Sweet potato hash

with the Smell of Lasagna 😀

(Random fact: the Pilot has NEVER seen the Sound of Music!! Deprived child, haha. He does know most of the songs from watching Family Guy though)

Here’s one of the layers of the goat cheese and butternut squash lasagna we’re having for Tuesday night’s girls night:


The original plan was to make the spinach mixture and the sauce tonight, but I got on a roll and just finished the whole thing. It smells like lasagna heaven in here! I can’t wait to eat it 😀

I did break out the snowman mug today:


(Lots of green tea action going on over here)

And went down to the middle school track for some cardio. I walked the corners and ran the straights for 60 minutes while listening to Johnjay and Rich and enjoying the lovely weather. It was wonderful!

Then I came home and made some dinner:

Sweet Potato Hash


-Clean and dice one medium sweet potato

-Boil for 7-9 minutes, until tender


-While the potato is boiling, chop up one garlic clove, 1/4 sweet onion, 1 small bell pepper


-Drain the potatoes and reserve.

-In the same saucepan, on medium heat, add 1 T extra virgin olive oil and sautee the veggies for 4-5 minutes

-Add 1/2 t cumin, 1/2 t chili powder, pinch of cayenne and a sprinkle of sea salt


-Add the potatoes into the onion mixture and cook for 8-10 minutes


-Enjoy alone


-or topped with an organic over-easy egg (and some salsa!)




©2009 The Fitnessista


It was unbe-freaking-lievable. And super easy!

Next I made the marinara sauce for the lasagna:


And put that beast together 😀

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I’m so glad I’ve decided to give myself a break. This time last year, I was teaching 6 aerobics classes a week, going to school, personal training, taking care of the puppies and house while the pilot was away, training for a half marathon and blogging. It was a blasty and definitely kept me busy throughout the deployment, but my body was not very happy with me. It’s been a crazy whirlwind and even the day after the half marathon, I started teaching aerobics again. I didn’t give my body the break I needed and pretty recently I realized how burnt out I was getting. With everything I was doing, I was sore every single day and usually by Fridays, it hurt to walk around.

While I was at culinary school in Oklahoma, I figured out that I liked doing my own workouts instead of the ones I was responsible for teaching other people through aerobics classes. I got even more into yoga and it was SO nice to not feel sore every single day. So when I got back from school I gave notice that I was going to take a break from teaching spin. I have a half marathon in December and another in March and really want to train for them properly— last year I ran once per week because it was the only day I wasn’t teaching!

I really miss teaching spin but know I’m making a smart choice. When you’re used to go-go-going all the time, it can definitely be challenging to step back and give yourself a rest. It’s ok to go full speed ahead most of the time, but every now and again it’s a good thing to cut back and focus on what’s most important. Now, I can run more often and train accordingly (so I can rock out those half marathons!), practice yoga daily and don’t have to worry about the extra class and music planning while I’m trudging along at opening my own business. It’s been bueno so far 😉

I’m not saying I won’t go back to my super crazy teaching schedule (because I have a feeling I will!) but for now, I’m just sticking with Zumba until this burned out feeling goes away and the half marathons are over.

So.. yeah. That’s where I’m at right now and we’ll just have to see what happens 😀

Have a wonderful night and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Much love,


<3 Happy Birthday to my great-grandmother <3 (She’s in her late 90s!)

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  1. Bec on November 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    the lasagna sounds amazing and I love your sp homefry meal too!

  2. Stephanie on November 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    That lasagna looks deelish! 🙂

  3. bobbi on November 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I hear ya girl, we all need a break sometimes!!!! I am the same way, I love to go go but I have to force my self to take a chill pill. I would love to get lasagna the recipe????

    • Fitnessista on November 1, 2009 at 10:23 pm

      yup i’ll post it tues night or wed morning 😀

  4. Molly @thevegandorm on November 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    good for you for doing what’s right for you!
    i know how tough that is.
    that sweet potato looks yummy!

  5. caronae on November 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    The lasagna and the sweet potato dish both look wonderful, as per the usual! Good for you for deciding to take a break for a little while and get all the components of your life sorted out. Sounds like a smart, healthy decision!

  6. Sarah on November 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Too funny that you mention Johnjay and Rich… I used to listen to them in Tucson a few years ago, was soo excited that as of 2 weeks ago, they are broadcasting in San Diego. In the meantime, I used to podcast their Second Date Update for my marathon training runs–good stuff!

    • Fitnessista on November 1, 2009 at 10:22 pm

      that’s so cool! since i lived in tucson up until 3 years ago, they’re definitely my favorite morning show. their podcasts get me through quite a few cardio sessions too!

  7. Brittany on November 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Butternut lasagna sounds and looks amazing!

    Good luck training for your halfs!!

  8. Sana on November 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Good planning!! Business? will u share this with us?

