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About Kristen

I'm Kristen and I couldn't be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

I have always been in love with food, at times perhaps a little too much, wishing and sometimes willing myself to be one of those people who can eat whatever they want and still stay thin. I finally learned, the hard way, that just wasn't in my genetic makeup. So instead, I decided to learn to make delicious, good, real food that tasted great but didn't tip the scale in the wrong direction.

My current home is

Santa Monica, CA

Favorite healthy meal

Sesame Chicken

In the morning you can most often find me eating

Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, chia seeds, flax seeds, and a drizzle of honey

Favorite healthy snack

Cut up veggies with Buffalo Wing Hummus

To satisfy my sweet tooth, I reach for

Fruit with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or 3 ingredient Banana ice cream

My healthy living philosophy

Everything in moderation. After losing weight using the Weight Watchers diet, I now prescribe to everything in moderation. Being healthy is all about balance and finding a diet you can stick with in the long term.

For more information about me please visit my website:

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Here are my most recent posts:

Sunday Slow Cooker: Chicken Cacciatore with Mushrooms

Sunday Slow Cooker:  Chicken Cacciatore with Mushrooms

It’s been awhile since I have shared a slow cooker recipe. It’s not that I haven’t been using my slow cooker, but I have just been happily cooking some of my favorite old recipes. However this past week I was finally inspired to whip up something new when a friend requested a lighter version of Chicken Cacciatore that they could freeze for a friend with a baby on the way. This simple dish is packed with delicious Italian flavors and made special with capers and black olives. It tastes great with pasta, rice, spaghetti squash, or it’s terrific tucked in sandwiches with some melted cheese.

Chicken Cacciatore with Mushrooms
Servings: 6
Serving Size: about 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 233 calories, 6.7g of fat, 12.3g carbohydrates, 3.2g dietary fiber, 28.1g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Friday Five: Set It and Forget It Meals

Friday Five:  Set It and Forget It Meals

With the start of school for many parents out there, this week’s Friday Five is dedicated to you. Sometimes there is just too much to do to spend more than five minutes thinking about dinner. So this week’s posts focuses on five meals that you can toss in the crockpot, in under five minutes, and then come home to a delicious and healthy meal that’s ready to eat. Pair them with a few quick side dishes – precooked rice or quinoa, canned beans, steam and serve veggies, or a quick salad. All these recipes can be cooked on low for 8 hours.

1. Buffalo Chicken, 203 calories, 5 PointsPlus® – delicious on baked chips for a nacho main course, rolled up for Buffalo Chicken wraps with veggies, served in corn tortillas with lettuce and light Ranch for a twist on traditional tacos, or in lettuce wraps with salad bar chopped veggies and brown rice.

2. Apple BBQ Pulled Turkey, 5 PointsPlus®, 200 calories – perfect for sandwiches, served with baked potatoes, or store bough mashed sweet potatoes and veggies.

3. Pepperoncini Beef aka Drip Beef, 203 calories, 5 PointsPlus® – serve it on some toasted rolls with a slice of cheese and a side salad for delicious sandwiches or with over white rice with steamed veggies.

4. Simple Shredded Pork, 205 calories, 5 PointsPlus® – serve it oven rice, wrapped up in warmed tortillas as tacos, or add it to spaghetti sauce for a pork ragu

5. Tomato Chiptole Chicken, 194 calories, 5 PointsPlus® – perfect for tacos, added to store bought vegetable soup for a delicious and slightly spicy soup, or served over quinoa or rice.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Low Carb Coconut Pancakes

Low Carb Coconut Pancakes

Remember the coconut muffins I shared on Monday? Well I am going to let you in on a little secret. The batter also works great for pancakes; and just like the muffins they are high in protein, healthy fats from the coconut, and fiber that makes them a great breakfast choice to fuel your whole morning.

A few tips about working with coconut flour. It’s incredibly absorbent and will soak up any liquid you add to it. These pancakes are on the thick side for that reason, but if you want something thinner just add more milk or even water. You can thin out the batter as much as you like. You can also add some shredded coconut (unsweetened for low carb/Paleo), fruit, a mashed banana, chocolate chips, or nut butter to the pancakes to mix up the flavors. My personal favorite is shredded coconut and a touch of lime zest in the batter. Yum.

