Ocean Spray #evenbetter Beach Bash!


Last week’s Ocean Spray event at Hermosa Beach was such a blast. I was so thankful to have been invited to participate in the day’s events, which included a chat from a NYT-bestselling Registered Dietitian (Frances Largeman-Roth), Maria Menonous (one of my personal fitspirations), the new PACt™ cranberry extract water, and the glorious giant inflatable cranberry.

The ocean breeze, sandy toes and warm sun weren’t too shabby, either. 😉 

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I was invited to teach a couple of classes, along with two blog friends: Cassey (whom I’ve been able to meet and hang out with a few times now), and Ashley (whom, unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet. She taught later in the afternoon, and I had to head back to San Diego to avoid the sllloooowwwww ccrrrraaawwwwll of traffic on the 405).

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Despite the many years I’ve worked as a group fitness instructor, I still get this nervous, uneasy feeling before teaching in a new setting. Tina Fey described it best in her book BossyPants, calling it Imposter Syndrome. In a nutshell, I get the irrational fear that when I teach, tomatoes will be thrown at my face to a chant of “YOU SUUUCK.” In this case, I kept imagining angry fitness fanatics and dodging flying PACt bottles while bashfully Zumba-ing around the stage.

Thankfully, it was nothing like that. 😉

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When it was my turn to teach, the nerves melted away, and it suddenly felt like NBD. I was just so happy to be doing what I love to do so much: teach fitness! 

Teaching OS

I led a super sweaty Zumba class, and then a thigh-burning barre class. 

Zumba OS

After teaching, I had the opportunity to listen to Frances speak about the benefits of a fresh, whole foods diet, and answer questions from the crowd. I learned some wonderful tips from her, and one that I started using immediately with Liv: “eat the rainbow.” It’s something that I try to follow myself and offer her in daily life, but we’ve certainly hit the picky toddler phase where Liv seems to prefer brown/white foods and sweets. There are a couple of standbys we’ll stick to (green smoothies, fresh fruit/berries, kale chips), but sometimes she doesn’t feel like eating vegetables, which Frances also experienced with her own children. She taught them about “eating the rainbow” and aiming to have a variety of color on their plate. I tried it at dinner that night, and someone ended up eating ALL of her broccolini. It was amazing! Just today, she ate her zucchini saying, “I need the GREEN part in the rainbow.” She totally got it!

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DJ Shakee mixed some sweet beats during the event, and they also had PACt™ galore for class participants and passerby. I ended up chugging two, and was delighted with how refreshing it tasted, especially after teaching. In each bottle, they packed the benefits of 50 cranberries (through an extract providing proanthocyanidins, which aren’t found in water alone), and the ingredient list is simple. It’s sweetened with stevia, agave and monk fruit extract. I was expecting the taste to be slightly bitter from the stevia, but it wasn’t at all. It’s perfectly sweet and each bottle has 10 calories. 

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Before heading home, I meandered around on the strand looking for some lunch to take with me. There were so many cool restaurants and little shops! I found a spot called Greenbelt and ordered a kale and chicken salad for the road. 

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It was an amazing event, and I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to attend <3

What’s your favorite part about your job? 

Hope you have a lovely night <3 



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  1. Amber Schumann on October 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    OMG…. I am definitely trying the rainbow trick on my 2yr old. The only vegetable she will touch is a tomato (and only in cherry/grape form). Otherwise, all she wants is pasta–with her special request of “no spinach, please momma!”. She’s figured out my sneaky antics and now refuses green ANYTHING (even smoothies…whomp whooomp).

    My house is about to get rainbow-fied to get her excited.

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      yessss! let me know how it works for you! it was pretty exciting to see the lightbulb go off. even this morning she was excited to be eating the rainbow in her fruit bowl

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on October 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    OMG….I totally know where this place is at Hemosa. A worked near there in Torrance for a couple years. My boyfriend and I would go to this amazing Tapas restaurant right there. He played volleyball there on the weekends too. We’d stay the weekend just to escape the AZ heat. I so love Hermosa! You’re so lucky to have been able to teach there. What a dream! Wish I could have been there.

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      no way! i want to go back and explore some more; it seems like they have some amazing spots!

  3. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on October 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Looks like perfect weather!

    I work at a Culinary School so my fave part of my job is the weekly wine tasting and daily recipe testing =).

