5 Afternoon Habits To Resurrect Your Fat Loss Challenge

5 Afternoon Habits To Resurrect Your Fat Loss Challenge

Everyone and his mother think that it is only when you have some vital morning habits that you can lose weight.

Well, here we have 5 afternoon habits that’ll burn your belly fat like never before! So let’s go!

Habit 1: Workout!

You can do this wherever it fits into your schedule.

Right now, if you’re saying to yourself “but I already worked out when I woke up,” You did not. What you did was a brief exercise set to get your blood pumping and ensure that your body was awake. A real workout is a lot more extensive and it will require a bit more time.

I will provide some brief examples of workouts that you could do during the day, most of which do not require a gym, or any kind of equipment for that matter.

A) 15-minute walk/ run.
– 3×10 reps of: Pushups*, bodyweight squats, sit ups.

B) 3 sets of 1 minute of each exercise:
– jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, flexed arm hang, reverse crunches, squats (rest 3 minutes between sets).

C) 1 x 1 minute, 1 minute off, 1 minute on of each exercise: squat jumps, plank, burpees, flutter kicks, kettle bell swings.

D) 6 x 1 minute sprint, 1 minute walk (running).

E) 30-minute jog, every 5 minutes perform 3 burpees and 15 squats (stop the time when you do these exercises then resume jogging).

Try your best to make your workouts fun! Make sure you are constantly changing your exercise routine up because your body adapts very fast and you must keep it guessing.

Track your progress and keep a workout journal so you can see how far you’ve come.

Hold yourself accountable to your workout schedule with an incentive system. If you miss a workout, then add an extra set to your next workout, or add another mile onto your next run.

Alternatively, if you are consistently following your workout schedule, make sure you give yourself relaxing rest days and allow yourself to eat some ‘cheat foods’ every now and again.

Habit 2: Don’t Waste Your Downtime

Listen to good information, not repetitive music. If you have a long commute to work or wherever your day takes you, listen to audio books or podcasts.

Instead of listening to “Shake It Off” for the 6th time in a row, give Taylor Swift a rest and listen to something educational and inspiring.

There are tons of great audio books out there and even more podcasts. You can find a podcast on any topic you want, subscribe for free on iTunes and listen at your own leisure.

The last job I ever worked was at a grocery store and the only thing that kept me sane was listening to motivational podcasts, namely, The Joe Rogan Experience, which I highly recommend to everybody.

Habit 3: Positivity

Realize that your thoughts truly do impact your reality. I’m not promoting the book “The Secret,” in fact one of my favorite quotes about this book was said by comedian Dave Chappelle:

“This book tells people that the secret to life is positive imagery, try flying to Africa and telling those starving children that shit. All you have to do is visualize some roast beef, taters and gravy. The problem is you have a bad attitude about starving to death.”

Motivation for weight loss

Obviously, there is nothing funny about children starving in Africa, but Chappelle uses his comedic wit to make a really good point here. You cannot, as “The Secret” teaches, will things into existence with positive thinking and imagery.

Thoughts do impact reality a lot, but not to the extent that this book would lead you to believe – and yes, I have read this book cover-to-cover. You need to keep a positive mindset no matter what. Negative thinking only leads to more negative thinking, thus more negative weight loss results.

Positive thinking leads to positive outcomes and thus more positive results. Both mindsets are cyclical; the latter is just a lot more beneficial than the other.

Habit 4: S-T-O-P

I know the statement ‘stay positive’ is very broad but I believe the key to positive thinking is altering your internal dialogue. If you always have negative thoughts bouncing around in your head, it’s time you change that.

You must learn to talk to yourself in a positive manner. I know this sounds very corny and believe me, when I was first told to do this, I laughed.

But it really can make a massive difference in the way you conduct yourself and the way others see you. Some of the nicest people I know are also the most self-deprecating people I have ever met.

Sometimes it is necessary that you are critical of yourself, your actions or a decision you made, but it is not healthy to never give yourself positive feedback. I find women are especially bad at giving themselves the credit they deserve.

