Self-medicating with chocolate

Self-medication through chocolate


It’s snowing in Chicago. Again.

I’m sorry, I’m sure this news is boring you. It’s certainly boring me. Well, not so much boring as making me horribly depressed and unmotivated.


Self-medication through chocolate

I did just get back from vacation to a very warm location: the Philippines. It was 80+ degrees and the feeling of the sun on my skin was amazing! But the trip was too short and the travel time to get there so long. Someone asked, “What are you going to do when you get back to Chicago? How will you handle the cold?”. My response, as I lay in the hammock with my rum drink in hand, “I’m good! This is exactly what I needed–just a short break from the constant snowfall and sub-zero temps.I’ll be fine. ” WRONG!

I’ve only been back in the states for three days and already I’ve fallen into the depression that was present when I left over ten days ago. It’s not just me. Everyone is sick of it. But what can you do? Nothing. Suck it up. Get on the trainer or the rollers, treadmill, pool, whatever, and do your work because someday, hopefully soon, the sun will come out and melt this frozen tundra. My first race is at the end of March–a gravel road race, but I’m telling you right now, I am NOT going to do it if there is still snow on the ground and the temperature is below 45. Yes, 45 is balmy compared to the average temp these days, but I just can’t get excited about racing in the cold in the spring. Cyclocross is entirely different, of course.

It’s cliche, but I’ve turned to self-medication through chocolate. I know, you thought I was better than that, stronger than that. I’m sorry. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Self-medication through chocolate

Self-medication through chocolate

Self-medication through chocolate

Self-medication through chocolate

Whatever. I’m not sorry at all. I found a way to indulge without feeling too guilty or ending up with an upset stomach: Almond milk hot cocoa and a healthy sticky chocolate fudge cake made with pumpkin puree and ground flax seed. Yep. Siriouly. Fur reals. Sat down with these two and my sorrow faded away…until I cleaned my plate. Then I considered eating the rest of the cake myself. In one sitting. It’s a good thing JB was home to keep me from doing that.

I didn’t make any adaptations to these recipes, but do have some quick tips to share if you decide you too, need an anti-depressant.

Top With Cinnamon’s Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake:

  • This cake won’t rise that much, so use a smaller pan–preferably a standard loaf pan or something similar.
  • You will want to make a lot more glaze than what this recipe calls for. Like A LOT more. I went with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, and instead of almond milk–coffee! Yep, coffee. It deepens the flavor of the chocolate. You can also use instant espresso powder if you have it on hand–about 1/4 teaspoon.

Martha Stewart’s Almond Milk Hot Cocoa:

  • You don’t have to use whole cinnamon sticks to flavor the milk. You can use ground cinnamon, but don’t bother straining it.
  • Chocolate chips work just fine, if you have them on hand. Don’t bother chopping them. They’ll melt.
  • If you accidentally grabbed the sweetened almond milk at the store instead of the unsweetened (who? not me!), just adjust the sugar content, or don’t add any at all. It’ll be just fine.


Try not to freak out. We only have two more months of winter. It will be okay. We’ll get through this together.