Spring Cardio Workout

Morning friends! How’s your day going? <3

Thank you so much for all of your feedback on the new blog design!! Cody worked extremely hard on it, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Most of the response was extremely positive, but people said they were offended by the picture on the left. While we were designing the blog, I really looked to 3 other blogs for their design, as they’re blogs I aspire to be like in terms of community and quality posts:







(Giuliana is my style idol)

These are all HUGE blogs- but hey, if you’re going to have a goal, go big 🙂 In the first two (which are more workout and nutrition-focused, like my little blog), they have background side images of the authors, in sports bras. I’m not one to skip around on the blog in a sports bra, which is why I rolled with a tank top, but some readers said they still didn’t like it. The pic isn’t set in stone and can always change, so NBD.

So last night, I was welcomed home by the smell of burning plastic.


Apparently one of the lids from my bento lunch box slipped into the bottom part of the dishwasher, where it was burned by the hot coils. There is no smell like that of burning plastic- stinky stuff!! (and yes, I had to Google to see if it was toxic.) So I opened all of the doors, turned on the fans, lit a candle and made a beautifully aromatic dinner to replace the heinous stench.

stir fry

While I cooked, I enjoyed a sliced of goat cheese, while Bella dreamed and wished in the background:


(I had to give her a little piece)

In a large pot on medium, I sautéed 1/2 onion, 1/2 container of organic mushrooms and about 8 chopped stalks of asparagus for about 7 minutes:



-olive oil

-sea salt and pepper

-cayenne, garlic, thyme

After they were soft and cooked, I added in half a bag of frozen organic spinach, and cooked for an additional 5 minutes.

Next, a can of organic kidney beans (rinsed and drains) and made a sauce in the corner of the pot before stirring into the vegetables:

sitir fry


-2 T Dijon mustard

-2 T nutritional yeast

-1 T hummus

-splash of balsamic

-almond milk to thin it out

I enjoyed the stir-fry stew creation on top of some red quinoa with fresh basil:

stir fry

It was DELICIOUS. Very filling and fresh- I love when random ingredients come together to make something glorious 🙂 By the time I sat down to eat, the burning plastic smell was gone 😉

After dinner, I went to walk on base for a little while with a book, and then happened to show up at my mom’s house for gluten-free night.

(My bro is in culinary school and Monday is his gluten-free class)

On the menu: double chocolate chip cookies and carrot cake, still warm…


(don’t let the pic fool ya. I started off with a tiny piece of carrot cake and then washed it down with a huge piece. These things happen sometimes haha)

I die. So good. There is nothing like fresh gluten-free goodies, still warm from the oven 😉

This morning I’m off to b-fast with my brother and nana and then getting started on my wicked to-do list.

Enjoy your day!



Something to do: Spring Cardio Workout!

For this one, hit up your favorite piece of cardio equipment- bike, elliptical, treadmill, stairmaster, etc. You’ll be doing a series of hill and speed intervals- make sure to check with a doc before making any fitness or nutrition changes. As always, if it hurts, don’t do it! Feel free to modify to suit your needs.

*Make sure to start off with some incline or resistance (2.5% is my fave for treadmills)

0:00-5:00 Warm up Walk/Jog – easy speed
5:00-7:00 Hill- maintain your speed (jog, faster cadence on the bike) Add 1.0% incline/resistance every 20 seconds
7:00-8:00 Recover Jog/run comfortably (or speed walk)
8:00-10:00 Speed Increase your speed every 20 seconds until you are at a full out sprint
10:00-11:00 Recover Jog/run comfortably (or speed walk)
11:00-15:00 Steady state Pick up your pace a little and maintain a steady state for 4 minutes- you can do it!
15:00-17:00 Hill- maintain your speed (jog, faster cadence on the bike) Add 1.0% incline/resistance every 20 seconds
17:00-18:00 Recover Jog/run comfortably (or speed walk)
18:00-20:00 Speed Increase your speed every 20 seconds until you are at a full out sprint
20:00-21:00 Recover Jog/run comfortably (or speed walk)
21:00-25:00 Steady state Pick up your pace a little and maintain a steady state for 4 minutes- you can do it!
25:00-30:00 Cool down Jog comfortably (or walk) and every minute, bring down your pace until your heart rate comes down. Stretch.

Let me know if you give it a try!!

Want a weights workout? Check out *Spring Arms* and *Spring Legs* (Next, spring abs!)

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  1. Erin @ Big Girl Feats on May 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Your new blog design is great! Very user friendly and clean – and I love the pic too! Can’t wait to get my biceps looking fierce like that! And thanks for posting the links to the blogs you used for inspiration – Tone It Up is so fun!

