10 ways to make August Astonishing

Are we really heading into August?! As much as I’d like to say that I’m so excited for boots and sweaters, that’s still a few months away from us πŸ˜‰ Even so, August has an almost-fall feel as students head back to school, Halloween decorations start to adorn store shelves (let’s be real, Hobby Lobby is on the Christmas bandwagon ALREADY) and we head into football season. (Roll tide!)

Here are some ways to make August an even more astonishing month:

Fruit salad

1) Have an apple a day, or a bowl of fresh fruit, in lieu of your usual snacks or before a meal. It’s a great chance to enjoy summer produce while it’s still here while getting a nutrient and energy boost. I’ll be enjoying my share of local peaches until the supply is long time.

2) Get next year’s swimsuits on super sale. I usually shop for swimsuits in the early fall because everything is marked down. Victoria’s Secret also has a habit of selling the same swimsuits year after year, so the ones I get from semi-annual sale don’t feel dated when I bring them out the following summer. When I went to Dillard’s last weekend, all the suits were marked down plus an additional 40% off. I definitely need to go back!

Pool  1 of 1

3) Make a spa date with your partner or girlfriends. Couples massages are so romantic, and it’s also fun to plan a relaxing spa day with the girls. I’ve always been a massage fan, but I’m loving facials lately. I think I’ll treat myself to one this month πŸ™‚

Photo 57 1

4) Streamline something that’s been cluttering your life. I’m always frantically leaving for work in the morning, since I make Livi’s breakfast, my breakfast to-go, and pack up my 1476 work outfits and coffee before heading out the door. Something that has helped a lot is packing everything I possible can the night before. My Zumba, teaching, pool, and weight room uniforms are ready to go along with shower stuff and any lunch foods/snacks.I’ll get dressed and start making breakfast before noodle wakes up. With how much I do to be “kinda prepared,” there are some things I can do to be more efficient with my time, streamlining my to-dos.

Work snacks  1 of 1 3

5) Listen to something inspirational. Whether you’re spiritual, religious, or just looking for some extra inspiration/motivation, CDs and podcasts are a fabulous option to put a spring in your step. I love Brian Tracy’s CDs and also listen to The Daily Boost podcast. I find that dusting these things off helps me to remain mindful of my goals and take steps to achieve them each day. If you have any audio CDs or podcasts you love for motivation/inspiration, please hit me up in the comments section!

Kindle and wine  1 of 1

6) On the same note, I’d love to hear what you’re reading! I’m still reading Gone Girl -it’s been slow-moving for me- but am excited to hear some of your ideas for what to download next. Maybe we can have another Fitnessista book club? (This means we all read the same book, drink wine and talk about other things when it’s over)

7) Amp up your breakfast routine. Assess the way you start the day and decide if it’s providing enough energy and nutrients to sustain you through the morning. I do well with high-protein, moderate carb and fat breakfasts. Some of my favorites: egg burritos (I’ve been adding turkey bacon lately and love it), breakfast cookies, chia pudding and breakfast cookie cereal.

Bfast  1 of 1 6

8) Plan a little getaway with some friends or someone you love. I think we have a girls’ trip on the horizon and I’m so excited as it can be more interesting to coordinate when you all have kiddos/jobs/families/all the things. We have another extra special trip coming up, too — it’s going to be incredible.

9) Start training for fall fitness goals. Even though I got out there and ran last week, my half marathon training officially begins this Sunday. As usual, I’m just going to run one long run each week -maybe a HIIT session during the week- so I don’t overtrain with my teaching schedule. It’s worked well for me in the past, and hopefully a new PR will be mine πŸ™‚


10) Follow the August workout calendar! It will be up tomorrow and will start on Sunday. The calendar will include the usual mix of HIIT, strength, steady state and flexibility; please let me know if there’s anything else you want to see.

Here’s to a healthy, happy and ASTONISHING month!



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  1. Amanda on August 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

    You’re the best, always so inspirational and uplifting πŸ™‚

  2. Ashley Figur on August 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I really want to try reading something inspirational before I start my day. I was in the habit of doing this for a while and it really made a difference in my day πŸ™‚ I’m currently reading the 5 Languages of Love (so good) and The Okinawa Program, which talks about one of the healthiest cultures on the planet–their diet, spirituality, social life and exercise. The majority of the Okinawans live into their hundreds! I think you would love it! I would love a Fitnessista book club.

