eat tart and be merry

Hi friends! How’s the day going? Hope you’re having an amazing morning. This morning, I’m off to Zumba! I thought I wouldn’t be teaching for a while since we’re in moving and life transition, so I’m subbing here and there until we get to Valdosta. I subbed spin last week and today I’m teaching Zumba after months and months of not doing any Zumba. Let’s all pray to the Latin dancing gods that I remember my choreography… or I’m going to be making up a lot on the spot. #oops

Yesterday, I started the morning with a barre3 class.


I love the barre3 studio at La Encantada (my beautiful friend Kate owns it!), and can always count on getting a great workout. The instructor Cassy KILLED my legs in the best way possible. She was so sweet about it, and then entire time my legs were shaking and crying. Just the way I like it. I bought a class pack, so i’m excited to take more classes while we’re here.

We ran some errands and took care of stuff around the house, then Liv and I headed to Whole Foods for some essentials. Namely: probiotics for the whole family + hot bar for lunch. 

I wanted to face dive into everything, but decided on some chicken with roasted red bell peppers, kale salad, dolmas, and sriracha cauliflower.

Whole Foods hot bar food

My lunch date:

Livi and Me

I loved telling her about how we’d go to story time at the library a few doors down, and then walk to Whole Foods for a green juice. Back when she used to eat things that are green. 

Dinner was Fed & Fit’s buffalo chicken casserole. The recipe is not my favorite to make (soooo many steps: make the chicken, roast the sweet potatoes, make buffalo sauce, saute the kale, cook the turkey bacon, make the Ranch dressing), but one of my favorites to eat, so it’s totally worth it. 

Buffalo chicken casserole

While we were eating dinner, we were lamenting the fact that it had been almost an entire day without seeing the fam, and then my madre, brother and his girlfriend walked in the door. 

With dessert.

dessert tart

YES. We watched Ratatouille with Liv on the couch and ate dessert. It was lovely.

Best Healthy Cookbooks

I was thinking about the Fed & Fit cookbook, and how much I still love to use cookbooks for recipes. Yes, the internet is a beautiful thing, and some of my favorite recipes are online, but there’s something magical about touching real pages, and being able to easily flip through pages. I have a handful that I still use in the rotation, and thought I’d share some of my favorite healthy cookbooks for those who may want to try something new!

Fed & Fit– this cookbook is packed with Paleo recipes (so everything is free of grains and dairy) and has a great variety of entrees, sweeter treats, make-ahead meals/tips, and snacks. I’ve used it a lot already, and have loved everything I’ve tried.

Cooking for Jeffrey– this is a newer one, and not something you may deem as *healthy* at first glance, as Ina makes a lot of indulgent meals. But, some of them are surprisingly light and she only uses whole foods. It’s easy to substitute dairy here and there or grains/flours if you prefer. I’ve found that a lot of her meals contain substantial protein and produce, and then when you need a recipe for a bomb indulgent cake, it’s right there for ya, too.

Giada: Feel Good Food– I only wish that I would have purchased the physical book instead of downloading it to my Kindle app. It’s kind of hard to read/skim, but I love the collection of clean recipes with a Giada twist. 

Eat, Drink and Be Vegan– this is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. It’s entirely vegan (you can add some chicken or fish to many of the entrees for carnivorous friends/partners, but I don’t think they need it) and I love the emphasis on plants (instead of lots of soy and faux-meat products) and unrefined flours/sugars. The Supercharge Me cookies are my all-time fave, and I still make the quinoa confetti casserole years later.

Oh She Glows– another vegan cookbook from a blogger friend. The photos are exquisite and all of the recipes are crowd-pleasers. You can tell Angela puts a lot of care into recipe testing, because everything I’ve tried has been perfect.

Cookbooks I want to add to my collection:

Skinnytaste Fast and Slow– I think I need this for busy weeknight dinners. Plus, I love all of Gina’s recipes so I feel dumb that I haven’t bought this yet.

The Whole 30– I love the philosophy of Whole 30 to bring cravings and eats back to basics, and feel like this would be packed with new options to add into the rotation

Cravings– the recipe roundup looks incredible, and I love Chrissy Teigen


So, tell me friends: what’s your favorite healthy cookbook? What do you want to add to your collection? Any recipe that you always come back to? 



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  1. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on December 28, 2016 at 7:24 am

    I have the Whole30 cookbook. I do make a lot of the recipes in it, but I found them to be very basic more for beginners. You can have mine!

  2. Mary Carter on December 28, 2016 at 7:32 am

    I just bought Dawn Jackson Blatner’s new book, which has a cookbook segment. I’m excited to try it.

