Author Archives: Kristin

It’s Pumpkin Recipe Time!!

Fall is officially here, which means it’s time to for cooler temperatures, Halloween shenanigans, and of course pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING!!


As a major time saver for these recipes, I purchased organic pumpkin puree from Whole Foods. Kudos to those who want to roast and blend a real pumpkin! I’ve done it before many times with squash to make butternut squash soup, so I know it can be done. But every once in a while, containers like the one pictured below can really help! Also note that it’s in a carton and not a can. I try to avoid cans as much as possible because of BPA (Bisphenol A) concerns. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”

No worries if you can’t find this and have to use a can. In those cases, try to purchase organic and see if the can actually lists “BPA-Free” on the label.


Below you will see 5 different recipes including pumpkin as an ingredient! There is also a bonus recipe for homemade chili sauce – YUM!


1) Pumpkin Syrup Recipe (great for coffee or as a topping)

So, are you going to head to Starbucks for a pumpkin latte? I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to! What if I told you that you can AVOID the artificial, GMO, and sugar-laden ingredients  that Starbucks has to offer?!! I’ve got a recipe for you that you can make at home!! Not only will it be free of toxins and junk, it will also TASTE better!! 🙂



This was adapted from my Vitamix Recipe book. I modified or “healthified” as I like to say!


  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Puree, fresh or canned
  •  cup Coconut Nectar (or Coconut Palm Sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Allspice (ground)
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger (ground)


1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. 

2. Select Hot Soup program. 

3. Switch machine to Start and allow machine to complete programmed cycle.

***For those without a Vitamix or other equivalent blender use a saucepan on the stove!

Stove Top Directions: In a medium saucepan, add water and the coconut nectar (or sugar if using instead). Simmer on medium-low heat until the nectar (or sugar) dissolves, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and pumpkin puree. Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Remove from the heat and strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth or a clean tea towel. Allow the syrup to cool to room-temperature before stirring in the vanilla extract. Store in a mason jar or airtight container. The syrup will last for 1 month in the refrigerator.


Please note, this syrup also works on PANCAKES!! Check out the recipe for Pumpkin Pear Pecan Pancakes, on my friend Corine’s page, Zucchini Runner!

For very simple, Paleo pancakes, you can also check out a previous post of mine, “4 Ingredient Paleo Pancakes!,” where I’ve added pumpkin puree as a 5th ingredient and also used the pumpkin syrup as a topping!

IMG_5113 IMG_5114


2) Chili Sauce & Pumpkin Chili (2 recipes for the price of one! lol)

The Pumpkin Chili recipe calls for chili sauce. Instead of purchasing store-bought, I went ahead and figured out how to make my own using the same method as my homemade ketchup. I tweaked the ingredients to made sure it would come out like chili sauce!

Chili Sauce:



  • 1 container Strained Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion, peeled, quartered, root end left intact
  • ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cup Coconut Palm or Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 3 tablespoons Himalayan or Real Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper, (or to taste)


1. Place the tomato sauce, onion, vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, salt, and spices in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce head to simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.

I love recipes that just simmer in a pot!


After the chili sauce is made, you are ready to make the Pumpkin Chili! As a time saver, consider making the chili sauce ahead of time. And don’t forget you can always freeze small amounts for future use! I went ahead and saved the onion from the chili sauce! Please note: this is chili has a KICK! Feel free to modify the amount of chili sauce you add and/or chili powder!

Chili sauce

Pumpkin Chili Recipe:



  • 1.5 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 containers of 16oz pumpkin puree
  • 1 (26.46) container diced tomatoes (I like Pomi)
  • 1 container pinto or kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (6 oz) bottle of chili sauce (*see chili sauce recipe)
  • 1 cup broth
  • 2 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons coconut palm or brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped


1. In a skillet, brown the turkey (instead of using oil, I like to use broth).
2. In a separate large pot, add in all the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat.
4. After the turkey is browned, add to the large pot. Let all of the ingredients simmer for at least 30 minutes.

I used ground turkey, but feel free to substitute with bison or ground beef!


Check it out – I reused the onion that sat in the chili sauce! Not gonna lie, it was a bit messy to dice LOL!image




3) Pumpkin Shakeology Shake

Not all things pumpkin have to be warm!! For a cool refreshing smoothie, check out my Pumpkin Shakeology Shake! Please note the amounts listed are for my 20 oz Magic Bullet cup. If you are using a bigger or smaller cup, please adjust accordingly!



