For those of you who have not yet joined the craze — oh, you sweet, innocent things — Fitbit is a type of fitness tracker. Kind of like a super cool, high tech pedometer, only better. Husband gave me one for my birthday, because he knows I like toys.
Remember that Twilight Zone episode, Talky Tina? Where the doll talked to the man and tormented him and threatened him and in the end killed him?
I don’t know what made me think of that. Anyway, back to my Fitbit.
Fitbits are so cool! It’s a fitness wristband to beat all fitness wristbands! It tracks my steps, the miles I walked, calories burned, the number of stairs I took, and when synced to my phone, tells me how long I slept, how many times I woke up or moved in my sleep, and how on track I am to any goals I set for myself. Some Fitbits even track your heart rate.
To be honest, I’m not seeking to lose weight. That’s not the point. But here’s the thing: when you accomplish your 10,000 steps, it gives you a buzz.
No, not a two glasses of red wine buzz. I’m talking about an oh-so-pleasant, rewarding little vibration on your wrist. I swear, they must have had a team of scientists working day and night to achieve just the perfect amount of pleasurable pulses. Because truly, it is most pleasurable. And you wouldn’t think the wrist is a body part requiring such pleasure, would you?
But that’s not even the coolest feature!
The best part of a Fitbit is that you can connect to anyone else who has a Fitbit, which is why my husband bought one for himself as well. I was able to connect to him, as well as to some family members and co-workers. It ranks us by our steps and anytime you sync to your phone, you can see everyone’s scores, send them messages and taunt … I mean … encourage them.
Fitbit awards badges too, for each of your accomplishments. The first time you reach 10,000 steps in one day, you get the Sneaker Badge. If you manage 10 flights of stairs in a day, you get a Happy Hill Badge. But wait! Once you accumulate a total of 70,000 steps, you gain the coveted Penguin March! You’ve actually matched the distance of the annual trip emperor penguins make to their breeding grounds! Honestly, when I reached that, I thought I heard Morgan Freeman applauding. (I’m sure he did.)
But here’s the thing: Fitbit allows you to see what badges your competitors … I mean, friends … are receiving as well. Besides the ones I received, my husband has the London Underground Badge (250 lifetime miles), the Roller coaster (125 floors in a day? What the hell?), and the Skydiver (1,000 lifetime floors!).
Do you get the feeling Husband has a fear of elevators?
I was mortified. That meant while I was prancing around the house, thrilled at having achieved the mighty March of the Penguins, Husband had already walked the equivalent of nearly 10 marathons! Auuuugghh!
It was enough to make a person lose heart, yet I soldiered on. I used every opportunity I could to gain more steps. I paced the kitchen waiting for my tea to brew. I marched while brushing my teeth. I left my work desk more often — coworkers had trouble locating me. Whenever Dog had to stop to do her business, I jogged in place. People stared. I cared not. But despite my best efforts, Husband still held that top spot.
Then it happened. One morning while playing racquetball, he tore his calf muscle.
Now, I want you to know, I hadn’t lost my soul entirely at this point. My first thought was of concern. I mean, we were going to Disneyland in less than two weeks! What the heck was he doing risking his mobility at a time like this!
But then … oh yes … this will slow him down. Yessssss ….. heh, heh, heh …
Oh man. I am so gonna burn in hell!
On the plus side, I’ll have one firm tushy when I get there.
Well, enough about hell. Let’s talk dinner.
One thing about being more physically active is that you tend to gravitate toward more healthy foods as well. Or is that just me? Honestly, it seems like I’d use the opportunity to scarf down several croissants slathered with butter, but somehow I crave lighter foods. This dish fits the bill just right.
Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Salsa
For Salsa, mix together in medium bowl:
- 1/2 small seedless watermelon, cut in small cubes (about 3 cups)
- chopped jalapeno peppers (I use marinated jalapenos, because they keep better. Use as many as you can handle. Or none. Your call.)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 frozen chicken breasts, thawed overnight in a brine bath (In glass bowl, dissolve 1/4 cup kosher salt in water, add chicken, add more water until chicken is completely covered; put in refrigerator overnight.)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice from one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper (if you love pepper, use more)
Take chicken out of brine bath, rinse slightly. Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and pepper. Add chicken and turn several times to coat well. Let sit while you heat the grill.
When grill has reached 400 degrees, add chicken and close lid. Allow to grill about 10 minutes without peeking.
Turn breasts, cover and let grill another 9 to 10 minutes. (Honestly, the more you do this, the more you get a feel for it. I actually had my son use a stopwatch to see how long I grilled each side, because I don’t think about it anymore.) Cut into the thickest part of one of the breasts — there should be juice but it will be clear and the meat cooked through. If not, then leave on grill for a few more minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover with foil and let set while you finish the rest of the meal. Maybe toss a little salad, set the table … oh, you’re lighting candles too? Nice touch.
Serve chicken with salsa on side. Pour a glass of wine. Life is good.
- Rather than watermelon for the salsa, you can use fresh diced peaches, mango or pineapple. This makes a wonderful condiment for seafood as well.
- I highly recommend you buy organic/hormone free chicken breasts. They cost a bit more, but I was surprised at how much better they cooked, probably because they aren’t so plumped up. If you use non-organic, you will need to pound the breasts into submission so they’re more even. But honestly, give organic a try and look for a “certified humane raised” label. The chickens will thank you.
- I know people will tell you that you have to use a thermometer when cooking meat, but … aw geez, do you see what temperature those meat thermometers have for poultry? Mine says 180 degrees! If you cook it until it’s 180 degrees you’ll have chicken leather. I checked mine when it came off the grill and it was 140, but I know it cooks a bit longer on the plate, under the foil. Honestly, I’ve never had issues with it and friends have told me they’ve never had better grilled chicken. So … yeah, don’t do the 180. That’s just criminal.
- You’ll notice my marinade is very simple. I’ve tried several types, even store-bought ones, but this remains my go-to marinade for chicken. It’s quick, easy, and quite tasty. However if you really hate cumin, go ahead and use something else. But seriously, what do you have against cumin? What has it ever done to you?