9/9: Meals and fitness for the week

Hi friends! Thank you so much for your beautiful comments about the Italy pictures I’ve posted. As you can imagine, it was the trip of a lifetime. I have a couple of recap posts coming up with some details of our adventures, where we stayed, and the food. Oh, the food! In Italy, we enjoyed some of the very best meals. The food, culture, people, sights, well, everything… incredible.

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After being in a foodie’s dreamland for the past week, I feel equally inspired and intimidated to get back in the kitchen. To be dramatic, I feel like everything I’ve known about food was taken away from me. I’ve always seasoned and sauced meal components to my heart’s delight, and recently experienced that sometimes the simplest things can be the most delicious. Many of the meals I enjoyed were not overly seasoned, but used high-quality ingredients; a splash of olive oil here, a small dash of pepper there, and plain grill marks went a long way. Even though I’m back in the states, I can’t help but think “Italian food for every meal!” but the kicker is, I have NO idea how to make the foods I enjoyed so much, and as much as I might try, they’ll probably never taste quite as amazing as they did while I was there. Instead, I’m excited to try some Gina-fied twists on some of the things I really loved, leave the ones that can’t be touched alone (pasta, pizza, gelato!), and enjoy getting back to some of the staples that I enjoy.

Ancient rome  1 of 1 5

In the spirit of using homegrown and local ingredients, I started our farm box up again this week. We have an eggplant, acorn squash, chives, corn, gala apples, butternut squash and a blackberry-apple pie headed our way.

Farm box  1 of 1

Here are some of the meals/recipes on the menu:

-Salad with butternut squash, rotisserie chicken, goat cheese and balsamic

-Sweet potato gnocchi with grilled veggies

-Salmon with corn on the cob, salad with egg and olives

Some prep:

-Paleo bread

-Grilled chicken for salads

-Make green juice packs (wash apples, cucumber, parsley, lemon and add a handful of spinach to a container so it’s all ready to go)

-Chop veggies

-Make turkey lentil muffins, berry chia pancakes and French toast sticks for Oliv (the story is in my recap post but she stayed in Tucson with mom, nana and the family. She had a blast with her own little vacation but we missed her like crazy)

Pancake  1 of 1 5

Something I’m excited about getting back into this week: official exercise. For the past week and a half, we walked all over the place, and I got in two official hotel room workouts (circuits using bosyweight and my backpack as a kettlebell). I feel like our hours of walking helped counter some of the bread, pasta and wine consumption, but I missed lifting and dancing. it will be fun to get back to teaching Zumba, running with my running group and lifting some heavy things this week πŸ™‚

Ab cookies  1 of 1 2

The tentative workout plan:

-Sunday: Hotel room workout (30-minute circuit)

-Monday: OFF

-Tuesday: Weights and HIIT on the row machine (45 minutes total) 

-Wednesday: Teach Zumba, track workout

-Thursday: Teach DJ, assist Zumba

-Friday: OFF

-Saturday: Long run, teach Aqua Zumba, teach Barre (whew!)

How’s your week looking for meal plan and exercise?

Any seriously amazing Italian recipes to share?




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  1. Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind on September 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I love the feeling of getting back into healthy eats/workouts after a trip. My workout plan looks like:

    -Monday: OFF

    -Tuesday: Killer X class at Crunch

    -Wednesday: Speed work (5ish mile run)

    -Thursday: Ultimate Conditioning class at Crunch

    -Friday: Spin and abs class at Crunch

    -Saturday: Weights

    -Sunday: Long run for my boyfriend’s birthday!

  2. Ash Bear on September 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    We will definitely check out your Italy posts as we are venturing over there in May, if not sooner. Hope you return to Europe for another visit soon!

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      me too! i’d love to meet up πŸ™‚ london would be amazing

      • Priya on September 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm

        oh my god london is THE BEST! let us know if you go, there is this INDIAN restaurant there, and it is TO DIE FOR! i went there 3 times in 2 weeks…. soo yeah.

