Life style dictates happiness

Yesterday during lunch time, I went to a speaker event. The lady who came to speak was a wall-street analyst turned restaurant owner. At the start of the talk, she showed a video of her family playing at a farm. It was an amazing farm with a greenhouse, forest, pond and garden. They grow piggies, berries, vegetables, chickens and have their own cow and bee hive.

She started by opening a Norwegian restaurant near Stone street down in lower Manhattan since her husband is from Norway, then expanded the restaurant business into 6 restaurants in New York. Because of this vertical integration between restaurants and the farm, she was able to make the whole business profitable. (She said farm business is pretty tough nowadays as mass farming lowers cost significantly. It is quite hard for small farmers to survive without vertical integration.) Through the farm, she was able to ensure the freshness of her ingredients to diners.

Her talk reminded me how awesome it is to be able to cook and eat fresh food every day. Although school is busy and there are a million things happening, I am still able to cook all the time and eat healthy. I have to admit I lack creativity in cooking, but I intrinsically enjoy making food for myself. No food truck or café Romeo beats home made meal. Even when days were insane last Fall, I still managed to cook for myself. I don’t exercise much since I moved to New Haven. The best way to keep my weight down and schedule loose a bit is to spend time making meals for myself, which happens to be one of my top enjoyment in Houston as well.

It’s quite sad peopld in Manhattan don’t cook as much – there are so many restaurants out there, young adults are busy, there isn’t enough kitchen space. (Sadly, even my cousins who live in China and don’t work very hard are not even cooking for themselves…) Nature provides us so many good resources. It wants us to spend time think creatively about those ingredients, find ways to piece them together and use them well. Cooking should be a skill everyone is required to learn when they are young. Seriously, eating is essential to human beings.

Besides cooking, I am also napping quite a bit lately. I advocate for a half an hour to one hour nap every day for everyone. Sleep brings happiness and helps us distress and focus better. I guess one benefit school has over work life is the ability to nap. Just thinking about that makes me super happy.

It’s kinda chilly today. I hope spring comes soon!

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