10 Ways to Make August Amazing + Calendar Info

I love August. It’s still dang hot here, but it’s the month I married my husband, so it always brings lots of warm fuzzies and happy memories. Last year, I started doing these “10 Ways…” posts, took a break for Winter Shape Up, did the same for Summer Shape Up (which was my favorite one yet!!) and we’re back in action now. I really hope that you enjoyed the July workout calendar, too. I figured we’d do those for a few more months to see what you think and if it’s helpful. August’s will be up tonight, so stay tuned!


Here are some ways to make this August a little more amazing:

1. Celebrate seasonal produce. 



Here’s what’s fresh and lovely in August:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Dates
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Peppers
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Sorrel
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Great all year:

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Pineapple
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts

Some recipe ideas:

Carrot, beet, bean burgers

Green-a-colada smoothie

Thai coconut curry

-Watermelon, arugula, goat cheese, basil salad with balsamic vinaigrette

-My favorite fennel salad

2. Take a new class. This is one of the things that I’m most excited about at our new gym- new classes! Some that I’ve never taken, and some that I really miss (like step!). I’m also going to make August the month that I finally try Crossfit (last time, my plan was foiled by an eye infection. There was no way I was wearing too-big-for-my-head-wrong-rx glasses to my first CF class.)


3. Host an Olympics-watching party! We kind of have an unofficial one at our house every night (complete with BTO), but it would definitely be fun to include some party appetizers and a little vino. 

4. Engage in an act of kindness. It could be a well-planned surprise, or something small, like a fresh bouquet of flowers for your roomie or best friend. Make someone’s day- I dare ya, and promise you won’t regret it.

5. Plan a date night. It can be with your significant other, girlfriends, grandma, or cat. Plan something special and put on some heels. The Pilot and I go on a date night about once a week, but it’s usually a last-minute “where do you want to go?” “let’s go here” “Ok” kinda thing. I want to plan something special… in advance.


6. Change something. Think about what you’ve been wanting to revamp, refresh or an intention you’d like to make for the month and go after it! Clean out your closet, revolutionize your routine, start a new fitness/eating goal- now is a great time to assess and evaluate what you may want to do differently. Mine: make the nighttime less frantic and get going on some work-related goals (like my new trainer cert!).

7. Start a new book. Since many of you may be heading back to school, this could be challenging. Even with the boatload of textbooks, it’s great to sneak in a magazine between studying and get in a little “fluff reading” where you don’t have to study.every.single.word.and.memorize.theories.and.calculations. I actually miss school a lot, so to those of you who are dreading it, there are people like me out there (aka MBA dropouts. I kick myself when I think that I would have had 1 semester and summer left) who would love to go back 😉 One day…

Right now, this is what I’ve got on the Kindle:


8. Invest in some new workout gear! My faves are the ones that multipurpose as street clothes, too. (Or maybe I just wear them as street clothes…) Check out some of the fitness trends, or even get a fresh pair of your favorite running sneaks for 5k season.


9. Speaking of 5k season, pick a race to do with a friend! Even if you walk it or take it easy, enjoy the chance to get in a little weekend activity or the motivation to boost up your training and hit a new PR. I’m so excited about my race in September! For now, it looks like I’ll be doing the 10k and I’m stoked.

10. Commit to strength training. I am a HUGE advocate for strength training, not only for the physical benefits (you can cardio your little heart out, but won’t see and build lean muscle without a solid strength routine), but for the amazing health benefits. If you’ve never strength trained before, have no fear! There are lots of beginning plans on the fitness page, and I’d also recommend checking out an intro session with a personal trainer. Most gyms will show you how to use the machines and equipment for free, too.

Bosu v up

Here’s to an amazing month!





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  1. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on August 1, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I reallllly need to clean out my closet and consign / donate some things. Great reminder!

  2. Jessica @ New Girl, New City on August 1, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I love this! I’m about to be off to buy some new running shoes as we speak, as your post reminded me that I am DESPERATELY in need!
    And Emily Giffin has a new book?! I love her!