  3. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on August 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Wow, did July just fly!

    These are all such awesome ideas for making August a great month! I really want to do a 10k, so I’m going to be working on running more this month.

    • Tom T. on August 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      I too would like to run a race. I have been running outside all summer while it has been nice. I need a goal to train for now. I just need to pick one and sign up.

  4. Jackie on August 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Love this, what a great reminder to stop and smell the roses! I can’t wait to see the calendar!

  5. Britt on August 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I love the idea of a Fitnessista book club! I just booked a staycation for my mom and I…can’t wait to lounge by the pool with some sangria!

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      that sounds lovely- enjoy!!

  6. Lisa on August 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

    It’s so weird that July is over. I kind of already feel like there’s a crispness in the air – but that’s fine – I love Fall.
    Great list of things to get done in August.
    I like the idea of a spa date – a lot!
    And currently I’m reading Game of thrones. So good!

  7. Lizzie on August 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I just finished Shauna Niequist’s first two books, Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. Have you read them?? If not, you MUST – I think you will LOVE them. They’re a wonderful mix of great stories and noodly-yoga/spa happy feeling heartwarming words.

  8. Kasey Shuler @ Well of Health on August 1, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Oo grabbing swimsuits on sale now is a must! I’m reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. Makes me laugh out loud in public places. And Roll Tide?! No sirree I am a UGA alum! Either way, go SEC! πŸ™‚
    Excited to see your August calendar!

  9. Ksenija @ Health Ninja on August 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Uuuh, I love book clubs. Knowing that other people read the same thing is just so much fun. My guilty pleasure is everything Nora Roberts – so it does not hold a lot content for discussion πŸ™‚ I just recently finished Trail of Crumbs by Kim SunΓ©e, captivating and downloaded Hanif Kureishi – Something To Tell You (Amazon Kindle Summer Sale), there is also Carlos Ruiz ZafΓ³n – Marina waiting in my bookshelf.

  10. Sarah @ Yogi in Action on August 1, 2013 at 11:47 am

    It blows my mind that it is August! How did this happen?

    Love the list of 10 ways to make August astonishing (and love the alliteration).

  11. Elizabeth M. on August 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I love the book club idea, any excuse to drink and read is fine by me. I always love August because my birthday is the 31, and I attempt to celebrate it as long as possible, but for some reason this year I am struggling with being another year older πŸ™ so, wine and reading it is! haha.

    I am reading The Last Camellia by Sara Jio right now.

  12. Jenna on August 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Great tips, Gina.

    I must admit that I started reading Gone Girl but only reached up to about page 70 and I’ve given up. I just didn’t like either of the main characters and therefore didn’t give a stuff what happened to them. Such a shame.

    I’m now reading Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher – enjoying it a lot more. πŸ™‚


  13. Megan on August 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I just started reading The Hormone Cure — it’s been a really good read and the way hormones affect our bodies is absolutely fascinating. Plus, I love that it’s backed by proven trials and supports a whole and clean living lifestyle. Can’t wait to get deeper into it!

  14. Ashley on August 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Great ideas! I just got Gone Girl and am planning to start it as soon as I have a moment to chill, we should totally do a book club!

  15. Ashley Smith on August 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Are you still able to find the giant chocolate zicos!?!? TJ’s stopped selling them by me so I’m buying massive amount of the smaller bottles. It’s been pretty sad for me lately.

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      yes, trader joe’s!

  16. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on August 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    August is my favorite month to buy bathing suits. With clearance prices Victorias Secret is sometimes even cheaper than Target.

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      so true!!!

  17. Haley @ Cupcakes and Sunshine on August 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I love these tips! And those raspberries look so good! I like the spa idea myself! I may have to get grouponing! (:

  18. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on August 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Great ideas! I chuckled a little when I saw your post title because I have a blog post drafted to publish tonight about 10 ways to finish summer with a bang. Great minds think alike?! Yes!

