Tag Archives: #Happiness

Happiness is what happens next when you get busy living dearly!

If you think that life is meant to make us feel good all the time then you’ve got happiness all wrong.

Sure we have been raised to avoid emotions that make us uncomfortable and fight shy of feelings that are painful and meant not to be felt.  But don’t we crumble at the first signs of stress only because we have learnt to be pain averse all the time?

Why is it so hard to be happy when it is what we all want?

Sometimes we think of happiness as something that happens to us naturally. Yet it’s often jinxed! There is always something to be disappointed about our past that would make us struggle. Unable to shrug off, we let our worst fears overtake our will to be happy. This is when we jump at blaming the situation we’re in. “If only things were different, then I’d be happy.”

Only that’s not how happiness really works! Worse! if you’re born with a grumpy side and bad temper, it’s highly likely that you will never get past living frayed tempers, some bad blood and frequent blow ups.  

I wasn’t born an upbeat person either!

I never took myself to be a sprightly bouncy person; I never was and nothing helped me either to tell myself; ”Ain’t I borne happy”? As I grew up, gloom darkened. “Where does most of the happiness that everybody is talking about come from?” I’d often go nuts. “If I’d ever want to be happier, is it possible to get there?”

For me happiness meant more than a yellow smiley mocking weirdly. I wanted it to be my secret sauce’ to help me to be and do my best. It meant living and enjoying the goose bump moments; it meant luxuriating and indulging life to the very best. It meant letting positive vibes do good things to me and perk up my brain and body.

Like most of us, I too was struck with the idea of being happy. I had so many different ideas about what it is and how to get it, though none seemed hands-on then. Naive and unmindful and left with little choices, I looked for ways to a more positive outlook before everything grew stale and miserable and unhappy!

Here are five of the best ones I found helpful.

Image source: ’10 best inspirational videos’ by Joe Mechlinski in shiftthework.com on Mar.01, 2021.

Faking smile worsen everything-let go of it!

When everything was going downhill and nothing seemed doing well for me, strangely I felt little or no pity for myself for the rut I was in. Nothing would seem right to take the edge off my despair. Since  I couldn’t do much, I simply endured self doubts and slogged.

It took me some time to figure out that a smile that happens all because of positive thoughts, has the ability to rekindle moods and would make me withdraw less.

I gave it a try!…

A bright cheerful one actually made me feel good. It lifted my spirits, raised my attentional flexibility and I would no longer worry much in upsetting situations.

Suddenly I was seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

Image source: getty images

Today, forcing a smile even when I don’t want to is enough to lift my mood and that surprisingly feels fine!

Go outside – Fresh air would brighten your day!

I guess Shawn Achor in ‘Happiness advantage did share some pretty good news for those of us who worry so much about fitting new habits into already-busy schedules to make their lives easier and happier. Betting on better life experiences, his recommendation of 20 minutes is never short enough time to spend outside; something that you could fit into your commute or even lunch break!

I make time to go outside every day and spend 20 odd minutes in good weather. It elevates my mood, broadens thinking and cheers up my working memory. I am substantially happier when outdoors in all natural environments than when slugging around in urban territory.

And there’s more to it!

Did you know that ‘Happiness maximizes outdoors at 13.9 Celsius‘? That’s awesome! But then you simply have to live it to believe that. It’s fascinating what a small change in temperature and 20 minutes of fresh air can do to our well being.

For now I‘ve stopped living my fears. I flatter myself with brief pep moments when I go outside with crisp fresh air gently hugging me. I always find it happier outside. Early summer morning or a warm sunny wintry afternoon works just as fine for me.

Hang around with friends and family & fix your woes!

Togetherness and reaching out to family and friends is perhaps one of the top five regrets that most people take to their deathbeds. I never wanted to perish with a wish so gross. So I looked around for a lifeline and oddly was awestruck by the way Daniel Gilberts-a happiness expert– had spelled it out.

” We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends”.

Like love affinity means something different every time we say it. It’s what a acquaintance isn’t. You may find good mature ones but they don’t really last long or get you good deep rooted connections.

The cue worked darn well for me! I’m no whizz person but opening up to family and friends was enough to light up a smile in my life.

See… spending time in social circles becomes highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness! It makes a big difference to how we perceive happiness. Nothing else could actually buy us those pearly moments of happiness.

Plan trips but don’t take one!

This sounds crazy but as opposed to actually taking a holiday, planning for one or just a small break from work, tweaks our happiness. In fact the latter spikes during the planning stage of a vacation as the sense of anticipation simply turns exhilarating.

Not many of us may have the luxury of long holidays. Worse, scuttled weekends are grumpier. So, if you cannot take the time for a vacation or even a night out with friends, put something on calendar- even if it’s a month or a year down the road.

Then … whenever you’re feeling miserable and lost and need a boost of happiness to get over your woes, remind yourself of all the good things that are going to happen to you in a short while.

Even a small push that could light up your mood is worth a try! I’m sure you’ll feel stoked and happier afterwards.

Rewire your brain to stir up a lasting sense of happiness

When Ani Tenzin Palmo-an English woman who spent 12 years in a cave in Tibet quipped; “We do not know what a thought is, yet we’re thinking them all the time”; perhaps she had not fully understood the neural bases of states like happiness, gratitude, resilience, love, compassion and so forth.  Donald Hebb- a Canadian scientist, put this in a better way; “Neurons that fire together, wire together”. What this literally means that with proper practice we can trick our neural machinery to build up a positive state of mind!

The fact that we can actually alter the way our brain works through meditation was a big surprise to me. It somewhat reassured me of what I already knew but could hold on to; “We feel and think today isn’t permanent”. Every thought of attempting to raise levels of happiness thereafter would be just as overwhelming.

Image source: Getty images.

Geez…today, in the minutes following meditation, what I experience is epic. Calmness and heightened awareness is what comes after this dazzling cytokine storm of positivity.

I certainly love to be happier, as I’m sure most of you too. But much as it is interesting, it is no surprise that different people have different ideas about how to get it. The truth is that happiness doesn’t occur by chance; it’s a constant choice, we have to make every second of every day.

I’m sure someday you too will just as well find peace and happiness at will and celebrate life as you ever wanted to.

Till then, keep smiling and face up…

Three simple ways to be happy again when you’re heartbroken and emotionally exhausted!

In 1975 Eric Carmen had given us that beautiful immortal number, “All by myself, don’t want to be all by myself.” It sounded distant and obscure then but it cut through the isolating thoughts that had ruffled my mind for long and upset my nerves. It was perhaps much later I could realize I had found a way to stay connected to myself. Life felt faring much better when I decided to get surrounded by truly good people.

Interestingly it is only now decades later, I could fully understand that togetherness is an optimistic joyous emotion which helps us to shrug off the confining thoughts that would otherwise always keep tormenting us. It calms our nerves and gives room to see more options than we normally would. The only dew eyed part is that once connected to somebody, it’s harder to think of the times bereft of each other.

No matter how eagerly we may wish otherwise and try to avoid this, we could never escape our share of heartbreaks.I guess so long as our heart beats, it’s vulnerable to crushing teary blues invariably. It’s only a matter of time before it gets wounded.

Still the idea of being alone, broken hearted and in anguish is not always seen as a good thing. Too often when emotionally devastated, instead of confronting the shattering awkwardness of loneliness, despair would silently lead us further into the sink hole.  Does this means that none of two experiences are mutually exclusive? Should being broken hearted necessarily mean a stormy screwed up life ahead?

Getting to the point where you enjoy being alone and I dare say happy too- is one powerful choice that is very rewarding once you’re comfortable in it. A boat load of science also shows that keeping the head above water is one remarkable way to rough out the tough times. It leaves us much happier, healthier and more successful.

In that sense, growing to know yourself in grief and bitterness, is the first step to learn how to win over your misery and smile again.

Here are three simple ways to just get that!

Image source: ‘6 things you need to know to succeed with Instagram collaborations’ in blog.inzpireme.com on Ap.21, 2021.

Fix what’s failed

Many of us think we already know ourselves perhaps more than we want to, but most of what we know is probably who we really are and not who we should be or shouldn’t be. Few would argue that not every intervention could solve logjams in life each time they happen. Heartbreaks are inevitable and they’d continue to remind us of our limits.

Many a times, you’d go up to the roof top, cry and look up at the stars, argue bitterly with the silence around you about the unfairness of everything; but in time we all surrender to our grieves.

This is when you’ve given in to sadness; a faint urge to reclaim and get back to life frenetically urges you to react. This is the moment when you begin to recover and tell yourself I must move on”.  But there is no happiness if you choose to remain wrapped up in yourself. You are one among countless of those whose heart gets wounded in some way each day.

Going down into the company of genuinely fine people and indulging in the comforting warmth of a companion- who makes it easy for you to believe in yourself- is a sure sign that you’ve found a way to blow-off your steam. Finally you’re among those who’d truly stand up for you and embolden you to go on living…more enriched and warm and loving.

Have no doubts, you’ll find happiness right under your nose! 

Forget quiet quitting? You’ll draw a blank.

What Warren Buffet meant when he said that your overall happiness in life comes down to four simple words; Do what  you love ’ if you want to start it all over again; it might have sounded like a battle cry to many. But when you do what you love, an alignment occurs between your heart and head and your values and the things that bring you purpose. Just as you cannot have purpose without passion, the desire for change becomes inevitable. Withyour bad’ caving in, the wounded heart heals quickly.

Speaking of it, sometimes doing what you do, fails you. It sucks but there is not much you can do about it. Take stress to turn things your way and it would make you go limp again. This is when an escape to creative pursuits is your deliverance. Doing simple things like music, dance writing, drawing or even drama lends an emotional vent to a distraught mind. If you can’t think of anything right away, a tutorial to acquire newer skills and knowledge or an on-line course of interest will revive you within to reach better ends.

Look…when you do what you love most, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be distracted from turmoil within and nothing would hurt the same any more. You’ll wake up each morning knowing lots of stuff is broken and more is about to break but nothing would tear through you any longer. Everything under the sun would look just fine.

So, take a step back and let the life happen!

Want to live your best? Stop being dragged down!

Relationships that do not begin or end well often make us underestimate how much life’s turns and twists could take out of our control. But the inexorable truth is that we all are blessed with an incredible ability to bounce back from even the hardest splits and each time give a wonderful flip to it.

“I wish I could go back in the past and make things turn out differently”; “I don’t know how to cope up with when everything’s falling apart”. Thoughts like these might do a million runs a day in your head with no clarity in sight and the shame of screwed-up situation would keep returning as rage.This is when collapse needs to be counteracted.

Begin the unhinging and find ways to hold the self together.

Building a relationship with yourself is a good start. It involves getting to know yourself, as much you’d want of anybody else. When we spend time focusing on ourselves, we acknowledge and could assess the loss up to this point only. So, all you’d need to do is to keep reminding yourself; putting myself first is after all a healthy move!

Small flames always burn strong and bright. Hiking or walk out in the woods or chronicling your day, is a good start of your personal journey to love yourself. The emotional release that follows will be a completely authentic moment when you can listen to your broken heart, nurse it and mend everything quickly and find a more meaningful pursuit in life.

Image source: ‘The realisation that changed my life’ by TNN/Spardha Pandey in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Oct.26, 2018.

Next time when a sense of loneliness threatens you; your heart begins to pound with anxiety and thunders of hopelessness begin to rush through veins clouding your judgment; pause and take notice of all that that’s happening around you. Never let go of the thought that your bad too will pass. Resist the need to judge everything happening to you; instead simply being curious or compassionate would reset your course to be happy again!

Maybe it’s a while before you’d grow a real connection with your new Wheelhouse, but quite truthfully pay-offs will be huge!

And someday you’ll count yourself lucky to be whoever you are!

Are You Working to Live Or Living To Work?

Why making a Life is more important than making a living!

Are you someone who absolutely loves heading to the Office every day? Or even if you don’t maybe you’re connected enough that you simply cannot resist showing up. You keep giving your all unceasingly; sometimes murdering yourself, all the time hoping that this turns out to be your best bet at acing everybody’s attention and getting taller professionally.

I guess, people who fit in this category are unwittingly married to their jobs and often are set out as living to work’.

If you’re a Zoomer, you know what it’s like; the excitement of being resourceful, independent and liberal is overwhelming, way better than the dudes from Gen-X might have experienced. You’re the perfect portrayal of a deep seated personal connection to the work that you do for a fat pay-check. Perhaps you believe that success happens only to those who have an all–round desire and true commitment to work.  You’re not unaware as well that this runs the risk of compromising health and quality of life outside work place.

Yet on the flip side, many choose to separate the idea of ‘doing what I love from “I’ll do what I must to make a living”. For them it like ‘discovering a long lost passion’; so foreign and yet entirely removed from reality where work is what you do and not who you are!

Speaking of which, do you take on more work than you must? Are you putting in more hours than you ought to? When is the time to quietly start doing less to the extent that it appears not quitting after all?

How bad is too much of a good thing?

Living to work for most of us is like crossing the fine line between being occupied and being eaten-up by work. Your work life balance is at risk when you let disproportionate amount of your time and energy spent on your career.

People, who live to work count heavily on work for thrills and kicks and shut out other sources of joy and happiness. What’s worse, addicted to the adrenaline that comes from solving a crisis or tying self-worth to work, these people would often find themselves on the fast track to burnout.

See…over engagement is never free of its perils. With time, distraught work-life balance takes its toll. Your ability to handle stress is impaired and your overall well being gets affected. And more often than not, you won’t be to see it because you’re moving so fast, completely absorbed in the reality that you’ve created — knowingly or not.

So what’s the point?

Image source: ‘7 ways to reduce work-related stress’ by Neil Spooner in resetmindbodysoul.co.uk on Oct. 08, 2020.

When you fail to find the ‘just right’ level of engagement, you live your life on one extreme or the other always struggling to find the right kind of work-life balance.

But the grass is not greener for those either who consider doing little less at work, re prioritize work versus life or refuse to take a bigger chew than the one’s mandated or must.

Hell yes of course!…When you work to live, you miss out on that rich sense of fulfillment that only a meaningful pursuit brings forth.

Did I miss something?

The 10 hour work day -like so many people I braced for 30 long years, -never ever for once went out of fashion. It stood firm then and it’s as stoic today except that nowadays it’s your call how to balance everything in the new age. The strings were as tight then as they are now.

Jinxed and marred with bad breaks, I spent an entire lifetime slogging to build a career and in the process woefully destroyed part of me.  I kept judging whether it was of any worth at all, despite knowing all the while that in reality I couldn’t undoor reboot’ anything. I had no widget, no push button…none other than a blue sky above and some wishful thinking. I yearned for one. So many things I would’ve loved to rescript for a better tomorrow! Of course, there was always another tactical choice at hand; Do it the new way. This certainly was a flattering option and like everybody else my age, I was gullible. I fell for it and chose to use it.

The thought of shaping a better life and a taller me never felt fictional then.

Image source: ‘New Signs You’re Stressed at Work’ by Christine Bernier Lienke in flexjobs.com

I know I’ve never been great at work and I have struggled long enough trying to figure out why I wasn’t fine and famous at it. I would usually end up comparing myself to friends and rivals who have been fervently neck deep in work and have made some great careers and good living out of it.

It’s only after so many years of imperfections and wanting, I could discover that I was  in fact truly happy, living my life doing what I wanted to do- endeavoring, indulging and battling! Sometimes winning at others loosing, yet never letting myself forget the battles that I survived.

 I had chosen to work what I “could do” and not what I “wanted to do”.

If only I had known then what I know now, maybe I could have had both of them a lot sooner- living a great life and making a living the way I love most’.

I would let the life happen!

Life is short and full of shifts and ebbs and flows. You just can’t exist to make a living. It’s more than about living decently… ordinarily! We all deserve more and entitled to a life full of joy and happiness.

And who said it’s too late to flatter yourself?

I know how important is to earn for a good living. But you can make a living and still make a life! It’s all about perspective; about whom you love most; you as a person or as a pen pusher. With pliable mindset and a bit of allowance for wise adjustments you could let the real troubleshooter in you make life deep and smiling.

Image source: ‘Live to work or work to live? 72 per cent of Brits go to work just to get by’ by Owen Gough in smallbusiness.co.uk on Dec.08, 2017.

Of course, ‘working to liveor ‘living to work’ aren’t the only choices available. It’s absolutely possible to put the two shoes together and yet walk on sunshine. Breaking away from either of the two could though actually help you find a breezy life-work balance in a hurry.

Seriously, sometimes taking a few steps back — or a few steps forward — breaks the barrier standing between you and the life you have painted for yourself!

5 easy low cal snacks for your 5-o’clock tea that will leave you smitten and mad about!

True to its name The small plate’ seemed quite literally tucked away with a signage that was so easy to miss behind a thicket of trees in my residential neighborhood. Truly foolish of me but I had grown a silly fondness for this charming tuck away café. At a stone’s throwaway distance, this quaint little bistro offered a mini range of sandwiches and loads of savory delights adorned the shelves to partner the evening chai.

But like any typical teenybopper, I was all eyes only for that delicious spicy potato stir fry roast, sizzling hot scrumptious samosas and delightful warm pesto chili cheese oozing of a racy and peppery sweetness. Some yummy great tasting that was! Cooling off the after-zing with a scoop of a hazelnut ice cream or a sip of a freshly made warm brew of cappuccino…well! Who could ever think up of anything to outdo this crunch of an evening straight out of an ASMR video? No! I certainly wouldn’t have missed that for anything.

Geez! That place was my Xanadu; one exotic luxury I‘d set my heart on.

Fast forward

Twenty years later I dearly miss my post-card perfect moments of rainy afternoons and sultry evenings, hanging around and spending most of the time straddling my favorite creaky four legged wooden barstool in the café; that tingling aftertaste of chili cheese, the warm balmy smell of crumbly croissants straight out of wood fired oven, the gushing flavors of hot heavenly samosas dripping of mint tamarind chutney, the tantalizing smell of turmeric sourdough toast with a generous dollop of butter and the towering glass of hot chocolate all whipped up thick with pure Belgian chocolate; every memory is a torment!

It’s so hard to forget those bang-up times!

But then like everything else, there is always a good time to ditch frizzles and fries and move on to healthy yummy snacks, especially when craving for munchies hits mid day or when you think you’ve run out of choices to side with your evening cuppa chai!

Like everybody else, the moment clock strikes 5 in the evening my gut starts groaning and makes grumpy noises. Despite knowing the ill effects of fried snacks, I am tempted and fantasize of warm fried rice and chili potato platter; far from what anybody would wish for health goals. But unlike what you may think, I always choose to suffer. A heavy sigh and all thoughts of a finger licking luxury of sumptuous brownies or that self-destroying flash fried crackling high food are set aside.

Yet, I do not put the shutter down on my evening snacks and still enjoy them with a hot cup of tea!

So, if not the fried cutlets or chili potatoes, then, what’s there for me to eat?

Well, here’re five healthy low cal yummy snacks, laden with a number of nutrients and health benefits that like me you can add to your eve-nosh without worrying about upsetting your waist line.

Luscious, mouth-watering! Dig in and you’ll thank me for the heads up.

Sautéed Sprouts, Corn and Peas Chaat

A rainbow bowl filled with fresh chopped veggies and paired with sautéed sprouts, corn and peas seasoned with that funky, salty, spicy sour blend of chaat masala, invites you to an umami like intensity, inexplicable depth and complexity. Adding overnight soaked chickpeas gives the dish a heavily nutritious punch! Throw in the veggies you love most; chopped cucumber, tomatoes, onions, olives and jalapeño, just about anything from your crisper is all you need to transform this catchy bite into a perfect tea time snack.

The heart of this delight though, I must say lies with the otherworldly blend of spices. Mysterious and forceful, it may smell somewhat alarmingly like rotten eggs to some, but the effect it has on your bowl or even a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a salad dressing and a million other things, is simply divine.

Fire-toasted masala Papadam

Simply super tasty and super quick, this is one guilt free anytime snack that would leave your mouth zinging with aft-flavors. Made with pulses and flour, the low cal Papad is high in fiber and protein and works similar to a probiotic, promoting growth of good bacteria and improving digestion by whipping up digestive juices and enzymes which are essential for metabolism.

Finely chopped veggies like tomatoes and onions adorning it, have high water content and carry Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, potassium. Antioxidant  properties of tomatoes reduces the risk of cancer and several heart diseases. Onions help control blood sugar levels, boost up bone density and have antibacterial properties.

Seasonings like asafetida, cinnamon, black pepper and allspice are a great help in abdominal pain, bloating, gastric problems and digestion and reduces chances of stomach infections.

Baked Kachori

If you’re the one with a bent for a bit of wet and wintry weather, well…then let’s say cravings for fried food is bound to torment you every so often. And if you could ride out the elements wouldn’t you love to nosh on hot samosas or flaming fritters?

Often looked-upon as one of the best-loved snacks to side a cup of hot tea, this baked delight on the other side, is a perfect lip smacking body bloom choice when gently pattering rains have sneaked in or when a foggy dank wintery evening finds you in a sullen mood.

Baked kachori is guilt free healthy twist to otherwise gettable deep fried bites that beckon  so invitingly. Beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains; just about every one of them bring the right fiber-rich luxuriance to your platter to help you win over your belly fat quickly.

Made with whole wheat flour and stuffed with coarsely grinded skinless black gram lentil and spices like chili, coriander, fennel and much more, baked kachori is unmistakably a super delectable combination of both health and taste.

Pair it up with your dip and savor the difference!

Beetroot Kebab

Image source: ‘Beetroot Kebabs’ by Neha in mymasalabox.in on Feb.06, 2021.

If you think healthy food can’t be tasty then this crispy beetroot kebab will change your mind. Crunchy, smoky and made with kidney beans and beets pairing velvety yellow mustard dip, beetroot kebabs are meant to leave you strung out. A perfect appetizer and powerhouse of energy, these kebabs are a definite showstopper at the tea table! Brimming with antioxidants, kebabs hardly have any calories and not only they look gorgeously inviting; they super quick to make! Some food processor action, a bit of stop top roasting and you’ve served yourself a veggie fare that’s loaded with spicy, tangy and savory flavors!

Put together with a creamy yellow-brown silk smooth mustard dip and there’s just no better match!

Puffed Rice Bhel

Image source: ‘Bhel Puri – An Indian street food and tea time snack; by Archana Doshi in archanaskitchen.com on Nov.28, 2007.

Tangy and spice, this yum low calorie snack is a super addictive  phenomena  of papadis, puffed rice, sev, onions, potatoes, raw mango and chutneys packing a mélange of unparallel flavors and textures.

Typically made with dry cereal, fresh chopped vegetables, lemon juice and peanuts; simple but sensational chutneys beef up the zing of this mouthwatering crunchy beach snack’ that would also happen to bring a wholesome evening delight straight to your table. More often you’ll find bhel puri with two chutneys-a sweet tamarind one and spicy green chutney. But actually it’s the red pungent garlic paste that reconstructs the whole pot-pourri to an irresistible medley of flavors!

You could build on an extra crunch to this light snack by adding some roasted walnuts or sesame seeds!

Seriously… be it a racy morning or a lazy tea and crumpets evening, don’t we all just love a cup of chai as aft-brew for that instant gratification? Chai is not just a beverage; it’s an emotion that sets everything right away. Pair it with one of the most loved lip smacking healthy light crunchy snack and you’re spoilt for options.

And…you don’t wreak havoc on your wellness, if you know how to stick to a healthy and clean eating.

Now that you’ve learned a bit of everything…go ahead; flatter yourself!

Don’t know how to be yourself at work? 3 easy ways to use your charm offensive to win over!

Ever since Tom Peters lured his way into the workspace of millions of career workers and professionals by reimagining the waypersonal branding’ works; business speaks, love to hate pep talks at lunch breaks and crazy hashtags swarming the inter-web; all have buckled topersonal image’ as something to be reckoned with. It’s no longer about the lettering or labeling alone; it’s our own sense of worth that has come to matter. ‘The Brand Called you in 1997’, ‘The Start-Up of You’; why else would bookshelves today brandish neatly stacked up advices on how to maximize your personal branding, become an influencer and above all stand tall in the crowd? However, they need not perplex you if you are mindful enough of gulf between an advice and a warning …

So…are you really your own self at work? Have you been good at balancing your different Worlds? Are you the one for whom there is always a sharp divide between work and home lives? …and interestingly, don’t you want to keep it that way knowing well that you’d never ever  be free of hiatuses?

It’ Ok to be yourself. Each one of us is way different in how we cope with our experiences. Some of us manage well and grow; others struggle and often sink. But either way there are moments of downside in between for all of us and it’s not impossible to become too risk-averse about the same time. It’s as difficult to hide a part of you and hesitate to rub shoulders freely. Because doing so would mean masking a part of you all the time and …that can be gross and very tiring. Cloak yourself at work, and you prevent others to reach out to you fully!

My understanding of this ball game is rather plain sailing; it’s a simple confection of three infamous anomies- frequent gut wrenching feeling of being overworked, underpaid and usually underrated! And, if you couldn’t belt-tighten forever, it sure is a tough call for you to constantly climb uphill.

This is when, I guess you fall prey to the harsh side of plutocracy and obviously won’t do well at achieving high value ‘ends’. And when that happens…

Nothing beats that creepy cold dislike for everything around you and awful urge to bite the hand that feeds you; especially when you know that you’ve been good at work and yourself all the time.  The ambush doesn’t stop here! You get tired and sick of being asked to do extra tasks outside your normal position because you’re eyed as theexpertor ‘best’ but have little or no heart for it?

Seriously….it’s time to put an end to this everyday insanity and do something to feel highly valued than taken advantage of. Nothing earth shattering of course! But if you wish to try your hand at something worthwhile to bring in a positive change in your life, check out with these three life altering choices. Heaven knows, you might ease your way into the castle without being loud or messy and without being hung out to dry!

The habit of acceptance unclogs

Image source: ’10 side gigs you can do from home’ by Alison Doyle in thebalancecareers.com on Aug.10, 2022.

If you are a stickler to rules with a bent to fight the things you can’t change, then I guess you’re to blame for all your sorrows that keep hurting you all the time. It’s simple…the more time you spend trying to change uncontrollable situations in your life, the more you get scammed by anger and stress and you’re never future ready.

It sucks! but this is how it works. Stay trussed up with a fiery mix of emotions, everything anywhere would feel schmuck. Nothing would seem to happen quick and easy.

All screwed up? Not to worry…there’s always a way to fit-in! Just remind yourself that the world never backs off whenever things go south for you. And at the end of the day, it’s your share of scares that brings you cold feet!

Yet, I think it’s Ok to be mindful …you taking all the responsibility for everything happening around you. Awesome!… you might be an instant hit in a population minority. Still, if you feel gutted and dismay tugs at your heart, then in all probability you’ve missed out one final chapter in your work book; acceptance.

Rancid and unsavory sometimes, one good thing about it is that it really changes your life.  And one bad thing is its works differently for each one of us. But one thing about it is conclusive. If you could figure out how to weigh-in your choices, it would get you one step closer to being warm and alive again!

Simply learn to unlearn the habit of non-acceptance. Stop identifying with the things you aren’t accepting. Stay close to reality. It would bail you out of most uncertainties. Your willingness to experience things as they are, instead of insisting that they be as you want them to be, is what will bring the change. And knowing thateverything is or can be temporary” would help in becoming special.

No need to die a thousand deaths

Image source: ‘Prioritise yourself, set boundaries: Effective ways to deal with burnout at work’in economictimes.indiatimes.com on Jul.18, 2022.

Sometimes when you’re wading through tough times, you get so distracted and lost that you can’t see straight. Emotions overwhelm and perspectives cloud.  You get vulnerable all the more when the fight between ‘old school style brass’ and your attempts at building ‘personal branding turns intense. It hurts…literally everybody!

This is when you need to step back and look deeper at your situation subtly from outside; somewhat more like a “a fly on the wall or a lone passerby on the street. You will get the much needed objectivity to overcome your negative thoughts. A long list of problems might have left you jittery, but few moments of emotional distancing will make you feel better and outshine the crowd in the right way at the right time.

Just be willing to let go of all that once was!

Genuine connections are comforting

Image source: ‘ What does it mean to “be yourself” at work?’ by Tim Eisenhauer in axerosolutions.com

No matter what we’re doing, we always feel better when we do it with others. Our brains are wired like that. Social bonding is irrefutably the most crucial shot in the arm for determining our happiness. It helps in taking care of ourselves and builds trust.

In work life, it happens rather differently. The din, the outcry, the backlash just about everything becomes a natural barrier to trusting each other. It simply wouldn’t let you connect with others.

When that happens it becomes difficult to forge a meaningful association with a person who is in fact someone different than the personality you’re seeing? And to rake up some trust over that? Well! that’s some raw asking!

Feature credits: ‘’How to succeed’ by Mr Monk in YouTube.com on Dec.20, 2013.

Incredibly! …legit or otherwise, bosses and managers think differently and are cold eyed about how to lead and manage without being vulnerable or revealing their more authentic self. Maybe this is what Robert Reich’s ‘harsh form of capitalism’ is all about.

All the same, if you feel trapped, vilified and find yourself struggling with too many things at the same time, you might be injuring yourself thinking ill all the time. Bail yourself out by creating your own brand; one that is truly personal. Of course you’re in charge of how much you reveal, but let people around you have enough of a glimpse to let them truly connect, understand and engage with the real you. Surely we grow by building for scale and not by aggregating it to someone else’s advantage.

Honestly, it’s your turn now to bone up your take on a struggle that in fact is not real.

Consider everything else non-negotiable when it comes to taking care of yourself.

Fortunes stumbling! What’s luck got to do with it?

Julian Danielly of Aladan Corp. never over rated the bourses swings or market pulse. The upbeat outlook later was to make him emerge as a global leader in latex gloves and durex manufacturing.

Image source: ‘Lucky Numbers and Science’ by Heiko Dudzus in assertnotmagic.com

And it didn’t happen accidentally.

One in a million lucky breaks!

Well…the only piece of luck, if you may call it, happened when he got fired by his previous employer Ansell Corp in August 1986! He had a harrowing time finding buyers for the ugly duckling of items coming out of his own stable in early years of struggle but eventually could strike a good deal with Aussies who wanted to enter the U.S. market in a hurry.

