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Breakfast Chili

Testimony of the Day

“I have never been what I would consider overweight. I’ve always been in very good shape, very active and thought I looked pretty good for an “old guy” 🙂 A few years ago, my wife’s friend Maria opened our eyes to alot of our food choices. We took baby steps and it’s still a learning process, but we have turned over to a grain free, low carb, high fat diet and I can’t believe the difference in my body composition. Of course I didn’t change anything except for my diet and lost 16 pounds and look way leaner than ever before without having to even lift hard!!!

My workout routine is very limited and for a limited amount of the year. I only have time in the few winter months of November through March to workout and my workout routine is strictly using the resistance bands and some calisthenics which include pushups, pullups and a few other things. I was amazed at how effective it was and am completely SOLD on the eating plan!

I am definitely enjoying my food choices as well. What guy doesn’t love that diet…I love my food and never feel hungry. I am in the best shape of my life and feel great. It’s made a huge difference in keeping up with my kids and playing sports as I am still very active in sports. I can see for sure that it’s not just all exercise, but a huge part is the diet and food options. Thanks Maria for being my wife’s friend :)- Chad O.”

I have many clients who do little to no exercise and still look amazing on a keto-adapted diet. Take for example Chad; he does about 15 minutes of band resistant training 5 days a week in the winter months. He only does it in the winter because he is very busy with work in the summer.

To get the results like Chad, click HERE for easy to follow keto-adapted meals.

Chad before and after


A lot of American’s are ingrained with the idea that they should be eating an apple a day so they pick a big red Golden Delicious feeling like they are doing a “body good.”

Not necessarily; many times we focus on taste, or should I say sugar content, to stimulate sales. In the book, Eating on the Wild Side, Jo Robinson’s reviews a 2009 study that refers to 46 overweight men with high cholesterol and triglycerides who agreed to participate in an eating experiment. Half of the men stayed on their regular diets, serving as a control group. The other 23 added an apple to their fare. The goal was to determine if eating an apple a day would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. At the end of the study, the men who ate the apple a day had higher levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol than before the study began. The conclusion is that the apples used were too low in phytonutrients to lower the men’s bad cholesterol, and too high in sugar causing an increase in their triglycerides.

breakfast chili


For example, most animals have learned how to become fat and how to become thin. They do it in a tightly regulated way… Hibernating mammals will double their weight and fat in the fall in preparation for winter… I realized that I can learn by reading the studies about these animals. As I read them, I had another insight, which had not been appreciated before; these animals develop all the features of metabolic syndrome that we do. They get fat. They’re visceral fat goes up. They get fatty liver. The triglycerides go up in their blood. They get insulin-resistant… It’s a normal process.

Millions of years ago, our ancestors consumed fructose from natural fruits rather than the massive doses of high fructose corn syrup like we do today, but they still experienced this fat-gaining phenomenon. During the summer, they would consume large amounts of fruit and would put on weight in order to survive the famine during the colder months when fruits were unavailable. This led to a genetic mutation that resulted in a greater uric acid response to fructose. The more sugar we eat, the more uric acid our bodies produce, which increases our liver and intestines’ ability to absorb sugar, which is a bad thing! Obese people absorb fructose effortlessly, where skinny people don’t absorb it as well.

It is a detrimental snowball effect for my obese clients; the more sugar they eat, the more uric acid you make; which leads to the sensitivity to fructose absorption. Once you head down that path, it is almost impossible to stop. This is why I have to get so extreme with clients and cut out fruit too. If you start soon enough and cut out all foods that are creating the fat-creating snowball, you can recover, but if you don’t, you will lose the fat-burning, energy-producing mitochondria and you can’t restore them. At this point, you reset your fat cells at higher set point and our bodies want to stay at that set point for homeostasis.

You can try and try to lose weight, but our fat cells have memory. They are cozy in your body and think they are protecting you. This causes the hormone leptin to be misfiring too. Leptin and ghrelin are very important hormones that work like a “checks and balances” that manage hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, produced in the stomach, increases appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a message to our brain when we are full. This imbalance causes us to intensely crave food and never feel full. The worst part is that we don’t crave broccoli, we crave high calorie sweets and starchy foods. Over time, this imbalance can easily lead to long-term weight gain. Since insulin, ghrelin and leptin, function as significant indicators to the central nervous system in the long-term regulation of energy balance, decreases of circulating insulin and leptin and increased ghrelin concentrations, studies prove that it leads to increased caloric intake and eventually contribute to increased fat cells during high consumption of fructose.

HEALTH TIP: A damaged liver causes low moods and can lead to serious depression. Are you depressed? Get your liver checked and eliminate all foods that bog down your liver.


