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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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Comfort Food

The rest of the day for me was spend VEGGING and I loved it!  I ended up falling asleep for less than a 2 hour nap and it was glorious.  I haven’t taken a nap in forever!  I fell asleep for like 15 minutes yesterday after my cleaning spree but I don’t think that really counts as a whole nap.  😉

I woke up knowing that I needed to get ready to head to church but I was a little hungry so I had the rest of my sliced apple from brunch with the rest of the jar of peanut butter.  It was scraped clean by the time I got finished with it.

I think this is a perfect snack.

It was off to church and then off to the store for a quick pick up of mushrooms for our pizza we’re making this week and some Airborne Tablets because the hubs is starting to feel quite sickly.  😦

I came home, caught up on some blogs, packed snacks for tomorrow at work, got all my ingredients lined up for dinner and waited until 8 to start preparing dinner.

It’s tuna noodle casserole night at the Watson house.  I love this dish and it’s one of my very favorites that my mom made for me growing up.  It was a perfect night to make it because it’s easy, comforting and downright delicious.  I had no idea the hubs would be feeling under the weather when I planned in my head to make it so it was a perfect dish for a sickly feeling husband.  And it’s rainy outside.  It couldn’t have been a better night for comfort food such as this.

Here’s the recipe:

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 can of chicken and mushroom soup (it’s a hard to find soup that Campbell’s makes so if you can’t find it then just grab a can of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken and mix half and half to make a whole can)


12 oz. tuna in water (drained)

1/2 bag of wide or medium egg noodles

1 soup can of water

Shredded cheese (I use mild cheddar)

One sleeve of saltines

Directions:

Cook onion powder, soup and can of water in pot until blended.

Cook Noodles and Drain

Crush sleeve of crackers, toast in skillet with butter


Pour drained noodles into casserole dish along with the soup mixture.  Mix well.


Top with shredded cheese.


Top with the toasted crackers.


Place in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

You’ll be amazed.  So delicious!  I always serve this with Pillsbury crescent rolls.  It’s the perfect side.

P.S. That was the hubs plate because his was much prettier.  Mine went all over the place since it was the first out of the casserole dish.  🙂

I did have to go back and have seconds because it was so good.  I only had one crescent roll because I wanted one with my work lunch tomorrow.

And all this makes for great leftovers too!  I’ve already got mine packed up and ready to go for tomorrow’s lunch.

After a satisfied tummy and a hubs that needs to get some rest… it’s time for me to go.  I hope you all had a great day and enjoy the recipe!  Let me know if you make it and how you like it!

What remedies do you start to try when you feel like you’re getting sick so maybe you can beat it to the punch before the sickness sets in?

Decompressing and Homemade Granola Bars

The rest of the day following my 5k this morning has been spent watching “Couples Retreat”, eating, relaxing, napping, cooking and eating some more.  It’s been a great day.

The movie was cute.  Not one that I would probably watch over and over but it did make us laugh really hard a few times.  I ended up eating my apple that I picked up after the 5k shortly after I ate half the bagel and banana from earlier.

I was starving again in no time and the hubs heated up some pizza he bought the other day.  I just ate two slices of cheese.

After the movie I ended up climbing into bed to watch some Oprah’s I had DVR’ed and ended up cat napping for an hour or so.  The hubs ended up running to Starbuck’s to get some reading accomplished and I just lounged around and vegged.

Right before he got home I got a burst of energy and knew it was a good time for me to get to making the homemade peanut butter granola bars that I had bought all the ingredients for yesterday.

All the ingredients.

The dry ingredients mixed in a bowl.

The wet ingredients after being microwaved for about 30 seconds.

I added the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and started mixing together.  It stayed a little clumpy so the hubs suggested I mix with my hands.

It worked perfectly.  I’ll mix with my hands each time from now on!

I placed it into a pan, flattened it out and stuck it in the fridge so it all could bind better.

I have a feeling I’m going to be addicted to these!  And they are super easy to make.  After Lent I’m going to have to add some chocolate chips I think.  😉

Go over to Anne’s page for the recipe.

It was then time for dinner and I was quite hungry after mixing all these great ingredients together.

On the menu: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and wheat crackers for a light side.