Does this mean that luck smiled or hurt him by chance alone? Has it got nothing to do with his choices or efforts? If luck is that real in deciding our everyday fate, what about the truth that everything fell his way more out of grind than luck happening as an accident?

Speaking of it, don’t we incorrectly use the word luck to avoid taking responsibilities for our choices? We consider ourselves lucky; if we are born healthy and able bodied; if we have a perfect weather on our day off; if a stranger buys us a coffee and compliments with a “have a nice day.”; if we put a dime in a slot machine and win a jackpot bonus; all such things happening truly benefit us and yet are completely out of our control.

On the contrary, what we consider bad luck is what harms us by chance. We feel unlucky, when we get a flat on our way to work; when our flight gets cancelled and we sit for six long hours at airport hoping to get a seat in the next one, worse still may be at the back of the plane next to a hollering baby. In fact, the upshot of completely out-of-control event makes us feel unlucky, dejected and perhaps angry!

What when it comes to money?

If Randy Schutt’s- a long-time progressive activist and researcher- unforgiving illustration of unequal luck is to be believed then when it comes to money, fate does matter quite a bit!.  The idea that hard work is all that’s needed for health, wealth and happiness, is all a blind caper!  “The Chancy Islands: A Land of Equally Capable People But With Unequal Luck explains just how much of dumb luck, bit of a chance and slice of encouraging circumstances can play monkey in who becomes wealthy and who stays poor’!

Beaten down by the everyday dismal science of bread and butter, most of us consider ourselves lucky if we could manage enough to get by; very lucky if we’re doing well and extremely lucky if we‘re super rich.

But to ride the circumstances and become wealthy!…well, that’s usually not true. Some people amass huge wealth even in face of random shocks of accidents, disasters and windfall fortunes. Others continue to wallow into shortages and sleep rough without having done anything to deserve deprivation.

Tax the wealthy in popular ways and hope for eliminating long term equality!  Well…economic mobility does help those born in the bottom fifth of the wellness ladder to sweat their way up; but rebalancing the chances with choices is a lost dream for most people.

It’s quirky and gets corrupted each time we try to rejig it!

Image source: pexels.com

Feeling lucky? Start counting your blessings

Ever wondered why so many gamblers risk a loss knowing well the odds of a win are against them? Is the belief that dice is ‘hot’ in a winning streak good enough for them to keep going? Why do we all expect heads on a coin toss next, after several flips have turned up tails each time? Is luck got something to do with it or is it simply a fickled mind’s illusion?

For most of us luck still matters-profoundly! As entertaining and informative as it is, our belief in it and the decrepit mindset of winning or losing an opportunity, never fails to sell us a million dollar bet on luck, each time we get the chance to ace it. Somebody’s struck with catastrophic illness, another’s winning a jackpot; without a healthy dose of good luck, nothing meets success. We all know that but prefer to believe that we are more in control of our lives than we actually are.

That doesn’t mean that we give up or stop trying in the hope that luck would influence the random events that come our way; good or bad, one way or another! There‘s a lot we can do to ensure that only the good one keeps flowing your way.

Everything is impossible until it isn’t!

For years altogether, I have taught myself to listen to the very first half awake thoughts in the morning. It’s amazing! I always end up with list of things that I am grateful today. I am alive; I am happy and there’s plenty of comforting things around me. People love me, mates respect me and friends admire me….so many good things are happening around me and there is so much to do in life.

Then there’s of course a list of bad things that could have happened but didn’t. For that I thank my…good luck for buying me yet another safe day.

Trust nobody but yourself; nothing would better your day than to start it by getting on the ‘field of life’ and every time taking a swing for the fences. I begin mine by giving it my best to stay alive and improve.

Image source: pexels.com

I believe, fortune never fails those who choose to give it their all.

Bad luck is real and so are bad choices!

I’m so often struck by the way people talk of luck in everyday gossip as something that only hurts or benefits by chance; nobody talks much of choices. The truth is that most of us keep lying to ourselves by blaming luck for our misfortunes. And we do this frequently in situations or around people who would remind us of truth about ourselves without restraint.

So, to keep the good fortunes flowing your way; try hanging out with this naked truth; Luck doesn’t get us to bourses- making money and thrive is a choice that nobody would ever let go’.

Feature credits:’‘Luck /Apple TV+’ in youtube.com on May13, 2022.

Life is full of randomness and is not obliged to give you what you expect. Pulling up each day and buckling down, to get more tailwinds than headwinds will make you covet your choices more than surreal luck.

When you want to spot a lie, listen for the word luck and when you get that, ask yourself; “Isn’t this only about avoiding taking responsibilities?”

Clichés aside, once you’ve braced yourself enough to own the truth and wouldn’t pause for luck; you surely will get your chance at change.

Besides it’s never any good to bet on some crapshooter illusion!

Can’t think straight? No worries…being grumpy is actually good and useful!

Warren Buffett certainly knows a thing a two about wealth management but his best one is straight out of pure common sense and is a polite reminder to always stay in your lane.

Success depends largely on knowing your strengths and weaknesses’.

But what happens when your anger begins to showcase your negative side? What then is there to make you truly happy?

Image source: ‘Five Reasons Being Moody Is Actually Good for You’ by Joseph Paul Forgas in vice.com on May 11, 2018.

Often we spend our entire lives looking for things that bring us happiness. While what brings joy to one person might be different from what brings happiness to another, there are few basic things that we all need to be happy. Amongst them, anger like regret and worries is an influencing emotion and the only key to our happiness in some way.

Look…we all do certain things to survive and a few more to be happy. But we do know that there is no shortcut in between. Sometimes it’s the good positive habit of accepting others unconditionally that does someone’s heart good. At others it’s the emotions involved in taking care of ourselves that lit the spark of joy somewhere in our lives. Incredibly, loving the things we do is what makes for some genuine happiness.

Imagine what would happen if in your sullenness you do things that are not natural of you, only to distract you from everyday challenges? What if you never have had any heart for any of them and yet slog on? Binge-watching, eating mindlessly, going on buying spree even though you don’t truly need things, would only worsen your mood. Pushing ahead without truly enjoying anything would make you feel roasted and bad tempered. And like it or not your dense behavior would flame out your pie-in-the-sky thoughts, if any, in a flash.

One way to get out of this rut truly, is to seize the day and live in the moment. Doing so helps to elude the most nightmarish of emotions; regret anger and worry; the three brassy devils that are at the dead center of our lives and determine our happiness. But is it enough… to stop focusing much on regrets and anger about the past or worries about the future? Is this all we need to build a truly happy peaceful life?

See…our brains are hardwired to live in the past and future at the same time. You just can’t learn your present without living in the past and you can’t plan your tomorrow without living in the future.

Frayed tempers, we all know could tear apart a relationship if go unchecked for long. Minus one little bit of humility and your affinity would go for a toss; everything gets ruined for good! Above all you’re stricken with cold feet, never ready for a difficult task ahead and would remonstrate easily.

Does this mean the end of everything shining bright? Is there a way to make sure that fears of failure never reach you? If only there could be a way to ignore the sob stories surrounding expectations!

The upsides of defensive pessimism are heartening and might just be the right game plan for you to follow. Dismayed! Don’t be… it earns you a chance at managing your future events and lets you ride out the obstacles. I won’t say it’s epic but it allows you to set for yourself reasonably low expectations of success and encourages not going overboard over any potential failure.

Believe me; it doesn’t get any better than this. You’d overcome your fears and obstacles more calmly even if you’re unsure of everything and not feeling good about it. It’s easy to deceive and sell to ourselves that we have full control over our happiness. But bluffing always ends at cross purposes.

Adversity, stress, unfairness, everything shapes how we feel. To believe that you can think yourself better simply by focusing on positive emotions, is at the very least naïve.

Here’s how to stay hopeful and give your best even when you’re uneasy, disquieted and feeling prickly;

Image source: pexels.com

Stick to the things that you’re good at, not what’s cool

Remember Alex cross in 2001 thriller ‘Along Came a Spider’!…

You do what you are. You’re born with a gift. If not that, then you get good at something along the way. And what you’re good at, you don’t take for granted”.

Many of us waste a lot of time chasing pipe dreams to learn few new things that we think are cool and reckon worthy of learning. It could be anything; from a programming language to new framework or even some difficult topic in deep learning. But before that!…everyone of us want to be good at things we’re passionate about. Not many of us, of course even know what exactly that is.

Trying to figure out it out is hard enough on its own. And it gets even trickier when you’re banging your head on a wall to make sense of what being good at something is all about.

For a start, think of Alex Cross whenever you’re in a cranky mood and feeling miserable. You might be helping yourself to figure out your strengths and what you’re naturally good at. Yet even when in one of your most peevish moods, don’t ever think of chasing waterfalls.

You’re already the greatest of what you could be.

Do what you love, not what you like

Knowing your strengths, doing exactly what you’re good at and putting all your heart into it, rewards you with all the fun and happiness you desire- otherwise what’s the point of getting rid of that ratty mood? What Tim Cook meant when he said “Do what you love, and put your whole heart into it, and then just have fun” isn’t hard to guess.

I had spent a lot of time thinking over how to evolve a pursuit that I love most when my work and career means something that I can’t help but keep going. The thoughts often left me grumpy and fuming. Deep down I knew that somehow I needed to optimize my life… but how? Wasn’t that something that I always want to do in the first place?

And then I decided to do more of the things I loved and less of the things I liked. It felt cleaner, fulfilling and helped me get in better shape.

Image source: istockphoto.com.

So, before you decide to shock yourself to shake off that low mood, take a deep breath and tell yourself that this is a question that everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives. Everyone wants to be good at things they’re passionate about. It’s just as you must cut back on things you like, to make room for what you love, you should also cut back on the your shoulds.

Still all fret and fumes trying to figure out if this is the answer to what you want to do for the rest of your life?

As I said, figuring out what it is that you’re good at, is a great place to begin with!

The ruthless tyranny of Guns and Abortions: Every time a life gets slaughtered!

In an ideal World, Roe vs Wade would endure, people would unite and stand up to fight Covid and Law makers everywhere would have acted long ago to prevent gun tragedies!

But rather than wishing, shouldn’t we be prepared for a change first?

Image source: ‘From Parkland to Sunrise: A Year of Extraordinary Youth Activism’ by Emily Witt in newyorker.com on Feb.13, 2019.

Guns get all the blame for mass killing every time it happens. An intense life–and-death debate rages for a while and then dies down. Memories and moods remain surreal and short lived. And it’s not long before everybody finds recluse in more earthy issues and moves on. Scores of 4th graders, grocery shoppers and church goers killed in mindless homicides, continue to get reduced to framed memories.

Meanwhile, the Apex court everywhere conveniently locks horns with law makers over contentious gun reforms and abortion bills and none of the arguments coming out of them makes any sense.  Political, constitutional or safety of public interests, everything just pales into some super sad pointless ghost story that has no takers.

See…the buzz is so deafening that nobody took notice when the new strain of corona virus crept in quietly!

I use common sense when deciding who should lead and govern and be responsible for my safety and well being. I am also reminded and not forgotten the Boston bombings, mass killings of 9/11, 26/11 and 15/9 (London’s Parson Green metro bombings). And yet I don’t see any reason for anyone owning an assault rifle or a rapid fire weapon. Background checks or pesky formalities for owning a weapon, make life seem so cheap by selling cheap. The only argument in defense…every non-felon ought to be armed against the menace!

If you buy this, owning a fire arm for you, is not only logical but prudent. But to me, it’s more like living in flood plains and buying flood insurance.

So, should you be doing it? Only if you uphold that every one of us has descended from slime and there is no eternal consequence for anything atrocious that is done. But once you buy the idea- that your personal arsenal is your best bet against an unknown threat’ no amount of tragedy can persuade you to ditch it. It’s intoxicating, it’s horrendous…it’s ghastly! Not even the slaughter of innocent children and teachers or unsuspecting shoppers or tired workers returning home could persuade you to forget this abhorrent solution.

Then there’s something more to this…

Even if you find gun massacres like the one at Robb elementary school, Uvalde Texas that left 19 children and 2 adults dead, atrociously horrifying, I bet you’d still prefer to see everything distantly; dispassionate and unconnected from the entire tragedy. You have kept your guns safe and secure, possibly under lock and key and consider yourself a responsible gun owner. So, some lunatic did the killings. Right…? It’s a shame that the pain and loss never reaches you.

Image source: ‘Florida school shooting: 19-year-old accused of killing 17 is a ‘broken child,’ lawyer says’ by Karma Allen & Emily Shapiro in abcnews.go.com on Feb.16, 2018.

If you carry this logic, all you’d do is offer moments of silence and prayers but resist reforms. The same asinine perception makes you a different person; one who counters bad guys with guns and believes that more good guys are needed with more guns!

If you ask me it’s more like reliving an old-school Western fantasy again-gunmen square off and the ranger always kills the desperado’.

Of course yes! Gun laws everywhere do need changes, but would that mean arming even the teachers and school going kids? I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to. Besides it’s not what a teacher signs up for! Personally, I can’t imagine of an elementary school teacher hopping around with a gun in the classroom, all trigger happy to ward off a threat.

Every life is as dear as it could ever be. And we need to do something to show that. Ricocheting from one tragedy to another is not normal. What are needed are stringent gun reforms with proven track of reduced violence and fire arm homicides. There were armed guards at both the Buffalo and Uvalde massacres, yet the slaying didn’t fell short. Protests and incensed emotions won’t do much except rip apart the existing gun laws.

Till necessary amendments begin to rebuild trust, everything shall remain where it is. It’s a sad inconvenience but loss of lives will be around us for some more time to come.

Whatever…the solution is not more guns! Critics inevitably may have some more to argue over mental health, but till the arbitrage strikes balance….

Innocents will continue being slaughtered!

Image source: ‘Let gun safety be your target!’: protest signs from the US school walkouts’ by Dale Berning Sawa & Mee-Lai Stone in guardian.com on Mar.15, 2018.

Every life is valuable

Every thought that weighs abortions with gun homicides is narrow at best. The decision whether or not to go ahead with abortion is deeply personal and sometimes a difficult choice to make. Carnage on the other hand is barbaric, inhumane and shameless violation of right to live’. Any argument that it’s the people that kill people and not the guns is a pathetic replay of one of the worst dissenting woes; that restriction on lawful possession of a firearm will endanger lives of those who don’t possess one. Excuses like this are frustrating only and wouldn’t do anything to deter the absurdly easy availability of a weapon.

Meanwhile, empaths are rattled by another tormenting downslide in abortion rights. Unable to stall the insane gun culture, the pro-gun activists-especially in America, want guns to proliferate and wouldn’t wish for anything else to change till feticide laws are considered and done with!... ridiculously evil, inappropriate and more like side stepping the issue.

This insanity however has few takers. Fair enough!  If the law makers are truly concerned about saving lives, why a gun shopper couldn’t be held to same standards as meant for those contemplating abortion? If everything about MTP is put right, would that mean declining trends in gun violence? Is that the only answer to deterring another kill like 16 Dec 2014 Peshawar attack that left 132 kids dead or 58 Las Vegas concert-goers from dying at the hands of a gunman? Why nobody demands to protect the lives we all seek to save?

And as we wait;

#More than 500 people continue to die every day. This adds up to 1.4 million firearm related deaths globally every year!

#About 2000 people get wounded by gunshots everyday and about 2 million are living with fire arm injuries around the globe.

#8 million small arms and 15 billion rounds of ammo find shelves with arms dealers each year.

#An estimated 40-50 million abortions happen around the world every year; roughly 125000 each day.

#Around 73 million induced abortions take place worldwide each year.

Yet everybody just loves to hang around… the political werewolves quietly mull over electoral incentives that would affect policy choices on issues of national interest. And people continue to get killed for nothing every day.

Guns and abortions? Hang on a sec until…!

That nasty little voice in your head! …If only you could rewire your brain for happiness.

It’s a strange messy world out there and the happiest people aren’t the ones who have faced fewer difficulties in life, but those who have learned to enjoy the moment they live in.

Image source: Ira in pexels.com.

Life sucks whenever it gets stuck with adversity. Spiteful, smarting… just everything about it makes you feel hapless and jinxed.

When you‘re anxious about something or your mind is busy browsing past events, it’s easy to relive your fears, worries and every negative thought you had, over and over  in your mind. Next, it’s not long before they start shaping your reality.

That’s awful! But you could still stop your brain from looking back; from horror stories to toxic relationships to those grumpy days, it rehashes every bad sore that still make you resentful, angry and disappointed even though it may have happened long time back!

Bad experiences and worries never let go easy.

There are plenty of DIY columns and scores of self-help books claiming to have found the key to an everlasting happiness. I’ve been through a few of them and yet couldn’t convince myself. Even Mo Gadwat’s Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy and   Adjust the Code That Runs Your Brain seem like just two more to add to the stack. Not much of a relief here. Stories of burn outs and the great resignation paranoia still continue to rage prime time screen. Not far behind are a cheeky few that sizzle as screamers in unprincipled journals. The din as usual is raucous and always in vain.

Happiness, I think lies somewhere in between the events of life and our expectations of how it should respond. This is fairly obvious. If we expect much more from life than the reality, heartaches and regrets happen and nothing thereafter would let us be happy.

Look…unlike our everyday coffee spills and parking tickets, we constantly see the rose tinted version of everybody’s best life’. We prefer to ignore the half eaten bitter part of it. And it’s when our brain begins to bump off. More receptive to negative emotions, it begins to discard anything and everything ‘good’ 

Does this mean we should pare down our expectations? Isn’t this opposite of what we normally get to hear for self-empowerment?

Much like AI, sometimes our brain also gets afflicted with spams and bugs and trojans. And when that happens, everything sucks! From dismay to chagrin, every life changing decision leads to a narrow downward spiral. Nothing seems to reflect reality. Every dreadful thought would only worsen your fears over what future may bring.

Fortunately, this is not without a caveat. We aren’t meant to doom despite our brain’s natural disposition to upsetting events. The wretched part though is that in the middle of this you couldn’t hit the snooze.

So, is there a way to combat this bias? What if we could somehow reprogram our brain to scan only for good things in life, parse the possibilities before moving ahead and at the end of it- eventually be happier?

If lately your brain’s been busy accumulating suspicions and worries, flagging them a big red This Is Important!!” it’s time for a cool 30 sec. ‘beard stroking’.

Maybe you too could patch up your brain and go breezy!

Image source:’ 6 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain for Happiness’ by Minda Zetlin in http://www.inc.com

Slow things down

When you’re feeling frazzled, stressed or distracted, taking a conscious approach to your thinking helps. Tip!… spend a moment to calm your mind, take few deep breaths to fill your lungs with fresh air and let go of every thought that troubles you. Let life happen of its own. Don’t drag yourself into it.

Give yourself 10 secs and you’ll be ready for a positive reboot in no time!

Good things matter

One simple way to retailor your brain to respond to positive patterns only, is to look towards worthwhile things happening around you. Rake up a list of most appealing ones and musewhat caused them to happen’? You would carry the day every time you discover something positive.  And every small win each day will reward you with a choice to empower and motivate yourself.

Small favors create circle of joy

When we are nice to others or somehow make others feel good, we get goosebump moments of happiness. Every small act that makes people smile, brings joy to us too. All it needs is a moment of favor; buy someone a cup of coffee, help a stranger, walk an old person across the street or even feed a stray animal; every act of generosity will get you a little rush at happiness. Your usual pattern of worrying and fretting will be lost in flashes of mirth and joy.

Your present shapes your tomorrow

No tomorrow, no next week …It’s right this moment! It’s not hard to exercise. It’s only about practicing mindfulness. Not a big deal if you’d recognize your emotions. Put in a dry run, if you’re not convinced enough. Switch your thoughts to positive ones for a change and let everything around you happen without judging them. Once this gets under your skin, good things begin to happen.

Image source: ‘How to rewire your brain for peak performance and happiness’ by Amy Crawford in theholisticingredient.com

Now that you have tamed your subconscious you won’t let it drive your decisions. You have taught your brain to sense, when it’s slipping and when it should defrag for a more balanced and positive outlook.

The skeptic in me though, never fails to line up sweet accusations as alibi to screen my often offensive behavior. “If it worked even for one of them why wouldn’t it for me? Why not give it a try?”

Not that, it’s impossible to get success when you have resigned yourself to wickedness in you. But tagging mistrust and uncertainty to your life is always a bad idea. Simply put, it influences your life and would worsen your decision making.

IMHO!… get into the habit of continually checking with yourself and consciously steer your thoughts clear of negativity; it’s not long before it will become your second skin.

And it’s important to remember that it can happen. Better still, you can do it.

Maybe…someday you’ll live a moment when it won’t feel like every day is a Monday!

Isn’t that something happiness is all about?

Wishing for a brighter side? Five promising ways to make yourself irresistibly attractive !!

Everything has attraction but not everyone sees it’.

Image source: ‘What makes someone naturally beautiful?’ in naturaluniversalsecrets.com

I wonder how good is that when people’s preference for faces changes remarkably every time they run into one?

For most part we could do little to change how we look but isn’t smelling good, being funny or not talking about your ex strongly influences your uniqueness?

I’m no Dale Carnegie or a big thumping philanthrop like Oprah. But I’ve learned a thing or two about how to draw the world around me; how to work with it than around it.

Having wrinkles or two is not a sign of horror; it’s a sign of experience, of weariness and above all your love for life. It means you’re trying to be the best person you can be; you’re trying to keep the twinkle in your eyes because you want to be happy. And you smile brightly because you know that makes you overwhelmingly attractive!!

Still, if you think that attraction is just a word and couldn’t define who you are; here’re some ways to make people love the freckles on your face.

Smile to win over!

Smile is one big way stir up things. It’s one damn good way to make others find you appealing and attractive. It hints at friendliness and receptivity. Smiling and laughing is cool; it not only makes you more attractive but it makes you feel more attractive. And doing so you, lets you experience joy and happiness even when things don’t seem to be going well.

A smile speaks of its own and works like some rustic aphrodisiac that could pull even the ever-serious counterparts towards you. Sad wry faces feel dismissive and cruel.

Imagine if you could pair a face with something positive and beautiful; that face would then begin to look more attractive. A beaming mug is way different from sad sullen ones that crowd around you every day and is the obvious choice to be judged as more attractive!

Look…

Who you find attractive is less about where you grew up or where you ran around in life. Your choice is more influenced by experiencing the pull that is so unique when you look at  a simple, coy and  pleasantly bright face.

Image source: ‘freepick.com’.

Air of excitement around you!

Let it happen! Sometimes it helps build ridiculous amount of attraction!!

People generally love being accepted and feel comfortable when that happens but not unless you make their interests important to you just as much you want them to as well. If you want others to like you, let your gestures build up some comfort.

Your friends may know who you are but others judge you only by your looks and how you connect with them. More than anything your body stance, attitude and the eagerness to open up when you bump into some stranger; that’s what make people find you attractive.

I am flattered when somebody I happen to meet first time, gets curious about my life or my hobbies. I’m sure, that someone also expects to be enquired. And that’s Ok…I think that if you could find the right stuff to make a heart flutter, the allure will rake up a warm companionship all by itself.

Truth is that every one of us on this planet believes that we know something that the other doesn’t. And we would rather die trying to learn something new. If you believe that everything happens for a reason; create your own style and share the excitement of togetherness. No matter what, how you feel is more important than how you look! Heads will turn, once you begin to get comfortable in your skin.

It’s not long before people will recognize you as an attractive and fantastic person.

 Monday blues are bad!

Negative side of everything is unpleasant. People with a peppy attitude, on the other hand bring encouraging changes in everybody’s lives, help avoid worries, see the brighter side of everything and expect the best to happen. Just living their lives and doing things they love most is what makes them attractive.

Could you think of the times when someone has been unexpectedly friendly and nice to you? Is it the person who smiled at you while you went strolling in the park? Maybe it’s only a cheerful good morning’; nothing was said at first. Maybe it’s the person who picked up a conversation with you first time and bowled you over with an unexpected compliment. Believe me, these are the kind of thoughts that never leave us. Whenever roused, they make our day feel a little better.

These small positive actions get people innately attracted to and want that someone to be around when everything goes gross.

Geez…do we need to be happy all the times? Surely that’s not possible. We all have our moments of sadness, loss, anger and hardships. And yet we know how to combat loneliness and stay snug in life.

So, just stay cool, keep telling yourself that you can do whatever it takes to be happy and let the life happen. You’ll wake up each morning knowing that you deserve the awesome life you’re living.

Trust me…

People get attracted to you, feel connected to and remember you as a fair deal only when you don’t act silly goose, are unassuming and not always cooked up to look unmistakably attractive.   

Image source: pexels.com.

Learning is wonderful

Going back to University, sweating out over some online course or catching up a seminar? If you are looking to fit into at least one of them, then learning is your one way ticket to stay relevant everywhere you go. It helps you understand how the world works. It helps you to realize your passion, boost creativity and live a better life. The benefits are simply enormous.

Sometimes we find ourselves troubled in an intense impassioned life circles where perceptions keep changing. And so do our imperfections. The painful truth is that knowing backwards sometimes feels far less important and we usually junk the very idea of learning something new!

This is where the pit gets deeper… Feeling gutted makes it worse.

For people whom we find attractive, learning is something that’s endless. They take the time to be savvy and admit when they don’t have an answer, but work around to find one. Wary and unsure, not many of us have the heart to rise and take the same first step.

For times when you couldn’t see the whole staircase and burn yourself too much over ‘I think I can or think I can’t’; it’s best to take a step back and sell yourself this story…

“Attraction is a funny thing. It never resists change. And it never lets you go dark either.”

Learning and knowing better would nudge more and more people towards you.

You’re never too good!

It’s a mean old world where life follows one single rule. If you want to succeed and be a happy attraction to others, don’t take yourself too seriously. Stop believing that everything revolves around you. In fact, there’s a good chance that when you’re gone, you’ll be completely forgotten in no time. There’s always somebody to take your place.

I find perfectionism as the enemy of change. It never lets us rest or to have fun and be happy wanting to do everything our way. We fear that one single mistake would ruin everything we’ve build for so long. It’s a delusion that wouldn’t let us be a messy imperfect and perhaps a happy person!

Image source: ‘freepik.com‘.

Sometimes I also get comfortable being uncomfortable. I love my perfectly imperfect moments. But that’s my burden and I’ve learned to take it seriously, not myself. I think being attractive is just a matter of being confident in your skin and loving the way you look like.

So, stop being a perfect student, perfect employee, perfect son, perfect sister, perfect…??.

Do your stuff with an abandon and people with a sense of light heartedness will find you attractive for sure!!

Looking for second chance at happiness? Living a better tomorrow is only a step away!

Pursuing an old dream or chasing a new passion and yet disappointed in you for feeling left out? If you believe in tweaks that could change your life, go after every second chance that comes your way. Someday it will reward you with a pearl beyond price !!

And a reason to smile!

Image source: pexels.com.

Life yields a second chance to every one of us. It’s called tomorrow. And it doesn’t happen by chance. We begin to live our second life the moment we realize that we’ve got only one and fancy a new morning with a fresh chance to make of it whatever we want!

I think that’s great!! Life is just too short to leave things at odds.

The only creepy thing about it though is that these breaks rarely happen by chance and for the most part are scary. What if everything ends with the same outcome? How’d I know that I ain’t cloning the same mistakes and nothing is actually going to change?

That’s funny! While we anxiously hope and look forward for some kind of rescue, fear of unlikely payoffs is hurting!

Angst aside, I believe everyone deserves a new start even when we cannot control how it is going to end. Making bad choices is normal but regretting them is what makes us free to choose again.

Like Qusay Hussein, a wounded Iraqi teen who met a new life in the US, when I think of my childhood, I think of colors; the dull brick red walls and the deep rich greens of the lush front gardens on either side of our beautiful home. More like him, I gave myself a second chance to learn and grow along others after an early exit of my dad left behind shattered dreams and hard times. I didn’t do anything real until I was 25. Not only after a few impromptu accomplishments in post grad and doctor’s, that I could gather enough courage to test the unknown! And all the time I was sharply aware that it was really a shot at becoming who I wanted. It all had stretched out like one long dazzling promise to break out and shine! Sure I wasn’t hungry for a huge career but something that I’d enjoy.

I held on to all the chances that came my way…

I’m not sure when the wakeup call tipped off but it did saw me a lot wiser … I’d come to realize that it’s never too late to do what you love most!

Just a few years ago, I thought everything was over, and now …I’ve discovered my happy self!

Image source: pexels.com.

Everybody has a story to tell

I don’t think that happiness is big or infinite or that you’d meet it only when you get your second break. People make mistakes all the time. No one’s perfect but you cannot rewind the movie of your life to the point you thought was Ok and play it again. I gave myself chances upon chances until I realized that I can only change the movie from this point forward.

Giving yourself a second chance doesn’t make you stupid; it means that you believe that you can change for the better. It’s an opportunity for you to learn and grow and be a finer person.

Look… I’m not the first or the only person who’s made bad choices in life. And neither are you. So why stay pissed off over something that can be won back!

People often make bad ones only to regret later. Everybody does, but that doesn’t mean that they have to pay for them for the rest of their lives. Sometimes even good people make bad choices; it doesn’t make them any more severe! Like everybody else they too get hurt but they learn and they move on.

Life is short lived to hold on to the past. Can you imagine yourself not giving someone a second chance? I can’t. Things never go the way we all want most of the time, but that doesn’t mean you’d  hang on to hard feelings  and not allow yourself a free happy life! If you don’t forgive someone and give him or her another shot, you too will be drawn into a dirty ‘negative edge pool’. Worse, you’ll drain yourself emotionally completely.

Not only that if it weren’t for the second chances, we all would have lost good friends, warm relations and perhaps missed a snug hug back home. Trust me, it’s human to make choices we think were right but so often turn up wrong and end hurting others.

We’re not perfect and we would never be. So forgive, forget and buzz off.

Giving somebody another try is your one more chance to thrive and be happy.

May be on that day, you could finally let go and move on.

