Friday Faves + hi from AZ

Hi friends! Happy Friday! Hope you’re having a lovely morning. Helloooo from Arizona. It feels good to be back in the homeland. 😉

Sedona creek

As long as I lived in Tucson, I never made it up to Sedona. Needless to say, we must make up for lost time; it’s absolutely breathtaking. I’m in town for the Sedona Yoga Festival, and can’t wait to recap all of the adventures.

For now, let me introduce you to dessert row….

Dessert row

In true Friday spirit, here are some faves from the week and around the web! As always, I love to hear what you’re loving, too, so please feel free to shout it out in the comments section.

Your amazing Winter Shape Up check-ins! Anne and I are loving your Instagram posts, comments, tweets, and support on our Facebook group. You’re all crushing it! Keep up the hard work. 🙂 I can’t believe we’re halfway through the challenge already. Don’t forget to check in with today’s workout here. 


I will have the Week 3 schedule up on the Facebook page and to newsletter subscribers later today.

Speaking of WSU, I asked Danny, a local and extremely talented photographer, if he would help out with the last round of Winter Shape photos. As much as I love the self timer and quickly running to snap a pic, his turned out a thousand times better. I’m so thankful to have found a wonderful photographer here in SD.

Fitnessista  High Res 15

(Shot by Danny)

Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. I will never hear a Beyonce song in the same way.


Simple ways to feel healthier.

Raw lasagna. I had been craving this for at least a week, and finally decided to make some.

Raw lasagna  1 of 1

This beauty had layers of seasoned raw zucchini, homemade pine nut “ricotta,” sundried tomato marinara,


Layer  1 of 1 2

heirloom tomatoes,

Heirloom  1 of 1

pistachio pesto and fresh basil. It was everything I had been wishing for. Even better, the leftover sauces were glorious wrap and salad toppings. (Exact recipe is in Raw Food, Real World.)

Trader Joe flowers. I call these “ridonkulas.” (Their real name is ranunculus.) Gorg, no matter what you call them. 😉

Flowers  1 of 1 12

I’ve been wanting these leggings for quite a while, but have two important questions: what is the sizing like? are they unfortunate-fitting if you are not a gazelle?

Anne’s new sport nutrition plan. She collaborated with Jason Fitzgerald (a running coach) to create a nutrition plan for runners. Something that I’ve always struggled with for distance running and training is fueling. I either eat too much, too little and hit the wall, or consume the wrong things. For my last half (a PR), I just ate whatever they had on the course. All of my previous options hadn’t been too successful, so I wasn’t married to a particular method. I’m excited to use this as a plan for my next race, and for my teaching classes and workouts. I love that they include real food options (especially if you don’t like Gu or gels), full recipes and meal plans. There are options depending on what time of day you can run, and different fueling strategies for a variety of races. I love how it came together and highly recommend it if you’re looking for help with fueling your runs!

What are you up to this weekend? Any fitness adventures or events on the horizon? Any Sedona recommendations? (<— you always have the best suggestions)

Have a lovely Friday!



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  1. Brynn on February 6, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Gorgeous picture! I’m so thrilled about coconut milk coming to The Bucks and loved the sing off on Fallon!

  2. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on February 6, 2015 at 4:56 am

    That raw lasagna looks amazing! And I was crying watching that lip synch off after the Super Bowl!

  3. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on February 6, 2015 at 5:03 am

    LOOOOOVE SEDONA! One of my favorite places on earth actually. There is this hidden ‘natural waterslide’ called slide rock, that I love hiking down to. You basically park on the side of the road and go down this super steep slope. Then you’re greeted the coolest waterfall with the perfect shape to sit down in and be rocketed forward into a calm, open area. So amazing!

  4. Taca @ A Side Of Dessert on February 6, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Enjoy Arizona!! And that lasagna….YUM!!

  5. Char on February 6, 2015 at 5:16 am

    I think Will Ferrell was probably the best lip sync singer on his show ever. Oh man, that was so good. The combo of his two songs and how well he did them. Loved it! I’m SO excited for this coconut milk biz-nass to come to Starbucks- especially since I’m vegan!! Enjoy being back in AZ. I’m taking my little girl strawberry picking this morning (in FL) and cannot wait!

