Stress Reliever Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Making your Sunday brunch, even more, chill with these protein pancakes. They contain ingredients that have been shown to decrease stress and anxiety so not only it is fun to eat pancakes but you can find zen doing so. This recipe uses Birch Benders Paleo pancake mix which I love! It contains limited ingredients, is high in fiber, and uses monk fruit for a small amount of sweetness! Can't get any better. (#notsponsoredjustlove)

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How do these pancakes help with decreasing stress? 

Now let's talk why these pancakes and help reduce stress. Here are some of the ingredients and what makes them stress-fighters.

  • Chocolate (particularly cacao) 

First, they include chocolate protein powder and nut butter with added cacao powder. There are a few studies, the most recent in 2014 that showed cacao polyphenols have been shown to decrease stress in highly stressed individuals as well as normal healthy individuals. The statistics were most significant with women and at a dose of 40 grams. I am not sure about the ladies reading, but I tend to crave chocolate the most when I am stressed out to the max so maybe my body was telling me something! 

  • Ashwagandha (Withania sonifera) 

Adaptogens are all the rage lately when it comes to increasing energy and decreasing stress. One of these adaptogens is ashwagandha. While hard to find since this year, it can now be easily found in drinks, supplements, and in powdered form. I use a powder form when I can in the diet, and while anxiety can not be cured by just one thing, I found that overall anxiety has decreased. There were also some studies done and it concluded that "all five studies concluded that WS intervention resulted in greater score improvements (significantly in most cases) than placebo in outcomes on anxiety or stress scales."

  • Seeds (chia, flax, and pumpkin)

Flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium. Magnesium has been shown to help with irritability, fatigue, and can be nice during the time when stress can be the highest. Magnesium can help decrease PMS symptoms which I know can be the times when my stress and anxiety is the highest! 

What are some foods you go to when you are stressed? Are these healthy foods? Share with us! 

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recipe (serves 2) 

Ingredients: 

For the pancakes:

-3/4 cup Birch Benders Paleo pancake mix

-3/4 cup water 

-1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder *I used Thorne Research in Chocolate 

-1 TBSP. chia seeds 

-1/2 Tsp. ashwagandha powder 

For the topping: 

-1 Tsp. chia seeds

-1 Tbsp. chocolate flavored nut butter * I used Nutzo Paleo chocolate nut butter (low sugar!) 

-1/2 banana, sliced 

Directions:

-Place all the pancake ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined. Do not beat or overmix. 

-Place about 1/4 cup amount of batter on a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the edges have browned and flip. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Do that until you have about 4-5 pancakes. 

-Add the topping you desire, but I added the chia seeds and Nutzo Paleo chocolate seed and nut butter. 

-Enjoy! Eat with 1-2 eggs for extra protein. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 305 calories, 31 grams carb (5 sugar), 15 grams fat, and 17 grams protein. 

MACROBALANCED TIP: This is perfect post-workout meal with having a 2:1 ratio of carb to protein to fuel muscles and store needed glycogen. I love it post barre/spin combo on the weekends!
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