  19. Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food on August 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    What a great list! I love summer, but fall in VA is just too awesome not to get excited about it, so I’m definitely ready for sweaters, football season, and pumpkin everything. Gone Girl really picks up, so stick with it! Her other books are pretty good too.

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      give me ALL THE PUMPKIN. haha

  20. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on August 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I think a spa day sounds like an astonishing idea!

  21. Karissa on August 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Love the book club idea!! πŸ™‚ I seriously look forward to these beginning of the month posts!

  22. Anna J on August 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I also can’t believe its already August!! I love your list of things to do, already planning a girls weekend in NYC at the end of the month πŸ™‚

  23. Kristen on August 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I can’t believe August already. This has been a rough year for me with work (my first full year of working full time out of college), and I’ve found that I’ve had to work some pretty late hours. The only time i’ve really gotten outside has been walking to and from my car and running 2 or 3 times a week (i guess that’s pretty good but I want more!) So this month, my goal is to get outside and enjoy the weather before its gone! Wisconsin summer’s go pretty quickly!

    I would love a fitnessista book club!

    You are such an inspiration. So uplifting and always positive. I am at a very different spot in my life as you, but the way you live is such an inspiration to how I aspire to live.

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      wow, thank you so much kristen. such a wonderful compliment to receive. sending lots of love to you! <3

  24. Vanessa De La Rosa on August 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Lovely list! I’m definitely feeling inspired, especially to buy some reduced-price swimsuits. πŸ™‚

  25. Becky @ Olives n Wine on August 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    What a great list! I am in desperate need of a spa date with my girlfriends or husband πŸ™‚

  26. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on August 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Such great ideas πŸ™‚ I’ve really been working on how I start my days, not just in terms of breakfast, but with making sure that I have some quiet time to think about where I want my day to go and what I want to accomplish. I’ve also been journalling in the morning and writing my goals down, which is something that I used to think was so simple and wouldn’t make any difference, but it’s really surprising how powerful it can be. Here’s to an amazing August πŸ™‚

  27. Tracy on August 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Yes to the book club!

    Gone Girl was slow for me too…just not my kind of book. I just finished And the Mountains Echoed which you already read, right? Did you like? I thought it was very good.

    Have you read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green? OMG so good. Very very sad but a must read!

  28. Emily @ The Good Era on August 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Yes to the book club! With grad school starting in a few weeks, I want to get in as much “fun” reading as I can this month.

    I think I my just have to talk my hubby into a massage before school starts! πŸ™‚

  29. Andrea @ The Fit Scoop on August 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I recommend the book The Cuckoo’s Calling. It’s the new J.K. Rowling book (though its under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith). It’s really good!

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      i’ve heard amazing things about it! glad to hear you liked it

  30. Lucie@FitSwissChick on August 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Love the list!! I started to add a drybrushing session (5minutes) in the morning after my meditation. It feels so,so good and I will continue doing it!! Also, I am a huge fan preparing everything the night before and then having a quieter morning.
    I am going to buy a new Yoga membership in August in my favorite studio. Can not wait!!

  31. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on August 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    OMG, I just had my first legit facial a few days before our wedding at a local Aveda salon and it was A-mazing. I used to think that hands down, massages were the best spa treatment, but I’m a convert. I am already planning my next facial appointment. So worth it and my skin looked great afterward.

  32. Katie on August 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I just finished reading “Wonder” and it was so incredibly good! I believe it’s a young adult novel, but the story is simply beautiful and inspiring (and well written!). And, not to mention the main characters name is August, so it’s just perfect timing! πŸ™‚

    • Cady on August 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      I just read that book this summer and absolutely loved it! Such a powerful message.

  33. Kailey on August 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I read this and all I could think of was “Astonishing” from Little Women (the musical). Theatre nerd alert.

    You were the one who got me into Sarah Jio’s books, and I have been wanting to read her newest, The Last Camellia. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      i hope you read it! a little darker than the others, but i loved it

  34. Lauren on August 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I just finished a new book and have told EVERYONE about it, it was that good. It’s called Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. It is such a captivating story… I couldn’t put it down.

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      i’ll check it out! haven’t heard of this one yet

  35. Amy on August 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I love reading the ways to make a month even better Gina!

