Posted in The Happiness Project

Do you see a half cake?

Day 13 of 100 happy days:

Yes! It was baby J’s 1/2 birthday and first solid food taking ceremony. It was such a lovely evening! Nice gathering with lots of laugh and chats.

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Posted in The Happiness Project

Flower or Chocolate? 

Only time I was somewhat feeling good today was in the morning. Almost whole day I had to struggle with confusion, sadness and distress. I was emotionally disturbed whole day and at the same time was busy hiding my feelings from my husband. I need to write down all the things that are bothering me, the thoughts that keep me awake night after night. I need to get a lot of things out of my chest. I have started to write the blog to fight my depression and constant anxiety in my own way and to write down stuffs that I don’t share with anyone because I don’t want to bother my family and friends. I tried therapy but that didn’t work either. I realized it is me who needs to work on my own mental health. I’m also not sure if it is called depression or not. Is depression supposed to be constant or it can also be intermittent? I don’t know! From my childhood I was like a happy and lively kid, who always used to laugh out loud in silly matters and always used to find something out to laugh about. I’m still that girl, the happy girl, mostly! But since last year, I feel horrible every few days, sometime once or twice a week. I feel low on energy, vulnerable, insecure, and my mind fills up with negative thoughts and ceaseless anxiety! I have been hiding my depression from everyone. It’s getting worse. Hiding depression is actually harder than feeling it. Some days, when my husband comes back from office I pretend everything was fine. I worked almost all day, looked for jobs and did some work on my part time work-from-home job. With a smile on my face, I kiss him and ask him how was his day. I hide that I cried whole morning, didn’t come out of bed almost whole day, barely ate anything. I smile instead.

This is tough on weekends. This is not how the weekends should be, right? 

Day 12 of 100 Happy days: 

As I have to post something for my happiness project, here is a picture I took this morning. My husband brought this yesterday. Some client or something gave this gift to everyone in their office! 

What do you want my love? Flower or chocolate? What about two-in-one? 

Posted in The Happiness Project

Hang Out Party

Day 12 of 100 Happy Days:
After moving to Canada, what I miss most about home are family gatherings and hang outs with friends! We have something weird about hang outs in our culture that when we start to talk and chat, we forget what time it is and unintentionally become very loud! Uncontrollably laughing is the most common thing in the gatherings, and no, neighbors don’t complain because they do the same, doesn’t matter what time or day is it!  Thanks to God that I have some really good friends here, with whom I can talk, share my thoughts and laugh. Most of the gatherings are full of fun, laugh and foods. Today we went to a friend’s house, we had dinner followed by chats, laughs, serious talks and laughs again! 

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Fridays should be like this, right? 

Posted in Weight loss tips

Weight Loss Tips…(Grocery Shopping)!!! 

Here is two weight loss tips that really work for me. 

  1. Never go to the grocery store when you are  hungry. You will end up buying all unhealthy and sugary items as a result of hunger and craving! 
  2. Before you left for grocery, always check your weight. If you really want to lose weight, and not happy with your current weight, you will be stressed and won’t buy unnecessary food. 

Remember, if you don’t buy unhealthy food, you won’t be able to eat it. Simple! You just have to control your craving at the store. Not eating a piece of cake is like burning 300 calories by doing 30 minutes of jogging! 🙂

Posted in The Happiness Project

What’s your way to calm yourself down?

This year on my birthday I got the most thoughtful gift from two of my friends. A sketchbook, colored pencils, and drawing pencil set with sketching tools. I was so overwhelmed that I had to control my tears. It felt like my inner child came out who doesn’t know how to express her excitement after getting a long-awaited gift. Somehow they knew my passion for drawing and they remembered that! How sweet!!! When I was cleaning the house today, the gifts caught my eyes, rested on my table, waiting for last few months to be picked up and to be used. Immediately I felt very motivated. I felt the urge to grab the pencils and start playing like I used to do as a kid. Drawing, painting, sketching have always been my passion, my therapy. Even when I was very young, I used to draw to control my anger. I remember once, when I was 9 or 10, my aunt, my most favorite aunt (my mom’s sister) came to visit us but for some reason left immediately to meet my other aunt who used to live near our house and told my mom that she will stay there for the night. I was so angry and jealous, I instantly went to my room, took out my drawing sets and started drawing. I still remember that painting so clearly! A painting of a heavy storm! The trees were crashing down and the rural house roofs made with hays and bamboos were shearing by strong winds and heavy showers. In this hostile weather a village man was returning home, with grocery bags in his hand, trying hard to walk against the wind!

