How To Slash Your Bills and Get Your Expenses Under Control


In January, many people are looking to take care of their new year resolutions, be it losing weight, eating well and saving money. I have goals that I want to achieve in 2013, I have given up making resolutions as I have failed in a few months to keep those up. So I create mini goals that I break down from a one big goals so it makes it easier to me to achieve it and stay focused.

One of the thing I am passionate about or should I say, I am forced upon is to save money. When I decided to not go back to my six figure salary work and be home with kids, something had to give so I started reading and learning new ways to cut down on expenses. Some of my early favorite personal finance blogs were Simple Dollar, Get Rich Slowly and Zen Habits. Trent from Simple Dollars still writes his money tips with passion after so many years so do check out his blog. J D Roth has sold his “Get Rich Slowly” blog and I admit I do not read regularly anymore but there are some great articles out there still. Leo from Zen Habits has achieved his financial freedom so he does not write about money tips much but I still read his blog for changing habits and inspiration.

I have done No Spend Money experiment and written about saving money tips before, as 2013 is starting, I am looking back to find more ways to save money so that I can continue to follow my passion of being home, work at home part time and homeschooling mom to my kids.

One of the most expense that people now a days have is phone related that is to say, phone, cable, cell phones and internet bills that keeps growing. Ten years ago or so family needed only single land line phone and television was simple choice enough choosing whatever came in local handful channels that came mostly free. But now there are thousands of channels and programs for television are there. For phone there are multiple lines, data plan, test plans, apps, ringtones and what not. I am not even sure I am all updated with what is available technology wise currently.

If you add this for spouse and kids, bill can run higher and higher. Although, television program says “Must See TV”, there is no such a thing as I and many others have given up or reduced watching Television for good. If you still decide to watch it, you can let go of many overlapping services to save money on bills.

How To Slash Your Phone Bills:

There are a few ways to slash your phone bills and most of these tips will not cause to feel deprived either.

  1. Reconsider Land Line Phone: For long time, we kept up our land line phone just in case there was internet or cell phone outage, mostly in case for emergency. We have given up land line phone for using Vonage service (internet based) for 7 months and could not complain about it. Monthly savings can be $30-$75 depending on services you were using, not bad for saving $360 to $ 900 savings for year.
  2. Drop Extra Services: This tip seems so simple and obvious however, many of us are having so many overlapping services with cell phone and land line phone combine. This also works if you want to keep your land line phone service without costing you big in monthly spending. Example of these extra services can be, You can let go of voice mail and buy answering machine phone, you can let go of your long distance services and use cell phone for calling long distance instead.
  3. Talk Free Via Computer: I am not tech savvy, despite having an electrical engineering but Zenguy is master geek and tech guy so we save money through talking to relatives and friends far away via Skype, Google chat. These services are free and can be downloaded free to your computer. What I like about this plan is it is free, you can chat and also use video chat so grandparents or friends can kids and vice versa. Also, thing to note is that grandparent or any person you call does not need to have Skype or Google chat program, you can call cell phone, land lines on other side.
  4. Buy For Busy Talk Month: I learned this the hard way, as phone carriers have hefty fees and charge if you go over minutes. It might be better to pay some extra every month to cover your busiest talk month to not get these charges during high usage month. If you do not plan this, just be careful to stay within your allowed minutes to not get charge ridiculous amount of fees.
  5. Shop around: I like being loyal to my family, friends but I have learned hard way to remain loyal to a company. I used AT&T for 8 years as I really liked them and what they did for that loyalty? They charged me crazy amount, so reluctantly I left, only to be offered same deal that I was asking them while being a customer.  Since that incidents, I always shop around to see best deals and choose phone company that works for my budget and customer services.
  6. Ignore Texting: In US texting is not free, unlike a few Asian countries. A relative from India sent us text messages and only to read those it ended up costing us $35. So, if you have teenagers or relatives who get free texting, be careful and avoid these texting charges either by ignoring those or reading text messages through some free reading services.
  7. Be careful for Roaming Charges: If you travel out of town or country, be very very careful of using your cell phone. It is almost always a good idea to get local cell phone or have roaming service plan added (if you travel a lot). Otherwise you will be billed $1-$5 per minutes, I have once read a news regarding someone getting a roaming charges for $12,100. (I am unable to find that news link now, but I am sure you may see those once in awhile too) So don’t be one of those statistics and save money by using local phone services instead.

