10 ways to make it a knock-out November

[Thank you, Jenn B for the title help!]

August was awesome, September was stellar, October was outstanding, and now we’re onto November, which is one of my favorite months.

I <3 November. Not only because it’s the beginning of the holiday season and my birthday month (which has become less of a big deal over the years), but also because it’s my date-aversary with the Pilot and the official time in Tucson when the weather stops flirting with fall and finally cools down for good. As much as I adore the blazing hot desert summers, the winter here is pretty incredible.

tucson 142

So I put together a little list of fun things to do this month, to make November even more of a knock-out than it already is 🙂 Please feel free to join me, or create your own list.


1. Be thankful. With American Thanksgiving, we take time that day to express our gratitude for whatever it is that we’re thankful for. What about the other 364 days in the years? I’m going to take the entire month to be even more mindful of all of the blessings in my life and write one down each day- I’ll post them at the end of the month. [Usually while I’m driving, I take time each day to think about what I’m thankful for, but I’m excited to write them down and see everything on paper]


2. Take a little road trip. With the approaching holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzies and to-dos, and then, before you know it, it’s mid-January. The Pilot and I are taking a little road trip to San Diego in a couple of weeks to spend some quality time together before the holiday craziness and constant events go into motion.


3. Surprise someone with a homemade treat. It can be a heartfelt and simple way to say “thank you” to a friend, neighbor, or family member and can really brighten someone’s day. I think I’ll definitely be making some kind of treat in the next couple of weeks to take to work with me.

brownies (3)

4. Take another look in your closet,and as you begin to purchase new fall and winter gear, donate your cold weather clothes that you will no longer be wearing. There are a lot of people in need of warm clothes this season, and it’s a great time of the year to donate toasty coats, pants and jackets.

5. Make s’mores… just because I think it’s good weather for s’mores. [But when isn’t?] If you have dietary restrictions, they make gluten-free graham crackers (or you can make your own!), and vegetarian marshmallows (some brands contain gelatin).

There is nothing in the world like melty chocolate atop a roasted ‘mallow:


6. Going to a holiday party or event? Make a healthy, scrumptious appetizer to take with you. You know, the kind that people won’t know is good for them. Some of my faves: sweet potato and goat cheese rounds with chives, mini caprese stacks, stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, sundried tomato hummus with crudités and crackers. But, don’t forget to…


7. Indulge a little. Treatstravaganza has officially begun, and while it’s important to try and stick to a normal routine, don’t forget to enjoy at least one special treat that you really love. If you’re not a dessert-treat person (I’ll still be your friend, I just don’t understand), treat yourself to a massage, pedicure or facial. Spaaaaahhhhhhhhh 😀


8. Take a hot yoga class! [For me! Please!] Just don’t forget to bring dry clothes and a hoodie or jacket for afterwards. Bikram and Baptiste power yoga are my faves.


9. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or 5k, as a fun way to get in an early morning workout on Thanksgiving. No races near you? Take a morning or in-between-meal walk.The last Turkey Trot that I did here in Tucson (I’ve done a couple in Valdosta since then) was a European-style course, and included obstacles. Running through two rivers, jumping over haystacks, climbing a hill, jumping over a fire pit (!), all in sprinkling rain. It was my slowest, and most fun, 5k ever. The Pilot said that he’s going to run it this year 🙂

10. Plan a date with someone you love- friend, neighbor, partner, little cousin, cat, whatever. When there is an influx of group gatherings, it can be a little more challenging to spend one-on-one time with people. Set a night aside to see a movie or have dinner with someone you’d like to spend some quality time with.

How are you going to make it a knock-out November? What fitness goals have you set for this month?

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  1. Kate on November 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    love these tips and the idea of writing down what you are thankful for everyday!

  2. Mimi on November 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Another great list! In fact, I just texted my friend to see is she’d be up for taking a Bikram class with me soon!

    I also love how you refer to “date-aversary.” Cute!

  3. Laury @ thefitnessdish on November 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Love your tips!!!

    I am taking my first hot power yoga class this weekend…so nervous! It’s been a while since I’ve done Vinyasa or power yoga and my first time doing anything HOT!

    Love the idea of treating yourself to a massage. Haven’t gotten any since I was pregnant [it was necessary to treat myself often then]

    happy birthday month!

  4. Destini on November 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I like to call November No-November. To remind myself to always say yes and to keep with my goals. I always wish I could experience an American Thanksgiving (i’m Canadian). It just always seems like such a bigger deal in the states then our October Thanksgiving!

    Fitness goals for myself this month is to get back in a regular plan, since my wedding 5 weeks ago…I have been having quite the gym honeymoon. I have gone once a week. But back to my 3 days + one day for a class. Now with my zumba classes i just bought, I think those will be a great filler.

  5. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on November 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    This month, I’ll be preparing to make a move. I’m totally excited — definitely a knock-out November!

  6. Caitlin on November 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I will be running a 4 mile race on Thanksgiving day! I also am just hoping to make time to keep active, and also allow myself some treats without feeling too guilty.

  7. Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine on November 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Love these posts, Gina!