  6. Lindsey @ Simply Lindsey on February 6, 2015 at 5:42 am

    I loved Sedona when I visited with my Mom a few years ago! We were only there for the day so we mainly browsed around the shops in the main part of town. I am so excited about Starbucks getting coconut milk!! This weekend we’re looking at a house and getting brunch and dinner with friends! 🙂

  7. Sam @ grapefruit & granola on February 6, 2015 at 5:44 am

    This weekend I’m shopping for a new mountain bike!

  8. sarah on February 6, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Devil’s bridge hike is a really “classic” hike. Super easy but gorgeous. Bell’s rock is another fun one! Love sedona! The wineries are also really fun :).

  9. Crystal on February 6, 2015 at 5:50 am

    I’ve always wanted to visit Sedona! I have a good friend from college who lives in Flagstaff, so maybe a road trip is in order. Looking forward to your recap of your visit! Have a great weekend 🙂

  10. Addison on February 6, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Ohhhh yoga festival in Sedona?? I’m dying. My best friend got married in Sedona last summer (where she’s from) and it was breathtakingly beautiful. Yoga is probably so magical there.

  11. Christine @ BookishlyB on February 6, 2015 at 5:54 am

    If You’re a fan of ranunculus, head north to the Carlsbad Flower Fields this spring. The place is beautiful and has fun activities for the little ones.

  12. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on February 6, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I was very excited to see Starbucks share that news too! I am looking forward to relaxing this weekend so you could say it’s my fave!

  13. Lillian on February 6, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Yahoo you made it to my town! Make sure you make it out for a trail run and amazing food at Elote!!

  14. Sandy W. on February 6, 2015 at 6:16 am

    I second Elote! It is a must. I had a girls trip in Sedona last March. Slide Rock was beautiful. You can do Slide Rock, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Montezuma Well and Montezuma Castle in an afternoon. Finish up at the Haunted Hamburger Joint in the mountains of Jerome. It can be done without rushing. Everything is sooo vibrant in Sedona.

  15. Kaitlyn on February 6, 2015 at 6:26 am

    If you have time, go on one of the Jeep off-roading tours! They’re not too intense, but it is the BEST way to see Sedona and all of the beauty. I think we did the pink Jeep tour when we were there 🙂 Enjoy!!

    • Melissa on February 6, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      I second the pink jeep tour. It’s crazy what those jeeps can drive over, or at least it seems crazy when you’re in them.

      Of course, the hiking is awesome.

  16. Leyna on February 6, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Hi Gina 🙂 I live in AZ and wanted to attend the Sedona Yoga fest so badly. A dear friend of mine Denise is going to be teaching there. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Also, loving the winter shape up workouts. You’re a rockstar!

  17. Alison on February 6, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Sedona is amazing. My boyfriend and I went around this time last year and hiked to Devil’s Bridge. Very cool! Also, Elote Mexican restaurant was probably the best Mexican I’ve ever had. It was recommended by friends who used to visit all the time.
    Have a blast!

  18. Gwen.Brown on February 6, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Love that you are in Sedona, right by my hometown of Jerome/Clarkdale. You have to go to Elote while you are in Sedona, one of my favorites! So glad to see others recommend it too. Also if they are doing their breakfast creek side right now go to L’auberge. Really any meal is amazing there. So so good! It really is hard to go wrong in Sedona! Have fun!

  19. Jacki on February 6, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I live 45 minutes from Sedona (in Flagstaff) and every time we go, we always say “why don’t we do this more often?” I have to third or fourth Elote. It is in my top 5 restaurants in AZ. Ken’s Creekside is also great…well, the food and views are great; service can be spotty.

    • Melissa on February 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Voting 5th for Elote! Both times we went there, there was a wait. Go early. Have fun!

  20. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on February 6, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I’ve never been to Sedona either & I’ve lived here 13 yrs now. I would love to take my Mom so I will be looking forward to your recommendations!

  21. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on February 6, 2015 at 7:40 am

    WHATTTT. bring me the coconut goodness starbucks!

  22. Chelsea @ TableForOne on February 6, 2015 at 7:43 am

    That lasagna is so pretty! And I am pretty much psyched for the coconut milk at Starbuck’s. I cannot wait to try their lattes made with it. Yum!!! This weekend is going to be a lot of catching up and relaxing. Have fun in AZ!

  23. Elle on February 6, 2015 at 7:43 am

    We’re getting amazing weather this weekend, I can’t wait for the snow to melt and to get outside and enjoy it!

  24. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on February 6, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I am so excited to order a foamy coconut milk latte at Starbucks!

