Monthly Archives: August 2014

Selfies with Scott Jurek & Matt Frazier at The Seed!

Have you ever had an experience that left you feeling, “Wow that was meant to be!”?! I totally just went through that on August 9th, 2014 in NYC! It just so happens that I had a flight booked to New York to visit family and friends from August 7th to the 15th. Well, the day before I got on the plane, I just happened to see an email from plant-based runner blogger, Matt Frazier, aka No Meat Athlete, about an event he was attending in NYC on August 9th! I clicked on the link for The Seed Experience and when I saw Scott Jurek listed as one of the speakers I became truly giddy!!! So I contacted my mom immediately about buying tickets and she was totally on board! We even bought tickets to the After Party!

Seriously, I’m trying to convey how excited I was in this picture, but I don’t even know if that does it justice lol.

Jumping Pic Sedona 7.21.14

On the day of the event we showed up around 1pm and we waited on quite the line to get in.


While we waited in line we spotted the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck and ran over to take pictures! My mom was so excited because she saw them featured on a TV show!  According to their Twitter page, they describe themselves as “the country’s most raunchy mobile Vegan Organic restaurant!” Their menu has a variety of delicious vegan foods including breakfast burritos, pancakes, raw pizzas, organic coffee, sandwiches, burgers, and pastries.

Unfortunately they were literally pulling away from the curb as we shot these pics so we didn’t get to taste anything – but next time I’m in NY, I will be hunting them down lol!!



Anways, once we got inside The Seed Experience, we had a blast going to all of the different tables and checking out the vendors!






IMG_3491 Here I am trying Arty artichoke water!! Yes, you read that correct – artichoke water haha!! As described from their site: Arty Water is the world’s first premium artichoke beverage. This delicious blend of artichokes, lemon, apple and mint provides nutritious, multifunctional hydration.

I know it doesn’t sound like it, but it was soooo refreshing!!! I really liked it!!!


Next we stopped at The Regal Vegan booth for some Pesto Zucchini Noodles for lunch! Here’s a description from their Facebook page: Regal Vegan Inc. is a Brooklyn-based fine foods and catering company that specializes in Vegan delicacies inspired by a trip around the world. We are the proud creators of Faux Gras™, the world’s finest vegan paté, and are delighted to bring new Basilicotta™, a creamy basil cashew spread to the market in 2012. We are also available for cooking classes, workshops, and one-on-one consulting for people seeking to live a life of vibrant health, with zero taste sacrifice. Our mission is to make it easy for people to eat food made with love, respect and other nutrients. You’re welcome. We love you.


We even got a picture with the founder of The Regal Vegan, Ella Nemcova! My mom was super excited about meeting Ella because she was featured in the same TV show where she saw The Cinnamon Snail!


The Pesto Zucchini Noodles were absolutely delicious by the way!!! We both ate our plates cleans!!


By 2pm I was scoping out seats for Scott Jurek’s presentation!! We snagged front rows seats! I was beside myself! I made sure to bring my book to get signed too!


I was so excited that I just had to take a selfie!! 🙂


In this particular post, I’m only going to go over the highlights of the presentation. In my next post (so stay tuned!), I will be breaking down his entire presentation. It will be very informative for those interested in the benefits of a plant-based diet, what Scott’s diet consists of, and race & training nutrition.


For those not familiar, Scott was featured in Born to Run, a 2009 best-selling book written by Christopher McDougall. Scott was one of the elite runners who was recruited by Micah True, aka Caballo Blanco, (White Horse) to run with the Tarahumara Indians in the Mexican Copper Canyons. For more information about Born to Run and Micah True, check out this link about a movie that will be coming out called Run Free – The True Story of Caballo Blanco.

During the presentation, Scott discussed how food can be used as fuel and medicine.


Scott realized that fueling his body properly would help avoid injuries and prevent disease. He mentioned two books that help inspired him to improve his diet – Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman and Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.


Next, Scott went into the “Scott Jurek Secrets” otherwise known as his own plant-based diet!

