Oh hey, hot bar

Hi friends πŸ˜€ How was your Friday? Hope you had a wonderful day.

After my doc appointment this morning, I stopped at Whole Paycheck to get supplies for tomorrow night and to my shock and amazement, we have a FULL UP hot bar now! It was a very exciting moment. Before, all we had was a cold bar and soups, and now… we have all of my favorites. I may have to head back sometime soon to make a lunchtime treat, but for today, I already had this on my mind:


A beet beast!

This salad is very similar to one in Natalia Rose’s books, and includes a mix of greens, spiralized beet [I use *this spiralizer*], basil, tomatoes (which I forgot to add to mine) and goat cheese (I rolled with goat gouda). I also added a hefty sprinkle of oregano, sea salt, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and walnut oil.


I have to say, even better than hot bar salad.

Also while I was at Whole Paycheck –still seeing falafel and miso salad dancing in my brain- a crazy thing happened: I ran into my best friend from elementary school, whom I haven’t seen since high school, with her baby. We’ve always had a ridiculous amount of things in common: same birthday month of the same year (we always had joint parties growing up), our brothers are the same age and their birthdays are days apart, and her baby is exactly the same amount of weeks old as I am pregnant. Weird, huh?

I came back to the casa to get the marinara simmering away:


[No real recipe to share, I just throw things in and it tastes the same every time- whole tomatoes, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, onion, shallot, garlic, balsamic, basil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper]

and am about to make the lasagna so all I have to do it put it in the oven tomorrow.

Here’s what the feast will look like:

-Hummus, carrots, baby heirloom tomatoes

-Artichoke dip, Mary’s crack and pita chips

-Cheese plate with fig paste, bleu cheese, herbed goat cheese, cheddar

-Autumn salad with: arugula and spinach, green apples, toasted rosemary pecans, dried cranberries, goat cheese and balsamic

-Lasagna: butternut squash and goat cheese [GF], meat



-Sparkling lemon water with cucumber (for the preggies), beer and vino

Time to start lasagna-making!

See ya in the morning.



Something to talk about:When was the last time you saw someone for the first time in years? Yes, it happens on Facebook every day, but real life > Facebook.

Something to do: How about a Friday night Leg Burner?

[Always check with a doc before making any fitness changes]

-Jog in place 1 minute

-Booty kicks 30 seconds

-High knees 30 seconds

-Plie squat- 1 minute

-Pulse plie squat- 25 reps

-Lift right heel off the floor and stay in the plie squat, Pulse- 25 reps

-Lift left heel off the floor and stay in the plie squat. Pulse- 25 reps

-[If you can] lift both heels off the floor and stay in the plie squat. Pulse- 25 reps

-Squats- 30 seconds

-Jump squats- 1 minute

-Calf raises: 25 slow, 25 fast

If you try it, please let me know what you [and your legs] think πŸ™‚

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  1. I know what you mean about running into blasts from the past. I ran into my 3rd grade teacher and it was so weird! And fun at the same time, she was awesome.

  2. Real cooking has no recipes, that is what my mom does!

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s what everyone in family does, too. i’ll ask for a recipe, and they’ll be like “oh, no recipe! i just do a little of this and a little of this…” haha

  3. I am so excited that we have a hot bar now too! I have seen them working hard on it lately, but I haven’t been by since it’s been finished. Guess I’ll have to force myself to go tomorrow πŸ™‚

    It is always fun to run into old friends. In the last few months, I have run into a couple of people who I haven’t seen since high school-one at work and one at the bank. Tucson is funny like that, I guess. Big and small all at the same time!

    Oh, and my legs started to burn just reading that πŸ˜‰

    Have a great night and good luck with the lasagna-making!

  4. I saw my 5th grade teacher (we’re talking 1995, y’all) at a school function in August. I’m a teacher now and she is a principal in the district where I work. How crazy is that?!*

  5. Your party menu sounds AMAZING!!!

  6. Today a German exchange student who was at my HS 3 years ago (who is now a friend), was in town and it was hilarious because it was like i saw him just yesterday though we don’t even speak on FB or anything and i hadn’t seen him in 2 years. We had a great afternoon as if we were old pals; so funny we have the same sense of humor, views on things though we obviously live in totally different environments.

  7. cant wait to have my own little dinner party one day, im sure i’ll be stopping by your blog to check for ideas!

  8. Leslie Wingate says:

    Hey Gina! I’m going to make a pizookie if it’s the last thing I do! πŸ˜› That thing looks in-sane.
    One last question for a while. I’m dealing with chronic (painful) sinus infections. Finally ended up on levaquin which is a pretty potent antibiotic, and the ENT is talking surgery after seeing my ct scans. Fun! not. Anyway, I’d like to get calcium in non-dairy forms since I hear dairy is nasty on the sinuses. Any tips?

