Cinnamon Rolls!!! Ooey and gooey, cinnamony and sugary all rolled up into a little package delivered from the baking Gods. Their sole purpose being to fill my stomach and heart (and maybe my jeans) with happiness. Just thinking about those warm little rolls make my mouth water and my stomach grumble. David is off on Wednesdays so we will usually make a special breakfast drink coffee, watch some Netflix and enjoy our morning together. Lazy days with the one you love the most can’t be beat.
Now, I spent a lot of years of my life not allowing myself to enjoy the small things like eating a cinnamon roll with the one I love. I was obsessed with restrictive dieting and exercise and even though I had the body I had always wanted I was not happy and really not very healthy. My life revolved around saying “No, I can’t have that” and avoiding going out with friends because I did not want to get put in a situation where I would be tempted by foods I could not have. After several years of restricting foods, binging on cheat days and being so unhappy I decided to stop the vicious cycle I had got my self into. I started eating whatever I wanted and not exercising as much, if at all. I was happy for a little while until I realized that I had gained weight, like a lot of weight. I was unhappy AGAIN! I remember sitting in my room and just crying because I felt like I was in a hole I could not dig myself out of.
As I sat there I contimplated my next move. What diet was I going to do to lose this weight that I gained? How many hours a day was I going to have to exercise? I dreaded the thought of having to be super restrictive again but I hated how I looked. Then I had a WTF moment. I asked myself “WTF are you doing?” I was sitting there being sad about food. Something that I love so much, not only eating but making. I was miserable but I was making myself miserable. I could not believe how ungrateful I was being. I am healthy, have a great family and friends and a job. I have things that people WISH for and I am being sad about food. That day I decided I would not do this anymore. I would not obsess over food and my weight and I would live my life in moderation. I started to eat intuitively and guess what….I started to lose weight. I began to exercise again not because I felt like I had to but because I wanted to. If I want a cinnamon roll, I am going to have a cinnamon roll.
Now, do I still struggle with loving myself everyday and feeling good about my body? Yes. Do I look like I did when I had the body I wanted? No. Am I happy and is that all that really matters to me? Yes. I know it sounds cheesy but life is too short and if I died tomorrow and never allowed myself to eat nachos or cookies once in a while I think my ghost self would be pretty pissed.
Finding balance and eating in moderation is hard. There is a certain guilt that we put on ourselves when we eat something that is “bad” but I challenge you to stop thinking at foods as “good” and “bad” or as a “cheat meal” and start enjoying the foods you love in moderation. You will begin to feel a sense of freedom. My hope is that my story can help and inspire even one person to live a life that makes them happy.
You know where a good starting point of happiness is…these cinnamon rolls!!
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.
Delicious & Easy Cinnamon Rolls
Makes about 10 cinnamon rolls
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 1 cup almond milk (you can use any kind of milk really)
- 1/2 cup butter, divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups all purpose fluor (I mixed white and whole wheat AP flour)
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
- In a large sauce pan heat the milk and 3 Tbsp of butter until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool until warm to the touch. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes
- Stir in 1 Tbs of sugar and salt to the bowl.
- Slowly add in flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go with a spoon. When the dough becomes too thick to sitr, about 3 cups total, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl (I use coconut oil) over with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp melted butter and top with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 – 1Tbsp cinnamon.
- Starting at the longer side of the dough tightly roll it up and situate seam side down. With a serrated knife cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8×8 square or comparable sized round pan.
- Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter and cover with plastic wrap again. Set on top of the oven to rise while your oven preheats to 350F.
- Once preheated, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately.
Now, I did not use any frosting on mine but there is a great frosting recipe that is super easy here. The great thing is that one of these rolls without frosting is only about 250 calories!