Hey everyone! Happy Monday to ya 😀 Hope your morning is going well so far.

Last night, it was so glorious to have a meal at home with the pilot, even if that meant I had to cook it 😉

We had a version of Rachael Ray’s Salmon Salad with orange vinaigrette. I’d made it once (and healthified it), so I just rolled with what I remembered. You can see the original Rizzle recipe here.

The star of the show was wild caught Salmon from Whole Foods


I seasoned it up with sea salt and pepper, pan-seared it, and baked it off in the oven.

While the salmon baked away, I blanched some asparagus (which the pilot and I call “asparagi”), made the dressing out of orange juice, zest, agave, olive oil, rice vinegar, red onion, salt and pepper and sliced up the red onion, segmented oranges and pitted kalamata olives.

Here’s the finished product:

salmon salad

Perfect salad beast feast for two 😀

salmon salad (2)

‘Twas glorious.

I also put some raw okra chips in the dehydrator.. if they taste how they smell, I will post the recipe (and the vegan pasta primavera one) this afternoon.

okra chips

Before I go, there’s something I wanted to ask ya’ll about.

The pilot and I were talking on the way home from J-ville (and sorry, no it wasn’t about babies) and I told him that my blog views were significantly lower last week. It also happened to be the same week that I launched my OpenSky shop… I have no idea if the lower pages views were due to spring break, or related/unrelated to the OpenSky shop, but it got me wondering if OpenSky shops, giveaways, reviews and the like turn you guys off.

Personally, I really like them… for the most part and if they’re done tactfully.

I try to keep reviews on the blog minimal, unless it’s something I bought with my own money and totally love, or if a company sent it to me and I would have bought it anyway. That’s why you’ll never see junky products on the bloggy that I wouldn’t usually consume. The same goes for OpenSky- there will never be anything in there that I don’t use myself.

I think that product reviews are a really helpful way to learn about new things, giveaways are fun, and OpenSky is super convenient (because you can find all the blogger’s favorite things in one place). I think if done well (and not overdone), they can all be amazing assets to a blog. However, I don’t like to look at a blog and see it as a commercial. Content should be #1.

So I’m wondering what you think about all of this???

I love my OpenSky shop so far (and you guys rocked out the foam roller promo- thank you!), but if it means losing readers at the sake of making some extra [eggplant] bacon then it’s not worth it. You guys are what makes this blog the super fun place that it is and without you… well, it’s lame without you. I really cherish and appreciate each and every single bloggy out there.

Don’t be afraid to be honest in the comment section– I’m really anxious to hear your thoughts. Please be general and keep positive energy flowing—if I see any obvious personal attacks at one of my fellow bloggies, I’ll have to delete it.



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  1. Sara on March 22, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I agree with everyone else about the reason your blog traffic being lower is due to spring break. I love reading your blog because of the yummy food you cook. I was a little turned off over the Open Sky but i am not going to stop reading your blog over it. 🙂

  2. s on March 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

    i don’t use a lot of the products that bloggers review, but i tend to visit the site anyway to check regularly for updates. every once in a while someone will review something relevant to my interests, so on the whole i like it. i do like that you don’t push the whole commercial thing on this blog, and yeah, it’s nice to see where to get some of the stuff you use. like mesquite powder for instance… i haven’t been able to find that stuff at stores (haha, i guess that is a hint).

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

      i actually haven’t seen mesquite in stores, at all. i get it online at natural zing or earth shift 🙂

      • Janet Perez on March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

        They have it at Whole Foods in there “raw foods” section, just bought some this weekend.

  3. katie on March 22, 2010 at 10:54 am

    i love all the fitness routines you post on your blog, and greatly appreciated how you may eat raw / vegan for the most part, but don’t apologize for loving goat cheese and seafood [i’ve recently become a vegetarian but am having serious issues giving up seafood for good :(]. i do like reading “healthy living” blogs for new recipes and food ideas though, and has introduced some very positive things in my life [but it is always hard to wonder how everyone has amazing self control almost all of the time – i mean no one can be that perfect!].

    i guess my problem with all the product reviews is the fact that a lot of the products [especially with food] are really expensive to purchase, and i’m not sure if all these bloggers would continue to use them on a regular basis if they actually had to pay for them out of pocket. admittedly the opensky shops don’t bother me too much, because unless it’s an amazing deal, i can find the products cheaper elsewhere.

    but i do love your blog, and hope you do another summer shape up!

