promises kept!

The last day of Sept… what a long and crazy month.  I know October is going to FLY by since there are just a few gigantic things happening this month

sorry – are you getting tired of this pic?!

I also have a couple of other smaller races and it will be just as busy work-wise as Sept.  Wacky school year!

Yesterday I promised a few things… first a long run update.  Last Sunday I went for a 15 miler.  It started out decent.  I went to the Kal-haven trail, even though the trail and I have a contentious relationship.  This time proved no different!  I made two major mistakes:  1.  I broke in a brand new pair of shoes.  Yikes!  Don’t do this!  I didn’t have much of a choice but by the end my legs and feet were completely worn out.  2.  I didn’t bring any fuel with me.  Oh I brought Nuun and this probably saved me from completely passing out on the trail!  On my 10 miler the few days before, I only brought Gatorade/water and I was okay.  So of course me and my gigantic ego thought I didn’t need anything.  Yep, at the end of this run, I faded.  Seriously, with my legs wanting to jump ship and sheer lack of energy, I’m sure I looked like a zombie coming out of the trail.  Scary!  I was also freezing towards the end of the run and couldn’t get warm until I took a 20 minute HOT shower.  While I don’t know the science behind all of this, I’m guessing I did my body wrong and won’t be doing that again.

yep – this is a fairly accurate picture of me!

Today was supposed to be my last long run before the MARATHON!  18 miles were on the agenda and I was kind of looking forward to it.  As I mentioned in a past post, I was (sort of) diagnosed with PCOS.  Today this is happening

this should probably say, “can’t move today”

Sorry for the over-share but I’m in so much pain, I’ve had to resort to doubling up on pain killers.  Yep, I’m a little high.  I checked with my pharmacist friend before to make sure I wasn’t doing anything dangerous.   I’m trying to figure out when and how I’ll get those 18 miles in since today is totally out of the question.  But they are important to me – simply for confidence sake.

Onto more pleasant things:  Recipe… enjoy!  Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t the healthiest meal on the planet but it isn’t the worst and you know what’s in it.  I got this from pinterest so I’m not sure of the original creator of this yumminess – my apologies!

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
 
The chicken coating:
 
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
 
The sweet and sour sauce:
 
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
 
       Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.  Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9×13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.  
Don’t skip the part of turning the chicken every 15 minutes – this really helps to coat the chicken in the sauce.  I also put a little less than a teaspoon of garlic salt in there (personal preference).  Next time, I am going to mix in some red and yellow peppers and pineapple in with it and hopefully it will make a bit more sauce.
Lastly, I’m crazy jealous right now… as I mentioned on Thursday, my brother is in the states.  He and my sister are getting fun sibling time – without me!  Boo!!
love this pic – it was just taken the other day :)

So I’m wearing my fleece polar bear pants that I convinced my sister she should give me (they originally were her’s) and sent them very sappy text messages.  Real quick – anyone with sisters ever notice how their clothes are always so much cuter and more comfortable than your own?  I swear, I could hijack my big sis’ ENTIRE wardrobe :)  I’m also decorating for Halloweenie very soon (it was supposed to be today but the whole curled in a ball in pain thing got in the way)!  Heid and I have this way of always decorating at the same time.  It’s strange.  One of us will text the other and sure enough, without discussing it first we are putting up the holiday decor.  Kevina cracks me up and I always get a boost of motivation from the little go-getter.  He is a fiercely hard worker – I tell him to sleep every time I see him and I really admire his tenacity.  Kev also has more talent in his pinky finger than I do in my whole body.  Yep, I’m definitely missing my sibs!

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!  I’m going to start a petition to make weekends three days and work weeks 4.  Let me know if you want to sign it.  I’m going to change the average work week – you on board?!

i’m melting. seriously.

