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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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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!


Breakfast Done Right

Before I get to the title of this blog I need to catch you all up on last night.  We had a great time with our cousins.  We went to dinner right across the street from our hotel, The Capital Grille and had a great dinner.  I decided to order a variety so I could sample and taste all without going overboard or feeling pressure to eat it all.

We ordered their garden fresh salsa to start.

I ate two small plate fulls like what you see below.  I loved the chunkiness of the salsa with all the tomatoes and fresh veggies.

I then ordered the crab cakes for my entree and ate 1 1/4 of them and gave the rest to the hubs.

He ordered the tenderloin salad which was greens tossed with bleu cheese crumbles, ceasar dressing, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and topped with medium cooked beef tenderloin.  I stole several bites of the salad.

After dinner we headed up to the rooftop of the building next door and ate dessert.  I split it between my cousins, Beccy and Stephanie and it was a perfect portion.  It’s called the Tsinful Tsunami and it’s a decadent rich flourless chocolate cake with a side of ice cream and berries.

Us on the rooftop.  So glad I wore long sleeves and a pashmina.  I was quite chilly.

Love the bridge in the background.  Thanks Beccy for such a great picture!

We got back to the hotel last night and were asleep before we knew it!  We were whooped from traveling all day.  I got an amazing night’s rest and woke up at 6:45 to get dressed for my 10 mile run this morning.  I got all ready to go and the hubs sort of begged me to eat breakfast with him first before going on my run because he was afraid he’d miss out on the good stuff if we didn’t get to eat it until the last hour it was open.  I obliged because I’m sweet that way and we headed downstairs.

I am not disappointed I chose to eat a good breakfast before my run at all.  This was a dream hotel breakfast!  The way it should be!

We were seated at this cute table.

And they had the most awesome buffet.  I was so pleased with all the healthy choices.  They had a whole selection of yogurts, granola, fruit, coffee cakes, breads, heart healthy cereals, eggs, sausage, omelet station, pancakes, etc.

Here’s my plate of food.  Lots of fruit, a Yoplait light strawberry yogurt topped with granola, and a piece of whole wheat toast.

I ate 3/4 of my yogurt, all my pineapple, most of my cantaloupe, a couple of blueberries and one bite of the strawberries.  The strawberries had no flavor at all.  So weird because they are in season now!  I did eat all my toast though.  I need some carbs in my system before my run!

I snagged this individual container of Kashi cereal.

I’ve been wanting to try this flavor because they sell it in bulk at Sam’s so maybe I’ll like it and we can get it in bulk!  I didn’t eat it this morning because I didn’t want too much dairy (due to adding the milk, obviously) because of my run but I’ll gladly take it home and try it this week.

I absolutely am so satisfied and feel like I’ll be fueled up for my run in a little bit!  I am more excited because we’ll eat breakfast again tomorrow and I might be splurging a little more… say one… maybe some pancakes, eggs, sausage, biscuits?  Knowing me I’ll go light again but I love they had such a great breakfast!  It makes for a great start to the day!  Alright, I’m off to digest for a little longer and then hit the pavement running!  I can’t wait until we see Grandmother today and surprise her for her birthday!!  It’s going to be a great day!  I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again but keep checking back.  You never know.  Hope you all have a great Saturday.

P.S. Can you believe that at this time in 2 weeks I will be in the midst of completing my first marathon?!  I cannot!!

What’s your ideal hotel breakfast?  Decadent items that you would normally never treat yourself to at home or healthy conscious foods?

