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Thanks for stopping by! I'm a Zucchini Runner, which means I eat healthy, plant-based foods, live my life to its fullest and stay active through running and cross-training workouts. If you need inspiration, or help reaching your goals, click the contact button below.

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  • Adrenaline Night Run :: Race Recap

    Adrenaline Night Run :: Race Recap

  • Fresh Fruit Sushi

    Fresh Fruit Sushi

  • Every Runner’s Worst Nightmare – Phoenix Marathon Recap

    Every Runner’s Worst Nightmare – Phoenix Marathon Recap

  • My Fitness Journey

    My Fitness Journey

  • Vegan Chili recipe featured on My Family Recipe Rocks!

    Vegan Chili recipe featured on My Family Recipe Rocks!

Recipes

Recipes

Healthy, vegan, fulfilling and delicious! Everything your body needs, including flavor!
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Life

Life

Live life to its fullest, for it is the only life we have.
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Fitness

Fitness

Runner or not, this section will have something for you!
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Reviews

Reviews

Constantly on the lookout for new products and tools that will make your healthy lifestyle more efficient? Me too!
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Inside

I still have a blog… right?

Very recently there was a time there where I would fill every hour of every day doing something productive. It got to the point where I’d fill my waking hours with 18-20 hours worth of tasks. When people do that, it’s usually because they are avoiding something else in their lives they don’t want to face/admit/deal with. I’m here to tell you, I’ve stopped all of that; I have taken a step back and refused to fill each day for the sake of reaching a goal I wasn’t exactly sure I wanted. You see, I was asked about 2 months ago, what my “why” was for becoming a Beachbody coach. I was told not to just say, “because I want to help people”; I was to DIG DEEPER and find the big picture. I pondered this question for 2 days straight – while others in the group answered almost immediately. I slept on it for two days, and my answer was always the same. I don’t really want to be a Beachbody Coach, I want to be a mother.

And overnight, just like that, my world changed.

To those of you who may be reading this, who are a coach AND a mom, you are probably confused — why not do both? Well, I have an excellent answer. Anyone who knows me, knows I go ALL-IN when I’m truly committed to something. If I’m not fully committed, it will end up falling off my radar and start collecting dust on the shelves so to speak. I don’t want to be a half a$$ed coach, and becoming a mom for me hasn’t been easy so far. It’s time for me to buckle down and really commit myself to making it happen. For the past 4 years we’ve been essentially NTNP (not trying not preventing); because if you don’t try, you can’t really fail. When it didn’t happen EASILY for us within the first 6 months my mind and body went into a protective state; and I tried to convince myself I didn’t want kids. After all, between the two of us we have 25 nieces and nephews! Maybe I was better equipped to be an Aunt and offer “sage” advice only when asked?

So when I was asked that question (probably for the 30th time), “What is your why for being a Beachbody coach?” I finally, after all these roller coaster years, had a definite answer. I even typed it out and almost posted it to the group. Instead, I kept it to myself… until now.

To feel like I’m doing something meaningful with my life, until I can meet my main, true goal, of becoming a mom. It hasn’t been an easy task, and it’s been one that has been ongoing — for years now. But my why is to be a stay at home mom with my non-existent child. Part of me has hoped that by letting go of my other career I could focus more on my health and the things I need to do to become a mom.

What I have learned in my short time of working with people on their nutrition and fitness goals, is that there are 3 main reasons for making a BIG change. 1) A family member has been diagnosed with or suffered severely from a disease. 2) The individual feels their health is not optimal, they can tell that something is off or have been told that something is off. 3) They want to lose weight and be more physically active, this is usually connected in some way to 1 or 2.

In my case, I definitely fall into category 2. I have felt for years that something must be off with my health to be preventing pregnancy. I’ve become as healthy as I can be, while still maintaining a healthy balance in my life. I worked on everything physical, got tests, everything… and nothing is wrong. I’m healthier than the average American. I have plenty of eggs still. They still release each month. And yes, of course, Mr. Zucchini Runner has been tested too. The past 4+ years have been a long and slow process. One that has had many ups and downs, back and forths, moments of hope and disappointment. But for the first time, I’m ALL IN. We are both, ALL IN. In order to be all in, my focus needs to be on me — on us — and on a future child. I know I don’t have a huge following of blog readers, and that is fine by me. As you know, that has never been my main goal. But for those of you that do read; that do follow, I wanted to open up and let you know why things are so sporadic and why my only posts lately have been reviews of food I’ve tried! I’m not going to blog about baby stuff all the time, or my journey to becoming a mom — that’s not what this blog is about and that is personal to Mr. Zucchini Runner and I. We now know what needs to be done moving forward, and we aren’t giving up.