    • Fitnessista on November 1, 2009 at 10:27 pm

      definitely! i just don’t want to spill the beans until it’s up and running. hopefully *fingers crossed* by my birthday, november 12

  9. Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness) on November 1, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Happy birthday to your great grandmother! 😀

    I LOVE sweet potato hash! I’ll have to try jazzing mine up like this. I’m sure it’s much tastier than my usual garlic, salt, and pepper.

    Good for you for taking a little break!

  10. Kristen on November 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Quick, get Sound of Music playing. Best classic movie ever! 😀

  11. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) on November 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Aww, I’ve missed your snowman mugs. 🙂

    Christian Dior has never seen the Sound of Music either. I’m still baffled by that. Nor has he ever seen The Goonies which I think is just wrong.

    I so want to be there Tuesday night. Lasagna and tarts sound AND look amazing, and I love sweet potato hash. I’d definitely opt for egg on.

    Have a good week sweet friend!

    • Fitnessista on November 2, 2009 at 8:21 am

      *hides face in shame* i’ve never seen the goonies, either! everyone says i need to get on that 😉
      we’ll save you a spot on tues night- come on over!

  12. Light Delight with TouTou on November 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Hi!!! I’m kinda addicted to sweet potato these days too!! but I use it as topping, while you use it as base – they are really sweet, aren’t they!! thanks for the recipe, I had never thought sautéed them with onion! gotta try it out!

  13. Gab* on November 1, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Good to hear you’re giving yourself a break Gina. The lasagne looks yummo!

  14. Kris | iheartwellness.com on November 1, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Glad to see the Christmas spirit has already arrived at your home today 🙂 I am sooo looking forward to it this year! Your dish looks yummy as per usual 😉

    I think you are very right with your decision to step back and take a bit of a rest. Your body and mind need to recoup! And the great thing is – you will let yourself know when you need to step back! Intuition babay!!
    Have a great night doll!

  15. Fallon on November 2, 2009 at 12:29 am

    That sweet potato hash sounds amazing. That is my lunch tomorrow!

  16. Robino on November 2, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Hi Fitnessista,
    You are Wonderful! The catlyst (that along with some serious medical issues) in my new lifestyle. I do a lot ofwhat you do except hate fish and shrimp (substitute in chicken :). I have to admit, when I first read your blog I was overwhelmed. I was looking for recipes and got linked here from another site about 3 months ago. Then I followed your blog and liked some health ideas, didn’t like some, and was too paralized with fear to even attempt others…When I first read your blog, I thought-wow,she’s depriving herself and it is like torture to have to NOT eat cupcakes, fries, etc. (insert toxic food). But a lot of what you said clicked. As I began to see an excellent sports medicine and internal medicine chiropractor and with her suggestions and all kinds of web info -much of it from you 🙂 – I complete revoke my initial impression. I GET it now. Sure, it took a lot of self-educating. Even though I’ve been a veggie/fruit, “low-fat” kind of gal my whole life, a book the chiro gave me just shocked me. So as I read I GOT it. You want to eat the way you do because you want to feel good, you want to be healthy, you know what’s “wrong” with the other food we aresurrounded by….After that epiphany (took about two weeks to educate, stop dairy, increase plant-based diet with a smattering of “keepin’ it raw,” I am feelilng so much better. I started the plunge, initially at a local yoga, pilates, ballet, zumba, basically everything, studio. I’m now signed up for unlimited classes and I am on my way to mind, body, spirit. Well, I’ll stop blabbing, but I just want to say thank you. I read about your lifestyle and I know I can’t compare where you are at to where I am at- so I just look down the road and see my own “version” of a fitnessista lifestyle. Thank you,Thank you.
    Robin (Chicago)

    • Fitnessista on November 2, 2009 at 8:20 am

      i totally believe everyone has a “fitnessista” in there somewhere- you just have to find it! 😀
      i’m so very glad that i could help you on your way to finding a healthier lifestyle that works for you.. it took me a few years to learn what i like the most -and i’m still learning every day- and you are totally right: i don’t eat junk food or dairy (except goat) because i really don’t want to. i like to nourish my body in a way that makes me feel amazing and helps me to maintain my active lifestyle.
      and YES you can totally compare your lifestyle to where i’m at- because everyone has to start somewhere and i was totally in your shoes when i was just beginning to learn about all of this.
      take care and you know i’m cheering you on <3

  17. Erica on November 2, 2009 at 1:40 am

    mmmmm to all the food. Especially the lasagna! I think its great that you are giving yourself a little break. I am pulling back a bit at work to give myself a mental break from ALWAYS being on the go and it starts tomorrow. I cannot wait.

  18. Jennie {in Wonderland} on November 2, 2009 at 3:15 am

    The food looks incredible!!!! I really want to try that Sweet Potato dish and obvs the lasagne, so can’t wait for the recipe.

    Yay for starting your own business. My partner and I did it about 8 months ago and it’s the best thing ever. So much freedom, so many choices and it’s unbelievably rewarding, making your own success happen.

