Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Best Chili Recipe

Tuesday night, I set out to make a chili recipe that I found in a Crossfit Journal issue about the Zone Diet. They conveniently listed how to make this for both the 3 block diet (me) and the 5 block diet (my husband). Unfortunately, it just says “3 servings” for each – so I didn’t know how big a serving was. This meant if I wanted us to have the right proportions, I was going to have to cook them separately. So I did.

As I started adding the ingredients, the “chili” looked more like meat for sloppy joes than a soup, which is what I associate with chili. It needed more liquid. Since I had not added all the ingredients yet, I decided to swap some of the beans for canned tomatoes. The Zone sees these both as carbs, so in my opinion, equal swap. It ended up being really delicious!

This is the total chili recipe, not separated, since I can tell you how much a serving is.

Modified Chili Recipe
Makes 9 servings; 1 serving = 2 cups

1 onion, chopped
3 green peppers, chopped,
3 cloves garlic, minced
31 oz ground beef (or turkey, venison, whatever your prefer)
1 large can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste, mixed w/ about 8 oz of water
2 cans canned tomatoes (can use flavored)
cumin (try 2 tsp)
chili powder (try 1.5 Tbsp)
crushed red peppers (try 2 tsp)
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
50 black olives, chopped
Add fresh cilantro to taste
Serve each helping with 1 oz cheese, grated

In a large pot, saute onion, peppers, and garlic; at the same time, in a separate skillet, brown ground meat.
Cook veggies until onions are transparent.
When meat is cooked thoroughly, add it to the veggies, along with the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste mixed with water, and spices.
Bring mixture to a simmer, and add beans and olives.
Reduce heat, cover, and cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with cilantro and top with 1 oz cheese (if preferred).

1 serving = 2 cups: 378 calories, 20.4 g fat, 25.8 g carbs, 24.6 protein.
This does not include the cheese.

(If you’re following the Zone, 2 cups is the 3-block serving; 3 cups is the 5-block serving. To compare: 1/3 of the Zone Chili Recipe = 445.8 calories, 24 g fat, 34.8g carbs, and 24.6 protein; this also does not include the cheese).


Overcoming the Myth

I find Pinterest helpful for many things, but I get really annoyed when I see people pin things like this:

Found on Pinterest

Found on Pinterest

or when they say things like this:

Found on Pinterest

Found on Pinterest

I have to stop myself from commenting.  There are no magic exercises to “get rid of saddlebags, arm flab, back fat, and muffin top” – or to convert the fat in a specific trouble area to muscle!  SPOT TONING ALONE DOES NOT EQUAL RESULTS.

Yes, these exercises can be helpful to tone the muscle under the fat, and when body fat is lost from the whole body, those muscles will begin to show.  But if a person is only doing these exercises – it’s not going to happen.  It takes TONING + CARDIO + DIET.

Found on Pinterest

Found on Pinterest

That goes for hips, thighs, butt, arms – all of it.

Don’t fall victim to the spot toning/reduction myth.

Days 1 and 2 and Peer Pressure

Saturday marked the start of December and the start of P90X and changing the way I eat.  I am happy to report that everything is off to a good start, even though we aren’t exactly following the meals I planned last week.  We were invited a lot of places, and actually ended up eating away from home for both lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday.  Such is life, but I was determined to make good choices, and for the most part, I did.


However, being around so many people this weekend brought up another issue to deal with:  peer pressure.  As an adult at 28 years old, I thought I was done with peer pressure. But Saturday proved that no matter the age, peer pressure exits.  On two separate occasions, I had friends, without really meaning to or knowing that they did, put down what I am doing for myself.

Before dinner, we got together with a few friends for a bonfire.  I mentioned to a couple other ladies that I had started P90X, and that day 1 was basically all push-ups and pull-ups. While they all made comments like “That’s great!”, one of them also started saying something to the effect of “Just don’t get too toned. Women who are toned are sort of scary”. I didn’t tell her that I think strong is the new sexy, but I did tell her that there’s nothing to worry about; it will be a long time before my arms are toned.

I’m tired of the mentality that strong women are scary. Ok – I agree those women-as-big-as-men body builders scare me, but having toned arms – that is sexy. I’m going to try my hardest to have toned arms, and if my friend thinks that they’re scary – oh well!

After that, we went to Macaroni Grill, and I decided to forgo the delicious, over-indulgent pastas that I would love to have eaten for something Zone friendly. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Splendini – basically 2 grilled chicken kabobs with grilled vegetables and a side salad. When the waitress had delivered all our dishes, someone made the comment to me, “When are they bringing the rest of your food”? Then, of all people, my husband started making a few comments like “Did you order off the kids plate?” to which everyone at the table had a discussion about my meal choice. While I was not ready to discuss that I was “dieting” – or rather trying to change my diet to a healthier lifestyle – I did say that this is plenty of food, and later had a discussion with my husband about peer pressure. I knew that if it had been just the two of us at dinner, and even later after we were alone, he would be proud that I ordered smart, and that type of comments were unnecessary.

The dinner ended up being delicious, and I was not so miserable after dinner like I would have been if I had filled myself on bread and pasta. So what if everyone had made fun of it; they were probably thinking to themselves, “I should have ordered something like that instead”.

So I feel like there’s a lesson here, but I’m not quite sure what it is. Maybe it’s that despite other people’s best intentions, there will be times when they don’t understand what you’re doing – but you have to keep doing it – for yourself.