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This week’s Truth Thursday is on things that make me happy – a bit simple, yes, but absolutely essential. Whenever I’m down, these things have the power to bring me back up.

1. Otters – I had a rough weekend last weekend for no extreme reason. When boyfriend noticed me getting sad, he entered “otters” or “curious otters” into the Google Images and pulled up a picture. Immediately, I lit up. He also posted a picture of a mama otter on my FB wall this week, and last week, he randomly changed my desktop picture to an otter. Boyfriend knows me well. Anyway, the point of all this otter picture rhetoric is that I FREAKING LOVE OTTERS. Although if you didn’t already know that, you probably haven’t been reading my blog.

I should not have looked up otters at work. Cannot...contain...squees...

2. Berries – I love most fruit, but I especially love berries. Strawberries and raspberries are some of my very favorite foods. I have been known to purchase 2 lbs. of strawberries and go through them in less than 48 hours. I would say the same about raspberries except that they’re so expensive that I’ve never tried. I also love a lot of food with strawberries and raspberries, like pancakes with strawberries on top. Yum. Okay, I’ve made myself hungry. Moving on.

Oh. My. God. What are you and why are you not here in front of me?

3. Farmers markets – I knew about farmers markets way back when. I didn’t really go that often, but they seemed pretty cool. When I moved out to California, however, I truly discovered the joy of farmers markets. California has these markets everywhere year round and the locals present the most amazing food. You have to pick and choose what you get – some are overpriced or picked over – but you can almost always walk away with some great, tasty finds. I cannot wait until my city’s farmer’s market opens up next week! Damn Minnesota and its winter ruining my farmers markets.

4. Thunderstorms – I love thunderstorms. I like rain in general, and I sure love sunshine, but nothing beats a good thunderstorm. There’s just nothing like waking up to the sound of rain. I usually open my window or my patio door when it’s raining at night just so I can hear it. Any water sound is calming to me, but particularly rain does the trick. I do NOT like tornadoes, however – they scare the hell out of me. Sending good thoughts to the people in north Minneapolis, Missouri, and Kansas right now.

5. Finishing a good book – Reading a good book is great, absolutely. But finishing a good book? Only that can give you the mixed feelings of satisfaction, sadness, loss, joy, fulfillment, and confusion about the mixed feelings in general. After I finished reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” for instance, I cried for at least 15 minutes and could not shake my mood for the rest of the day. Something in that book resonated with me, and that’s pretty powerful.

What simple things make you happy?


As promised, here are another five facts about me! I’m going to take a leaf out of fellow truth tellers’ books…errr, blogs and give each truth post a theme. Thanks to Kate for this week’s theme idea…food!

1) I hate mayonnaise. If you know me at all, you know I hate mayonnaise. If you know me well, you know I don’t just hate mayonnaise, I despise it with a burning intensity. I’m not sure why. If I accidentally ingest it – for example, if someone puts it on a sandwich when I’ve asked for it without mayonnaise – I feel sick to my stomach. My favorite nicknames for it are “death” and “the Antichrist.”

2) I do eat things that have mayonnaise as an ingredient. I try really hard not to think about this, but as my palate becomes more open to tastes, I’ve started eating things that have mayonnaise as an ingredient. My boyfriend dislikes ranch and loves to point out to me that ranch contains mayonnaise (I still prefer to ignore this). I now sort of like deviled eggs. I love a good egg salad sandwich. Perhaps the strangest is that I like tuna fish sandwiches, but only with pickles – I also quite dislike fish. Don’t worry, though – I still hate mayonnaise on its own.

3) My favorite foods fluctuate, but they’re generally a fruit. I do love pastas and such, but my favorite foods almost always flip-flop between fresh strawberries or mangoes. Raspberries get in there occasionally, too. Put all those together into a smoothie…yum!!

4) I try to eat meals based on a serotonin-building diet. When I do follow a diet (which isn’t often), I do try to eat a serotonin-building diet. This is the opposite of some weight-loss diets, unfortunately, because it requires eating a decent amount of complex carbohydrates. To build serotonin (the “happy” brain chemical), you need the amino acid tryptophan – yes, the turkey amino acid that makes you sleepy. Most proteins have tryptophan in them, but unfortunately, absorption gets blocked by other greedy amino acids. Eating complex carbs neutralizes the rapidity of the digestion of the other amino acids, allowing tryptophan in. In case you’re curious, other foods good for your brain include beans, lentils, soy, or anything high in Vitamin B or Omega-3s.

5) I struggle with portion control. I’m a picky eater, but the food I do like, I LIKE. I want to enjoy it. But instead of taking the time to savor each bite, I eat fast and thus eat much more than I should. Somehow my brain seems to think that eating a lot of something is the same as savoring something. It’s a nasty habit that I’m working on correcting.

What are some of your food facts?

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