The Cooking Runner

Chocolate, cupcakes, Rachmaninoff and a move



You’d think it was Christmas at my house, oh wait… It is Easter! Gotta love my mom, who loves Vosges ( I am in love with them too, btw) Our awesome UPS driver knows about them too!!! Every time I get a box from Vosges, he waits for me to answer the door instead of leaving it at my door. “These are too good to leave out here!” umm you got that right Mr. UPS man!


What is inside???!!!


These little amazing chocolate bunnies filled with hazelnuts and pistachios. The hazelnut ones have a little crunch to them. The pistachios ones have a soft filling. The chocolate on the outside of both is just divine. If you do not know about Vosges Chocolates, I suggest you check them out, You can read about them here. They have a website to purchase products , as well as boutique stores. They also sell the bars in a lot of little specialty stores.  It is a Chicago based company, staying true to my roots, owned by a girl name Katrina.


Not my photo, I wish it was though. That would mean I would be eating this right now!

By far, my two favs from Vosges are the Peanut Butter Bon Bon Bar and Bapchi’s Caramel Toffee. I hide the peanut butter bar in the freezer. 1) it is out of sight and I may or may not (it has happened before) eat the whole thing in a day… 2) It makes a really yummy frozen treat…3) The favorite man in my life loves peanut butter and chocolate too.  

I went to a lecture on Rachmaninoff at the White Lake Art Council. SO GOOD!!! We listened to music, drank wine, ate cupcakes (which I made), and learned all about Rachmaninoff.


Starting this weekend, I am moving my blog over to Google. I will have the link posted when the move is official!!!

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Finally some sun!



I did my long run on Friday because I knew I had a busy weekend ahead of me. I am so glad I did. The sun was out, the wind was calm, and I rocked that 10.51 miles. I added an extra .51 miles for shits and giggles. We have a lot of wildlife in my neighborhood… deer, wild turkeys, geese, ducks… I am a city girl so when you see wildlife, I kinda get excited.


I came across these tom turkeys getting their  strut on for a good lookin female and thought “blog material” . Yeah, so next time I think “oh blog material”, I will make sure I will not be taking pictures of wild turkeys. They were not thrilled to be bothered while they were trying to get it on. They chased me. Ok I admit, I would not want to be bothered when I am getting my strut on either.

I had a fun filled day of shopping and girl time, thrift-ing, a little Lulu, and a lot of Froyo.  We ate lunch at The Real Food Cafe. Oh my, so good!!! We came across Rosa’s Closet , in Gas Light Village. It is an upscale resale boutique. Wow, it is pretty awesome. They have 7 for all mankind, Joe’s jeans, Kate Spade, Dooney and Bourke… the list goes on and on. The sales person working was so so nice. Go check it out!   While I was at the airport, I walked into the bathroom only to be greeted by the most amazing display of awesomeness… totally made my day…


Who ever you are that did this… YOU ROCK!

After picking the hubs up at the airport, we went for sushi. We ended up at Ju Sushi Lounge.


The Ju Island… super sweet, but really tropical and much needed! We ordered three different rolls. The most impressive was the Flaming Mountain. Yes, it was flaming… it was on fire and spicy hot. I never had flaming sushi before. I was so enamored with the fire, I forgot to take a picture. Oh my gosh it tasted amazing. We also ordered the Red Dragon Roll (also spicy), and the Dynamite Roll. For dessert we had Mochie Ball ice cream. also so good.


Sheesh, what a weekend!

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Beginning running…Sometimes it just tastes so good…



…A grilled cheese and good cheap wine.


There are some runners that swear by a specific diet. I, on the other hand, eat pretty much whatever the hell I want to. This is, after all, one of the main reasons I run… I.LOVE.FOOD.

The only restriction I do have to follow, is my dairy restriction. I have it down to the hours. 96 hours before and 4-6 hours after,  anything longer than an 8 miles run…NO DAIRY. My belly can not handle it. I get so sick. Fried, greasy foods are out pretty much anytime. They make me sick whenever I eat them, running or not!

