Comfortable as a pig in mud

June 26, 2009

The rain came a couple of days ago and we have been experiencing cooler than normal temperatures – not humid and VERY welcome.

Paul and I went to a hotel in Nuevo Mazatlán for an overnight for Paul’s birthday.  We had a nice time swimming and lounging around the pool and had a very good dinner. But it was quite a shock to hear so much English spoken, as every waiter or bell boy spoke perfect English.  I think the best part was the bed…it was a king size with a feather bed topper.  Ours at home is just too hard!  It was fun to get away but I think next time we’ll go somewhere way off the beaten path.

We had a housesitter stay at the house while we were gone, and it worked out really well.  So we now have options if we want to get away, and options are always a good thing.

Paul has made arrangements to go to intensive Spanish classes in Guadalajara for two weeks.  He’ll be living with a Mexican family, and he is really hoping that this will be the boost he needs.  His Spanish is quite good and he has a very good accent, but his comprehension continues to be a problem.  He is going to scope out whether I would be able to have my vegetarian diet accommodated, and if so, I will probably go in the fall.

I think it will be kind of nice to have a little time apart – we’ll probably appreciate each other more when we are reunited.

The blog has had an unexpected benefit for me this week.  A woman who has been visiting Maz for years was making a trip down from Canada and offered to bring yarn for me if I wanted to make an order at her local yarn shop.  I hesitated for all of one second and am now the happy owner of the yarn, below.  Plus we had a nice visit and learned that she and her husband and another couple just signed the papers on a home near us in Mazatlán. They are really nice people, I hope to get to know them better.

I am doing pretty well with the weight loss and exercise.  I set a really aggressive dieting regime for myself at first that I have kind of backed off from, but I am feeling very good about my progress.  I have not been weighing myself but my clothes fit a bit looser.  I’ll weigh myself on Sunday and may or may not report in!

I have really been enjoying the exercise.  I get going with the iPod on my high energy music, and most days go for a half hour.  By that point I am dripping from my head to my toes.  I never knew my calves could sweat!  I tried the Zumba dvds I have again and think I am hopeless with the dancing, but it is a lot of fun.  Right now I am downloading (thanks, bit torrent) Tae Bo and Callanetics, two exercise programs I used to have years ago and really liked.  I have discovered that if I don’t have cardio around five times I week I feel off.

I guess this post has turned into a hodge-podge, but one last thing that is great is I am going to make spring rolls!  I got so excited after reading Theresa’s post, and I have finally located all the ingredients!  I finally found the asian food store I had heard about (Toyo Foods, on Benito Juarez between 16 de Septiembre and the malecon) and they had the spring roll wrappers I needed.  I also bought jasmine rice and several sauces.  Yahoo!

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. I like reading your hodge podge … congrats on the exercise regimen!!

    1. There’s an Asian store in Maz? Oh, darn, now I really wish I was going to be there! But I guess the guys are going to make this a fast turnaround trip. I’d love to see your recipe for spring rolls.

    1. AMM, Thanks! For me the first week of an exercise regimen is the hardest, after that I am sort of addicted!

      1st Mate, Follow the link to Theresa’s cooking blog for the recipe!

    1. I didn’t know calves could sweat either 🙂 I must not be doing it right. Good for you on keeping it going.

      I also copied Teresa’s recipe but haven’t corraled all the ingredients yet….but am will tit eventually. Let us know how yours turn out.

      Here’s a very filling recipe from “Biggest Looser Cookbook”. I’ve made it with both ground chicken and ground beef — much prefer the ground beef….as it goes better with Picante sauce 🙂


      Olive Oil Spray

      8 slices center-cut bacon, cut into 2″ pieces

      1-1/4 cups minced yellow onion

      1 cup uncooked instant brown rice

      6 cups shredded green cabbage

      1-1/2 lbs extra-lean chicken breast or 96% lean ground beef (but not turkey breast)

      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp ground black pepper

      2 (8 oz) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce

      3/4 cup water

      Hot sauce, to taste (optional)


      Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly spray an 8″ X 8″ X 4″ deep oven proof glass or ceramic casserole or baking dish with the olive oil spray. Line a dinner plate with a paper towel.

      Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the bacon is cooked and starting to crisp on the edges. Transfer the bacon to the lined plate. Discard all but 1 TBSP of the bacon fat from skillet.

      Add onions and rice to skillet and place over medium heat. Cook in bacon fat, stirring, until the onions are tender and the rice is just starting to brown ( 3-5 minutes).

      Spread 3 cups of cabbage in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with the rice mixture, forming an even layer.

      Add the chicken (or beef) salt, and pepper to the skillet and place over medium-high heat. Cook chicken/beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon , but leaving some large chunks, until no longer pink (3 – 5 minutes). With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken/beef to the casserole dish to form another even layer. Spread the remaining 3 cups cabbage over the chicken/beef.

      Discard any liquid from the skillet and add the tomato sauce and water. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. With a ladle or large spoon, carefully spoon sauce evenly over the casserole, being sure the dish doesn’t overflow. Lay the bacon pieces evenly on top the cabbage.

      Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, or until the cabbage and rice are tender and the strata is heated through. Let stand 5 minutes to set. Cut into 6 equal pieces and serve with hot sauce on the side if desired.

      Makes 6 servings Per serving: Carbs = 20, Cals = 271, Prot = 32

      (Most of the servings in recipes I’ve tried from this Biggest Loser Cookbook can reasonably be cut in half – so the numbers would be halved also).

      Since my husband doesn’t like cooked cabbage, I let casserole cool, then dish it out into 1 cup Glad containers for freezing – then reheat them a serving at a time in the microwave.

    1. Hey there. I am glad you had a good night with Paul. Those nights out are so nice. I think the Spanish program is going to be great. I really need to get cracking on mine too.

      Good for you on the workouts. I am trying but am such a slacker. I really need to get better. But I love yoga on the beach so I have been doing that. Now I just need to get an ipod for the long bike ride.

      That was really nice of that woman to bring you some yarn. Isn’t that nice. I have someone bringing me Thai Chili Sauce next week. I am so excited. It is so sweet what people will do without having even meeting you in person.

      PS- I LOVE that little pig!

    1. Real yarn. Oh My! I have experienced the incredible kindness of total strangers via my Blog and it is a tremendous feeling.

    1. Good for you Nancy with the exercise and diet. I so need to lose some weight. You will be an inspiration to me. I don’t like myself at this weight. As I recall, when you make a pledge to do something you do it! I am surprised Mazatlan has been cool . We never had that in Nayarit though today here in SC it seems cooler than yesterday (but not comfortable). Couldn’t agree more that time apart is always good. Too bad you can’t go too. Bruce and I have been to Cuernavaca, had different teachers and we had a fantastic experience. I’m still struggling with my Spanish but it’s on my list of top things to do!

    1. Mindy, We had a nice time out, sometimes just getting out of your habits is all you need. And the exercise…it is funny how addicted to it I am. I had two days where I didn’t exercise and I felt out of sorts. But a big part of it is the ipod. I have a playlist with all the upbeat stuff and it really keeps me going.

      Islagringo, You are so right about the incredible kindnesses…people are so nice. There is a funny story about the lady with the yarn, though. She wrote me a kind of curt email asking about yarn stores in Mazatlan and saying she didn’t have time to look through my site. I don’t know why I was so cranky but for some reason I was a teeeeeensy bit short in my reply to her. She felt so bad when all she had to do is click Labels-knitting that I think that’s what prompted her to offer. She is so nice, I am sure we will be friends when they are here (almost) full time.

      Jan, In order to keep on my food and exercise routine, I keep telling myself that the next six months are going to pass whether I do anything about my weight or not. And wouldn’t it be great to have an achievement under my belt? (As well as to tuck in my shirt?) I am not going to Guadalajara on purpose, I need to take care of the critters and house, plus we would talk English to each other! So my turn will come. It was cool again today (that is about 84 to 88 but not much humidity) but we know it is only a cool spell. I think SC usually is warmer than we are though. Let’s get together sometime! xo

    1. Hi Nancy

      I’m jelous of the new exercise routine. I’m still at the procrastinating stage…good luck

    1. Nancy, I would love to see you. I’m getting better dealing with Bruce’s issue – I’m over the depression so I think I could manage a little trip. I really miss you!

    1. That’s some pig! And if you ever need another housesitter, I’m free… 🙂

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