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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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Creative Juices Flowing

As you will be able to tell, my creative juices were really flowing last night as I packed my lunch. I’m aiming daily to put more effort into what I eat, how I prepare it, what it looks like plated, etc. I feel like it makes the process of eating it just that much more enjoyable and satisfying. And obviously it looks prettier in pictures too!

I ate pretty carby yesterday so I decided veggies were in order today for lunch.

I got all my things set out and ready to cut them up last night.

A HUGE salad!

Like my rows of veggies? Bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and celery.

Always a little sprinkle of feta because feta makes it BETTA! And cracked black pepper too.

I had celery left over and thought some hummus on the side with a few crackers would be perfect for some more crunch and flava!

I love these Kashi crackers!!

I broke into the red roasted pepper hummus I bought at Whole Foods and dare I say, I wasn’t as impressed with the flavor like the Athenos I usually eat.

At least I tried it! I think that was a perfect lunch! And for a snack later I’ll eat the snack I had packed for yesterday! Oikos blueberry Greek yogurt with some Bear Naked granola.

What a fabulous day of eats so far. I think tonight is grilled chicken, salad, roasted broccoli and maybe some Annie’s mac and cheese. We’ll see what’s presented to me upon my arrival home!!

Hope you’re having a great Tuesday so far!

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Makes Me So Happy

Having a Lenny’s in Louisville now makes me pretty darn happy if you can’t tell, considering I’ve talked about it for days on end now.

I think I’ve declared Sunday’s to be our free sub a week day.  It just seems like a great day to be able to go and take our time and then I don’t have to worry one iota about lunch for Monday.  It’s always hard to get back in the swing of packing food for work after I haven’t done it for a few days.  Ya know?

Half of my sub from yesterday.

I’m officially addicted to their red hot pepper relish.  All I need is a dab.

Sun Chips on the side please!

A light snack is packed up for later.  I’m digging into the Oikos Blueberry Greek yogurt today.

With some Bear Naked granola to add in for some crunch!

I’m all set until dinner tonight.  Hoping for some time to get in a good run after work and before dinner.  I think chicken wraps are on the menu for tonight.  We’ll see what the hubs whips up in the kitchen.  🙂

What’s your favorite brand of granola?

I like the Bear Naked but I’ve been thinking about experimenting with making some of my own!

I Took the Plunge…

…into the Green Monster world!

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, shall we?  I wouldn’t want to spoil the review of what I thought right out of the gates!  I have to fill you in on the rest of my exciting morning at Lenny’s Sub Shop.

First of all, I did not get called into work, thank goodness!  It was looking pretty iffy there for a while but I made it.   Maggie and I waited in line for a little while longer and they finally opened the doors and in we filed.

It was a fast moving process so I didn’t get any pictures until I sat down with my sandwich.

I ordered a #15 on whole wheat topped with onion, lettuce, tomato, oregano, pepper, a tad bit of mayo, banana peppers and black olives.

A PERFECT sandwich.  It tasted just as I remember!  I only ate half and packed the other half up for dinner tonight.  I also got a bag of their baked barbecue chips and ate half of those too.  I couldn’t believe it, but I got a drink that went with my meal and I actually got a coke!  I haven’t had a coke in months and months and it was good!  Not amazing enough for me to start drinking them on a daily basis but one every once in a while won’t kill me.  🙂

Unlike Subway, the pile their sandwiches full of FRESH SLICED (right in front of your eyes) deli meat and cheese.

All of their toppings are fresh and cut in the kitchen.  Believe me, I’ve had my hands in all of it since I used to work there for a few years.

I loved my marketing job with Lenny’s because I loved their food.  Lenny’s has an extremely special place in my heart and I feel blessed to have been a part of their team.  The even cooler thing?  I still feel like I’m a part of their team.  I ran into my first manager from Lenny’s today at this grand opening and he not only remembered me, but he talked to the corporate office as well today, and they remember me.  It’s nice to know I made a nice lasting impression.

I am pretty excited about getting a free regular sub sandwich or kaiser sandwich every week for a year but I’m even more excited that we have a Lenny’s here now!  It makes me so happy!

ANYWAY!  The hubs came and met me after I ate to grab a bite to eat too and we headed off to run some errands.  It was such a nice day out and I was excited to spend some time with him on an unexpected day off and get errands run today instead of on my three day weekend.  Ya hear?

On one of my errands I picked up a special treat!  Really proud that I was able to place this on my car.