    I especially like the idea of writing down each day what you’re thankful for. 🙂

  8. Lauren A. on November 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I’m going to spend more time with my family, have some friends over for dinner, and make an effort to hang out with a friend I don’t always hang out with.

    As for fitness goals, I want to continue on the serious strength training path I’m on right now and work on becoming a faster runner.

  9. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com on November 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I want to do everything on your list – including making a pie! I’ve never made one before – that way, I can get into the spirit of thanksgiving!

    Does store-bought crust cut it as “making a pie”? 😉

    Love you 🙂

  10. kathleen @ the daily crumb on November 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    love this list and have already gotten started!! i signed up for a turkey trot thanksgiving day and have started brining my blog recipe baked goods to our neighbors… the kids love it 🙂

  11. Ali @ Peaches and Football on November 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    For me I’m just going to try and manage a healthy balance between the festivities and foods I love with trying to stay healthy, active, and NOT put on any holiday weight!!

  12. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on November 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Oooh I did #3 today! And I agree, it is a good month for being thankful. I just downloaded the ThankfulFor app for my iPhone, and it lets you contribute things you’re thankful for, as well as see the contributions of others. It’s a great reminder not to take things for granted. 🙂

  13. Erin on November 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I have been contemplating signing up for my local Turkey Trot, and this just pushed me over the edge! I’m not a runner at all, but it’ll be a good motivator for me to up my game over the next couple of weeks. And it’ll be something fun to do with my husband before we start eating our way through family gatherings!

  14. kara on November 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    i love #1. what makes it even worse is that in recent years (including this one right now) advertisers have basically started completely ignoring Thanksgiving. i actually just posted on facebook about this yesterday, after seeing one too many christmas commercials already. it made me really sad to think that we could totally skip over such a wonderful holiday.. and one that isn’t religious in nature, so so many people can celebrate together. but very true, we should recognize how lucky we are and be thankful for that often.

    also, i LOVE smores. i will make one over my gas stovetop just to have one, though i’ve heard that wrapping them up in foil and sticking them in the oven for a few works as well.. and maybe less messy? but in all honesty, the mess is half the reason to eat em!!

  15. Ashley @ Good Taste Healthy Me on November 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    What a great list! I love it. I am so thankful for so many things. I already am itching to decorate for Christmas though….which is slightly crazy!

  16. Allison on November 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    i’ve got a fitness goal of getting back into running; to start my training.
    Also, I am going to clean up my diet like carazy this month, once i find out all my allergens this week.

  17. Katie on November 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    My family and I are going to my parents house in South Carolina for Thanksgiving and plan on golfing 9 holes T-giving morning (well my dad and bro will, my mom and I will drive the golf carts and drink extra spicy bloody marys). 😉

    It’s also my boyfriends and my 3-year anniversary this month. We are planning a dinner at the Melting Pot and can’t wait to dig in to cheese and chocolate (and a bottle of wine) goodness. 🙂

  18. Sandy on November 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    My boyfriend and I are going on a little road trip for a few days before Thanksgiving. It is pretty close, just a few hours away and like you said, just a nice way to spend some time together before all the family stuff starts. 🙂

  19. Ali on November 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Love these little tips! I am going to join you in being thankful for something everyday and writing it down. I am sure that My Love and I will take a little trip somewhere too! I am sticking with P90X this month for my fitness, but I also bought a yoga pass, so that will be happening a tonne more as well! Stoked!!

  20. Janine @ ThePurpleGiraffe on November 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Great post!
    I’ve already got my Turkey Trot on the calendar, 9am on Thanksgiving Day! I’m also planning on running twice a week outdoors between now and then as my November goal, and with Daylight Savings Time coming to an end on Sunday, I’m hoping that means morning runs will have some daylight!
    I’m focusing on portion control during these holidays… it’s so easy to chug a few egg nogs and enjoy a few too many desserts.
    Happy November everyone~!

  21. Megan on November 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Or throw the Holiday Party yourself! We did last year and it was so much fun. Our wheat intolerance and nut allergy friends were able to come and stuff their faces (we’re a gluten free family). Half of it was raw, I don’t think anyone really even thought about it. It was SO COOL and we’ve had so many people ask if we’re doing it again. Heck. Yes. Great post!

  22. Anna @ On Anna's Plate on November 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I love November– it’s the start of so much fun!!! And now that we’re not living in the Northeast anymore, I no longer have to think of it as the beginning of six months of snow…which really used to bring me down, ha!

  23. chelsea on November 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I’m already signed up for a 10k turkey trot on thanksgiving =D I’m so excited! It’ll be my first thanksgiving race haha.

    As for doing a bikram class it’s been FOREVER since I have so I’m adding that to my goals as well as make more room for my best-friend <3

  24. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on November 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I have a coupon for a month of free bikram yoga. I REALLY need to do it. lol. my body is craving the yoga.

  25. Elise on November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Mmm. I’m totally making s’mores this month with my favorite alternative ingredient: dark chocolate with chilies! Makes s’mores even that much more delish!