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      that sounds absolutely amazing

  4. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on October 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    What a beautiful October beach day!

  5. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on October 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Gina! I’ve been teaching group fitness classes for six years, and I still get a tiny rush before every single one. I wish I could’ve made it down to see you. What a gorgeous setting for teaching classes!!

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      same! i’ve been teaching since college (dance classes and then into fitness) and it never goes away 🙂 i wish you could have been there, too!

  6. michele on October 27, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Imposter syndrome is a pretty famous psychological concept that sociologists use frequently, too. I’ve sat in so many graduate level courses where it gets analyzed to death… and I still get it every time I present my own research, even informally. powerful stuff.

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      i’ve done a little more research on it after reading her book, but it was so comforting to hear someone describe what i’d been feeling for quite a while! i’d love any articles or great reads you may be able to share <3

  7. Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes on October 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    That cranberry drink sounds awesome! I’ll have to keep my eye out for it.

    I’m so happy you had a good teaching experience. I can imagine how nervous you must have been but if they didn’t think you’d be awesome at it, they wouldn’t have invited you! 🙂

  8. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on October 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    What a great event! The weather could not have been better. I am sure you did an awesome job with your class. It’s so funny how know matter how often we do something there are still some butterflies that arise. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kay on October 27, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    The more pictures I see, the more the beach bash looks like a blast.

    I occasionally get to travel for work to recruit and chat with students. And while the travel is great. The students are better. I love visiting and speaking with college kids. I just think it was an awesome time in my life, and it’s fun getting out of the office too.

  10. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola on October 27, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I love Maria Menounos! She seems like such a nice person.

    I’m a registered dietitian in an inpatient setting and my favorite part of my job is when a patient tells me that I’ve really helped him/her. It can be very rewarding.

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      that’s amazing. you’re changing lives!

  11. Erin on October 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    My favorite part about teaching special education is when my students have their light bulb moment and suddenly all of the pieces start making sense to them. I love watching their faces light up when they grasp a concept and can “do it by themselves”.

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      love that so much! thank you for what you do. you’re truly making a difference in the world <3

  12. Courtney Violet Bentley on October 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    How fun!!! Looks like an awesome event, what a great line up!! xo C

  13. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on October 28, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Sounds like a ton of fun!! I’m jealous of how close you are to the beach!

  14. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine on October 28, 2014 at 2:59 am

    My mom always told my brother and I to eat the rainbow when we were kids– and now still, when I make salads or roasted veggies, I am always looking for things to add to complete my rainbow 🙂 It will stick with Livi! Glad to hear it’s helping her out of her picky toddler phase- I think every kid goes through it for a bit!

  15. Cara's Healthy Cravings on October 28, 2014 at 4:01 am

    I am a private chef, so my fav part about my job is seeing how happy certain foods can make a person feel. I love how food has such a prominent role in our lives, with our own well being, our memories etc., and I love to share that with others.

  16. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on October 28, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Taste the rainbow… of veggies & fruit 🙂 I love it!

  17. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on October 28, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Omg this look so fun!! Way to go teaching those classes!

    I love the eat the rainbow. Tucking that away for when I have kids someday. 😀

  18. Catalina @ Shades of Pink on October 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

    This looks fun, I always wanted to take a class on the beach, everytime we go to vacation in Mexico I tell myself that I will do yoga on the beach, and everytime I end up sleeping too late and missing it, bummer.

  19. Britt@MyOwnBalance on October 28, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I’ve heard good things about those drinks! What a fun event! My favorite thing about my job is that it is really intellectually challenging.

  20. Alex on October 28, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Looks like such a great event!! I am not exactly content in my job right now. I really have an interest in nutrition and exercise and really want to help others make positive lifestyle changes with the knowledge I have while continuing to learn, grow and challenge myself in the industry. I hope one day my hard work and dedication pays off and I one day too can do something similar like you as my full time job. You’re an inspiration. Thanks for the continual motivation.

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      thank you so much alex, that means a lot to me. i’m sad to hear you’re not in your ideal spot right now, but you will get there! it took me a long time and quite a few jobs before i was able to create one that makes me so happy. you will do the same <3 lots of love to you

  21. Cassie Vaughn on October 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

    <3 "eat the rainbow"

  22. Kelli on November 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I missed it..! I was sick 🙁 I’ll just have to take a class with you in San Diego now….

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