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Do it all with Oranges

Oranges are such versatile fruits. It can easily be incorporated in many dishes! I had this salad at The Lazy Suzy (Bangalore, India) where they put citrus fruit segments in their salad along with beet root. It tasted heavenly. In your leafy green salads don’t shy away from adding orange segments to it.

Orange Fibre does it all for the body
Dont forget the fibre

You can add orange and basil to your over-night soaked water! That again adds an amazing taste to water. At W hotel in Goa they had added beetle leaf and slices of Malta. I’m not even kidding, it was such a killer combo; I filled up my carry bottle with their flavoured water. Flavoured water needs to be in the refrigerator to avoid turning sour. Its probably twice in a month for me.

Oranges are super good for Vitamin C; you can confirm with your nutritionist or just have and see how your body feels. My energy levels feel much better everytime I have oranges before my workout. ‘Oranges help strengthen and support the liver’—Diane Schwartz.

The hero ‘Peel’

The thick outer peel has XYZ number of uses. Just keep a bag in the freezer and keep adding the left over peels to it everyday.

Zest is a big yes! Just grate some on your salads or soups and whooopp!! Vitamin C booster. The zest from the peel is only from the coloured part. It gets bitter if you get over-enthusiatic and grate it too much. There’s a recipe on the website of ZerowasteChef (P.S. she is queen) about candied orange peels, go check it out. (Link down below).

If you’re doing it right you’re going to be left with a lot of peels. Put it in your compost or use these DIY recipes!

DIY Natural Cleaner recipe:

Collect fresh orange peels (pro tip- I freezer mine to collect enough to immerse in one litre of..
White Vinegar 1 litre (any brand)
Twist- added
4-5 lemon grass twigs
3 pounded cloves (doesn’t have to be fine)

Orange peels soaking in Vinegar for DIY cleaner do it all with oranges
Soaking Orange Peels

Place the Orange peels, lemon grass and cloves in a jar. Pour the vinegar to immerse completely. To keep it immersed use a small glass bottle. (P.S.—mine is going to be stuck.) Leave it for two weeks on a shelf not receiving direct sunlight. The longer it is fermented the more potent it is. Strain and store the concentrate in a glass bottle, it is strong and can react with metal or plastic. Put the peels in your compost or I read in a post you can grind it and wash your dustbin with it.
Transfer the concentration to a bottle in the ratio 50%water and 50% orange concentrate. Spray it and wipe; (also keeps those ants and mosquitoes away).

Uses- highly recommended for oven, gas tops and bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles. It removes hard stains tried it! Keeps the floors happy and insect free!

Please note—It’s a citric fermented cleaner. It can react with different surfaces like wood or marble. Tip: Patch-test before using on new surfaces.

DIY Potpourri:

Orange Peels cut in strips or unshapely equal sizes
Lemon peels same
Herbs (rosemary, basil)
Bay leaf
Cinnamon sticks small
Rose petals dried
Essential oils

Orange do it all. drying peals for pot pourri
Orange peels ready to dry.

Dry the orange peels and lemon peels. Sundries is best or a dehydrator. I just used the oven in really low heat and almost like a preheat and leave it technique. I like to put the extra herbs I got from the market and dry it along with the peels. You don’t want any moisture in it.Nothing should be burnt charcoal black.

Add everything in a glass jar and drip some essential oils of your choice. Close the lid and mix well. Put it aside for the smell to mature into a good mix for a few days. I left mine for a week.

Now leave it in a bowl on your dining or living and watch how it turns everything to magic. DIY potpourri it is. I’m going to share the results on @mycoffeeweather on Instagram.

DIY Scrub:

With homemade scrubs I go all out and creative and this one is my all time favourite—

Orange peels of one orange
Any plant based Mylk/water
Coffee powder 1 spoon or just go by gut feeling

Do it all scrubs with Oranges DIY scrub
Scrub instantly, absolute love!

Grind it. That’s it. If you want it coarse add some oats/gram flour separately. You’re going to smell amazing after this.

Dry powdered peel can be stored in the box and used at your own convenience to make a scrub. Patch test again! Dried Orange peels are being used to make Christmas wreaths. I make bath salts too and add some Orange peels to that.

For now go stock up some oranges in your kitchen and share this post with someone who loves oranges 🙏🏽❤️

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Everyday a conscious choice

There were so many times, I recall, coming home from school I would run to get my hands on the remote before my cousins and siblings, just so I could watch National geographic on TV. It was slow with this deep voice saying something in an accent I didn’t understand, but it felt almost meditative. The vast forest then zooming into a bird landing on a tree. Then the monkeys cleaning each other’s backs, and frogs on the corners of streams. The closest I could get to this, was going to Cubbon park every Sunday for a morning walk, (whining that my calves hurt) I would love sitting around and just being in the greens, watching pet owners getting dragged by their huge dogs and some people feeding the parrots. We even went for picnics there, sometimes in the evenings, more than 20 of us carrying sandwiches, samosas and ‘jhal mudi’ along with flasks of tea. Frisbee, badminton and football was the recreation. On an everyday routine, evenings were at the neighbouring ‘Jhula’ park and then an hour of cricket outside the house. I relish every second of my childhood that was spent outdoors in the folds of nature. 

