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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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Gourmet Lunch

Lunch was nothing to be ashamed of today.  The hubs couldn’t finish his huge rib-eye steak the other nigth night because it was gargantuan! So I got the leftovers!

Served with leftover asparagus and sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes are still growing on me.  I still would choose a regular potato over a sweet potato but that could be changing.  I’ve surprised myself with what all I don’t eat anymore and now that I do eat!  I love my eating life!

You know that granola bar I didn’t eat for my afternoon snack the other day?

Today was the day!

And I love having such great lunches and snacks!  It makes my day so much more pleasant.  I’m on my own for dinner tonight because the hubs has a meeting.  Who knows what I’ll come up with!  🙂

Hope your Sunday is going splendidly!

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Not Feeling Full

Is it the end of the day already? I’m bummed because that means my only day off in the midst of a 12 day stretch is almost over!  Boo!!

I’m happy to say we finished all of our major grocery shopping for the month and we ended up buying a lot more for our money this time.  I am seriously impressed at how full our freezer, refrigerator and pantry are now!  I love, love, love it!  So many fresh options that we have no excuse to cook at home this whole month and avoid eating out.

I had a quick snack of Danon’s strawberry yogurt topped with Bear Naked granola when we got home.

This was only half of my yogurt that I stored in the fridge from the other day when I opened up the Danon yogurt.

Ollie boy wanted to take a whiff.  He’s becoming quite the organic, natural, clean eater too.  Ok, maybe not really but he’s still a cutie.

I donned my swimsuit and headed up to our rooftop deck and soaked up some major sun!  I was up there for over two hours!  See how happy I am to be soaking it in?

I headed back down to our place to dig into the amazing dinner the hubs prepared!  We had rib-eye steak, wilted spinach, baked sweet potato and grilled asparagus.

Everything was fab, I thought!  I ate about 3/4 of the asparagus, all the wilted spinach, half the sweet potato and all my steak since it wasn’t big once all the fat was cut off of it.

Alright, I jumped the gun on making a dessert rule of only eating it once a week.  It’s impossible for me to do.  I like dessert and know that I can eat anything in moderation so yes, I might eat it everyday, I might not but I’m going to do what I want.  That’s my new philosophy.

Enter: Vanilla ice cream in a martini glass with an oh so cute decorative strawberry.

I was still hungry after eating dessert so I filled up a glass with lots of fruit!!  Mandarins, Strawberries and Red Grapes

Ok, I think I might finally be feeling satisfied!

I almost forgot!  The professional pictures of the marathon are up!  Here’s mine.  I love them… especially the one of the hubs running with me towards the finish line.  These make me want to cry.  Maybe it’s finally hitting me that I actually ran a freaking marathon!

This one is my favorite.  I think I should order it and frame it!  The happiness portrayed on both of our faces is undeniable.  I’m so thankful for my husband.

I’m not one to hide emotion but these pictures are overwhelming.  It shows exactly the happiness I was feeling and I swear this was one of the best days of my life.  I feel tears come to my eyes as I even look at these.  Maybe it’s hitting me that I really did run a freaking marathon!  I’m so grateful to have these to capture this special day in my life.

Speaking of running, I did not get my run in today because my toes are officially JACKED!  The second toe on my right food is ridiculous!  It looks like an abscess could be brewing so I’m going to lay off of the running until I see some further healing take place.  So please pray that it will heal quickly!  You all know how bad I want to be back on the pavement but I also don’t want to suffer irreversible damage.

I will continue biking, strength training and walking because it doesn’t involve high impact on my toes so maybe that’ll keep me happy until running can occur.

The running of The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow!  It’ll be crazy around here.  If I end up being placed on call for some reason, I think we’re going to head to a Derby party or two.

Are you going to be tuning into the running of The Kentucky Derby?

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

A hungry, hungry hippo is what I was today!  I guess my body’s trying to catch up on all the calories it burned this past weekend but boy is it relentless!!!

After breakfast this morning, I couldn’t wait to dig into lunch!  I packed half a ham sandwich topped with cucumber, spring mix, onion, tomato and mustard.

