It’s [not] always sunny

In Philadelphia ๐Ÿ˜‰

Heyyyyy ๐Ÿ˜€ Howโ€™s your Sunday treating ya?

Weโ€™ve been exploring Philly, eating sweet [gf] treats and getting stuck in the rain. Itโ€™s been a very good day ๐Ÿ™‚


I started off the morning by heading over to the HLS brunch to say โ€œsee ya laterโ€, brought some almond butter back to our hotel with me, almost ate cement on the way back (with a half-filled bowl of almond butter) and made a perfect breakfast.


When we go on vacation, we go out to eat for basically every meal, so itโ€™s always nice to have an almost-homemade breakfast to start the day ๐Ÿ™‚

-English breakfast tea (made in the Keurig! I think I do want oneโ€ฆ)

-GF oats from home, cooked with hot water, mixed with Vega smoothie infusion, almond butter and topped with 1/2 a brownie Larabar.

I then went back to sleep for 3 hours with the Pilot. It was everything I could wish for- my internal clock is majorly messed up from being stuck on West coast time.

When we finally got up for good, we headed over to the Reading Terminal Market to grab some lunch.

GIANT crepe for him:


and Mediterranean plate for me with salad, hummus, baba ganoush and two grape leaves.


I liked it ๐Ÿ˜€

Then, it was time to explore!
We checked out Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell


and then somehow found our way onto Walnut St, which is lined with fabulous shops. I have no idea how that happened ๐Ÿ˜‰


We shopped and walked for about 4 hours. Walking is my favorite way to check out a new city, and I love all of Phillyโ€™s history and architecture.

Afternoon sweet treat was courtesy of Sweet Freedom, a gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free bakery.



Not in the least ๐Ÿ˜‰

treats (2)

We shared a faux-stess cupcake (like the Hostess ones of my childhood), and a cookie frosting sandwich thing.

Got stuck in the pouring random (que romantico) and hailed a cab back to the hotel ๐Ÿ™‚

Weโ€™re chillinโ€™ now and are about to get ready for dinner plans. Iโ€™ll prob hit up the gym for a weights sesh, too.

See ya bright and early- we leave for Tucson in the am.

Canโ€™t wait to kiss this little faceโ€ฆ.




Something to talk about: How do you fit in workouts on vacation? Any standard make-at-the-hotel breakfast tricks? Usually, Iโ€™ll hit up a local yoga studio (I love checking out new studios) and the hotel gym. I also travel with 1-2 workout DVDs (this time, I had a TurboFire one in the laptop in case I got some free time). This trip, Iโ€™ve relied on lots of city walking for cardio and am going to throw in a weights session.

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  1. Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) on August 22, 2011 at 1:39 am

    we’re walking MANIACS when we’re on vacay– not only is it great exercise and the best (IMO) way to experience a city, but it’s really conducive to finding delicious places to eat ๐Ÿ™‚

    it’s nice to see the Pilot is so down with eating ‘healthified’ sweets– my Hubs also enjoys almost everything I’m willing to try– vegan, etc. He has recently been loving the spelt tortillas and a type of GF sliced bread I picked up from TJ’s. I think it’s more rare to have such open-minded spouses!

  2. mi-an on August 22, 2011 at 1:48 am

    sweet freedom looks pretty sweet to me! glad you had a great time! i like bringing dvd’s with me on vacay also, but checking out the fitness center at the hotel and swimming in the pool are my fave!

  3. Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds on August 22, 2011 at 1:50 am

    How fun! I also love to explore a new by foot ๐Ÿ™‚ I see your baby bump is growing! YAY!

  4. Sara on August 22, 2011 at 1:54 am

    OMG, I’m the first to comment. That’s probably because it is some crazy hour over there but only 6pm here (also known as ‘wine o’clock’). I would like to know please, what did they use as a sweetener in that ‘everything-free’ bakery? Also, what types of flour did they use? I’m assuming they would have an ingredient list, and that you would have perused it.
    I used to travel with resistance band and good intentions but now I just rely on the usual exertions of being a tourist (walking, mostly). The breaking point (literally) was when my Reebok band snapped and gave me a black eye. I had to try and explain, in Italian, to a kindly transvestite in Verona, that no, I had not been beaten and raped. On my just-finished trip, I had a temporary home (1 month) and so bought a yoga mat and used it several times a week for yoga, pilates or bodyweight stuff.

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

      i’m pretty sure they used coconut sugar! i’m going to be on the lookout for some.
      and omg, what a crazy story!