  2. Krista on May 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I’m just not sure why anyone would be offended by your photo!?!? I think it’s an awesome design, Gina!!

  3. Vicki on May 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Hmmm, I can’t see why they’d be offended, you look super fit and I’m so jealous of your arms!

    What I would say, is from a graphic design point of view, I think the header looks a little off. Because you have so much imagery on the rest of your site I don’t think the photos need to be on the header. It looks kinda jarring and would look perhaps a little more streamlined if it were just a larger version of the font on the left hand side.

  4. Meredith on May 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I think the side bar is a little distracting… I think perhaps because it disrupts the ‘flow’ of reading left to right, without a balance on the right to create a column down the middle to focus on (like the other sites you posted as inspiration). Perhaps slightly reducing left margin so it doesn’t take up so much of the page, or adding a small margin on the right, would make it easier to read.

    As always, I LOVE your blog! I can only imagine all the hard work you put into it. I look forward every morning to your posts (and keep checking throughout the day too!) Thank you for being such a bright spot in my day! 🙂

  5. Reannan on May 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I’m a regular fitnessista reader and I absolutely loove the new design! It is impossible to please everyone. I don’t find the picture offensive in any way!! People must just be jealous of your fabulous hair and shoulder muscles !!

  6. Caree @ Fit-Mama on May 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Love love love the new design!!! and I am not sure how someone could be offended by the picture to the left?!

  7. Shannon on May 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Love the new blog design and the pics! For the life of me, I can’t figure out what would be offensive about the picture to the left. I so enjoy reading your blog each day…thank you!!!

  8. Ali @ Around the VeggieTable on May 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Gina! Personally I like the pic…you look like a seksi beast 🙂 I also love the cheese picture with Bella in the background…what a cutie! Have a great day!

  9. Ruth on May 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I think the new layout and design is fab! Keep it up!

  10. Melodie on May 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    offended by your pic? that is just about the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard of. crazy, crazy people. i like the new design. it looks fab!

  11. Leslie on May 3, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I think the pic is no biggie! I love it and your blog!

  12. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on May 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Gina the new layout…as I have said 2x already now….Awesome!!

    The readability is increased and easier, it’s just beautiful.

    When I redid my blog in Dec/Jan, I had a few blogs I looked up to as well in terms of their vibe and presentation visually as well as their content. I liked seeing who your aspirations were.

    As for the sidebar picture…I think you look great in it! 🙂

  13. Sara @BakingandWine on May 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I’m not sure why people would be offended by that picture… I think it looks pretty awesome. Your arm looks killa killa! I say keep it!

  14. merrie on May 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Ya know.. some people just need to get a life…

  15. Chelsea on May 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Ahh I love tone tone it up girls and bodyrock.tv! I follow BOTH of them religiously! I’m even part of the tone it up diet plan team haha 🙂 Never heard of the other girl though! I’ll look into her website more 🙂 Thanks!

  16. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on May 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I don’t understand people. Why would the picture of you be offensive in any way? If anything, you are promoting a healthy lifestyle with strength training. Not tomention the fact that this is YOUR blog and you can do with it what you want! ::rant over::

  17. Amy on May 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Offended by what? You lifting weights? I actually loved that part of the redesign!

    • Melissa on May 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      Me too!

  18. Danielle on May 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was offended by the picture, but I did find it a little awkward when I first saw it. I don’t think it’s as much the fact you’re in a sports bra, as it is the fact that the weight is touching your chest, and it looks like you’re staring down at your left ta-ta. 😉 It also looks like (and this could be an optical illusion) there is something poking out of said ta-ta. Ahem. I was trying to be as PC about that as possible! Hope the feedback helps. 🙂

    • joni on May 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      i see the same thing Danielle! No one mentioned it, so i thought it was just me! I think that must what be offending people.

      and as most people above has said, you look amazing and strong, just a like airbrushing or a simple photoshop blur would def. fix that picture!

    • April @ Grits and Granola Bars on May 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Wow. How hard would someone have to stare at her breast to see the alleged “something poking out” in the first place? And she is in a tank top, not a sports bra.

      (Not jumping all over you, btw. I’m just saying it seems like someone would have to be seriously staring down her breasts to even see that)

      • Danielle on May 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

        You don’t have to be staring hard at all on my computer!! haha That’s why I mentioned I think it might be an optical illusion. I have a Dell Studio, so I don’t know if my picture is less clear than others’ computers. It looks like one of the stripes is a little lighter in color over one area, so it looks like something’s poking out! I bet it’s not the same on everyone’s screen though–certainly on mine!!

