Southwestern stuffed sweet potato

Heyyyyyy 😀 How are ya? Hope your morning is treating you well!

Thank you so so soooooo mucho for your sweet get well wishes for Bella. She had some food for the first time in a little over a day last night- I had to put the wet food from the vet on my finger and have her lick it off (lovely right?) but she ate!!!! I’m so happy she’s going to be ok <3 Pets are like our babies and it makes me so sad when they get sick.

Yesterday afternoon’s snack was an Ezekiel with cinnamon and mesquite:


And then I took off for pilates and then taught Zumba. I choreographed a warm-up dance to “Sexy Chick” while I was driving 🙂 It was very exciting because even though they forgot to put my classes back on the schedule since I got back, we still had a packed class!!!!!! It was a PARTTTAAAAYYYY! It feels like we’re having secret Zumba classes since they’re not on the schedule 🙂 Such a blasty- I love teaching Zumba.

When I got back to the casa, I was ready to gnaw my arm off, so I made a Southwestern-stuffed Sweet Potato and Brocc for dinner.


I sautéed up a shallot and a clove of garlic in a little olive oil, and added 1 ts chili powder, a sprinkle of cayenne, 1/2 t cumin, sea salt, pepper and the zest of one lime. Then I added  a can of organic black beans and 1/2 can organic fire-roasted tomatoes.

southwestern filling

When it was done heating through, I added the juice of one lime and took it off the heat.

Next, I smashed down a baked sweet potato, topped it with the filling and some scallions (greek yogurt, cilantro and salsa would be wonderful too!)


and paired it with a bag of organic steamed broccoli with red pepper flakes, olive oil and sea salt.


Pretty tasty wasty 😀


I chilled with the puppies, watched Dancing With the Stars and called it a night.

The plan was to wake up early, take the dogs out and go on a run. Two problems: it’s pouring (and now there’s a tornado watch.. yikers), and I overslept an hour. I’m kinda glad it worked out that way though—staying up with Bella the other night had me a little out of it.

Bfast was the classic with goji berries


You guys might have noticed that I’ve been eating a lot more cooked food lately. I’m COLD and it’s all I’ve been craving… so I’m gonna go with it 😀 I’ll still try to have at least a raw meal and snack each day but if it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen 😉

Today’s plan:

-Finish organizing the closet and office

-Yoga podcast

-Make phone calls (Blahhhhh. Why can’t we just text in the professional world? haha)

-Put together Halloween packages for my little bros

-Run (3-4 miles)

-Training appointment

Enjoy your Tuesday!



Workout jam of the day: “Meet Me Halfway” Black Eyed Peas

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  1. Gena on October 27, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Funny! I’m posting a cooked recipe of the month later this week, along with what I hope will be some very reassuring comments about the importance of cooked food in winter! xoxo

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2009 at 9:42 am

      awesome- i’m looking forward to it! 😀

  2. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on October 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Gina, your sweet potato dinner looks delish. You are right – some plain greek yogurt would be perfect on it!

  3. rhodeygirl on October 27, 2009 at 10:23 am

    GINA! YOU MUST USE “BEGGIN'” BY MADCON IN YOUR NEXT CLASS. It is seriously an awesome song, a bit slow but you can either speed it up or use it for warmup/cooldown.

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2009 at 10:25 am

      i’ve used it before!! climb with tempo work.. it’s awesome!

  4. Erica on October 27, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Glad to hear class went well 🙂 I teach Body Attack right after zumba now and I’ve been dying to go in and try it again. What a great din din. That is exactly the type of toppings I like on my sweet potato- fabulous. Enjoy your day

  5. Kristie Lynn on October 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

    You’ve got me addicted to the mesquite! So yummy on apples and bananas and oatmeal and everything… haha 🙂 Also, that sweet potato looks so delish. I’m drooling at my desk and it’s only 9:30am!

