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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Goat cheese, oh my!

Happy Saturday, all. My Daniel just returned from Los Angelos, but hat to work this morning. But i am keeping busy with cleaning the house, and a trip to the Farmers Market.

The pluots and peaches are amazing.

I have goat cheese and tomatoes from my garden, so i bought a fresh baquette. It was so soft.

I sliced the bread. Drizzled with olive oil, and topped with tomato and goat cheese and baked at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Sliced a peach and breakfast lunch is served. The goat cheese is amazing. Who knew?

The day is young and i am missing my partner in crime. Perhaps a bike ride will cheer me up.

I think we are going dancing tonight... It all depends what time daniel gets home. Everyone have a great day and if you haven't jumped on the goat cheese wagon. I suggest you do.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

5 mile Urban Hike through Mid-town


How are you?  I wanted to share my pictures from last night's "meet up" with Hikers and Company.  I found myself looking for excuses not to attend around 4 pm. Thank goodness I posted it on the blog. By doing that, I felt I MUST COMMIT. And so I did.

I was nervous.  Most of the persons in the group were probably over 50 years of age but there were a few younger folks as well. Isn't it funny how some people are just more friendly than others?  I am not overly friendly. I always find it difficult to approach someone and just start up a conversation.  So tonight was a step forward in pushing my comfort zone. We met up at Vallejo's restaurant on 4th & R Street. Walked towards Broadway and Riverside arriving at the Old City Cemetary.

Our guide was pretty animated.  During one of our stops, the guide stopped by an office building. Turns out, he is a co-worker of my daughter and sister.  Small world, right?

This cemetary has so much history.  Many Sacramento founders are found here like John Sutter, members of the Crocker family.  Charles Crocker constructed the transcontinental railroad.  I found myself walking through the cemetary and saying the names out loud of the various people resting here. Imagine, it's been years since their loved ones visited and said their names. I've always said I wanted to be cremated but I think I may change my mind. I was touched by the care of the  headstones here and how it was proof that someone lived.

I thought of my mother. It's been 27 years, and I have only visited it maybe 5 times. It's painful to be there, but she deserves to be remembered.  I must visit and say her name out loud.

I was feeling great on this Urban Hike.  I'm one of  handful of persons who constantly keep pace and are up front.  How's that for endurance?  This is a serious group of 35.   Oh, can you tell I haven't been sleeping lately?  Got any recommendations for dark circles?

After leaving the cemetary, we head back down towards the State Capitol.  I wish I had a decent camera because the architecture in mid-town is so interesting.  Just look at this old warehouse near the railroad crossing on R Street.  I think the arch is made from the Railroad.  These older buildings have been turned into a complex of restaurants and art places.

And the art deco signage... Wow... I was lucky to get this shot with my cell phone.  I love these old signs.  It's a great picture given the lighting and the time of night. 

Mixed drinks anyone?

I need that camera ASAP.  When we arrived to the State Capitol building, I was amazed at how beautiful it looked all lit up.  We visited a Vietnam memorial. I couldn't believe how young the men were when they died. Many in their 20s.  I've been to the capitol many times and never visited the various monuments around.

I spoke with a co-worker today and suggested we take our international students arriving for our exchange programs on this urban hike. It's a great 'touristy-like' way to see Sacramento and marvel at it's history.

I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. This group meets twice a week.  I'm telling you it was a great way to spend my evening while Daniel is working out of town.  It beats sitting on the couch or on the computer.

The Hike and tour took us 2 hours to complete.  Many stayed at the restaurant for drinks but seeing it was 8 p.m., I came home, roasted veggies and ate while watching Dancing with the Stars.

It was a good night. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

steppin out of my comfort zone, again.

That has been my theme this year... doing that what makes me uncomfortable and challenges me.  I made the conscous decision to "move things around" at work. My job is now more challenging.  I have to think harder and apply myself. Step up my game.

I challenged myself by climbing a mountain. This time, reaching  higher and proving that I am cable of almost anything. I completed the Foam Fest despite my fear of heights.  I am strong.

Today, I read an email from a "meet up" group that I once wanted to join.  Today, they're meeting for a 5 mile Urban Walk to the Old City Cememtary.  This morning, as I readied for work. I grabbed my clothes, shoes, and my back pack. 

Can I meet this group of strangers and join them in such an interesting activity?  Why  not?

Wish me luck all.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Enchilada sauce faill

Or is it?

