I fought the coconut

and the coconut won :/


(more on that in a second!)

Hellooooo! How is your almost-Friday going?? Mine has been a doozy, but a blast as usual ๐Ÿ˜€

The super exciting this we got to do this morning was show up at the restaurant/academy at 5:45am, watch the sun rise


(how gorgeous is this place?! I canโ€™t help but swoon everytime I walk in the door)

and be on FOX News!


They did a segment on 105degrees which included a piece on raw foods, the company background, and tools that are beneficial to have in a raw kitchen


And then a segment with a few of the academy students, including Megan, Michelle and myself. It was a lot of fun and the bonus was that I didnโ€™t have to talk a lotโ€”just a few words here and there ๐Ÿ˜‰ When the segment is posted online, Iโ€™ll definitely give ya the link. I have to admit I had a near panic attack last night when I was thinking it was the national FOX News, but Megan let me know this morning that it was the local Okie FOX News. Thank you 8lb 6oz baby Jesus.

After the news piece, we had about 40 minutes before class started, so the girls and I made some green smoothies to have for bfast.


This baby had brazil nut milk, banana, Thai coconut meat, spinach, frozen banana, spirulina, maca, sea salt, mesquite, cinnamon and a date. It was everything I could ever want ๐Ÿ™‚

We started class and got our first assignment: we each had to crack open an entire case of young Thai coconuts

008 009

Iโ€™ve wrestled with these before, but it was the first time using a machete to hack them open. I was a little scared.

image  Creeper! Haha

And mangled the first one:


But before ya know it, I was hacking them up pretty quickly.


Action shot:


We also had to crack open one mature brown coconut (which is what the young Thai coconut eventually grows into). Let me tell you, these things are a BEAST to get into. I may or may have not asked the sous chef in the kitchen to help a girl out with cracking it open ๐Ÿ˜‰ The meat does not want to separate from the shell.


In a nutshell (coconut shell), I was using the paring knife to slice the meat away, slipped and gashed my finger open. So did at least 4 other people. It was that kinda day and Iโ€™m pretty shocked it took me this long to cut myself- it was bound to happen sooner or later.

We combined all of the meat and coconut water together:


And made some Curious George smoothies using banana, coconut meat, coconut milk (that we made fresh out of juiced mature coconut pulp and coconut water), date, and cinnamon.. Megan and I shared ours since we had our green smoothies a couple of hours before, and also threw some maca and mesquite in our Curious Georgia smoothies


We made some coconut wrappers and red pepper wrappers (which are kind of like wonton wrappers) and put them into the dehydrator for tomorrowโ€™s lunch:


(I also had macadamia nut flour in there)

and got working on todayโ€™s lunch, which I have to say has been my favorite meal so farโ€ฆ



We were each asked to grab a different veggie and chop it up to put into the salads.

019  (I took this pic before everyone was done setting their ingredients out)

Hereโ€™s what we had to choose from: spinach, micro greens, 3 kinds of sprouts, yellow grape tomatoes, red onion, purple onion, mint, cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, jicama, golden beet and red pepper dressing that the academy director made with the red pepper juice from earlier. I have no clue what else she put into it, but it was glorious.

I also topped mine with nutritional yeast, 1/2 avocado and hemp seeds. A-freaking-mazing.

Iโ€™ve been feeling a lack of greens in my life lately โ€“which is hilarious because Iโ€™m surrounded with them all day!- but I feel like I caught up a little today ๐Ÿ˜‰

We went back in from lunch and made a mango custard:


And filled vanilla macaroon tart shells (made yesterday) with said custard and theyโ€™re sitting in the fridge to set overnight.


So as you can tell, itโ€™s been a busy day! Iโ€™m about to head into work because weโ€™re having a dinner for the investors tonight ๐Ÿ˜€

Okie locals, I hope to see you at the restaurant grand opening Saturday night!

Have a lovely evening and Iโ€™ll see ya when I get back.



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  1. Denise on September 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    This school looks SO exciting! Can just anyone go??? I am super jelly and I wanna go! I hope your finger gets better quick! You still got lots more to learn and teach us!

    • Fitnessista on September 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm

      yes, anyone can go! and i highly recommend it ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Holly on September 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    ahhhh this looks amazing – i cannot WAIT to see more!

  3. VeggieGirl on September 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    SO FREAKING FABULOUS that you were featured on the news!! Hell yes for awesome press ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Jenna on September 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Gina, dear, you must be having the time of your life! It looks like they are keeping you super busy, but if I was doing what you were doing, I don’t think I’d care ONE BIT!

    Have a great night at work!

  5. theskinnyplate on September 10, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Ouch. The dangers of cooking. Your cooking class is awesome! You look so professional in your cooking attire.