One of the biggest takeaways from his presentation was the idea of adding more healthful plant-based foods to your diet, no matter what diet you subscribe to! So even if you are Paleo, you could benefit from adding more vegetables into your diet. It’s not so much what you take out, but what you add in that could make a difference in your health. Eventually you can start replacing unhealthy foods with healthy plant-based foods.


Then during the Q&A session he went into racing and training nutrition.



After the presentation we headed to the back of the room and formed a line to get pictures and autographs!


So of course I can’t contain my giddiness right? LOL


The Seed: Eat & Run book

Here’s the best part of waiting in line – the first time around none of my pictures with Scott came out! I had one shot of him that came out fuzzy and then all of the pictures after that didn’t register on the phone but my camera memory was FULL!! AHHH!! #MyWorstNightmare!! Well, that’s what you get when you are a runner/foodie blogger and you take pics of EVERYTHING and before you know it you have 11,000 pictures on your phone – OOPS!! But it’s all good because I waited in line a 2nd time and explained to Scott what happened and he really was a good sport about it!


Then we took a SELFIE!!! Hands down, one of my favorite selfies ever (top 3 at least)!!


After taking pictures with Scott, I wanted to find Matt Frazier! I’ve been following Matt’s blog, No Meat Athlete, for about 2 years now and last November I had the pleasure of meeting him at a book signing at Nourish restaurant in Scottsdale.

November 2013:

So at the Seed Experience, I was so excited to find his booth and take a selfie!


As it turns out, Matt and I had emailed that morning. He informed me that I actually won a ticket by commenting on his most recent blog post, “Meal Planning Tips for the Busy Athlete, with YumUniverse’s Heather Crosby.” Then my mom and I purchased shirts!

The Seed: No Meat Athlete shirts

After saying goodbye to Matt we continued to walk up and down the aisles to check out more vendors. Then I looked over and saw Matt talking to Scott!! I boldly and politely as possible went right up to them and requested a picture!! Hello – a picture with both of them was absolutely priceless!! I even explained to them how they were both the reason that I attended The Seed Experience in the first place!

I’m not sure if it counts as a selfie because I didn’t take the picture myself – but whatever it is – again, put this picture in my top favs!!!!


After a fun filled day of devouring vegan treats and meeting superstar athletes and bloggers, we headed to the After Party!! The party was a blast! My mom and I made lots of friends!

We got chatty with Lori Cheek, architect turned entrepreneur who founded Cheek’d (a savvy online social circuit which draws on the age-old custom of networking with business cards).

The Seed: Lori Cheek

We even got pictures with Honey LaBronx – a vegan activist and drag queen!




All in all, The Seed Experience was a great event!! I’m so happy that I got to share the experience with my mom!! She had a blast meeting new people and trying the yummy vegan food! Hopefully we can make this an annual event!!

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NCPD Memorial 5k – Race Recap

Did you think it was ever too late to run or walk in a 5k? Do you think participating in a 5k would be unattainable due to your current age or fitness level? I’m here to tell you it’s NOT too late and DO NOT hesitate because of your age and/or current shape! I would encourage everyone to put on some walking/running shoes and give it a go! Start with 5 minutes a day, then 10, then 20, and so forth!! You would be surprised at how amazing you will feel releasing those endorphins and getting stronger by the day!

No matter how slow you are, you're still lapping everyone on couch

On Monday, August 11, 2014, I participated in a 5k on Long Island, NY (where I was born and raised). The best part was that my mom was the one who signed us up and started the recruiting process – including her long time friend and fellow Nassau County employee, Terri! The race, called the NCPD Memorial 5k, was put on by the Nassau Police Running Club. Funds raised from the event will benefit a scholarship in the name of 6 Nassau County police officers who have passed away in the line of duty: Gary Farley, Michael J. Califano, Geoffrey J. Breitkopf, Charlie Cole, Joseph Olivieri and Artie Lopez.

