Hi from staycation! ๐Ÿ™‚ I gave myself a little gift for Livi’s birthday and took the next two days off work. For scheduling purposes, we have to ask for time off months ahead, and I asked for this Thursday and Saturday off quite a while ago. I’m excited for quality time with the fam and even a yoga class this Saturday- my yoga mat has been collecting cobwebs.ย 

So now that I’ve done the vacay dance, let’s all do the bread dance.

Paleo bread  1 of 1

Even with all of my meal-planning good intentions, there have still been nights where cups of cereal in a coffee mug sufficed as dinner. This past week, I’ve actually made almost everything on our meal plan! Rocking and rolling.

Chicken tortilla soup last night:

Chicken  1 of 1 3

(browned chicken thighs and cooked for 6 hours on high with garlic, sea salt, pepper, carrots and a little broth. After it cooked, I gave some carrots and chicken to Liv plain with her dinner, and for the Pilot and myself, I used this method for the soup, using the slow cooked chicken and carrots, lime juice, tortilla chips, broth and lots of avocado)

And this Paleo breadโ€ฆ. wow. It may have changed my original thoughts on Paleo recipes (which, sorry to offend anyone, was not favorable).

The only thing that made this bread a bit of a pain was that I made the cashew butter. This wasn’t because I was feeling ambitious, but because we had a giant bag of raw cashews in the pantry:

Cashew butter  1 of 1 2

Raw cashews:

Cashews  1 of 1

Put 2 1/2 C in the Vitamix on medium, then added some sea salt + 2 T olive oil:

Cashew butter  1 of 1

After making the rest of the mixture and setting it into the loaf pan to bake, I closed the oven door and said a prayer.


Paleo bread  1 of 1 2

I was especially blown away by the texture- so much lighter and fluffier than most of the gluten-free varieties I’ve tried. Many commenters stated that the bread gets better as the days go by, but I found the contrary to be true. There’s one slice left (which will be gone by the end of the day), but for me, the it’s become more dense over the past couple of days. It’s NBD, though, because it doesn’t last long anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning, we’re off to see a friend who had a baby last week.ย Oaties are cooling to take with the rest of the goodies:

Oatie dough  1 of 1

What are you up to this weekend? We have a friend’s bday party on Saturday and going for a group long run/lunch on Sunday. Other than that, we’ll be relaxing and chilling.ย 

Enjoy your day and I’ll see ya later on the Family page <3



Something to do:ย This killer cardio circuit! Also, don’t forget that Winter Shape Up starts January 28th. It will be the first year with PRIZES ๐Ÿ™‚

Something to think:ย Read this on Facebook this morning and thought it was worth a share.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dogโ€™s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldnโ€™t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker โ€˜s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belkerโ€™s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belkerโ€™s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, โ€I know why.โ€

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. Iโ€™d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,โ€People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life โ€” like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?โ€ The Six-year-old continued,

โ€Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they donโ€™t have to stay as long.โ€

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When youโ€™re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something youโ€™re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.”





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Gina: New Hair Faves → ← A year later.


  1. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on January 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    omgggggg that story totally just tugged at my heart and brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing! It was beautiful

  2. Claire on January 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I absolutely love the story of the dog you posted. It is a true reminder of how we should all try to be daily. Thank you for that! Always a good little tidbit of knowledge from reading your blog, Gina : )

  3. Stellina @My Yogurt Addiction on January 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve heard that story before, always makes me tear up. I can’t even think about that day. I love my dog to death and I believe that we can learn sooo much from our animals.

  4. Nichole on January 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I LOVE the dog story you posted! I’m definitely going to have to share that. Have you read the book ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain?’ This post reminded me of that lovely story ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for sharing!

    • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe on January 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      That book is AMAZING!!! It helped me cope with the loss of my soul mate dog Violet this past September.

  5. Victoria @ Reluctantly Skinny on January 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    What an amazing story. We were recently talking about getting a dog, and I think the topic may have to be revisited right away!!

  6. RunEatRepeat on January 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    LOVED that ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on January 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    OMG love those doggie lessons <3

  8. Ali @ Peaches and Football on January 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    What a sweet story – and so true too I think!

