12/15: Meals and fitness for the week

Hi friends <3 Happy Sunday! Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.

For us, it’s been a nice mix of events and low-key time with the family:

Walking bell

hanging out at nana’s house; squadron Christmas party; nutcracker with my mom, aunt, cousins, Meg, Mik and nana; and the kid’s squadron party later today. I took an amazing yoga class and am just trying to get back in the swing of things.

Yoga mats

I’m also excited to prep some food for the week using our farm box ingredients. After a bit of a hiatus, I figured the farm box would be an easy way for us to get more veggies and for Livi to try some new things. She always has a way of surprising me… some of the things I think she’ll love, she spits out, and others (like limes and beets) she can’t get enough. It’s fun to see her personal tastes develop. I let her try everything- if she likes it, great, if she doesn’t, at least she got the chance to try it.

Here’s what we got this week:

-Sweet potatoes


-Red potatoes


-Chard (my fave!!! especially in this salad)

Chard  1 of 1



I don’t know why I don’t get the farm box more often, because I always feel more motivated to make dinner (instead of going to hot bar… again), and try new recipes.

Here’s what’s on the tentative dinner plan this week:

-Pan fried white fish with lemon and pomegranate, roasted potatoes, salad

-Homemade pho (any tips??)

Slow cooker turkey meatballs with zucchini pasta

Chicken, butternut squash and quinoa stew


-Wash and chop fruits and veggies

-Make Paleo bread

-Make cranberry amazeballs

-Make quinoa muffins for Liv (freeze)

I’ve been strong on the salad bandwagon for about a week now, and am having a lot of fun including mixes of the usual suspects: some kind of squash, dried fruit, nuts, goat cheese and balsamic is always a winning combo πŸ˜‰

Salad  1 of 1

As far as the fitness plan goes, I finally found out what is going on with my knee. My MRI was last Thursday, and Friday the flight doc called to go over the results. She said that my muscles, ligaments, everything looked good. However, there’s something called the “Hoffa’s fat pad” (aka infapatellar fat pad) which is located under and behind the patella bone. Mine was swollen. She wasn’t sure what that meant and said she’d research it and call me back.. Sooooo I consulted Doctor Google as well, and this fat pad is not necessary -it can be surgically removed if it’s becoming pinched or swollen- but complications from that usually occur from trauma to the knee (when I fell down the stairs) and/or overuse (when I was running 8+ miles on Saturday and then teaching all day).Β 

From this website:

“Treatment of this condition is normally by conservative methods such as:

  • Rest and avoiding aggravating activities – stop running.
  • Ice or cryotherapy to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy modalities such as ultrasound and TENS.
  • Muscle strengthening exercises to maintain the strength and fitness of the surrounding muscle groups
  • Taping the patella may help. One method involves taping the upper surface of the patella to allow more space for the structures beneath the lower surfaces i.e. the fat pad.Β  This leads to less stress and impingement on the fat pad.

If conservative treatment does not work then surgery may be advised. This may involve the complete or partial removal of the fat pad itself.”

It’s interesting because taping my knee with KT tape has helped immensely, and it also explains why running is the only thing that has felt painful and has become worse since the fall. Even though the decision to drop out of my half marathon was a tough one, I’m positive now that I made the right choice. Hopefully the doc will get me referred out to a sports ortho doctor and physical therapy. Fingers crossed that will help <3

Tentative fitness plan:

Sunday: HIIT & Steady

Monday: Total body circuit + easy spin

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: Spin and strength

Friday: Steady state

Saturday: Yoga

If you’re looking for some fitness ideas this week, be sure to check your email tomorrow morning if you’re a newsletter subscriber. I put together a week of workouts for you, along with some of my favorite healthy holiday cocktails πŸ™‚ If you’re not subscribed yet, all you have to do is leave a comment and click the box below the comment box indicating you’d like to subscribe.

Are you planning and prepping today? What’s on the menu?

Anyone who has had issues with their Hoffa’s fat pad? (<–sounds like the weirdest thing ever haha)



Ps. Congrats to all of the winners for week two of 10 Days of Giveaways!

I sent out all of the winners’ emails last night, so please check your email if you think you’re a winner πŸ™‚ I messed up the Stitch Fix end time -accidentally put in tonight at midnight- so those winners will be announced tomorrow am.

My Yoga Pro

Anna S.Β 

Karissa A.



Jillian K.

Mason Bar

Michelle A.



For Two

Megan S.

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  1. Amy on December 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I’m glad the knee is nothing more serious. My husband just had a torn meniscus repaired and it actually wasn’t a bad recovery time. Have a great week!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      that’s good to know! they originally thought it was my meniscus, so i’m glad it seems to be less intense than that

  2. Leah on December 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Love healthy holiday drinks!

  3. Jenni on December 15, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Good luck with your knee. Commenting to sign up for the newsletter.

