Virtual coffee date

Hi friends! It’s been a while since we’ve had a coffee date, so let’s share one of those amazing looking pastries from the counter and gab for a bit. 🙂

Coffee date2

If we were having coffee right now….

I’d probably tell you that I’m still trying to figure out my life.

I haven’t been teaching very consistently since we moved back to Tucson, mostly because the Pilot has been gone so much. When you’re solo parenting and the only mom taxi for dance, gymnastics, and swim, it can be tough to add things into the schedule. I’ve been trying to find my *home* and figure out whether I want to stick with mostly barre, BODYPUMP, yoga, spin, TRX, or dance cardio. The good news is that I’ve been subbing often and with just enough variety to keep things exciting, but I absolutely miss having my core classes with the same students I see week after week. I’ve been exploring options, and also looked into opening my own studio, but the timing wasn’t right. I’m confident that everything will fall into place, but since I still have no idea what the Pilot’s schedule will be like, it’s been a bit tricky. [I was offered a teaching job at a new yoga studio, but unfortunately had to decline it. I pay our babysitter more than they pay their instructors, and while it’s not all about money, it has to make sense, ya know?]

I’d tell you that I stopped tracking macros. It was something I did for a long time and I noticed great benefits from it, but with the gallbladder situation, I decided to go back to more of an intuitive style of eating. When I was tracking macros, I felt like I was constantly trying to get in extra carbs and protein, and sometimes felt very full/uncomfortable from doing so. I don’t want to overload my gallbladder, and have been focused on eating way more plants in my life. I’ve all but eliminated my intake of eggs, dairy or gluten – I have them very occasionally since I’m trying to do everything I can to get these dang polyps to go away – it would be really hard for me to hit the 120g protein goal. So, I’m not focused on hitting numbers anymore. I try to get protein and produce in every meal and eat what sounds good, but other than that, I’m just rolling with it. I think macro counting is awesome, but I don’t think it’s for everyone and don’t think it should be *forever.* It was a good time for me to take a break. 🙂

I’d tell you that I’m pumped for HIIT Bootcamp! We had so much putting this one together and filming the videos. I can’t wait to hear your feedback! Everything will be up here on the blog on Monday.

I’d talk about how mom friends are awesome. Since we’re finally putting down some roots, it’s been refreshing to make friends here in Tucson and know we’re not leaving anytime soon! Every local friendship I’ve had until this point has had an equal feeling of “make the most of it!” while also feeling a bit sad knowing we wouldn’t be sticking around. I’ve been planning girls’ nights at least once a week, which has been good for the soul. <3 We went out salsa dancing and to dinner last week and a group of moms from dance got together this week for wine and cheese board.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you I feel kind of blah about social media. The funny thing is that it’s a HUGE part of my job, and there are some great parts about it, but man, it feels nice to unplug every now and again. I was thinking of doing some type of mindfulness challenge in December, so let me know if you’d be down for it!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d ask you if you had any awesome recs for NYC. I’m taking Liv on a little mom-daughter trip and would love to hear any of your favorite fall activities. She’s been begging to see a Broadway show for years now, so I think it’s time to introduce her. 😉

If we were having coffee right now, what would you tell me? What’s going on in your life? Any fun fall activities or trips planned?



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  1. Jenn on October 10, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Just went to see Aladdin on Broadway (last week) in NYC and it was SO.FREAKING.GOOD!!! And, we didn’t even have any kiddos with us… you won’t regret that choice! Enjoy and safe travels!

  2. Lisa on October 10, 2019 at 7:58 am

    YAAS! For the mindfulness challenge!

  3. Emily on October 10, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Yes for a mindfulness challenge! It’s always something I try for but end up missing in my wellness routine, so I would love a challenge to get some in there.
    My dance company went to NYC every November when I was growing up and it was so magical! If the Rockettes are doing their Christmas Spectacular yet when you go, it’s also a great show to see in addition to Broadway.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:14 pm

      yes, we’ll definitely look into that one. liv would love it!

  4. Katie on October 10, 2019 at 8:24 am

    YES for the mindfulness challenge! A few months ago I deleted my Facebook account and just yesterday deactivated Instagram (those were the only two social media accounts I have). This year has been overwhelming with personal things and I just needed a break from anything not serving me (and I’m hoping never to go back to social media, personally). So far, a day into no social media and I already feel a weight has been lifted. I was even thinking of doing a 2020 year mindfulness challenge and moving to a flip phone for 12 months. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      love the flip phone idea!