Slash Your Cable and Movies Bills:

I love watching movies and a few Television series such as from BBC, A&E and Master Piece Theater. So, one does not have to give up watching their favorite TV shows or movies just to cut down on expenses. There are many ways to save and cut the bill in half or even more.

  1. Let Go of Premium Channels: Having premium channels such as HBO, Showtime, AMC can cost about $10-$15 each monthly. In most cases you can watch these movies through Netflix, or DVD rental. Now netflix gets DVD released movie much faster so you will still get to see it early.
  2. Track Your Watching: If you really note down how you or family tend to watch, such as which channels, how often you may cut down on other unwatched and UN-necessary channels from your services. Sometimes you may even find that you’re not watching as much cable as you thought, and in that case you can let go of cable services.
  3. Ask For Discounts: If you like to keep some favorite channels or services, ask the provider for discount or better offer. In some cases the company want to keep you as a customer and will negotiate a better deals and other case some stone- hearted company may ask you to cancel and in such case you can choose other provider or wait for a few months to really see before you sign up for new plan.
  4. Day has only 24 hours: Remember, having so many channels and movies choices may be futile as even if we watched one movie a day (2-3 hours each), we will not finish all movies produced and released and same thing with television series. So pick what you truly like that is best for your time. Watching TV and Movie all day no matter how much you like would not be a good thing for anyone.
  5. Buy HDMI Cable: I learned this from Zenguy as I would not know what it was. Thing is this HDMI cable costs like $5 or so and you can connect your computer to television. That allows us to watch free shows from network downloaded. Do not ask me how it works yet but I know it is time and big money saver for little cost. (I will update it once I find out how it works here)
  6. Skip Subscription Plans: Netflix, itunes and Amazon video on demand subscription plan varies and can be useful if you watch lot of movies or occasional movies here and there. In some cases, skipping the subscription plans and getting movies from red box or local store may be a better deal. If you do not mind getting new movies later, and somewhat less choices local library is also a good place to get movies and television series rentals.
  7. Watch it Free on Internet: There are many places such as you tube, hulu and other video sites where you can watch movies and television series for free. Remember, you tube have free and cost movie rental both. You can just view free movies there. The one problem I see is sometimes movies can be removed by copyright violation so it might be gone. I have watched a few movies on you tube movie section and I buy only movies that I like to see it again and again from amazon when deals comes in.

How to Save Money On Internet:

It has been said that over 70% of household have an internet access. That means many of us can find ways to slash our internet bills so we can still save money and still read best blogs, deals and news online.

  1. Group Services Together: Sometimes going with same company and grouping services can reduce your bills significantly. Many company nowadays offer bundle on land line, cell phone and internet services. In some cases doing individual service and billing may work however in most cases grouping services together works the best.
  2. Use library or free Wifi Cafe: Unless you’re buying unlimited internet data usage, you can save money by occasionally using library or free WiFI-cafe for internet for supplementing using internet.
  3. Get a Tablet: Many tablet users who use tablet and watch movies together, so why just use tablet for everything. There are so many apps for iphone and android that can help as free channel guide can be helpful. According to CNN post, replacing your cable with tablet can pay off in 7 months or so and with tablet one can do many things
  4. Know Competing Offers: In many cases most great offers are for new customers and not current customers, so know your offers from your internet providers as well as from competition every 6 months or so. Then call your provider and ask to match the deal, if they do great if not, switch to another company.
  5. Check for Overlap In services: If  you are using smart phone data plan and broadband internet services both, you have overlap in service plans. If you only play occasional games at home, 3G wireless service is not needed. Checking this overlap and how you use smart phone, internet and cell phone can save you $30 per month or more. That is over $240 a year savings on things you do not use anyways.

Enjoy using phones, internet and watching movies, Television series without breaking your wallet this year!