  6. Shari B. on September 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    ohhhh Gina, it all looks SO tasty! I want that macaroon tart! It looks DEEE-LISH!!! Your excitement and passion for what you are doing right now totally shines through! So glad that you are loving it! Can’t wait to see the news clip when you post it!

    What kind of flavor does the mesquite add to your green smoothie? I’m guessing it’s more savory? All I can think of is BBQ SMOOTHIE when you mention that you add it and it’s freaking me out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Fitnessista on September 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm

      the mesquite isn’t smoky– it’s sweet and nutty and goes wonderfully with bananas ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Annabananabomb on September 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I think I just drooled on my keyboard!

  8. Shelby on September 10, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    “Thank you 8lb 6oz baby Jesus”- AHAHAHAHA

  9. michelle on September 10, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    we broke our old counter top trying to get into a coconut, they are DIFFICULT! this post was fun to read.lots of adventures in just one day.

  10. Pam on September 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Wow…those tarts!

    So sorry about your finger!

    Fun about Fox News!


  11. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on September 10, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    The mango custard inside that V canister looks heavenly. OMG that is like my mouthgasm shot du jour. Thank you as I drool ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am soooo sorry about your cut/accident. I think kitchen knife wounds like that are especially painful b/c normally there is quite a bit of force (trauma) to the fascia rather than just a skin scrape. If you have the chance and are inclined, as much homeopathic arnica (by mouth) pellets that want will really help it. Arnica’s great for trauma as you know, I’m sure. But anyway, mama, take care of yourself…yikes, that’s scary.


  12. brandi on September 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    everything looks and sounds amazing. and that is awesome about the news segment! how exciting!!!

  13. Erica on September 10, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Ah! Please let us know when the video is up! This school is so cool- I am super jealous. Love the action shot ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Lauren on September 10, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    True sign of an aspiring chef…kitchen war wounds to prove your deadication! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes, we take one for the good of the food, it’s usually worth it in the end though.

    Congrats on the news segment! That’s wonderful!!!

  15. Kristin (Kristin's Nibbles) on September 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I honestly had NO idea young thai coconuts turned into mature coconuts. I thought they were two different “species” haha!!

    Looks great, aside from the gash… but hey, every REAL chef cuts themself in culinary school, right?


  16. simpledaisy on September 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Everything looks so yummy:) Good luck at the opening!

  17. Steph on September 10, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Congrats for getting on the news! Loved all the coconut info…so interesting. Can’t wait to see more ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. K on September 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I can’t wait until the clip is posted online!! You are a chopping machine these days – sorry the coconut bit back ๐Ÿ™

    That final dessert!? Divine!

  19. Jenna on September 10, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    wow gina! you look like you are having soo much fun!
    i love reading your posts for the recap of you day ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) on September 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I keep hoping to click and get recipes! Bah!

    Whenever I cut myself, I use crazy glue then duct tape. It’s happened on a random sunday night and I will NOT sit in the ER until 3am. I wouldn’t recommend it for sane people, but for the insane (like me!) it works like a charm ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Ashley on September 10, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Wow awesome! I bet you did fab!

    All this vegan/raw talk has convinced me to explore a few of Chicago’s finer raw restaurants. I can’t wait now!

  22. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) on September 10, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Told you wouldn’t sound like a total goober.

    Everything looks A-freaking-mazing. I cannot imagine having all those ingredients at my fingertips.

    Mature brown coconuts – I attacked one with a hammer once. Yeah, that didn’t go so well. Never bought one since. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Sally on September 10, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Ouch, occupational hazards! I hope your hand feels better soon. All your creations look fresh, healthy, and amazing….I have never felt compelled to try incorporating raw-ness into my life but now I can’t wait to try! I think you’re doing an awesome job introducing lay-people (like moi!) to how innovative and delicious raw cuisine can be, so go you! And may I say, all you girls are *wearing* that chef gear…so professional! (Though I still think it would look better in pink!) Have a good night, girl.

    • Fitnessista on September 10, 2009 at 11:15 pm

      i couldn’t agree more, but i’m thinking pink uniforms would be vetoed ๐Ÿ˜‰
      so glad this is sparking some rawcuriousity! it’s such a nutritious and truly beautiful type of cuisine

  24. Paige@ Running Around Normal on September 10, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Aw I hope your finger gets better! Ouch!

    All the food looks soo good! And wow what a milk shake! So many ingredients:)

  25. Rebecca on September 10, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I love reading your posts about this! It’s so exciting!

  26. Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) on September 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    sorry you cut yourself! ouch!

  27. Jenny on September 10, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    dang that c-nut… you’ll get ’em next time.

  28. Melissa S. on September 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    look at all that great food madness! i’m so jealous of all that you’re doing!

    and i love the action shot!