Since I started my training season, I have been eating a little more than usual. my day starts off like this


I do not eat this healthy everyday. I can’t. I am a potato and cheese girl. I also LOVE chocolate. The day of my long run and the day after, I eat my potatoes and cheese… and whatever else I want. Ice cream has a special place in my heart. 🙂 Then, the rest of the week it is back to business. I do not count calories, but I am conscious of what is going in my body.  If I go out for breakfast, I eat salads the rest of the day. If I am going out for dinner, I will eat a lot of veggies all day to save my calories for the dinner out. If I want dessert, I won’t have the pre-dinner bread…etc.  I eat ALL DAY though.  I also make sure I drink lots of water. My runs are severely affected if I do not drink enough water the day before.

*I am not a medical professional and do not claim to be. These are my opinions only. Please contact your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. 

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Beginning running… rest days and a little humor



I took an easy day yesterday because I did a long run Saturday then did Vinyasa (Flow) yoga on Sunday. I have only done Anusara yoga before. What’s the dofference? Super sore muscles!!! Vinyasa Yoga takes the yoga moves done in Anusara and connects them together in a flow motion and it makes  moves similar to a dance. I actually broke a sweat. I took the class at this place…IMG_0945[1]Did you know they offer FREE yoga classes on the weekends? Check out their website for the yoga schedule at various stores. I would totally take Vinyasa yoga again. However, anytime Mimi Ray from Expressions of Grace is teaching at the Grand Rapids Lululemon, I will be at that class. She teaches Anusara and she is awesome at it!

Ok on to training…

Deciding on a training plan is really your own personal preference. If you are new to running or any workout plan, you need to check with your doctor to be sure that you are healthy enough to start the program.

I use Hal Higdon’s plans.

I have used his marathon novice I and II programs. This time around I am running 3 halfs and then a full. So I am combining the marathon and half marathon training guides. But most importantly, I am listening to my body. During my weekly runs, I take it easy and if I only run 3 miles, that is all I do. My long runs on the weekend is the complete opposite. I stick to the training on the long runs. The longer runs are the most important. They mentally and physically train you for the marathon or half marathon.

A great place for a new runner to start is They have so much information on training for newbees and explaining what a Fartlek is, and what a tempo run is, the importance of stretching and wieght training and cross training… and the list goes on and on.

I leave you with this…

10 Reasons we are marathon runners…

1. The race t-shirts

2. We can say fartlek without laughing, sometimes.

3. It is so much cheaper than going to a therapist.


5. Getting a run in before happy hour means you get tipsy on half a glass of wine instead of your usual two. That’s not being a lush, that’s just sound economic planning!

6. There is no judging when talking about chaffing, everybody’s doin’ it.

7. There’s an entire industry committed to making us look awesomely hot while getting our sweat on.

8. We have friends wherever we go, runners are the friendliest and most encouraging people anywhere.

9. You don’t need a pedicure if you don’t have toenails… more sound economic planning!

10. We are not crazy, we are freaking AWESOME.


*I am not a running sales person, nor am I sponsored by any of the companies listed above. I am also not a medical professional . All information provided is from my own personal experiences and is my own opinion. 

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Beginning Running…The Gear (and the best margarita recipe E-V-A!)

Miles run this month: 41.7 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1883.84 miles

Did my long run on Saturday so I could do Mexican night with the husby and our awesome amazing friends. It was cold, snowy and icy…but…all the ice slowed the cars way down. AND they actually took caution at all the runners out. I have never seen so many runners on a winter morning!!! Mexican night consisted of beef and chicken tacos, guac, homemade corn bread, and very berry, very yummy margaritas.IMG_0947[1]

Very Berry Margarita (modified this recipe from Epicurious)

  • 1pint baskets blackberries
  • 1-pint basket raspberries
  • 1/2-pint baskets strawberries
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar… then add to taste
  • 1/2 cups tequila
  • 1/4 cup triple sec…if you want to be all fanc- shmancy you can use Grand Marnier
  • 5 cups ice

Combine all the fruit into a blender and puree it until smooth. Add lime juice and sugar. Add the tequila and triple sec. Blend to mix. Add more sugar if needed. Using a strainer, pour the mixer through to remove the seeds. I did not do that, but HIGHLY recommend it! Once you strain it, pour the mixture in a gallon bag and freeze overnight. When you are ready to drink it, add 4 cups ice and the margarita in a blender and blend it up! Pour into glasses and enjoy! Makes 4

Ok so now we got the important stuff out of the way… on to gear…which is important too! If your are just starting out and unsure if running is for you, I would not invest in all the gear. But if you know running is your game, I can not live without this stuff.


