Whole Wheat Pretzels and Twin Troubles

I think if by some miracle I ever decide to grow kids in my uterus, I’m bound to have twins.

Twins are kind of cool. I grew up wanting one. She could go to school for me and take my math tests or attend any social function I wanted to pass on. Plus, you can totally mess with people. And then of course, you always have a built in friend like these two.

Anyhow, twins may be in my destiny. You see my mother was a twin (a fraternal twin brother) and HER twin brother had identical twins. Twins are a common theme in my genes. But while in treatment, I noticed they were a common theme there too. You see, I’ve heard of a few cases of one or both twins developing some sort of eating disorder.

After some thought and experience with my own “twin-ish” family. I’m not surprised.

Twins are a complex. There have this incredible bond. But there is often a stronger need for comparing and competition with one another.  Because twins spend a lot of time together, they tend to want to do the same things together, and that can include eating. At least thats the way it manifested with the twins I knew with eating issues.

I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see someone look exactly like me but at a much lower or higher weight. No matter how much alike they are, the public will always try to distinguish one twin as “bigger,” “thinner,” or “prettier.” Multiples may feel driven to rebel against such labeling, or try to gain control over their physical appearance by using food to compensate.

Because siblings will often have some degree of competitiveness among them, eating disorders can be a way to “stand out” from siblings or sometimes mimic siblings. And there can be an inner conflict between the desire to be individuals and the fear of separation. Bottom line: it doubly sucks when one or both twins has an eating disorder.

So how do you solve this? First off, as with anybody with any mental issue, it cannot just “be solved”.  I think its best to first treat the individual. Although I’m sure twins have their own version of ESP that others will never get the luxury of having with other people, when one twin has a problem, only that individual twin needs his/her own treatment separate from the other’s treatment. Each twin needs to find her unique qualities that are different from her sister and own it. I know, this is so much easier said then done, but to be honest, I think I’d know more about what might help if I were actually a twin. If Lori or Michelle would like to chime in on what they think would be helpful for twins with issues like this.

So what do you think about twins and eating disorders? Coincidence? Connection? And to be silly (because he need to laugh at least once from one of my posts), if you had a twin, what would you make her/him do for you?

Since I started my new job, I thought I’d ween their kids off packaged snacks by making some homemade snacks. And oh man, I’m never letting anyone get a “mall pretzel” again!!!!

1 ½ c. very warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
¼ c. sugar or molasses
3-4 cups flour (about half whole wheat, half all purpose
4 T. baking soda
water (for boiling)
1 tbs butter
¼ c. coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

In a large bowl, whisk together water and yeast. Stir in the sugar and set aside 1-2 minutes until the mixture is foamy. Stir in 3 cups of the flour. Begin kneading the dough, adding additional flour until it is soft, but not at all sticky. On a lightly floured surface, roll a palm-sized ball of dough into a long rope, approximately 12 inches long.  Cross  top of the “U “. Twist the dough around itself. Pull the top, twisted part down and pinch it into place near the bottom half of the pretzel. Remove any extra pieces of dough from the bottom half of the pretzel. Gently tug the pretzel out, keeping the dough from getting too fat at any point.  Set aside on a lightly floured surface and allow to rise slightly while you finish twisting the other pretzels.

Bring water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Gently place pretzels in soda bath for 10 seconds on each side or until they float. Remove, brush with butter and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake pretzels in preheated oven for 10- 15 minutes, or until nicely browned.. 

Awww yeah…..they are that good! Lets see them again!

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26 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Pretzels and Twin Troubles

  1. Hmmm, interesting. Well, I work with kids with Autism, communication disorders, and other mood disorders. I’ve seen a lot of sets of twins or siblings, and they often both have diagnoses, but manifest it differently.

    It’s certainly an interesting topic. Twin studies have always intrigued me because they really control the genetic component a lot more for once, so you can see how the environment plays a part.
    Also, those pretzels look great! how fun!

  2. I used to read Sweet Valley, and I always dreamed of having a twin and “tricking people” blah blah blah. Now I don’t think I want a twin…the world cannot handle two Sophia Lees (though obviously, we will be different. And I don’t like the idea of an angel version of me). I’m competitive enough…I don’t think I can handle having someone looking like me with whom people always compare me.

    I hope you saved some pretzels for me.

  3. Yours look so much better than my ww pretzels!!! I think its the blanching….I will have to try out your recipe!

  4. I actually was really good friends with twins in high school (not Sweet Valley High though) and one of them did go through an eating disorder phase for about a year. Even though they were best friends–and still are, actually–I think it was a way for her to differentiate herself from her sister in some way.

