Baking For Others- Progress With Room For Improvement

by tessa8m on February 25, 2012

in Confession,Disorded Thoughts,Recovery

Posting on the weekend? What is this?!

Well it is safe to say this community never ceases to both amaze and move me! Your support on Midnight’s post… oh wow, thank you for that. It was really needed and helped to deal with the situation. I would also like to note that I not only made myself cry while writing the post, but also my mom, dad and brothers (I think!) We all will miss him so much, but you all reminded to me dwell on the good times whenever I start missing him. Thank you :)

And now something a bit more cheerful!

**I didn’t really intend to make a flippen long post like this… but my wordy self got the better of me and I started to ramble. Read if you would like or just scan for the delicious recipes, I understand :D

Per usual, I have been baking up a storm whenever I can, especially when I have been at my mom and dad’s house on the weekend! And yet, there has been very few of these baked goods seen on the ole blog… it’s mighty time to change that. It would be rather selfish of me to hold back the sugary goodness! There are some healthier treats in here too though, it’s all about balance right?!

I know I have discussed this a number of times, but my relationship and reasons for baking (and cooking for that matter) have gone through ups, downs and all-arounds.

At first it was a pleasure in every way possible- I loved to plan, buy the ingredients, follow the recipe, add my own personal tough, make the food, taste it as I go (especially cake batter!), feed others and watch how happy the food made them and I would ALWAYS eat whatever it was too!


Cake Batter Rolo Bars

Super easy and made from a box mix…. Why yes I don’t always bake from scratch! (in fact box mixes come in handy more times than not ;) )


  • 1 package yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 36 Rolos, halved


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. Get a partner if you can to help you unwrap the candies… it takes so dang long without someone else! haha. Otherwise, get ready for a rather tedious few minutes of your life :)
  3. Combine the cake mix and nuts. Stir in the evaporated milk and melted butter. Spread half of the cake mix mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place Rolo pieces, cut side down, over hot crust. Drop remaining cake mix mixture by teaspoonfuls over Rolo pieces. Return to oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut into squares to serve.


For example, pancakes and me go way back.

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 (AUNT JAMIMA), 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.


Healthy Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pretty much the same as CCK, but I doubled the recipe. The first time I made them, they were wayyyyy too thin! Sorry Katie, I need some more bulk in my baked goods :)


  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 T brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 T nondairy milk (I used Vanilla soy milk)
  • 4 T coconut oil (can use vegetable, but the coconut made it taste pretty awesome)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 8 oz Reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 2/3 cup powder sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet.
  2. Spread into an oiled 8×8 pan and cook for 25 minutes.
  3. Frosting: Beat frosting ingredients on low with hand mixer until mixed and then increase speed slightly and whip for 10-15 seconds. Slowly add 2/3 cup powder sugar and mix until creamy.
  4. After bars are cooled, cut into 2 inch squires and top with a generous teaspoon of frosting.


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.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

I will take noooo credit for these, other than following this recipe and putting them together! Thank you Pinterest, you have done it again!

I served these to my RA staff and was told they were the best things yet that I have had them taste test. Trust me, that statement means a lot…make these NOW!


I am quite aware of how positively messed up this is, especially when the raw dough/batter is not even consumed!

For example, I would consistently make chocolate chip cookies from scratch and not eating a single bite of the dough or the finished product gave me a bit of a rush and feeling of 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.

Little did I understand at the time that it was not me, Tessa, my rational self that was “in control” but it was the toxic and insidious Eating Disorder. The illness was being fueled by the control it had over me, and when I resisted a simple pleasure in life such as a cookie, I was giving more and more power to it. It was my true self that was becoming warped into thinking that the disorder’s desires was what I really wanted.


