1/17: Friday Faves

-Someone special who always reminds me to stop and smell the flowers.

Smelling the flowers

-Black garlic from Trader Joe’s. It sounds totally weird, but is surprisingly delicious. The bitterness is removed through the fermentation process, leaving a slightly sweet, soft, garlicky clove. I added them to some mushroom gravy the other night, and also ate an entire head of the garlic straight up. Hashtag how I roll.

Garlic  1 of 1 2

 -This video, which gave me goosebumps the entire time. Lakeisha, you are an inspiration <3

-Passing my Weight Loss Specialist exam. Last weekend when Liv was sick, I had just put her to sleep and figured that since I’d already been a sickness landing pad, the night could only get better from there. I’d been studying for my WLS exam through NASM and decided to go ahead and take the test. You have three chances to pass it, and thankfully, I passed easily the first time. I’ll write a post with the recap of the program -I learned so much!- so please let me know if you have questions.

-The Zumba World game for Xbox 360. I bought it with a Groupon, and it’s so much fun!! I was especially excited to see Eric Aglia’s familiar face.



Bill Murray, winning at life.

-A story that brought tears to my eyes and still does when I think of it. It’s easy to get caught up in negativity, but I love reminders of the true goodness in others.

21 things that happen when you don’t eat meat. Not a vegetarian (obvi), but still made me laugh.

Why being a mom is enough.

Those brownies that lasted approximately 23 hours.

Brownies  1 of 1 5

-This letter from then 8-year-old Ben.

19 things you need to do to be successful.

-Today’s giveaway! Be sure to check back this afternoon for your chance to win a shiny new Vitamix πŸ™‚ Congratulations to Kristen D., who won the Blue Diamond giveaway! I sent an email to the lucky winner last night.

Happy Friday!


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  1. I love the Bill Murray winning at life. Even if just one of those is true that is amazing!

  2. I’m counting down the days until Trader Joe’s opens here in Colorado. Less than a month! (I’m really, really excited about this!)

  3. Happy Friday!

  4. can’t wait to hear more about the weight loss specialist program!

  5. Happy Friday! Can’t wait to hear about your weight loss specialist program! Enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

  6. Congratulations on passing your exam, Gina! Any tips for someone who is trying to balance losing weight and eating whole foods? I’ve been told to nix the low fat salad dressing/ice cream/everything and replace it with the whole foods that our bodies know how to process. However, the calories of these foods sometimes scare the bejesus out of me. :O)

    • Fitnessista says:

      don’t be afraid. once i went for real foods, i never wanted to go back. the beauty about full-fat stuff is that a little goes a long way. you don’t need quite as much because it’s so satisfying

  7. Love that video on Lakeisha’s gym story! So incredibly inspiring – thanks for sharing! Happy Friday and have a fabulous weekend!

  8. Black garlic sounds so interesting! Definitely going to keep an eye out for it on my next trip to Trader Joe’s!

  9. Josh has been cooking with that black garlic and it’s delicious! That 100 days video is my inspiration to workout. If she can make the time to exercise, then so can I. Happy Friday!

  10. A wonderful reminder to stop and smell the roses. So sweet. And speaking of sweet, I am making those brownies this weekend since I just crushed your leg burner. That was a great one!

  11. The Zumba game sounds fun!

  12. Thanks for the links and congrats on passing your Weight Loss Specialist exam! I am excited to hear more about it. Happy Friday!

  13. I want to get the Zumba World for Wii so bad!! πŸ™‚

  14. I entered as Kristen D, but didn’t get an email so just wanted to verify that there was more than one? I’m kdesjardins@gmail.com

    Can’t wait to hear about your exam… I’m taking my NASM CPT exam on the 8th!

    • Fitnessista says:

      emailed you to clear it up. it is another kristen d.
      good luck with your nasm! let me know how it goes

  15. That black garlic looks great! I can’t wait to check that out!

    Congrats on passing your WLS! Can’t wait to hear about it! Do you know if you need your PT certification to do it? It doesn’t look like you do…

  16. Thanks for sharing. I often need a reminder from my little one to just stop and enjoy. Congratulations on your WLS. I hope you share with us – I could definitely use the help! HA. Happy Friday.

  17. Love Friday Faves!! Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  18. Congrats on passing the exam! : )

    Where in TJ’s do you find the black garlic? Our store is kind of small and I can’t always find things that other people can.

  19. I’m really looking forward to hearing about this certification (?) to being a Weight Loss Specialist. Is that something that is only available in addition to a personal training certification? Is it NASM specific?

  20. Congrats on passing the exam. I have been wanting to take that course.So can take the exam online?

    Also in the brownie recipe I don’t have any coconut oil, whats a good substitute?

  21. I might have to make those brownies soon!! Congrats on the WLS cert! I have a finance degree, like you, and I’m going a bit crazy sitting behind a desk ALL day long. You’re so inspiring!

  22. I need to make those brownies! They’re calling my name!

  23. i’m so drooling over those brownies. recipe printed and will be making this weekend.

  24. I love the letter from 8 year old Ben — too funny!

  25. Thanks for sharing the Bill Murray. I just love him.

  26. that plane story is so precious. thanks for sharing!

  27. Shaina Anderson says:

    So speaking of fermented foods with the garlic, what do you think about throwing in a focus on post about lacto-fermentation? It’s becoming more popular as more people learn about the benefits of probiotics and how easy this is to do at home, but still SOOOO many people know nothing about it.

    We recently started making an effort to include more fermented foods in our home and I have to hide the sauerkraut from Tripp haha. I’m so glad he likes it though! I just started a batch of dill carrots last night and pickles are my next venture. πŸ™‚

    Happy Friday!

  28. I’m really interested in hearing about the weigh loss specialist certification. I’d love to have some sort of nutrition certification, not necessarily weight loss, though. Wondering if this would be similar enough or if there are other things out there without me having to go back through school.

  29. That’s really cool about the weight loss certificate! Never heard of that. I would definitely be interested in some info/posts on ‘last 5-10 lbs’ weight loss.. Because I hear conflicting info that at that point creating a caloric deficit just slows down the metabolism.. but I mean, that’s still how to lose weight, right? It’s frustrating, honestly! Too much info out there, haha πŸ™‚
    Also the brownies look awesome, I want to try Your sweet potato brownies this week! Yum!

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