Sunshine on My Shoulders Makes Me Happpy…… - John Denver
No it is not that easy it seems. Being Happy in today’s world is actually pretty tough. At least that’s what I felt hearing some of the happiness discussions on NPR. There’s a Economics of Happiness, Happiness Gurus and also it seems it has recently dawned on people that “Money can’t make you Happy”. Wasn’t that something we were taught in most middle class Indian homes? It’s another thing that we chose to believe or not believe it. So there were surveys done to show that once you reach a basic sustenance level, money doesn't have much effect on happiness and it has done nothing to improve the happiness of Americans over the last 30 years.
It got me thinking ? What makes me Happy ? I am talking about happiness with my being and not happy on an occasion.
I am not sure but I feel I am most happy when I am not comparing myself, my situation, my child, my whole being with some one else and am satisfied with my being. Now its not always possible to be satisfied. As we go along life, there are dreams that don't come true, aspirations that are not met, heartbreaks that do not mend. But we need to make adjustments around these to be content and satisfied. As the auto-driver in B'lore would say "Swalpa adjust mari"
However in my case the moment someone very subtly compares me or my situation with the Joneses the happiness quotient takes a dip, it’s a fleeting feeling, but its there.As soon as someone rubs it in the issues in my life that I am sensitive about and ruffles up my sense of satisfaction, the adjustments I had made peace with goes kaput.
But I am trying to make peace with it and what I feel is “Satisfaction is Happiness”, a state of mind where you are contented, satisfied and confident to be satisfied--- you are happy. Now how you define your satisfaction may vary but if you try to be satisfied with your present situation you certainly feel happy about yourself.
Talking of satisfaction, I think food and cooking triggers the senses and induces happiness. A home replete with the fine smell of cooking, the joyful hissing of the kettle on the stove top, the crackle of the hot oil, the pop of the spices in the oils is what I think is a happy home. This blog says -- A secret to happiness: "Be a storehouse of happy memories." And good memories associated with food are always happy memories.
But there are certain food which triggers your mood in certain ways.
The Upanishads say that food we consume gets separated in three parts. The solid part that is absorbed nourishes our tissues and waste products, the liquid part nourishes mostly waste products like urine, sweat and the subtle part nourishes the mind. So what we eat has a very strong influence on our mind.
Ayurveda divides food into three categories by their Gunas, a Sanskrit word which means quality or nature
Most vegetables and fruit and grains come in this category. This type of food is supposed to promote longevity, positive outlook, steady moods and contentment
Foods that are not in natural form. Foods like egg, garlic, onion, meat which generate heat and induces activity. The foods cause heat in the body and gives rise to irritability and anger. This type of food in moderation might be good and healthy for people with active life style but does not constitute part of diet of a Yogi.
Food like junk food, very rich food, food which is heavy to digest. These kind of food induces depression and sadness and does not do anything to promote the finer senses. These type of food should be avoided as it does not benefit neither the body nor the mind
Not only the kind of food we eat but the way we eat is also important. Instead of rushing through a meal and having TV dinners, a relaxed sit down dinner, eaten slowly in a calm atmosphere with an attention and gratification for what you are eating helps to boost the mood.
(References: Living By Design) )
So next time when you are feeling down instead of stuffing yourself with junk, think of the food that brings back your happiest moments, choose something that is light like the Dal & Rice you had first cooked, cook it up and feel the joy.
Now Sattvik food would be the right choice but for me the prospect of surviving on veggies and fruits alone does nothing to my happiness. I love my fish, meat and eggs in moderation and cannot give them up as it will cause me more sadness than happiness. So though I would not want to survive on a "Yogi" diet, I do feel that "Light food", which is not heavy to digest, not too much laden with oil and grease does help to keep the mood positive. So “Going Lite” is the the Right way to go
I saw these Kabobs at Cynthia's Tastes Like Home and they seemed gorgeous. When I asked for the recipe she was very kind and generous and asked me to mail her for the recipe. Now I know all Bloggers are very busy and so was a bit hesitant to bother her. But she was so sweet that she urged that I mail her so she can e-mail her recipe. It was a perfect recipe and though I played around with it a little it's a keeper. Since Cynthia did not give me exact measurments which is not really necessary I too took the liberty of not measuring out. Play with the ingredients, go by your instinct, make the dressing, choose a fish (I chose salmon while Cynthia had Mahi-Mahi) and grill. Its that simple. With little oil which is just used to brush on, no frying and with fish like Salmon rich in Omega-3 this is definitely very light and healthy.
My "Tangdi kabab" err... "Salmon kabob" entry for Coffee's "Ghaas Foos" MBP -- Go Lite.
What You need
Salmon (or fish your your choice) ~ cut up into chunks. I prefer to sprinle a little salt on them
Bell peppers - green, yellow, red, orange (or any combo of colours you can find) ~ cut into large squares. I used only green
Red onion ~ cut into chunks
Canned pineapple (optional) ~ cut into chunks
Dressing for kebabs
Thyme -- I used rosemary, next time shall use Thyme
Green onions (white and green parts) -- I used red onion
Salt to taste
Canola oil -- I used Olive Oil
Metal or Bamboo Skewers.
Soak the bamboo skewers 1/2 hour in advance in water
How I Did It
(in mostly Cynthia's words)
Cynthia said "In a mortar with pestle or a food processor - with the exception of the oil, grind all the ingredients together including the salt, (which should be to taste). It will look like a paste." I used a food processor to prepare my paste
In a bowl, pour out the ground ingredients
Add enough oil to moisten the paste, almost like a sauce. This will be the dressing for your kabobs
Start putting the fish, red onions, peppers and pineapple on the skewers - you chose the colour combination you want.
When you have finished threading all the skewers, fire the grill
Taking the sauce/dressing, liberally, season the kebabs, on all sides. Use a brush, its easire that way
Depending on the kind of grill you are using, you can put foil at the tips or bottom of the skewers so that they do not burn.
Place skewers with kebabs on grill and until fish is cooked and you see the nice charred grill marks on the edges of the kebabs (baste the kebabs with the sauce as each time your turn it).
So I didn't really get nice grill marks because my skewers were on a stand but it tasted fantastic and thats the important thing.
Are you Happy ? What makes you a Happy Person?
Trivia:Consuming salmon is considered to be reasonably healthy due to the fish's high protein and low fat levels and to its high Omega-3 fatty acids content