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In bbq, blend retreat, fashion, fitness, get the look, giveaway!, GPP FITNESS, new faves, popular recipes, protein shakes, Uncategorized, WOD On May 28, 2013 12 Comments

Happy Tuesday beauties!! Hope y’all had a fabulous day off celebrating Memorial Day;) I already have Mondays off, so nothing too out of the ordinary for me. Gym, as usual, a bit of bbqin’, and a LOT of laying around doing nothing but watching movie after movie. I never do hat. It was fab!
I’ve been obsessing over how beautiful my peonies have bloomed, so I must share. They were having a sale at whole foods the other day, $8.99 for 6 stems. Egggggzactly! You best believe, I stocked up.


Monday was a bit of a recovery day for me. Sunday was jam packed. We hosted our bestie’s bridal shower, which was SOOOO FUN, but not joking….lots of wine, champagne, sangria…..oh andddddd chips and salsa.;) oops


My white peonies…. I’ve finally learned how to keep them fresh and lasting….


I will be sharing the post soon of the bridal party shenanigans, but until then, here’s a sneak peak of part of the dessert options..
sugar-free chocolate covered strawberries. YUMMMMMMMMMZIESSSS

Super simple and much healthier than traditional choco-covered strawberries. Give it a try.

Rinse fruit and let completely dry

in a med bowl, mix 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3 cup 100% cacao powder ( I used raw/organic)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 drops stevia
Pinch of salt

Place on parchment paper and into the fridge they go to set.


Yesterday started off with a trip to the gym. The plan of attack:
Yeah, I know…WTF. First thing in the morning….yes fasted.
Homegirl needed to burn off some of that alcohol and chips from Sunday!

Sporting my new Strut This tank. A lil fitmixer in my blender bottle, and I’m ready to sweat.


That’s right….you take a full deck of cards with you to the gym or you could also do this at home, find a nice space where you can jump and run around like a crazy, and do one card at a time.


My warmup was 20 minutes on the stair master on “INTERVALS”. Got my heart rate up and my body sweatin’.
I headed to the mats where there was also a long “runway” for my sprints.
So, whoever the F*%k last shuffled these cards was a Mother Trucker, cuz I kept getting burpee after burpee card, like it was my J.O.B! Ughhhhhhh I was dying.

I switched up my jokers from 400 meter run to sprints.
Also switched aces from 10 reps to 50 jumping jacks.

Yep, that’s right, you don’t stop until you finish the deck of cards. This workout is fantastic to try with clients for time. It’s a full body workout, and trust me, you really burn does muscles out.
When I finished… I was sweating bullets, panting, and completely flushed. Super proud of my motivation, geez.
I looked like I was training for the Olympics or something, lol, to the point where one of the trainers comes up to me and says, “Hi, I’m Mario, sorry to bother you but….what are you doing? Are you an athlete?
Ummmm…” LOL, no…but I like to train like I am.
I was so happy to share with him my new obsession with GPP fitness.

Check out sweaty Nettie after that workout!!! This is my fat crying! 😉


I could NOT wait to get home and devour this Vega Sport Chocolate Protein shake! I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, so I was stoked when Vega hooked it up for the swag bags at blend retreat! Yipeeee. It was like drinking melted chocolate ICE CREAM! Holy delicious! I’m sad I only had 2 packets:(


Mid day snack…Blueprint Green juice. It’s super yummy, but I gotta say…I’m hungry again in about 3 seconds. Hmmmmm.


So….pre-lunch (movie) appetizer…. And no, this wasn’t all for me chicks. Lol. A lil midday wine to celebrate the holiday, don’t judge. It was far past noon.;)


I discovered a new favorite cheese y’all!!!! And……you can find it even at Ralph’s! It’s called Beecher’s Handmade (from Seattle) OOOOOMMMMMGGGGGGG
It’s a semi-hard cows milk cheese. A little sharp, aged for 15 months. So bomb. We also enjoyed a fabulous bottle of wine. Acacia “A” Pinot noir is my latest find. For around $15 it’s a great bottle that’s soft on the palate. This particular one has nots of raspberry, black cherry, slightly sweet but a bit peppery. Oooohhhhhweeeeee, really lovely.


