Vegans in Valdosta?

Hey guys! It’s INDIAN FOOD WEDNESDAY! Who’s celebrating? I see a trip to the Indian buffet in the very near future….


So last night, some friends at I met at Bleu Pub for dinner since the guys were working late. (Except for my pilot love, who stayed home sick yesterday)

Jeni and I split the Greek salad (no cheese on my half)


and for my entree, I chose the black bean and bulgar burger (no bun) + sweet potater fries


Awesome note about Blue Pub: they have a separate vegan grill for the black bean burgers! There are VEGANS in Valdosta??!! I’m just being facetious, but it was a lovely surprise 🙂

The fries were foodgasmic…. so salty, so crunchy. I die.

This morning, I woke up with my throat killing me (is the sickness back? Is that even possible?) and made some fresh almond milk to go with my cereal.

al milk

Every few days, I make almond milk for bfast cookie and smoothie purposes. It’s super easy and tastes so much better than the stuff in the carton

Raw Almond Milk

-1 C raw almonds (soaked overnight in water)

-4 C water

-pinch sea salt

-1 t vanilla

-1/2 lecithin (optional- you can use soy lecithin or sunflower; it acts as an emulsifier to combine the almond mixture with the water and give it a smooth texture)

-Blend on high in the Vita-mixalicious

-Strain through a fine mesh sieve

I always dehydrate the almond pulp for macaroons and raw cookies, too 🙂

almond pulp

B-fast was the usual B-fast cookie dough cereal (I can’t get enough!!)


Plan for the day is:

-Snooze and pray that I feel better before work

-Conference call (with a sore throat. Baller)

-Indian buffet

-Training appointments

-Workout? We’ll see how I’m feelin’

See ya later today! <3


Something to do: Get thee a copy a Operation Beautiful! As you guys know, the beautiful Caitlin worked her booty off for the past year + on this book. It’s finally THE week — her book was released yesterday and she’s promoting OB on the Today Show tomorrow morning at 8:30 (set your DVRs!).

When I first saw Caitlin’s Operation Beautiful movement, I thought it was a cute idea. I could see how it would brighten someone’s day to find an uplifting note, but always kind of thought that if I saw a note on my car, I’d probably be looking for the creeper who put it there. It wasn’t until I held the actual book in my hands at Border’s past weekend that I truly understood what it’s all about.

Operation Beautiful is SO much more than random acts of kindness via positive post-it messages. It’s about changing the way girls and women view themselves and promoting a healthy body image.

If I would have had the chance to read this book as a youngin’, I would have breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and maybe cut myself some slack. I’m sure you guys have picked up on my Type A personality, but it was about a thousand times worse when I was younger – I put SO much pressure on myself. I didn’t get my first “B’” until college (and cried and cried over it), and it wasn’t just the grades thing- I danced, sang, played the violin and piano… and was convinced that I had to be the *best* at all of them. On top of that, I read a lot of teen magazines and wanted so badly to look like the magazine models, and the girls on TV… even just typing this all out makes me realize how overwhelmed I was.

If I would have read this book when I was younger, it would have helped me to realize that I was ok, just the way I was. And I really was! Looking back on pictures of performances I did, or when my mom embarrasses me and plays CDs for the pilot, I’m proud of myself, even though at the time, it wasn’t good enough for me. It took me a long time, well until I was in college, to become fully confident in myself.

So I guess what I’m saying is, even if you don’t buy the book for yourself (which I highly recommend- it has so many wonderful stories, advice and information- a great warm fuzzy on a blah day), buy it for a younger girl in your life, like a niece, cousin or daughter. It might benefit her way more than you know.


Something *else* to do: Please send some Reader’s Requests ideas my way (fitnessista at gmail dot com) or leave them in the comments section- RR post will be up tomorrow morning 😀

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  1. jenna on August 4, 2010 at 9:58 am

    thats awesome you made your own almond milk! it looks great!

    i can’t wait to pick up a copy of caitlins book soon.

    hope you get feeling better.

  2. Nicole @ Making Good Choices on August 4, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I can’t wait to get out to the store and get the OB book. I agree, I think I would have also breathed a sign of relief and maybe even thrown away some of those teen magazines I would obsess over.

  3. Holly @ couchpotatoathlete on August 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I bought my copy of OB last night and I can’t wait to read it. I too, wish I had something like this when I was young. I would look at magazines and watch movies with actors/models who looked nothing like me and I would look at myself and not be happy. I wanted to be like them! I would have loved to have someone tell me “you are beautiful just the way you are”.

