Have you ever thought of habits? What do they mean for you? Is it easy for you to form positive habits in your daily life and quit negative ones? And where do those negative habits go? Do they simply vanish or remain in our mind to come out someday? I started thinking a lot on this point while reading an amazing book by Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit. There was a whole chapter in Essentialism (you can read a post on this book here) devoted to habits and routines and how they can help us in our everyday life. Becoming a champion is easy it says, all you need to do is to create positive useful habits and make them your routine. After reading Essentialism I wanted to bring changes to my life and I immediately started this book about habits.
Author says that a habit is just a behavior cliche. When our brain sees the trigger it just picks out a certain habit from a kind of «habitshelf» and performs it because it knows that afterwards it gets a reward. For instance, we do a workout because we know that afterwards we feel confident and happy. And a trigger can be simply to put on your Nikes or the anticipation of this happiness. If you know the rule you can easily form new positive habits and quit old and negative ones. For example, I workout at home and sometimes it is soooo difficult to get out of my favorite pijamas and start jumping or doing lunges. But I’ve bought a good notebook to keep record of my workouts and my progress and now it is easier for me to start doing sports because I anticipate the pleasure of writing down my daily routine into this notebook.
Or, if we think of our food habits. Let’s say, this pudding. It is so soft, and delicate and sweet. It just melts in your mouth. Your mind already knows that it will taste perfect and that we shall receive our dose of pleasure. And you don’t even have to have a dessert ready to make it a ‘trigger’. Be honest, how often do you search your kitchen shelves in order to find something sweet after your dinner? This cliche «eat first and have sweet afterwards» is deep in our mind and we don’t even think why we do it. We just keep searching.
So is it important for you to control your habits and perform only positive ones? And the question that is whirling in my mind is: Is it possible to always stick to healthy way of life, like clean eating, regime, and working out or should we take our lives easier? What can you sacrifice to get the body of your dreams or to feel as healthy as you want? If you have any thoughts on this point I’ll be glad to hear them.
And while we still keep thinking on what is right and what’s not I suggest you try this amazing pudding in a cup. That’s a chocolate bomb of slow action. I ate the whole cup while shooting though I needed to eat one spoon only (for the photo above). Sometimes your mind is off and only pleasure remains…
Chocolate Pudding In a Cup
For the pudding:
- 3 egg yolks
- 600 ml milk
- 100 g brown sugar
- 60 g rice flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 90 g chopped extradark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
- 50 g butter
For the meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 100 g sugar
Preheat oven to 175°С. Prepare 5 coffee cups.
In a saucepan with a thick bottom heat 500 ml milk and bring to simmer.
While milk is on heat, combine the remaining milk, yolks, flour, sugar, cocoa and extract. Whisk till homogeneous. As soon as milk is simmering take a saucepan and start pouring the hot milk into the mixture whisking constantly.
Pour everything back into the saucepan and bring back to low heat. Stir constantly till the custard has thickened. Add chopped chocolate and cubed butter. Let it sit for 20 seconds to melt and then stir to combine. Pour the custard into the prepared cups.
With a mixer on low speed beat the egg whites to thick foam. Increase the speed to high and start adding sugar one teaspoon at a time and beat the whites till strong peaks are formed. It is important not to lower the speed while beating.
Pipe or spoon meringue on top of the custard.
Pour some water on a baking sheet, place cups on it and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes or until meringue is golden.