The Cooking Runner

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…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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It’s Yoga time…

Yesterday my SIL and I hung out. We were going to Traverse City but with 25 mph winds…not happening. What sounds better? A warm yoga studio and some Yoga! So we tried out a studio in town. It has been there for a couple years, I just have never gone, because I go to Expressions of Grace (EOG) in Grand Rapids….LOVE THE STUDIO, LOVE MIMI!!! We could not make it to Grand Rapids in time to start the 9:15 class, we went to the 9am class local. Muskegon Yoga is impressive.

Muskegon Yoga:


Drop-In: $15

Mat Rental:$2

Length of class: 75 Min

Atmosphere 1-10: 10


you can hear the traffic outside during Savasana.

Pay to use mats.


We did a morning class and the sun was shining on you while you were practicing. HUGE DEAL. (I live on the west side of Michigan, the sun NEVER shines in the winter here. So when it does come out, it is very exciting!) The studio itself is really awesome. Woodwork around the windows, high cielings…

We were given a piece of dark chocolate at the end of class!!!

In the summer, M. Yoga has yoga on the beach!!!

***Right now Muskegon Yoga has a special going on for new students… $39 for 30 days, unlimited classes. Amazing deal!!! Check it out!!!!***

Expressions of Grace


Drop-In: $15

Mat Rental: Free

Length of class: 75 Min

Atmosphere 1-10: 10


EOG ‘s classes tend to get very full. You need to get there early to get the mat spot you want.


I have never taken a morning class here only evening classes. The studio looks out over a lake and you get the most amazing sunsets. It is incredibly calming.

During Savasana, they play very calming music. It helps me relax quicker and slip into a deeper relaxed state. But the music also drowns out all other noises.

Winter class schedule starts Jan 7th.

I could not pick one over the other. They both are fabulous studios with fabulous teachers. If I could swing it with my schedule, I would go to Muskegon Yoga in the Mornings and Expressions of Grace in the evenings! If you live in the area I recommend both!!! If you don’t live in the area, I recommend Yoga!! It is such an essential part of my workout routine.

* I took these yoga classes on my own decision and without compensations from either studio.  All the opinions about Expressions of Grace and Muskegon Yoga  are 100% my own
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Smooth running

I am starting fresh before the first of the year. ATS and I have a busy next couple months, a vacation,training, and a military ball… yep gotta look good in an evening gown!!! So I dressed for the weather and headed out the door. IMG_0455[1] I think we need better lighting in our house, currently not conducive to picture taking!

After my run, I made THE BEST SMOOTHIE EVER. My inspiration? Pinterest of course. I did not use a specific recipe but a mix of recipes.

Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie

IMG_0453[1]1 banana

1 single serving container vanilla yogurt

1/2c strawberries

1/2c blueberries

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup Gluten Free oats

Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth.

This smoothie is not only healthy, but it keeps you fuller longer. The oatmeal adds some extra yummy stuff!

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Let’s get this party started!

Hello weekend…so happy to see you!!!

What a fabulous day!!!!    dogs walked…check!        laundry…check!    Christmas deco organized…check!   pantry…a half check!   Manicure for the busy weekend…check!   Workout…check!

Whew… What a day!!!

So while Sasha and I were on a walk, we came across these joyous carolers, they are made out of wood and don’t move or make sounds…I thought Sasha was going to have a heart attack. She went into attack mode!!! I laughed…really hard…IMG_0333[1]

I had to take Sonny to the vet for his vaccines. I have never seen a dog so excited to ride in the truck…IMG_0335[1] IMG_0337[1] Because I had faith that he would be a good boy, we stopped at our favorite place for a peanut butter shake, chocolate milk, egg nog, and cheese…yes it is a dairy…IMG_0339[1]

They make the BEST peanut butter shake on earth. So I drank the first half and Sonny got the second halfIMG_0340[1] IMG_0344[1]

So I am thinking about a juice detox… This awesome girl just finished it. Downfall is I have to make the juice myself since I don’t live in Chicago and juice rx only delivers local…Do I want to go through all that work? Is it going to be worth it? Is this a good way to kick start my official half marathon training that starts Monday? (18 weeks until Gazelle Girl Half) I want to run a sub 2… hmmm I will take the weekend to decide…


