This is the Happiness recipe project.

Sweet Happiness: treats that won’t make you go “GAH! why, oh why did I do that!”

Savory Happiness: comforting, delicious, local and made with love…

You can also email me a recipe as a PDF, or write the recipe to me and bring it to class. Please send me recipes that make you happy – the ones that are wonderful and involve NO REGRET. Criteria: Healthy, as Local as possible, delicious, out-of-the-box, surprising ingredients…

 Here’s the thinking behind it all…

I’m interested in creating a PAE Fitness Class Cook Book called    “Recipes for Happiness”

This is based on a cool quote from a book I am reading: “… will this bring me pleasure? Or will it bring me happiness?…”
Which I interpret as “Will this thing I’m about to eat/do bring me only momentary pleasure? Or will it contribute to my long-term happiness? (So perhaps I should rethink whether I eat/do it.)”
Of course, this is applicable to all aspects of our lives, but I’m only going to focus on what we eat/drink. What we put into ourselves shuld be the highest octane fuel possible to avoid nasty build up and residue. Think of yourself as a Ferrari purring along – you’d take care of it wouldnt you?  So why does your body deserve less than a car?!

I think we could use some more happiness around food. So much of the food during upcoming season is based on pleasure and instant gratification, but then we have a hard time later dealing with the outcome, mostly weight gain, lack of energy, feeling icky because we really are sensitive to certain things, but pretend we aren’t so we can have that Xmas cookie, pie, brownie… insert your particular Waterloo item here.
It’s helpful to have a resource that we can go to for holiday- (and any-old-) time recipes that not only make us feel good in the short term, but also in the long term. We all have them: They are not kooky, they are great! Let’s share them!
Happy recipes are defined (disclaimer: BY ME, yes it really is all about me…but I feel that I do know what I am talking about most of the time when it comes to health) as:
1) healthy
2) yummy (I don’t like liver, but will probably consider everything else to be OK)
3) as locally sourced as possible (I think long term happiness includes our air and water systems)
4) as organic as possible (long term happiness to me means as few chemicals and pesticides as possible – silly, I know…)
5) DO NOT contain the following highly processed ingredients: white flour, white sugar, or large amounts of any sugar, trans fats (margarine), wierd additions or useless colorings or sprinkles…get creative. You can sprinkle with coconut, lemon zest, 80% chocolate shavings. It all counts. You get the idea.

You must ask yourself – will this make someone happy in the LONG run after eating it? Or would someone look at it and say “Oh, I shouldn’t, but…”
Because if so, rethink it.

So, if you have a recipe that will create long term happiness, send it to me.
I’ll vet them, AND I WILL BE DRACONIAN! So beware, and don’t take offense if I send a recipe back with questions.

Some recipe examples I will add, and that I have already overheard: Oven roasted brussels sprouts/root vegetables, Date/nut/cocoa balls, Comforting chicken soup, Roasted delicata squash with applesauce and cinnamon, Baked apples, Almost anything with sweet potatoes, Thai basil sparkly lime-ade…
Some examples that I do not think induce LONG TERM happiness: chocolate brownies, fried chicken, pasta, … Yes, they induce oodles of momentary pleasure but they do not fit the 2nd criteria of long term happiness, because of the regret factor. We want excellent food without regret. We need to cook OUT OF THE BOX! Get inspired by other cultures, vegan and wheat free recipes, raw food ideas – these don’t have to be reserved for specialty diets – they can be part of a healthy zingy surprising and wonderful new eating patterns! Ok OK, I’ll calm down. I just want folks to try to unplug from the gluey matrix of Standard American Diet (SAD – The acronym is appropriate.)
Email/call me if you have questions, need help, or to rant – I always enjoy a good rant.

Remember, if you submit a recipe, it has to pass the “Oh I shouldn’t but……” test. One must be able to joyfully eat and savor your recipe knowing that it will induce future happiness and have manageable and healthy outcomes both for one’s body and environment. Lofty goals, I know, but why shouldn’t we strive for that?
We work towards lofty goals in class, and acheive them, so I have no doubt this will be an awesome project!

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