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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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A Night of Tastes

I have a lot to catch you up on from last night.  It was 11:30 by the time we got home from our dinner with friends last night and I was too pooped to blog about it.  So here I am!  Well rested after a great 9 hours of sleep last night and already fueled up for the day from breakfast.

I made Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms for our dish last night.  I got the recipe from here.

Recipe:

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons 365 Everyday Value Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 (8-oz) packages button or baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped, caps left intact
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (1-pound) pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
6 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom stems, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl along with spinach, toss well; set aside to cool. Arrange mushroom caps in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Add Feta, salt and pepper to spinach mixture then divide filling evenly between mushrooms, mounding it in the center of each. Drizzle mushrooms with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and bake until softened and juicy, about 20 minutes.

Using our new food chopper we bought the other day to chop the mushroom stems and onion.

Cooking in the skillet.

Letting everything cool with the spinach.

Add the feta and stuff mixture into the mushroom tops.

Cook, then place on serving platter.  I put some more pepper on the top for added flavor.

The hubs tasted the first one just to give his seal of approval.

I think next time I’ll add some more salt and pepper while cooking.  Maybe a little balsamic too, and top with some mozzarella cheese before cooking in the oven.

We headed on over to Mandy and Simon’s and saw this beautiful set up.

Our friends, Lindsey and Drew, also came and brought Mediterranean pizza.

Mandy made beef, chicken, carrot and coleslaw wontons.

Everything is out and ready to be dug into!

Here’s my plate of our entrees.

Served with soy sauce for the wontons.

Everything was delicious!  I definitely want to make this pizza in the future because it had all my favorite things!  Hummus, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, feta cheese and black olives.

I was glad I didn’t eat any more than this because dessert was well worth splurging with trying all three things we all brought.

Lindsey brought apple crisp that was divine.

Mandy made a chocolate torte that was perfection.

We made the cinnamon ice cream that was in the little bowl that went perfectly with both of these desserts!

It was an absolutely amazing night with the best of friends.  It feels great to be with people where you tell stories, encourage each other and laugh until you’re crying.  We’re very blessed to have these people be a part of our lives.

After getting some much needed rest, I woke up and was ready to eat breakfast.  I had some egg whites in the refrigerator from yesterday when the hubs used egg yolks for the trial run of burnt sugar ice cream that ended up being a bust.

No sense in letting them go to waste.  Paired perfectly with two slices of whole wheat toast topped with butter and red grapes.

I have no idea what our plans are for today. I thought about going to the river for a picnic but it’s still too chilly outside for that so who knows what the day will hold.  I hope you’re having a great Sunday so far!

What’s your favorite characteristic of your mom?  How are you celebrating her on this fine day?

Happy Mother’s Day to the best momma in the world!!  I love you mom!  Thanks for raising me and doing the best job… you’re my best friend and I don’t what I’d do without in you in my life.

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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?

Pooped

What a day it was in Labor and Delivery! We ended up being extremely busy. We were all running around non-stop. Thank goodness I was able to eat lunch! I needed that fuel to keep me going!

Whole wheat angel hair pasta topped with ground turkey and marinara with a salad on the side.

My afternoon snack couldn’t have come at a better time. I was ready for it. I had just gotten finished with delivering a baby and scarfed down some of my trail mix I brought. Super yum.

I needed the protein in the almonds to last me until dinner and give me a burst of energy so I could bike home and then strength train.

A short bike ride home and it was time to do some strength training.

I figured I’d go on a run tomorrow night.  I did a variety of push-ups, pull-ups and ab exercises.  I feel good and strong now!!

It was a breakfast for dinner sort of night at the Watson household. I decided on some whole wheat toast, scrambled egg, mandarin and bacon.

Mmmm… I love breakfast for dinner. There’s just something about it that is so comforting.

Of course I had to have a sweet treat. Can’t go wrong with a Reese’s Cup Easter egg.

Oh wait… I know of something better!  A Reese’s Cup Easter egg in the 1/4 Reese’s Cup flurry from Dairy Kastle I had frozen over a week ago!  Ah, now that hits the spot!

Now it’s time for a wind down and bed. I’m pooped! Need sleep badly!

Do you enjoy cooking breakfast for dinner?  What’s it typically include?

Monday Already?