How To Stay Fit During Holiday Season

How to Stay fit during any Holidays

Holiday season usually means several parties to celebrate, Thanksgiving feast, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New year among other celebrations! One of the great thing about holidays are get together, eating yummy food and being with family and friends: loved ones. However, I dread January as I tend to gain a bit weight somehow From Diwali, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas and New year eve party and party food. Are you like me? If you are then know what I am talking about. If you do not gain weight, then write quickly and tell us your secret!

There are so many parties during last few months of the year:

  • Office Christmas Party
  • Family gathering
  • Friends parties (Some of us have more than one different gatherings)
  • New year Celebrations

When we had Thanksgiving gathering, where we had so much food, and 5 types of pies, plus more desserts dishes. We shared and ate leftover for days! It sure was fun, but not for my body. I have already plan to make sure my end of year gatherings are fun and healthy both.

That means we will be eating, drinking and be merry! So no wonder when it comes January 1st, we all have new year resolution to lose weight and be fit.

Download my free ebook : Meaningful Holidays (No need for email)

10 tips to staying fit during Holidays

Prevention is always better than a cure, if we are just bit careful on what we eat, we might be able to avoid weight gain that happens to most of good people. I admit it, it is hard for me as I love to cook, I am always cooking and sharing meals or eating out in those gourmet restaurant does not help.

However my biggest problem are my mom who think, that only way can show our love towards each other by finishing their food! And if you say” Mom, I am careful and eating healthy and I can not eat your fried dumpling”, oh the guilt trip she gives, oh my. No one can resist it, not me either, specially when my mom’s cooking is so yummy to me!.

Do you have mom or relative like that? Than you’ll know what I am talking about.

Here are my top ten ways, I am trying to keep my health, fitness and little sanity intact during this holidays. Hope this will help you celebrate meaningful holidays that are healthier.

  1. Eat a healthy snack before going to party. When I host a party, I try to keep some healthier but when I go to my relatives and friend’s party there may or may not be healthy or vegetarian choices so I usually eat a little before going to party and it helps me when I am not famished to choose better food.
  2. Eat more vegetables: Being vegetarian it is easier for me to choose vegetables and fruits but even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, you can choose various vegetable choices with your meat and potatoes to balance out the nutrition and fat.
  3. Skip gravy, cheesy and high fat choices: These gravys, cheese dips and friend snacks are high in fat and if we eat too much, it sure will add to our waist and other places on our bodies. If you can not resist and skip it like me, make sure you take little for taste only. Everything in moderation will be much better thing to do.
  4. Drink more water: Sometimes we are thirsty, no other liquid quenches our thirst like cold glass of water, so drink it through out the day. 8-10 glasses is generally recommended for most people. Added benefit of drinking water is also, that it will keep us hydrated and it is calorie free.
  5. Reduce Alcohol: For some people there can not be celebration without alcohol and that is fine. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation and always munch some food with your wine or beer so to make sure you do not have hangover next morning.
  6. Please your relative other ways: If you have relatives like mine who insist that if you loved them, you will finish their cheesy and fried dish, you have to be careful to stay healthy and not get fat. You can take little to show you love them and ask them that you loved the food so much you will get take out for home so you can eat it next day as well. They may just be happy enough to pack it for you, and not force you finish it right there. It may just work for you as well.
  7. Less dessert: Not many can skip dessert and I am included in there. Our gathering have lot of sweet dishes such as pies, chocolates pudding, and more. Have little pieces of dessert instead of skipping it all together so you will not have deprived feeling of not having a sweet.
  8. Exercise: Winter time is bad for going out and with many parties with food can be tough on staying healthy. So make an extra effort to exercise, dance and just do lot of walking when you can to keep fit during winter time.
  9. Bring your healthy food to share: If you host a party, make sure you have plenty of healthy choices for you and others who might want to eat healthier along with traditional food choices. If you are going to friend’s party, offer to bring a potluck meal to share which is healthier so if there is nothing you can be sure to eat at least your own food you brought. This has helped me a lot, as a vegetarian I will always have a choice to vegetarian choices and host does not have to go out of her way to make a special meal for me.
  10. Do not worry and enjoy it: Holidays comes once a year so take precautions but if you can not, just enjoy it and do not worry about it much. It is not fun to be party popper who does not join in fun, so do not make it obvious and go with flow.

We all deserve break once in awhile, so have little fun and eat food your aunt made specially for you. Wear that ugly christmas sweater that your mom bought you. Have a laugh and silly fun once in a while!

