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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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Weekend Eating

I’ve discovered something about myself.  I am a total unpredictable eater on the weekends.  I just go with the flow and usually end up with a hodge podge of food for each of my meals.

I guess that’s what is so great about the weekends and days off.  It’s mean to be laid back and relaxed… even when it comes to food.

My dinner was tiny but yet wonderful.

I just listened to what my body was craving and went with it.

A sliced apple with some PB!

And then a treat I’ve been saving since Easter.

My big chocolate bunny from Dinstuhl’s Fine Candy in Memphis, TN.

The hubs had the head plus another big piece I cut for him.

I had the top of the ears.

Poor bunny got massacred.

Such fine chocolate… I miss being in Memphis where we can grab it whenever we want.

Such a random dinner but half of my sub from earlier really did the job of filling me up, along with that fabulous granola bar that Lindsey gave to me try out.

It’s back to work tomorrow.  Boo!  I’ve so enjoyed these last few days off.  At least I’m all packed up for food and ready to go.  Maybe I’ll be able to fall asleep at a decent hour tonight. Let’s hope so.  The weekend seems to always throw off my internal clock a tad.

I’m off to watch the season finale of The Amazing Race!  See you tomorrow!

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Trial Parenting

Good evening friends!  Can you believe it’s already the end of the day on Friday?  Why do days off go by so much more quickly than days spent at work?  Boo on that!

After lunch, I ended up laying out on our  rooftop deck for 3 hours!  You better believe I got some good color going on right now.  A little red tint but will turn into a brown tint soon.  🙂

I actually got a cat nap in the sun laying up there today.  And it looks like this buddy got a good nap in the sunshine too.

Too comfortable.

“Oh, Mom, I’m not ready for my close up right now. Can’t you see I’m trying to nap?”

We ate dinner a little earlier than usual tonight because we were asked to babysit while some of our good friends attended a wedding tonight.  Of course we said yes!  We love babies and babysitting and don’t get to do it very often.

Dinner was a superb success.  We bought some Ahi Tuna fillets at Sam’s Club last week and broke those bad puppies out tonight.

We tried them sauteed.

I had a huge salad on my plate.  The hubs didn’t think I’d be able to fit any other food on there because it was so big!

But I proved him wrong.

Ahi Tuna on a bed of brown rice.

A spoonful of broccoli and cheese.

All together now.

Loved every bite!

We headed out the door and here we are, babysitting!  In other words, trial parenting.

The babe is in bed so it’s not like we have to do everything but we are prepared if she needs anything.  I have arms that are willing to hold and rock!

I brought a sliced apple and some PB for a snack for later since we ate dinner so early.

Always have to be prepared for when hunger strikes!  Ya hear?

Wish us luck as we act as parents for a few hours.  We have a fun, laid back day and night prepared tomorrow.  I’m hoping for a day of sleeping in, picnics, biking, running, etc.  We’ll see what all we can fit in.

I think I might be trying my hand at oatmeal again in the morning.  If you remember, my previous two trials at it failed miserably so suggestions are welcome. 🙂

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?

New Obsession

I was so thankful for great weather for biking to work this morning!  It’s been so nasty these last couple of days.  I needed to get out there and pedal hard!

I’m keeping it pretty light and clean with food today since we’re having homemade pizza tonight!

Breakfast was made with the help of my new obsession.  The apple corer!  We bought this the other day while grocery shopping and with as many apples as I eat, I knew I’d be obsessed.  True, true.

I didn’t want my blood sugar to spike and me be starving before lunch so I paired it with 3/4 tbsp. of peanut butter.  A perfect light breakfast.

Hope the Monday’s are treating you well!!  See you at lunch!

Have you found a new gadget that you’ve become obsessed with?  If so, what is it?

Fresh Cut Grass

Thank goodness the rest of the day went by quickly!  It actually ended up being a calm, smooth day at work for a change.  It’s been so busy lately that none of us have been able to keep up with each others personal lives so it was nice to be able to catch up and laugh with some co-workers towards the end of the shift.  A nice end to my day I would say.

I have found some amazing friends within my co-workers and I am just so grateful for all of their support through my marathon training.  I mean, the second I finished the marathon, I looked at my phone and saw that my co-workers at work had called just to check in on me and see how I did!  So sweet and over whelming at the same time.  It’s great to know you have co-workers that you can call true friends, especially when you’re family is in another state and you know you can turn to them if you need them.  Amen?