Police - County of Nassau

I’ll never forget when my mom called me a few weeks back and told me that she wanted to sign up for this race during my August visit to Long Island. I was thrilled that we could spend time doing a hobby that I absolutely love and that she was recently getting into! Ever since I got her a Fitbit pedometer for Mother’s Day, she has turned into a dedicated daily walker trying to get her step count in!! Not only did she want to do the race for her physical health, but also because she knew a majority of the officers personally and wanted to honor their memory!




The night of the race was really a beautiful evening! Probably my only complaint would be the amount of humidity for this now converted desert gal. I didn’t check it at the exact time we were racing, but a few hours later it was up to 80% and Phoenix averages in the 30% all year round, so quite the difference yikes lol!!

I saw the race as a great opportunity to invite other long-time Long Island friends! My pal Erin from elementary school joined us! She felt a mix of nerves and excitement, and I was so proud of her for going out of her comfort zone!

Here are some pre-race photos to show our excitement! From left: My mom, Me, Terri, and Erin!


And of course we took a selfie!


And some photos of the crowds:

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By 7pm we headed to the start line! I positioned myself towards the front because I wanted to run competitively. I told my mom that after I finished I would go back and find her!

Shortly after we started I got my routine racing selfie:


And a shot of the runners in front of me:


The race course had us running the same loop twice so with about a 1/4 mile left, I saw my mom and Terri and they got a shot of me in action!


A couple of minutes later, I crossed the finish line with a time of 25:17 minutes. Then I headed back and found my mom and Terri! They had a little over a mile left!


I wanted to get everyone crossing the finish line so I ran ahead and got the shots! Erin and her friend Will just finished!


Wow look at mom whip past that line woot woot!




After everyone completed the race, we got in line for food! It was a long line so we had plenty of time for selfies!


Terri & Kristin selfie NCPD Memorial 5k



By about 8:30pm they started the raffles and the award ceremonies! Even though I didn’t PR my time, it turns out I was the 3rd place female in the Law Enforcement Division! I was so thrilled that my mom and friend got to see me get an award! I felt truly honored!



All in all it was a great race with a great cause, that brought family and long time friends together!! My mom is already talking about signing up for another one! GO MOM!!


So tell me, if you haven’t done a 5k, would you consider participating in one now?? And if you have done a 5k or other races, what inspired you to try something new or even get off that couch??



It’s My Birthday And I’ll Hike If I Want To!

It’s my birthday, and I’ll hike if I want to
Hike if I want to, hike if I want to
You would hike too if it happened to you!

My 32nd birthday was on Tuesday, August 5th! For a couple of weeks I debated how to celebrate! I knew that I’d be in Arizona that day as I wasn’t traveling, but I realized that didn’t mean I had to stay in sizzling hot Phoenix in the 200 105 degree heat! I thought about what was important to me – staying cool, doing something active, spending time with my husband, seeing a brand new place, and being surrounded by nature! It occurred to me that driving up north to Flagstaff and finding a hiking spot would be the perfect answer!! I asked my friend Corine aka Zucchini Runner if she had any suggestions and she told me about the Flagstaff Nordic Center!


Since I’m all about pictures (shocking right?), I knew I wanted a really cool and unique shirt! So I asked my friend Theresa, owner of Shark’s Bites of Life, for help finding a place that makes custom shirts! Check out Theresa’s shirts on Etsy! She directed me to Spreadshirt! On Spreadshirt’s website, I customized a tank that said “It’s My Birthday And I’ll Hike If I Want To” on the front and “Cook and Run with” on the back!



The shirt came out great!! I LOVED it!!!

So how did my birthday go? Let’s start from the beginning! I woke up, drank my Shakeology, and did the PiYo Workout that was on the calendar for the day, PiYo Sweat!