How To Stay On Track For Your Goals

Image source:

This is a edited re-post from my earlier blog post.

Have you set your goal? Once you have set the goal how do you achieve it? Finding ways to support your goals and making sure how do you stay on track to get to your desired road to your final goal destination.

Sometimes it is easy to get of the track and get of the path. Sometimes life comes in between, you know unexpected events or daily life things get in a way. I know I have been off goal track a few times, and I am sure I am not the only one who has gotten off the track.  The key is to get back on track to your goal as soon as possible.

Having clear goals with set of steps to achieve them surely will help. It seems simple and easy. But it is true, if we want to take control of where our life is going, we have to stop doing what is not working and start doing things you have been postponing for some day later.

Take a look at your life right now. Is where you want it to be? Can you change, improve it? What is your true personal value and what you want to be and do in your life? Knowing what you want and your values is big step.

Easy Ways How to Stay On Track

1. Be clear and know your core personal values and prioritize them.

Doing this step is important so that you will not do things outside of core values or ethics.

2. Look at your life to see what is working and what can be changed.

3. Set Clear and measurable goals based on previous steps.

4. Make sure your goals are balanced in life. Such as, do not set only money related goal and forget health or relationships. Make sure you have health, wealth and relationship with your final goal.

5. Follow or get mentor. Having a couch or mentor can help you clear your doubts and helps you keep in direction you supposed to go. Mentor can be a expert, a friend, a relative or hired expert. One does not have to spend lot of money to get right mentor.

6. Be with people who have similar goals. It has been said, we do get influenced by friends and family we usually hang out with, so be with right kind of people and with positive attitude.  If you can not find right people to hang out, join a community, organization or forum of similar minded people to reinforce the goal and its road to get there.

7.  Tell other people about your goal, write it down to make sure you are held accountable for your actions. It will keep you on track.

8. When things are getting off the track, ask yourself what is working and what is going right and do not focus on negatives. Making small changes towards goals will have gain you self esteem and motivation to keep going until you get to your goal.


Sometimes life happens, we may get off the track of our goal. Having clear goals, mentor, a friend who held you accountable will steer you back to your road to your goals and back to track.


Why Our Grandkids Will Pay For Our Debt :Infographic

For one of my friend, she has 9 credit cards and I do not know how she juggles all the bills. Credit cards use without control make your life topsy turvy.There are so many dangers of unwisely using credit or credit card. I have one credit card that I use and I try to pay in full every time I can.

If you spend without thinking, that practice can be very costly, financially as well losing mental piece. Here is a nice info-graphic that show you, how you can keep paying the credit card debt, and it will keep increasing instead of going down, thanks to compounding interest rate. Check it out below, and judge for your self.

What is scary thought is, if you paid minimum required on your average debt (current national average number) $10, 679,  in 1000 years your remaining debt will be $212 million and you would have paid $5.1 billion dollars on your little over $10K debt. No wonder many of us keep paying debt and never see the light of the day. Danger of credit card debt is mind boggling and scary.

As no human has ever lived for 100 years, the debt can go in to next generation. Let’s be careful of what you buy today on Credit card, else our grand children and great great grandchildren might pay for our debt.

Source: via: Cracked

101 Changes: Change 10 – Eat like a Vegetarian: Benefits of Vegetarian Diet

101 changes is a series of articles for making a small changes in our life slowly to live and feel better.

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past below:

Related 101 changes posts:

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

———————————————————————————————————————————————– Many people are turning vegetarian for various reasons now a days, such as health and ethical reasons. I have been vegetarian all my life, so it is easy for me to say but do not take my word for it.  If you have thought about vegetarian diet and was not sure, this may just help you make decision.  Being vegetarian or eat mostly vegetarian diet has many benefits.

Let’s see 25 reasons being vegetarian is good for you and environment around you. While all diets have its pros and cons. One can eat soda and chips all day and be a Vegetarian but that would not be healthy diet.