  3. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on August 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    All such great things! I’m currently reading a book called Good As Gold (talking about it more tomorrow on my blog) but it’s written by a pro triathlete who is paid by ESPN to train like crazy and make the Olympics in 2 years. It’s awesome! Also, absolutely loving the seasonal produce! 🙂 I hope you enjoy your new classes Gina! Can’t wait to hear about them.

    • mountain girl heidi on August 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      That book is hilarious. And amazing.

  4. Lisa @ Jogging on Coffee on August 1, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I love Emily Giffin! I’m saving her new one for my vacation 🙂

  5. Abby @ Change of Pace on August 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I love your 10 ways posts! I hope to do at least a few of these. I love the random act of kindness one. I’m thinking fresh flowers for my mom or grandmas!
    Happy August!

  6. Donna Boudreau on August 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I’ve been wanting to try the Crossfit “Kool-aid”, so to speak. There are two boxes near me but I’ve been scared to give it a try. If only I had gotten in when they first opened I wouldn’t feel so out of place. I hear that everyone at both places is really great though. I love how everyone cheers everyone else on. It’s also about trying to fit it into my schedule. I’d have to go to early morning classes right now and neither place has showers so I would have to go home to get ready for work in a short amount of time. I just don’t know what to do!

    • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on August 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      I’ve been really wanting to go try it out too, but I’m not sure if I can part with the $$$!

      • Donna Boudreau on August 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm

        It IS expensive, isn’t it! It’s funny how my huge gym with all the fancy equipment, pools, showers, hot tub, tennis courts, etc., etc., etc. is $44.00/month and Crossfit is $179.00/month for 3 classes per week, and there’s nothing but the box. I’m still intrigued though. It seems as most people who try it are hooked.

        • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:08 am

          i heard once you drink the kool aid…

      • Jessica on August 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        Look for groupons for the clubs. My goal is to learn the basics and then try and do modified work outs at home.

  7. Amanda on August 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    How do you like Where We Belong?! I’ve got the sample on my Kindle but haven’t started reading it yet. It looks like it will be really good!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am

      LOVE it so far!

  8. Heidi on August 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Love this post!! Thanks for the tips 🙂 I especially love the date night! My husband and I are adopting from Ethiopia and are at the point right now that we are just waiting for that phone to ring!! I am in my last stages of pregnancy, haha! As we prepare to become parents, I want to make sure that we still take time for “us” while loving our little one(s) like CRAZY!! I think that one of the best things we can bless our children with is two parents who are totally in love 🙂 Kudos to you and your husband for giving that to your little girl!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am

      OMG what amazing news. i teared up reading your comment and can’t imagine how excited you must be right now! thank you for giving that sweet baby a home. <3 and you're right, it's great for children to see how much their parents love each other.

      • Heidi on August 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

        Thanks!!! There are not enough words to describe how excited we are!!! Thanks for giving me something to read and take my mind off of staring at the phone, haha! I sometimes feel like if I stare at it hard enough, I can will it to ring!! 🙂 Hope you’re feeling better!

  9. Kim | At Home With Kim on August 1, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Love your blog and looking forward to being a regular reader…. Great post to kick off this month. Summer is beginning to wear a little bit with the excessive heat. These are fun ideas to turn things around and celebrate the rest of the season. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:10 am

      thank you so much kim!

  10. Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings on August 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Love this post! You definitely are inspiring me to make August amazing! Just ordered some neon shoes!

  11. Michelle on August 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I’m reading where we belong right now and i love it! all her books are such good reads. I hope more of her books become movies!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:10 am

      ME TOO

  12. Ali @ Peaches and Football on August 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I’m definitely going to be trying some group fitness classes. I’ve only ever been to one – it was a zumba marathon and 3 hours of zumba right off the bat was way too much for me and I got frustrated thinking I had to get it ‘right’ and didn’t know any of the moves. I love step DVDs but the new gym I joined on Sunday doesn’t offer that. They have a lot of the ‘body’ classes – bodypump, bodyflow, etc… but I’m hoping to overcome my fear of starting in a class alone this month and go for it!

