“Phenomenal Woman” Jessica Heath 0 1589

There is a sensational rhythm to her walk, the way she speaks, even her actions in the kitchen. She has her own styles and characteristics. Born to an American father and a Sri Lankan mother, she is blessed with a glowing beauty, stimulating smile and of course her long legs earns bewildered looks from those in the vicinity. 

Being in the top 40 contestants of season 8 MasterChef USA, beating 50,000 plus contestants and enduring a five-month audition process, Jessica introduced some of the Sri Lankan cuisines with a touch of sophistication to them. 

Strongly influenced by her grandmother, a Dutch-Burgher descent, who guided Jessica’s culinary journey with her expert hands, Jessica recalls about her childhood with unity, laughter and the sweet aroma emanating from the kitchen as her grandma concocted the most flavorful dishes. 

 “CEYLOVE; From Sri Lanka with Spice” written by Jessica is indeed a treat to all food lovers. The book perfectly conveys her admiration and respect for her inheritance and mother’s homeland through a collection of family recipes, stories, travels and life experiences. Her culinary makings draw on her Sri Lankan origins as well as her fashion and modeling background. She focuses on providing modern and fresh takes to traditional Sri Lankan dishes, often fusing with other cuisines from around the world. 

What is quite special about this book is that 90% of its photographs and designs were done by her. “Sri Lankan food should come first” Jessica said admiring Sri Lankan cuisine. 

Having graced the covers and billboards of the world, BiZnomics takes pride in speaking to this amazing woman who took our own Sri Lankan cuisine to the global platform;

I tried my best to show people that eating Sri Lankan food carries a host of pleasures, from style, color, aroma, ambience, and pleasurable palate from fingers to mouth contact – eating with our hands.

Q&A With – Jessica Heath

Q; What made you want to take part in MasterChef?

A; It was an incredible opportunity that literally came right to my doorstep. The auditions happened to be right in the heart of Washington DC, my hometown, so I jumped at the chance to showcase my Sri Lankan culinary skills.

Q: How did you know you had what it takes to become a Master Chef?

A: Sometimes in life you never know anything for certain, yet there is burning desire to move forward and try. It is your inner voice that says ‘I can do this’. You survey the competition and innately know you have what it takes. That is essentially what happened to me. It helped that I had the knowledge of an exceptionally colorful cuisine under my belt.

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By: Chantal D.
Image courtesy: Tish De Alwis, Mauriel Silva
Cover Picture: Tish De Alwis
Post Production: Dilsh
Book Cover Picture: Prishan Pandithage

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Secrets to Living a Happier Life 0 980

Akna Goonaratne University of Deikin, Melbourne
Akna Goonaratne University of Deikin, Melbourne

Our brains are focused on survival. Anything more than that, you have to work for it.

There’s an unfortunate reason why happiness is often elusive – our brains simply aren’t wired that way. Instead, our brains have evolved to survive, to protect ourselves, to keep us safe. Sure, we have moments of elation and periods of contentment and bliss. But many of us are plagued with persistent negative emotions – we are just plain stuck in the “blahs.”

How do we find more joy in our life? Like anything else, it takes practice to cultivate ongoing happiness. In a sense, we have to reset our baseline. It won’t happen overnight, but here are some things you can do every day to discover the secrets of being happier.

Focus on the positive

To find long-term happiness, you need to retrain your brain from a negative mindset to a positive mindset. Try these things: Spend one to two minutes looking for positives in your life. Do this three times a day for 45 days, and your brain will start doing it automatically.

Choose a positive mantra for the day — something you will repeat to yourself, such as “Today is beautiful” or “I feel grateful for all I have”. And when things go sour, take a moment to try and see it from a positive light. Never under estimate the importance of recognizing the silver linings in life.

Celebrate little victories

Life is full of ups and downs, but in between we have a lot of little victories that go unnoticed. Take a moment to celebrate these small wins.

Did you check off all the things on your ‘To-do’ list that you’ve been procrastinating on? Yay! Did you finally clear out the thousand emails that have been filling up your inbox? Woohoo! Take pleasure in these little achievements. They add up!