    ENJOY your staycation. I think those can be the best kind of vacations because you aren’t having to do all the travel packing and shenanigans associated with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Melissa on January 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Loved the dog story and I am sitting here at my desk tearing up. Such a great reminder and it also makes me want to go home and snuggle with my doggies

    • Megan on January 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Me too! Teary eyes and a lump in my throat – just want to go home and let my dogs out in the sunshine and hug them ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. natalie @ will jog for food on January 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Have fun on your staycation!

    The bread looks SO good, I will have to try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Julie on January 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    What a beautiful story! Going to print it for my 13-yr-old daughter to read. We just got a new puppy last year & love her to pieces! As for that 6-yr-old… out of the mouth’s of babes, right? Sometimes it takes a child’s innocence to give us perspective.

  12. Kristen on January 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing that story. The timing of it couldnt be more ironic. Last week I learned that my cat (who is 18 and i’ve had since i was 4) is very very sick. The vet immediately told me that she is in a lot of pain needed to be put down. Of course, I fought this because my cat does not at all seem in pain. Well, a day later the vet called and said that she would like to try to help my cat and we have been giving her pills that are hopefully helping her. However tonight we are going in for a checkup and i’m trying very hard to prepare myself for the worst but I know I wont be ready for that no matter what.

    The story is very fitting and I will try to keep it with me tonight and think that she has had a great life no matter what. <3

    • Melissa on January 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      I’m very sorry, Kristen. I know how difficult it is to lose a pet. We had to put my first cat to sleep 3 years ago, and I was still thinking last night that I miss her. You are giving your cat the best life possible. Take care!

    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      that breaks my heart for you, friend. i hope that the pills help her and that you get good news tonight <3

  13. lucie on January 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I love that dog story. What a good reminder.
    That Paleo bread lloks really good, I want to try it! I think iceskating is on the plan for the weekend, can’t wait!!

  14. Lauren Jamison @ The Barn on January 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I have a weak spot for dense bread. Sounds awesome!

  15. Dani @ Live Lightly Everyday on January 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    That story at the end touched my soul. It is so beyond true, and such a beautiful thing.

  16. Mo on January 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I have an old dog – 16 . . . and you successfully made me cry at work!

    Have you seen the commercial where the soldier (gal) comes back from deployment and her Irish Wolfhound just malls her in her driveway because he is so happy to see her? That one puts a lump in my throat every time I see it!

    Take care and enjoy your day,


    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      it was just on tv. and i cried. there’s a youtube video of soldiers coming home to their dogs and it makes me do the dinosaur bawl.

  17. mary @ what's cookin with mary on January 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing that story… I recently lost my cat of 18.5 years who was more dog than cat. So beautiful and so true. Saved the story so I can read it whenever I need to.

  18. Danielle on January 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Love that story! Thank you for sharing. I need to try that Paleo bread ASAP. Looks amazing!

  19. Sonia the Mexigarian on January 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    And now I am bawling. Anything to do with animal deaths I cry. Between my husband and I, we lost so many family pets since we were children. Most recent was my family’s cat Meeklo who I rescued from a Safeway parking lot when he was a kitten. He was 14 when he passed in his sleep last summer in his favorite bed. My motherinlaws’s basset, Addie, is 9 years old and went through cancer treatments just last year. Oiye. Any mention of the Rainbow Bridge and I bawl as well. Lol. Lovely story though. And so so true.


    sharing the paleo bread recipe with my paleo friends. thanks!

  20. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on January 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    That story about the dog just melted my heart. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ We can definitely learn a thing or two (or twenty) from our four-legged friends. Hope you’re having a beautiful day, Gina.

  21. Katie on January 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    beautiful and wise words. thanks, gina

  22. Sara @ Fitcupcaker on January 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I bought paleo bread and it wasn’t that great. Kinda spongy. I’ll have to try and make my own!!

    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      it was totally worth it!

  23. Sarah @ Yogi in Action on January 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve heard that story about the dog before and I love it every time I read it. Thanks for the reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Kayla on January 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Amazing story. I wish I had the grace of that 6 year old. Just thinking about the day my sweet dog passes away makes me want to ugly cry.

