Today’s recipe is another autumn classic, which I have been planning on making for a while – deliciously moist carrot cupcakes fragrant with spices and topped with luscious and pillowy cashew cream. I’ve dragged my feet as I was worried that they may sabotage a goal I’ve set myself in my personal life, but I have worked out a way to deal with it.
Inspired by a chat with my therapist, I have been on a journey of honouring commitments to myself a little more lately and I’m learning to set myself small and tangible goals – something I have not grown up with really. The goal I’m working on right now is to get fitter and to lose just over half a stone (or 3.15 kg for the metric minded amongst you) by the end of the year. It’s something I have promised myself countless times and I have let myself down every single time. This time I really want to prove to myself that I can achieve a goal if I focus on it and approach it in the right way.
While it is certainly far more challenging when making cupcakes is in your job description (that’s been a handy excuse since I started this blog), I know it is about changing my mindset and not resigning myself to the status quo or changing profession again. The truth is that I’ve been an emotional eater my whole life and that mindless instinct to grab one, another and maybe another half of a cupcake or a handful of nuts or some photoshoot leftovers is something I have felt powerless to stop, until now. I’ve always completely felt owned by that urge until after one of my therapy sessions my mindset has started to shift. Little by little, I am slowly getting better at stopping myself from opening that fridge / cupboard door. It’s like they say, it’s a muscle that you can train. The more I say ‘no’ to myself when I catch myself wanting to eat for the wrong reasons (sadness, frustration, loneliness or because I hate something going to waste), the more I am able to do it. It’s really freeing and empowering.
Aside from working on my emotional eating, I’ve also committed to my daily exercise a bit more seriously. I keep a calendar pinned to my wall and I aim for 40-50 minutes of exercise 6 times a week. It’s been almost 4 weeks since I embarked on this ‘project’ and I can see my body start to change, which is very motivating. I feel better about myself and about my ability to change things I don’t like. I am more in control. It feels good.
I was careful to set a realistic goal and quite far into the future as I don’t want to do anything too drastic – it will only make me throw in the towel sooner or later. I want to make very measured, incremental progress that is sustainable and which will allow me to weed out some bad habits I have gotten myself into over the years. I want to take this opportunity to teach myself to be consistent and patient – something I did not grow up around.
Part of the reason why I am telling you all this is so that I can feel accountable but also to let you know that if you face similar food struggles that seem to own you, you are so not alone. So anyway, don’t worry, I won’t stop making sweet desserts as I really love baking. I will learn to be more mindful and more in control around them. These cupcakes are delicious (I did have one and gave the rest away), easy to make and if you don’t want to bother with making the cream, simply stir some nuts (walnuts or pecans would be my choice) through the batter for some added texture. I hope that they will brighten up your weekend if you decide to make them.
PS: If you make my vegan carrot cake with cashew frosting, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!