MMB – 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge Has Begun!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I am choosing to have sunshine within today!  I am NOT a lover of dark and dreary days, so I’m gonna shine from the inside out 🙂  Well, January is off to an amazing start!  The 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge began this past Saturday and it was an awesome of turn out of 20 people who were a combination of regulars, newbies, and returning oldies now newbies again!  If you don’t know someone in class, make sure to reach out and say, “Hi” to someone new and welcome the to the Jen Allan Fitness family! 

For every Challenge, there is always a selection of fitness tests and timed fitness sequences.  While the format is similar from week to week, the exercises are changed up so multiple muscle groups are being worked every Saturday and you won’t get BORED!   I hate boring fitness, don’t you? LOL! 

Let’s take on January and rise up to the Challenge with clean eating, clean drinking, hard workouts, and a can-do spirit!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday:  5:45pm class is full, 6:55pm class is full, 7:35pm has 4 spots open.  Please let me know if you’d like to be on a waiting list for the first two classes or try making it out to the third class!


  1. Cardio Fusion is at VBC Thursday!  Come on out for a 60 minute class from 5:45pm to 6:45pm or a 30 minute class from 6:55pm to 7:25pm! 


  1. 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge is happening now!  It’s not too late to join in the fun!  I can weigh and measure you this week!


  1. Trader Joe’s Shopping & Nutrition classes!   Needing some nutrition reminders and healthy meal ideas?  Let’s gather together at the Pleasanton Trader Joe’s for a 60 minute class that will cover how to read labels, how to identify health and gut disrupting ingredients, and how to incorporate more plant based ingredients into your lifestyle.  2 classes offered:  Monday, January 28th at 7pm and Monday, February 4th at 7pm.  Cost is $35.  Please see Jen to sign up! A minimum of four people is required and a max of six people.


For this past Saturday during, here are the top placers for the fitness tests:

60 minute class

Davies’ Test:  Joanne Vieira – 120, Bernie Calvo – 118, & Ken Vieira – 100

Push-Up Test 1 min:  Joanne Vieira – 75, Ken Vieira – 47, & Pete Calvo – 38

Sit-up Test 1 min:  Bob Allan – 36, Bernie Calvo – 32, & Janeen Wheeler – 29

30 minute class

Davies’ Test:  Christy Stevens – 119, Erin Campbell – 108, & Vanessa Perez – 98

Push-Up Test 1 min:  Erin Campbell – 46, Debbie Robison – 45, & Kathy Schalin – 25 toes/35 knees

Sit-up Test 1 min:  Theresa Rivas – 46, Paula Allen – 43, & Chris Rivas – 37


Timed Obstacle Course, Stations, and Run:

60 minute class

1st place – Joanne Vieira 20:20

2nd place – Christi Stevenson 20:50

3rd place – Ken Vieira – 21:09


30 minute class

1st place and only finisher of entire circuit! – Vanessa Perez! 

Congratulations to everyone who came out on Saturday, worked hard, and had great attitudes!

Here are some photos from Saturday:

Let’s keep it going everyone!  I love the effort! 



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MMB – It’s Detox Time!

Hi Everyone,

I hope your New Year is off to a great start and you are getting back to clean eating, moving, hydration, and good sleep!  These are the keys in helping your body to ward off those nasty cold and flu bugs that are lurking around every corner! 

Sorry this blog is coming a day late, but our power and internet were down for a good chunk of Sunday and Monday.  I dare not complain because these are truly first world problems, right?! 

First of all, great job to everyone who was able to make it out to Walking Boot Camp on New Year’s Day!  It was a beautiful and sunny day and it felt GOOD to get out and move!  You’ll be seeing more Walking Boot Camps in the near future!

Walking Boot Camp Crew 2019!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tonight!  If you’d like to join us for an awesome class of cardio, resistance, and core, please e-mail or text me to sign up!  5:45pm to 6:45pm is full.  6:55pm to 7:25pm 2 spots available & 7:35pm to 8:05pm 6 spots open.


  1. Cardio Fusion this Thursday at VBC!  I’d love to see two full classes this Thursday, so please let me know which time you prefer – either 5:45pm to 6:45pm or 6:55pm to 7:25pm!  If I have three people or more for 6:55pm, then it’s a go for a 30 minute class!  Otherwise, there will be one class from 5:45pm to 6:45pm for both 30 min. and 60 min. clients. 


  1. 6 -Winter Fitness Challenge Begins this Saturday!  Come out and get weighed, measured, and let’s take care of any lingering holiday pounds!  Class format will incorporate fitness tests and timed challenges that will motivate and inspire you!  We’ll weigh and measure again in six weeks to find out who the biggest reducers are! 


  1. Trader Joe’s Shopping and Nutrition Classes are here! Needing some nutrition reminders and healthy meal ideas?  Let’s gather together at the Pleasanton Trader Joe’s for a 60 minute class that will cover how to read labels, how to identify health and gut disrupting ingredients, and how to incorporate more plant based ingredients into your lifestyle.  2 classes offered:  Monday, January 28th at 7pm and Monday, February 4th at 7pm.  Cost is $35.  Please see Jen to sign up!


  1. Next Walking Boot Camp is Sunday, January 20th at 11am!


  1. New Recipe!  Asian Inspired Roasted Veggies and Sprouted Rice!  Go to recipes page.



Thought for the week:  It’s Detox Time! 

Why is every trainer, nutritionist, and health guru out there talking about detox after the holidays?  Because we need it!  Think about what changes over the course of the holidays.  Our sleep schedules, eating schedules, work out schedules and stress is all out of whack!  And, we wonder why we feel so bloated, sluggish, and tired when January 1 rolls around.  Thankfully, the holidays are short lived and yes, we enjoy them, but living this way for too long is dangerous to our health and well being. 

So, let’s get back to clean eating and living shall we?

Here are some detox tips to help you get back on track and feeling better fast!

  1.  Hydration, hydration, hydration!  Every day increase your fluid intake and experiment with water.  Try water with lemon, water infused with blended celery, hot herbal teas with lemon, lemon detox water with apple cider vinegar, and Kombucha.  Now is the time to reduce inflammation, not increase it.  Lay off of alcohol, sugary drinks, and if needed – caffeine!
  2. Drink your meals in the morning.  Our metabolism and gut health take a beating over the holidays, so try drinking your breakfast instead to speed up your metabolism and give your digestion a break.  If you are up to the task of green juicing and have a home juicer, head to the store and stalk up on dark, green leafy veggies along with all of the other juicing ingredients (see my recipes page).  If you don’t have time to juice, go to places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Costco, and buy cold pressed juices.  Make sure they aren’t the ones that are loaded up with sugar such as the Odwalla juices.   You can also sip on hot bone broths throughout the day too! 
  3. If you have holiday treats and cookies still in your home, then throw them away!  Out with the trash and in with the good stuff!  Stock your fridge with containers filled with chopped veggies, fruits, grab and go hummus, or chia seed pudding.  Make your own homemade protein bars so they are ready to eat when you are in need of a protein boost in the afternoon.  Check out my recipes page.
  4. January is an awesome month for soups and stews!  Load up your stew pot with tons of leafy greens, onions, garlic, lentils, and good quality broth.  Use an immersion blender to make your soup thick and creamy – without the cream!  Soups are great too because you have leftovers for a few days.  Try to stick to vegetarian soups and give your digestion a break by eating foods that are simpler to digest.
  5. Rest is king!  Make sure you are not burning the midnight oil and are making sure to get to bed by around 1opm.  When we are tired and run down is when we get sick! 
  6. Get back to your work out routine as fast as possible!  Working your body hard and weaving in rest is the key to staying healthy and strong!  You need a minimum of three days a week of a combination of cardio, resistance, and core to see results and improve fitness!
  7. Morning Swamp Gruel – see my recipes page.  Here’s a picture:


Let’s make 2019 awesome!

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MMB – 2018 is a Wrap!

Hi Everyone,

Can you believe it’s New Year’s Eve?  Where has the year gone?  As I’ve taken a break this past week from training and classes, I’ve had a wonderful time with my family and friends and I hope you’ve done this same!  Now that I’m sitting down to write the last blog of 2018, I can’t help but to reflect back on this past year with fondness and inspiration as I envision so many of your faces!  For those of you who are regulars, do you realize we have gathered together to do more than 100 hours of fitness together!?  Wow – that’s a lot of time we have spent together sweating, grunting, laboring, and yes, getting more fit, capable, and healthy! 