  29. Stephanie on September 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Ummm can we say best school ever?! Sorry bout that cut though, gotta take one for the coconut team I guess!

    • Fitnessista on September 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

      “best school ever” ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. Sheri on September 10, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Gina, sorry to hear about your boo boo! I have to say everthing you have posted so far just makes my mouth water! It all looks so fresh and vibrant! You must be having the time of your life!

  31. Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness) on September 10, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    That first coconut is how mine generally turn out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope your finger heals soon!

    I’m loving these school posts! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  32. Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries on September 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    WHOA–Your salad beast looks divine!!

  33. WholeBodyLove on September 11, 2009 at 12:49 am

    It’s funny that you used a machete today but cut your finger with a paring knife ๐Ÿ˜‰ That sounds like something I would do.

  34. Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) on September 11, 2009 at 3:04 am

    Every day of your life at 105 degrees is like XMAS! I am so excited for your posts, they are all so unbelievably cool.

    Thank you for your FB note comment. You will definitely get a free copy of my book. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. Biggie The Cookie Chef on September 11, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Ok, I’m done just creepily snooping around the blog, I’ll post :). Your food is killer and nutritionally ridiculous, you ever consider opening a healthy based restaurant? Dooo it… That Lasagna a few posts down is some wicked good eats too!

  36. Cara (Cara Craves...) on September 11, 2009 at 7:04 am

    I am super impressed with your chopping skills, those coconuts look intense! Good thing you have a ginormous knife to tackle them with!
    Must be funny learning all these cool new skills and recipes.

  37. rhodeygirl on September 11, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Wow. Not sure what else to say hahahaha. Everything looks amazing.

  38. Katie on September 11, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Everytime I read one of your posts I’m encouraged to eat more raw food!! You are so inspiring and you make it fun – it’s not the “raw” that so many people imagine of a few apples & some carrots, repeat three times and call it a day! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for inspiring so many of us to expand our horizons when it comes to feeding our bodies.

  39. Mara @ What's For Dinner? on September 11, 2009 at 9:12 am

    That incident is exactly why I buy pre-shredded coconut ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you’re having such a great experience!

  40. Sarah on September 11, 2009 at 10:20 am

    It looks like you’re having a blast! Keep those pictures coming!

  41. Gena on September 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Hi babe!

    Sorry I’ve been so terribly behind on posts. It’s amazing that you were featured in the news! And I cannot tell you how fun it is for me to read about your culinary adventures at the academy! I’m so proud of you and so inspired, and I hope you’ll be sharing lots of incredible knowledge with me.


  42. Ann on September 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Is the opening tomorrow a reservation kinda thing??? I’m hoping to make it! So excited it’s finally open! Your posts are making me want to start class asap…

  43. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) on September 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    G-dawg on TV! Amazing! Can’t wait to see the clipski. ๐Ÿ™‚ I tackled a young coconut for the first time a couple days ago too! I even made a movie of myself doing it and posted it because I had a feeling it would be kind of ridiculous, as you now know first hand. Yeah the first time is kinda embarrassing, but I think it’ll be no big from here on out. Plus the reward is pretty much the best thing to ever exist on earth. SO GOOD WHEN IT HITS YOUR LIPS.

  44. A on September 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I like the baby Jesus better too! LOL! Congrats on making the NEWS!!! I bet it was an awesome segment!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  45. Danielle on September 11, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Yay way to make your television debut with raw food and foodies ๐Ÿ™‚ and sorry about the coconut, they’re definitely pretty tempermental. Congrats on everytthing you’ve been doing though as of late sweetheart, I’m so proud!

  46. Meghan on September 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Foodie heaven!

  47. Uncle Eric on September 13, 2009 at 12:12 am

    To avoid using the machete, use your nearest edge of sidewalk curb. Keep thumbs and fingers out of the way. Come to Key West for free demo!

    We’re so excited for you and this amazing experience.
    All of our love,
    Eric, Jennifer, and Anise

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2009 at 12:50 am

      HI GUYS!!!
      i miss you! i might have to take you up on that free demo offer sometime very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. David on September 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Nice look on the 1st picture with a bandaid on the finger. Very unsanitary to be working with food with an uncovered hand that has been injured, (c’mon girls, sanitation 101). Bandaids are very porous and once wet or damp by any liquid including your body fluids, it will transmit on any surface or food that has been touched. USE A GLOVE!!!!

    Opening coconuts 101
    1) lay on side and take a quick swipe at the pointed top. You would be surprise at how effective, quick and clean this works. Banging directly on top produces the messy product that was produced in the pictures above.

    Other than that it looks like you had a fun time.

    David Chenelle
    Vice President, Chefs de Cuisine Assoc of San Diego

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