Health(ier) Banana-Fudge Brownies (Vegan)

Adapted from here


  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1 cup mixed raw walnuts & almonds
  •  1/4 cup cocoa powder (for the bottom layer)
  •  Ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder (for the top layer)
  • 4 tbsp almond butter (I used TJs Roasted Flaxseed almond butter- one of my favorites!)
  • 4 tbsp honey


  1. Mix together all bottom ingredients in a food processor until well blended.
  2. Spread bottom ingredients in a large glass baking pan until evenly distributed
  3. Mix together top ingredients in a food processor until well blended.
  4. Spread top blend over bottom layer base until evenly distributed.
  5. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut into 16 squares, serve and enjoy!
  7. Re-freeze whatever you don’t eat and enjoy at a later date!

Makes approximately 12 squares

I served these at my brother’s house last weekend and everyone loved them… for the most part… My dad hated them lol (sorry dad, I had to tell them ;) ) This type of “dessert” is just not his thing, he is a more traditional baked goods kind of guy!


Baking and cooking for others is yet another example of how delusional the disordered eating has made me. I have lost touch with what I truly pine for, what my genuine interests are, and who I am as a person. However, I know it’s possible to get the “real” Tessa back and identifying and then tackling the countless ways the eating disorder has been ingrained into my life, is necessary. Yes it’s difficult, but oh my goodness so so worth it.

Confession (and tangent) time

I won’t lie to you my friends, the “disordered eating” thoughts continue to linger with this whole baking thing… less so, but to a certain extent they are still there. When I am creating something that is “fearful,” I do test the batter (like old times!), and always eat the end result. However, it is sometimes quite a small portion- a lick, bite, and taste… just enough to get an idea of what the finished product is like.

I don’t want you to think I am lying about what I have eaten in the past or anything. In fact I actually often do give myself a full serving of whatever it is. But the ever-present guilt and voice telling me that I “should not” is just so irritating.

I have come so very far since the worst times, where literally nothing with 2 or more grams of fat in it would cross my lips. However, I sometimes feel like there is just such a long way to go. In this situation, I simply cannot feel “okay” eating an entire cookie, or a large brownie which I know was made with a whole stick of butter, oil, sugar, etc. I feel as though I am wasting my precious calories and then what will I do if I am hungry later?! Eat of course! But no, so much more complicated than that….

And what if I become like everyone else and actually “give in” to something I have been able to resist for so long? Who will I be then? What will everyone think of me?!

In the matter of baked goods and junk food in general, I  don’t really want to “be able” to eat an entire box of cookies, pan of brownies, etc. I love healthy food and I genuinely enjoy it. The thing is though, I am scared to give myself permission to eat even a normal-sized portion because of the usual bullsh*t consequences- weight gain, loss of control… Eating a regular old cookie has an incredible amount of meaning to it, in my mind at least.

The fears, irrationality, the eating disorder voice.. they all still remain. And you know what else? They all play a regular starring role in my daily decision making. Thankfully there is a thread of hope in all of this- of course challenging the fears will always allow progression, and also remembering that by continuing to ebb away from the eating disorder, I am finding myself, the person I truly am and will become as I continue to heal.

Whoops heavier post than I anticipated… Like I said, just enjoy the recipes if you want to haha :)

-Out of the four recipes here, which one looks the best?! My personal favorite was the cheesecake bars. Yes I only had a small serving, but I did so while shoving away the guilt. A small victory but I’ll take it.

-If you are working on this (as I am) why is it so hard to eat a regular brownie/cookie/cupcake/etc? Is it really about the weight gain, or think about it, are there underlying issues as well? For me yes, exploring this is a continuous work in progress.

-How comfortable are you with eating the occasional “not-so-healthy” treat? How did you reach this point? Have you ever struggled with the fears?

-Have you ever made a “healthier” dessert that someone did not like? I can usually “fool” my friends and family with healthier desserts and they don’t know the difference, but this time was a bit of a fail. My dad’s reaction was too funny :D

I hope y’all are having a more fun Saturday night than I am… I am on RA duty until 2 am :( Gross man. Have a great rest of your weekend!