In Disbelief

Here I am at 8 o’clock at night icing my knees because I conquered 21 miles! I still can’t believe it. After my disappointing attempt at 19 miles a couple of weeks ago, I have to admit, I was quite nervous heading out for a whopping 21! I started out and was dressed in long black pants and a t-shirt with a light jacket thrown over it. I quickly became way too overheated and tied my jacket around my waist. Ah, then the heaviness of my iPhone became quite apparent. I called the hubs at 3.5 miles and was practically in tears. I just was so discouraged that I was only at 3.5 miles and already wanted to stop. Maybe my mind just wasn’t prepared to run the 21 miles. He immediately encouraged me and said that he knew I could do it. I ended up carrying my iPhone in my hand and felt like a whole new woman. Those tears that almost overflowed became my motivation. I knew I could do this and I wasn’t going to let my fear get the best of me.

I ran and ran and ran… and then look who joined me at 10.66 miles?! He’s pretty cute, isn’t he?

He got his bike all tuned up and decided to ride alongside me the rest of my 10.34 miles. It made all the difference in the world. I felt more motivated, I kept pushing myself and we ended up back at our loft at 12 miles and I shed my black pants and threw on some shorts and got rid of my jacket and stuck my iPhone in the bike bag the hubs was wearing. It helps, too, that he provided me with much H2O during the remaining mileage.

I grabbed a few grapes when we stopped in the loft.

And I might have popped a couple of these bad boys, Extra Strength Tylenol.

I knew I needed these because I could feel my hip flexors locking up on me and I am so glad I took these! I think it helped contribute to the ability to finish my run.

So we left the loft with 9 more miles to go and set out to run downtown, run across the bridge to Indiana and then back to the loft.

The first trip over the bridge wasn’t bad at all but the trip back over was brutal. It all of a sudden became super windy and I was fighting the wind hard but I made it! I hit mile 18 and my body was just so tired. I kept stopping and starting and talking out loud to myself that I could do it. I was so close to conquering this run!

So I pushed through and for my reward, the hubs and I walked up the street to try out this new Mexican restaurant, Sante Fe Mexican Grill and I dived in. I really am not too hungry right after my long runs so I ended up not eating as many chips as usual.

I did order a small white queso dip to treat myself. Usually I just stick with the salsa but I figured since I burned over 1800 calories, I deserved it. The hubs helped me out with eating it!

I ordered a single chicken soft corn taco for me.

The hubs ordered a chicken burrito and it was HUGE!!

I left completely satisfied and full feeling and don’t think I over indulged at all! I might be having some fruit later tonight or trail mix. We’ll see if the hunger strikes!

We walked home and boy was it difficult for me. After sitting for a few minutes, my body definitely felt the repercussions of my 21 mile run. But I knew it was best to tough it out and stretch out my muscles on the walk back home.

Upon arriving home, I jumped in the shower to wash all the nasty junk sweat away and then drew myself a super hot bath to relax. I am now icing my knees. A much needed activity.

Bad news though: I think I’m going to officially lose both of my second toenails. The one on each foot is already lifting off the nail bed and it’s not looking good. I guess that means I’m an official runner. 🙂 But it hurts and sucks!!

Oops… I meant to say my finishing time. I finished in 3:41. I averaged a 10:27 minute/mile pace the whole time! I’m slowly but surely getting faster and that makes me so excited. I’m actually too tired right now to type out all my splits but at least you know my average pace.

Oh… I know a lot of you probably watched it but the hubs and I watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last night and it just makes me so sad what these kids are eating everyday! It’s just awful. And the school systems are so reluctant to a healthier diet because it all boils down to money. Isn’t it worth it to spend a little more money in their younger years so they don’t have to spend as much money when they’re older (or still young) in healthcare because they’re prematurely dying or being diagnosed with diseases because of their diet? It’s so frustrating!

I’m off to enjoy the rest of the evening and look forward to sleeping in tomorrow and resting my body!!! I guess being sent home early really did pay off! 😉

Did you watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? What’s your opinion?


What’s your favorite post-workout or post-run recovery meal? Mine is just whatever I’m craving at the time. Tonight it was Mexican but it changes! Maybe once I make a Green Monster I’ll crave those.

or (just one more)

If you’re a runner, have you ever lost any toenails? What did you do to make them look presentable, especially since summer is approaching! (And my beach vacay is 2 months away!)