An apple on the side.

I was still super hungry so I went ahead and ate the snack I had packed for the afternoon.  A peanut butter chocolate granola bar from my batch that I made last week.  Oh so good!

Not even a few hours later I was ravenous again!  This time I had some graham crackers and peanut butter. Unpictured!

By the time I biked home, I was hungry yet again!  I was so glad to smell some good stuff cooking when I got home!

Barbecue chicken, grilled asparagus, roasted red potatoes and a Sister Schubert’s roll.

I ate half the chicken, all the asparagus, half the potatoes and half the roll.  I packed the other halves up for lunch tomorrow.

Honestly, it wasn’t the best meal we have cooked but oh well.  Tomorrow’s always a new day.

I had to return the movie we rented the other night because we kept forgetting to take it back to the Redbox so I biked up the road to our Kroger to return it and pick up some corn for a potluck dinner we’re having with friends Thursday night.

At least I got a little more exercise in.   I’m just dying to strength train or run!  Really, I’m just dying to run but know I need to rest the remainder of the week.  Friday, I think, will be the day I jump back on the pavement.  At least I hope it is!

I biked back home to have some cake and ice cream for dessert.

It’s almost all gone!  Sad day when that happens but probably good too because I could see it packing on the pounds I lost during marathon training and I’d like to stay the weight I am now for good.  We shall see!

Actually, I have decided to pack the rest of the cake up to take to the girls at work tomorrow.  I have got to get it out of this house!  All this sugar I have been inhaling has actually made me hungrier I think with my blood sugar spiking.  I just can’t seem to feel fully satisfied after I eat dessert.  And I’m feeling more and more like crap.  Not light and clean.  Maybe I need to make a new once a week dessert rule…. hmmm… decisions, decisions.

I hope your Tuesday treated you well.  I’m off to make all my meals for work tomorrow and settle in for bed.  Nighty night friends!

Do you have a dessert rule for yourself?

The Good Wife

I didn’t get in a run or walk today but I did manage to bike 5.5 miles to and from church!  Does that count?  I am definitely running tomorrow night so I’ll get it all done somehow.  Not stressing out… not stressing out… that’s what I keep telling myself.  It’s a busy week ahead before the marathon and I’m striving to staying cool, calm and collected.

Anyway… I got a hankering for granola bars today so I made some of Anne P’s five minute no bake peanut butter granola bars.  If you remember, I made these a little while ago and they crumbled and wouldn’t bind together so I was determined for them to be right this time!  This time I added a little more brown rice syrup and more peanut butter.  I also tossed in some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for good measure.

The chocolate chips melted upon being mixed but you can still taste it!!  That’s all the matters!

They turned out perfectly!  They binded, didn’t crumble at all, and are wrapped and ready to go for easy grabbing!!

I ended up cleaning up around the house a bit and got ready for church.  A quick bike ride to church, service and then bike ride home it was time to get cracking.  The hubs led worship for both evening services tonight so I wanted a good dinner waiting on him when he got home.

On the menu, rotisserie chicken, sauteed mushrooms and asparagus and a big green leafy salad!

I got to thinking and decided to make chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.

I was quite pleased with myself.  I even made my own balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  Usually the hubs is our chef so I’m trying to get back into cooking more and more when the time allows.

We’re satisfied, everything’s clean and now it’s time to watch some of the Country Music Awards.  I’m not a huge country music fan but my best friend’s husband, David Nail, is up for Single of the Year for his song “Red Light”.  We’re all really proud of him!!  Keeping our fingers crossed for a big win!

Hope you all had a great Sunday!  It’s back to work for the next three days and then it’s off so I can rest, mentally prepare and get prepped for the marathon!  See you tomorrow!

What ingredient would you add into homemade granola bars?

Wishy Washy

Last night after I left you all, the hubs ended up cooking himself a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on whole wheat toast.  He had enough left over that he insisted I eat one too.  I couldn’t let it go to waste!  😉

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  Usually I would really eat a combo like this but it satisfied me with a bit of comfort food before I turned in for bed.

