The changing seasons often trigger a myriad of emotions in individuals with eating disorders. These emotions can range from excitement, anticipation, and joy, to fear, worry, and dread. Many of these emotions revolve around the seasonal variety of foods that are served during the fall and winter holidays. Holiday foods can often be “fear foods” or “trigger foods” for patients with eating disorders. In addition, many holidays are centered around social eating.
However, part of recovery is learning that even holiday foods can be eaten in balance and moderation, without resorting to following eating disorder behaviors to get through the holidays.
Just as with all foods, seasonal fall and winter foods contain important nutrients that our bodies need to function. Holiday foods are composed of the same macronutrients that any other foods are composed of – fat, starch, and protein. In addition, there are micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are found in many fall and winter foods. Take pumpkins for example — pumpkins have a high content of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in healthy vision. However, Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and needs fat in order to be absorbed. Thus, eating baked pumpkin goods such as pumpkin muffins, which contain added fats, are a great way to obtain this vital nutrient!
The Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe below is a tasty way to balance a starch and fat exchange along with the added benefits of Vitamin A. Enjoy!
Lead Dietitian, Veritas Collaborative, Richmond, VA
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 regular muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine oil, eggs, pumpkin, and water. Whisk until blended, about 1 minute.
4. Carefully fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, gently incorporating with a rubber spatula or spoon. When the batter is almost mixed together (you should still see a few dry spots of the flour mixture), fold in the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
5. Divide batter evenly between the 12 lined muffin tins.
6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Serve warm or cool completely before storing (muffins will keep in an airtight container for 1 week).
1 muffin = 1 starch, 1 fat
Yield: 12 muffins