Actual lunch was simple, fresh, and clean.
Mixed baby greens tossed in orange olive oil w/ muscat champagne vinegar,along with some BBQ turkey breast fresh off the grill. Gotta balance it out right!?


The following are a few of my favorite new items. Of course, I can’t leave the store without picking up something new.
The Good Belly is:
*all natural
*20 billion live and active probiotic cultures in a serving.
*dairy free, soy free, & vegan



A much as I’m not such a huge fan of protein bars, except the occasional quest bar, sometimes, you really just need a grab and go, right? This isn’t a meal replacer, I cannot handle those. ( I’m a hungry girl) this is a perfect snack!
The SIMPLY Bar is only:
* 160 calories
* 10 net carbs
* 16 grams of protein
* 4 grams of fat
* only 3 grams sugar.

Another one of their products I LOVE…. SIMPLY PROTEIN CHIPS holy cow, I tried these at the blend retreat, and I’ve been trying to get my hands on more ever since!

Moving on ladies…. Time for “GET THE LOOK”

Casual can be cute…and yes, I wore a sports bra to work, and that shit was cute;)
Thanks to LULU;)


BANGLES: Nomad in Ojai, CA
ARMBAND: Olive & Tweed (Utah)

SPORTSBRA: Lululemon

SANDALS: Madden Girl

DRESS: Forever 21

Hope you all enjoyed today’s post babes;)
Here’s a little FOOD FOR THOUGHT….;)

Oh, and if you haven’t already entered to win 2 free entries to the COLOR ME RAD 5K…..do so HERE! winners will be announced on JUNE 17th. I send you the coupon code, and you’re in!




Blend Retreat 2013 in Salt Lake City with some AMAZING beauties!

In friends, Reviews, Uncategorized, Weekend Vac On May 22, 2013 10 Comments

Hello my lovelies! Ok, so it’s not quite the morning after my return, but yesterday I got caught up reorganizing my life and settling back in!
What an AMAZING weekend that was! Most if you who follow my life/blog know that I’ve been planning to take part in this fun, fitness blogger retreat in Salt Lake City, Utah, but didn’t know quite what to expect. Well, I wasn’t the only one who was a bit nervous, let me tell you;) I guess, if you really think about it…”I’m about to spend 3 days with people I’ve never met, in fact share a bed with a chick I’ve never met..” Hmmmmmm, the thought was a little funny, but hell, you only live once! Lol.


I flew out of Long Beach ridiculous early on Friday morning, and while standing in line to check in, I ran into my blendee! She tapped me on the back and said, “Gina?” I turned around and said ” um no but,….Blend retreat???” Yay! My first meet with Bobbi McCormick from mynhershoes.com .She is a total sweetheart. Right away we hit it off! Thank goodness I found her, cuz I tend to never know what the hell is going on, ever. She had arranged to go straight to the GPP fitness gym with a few other girls to start the weekend with a killer workout. So, I hopped on the opportunity to hitch a ride with them, and try out this gym that I had heard so many great things about.




The gym was quite big, spacious, and super clean. It looked like a “crossfit” gym and typically, I get a little intimidated walking into these types of gyms. After my workout, I learned, GPP is a beast of its own. In a REALLY good way. This was our first workout of the weekend.


Please take a moment to check out their website here. If you are ready to change the way you see and manage your fitness level. please, PLEASE… watch and learn. Knowledge is power.


I have never done anything like this. I cant even describe it, that’s why I posted this video. I wanted you all to see, and experience what I did. I had a feeling that my idea of “Sore”, was gonna have a new meaning. What’s soooo great about this company, is that they realize that they are not everywhere, so they offer their workouts FREE online every single day! I know, I CANNOT WAIT to start incorporating this into my day to day life. With that said. In 35-40 minutes….my body was like jello.