I didn’t get to sleep until almost 11:30 last night!  Way too late for me.  I was surprised since I ran yesterday, laid out and biked to and from Community Group.  Usually on days like that, I crash out but I guess the sun didn’t drain me like I thought it would have!

I had a feeling I’d be put on call from work this morning but no such luck.  I headed in and worked until 11:30 and the second I hit overtime, I was sent home on call.

Oh yeah, I did eat some Honey Nut Cheerios at work for breakfast.

So I headed home and had an agenda since the hubs was at home all day.  We needed to go to our storage unit and swap my winter clothes for summer clothes, eat lunch and hit up the grocery.  Oh, and can I just say how hard my bike ride was on the way home because of 25 mph winds?  Brutal!!

We decided lunch was a must before everything else.  Food first always!

We decided North End Cafe sounded good and was lucky enough to get a spot on the patio.

Isn’t he handsome?

Do I look any more tan from yesterday?!

We decided to split food today.  I thought their natural grass fed beef burger on a whole wheat bun sounded perfect to split.  It was half a pound!  Huge!!  There is no way I could’ve eaten it all myself.  Served with a side of fries and a pickle of course.

We also ordered the hummus tapas.  Complete with carrot sticks, snap peas, pita bread and olives.  And hummus of course.

My half of things.

I was completely satisfied with our meal.  Too bad we couldn’t sit out there and enjoy the sun more because as soon as we had finished, work called to call me back in.  Just a mere two hours after letting me go home.  Errrr…. I’m getting quite frustrated with this whole on call, send Lauren home from work and then call her back in thing.  I will not put my work life above my personal life.  I will go on with my life and if they call me in, then I’ll get there when I can get there.  I can’t live my life waiting by the phone doing nothing when I’m on call.  Am I valid on this?

So it was back to work for another 5 hours and since the hubs had to drop me off at work after lunch, he had to pick me up from work when I got off.  We decided to go straight to our storage unit after I got off work and grab my summer clothes and get it over with.  And we also picked up our food processor that was packed away too!  Can’t wait to start using it soon!!

I had a Carman’s  muesli bar for a snack to hold me over until dinner since we’d be eating a lot later than usual!

Love these bars!!

We decided to pick up a rotisserie chicken from Fresh Market and some asparagus for dinner.  I also snagged some bananas, Fresh Market’s strawberry jam, whole grain crackers, hummus and whole grain waffles.  I know it sounds weird, but I’m going to buy the rest of our groceries tomorrow.  We didn’t need a lot from Fresh Market so I’ll get the rest of the everyday items from Kroger tomorrow.  And we were hungry so we wanted to hurry!!

We finally got home, heated up the chicken in the oven for a few minutes, sauteed some asparagus and were good to go!

Hummus and a few crackers on the plate as well.  Now looking back, I’ve had my share of hummus today!

I ended up not eating all my piece of chicken because it was quite large so we saved the rest of my chicken and the big chicken for leftovers.

The hubs is now making cake balls.  Click Here and Here for the two part recipe.

This time we’re doing white cake and white icing made into balls and dipped into melted white chocolate and melted regular chocolate.  We shall see how they turn out.  We’ll finish them tomorrow since it’s so late tonight but I was happy to have been able to lick the remnants of raw cake mix of a spatula.  It’s my favorite part!  🙂

Hope you’ve had a great Friday!  I have all weekend off and that means I can stay up late, sleep in tomorrow, lounge, lay out…. heck!  Just do whatever I want!  I haven’t had a weekend like that in a LOOOOONG time!  You shall be seeing lots of posts from me.  Stay tuned…

Would you get frustrated being sent home and called back into work within just a couple of hours?

Growing On Me

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Quick update on my goal to be in bed and ready to sleep by 10 p.m.  A big failure!!  I was in bed but not ready for sleep until 10:30!  But I’m getting closer.  Here’s to hoping tonight I make it for 10 p.m.  And thank you all for your “snacky” comments.  I don’t feel snacky towards non-nutritional items per say.  I just feel snacky in general.  Today was MUCH better.  Here’s to hoping my cravings for a constant food item in my mouth has turned the corner.

