Category Archives: Baking

Below The Surface- (Past) Reasons For Baking

In addition to the posts I am planning to write about my development of disordered eating and how I am recovering, I also wanted to do a series on specific things that are part of the issue. I have seen this on other blogs, such as Melissa’s Trying To Heal, and thought it would be a great idea to talk about my own fears, habits, and rituals. Perhaps people can relate to these, and I would love to hear from others on their own experiences and input!

*I am not trying to offend anyone in this post! It may seem like I am, or have a bad view of people later in the post, but that is certainly not the case. I was so irrational and crazy at that point.

I am beginning these posts with a discussion on my interest in baking and how it has evolved. I realized how much I wanted to write about this as I had spent this afternoon baking raspberry oat bars with a crumb topping (recipe to come!). I have been doing a whole buncha baking since being home for spring break, it’s been fab!

I had always loved to bake, this beginning at a young age. It was never anything complex, just simple brownie, cookie, and cake recipes that began from a boxed mix (they always turn out perfect). In addition, pancake making became my favorite activity! After watching my mom cook these hot cakes almost every weekend for a few years, I took over the position around the age of 9. It was a ritual I looked forward to: using a boxed mix, adding milk, eggs, and oil a few stirs (keep the batter lumpy 🙂 ) and then a big ole pour of the first pancake onto the hot griddle. That first one was always mine because it had the most butter on it from soaking up the freshly buttered pan. I would consume its fattening deliciousness while making the rest of the batch and would also eat some of the batter, don’t knock it until you try it! :p

These pancakes were a favorite of mine, they tasted great, always came out perfect, were easy to make and everyone loved them. As I grew older, I began baking more and experimenting with more complex recipes (well complex for me). Instead of using boxed mixes, I would bake brownies, bars, cookies, cakes, truffles, fudge, etc, from scratch. Although the finished product was not always perfect, it was fun trying to figure out what went wrong and how to improve it for next time. I would taste test the food of course, savoring and sharing the baked goods which came out to perfection.

When my disordered eating worsened, and I became fixated on losing weight, and only eat what I considered “safe” I continued to bake, but NEVER ate any of my own food. I would make buttery, oily, fatty desserts and bring them to school for my friends to enjoy. I loved seeing their reactions and give me their thanks and words of pleasure as they graded and enjoyed my food. In my own kinda messed up mind, it was like I was living vicariously through them and eating the desserts.

But also, making chocolate chip cookies from scratch (for example) and not eating a single bite of the dough or the finished product gave me a bit of a rush and feeling on control. These feelings would embellish when I would see my peers eating the food I believed they would feel guilty about and would make them fat, yet they could not resist it. But HA! I COULD! The insane control I had over myself gave me a high, I believed I was stronger than these people by denying myself pleasurable food and would not be feeling guilty like they all were.

I am quite aware of how positively messed up this is. Because I was depriving myself of what I truly wanted, I became obsessed with researching recipes online, in magazines, books, and from other people. They were always for foods I would never touch myself, but knew other people would enjoy the finished product. I was attempting to suppress my desire for food, yet was actually worsening it because my body was in a state of semi-starvation mode.

I read an an article recently that was describing a test that had been conducted in 1944 in Minnesota. It studied a group of men that volunteered to be on a restricted diet for a period of time and then have the results measured. The findings were remarkable and one noted piece was that the men became obsessed with food- researching and fantasizing about it, constantly going grocery shopping, creating recipe collections of foods they could not eat, talking about it and so many other effects. Here is the link to the Wikipedia description of the study, The Starvation Study.

When I first read this, it was quite shocking how many of the effects the men faced in the study, I was also battling in my own life. I developed such a focus on food because my body was obviously trying to tell me something, EAT!

This reading, plus other supportive methods are getting me out of the deprivation/food obsessed mode. Now when I bake, I do actually EAT what I create, and always sample the batter! By the way, yellow cake mix and brownie batter are definitely my favorite :D. And nope, I don’t worry about food poisoning from the eggs!