      • Danielle on May 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm

        Also, I made a typo in my very initial comment. I meant to say “I don’t think it’s as much whether or not you’re in a sports bra.” I know she’s in a tank. 🙂

  19. Danielle on May 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    If you took a picture with your arm extended out so the weight was further away from your chest, I bet people would be less offended.

  20. Dani_szikszai on May 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Gee some people are uptight….how exactly did the picture “offend” them. You look smashing!

  21. Andrea on May 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    It seems really silly to be offended by a pic of you lifting a weight on a blog about being fit. I think it’s great because you’ve worked so hard to get and maintain the muscles (!) and you have EVERY right to show it off a bit and be proud–it’s not like you’re in a bra and underwear lifting a weight. Ridic.

  22. Daniela on May 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    What?!? People are offended? By what? You look great in that picture. The first thing I thought of when I saw it is “Boy she looks strong”. Bunch of heaters! Gotta go exercise now. I want strong arms like yours. 🙂

  23. Emily on May 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    What?! I find it incredibly funny that people are offended. Wow! jealous much? 🙂 You go girl!

  24. kellyo on May 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Offended by your picture? Amazing. I, for one, love it! It is inspiring! And I love the new blog design…

  25. Kate on May 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I L-O-V-E the new layout!! I think it looks amazing and I love the picture on the left. You are always so gracious about peoples’ feeback, but I think you should be really excited and proud of yourself!! 🙂

  26. Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit on May 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    i plan on trying that quick dinner tonight! It sounds fab! And your blog re-design is totally GORG girl!

  27. Alexa @ Simple Eats on May 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Love the new blog design and that carrot cake looks so good!

  28. Meaghan on May 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    LOVE the new layout & the pic! I totally aspire to arms like yours!

  29. Jill on May 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Offended by what?! Seriously, are people totally brain dead? I say ban the IP address of the people who were “offended” and then they don’t need to look… wow.
    Anyway, you look great, and please don’t change the pic. You look great!

    • Rose on May 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      Excellent idea. Ban people that don’t think like you. Ever heard of the 1st amendment? Last time I checked, we are living in America!

      • Danielle on May 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

        hahahahha. seriously, some people get SO INTO things like this. dear lord, there are bigger things to worry about

  30. Sarah on May 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Gina!

    Blog looks great as per usual. I love that it still holds your core elements: Bella, Fitness, Food. 🙂 If you do re-think the pic on the left, make it one where you look like a gym beast! (As you are!) I think you are gorgeous and strong and professional..but maybe an action shot could let that inner gina shine through!? Love the blog. (and the roons)

  31. Katie on May 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm


    I know you know this, but , don’t ever worry about what other people think when they say negative, its what makes you happy and what you want, and I LOVE the pic and love your whole new design! You should be proud! I know you have been waiting for a new design for a while, and it was worth the wait!

    Love you! Miss u!

  32. Errign on May 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I don’t find anything offensive about your picture, but I do need to tell you that I tried the protein muffin today & I see what all the fuss is about 😀

  33. Ire on May 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    are you sure offended is the right word to describe some reactions to the photo? it’s not like you’re baring all…
    but i have to say, it’s not my fave either. i think you’ve posted some far more flattering photos of yourself (like the yoga ones!) before. as others have commented, it’s an awkward position and i’m pretty sure there is some nip action going on there… you looked ripped, but i think it’s just the awkwardness i think people are commenting on, not the lack of clothing.

    also, as a design buff, the new formatting does not work well for macs, and the new banner could be toned down and themed better… to go from a cartoon representation to a macro shot to a pic of bella… well, it makes the top definitely busy. if you love it, keep it, obvi. but from a design aspect, it could use a bit of improvement.

    hope this comes off as constructive criticism and not as hyper critical 🙂

    • Fitnessista on May 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      no i love feedback 🙂

  34. Sierra on May 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    You look great, the new design looks great, and what’s most important is that YOU love it. And the people pointing out some nip action going on? News flash, folks: we all have nipples. Deal with it.

    • Andrea on May 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      HAHAHA Thank you for this 🙂

    • Fitnessista on May 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm


      • Andrea on May 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm

        I can’t believe the “whore” comments! I just saw that from earlier…as an avid follower of your blog I know you only respond when it is a personal attack. Stupid that there are stupid people who clearly don’t get the meaning of that word and how not applicable it is when it comes to you!

        Anyway, you’ve totally inspired me to do TurboFire and take back my fitness, so I wanted to thank you for absolutely everything you do. You’ve made some very stressful times in my life a whole lot easier, especially now that you’re gluten intolerant, too. So thank you! You’re beautiful inside and out.

