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Jul 25, 2014

15 NUTRITIOUS FACTS OF SWEET POTATO




1. Diabetic Food: Naturally sweet, these fibrous roots have long been considered a suitable diabetics food as their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, ensuring a balanced and regular source of energy, regulating blood sugar, and helping stabilize and lower insulin resistance.
2. Healthy Digestion: Sweet potatoes are abundant in dietary
 fiber, that helps promote a healthy digestive tract, 
increases the bulk of the stool, eases toxic waste expulsion
 relieving constipation and also helps prevent colon cancer.
3. Fights Emphysema: Studies have shown that people who
 smoke or are exposed to cigarette smoke fall victim to a 
deficiency in Vitamin A. Sweet Potatoes contain carotenoids-
beta carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A, vital for 
the health of the respiratory system.
4. Immune System: Sweet potatoes are a potent source of 
Vitamin D, a vitamin and hormone critical to our energy 
levels, moods, and body’s potential to build healthy bones,
 heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and supporting the functions
 of the thyroid gland.
5. Cardio Care: Vital potassium content in sweet potatoes 
negates the sodium impact and helps maintain optimal fluid 
and electrolyte balance in the body cells, necessary for 
healthy blood pressure and overall heart function. Also 
Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine, linked
with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks and 
stroke.
6. Muscle and Tissue Health: Potassium is one of the most 
important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat and
 nerve signals, provide instant energy, relaxes muscle 
contractions, reduces swelling and cramps, and protects 
and controls the activity of the kidneys. A integral part of an 
athlete’s diet.
7. Anti-Oxidant: Sweet potatoes are high in carotenoids like 
beta carotene making it suitable in combating inflammatory 
problems like asthma, arthritis, gout, etc., ward off cancers 
of the lung, breast, etc. and protect against the effects of 
aging.
8. Fetal Development: Sweet potatoes are a rich source of 
folate necessary for healthy fetal cell and tissue 
development and to prevent congenital abnormalities like 
spina bifida (malformed vertebra) and neural tube defects.
9. Anti Stress: Sweet potatoes replenish our potassium 
stores, depleted by stress attacks, helping normalize the 
heartbeat, increase oxygen flow to the brain and regulate the
 body’s water balance. Sweet potato contains the relaxation 
and anti-stress mineral magnesium, necessary for healthy 
artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function.
10. Vitamin C SuperStore: Sweet Potatoes are abundant in 
Vitamin C, that not only wards off common cold and flu 
viruses, but is crucial in bone and tooth formation, digestion, 
blood cell formation, wound healing, shielding against 
cancer causing toxins, collagen production- key to skin’s 
elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress.
11. Fights Anemia: Sweet potatoes are rich sources of the
 wonder mineral iron that not only provides adequate energy,
 but also plays an important role in red and white blood cell 
production, improves stress resistance, proper immune 
functioning, metabolizing of protein, and preventing 
debilitating anemia.
12. For Youthful Skin: Water left after boiling sweet
potatoes works as a wonder toner for the skin that helps 
absorb impurities, deep cleansing your pores and soothi
ng irritated skin. Vitamin C helps produce collagen 
necessary for healthy skin tone and elasticity. Vitamin E 
improves complexion, providing flawless skin. Anthocyanin 
helps reduce pigmentation and has anti-inflammatory 
properties that will help in getting rid of dark circles,wrinkles 
and puffiness of eyes.
13. Treats Premenstrual Symptoms: Manganese along with
 iron, present in sweet potatoes, helps in promoting healthy 
metabolism, maintaining healthy blood sugar balance, and 
treating severe premenstrual symptoms.
14. Hair Care: The presence of vitamin A or beta-carotene in 
sweet potato makes it an ideal food for hair growth, 
preventing hair problems like dull, damaged, lifeless hair 
and dandruff.
15. Vitamin/Mineral Store: Sweet potato provides a good 
amount of vital minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium,
 manganese, and potassium that are essential for enzyme, 
protein, and carbohydrate metabolism. This starchy root 
vegetable is a rich source of flavonoids, anti-oxidants and 
dietary fiber that are essential for your overall health.