I got 8 glorious hours of sleep last night! I was fast asleep by 10 p.m. and it felt great! The only disruption during that time was, of course, a trip to the bathroom (dang water!) and hearing our rowdy neighbors vacuuming at 3 o’clock in the morning.

It was back to work this morning after having a relaxing day yesterday. Is it really Monday already?  How do the weekends go by so quickly?!

I couldn’t wait to eat my breakfast this morning because I woke up feeling ravenous!

I know it’s the end of the month when we’re slowly running out of meal options. I have one more bowl’s worth after this morning of Kashi H2H Honey Toasted and Special K granola. Boo.

I was c-section girl today and was in the operating room during lunch hour and was starving. Is it so weird that I can be hungry while watching a surgery? Another “you know you’re a nurse when” moments.

I couldn’t wait to eat my leftovers from last night’s dinner for lunch today. So good!

Disclaimer from this point out: My lunches usually aren’t aesthetically pleasing because I’m a nurse and usually I don’t truly get a 30 minute lunch break.  So my food looks like a reheated mess but it works, it’s yummy and fast!!

I had a hankering for a mandarin after I ate so I had one. Gotta give my body what it needs and wants!!

I packed a couple of snack options for today. I didn’t know if I wanted the trail mix I brought, apple with peanut butter or both! I knew I had a run planned for tonight so I needed some fuel to get me through my run and not be too famished before dinner.

I chose….

An apple and some peanut butter of course!  It just sounded more appealing to me at the moment.

And look what a co-worker brought me today!  Isn’t that so sweet?  I can’t wait to continue with my new obsession with Laughing Cow wedges.  They are for sure on my list for the next big grocery trip!!

I left work and was contemplating my run that I had planned in my head.  I feel really great after my 21 miles on Saturday but there is just a little tiny kink in my right hip that I feel so I figured since I’d made it this far with no injuries, I wouldn’t start now.  So I’m running tomorrow night!  I was productive when I got home though.  I did many sets of pull-ups, push-ups and ab exercises!

Dinner was pretty simple tonight.  We’re running really low on options for meals all around so we decided that it’d be a breakfast for dinner sort of night.  Nothing too fancy at all!  I had one scrambled egg, a Morningstar “sausage” pattie and a Pillsbury biscuit with strawberry jam spread.  I wish we had some wheat bread but I’ll settle for Pillsbury.  They aren’t too shabby tasting.  🙂

Oh man, I feel like my dinner looks super lame too but tomorrow night will be more appealing… I promise!

I’m off to finish making my tuna salad for lunch tomorrow and get settled into bed for the night!  Hope you all had a great Monday!!

I love the Laughing Cow cheese with crackers and tuna salad with crackers.

What are your favorite crackers?

Waking Up Is Hard To Do

The one day this weekend I can sleep in, we of course have a meeting we have to attend.  I could’ve totally slept until noon today, I’m for certain.  Instead, I forced myself out of bed this morning at 8 to get ready for the day.

I didn’t allow myself enough time to make a proper breakfast so I grabbed the Bear Naked bar they gave out after my 10k yesterday and ate that on the way to our meeting.

This one was the tropical fruit bar and to be honest, the date syrup and all the other ingredients that made up the syrup made it seem like I was eating a highly processed sugar granola bar but all the ingredients are natural and you can pronounce them!  No high fructose corn syrup here. Love that!  It wouldn’t be my first go to bar to grab because the coconut flavor came though a little too much for me.  I’m just not a coconut lover.  But it was good enough to hold me over until we could get home and make lunch.

Lunch was actually brunch.  I had two eggs scrambled, Morningstar “sausage” vegan patty, half of a sliced red apple and a mandarin.  Next time I’ll do one egg because two was a little too much, I think.

I might have stolen a bite of the hubs pillsbury biscuit that he had topped with butter and honey.  Yum…

Since I cleaned everything from top to bottom yesterday, I have all day to chill out and rest my body.  The hubs is leading worship tonight so he’ll be gone most of the afternoon and night so that means I get to catch up on my girlie DVR shows that he, obviously, wouldn’t want to watch.

I’m also making a wonderful home cooked comfort meal tonight that I ate growing up.  My mom’s recipe of Tuna Noodle Casserole.  So stay tuned for some comfort food goodness later tonight!!

What do your Sunday’s usually look like?