  • 1 scoop Vanilla or Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ cups Water/Almond milk combo
  • 10 walnuts (can sub pecans)
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Puree (or more to taste)
  • ½ Frozen Banana


Please note: These are the measurements for a 20 oz magic bullet cup.
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend!

4) Pumpkin Bars (Refined-sugar-free, gluten-free)

I have to credit @mianutrition on Instagram for this recipe! These are a perfect treat for those watching their sugar!




  • 1 container Pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Coconut Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs


1. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then together.
2. Spread evenly in a greased 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.

To grease my pan, I like to used coconut oil!


I put my wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.IMG_4830

Then I mix everything together and spread the mixture on my greased cookie sheet.IMG_4833

Next, I used my bash and chop to make squares.IMG_4838
If you want to jazz them up, drizzle a little bit of the homemade pumpkin syrup on them!
5) Pumpkin Truffles (Refined-sugar-free, gluten-free)
My friend Susie put a picture of these on Facebook and my mouth started watering right away! I asked for the recipe IMMEDIATELY and she sent me the link to My Whole Food Life.
  • For the pumpkin:
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (or 1 can pumpkin)
  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    • For the chocolate coating:
    • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
    • ¼ cup almond milk


1. In the food processor, combine all the ingredients for the pumpkin cream. Blend until smooth.
2. Stick the food processor bowl in the fridge to firm up a little. About 10 minutes.
3. Using a cookie scoop, drop mixture onto a lined baking sheet.
4. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to firm while you make the chocolate mixture.
5. To make the chocolate use a double boiler method. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
6. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot with the water. Add the chocolate chips and almond milk to the glass bowl and gently melt the chocolate.
7. Once all the chocolate is melted, use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over each truffle.
8. Place in the fridge to firm up the chocolate.
9. Please keep these truffles in the fridge. They should last a couple weeks.
10. You can freeze them for longer storage. Enjoy!
 I put the ingredients for the pumpkin filling in my food processor!IMG_5007I let them sit in the fridge for 10 minutes!
Then I used an ice cream scooper to make the truffles!
I then put the truffles in the freezer to harden while I made the chocolate! My first time by the way – not to shabby!
Next, I used a scoop to “drizzle” the chocolate on. I say “drizzle” but it was actually still quite thick so I used the spoon and my fingers to get the chocolate coating on!
After sitting in the fridge for a while, they were READY!!
OMG, these were GOOD!!
Pumpkin Truffles collage
Wow I am so excited for Fall! How about you?!
Which of these recipes are you gonna make? Let me know in the comments!!

Did you know that GirlsRunFast and that I RunEatTweet?

Did you know that GirlsRunFast and that I RunEatTweet? Haha, what does that mean exactly?!

Girls Run Fast - Ambassador-logo


Well, some of you may or may not know that I am an Ambassador for a local, family-owned business here in Phoenix called Girls Run Fast. I had the pleasure of meeting them at a local 5k race back in March. When I saw that they found a way to combine running + jewelry, I was in heaven!!

Owner of Girls Run Fast

Their website describes them and their products best:

“We want you to look and feel your best while running, doing yoga, dancing, swimming, or gymnastics … and anywhere else for that matter! If you are looking for handcrafted sterling silver necklaces or other sports jewelry, we have it. Our sports jewelry has lasted through marathons, half marathons, 5k’s, 10k’s, sprints, surfing, yoga, recitals, meets and daily wear and tear. We’re not just about running!”

I have to say, I get so much use out of my beautiful Girls Run Fast products!

Whether I am running,

Fitbit and Girls Run Fast

doing my PiYo workouts,

Piyo Girls Run Fast

on the lake doing my Yoga/SUP,


Girls Run Fast - Yoga:sup charms in mail

Girls Run Fast Yoga:SUP

or even when I’m enjoying a night out!

Girls Run Fast jewelry

Top Golf

I even decorated my car with their 13.1 stickers!

Girls Run Fast - car sticker

And let’s not forget how handy the wine charms are!

Girls Run Fast wine charms

One exciting thing that I want to tell you about, is that they are currently having a giveaway contest so that you can win a Hydration Pack!! There are 3 easy steps that you can do to enter!


1) Like Girls Run Fast on Facebook (share and like the post)

2) Follow @GirlsRunFast on Twitter (#retweet & #fav)

3) Follow @girlsrunfast on Instagram (like the post)

Two winners will be chosen on 09/25/2014!  You can increase your chances of winning the more you like, share, retweet, and favorite! Good luck to those who enter! Also, if you’re on their website and see some goodies that you would like to purchase, you can use RUN14 for 15% off!

