I’m a proponent of healthy eating. I encourage my clients and athletes to eat well and I practice what I preach on a daily basis. I even prepare meals for a number of my professional MMA athletes (DB’s Meals on Wheels). Most people don’t know that I worked in the restaurant business for a number of years while I was growing up in Rockport, MA.
There was a summer or two of washing dishes, but then I moved up the “line” and worked, first as a prep cook, and then a cook alongside some talented people. I learned many valuable skills and lessons all those years working at ‘My Place By The Sea‘ restaurant (one lesson being that lobster is the best food ever).
My Place By The Sea
Outdoor deck at My Place…can’t get much closer to water front than that
Gotta Love Local
All those years gave me a bigger appreciation for, not only food in general, but for local food. Fishermen would literally walk in with fresh fish minutes after docking their boats. If it were any fresher and you’d be eating it underwater.
Fast forward to present day — I realize it may not be practical to always eat local, and I don’t do it all the time, but I do recommend you try to as much as possible. Support your local economy, create a smaller carbon footprint, enjoy healthier & tastier food. I buy many of my fruits, veggies, and meats from local Farmer’s Markets around town. Food truly does taste better. And, most of it is really not that much more expensive (future article on this coming). You have to do some research, and maybe coordinate your schedule a little more, but I feel it’s worth it on multiple levels.
On To The Chili
Now that I’ve expressed my love for local veggies, let me also declare my love for chili…more specifically leftover chili. Fresh out-of-the-pot chili is great, but give it a night to marinate and have all the spices and flavors come together is something special. There are endless options out there on acceptable ingredients for chili, and I’ve played around with a bunch. In addition to the list below, vinegar, squash, zucchini, turkey, pineapple, bacon, chocolate (cacao nibs are great sprinkled over the top of a bowl), have all made the bowl. This list below is the “go to” list and comes from countless bowls of leftover chili. I admit up front that the majority of this ingredient list is directly from Nate Green, who shared a recipe on his site last year. The other 10+% is based off of me tinkering around and my own personal tastes.
Below is the ingredient list as well as where I picked up the items:
Local, grass fed beef – 2#
Red pepper – 1
Green pepper – 1
Yellow pepper – 1
Onion – 1
Celery – 2-3 stalks
Carrots – 2-3
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Cilantro and/or Parsley – I’ve used and like both
Trader Joes or Whole Foods Market
Chili powder – couple generous tsp
Cumin – one tsp
Cinnamon – one tsp
Red pepper flakes – couple shakes
Salt & Pepper – to taste
Frozen corn – one big handful
Veggie Juice – one can’s worth
Canned diced tomatoes – 2 cans
Beans – 2-3 cans…kidney, garbanzo, black. I’ve done 3 but it was a little much. My preference is 2 cans; 1 kidney & 1 garbanzo
I chopped up all the veggies and then put the onion, carrots, and garlic in first with some grapeseed oil. After about 5 minutes, I added the rest of the veggies (peppers, celery, corn), all the spices, beans, & cilantro. Add the beef last and then cover the pot.
Once everything is in, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 60-90 minutes. This makes a big old batch of mouth watering chili. You’ll have lunch…or dinner…or breakfast?! for a couple days.
“When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” ~ Laiko Bahrs
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength, which provides fitness training, education, and resources. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for Alliance MMA where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Bellator Champion Michael Chandler, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Ross Pearson, Alexander Gustafsson, and more. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE).
He has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU and has obtained multiple certifications including ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TFW Level 1, TRX instructor training, RIP training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, and FMS training. He has produced his 2 DVD projects on strength training for combat athletes, appeared in many fitness videos and articles, and was a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” FOX TV show in 2012.
For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.