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Bring on the Chicken Chili -- and Lower Your Cholesterol!

As I write this blog, I’m finishing up the first draft of the EAT portion of my upcoming 2024 book, adding the final touches on the one-week meal plan, grocery list, and simple, easy-to-make recipes. In the book, I give tips and recommendations for eating for an array of “WHYs” you may have for reading the book. One common “WHY” is finding doable ways to support cardiovascular health, whether that’s eating to lower blood pressure, eating to lower blood cholesterol, or both.


Eat Move Groove team member and Registered Dietitian Lisa Burgoon has been managing her blood cholesterol levels with how she eats and moves for many years, as she treats her cholesterol levels with diet and exercise. Lisa eats a plant-forward diet, focusing on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains high in fiber, especially soluble, or “gummy” fiber that helps to lower cholesterol levels. She's also been an expert contributor to my book, which I greatly appreciate! You'll find the recipe below in the one-week meal plan.


Lisa enjoying a hike in Colorado with Ginger


Foods high in soluble fiber include many plant foods (especially apples, pears, figs, nectarines, apricots, avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beans and peas, nuts, seeds, nut butters, oats, barley, and quinoa).


To get started with an Eat Move Groove cholesterol-lowering plan, Lisa suggests three simple steps:


  1. Eat more legumes like chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and all colors of beans. “Now that fall is here, I make two soups a week including a bean and veggie soup and a lentil-based soup. That way, I always have a homemade soup for lunch or dinner.”

  2. Eat oats every day. Oats are a low-cost whole grain that’s fast and easy to prepare. “I eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every day. I might eat cooked oatmeal or enjoy my homemade granola with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast. I also make plenty of homemade banana and oat bran muffins and keep them in the freezer,” she says.

  3. Grocery shop on a weekly basis to save money and eat more meals at home. “I make my own meals at home as much as possible. It’s less expensive, and I can build my meals around fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.” Eating more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains means eating to lower cholesterol!

Lisa's Slow Cooker Chicken Chili


For a fast and easy meal, Lisa loves making her Slow Cooker Chicken Chili, one of her favorite “go-to” dishes she makes for game days while she cheers on her beloved Michigan State Spartans with friends. She serves it with corn tortilla chips, sliced sweet peppers, and fresh pears for an Eat Move Groove 2211 meal. It’s loaded with flavor and fiber. It’s also one of my favorite meals! Enjoy!


Lisa’s Slow Cooker Chicken Chili


Ingredients:

3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 breasts)

2- 16 oz cans great northern beans (with liquid)

1-16 oz jar picante sauce or salsa

1-8 oz block of pepper jack cheese

1 Tablespoon ground cumin


Topping ideas: diced tomatoes, chopped avocados, salsa, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt


Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.

2. Cook on low for 3 hours.

3. Add toppings and enjoy!

4. Makes 8 servings.




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