I’ve seen many of you start off as beginners and have watched you take your fitness to the next level and become a force to be reckoned with!  Do you know what all of these clients have in common?  They all have: determination, work ethic, and consistency.  Every single person who I can think of who has flourished this year has focused on those three words.  This is not an easy road folks.  But, doing the right thing never is.  If you were to ask any of them if all of the pain and work was worth it, I guarantee you they would say absolutely!  Why?  Because they feel so much better and are more confident, capable, and committed to living a vibrant and healthy life! 

As we begin a new year and chance to start over, let’s focus on how we want to look, feel, and behave and what are we sick and tired of being sick and tired about?  Let’s get laser focused and come together to conquer our fears and break down walls of doubt, negative self talk, and feelings of inadequacy and inabilities.  When these seeds are sown into our minds and souls, the fruit that comes from them is toxic and poisonous.  When we sow seeds of hope, faith, belief, perseverance, and positive thoughts, good fruit is harvested and the outcome is always a spiral upwards instead of down. 

Let’s be the people that go out into the world and uplift and encourage others by the words we speak and the kindness we share.  While there are many things in this world that we can’t control, we can certainly control our attitude and reactions to events around us.  How we react, behave, and speak sends a message about who we are and what we stand for.  When we are more fit, we have a greater capacity to serve, love, and focus on others because we have the energy and stamina to do so. 

As a Christian, I draw my strength from the Lord because it is He who equips and strengthens me daily.  It is this strength that I draw from when I’m training you that allows me to serve your needs and take care of you. 

So, in wrapping up 2018, let’s celebrate all that we have achieved together and realize that the best is yet to come!  Let’s make 2019 an awesome year of dedication to health and wellness as we strive to reach new goals that will catapult is into greater living, love, and a joy filled and abundant life!


A few images to ponder heading into 2019!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  New Year’s Day Walking Boot Camp!  Come out and kick off 2019 at Jen’s home studio at 11am.  We’ll warm up and head out for a field trip around the Pleasanton Sports Park doing a variety of power walking mixed with strength and core drills!  All levels are welcomed!  Drop in cost is $15 or use a 60 minute class card. 
  2. Cardio Fusion is Thursday at VBC!  Let’s get things going again and come out for a mid-week cardio, strength, and core class!  Classes are 5:45pm to 6:45pm for 60 minute and 6:55pm to 7:25pm for 30 minute class.
  3. 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge begins on January 12th at VBC!  Come out and get weighed and measured and then weighed and measured six weeks later!  Let’s find out who the biggest reducers will be!  This format will feature a variety of fitness tests, timed challenges, and opportunities to push harder so you can increase your strength, endurance, and stamina!
  4. Next Walking Boot Camp is Sunday, January 20th at 11am!



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MMB – Christmas Boot Camp Brunch 2018!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are enjoying this Christmas season to its fullest and giving thanks to God for all your blessings!  This past Saturday was my annual Christmas Boot Camp and Brunch!  Yup, you do the hour boot camp and you get fed by Mama Jen!  I provide this brunch as a way of saying, “Thank-you” so much to everyone who attends my classes throughout the year! 

Without you, there would be no Jen Allan Fitness!  I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity and privilege to train with you guys on a regular basis.  Thank you for placing your trust and faith in me that I will provide a level of fitness that will not only challenge and inspire you, but keep you safe in the process where strength is built and injury is avoided. 

I know there were quite a few of you who were home ill this past Saturday and I pray that you will heal quickly and get back to living life to its fullest!  This is the time of year when those nasty cold and flu viruses start wreaking havoc on our health.  I have included some tips and reminders at the bottom of the blog for you to review so that you can skate through this winter season feeling healthy and avoiding sickness.

For this blog, I’ll list the announcements and reminders, Christmas Boot Camp photos for you to check out, and the holiday cold/flu tips to staying healthy. Sound good?  Let’s go!


Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday!  Please text or e-mail me if you’d like to sign up for class!  I currently have spaces in all three classes. 
  2. Cardio Fusion will be at VBC this Thursday, December 20th.  Please note there will be NO Cardio Fusion, December 27th.
  3. Boot Camp is ON for December 22nd and 29th!  Let’s manage those holiday calories and make it out to Boot Camp the last two Saturdays of the month.
  4. Nutrition Happenings Poll – I am brainstorming ideas for a January Nutrition Happenings in my home again.  I would LOVE to hear some ideas about the types of topics you’d like to hear about.  What types of foods would you like to sample and learn more about?  Do you need help with snack ideas?  Meal Ideas?  How to incorporate more plant based eating into your lifestyle?  Shoot me a text or e-mail and let me know your thoughts.  This class is designed to help YOU, so please share your ideas 🙂
  5. New Year’s Day Walking Boot Camp at 11am!  Mark your calendar for the New Year and let’s gather together to kick off 2019 with some awesome fitness together!  This class is for beginners through intermediate and all fitness levels are welcomed.  Exercises can be ramped up or down depending on your needs. 
  6. Holiday packages are currently available through 12/31.  See me if you are interested!


Winter Promo Packages Winter Promo Packages

Photos from Christmas Boot Camp Brunch 2018!

Monster Band Squats and Overhead Presses!  Way to go Kim Mehr, Christi Stevenson and Pete Calvo

Erin Campbell rocking those med ball slams!

Say hello to med ball plank holds!  Awesome job Christi, Kim, and Pete!

Check out those walking lunges with posterior deltoid flys!  Awesome job Andrew Allan, Ken Vieira, and Joanne Vieira!

Check out Lynnda Philbrook’s Prono Iso Cobra, or as I like to call it – Iron Man Hold!

More walking lunges and flys, along with iso lunge hold tubing rows!  Check out Lynnda Philbrook’s excellent form!  Rock on Lynnda!

More iso lunge holds and tubing rows!  Way to go Kim and Christi!

Check out all this awesome core work – Russian med balls in v-sits & med ball planks!

Stability ball knee tucks and planks!  Way to go Christi!

These are a round of squats with med ball front raises!  Excellent work Lynnda and Kathy!

Look at those smiling faces on Paula Allen and Ken Vieira’s faces!  Boot campers are happy campers!

Ken Vieira rocking those med ball push-up passes!

More med ball chop and slams – Kathy Schalin at work!

Stability ball plank holds!  Awesome job Christi, Kim, and Pete!

Hello sumo squats and bicep med ball pulses!  Say hi to your adductors and biceps!

Lynnda Philbrook showing how to do a plank hold with toes on a med ball! 

Way to go Pete!  Awesome plank with toes on the med ball!

It’s corny Christmas joke time!  I can tell Andrew Allan loves the one he read!  LOL!

Joanne Vieira, Andrew Allan, Paula Allen, and Ken Vieira


How to stay healthy during the holidays – tips by Jen

  1.  Rest is king!  I cannot stress this enough.  I know it’s hard, but please try to get in bed earlier.  Staying up past midnight to get tasks done will not do you any favors, even if you are getting work accomplishes.  Why?  Because you are robbing your body’s ability to rest and repair so your cells will have the energy needed to get you through the following day.  When we have a sleep deficit, this is the recipe of how we become run down and are vulnerable to illness.  There are a multitude of sleep studies out there showing how important it is to get a few hours of sleep before midnight.  I know it’s hard, but try adjusting your schedule and getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier if needed. 