Find your work–life balance

Work takes up a lot of our day, but it shouldn’t be the only thing we do. It’s important to pursue activities and interests beyond our job. Do you have a hobby? Are you spending time with friends and loved ones? Are you getting exercise? Creating balance in your life will reduce stress and give you other outlets to express yourself and have fun.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness mediation, works by bringing your awareness and attention to the present moment. It’s about being non-judgmental and accepting how you are feeling. Practicing mindfulness means being present, aware and curious. Accepting what we are going through decreases stress and helps us see situations for what they are. Through mindfulness, we can find peace and affirmation in ourselves.

Celebrate little victories

You may think of artists as being moody and depressed but studies show that engaging in creative activities on a regular basis actually makes you happier. Those who spend time using their imagination and being creative have more enthusiasm and are more likely to have feelings of long-term happiness and well-being. Such creative activities can include writing, painting, drawing and musical performance.

Accept imperfection

Many of us strive for perfection – we desire to push ourselves to be our best. But in order to be truly happy, you must embrace the imperfection that is part of life. Perfection is impossible, and holding ourselves and others to these standards is futile. We will always end up feeling let down. Accept that life is imperfect and recognize that there is beauty and grace in that imperfection.

‘’Don’t waste the best years of your life in a joyless job’’

Akna Goonaratne University of Deikin, Melbourne
Akna Goonaratne University of Deikin, Melbourne

Do what you love

It’s pretty hard to maintain happiness if you hate your job. Don’t waste the best years of your life in a joyless job, even if it’s paying the bills. What are you interested in? What are you truly passionate about? Focus on building a career in an area that motivates you and will provide you with a high level of satisfaction, and your happiness factor will go up exponentially.

Spend wisely

It’s tempting to believe that the more money you have the happier you’ll be. But the reality is, it’s how you spend your money that helps you feel happier. The key is to do it wisely. Spending money on experiences — travel, dining, and concerts and so on — can make us happier because we are sharing those experiences with others. Happiness connected to material possessions fades, but experiences help us define our purpose and passions in life.

Live in the moment

Our thoughts and feelings often revolve around the past or the future. Reality is what you are experiencing at this very moment; what you are going through right now. Sometimes we want to escape that reality. But when we stay in the present, we are fully engaged in our lives. Endeavor to live in the moment, and you’ll begin to have a deeper appreciation for your life.

Cultivate gratitude

Find ways to cultivate gratitude on a daily basis. Giving thanks and being grateful for all you have will make you happier and more content. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you have received in life. Those gifts may be tangible or intangible. When you spend time each day acknowledging all that is good in life, you’ll see there is more good than you realize, and you’ll find that sadness, anxiety and depression are diminished.

‘’Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you have received in life’’

Give back

Be generous with your time and your money. Give to others in need. Give to those you love and care for. Those who give back have a sense of selflessness and humanitarianism. Those who are generous in spending money on others tend to have good health, perhaps because giving has a feel-good effect that lowers blood pressure and stress.

Surprise yourself

It’s hard to feel happy if you are bored or feeling blah about life. Part of feeling happy is feeling stimulated, interested and a little surprised by life. So surprise yourself by setting goals outside your comfort zone. Put yourself in new or unexpected situations. Set goals for yourself and then work to achieve them. And remember to enjoy the ride!

Listen to and engage with music                      

Listening to music lifts our spirits. It makes us feel better, in part because listening to music causes our brains to release dopamine, a neurochemical connected to pleasure and reward. Those who engage with music through dance or through attending concerts report high levels of happiness and a sense of well-being.

You, be you

One of the best things you can do to boost your happiness is to just be yourself. That means not being dependent on the approval of others, but accepting yourself for who you are. Spend some time getting to know yourself. What defines you? What do you believe in? Who are you, underneath it all? Search for ways to be comfortable in your own skin.

