Gina Matsoukas

//Gina Matsoukas

I want you to meet Gina Matsoukas. She’s the 31 year old New Yorker, wife, foodie, runner and dog lover who runs, no pun intended, the food blog, Running to the Kitchen, which she started just a few years ago in May of 2011.

In that short time she has managed to rack up over 380 recipe posts. That’s in addition to her posts on travel, working out and various other aspects of her life. Strawberries as a main ingredient in several of her recipe, like her Strawberry Basil Lemonade, Strawberry Tabouleh and Strawberry Rhubarb Macarons, which she shares with us today.

“I just love eating seasonally and can’t pass up any sweet, ripe fruit at its peak and strawberries are no exception!” -Gina

Gina grew up living an incredibly active life, playing soccer from the age of four all the way into college. After leaving the active lifestyle to start a professional life, one that didn’t allow the time or energy for hours of soccer every week, Gina realized she couldn’t eat the way she used to.

She talked with her sister-in-law, a registered dietician, and began studying blogs from other who had her story but also found ways to live a healthy life, eating “real food” instead of living off fad diets. And that’s about the time she discovered running and a whole foods lifestyle.

Gina changed her perspective on what “diet foods” were, swapping out healthier options that didn’t sacrifice taste. Her aim went from what she knew to what she knew would be healthy; quinoa, chia seeds, and other whole foods.

I literally emptied my pantry of 90% of the processed, packaged stuff and restocked it with whole grains from the bulk bin section of natural foods store. My produce drawer wouldn’t close most of the time I stocked it with so many vegetables. (Food Network)

It was the Couch to 5K plan that kicked off Gina’s running habit. The Couch to 5K program teaches aspiring runners how they can literally go from couch potato to 5K runner in just 9 weeks.

I had just started reading healthy living blogs and overhauling my eating habits at the time and saw all these bloggers finishing the Disney Marathon. When I read their “about me” sections I realized these were normal people, people who hadn’t necessarily been running their whole lives, but had trained properly and finished a marathon. That was my light bulb moment and I figured why not try it out?

Since then Gina has run more than eleven 5Ks and Half Marathons! A true inspiration to anyone who knows they want to live a healthier life but doesn’t think they can do it. Gina continues to run but has chosen CrossFit, the  strength and conditioning program for many police academies, as her new workout of choice. It’s an intense program to say the least.

Gina's Strawberry Avocado Honey Lime Salad recipe

Gina’s Strawberry Avocado Honey Lime Salad recipe

Running to the Kitchen is a chronicle of Gina’s adventures in healthy living; from workout tips and recaps from her half marathons to the healthy  recipes she creates in her kitchen. There are pages upon pages of stunning food photography, compelling stories and delicious recipes throughout her blog, like her Strawberry Avocado and Honey Lime Salad, as seen on the left.

Her recipes range from cocktails to entrees to desserts, basically everything is covered. And while the blog has a “healthy lifestyle” feel to it, Gina seems to know that all the hard work of eating right and working out deserves a tasty reward so, like the macarons, there is a large collection of savory and sweet rewards in her recipe box.

She also has product reviews, sponsored posts and an impressive resources page for those who want to follow in her footsteps and start their own blog. Her resources page is basically a free BlogHer Food panel!

You can follow Gina on Twitter as @runtothekitchen, check out her Instagram stream, like her Facebook Page and, of course, read her inspiring and delicious blog, Running to the Kitchen, a BlogHer network featured blog.