  1. Avoid sugar.  I know, I know….you are saying I’m crazy! It’s the holidays after all!   As a reminder, sugar feeds the bad bacteria in our gut and makes our good bacteria wilt in ability!  It’s known that about 80% of our immune system is in our gut.  So, healthy gut bugs are your defenders.  Do you remember the film, “A Bug’s Life?”  Remember the term, “Warrior Bugs?”  LOL!  I am always telling my boys that we are feeding our warrior bugs in our gut when we say no to sugar and yes to fermented foods like Kombucha or pickles vegetables.  So, try your best to limit sugar and do NOT eat Christmas cookies every day 🙂


  1. Drink immune supporting liquids.  Train your taste buds to enjoy green juices (not loaded with sugar)  These are prebiotic foods that will help support your gut bugs.  Kombucha is a probiotic because it’s a fermented tea that is loaded with good gut bugs!  Say NO to soda and yes to Kombucha!  Get into drinking herbal teas that are anti-inflammatory.  Think green tea and chamomille.  Check out this article on teas:


  1. De-stress yourself!  Almost everyone I’m speaking with right now is overwhelmed by the holidays.  Guess what stress does to us?  Yup, it makes us sick.  Protect your mind and body and find ways to destress such as exercise, meditate or pray, pet your cat or dog, take a hot shower or bath, listen to soothing music, get a massage.  Here is a link to an article by Healthline with good reminders about what stress does to our bodies:  


  1. Are you spewing positive or negative?  What’s coming out of your mouth right now?  Are you complaining a lot and griping about life?  Are you hanging around people who are gossiping or spreading negative too?  What we think and say has impact on our mind and body.  When we speak positively and put a smile on our face instead of a frown, our body responds to this and we actually stay healthier!  So, watch your tongue and spread positive around you instead of negative.  Love is more powerful and makes the world a better place and keeps you healthier!


  1. Eat berries every day.  These are amazing super foods packed with antioxidants that boost your immunity! 


  1. Eat mushrooms!  Mushrooms provide an amazing boost to our immune system.  Make sure they are cooked though and experiment with different types of mushrooms.  Check out this article:


  1. Eat greens!  Steam them, roast them, juice them, smoothie them, eat them raw!  However you can get greens into you, enjoy dark green leafies because they will feed your warrior bugs!


That’s it for today everyone!  Stay healthy out there!


See you guys soon!



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MMB-Winter Promos are Here!

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend during this Christmas season!  Excellent job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  Aren’t you glad you are choosing to move and keep momentum going instead of diving into the the couch potato world and eating way too many Christmas cookies!  Well, o.k., maybe a few Christmas cookies sneak in there, but you are working hard right?! 

Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday & Thursday night this week!  For Tuesday, I currently have (1) opening at 5:45pm, (4) openings at 6:55pm, and (4) openings at 7:35pm. 

For this week, VBC is using the MPR, so I’ll teach Cardio Fusion from my home studio.  If you’d like to sign up for Tuesday or Thursday classes, please text or e-mail me to sign up!  It’s the holidays, so every work out counts!

2Christmas Boot Camp & Brunch is happening Saturday, December 15th!  Come to this special boot camp where you will work hard, burn up hundreds of calories, shed fat, and yes, get fed a Christmas Brunch by me!  It’s my way of saying thank you to all of you who have come to my classes or personal training faithfully all year long!  Class is from 7am to 8am.  You are welcome to do either 30 minutes or the full hour.  Bring your family and have them work out with you!  Please let me know how many in your group are coming so I can plan food accordingly.  Can’t wait!

3)  Winter Promos are Here!  Now until the end of December, I am offering special pricing on promo packages that are a combination of personal training, group-ex class cards, and nutritional counseling.  These packages would make an ideal gift to give someone who is a beginner or needs some guidance to get started back up again.  Pricing will increase after January 1st, so take advantage of these promo packages now and bless someone who you love and want to inspire to live a healthy and vibrant life!

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MMB – The Holidays are Here…Now What?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are all doing well out there and are getting into the holiday spirit!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  I am so encouraged to see so many of you trying to stay consistent as possible during the holidays.  This is the key guys!  We gotta keep it moving as often as we can!  Let’s take care of business, right?!

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  I currently have (3) openings at 5:45pm, (4) openings at 6:55pm, and (4) openings at 7:35pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up!  It’s the holidays, so every work out counts!

2Christmas Boot Camp & Brunch is happening Saturday, December 15th directly after the 2nd boot camp!  Come to this special boot camp where you will work hard, burn up hundreds of calories, shed fat, and yes, get fed a Christmas Brunch by me!  It’s my way of saying thank you to all of you who have come to my classes or personal training faithfully all year long!

3Next Walking Boot Camp is Sunday December 9th at 11am!  All levels welcomed!  Meet at Jen’s Studio for a 60 minute class that is low impact and will incorporate strength and core drills!


Thought for the week:  The Holidays are Here….Now What?


I was speaking with one of my clients a few days ago and she said, “Jen, it’s only November 30th and I’m already exhausted with the holidays!”  Isn’t that the truth though?  Yes, this is an absolutely exhausting time of year, especially if you are a parent!  We are the “magic” makers! 

Everything around us is a sensory overload with the message that Christmas is all about excess and stuff!  The more stuff you buy, the happier you’ll be!  How false is that!  Well, as a Christian I try my best to keep things simple and shut out the “noise” of the season and focus on Christ’s birth.  Everything is immensely better for me when I focus on this truth. 

The month of December is a wonderful month filled with all kinds of holiday traditions, activities, and a time to visit and catch up with old friends and family members.  It’s also a time when we become overwhelmed.  I think the more overwhelmed we become, the more we should strive to simplify.  Instead of saying, “yes” to every holiday invitation that comes along, perhaps say “no” to a few and have a fun family game night or special outing with your family. 

How do the holidays affect our health?  Well, we typically eat out more and as a result take in more sugar, sodium, refined carbohydrates, rich foods filled with cream sauces and saturated fats, and don’t forget holiday cocktails and desserts!  No wonder we start feeling like crap!  This takes a toll on our work outs too because we feel waited down and more fatigued due to the types of foods we are eating.  It also wreaks havoc on our blood sugar spiking and falling.  Not good guys.

As I have often said before and will repeat again, deprivation equals failure.  I want you guys to enjoy the holidays, but….every day can’t be a holiday!  So, I encourage you to be good during the week by eating clean whole foods that are home made and nutrient dense.  Hydrate well with lots of water, sleep 7-8 hours a night, and work out as often as you can.  On the weekend, be selective.  Enjoy yourself, but still live within boundaries.  Make sense?

For work outs, If you can stay consistent with a minimum of three days per week for 30 minutes, and weave in some intensity, you’ll stay ahead of the curve.  If you are struggling to stay motivated during this time of year, please reach out to me and let’s schedule a few personal training sessions to help keep you going. 

I also encourage you to try switching up your favorite holiday baked goods with healthier ingredients such as non-sweetened applesauce for sweetness and moisture.  Try coconut oil instead of butter.  For flour, try using a blend of nut flours or rice and oat flour for a more nutrient dense flour.  You can check out my recipe page for some ideas too.  My pumpkin banana protein bars are delicious and my family eats them all the time!  A fork and a bowl folks! That’s all you need for equipment 🙂  I like simple because I don’t have time for complicated recipes. 

Anyway friends, we are all in this thing together.  Life is hard, but God is good 🙂  Focus on your blessings that you are surrounded with and then go out into the world and bless others with positive and encouraging words, perhaps a smile, and hugs are great too!  Spread holiday cheer by not acting like the rest of the world.  Don’t get caught up in all of the stuff.  Stuff bogs us down an takes our eyes off the things that truly matter in this world.  After all, when we leave this earth someday, it’s not our video game systems or flat screen tv’s that we take with us!  It’s the love found in relationships that matter most. 

Let’s lead the charge with living a healthy, vibrant, and positive life that lifts other people up wherever we go!  Let’s make this the best Christmas ever and live each day like it’s our last.  Can we do that friends?  Yes we can!


See you in class soon!



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MMB – Thanksgiving Boot Camp Rocked!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and holiday weekend!  Excellent work to everyone who made it out to Thanksgiving Boot Camp and Thankfulness Boot Camp!  I’ve heard from a few of you that working out hard on Thanksgiving morning made a difference in how you handled the the rest of your day.  It sounds like you guys were more mindful about your food choices and not going overboard.  One client told me that he didn’t go back for seconds, which was a huge decision!  Well done everyone!  Let’s keep our fitness going, lots of hydration, and choose wisely what you choose to put in your mouth.  Enjoy the holidays but remember that every day can’t be a holiday party! 

Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  I currently have (2) openings at 5:45pm, (3) openings at 6:55pm, and (4) openings at 7:35pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up!  It’s the holidays, so every work out counts!

2)  Christmas Boot Camp & Brunch is happening Saturday, December 15th directly after the 2nd boot camp!  Come to this special boot camp where you will work hard, burn up hundreds of calories, shed fat, and yes, get fed a Christmas Brunch by me!  It’s my way of saying thank you to all of you who have come to my classes or personal training faithfully all year long!