Low Carb Coconut Pancakes
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 2-3 pancakes
Nutritional Info: 209 calories, 9.4g of fat, 12.5g carbohydrates, 7g dietary fiber, 11.7g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Sarah Lost 80 Pounds!

Weight Loss Wednesday:  Sarah Lost 80 Pounds!

Name: Sarah Martinez
Height: 5’10″
Starting Weight: 242
Current Weight: 162
Pounds Lost: 80

How long did it take you to lose the weight? I started in Sept 2010, I lost 60 lbs by Sept 2011, then lost 10 more pounds by Sept 2012, I gained about 20 lbs back in 2013 and now in the last year 2013-2014 I have lost an additional 30 lbs for a total of 80 lbs.

Lightbulb Moment: I had really let myself spiral out of control the beginning of 2010 and was binge eating a lot to deal. I was tired of going to the doctor and being told that I needed to lose weight or else I was gonna have to be on medication. I was obese, pre-diabetic, had poly-systic ovary disease and really needed to make a change. I was uncomfortable, tired all the time and I felt lost and didn’t know what to do. I previously had tried diets or weight loss plans and I always gained the weight back. I finally decided that I was going to make a permanent change and find something that I could stick to that would get me results. My mom started losing weight in 2010 and had a lot of success, she was a big part of my inspiration to make a permanent change.

How did you do it? What was different this time than the other times was that I didn’t only start exercising, or changing what I ate. I did BOTH.

I started in Sept 2010 by using a meal replacement and eating TONS of fruit and vegetables. I did not allow myself “cheats” or any “free” days and that really jump started my weight loss. I also started to exercise. I started just by going on walks and trying to burn 2000 calories a week. That was HARD! I used a online chart to calculate average calories burned per minute based on weight and activity. When I started, walking burnt 7 calories a minute (based on my weight at the time). Two thousand calories is a lot, and the first few weeks I didn’t hit the 2000 mark, but I was moving much more than I had before, so I was taking steps in the right direction and by throwing in exercise along with the change in eating, my results started to come faster. It seemed like the weight was just melting off.

I was really motivated by the results to keep going. I decided that I needed to learn more about nutrition and what to eat, because I was eating a lot of fruit and veggies, which was good, but too much of anything can be bad. I continued to use a meal replacement but started to slowly move towards eating “regular” food. I transitioned to eating more chicken, using some weight watcher recipes and trying to eat “healthy foods”. There is nothing wrong with meal replacements and I have found them to be a great resource, however, I wanted to learn how to eat the right way so there were no foods that were “off limits”.

I amped up my exercise routine, got a gym membership and would go and do group exercise classes and more intense cardio. I also started lifting weights occasionally. In 2012, I started working out with a personal trainer at my gym. I worked with her closely for a year and was able to lose about 10 additional pounds. I wasn’t paying as close of attention to what I was eating, but I was eating much healthier than I had in the past. I lost a lot of weight doing cardio only, and once I started lifting weights, it reshaped my body in a way that cardio could not. After I stopped working out with the personal trainer, I stopped going to the gym. I had reached the goal weight that I wanted and stopped making exercise a priority. After about a 9 month hiatus from the gym, I had gained some weight back and was needing to get back into the routine of things.

This past year, I have lost the additional 30 pounds, and I am in the best shape of my life. The biggest change from what I was doing was that I took what I knew about nutrition, and really put it into practice. I have started exercising again on a regular basis and I found a workout that I truly enjoy doing – I look forward to it every day! (Well almost every day, even the most in shape people have days they don’t feel like working out.)

