Taking Baby Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle

Roughly two years ago, I was too lazy to get up and get myself a glass of water whenever I wanted one, I am sorry to admit. I would fill up a couple of huge plastic bottles with water first thing in the morning, right after I made us our morning cups of tea, and would leave the bottles here and there in the house. I would sip from this bottle or that throughout the day, and wonder why the water never refreshed and energised me the way it used to, back at my parents’ house in Ahmedabad.

Then one day, suddenly, it hit me – I was missing drinking water from an earthen pot. That was what we used to do in Ahmedabad – we have never been big fans of refrigerated water, and the high heat in Gujarat would necessitate the meticulous filling up of water in earthen pots throughout the year, most of all in the summer. I haven’t seen many earthen pots in Bangalore, I don’t know why. I was sad when the OH told me his family had never really had water from an earthen pot. I gasped at just how much of plastic dependence we had been fostering, directly or indirectly, by drinking water from plastic bottles all the time and decided to put an end to it. An earthen pot was bought from a roadside potter, and we started joyously drinking from it.

It was a huge pot, though, tough to clean and fill up, especially with a toddler around. We didn’t want to revert to plastic bottles again, however. So, on our recent trip to Madras, when we came across a potter selling an earthen surahis on the streets around Mylapore, we were quick to get our hands on one. Almost three months since we bought home our surahi, neatly packaged in a carton with newspapers stuffed in, I am happy to tell you, we are absolutely in love with it.

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The surahi is just the right size to clean and refill, and it ensures that water doesn’t get stale by being left in it for a long, long time. The water from the earthen surahi is gorgeously fresh and revitalises us like nothing else. It carried us through this summer, when the temperatures in Bangalore peaked like never before. Occupying pride of place in our kitchen, it ensures that we do not have to resort to too many refrigerated juices or packaged fizzy drinks. The surahi has made a happy man out of the OH, too. It has reminded us that we are old-timers at heart, though we might have adopted a sort of modern stance to life.

We gave away the big plastic bottles that we owned to whoever wanted them, and the very few we still own are lost somewhere, in the trash, in the kitchen cabinets. We hardly find use for them any more. We invested in a couple of Milton stainless steel flasks, and fill them up with cool water from the surahi whenever we go out – the water stays cool and fresh for quite a few hours and we don’t have to buy packaged drinks wherever we go. We never loved the packaged drinks anyway – we would occasionally buy them out of desperation (because we would be too thirsty!) or for their novelty factor.

When I go for a walk, though, I carry water with me in a little plastic bottle in a little bag strapped over my shoulder, with a few currency notes stuffed in. I well know these bottles aren’t supposed to be reused, but I don’t know of any other way to carry water with me while on a walk. The steel flasks are quite heavy to carry when you walk, and I don’t walk well (a fitness walk in a park, I mean) when I carry anything at all in my hands. So, the little bottle stays till I find a healthier alternative to it.

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17 thoughts on “Taking Baby Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle

      1. Hahah, no worries.

        Btw, I nominated you for the Liebster Award on my blog post today. Perhaps it’s yet another one for you but it would be lovely if you could participate. šŸ™‚

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  1. I love, love, love this post TGND! I too grew up drinking water out of a clay pot. There is something so refreshing and soothing about storing water in earthen ware.

    Unfortunately, I tried using these clay ‘matkas’ like we call them in our part of the world to store drinking water too, but cleaning them was a nightmare. We’d clean as much as we possibly could, but even then the water that came out of the faucet of these pots contained particles of some sort. It would be a big put off. We changed pots a few times before giving it up and reverting to plastic bottles to store water. How sad is that!

    In Mint’s house in Chennai, they still use these clay pots, but without a faucet. So they actually dip a steel tumbler inside from the mouth of the pot and fill the glass. I find this a bit unhygienic and would rather have pots with faucets, but then they are hard to clean too šŸ˜¦

    The surahi you have is just perfect. I wonder where we can get one too..

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    1. @Pepper

      We used to dip a steel tumbler inside the pot (without a tap) that we had in Ahmedabad too – a bit unhygienic, yes, when I think of it. I have never been a big fan of pots with faucets, though – something about them puts me off. The surahi is just perfect, as you say. šŸ™‚

      I am sure you will find similar surahis at roadside stalls in Mumbai, too. I recently heard of someone buying an earthen fondue pot from a roadside potter in Mumbai – potters have surely caught up with the times. Not long before they hike their prices to the moon, maybe?

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      1. I tried looking for clay surahis on Amazon and found a few options!
        And then I thought of you and how you’d like something for your walks and found even a small clay bottle with a 1 litre capacity!

        http://www.amazon.in/Craftsman-Mitti-Terracotta-Water-Bottle/dp/B01BWM9HI0/ref=pd_sim_sbs_79_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=31Zt3MocjML&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0FPWHHWM5VENC3VYW78R

        I’m so thrilled. I don’t know how heavy it will be for you to carry during your walk. Hopefully not too heavy. But other than the surahi, I don’t mind getting some of these bottles even for home.. šŸ™‚

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      2. @Pepper

        Thank you! šŸ™‚ I had heard of the Mitticool earthen bottles, but hadn’t known they were available on Amazon too! šŸ™‚ They could be a great option to store water at home, but I think they would be too heavy to carry on a walk. I think I will check if there are smaller Milton steel flasks available – that should do the trick.

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    2. A suggestion: There are tumblers or well, lotas, that have a long stem like handle attached that you can use to take out water from the matka. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-brqdr80d5Uk/UTYFCTvyy_I/AAAAAAAAAXs/UL81-n5fpjY/s1600/sarva.jpg You can fashion one out of hanger, but it will look funny. Lol. We used that at home.
      The other option to avoid using plastic bottles is to get stainless steel jugs with a copper lining inside. https://www.flipkart.com/prisha-india-craft-copper-jug-outside-stainless-steel-utensils-ayurveda-healing-water-pitcher/p/itme292urvuzeger Water stored in Copper is highly recommended. I actually got one from India 2 years back and love it. Just have to clean it with this Pitambari powder or toothpaste once a month to get rid of the green coating due to natural copper oxidation. Another option is to use glass bottles. I have this from Ikea http://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/art/40227983/ and I am sure I have seen this in Tulsi, a famous Pune utensil store.

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      1. @Princessbutter

        Yes, the lota is a great idea, but the size of the pot was the real problem for us. It was too big to clean easily, what with a toddler in tow. That’s why glass bottles were ruled out too.

        Also, stainless steel jugs with copper lining inside are great for storing water in the house. While going out, though, they aren’t workable – that’s why we invested in some Milton steel flasks that are easy to carry around and keep the water cool too, for several hours.

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      2. Yeah. Steel flasks are good. I keep a glass mason jar on my desk to drink out of, but I do use a refillable plastic bottle for the gym. I replace it only if it breaks and lasts me a couple of years atleast. Have heard about insulated water bags but I assume that’s plastic too.
        But for a child free(atleast physically if not mentally) zone, rest are workable. šŸ˜€

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