During the day, I want you to follow this simple acronym any time you are feeling down about something in your life.

S-T-O-P: Sit, Think, Objective, Positivity

Take a seat somewhere that you can be alone for a few minutes. Think about what’s on your mind, or whatever is troubling you at that moment. Be objective and try to look at the issue or decision, free of bias, from a neutral third party standpoint. Look at all of the positive aspects of whatever it is that is troubling you.

Habit 5: Live in the Now

“The now is here, the past is gone and the future will be nothing if the now is wrong.” I made this quote up a few years ago when I was struggling financially. The message is that you must live in the now.

Dwelling on the past or future too much is completely pointless. Sometimes in life you are going to have to feel out of control, and that’s fine.

You must train yourself to not panic and to only worry about the things that you can control on that given day. The more in the now you can live, the happier you will be.

I am constantly trying to minimize the time frame that I concern myself with. You can start big and then keep shrinking your time frame like I did.

Let me explain; I began by forcing myself to only worry about the week in front of me. I eventually shrunk that down to a few days and before I knew it I was down to one single day.

It felt great to only think about one day at a time and I noticed a jump in my productivity levels. I am currently working on cutting my time frame down to an hourly level, but that requires more practice.

Obviously, I am not telling you to completely ignore events that are coming up in your future, or to not learn from mistakes you have made in your past.

All I’m saying is that once you gain the information you need from past or future events, it’s time to let them go and not dwell on them. Do not beat a dead horse, let the past be the past and welcome the future when it comes.

So just go ahead and start adopting these 5 simple afternoon habits in your life, and pretty soon, you would be an unstoppable weight loss machine!

MINI CORN CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

I wrote and re-wrote this post lots of time. Didn’t wanna to sound like everybody else and their “fall this and fall that” writing. But the fact is, I do love fall, it is my favorite season, like for everybody else.

Not to hot, yet not to cold. The colors are just beautiful and baking feels like a necessary activity everyday.

The only problem… too much about apples and pumpkin and cider and cinnamon !!! So much, that I want to share a recipe using CORN. What happen with the corn? I think one of the best smells that a kitchen could have , its of a warm corn cake baking in the oven!! So here I share with you an easy and delicious recipe using corn.

Mini Corn Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 egg
1 cup of corn puree.(can be fresh corn or simple use a can of corn, drained and puree on food processor)
Pre-heat the oven at 350 F
Prepare a mini cupcake pan with 24 mini cupcake liners
Beat sugar and butter
Add the egg and the corn puree
Add the flour and baking powder
If necessary add the milk to smooth the batter
Bake for 12 min, give or take, each oven is a little different.
Take from the oven, let it cool while making the frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz of cream cheese, (Philadelphia style), at room temperature
5 tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 tsp of vanilla flavor
1 cup of confectionary sugar
1/2 cup corn puree
On medium to low-speed, cream the butter with the cream cheese
Add the vanilla and the sugar
Keep whisking until just incorporated.
Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Sprinkle coconut flakes on top

Cranberry and Sage pie!!!

I posted here how excited I was on getting this  book. The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. That I have to share my experience with the first recipe I choose. Cranberry and Sage Pie.
To be honest I think never baked with cranberries before. Even though I like “sour”,  cranberries were always my least ”sour” fruit favorite.
And…. they are sour….

The combination with the sage, gave the pie a deep earthy flavor , but perhaps even more sour. They weren’t kiting when said “uncommon recipes”.

Now I’ve got to be honest.  For me pies needs to have that thick crust, that glues in between your teeth. Almost “chewy”, you know. That you can hold the pie with your own hands.
But in this case the flaky crust works very well, because the filling it is heavy, in flavor and texture.

I had some flaws….

As soon as my pie was in the oven, the crust just melted. The pie was cold, very cold by the way.  So I don’t know, maybe the oven temperature, or the butter, or the amount of acid… were the reasons for it to happen .

I used unfortunately frozen cranberries, couldn’t find fresh ones near me, so maybe it helped to make the pie little more sour.