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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy Lauren February 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Actually, I think the rolo bars looks good, and I think I’m going to make them myself sometime soon. Just gotta get rolos and evaporated milk… I foresee a trip to the dollar store soon for those items :). Also it’s a very cheap recipe I might add…

I’ve made a few healthier desserts that my husband didn’t like, but I think sometimes it wasn’t that he didn’t like the healthy part, just that he didn’t care for that food too much at all. I made cookies with apricots in them and he didn’t like those, not that they were healthier, just that he’s not an apricot fan. But, it’s so hard for me to accept that people just might not like everything I bake because of personal preference and nothing personal.

If all else fails, I just sit the dessert on the break room table at work and it is consumed in no time.

I’m cool with having the occasional not-so-healthy treat. I’ve started eating cupcakes occasionally, but I still won’t touch donuts or ice cream that isn’t low fat or fat free. I will say that when I have a treat that I really want, it’s a lot more satisfying (both to the palate and my mind) than “settling” for something that’s comfortable.
Amy Lauren recently posted..On Being a Princess…


2 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Oh yes, the recipe is quite cheap! Perfect for this poor as heck college student :)
Ha it’s always good to know you have co-workers that will eat the baked goods, no food goes to waste!
I am glad you are getting more comfortable with the occasional treat Amy


3 Carrie Purchase @ Myhealthyaddictions February 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm

When I first started eating clean I honestly didn’t have a “cheat” meal for over a year. For me it wasn’t about gaining weight, I just wanted to be lean and prove to myself that I could resist temptations! Obviously I could (I think it’s all in your head) and I finally realized that a cheat meal every once in awhile can actually shock your system and speed up your metabolism. In fact- today the hubby and I had some Fro-Yoat TCBY. I got Moutain Blackberry and White Chocolate Mousse w/out toppings! So Good :)
Carrie Purchase @ Myhealthyaddictions recently posted..Sweet Potato Turkey Chili


4 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Oh my gosh I haven’t had TCBY in years! There is not one close to me, I know the horror :( But I am glad you are getting better at having treats!


5 Katie February 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Its almost 10 pm and I am now drooling and hungry for some damn sweets! Rolos PLEASE! Those are my favorite ever and those look so good!

Happy Weekend love! <3
Katie recently posted..Kale chips, masks, and shower-less


6 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Hahaha we are both givign each other crazy cravings at odd times of the day :)


7 Kelsey B. February 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

It’s been nearly over 3 years since I’ve had a “real” baked good. :/ I won’t go near anything made with butter, oil, white flour, etc. My ol’ ED still has quite the grasp on my mindset with those. I’ve come so far with everything, as you have, but I still struggle with the same thing. :[ I guess it's still the issue of rationalizing 'empty' calories.
We'll get there, though! One baby step at a time. :]
Kelsey B. recently posted..I’m Back! :D


8 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 12:42 am

Aww Kelsey I soo understand of course! We will get there, it’s something I truly believe!


9 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries February 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm

dear lord, those chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars sound AMAZING!! i can’t get over it! definitely going on my future “to bake” list!
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..An Early Birthday Celebration


10 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I am fairly positive you will like them… us sharing such similar cravings and all :)


11 Melissa @TryingtoHeal February 26, 2012 at 12:14 am

I spent all of Saturday baking cupcakes for two parties for friend’s this weekend. And when I went to one of the parties, although I didn’t eat the cupcakes I made, I gladly enjoyed the other goodies that were there because I simply could and knew, nothing bad would happen! I plan tomorrow to have one of the cupcakes I made (vegan pb and chocolate cupcakes with pb/chocolate frosting) because again, I can and deserve to have one after all the hard work I put into them! have no fear my dear, those desserts will come to us naturally one day!
Melissa @TryingtoHeal recently posted..Comment on Local Freshness of Kauai by Danielle


12 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Aww Melissa thank you for sharing this… it really does help and give me motivation! I hope you enjoyed the cupcakes too, they sound good!


