Happy New YEAR! It’s all happening, folks! Today is day one of my January Whole30 and so far it’s been great.

Seriously, this day one, especially with the momentum of the New Year and having the day off, is probably one of the easiest day ones out there. Check back in with me in a week when I’m on day nine and on my second day traveling for work…

Today, I started off with a yummy breakfast of coffee with peppermint mocha Nutpods and a slice of my Zucchini and Sausage Egg Casserole.

Yummy breakfast, for those of us who don’t dig on breakfast…

Breakfast kept me fueled through a tough New Year’s Day workout at Orangetheory. I was SO happy to have gotten into a class after being on the waiting list for a few days. I just knew there were going to be a few people who partied too hard last night to handle it!

Look at that perfect pyramid of splat points!

When I got back from Orangetheory, the 6th-grade sleepover crew was still asleep. After I spent some time cleaning up, they finally arose from their basement slumber around NOON. I’m sure the girls really enjoyed the extra pep in my step I had from my healthy start to the day! 😜

I whipped together a quick lunch with the chicken salad I had prepped yesterday. This has got homemade mayo, grapes, pecans, carrots, and celery for some crunch. I put it over a bed of arugula and topped with some Tessemae’s lemon and garlic dressing.

Massive protein salads are my favorite!

And because I was GETTING CRAP DONE today, we also took down all of the Christmas decorations. I love Christmas and decorating for the holiday. I am a little type-A though and HAVE to have them out my house right after the new year. Seriously, tomorrow I go back to work: the holiday is over.

Tonight, on the first day of my Whole30, I made a treat that my family ALL loves: my Award-Winning Whole30 Chili. Award-winning, you say? Heck yes. I won the O’Fallon, Missouri YMCA Annual Chili Cookoff with this business back in October.

It’s adapted from Mel Joulwan’s Chocolate Chili Recipe, which is fantastic. I made a few changes to add pieces that my family and I love in a chili recipe. Here’s what I think made it a winner for the prestigious YMCA cook-off. First, it doesn’t have beans (duh, Whole30). A lot of people really don’t like beans. Second, it’s not super hot. It’s got a tang to it, but it’s not going to leave you hurting. Finally…bacon. Yes, people, the secret ingredient is bacon.

The base for anything good. And dude…you totally need to be cutting it up with kitchen shears instead of chopping it with a knife. #protip

I love making this recipe during my Whole30’s because my whole family will eat it and it makes great leftovers. While the fam can have cheese, sour cream and chili cheese Frito’s (yes, this is the bomb), I typically chop up some banana pepper rings for a little compliant topping.

So, day 1…in the books and feeling great so far! Do me a favor and next time you’re in the mood for chili, try this one out!

AuthorAnnieCategory, , DifficultyBeginner

This recipe is a riff on Mel Joulwan's Chocolate Chili, which my family and I have grown to love. This version of the recipe even won me the O'Fallon YMCA Chili Cookoff back in October. Be prepared for some serious YUM.

Yields8 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time2 hrsTotal Time2 hrs 20 mins

 3 slices of Whole30 compliant bacon
 1 onion, diced
 3 ribs of celery, diced
 1 lb ground chuck
 2 carrots, diced
 1 lb ground pork
 14.50 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
 6 oz can of tomato paste
 1 tsp dried oregano
 2 tbsp chili powder
 2 tbsp cumin
 1 ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa
 1 tsp allspice
 2 cups beef broth
 1 cup water

1

Chop up bacon in a dutch oven on medium heat until most of the fat has rendered and bacon as started to become crispy.

2

While your bacon renders, chop your celery, carrots, and onion.

3

Add ground beef and pork to the bacon. Cook until meats are almost no longer pink.

4

Add the onion, celery and carrots into your meat mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

5

While your vegetables cook in the meat, combine all of the spices in a small bowl and mix together.

6

Add spice mix and tomato paste to meat and vegetable mixture. Stir well and to combine.

7

Add beef broth, water, and can of fire-roasted tomatoes and stir well. Allow the chili to simmer for 2-3 three hours on low.

Ingredients

 3 slices of Whole30 compliant bacon
 1 onion, diced
 3 ribs of celery, diced
 1 lb ground chuck
 2 carrots, diced
 1 lb ground pork
 14.50 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
 6 oz can of tomato paste
 1 tsp dried oregano
 2 tbsp chili powder
 2 tbsp cumin
 1 ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa
 1 tsp allspice
 2 cups beef broth
 1 cup water

Directions

1

Chop up bacon in a dutch oven on medium heat until most of the fat has rendered and bacon as started to become crispy.

2

While your bacon renders, chop your celery, carrots, and onion.

3

Add ground beef and pork to the bacon. Cook until meats are almost no longer pink.

4

Add the onion, celery and carrots into your meat mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

5

While your vegetables cook in the meat, combine all of the spices in a small bowl and mix together.

6

Add spice mix and tomato paste to meat and vegetable mixture. Stir well and to combine.

7

Add beef broth, water, and can of fire-roasted tomatoes and stir well. Allow the chili to simmer for 2-3 three hours on low.

Award-Winning Whole30 Chili