Thursday, May 19, 2016

Good Stuff

Thought I would write some other stuff for a change. :)

Its my Book-iversary! 1 year since my first book release. It has done amazingly well being a niche book. I am super happy that so many people are cooking up Indian and vegan food from it!

Publishing has been a fun as well as frustrating experience. Books are a lot of work. Much more work than blogs. The consistency over recipes, and editing has to be perfect. Also, in terms of $, most of the money goes to distribution, most of the rest to the publisher and a minuscule % to the author.

On the other hand, once published, there is a credibility to being a published author and reaching a lot more people. Books are also perennial. they will always be there.  A win some lose some situation.

I just posted a garam masala recipe on the vegan richa blog and 2 copies of my book giveaway. All the love from everyone in the comments = more of a win win situation!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Do things ever get better?

This post is more for record keeping than a question really.

2006 is when stuff hit the fan. Everything went smoothly and I was almost ok after the first 2 weeks. And then bam, vertigo and balance issues. Was it the accidental double steroid dosage? Was it those weird lying down exercises? Was it the post surgery constipation that the hospital did not treat and let me go home with? Was it just waiting to happen? who knows. But life as I knew it came crashing down.

About 2 years, several doc visits, concluding that the nerves were still healing and the visits were only making me more depressed, so healing at home at my own pace and accepting the changes, later, I was walking around more. Doing some things. Even trying to drive a short drive. Eyes were doing better. Being able to read or work on a computer for more than a few mins and so on.

Another year and half of healing and then it was time for a checkup MRI. and bam, PTSD and panic disorder and agoraphobia. I was crippled for that whole year in 2010. A bit of therapy (with a bad therapist coz that was the only option near home), better therapy with hubbs and my own self, things were functional in another year.

Blog work, book work, new house move, family visits, made up the next 2 years. My balance on average days was better. I could sit on quite some supportive chairs and go for long drives.

And then bam allergies or sinus inflammation. 2012 I had my first 2 month long (who knows what, maybe sinusitis), episode that affected my balance so much that I couldnt be in the kitchen, couldnt sleep much and forget driving out. Sitting the car suddenly became imspossible (angle of seat?, allergens in car? who knows. But it gives me crazy sinus pressure to be in the car esp when it is not moving). Loads of natural remedies and corticosteroid sprays which gave even worse headaches. Then it got better by itself.

Now 3 years of repeat sinus issues every winter and nothing seems to work. This year bam, spring allergies. Allergy tests show I have no pollen allergies, just a mild dust mite, which we already handle at home. So non allergic rhinitis or something to do with the pressure changes. But that applies to winter, what about spring? Why is the high tree and grass pollen crapping my sinuses out?

The sinus inflammation makes balancing myself much more difficult. Balancing on a chair, balancing while walking. Everything more difficult. And it affects my eyes a lot, so eye work gets limited as well. So basically things are generally worse than avg days before. Car trips are not fun anymore on those days.

Oh also this year, I have more trouble sleeping. I have to wake up completely some days and then try to fall asleep again. Lot more random heart rate bumps at night peri-menopause or just allergies causing balance to go bad? who knows.

So many unanswered questions. The things with docs is, I don't want to see them. Coz its an endless cycle of trying to find answers, many specialists, many tests and no diagnosis or no meds that work. So I don't even bother (its super difficult to get to all those appointments with the  limited driving days)
If I can find solutions with the least number of tests and least number of visits and least number of specialists or people seen. With this health care system = impossible.

If you are wondering about my general health (to help me diagnose the new symptoms), It is generally ok. A bit low on Iron (runs in the family), low on vit-d (runs in the pacific northwest). I supplement for b-12, iron and D.

On the other good side, some pointers from a new therapist I found this year and I am getting a bit more comfortable with reducing the dependence on hubbs, so he travels. Yay for that. Now to figure out how not to get low about another set of shiz this year. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


I get all sorts of feedback on the recipes on the blog and esp my book. Some of the feedback is about how there isn't enough variety in the flavors and options in the recipes. With the book, it was a hard problem to solve. Have more new recipes with all new flavors from regional cuisines, or add more of versions of favorite meals or restaurant style sauces. There are many regional options esp in the Veggies and Dals Chapters and many restaurant style meals in the Mains. But of course the balance is not going to be perfect for everyone.

It is obvious that many people try out the recipes that they are familiar with, have tasted before or atleast know the names of. So most of the regional  recipes or recipes that need some specific ingredients are made by fewer people and made after trying out other recipes. So how can someone who has not yet tried those options interpret that there aren't enough options? Of course some recipes will taste similar. They are from the same cuisine.

With this new world of social media, everyone is open to express their options (and sometimes demands).

Somedays, it gets disheartening that the only comments on a blog post are about asking me how the recipe can be made something-free. I understand that people cannot always eat everything. I cannot either and I also understand the difficulties with it and try to provide options whenever possible.
But seriously 1- read the post, half the answers are already there ( there are similar recipes on the blog already that are "something"-free depending on what you are looking for and they are generally linked on the post), 2- ask nicely, instead of leaving rude comments about how the recipe "sucks" because it is not "something"-free. (yes, there are several comments on the blog with 1 star rating and on social media about how things suck or pity it isnt something!)

It gets to me somedays, because I literally am scared to post something for the fear of getting many comments and having to deal with them.