How I Feast

010015 016

Throughout my weight loss journey, I tried almost every eating plan/diet under the sun. You name it, I’ve done it… Weight Watchers, Atkins, Slim Fast/Lean Cuisine, Abs Diet, South Beach. In this massive eating experimentation, I finally found what works best for me and it isn’t anything I’ve read in a single eating plan- it’s more of a hodge podge of tactics and lessons from everything I’ve tried. Though I’ve maintained a healthy style of eating for the 7 years since I lost 40 lbs through a South Beach-Mediterranean style of eating, I feel that they way I eat is constantly changing and evolving as I learn more about health, nutrition and how certain changes affect me. From all of the things I’ve tried and everything I’ve experienced, the quasitarian lifestyle was born.

I’m not one to label, and do what my heart and body tell me to.

Here are some the things I love and choose to enjoy on a regular basis:

-Fruits

-Veggies

-Nuts/seeds

-Beans/legumes

-Fish (particularly SHRIMPIES, salmon or tilapia), organic (preferably local) poultry

-Raw or extra dark chocolate

-Sprouted whole grains (and brown rice protein powder)

-Superfood supplements (chia seeds, spirulina, maca, cacao)

-Goat dairy (especially raw goat cheddar)

-Natural sugars and sugar substitutes (dates, fruits, Stevia, maple syrup and raw agave)

I focus on all of things I love to have rather than those I choose to avoid. Even though I have a very unique style of eating, I never have a problem altering menu options at restaurants to suit my tastes. I try to eat food that is as whole and unprocessed as possible, the way it was created in nature. Our bodies are not intended to process chemicals, and when we ingest these foreign substances, we are unable to efficiently break them down. Not only are whole foods incredibly good for you, it’s the most environmentally-friendly style of eating.

One of the best things that has helped me to maintain my healthy lifestyle and sanity is the concept of a treat night. Each week (or every other week depending on what I’m feeling), I have a designated “treat night” where I’ll eat something that I usually wouldn’t choose to consume (ice cream, cake, cheesecake, pizza, whatever). Usually I’ll plan my treat night around a party with friends or a dinner out with the pilot and take it as a chance to indulge in something I wouldn’t otherwise eat. I choose to eat the way that I do and try to maintain a very healthy lifestyle, but truly believe that one should experience some delicious junk food every now and again.  The treat night motivates me to eat well during the rest of the week -and usually I don’t crave unhealthy foods since I’ve been eating well for so long- and if I get the urge to eat something unhealthy and delicious when it isn’t treat night, I just eat it. No big deal ;) By only occasionally having junk food, I never feel deprived and can still maintain my activity levels without feeling like garbage from not eating well.

Here are some Fitnessista staples:

1. Sludges (smoothies made with banana, almond milk, spinach, Vega smoothie infusion)

001

2. Salad beasts

011 009

also open-faced salads

006

and spiralized veggie salads

004

3. Indian food, particularly Baigan Bhartha

038

4. Dulse

005

5. Coconut water

006

6. Grilled fish and veggies

007 001 027

7. Raw goat cheddar

008 006

8. Green juice

004

9. Almond butter

003

10. Raw macaroons

019

11. Red wine

005

12. Breakfast cookies

003

13. Anything from my favorite cookbooks: “Eat, Drink and Be Vegan”, “Everyday Raw”, “Living Raw Food”, “Raw Food, Real World”, “Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen” or the Canyon Ranch cookbooks

So as you can see, I try to eat as healthy as possible, as consistently as I can. I grew up eating food that wasn’t necessarily the healthiest choice but tasted like heaven, so it’s been my goal to develop delicious meals that have high nutrient content at the same time. I hope to show ya’ll that healthy food doesn’t have to be bland or boring- there are limitless and quite scrumptious possibilities.

The reason I started posting my meals was to show clients examples of balanced, whole foods that are simple to put together, even when you’ve got a busy schedule. The way I eat is something that works best for me and took me a long time to figure out. You have you figure out what works best for you, and usually it’s not something that a book or eating plan will be able to dictate. Everyone is different and will respond differently to styles of eating. So please take the food on this bloggy with a grain of sea salt and don’t ever feel pressured to eat the way I do. Ever. I just want to give some healthy meal options that ya’ll might like :D

That being said, let’s raise our forks in celebration of good foods that enable our body to thrive :D As always, hit me up with any questions!

Comments

  1. Have you ever done a post on the tools that make your “raw” lifestyle so much easier? For instance, your must have smoothie blender, whatever you use to spiralize stuff, etc.?? I’d love some suggestions as I’m currently revamping my kitchen to make a healthier lifestyle easier too!

