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    I'm Lauren and this is a blog dedicated to living life with a healthy balance. I love to run, strength train, bike and just be downright active. I'm a marathoner as of April 24, 2010 and am currently looking forward to qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

    I absolutely love to eat and enjoy great food but doing it all in moderation. You'll see healthy, organic foods on here frequently but you'll also run into things such as pizza and sweets. I believe you can have it all... just not all at once.

    I'm always learning and discovering new foods, recipes, workouts and ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Join me on my journey towards becoming my healthiest self.

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Nostalgic

We just ate lunch which means we’re almost half-way home. We’ve had a great weekend buy I can’t wait to be back home.

The father-in-law was sweet enough to stop at Subway for me to grab some lunch since him and the hubs was headed for some ribs and bread.

I’ve been wanting to try their veggie delight sub for a while now but seem to always revert back to my usual Black Forest Ham. So I decided to finally take the plunge and order one. I guess I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough substance to sustain me without the meat. I piled it high with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, black olives, banana peppers and mustard on top of whole wheat bread.

Baked BBQ Lay’s on the side of course.

I absolutely will order this again and again. I loved it and didn’t feel deprived of meat at all. I loved eating all those veggies!

We headed right on over to the boys stop, Dreamland BBQ. This is a place well known for their ribs and the hubs has had a hankering for it. I’m so glad he got his craving fulfilled.

I didn’t get any pictures of their slab of ribs and white bread for sauce dipping. I’m pretty sure if I would’ve tried to get a picture I would’ve gotten my hand slapped. Those ribs were demolished in 5 minutes flat. Those Watson men can eat!

I may have ordered a single serving of banana pudding. 🙂 I love some good ole Southern made banana pudding. Yum yum! Perfect little serving size.

We’re headed a few miles up the road to grab our car from Chad’s other grandmother’s house and we’ll be on the home stretch to Louisville. Can’t wait to see my kitty babies upon our arrival. I’ve missed those snugglers! See you later tonight!

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A Perfect Start

Breakfast, once again, was perfect. Love this hotel!! Kudos for providing healthy options! We’ll definitely stay here again when we come back to Baton Rouge.

This morning I had fruit, of course! And Yoplait light strawberry topped with granola and a side of whole wheat toast.

This morning I also tried an English muffin for the first time. I put a piece of bacon and scrambled eggs in between the muffin. Yum!!

I ate all my fruit, half of my yogurt and half of my English muffin.

I even tried a coupe of pastries. I ate a couple bites out of each one. A blueberry scone (another first for me), blueberry muffin and some other kind of muffin.

I almost forgot. I was going to treat myself to a big fresh waffle this morning but they were only making omelets, pancakes and French toast to order. So I stole a bite of the hubs pancakes.

Alright, we’re off to hit the road for 13 hours or so of driving! I’ll be posting along the way with lunch and dinner extravaganzas. Hope you all have a great Sunday!

What A Day

And what a day it has been.  After I left you all earlier, I headed for a ten mile run.  I decided to run on the dreadmill treadmill at the hotel gym instead of running along the river.  I felt better in my heart about it since there weren’t many people out and about this morning.  I love to run outside but I don’t want to be unsafe either.  Especially since it’s an area and city I don’t really know.

The hubs popped in on me and I decided to end my run at 5 miles and us walk to the local farmer’s market down the street instead.

I forgot how hard it is to run on a treadmill.  I was literally dripping with sweat due to not having an outside breeze.  The monotony of the treadmill doesn’t help things either but I like being able to up my pace easily and push myself hard.

I love they had fresh towels and bottles of water for us in the gym.  Have I mentioned how much I love this hotel?!

We walked to the farmer’s market and I loved it.  We’ve never been to a farmer’s market before and I can’t believe the first one we went to was in a whole other state and city!  Louisville has a great farmer’s market from what we hear and we will definitely be frequenting it this year!!

Lots of fresh strawberries, veggies, and herbs.