So I told you that Girls Run Fast, so what does that have to do with running, eating, and tweeting? #RunEatTweetAZ is a local runner/blogger group that I am involved with! I had the pleasure of meeting them this summer and recently I was made a CRO (Chief Running Officer)! We like to say that we are runners with a social media problem lol!

Speaking of social media, you can keep track of all our events by following our pages:

Here’s the group hiking Camelback mountain back in July!

#RunEatTweetAZ Group Photo Camelback 7.20.14

We meet at least once a month and we host free events all around the Phoenix valley! This past Saturday we went for a trail run at Papago Park!

RunEatTweetAZ Papago Park pic collage

RunEatTweetAZ Papago Park group collage

So that brings me to our next event coming up on September 21, 2014!! Check out the Facebook invite for “PiYo in the Park!” We’ll be starting with an early run at 6:30am, consisting of 2 to 3 quick loops around Mountain Vista Park. Just so you know, all walkers are welcome too!! Walk 1 or 2 loops alongside the runners!

If you don’t want to get up that early or just don’t want to run, then you can show up at 7:15am. Starting at 7:15am, fellow Beachbody/PiYo coach, Corine (Zucchini Runner), and I will be leading the group through some great PiYo moves to show you what this awesome exercise program is all about! (BE SURE TO BRING A YOGA MAT OR BEACH TOWL FOR THIS)

Here’s preview of some of the PiYo moves!

PiYo in the Park preview

After that we’ll be playing a game involving burpees, push-ups, etc. There’s a lot going on for this event so come to all or come to whatever works for you!

In addition to the very active and fun-filled morning, the founders of Girls Run Fast will be bringing some awesome giveaways!! Wow!! What’s not to like?! Free run, free PiYo, free burpees, and free giveaways lol!!! Oh and I almost forgot – there will be free food too!!

I hope you can join me and the #RunEatTweetAZ group on Sunday, September 21st and don’t forget to enter the Girls Run Fast Hydration Pack giveaway!!

Ultra Runner Scott Jurek Talks Nutrition & His Plant-Based Diet

In a previous post titled “Selfies with Scott Jurek & Matt Frazier at The Seed!,” I talked about what it was like to attend The Seed Experience in New York City on August 9, 2014. Thanks to Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete, I found out about this amazing and educational plant-based expo! There were not only many vendors sampling vegan foods and items, but also well known vegan advocates doing presentations! Once I saw that ultra marathoner Scott Jurek was on the schedule – I knew I HAD to go!!

In this post, I wanted to break down Scott’s presentation in which he shared anecdotal stories, the benefits of a plant-based diet, what his diet consists of, and race nutrition.

First we’ll start with the selfie that I took with his book, Eat & Run, as I eagerly awaited the presentation. 🙂

The Seed: Selfie at Scott pres

Scott started the presentation by talking about races he had participated in, such as the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and the Badwater Ultra marathon. The Western States 100 is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. It starts in Squaw Valley, California and ends 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California. Runners climb more than 18,000 feet and descend nearly 23,000 feet before they reach the finish line at Placer High School in Auburn. In 2004, he not only set a course record of 15:36:27, but he finished the course in the daytime which was a huge goal for him!


By the way, the temperature during this race can reach 105 degrees!  The picture below shows Scott at mile 78 – the best spot on the course! Photo courtesy of Scott’s website.


Scott also brought up the mostly plant-based diet of the Tarahumara Indians and how we could all benefit from fueling our bodies this way. For those not familiar, Scott was featured in Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, or better known as 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. Photo courtesy of Scott’s website.


Pictured below you can see Micah True (left) and Scott (right). (Photo courtesy of Runner’s World). In the article, “The Deer Remembers the White Horse,”  published on Runner’s World website, Scott reflects on his friendship with Micah who has since passed.


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.

Scott then transitioned into the topic of how food can be good fuel.


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, MD.

Scott used the analogy of putting fuel into a race car and how that applies to the fuel that we put into our own bodies. Sure, you can put whatever kind of fuel in a race car and it will go around the track a few times, but will it be better for the engine long term?  Just like the race car, we know that we can survive and even run for a while with unhealthy food, even unhealthy vegan food (think Mountain Dew and Twinkies), but how will it affect our health long term? This is where Scott wants to encourage us to put the best, highest octane fuel into our bodies (and this applies to all forms of food, not just plant-based).