NO FRUIT? How will I get nutrients? When I am asked if I eat fruits, I jokingly say of course! I eat avocado, olives, and tomatoes! But most people think I am a bit extreme when I limit most vegetable consumption for my clients too. To get keto-adapted, even some low-starch vegetables may keep someone with a damaged metabolism out of ketosis. Which is why my Accelerated 30-day meal plans are so detailed with what low-starch vegetables are allowed to get into ketosis fast.

We need to update the recommendation of eating 9 servings of fruits and vegetables for maximum health. This suggestion has a few issues with it. A few years ago, I read that most kids actually do get the recommended servings for fruits and vegetables. Are you shocked to read this? Yep, they eat French fries, onion rings, and ketchup. Sad, but it does fit the guidelines. Will you reap the benefits of eating 7-9 servings of these foods? Absolutely not.

So even if you aren’t even eating French fries or ketchup, eating 3 bananas a day isn’t a good idea. Studies prove that the current state of the produce we consume is relatively low in phytonutrients and much higher in sugar than it was in our Paleo days. All of the fruits and vegetables displayed in our supermarkets have much less nutrients than what you would find in the wild. Consumers want fruit that tastes sweet. This is why we now have “Cotton Candy Grapes!” Traditional grapes weren’t sweet enough, so we modified them to satisfy our kid’s desire for sweets in order for them to eat fruit. The sad part is, we think it is a good thing when our kids eat massive amounts of fruits. The more palatable our produce has become, the less beneficial they are for our health. The most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste.

Sure many high sugar fruits have healthy antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C and E. Antioxidants protect cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food BUT you produce little to no free radicals if you stay in a keto-adapted state. And what is interesting is an orange that is high in vitamin C also has a lot of sugar. Glucose and vitamin C have similar chemical structures, so what happens when the sugar levels go up? They compete for one another when entering the cells. And the thing that mediates the entry of glucose into the cells is the same thing that mediates the entry of vitamin C into the cells. If there is more glucose around, there is going to be less vitamin C allowed into the cell. It doesn’t take much: a blood sugar value of 120 reduces the phagocytic index by 75%. So when you eat sugar, think of your immune system slowing down to a crawl. Instead, try parsley or bell peppers!

breakfast chili

Fresh herbs like parsley, rosemary, oregano, and basil are the most nutritious plants you can consume. For example, everyone things spinach is the perfect food, but fresh oregano has eight times the amount of antioxidants! Sure, we don’t eat a cup of oregano like we would spinach, but it does go to show that a little bit provides a huge benefit. Instead of consuming fruits and starchy veggies that have fructose and raise blood sugar quickly, I suggest using herbs and spices more often in your cooking preparations.

breakfast chili


Breakfast Chili

Maria Emmerich
Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 12 mins
Course Beef and Lamb, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Nut Free
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 890



  • 2 pounds ground beef 85% lean
  • 1 pound Butcherbox Italian Sausage OR Chorizo
  • 4 cups tomato sauce preferably homemade organic or from a glass jar
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 medium green chile peppers seeded and chopped
  • 2 slices sugar free bacon
  • 1 cup organic beef broth homemade broth is best: I always store extra in my freezer
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh Basil Leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Redmond Real salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


  • 8 large eggs fried
  • 1 medium avocado cubed into 1 cm chunks
  • 4 strips sugar free bacon fried and crumbled

BREAD BOWL (Optional, not included in Nutritional Info):

  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup unflavored egg white protein
  • 3 oz Sour Cream or cream cheese, or yolks if dairy sensitive


  • Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck, bacon and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. Pour in the tomato sauce. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, and broth. Season with chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. Top with a fried egg, avocado and bacon pieces.
  • To make the Bread Bowl: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the eggs (reserve the yolks). In a clean and dry bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Then add the protein powder until smooth. Using a spatula, gradually fold the cream cheese/sour cream into the white mixture (OR YOLKS if dairy sensitive), being careful not to break down the whites. Grease muffin tins and spoon the mixture into the pan (forming a dip in the middle), making 12 medium bowls or 24 mini bowls. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. You may need to put the center down once they come out so you can fill it with chili.