We didn’t buy anything just because we didn’t want to have to worry about it on the 13 hour drive back home but I can’t wait to go to our farmer’s market at home!!

It was time to get ready to head to Grandmother Watson’s surprise party before we knew it.  We arrived and I immediately snapped pictures of the food before everyone arrived so I wouldn’t get so many weird looks on why I was snapping pictures of food.  🙂

Fruits and veggies!

The cake!!

They were serving fried duck as a starter while we were waiting.  I tried one tiny piece.  Not my cup of tea.

One half of the spread.  Fried chicken legs and fried catfish.  I had one piece of fried catfish.

Deviled Eggs, Chicken Salad on croissants and the fried duck.

The other half of the spread.  Fresh salad and crawfish etouffee (which is a classic Louisiana dish).

Grandmother Watson finally arrived and we were so excited!  I haven’t seen her in over a year so I couldn’t wait to get some Grandmother loving!  Isn’t she the cutest?!

Hugging on her grandson (aka: my hubs)

The sweetest woman ever.  I love her.  And am thankful to be a part of the Watson family.

Here’s my plate.  Lots of salad (I ended up having two helpings), a tad bit of crawfish etouffee, a piece of fried catfish, lots of fruit, deviled eggs (I ended up eating a couple), and a slice of the chicken salad on the croissant.

They also had this shrimp dip with some amazing crackers that I snacked on later.  So good!!  No picture though.  Sorry!

Cake came a little while later.

Four of the Watson men sang Grandmother a song for her birthday.  It was too terribly sweet because it was like a little barber shop quartet.

Cousin Brian, Uncle Charley, Father-in-law Tom and the Hubs.

It was a big hit!  Lots of family pictures afterwards.

The kids.  Charley, Grandmother, D’An and Tom.

The grandkids.

Grandkids plus grandkids by marriage.

The hubs and I.

My in-laws.

The original three.

A picture with Grandmother of course.

We ended up heading over to Grandmother’s and hung out for a little while with the family before we headed back to our hotel.

I immediately put on my running gear so I could hit the treadmill again.

I pounded out 3.5 miles and decided it was time for a walk around downtown and maybe some dinner along the way.

We headed out and ended up walking and stopping at this place called Schlittz & Giggles.  The hubs ordered a ten inch personal size pepperoni pizza and I decided I didn’t want anything.  I was still pretty full from our late surprise lunch and I’m never that hungry after I immediately run.

I did eat one pepperoni though.  🙂  The hubs practically force fed it to me.  He gets worried when I turn down food, especially pizza.  You all know how much I love pizza so it was a pretty big deal that I declined.  I just wasn’t feeling it tonight and am glad I listened to my food voice instead of food noise and refrained.  I feel great and I’m getting super excited about breakfast at our hotel in the morning!  It’s going to be another early morning.  We’re waking up at 5:30 to head down to breakfast at 6 and then we’re hitting the road by 7 a.m.!  It’s going to be another long day of traveling but worth it because there is no place like home.

Hope you all had a great Saturday!  See you after breakfast hopefully!  I’m thinking I might splurge and order a made to order waffle or pancakes.  We shall see!

Do you like running on the treadmill or outside?

I’m definitely an outside runner!!

Breakfast Done Right

Before I get to the title of this blog I need to catch you all up on last night.  We had a great time with our cousins.  We went to dinner right across the street from our hotel, The Capital Grille and had a great dinner.  I decided to order a variety so I could sample and taste all without going overboard or feeling pressure to eat it all.

We ordered their garden fresh salsa to start.

I ate two small plate fulls like what you see below.  I loved the chunkiness of the salsa with all the tomatoes and fresh veggies.

I then ordered the crab cakes for my entree and ate 1 1/4 of them and gave the rest to the hubs.

He ordered the tenderloin salad which was greens tossed with bleu cheese crumbles, ceasar dressing, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and topped with medium cooked beef tenderloin.  I stole several bites of the salad.

