Official Cheffer

042Hey everyone! Happy Saturday!

What a whirlwind…. and now, I’m a certified raw foods Level 1 chef!



(About half our class and our two instructors, Ladan and Whitney)

Yesterday was seriously crazy trying to get everything put together and prepped for our three course meal. Mayjah thanks to the twins who got me a Thai green smoothie for lunch


I got all of the prep work done, took a break and walked around the mall for an hour, went back to school and started plating. We did two plates of each course—1 set was to leave in the academy for the tasters/judges and one set to have out on the patio to share.

My yellow almond-flax crackers, smoked paprika zucchini hummus and coriander lemon marinated olives


Apricot mint and cauliflower rice dolmas


Local honey and walnut baklava with coconut vanilla cream


Two sets of everything:


Next we were told to go out on the patio, grab a glass of wine (twist my arm, right), and wait to be served our meals while the judges were inside tasting.

I sat next to these two lovely ladies 😀


And there were actual menus printed out with our meals that we had each designed


It was such a relief to be done with the prep aspect and get to enjoy some vino with our classmates and taste everyone else’s creations.

Michelle’s tropical salad with dried mango


Hilary’s corn chowder


Greg’s avocado soup


Jenn’s salad and soup shot:


Raw tacos


Michelle’s cupcakes


Blake’s amazing pear apple dumpling


My baklava


These addicting raw donut holes –I’m going to ask Sonya for the recipe


And so many more incredible creations…. I was blown away by the talent in our class and the fact that everything was SO different.

We were also joined by these two guys:


Anthony, the Raw Model and Philip McClusky!!! How freaking cool is that?!

They posed for a pic with me and we decided to do the mad face


I’m the only one who actually looks angry.. they just look seductive 😉

I also had this lovely pina colada


And made a taster plate for the pilot, who got in a little later (he’s HERE!!!!! wahooooo!)


And had another drink.. this time, the autumn spice. I was celebrating 😀


It was such an amazing night and I’ll be posting a full re-cap of my experience here either tomorrow or Monday morning. Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer for that post!!!

Now, off to finally meet Ani Phyo!! They thought she would be able to join us last night as well, but her flight ended up getting in later. I’ll probably make a giant goober of myself trying to talk to her- I’m just so excited!!!

See you soon with a re-cap of today’s Live and Learn events 😀



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  1. Diana on October 3, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Congrats! Everything looks amazing!

  2. VeggieGirl on October 3, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR CERTIFICATION!!! And so fun that you met Philip and Anthony!!

  3. Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries on October 3, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Felicidades!! You are killing me with that baklava! I haven’t had it since I was like 10!

    And love the mad face 🙂

  4. Nic on October 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    What awesome plates!!! I’m so in awe!!! I’m glad you had a great time!!
    And of course congrats on your certification!! I envy you for being able to do this!! 🙂

    Enjoy your time with the pilot and I’m eager to read more about the evening and of course about the Live and Learn events!
    Hug n.

  5. Leianna on October 3, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    So many amazing dishes here I don’t know where I’d start. I’m drooling over all of them!
    Have fun with Ani Phyo, whata great experience!

  6. Shelby on October 3, 2009 at 2:29 pm


  7. Hayley H on October 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    so exciting!!!! good job!

  8. Brittany on October 3, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Congratulations Gina!!! Everything looked super delicious.

  9. Erica on October 3, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    WAY TO GO, G!!! So proud of you! Now can you come make me food?! Just stop in Missouri on your way home, love. I’ll give you directions 😉


    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2009 at 5:10 pm

      i’ll totally come make you food 😀

  10. Abby on October 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Congrats.. what an accomplishment! Everything looks amazing.

  11. melissa (fitnessnyc) on October 3, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    huge congrats! so awesome! I am so jealous you actually got to met anthony and phillip so cool!

  12. Emily on October 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Looks delicious, and congratulations!

    This is really random- but did you know the movie Zombieland was filmed at Wild Adventures in Valdosta?

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2009 at 5:10 pm

      hahah so funny you asked that. my brother (in tucson) was seeing that last night and i was like,”it was filmed in valdosta!!” they had zombie auditions over the spring if any locals wanted to be a zombie extra. hilarious.

  13. Molly on October 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    so jealous and so impressed with all you’ve learned!!!