  4. LS on March 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I think you already have a lot of good feedback, but I will leave my 2 cents as well!

    I follow several blogs that have open sky stores, and until I read your post this morning, I had never clicked on any of them. I’m not sure exactly why. I guess I’m not turned on or off by them, just haven’t read about anything that I really needed at the time and therefore didn’t check out the store.

    I’m a pretty laid back person in general, but that’s about as negative as my reaction can be to opensky. I don’t want something. I don’t click it. The end. No hard feelings! I adore your blog and would never let a couple references to a store with products you like make me want to stop reading all the other great advice. I don’t understand how some people can get SO MAD about blog things.

    I guess that’s a long way of saying talk about opensky or don’t, and I will still read every post you write! I would also agree with some of the others that spring break probably had a major impact…on regular readers and less random people googling “breakfast cookie” and finding you.

    Also……just to make this as long as possible ;)….do people who follow you in google reader get reported as regular viewers? Can you tell when we read your feed. That stuff always confuses me.

    Thanks for everything you do Gina!

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

      thank you for such an awesome comment <3
      no, google readers don't count. bummer, too, because for many people that's their prime blog-reading source

      • KG on March 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

        Well you can take your counts and add +1 to every post hit. I read them all through google reader. It doesn’t make sense that the # of subscribers do not add to the counts.

        And add another vote for chalking it up to spring break. I don’t think your mention of any products is at all “too much”. If anything, I notice how you try not to overly comment on products, unless they become an everyday part of your life…or are asked. And since this blog is about your life, that’s about as fair as you can possibly be without turning into a review blog. Even if you did, it’s your choice to do so…and I’d still read.

      • Candi on March 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm

        I also read via Google Reader – please do stop posting full posts to RSS like some bloggers did. For instance, I started my blog reading experience by stumbling upon Self magazine’s Eat Like Me – once it started to only show up in Google Reader as partial posts, I stopped reading. I love reading The Fitnessista, but also love the convenience of using Google Reader.

        If I had to guess it might be spring break or just general busy-ness – maybe even the time change. I know personally I’ve been a bit more active at night where as I would have normally spent the dark evening hours reading blogs…

        • Candi on March 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

          I meant don’t stop – please don’t stop posting full posts to RSS!

          • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

            i wont 😀

        • Amy on March 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm

          I’m also a reader through Google Reader so add another plus 1 to your counts! (And I too stopped reading Eat Like Me when it didn’t post full posts anymore…I do NOT like having to click out of Reader except when I comment or something!)

  5. Lindsay on March 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I know I was viewing less because I was on Spring Break! I love your new shop! Since I’m relatively new to trying to get myself healthy I love seeing products that other health junkies like, so I know what’s good! Don’t get down on yourself, it’s awesome!

  6. Ryane on March 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I like the way YOU handle reviews/giveaways/open sky, it’s definitely not a turn off. I don’t think I’d buy anything online per se, unless there was a really awesome deal or was a product that I can’t find during one of my normal adventures. I’ll echo a lot of people to say that your blog is one of my faves to read. I think the combo of your sweet personality/humor, fitness insight and pretty-looking veggies (and pilot) is really working! And just to show, I’m going to stop reading you through reader and give you the love you deserve!

  7. Geetha on March 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Hi Gina,
    Don’t read too much into last week’s blog viewing…as humans we all switch on and off of our everyday routine..esp with the weather change, people would have taken it easy. I have to admit though, it can get boring sometimes when bloggies just write up on everyday eats..’healthy discussions make for good reads’! When one searches and reads blogs, we are looking for some true answers which we can’t find elsewhere. So when people start promoting every product under the sun, their reliability comes under question. We want honest opinions.
    With that said, there are some topics that i would love to see some posts/ discussions on:

    1)You are in the best shape of your life…and it was a journey for you. I assume a lot of your readers are also healthy people. However i’m sure there’s a big crowd that’s just starting up. Though the posts are inspiring, it’s hard for people like me who are just starting out to relate to very clean eating habits like yours. That’s when some posts to encourage us too would be very helpful. Maybe encourage people to eat clean (and by eat clean i don’t mean just salads) and exercise by bringing up some monthly challenges. Or do a post on how to start up.

