Sweet Potato Pesto Pasta {gf with an easy Paleo/vegan option}

Last night was girls’ night since the Pilot had a late flight. When Liv woke up from a 3-hour nap (I finished up some to-dos, and even got to read and paint my toenails! Hallelujahhhhh), we had an awesome lunch together.


I’d been wanting to make her something with fresh basil since she loves picking leaves out of our herb garden to eat. So, during naptime, I whipped up a quick pesto for us to enjoy, changing up some of the usual suspects:

Sweet potato pesto  1 of 1

Sunflower seeds for the nuts, goat cheddar for the cheese + a handful of spinach for extra greens

Into the food processor, I combined the above ingredients with a squeeze of lemon, a handful of fresh basil leaves, sea salt and pepper, then after everything was combined, I added garlic-infused olive oil.

Sweet potato pesto  1 of 1 2

The pesto was the perfect topping for spiralized sweet potato noodles:

Sweet potato pesto  1 of 1 3

To spiralize root veggies, I use the Joyce Chen spiralizer that I bought a couple of years ago from Amazon.ย Despite mixed reviews, it’s always worked well for me (once I figured out how to use it!) and I haven’t had any probs. I looooove being able to spiralize veggies for refreshing summer pastas ๐Ÿ™‚

I boiled the sweet potato noodles for about 3 minutes, which wilted them down a little, but it helped the sauce fully saturate every noodle:

Sweet potato pesto  1 of 1 4

I topped the pasta with leftover chicken, and during the entire meal (which also consisted of a banana and some cheese crackers for the little lady), Liv kept saying, “Yummmmm. Mom! Yummm”

It’s very common for our family to make audible sounds of gratitude while eating ๐Ÿ˜‰

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If my veggie/vegan friends want to make something similar, just skip out on the cheese and replace the chicken with hearty balsamic mushrooms (I just typed muscles. Yum), or pan-fried tempeh. Paleo friends could just skip the cheese ๐Ÿ™‚

After lunch, we finally got dressed for the day,


(bunmaker FTW!)

went to visit with the fam, and had dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. We’re pretty sure Sweet Tomatoes is Liv’s favorite spot — they have everything she loves to eat, including pizza, soup, cornbread, chocolate muffins and salad fixins’ (especially the beets, shredded zucchini and garbanzo beans).

We came home to get ready for bed, I enjoyed a glass of wine, a yoga podcast and called it a night.

For yoga, I tried out a new-to-me class from YogaGlo. I haven’t been doing many at-home yoga classes since I’ve been fortunate to attend live ones, but they were ย essential when we lived in Valdosta without a yoga studio in sight. The class was a sweaty 45-minute flow, and I got to practice some arm balances that I’m working on. I paid $18 for the month, but the first 15 days are free, so I’ll be able to try it out a few more times and decide if I want to keep it. As of now, I’m a huge fan! It’s also cool to see a familiar Tucson face on there. I take Darren’s class occasionally at Yoga Oasis (amaaaazing)… I’m pretty sure the man is missing a few ribs ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning, I’m off to a fun photo shoot. I’ll be back with more details later and will definitely post some pics on Instagram!

Hope you have a wonderful morning <3



What was your favorite restaurant as a kid? I loved Olive Garden (never-ending salad and breadsticks!) and Fuddruckers. If you’re a yoga fan, how often do you practice at home?

****Sending love and prayers to all of those affected by the storms and tornadoes. If you’re looking for ways to help, check out this article <3

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  1. Elizabeth M. on May 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

    We just planted some basil and spinach so I am going to have to try this!

  2. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on May 21, 2013 at 10:51 am

    My favorite restaurant as a kid was anything seafood. I loved lobster and still do!

    • Mila on May 21, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Oh man – those cheddar biscuits!

      • Fitnessista on May 21, 2013 at 11:06 am

        ahhhhh how could i forget about those?! i called them sea biscuits

  3. Molly on May 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I have that same spiralizer and it never works for me. Would you be willing to do a how-to video?? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Pretty please?