Scott describes the benefits he’s seen from adopting a plant-based diet:

  • As an athlete, he realizes that he needs to take responsibility for his own health. We can’t just rely on doctors and technology alone.
  • Longevity is key for his health and his athletic performance. He’s hoping to prevent diseases like diabetes and he’s not looking for quick fixes that will make him perform better. In the long term, how is our diet affecting our heart health and cholesterol, and preventing diseases such as diabetes?
  • There is a great deal of satisfaction when you know what kind of foods you are putting into your body and being in control. It also serves as a performance edge when you are standing on that starting line knowing that everyone has trained similarly but knowing that YOU have an edge when it comes to how you fueled your body along the way.

Scott then made a joke, he said “Do we have any Paleo folks in the audience by the way? Did they let them in?” LOL. One thing that I really appreciated about that, is that he made a point of acknowledging that many types of diets bring their own benefits and that people of all diets should really get along! The ones that tend to be successful, however, are the ones that include a high amount of plant-based foods (i.e. fruit, veggies, whole grains, and legumes).

Next, he talked about how he used natural remedies to help heal an injury before a race including turmeric, bromelain, garlic, ginger, Vitamin C, ice, and compression. Our bodies go through cycles of inflammation and even though drugs can help diminish the pain, they can prolong that cycle. Plants have a lot of power and healing attributes in them and it’s important to see plants as medicine.


Scott gave tips for adopting a plant-based diet:

  • Integration: Instead of thinking about the foods he can’t eat, he thinks about what he can incorporate and use to replace old, unhealthy foods.
  • Quantity: If you are an athlete on a vegan diet and you don’t feel that you have enough energy, then you are probably not getting enough calories.
  • Quality: Once you have figured out if you are eating enough, then you can focus on quality and all of the nutritious foods to eat on a plant-based diet like quinoa and goji berries.

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


What does Scott’s plant-based diet look like:

  • 80-90% Whole Foods
  • 90% Organic. It’s important to purchase organic fruits and vegetables to avoid pesticides. Follow the guidelines of the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables from the EWG (Environmental Working Group).
  • Local Farmer’s Market, garden, homemade meals


  • 50-60% Carbohydrates (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, sprouted whole grain breads, whole grain pasta)


  • 20-30% Fat (Omega 3 & 6, olives, olive oil,  avocados, almond butter, coconut oil & meat, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, sesame oil)


  • 15-20% Protein (tempeh, tofu, beans, edamame, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and protein powders such as pea, brown rice, and hemp)


  • Scott emphasizes getting your nutrient needs from food first, however, B12, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, and Iron are examples of micronutrients that those on a plant-based diet may be deficient in. Monitor these levels and decide whether you need to supplement.


  • Super Greens to incorporate into your diet include: barley, wheatgrass, chlorella, spirulina, seaweed and sprouts.


Scott also went into Training and Racing Nutrition:

  • Sodium = 200-400 mg per hour (this can vary depending on your individual weight)


  • Carbohydrate formulas:
    • Body weight in kg x 0.7 = grams of carbs to consume per hour (min)
    • Body weight in kg x 1.0 = grams of carbs to consume per hour (max)

When you are engaging in exercise that lasts longer than 90 minutes or 2 hours, you will need to replace glucose (carbohydrate) because you will burn through your glycogen storage at that point. Focusing on carbohydrates during training is important because that’s how the body will keep your endurance levels up.


Next, Scott got up close and personal with the audience during the Q & A!


Here are some Q & A highlights:

  • Food during training: As an ultra runner, running long distances day in and day out, it’s important to consume actual real food including bananas, potatoes, and bean and rice burritos. **(Side note: for more healthy and easy to make recipes to fuel your runs, please see my friend Zucchini Runner‘s guest post on MichRun4‘s site which talks about all Clean Running Fuel.)
  • Raw plant-based foods vs. cooked: Scott personally consumes about 30-40% raw foods (especially desserts!). He says being a professional athlete on a raw diet can be done, but suggested that you do what’s best for you and that more importantly, you make sure that you are getting enough calories to keep your energy levels up.
  • Post-exercise recovery: For workouts longer than 90 minutes, use this formula:
    • Body weight in kg x 1.5 = grams of carbs
    • Body weight in kg x 0.2 = grams of proteins

He talked about how important it is to consume carbs during a workout, and emphasized how important protein’s role is after a workout. Protein will help build the glycogen stores back into the muscles. There is also a time window of 20-30 minutes post-exercise that you should be following these formulas. Also take note that these formulas are based on weight. A 120 pound female will not be consuming the same as a 195 pound male for instance.