3)  Next Walking Boot Camp is Sunday December 9th at 11am!  All levels welcomed!  Meet at Jen’s Studio for a 60 minute class that is low impact and will incorporate strength and core drills!

4)  Some pictures of Boot Campers working hard at Thanksgiving Boot Camp!





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MMB- Thanksgiving Boot Camp is Coming!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a great weekend and were able to spend time with family and friends!  I know the poor air quality and tragedy that has struck our neighbors in the north are heavy on all of our minds.  It’s difficult to fathom the level of need and supplies when thousands of people have lost their homes.  If you are feeling like you want to help the fire victims, but aren’t sure where to start, I have attached a few links where you can research a variety of ways to help out.  I know there are many churches that are partnering together to collect donations too.  My church, Valley Bible, just collected a bunch of supplies and visited the Chico area on Saturday. 

The need is great friends and anything you can do to help out will be so greatly appreciated.  As more and more news stories come out with graphic details of tragedy, I have tried to imagine what it would be like if I had lost all of my earthly possessions due to a horrific fire like the Camp Fire and it’s inconceivable.  I’m sure the outpouring of financial support and supplies tells them that they are not alone and there is always hope.  If you have a few minutes, please check out the links and consider donating in any way you can.  Thanks friends!


Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  I currently have (2) openings at 5:45pm, (4) openings at 6:55pm, and (4) openings at 7:35pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up!  It’s Thanksgiving week, so every work out counts!

2)  Thanksgiving Boot Camp is this Thursday, November 22nd at 7:30am!  Come one, come all and let’s take care of fitness business before the big feast!  You’ll feel so much better walking into the holiday knowing that you worked out hard and sweat up a ton!  Bring your family with you and introduce them to a fun new tradition!  You are welcome to do a 30 minute class or 60 minutes.  Class is from 7:30am to 8:30am. 

3)  Saturday Boot Camp – A Thankfulness Boot Camp.  For Boot Camp on Saturday, we’ll be weaving in the things we are thankful for while doing our push-ups, squats, and running!  Class is 7am to 8am and 8:05am to 8:35am!

4)  Christmas Boot Camp & Brunch is happening Saturday, December 15th directly after the 2nd boot camp!  Come to this special boot camp where you will work hard, burn up hundreds of calories, shed fat, and yes, get fed a Christmas Brunch by me!  It’s my way of saying thank you to all of you who have come to my classes or personal training faithfully all year long!

5) Picture of Bob and I away at Carmel this weekend and drinking green juice together!

View directly underneath Pebble Beach Golf Range


Thought for the week:  It’s Holiday Time –  Choose Your Calories Wisely!

Oh how I cringe this time of year.  Yes, I love Christmas!  I’m a Christian after all, and I love the meaning of the season.  As a trainer?  Sigh – Not so much.  Temptations are everywhere and there seems to be an unspoken general consensus that calories are free this time of year and everyone should have the right to indulge in Christmas cookies every single day! 

Peppermint mochas with whip cream should be downed by the gallon, and going out to big calorie laden lunches and dinners are a regular affair.  Do you all know the Jen Allan rule?  You know, the one that says every day can’t be a party and the 80/20 rule that says you should try to eat clean 80% of the time and off the leash within moderation 20% of the time?  Well, during the holidays, most people reverse that percentage and live large 80% of the time and clean 20% of the time, or quite frankly not at all!  So, we wonder why we are so miserable when January 2nd rolls around and we can’t fit into our favorite pair of jeans!  Never fear though if this happens to you because you guys know I’m right there for you to help you get back on track!  That’s my job after all 🙂

O.k. so you might be wondering, “Jen, how can I enjoy the comforts and pleasures of the holidays and find balance?”  There is a way my friends and you can do it!  It’s called moderation. Here are some tips to keep in mind this coming holiday season:

  1.  Do NOT skip out on your workouts.  Try your very best to stay consistent because this will keep your metabolism revved up and productive so your basil metabolic rate will be higher.  This is all about the calories you burn by just walking around and living.  The more fit you are, the higher your BMR.  The more sedentary you are, the slower your BMR. 


  1. Drink plenty of water every day to help your body flush out toxins.  Vary up your hydration with lemon detox water, herbal teas, green juices, and kombucha.  Avoid soda at all costs! Diet is even worse!


  1. If you are going out to lunch or dinner, don’t pig out on the carb laden appetizers or crispy fried things!  These are fat bombs and will pack on all of those empty calories before you’ve gotten to your main meal!  Try going for the raw veggies and hummus plate or Tzaziki sauces.  Do you really need to eat three tacos at your favorite Mexican food joint?  Think about portion size?!  One or two should suffice.  Also, skip those yummy cream sauces and cheese and you’ll greatly reduce the calories consumed. 


  1. Salads are awesome, but not when they are packed with bacon bits, cheese, croutons, cream dressings, and huge amounts of animal protein.  Ask for dressing on the side and aim for vinegars and light on the oil.  If you eat a salad that is loaded with your greens and veggies, then perhaps you can indulge in a small dessert or treat.  Make sense?  Don’t make every part of the meal a holiday indulgence.  Choose your calories wisely and pick one or two things as a treat. 


  1. If you have a big event coming up on the weekend, prepare for it during the week by being really good.  The trick with all of this holiday eating is that it sabotages your taste buds and makes you crave more and more rich foods.  Sugar is the same way.  The more sugary foods you eat, the more you start to crave them and stop eating the proper amount of fruits and veggies.  This is trouble folks, so be careful!


  1. So, you are staring at the dessert table, what should you do?  Choose one or two things to enjoy, but small bites worth.  If you absolutely adore cheesecake, take a small sliver, not the entire 2-3 inch wide slice.  Try to avoid the fried pastry desserts like Cannoli filled with whip cream.  You know the ones I’m talking about right?  Danger, danger, stay away!


  1. You love holiday coffees?  Ask the barista to only give you one  pump of the sweet syrup or chocolate, instead of the 3 or 4.  Skip the whip cream and ask for almond milk.  Don’t add extra sugar to your coffee.  Go for the small size.  It will still be delicious, don’t worry!


You got this!  Let’s enjoy the holidays with MODERATION!

See you soon,



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MMB – Fitness & Holiday Happenings

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and found ways to move despite the poor air quality.  Excellent work to all of the boot campers who were able to make it out this past Saturday to the last Challenge! Once again, I am so thankful for the space at Valley Bible Church, as we were able to hold the entire Boot Camp Challenge inside the church to avoid the poor air quality.  I love that we can run laps inside VBC!  Personally, I attend VBC as a Christian, and then have the fortunate opportunity to run my fitness business there and utilize the space to run boot camps!  How awesome is that!? 

Challenge Results

For the 6th Challenge, I think I was a little over zealous and made the Challenge slightly longer than it should have been!  Sometimes when I’m planning my work outs, I get very excited about a sequence and lose track of time 🙂 

So, the 7am crew finished all around the same time because of the length of class.  They were sweaty and tired, but they did it! 

Congrats to Kathy Schalin, Joanne Vieira, and Bernadette Calvo! 

For the 8:05am crew, Kathleen Jacobs and Vanessa Perez tied for 1st place.  Lynnda Philbrook came in 2nd and Wendy McHugh came in 3rd!

Honorable mention goes to Christy Stevens, Lisa Williams, and Jocelyn Lai – ( a first timer! Way to go Jocelyn!)


Weight Loss Challenge Lynnda Philbrook lost 5lbs and 3 inches around her waist!  Lynnda wins a $60 class card!


Fitness Tests for Challenge:


Davies’ Tests Overall Improvement

1st place – Joanne Vieira 52 to 117 = 65

2nd place – Lynnda Philbrook 58 to 98 = 40

3rd place – Lisa Williams 52 to 89 = 37

Honorable Mention:  Bernadette Calvo 90 to 112 = 22, Christy Stevens 111 to 124 = 13, Pete Calvo 80 to 93 = 13,


Sit-ups Overall Improvement

1st place tie – Lisa Williams & Lynnda Philbrook improved by 3


Push-Ups Improvement

1st place – Bernadette Calvo 28 to 53 on toes & 19knees to 30 knees = difference of 25 on toes and 11 on knees!