Sprint It Out

I hit the arms, shoulders and abs hard last night after I blogged.  It felt awesome.  I do love me some strength training!  I’m hoping to get some good leg and ab strength training in tomorrow night.  But what I was most excited about that I was in bed at 9:30 and asleep at 10!!

I had a meeting this morning so I ended up not having to wake up until 6 so I truly ended up getting 8 hours of sleep.  Loved that feeling!  Here’s to hoping I’ll repeat it again tonight.

I was only going to work on the floor from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. but since my meeting got out earlier than 11, and I didn’t want to go home for an hour or two, I clocked in early and hit the floor running. We were packed to the max today so I’m thankful we at least had enough organization for me to be able to eat my meals!

First up: Another Granny Smith for breakfast.  It definitely wasn’t filling enough.  I wish I would’ve eaten it as a snack later instead.

Lunch couldn’t have come soon enough, obviously, since the lone apple wasn’t filling at all.  The rest of my tuna noodle casserole.  Oh so tasty.  No crescent roll this time!

An orange on the side.

One of my co-workers and I were talking yesterday since she’s doing the whole Weight Watchers thing and she was talking about all her points and what she eats for snacks and stuff like that.  I used to be obsessed with counting calories just last year and the year before that and last May, I completely stopped counting and I hope I never start again.  But kudos to people that don’t let a calorie count control them (or a points count) because it seriously almost ruined me.   That’s probably a story for a later blog.  We’ll see.  ANYWAY… she was talking about buying the Laughing Cow swiss cheese wedges and I told her I’d never tried it before and I’ve been meaning to buy some.  Guess who brought me a Laughing Cow wedge today?  Yes, she thought about me.  How sweet is that?

I couldn’t wait to have it as my afternoon snack!

With crackers.

The verdict?

I LOVED this cheese.  Laughing Cow, if you’re reading this, I will sample and review your products anytime.  Usually I’ve been a cheddar cheese only girl when it comes to eating straight cheese but I’m branching out so I’ll sample away!  😉

It held me over until dinner and I was super glad.  I went on my run tonight and ended up pushing it really hard.  I always feel like I need to push harder on my shorter run days and I don’t know why.  I’ll tell you this, there is nothing like pounding the pavement hard after a long day at work.  It takes all the stress, frustration, etc. out of the  day.  But I sprinted the last mile and ended up running my last mile in 7:03 minutes.  Whoop!!  I finished my whole 3 miles in 26:16 minutes.  Getting faster!

I came inside and was ready for some dinner.  I kept it light with a salad topped with shredded carrots, feta cheese, chopped onion and bell pepper and topped with a tad bit of Italian dressing.

I might have had 4 or 5 chips dunked in our homemade salsa.  🙂  The hubs had it sitting out and I couldn’t resist.

A few red grapes to calm down my tongue that felt like it was on fire after eating that hot salsa!!!

Alright bloggies and friends, I’m off to shower and climb in bed!!  Work day tomorrow and a pizza night tomorrow night!  Can’t wait to see how this wheat crust turns out that we bought a few weeks ago!!  I hope you all had a fantastic Tuesday!

What do you like to do to de-stress after a long day?

My Natural Dose of Speed

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, A.D.D., when I was in the 8th grade.  I took the drug Adderall from 9th grade until I graduated college and passed my nursing boards. I feel like there are still moments in my life where I feel like a person diagnosed with A.D.D. but for the most part, I can stay focused on the task at hand.  Sometimes I just have 500 other thoughts in my head while doing it.  And hey, a lot of people that aren’t diagnosed with A.D.D. have the same problem.  It’s called multi-tasking and not enough hours in the day.

Anyway… y’all probably wonder what I’m getting to with this little confession of mine.  After a race I feel like people would be physically, mentally and emotionally spent.  They’re done.  All you might want to do is sit on the couch, turn on the tube, sleep, eat and do nothing in particular.

