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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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Water Logged

Thank you all who commented to encourage me.  It surely lifted my spirits and helped me realize how awesome 14.5 really is!!  You all are the best!

After my lunch post I climbed in a hot bubble bath and ended up staying there for 1 1/2 hours.  I ended up finishing “The Skinnygirl Dish” and enjoying my limbs feeling nice and relaxed in the water.

I’m sure I was nice and water logged by the time I got out but my body felt so much better!!!  I’m thinking that 4.5 mile run will happen tomorrow at some point.  I’m hoping to have my body feel almost back to normal after a good night’s rest so I can redeem myself with my run.

After catching up on many food blogs, I decided it was time to start dinner.  Now as you all know, I’m not usually the cook around here.  The hubs usually has dinner made for me when I come home from work or after I get in from a night run so I didn’t want to be lame and do something I normally would in the past like a sandwich, chips, salad, etc.

I settled on baked marinated salmon topped with sauteed mushrooms placed on a bed of baby organic spring mix, shredded carrots and feta cheese.

I didn’t need dressing due to the salmon being so moist.

I started out placing my marinated salmon fillet in foil and baking it for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

I sauteed my mushrooms.  I drizzled them with EVOO and topped them with fresh cracked pepper and salt and a tad of garlic salt for added flavor and cooked in the skillet on medium heat, stirring and flipping constantly to avoid burning.

Before cooking:

I figured that part of the Italian style bread that I brought home last night from dinner would be an appropriate carb to add.  I put some EVOO in a ramekin and topped with fresh cracked black pepper for dipping and warmed up the bread in the oven.

Now everything together!

Ok maybe not everything… forgot the mushrooms!

And I might have had one or two more pieces of bread. 😉

I think I did pretty good if I do say so myself.

It was definitely worth it to take the time and effort to prepare a home cooked meal, even if I was just cooking for me.

I might see some fruit in my future but for now I’m pretty content.

Can’t wait to wake up in the morning and see how my body feels!  Praying for a good opportunity to get that run in!!

I hope you all have had a great Saturday!  I know that my weekend will get 100% better once my hubs gets back home tonight.  I can’t wait!!

What’s a good meal that you’ve made for yourself lately?

Listening to My Body

So I headed back out after I posted earlier to finish up my 19 miler.  I am ashamed to say that I only made it to 14.5 miles.  My body started to completely shut down on me.  It was aching and burning everywhere and as much as my heart wanted to keep going that last 4.5 miles, I knew I needed to stop before I injured myself.

Now I’m battling the guilt in my heart from stopping but my intellect tells me I did the right thing.  Throughout reading “Run Less Run Faster” I have read many times that you need to listen to your body.  I listened and now am trying to deal with accepting that I did not complete my whole 19 mile run but that I did just run 14.5 miles and that is great in and of itself!  Just three short years ago, I couldn’t even run more than two minutes straight so now that I’m running these crazy, long distances, I have to be proud of myself.  I know runners have good running days and not so good running days but I just want marathon day to be a good running day for me!  I think it will be because of all the people and energy buzzing around… and of course, adrenaline helps out a ton!

But all in all, I finished up my run strong at 2:40:04.  I was completely on track to finish the whole 19 miles in less than 3:30:00 so I’m proud.  I ran 17 miles in 3:37:00 last week so I’m definitely improving my time slowly but surely.

Also, I failed to eat breakfast this morning.  I know, I know, that’s probably so horrible of me but I won’t make that mistake again.  I am sort of terrified of eating before long runs because of the possibility of side splints.

And I think I need to conquer the hill training on my shorter run days so I don’t wear myself out on my long runs.

So anyway… I think I did great with the distance I did run.  I ran all my miles within 10:30-11:15 minute/miles and that is super improved from last week when all my miles were between 12-13 minute/mile.

I would LOVE to finish the remaining 4.5 miles tonight or tomorrow but I’m going to wait and see how my body feels.  Tomorrow seems more reasonable than tonight so I’m keeping my fingers crossed to wake up with a bolt of energy tomorrow and go run my heart out and redeem myself.  😉

So, I came inside to dig into some food since I hadn’t eaten all day.

I figured a ham sandwich on whole wheat would be a great post-recovery run meal.

Two pieces whole wheat toast, provolone cheese, fresh shaved ham, spring mix, tomato, onion, and a light spread of mayo.  (I love mayo and refuse to take it out of my kitchen.  Moderation is key.)

Doesn’t it look tasty?

I added a mandarin for my side instead of chips.  I love these little things!  Can’t you tell since I eat them pretty much daily?!

I’m now going to recover by soaking in a hot bubble bath while reading some more of Bethenny Frankel’s book, “The Skinnygirl Dish” and maybe watch a little bit of the tube for a wind down.

See you tonight after dinner!

Do you ever have not so good running/workout days and if so, what do you do to battle your heart from feeling so discouraged?

Lookie Lookie

Look who’s on call today?  That’s right!  Me!  I at least have gotten several hours in with spending time with the hubs!  I know I could get called in at any minute but I have enjoyed my laid back morning.

I woke up before 8 a.m. and was thankful for an extra 2 1/2 hours of sleep.  That always does a body good!

I decided it was a good time to make a hot breakfast.

Scrambled eggs, wheat toast with butter, a mandarin and a Morningstar “sausage” vegan sausage pattie.

I love having a hot breakfast at home!

I’m off to decide what is going to be going into the tummy for lunch time.  Hopefully I’ll get a strength training workout in before (or if really) I get called into work.  Always need to be prepared.

Hope you all are having a happy Wednesday so far!!

“Sloppy Joe Sloppy Sloppy Joe…in lunch lady land.”

Nothing too exciting to report around here.  The rest of the afternoon was laid back until I needed to get ready for church.

Following church I headed home alone since the hubs was leading worship for both services tonight. I ended up eating 4 unpictured wheat crackers with hummus to tide me over until dinner since he wasn’t going to get home until almost 9 p.m.  So I ended up doing some arm and ab strength training and feel great.  So glad I got it in.  I’ve neglected strength training and wish I hadn’t.  I got on a path of doing it maybe once or twice a week, sometimes not at all, and haven’t made it a priority in my quest to live the healthiest lifestyle.

I got in some good Oscar watching while I worked out and ended up rewarding myself with a hot relaxing bath while I read some more of Bethenny Frankel’s book “Skinnygirl Dish”.  Love that book!!!

Before I knew it the hubs was calling to say he was on his way home so I quickly hopped up to get dinner cooking.  Not that it takes a lot of prep or cooking time but I still wanted it ready for when he got home.

Ah, sloppy joe, how I love you.

With baked BBQ Lay’s on the side.  Obvi.

I ended up splitting another half of a sandwich with the hubs because I was starving!  And the buns really weren’t large so I didn’t feel bad.  I do wish they were wheat buns though.  Maybe next time.  We just haven’t found any wheat buns where we like the taste.

After dinner I decided fruit was in order.  A mandarin with red grapes.  A repeat from last night but good nonetheless.

I’ve packed up the rest of the sloppy joe meat for lunch tomorrow, snacks and breakfast and am set to get back into the grind of work.

Hope you all had a great weekend!  See you on Monday!

What’s your favorite brand of wheat buns (hamburger or hot dog)?

Granola Bar Goodness

A couple hours after dinner last night the hubs decided to break into the granola bars.  They were still a little lot crumbly but they, obviously, were still edible.  I ended up getting me a good bit last night after I tried a bite.  DELISH!

I was hoping they would bind together better overnight but we checked on them after lunch today and they are still super crumbly.  Next time I’ll use more brown rice syrup and peanut butter.  Other than that, they really are  fantastic.  I went ahead and scooped even portions into saran wrap and stored them in the fridge for an easy grab and go snack.

Side note: The cokes and Diet Sunkist in the background were mine.  Well, I guess technically still are mine. Even though I haven’t had a carbonated beverage in almost two months.  The cokes are, thankfully, almost gone because the hubs drinks one at night every once in a while and we’ve had guests drink them.  The Diet Sunkist, unfortunately, will have to be drank by me because the hubs doesn’t like them.  I’ve had those leftover in my fridge from the 12 pack I bought last summer. I like to drink them when I lay out on our rooftop deck in the summer.  Fizzy and cold.  But I’m hoping to have a soda free fridge soon.  They aren’t taking up too much space these days (seeing as how I used to drink 2 or 3 a day in the past and there are barely any left) but I’ll be grateful for the added space we’ll have when they are all gone.