My tomato plants continue to produce. I picked a handful and cooked 5 tomatoes with 3 dried Guajillo peppers. Once they were tender, I blended with salt, garlic and my last flour tortilla.  It did not want to throw it out so I decided to use it in my sauce. Traditionally, you would make heat oil in a skillet, add flour and make a rue before adding tomato mixture.  Today I'm just having fun.  And truthfully, I've run out of ways of using these tomatoes.

Immediately, I realized i should have used half the tortilla. live and learn.

I cooked a couple of chicken breast, grated some pepper jack cheese and began to assemble my enchilladas. A traditional recipe requires you to heat the skillet with oil, dip the tortilla, then bath in the sauce, fill and roll. Instead of tradition, I nuked my tortillas in the microwave until they were pliable.  Then dipped in sauce, etc.

They are done and well, it's time to taste-test.

I should not have used the entire flour tortilla for this experiment.  Instead, I should have used maybe half or 1/4.  The sauce was too thick.   Hmmm, now what to do with the extra sauce?
 I do hate to waste food.

I think this sauce would add an extra layer of flavor to say pork. Yes, I'll freeze and save to use in a crock pot recipe.  Certainly cooking in a crock pot with either pork or chicken will thin it out.

So while this recipe was not a success, it was not a fail either.

Freezer it goes.

Hmmm, now what to do with these green tomatoes, bell pepper and wax peppers?  Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

portions at Noodle & Company

Day #3 leveraging my lunch hour.  I walked 2 miles to the park and back and then grabbed a salad to eat at my desk. It was a casual walk but felt wonderful to be out in the crisp air. There is hint that Fall is just around the corner. Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year.

Can I share something with  you? Last night, I was on my own for dinner and decided to hit up Noodles & Company. I was confused as to what to order and I half-heartedly decided on the penne rosa.  It's been ages since I've eaten pasta.

I was pretty hungry and ate the entire serving. It was delicious. For some reason, it takes awhile for my brain to tell my stomach that I'm full.  I'm becoming  more consciuos of it. And I'll tell you why in a moment.  Because Noodles & Company is right next to Pink Berry, I decided to get a very small serving of yogurt as a dessert.  I regretted not saving 1/2 of my pasta for the next day. Darn it. If I had eaten 1/2 this serving, then having the small dessert would have been perfect. I can be a glutten at times.  Can you relate?

I had my small kid serving of yogurt with granola topping.  It was delightful. Just enough. Then, during my walk back to my car, it HIT ME. I felt miserably full.  It was only 6:30 pm.  I went to sleep at 11 pm because I was still incredibly uncomfortable.  I could not sleep.  I woke up twice in the middle of the night feeling the gut bomb still in my stomache..

Come morning, that fullness stayed with me. I would not eat breakfast until 10:45 because I was still  uncomfortable.
While I was at Noodle & Company. I watched others be served bowls of pasta similar in size. I think this was a regular.  I never asked for a large.  Obviously, the yogurt was over- kill. But I'm still  pondering the serving size of my pasta.  

Do you think my pasta was a reasonable serving?  

Being that full was a miserable feeling.  I will definitely be more conscious of the "delay in feeling full" in the future.

Have you been to Noodles and Company?  What do you think about their servings and does your stomache take longer to tell your brain you're full or is it the other way around? 

I remain,

Confused in Sacramento

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dear Paula,

Today is Day #2 using your lunch hour for workouts.  Doesn't it fell good to be using your hour constructively. Just keep it up. Remember that it takes 6 weeks for a habit to form.  Try to make this a priority again. 

Oh and please, do not read too much into your co-worker's question earlier today: "You still doing zumba and working out?" Yes, the scale has gone up in the last 8 months. It's just 6 pounds. I know. I know... I've got to get a handle on it so don't freak out. You're working on it.  No need to be super sensitive. You will never go back to 225 lbs. 

So when your friend asked you the question. I know you wanted to shout: WHY, CAN YOU TELL I'VE GAINED WEIGHT? DOES IT SHOW?

Easy paula. It's just a question. No need to PROJECT. Just stay focused.

QUESTION:  Can you relate to my thoughts?  How do you "process" the question when someone asks you if you're still working out?  Do you begin to project your fears and worries?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mondays are rough, don't you think? Sure could use another day to relax.

Today i was able to walk 2 miles at noon which felt great. It made my day go by quickly. Forgot my lunch so i ate a bael with peanut butter. Not the best lunch but it was what i had in the office.

After work, i had my zumba class. Came home and craved greens.

I diced tomatoes from the garden. Diced a large portabella mushroom. Cooked in some olive oil, added salt and pepper then cooked until soft.

I added the mixture to fresh greens and topped with feta cheese. This meal was so satisfying. I think my body craves fresh veggies. Feels nice when i can pull together a quick meal.

