Happy Squatember (Challenge #1) + back in the game

Hiiii! How’s the morning going?

It’s a great one over here because breakfast was waiting for me. It’s almost enough motivation to wake up early and crawl out of bed when you know you have something delicious waiting in the fridge.

Grain and seed oatmeal 1 of 1

I’ve been going crazy for this new Trader Joe’s Super Seed mix. It has gluten-free oatmeal along with flax, amaranth, hemp, chia and almonds. I’ll put it in a jar with some almond milk, and in the am, I just add some fresh fruit and scramble eggs to enjoy on the side. It’s a perfect quick breakfast.

Grain and seed oatmeal 1 of 1 2

Some more pics from lately:

Scenes from writing at The Living Room, which is such a cool and funky spot. I feel like it gives me creative energy, so it’s become one of my favorite spots to write.

Living room

(I’m still cranking away on Post Baby Bod and many of my testers are over halfway through! So so excited to share this with my mama and mama-to-be friends.)

Decaf almond milk latte with one pump vanilla:

IMG 5067

And there’s something magical that returned to my life this week: meditation.

Salt lamp

I had been meditating consistently for a couple of months -ever since I was given my own mantra during yoga teacher training- and for some reason, while the Pilot was out of town last week, I couldn’t do it. I wanted nothing to do with sitting in stillness, and preferred to read before bed. Instead of forcing myself to do the practice, and risking bruising something that’s special to me, I decided to let it go until he came back. Has this happened to anyone else? I also slept pretty terribly, and I have a feeling it was coincidental.

Finally last night, I sat in the corner of my room (which is getting more challenging as the belly grows. I’ve started using a birth ball in rotation with my pillow) and set my timer for 15 minutes. It felt so good to be back in the game, and I slept the best I had since my little hiatus. If you’re curious to learn more about meditation + some of my favorite tips, check out this post! I also stumbled upon this article, which suggests incredible brain health improvement from meditation. 

So today is the start of a new month, and also our Squatember Workout Challenge! 


My newsletter subscribers got their monthly workout plan this am, and I also thought it would be fun to throw in some squat challenges here on the blog. Here is today’s challenge! It’s one of my all-time favorites, and burns sooooo good. After you finish it, leave a comment below to let me know how it goes.  

Hope you have a great morning and I’ll see ya later today on the Family page!


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  1. Erica {Erica@EricaDHouse.com} on September 1, 2015 at 7:11 am

    I’ve walked 10 miles in the last few days (at 39 weeks!) trying to get this baby to get the HINT, so I’m saving this workout to do tomorrow after I’ve given my poor feet a little rest!

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:30 am

      that is amazing!!! i walked 2 miles yesterday was like YES haha. hopefully you get to meet that beeb soon! so excited for you

  2. Jessie R on September 1, 2015 at 7:16 am

    You did overnight oats with that mix? I tried microwaving it a few weeks ago, and wasn’t a huge fan… I’ll have to try this 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:30 am

      yep! it’s also good cooked on the stovetop, add an egg while it’s cooking, almond milk, and top with berries and a drizzle of maple syrup

  3. Kristin F. on September 1, 2015 at 7:50 am

    “I also slept pretty terribly, and I have a feeling it was coincidental.”

    Do you mean you have a feeling it was somehow related to not meditating? (Therefore it would not be coincidental.)

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

      i think so?
      (if you find my brain, let me know haha)

  4. Laura @ Semi-Vegetarian.com on September 1, 2015 at 8:08 am

    When I got your email this morning I really chuckled out loud when I saw “Squatember”. Even a few hours later it’s still making me grin! Haha I guess it’s the little things in life, right? 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

      haha glad you got a kick out of it too 🙂

  5. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 1, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Squatember haha! Love it! I will be on the lookout for that TJ’s mix. It’s hard to find gluten free products there.

    PS can I ask a question? How much does a fitness instructor make? A friend of mine told me she is paid $8 for a 1 hour class. Is that true? How does anyone live off that?

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

      i feel like they hide the gf stuff!
      it depends on where you live. if she lives in a small town, that’s still very low, but it varies so much. in tucson i made 15-25, and in san diego (where cost of living is $$$$) it’s 25-50, depending on where it is (studio, gym, etc)

  6. Pam A on September 1, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Just did today’s Squatember challenge (well most of it since I’m 6 months pregnant and don’t want to do the jumping parts). Loved it! I feel like squats and leg exercises at home are the only exercises I have time for these days with a toddler and a full time job, so this series is perfect for me!

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:26 am

      that is awesome! great job 🙂

  7. Cara's Healthy Cravings on September 1, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Squats!! I’m on board for sure.

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:26 am


  8. Jules on September 1, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Oh man, I wrote all of my college papers at the Living Room! There’s just something about it that’s good for writing 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2015 at 10:26 am

      totally agree! it has great energy 🙂

  9. Katie on September 1, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I love your salt lamp! Do you mind sharing where its from? 🙂

  10. Tracy on September 1, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I need to remember to pick up that oatmeal mix on my next trip to TJs!

    I sure do love/hate squats!! Sounds like a great challenge!!

  11. Lauren on September 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Did the bar burner as a little break from sitting at my desk — may I say ow ow ow.

  12. Jennifer on September 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    This challenge combined with today’s lower body workout on the calendar is going to have me sore for dayyyys!! Thanks for always putting all this together Gina! You’re the best!

  13. Allison T. on September 1, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Great way to end a long work day of sitting — leg burner challenge!

  14. Karleen on September 1, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Leg burner + squat barre burner = legs on fire! In a good way 🙂

  15. Lee on September 1, 2015 at 5:47 pm


    I just signed up for your newsletter! Since i wasn’t already subscribed, I don’t have access to the email you sent earlier (i guess?) Will the workout schedule be sent out again?


  16. Kim on September 1, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Could not wait to check out the Barre studio that opened near me…now I’m not so sure. Haha, didn’t know my quads were so weak

  17. Sarah on September 1, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Salt lamp….. Is it just for a pretty glow or is it functional ~ Claiming to “do” something?? I don’t get it.

  18. Bri on September 2, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Hi! I’ve always wanted to try barre and I stumbled upon your challenge on IG this Am. Perfect timing! Just finished a total workout (7min squat burner, barre strength, barre blast, and plank burner) and LOVED it! Totally feeling the burn and it was the perfect morning workout. Thanks so much!!

    • Fitnessista on September 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

      that is so awesome!! great job!

  19. Amanda on September 2, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Soooo pumped for Squatember!!! 😀

  20. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on September 2, 2015 at 8:10 am

    What a fun workout challenge! And that cafe is too cute!

  21. Katherine on September 2, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Hi Gina! I just subscribed yesterday so I didn’t receive the monthly workout plan! Is it possible for you to send it, I’d love to participate in the challenges !

  22. Vanessa Binicki on September 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Omg my legs were shaking and burning sooo much from that workout video! I lift a lot of weights and hike all the time but WOW this still killed my legs! It was such a nice change too. Also It took me to your YouTube page where I was able to do a couple other videos as well, so thank you for posting those!! xoxo

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