In case you missed it, we recently announced on the Michigan Runner Girl Facebook page a new MRG series, “Ask Healthy Chef Ali,” which features northern Michigan chef and MRG contributor Ali Lopez answering our top food questions. On the latest podcast episode, she answers a few of them that have come in so far – ideas for healthy and tasty post-run fuel, mid-run treats, and more – and she’ll continue sharing her culinary wisdom on future episodes.

I also check in with Ali to see how life has changed for her during the pandemic, both with her work as a personal chef and culinary instructor, and with her ultrarunning race training. Ali acknowledged that the initial weeks of COVID-19 and the quarantine were rough. In more recent time, she’s feeling more like herself. Ali also found motivation in helping fellow runners – she tells some great stories about creating race routes for her friends who were bummed about not getting to run a race because it had been canceled or postponed. She also helped a local runner tackle an epic ultrarun on M-22, starting in Manistee and ending in Traverse City.

To listen to this episode, click on the player at the top of this post. Or, download the episode (and subscribe to the show!) using your favorite podcast app.

“It felt like after a month and a half, all of a sudden I could feel kind myself coming alive again. It felt like, OK, I have gotten over this, this feeling like you’re in this stuck place,” she says. “And then trying to move forward, try new things and get a little more motivated to do something different. A lot of it, too, is training-wise. I didn’t have as much work so I could train more. But then all the races got cancelled. So, what am I training for? At the beginning, it was kind of weird. But a couple of weeks ago, I thought, this is great. I am still running, I am still staying active. But because I don’t have a specific [race] date, it just feels like I can do whatever I want. The scheduled part of it is kind of nice, that it’s lightened up.”

Ali’s most recent blog posts on MRG:

What Does a Chef Eat During a Pandemic?

Stocked Up with Cans of Beans? 7 Delicious Ways to Enjoy ‘Em

Eat Smart, Run Well

9 Recipes from Healthy Chef Ali

If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we’d be so, so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show.

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