Meatless Monday: World Happiness Summit Feeds Your Happiness

03/06/2017 08:05 am ET Updated Mar 06, 2017

The right to the pursuit of happiness is build right into America’s constitution. We’re pursuing it, but it’s clear we’re not feeling it. We’re not alone. Yet happiness — positive energy — is so essential to combatting the matrix of challenges we face, United Nations advisor Jayme Illien told Ban Ki-Moon we should devote an entire day to it. It’s official — March 20 has been declared the International Day of Happiness. Get with the program. Be part of the first-ever World Happiness Summit.

From March 17 to 19, the Miami summit brings together thousands from all over the planet to experience happiness from 36 renowned practitioners including Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and wellness and mindfulness thought leaders at Lululemon. It’s not about woo-woo, smiley emojis, how much we can buy or how many Likes and Follows we have. Happier isn’t necessarily bigger, richer or faster — all the things America prides itself on. Happiness, according to World Happiness Summit advocate Deepak Chopra, is a state of mind.

For many of participating positivity pros— World Happines Summit founder Louis Gallardo, bestselling authors Tal Ben-Shahar, Shawn Achor and Lynn McTaggart — that radiant state of mind seems to come naturally. For the rest of us, there’s help. Happiness, according to the ancient yogic concept of santosha, is a practice, a discipline.

World Happiness Summit gives you the tools and techniques to master happiness. Many of the methods, like yoga and meditation, aren’t new. What is new is the science behind it — why they make you happier — along with research-proven, concrete actions to access happiness. Two of the actions you’ve already aced — breathing and eating. Building in the happiness comes from breathing and eating consciously.

Nutritionist and yogini Susan Duprey and I explore the power of conscious eating and how to do it. An easy way in is to focus on food that’s fresh, seasonal and local. It increases your consciousness by putting you in touch with the rhythms of the planet, offers the most vibrant flavor for your mouth and the most nutrients for your body and feeds your gut — we mean the entity housed in your large intestine known as your microbiome. So many of the neurochemicals we associate with pleasure, like dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin don’t actually start in the brain, they start here. Feed yourself right and you colonize beneficial bacteria that do the same thing as Lexapro — naturally. Beats unconscious eating, which has had some unhappy-making results:

World Happiness Summit doesn’t do bummers.

The summit closes out with a free city-wide party with meditation, mindfulness market, yoga and zumba. It’s all about showing the love (an instant mood boost) and ushering in the International Day of Happiness. World Happiness Summit aims to keep the party — and the happiness — going. They’re committed to making happiness the new normal every day of the week.

i-Stock photos

Healthy Gut Dilly Carrots

Adding fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha to your diet is not only trending, it creates a colony of beneficial bacteria for a happy microbiome. Recipe courtesy of kombuchanista and ferment fan Susan Duprey.

6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into sticks

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried

3 cloves of garlic (quartered)

filtered water

Place the carrot sticks into a quart-sized mason jar and add the rest of the ingredients, shaking gently to settle the carrots if needed.

Fill within one inch of the top with filtered water.

Cover tightly and allow to sit at room temperature for 4-7 days  (try at 4 days, for more sour/soft carrots leave at room temperature longer). 

Since carrots are more dense, they take longer to ferment than other lacto-ferments like sauerkraut or pickles. 

They also stay crunchier!

After fermenting at room temperature, cover, seal and refrigerate. Carrots will last for months. 

Serves 4 to 6.

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