Jul 18, 2014

BENEFITS OF PEACHES


1. Peaches are the perfect snack food for losing weight. A peach makes you feel full and keeps you from overeating. The bonus: one peach only contains about 35-50 calories and no fat!
2. Fight obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Peaches are rich in phytochemicals called phenols that act as antioxidants.
3. Keep the skin healthy. Vitamin A and C make peaches a great natural moisturizer; they’re often used in cosmetics. These vitamins can help regenerate skin tissue.
4. Reduce hair loss with its positive effect on the scalp.
5. A healthy stress-reliever that helps reduce anxiety. Peaches are often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness’ in Hungary.
6. Helps prevent cancer with selenium — a mineral with antioxidant properties that may help protect cells from damage.
7. Peaches can help remove worms from the intestines.
8. Have a diuretic effect which helps cleanse your kidneys and bladder.
9. Peaches can calm an upset stomach.
10. Compounds in stone fruits could help with “metabolic syndrome,” according to Dr. Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, AgriLife Research food scientist involved in a study at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia. Cisneros-Zevallos says, “Our work indicates that phenolic compounds present in these fruits have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties in different cell lines and may also reduce the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol which is associated with cardiovascular disease.”
11. Those suffering from gout and rheumatism are recommended by dieticians to eat peaches because peaches tend to have a diuretic and a light laxative effect.
12. Peaches are thought to be an aphrodisiac.
13. Peach flowers have sedative properties . A remedy for restlessness includes boiling peach flowers in water along with some honey.
14. Inhibit tumour growth activity. Peaches have excellent antimicrobial and antioxidant activity according to research.
15. Chronic bronchitis, coughs and gastritis are relieved with the medicinal tea of the leaves and bark of peach trees.
16. Peach tea is used as a kidney cleanser in China.

Jul 15, 2014

PILLAYAARPATTI PILLAYAAR-MY TANJORE PAINTING




Here is my painting of Lord Karpagavinayaka  of Pillayaarpatti...

He is fondly known as Pillayaarpatti pillayar.

This is an offbeat  and contemporary painting in Tanjore style....



Pillaiyarpatti is located near Thiruppathur, Sivagangai District of Tamil Nadu. It is situated between Kundrakkudi and Tiruppatthur. Pilliyarpatti is 12 Kilometers away from Thiruppatthur and 3 kilometers from Kundrakkudi. Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar is carved out in a cave of Pillaiyarpatti Hillocks. Lord Vinayagar is carved out from the rock of the cave. Lord Thiruveesar is also carved in the rock of this cave. The temple was built under patronisation of Pandyas. The age of the cave temple is 2500 years or more. There are 14 stone Sculptures in the cave ( dated from 500 BC to 1284 AD ). These stone Sculptures state the ancient names of Pillaiyarpatti such as Ekkattoor, Thiruveenkaikkudi, Maruthangudi, and Rajanarayanapuram.
Pillaiyarpatti temple is a rock-cut temple located in Thiruppatthur, Sivagangai District. It was built after viewing a hillock by the early Pandiya kings. The image of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar and that of a Siva Lingam were carved out of a stone by a sculptor named Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan who put his signature on a stone inscription, in Tamil Language used between the 2nd and 5th century AD, found even today in the sanctum. It can be concluded that the icon of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar must have been carved around 4th century AD.
Pillaiyar (Vinayagar), the God of Victory is the main deity here in the name, Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar.
This temple is the only one in Tamil Nadu which contains a 6 feet rock-cut Pillaiyar idol. The Thumbikai of Lord Pillaiyar is curled towards his right side and so the God is also known as Valampuri Pillaiyar. The chettiyar (nagarathar) community has kept the temple clean. Chettiars are the only community whose subcastes are divided based on Sivan Temples. e.g. subcastes like Pillayarpatti, Elayatrankudi and etc.

