Pumpkin Brownies (a case for variety, balance and moderation)

We all know by now how much I believe in creating realistic, sustainable food patterns.  For me that includes having a really flexible approach to food.  I include ALL foods and aim for a lot of variety, balance and moderation.  It’s called living in the grey, as opposed to black and white, and I love to help others take steps to get there too.  It’s a lot happier, more peaceful and far more effective for normalizing eating behaviors (as opposed to the extremes of restriction and chaos).  


That’s a good lead in to the brownies I’m sharing here.  I’m primarly sharing for the reasons stated above.  You should know how much I believe that the pursuit of weight loss causes disordered eating patterns, and I see it all the time.  If you wish to have more self-trust and moderation around food, you’ve gotta give yourself permission to eat.  Restriction breeds rebellion.  

brownie label

The other day I walked into the grocery store and saw pumpkins, which made me think of baking.  So it was kind of serendipity when I saw a new-to-me brownie mix.  It’s got a shorter and more recognizable ingredient list than is usually found on boxed brownies.  I immediately thought about adding pumpkin to replace the butter, to do some (lazy) fall baking.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some butter, but I wondered if it would make them taste like fall!  

I just put the mix in the bowl with 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin, 2 eggs and 2 tbsp water (per package directions).  Baked for 30-35 minutes.  

brownies mixed

A brownie with some almond milk (and sometimes a smear of PB) has been a really lovely after dinner treat.


All this taken together gives me the opportunity to give you a few reminders:


1.  Unconditional permission to eat automatically gives you unconditional permission to stop eating.

2.  Feeling full and satisfied from your meals and snacks is your solution.  Not feeling full and satisfied is what leads to problematic behaviors that are your problem.

3.  Look at the big picture and overall food patterns.  No need to be nitpicky about any one meal, snack, macronutrient, food, food group or food ingredient.  

4.  Your health and wellbeing is not determined by how much you weigh but rather how you feel.  Please take into consideration physical, mental, emotional and spiritual factors.  I can 100% say that I feel better eating sugar – or at least having the permission to do so – than not eating sugar.  This has also been my professional experience as I observe those I work with.

5.  I fully believe that the body craves balance and is always seeking it.  If you are feeling out of balance, please know that moving to the opposite extreme will not rectify that.  

6.  If eating patterns have been extreme, a balanced approach will not happen overnight.  Please seek help and support if you need it.  


In health,

Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD