Pickled kumquat, feta and mint salad

Hi! How’s the day going? What’s today’s workout plan? This is a shocker, but I actually woke up early and made it to yoga! It felt amazing to start the day with some movement, heat (loooove the heat) and a stretch, especially after yesterday’s Bodypump/spin combo.

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(Last night’s ridiculous sunset!)

At our gym, we have the option to wear MyZone heart rate monitors, which project calorie burn and heart rate zones onto a screen during the classes. A participant in class last night torched 2500 calories in my spin class! It blew my mind. It’s been a helpful tool during classes to gauge how the class is doing, especially during spin and Zumba. 


Spin playlist2

Spin playlist

After class, the Pilot and Liv met me at the park for an evening playdate + picnic. The Pilot packed up an entire chicken and sweet potato dinner for us to share, and it was a wonderful way to spend the evening before heading home for relaxation + The Voice. (Anyone else LOVE that Gwen Stefani and Pharrell are on this season?! So so good. And I am still Team Blake haha.)

A recent delicious salad to share:

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Pickled kumquat, feta and mint!

Lately, I’ve noticed that meal planning, while helpful in a variety of ways, has contributed to my cooking rut. I got into a habit of making the tried and true staples, and since grocery shopping is usually a bit of an in-and-out-rush, there was no time to be inspired by what was fresh or new. Meal planning has dramatically helped me stick to a food budget, especially since we eat a majority of meals at home, but I felt motivated to do something different this week. I went into the co-op with a rough plan (a few dinners and lunches planned out) and decided to see what looked good and go from there.

Kumquats are in season, and they looked awesome.

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(The fresh mint was also particularly inviting, and Liv and I love to add it to our water)

They also made me a bit nostalgic for my Valdosta days. One of my favorite clients aka “Funny Quotes Lady” would bring me bags of kumquats from her garden. They were pretty new to me, and I’d happily shove a few in my face between teaching clients. They taste great on their own -fresh and vibrant and a slight tang- but I remembered a salad I once had with pickled kumquats.

I grabbed a bag of the kumquats and thin-sliced them before pickling in a white wine vinegar with a little salt and pepper.

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I covered them and set in the fridge for about an hour, and then tossed them with super greens mixed, crumbled sheep feta and fresh chopped mint. Usually my salad combos go something like this: something sweet, something for protein, something for texture and a fresh chopped herb. Usually you can’t go wrong 🙂

This was a fresh and lovely fall salad, and something I’ll definitely be making again soon.

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Hope you’re having a great morning. See ya later with a NEW workout!



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  1. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on October 7, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Oh my goodness, that sunset! (Insert heart eyes smiley here.) I haven’t had kumquats in so long and previously have only really enjoyed them in fruit salads, but I’m liking the idea of this mint combo. Like you said, sometimes meal planning gets me in a bit of a rut too. However, lately I’ve been picking a new recipe to make for the blog (usually something suitable for big batches like soups and chilli), and that ends up being my take-to-work lunch for the rest of the week. I’m a creature of habit so I totally don’t mind the repetition! Have a great day, Gina!

  2. Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy on October 7, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Mint and feta! Nice combo. It’s too bad dairy doesn’t do too well in my digestive system.

  3. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on October 7, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I got through phases with kumquats. Sometimes I like them and sometimes they are too sour for me! But I ALWAYS love mint and feta so I might give this a try! I feel like creamy feta would be a nice counterbalance to their flavor!

  4. Brynn on October 7, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I’ve never tried a kumquat but am really interested per your description- sounds like a little gem. And the new judges in the Voice are awesome!!

  5. Lindsey @ SimplyLindsey on October 7, 2014 at 8:17 am

    That salad looks delicious! I’ve never eaten a kumquat before. Maybe I’ll try the recipe soon! 🙂

  6. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on October 7, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Yum! Whenever I get a random urge to cook something new I always seem to be missing 1 -2 main ingredients and asking me to run to the grocery store at night is like asking me to climb Mt. Everest…not gunna happen. For this reason alone I try to meal plan, but I do agree it leaves less room for creativity!

  7. Tracy @ sprinklesandsquats on October 7, 2014 at 9:14 am

    That sunset… er mah gosh.