1.) A water bottle- I really like Nathan Quickdraw Plus bottle…I got mine at TJ Maxx for $10.

2.) Ear buds that actually don’t fall out… I use YURbuds…just make sure you get the right size! I use the Ironman inspire series.

3.) Two words… BODY GLIDE. This anti-chaff is a lifesaver. No matter how skinny or heavy you are, you will chaff. Whether it is from a band on your clothing or thighs rubbing together (common  on runs over 8 miles for me) Body Glide saves me from a lot of pain.

4.) An iphone/ipod pouch- You don’t want to have to carry your music! I have two. On longer runs I wear my arm band case. On shorter runs I put my iphone in my SpiBelt AND IT IS MADE IN THE USA!!!!

5.) RoadID bracelet- So this may not be an important part of training gear for most, but if you have a health condition, I highly recommend it.

6.)There is nothing worse than hair sticking to your face when you sweat. My hair is so silky, the head bands do not stay in they slide right off. I tried the Bang Buster from Lululemon. It works!  It is super wide and it slightly covers your ears. Which helps keep your ear buds in!

7.) Lastly, I didn’t have a picture, for obvious reasons… A really good sports bra. Running takes it’s toll, you don’t want them saggy baggy down to your knees before you hit 50! If you want a good sports bra, you are going to pay for it, especially if you are busty. I really like the Tata Tamer from Lululemon and the 7 Wonders Bra from Title Nine.

*I am not a running sales person, nor am I sponsored by any of the companies listed above. I am also not a medical professional . All information provided is from my own personal experiences and is my own opinion. 

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Beginning running…Shoes

Miles run this month: 32.4 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1893.2 miles

A good friend of mine asked me how she should go about starting to run, I have also gotten questions before about which training programs I use as well …Well….

I have been running since I was in high school. My dad is a runner and so is my sister. My dad is the first person that told me the general basics of finding a shoe that works for you.

I went to Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids. (love that place) They are runners, they know what they are talking about when it comes to what kind of shoes and gear you need. If you live in the area, I highly recommend them!!!

There is a lot more that goes into buying a running shoe than picking out cool colors (boo…sad face). You need to answer these questions:

*Shoe fitting professionals can help you answer these questions!

1. Are you a road runner or a trail runner?

2. What is your shoe size? I am a 7.5 but I buy an 8. The extra space saves my toenails and also allows for foot swelling when I run.

3. Are you flat footed, or do you have a high arch?

4. What is your stride?

When you go shopping for shoes, go to a store that knows running. You can take a pair of older shoes in with you. The wear on the soles can provide the shoe person information on your stride.

Check out this web page for an in depth description of shoes… Expert Advice for Running Shoes

The big problem I have is a super narrow heel and a wide foot. No matter which shoe I pick my heel ALWAYS slips. If your heel slips try lacing your shoes like this…


Super nosey Schnookies

Super nosey Schnookies

Once you have found the shoe that works for you, you can almost always find it at running warehouse for on average $30 cheaper. I also wear Superfeet insoles in my running shoes. I use these:


I have osteoarthritis in my hips. These insoles are a life saver. Without them, I have extreme hip and knee pain as well as back pain over 8-9 miles. When I run with them, I can go for a full marathon pain free. They are $$$$ but worth every single penny.

To save money on your running stuff, check out  my little running shoe/apparel secret… Everything on the site is SUPER CHEAP.

*I am not a running sales person, nor am I sponsored by any of the companies listed above. I am also not a medical professional . All information provided is from my own personal experiences and is my own opinion. 

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Some things I learned while on the east side of the state…

Miles run this month: 24.3 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1901.3 miles


1. I am an official foodie. When I go to a new area, I don’t go to the mall. I get my kicks from all the amazing food stores!  I went to my favorite Trader Joe’s and a new place called Plum Market (similar to Whole Foods, but half the price).


2. You can sear Ahi Tuna on a hot river rock at our table. Some of the best damn tuna I have ever had! We went to Melange…Very sexy place! We had an adventure finding it, that is for sure!