2nd place – Joanne Vieira 62 to 78 on toes = difference of 16

3rd place – Christi Stevenson 22 to 35 on toes = difference of 8

Honorable Mention: Vanessa Perez improved by 5

Congratulations to everyone who made it out to participate in the 6 week Fitness and Nutrition Challenge!  I’m proud of you guys and can see that many of you improved over the last six weeks!  Well done everyone! Now let’s keep the momentum going through the holidays so we can feel amazing and empowered!



Announcements and Reminders:

1. Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  Please let me know if you’d like to sign up for classes on Tuesday night.  5:45pm to 6:45pm 60 minutes, 6:55pm to 7:25pm 30 minutes, 7:35pm to 8:05pm 30 minutes

 PLEASE NOTE: Due to changing temperatures and poor air quality, class will be held inside studio.  I can only teach a maximum of 6 clients per class.  I will send out the roster tomorrow with the client lists.  Remember, I have three classes and can accommodate up to 18 people, but have to limit six per class due to space.

2.  Cardio Fusion is at Jen’s Studio Thursday night!  VBC is doing a Thanksgiving banquet on Thursday night, so you can sign up for either a 5:45pm to 6:45pm class or 6:55pm to 7:25pm class. 

3.  Thanksgiving Boot Camp is Thursday, November 22nd from 7:30am to 8:30am!  Come out and bring your family with you to kick off Turkey Day so you can get an awesome calorie burn heading into the big feast!  Come ready some corny Thanksgiving jokes, make a “fitness meal” of Thanksgiving favorites, and have some fun working up a sweat and building muscle together!  30 minute clients are welcome too!

4. Thankfulness Boot Camp is Saturday, November 24th!  On the heels of Thanksgiving, let’s keep counting those blessings and mix this theme into an awesome boot camp to kick off the holidays!  7am and 8:05am classes available!

5.  The Pumpkin Breakfast Bars I shared on Saturday morning are posted on my recipes page!  Check it out!


Thought for the week:  Struggling to Get Your Greens In?

Come on admit it.  Sometimes it’s hard to get our greens in right?  I recently tried Amazing Grass detox and antioxidant blend at Sprouts.  It’s super easy to use.  Get a glass of water and dump a scoop in and stir.  Simply drink it down!  It actually tastes fairly mild and kind of grassy.  The picture above is actually from Costco and is similar to what I purchased at Sprouts, except that this is $5.47 at Costco for 30 servings.  The container I purchased at Sprouts was around $32 for around 30 servings!  The ingredients are almost identical and from the same company.   There are probiotics in this product, and a combination of different grass and green blends, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Is it the absolute best product on the market for super greens?  I’m not sure about that based on the reviews, but the reviews I did read said that you can’t beat the price and the quality of ingredients to make life a little simpler in downing your greens.  So gang, check it out, head to Costco, and pick up a box of grab and go greens!

See you in class soon!


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MMB – Focus on Nutrient Dense Foods Over Calorie Counting

Good morning everyone!

I missed writing to you guys last week!  For those of you who may not know, I badly cut my left index finger 2 1/2 weeks ago.  I was chopping veggies of all things, when I accidentally sliced my finger with the butcher knife – ouch!!  As a reminder to all of you, when you cut your finger, please allow it to bleed out a bit and then run it under water.  What did I do?  Well, it was a deep cut, so I immediately wrapped it with a paper towel and put pressure on it to stop the bleeding.  After holding it there for about eight minutes, I rinsed it in water, dried it, and put a Band-Aid on with Neosporin.  Makes sense right?

As time marched on, my finger was becoming more stiff and quite painful.  Fast forward a week later, and I had a full blown infection in my finger that was starting to travel up my hand!  Yup, into the minor injury clinic I went and received a huge shot into my butt!  It was lovely.  I couldn’t use my hand for a good part of last week because of the stiffness and pain.  I also have a love/hate relationship with antibiotics, because yes, they killed the bacterial infection, but they made me very sick!  I won’t go into details.

It was no fun being on antibiotics all week, not only because they made me ill, but knowing that all of my friendly bacteria was being destroyed.  Ughhh.  The good news is that I am now back to myself and able to type this with two hands and my last round of antibiotics was yesterday – praise God!  So, now it’s time to rebuild my gut health! Can you say Kombucha and green juice! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Last Fall Fitness & Nutrition Challenge is this Saturday, November 10th!  If you were measured and weighed in for the first Challenge, please come a few minutes early or stay afterwards to be measured again.  Let’s find out who the biggest reducers are for this Challenge!  You still have one more week, so let’s put in the work!  Also, I’ll be bringing a yummy and nutritious fall treat to enjoy after the Challenge for those of you who can stay a few minutes! 
  2. Personal Training 30 minute spots open!  As many of you know, I’ve been concentrating on offering 30 minute personal training sessions for the last year, and I am thrilled with the results that I’m seeing in my clients!  The time commitment has worked really well for all of my clients and has helped my schedule out too.  If you would like to ramp up your fitness level and weave in a personal training session or two during the week, please let me know because I have a few spots available in the morning or afternoon. 
  3. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio on Tuesday night November 6th!  Please let me know If you’d like to sign up for a 60 minute class at 5:45pm to 6:45pm, or 30 minute class at 6:55pm to 7:25pm, or 7:35pm to 8:05pm!
  4. Thankfulness Boot Camp is Saturday, November 24th!  Let’s count our blessings as we are thankful for our health and our bodies!  Come check out this fun and creative boot camp to burn up hundreds of calories and shed some fat while we leave refreshed and energized!
  5. Fee increase for personal training.  Starting on January 1st, 2019, personal training fees will be increased from $35 to $40 for 30 minute sessions, and $65 to $70 for hour long sessions.  Group exercise classes will remain the same costs. You are welcome to book personal training sessions at the end of the year with the $35 or $65 rate to extend into 2019. 

Thought for the week:  Focus on Nutrient Dense Food Over Calorie Counting

As you can imagine, I am asked many questions about nutrition and what foods are the best foods to eat.  I try to be very transparent about my diet and often share the types of foods that my family eats on my recipe page or blog.  I was asked the other day by a new client if I every count my calories.   I had to stop and think about this question, and the answer is, “No, not really.”  When I approach nutrition, I don’t focus so much on the calories,  as much as I do the nutrients in the foods.  What’s interesting is that when you focus on eating foods that are nutrient dense, your body tells you when you are full because the foods that you eat are more filling and satisfying on a cellular level. 

Imagine pigging out on a bag of Doritos.  You need to eat the whole bag just to try and feel satisfied.  When the bag is empty, you are still not satisfied, right?  That’s because you’ve consumed a franken food product that is void of any nutrients that feed your cells.  You may have taken in hundreds of calories, but they aren’t the right kind of calories.

Now imagine eating a homemade raw protein bar that is made with heart healthy fats, carbs, and proteins.  A 2 X 2 size bar is plenty to energize you and feel your body nutrients that will sustain you until the next meal.  

The point is, when you make a habit to consume foods that are dense with vitamins and minerals, probiotics, heart healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, the calories will be the right amount because your appetite will be satiated.  On days when I work out harder with running a few miles and strength and core training, I may need up to 2,500 calories.  On days when I’m in active recovery, I may need only about 1,800 calories, but the point is, I don’t sit there and count calories of everything I put in my mouth. 

When I am working out hard and need more fuel, I put good fuel into my body and my brain and stomach tell me when I’ve had enough to eat. If I’m having a day with less movement, I adjust my intake of fuel. 

So, instead of concentrating on how many calories you should be eating, consider what your activity level is for the day and if you are eating enough fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and heart healthy fats and proteins. 

Also, where are most of your calories coming from?  Do you eat out a lot?  If so, I can guarantee you that you are taking in way more sodium, sugar, bad oils, calories, and are training your taste buds to distaste nutrient dense foods.  Think salad and green juice?  Raw protein bars?  Lentils with veggies?  Cut up veggies and hummus? 

What do you think will happen to your taste buds if you shop for fresh and alive foods on a regular basis and eat food at home?  Your taste buds will adapt I promise you! 

I hope this makes sense and will help you to reevaluate the foods you put into your body.  Instead of calorie counting, try nutrient counting! 

See you in class soon!


Below are a couple of images from Dr. Mark Hyman.  Check him out if you have a few minutes:




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MMB – Why is Protein so Popular?

