Blog 1/10/21 The Challenge is Underway!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend!  The Winter Fitness Challenge started this past Saturday and I loved  seeing so many of you committing to improving your health over the next six weeks!  This is SO exciting and I am walking this journey with you too! 

I specifically wanted to have two different challenges that you could participate in:  one that’s nutrition focused and one that’s physically demanding.  I wanted to design the nutrition challenge to be custom created to your specific needs and goals.  I have so enjoyed hearing from so many of you and learning about your action plans and goals for the next six weeks.  This is exactly what I was hoping for, so well done everyone!  BTW, if you haven’t reached out to me yet or started, it’s not too late, but you need to contact me this week. 

As I see many of you in my group ex classes throughout the week, I will continue to log on about 10 minutes early to the on-line classes so that I am available if you’d like to check in and give me an update on how you are doing or share any successes with me.  Accountability is a huge component to this six week journey and I want to be there to help you guys. 

Changing habits and behaviors, especially around food, is NOT easy when you get started.  The first few days are the hardest and every day you stick to your plan will get a little easier.  This is why community is so important, so that you can hear you are not alone in your struggles and challenges in making changes.  It’s also very encouraging to share successes with one another because iron sharpens iron! 

I’ve also wanted to touch upon the idea that some of you have shared that there is an idea my classes are too difficult to begin.  Yes, they are hard, but I always make room for beginners and will guide you and give you specific instructions for how to make the classes work for you.  So, hard is a relative term because we are all on a different path in our fitness right now and the work is hard for beginners and for the advanced if you are pushing yourselves.  For example, I am currently teaching a Park Fitness class on Mondays at 10:15am in Dublin focusing on jogging/running up hills.  Beginners are more than welcomed to come try this class and yes, walking is totally o.k as you work on increasing endurance.  It takes time.   Yes, the intermediate to advanced exercisers will be trying to run harder up the hills, but then we all meet up at a station and do body weight drills together.  The more advanced do additional drills and the beginners catch up when they can.  Make sense?  There’s room for everyone.

So, we are off and running and I can’t wait to see how you all progress from week to week!  If you have an “off” day, don’t beat yourself up.  Shake off the feelings of failure and shame and re-start.  Period.  Success doesn’t happen without failure and it’s part of the journey.  As a family, we watched The Guardian last night.   Do you remember this film from 2006?  It’s with Kevin Costner and is about the Cost Guard rescue swimmers.  We fast forwarded through the more adult scenes of course, but we all thoroughly enjoyed themes of courage, bravery, and sacrifice.  One of the quotes from the film said that, “Courage is the mastery of fear.”  Thought provoking huh?  Although, I don’t think that fear is every truly mastered, but standing in the face of fear and being willing to stand up to it will certainly stomp on fear.  Don’t let fear be a ball and chain around you, especially in regard to the fear of failure.  Stomp it down by facing it my friends! 

Socially distanced picture from Park Fitness/Winter Fitness Challenge Saturday 1/9/21  Way to go!

Announcements and reminders:

    1. 6 – Week Winter Fitness Challenge is ON now through February 13th!  The challenge started this past Saturday, but it’s not too late to join!  Please contact me this week if you’d like to do the nutrition challenge or physical challenges.  These are not mandatory to attend classes.
  1. Here’s what I’d like to do:

    1. Weigh yourself at home this week and record it on your phone with a picture and/or a notebook.  Measure yourself with a measuring tape around your hips and waist and record your measurements. You can also have your spouse or family do this for you too.  At the end of the six weeks, let’s see who the biggest reducers are in weight and waistline! 


    1. This will be a “Saturday” Challenge because I will offer fitness challenges for both Boot Camp On-Line and Park Fitness.  Since these Challenges are a service that I offer to my clients, these extra “Challenges” are optional and are not mandatory.  If you still want to get a great work out in but don’t want to do any of the fitness tests or timed challenges, that’s totally o.k. and up to you.  For those who do want to participate, I will be keeping track and recording your progress so that you can compare how you did at the end of the six weeks.  As usual, there will be prizes for winners!!


    1. Nutrition Challenge – Who can detox the most?  What are you willing to give up?  Sugar?  Refined carbs?  Soda?  Pick something personal to you that you want to detox and track how you are willing to detox it.  Maybe you want to try the Whole 30 diet and detox everything and then slowly build your nutrition back up by adding food groups in.  Let me know what you’d like to give up and how you are going to do it.  I will determine at the end of the Challenge who the winner is based on plan, execution and results. 
      1. Jen Allan Fitness tank tops available!  I still have a few tank tops available in white, grey and blue if you are interested.  I have a few in small, medium, and large.  Let me know if you are interested! Cost is $24.

      New Recipe:  Veggie Loaf

      Are you looking for more vegetarian dishes to add to your mid-week meals?  Well, instead of meat loaf, how about veggie loaf!  As always, feel free to tweak any of my recipes and use some of the ingredients you have on hand, but this is what I came up with using the ingredients I have in my fridge at the time.  Enjoy!




      note – buy organic whenever you can

      1/2 Organic Firm Tofu block – cut in half and chopped fine

      1 can or Kidney Beans rinsed

      2 cups of chopped crimini mushrooms

      1 cup of chopped yellow onion

      1 cup of chopped celery

      1 cup of chopped carrots

      1 cup of chopped parsley

      2 cups of chopped fresh spinach or frozen that’s been thawed and drained

      3 garlic cloves chopped fine

      1/2 cup of tomato sauce

      1 egg

      1 T dried Basil

      1 T dried Oregano

      1 tsp salt

      1 tsp cracked pepper


      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mash Kidney Beans with a fork until formed into a smashed paste.  Add all ingredients into bowl and mix with a fork.  Mixture should be well incorporated so that it sticks together.  Prepare a casserole or baking dish with some coconut oil or olive oil.  Pour mixture into baking dish and bake for 1 hour. 

      Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  If you cut into this too soon, the mixture tends to crumble. 

      Other ideas?  Want it Mexican style?  Add in a small can of diced green chiles and a 1/2 cup of salsa instead of tomato sauce.  Add in cumin, and chili powder.  Chopped Cilanthro and slices of avocado before serving!

      Want it vegan?  You’ll need to add in more tomato sauce and mix in some ground flaxseed to bind ingredients.  The egg is added as a binding agent. 

      Want it revved up special for the weekend?  Make a fritatta out of it by adding 8 eggs and topped with cheese of your choice.  This is delicious, but more fully loaded with fat and calories!  You can experiment with vegan cheeses like cashew or almond mozzarella.

Classes for week of 1/10/21:

Monday:  Park Fitness Hills 10:15am in Dublin, Cardio Core On-Line 5:30pm & Barre Blend On-Line 6:30pm

Tuesday:  Cardio Core Curbside 5:30pm

Wednesday:  Barre Blend On-Line 11:30am & Cardio Fusion On-Line 6pm

Thursday:  Park Fitness 9:15am & Cardio Fusion Curbside 5:30pm

Saturday:  Boot Camp On-Line/Winter Fitness Challenge 7:30am & Park Fitness/Winter Fitness Challenge 8:40am

See you in class soon!