NUTRITIONAL INFO (per serving of chili):
“Healthified” Chili = 634 calories, 38g fat, 55g protein, 15g carbs, 5.2g fiber
“Healthified” Chili + toppings = 890 calories, 64g fat, 61g protein, 16g carbs, 7g fiber


Calories: 890 | Fat: 64g | Protein: 61g | Carbohydrates: 16g | Fiber: 7g | P:E Ratio: 0.8


breakfast chili


HEALTH TIP: Organic herbs are easy to grow in your own kitchen! You don’t need to be a “green thumb” or a huge garden to reap the benefits of these amazing herbs. But if you aren’t able to have your own herb garden, buy organic herbs in bulk and store in the freezer to have on hand at all times. I usually stock up at the St. Paul’s Farmer’s Market in the fall and store a bunch in the freezer to add to my meatloafs, meatballs, chili, and sauces all winter long while I dream of my next trip to the farmers market in the spring.


breakfast chili


Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Kim says:

    Hi-what is the difference between the 30 day and the accelerated 30 day meal plan packages? Thx in advance!

    • cemmerich says:

      The Accelerated package gives you more instructional videos (Supercharge class), all the ebooks (there is an option to get it without ebooks if you like) and have even more refined pure protein and fat meal plans that include intermittent fasting, over eating days, workout suggestions and are 100% nut and dairy free. They get you keto adapted (fat burning mode) quicker to help you lose weight or heal faster. 🙂

  • Susan Lynn says:

    Good Questions Kim…I was thinking the same thing??? Although, I am planning to buy the $300.00 plan and get the whole shebang!

  • Cynthia says:

    Love all your books and all the fab info you post here for us to learn and learn! My question is…..if one no longer has a gallbladder ,,,how does all this increased fat intake effect the liver,,,,fatty liver, etc. As after the gallbladder is removed the Dr.s specifically say,,,,,low fat, stay away from fatty foods, etc.,etc. If you have a post on your blog about effects of this lifestyle on people WITHOUT a gallbladder ,,,or any study that you could link to, etc…I’d really appreciate reading up on this aspect before I purchase some of your classes……thanks again..

    • cemmerich says:

      Thanks! Fructose is what you want to stay away from. That is what causes fatty liver, not dietary fat. Increasing dietary fat (and reducing carb and fructose intake) will reduce fat in the liver. 😉

  • Bev says:

    how do you freeze the herbs? Do you just clean them and pull from the stem and place in freezer bag? Or do you freeze in ice cube trays with water?

    • cemmerich says:

      Some can just be frozen as is. Some like parsley will go black if frozen alone so you want to chop, put in ice cube tray with a little MCT oil or butter, then freeze. Then you just grab a cube to use in a recipe.

  • Wenchypoo says:

    (The smell of your Amazing Maria bread baking in the background) “Hibernating mammals will double their weight and fat in the fall in preparation for winter”

    Maybe us fatties need to start hibernating NOW to get our bodies in shape for bikini season? 🙂

    Gotta go–the oven alarm just went off…

  • Philis says:

    The Chili looks wonderful. My husband eats soup + Rotisserie chicken wings every morning. A creature of habit that knows what works for him.

    This is a little off topic, but I have been trying to find the place where Craig listed a daily example of what he eats to be in ketosis? Could you point me to this? Do you also have an example posted for you? Thanks so much.

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Maria, thanks for another wonderful post.

    Just one question, why tomato sauce from a glass jar specifically?



    • cemmerich says:

      It is just preferred because glass is a better container (many aluminum cans are lined with a thin layer of plastic). 😉

  • carrie says:

    Is there anything you’ve used to make a vegetarian version (of course w/o beans!)? I made your chili & Sloppy Joe’s for some friends a few weeks back & everyone LOVED it! I also made a vegetarian version of the Sloppy Joe’s, but I used crumbles from the brand Quorn. In case you aren’t familiar, the main ingredient in quorn is mycoprotien (myco is Greek for fungi). The mycoprotein comes from fusarium venentaum, which was discovered in England, in the late 1960’s. Quorn is not suitable for vegans because it contains ingredients derived from eggs.

  • Penny says:

    The mix of seasonings in this chili is awesome! Perfect for this icy cold night in Texas.
    I added a can of black soy beans…didn’t want to waste them after spending so much on the can.

  • Patty says:

    I made this for the first time tonight…it’s delicious 🙂 and I love love how easy it is!
    Thanks for another great recipe 🙂

  • LaDonna says:

    I have been making this chili on a regular basis because my family likes it so much. I made some for Super Bowl Sunday and sent some home with friends. They told me today that I needed to make it for them at least 2 more times just to make sure it was good. Then, they said it was the best chili they have ever eaten!! I would have to agree!!!!

  • Stacy says:

    I made this over the weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic. My husband loved it especially. He wants me to make a large batch and freeze it, so we have meals at the ready. Thank you.

  • amora says:

    This chili recipe is what sold my husband on eating the Maria Way with me. Now we make it every other weekend to allow for quick weeknight meals. Thank you!

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