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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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Hungry Woman

Can I just say how hungry I stay these days? This marathon training keeps me ravenous. I couldn’t wait to leave work so I could eat dinner but I knew I needed to get a run in so I used my hunger as motivation.

But first, about the day. I ate a nice salad topped with flank steak for lunch with a mandarin on the side.

I actually felt satisfied for a couple hours after lunch but by 4, I was ready for a mid-afternoon snack. Today was a pear and 3/4 tbsp. peanut butter sort of day.

It didn’t last me as long as I would’ve liked because by 6, I was practically wanting to gnaw my arm off.

I pedaled as fast as my little legs would pedal on the way home tonight. I wanted to hit the door, throw on my running shoes and run so I could eat!  Three miles later, I was back home and ready to eat!

We are definitely running super low on groceries since our last big grocery trip was almost 6 weeks ago so we are keeping it simple with sandwiches tonight. I plan to run by the store tomorrow to pick up a few things to get us through the rest of the week.

I decided a simple grilled cheese sounded yummy.

When I eat a sandwich, I usually need chips or something crunchy to eat with it so the hubs and I split a bag of Jimmy John’s BBQ chips.

I love their chips. You get a lot in the bad and the bag is only 150 calories! I’m all about it!!

We had some visitors from Memphis pop in tonight and we loved it!  Lindsey and Lucy came for a visit and we were able to catch up and meet sweet little Lucy for the first time.  I loved her immediately because she loves kitty cats!!  Smart girl she is!  Look at these sweet pictures of her and Nattie!

Adorable!  Thanks Lindsey and Lucy for coming to see us!

I hope you’ve all had a great Tuesday! I’m off to shower and wind down for bed. It’s up early to do it all again in the morning. 😉

What are your favorite flavor and brand of chips?

Or better yet, what’s your favorite side item to eat with sandwiches?

Preparing for Three of Four

Good evening!!  Since we have our wonderful MacBook back up and running, I’m back to being able to take pictures with my camera and blogging mainly in the evenings again.  As glad as I am to have our computer back, it’s going to be a pain finding everything we lost like applications, bookmarks, music and pictures.  But we’ll slowly get it back to normal.  So I have major catching up to do on all of your blogs!  I feel like I’ve missed out on so much these last few days!  Eek!  Tomorrow, after my race, I shall make that my task.

The hubs apparently fixed my bike yesterday and failed to tell me until I was walking out the door this morning and it was too late to re-vamp and hop on the bike so I drove to work but knowing that my bike is a-ok makes me happy!  Can’t wait to be biking on a regular basis again!

I had some Kashi H2H and Special K granola for cereal this morning.  Oh so good.

Lunch was pretty simple.  Just some flank steak and green beans.  Nothing too special but good nonetheless.

A little while later I was starving for a snack!  My nursing friend brought me another cheese wedge to try.  Isn’t that so sweet?  I didn’t like this near as much as the Laughing Cow so I’ll stick to the Laughing Cow.

Served with a few wheat crackers from our hospital cafeteria and a mandarin.

I absolutely rushed home from work because it’s pasta (aka: carbo loading) night!!  I have race 3 of 4 tomorrow!  The Papa John’s Ten Miler.  The hubs scooped me a rather larger portion than I originally asked but somehow I managed to get it all down.  🙂

Tonight calls for a piece of garlic bread too!  What would a carbo loading night be without bread with the pasta?!

Fresh grated parmesan cheese.  Please and thank you.

I have to admit that I ended Lent a day early (or two days early, however you want to look at it).  It’s Good Friday obviously and I just thought, I’ve gone this whole time, I’ve learned a lot and tonight is the night to end this Lenten season for myself.  So I had this.

So darn good!!!  I had a couple spoonfuls and stopped.  Completely satisfying even though I probably could’ve eaten the whole carton!

Mmmm… I could never ever give up sweets forever!  I love them too much!!