I also started eating un-processed foods (some people refer to this as “clean eating”) and this has not only made a difference in how my body feels, but has also helped me lose weight and reduce inflammation. I make sure to track the food that I eat each day. I include protein with EACH meal, and include enough of the healthy fats. This has helped me so much. The protein keeps me full and satisfied until the next meal, and the healthy fats help my body burn fat. This was so counterintuitive when I first started making the changes because I had been trained to not eat fat, but it has really been a game changer for me. I also eat complex carbs and lots of dark, leafy greens. My body has responded so well to this. There is no name for this style of eating, but I am currently trying to develop guidelines that I can share with others so that they can apply what I did. By food journaling I was able to address the ways I was using food that wasn’t for fuel. Between the regular exercise, fueling my body the way it needed to be fueled (because not eating enough can either plateau you or make you gain weight), and fixing my relationship with food, I have been able to lose a total of 80 lbs. The best part is this is a style of eating and living that I know I can maintain for the rest of my life.

What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it? My challenges changed throughout the course of my weight loss, but I would say that the biggest challenge that I faced was learning not to use food as anything else but fuel (aka fixing my relationship with food). I realized about half way thru my weight loss journey that I had used food for comfort or as a reward. It wasn’t something that I was doing consciously, but it needed to be addressed. Thru food journaling (tracking) and reflection, I was able to catch myself when I was doing that, learn from it, and then find other ways to comfort myself or reward myself. Occasionally there are times that I still struggle with this, and I address it the same way. I acknowledge that I am wanting to comfort myself with food, I figure out why, and find another way to deal with it that doesn’t involve food. I have had to physically get up and walk away from food before, or decided that I am going to wait to have whatever I am “craving” to comfort myself until the next day. By then I am in a better place, I have dealt with the issue and if I eat that food it is not to comfort myself but because I want to eat it.

What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? Small changes/decisions each day add up to BIG change over time. Just because you don’t see instant results does not mean that all your hard work is in vain. You have to be persistent and continue make the right choice(s). Even if you don’t see the results you were expecting in a day, a week, or even a month, those days all add up and compound to BIG results. Remembering this helped me get thru some major plateaus and some really tempting days.

(more…)

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Low Carb Coconut Muffins

Low Carb Coconut Muffins

Although I don’t adhere strictly to a low carb diet, I do try and avoid carb overload. I also find that adding a week of low carb meals to my diet can help me break through plateaus or kick start weight loss after an indulgent weekend or vacation. However, like anyone living low carb, I crave my favorite carb laden products the minute I committ to low carb. We always want what we can’t have, right? So when those cravings strike, these low carb muffins made with coconut flour are a great recipe to fulfill cravings. Coconut flour is low in carbohydrates but high in fiber and protein, which makes it a great baking alternative. If you can’t find it in your local market, try Trader Joe’s (it’s only $2.99!) or Amazon. One quick note aboue these muffins. If you aren’t used to low carb baking, the muffin texture is very different from a traditional muffin.

Low Carb Coconut Muffins
Servings: 6 (it makes 12 muffins total but each serving is 2 muffins)
Serving Size: 2 muffins
Nutritional Info: 209 calories, 9.4g of fat, 12.5g carbohydrates, 7g dietary fiber, 11.7g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Ultimate Weight Watchers Pinterest Board!

Ultimate Weight Watchers Pinterest Board!

I couldn’t be more excited about today’s post. Seriously, ya’ll – this post is exciting.

So let’s talk real life. We all love Pinterest. I mean you can find inspiration for virtually anything. Interior design, check. Beautiful and tasty recipes, check. Travel ideas, check. Fall fashion, check. But in all that inspiration, literally hours of your life (or just mine) disappear. And I mean hours. What starts as an innocent bedtime search for inspiration for a new recipe turns into 6 hours down the Pinterest wormhole.

So today I have teamed up with some of my favorite healthy and Weight Watchers® friendly bloggers to bring you what we hope will become the Ultimate Pinterest board for Weight Watchers friendly and healthy recipes. The recipes all include PointsPlus® (and calorie information when available) and come from some seriously amazing bloggers.

Here’s who you will find on the board along with recipes from Slender Kitchen.

Ready to follow! Just head over to Pinterest and click Follow! There are already around over 500 recipes posted with new recipes being pinned daily.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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