  9. was just looking for a lower body workout to take with me to the gym tomorrow… will report back!

  10. My best friend Jillian moved to Austin from Florida in the seventh grade. I’ve run into her in several random places. My favorite: When we were both juniors in high school, me living in Florida still and her living in Scottsdale with her family, her choir took a trip to Chicago at the same time as my high school orchestra. She called me after my plane had landed at the Chicago airport and I was walking with our group to the bus. She said “So, I see all these kids with instruments…are you with them?” I looked around and there she was. It was so funny. At that point I hadn’t seen her in almost three years, but we randomly got to spend 15 minutes together at the Chicago airport. It was awesome.

  11. Yummy meal.. Random question- do you shred your own cheese, or do you buy that goat gouda pre-shredded?? It looks delish!

  12. I’m planning on trying this leg workout tomrrow!
    Can you please post this gf butternut squash and goat cheese lasagna recipe?? It sounds amazing πŸ™‚

  13. Yum! Your menu sounds delish!

  14. wow sounds like quite the feast, yummM!!!!

    Love running into old friends….usually ;P

    Definitely going to give that leg burner a try , looks liike a good one !

  15. Love the post and that you ran into an old friend!

    Just 2 weeks ago my very first EVER yoga teacher who I met in the year 2000 in NC was in CA for a few mos and I hadnt seen her since about 2004. She and I became great friends back then, i.e. we were the only two hippy dippy yoga chicks in NC in 2000, trust me πŸ™‚

    And I hadnt seen her in..what…7 years? and we met at Starbucks 2 weeks ago and caught up on 7 yrs of life in 2 hrs. It was…amazing! πŸ™‚

    Have an awesome feast. The menu sounds stellar!

  16. I love reading your dinner party menus! I just started throwing a few dinner parties since we now have the space for it, and I have a hard time thinking of new things. My first thought is always grill and sides (potatoes + veg + fresh salad…like tomato and mozz.) or some type of Italian dish + mixed green salad…I like seeing the variety in yours, and how you still manage to ensure all elements work together! You also do what I do, which is try to make sure every base is covered (picks/appetizers, main meal + sides + salad, dessert, and special beverages). My husband says I go overboard, but it’s fun! πŸ™‚

  17. HAHA Real life > Facebook!? No way!

    Completely kidding– it’s a shame how reliant people are on FB to stay connected :/

  18. alrighty! congrats on the hot bar! now their store will double in value, haha. And you know, I think we all have that childhood friend who always seems to run parallel with our lives. Its a blessing, eh?

  19. Cue the angels! Hallelujah for the hot bar!

    That is so crazy that you and your childhood friend share so much in common with your lives. She must be a good luck charm of sorts for you. πŸ™‚

  20. My brother’s high school graduation! I ran into the guidance counselor who was there for me all through high school, which was epic!!

  21. Natasha Brown says:

    As a Californian/Torontonian – transpanted to Halifax Nova Scotia – I don’t run into old friends…:( AND – wait for it – I’m not on Facebook…and I like it. I might have to take the plunge next year as my Holistic Designation will be in swing…but until then…I’m enjoying being “private”.

  22. so funny, a small world. Once I was in Maui watching the sunrise at like 4 am and I looked over and saw a friend from HighSchool, of all the places!

    Your spread sounds awesome. What is the recipe for the pizookie? I would love to know. πŸ™‚

  23. awesome love the exercises!!

  24. THANK YOU GINA!!!!!!!!!! I have been searching for a spiralizer and now I know where to get one πŸ˜‰ Christmas wish list!

  25. are you talking about the whole foods on speedway??

    loove that place but am always underwhelmed by the hot bar! thank you ginaaa. i now know where i’m going for a study break this weekend πŸ™‚ ps go cats! (we’re totally dominating usc this weekend. we gotta! it’s my senior year! hahah)

  26. Hey Gina!

    Can you post tips on starting a blog? From choosing a server, designing, hosting, etc. I am interested but can not find solid information on how to start.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  27. OMG your menu sounds to die for! Yummy! Enjoy!

  28. That menu sounds incredible! Be my personal chef please?

  29. I didnt know it was legal for there to be a Whole Foods sans hot bar!
    That mini Pizookie is killer. Your guests are very lucky!

  30. Just. Did. Leg. Workout.

    My legs are screaming. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to crouch tomorrow. WHEW! Thanks, Gina! You’re one tough Pizookie! πŸ˜‰

  31. I did the leg workout last night and loved it!

    I have been dealing with a wrist injury since March, and actually had surgery on it a little over a month ago, so I was super excited to see an entire workout I could do without modifications! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing!

    (Mrs. Web Wizard)

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