Happy Halloween + Chocolate (Chili)


Happy Friday and Happy Halloween friends!!  I hope everyone has lots of trick or treating planned and Halloween parties to attend tonight.  I know my three Littles have each dressed up multiple times this week for school parties, dance parties and friend parties!  Their costumes are starting to look a little ragged already!  I picked up all the kids’ costumes at Marshalls this year on a whim and they have been such a great buy!

We are expecting a little rain and cooler weather this weekend here in Cali.  This news got me all excited and I immediately starting craving my favorite soups and stews!  So, here’s a little recipe for some of my favorite chili that I made at least once a week last winter!  It has a secret ingredient that I’ve never used in Chili before…cocoa! It’s from Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan over at The Clothes Make the Girl.  Make double if you feel like it – It’s great for leftovers or breakfast with a little fried egg on top! This stuff does not last in my house!

Chocolate Chili (From her cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat)

Prep 20 min | Cook 2-3 hours | Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
1 cup water


1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.

2. In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork, then add to the pot, stirring like you mean it. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least two hours. Do not skimp on the simmer! Serve in deep bowls with big spoons.

Try a meat combo by mixing ground beef with ground turkey, pork, or bison.
Make a double batch and freeze half so you have chili-on-demand.
Top with sliced olives, diced onions, and/or avocado slices.

Chocolate Chili

Have a great weekend and be safe tonight!  Let me know if you try the Chili!


Finishers = Pain

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Are you a big fan of ending your workouts with a finisher?  You know, a super set of exercises that leaves you on the verge of puking and passing out?  Your heart rate gets sky high and the thought of one more rep is unfathomable, but you do it anyway?  The endorphins are soaring and you feel so strong!

I never added any type of finishers to my old workouts when endurance and zone 2 heart rate were the goals.  Now that I’m making the most of my 30 minute workouts, a finisher is amazing and exhausting at the same time!

Here are some that my trainer has put me through – let me know if you give them a try!

  • Kettle bell swings (max weight) / Plyo push-ups (hands “jump” in between each push-up) Ladder count down – 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
  • 10 push-ups / 10 squats AMRAP for 2 minutes
  • 10 mountain climbers / 10 sit ups AMRAP for 2 minutes
  • 10 burpees / 10 jump squats x 3 without rest.

What are your favorite super set combinations?

When’s the last time you threw up from a workout or run?