3. I learned the pork I eat is apparently not as fresh as the stuff at The Eastern Market… Oinking on Thursday, Hangs on Friday, Sold on Saturday.



4. When you order vegetables and hummus from the best middle eastern restaurant in Detroit, Beirut , and it costs $10, it is not the reason that you are in the city that makes it so expensive. You actually get $10 worth of veggies and hummus…side note: do not order a chicken shwarma sandwich  a Lamb Kafta sandwich, and an order of grape leaves on top of the veggies with hummus just for two people…holy food  Batman!



5. Wine tastes just as good in plastic hotel cups as it does in fancy crystal.



6. Finally, Something I knew all along, but was reminded of it that weekend…  What great amazing friends we have. We attended a Bar Mitvah of a friend’s son. All the men, no matter what religious preference, had to wear a kippa.  It was so refreshing to have some culture and diversity. The hubs has known his BFF’s since childhood… It was kinda like our wedding party revisited. Amazing food, great friends, and a lot of Mazel Tov!

IMG_0875[1] IMG_0876[1]




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The many faces of ground turkey

Miles run this month: 39.8 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1925.6 miles

The Mags and I signed up for the Chicago Women’s half marathon… our goal…


In order to finish in the top ten, looking at last years finish times, we both need to run a sub 2 half marathon. Small problem…

The extra lovin that has taken up residence on my booty.

I need to loose about 10 pounds and I think I will be able to cut at least 10 seconds off every mile. I doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you figure it will make my finish time over 2 minutes faster, that 2 minutes is the difference between 7th place and 12th place.


A pound of 97% lean ground turkey

77843431cd1c58fb87acf65918122fe85da536a5_r220_185_framedWhat can I do with that on a salad? A little bit of taco seasoning, cilantro, a can of black beans, and onion…BOOM…a salad topping…that lasted us 3 meals

Meal 1IMG_0828[1]

Ok so don’t look at all the yummy gooey cheese…look past that, there is Guac and the turkey is under the cheese!

Meal 2…

was breakfast and since I forgot to take a picture (hey it was 10am on a Sunday…give a girl a break!) We took the turkey mixture and scrambled some eggs, added tomatoes, cilantro and avacado…no cheese though! So super good.

Meal 3…

IMG_0832[1]yep no cheese… but it was really good with avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro.

This idea of ground turkey is in the great idea file!

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Onward and Upward

Miles run this month: 39.8 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1925.6 miles

Slowly but surely I am logging the miles!!! If only it would stop snowing!!

Let the craziness begin!!! Bigger and Better adventures are ahead for sure!!! The Hubs got a promotion, so we are on the move. Eastern Michigan here we come! Not sure where we are moving to exactly, but this weekend I am sure we will figure it out!!!


The girls at my office sure know how to make a girl feel loved!! I will miss you gals!!!

I am a firm believer that moving and job searching gets more stressful the older you get!! Thank goodness for running! Which I am very excited for this weekend… 7-8 miles in a brand new neighborhood… this run will be a breeze!!! I love running in a new place. It gets rid of the monotony of the same routes every week.

So in celebration to new beginnings, I ordered refills for my planner. Yes I am old school, I have a paper planner. My sister ordered this awesome life planner from Erin Condren, (which I am so envious over)  but since I already had a planner I thought I better take the cheapo route and order refills. Let me recommend something that my mom taught me… When you order something and they offer free gift wrap…DO IT! Even though it is for you, it makes you feel so good to open a package that looks like this!!!!

IMG_0822[1] I got all excited and I only ordered a planner refill! So with my new planner in hand and my little piece of motivation…IMG_0825[1]

The hubs and I embark on our new adventure together!


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Indian+snow+Badass running shoes=photo dump!

Miles run this month: 29.4 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1936.3 miles


Nothing better than a little Butter Chicken!

Nothing better than a little Butter Chicken!

Yep, more snow...HOLLA!!!

Yep, more snow…HOLLA!!!

My first pair of Black running shoes...I really do feel all bad-ass and everything!!!

My first pair of Black running shoes…I really do feel all bad-ass and everything!!!

I can’t leave out my fav adult beverage…

Nothing beats a really good margarita!

Nothing beats a really good margarita!




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