    Book—-have you read or heard about Wild by Cheryl Strayed? It is so good—-true story of a young woman that decided to walk along the Pacific Crest Trail—from CA to WA…….without training or really knowing what she’s in for—-I’m in the middle of it and it’s fascinating.

    I have a girlfriend getaway planned—-for September, going to Las Vegas for the first time with a pal………yay!

    Always fun to hear about your little noodle…………she is quite the lucky kid!

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      yes, but i haven’t read that one yet!
      thank you, we’re very lucky to have her πŸ™‚

  36. CourtStar @ StarSystemz on August 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I am listening to Gabby B’s May Cause Miracles, its been a blessing in disguise for me! I have been trying to make the time to do the exercises buts its been difficult! Sometimes just listening to her makes my day that much brighter πŸ™‚ Thank you for showcasing some fun stuff πŸ™‚ LOVE + Shine CourtStar

  37. Liz on August 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I love the breakfast tip! So smart. No matter what I eat in the morning, I’m ALWAYS starving again by 9:30 am. No idea how to fix it…I’ve tried every possible breakfast.

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      do you eat the same thing or change it up?

      • Liz on August 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm

        Change it up. Tried every combination of fats, proteins, carbs, etc. Nothing has any staying power!

  38. Traci B on August 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I just finished Revenge Wears Prada. It’s a sequel of sorts to The Devil Wears Prada. I liked it a lot.

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      ohh i haven’t heard of that yet! same author, i assume?

  39. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance on August 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve been looking for a great book to read all summer, but now with school coming up the last week of August, the only books I’ll be reading are school-related.

  40. Carley @ Optimistic Health on August 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    um yes yes yes to all of these! School starts but I can do some fun stuff til then eh?!

    • Fitnessista on August 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      definitely πŸ™‚

  41. Claire @ Health Nut Claire on August 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I’m a student at UA and I work for the sports nutritionist! Roll Tide!! (And since my cousin/brother from another mother is LSU’s starting QB, Geaux Tigers!!) Love this post btw!! Thanks for sharing! I’m reading Pride and Prejudice and The Happiness Project. πŸ˜€

  42. Stephanie on August 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I love the idea of a fitnessista book club! I love to read and would definitely participate!

  43. Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome on August 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Such great ideas! Especially the girls weekend! It took me awhile to get through Gone Girl too but I liked it. Didn’t love it but liked it. I just finished Wild and thought it was pretty good. Slow moving too but good. I’m also reading the Paleo Coach and planning to re-read It Starts With Food before hopefully jumping into the Whole 30!

  44. Kristen on August 2, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I think August will be the best month yet for me this year.
    β€’ hubby’s bday month
    β€’ our first beach vacation next week with our 1 1/2 yr old!!! He’s so animated. I can’t wait to see him on the beach.
    β€’ I’m finally finding finding my groove in my new job
    β€’ I’ve found a nice rhythm in my exercise routine. I used to stress that I couldn’t work out 5 or 6 days a week. Now I only get in about 3 days a week, I just make it count! Much more do-able than 6 days a week.
    β€’ plus the weather here in TN is usually pretty nice in Aug and Sept leading into Fall.

    Life is good. πŸ™‚

  45. Becca on August 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I say yes to the Fitnessista Book Club!

  46. Karen Morse on August 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    So many great tips! I love the idea of a girl’s trip and/or spa day. It does always feel so refreshing to spend a day away from the usual hanging with your best girls!

    I read Gone Girl to the end, but I did feel like it took me longer than most. If you like mysteries (and if you liked the Dragon Tattoo series) try another Swedish author Henning Mankell, particularly the Kurt Wallendar series. Make sure to read them in order (I didn’t start out doing that, and it got a bit confusing!)

    You might always want to take a gander at your Z-LIFE magazine (shameless plug alert!) – I wrote this issue’s Nutrition Q&A, and you can expect to see another from Yours Truly in the next issue!!

    I will check out the Daily Boost podcast — sounds great! I put together a list of awesome motivational quotes from great leaders & posted it up on the blog yesterday. Take a peek — these are good ones :-))


    Have a great weekend!!

  47. Rebecca on August 3, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Ooooh! I love your workouts! Excited for the new august workout!

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