Feature credits: ‘Piper- A story of true happiness.’ by Movie Mania 3000 on Mar.15, 2019.

For Colin Thackery, the Chelsea pensioner who won BGT at the age of 89 or for Jan Jacob, who at the age 50 realized she was a gay- it wasn’t the first time that future had looked uncertain or the life felt painfully strung to a distant North Pole. But both were certain about one thing, giving themselves as many chances as came their way; second, third, fourth; they seized each one never knowing when they’ll get one again. They knew that someday they would find a way through to smile again.

Today their phones are all filled up with texts and calls and I’m sure they have umpteen exciting stories to tell.

Whatever…I’m glad their lives could help show others how to live their best lives too.

Curiously, their tales remind me of a somewhat sweet and noble virtue…

“It’s never too late to become everything you want to become. It’s never too late to try again”.

That’s how life is!

I’m lovin’ it!  Is a love of ‘Big Mac’ the secret to a long life?

“Who do you want to see go first, you or them?” 

Eighteen years ago, Morgan Spurlock in his 2004 award winning documentary “Super Size Me” set out to put things straight about what regular fast food consumption at massive levels could do to a human body. Clearly Spurlock’s glut had “supersized” his meals nine times along the way. As calorie and fat counts failed to add up, disappointing results pushed McDonald’s to remove its “super size” menu options.

Image source: ‘FAO: meat burger, better protein quality’ in carnisostenibili.it on May,12, 2022.

What followed next was even more bizarre!

McDonald’s signature hamburger ‘Big Mac’ blew off the knockers in the years to come and became one definitive Dollar Menu item that defied all Burgernomics. Five hundred and fifty million plus each year, it’s clearly impossible for any sandwich  with  that much involved to be sold for $3!

How and why is all history now. The frenzy is here to stay. People throng to outlets, ignore the fitness goals if only for a while and throw to winds anything and everything else ‘decadent’.

But what would you say of eating junk food regularly? What if you ate say, Big Mac everyday for next 20 years? How good would that do to you? Two 1.6 ounce all beef patties, secret sauce, shredded iceberg lettuce, cheese, re-hydrated dehydrated onions, two pickle chips, sesame seed buns; even if you’ve never eaten one, it’s hard to miss. McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich; the iconic hamburger that famed as $1 Poor Man’s Big Mac back in 1967 gradually turned significantly taller.

Today, served in a ‘clamshell’ box, this two all beef patty’ burger has overwhelmed the hoi polloi everywhere.

Filling, inexpensive and quick, if you find yourself left with only a couple of bucks in your pocket, would you have anywhere else to go but the McDonald’s? I guess you’d stick to this 540 calorie 29 gram fat 29 grams protein, bundled bite of pure joy!

As a child, I loved the Phantom Sweet Cigarettes and Orange candies that somehow made me feel tall and rebellious!  Golden Arches in 60’s! it meant little or nothing to me. It’s only in the year 1996 that I got introduced to a piquant racy Mcveggie Happy Meals. I loved the cardboard box, the hamburger, the fries and of course the delightful apple slices inside. My tune changed thereafter. I grew an appetite for the food that a kid’s stuff could no longer whet. I graduated to bigger Big Mac fast; I could find little or no time for cooked meals. On Sundays, I and my mates would gorge on Big Mac, often two or three at a time!

Image source: ’50 years on, McDonald’s isn’t messing with its Big Mac’ in economictimes.indiatimes.com on Jul.30, 2018.

Fast forward twenty-six years.

It’s May 17th 2022; something peculiar in the daily tabloid has caught my eye.

It’s about a man who’s been eating at least one Big Mac per day, since 1972. Dan Gorske has made it big! He has broken his own world record of eating at least one Big Mac daily for over the last half century consuming more than thirty two thousand of them.

And he gushes on;

I’ll probably be eating Big Macs everyday for the rest of my life.”

Truly, everything else has paled to his favorite hamburger. He might continue the run so long as he sees no reason to jump to other options; he has found one that gives him so much delight.

And I’m so curious for many things about him, particularly about the man’s health!

I googled him on online and easily found a picture of a man who appears to be  relatively healthy. For all that crass indulgence, he appears to be blessed with some extraordinary guts and seems not weighed down with obesity or broken build.

For the kind of poster boy he’s become, does I am lovin’ it come any close to describing his burger obsession? Most of us love fast foods as indulgence, but is the poor man’s Big Mac worth it in the end?

Certainly there’s more to it than just a $3 much evolved sandwich! Although tasty and inexpensive, is the Big Mac really a healthy option?

The savory trail of Big Mac doesn’t end here!

Image source: pexels.com

A  a day to keep your worries at bay?

Dorothy Nedd turned 106 this January 2022 and she shared the secret of her incredibly long life; she went to Church every Sunday and ate a Big Mac on the way home.

All that for her love for Jesus and Big Macs!

Born in 1914, she’s lived through both the World Wars, the moon landing and now counts herself to be one of the oldest persons alive today.

Hard to reason, but is this the fluoride that has done the trick for her?

Is the Big Mac so crippling and nasty as the nutritionists sound?

Gorske has eaten more than 33000 of them since 1972 and if you’re wondering how he could put up with all this eat-up, it’s some relief to know that his eating and exercising habits are pretty rock hard. 10 mile or more walks, plenty of veggies and generally no fries; Gorske also does something that he loves- the never dying practice of moderation.

But what would you say of Dorothy’s trick. 106 and still living her best life!

Morgan Spurlock’s infamous 2004 documentary with all those extra 24 pounds, skyrocketing cholesterol and sustained liver damage hullabaloo, might scare you to a spin, but even this one laments.

It reminds me only as a cautionary tale; results aren’t the same for everyone.

The dirty secret that that Spurlock didn’t reveal  and escaped everybody is that what was staged at McDonald’s over a month, back in 2004 could have just as easily been replicated with many supposedly healthier alternatives then ! Pret a Manger (an international sandwich shop franchise chain from UK), Chop’t (an all American creative Salad fast food chain) and Au Bon Pain (a fast casual restaurant, bakery, and café chain from Texas)– all  raunchy and wholesome, could have added inches to your belly just as well for being far more generous with calories than the Big Mac!

Then everybody was so conveniently forgetting the other wellness offenders; sugar and sodium; two good enough reasons for the beginning and end of everything.

Image source: pexels.com.

So, what’s there to eat if not this?

Health foods, natural foods and even vegan foods do not always mean they are the best healthilicious option for you. Where ever you are, there is always a better choice and always a worst choice. And you know what?…there’s a whole lot of terrifying foods out there that could tip the scales in wrong direction for you. Nobody not even Ronald McDonald himself could have recommended something to keep you in good shape; what with the Big Mac being the original offender here!

Feature credits: ‘ MacDonald’s ‘ in facebook.com.

Moderation might be the key to everything fine and happy and smiling. Even Gorske claims it has kept him in good shape since. But if you fancy a certain food, it’s not long before you would turn forgiving for anything self restraining’!

Don’t take my word for it. If you have a weak stomach for anything limiting then it’s just an everyday life kind of thing for you. Even Dorothy Nedd’s trick to a long life with one savory burger each day might fail you of your big story.

Gorske’s streak meanwhile stays strong and if that guy is any inspiration thenYou won’t be dead before you reach 50 years of eating Big Mac like him!

Christ! If that is any truth no “Face Time” as you grow old and a little more of “sweet living” for you!

Returning back to Office? Three ways to know if you’re not stuck at the wrong work place!

It’s 8 in the morning and you’re all flustered and rushed to make it to your workplace on time. Loads of little things are hurting your head and you don’t have time to live a few clever moments of sweet happiness!

Life sucks and nothing seems like a cakewalk. Your WFH siesta has ended leaving you all keyed up with crazy jaded ideas about how you are going to begin offline. You don’t feel any heart left for your desk after a long break and don’t know how and if you can you keep pace with life now. The vacuum is all eating you up. You wish you could go back in time; not to change anything but to feel couple of things twice and possibly change hands with something more exciting.

The phantom in you whines and pines for more.

Let’s face it; Life isn’t easy and glee and all that, but you know what? If you endure your daily grind and drain yourself out without knowing why, it’s possible that your personality and your place of work might run into odds with each other. You are aware that ripping the band-aid off could get you the sun shine you were looking for so long than enduring an unfitting, ill suited work space; but a switch over is always a difficult choice.

You’re not sure if that would be the right thing to do…!

If you’re facing the headwinds- right from Covid to quality and performance concerns and feel low and trapped – the list of crises hitting businesses keeps getting longerbad breaks aren’t going to leave you any time sooner.

Here are three way to know if your hard time is simply some short living raw deal or your work place is particularly draining for your personality.

It feels like entering a pit hole!

Your Office pyramid works infamously with a twisted bottom line mentality. It’s 3Ps-Productivity, performance and profits and that’s that. No room for anything else! Your wellness and personal relations have no takers here. The demon of highbrowism is raging in every corner. It’s problematic and unhealthy–especially if you’re obsessively passionate about your work and often land yourself right in the middle of the rut!

If you are someone who is passionately preoccupied with the job and unwittingly ignores his personal wellness, then a damaging crisis awaits you with no near term exit in sight; one that can pile tremendous pressure on your happiness.

So, should this mean you’re stranded at cross roads?

Gosh-darn!…it’s intense. From sob story to small choices…you’d always figure out something and find the balance.

If you are hooked to a “spongy” mentality and dire the struggle, there is nothing much for you to do than to try and keep your obsessive passion for work at bay. Pursue the whole nine yards with a sense of balance and flexibility and you may survive the crisis.

Indeed, there is no saying where it all ends but any emotional distance between you and your work might just work.

The waters here are choppy and bruising!

The relief here always comes too little, too late! The workstead that lacks autonomy but typically has dogsbody driven high turnover, is unhealthy for most passionate people.

So, if you get butterflies in your gut, get tizzy and flustered easily and jim jams make you jumpy whenever work stress spikes; you’re in for some troubled times. Even the micromanagement would fail you completely and the unstoppable domino effect would skewer your anxiety to unhealthy levels. Again, in a job that is highly stressful and tags little or no job security; increase in bitterness, anger and sulkiness is inevitable.

When things get so screwed up and it gets harder to get out of the mess, is there anything helpful besides a non-micro managing boss to move your happiness needle, leewards?

Nothing much…if you cannot rid yourself of work slave mentality or empower yourself  enough to bring changes in your work environment; then it’s time to move on. Should you get to stay; you’d continue to burn slow and so would your happiness.

However,…

If you begin your day at your workstation with a sense of belonging, have a clear sense of purpose and at the end of the day feel like you’ve achieved what you had set out for in the morning; then probably you are working in an inclusive and respectful workplace. Experiencing appreciation, freedom, leaning while earning well and feeling supported by a helpful boss! Christ!… that’s a paradise no nine-to-fiver ever stops dreaming of! No need to move quickly to act. This place is no goof up!!

WFH exclusivity continues!

Image source: ‘Should I be working from home now?’ in bbc.com,

Virus has waned but work from home is a dreamy reality that is yet to end. For many this is a desire come true; for others though it works better in theory than practice. Bad habits, gross indiscipline and over sedentary days spew out of remote connectivity. Boozing, watching Netflix or surfing e-commerce sites during work hours have driven people low on conscientiousness. Discipline has taken some punishing and frowned upon behaviors have upped the ante.

You don’t find anything wrong in that…do you? After all it’s rest, respite and work at will…no boundaries, no godforsaken tantrums, no frayed tempers! It feels like you’ve got everything under the sun!

But if you find yourself struggling with the pivot to work-from-home especially when you are completely disconnected from work at the end of the day, then in all probability you’d feel all screwed up. What if your workstead has chosen a hybrid employment model where you spend part of your time working from home and part in Office. Better work-life balance, less commute stress, location independence improved inclusivity, minimized distraction; there are 20 different reasons that your boss could rattle off to advocate the benefits of remote working. You try fitting in like always but wouldn’t find the foothold.

Are you the one to give up on team building events and could endure endless unmotivated sessions? Unmonitored performance, increased likelihood of overworking, distractions at home, lesser perks, increased isolation; everything makes it tough to turn off. The laptop at your kitchen table beckons and you may not feel enough separation between your work and life. This all would contribute to feeling of being overwhelmed or even burnout. And, above all….

People don’t believe you’re actually working!!

Image source: ‘Working from home: The good, the bad, and the ugly’ in humanresourceonline.net on Jun.22, 2020.

Let’s be real, no matter where you’re working from, you’re still doing just that; Working. Honestly it all comes down to the environment you’re most effective in. But if your workstead promotes WFH it is not for the sake of some classic benefits of telecommuting. It’s more about a great opportunity to dig deep in to the market. Remote work is the new cool for it saves your boss from 6 different costs, gets the work done round the clock, enhances branding, parks pre-trained employees for no extra strings and a lot more. Biggest surprise!!… He could be saving up to 50% on operational costs, 15-25% on assets and up to 31% reduction in health insurance spends. Another big-wig here… smart savings is done on energy-printers, laptops, cooling systems, lighting etc. as well. So don’t fool yourself with narratives surrounding remote work.

Besides your work place at home would never sport a garden view!!

Being stranded with an ill suited job always has some serious fallout. Your personality  becomes a twisted image of you. It’s no place for you to return if it incites a bottom line mentality in you. Say no to pressure cooker environment. Even if you are somewhat less conscientious and not so passionately obsessive about work; WFH settings would still harm you.

Feeling at sea and don’t know how to let go your jammed session with this new project? and what with the Netflix hollering all the time; “You still have 3 episodes of ‘Ice piercer’ to watch”!

My word!

Return to a place that spares you a high degree of independence, choice, self direction and belonging. Stop being chased.

Feature credits:’Welcome back to the Office” by The Executive Centre in youtube.com on Oct.19, 2020.

On a brighter note!…

In bargain you’ll find yourself some small doses of happiness that you didn’t know you needed until now.

It’s monstrosity! More than half my body is not human and I’m a walking Zoo!!

Image source: ‘Bacteria: The miracle microbes that could fix planet’ by Collin Barras in sciencefocus.com on Sep.02,2020,

This is freakin’ crazy!…Am I more microbe than human and never alone?  Is it really freak’n true? Sounds nuts!…. but I think I did read somewhat on these lines in my graduation; like human cells make up only 43 percent of body’s total cell count and the rest are microscopic colonists; our cells are outnumbered by 10 to one…blah-blah-blah whatever. It’s creepy, but understanding the other half of our selves might be the key to even stranger mysteries!

“Why, our body isn’t just us and never alone? Why genetically we are more outgunned than believed? What it means to be “human” if we are only half of what we really are?

From simple allergies to spooky Parkinson’s, every nook and cranny of our lives is hostage to these teeny-weeny nano-sized creatures. And we just couldn’t get rid of them, no matter how well we wash ourselves. Every crevice, every fissure and every chink on our bodies is swarming with these intrepid life forms.

We live by and stay surrounded by these tiny suckers even when we cannot see them with naked eyes. And….they are everywhere; on our keyboard, on our pillows on our favorite chair,stuff and above all, inside us!

The smallest living organisms ever known, some live on us and some within us. And know what, it’s considered Ok! So long as these critters are inclined and obliging, we could stay healthy, but once tables turn and a microbiome shift happens, our bodies become a battleground of sorts.

Do you have any idea why these bugs live in our body? Are there any hostile micro biomes too? What are those 20 odd million microbial genes doing in our body? In fact who lives most on our bodies?

A ghost safari to the battleground!

Our body is an enormous ecosystem hosting different biomes swarming with microbes and helps them flourish. Many of these invisible warriors are good for our health. Not only that; this army from microbial mecca abets droves of viruses, fungi and archaea (a kind of single cell organism) living within us as well. Together, they uphold the key to a longer flourishing life for us!

So if you thought you were some kind of epitome of sterility, think again. Your gut is home to some of the smuttiest of pathogens and your skin, mouth, lungs and even genitals shelter their diverse communities. The biggest of these rhyme zones lies deep in murky depths of your colon where trillions inhabit in union with their surroundings. Here they break down dietary fiber, produce crucial nutrients like butyrate and keep your gut up, clean and healthy 24/7.

Always in a curiously creepy relationship, these teeming pathogens have peacefully evolved over the time and have been our most lovable companion ever since, executing all important role in rallying digestion and shoring up our immune system.

Feature credits: ‘ Nearly half of you is not human, it’s made of microbes’ by Hashim Al-Ghaili in youtube.com on Jul.04, 2020.

Living with an attitude!

There are lots of places on our body for them to live. It’s like a jungle to them. Right from skin and tooth, nostrils and tongue, tonsils and lungs and belly button to dark corners of your gut and genitalia; it’s a home to every one of them!

Many species live in harmony live with us and within us and promote health. For instance our gastrointestinal health is right in their hands. Any dysbiosis or slightest shift in the gut microbiome and all hell breaks loose.

And guess what? …this is true for other areas of your body as well.

This is where it gets confusing

An over indulgence into burgers and chocolates in all likelihood affects your risk of obesity and the type of microbes that grow in your gut. So how would you know if it is a bad mix of bugs breaking down and soaking up your food and wouldn’t add inches to your belly?

Seriously; nobody has the right answers to this. “Bugs for Drugsmight take some time to happen. Till then if you’re really interested in finding out what haunts your belly and bowels, a microbiome test (Ohmygut®) test might get an overview of who you’re living with. If you could follow personalized food recommendations, this might of some help in enhancing your microbial well being!

 But then there are lots of places in you for bugs to live and thrive in….

Image source: ‘Bacteria on green background. Prokaryotic microorganisms. Bacillus. Illustration’ in unsplash.com.

And I thought I was pristine and clean!

The bugs on my skin

Good ol’ skin or the integument is home to some meaningful bugs that protect us from invaders and marauders amongst them and support our immune system. Some produce molecules to drive off potentially harmful microbes from colonizing the skin making it a physical barrier. A few others like Staphylococcus epidermis produce anti microbial compounds to stave off something serious like skin cancer. Acne linked bacteria however don’t help much.

My eyes don’t shine alone

Like skin, eyes do not fare any better when it comes trading benefits. An ideal habitat, microbes find comfort in my cornea and the tissue on the inside of the eyelid. Relatively small, any imbalance in this microbiome results in dry eye disease and endophthalmitis or bacterial conjunctivitis.

I could smell them!

Dark warm and damp,my nose is just the perfect place for microbes and is very sensitive to faltering microbial homestead. Shaped by different factors just like gut bugs, nose microbiome is re-engineered by changing environment of the host and is affected by medical conditions. Dysbiosis here could be the reason why asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, influenza, and bronchiolitis happen headlong and yet are curable with certitude.

Keepers to my tonsils

Tonsils, when invaded by stray bugs-fight infection by trapping assaulting microbes that enter through mouth or nasal passage and producing antibodies to kill them. A diverse ecosystem of microbes at their disposal helps them do this job. Adenotonsilla microbiome may have different contagions for children and adults; but why it couldn’t ward off bacterial tonsillitis, is yet to be discovered.

Wax, bugs and infections- my ear is home to each one of them

The middle ear is a safe haven to a diverse community of thriving microbes which when out of buggy could wreak havoc in ear; infections, inflammations and other hard pushed complaints. Both genetics and microbiome could add considerably to the risk of middle ear infections and consequential painful days.

But what happens inside me is more bewildering!…

Lots happening here!

Right from my school days, I’ve been stuck up with some good dental hygiene regimen. I brush twice a day…no smells, not hooked to any addictions and I check scrupulously if it smells bad in my mouth before going to bed! Yet at times my belly too groans, sharp pain pangs from toothache would send me into an overdrive and sometimes I get laid with fever from tonsillitis! I’m not spared…And I thought I knew everything about sterility.

But certainly not this!

My mouth is a den to plenty of microbes, some good, some not so good and could explain things like inflammation and tooth decay.

The oral cavity or the muzzle- as geeks call it, is a perfect  territory for microbes to thrive; all warm, moist with an endless source of nutrients pouring in, plus plenty of structures and hiding places to stick to; the tongue, pockets between the gums and teeth and of course the teeth themselves. Let them have fun and Streptococcus mutans would run amok and devastate your ivory while Porphyromonasgingivalis could have your gums bleeding and crying foul!

Sometimes these bugs travel down elsewhere in the body like gut and lungs and when that happens dysbiosis strikes hard.

When it comes to bugs, my breath is no different

Once thought of as a sterile environment, lungs are now known to have their own small microbiome; much smaller than the one that the gut holds because the lungs do not have the same kind of hem or sheathing to adhere to. Rather they ease oxygenation through a surfactant that is designed to facilitate the transfer.

Red flags! It’s time to see an urologist

Like the lungs, bladder too is not as sterile and bacteria-free as I believed it to be. While little is known about the mysteries surrounding microbiome here in urine pouch, there is still no evidence if bugs here could rig out a protective barrier for my health. Visible haematuria, spinal cord compression or progressive neurologic dysfunction, well… these are of particular concern since I wouldn’t know what I’m fighting with; rampaging bugs or some cross purpose therapeutic condition!

Image source: ‘Your body is mostly microbes’ by Tina Hesman Saey in sciencenews.org on Dec.20,2013.

So, next time you get anxious about your well being and have an urge to inspect yourself, start with your belly button; the soft spot. Though there a number of places you could begin with,the center of your stomach could reveal much offhand.

Remember…! “The Incas believed that Cuzco was the navel of the universe”.

For instance, if it smells a bit ripe, it’s the umbilical microbiome –passed on to you with your first breath, that has found itself a  cozy homestead and is likely to stay with you till you live. Weirdly, it could be any or many of the 2368 different species that inhabit your navel, reacting and interacting with your body and not always in battle with it.

It’s incredible to think that the DNA of these superbugs carries more information than it would take literally a ton of DVDs to store for medical accomplishments.

See… didn’t I say, you are never alone in an eerie world of microbes!!...

Good to Whoa! 8 pleasure foods to put brakes on your unhealthy eating- the healthy way!

Are you a fitness freak working for a rawbone or losing sleep over a lean sylphlike waist and seeing no results? What about those crash diets; still no gains?

You’ll probably hit the most success when you junk sin foods from your routine and start your day with healthy foods that do not cut out anything important. What kind of benefits you’re looking at here? Well…these slimming super foods are good at melting away that last inch of belly bloat like whoa…

Some days, you’re a kale smoothie-guzzling, bok choy-chopping freak, while on others you’re drooling over a candy bowl. But adding these incredible foods to your diet, don’t help much in getting toned and tight!

Interestingly…the way our body works is bit confusing. Hunger is what decides for it to holler for energy, but by the time it tells you that, it’s already deficient and gone wild.  That emptiness and growing pangs are in fact it’s last ditch attempt to convince you to eat.

Many of us consume the bulk of our food in two or three large meals a day and go long hours with nothing in between. This reduced–calorie- three- meal plan sounds good but you can’t make your body burn fat any more efficiently than it does of its own! Every core exercise you try isn’t always a do-gooder. Your abs may refuse to grow and your potbelly may just decide not to give up!

So, does this mean that you should stay ahead of the curve and eat even before your belly starts growling? What kinda food would work best? And what if you running short on  time? Is a four-ounce chicken breast, a small baked potato and a jumpy salad good enough to craft you a winsome body?

Hard to tell…Huh!

Sometimes my gut also screams, “feed me nice and good!”; especially on holidays and weekends. Honestly I love vegan food more than anything else but I balance my love for eating plants with need to keep my body equally supplemented, so that something wholesome and nutritious always finds its way into my belly.

If you too are looking for some healthy food without giving up on your winning routine; check out on these eight simple super eats that can thaw away that last bit of your beer belly in 2022!

Here’s the sticky widget though;

While spot-reducing belly fat is not exactly possible, eating fewer calories than you burn might earn you an overall weight loss—and that includes your belly.

But what the heck!… consider this as your go-to list for good health; at least.

Roasted   mushroom and bean soup.

Image source: ‘White bean and roasted mushroom soup recipe’ by Amy Johnson in shewearsmanyhats.com.

This white bean and roasted mushroom soup- an ageless classic- has ruled the charts on She Wears Many Hats ever since originally published in October 2011. The magical partying of pureed white beans and broth base instead of cream and roasted onions, garlic and herbs, is a guilt free gratification for those chasing a simple  wholesome stuff!

I don’t think anything else could warm you more than this savory, drool-inducing tang of this consommé.

And it’s so very worth it. Served alongside a simple salad with crusty bread, it makes for a perfect day. Looking for a vegetarian version? Simply swap veggies broth with chicken one. Bonus here!…You also get to substitute one part to three of dried herbs as you head into colder months when seasonings are hard to get by.

Black Bean Omelet

Image source: ‘Black Bean Omelets with Salsa Verde’ in goya.com.

Coffee sure does perk you up in the morning. But if you pair it with sugary cereal, bagels, or donuts, you’re very likely to stay starry eyed and listless for the rest of the day. These empty carbs taste good on the tongue, but do little for your body. Instead fill your morning meal with some healthy complex alternative that would leave you feeling energized!

Simply put, it’s all about picking a high protein fiber packed food that would promise good nutrients to your body.

I begin my day with a wholesome breakfast; be it the one that’s on-the-go list for rush days or a more relaxed oversized gut bomb for weekend brunch. Which would you prefer; a pricey spinach omelet, packing nearly 1000 cals or a simple affordable 330 cals high protein, fiber packed omelet sandwiching black beans and cheese? 

A black bean omelet is sure to make you feel satisfied and keep you full for hours. The soluble fiber helps lower your cholesterol, keep you regular and set your taste buds a –jingling! Refried black beans set off by chunks of ripe fried tomatoes, savory onions and cilantro, leave one smacking good after-taste that would have you wanting more of it.

Try it! Your palate will thank you.

Grilled Chicken Pineapple Sandwich

Image source: ‘Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich’ by Shelly in frugalfamilyhome.com.

This grilled chicken and pineapple sandwich is your best bet if you are a health freak. Not even the healthy genre of grilled sandwiches that beckon you invitingly each time you pass by the neighborhood rotisserie, are a close match to it.

Packing a mouth watering punch in every bite, this sandwich is a sweet-spicy combination of teriyaki glazed chicken, juicy grilled pineapple, fiery jalapenos and is a great reduction in your days’ saturated fat and sodium intake. An end to all flattering chicken sandwiches, this one with 400 cals and 640 mg of sodium gets you the best of both the worlds; a little sweet here a little spicy there! The sandwich with a whole wheat bun comes to you super balanced with lean proteins and high fiber carbs.

Trust me; take a shot and surely you won’t miss the fried version at all once you sink your teeth into this blast of flavors.  

Chicken Tikka Masala

Image source: ‘Authentic chicken tikka masala recipe’ in nishkitchen.com.

Traditionally cooked in clay tandoor and then served in a subtly spiced tomato cream sauce with a dash of dried herbs, coconut milk, ginger and lemon and greek yogurt; this marinated boneless chicken dish is an absolute belter and is a popular fare in curry houses from right across the East End bistros of “Curry Lane” in London to Cumins in Chicago,Indigoin Budapest to Le Palaise de Raja Maharaja” at rue d’Ouessant Paris. This all time fan-favorite is a must dig for diners all across South and South East Asia.

The creamy spicy sauce made with Greek yogurt instead of full fat cream, is insanely good and the soft marinated chicken tastes just divine! The meal gets complete with some turmeric rice and fresh naan.

It’s simply… cozy , fabulous and finger lickin’ good!

Grilled Caesar Salad

This perhaps is the most misleading food; it’s kinda dish that you order when you want to go easy with your food, only to find out that you have ended up eating almost half of your day’s calories in one serve!

Feature credits: Kitchenstories.com

A classic eat, this salad boasts of a savory combination of crisp romaine (a variety of lettuce), rich and garlicky dressing, crunchy croutons and an enticing pungent tang of Parmesan cheese. High calorie dressing however,transforms into lighter vinaigrette packing an awesome substance, flavor and nutrition of sun dried tomatoes and olives in it. Char- grilled lettuce brings some happy change and perk up everything.

 The salad preps quickly and easily with simple ingredients like boneless and skinless chicken thighs that stay juicy all through and cook quickly.

To think of this as volte-face nutrition!  410 calories, 29 gms fat and 610 mg sodium per serve! What more could you ask for?…

Try it and surely you won’t be digging into anything else anymore!

Rajma Dal

Image source: ‘Rajma masala’ by Kiran Afzal in curiouscuisiniere.com on Dec.12, 2020,

If actionable tips  and cook videos from ‘The Spruce Eats-NY are any cue then this high and hearty red kidney beans curry with a mesmerizing blend of spicy masala, ginger, garlic, chilies and tomatoes is a rustic vegetarian dish that comes cheap, is nutritious, comforting and one satisfying comfort food that could easily humble any menu item any time. A delightful vegetarian curry dish, it savors great over rice and pickled vegetables.

If you’re looking for some indulgent healthilicious  dish that could come together in less than half an hour, this one-pan cook makes for an excellent choice. Served with kachumbar salad and pickle as sides, this 232 calories unsophisticated eat has managed some space in Stock Images and Shutter stock collections too.

Palak Paneer

Another hot favorite among foodies! This mildly flavored super food is super healthy and tastes great when served with a side of basmati rice. The star of the dish is the creamy sauce, which is made out of blanched spinach blended with an amazing medley of spices. Complimenting the sauce are shallow fried cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese). The healthy spinach gravy is sautéed with finely balanced curry spices in aromatic ghee to up the ante!

Image source: ‘Palak Paneer’ in awesomecuisine.com.

Simple but irresistible, this dish has the punch to satisfy absolutely all taste buds! If cheese is not on hand or you’re looking for a dairy free option, tofu or veggies like cauliflower or potato will taste just as good. You may even ask for whole yogurt in place of heavy cream for the sauce to make it lighter.

This food may not be totally main stream yet, but there’s one good reason to incorporate this extremely nutrient rich leafy gem into your regular diet. Packed with high levels of carotenoids, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-K, Folic acid, Iron and Calcium, it’s a warehouse to some amazing compounds like lutein ( improves eye health), kaempferol( reduces risk of cancer and chronic diseases) nitrates( promotes heart health), quercetin (wards off infection and inflammations) and zeaxanthin( helpful in impaired vision).

