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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:

Weight Loss Wednesday: Emma Lost 31 Pounds!

Weight Loss Wednesday:  Emma Lost 31 Pounds!

Name: Emma
Height: 5’2
Starting Weight: 170
Current Weight: 139
Pounds Lost: 31

How long did it take you to lose the weight? From February 23rd, 2014 to July 15th, 2014, I have lost 31 pounds! I still have 15 I would like to lose through Weight Watchers and incorporating more exercise into my lifestyle.

Lightbulb Moment: I am the maid of honor in my sister’s wedding this year on August 23rd. I was in my other sister’s wedding last year and was really uncomfortable about the way I looked. I knew this year I wanted to feel better about myself, but didn’t want to go on a crash diet a month before the wedding. I decided this year, 6 months before the wedding, I would join Weight Watchers and lose the weight in a healthy, steady way.

How did you do it? Weight Watchers! I had done the program before & it was successful. Weight Watchers doesn’t just teach you what to eat, but how to eat it. It’s all about portion control and making better choices. Something that I do differently in the program is that I try and stay away from processed snacks (80 calorie chips, 100 calorie brownies, etc). Those things are loaded with additives that many studies have shown trigger hunger. Whenever I would eat them I would feel sluggish and almost always have a headache. I try to stick to three solid meals a day that give me lots of fiber, protein and healthy fat. If I get hungry in between I eat! But I love having veggies with hummus, fruit with peanut butter, etc. I also try not to eat past 7:30pm. I was a late night binger before WW, so I slowly started to only have healthy snacks at night, to eventually only needing green tea. Feed your body throughout the day and it won’t work against you at night!

What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it? Like I said before, I was a food binger. I would get home from work and eat burgers, pizza, ice cream, anything I could basically get my hands on. When you are in that cycle, it’s very hard to break it. You think your stomach is about to eat your entire body, and the first couple of days the cravings are insane. You need to remind yourself, why am I doing this? I was 21 and in a body that I was constantly trying to hide from the world. That’s no way to live! Little reminders of my overall goal of feeling fabulous at my sisters wedding, fitting into size 6 jeans. These things kept me going. Changing your lifestyle is never easy, if it was, everyone would be slim and healthy. Reminding yourself just how strong you are and believing in yourself is the best way to overcome those cravings. But another great tip? Don’t keep junk in your house! If its not there, you won’t eat it!

What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? INSTAGRAM (@funwithwwpoints), I cannot stress this enough! The meetings for WW that are in my town, are well, a little drab. I needed an outlet to express my ideas, thoughts, triumphs & frustrations. I had seen so many wonderful ladies on Instagram with awesome accounts, and I thought “hey why don’t I do that!” It started with about 25 people following me back in March to over 2000 today! They are my family and we help each other through our ups and downs. There are always great tips and recipes to be found on there and an outlet to voice successes or concerns throughout your journey. Its like a WW meeting, but is happening 24/7.

How has your life changed since losing the weight? There are no words to describe what its like to regain your sense of self. Before, I would just sit up in my apartment watching Netflix & eating takeout when I should have been out enjoying a Saturday night. When you have weight on, you always think people are judging you because of it. Living a healthier lifestyle has boosted my confidence & energy levels in ways I never thought possible.

Exercise routine: I’m working on incorporating more exercise into my lifestyle! I have a gym membership that I need to start to utilize more. I believe any movement is good movement. I love going for long walks with my boyfriend and his dog. I park further away from stores to get in some extra activity. I use to hate walking up the hill on my campus at school, and now it gives me a burst of energy in between class. Start small and work your way up!

Favorite breakfast: OATMEAL, I am a crazy oatmeal lover! Which is a little insane because I almost loathed it before starting WW. A good breakfast sets your whole tone for the day. I love making instant oatmeal with fresh fruit and milk chocolate chips! Oatmeal is so versatile; you can really do anything with it!

Favorite grab and go snack: Cheese sticks & fresh fruit! I love watermelon and pineapple

Favorite treat: Frozen yogurt with animal crackers!

Favorite quick dinner: Pita pizzas! So easy to make and a great use of points. Again, you can really create anything with them! My favorite is turkey peperoni with green pepper, pineapple and cheese.

Favorite healthy restaurant or fast food find: Wendy’s make fabulous salads that are high on flavor and low in points. Angels in heaven made the Cheesecake Factory Skinnylicious menu. Anything in a restaurant can be made healthy with a few substitutions (salad instead of fries, dressing on the side, no bun, etc)

Advice for someone just starting: When I first started WW I ate 3 solid meals with 2 snacks throughout the day (one 2 hours after lunch and dessert for after dinner). This will keep you full and feeling less deprived. Stick to whole food options (proteins, fresh veggies, fruit, etc) and you will start to get use to eating healthy options and learn to crave them. Water is key! Always count your points before eating something, I made the mistake in the beginning of doing the opposite and sometimes that granola bar you thought was 2 points is actually 5. And believe in yourself, sounds so simple I know but many of us are our worse enemies. Make sure to celebrate your victories (choosing diet pop instead of regular, turning down unhealthy food at a bbq, buying a new pair of pants the next size down). These are all great accomplishments and should be celebrated!

Anything else that you would like to share: Don’t wait for the day that you think motivation will come down and punch you in the face and kick you into gear. You need to want to be healthy for yourself. Small changes turn into larger ones. You just need to start. It could be at 11:34 a.m. on a Tuesday in March. It doesn’t matter when; you just need to do it! And trust me, if I can do it, so can you!

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Tomatillo Braised Chicken

Tomatillo Braised Chicken

Tomatillos rank among one of my favorite ingredients. The slightly tangy, slighty herbal, slighty sweet friend of the tomato brings something special to any dish in my opinion. It is traditionally used in salsas and stews like in this recipe where it is made into salsa and used to quickly braise chicken on the stove-top until it is tender and delicious. Use chicken breasts or chicken thighs depending on your preferences and adjust the heat to your liking. You can also making it creamy by adding a touch of sour cream, crema, or even cream cheese when you are finishing the dish.

Tomatillo Braised Chicken
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 6 oz. chicken
Nutritional Info: 231 calories, 7.2g of fat, 7.6g carbohydrates, 1.9g dietary fiber, 36.9g of protein, 0g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

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

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Friday Five: Energy Bars

Friday Five:  Energy Bars

Although I don’t eat a lot of meal replacement (energy) bars, sometimes they come in handy when you just can’t find the time for a meal. They can also be a great way to refuel during a tough day or after a hard workout. Usually when reaching for an energy bar, I try and pay attention to three things – total calories, whole and natural ingredients, and protein/fiber count. Here are my favorite bars. What are yours?

  1. Kind Blueberry Pecan + Fiber, 5 PointsPlus, 190 calories
  2. This bar is pretty delicious and is packed with a good amount of protein and fiber for staying power since the primary ingredient is almonds. I also love that it only has 10 ingredients – almonds, blueberries (blueberry pieces, whole dried blueberries), raisins, pecans, honey, cashews, non GMO glucose, crisp rice, chicory fiber, soy lecithin – instead of lots of laboratory made protein sources.

  3. Quest Coconut Cashew, 4 PointsPlus, 170 calories
  4. This is a brand new discovery for me and I have to say I am a huge fan of these Quest bars. Packed with 17 grams of fiber, 20 grams of protein, and only 170 calories they definitely do the trick when it comes to providing energy and staying power. They come in lots of flavors, but I like this as an alternative to traditional chocolate and fruit flavored bars.


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

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Sarah Lost 28 Pounds!

Weight Loss Wednesday:  Sarah Lost 28 Pounds!

Height: 5’8”
Starting Weight: 190.4
Current Weight: 162.0
Pounds Lost: 28.4 (and counting!) Goal weight is 145.

How long did it take you to lose the weight? I’ve been consistently losing since January 2013, so about 19 months.

Lightbulb Moment: My grandmother passed away on New Year’s Eve 2012. She was the only grandparent I’d had growing up and losing her was difficult. I had been a yo-yo dieter in the past- as high as 202 pounds, as low as 149. But when she passed away, I knew I needed to get serious about my health and my weight. I wanted to be healthy for my future children and grandchildren – and I wanted to make my grandmother proud. I knew I needed to make significant changes in my lifestyle.

How did you do it? I chose to go back to Weight Watchers. I first joined when I was a freshman in college and had gained what I lovingly refer to as the “freshman 40.” That was 12 years ago. I knew that WW worked- I’d lost close to 40 pounds that first time. However, I knew that I would have to change a lot of my thinking if I wanted it to work for good.

One of the biggest changes I made was to re-learn how I think about food and how I reward myself. When I was younger I would think, “Well, I’ll count points for now and then once I’ve lost all my weight, I can go back to eating whatever I want.” You can guess how that worked out. I also used to think, “I’ve worked hard to lose these X amount of pounds, I deserve to go to a restaurant and order what I want. It’s not fair to deprive myself.” Again, you can guess how that turned out. I gained all that I lost back – and then some more.

This time was different- I finally learned that I will ALWAYS have to watch what I’m eating. For the rest of my life, I will have to count points/calories/portions if I want to stay within a healthy weight. It’s just who I am. I am addicted to food and the feelings that come with it – I have to first acknowledge that and then take steps to keep my eating in check. Once I realized that this is just how it will always be, it’s been easier to adapt my lifestyle to fit that understanding.

