Cinnamon Roll Quinoa Protein Muffins

Hope your Friday was lovely. Seems like there were a lot of ho-hum, just pushing through it, sort of days for people in the blogosphere. Sounds like everyone’s ready for the weekend! After workouts and physical therapy I spent most of the rest of the day working on Integrative Nutrition coursework. Tomorrow we’re having a Phoenix-area meet-up, and I’m so excited to meet the other women (& maybe one guy). As an extra bonus, we’re going to my favorite restaurant in the area, True Foods. I wrote about in around the holidays, but it was developed in a partnership with the renowned Dr. Andrew Weil and focuses on local, season alcuisine. Yay!


I’ve either been short-changing myself or make progress in spurts, because today was maybe the best lift, as far as increasing weight goes, that I’ve ever had! I was easily making 12 reps on each exercise, so I kept adding weight, and was doing full sets of 10 at weights I’ve never done before. Not sure how that happened :p but I love seeing progress and feeling stronger!

Cardio: Off

Weight: Shoulders & Back

Shoulders: Push-Press, Arnold Press, cable-cross Lat Raises, machine Lat Raises

Back: Wide-grip Lat Pull Downs, Rear Delts, Front Rows, 1-arm Rows, cable Press-downs

Do What You Want

While lifting today, I started considering.. your body is yours to do what as you wish. You are in control. Today I was surprised by my gains, but I know they were earned through good nutrition and consistent exercise. My 1st fitness competition season showed me how truly mold-able a physique can be. It’s a science and an art. In the big picture it’s all about balance (totally believe in the 90-10 rule of nutrition), but if desired, you can fine tune to create a specific look. So specific in fact, that competitors really only look exactly like that for a couple days (as a result of macro & water manipulation). But just as much as you can shape yourself for a competition, or perhaps a wedding or reunion, one can choose to do nothing and watch their body make gains.. of the mass & body fat variety. But it only takes a moment to turn it around. It takes that moment when you make that decision to stop moving one direction, and turn and run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. It’s your choice to make tomorrow better than today.

This morning, I was feeling completely lazy and didn’t feel like going to the gym. But this is what got me there: I thought, if I don’t go now, I probably won’t go later. I’ll feel like a giant blob and guilty for missing a workout. If I do go, I’ll feel 100x better than I do at this very moment (even though I was feel just fine.. just lazy.. at the time). I chose to feel awesome. And it turns out, I had a fantastic workout. Making progress, whether it’s on the scale, adding weights or reps, or running an extra mile, is always motivating. But as many amazing days there are, there are just as many bad days. And even though I lifted more weight today, I think it’s pushing through those bad days that really makes you stronger.


It was kind of an odd food day, I desperately need to go grocery shopping, so it was a lot of using up what’s left in the fridge.

I had my usual, of late, pre-workout snack of 1/2 c Cottage Cheese + 1/2 scoop Cake Batter Protein Powder + 2 tbsp plain Greek Yogurt over 1/3 c Kashi Go Lean..

After PT I had another Kabocha PB Protein Shake topped with 2 tbsp Vanilla Almond Galaxy Granola..

A couple hours later it was a repeat of yesterday’s lunch.. the rest of the Baby Spinach topped with a couple Kabocha slices, Baked Tofu and Cottage Cheese + 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast..

For dinner I finally succeeded at making Kale Chips (baked at 400 F for 7 minutes)! I topped the chips with a May-style Humnut Sauce (2 tbsp Hummus + 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast + 1 tbsp H20), and also enjoyed the 2nd to last piece of Kabocha Quinoa Casserole and the last TJ’s Chicken Apple Sausage. It was a gorgeous day today, so I did a lot of my studying, then had dinner, on our back patio (and got to take advantage of natural light!)..

I think eating outside just makes everything taste better :)

Then I felt like getting a little kitchen creative, plus I have a bunch of cooked Quinoa that can’t go to waste. The result was a fantastic new creation! ..

Cinnamon Roll Quinoa Protein Muffins

1 c Cooked Quinoa

2 scoops BSN Cinnamon Roll Protein Powder

3/4 tsp Baking Powder

Cinnamon to taste

Stevia (2 packets, or dash of extract)

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1/3 c Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1.5 tbsp Egg Whites

Pre-heat oven to 350 F and spray muffin tins with non-stick spray. Mix dry ingredients. Melt Coconut Oil. Mix Coconut Oil into dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients, then combined the wet & dry. Spin into 6 muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 min. depending on your oven.

Top with..

Fitness Frosting

1 scoop Cake Batter Protein Powder

1/4 c plain Greek Yogurt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 packet Stevia or dash of Extract extract to taste

Other great toppings could include natural Nut Butter or sugar-free fruit preserves.

And of course the Nutrition Facts..


I really liked Swigg’s post. It really gets at the reason why measurements don’t matter, it’s all relative!

Any fun weekend plans? Trying a new restaurant, a new hike, or fitness class?