After the presentation I got in line to get my book signed!

IMG_3547The Seed: Eat & Run book

We even took a selfie!


All in all, meeting Scott was truly a bucket list moment! It was fascinating to not only meet him in person, but to actually hear about nutrition from his point of view and his experiences as an ultra marathoner! In the end, runners of ALL DISTANCES can apply his nutritional principles! It doesn’t matter whether you run ultras, marathons, or 5k races – EVERYONE can benefit from consuming whole, real, organic sources of fuel before, after, and during a run!

So how do you think YOU’LL be fueling your next run?! I know that I’ll be making some changes myself!

Also, if you’d like to hear videos that I took during Scott’s presentation, please visit my Facebook page, Cook and Run with Kristin.


Picking Your First Marathon – Guest Post by The Silent Assassin

Wassup gangeez! It’s The Silent Assassin here, member of #RunEatTweet. I’m taking over Cook And Run With Kristin today, talking about how to pick your first marathon. I met Kristin on one of our monthly group outings that #RunEatTweet puts on. It’s a cool group of bloggers who run and eat…or maybe its runners who eat and blog?! At any rate, there’s always some running, eating, and tweeting going on. I was surprised to find out when doing this blog swap that Kristin has yet to run a full marathon. So, today, I’m going to give her and you some tips and advice on how to pick your first full.

So, now that you’ve conquered the 5k, the 10k, the 15k, and the half marathon, now what?!  That’s basically the train of thought for runners accomplishing running goals starting small and gradually moving up in distance.  The most logical answer would be, a MARATHON!  Cool!  But where do I even begin?!

Well, even before mapping out a marathon training plan, the very first thing you have to decide is, ‘Which race should be my first Marathon race?!”.  Decisions, decisions, decisions…


There are thousands of marathons around the globe.  And there are all types of races that are of marathon distance.  Do you like road or trail?  Do you like to run in hot or cold weather?  Are you wanting to travel or stay close to home?  Do you want a flat or hilly course?  So many questions right?!  Are you getting knots in your stomach yet?  Well, don’t fret.  I’ve got some tips and advice on how to make your first Marathon as memorable as can be.  Well, let’s put it this way.  I’ll help you decide what will be your first marathon.  You make the memories.  Ready?  Set?  Let’s go!


Time of day for the race

What kind of weather conditions are you more comfortable running in?  Take the race aspect out of it for now.  We are talking strictly about training.   You should know, that based on your mileage, you should be thinking about 3 months out from your first marathon.  So 3 months out until the marathon, what will the weather be like?  Be honest with yourself and use your training to help decide the marathon.  Do you like to run in the cold, warm, or hot weather?  Do you perform better in the early am or maybe later at night…like when RnR Las Vegas starts?



Local or Travel

Along with race time, you need to decide if your first marathon will be local or if there will be traveling involved.  Traveling could cause added stress to your first marathon experience.  Not only that, you can almost guarantee extra costs for flights, rental car, gas, hotel, food, etc.  Plan carefully.  The lure of going to destinations for your first marathon could be costly.  Also, don’t forget that the destination may have different weather conditions and climates than what you are used to during training.  Traveling may also mean different environments, food and culture.  It might be hard to duplicate that part of your training.  But with all of that, you also get the benefits of visiting a place you probably wouldn’t visit if not for a race.  You’ll have to keep all of that in mind.

If you don’t want to deal with all of that (possible) added stress, you could choose to stay local.  Staying local means little to no traveling plans.  It means knowing the climate and changes in weather.  It also means sleeping in your own bed, showering in your own shower, and having the home crowd cheer you on across the finish line.  There’s nothing better than seeing familiar faces and family cheering you on at the end of 26.2 miles.


Size of the race

For your first marathon, do you want it to be a giant party?  Or do you want it to be intimate?  Some runners like all the big city races with the big entries and the big crowds.  The crowds, the music, the on course entertainment can all be big motivators.  Seeing crowds cheering you on or having bands on the course playing music when you have dead legs or thoughts of quitting can be quite the thing you need to push through.  If that’s not for you, then maybe you want the small intimate crowds and venues.  Maybe you don’t wanna feel like your engulfed by a sea of runners.  Maybe you don’t want to feel like a rabbit when the gun goes off trying to jockey for position.  And maybe you don’t like to wait 30 mins after the gun sounds to just cross the start line.  If that’s the case, maybe your first marathon should be a low-key marathon.  Low key and smaller crowds may mean getting into a rhythm faster and getting into your comfort zone quicker.  Maybe the thought of running alone keeps you at peace and focused.  There are pro’s and con’s for both.  Pick the size based on what you think you’ll feel most confident with.  Does this freak you out?!