So, next time you get hungry and crave for a scrumptious healthy meal, dig into a warm comforting bowl of spinach paneer curry with equally delicious garlic naan or jeera rice or plain basmati rice. Side of a red onion salad  adds zing to a super delicious hearty happy fill.

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

There is really nothing quite like an artichoke.  Whether you’re eating the hearts as part of an antipasto platter or in a spinach artichoke dip, their flavor is quite unlike any other food.

Image source: ‘italian stuffed artichokes’ in garlicandzest.com.

Tender, herby with perfect amount of zest, stuffed artichoke is  one prebiotic food that helps keep things moving through your gut. Trimmed and stuffed with garlicky breadcrumbs and baked in a buttery lemon and white wine sauce until tender, this super eat is an all time favorite and admired as an interactive food that has a distinct start, middle and an end! Like onions and leeks, artichokes also carry acetate that spurs the fat-burning activity in the body.

Need more of greens and taste? Roast artichoke hearts and asparagus with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and a spritz of lemon. And if you’re any good at experimenting, try stuffing your ‘choke with quinoa, tomatoes and herbs and see some fascinating taste unfold on your platter.

Considering people at all phases of life are under-consuming iron and fiber and proteins and other lesser known serious nutrients, the benefits of cruising through your day with all-natural version eats, goes beyond these eight delightful melt-off foods. There are hundreds of sin food recommendations to cut back on your calorie consumption heavily. But there is no super eat that could increase your lifespan, help you feel full, clear up your complexion, control your cholesterol and reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease?

All you could do is to mix and match foods to meet your daily quota without going easy on your weight loss plan.

And you’ll definitely have to let go of that Achilles heel; the one food that you can’t seem to help yourself digging into!

Aren’t you tired of wishing you had more? Be careful; there is little difference between your dreams and desires!

Like Drake, sometimes I wish if I could go back in times, not to change anything but to feel couple of things twice! I would want more of this dangerous, jazz-shaped immortality for myself!

Life sucks and it definitely is not a cakewalk. If it were, wouldn’t we all be rich, sipping a classic mimosa on our ocean front property? But even when it’s true that I don’t or ever will own a beach house, doesn’t mean that my some 50-ish years have been hard-only. Loads of little things have inundated my life- improving everyday of it without totally breaking the barriers. From miniature vacuums to bedside night lights to heated lunchboxes, shower liners with handy pockets, and even a shampoo brush to massage my scalp, these endless options haven’t failed me few clever moments of sweet happiness. But the phantom in me, pines for more. There’s this stain remover that works so well on red wine, that I forgot; I think I can hear it calling my name.

Let’s face it; Life isn’t easy and glee and all that; but you know what is?

It’s almost a year since I started to catalogue list of things that I wished I had lots of them in life. I called it ;“Things I wish I had more of them”. I initially came up with some boring things about life, career and relationships; things that I’d learned over the years and gathered from mentors, books, friends and people close to my heart. But later some better stuff filtered in; good choices like love, happiness, contentment trumped everything else.

I created it to remind myself of useful things that mattered; probably more so because it kept my hope alive to relive them someday.

A year later I still read it a few times each day and wait for crazy things to happen!!

What do I wish I haven’t had enough? What could I offer myself back again with what I have learned over the past years? Of course, this is an idea that people play around with in their minds; and quite often realize that an upbeat past has the genius to turn things around for some good in present as well. So, why not wish for it?

Unable to warp back in time? Fear not! You’re not scammed…

If you are someone like me, let me recommend a few out of my own list that I wish for more. It’s Ok if I couldn’t wake up to a wish fulfilled each morning. I know desires have a cranky way to keep you thinking for the rest of your life about an even stranger scenario; you returning back and reliving them.

Image source: ‘Woman leaning on her table’ by Marcus Aurelius in pexels.com

Wish I could do exciting things once again

Funnily; it’s not about success or even remotely about happiness! It’s about doing things that are exciting. In my declining year, I still want to be a 25yr old jaunty good looking beau, gleefully chasing some haute’ damsel from neighborhood. I want us to climb the trees, jump the wall and beat up all the bully boys when feeling pissed off! I want to live my share of one heartbreak, one true love, one success and one moment of despair again. I don’t want the creaking knees or cringing eyes falter me or the loosening skin shame me. I want to be reminded of all the battles that I survived and the ones that I won.

I want me to be excited. I want to be nubile and mercurial. I want to be foxy, short, sweet and crisp; all at the same time!

Could there be anything more desirable than this?

Image source: ‘Old dirty sneakers on tree’ by Chris F. in pexels.com

Wish I had saved more

Like any young boisterous nerd, when young I was quite mindless about money. I did save and invested but I couldn’t manage to hoard it. Not that I was letting the thought pass by me but I had more exciting things crowding my days. I was getting carried away by the whims of the moment. A few simpler things could have made my present more bullish and upbeat. I could have done so much but didn’t pick up; I simply whizzed past in the fast lane!

See…when you are young you ride the wave of youth. You feel you’re gonna stay young forever. Behaving like a teenybopper I too was equally less impressive and less receptive or perhaps more distracted by less meaningful things! I thought the opportunity to save more will keep on endlessly coming and kept on spending the dime on utterly trivial things.

Why don’t we ever listen to a good advice when we are young? Somehow I feel though that I wouldn’t have listened even to my older 50-ish self then.

Today I wish I could travel back in time and save myself the pain, effort and trouble that I was going to earn for myself later.

If you’re in your mid-20’s and reading this, do yourself a favor;  don’t burns the candle at both ends; heed when some good advice heads your way.

Image source: ‘Signboard’ by Monstera in pexels.com.

Wish I had worried less about changing jobs that I didn’t like!

This surely applies to everyone but is more prevalent when you’re a young rookie and Waterloo moment stares you in the face every day of your nine-to-five life. You’re easily intimidated and influenced by peer pressure, authority and roles models expecting you to behave or not behave in a certain way!

Many of my decisions including the one of staying stuck with one job-it hurt most; was influenced largely by the presumption of how it’d look like to others if I did jump the fence and whether everybody would approve of it.

Today, it all reeks of nonsense…

If I couldn’t get out of my fears or shake off influences then, did I miss something important? Have I lose out on living a happy authentic life? Hell no!… but I could have saved myself from endless hours in a dead-end job that failed my purpose and skills.

For the same reason, I admit that being present in the moment with unfulfilled desires is more difficult than when you are in your 20s. You just can’t fathom the value of being present at that age.

#I wish if I were more present then, so many things would have cut fine today!

Image source: ‘Travel items’ by Nataliya Vaitkevich in pexels.com.

Wish I’d read Wayne Dyer earlier or perhaps get to watch Lady Gaga in concert

Years later, I could begin to understand the power of simple intentions only now. I wish I could size myself with Wayne Dyer…Umm! for no particular reason; but living a life of unlimited abundance and getting into your life the right people at the right time; Well…I’ll be damned if I couldn’t pick up the idea; something that I needed  so much when I was young. So much time, energy and money I wasted on things that only clutter and complicate our lives. I wish I had learned to co create my World my way when young.

Gee whiz!!…I could have done more with so much less.

Okay! Perhaps Wayne had not hit the stands then yet and I’m not sure about the latter; maybe she took to stage sometimes in late 1980s or what… I never got the opportunity to read him on the SoNet and neither could I get the chance to see her perform live.

Imagine my 20s!! I couldn’t fathom that they were going to change my life so much later on…

Amid all uncertainties, I wish I ought to have read all the enlightening things being taught in the books then or perhaps seen her perform on screen at least!

Today I watch Lady Gaga getting love from fans for sweet moments with Liza Minnelli at Oscars 2022 on flickering screens. I wish someday I’d get the opportunity to watch her perform live at Dolby’s.

But for now I guess, she‘ll have to stay in my list of should haves.’

Feature credits: ‘ Run!’ by Proper films in Youtube.com on Sep. 02, 2019.

Life is all about what’s happening in the present moment. While we wish, want and dream, our real lives are already happening. For me there has never been anything more terrifying than the prospect of dying out and missing out on all of it, because I have been way too busy wishing what more I wanted instead of appreciating what I have.

I wish…

Someday, if I could ever get to meet my younger self face-to-face, the first thing I’d want to say;Hey, stop worrying. It’s useless. Life will turn out just fine. But you can make it better by following your heart. And know what… everything you hope to feel when you get what you wish for, is with you right here, right now”

If you think that one day you might find yourself saying; “I wish, I had” then by all means do that thing right now! Hopefully you’ll never have to look back for things you wish you had accomplished more.

Trust me; it will pay off so long as you consider your wishes as no more than a little vacuum to clean up your everyday mess!!

Three ways to know if the time is right for a good bye; burning slow doesn’t help!!

From moments of pure bliss to “badass togetherness”, relationships sometimes flinch. Between valleys and peaks, you are never certain whether or not it’s meant to be what it is. Sure you could work around to fix the rough patch somehow. But will that hold? Will everything be the same as before? At what point should you draw the line between rough times and simply giving up?

Or is it time to say enough is enough?

Like everybody else, I could realize the spoil only when it was too late. But  I spared myself the anguish, for I knew it’s never too easy to see it from the inside. Sometimes it’s blindingly true, yet we couldn’t see the red flag or smell the rot.

And surprisingly you couldn’t get to start over again…

Bad things do happen in relationships and the rot might ruin the romance, friendship or just about anything familial. Sometimes it hurts and in your  anger or inconsolable grief you feel like lashing out, cursing or yelling to let the world know how bad the hurt is. You may even get to the state where you want everybody to be hurt no less; to make everybody feel the misery no less.

The edge happens only when you find there’s no time left to reveal your love; to let others  know that over the last few months they made your days a bit brighter and helped you heal better from the hurt that others left behind; that they sank into your heart and stayed put. In the midst of impossible, somehow they became your favorite.

But like good and bad times, there are moments when things begin to get out of control. You are clueless; not sure whether to go with it or away from it. You just can’t hug harder any longer.

If any of these signs are persistently a part of your relationship, you have a serious problem to consider. It might have reached a dead-end and this could be the time to let it go peacefully.

Remember though, every tragic of something is the beginning to a fresh start.

Image source: ‘Sad in railway stock photos and images’in 123rf.com.

When enough is enough

Criticism is good; it gives you an opportunity to find your misplaced positives. But even that has a quota. Negative comments feel cruel and so does one nasty word that can silence a million applause. See…even the SoNet community works the same way; your fans may have cheered you a thousand times but you’d only remember one single message that tried to run you down.

However, if someone in your life always jumps in to say something about your wins all the time, you have a red flag there too!

I say… life sucks! but that’s how it is.

If criticism and negative comments begin to corner your attention… you need a deeper look into what’s happening around. Is getting out of a messy relationship worth the anguish of parting ways? Sometimes it gets dismissive but severing ties peacefully is more impactful than inflicting emotional damage on yourself.

See…there is a pattern of narcissism specific to each one of us. But even that doesn’t work right all the time. If somebody keeps pushing you constantly and tells you that it’s for your own good so that you may improve; don’t jump for it. If you fall for it you’ll always be looking for doses of approval from others which will never come even if you gave your 100%. Some may even pin for your attention and time!

Criticism and negative comments lower your energy and distract your attention. If you do not want to turn yourself into a junkie looking only for approval and adoration, allow yourself a course correction. Simply let go of a relationship that has  constrained you all these years.

And remind yourself…you deserve to live free! So, just let go of the decay.

Feature credits: ‘Letter to a Friend’ by Eddie Pinero in youtube.com on Jul.02, 2019.

No crooning or cocktails!

There is never any dearth of time to change your ideas about the future. It’s Ok if you are not where you thought you’d be today- you have many tomorrows ahead of you. But the journey is never straight; you’d sometimes outgrow what you once wanted in your connections. It’d feel  good if you could realize the extent of your responsibility in the context of relationship, today.

This is your journey and yours alone. So, be wary of the people close to you who would not hesitate to throw in your face the things they did for you. They may have lend you a thousand bucks and say that they saved you from penury; more to make you feel wretched than to value kinship.

I know it’s a profound statement and maybe incorrect for some of you; but that’s the truth. If the other person needs to hang the medals for having helped you, it’s time to start over afresh. You can’t turn back the clock or delete memories, but you can choose to live quietly  in present.

So, it’s time you bid adieu!

Image source: ‘Here Is How You Say Goodbye To Your Forever Person’ by Ariel Quinn in herway.net on Mar.01, 2022.

In the hustle and bustle, trust walks off

When the bad outweighs the good, it usually means hard times have arrived and are likely to stay for a while. If you can’t remember the last time you were happy…surely the problem is deeper than meets the eye!

Arguments in a relationship come with a territory. You are sad and neglected and could sense that something is seriously off, yet couldn’t pin point why. You find a pair of hoop earrings that definitely don’t belong to your mate or wake up each morning staring vacantly at the ceiling fan and think, How the hell did I get here?” He’s off to another business trip or you come home to an eerie silence everyday; your phone used to ring off the hook and now all you hear is crickets! You hang in there hoping things to turn around somehow. But with explosive fights, mascara running down the cheeks duels, you know something terrible is waiting to happen.

Essentially, you both have morphed into nasty dinosaurs for each other. You may try to convince yourself that what matters is to live in here and now; but the truth is more savage- you just cannot hide from it.

So, when at the end of the day as you lie down and pat yourself, “Wow! We made it a day without fighting,”, it’s time to get out of the fracas.

Don’t be blind to the obvious and wait to get your heart pummeled. It’s time to dump those dingy rose colored glasses and get yourself a terrific new pair.

Believe me…if you can’t stay civil on vacation in a gorgeous hotel with gorgeous spreads and cocktails and room service…it’s time to say quits.

Image source: ‘Why is it so hard to say goodbye?’ by Richard in richardcollison.net on Oct.22, 2017.

Many times you’d be tempted to make excuses and stay put in a relationship that has reached its expiration. You keep on hitting the reboot button, frantically hoping that everything will be Ok again. This continues to happen until the next time when the not so funny emotional roller coaster starts all over again. Eventually it’s a Joe No-Show and you could feel the cold feet. This means that both of you have flaked out and lost each other for good.

You may not be ready to face it…but that’s fear talking. Don’t let it rule your life. So listen to your instincts, trust your guts and stop working for a relationship that has jumped the fence. It’s time to admit that your future with the other person isn’t on the radar.

Should this happen, start taking care of you and break into a happier life. Value your needs, wants, and most importantly, yourself. Without depleting yourself, step out into a life that you truly deserve. Think of yourself twenty or thirty years from now and merit yourself by doing the right thing.

Above all stay away from people who will sooner or later leave you stranded.

Trust me, your future will thank you!!

Three simple life hacks that helped me find my Atlas of happiness!

Everybody loves a happy ending, especially when it’s the story of their own life. I have begun writing that ending today. After roughly couple of months in it, lots of scratchy notes and 2000 odd words later I have finally researched my way to be happy forever!!

Image source: ‘7 Simple Ways To Be Happier’ by Seth Symond in lifehack.org.

If you are someone who believes that one doesn’t always need to stay happy and hopeful through difficult times and seriously think that recluse in vulnerable spaces is enough to ease off your discomfort, then it’s time you come out of your therapeutic feel good irrationality!

Imagine yourself 10 years ago. Were you happier or less happy than you are today? It’s not inappropriate if you think that you were happier. But 10 years hence, things are likely to be a lot less rosy. And it’s no fun to rake your brains over it now.

Happiness tends to decline as we walk through our lives and bottoms out at around 50. Then something strange happens; it races uphill again till people get split into two groups; those who get a lot happier and those who couldn’t be any less unhappy.

Right around the“I’m so hype!”age, most of us would rush to make few good financial decisions, plan ahead and are more likely to be able to support themselves in comfort and be alive always; rest who wouldn’t, just couldn’t.

Something similar happens with happiness. As we grow old, we begin to see things differently. The excitement and fun of adolescence gives way to brutally negative jibes of adulthood. By now most of us have experienced bittersweet pleasures of life; but little do we realize that these tiny time specks can make us appreciate more and encourage us to be on cloud nine, when the going gets tough.

Tough!!… is it a bad word? It certainly sounds dismissive and cruel. We all have had our fair share of moments when wits got thrown to wilds. It hurt… but prepped us for some plucky life moments ahead!

­­­If you ask me good things happen more often than the bad ones, but often we miss opportunity to stay connected to happiness. We easily forget that age is like some fabled sycophancy that allows us to fly high in the real World. At 50 you could still be the same adorable pig tailed gal or some jaunty good looking knock-out beau. Both of you could still climb the trees, jump the wall and beat up all the boys. Young and raunchy, fiercely ambitious you both have had your share of one heart break, one breakdown, one true love, one success, one moment of despair and gloom – you have had mountains of them.

Cringing eyes, creaking knees and despairingly loosening skin, need not make you falter now. There is no shame in growing old and struggling a bit; it’s a reminder of all the battles that you have survived and the ones you won!

Once you have learned how to love your lines and folds and aches and pains, begin looking for some honest happy moments, few of which you could save for grey years.

Here’s what I did to make my life stay as full and happy as possible when I reach my later years;

Does age equals happiness?

Image source: ‘This is how to find joy: 4 simple secrets to the good life’ by Eric Barker in theladders.com on Mar.17, 2018.

Like everybody else I too will grow old. But I don’t see myself climbing mountains every day to be happy or live in a landscape where that’s an option. I would rather go for a walk or sit in a stretch of green watching the birds feeding. Doing so would give me something to look forward to each day.

For me the sweetness of doing little or nothing’ is all about savoring the moment , having joy in the present and saving a bit for declining years.

When I was young, the happy–well person in me learned well to accumulate resources and habits in pursuit of happiness. Few of these, like generational wealthso difficult to control, happy childhood-that descended from long lived ancestors and sometimes spots of depression-again a formidable enemy; all have been there to teach me about late-life happiness.  

Elders would mock, “Only handfuls heed; rest count on being lucky!”

I picked that up rather seriously!

I thought that being passionate about something that I could pride later on, won’t hurt anybody. So, I chose the best way of maximizing my chances of being happy in my autumn years.

I have made some big investments in my disposition-smoking, drinking, body weight, exercise, emotional resilience, education, and relationships ranked high in my judgment. I have dug deep, chosen the hackneyed lane and I believe that I’ve done the right thing! To some varying degrees, I have kept all of them under my fold since then.

Surprisingly simple, it’s perhaps the most reliable way to see yourself smiling forever!!

Love doing what makes you happiest

Image source: ‘Being Creative Can Make Your Golden Years More Enjoyable’ by Jim Pietrangelo in healthline.com on Oct. 19, 2017.

It didn’t take me long to realize that the best way I could tweak my chances of happiness, is to pursue that one thing that could make my heart race in high octane. Not that I would let any of dopamine, adrenaline or norepinephrine run out of control.

So, I chose…

One small deed; one overwhelming gesture that when I lock my eyes onto, would make me feel all pumped up; one simple action that would make  me smile every time I looked back.

I strongly willed to improve upon my ability to weather stressful and unexpected turn of events in life. And I chose to pour my heart into it, letting it to be the last! 

Ever since, I have realized that one single most important thing for wellness in life is to raise and foster warm relationships; one that would make you quit small sins; one that you’d have to hold on to if things go south; one that would let you fit the bar pretty well even in a squeaky wrinkled frame.

I’m no die hard biophile. It’s a mean old world and we all have scars but for me happiness is no longer a matter of the heart. I know that I won’t necessarily be doomed to misery if I could work my way to few good, warm relationships.

I just want to be happy and successful. To look back on my life when I’m all old and grey, and think to myself;

“See! I totally nailed it. I have zero regrets.”

Life is surprisingly simple

We hear about success and happiness everywhere we look. We get all sorts of tips and advices about life and about things we should and shouldn’t do.

But it never really works that way every time!

Like most of us, I wasn’t sure what these words actually meant or how to get there. I might already be there and wouldn’t know it yet!

So, I looked around… What could I do to make sure I’m not getting waylaid in my pursuit of happiness? How would I know for sure that I am working towards joy and happiness that right now doesn’t feel tangible?

It’s hard to reconcile everything. Wish for an everlasting happiness and it would usually contradict ways to a successful life. The hard part is that there is no clear answer to this and all those wisdom bombs are only part truth, part value.

I needed to find the right balance for myself.

I took an inventory of all my habits and behavior and judged myself where I needed to invest a little more time, a little more energy and a little more silver to start moving in the right direction. I worked ‘smarter not harder’ so I’d still have some fun left to myself and not be exhausted or miserable when I turn 70s.

I’m no goofball; I’m hopeful and see opportunities differently. I’m sure I’ll find my  perfect grin soon.

Feature credits: ‘The Seed’ by Andy Matthews in youtube.com on Aug. 24, 2017.

As I sit quietly, I reminisce one premier episode of Grey’s Anatomy; normally a few laughs, sometimes some tears; one dialogue in particular that really hit home for me. Somewhere a patient had said something along the lines of;

“Well of course you are happy, but is there really a cap on happiness?

Lately I think I’ve been very happy; maybe I’ve maxed out. But then I remind myself; there is always room for more of happiness… there’s so many miles to go.

I also know that not everyone feels the same way. I see people battling with misery and anxiety every day and this touches me to appreciate my happiness all the more.

All this has drawn an empath in me and I know that everyone deserves to be as happy as I am.

I wish, if only you’d do just one small close to your heart thing, to bring a difference in your World and empower yourself to be happy always.

It’s unlikely that you’ll follow everything that matters and that’s Ok. Just pick and choose the one that sounds easy and worthwhile and take your first step slowly!!

Someday you’ll find yourself lucky… blessed if you may!!

13 foods to try when you are pissed off and want to set something on fire!!

Anger is a nightmare and not without consequences. Many a times we reach out for stuff that does nothing to relieve our hideous mood while we endure. But one thing is certain… anger is something that few of us can control and the rest can count on having major issues dealing with it. To calm down all you’d do is either count till 100 –this does not work for me- or sip on some green tea to save yourself from going back to those peevish emotions.

But yup! … There’s another way out too.

If you are in a snappy mood, yelling and overreacting to anything and everything, then you definitely need to work on your cranky attitude. It’s hard to rationalize but you really aren’t yourself if you are angry and without realizing it neither are your well controlled self.

Hopping mad and hormones in you upping the ante! Between snapping at everyone in sight and angry at the entire world, your stomach rumbles and you get more irritable. Maybe you are hit by Hanger- the ugly-romantic expression for mash up of anger and hunger. Shaking, feeling weak and fatigued, you continue to boil while the fight-and-flight hormone (adrenaline) continues to race through your veins, pushing your mood to limits and making you behave ugly.

This is when even small things feel like the end of the world!

If there is nothing happening outside your body for your irrational behavior, then probably you are not getting enough glucose to your brain and it’s struggling with energy intensive tasks. Your blood sugar has dropped and you are fighting yourself not to flambé your surroundings.

But you are not alone…

As much I hate to admit, I love to think of myself as calm, level headed fellow but deny me food for a few hours and the going gets tough for just about  everything! I have had my fair share of anger management but crying for food? ….everything would fly off the handle. And I ain’t sorry for what I say or do.

This I believe, is the point when extra snacking helps even if the next eat was a while away.

There is a lot in the world that could make you angry, stressed or worried all the time. So, when times get tough and moods tougher, navigate yourself to some squeaky clean food to calm yourself down. A box of donuts or a bag of chips is what you’d jump for, but be wary…they will also quickly push you back into throes of anger.

So, here are a few eats that may not exactly relieve you of incendiary emotions but would help you channel that fuming energy into something blessedly trivial. Besides no matter how cross you are, you still have to eat! Why not something that would ease off your thumping pulse?

Chickpea and pomegranate Greek salad

Fifteen minute prep time and this salad is a go-for meal after a ‘not-so-healthy’ day, when you’re looking for few good things that you couldn’t find in 4 champagne cocktails, cheesy dip or a late night pizza.

There are many smart ways to a pomegranate only if you knew how. Help yourself to a quick, simple almost vegetarian stuff. Of course you’d have preferred something more elaborate, but now with a nasty busy day staring you in the face, you’d better settle for something inane.

Feature credits: ‘Greek Marinated Chickpea Salad’ by Recipe Tin Eats in You tube .com on Jun.03, 2020.

This salad is straightforward enough but the appeal lies in texture. Chickpeas as always are dense and mushy but meaty crunchy cucumbers and pomegranate seeds, creamy salty feta cheese and bright herbs, all woven together in a simple tangy dressing of olive oil and tart red wine vinegar, come to your rescue in fighting off your misery.

Smacked cucumber salad

Image source: ‘Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (Suan Mi Pau Huang Gua)’ in blog,seasonwithspice.com.

Wake up your therapeutic feelings by smacking a cucumber into bite-size treat. It’s a delightful salad, right down to its salty, slightly spicy sauce and a perfect food for short outbursts or when you suddenly find yourself about to explode right in the middle of something important.

Lentil and macaroni soup

Image source:’Lentil Soup with Macaroni’ in eatsmarter.com.

Isn’t it exciting and euphoric to clench something tightly in your fists and crush it into tiny bits? One perfect fix for your pent up irritability and you let off some steam in a jiffy! Crushed canned whole tomato soup with tantalizing fresh macaroni pasta with a dash of olive oil is your best spin of the day. Believe me; nothing would better a bowl of this refreshing nourishment. Leftovers would keep well for a few days. Leave out the pasta and you can freeze dry it for quite some time.

Banana-almond-flax smoothie

Image source: ‘Banana almond flaxseed smoothie’ in footprintstofitness.com on Aug.7, 2016.

Is your boss giving you some tempers off late? Somebody close getting onto your nerves? Slurp down some of the hostility on the go with a banana-almond-flax smoothie that works great both to your mental health and your taste buds. Ward off anger and depression with nuts and flax seeds that are good sources of omega-3s.

Greek yogurt with honey and granola

Image source: ‘Greek Yogurt With Honey, Fruit And Granola’ in recipebook.io.

Packing-in a few happy ingredients, this positivity parfait is one easy way to curl up your spooky madness on the go. Friendly probiotics slackening your depression and easing off those buzzing sounds in your head make full fat Greek yogurt a tasty way to fight the blues.  Add a spoonful of honeyed sweetness and you get a punch-up to fight off irritability; in part by reducing inflammation in your brain. Pitch in some berries to score one extra health point!

Quinoa, spinach, and shiitake salad

Image source:’Shiitake Quinoa Salad Recipe’ by Stephanie in iamafoodbog.com.

This super-food-packed salad’s has all the awesome goodness of vegan protein. A complex carbohydrate, it reins in depression and anger by pushing up levels of neuro transmitter serotonin in your brain. Besides the mood-boosting spinach comes loaded with B vitamins. Pair it with mushrooms- a good source of selenium and give a tough fight to anger and depression.

Poached eggs and asparagus

Image source: ‘Poached Eggs With Asparagus And Tomatoes’ in incredibleegg.org.

These stellar protein orbs are any time epic food even for jaded gourmands. A good source of vitamin D, eggs provide mood-boosting vitamin B. Paired with asparagus that contains tryptophan, the combination is an ultimate bite on a cold wintry morning. Frayed tempers, godforsaken tantrums!… increased levels of feel-good serotonin in your brain would do the trick and sizzling arguments would never get past your  plate.

Brown rice and black beans

Image source: ‘Black Beans with Brown Rice’ in tasteofhome.com.

Eating when you’re angry or riding low is usually not recommended. But certain foods have the power to ease anxiety and fight anger. Beans aren’t just good enough for your heart— they work wonders to your brain too. Selenium in them picks you back up when you’re feeling low. Plus, brown rice helps to lift your mood by regulating serotonin levels.

Walnut-miso noodles

Image source : ‘Walnut Miso Noodles Recipe’ by Heidi in 101cookbooks.com.

If you feel like a raging bull, all seething, stormy and blustering; this food is your best bet to keep your frenzy in check. Everything about this dish yells health, happiness and moreish. The whole wheat pasta is a complex carb to nurse your serotonin levels while walnuts come with the punch of Omega-3s to help grapple with your anger and grouchiness.

Whole-wheat pasta with cauliflower and collards

Image source: ‘Sicilian-Style Cauliflower with Whole Wheat Pasta’ in foodnetwork.com.

If you are reeling with anger and frustration, chances are your brain is not getting enough fuel to manage normal cognitive functions. Don’t beat yourself up over some stale cracker or lint covered protein bar. You may have come across touted versions of this dish elsewhere but the one with cauliflower and collard greens is your best cinch.

Generous portions of cauliflower not only make it taste gorgeous but also provide vitamin B-6 and folate.

Chocolate Chia seed pudding

Image source: ‘Chocolate chia pudding’ by Lisa Bryan in downshiftology.com on May 09, 2019.

If you notice people around you are slowly backing up and turning indignant to your mood, it’s likely that your hanger’s ugly head has turned menacing. Not only you are frightening to people around you but also you are vulnerable to mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise!

So, cool off a little with classic scoops of Chia and Chocolate pudding! A more sustaining alternative to standard tapioca, this one is a double whammy food to fix your mood swings.

Chia seeds have all the goodness of depression and anger fighting omega-3s, and dark cocoa powder helps keep bad moods in check.

Coffee with cinnamon

Image source: ’10 reasons you need to add cinnamon to your coffee’ by Heather Fishel in food-hacks.wonderhowto.com on 14 Mar.2016.

No Red Bull for you if you have the urge for a war cry in the thick of a long afternoon. Coffee is a natural stimulant, boosts your energy and perks up the metabolism so you can face the day without berating much. A hot one kicks you alive by raising levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. And a sprinkle of cinnamon is all it takes to pep up your slurp.

Green tea and honey

Image source: ‘Lemon Honey Green Tea’ in godrej.com.

Angry and hungry!… you’re more likely to pick up  an argument with your sweetheart for no particular reason. Since you may in all likelihood act awkward or be aggressive towards the people you’re closest to, it’s not uncommon that both of you will share the ignominy together.

Green tea is one great source of L-thiamine to relax your mind and sharpen your wits. Sip through a cup of the green stuff at breakfast, before bedtime or… during a brawl break.