This is what I LOVE about their philosophy:

GPP is about getting you healthy. Period.

We believe the only worthy reason to exercise and eat right is so that we can lead richer, fuller lives. Lives not limited by capacity and/or self-induced disease.

At GPP we realize that health isn’t about who the fittest person in the world is. It isn’t about who can lift the most weight, run the fastest, or obtain the highest work capacity imaginable. These things are silly, wasteful pursuits. They have no meaning. They serve no purpose.

Instead, get your workout in and go home. Go be a human. Do things that interest/edify you. Contribute to your family, your community and/or society.

Staying at the gym and pounding out more workouts, so that tomorrow you’ll have more capacity to perform even more working out, so that then, you will be able to do yet ANOTHER even more difficult workout, only serves the workout. It can also become a black hole of intention, focus and purpose. This black hole is filled with everything which is opposite of health.

At GPP we do NOT serve our workouts (read, “the Demotion of Exercise). For we realize it is our workout’s job to serve us. We would much rather put energy into activities which are less based on self and more focused on what is truly important.

(source: GPP)



We couldn’t check in until 3, so all the girlies decided it was time to get down on some grub. It was now 1 o’clock, and we all know how hungry we get after a killer workout. Hello STARVING! We were referred to a local favorite called Plates & Palates.



Everything was soooo fresh, and made right in front of you. Simple eating. Salads, Sandwiches, soups, fresh juices, and gluten free desserts. Amazing! I ordered the Greek chicken caeser w/o dressing. Didn’t need it. Soooo tasty! There were 8 of us blendees at lunch, so it was nice to get to know each other a bit before being bombarded with 50 new names and faces to memorize;) lol.



Finally, we arrived at our beautiful destination! It was time to check in to the Hyatt Escala Lodge, in Park city Utah. Not only is the resort absolutely stunning, and service impeccable…..you also are greeted every morning, day, and night by a ken doll look-a-like who couldn’t be a bigger sweetheart! Scott, was his name, but we re-named him “dreamboat”. He doesn’t know that yet, but I’m sure he knows he’s very good at his job. Lol.
A bit cloudy and drizzly out but who give a F*@k, do you see this place!? It was actually a nice change for me. If you’re from LA, in “almost summer”,then you appreciate nothing more than fresh, clean air. oh, and a cloud here n there is like a gift sent from above! Absolutely beautiful. Get used to that word, cuz that is exactly what I think of Utah, and I’ll be saying that a lot:)

When we checked in, we were greeted by the ladies who were responsible for this fantastic retreat. Lindsay W, Janetha, and Katie, also fellow fit bloggers. Super sweet Amigas! We were handed a badge with out full name, and blog name, since most everyone would know me as “fromfriestofit” anyway…. Along with a ridiculous Ogio bag filled with SWAG from all the sponsors! Who doesn’t love free shit!? It just keeps on gettin’ better.

Finally found my roomies!!! Meg from runfitkin, Lindsey from runstretchrepeat, and Steph from wholesomebydesign.
I couldn’t have asked for sweeter roomies! We had such a great time together!

Justin’s Nut butter, attune foods, and Green Mountain Coffee sponsored a lovely snack hour while all us blendees mingled and laughed about how we would forget each others names 2 seconds after meeting, but promised to remember by the end of the retreat.

After a couple hours, we all headed back to our rooms to shower up, unpack, and get ready for the opening ceremony dinner.

But not before an AWESOME cocktail hour hosted by Silk! (Also happens to be my favorite milk alternative;)
Hors d’oeuvres were…fresh veggies with loads of different dips, black bean & chipotle cakes, and gorgeous veggie spring rolls. Yummmmmm.




Had a crazy connection with these chickies! Love them, and can’t wait to visit them in Nebraska!


My roll dawg, Maren.

It was nice for all of us to finally get out of our workout clothes, and get a little dressy:)

Since Silk sponsored the cocktail hour, naturally the drinks being offered were all made with a certain Silk product.
My favorite drink was the strawberry mint slushy! My god, it was the bomb! I gotta be careful around those types of drinks, they go down wayyyyy to smooth. Uh oh. I made sure to take a pic of the recipe, I knew y’all would love it. It’s a perfect summer refresher drink! Make sure to follow them on instagram and twitter @lovemysilk for blogger inspired recipes and info!