    • Julie on August 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      I do both Body Pump & Body Flow regularly & LOVE them both! You should def give them a try. Body Rock is a lot of fun, too!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:10 am

      dooooo it! and yes, zumbathon is probably not the best way to jump into it. it’s one of those things that’s more fun and easier the more you do it

  13. Catalina @ Cake with Love on August 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Love the fresh produce list and your nike neon shoes! Have a great month 🙂

  14. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Love your Zumba clothes – always so bright and cheery! And what a great list of produce – need to work some of those into rotation!

  15. Sarabell on August 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I just started a new series on my blog for this month called A Daily Smile in August, one thing every day this month to improve my happiness… definitely going to add most of these in! =]

  16. Lauren T on August 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I love this post! Such a great reminder to make it a great month and be happy and healthy. I can’t wait to get back into zumba classes when I get back to school! I would also like to finally take a rock climbing class at my school’s rec center! That would be good strength training 😉

  17. Tiffany on August 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Great post. I’ve been CrossFitting for about 6 weeks now and love it. The hardest thing I have ever done, but an awesome workout. Makes my continuous half-marathon training seem like a piece of cake. I need some new gym clothes too :).

  18. Cate on August 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Where We Belong is SOOOOO good. I finished it in two days. You’ll love it. If you’ve read any of her others, I think you’ll be surprised at how different it is from her other other books. And if you haven’t read anything else by her, you should. She’s such a fantastic writer. Obsessive rant over. Haha.

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:09 am

      i’m so excited to get more into it! i’ve read all of her other books- love her

  19. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on August 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I had no idea grapes were seasonal in August – definitely good to know!

  20. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on August 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    those are some great ideas! i love your pink shoes! those would definitely make me want to go running!

  21. Eva @ Committed2Nutrition on August 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    This was such a fun post to read! I love that you are going to try crossfit and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. My boyfriend is trying to get me to do it, but it’s hard trying to find a break in teaching Zumba to get there. August is definitely a great month for you, it seems – husband 🙂 , great summer shape up, lots of great produce, new gym & work-outs. Love this! OH and I love Nike Lunarglides for teaching Z.. heard of them.. seriously, my soulmate shoe 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:08 am

      i’ve tried those- need to give them another whirl!

  22. Bella on August 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I love this post – so many great ideas!! Thanks for the motivation.
    I’m reading OFF THE MENU by Stacey Ballis.
    I just bought myself some Bloch Zumba shoes from Zappos, and they should be here any day now.
    I’m taking a Hot Hula Fitness class tonight for the first time, and I can’t wait to see what it’s like.
    I’m in the process of reorganizing all the closets in my house, which will cover “change” and “an act of kindness” because I’ll donate all the clothes I don’t want.

  23. Lynne on August 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Love this post, Gina. Some great, fun ideas. I’m looking forward to implementing some of them. Have a wonderful month 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:08 am

      thank you lynne- hope you have a wonderful month, too!

  24. Lydia @HappyHealthyConfident on August 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Every single way to make this a great month is super inspiring! Your awsome 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:07 am


  25. Abby on August 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I love Emily Giffin’s books but haven’t purchased this one yet. Is it a good one (so far)?

  26. Amy@healthyhungryhappy.com on August 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    those shoes are SO cute! we definitely need to plan a date night since our little girl is coming in 5 weeks!! yikes!

  27. char eats greens on August 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I seriously want to nod to all of your ways to make August amazing! I love the local produce especially. It’s weird how I start wanting things when they are just coming into season – like peaches! I had one on Monday and it was so friggen fantastic! I wonder if I can somehow convince the husband into the one about buying new workout gear…might be a tough stretch at the moment! haha

  28. jaclyn on August 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I loved this post :]

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:06 am

      thank you!