Over time things moved to drowning into books and burning candles to study for exams (getting better grades meant you’re smart). Short and long conversations over the landline; finding internet cafes to do projects; rest was still simple. It was still those off-white boxes for computers in the school labs and no one had seen a laptop. I still recall winning a prize from WWF (World Wildlife Fund) in school for making a poster for a competition, with the topic ‘environment damage’. My sister helped me write the ‘GARBAGE CITY’ in bold. Now spread out on my bed, as I’m writing this, on a word document, with a remote to control the temperature, wires all over to charge these gadgets, a room for myself, UPS/Generator incase the electricity goes off; I get distracted watching videos in between on Instagram, of people basking in the sun— and I am wondering if I should stop writing altogether and just go back in time.

Go back to those local holidays to Coorg sitting by the river and spotting birds all around. Go back to the times when we didn’t need air conditioners and fans. (I don’t know if this is universal but I still forget to switch off lights and fans when I leave the room). Go back to the times when we did not need anything, and having little was enough because everything we loved was outdoors. Today I travel around in a car and I am so dependent that I can’t imagine restricting myself to using only the public transport. I normally take flights to wherever I travel because #travelgoals (it is cool to be everywhere around the world). Be everywhere and still feel choked in the cities we live, with the smoke, dust and pollution. Everyday life is just not the same as back in the nineties and running away on long weekends just doesn’t seem like a permanent solution. 

Everyday-life was my focus and ‘what is it a layman could do to make this place earthlier, than we were born into?’ was the question I kept gnawing at. At snail-speed I kept discovering things that we can incorporate in a household, as an individual. There are so many things that we can do differently everyday. “Our power to make a difference lies in our everyday choices.” To start off things, I needed to look at what I can do and not what ‘they’ are not doing. I started composting or sending out the edible kitchen waste to the cows, stopped using plastic (95%), stopped using disposable pads shifted to menstrual cups, stopped buying plastic and almost a year ago turned to a vegan lifestyle. From the time I wake up, a wooden toothbrush, zero chemicals in my bathroom essentials, half a bucket to bathe, no plastic packaging of the soap I use and only DIY shampoo, no plastic tiffin or bottles and less water wastage in producing vegan food. Small little changes each of them going a long way, I’m hoping as way back to my childhood.

I wonder though, if the diaper I soiled at the age of two, could still be lying in one of those landfills? Have you ever seen a video of a landfill, if not actually been to one? We buy and use so many things today as an individual and everything we throw is landing up there. Everything we buy and use, is created by exploiting resources and in the process causes some damage to the environment. What can I do as a single entity? Cannot be simpler: CONSUME LESS. If we have to consume we should look at the approach of a ‘circular economy’ which aims at minimising waste and make most of the resources. Unlike the ‘linear economy’ which has a “take, make and dispose” model of approach”. You could probably choose a steel utensil than a paper cup (forget plastic), a steel straw over paper straw, a cloth wipe instead of tissue. I saw an interviewof Donatella Versace, for Vogue, where she said ‘minimalism’ is the one trend she hates and that shouldn’t come back. (I wonder)

“As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy” – Emma Watson

I leave you with one thought —when there will be a war for resources and lands that are still habitable, after another forty years or sooner — we would probably not be alive to feel the pressure of ‘being alive becoming a challenge’. However, we are going to be the generation that would be blamed for it. Every few days let go of an old habit and grab a conscious one. Remember it’s not easy, only because it’s a change. Once you’re in it, it’s a part of you and it’s more convenient than what we have been told wrongly. Living a sustainable and environmentally conscious life is easier, simpler and healthier. The hard part is the switch. So don’t get overwhelmed and just confidently walk right into it with baby steps. From the time you wake up till you go to bed, be conscious of everything that you do— that’s exactly what a layman can do. Maybe just a toothbrush can make a huge difference. 

To list it: 

  • DIY if you need something. Google Ma has so many DIYs. I make my own shampoo. 
  • Share, lend and borrow- directly impacts the manufacturing of new products and use of new resources.
  • If you cannot DIY and cannot borrow then ask yourself “Can I live without it?”. If you can’t, then buy only as much as you need to survive.
  • Don’t throw- reuse it or give it away to someone else. 
  • Waterfoodand Electricity should be prayed to literally. (Okay wi-fi too!) 
  • Plastic is demonized but it is also not the Santa Clause of our times. So be very cautious.