And finally the Course

There’s a whole slew of course types to choose from.  There are loops, point to point, out and backs, trails, road, hard, easy, hilly, all downhill…again with the choices.  For me, the course selection is all about the scenery.  Ok, yes, it does matter to me if there are hills, but training should take care of that once you make the decision on the marathon of choice.  But for me, I’d rather look at beaches and nature than sky scrapers and city buildings.  And BQ’ing (Boston qualifying) should not be the goal for your first marathon IMHO.  So picking courses that are all downhill may not be the best choice.  Remember, you will want to design your training around the marathon you pick.  So picking Big Cottonwood because it’s all downhill also will mean finding the right training ground to mimic the drop in elevation.  Look at the profile for Big Cottonwood.  You’ll have to treat your quads to a special massage after this run.



So, using all of this information…my first pick for my first marathon was The Phoenix Marathon ’14.  The time of day, the size, the destination, and the course profile outweighed the beach scenery.  It made perfect sense for it to be my first marathon.  The race is usually ran during the end of February and beginning of March.  So, the weather and climate was perfect.  Its a local race to me.  So the stress of traveling and added expense was not a factor.  Plus, I got to sleep in my own bed to start off with and then have my family and friends cheer me on, to end with.  The size of the event is relatively small compared to a lot of the major big name marathons.  The profile is also all downhill.  I wasn’t trying to BQ even though it is a Boston Qualifier.  But after picking the race, I was able to train on the actual course. Win!  It’s not the best scenery, but being able to run in a location that I was familiar with was a big plus.


So, there you go.  Hopefully these tips will help you choose your first marathon.  The main takeaway for me was that I needed to have less stress and be able to enjoy the race.  You only get one ‘first marathon’.  You only get one chance to cross the finish line of your ‘first marathon’.  Trust the training you did, smile, and just have fun.


Stay Blessed Stay Fierce

Connect with Shane aka The Silent Assassin!

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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.

IMG_3334      IMG_3333

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!!



3 Day Refresh Recap – July 2014

Similar to last year when I was traveling a great deal, it would appear that once again I’ve put on a few “vacation” pounds. Click here to read more about last year’s weight loss journey – Fall 2013 Weight Loss Journey with Team Beachbody.

Before IMG_5215 AfterIMG_5887

Over the past several months, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to New York, Michigan, Nevada, and California (some of those places more than once) since April. However, since about April 1st, I realized that I’ve put on about 7 of these “vacation” or “too much fun” pounds. So just like last Fall when I saw a post from Corine Green, aka Zucchini Runner, about a challenge group with Beachbody, I jumped at the chance to join in!! The timing is great for me and of course it’s summer (gotta look good when I’m getting my Yoga/SUP on right?!) so I knew I would be able to commit!

As it turns out, we are doing a 60 Day PiYo Challenge (a low impact, high intensity, pilates and yoga inspired workout series created by Chalene Johnson). In order to reap the most benefits though – nutrition is going to be a HUGE factor! Over the past 2 weeks, I have made major changes in my diet including cutting back on – dining out, processed carbohydrates, and calorie-spiking beverages. I have gone back to a much more clean eating lifestyle and have made a variety of healthy meals at home. Don’t get me wrong – I have splurged a bit on the weekends (not every meal on the weekend though)! I think that’s okay because of the 80/20 rule – 80% on track and 20% splurges!

Now when I heard about Beachbody’s new 3 Day Refresh program, I was thoroughly intrigued. The testimonials claimed that the average weight loss is 3 pounds. The program is designed to allow your body to detox or “refresh” and to help you break the cycle of bad eating habits. The program also allows mild to moderate exercise, which meant I could continue to do my PiYo workouts daily! Corine had tried the program herself and was successful, so I thought, “why not?!”


One of my biggest concerns in scheduling my refresh was whether dining out would fit in. After talking to Corine she explained that it is doable to eat out, but it’s much more preferable to eat in. Based on that, I went ahead and scheduled 3 consecutive days when I knew I could be set up for success!