    I will be sharing my copy with my sisters, friends, friends’ daughters, etc. This is a great message to share!

  4. Kiim on August 4, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Gargle with warm salt water -will help your throat! Feel better!

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

      thank you- i’ll do that right now!

  5. Marilou @ Mostly Healthy on August 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Wow, I’m impressed that you do your own Almond milk! I wish I had the patience to do those kind of stuff 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 10:23 am

      it seriously took less than 5 minutes– i put the almonds to soak before bed and blended everything in the morning 🙂

  6. Michelle on August 4, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I hope you feel better! Sore throats are the worst! As someone who spent some time in Valdosta, I am shocked there’s vegans there too! 🙂 I mostly got met with looks of confusion when I said I was vegetarian!

    Anyway, I was wondering if one day you could do a readers request on stretching pre and post workouts? I feel like the cardio classes at my gym don’t properly stretch us out after but I don’t really know what I should be doing extra. I also run a lot on my own and am not sure how much/what type of stretching I should be doing! Maybe others feel the same?

  7. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' on August 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I’ve been meaning to start making my own almond milk ever since I got a Vita-mix! Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be trying it as soon as I’m done with the carton I’ve got open!

    On the recipe you posted, it says “1/2 lecithin”– do you mean 1/2 tsp?

    Thanks!! 😀

    Oh, and I totally agree about the Operation Beautiful book– when I think about all the years I wasted stressing about my body and image, when there was really nothing wrong with me! I hope future generations won’t be so critical of themselves!

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 10:21 am

      yes 1/2 t 🙂

  8. eatmovelove on August 4, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Isn’t Caitlin’s success exciting?!! I only dream and pray it will happen for me or any one of us that wants to write for a living one day as well…

    LOVE those sweet potatoe fries!!! YUM! 🙂

  9. Laura J. on August 4, 2010 at 10:17 am

    The breakfast cookie dough cereal looks amazing! Definitely going to have to give that a try ASAP 🙂 Hope you and the Pilot start feeling better! Sore throats suck. 🙁

  10. A Teenage Gourmet on August 4, 2010 at 10:31 am

    You MADE fresh almond milk? Girl, you are something else.

  11. Casey Thomas on August 4, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Yay for almond milk! It’s soooo good huh! I love it slightly warmed for a raw hot chocolate. sesame seed milk is also amazing if you haven;t tried it?

    Hope you stay well! Sending you stay well thoughts!


  12. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman on August 4, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I’m impressed you make your own almond milk. That’s dedication right there!

  13. Jennifer N. on August 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

    RR Question from a first time poster. Now that you have lost weight and are maintaining your figure–how do you do that?? Do you count calories or portions or do you just eat intuitively?

  14. Shanna @ Shanna LIke Banana on August 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I too wish this blog world was available 10 years ago. I would have felt such relief and refuge with all these other lovely women.

    I was riddled with perfectionism until I was 25 at least..still struggling now. I didn’t get my first B until Grad School and I thought I’d die…it was a huge turning point realizing that perfection is not a letter grade, a number on a scale, awards won, first place medals achieved, etc.

    Great post.

  15. Megan (Braise The Roof) on August 4, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Wow, I never thought about making my own almond milk! That sounds way more appealing than the carton variety. Where do you buy lethicin?

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

      you can find it at most health food stores 🙂

  16. Barbara on August 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

    love the recipe for the almond milk. where do you purchase the lecithin?

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

      most health food stores have it

  17. Heather (Heather's Dish) on August 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

    i would love to know more about how you and the pilot are planning on kiddos…not necessarily the birth control method you’re using, but what you’re conversations look like regarding kids and the steps you’re continuing to take now…maybe with a timeline? 🙂

  18. Dorry on August 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I’ve gotta start making my own almond milk – yum!

  19. fittingbackin on August 4, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for providing more insight into her book and your thoughts on it – very cool.

    I’m celebrating indian food Wednesday! I’m having leftover curry from Monday’s indian dinner!

  20. Julie @ Pickley Pear on August 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I am very excited about reading Operation Beautiful. I agree, I wish I could read it at 18 years old, instead of 29.
    Happy Indian Food Day. I hope you feel better 🙂

  21. Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine on August 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Thank you SO much for the almond milk recipe. I am getting a Vita soon and was just thinking this morning about making almond milk. I think it would taste so much yummier than the stuff in the box (which has like 10 ingredients )’: )

  22. Kate on August 4, 2010 at 11:23 am

    It’s fabulous that you’ve found some go-to options in Valdosta. Only wish I’d known about them a couple years ago when we crashed there on the way to JAX! We were too exhausted to look around so settled on Domino’s pizza and cinnamon bread. :/ Only they didn’t tell us it also came with “dots”…we were a little over-indulgent…and now Valdosta is synonymous with “TOO. MUCH. DOUGH.” Ugh it was horrible lol.