  19. Paige @ Running Around Normal on November 2, 2009 at 6:46 am

    butternut squash lasagna looks incredible!! As does the sweet potato hash! YUM!!

    I think it’s great you are listening to yourself and your body and know what you need to do. That’s also great you’re starting your own business!

  20. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on November 2, 2009 at 6:55 am

    I totally hear you, Gina! I used to teach 8 classes a week and it came to a point where I wanted to do MY workouts. I loved teaching, but hated feeling some days that I HAD to do THIS workout. Glad you are enjoying your break, girl. 🙂

  21. Erin on November 2, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Sweet potatoes! That looks awesome. And the lasagna. Yummy eats Gina!

    I agree, you gotta put what’s best for you and your body above all else! Great, inspiring post to remind me that’s what’s most important!

  22. K on November 2, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Family Guy will teach you all you need to know about the world 😉

    Two years ago I was in your shoes (sort of). I was being pulled in about a gazillion directions and it made me so stressed out that it wasn’t healthy at all. Now, my life is a lot calmer and I love it! You’ve got to take time for yourself!


    • Fitnessista on November 2, 2009 at 8:22 am

      hahah family guy is the pilot’s reference to many things in life 😀

  23. eliza on November 2, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Would you mind sharing your 1/2 marathon training plan? Or just what an average week or two of excercise looks for you? (Including non-running exercise days). Thanks!

  24. eliza on November 2, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Would you mind sharing your 1/2 marathon training plan? Or just what an average week or two of excercise looks for you? (Including non-running exercise days). Thanks!

  25. Katie on November 2, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Yummy food! I may make hash today. I get the burn out I was burnt out on running after training for over 6 months for different things. Right now I’m only doing what I when I want and trying to incorporate in cross training and yoga more often to keep burnout at a minimum.

  26. Meg on November 2, 2009 at 9:25 am

    As a fellow military wife, I can’t wait to hear about this business! I’ve often thought of starting my own, but then the logistics and realities of moving so often bum me out and I give up. So I can’t wait to hear your plans! If anyone can be successful and make it work, it’s you!!!

  27. laura dishes on November 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Your sweet potato hash looks so good… thanks for the recipe!
    You’re so busy as is… I think it’s great that you’re listening to your body and scaling back on teaching just a little bit!

  28. Jenna on November 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

    good for you for taking a break! your body needs the rest!!

  29. lindsey on November 2, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Congrats on taking it down a notch!!

    I don’t know how you can possibly do as much as you do physically, and still want to workout on your own. sounds intense 🙂

    Good luck with training! I just started running yesterday and it wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be- but I don’t think I’ll be doing any half marathons anytime soon 😀

  30. Julie on November 2, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Wow, you were a busy lady last year. I’d say a break is much needed and deserved!

  31. M on November 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Good to hear you are slowing down a bit. It is refreshing to take a step back and let yourself rest, we all need it sometimes. Working on your own business? I am SO stoked to hear about this!! When will you tell us? Good for you! Can’t wait to hear this lasagna recipe Fitnessista, you are torturing us!! And the Sweet Pot Hash is going on my meal plan for the week, yumo! I noticed you are putting a copyright on your recipes now… is this because your business may involve a cookbook? Maybe? Hmmm?! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm

      hey m,
      i’ll definitely tell everyone about the business when it’s up and running. just working on the legal mumbo jumbo right now 😀
      i would love love love to write a cookbook… maybe down the line!

  32. chrysta on November 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Looks amazing. That marinara sauce looks so tasty! I so hope you share that recipe soon!=) Keep on rockin girl!

  33. Kaye on November 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    (Random fact: the Pilot has NEVER seen the Sound of Music!! Deprived child, haha. He does know most of the songs from watching Family Guy though)

    That made me LOL. I met Seth MacFarlane at karaoke one night and drunkenly told him Family Guy changed my life.

  34. Sana on November 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    The lasagna looks so yummy. Please do post the recipe 🙂 The sweet potato hash sounds yummy as well…now I know what I am doing with the sweet potatoes I have lying around in my fridge!

  35. carolinebee on November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Good luck G! Sounds like a great plan 🙂 I hope you aren’t canceling Indian Food Wed though!?

    • Fitnessista on November 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm

      hahah most definitely not 😀

  36. Katy @ These Beautiful Feet on November 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Awesome! It is definitely a-okay to rest every now and then! If we kept going 100% with zero break, we wouldn’t be benefiting anyone we encountered because we would be so exhausted and would end up being ineffective! I’m proud of you for resting. It’s like in my yoga class when they recommend not forcing your body to do what it can’t..but resting when you need to do. It’s harder to let go and rest then to force ourselves! 🙂

  37. taylor - pacing for pretzels on November 3, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Gina, I am making your sweet potatoes tomorrow night and can’t wait! I bought the goods yesterday. It looks deeeelicious.

    • Fitnessista on November 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      whoo hoo! let me know how they turn out!

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