  29. Kelly @ My love affair with running on August 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I love these August goals… I am working at balancing out my running wih quality stretching and strength training!

  30. Kate on August 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I just wanted to tell you that I finished the summer shape up last week (late to the party due to an injury)…and I liked it so much that I decided to do another month of the workouts. I haven’t stuck with strength training for more than 2 weeks or so at a time in almost 5 years but this was a breeze because they were so fun. I also dropped the 5 pounds of baby weight I still had hanging on from my 9 month old and can do 10 “real” push ups in a row for the first time in my life, so I was thrilled with the results. Thanks for putting together such a fun program!

  31. Lindsey on August 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Is that book good? I used to love Emily Giffin but her last book was a real downer!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:05 am

      it’s amazing so far. yeah the last one wasn’t my fave either

  32. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on August 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Great ideas! I’ve been really wanting to have an Olympics party – I need to get on that before it’s too late!

  33. Naomi on August 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I am already on top of it this month. I bought some new workout sneaks today. They are black, hot pink, and neon yellow. Woohoo! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:05 am

      do you have a link?!

  34. Rachel C on August 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I love your 10 things! It’s such a wonderful way to improve the month. I love how each item is fairly small and simple to complete, but combined they make a huge improvement to the month. I’ve already started on the list — I’m planning a special date night for my husband’s birthday on the 30th and I’ve signed up to walk a 5K with my mom and aunt in October. I’ve completed several but this is their first. I’m excited to be a part of it. Now I just have to work on the other 8 items.

  35. Ali on August 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Do you have a secret for making strength training F-U-N?? I really have a hard time doing it consistently because it seems boring to me.

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2012 at 12:02 am

      i think that circuit training with no rest is a good way to go, with cardio blasts in there. if you keep moving the whole time, it’s harder to get bored

  36. Eucalya on August 2, 2012 at 7:28 am

    i really liked July’s calendar and i just discovered the August’s one: can’t wait to start!

  37. Shari on August 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Where We Belong is AMAZING. I love all her books, but this one is so special. I think I cried straight through the final two chapters. Emily had a book signing here on Tuesday and talked a lot about the story and also the movies (five out of her six novels have been optioned for film!). She is so genuine, down-to-earth, and sweet – definitely as nice as she is talented 🙂

  38. Jessi on August 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Hey Gina, I feel like I know you since I catch up on your blog almost daily.. weird I know 🙂 I started Crossfit a month & a half ago and I am seriously obsessed. I’ve always been a weights and strength girl, but wanted to step it up this summer and joined Crossfit – trust me, you will be super happy with your decision!

  39. britt on August 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    love these!! i already had several of these things in mind but you making an official to-do list out of it lights a fire in me to get it down on paper and get started. i have been meaning to buy emily giffin’s new book since it first came out, and i’m in the process of hunting down the perfect running shoes (i think i found ’em – asics gel neo 33 – supportive like the gel kayanos but more fun because they’re NEON!!). my husband and i will be starting to train for our first race together this month and i’m super excited. we have been doing insanity together and we have SO MUCH FUN! hope you have an amazing august 🙂

  40. Lilly on August 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    what a very inspirational post! i like the getting the whole getting new workout gear — i think i own more workout gear than anything else and i love it!

  41. Bek @ Crave on August 4, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I’ve got a race tomorrow with the bf! And I always love an excuse to get some more workout gear 😉 Haha. You don’t have to tell me twice!

  42. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy on August 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I’ve been meaning to download ‘Where We Belong’ on my Nook — thanks for reminding me!

  43. sarah on August 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Only halfway through August and I’ve almost done everything on the list! I just got back from my honeymoon (counts as date night right?) and am catching up on your posts I missed. Name change is changing something and having to donate old treasures to make room for the new is like a double act of Kindness! I’m starting to LOVE August!

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