Does this all mean that food is the cheeky stuff that could alter your mood and probably back-off your pyromaniac blues? Is it something that we should depend on for our mood swings and anger control? Aren’t we happy enough when we go for pizza or head straight to ice cream buckets and cakes and cheese induced snacks? 

Not to place judgment, I just wish more people would see how detrimental it is to their well being to be hamstrung by anger and not doing enough to let it go.

Not that I’d know anything about them!

 

From Anger to laziness: This is how I put my two worst enemies to good use!!

Image source:’ Woman sitting on black chair’ by Anthony Tran in Unsplash.com.

It’s a mean old world and we all have our share of scars. Yet we all talk about how great things will happen in future. But happiness isn’t something that we wait to happen later. It is something that we strive for each moment every single day; work deadlines pushed up, coffee spilled over new shoes or failing that midterm, annoyances and hard habits pulled under the rug; everything and everybody works to be just happy.  Even the most pessimistic could do with a little bit of sweetness in life.

Unfortunately not everyone has fewer problems or lesser troubles in life. Things do sometimes turn topsy-turvy. And you could be in trouble if nagging emotions like guilt and shame  overshadow your resolve even for something as simple as losing weight or cutting back on booze. You are absolutely the kinda person who succumbs to his worst habits pretty fast.

But it doesn’t have to be this way all the time.

What if we could somehow influence our worst traits enough to serve us better? Skeptical! … It’s not my kinda stuff either but if you ask me, things don’t turn south every time you push for redemption. By being intelligently and purposely lazy, less mindful, messy, slow, cluttered and bad tempered, you could actually get rid of years of craziness and be more successful and happier on your own terms.

Building a good relationship with yourself is always a worthy investment…isn’t it? After all, we all spend quite a bit of time with ourselves; so might as well learn to enjoy it!

Here are a few life hacks that made even the lazy and wrathful person in me a little bit more happier.

Love your anger

Do you get to explode at a work meeting? Or do you think, ‘What that person says, is upsetting. I’m going to address it, but not now.

Whatever, you simply can’t wish anger to go away. It’s strong – it’s high energy, it’s not comfortable and it takes some time to ease off. There are times when you are in-the-moment but don’t know how to handle it to your advantage. But what if you could plan using that anger at some other time?

Everybody gets angry when a situation changes disruptively but very few realize that we can use that intense energy only if and when we know what we’re angry about.

Image source: ‘ Smiling Asian woman in apron’ by Amina filkins in pexels.com.

I learned to draw on that anger- not to match the intensity or reactionary blow-ups – but to harness it for good. Rather than wading in or stepping up the conflict, I found it helpful in managing overwhelming situations. All I pushed for was not to let it get out of hand.

After all anger is not rage. It’s not the hardest thing to handle; but if you could, it would sharpen your focus, ping you with lots of emotional information and get you some surprising outcomes.

It’s neither good nor bad-it’s what you do with it that matters.

Stop being ‘ busy’

I guess I love being lazy now!…. but I do not let my mind be occupied with squeaky distractions. I am talking of proper idleness- choosing to do nothing!

For most part of the day we stay focused on checking things off our to-do-list which is otherwise Ok. It helps in developing a productive mindset but en route it turns our personal lives into kinda running checklist, rather than something enjoyable.

Allowing myself to be lazy was just the perfect antidote I was looking for. For once I could stop checking G-news and Face book and WhatsApp every 10 minutes or hang on to some freaky e-mail that ought to have left me worried some three weeks ago.

Stuck with laziness! …maybe a little but for once I could waylay those scary to-do-lists at home and  embrace slower healthier activities like taking a walk or reading a good book. Wonder, why I couldn’t guess earlier; I was so close to being happier, simply by being brilliantly lazy!

Of course, the tricky part isn’t finding the way but having the reason to fulfill it.

Negative emotions sometimes do fix things

I never like the idea to settle things in part because being with difficult emotions leaves me feeling wasted. Maybe my understanding of toxic positivity’ touches the darker side of psyche each time I land in a limbo. It’s like ‘I am trying to cheer up someone who actually just wants to be heard’.

The positivity falls flat.

Haven’t we all have experienced it; when as a parent or as a partner all we wanted was our problem solved instead of simply talking about it?

But I find million good things about negative emotions. Fear, rejection, jealousy, guilt, sadness; all help me to navigate well in the social world. Like everybody else, I don’t spend much time tolerating negative emotions. I turn on Netflix or would grab a good book, sip through a cuppa good coffee or rush out to the porch to do some good to myself. I prefer to stay out of touch with intolerance.

I am no longer parenting misery or sadness!

Feature credits: ‘8 Ways to Overcome Anger’ by Mind Tools Videos in YouTube.com on Aug.06, 2018.

Try to be less mindful: It works!

Mindfulness isn’t something that creates a moment of calm if you are in the middle of a crisis. Anxiety, panic attacks or physical dissociation – these disruptive emotions with generally negative results and potential side effects leave you with nothing to fall back if things go awry. I won’t say mindfulness is bad but it doesn’t make life any better. I realized that being mindful made me feel unlovable, unworthy and if I allowed-it would consume me. I wouldn’t feel cared for and insecure with no sense of belonging.

Contrarily, I got better at recognizing that worrying less- helps, for there is no cure for it. It simply arouses feeling of fear and anxiety and gloom.

Besides who wouldn’t love to feel safe, secure and free of any fear?

Things have since gotten nicer and better as I dwell on it and gently guide myself back to everything that matters.

So, you too could make this personal for whatever your needs are and see things brighten up!

I jumped making resolutions

I despise getting bogged down by those silly New Year’s vows. I am not the kind who put his feet down firmly and stays put. I get shy fast and would quit in no time.

So, this year I decided to stay clear of resolutions. I tried approaching myself with as much kindness and love as possible. And…it felt good!

Think of it like this;

“If you hate your guts enough to lose 20 pounds, do you really think you would end up 20 pound lighter?

Hmm!… maybe, maybe not. But what you will certainly have practiced is hating your guts.

Image source: ‘Happy young woman in apron’ by Tim Douglas in pexels.com.

As far as I can see, self dislike is what drives most of us to resolutions. Dreams to dazzle push you to make epic promises that usually never get past the idea.

It would sound infamy to say this, but to be at large has been a brilliant win for me. It’s also the most loving, beautiful and exciting fun to keep all those barren promises out of my hair.

I feel free and I tell myself… life’s not so bad!

I think I now love myself deeply, no matter what!!

I took to writing to silence the lambs in my head!!

This year I forgot to make New Year resolutions in time and in turn decided to stop striving to be someone I could never be. I felt it’s time to embrace my messy, imperfect, soft bellied self and put my worst fears to good use.

This is how I made some real peace with myself and learned to love negative emotions.

Image source: ‘Hearing voices is more common than you might think‘ by John Read in theconversation.com on Oct. 21, 2016.

To me, penning thoughts and phrasing them is a messy affair. I wonder, if you are here only because you don’t know how to come up with your next story idea and have scant respect for my writing skills. Maybe you just want something apropos, some inspiring thought for your next storyline. I wouldn’t know if my choice of words convince you enough to appreciate that I too am a borne writer.

Either way, let’s get it right!

If you are reading this, I know one thing for sure;

You are a ‘curious’ person! And in that my success is certain. Oddly, curiosity makes one smart enough to want to know more and understand better. It makes you dig around for answers to “Why?” and pushes you to keep hunting until you are satisfied!

We all have our share of bad days and like everything else; I think I too have had some poor articles, or essays or blogs!! For me writing never meant to be rude or shocking or like some spilled beans on paper. I have felt and always acted on the desire- to purge myself of what’s inside me so that someone like you will understand what I feel at this moment.

Image source: ‘14 Hope Quotes Ideas’ by quote.cc in pinterest.com.

If only wishes were horses!

It’s hard to remember the last day, the last week or the last month when I laughed and found things intensely funny and rib tickling. When were those few hours that I wasn’t worried about something and enjoyed watching sunset or lying snug in warm quilt with a good book when it was raining outside on a wintry afternoon?

It’s kinda hard whenever it crossed me; Like everything else, this too will end in a while”!

Perhaps, I ought to glue something more inviting on my PC; something that would say;

I am more smart, strong and brave than I think I am. I am my hero with a golden heart”!!

See, it’s hard to learn about yourself from a distance, but maybe I have.

I wake up each morning and wonder what better could be there to write about. I read articles every day. I nose through pointless stories and try to make some sense out of them. I even look around for everything that would fit me into the bar.

Aw-shucks! Who am I kidding?

I like it when my stories are read but I absolutely love it when you subscribe! I get goose bumps each time an eye finds my page. I stand witness to your curiosity, your humor and your intellect every time I get reviewed.

Did I get it right? Maybe I am brave enough to hold on to a faltering confidence!!

My writing caper has not done anything to fill my wallet so far. Like you I too want to prance around to a success with words. I am though, yet to establish myself as someone with something up his sleeves every time he dares to shine. I know I cannot survive on catchy phrases and snappy headlines only.

But then there is this terrible voice endlessly growling inside my brain…

I must write…I must write…!

Feature credits: ‘How to be happy in 2 minutes The strongest motivation for happiness’ by My Inspiration in You Tube.com on Dec, 12, 2021

Last night I dreamed… of that nasty hand again; reaching out for me and a muffled voice breezily saying; “Never mind, you will get a new cat,”!

Wishes communicating!… Hell no! I have no pet and so couldn’t make much of it. I though remember feeling untouched and used.

Is that 1628 Scottish proverb nothing more a nursery rhyme? Wouldn’t wishing something dearly from your heart, could make it happen? Wouldn’t some falling star come to my rescue?

Yet I couldn’t resist writing and wishing …

I wish you to read what I have to say and give me the chance to shine and impress. I wish like everybody else you wouldn’t shut the window and run away. I wish to stand out with my content to an extent where people would hunt for my name and not for the headlines alone.

I wish you’d find me and read me till you drop.

For once I would feel happy and full!!

Do dreams freak you out? Your brain might be trying to tell you something!!

And it doesn’t mean that a downright naked-in–a-crowd nightmare is waiting to happen!

Here’s what happens after you nod off.

Image source: ‘Can lucid dreaming help us understand consciousness?’ by David Robinson in theguardian.com on Nov. 14. 2021.

Did you have a dream last night that has left you bonkers? Is it the one that drops in on you day after day?

Spooky!…Maybe it’s trying to tell you something.

Or perhaps it’s our brain’s way of communicating while we sleep. It’s wired like that but…

Oddly our mind isn’t. It’s as recklessly restless as ever. In fact it stays as active as it is while we are awake. Of course it doesn’t work like a neon sign, flash momentarily and do away with the dreaming business. But while awake it gushes around analyzing things happening around us…feel, touch, emotions, events; just about anything that we bump into.

Strangely enough, all of this can turn into dreams, though it’s not always obvious what dreams try to tell us. Sometimes we get freaky ones that stick out. At others, these could be downright frightening.

What does it mean when you dream you can’t find your shoes? What if you go blind in dreams? What if you dreamed of getting divorced? Right from abysmal fall to a frightening abduction by ETs, every moment of your dream has something to speak of about yourself that you wouldn’t realize otherwise.

So…read on for some startling revelations! Here’s to few common dreams and what they might be trying to tell you!

You are running like hell

You definitely are mobbed by some insecurities. You worry too much about what people at work think of you; how’d they react to anything new happening in your life. Just about anything and everything disquiets you.

I wouldn’t wait for anything steroidal happening, if I were you. I would let go anything and everything crazy and creepy.

You can’t find your shoes

You couldn’t make up your mind over some important decision you have to make or some cracking position you have been asked to assume.

If you find you have misplaced something of value in dreams; it’s just that you don’t think much of yourself and value yourself a little less in real life. You could be steaming low on self esteem in waking life.

You are falling into an abysmal depth

It’s a huge red flag for you! It’s a sign that you have some major issues in life; work, relationship, just about anywhere. You would feel as if things are running out of control and there is very little you could do about it. You are rather hanging too tightly to something particular in waking life. So simply relax and let go of it.

You dream of your loved ones suffering

Would there be anything worse than to wake up from a dream where you watched your loved one suffer. It feels valley low. Guilt pangs have hit you hard for having done something wrong in your relationship with this person. Atone it and feel wonderful.

You dream of death

If you die or feel like dying, it might be that something in your life is coming to an end. It doesn’t necessarily mean foreboding death or you having some terminal illness you didn’t realize you had. In your waking life this signifies that a part of you is changing. How you react to the event in dreams is the only way to know if the change is a welcome one or has been forced upon you.

You are late

…And you couldn’t find ways to make a rush for some very important date! You are not a White rabbit yet you have panicked for being late! This simply means that you are overwhelmed and inundated with work stress. Being late makes you feel as if you’re making promises that you can’t keep. Don’t leapfrog but strap your boots tight!

You have become stinking rich

You have struck gold! You have won the lottery and you are feeling at the top of the world. This sudden richness in dream reveals your deepest desires- from being rich to traveling the world and mean that you have become more wiser in waking life. Not so much material as spiritual wealth, it would also mean elevation of your worth to others. No pep talk this one! It’s the beginning of a new you.

This is great! Now that you know of it; chase them.

You’re in love

This is serious! If you bump into a passionate date in dreams and feel as if you are about to fall in love, then kick yourself!! You lack this kind of intimacy and passion in your waking life. Your love life, if any is all flattening and your uniqueness is being ignored.

You have missed the ride

You find yourself stranded on a platform or tarmac for having missed your flight or the train has departed. It’s a sign that you are weighed down by too many commitments. Maybe you are pushing yourself too much in waking life and fallen from grace one time too often. It hurts. But you can get to redeem yourself once you become intensely aware of your deep seated priorities. Just leave unnecessary baggage behind and be friends to your internal vibes. Remember; you cannot beat the clock!

You have done horrible things

You dream of having committed some satanic crime and trying desperately to cover it up. This could mean that there’s a problem inside you and you need to address it fast before you get a meltdown. Besides a whole host of other wild dream-crimes might leave you feeling evil.

You’re unable to speak

If your voice fails you in your dream, this could mean you are bedeviled with some unresolved tension in your waking life. You really want to be out with what’s in your mind and to speak and be heard. Begin with addressing issues in waking life if you feel ignored and have found no way to make your opinions heard.

There’s always a better way to shoot the breeze!

Image source: ‘The serious health consequences of not dreaming’ by Derek Beres in bigthink.com on Mar.25, 2018.

You’re flying

Flying in a dream is extremely freeing. It encourages you to let go of things you couldn’t handle and let things happen the way they should. It’s a sign that you have freed yourself from something frustrating and difficult to overcome. Good times or mere coincidence?… may be; but even this feels only when you have managed some weighty decision or whacked through some serious responsibility.

That’s a dream I wouldn’t miss to get onboard with!

You are being intimate with a coworker

Strangely enough, intimate brush in dreams isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. If you dream of being physical with a coworker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a crush on them. You could actually be looking for an inner connect with that someone having ‘positive traits you admire’ and would ‘welcome in your own life’.

You showed up for an exam but weren’t prepared

You have showed up for an exam and suddenly your heart sinks! you realize you are totally unprepared for it! You feel weird. Bile is swelling in your throat and a sour taste fills your mouth. You fear, maybe you have prep for the wrong subject or just can’t make anything of pages before you.

This dream is a sign of something positive in you; you are a high performer, hard worker and believe in doing things right. So, no heavy hearts! Simply put, it’s your fear of being unprepared that keeps you stoked to be totally ready to perform.

You need to pee, but couldn’t find the wash room

You need it badly, you’re trying but couldn’t find a toilet! If you get bogged down with this dream, may be you’re not addressing your own needs rightly in your waking life .

You literally want to let the crap out of your life. You want to declutter and let go of something or someone you couldn’t hold onto any longer. But you just couldn’t!

Of course!… you might actually do need to go to wash room because your subconscious is tipping-off with dreams of you looking for bathroom in vain.

Search yourself and get rid of dark afternoons!!

You’re getting married to a stranger

A sense of unawareness about your partner to whom you are getting married, is a manifestation of untold fears. You are not totally sure of yourself, what is expected of you and that you might be committing to something that you are uncertain of. You doubt if you will have enough time for yourself if you commit.

You’re getting divorced

You are crass enough to have filled your schedule with too many things and are overwhelmed if you dream of this. Should you despair?

No! this one is trying to tell you that you have failed to balance your commitments and keep up the promises you made to someone close to your heart. You are succumbing to perils of your obligations and everything feels going murderously berserk.

You’re standing stark naked in public

Have you ever woken up in a dream to find yourself completely naked? If you feel at ease being buck naked, you probably couldn’t be more comfortable in your own skin. However, if you are scrambling for cover, it could just be that you feel vulnerable and not happy with who you are right now.

It’s a relief that it’s a dream only, but it might be time for you to find ways to get comfortable opening up to others. An improv class might just be the right choice to begin with.

People from waking life keep showing up

It’s perfectly normal to find friends and family in your dreams, but it’s confusing when you stumble upon an acquaintance. This may mean that someone has left impression on you and might turn important to you in the future. If you dream of someone you like (or love) with someone else, it would mean that you’ve lost the fire and aren’t so passionate about them as the other people around you are!

You’re in an empty room feeling trapped and scared

You’ve got untapped talents for sure. But if you are in an empty room with closed doors or barred windows and feeling spooky and all, it could be about something old that you haven’t look at before; anything related to your life—your job, a relationship—that you’ve shut the door on.

But…no need to be eternally skeptic. It’s only about trying to open that door, even if you’re scared. Take your gloves off and do your bit. If you can’t switch up something major, it wouldn’t hurt to go on holiday for a bit.

Image source: ‘Lucid Dreaming’  by Daviona Plowright in driveforwardfoundation.org on Jun.22, 2020,

You’ve gone blind

If you suffer blindness in dream it could just be that you’re overlooking something in life or worry that you aren’t able to see something. You are in a situation in life or your personality where you have hit a blind spot. You debility in dreams may be expressing areas in your life that you have been dismissive and cruel to.

In waking life you need to go beyond what the eyes see and find out ways to respond in a legit way.

You’re searching for someone

If you dream you’re searching for someone, it would mean that you are trying to reconnect with your own identity that you haven’t touched for so long. Dear me!…nothing to do with that particular person.

You’re lost in sea and drowning

These ones are pretty scary!! You are lost somewhere mid-ocean and you’re boat is sinking fast. This tells you that you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsupported somewhere in your life –either by your loved ones, friends, or at work.

You have found heaps of yummy food

Did you went to bed hungry? If not, this could be something deeper. Food symbolizes energy, knowledge, or nourishment. So, when you dream of it it could mean that you long for more knowledge or somebody or insights about something.

Demons have scared you to death

Whether or not you’re the one of them, if you dream of running around in their midst, it tells that you are secretly feeling as though you should change your behavior. You’re worried stiff about it lately.

It’s time you get rid of that garbage ways and earn some basic respect for yourself!

You’re paralyzed

This is the scariest thing that can happen to somebody in dreams. Dreaming of paralysis indicates that you have a lack of control in your waking life. Sleep paralysis though can occur at the moment between REM sleep and the waking stage of sleep.

Your teeth are falling out

Events in your life are in upheaval. You’ve probably lost something of value in life; maybe a job and with it, your feeling of being in control. Your teeth are the symbol of your confidence and how powerful you feel. So if you dream like this; something is definitely causing your confidence to crumble in waking life.

You’re accused of a crime

If dreams where you find yourself an accused or actually having committed a crime, torment you then probably you’re hiding something from yourself in your waking life—and it isn’t always have to be negative.

The hate dreams where we commit or stand accused some crime usually mimes a conscious choice that we make in waking life to gain wider social acceptance.

Worrying for a lifeline! Ignore some of your personal needs; purge yourself of any guilt and try fitting in. It’s perfectly alright to stay in your lane and redefine yourself.

Feature credits: ‘Interesting Facts About Dreams’ by Kendra Cherry in verywellmind.com on Feb.11, 2021.

So, does this all mean that you should worry! Are your teeth actually going to fall out?

Hell no!!…

Don’t psyche yourself out!

If you are all worked up and fear losing sleep over what your dreams might be trying to sell you, you need not dwell over it for long for one simple reason…

You are not alone!!

We all share more or less the same fantasies and nightmares and rummage for the meaning behind those strange way of messaging. It’s only the way we interpret them that matters.

What dreams speak of is not always as undisguised as you would want to; but you would sleep a little more soundly tonight if only you knew what your mind’s trying to tell.

Besides who said everybody is #perfect?

Wake up your senses with a humble Cup o’ Joe! : Hustle your Coffee upgrade my way!!

Just like wine and whisky the world of coffee is intense and complex. With endless versions and infinite ways, learning every trick, every brew method and every mix sounds like a serious cliche’ but you’re never late to stoke your passion for those easy peasy beans.

Tune in to coffee making -the complex Indian way for a start. A stellar coffee experience, it will turn you a connoisseur — in less time than you may think.

Image source: ‘How to tap into the health benefits of coffee’ by Amanda Loudin in nbcnews.com on Dec. 05, 2019.

If you’re creative, shy and introvert kinda morning person, then odds are you prefer  coffee over tea.Rather I would say, you are a typical coffee loving person who looks for it’s zing first thing in the morning!

And, what if it gets you to make more money and more pay raises? People in Britain and elsewhere now rally behind the notion that your fondness and choice for morning cup could actually uptick your personality. It pushes you more as a productive, significant and an affordable hand at work!

…in turn your pockets get deeper alright!

More than the ‘tea people’ who are usually pensive and look for tea’s relaxing qualities…. coffee fans are easily likely to say they’re “always” on time.

Latte, Mocha, Italian or American…Like most ‘Coffee persons’ do you also fancy morning cuppa to be black, plain and simple?

Myself a coffee aficionado? No!

I am not a coffee buff nor I eagerly look forward to it. I would rather have tea over coffee. No particular reason… don’t get me wrong! I do like coffee and espresso, including lattes and cappuccinos, but my morning go-to favorite is a steamy cup of sweet fragrant tea.

I have been a caffeine skeptic for quite some time but it doesn’t mean that I have no nose for it. It’s just that becoming a coffee weirdo takes time. It’s equal to becoming a wine or a whiskey sommelier. I think that it takes passion, love for the beverage and the desire to know everything there is to know about it.

And with so much happening in the atlas of coffee making, it’s no easy feat!

I know I have the rush to appreciate the magic of beans and might some day start working my way forward. Still, I respect those who take me for acoffee snob’. And I understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a coffee geek at heart!

The point as I see it, is that till you get to explore the world of coffee making and learn the ways to brew it the correct way, people will frown and the cup you think you love might not be even cutting it close.

Image source: ‘Natural Mountains Coffee Archives’ in iddukivalley.com.

Hand beaten or frothy- I wasn’t too fond of it until…!

Like everybody else you know much about coffee. You are aware of the different roasts. You know of the different types of beans, where they come from. You know various flavor profiles and you know of all the fêted ‘decoctions’. In fact you are on top of every new coffee trend that comes your way!

But if you know the beans, flavors, and brew styles so well, are you aware that there are more than one ways to beef up your brew’s flavors and aroma?

No!.. I am not talking about some plain simple morning pick-me-up kinda drink any more, but a hand crafted brew of tropical roasted grounded beans that has enough richness, flavor and complexity to shame even the Starbucks’ favorite.

An overall caffeine sceptic, for long, I was confident of my health when the people talked about anti oxidants and balanced diets. No.. I am no health quirk but it never occurred to me that I was missing anything nutrition wise. Good healthy food, stimulating beverages…just about everything! Tea was also doing fine, till I fell seriously ill in the fall of 2017.

I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis!

And nobody could actually determine the cause for this mortal condition! Everything changed thereafter. The recovery was slow and painstaking. The attending surgeon was fussy and stern…and warned me to go easy with tea.

So I started looking around for shortcuts to improve my gut health. Like many things that I loved to eat and drink but had to let go, I decided to go blind with tea as well. I had realized that it was merely worsening my infirmity.

To cut it short, eventually it all ended up with me becoming a black coffee drinker! Of course I get to add a teaspoon of sweetener (usually white sugar) to my coffee.

It was while I was convalescing and looking ways to less complicate my caffeine intake, that the story that went into coffee making caught my attention.

Search me… it’s interesting!

Legend has it that the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd Kaldi was the first to discover the stimulating effect of coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a certain bush. Curious, he too chewed on the bright red berries himself. Roused and exhilarated, he brought the berries to a nearby monastery. But the monk disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire. A seductive enticing aroma billowed out that drew others to come and investigate. The roasted beans were quickly raked out from the embers, grounded and dissolved in hot water thus yielding what was World’s first cup of coffee!!

The story is largely believed to be apocryphal; probably because it surfaced some 800 years from the time when it supposedly took place.

Whatever…

Okay, so maybe you already prefer a dark roast brew…

That’s good, but if you were to ask me, you ought to experience every type of blend that exist before you get to decide which one you love most..and which ones a tad less! Once you learn to savor your drink, you’ll have a newfound respect for your local java shop.

Spoon into your perfect coffee bliss: It’s not blah anymore!

While the beans you grind are essential for the flavor profile of your cup, how you brew it is just as important. To call yourself a coffee barista, you need to know all that there is to different brewing methods from different parts of the World and how they affect the taste.

So, here’s to some lip smacking ways to whip yourself a cuppa good coffee.

Pour-over, hand made and without machines, try it the way they do in India! Smooth frothy and beaten up, the Indian cappucino is a powerful espresso that comes topped with a sweet foam laced with some fresh cream and a sprinkle of bitter cocoa.

My pick however is a more trendy go-to-spice one. I tried the spice-laced one once and got hooked up instantly; flavors aside I thought-the benefits are worth it. Now I almost always add cinnamon to my coffee. The zing of this piquant candidate perks up my mood in no time, whenever I don’t feel like using cocoa powder straight.

High on antioxidants and anti-fungal properties, even cayenne pepper, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, lavender, star anise, clove, pumpkin spice and gingerbread spice mix-all in small quantities- are inching out that square of dark chocolate from coffee these days!

Am I asking you to take a blind shot at this unusual blend? Is this an easy way to stomach those beneficial spices and fiber right through your coffee cup without having to open multiple containers?

Probably ‘ Yes’.

Spices work just great when added to grounded coffee or to dark beans and have significant health benefits.

And it doesn’t taste gross either!

The ways of Beaten coffee

I think this whole coffee craze is a bettered version of a new beverage trend that has coffee recipes popping all over social media.

The Indian filter coffee-southern style is one bodacious rage that is getting heads turned and attentions arrested!. Simply put, it is an easy and absolute fad among the coffee lovers who have chanced upon it.

This decadent Indian style coffee is somewhat similar to cappuccino in that it uses both espresso and steamed milk. The name ”beaten” comes from the process of whipping up the silky smooth and thick mixture that sits atop the brew. By hand beating instant coffee, sugar and water you always end up with the delicious brief.

Making it is simple and takes little to prepare. Brewed coffee using standard drip maker or French press is topped off with the mix of steamed milk (no scorching hot one please!), instant coffee, sugar and warm water, all beaten earlier till the mix turns golden brown and thickens into a smooth frothy mixture.

The aroma and flavors are simply a coffee connoisseurs’ delight and absolutely irresistible!!

Image source: ‘Coffee That Smells Like Freshly Ground Heaven’ in paramparai.store.

South Indian filter Kappi: What an utter delight!

Filter kappi, filter coffee, South Indian filter coffee; call it by whatever name, it is easily every coffee lover’s sigh of contentment.

Do you know why?…

It has one single characteristic that caffeine fanatics love to lust over; the unmatched blend of taste, flavor and the aroma. Even if you are not a coffee addict, nothing would better your mood than to wake up to a cup of freaking good, steamy, aromatic coffee- filtered and made traditionally the South Indian way!

Am I getting ahead of myself?

No… you wouldn’t dare rip through me, once you get to taste a pour of freshly roasted, grinded and filtered punch. Every cup’s a delight and the proper way to awaken your senses first thing in the morning! You’ll love the aroma as you sip away the traditional Madras belter.

For not long ago, I wouldn’t know anything of how to brew a good cuppa! I wasn’t eager enough to rush for it either. Not until I figured out how to make a humble brew into something so atrociously good and overbearing.

I got to travel down South last year on vacation. And there the curiosity trumped me.

I somehow got hooked to filter coffee!

Till then whenever I had attempted to do something with those dark beans, the brew would always end up being too watery. Every time I attempted, it turned out dreary; so much so that I could easily pour half a cup of brewed coffee into half cup of milk and still wouldn’t get it to be as strong as I’d like it to be.

It’s only from the by lanes and streets of Chennai (erstwhile Madras) that I learned the trick to make some really good stuff. It was some serious technique that led to some seriously good coffee in the end!

South Indian coffee requires only an indigenous coffee filter to make it right. You might think that plenty of them are lying around or one could be fashioned out; but this one is different; nothing like the regular ones! To taste authentic South Indian coffee it needs to be brewed through this unique stainless steel contraption; believe me; filtering effects are nearly impossible to replicate.

Consisting of two nested cups sitting atop each other; the one at the top holds the grounded coffee and has pores to allow the coffee to pass through while the other one is meant to store it.

Filter kaapi when served in a traditional tumbler-davaraa, all swished a couple of times between the two to produce delicious foam on the top, smells and tastes heavenly. A davaraa is a small cup shaped like a jug with a curved lip. (In some Udupi joints it is fondly called Meter-Kappi and is poured into the glass from a meter’s height to perk up maximum foam).

But you really don’t need one for a genuine Indian filter coffee. Any pair of mugs or cups would do. I wouldn’t approve of swishing though, for those who love it steaming hot. The disadvantage of swishing is that your coffee gets cold easily.

Feature credits: ‘Top Coffee Countries | The Best Coffee in the World 2021’ by Revel in You tube .com on Jul.09, 2020.

Heads-up! A storm of #coffee stories might be coming your way.

If you are with me just for the coffee and earnestly care about how your cuppa coffee should taste, then jump for a traditional Indian percolator with a clean filter, put 2 heaped tbsp of coffee powder and press it down with a spoon. Gently pour fresh water brought to a rolling boil and get an even concentration of decoction in the end. Mix a little bit of chicory and fill milk to 3/4th of the glass. Stir constantly and you have just made yourself a unique filter style complex and aromatic smooth cup of coffee.