  4. Erica { EricaDHouse.com } on May 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Oh I would murder some alfredo and breadsticks from OG as a kid

  5. Lisa on May 21, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I’ve been dying to get a spiralizer! I’m not sure where I can find one, since I don’t really like buying things on amazon, but things like this always remind me how much I need one;)
    Have fun at the photo shoot!

  6. Angie on May 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Ahh i think i need to make the sweet potato pasta before i leave. however, i need spiralizer.

    I LOVE that Liv is such a foodie and that she is vocal about it. esp telling you yumm mom yumm. Amazing! You are such a good mom in opening her palate. I tried with my boys but they are soooo picky. I try but its like beating a dead animal LOL.

  7. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on May 21, 2013 at 11:51 am

    OMG, I love that Liv says “yummm, mama, yumm!” So adorable. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been enjoying YogaGlo these days and especially Tiffany’s classes.

  8. Monique @ burpeestobubbly.com on May 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    YUM!!! How do you make the sweet potatoe “noodles”? Do you have a special tool for that?

  9. Liz on May 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I love doing yoga. I do it once a week in my house (as my “rest” day!) My favorite rest. as a kid…hmm…any seafood rest. Growing up in NC, there was always a fresh seafood place around. One of the things I miss being in Iowa

  10. Molly on May 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I signed up for yogaglo in December and I just love it. I use it almost everyday, usually for a 30 minute morning flow. There are so many good videos as I feel better all day

  11. Maria on May 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I am a BIG sweet tomatoes fan as well! Although they don’t have any in our area in Texas. =(

    I practice 3-5 days by myself or with Yogis Anonymous, since I am a certified 200 hr yoga teacher and teach 15+ various fitness classes a week I still like to “attend” a class for a mental break (just going to a class to enjoy is a real treat) and some fresh new ideas. Their teachers are top notch and makes me miss California!

    here is their link! Really fabulous!

  12. McKel | Nutrition Stripped on May 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    My favorite restaurant as a kid was a chinese place, I always attempt to recreate the perfect bowl of miso soup! I love spiralizers, probably one of my favorite kitchen appliances, this recipe looks great!

  13. Tracy on May 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Please keep us updated on how you like yogaglo. I’ve been practicing mostly at home (attend 1 class at Lifetime on Wednesdays), using yoga download, but I’m looking to change it up. I’m getting seriously tired of some of my regular class choices! I was considering yogaglo or Core power yoga.

    The pesto sounds yummy! Have you ever tried nutritional yeast in pesto?

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      i definitely will! i used to love yoga download, but got sick of doing the same flows all the time (i think i’ve done almost all of them). yogaglo has been a fun way to switch it up so far

  14. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on May 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I honestly have no idea what my favourite restaurant was at a kid…my family didn’t eat out a lot! Honestly, I probably loved it when my parents would bring home KFC.

  15. Jenni on May 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    The Cheesecake Factory (which I now dislike) was probably my favorite restaurant as a kid. It’s so funny how things can change! I should really invest in a spiralizer, especially because I’ve been eating more raw foods lately. I’ve never seen anyone make sweet potato pasta before. Yours looks awesome!

  16. Jackie on May 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Hey Gina, this is a Liv question. What time does she go down for a nap? I have a daughter the same age and we are still taking two naps a day. Liv seems like such a good napper, so I was just curious.

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      she does two naps some days, and other days only one. it depends on what time she wakes up, and some days she gets tired early and needs two- i try to go by her cues. it makes it hard to plan anything though, and changes every day
      if she takes two, she goes down around 10 and 3. if she takes one, it’s around 11 or 12

      • Jackie on May 22, 2013 at 9:09 am

        Thank you Gina

  17. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on May 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Your necklace is so cute! Love, love, love.

    I haven’t tried YogaGlo yet but it is on my list. I usually use YogaToday which offers one free class per week but you can pay $9.99 per month for more classes. I also love the download feature they have, which allows you to download your favorite classes for $4 so you can play them again and again.

    I almost always practice yoga at home, usually because I want to spend my money on other types of classes.

  18. Christa @ Edible Balance on May 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    YUM! It’s been a long time since I have spiralized sweet potato. I did it once to make raw mac and cheeze, and it was one of my husbands and my favorites! That pesto looks delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Emily on May 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    This sounds so good! I just made some pesto last night. I’d love to start spiralizing veggies as pasta. So smart!

    I love yoga, but I actually don’t practice at home very often. I try to, but just don’t feel like I get the same thing out of it by myself.

  20. CourtStar @ StarSystemz on May 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I loved Olive Garden too, those breadsticks…WOWZERS! Great recipe! I am totally recreating vegan style this weekend for my dinner party ๐Ÿ™‚ Love + Shine CourtStar

  21. april on May 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    i need to purchase a spiralizer so i can replicate this meal. i’m on a huge sweet potato kick and this looks like the perfect meal!

    my family went to ranchero, our favorite neighborhood mexican restaurant, pretty much weekly when i was growing up. my parents still go there on their date night all these years later! that restaurant holds so many fond childhood memories ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Amanda on May 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I totally want to order a spiralizer!! I use something similar on zucchini for zucchini noodles.

    Question, mommy! Does Livi take one nap or two? When does she nap? I think my daughter is getting ready to drop one of her two, but she seems to be dropping the afternoon one which doesn’t really seem to be the norm for other families.. Most babes take an afternoon not morning. Just wondering since you said after her 3 hour nap you had lunch.. Would make me feel better if someone else were in the same boat ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      that’s what happens to us, too! i just go with how she’s feeling and it depends also on what we do in the am and what time she wakes up.
      sometimes she needs two naps, other times, one. if she needs two, she goes down around 10 and 3, and if she needs one, i’ll try to stretch her out until noon.
      when she starts to yawn or get cranky, i put her down.
      yesterday, she went down at 12 and slept until 3, so we had a late lunch.
      i feel like it changes every day though!

      • Amanda on May 22, 2013 at 12:35 am

        Thanks for replying! That makes me feel better.. Our days are always different too. Most of the play groups and meetups in the area are at 10am, but Addison still takes a nap at 9:30. We have a zoo membership (San Diego) and I’d love to go once a week but two naps make adventuring tough some days ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. Kali on May 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I bought the Joyce Chen spiralizer after reading one of your blog posts a long time ago. Today’s post inspired me to get it out and try to make sweet potato spaghetti. It was a major fail! Can you describe how to place the potatoes and/or make a video on how to spiralize?

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      sure, i can do a how-to video!

  24. Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin on May 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Love love your necklace and shirt in that picture! I practice Bikram so I kind of have to go to a studio since I can’t get the full effects at home.

  25. Joyce on May 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Gina! I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and LOVE your blog! Keep up the great work ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also I have a questions, have you ever had digestive issues? I feel like that is the main reason why I am not successfully losing weight at the moment ๐Ÿ™ Is there any food, supplement or exercise that works for you? I’m currently trying to find out the best way I can heal my digestive tract to get things moving right along ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you!

  26. Emily on May 21, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I seriously would have NEVER thought to spiralize sweet potatoes. Have I been living under a rock? That’s brilliant! I’m bookmarking this recipe as we speak and hopefully I’ll be able to try it this weekend! Thanks for sharing. (:

  27. Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope on May 22, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I love this recipe!! So simple and yet looks so elegant with the final presentation. I really need to get a spiralizer!

  28. Courtney Tucker on May 22, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Looks divine! Thanks for sharing. Pesto on sweet potato is something I never would have thought of on my own.

  29. Laura @ A Girl's Gotta Balance on May 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I’ve started practicing yoga at home more often simply because classes in the Boston area get expensive. I’m amazed and a tad jealous ๐Ÿ˜› that you can pay $18 for a month of classes. Here it’s not uncommon to pay $18 for a single class!

  30. Mallory on May 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    This meal looks delish – I just purchased one of the spiralizer on Amazon!

    Reading your blog the past few years inspired me to start my own : http://eatsandfastfeets.wordpress.com/

    Today I did one of your ab burner videos and wrote about it on my blog!


  31. Lisa on May 22, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I love Yogaglo!!! I’ve never take a bad class from them- I’m partial to any classes on there by Elena Brower, but all of them are great- affordable instruction for those with busy schedules.
    The sweet potato pasta looks divine!!!

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