I then started to busy myself with getting things ready for the race in the morning so I wouldn’t go too extremely crazy with the sweets since it’s been 43 days!  So I got all my gear ready!

Look at what the hubby bought me!

An armband to put my iPhone in so I can be safe with my phone handy, even in the spring and summer months when I don’t wear a jacket or something with pockets.  He’s so thoughtful.  I love my hubs being the Easter Bunny!  I’m going to test it out tomorrow and see how I like it!

Alright, I’m officially carbo loaded and now I need to shower, wind down and get some sleep!  We have lots to do tomorrow after the race like brunch with other runner friends, hair appointments for both of us (I’m so due for a color!), light grocery shopping and then home!  I think it’ll end up being a full day!  I’m trying to talk the hubs into switching out my winter clothes for my spring/summer clothes at the storage unit so hopefully we’ll get to that too!  Busy busy day!  I’m trying to mentally prepare myself with thinking about racing in the morning but I so don’t feel like I have a race in the morning.  That good be a good… or a bad thing!  Here’s to hoping it goes great and the weather is awesome!  We’re tackling some pretty crazy hills on this course so I’m hoping my body doesn’t bonk out!

Wish me luck!  See you after the race!!

What are your plans for this weekend?

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?

Catching Up on Calories

Look at what was sleeping on me all day?!  How lucky am I?

Those cute things have been sleeping ALL DAY!!  Lazy boys!

The rest of my day was spent vegging and doing nothing!  It was great!  Around 3 o’clock, I was starting to feel quite hungry so I snacked on some trail mix of mine.

Dry Roasted Almonds, Craisins and Dark Chocolate Covered Plums.

It held me over pretty well until after we went to church and came home to cook dinner.

The hubs and I hopped to it with fixing dinner because we were both starving!  I think my body is so ravenous since I ran 21 miles yesterday so I’m trying to catch up on the calories.

On the menu for tonight: Flank steak, Asian inspired sautéed green beans with mushrooms, onion and bell pepper, Annie’s mac and cheese and baked beans.

The hubs had a Sister Schubert’s roll with his dinner but I decided to skip out since there were a tons of carbs on my plate already.

I packed up half the flank steak, sautéed veggies and rest of the baked beans and mac and cheese for lunch tomorrow.

This was our first time to try out Annie’s mac and cheese.  Usually I’m a Velvetta shells and cheese girl but even their small boxes are so big for the two of us and the serving sizes I scoop for myself ends up being huge!  So I decided to try this!

My review:

I really, really enjoyed it!  The shells, themselves, are smaller than Velvetta and the cheese mixture stayed creamy the whole time.  With Velvetta, they usually clump up and dry out pretty quickly but these were perfect.

A mandarin for an after dinner snack because I just felt like I needed something else.  Maybe I should have eaten a roll after all.  🙂

I’m now settled onto the couch and plan on being in bed and ready for sleep by 10 p.m.  I don’t think that’ll be hard tonight since my breakfast, lunch and snack are already packed up and ready to go for work tomorrow and I’ve showered and caught up on everything.  Here’s to hoping our next door neighbors won’t be partiers tonight and I can sleep all night!

See you tomorrow!!

What’s your favorite trail mix combo?

My Natural Dose of Speed

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, A.D.D., when I was in the 8th grade.  I took the drug Adderall from 9th grade until I graduated college and passed my nursing boards. I feel like there are still moments in my life where I feel like a person diagnosed with A.D.D. but for the most part, I can stay focused on the task at hand.  Sometimes I just have 500 other thoughts in my head while doing it.  And hey, a lot of people that aren’t diagnosed with A.D.D. have the same problem.  It’s called multi-tasking and not enough hours in the day.

Anyway… y’all probably wonder what I’m getting to with this little confession of mine.  After a race I feel like people would be physically, mentally and emotionally spent.  They’re done.  All you might want to do is sit on the couch, turn on the tube, sleep, eat and do nothing in particular.

