Spring is here and it is a time for renewal. Spring is when the plants burst through layers of frozen earth to find the sun. Buds emerge to form new growth and energy is needed to create new life. But really what I am talking about is my personal battle with living here in beautiful Portland. It is gorgeous from April until November and seems relatively harmless through February, but by March I’m about ready to pack up my yoga mat and blast out to the land of the rising sun. Every year!


SAD, seasonal affective disorder, yoga for SAD, SAD strategies, avoiding SADYou don’t need to tell me 801 times when I need to change a strategy. I usually get it down by the 799th attempt. Call this an Edison episode. Yes, that’s how persistent I can be to find a breakthrough. I’m not alone here in the great Rose City. Crazy is the new normal in Portlandia.


My body is full of symptoms from a decline in the sun and an increase in erratic weather patterns. The proverb states, “That which does not kill you makes you stronger,” but each year it gets more and more interesting maintaining my sanity here in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps this is because I have lived in this mossy climate for three-quarters of my life, or perhaps it is due to aging.


Breaking Muscle Shop

The truth of the matter is that I want to see the benefits of all my hard work during the winter months. The summer seems like easy breezy compared to the winter I-don’t-wonder-land of rain-for-45-days-straightjacket. There are thousands of people who augment winter bouts of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with bliss. But this holy grail of bliss only comes from relentless winter work.


Energy comes in the form of sunrays, fresh air, and nutrients. And remember: you are what you eat! Many people battle with the ups and downs through the dark months due to high simple carbohydrate and sugar consumption. Here are a few detoxifying, mood-stabilizing recipes that taste awesome and do not require Einstein formulations.


Complex Carbohydrate Energy Bowl:

For Omnivore or Herbivore (without honey and ghee)



  • 1/4 Cup Organic Whole Oats
  • 1/4 Organic Garnet Yam
  • 1/2 Organic Banana
  • 1/4 Cup Blueberries
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Local Honey or Black Strap Molasses



  1. Pre-bake yam.
  2. Cook whole oats as directed, add in cinnamon and stir frequently while cooking.
  3. Add and mash in yam and ghee.
  4. Add blueberries.
  5. Add banana.
  6. Remove from stove, put in bowl, and add honey or molasses on top.
  7. Eat! Mmmmm!


Hint: Don’t splatter on the keyboard as you work. I’m just saying. My empty bowl next to me is proof it tastes great.


High Protein Pick Me Up:

For Omnivores



  • 1 Large Local Brown Free Range Egg
  • 1 Cup Organic Spinach Leaves: Chopped
  • 1 Cup Organic Chard Leaves: Chopped
  • 1 Ounce Goat Chevre Cheese
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp Filtered Water



  1. Pan cook egg, sprinkle turmeric on top. Flip as needed.
  2. Add spinach and chard on top.
  3. Add water on top, cover pan with lid. Simmer until leaves appear cooked.
  4. Remove lid, add chevre and eat!


Chocolate Go Ahead with Lots O’Put-ting



  • 1/2 Cup Almond/Hazelnut/Whatever Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
  • 2 Heaping, Overflowing Tbsps Cacao Powder



  1. Soak chia seeds in milk for two hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in cacao powder and mix thoroughly.


Chocolate Mousse



  • 2 Heaping, Overflowing Tbsps Cacao Powder
  • 1 Organic Banana
  • 1/4 Organic Garnet Yam



  1. Mash yam and banana in bowl.
  2. Add cacao powder and mix thoroughly.
  3. Grab spoon. Shovel guiltlessly in your salivating mouth.


Want more recipes? Email willow@breakingmuscle.com with your favorite food or post to the comments below and I will convert it into simple, healthful, tasty and nutrient dense real food!


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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