Well, i better shower. I am looking forward to watching the pilot The Mob Doctor.

Do you look forward to the new fall shows on TV?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I friends. How is your Saturday? My Daniel is working today and so i am spending a lovely day just being. I attended my granddaughters soccer game. Went out for lunch. Did laundry. Got a pedicure and shopped for jeans for Daniel.

I even had time to pick peppers from the garden and make stuffed peppers.


I can't wait to taste them when Daniel gets home.

I am very proud of self today. Not just because i got so much done but because instead of getting ice cream like i wanted, instead i opted for this

Delicious mango with tajin.

Un sabado perfecto. Perfect Saturday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Geez, it's Wednesday already. Don't you love it when the weekend rolls by quickly?

I'm happy to report that the soreness in my body has left me.  Doing my "hard zumba" class last night felt great. After class, I came home and made a salad and ate the left over sirloin I made a few days earlier.  I've been using MyfitnessPal to enter my eats and I must say, I can see how I've gained 7 pounds in the last 8 months.  I'm eating more and exercising less.  Gone are my lunch hour workouts. It's so busy at work, but I need to get a handle on it and soon.

Portion control is THE HARDEST thing for me. , I need to tackle it and now.  MyfitnessPal helps will help in monitoring my carb intake.  I'll continue with that for a bit and see where it takes me.  I realize this statement is "passive" and not "decisive."  I want to refrain from thoughts of I'M GIVING UP BREAD, or I WILL EAT 1200 CALORIES A DAY.  I realize in order to lose 1 lb. a week, I  need to a 500 calorie deficit a day.  Eating less will be difficult but doable, right? First I have to see where I can cut.  I am also reading SASS YOURSELF SLIM.  Hopefully, this book will give me some useful ideas and food combos to jump start things. 

If I can say this:  My life is pleasant and happy and my weight does not completely hold me back from enjoying life.  However, I gotta tell you seeing my pictures in the Foam Fest really messed with my head. Why can't I look cute in workout clothes?  That kind of thinking is rough... I don't want it to take away my accomplishment of that day. Facing my fear of  heights is huge.  But all I see in the photos is  how fat I am.... stinkin thinkin again. okay, okay, I'll move on.

With that said... I want to show you what I'm doing with all those tomatoes from the garden.

charred tomatoes and serano peppers
Making Salsa, again.  This time,  I'm charring the tomatoes and serano peppers. Then taking my molcajete, smashing a glove of galic using my stone, adding the tomatoes, then peppers, a little water and some salt. 

It sure tasted good over eggs.

 I now have plenty of salsa in my freezer. I'm thinking next, I'll do spaghetti sauce.  Just need to search the internet for an easy recipe.

Well, my break is over and I gotta get back to work. Hope your day is awesome... 

Monday, September 10, 2012

time of my life

It's been 2 days since the Foam Fest and I am still sore and bruised.  It was a blast. I cannot believe I did every obstacle. The obstacle below was one of two obstacles that proved most challenging because of my scare of  heights.  When I reached the top, I couldn't figure how to climb over. I was afraid of falling over. I even said "I can't make it."  The young girl below me talked me through the climb. She suggested I lay my body over t he medal and then lift my lef over, sliding me feet onto a rop, holding onto the medal bar. It worked and next thing I know, I'm climbing down. I felt triumphant.  My heart was racing.  My youngest daughter decided not to do it. She said she was over thinking the process too much so opted out.  I was secretly glad.  I couldn't climb that thing and worry about her too.

Before the obstacle above, there was a 50 foot drop slide. Going up was scary but when you reached the top of the slide, I noticed it went STRAIGHT DOWN. There was no where else to go but down so I closed my eyes and just let myself fall.  It was thrilling and scary all at one.

None of us took our camera for fear it would get ruined, but we did snap some pictures afterwards.

My youngest Sabrina and I after receivig our meals
Sabrina finishing the foam race

My daughter Jessica finishing

This is my favorite picture of the event. Me and my two daughters.
I am so lucky to have been able to do this event with my girls.  I wanted something to mark my 50th year and this event did just that... It felt great when my youngest said "mom, did you think at 30 that you'd be doing this at 50?" I was like NO WAY. 

 Today I faced my fear of heights.  I completed an obstacle course. I can't believe how confident I felt after climbing the third wall. Of course, the walls had space to lodge your feet and climb up.  I was afraid the walls were more military-like. I thanked God as I finished the run. I thanked him for good health and the ability to participate.