I’m the complete opposite.  I have so much energy that it feels like I’m on Adderall again.  I get super hyperfocused and take off like a mad woman to the task at hand.  Today it was cleaning.  The hubs had mentioned this morning that we should totally clean the house tomorrow because it just needs a deep cleaning.  So since he’s at Disciple Now all day, I figured I’d hop to it so we can just relax until he has to head to rehearsal for leading worship at church tomorrow night.  I ended up washing 4 different loads of laundry and cleaned, scrubbed, wiped down everything in our loft.  For over 3 solid hours I cleaned and cleaned and am so excited that I was so productive and that we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow!  It doesn’t hurt that I probably burned a few hundred calories while scrubbing the shower tub, vacuuming, wiping down, etc.  🙂

I wound up taking a 15 minute nap and when I woke up I decided that I need to eat.  I didn’t eat a regular lunch after I ate the two bananas following the race this morning so I was hangry!!

The hubs had leftover flank steak in the fridge that he never ate from a couple of nights ago so I kind of did a repeat from lunch yesterday.

Whole wheat tortilla stuffed with flank steak, spring mix lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Don’t you love the natural light due to it staying lighter later?! I LOVE IT!!

It’s actually not that big of a wrap when it’s all bundled up and they’re only 100 calories a shell!

I had a few chips, side of salsa and a side of cheese dip.

I was so hungry but ended up eating it pretty slow and broke the chips into pieces and put massive amounts of cheese dip and salsa on them so I would eat less chips.  I totally felt like I got the same volume.

I figured that since I haven’t had my usual mandarin and grapes lately that tonight would be a good time.

A perfectly filling dinner and side of fruit.  I am now content.

I washed our top comforter earlier today when I got on my cleaning whim and after I took it out from the dryer, I realized I hadn’t seen the kitty boys circling my feet lately.  I peeked around the corner and saw this.  Seriously?  Does it get any cuter?

I’m off to finish drying our bed sheets so we have nice clean, crisp sheets to sleep on tonight.  And maybe I’ll get lucky and a kitty boy or two will climb up on the couch with me and cuddle.  I hope you all had a fantastic Saturday!

Another giveaway you need to check out and sign up for! 

When do you feel most motivated to clean, study, work-out, catch up on work, etc.?

Unexpected Day of Work

I honestly didn’t expect to go to work today.  I figured that I’d be placed on call because that has seemed to be the Friday trend lately.  So I went to bed without a shower last night expecting to be able to sleep in a little later than usual and then shower and piddle around the house.  Nope.  So that means I had to drag my rear out of bed that much earlier to get all cleaned up and ready for work.  I usually take my showers at night so I have more time to sleep but every once in a while it is nice to start off my work day with a hot shower to get me going.

I quickly threw together my breakfast since I hadn’t prepared the night before.  (I didn’t get to bed until after 11… eek!!)

My favorite cereal concoction. Kashi H2H and Special K Granola.

A match truly made in cereal heaven.

Then they were going to send me home at 11 due to the calmness and low census of patients and then the floodgates broke loose so I ended up working all day.

Good thing I had my tasty lunch that I had packed to eat yesterday that I didn’t get to eat due to food being catered in.

Whole wheat tortilla stuffed with flank steak, topped with homemade salsa, shredded cheese and spring mix.  So good!

A couple tablespoons of homemade salsa with some chips?  Yes, definitely.

The salsa is pretty spicy so I ate 4 saltines afterwards to keep my mouth from burning off.  Worked like a charm.  And my tummy was completely satisfied.

A pear for an afternoon snack.

Right after work I drove to a church that the hubs was leading Disciple Now for a youth group and ate dinner with him and enjoyed watching the youth worship.

Pizza was served.

Not my first choice of dinner since I feel like I’ve had so much Italian food type items this past week but it’s a good carbo loading meal nonetheless for my 10k tomorrow morning.  And it’s free.  Can’t beat that!

