Monthly Archives: September 2013

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal day September!!!

So today is FPP reveal day!!! Yay 😉
I missed it in August because I forgot to sign up..oops.
This month the FPP program celebrated 2 years!! Congrats to Lindsay on creating such a wonderful program that as grown so much and is so much fun 🙂  In honor of the 2 years, we did something a little different.  We sent a package to the same person who sent one to us.  It was different and a unique way to celebrate!

So my FPP this month was Ariel who helps to admin her sister’s (Nicole) blog over at
I have looked over their site and it is filled with some really amazing recipes that I can not wait to try!!!

What a fun and sweet package I received in the mail.  Full of so many new things to try!!
First a sweet note!  I love anything handwritten 😉
Rachel Ray has such good recipes that this will be fun to look through and pick out new things to try!
Kit Kat…enough said!
The next part of the package made me feel like I was back in England!! Tons of new teas and cookies (biscuits) to try!  I am really stoked to try some of the new teas that represent different cultures!  I am a big fan of Chai, so those are going fast! I have never tried honey crystals before, so I am really excited to pair that with one of my new teas!!!
IMG_6865 IMG_6866  IMG_6872IMG_6868IMG_6869IMG_6880

Yum, yum and yum!!

IMG_6862  IMG_6882

I have never tried a milk tea before.  I am going in search of some Boba in the next few weeks so I can really enjoy these teas the proper way!
A few extra goodies that will come into good use! I am always on the look out for new hydration products, so I will be testing out this Flavrz on one of my next long runs!

IMG_6870I     IMG_6875   IMG_6864 IMG_6874

I am pretty pumped about this really sweet gift card from Hello Fresh!! It looks like such a fun idea to try out some new recipes!

I love Nicole’s business card!  The turtles are adorable 🙂 They are used for ratings and depicting new foods or cocktails! What a great idea 🙂


Thank you again Ariel and Nicole for your amazing package!! I can not wait to taste all the teas and try out Hello Fresh! You are both very thoughtful and kind!

If you want to learn a little more about Foodie Pen Pals here is some basic info!

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

To sign up for OCTOBER FPP, click HERE by Oct 4th!!

Have a great day!

~Chocolate Runner Girl~

Fitness Recap, last 2 weeks…

Well I have to say that this week was a bit better with fitness. Last week I only got in 2 workouts cause my allergies went crazy and my work schedule was a bit nuts. I felt really lazy, but I also knew that I needed some rest. I was very glad to get back to my mostly normal routine.

Monday was a 6.3 mile walk/jog in the morning, and in the evening body combat!
Tuesday I did body pump and then 2.1 miles of sprints on the treadmill. Not my favorite type of workout, but I know that sprints are good for me sometimes…

Wednesday I woke up with some tight muscles in my back. I attempted to run, but my hip started to hurt. I ended up doing the elliptical at the gym to see if it would help loosen my my hip. 2.75 miles, and some Zumba did seem to help. I did extra stretches but it wasn’t enough to stick with my training plan for running.
Thursday I felt a little better, but still tight…so only 1.1 mile walk. And some body pump in the evening as well.
I turned Friday into a rest day and did some light yoga and more stretches. I wanted to make it to the chiropractor to see if they could help with an adjustment. Unfortunately, the office was not open when I was able to go, so I just kept stretching and icing.
Saturday was body pump day!! And it was a new launch release!!! It was so much fun, except for the lunges, and my hip was a little irritated. I was able to make it to the chiropractor after the gym and indeed my hips were a mess. My legs are a bit uneven and so that has been causing my right side to overcompensate and then my left side gets tight…It is not fun, and the running has certainly made it more aggravated. SO the solution is more stretching, and more stretching in between adjustments…I am really hoping that it resolves itself soon. My 7 mile run this weekend did not happen and it has made me a little frustrated.
Sunday I did more resting today, and played some light sand volleyball.

Well, I really hope that this coming week is better. It is still somewhat early in my training for the half in December, so I am praying that I can get my hip to cooperate and let me train properly!

I hope you are all having a great start to the fall. Who is training for races? Anyone doing any fun races? Fill me in!!


~Chocolate Runner Girl~

Is it fall yet???