After a quick shower and a change in clothes, we packed up the car with our necessities and headed up to Flagstaff. By about 1:30pm we stopped and had lunch at the Mix Restaurant on N Leroux street. I found it through a search on my phone. The reviews were excellent and I loved that they were all about local ingredients and fresh made-to-order soups and salads. They don’t believe in using processed foods on their menu and neither do I, so it was a great choice! Evan and I both enjoyed the cauliflower soup with our sandwiches – delicious!!

After we filled our bellies with a fabulous lunch we headed to the Nordic Center which was another 20 or so minutes of driving. By about 3:00pm we arrived at the main lodge.



Right before we started hiking, I checked the weather and I was very thrilled to see that it was 75 degrees and sunny out! Perfect hiking weather if you ask me!


At the start of our hike, Evan and I took a selfie!


The Nordic Center has options for those who want to stay and enjoy some relaxation! You can “rough” it gently as they say in a yurt or camping hut, or you can enjoy more traditional accommodations and stay in the Ponderosa Room at the Lodge.

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With a trail map in hand, we ventured off into the woods! Get ready for a picture explosion! They really do all of the talking!



I really enjoyed the beautiful bright white aspen trees!


And it made it so interesting that the scenery kept changing!





There is actually a squirrel sitting on the fallen tree. Can you see him?? 🙂


I wanted to enjoy the beauty of nature and WOW – did I ever!!




In fact I was having so much fun, I felt the need to jump in the air LOL! 🙂


And then the exploring continued!








As we were taking one of our sign post pics, we saw 3 bulls in the background!! Here I am pointing to them in the background. They actually got quite scared of us and ran away! What an incredible sight to see!

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This picture doesn’t even do the aspens justice! The white color was so intense!


And then I felt the need to take a selfie! I just love showing off my Girls Run Fast necklace! 🙂


We knew that the sun would set at 7:25pm, so we made sure to head back to the car in time. After 2 hours and 38 minutes, we enjoyed our fill of the hike! I was very happy that we completed 7.34 miles that afternoon!


We decided it would be really nice to head to Sedona while the sun was setting! We took the Oak Creek Canyon scenic drive! I highly recommend driving this route some time if you haven’t already! Apparently it’s one of the Top 5 Most Scenic Drives in America (according to Rand McNally). How cool! I totally get it!




I started searching on my phone again for a place to eat and came across a place called The Field Organic Restaurant.  I loved seeing that this restaurant was all about local, organic, sustainable, and seasonal fresh food!! We really enjoyed the ceviche, the sea bass, and the eggplant parm! And of course a glass of vino was absolutely necessary after a 7.34 mile hike!!


They even won best organic restaurant in Sedona in 2014!


It was so fortunate that we stumbled across not only 1 fabulous, organic, healthy restaurant, but 2 WOW!!  I will definitely return to the both the Mix in Flagstaff and The Field in Sedona!

All in all, I am extremely satisfied with how my birthday went down! What can be better than taking in the fresh air, getting exercise, eating delicious healthy food, and seeing a brand new place – all with the love of my life by my side! <3 <3 <3

In keeping with the theme, I even got jewelry from my husband that reflects nature, including a butterfly and leaf necklace!

Butterfly and Leaf necklaces

And wow did we accomplish a lot of steps according to my Fitbit!!

Fitbit Aug 5

I have to also mention that I was completely and utterly overwhelmed by the insane amount of texts, calls, Facebook messages, and new likes on my Cook and Run with Kristin FB page!!! Wow, talk about the icing on the cake!!! I want to thank everyone for the enormous outpouring of love!! I am a truly blessed person!

I especially loved the pictures and special message from my mom!

On this day, 32 years ago, I met the most beautiful person in the world. Happy Birthday to my daughter, Kristin. You are my life, my best friend and my rock. Who else would put up with me. I don’t know what I would do without you. Love you to the moon and back.

Mom and me as a baby

Mom and Me, Mother's day 2014

Grandma and Me, Louie's Restaurant


Ok, so enough about me already! TELL ME – how do you love to spend your birthday? OR, would what be your fantasy birthday?? I’d love to know! Leave me a message in the comments!!