Thanks for stopping by! If you are looking for healthy, plant-based foods, or fitness inspiration you are in the right place! Click below to go straight to my recipes page, or explore the blog for race reviews, cross-training workouts or my favorite baking and cooking tools.

  • Quick Start Guide to Plant-Based Eating

    Quick Start Guide to Plant-Based Eating

  • Coast Redwoods + A Wedding

    Coast Redwoods + A Wedding

  • No Knead Sourdough Bread with How-To Video

    No Knead Sourdough Bread with How-To Video

  • Nice Cream Recipes

    Nice Cream Recipes

  • Going the Distance – Start Line Racing Half Marathon Recap

    Going the Distance – Start Line Racing Half 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!



Healthy, vegan, fulfilling and delicious! Everything your body needs, including flavor!
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Live life to its fullest, its 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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Adventures in Gardening – Part 2

Do you ever have one of those days, where you just can’t get your to-do list completed, and eventually you end up in tears because there have been so many obstacles? Yeah. Today is one of those days. At one point, I rolled back from my desk, grabbed a hummus packet in my right hand and tucked a bag of gluten-free crackers under my right arm — keeping my left hand free to grab, scoop and shove in mouth. I did this while I checked the mail first; nothing. Then went out back, crackers under arm still, crunching away, and went to check on our new “babies” as I’m calling them. (Hey, we can’t make humans, so we might as well get some help from Mother Nature.)

As my bare feet touched the dirt, and I stood looking at our almond trees, a little yellow butterfly fluttered in and landed on a branch of the one we are calling Aria. (Just… don’t ask… we are quirky.) And suddenly, I felt my shoulders relax and I took a deep cleansing breath. The troubles of the day didn’t seem quite so important anymore.

almond tree urban garden

Some of you may remember back in March of 2014 when we did Adventures in Gardening Part 1. We created two raised garden beds so we could grow our own veggies. It was a ton of fun, not a lot of work, and we did get a lot of great produce — but over time life got hectic and the garden took a backseat. Mostly because we needed to replace about half of the dirt, which we are doing this weekend! And secondly because we quickly found out that the raised bed location is only good for a Summer garden here in AZ. In Winter, it is TOO protected by the house and doesn’t get enough sun. There are plans to create a second set of beds, but first, the TREES. The trees are the whole reason this post is going up on the blog!

raised bed garden

Years ago, when we kickstarted this project with the raised beds, we had this vision of our huge backyard full of fruiting trees and raised garden beds. But as I said life happened and let’s be honest – we knew it would be a huge undertaking. So nothing ever happened… until a week ago Sunday.

It all starts with my cousin, Anne, telling me about this guy Jake Mace, a vegan athlete who lives in Tempe, AZ and grows fruits and vegetables in his front and backyard.

😱 What!? How the heck did I not know about this guy yet!? LOL

She then proceeded to send me video after video on YouTube, where Jake was giving tours and gardening tips for AZ, in his backyard. Seriously, where have you been all my life Jake? I am not a good reader; I’m more of a podcast listener and video watcher. So this is JUST what I needed. As we both went further down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos, we also noticed Shamus O’Leary popping up a lot. Shamus owns a private tree nursery in Phoenix, and Jake buys his trees from Shamus, so he was featured in many of his videos. (And I should also state, Anne found out about these guys from her friend too… community is so important everyone!)

After a few days of watching online and getting excited for the possibilities in our own backyards, it was time to head over to the nursery ourselves. (Anne said she was going to make an appointment, and I asked if I could tag along! haha)

At the nursery we both had saucer eyes at the possibilities of growing tropical fruit in our backyards. 😀 That’s when we met Brandon from Greenie’s Garden. He answered a ton of questions we had (including many from my curious “nephew”, aka cousins’ son) and we both walked out of there with 3 trees each. We even managed to squeeze them into her little car!

Trees from shamus o'leary nursery

Our backyard is FULL of big, heavy, hot rocks (see below) — along with a huge patch of pointless grass. I had no plan for how we were going to move all the rocks and start planting the trees, I just figured we’d make it work. So, I bought an almond tree, tiger fig tree and blueberry bush as a way to kickstart our vision — finally. I kept thinking; the time is going to pass anyway, just get moving and do SOMETHING. A little progress is better than no progress. Even if we had to hand shovel rocks into wheelbarrow’s and move them closer to the side gate for professional removal later. And that’s what we’ve been doing. Slow and steady progress with a big push this last Sunday.

urban garden

Thank you

It would be hard for me to accurately express in words how grateful I am for all the people who have come into my life this past week. I have not met Jake in person – yet – but every time I’m watching his YouTube videos, I think of how grateful I am to him for sharing his knowledge and journey to creating a backyard garden, or technically microclimate, with his viewers. I’m grateful for Brandon for being so helpful all the times we’ve stopped by Shamus’ nursery. I’m grateful for Shamus and his clear passion for growing trees, and helping to empower people to grow their own food. And of course I am grateful to my cousin for kickstarting all of this, by sharing her friend’s experience. It’s been like a beautiful domino effect and I’m so happy the chips are falling into place!

Below is a slideshow with a little more details on the process, and how it came to life! I’m so excited this ball is rolling and we are working towards that dream of having a backyard full of trees and more raised beds! I’ll keep you posted!

Do you have a garden or do you like gardening?

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Fitness Update April 6: Listen to Your Body

Whenever there is a change in the seasons, Mr. Zucchini Runner and I need about 2 weeks to adjust. It happens two times a year down here in AZ — once when we are heading out of winter into spring/summer and allergies strike. And once when we are heading out of the hot, hot summer into the cooler temps of winter. It is important to listen to your body during any similar transition and not just plow through. Plowing through often time leads to burnout, injury or just flat out resenting your workouts.

flowering desert cactus AZ listen to your body

Beautiful blooming cactus stopped me in my tracks on last Thursday’s trail run.

We have both found ourselves sleeping in lately versus waking up with our alarms for morning workouts. It’s important to honor what your body is telling you, and listen to your body; guilt-free. Health is not a sprint, it is an ultra marathon. If it is telling you it would rather workout in the evening, listen and do just that. I guarantee in the long run, it will benefit you far greater than pushing through. Besides, a little change in the routine is also good for your mind and body!

fit fam south mountain hidden valley listen to your body

My beautiful niece took this photo of us, while on our 7 mile hike Tuesday evening. We were enjoying the unique area of Hidden Valley on South Mountain — so many plants! Right before this we heard a SWARM of bees fly overhead!

Speaking of changing things up…

I’m going to change up my fitness post and keep it a little more simple this week. I’m trying to head out the door to squeeze in a trail run this evening still.

Fitness Update | Listen to your Body

Below are the workouts I did over the past week:

REST day

11 miles – listened to 5 different podcasts on this run! Soaked up a bunch of knowledge.

REST; I did shovel some heavy rocks in the backyard though!

3.35 mile hike + trail run with a friend

6.8 trail miles of hiking with Fit Fam on South Mountain — it was awesome.

3.4 miles of sunset trail

Hitting the trails right now! Check out Instagram and Facebook for the latest post!

listen to your body

If you are interested, here are my previous fitness updates:

March 30th + Scramble On

March 23rd + Eat Plants First; Launch of Etsy Shop

One thing you should never do – March 16th

March 9th

Mesa-Phoenix Half Marathon Race Recap – March 2nd

Feb. 23rd

Feb. 16th

Feb. 9th

Feb. 2nd

Jan. 25th

Until next week!


Sleep hard.
Get moving.
Trust Your Gut.

corine signature


Totally still using my Be Well Fitness log!