  • Vinayagar’s trunk is curved at the right side (Valampuri Vinayagar) which is also a unique feature. Lord Karpaga Vinayagar is seated facing northern side.
  • There are deities in this temple such as goddess Karthiyayini (who arranges marriages), Nagalingam (who gifts offspring), Pasupatheeswarar (who showers all wealth).
  • Vinayagar Chathurthi is this temple's most important festival. It is 10 days long. Kappaukkattutual and hoisting temple flag begin before 9 days. On the 9th day car festival and much celebrated decoration of sandal covering ( Santha-na-kkappu) to Pillaiyar takes place.
  • Devotees who observe Chathurthi Fast for a year come to Pillaiyarpatti on Avani Sukkilaptcha Chathurthi day (Festival) and fulfills it. They observe fast on Chathurthi day in front of vinayagar sannaidhi and take part in “ KumbaJebam” and receive holy water.
There is a one Pilliyar painting, in which Pillayar's eyes will look at us wherever we stand.
(Info courtesy-Internet)

Jul 8, 2014

VILLAGE - MY 3-D MURAL



I have tried to capture a village in my 3-D mural...

A beautiful village...

complete with a hut with a pretty kolam at it's doorstep...

A Ganesha under a tree...flanked by Nagars  on his sides...

the scorching  sun on an Indian summer day...

and a bullock cart laden with hay

going to the nearest farm...

I have used a plywood for the base and worked with

glue and ceramic powder to give the raised effect

and finally gave the dried piece a metallic finish....


Jul 7, 2014

KATHALEEVANA HANUMAR-MY KERALA MURAL







Here is a traditional Kerala Mural 

in which Lord Hanuman/Anjaneya/Hanumar/Maruthi

is depicted in a serene pose of meditation ....

Seated in a calm banana grove,

He chants the name of his  Lord, Shri Ram...

"Sri Ram ...Jayaram...Jayajaya Ram...."




Anjana nandanam Veeram janaki soka nasanam,
Kapeesa Maksha hantharam, Vande lanka bhayangaram.

Salutations to the terror of Lanka,
Who is the heroic son of Anjana,
Who brought to an end, all sorrows of Sitha,
Who is the king of monkeys ,
Who killed Aksha the son of Ravana.

Mano javam, maruda thulya vegam,
Jithendriyam buddhi matham varishtam,
Vatha atmajam vanara yudha mukhyam,
Sree Rama dootham sirasa namami.

I bow my head and salute the emissary of Rama,
Who has won over his mind,
Who has similar speed as wind,
Who has mastery over his organs,
Who is the greatest among knowledgeable,
Who is the son of God of wind,
And who is the chief in the army of monkeys.

Aanjaneya madhi patalananam,
Kanchanadri kamaneeya vigraham,
Parijatha tharu moola vasinam,
Bhavayami bhava mana nandanam.

I bow before the darling son of the god of wind,
Who is the son of Anjana,
Who is great among killers of ogres,
Who is like a golden mountain,
Who is handsome to look at,
And who lives near the roots of Parijatha tree,

Yatra yatra Raghu nada keerthanam,
Thathra thathra krudha masthakanjalim,
Bhashpa vari pari poorna lochanam,
Maruthim namatha Rakashasanthakam.

I pray and salute the son of wind god,
Who brought to end the rakshasas,
Who is always present with eye full of tears,
With head bowed in veneration,
Wherever the praise of Lord Rama is sung.

Phala sruthi

Budhir balam yaso dhairyam nirbhayathwam arokadha,
Ajadyam vak paduthwancha hanumath smaranath bhaveth.

