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Spicy Whole30 Chili

By February 3, 2014Main Courses, Paleo, Recipes, Whole30

We are just into Week 3 of the¬†Whole30¬†challenge at CrossFit Fringe, and we’ve really hit a good stride. Of course, I’ve completely failed in a few areas (mainly Greek yogurt and oatmeal), but Neil is a champion. Hasn’t cheated once. Not all that surprising of course, he has amazing willpower. Typically I do well at challenges like these, but about a week in, I started feeling as if I had no energy — very listless, and my workouts felt more like survival than directed performance. After talking with one of my coaches about my training load, overall goals and priorities, I decided to add those two items back in moderation in addition to trying to eat more altogether.

Taco salad for dinner. #paleo #whole30

{Above: Taco Salad, one of my fave Whole30 meals to date}

The crux is that Whole30 is really about using diet as the primary driver of your health. While this is excellent and very much how it should be, it really wasn’t made for people as active as I am or try to be. With that said, now that I’ve adjusted somewhat, we are both looking and feeling pretty darn awesome. That first week, especially the weekend is tough — but our friends and fellow athletes have been amazingly supportive and encouraging. The goal for us isn’t just to make it through the 30 day challenge, but settle back into a balance that makes these habits more long-term. Whole30 is a huge awakening to what lurks in even the most seemingly simple foods. And I know I could be doing with a lot less sugar — even from fruit.


I really wanted to label this chili both spicy and “a little sweet” but I always imagine Gordon Ramsay scolding me for over-complicating what is probably the most simple recipe we’ve done in a while.

Neil actually dubbed this chili the savior of the first week. You feel insatiable that first week. You’ll eat and feel full, but not satisfied. For us, the heartiness and touch of sweetness this chili had made us feel really good.


1-2 lbs ground beef
3 14.5-ounce cans of stewed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce (or homemade like we did)
2 green peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Serrano peppers, chopped (retain seeds if you want a spicier chili)
2 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef to pot and brown. Remove, drain and set aside.
  2. Add onions and peppers and cook in coconut oil until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (including beef) and stir to combine. Bring to a slow simmer and continue to simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy with toppings of choice.