Gina Matsoukas is the writer, photographer, recipe developer and founder of Running to the Kitchen — a food site focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Gina’s recipes are intended to be easy and attainable for any cook while still delivering a fresh spin with creations you might not have thought about. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network magazine.
Here’s the short version of me:
I like food. A lot. I hate the term “foodie”. Don’t call me that.
Weimaraners are the coolest. I’d have a pack of 10 if I wasn’t so crazy about a clean house and didn’t have allergies. You can check out my other site, What Can My Dog Eat? where my love of food carries over to the canine world.
Married 15 years, don’t want kids, never have. My mom still hasn’t accepted this.
Grew up a sports junkie, stopped playing sports & gained weight in college, got my act together in my late 20s, started to eat healthy, got hooked on running (here’s my running story) and lost the weight.
Now, I’m a CrossFit and weight-lifting junkie who runs occasionally.
I live for a rare steak and a dark, chewy glass of red.
If I could hop on a plane to anywhere tomorrow it’d be Machu Picchu, Peru.
*Update! Crossed that trip off in 2018, it was pretty amazing. Next on the bucket list – somewhere in Asia.
If you don’t “do” sarcasm, we can’t be friends.
About Running to the Kitchen
Still want to know more? Here’s the long(er) version:
I live in the suburbs of New York City with my husband, Ulysses (he may or may not be Greek).
I started this site in May 2011 after realizing I was spending way too much time reading about other people’s lives through food and fitness blogs and finally getting the motivation to start my own.
My love for food goes way back.
I was the kid that never turned down anything edible. In fact, I can’t actually think of a food I don’t like. Except maybe papaya (it totally smells and tastes like feet to me).
I had a very active life through high school, playing soccer since I was the age of 4. It completely consumed all my free time through school, club, and state teams and because of it, I don’t ever remember thinking twice about what I ate back then.
In fact, I won the “fastest off the bus to McDonald’s after a game” award during our varsity basketball dinner. I’m not even kidding (#2, super-sized, 2 apple-pies – it was my go-to order).
Ah, the good ‘ole days.
After I stopped playing soccer in college, of course that incredibly high metabolism stopped as well.
For the next 10 years through college and the start of my professional life, my eating and exercise habits varied. From low carb diets after the “sophomore 10″ (which was really more like 20), to intense tennis matches with coworkers & friends, to a brief stint with running when we lived in Florida, and then even starting to play soccer again in a local league.
Nothing exercise wise was consistent though, and I was still eating like I had been in high school. Needless to say, I ended up about 20 pounds heavier than my 5’7 frame should’ve been by the summer of 2009.
A family beach trip that year ended up being my aha moment. I felt completely uncomfortable in my bathing suit and clothes, and hated every picture of myself that entire trip.
By the last day of vacation I had made up my mind to do something about it.
This is the point where my relationship with food changed from just loving and eating all of it to really caring about the quality, sourcing and health benefits of it.
I slowly began the process of completely restocking our pantry and fridge, started buying “super-foods” like quinoa (and proceeded to pronounce it like ‘kin-o-a’ for about 3 months), chia seeds and whole-grains while swapping out most of our “white” foods for their healthier alternatives.
My mentality shifted to an intuitive approach of eating wholesome, real, local and seasonal as much as possible – (check out my guides section for seasonal eating tips/recipes) foods and while it wasn’t overnight by any means, the combination of this nutrition approach and embracing exercise through running, those extra 20 pounds came off.
Since then, it has been an amazingly positive cycle.
Running enabled me to re-identify myself as an athlete after a decade long hiatus and eating real, nourishing foods allowed me the body and health to continuously improve in it, feeding my competitive soul.
Strength-training has since taken running’s place as my exercise of choice but the cycle continues nonetheless.
Today, this blog is not only my full-time job but also an outlet to express what makes me happy in life: food.
My philosophy is that the best recipes are those made with fresh, simple, seasonal and when possible, local ingredients.
Running to the Kitchen is where I share those kinds of meals with you all.
There’s a bit of everything on this site from a passed down family recipe of butter-laden apricot brandy cake (seriously a killer holiday dessert, don’t underestimate it) to an easy sriracha lime chicken skillet and everything in between whether it’s paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or, none of the above.
All are welcome in my kitchen!