        • Fitnessista on September 10, 2013 at 11:06 pm

          i’ve heard the indian food there in general is amazing! i’ll definitely let you know if i plan on going πŸ™‚

  3. Heather C on September 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I am completely impressed you have a meal plan together for this week! I’ll hire you out for to assist our clients when returning πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      you get bored with 10 hours on a plane haha
      i would love that πŸ™‚

  4. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on September 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    My weeks workouts look like:

    Monday – 12 mile Tempo (10 mile actual tempo run 2 miles WU and CD)

    Tuesday – 10-11 easy run

    Wednesday – Speed Workout (probably around 11)

    Thursday – 10-11 easy run

    Friday – 7 recovery

    Saturday – long run 15-16 miles

    Sunday – 10 miles easy

    That is the tentative schedule but that can always change! πŸ™‚

  5. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on September 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I can’t wait to hear about your “secret Italian getaway!”

  6. Marissa on September 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    i know what you mean about going on vacation & being inspired in terms of cooking. we went to CO this summer & the food was so light & flavorful. i’ve incorporated a lot of that into my cooking at home & we’re really enjoying it!

  7. Becky @ Olives n Wine on September 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Oh my goodness, I can only imagine how delightful the food in Italy was! I would have a difficult time getting back into the kitchen as well πŸ˜‰

  8. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on September 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Liking the meals/recipes on your agenda for the week!
    It can be so tough to “recover” from vacation food in a lot of ways — but it is sad when you can’t always recreate the masterpieces πŸ™‚
    Looking forward to seeing your “take” on some of the dishes!

    Can’t wait to heat more about your trip — especially the food! πŸ™‚

  9. Jackie on September 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I bet Italy was amazing!!!!!

  10. Liz on September 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Why did you choose not to tell us about the trip before you went? Just curious.

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      i wanted to write about it so badly, but decided to wait until we were back for safety reasons

  11. Purelytwins on September 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    totally understand, we studied aboard in Italy in college and fell in love with the simple meals!! We would love to go back. Homemade gelato would be awesome πŸ™‚ look forward in to more recaps!!

  12. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee on September 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    So excited for the Italy recap! It’s one of my favorite places. When we were in Tuscany, we actually went to an adorable woman’s house and cooked with her. Pesto, fresh pasta, tomatoes… delicious. Her husband also picked fresh truffles from the field to garnish our pasta!! Incredible. Now I’m kicking myself for not writing down any of the recipes!

  13. Amie on September 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I’m going to Italy for my honeymoon on the 14th! I hope the recap posts are up by then so I know some good spots for food! We are doing a food walking tour and I am SO excited for it!

  14. Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.wordpress.com on September 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Your reaction is so funny!
    Until I studied abroad in Italy, I didn’t care much about food, cooking, etc. After however, it transformed the way I eat. Though never a picky eater, foods I had decided I didn’t like as a child, I found were some of my favorites.
    After my second visit this summer, it reinforced so vividly the remarkableness of simple QUALITY ingredients!

    I cannot wait to hear more about your trip!

  15. Alicia @Bakeaholic on September 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I went to Italy for the first time last year! My dad was born there, and I actually met up with my nonna (grandma) in italy to tour around and visit family that still lives there. The food was amazing – nothing like I have ever experienced here, it also help to stay with family who cook authentic italian for you. Needless to say I ate way too much pasta and cheese. Definitely happy for all of the walking around that we did. I’m lucky to have grown up eating such amazing food (my nonna actually lives here but she goes back every year to visit)

  16. Mara @ What's for Dinner? on September 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I don’t know where in Italy you are, but if you went to Rome, I’m sure you or the Pilot at cacio e pepe… the pasta with romano cheese and black pepper. My amazing sister got me a recipe when she was there last, it’s on my blog here: http://www.imadedinner.net/2012/06/07/cedar-planked-salmon-cacio-e-pepe/

  17. Emily @ Emily Rocks the Road on September 9, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Ooh, Italy! *swoon*

    Is caprese salad Italian (< dumb question askers, unite!)? Because I made an herloom tomato and fresh mozzarella caprese salad that inspired a happy kitchen dance.

  18. Ush on September 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Looking forward to your recaps! I credit Italy for my love of wine. I didn’t like wine at all before Italy but all that house wine at every restaurant got me. Cheap and delicious! I credit London for my love of beer. I like wine more than beer but I liked London more than Italy.

  19. Sophie @ life's philosophie on September 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I studied abroad in Florence and my favorite pasta was bucatini all’amatriciana. SO. good. Like spaghetti but a million times better. And you can’t beat homemade gnocchi.

