Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rest day and Celery

Today was supposed to be a rest day so I can do 50 minutes of cross training tomorrow before Friday's Big 7.  The Big 7.  Instead, I did some cleaning, baking, babysitting and visiting with my family.  My little (not so much anymore!) nephew graduated from elementary school.  About time, that kid is half bear, half human.  He doesn't fit in the school's tiny desks.  His dad is HUGE, all mean muscle and charm.  My sister and my BIL made that kid a heart breaker.  He doesn't believe me now, but he will see.

Anyway, I didn't feel like cooking but didn't feel like having Subway again.  Subway is close to us and it's the place to go when I don't want to cook.  At $7 for our meals, it isn't a bad deal but we have to save as much as we can.  You have to.  I looked in my pantry and saw a can of condensed creamed celery.  Ew, celery?  But then, Roni from Green Lite Bites came to mind and it was set.  She's awesome at stocking her pantry, cooking on the spot, and simplifying recipes so that even people like me understand them.  I copied this meal from her "One Pot Creamy Braised Chops with Rice and Peas" and her "Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms with Peas" recipes.  I wished I had used pasta and then baked it topped with flax meal and breadcrumbs.

I ended up with a lot of sauce left over (almost a cup and a half) but I may just leave it in the fridge for my hubby to eat with a sandwich.  He comes home HUNGRY and I'd rather he skip Taco Bell.  Here is how I made my Chicken with Celery Gravy, Broccoli and Brown Rice.  I paired it with some of my home made bread.

Chicken with Celery Gravy, Broccoli and Brown Rice
Serves 2 (plus an individual soup bowl)

Sauce (1 2/3 cups)
1 can condensed creamed celery
1/2 c fat free milk
1/2 c fat free, low sodium chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t freeze dried chives
1/2 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder

1 chicken breast (mine was 13.8 oz raw) seasoned with salt and pepper, more garlic and onion powder

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 or more cup of veggies (we used steamed broccoli)
More black pepper to top (I love black pepper!)

Check it
It's dark in my kitchen, my phone has no flash :|

Heat up a large non-stick pan on medium heat, on my electric stove that'd be a 4.  Slice your chicken breast into manageable pieces.  I like mine rounded because they look prettier, don't they?  Season to taste on one side, and lightly spray with Pam.  Once the pan has heated up, place chicken pieces seasoned side down.  Lightly spray the unseasoned side and add your spices (if you added too much on the other side, you can skip it).

Cook chicken until lightly brown and flip over.  You don't have to cook completely, you'll finish cooking it after you add the creamed celery.

I love black pepper, I would travel the world for it.

Open up your canned creamed celery and measure 1/2 cup each of milk and chicken stock.  Water would work fine, but my husband was eating and I didn't want him to be all whiny about the fat free meal.  Men.  After the chicken has browned on both sides, put it in a foil pouch so it doesn't completely cool down.

Chicken, taking a break.

Add the creamed celery, chicken stock, milk and mix.  The creamed celery will be lumpy at first but as it warms up, it'll start thinning out.  Try adding a little milk and chicken stock until you like the consistency, you may end up not using the whole amount.  Season up.  I added more garlic and a little onion powder, some chives and more black pepper.  You can replace the dried chives for real chopped chives, I just didn't feel like dirtying up more dishes.  Let the sauce start bubbling a little, turn down the heat to LOW.

Boiling away.

After the sauce has boiled some, add the chicken back and cover so the dried spices have time to... blossom.  I read somewhere (how I learned to cook) that dried spices need time to rehydrate.  Taste the sauce, add more black pepper!  Or not.  I'm crazy about it.  I even take extra little black pepper packets from What-a-burger to keep in my purse.

You never know when you'll run out of black pepper!

Serve with brown rice with a side of broccoli and some of the sauce spread on top.  My husband kept calling it a gravy, which I guess it is, but it's a sauce to me.

I added a slice of bread because it had cooled and I just love bread.

Do you ever take a great picture, Nubia?  Nope.

Nutritional Information:
I used 1/3 cup of the sauce over the chicken.  The following information is only for the sauce made, a total of  1 2/3 cups:

Thank you, MyFitnessPal!  I couldn't cook without you.

This is my home made bread!  I really enjoy baking it, though it never gets to be the right size.  It's always a little deflated on one side.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong, it's my fourth try.  It tastes great and it's only 45 calories per slice.  I like it because it's a hardy bread.  I got the recipe from the manual that came with the food processor.  I subbed apple sauce and coconut oil for the butter.

Love me, don't toast me!

