Wednesday, June 15, 2011

" This is the best invention since sliced bread"

To quote my husband directly! For those of you who read my guest blog post on Design Thoughts (owned by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Kim Salter), you know that Chris is turning a corner with regard to health.

He had his annual physical last week and at that time also received the results of his lab work. The a1c test (measures average blood sugar levels over a months time) came back slightly high. Couple that with his high cholesterol and tendency to carry his weight around his mid-section and he is, as the doctor called it, "almost pre-diabetic" and at an elevated risk for heart disease. His doctor recommended that he back off the refined carbs, sugars, white potatoes and empty calories and try to eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. All Chris heard was, "eat fewer carbs."

I will give it to him though, he is asking me questions like "is this one of those carbs that takes a long time to digest and won't spike my blood sugar?" Just asking is HUGE progress. We are overcoming his overwhelming need to have chips with his lunch by having homemade coleslaw (recipe to follow) that he can put in a ramekin. He won't measure anything so at least I know that the ramekin only holds 1/2 a cup...3/4 if you really pack it in.

Tuesday night we were having burgers for dinner and Chris was telling me how good they were, but when he is really craving a burger, it's not just the burger he's the act of eating with his hands (this is where we differ a little. I HATE getting condiments on my hands...they smell for hours!).

With that, I went to the refrigerator and opened the baggie of washed iceberg lettuce I had on hand, gently tore off a whole leaf and handed it to him. He looked at me like I was asking to tweeze his eyebrows or something. Sheesh. When I helped him wrap up his burger, the still thought I was crazy. Then he took a bite...the look on his face said it all! His happiness was written all over his face (and apron, and napkin, and hands)!

With a mouth full of a makeshift burger he exclaimed "Holy cow! That's the best invention since...well, sliced bread!" I am pretty sure I saw the lettuce wrapped burger offered as a low-carb burger on some menu somewhere so I can't take all the credit. But he thought I was a genius at that moment and who am I to disappoint him!

Side note: Butter lettuce would work better in that the leaves are more shaped and tend to stay in tact better than iceberg does...but who keeps butter lettuce in the refrigerator?

So, next time you are looking to ditch the bun but enjoy a burger, re-purpose your lettuce!

Coleslaw recipe:
1/2 c. Canola mayo (healthier fat than regular mayo...)
1/2 c. light sour cream (we actually use full fat organic. we just like it better!)
1 bag pre-shredded, pre-washed cabbage (or 1 head of do-it-yourself cabbage, good luck with that)
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
2 limes
scallions for garnish (or 1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine mayo, sour cream, zest of 2 limes, and juice of 1 lime in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, cilantro and optional green onions (reserve scallions for garnish). Toss to combine
  3. Pour wet ingredients over cabbage and toss to combine (tongs work well for this)
  4. Cover and refrigerate. Eat when you want to!


  1. Hey Jenna! You may not have invented lettuce wraps but you converted Chris to a healthier choice...nicely done:) Sue

  2. Way to go, you can be Chris' health coach, you know all the ropes.

    I love lettuce instead of bread, and it adds moisture to meats that would otherwise be a bit dry.

    Keep answering his questions and allow for a "day-off" every so often, helps keep a person on track.

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