I was at the gynecologist office yesterday for my annual checkup, thinking about what is an appropriate small talk for those weird moments when the person you are speaking to is replying to your vagina, when my doctor asked me if I am truly happy, knowing what I was going through recently. A year and a half ago I would have found it very strange to be discussing the path to everlasting bliss with my gynecologist but yesterday it really made me pause for a moment and think about what I want in life, what makes me really happy, what are my goals, desires?
It’s not that I don’t want to be happy, but growing up in Poland we didn’t talk about it. It makes us Poles uncomfortable around the subject. Asking people how they are today will bring you to a long conversation about what is wrong with their lives. That’s why standard American greeting “how are you" doesn’t exist in polish small talk. If you are friendlier with someone and have time to kill you might ask “what’s cooking“ – free translation, and for 15 minutes or more you will experience a lot of … it’s good but… I call it a “butt talk “. It feels almost embarrassing to discuss happiness and demeaning to chase it. It's like having sex for the first time and asking if it was the best you ever had. Part of this is that Americans seems to have a deep aversion to negativity, this could be a positive change for me, but the pressure to remain positive all the time could be mentally very challenging. It’s good to be away from the sometimes life – sucking negativity, but I also find it hard to throw myself full gear into approach to hunting down the bliss
What is it that I really desire, money, a better job, love, a new car, traveling? Do I wish to do something big, or maybe I am satisfied with my life as it is, and don’t want to change it? I started to analyze my goals, small or big and ultimate discovered that what I really want is security, and everything I do is motivated by the desire to gain it. I desire things not because I believe new car, more money, better job will bring me happiness, but it will free me from stress, anxieties and fears.
I use to devote a lot of time and efforts for getting something that in the end did not bring me the happiness and security I anticipated. I realized that my true happiness does not depend on possessions, and circumstances, new shoes, good sex, wonderful meal are only temporary excitements. True security begins as a mental state, as inner strength, as faith in myself, and I also discovered that my inner happiness brings happiness and security in the material world. Sometimes is just not worth to fight and want more, it’s good to give out and make peace, it will all come back one day.
My happiness is my choice, I don’t let other people to decide either I am happy or not. It is my attitude that makes me feel uplifted, not the circumstances. I can choose to dwell on an unhappy event all day long, or I may also choose to refuse to think about it, and focus on other things that make me happy. I might not be able to change people’s behavior, but I can control my reactions, my response, and whether to let their behavior and their actions affect me. It’s so easy and so hard the same time. I learn new things about myself every day, I practice my patience with my testing me teenager and most of the time I succeed.
Happiness is often compared to a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
Waiting for the butterfly to sit on me and to answer my OB- GYN, for the time being I will stick to satisfaction, shifting my focus from being utterly happy to being happily satisfied with all I have had achieved, and all I have and care about.
Today's recipe is a perfect example of satisfaction over happiness. I mimicked the thick, sweet, sugary filling by treating the pineapple in two ways: I mashed half of pineapples to thicken the sauce and cut the other half into chunks for added texture. To cut down on calories, I traded sugar for coconut nectar (or xylitol ) and regular flour for almond flour . Traditional recipes have 540 calories, 23 grams of fat, and 11 grams of saturated fat per 1-cup serving. My changes brought the numbers down to 300 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 4 gram of saturated fat. I am very satisfied with the end result and the taste.
Instant or quick oats turn the topping sandy; use old-fashioned oats. Note that the pineapple pieces and pineapple chunks are cooked differently.
2/3 cup (2 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats 1 cup mixed nuts
5 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, i used coconut nectar 5 Tbs or to taste
1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) almond flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pineapple or 6 large Golden Delicious apples (8 ounces each), peeled, cored, and halved
1 cup pineapple juice or if you are using apples apple juice
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar or coconut nectar to taste
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. FOR THE TOPPING: Process 1/3 cup oats in food processor until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Combine processed oats, remaining 1/3 cup oats, sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, nuts, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
2. FOR THE FILLING: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut half of pineapple into 1 inch pieces the other half into 1/4 inch chunks (3 apples into 1-inch pieces and slice remaining 3 apples into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. ) Bring pineapple pieces, apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon to simmer in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until pineapple pieces are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl and mash pineapple using potato masher. Reserve 1 tablespoon mashed pineapple mixture. Return remaining mashed pineapple mixture to skillet with pineapple chunks and cook, covered, until chunks just begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon juice.
3. Scrape pineapple filling into 8-inch square baking dish and press into even layer. Add reserved mashed pineapple to topping mixture, stirring until mixture appears crumbly. Sprinkle topping over filling and bake until juices are bubbling and topping is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Decorate with fruit, I used cape gooseberries also known as Peruvian ground cherry. Bon Appetit !
Skladniki na 6 porcji
2/3 szkladnki platkow owsianych ( nie blyskawicznych) 1 szklanka dowolnych orzechow, lub mieszanka
5 lyzek brazowego cukru , ja uzylam nektaru kokosowego
1/4 szklanki maki ( w moim przypadku orkiszowa)
3 lyzki masla rozpuszczonego
1/2 lyzeczki cynamonu
1/8 lyzeczki soli
1 swiezy ananas mozna uzyc jablek (6 duzych soczystych obranych ze skory i pokrojonych na czastki)
1 szklanka soku anansowego lub jablkowego
2 lyzki cukru brazowego (nektar kokosowy lub ksylitol)
3/4 lyzeczki cynamonu
2 lyzeczki soku z cytryny
1. kruszonka: zmielic 1/3 szklanki platkow owsianych w mikserze. Wymieszac zmiksowane platki i pozostale platki, make, maslo, cynamon i cukier. odstawic na bok
2. nadzienie: rozgrzac piekarnik do 200C . Polowe pokrojonego anansa usmazyc z sokiem anansowy, cukrem i cynamonem okolo 10 min. Przelozyc miksture do miski i ubic tluczkiem do ziemniakow. przelozyc na patelnie i dodac druga polowe pokrojonego ananas, przykryc i gotowac do momentu kiedy kawalki zaczynaja byc miekkie. okolo 3-4 minuty. wylaczyc i dodac sok cytrynowy. wylozyc nadzienie na blaszke do pieczenia, na wierzch nalozyc kruszonke i piec okolo 25 minut. smacznego !