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Making Chili with Marathoner Mirna Valerio

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Ultramarathoner, adventurer, and writer Mirna Valerio cooks up a batch of her favorite bomb chili.


Video Transcript

MIRNA VALERIO: If you think you can't be a runner, but you can walk, you can probably be a runner.


Hey, everybody. What's up? My name is Mirna Valerio, also known as the Mirnavator. And I am an ultramarathoner and adventurer, a writer, a motivational speaker, and a bunch of other things. Today, we are going to make my famous chili, which is the bomb. You should try it. Ready? OK, let's go.

So we've got our onions. I don't know what they do for your health, but they're good as hell. There are lots of stereotypes for me as a black person, as a woman, as a fat person. Obviously,  I'm a fat person.

As far as who people see, I've been on the cover of magazines. I've been in a short film named after me. That's incredible to me. I love challenging other people's perceptions of who I am.

We have organic grass-fed beef. I don't want to hear any complaints. The next stop in this amazing chili is to fry up our organic grass-fed ground beef. Brown the beef. And I don't measure anything.

I'm about joy, community, inclusivity, and adventure. People respond to that really well. And I really-- I appreciate that. It makes it easier to not absorb all of the negative feedback that I get. I'm too fat. I'm not really a runner. There's no way I completed this or that race. I must be lying.

There's no way I got into Boston. There's no way she ran that because you have to qualify for that. Well, I did not have to qualify, thank you very much.

We're going to saute up the veggies, right? And I saute everything in olive oil, onions. Old pepper in here, because that's what I got. By the way, if your veggies are a little charred, they taste better. Smush the plum tomatoes.

We have our fire-roasted diced tomatoes. We have our Ro-Tel. There are some cheaper versions of this, but it's not the same. For about five minutes, I'm going to let it cook down. Bam! I like black bean chili. We're going to drain them. Because I think that when you drain them, you're less likely to fart.

They're pretty. You might think this is too much salt. But it's not, trust me. Normally, I would put some adobo, some Goya adobo in this. But they don't have that up here in Vermont. And now we're going to put our meat in with all of the juices because, folks, that's flavor.

I like to put a generous-- generous amount of chili in this. Oh, Kilian-- I love Kilian. I love his whole philosophy around running and just being outside. I also want his legs.

So we'll leave this to simmer for about 20 or so minutes. A lot of people have something to say about white rice. But that's what's for dinner. You guys probably think I have high blood pressure, but I don't. These green onions are just some of the fixings. New York and Vermont cheddar-- the New York part, obviously, is because I'm from New York. And Vermont is obviously because I live here right now.

It's fine. That's more than fine. Actually, it's amazing. Look how perfect this rice is. See? Never fails. Chili on top. Let's try to get some veggies in there.

This is like the perfect meal. You got veggies. You got your beans. You got your carbs. You got your meat in there. Put some green onions, or scallions, cilantro, and some New York/Vermont cheese.

That's my boy, my son, Rashid. He's 16. Seriously, don't eat all my cheese.

"Fat girl running, swimming, moving, learning, pausing, progressing, jiggling, rubbing, chafing, shaking, sinking, rising, living, being." It's available on Amazon. [LAUGHS]

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