Here’s a summary of what a day looks like:
Breakfast: Shakeology plus 1 fruit option

Tea break: Unsweetened green or herbal tea (optional)

Green Tea
Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep Digestive Sweep

Lunch: Vanilla Fresh Shake + 1 fruit + 1 veggie + 1 healthy fat

IMG_2641      IMG_2642
Snack: 1 veggie option or 1 raw juice option

Green juice
Tea break: Unsweetened green or herbal tea (optional)
Dinner: Vanilla Fresh shake + 1 option from Dinner Recipes list

IMG_2654      Energizing Vegetable Soup

Another great dinner option that fits the plan is homemade Gazpacho. It’s has a blended tomato base with a bunch of freshly chopped veggies added. 


The healthy fat comes from adding avocado. It’s a delicious and very filling dinner option!
Tea break: Unsweetened green or herbal tea (optional)

My 3 days consisted of me following the plan, staying home as much as possible, taking time to relax (i.e. baths, reading for pleasure), and drinking LOTS of water! Please note that the Energizing Vegetable Soup is a recipe from Elaina Love. I decided to make it though because it follows the guidelines of a healthy vegetable serving plus a healthy fat (avocado).


On day 4, when I weighed myself and took my measurements, I was elated to discover that I had lost 3.2 pounds and 3 inches in the waist, hip, and thighs area!!


I’ve decided that it’s important for me to keep this momentum going! So on day 4, I modeled the program, but the main difference is that I consumed more calories and put back lean proteins into my diet. This includes a salad with wild caught tuna for lunch and baked miso salmon with veggies for dinner.

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I’m happy to report, that I’ve actually lost another 0.6 pounds since keeping up these good routines! The weekend is coming up so I’m prepared to enjoy a mix of splurges, clean eating, and of course Piyo workouts, and even a hike. I’m sure that over the next few weeks my average weight loss should look more like a 1-2 pounds a week instead of 1 pound lost per day, which is totally fine with me!

I highly recommend the 3 Day Refresh and I’ve already ordered another kit so that I can detox or “refresh” my body again in August! I’ve heard of others using this program as a monthly or quarterly cleanse, and I absolutely love that idea! It’s a very doable program that I think anybody can incorporate into their routine every once in a while for a refresh! 🙂

And don’t shy away if you have a 9 to 5 office type of job! There is no reason why you can’t make the meals ahead and bring your shakes with you! This 3 Day program takes all the guesswork out of your meals and makes eating as simple as possible!

If you want to know more about this program, please feel free to email me or message me on Facebook!

If you are ready to purchase the program, visit my SHOP: Health & Fitness Programs page!

What’s up with Yoga/SUP?!!

I have always been intrigued by the watersport SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding)! Most of you know that I love yoga, so when my friend Rhiannon Ritchey ( told me that she teaches Yoga/SUP classes – I became outright giddy!!

It’s so hot in Phoenix right now that admittedly, this normally avid runner has been shying away from running in the heat. I have lots of friends that are keeping it going, but they wake up by 4am or 5am to do it and I’m a terrible morning person lol!


I’ve really been filling up my exercise time with indoor activities, (i.e. yoga classes at various venues, PiYo workouts at home or strength training with gym equipment) so the idea of exercising outside right now and not collapsing from heat stroke is a thrilling concept!!



Side note: If you want to know more about PiYo, let me know because I am a Beachbody coach!

So anyways, let me tell you more about Rhiannon! She is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher who has had a personal yoga practice for the past nine years. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale where she teaches yoga once a month on Tuesday nights (



It was at the Butterfly Wonderland that she informed me of the Yoga/SUP classes that she teaches on the weekends at both Tempe Town Lake and also Lake Pleasant. Lake Pleasant is much closer to me so I opted to take a class there! She is normally there on Sunday mornings from 8-10am but her class on that upcoming Sunday filled up before I could get spots for my husband and I! It all worked out though because she decided to open up a Saturday class just for us! I promptly put up a Facebook post about the Saturday class and recruited my good friend Nicole!

On Saturday morning we arrived at Lake Pleasant ready to SUP!

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The great thing about Rhiannon’s classes is that you only need yourself, a bathing suit with comfy clothes that can get wet, a water bottle, and sunblock! The SUP boards and paddles are included. She works with Go Paddle AZ to get the paddles and boards rented for everyone. Rhiannon gave a quick tutorial on how to SUP and then we were ready to go!


When first leaving the dock, it’s best to start on the knees so that you do not accidentally fall off and hit your head!


Once I was a safe distance, I got myself standing on the board for the very first time! And on the first try yay!


We paddled across the lake and arrived at our yoga spot, where Rhiannon has a place for us to anchor our boards for a safe yoga experience.



Once everyone was attached, Rhiannon got our yoga experience going!