  26. Amanda on November 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I really, really need to make s’mores this month. I’ve been thinking about them for weeks! haha

    I love the idea of writing down something you’re thankful for each day. Tina over at Carrots N’ Cake is doing something similar. Taking a moment to reflect on this is such a nice way to start my day.

    I’ve been really into spinning lately and am excited to up the ante a bit in November and commit to 2-3 classes a week. 🙂

  27. Jen @familyfoodfitnessandfun on November 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I love this list! I always make a homemade treat for my neighbors…lets just say they love me 😉 I have yet to try yoga, but I hear great things about it. Maybe I should add this to my Nov. list!

  28. Tessa @ Amazing Asset on November 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Great list Gina 🙂 I like that you had a point to indulge a little… I get too restrictive with my diet sometimes and that is just not good!

  29. Odette on November 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Love all of the ideas on the list!!

    Don’t forge to visit The Mission in San Diego, I know you’d love it:


    They have gluten free options and everything is absolutely delicious. If you decide to go, make sure you go with time to spare in line because there is always one.

    Also would you be interested to meeting with readers? I live in SD and I would love to meet you for lunch or something 🙂

  30. Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! on November 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I love this post! I just signed up for my first ever running event – the turkey trot 8k! I couldn’t be more excited.

  31. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on November 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    fitness goals = make sure I get my runs done when it’s still light out! the days are getting shorter and so I have to plan my day a bit better to enjoy the last bit of daylight.

    love your goals. and your tips, appetizers, indulge a little, the road trip!! yay for San Diego 🙂

  32. Emily on November 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Love your knock out November goals! I’ll definitely be borrowing some! I plan to journal a “Be Thankful” list every day. I also look forward to hitting the gym more because of the cooling temperatures. And of course, enjoying family time. ‘Tis the season!

  33. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on November 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Great list! 🙂 This month I want to make some healthy comfort food dinners, try to make it to some 7 am spin classes, and do a homemade pizza night with my roommate!

  34. Hillary on November 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I’m starting my half marathon training this month, so that’s definitely my fitness goal. I’d also like to set aside some serious “me-time.” My grad semester is winding down and work is crazy, so I think I’ll need a manicure or something to keep me sane!

  35. River on November 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Love your #10 including a cat! haha. Totally doing that one.

  36. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on November 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    You share a birthday month with me, my dad, and my grandma! It’s my favorite month and I always try to make it a knock-out month!! 😀

  37. Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] on November 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    wonderful list – now i’m craving a gooey s’more, mmm!

  38. kelly on November 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Random question for you here. I’m pretty overweight and in bad shape. I am SO intimidated by Yoga. Are most Yoga classes appropriate for someone like me?

  39. Alyse on November 2, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Love this list! I just knocked out #9 this morning…watch out, Piedmont Turkey Trot, here I come!

  40. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 2, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I love this list! Josh and I are celebrating our first date-aversary this November and I am so excited for it! And mmm now I want smores!

  41. Caroline on November 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    This is a great list! I’m for sure going to be doing some Bikram, and I’m signed up for a Turkey Trot (the Buffalo one is the longest continuously run road race in North America!). I like the idea of surprising someone with a treat too- I brought one of the vendors at the farmers market cookies last week, and he was so pleased that I want to do something like that again.

  42. Heather on November 2, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I’ve noticed a lot of people are posting at least one thing they are thankful for each day for this month, whether it be in blogs or on facebook. I think it’s such a great idea! I recently created a list of 30 things to do before I’m 30 and went online for some inspiration. One of the things I found on a list was to write down 5 things you’re thankful for, every day, for an entire year. I added it to my list and started in October. Even when I’ve had a really crappy day, I still sit down and write 5 things I’m thankful for. It’s awesome what it does for a persons attitude 🙂

  43. Jen @ luck&funny on November 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    This year will be my first Turkey Trot, if I can find one nearby. I always thought that sounded like fun.

  44. Heather @ For the Love of Kale on November 3, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Love your guest post…especially the kale part. 😉

  45. Brooke @ sweats & sweets on November 3, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I love your list! Whats funny is I’ve done one and will do another. I had my first Bikram yoga class yesterday and I am hooked. It felt so good to just flow in the positions. Second I’m doing our local Turkey Trot here in Savannah!

  46. Amanda on November 3, 2011 at 8:28 am

    One of my goals was to complete one of your workouts and I did the October workout last night. LOVED IT!

    • Fitnessista on November 3, 2011 at 11:18 am

      i’m so glad you liked it!

  47. Felicia on November 3, 2011 at 10:14 am

    its my birthday month too, and i hateee making a big deal out of it. i avoid telling people.. haha. great post!

    • Fitnessista on November 3, 2011 at 11:18 am

      i HATE being sang “happy birthday” – it embarrasses me so much! haha

  48. Anna @ The Guiltless Life on November 3, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I just put out a post with my November goals today! It’s a great activity to do each month to keep yourself on track.

    And yes, I love hot yoga!

  49. RachelG on November 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Reading my favorite blog in my Paris apartment on vacation with my boyfriend…that’s how I’m starting to make November special! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm


  50. Cherbear on November 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Great ideas, Gina! Thanks for inspiring me!

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