Post-Workout Meal: Dr Berardi’s Chili

Bowl of ChiliJohn Berardi recommends chili for optimum post-workout nutrition.

This is a meal that should be eaten within a few hours after exercising, because of the combination of protein from beef (a massive 71 grams per serve) and carbs from the beans, which are also high in fibre.

Like other legumes, kidney beans rate low on the glycemic index, contain more fibre than any grain source, and have the potential to reduce body fact as well as increasing relative muscle mass.

As Berardi says,

“If the promise of a leaner physique isn’t enough, a recent study found that legumes may add years to your life, being the most effective dietary predictor of survival in a longitudinal study of elderly people across the world.”

If you’d more information on, or a copy of Berardi’s Optimal Nutrition plan, you can find it here.

This recipe makes ten servings, and freezes well. Unless you’re planning a dinner party or feeding a village in Ethiopia, be prepared to freeze about four serves. Or why not freeze it in ten individual serves? You can find lightweight containers in the kitchen aisle at your supermarket, or just use Baggies. Alternatively, halve the ingredients before preparation.

Mothers Milk

Yes, it’s like mothers milk!

Dr. John Berardi’s Chili


2 kg extra lean ground beef (96% fat or less)
4 cans kidney beans, drained.
2 large onions, chopped (frozen chopped onions, from the freezer aisle at your supermarket, are a fantastic time-saver)
2 large tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can
500 grams carrots, chopped or sliced
4 capsicums—1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange—chopped or grated.
6 cloves garlic, chopped (or two teaspoons preserved)
2 bottles V8 Juice, spicy or plain (Tabasco sauce can be used to spice up the plain juice at this stage)

1/3 to 1/2 cup cashew meal

4 tsp Mexican chili powder*
1 tsp cumin,
2 tsp paprika,
1 tsp ground pepper
* (Available from Spanish grocers or from the spice aisle in your supermarket. Do NOT use anything labelled just “chilli powder” which is usually made from pure ground chillies and this amount could blow your brains out! The Mexican or Spanish version is actually a mildish combination of spices, like an Indian masala. If you can’t find it, substitute a packet of chili seasoning mix)


In a large fry pan, brown the beef, onions and garlic in batches or all at once, depending on the size of the pan. A large wok with a lid works perfectly for this. When the beef is brown, and the onions change colour, add the spices and continue frying for another couple of minutes. Transfer the beef and spices mixture to a large pot with a lid if necessary. Add the beans, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and V8 juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on.

To make the cashew meal, process raw cashews in the blender in short bursts, until a grainy meal is formed. Don’t process for too long, or you’ll make cashew butter.

Stir the cashew meal into the chili, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves or a sprinkle of aged cheddar cheese.

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