I wasn’t going to post tonight.  I’m feeling BEAT!  Just walking around in 103* heat is exhausting and today I finished moving.  To be fair/truthful, the last few things in my apt ended up taking me about two hours to pack and clean up but it’s empty!  Yay!

umm… this heat is ridiculous

Now for some pics of my empty old apt!

aww – kind of a sad face! this is how it looked when I moved in. I was so nervous that first day, I almost needed my brother to pull over so I could vomit!
my mom and dad redid my kitchen for my 30th birthday – sad to leave this!

But get this – I still have one more storage to go through AND to clean up/clear out my office!  Haha, oh my – I am such a hoarder!  No, I don’t belong on TLC or A & E but I did realize I’ve kept things for years for no apparent reason.  Shoe boxes?  TONS of grocery sacks?  Receipts?  Even though it has taken me a week to get moved, I’ve gone through a bunch of this and thrown it out.  I’m proud of myself!  I’ve given away a few trunk loads to Good Will(ie) and thrown out simply a crazy amount of junk.  I know it will be tough to change my habits but I am committed to shift these!

I brought Simon over on Tuesday and this was a nightmare.  Seriously, Simon had a mega-meltdown (with me having one soon after!).  It was a disaster.  I felt so badly for him since he was so confused.  Yesterday, I stuck around home so both of us could decompress.  I also found some treats that are like generic kitty prozac

he’s feeling better :)

Even though I missed the festivities yesterday, it was worth hanging out with Simon to help him adjust.  Not to mention, I was up with him until 4 am the night before so I wasn’t feeling very social.  We are both doing better today!

Oh!  I cooked my first meal here yesterday!  My stove was boxed in and I didn’t want to cook.  But I’ve been grabbing cereal or eating out the last few days and I didn’t want to do that again to my body/pocket book.  I sucked it up and organized enough to pull this off

super tasty!

Oh my gosh – so delish!  I had Trader Joe’s chicken sausage that was cured with sun-dried tomatoes, ravioli stuffed with goat cheese and sun-dried toms (also Trader Joe’s) and sauce.  Wow – I could probably eat this at least once a week!  The calorie impact wasn’t too harsh either and I have leftovers for tonight and tomorrow night.  It was also my first time using my gas stove.  It went pretty well – I forgot about the whole “fire” thing though and reached over the flame.  I singed a decent amount of arm hair off but hey, I didn’t blow my kitchen up – yay!

Well, that’s about it from me… I’m joining a gym tomorrow.  I’ve been talking about it for a while but since it’s hotter than the surface of the sun (or at least hotter than this WA native can handle), I’m going to do it.  Because I’ve got this 1/2 coming up in about a week and a half and I haven’t run recently – UH-OH!  Yeah, it’s going to be painful but I know I’ll finish it.  It’s also supposed to get hotter – 106* tomorrow?! – and it doesn’t seem to be going away.  Thankfully, I haven’t been sitting on my bum during this down time.  Moving seems to agree with me and I’ve lost a pound or two and possibly built a wee bit of muscle!  I’ll keep you posted on the official work out tomorrow – fingers crossed I don’t fly off the treadmill!

healthier eating

I am completely procrastinating at the moment.  I wasn’t feeling well on Friday so I called in sick.  Of course, I had two very large projects that MUST be finished before Monday which means some time in the office… TODAY… and I’m having trouble getting my bum in there!  Yay for writing a blog post instead! :)

Last Sunday I had one of the worst cases of “long run hunger” I could remember.  I ate everything.  I recognize this is fairly normal but this was kind of extreme.  At 10:30 pm I was craving chocolate and cake and I caved.  I made “mug chocolate cake“.  There are a number of recipes online and it actually works!

yep, this is a pretty big piece of cake… I added frosting too of course…

The next day I woke up bloated and feeling like I had gained 15 lbs.  It was unpleasant.  I got on the scale.  I didn’t gain 15 lbs but the numbers weren’t very happy either.  I decided I needed to get back on track with my eating.  The fact is, my healthy eating habits have been a bit dodgy for a little while now and I am done with it.  I downloaded the app “Myfitnesspal” (this is the website but I just use the phone app) and put in the numbers*.