  1. Mikelle /

    Hey Alyson~ I love your blog – such great information. Looking forward to meeting you at True Foods tomorrow at the IIN meetup :)


  2. Good for you for getting up and going to workout. I felt the same way today too. I was supposed to do Legs & Back and Abs but I didn’t want to go to the gym. I just wanted to run outside so that’s what I did. I decided I’ll just switch my workout days and do Legs & Back tomorrow.

    Those muffins…oh boy they look delicious!

  3. The muffins…who woulda thought to put quinoa in them…genius! Anything cinnamon roll in the title perks my ears right up :)

  4. I’m the same way with workouts.. if I’m feeling lazy I still go! Unless I’m sick or something, I know I’ll feel better because something is always better than nothing!

    Good job on increasing the weights! I always feel amazing when that happens! Especially for shoulders.. mine are lagging!

  5. Holy yum. Those muffins look awesome! I wish I had one right now. I love the way you talked yourself into the gym. Sounds like one of my mental talk sessions. Awesome job with the weights!

  6. Congrats on the wicked lifting day! I love making Quinoa protein muffins! I love your positive post and agree with you about going vs being lazy. We should all take rest days, but I have NEVER regretted going for my workout! EVER- even if I was dizzy afterwards. The way I see it is, it’s only 1hr out of 12hrs of my day. Just do it. I also don’t think I should feel guilty when I dont go- it causes anxiety for me and it truly shouldn’t. I think a healthy perspective is key. But I love the feeling you get at the end of the day, when you reflect on what you’ve accomplished!
    I totally agree with you about the comment you left on my oatmeal food find posts! I would rather make it myself-and I do. I just think it is neat that companies are coming out with convenient, prepackaged healthy alternatives for people that want a grab and go type of snack. Convenience is truly important to some people, so I think this is a great start!
    Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!! GREAT POST!

  7. Hi! Okay I never got the email so maybe I typed it wrong on my last comment. I am so excited to read the book! Try:

  8. Catherine Foster-Boyd /

    I am so intrigued by your Kale Chips will you republish the details or let me know where to find your recipe? Love Mom

  9. Those Muffins look DELIC!

  10. Brandy Craddock /

    I love your thinking on the way we can manipulate and control our bodies, that we have all the tools and controls in our own hands (and minds). The body is a wonderful thing and it never ceases to amaze me how we can change it. Totally on board with your view on this!

    Those muffins look amazing, I’ve been craving cupcakes lately (ignore this thought!!!), but those may fit the bill…. Mmmm!

  11. I like your thoughts on controlling the body. Here’s another thought I had: people say you can only live up to ‘your genetic potential.’ OK, so how do you know what your genetic potential truly is, unless you keep pushing yourself further and further toward excellence, with nutrition, workouts, cardio, etc? It will keep changing for the better!

  12. Amazing. I love it. Who needs oats when you have a superfood like QUINOA! I must make these next.


  13. Nice job on the lifting!

    Those muffins look absolutely fantastic!

  14. can you make these w.out the cocnut oil? i dont have any and they look amazing!

    • Alyson
      Twitter: NourishedFit

      I haven’t tried, but maybe replace it with something, like applesauce or yogurt.. let me know how it goes!

  15. wow that cinnamon roll muffin sounds AMAZING! i recently made quinoa cornbread, love the unique texture it lends!

  16. why are you such a cooking genius. i’m seriously creeping on ALL of your recipes right now :) and i wiiish i read about this cheesecake icecream before i just made some whack old pumpkin! i need to get my hands on some nutrish yeast pronto! can’t waaaaaaaaaaait to make more of your recips!

  17. Oooh, I love the looks of those muffins!!! I’ve never baked with quinoa before, but you’ve definitely given me the itch 😉

    Love your thoughts on how we are in charge of our bodies. I always think of my workouts as just one hour. One hour of each day that I dedicate to myself, my body, and my health. I can do one hour of 24, and it immediately feels less daunting :)

  18. Those muffins sound so good!! You should work for a protein powder company making new recipes!! :-) True foods+your workout sound awesome!!

  19. What would you sub for quinoa in those muffins? I can’t find it at my grocery store!

    Also that’s huge to be able to remind yourself how much better you will feel with the workout behind you. This is ALWAYS the case with me (you know, “you never regret a workout”) but its hard to realize it in the moment when the last thing you want to do is hit the gym!

  20. OK, I am salavating over those muffins!!!!! OMG!

  21. Monica /

    Hi Alyson!

    First, I want to say that I recently discovered your blog and I love it love it love it!! Second, I made your quinoa protein muffin recipe the other day and it is fan-flippin’-tastic! The perfect portable post-workout snack! They are a godsend!

    I love your other fitness recipes too. Great blog. Keep doing what you do!! 😀


  22. This is one of the most interesting recipes, I will try it out for sure. I’m always trying to find new breakfast recipes for my daughters. Your site looks great. :)

  23. wow, everything looks so delicious!


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