  5. Nicole Kump on October 10, 2019 at 8:41 am

    We are doing a day trip to NYC next weekend and it should be nice in the fall. Definitely recommend spring or fall for a visit bevuse the trees are so pretty in Central Park. You gotta get a slice of pizza and if you want to try to get impromptu seats at a show, go to the theater box office the morning of and you can usually get their cheap rush tickets. I got a great seat near the stage for a show with big names for $35! Have fun planning!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      yes, i love that idea!

  6. Jessie R on October 10, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Yes to a mindfulness challenge! I’m so happy for you to have a great group of mom friends and your trip with Liv planned sounds so fun as well :). Sometimes I think we are all trying to figure life out, you are doing a great job!

    I’m counting the hours until I have a month off work (if you stay at my company for 7 years, you get a month off work as a sabbatical). We are doing a big road trip in the North East from Kansas City, so I’m stoked to spend time with my husband and dog and see the beautiful fall colors! I’d also tell you that I know I want to find a new job, but can’t figure out what. I also feel blah about social media, using the time limits on my phone to limit it has really helped me.

    Have a great one!

    • Megan on October 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Love this coffee chat post! I am definitely interested in a December mindfulness challenge. I’ve taken a step back from social media this past month and really curated the content I follow- it has been so helpful for my mental health.
      I would love a blog post about your daily eats that are DF, GF, and EF… I follow a similar eating style and have found myself in a rut. Your food choices and recipes always give me some inspiration.

      • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:08 pm

        yes i can absolutely do a post!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      a month off! that’s amazing. i hope you have the most wonderful and refreshing break. <3

  7. Katie on October 10, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Yes on a mindfulness challenge!! I’ve been blah about social media too. I got rid of Facebook last year, and my main focus on Instagram at this point is the Costco does it again account to figure out what I “need” haha.

    For NYC, going to the observation decks on buildings can be super fun! The Top of the Rock is a bit less crowded than the Empire State Building. If you’re there close enough to winter, the outdoor skating rinks are super fun, and if you go during off hours they aren’t too crazy.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      ok, i need to follow that costco account!
      we’ll definitely check out top of the rock. thank you!

  8. Jay on October 10, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Totally for the mindfulness challenge. I’ve come to accept that I just can’t do social media. It sends my anxiety through the roof and my self esteem through the floor. But for bloggers, I feel like it can start to take away from the blog and I’m sure there is pressure to feel make the perfect post, etc. Not worth it!
    I hope your gallbladder is on the mend! My mom has always had issues. Would you be willing to show us some recent eats now that you’re gluten, dairy, and egg free? 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      i honestly wish i could just get rid of it, but have to use it to promote blog posts. also, so many companies only want Instagram posts now, which is bananas to me
      yes, i can absolutely do an updated post with recent eats!

  9. Katie on October 10, 2019 at 9:23 am

    If we were having coffee right now I would say that I so feel you on the moving frequently and not being able to establish solid friendships. I’m happy for you that you’re making a friend crew! Making adult friends seems like the one thing that must be a little easier when you have kids, because at least you are forced into regular proximity with other adults and have one guaranteed thing in common with them. No kids here, and a lot of my hobbies are solitary in nature, so it’s kind of hard to just go up to another adult and be like, “So, you like, uh, stuff?”

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:11 pm

      hahah i totally understand that! i’m so glad the kids are a bit of a buffer for the awkwardness

  10. Josie on October 10, 2019 at 9:36 am

    A mindfulness challenge sounds good! I am also trying to figure out life, specifically a work/life balance. It was easier to get to work earlier when my daughter wasn’t mobile! Mornings are a routine, work is work, get kids from daycare, make dinner, clean, pump (I tried to cut that out, but didn’t make it through the night w/o pain), sleep. I hardly have time to see my friends, so it’s really nice that you’re able to make the time!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      hang in there- that’s a lot. it really gets so much easier as they get older!

  11. Meagan on October 10, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I would ask you tips on making friends as an adult, as a mom, and as a couple! We have lived in a new town for over a year and have met some friends but still need to put myself out there a bit more.