Alright, off my little tangent.  I had an unpictured banana with some peanut butter for a late afternoon snack.

I biked home with smells of fresh cut grass all throughout the air and it was glorious.  I love that smell because I know summer is right around the corner!

It was burger night at our place. I had to redeem myself after not being able to really enjoy or finish my burger from Five Guys after the marathon.  I ate half and put the rest away for lunch tomorrow.

I was bummed that we didn’t have any lettuce to add to our burgers but we’re making a grocery trip on Friday so I’ll get all stocked up on groceries again.

With a mixture of Kettle BBQ chips on the side and Baked BBQ Lay’s.

All together.

I think spring is finally rolling in with some warmer weather and I’m itching to get outside and start taking nightly walks with the hubs.  I miss our walks.  Soon, hopefully soon.

Hope your hump day treated you kindly!  See you in the morning!

What’s your favorite smells of spring?

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

A hungry, hungry hippo is what I was today!  I guess my body’s trying to catch up on all the calories it burned this past weekend but boy is it relentless!!!

After breakfast this morning, I couldn’t wait to dig into lunch!  I packed half a ham sandwich topped with cucumber, spring mix, onion, tomato and mustard.

An apple on the side.

I was still super hungry so I went ahead and ate the snack I had packed for the afternoon.  A peanut butter chocolate granola bar from my batch that I made last week.  Oh so good!

Not even a few hours later I was ravenous again!  This time I had some graham crackers and peanut butter. Unpictured!

By the time I biked home, I was hungry yet again!  I was so glad to smell some good stuff cooking when I got home!

Barbecue chicken, grilled asparagus, roasted red potatoes and a Sister Schubert’s roll.

I ate half the chicken, all the asparagus, half the potatoes and half the roll.  I packed the other halves up for lunch tomorrow.

Honestly, it wasn’t the best meal we have cooked but oh well.  Tomorrow’s always a new day.

I had to return the movie we rented the other night because we kept forgetting to take it back to the Redbox so I biked up the road to our Kroger to return it and pick up some corn for a potluck dinner we’re having with friends Thursday night.

At least I got a little more exercise in.   I’m just dying to strength train or run!  Really, I’m just dying to run but know I need to rest the remainder of the week.  Friday, I think, will be the day I jump back on the pavement.  At least I hope it is!

I biked back home to have some cake and ice cream for dessert.

It’s almost all gone!  Sad day when that happens but probably good too because I could see it packing on the pounds I lost during marathon training and I’d like to stay the weight I am now for good.  We shall see!

Actually, I have decided to pack the rest of the cake up to take to the girls at work tomorrow.  I have got to get it out of this house!  All this sugar I have been inhaling has actually made me hungrier I think with my blood sugar spiking.  I just can’t seem to feel fully satisfied after I eat dessert.  And I’m feeling more and more like crap.  Not light and clean.  Maybe I need to make a new once a week dessert rule…. hmmm… decisions, decisions.

I hope your Tuesday treated you well.  I’m off to make all my meals for work tomorrow and settle in for bed.  Nighty night friends!

Do you have a dessert rule for yourself?

Marathon Re-Cap

Well, it’s official… I’m a marathoner! I just got home so let me start from the beginning of the day… or rather, last night.

I was thankful to fall asleep quickly last night and sleep the whole night. I woke up around 5:30 this morning to fix my pre-race breakfast.

A couple of slices of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and a sliced banana.

We had some friends meet us at our loft so we could all ride together to the start line.

Here’s moi before we left the house.

The three other girls that were running the half-marathon that met at our place.

We finally made our way through the misting rain to the start line, or at least to our corral group. Off I go!!!

We walked ten minutes to the start line and then we were good to go. I met a girl in our corral, Missy, who was running her first marathon too and wanted the same time I did so we quickly developed a race relationship and decided to run the whole thing together.

We ran 3 miles of hills through Iroquois Park and I felt strong as we exited the park. We then headed to Churchill Downs and ran the infield. What a neat experience!! Knowing that one of the biggest horse races in the world happens here made me run even faster! As we left Churchill Downs I saw my fan club!

I was still feeling awesome at this point and was pacing great! Before we knew it, we hit the split where the half marathoners went one way and the marathoners went another. I couldn’t believe how sparse it got when we went the marathon route. It was like a ghost town.

