Happy New Year 2015.
What an honor and a gift to be amidst the Bkhush community. Trust everyone had a great start to their New Year. May 2015 be rewarding and enriching for us, and all who we love.
I use the word Trust, because essentially, despite our not being aware of it, much of our lives revolve around the Trust we place in all the systems that serve us daily. Trust also comes with the underlying Hope and with inherent Faith. These are among the beliefs that serve us daily. However, do we honor these virtues when it is our turn to represent or demonstrate them?
From the moment we wake up in the morning, to the time we hit the pillows at bedtime, our trust is upheld in several small ways, even offering conveniences we take for granted. The electricity is available to brew our morning beverage. Our hope is the transport will run on time, or that traffic will flow smoothly. The children are off to school, and we trust their teachers are doing a good job of imparting them knowledge and imbibing wisdom. We trust the house will be safe in our absence, and the family will be home without incident. We trust all to be well at the workplace and expect the cooperation of our colleagues. We trust our paychecks will arrive on time. Some even plan two or three paychecks in advance.
On a larger scale, we expect our elected representatives to do their due diligence, so our Governments can function in the best interests of the people. We put our trust in our politicians when we elect them.
All of this and then some, happens everyday. To put it crudely, these are the expectations of the daily grind, to which we do not even pay any attention. They are taken for granted. Or as someone I know would say, "Its their job, they get paid for it."
We all get paid for what we do. The question is how well we expect others to do their job, and how well we do ours. The goal is to have no discrepancy. At the very basic level this is how societies function. These are everyday examples of how our lives revolve around Trust, and why it should not be betrayed. At the very least, to prevent domino effects. It can be a small issue, or sometimes serious disasters, like the BP oil spill, which wrecked havoc and massive damage, impacting several communities and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, off Florida's west coast.
Let us make Trust one of the guiding lights for our thoughts and actions in 2015. It can be the first of several virtues we discuss in the following days. Instead of questioning 'them', we should reflect, on how 'we' delivered. It is as simple as that. That is one of the foundations of Wholistic Living. Living every day, with purpose and with pride in what we do. .
It would also serve us well to remember the role of trust in our personal relationships, with our partners, parents, children and siblings. Many lessons can be learned from interactions within this world of ours, which causes us the greatest grief, and also has potential for utmost joy. While this little paragraph will not rescue or resurrect relationships, it can certainly be a reminder on how to steer the course for the future.
Now for the tangibles. Wholistic Living, or Holistic health, is nothing new. It may be a new buzz word, but essentially, it is all that has been said or done before. There is no point in reinventing the wheel. Holistic living, is holistic health and vice versa.
Our ancestors developed certain traditions that have served us well. We would do well if we honored the wisdom of these traditions. One example I would like to use here, since most of us in the community are South Asians, is that of GAJAR KA HALWA, or Carrot Halwa! What does that have to do with holistic health you ask?
Carrots were abundantly available at the onset of winter. Nature provided us all these colorful foods like carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, in the fall and winter for a reason. They prepare our bodies for winter conditions, when all our energy is needed to fulfill the bodily functions required to carry out our daily tasks.
Despite all the strides we have made in Science, technology and even health, we have no control over environmental conditions, such as weather. The inhospitable winter weather conditions, makes us vulnerable to infection. Common winter illnesses are colds, coughs and sore throats.
Carrots contain a large amount of Vitamin A. One cup of carrots gives us enough for our Daily Value (DV) requirements. The importance of Vitamin A lies in the fact that the mucosa which lines our mouth and throat (and all the mucosal linings in our body) feed on Vitamin A! This mucosa needs to be strong enough to fight off infections like sore throats and associated illnesses and stop the bad guys from infiltrating further.
Vitamin A is the Infantry of our immune systems. Any guesses on which Vitamin may get the honor of being General?
What about Vitamin C and Vitamin D, you ask?
Ghee, the second ingredient in the Carrot Halwa, has long been revered in Ayurveda as a medicine, for its ability to improve digestion. It is also a valuable ingredient in traditional winter foods in South Asia, not least due to its nutritional content. An important reason for traditionally using ghee in this carrot dish is that Vitamin A, as also Vitamins D, E, and K are fat soluble. Fat soluble vitamins need fat to be absorbed and utilized by the body. Ghee is also credited with helping build strong lipids membranes which protect red blood cells.
Milk provides bio available calcium, Vitamins A and D, and even protein. Some studies credit milk for assisting with weight loss.
Sugar of-course gives instant energy, and its feel good factor is always welcomed by our taste buds. Sugar is getting a bad rap these days, not because sugar is bad per se, but because we are 'ab'using it. Everything in moderation is another rule of Holistic health.
For Vegans who may find the use of bone char in the processing offensive, Turbinado sugar and Sucanat are good alternatives.