After dinner we headed up to the rooftop of the building next door and ate dessert.  I split it between my cousins, Beccy and Stephanie and it was a perfect portion.  It’s called the Tsinful Tsunami and it’s a decadent rich flourless chocolate cake with a side of ice cream and berries.

Us on the rooftop.  So glad I wore long sleeves and a pashmina.  I was quite chilly.

Love the bridge in the background.  Thanks Beccy for such a great picture!

We got back to the hotel last night and were asleep before we knew it!  We were whooped from traveling all day.  I got an amazing night’s rest and woke up at 6:45 to get dressed for my 10 mile run this morning.  I got all ready to go and the hubs sort of begged me to eat breakfast with him first before going on my run because he was afraid he’d miss out on the good stuff if we didn’t get to eat it until the last hour it was open.  I obliged because I’m sweet that way and we headed downstairs.

I am not disappointed I chose to eat a good breakfast before my run at all.  This was a dream hotel breakfast!  The way it should be!

We were seated at this cute table.

And they had the most awesome buffet.  I was so pleased with all the healthy choices.  They had a whole selection of yogurts, granola, fruit, coffee cakes, breads, heart healthy cereals, eggs, sausage, omelet station, pancakes, etc.

Here’s my plate of food.  Lots of fruit, a Yoplait light strawberry yogurt topped with granola, and a piece of whole wheat toast.

I ate 3/4 of my yogurt, all my pineapple, most of my cantaloupe, a couple of blueberries and one bite of the strawberries.  The strawberries had no flavor at all.  So weird because they are in season now!  I did eat all my toast though.  I need some carbs in my system before my run!

I snagged this individual container of Kashi cereal.

I’ve been wanting to try this flavor because they sell it in bulk at Sam’s so maybe I’ll like it and we can get it in bulk!  I didn’t eat it this morning because I didn’t want too much dairy (due to adding the milk, obviously) because of my run but I’ll gladly take it home and try it this week.

I absolutely am so satisfied and feel like I’ll be fueled up for my run in a little bit!  I am more excited because we’ll eat breakfast again tomorrow and I might be splurging a little more… say one… maybe some pancakes, eggs, sausage, biscuits?  Knowing me I’ll go light again but I love they had such a great breakfast!  It makes for a great start to the day!  Alright, I’m off to digest for a little longer and then hit the pavement running!  I can’t wait until we see Grandmother today and surprise her for her birthday!!  It’s going to be a great day!  I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again but keep checking back.  You never know.  Hope you all have a great Saturday.

P.S. Can you believe that at this time in 2 weeks I will be in the midst of completing my first marathon?!  I cannot!!

What’s your ideal hotel breakfast?  Decadent items that you would normally never treat yourself to at home or healthy conscious foods?

We’re Here! We’re Here!

Alright!  We’ve finally arrived at our destination.  Where you might be asking since I’ve been sort of secretive.  We’re in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!  The great bayou. We are extremely excited to be here visiting the hubs side of the family.  We’re celebrating a very, very special lady’s 90th birthday tomorrow.  It’s a surprise party and she has no idea that her grandchildren and great-children are here!  I love it!

But before I get to anything else I’ll fill you in on the rest of the trip.  We had another 5 hour drive after I last blogged and we ended up snacking along the way, of course.  I invested in a mandarin.

A little while later I ate some trail mix.

I napped off and on during the ride.  I was exhausted from not getting a lot of sleep last night before our early wake up call.  I finally dug into a book I brought, “Naturally Thin” by Bethenny Frankel.  This is her first book and my second time reading it.  I wanted to remind myself of the practical rules of eating and balancing out my life and I think this is essential to read over and over to keep myself accountable with food.  It never hurts to remind yourself!

We finally arrived and it was onto our hotel, Hilton Baton Rouge, to take a rest break and get ready for a night out.  I was pretty hungry upon arrival so I decided instead of starving myself until dinner and then probably over indulging at dinner due to being super hungry, I  would eat a granola bar.  I tried the Carman’s fruit muesli fruit bar from the 10 mile race I picked up last week.