I hope this post was helpful to anyone that read it. Reflecting on these memories enables me to realize how irrational I have been and how the mind is a very powerful thing, to put it simply!

One last question, what are some of your favorite dessert recipes, I got a hankerin to try something new! 🙂

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Filed under Baking, Childhood, Confession, ED, I'm Just Sayin', Recovery

Finally, I Have One!

Good evening!

I have something exciting to report, well at least for me, I finally purchased a FOOD PROCESSOR!

I’m sure several of you already have one and are saying, what’s the big thing? I have wanted one for quite sometime but had this silly idea that they were too expensive. They are certainly not! I saved up a bit and bought one at target today for 60 bucks and well worth it if you ask me. 🙂 I decided to purchase one after countless times of looking up recipes and seeing the words “food processor” among the required machines, which I would follow with, d’oh!

And let me tell you, attempting to get oatmeal to a course texture, along with dried fruit for a dessert recipe, with a blender that umm, sucks= no bueno. I knew there was a problem when the blender started to smell like burning plastic and I basically broke the darn thing! So yes, time for a machine that is actually supposed to be used for processing/crumbling ingredients!

Let’s just say I have been breaking in my new kitchen utility ever since I got home! I whipped up a few blog world favorites, such as peanut butter, almond butter, oat bran, and even made dough for a whole wheat bread recipe! Exciting stuff I know :p

I used honey-roasted peanuts I bought from Trader Joes and ground those suckas up for a good 6 minutes before it reached my desired consistency= drippy, but not too liquidy with some crunch, yumm! My mom agrees! I put in two cups of nuts which yielded one and half cups of peanut butter.

My almond butter was a success as well! I coated raw almonds with a few sprinkles of cinnamon, and maple syrup, let them roast for a 5 minutes in a 350 degree, let them cool and then ground em up! They are nice and sweet, with a subtle maple flavor that I love. Making your own nut butters is such a great money saver too. This tasted almost as good as my favorite, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, but cost about six dollars less, yes please! As a poor college student, I try to save money where and whenever I can.

My whole wheat bread was also made with the food processor, by adding warm water to the flour/yeast mixture as it is being turned in the machine. Eventually it makes a nice, sticky dough and then I let it rest for 10 minutes, and popped it in the oven, where it is currently baking. If it turns out good, I shall post the recipe!

One last thing, made some kale chips for an extra nutritious bonus, tasty! See Kath’s Recipes for how to make kale chips 🙂

How have others used their food processor? I would love some new ideas!

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Favorite Foods, Food Processor, Nut Butter, Trader Joes

Confession and a Healthy Granola Recipe!

Good afternoon! I almost just wrote morning, but the day seems to be zooming by, its already 12:30!

Confession Time: This morning I went on a pleasant 7 mile run at a relaxed pace. I came in around 55 minutes, but was quite tired the whole time! I really need to start fueling before my runs, or at least during. I know, it is so BAD not to, but I usually run first thing in the morning and I really NEVER wake up hungry and forcing myself to eat leads to stomach issues on my run…gross I know! But not going to lie, the irrational, wanting to lose weight side of my brain thinks this will lead to a faster weight loss, similar to what I did after workouts, not eat! NOT SMART!

For runs that are longer than 8 miles, I am going to try incorporating Shot Bloks or an equivalent every few miles. I am sure that will make a difference in my energy levels, and I will report back with my experiment! If that goes well, I am going to try eating a small something before a run, perhaps half a banana or something. What are people’s favorite mid-fuel treats that are easy on the stomach?

I should note, however, that I ALWAYS fuel before Cross Country races, and other road races no matter what the distance is. I try to perform by very best during each race, and know how important fuel is… so DUHHH I need to do this before every workout/run to get the most out of my training!