I am a sun, summer loving, flip-flop queen, beach bum through and through, but there is something about the fall that makes my heart so happy! However, here in TX we don’t really get a true fall. In the 4.5 years I have lived here, the average temps in October and November fall in the mid 70s-low 80s. Yes, that does feel much cooler than the triple digit days in July and August, but still not really like what I grew up with in the north.

Despite the still warm temps here, I decided that it was time to find a new soup recipe and try it out! I happened to get a plethora of red peppers and yellow squash at the Farmer’s Market and I decided to google a soup recipe with these ingredients to see what I found. I happened across this recipe! The pictures made my mouth water, and I could not wait to make it! It was great timing as I was hosting a little lunch and I figured this would be a good time to try out the soup 🙂

I did some tweaking to the original recipe that I found, and I have to say I am REALLY happy with the end result. I did not use onions to avoid my allergy issues. I also used a few more squash that the recipe called for, maybe cause I felt they were a little on the small side. In the end the ratio of squash and red pepper was about equal in my pot.


2 to 3 Tablespoons organic coconut oil
3 or 4 sweet red peppers, chopped into large pieces
3 or 4 yellow summer squash, cut into large slices (I used about 6)
6 cups (48 ounces) chicken stock, I used organic low sodium broth.

Spices to your liking. (I used garlic, pepper, salt, paprika, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and basil.)



Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the peppers, squash and spices. Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure that all the vegetables have oil covering them.


Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer with the lid cracked for about 20 minutes. Stir every few minutes and check the vegetables to ensure they are soft between 15-20 minutes.


Using a counter top blender and carefully puree the soup to desired consistency.PLEASE BE AWARE THE SOUP IS HOT AND CAN SPLATTER EASILY IN THE BLENDER. I made so much soup it took 2 rounds of blending to puree all the vegetables and the stock.


Enjoy hot, or you can also chill it and enjoy it cold!          

I paired this soup with some thick french bread and a tasty salad with Italian chicken!

I am back!

After a super busy summer, I am back…and I really hope to be posting more regularly!

I did something I NEVER though I would do…for the first time…ever! A push-up! And not the kind you might do on your toes, but a ‘REAL’ push-up. Let me rewind a few years…

When I was in jr high/high school as a strong 4 sport athlete I never was confident that I could do a real push-up, and so I never did. In 1998 when I was in my sophomore year of high school I lost my ability to do a push-up in any way. I began to have terrible pain in my right shoulder and arm. Over the next 3 years I had every test known to man and I visited more than 10 doctors and specialists who were all at a loss as to why I was having so much pain. In April of 2001, I finally saw a doctor who was able to figure out what was causing all the pain. A tumor. It was certainly a shock to hear those words. The surgery was a few weeks later, and during the surgery they found another tumor that was hiding on the pre-surgery CAT scan. In order to get the tumors out they also removed some bone and muscle as well, and so I have a pretty deep dent in my back. Recovery and physical therapy did help me regain some strength and range of motion back, but it has never been the same. My doctor even told me I should not be surprised if I couldn’t do push-ups again. And I accepted that as a fact. I didn’t even really try to do a push-up again, until recently that is…
When I started going to Body Pump classes this past spring I was excited for something new to add to my workout routine and change up what I had been doing. Not only have I met some of the most amazing people in the classes, but I am stronger than I have been in a LONG time (maybe ever). About 6 weeks ago I gave myself a challenge. Over the past few months I had increased my weights in all the body pump categories, but I was still doing push-ups on my knees. One day I decided that each time we did push-ups I was going to try to at least 2 of them on my toes. Most of the sets are 8 on our knees, and then 8-16 on toes if you can. I started out doing 2 on my toes, then 4, and I am happy to say that for the past 2 weeks I have been consistently doing ALL of the toe push-ups on MY toes!!! They might not be pretty, they might not make a drill Sargent happy, but I am happy, and strong, and THAT is what matters!! (I almost want to call that Doctor and tell him…but all these years later I am not even sure he would remember me…)

So what now! Well, I am still going to do push-ups on my toes, and I will continue to work on my form, and find new ways to challenge myself. It might not be easy, but these past few weeks gave me a huge reminder that I AM a strong woman, and I CAN do what I set my mind on. I don’t have to believe the negative words that people say to me about my abilities. I will continue to push forward and become even better, faster, and stronger! Bring it ON!

I would especially like to say thank you to my wonderful friends Adrian and Kyra who have helped to encourage me as I work on my goals! XO