It’s easy (almost cowardly) to be a grump, to complain
about everything and be negative
It’s harder (and much more admirable) to wear a smile all the time,
to be happy and laughing constantly,
to find grace and tiny bits of joy in any situation…
and it is those who laugh and smile all the time that are most
worth being around..


By Franki Elliot


I pasted this beautiful quote on my wall to remind me every morning, as soon as I get up, that today is going to be a beautiful day and I need to welcome it with a big smile. Smile, a simple act but with astonishing powers of healing, is a very cost effective natural anti depressant.
“Use your smile to change the world. Don’t let the world change your smile.” I am learning to smile at everyone around me. I smile indiscriminately, I smile widely, I smile continuously. Whether people look at me or not, I smile at them. Although very few respond to my smiles, I have already started to feel better.⁠
I wonder why smiling is difficult anyway when it is the simplest joy one could give themselves without depending on others or without spending a penny. I was told that by the 17th century in Europe it was a well-established fact that only people who smiled broadly, in life and in art, were the poor, the lewd, the drunk, the innocent, and the entertainment. Want to be seen as upper class and as a person of good character? Don’t smile. For this reason, both the creators and the sitters of portraits had good reason to keep the smiles out of the resulting images, which explains why we don’t see photos of famous figures donning a grin in their official portraits.
Although nowadays, thankfully things have changed for the better and we think of smiles as being indicative of happiness, humor, and warmth. I hope people are still not stuck in the 17th century and find a reason to smile more often.
Smiling is not just a universal means of communicating, it’s also a frequent one. As per statistics, more than 30% of us smile more than 20 times a day and less than 14% of us smile less than 5 times a day. In fact, those with the greatest superpowers are actually children, who smile as many as 400 times per day! This is the reason why we all forget our worries and tensions around children and become part of their world, full of smiles and giggles. Smiling is contagious and I promise myself to smile more.. wide and bright.
A question which very often becomes part of a heated discussion is that whether during difficult times, one should sport a smile irrespective or whether it is absolutely ok to show that you are feeling low and not guard your emotions. I don’t know the right answer. I was more for the latter but more and more I am beginning to feel that the former is way more helpful to not just lift your mood and energy but also to heal your inner child. I am not saying suppressing your emotions is the way to go but to smile and keep calm knowing that the difficult would be over soon and invest all your energy in making that happen might be helpful in dealing with the situation.
A negative thought attracts negative energy and a positive though attracts positive energy. A smile is just the beginning in your efforts to attract positive energy.

So here is a reason to smile more. A simple and gorgeous breakfast, preferable in bed to make your day start on the right note, relaxed and bright. It is gluten free as well, so a big pot can serve all the family members including any gluten intolerant members. Top it up with your favorite fresh fruits, figs, blueberries, gooseberries, all work very well. I have it with oat milk but I reckon any nut milk or even soy milk would also taste good. Starting with a wholesome bowl of goodness is the perfect way to kickstart your day and pls don’t forget to have it with a big wide smile. Happy days!


Gluten Free Buckwheat and Ginger Porridge with Fresh Cherries
Serves 4
Gluten Free Bowl of Goodness
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200 gm hulled whole buckwheat
50 gm dried fruit (prunes, cranberries, apricots etc. chopped roughly)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cardamom seeds powdered
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Tiny pinch of sea salt
Fresh cherries and Oat milk to serve
1. Rinse the buckwheat in water and add to a medium saucepan together with 600 ml water and remaining ingredients apart from cherries.
2. Bring to boil and lower the heat. Gently simmer for about 20 min, stirring occasionally.
3. When the water is absorbed, the porridge should be just about ready, but keep stirring for a few more minutes to get a crumbly texture.
4. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve in bowls toped with fresh fruit and oat milk.
Adapted from The Green Kitchen
Adapted from The Green Kitchen
Swati Bansal Rao
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