13 Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats February 26, 2012 at 12:35 am

I definitely think the cookie dough cheesecake dessert looks the best. During my disordered eating time, I would save up calories so that I could eat dessert. I used to pretty much starve myself all day so that I could eat fro yo for a bedtime snack. Lately, when I have sweets I have been going all out where you could almost call it a binge. Now that I have my own kitchen and everything back I would like to work towards getting back on a healthier track and really learning how to fuel my body and listen to what it wants.
Abby @ Abz ‘n’ Oats recently posted..getting moved


14 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I am sure that settling in to your new place and getting adjusted and such will help with anxiety/stress levels which will then help with your eating habits! I know I go crazy when I am stressed- either restricting or binging.


15 Khushboo February 26, 2012 at 2:34 am

The only thing missing from those cheesecake bars is ice cream- otherwise it’s all my favorite desserts in one! Drool-worthy post, Tess!
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16 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Hahaha good point! Noted ;)


17 Lyn @ FueledBySalad February 26, 2012 at 2:48 am

The fudge brownies look really good! I think it’s so great that you’re discovering yourself again. I think eating that (insert-guilty-treat-here!) is really a matter of a mental obstacle to overcome. I’ve never had a sweet tooth since I was young, but I’m still resistant to eating sweets. I make healthy desserts for my friends and family, mostly to use up stuff like overripe bananas and applesauce!
Lyn @ FueledBySalad recently posted..Chickpea love!


18 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

It really is a mental struggle.. i could not agree more!


19 Vien @ We Dare Food February 26, 2012 at 4:37 am

I’m torn between the fudge brownie and cheesecake! But all of them looks really good :)
I did went through similar thinking during my worst times. Truthfully, I still have (tiny) problems eating baked goods with ‘real’ stuff like butter & sugar. But I’ve learned to treat myself once in a while without feeling guilty. And baking for people used to be an addiction! And I’d feel so silly asking people “Is it too sweet?? How does it taste like?” and getting replies like “Didn’t you try it?” “Shouldn’t you know that?”. OH silly.
Thank you for sharing your recipes! Just bought a can of pumpkin from an American grocery store! :D (yes, we don’t have canned pumpkins in our supermarkets! or pumpkin spice either!)
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20 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I enjoyed the cheesecake things more :)
That is wonderful that you have gotten so much better about treating yourself! I sooo can relate to that conversation too! I would ask people all of the time what they thought and lie saying I already had, but needed their opinions too. Urgh.


21 Amy @ Turtle-speed Runner February 26, 2012 at 4:51 am

My dad is usually not a fan of my healthier creations ;) Mum always says she loves them, but it’s hard to tell if she’s being truthful!
I could definitely relate to being so proud for other people eating my unhealthy creations and me not touching it at all… it was kind of evil!
I like the look of the rolo bars and the fudge brownies the best! :D
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22 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hahaha dads seem to put up a fight!


23 Heidi @ Idlehide February 26, 2012 at 6:33 am

Another great post:) I’m not gonna lie, ‘bad’ treats of any kind have the tendency to ruin my day. We went out for banana splits the other day because we had a coupon and I could only have a few bites of mine before I called it a day.
Buttt…Cake Batter Rolo Bars? I want one:)
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24 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I believe it will get better for both of us.. plus you ran so much the other day, you should treat yourself Heidi :)


25 Allie February 26, 2012 at 6:45 am

Oh my goodness, my boyfriend would totally love cake batter rolo bars! I’ll have to make them for him because rolo’s are his FAV!
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26 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake February 26, 2012 at 8:26 am

Wow; all of these recipes look equally delicious! My husband would love the Rolo bars, but I might have to hold off making them. I’m limiting myself to one sweet a day for Lent, & if I made these I doubt I could stop at just one!
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27 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Ahh why would you do such a cruel thing to yourself?! Haha I understand though :)