Ok sooooo, I can’t lie. When I saw my favorite twins at the airport, I was like ahhhhhhhhhh. Oooommmmmggggggg. Purely Twins are my celeb fit blogger crush. If you don’t already follow the, get real, you’re missing out. They are super sweet girls who, not only once owned there own raw food bakery, they now have a wonderful e book, come up with killer workouts, and create recipes that are genius! They were an absolute pleasure:)


Dinner was delicious and clean of course. White fish, chicken, quinoa cakes, loads of salad, roasted root veggie soup… Eat it alllll up. Duh.


Dessert was oh so heavenly… Of course I had to try a bite of each one….you really can’t expect me not to do that… Plus everyone did it:)
That little panna cotta was actually made with chobani Greek yogurt! Healthy!!!!
I skipped out on the crust of the tart…homegirl was freakin full at this point, oh and I was 3 glasses of red wine in….time for bed. GPP bootcamp at 7:00am. Nice.


Woke up Saturday morning feeling and looking like a CHAMP. NOT. Here we go. 7:00 am wake up call for the second workout of the weekend. When I say this was GNARLY…..pleeeeeaseee don’t underestimate me. This was insane!
BURPEES, PUSH UPS, SQUATS OH MYYYYYYYYY. Even if I felt like I was gonna die, I pushed through and felt amazing afterward. All I knew was, when I finished, I would run straight to the breakfast buffet. Like a cow.

Ahhhhhh finally!
Straight to that shit I went! First stop….Muesli Fusion. All natural, organic and a-mazing. my favorite is the athlete fuel, sweetened with nothing but fruit, and packed with protein!


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/3c (41g)
Servings Per Bag 10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat .5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0g
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 25g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 3g
Protein 7g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 610mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 1330mg
Vitamin B1 15%
Vitamin B6 15%
Vitamin E 9%
Zinc 10%
Selenium 40%
Magnesium 22%
Phosphorus 20%


Totally balanced breakfast. I threw in a chobani flavor that I hadn’t tried yet. Delish, but didn’t end up finishing it, too full. Story of my life. Lol.

The Laughing Cow also provided us with some ridiculous 1/3 fat cream cheese. I’m totally obsessed with these new flavors. Instead of spreading it on a bagel, I opted instead for eating it on my fruit. Freakin genius! Thank you, thank you for being a generous sponsor!


After breakfast, we all met back in the lobby to see if the group hike was still on. It had been a bit rainy, so we thought it would be way to muddy. But it stopped raining, and we said effffff it, we’re going. Pro Bar sponsored this hike and offered a few of their products for us to take in our packs.

We grabbed one of each. A probar BOLT, and a probar FUEL. Dressed warm, and ready to rock.
And…..we were off. Chilly, yes. Unbearable, no. This place is absolutely stunning. Everywhere you look…stunning!!!!! More than half of us went on the hike, the others opted for a ZUMBA class. Obviously, since I teach ZUMBA, and do it 2x a week….I wanted the outdoors experience.

Ok, this is we’re things got a bit rough….and when some Amigas decided to turned around. Perhaps smart. Muddy enough…..ughhhhh. Not gonna lie, most girls had to throw away their shoes after it was over. Packing them to take back in their luggage would’ve been painful. My dumb ass of course wore my really nice trail racing Salomons, so I was like “bitch pleeeease, I’m about to sit in the bathroom and wash these bad boys out in the sink” I was so not about to throw them out. They did warn us to bring old piece of shit shoes, but oooops, I forgot:(
A 4 mile loop though this gorgeous terrain, made the fact that my shoes felt like they were gonna come off with each stop, completely worth it:) it was peaceful, and the air was clean & crisp.



