Healthy Chicken Chili
Welcome to Confused To Confident Where Eating Healthy Helps Build Confidence
Hello all you wonderful women. Today we are going to be talking about healthy eating. Since I don’t cook, I have my friend, Lori, helping me make some healthy chicken chili.
Today is going to be a little different than most weeks’ posts. You're going to want to read the text AND watch the video this week. The helpful information is all in the text, but watching us make this great chili is the fun part.
Why Does What We Eat Matter?
Eating healthy is a very important part of keeping our bodies in top performance. I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard this. We all know it but have many excuses not to do it. As women we have a lot of things to get done in a day so it’s important that we have the proper fuel to run efficiently and effectively. You wouldn’t put kerosene in your car’s gas tank or let it run dry and expect your car to get you where you want to go. The same thing is true for your body. You have to put in the right fuel at the right times to function at your best.
This site is about becoming confident in who we are and what we can do so you may be asking how eating healthy pertains. If you aren’t properly energized, you can’t focus or remain clear in your desires and decisions. Unhealthy eating can also cause health issues which will leave you weak and not able to be your full self. Good fuel is the basis for everything we do.
Now, all that being said, I’m the first to admit I’m not the greatest eater. I don’t cook so most of my meals are frozen or snacks. I do, however, try to get my basic food groups in each day. This can be done without too much fuss AND without cooking, unless you count melting cheese in the microwave as cooking. (I'll tell you a couple of my favorite quick meals below the activity) Eating healthy doesn't have to take a lot of time and effort.
Chicken Chili Makes A Great Healthy Meal!
Lori chose to show me how to make this healthy chicken chili because, with a few added crackers, it contains all the food groups in one bowl. As a bonus, one pot of it will make enough for me to freeze and have a bowl of chili at least once a week all winter.
I don’t really like chili, so I wasn’t terribly excited to help cook up this pot but, once it started cooking, I became more intrigued. Lori's a great cook, which is why I like going to her house for meals. Even things I would never eat, she makes taste good. She didn’t let me down with this chili either. It's excellent!!!
Getting The 4 Basic Food Groups
This chili meal has all the four basic food groups. I know there are many modern food pyramids, but I go back to the old, original, four basic groups.
1. Meats/Proteins - The three kinds of beans and the chicken
2. Milk/Dairy - Cheese or sour cream added to the top
3. Fruits/Vegetables - Carrots, peppers, onions, celery, and tomatoes
4. Breads/Cereals – Crackers or croutons
If you can make sure you get at least one serving of each of these every day, you are on the right road to eating healthy.
Of course there are different servings recommended each day. For instance it's recommended that you have at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables but only 2 of meats and proteins. For me, however, if I ate all the servings recommended every day, I would have to eat twice as much as I normally do.
Not Everyone Needs The Same Foods
Everyone is different, we all need different nutrients to function our best. Hundreds of books have been written on different diets so I'm not going to go into that information here. What you need to know though, is that no diet is best for everyone. Our bodies are different and so is the food they need.
If you are looking to lose weight, or gain more strength, or increase stamina, or improve your health, or have clearer thinking, or ... then the easiest thing for you to do is play with what you eat until you find what works well for your body.
That doesn't mean making faces in your mashed potatoes. It means take away and add foods to see if it makes a difference for you. You can also go to your doctor and have them do a blood test to determine your metabolic type. Diets based on metabolic type will get you closest to what your body really needs. You can find what's best to eat for your metabolic type by searching online.
I don't like my blood being taken so it's easier for me to just take away something I normally eat and see if I feel any different after a week. Or, if I feel cruddy, I see if I recently ate anything I don't normally eat. Just by paying attention to how you feel after you eat, you can figure out what the best fuel is for you.
Eating a variety of food is important, which is why I get in at least one serving from each of the food groups. If I only ate what I felt like eating, I would only be getting one food group filled - breads/cereals - I love my carbs! It doesn't take much to get in all groups however. Putting them together, like with the chili we made this week, is an easy solution.