  5. Sara on August 22, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Amended to ‘almost’ first. .. You girls are FAST.

    • mi-an on August 22, 2011 at 1:59 am

      “like” (as in fb like button) lol

  6. Hayley @ Oat Couture on August 22, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Looks like your having such a fun time! When travelling I always try to choose a hotel with a gym. But even if I don’t get chance to work out the walking miles exploring everyday generally does it for me! ๐Ÿ™‚ That cookie frosting sandwich looks YUM btw!

  7. Karen on August 22, 2011 at 1:58 am

    One comment about the Keurig- I may be wrong, but it appears that in the process of brewing, very hot water passes through a plastic container. This is not so great, as heat really leeches out BPA’s from plastic, which is theorized to contribute to cancer.

    Just a thought ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sara on August 22, 2011 at 2:25 am

      not cancer, hormone imbalances. I just read a stack of papers on it. It does excrete quickly from the body though.

  8. Sana on August 22, 2011 at 2:13 am

    I loveeee the pic of you jumping! Too cuteee!

  9. Kris | on August 22, 2011 at 2:18 am

    love, love LOVE exploring new places and NEW FOOD!!!! OMG!! How do you find out about this dang HLS thing?? I feel so out of the loop!


  10. Kathryn @ Flopoodle on August 22, 2011 at 2:37 am

    I’m with you on exploring a city on foot – built in exercise and you really get the vibe of a place that way, too. I’m deffo drooling over those cupcake pics ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Rachel on August 22, 2011 at 2:58 am

    I’ve been meaning to research this for awhile but I’ll just ask, since I’ve seen you mention it, and seen your pretty jar labels! – since gluten is a component of wheat, wouldn’t all oats be gluten free? What do they even take out of an oat to make it GF? Just thought you might have a blog-reader-friendly answer ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sara on August 22, 2011 at 3:04 am

      I know the answer, so I hope you don’t mind me answering. Oats and naturally gluten free but prone to contamination because they are usually grown in close proximity to wheat and processed on the same equipment. ‘Gluten free’ oats are ones that have been grown and processed in controlled conditions for allergen management. I know this because part of my job is certifying allergen management systems in food processing businesses. Oats can’t be assumed gluten free.

      • Fitnessista on August 22, 2011 at 10:10 am

        thanks girl!

      • Rachel on August 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

        Awesome, and makes total sense! I can imagine seeing a jar of “peanut free” almond butter or something for the same reason.

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on August 22, 2011 at 3:01 am

    “Sweet Freedom, a gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free bakery” — WOW, that place looks great!

    The Hostess cupcake and the Oatmeal Cream Pie look-alikes look…amazing. YUM!!

    And you, finding your way to the shops? No, never ๐Ÿ™‚

    Workouts when traveling…hotel towels laid on hotel floor as my yoga mat. Bust out 20-30 mins worth of sun salutations and whatever other yoga moves or core work I feel like and that’s my workout. Or, I go running. Leave hotel, run 15 mins in one direction. Turn around. Go back. Workout done. ๐Ÿ™‚ I keep it BASIC.

  13. Tasha @ Voracious Eats on August 22, 2011 at 3:19 am

    That last picture of Bella is TOO CUTE! What a sweet little face. And it looks like you are having a fun adventure. Enjoy!

    I just got back from a week in London. The hotel had a fantastic gym, but we walked for miles and miles and miles every day, so I almost didn’t need to use it! My legs were sore from walking every day, but I did pop down to the gym to do weights or hop on the elliptical occasional. I love working out too much to stay away for long.

    And healthy breakfasts…do you know, I bought a travel blender specifically because I wanted to have smoothies while on vacation…but I didn’t use it once! London is filled with healthy shops and cafes, so it was much easier just to grab a smoothie or a fresh juice on our way somewhere. It was a pleasant surprise, because here in Saudi Arabia you couldn’t find a fresh juice or smoothie to save your life!

  14. Emma @ Microcosm of Life on August 22, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Oh man, waking up to eat breakfast and then sleeping till lunch is my DREAM. That lunch looks amazing, what was in the crepe??

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

      i think he said feta, ham and veggies?

  15. Denise @ Kumara Mash on August 22, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Bakeries like that make me want to find a American guy, marry him, and then move to the States! The USA seems like vegan food utopia to me. Would save a lot of money not paying 2 to 3 times the price for a vegan food item in NZ.

  16. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on August 22, 2011 at 5:59 am

    I’m the queen of instant oatmeal for breakfast while staying at hotels! I hoard up little items throughout and before the trip so my belly is fully nourished ๐Ÿ™‚ Priorities, people.