Let me first say, I am in no way planning on trying to starve myself.  If I have had a really hard run and I am still hungry then I am going to eat something.  I am listening to my body.  I also refuse to deny myself going out with friends or celebrating a special occasion because it doesn’t fit into my calorie counting ways.  That being said, I certainly don’t need to indulge as often as I have been.

Alright, disclaimer out of the way… first things first I went to the store and loaded up on fruits and veggies

hello watermelon – I have missed you!
I love me some good melon!
yay! corn on the cobb season!!

The first week hasn’t been easy.  But again, part of my (not so hot) eating habits include enjoying being full and night snacking.  Tracking my calories doesn’t allow for either of these, especially at my height.  In order to lose a little weight (which I am just looking for a slightly leaner self) I am allotted a certain number of calories per day.  It isn’t a lot by any means!  Working out “earns” more calories so this is also a great incentive to get off the couch and do something everyday.  What I appreciate about this method is it helps create lifestyle changes (read new and better habits!), not dramatic weight loss.  Sure, it would be nice to lose the 10 lbs super fast but I know this isn’t healthy or lasting.  Thankfully, I haven’t been hungry-hungry but I have missed snacking on something or the obligatory piece pieces of chocolate when I am stressed.

Wednesday was a anxiety-ridden day at work and all I wanted was SUGAR!  I have noticed I turn to sugar when I am fretting so Wednesday I had a “fun-sized” Snickers but that was all.  It helped.  What I found though was it also helped I didn’t eat 8 of these!  How is this possible?  Over-indulging doesn’t make you feel better in the end?! ;)

just a wee bit of emotional stability!

I have also been pretty lazy when it comes to cooking for myself over the last 6 months or so.  This isn’t very conducive to healthy eating – when I don’t actually make a meal, I end up nickel and dime-ing my calories away and eating way more than I had ever intended simply because I convince myself just a little bit here and there really doesn’t add up.  Umm… it DOES!  On my grocery store excursion, I also picked up some staples for actual meals – healthy ones at that.

Like I said, the first week hasn’t been easy.  All of a sudden I have cravings for foods I typically wouldn’t really be thinking about

haha, alright so I have been thinking about this! I will also be getting one more of these tasty treats before the month ends – priorities people!!

Even though it hasn’t been easy, I have realized I was eating much larger portions than necessary, a lot of sugar and just empty calories because I was either bored, thirsty or stressed.  I’m happy I am putting effort into changing this.  I am happy I’ve lost some water weight and don’t feel so puffy.  But most of all, I am happy I am re-embracing some healthier eating because I do, in fact, feel so much better.

My Sweat Pink Ambassador sisters also gave me some GREAT advice about how to curb long run hunger so I will be writing a post about this as well.  I don’t know anyone who likes “train gain” so hopefully their advice will help us all!

*one more disclaimer – counting calories works for me and I have used this method in the past to lose weight responsibly.  My doctors are also aware!  I am in no way a professional when it comes to nutrition so please seek out medical advice before jumping into a weight loss program!

living the sweat pink dream and a treat

I’m having a craptiastic day.  At first, I was going to write about how I sincerely cannot stop eating this weekend.  Blame it on hormones, blame it on emotions or blame it on me just being lame – there are a number of possibilities at this point!  However, I will lament about these on another day (most likely tomorrow, yay! something to look forward to!  A whiny post by your’s truly!)  Instead, I have decided to suck it up and write about something different.

Yesterday, one of my former staff members came by.  He is getting ready to make some big life decisions… go to grad school?  Which grad school?  Defer?  He got into a really tough and prestigious program and he said he was not sure what to do.  I asked him why not?  It’s EVERYTHING he has worked for as an undergrad.  It’s also a major stepping stone for his future.  So, in reality, I may have yelled, “WHY NOT!”  His answer?  “What if I fail?”