Didn’t use “allspice” . I don’t like it and think it makes all pies taste like pumpkin pie, overpower any other flavor.

And also some happiness…

Still taste great, don’t get me wrong, specially after the first piece. Hahahah

My kitchen smell pie delicious!

I Think I ‘ve got the right “thickness” for the crust.

Its more than worth to give it a  try. The recipe was also very easy to follow. Step by step, even all the take in and out of the refrigerate thing.

If you would like the recipe , here is the  link  , from Food52′s website.

Somehow I am addicted to this pie now (after 4 pieces). Why pies do that to me?

Now off to choose another pie recipe.

Grandmas Christmas cookies

Yey!!! Christmas is here, of course every baker and crafters’ best time of the year. Time to be more creative than last year, time for giving and sharing… (did you buy all your gift already?  ).

Lots of traditions, sometimes I think , should I create something different this time, but then again this is what Christmas it is all about, those memories, I think I wait for Christmas just to have that special dessert, or those cookies, things that makes me remember how great this time is.

It is no news that my mom is visiting from Brasil and will spend the Christmas with me. So we shared recipes, cooked and baked together. Lots of memories, lots of histories. One of the things I remember from my childhood was my grandmother’s christmas cookies. My mom said that at night when the kids were sleeping, grandma would finish th cookies with merengue and sprinkles. Next day she would said that Santa’s helpers took the cookies and “painted” them. Isn’t that so pure? It brought tears to my eyes.

Grandma would be proud of us, sitting at the table “painting” the cookies together spreading them all over to dry, like she used to do.

If there is a secret to this recipe I would say to bake them on very hot oven for short period of time.

Grandma’s Christmas Cookies

3 eggs
1 cup of cream (I used La Crema, but heavy cream will work just fine)
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of milk
50 grams of ammoniac powder
Flour until the dough is consistent.

For the Merengue

3 egg whites
6 tbsp. of sugar

Heat the oven at 450 F 
Whisk the eggs, add the cream and sugar.
Last add milk and flour until the dough is form and consistent
Mix with your hands.
Roll the dough and cut the cookies not to thin.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
They should stay still very white on top.
Let them cool while making the merengue.

Heat egg whites with sugar until all melted.
Beat on the mixer until soft, shine and forming picks.
Spread over the cookies and sprinkle how you want.

My grandma used to save them inside a huge cookie can, they would stay soft and gooey for days.

 

Happy Valentines Day with Romeon and Juliet Donut

That  is right! This week’s dessert for my husband, is Romeo and Juliet Donut

The most famous and romantic couple gave name to one of the most simple and traditional desserts in Brazil. Which consist of guava paste, with Mina’s cheese. White fresh cheese, like the mexican queso fresco.
There is not much information about this dessert, how started and why is called like that. But the influence is of course, Portuguese and Bulgarian.

The cheese used is typical from Minas Gerais, called Mina’s Cheese, here on the US we use the Mexican “queso fresco”. It has a very similar texture.

For the guava paste, anyone would be just fine. A very popular name brand is “Goya”.
Now a days there is numerous dessert forms to represent this dessert , from cakes, cupcakes, to mousse and cheesecake. But its original form still remains strong in every afternoon coffee or tea or breakfast. Two ingredients ready to go, just cut it into slices and eat it together.

Like Romeo and Juliet, this dessert is a perfect marriage of colors, textures and flavors, combining the tangy cheese with the sweet guava paste.

Of course  I couldn’t just slice them and serve to my husband….”here it go” this is your dessert. Not fun….
So I made a donut and filled with the two ingredients combination.

Romeo and Juliet Donut

10 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1 Tsp Baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup of warm milk
1/2 cup of guava paste and cheese cut in very little cubes and mixed.

