Cook Yourself Sexy: A Luncheon Story + Cookbook Giveaway

Pardon the interruption of Will Run for Wednesdays for a luncheon recap and a giveaway (woot!) for you.

With the prospect of food, The Bryant Park Grill, and an inevitable run-in with the lovely Erica Sara, basically, there was very little holding me back from attending Tuesday afternoon’s lunch to celebrate the launch of Candice Kumai’s new book, Cook Yourself Sexy.

But first, to workout.

After Monday’s rare but wonderful moonlit run on Manhattan’s west side that practically lulled me to sleep (after chowing down on Thai takeout) at roughly 9pm, I awoke refreshed and ready to sweat nice and early on Tuesday. I suppose 10 hours of sleep can do that to you.

Because I’m still on the every-other-day plan, Tuesday would not be a run day. Instead, I grabbed a set of 8-pound weights (which are still too heavy for me, but I’m also too lazy to buy new, lighter ones) and my yoga mat, and turned on The Today Show and YouTube side by side on the TV stand.

Tuesday’s 45-Minute Living Room Workout

  1. NYLean25: I do the dynamic warm-up and the abs and legs portion of the workout. I figure that I can skip the cardio segment since I get plenty of that otherwise.
  2. 8-Minute Abs
  3. Exhale Core Fusion: Pilates Plus (skip the warm-up)
  4. Ballet and Pilates Fusion with Bernadette Giorgi, first halves of videos 1 and 2 (I skip the second half of each, since I’ve learned that I enjoy the first parts of both the most).

Feeling stretched, strong and satisfied, I showered, got dressed, and subway-ed it to work in order to preserve my straightened locks. Naturally, because I decided to actually do my hair in anticipation of the day’s event, it rained, resulting in an inevitable un-straightening. Fail.

At any rate, frizzy hair or not, Tuesday’s luncheon at The Bryant Park Grill was wonderful, from the misty gray backdrop outside the windows to the company inside.

The Event

Candice’s luncheon was so much more than a gathering of fans to celebrate the launch of her book; rather it was an intimate event to celebrate women, health, the use of food to feel good about ourselves, and to raise awareness in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The “backbone” of healthy living, says Candice, is maintaining a mindful attitude toward what we put in our bodies.

As a girl who used to order anything on the menu that moo-ed or oink-ed — who now eschews meat as much as possible in place for a primarily vegetarian diet — Candice’s philosophy and the purpose behind Cook Yourself Sexy was something I could definitely relate to. In fact, many of her ideas (like eating what you want, while swapping out less nutritious ingredients like butter for bananas when cooking; yes, it can be done!) are already part of my personal repertoire. Yes, this catalogue of recipes was something I could get on board with.

As I’ve mentioned plenty on WRFG, changing my diet didn’t happen overnight, and yet this slow evolution has become such an integral part of who I am. As Candice expressed, which I agree with, we tend to embody the life that we promote. And if that’s the case, in my opinion at least, a life of moderation is certainly something to strive for.

Tuesday’s luncheon was catered by Eggland’s Best, who partnered with Candice to help raise awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the fight against breast cancer. We dined on a menu of pomegranate mimosas (yum!)…

…nicoise salads (hold the tuna please, yuck!) and a sun-dried tomato and mushroom frittata.

For dessert, platters of cherry-pistachio clafourtis, strawberry cupcakes and creme brulee topped with strawberries were delivered to each table; unfortunately I had to leave by that point and never got to taste these scrumptious looking sweets.

Candice herself was incredibly personable, with a girl-next-door type of radiance unexpected of a beautiful TV personality like she (think Top Chef and Iron Chef America). Just like her persona, her point of view on nutrition and health was equally approachable. As she put it during a brief Q&A, “Let’s go back to eating real.” Well, Candice, I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, I couldn’t help but hold an extra soft spot in my heart for Candice’s love of running. Not only did she just publish a book, like, yesterday and agree to chat with an audience of New York City health-fiends on a stormy autumn day, but she’s also participating in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon next week in San Francisco.

That said, I also really appreciated Candice’s go-to recommendations for post-run nutrition — mainly because it’s so similar to the recipes I whip up in my own too-small kitchen. Among her favorite tricks is simply chopping up a small red onion and adding practically anything to it from there, like canned legumes (a personal favorite!). She also tops her mixtures off with a basic blend of lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Now, I wonder where I’ve heard that one before.

In regards to the book itself, here are 5 unique elements that I absolutely love about what it has to offer.

