Thanks for stopping by! I'm 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 are looking for recipe inspiration, click the link below!

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    Going the Distance – Start Line Racing Half Marathon Recap

  • My Fitness Journey

    My Fitness Journey

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    Vegan Chili recipe featured on My Family Recipe Rocks!



Healthy, vegan, fulfilling and delicious! Everything your body needs, including flavor!
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Live life to its fullest, for it is the only life we have.
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Runner or not, this section will have something for you!
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Constantly on the lookout for new products and tools that will make your healthy lifestyle more efficient? Me too!
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Training Update + Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Friday! Ok, so I know back in June I originally said I would¬†post EVERY Wednesday… well today is clearly Friday. ūüôā I’ve been pretty consistent however up to this point.¬†So this week I want to focus on my current fitness, talk a bit more about heart rate training and then toss in a quick recipe. I think my heart rate training¬†update a few weeks ago, may have gotten a little lost in the shuffle, since I mentioned our infertility struggles. (What has become a normal, every day part of my life… and didn’t seem like a huge deal to mention. However, I absolutely appreciated the outpouring of love.)

So as I mentioned previously, I didn’t really feel like running, after our boy Rocco went to the rainbow bridge¬†in March. That, combined with the horrible all body skin rash I got a year ago, left me wanting to sideline running for a bit. Throughout this¬†summer, I jogged a few miles here and there with the Mr. and made sure to stay in some level of fitness through other workouts. It wasn’t until the beginning of September that I felt the pull on my heart and legs to go pound the pavement again. Around that time I remembered I had registered for the 2017 Mesa-Phx Half Marathon¬†(formerly Phoenix Marathon/Half Marathon), so slowly getting back into running-shape seemed like a good idea.


As you can see above, my mileage has been sloooooowly creeping it’s way back up. I do not want to get an injury, so I am taking an extremely conservative approach to my running. I think a common mistake runners make is doing too much, too soon. Running¬†—¬†after all¬†—¬†is so “easy” anyone with the desire to run, can… which commonly¬†creates a recipe for injury very quickly. Anyway, I’ll hop off that¬†soapbox.

When I trained for my very first half marathon in 2010, I used Hal Higdon’s training plan. Judging by where my running fitness currently is/was, I thought it would be a good idea to head back to the drawing board. So this time I modified¬†the Novice 2 half marathon training plan and stretched it out over the course of 6 months, versus 3 months. So I just doubled each week.


Above you can see the calendar I created for my scheduled runs. This isn’t the bible, it’s just a guideline to keep me on track. If I’m not feeling good or need to change something up, I will. But I always work better with a written/visual plan. You can see week 2 and 3 of November are identical, giving me an additional week to adapt to that mileage before increasing or doing a race.

Now, how does heart rate training fit into all of this? (This is for you Shane… I know you are wondering!) Well, heart rate training in and of itself WAS a very good thing for me to do for my heart. I realize that now; after MUCH thought and analyzing. It took getting back into running; and really¬†getting OUT of running, to recognize this. I think the key turning point was when I would do light work around the house, and notice I would get out of BREATH from something super basic. It took about a week of that happening for me to appreciate how much running WAS helping me previously. I also noticed my asthma was starting to pick up again. I would wake up in the morning a bit wheezy and feel mild chest tightness here and there. Running strengthened my heart and my lungs, and I took that for granted when it was a normal part of my routine. It’s that old saying, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’.

I also started thinking of the child we don’t yet have… and thinking of MY personal¬†fears I struggled with as a child of two older parents. I was fearful my time with¬†them¬†was numbered, because they were “so old”. My mom had me when she was 40, which at the time was “quite old”. I don’t want our child to have that same fear, I want him/her to see strength and youth in us despite our age. I want to have enough energy to chase them around and not get winded. Previously, I was thinking I needed to STOP running to be able to have a child. Now I believe I need to maintain running to HAVE our child – to set an example of health and wellness and strength. I want my body to be strong and to handle pregnancy without being winded when I bend over to pick up a sock.

I still stand by my original assessment that heart rate training is NOT going to make you a faster runner, definitely not at first, but it WILL make you a smarter runner. I make sure 80-85% of my runs are under 160 bpm average, ensuring I don’t overdue it. I don’t care about pace anymore. Now it’s just about logging some miles, feeling the air fill my lungs and getting the blood flowing; running to stay healthy. PR’s are a thing of the past and don’t interest me. It is an incredible feeling of release.

Currently, I am feeling stronger and stronger each day in my running, and learning to manage my stress induced heart palpitations through yoga, daily meditation, emotional healing and acupuncture. Running definitely helps with stress management, especially when I keep my runs slow. It’s funny, because the fast, hard runs seem to make it worse, because I get so amped up! I have a high energy personality by nature, so slower runs benefit me more.