  14. Paige@ Running Around Normal on October 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Congratulations, lil’ lady!! SO PROUD of you! That food looks amazing. Wow…

    How sexay is raw model? ow ow!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm

      thanks paige! um lt’s just say i thoroughly enjoyed sitting across from him –he was nice eye candy until the pilot got there 😉

  15. Ris on October 3, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Congrats! The food all looks so amazing, getting hungry just seeing it!

  16. Erin on October 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I am SO proud of you Gina!!! I want to say more but I got REALLY DISTRACTED seeing Anthony and P McC! I have it so bad for BOTH those hot glowing raw gods! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!
    If you get that donut hole recipe, I’m hoping you share 🙂
    Your baklava turned out absolutley beautiful. How fun was your experience?! Now you know how to plate things all beautifully? I’m so thrilled for you girl. Mayjuh cheesin over here. High five mama!

  17. Cara (Cara Craves...) on October 3, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Everything looks divine!
    Way to go Gina.
    You are one talented lady.

  18. Stephanie on October 3, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Congratulations girlie!! You have worked so hard and I have enjoyed reading every step 🙂

  19. Meghan on October 3, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Congrats! Its so impressive to see what amazing raw food can be made!

  20. Peanut Butter Bliss on October 3, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    CONGRATS!! that so cool!!

    love the raw donut holes – they look better than dunkin 🙂 haha

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2009 at 8:49 pm

      they were better than dunkin! i probably had 4 or 5 😉

  21. Angharad (Eating for England) on October 3, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Wow – congratulations Gina! This has been such a fun experience to read about, you must feel so accomplished now that you’re CERTIFIED! I heart baklava so you have won me over instantly with that beauty! Yum.

  22. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on October 3, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Ohmigosh it all looks so incredible. So impressed!!

  23. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on October 3, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Congrats Gina on finishing and being a chef with credentials!!!!!!!! What an amazing accomplishment, I am so proud of you and obviously you know you’re awesome and that you’re done a great job, but here’s a cyber pat on your cute back 🙂 Thanks for posting your recipes. I have to say the male model/mad faces caption and pic are priceless. As well as those donut holes. Wow. Raw? You better get your hands on that recipe, those look seriously awesome. Congrats again sweetie!!!!!!!! xoxo

  24. caronae on October 3, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Congratulations! Everything looks wonderful and it sounds like you had an awesome time. I’m glad you pursued your dream 🙂

  25. michelle on October 3, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    i just killed a chocolate larabar by microwave….it looks like i need to go to school.hey at least some people are doing things right!!CONGRATS TO YOU!!

  26. hotchick on October 4, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I’ve been a fan of yours for about 1 yr now, and your’s is the only blog I look at everyday. Keep up the good work, you’re such an inspiration w/the food and yoga, thank you for changing my ways of eating and working out. Thank you fitnessita…you’re so beautiful and insirational…you will never know how much you changed my life. Christina

    • Fitnessista on October 6, 2009 at 12:56 am

      so sorry i’m just now getting back to you but thank you so much for your beautiful comment. i’m so glad this little bloggy has helped and please don’t hesitate if you ever need anything!
      thanks for making my night <3

  27. CaSaundra on October 4, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Congrats! You’re great–another accomplishment to add to your list–yay!

  28. healthy ashley on October 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

    My gosh all the food looks SO GOOD!

  29. K on October 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

    YAY!! CONGRATULATIONS G$!!! That’s awesome and all of the dishes look scrumptious! I hope you do get that raw donut recipe – yum!

  30. Kailey (SnackFace) on October 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    GINA!!! AHHHHH I cannot believe it! It has been the fastest month ever, it seems! HUGE congratulations! I am so glad we got to watch you along the way! I’m also glad you’re with your man right now! (Not that the Raw Model isn’t ridiculously sexy, but no one is the pilot!!!)I hope the rest of your weekend is amazing!

  31. Katie on October 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS GINA!!! It seems like you JUST got there. All of your food looks tasty and BEAUTIFUL! I’m so proud of you 🙂

  32. Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness on October 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Congrats Gina!!!! How exciting :-D!!!!

  33. Philip McCluskey on October 5, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    What a pleasure to meet you. That angry face was classic. Congrats on your graduation and future success. Much love. : )

    • Fitnessista on October 6, 2009 at 12:52 am

      thank you so much for attending our dinner and speaking at saturday’s events! you’re such an inspiration to many and it was wonderful meeting you!

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