Don't let the rain be a pain

Don't let the rain be a pain

MONSOON MENU

Don't let the rain be a pain

WELCOME THE RAINS A hot home-cooked meal, and seasonal fruits and  vegetables can see you through the monsoons.

The often heard saying, “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst” seems to best suit the rainy season in India. The rains do spell a sense of romance and charm to the Indian mind. All art and literary forms have celebrated the rains in no mean terms. Yet, the rains can imply quite the contrary when it comes to daily existence. The flooded streets, overflowing sewers, falling trees and power cuts can prove to be agonising to residents of cities, towns and villages alike.

The medical faculty will vouch that most people are susceptible to fall sick during the rainy months as germs tend to thrive in a damp environment. The change in seasons also have an impact on the human body, due to the fluctuation in temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. Ailments could range from simple colds, coughs and fevers to epidemics which can wipe out life. But a little caution and preparation can help one breeze through the rains happily and healthily.

 It is not necessary to look far or bend backwards to combat rain-related problems. Make it a point to boil the water you drink even after filtering it. When the water reaches boiling point, flavour the water with a few grains of cardamom, anise seeds and clove or cumin seeds.

Take these spices in equal proportion, dry fry and powder them and add a pinch of it to boiling water. This will not only encourage you to drink more from time-to-time, but will also take care of simple colds and sore throats.

A generous dash of powdered spices or dry ginger can also be used to spice up your milk, tea, soups and salads and help you clear blocked nasal passages and soothe sore throats. Indulge your taste buds with fried foods like bhajjis, samosas, cutlets and kachodis, but make sure you soothe your throat by drinking a glass of this flavoured hot water. Cultivating the habit of drinking flavoured hot water with a spoonful of lemon juice and honey mixed into it, on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, can do you a world of good. This helps relieve any discomfort in the throat, acidity, and helps maintain body weight.  Similarly, if one drinks a glass of hot milk sprinkled with spices and a pinch of turmeric, one can overcome insomnia and look forward to an energetic day.

During the monsoon, a hot, tasty, home-cooked meal with seasonal fruits and vegetables can see you through the season. If you consciously consume citrus fruits filled with vitamin C, you can avoid being caught sniffing into a handkerchief and avoid having to nurse cuts and wounds, as they  will heal faster too. Traditional foods like rasam, idli, pongal, khichdi can offer perfect comfort and protection, if you were to fall sick during the season.

While a balanced diet can keep illnesses at bay, one cannot discount health issues that can arise in the coming months.

This time around, you will tend to lose a little more hair than usual; a massage with warm coconut oil can save your locks. If the rains prove to be hindering your daily walk, use the tread mill, brush up your dancing skills or just jog around in your home listening to your favourite music to stay fit.

It is not enough if you take care of yourself, the environment in which you live should also be conducive to keeping you in the pink of health. So, your residence should be well-ventilated and should let in sunlight, lest it starts molding with fungus and become a breeding ground for insects. If you take some time off your busy schedule and sun your provisions, bedding, clothing that you do not use often and shoes, you can rest assured that weevils, silverfish and other such insects will not infest your cupboards or pantry.
Place pieces of camphor in bookshelves to prevent books from absorbing moisture. Place tissue papers within shoes after you use them to protect them from mugginess and prevent them from accommodating creepy-crawlies. Spray insecticides down all the drains in your home. Pour salt water down the drain after a day. If you repeat this exercise every fortnight, your home will be rid of cockroaches and mosquitoes forever. Move your potted plants and clean the area, as the rainy season is the time when insects breed prolifically.

Ensure rain gear, like umbrellas, raincoats, caps and shoes are usable. Make sure to get the umbrella mended or the raincoat aired before you start using them.
Enjoy the rains!

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