After I showered, I whipped up a pretty quick and very easy granola recipe to have for breakfast! I based it off of this recipe, Banana Granola, but changed a few things

  1. Cutting the recipe in half
  2. Using only walnuts instead of walnuts and seeds
  3. Agave Nectar, not honey,
  4. and a few sprinkles of TJ Peanut Flour which has been discontinued! Alas 😦

It turned out really good! I love granola but some recipes and ones you can buy are fat and calorie dense. With this recipe, you still get a good measure of healthy fats with the walnuts and bit of Peanut Flour, but it is much lower, and still tasty! The banana adds a touch of sweetness and the baking time allows it to crunch up nicely. I suggest you make this asap! 🙂













On a side note, I read the Fitnessista Blog (which is fabulous for so many reasons, I’m sure you already read it 🙂 ) She did a short video on a pretty twist you can do to your hair and I decided to try it today, check it out!



Have a nice day everyone! Later today I will be posting more about disordered eating habits, such as my daily eats before and after getting better

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Confession, ED, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Running

Workout and Brownies

A strange combination, no? Hehe well I did a workout first thing this morning and then went onto the baking portion of my day, remember, it’s important to refuel and chocolate is certainly nutritious :p.

My mom works out at a personal training studio and she has a few guest passes for a free session. I used one today, and had an appointment with a trainer at 8:30 with a two other women. At this place, a trainer works with the group for 30 minutes, guiding people in exercises such as planks, tricep/bicep/shoulder work, lunges, squats, moves on the bosu, abdominal work, and several other moves. There is a timer within in the studio that tells the exerciser to work for 45 seconds, with a 15 second rest for 4 reps on the given exercise.

Let me tell you, some of the exercises certainly whipped my butt! I do a lot of core work, to improve my running speed, but by the fourth set of planks, balancing on one leg and one arm, my muscles were seriously shakin. At the end of the 30 minutes, I hopped on one of the treadmills to do some interval work. When I first began running, I was so slow and barely could run more than a mile at a time without feeling like I would literally pass out. I diligently kept up with this new sport, and have slowly built up my miles and speed (read more about my running journey in the pages section!).

I found that adding intervals and focusing on speed work has really improved my times in races and during regular runs. I used to run mile repeats around 7:50 and now can do 4x 1 mile repeat with an average pace of 6:15….a huge improvement! Intervals are very challenging, but help to boost your metabolism, build up speed, endurance and so many other benefits. This style of training is also great because it can be performed on any machine, or with any exercise– elliptical, bike, speed walking, strength training with cardio blasts such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees and butt kicks (plyometrics).

For my treadmill workout I ran for 30 minutes, with one- minute pickups at 9.1 mph and a two and a half minute recovery at 7.9 speed. I also set the treadmill at an incline of 2% to simulate outside running. I was so tired at the end of this and it is safe to say that I was a sweaty beast! But it felt great and know it will help my speed in the future.

Once I stretched, I walked home and refueled with a bowl of oatmeal with a banana and Justin’s Maple Almond Butter– my absolute favorite kind!

Next, BAKING! My mom is a labor and delivery nurse at local hospital and works with a fantastic group of other nurses. Ever since she began working there, I have been baking different recipes for them to try and they report back with their reviews. My recipes are usually based off of another recipe I find, such as the one I made today. I located this one at Jessica’s Blog- How Sweet It Is, which has amazing recipes, difficult workouts, and her writing is hilarious and the pictures are gorgeous, check it out!

I chose the Better Than Crack Brownies, but substituted pecans for salted peanuts, white chocolate peanut butter for the regular peanut butter and used a Duncan Hines brownie recipe. Sometimes I make desserts from scratch, but today I wasn’t feeling it!

In my humble opinion they turned out delicious and my mom and her friends at work agreed! Make these if you are looking for a very decadent, addicting, chocolate dessert/snack!

This afternoon I am babysitting for three kids, and prepping dinner for them as well. Have a nice rest of the day!

About running, has anyone incorporated interval training into their workouts, and if so, have you noticed a difference in how you feel such as your speed and endurance?

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Family, Fitness, Running