Hang out with happy people

Ever hang out with a gloomy person and leave feeling bummed? That’s because moods can be contagious. It turns out that feelings can be transferred from one person to another, and the more we share experiences with one another, the more our emotions and behaviors become synchronized. One secret to long-term happiness is surrounding yourself with others who are also happy.

Nothing compares to you

Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. Most importantly, stop comparing your things to all the things everyone else has. Social media has a way of making us feel like everyone else has it better than us. How often does scrolling through your newsfeed make you feel negative emotions? Allowing envy and resentment to take root, robs us of appreciating what we have.

‘’Constantly worrying about everything creates toxic anxiety’’

Stop worrying

Constantly worrying about everything creates toxic anxiety, where your mind is steeped in negative, spiraling thoughts. Worries plague your mind and make you afraid and apprehensive about things you often have no control over. Sometimes we believe that if we worry enough, we can keep bad things from happening. But the truth is, you cannot experience joy or even contentment when you’re consumed by worry.

Akna Goonaratne University of Deikin, Melbourne
Akna Goonaratne University of Deikin, Melbourne

Build meaningful relationships

Happiness, love, friendship and community go hand in hand. As humans, we have a fundamental need to interact and connect with others. We naturally seek our tribe – the people who will support us, understand us and be there for us through life’s roller-coaster ride. Without meaningful relationships, we are lonely and isolated. We’re happier when we pursue happiness with others.

Spend time in nature

Some researchers believe that today’s ultra-wired generation is actually suffering from a nature-deficit disorder. Studies have shown that the more time we spend in nature, and the more we relate to the natural world around us, the greater our sense of happiness. Our connection to nature also plays a role in maintaining positive mental health

Reminisce over happy memories

Why do we love all things retro? Perhaps because nostalgia makes us happy. Nostalgic feelings, or reminiscing about our past, can help us reconnect with feelings of love and a sense of wonder and fulfillment. Our past shapes us and defines our identity. When we remember good times and happy memories, we can increase our self-confidence and feel closer to those around us.

Article by: Chantal D.

Tymeron Carvalho: The Crystal Ball of Fashion 0 1394

By Michelle Alles

Tymeron Carvalho, or ‘Tymo’ as he is known amongst his friends, is every lady’s eye candy but sorry, he’s taken. Tymeron has been in a committed relationship with his partner, Andre Estefan for a very long time together, the two of them are just perfection.

Tymeron Carvalho,Tymeron is no stranger to the world of fashion, having started his career at 16 years of age, when he appeared in his first TV commercial. Twelve years later, he has come a long way and amassed a tremendous amount of experience, not just by walking the ramp for many of Sri Lanka’s top designers, but by bagging the main title for Best Model of The World 2013 along with three mini titles, Mr Friendship, Best National Costume and Best Runway Model. In 2016, he won a special award for Asia’s Best Fashion Model at Fashion Asia awards and he was placed in the top 6 out of 39 countries at the Mr Supranational Asia 2018 pageant last year. Tymeron’s not one to rest on his laurels; as a creative and talented individual, his fashion evolution saw his designing outfits for Miss Universe Sri Lanka and Miss World Sri Lanka since 2012 and his breath-taking designs have wowed audiences on many a fashion ramp in Colombo.

Tymeron has recently been working on a few projects – some of which he can’t reveal yet – but that’s all the more reason to get curious and ‘stalk’ his social media for more details. He sat down with us to answer (and avoid!) some of our nosy questions.

What is the most important thing that you’d want people to know about you?

I would want people to know (and most people close to me already do! that I am disciplined, hardworking and persistent.

Did you have an early interest in fashion, or was it something that came later?

Yes, I had an interest in fashion from my childhood days. When I would draw pictures, I remember drawing only pictures of brides in their dresses and sarees. I would also dress up all my Virgin Mary statues with brocade fabric (I’m sure she didn’t mind it at all! and this passion for it kept, and will keep on growing.

What have you learned so far about being creative and an entrepreneur?

I have learned that I have to set my own timelines and own boundaries to excel in my creativity and be what I want myself to be. In addition, self-discipline provides inner strength and confidence which allows me to take decisions in a calm and composed manner.
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