I was childishly extra possessive with my aunt because she was the one who used to spend hours feeding me, playing with me and talking to me since I was just a baby. I was so attached to her that I started to call her “Baby Ma” since I started to talk. Yes, her nickname is Baby, I know it is weird! She used to live with us until she got married. I was only four or five years old that time. When she was leaving with a man I barely knew in a traditional wedding dress, just before they got into the car, she hugged me tight and started crying. I was so angry with my new uncle! He took my aunt from me! Now she won’t be able to live with us anymore! I was so sad! After few days my uncle and aunt came to visit us and we took a family picture. The picture is still in our house, framed and hanged in the wall. Everyone was smiling in that photo, but me. I was staring at my feet, with my head down, clenching my hand, clearly very annoyed! Because my new uncle was sitting beside me and my aunt! Slowly, I discovered that my uncle is a wonderful man, and yes, he still makes fun of me for that picture!

State of my inner self (most of the time)

I have grown up (I think, I’m not sure) but the therapy of drawing still works for me. Oh, I should start drawing again! I used to do water-color, pastel, acrylic painting and sketch. But cartooning is whole other passion to me. I draw cartoon by illustrating my mental conditions and my weird stories. This is an easy and fun way to express my feelings in a hilarious way. Above image is a 3-year-old sketch. As far as I remember it was before one of my master’s course final!

Thanks T&A for the wonderful and thoughtful gift

# Day 10

Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

What about some “Meatball Curry”??

Day 9:
So…. For my happiness project (#100happydays) I have decided to post one photo everyday that makes/made me happy for hundred days. A small effort to handle my depression by being grateful to life at least once a day. It is being extra hard for me as I don’t go outside too much now a days! Work from home, looking for jobs, watching TV and sleeping pretty much sum up my daily routine (except weekends). This is my day 9, and I have to post 91 more photos! (Are you serious???!!!) Unless I give up! But, I should definitely mention that today was an extraordinary nice day. During this time of the year we don’t see many days with double-digit temperature in North Eastern Canada. I went for a walk in the morning and that was the only time I was feeling somewhat happy. Now after spending the whole day doing almost nothing, I am disappointed with myself. Just an attempt to make the day little bit productive, I cooked again today.

After enjoying an unproductive day, I don’t have anything to write in particular for the happiness project, so I’m posting another recipe. Today I cooked chicken korma and chicken meatball curry, also known as kofta curry. In my category, chicken meatball curry is a complicated-short recipe (easy to cook, takes lesser time but it will keep you occupied for 60-70 minutes). Here is the recipe for the meatball curry.

Ingredients: 
Ground chicken: 500 gm (approx.) ( you can also use ground beef or lamb)
Onion: 2 large, finely chopped (less than half of an onion for ground chicken mixture and rest for the curry)
Coriander: small amount, chopped
Salt: to taste
Oil: 2-3 tbs
Tomato: 1, chopped
Tomato sauce/tomato ketchup: 2 tbs
Ginger paste: 1 ts
Garlic paste: 1 ts
Garam masala: 1 ts (for best flavor, use kabab or keema masala, or 1 tsp of cumin powder will also work)
Red chili powder: less than 0.5 ts
Green chili :2/3 sliced into half

Direction:

  1. Mix ground chicken with small amount of chopped onion, small amount of chopped coriander,  garam masala, salt and red chili powder.
  2. Make 16 or less medium sized balls using damp hand (use oil to damp your hand).
  3. Heat oil and fry the meatballs in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until the color turns to golden brown or you are confident that meatballs are fully cooked.
  4. Take meatballs out and set aside.
  5. In the same frying pan check if you have enough oil left, if not, add some more (you can use the same oil that you have used for chicken, but for beef I would recommend to use fresh oil as ground beef release a lot of fat while frying, which is definitely not healthy).
  6. Add chopped onions and cook until golden brown over medium heat.
  7. Add salt, chopped tomatoes (or one spoon of tomato paste), ginger and garlic paste and tomato sauce and keep simmering.
  8. When it will start to get dry, keep adding little water every time until the oil separates from the paste.
  9. Add the meatballs and cover for 10/15 minutes (during this time the sauce will penetrate into the meatballs).
  10. Simmer and keep cooking until the sauce becomes smooth and thick!
  11. Add some chopped coriander and green chilies.
  12. Serve and Enjoy!