You do you; do what is best for YOU! <3


Easy Toasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe

After you scoop all your seeds out of the pumpkin, separate them out from the pumpkin goo and rinse them well. I laid mine out on a paper towel to dry (quite honestly, for days until I could get back to them). So once you are ready to bake them, follow the instructions below.


Pumpkin seeds, dried out
Coconut oil
Real salt

  1. Dump seeds onto a baking sheet.
  2. Coat with a little coconut oil and stir around to combine. I did this on the pan, to get a little oil ON the pan as well.
  3. Sprinkle with as much salt as you like, feel free to get creative with other seasonings. Cinnamon and sugar might be sort of fun!
  4. Bake at 350¬įF for 3 minutes. Remove, shake around a bit and place back in the oven for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and give them a taste test. It’s important to remember they will continue to bake a little after they are out, so you don’t want to overdue it.
  6. Leave out on the counter in a little bowl for snacking. ūüôāimg_9784

Have you tried heart rate training? What are your thoughts?

Thrive Bars by GoMacro | Review & Giveaway

First, I want to give a special thanks to Mr. Zucchini Runner for taking over my blog duties last week, and sharing his recipe for¬†baked french fries! We truly are a team, and he definitely is my favorite person on the planet. (Sorry family.) Now, onto this ancient seeds superfood nut bar… that’s USDA organic, non-gmo, vegan, gluten-free and AMAZING.¬†These are some of the key words I look for when shopping for any packaged food, and I’m super impressed these Thrive bars have them all in one tiny little snack-a-licious package. Some of you may remember the GoMacro bar review I did back in June of 2015, and may wonder how these differ. Well, I’m glad you asked!


These smaller¬†bars are the perfect snack to grab and go, and not ruin your upcoming meal. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely still love the peanut butter chocolate chip GoMacro bar, but I do call it my “healthy candy bar”. Weighing in at 290 calories and 11g of protein, it’s basically a meal replacement bar. The Thrive bars are smaller and about 100 calories less and contain half the amount of protein. This made it very easy for me to grab one as a snack, to tide me over until the next meal.

Thrive bars come in six flavors so you are sure to find one flavor you love. For me, it was hands down caramel coconut. But you might be a fan of ginger lemon, almond apricot, chocolate peanut butter chip, blueberry lavender or chocolate, nuts and sea salt!

Just like the larger¬†MacroBars, all the ingredients listed are recognizable as FOOD, as a bonus in the Thrive bars they are also visible with each bite! If my iPhone was better at getting a macro photograph, I would have posted it — but since it’s not this little card insert will have to do. ūüėÄ


For the label readers out there, here is a sample ingredient list for the ginger lemon bar:
Organic Cashews, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Ancient Seed Blend (Organic Sprouted Flax, Organic Puffed Quinoa, Organic Hemp Hearts), Organic Crystallized Ginger (Organic Ginger, Organic Cane Sugar), Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Apple Fiber, Organic Dried Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Lemon Juice Powder, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Natural Lemon Flavor

Once again, GoMacro has produced a yummy, healthy PACKAGED snack; which is not easy to do in my opinion.


These three flavors were my least favorite…


These three were my favorite, with caramel coconut as the clear winner!

Below you can what I mean about the poor macro shot… one day I will get a DSLR… one day. For now, the trusty iPhone will have to do… since you can CLEARLY see the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, puffed quinoa and cashews.


If you want to purchase Thrive¬†for your next big adventure, or just the upcoming work week, GoMacro will give you 30% off! Just use code Thrive30 at checkout, on any Thrive product at GoMacro’s online store. If you are a rebel and just want to pay full price, Thrive bars are also available for purchase at your local Whole Foods Market.


It’s been a while since I’ve done a review and giveaway on the blog, so I’m pretty stoked one of my lucky readers/followers will have the opportunity to win a box of 12 assorted bars!¬†Just follow the entry requirements below, and you will be entered to win.

  1. Follow GoMacro on at least ONE of the following social media channels:
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/gomacro/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gomacro
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gomacro/
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/gomacro/
  2. Follow Zucchini Runner on Instagram.
  3. Comment on this blog post with the flavor you MOST want to try!
  4. BONUS: Comment on the Instagram post related to this giveaway, by tagging two of your friends. This will get you an additional “name in the drawing hat” so to speak. ūüôā

The winner will be chosen and announced this Friday, October 7th, so don’t hesitate, enter ASAP!


More about GoMacro

GoMacro is a family-run natural food company with roots in organic farming and they are dedicated to making the best tasting food with the highest quality ingredients. Everything they make is 100% vegan, USDA certified organic, certified non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and made from mostly raw ingredients! They truly believe that everything put in our bodies should have a beneficial impact.