I thought it was delicious. The hubs prefers original hummus.

Main Course: Flank steak on top of organic spring mix salad with feta cheese, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, shredded carrots and balsamic vinaigrette.

I decided that after dinner I was craving some fruit.  I started out with a clementine and decided it wouldn’t be enough to satisfy me so I added some red grapes.  Just what I needed.

It’s been a great day and I look forward to spending time with the hubs tonight while he’s taking a break from studying for a few hours.  I can’t believe tomorrow is Sunday!  My last day of my 3 day weekend!  Boo.

Hope you all have enjoyed your Saturday!  See you all tomorrow!!

What’s your favorite flavor of hummus?

Frittata Goodness

I have thoroughly enjoyed having the rest of my day off from work. I got to relax and chill. I even ended up taking an hour nap which I always love and welcome with open arms. It’s rare that I just get to chill out. Usually there is always something to do like clean, laundry, dishes, cook, blog, run, strength train, grocery shop, etc. I’m hoping my upcoming 3 day weekend will be much like today was… relaxing.

After my quick nap, I woke up to my husband cooking dinner. We ate frittata tonight! I’ve never had it, nor heard of it.

Recipe:

Sautee veggies of choice. We used mushrooms, onions, black olives and asparagus. (We put the black olives in the end, no sautee)

Use desired amount of eggs and mix egg with pepper, Italian cheese and cheddar cheese with a pinch of garlic.

Place sauteed veggies in an oil rubbed ceramic (oven safe) dish.

Pour egg mixture on top of veggies.

Add feta and Italian cheese on top with cracked pepper.

Place under the broiler for about 6 minutes on Hi.

We had sliced apple with almond butter and wheat toast for the sides. Yummy yummy goodness.

I think my ravenous nature is slowly going away. I didn’t feel as hungry after dinner so I’m hoping it’s on its way out the door!

I didn’t go on a run. I’m thinking tomorrow I’ll hit the pavement. I just did some intense ab exercises instead and hoping to get some leg exercises completed before the night ends. We’ll see.

Since I have a long weekend, I went ahead and decided to conquer oats for the first time! I got my steel cut oats out and decided to go the overnight route. I’m pretty excited about it. I made 4 servings worth so I’m good until next Monday!

I’m excited to try real oats for the first time! I have lots of goodies to mix in! I have a feeling there’s a whole new world out there I’m about to discover with the realm of oats and I can’t wait! Stay tuned to see how they turn out!

Hope you all had a great mid-week day! Friday is almost here!!!

P.S. I know the quality of my pictures has been pretty yucky lately but it’s because I discovered as my camera went dead that I must have left my camera charger in Vegas so I had to order a new one and it hasn’t arrived in the mail yet!  Boo.  I’m hoping it gets here soon so I can take good pictures again!  So bear with me until I can get my camera up and running again.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite things to put in oats?

Pizza Pizza!

Do you remember when Little Ceasar’s commercials said “Pizza Pizza”. Ok, maybe they still but I’m not in that loop of knowledge. ANYWAY… the hubs and I made homemade pizza tonight. The dough is straight from scratch and I followed this recipe on a food blog I follow daily, Eat, Live, Run.

I’m pretty obsessed with pizza and seriously would eat it everyday of the week if I could.

No meat on this pizza. We topped it with some marinara sauce we bought at Whole Foods, mozzarella cheese, Italian cheese blend, onions, olives, red and yellow sweet peppers, bell peppers and mushrooms. Mmm… Mmm… Good.

Doesn’t it look delish?!

Peanut butter cookies for dessert.

After a full belly the hubs and I are watching the rest of the Superbowl and I’m headed to bed soon. Update on my knees and hips: Much better. The Tylenol really did help. It helped so much that I stopped at Walgreen’s immediately after work and grabbed a 100 count bottle. I’m definitely not a pill popper but another nurse recommended that I take one 500 mg gel tab every 8 hours while training. I’m not sure about that. I think I’ll just see how I feel after my long run days. What do you all think?

Ok guys, I’m off to relax a little bit. It is my rest day from running and cross training so I’m going to soak it in! See you all tomorrow!!

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite pizza topping(s)?