    2) I recently heard about the book titled ‘The China Study’…which talks about too much ‘animal protein’ being bad for health. I always have this constant stuggle of what to follow-should i do a high protein/ low carb…versus everything in moderation approach. Don’t know which is healthy in the long term. Most trainers in the gym are big advocates of a high protein diet…i wish u’d do a post where we can discuss this. There are a lot of well read and experienced people that visit your blog who can impart some knowledge they’ve gained over the years through experience.

    With all this said, I may miss a few days of your blog once in a while, but i always catch up soon. :)… things from your heart and it will never go wrong.

    We appreciate your honesty, gina.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

      i couldn’t agree more.
      thank you for the discussion ideas! i’ll post the “getting started to healthy how-to” tomorrow 🙂

  8. Erin on March 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with either. As someone whose healthy lifestyle is a work in progress, I sort of ‘live vicariously’ through you and other bloggers who have more experience and more to share, and more opportunities to try things I can’t usually afford. And if I do decide to splurge on something, I have your experience with it to back up my purchase. Additionally, if all of your posts were the same, with food pictures and your daily routine, I think that I and other readers would lose interest.
    So I guess my thoughts are that as long as you keep a balance between regular posts and reviews/giveaways (which I think you do very well), you shouldn’t change a thing!

  9. Jennifer on March 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I read you everyday from Google reader… sorry to hear that doesn’t count, but you can assume a pretty large audience from there, I would bet. I love your shop and am excited to try some stuff like chia seeds etc. that you have talked about… thanks!

  10. anne on March 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I always like to read about tools or items that bloggers use. But not really a fan of Open Sky. Keep up the great content!

  11. Laura J. on March 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year and I personally don’t get the sense that you are doing this for the money at all. It’s not like your sitting at home in your sweats all day blogging and your using it as your sole source of income. Your blog has been SO helpful to me over the past year in cleaning up my eating and getting excited about working out. I’m grateful, as a reader, that you only review things that you yourself love. I actually enjoy reading those reviews. I’ve tried so many things I’d never even heard of thanks to your blog (thank you!:)).

    I don’t have a problem with OpenSky. I never got the sense that you opened it so you could make some extra cash. I figured you did it as a resource for all your readers. But even if you do make some money off of it, so what? You deserve it for of all the time, energy and dedication you put into this blog to make it what it is. 🙂

    I actually really love the giveaways especially if there is a promise of those famous macaroons involved, ha 🙂

    I love your blog girl and I’m sure a lot of the lower readership last week just had to do with finals and spring break.

  12. Jennifer S on March 22, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I don’t mind the reviews or store AT ALL. In fact, I enjoy them since I’ve been reading your blog for a year and trust your opinion and suggestions. I’m a google reader person, so I read every day – (even last week). Too bad they can’t figure out a way to count those stats…

  13. Michelle on March 22, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Hey Gina!
    Your blog is my absolute favorite! I honestly didn’t even know what open sky was until I read the other comments on this post! I definitely didn’t know that there was a commission base either. That said, I don’t think it’s totally a bad thing, It consolidates all the things you think are great so we can find them without checking years of back posts. 🙂 however, a list with links, or something would be just as useful 🙂 It doesn’t make me like your blog any less, but it does clarify for me why some other blogs are just one review after another!!! lame!

    And for my part, I didn’t check nearly as often on your blog last week because I was visiting my family for spring break! no hard feelings?!? I still love it!

  14. amber on March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

    i seriously doubt OpenSky had anything at all to do with your lower page views! i am not on spring break but a lot of people are, and i usually check in with your site a few times a day, but i was particularly busy at work last week which meant less time to surf the web! i wouldn’t worry your pretty head about it! 🙂

  15. Sammi on March 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I can’t imagine you launching a store making your views go down! I love your store personally..and if I had money I would definitely take advantage of your expertise! I would say it has to do with Spring Break and the beautiful weather 😉

  16. Liz on March 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I find the OpenSky shops annoying but at the same time, you all do a lot of work on your blogs for free, and if this helps you make a litle cash from all of the hard work you do, I don’t mind. I have two thoughts about OpenSky — I don’t mind the shops with products that you like and to put in the shop. On the other hand, it seems like OpenSky gets an idea for promotions or a “theme” and then prompts the blogger to select products for the Opensky shop to go with the promotion. I don’t like that as much, but I choose just to ignore those.

