100 miles

Fall Cooking

Sunday I made some keto chili. With some help! Logan wanted to chop things. He has a special knife (a toddler plastic knife that is about as sharp as a plastic knife but it can cut SOME things) and he tried to chop celery (that didn’t really work) and then switched to onions. He did that for awhile and then said “the onions got me”. LOL

So I finished up chopping onions and stuff. Then he helped stir a little:

Then he lost interest. šŸ˜‰ But we are trying! I made a few substitutions. I didn’t have low carb beer, so I used a splash of red wine instead. I also added celery (one stalk). I also did a combo of ground beef and chunks of stew meat to give it a little variety of texture since I wasn’t adding corn and beans and stuff.

The Best Paleo & Keto Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder *
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder optional, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, to taste
  • 1 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 240 ml beef broth
  • 120 ml (gluten free or low carb) beer optional**
  • 60 ml strong brewed coffee optional**
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat up olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium/high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until it just begins to brown (about 8 minutes). 
  2. Lower heat to medium, add ground beef, cloves and a large pinch of salt. Cook until it begins to brown, stirring every so often (5 to 7 minutes). Add in all the spices and cook for a couple more minutes until fragrant. Some peeps enjoy their chili spicier, others strong on cumin, etc… so feel free to adjust the spices slowly as the chili cooks (the fun part!). 
  3. Add tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
  4. Add in the beef broth, beer (optional) and coffee (optional). Continue to cook for 3 to 8 hours. Adding 1/4 cup water (or broth) at a time, as needed. Remember that the longer you cook it, the more flavor it gets! 
  5. Allow your chili to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

*Chili spices can vary a lot in taste (and preference!). Buying a ready-made chili powder mix is a good place to start. But do feel free to play around with the individual spices to your liking (think chili, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, chipotle… you could even add some chili ancho!).

**Adding in some (gluten free, low carb) beer and coffee add a bunch of flavor. But totally optional, and your chili will still be magnificent without them! 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per serving (assuming a yield of 6). Nutrition Facts: Calories 251 Fat 17g Saturated Fat 6g Carbohydrates 6g Fiber 2g Sugar 2g Protein 16g

I put everything in the crockpot because I had a lot of stuff to do and would rather do chili in a crockpot all day anyways.

It turned out pretty good but not quite chili. It was more like a beef stew. I topped it with some shredded cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream and some pickled radishes (David Lebovitz’s are my favorite, and if you don’t follow him on Instagram, you should!). The pickled radishes on top were kind of an excellent addition!

Next time I would drain the can of tomatoes so there was a little less liquid.

The other recipe I tried was Lean Green Bean’s Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

SPICY YOGURT MARINATED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or greek)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice from one lime
pinch of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Close tightly and use your hands to mix everything around and make sure the chicken is well coated.
  3. Marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours. (24 hours is best!)
  4. Remove the chicken and cook as desired, discarding the remaining marinade. I cooked mine on a sheet pan with green beans at 400 for 15-25 minutes. Time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. Check internal temperature until it reaches 165. You may need to remove the green beans before your chicken is done!

NOTES

To cook the sweet potatoes, thinly slice, spray with oil, season as desired and bake at 400 or 425 for 20-25 min flipping once.

I let it marinade for over 24 hours and then we had it for dinner Monday night. I loved having a quick and easy meal nearly ready for a Monday night meal.

This one was definitely a winner! It had some spice, too! Loved the flavors, loved how easy it was.

The only changes I would make: I’d use chicken breasts instead of thighs and I’d put the green beans in the oven half-way through the chicken cooking. The green beans got a little overdone. They still tasted great, but were a little soft.

Will definitely make this one again!

Going the Distance

The other day I went to visit my friend Star, who used to be my neighbor before I moved in with Michael (about 4 years ago). On the way home I stopped by the nearby library to return some books and I had a very distinct memory about when I used to live in that neighborhood and I went to the library all the time. My apartment was about a mile away from the library and when I was 250 pounds I always drove. I could have walked but never did. It seemed so far away.

I remember when I started losing weight and getting more active, I decided I was going to ride my bike to the library. It was my old childhood mountain bike (that was all I had) and I remember the feeling of nervousness and anxiety I had about bikingĀ all the way to the library to return my books. It was only a mile but it still seemed far away. Once I got on the bike and did it, it wasn’t that far and I realized how perspective changes.

Once I got more active, distance didn’t seem so overwhelming. Running my first 5kĀ seemed really hard and I wasn’t sure I could make it. Then I did. And then I ran an 8k.Ā Once I got into cycling with Michael and started doing longer distances, I biked the Reach the Beach ride (55 miles) and then there was a dramatic shift. Instead of being intimidated and overwhelmed by big numbers, I flipped to the complete opposite and had a feeling of being INVINCIBLE! I could do anything!!!

yay

So I signed up to run Hood to Coast (just a little 197 mile race) and to bike the Portland Century (100 miles). It was crazy! I thought I could totally do humongous distances like that. And in a way I could. I trained really hard all summer long and once the Century came to be, I successfully biked 72 miles (wasn’t quite ready for the 100) and recovered beautifully. Isn’t it funny how that changes?

hoodtocoastrun

Doing those two long distance events changed my mindset. I started looking at other events with disdain–why would I go back and run a 5k when I did Hood to Coast? Why would I sign up to bike a 40 mile event when I already did 72 miles? It felt like a step backwards and I kept setting my sights on bigger and better things. Despite an injury that set me back (IT Band), I never felt discouraged or like I wouldn’t be back to doing long distance events. Well, long distance for me.

Last summer I was biking to work a lot and my weekly mileage was up to 60-80 miles depending on whether or not my stupid bike tires got a flat (I was cursed last year). Whenever coworkers found out my roundtrip bike ride to work was 25 miles their eyes always widened in shock and dismay. “WOW! That’s so far!” It didn’t feel far. It seemed small to me.

Now? Now that I’ve been dealing with my stupid knee issues since October, I am back to feeling like distances are really far away. The first few months of the bad knee flare-ups, I was wary about whether I could walk two blocks without being in pain and not being able to get back. Whenever I have good weeks with my injury, I try and bike or run. The other day at the gym I ran almost 3/4 of a mile and I was so happy! It was a short distance but it was SOMETHING. When I was able to do that 12 mile bike ride, I was ecstatic! It was better than nothing!

It’s crazy how perspective changes and evolves. I hope that someday soon I can get back to striving for bigger and better things and not feel as restricted as I do now.