This chili is high in lean protein and filled with vegetables. It’s a very healthy meal. Chili is a nice cozy food to eat now that the temperatures are getting colder too. It's a comfort food. With that in mind, making chili is our activity for the week. If you want some quicker meals, see my fast, four food group, favorite,s below the activity.
So here's how to make this great chili.
A big thank you to Lori and her mother, Cecilia, for their help in creating this healthy chicken chili video.
Activity - Making Chili
Since chili is a great, healthy, meal, and it's a comforting, cozy food for the fall season, this week's activity is to simply make a pot of chili.
It's so easy even I can do it
Listed here are the ingredients and process for making the chili we made this week but you are welcome to make your own.
Ingredients for Healthy Chicken Chili
- 3 large boneless chicken breasts, rinsed in salt water and chopped into about one inch cubes
- 3 cans of beans, pinto chili beans, white chili beans, and kidney beans
- 3 cans of tomatoes, diced tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, or any similar you may like
The following vegetable ingredients are chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 6 stalks of celery, including the tops but finely chop the tops
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 yellow onion
- 5 green onions
- 1 one pound bag of baby carrots
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic
Put in one teaspoon of all spices then add more to suit your taste
- Sea Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Chili Powder
Procedure for Making Healthy Chicken Chili
Put olive oil in a skillet and get hot.
Add all onions and brown (about 3 minutes)
Add chicken and brown (about 10 minutes depending on your pan type)
Set all this aside and get out very large pot
Put chicken broth in pot and add carrots (boil about 5 minutes)
Add chicken mix to pot and simmer (about 15 minutes)
Add all spices to pot
Put rest of ingredients into pot and cook on low until hot (15-20 minutes)
Top with shredded cheese (or sour cream) and serve with crackers or croutons.
NOTE: This makes A LOT of chili. If you don’t have a family of ten, make sure you have some containers on hand to freeze some of it.
Once you've made chili, come back and share your experience. If you tried our chili, did you like it? Did you make adjustments to it? If you made your own, post the recipe. We can start trying a bunch of different types of chili if everyone shares.
Fast Meals That Include All 4 Food Groups
Like I've said, I don't like to cook. When I'm hungry, I want to eat now, not an hour from now after I cooked something. I solve this problem by eating a lot of frozen dinners. For a while I had a chef make meals for me and freeze them but it was expensive and I'd always forget to order them enough ahead of time not to run out. Luckily I found these GREAT new frozen dinners.
These frozen dinners are like nothing I've tasted before, and I've tasted a lot of frozen meals. They are as good as the chef meals I had made. What's even better is that they have so many varieties, I can have a different meal every night for two weeks. Also, when I eat them, I don't feel like I'm eating a frozen dinner. They come in a nice black tray that looks like a dinner plate.
They are called Eating Well. You can read about them and search for a store near you that carries them at this website. www.EatingWell.com/frozenfresh
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with Milk
There are other quick "meals" I eat too. One of my favorites is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk. This contains all four food groups and is fast and tasty. It's usually my go-to if I want something sweet but it's meal time. In case you haven't figured it out, here are the four food groups.
Meat/Protein - Peanut Butter
Breads/Cereals - Bread slices
Fruits/Vegetables - Jelly
Milk/Dairy - Glass of milk
It's simple and quick. Let me just tell you, peanut butter and jelly is not just for kids!
Chips, Cheese, and Salsa
Another quick "meal" I turn to often is chips, cheese, and salsa. I put tortilla chips on a plate, sprinkle shredded cheese on top, and microwave until the cheese is melted. I put some salsa in a bowl with cottage cheese then scoop up a mix of the two with the chips and I have a fast meal with all my food groups. Here are the food groups for this meal.
Meat/Protein - Cheese
Breads/Cereals - Chips
Fruits/Vegetables - Salsa
Milk/Dairy - Cottage cheese
These are just a couple of the quick meals that make up my diet. Are they the healthiest thing I could eat, no, but they do make sure I'm getting the variety I need, even without cooking. You need to come up with quick, easy, fun things you can make to eat that suits your body and your lifestyle. There is no one right way, except the way that works for you. Be confident in your ability to figure out what food fuels your body most effectively.
Good luck and I hope you come back next week for more confidence building activities. Remember to post your chili results below.