Tag: #aprilmagazine2022

here are some aids to help to help you get fit

Get, Set, Workout!

This month, our team recommends fitness tools to help reach your health goals. Here are some great workout aids for you.

BlenderBall by Blender Bottle

I developed quite an affinity for protein shakes to not only get some nutrition but also to help with my fitness goal of bulking up a bit. I think the handiest tool to have is a blender bottle for your shake, easy enough to just dump your ingredients into and then mix around. The BlenderBall helps combine everything together. Plus, it’s like a shake weight, a little workout for your arm on the side.

When Rhyme meets reason and poetry is spoken…

South Asia is a region of diversity with a peculiar cultural unity. Rich in history, languages, literature and philosophy, the region has explored humanity through religion, art, monuments, food, music, dance, and poetry. Increasingly, poetry today is becoming a striking method of self-expression. Spoken word poetry especially reaches out to a wide audience base and builds a powerful platform for artists to speak on various social issues through their own identities and experiences.


It is a broad term that defines poetry intended for performance. It can contain elements of rap, hip-hop, storytelling, theater, along with jazz, rock, blues, and folk music. The main characteristics that encompass spoken word poetry is that it includes rhyme, repetition, improvisation, and word play. It can draw influence from music, dance, or other popular themes to connect with the audiences. Spoken word poetry doesn’t always have to rhyme, but certain parts can be rhymed to emphasize an image or give it a lyrical quality.

Independent South Asian Publishing Houses

We’d never have books and the publishers who stand by them. And with South Asian publishing, rife with economic troubles, a dwindling readership and sometimes violence, the obstacles are great.

In South Asia, the independent publishing world is a bloodbath — and for some the risks are more than just financial. To put out work that can truly change the world, publishers often have to stand up to authoritarian governments and violent religious factions, sometimes risking their lives along with the authors creating such work.

Take for example, “Naxalbari,” a comic created by cartoonist Sumit Kumar, which talks about the history of the Naxal movement in central India. While it was being published, Kumar was nervous that the book would be seen as propaganda and insisted that his publisher print it in the dead of the night so as to avoid an altercation with the police.

As you will see in the stories below, some publishers in the five South Asian countries below have reason to worry for their safety. It’s a career promising anxiety, stress and immense financial pressure — yet, they show up to work in spite of the myriad challenges involved.

Barkha and Floyd Cardoz (in chef attire) at the Hawaii Food Fest in 2015.

Barkha Cardoz is celebrating Her Husband’s Legacy

Working silently and steadily behind the scenes, Chef Barkha Cardoz was partner, wife, and mother, and played business collaborator and chef to her husband. The late Floyd Cardoz was a pioneering, New York’s Indian-born American restaurateur, who won Top Chef Masters Season 3 in 2011, wrote cookbooks, and was a mentor and philanthropist of note.

The Cardoz Spice Line Legacy

Floyd’s New York restaurants were known for food melding Indian flavors and spices with Western cuisine.

Barkha Cardoz says, “Floyd….started making garam masala for everyone with just a few spices so you can use it everywhere – in curries, of course, and I’ve used it to make apple pie and Christmas cake.”

Floyd Cardoz died in March 2020, shortly before he was to launch the Spice Line. He conceived the Spice Line in 2019. Barkha refused to let the project die with him.


Iftaar–and Two Recipes to Make It Great

Iftaar is an exceptional experience for Muslims across the world. As part of religion and customs, many celebrate Iftaar, which is part of the meal that breaks the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Still, the way South Asians celebrate Ramzan, another term for Ramadan, may not be quite the same way that people in the Middle East do.

What is Iftaar?

It is only during Iftaar that Muslims can break the fast that lasts the whole day. Iftaar is essentially breakfast, a smaller meal, more of a snack, eaten before the evening prayers.

The light meal fuels you after a long day of fasting without overwhelming you at a time the call for the evening prayer (Maghrib) occurs.