Tips: For healthy eating, I didn’t fry the meatballs, instead I baked them (for 40 minutes, 400F) without oil. Only drawback is, it might become little bit dry. So, if you are inviting friends or don’t care about the amount of oil you are consuming, frying the meatballs will provide the best results!

Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

The magic of cooking!

Cooking is something that I always love (unless I have invited 20+ people and time is running out and I have lots to do…!!). I love to try new recipes as well as cook my popular dishes over and over. Maybe the main reason is I always miss desi foods from home. The city I live in doesn’t has many multi-cultural, good and cheap restaurants to try and my craving has no limit. So, I started to cook instead. Mostly I cook Indian or Bangladeshi food, but I also love to try Chinese, Thai, Italian, Western recipes regularly.  

However, in my dictionary there are four types of recipes. Here they are, with examples 🙂  

1. Easy Short:

This type of recipe is super easy to cook and the time required for cooking is between 30 to 40 minutes. This type of cooking is best when you have exams, you are super busy or you are not in a mood to cook for 2/3 hours. 

Example: Fried rice, Stir fry vegetables or crème brulé.

2. Easy Long:

Recipes from this category are easy but take longer time (like 2-3 hours) to cook. But the preparation time is less (20-30 minutes). This is easy because while cooking it, you can cook other foods or prepare something else at the same time or you can just relax. 

Example: Beef curry, Butter chicken, Whole grill chicken or Caramel pudding. 

3. Complicated Short:

These types of recipes need little time like 50-60 mins to cook, but you can’t move or go anywhere, neither you can comfortably multi-task. 

Example: Kabab, Pakora, Gulab jamun, Jilebi. 

4. Complicated:

Any recipe that needs more than 2 hours of cooking time and more than 1 hour of your active time, falls into this category. Also recipes that don’t fall into any categories listed above, I will list those in here. 

Example: Biryani, Haleem, Kabab curry, Multi layer cakes. 

Well, above all, it doesn’t matter how long does it take to prepare or how easy is it to cook, what I will never compromise is,  “the taste” of the final product. Good taste is independent of cooking time in most cases. Even my easy short recipes usually get very high reviews from my friends and they don’t believe when I tell them the recipe in 3 lines!

Today I cooked Thai thick soup after I checked my weight (Arrggghhh!!). The recipe is super easy, heavy and very healthy. Have a look! 

Thai thick soup:
This is my easy short recipe. Usually I cook this soup, whenever I re-start my weight loss journey. Thai soup is extremely tasty, very popular in South Asia. Surprisingly, we don’t find it here in North America. By Thai Soup they usually offer us clear soup with mixed vegetables. So, here is my recipe for Thai Thick Soup!

Ingredients:
Chicken/beef stock/broth: 1 packet
Chicken: 1 breast, without bones
Shrimps: 7/8 large or more if medium-sized
Corn flour:2 tbs
Tomato sauce: 2 tbs
Soya sauce: 1 tbs
Oyster sauce: 1 tbs
Lemon juice: 1 tbs
Fish sauce: 1 ts
Tasting salt: 1 ts
2 egg yolk
Lemon grass: 4/5 ( I didn’t have it, so didn’t use, but this one is very essential)
Salt and Sugar: taste wise
2/3 green chili, without seeds
Thai curry paste: 2 ts (optional)

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Original Thai Soup

 

My Thai Soup (Sorry, the picture is not too pretty!)

Direction:

  1. Cut the chicken breast in large cubes and boil in water with salt.
  2. Take out the chicken pieces from the water, cool it and dice and slice it into smaller pieces, and use the water with chicken stock.
  3. Boil the stock, add sliced chicken pieces, shrimps, corn flour, soya sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, tasting salt, beaten egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, and lemon grass.
  4. After 5/10 minutes, add the tomato sauce and green chilies and sugar.
  5. Enjoy!

*Tips: 1. Mix corn flour with small amount of water in a bowl separately before adding to the soup.
2. You can use whole egg if you don’t want to throw out the egg white, but beat first and then add it to the soup ( the soup will look like my soup in the image)

#Day 8

Posted in Life Lessons, Random thought, The Happiness Project

Life lessions

Fact: Try to teach or suggest someone (could be your son, daughter or friend) what is good and bad for him/her, what should he/she do or what is best for them, they will do just the opposite.

Proof: Media was trying to potray how unfit Mr. Trump was for being a president, and so people voted for him and now he is the president of The United States.

Lesson learned: I never tell my husband what he should do or what is good for us. I just suggest the opposite!

Day 7: This one made my day (I was upset almost whole day)