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and were able to get out and move!  While it was a small group for Saturday’s Challenge, it was a mighty group!  We also discussed the importance of the macronutrient protein and why we need it, but not too  much of it!  I’ve attached an article below that discusses the controversy of a high protein low carb diet.  Make sure you do your research before you decide to dive in and have a meat party without fruits or veggies! 

Saturday’s Challenge Results:

7am crew:

1st place – Bernadette Calvo 26:32

2nd place – Joanne Vieira 29:32

3rd place – Christi Stevenson 30:24


1st place – Vanessa Perez 15:48

2nd place – Peter Calvo 16:15

3rd place – Christy Stevens 19:56

Honorable Mention – Lynnda Philbro0k


Saturday Crew is Looking Good!!  Keep it up guys!


Announcements & Reminders:

  1.  Schedule Change Week of 10/22/18:
    1. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday Night!  Please text or e-mail to sign up for classes at 5:45pm, 6:55pm, or 7:25pm!
    3. Friday Night Boot Camp at Jen’s Studio from 6:15pm to 7:15pm!  Text me or e-mail to sign up for Friday’s Boot Camp!  You are welcome to come for either 30 or 60 minutes!
  2. Payment Options:  In addition to SQUARE, I now have PayPal!  You are welcome to either use my e-mail address:  jen@jenallanfitness or my cel 925-699-7725.  If you prepay prepaid class cards or personal training sessions, just shoot me a text to let me know 🙂 
  3. Walking Boot Camp is Sunday, November 4th at 11am!  Meet at Jen’s Studio.  All levels welcomed.


Thought for the week: Why is Protein so Popular?

A Protein diet is very popular right now.  I’m sure you know someone who is on a Ketogenic diet, which is a low-carb, high-fat diet that leads to weight loss.  But, it it healthy in the long term?  Well, I urge you to do your research before you commit to an extreme approach such as the Ketogenic diet.  The bottom line is that we are all made uniquely and all have different dietary and caloric needs based on our genetic make up and activity levels.  Yes, we need protein.  It’s a macronutrient that isn’t stored in our bodies, but is essential for building and repairing tissue.  Also, protein in itself will not build muscle.  The nutrients in protein, along with exercise, are the magic combo needed to build muscle.  Simple eating a steak is not going to grow your biceps larger! 

If you do your research, especially about the American diet, you’ll find that Americans love their protein and we eat about twice as much protein as we need, mostly coming from animal protein.  If we want to reverse the trends of heart disease, we need to incorporate more plant based protein into our diets.  Plants don’t have saturated fat and cholesterol!  I’ve attached an article below and a few additional sources for you to check out in regard to the Ketogenic diet too.  I hope this will help stimulate your curiosity and that you will carve out a few minutes to learn more about the pros and cons of a high protein diet and discover what’s best for you.

The Benefits of Protein

Beef up your knowledge of protein and good dietary sources.

From the WebMD Archives

High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are the hottest thing since sliced flank steak, and every food marketer in the known universe appears to want a piece of the protein pie.

Body builders are snatching, grabbing, and gulping down protein shakes. Dieters are gobbling down protein bars (and shunning pasta) in hopes of quick weight loss.

The Power of Protein

It’s easy to understand the excitement. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called “micronutrients.” But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.

So you may assume the solution is to eat protein all day long. Not so fast, say nutritionists.

The truth is, we need less total protein that you might think. But we could all benefit from getting more protein from better food sources.

How Much Protein Is Enough?

We’ve all heard the myth that extra protein builds more muscle. In fact, the only way to build muscle is through exercise. Bodies need a modest amount of protein to function well. Extra protein doesn’t give you extra strength. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Teenage boys and active men can get all the protein they need from three daily servings for a total of seven ounces.

  • For children age 2 to 6, most women, and some older people, the government recommends two daily servings for a total of five ounces.

  • For older children, teen girls, active women, and most men, the guidelines give the nod to two daily servings for a total of six ounces.

Everyone who eats an eight-ounce steak typically served in restaurants is getting more protein that their bodies need. Plus they’re getting a hefty amount of artery-clogging saturated fat as well.

The Drawbacks of High-Protein Diets

Many people who have jumped on the high-protein/low-carb bandwagon think that they can pack away as much protein as they like. But nutrition experts urge caution. The reasons why have to do with how high-protein/low-carb diets are thought to lead to weight loss. When people eat lots of protein but few carbohydrates, their metabolisms change into a state called ketosis. Ketosis means the body converts from burning carbs for fuel to burning its own fat. When fat is broken down, small bits of carbon called ketones are released into the bloodstream as energy sources. Ketosis, which also occurs in diabetes, tends to suppress appetite, causing people to eat less, and it also increases the body’s elimination of fluids through urine, resulting in a loss of water weight.

Christopher D. Gardner, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., tells WebMD that high-protein diets like the Atkins regimen may trade short-term benefits for long-term health consequences. Among the risks: The body produces ammonia when it breaks down protein. No one knows the long-term risks of higher levels of ammonia in the body.

Also, there is evidence to suggest that people who eat high-protein diets typically excrete excess calcium in their urine, says Deborah Sellmeyer, MD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Center for Osteoporosis at the University of California at San Francisco. This suggests that the body is releasing stores of calcium into the bloodstream to counteract an increase in acids caused by protein consumption (calcium buffers, or neutralizes, acids). Too much calcium loss could lead to osteoporosis down the road, Sellmeyer says.

Lastly, there are the obvious concerns. Carbohydrate foods shunned by some people on low-carb diets include fruits and vegetables, which are the best sources for vitamins, fiber, and antioxidantsnutrients that help prevent disease. By contrast, animal foods that are high in protein are usually also high in saturated fats, which increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several types of cancer.

The American Heart Association warns: “Reducing consumption of [carbs] usually means other, higher-fat foods are eaten instead. This raises cholesterol levels even more and increases cardiovascular risk.” The AHA also notes that by concentrating on protein sources and skipping carbs, dieters may be getting too much salt, and not enough calcium, potassium, or magnesium, which are typically found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

While no one knows the effect of eating a high-protein diet over the long term, the diet appears to be safe and effective for up to six months.

Frank Hu, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, asked a student to review published studies on high-protein diets and try to answer these four important questions:

  • Do high protein diets increase fat burning in the body?

  • Do they increase satiety (the sense of being “full” or “satisfied” after a meal)?

  • Do they decrease subsequent energy (calorie) intake by the body?

  • Do they lead to weight loss?

For the most part, says Hu, the answers are “yes.” Protein can be converted by the body into glucose for energy, but it takes twice as much effort as converting carbohydrates or fats into glucose. The extra effort translates into fewer calories available, Hu said at a recent symposium on the science of obesity.

When it comes to feeling full, the clinical studies consistently showed that high-protein diets increase satiety and decrease hunger compared with high-fat or high-carbohydrate diets. In addition, most, but not all of the studies reviewed showed that most people on high-protein diets took in about 10% less energy (roughly 200 calories) per day, which could account for at least some of the weight loss seen with this type of diet.

“There is some evidence that high-protein diets induce great fat loss,” Hu told the symposium audience. On average, high-protein diets produced an average weight loss that was about 4.5 lbs greater than that achieved on other diets after six months.

“Most of the studies show results for up to six months, but after six months they begin to lose effectiveness, either because people do not adhere to this diet very well in the long term, or because they get used to this diet biologically,” Hu tells WebMD. “So in the long term the high-protein diets tend to lose their ability to maintain the weight.”

Choose Your Proteins Wisely

The type of protein you eat may play a role in successful weight loss and in your overall health.

Consumption of large quantities of processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats, have been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer, Hu says. You’ll have a harder time maintaining weight loss if you eat these proteins often, and you may be damaging your body.

Hu and other nutrition experts recommend getting dietary proteins from the following sources:

  • Fish: Fish offers heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in general, less fat than meat.

  • Poultry: You can eliminate most of the saturated fat by removing the skin.

  • Beans: Beans contain more protein than any other vegetable protein. Plus, they’re loaded with fiber that helps you feel full for hours.

  • Nuts: One ounce of almonds gives you 6 grams of protein, nearly as much protein as one ounce of broiled ribeye steak.

  • Whole grains: A slice of whole wheat bread gives you 3 grams of protein, plus valuable fiber.

