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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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Oikos Newbie

Since I’m breaking into the Greek yogurt world, I bought 4 Stoneyfield’s Oikos Greek yogurt on sale the other day at Whole Foods. I was pretty excited about trying some new flavors.

This morning sounded like a great morning to try the honey on the bottom flavor. I think I’ll be a huge yogurt fan this summer in the hot weather! It’s cool and refreshing.

I added some of my Bear Naked granola for a good crunch.

The texture is growing on me! Oikos actually has a much smoother, less chalky texture than Yoplait’s. I’m a fan for sure! I can’t wait to try my other flavors. And maybe I’ll start incorporating the plain yogurt into regular recipes. Who knows… I’m learning.

Back to work people! See you at lunch!

Do you like flavored yogurt or non-flavored?

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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?

Fruit on the Bottom

After a great night’s rest and bike ride into work this morning I was ready to go!

I couldn’t wait to try half of my Danon’s fruit on the bottom yogurt but was disappointed when I scanned the ingredient list and saw fructose syrup listed. Why Danon, why?

Super tasty with my Bear Naked granola but I think I’m going to try and break into the Greek yogurt world here soon.

I’m off and running! See you later friends!

What’s your favorite kind of yogurt?

Loading Up on the Fillers

Thank goodness it is almost time to go to bed!  I cannot even begin to describe the crazy day I had after lunch.  I’ll just put it this way, I was physically spent!  Mentally too, but truly, physically grueling! I’m just glad I get to lay down to rest in a few minutes.   After a few hours, I was finally able to get a long enough break from the craziness to eat the snack I packed.

The other half of my Danon vanilla flavored yogurt that I ate the other day.  With some Bear Naked granola on top.

After work, I booked it biked it to our church for a meeting/dinner.

The hubs fixed me a plate before I got there since I’d be running a little later due to work.

Lots of salad…. as a filler of course.

This was my a additional helping so I’d fill some empty space in my belly.

Here’s my plate the hubs fixed me.  I only ate the chicken that was tossed in marinara sauce and peas (on the very left of the pasta line).  I had the bread and one bite of the alfredo and other pastas.

I had all of my dessert, of course!  It tasted like chocolate flavored cool whip.  I have no idea what it actually was but it was tasty!!

Breakfast, lunch and snacks are packed up for tomorrow and I’m off to bed!  I almost overslept this morning so I need to apparently aim to get some extra sleep tonight!  Tomorrow’s my last day of work before I’m off and resting up for the marathon!  It’s creeping up on me quickly.

What do you like to eat as “fillers” to help you from overindulging in dense, rich foods?

Snacking Along the Way

The rest of my day was gloriously spent laying out, cleaning, baking cookies and Community Group.

I ended up snacking throughout the rest of the day and not really eating a specific “dinner”.

First up was a mandarin.

Then it was half of a Danon vanilla flavored yogurt with added Bear Naked granola.

Last but not least it was an apple after we biked to community group. No peanut butter this time around.

I had to have a couple of tiny chocolate chip cookies I baked earlier!

When we opened up our door to take our bikes downstairs to bike to Community Group we had these gorgeous things sitting by our door.  I took a picture of every side so you could enjoy them as much as I am enjoying them!

They are absolutely gorgeous and smell divine!!  They are from a sweet, sweet friend who we’ve met with a couple of times to talk to and walk through a stage of life with and she sent us these for a thank you!  How amazing is she?

I had to take a picture of the card she wrote because I think it is one of the sweetest cards I’ve ever received.

This has put a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart.

I am now off to bed and am pretty sure I will sleep well tonight.  I’m scheduled to work tomorrow but it wouldn’t surprise me if I got put on call.  But I’m prepared either way.  See you tomorrow!!!

Have you ever been surprised with a random gift of thanks?  If so, with what?

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?

Knotted Up

Once again, I wasn’t asleep until after 11 o’clock last night. This week has been terribly “off” for us because we’ve had something planned every night! Which is always awesome when you have such great friends to hang out with but I have to say I’m thankful for tonight. No plans. Just a regular night at home.

I biked into work today in hopes that it won’t rain later like the weathermen say it’s going to so I can bike home. I truly love being back in the routine of biking. It gets my blood pumping in the morning and sets my metabolism up to be increased for the whole day. And I’m reducing my carbon footprint while saving money on gas. Gotta love it.

Breakfast was an unexpected bagel. A medical rep provided bagels this morning and I happily accepted. I cut my whole wheat bagel in half and saved the other half for tomorrow. I popped it in the toaster at work and then put a spread if cream cheese on it. Yum yum. I just love bagels!

I also ate a nanner for some fruit intake.

Lunch was the other half of my dinner from last night. Turkey burger with lettuce, onion, tomato, relish, mustard and ketchup. The other half of my French fries too.

Snack was my first taste test of store bought yogurt. I desperately want to love yogurt but have never really like any that people have had me taste. Since I loved the chick-fil-a yogurt I tried a couple of weeks ago, I decided to start buying individual containers at the store and trying those.

I started out with Danon plain yogurt and didn’t like it at all.

So after a couple taste testing bites, I threw it out and tried the Danon strawberry. Loved it! I mixed in my granola and was good to go. Score!

I couldn’t wait to get home because (a) a storm was rolling in and I wanted to be able to bike home instead of having the hubs come pick me up and (b)  I couldn’t wait to have a night at home with no plans but to eat, do some sort of working out and getting into bed and getting to sleep by 10!

I came home to a great dinner.  We did a light simple salad tonight tossed with balasamic vinaigrette and topped with baby carrots, olives, bacon and cheese.

The hubs baked up some whole wheat tortillas and made them into chips.  I spread some Laughing Cow on there and it was perfection!!

I had some dessert of course!  Thin Mint Girl Scout ice cream?!  Absolutely!  In a martini glass?  Even better!

I am completely satisfied.  After a long day at the hospital, it was the perfect treat to end it with.  I’m off to do some arm, shoulder and ab exercises and then hit the hay!  My right calf is pretty knotted up since my race this past Saturday so I’m resting it this week.  I do have a training run when I’m out of town this weekend.  It’s only 10 miles so I know I’ll be fine but  I hate to push it now when I’ve made it this far having avoided injury.  I feel blessed that I have a body that can run these long distances and handle it well so I’m going to stay thankful and wait until my calf muscles release from this knot and feels normal again. Happy Hump Day!  See you tomorrow friends!

I’ll leave you with a picture of this sweet thing.  He’s saying a late Happy Easter!!

But now he’s ready to watch some TV.  Gotta go!!

What fun bowls, glasses, plates, etc. do you like to put your food/dessert in?