  17. Jessica @ The Process of Healing on March 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I don’t have a problem with Open Sky at all, I think it’s great!!

    That salmon looks absolutely AMAZING!

  18. Kilee on March 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

    First off, you have one of the best health & fitness blogs that I have visited. I look forward to reading about your daily life and fitness/healthy goodie tips each day. I have no problem with the reviews or giveaway because I can tell that they are from you, not someone who is just here to promote a bunch of corporations. I agree that the dip has to do with spring break and everyone being away from their computers. Keep on doing what you’re doing and remember that you bring joy and happiness to tons of people each day!

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

      thank you, friend <3

  19. Sonia @ Master of Her Romaine on March 22, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Well, I’m one of those people who views you in Google Reader, but when I click over to your site to comment, does that count as a page view?! And I guess I’m not a huge fan of OpenSky, but that’s because I’m a broke college student already living beyond her means (darn fancy peanut butters and organic food) 😉 It’s not like you having a store or promoting certain products (very tastefully) that you love is offensive to me. I don’t see why it would offend anyone else either, or cause them to stop reading your blog! That said, when I see OpenSky stuff on blogs (yours and others), I tend to scroll past the info about it. I still love your blog though, and can’t think of any reason I’d stop reading it!

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

      yup, that totally counts! 🙂
      thank you <3

  20. Bethany @ Not Unless I'm Being Chased on March 22, 2010 at 11:25 am

    From the months I’ve spent reading your blog, I get the impression you have really good judgment and really do have your readers’ interest at heart. I say this because it also means if you’re going to do the OpenSky thing, you’re not going to OVERdo the OpenSky thing. It only gets as annoying as the blogger who hocks it ;). We’re interested in what products you like and use and recommend. Having them in an online store takes the guesswork out of trying to find it ourselves.
    Just be sure and keep the “Fitnessista Live TV” for things like the bfast cookie and egg puff and don’t turn it into a informercial channel! 🙂

  21. Teri [a foodie stays fit] on March 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I love when you do reviews, giveaways and promote your Open Sky shop. I’ve gotten so many food and fitness ideas since I started reading your blog. I don’t feel like you are pushing products. Open Sky has become annoying with some people but perhaps just doing one post about everything you have in it and then when you add something new that you think is particularly special, post about that too. Then we know what’s there without you reminding us every week. 🙂 Does that even make sense?

    anyway, i’m sure it was just a coincidence that your hits when down. Love your blog, I feel like you give your honest opinion about things, and I trust your opinion so I like to hear what you like!

  22. Katheryn on March 22, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I don’t mind giveaway’s, product reviews, and such. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that your hits were down.

  23. Kat on March 22, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Great question Gina!

    The fact is that I’m very weary of consumerism in general — the idea that you have to buy something to solve your struggles…well, I largely find it a troubling (and maybe even escapist?) trend.

    That being said, I try to be mindful of those triggers as opposed to diving into indulgent purchases. BUT, no I don’t resent you at all whatsoever for your OpenSky store or product reviews! It will definitely not stop me from visiting your blog. I may even purchase something that I would like at some point – particularly in order to support you now that I know there is financial compensation. This is how I can make my money talk *for* me; i try to put my money where my voice and interests are.

    I personally really appreciate your transparency and honesty in terms of this stuff. People can get really touchy about the exchange of money, corporate affiliations, etc. As long as there’s a real, human Gina that is the mastermind behind these posts, I have no problem.

    Annnd to top this comment off, a proactive approach to fixing the lag in views: My 2 cents about what makes me visit
    – Your motivated, active lifestyle; workout tips ftw.
    – Cooking adventures — especially quick, easy recipes, and the raw stuff
    – Cute personal touches to the posts (the pups, the pilot, the..wizzle? still havent figured that out LOL)
    – That you post frequently with solid content.