    I just realized that I’ve never tried a kumquat! Ironically, my husband and I were just had a discussion of foods we never tried before, so I may have to give this little salad a whirl!

    Workout planned today is to lift these baby boulder shouldasssss – I love lifting shoulders, it’s my favorite. 🙂

  8. cait @pieceofcait on October 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

    that sunset is ahmazing. I never had mint in a salad expect feta watermelon and mint! Must try , sounds great!

  9. Leslee @ Her Happy Balance on October 7, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for sharing your salad recipe. We don’t have kumquats too often in PA, but I could use the simple pickling technique on lots of other veggies 🙂

  10. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on October 7, 2014 at 9:51 am

    That salad looks delicious!

    Josh and I have been making huge batches of farro + mushrooms in a wine sauce on Sunday. (I then add chicken to mine when it’s done.) I love having it for dinner on a weeknight when I don’t want to think about cooking anything.

  11. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on October 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I love the addition of mint. It’s always brightens salads but I forget to toss some in. No workout for me this morning. I’ve got a head cold. I was planning to workout but my body needed the rest more.

  12. Angela @ HonestlyAngela on October 7, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I have never tried kumquat, but anything pickled with feta is a win in my books! That salad looks beautiful.

  13. Britt@MyOwnBalance on October 7, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I love the idea of putting kumquats in your salad! This one looks particularly appetizing. I kind of do the same thing. I roughly plan out my meals and then head to the farmers market and see what looks good. There are always some unique finds!

  14. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on October 7, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I havent had kumquat in AGES!! I never eat that- only if its on a dish! Love this!

  15. Alex on October 7, 2014 at 10:19 am

    That sunset is beautiful! Our leaves are turning here which is beautiful too but that sun…wow!!
    I have never had a kumquat before! I’m sure I can goggle what it is, but what kind of a taste does it have?? I love how you incorporate herbs in your salads. Usually forgotten and underrated, but they pack such a big nutritional punch!

    • Fitnessista on October 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

      totally agree; and they add so much flavor! they’re almost like a tiny, compact orange with a tangier flavor

  16. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on October 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

    This salad combo sounds (and looks!) so amazing! Feta makes everything amazing. 😉

    • Fitnessista on October 7, 2014 at 11:03 am

      totally agree. it’s one of the my faves along with manchego 🙂

  17. mary on October 7, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I’m pretty sure that burning 2500 calories in an hour class is impossible. I wish I could do it, though!

    • Fitnessista on October 7, 2014 at 10:59 am

      that’s what i thought, too; i took a picture of it because i was so amazed haha. usually the screens are pretty accurate. most people get to class 15-20 minutes early to get a bike, so he might have been there early pedaling. i’ll have to ask him next time i see him!

      • mary on October 7, 2014 at 11:15 am

        I wonder too if he might’ve been wearing something that caused interference. I saw my HR go up to huge numbers once biking near those giant power lines outdoors.

        Even if his actual HR just runs really, really high the calorie burn data is probably way off since the estimates are based on population averages.

      • queenoffitness on October 7, 2014 at 6:09 pm

        I just scrolled through to see whether anyone else thought that burning 2500 in a spin class was also WAAAYYYY off. glad to see i am not alone. i typically burn 500-650 in zumba (60 mins) if i am teaching the class.
        gina, do you think he was wearing like a body bugg or some other kind of polar device which would have been tracking his burn for the whole day? also, i LOVED the reference to funny quotes lady. i remember reading about her when i first discovered your blog.

  18. Melissa on October 7, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Hi! I have a quick question but first want to say how much I am inspired by all of the fantastic post you write! Your passion about life, fitness and staying positive is contagious. I have a question actually from a post a couple of days ago. I read you like to have red wine in the evenings and I do on occasion (coming from an Italian family) lol. My question is regarding how do you keep your teeth so white- and what kind of toothpaste do you use? I have been researching on natural toothpaste and am a bit confused. I wondered if you knew of a great toothpaste for remineralizing and generally an all -around good toothpaste. Thanks so much in advance for your response.