Alright, I am very familiar with this sentiment.  You know the dreams that live inside you, so deep that it takes you a little while to even admit them?  This is how I feel about being an author.  I have wanted to be a writer since first grade.  It is DAMN scary when aspects of your dream start coming true!  Haha, when Fit Approach asked me to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador I was SO excited but also incredibly nervous!  What if I failed?  What if my writing/story wasn’t good enough?!

Yesterday I told my staff member that it’s okay to be scared.  It’s okay to admit it out loud because then when you finally do jump in with both feet, you get to look back and say, “I’m brave!”  Getting to admit you are brave is so worth having to admit you are scared in the first place!  When he left, I turned around and gave myself the same pep talk.  I am awesome at giving others advice but I forget to hear it myself at times.

Well, if you have made it this far, then congrats!  I know I can get a bit wordy but I do believe it’s important to recognize our goals and dreams are not easy to achieve.  We have to sacrifice a lot, endure ups and downs and then take huge risks to make them come true.  We SHOULD be scared!

Want to meet some of the other Sweat Pink Ambassadors?!  One of the others, Lori has set up a blog hop!  Click on the laces below and you can check them out!

Beyond pep-talking my staff member and myself into believing we can take on the world, I also made an old family recipe yesterday.  Kidney Bean Salad – yum!  It always brings back so many memories of hanging out in my Grandma’s kitchen.  Kidney bean salad was kind of special occasion salad and if memory serves my mom, grandma and I were the ones who really loved it.  This always makes me smile – maybe our tastes are linked genetically?!

even made it in the same kind of bowl my grandma used to :)

Here is an oldie but goodie and a peek at my grandma’s old kitchen

we were devouring some cool whip! that kitchen was my 2nd home

Here is the recipe for Kidney Bean salad!

1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 eggs hardboiled

2 (or 3) stalks of celery, chopped

1/4 of a head of lettuce, chopped

3 sweet pickles, chopped (I just cut up a bunch of bread and butter pickles)

1/4 cup of mayo

See?  Very easy!  I usually add a little bit of pickle juice and found some mayo that has an olive oil base so it’s supposed to be healthier (?!).  I also found bread and butter pickles that are sugar-free – another bonus in the health department.

My last little tidbit to share with you?  Friday I knocked out a five miler.  Before I left, I wanted a bit of a kick but thought I was all out of shot bloks.  Then after digging through my purse, I found this

there was one lonely blok left!

Yay!  Of course, it was kind of old and there was some lint stuck to it but hey, it got the job done!  I’m a classy lady ;)

happy thursday things

Happy Thursday!  Super excited it’s Thursday because that means I have tomorrow off!  Wahooo!  I have so much annual leave built up I have had to take Fridays off for a wee bit now.  It has been awesome.  The only problem?  I have NO idea how I am going to go back to working a full work week!  I know, I have such horrible problems!

So, I started to write about things that make me happy on Thursdays but I think it’s been a bit since I have actually done an installment.  Here we go!

1.  I slept like a ROCK last night!

no, not this one but not a bad pic, eh?

I had put away all of my winter bedding when the temps were unseasonably warm.  But then it got COLD at night this week.  I thought I could just tough it out but finally I added two extra blankets and last night I didn’t wake up freezing my nookies off!  Amazing!  I felt so much better today – awesome what a great night sleep can do.

2.  My biggest goal today was to make 1 smart decision.  Yes, I hold myself to a very high standard.  Success!  I actually made a number of smart decisions so goal met and exceeded!  I LOVE exceeding my goals :)

3.  Really cool people commenting on my blog and giving me fantastic dating advice!  The gist of the advice from the group is to just be myself and stop being a freak.  I may have ad-libbed that last part about the freak but I think it was implied.  But a “hey Amy, get out of your head” reminder is good and at times needed!  Thanks all!

or I can be a hottie cat lady ;)

4.  Yummy potato casserole!  This has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember.  I made it on Easter and get to enjoy leftovers the whole week.  It’s super easy-peasy and I think of it as comfort food.  Here is the recipe:

1 pkg of cubed frozen hash browns

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 cup of sour cream (I use light)

1 soup can full of milk

1 pkg of sharp cheddar – shredded

Mix the sour cream, soup and milk together in a bowl.  Put the potatoes in a 9×13 pan and then mix the wet ingredients with the potatoes.  Cook for 45 mins at 325-350.  Then sprinkle the cheese on and cook for 15 minutes more.