    Hope this helps, Madame!
    A bientot.
    – Kat

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

      thank you so much, kat! i loved your comment.
      wizzle = wal-mart hahah

  24. Mary on March 22, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Spring break.

    You should poll your readers someday and see how their ages/’student status’ breaks down. I would expect your blog readers to be mostly college age females.

  25. Fallon on March 22, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I think whatever you are doing is just fine! I can’t comment on every single post but I always make sure to read each post, even if it a quick skim on days I don’t have as much time to sit and read many blogs I have in my reader. I think you are onto something with spring break going around, people are getting out, enjoying the weather and traveling!

  26. ari on March 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

    it’s a little strange to me that open sky would turn some people off. it’s not really in your face or anything. there’s a link on your page but nobody has to click on it. it’s a pretty insignificant part of your overall blog so it doesn’t bother me.
    and I would like giveaways more if I ever won them 🙂

  27. Lili on March 22, 2010 at 11:43 am

    OpenSky is amazing! It’s awesome to be able to actually get the things you see other people use! Everything from your skin care to the chia seeds! I was one of the readers who skipped quite a few days – due to a family situation. Just wanted to put my two cents in that I love OpenSky!

  28. LisaG on March 22, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I love opensky. It’s one stop shopping. People are always asking where you get your “stuff” everything from dresses to mesquite. I think it’s a good link for everybody. Still loving your blog. Keeps me motivated. I was wondering about the China Study too. I know a couple of people who went vegan b/c of it? I’ve just started reading it.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

      let me know what you think about it! i haven’t read it

    • Babs on March 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      The China Study is an amazing book, and it’s definitely a go-to book for quality information on the protein myth. It made my fiance realize animal protein is not good.

    • Stephanie on March 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      Ditto…exact same thing I was going to say!

  29. Eva on March 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I was definitely pretty disappointed to see you hop on the open sky bandwagon– I really see no value to it. You’ve already done product reviews including what you use in your kitchen, etc. so it was overkill.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

      thanks for being honest- i can see what you mean <3

  30. Karyn on March 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

    i think a lot of the blog traffic was likely due to spring break. i like reviews and giveaways and the like, just as long as the blog isn’t overloaded with them (and i don’t feel that way here). i don’t tend to click through on google reader if i see the post is really foodie-centric. that goes for any blog really. i don’t want to look at lots of pictures of what someone ate over the course of the day. not that it’s the case here but i skip a lot of the food-heavy stuff in general

    that said, i still have been reading and commenting here because i like what you post. 🙂

  31. Katie on March 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I’ve been a dedicated reader for well over a year now, and will continue to be so well pretty much baring most things.

    However, I think OpenSky is a little tacky, and I find myself skipping over posts on it, and as much as I love your blog the chances of my purchasing something from OpenSky are close to zilch. That said, you obviously only added things you actually use (which seems like it should be obvious in blogland), and I at least appreciate that.

    I don’t know if there is any good solution, because I’d love to support you, but I am not going to pay to ship $10 worth of Chia Seeds to my doorstep when I can fill them up in the bulk bins at my grocery store?

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 11:57 am

      you support me by reading the little blog, little lady. keep buying your chias from the bulk bins 🙂

      • Katie on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

        sure sure, but just to clarify if/when you find that industrial kitchen i WILL pay to ship raw macaroons 3000 miles 😉

        • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

          haha awesome, thank you!

  32. Stephanie on March 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Reading the comments on this post has been very interesting! I have to admit, after watching so many bloggers jump on this bandwagon, it’s interesting to see some reader perspective.

    I personally don’t like OpenSky that much, either. But, it wouldn’t make me stop reading your blog at all. I’d also like to chime in with the other readers who say they appreciate your unique voice. I’ve also cut back on my blog reading because I really don’t like the tone of some longtime bloggys these days…

    Thanks for everything you do 🙂

  33. Jody on March 22, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Open Sky doesn’t bother me. I have purchased 2 products from Open Sky through other bloggers when they had amazing, couldn’t pass up deals. Unless there is another deal like that, I won’t use Open Sky and I just skim thru any mentions of it. It doesn’t bother me at all. There are always topics that you may just not be into when blog reading and you just learn to skim over them. No biggie!