Anyway… I meant to tell you all what I changed about the granola bar recipe.  I did not use chia seeds, just pumpkin and sunflower. And I used the puffed wheat cereal instead of the puffed rice.  I can’t wait to keep making these and having them for around the house, to take to work, road trips, etc.  So easy and healthy!  Thanks Anne!

I actually slept until 8:30 this morning!  I couldn’t believe it.  I’ve been automatically waking up around 7 or 8 on my days off so it was nice to get a little more snoozing in.  I decided a whole wheat waffle with a drizzle of syrup, dollop of butter, and a side of strawberries and a sliced banana would be a perfect Sunday breakfast.

I was right.

The rest of the day, so far, has been spent piddling around the house.  I’ve cleaned, organized, watched HGTV and Food Network, made lunch, now blogging and etc.  I love days where nothing is on the agenda and I can be carefree.  Too bad I have to return to work tomorrow!!

For lunch I decided to finish the tiny bit left of the tomato bisque we had and eat some wheat crackers and hummus on the side.

Hummus is definitely my new staple snack.  I’m OBSESSED!  I can’t wait to make some homemade hummus once we pull the food processor out of storage.  😉

I figured a mandarin would be the perfect ending to my lunch.

I’ve got to be getting ready in a little bit for church.  The hubs is leading worship tonight which always makes my heart swell.

Then I’ll be home while he leads a second evening service.  Hopefully I’ll get some good strength training in tonight before I make us a wonderful gourmet dinner.  Wait for it…. Sloppy Joe’s!  Hehe.  I love Sloppy Joe’s and I’ll be making it with ground turkey for the first time so I’m excited to have a little bit of a healthier version.  I’ve got my Lay’s BBQ baked chips ready to go for my staple side (who can eat a sloppy joe without chips on the side?  Not me!) and am debating on whether I should make some baked beans to go along too.  That’s why I didn’t eat a loaded ham sandwich for lunch today like the hubs did.  I figured that’d be too much bread in one day.  All about balance and moderation, right?

So get ready for some yummy looking sloppy joe pictures tonight.  I know I’m excited because I’m going to enjoy every single bite… and hopefully have leftovers for work tomorrow.

See you later gators!!

What’s your favorite granola bar mix in?  Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc?

Decompressing and Homemade Granola Bars

The rest of the day following my 5k this morning has been spent watching “Couples Retreat”, eating, relaxing, napping, cooking and eating some more.  It’s been a great day.

The movie was cute.  Not one that I would probably watch over and over but it did make us laugh really hard a few times.  I ended up eating my apple that I picked up after the 5k shortly after I ate half the bagel and banana from earlier.

I was starving again in no time and the hubs heated up some pizza he bought the other day.  I just ate two slices of cheese.

After the movie I ended up climbing into bed to watch some Oprah’s I had DVR’ed and ended up cat napping for an hour or so.  The hubs ended up running to Starbuck’s to get some reading accomplished and I just lounged around and vegged.

Right before he got home I got a burst of energy and knew it was a good time for me to get to making the homemade peanut butter granola bars that I had bought all the ingredients for yesterday.

All the ingredients.

The dry ingredients mixed in a bowl.

The wet ingredients after being microwaved for about 30 seconds.

I added the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and started mixing together.  It stayed a little clumpy so the hubs suggested I mix with my hands.

It worked perfectly.  I’ll mix with my hands each time from now on!

I placed it into a pan, flattened it out and stuck it in the fridge so it all could bind better.

I have a feeling I’m going to be addicted to these!  And they are super easy to make.  After Lent I’m going to have to add some chocolate chips I think.  😉

Go over to Anne’s page for the recipe.

It was then time for dinner and I was quite hungry after mixing all these great ingredients together.

On the menu: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and wheat crackers for a light side.

I thought it was delicious. The hubs prefers original hummus.