*This also used to call for a half a stick of butter but we cut it out and it still tastes great.  Sometimes my dad adds a little bit more sour cream and milk but I didn’t and it still tasted awesome!

5.  Angry peeps!

scary, angry symbols of childhood make me laugh

These little guys jumped right out to me with their angry lil’ faces!  I actually think peeps are fairly disgusting and haven’t eaten one in about 25 years.  Nevertheless, I had to buy them for work since my staff wants to make Peep S’mores.  Of course this sounds gross but it will be entertaining!

Well, those are my happy things for the day!  Tomorrow I am going to do my taxes (yep, I have turned procrastination into an art form), tour two different gyms – my “bat cave” gym turned out to be a bust and go for a run.  Hope to have a good update for y’all!

 

pancakes make everything better

Last night I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up in the middle of the night, I didn’t feel like walking the 10 steps to my bed.  Laziness at it’s finest folks!  So, when I finally woke up this morning I was crabby because a) I didn’t sleep well and b) I had weird dreams.  I dreamt about one of the guys I used to date and I was SO MAD at him in my sleep that when I woke up in the morning I was ready to rumble.  I started firing off a text because in my hazy-just-woke-up-ness, I thought it was all true.  Haha, thankfully, I realized it was a dream, deleted the text prior to sending it (thank goodness!  mild psycho-ness averted!) and tried to snap out of my crap-tastic mood.  First up?  Pancakes.

this is the second batch and they turned out much better than the first

I have been craving pancakes for about a week but was trying to be healthy and didn’t make them.  I looked online for a moderately healthy version and found this recipe at Skinnytaste.com  If you have never visited this site but want some healthy meals I suggest checking her out!  She lists Weight Watchers points and other nutritional stats so whatever type of healthy living plan you are following, her recipes fit.  Here is the recipe!

Whole Wheat Pancakes – makes 14 pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups + 2 tablespoons nonfat milk (I used 1%)

2 teaspoons vanilla

cooking spray

mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add the wet ingredients.  Mix together but don’t over-mix!  Then cook away!

*I suggest lightly beating the egg before adding it but this was just me.

mmmm, pretty tasty!

These were the leftovers since I DEVOURED the first plate!  As I mentioned, this batch turned out better than the first two I cooked.  I strongly suggest letting the batter sit for about 10 minutes before you pour it onto your skillet/griddle.  My first two pancakes were a bit thin since I poured them on immediately following mixing the batter.  But after the batter sat (while the first were cooking) they were fairly fluffy.  I also found with the cinnamon I didn’t need a terrible amount of syrup.  And I love syrup.  Oh!  I also halved this recipe and came out with 7 or 8 pancakes.  I put the leftovers in the fridge and am going to try heating them up tomorrow.

The rest of the afternoon was lazy.  I started not feeling so hot and poor Simon didn’t seem to be feeling well either.  He threw up but I managed to just wish I had!

poor lil' sicky! simon gets more snuggly when he doesn't feel well

I was supposed to run today but I had the shakes and wasn’t sure I could make it.  I drank more water, thought maybe I was hungry and ate a Luna bar – s’more flavor, super delish, but still didn’t feel great.  Finally, at 5:55 pm I decided to suck it up and put on my running clothes.  I had been reading the blog Sweat Once a Day and the author is incredible.  Her name is Emily and she is hardcore.  I have figured out if I want some motivation I read her archives and I get off my hiney.  Today it worked.