For the left over sauce, I think I may add some of the silken tofu to it.  The sauce tastes a little too sweet to be eaten like a soup, but it may just need some fat free, plain Greek yogurt on top.  I'll update after I have my husband taste it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Run for Wellness 5K Series (May) Race Recap!

Man, am I awesome or what? Amiright? I beat my old time! Is this a PR? :) 

I had posted this on my weight loss blog, and I'm too lazy to try and rewrite what I meant at that moment. Please read for future proof that I'm crazy, you're welcome.

When I was 11, I was given the choice to stay in the US or go back to Mexico to wait for my mother to finish earning the money needed to pay for my sis' college.  An 11 year old, what did I know?  My biggest concern was school, how was I supposed to pass History class when all I knew was Mexico's?  LMAO.  I can't believe THAT was my biggest concern.  Cut to the first day of school, I realized I didn't speak the language.  Ooops.  

I thought I'd always get "D"s and that I would never be able to communicate or make friends.  I changed SO much.  I went from being social to being awkward and not wanting to speak b/c I had an accent.  Cut (come on, keep up!) to Texas History Class in middle school.  I got back my test and I'd gotten an 88.  That was close to an "A"!  In that moment, I knew I could do it.  I had done it already, I was just a few more tries away.  

Next semester, I tested out of my ESL classes.  By the next grade, I was in all advanced placement classes and getting the lovely "A"s I was so used to.  I went on to graduate with honors and blah blah blah.  I'm not a genius, I just worked my ASS off day after day.  I gave it all I had.  I said no to weekend parties or bar hopping on Tuesday nights.  I had to turn away from tempting friendships.

Today, the same "I did it" thought slapped me on my face.  I did it, I beat my 30:00 5K goal.  I knew I could, I had done it before.  But, life got in the way.  I'm the 11 year old again when it comes to weight/lifestyle.  I'm making a HUGE decision, I can either take a scary/time consuming/life altering challenge and keep working hard to stay healthy or I can give up and go back to my old safe/comfortable unhealthy life.  You can bet your cola I'm not taking the easy road.  (BTW, quick Spanish lesson.  "Cola" means butt, so, you can call your spouse a "cola" when s/he's being an ass.)

I realized that weight training will be a must.  Especialmente the core workouts.  I can't go any faster only relying on my legs, the whole body needs to be trained.  I want to place or give the winners a good run.  I could honestly one day place.  It will just take a lot of work.  Day after day.  Relentlessness work, but what is life without a little craziness?

I forgot to STOP my workout right after I crossed the finish line b/c the lady jumped me and took my bib's bottom.  She could've waited a little, she came out of f-ing nowhere!  I was about to punch her, she scared me.

Anyway, point is, I'm going to start weight lifting.  I know, long story short point.  Seriously, this is the "next step."  I'm hitting on an Eureka! moment right now, it's been a crazy week.

START line, it's the simplest races that are the best.

Oh, yeah, my time!  I made it in 29:18, though the race doesn't chip time.  So it was more like 29:26 for them?  I used my Garmin but like I said, the stupid lady distracted me and I didn't press STOP as soon as I crossed the line.  Whatever, new PR!

Friday, May 25, 2012


While googling a recipe for "vegan oatmeal microwave cookie," I ended up reading Slim Down U's Living for Today post.  I'm always living in another time, whether it be the past (abandonment issues, etc.) or the future (career, weight, happiness, anxiety), but very rarely do I ever focus on what's really going on.  I never just get back to the moment and truly enjoy it.

But that's why I run.  When you're out there, iPod/running buddy/jogging stroller or not, you are by yourself and your body.  The real body you have, not the one you want or used to have.  You can't just escape that moment, the pain and determination grab on to you and don't let go.  I want every moment to be that intense, full of passion, indecision, determination, love and pain.  I want my life to be used up when I leave this world.  I don't want to feel like I was too afraid or indecisive to do something.  I don't want to regret anything anymore.

I don't know why I'm starting another blog.  I've already deleted four and each one has had a collection of bad moments. I don't want to worry about those, they're gone and have done what they were supposed to do.  I'm done with those memories and worries.  I want to continue this new outlook of life.  I want to take a mental picture of every moment and enjoy the good part of it.  There's always something worth remembering.

That being said, check it.  This is my first run with my two kids in the stroller we bought on Craigslist.  Double jogging stroller for double the fun!

May 25th, 2012

Amiright?  We were gliding along.  I couldn't control my pace, I was just so glad to be out there enjoying the weather and not having to rush back b/c someone was watching the kids.

