real life nutrition: charlie miller aka my dad

15 January 2015

1. Name: Charlie Miller

2. Occupation: Financial Consultant

3. Breakfast is usually:  My breakfast routine changes, lately it has been oatmeal.  I use organic oats and top it with a little bit of maple syrup.  On the weekends I have poached eggs on toast.  Always coffee.

4. Coffee, tea or green juice:  Coffee in the morning with a touch of cream, decaf or herbal tea at night.  I don’t really know if I could see myself juicing greens….I do try my best to drink lots of water during the day though.

5. Favourite time + place to grocery shop:  I don’t really have a favourite time to grocery shop, I usually buy groceries when I need them (probably one of my downfalls).  Highland Farms is my favourite place to go because they have a great selection of fresh produce.

6. Always in your cart:  Striploins (just joking… kinda).  I always buy brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, eggs + coffee cream.

7. Exercise routine:  Lately I have been skating outdoors 4 nights a week.  I love getting fresh air after a long day at the office.  On the weekends, I try to get in a spin class and a Sunday morning yoga class.  In the summer, I cycle long distances and rollerblade.  Even though I’ve been told rollerblading’s not cool anymore, I still think it is, and its a great workout.  My daughter used to come with me, but she is too embarrassed now- her loss.

8. Favourite way to wind down and relax:  Listening to live music around Toronto.  My favourite places are The Cameron House for great country music and The Rex for jazz and blues.  I love a matinee on the weekends, but will make the trip during the week for a CD release party or an exclusive show that I find out about over twitter.  (yes, I have twitter, does that balance out the rollerblading?)

9. Biggest health obstacle:  Preparing food.  Working gets in the way, I come home and the last thing I want to do is chop veggies, so I have been trying to make big batches of healthy food on the weekends…or buying pasta- fresh spinach and cheese ravioli….is that healthy?

10. How you make time for health in your life:  Commit to classes- if I commit to a spin class I have to go.  Or sign up for a race or a charity event so I am forced to train.  I like joining a group that meets to train together as it is more social and motivating.  Also, I have slowly been trying to change some of my household and personal care products to toxic free versions.  I have been loving my beer shampoo from the Health Hut as well as my countertop cleanser….it smells great and does the job.

11. One thing you will never give up:  Beef.  I love it.

12. Always in your fridge: Coffee cream, butter, veggies, eggs, apples.

13. Your cooking inspiration comes from:  I try to keep up with my nutritionist daughter.  She has inspired me to eat more vegetables,  less meat and pay attention to ingredients.  As a kid growing up we were a large family, so most meals were meat and potatoes.  I still cook this way, but try to incorporate more greens.

14. Go-to meal + recipe:  A few years ago I adapted a chili recipe that I thought looked good and have named it: CCCC- Charlie’s Chicken Chipotle Chili.  I make it often and bring in extras in to the office to share with my co-workers.  It’s a hit!

Food: Chili sin carne, vegetarian stew with beans and corn bread

Charlie’s Chicken Chipotle Chili aka CCCC

  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, finely chopped (about 3 c.)
  • 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1¾ lbs ground chicken
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • ⅓ of a 12oz can of chipotle chilis, finely chopped (I take out the seeds, but you can add as much as you want for desired heat)
  • 2½ c. chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • A dollop of plain greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish (optional)
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot heat 1 Tbsp oil and the cumin seeds over medium and stir until the cumin is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and green pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 15 minutes.
  3. Push the onion mixture to the edges of the pot, add remaining 1 tsp oil, and increase heat to medium-high.
  4. Add the chicken, cooking on one side until seared, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Turn chicken pieces and cook additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.
  7. Add chili powder, oregano, and bay leaf to the pot, and cook 30 seconds.
  8. Add tomatoes with their juice and chipotle chilis, stir to combine.
  9. Bring to a simmer.
  10. Add broth, ½ tsp sea salt, and the beans, season with pepper, and stir to combine.
  11. Bring to a simmer.
  12. Stir contents, reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer.
  13. Cook, uncovered, until bean mixture thickens, about 45 minutes.
  14. Return chicken pieces, along with any accumulated juices from plate to the pot and cook until chicken is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  15. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and/or fresh cilantro or parsley, delish!


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real life nutrition is a series showcasing a variety of real people and their daily relationship with health.  My hope is that you can identify with the ups and downs we all experience when trying to make time for health in our lives, and be inspired by these stories.


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