Mild or strong- you get to enjoy the aroma and flavors with every sip. Add sugar if you wish and enjoy!

If I were you I would figure out ways to hold back things for tomorrow and start fishing around for a percolator ASAP -just the right one and get my coffee fix each morning-the Indian way!! Believe me, every cup is a delightful and legit way to awaken your senses first thing in the morning with an intense sensual kick.

Still unsure if that would be anything close to a third wave coffee shop?

Make no mistake- you are no pinhead; you’re right there. Just remember, ‘You can never be a wine connoisseur without ever being to a vineyard.

So, reach out, grab a perfect cup of that bold Indian filter coffee and feel a huge uptick happening right away!

Yup!…I won’t judge you!!

It feels so good to be a #Sloth-My guide to finding happiness the lazy way!!

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”Frank B. Gilbreth Sr.

When getting out of bed feels awful, when going to the gym seems utterly disgusting and when you just can’t face the idea of siting down at the Office desk, I could figure out what has happened to you. You have crossed into the dangerous territory of laziness! The thief of happiness and poacher of ambition, it will end you up doing nothing with your days, if you let it get hold of you. Quite simply you are ‘dumped but not down’ for you have missed seeing the error of your ways.

Want some help to get out of the funk? Check-out on me on how to trump the struggle and fight blues the lazy way. Sometimes the best way to make stuff happen and relive happiness is by doing nothing at all!

Image source: ‘Dangers- Sleeping with a blanket over the head’ by Richard Adjei in news.payperlez.com on May 25, 2021.

I live in a messy chaotic world. Yet I am perfectly content doing nothing at all. I no longer punish myself and do not let reluctant party animals, chronic slow pokers and clutter of messy desk wizards to hurt me for being a slow pusher any more. Not that I have been like this always. It’s just that one fine morning I discovered that it was not the laziness but my giant intellect that’s to blame for my misadventures. So, I reworked myself out. I lied to my enormous brain down to a nap with pride. And look!! The hard work of being lazy has paid off.

I have finally found happiness!

Funny; I wonder why it feels so good to be lazy in the first place. Why things do not turn turtle for work-shy people; rather everything would start falling into place more intensely? Why all this shade against doing nothing? Why an unenterprising soul is underrated when being lazy might turn him a ‘Kingsomeday. What’s more shocking is that whenever I reached out to romanticize laziness, I ended up get around ways to overcome it.

Feature credits: ‘Study Finds Lazy People Are Smarter’ by Jacqueline Sarkissian in You tube.com on Aug.18, 2016.

So, I decided not to waste time on unnecessary motions; instead I looked around for clues to trick it into my fold and #find the balance between work and weariness.

And see, this is what I learned;

The Hard Work of Being ‘Lazy’

Laziness is something we all experience from time to time, but some people simply love to stay in that refuge forever, once out of that everyday slavery. And there’s a pretty good reason why they adore it so much! They allow their minds to wander into creative territory for free…by being lazy!!

I guess we all are hardwired to fill time. We easily get overwhelmed by things that are on our to-do list and plunge headlong each day, trying as hard as possible to burn ourselves out.

I find this distracting. Do overs or not; for me unrewarded geniuses are not geniuses but clichés.

Interestingly, one study claims that the more the intelligent among us socialize or work heads-down the less happy and sullen they become. The more you mingle, the more intent you get on spilling your guts around telling everybody how happy you are, without being so; the more half-witted jerk you turn yourself into. This sniffs less savory to the more intelligent ones. And the nerd in you stays outclassed as ever.

It’s not so difficult to figure it all out yourselves! Besides who says the world needs Type A personalities only? The ‘L’ types are not like some failed menu item and will eventually land in some rut. Amid misplaced sense of FOMO, a ‘knightly’ life beckons them.

If you are anything close to me, take a sec off and stop being busy. Check yourself out.; what tempts you more, an hour-long walk with your dog, or a snug spell with your pet cat on your favorite couch; all lazed-up?

Well, this might surprise you. If you think that being snug and comfortable in your space and doing nothing, slurs you as a remiss; you are mistaken! This could actually be a sign of intelligence, and not an inclination to remain sedentary or desk bound.

If we are to trust the ethereal revelations of a wispy study made some eight years ago; then cat lovers score higher on intelligence than dog lovers. And why not? It makes some good sense too. A dog person is livelier because he goes out there walking and talking even to strangers with a tethered canine in tow. Contrary to this, if you are more introverted and sensitive, you would probably prefer to stay back at home, read a book, sip a cuppa tea…and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.

You may not believe this but your pet type influences your choice between different environments. Dog- you take a walk, Cat- you covet the cozy comfort of a couch with your cheesy Ginger snuggled in your lap.

Get the hang of it! Even a brief interruption derails our train of thoughts. Walk your dog and you are distracted by sight of every passerby. It’s like you went too close to another browser tab and got distracted by a cat video. Hang around your home with your cat and you do not let yourself be beaten by those fast-track requests that your quick witted brain lines up fast for you!

At some time or the other all of us get miffed in this mad mad world for one reason or the other. At times bitterness and despair is overwhelming. We are put off partly because we are worried that we have not done enough and largely because we believe that allowing ourselves to be lazy might not be the perfect antidote for that garden variety stress.

Uh oh! Search your soul…No do overs but I guess you know there are ways to be a heartthrob to yourself. Perhaps you’re not lazy after all, or maybe it’s just that your good old brain is playing tricks!

My idea of a perfect laziness however means snacking on a couch, watching telly or solving cross puzzles. This might shock you but I discovered that laziness is what got me interested in being productive at the end; getting more done in less time and getting more time to relax.

Today taking a break feels rewarding to me. I find it ok to allow myself to be lazy occasionally; not because I am a big fan of being lazy, but because I want to be happy. Take a break and be a little lazy yourself if you cherish the same. Next time if someone accuses you of being a sloth, just tell yourself, “I believe he meant to say highly efficient”.

Image source: ‘3 Ways Having a Lazy Weekend Can Be Good for Your Health’ by Lexi Petronis in glamour.com on Ap. 26, 2013.

Shortcuts will cut you short

Most of us are usually bad at being ‘lazy’. And by that I mean not only the mindless distractions that occupies our space and attention; I’m talking about choosing to do nothing; rather prefer being idle. Much of the day we spend checking things off from our to-do list believing it to be of little consequence.

Hell no; this does help!

Our brains are hard wired to focus on things that we find both novel and threatening. Why else would you check news or social media every 10 minutes or worry over some stupid prickly e-mail that you received a week ago? If you are the one who would skip after-work drinks for some other night on the settee and stretch your evenings for a zero-guilt day, you probably are n every hawk’s live checklist every time you enter your Office.

But there is a downside to laziness too!

Getting stuck indoors could make things uncanny; even worse. You tend to get slave to running checklists, always worried about being productive, cramming more things-to-do in a day’s time and in bargain give up things that make you happy. Taking a walk or reading a book or hanging around with friends- you miss all. Unable to perk up your surroundings, no sweet talks with your flame! The squeeze is too hard to stay pumped up all day long. Sure, you are neck deep in weeds and all set to get a miserable heartache and a grumpy evening!

So, if a lazing mindset isn’t always the right choice why Danes and Finns are the happiest persons in the World? Why the chase of getting things done the right way, is no longer an infernal experience for them? Dare find them work shy! No…rather it’s the brilliance of a drifting mindset that makes you more creative and better at problem solving. This is when your focus rests and your brain puts pedal to the metal.

It’s massive! But your brain worries about the future 14 times more during spells of idleness or laziness, compared to being attentive to just one thing when you are kicking around. It literally occupies 48 percent of your bootless time mostly weighing your long term goals and intentions! Try remembering the last time you cooked up some creative idea or worthy solution! Chances are that it didn’t happen when you were hell-bent to finish things before upheaval happened. Instead genius in you may have touched the nerve softly when you have been taking a long shower or sitting on a park enjoying the surroundings.

When you laze and allow your brain to rest, you actually save on your mental pluck and get to expend it on more and more of right things. Hardly anything runs dry your mental strength than an anxious mind and the fear of missing out.

Best way to waylay it?

Just stop running wild, catch your breath, close doors to your mind and let it do nothing; no logic, no reasoning, no judgment- just plain Zero. Cool your heels till it tells you what it needs rather than what it cries for.

To begin with you could stop being obsessing over news; Go take a walk; watch some Netflix, listen Mozart or just soak yourself in a nice leisurely warm bath. It might just be the right thing for you to do. Be crazy to be lazy for once and you get to turn into more productive person than you would ever imagine.

Not long ago, like everybody else I too believed that success stems from hard work alone; but today I find myself rescued. I have reclaimed myself. It didn’t come to me from hard work. It’s rather the lazy way of doing things that have done sheer good to me.

The only difficult part is to see myself a sloth bear. From a rewarding guy to a disinclined and forgettable creep! To work with it instead of against it; sounds weird doesn’t it?

Yet I have triumphed! I have taken to the lazy way of doing things and I have prevailed!

How good will it work for you? Maybe a little; maybe not at all. May be you will get success working long hours and pummeling your nose in the grindstone. But would you prefer not to take the bite if you haven’t tried being lazy? How would you know that it doesn’t work even better? Take a shot, you might like it; even hit the bulls’ eye.

I get plenty of “me” time outside sleeping and dreaming

For the last few days, I kinda feel strange; weird perhaps. I don’t feel like doing anything;

Leave aside work and laze-off? Yes; Screw-around? Maybe.

It is the guilt of doing nothing that has set me up. I get mad at myself and mess with happiness. Easily it is the end of creativity after a day of laziness.

But not all is at it seems! Laziness tend to lie to us and if you think that that’s a problem, then you are bending it and being untruthful to yourself.

Laziness is irksome only because it slows down the time for us. It’s upsetting but it leads to a new insight. For me it works like an early warning system. It’s a sign that I am about to burn out for being overly worked.

The thought itself is horrific and isn’t really an accident!

Feature credits: ‘If you are a lazy person then Watch this’ by daily Motivation in You tube.com on Oct. 14, 2019.

This is when the need to endure kicks in. It tells me that I am a jerk if I don’t get my lazy bum into action, I might be destroying myself for good. Do I need to be on my knees any longer?

The other day I sat quietly and mused. I found myself comparing my present workdays to the ones at my last job. At first, it seemed like I was working a lot less with no 9-5 job.

I deep dived and realized that I had panicked for no reason. I had posted twice as many weblog stories, picked up couple of on-line courses, read three times as many books, network with 5x more people and presently writing a new story. Am I suffering from self-doubt! Am I scattered and seeing Ghosts! Bumbled or fumbled but in the end…I felt relieved.

It’s so weird how we suddenly dig up the advice we need at the exact moment we need it.! Interestingly, my brain’s anatomical connectivity no longer sympathizes with anything that leads to the idea of”I’m lazy”! It is riveted to the belief that ‘I am working when I am not working‘!

If I were you, I would rather fancy these vibes not as something cold and crippling but a queer sign of revolt from a worn-out body crying for a break.

When you notice the truth behind your laziness, it’s possible to take a lesson or two to your advantage. It took me years altogether to learn that we are at work when we are doing the dishes, having a shower or tidying up the garden. These idle chores help to connect our hardwired brain to rewarding tasks that are on our to-do list. In fact, when we laze, our body betters all inputs while everything else is on hold.

Laziness is perhaps one sin you need most to make a better sense of the world. Trust me, if your lack of laziness causes your impending meltdown, Gods are not coming to save you.

At first sight it may seem to banish us from living successfully or from thinking in any way well of ourselves. But at close quarters things look brighter and shining. If the point of ‘doing nothing’ is to clean up our heart of hearts wouldn’t it be right to get down to the business of lolling?

After all, the threat to our happiness lies not in our failure to be busy, but in our inability to be “lazy” enough. A heroically hardworking person isn’t necessarily the one, who sits in the business lounge of an International airport; it might be the person who gazes out of the window and occasionally writes down an idea or two on a piece of paper.

Do what you have to do for laziness is not a lie

If you have a smartphone, which obviously like everybody else you do, it’s most likely that you have often struggled with the idea of “shutting down” after work. As you sit idle or perhaps watch a movie or listen to a podcast; a voice at the back of your mind keeps telling you that instead of being lazy, you ought to be on your phone cleaning out the inbox or readying yourself for tomorrow’s meeting.

Image source: ‘Laziness leads to happiness’ in mashupcorner.com on Sep. 01, 2021.

Believe me, your inability to stop working, or even the inability to do so without guilt, harms your enterprise more than your resolve to stay upbeat. If you truly are a sworn work horse, then you need to learn how to be lazy for this is all about efficiency and none of us is inherently lazy.

In fact, the challenge to this frailty lies with the guilt that overrides it. There is so much happening around us every day, so many excitements, regrets, suggestions and emotions. Are we not letting the marrow of life escape us? Is there nothing smart enough to reign it in?

You need not dig deep to find the answer!

Whenever you get lazy and desire for an intensely-felt life clean of all ruckus, sit back and imagine that a deep part of you is hustling to cook-up a big thought. Make no haste; though you run the risk of being accused of gross laziness! Plan your laze interlude in advance. When you schedule it you would know the duration of your subconscious shame for having done nothing. Complete your errands beforehand and it will inwardly feel good.

Consider making a day of your indolence and get cracking instead of freaking out. Get lazy on a regular basis and you will find out why not falling shy of it makes a heap of difference. Your mind is all stoked and will help you get out of the weeds; fix the broken ideas and mend your missing control.

For a productivity guy, you’ve become a sloth bear. But what the heck… don’t fret. Simply prioritize, no overtime and you will get the most done in shortest possible time!

Laziness is your free wellness tool with zero guilt

Haven’t you heard less is more?

Image source: ‘It’s Good to Be Lazy’ by Atulhost in atulhost.com on May 26, 2019.

There is a creative side to all of us. When we are lazy we get plenty of time to toy and tinker within us. Getting cheered for being a busy-bee is a burden now. People do not want to hear about how busy your life is. Besides, you miss out on your friends. You are never in a mood to head out on a Saturday night or burn yourself a little on a weekend run.

Not that you are not left with enough time to rouse the clever and gifted person that you always were.

Simply side step for a moment and choose to be different for a while. You have just aced the art of living life the right way! And remember, if you howl and cry for long, are unable to keep the desk tidy, fail the assignments any other time than the night before the deadline or lament for having ruined so much time doing nothing; you could be the one with a giant IQ!

In fact being lazy is another way of being efficient.

I think lazy persons are onto something all the time! Go ahead, take that nap and shake off all the fears of going overboard. It’s better rather you chill with a cat than walk a dog.

You will always end up beaming!

And someday, your mind and body will thank you for it!!

“I will find sunshine myself”- The hidden upsides of revenge eating and beyond!!

Food alone won’t make you happy if you cannot live by yourself.

Generally the word ’healthy’ and ‘revenge food’ don’t share space together. A late night ‘Jack in the box’ run or a quick cheeseburger on a road trip, each could hurt you if you cannot stay away from super-sized value options or settle for anything that is fast and easy, only because you are hurt bad and are on a trip to avenge blindfolded!!

But whatever you figure out to straighten things up, do keep an eye out for a food with plenty of nutritional value. Revenge or otherwise, you would do well to love being a winner in anger!

A romance with retribution is always bittersweet. It drives crime unashamedly; statistics say, up to 20% of homicides and 60% of random fatal killings!! And what more it shapes politics too. Even President Trump’s rush to Oval was nothing short of ‘revenge of working class”; those who felt cheated and abandoned had set the choice as an unforgiving sentiment.

Many of us would believe that vengeance against who have wronged us, is the only right choice to even out and the best way to avenge. In the heat of the moment it might feel relieving. This in fact is a powerful all pervasive emotion to get angry and wanting to hurt somebody who has harmed you. Have no doubts; the urge to avenge is all spiraling, reckless and self-inflicting. But then there is yet another one reason to celebrate its onset.

Post break up of revenge bout, the resulting lack of appetite will leave you slim n gorgeous in no time!! Who said I don’t care! A fitter, hotter, healthier and stunning you could make even your ex regret the heartache he caused you.

Revenge diet is not only about being depressed and ignoring food, all because of a weak or failing appetite. It merely adds to your woes. Revenge can never be your driving force and can never lead to anything worthwhile. On the contrary, it would make you look pale, weak and wasted. But the other side of the dime would nudge you to move on and be the eager beaver you had always wanted to be. So, be the live wire and give yourself some credit if you are a belly watcher and following a crash diet. Just don’t let that other person get away with all the credits. Love the break in the clouds and swap your anger with a pirated but healthy diet. After all, a revengicidal you is at best a vengeful jihadi on a crash diet. If you are on little Caesars diet, the ‘positive’ side of a revenge diet will walk you to losing weight in style.

But remember if you have chosen squirrel‘s diet just to make your ex jealous or uncomfortable to those who annoy you, the spite might be short lived and end once you have moved on. Close on heels will be your diet plan that would just go for a toss. If revenge was the sole motive you may gain more than you have lost! So stay positive and shed those extra kilos just for yourself. Nothing matters to anybody, once you or they move on even if you look a lot sexier after having lost weight. So who are you losing your weight for? Who could be your better audience than you yourself?  Go for treks, cycle, do yoga or simply meditate. And you are on your way to a healthier, slim looks. Just make sure that once out for revenge, the romance with anger stays positive for you and diet itself remains healthy. Depressed people usually tend to lose interest in food and shed weight in an unhealthy way that messes the scale once out of revenge. So if you are out for revenge and wish to fume with anguish and anger in a useful way without getting mired in vindictive rations, try on these foodstuff and overcome your spiteful frenzy without hurting yourself. Some of these are better served cold. Here are 10 of them to cheer up with and enjoy while crushing your enemies, etc., etc.

The lies we tell ourselves about revenge food: It’s healthy, it’s delicious!

“You would never give your child a can of beer but you don’t think twice about giving them a can of soda.” Dr. Robert Lustig .

Forgive those who have wronged you for they say this is good for your overall wellbeing! Who’re you kidding? How could you move on tied to some good, old-fashioned, intricately plotted revenge, served ice cold? This reminds me –some of your favorite food is best served cold! From screamin’ Sicilian Pizza to Bessie’s Revenge Cheese to spaghetti Bolognese, and from gazpacho to an icy martini, each favorite awaits to be eaten with a chilly disposition. Remember eating exotic is never considered a funeral food.

Ice cream sandwich

This one calls for baking one giant cookie. Try hard not to forget your revenge when you bake a giant cookie. Nothing would be more thrilling than eating a giant cookie in front of those who’ve wronged you, and not offering them a bite. No morsel would be just brutal and befitting.

Cucumber Soup with Mint, Watercress, and Feta Cheese

Fuming and feeling hot under the collar? Try this soup and feel your anger piping down to find you cool as a cucumber in a jiffy. Your luv for Feta though has just turned a tight corner! This is certainly not a recipe for weight loss, though it looks like one.

Image source: ‘Chilled cucumber dill mint soup with feta and red onion’ by Chef Andreia in dontask4rsalt. com

Time for a Regina George truly evil badass moment!!

Olive Oil Ice cream

Wondering if this frozen dessert is any good! “If it tastes really awesome?’ The answer is yes. It tastes as good as the aftermath of retribution!! What won’t taste good though is if you also push some sautéed onions and garlic in it and try it in a chocolate dipped waffle cone, sprinkled with cinnamon dust.

For the fun of it maybe you could just let that thought marinate with you for a while. The mirthful satisfaction of avenging silently is so brazenly gratifying that your stormy mood will find peace even if it is short lived. Choose a light-bodied fruity olive oil over its heavy peppery cousin and you will fall in love with the olive oil gelato, Great flavor and texture!! You just afford to miss the works.

Raspberry and Aperol Floats

This frozen delight will make you shut out all the insanity and ills for a while. And so would Aperol, that Italian bitter aperitif with a vibrant orange hue made of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, among other things. But what if you took your first sip of what seemed like some great creamy vanilla ice cream float, and instead you get to jab a straw into a monstrous frozen orb of ice? Call it a disaster that would be the worst, correct; the absolute worst. This edgy creamsicle, bittersweetly balanced and boasting of a crown of coral foam, is somewhat akin to Campari but is less boozy. Try it, you may end up admiring it for all the things gone wrong here!

Ajoblanco

A popular Spanish cold soup made of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and sometimes vinegar and usually served with grapes or slices of melon is essentially a more delectable version of white gazpacho. Traditionally made with green grapes the recipe is brightened up by adding green apple. It however, does little to your soothe your stormy mood as you dig in.

Feature credit:’ Ajoblanco- Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe’ by Happy Foods Tube in youtube.com on Aug 31, 2013.

The velvety texture is what makes it luscious for slurping, and atrocious to clean out of your favorite shirt!!

Watermelon Gazpacho

It’s pretty hard to be pathetic and be in a woeful mood when eating this bright pink, creamy and sweet soup—but this dish is exactly the kind of recipe that you could try for a perfect revenge food!

Feature credits: ‘ Watermelon Gazpacho’ by Currytrail in you tube.com on Jun. 19, 2019.

Light and refreshing, Watermelon Gazpacho is healthy, low fat and very easy to digest, sweet and spicy in taste. Perfect as a cold summer soup, Gazpacho is much like its tomatoey version but has a blend of watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper and tomato.

When you rake up gazpacho regularly, this soup improves overnight as the flavors get a chance to blend. It’s perfect for a light meal on a hot day. You can easily make a large batch and enjoy it for days!

Potato Salad with Pickles and Dill

Image source: ‘Dill pickle potato salad’ by Sue in theeviewfromgreatisland.com .

Creamy and chunky, this potato salad with pickles and eggs, tossed with creamy dill dressing is a perfect side dish for your summer rush for revenge foods. This is one of those foods which could give you some inspiration for a perfectly delicious revenge diet. So simple yet dreamily cruel, this is a different and delicious take on a not-so-traditional potato salad. If you are a dill pickle lover, this is the right revenge salad for you. Swap out the mayonnaise for low-fat mayo when you want this salad to be full of crunchy, dill pickle goodness!

If you find it hard to eat, try inviting yourself to this not-so-delicious call. Hey, let’s just call it water under the bridge; let’s try some delicious potato salad!” in an apparent attempt to bury the hatchet all within you. The stellar tang of fresh dill, sweet celery and pungent red onions that beckons you is always a flavorful way to troll yourself with a pop of flavors!!

Cakes and bakes: There’s a sweeter way to avenge

And it’s not always sugar’s fault. Indulge in those beer and wine blended cupcakes or stuff yourself with custard filled tarts, take a trip to a bar to create your own unique combination of frosties or rush out to your vacations with pies that could travel in a jar!; you just couldn’t blame that little bright crystals of sweetness, each time you couldn’t pull off your revenge! Try passing on a sweet revenge on someone else then.

People say bizarrely mean things that could make anybody go really mad. And if you happen to be the fuming victim, it’s time for some of these so-called trolls to get a taste of their own medicine. So how does it work? Begin by tracking down the physical location of the offensive person via the IP address. Whip up a retaliatory mini cake with said comment decorated in icing or edible letters. Box it and send to the person who wrote the vile comment, with a copy of the comment taped to the inside of the box. Trust me, nothing feels better to identify the tweet that spoke ill of you and tried to trump you as being the most insane person and then slam it in your own unique way. It’s heartwarming to name and shame the guilty. The shaming mini-cake in fact works almost like having a little parachute of sanity. Your greatest satisfaction will be just how weirdly awkward and embarrassing it gets for the wrong-doer. It works in no less the same way as a sweet savory recipe!

Still not convinced!! If you cannot avenge then take revenge on yourself. Pretty Italian cakes for instance make for a delicious revenge diet. Try cassata—a traditional Sicilian cake that uses sponge cake, sweetened ricotta, chocolate bits and candied fruit draped with a bright green marzipan fondant. The taste however is rather acquired and could leave you crest fallen, hungry and utterly dismayed. Pared-down version that blends all the familiar flavors—ricotta, dark chocolate, pound cake, almond liqueur and candied orange, is a better choice though. Then you are welcome to try horde of other delights. From moist dark chocolate cakes with layers of buttercream icing to tarts with vanilla layers soaked in sour cream, coconut syrup and whipped icing all wrapped in fresh coconut; these devil foods are atrociously tasty and await to incriminate you.

Pico de gallo

Image source: ‘Pico De Gallo Salsa Recipe’ by Teri Gilson in foodmeanderings.com on Ap. 28, 2021.

Pico de gallo or salsa fresca or salsa cruda, is a typical Mexican cuisine. Traditionally made from chopped tomato, onion, and serrano peppers, with salt, lime juice, and cilantro, Pico de gallo is used in much the same way as other Mexican liquid salsas.

Traditionally made with in-season, ripe, juicy tomatoes, if you wish to draw the strings harder for your sins, pull it together using hard, flavorless “winter whites,” you’re just asking for a bland, lackluster salsa. And this is one dish nobody would ever wish on his or her worst enemies…or is it? Call it food regret, food challenge or food jealousy, vengeance is always more satisfying when exacted in an unexpected way at an unexpected time. Wish you some luck!

Sushi

Image source: ‘Top 5 Places for Sushi on International Sushi Day in Kolkata’ by Madhushree Basu Roy in eazydiner.com on Jun. 18, 2019.

Elegant arrangement, enhanced simplicity and ethereal beauty is what turns Sushi into a work of genius. The preparation, shape, presentation and taste though somewhat differs from place to place representing tradition and characteristics so inherent to the locality. What more, the drama unfolds right before your eyes by the chef, and the enchantment that follows is simply irresistible. Traditionally sushi was prepared as pickled fish preserved in vinegar but nowadays it contains rice and is prep with sushi vinegar served with a white radish thinly peeled to a sheet like thingy and then julienned into fine strips. Few restaurants prefer to serve string Daikon (white radish) sans its spicy tangy taste.

Is it rude? How could you possibly draw blood for your offence if it’s none other than you? And especially when you don’t want to eat rushing with other things! My advice? Don’t feel offended, dine out alone and make sure that sushi is served with chili- all cold. Weird combo of food would simply overpower your sushi rush and might just as well ruin the evening for food being wildly off-theme. What a crass way to avenge yourself! You eat a lot or you simply couldn’t. Just one of the few things I can think of!

Let happiness find you!

I have never really understood what is meant by saying ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold. Does it mean trying gazpacho? – a tomato soup that everyone likes hot, but is served chilled on purpose, to be a huge disappointment and a rude shocker; especially if you think you are a sensitive-toothed person.

And what about Revenge being sweet’? Is it a revenge-gazpacho that needs sugar and the tomatoes are unripe – but just a pinch. Maybe revenge should never be themed desserty; it’s confusing enough dish as it is. And finally there’s that saying, “Revenge is a kind of wild justice”, Uh-Oh! No food-references here! But you might try some cured salty pork and plate it as a hearty, chilled, salty refreshing revenge-gazpacho. That’s just perfect for your pay back moments. Of course, there are ways to turn your food into a good healthy diet that will bounce you back to freedom and lose weight happily! What do you care, if your revenge diet reeks of rebounds of sorts!

So sit back quietly, eat well, grieve if you must and carry on with losing flabs!!

Five reasons why your pursuit of happiness may be flawed and elusive!!

Find out what bedevils your quest and learn how to get that twinkle-toed happiness back in your life.

We humans are complex life forms in a beautiful way. Put us in an intimate, passionate relationship and that seductive crush gets all hyped-up. We reckon awareness and acceptance as thumb prints and adore the quest for happiness, better still; most desirable. Perhaps spending more time with our kinds, getting a more fulfilling and secure job, or even improving our health is the reason we consider happiness a worthy pursuit. After all, being happy feels good. But do we build our lives on that reasoning alone?

Feature credits:’ Happiness with nature’ by Vigorswitch in youtube.com on Aug. 26, 2020.

Deep inside, we all treasure a fascinating tale of lifestyle and feelings, raring to be heard and appreciated. In fact, looking for an opportunity to engage and be recognized for that distinct wharf of ours, nourishes and strengthens us or at times weakens breaks or crushes us. Perhaps maximizing happiness is the only reason, we chase it. Still perceptions bump and make it so easy for us to get sad or depressed.

You think of yourself as a frightful and appalling person

We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. You may wish for a better life; maybe much better of it. But it is not always perfect for you. Sufferings turn ugly once you mentally label them as a bad situation. The emotional trauma that follows cuts you off from the vigour of life. So, once you get mired neck deep in a miserly spot that sucks, your downhill spiral begins, howsoever much you shout to the World that you are perfect and the best.

This however, doesn’t mean that you throw your hands in the air and let that moment pass by when you could reach out and grab happiness. You can still be contented and happy. Just let go of that dreary thought of “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on. Accept yourself with utmost honesty the way you are and you will give others 10 reasons to envy you. Once the clouds of denial are gone, the magic of acceptance and contentment will unfold in your life. Just be the true rendition of self improvement and learn to love yourself.

You have sucked your soul out for long

I have a friend who never tires of talking and in most conversations he is the only one who seems to be interested in things he has to say. So, people tend to avoid his company and maybe he knows how uncomfortable sometimes it becomes. But I find him one happy person who has shaken himself awake and enthused his perspective from negative to positive outlook. Next day he could be found talking nineteen to the dozen in another gathering! I think he see the things in his life as a glass that is half full  rather than half empty, and never miss out on moments that tend to make him happy.

Happy or otherwise, we all have choice as to how we spend our live. It’s our perspective that does the picking. Nothing changes for us unless we decide to take pleasure from life and live every moment as a blessing. We all know that our moods are fleeting and their causes uncertain but we also appreciate that a life spent experiencing happiness, is in some ways a good life. The concern though, is not what happiness means to you, but instead why it eluded you and how to get it.

We tend to see happiness as inconsistent to sadness or depression, suggesting that being happy means few woes and fewer regrets. If we remain contented to see the things in our life as a glass that is half empty, rather than half full, we tend to miss out on the opportunities that may be present around us. Not accepting challenges and considering them as bad consequences would never let you grow out of your miseries.

