Why it Works: Dave Hahn, who has topped out on Mount Everest 13 times (a record for a non-Sherpa), builds up quite an appetite on expeditions. But the long-time guide has to watch what he eats. Hahn suffers from celiac disease, an inability to digest gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye). Eating anything containing gluten gives him severe stomach distress. That means bread, pasta, and even beer are out. Instead, Hahn refuels with carbs like beans and rice. One of his favorite post-climb meals? Chicken chili. The dish has plenty of protein and carbs to regenerate tired climbing muscles, but its namesake ingredient also contains nutrients that help aid recovery. Chili peppers are packed with B vitamins, particularly B6, which helps transport oxygen to all the body’s tissues, including muscles.
The Recipe: Gluten-Free Chicken Chili
12 oz. of boneless chicken breasts and thighs
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 4-oz. can of diced green chili peppers
1-1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2-1/2 cups or chicken broth
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 16-oz. cans of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Cook the chicken in a skillet until it’s light brown. Place the cooked chicken in a large pot. Stir in the beans, undrained chile peppers, bell pepper, onion, chicken broth, garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin seeds into mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours.