Dinner with Diane: Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Lettuce Wraps

Diane Ferritto

After a rough holiday season of overeating and general sloth-like behavior, I want to get back on track with a healthier lifestyle. For some people, it’s easy to shift gears and refocus their life. For others, and I would assume most people fall into this category, it can be extremely difficult to adjust old habits. In fact, it’s only been a month since the 2013 New Year’s resolutions were made and I can only guess how many people are still going strong and how many healthy eating resolutions have been cast aside with a Taco Bell burrito wrapper.

I have friends who have found it helpful to use app trackers on their smart phones like MyFitnessPal to hold themselves accountable. I prefer to use the archaic pen and note pad. But I’m back at it—tracking what I eat and giving myself a star on the healthy days! Who doesn’t like earning a star? Admit it, you’d be psyched if one of your professors put a star on your paper.

Anyway, I have found that it’s easier to stay on track when I’m not alone in my endeavors—whether it’s healthy eating, saving money, or working out regularly. During my month-long clean eating challenge back in November, it was easy to stay on track because I had a team counting on me. I earned points for the team for every day of healthy living. Plus, I lost weight AND inches.

And I felt better. I think as a community, we should help each other live healthier lives. Whether you need to eat healthier, quit smoking, or do an exercise other than the 40 oz. curl, let’s start fresh again in February! I would like to encourage you to let me know how you’re staying on track and maybe we can help each other! Do you have tips that make it easier to avoid indulging in those everyday temptations and making better choices like walking to class instead of driving or picking a salad over a pasta bowl? Let me know!

In the meantime, here’s a super easy recipe modified from Fast Paleo (www.fastpaleo.com) that fits into the clean lifestyle and satisfies your tummy’s grumbles! Check out their website for more healthy and easy recipes that are dorm room friendly and submitted by users like me and you!

Need more recipe ideas? Do you have questions about cooking? Email me at [email protected] Your question could be featured in my next column!

1. Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and placing bacon on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Place an oven-safe cooling rack under the bacon (in the pan) to drain grease off the bacon while it cooks or use paper towels to absorb extra grease once you remove the bacon from the oven.
3. Cook for approximately 15 minutes depending on how crispy you want it.
4. Cut chicken breast into cubes.
5. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. (Safflower oil is a healthier alternative if you have it available).
6. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Sauté chicken until cooked through and golden brown.
7. Alternatively, you can grill your chicken and cut out the olive oil. Set your grill on low and cook on one side until the breast looks done halfway through, then flip it over and cook for another 10 minutes on low. When chicken is done, the juice will run clear when you cut into it.
8. Cut avocado into cubes by slicing your avocado lengthwise, popping the pit out with a spoon, then making crisscross cuts to cut the flesh into cubes.
9. Place avocado, bacon, chicken and tomato into a lettuce shell along with a squirt of lime juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro (to taste).
Modified from www.cloudywithachanceofsprinkles.com