  • “A lot of plant-based foods like soy and legumes can give you the same amount of protein as meats. I have nuts for breakfast every day, because they not only give you a lot of protein, but they’re healthy sources of fat,” Hu says.

    So when you decide to cut carbs and boost protein, take Hu’s advice: Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

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MMB – Fats Have a Bad Rap

Good morning everyone!

I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  I also kicked off Walking Boot Camp this past Sunday at 7am and I think this is definitely a format that you’ll see again! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night – Are you needing a mid-week fitness fix?  Come join us on Tuesday nights and get an awesome work out in, while mixing it up with some very fun and cool people!  If you’d like to come, please e-mail or text me which class you’d like to attend.  Classes are:  5:45pm to 6:45pm 60 minutes, 6:55pm to 7:25pm 30 minutes, & 7:35pm to 8:05pm 30 minutes.
  2.  There will be NO Cardio Fusion Thursday, October 25th or Boot Camp on Saturday, October 27th. 
  3. Mark down Friday, October 26th for Friday Night Boot Camp!  6:15pm to 7:15pm!  You can join in for the entire 60 minutes, or come for 30 minutes at 6:15pm or 6:45pm!
  4. Next Walking Boot Camp is Sunday, November 4th at 11am! Come join us for this 60 minute low impact cardio class that will give you a killer body weight training and core drills!


Photos from Saturday’s Fall Fitness  & Nutrition Challenge!  Way to go Lynnda Philbrook for taking on the Challenge!


Thought for the week: Fats Have a Bad Rap

Do you remember the “no fat” craze a couple of decades ago?  Food scientists and nutritionists thought it would be a brilliant idea to take fats out of our foods so we could trim down as a society.  So, where did the fat go?  Food scientists replaced fat with processed and refined carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners, which ultimately ignited the obestity epidemic that we are still battling today. 

Refined carbohydrates make our food high glycemic, which means these foods turn into glucose into our bodies rapidly.  The liver produces insulin like crazy to try and capture all of this extra fuel into glycogen that’s stored in the liver, but much of the energy from these types of food are stored as….fat. 

So, we actually need fat.  It’s a very important nutrient.  It aids in: growth, gives us energy, is vital for brain and organ function, metabolism, hormones health, healthy skin, eyes, bones, and reproductive health.

However, too many of the bad fats, such as saturated fats largely sourced from animal protein, can raise our cholesterol levels and blood pressure.  Transfats are also wicked.  Think Hostess products like Twinkies.  Consumed in high quantities, a diet high in these fats can lead to heart disease and death.  Well, that’s sad and depressing!  So, if fats are important for our bodies, which fats should we eat?  I’ve attached some articles and sources about which fats to consume for you guys to check out, including an article below from Harvard Health Publishing. 

The bottom line is we should not be afraid of fats.  We need them.  But, we need the right fats.  So, grab some avocados, nuts, and seeds, and enjoy them in your salads, or in trail mix, or protein bars.  Remember, a little goes a long way though.  Fats have 9 calories per gram, as opposed to carbs and proteins with 4 calories per gram.  Now go have some guacamole with those veggies!

The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between

Avoid the trans fats, limit the saturated fats, and replace with essential polyunsaturated fats


Published: February, 2015

Why are trans fats bad for you, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats good for you, and saturated fats somewhere in-between? For years, fat was a four-letter word. We were urged to banish it from our diets whenever possible. We switched to low-fat foods. But the shift didn’t make us healthier, probably because we cut back on healthy fats as well as harmful ones.

You may wonder isn’t fat bad for you, but your body needs some fat from food. It’s a major source of energy. It helps you absorb some vitamins and minerals. Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation. For long-term health, some fats are better than others. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans fats. Saturated fats fall somewhere in the middle.

All fats have a similar chemical structure: a chain of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms. What makes one fat different from another is the length and shape of the carbon chain and the number of hydrogen atoms connected to the carbon atoms. Seemingly slight differences in structure translate into crucial differences in form and function.

Bad trans fats

The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans fat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption. Therefore, they have been officially banned in the United States.

Trans fat is a byproduct of hydrogenation, turning healthy oils into saturated fatsEarly in the 20th century, trans fats were found mainly in solid margarines and vegetable shortening. As food makers learned new ways to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, they began appearing in everything from commercial cookies and pastries to fast-food French fries.

Eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even small amounts of trans fats can harm health: for every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%.

In-between saturated fats

Saturated fats are common in the American diet. They are solid at room temperature — think cooled bacon grease, but what is saturated fat? Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods.

The word “saturated” here refers to the number of hydrogen atoms surrounding each carbon atom. The chain of carbon atoms holds as many hydrogen atoms as possible — it’s saturated with hydrogens.

Is saturated fat bad for you? A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.

A handful of recent reports have muddied the link between saturated fat and heart disease. One meta-analysis of 21 studies said that there was not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, but that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may indeed reduce risk of heart disease.

Two other major studies narrowed the prescription slightly, concluding that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils or high-fiber carbohydrates is the best bet for reducing the risk of heart disease, but replacing saturated fat with highly processed carbohydrates could do the opposite.

Good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats

Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. They differ from saturated fats by having fewer hydrogen atoms bonded to their carbon chains. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature, not solid. There are two broad categories of beneficial fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats. When you dip your bread in olive oil at an Italian restaurant, you’re getting mostly monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats have a single carbon-to-carbon double bond. The result is that it has two fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fat and a bend at the double bond. This structure keeps monounsaturated fats liquid at room temperature.Good sources of monounsaturated and polysaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, most nuts, high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils

Good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts, as well as high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils.

The discovery that monounsaturated fat could be healthful came from the Seven Countries Study during the 1960s. It revealed that people in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean region enjoyed a low rate of heart disease despite a high-fat diet. The main fat in their diet, though, was not the saturated animal fat common in countries with higher rates of heart disease. It was olive oil, which contains mainly monounsaturated fat. This finding produced a surge of interest in olive oil and the “Mediterranean diet,” a style of eating regarded as a healthful choice today.

Although there’s no recommended daily intake of monounsaturated fats, the Institute of Medicine recommends using them as much as possible along with polyunsaturated fats to replace saturated and trans fats.

Polyunsaturated fats. When you pour liquid cooking oil into a pan, there’s a good chance you’re using polyunsaturated fat. Corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are common examples. Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats. That means they’re required for normal body functions but your body can’t make them. So you must get them from food. Polyunsaturated fats are used to build cell membranes and the covering of nerves. They are needed for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

A polyunsaturated fat has two or more double bonds in its carbon chain. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. The numbers refer to the distance between the beginning of the carbon chain and the first double bond. Both types offer health benefits.

Eating polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fats or highly refined carbohydrates reduces harmful LDL cholesterol and improves the cholesterol profile. It also lowers triglycerides.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and unhydrogenated soybean oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke. In addition to reducing blood pressure, raising HDL, and lowering triglycerides, polyunsaturated fats may help prevent lethal heart rhythms from arising. Evidence also suggests they may help reduce the need for corticosteroid medications in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies linking omega-3s to a wide range of other health improvements, including reducing risk of dementia, are inconclusive, and some of them have major flaws, according to a systematic review of the evidence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Omega-6 fatty acids have also been linked to protection against heart disease. Foods rich in linoleic acid and other omega-6 fatty acids include vegetable oils such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, walnut, and corn oils.

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MMB – Do You Know Your Nutrients?

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  Challenge #2 was this past Saturday and once again, you guys brought your best and worked it hard!  

We also discussed the second nutrient, which was carbohydrates, and talked about what makes up complex carbohydrates and why they help us feel fuller longer and how they help to manage weight loss.  Think of beans, whole grains, and starchy veggies as examples of complex carbohydrates.  In general, it is recommended that we eat between 45-65% of carbohydrates in our diet.  Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy: They help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. For instance, fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check.  All good reasons to enjoy some complex carbohydrates!

Here are the winners from Saturday’s Challenge:

7am crew 60 minute class

1st place – Christi Stevenson 32:21

2nd place – Lisa Dillon and Lynnda Philbrook 32:30


Christi Stevenson

8:05am crew 30 minute class

1st place – Kathleen Jacobs 16:45

2nd place – Christy Stevens 16:52

3rd place – Melissa Judge 17:12

Honorable mention – Peter Calvo 18:48


Kathleen Jacobs

Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  Please text me if you’d like to sign up for either 5:45pm for 60 minute, 6:55pm to 7:25pm for 30 minute, or 7:35pm to 8:05pm for 30 minute class.

