Chocolate Chili by Stephen Cooper

Chocolate Chili (Recipe from Well Fed)


  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 tsp)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 cup water


  1. Heat a large deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with a wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.
  2. In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork, then add to the pot, stirring like you mean it. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth and water to the pot. Stir well. bring to a boil then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours. Do not skimp on the simmer.

I ate this last night, really yummy.

Shake and Paint by Stephen Cooper

Morning get up and go breakfast shake. Water, protein powder, big handful spinach, frozen acai.  (Clients sometimes ask where can they buy frozen acai in Pasadena...I usually get Sambazon frozen acai at Whole Foods.) 


Some clients have asked me to post our workouts.  Here is the link to yesterday's workout.


We have a very fun event planned for Friday April 5 from 8 pm - 10:30 pm. 

We will be meeting at Paint The Town in San Marino.  There, we will have the whole place to ourselves.

Each person will get to select one studio painting and the instructor will walk you through the painting process, step by step. (Don't look to me for any tips or pointers...and no laughing at my lack of painting skills).  You can change colors, backgrounds and add whatever creative things you want. 

Don't worry if you have never painted before...

Please bring wine or your favorite beverage, and some healthy snacks if you like.

The cost is $25 per person.  Please confirm your space with me soon so that we can plan on supplies.


April 1, Monday, Wednesday, Friday Boot Camp Begins

April 2, Tuesday/Thursday Camp Begins

April 5, Paint The Town Party in San Marino


Tips for Your First Week at Boot Camp by Stephen Cooper

Typical DinnerI often feel that there is a lot I would like to tell you when you first join my boot camp. There are many tips that I have from past experience which I believe can help.  Today I'll just discuss a few.

Modifying Eating

For your first week cut out all liquids except for coffee, tea, and water.  Try to drink one icy cold glass of water with 30 grams of protein powder within 30 minutes of waking up.

Remove all sweets/sugar from your diet.

Add vegetables to at least 3 meals/snacks per day.

Eat some form of animal protein (eggs, chicken, fish, meat) at least twice a day.

Consider supplementing your diet with fish oil.

3 of My Favorite (Paleo and Gluten Free) Resources for Back to School Lunch Ideas by Stephen Cooper

Back to School Lunch Courtesy Nom Nom Paleo

I admit, I am a really lame cook, but having a son in 8th grade, and wanting to provide him the best meals available, I've searched around and found some great resources for me and for you.

Resource #1: Carrie Vitt's Deliciously Organic  This mom of two, and wife provides tons of great recipes using organic, unprocessed ingredients.

Resource #2: Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo  Sarah has excellent recipes and 3 books about Paleo cooking.   I love the pictures and easy steps provides for her easy to follow recipes.

Resource #3:  Michelle Tam's Nom Nom Paleo  Mouthwatering photos and recipes here.  These will really inspire you to get cooking.  Check out her 5 Part Series of Paleo School Lunches, and she has a sweet Paleo cookbook app for the iPad.

Boot Camp Workouts and The Right Food to Help You Burn Fat by Stephen Cooper

This morning we did a challenging bodyweight boot camp workout designed to burn fat, and adding these foods will not only fuel your body for training, but they will also help you to burn fat.


Pumpkin Pancakes, credit-Fast


  • 1/2 C Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 C Coconut Oil- Melted
  • 1/4 C Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 C Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Cooking Steps

Preheat griddle or pan to 350. In separate bowls, mix wet and dry ingredient.
Combine wet into dry. Spoon mixture onto griddle and cook 2-4 minutes per side.
Enjoy as is, smeared with more coconut oil, or topped with pure maple syrup and pecans. Mmmm!


BLT Salad


  • 6 Slices Bacon
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil

Cooking Steps

Mix mustard, honey and oil to make dressing.

Fry bacon then chop. Slice tomato. Chop lettuce. Toss with dressing. Quick, easy and DELISH!


Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers, credit-Fast


  • 1lb Lean Ground Beef (grass fed ideal)
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 1 Can tomatoes with green chillies
  • 1 hand full chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 can Black Olives sliced
  • 4 Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 1 tub fresh salsa
  • 3 Avocados
  • 6oz can of tomato paste (optional)

Cooking Steps

Preheat Oven to 350. Brown beef with 2 Tablespoons Chilli Powder, 1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Salt, 1 Tablespoon Cumin, 1/2 Tablespoon Red pepper, 1 Tablespoon Paprika, 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder, and 1 Teaspoon Oregano.

While it is browning, chop the white onion and cilantro. Add onion and cilantro to the beef and saute another 5 minutes. Half and seed the bell peppers. Take one half bell pepper, finely dice it. Add diced bell pepper, canned tomatoes, 6oz can of tomato paste (if you like ‘em creamy), and olives to the meat mixture.

Spray a glass pan with olive oil and place bell peppers open side up. Push the meat mixture to one side for the pan and tilt it so that any access liquid drains to the other side. Spoon out any excess liquid. fill each pepper with the meat mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

While they are baking, mash up the avocados and 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder. When they are done scoop some guacamole on top and use salsa as desired.


What Works for Fat Loss (3 New Boot Camp Recipes) by Stephen Cooper

Three new recipes to keep you on track for losing fat at Boot Camp Pasadena. 


Bacon & Avocado "Sandwiches" (credit,


  • 4 strips of thick-cut, nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 medium-sized Haas avocado
  • 1 lime
  • Kosher salt to taste

Cook and drain bacon.

Mash up the flesh of half an avocado, and cut up the other half into half-inch cubes. Then mix both halves together in a bowl to get a nice blend of chunky 'n creamy. Flavor it with a squirt or two of lime juice and a generous pinch of Kosher salt. 


In n Out protein Burger (No cheese though)

Enjoy this treat!  I'm not suggesting this be an everyday thing.


Liver and onions (credit,Paleo Diet Lifestyle)

This recipe serves 4 people.


  • 4 large slices pork or beef liver;
  • 5 large onions, sliced;
  • 6 tbsp butter or lard;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 5 tbsp of the butter and the sliced onions. Cook slowly, stirring often, for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the onions are really soft and caramelized.
  2. Near the end of the cooking process of the onions, heat another pan over a medium-high heat and cook the liver with the rest of the cooking fat, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve the liver topped with the delicious and creamy cooked onions. This is also delicious served with a little bit of homemade salsa on the side.

First Day of Boot Camp, Start Right With These Helpful Recipes by Stephen Cooper

If you are joining us for the first time, a big welcome to you.

Today I've listed a day's worth of Paleo style recipes to get you on the right track.  I'll discuss later why I choose the Paleo method, but for now just know that these are great examples of what to eat while you are training with us.

Boot Camp Breakfast (Paleo Style)

Spinach Breakfast Shake


  • 12 oz. unsweetened full fat coconut or almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana (add terrific sweetness)
  • 1-2 dried dates
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups raw spinach leaves
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder


  • Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth or desired consistency.


Mango Chicken Salad (from my favorite Paleo recipe site, Everyday 


Larabar  (you can get these at Target, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods)


Butter Poached Salmon with Warm Tomato Relish (from my favorite Paleo recipe site, Everyday

Lot's of Information from this Weekend's IDEA World Fitness Conference by Stephen Cooper

Over the next few days I'll be posting what I learned from over 20 workshops, lectures, and workouts that I participated in this weekend at the huge IDEA World Conference here at the LA Convention Center.

One of the most important main areas that I wanted to gain more knowledge was about eating, and most specifically how I can help my clients lose fat through the latest research and findings on diet.

One of the biggest challenges I see for my client-athletes is information overload and frustration when it comes to what to eat for fat loss and better health.

Dr. Kara MohrLet's start with some "Diet Dilemma" tips from Dr. Kara Mohr.

Dr. Mohr spoke about "riding the urge wave".  She mentioned that our cravings for things ride up and down like a wave.  If we can get past that "peak" of the wave oftentimes the craving will pass.  She suggested substituting another activity for eating.  Some good ideas are, painting your nails, taking a bubble bath, or taking a walk.