We stopped somewhere around 12.5 miles for Missy to use the restroom and I readjusted my shoes and then we were back onto the running.

We started hitting some major hills and ended up walking up a huge one in Cherokee park.

We met some sweet people running. A guy who was in his 60’s or 70’s who was running his 100th marathon within 5 years! Crazy! He was my inspiration!

We hit mile 19 and look who I saw! Or I guess, who saw me!

We knew we were getting so close so we kept on trucking. Missy started hyperventilating shortly after mile 19 so we walked some. Our bodies really started feeling it so it became a walk/run race towards the last bit of mileage which was totally okay with me because I knew we’d be sure to finish under 5 hours which was great for me!

I saw my cheering section again at mile 20.5 and knew we didn’t have long to go. Then my friend, Glenna, jumped in the race at mile 21 to finish it out with me and push me to keep going. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Missy really started hurting towards the end but we pushed through and finally rounded the corner and saw the finish line. Can you tell I was excited?

The hubs ended up jumping out from the sidewalk and ran the last 1/10 of a mile with me!

Look at how excited he was! Disclaimer: He didn’t know he took this picture at all but I love it!

They announced my name as I came up on the finish line and it was the coolest experience ever!! They announced that I was a marathoner and I just started crying! I ran across that finish line and Missy and I grabbed each other crying!

Then it was time to get my medal. I was so happy!

Then it was time to see my mom!

Thank you Glenna for pushing me towards the end!!

Lindsey (who finished the half! Way to Go!), Me and Glenna.

My biggest fan and I!

The three biggest cheerers out there! Sean (Lindsey’s husband), Mom and Chad.

I have a few injuries on my feet! A couple of my toenails are lifting off the nail bed and one of them has a huge blister on it where the cuticle line is so I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose that toenail but other than having a limp in my walk from my feet and sore hips, I’m fine! Praise God for an injury free training season and race!

Everyone was hungry but me after I finished. Ha. I knew I needed to eat so I quickly agreed to a late lunch. We headed over to Indiana to eat at Five Guys and I ordered their little hamburger topped with lettuce, tomato, raw and grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, relish, mustard and ketchup.

I was happy.

With an order of fries of course.

I ended up eating a little over half of my burger and just a handful of fries. I told you I wasn’t hungry! 🙂 It’s not like me not to inhale a burger and fries completely but I didn’t want to force it and then have a chance of getting sick.

We got home and mom decided to go ahead and head back to Memphis. Even though the rain and storms held off this morning, it’s supposed to get really bad tonight so she wanted to get out of it while she could. A quick picture before she went!

Thanks Mom for coming all this way to just see me run a race! I love you to the moon and back!

Look at all this loot they gave me as I finished! They just kept piling it in the bag we brought! I’m all about it!

I did have a couple of jelly sport beans from one of my packs during the race and a strawberry banana flavored gu.

I’ve showered (which was much needed and enjoyed) and now am about to get ready to head with the hubs to a meeting with a group visiting from Chicago. I can’t believe my body is feeling good enough to get off the couch and go but it is, so I’ll take it! They’re serving dinner at this house we’re going to but I’m not sure I’m going to partake. My body just isn’t feeling hungry yet. But I’m sure I’ll be able to squeeze some cake and ice cream down after we get home tonight! I think I’ll manage. 🙂 Mom left the whole entire cake with us that was left! Yeesh. Sugar overload. But I won’t complain! I burned over 2300 calories today. I think I deserve it.

Thank you all so much for all of your prayers, encouragement, tweets, facebook messages, texts, phone calls, etc.! Y’all are so amazing! I still can’t believe that I just ran a marathon but know it’ll hit me soon. Maybe another good cry will be coming. 🙂

My official time was 4:57:41 (the course was actually 26.62 miles) which I am definitely pleased with and made my pace a little over 11 minutes/mile! I’m anxious to see what my actual pace was but I haven’t downloaded my Garmin stats yet. I’ll let you know when I do! My next goal: Train for a half-marathon in October and find another full marathon to run next year and hopefully qualify for Boston soon! I know this is a huge goal but I went from running two 5k’s over 2 years ago to training for a full marathon and accomplished that goal so I know I can do it! Watch out Boston! I’m coming for ya!

What’s the one accomplishment in your life so far that has left you with the best feeling in the world?