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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

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    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

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    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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Cherry Almond Brownie Bites

I’m always on the hunt for a quick and easy homemade chocolate fix. These little brownie bites did not disappoint. Not only did they satisfy my chocolate craving, they also have a zing of sour from the dried tart cherries. The last three ingredients in the below recipe are listed as optional, because I was making these up as I went along. They tasted great with just the top four ingredients, but a little TOO much zing for Mr. Zucchini Runner! Adding the coconut oil and vanilla bean helped to mellow it out. The maca powder is totally optional. I just added that so we got a little adaptogen action in our system. I also loved using the almonds in this recipe versus the pecans from my other, similar raw brownie recipe. Almonds are lower in fat and calories, higher in protein and added some visual interest with the contrasting colors. You can really use any nut you want or have on hand however, here is a good list of some healthier options.

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1 c. almonds (preferably soaked and dehydrated – I will be covering this in my next post)
1/2 c. dried tart cherries
1/2 c. Medjool dates, pitted
5 TBS raw cacao powder
1 tsp. raw maca powder (optional)
1 tsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil (optional – to add some moisture, ensuring dough is sticky)
1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional – don’t sub vanilla extract)

1. Process the almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

2. Add the tart cherries, dates, cacao powder and maca (if using); process until well combined.

3. If the mixture seems a little dry, you can add one teaspoon of coconut oil, ensuring you distribute it evenly around the processing bowl, so it doesn’t clump in one spot. Process until well incorporated.

4. Add the inside scrapings of the vanilla bean and add to the processing bowl in a similar way as the coconut oil. Process again.

5. Using a tablespoon, measure out 1 TBS of dough by pressing firmly into the measuring spoon. Scoop out and firmly shape into a ball, for a nice bite-sized treat!

6. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes about 15-18 bites, depending on how much you taste test along the way!

What is your favorite chocolate-loaded treat?

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My Week Driving the Toyota Prius C

At times, having a blog can be overwhelming. Other bloggers know the guilt that overcomes us when we don’t post, we wonder if readers will like our posts, and sometimes its just hard to open up and put yourself out there! However, there are some definite perks to having a blog too; this post will be about one of those perks!

Toyota contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if I would be interested in test driving a loaner 2015 Prius or Camry for week. What?! Now, I do get contacted periodically from other companies to do posts or reviews or partnerships. Typically I pass on most of them because I am pretty specific about what I want to blog about and who I want to be associated with. After reading the email 5 times and passing it along to Mr. Zucchini Runner, we both agreed it seemed legit. I responded “Yes of course! Tell me more!” and 3 days later I had a new Toyota Prius C delivered to my home. I signed some paperwork and boom, the car was mine for a week.

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I was kind of giddy to try out a Prius!

The timing of this couldn’t have been more perfect. Starting that following Monday I would be driving about 40 miles round trip, every day, to Elaina Love’s Pure Joy Academy. (I typically work from home and don’t drive too much during the week.) This allowed me the opportunity to really get to know the car.

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Seen on my drive to Paradise Valley every morning, to attend the Pure Joy Academy classes.

 

We checked out the trunk space, and boy did it seem small! No trips to Home Depot for large items in this car. :)

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Then Mr. Zucchini Runner sat in the backseat, to see if his 6’2″, 200 lb. frame could fit. Not gonna lie, he did not fit well. However, he had plenty of room as a front seat passenger!

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As we took it out for the first spin, I immediately LOVED the car! It rode so well!! It was so compact and easy to maneuver.

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We even gave it a spot in the garage next to my car. :) There was about 3 feet of additional space between the rear bumper and the garage door too! So tiny!

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We drove the Prius C everywhere over the next 3 days! This is our local coffee shop which serves amazing Intelligentsia coffee!

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I really enjoyed the display setting which shows how much each trip costs, as well as when you are in Eco mode or Pwr mode.IMG_2704

And just for fun, we wanted to see if the trunk held a body. It does. :) I’m 5’6″ for those who are curious!

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We took it to the mall to do some shopping… and boy, this gives you an idea of how small the Prius C is!IMG_2709

Oh yes, I should be sure to mention, this is not the standard Prius; it’s the Pruis C which is more compact!IMG_2708

But we were able to fit all our groceries in the trunk just fine!

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Ok, so we’ve gone over driveability, size, trunk and seat space and some of the engine displays… but what about the really important stuff, like the stereo and bluetooth?! I fell in LOVE with the stereo. Now, my current car is a 2007 so I don’t have a fancy stereo set up with bluetooth. For me, this was my favorite aspect of the car. I could start my iTunes app on my phone, it would connect to bluetooth and bam it would play out of the stereo. If I got out of the car, I didn’t need to do anything. The music on my phone would stop on it’s own. When I’d get back in, it would take about 30 seconds to connect and pick up right where it left off. The only downside to using the blue tooth was it drained my battery. So I would plug it on the long drive to class or on my way home.

I could also search my iTunes library from the display screen in the car, which I thought was awesome!

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I felt the need to listen to the Dead while driving the Prius. ;-)

The power button. Now, this took some getting used to. No key? Where’s the key? Oh, I don’t NEED the key? But I need the key ON my person? In my purse? But not in my hand? What?! Yeah, that was a fun adjustment. But once I got used to it, it was pretty incredible. Just walk up to the car, it senses you and unlocks the driver door. Aaaaaand if for some reason you forget to power the car off when you reach your destination, it will beep at you 3 times, alerting you that the super quiet car that appears off, is still actually on. :)

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Speaking of a super quiet car that doesn’t sound like it’s running. It let’s you know when it’s ready to drive… which was very helpful to me each morning.

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One night we managed to squeeze in a double date with our good friends. I took the Prius C, of course, and they both fit in the backseat comfortably. I should state they are both about my height. ;-)

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Can you guess which one is Mr. Zucchini Runner?

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The rooftop bar of a local restaurant. Beautiful sunset!

Overall, I really enjoyed my week with the Prius C. When I was driving home from class, stuck in traffic or just tired from the day, I could easily call my mom or Mr. Zucchini Runner and be completely hands free. I could hear them great, and they could hear me loud and clear. I was definitely bummed when I had to give the car back, but now I know that I do enjoy the Prius and could totally get by with a car that doesn’t have a ton of horsepower. (It was quite a shock getting back in my Jetta GLI and having ooomph again!) The only thing I would do differently if I were to purchase the Prius C, is get the windows tinted!! It was so weird driving in a car without tinted windows. It also got noticeably warm, very quickly, with no tinting. Down here in AZ just about every car has tinted windows. It’s almost a necessity in the summer when temps reach 115ºF or hotter.

Thank you Toyota for such a wonderful opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride! #LetsGoPlaces