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Date Night with Brie

Ran 5 miles with Sasha…

YAY for date night! We went to Hearthstone in Muskegon. It is one of those places that no matter when you go and what you have, it is guaranteed to be delicious. The dress is a Ralph Lauren, found it on super sale…It is awesome. IMG_0326[1]Predate started with a bottle of sparkling Traminette. It is called   “Sweet Nancie.” It is a sparkling Traminette, with flavors of peach, pineapple and lemon zest. It is a new wine this year introduced by St. Julian Winery. Pretty good.IMG_0327[1]When we arrived at the Hearthstone, there was a 45 minute wait. We decided to sit in the lounge and have appetizers with some wine. We had baked brie with salted caramel glaze and candied pecans. We got a bottle of french red. IMG_0323[1]For dinner I had steak and shrimp with a lobster cream sauce. It was so good. For dessert we have proliferates filled with peppermint ice cream,IMG_0324[1]IMG_0322[1]

Here is my recipe for Baked Brie

One round of Brie

Damson Plum jelly

Preheat the oven to 350*. Place the round of Brie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not pierce or crack the mold on the brie. This hold the melted cheese together. Smear the plum jam on top of the Brie. Bake in the over for about 10 minutes.

Serve warm with plain water crackers.

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Are you reading Santa?

Did my 3 uneventful, miles this morning, stopped by the Cheese Lady and got some yummies for the plane ride (She is having her holiday open house… go sample some amazing goodies!!!)went to work, and made a fabulous dinner…whew what a day…

 Just had to add a picture of my new hat, which I love…totally random.

Lately I have been experiencing way too much lactic acid build up in my legs. Can’t figure out why so I have been keeping track of what i have been eating/drinking in my nifty dollar store journal only a buck… no, it does not have the motivational sayings and the totally awesome layout of this one from Believe(which I hoping Santa will bring it for me…hint hint Santa) but, hey, the dollar store one was only $1 so no complaining here. So ATS told me I need to lay off the coffee…well that is not going to happen since I am totally addicted. So I thought I would give it a shot anyways. Instead of a pot of coffee this morning (I told you I was addicted, I have a problem… it just taste so good) I only had one cup before my run (I had the rest afterwards…HA) and I had two pieces of toast before I headed out the door… (magical chimes)  It worked…something worked!!!! No lactic acid build up on today’s run! Let’s see if tomorrow’s run proves the same.

Since we are going on vacation, we have zero food, so I threw something together that I thought would sound good…well it tasted even better! I am not sure what to call it so we will call it the awesome mushroom bean concoction. To top off the awesomeness, I found a bottle of wine in the wine rack that was the perfect accompliment…  (Holy Yellow Photo Batman…Kim, I need your help!)

Awesome Mushroom Bean concoction

1 medium shallot

2 cloves of garlic

1 c chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup white wine, I used Traminette

1 can navy beans

1 cup chopped chicken

olive oil

Tuscan seasoning from Penzy’s


Sautee the garlic and shallots in olive oil until tender. Add the mushrooms, white wine, Tuscan seasoning, a dash of salt, and a little more olive oil. Sautee until the mushrooms are tender. You may need to add more white wine. After rinsing the navy bean in cool water, add them to the mixture.

In a separate pan, add the chicken, tuscan sunset seasoning and a little live oil. Cook chicken until done.

Add chicken to mushroom mixture and simmer for 10  minutes, stirring constantly.

Yum… enjoy folks!!

Do you ever get lactic acid build up when you run?

What are your tips and tricks?

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Give a girl the right bra and she can rule the world…

…and it is so true. The right shoes always help too! In the past I have just picked up sports bras at T.J.Maxx and Marshall’s for super cheap. They were just the normal ordinary Champion. My mom told me about this store called Title Nine in Evanston, IL. I just thought, I am not spending $75 on a running bra. Then, when I was out in Colorado with my sister in law at a water park, this lady had on a bathing suit I loved…Where did she get it? Title Nine of course. So a couple weeks ago I decided I would not worry about the price and order a couple sports bras. They were expensive, almost as expensive as my running shoes, but worth every penny. They passed the pre-run bounce test with flying colors, so I was curious what the run would be like. WOW… Title Nine you rock!!!! What a fantastic way to start a marathon training season! And the best part… ATS commented: “There are somethings you can not put a price on to protect.” Bahahahha… thanks babe!

Since I decided I was flipping my running and rest days, today was the first day of my training for the upcoming year. I started short, I only did 3 miles this morning, but it was 3 quality miles (in my new bra). I was reminded of the beauty and the reasoning of my I live where I do…No puppies with me today though, there were way too many deer, turkeys and squirrels out and about. It would have been a pulling run. So I enjoyed the sun and mother nature alone…and I loved it!!! Then I came home and took a two hour nap… I loved that too!!!

We had Polish food from the freezer for dinner. So because I really didn’t cook, I had to make something, So I made a Chocolate Covered Raspberry. 

Take one part Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and one part Framboise.


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