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      thanks! hope you enjoy it

  4. J on December 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Have you tried acupuncture for the knee? It can be really helpful for stuff like that.

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      no, and i have no idea why i haven’t thought to go. will definitely make an appt this week

  5. Mary Ellen on December 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Gina, how do I sign up for the newsletter? Thanks!

  6. Marisa on December 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Kinesio tape is amazing! I’ve used it for knee and back problems with running.

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      i can’t believe i just started using it.. it’s AMAZING

  7. zoe on December 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Hard to say about food prep, I’m leaving to fly home from college on thursday. While i want some healthy snacks prepared I’m not sure what I have time for today between studying and trying to estimate what i can eat in 5 days.

    I’m trying to make oatmeal bread… but it was REALLY sticky and didn’t rise well. I may have to do some last minute attempts at revival or trash it πŸ™

  8. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on December 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Congrats to all the winners! I am glad you finally somewhat figured out what was going on with your knee!

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss! It sounds like you had a great weekend filled with family. Sometimes that is better than anything else!

  9. Janice on December 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Can’t wait for you to share healthy holiday drinks!

  10. Amy on December 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Family can cure anything! I am signing up for the newsletter. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and I truly enjoy reading it!

  11. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on December 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Darn, I didn’t win! Crossing my fingers for the StitchFix win! πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the pho! I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet, even though Bon Apetit Magazine had a recipe several issues ago that I almost tried. Please post on how it goes!

  12. Shaina Anderson on December 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I have made that exact butternut squash/quinoa stew before – its AMAZING!! We’ve got veggie lasagna tonight, pasta w/ scallops, kale, sauteed peppers & onions tomorrow and fish tacos on Tuesday. Wednesday we fly to VA for Christmas!!! SO. Excited.

    I’m glad you figured out what’s going on with your knee! Hopefully conservative treatments do the trick. πŸ™‚ Lots of love to you and the family. You’re in our prayers. <3

  13. Emily h. on December 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I’m sorry for your family’s loss, Gina. Prayers and thoughts you you all, and also for your speedy recovery! Being active and having an injury is the pitts! Love seeing the alternative workouts you’ve come up with so you can still work out!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      thank you, emily <3

  14. Steffie on December 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and a joyous holiday season with your loved ones. Looking forward to getting your newsletters. Thanks so much!

  15. Ali a on December 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Would love some healthy holiday drink recipes!

  16. Danica @ It's Progression on December 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hope you and your family are doing alright <3

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      thank you <3

  17. Becky on December 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Glad you heard something about your knee. Mine been bothering me too and it hurts to run. Wondering what you’ve been doing for your HIIT and Steady as alternatives to running?

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      The spin bike! Love it πŸ™‚

  18. Kristen on December 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Good luck with your knee recovery.. Set backs are always a drag…good thing you can be active otherwise until your all healed. Thanks for all the inspiring blog posts!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      thank you for reading!

  19. Maria on December 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Subscribing! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm


  20. Carla on December 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I hope that you get easy treatment for your Hoffa’s fat pad and that it works for you. I’m surprised that you can do the HIIT. Then again, I’m surprised that most people can. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      it just depends what it is. i can still do shorter distance runs.. it the long ones that become painful

  21. christy on December 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Love to sign up for the newsletter!

  22. Steph on December 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Always love your workouts so I look forward to the newsletter!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      thank you- hope you enjoy it!

  23. andrea on December 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Love your hiit workouts and tabata strength video please keep them coming

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      thank you, andrea!

  24. Emily on December 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Chard! Just tried it the other week and its my new favorite green. I’ve been grabbing chard of the rainbow variety at TJs and if all else fails, at least my salad beasts look pretty. πŸ™‚ Slow cooker paleo pumpkin chili is my new recipe on the menu for this week. Other than that it’s just the usual wash, chop, cook, store… lots of veggies, grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs and I may play around with a new paleo bread/coffeecake recipe if I’m feeling ambitious. Enjoy your Sunday! ox

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      let me know how the pumpkin chili turns out!

  25. Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian on December 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I always find it inspiring to read other people’s fitness plans for the week. I know when I do it myself it helps keep me honest and choosing the right things!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      i think it’s helpful, too! πŸ™‚

  26. Jennifer on December 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I’d love to subscribe to your newsletter! Love your blog!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      thank you, jennifer!

  27. Kara on December 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Gina! I’m so sorry for your loss. May God bless and keep you and your family. On a lighter note, I’m new to your blog and LOVE it! I’ve done a couple of your HIIT workouts and really enjoy them. I’m primarily a runner and realize I need to change things up, but letting go of the compulsion to run and to not feel guilty if you don’t is difficult for me. My goal is to keep integrating some interval training and keep running a few days a week. Thanks for the motivation!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      thank you so much, kara
      i’m so glad you’re enjoying the workouts! xoxo

  28. Gretchen on December 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    No meal prep this week because my knee hurts! I don’t have the same injury, but my right knee has been sore for a few years. It is a result of abdominal surgery scar tissue pulling on my knee in a funny way. I’ve been doing cranial sacral and PT therapy to help. Swimming is also great for my knee (not your fav I know πŸ™‚ ) Hope PT helps your knee!!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      awww! hope you heal soon too!