1. It’s honest. Like Candice joked during the luncheon, even healthy girls still want to eat cake. Cook Youself Sexy speaks to these women, offering up practical solutions like her “Size Zero Cake.”

2. Great pictures. Something else she wanted to address was the fact that, while recipes often call for certain ingredients and supplies, half the time, we hardly know what they are and where to find them. Rather than tell her readers to grab a mandolin, she offers up overhead photos of her very own kitchen, from the draws to the refrigerator, as a practical guide.

3. Savoring Substitutes. I’m a huge believer in eating everything in moderation. But it’s even more fun to simply make unhealthy dishes healthier, and then eat as much of it as you want! Case in point: Candice’s Dreamy Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese. (You can stop drooling now.)

4. Foods with Benefits. Candice refers to this section as FWB’s. In it, she explains not only which ingredients to use but why they’re good for our health.

5. Universal appeal. While the title may scream lingerie and heels, at the end of the day, Cook Yourself Sexy is for everyone. It’s about not only looking, but feeling your best, and there are plenty of recipes for men and women, adults and children alike.

The Giveaway

One of my favorite parts about having a blog is being able to not only tell all of you — my readers — about any experiences I’m privileged enough to take part in, but to share them with you too. And with that, I’m offering to give one lucky reader my copy of Cook Yourself Sexy.

Want in? There are 3 easy ways to enter, and each one grants you 1 entry.

1. Leave a comment below telling me what ingredients make you feel sexy — or, if that’s way too cheesy, then your favorite post-run snack or meal. Be sure to leave your email or Twitter handle in case you’re the lucky winner.

2. Tweet out this message (or something like it): Nom Nom! I just entered to win this #cookyourselfsexy Cookbook by @candicekumai from @runforglitter #giveaway

3. Follow my Twitter handle @runforglitter if you aren’t already, and leave a message below telling me you have.

A random winner will be chosen on Tuesday, October 9, right when I get back from Noah’s marathon in Chicago.

Good luck to all entrants, Chicago marathoners, other marathoners, runners who are finishing up their NYCM training, and everyone else who loves running, eating and all that good stuff as much as I do. And a big thanks to Candice for holding such a lovely event — and the delicious cornflake chocolate chip cookies in our swag bag. Sorry kids, I won’t be sharing these with you.

  • So, what ingredients make you feel sexy? Whipped cream? Strawberries? Dark chocolate peanut M&Ms?
  • What’s your favorite post-run snack or meal? 

22 thoughts on “Cook Yourself Sexy: A Luncheon Story + Cookbook Giveaway

  1. I want this cookbook!! Due to my awkwardness, I’ll go with the post run snack option. I LOVE almond or cashew butter with jelly on Ezekiel bread or English muffin! Yum I want one now actually.

    • Hah what’s not sexy about almond butter? Ok fine, there is nothing sexy about it. You did just inspire my breakfast though. Almond butter and wild blueberry jam woo.

      • Yay! : ) Here is the recipe for the bars. They are SO delish!

        Clean Eating Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars
        (Makes 15 bars)

        1 1/2 cups quick oats (the 3 minute kind)
        1 cup peanut butter (I use creamy)
        1/2 cup honey
        1/2 cup pumpkin (I used canned and organic)
        1/2 cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
        1 cup whey protein powder
        2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (no sugar added)


        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

        Step 1 – Roast your oats for 10-15 minutes on a cookie sheet (Or until they turn a nice golden brown). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

        Step 2 – Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

        Step 3 – Spread dough to 1/2 inch thickness in a baking dish or 1/2 sized cookie sheet.

        Step 4 – Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough has a nice golden brown appearance.

        Step 5 – Allow to cool. Slice into bars and store in a Tupperware container or Ziploc bag

        Courtesy of The Gracious Pantry.

  2. I want the cookbook too! It looks great. I’ll tell you my post-workout snack/meal…a protein smoothie — made with almond milk, a scoop of chocolate protein powder and fruit (usually a banana and whatever frozen fruit I have in the freezer…looks like it’s cranberries today) + a scoop of chia seeds. Thanks! jkfay at verizon dot net

  3. I’m a bad blogger but a good reader so I’ve been reading your page for awhile! Anyways, I am so jealous that you got to meet her! This cookbook is a must-have…everything sounds so delish! My favorite post-run snack (if it’s in the afternoon) is peanut butter toast…but I’m a morning runner through and through and I usually have an omelette! @kylieee_mcgraw

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