Today was actually  a lovely day.  Work was busy enough to where it passed by rather quickly and here I am at almost 9 p.m. at night, already winding down for bed.  I love days like this!

Breakfast was some good ole trusty Raisin Bran cereal.

Lunch was some grilled chicken, asparagus and half a sweet potato from the other night.

This is growing on me…

At first I was saying I think I like regular potatoes better but this was really good today.  I think it was maybe better because I didn’t add brown sugar to it like the hubs did the other night.  I think that might have made it too sweet.  Today was super tasty.  They might be a staple piece on our meals.

I snacked on a homemade peanut butter granola bar around 4:30 and was glad that held me over.

I immediately headed to a church gathering/meeting for what the future of our church entails. Such an awesome meeting and I am super pumped about what the future looks like in our congregation.

While we met I ate some mixed fruit for dinner.

And this cute little blueberry muffin that a patient’s family at work sent us today in appreciation.

Now is the time to start making my way to bed.  But I need to pack up breakfast, lunch and snacks for work tomorrow.  I hope you all had a great St. Patty’s Day!  See you tomorrow!!

You must go to Anne’s page for her awesome giveaway!!!  I need this food scale bad!!

Did you do anything for St. Patty’s Day?  Wear green, kiss someone Irish, drink green beer, go out with friends, etc.?

Obviously, I worked.  😉

No Lunch Day

Before I get to why I titled this post “No Lunch Day” I’ll tell you about my morning.  My morning started off by me crawling out of bed.  My body was so not ready to get up at 5:30 a.m.!  This time change has messed me up!!  But I got going shortly after being awake and headed into work.  I was hungry as soon as I woke up but I ended up holding off eating breakfast until 9 a.m.  I think I’m going to try and start waking up around 5 a.m. on the days I work and making a green monster and spending time with the hubs and starting my day off right.  We’ll see if that ever happens.  😉

I had my favorite new combo of cereal: Kashi H2H Honey Toasted and Special K Granola.  A match made in heaven.

Before I knew it things were kicked into high gear on our floor and with my patients so I didn’t stop to eat lunch until 1 p.m.  Thank goodness our manager had ordered us lunch, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to eat at all.  Since we were unable to actually take an official lunch “break”, we called it a ‘No Lunch Day’, hence the reason for the title.

I didn’t get any pictures of lunch because we were that busy and I thought cramming food down my throat was a little more important at the moment.  Eat while you can when you’re a nurse.

Our manager ordered us Jimmy John’s platters.  I had 3 small pieces of subs.  One veggie, one tuna and one ham.  I still can’t decide which one I liked best.  I think they’d be ten times tastier if they had whole wheat sub bread available for the platters.

After an hour, I was still hungry so I had another small piece of the ham.

No snack for me today because those 4 small pieces held me over until I got home.

I got home and decided that sent I didn’t get home until almost 8 that I would need to do some strength training tonight instead of running.  I shall run tomorrow night, for sure.

I did a number of different style push-ups (standard, military, diamond, decline and wide legged), pull-ups (wide grip, close grip over handed and close grip under handed), a variety of other back exercises with weights and ab exercises.  I worked it hard and feel great!!  After that hard workout, I deserved dinner!!

On the menu: Grilled chicken, asparagus and a sweet potato.

I tell no lie: This is only the second time in my life that I’ve had a sweet potato. I think I’d prefer a regular potato in the end but I think it’s a good change and healthier too.  Maybe we’ll try sweet potato fries next!!

I ate half of the chicken and asparagus and my whole sweet potato (since it was a smaller tater) and packed all that up, plus half of another sweet potato for a future lunch at work this week!  I love leftovers!!

That’s about it on my end.  I’m needing to wind down for bed and get rested to hit the craziness of the baby factory again tomorrow!!    I might see some fruit in my future before I hit the hay.  But what’s new?!  Hope you all had a great day back into the week!

What is some food that you have tried lately that is new to you?  And did you like it?