I liked it.  Not too big or filling to spoil my appetite but perfect to hold me over until dinner since dinner is over 2 hours away still.

Some of the hubs our cousins are meeting us at the hotel to pick us up for a night out.  We’re doing dinner and then gallivanting about the town.  I love that we are downtown and can’t wait to discover more of downtown.  I have a feeling I’m going to have a great 10 mile run tomorrow along the river and different parts of downtown.  It’ll make for a great change in scenery.

Don’t you love the room?

And the river view?

There is also a pool down below.  Doubt I’ll get any lay out time but it might be nice to read by the pool tomorrow late afternoonish.

The plans for tomorrow include a delicious buffet breakfast after my 10 mile training run (2 weeks until the big marathon!!!), getting ready and being ready to surprise Grandmother at one o’clock sharp!  Can’t wait to share fun pictures from tonight and tomorrow with you.  Hopefully, if it’s not too late, I’ll be posting later tonight.  If it’s too late and I need to crash, I’ll post tomorrow after my 10 mile run and breakfast.  Love that I have the next two full days off and with family!!  Life is good!  Hope you all had a great Friday!

Don’t you feel more relaxed when you get out of town, into a nice hotel and have great laid back plans?  I sure do and I’ve needed it for a while now!

Over Half-Way There

We’re half-way to our destination and I can’t wait to be there. We met up with Chad’s parents in Birmingham to drop our car off and hop in with them. Lunch was a quick stop on the way at Zaxby’s. I honestly had the hardest time figuring out what the best and healthiest option was to order. They had three different salads but they all had fried chicken or fried whatever on the salad so I ordered small. I went the kids menu route. I love ordering off a kids menu because it helps keep me accountable with portion size.

This kids meal had two chicken strips tossed in mild buffalo sauce with a few fries.

It even came with Scooby snacks. The hubs ate the snacks. I tried one stick.

When we dropped our car off at Chad’s MeeMaw’s house in Birmingham, she promptly threw candy in our hands. She loves giving us candy. Probably because she knows how much we love it. She gave us a pack of these. Our favorite.

The hubs ate one and said they were a little dry so I didn’t have any. I had a mini Hershey’s bar and York peppermint instead.

I’m actually completely satisfied after my small lunch and sweet treats. And now it’s time to get more excited about seeing more of our family in a few hours. Can anyone guess where we’re headed!? I’ll give you a hint… it’s farther down south and the states sports colors are primarily purple and yellow. I’ll reveal where we’re headed later tonight after we arrive. I still have a whole slew of snacks left so I’m good to go for the rest of our drive. I love planning ahead!

Do you have any traditions while traveling like playing car games, eating a favorite “once in a while” treat as a splurge, etc.?

En Route

Hello friends! It’s 5:45 a.m. central time (6:45 Louisville time) and we’ve been on the road an hour already. My 5 a.m. alarm came way too soon this morning. We ended up packing and staying up until almost midnight. Eek. That made it really hard to crawl out of bed this morning.

I packed all my snacks last night. In case you hadn’t already figured it out, I’m a huge nerd. I get way excited about little things and packing snacks is one of them. It made me feel like we were headed on an adventure or something. Don’t ask me why. I’m just that way.

I packed up mandarins, seven different granola bars, Bear Naked granola, apples, peanut butter individual 3/4 tbsp. containers, trail mix and water.

I had planned on making some toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana this morning but didn’t have time. So I just grabbed the banana and ate it when we stopped to fill up the car.

I might have to dig into the snack bag before we meet up with his parents in Birmingham. That’s our halfway point to our end destination and I’m pretty sure we’re eating lunch when we meet up with them. At least I hope so. Hope you all have a great Friday! The weekend is here! Yay! I plan on enjoying time with family and having 3 days off from work. I’ll be updating throughout the day so check back. Thank goodness we’ll have free wi-fi at the hotel. We have fun things planned for tonight so I’ll be able to fill you in late tonight. See you after lunch!