I headed outside and it was still windy – boo.  My garmin was refusing to cooperate at first and then almost immediately I felt it was going to be a horrible run.  My legs were like granite and I was huffing and puffing in such a pretty and lady-like fashion!  I walked a bit of “fitness hill” and then started running again.  And just kept running.  At mile 3.65 I paused to turn around and to strip off some of my over-bundling.  It was at this point I realized I still felt crappy but running was at least keeping my mind focused on other areas of pain ;)  I also sort of zoned out and ran 6.39 miles in 1:11.  I know, not super speedy but I was happy I finished and didn’t totally feel like death.  My time included walking up the hill, pausing at a few lights and shedding layers.

I still can’t believe how much my head gets in the way of me running further or faster or better!  Tonight I was convinced I couldn’t keep going and was going to wimp out at 2.5 miles.  I put those negative thoughts aside and focused on my stride.  In fact, I don’t even remember hearing a few songs on my ipod!  I am so happy I kept going because I realized yesterday I have the Kal-Haven Trail Run relay in 2 SHORT WEEKS!  Great scott!  The trail is 33.5 miles and I am not sure if we have a relay of 4 or 5 but if it’s 4 I have about 8.25 miles in the VERY near future!  I’ll make it – hopefully, my teammates won’t be too crushed when I cruise those miles at about a 10:15 or 10:30 pace.  I know part of my slowness today was because I sat around prior to running.  Tomorrow I might attempt a shorter tempo run in the morning and if I am successful than McDonald’s coffee it is!

I love it when motivation is so tasty

yoga first timer and a delish recipe

Soooo, I’m a bit gross right now.  Tonight was my first real yoga class and it was just a tad harder than I thought it would be!  Or maybe it was different from what I thought it would be – who knows.  I am VERY happy I went though.  The instructor did an awesome job of integrating relaxing/breathing moves with strength training moves and I definitely felt like I got a work out in tonight.  It’s offered every Monday night for free (you can give a donation).  I think this is so helpful considering I can see how much I like it without forking over a huge chunk of cash.  Oh, I even got a bit sweaty.  And now I haven’t showered…  yep, I’m kinda gross!

But I did rock some awesome new leg warmers tonight!  My friend and I walked from her place and I was wearing capris and I wanted to stay warm

they really kept me warm - who knew they were more than a fashion statement?!

Umm… yes, those are safety pins in my capris.  They are just a tad too long and if I don’t wear them rolled up and pinned I look like I am wearing hobbit pants.

You know when you go grocery shopping and you have so much good stuff in your fridge that you don’t even know where to start?!  I got home from yoga tonight and just wanted EVERYTHING!  Luckily, I managed some restraint and ate some tasty So Sweet Potatoes and then leftovers from last night.  But to be honest, some greek yogurt is still calling my name!

Yesterday’s din-din was/is one of my favorites and it is so easy.  It’s called “Tex-Mex” Chicken and I got the recipe from my friend Jeremy.  The first time I had some, I knew I had to be able to make it over and over!

almost finished!

Here is a snapshot – seriously, it is really versatile as well.  I have used it as a dip at parties, in soft taco shells (albeit, it’s really messy this way!), as a chowder and over salad.  Last night I chose the salad style.  So first off, make a kick ass salad

isn't she a beaut?

Lately, I’ve been craving salad non-stop.  I must be missing some vitamins or something.  I put this puppy together as the tex-mex was simmering.  Dinner probably took about 45 mins, including cutting everything up (including the chicken) so this is one of those meals that can be put together really quickly.  And you can mix up the leftovers as well.

yay! I was so ready to eat!

This wasn’t my best picture – sorry!  But I topped the salad with the tex-mex chicken and then a sprinkling of cheese and a few tortilla chips.  Fantastic meal!  The recipe is at the bottom – make it soon!