Eventually you can build up your resistance to these cravings.  She gave a great example of a crying kid in the grocery store.  You've seen this scene of the crying kid throwing a tantrum trying to get his way.  As parents we know that giving in to the kid is most often not the best choice.  If we do, the kid continues this pattern and uses it over and over to get his way.  Dr. Mohr compared this to our cravings for bad foods.  The less often we give in to these cravings, the stronger our will becomes.

Another tip is to have a "DEP".  A designated eating place.  I love this!

Create a table and a space that is special for you.  Focus on your present mind while eating.  This means shutting off the TV, the computer, putting down the distractions and focus on your meal and your conversation with your loved ones.  Imagine how this one tip alone can transform your health!

Men and women think very differently.  Unfortunately women "have a lot of stinkin thinkin", and lot's of negative thoughts.

She also suggests the "90/10 Rule".  Meaning 90% of the time you'll want to eat clean, and 10% of the time you can splurge a little.  For some clients she suggests this is a simple way to grade yourself on your eating habits.

The 10 dimes tip. For this tip she has clients start out with 10 dimes in their right pocket.  For each negative thought the client has to transfer 1 dime to the left pocket.  Think a positive thought, and transfer a dime to the left pocket.   Then ask yourself "what time did you go bankrupt?"

So there you are...some great tips from Dr. Mohr to help you on your path. 

Would you like to receive email tips like the one above?  Join here.

Get Lean Shopping List by Stephen Cooper

In trying to set you up for success, I'm posting a very simple yet very effective shopping list. (courtesy of Tim Ferriss and the Four Hour Body)

You can print out a copy here and bring it with you...or here is the list: 

Shopping List


Egg whites with 1–2 whole eggs for flavor (or, if organic, 2–5 whole eggs, including yolks)
Chicken breast or thigh
Beef (preferably grass-fed)

Legumes (optional, but not Paleo)
Lentils (also called “dal” or “daal”)
Black beans, Pinto beans, Red beans,

Mixed vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower, or any other cruciferous vegetables) Sauerkraut
Green beans
You'll notice that there isn't any fruit on this list.  This is for hard core and faster fat loss.  Fruit, even though very healthy can slow your fat loss.  We will save fruit for your cheat day.



Did Your Breakfast Bring You Closer to Your Fat Loss Goal? by Stephen Cooper

I ask that because your success at losing fat and most importantly, keeping it off come down to habits.

No quick fixes, or pills...just habits and discipline.

So let me know here in the comments, or via email.


July 4 NO CLASSES  If you have already paid for the Monday class, you are welcome to use that credit for a Tuesday or Thursday class, or I can refund or credit that day.

Focus on The Basics for Fat Loss by Stephen Cooper

Most of you who are in the boot camp are here for fat loss and toning.

Continuing with yesterday's theme of focusing on the basics, here are some more tips.

If you "blow it" in one area such as not getting enough sleep, make sure that you do your best in the other two areas, eating clean, and training hard.  If you falter in 2 or more areas, your chance of success is slim to none.

Have a look. (Video is about one minute long.)


Upcoming calendar:

Each Monday in May - My client, Onil Chibas of Elements Kitchen here in Pasadena, is donating 15% of proceeds when you eat at his restaurant to another great client of mine, Young and Healthy.  Pretty simple. Eat on Mondays, get some incredible food, and everyone benefits.

May 30 New camp begins

Women Only, How to Lose The Annoying Belly Fat by Stephen Cooper

I'm writing this today as I respond to a boot camper who's major goal is "to lose the ever annoying and unhealthy---belly fat."

I'm often asked this question, so here is my exact response to her. 