I felt truly present and alive.  And in that moment, all the glory when to God. 
Victory is Mine!!
 I was feeling so triumphant after receiving my medal.  It was a blast to have done this event.  It took us 1.2  hours to finish. It's difficult to run when your clothes are wet and muddy.  And, not to make excuses, we did have to wait in line to do some of the courses. My niece finished in 1 hour.

I'm okay with our time.  It worked out great my girls and my grandson did the obstacle courses together. I feel very proud to have completed the run. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dinner on the fly

Just wanted to drop in and share my quick dinner using fresh veggies from my garden and left over shrimp. I can eat tostadas "guilt free" by letting the corn tortillas warn on the comal until they are golden crisp.

- There is real satisfaction using fresh ingredients, don't you think?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

will you share?

Hi friends, are  you glad it's Friday? I sure am. Picked up my bib last night for the Foam Fest. I'm excited for the challenge and super excited that I'm sharing this experience with my daughters and neice. I love the idea of creating memories in this fashion.

I jumped on the scale today. It read 178.5. I'm down 1 pound.  I can certainly do better about my eating and for motivation, I downloaded the book Sass yourself slim.  I don't normally read these types of books but I need to get fired up about my eating.  Eating right 80% of the time has been THE most challenging on this journey to good health.

I am finding myself getting bored with my salads and meals so I figured I'd read the book for inspiration and motivation.  I also wanted to ask for your help.  If you have a healthy "go-to" meal that you prepare after a longs days work or a great salad that you take to work, would you share that with me?  I am visiual and was hoping you would email me a picture of your meal.  You can send it to 

I'd love to recreate them and post them here.  Seeing your pictures just might spark excited about eating healthy meals instead of sushi and tacos.

Gotta run guys, I hope you have an awesome day. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Game On!!

Thank you Enz for the support you've given me these past weeks.  It's much appreciated.

I came home from work and had my salad and a slice of whole wheat toast. The foam fest is days away and I've yet to run 3.2 miles.  I logged onto facebook and read a timeline of my friend's 26 year old daughter. She is an avid hiker and there were pictures of her on Mt. Tallac. She made the summit and was standing straight up on that rock.  The one where I did not make it. I know it was raining. I know there could have been lightening and most of all, I let my fear of slipping and heights rob me of that moment.

I was stewing and thinking PAULA WHY DID YOU WAIT SO LONG TO GET ACTIVE.  You would have dominated that mountain at 26.  Now, I know it's silly to feel this way but it's a real sentiment that I had to acknowledge.  It got me fired up enough to go for my 3 mile run.

I was at mile 2 and a car passed and a woman stuck her body out of the passenger window and shouted "GO... YOU GOT THIS. GAME ON!!!".  It was just what I needed. I did 3 miles easy-peazy. I think I could have gone on a little further. It felt wonderful that I got the run out of the way.

I am not sure if I can climb an 8 foot wall.  I am not sure that can jump inner-tubes in the water but I am sure as hell going to try. I'm going to remember this complete stranger's words as I give it my all next Saturday.

I will remember this night. How a complete stranger and my jealousy fueled me on to get things done.

If you are reading this post and have kicked yourself in the butt for not getting active earlier... please don't.  Let it be catalyst for getting out there and trying something outside your comfort zone.  Age is a stage of mind yes and while our bodies do have physical limits, our soul and spirit do not.

Si se puede!!!


I'm not ready....

In 4 days, I will be doing an obstacle course. I'm  not ready!!!!

Calm down paula.  There will be walls.  If you can't climb them. You will at least try.  You will do your best and you know what? You're a winner for just signing up.

Now put on your running shoes and try for 3 miles tonight.  Then do a zumba class on Thursday and walk on Friday. It's all good. You'll see.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello friends, had a wonderful and relaxing weekend at a timeshare in South Lake Tahoe. Just look at the view from my room.

We visited Emerald Bay, which i have hiked a few times. The scenery is amazing.


Something about nature relaxes me and makes me so happy

Daniel and my friend diane find it hard to believe that i climbed Mt Tallac even though i showed them pictures. That is okay, i know i did it.

August has been wonderful. I have thoroughly challenged self and that makes turning half a century easier.

There was a moment while relaxing in the hot tub and there was a full moon and i had to stop to listen to the wolves howl. It was magnificent. I rode the Gondola at Heavenly Valley but that is a separate post.

One morning, i took a bath here. It felt luxurious. I will definitely look into purchasing a time share here.

On our return home we drove to Carson City. Isn't this rock tunnel amazing?

I am home now and just picked tomatoes from my garden.

I am thinking i will make a batch of salsa and freeze.

Feeling so content. How about you? Are you enjoying your three day weekend? Love to hear how you treated yourself.