He who meditates on Lord Hanuman,
Would be blessed with knowledge, strength,
Fame, courage, fearlessness, health,
Tirelessness and mastery over words,

(Slokas courtesy-Internet) 

Jul 1, 2014

Motivation- 21 Words That Can Change Your Life and 3 That Will Surprise You









Motivation: 21 Words That Can Change Your Life and 3 That Will Surprise You

Motivation is life changing.  Your life is changing every day.  It is either changing for the better or it is slowly changing for the worse.  Motivation is derived from the verb “motivate,” which means “move.”  Motivation is the burning desire that compels you to take action.  It is a so deeply intertwined with what you believe to be true and right in life that it moves you from a simple desire to a moment of decision.  Have you ever watched a working dog?  There only motivation is  you.
What is your motivation?
In 2006 I wrote, “Change happens in an instant.  It happens the moment you decide to change.”
You are going to be different tomorrow.  Stop feeling stuck.  When you decide to be different you will find motivation seeping into to thoughts and into your actions.  Motivation causes you to take action, it becomes an inner drive  fueling you forward.
We all believe something.  When was the last time you asked yourself, “What do I believe?”  What role does faith play in my life?  Why was I placed on this earth?  What is my purpose in life?”
Remembering that motivation is a verb meaning to “move” or take “action”.  Family, friends, co-workers and the people all around us are key motivators for how we act.  Surround yourself with great people and you will surround yourself with great motivation.



Goals.

It should be no surprise that goals motivate us and inspire us.  The most powerful goals are self-directed goals.  Self-directed internal goals.  They include understanding your priorities and purpose in life, knowing what you believe to be most important and using those goals as a daily guide for how you will choose to live your life.

New.

Choosing to learn something new every day will give you a reason to grown and change.  This could be something as simple as driving to work via a different route or signing up for guitar lessons.

Challenge.

Challenges are frequently seen as some sort of contest like the final four during March Madness.  Challenges draw out the best in us.  A simple challenge might be to decide to go to bed fifteen minutes earlier for thirty days to see if it improved your daily productivity.

Truth.

Truth does not waver.  Something either is true or it is not.  Truth provides a firm foundation to stand on.  Truth strengthens, encourages, and will guide you correctly.

Determination.

You’ve met them.  Those rare individuals who are determined to continue regardless of how difficult the circumstances.  Determination literally means you are willing to put a “stake” in the ground.  It is not a casual choice.  There are very few things humans will determine to mark as permanent placeholders for their beliefs.

Laughter.

Laughter heals the soul.  Why is it that children laugh hundreds of times a day and adults laugh only _____ times.   Laughter occurs when something unexpected happens that causes your brain to emit a signal to your lungs to expel short burst of air causing you to make audible noises that are a signal of joy all across the world.

Perseverance.

Perseverance reminds me of a road or a bridge – a specific course or path we all walk down.  When you feel hopeless and lost, that is when perseverance counts the most.  Perseverance is consciously choosing to stay on your path even in the midst of incredible difficulties.

Freedom.

Having a sense of control or autonomy over your time and your actions is a powerful motivator.  Freedom liberates you to dream and imagine and create.  Freedom of stress is one of the most sought after psychological goals.

Tenacity.

Tenacity is a word originating with the meaning of adhesiveness.  There are frequent times you will find you need to “stick together”.  Tenacity never gives up.  It never lets go. Willpower lives in the core of your being.  Willpower moves you, motivates you and causes you to take action for good or for bad. This inner drive is the control center for many of the decisions you will choose to make moment to moment.

Faithful.

Faithfulness is a rare quality in today’s world.  It is choosing to remain reliable, trusted and constant.  It carries a sense of attachment and devotion to people, causes, organizations and beliefs.  Faithfulness is a foundational motivator.

Endurance.

This word literally means to have the ability to endure suffering over long periods of time.  Grit is stone broken down, but it is still stone.  It speaks to the indomitable toughness it can take to push through life’s most difficult trials.  Endurance when accepted can build character, patience, wisdom, empathy and compassion.

Novel.

Novelty is also one of the most unexpected motivators.  When you experience something for the very first time or you see something you have never seen before you may find yourself swept away with emotion.  The birth of a child.  An unexpected gift.  A surprise ending to a difficult moment in life.

Tragedy.

Life is full of heartache and indescribable pain.  War, illness, death, divorce, financial problems, and injustice.  Tragedy regardless of the pain is full of opportunities to learn and grow and find renewal and hope.  Tragedy shows you are never alone.

Learning.