  6. Jessie (Vegan-minded) on October 27, 2009 at 10:31 am

    That dinner looks so perfect after a workout. I have only done Zumba a couple of times, and while I thought it was fun, I barely broke a sweat. My instructor wasn’t very good though, I wish I could take one of your classes! 🙂

  7. VeggieGirl on October 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Listen to Gena in the first comment 😀

  8. Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries on October 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I need to try your cinn mesquite combo!

    And you are making me really want to try Zumba!!

  9. Juicy Jessy on October 27, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I just bought nutritional yeast today because you keep using it on your food 🙂 Not sure what to do with it exactly, so I’ll keep reading your menu’s to find out on which dishes it would taste good. There’s very little info on the package, and I had never heard of it before visiting your blog. But I figured it would be good for me; as you know A LOT about food! I also read that you have lost most your weight doing South Beach. AAAAH South Beach, I love that! I’ve been living the South Beach style for years, maintaining a healthy weight, but fell of the bandwagon after a split up, moving somewhere else, etc. Now I’m back on the beach, and LOVING it!!

    I have another question for you, what the h*ll is mesquite? I can’t figure it out… It’s so hard trying to find the Dutch meaning of all those exotic ingredients I find on these health blogs 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2009 at 10:56 am

      hey girl,
      my favorite uses for nutritional yeast are on top of pasta (raw or cooked), sprinkled on popcorn with sea salt or on a salad. it has a nice cheesy taste to it. you can also make an awesome raw cheesy sauce using 1/4 cup soaked cashwes, 1 T water, juice 1/2 lemon, 1/2 T nutritional yeast and sea salt 😀
      and yes, south beach is amazing!
      here’s some info on mesquite:

      • Jess on October 28, 2009 at 8:19 am

        you think I could also use cashew butter for that recipe? I bought it yesterday but didn’t really like the taste :s

  10. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on October 27, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I just posted sweet potatoes and brock last nite 🙂 Yummy stuff! Your black bean salsa looks awesome and thx for the eggplant thickness slicing 411 🙂

  11. Diana on October 27, 2009 at 10:48 am

    That dinner looks so good. I’ll probably end up making it soon eheh
    Also, that breakfast cookie sounds amazing, that one I’ll definitely try 😀

  12. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) on October 27, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Yay, Bella ate food!

    Lately I feel like I simply will never get warm. And it’s not even that cold in NYC yet! I can’t remember feeling this way before, but yeah needless to say I’ve returned to much more cooked food since the summer.

    LOVE the eggplant lasagna, PS. You know the way to my heart. I should probably rename my blog “Eggplant.” Just that. 😛

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

      i’m the same way. it’s not that cold here yet, either and i’m FREEZING!

  13. Gabriela on October 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I still have yet to try a breakfast cookie, I’m hoping I can remember to prepare one tonight! And I eat way more cooked food in the winter too, I think we all crave something warm and comforting 🙂 Have you thought about making your own soup with veggie broth and plenty of fresh veggies? Then you know exactly what’s going into it! Enjoy your day and I’m glad Bella is getting better!

  14. Melissa (Melissa Likes To Eat) on October 27, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Glad Bella is doing better!!!! Your baked sweet potato looks really healthy and comforting! Whenever I’m cold, I drink hot tea…..just holding the cup makes me feel better!

  15. Stephanie on October 27, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I love this savory sweet potato idea! I made some sweet sweet taters (redundant?) last night using pineapple & marshmallow – love these guys 🙂 Glad your pup is doing better, they are so like children I agree!

  16. Mama Pea on October 27, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Your dinner looks FANTASTIC. I’m eating late by myself tonight, so I may draw on you for inspiration. So glad Bella is so much better!!!

  17. Julie on October 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Dinner looks so yummy! I plan on recreating that this week 😉 Cooked food is good for the soul, sister!
    I hate making phone calls too. I wish everyone texted and emailed as much as me.

  18. Kelly (Foodie Fresh) on October 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I totally feel you about pets being like babies. When my dog Rascal is sick he completely depends on me to take care of him so you have to baby them a little. Glad your little one is better!