I’m the complete opposite.  I have so much energy that it feels like I’m on Adderall again.  I get super hyperfocused and take off like a mad woman to the task at hand.  Today it was cleaning.  The hubs had mentioned this morning that we should totally clean the house tomorrow because it just needs a deep cleaning.  So since he’s at Disciple Now all day, I figured I’d hop to it so we can just relax until he has to head to rehearsal for leading worship at church tomorrow night.  I ended up washing 4 different loads of laundry and cleaned, scrubbed, wiped down everything in our loft.  For over 3 solid hours I cleaned and cleaned and am so excited that I was so productive and that we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow!  It doesn’t hurt that I probably burned a few hundred calories while scrubbing the shower tub, vacuuming, wiping down, etc.  🙂

I wound up taking a 15 minute nap and when I woke up I decided that I need to eat.  I didn’t eat a regular lunch after I ate the two bananas following the race this morning so I was hangry!!

The hubs had leftover flank steak in the fridge that he never ate from a couple of nights ago so I kind of did a repeat from lunch yesterday.

Whole wheat tortilla stuffed with flank steak, spring mix lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Don’t you love the natural light due to it staying lighter later?! I LOVE IT!!

It’s actually not that big of a wrap when it’s all bundled up and they’re only 100 calories a shell!

I had a few chips, side of salsa and a side of cheese dip.

I was so hungry but ended up eating it pretty slow and broke the chips into pieces and put massive amounts of cheese dip and salsa on them so I would eat less chips.  I totally felt like I got the same volume.

I figured that since I haven’t had my usual mandarin and grapes lately that tonight would be a good time.

A perfectly filling dinner and side of fruit.  I am now content.

I washed our top comforter earlier today when I got on my cleaning whim and after I took it out from the dryer, I realized I hadn’t seen the kitty boys circling my feet lately.  I peeked around the corner and saw this.  Seriously?  Does it get any cuter?

I’m off to finish drying our bed sheets so we have nice clean, crisp sheets to sleep on tonight.  And maybe I’ll get lucky and a kitty boy or two will climb up on the couch with me and cuddle.  I hope you all had a fantastic Saturday!

Another giveaway you need to check out and sign up for! 

When do you feel most motivated to clean, study, work-out, catch up on work, etc.?

Unexpected Day of Work

I honestly didn’t expect to go to work today.  I figured that I’d be placed on call because that has seemed to be the Friday trend lately.  So I went to bed without a shower last night expecting to be able to sleep in a little later than usual and then shower and piddle around the house.  Nope.  So that means I had to drag my rear out of bed that much earlier to get all cleaned up and ready for work.  I usually take my showers at night so I have more time to sleep but every once in a while it is nice to start off my work day with a hot shower to get me going.

I quickly threw together my breakfast since I hadn’t prepared the night before.  (I didn’t get to bed until after 11… eek!!)

My favorite cereal concoction. Kashi H2H and Special K Granola.

A match truly made in cereal heaven.

Then they were going to send me home at 11 due to the calmness and low census of patients and then the floodgates broke loose so I ended up working all day.

Good thing I had my tasty lunch that I had packed to eat yesterday that I didn’t get to eat due to food being catered in.

Whole wheat tortilla stuffed with flank steak, topped with homemade salsa, shredded cheese and spring mix.  So good!

A couple tablespoons of homemade salsa with some chips?  Yes, definitely.

The salsa is pretty spicy so I ate 4 saltines afterwards to keep my mouth from burning off.  Worked like a charm.  And my tummy was completely satisfied.

A pear for an afternoon snack.

Right after work I drove to a church that the hubs was leading Disciple Now for a youth group and ate dinner with him and enjoyed watching the youth worship.

Pizza was served.

Not my first choice of dinner since I feel like I’ve had so much Italian food type items this past week but it’s a good carbo loading meal nonetheless for my 10k tomorrow morning.  And it’s free.  Can’t beat that!