  35. MC on May 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Why would anyone be offended by the pic on the left? It’s not like you’re parading around in a bikini. You’re always really careful to not present any opps for comparisons or etc. That pic just looks like a fit woman being strong (with a fab haircut!).

  36. Jaclyn on May 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I’m jealous of those gluten free baked goodies – yummy!

  37. melissa on May 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Its your blog, you like the pic leave it! People are just envious.

  38. Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) on May 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Just checking out the new blog design and it’s ROCKIN’!! 😀

    …so I think I’m lost… why are peeps hating on your side bar picture ?! I think it’s totally appropriate and don’t think you should take it down. Methinks the peeps who don’t dig it are jealous. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game ladies.

  39. Parita on May 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    What did people find so offending!? It’s YOUR blog! Geez…LOL! Those desserts look so good… 🙂

  40. Frannie on May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I love the new blog design! I can’t believe that some are offended by your picture… after reading your post I looked all over the web-page for something that may be offensive… I don’t get it… you look great 🙂
    anyway – love your blog!!!!

  41. Jill on May 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Leave the pic, it looks great! I really like your new design for the blog. People who are “offended” by your picture just seem like huge creeps. You look strong, calm, and your hair looks amazing! I honestly can’t believe that anyone would even say anything at all!

  42. Susanne on May 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I’ve melted plastic in the dishwasher before . . . it’s definitely not a good smell.

    Not sure how the pic on the left is offensive. It’s a great pic of you and it’s totally appropriate for the theme of your blog.

  43. Marie on May 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    lol, offended????? Some people…

  44. M on May 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Gina, Gosh! Did you think the new blog design would cause this much chatter? In my opinion, I think the new design is beautiful and doesn’t need changing. Love the banner, the colors, the pix. I think people are being a little hyper-critical, but alas, everyone is entitled to their opinion (so that’s why I shared mine:)
    Anyway your last post with the shoes made me think of a reader’s request!!
    Have you ever done a post on what shoes to wear to each type of activity? If so, please send me the link, but if not I am thinking a post on what kind of shoes to wear to zumba, dance trance, weight training, pilates, etc etc would be really helpful. I’ve been told before that running shoes or shoes with grip on the bottoms are not good for dancing type fitness like zumba or DT.
    Thanks for all you do! Love your blog <3

    • Kathy on May 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      Love this idea!

      • Fitnessista on May 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm

        i actually talked about doing that the pilot gave me another idea for a post instead. looks like i should still do it 🙂 will have it up thursday!

  45. Kara on May 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    First of all, you look hot in that pic and you shouldn’t take it down. My only reaction was “Are those real?” lol. Ever since breastfeeding ruined mine, I’m constantly stricken with perky boob envy.

  46. Nicole @ Fresh & Fit on May 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I wish my brother was a chief, that looks so good! I like your side picture. It’s who you are and very motivating!
    Thanks for the cardio workout, I was looking for something new to switch up my workout tomorrow, and I have to look no further!

  47. Danielle (Shrinking and Studying) on May 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I personally love the new layout. I really couldn’t understand how people were offended by the picture at all! To me, the picture is a) really pretty and b) kind of conveys your passion for fitness. I read the comments though and the more I look at it the more I’m like “okay…maybe if you’re REALLY hyper-conservative or maybe if your computer was like super-high-def so you can see every shadow/line… I can see the problem.”

    It can’t be what you’re wearing, it’s just gym gear, the same as you’d see when you walk into any gym (I’ve seen WAY more skin showing than that). As for the people calling you a “whore” that’s totally uncalled for, but all of us who love you and love your blog know otherwise whether we like the new layout (and constructively criticize it) or not! =D

  48. Mariah on May 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I find nothing offensive about the picture…. except I like to read the blog during lunch and I no longer feel comfortable doing that anymore because the site is pink and no matter how I scroll to cover, Gina’s pic is right there. I think if the picture didn’t scroll along with the page it might work better? Cause it’s an awesome pic – nice toned arm there girl! But viewing with only a half screen there is always the picture in view. Just more feedback.

  49. jan on May 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Just my 2 cents: I LOVE your picture!! It’s inspiring to see your muscle definition and it embodies your emphasis on fitness.

  50. Rose on May 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I would like to know what kind of tank that is because it makes you look like your head is on a different body than the picture on the right! Your ta-tas look photoshopped compared to other pics on your blog.

    • Fitnessista on May 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      i don’t usually show them off

      • Fitnessista on May 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

        also the pic on the right is w a sports bra, the one on the left is with a built-in bra

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