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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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Olé!

I’m so thankful the rest of the day passed by fairly quickly. I ended up not eating my yogurt and granola for a snack because it’s nurses week and we had a poster fair today, complete with pizza.

I resisted for a while but ended up seeing this teensy, tiny piece of pepperoni pizza calling my name so I rescued it.

Little did it know it was going straight into my belly.

Seriously though, it was a super tiny piece and I wish I had a picture but I didn’t think people would appreciate me whipping out my camera to take a picture so I just enjoyed it instead.

Anyway… look who met me at work.

Such a sweet act deserves a reward, right?

“What did you say hubs? Mexican food?Anything you want darling. Your wish is my command.”

Ha. Funny right?

It was actually both of us that were craving some serious Mexican food and we knew we both wouldn’t be able or want to talk sense into the other one about needing to cook at home so the obvious choice was to just go for our craving.

I was happy that we actually biked so we could burn some calories and that my little piece of pizza actually helped me not go overboard with binging on the chips and salsa.

We ordered our usual three tacos.  I had one soft chicken taco and the hubs had two hard tacos.

Love me some chips and salsa.  Key: Break chips into smaller pieces and load as much salsa as you can onto chip for fillers.

I had planned to go for a run tonight but my right big toenail is definitely jacked to the point where I can literally move it and see fluid floating under the nailbed. Not good. So I’ve reluctantly decided to rest from running this week and let my toe heal. I can’t keep pushing it like I have. I’ve been way too stubborn.

So I’ll continue to bike and strength train and hopefully I’ll be back to running by the weekend. Gotta listen to your body, right?

I came home to fix my meals for work tomorrow and eat a little more of my Easter bunny of solid milk chocolate.

The hubs had apparently had some today too!

I took the cleaver to it.  Poor bunny.

Ok, I don’t really feel sorry for it because I got to eat this yummy goodness.

I think I might do some ab exercises tonight before I hit the hay.  I’ve gotta run!  It’s already 9 o’clock and I need to shower, climb in bed and wind down so I can be fast asleep by 10 o’clock!

Did anyone else feel like it was Tuesday instead of Monday?!  I totally did!

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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.

Butt Kicked

I’m back from bootcamp and my butt was officially kicked!!!  We did an hour straight of running, sprints, suicides, lunges, push-ups, arms, jumping jacks, side steps, etc.  I was DRIPPING in sweat.  I can’t tell you the last time I sweat that much.  It was insane!  And then we did a full 12 minutes, non-stop, of ab exercises.

My body is burning but it feels so good!  I definitely got an amazing, hard core, workout in this morning so I can now relax the rest of the day and not have a run or workout looming over my head.

I plan to lay out, watch some Tivo shows, read, enjoy time with the hubs and get ready to go babysit some of our friends baby tonight while they attend a wedding.  Hello!  Let us act as parents for a few hours… please!  Love it!!

I came home famished and ready for lunch.  It usually takes me about 1 1/2-2 hours to feel hungry after such an intense workout so it was perfect timing by the time I got home.

I heated up the two pieces of pizza leftover from the other night to finish them off and get them out of our fridge.

Oops, almost forgot some marinara for dipping!

A bite of brownie to top it all off.

I’m headed up to the rooftop for some laying out.  It’s 85 degrees here with clear skies and nice breeze.  Gotta get my base tan going because our beach trip is officially 5 weeks away!  Yippee skippee!!!

What are your plans for this lovely Friday?!

Veggies Galore

I didn’t want to overload myself with leftover pizza for lunch considering we had 4 nice size pieces leftover from last night’s dinner so I had one decent size piece and sliced it in half.

I wanted a huge salad to go along with my pizza so I loaded it up with feta and veggies!

I’m completely satisfied.  Now what are we going to do with those other 3 pieces of pizza that are leftover at home?  I don’t think the hubs will eat them and I’m eating lunch that work is providing for the next two days!  Can they sit in the fridge that long?  Oh well… we’ll figure it out.

I brought some fruit for an afternoon snack.  Just a mandarin and some red grapes but satisfying, nonetheless.