Any gap in understanding will motivate you to want to fill that knowledge gap.  If you want to know more about leadership – read books by great leaders.  To learn how to train a dog – hire a dog trainer and take lessons.  The incremental acquirement of new knowledge becomes a self-motivating driver.

Anticipation.

The act of looking forward to something important happening in your life.   When you are just given a glimpse of a future success or opportunity the anticipation releases an incredibly powerful chemical called dopamine into your system.  Everything you have ever wanted in your life you were first motivated to strive for attaining it because you anticipated the feeling of importance it would mean to you.  Dopamine is the brain chemical of anticipation.

Courage.

Lt. Col. (retired) Dave Grossman shared a single quote of where the bravery of being an Army Ranger came from for him.  He said, “Courage is just being willing to take one more step.” Sometimes the only motivation you need is to take just one more step.

Hope.

When used as a noun hope only a feeling, but when used as a verb hope becomes the focal point of your motivation.  Sometimes in life all you have is hope.  And, in those moments hope will be more than enough.

Time.

Time is not merely a framework for how the minutes, hours and days pass by – each day is like having a blank canvas sitting in an art room filled with unlimited options.  Improving your motivation through improving your time management will require you to reduce the number of choices you have to let into your life.  You will find simplicity and peace in narrowing your focus and increasing your energy and attention only on accomplishing the tasks that bring motivation and meaning in your life.

Love.

The foundation of life is love..  There is no way to create a life of meaning without love.  There is no motivation, no reason to move or change or engage in life without love.  The foundation of motivation is love.
And, Three That Might Surprise You

Brain.

The prefrontal cortex is the thinking part of the brain. This is where life happens! In this space just behind your forehead, ideas are created, thoughts are pondered, imagination grows (or dies), judgments are made. This part of the brain is highly specialized in humans; this is where you define meaning, plan for the future, and imagine. Your values, priorities, purpose, goals, drive, learning, love, and hope all live here.  Motivation is a decision.

Attention.

You experience the depths of motivation when your attention focused so intently on completing a task or a project or a hobby that challenges you to such a point that time stands still.  When you are in that moment – swept away from stress and worry – concentrating with full attention – you don’t need motivation – you are experiencing motivitation.  At that moment you are motivated.  You are in the process of taking action.  And, in those amazing moments you realize the life-changing power of motivation.  You understand the difference between existing and thriving.  And, in that moment – life oozes out of you.  And, motivation is contagious.

Time Management.

Your personal time management skills affect the levels of motivation you experience in life.  Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter is a sports psychology expert and coach to Olympic athletes, as well as being a world-class athlete in her own right. She says, “It starts with a dream; motivation comes from within.  It has to be an inner desire, an inner fire, a willingness to achieve something you are passionate about.”
Far too many people only focus on the hard parts of life that motivation can guide us through.  By improving your time management you can create daily blocks of time to focus your time and attention on the part’s of life that motivate you


Jun 23, 2014

SARASWATHI -MY TANJORE PAINTING



Sawaraswathi namasthubyam
varadhe kaama ruubinee
vidyaarambam karishyaami
sidhhir bavadhume sadhaa.....

May the Goddess of Knowledge-Saraswathi

shower her bountiful blessings on you...


Jun 11, 2014

AUTUMN SHADES -OIL ON CANVAS





The season is autumn...

the woods are a riot of colors...

the fast brook is muddy ...

the fallen leaves have painted the earth

with their many splendored hues...

reds,browns,yellows and ochre...

A virtual feast to your eyes....









Jun 7, 2014

A VASE OF FLOWERS-AN OIL PAINTING




Here is my old oil painting...

It is a replica of a ceramic flower vase

filled with pastel flowers ,leaves and buds....

from an art book...


Jun 5, 2014

SHREE MAHAVISHNU AND HIS CONSORTS - A TANJORE PAINTING




Here is my Tanjore Painting....

A rather offbeat one....

depicting Lord Sri Mahavishnu 

with His consorts Sridevi and Bhoodevi....

seated on Adisesha with Sri Garuda at His feet...