A Couple Hours Early

I got to leave work at 4:30 today and rushed home to get some things accomplished. I was STARVING by the time I got off because I hadn’t eaten my afternoon snack yet. So I called the hubs and he had an early dinner cooking by the time I got home.

I decided to go ahead and get my strength training in for today since I’m sure I’ll be tired later after community group. While our food simmered and cooked, I did arms and shoulders with a variety of exercises. I’m glad I worked it in. I feel much better. The arms feel a little like jello but hey, that’s a good thing, right?!

On the menu for a light early dinner: The remainder of the Organic Corn Chipotle Bisque from the other day and open faced tomatoes topped with mozzarella cheese just like the other day too.

There was also a surprise waiting on me. These yummy things. Peanut butter cookies made from scratch.

Recipe (Easiest Recipe EVER!)

1 cup of sugar

1 large egg

1 cup of peanut butter

Mix all together, roll into balls, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

I stopped myself with just eating one…. I really wanted another one! But we have community group tonight and someone always brings dessert so I’ll hold out for maybe a little piece of dessert later too. 🙂

Can you believe tomorrow is Friday?! I have tomorrow off and have much to get done so I’ll be one busy bee. Too bad I don’t have the whole weekend off. I work Saturday-next Thursday straight. Busy lady, I am. I’m off to enjoy the next hour before community group. An early post tonight… I like it. 🙂

P.S. Happy Birthday to my BABY brother, who is 22 today.  I love you!

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite strength training exercises for arms and shoulders?

A Picture in Mind

The rest of the day we had a steady trickle of patients so I was actually able to get my snack in, unlike my non-existent breakfast. I had a gorgeous red apple with 3/4 tablespoon of peanut butter in between bites. I think this is a perfect go to snack because of the substance.

I’m glad I waited until around 5 because I knew I was running after work so I needed a little boost.

Within 5 minutes of getting home, I was laced up and out the door. I knew I needed to go on an easy run tonight instead of pushing it super hard. I’ve pushed myself the last two runs really hard so I decided to give my body a nice break and take it nice and slow. I ended up running 3 miles in 31:30. That made my average pace about 10:30 minute/mile. My body was definitely thanking me for relaxing a bit. I had a little dangling carrot in my mind that pushed me to run and to finish. It was hard to get out and run when I was absolutely HANGRY!!! Not just hungry but HANGRY! I knew the hubs would have a hamburger waiting on me when I got in from my run and it didn’t let me down.

It looks all raggedy because I tore off the surrounding edges of the bread because there was so much excess bread. No side dishes tonight since I already had some BBQ chips at lunch earlier.

After dinner I hurried up to make my lunch for tomorrow. I made some tuna salad. I LOVE tuna salad and could probably eat it everyday of my life and be perfectly content. I used to make it all the time but I haven’t made it in about a year.

My ingredients:

Hard Boiled Egg

Squirt of Mayo

Couple squirts of sweet relish

Lots of cracked pepper

Can of Starkist Tuna in Water (Drained of course)

I love adding an egg to my tuna salad because it adds so much substance!

Guess who was right there when I opened the can of tuna?! This little booger.

I always drain a little tuna juice for them in their food bowl and they LOVE their momma for it.

The finished product. I’ve decided to go the sandwich route for tomorrow instead of just crackers.

I’m so excited because I’ve run 3 miles, showered, eaten dinner, prepared my breakfast, lunch and snack for tomorrow, drank my cup of hot chocolate, blogged… all in less than an hour and a half of getting home from work! Wow! I wish every night was that productive!

I’m off to go read a little and doze off quickly I hope. Up early again tomorrow for work. See you friends tomorrow.

Question of the Day: Do you ever use food as your motivation to run? If so, which foods motivate you?

Pizza Cookie=Pure Goodness

Alright, I caved. The hubs and I ended up making a run to BoomBozz Pizza for dessert. We knew exactly what we would order for dessert… a pizza cookie. This dessert is our go to dessert for when we are really craving something gooey and choolatey and down right bad for us. Chad ended up eating about 3/4 of the cookie and I ate the other 1/4. So insanely good and fulfilling. We love it because they don’t necessarily cook the chocolate chip cookie all the way through to where it’s done so you have an extremely gooey, delicious dessert topped with chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream. Too good for words.