Benefits of Vegetarian Diet

  1. Plant base food does not contain cholesterol. Meat food are generally high in cholesterol.
  2. Except of vitamin B, plant food contains all vitamins.
  3. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, improving digestion in body. High fiber diet is helpful in preventing certain type of cancer.
  4. Lower blood pressure: Plant based food have low sodium and low in fat, reducing low blood pressure and blood circulation.
  5. Meat based food tend of high in fat compared to plant based food. Less calories, less chance of being fat.
  6. Less chemical and hormones: Many animals are raised with antibiotics and growth hormones, generally plant based food have no hormones injected in to it.
  7. Plant based food have good energy booster carbohydrates, which is essential for energy. That is many carb free diet such as atkins required that one eat mostly meat to avoid carb. Good carb from rice is better, compared to carb from white bread or sugar.
  8. While animals and plants are both exposed to herbicides and pesticides, according to some experts, plant contains less of these agricultural chemical compared to animals who are exposed to it. Best case, choose organic plant food to be safe.
  9. More healthier to eat plant based diet such as colorful fruits and vegetables to prevent obesity, cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
  10. One of the reason many people eat meat is for getting protein. However, in western diet, people consume way more protein than daily requirement anyways. Plant based diet, one will have enough protein through beans, lentils and nuts.
  11. Healthy skin glow: eating tomatoes and certain vegetables gives healthy skin and healthy glow.
  12. Plant based diet tend to be cheaper compared to meat and seafood in grocery stores and restaurants. You will save money as well.
  13. Many forests are being destroyed to raise livestock as needing space to raise them until animals are ready to be slaughter.
  14. Efficient use of soybeans and other grains can be done as it has been said, 16 pounds of soybeans is being fed to cow to get 1 pound of beef. That is simply does not make sense.
  15. It takes about 80 calories of fossil fuel to create 1 pound of beef, versus 1 calorie fossil fuel to create 1 pound of corn. We can save lot of fossil fuel by demanding more grains.
  16. We can save much water as it takes up 5-10 times more water to produce meat compared to plant food.
  17. Ethically, animals are kept in small and inhumane condition. They are fed growth hormones, chemicals to make them grow big for profit. It simply does not work for some people. Even so called free range meat has its own issues as there are not strict standards for what is meant to be “free range” or “humane” meat.
  18. When plants based food going bad such as fruits or vegetables (uncooked), so one does not have to cook it. However, with frozen meat, you can never tell if animal was sick or had issue before consuming it.
  19. Meat is hardly fresh as it comes in frozen section, fruits, vegetable can be eaten frozen as well as fresh such as in salad.
  20. You can leave fresh vegetable out for day or two on counter and it will be still edible but leave hambuger patty out for 6 hours and see one you want to consume. Plants have longer shelf life outside of freezer.
  21. Plant based food tend to help with health issues such as heart attack, cancer, kidney stones and gallstones, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gum disease and more.
  22. When you buy in factory farmed meat, we indirectly support these inhumane conditions that animals are raised and killed.
  23. Many plants can be eaten without killing the plants with exception of eating of root vegetables.
  24. More conscious and natural eating.
  25. Human does not have to eat meat to survive like many other living being. Many vegan and vegetarian are living proof of it.

We are what we eat, it has been said by many before myself. If that is true, why not eat healthy, nutritious food that gives us energy, life, ethical and sustainable to our environment. In this life time, we have only one body and one earth, let’s keep it simple and disease free. Only you can make choice what works for you and how you want to live. I am simply sharing what worked for me and many others who are vegan and vegetarian for many reasons. What are yours reasons?

Resources for Vegetarians (Potential, New and Current)

Becoming Vegetarian: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Vegetarian Diet

This 262 pages long book,  Becoming Vegetarian is a comprehensive and up-to-the minute guide to achieving a healthful vegetarian lifestyle. Written by three highly qualified dietitians, all of the key questions which arise for those who are beginning a dietary shift away from animal products are addressed, as well as those questions long term vegetarians have who want to ensure that their dietary pattern is nutritionally adequate.


Your Vegetarian Pregnancy : A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition

I had two successful vegetarian pregnancy, so I know it is possible. Here is a perfect book for those who might be wondering about vegetarian pregnancy issues in 400 pages book. The author covers everything from protein requirements to labor pains and nursing positions, with a zeal for the vegetarian diet that canseem almost passionate. Must read for those who are pregnant and curious about being vegetarian, yes you can have successful vegetarian pregnancy.