Hope your day is going splendidly!  I can’t wait to head home, strength train, eat dinner and bake some cookies for work on Wednesday!  See you tonight!

Too Pumped

I was too pumped to bike home tonight because I knew I was going to be able to run for the first time since the marathon 9 days ago! I found out why my toenails were hurting me so badly and once I fixed it, because I’m such a good nursey nurse, I am feeling 100% better and practically back to normal! So tonight was the night!

We had great weather today, perfect weather this evening and I had the best 2 mile run. Easy, calm, exhilirating. Actually, I lied. It wasn’t easy, I pushed it hard but it was glorious! I have missed running so much! I know you all know that because I’ve been talking about it so much but man, it’s great to be back in the game.

And I knew I was running back home for some homemade pizza!! Whole wheat crust topped with oodles of veggies! Yum!

Spinach, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms and I added black olives on my slices.

Pizza was much needed in my life and I loved every bite of my two small pieces.  I felt like I deserved it after a fast, hard run.

So I’m all packed up with food for work tomorrow, showered and settled for the night. Off to dream land! See you tomorrow!

What makes you feel like you’re on Cloud 9?

Loading Up

We had such a great afternoon relaxing at the loft and going to introduce my mom to people I work with.

I couldn’t wait for dinner though! Time for carbo loading. I can’t think of a better way to load up on the carbs than to eat some good ole Chicago style deep dish supreme pizza!

Old Chicago has some of the best pizza in town and it’s been ages since we’ve been there so we were due!

Started off splitting a Greek salad with mom.

I ended up eating about 1/3 and a dip of dressing.  Mom loves her dressing so she drowned her salad after I had my few bites.  She loves to live… what can I say?

Then it was time for the main event! Their Chicago Seven pizza. Deep dish style. Obvi.

It was topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, bell peppers, onion and fresh mozzarella.

I had two pieces and every bite was to die for.

We headed back home to dig into some cake and ice cream!  No pictures because you saw it last night!

And then we had a surprise up our sleeve for mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day which are both right around the corner.

She has a media room at her new house and at Christmas we gave her a framed “Gone With the Wind” and “Mommie Dearest” movie posters for her to hang in her theater room.

To complete the hangings for the wall, we gave her another framed poster. This time “To Kill a Mockingbird”.She now has posters of three of her favorite movies to complete the look of her media room.

She was beyond surprised and elated.

We’re now chilling out on the couch and watching the movie, “Lovely Bones” from the Redbox.

http://northshoremovies.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/lovely_bones-poster.jpg

What a great way to end the day.

I’ve put out all my racing essentials and am ready to go.

I just need to get some good rest so I can wake up bright and early to eat a pre-race breakfast and head to the start line.

I don’t know if I’ll blog before I head to the start line so I’ll say see you later! Please pray for (a) my physical endurance, (b) my mental state, (c) the weather (they’re expecting horrible thunderstorms and chances of tornados), (d) that I’ll finish strong, (e) for no injuries, and (f) that I’ll FINISH period!

Nite folks! Time to get some sleep! Can’t believe I’m running my first marathon tomorrow. Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.

Obviously it would be from my twitter account and will cross over to Facebook too!  So follow me on twitter if you want updates!  🙂

Fruitie Patootie

Y’all know what was dinner for tonight because it’s my every Thursday night meal now! Fruit. In particular: An apple with peanut butter. My fave!

Before we see the glorious pictures of that, I ended up eating a mandarin after my pizza I ate for lunch.

I’m so glad I saved half a slice of my pizza for a late afternoon snack! It did a good job of holding me over until I was able to eat my fruit dinner.

I was really glad when work was over because it kicked my rear! I saw so many patients today, it wasn’t even funny! I ended my day with a phone date with my best girlfriend, community group and a fruit dinner.

Of course it’s an apple with peanut butter! Would you expect anything different from me? 🙂

Good news for us! Our MacBook is back and like new again! I’m excited! Oh, and I seriously kept forgetting it was April Fools Day today! Did you play any April Fools jokes or have any played on you?