28 teabagginit February 26, 2012 at 8:46 am

i think so much of it has to do with the control we feel we have over the food that goes in our mouth. letting go of that control and eating something we don’t feel we deserve feels like weakness.
in fact, it’s strength to allow ourselves to live our lives with imperfection!
ps – those cookie dough cheesecake bars look frigging awesome!
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29 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Yep exactly.. .the weakness thing is what I was getting at! So true


30 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health February 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

Yes, I think those cheesecake bars look the best! Holy yum :). I don’t always have a hard time actually eating desserts…I just have a hard time with the guilt afterward! Blahh…oh well, at least I know what it is that I need to work on! Oh I’ve absolutely had healthier desserts that people didn’t like haha. I actually don’t think I liked them either when I first started eating them. I feel like they can be an acquired taste! Hope you have a fantastic Sunday pretty lady!
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31 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Ha yesss I was just going to say, they really can be an acquired taste! Especially the raw desserts!


32 Sable@SquatLikeALady February 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

I can relate to this!!! I aaaalways used to make these crazy decadent desserts for everyone else but I wouldn’t even test the batter, much less the final product, for fear of the calories! Completely messed up.


33 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Messed up indeed, so glad we both know this!


34 Kate @ Chasing It February 26, 2012 at 9:25 am

OMG…..everything looks AMAZING. I seriously couldn’t pick a favorite! the rolo bars, the cheesecake bars, the banana brownie bars, pumpkin….ummm yes please to ALL of them. I gotta try these sometime!!!

And of course, I basically could’ve written this post haha. I used to love cooking and baking and licking the batter clean off the bowl…and then, once ED hit, I started baking even MORE, but never touched a single bit of it, gave it all away to friends, and loved seeing their happy reactions and getting validation of my baking skills….exactly like living vicariously through them. wow. I haven’t even really had a chance to conquer that little aspect – with living at home, I don’t really have anyone to bake for. So I kind of just stopped….I figured “I know I won’t eat this so I might as well not waste food” etc. Which is messed up. I’m definitely better about eating baked goods that others give me though, so that’s a start! Maybe I’ll have to whip up a mini-batch (no sense in making a full batch for just me and my mom lol) of one of your recipes and try to kick that little aspect of ED in the butt!
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35 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I am thrilled to hear that you are getting better with this Kate! As I always say, it is a process and a slow one at that!


36 HollieisFueledByLOLZ February 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

I like the healthy pumpkin bars. They certainly look really good (but as does everything else). As far as the whole healthy bars type of thing goes-I’ve made healthy food that people don’t like before but it’s normally because I tell them it’s healthy. Like they shove their nose up at it. Luckily the boyfriend likes to eat as healthy as I do so he enjoys whatever I cook. ;)
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37 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Ha well as long as the BF likes it, you’re good :) I need to find a guy like that!


38 Alexandra February 26, 2012 at 11:23 am

Yay for finding yourself again my friend! That’s awesome! I think allowing ourselves to not be perfect helps so much with recovery, yay for wiggle room! :D
Oh and of course I have to mention you’re a culinary queen–those fudge brownies and rolo bars are calling me name. I’ve officially begun to drool heehee
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39 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Hehe I bet you would like the brownies! TRY THEM :)


40 Courtney February 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Reading this post made me think, “oh my gosh, I definitely do that!” I love cooking for other people, too, but your thoughts on “living vicariously” through other people as they eat my food totally resonates with me. Great post, stay strong. :)
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41 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Thank you Courtney, you stay strong as well!


42 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! February 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Wow you’ve been baking up a storm!! Everything you made sounds delicious! And whats even more awesome is that you are able to enjoy your wonderful creations now…that is a huge step! Good for you Tessa.
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43 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Thank you Kaila :)


44 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Oh my gosh girl this whole post looks so good!!! I think those cheesecake bars would be my favourite too. :D

And I can totally relate to this post – I used to never allow myself even a single BITE of a treat. And then when I started recovering I allowed myself bites here and there. And now I almost always try at least one serving of whatever I bake. Sometimes I still feel anxious about it, but I just have to remind myself that I’m being silly and that one brownie is NOT going to have any impact on my weight.