  19. Lyndsey on October 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    So glad little Bella is better today!

  20. Megan on October 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Wow. That dinner looks AWESOME!! Also, I was considering trying out a Zumba class at my gym and was wondering how people handle it who have no dance background? Especially when said people are woefully uncoordinated and have no rhythym? Could it be a good workout still, or just…embarassing?

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm

      definitely give it a try! most of the participants don’t have a dance background in my classes, and they still rock it out! most of the dances repeat steps, so just pick up what you can, and if you get lost, remember to keep moving and join back in when you can. as long as you keep moving, it will still be a great workout!

  21. jenna on October 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    YUMMMMMMMMMMM X 100000!! your sweet potato looks awesome!!

    i love that BEP song!! so cool!

  22. Jenna on October 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    that sweet potato looks amazing gina!

  23. The Voracious Vegan on October 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    YUM! That Southwestern stuffed sweet potato sounds and looks AMAZING! I will probably try that idea soon. And I love a big pile of steamed broccoli, red pepper flakes are the perfect topping, they pair so well together.

    I’m glad you listen to your body and eat more cooked foods now that it is cooling off where you are. I love to eat a lot of raw food but sometimes my body tells me that I just have to have a big pot of cooked beans or a whole plate of roasted root veggies. And who am I to argue? 😉

    So glad Bella is feeling better! That poor thing. I know what you mean about doing anything for our companion animals. All of our dogs are rescue dogs, and our beagle Lobi was abused for her entire life before we got her when she was 10 years old. We have had her for 2 years now and she is as happy and silly as you could imagine, but during the first few months she was so timid and skittish. When we got her fixed she was still in her fearful stage and the pain was overwhelming to her and made her too scared to move. She wouldn’t get up to go to the bathroom or to eat, so we babied her and cleaned her up for the entire 3 days she hid in her bed. And even though we put bowls of food and water in front of her she wouldn’t eat or drink. The only way she would eat or drink was from my hand! I had to hold palmfulls of water up to her mouth so that she could drink! Luckily she is much braver and more confident now that she knows the world is full of good people who love her.

    Bella is SO lucky to have you and I’m really glad to hear she is doing better. It is such a great sign that she finally decided to eat.

    • Fitnessista on October 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

      how sweet of you to rescue lobi and take such good care of her– what a lucky girl 😀 so glad to hear she got over her fear and is doing better.

  24. Kris on October 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Oh my…oh my…this Southwestern-stuffed Sweet Potato looks divine! It is on my “to make list”. Thank you!

  25. glidingcalm on October 28, 2009 at 12:30 am

    oh dang! that’s a gorgeous tatah! (tater)

  26. Emily on October 30, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Dinner looks delicious! I haven’t added zest in at the same time as the other spices (I usually add it at the end, gremolata style) – I’ll have to try this way!
    I’ve been eating a lot more cooked food lately too. Oats for breakfast for one, and usually a platter of cooked veggies in some form or another for dinner. I try to get in a raw lunch and then I feel okay about it all.
    & I agree re. the texting v phone calls – especially when you’ve got a busy day. Glad to read Bella’s eating again too 🙂

  27. Clara on December 31, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    WOW! I just tried your Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato. Actually I’m eating as I type. LOVE IT! I found you via Skwigg. I’m awfully glad I did. I’m a weight lifting oriented trainer who’s dabbling in flexitarian eating as a way to keep my food budget under control. You’ve helped me find some new foods to try AND given me some great info that I can use to help my vegan clients.

    Thank you! Happy New Year to you and the Pilot. 🙂

  28. Erica on January 2, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    My mom and I made these tonight- they were wonderful! We accidently bought yams instead of potatoes, but they were still delicious. I never would’ve thought the black bean mix would’ve gone with it! Excellent idea.

    • Fitnessista on January 3, 2010 at 9:32 am

      i’m so glad you enjoyed it! <3

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