For other Vegetarian information check out following sites;

Vegetarian Nutrtion from Wikipedia

Vegetarian Cuisine from Around the world.

7 Vegetarians share where they protein: Video

Holy Cow Vegan Recipes


101 Changes: Change 9 – Drink to your Health: Benefits of Drinking Tea

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something
101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up
101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading
101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive
101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone


Tea has been around for many centuries around world and loved in countries like China, India, England and other places. Tea drinking has been always connected with well-being, restoration, and regeneration of cells. Many people are just starting the see and feel the benefits of drinking tea. Drinking tea has been linked to fighting cavities to Parkinson’s disease. After all, we all got only one body and one life and health is true wealth.

In India, where I am from, it is a custom to drink tea for breakfast and one in afternoon after nap (Yes, adults take naps too, although India is changing fast to become more like western world). Many of us in America, are drinking coffee and soda with meals. While there is nothing wrong with it, tea drinking has many more benefits, let’s explore more.

Zenguy makes a best chai, if you like to know how to make best chai at home you can click here : How to make best chai tea at home post.

  1. Less Caffeine than Coffee: While I love my coffee occasionally, tea has far less caffeine in it. Coffee has usually two or three times more caffeine than tea. Little caffeine is okay and might be beneficial but too much caffeine can harm our heart and body organs. Drinking too much coffee can give you jittery feeling, headaches and sleeplessness compared to drinking tea.
  2. Tea has Antioxidant benefits: Many of us are aware of antioxidants can help us in slowing down the aging process, and regenerate and repair our body cells. Some studies shows that antioxidants can prevent cancer as well. Well, give me a cup right now!
  3. Can be great for dehydration: While I think water is always the best for dehydration, tea drinking comes close to it. Compare to sugary juices and soda, tea can be a great thirst quencher and can keep you hydrated as long as you do not load it with too much sugar.
  4. Tea can reduce your stomach cramps: Some property of tea can act as an anti-spasmodic agent and allowing it to aid in the relief of stomach cramps. I have seen it used to calm a colic infant in some culture.
  5. Tea can help with heart disease and cholesterol: More and more studies in recent times have shown that black tea and green tea can be helpful preventing blood clots to help you with heart disease and stroke reduction as well as cholesterol.
  6. Tea helps your teeth: Too many jokes of British drinking tea with bad teeth may make you think otherwise (I personally think in US, we are way obsessed over whiten teeth), but actually tea contains fluoride and tannin which helps teeth decay and reduces plaque in teeth.
  7. Tea is Calorie Free: If you see thin Japanese and Chinese people you can see why, because plain tea is calorie free. Many Indians do not come in this category (Myself included) as we Indians like our tea with Milk, Sugar and spices which adds some calories. If you drink plain black Jasmine and green tea, it is calorie free and can help you with weight maintenance.
  8. Tea can keep your skin Acne-Free: Antioxidants in tea seems to help people with acne problems and keep skin smooth. Tea is also much more natural compared to benzoyl peroxide to treat acne, which is harsher chemical. I did not know about this benefit until I did research to write this article.
  9. Tea can flight flu and Infections: Studies have shown that people who gargled with black tea extract twice a day, were much more immune to flu virus compared who did not. Tea contains chemicals called alkylamine antigens which act similarly to some tumor cells and bacteria, boosting the body’s immune response.
  10. Tea can help bad breath. A study at the University of Chicago has suggested that the polyphenols in tea can help to keep the bacteria that causes bad breath in check. Sounds good to me.

In addition to these benefits, many studies have shown many medicinal effect of drinking black or green tea. Some studies have shown tea reduces or helps with HIV, metabolic rate, lowering blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and much more. You do not have to take my word for it, you can find it out for yourself.

Health effect of tea: Wikipedia You can read more about health benefits of tea drinking here.

A few Chai to try out:

  • ORGANIC INDIA ORGANIC CHAI MASALA TULSI TEA. Tulsi black tea and chai spices make the perfect exotic chai that stimulates your senses and soothes your soul. Add milk or nondairy milk and a touch of sweetener for a delicious authentic India experience:.
  • NUMI TEA 18 BAG ORGANIC GOLDEN CHAI BLACK TEA. This chai delight blends Assam tea with worldly spices. This rich infusion has a complex hearty flavor evoking a warm balance between the spices.