Indus Iftar is similar to Arabic Iftaars, but Iftar may be a bit heavier with a light snack meal later on during the evening.

The Binary World of Teenagers

The digital world defines a teenager’s life, and it is impossible to envision a teen without a digital presence. Being a teenager in the modern world requires you to have a network, to voice your opinion and connect with people around you – which can all be achieved through the digital platform. I often like to compare a teen’s digital life to a ship’s crew voyaging through the vast seas.

Around 95 percent of teens own a computer, smartphone, or iPad. Each of them spends around 9 hours a day on their devices, including 3 hours and 32 minutes on social media. Aside from that, guys spend an extra two hours playing video games, and 23 percent of students watch television while completing their schoolwork. These capabilities have not become an integral part of a teenager’s life, with the most prevalent use occurring after school and before bedtime.

Jumping back to the ship – the most important part of this vessel is the captain. I believe that social media steers the digital life of any teenager. Facebook for them is old news; they have found more innovative platforms that allow them to access more creativity. While parents might think social media is destroying their children’s personality and depriving them of experience, teens have a valid counter. The developmental requirements of teenagers are well-matched to what social media has to offer: making friends, finding out their identities, and gaining social status by being “in the know.”

the perils of social media

The Perils of Social Media

A teenager’s life now revolves around social media, with around 90 percent of teenagers having their own accounts. It gives them the freedom to share ideas, opinions, and information by creating virtual networks and communities. Almost everyone on the planet now has a social media account, with around 4.5 billion users on social media worldwide.

Social media gives teenagers the opportunity to connect with people across the globe and develop their social life. In the past, apps such as Instagram and Facebook became a platform on which teens could share opinions and ideas freely. Whether teenagers are organizing fundraisers or donating to a worthy cause, social media helps them make a difference in their communities. Some social movements began when teenagers used social media to raise awareness about a problem.

While social media might make adults feel more lonely, experts believe the opposite is true for teenagers. According to a 2015 research, even while kids have fewer friends than they did a decade ago, they nonetheless report feeling less lonely.

Rekindling Lost Relationships

A relationship is like a house. When a light bulb burns out, you do not go and buy a new house, you fix the light bulb.

It is not an understatement to say that the coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives forever. Words like quarantine, self-isolation, and lockdown, once unheard of, became an intrinsic part of our lives. While official estimates peg the number of deaths at around 5.5 million, the actual numbers are definitely much more. Today, as the pandemic’s ugly tentacles recede, people are slowly limping back to normal life. But there’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our social life forever. It has altered the way we meet and greet people, the way we celebrate, and even the way we mourn. Most importantly, the pandemic has taught us the value of a home, loved ones, extended family, friends, and the fact about how fragile life is.

Carving Out Some Me Time

When the pandemic hit, the storyteller, Ayurveda counselor, mindfulness coach, yoga teacher, and meditation guide in me was called in to help. Be it kids or adults, mental health crises became of utmost importance. How do you support people’s emotional well-being? What are the best ways to strengthen immunity? How do you keep congestion at bay? How do you move your body if the gyms and yoga studios are closed? 

Through articles, workshops, speaking engagements, and one-on-one coaching, I was able to share my work. September 2021 also welcomed my new book, “A Piece of Peace.” I was featured in the first Ayurveda documentary with Dr. Deepak Chopra and other Ayurvedic experts. Along with others, Pfizer invited me to give a talk on the power of mindfulness, Ayurveda, and holistic health to their team of medical professionals. Don’t get me wrong, two years later, I still am grateful for how my work has shaped up and the fact that people feel a connection and curiosity to holistic wellness.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I miss having a little space to breathe and be silly. I know that I am not alone. Research will tell you that women are exhausted and burnt out from the pandemic. Between focusing on their career, taking care of children, managing elder care, managing home, starting families, launching businesses, returning to school … There is very little time left to focus on YOU and what brings joy.


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