On the way up, I snuck a bite of my fuel PROBAR. Yum. It was fruity and nutty. It kinda reminded me of a larabar. Quite similar actually. Really tasty. Gluten free, and all natural sugars.


Got to our midway point, and ate the rest of my bar. I just don’t get why I’m so hungry all the damn time. It’s crazy! It was time for a photo op. the more I ate it, the more I liked it:)
Group pic! Love these ladies.
Time to get our fit asses back to the resort!


This retreat was so organized. I love it. We arrived back to snack hour put on by ONNIT. The lovely Orlando, and Whitney, Miss United States blessed us with a delicious protein shake made with their hemp force protein powder. We also tried some of their nut butters and protein bars. He’ll yessss! I was actually really impressed with their products, and overall information of the Company.They also were giving out samples of their supplements, in which, after researching, have been a huge hit in the fitness industry. Shroom Tech, and Alpha Brain. ONNIT stands for brain and body health, total human optimization. Pretty amazing company with a vast line up of athletes, and medical professionals. Check them out please and do you’re research. Especially if looking for a new outlook on fitness, foods, and supplements.

Once showered up and relaxed, it was time to meet up with the chickies and head into town for dinner. We met in the lobby lookin alllll sorts of’ cute, flirted with “Dreamboat” aka “ken doll”, and headed to sushi in Park City;)
Cutest little downtown evaaaaa! Really….you aren’t surprised that we were once again looking for food.? Lol

We went to a local hot spot for some raw fishies at Yuki Arashi Sushi.

Really nice folks, and SCORE, sushi was 1/2 off. Whatttttttt.


Nope, didn’t eat the rice from the sushi. I was that annoying girl. But whatever, Maren was scraping the tempura off her “tempura” roll. F*%king hilarious. We were in the corner, so, luckily our waiter didn’t spot us being fussy and high maintenance. Ha.

Stuffed and feeling like a beached whale, naturally, I decided it was a good time to shop for clothes. Meg and I stopped in to this super cute boutique called Olive & Tweed.
Not only did they have super cute clothes, they also showcased some beautiful and unique jewelry from local designers. I picked up a silky tank, a bronzed arm band (I’m convinced they’re making a comeback) and some gorge rose gold drop earrings.
Happy with my purchases, it was time to head back.


Home….pshhhhhh. Home meant party at the suite! Janetha’s sweet mom (Momma B) was makin’ her famous “Utah Scones” more like DONUTS! lord give me strength. This suite was huge, so most of the blendees were there. It was so nice. It was like a night out with everyone. It was packed with peeps, wine, and ” scones”. My kind of fun;)

I called it kind of an early night, seeing that the night before I had 1/2 a bottle of wine (who’s counting) so sat night, I wanted to make sure I got enough sleep for the 7:00 am wake up with GPP workout!
Before heading in, I picked up a tank from one of my fave fit chicks, Miranda from Living Proof Gear. Super sweet girl. She hooked it up with a tank for every single one of our swag bags. This chick is the real deal! Thanks boo. Pick yours up here.
Our workout again was, no exaggeration, hard, crazy, painful, but INCREDIBLE. as I finish of this post actually, I am about to go soak in Epsom salt. Yeah, that’s right, 2 days later. Say much?
Before heading to breakfast, which, duh, I was dying for….I had a chance to take some pics with 2 of the trainers from the GPP fitness team. These girls inspired me to keep going and push myself.
We love group pics;) this was so fun!
My homie Debra from milestorun.com super sweet girl with a great blog. If your a runner, check her out.

With my two favorite FIT twins, Lori & Michelle. Their bodies are RIDICULOUS! Check em’ out!
I was stoked when I saw that Drink Chia was hooking it up with samples, cuz I loveeeee them! Thanks y’all!


Living Proof dream team! Can you tell we love our gear? God, girls are so cheesy, I love it.
Sunday morning….we just finished our workout…I think it’s time for breakfast. Today’s breakfast brought to you by some really great peeps. One being Chobani. You would be surprised how many ways in which to utilize Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great source of probiotics and protein. Here are my Chobani Amigas!


