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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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In Love

Good evening bloggies and friends!  I can’t believe Friday is almost over and I have the next two full days off from work.  I plan on totally sleeping in tomorrow morning.  Which means, I’ll probably wake up at 7 instead of 5:30.  Hey, any extra sleep counts, right?

I had a great rest of the day at work and did enjoy my granola bar along with an apple and 3/4 tbsp. of peanut butter.  So good.

I biked home to a much anticipated dinner prepared by the hubs.  It was phenom!

I am already so in love with our decision to join a CSA.

The hubs grilled up some pac choi that was insane delish.

We had fresh lettuce mix straight from the farm topped with some feta, sliced radishes (from the farm) and a sriracha vinaigrette. Our salad mix included: A mix of buttercrunch, oakleaf, Bibb/Romaine cross, and Deer Tongue lettuces, accented with lacinato kale, tat soi, baby spinach, and some red mustard to add a little bit of heat

A whole wheat flax seed roll.

A small piece of ribeye for me. Those are two grilled scallions on the side and those were amazing!!!  Packed with flavor!

Some Bush’s grillin’ beans.

All together it made a perfecto meal!

Lots of green.  Makes me feel good!

We had a bright idea of walking to our local McDonald’s to rent a movie from the Redbox and decided that a $1 sweet treat was in order.  Since we’re pretty tight on our budget for the month, we dipped into our change jar.

I was way tempted to order their new McFlurry flavor of Reese’s Cups they’ve recently debuted but have been pretty heavy on food and dessert recently so ordered a reduced fat vanilla ice cream cone instead.  Can’t beat it for 150 calories.

We saw this cute little bunny as we walked.  I just wanted to scoop it up!

We rented the movie Sherlock Holmes tonight.  It’s on right now and I haven’t really been paying too much attention.  Too much other stuff to do and on my mind.  Can’t wait for a couple of days to maybe decompress.  We have a busy day tomorrow with a graduation party and a wedding so who knows what sporadic times I’ll be posting.  Hope you had a happy Friday!

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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.

Happy Birthday!

I want to take the time to publically wish the most beautiful, precious woman on earth and extremely Happy Birthday! My mom turned 21 today and looks just as amazing as she did when she was 20. 🙂

She has been such a great influence in my life and is always there when I need her. The hubs and I both love the mess out of her. We couldn’t ask for a better mom or mother-in-law. I so wish we didn’t live 6 hours from each other so I could give her a big ole hug and smooch! So join me in wishing the woman who birthed my huge 8 lb. 9 oz. self! She’s a warrior I tell ya!

Isn’t she the cutest?

I ended up eating some different fruit someone brought into work today for an afternoon snack instead of my grapes and mandarin so I’m good to go for breakfast in the morning! One less meal to worry about packing something for.

I biked home to eat some dinner, strength train and cook some homemade peanut butter cookies.

I love these cookies and they’re so easy! Not so healthy but fabulous still!

1 c. Sugar
1 c. Peanut Butter
1 Egg

Mix, shape into balls on cookie sheet and press down on top of cookie with a fork to make grooves.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness and size of the cookies. Voilà! You’re finished!

I ended up getting 49 cookies out of the one batch.  The most I’ve gotten yet!

And then you eat them all. Well, I, unfortunately couldn’t eat any of them because I’m taking them to work for a party tomorrow so I has to keep my paws off.

We ate an absolutely delicious dinner tonight.  The hubs did good!

Big green salad with feta, veggies and balsamic viniagrette.

Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese.

With grilled chicken and a whole wheat roll with flax seed.

I had to have dessert since I couldn’t have any cookies!  I had maybe 1/2 a cup of vanilla ice cream with a crumbled Reese’s Cup on top.  Perfecto!

It’s time to get some strength training in while I watch The Biggest Loser!  I’ll see you tomorrow friends!

What’s your favorite kind of cookie?

Derby Fun

It’s only 8:30 at night and we’re already back from our Derby festivities.  Party animals, aren’t we?!  I’m a wild woman, let me tell you.  Bedtime at 10?  Doesn’t everyone go to bed that early?  🙂

I was sent home early from work, which I expected so I headed home, washed my hair, painted my toesies and fingers, and donned my swankiest black dress and heels (Thanks Kate Spade for always being there for me) and off we went.

My man and I.   What a hunk.

They had some eats of course and I got a bit of everything.

A small bowl of mild chili.

We split some dessert.

I might have gone back for a couple more bites of ice cream and chocolate cake. 🙂

Ok, I’ve discovered I have a problem.  I am all about Bethenny Frankel’s food philosophy’s or should we say food rules in her book, “Naturally Thin” but I’m thinking I need to read this book everyday to feel in control over my food choices.  Alright, here’s the nitty gritty.  This past week I have indulged in anything and everything I want.  I have not shown all the little sweets I have popped into my mouth every evening but they are there and sometimes in copious amounts.  I was doing really well on the eating in moderation thing but this week, after the marathon, I have just felt the need to overindulge and I don’t know why.  So strange.  Oh wait… now that I think about it, I know why.  It’s those dang hormones that go raging every month!  Eek!  Totally forgot about that.  Whew, I feel better now.  But still… I have really not been treating my body well at all so please forgive me for this horrible week of eats.  Tomorrow is a new day (I feel like I say this a lot) and I am vowing to myself (and you) that I will treat my body well from now on.  That doesn’t mean I won’t eat sweets ever again but I’m totally putting more crap in my body than I should.  So knowing that you all know my little secret now, I’m hoping I’ll be more accountable to myself because I know it’s out there in the open.

