It’s the time of year when so many of us get serious about getting fit… only to eventually fall back into old (bad) habits. Believe me when I say this is a no judgment zone. We simply want to show you some simple substitutions you can make in your diet to help you along the way. That’s right. You don’t have to give up what you love! Check out our recipe for a healthier ranch dressing/dip, breakfast option, and yes—even chocolate cake!
To be a truly remarkable chef, you have to be passionate about food. And that can make eating healthy a real challenge. Imagine being surrounded by temptation all day, every day—from sugary desserts to creamy dips to calorie-laden sauces. It’s why many chefs struggle with their weight during some point in their careers. But if Chef Travis Brust can do it, so can you! The executive chef of the Williamsburg Inn has lost 100 pounds in the past six years. And his weight loss journey is an inspirational one.
In 2009, at just 28 years old, Chef Travis had his first real health scare. His weight had finally started to take its toll on his body and as a result, he had to have surgery on one of his knees. He didn’t need a doctor to tell him his health was declining. Travis tells us all the yo-yo dieting he tried to embrace only made him feel even more unhealthy and admits that instead of making time for the gym, he made excuses when it came to working out.
Six years later came the real wake up call. That’s when he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. That’s also when Travis says he realized he needed to make a complete lifestyle change—one that started in the kitchen. Both he and his wife Jenna became partners in their journey to get fit. And now they remain devoted to the heart-healthy eating habits that they’ve developed as a team. Together, the couple encourages each other to make the right eating choices and as a chef, Travis has made it his mission to find healthy options to satisfy some of their “cravings.”
He says his Chef’s competitive nature has also driven him to “compete against himself.” He has picked up running and in the past year has completed four 5ks and a 10k, improving his time in each race. He’s now looking forward to his first half marathon in March and we know our team will cheering for him every step of the way!
“As a Chef, I look at everything as an achievable challenge, it’s just a matter of how determined I am to get the job done and how fast I need to move to complete the task ahead.”
Are you determined to make a change? Please enjoy these three simple, healthy recipes from Chef Travis to start the new year and the new you. Once you taste them, you’ll realize that cutting out calories doesn’t mean cutting out flavor!
- 4 Tbsp whole butter
- 2 oz extra dark chocolate
- 2 whole eggs
- 6 Tbsp almond flour
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp sugar substitute
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch Kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Place the chocolate and butter into a microwaveable bowl and set for 45 seconds to melt the butter and dark chocolate; be sure to melt completely
- Mix the butter and chocolate mixture
- Sift in the flours
- Add vanilla, eggs, sugar substitute, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix together till smooth
- Place the mixture into two microwavable mugs or ramekins (about 1/2 to 3/4 full) and microwave one at a time on high for 1 minute
- Mix together the yogurt and honey and top the cakes as a garnish
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup steel-coat Irish Oats
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup peanut butter powder
- 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 bananas (sliced)
- Bring the water, steel cut oats, and salt to a brisk simmer and stir often until thickened (about 25 minutes)
- Boil the oats into 1 cup portions
- Scatter the top of the oats with all the different garnishes
- 1 1/2 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 2 Tbsp. chives, minced
- 2 Tbsp. parsley, minced
- 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
- 4-5 drops Tabasco sauce
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
- Serve with vegetables or simply enjoy with your favorite salads and grilled chicken