Fitting to put it on while I was wearing my marathon shirt they gave me in my swag bag!  🙂

I came inside to make a snack.  I thought today would be the perfect day to make my first ever Green Monster!  I was really nervous but excited to try it out.  I added a frozen banana, two huge handfuls of spinach, some ice, a little milk and packet of chocolate amazing grass.

All in the blender!

After several minutes of trial and error with figuring out why it wasn’t blending, the hubs figured out there wasn’t enough liquid to capture the spinach and blend properly.  So a little more milk and I was in business!!

Loved that I had the perfect amount for this glass.

You knew I was a Desperate Housewife, didn’t you?  Side note and cute story: My mom and two of her best friends (which are friends to me as well) took me on a grown up bachelorette party before I got married almost 4 years ago and my mom each had one of these wine glasses made for us with our names on the bottom.  How adorable.  It’s my favorite glass and I love that it will be perfect for my Green Monsters!!

My first sip!

Topped with a pinch of granola.

Did I like it?  You tell me.

I loved it… down to the last drop!  Classy huh?

I will forever be a believer in GM’s and will probably make them frequently.  I felt like I was eating a clean, hearty snack without having to search for carbs or peanut butter.  Not that there is anything wrong with peanut butter or carbs but I just need some veggies in my life!  And these are so dang easy to make, so I have no excuse!

I was glad I got a couple of single packets of the amazing grass to try because I didn’t know if I’d like it and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the tub of it but believe me, this was a good investment and we will be buying a bin of it soon!  Along with some other mix ins like maca and chia seeds.  I have to take it slow because those things aren’t inexpensive and add up quick!

I’m off and running.  I think I’m going to go on a long bike ride after I eat the other half of my sandwich and chips and before I head to community group tonight.  Sounds like a plan to me.  Hopefully I’ll get some good mileage in!

See you later tonight!

Do you drink GM’s?  If so, what’s your favorite mix-ins?

Oikos Newbie

Since I’m breaking into the Greek yogurt world, I bought 4 Stoneyfield’s Oikos Greek yogurt on sale the other day at Whole Foods. I was pretty excited about trying some new flavors.

This morning sounded like a great morning to try the honey on the bottom flavor. I think I’ll be a huge yogurt fan this summer in the hot weather! It’s cool and refreshing.

I added some of my Bear Naked granola for a good crunch.

The texture is growing on me! Oikos actually has a much smoother, less chalky texture than Yoplait’s. I’m a fan for sure! I can’t wait to try my other flavors. And maybe I’ll start incorporating the plain yogurt into regular recipes. Who knows… I’m learning.

Back to work people! See you at lunch!

Do you like flavored yogurt or non-flavored?

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?

Fruit on the Bottom

After a great night’s rest and bike ride into work this morning I was ready to go!

I couldn’t wait to try half of my Danon’s fruit on the bottom yogurt but was disappointed when I scanned the ingredient list and saw fructose syrup listed. Why Danon, why?

Super tasty with my Bear Naked granola but I think I’m going to try and break into the Greek yogurt world here soon.

I’m off and running! See you later friends!

What’s your favorite kind of yogurt?

Loading Up on the Fillers

Thank goodness it is almost time to go to bed!  I cannot even begin to describe the crazy day I had after lunch.  I’ll just put it this way, I was physically spent!  Mentally too, but truly, physically grueling! I’m just glad I get to lay down to rest in a few minutes.   After a few hours, I was finally able to get a long enough break from the craziness to eat the snack I packed.

The other half of my Danon vanilla flavored yogurt that I ate the other day.  With some Bear Naked granola on top.

After work, I booked it biked it to our church for a meeting/dinner.

The hubs fixed me a plate before I got there since I’d be running a little later due to work.

Lots of salad…. as a filler of course.

This was my a additional helping so I’d fill some empty space in my belly.

Here’s my plate the hubs fixed me.  I only ate the chicken that was tossed in marinara sauce and peas (on the very left of the pasta line).  I had the bread and one bite of the alfredo and other pastas.

I had all of my dessert, of course!  It tasted like chocolate flavored cool whip.  I have no idea what it actually was but it was tasty!!

Breakfast, lunch and snacks are packed up for tomorrow and I’m off to bed!  I almost overslept this morning so I need to apparently aim to get some extra sleep tonight!  Tomorrow’s my last day of work before I’m off and resting up for the marathon!  It’s creeping up on me quickly.

What do you like to eat as “fillers” to help you from overindulging in dense, rich foods?