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Like a lot of people with ED, I don’t really do the whole balance thing.

I’m either wildly productive and focused, or barely able to get out of bed.  I’m either getting up at 5am to exercise for at least an hour before work, or I’m sleeping in and taking the elevator.  I’m either starving spectacularly, or drowning in a quagmire of chocolate and cheese.  This is a part of me that I don’t expect to change, but at least as far as my eating issues are concerned, it is something that I want to work on.

I haven’t posted here for a few months because I’ve been trying to pull my self out of a pretty serious backslide into full on starving, unhealthy fixation and secrecy.  I stopped writing down my calories and playing my math games.  I started eating with my husband and scheduling dinner dates with friends for the nights when I knew he’d be working late.  I started eating while watching TV to distract myself into eating a full bowl of food.  I started allowing myself to buy the treats that I had trained myself to think of as “ugly pills.”

And I binged.

It helped that my health has been so very poor through these cold winter months and I’ve been taking narcotic pain killers almost daily.  With my inhibition reduced and my workload through the roof as the semester drew to an end, I dove into the holiday treats that had previously been strictly forbidden.

I’m fat as fuck, and I feel like shit.

So, I’ve decided that with the new year, I’m going to try a new way of coping.  I’m no longer letting myself buy bags of candy that are likely to trigger a binge when my resistance is down.  Instead, I’m trying to come up with some ways to satisfy cravings that are less unhealthy and take longer to consume.  I’m going to try to post something new once a week just in case any of you think you could benefit from them.  Some weeks (like this one) they’ll be silly, obvious things like sugar free candy.  Other weeks, I’m hoping to have some recipes for 200 calorie and under mug cakes that you can whip up to satisfy a craving.

I’m a huge fan of mug cakes because of the fact that they are single serving, meaning you have to actually go through the time and effort it takes to cook each portion if you’re going to eat more than one.  This, for me, has helped stop the mindless, hate-fueled food inhalation that I usually need to sustain a binge.  I’ll be using gluten-free bisquick and almond milk in most of these because I have celiac sprue and lactose intolerance, so if you end up substituting regular flour/pancake mix or dairy milk, you’ll need to adjust the calorie count accordingly.  I’ll also be using packets of Truvia (stivia) as a sweetener, so if you end up using a different low or no calorie sweetener, you may need to try things out a few times to get the amount of sweetness correct.

But for this week, I’m going to be sharing my easiest binge-deterrent:   Sugar Free Werther’s Originals.

Werthers-Original-Sugar-Free-Candy

I originally bought these to help me deal with the cotton mouth feeling that I get from my pain killers, and only later realized that on the days when I had these available, I was much less likely to be tempted to binge on other, more fattening treats.  These hard candies are 8 calories each, and take approximately 15 minutes to dissolve. A full, 2.75 oz bag has 200 calories.  They are sweetened with isomalt, which has been linked to diarrhea, so try not to go overboard.  They also contain “real butter and cream” since that’s always been the company’s claim to fame, so don’t trick yourself into thinking that being sugar free somehow makes these healthy.  Since a lot of people with ED, myself included, have high cholesterol, this is seriously something you should take into consideration when eating.

There are 4 flavors, my favorite of which are caramel coffee and caramel apple.  Apple and coffee both go incredibly well with the original caramel flavor and are incredibly satisfying.  The caramel cinnamon flavor is fine, but it’s a rather odd combination that took me a little while to get used to.  The cinnamon flavor is more subtle than it is in most other cinnamon-flavored candies I’ve tried, such as red hots, hot tamales and atomic fireballs, which could a pleasant change if you don’t enjoy the heat associated with these candies. One benefit of all the flavored versions of this candy is that the isomalt was not noticeable.  The regular hard candies took a little while for me to get used to because of the isomalt flavor.  I grew up on the regular version of these hard candies, so my first taste of the sugar free version was both disappointing and surprising.  I enjoy them now, but that’s because I now think of them as an entirely different candy rather than viewing them as a sugar-free version of a childhood treat.

Next week, I hope to have perfected my chocolate mug cake recipe.  I’m almost there, but the cook time and moisture still need to be tweaked.  Until then, stay as strong and as healthy as you’re able to right now.

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