I’m so happy for you so that you’ve come so far in allowing yourself to sample your baking! It’s so nice to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures again, isn’t it? :)
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45 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Thank you for sharing your progress Chelsea! It helps me to keep me motivated!


46 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie February 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I actually made those raw brownies last summer with some changes and I loved them, they got me more interested in making raw desserts! But maybe that’s because I’m used to healthier desserts!

I also struggle with this a lot. I only make things that I feel safe with eating, aka low fat and healthy things. I don’t want to waste food or whatever so I stick with safe options but even then it’s sometimes a struggle to eat it. I’m definitely better about it though–I used to make super low fat, tasteless things and not eat them myself, so incorporating healthy fats into my food and actually eating them is a big improvement! I’m so glad you’re working on feeling okay with this too!
Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie recently posted..Coach’s Oats Review!


47 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I do believe that raw desserts are an acquired taste… but a good one too!
So glad you are better about it, that is what’s important


48 Chloe@EveryCraving February 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Everything on here has me drooling! I’m really comfortable with eating “unhealthy” foods now which I never thought would happen during my ED days. It’s all about progress! I’m glad you’re able to enjoy something you’ve made, because it really is important just to enjoy life! :)
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49 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Yes, it really is progress and working hard everyday!


50 Sarah February 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Oh my gosh, I can totally relate to worrying about “wasting calories.” I think that’s why I have such a tough time with food variety. Godforbid, I try something and don’t enjoy it, or worse, DO enjoy it, but feel so guilty about it, it was like a “waste” and now I can’t have the foods I “usually” have. Ugh, so complicated. But you’ve come so far, and each brownie you bake it one step closer to a little more freedom :)
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51 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Mhmm yesss to this.. you just described my feelings so well. We are both getting there girl


52 Ali Mc February 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I knew I shouldn’t have come here ;) jk I’ll take one of each please….maybe even two :D
Ali Mc recently posted..Random Sundays…..


53 tessa8m February 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Haha okayyyyy, I GUESS I can share ;)


54 Haley @ Health Freak College Girl February 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

first off, all these recipes sound and look delicious. i like the healthier banana fudge brownies :) i really struggle with baked goods too. i always baked for others. but when it came time to actually eat it, i wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole haha.

i think the real problem for me when it comes to baked goods is the ingredients used. i don’t like white flour and butter. but that’s what a lot of those sorts of food have.

as for making healthier foods for others and they not liking them, it happens a lot haha. then again, i must agree that i like some weird healthy stuff so i don’t blame them sometimes ;)
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55 Katherine February 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Oh man, I’m a sucker for anything cheesecake, so those cheesecake bars look DIVINE.
I once tried to make almond butter and it ended up totally failing. So, I just tossed an egg and some flour into the food processor and baked it into thumbprint cookies, which I topped with raspberry preserves and dark chocolate. They actually ended up being perfect for my dad, who’s diabetic and needs desserts that are lower in sugar on hand, and he loved them! Then again, he’ll eat just about anything…


56 Katherine February 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Just realized I didn’t answer your other question! I definitely used to be guilty of baking a lot for others and not eating any of the batter. However, once my boyfriend began to wise up as to what was going on with me, he’d make a point to take me out for dessert whenever I went to visit him. It was really difficult to deal with at first, but once I started eating the delicious treats he’d get, I began to slowly but surely open up to the idea of eating sweets again. Now, I eat dessert almost every day and love it. :D