We came home planning on taking a Sunday afternoon nap which we haven’t done in who knows how long. We climbed into bed, starting watching The Biggest Loser from last week and before we knew it, we were snoozing. We slept only about an hour but it was long enough to be satisfied.

I knew I wanted to get some strength training in today since I didn’t have my long run today due to the ice so I hopped to it with several sets of pull-ups, push-ups, back exercises and abs. I am going to try to take several pictures of my strength training days if I can to visibly show you all what I’m doing.

The first of the pictures is me doing some wide legged, wide armed push-ups.

I always do a set of two of each kind of push-up I do. I usually try to get in standard, military, wide legged, and downward push-ups.

Here’s an example of my downward push-ups.

I didn’t get any pictures in of my pull-ups. Maybe next time.

Here’s a couple examples of ab exercises I do each time. First up, I leave my arms up in the air, bend my knees to where my feet are off the ground and then lean back, straighten legs (but keep off the ground), and curl back up, and repeat 25 times.

The next set I photographed is my favorite ab exercise out there. You can do these empty handed, with a medicine ball or a free weight. Here I am empty handing it. These really work your obliques. Feet and legs off the ground, keep your knees slightly bent, upper body at a 45 -90 degree angle. (Tip: The closer your upper body and shoulders are to the ground, the harder) I’m showing the basic movement here:

Keep arms slightly bent and pull arms from left to right over your knees all the way to your side. I repeat each side 25 times. This is meant to be performed at more of a fast tempo and it’s killer!!! You’ll definitely feel the burn.

P.S. Don’t mind my socks. It’s been super cold here so I have to wear my warm ones! 🙂

Dinner time quickly approached and since we weren’t starving we decided on a big green, leafy salad filled with lots of goodies. Mine is Organic Spring Mix Lettuce, avocado, onion, tomatoes, sprinkle of Italian cheese and homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.

Confession: This is the first time I’ve ever eaten avocado! Shocker and wrong I know! It’s different but not in a bad way. I’ve also never eaten tomatoes up until this past month and now I love them!!!

In the dressing we had Balsamic Vinegar, few cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and basil.

Too delicious. I’m usually a hardcore Ranch dressing girl but I told y’all yesterday that I’m revamping my diet and I already taste tested the dressing and it really is so good!!! The hubs made extra so I can take it to work or use it at home when needed. I love making all of this stuff from scratch!!!

I’ve packed up another salad for lunch tomorrow. I love planning my meals the night before I work. It makes me mornings so much easier.

The hubs also got creative and cut a tomato in half and topped it with garlic, basil, pepper, olive oil, sea salt and a blend of Italian cheeses and baked it in the oven until the cheeses melted. WOW!!! So good. Definitely a future side dish!

Oh, and I was really relieved to look at my training schedule today and see that I was actually only supposed to run 7 miles this weekend. Alright, yes! I’ve already conquered that so I don’t feel as anxious about not getting my long run in due to the ice. I am definitely still planning on running after work tomorrow but it was nice to take today easy and get my strength training in instead. I started reading my Runner’s World “Run Less Run Faster” today and I had my spirits lifted about running. Knowing that I can train properly, hard and be fast with just running 3 days a week and cross training 2 days a week makes me very excited. I had been feeling really anxious about training. I was getting so anxious that I was thinking about not running the race at all or just running the half. I guess we all over our “off” weeks, right? So I’m back in the game mentally and am even more excited about conquering these 26.2 miles on April 24th!

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all the people who have been so encouraging with their comments, e-mails, conversations, etc. about ‘A Fit Foodie’.  I figured I’d give a big thank you since this is officially the last day of the first month of this fun blog that I have so enjoyed writing and thinking about.  I have had over 4,000 hits this month and never would’ve imagined!  Let’s double it next month!  I’m so thankful for all my faithful readers.  Can’t wait to continue this journey.

We’re off to finish watching The Grammy’s! I hope you friends had a relaxing Sunday. See you all tomorrow.

Question of the Day: Have you tried any new foods lately?  If so, what and did you like it?