    She got over it, regained her health and actually went in the opposite direction, but now she’s got kids of her own and they’re still as close as ever. I think there would be an inherent competitive thing going on there, but I don’t know that it would really be that different than a “regular” sibling of the same sex. Establishing your own identity and being confident in the person you are is key–twin or not 😉

    That said, I agree with Sophia in that I’m not sure the world would want to handle more than one Abby.

  5. First, I would like 12 of those pretzels please. Second, I know several sets of twins and they are all either really competitive athletes or have some kind of eating issues and I have NEVER really put that together until I read this post!

  6. Twins run in my family too. My mom is a twin, her nephew has twins, twin cousins and so on. I think it makes sense that twins could both have eating disorders. I will say that my mom and aunt both have types of depression. Jason would love those pretzels especially if you stuffed them with jalapenos and cheese 😉

  7. Really interesting that you should post this, actually. I’m not a twin, but my sister and I are both really into food and exercise (although she is a legit runner and studying nutrition in college and I just sort of pretend to run and fake that I know anything about nutrition) and after being at home over Christmas I definitely feel that underlying competitiveness about who exercised longer or who ate healthier…I’m learning to grow out of it, but I smacked myself in the head a few times when I would catch myself thinking, “Whatever, I lifted today and you didn’t…na-nee, na-nee, boo boo!”

  8. GREAT POST girl! Twins are a very interesting ‘concept’. It is sometimes hard for us to really explain it to others. We struggled with eating disorders and tons of competitiveness. Each year we get better at handling it all but a few years ago it almost destroyed us both. We will definitely do a follow-up post on this tomorrow on our blog. Now you really got our heads thinking, haha 😉 Love ya!!

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  10. Oh man, do I crave a mall pretzel right now though!! Ha!

    You must be having fun at your new job. Do they buy all the ingredients you ask them to, and you cook whatever you feel they’d like?

  11. Honestly, I think it’s more a genetic thing than anything else… and twins aren’t necessarily identical. As a kid, though, I always wanted a twin sister because I thought it meant that then I’d have at least one person in the world who actually liked me. Then I got older and realized that just because someone “should” like you doesn’t mean they will.

    ❤ ❤

  12. I grew up always wanting a twin, and my husband is convinced that we will end up with twin girls some day. I do think that the comparison must be SO hard for twins. I get compared to my sister enough, I am thinking now that I am glad I don’t have a twin!

  13. My dad is an identical twin, and they couldn’t be more opposite! I’m not sure because my dad isn’t very close with his family, so I don’t know if there has ever been much competition between them, but I’d imagine there is at least the usual competition that occurs between siblings.

    I’d rather have a teleporter than a twin. I keep waiting for science to catch up with my wants and needs, but I think it may take a few years.

  14. I definitely think there is a connection. It is just that much easier to compare yourself to someone when that someone is “supposed” to look exactly like you.- and that can be a slippery slope.

  15. Ooooh that’s interesting. I’ve never thought about twins and eating disorders. I can totally see the connection. Personally, I’ve always wanted twins b/c I’m not crazy about being pregnant or childbirth. 🙂 I’ve always said if I could be guaranteed twins I’d have two more.

    That’s awesome you are making the kids healthy snacks! Wooohoo!!!

  16. i blame a mean brother and sweet valley high for my wanting a twin obsession growing up. but now, today, i am SO GLAD i don’t have one.

  17. Wow, those pretzels look great! Just wanted to say I giggle a little every time I see your hands in your photos just because I know how much you hate them..LOL. No worries though my dear, they look like your normal, standard hands to us! 🙂

  18. Wow! Homemade pretzels, I might have to try this! They look so delicious and simple 🙂

    I think there is probably a connection as well, there always seems to be between siblings — and even more so between twins. Kind of crazy, but they sometimes can communicate without speaking, and somtimes its kind of scary.

  19. I had honesty never given much thought to how it would be having a twin at either a higher or lower weight than me… that would be so hard to cope with! I think I would always feel kind of defeated either way, which obviously isn’t very sisterly. I shouldn’t be talking though, because I really don’t get along with my sister at all. No, we’re not twins.

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  22. what an interesting observation. i just read lori and michelle’s post about being a twin. i never even thought about it, but i guess competition would (could) breed unhealthy behavior. hmmm.

    in other news. i want these pretzels.

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