Bfit - Fitness by Brenna


Autumn Has Arrived!

Whie Bean Chili


After a seemingly never-ending heat wave in San Diego, we have a day of rain and a slight chill in the air.  It feels like autumn!  This puts me in the mood for warm, stew type dishes.  One of my favorite ways to make stews, both for it’s convenience and intricate flavor, is with a crock pot.  By taking a few minutes to add the ingredients in the morning and letting the meal slow-cook throughout the day, I can enjoy the day (or leave the crock while I go to work) and come home to a meal that tastes delicious, not to mention like I have spent hours working to perfect the combination of spices.  Win-win-win: time saver, tasty food and healthful!  Using the crock pot is also a perfect way to impress guests when entertaining because the meal is sumptuous yet you don’t need to spend the whole time in the kitchen.

This recipe for Slow Cooker White Chili is turn-of-autumn nourishment.  The cauliflower thickens and adds, instead of calories, additional nutrition.  Spiciness is balanced well with the tartness of the lebne.  Add a touch of lemon juice and it’s perfection.


Slow Cooker White Bean Chili


2 chicken breasts and 4 chicken thighs, skinless
1 bad dried cannellini beans
2 poblano peppers (or green bell peppers), chopped
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 quarts low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1-1/2 Tablespoons(T) ground cumin
1 T chili powder
3/4 cup lebne (or Greek yogurt)
2 teaspoons sea salt
lemon wedges, for garnishing


Arrange chicken in bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.  Top with beans, peppers, onion, broth, cumin and chili powder.  Cover and cook on low until bean are very tender and cauliflower falls apart, about 10 hours.  To serve, ladle into bowls and top with yogurt, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.  Serves 8-10.


Quick and Easy Curry

The weather in San Diego has been cool and stormy the past couple of days…perfect for a nourishing, warming meal.  This curry dish is simple, quick and flavorful.  The variations that can be made might leave curry a staple in your cooking repertoire.  Try using different vegetables or proteins for a change of pace.  I prefer to keep it grain free, making it more of a stew, but another option would be to serve it over quinoa or wild rice (ok, so it’s still grain-free since quinoa is a pseudo-grain and wild rice is actually a grass).  I have also been known to serve it over Shirataki or Sea Tangles Kelp noodles (both grain-free).


Coconut oil or butter to sautée
½ onion, chopped or in slices
1 inch  fresh lemongrass, sliced crosswise
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped finely
1 tbsp. curry powder
1/3 cup coconut milk (I prefer Natural Value brand  because there is no guar gum or other additives)
1 cup water
Vegetables including sweet potato, carrot, leafy greens such as Swiss chard or spinach and cabbage
White fish such as sea bass or halibut (could use shell fish or chicken)
Sea salt, to taste


Brown onion, ginger and lemongrass (and stalks of the greens, if using greens with tougher stalks) for 5 minutes in oil or butter, stirring occasionally.  Add curry powder and continue to stir for 3 minutes.  Add coconut milk and water and potatoes, if using.  Bring liquid to a simmer and cook potatoes for about 3-5 minutes before adding other vegetables and fish.  Continue to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until fish and vegetables are cooked.  Add sea salt, to taste, if desired.


So yummy and warming I could even eat it for breakfast!


Make Your Day Greener!

Cooking with Greens


Leafy greens are nutrient powerhouses.  They are high in various vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium and iron.  They are also low in calories and simple to prepare.  Go beyond spinach and try one of the many types of greens to choose from including Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, turnip greens, mustard greens and collards.


1 bunch of greens  **

2 tsp olive oil, coconut oil or butter/ghee (preferable from grass-fed cows)

¼ onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic

Water, as needed

Lemon wedges


Carefully wash greens to make sure no dirt remains.  Chop of ¼ inch of the stems and discard.  Cut away stem of greens (including slightly up the leaf, cutting away the stem from the center of the leaf) and chop into 1-inch segments.  Heat oil or butter in a pan.  Add onions and stems and sauté with lid on for approximately five minutes, until they are softened and translucent.  Add leafy greens and cook about 3-5 minutes, until cooked through and soft but not mushy.  Add water, if extra moisture needed.  Squeeze lemon juice on top, if desired.


**  Note:  if cooking collard greens allow extra cooking time as they are thicker and tougher.

Simple Snack Ideas

A common question I receive is “What are good snacks?”  Most people need foods that are quick and can be consumed on the go.  Here are 10 ideas for healthful snacks:


1.  ¼ cup nuts or seeds (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds)

2.  1 medium-sized** piece of fruit (or 1 cup berries) with 2 tbsp seeds

3.  1 medium-sized apple with 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter

4.  Sliced veggies with ¼ cup hummus

5.  1-2 hard-boiled eggs (approx. 70 calories/egg)

6.  ½ cup cottage cheese with small piece of fruit or sprinkled with nuts

7.  1 cup plain yogurt sweetened with stevia and pumpkin pie spice

8.  1 inch cubed size piece of cheese (preferably raw milk) with 10 walnuts

9.  ¼ cup roasted chick peas (should have no added oils) and 2 tablespoons almonds

10.  Nitrate-/nitrite-free turkey slices rolled around avocado or hummus


**  size of woman’s fist