  25. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on February 6, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I love those leggings! I wear and extra small and they are perfect! They are supposed to scrunch on the soft part so you can wear them around your foot or up more like capris!

  26. jean on February 6, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I’m excited about the coconut milk at Starbucks! That’s what I use in my coffee.

    I’m also excited about hearing everyone’s recommendations for Sedona, and hearing what you end up doing while you’re there. I’ve always heard good reviews on Sedona.

    I have to get my car worked on tomorrow (recall on airbags on a 12 year old car!) and I’m going to walk from the dealership to my volunteer ‘job’ tomorrow – and maybe even walk back! It’s a good excuse to get in some exercise and get out in the fresh air.

  27. Kirtley @ The Gist of Fit on February 6, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Wow. Raw lasagna? Must try that asap!!

  28. Emily @ Sweet Summer Smiles on February 6, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I just bought a spiralizer and I’m loving making raw zucchini dishes. Your lasagna looks great!

  29. Hannah on February 6, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Not too much this weekend. I get to teach two Barre classes, so that is exciteing. I’m hoping to get to run a few miles this week and maybe some barre or yoga…hmm perhaps I will try your new lower body barre :). Have fun!

  30. Ashley on February 6, 2015 at 9:25 am

    A yoga festival in Sedona sounds amazing!! How cool!
    I’m so excited that Starbucks is getting coconut milk, I hadn’t heard that yet. Your raw lasagna looks incredible

    • Fitnessista on February 6, 2015 at 10:43 am

      thank you! and yes, so exciting about the coconut milk!

  31. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on February 6, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I love that beach workout picture. How pretty! I’ve never been to Sedona, but would love to go one day, and a yoga festival sounds just divine. Hope you have a wonderful time!! 🙂

  32. Tracy on February 6, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I love Sedona…what a great place for a yoga festival! Can’t wait to hear all about it. Have a great time!

  33. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on February 6, 2015 at 11:04 am

    woahhhhhh gorgeous flowers!

    Have a great weekend, love xo

  34. Melissa on February 6, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    My Pure Barre studio has some of those Alo leggings (different color combo) in the studio for sale and I’m equally intrigued. The people I’ve seen wearing them look really great and not “cut off” if you know what I mean. I guess the beauty of Nordstrom is that it’s free shipping both ways if you choose to return them! I haven’t tried them on mostly because I don’t want to pay $90 for leggings haha

  35. Shantel on February 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    So totally excited about Sbucks getting coconut milk!

    I’m also an Arizona native and Sedona is awesome. The food, the hiking, the spas are great. But you *must* go wine tasting at The Art of Wine. They have a lot of AZ wine including my Kokopelli favs and a pecan praline champagne that is to die for!

  36. Courtney Violet Bentley on February 7, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Your photos look magical, I love having help when taking my blog photos it just makes the time more fun and you can know that you are framed properly instead of guessing!! Enjoy your travel xo C

  37. Alex @ get big, go to work on February 7, 2015 at 4:13 am

    That raw lasagna looks out of this world!! I really want to make that sometime soon. I’ll definitely report back if I do. I think the highlight of my weekend will be taking a Sur La Table cooking class. I can’t wait.

  38. Emily on February 7, 2015 at 5:53 am

    That lasagna looks delicious! The picture on the beach is gorgeous. 🙂 And, this weekend, I think will involve maybe a short run, maybe a rest day. 🙂

  39. Katie @ Live Half Full on February 7, 2015 at 6:05 am

    I’m taking a post-workout hair styling class this weekend. I can’t wait!

  40. Cassie on February 7, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Any tips for Sedona? We are going there next weekend! Places to eat, good hiking trails? Thanks!

  41. Jessica @ kiwiyogirunner on February 8, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I bet it feels good to be back! Can’t wait to hear more about the yoga festival, that is very much my cup of tea! 🙂

  42. Maggie on February 8, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Oh muhhh gerrrd. Starbucks is getting coconut milk?!

  43. Reenie on February 9, 2015 at 8:29 am

    I have those same Mason Jar measuring cups, along with the Cookie Jar (I keep my coffee pods in it by my Keurig) and the measuring spoons (I hung them under my cabinet ~ so I could see them ~ they’re too cute to put in a drawer).

    A friend told me about the “Chasing Fireflies” Mason Jar Scentsy. My niece got it for me ~ it’s really cute too!!

    • Fitnessista on February 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      ahhhh i love that!

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