    For NYC, we love the High Line, Central Park, SOHO for shopping, and the downtown for exploring. I think next time we go we are going to explore Brooklyn, too. 🙂 Have fun!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      it’s SO hard. i’ve found that i really just have to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people, and invite them to hang out even though i feel awkward. it’s surprising how often they want to do something, though!

  12. Katie on October 10, 2019 at 11:32 am

    For NYC: Serendipity 3, Manhattan Children’s Museum, the Whisper Room at Grand Central. The Smith Restaurant-locations throughout NYC and great for adults/kids.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:09 pm

      these are all amazing suggestions. thank you!

  13. Chantelle on October 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Gina, you are lovely!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts in a virtual coffee date
    If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that though things fell completely apart this past spring in many areas of my life, there have been some amazing blessings and lifelong dreams coming true this summer and fall. I’d tell you that I’m amazed by how life is never just good or just bad, but that there is always some of both and that when I stop and think about it, I am blown away by the grace and goodness I see in my life today.
    Big hugs from a reader friend ❤️

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:09 pm

      i’m sorry to hear that you’ve been going through so much, but happy things are turning around. you’re exactly right. i’ve found myself really embracing the mundane moments; the good and the bad are both so extreme.
      sending hugs to you <3

  14. Vicki on October 10, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Gina, just got back from NYC with my 10 & 12 yr old boys, one does musical theatre & both are in band, play instruments, etc. & we just saw Frozen & really liked it. We saw Aladdin & Lion King on previous trips & all agreed Frozen was our fave! Went to Junior’s for cheesecake a block away from the theatre before:) Enjoy your trip!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:08 pm

      so glad to hear! we definitely want to see frozen 🙂 thank you!

  15. Amy on October 10, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    It’s cheesy and touristy, but you should take her to Ellen’s Stardust Diner…all the servers are also singers and they walk around performing Broadway hits 🙂 Expect a wait…but it’s really fun! My neice, nephew and daughter all LOVED it!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:07 pm

      this sounds right up our alley!

  16. V on October 10, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    The Central Park carousel is amazing—my husband and I rode it and we don’t even have kids. The public library is an insanely beautiful building steeped in history, and the children’s area in the basement is great. The original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals are housed there. Second the idea of rush seats to a show—so economical. Also second Top of the Rock. You get a little tour of the building and it’s more manageable than Empire State. The Highline is a great walk with awesome views of the city and the water. Chinatown is also a great place to get lost—so many interesting things to see, smell, and eat.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:07 pm

      all of these awesome suggestions are making me even more excited. thank you!

  17. Tal on October 10, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    AHh New York! Frozen is amazing so is Aladdin on Broadway. I love the Chelsea Market with the high line. Or Domino Park in Williamsburg. The waterfront in Dumbo has an amazing carrousel. There are cute places for tea like Little Choc Apothecary or Pietro Nolita may be a little older for her but super cute and pink. My mom and I did it.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      love these ideas! thank you!

  18. mi-an on October 10, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I would be interested in the mindfulness challenge in December!!

  19. Sara on October 10, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Go to Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side and get one (or two!) of their famous cookies! There are two locations but the one on 77th St. and Amsterdam is bigger and usually less crowded (it’s HUGE if you can go midday on a weekday.) If you upload a picture of the glorious cookie to IG you’ll def see the likes roll in, but I can confirm the cookie is just as delicious when you don’t post it- I too get so tired of social media-ing! Thanks for this fun catch-up post Gina 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      we definitely will! best cookies ever 🙂

  20. Aileen on October 10, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    I love the idea of a mindfulness challenge. Especially during a very busy time of the year!

    In regards to figuring out your life… when my boys were younger, there were a handful of opportunities that came up that I would have loved to pursue – but like you, I always ended up declining because they really didn’t make sense. Now that both of my children are adults, I realize that I actually did have it figured out, I just didn’t realize it at the time. I am so thankful that I was fortunate enough to be able to have that time with my boys (I know most people aren’t so fortunate to be able to make that choice) and will cherish the time for the rest of my life. And now I am fortunate enough to have a job that is truly fulfilling in many ways.