    • Fitnessista says:

      not yet, but i definitely plan on doing a “gadgets” page with all of my favorite cooking tools. i try to get that finished for ya asap :)

  2. I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are. I had been feeling like something was missing in my life and I stumbled upon your site…. your workouts and healthy living plus magnetic attitude encouraged me to better my life in healthy ways. I am eating better and have found running and yoga to be the most amazing tools for a better body and mind. I dont think I have ever felt this good before! Your a model for the healty lifestyle. Thank you!!!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank YOU so much for reading and for your sweet comment :D
      congratulations on embarking on a healthier lifestyle- i’m so happy for you!
      you know i’m cheering you on ;)

  3. Hi Gina,

    Belated Happy Birthday! :)

    Reading your blog has become second nature now, everyday, just after FB :).
    I second what the above two readers have mentioned. You are such and inspiration and you have a great spirit. Keep up the good and kind work :)

    After coming across your blog, I have drastically changed my food habits. I’m loving veggies and fruits a lot and even crave them (I love the apple with AB and cinnamon):). I have also started with my workout routine…treadmill, stairmaster. Will add weights soon. I am looking to lose about 30 pounds and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

    I look forward to your gadgets page. I would really like to know how you spiralize the zucchini and all the other things. You have great hair and skin. Is there anything special you take or do?. I’ve started taking spirulina tablets..they say its really good for health.

    Keep up the good work, Gina.

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you so much for your sweet comment :D
      so cool that you’ve changed up your eating and workout habits- that’s awesome :D
      i’ll definitely work on the gadgets page this weekend!
      thank you for the lovely compliment– eating lots of fruits and veggies has made a HUGE difference. and yes, spirulina is awesome stuff :D
      have a great day!

  4. Lisa Bledy says:

    Your site is great! I just stumbled upon it recently and love it! What do you use to spiral the veggies? I love the idea of doing that with zucchini and beets. Plus how much more fun is food when its in a spiral?

  5. Racheal Siler says:

    Could you please post your recipe for your Raw Macaroons? I love your website!! You have defiantly inspired me to live a more healthy lifestyle. I will be logging in everyday now!!

  6. Hi Gina,

    pastaqueen linked to your site a few weeks ago, and ever since I checked out your blog it has become daily MUST-READing for me! I’m a big fan and hope to convert from my hapless eating out lifestyle to a bonafide healthy-food-cook.

    Since reading your blog I have learned that you really, really want a Garmin, so when I saw this contest I had to share it with you:

    http://www.brazencareerist.com/2009/11/17/contest-twitter-rockstars

    I’m not affiliated with the company, I’m just a user. But if you like it, here’s your chance for a free Garmin!

  7. Wow you eat so healthy! I don’t know how you do it! I’m glad you included red wine…haha =)

  8. stephanie says:

    I have a question question about maca that you use. What is it, where do you get it and how do you use it? =)

  9. I love EVERYTHING you have to say here. Ditto on a clean, healthy, yummy lifestyle. This way of living absolutely works. I practice the same mindful techniques and preparations. Day to day I am careful……but my six mini meals a day are filled with high energy, whole foods with great flavors. I am not on a diet. I too know how to stay on my path with occasional indulgences!! I want to feel and look great. Cruddy eats make me feel….cruddy! I also want the same for my family. I look forward to following you!

  10. I know you’ve recently said it again, but I can’t seem to find which protein powder you use in your breakfast cookies. What would you recommend?

  11. Kristina says:

    I would love to see your gadgets page! :)

    Specifically dehydrators… I am currently researching and wondered which one you use?

    I am a new reader of your blog, I love it and check in daily!

    thank you!

    Kristina

  12. I just recently found your blog and I love it! I like that you eat what your body tells you to eat and you don’t limit yourself or force yourself to give up things you love! I hate diets, they don’t work and have recently changed my eating habits to something similar to what you do. It’s so refreshing to find a blog that has healthy food and exercise with a real person who is honest and true to herself!!! You’re doing a great job, keep it up!!!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thanks so much, shawna!
      so glad you’re enjoying the bloggy so far…and you’re right, diets do NOT work. believe me, i’ve tried almost all of them :)
      xoxox

  13. Hey Gina,

    I found your site a few months ago via the links at Main Squeeze’s site. I live in Valdosta and wonder where all you are able to find the items you cook with. I know you go to Whole Foods in Jax but I just wonder if there are any places I am not familiar with. I just visited the health store in Remerton a few weeks ago. I didn’t realize they had quite a bit of food, I was thinking it was more natural remedies. I also LOVE Publix and think they have the best organic selections. I don’t have access to the base so I don’t know what is there.

    You do a great job with the blog. I am about to go make my first breakfast cookie. :-)

    Thanks,
    Tara

  14. I read your blog on a regular basis, but came back to this post trough the link you set up today and just wanted to say I really connect with how you eat. I always struggle to explain how I eat to people because I eat mainly vegan, although I do occasionally like raw goat cheese and sushi which totally confuses people. Quasitarian is an excellent label!

  15. My mom accidentally bought DULSE instead nori when we made sushi one time. What do you do with it!? I’d really appreciate some guidance, haha. Thank you!