I am absolutely loving these these new products. The mini bites and the flips. Yummmmmmm! I generally stick to 0% Greek yogurt, but hell, live a little;) if you follow them on Instagram or twitter, make sure to tag #tastereal whenever you enjoy chobani and share your photos!
Yes please…. Make your own oats in a jar. I’ll take it. Oh, and I’m keeping the jar.lol. I snuck a pic of the recipe for y’all. I know, I’m sweet;) try this one out.
One thing I made sure to stock up on during breakfast was Blueprint juices.
They were gracious enough to constantly hydrate us with these delicious green drinks.
Blueprints juices are 100% raw, organic and cold pressed.
They also offer some really unique cleanses.They provide the first nutritional cleanse offering different levels of intensity. Enjoy six fresh fruit and vegetable juices daily in place of meals for as long as you choose, delivered straight to your door anywhere in the U.S.
Pretty cool.
Lucky duck. I enjoyed quite a few of these;)

Did I say hungry?….. I meant, HANGRY! after waiting in line at the damn omelet bar, I was beginning to shake. I needed food, stat. Check out my sumo plate. I may or may not have had seconds… ( not pictured)

The omelet bar… Ok, worth the wait.

I also couldn’t help myself in trying the Chobani based shakes. It’s was a bit dangerous I must say…I couldn’t get enough of the peanut butter shakes. Candy in my mouth, no joke.

So sad this weekend was coming to an end:( after breakfast we all headed upstairs to pack up our suitecases. Wahhhhhhhhh. More exciting though, was the raffle they had set up for us before heading out on the road. Apparently, everybody wins! Yippeeeeee. Did I mention, I’m lucky;)?

Blue diamond was generous in donating boxes of their new almond floors, which are so BOMB BTW. They are promoting thir new favors out now, which are…blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, and toasted coconut. Haven’t tried all the favors yet but, knowing me…my fave will be strawberry;)
I was right! Everyone won something! I love this. It was so fun. I wanted soooo bad to win that nuttzo, I practically peed my pants when they announced my name!
Well, since everyone won something the first round…. They threw the names back in for the few raffle products they had left. Hallelujah….I won again! What did I tell you!? This time…. A case of Chobani yogurt delivered to me! Oooommmgggggg. I was in foodie heaven. Sorry, not sorry.

After the raffle, sadly, everyone had to start making their way to the airport:( Bobbi and I’s flight didn’t leave till 7:00 pm, so wwe had some time to do something before heading out. Lucky for me, Bobbi invited me to head up to sundae with she and a friend of hers who lived nearly. Ummm, yeahhhh. Cynthia (sweet as pie) picked us up for a beautiful trip trough salt lake into Sundance.
Destination: the Robert Redford Sundance Resort. It’s beauty: remarkable.
The views were more than impressive. During this time, it’s packed with mountain bikers using the lifts to take their bikes all the way to the top and ride their crazy asses down. A creek running through the front of the restaurant. I couldn’t help but stop and marvel. Listen, I never see this in LA, leave me alone;)
Rustic, and lookin’ straight out of a movie…
Constantly amazed by the richness in colors and green all around me. Made me wish we had more rain in LA.

We enjoyed a late lunch at The Owl Bar. It was quaint, and charming, with an old country western vibe.

When we realized it was the last hours of our vacation, first thought was…yup, time for a cocktail.

We ordered shrimp ceviche, rep pepper hummus, lettuce wraps and fish tostadas. Hungry a girls;)
Sadly, after lunch…it was time to leave beautiful Utah, and head back o reality. Back to LA, back to work, back to life. Oh I forgot to mention. Only cuz I gotta hold myself accountable…. I had pink berry at the airport. There, I said it. It’s done now;)

Overall, I’d say it was a prrrrrettty sweet weekend, don’t cha think?? Kind of a long post, but I wanted to recreate what an awesome time I had with all of you. I hope you enjoyed it, and I want to send some special thanks:
Blendees…..SEE YOU NEXT YEAR! Xoxox