Special Chai Mug:  Enjoy your flavor tea bag with our double wall insulated Connoisseur Chai Mug. Highpolished stainless steel exterior has a contemporary look. Insulated lid keeps your favorite Chai hot or cold longer. Tea leaves strainer is designed for the Chai connoisseur. 18/8 stainless steel Double Wall Insulation Insulated Lid Tea Leaves Strainer

If you already a tea drinker then you already know how beneficial it is. If you have not tried it yet, get out of your comfort zone a little and taste tea today!

Also check out 10 ways to simplify your health and Health and Wealth Connection

Your turn: What type of tea do you usually drink? Do you like Chai-tea?

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

101 changes: Change 10: Bring out the artist in You AKA be creative

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch Your Comfort Zone

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something
101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up
101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading
101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

What is Comfort Zone? According to Wikipedia, The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety free condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, without risk.

We all have our comfort zone, where we excel, where do things that we know perfectly. It gives us confidence, it boosts our ego. There is nothing wrong with it, but with time our comfort zone may start to grow smaller and smaller. Some of us are afraid to try out new things, new experience out of fear; fear of failing, fear of unknown. It keeps us from achieving our best. You may know the feeling? I know as I have been there before and I occasionally have to work on my out of boundary thinking to get me going. I want to share a small impromptu poem that I wrote about Comfort zone. Hope you like it.

My Comfort Zone: Poem by Zengirl

I once was happy in my small comfort zone cloud

Where I was happy and knew things inside out.

Where I had no fear of failing

as I kept doing things over and over almost got tiring

I felt master of routine but felt torn inside

I wanted to push the boundary to be outside

Try new things, new experience

Without anyone’s interference

As my Small comfort zone felt like jail

Instead of place of no-fail

I leaped and stretched my comfort zone

I left six figure job to be home

Be home with my family and kids chatter

Where success or money did not matter

If you are stuck in comfort zone

Where you are good at what you do

But feel stuck and unhappy a bit

Try Stretching a boundary bit

If you will be glad you did.

Take my word and just do it.

It will make your heart and mind more lit.

Some of the great quotes on Comfort Zone by Wise People

If you remain in your comfort zone you will not go any further.
-Catherine Pulsifer

Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort.
-Peter McWilliams

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.
-Max DePree

A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
– Lao-Tzu

We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present. -Thomas Edison

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.
-Abraham Maslow

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
-Brian Tracy

Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort.
-Peter McWilliams

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.
-Denis Waitley

Every moment of one’s existence one is growing into more or retreating into less.
-Norman Mailer

Progress always involves risk; you can’t progress to second base and also keep your foot on first.
-Christie Mason

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.
-Max DePree

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.
-Les Brown

10 ways to Stretch your Comfort Zone

  1. Travel to new country and hang out where locals hang out.
  2. Eat new ethnic food you have never tried before: For example, try Ethiopian Cuisine
  3. Try Ballet Dancing, or watch a Ballet Dance performance
  4. If you are a guy, watch a chick Flick like Pride and Prejudice
  5. If you are girl, try changing a tire (Note to self: do it)
  6. Volunteer at Food Pantry or Shelter
  7. Try smiling even when you are having a bad day
  8. Jump in Rain like kids, even when someone is watching
  9. Try sitting alone in peace for 15 minutes doing nothing
  10. Give your to-do list a off day! Do nothing day but enjoy.

Your turn: How do you stretch your comfort zone? Are you happy with one you have? Why?

What is the Personal Development Campfire?
This post is also my contribution to Comfortzone Campfire. Imagine all your favorite personal development bloggers gathered around a campfire. Campfires are great center pieces of relaxed and free flowing conversations. Think of all the wonderful conversations and the wealth of topics that might arise. That’s the idea behind the Personal Development Campfire. Your favorite bloggers all gathered together discussing a new topic every month. (Bloggers click here for details on participating in the Personal Development Campfire.)

3 entries so far… you’re next!