I thanked God I could share my passion with them.  I never talk to God, but sometimes you just have to.  It was a perfect evening, we were all tired when we got back.

No run tomorrow, I have the Run for Wellness 5K Series race on Sunday morning. I want to beat my old time of 32:10.  I think I will, just to start my week with a Kick Ass Moment, also referred to as a KAM.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chupacabra de Houston 10K - Race Recap

The bridge right at the start and right before getting to safety
at the end of race :]

Race: Chupacabra de Houston 10 K
Date: May 12, 2012 @ 8:30 p.m.
Distance: 10K
Time: 1:13:28.5
Average Pace: 11:49
Overall Place: 214
Course Map:

Check out the two cemeteries!  I didn't find out about these until today...

This was my first trail race ever.  It was also the first one done at night, in the middle of nowhere, wearing a head light and the wrong shoes.  I am very lucky I didn't twist anything or get eaten by some random wildlife.  I was so happy when I started, then I hit some mud and then I almost hit a trunk that came out of nowhere.  I finished faster than I thought I would and beat my old 10K time (1:20something).  I was scared, it fueled me like nothing else.

From my weight loss blog:

"Mud!" "Hole!" "Branch!"  

Seriously, that's all I could hear on the run. It was muddy around 20% of the trail and I mean that you could've-lost-a-shoe muddy. It was CRAZY! It was like... I must imagine this is why we all still run today, there is something so primal about it. Just following a pack. It didn't rain (YAY) but trail running, I learned, is for hardcore people only. No wimps allowed.

People were so awesome, e/one kept an eye out for people who either fell or tripped. I felt safe, until I got ahead of the slowish group and behind the faster group. It sucked, I had to choose which group I wanted to race with (not enough light to light up the path by myself) and well, I chose the faster group. I paced and kept my eyes on the path as much as possible but come on, you have to take a look and wonder what's hiding in the complete darkness on both sides of the path. Nothing good!

I finished in 1:13:03, I was so happy I finished. I passed a couple of people right at the end. I was just so happy it was over! My shoes are not made to run on trails over roots and around pot holes. They are super muddy and my right ankle is cranky. I had around 15 chances to twist it but was being looked over by the running gods. Woot.

I have my splits, b/c I finally got it right on my Garmin. I created a workout with no target, just with 6 laps (1 mi each). It was easy and saved me having to press LAP when I passed a marker. Although it would've been nice to hit LAP after each sign. The race was great. My friends and I agreed we'd do it together next year. We each went our way, I'm glad. It was our own experience, I just kept thinking, "THIS IS SO F-ING AWE-SOME!!!! I have to do this e/night!" Then mile 3 came around and I thought I was crazy. 3 miles of mud shut me up.

Anyway, laps and then shower. We just got home, we're pooped and muddy. We're like Amazonian women, ready to kick some ass! My other 10K time was around 1:29:something. I beat that!

Here are my splits, it was the first race using my Garmin watch.  It was the awesomest race ever, I'll be there next year!  No pictures b/c I had no where to keep my camera :(

There were SO many people on the first mile

Here are the restrooms/showers.  There were killer moths in there.

Yeaaaahhh, this is when we realized we were completely unprepared for trail running.

We didn't spots any snakes, *whew*  And yes, I'm signing up for next year's as soon as it is posted on their Facebook page!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo 5K Run - Race Recap

Race: Cinco de Mayo 5K Run
Date: May 5, 2012 @ 7:30 a.m.
Distance: 5K
Time: 32:14
Average Pace: 10:23
Course Map:

It seemed endless.

Well, it was one of "learned something new today" type of races. Let me share, bullet point sty-lah!
ALWAYS put your clothes out for yourself the night before so you can sneak out (Ninja style) out of your home w/o waking up your little ones. 
  •  I was wearing a pair of shorts I hadn't worn in a long time and while walking around my home, they started sliding off. I changed after I found my normal shorts in the laundry room.
  • Make sure you ignore the rules about no head phones (ok, not if you're racing in the streets) because e/one else will be wearing theirs and you'll feel completely out of place without music when that's all you train with...
  • Make sure you turn on your HRM before the race to make sure the transmitter is working and in the right place. I didn't and I ended up with no reading so I just turned it off.
How cool is this shirt??
Besides this greatly beneficial learning experience, the race was pretty awesome. The runners were mostly from three running clubs and they were all wearing matching shirts, so I kind of stood out in mine... My mom and I ended up taking a picture with the Mariachis! He let me hold his guitar, :]