Monday, February 27, 2012

From Weird to Wonderful

Last week was, for lack of a better word or possibly the best word to describe it, weird. As in, The Twilight Zone weird. Or Weird Al weird. Or falling down the rabbit hole weird. I’m sure you get it. It was weird, and it wasn't the kosher kind.

Stress and uncertainty can do a lot of things to a person, particularly when you aren’t quite sure what it is you are stressed or uncertain about. While I was sick it felt like I was eating all the time. I felt better by Thursday, and rock climbed three days in a row. At the same time I was playing around with various supplements to enhance my health. Some days it worked while on other days... not so much. My hormones and emotions were playing Ping-Pong in the very back of my consciousness, coloring my perception of reality. Again, there were days where I was aware and bright eyed. But on most days, I didn’t like it at all.

From the weirdness came a beacon of light, though. This was the week the boyfriend was up from Harrisonburg to talk with students at GMU for the job fair. We talked about us, about hypothetical and/or future hard decisions, and we walked from it hand in hand, a better couple and better friends as the result. This may have been the underlying stress I didn’t know I had, because after our many heart-to-heart conversations, I’ve been sleeping a full night’s rest without waking up, and I’m not randomly hungry or mindlessly munching.

It was the domino effect, and it poured into the other aspects of my life. I became motivated to continue working on my resume and taking it seriously. With my sleeping well, I wasn’t as hungry and had the energy to run longer (view updated fitness regimen here). I am managing my time more efficiently, and thus have time to write a post or two… maybe three.

Starting this week, I’m managing recipes and posting a lot more regularly than I have been doing. I want to do at least one every other day, but I’d like to have around twenty posts a month. So be on the look out for more recipes, philosophizing, random pictures of food, adventures, health updates, and restaurant reviews.

My blog is changing, hopefully for the better, because I have been neglecting it terribly. I loved how much I learned my first month blogging, and recently I’ve been treating writing like it was a chore instead of a pastime. If I want to be the change I want to see in the world, I have to make the effort to develop and nurture such a feat.

I’m back from the Rabbit Hole, dear readers, with a new recipe for you.

As you may know, most of my breakfasts have consisted of breakfast bakes for a couple of months now. Some of them have been solely made with buckwheat flour or garbanzo bean flour, while others have had additional flours like coconut, CGF oats, or flaxseed meal. I like to keep the base around 275 to 350 calories, and incorporate fruits, veggies, and spreads for a higher nutritional content for an extra 100 to 200 calories. Calories don’t matter that much to me anymore, and I can happily say my breakfasts keep me going until 11:00, an impressive 4 – 5 hour stretch.

Recently I made a carrot cake breakfast bake and, loving it so much, decided to make a batch of muffins with a few modified adjustments and some added ingredients to make them cake-like and moist. The base is essentially two breakfast bakes combined to make 8 – 9 muffins, so if you eat four or six (yes, they’re that yummy) in a sitting, don’t worry about it. They hold well and don’t crumble on you, perfect for eating right out of your hand. Eat them with a smear of honey or stevia-sweetened cream cheese, almond butter, or simply them as is in all of their glorious muffin-ness.

Eat well, my friends, and enjoy. 

Carrot “Bran” Muffins

60 g Buckwheat flour
28 g Coconut flour
16 g Flaxseed meal
120 ml Carrot juice
120 ml Filtered water
10 ml Unfiltered apple cider vinegar
15 ml Coconut oil, room temperature
2 Eggs
60 g Unsweetened applesauce
80 g Thompson (or Sultana) raisins
2 medium Carrots, finely grated
45 g Unsalted pistachio meats, finely chopped (by hand or with a food processor)
1/2 – 1 scant tsp. Sea salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Bourbon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ginger powder
Stevia, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the ingredients (sans the coconut oil, the grated carrot, raisins, and pistachio).
Fold in the remaining ingredients and let the batter sit at room temperature for fifteen minutes.
Pour the batter into greased muffin tins (I used a 3 oz ice cream scoop like this one to keep it even), and place in the oven to bake for thirty minutes.
When set, remove from the muffin tins to the cooling rack (I didn’t wait that long to take a bite).
Serve slightly above room temperature or chilled.

Makes 8 – 9 muffins.

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