I snapped a few pictures of Evan and Nicole practicing their yoga!

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Here I snapped an “oops I fell in the water but it felt wonderful” selfie!


Evan’s looking good in plank and bridge pose!

Yoga:SUP - Evan side plank

Yoga:SUP Jul 12 - Evan bridge pose

I’m feeling confident in side plank and warrior one!

Yoga:SUP Jul 12 - Kristin side plank

Yoga:Sup - Kristin in Warrior 1


Nicole is rocking her side plank!

Yoga:SUP Jul 12 - Nicole side plank

Namaste time!


Three happy Yoga/SUP’ers!

Yoga:SUP Jul 12 - Evan, Kris, Nicole

After 2 wonderful hours of paddling, practicing yoga on the boards, and playing around in the water, we headed back to the dock!


We truly had a blast!! Love this group!!!

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After a relaxing lunch right there at the lake, we decided to rent SUPs on our own through Go Paddle AZ and enjoy another 2 hours that afternoon on the lake!


We even practiced some more yoga!


Down dog!


The Warrior series!




Then we just had lots of fun striking poses!



Finally by 4pm we headed out, but not before Nicole and I took a selfie!


And did some final yoga poses!

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For more information about Rhiannon’s yoga and Yoga/SUP classes, please contact her here:

(480) 526-1207

Rhiannon’s Yoga on Facebook

Do you love yoga or SUP?! Have you tried both together?! Do you want to try it now after seeing these pictures?!! Let me know in the comments below because I LOVE hearing from YOU!! 🙂




Beach Run 5k!

It’s probably been over a year since I had the pleasure of running along the beach!! It was so invigorating and exciting and fun – that I just have to share it with you! 🙂

But first, let me take a selfie…or two actually!

At the start!


And the half way point (1.55 miles)!


My husband, Evan, and I always find it more enjoyable to spend our July 2 anniversary (8 years now!) and the 4th of July holiday in 75 degree weather instead of 110! So we escaped the Phoenix heat and drove to Dana Point, California. Dana Point is just minutes from Laguna Beach to give you a point of reference.

Dana point map

When Evan asked me if he could go meet a buddy for lunch that beautiful Thursday afternoon on the 3rd of July, lots of fun alone-time ideas came to mind!! Should I spa? Should I pool? Should I read? So many options – but then, a fantastic idea came to me that blew away the others – RUN ON THE BEACH!!  🙂

I’m so happy I made that decision because opportunities like this do not come up that often!! With my iPod and my Garmin watch ready to go, I headed to the beach, breathed in the fresh ocean air, and put foot to sand! Here’s one of my famous selfies while running! Man, I just love these! It’s definitely a skill I’m continuing to perfect! 😉


Check out some of the beautiful views I captured! IMG_2221 IMG_2220 IMG_2223

At the half way point, I paused my Garmin and took a moment to reflect.  It just so happened that a remix of Gotye’s song, “Hearts a Mess”  (Joe Hardy 3AM Mix) starting playing on my iPod at that moment. I’m a huge fan of Gotye (considered in the Alternative genre) and the 6 minute 5 second remix of this song just seemed to create the perfect soundtrack to the moment I was having.

I’m actually listening to it as I write this post and it’s bringing the moment back to me! Seriously – chills down my spine!


IMG_2227   There is nothing quite like having a moment alone on the beach during a run on a gorgeous day. The scene of waves crashing against the rocks, the rich greens and blues colors of the ocean, the sun shining on the water creating a crystal effect – all invoked feelings of happiness, awe, and gratitude for having the good fortune of spending time in a place like this.


As serene as many of the moments were, this run was also like an obstacle course run which involved me trying to dodge waves, children who didn’t remotely look where they were going, giant tangles of seaweed, flying frisbees, people flinging sand for their sand castles, ping pong balls and boogie boards – but all in all it was a BLAST!!!  Another great thing about the run – I didn’t care at all what my time was! How can you really compare road running to battling sand and other obstacles right?! Sometimes you have to put pacing aside and go with the flow!!


Oh something to remember for the future – I probably should have worn an older pair of running shoes. I’ve rinsed my shoes off many times but I still CANNOT get all the sand out LOL! And every time I wear the shoes now whatever socks I wear became covered in bits of sand! Oops – run on the beach, get wet right?!


So tell me – where are YOUR favorite places to run?!! Treadmill? Trails? Beach? Road? Desert? Forest? Your own neighborhood? I’d love to hear from YOU!! 🙂 🙂 🙂