I also finally understood that when I go out to eat, it’s not the food that is the reward or the indulgence- it’s being able to spend time with friends/family, not having to cook and not having to clean up – that’s the fun part of going out to eat. I had to take the focus off of food. Growing up, I placed a lot of importance on food- I have to constantly remind myself that food is nourishment and fuel- it’s not happiness or confidence or a shoulder to cry on. I’m not a dog; I don’t get rewarded with food. Now, I reward myself with a new book, a trip to my favorite make-up store, or a new pair of earrings.

What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it? My biggest challenge was re-learning how to interact with food in a healthy way. Honestly, WW meetings (and some personal counseling) helped me the most in understanding this. They were a group of people struggling with the same things I was struggling with – in WW meetings we can support each other and give feedback and advice that actually helps. Many of my mantras come from things others have said in a WW meeting room.

What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? For me, weight loss is all mental. I know how to eat healthy, count points, exercise, etc. The real challenge – when things got super tough- was to rely on my own willpower (which isn’t a lot!!) to walk away from an unhealthy situation. I use mantras when things get tough. When I’m at a party and there are all kinds of unhealthy yet comforting foods there, and everyone is eating and encouraging me to eat to excess, I repeat this over and over: “What you’re holding onto is holding you back.” It reminds me that eating that unhealthy food just takes me further from my goals, even if it feels good in that moment.

How has your life changed since losing the weight? My confidence has soared. Because I am confident that I can lose weight and have a healthy relationship with food, I feel like I can do anything!

Exercise routine: I run 3-4 times a week (10- 20 miles total), and try to incorporate some type of cross-training 2-3 times a week when I’m not running. Usually it’s yoga or pilates and a Jillian Michaels DVD. Sometimes it’s swimming or biking – it all depends on the time of year and my schedule. But minimally, I’m working out 3 times a week.

Favorite breakfast: Greek yogurt, string cheese, and a piece of fruit.

Favorite grab and go snack: WW 3 point bars, an apple, string cheese.

Favorite quick dinner: Chicken and salsa in a crock pot – cook all day, serve over rice/ couscous/quinoa in the evening.

Favorite healthy restaurant or fast food find: I love everything about everything at Panera – especially Fuji Apple Chicken Salad and Black Bean Soup.

Advice for someone just starting: Don’t be afraid to examine your relationship with food. Counseling is a good thing and honestly, it might be what makes the difference in your weight-loss efforts.

Anything else that you would like to share: Don’t get discouraged by slow weight loss. I’d much rather be losing weight slowly than gaining or staying the same.

Learn more about Sarah’s story over at her amazing website Sparkly Runner!

Want to share your weight loss story? Let’s celebrate your success and inspire others! Send an email to [email protected] to learn more.

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Simple Grilled Squash

Simple Grilled Squash

Grilled veggies are one of my favorite summer sides and fridge staples. Usually I like to make up a big batch on Sundays to have throughout the week. They make the perfect addition to salads, sandwiches, or quesadillas and are delicious for dipping. However one person can only eat so much grilled zucchini, so lately I have been experimenting with throwing new veggies on the grill and this simple grilled squash dish is quickly rising to the top as a new favorite. The heartiness of the squash makes it perfect for the grill and it’s earthy flavor means it pairs well with almost any meal. Normally I try to pick something that complements my main dish or just reach for my favorite blend of brown sugar, spicy ancho chile powder, and a touch of cinnamon.

Grilled Squash
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 86 calories, 3.6g of fat, 14.6g carbohydrates, 2.1g dietary fiber, 1.1g of protein, 0g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 2 * (more…)

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

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Black Bean Eggplant Burgers with Creamy Red Pepper Goat Cheese Spread

Black Bean Eggplant Burgers with Creamy Red Pepper Goat Cheese Spread

It feels like everyone is really stepping up there burger game these days. In the past week alone I have seen drool-worthy recipes for teriyaki pineapple burgers, blue cheese buffalo turkey burgers, spicy Thai shrimp burgers, and more. With summer in full swing, it’s just so easy to get excited about burgers. But often, at least in my house (sorry veggie friends!), I usually don’t focus on making a delicious vegetarian option. I make a delicious meat based burger and then (gasp!) grab my favorite frozen veggie burgers and cross my fingers the toppings will make it magical. But this time, I decided to step up my game with the veggie burgers. These simple black bean burgers are packed with flavor and made even more delicious with the addition of this roasted red pepper goat cheese spread. Yum.

Black Bean Burgers
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 patty
Nutritional Info: 168 calories, 4.8g of fat, 27.1g carbohydrates, 6.7g dietary fiber, 9g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

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

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