    The saying is so true – the days are long but the years are short.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      that was really recurring to hear. thank you <3

  21. Sana on October 10, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    I live in NYC and love broadway shows. Aladdin is really good as it lion king and wicked. Recently watched mean girls but that might not be for her. Hope you have fun in NYC! Also would be totally up for a mindfullness challenge!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      glad to hear aladdin is good! i was thinking about that one

  22. Jessica on October 11, 2019 at 8:22 am

    you should take her to breakfast at tiffanys! i can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to do this: tea at the plaza hotel is also really fun for little girls. there’s the american girl doll store (hold on to your credit cards!!), and the central park zoo if the weather is good (one of my favorite outdoor NYC things). The radio city christmas show starts in the beginning of November. The lion king on broadway is amazing for kids (some scenes are a little scary, but overall it’s so so good), along with aladdin or frozen.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:05 pm

      omggg yes this needs to happen!!
      thank you for the awesome tips!

  23. Amy on October 11, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    I would love to see a mindfulness challenge on the blog! I recently removed Facebook from my phone and I don’t miss is at all. I took my daughter to NYC when she was 13 and it was such a great bonding experience for us. Some things we did and she loved: Serendipity 3 for the frozen hot chocolate, we saw the Rockettes at Radio City, went to the tenement museum and was surprised at how much she liked it (Olivia might be too young), and she really loved seeing all the street performances. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a few really good ones down by the Brooklyn Bridge. So much to do and see in NYC – you’ll have a blast!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:05 pm

      love all of these suggestions- thank you!!

  24. Brianne on October 11, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I wish I had NYC suggestions but the last time I was there was about 25 years ago.
    If we were having coffee I’d tell you we’re taking our baby girl on her first overnight trip at the end of the month and I’m super nervous about no one getting any sleep that night.
    I’d tell you that she’s turning a year in 3 & 1/2 weeks and I’m sad about that. It’s going by quickly.
    I’d say I’m also excited for HIIT boot camp and to give up the sugar monster before thanksgiving.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      i hope it goes so well for you! our girls sleep better on vacation so i hope that’s the case for you!
      so excited you’re joining in hiit bootcamp 🙂

  25. Stephanie Woods on October 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    If we were having coffee right now I’d tell you about the potty training woes of trying to train my son, 2.5. How I’ve decided to do pull ups and it feels that he may never get it. That prioritizing dates with my husband is crucial because raising kids is hard on a marriage!

    I’m envious of the fact that Liv is old enough to enjoy and remember a mommy and daughter trip to NYC! My daughter is almost there… she’ll be 5 in January.

    I’m so impressed with your ability to solo parent and shower regularly much less taxi the kids around. Lol. I mean solo parenting is like an extreme sport. Kudos!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      i totally agree that raising kids is hard on marriage. date nights are critical!
      and who said anything about showering regularly lol? i’m on like day 4 over here 😉

  26. Kailey on October 12, 2019 at 5:21 am

    Ahhh you’re coming to NYC?!
    Highly recommend Friedman’s, Blockheads, and Black Tap. Also wandering around Central Park in the fall is just awesome.
    Broadway show for sure! You guys are going to have so much fun.
    Maybe I’ll bump into you on the subway or something 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:03 pm

      ahhh i love this so much! i’m getting so excited 🙂

  27. Elissa on October 12, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    If we were having coffee, I’d ask how you host girls night with your littles? Are they home or at a sitter?

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2019 at 11:03 pm

      lately, we’ve all been getting sitters and meeting up somewhere. it’s harder to host at home than it was in valdosta. our playroom is way smaller and the girls always want to come hang out downstairs 😉

  28. Jennifer on October 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    1) It sounds like your got lots of recs for NYC but if you are trying to eat more plant based, try out Superiority Burger. I got their cookbook and it is SOOOO good! They seem to have lots of salad/veggie based sides that are semi-decently healthy.

    2) Also since you mention eating more plants have your checked out the cookbook Protein Ninja? Pretty much every recipe has fresh veggies in it, but has lots of protein. Some of it is from plant protein powder, like hemp, rice, or pea protein but there also ones that don’t use any protein powder. Not sure if it is 100% your thing because there are lots of baked goods as well, which are kind-of in between high protein baked goods and just yummy enjoyable snacks. I love the authors other books, including Viva Vegan (vegan latino foods, very traditional ones, and are usually a little labor intensive, so maybe not your thing) and her salad books (which my non-vegan family loves)

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