    I can’t believe Google Reader feeds don’t count! I look at all of my favorite blogs using Google Reader. I’m sure your counts are actually much much higher then you think.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on the China Study too!

  34. kristi (sweet cheeks) on March 22, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Gina, I will follow you whatever you decide to put on your blog. I think you have done such a great job with the blog and have a perfectly acceptable balance of reviews, etc as compared to content. Keep rocking on! 😀

  35. Jackie (Army Wife) on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I can’t speak for anyone else but the Army movers were here last week packing the husband and I up for our move to Fort Carson. But now that boxes, packing tape and moving no longer consume my life, I have the time to catch up on the fun Fitnessista blog! Oh and I always love product reviews because it opens my eyes up to things I wouldn’t have otherwise come across!

  36. Jenna on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I think that the lower view rates have to do with spring break, definitely. But even moreso, the nice weather! I think a lot of us are taking time to spend outside, getting out of hibernation from the winter. Just less time inside reading bloggies. 🙂

  37. Tiffany on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Generally a fan of reviews, and it does open my eyes to new products that I would have been hesitant o buy (because of pricing- who wants to spend a boatload on a product they don’t know is what they want/looking for/will like?) I have a very similar food palate to yours and would welcome recommendations! 🙂

    I have only bought from OpenSky once (with Kath), but that was only because the price of the product was lower than what I saw in the grocery store. 😉

    Will always continue to read with or w/o all this extra stuff! 🙂

  38. Mary on March 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I really like how you’ve incorporated the opensky stuff. Not too much, not too little. Personally, I probably would not buy through opensky, but I really enjoy hearing about the products you like. That’s the only thing I really like about the whole thing… If you just had a tab with stuff like that, I’d be cool with that. I actually don’t fully understand why opensky is better than say ordering on Amazon (free shipping YAY!).

    Bottom line, it’s your blog girlie… And if people don’t like it, they don’t have to read it ;D I do… And I will !

  39. Jeannie on March 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    In theory I understand the Open Sky concept. But, it’s a definite turnoff to me, esp when it is a common theme now running through most of the fitness and/or food blogs. If one or two people had it and it was a novelty, then it would bother me so much.

    Nine times out of ten if I see a product on your blog that I want, I can easily find it via google and/or amazon.

    The main attraction of your blog to me is the quality of the fitness information and the creativity and diversity of your recipes and food choices.

    Hope this helps..

  40. shana on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    to be honest, i am fatigued of all the sponsored posts and giveaways and selling of things on ALL blogs, not just yours. i miss reading about people’s lives, in a more pure and simple way.

    i really like your blog, gina–i’ve learned tons of tips already on how to be healthier. but at the risk of being on the unpopular vote, i’d rather not see all this extra commercial-y stuff.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      awesome- thank you for being so honest 🙂

      • shana on March 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm

        you’re so kind! thanks for listening.

  41. Caroline on March 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I like OpenSky because I’ve gotten some amazing deals from Kath and Tina’s stores on things that I’ve wanted but would never have gotten around to buying myself (like a garlic press). But that stuff was all $25 gift card type stuff where I would pay something like 89 cents for shipping. I’m too poor to really buy nonessentials these days. I’m sure it was just spring break that caused the drop in reads, I’m still trying to catch up from my own break!

  42. Elizabeth - Cake or Death on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I’m not into the Open Sky shops, but I probably wouldn’t stop reading unless the promotion got really obnoxious or constant. I checked out one shop from a different blogger in the beginning, but was turned off by how high the prices were–I knew I could get similar products on Amazon or other websites for much cheaper. With that markup, there didn’t seem to be any benefit to using that blogger’s shop–why not just do a quick google search myself, if I want the product? I see how the bloggers benefit, but I guess I don’t see the real benefit to the readers, since it’s so easy to find just about anything you want online these days.

  43. Krysta on March 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I love the Open Sky shop! I find it so fun to peek at your favorite products and know what brand, type, version you approve of. For example, the dehydrator. I’ve always thought about getting one but I didn’t know where to start for shopping for one.
    That being said – I’d love it if you did a feature post on your dehydrator and pointed out what you use it for and how it is nutritionally beneficial to use it compared to other methods. 🙂 Just an idea.
    IMO the caliber of your posts have been equal to the past, and your open sky promotion hasn’t been cheap or commercial in any way. I think your lower viewing rate has only been because of spring break. 🙂

  44. lj on March 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    To be honest, not a fan of open sky – I come here for the recipes, nutrition advice and workout stuff. That’s what makes this blog unique & great.

