 19 men who had no history of chronic pain or mental illness but who had all been dumped by a romantic partner within the previous six months. The volunteers underwent fMRI scans -- which measure brain activity by tracking changes in blood flow -- during two painful tasks.

In the first, a heat source strapped to each subject's left arm created physical pain akin to "holding a hot cup of coffee without the sleeve," Kross says. In the second, the volunteers were asked to look at photos of their lost loves and were prompted to remember specific experiences they shared with 
that person.

Other fMRI research has examined how social rejection manifests in the brain, but this study was the first to show that rejection can elicit a response in two brain areas associated with physical pain: the secondary somatosensory cortex and the dorsal posterior insula. Those brain regions may have lit up in this study but not others because the rejection his volunteers experienced was unusually intense, Kross says.

Although Kross stresses that the study is "very much a first step" in understanding the connection between physical and emotional pain, the findings may help chronic pain patients grasp that emotions can affect their physical condition, says psychologist Judith Scheman, Ph.D., director of the chronic pain rehabilitation program at the Cleveland Clinic.

Past traumas can make people more sensitive to pain and thus more susceptible to disorders like fibromyalgia, which causes both chronic pain and fatigue, Scheman says. She and her staff encourage pain patients to "explore their emotional trauma and baggage," but many are reluctant to do so.

"As a clinician, I like studies like this because patients often don't understand why they have to do painful emotional work," Scheman continues. "Showing them something like this helps them understand that there is science behind what I am asking them to do."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My new friends.....

This last trip to India was full of new discoveries, surprises and astounding experiences both in good/bad way :). I had the opportunity to spend sometime away from the city, in the wilderness. Getting close to nature and staying in the wild, makes you appreciate the beauty of nature. So, I decided to camp in one of mountains for some days and the experience I had was one of its kind; physically challenging, mentally rewarding and personally fulfilling. The good part of living there was that I had to be very alert in my activities (hiking, reading, star gazing etc), as if I was not alert that would have been the last thing I would do (you get the point :). This experience when the mind is focussed 100% on whatever it is doing always gives me a sense of deep satisfaction

Someone told me there were snakes in the area, but fortunately I did not find any, though I was able to find a lot of monkeys, a few mongoose and deers here and there. Not only that I made some monkeys my friends, at-least as far I am concerned; I do not know what was going on in their mind. I fed them with stuff I used to eat and they used to freaking enjoy that, to an extent that after sometime some of them used to hold my hand and feed themselves. Out of the many things I watched about our ancestors/my friends one of them stood out; which was the way they used to peel banana. Their style is more efficient than humans. Briefly, instead of opening the banana from stem, they used to open it from the opposite side i.e. pinch the other side and peel off. It works guys!!! 

Other than that I had a great time watching stars, , satellites (I think they were satellites, as they were moving) and planets during the night time, which unfortunately is impossible to do in the city. On one night I counted close to a 6000 stars after which I fell asleep/tired/confused.

Thats me @ twilight.

In total, it was a nice experience as it always brings a silence (mental and vocal) to my senses, a state I find hard to resist. 

Me - just an hour before leaving for the city. Friends bidding a goodbye.