"In looking at this goal, I always come back to the basics.
  • Eat clean.
  • Train consistently.  (Three times a week at boot camp, and one nice long walk, bike ride, etc. on the weekend.)
  • Sleep enough.
  • Supplement to ensure success.
Let's start with eating clean.
The closer you stay to eating lean proteins, vegetables, a little fruit, and some healthy fat...the better off you will be.  It's simple...but not easy.  The more you stray from this "blueprint" the more you will struggle.
Train consistently.
This one is pretty basic too.  Plan your schedule so that you fit YOU into your schedule.  Our sessions are only 45 minutes, three times a commit.  (I realize like in your case, that emergencies do come up...but in general do your best.)
Sleep enough.
I've written a lot about this on my site.  In order to lose the fat, you've got to get good quality sleep, there is no other way of getting around this.
Shut down the electronic stuff at least an hour or more before bed.
Make sure that your room is cool and dark.
Try using a sleep mask...this a life changer in my opinion.

Supplement to ensure success.
There are many supplements out there, but one company that I rely on is Prograde.  I know the owners and I trust the products that they put out.
The two that might be useful to you are their multi vitamin for women
and their Krill fish oil.
Only by putting these suggestions into action, will you reap the results."


Newsletter for March 8, 2011 by Stephen Cooper

Mar. 8, 2011

I'm back from a 3 day conference in Denver.  I'll be posting and writing more about that in the next few days, but I wanted to give you a quick and convenient snack idea.

I tried a great and wholesome food bar while I was at the conference.  They are homemade here in L.A..

The reason I'm suggesting that you give them a try is that they are made with real food, nothing artificial...and they taste great.

It's the perfect snack for right after a workout, or maybe in case you can't grab breakfast.

The bar that I like and tried is called "Training 33".  Tim Ferriss of the "4 Hour Body" fame chooses it in his book as the "go to" bar for fat loss.

The site is

If you use my code "Boot Camp Pasadena" you'll receive 5% off.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Ask Amy, The Boot Camp Pasadena Registered Dietitian by Stephen Cooper


"I would like more info about veggie sources that are high in protein. I currently supplement my diet with whey protein and Greek yogurt, but would like additional information about other sources high in protein, other than nuts/legumes."

P.S. "I guess I'm "pescatarian"--I occasionally eat fish."

Amy's Answer:

Well, unfortunately choices are limited.  From a Paleo standpoint eggs (if you do those) are your best bet.  Since you do fish I would highly recommend incorporating that as often as you also.  Dairy isn't something I normally recommend but it would be much better than soy - so your choices there are unsweetened Greek Yogurt (full fat), Cottage Cheese (full fat), Cheese (real cheese - not processed cheese) or whole milk. 

If you have questions for Amy our Registered Dietitian, please contact me.

A Question About Salt by Stephen Cooper


"Regarding processed meats (ie: sausage, bacon, deli meat, jerky)  I'm wondering how 'Paleo' she finds them to be in terms of weight/fat loss.  I generally try to stay away from them, because of the salt content, but am wondering if I could start incorporating them more into my diet.  As I look up more Paleo recipes, there seems to be a several which incorporate these foods (mostly sausage)... but they seem contrary to the paleo ethos of non-processing."


Less processing is ALWAYS going to be better, as far as being non-paleo - it's kind of a gray area.  My best guess is that the cavemen didn't have the luxury of sausage and bacon as we know it, but you can bet they ate the parts of the animal that these meats come from.  From fat/weight loss and overall health standpoints I am going to encourage you to stick to lean (unless coming from grass-fed animals, which have higher Omega-3 levels), unprocessed meats.  In the event that you do choose to have sausage, bacon or deli-meat choose organic, natural, nitrate free varieties and look for brands like Applegate Farms, etc.  There are some really great venison sausages, chicken-apple sausages, etc. out there if you are willing to pay for them.  When you start getting into the more fatty meats - like bacon, understand that you are trading a great deal of protein for fat - I would suggest not having bacon/sausage/deli meat on a daily bases, but rather limit it to a couple of times per week and really be mindful of the ingredients that are added to the meat (lots of them have sugar, corn syrup, etc.)  Avoid packages that say "Jimmy Dean", "Oscar Mayer", etc.  :o)

 Let me know if this helps!!