Fit Friends

by tinareale on July 26, 2013

Good morning, friends! And welcome to another Fit Friends feature. Every week I like to highlight one of the many great bloggers out there so you can hopefully make a new fit friend. Please welcome, Debbie!


NAME & BLOG NAME/URL: I’m Debbie Woodruff from Live from La Quinta.  


SUM UP YOUR BLOG: My tagline is "Tales of a Vegan Athlete," and that kind of sums it up. I write about my training, running, cycling, and yoga (as rare as the latter two have been lately!). I’m a coach and personal trainer, so I share training plans and workouts, as well as share my own successes (and failures) in my athletic endeavors. I love to cook and I’m always creating new vegan recipes, or sometimes "veganizing" regular recipes. I also write about things in my life: my love of animals (we have six dogs!), my family, products that I use and love, and other random adventures.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO STAY FIT? Running has been my first love for over 20 years now. I tried triathlon, but the swimming didn’t agree with me, I enjoy cycling, but have been focusing on the run to improve my half marathon time. I’ve been slacking on the strength training beyond the classes that I teach. And yoga…ah yoga. I love it but have a difficult time fitting it in. Hopefully by the time you read this I will be back in my favorite studio.  

DO YOU HAVE ANY CURRENT GOALS OR RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO SHARE? As part of the Under Armour What’s Beautiful program I had set a goal to run a sub 2 hour half marathon for the first time since I turned 50. I recently completed the Costume Party Run Half Marathon, and missed my goal by just a few seconds, finishing in 2:00:11. I decided that was close enough, though that doesn’t mean I won’t try again at my next race. Also, by the time you read this, I will have completed the RRCA coaching certification program. I’m already certified by USATF and I’ve been coaching for years, but I wanted to add this particular certification.  


  • My Family: My husband and I have been married for almost 14 years. He is my best friend as well as my soulmate. I have two sons, two stepsons, two daughters- in law, and most especially, four grandchildren, including Samuel my almost eight month grandson. Through circumstances (believe it or not, we didn’t know my husbands two grandsons existed until they were five years old!) and distance (my granddaughter has grown up in Nebraska, and while she was an infant I only saw her a couple times a year), Samuel is the first grandchild in whose life I have been a constant part of. It is a wonderful experience and feeling.

Samuel 6

  • Fitness (for myself): I can’t imagine myself not starting most days with a run. Fitness and running are part of my definition of myself.
  • Fitness (spreading the word): Like most fitness professionals, I chose this career because I wanted to help other people get and stay fit, improve their health, feel better, and live longer. I have focused on working with an older population (even before I was there too!) because I love that not only am I helping them do all of the above, but I am also helping them accomplish all the "regular" things in their day: standing, reaching, bending, lifting. These are things that most younger people take for granted and what makes working with older people so rewarding.
  • Animals: When I became a vegetarian seven years ago, I did so because I decided that I could no longer say that I loved animals and continue to condone their killing by eating them. My husband and I have six dogs, all rescues (I debated whether to write about them in the "Family" section or here), two indoor cats (our first pets together as a couple!), and about a dozen feral cats that we (mostly my husband) take care of, including feeding, health care, spaying and neutering, and working with the kittens of the cats that we’ve missed to domesticate them so they are suitable for adoption. I donate to several organizations, and I’d like to do more for farm animals, because they are the most abused in our society.

Running Buddies

  • Writing: When I started my blog four years ago, I had no idea it would become an outlet where I could talk about all my other passions!  

WHAT IS YOUR #1 TIP FOR HEALTHY LIVING? I have two really. Find something (active) that you love to do, and then do it. It might be running, walking, dancing, tennis, you fill in the blank. Do it, then try to get better at it. The other is to remember that all the exercise in the world is not going to make up for a crap diet. Eat whole food, eat at home, eat less. Which also means don’t eat processed food (or very much of it), stay away from fast food, and eat smaller portions. Two ways to look at the same answer.  


  • One of the most impactful posts that I’ve ever written was "Me, My Breasts and I: The Excision." A couple years ago I had an excisional biopsy done on my breast, and of course I wrote about the experience. Since that time, I have heard from so many women, both in comments and private emails thanking me for the thorough, non-scary explanation of the procedure.
  • A couple years ago, my friend messaged me on Facebook asking for advice to making the transition to being a vegan. "Dear Jessica, On Becoming Vegan" was my response.
  • This is a pretty recent post, written as I was nearing the end of my half marathon training and feeling pretty tired. I wrote "Runners! Burnt out? 4 Reasons Why and 5 Ways to get Your Mojo Back" to help inspire myself to continue and found that it resonated with other runners as well.  

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WISH TO SHARE: Here’s a quick, raw vegan recipe for you!

Avocado Pesto with Zucchini "Pasta"

Ingredients: 2-3 large zucchini, 1 bunch basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon lime juice, Sea salt/pepper. Combine all the ingredients except the zucchini in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off the zucchini. Then continue to peel the zucchini into long strips, until you reach the core. Combine the pesto with the zucchini "pasta" and serve at room temperature. Serves 2.

Thanks, Debbie! Be sure to check out her blog, everyone! But first, you tell usโ€ฆwhat is a favorite vegetarian/vegan dish of yours? Or a dish you would be interested in seeing Debbie โ€œveganizeโ€?


1 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

That recipe looks great! i’ve been meaning to try a zucchini “pasta” and have yet to do so – this looks delish!

2 Debbie @ Live from La Quinta July 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Try it! It is so easy. I also have a spiralizer that makes spaghetti-style pasta. It’s great too!

3 Fancy Nancy July 26, 2013 at 9:10 am

Love Debbie! Her love for fitness and her family is so clear!! That recipe looks delish!

4 Kim July 26, 2013 at 9:51 am

Oh, fun – love it when I “know” the person you feature!! I love reading Debbie’s blog because I feel like we have some common ground (we have both run 20+ years).
Debbie, that recipe looks delicious – gonna have to give it a try even though it will have to be a side for my boys (gotta have meat here!).

5 Debbie @ Live from La Quinta July 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Just a couple of old(er) gals :-) . Yes, the pasta can be a side dish too, though an occasional meat free day can’t be a crime, can it? I also make the zucchini pasta using a spiralizer, which makes a spaghetti-type pasta that is really good too.

6 Kimberly Anne {Manifest Yourself} July 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I love your tip for healthy living…most people just say to do what you love. BUT you added the get better at it. :) Point taken!

7 Christine | Oatmeal Bowl July 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I’d say you hit your goal. I enjoyed the blog post!

8 Elle July 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm

So fun to find Debbie featured today. Love the doggie hat!

9 Debbie @ Live from La Quinta July 26, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Thanks Tina, for featuring me today! I’m so honored to meet all of your readers.

10 Mitch Parker July 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

This is great! Now, I’m interested with Debbie’s blog. I just got another one of my inspirations. :-)

11 Debbie @ Live from La Quinta July 28, 2013 at 8:32 am

Thank you Mitch. That truly makes my day!

12 Jody - Fit at 55 July 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

LOVE Debbie & just that she shows her love of fitness & life & family – Balance in Life! :) PLUS I love her age! ;)

13 Sara N July 28, 2013 at 12:36 am

Debbie, I wish this post would never end! A true source of inspiration really.

14 Debbie @ Live from La Quinta July 28, 2013 at 8:31 am

Wow, thanks Sara! I hope you’ll come over and visit my blog where I never shut up! :-)

15 Miz July 29, 2013 at 7:36 am

and her posts.
she inspires me.

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