  23. Ilana on August 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I wish someone had told me to stop taking myself so seriously when I was younger…but when you’re young, life is so confusing it’s really hard not to take it seriously and put pressure on yourself to be all kinds of things because the world is so vast! I can’t wait to get Operation Beautiful today … I’m passing it along to one of my mentees who I think really needs some Operation Beautiful in her life, she reminds me of me at that age.

  24. Amanda-The Nutritionist Reviews on August 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Yum! I Love sweet potato fries! They seem so much healthier than regular fries but probably are not..oh well!

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

      hahah seriously- but they’re SO good 🙂

  25. Fueling for Fitness on August 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

    We had the same thought last night – I experimented with making my own almond milk, too! Except I only used soaked almonds and water. And I added a coffee filter to my sieve because I thought the sieve alone wouldn’t be enough. It’s good to know that it won’t be necessary in the future!


  26. Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries on August 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I want to jump through the screen and devour those fries. I am in love with your breakfast cookies, btw, and also sometimes cook them up in a pan to resemble pancakes. So delish!! So, thank you for sharing with us 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      so glad you like the bfast cookie! <3

  27. Sami on August 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

    SOOO cool! I never knew that’s how almond milk was made! I’ve GOT to try it!

  28. Run Sarah on August 4, 2010 at 11:38 am

    It’s so awesome you make your own almond milk! I can imagine it must be much more fresh tasting. Hope you feel better asap!

  29. Krystyn on August 4, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I can’t wait to pick up a copy of the book! I have a neice who’s mom tells her not to make a big deal of how she looks, but her mom is not exactly setting the best example so I think I’ll get it for her for her birthday!

    I was wondering if sometime you could do a readers request on how to fuel yourself before and after a workout. I’m still trying to figure this out for myself, but I’d like to know what foods are best to eat pre-workout and what to avoid, how long to wait to workout after eating, and what’s best afterwards. Hope this helps! Thanks!

  30. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter on August 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I can’t wait to get out to a Barnes n Nobel and buy that book. I posted a few notes in the bathrooms of my architecture building and the girls went crazy over them. People kept talking about how nice they were and always made them feel better. Caitlin is doing some wonderful, wonderful work.

  31. Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure on August 4, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I guess I need to stop being lazy and make the almond milk this next time! I do have a question though do you have a recipe you use for the macaroons once the almond pulp is dry?

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      yes. it is stored deep in my brain 🙂

  32. Hilary @ Purelicious on August 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I wish so badly I had a Vita so I could make my own almond milk!! My blender just CANNOT handle the pressure haha, I have tried! I go through about a gallon a week (for real) and seriously think making my own would be quite a $ saver! Some day in my dreams I will finally own a Vita… 🙂
    That book sounds amazing!! I’m definitely going to keep that in mind for a gift for my young girly cousins this holiday season! I think you are right that it could make so much of a difference for a teen. What a wonderful idea for a book. I hope she has great success with it!

    • Kimberly on August 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

      I was at Whole Foods yesterday and they had a few Pacific Foods Organic Almond Milk for 2 for $3

  33. Rachel in NC on August 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    So, do you soak the almonds overnight in the 4 c. water, or do you add 4 c. fresh water before you blend?

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      i soak the almonds in enough water to cover them (plus a little extra), and in the morning drain that water, rinse the almonds off and add 4 c fresh water

  34. Rowan on August 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    RR: I remember one time you showed us a little picture of your planner, with your meals and how you wrote down C, P, or F by them–you said you’d “save it for a rainy day.” Say—is that a drop of rain I feel? ; P

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      hahah! love it. it’s actually sunny over here today though 😉

    • jessica on August 4, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      Carb, Protein, Fat?!

  35. Angie on August 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I wouldn’t mind seeing you talk about iron deficiency, and how to get iron in a vegetarian diet. I’ve been wondering lately if I’m not getting enough (lack of meat). And is it better to get vitamins through food, or via supplements?