    That gluten-free hostess-like cake looks like the bomb diggity, by the way ๐Ÿ™‚ Safe travels this morning!

  17. Heather on August 22, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Those treats look amazing! We should teleport that bakery to our hometowns or something. A girl can dream right?! You are glowing. Seriously so happy for you, Gina!

    Working out is super important to me (mind, body, and soul!) so I always seek out hotels around the area and look for the most affordable (and let’s face it, attractive) hotel with a home gym. That way, I know I always have a workout waiting for me! I like to tote resistance bands too, since they’re a killer way to fit in a workout in a pinch!

    As for breakfast, I make sure the hotel has at least a mini fridge! That way, I can have fresh fruit, cereal (Nature’s Path Heritage Grains is my fave!) and almond milk on hand for a quick and delish breakfast!


  18. carly on August 22, 2011 at 7:52 am

    yay i’m happy you went to my favorite place, sweet freedom!!

  19. Kate @ Running Without Pasta on August 22, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Sweet Freedom looks a lot like “Allcaneat” in the Boston area. I 100% support any place that can make gluten free food taste, and look, great! I’m training for the Philly Marathon in November, so I’ll def. be hitting Sweet Freedom when I get there!

  20. Brittany on August 22, 2011 at 7:59 am classes are my life savers on vacation! And that bakery looks fantastic.

  21. Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) on August 22, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Walnut street? <— adorable!

  22. Lauren on August 22, 2011 at 8:20 am

    So happy you are still enjoying the city. Try and see a game if you can. Citizen Bank park is incredible and has some wonderful Veggie/Gluten Free friendly eats. ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS- It was so nice meeting you girl. You look AMAZING and I wish you and your hubby the very best.

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

      so nice to finally meet you, too!
      take care and hope to see you again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups on August 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I love seeing what hotel gyms have to offer, and they’re usually pretty empty so it’s like having a private gym! I love my Keurig, especially in the winter when I can make hot chocolate and hot cider. Yum!

  24. Allison on August 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I hope that the hotel has a decent gym, otherwise I’ll head outdoors… It’s always fun running around a new place [as long as you don’t get lost]! I’ve never thought about checking out a local studio- do you get a guest pass?

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

      yep or just pay for 1 class

  25. Mo on August 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

    If you buy the Keurig . . . Beth Bath and Beyon carries a universal “pod” that you can fill with your own brand of coffee, rinse and reuse – as buying all of the different options can get pricey. I got one for my niece for part of her graduation gift – it was a hit. That picture of Bella at the top of the stairs – too cute. You guys take care and have a safe trip back. (Hopefully you won’t be so rushed for this one!)

  26. Katy Widrick on August 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    You know how much I love you, right?

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

      i was so happy to see you this weekend! i’ve missed you like crazy, little lady. and please come to tucson and hang out with us ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Jill @ SA Newlywed on August 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Honestly I get to travel/vacation so little I do not workout when I finally get a week off. I typically rely on the walking that comes with vacationing. I think of it like this, I have my honeymoon coming up in 3 weeks and I haven’t been on a vacation in almost 2 years; I DESERVE some r&r!!

  28. Erica June on August 22, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I’m so glad you went to sweet freedom! Did you love that cookie sandwich? I went there the first time with my best friend who is also GF. We fell in love. Glad you’ve enjoyed Philly!!!!! I love reading your blog and it really brightens my day.

  29. Chelsa on August 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I’ve actually stayed at the same hotel in Philly (recognized from the pics) and the same chain in DC before. I used the coffee maker thing every day for coffee and instant oatmeal. I’d buy fresh berries the night before and put them on ice for the morning. I guess great minds think alike!!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

      love that you added berries! i had a banana with me, but he’s looking very sad today and ended up in the trash can ๐Ÿ˜‰

  30. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on August 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Clever title! My bf loves that show. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    That bakery sounds phenomenal, and I love that cute little faux-Hostess cupcake. I have begun to suspect that I’m a bit gluten intolerant even though I don’t have many of the more obvious symptoms, so I’ve taken to enjoying more gluten free goodies, like Udi’s whole wheat buns <– so yummy!!!!

  31. Catherine C. on August 22, 2011 at 10:19 am

    drooling over those sweets! yummmmm!!

  32. Beth (well ill be) on August 22, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Philly looks so fun and yummy! We fly into there a lot to visit my husband’s family, but they live outside of it so we’ve never gotten to explore. Maybe one day!