Hmm… I have 81 days until the Riverbank 25k!  I am definitely going to start using this blog as a countdown to keep me honest with my training!  Any words of encouragement or training ideas are welcome!  I’ve decided to do hill training as well as some speed work to increase my speed.  My last half marathon, I feel I half-assed my training and I do not want to feel like this again.  My best time for a half is 2:04 and I would really like to be somewhere near this for the 25k.  Since I run hills all the time around here, I want to be more intentional with my hill training by running up the hills over and over at quicker speeds.  Yep, it’s going to suck!  I’ll report back.

Oh, I bought some melatonin the other day and I took one last night.  I think it helped me to sleep but all day I have been dragging.  Not sure if it’s just because it’s monday or if it was the natural helper.  Tonight I’m going to take it earlier and see how it works.  Has anyone else ever had issues the next day with being drowsy after they took it?

Tex Mex Chicken Salad

Ingredients

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

½ cup chopped seeded jalapeno peppers

1 green onion, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 carton (12 oz.) whipped cream cheese

1 can (14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes w/jalapenos, drained

½ cup salsa

½ teaspoon salt

Shredded lettuce

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 can (3.8 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained

3 cups crushed tortilla chips

 

In a large skillet, sauté the chicken, jalapenos, and onion in butter until chicken is no longer pink.  Add the cream cheese, tomatoes, salsa, and salt; stir until blended.  Serve over lettuce; sprinkle with cheese, olives, and tortilla chips.

That’s it!  It’s really easy to make.  If you decide to just to use the sauce as a soup, you can still sprinkle the chips and cheese over the top.

*Some of the changes I make are I use green chilies rather than jalapenos because I’m a wimp!  I also only use the olives if I have them on hand.  I also sprinkled some chili powder over the chicken last night just for some extra flavor.

excuses, excuses

I DID not want to run today.  I mean, it was one those times where I looked wistfully at my couch after work and it literally called out to me, “AAAAAMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY”!!!  Here is why I didn’t want to run

I was too tired

I felt beat up from work today

I still didn’t feel great from yesterday

I wore heals all day so it would be harder

My cat missed me all day

My apt is messy and needs to be cleaned

Wine sounded more therapeutic than a run

Did I mention I was too tired?

I ate half a piece of Carrot Cake Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory for a late lunch therefore I wasn’t properly fueled – although there were carrots in it so partially healthy, yeah?

a present from my assistant who was in Chicago yesterday - I'm sorry if this sends you to the nearest Factory!

But today I saw this guy

sock monkeys freak me out! But this one is a pirate

Yep, most likely a sign from my Ragnar teammates to get out there and RUN!

So I ran.

I ran because I got an awesome pep talk right before the end of work today.  I ran because I don’t want to disappoint my cool sponsors (still so psyched about this!).  I ran because I don’t want my teammates to wish some other strange girl had e-mailed them.  I ran because I needed to.  I ran because deep down I love how it makes me feel and I need/want to get back in  touch with this!  It wasn’t the strongest run ever but I walked less on that stinkin’ “fitness hill” and even saw a 9:52 in the pace calculator.  Now THAT made me feel good!

My Grandma sent me this card today – I seriously laughed my hiney off

front
hahaha! I laughed so hard!

After my run I decided I needed some dinner

bowl full of carby goodness

I once watched this show talking about obesity.  They showed a table filled with the foods that his one guy ate everyday.  The doctor pointed out that EVERYTHING on the table was beige.  It was true.  There was absolutely no colorful foods on the table.  Whenever, I cook or eat now, this is what I think of

MUCH better!

This was actually a bit more of a portion then I needed but it sure was tasty.  I did overcook the noodles a bit – oopsie.  At least now I have leftovers for tomorrow.  It’s just noodles, chicken and parmesan cheese with veggies.  It’s super easy and usually I get a couple of meals out of it, which is always a good thing.  Yay!  Leftovers are the best :)

winter run and soupy warm-up

this is just makes me laugh

If you haven’t ever been to someecards then you MUST go there now!  But then come back and see me again!