    • Fitnessista on October 7, 2014 at 11:02 am

      hi melissa,
      thank you so much for reading!! 🙂 i use tom’s brand toothpaste. i alternate between whatever i find that looks good. right now it’s the antiplaque and whitening. i’ll usually brush pretty soon after dinner or if i have wine, and i think it’s helped! 🙂

      • Melissa on October 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

        thank you so much for the helpful information

  19. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on October 7, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Do you wear the heart-rate monitor? That’s pretty cool. I’ve never worn one. Do you usually wear it in Orangetheory? I’m planning to try an Orangetheory workout this week. Looking forward to it!

    • Fitnessista on October 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

      yeah the instructor wears one too 🙂 in orangetheory, all participants usually wear a “pod” (heart rate strap. they’ll lend you one if it’s your first time) i hope you love it!

  20. Stephanie on October 7, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Hi I have a question about the hear rate monitors. Does you gym lend them out? Or can you only participate if you own a MyZone heart rate monitor?
    I would love to have this at the gym I work at but didn’t know how that would work. Thanks

    • Fitnessista on October 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      it’s totally optional. the gym has screens throughout the facility and you can buy a my zone strap to wear if you’d like. it emails you the data after your workout too

  21. Alexa on October 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    is your full name Angelina!!?! so pretty!

  22. Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal on October 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I love that Gwen and Pharrell are on the Voice but I’m also Team Blake, til the end. 🙂

    That food looks DELICIOUS!!!

  23. Alison on October 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Gina,

    Longtime reader! As a fellow Zumba fan, I wanted to let you know about this awesome campaign Zumba has going on currently. You could score one of thousands of Zumba gift cards, or the top prize of a private class with Zumba creator, Beto Perez!
    Feel free to share : https://www.quikly.com/624-zumba/t/Tni3v2V-lnk


  24. Tracy on October 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Beautiful sunset!!!

    What an interesting salad combo! I would never think of pickling kumquats.. something new and fun to try! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  25. Heidi on October 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    That sounds yummy Gina! I am so thankful that one of your bloggies suggested the Fresh20 meal planning service. I had never heard of it before and am so thankful to have it. It totally fixed the meal planning rut I had. 😀 Thanks for sharing and for writing this blog. You are awesome!

  26. Alex @ True Femme on October 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    That picture of the sunset makes me question why I’m still in Colorado and not somewhere with palm trees. Yes, it’s beautiful here but we do not have palm trees!

  27. Jenni on October 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Your salad is so pretty! I love pretty homemade salads, because so often they just look like a big bowl of random throw-togethers. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, haha.)

  28. Cris on October 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    lol I think you mean pharrell, but yes he is amazing. I’m a spin instructor and that is an impossible number! Once a month I lead a 2 hour ‘spin a thon’ and the most i’ve ever burned is 1300. Glad you took a pic of it- i’m interested to know how that happened!

    • Fitnessista on October 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      haha autocorrect is the worst 🙂 1300 in 2 hours is pretty intense!

  29. Tiffany on October 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Such creativity. a) kumquats are never something I think about b) pickling them?! Saweeeet. You sure did get out of the lil rut!

    I really do miss CA produce ( raised in LA my whole life, and now live in Sydney, Australia) – the farmers markets here are def not the same (and fewer and farther between). But I do have to say, we have a prettttty rockin tropical fruit scene happening in the summer that helps make up for it.

    Ps. Definitely looking up orchestral hip-hop from your playlist, that sounds like something off the Step-Up soundtrack!! hahah obsessed!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:52 am

      what did you think of the song?! i love it for a heavy hill climb 🙂
      i bet you have an amazing tropical fruit scene!!!
      hope your week is going well.

      • Tiffany on October 8, 2014 at 3:21 am

        LOVED the song! It’s gotten me into a huge orchestral/hip-hop streak now. Been listening to stuff like that all day long today, just kinda… boppin along. hahah! Hope you’re having a good week too! x

  30. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on October 8, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Gorgeous sunset! I am loving the new song by New Republic too. It’s kind of awesome. 🙂

  31. Alexandria @ Al2getherfit on October 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Yes Kumquats!! There is a Kumquat Festival near me in Dade City, FL so I know them all too well.

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