 “Unhappy is he who depends on success to be happy,” Alex Dias Ribeiro.

As successful as you are or hope to be in your life and work, be sure that you will find happiness only in things that are deeply ordinary; enjoying a walk or a conversation with a loved one or plucking turnips and tomatoes from kitchen garden. For few who worship hard work or strive to outperform, this may sound like an admission of defeat. But accepting things as they happen and facing challenges head on makes you find meaning in them and move forward. So, get interested; it’s time you started living with gusto and made the most of today.

“Today is life– the only life you are sure of”.-Dale Carnegie.

You are yet to open up your mind and heart to life

Lately you have been torn up in your mind and heart. You have been questioning yourself quite uncomfortably. “Am I ill-mannered?”, “Do I always sound argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore others when in company?”

Lending ears to comments and criticisms and not treating them with rejoinders like, “Don’t exaggerate! That’s just the way I am!” opens up our minds and hearts for good. It’s not how much we have in us but how much we appreciate for having it with us, rules our general state of happiness. After all life is made up of some great experiences and is a gift in our hands to nimble-toe through. Trust me; it makes the best out of inevitable for us. Each day shapes us and helps us to grow and change. So, get along, chose to be happy and live through every moment of life with grace and gratitude.

You are evasive to your ‘present’

The desire to be happy is instinctive to human nature, though it flirts and fleets. Naturally evasive, happiness is not a bad thing any more than a wine is. Both bring fun and sweetness to life when positive events like winning a lottery, promotions or even something as little as a gift from someone close to your heart, ring sweet bells in your heart or goose bumps all over.

Like it or not, being “present” for every moment shapes happiness for you. Your present is the moment where all reality is. The past is gone, the future is yet to arrive and the present is passing by. So, focus on living in and celebrating the present to the full. Live every moment of life as a blessing and you will have the greatest opportunity to experience happiness.

“When we are present and still and our minds are open, we will find that happiness is our natural state.”-Dr. Robert Puff.

The world doesn’t fall apart, every time you get hit!!

While many for us would be relieved and happy to have survived the pandemic in 2021, for others the global scourge may have caused stress meltdown and severe sufferings. The world for them would have felt like it’s upside down—literally.

We all know that anguish is an inevitable consequence of being alive. But if minimizing distress can bring happiness, it gets important to get hold of your emotional health. At least, if you can’t control it, you will always have the control over how to guard it!

Everyone experiences situations gone wrong one time or the other, but not everyone treats it in the same way. Of course, feeling stressed out sucks. It leaves you with two choices—let it suffocate you or bring the change and rewrite a new story. Remember life is a rollercoaster ride and stress will happen. So, master your sanity and good sense to ride through it. Feeling overwhelmed already? It’s time you did some soul searching and refashioned your perspective. Here are five ways to know if you do overreact to all that happens around you and wouldn’t allow yourself to manage a happy disposition.

Happiness has many faces

Our past uncannily keeps us tied down in turmoil and sadness; we are wired like that. Negativity rules over us and at times it hurts, even when you get moments of happiness in between. No denying; if you experience it, you are hanging on to the grudges and resentment of the past and could not get rid of them. Or maybe you have come up against different kinds of happiness, which do not always go together. Having too much of happiness of one sort could spoil your ability to have enough space for other. For instance, you could be butting heads how to balance career and family all together and in turn could be equally unhappy in both lives. This could be significantly damaging to yourself and those around you.

Empathy is one buzzword though, that could help. As Sadhguru puts it, walk away from your past wiser, not wounded”. A dire need for approval in the past has left you vulnerable and your fragile self esteem is weighed down.  Your chances of experiencing happiness have vanished.  So, declutter your past conflicts. Stay motivated and enjoy the life to the fullest; no matter what happens-good or bad. Help yourself to grow and change and chose to be happy. Of course, you cannot forget or wipe out your gloomy past but those very crises best increase your chances of success in pursuit to happiness.

Happiness addict’ prefer being special over being successful

In short, keep moving with life and see it as a blessing than be damned. Enjoy it and have a whale of a time while you can. Unfortunate things happen sometimes, but so do some great things. Try not to react much to whatever is happening around you. Don’t grind yourself and be serious about how others sleep on it. You are just not being authentic or legit. Even to put on a show could ruin your chances to be happy. Live life like an adventure, Explore and plan it the way you want to. Sometimes you may even need to laugh at yourself.

Feature credits: ‘Relax with the beauty of nature’ by the Whole Happy Life in youtube.com on Mar.21,2020.

So smile as much as you can, laugh often, hang out with mates and above all just try not to be fussy or play ducks and drakes. Make the best of what you have and keep growing.

“Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive”-Elbert Hubbard

Five wonderful ways to make your life 10X happier and fulfilling!!

Image source: ‘5 Reasons Why Feeling Happy Depends on Your Viewpoint’ by Sally Stanleigh in bia.ca on Dec. 10, 2020.

That morning I woke up early. It was dark outside. The morning silence lay heavy. Crickets had stopped chirping and it was too early for the cock’s to cry out. Bleary eyed I peered closely at the bedside clock. It was 4.30 am. The weather already smelled of yet another hot summer day of May.

And then a fluttering noise startled me out of slumber! I propped up on the bed and strained to look for the source. There perching on the window sill and prancing around was my sweet little ‘angel’-cuckoo.

For a moment, I sat spellbound. It’s been almost a year since I last saw her in my courtyard frantically trying to troop in her two chicks, barely a month old; too agile to sit around, but too fragile to take care of themselves of their own. A flurry of thoughts woke me up nice and good. Outside the sky was beginning to pale as darkness slowly melted away.

Chores over, I sat in the veranda with a cup of tea in hand and wistfully gazed at the bird still perched atop the tree in the courtyard.

This time she was all alone!

Feature credits: Taryn Elliot in Pexels.com

Somehow she reminded me of my mom, hard gritty and courageous, always ready to face the world squarely. Vivid memories of life with her are as fresh as morning dew even today . She would often tell us that every man is a jack around you and won’t be in two minds to deluge you with advices on how to get the most of this world. But all this will be worthless if you do not respect your curiosity and give a patient listening to your gut instinct. Nine out of ten times people will laugh at you more to make you cringe with helplessness and feel small for it helps them to assume privileged and great. Simply put, these people cannot muster enough courage to get what they want out of life.

It’s only years later after she is gone that I realize what she had meant then . The moment you let others stop you from pursuing your dreams, is the moment to say goodbye to them. Wish I had given an earful to what else she had to say at that time.

Much like the bird on the tree , she raised her siblings and bid everybody farewell when the time came. Its only after so many years that I could share a few more facts of life with you I wish I had accepted sooner. Everything would have been so easy!!

I agreed to approve of myself the way I was!

Image source: ‘Want to Enjoy Life? Don’t ‘Do What Makes You Happy” by Wanda Thibodeaux in inc.com

Whenever we are in a dark space emotionally, we naturally pick up a fight with ourselves and damn us for not being in control of things. Everything seems to spiral out of control and the more we push ourselves to straighten things up, the worse they become. On the contrary, when we feel okay and alive and kicking, we are more inclined to accept ourselves and appreciate the wonderful little things that life has given us and how terrific our body rewards us.

This made me realize that being successful is not about getting it done all the time. Its about getting right things done. Its about doing less but better. For once, I decided to befriend myself and felt proud of my achievements, no matter how tiny they were .

Essentially my perception of doing right things the right way changed all by itself. I just worked hard on bettering myself.

From moron to self indulgent: I found the impunity comforting!

Whether it is taking a long bath, scheduling morning leisure walks, following a regular sleep pattern or something as trivial as putting on a face mask, shaving or trimming the beard, or even watching our favorite movie, anything that we do to look good and feel good puts us on the right path; so’s how she would counsel me often in quieter moments, though she was always quick to add that self care meant differently to different people. 

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

The point that I gathered, is that once we take some active time out for ourselves, our journey to a meaningful day begins right then and there from that very moment.

I figured out my boundaries!

When we draw our boundaries, we actually define our needs and what others around us expect from us. I took time off to do a bit of soul searching. I found my circle , enlivened it and realized that pouring too much energy into other’s affairs was not fixing things for me. It’s only then I figured out that I actually needed to love myself a bit more than the others.

Left with enough time and energy, I felt less resentful and angry with myself for situations gone awry and happier with what was left with me.

Thought sharing never felt so bewitching!

For me the folly of one track idea of thought sharing slowly changed hands from a deceitful obsession to a vent to pour out my disquiet. I realized that once I dropped my guards and stop bothering myself with revved up emotions, things began to smoothen out and happen the way I wanted them to happen in the first place.

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

Contemplating and doing nothing always weigh heavily on us. I raked up courage for once, voiced my thoughts strongly, stopped weathering and revealed myself. Amazingly life thereafter took a turn from inept to pleasant and fulfilling. Talking about what is bothering or upsetting you always vents your repressed emotions, soothes your stretched nerves and leaves more space to do better things.

I learned to talk turkey and bump heads

When replying to text messages, attending calls, meeting friends and family and buzzing through social media does not feel like a huge task, its time to ring the bells. This is one tell tale sign that your mental space has convalesced for good. So, if you do not cancel plans last minute and actually enjoy being in touch with friends, you are definitely over the fence and no longer a fly in the ointment! Stay connected and feel that dismay no longer rattling you. Awesome miracles will begin to change your day.

Remember it is you who alone can decide who you are not once but every time with every action that you take, every principle you value and every rule you follow.” 

Feature credits: ‘iStock’ by Getty images.

I must have dozed off for sure for I woke up with a start! Somebody had rung the doorbell. The empty cup lay beside the chair. The sun had climbed over the horizon and the day was warming up. Instinctively, I looked out for the little bird. She was gone like a summer breeze; may be never to be seen again.

Days later as I pen these lines, I envy that little songbird. Her resolute flight from nowhere to my courtyard had unnerved me for a while. and reminded me of purposefulness and determination that I had vowed to myself but over the time had pushed into a corner. It reminisced me of all that I learned from Maa while trudging along the way holding her hands swaying from side to side as I grew up.

It gave me a cue to do a bit of soul searching and brawn to rewrite what had begun to fade out. I am also now wary of the pride that comes before the fall.

Thank you from my soul maa #The Mothers Day, for bearing me, rearing me and helping me to grow up to be the one I am now!!

He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.  –J.K. Rowling

10 incredibly delicious guilt free street foods that fetch a slice of heaven to your plate and are a joy to enjoy!!

It’s no longer simply food and drink sold in a public place, market or street! From a full time vegan to a diehard steak lover whatever you choose, you could find a whole range of eats that is full of good stuff and savory surprises- all natural with no added this, no added that.

All from a humble street side Hakka noodles loaded with crunchy veggies to Bad Brownies and Other Side fried chicken burgers to Truffle meatless burgers, the street foods never aced better and bigger.

It’s good to be Happy, Healthy and Hungry!

Fine! So you have decided to live a healthier lifestyle and gradually changing your ways- going to gym every other day and making healthy meal for yourself. You are determined to hold on to this change as long as possible and not think of it as a mere fad. But then sometimes not everything works out the way you want to. You may have chosen to eat at home rather than dine out with friends but then a situation has arisen and you couldn’t make it either way. You had always wanted to be sure of what you eat. You feel that you have had enough of recipes from internet and would want to try something new and exciting. And guess what!  Street side eateries come for your rescue. Appropriate to the kind of lifestyle you have chosen for yourself, you would want a taste of spices and flavors and meals without any guilt pangs. Street foods offer you choices straight from an epicurean paradise that are satiating and are actually healthy.

Feature credits:’13 Desserts from Around the World! | Popular Desserts and Frozen Sweets’ by So Yummy in youtube.com on Ap.27, 2019.

From mouth watering vegan Indian and Thai street foods, to Jamaican Jerks and American burgers, the recipe roll is enormous and sure could give you an unforgettable taste of spices, herbs and flavors. There are plenty of vegan low-calorie, keto, gluten-free street food dinners, as well as side dishes and snacks. Whether you’re vegan, plant-based or just trying to cut down on meat, street foods are just for you! From vegan burgers, hot dogs to a vegan lobster roll, the mildly seasoned, delicately spiced street foods are quick, easy and burst with flavors once in your mouth.

You can begin your gourmet journey by trying these ten tastiest street foods that are vegan, plant based and health some.

Tofu with spicy garlic prune sauce

Image source: ‘Asian tofu hashtag ‘ on twitter by Veg vegan meat on Jul 20, 2020.

A perfect vegan alternative to BBQ, the pan-fried Asian Tofu with spicy garlic sauce is quick, easy and packed with flavor! It’s a great midday eat and tastes heavens when paired with a Chinese sauce that’s sweet, spicy, salty and savory, all at the same time. Tofu is a great source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids, iron and calcium…so great for your bones, teeth and blood. It is marinated in sweet spicy garlic sauce and once it has soaked up the sauce, then pan fried till crispy on the outside and soft inside. Prune juice gives a deep caramelly sweetness and works as marinade. Perfect with rice and stir fried green, it tastes exquisite.

Lentil Fritters

Image source: ‘Recipes from around the world: Bhajias (Lentil Fritters)’ by Ben Hinson in recipesaroundtheworld.com on Jam. 23, 2016.

Tasty and delicious these vegan version of Takoyaki balls,  are soft, deep fried fritters made out of split green gram flour and topped with spicy green mint chutney and shredded radish, melt in your mouth with a spicy, tangy aftertaste.  A sprinkle of some lemon juice and this combo will leave you wanting more. Insanely crispy and crunchy these fried lentil (dal) fritters make for a mouthwatering savory snack. Tamarind chutney evens out the spiciness of green chutney and pungency of radish. So don’t forget to have it added to your plate.

Vegan Corn Dogs

Image source: ‘Vegan Corn Dogs’ in vegannook.com.

These vegan corn dogs have no sausages or imitation soy meat in them. Covered in a maize-flour batter, fried and then served on a stick these gluten free corn dogs use a meat-free hot dog, or if you prefer-a roasted carrot. Yet another healthy version of two classic street foods, cornbread and vegan hot dogs, pair in to create the ultimate fun food you would love to eat and feel good. Soft, fluffy corn bread and delicious hotdogs make for a satisfying snack or side for your next nosh rush! 

Vegan Korean Cauliflower Wings

Feature credits: ‘Korean Fried Cauliflower’ by Jeramie Go in youtube.com on Ap.5, 2021.

Korean-style cauliflower wings, battered and drenched in a spicy, tangy glaze gochujang maple glaze and baked until caramelized, could make you forget the mushy vegetable that finds it way so often to your platter at home. You could have mock chicken version to make it vegan but cauliflower is a finger-licking good substitute for meat. Once baked or roasted, it gets a meat like texture that’s really enjoyable. This dish is also a visual treat, thanks to the vibrant red pepper sauce and cooling cucumber yogurt dip.

Sweet Potato

Image source: ‘Double Baked Sweet Potatoes ‘ in macheesmo.com on Sep.25, 2019.

Steamed or roasted and cubed this tuber when served hot with a generous sprinkle of chaat masala( snack spice) a dash of lime and a bit of star fruit for that extra tang, works as a high energy booster and is one good relief for those who go-to-street snack everyday and those who worry about the belly before the bite.

This popular tangy and savory street food is a guilt-free alternative to fried foods. Lengths of tubers are roasted on embers and then the smoky cubes are tossed in a special blend of ‘spices’ and tamarind chutney.

Interestingly, this sweet tasting root vegetable is now a millennial food obsession. Just one serving of this roasted potato could deliver a whopping 400% of daily vitamin A quota; essential for both eye and cardiac health. What more… despite its starchy rep, sweet potato is the new diabetic super food, thanks to its low-glycemic index .

Momos

Images source: ‘ Friends Of Pho In Kolkata Makes Colourful, Highly Exotic Dimsums That You Won’t Find Elsewhere’ by Suchismita Pal in curlytales.com

When it comes to street food, how could anyone miss out on such an essential dish? It’s surprising how something so small can be so filling! Momos are so exquisite that this food has turned synonymous with students to shoppers, to corporate workers. As street food banter goes, you won’t find a better hot steamed goodness that knocks up different versions all the time. From fried to tandoori and chicken to paneer, you get all kinds to satiate your craving for a hot plate of delicious food.

Pretty easy to make vegan; ask for those with veggies inside, or a mock-meat if you’re looking for a recreated meat dumpling. Served alongside some vegan-friendly soy sauce this is one go to dish for brunches and afternoon grub rush!

Som tam ( Papaya Salad)

Image source: ‘Supatra’s Green Papaya Salad Recipe (Som Tam Thai)’ in templeofthai.com.

A delicious Thai salad, Som Tam is a green papaya salad that combines all four tastes – sour, chili, sweet and salty. A healthy and tasty treat for brunch, lunch or a casual light dinner, this dish is all about sliced sour fruits, veggies like green papaya and tomatoes and other ingredients as lime, palm sugar, chili, garlic, dried shrimps, fried peanuts etc. which are all pounded together in a mortar and unleash an explosive blend of flavors once in your mouth. Yard-long beans, hog plums, eggplant, and the dish’s star ingredient unripe, shredded green papaya, all combine to create a celebration of contrasting flavors and textures. Delivering carotenoids three times the amount of tomatoes and carrots, this dish, lowers the risk of macular degeneration, is anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor and effectively lowers cholesterol levels.

Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)

Image source: ‘Beyond Phở : 5 Other Irresistible Vietnamese Noodle Soups’ by Viet Doan in delishably.com on Feb. 6, 2020.

If you have no more 20 minutes for a quick bite, your best bet lies with this ‘bowl of medicine’. Experience the magic of this noodle soup where broth is everything.  It’s light  full of flavor, deceptively beefy, savory, complex, has a delicate richness and is filled with a dense aroma of spices like cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. The fragrant broth is fortified with vermicelli rice noodles, strips of lean beef or chicken or mock meat, crunchy bean sprouts, and topped with heaps of greens like basil and coriander. The soup is utterly addictive and every spoonful leaves you wanting more! A storehouse of essential amino acids and minerals, this is one wholesome dish that is anti inflammatory and helps in building up a healthy gut.

Jamaican jerk tofu skewers (vegan)

Feature credits: ‘Sweet & Spicy Jamaican Jerk Tofu Rice Bowls’ by Tasty in youtube.com on Jan.7,2020.

Experience the tropical flavors of the Caribbean with spicy, flavorsome jerk seasoned and fruity, sausage-laden skewers served with rich and creamy coconut rice, if you fancy food that doesn’t have meat, but is a brilliant alternative that can satisfy your taste buds. This street food isn’t really about heat- it’s about creating a delicious combination of organic vegetables and eye smarting spices. Allspice, cinnamon, thyme, onion and garlic all come together to make a tasty yet easy marinade for the tofu. With tossed veggies on the side, these skewers taste great and are ready in 15 minutes flat. Grilled on the barbecue, grill pan, pan fry or bake, this easy vegan dish is a great way to your round off your snacking rush!

From Chops to Chows: The delicious fun comes wrapped in health and happiness!

Are you on a diet regimen?  Or maybe you are a buff person! Whatever…your bid to have a flavorsome, exciting and healthier lifestyle should not be foiled just because you could binge on the limited food options available for you? You should be creative enough to come up with healthier menus, and street foods are an excellent option for you. There are a lot of healthy street foods which you can try and which won’t wreck your fitness when you bite into them. Think about this next time you rush out of your home without a scrumptious breakfast, or your Office when you have no more than 20 minutes for a quick grub for lunch or your college when your canteen menu despairs you. For sure, you’ll be able to find more dishes on the street that fit to your healthy lifestyle!

Sounds strange?  But trust me, this food works! Just dig into an inspired salad or side and experience layers of delight and happiness on your plate!!

These diet friendly low calorie vegan curries could bring singing flavors and layers of happiness to your plate!!

If you are wondering how to bring zing to your plate in 20 minutes with something that is thick and flavorful, is packed full of goodness and is free of heavy animal products, delicious vegan curries could be the right choice for tonight’s menu. If you’re counting on calories, these guilt-free curries all come under 400 calories and still pack flavors. So put down that take-away menu and try one of these low-calorie protein rich curries instead. Vegetarian and low on spice these incredible curries will leave you bewitched!!

It’s hard to believe but curries could actually be good for your wellbeing. From easing arthritis to protecting from Alzheimer, the list is surprisingly overwhelming. If you look at the medicinal effects of spices that go into curry making; turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamom, ginger, garlic and capsicum all are fired with strong anti-bacterial properties. Working as good preservatives garlic, cinnamon and cumin could even get rid of 80 percent of meat borne bacteria while ginger slows down bacterial growth by as much as 25 percent.

So what’s there that make vegan curries so good when it comes to minding your health. Why are these respected as an all time pepped up feast that never falls flat?

Let’s find out;

Ginger

One of the main ingredients in a lip smacking vegan curry, ginger contains antioxidant zingerone that reacts with radicals which cause tissue damage and joint inflammation, Works well to relieve the arthritis pain! The other two antioxidants viz. gingerol and shogaol are traditional cold remedies and works best when consumed as raw ginger extract.

Curcumin

This is  a primary active compound of turmeric found in curry powders, and often used neat, it slows down the plaque formation in the brain, the primary cause of Alzheimer. Strong on anti inflammatory properties it pairs well with GI tract, guards against heart attacks and prevents cancer of the colon.

Onions

Onions contain an agent called diallyl sulfide that encourages the body to make more of the cancer-fighting molecule glutathione-S-transferase. These enzymes work to detoxify the harmful stomach bacteria and promote digestion.

Garlic

Besides helping in lowering cholesterol, garlic also contains a potent anti-cancer agent called Allicin that shields stomach from cancer by pushing the production of protective enzymes.

Cumin

Cumin contains phytochemicals that combine with vitamins and other nutrients in food to prevent cancer and heart ailments by blocking various metabolic pathways. Caravel and Limonene, two major anti carcinogen agents retard the growth of prostate cancer.

Allspice

Allspice also known as Kabab Chinni is a berry-based spice used in a lot of Indian cooking and contains eugenol, an antioxidant that builds up trypsin a digestive enzyme and so are all friends to GI tract.

Capsicum

Capsicum the main phytochemical found in red peppers is an anti inflammatory agent  which helps reduce cholesterol formation and also a major constituent in topical formulations for arthritis relief. Eating it raw though doesn’t always work the same way.

Cardamom

A strong antiseptic and antimicrobial spice, cardamom comes in seeds, is a mild aphrodisiac and helps in soothing an irritable intestinal tract.

Coriander

Considered a strong anti-inflammatory agent this spice is capable of reducing symptoms of inflammatory GI tract diseases.

These one-pot curries know how to pep up your menu!

More often coming in bright golden hue and complex flavors, curry is an amazing choice for so many reasons. It warms you up, make you feel full and adds some zing to your plate. And there is a bonus too! It’s quite healthy and wholesome. Scoring big over Paleo recipes, curries could probably win you over if vegan diets become more your thing. Yep, there are whole lots of plant based curries that are easy to make and quickly leave the cooker. Just one pot or pan and flat 30 minutes could whip up flavors that may leave you looking for more!

If the thought of ethnic food stirs you up and if the idea of stepping out of the box no longer intimidates you; its time you tried a perfect Indian curry dish. If you have experienced Indian food, you know just how delicious a vegetarian dish could be! If you haven’t, curry is the perfect recipe to start with at home. Yeah!  And if you do Meatless Mondays, this could work up a terrific fare. It is so healthy and there are so many vegetarian variations you could do with it; just about any veggie works well.

Here are 12 crazy delicious vegan curries to tickle your fancy and tempt you to fix some space for one of these on tonight’s dinner table !

Red Lentil ( Masoor dal) Curry

Image source: ‘Healthy Low-Sodium Red Lentil Curry’ by Susan Edelman in onegreenplanet.org.

No one wants to spend the evening washing a pile of dirty dishes. No worries!! You can cook this curry in only one pot. Even better, you can have this flavorful curry on the table in less than 30 minutes.  I can’t think of a better way to eat dinner than this quick, healthy, and delicious one-pot curried lentil recipe!

With 126 calories per serving of 1 cup (100 grams), this curry has 6.2grams of protein, 4.2 grams of fats, 416 mg. of sodium, 15.9grams of carbs, vitamin A and C, fatty acids, amino acids, 28 mg calcium and 1.9 mg of iron.

Pigeon pea Curry

Image source: Cumin-Scented Pigeon Peas with Mango (Mango Curry with Toor Dal)’ in tastespace.wordpress.com on April 21, 2012.

Pigeon pea( Dal in Hindi)  is easily known and referred to as split pulse (lentils, beans or peas). This curry bets on yellow peas, blending alongside the flavors of cumin, mustard, onion, chilies and fresh ginger. A brilliant go-to dinner recipe on lazy, gray days, this curry is cheap, healthy, flavorful and heavy on protein and goes easy on fat. Complete with exotic flavors a bowl of this warm filling curry tastes amazing and is good enough to become your daily staple food. Each 100 grams serving contains 3.3 grams of fat, 16.9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 6.9 grams of protein, < 0.1 gram of salt and 439 mg of potassium. What more could you ask for?

Coconut Quinoa curry

Image source: ‘Vegetarian Green Coconut Curry with Quinoa’ by Kristen Stevens in foodandwine.com in Feb. 2014.

This recipe requires one pot only; your slow cooker. Just pitch in some sweet potatoes, broccoli, quinoa, chickpeas and coconut milk into your slow cooker along with some spices, and turn it on. Flat 30 minutes active time in kitchen and a delicious aromatic treat is ready!. Each 100 gram serve carries 140 calories, 4.00 grams of proteins, 5.70 grams of fat, 14.40 grams of carbs, 2.50 grams of fiber besides 2.90 grams of sugar and zero cholesterol.

Curried Quinoa with Butternut squash and Chickpeas

Image source: ‘Squash, Spinach & Chickpea Curry with Turmeric Blend’ by Lisa Turner in cleaneatingmag.com.

Butternut squash is a hearty and super healthy way to add some oomph to plant-based recipes like this one. It’s a perfect 25 minute star dish for weeknight dinner and great for getting rid of any veggies hanging around your fridge. Once done garnish the dish with fresh parsley and you’re good to go. Try this curry with rice and naan, though brown rice particularly tastes good with this curry. Each portion (245 grams serves 4) carries 236 calories, 36.5 grams of carb, 6.5 grams of protein, 8.2 grams of fat, 105 mg of calcium and 3 mg of iron besides 602 mg of sodium and 683 mg of potassium.

Coconut Chickpea curry

Image source: ‘Easy Chickpea Coconut curry soup’ in cearaskitchen.com on Jan.24, 2018.

This curry is one healthy source of fat that could leave you feeling full and satisfied. Throw in some chickpeas, coconut milk and fresh veggies and you’ve got a super healthy meal to tide you over. If you are searching for a curry recipe that is heavy on proteins but light on the heat – look no further. Each 100 gram serves 148 calories and brags of 6 grams of fat, 17.6 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, 3.3mg of iron, vitamin A and C and 51 mg of calcium.

Spicy Chickpea -Cauliflower Tandoori

Image source: ‘Spicy Chickpea and Cauliflower Tandoori’ by LiveKindly in livekindly.co.

If you are a protein buff then a bowl of this savory curry could be the right choice for you. Easy and colorful this recipe contains a whopping 23 grams of protein per portion. It’s also got heaps of fiber and serves you yummy nutrients. Drop in a pinch of asafetida and bit of dried chili to push the flavors without burning your taste buds off.  ‘Are you sacred of chilies? Not always hot, capsaicinoids in chilies add great flavors, work as metabolic enhancer and are rich in vitamin- A & C and minerals like iron  potassium. And what’s not to love about this devilish fruit that pips in anti oxidant stuff too?

Thick and flavorful, this recipe packs in enormous goodness and could leave you a lot happier and contented.

Thai Noodle Curry

Image source: ‘Spicy Vegan Thai Curry Noodle Soup’ by Jalisha in eatingveganwithme.com.

This curry is more like a cross between a Thai curry dish and a Thai noodle dish. Rice noodles, red curry paste and coconut milk all come together to stir up a deliciously creamy noodle bowl; and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes! If you’re looking for a protein to pair with this then Thai Coconut curry tofu would blend perfectly with it.  Naturally vegan, gluten free, creamy and packed with veggies, coconut milk and spices in this curry turn it into a gleeful warming family meal. Loving the sound of that? I ‘m sure your guests will too! Nutrition wise, it fares evenly. Each 100 grams serves 58 calories, 1.50 grams of protein, 10.70 grams of carbs, 0.60 gram of fat, zero cholesterol, vitamins and minerals that include essentials like iodine, zinc, potassium, sodium and calcium.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry

Image source: ‘Sweet potato, Chickpea and Spinach Jalfrezi curry’ in supervalu.ie.

If you think that vegan food equals bland food, then this curry will prove you all wrong and it‘s so simple to make! Low on fat and calories, this one-pot curry is full of sunshine flavors and could make you long for more. With all the goodness of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, and coconut milk, it is seasoned with Indian spices like garam masala, turmeric, cumin and dried chilies and cooked into a creamy, rich, fragrant and hot treat in under 30 minutes. It’s mild enough for the kids to enjoy, but still packs a punch! Each one bowl serve (245 grams) packs 293 calories, 5.1 grams of protein, 22.3 grams of fat and 515 mg of sodium.

Chana( Garbanzo bean) Masala Curry

Image source: ‘Super Easy Chole Masala / Chana Masala recipe’ by Bharat Wadhwa in bharatzkitchen.com.

Authentic Chana masala curry is typically made with grounded whole spices and dried mango powder. These are cooked in some oil to bring out the best of flavor and fragrance. Garam masala options are the traditional ones and you could actually experience a delightful sensory overload. Blended mix of coriander, cumin, cardamom (green and black), cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and other spices lends an unforgettable tone and turn the curry into a quality bite in under 30 minutes. If you are looking for shortcut to a rich, long simmered flavor, use whole tomatoes crushed in the curry. Diced tomatoes give more chunky results. And what more! If you add some baby spinach, your dinner bowl turns all colorful and nutritious!

Nutrition wise, a 245 grams one bowl portion (serves 4) carries 443 calories, 12.1 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbohydrate, 15.2 grams of protein , 65 mg of sodium, vitamin A, B , E , K1 and C, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium and host of other nutrients.

Citrus Pumpkin Curry

Image source: ‘Tangy Tamarind Pumpkin Curry Recipe’ by Pooja Thakur in archanaskitchen.com on Nov.7, 2016.

If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, you probably have figured out by now that the pumpkin spice fetish is these days bigger than ever. 

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash (like acorn and butternut) and a part of the gourd family and the Indian way of cooking it leaves a mesmerizing tingling aftertaste.

A unique gluten free curry it combines the sweetness of the winter squash with the savory-spiced flavor of curry. it is an enchanting display of bright colors – orange, yellow, and red – infused with citrus accents which are a due change from potatoes and chickpeas. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious and offers a unique blend of veggies -both sweet and savory.

Pumpkin curry in fact is a warming match appropriate for the crisp days when pumpkins and other winter squashes come to harvest. It is best cooked until just tender but not mushy. Baking and braising (or sautéed until lightly browned) are the best ways to cook it.

The nutrition profile of pumpkin is pretty stately too .  It’s packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals—including more potassium than a medium banana! One-cup serving of pumpkin curry has 50 calories, 2 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber,  vitamins and includes minerals like potassium, zinc and phosphorus. The show grabber though, are the carotenoid compounds that give the pumpkin its bright orange color. One of these- the anti oxidant beta carotene- potentially reduces risk to quite a few major diseases.

Mushroom Matar ( Pea)  Masala

Image source: ‘Restaurant Style Matar Mushroom Masala’ by Neetu Suresh in cookpad.com .

Mushrooms bring different texture and earthy flavor to this vegan, gluten free, soy free Indian curry where they pair well with peas and make a rather unbeatable combination that is hearty and healthy. You could make the sauce even creamier by adding cashew nut paste and tangier with more tomatoes. A dash of spinach makes it a satisfying flavorful meal that is up for grabs in flat 20 minutes . Pumpkin seeds, silken tofu or plain unsweetened yoghurt could make it even more delicious. One cup serve (230 grams) carries 156 calories, 9.4 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and vitamin A and C, calcium and iron in significant amounts.

Red Kidney bean curry

Image source: ‘ Red kidney bean, chili & ginger curry’ in taste.com.au.

Imagine buttery soft kidney beans simmering in a curry base flecked with lightly caramelized onion and garlic with rich coriander and tomato aroma assaulting your senses!! This curry is perfect served with fragrant basmati rice garnished with cilantro and minced red onion. You could add a bit of mint for that extra freshness. Blending spiced tomato sauce with fresh coriander turns the dish a beautiful bright red orange color. This curry tastes heavenly when freshly grounded black pepper in it, builds up as you eat. Nutrition wise, each 100 gram serve carries130 calories and contains 14 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 410 mg sodium, vitamin  A (2%)and C ( 6%) and calcium and iron ( 8% each).

If only there was a better way to eat for your well being!

Not many meat lovers find meat curries healthy either. Kormas and pasandas (a popular meat dish from the Indian subcontinent) for instance though delectable contain frightening amounts of cream. The average chicken tikka masala contains about 1,500 calories. Dishes such as rogan josh, madras curry, jalfrezi and sags (with spinach) are no less creamy but make it to the plate for carrying just as many healthy spices.

This leaves the least fattening combination of one of these vegan curries with steamed and lightly garnished rice, or anything oven baked (tandori) coated in yoghurt and spices but not fried.

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art

Yeah, you have heard this before! For many of us the insufficiency of a vegetarian diet and hazards of non veg foods is both in a way accurate and inaccurate at the same time. Besides the verdict varies  between us. If you think that ditching meat or switching to some other source means you will automatically land up with equal or better source of nutrition, then you are off target.

That ethical take on vegan vs non- veg issue aside, if you were to swear off the meat and animal products, would that mean a ‘magical’ weight loss and a healthy you? Certainly not. Very few of us get to choose between vegan, vegetarian / non vegetarian way of food habits. Everyone in fact just keeps eating what their family chose for them since childhood.

So, it’s for you to choose between fried meaty treats and healthy delicious plant based foods. You could always brush aside that buzz over taste, smell and texture and dig in what you like most. After all healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. But you would do well if you sleep on this; if your co worker is noshing heavy meat burgers and fries every day, is he or she likely to be healthier than you?

And don’t forget….we become what we eat.!!

These awfully adverted rude foods have actually brought the fun back into snacking!!

Rude foods are finally bringing the fun back into snacking. Organically produced muesli and porridges packed full of tasty fruity bits and extra textures are jostling and finding space in daily breakfast tray, disproving the cynics who thought that such cereals were boring.

Weirdness is all sweet and savory

We all love deliciousness of certain words. These are the words that bring everyday food to life. Even something as modest as a chocolate could make you salivate when dressed with warm adjectives like rich, thick, gooey, creamy, silky or frothy. Appetizing words like simmering, browned, roasted, spice tempt you to try out a newer recipe each time you visit a non-descript out of  the way café with equally tempting offerings.

The cake fluffy as a pillow, toasty brown bedecked with plum colored cream swirls, looks like a homespun triumph. The cream of mushroom is all butter laden cognac kissed charm. Succulent and plump shrimp sautéed with chili flakes and served with salad of oyster mushroom, cucumber and corns, all fresh, vibrant and crunchy, is just spicy enough to make you sit upright.

More lightweight than a brittle these are the foods that work wonders over a cup of coffee. If you could soak all day in these awesome foods, then what is this ‘double entendre ‘all about? 

May be it’s about a  food—even the one you normally like—that can be described in a way that totally robs the joy of eating it.Yucks!! this food’s worth a second tasteyou would describe a tomato if you don’t agree that a good tomato is ripe, sweet and juicy. Slimy, jellylike substance around the seeds, thin skin and grainy pulp” would keep you at bay from even a salad staple. And it sure wouldn’t inspire anybody to rush out to a nearest oyster bar and stay calm when faced with a plateful of barnacled, irregular and slimy oysters on your table. Aesthetics of devouring shellfish would give way to horror in no time and you will never manage to extract oysters from their watery home! 

Food that we consider inappropriate for consumption is usually a sell-short version of undercooked, overcooked, burned or mystery portion in an old margarine tub at the back of the fridge; lamenting veggies weeping at the bottom of the crisper or the leftover of greyish congealed gravy with fur and fuzz sprouting from things. The kind of stuff nobody would want to or ever should eat. Adjectives like grisly, withered, rubbery, curdled and moldy perfectly make for a food that is beyond its prime. This is what plainugly’ food is all about.

But have you wondered that what the French consider delectable- snails in a sizzling garlic sauce– may well be another culture’s nightmare?

But what happens when a flavorsome food is named weirdly?

From coddled eggs to Witchetty grub, it’s not unlikely that the weirdness of names themselves would keep even the most enterprising foodies at arm’s length. For one coddler is a porcelain cup with a lid and none would dream of eating pottery and anything ‘ witchy’ sounds downright dangerous and equally distasteful.

But the fact of the matter is that weirdest foods are not always that weird. Coddled eggs are in fact lightly steamed or baked (in hot water bath) rendering only the whites to be slightly cooked. Likewise Witchetty grub is the larva of a moth that feeds on wild bush called by the same name. Packed with proteins it can be eaten raw or soft cooked and tastes like scrambled egg and for some it even reminds of chicken.

So why not call them by the name everybody is familiar with ? Why not just use words like “sausage” instead of “mystery meat”? For a few it could be for fun’s sake but for most it’s akin to putting punch back into the very act of snacking.

Here are some of the freak foods that are ubiquitous and grossest at the same time. Known passionately and devoured eagerly, these dishes are not entirely inaccurately regarded as ‘mystery foodsand often carry even weirder ingredients.

Bubble & squeak

Image source: ‘Classic British Bubble And Squeak’ by Decatur MacPherson in 12tomatoes.com

If you think that this food hails of something close to a living creature that bubbles and perhaps squeaks when served on your platter, then you couldn’t be more far from truth. This food has origins in Great Britain and actually contains leftover fried veggies. Loved as a side dish to morning breakfast, it’s meant to sound awful because the dish made from cooked potatoes and cabbage when mixed together and fried literally bubbles and squeaks while over the fire.

The Imam Bayildi (literally Imam fainted)

Image source: ‘IMAM BAYILDI (A stuffed eggplant recipe from Asia minor)’ by Evelynathens in food.com

Now this one is far weirder and you couldn’t possibly have the slightest idea of what could there be in the dish. It’s actually a recipe from the Turkish cuisine and is generally made from whole eggplant, garlic and tomatoes and simmered in olive oil. Imam bayildi could also be made from baked tender aubergines with aromatic tomato and onion stuffing. Legend has it that it was so delectable that it made even the Imam faint with pleasure at the delicious flavor of this dish.

Bat Milk yogurt

Image source: ‘The 20 Most Inappropriate Food Product Names Ever’ by William Lewis on Jan 29, 2015 in top13.net

This weird brand of yogurt made from cow’s milk comes from Brazil and certainly has nothing to do with bats. From a Brazilian brand Batavo, this yoghurt created a fusion of two words by combining a Portuguese word, “batter“, with the English word, “milk” hence creating one of the offensive words, “BatMilk.” Even then who would want to have BatMilk ?

Only Puke crackers

Image source: ’31 Truly Unfortunate Food Product Names’ by Jessica Misener in buzzfeed.com on Sep 30, 2013

Words often mean different things in different languages, as this awfully adverted food proves. This Chinese snack is actually known as Only Pukeet and is oddly named because the last two letters on the bag were horrible prints making them virtually invisible. These honey bean crackers remind people of vomit and couldn’t possibly really make you want to eat them either.

Century eggs

Image source: ‘Century Eggs with Mala Chili Sauce’ by Lady Home Chef in ladyhomechef.blogspot.com on April 27, 2017

There is no way you could even dream of eating a 100 year old egg. But when you do eat, you are actually eating an older, rotten, black version. This recipe calls for eggs being preserved in clay and ash for few months. Once ready, these turn into a savory comfort food. Of course, no health issues here. Intimidating but it is a convenience food.

Bangers and Mash

Image source: ‘Bangers & Mash with Guinness Onion Gravy’ in johnsonville.com

The English always have had a penchant for weird names. This eat also known as sausages and mash, quintessentially has British-Irish origin and consists of finger sausages served with mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy. Including one of a variety of flavored sausages made from pork, lamb or beef, this is a dish you’ll find anywhere in the fancy restaurants and pubs across England. It blends well with other luxury ingredients and is super delicious too!!

Clootie dumpling

Image source: ‘Clootie Dumpling! posted by SOCIAL:FIFE ⋅ on Jan 25, 2015 in socialfife.wordpress.com

Based on name you wouldn’t have guessed it right. This in fact is a desert pudding made of sweets stuff like dough, dried fruits and sugar, all held as a dumpling within a strip of parchment and fabric. The name clootie comes from the cloth it‘s boiled in, as cloot is scots for cloth. Traditionally you would boil the dumpling straight on the cloth rather than lining it with paper first. You can also steam it in a pudding basin if you wish to experiment.

Sweetbread (Offal)

Image source:’ What is Offal? Types, Nutrition, Benefits, & Uses’ in discover.grasslandbeef.com on Nov. 25, 2019

It’s hard to win you over as an exciting believer of this ‘complicateddish. It is neither a sweet nor a piece of bread and contains animal meat as the key ingredient. Sometimes also known as ‘Offal’, the thymus or pancreas of the animal is behind one of the main ingredients. Many sweetbreads come from veal meat or lamb but beef and pork sweetbreads are the revered ones.

Welsh Rabbit

Image source: ‘Welsh Rarebit’ in foodandtable.com on May 20,2018

If you think that it is a rabbit dish from Wales, then you are in for a surprise! This one is in fact a vegetarian dish and for some odd reason has been so weirdly named by somebody who was either incredibly clever or mighty confused. No rabbits; it is rather melted cheese over toast or crackers. The English nonetheless brandish a fancier version with actual rabbits.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Image source: ’11 Things You Didn’t Know About Rocky Mountain Oysters’ by Sarah Anderson in thrillist.com on Aug.22, 2015

These are not oysters and neither seafood. Purposefully but so inaccurately named, these are actually testicles from animals like goats, sheep calves. So, how did this dish come to be? At the end of the day most big ranches would end up with hundreds of these and just to make economic sense out of it, make use of them by cooking and eating. For few it may go off well but for most it is an ugly food, absurdly described that fails to whet appetite.

Ladyfingers

Image source: ‘Ladyfingers Recipe & Video’ in joyofbaking.com

No! You have guessed it all wrong. It’s not a savory dish made out of okra pods but a delicious little dessert. These are in fact low density, dry egg based sweet sponge biscuits cakes made out in the shape of a large finger. Essentially, they’re dip-able, finger-shaped cookies that are so delicate that even Keats had to write about them. Ladyfinger cakes are undoubtedly an intricate creation and are  considered to be one of the rare bakers’ arts.

Crunky Ball Nude

Image source:’ The crudest foods: From ‘Crunky Ball Nudes’ to hot ‘Urinal’ cordials’ by Yaron Steinbuch in nypost.com on Jan 28. 2015

One of the most hilariously named Korean candies, this is a provocative confection made with hazelnut paste and malt covered in crisped rice and chocolate. It looks more like an unsophisticated version of a Ferrero Rocher. These candies come packaged in a plastic barrel with a flip-top, which is quite a fun. Each ball is about the size of a grape and covered in tiny rice crisps.

There’s very little chocolate though that could show through. The rice crisps are nuttier and taste almost like cornflakes or sesame seeds and are within each ball too. The chocolate is thick with dusky hints of malt. The texture pairs well with the airy puffs of rice.

Even infamous is sometimes delightful

With names like Pee cola, Cream colon biscuits, Golden gay time cookies, instant ramen ‘Soup for Sluts’ and ‘Urinal’ hot drink, at first glance these foods could put you off when feeling impish. But words mean differently for different languages. Some of the most delectable spreads are the most unfortunately named foods in the world.  It’s not surprising that the idea of adverting these nasty named foods as an epicurean delight is fast catching up since they mate so well with the duality of happiness and health. It’s startling that even the most weirdly named cuisine is not considered a redemption dish anymore!!

If you haven’t tried one of these freakish sounding foods so far, it’s time to reach out. The queerness is just the result of terrible branding or probably their awkward names are a result of their true name meanings having lost track over the time.

Whatever…names apart, you know how to pull it off when gravies and curries, sweet and savory and traditional and classical meet the challenges to keep the textures right even after a long journeyfrom wok to platter.

12 high protein delights where serving size scores big over portion size

Your serving size might be the reason you are getting Fat. Or maybe you are over-indulging in ‘healthy’ food one time too often. May be you have missed the good ones and everything that followed is devastating your diet plan. It’s time you learn to get fewer spoons in your food and discover which nutriment could just work great for you.

Should you have too much of good food!

“Anyway, it’s healthy.” If this is how you would react then in all probability you are eating too much of a good food and may be one time too many. Needless to say we fall prey to temptations sometimes and often cheat ourselves for the fun of it. Over the years food portions and servings have grown in size and so have the waistlines.  A bagel that sized 3 inches and carried 140 calories not so long ago, has fattened to 6 inches and a whopping 350 calories.

When we look for healthy foods we are suddenly beset by the misbelief that we can have as much of it as we want without the consequences. Sometimes we even find it thoughtful that we can eat our way to negative calories and a promising health.

So what to eat and how much to eat?  Let’s clear the air.

Are you indecisive about nutrition?

Nutritional studies usually run aground for the simple reason that it’s pretty hard to figure out what people actually eat. Sizing a tomato before eating is difficult to remember than how many times you ate it last year. Nutrition judgments could go awry and be distressingly inexact for the same reason.

For this simple relatable reason you just couldn’t do any better by sticking to a one particular diet and size. Eating a variety of fresh food and cutting back on processed ones is the simplest way to ensure that you get what you need most, even if the reality isn’t as exciting or new as you might wish it was. And then you may also wonder how the microbes in your GI tract will behave. Will it somehow change you whole nutritional plan?

No way, this is more about your personalized nutritional response than anything else. Micro biome science doesn’t carry necessary evidence to back up its use. For now, it’s wait and see and then wait and see more. It turns out science is often wrong on the way to being right.

Most roads lead to fineness proteins that strengthen bones, cartilage and skin and could improve your mood swings by regulating body hormones. With some health rewarding combination of these impressive foods, all equations work just fine without sabotaging weight loss goals!

How many times you have returned home exhausted, and either grabbed whatever you could on the way or called that local takeaway joint? Probably many more times than you wish you didn’t remember.  

It’s not so uncommon to find those who rush out of home for a 8-10 hr job each day and for whom a quick cup of coffee is the only choice to kick start their day.  A rush to street joints and a hasty bite of those street foods without fretting over the food value is a poor choice. The unfortunate part is that these people miss out on the importance of having high protein foods each day 24/7. Even high protein snacks fail in hitting your macro goals that range from reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass to healthy bones, cartilage, skin tissues and blood. For every kilo of bodyweight you need 0.75 gram of protein each day; that sum up to 56 gram daily if you are of an average built.

If you are keen on being lean and sinewy and alive outside, you need to up your protein intake by all counts. Just how much of what that will keep you stoked all day without worrying about the waistline? Let’s figure out here;

Egg

Image source:: ‘Go (over) easy on the eggs: ‘Egg-cess’ consumption linked to diabetes. in Newsletter of 14 Nov.2020 Univ. of South Australia.

An average 50-gram chicken egg provides approximately 70 calories of food energy, 6grams of protein and approx. 5 grams of fat. More than half the calories found in egg comes from the fat in the yolk which in turn contains 2/3rd of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg of cholesterol.

On the other count the egg white consists primarily of water (87 percent), protein (13 percent), little fat and virtually no cholesterol. Once boiled these miracle orbs provide you significant amount of several vitamins and minerals that include vitamin-A (19% of daily value or dv), riboflavin (42 % of dv), pantothenic acid(28% of dv), vitamin-B12 (46 % of dv), choline (60 % of dv), phosphorus ( 25% of dv), zinc ( 11% of dv) and vitamin-D ( 15% of dv).  But remember, how you cook an egg affects its nutritional value. Packed with nutrients, calorie for calorie, an egg is pretty much like any other food and makes portion control easy even for the most unwilling.

Just boil two of these, cool and dig in!

Cheese

Image source: ‘The 9 Healthiest Types of Cheese’ by Lizzie Streit in healthline.com

The protein content in cheeses varies between Parmesan, Swiss, Pecorino, Edam and Gouda but offers the most bang-for-buck. A 100 gram serving provides between 26-35 grams of protein with around 1.3 grams of carbohydrate. Paired with anti oxidant grapes or blue berries it could make you jumpstart even after the 3 pm slump.

Yogurt- Greek or Regular?

Image source: ‘Strawberry Yoghurt Recipe’ by Meghna Wani in parenting.firstcry.com

Regular and Greek yogurt are made from the same ingredients but differ in nutrients. While regular yogurt tends to have fewer calories and more calcium, Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar — and a much thicker consistency. Both types pack probiotics and support digestion, weight loss, and heart health.

Let’s find out which scores most on nutrition;

Protein 

A typical 170 gram serving of Greek yogurt contains 15 to 20 grams of it, the amount equivalent of 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams which could make you may feel hunger pangs sooner.

Carbohydrate 

A smart choice for those who watch their waist lines Greek yogurt carries half the carbs as the regular kind – 5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Further, the straining process leaves this yogurt less likely to hurt those who are lactose intolerant. No matter which one you opt for, just go for the one that is less sugar added.

Fat

Be wary here. A 200 gm serving of Greek yogurt packs 16 gm of saturated fat – or 80 percent of recommended daily allowance if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. On the other side, regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in a typical 225 gram serving. Saturated fat raises total and “bad” cholesterol levels.

Sodium

An average serving of Greek yogurt could provide you as much as 50 mg of sodium, about half the amount most brands of the regular kind carry. Too much salt spikes BP and increases the risk of heart ailments. Recommended intake puts cap at 2300 mg a day or 1500 mg if you are older than 50, have hypertension, diabetic or suffer from chronic kidney disease.

Calcium 

Regular yogurt serves 30 percent of your daily requirement while Greek yogurt sheds some of its calcium through the straining process. A 170 gram cup of Greek yogurt nonetheless provides at least 20 percent of your daily need. Still worried about your calcium intake? Just add another serving of milk or stir almonds into your serving each day.

Edamame beans (Immature soya bean)

Image source: ‘Edamame-Black Bean Salad’ by Betty Crocker Kitchens in bettycrocker.com

Green soybeans certainly don’t sound inviting, yet they’re a great source of protein. Like meat and dairy, these greens provide all of the essential amino acids your body needs. One 50 gm serve contains around six grams of protein and four grams of carbs.

Fish

Image source::’Why Is Fish Good for You? Because It Replaces Meat? ‘ by Roni Caryn Rabin
 

When you pick up one of the packaged tuna, salmon or mackerel options you indulge yourself in the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose from various options – with or without dressings and other ingredients like bulgur wheat, lentils and quinoa.

Tofu

Image source:: ‘ Deep-Fried Tofu With Dipping Sauce’, by  Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee in latimes.com

Meatatarians may be skeptical but this could very well make them sulk no longer. With 8 grams of plant based protein and 1.9 grams of carbs, each 100 gram serving of tofu could be a delightful addition even to most eclectic non veg spread. Its smacks great when chopped into cubes, pan fried with spices and then dunked into onion tomato ginger gravy. Take a bite of this portable protein and I’m sure you wouldn’t find it super weird any longer. It’s great at sucking up the flavors of the dish it is prepared in and is a versatile addition to a meal. After all it is curdled soya milk and is made pretty much the same way most cheeses are made. Firm tofu (soya bean curd) contains about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving.

Lentils

Image source:’ Madras Lentils’ by Linda in thewanderlustkitchen.com

A great source of protein, cooked lentils carry about 8.84 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Red or green, lentils can be added to stew, curries salads or rice to give that little extra punch of protein to a lunch or dinner spread. Apart from protein and fibre, lentils carry key nutrients including iron and potassium.

Chickpeas

Image source: ‘how to make espinacas con garbanzos here’ by Lauren Aloise in spanishsabores.com

Highly versatile with plenty of recipes you could relish chickpeas by adding them in stew or curry or even enjoy it oven roasted and spiced with paprika. Even hummus which is again made from chickpea paste is your healthy, protein rich mouthful alternative to butter. High in protein, each 100 gram serving of cooked chickpea contains about 7.25 gram of it.

Peanuts

Image source: ‘Eat Peanuts: You May Live Longer’ by Jennifer J, Brown in everydayhealth.com

Protein rich, brimming with good fats, peanuts are your complete protein snack. An 8 gram tablespoon of peanut butter spread over your sandwich could leave your gut feeling happy. Each 100 gram serving carries about 20.5 gram of protein.

Quinoa

Image source: ‘How to cook Quinoa (and what to do with it!) ‘ by Kylee in kyleecooks.com

Quinoa is a complete protein grain. A cooked 100 gram portion contains about 8 grams of protein. It is also rich in other nutrients, including magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. You could relish quinoa as a fill-in for pasta, in soups and stews or even choose to sprinkle it on a salad. It just savors great with any combination.

Protein-rich veggies

Image source: ‘8 High-Protein Vegetables You Must Start Eating Right Now! by Sarika Rana in food.ndtv.com

Eaten alone many of these dark-colored, leafy greens  are not enough to meet your daily protein requirement , but a few vegetable snacks can increase protein intake, particularly when consumed along with other protein-rich foods.

A single medium stalk of broccoli has about 4 grams of protein while kale gives you 2 grams  per 100 gram serving. 5 medium sized mushrooms likewise contain about 3 grams of protein. For a happy eat you could try a salad of baby greens with some quinoa sprinkling for a protein rich nutriment.

Seitan (Wheat meat)

Image source: ‘Instant Pot Seitan’ by Liz in zardyplants.com

Seitan is made from mixing wheat gluten with various spices.  This complete protein however is best avoided by people afflicted with gluten intolerance because of its high wheat content. It turns into a protein-rich wholesome meat substitute for you when cooked in soy sauce. One 125 gram serving could supplement you with as much as 24 grams!

Foraging for bottom line!

If you feel that your jeans are hugging you tighter than usual, don’t blame all that food. It’s your personality that actually make you decide how much and when should you eat. Most extroverts are more likely to eat out with friends and tend to have bigger portions of less healthy foods. Conscientious ones who abide by the rules are unsurprisingly the healthiest. These are the ones who would rather nibble on a carrot stick instead of chips when the urge to eat hits. Then there are those also who are prone to emotional eating and are disoriented enough to usually eat dense and high calorie foods.

This eating awareness may discomfort you but it’s not meant to make you self conscious or feel scared of food. It’s here only to make you realize that what and how much you put into your body might not be right choice. May be it’s not what your body actually needs. May be you are eating more out of habit than want.

So, take a break between those bites and remember that some 20 years ago, people were just as satisfied with one half the size. You would or wouldn’t be, is uncertain but at least you will know what and how much you have eaten. Meanwhile keep servings in mind when looking for a quick bite.

You may find an easy way to avoid over-doing but be on guard for times when it’s not so easy to count.

“I could never make heads turn” and I never rued for not being the object of desire.

People around me could never gather enough courage to say that they never found anything attractive in me, but somehow I knew. I was no freak and I had no great looks… at least not good enough to be an object of desire. I just couldn’t make heads turn..! I was the one who desired rather than be the one who was desired.

Still, it’s taken some getting used to.

I would be lying if I were to say that I didn’t miss the thrill of being wanted. The subtle pleasure of acquiescence to somebody’s needs, the opportunity to say ‘yes’ instead of being asked,  ‘would you’?

The other day, a man -friend of a friend, distantly acquainted sat next to me in a local coffee shop. I could never figure out this day why he said what he said a little while later in a low voice leaning across. I can never make out, if it’s the academics that make everything desirable or if it takes sensuality out of everything”. He held my gaze after he’s done. It occurred to me that he was mocking me. Not giving up…so I smile and say, “It’s probably a little bit of both” and lean in for just a moment. The brazen ugly sparkle in his eye bemused me… the way he took a jibe at me. Then I lean away again and say, “But it’s’ probably more of the former, because I am married, happily so and gotten everything I want from this happenstance.”

I felt uncomfortable for quite some time … It scared me. Are we so free to say about things that are so unshakeable part of how we are to ourselves?

Today, though it’s a relief. I have seen people hide the truth of aging over their lives, chasing the desires and fantasies that I have neither had the time nor the inclination for. This is my body and I live in it more happily than I would endure the awful things I’d need to do to make it appear young again!

That the years weigh heavily on me, is because they were good years lived well and I have no intention to bid farewell to good things that lit up my sky today… everyday.

I wonder what makes us yearn so fervently to be desired, to wear a charm mesmerizing enough to change moods and make heads turn. What stokes the fear of being left behind’ that would otherwise carve an emotional wreck out of us ? Is there a way out?

Slight Smiles, Head Tilts, Tousled Hair: what this ‘allure’ is all about!

When it comes to beguiling, your looks could make you incredibly appealing even if for a short while. But deep down, we all are attracted more to carriage than other elements.

Humans are not as mysterious as they think. We have fairly expressive facial and body language cues to reveal our inner thoughts. Smile amongst them serve best in igniting the attraction even though it is not a definite facial cue.

The truth behind attraction rings differently for different persons.  I have always regarded it as a kind of invention. I think of it as an irresistible force to which we usually are in so thrall that we ignore its power to limit our choices. When we desire for someone, this all-consuming feeling turns overwhelming.  And when we become icons of attraction, we begin to fulfill all the slush fantasies.

Maybe… this is how it is meant to be. An overwhelming desire for another person stemming from a good deal of good looks!.

“If you knew the secret of Life, you too would choose, no other companion but Love”.- Rumi

It’s hard to believe in crush at first sight,  but I do believe in desire at first sight and I also believe that the knowledge of how to look attractive “has the highest regard and selling price tagged to it these days.

The inevitable business of finding happiness begins right here, something that is so hard to come by that we just couldn’t find it once for all and keep it safe in our pockets! Weirdly, as we chase it in seemingly brighter spots outside of us, describing happiness has turned complicated and experiencing it even more expensive.

The world is changing and so are we…looking for honest answers to how to be a head turner.

Searching for Answers in happiness sales!!

I am not getting into details of the trillions spent in selling happiness, but isn’t it true that every year with an increase in happiness sales (beauty products, luxury possessions, marquee outfits), the incidences of mental health concerns are only rising?

I find that our biggest mistake is that we have come to commercialize the path to happiness. From buying confidence swelling beauty products to selling vacuum cleaners to a happy family, all are there with the sole purpose to catch an eye and externalize happiness.

The joke is on us. It exists for free and not far, within each one of us. Haven’t we overrated our sense of happiness? Aren’t there so many other emotions to embrace besides this blind hunt to look great?

It could be the very cause of unhappiness!

I looked beyond grudges

My woes would have had lived on if I were to keep raking myself with this one single thought. What could possibly be wrong with me? Why people do not find me attractive enough to be desirable? Instead I chose not to shoot myself in the feet and  went about living a life aging gracefully and chasing desires and pursuits I never would have thought to be such a joy…the thrill of wanting myself…the joy of yielding to somebody’s needs.

Beyond the man made myth of finding joys in unseen lands, I realize that I am actually happier today for having struck fascination to myself.

It all adds up. Being okay with both the troughs and crests and not demanding highs alone, is all about growing subtly in life. I withdrew from this mindless chase to be wanted’ one out of a hundreds of emotions, glamorized and boldly coveted. I probably saved myself from pitching into dark depths of depression, anxiety and other inconsolable personal and social challenges.

Believe me, we cannot be happy “at all times”. That would be a manic behavior. But once you realize that it’s not inlooksbut in the meaningwe put to it that we find or miss this amazing emotion. The more we see it in what we have” and appreciate “what is”, the easier it is to find it.

After all I could succeed in hoodwinking my identity crisis!!