Today I knew I had to get off the couch and go for a run.  I was not looking forward to it.  Reason #1

I hate it when there is the ! sign - usually means it sucks outside

And reason #2?  Sometimes I’m just lazy and my motivation has been in the toilet as of late.  However, next week is my birthday and I need to find a kick ass dress to accentuate my assets.  Running will help this process!  So I bundled up

I really wasn't this excited to run

I got this Kalamazoo Marathon Buff last year when I started training for the Kalamazoo Marathon.  I wasn’t able to run it but I still had this puppy.  I didn’t even think about wearing it like this but my brother-in-law got a gaiter for Christmas and he put it on like this and DUH!  It was really windy today and the cold wind bothers my ears.  I think it’s from too many ear infections when I was little.  Even ear flaps on hats don’t really help but this was amazing!  I know people made fun of me – I heard them, but it helped so much!  I also liked that it helped to keep my face warmer.  I can’t believe I have never thought to wear it like this before.  The Buff website has a page that shows you all the ways you can wear it.  I also wore a windbreaker/water proof jacket over a long sleeve running shirt and under that some compression cold weather gear.  Then my new running tights and some knee-high soccer socks.  Soccer socks are like my lil’ secret weapon.  They are just tight enough to offer a little bit of compression, are thicker so perfect for winter running and they are a fraction of the cost of compression socks – yay!

My run wasn’t great but two positives were that I got out there and did it and I’m confident that all of my injuries from the fall have healed.  I also realized that since I have changed my stride my pace has increased.  This would be AWESOME buuuut my fitness level hasn’t quite caught up yet!  It is nice to know that once I am back in better shape I will be faster.  I have a bunch of new time goals and I would love to crush some of my old PR’s!  I came back and did some ab work that I am quite positive I will feel tomorrow.

After my run it was time to cook up some soup!  As I mentioned last night, I found this recipe on pinterest and I have been thinking about it ever since

here are all the veggies and the chicken I cooked last night

I didn’t include the garlic since I don’t seem to process it very well and I end up smelling like garlic for days.  Boo.  So I cooked the chicken in chicken broth last night and put pepper on it.  Then today I lightly salted the veggies and added another nice dose of pepper for some flavor.  Oh yes, and I used my cast iron dutch oven for a little ambiance :)

final product! very delish and VERY filling!

Wow, this was fantastic!  I really liked the flavor and think it could be a great base for other flavorings.  I also think adding noodles would nice if you wanted to trade them for the potatoes.  I didn’t miss the garlic but some of you might so add away!  I did more of a rough chop of the potatoes and onion.  I also probably added a few more carrots and an extra stalk of celery.  I will definitely be eating off of this for a while and if bread bowls didn’t have 50 million calories I would have put it in there.  But alas there’s that whole rockin’ a hot dress/outfit next week and a bread bowl is NOT on the menu!

Cream Cheese Chicken and Veggie Soup  from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of butter     1 yellow onion, finely diced     2 cloves of garlic, minced     2 stalks of celery, diced

1/2 cup of diced carrots (handful of baby carrots)     3 cups chicken broth     2-3 potatoes, chopped

1 cup milk (1 or 2%)    4 tablespoons of flour    1 (8oz pkg of cream cheese – light or regular)

2-3 (about 1lb) chicken breasts cooked and diced (you can cook the chicken with the veggies if you don’t have any pre-cooked)

In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots.  Saute, stirring often until veggies are slightly tender and onions are translucent.  Add the chicken broth and potatoes.  Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered for about 10 minutes (or until the potatoes are fork tender).  Meanwhile, mix the flour and milk together and whisk vigorously until smooth.  Stir this into the soup and stir it quickly cooking over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until soup begins to thicken slightly.  Stir often so it doesn’t burn.  Soften the cream cheese in the microwave – about a minute at 30% power is recommended so it is really melty.  Take the melty cream cheese and cut it up into pieces so it doesn’t lump up in the soup.  Let the pieces warm in the soup and then stir it all together so the cream cheese is completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

chow down :)