Ok, I feel better now just getting that off my chest.  It’s actually an early night for me so I’m going to turn in and settle down for the night.  I have to work the next 5 days so I need some rest!

Update on my feet: My toes feel better today.  Not completely 100% but much better!  I’m hoping by tomorrow night or Monday night, I’ll be running again.  Oh Lord please!  I need to run for my sanity!!

Have you had any food revelations lately?

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?

Itching

What am I itching for you might ask? A nice, long run! Crazy, huh? Monday nights are usually my nights to run after work so it was really weird not to throw on my running shoes and pound the pavement.

At least I had a nice bike ride on the way home from work. That makes me feel like I’m getting a little activity in each day.

Oh yes, I did have an afternoon snack I almost forgot about!

Is it a sad snack?

Nope, I think it’s happy!

I came home to a husband slaving over books and his computer because he has a 15 page paper due tomorrow.

So to have a quick and easy meal for him to get back to writing, I made sloppy joe’s of course! Duh!  We were going to have the dinner we planned to eat last night but this was so easy that he could get back to writing ASAP.

I make my sloppy joe’s with ground turkey instead of ground beef and put it all on a whole wheat bun.

Chips on the side are a must have with sloppy joe’s. Don’t you think?

BBQ Baked Lay’s are a fave of mine…

I love love love it!

Cake and ice cream were in order for dessert!

I’ll be sad when we finish off the cake. It’s so sinfully good!

Time for me to enjoy a night off from running and climb in bed early. Five a.m. will come oh too quickly.

Do you ever itch to exercise, run, bike, etc.?

My Rest Day

Here’s what my rest day has looked like:

Church, sleep, lunch, sleep, make food for work tomorrow, blog, shower, watch TV, sleep.

Oh, and wrap my toes!  I’m trying to save that second toenail but I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Both my water blisters have been opened and I’m hoping my toes feel back to normal soon.  At least my toes are painted a cute color!  The first paint of the flip flop season!

I kid you not, my day has been comprised of 90% sleep.  I woke up this morning around 8 to get ready for church.  Thank goodness I only took 1/4 of that muscle relaxer last night because I was wasted!  I just did not want to get out of bed.  But knowing the hubs was leading our church in worship this morning made me happy to get out of bed.

Yeesh… I didn’t realize how hard it would be to physically get out of bed.  My legs felt like they were 100 lbs. each!  My quads were tight and burning like no other feeling I’ve ever felt after a long run before.  I got ready and forced myself to walk down the 4 flights of stairs in our building instead of taking the elevator in hopes of stretching them out a little bit.  I looked like a doofus hobbling down the stairs.

This is me today… for sure.

After church I came home, ate an unpictured mandarin and climbed into bed where I planned to stay for the rest of the day.  I found myself waking up to the hubs calling telling me he was on his way home.  Oops… I had already fallen asleep!  He came home, we made lunch.  I couldn’t wait!  I was STARVING!

A turkey frank for me on a whole wheat bun with mustard, ketchup and relish.

With some Harvest Cheddar SunChips that they put in my bag after the marathon yesterday.  Total yum!!

All together.  Notice half a chocolate chip cookie.  It was a must!

Ok, I was still starving well after I ate this so I thought cake and ice cream was in order.  Guess I’m making up for all those calories I burned yesterday.  You think?

Look at how cute the hubs was with cutting my name part off the cake!

After eating this… I ate… just kidding!  I was completely satisfied.  Not too full at all!  My belly just wanted some more sweets. I cannot deny it what it wants!  I must oblige.  🙂

The hubs and I started to watch SNL from last night and I found myself at 5:30 waking up!  Oops… another long napper!

Upon waking up, the hubs gave me a full body massage.  It hurt so good!!  I am back to work tomorrow with bending, moving around, lifting, etc. and I know I’m going to be hurting so I’m glad the hubs helped me break up some of the lactic acid that has built up in my body from yesterday.

We had planned on making a super dinner tonight but both of us are totally not hungry at all!  So I got to working in the kitchen with making my breakfast, lunch and snacks for tomorrow.  Love when I’m productive and get my act together early in the night so I can chill the rest of the time!

I’m off to shower, relax and get a whole night’s rest because it’s back to the baby factory tomorrow.  Life doesn’t stop when you’re a marathoner, apparently!  The world keeps on spinning and I keep on working.  It’s been an absolute dream of a weekend and I still haven’t woken up from it yet.  Hope yours was just as fabulous!  See you in the morning!

How was your weekend?