    • Fitnessista says:

      use it in salads (it gives it a great salty flavor) or on a sandwich with lettuce, dulse, tomato and avocado

  16. So glad I found your blog! I’ve been “figuring out” my eating style for the past three years and it is very similar to yours. It makes me feel so much better that there is someone else out there that isn’t “completely raw” or “100% vegan”. We’ re just a couple of gals doing the best we can. Whole, natural foods and if some of it happens to be cooked or from an animal it ain’t the end of the world. Cheers to healthy eating!

  17. Hey Gina! I remember you mentioning that you keep a food journal. Do you track your macro nutrients? If so, what percentages do you aim for?

    • Fitnessista says:

      i try not to give that info away because i don’t want to influence anyone… since we’re all different, it would probably be useless info anyway :)

  18. I’ve recently gone vegan, which is almost similar to the way you eat. What types of vitamins do you taker/recommend?

  19. I love your style of eating. What are you most conscious about? how many calories something has? how much protein? how much fat? where the ingredients come from?

  20. Love your website … love your story… and I do also believe that raw unprocessed food is the best!!!! Good in good out! I am trying out your breakfast cookies asap!

  21. I am obsessed with your blog! LOVE IT!

  22. We have such a similar style of eating but like you, the more I learn, the more my style of eating changes!

  23. We have such a similar style of eating but like you, the more I learn, the more my style of eating changes!

  24. Hi there, you have a great blog, I’m glad I wondered upon it. I look forward to reading through more and seeing all the different recipes you have.

  25. do you use oil to cook with when you for ex make pancakes or sautee food for yourself?
    or pam?

  26. I love your blog!! I’ll definitely be reading often! You’re a huge inspiration!

  27. Hey,
    Just wanted to stop by and say I love your blog! I have been reading it for a few months now and figured I would finally leave a message.
    I am always looking for healthy recipes and you always give me such great ideas.

    Thank you for having such a great and fun blog!

  28. Hello your blog rocks and you are inspiration for mine! :)
    I’d love to know more about what made you favor goat cheese? I noticed you mention it in a few posts. I always battle myself when it comes to cheese, so if it’s better than others I will switch it up.
    Thanks!

  29. Theresa says:

    It would be awesome if you could link the title of your staples to either the recipe to make said item, or in the case of say Dulse, a link to a recipe you use Dulse in. Thanks, great blog!

  30. Whats your take on dairyt? Why do u have goats milk & cheese instead?

    • Fitnessista says:

      goat’s dairy is processed differently by the body than cows dairy. it’s easier digestible and less inflammatory and mucus-forming

  31. Nathalie Simko says:

    Hello,
    my name is Nathalie, i am 19 years old & weighing in at 125-127( weight fluctuates) and a total lover of all things food and fitness!I am always looking for new ways to improve my workouts and my diet. I was wondering if you could help me out with my diet.First off i work out 7 days a week, 6 if i a feeling tired. My workouts will consist of 2 days of running (6-7)miles and then a 60-90 min hot yoga session. On the other days i will do 45-60 min of cardio preferably on the elliptical and tredmill and then i chose 2 body parts for some strength training. My diet now is consisting of 3/4-1 cup of oatmeal w/ 1/2 pumpkin puree and almonds or walnuts,lunch is usually 1-2 chicken breast w/ a side salad and some green vegetables. My snack now i 2 pieces of natures own bread (50 calories) w/ skinny cow cheese (35 calories) either ham, roast beef, or turkey and spinach. Lastly for dinner i usually go with chicken, sometimes steak or fish as well as some vegetables, a side salad and sometimes lentils. So that is my workout and eating schedule, i have always been afraid of carbs, so i am wondering if that looks like too much carbs to you.And also i am always open to advice on how to make it better.
    i look forward to hearing from you!

  32. Happened to be here by chance….. love your blog..like your eating habits which are very similar to mine !!!
    I noticed that you like Indian food too…do visit my blog http://vegetariansurprises.blogspot.com/ for healthy Indian recipes.
    Will be back soon :)

  33. I love the attitude of focusing on the foods you LOVE rather than what you “can’t have.” I’m working on developing my food philosophy, and this is definitely helpful!

  34. “You have you figure out what works best for you, and usually it’s not something that a book or eating plan will be able to dictate.” So true. I’ve been working on that myself, as has my husband. It’s been an interesting few months because we just started using tofu in place of meat for some meals (tofu tacos and tofu chili actually turned out pretty good). We just moved to Germany where nearly everything is fresh with no preservatives. It all tastes sooo much better, but it goes bad in three days so we’ve been doing the shopping a few times a week around planned meals. Very different from before, but it’s a good change.

  35. I feel the same way about food. I also don’t like to label myself because I feel my needs are always changing depending on my activity level. I tend to eat a whole food plant based diet but try my best to just listen to what you body wants. Great website!

Speak Your Mind

*