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Can Fat Be Good for You? This Spicy Chicken Casserole Can Help Burn Bad Fat and Promote Good Fat

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Can Fat Be Good for You? This Spicy Chicken Casserole Can Help Burn Bad Fat and Promote Good Fat

A key player that directly influences the metabolism is your body substance - how I refer to the fat, bone, connective tissue, and muscle in your body. The body stores the majority of your reserve fuel in either muscle or fat. Because muscle is constantly contracting, relaxing, beating, pushing, and pulling, it takes a lot more fuel to create and maintain it. This is why they say muscle consumes more energy, than fat. Fat just sits there. Have you ever seen it do anything besides flop over waistbands or jiggle around your thighs? Fat really doesn’t doesn’t do much but hold onto fuel, and therefore it takes very little fuel to maintain it. (And remember, if you don’t eat or provide outside fuel, the body will actually break down muscle and store some of that fuel as even more fat!)

There are two basic types of fat in the body: white fat and brown fat. For decades scientists believed that brown fat was only present and important in infants and small children, to help keep them warm and maintain their body temperatures. It is now believed that even though it exists in very small amounts in adults, brown fat plays a crucial role in the regulation of blood sugars and the metabolism. Brown fat is brown because it is rich in mitochondria (remember those little parts of the cell that burn fuel and produce energy?).

The more obese you are, the less brown fat you will have and the more white fat you will have in storage (the fat you don’t like when it jiggles). This is just another sick joke on your body because brown fat burns fuel nine times faster than white fat. So why does your body seem so in love with white fat, hoarding it like a miser? It’s because your body thought it might need fuel reserves! (Thanks a lot chronic dieting!) White fat’s major purpose for being is for long-term fuel, and your body will make a Herculean effort to hold onto it, just in case of disaster.

Let's fuel your body and give it the energy it needs while revving up your metabolism with my Spicy Chicken Casserole. 

Spicy Chicken Casserole

All Phases | Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

4 poblano chiles, halved and seeded
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1 cup chopped zucchini (substitute 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves for Phase 2)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/4 cup bottled salsa (Phases 1 and 3 only)
1 tablespoon olive oil (Phase 3 only)
4 sprouted grain tortillas (Phases 1 and 3 only)
Lime wedges, sliced radishes, cilantro, avocado (Phase 3) and/or chopped green onions to serve

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the broiler. Place the poblano halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet, and flatten with your hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place the peppers in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and discard the skins.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.

Combine the chicken and next 9 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl. Stir in the salsa and oil (if using), stirring until well combined.

Place the poblano peppers, cut sides up, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Spoon the chicken mixture evenly on top. Cover and bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Serve with sprouted-grain tortillas (Phases 1 and 3 only) and your favorite toppings.

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