Well, I have my 10k in the morning and will not be getting as much shut eye as I’d like but I’ll sacrifice to support the hubs in his endeavors too!

Thank goodness one of my friends picked up my race packet for me today so I don’t have to be up at the butt crack of dawn to go get it and then wait around for the start of the race.

I’ve got the anxious/nervous/excited jitters but in a good way.  I’m excited for this race!  I just hope I’ll make good time and push myself.  I’ve got everything ready!

Shoes: Check, Sports Bra: Check, Garmin: Check, iPod: Check, Camera: Check, Runing Tee: Check, Socks: Check, Headband: Check, Pants: Check.

I’ll pin my number on tomorrow morning when Glenna brings me my race packet.

Whew. I  think that’s it!

I’m setting my alarm to wake up at 5 a.m. so I can eat me a breakfast and go back to bed until about 6:30 so it will digest.  I’m thinking whole wheat toast with a spread of peanut butter and sliced banana will be sufficient for fuel.

I’m really hoping that my funky mood will go away after my race tomorrow morning.  I’m thinking that running is my natural Xanax.  Those endorphins are good for me and since I haven’t ran since Tuesday, I’m feeling the major itch to get those flowing again!!  So adrenaline+other runner’s energy+completing a race= a great sounding endorphin boost!  Can’t wait!  Hopefully there will be sunshine!!!

I’m off to try and get as much rest as I can!  Wish me luck!  I’ll write as soon as I can after the race!

What is your natural Xanax?  Food, running, working out, love, walking, laughing, etc?

Guac, Salsa, and Fajitas

What a day it has been.  As soon as I stepped onto the floor at work this morning I was told by the night shift manager “You might as well go ahead and put your roller skates on”. And boy was she right.  Today was different from yesterday in that it was an organized chaos.  We were completely full, busy and had patients waiting for rooms but we had enough staff today to be able to help each other out and pay proper attention to our patients.

I was glad to get breakfast in my belly this morning.  Puffed wheat cereal with a sliced banana.

Lunch was a little late for my usual routine today.  I ate after 1 pm and was pretty hungry.  I was glad to have leftover whole wheat tortellini (cheese filled) with marinara.

With a salad on the side.

All together.  Don’t you love my fancy tupperware?  I wish I could eat on my real plates everyday!  ;-(

Later on for a snack I had a pear.

And maybe I had a handful of Chex Mix too.  I’ve felt super snacky today and I feel like it’s from my weekend of eating mostly carbs.  I’ve got to get back on track because my body is feeling, shall we say, bloated?!  All that bread is making me expand!!

Anyway… I hit the ground running after work and did 3 hard, fast miles.  (Well, fast for me)  I enjoyed the 57 degree weather and it being light outside!!!  Here’s my stats:

Mile 1: 9:53

Mile 2: 9:11

Mile 3: 8:08

Total: 27:12 minutes

YEE HAW!!!

I was famished by the time I got finished with the run and was so excited for flank steak fajitas that were waiting on me!

First up: My whole wheat fajita packed with flank steak, spring mix, homemade salsa, sour cream, cheese and grilled onion.

Homemade guacamole?  Sure.  Note: Another shocker so prepare yourself.  This is only the second time I’ve ever had guacamole.  The first time was just a few weeks ago and I love it!!

Homemade salsa? Absolutely!

All rolled up with some tortilla chips on the side.  Obvi.

So so good!  I wanted another wrap but I decided to wait and see how I felt after a little while and of course, I was full.  But I did seem to have just enough room left in the tummy for some fruit.  One mandarin and red grapes while I am blogging.  I LOVE fruit!!!

Ok, so this night will be the beginning of trying to get back to bed and be asleep by 10 pm!  I’ve got to get moving so I can make it!!  I hope you all had a great Tuesday.  It sure felt like Monday to me… weird!

What do you do when you feel super snacky and know you need to get back on track?!