57 chelcie @ chelcie's food files February 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm

first off ALL of those baked goods look amazing! I really want to try those pumpkin bars!!
And I am the same way with you..part of me wishes that I could be like everyone else and buy a cookie from panera on a whim and eat the whole thing without thinking twice but I just know I could never bring myself to do that..and when I bake I’m always so cautious of how much of the batter/end product I consume..I LOVE eating healthy so I know that is part of it but the other part of it is me being too hard on myself and not wanting any “slip ups”
so its definitely a work in progress!
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58 Lena @Fit on the Rocks February 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I am always SO impressed with people who can bake because it stresses me out lol. I much prefer to cook. I’m glad that Midnight is in a better place now, but am so sorry for your loss. I never understood people with their pets until I got my dog 4 years ago :(
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59 Lily February 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I, once again, can completely relate to this post! Glad the past is behind though, isn’t it so great to actually what you slave over in the kitchen?! Have an awesome week :)
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60 Colleen February 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm

As you know, I have a small bakery business that is really successful. I have only tasted one of my items. One! Now part of this is b/c of my severe allergies. I never have or will taste a “real” baked good, but I don’t evn let myself ate my healthy, allergy-free ones! In fact, I was talking to my husband the other day about how I don’t think I’ll eat an entire piece of cake/pie/etc again. I don’t know when my last one was to consume. He just shook his head and said “sad, you don’t know what you’re missing” as he ate 1/2 of a truly healthy cake I baked per his request.
I honestly can’t eat much “junk” food due to my allergies, but I really don’t care! This is not an ED opinion…junk food is just that. Junk. I place so much physical demand on my body that i have to fuel it properly to survive my long days of teaching aerobics.
My healthy desserts are a huge hit among ppl in my community. Yes, I’ve had some failures, but my husband and friends are more than willing to be my guineas!


61 Heather @ Better With Veggies February 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm

The Health(ier) Banana-Fudge Brownies (Vegan) are my style – I love my dates! I know several people who aren’t really excited about that flavor in desserts, so it’s a matter of preference for sure.

I am working on balance in my eating, trying not to use food as my reward all the time, which is my usual response. I love eating and desserts are no exception, but I’m not making them quite as often right now – moderation is key for me.
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62 Allison @ PickyEatingRD February 26, 2012 at 11:58 pm

UMM YUM!!! Those rolo bars look pretty incredible. While I have never been much of a baker I may need to grab the mixer and try a few of these things. Keep up the positive attitude =)
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63 Sophie @ Love Live & Learn February 27, 2012 at 11:08 am

Oh Tessa this made me simultaneously sad and hungry! I also feel so sad reading about how much you struggled and how much you still do :-( I think that you are so so much better than you were though, honestly girl I can see an improvement over just the last couple of months! I am so proud of your victory with your cheesecake bars :-)

All of these bakes look delicious but I’d really love to try the brownies, they intrigue me!

For me I can be very all-or-nothing with unhealthy treats. At the moment I am going without for Lent and finding it much easier than usual to get rid of the unhealthy and negative thoughts which usually go with food for me. I think this is because I know I am doing this for a much bigger reason, doing it for God feels much more special and more important! Usually though I do struggle with feelings of guilt when I eat things like crisps or cake because I think of the weight gain and the sugars etc that I am dumping in my body…
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64 tessa8m February 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Aww Sophie thank you, you always leave such heart-warming comments and that is something I really appreciate! I am improving and that is what I must remember and give myself credit for!
I am so tired of the guilt, as I am sure you are as well… I guess all we can do is keep fighting against it


65 Robyn February 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I think you make a lot of really good points in this post, and I think a lot of them are applicable—to a certain extend—to the thoughts a lot of females have when “facing” a dessert. I think one of the “scary” things about actually consuming a dessert is the idea that you “lose” the opportunity and the excitement of having it. I think that whether or not you have a sweet at the end of the day, the thought that you’re “saving up” for it or “could have it” adds some excitement, and the healthier you eat beforehand—the more accessible the dessert feels. The fear in actually having it comes from diminishing the “reward” nature of having a dessert.