  20. Kelly @ Femme Fitale on September 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Look at you, and your hotel room workouts! That’s dedication!
    It’s always such a let down when I try to re-create amazing vacation meals. It’s just never the same, is it? πŸ˜‰

  21. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on September 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I love, love, love Italian food. I always joke that I must be part Italian (not a chance in heck). For my wedding I got Marcella Hazen’s The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Everything in that book is amazing and the husband thinks some of my best meals ever have come out of that book. Italian food doesn’t always have to be super unhealthy either. They have great seafood recipes and like you said, when you use a small amount of high quality ingredients, you can create a masterpiece! Glad you had such a great time in Italy! I would love to go back and cycle through Tuscany! πŸ™‚

  22. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic on September 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I’d love to go back to Italy! Not sure if you made it to Tuscany, but I had the most amazing spaghetti with truffle butter and mushrooms there, which I recreated on my blog: http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/pasta/spaghetti-with-truffle-butter-and-mushrooms

  23. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! on September 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I can’t wait to see all of your Italy pictures! We are planning a trip their next summer so I am excited to see what your favorite parts were! I did a HIIT workout this morning and then taught 2 Pilates classes and a barre class. I teach about 2 classes everyday and have runs planned for Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday!

  24. Andrea @ The Fit Scoop on September 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Ah, I love Italy. I really love the thin crust pizza I had when I was there. I bought some pizza stones so I can recreate the in my own kitchen. I make my own dough (which is really fun!) and then roll it out really thin. I’ve yet to master the dough toss though – ha!

  25. Brooke @ denaultstudios.blogspot.com on September 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I love cooking Italian food. it is my comfort food for sure. My favorite would be fettucini alfredo. To make it less fattening I make the sauce with margarine and skim milk. If you cook it just right it comes out just as creamy

  26. Lucie on September 10, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Italy is wonderful! One advantage of living in Switzerland – Italy is just a 2,5 hours drive away. I love to go to the farmers markets there on weekends and enjoy some perfect panini’s with parmigiano and prosciuttto crudo πŸ™‚
    It’s raining here currently, but I hope it will stop soon, so I can join the outdoor bootcamp class down at the lake!

  27. Sarah @ Yogi in Action on September 10, 2013 at 4:39 am

    Welcome back from Italy!

    Looks like a great (and healthy) week after vacation πŸ™‚

  28. Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen on September 10, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I’m so excited to hear more about your trip – especially the food! It’s so true that when the ingredients are fresh, you really don’t need much extra to make it a delicious dish.

    Recently I tried Jamie Oliver’s eggplant parmigiana (recipe online) and it was amazing! It almost made me feel like I was in Italy. πŸ˜‰

  29. CourtStar @ StarSystemz on September 10, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I am so happy you got to go on such a beautiful trip, i can not wait to see more photos! Lots of love C

  30. Stephanie on September 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I know EXACTLY how you feel about coming back and feeling that way about food. There is just no comparison to the fresh ingredients and simplicity of food in Italia. It’s quite sad to realize you can’t replicate it all! However, when I was abroad in Siena we learned to make this tomato, bread, & garlic soup. It was amazing and I have made it at home since then and it’s still delish. If you’re interested I’ll send you the recipe!

  31. Anna @ Fitness Γ  la Anna on September 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I feel the same way when I get back from a vacay – I usually walk a lot while I’m gone, but realize that I actually miss doing ‘real’ exercise and lifting weights and whatnot…never thought I’d hear (see?) myself say that!

  32. Jacquelyn @justjacq on September 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Ahhh Italy. I ate my way through the country. My favorite was caprese salads and now I can’t touch them because nothing will ever be as good as it was in Italy.

  33. Brianna K. @ Hungry Gator Gal on September 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    My workout plan is very diverse this week! I tried CrossFit and cycle for the first time and also have a few core, yoga and HIIT sessions planned. I’m fortunate to have so many options as a student.

  34. Areej on September 16, 2013 at 8:33 am

    It’s great that you came to Italy! I’m a blog reader and I live in Rome, had I known you were coming we could have organized a meet up!! Hope you enjoyed and feel free to ask about any recipes you may want to recreate back home.

  35. Cassie on September 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I just emailed you a homemade manicotti recipe passed on from my Italian grandmother. Would be great to see a fitnessista-fied version! πŸ˜€

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