  29. Jess on December 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I’m glad you know now what is wrong! At least it gives you something to work with. Don’t give up with the foods Livi rejects, re- introduce them again sporadically as kids change their minds! Sometimes kids have to see a food 10+ times before they’ll go for it. As long as you’re low key/ no pressure. Sounds like she is a great eater though! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      she is– i’m really lucky. she’ll pretty much try anything

  30. Wallis on December 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Excited to receive workouts via email!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      hope you enjoy!

  31. The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) on December 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    re: pho making i’ve done it a few times and there really isn’t a ‘quick’ way to capture all that flavor. the best thing i can recommend is to use the oxtail bones + spices in the slow cooker for the pho broth. then you skim the excess gelatin off the broth when it’s done cooking πŸ™‚ it is so flavorful! most all pho broth at restaurants is beef but then you choose the meat (chicken etc) and i’m not sure many people realize that, sorry veggies haha. but that’s where the flavor comes from—the oxtail bones!

    this is my go-to recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/09/the-food-lab-how-to-make-traditional-vietnamese-pho.html

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      yay, thank you! it’s simmering on the stove right now πŸ™‚

  32. Diane on December 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Hope your injury feels better soon!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      thank you!

  33. Jessica on December 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I would love your newsletter. I have to say that I love your blog and think you have such a great way of balancing fitness and life. I recently got married and lost about 6 pounds for the wedding – which about 2 came back from the honeymoon and Sunday football pizza eating! Gotta drop the last 6! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      awesome- thank you so much for reading!

  34. Karmen on December 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Yay for another edition of that newsletter! It was such a great reminder to keep me on track for the week. Keep them coming! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      i’m so happy you like them πŸ™‚

  35. Galex on December 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I agree with the above poster that the depth of traditional pho takes a while to come by. However, I love Steamy Kitchen’s Quick Pho (posted at Love and Olive Oil): http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2010/01/quick-vietnamese-chicken-pho.html

    The star anise really is the kicker. I like, too, that I can make choices about the quality of the stock, chicken, cilantro and bean sprouts that I normally wouldn’t be able to have control over.

  36. Katie @ Live Half Full on December 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm
  37. Kat on December 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Commenting for the newsletter β€” hope you feel better soon!

  38. Christie @ http://Kissesandkale.blogspot.com on December 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    That salad looks amazing! I’ll have to sign up for your newsletter! Here’s my plan for the week:

  39. Kelly on December 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I’m sooo jeally that you guys are taking a walk outside in short sleeves. It is 2 degrees here in MN and I chose not to walk my big dog today because it was soooo cold!!! As far as prep, I just made a huge crock pot of chili. I’ve been craving chili and bought it several times last week at work. I decided this week, I’m making my own! I hope to bring for lunch in several variations to work this week!!

  40. Amy Seifert on December 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I would love to receive your newsletter subscriptions! Thank you πŸ™‚

  41. Amy Seifert on December 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I guess it helps if I select the box LOL!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 11:23 pm


  42. Heather Baedke on December 15, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    I would love to get your emails:) thank you!!

  43. Michele on December 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I cooked chicken breasts, a spaghetti squash and creamed cauliflower (with greek yogurt instead of sour cream) for dinners during the week. Also cleaned and cut all my fresh fruits and veggies for snacks.


  44. LM on December 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Love your blog and would like to receive your newsletter. Thank you!

  45. Shauna on December 15, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    New reader here, love the blog!!!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      welcome to the blog! thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  46. Cassie on December 15, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I would love to subscribe to your newsletter! So glad to hear your knee isn’t too serious (or hopefully doesn’t end up needing surgery)! But hope you make a quick recovery πŸ™‚

  47. sandy on December 16, 2013 at 12:52 am

    gina, you should try acupuncture for your knee. it may help!

    • Fitnessista on December 16, 2013 at 1:02 am

      i definitely will- thank you!

  48. Kerry on December 16, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Please sign me up for your newsletter! I just ordered Soli Beat, perfect gift for my sister, super excited!

  49. Anne reardon on December 16, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Since you started the giveaways I’ve been having trouble accessing the blog. (Could be just me – or could be my computer!!) Each time I click on I get a message from shuang11.miandan.com telling me I’m the day’s lucky visitor and inviting me to click OK. I always click the delete cross but it still takes me to the and it’s impossible to get to your blog. The only way is to start all over again and hope for the best! Is anyone else having similar problems?

  50. Lucie@FitSwissChick on December 16, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Good luck with your knee!
    The salad looks amazing. Do you have a recipe for the dressing you use?

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