SENIOR PSYCHOLOGIST ZAZA YURTSEVER: WORK, SLEEP, EAT, FIND HAPPINESS…

IS IT SO HARD TO BE HAPPY? TO PSYCHOLOGIST ZAZA YURTSEVER, IT IS NOT… IF YOU HAVE AN AVERAGE INCOME, IF YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD, IF YOU SLEEP WELL AND EAT TASTY FOOD, THEN YOU ARE HAPPY!

How are we gonna find the happiness? Especially at the end of each year when we look back and think of what we did and we didn’t in the past days, weeks and months… We make lists for the coming year to resolve our regrets, sadnesses and what we could not achieve. Sometimes, the lists include money and sometimes love and weaknesses sometimes. Yet it is, in fact,  the happiness that we seek for. January 1, therefore, is awaited in an utterly different mood. So, the lists or the first of January; are they really needed to find happiness?

It is completely wrong to base everything on just one day, according to Senior Psychologist Zaza Yurtsever, who spends half a month in Germany and the other half in Turkey and struggles to find solutions to the problems of those with different cultural backgrounds. Creating a red-white “new year” concept for her Raillife readers in her home-office in Nişantaşı, Zaza Yurtsever describes happiness as life satisfaction and says “if you sleep well, eat delicious food and have a healthy relationship, then you are happy”. Emphasizing that foods including glucose and carbohydrate need to be consumed in order to increase happiness especially in winter months when the amount of sunlight decreases, Yurtsever also recommends that we start the day with a mixture of a spoonful of honey and a glass of lukewarm water. “If you feel yourself good, your body will get thinner”, is the message she sends to those who make themselves suffer from prohibitions for fear of gaining weight.

Is happiness something achieved easily?
Most people try hard to find the happiness. However, it is seen that those who struggle cannot get it. Happiness is something that comes naturally, something that comes from time to time, a kind of life satisfaction. Yet, it is necessary to think that everything goes well if you have a proper job, a good health and a good relationship in that life satisfaction. If any of them is lacking, the sadness is likely to occur. The sleep, in particular, needs to be sound. The nature regulates it in such a way that we should enjoy them, otherwise we can’t make it. Each of them has an aspect that brings happiness.

What sort of relationship exists between foods and life satisfaction?
Happiness is caused by serotonin, a hormone in brain. Some foods increase serotonin. Everything that we eat for dinner – that’s those including glucose – triggers serotonin. Pasta, chocolate or pumpkin increases serotonin. We should try to eat these kinds of foods especially when the light of sun fades because it is the sunlight that increases serotonin most; foods including glucose and carbohydrate should be taken in to compensate for serotonin when the sunlight is not available. It is quite normal for people to gain a few pounds in winter. If you resist and say “I should not eat, I should not put on any weight”, then you will probably have to continue your life as a thin but depressed person, as well.

What if we don’t eat this way?
You body wants to be fed even if you don’t. That is why we go through binge eating from time to time. We should not be engaged in a fight with our body just for the sake of weight. Those who try to rule their bodies get weak and unhealthy in time. Imagine that you are always with a tense person. Business, love and marriage relationships deteriorate. Such a relationship brings more sadness, and one therefore begins to consume carbohydrates leading to more happiness and puts on weight again. Some even eat two kilos of pasta, 3 pizzas and 2 packs of chocolate when they do not take carbohydrate for a while and have an attack. Eat less and keep the balance.

What should we do if we want to be healthy this year?
If you have an average income, have a good relationship that feels you good, sleep well and eat tasty food, then there is no reason to be upset. Remove from your New Year list the diet and the food-related restrictions and prohibitions, please. By acting as if a third person, it is not right either to make decisions about one’s own body. I try to help my clients by asking them to avoid weight loss. Without interfering with their diet, I am making attempts to keep them from eating emotional foods. One should eat when hungry and eat in moderation.

Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients (for four):
500 gram pumpkin
1 potato
1 onion
1 spoonful of olive oil
5 glasses of water
1 glass of milk
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of black pepper
1/3 grated muscat
Directions:
Chop the pumpkin, onion and potato. Add onion, pumpkin and potato respectively in the olive oil and stir for one minute. Add water and milk and cook till vegetables soften. Add spices and make them into a puree using a beater. Boil once more and serve with freshly ground black pepper.

Prawns on a Bed of Spinach 
Ingredients:
300 gram spinach
1 onion
250 gram prawn
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
100 gram stager cheese
Directions:
Sauté fine-chopped onion with spinach. Sauté garlic and prawns in olive oil in a separate frying-pan. Put it over the spinach in a plate. Serve with a grated stager cheese.   

Pasta with Dried Tomatoes
Ingredients:
100 gram dried tomatoes
1 pack of pasta
150 gr walnut
4 cloves of garlic
3-4 pieces of fresh thyme
Basil
2 tablespoon olive oil
A pinch of salt
Directions:
Boil pasta. Sauté fine-chopped dried tomato in olive oil and add garlic. After that, add crushed walnuts, fine-chopped thyme, basil and salt. Pour this sauce over pasta and blend. It is ready to be served.

Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients:
150 gram bitter chocolate
1/3 glass of milk
1 egg yolk
4 egg whites
2 tablespoon sugar
Directions:
Melt chocolate in a bain-marie. Add lukewarm milk into it. Beat egg yolk and whites in separate bowl until light and fluffy. Add sugar little by little. Add a third of the fluffy blend into chocolate mixture and then stir. After that, add rest of the fluffy blend and stir again. Pour in shallow cups and serve after keeping them in the fridge for one hour.