From you, I ask one thing in return. Please don’t feel sorry for us or say you are sorry for us… instead help us believe it will happen. Think of us with a child, don’t think of us sad and wanting a child. Everyday we imagine what life is going to be like with a baby, toddler, teen – we believe it will happen. My days of feeling sad and vulnerable about this topic are over. Thanks for listening.

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My Oatmeal

Another review? Yes… another review. But I promise you, my lack of regular posts will be made clear tomorrow, so stick with me through one more review! Pretty please?!

This time around I got to try out My Oatmeal, which happens to be a local AZ company! You place your order for a custom bag of oatmeal online, they make it just for you, complete with your personalized label and everything! (I called mine Carrot Cakery Goodness). My shipment even came with a cool recipe card.

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The amount of combinations and choices are almost overwhelming! haha It can be dangerous too, sort of like the first few times I went to a self-serve frozen yogurt place. I wanted all my favorites in one little cup, which made for an interesting (some might say gross) final product. Luckily, I had learned my lesson with the yogurt places and knew not to get too crazy with my personalized oatmeal. :)

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This is just a FEW of the options available to customize your order.

 

I made my personalized blend using steel cut oats, carrot cake flavor, dark raisins, turkish apricots, quinoa flakes and rice protein. I did not add any sweetener, because I didn’t want it to be overly sweet and I knew I could easily add fresh maple syrup on my own. As soon as my bag arrived, I made a bowl for Mr. Zucchini Runner and I immediately.  IMG_1435

Added my sweetener…

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And had a very pretty bowl of oatmeal to dive into it!IMG_1439

You could see the real fruit pieces of apricots and raisins!IMG_1443

Since then, I made another bowl, where I added fresh bananas…IMG_1637

And then another with almond milk vs. water to see if it changed anything about the oats. IMG_1800

Overall I LOVE the concept of creating your own bag of oatmeal, I will caution however not to get too crazy with the ingredients because it can get pricey quickly. Luckily, they have a nice little calculator on the right side of the page where you can see how each item changes the cost per bag.

I also really appreciated that they use organic ingredients on some items, and those items are clearly labeled on the site. So if you want your custom bag to be ONLY organic, you can do so! I will caution those with preservative sensitivities, that the label on my custom blend said, ‘fruit may contain sulfur dioxide’. I was surprised to see that, and wish it would have been labeled near the fruit choices on the website.

If you want to get really creative with your morning oatmeal, this is the place to go! They have 50 flavor choices ranging from Cinnamon Roll to Strawberry Shortcake. If I ordered a second bag, I would skip the quinoa and rice protein. I think all those powders created a less than desirable texture for me. From all the combos I created above, I’d still eat each full bowl of oatmeal because I enjoyed the flavor, but the texture was a little too powdery for me and that’s my own fault! If I were to make a bowl at home, I would never add quinoa flakes or brown rice protein. :) Maybe I DID get a little overzealous with all the options! :D

Lastly, the cooking of these oats was super simple, and much quicker than making a bowl of my normal steel cut oats. If you get a bag, and choose steel cut oats, don’t be surprised if the oats look different! My pantry steel cut oats look like this:

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But the ones that came in my bag, look like this, a little flatter and smaller:

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I was told that’s because the My Oatmeal oats are flash steamed twice to allow for a quicker cooking time once you get them!

One last thing I’d like to talk about before telling you about the awesome giveaway… maltodextrin. I was under the assumption that all maltodextrin was from genetically modified corn, and therefore not something I ever wanted to ingest. When I saw it on my customized label, I was very surprised! However, after writing the owner of My Oatmeal, I learned that their maltodextrin is non-GMO and only used in some of the flavorings. So if you want to be sure to avoid maltodextrin altogether, I would ask which ones have it and which ones don’t, or just skip the added flavor. I’ve since done some research on maltodextrin and learned much more about it, where it can come from, and that yes in fact non-GMO maltodextrin does exist!*

My final verdict on this product? I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys hot oatmeal, and doesn’t like creating their own creations at home (aka cooking/baking). It does require a little stove time, but there are microwave directions as well!

Do you want a chance to win your OWN FREE BAG of My Oatmeal? Head on over to the Run Eat Tweet AZ Facebook page to enter! Or if you’ve heard enough great stuff and just want to try it for yourself, place an order and get 15% off using the discount code: RETAZ15

How do you like your oatmeal? What combo would you make if you ordered from My Oatmeal?

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*For those who don’t know what maltodextrin is, but you are curious like I was, here is what I learned. Maltodextrin has many uses: to create a certain texture, crystallization inhibitor, thickening agent, sweetener, etc. The definition of maltodextrin is ‘dextrin containing maltose’. Dextrin is a soluble gummy substance obtained by hydrolysis of starch, and maltose is a sugar produced by the breakdown of starch. So basically it comes from a starch, like potato, corn, rice, etc. Keep in mind it is still derived through a chemical process, and therefore some claim there is no way it could ever be considered organic. Hope you found this helpful!

Best of luck to you!