Well, I have my 10k in the morning and will not be getting as much shut eye as I’d like but I’ll sacrifice to support the hubs in his endeavors too!

Thank goodness one of my friends picked up my race packet for me today so I don’t have to be up at the butt crack of dawn to go get it and then wait around for the start of the race.

I’ve got the anxious/nervous/excited jitters but in a good way.  I’m excited for this race!  I just hope I’ll make good time and push myself.  I’ve got everything ready!

Shoes: Check, Sports Bra: Check, Garmin: Check, iPod: Check, Camera: Check, Runing Tee: Check, Socks: Check, Headband: Check, Pants: Check.

I’ll pin my number on tomorrow morning when Glenna brings me my race packet.

Whew. I  think that’s it!

I’m setting my alarm to wake up at 5 a.m. so I can eat me a breakfast and go back to bed until about 6:30 so it will digest.  I’m thinking whole wheat toast with a spread of peanut butter and sliced banana will be sufficient for fuel.

I’m really hoping that my funky mood will go away after my race tomorrow morning.  I’m thinking that running is my natural Xanax.  Those endorphins are good for me and since I haven’t ran since Tuesday, I’m feeling the major itch to get those flowing again!!  So adrenaline+other runner’s energy+completing a race= a great sounding endorphin boost!  Can’t wait!  Hopefully there will be sunshine!!!

I’m off to try and get as much rest as I can!  Wish me luck!  I’ll write as soon as I can after the race!

What is your natural Xanax?  Food, running, working out, love, walking, laughing, etc?

Guac, Salsa, and Fajitas

What a day it has been.  As soon as I stepped onto the floor at work this morning I was told by the night shift manager “You might as well go ahead and put your roller skates on”. And boy was she right.  Today was different from yesterday in that it was an organized chaos.  We were completely full, busy and had patients waiting for rooms but we had enough staff today to be able to help each other out and pay proper attention to our patients.

I was glad to get breakfast in my belly this morning.  Puffed wheat cereal with a sliced banana.

Lunch was a little late for my usual routine today.  I ate after 1 pm and was pretty hungry.  I was glad to have leftover whole wheat tortellini (cheese filled) with marinara.

With a salad on the side.

All together.  Don’t you love my fancy tupperware?  I wish I could eat on my real plates everyday!  ;-(

Later on for a snack I had a pear.

And maybe I had a handful of Chex Mix too.  I’ve felt super snacky today and I feel like it’s from my weekend of eating mostly carbs.  I’ve got to get back on track because my body is feeling, shall we say, bloated?!  All that bread is making me expand!!

Anyway… I hit the ground running after work and did 3 hard, fast miles.  (Well, fast for me)  I enjoyed the 57 degree weather and it being light outside!!!  Here’s my stats:

Mile 1: 9:53

Mile 2: 9:11

Mile 3: 8:08

Total: 27:12 minutes


I was famished by the time I got finished with the run and was so excited for flank steak fajitas that were waiting on me!

First up: My whole wheat fajita packed with flank steak, spring mix, homemade salsa, sour cream, cheese and grilled onion.

Homemade guacamole?  Sure.  Note: Another shocker so prepare yourself.  This is only the second time I’ve ever had guacamole.  The first time was just a few weeks ago and I love it!!

Homemade salsa? Absolutely!

All rolled up with some tortilla chips on the side.  Obvi.

So so good!  I wanted another wrap but I decided to wait and see how I felt after a little while and of course, I was full.  But I did seem to have just enough room left in the tummy for some fruit.  One mandarin and red grapes while I am blogging.  I LOVE fruit!!!

Ok, so this night will be the beginning of trying to get back to bed and be asleep by 10 pm!  I’ve got to get moving so I can make it!!  I hope you all had a great Tuesday.  It sure felt like Monday to me… weird!

What do you do when you feel super snacky and know you need to get back on track?!