Made with quinoa, chocolate and nut butter, this gluten free & vegan brownie is packed with protein, healthy fats and chocolate. A healthy treat made sinful, these Double Chocolate Quinoa Brownies are ones you can’t resist!
How’s your week looking? I know it’s only Monday but I’m already wishing it were Friday. I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately. Running around to many doctors and therapists during the week I feel like I’m in a circus relay. Does that even exist? By the time Friday rolls around, I’m exhausted. Lately I’ve been feeling defeated by everything. I feel like I can’t doing anything right except maybe cooking and this blog. I’m sure others don’t see me that way but I’m such a darn perfectionist and hold myself to such high standards, if not impractical ones at times. I’ve finally surrendered to it all. I can’t do anything any better right now so why fight it. I’m one person and I can only do so much.
I need to focus my energy on recovering and getting my strength back from these injuries which by the way, recovering from injury is a million times harder than being injured. It’s made working out really hard. It’s physically painful strengthening weak areas making my workouts mentally challenging. Talking yourself into doing it something that hurts isn’t easy. You have to remind yourself why you’re doing it and push yourself through the pain to strengthen the weak bits.
There are days I feel so angry with the cards I’ve been dealt. I’ve had many people tell me they admire my determination to never give up. If only they knew, how many times I’ve wanted to give up or wondered why I’m bothering to workout at all. Then I remember my weight loss journey and realize I’m starting over.
My journey with weight loss didn’t start with food, calorie counting or a fad diet. It began with fitness. It started with a simple walk on the beach every night. Doctors told me many years ago I couldn’t and shouldn’t do high impact activity because it might cause more damage to my femur. For years I lived in fear of what they told me and did no activity because of it. Looking back, I regret living my life that way. Doctors are often mistaken especially when it comes to will power and determination and I have a lot of both. So I walked. I walked every single night. As time went on, I fell in love with walking – the fresh air, the physical movement and those moments alone with my thoughts when nothing else was competing for them. Over time, I got stronger. I went faster. I went farther. Soon I was walking 10-12-14 miles. From there, my fitness bloomed. I did all the things my body was meant to do. It was not planned or expected. Look at how thick these brownies are.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about that time when I started walking. Part of me’s been wanting to give up, surrender to the pain and hard work and everything else life’s been throwing at me too. But then I realized, I’m not weak or incapable of being the fitness super star I once was. I’m just starting over. When I started walking, it wasn’t easy. It was the exact opposite. It hurt. It was hard. My leg had to learn how to move with my body again, it needed time to strengthen in areas that hadn’t moved in years, gain range of motion and breakdown scar tissue. It took months of fighting through that before I built my fitness foundation to a level where I was comfortable, it didn’t hurt and was able to take it to the next level.
As I thought about this the other day, I realized the key is accepting that I’m starting over. That’s hard for me to do because it makes me feel weak. I have to be ok with where I am right now and accept that I’m not going to be anywhere near where I was a year ago. Someday I will, just not right this second.
I think this applies to so many people out there who want to be healthier, lose weight and get into fitness. It can be overwhelming to the point you don’t even try or you give up because it’s not going the way you want it to go. You shouldn’t give up. You should accept where you are right now, compare yourself only to where you are and let go of any expectations of where you think you should be. I’m going to remind myself to read this post every time I want to give up. It’ll give me an excuse to drool over these brownies and dream about making them again. But seriously. Don’t give up. Once you’ve met your goal, treat yourself to some brownies. You guys really need to try them. I’m not a brownie lover. I’m a muffin girl, but I swear these brownies transformed my life. I’ll be making brownies forever with quinoa. They’re thick, gooey and crazy chocolaty. They’re incentive enough for me to stick with my goals. I’m not giving up so don’t give up on yours. Take that Monday!
- 1½ cups cooked quinoa
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 flax eggs - 2 tbsp golden flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup almond butter
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips - I use Enjoy Life
- Prepare flax egg by combining flaxseed meal with water & sitting in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray if not non-stick
- In a large bowl or standing mixer, combine all ingredients and mix well
- Add batter to baking dish
- Bake 35-45 minutes until a toothpick can be removed cleanly
- Allow to cool in the pan 30 minutes before cutting
- Cut with a plastic knife for a clean cut
More Brownies I Love
Have you ever had to start something over? How do you motivate yourself to not give up when something’s hard?
Linking up with Meatless Monday
Lots of Health, Food & Love,