  36. Sarra H on August 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    wow i’ve always wanted to make my own almond milk, but was kind of intimidated, thanks for showing how simple it can be! 🙂

    p.s. on Caitlin’s blog today, she asked to leave a comment that compliments someone you know in real life or someone in the blog community, (I chose you):

    #404 Sarra H
    on Aug 4th, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    My compliment is for Gina at the fitnessita blog. She really helped me learn how to be healthy but also enjoy life at the same time. I used to always be so strict on myself (no eating out, no chocolate, etc) but when I started reading her blog, I realized you can be both healthy and enjoy yourself; it doesn’t have to be one way or the other. (And thanks to her, I found your amazing blog, which built that positive message even more!).

    So I just wanted to say thank you so much for being such an amazing and positive role model!! 🙂 I hope you feel better!

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      thank YOU for making my day <3

  37. Stephanie on August 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    my boyfriend is home sick from work another day too, must be going around! i really want to try making my own almond milk too, thanks for showing how easy it is!

  38. Tina on August 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Thats really cool they have a vegan only grill. I wouldn’t think to find that in Valdosta either! LOL

    I agree that it is amazing what a strong message a post it can have. I never realized it until I actually took the step to post my own. Also, it really is nice to grow up and be able to let stuff go. I used to be extremely Type A as well and also didn’t get my first B until college. I only had that one and it upset me so much. It is liberating to realize we don’t have to be the best at anything except being ourselves.

  39. stephanie@Avocado Nation on August 4, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I love to make my own almond milk! I don’t have a strainer or sieve so I usually strain it through a clean pair of pantyhose. Works like a charm.

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      i’m so glad you specified *clean* pantyhose… would have worried a little 🙂

  40. Ellen@FirednFabulous on August 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    The cookie dough cereal looks so yummy! I’ve got bfast envy…I had oatmeal. Still yummy, but a bit of a snooze. Anyway, yes, I can’t wait to read Caitlin’s book! I struggle with self-acceptance ALL the time.

  41. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on August 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I wish I had read something like Caitlin’s book when I was younger too so that I could have accepted myself instead of constantly striving to be someone else. She’s spreading such a strong message through her book! 😀

  42. Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner on August 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    That burger sounds awesome! I haven’t really looked hard but so far have never been to a real vegan restaurant. I’m sure they have them in the city though.

  43. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on August 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Gina, what a lovely tribute to Caitlin’s book and message. I haven’t had a chance to pick up the book or see it; although she did ask me if a comment I left on someone’s blog in the sphere if she could use the words I wrote in the book and not sure if my quote/comment made the book, but I signed all kinds of paperwork and waivers.

    Anyhooo….I really need to check out her book b/c like you, I put sooo much pressure on myself growing up, even as an adult I do. Hell, blogging puts pressure on me. I want to be a great friend to everyone, go to everyone’s blog, be an amazing mother and wife (Which are my #1 and 2 priorities!!!), be a great athlete, yoga teacher, be superwoman. As women, as people, not only do we need to love ourselves and our bodies for where they’re at now…but we also need to be able to find peace with not putting other pressure on us too. Your violin, getting a B in college stories..we are the SAME. Story of my childhood and life too!

    ANyway, almond milk, I make it too and it’s so easy and tastes a million times better than storebought for sure!


  44. Little Bookworm on August 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I hope you feel better soon! (Love the bit you wrote about Operation Beautiful!)

  45. Kirby on August 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Feel better Gina! RR: Healthy (or healthier) alternatives to favorite mainstream snacks. I’m a fairly healthy eater, but cheese and salty snacks are my absolute demise. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but any suggestions on salty/crunchy/cheesy snack alternatives would be so great!

  46. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on August 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE sweet potatoe fries. I had the best batch I’ve ever tasted when I was in Vegas. They were sweet and crunchy. Ahh, delicious!

  47. tanyasdailyproductreviews on August 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    that cookie dough breakfast looks so good

  48. Erin S on August 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I definitely need to check out the Operation Beautiful book, thank you for sharing about it!

    My request is to hear what’s up with you, the pilot, and moving. You’ve got some big changes going on!

  49. Alycia @ Fit n Fresh on August 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I want to make my own almond milk! You tricky thing you 😉

  50. Madeleine on August 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I HAVE to get a vita-mixalicious! The homemade almond milk looks AM-azin’… As far as reader’s request posts go: you once hinted at a post about, well, blog writing 🙂 I’d love to see that. I keep trying to start one but can never seem to stick with it. I think it’d be great to have an outlet, as well as be part of such a supportive virtual community.

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