How easy is it to fall out of [exercise] routine? With temperatures plummeting, relentlessly encroaching 4:30 sunsets, the beckoning of a cozy wool blanket- our casual afternoon jogs and commitment to a life in motion are too easily left back in the days of summertime. I’ve certainly fallen pray- pushing off (one block) treks to my yoga studio, long walks- all in the name of warmth and hibernation. Instead of allowing ourselves the excuses, which I admit is the comfortable route, this winter I challenge us to recommit-to begin our New Year’s resolutions today (truly living in the now), to challenge ourselves and get creative, and to celebrate each victory-each run (however long), each piece of fruit (instead of that Christmas cookie), each attended yoga class. It is too easy to fall out of routine, let’s hop back on the train.
Early last week I registered for my second half marathon with fourteen weeks to train- fourteen weeks to focus on the beauty, positivity, and inspiration found within myself and in every moment; to acknowledge my imperfections, stresses, and my strengths, then channel that energy into motion. One week in and I’ve already found myself more focused, impassioned, and hungry (!). Made with protein and fiber rich spelt flour and chia seeds, pure maple syrup, chocolate protein powder, and raw cacao, today I am so excited to share a new favorite post-run holiday treat- my [Lump of Coal] Chocolate Peppermint Protein Muffins. Cacao is not only a rich source of antioxidants, essential in quenching the free radicals in our bodies linked to cancer, atherosclerosis, and other chronic illnesses, but is also one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, helping maintain healthy nerves, muscles and bones, and sulphur which builds strong nails, hair, and skin. These lumpy vegan muffins are not only packed with plant-based protein and nutrients, but are fudgy, moist, and just pepperminty enough to borderline decadent. I take my protein muffins on-the-go and try to have one within 30 minutes of a more rigorous workout, or pair them with a piping mug of black coffee as a nourishing afternoon snack.
[Lump of Coal] Chocolate Peppermint Protein Muffins [makes 1 dozen muffins]
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole grain spelt flour
½ cup chocolate protein powder (I used Vega One All-In-One, Chocolate)
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup pure pumpkin puree
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, rack in the middle.
In a large bowl, stir together oats, spelt flour, protein, cacao, chia, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond milk, pumpkin, maple, vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Stir into flour mixture until just combined then fold in cacao nibs.
Scoop batter into wrapper lined muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until muffins are baked. Allow to cool to room temperature, serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per muffin]
146 Calories, 22g Carbohydrates, 3.8g Fat, 5.3g Protein, 4g Fiber, 5g Sugar