Does that make sense? Hopefully haha. I think this mindset exists (at least in my head) because we tend to put desserts on a pedestal, because they are the essence of an indulgent food choice. I find that if I take them off that pedestal, and think of them as “something I really enjoy and want to have when and if I have a craving,” then the idea of having one seems less intimidating.

Your blog is inspiring. You have great voice, and it’s obvious how well you’re internalizing your goals of getting back to the “real you.” I really admire your ability to share your journey, keep it up girl :)


66 tessa8m February 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Hi Robyn,

Thank you so much for stopping by, sharing your thoughts and taking the time to read my blog! It means a lot to me :)
And what you said does make sense and I agree! I know I put desserts on a pedestal and that is a problem that then stops me from wanting to eat desserts even more. Yes I am physically worried, but mentally as well! Thank you for your support!


67 Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles February 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Tessa, I swear I could have written this post. I always loved to bake, but in the throes of my disordered eating I would pride myself on creating these masterpieces and resisting them while watching others “give in”. I got satisfaction from hearing other people tell me how amazing my creations were and I would always tell them that I’d had plenty of my fair share at home. My mom’s best friend actually approached my mom about whether I was anorexic because she noticed this habit and also noticed my weight loss. And when I did “give in” I always went overboard and would demolish entire batches of goodies. I still struggle a little with this balance. Take Christmas goodies, for instance. Testing recipes for a recipe contests, I had to bake multiple batched. I had to taste, but I was unable to limit to a normal-sized portion. So when I baked croissants for my boyfriend for Valentine’s day I didn’t even try one, I just listened to him and his roommates rave about them. I’m glad to hear you’re making progress!
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68 Nikki February 28, 2012 at 7:27 am

For some reason I don’t think I commented on your post about midnight. I am so sorry to hear about his passing. I know I seriously cry when I step on Genos paw accidentally so when he leaves me I am going to be a wreck.

On another note, your desserts look fantastic! I love pancake batter as well! And as for making healthy desserts, I was so proud the other day because Travis actually asked me to make raw vegan cookie dough balls! I may have been in shock!
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69 Saranna @ The Singing Soybean March 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

This is such a prominent topic for me right now. A few months ago, I would bake cakes with my roommate and would never have one bite. We even had cake parties and invited our friends come over to eat cake with us, and I got such a high from eating steamed veggies while they “gave in” to something I was so sure they would regret.

Recently, I’ve been baking all the time. At first I would only bake non-vegan recipes for my mom and her coworkers because I knew there was no chance I would eat them. But then I started experimenting with vegan desserts that I could eat, but still saw as “forbidden.” I would eventually give in and have a taste, only to hate myself for “losing control” and eventually throwing out my creations if I was tempted to have more.

I’m not sure when or exactly how it happened, but at some point I gave myself permission to actually eat what I make (and a lot of the batter, too!). True, I’ll only eat normal sized portions of healthy desserts – cakes with large amounts of oil and sugar are still reserved for others. In fact, I name myself a birthday cake last week that was packed with oils, sugars, and vegan butter and the whole thing created such a problem. I had a small piece on my birthday, only to break down moments later. I was so discouraged that, despite how far I’ve come, I still couldn’t even enjoy a slice of cake on my birthday without guilt.

Still, even eating my healthier creations is a huge step for me. But I know deep down that the only reason I’m ok with it is because I’ve been eating them and not gaining weight. If my pants started to become tight, would I still give myself permission to indulge? I know there wouldn’t even be a chance. Sounds like disordered thinking to me.

I’m not going to get too down about it, though! Like the title of your post, it’s progress with room for improvement. I’m hoping that the next time I’m at an occasion that involves cake, or bake up some chocolately goodness, I’ll be able to eat some and feel AWESOME about it!
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70 Barhi@origin of medjool dates April 4, 2012 at 7:46 am

Actually it is much fun when you bake for others than you bake for yourself. I do not about you guys but in my case I find it so cool that way.


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