  1. Eden Journal
  2. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone (Video)
  3. Heart and Mind: Comfort Zone
    You are next…

Click here to enter

Image Source:

Image: Filomena Scalise /

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

101 changes: Change 10: Bring out the artist in You AKA be creative

101 Changes: Change 7: Watch Less Television

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something
101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up
101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

“I wasn’t worried about freedom. I was worried about people being turned into morons by TV.”
— Ray Bradbury in 2001 talking about his book Fahrenheit 451

According to Reuters (September 22, 2006)The total average time per household in 2005-06 was eight hours and 14 minutes per day. I am sure that has increased much more in year 2010. We as a nation watch a lot of Television and that is nothing to be proud of.

Once upon a time Zenguy and I not only used to watch Prime time TV but also had cable in addition to Indian ethnic channels as well. Whatever we could not see, we used to record it to watch it later. We used to come home after work and crash in front of TV to eat dinner and watch late night show with Jay Leno or David Letterman.

We have cut down on TV watching to almost none. We occasionally watch PBS shows for kids and some times a rare selected programs for adults on PBS such as cooking show, documentary or master piece theater program or occasional DVD movie watching (without ads). Many people says that TV has a many benefits including educational and entertainment value. But, let us look at a few benefits of not watching TV.

Instead of watching TV for 4 hours, you can do following;

  1. You can start a blog or part time business
  2. Play with friends, children
  3. Have a date with your significant other
  4. Learn to play piano
  5. Read your favorite novel
  6. Cook delicious meal for loved ones
  7. Exercise, get in shape
  8. Clean up clutter, organize
  9. Spend quality time with your family and friends
  10. Catch up on sleep, nap
  11. Relax, enjoy
  12. Go out in nature, enjoy sunset, sunrise etc.
  13. Garden and grow veggies, fruits, and flowers
  14. Paint and create a master piece artwork
  15. Learn new skills

TV watching and internet are two of time wasters in our modern lives. We have fast food, fast cars, fast services only to use up that time for watching Idiot box called Television.

Here are some of the quotes by famous people about influence of TV and Media on us.

“Do you know we are ruled by TV?”
— from the poem An American Prayer by Jim Morrison

“American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV.”
— The Kaiser Family Foundation

“You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.”
— Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer and Pixar, in Macworld Magazine, February 2004

According toTurn off your TV Website , The CDC notes that “one-fourth of children in America spend four hours or more watching television daily and only 27 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 engage in moderate physical activity at least 30 minutes a day on five or more days of the week.”

According to the CDC, lifestyle behaviors is one of the major factors contributing to obesity in children and adults. Genetics does play a role, however, many health risks have been proved to significantly diminish when physical activity increases and diet improves. One major suggestion by health officials is a reduction in “screen time.” The VERB campaign promotes a decrease in time spent in a sedentary-TV-watching position and replace it with positive physical and pro social activities.

“The average tween spends four and a half hours each day in front of a screen. This includes watching television, video-tapes or DVDs, playing video games, using a computer or browsing the Internet. Television is the medium with which children spend the most time — two and a half hours each day.

* 26 percent of U.S. children watch four or more hours of television per day.
* 67 percent of U.S. children watch two or more hours per day.
* Almost half (48 percent) of all families with tweens have all four of the latest media staples: TV, VCR, video game equipment and a computer.
* The bedroom of the 21st century child is a multimedia environment. Of children 9 – 13 years old, more than half (57 percent) have a TV in the bedroom; 39 percent have video game equipment; 30 percent have a VCR; 20 percent a computer and 11 percent Internet access.” (VERB Fact Sheet)

As we can TV can be entertaining but if you watch too much, it is not good for children or adults alike. If you can not kill off your Television completely, at least watch less or selected shows without violence or advertisements. Watching selected shows fromPBS , or watching selected DVDs of movies and shows will fill the need for entertainment for many.

That is way, many of us can get benefits of educational and entertainment without the disadvantages of too much Television or Media viewing.

Check out following sites for more information;

TV Turn off week Information
TV Ratings for Family If you watch any TV, do check this out

Image Source: NewYorker Cover, Thanksgiving 2006

Check out next in series101 changes: change 8 – Stretch your comfort Zone .

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

101 changes: Change 10: Bring out the artist in You AKA be creative