    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      me too ๐Ÿ™

  25. Eating 4 Balance on January 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I just have to say that you have the best snackage ever. Seriously.

    And oh my. I’ve read that story before, but it still gives me the chills…. the good kind with goosebumps ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Sandra on January 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    That story killed me! I just found out my miniature schnauzer is sick and she too has cancer. One gets attached to their pets and it is so hard to let go. I do not know how I will survive without my BFF!!!!


    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      awww sending love to you and your pup. bella has been there for me through so much and i cry to even think about losing her one day

  27. Amanda on January 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    THe bread looks wonderful and that story with the dog is just so sweet. You can learn a lot from both kids and dogs.

  28. Julie @ Sweetly Balanced on January 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Staycations are the best!!! So relaxing sometimes just to be home! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Amelia on January 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Yay for time off with the family. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Not sure how you stored your bread (I wrapped mine and stuck it in the fridge). However, since I like mine toasted, the fact that it got more dense was NBD to me, but if you just slice it and eat, I agree that it tastes better on day 1. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      i stored mine wrapped in the fridge, too, but will have to try toasting it next time. usually i ate it cold with a drizzle of honey ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Jennifer on January 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Have a fun staycation with the little one and all your other loves. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for posting this bread recipe. I don’t really do New Years resolutions so I have more like a goal of giving up wheat. With more and more evidence coming out about how bad wheat is for those with autoimmune diseases I decided I needed to give it a try. I seem to be having a horrible time absorbing nutrients and my meds lately (my iron and several other levels have completely bottomed out).

    Surprisingly I haven’t missed bread as much as a thought I would – but flour tortillas that’s a whole ‘nother story. You’ve written about how your Mom would make you a scrambled egg/flour tortilla when you were little – well mine did it with ham/cheese and a fried egg. To this day it’s one of my absolute favorite ‘meals’ ever. Anyway that doesn’t have anything to do with this topic but reading your blog and recipes made giving up milk last year easier and now it’s going to do the same with wheat/bread so Thank You. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Just to keep you updated – the name/mail boxes of the comment area are still pre filled in with other peoples info when I go to comment. It’s no problem at all to just replace their info with mine I just wanted you to know because again today this persons email looked a real first and last name.)

    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      that burrito recipe sounds incredible! there are so many delicious wheat-free options.
      i’m sorry that the comment issue is still happening. it’s host-wide and they haven’t been able to resolve it yet :/

  31. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on January 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Now I want to make that bread AND oaties. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      you won’t regret it ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Stephanie on January 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    It is so awesome to find a blogger from Tucson. My plans are to go snowboarding on Mt. Lemmon ๐Ÿ™‚

    That soup looks delicious!

  33. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on January 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT DOG STORY. One of the best things I’ve read in a while. I will be sharing that with everyone I know. Totally brought tears to my eyes.

  34. Pam on January 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Wow what a great story! I’m going to save it to my computer, really lovely.
    Enjoy your stay-cay, those are the best!

  35. Amyjogo on January 10, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I’ve read that story before and never got it until I adopted my dog this past August.
    She is unconditional love and has already been a great companion. We bonded immediately.
    Two weeks ago, I found out her little bladder is full of stones. It’s a condition she’s had
    For years. But I feel so guilty for not helping her sooner. Yet she still bounces around, plays fetch,
    licks me silly if I let her and scarfs down chicken like no other dog I’ve seen. What is it about dogs
    that turn the most unlikely people into such saps??

  36. Bek @ Crave on January 11, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Woohooo vacation dance! Um cereal for dinner? That would definitely not fill me up- I’d need the box! Enjoy your time off, you deserve it ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Heather Eats Almond Butter on January 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Oaties!!! Hoped the new mama liked them. Now I must check out this Paleo bread recipe since I am tired of spending so much on gluten free loafs of bread. Toddler loves her toast, but wheat doesn’t love her. ๐Ÿ™ Hope you enjoyed your weekend and Happy Birthday to Livi!!!

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