Main Course: Flank steak on top of organic spring mix salad with feta cheese, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, shredded carrots and balsamic vinaigrette.

I decided that after dinner I was craving some fruit.  I started out with a clementine and decided it wouldn’t be enough to satisfy me so I added some red grapes.  Just what I needed.

It’s been a great day and I look forward to spending time with the hubs tonight while he’s taking a break from studying for a few hours.  I can’t believe tomorrow is Sunday!  My last day of my 3 day weekend!  Boo.

Hope you all have enjoyed your Saturday!  See you all tomorrow!!

What’s your favorite flavor of hummus?

Running in Glasses

So apparently I need to catch you all up on yesterday and today… if I can remember!  🙂

Someone brought bagels into work yesterday so I decided to eat the bagel with some lite cream cheese.  I love bagels… especially wheat bagels but I was still content with the plain bagels that were brought.

Lunch was half of my tuna salad and some saltines with a pear on the side.

Like my huge glass of water?  I’m still not getting as much water in my system as I’d like but I’m getting there.

I ate some of my yummy trail mix for a late afternoon snack.

We had impromptu plans to meet up with some friends last night for some good fellowship and they were serving dessert so the hubs and I opted for a quick bite on the way.  He stopped at Arby’s and I headed to Subway.

Six inch ham & cheese on whole wheat loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, black olives, bell peppers, banana peppers and lite mayo.  Ahhh… I love Subway.

Stuffed full!!

Oh and a bag of Baked BBQ Lay’s on the side.

In hindsight, I probably should have just gotten a veggie delight because I didn’t really taste the meat and all and it is so processed!  Next time I’ll bite the bullet and order the veggie delight.

After great time with friends (and resisting the homemade chocolate chip cookies that were staring at me the whole time) I headed home to eat a few red grapes before bed.

I was still a little hungry after my big sandwich and chips!  I’m telling you… my appetite has increased incredibly since marathon training!  It’s hard to get used to!

I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight because I stayed up to watch The Bachelor finale!  Boy was that a doozy.  So I’m glad that work called this morning to put me on call.  I woke up at 7 and stayed awake for a while but ended up dozing on and off for a few hours.    How nice.  I took advantage of the time off for sure.

I ended up doing a simple breakfast since we’re almost out of everything!!  A banana and some red grapes.

I was up and around cleaning up and organizing and had just gotten ready to heat up some soup and work called to tell me to head on in.  I only worked from 3 pm-7 pm and boy did that time sure fly.  I’m so used to 12 hour shifts that the 4 hours was a piece of cake.  But I did heat up my soup quickly and ate it in 1 minute flat.

Tomato bisque, lots of herbs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

I got to work and hit the ground running but was able to stop long enough at 530 for a snack.  Banana with peanut butter.  I guess it was a banana sort of day for me.

I headed home and knew I needed to get a run in so I can rest my body for the rest of the week before my 17 miler and 5k on Saturday.  I wish I would’ve ran this morning when they put me on call but it’s always risky because you never know if and when you’ll get called in so you hate to be three miles from your house and not be able to shower or anything.  Oh well.

I ran my 3 miles in 29:00!  So excited.  Granted, I was doing intermittent sprints for the last 1.5 miles but I pushed myself and pushed myself hard.  Glad I did. I  feel great!!  And I had to wear my glasses since my eyes are trying to get healthy again because of the apparent protein build up on my cornea.  The Dr. gave me disposable, one time wear contacts but they are super uncomfortable so I’m only going to wear them when necessary for my long runs.  Hopefully I’ll be back in my contacts by Friday!  It wasn’t as bad as I thought, running with glasses, but I’d rather not worry about them on my face.  Ya hear?!

The hubs had dinner ready by the time I got out of the shower.  Flank steak topped with McClard’s BBQ sauce and veggie pasta.

I might have had a piece of garlic bread too.  😉

I’m perfectly content right now and am ready to snuggle into bed with the hubs.  Gotta be a work bright and early in the a.m.!

Oh but you have to go to fANNEtastic Food’s page and enter the yoga mat giveaway!!

Do you wear contacts or glasses?  Do you ever wear glasses while running or working out??