Saturday, October 23, 2010

Apple Cider Mini-Muffins And Evolving Thoughts On The Binge Monster

I thought I would share a little experience with you today. It doesn't have a conclusion, and there's no neat bow I can wrap it in. I have no tidbit of wisdom to give you, only an idea that's been winding it's way around my legs the way a cat might curl its tail around you. Do you remember me talking about my "binge monster?" Since I've been writing this blog, I've had an image in my head of a furry creature, much like Mercer Meyer's Little Critter. I know, not exactly a big scary monster, right? But that's the image that came to me, and I've stuck with it. This summer, I was reading a book on food addiction, and the author recommended doing some visualization. He wanted me to imagine myself vanquishing that monster. So I tried. I pictured myself as my favorite book heroine, beating the bad guys. I tried picturing myself with a sword (no guns - even in my fantasies I don't like them), attacking the monster. Well, can you imagine what happened? I started feeling really bad. Poor little critter, right? I'm just not a vanquishing monsters kind of girl. I mean, monsters have feelings too.

So I gave up on the visualization. I've never been very good at that anyway. Ask me to picture a peaceful stream and I'll see crashing waves. My mind is pretty stubborn and doesn't like to be told what to do. Maybe there's a lesson in that? Anyway, I went for a walk one day, and my mind began to wander. I can't remember what I was thinking about. Bingeing, visualizations, little critters, biochemistry exams, my impending move to Seattle...take your pick. Suddenly an image came to me. It was my binge monster. Except it was a tiger. Not a scary tiger, but a sweet, cuddly, soft tiger that only wanted to be petted.

Huh. So all this time I've been demonizing something in me that only wanted love. Now, at this point you might be thinking, "Well duh, Iris. I could have told you that. We overeat to fill a space in ourselves that's missing something." Okay, yes, I knew that. But there's knowing and there's knowing. My mind clearly did not like me running around with a sword, swinging at everything with abandon. So it gave me an image I could work with.

What do I do with that image? That's something I'm still working on. I've got a lot of ideas, I'm doing some work, and yes, even some visualizations. But no swords this time. Just lots of love. And part of that is allowing myself to enjoy comforting food. Which is where my "fluffy clouds of goodness" come in.

Quite an introduction for muffins, right? These puff up while they bake and are best warm from the oven. However, they settle into a perfect "muffin" texture, so you can definitely save some for your lunch the next day.

Apple Cider Muffins
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup sweet white rice flour 
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup coconut cream (see note*)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple cider, coconut cream*, agave nectar, and grapeseed oil. 
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Spoon into greased mini-muffin tins. 
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes. 
*I learned this tip from Shirley. If you put coconut milk in the fridge, the cream will rise to the top. I scoop the cream from the top for this recipe.

Have you tried visualizations before? Does your mind go where you want it to or wander willy-nilly through the forest of your imagination?

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


Sophie said...

MMMMMMMM,..Your mini muffins look amazing & look so pretty too!

Delectable mini food!

briogusto said...

The best introduction for a muffin recipe. :)

It sounds like you're really beginning to hear what your subconscious is trying to say. I think sometimes it takes a while to find out what exactly that is, but so much of the "hearing" part is about making sense of what happens in the "listening" process.


Maggie said...

Your muffins are full of yumminess! Love that you used apple cider. I find that coconut cream to be so so so thick. Is yours that way too when it comes out of the fridge? Your monster is cute - Callum and I read those books :) Love is all you need (who said that? HAHA).

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Just wrote this long comment and lost it ... aaargh. Short version ... I recommend reading the book, Hungry. Read it recently after seeing a review at Erin's (Gluten-Free Fitness). Tried the author's plan he discovered at years of overeating and bingeing and his approach worked for me. Went back to my regular eating and everything went haywire again. I'm going back to the Hungry plan, which is pretty much eating three meals a day (reasonable portions) and NOT eating the foods we know we can't eat. Desserts/treats fit into those meals unless they are things you can't control. Sounds too easy, but I really recommend reading the book. Very inspiring, even thought it's a quick read and in many ways not anything revolutionary.

The muffins looks delish, Iris! Glad you found the coconut cream tip helpful. :-)


Iris said...

@Shirley, thanks for the recommendation. I'm always happy to hear of new ideas/books to read. I do really well when I'm eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day; it's when I fall off that schedule that I end up going crazy.

Heidi @Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom said...

Beautiful muffins Iris (that sounds a bit weird, doesn't it?). :-D

I have a big jug of fresh apple cider in my fridge, so I think I will be experimenting with this recipe very soon (only with flax eggs).

As for visualizations and the mind wandering...oh boy, that is so me! My "professional confidant" has tried to get me to visualize, journal, meditate, you name it for the past 2 1/2 years; but mind will not cooperate, it usually does the exact opposite!

I also remember when he pointed out to me that I was just trying to "fill the empty void" inside with food, shopping, etc. He said the key to changing those behaviors would be when I learned how to "mother myself" (he must not know how crazy busy my life is, I can't handle anymore children right now, LOL)!

His words really did have an impact on me though and that was when I realized there has been a life long issue with self-loathing (mainly due to chronic health issues since the day I was born). How could I love a body that had brought me so much pain and disappointment for 36 years?

I am still working on those internal issues, but the more careful attention I pay to what I put in my mouth each day and the way my body has responded in kind (70 lb. weight loss and normal blood work for the first time in many years), we are finally working together as a team and that feels really good. :-D

Sorry, didn't mean to write a book!


Iris said...

@Heidi, Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad you're finally at a place where you feel like you're on the same team with your body. It can't be an easy thing to constantly be battling for good health.

Ricki said...

I can relate to your musing on this issue, Iris, as I, too, have a binge monster ("Monsters have feelings, too"--love it!). Sounds as if you are learning more about the monster and yourself, which is moving in the right direction. And of course muffins are most welcome, too! These look great. :)

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I'm glad that you're working your way through this relationship with the binge monster. What's funny - the way you referred to it, I visualized that little cartoon monster too! How funny is that.
These muffins look tasty. Yum!

Bella Sirena said...

Thanks for posting. Carbs + me = binge mode. I can totally relate. Most carbs I have to have as a special treat... not something as a meal or I just crave more and more of them!


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