Spice Up Your Life - Muscle & Performance

Spice Up Your Life

Spices are the best way to add flavor to food for no extra calories, sugar, sodium, or other junk. These four spicy recipes will become a part of your regular rotation.
Spice Up Your Meals

Overnight Chocolate Oatmeal


  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 envelope Stevia, or to taste
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ scoop protein powder


In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients and pour into a mug.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least a couple of hours until the oats soften and absorb most of the liquid. Serve chilled.

Suggested extras

  • fresh berries 
  • chopped nuts

nutrition facts (Per serving): 308 calories, 24 grams protein, 44.5 grams carbs, 4 grams fat 

Chili in a Flash


  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef 
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a medium stockpot or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown, draining fat, if necessary.

Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion softens, approximately four minutes. 

Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Suggested extras

  • brown rice 
  • grated low-fat cheddar cheese 
  • low-fat sour cream or 
  • reduced-fat Greek yogurt

nutrition facts (per serving): 415 calories, 38 grams protein, 25 grams carbs, 19 grams fat

Spicy Food Muscle and Performance

Quick Chicken Mole


  • Nonstick olive-oil spray
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ tablespoon natural almond butter or peanut butter


Spray a medium skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add chicken tenders, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, approximately four minutes total; set aside.

Reduce heat slightly and add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. 

Cook and stir for 15 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low. Return chicken to the pan along with any accumulated juices and coat chicken with the sauce. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about five minutes more. 

Suggested Extras

  • sesame seeds
  • green vegetables

nutrition facts (per serving): 207 calories, 24 grams protein, 8 grams carbs, 9 grams fat 

Amp up your fat loss: Studies show that adding 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of chili pepper to each meal can help keep you more satiated and full and may prevent overeating. Also, red pepper contains capsaicin, which helps speed up fat metabolism.

Blackened Tilapia


  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Dash salt
  • 2 5-ounce tilapia fillets
  • Nonstick pan spray 


Combine all seasoning in a small bowl.

Sprinkle one side of the fish with the spice mixture, rubbing evenly, then flip it over and repeat on the other side. 

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook the fillets on each side until flaky on the inside, approximately three minutes per side. Serve immediately. <

Suggested Extras

  • brown rice 
  • green beans

nutrition facts (per serving): 188 calories, 37 grams protein, 2 grams carbs, 4 grams fat