  33. April on August 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    You are SO good about working out when traveling girl, i need to take tips from YOU:) I happend to just be in Philly all last week for biz…and i LUV Walnut Street, my hotel was a block away…i stumpled upon the cutest baby store and just ‘had’ to buy a Splendid onesie and a cute flannel jacket. I wish i woulda found that bakery though!
    Usually when i travel i make sure to utilize the gym, i always have grandiose plans to take a class, however when traveling for biz or with the hubs i don’t usually fit it in…so like you, walking and exploring suffice most of the time.
    Sounds like you had a blast, love reading about your travels!

  34. Clare @ Fitting It All In on August 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

    It was wonderful to meet you this weekend! You are just as beautiful in person as on the blog:)

  35. Allison @ Food for Healing on August 22, 2011 at 10:56 am

    i would absolutely love to go to a gluten-free vegan bakery and just pig out, seriously!

  36. Marguerite Miller on August 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Loved the pictures! The building I used to work in was in 2 of the pictures! I worked at 5th and Walnut, right across from independence Hall! Unfortunately, when you are there every day, you take it all for granted! Tourists see more of it than I ever did!

  37. Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen on August 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I typically try to pack a few protein bars, apples, and little single serving packets of peanut butter. If there is a mini-fridge I’ll grab a few yogurts as well. I tend to try to pack snacks and breakfast items and venture out for lunch and dinner.

  38. Laura on August 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

    You kind of look like you are levitating in that picture ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Sarah on August 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I love *accidentally* stumbling upon great shops! PS – both of your lunches looked delish!

  40. Evan Thomas on August 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I went to Sweet Freedom Sunday morning with some bloggers and got some treats for then and more for later that night. The brownie sundae cupcake was good, but the sticky cinnamon bun was life changing. I would go broke there if I lived in Philly.

  41. Ali @ urbanfruitbat on August 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I bring my yoga mat with me everywhere I go. And I always always always make time for a walk or two every day!

  42. Kelly on August 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Vacation workouts used to stress me out, not anymore though. I typically pick a hotel with a “gym”. What most consider a gym is one elliptical, one treadmill and free weights. I make the best of it. I also check out a particular website that has great home workouts. I didn’t want to list it here. After our first motorcycle trip I declared that my workout clothes will ALWAYS fit in our bags no matter what I have to sacrifice. As for breakfast, I try to make sure the hotel offers free continental breakfast. That normally doesn’t help me too much so I pack my own. In a snack size baggie I put 1/3 c oats, 1 T chia seeds and raisins. I make up as many as days I’ll be gone. I can always make the oats in the microwave in the lobby (if they have the free breakfast spot). Usually they have fruit so I’ll add in a banana or orange or whatever they have. The last vacation I had sample packets of Rockit Fuel. They worked very good for breakfast even at a hotel that didn’t have a fridge or free breakfast. Now I always have Larabars in the bag just in case none of these are options.

  43. Hillary on August 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I genuinely enjoy exercising on vacation, maybe because it breaks me out of my usual gym rut. I love walking/running in new cities, swimming, or even just busting out a new workout DVD. Anything to switch it up!

  44. Moni'sMeals on August 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I just had to say that you Look SO ADORABLE with the lil leap picture…it is one of my favs. Also those desserts, what a TEASE!


  45. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on August 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Your hotel oatmeal looks awesome! I love that oatmeal is fairly easy to make no matter where you go.

    When I’m on a trip, I try to squeeze in a workout at the hotel gym early in the morning before breakfast. But sometimes I’d much rather sleep in. ๐Ÿ˜›

  46. hillary on August 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    oh…my…goodness! this bakery sounds amazing! and i just checked their website and they ship! i have been searching for a bakery like this to make cakes for our wedding and i may just have to order a bunch of stuff for them to send me in tucson to sample, first! ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the tip!!

    also–lara bars on oatmeal? this is a new one–i will try it! thanks again!

  47. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun on August 23, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Glad it cleared up for you guys to be able to enjoy! LOVED meeting you and the Pilot. You both are even more wonderful in person. Hope to get the chance to meet again someday. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on August 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      loved meeting you too!! hopefully we’ll get to hang out at the next blog event ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for all of the baby tips, too!

  48. sara @ the foodie diaries on August 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Usually when I’m on vacation, I don’t worry about workouts. I focus on spending time with the ones I’m with on this break i have from the real world ๐Ÿ™‚ Alot of the time I’ll get exercise in other ways, like on hikes or walks through the city. I think it’s important to take a time out sometimes, and just enjoy yiour vacation.

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