Kristin Eats Healthy – Part 1: The Chicken Wrap

Sometimes it’s more fun to write about foods that are really bad for you. Probably because they have the tendency to taste really good. But that’s not how we get to our 20 by 29 goals, people. Triple cream brie, freshly frosted cupcakes, french macaroons, full fat lattes, whole baguettes, imported cured meats, and french fries are NOT a part of a healthy lifestyle. As much as we (I) try to convince ourselves they are. As much as we (I) say “oh yea, I can totally be the girl that does everything in moderation!” WE (I) CAN NOT be that girl.

Moderation doesn’t really work for me. I suffer from a disease called “all or nothing” — a disease where you eat the entire bag of sour patch kids when you swore you would only have 3. A disease where a bite of cake is never enough. A disease where a minimum of 5 plates are consumed at the Bellagio Buffet. So, for the sake of my pants, I better lean more toward the nothing than the all.

Enter healthy meals. Believe it or not, when you remove butter and cheese and “aioli” it makes things taste a lot different. In many cases it makes things taste a lot worse, or so they say. It’s not me, of course, that’s saying it tastes worse. I love the taste of raw celery with nothing on it. That’s clearly why I am having trouble buttoning my pants. The celery.

Back to healthy. For a low-cal but high protein lunch I was inspired by one of my favorite entrees at Pizza Nova in San Diego. The Chicken Wrap. Now the Pizza Nova chicken wrap is a far cry from nutritious. It’s a huge freshly baked flat bread, filled to the brim with cheese, caramelized onions, grilled chicken, lettuce, spicy aioli, and avocado. I made a smaller, lighter version that was still packed with flavor.

Did I really just say ‘packed with flavor’? I have been watching too much Next Food Network Star. A show that I am convinced only I watch. But I won’t stop. It’s kind of addicting. And packed with fun. Yep, packed.

Kristin’s Chicken Wrap
approximately 300 calories

1 medium sized Whole Wheat tortilla
a pinch of shredded cheddar or swiss cheese
2 slices of avocado
1/2 chicken breast
herbs de provence
red pepper flakes
dijon mustard

Cook the chicken breast in a skillet sprayed with non-fat cooking spray, over medium-high heat, sprinkled with salt, pepper, herbs de provence and as many crushed pepper flakes as you can stand (this is where all of the heat and flavor comes from, so if you like it spicy, go crazy!) for approximately 3 minutes per side. Allow to cool briefly, then slice the chicken into 1/2 inch slices.

Spread mustard in a thin layer on the tortilla. Arrange the cheese, avocado, lettuce, and any other vegetable you would like on the tortilla. Add the sliced chicken. Fold and roll the filled tortilla. Devour.

Tastes kinda like 700 calories, doesn’t it? The key in the flavor, I believe, is allowing the chicken to develop a nice crust, and ensuring avocado gets into every bite.

My 2nd healthy recipe for this week is a little more time consuming, but totally worth it. Salmon burgers with oven fries – I’ll try to post it tomorrow!

Twenty-nine

My golden birthday is exactly one month away. In honor of this great big golden year ahead, here are 29 facts, goals, and ramblings.

1. My Grandma gave birth to my Mom when she was 29.
2. My Mom gave birth to me when she was 29.
3. My Mom has made #1 and #2 abundantly clear to me as my 29th year approaches.
4. I anticipated life at 29 would look a lot different than it does.
5. Even though I will never meet her, I think it’s cool that Oprah’s birthday is on January 29th, too.
6. Does your metabolism really, REALLY slow down at 30? If the answer is yes, I am *slightly* concerned.
7. I have yet to meet a person who shares my birthday. They have to be out there, but where???
8. Last year on my birthday I got a luxury manicure and pedicure at Lulu’s, my favorite nail salon.
9. Last year on my birthday I drank wine at lunch.
10. I have only had wine at lunch 3 times in my life. It’s quite opulent.
11. I am trying to lose 20 pounds by the time I turn 29.
12. I’ve been working at #11 for what seems like a lifetime.
13. When I was a little girl, I thought 29 was old. It seems so young now.
14. For 6 months, I will be one “number” older than Glenn, and will not let him forget it.
15. I’m glad I’m the oldest child in my family.
16. I am mildly obsessed with the Kardashians.
17. The Kardashians are totally trashy.
18. A great part of growing up is getting to make your own choices.
19. Those choices include watching all things Kardashian regularly.
20. If I had decided to become a doctor, I would still be in school.
21. If I had decided to become a doctor I would have an income.
22. My mother-in-law always says that although money doesn’t buy happiness, it sure would help. This always makes me laugh.
23. When I was growing up my Mom would make me a cheesecake and dye it my favorite colors – pink and purple – for my birthday.
24. Purple is still my favorite color.
25. At CrossFit they make you wear a weight-vest for your work out on your birthday.
26. I’m really glad I won’t be anywhere near a CrossFit on my birthday this year.
27. I hope they don’t make you wear a leotard to Jazzercise on your birthday.
28. I like to celebrate. Scratch that. I find a reason to celebrate ANYTHING and everything. Especially birthdays.
29. WHAT is with those “shape up” shoes? Yuck!

Last Chance Workout

This summer my sisters, Mom and I did a Biggest Loser challenge. I totally lost the competition. I mean TOTALLY. I think I might have actually gained a pound. Mom, who had the lowest starting weight, creamed us all. And by creamed I mean completely smeared. Scraped up our remains off the floor and turned us into dumbells to do lunges with. It wasn’t pretty.

At one point in this competition, my lovely mother sent me a DVD called “The Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout” which features Jillian Michaels and some of the TV show peeps (insert funny story: my sister told me that Mom asked her the other day what a “peep” was – confused, and thinking of ways to politely describe an x-rated show to our mother, my sister asked Mom to use it in a sentence. “Like, I’m hanging out with my peeps” Mom said. Apparently she had read it on my blog and had no idea what I was talking about. She’s a funny lady, that Mom of mine.) anyway – the TV show contestants and trainer Jillian do one of their super intense workouts RIGHT THERE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.

I just did the workout for the first time. Here are the highlights:

1. Jillian saying “Don’t quit on me! You bought the Last Chance Workout DVD! Do you want to be skinny or not?” right as I’m about 50 mountain-climbers in and definitely contemplating quitting.

2. Doing this workout alone in my living room. Nothing screams cool like doing Biggest Loser DVD workouts in leggings and colorful mis-matched socks and no shoes, as sweat drips, no, pours, from your forehead to the floor of your Little Rock apartment’s living room.

3. Comparing myself to the contestants on the show. The “peeps” who are showing me how it’s done on the DVD are ALL over 300 pounds, yet they seem to have no problem pushing through the FIVE BILLION push-ups. This does great things for my self confidence.

4. The awkward “you are so great!” and applause – APPLAUSE – at the end of the workout, when I’m lying in a puddle on said living room floor.

5. The fact that, once I catch my breath, it really does make me feel like I’m so great.

Thanks, Mom, for reading my blog and for pushing me to be the best I can be, and for sending me that DVD all those months ago. The Arkansas version of myself is grateful.

Dancing Machine

You may remember the difficulty I had finding a gym here in Little Rock. You may also remember that I was an avid Cross-Fitter back in San Diego. Cross-Fit. It’s hardcore. It’s for strong men and women. It’s in no way cheesy. It involves getting callouses on your hands from pull-ups. Marines and Navy Seals are proud Cross-Fitters. It made me proud, made me strong, and made me realize I was capable of anything.

Yea, there’s no CrossFit here in Little Rock. Or anything like it. So I went with the next best option.

Jazzercise. I just needed to get that off my chest.