  1. Start by mixing the flour, sugar, baking powder and egg together.
  2. Pour milk into the mixture, little by little until the dough is all combined, but still sticky. (probably won’t use all the milk.)
  3. Pull a little bit of dough , pressed to form a little circle,(make sure is not to tick), filled with about a 1/2 tsp of the guava and cheese mixture. Close, forming the donut shape.
  4. If the dough is to sticky, just cote your hand with oil or butter.
  5. Have a pan ready with oil in the stove. Make sure is hot.
  6. Fry the donuts, 3 at a time.
  7. They will fry very fast. Scoop out, let it rest in a plate with paper towel.

* If they are not very cooked on the inside, after frying, just put in the heated oven. Do not bake, just let it warm up a little bit.

** This donut recipe is my mom’s recipe, and is good  whitout any filling aswell. Just roll  the donut into a sugar and cinnamon mixture  after is done.

 

Haunted Cupcake competition and Chocolate Show

Every year  Pastry Chicago, an organization together with The French Pastry School of Chicago, hold baking competitions. Like cookies, cupcakes and pies.
It’s for amateurs, students and the public, all competing together at the same level.
Last year I did go to the cupcake competition, it was my first time competing.
It was the same time of the year and the theme was “Haunted Cupcakes”. Not only they had to be scary and Halloween themed, they had to have a spice on it. Mines were chocolate and cayenne pepper cupcakes.
There is 5 places, and nice prizes for them, including a kitchen aid mixer.
I didn’t win but the experience was great. We could enjoy nice views from the place (it was in a golf club), eat some good fall baked goods, drink apple cider and hot chocolate, plus a live demonstration from the School’s teacher.
This year unfortunately I can not go. Very sad!!!! The competition will be held at THE CHICAGO FINE CHOCOLATE SHOW. During the weekend of 18th to 20th of October. The theme of course is the same, creepy cupcakes, and the flavor its, duurrrr Chocolate.
Good Luck to whoever can go, send me some pictures!!!

French Pastry Experience

Last year I participated on a cupcake competition, already mention in  here, all about it.
And one of the prizes were a gift certificate to watch a demonstration at The French Pastry School, here in Chicago.
Cool right?!!! I’m very excited, I already took some classes at the school, “fundamentals of French tarts”, with instructor chef Della Gossett , I don’t think she is still there but it was a quite of an experience. I could do a different post telling you all about it. But I did learn some great techniques on tarts, beside the recipes I took with me.
So what about the demonstration? Yes,  Its 2 1/2 hours with two chefs instructors from the school. We will learn ( not hands on) how to make a variety of desserts, including petit fours and candies. Yummy!!! Here goes my diet…
I promise to take a lot of notes, lots of pictures( if possible) and of course recipes and then share all with you!!!
The demonstration will be on November, 25.

While we wait, here is one of the tarts I learned at the class and the recipe:

LEMON TART
Pate Sable (make ahead)

187 g o butter
117 g confectionary sugar
125 g almond powder
2 eggs
300 g Flour (can be pastry flour)
Cream the butter
Add the confectionary sugar and the almond powder
Gradually add the eggs alternating with the flour
Press the dough on a sheet pan, cover with plastic and chill overnight
Grease a tart circle, roll the dough and dock it. Place in the cooler to rest before bake.
Bake at 300 F for about 20 min until is brown. Let it cool

LEMON CREAM

90 g sugar
128 g Fresh Lemon juice
2 egg
90 g sugar
lemon zest from one lemon
175 g butter
1/4 tsp salt
I a separate bowl Mix the lemon juice with 90 g of sugar
Mix the eggs with the other 90 g of sugar
Combine the mixtures and add the zest
Heat the mixture over a water-bath until it thickens.
Strain and add the butter in small pieces
Cover with plastic and refrigerate.
Fill the baked shell with the lemon cream.
The tart its done , now you can finish the top the way you want.
I top mine with merengue.

MERENGUE DELIGHT

1 pinch of cream of tartar
200 g sugar
2 egg whites
100 g confectionary sugar
5 g vanilla
1 pinch of salt
Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar. Gradually add the sugar.
Fold in sifted confectionary sugar and vanilla
Pipe cookies on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 250 F for about 45 min.
Let them cool before you top the tart.

* you can top the merengue with nuts, chocolate, salt…