    I’ve made that buffalo chicken casserole twice and it’s good but it’s a pain, and I used bottled sauces. Plus it’s so dry when I make it, but I don’t want it swimming in ranch and Franks. I need to adjust it to be more casserole-like and easier somehow.

  3. Jessica @ Semi-Sweet Tooth on December 28, 2016 at 7:32 am

    I’ve been wanting to try out the Whole 30 cookbook, but I’m wondering whether it’s something I would continue using after completing the “challenge.”

    My favorite cookbooks have been from Canyon Ranch. All of them have delicious, primarily healthy recipes and all simple. Anything that’s easy to make is typically at the top of my list. 🙂

    Good luck with Zumba today!
    XO, Jessica

  4. SARAH on December 28, 2016 at 7:37 am

    WHERE are you subbing Zumba at? I would love to try your class sometime.

  5. B on December 28, 2016 at 8:00 am

    ooh I am a Ina Garten fan – I have been wanting to try this cookbook. Also the Fed and Fit looks fantastic. I am vegetarian and my family is going to try paleo to try and clear up some dietary issues that are plaguing my children. These may be a good place to start!

  6. Fiona on December 28, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I love a physical copy of a cookbook! My current favorite is Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan….the recipes are delicious and great for athletes and families!

  7. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on December 28, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I want to write my own cookbook some day in the future but in the mean time I like my paleo cookbooks Juli Bauers and Practical Paleo!

  8. Amy on December 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Gina, I am SOOOOO happy for you and your family to be “home” for a bit:) I wish it were permanent………….I’ve visited the Phoenix area, Scottsdale mostly and love being there anytime but Summer, ha. Take care!

  9. Allison on December 28, 2016 at 10:15 am

    I think I’ve mentioned this here before (I tell anyone who will listen, lol) but The Detoxinista’s book Everyday Detox is a staple for me. Lots of great smoothie recipes, easy snack and dinner ideas, and mostly paleo/vegan with options to add meat if desired. She has a new book coming out soon that I’m excited for too!!

  10. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on December 28, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I love the Well Fed cookbooks by Melissa Joulwan, but her website is great too. This recipe is definitely a go to:

    Also the Against All Grain Cookbook by Danielle Walker! And this soup is my fave from her website:

    And PaleOMG of course! I am obsessed with this:

  11. Annie B on December 28, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Great cookbook list! I dragged my husband to a signing Giada did for Feel Good Food and got to chat with her for a minute- she is the sweetest!

  12. Wendy on December 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals cookbook by Alissa Segersten. Both focus on whole Foods with mostly gluten free recipes that are healthy and delicious. Her blog is great at

  13. Kristina on December 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Inspiralize everything by Ali malfucci

    Every recipe is surrounded by a spiralized vegetable! So good!

  14. Liz on December 28, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Love that you are back in your old stomping grounds for a bit. Your 3 wanted cook books are same as mine! Especially chrissy teigens but im a little afraid her recipes are going to be too many steps.

  15. Juliana on December 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I have 2 of gwyneth paltrows cookbooks (it’s all good & it’s all easy) and I LOVE them both! Everything I’ve made from them has been delicious, whatever our opinion of GP might be she knows how to make healthy and good stuff. I really want the moon juice cookbook and Matthew Kenney’s raw chocolate book.

    Also, an aside… my mom fed us super healthy organica green things that we happily ate when we were little, then veered away from for a number of years, but now love once again. I be there the same will happen for liv 🙂

  16. Ellen on December 29, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Fun that you’re teaching Zumba again! I loooove the Zumba choreography you have on YouTube! You have a gift! Maybe you will add more someday?? 😉

    And I totally agree with you on Ina…She really does have some amazing and healthy recipes! I’ve also been really into Ellie Krieger’s cookbooks lately!

  17. Jen M. on December 29, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Cravings is NOT a healthy cookbook, but everything is soooo good. Her crab cakes Benedict are a semi-regular weekend splurge and I made a bunch of her appetizers for a football viewing party and they were a hit. I’ve yet to make anything in it that wasn’t one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      that’s exciting to hear. maybe i need to add it to the collection anyway- it sounds amazing

  18. Amy Ramos on December 29, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    I got the Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook for Christmas an I love it! I think I have all our meals planned for the next several weeks!
    The first recipe I plan to make is the lasagna soup!

  19. Kathy on January 2, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I love the cookbook “How To Feed A Family” from the girls at and they have a new one coming soon. Great tips on getting kids involved in the cooking process and how to sneak in the nutrition.

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