  45. Lisa on March 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I love your blog and think that you consistently put out some great content. It’d be very hard to determine whether or not the opensky posting contributed to lower readership numbers last week. So don’t fret!

    That said though, I was disappointed to read that you had joined up with opensky. In theory, it’s kind of a cool, convenient concept for one-stop shopping. But I just hate how a lot of great blogs are turning into a free advertising system for various products. I don’t read health and fitness blogs because I’m looking for a sale on chia seeds, I read them for their genuine, honestly written content. Personally, I got tired reading about the foam roller sale and just started to tune it out.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      thank you for being honest <3

  46. Heather on March 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Hey Gina!

    I think that you handle reviews/giveaways with the utmost taste. In NO way do I think that you’re doing this commericially.

    Having said that, we can’t expect your blog traffic to skyrocket EVERY week. In everything that you do, you will always encounter set backs, road blocks, and plummets. That goes for traffic too. One week, it will be great! The next a little less…the next a little more. Just like business, and the stock market (snooze!) it is up and down. It’s only normal.

    Your loyal readers will be there for you no matter what! And you can bet your booty I’m one of ’em. [:


  47. Alina on March 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I am a new reader here, but I don’t find you blatantly commercial at all! You seem to provide quite a bit of helpful content for free (I loved the circuit workouts!) so I don’t think you should feel bad about giving people the option to buy something from a store that gives you a % of the revenue, as long as you don’t make anyone feel like they have to (which you don’t).

    Also, some things to think about: one or two weeks is NOT statistically significant, and spring started in some places this week, so I am sure a lot of people were outside! Did you check your stats for last year to see if you had a seasonal dip?

    So, in conclusion, please don’t get upset about it (lots of people clearly adore you – and what does a week’s dip in numbers mean anyway?). And please keep those workouts coming 😀

  48. KelseyJ on March 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I personally don’t think that the reviews/giveaways/Opensky stuff overwhelms any of the awesome nutrition/fitness info. you post…As you said, you don’t write about junky stuff that you wouldn’t actually use!

  49. Hallie on March 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Ok, because you asked, I’ll say I find OpenSky kind of annoying, however, I don’t think you are being annoying about it so it doesn’t bother me at all, especially since you really practice what you preach (sell?) as far as the products. I’m kinda kicking myself for not getting that foam roller! I dislike how no one admits that they get a commission from the company…I mean, I guess we should all know that, but it’s not just “a list of my favorite products” it’s “a list of my fave products that I benefit from if you buy.” NOT that there is anything wrong with that (I mean, I do Amazon affiliate links on my blog but I have really low readership so I think I’ve made a dollar in a year, haha). I just think people should at least mention the commission the first time around.

    But I do not think you have been annoying about it at all and I think readership goes down when temperatures go up…everyone wants to get away from the computer and go outside! So keep it up because your blog is refreshing, different (in a good way), and really helpful, I think.

  50. Kit10 on March 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm


    I know I’m not a regular commenter (def. a lurker), but I do visit the blog regularly and wanted to leave an honest (and hopefully helpful) comment. Personally, I’m cutting back on a lot of my food-blog reading. No offense to you or any other bloggers because you guys are amazing at providing excellent and interesting daily content, but so many blogs are starting to sound the same to me. Within the last couple of months, it seems that all the blogs I visit are reviewing the same products, having the same food obsessions, etc. I know the raw/vegan food-blogging community is a tight-knit one and you guys feed off of each other a lot, but this is just something that I’ve been noticing. I hope I didn’t offend you; I wasn’t trying to attack you at all and was speaking more generally than specifically about you. And IMHO, readership probably dropped because of Spring Break. That makes the most sense.

    Having said that, I also want to encourage you to do write what you like. You have a strong base of readers that love and appreciate what you do (including me, that’s why I still read). If you decide to throw in a giveaway or a review or promotion every now-and-then, that shouldn’t bother anybody. Your priority should be to have fun with your blog!

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