2)  NEW CLASS!  Walking Boot Camp this Sunday, October 14th at 7am!  Looking for a low impact option boot camp option to do over the weekend?  Come try Walking Boot Camp this coming Sunday at 7am!  We’ll power walk our way 1/2 way around the Pleasanton Sports Park, while still getting in plenty of cardio, whole body strength, and core drills at a variety of different stations.  Class will be an hour long and is designed for all fitness levels.  If you prefer to run, I can create a plan for you to run and still be a part of the class.  Please let me know if you’d like to sign up!  This is a great class to invite a friend to!


Thought for the week:  Knowledge is power and the more we know about nutrition, the healthier we’ll live!  Here is a quick read from Healthline on a reminder of what the six nutrients are, why we need them, and where to find them.  For our third Challenge this coming Saturday, we’ll be discussing fats, so you have some time to brush up on your knowledge of fats.  Let’s eat colorful and vibrant foods that are alive and not found in a package, loaded with msg, salt, and preservatives that make us sick. 
See you in class soon!

6 Essential Nutrients and Why Your Body Needs Them

From Healthline:


Essential nutrients are compounds that the body can’t make or can’t make in sufficient quantity. According to the World Health Organization, these nutrients must come from food, and they’re vital for disease prevention, growth, and good health.

While there are many essential nutrients, they can be broken into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients are eaten in large amounts and include the primary building blocks of your diet — protein, carbohydrates, and fat — which provide your body with energy.

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients, and small doses go a long way. There are six main groups of essential micronutrients and macronutrients.

1. Protein

Protein is having its moment, and not just in the workout community. But all of the hype is for a good reason. Protein is essential for good health.

Protein provides the building blocks of the body, and not just for muscle. Every cell, from bone to skin to hair, contains protein.

A startling 16 percent of the average person’s body weight is from protein. Protein is used primarily for growth, health, and body maintenance.

All of your hormones, antibodies, and other important substances are composed of protein. Protein is not used to fuel the body unless necessary.

Proteins are made of up different amino acids. While the body can create some amino acids on its own, there are many essential amino acids that can only come from food. You need a variety of amino acids for your body to function properly.

The good news is that you don’t need to eat all of the amino acids at once. Your body can create complete proteins from the foods you eat throughout the day.

Healthy sources

While meat, fish, and eggs are good sources of essential amino acids, you can also get protein from plant sources like beans, soy, nuts, and some grains. Exactly how much protein you need daily depends on a variety of factors including how active you are, and your age.

Despite the growing popularity of high-protein diets, there haven’t been enough studies to prove that they’re healthier or can influence weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.

2. Carbohydrates

Don’t let the low-carb craze fool you. Carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy body. Carbs fuel your body, especially your central nervous system and brain, and protect against disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Healthy sources

Before you reach for the white bread or pasta, keep in mind that the type of carb you eat matters. Some carbs are healthier than others. Opt for whole grains, beans, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits instead of refined grains and products with added sugar.

3. Fats

Fats often get a bad rap, but recent research has shown that healthy fats are an important part of a healthy diet.

According to Harvard Medical School, fat supports many of your body’s functions such as vitamin and mineral absorption, blood clotting, building cells, and muscle movement.

Yes, fat is high in calories, but those calories are an important energy source for your body.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from fat, but the World Health Organization suggests keeping it under 30 percent of your calories.

Including healthy fats in your diet can help you to balance your blood sugar, decrease your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and improve your brain function. They’re also powerful anti-inflammatories, and they may lower your risk of arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy sources

The most famous unsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Unsaturated fats are important for your body as they provide essential fatty acids your body can’t make. You can find these healthy fats in nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils (like olive, avocado, and flaxseed). Coconut oil provides plant-based fats in the form of medium-chain triglycerides which impart health benefits like faster utilization by organs as fuel and appetite control.

Avoid trans fats and limit your intake of saturated animal-based fats like butter, cheese, red meat, and ice cream.

4. Vitamins

Vitamins are vital for warding off disease and staying healthy. The body needs these micronutrients to support its functions. There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs to function properly, including vitamins A, C, B6, and D.

Each vitamin plays an important role in the body, and not getting enough of them can cause health problems and disease. Many Americans do not get enough of many essential vitamins. Vitamins are essential for healthy vision, skin, and bones.

Vitamins may lower the risk of lung and prostate cancer, and they’re powerful antioxidants. Vitamins like vitamin C boost the immune system and help the body heal.

Healthy sources

If you eat a varied, well-balanced diet full of vegetables and fruits, and have a normal and healthy functioning digestive tract, you likely don’t need to take vitamin supplements.

5. Minerals

Much like vitamins, minerals help support the body. They’re essential for many body functions, including building strong bones and teeth, regulating your metabolism, and staying properly hydrated. Some of the most common minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc.

In addition to strengthening bones, calcium helps with nerve signal transmission, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Iron supports your red blood cells and hormone creation, while zinc boosts your immune system and wound healing.

6. Water

You can go for weeks without food, but you can’t last more than a few days without water. Water is absolutely crucial for every system in your body. It’s also the main thing you are made of. About 62 percent of your body weight is water.

Water improves your brain function and mood. It acts a shock absorber and a lubricant in the body. It also helps flush out toxins, carry nutrients to cells, hydrate the body, and prevent constipation.

Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired and impair your concentration and physical performance.

Healthy sources

You don’t have to chug water to stay hydrated. Fruits and vegetables can also be a great source. Munch on some spinach or watermelon to stay hydrated.

The best way to know if you’re properly hydrated is the color and volume of your urine. If your urine isn’t frequent and pale yellow or nearly clear, you need more water.


Eating a varied diet full of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, and whole grains is the best way to get enough of these six essential nutrients plus the important category of phytonutrients — the beneficial chemicals in colorful plants that prevent disease. These micronutrients and macronutrients are vital for your body to function normally and stay healthy.


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MMB – It’s Fall Challenge Time!

Good morning everyone!

Happy Monday to you and the first of October!  Now I can officially put out all of my pumpkin stuff – yeah!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  Great work to everyone who made it out to the first Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge!  Woo hoo!  For the next five Saturdays, I’ll be weaving in timed fitness challenges, fitness tests, and a 3-5 minute talk on the six nutrients while we are doing core work – oh yeah! 

For this first Challenge, here are the winners for the 60 minute class:

Joanne Vieira – 1st place 28:55

Bernadette Calvo – 2nd place 30:12

Lynnda Philbrook – 3rd place 31:10

Kathy Schalin – honorable mention 31:34


7am crew from Saturday!


Joanne Vieira – winner of first 60 minute Challenge!


Challenge #1 – After every station, a 2 minute run was required! 


For the 30 minute class, here are the winners for the Challenge:

Vanessa Perez – 1st place 13:58  note:  Vanessa was also the winner of the Nutrition Knowledge Contest and won a $45 class card with her knowledge on vitamin C!  Way to go Vanessa!

Christi Stevens – 2nd place 14:35

Kathleen Jacbos &  Erin Campbell 3rd place 15:49


Vanessa Perez!  Winner of first Challenge and class card!

8:05am Crew from Saturday!

Thought for the week:  Jen’s Studio is Revamped!

When you run your business out of your home garage….oops, I mean studio, um you need to have a sense of humor!  My home studio is full of life, and yes chaos, and yes kids’ sports equipment, and Costco items, and my husband’s video production gear and so much more! 

I also home school throughout the day using the garage as my boys recite math facts while jumping on a Bosu, or swing from the TRX while going over sentence structure and diagramming.  So, to say that my garage is important in my life is an understatement! 

Unbeknownst to all of you, there was a pool table buried in the corner of the garage that had been stored there for years.  It was my husband’s grandfather’s pool table and we were storing it for safe keeping.  Well, my mother in law recently retired and decided to move to Texas and wanted to take the pool table with her.  We were totally fine with this idea and realized that it would open up a large amount of space in the garage.  So, this past weekend, our neighbor Allen (the one always enticing you to enjoy wine and join the dark side while you are working hard), my husband, and I went to town on reorganizing the entire training space. 

Of course, as with any project like this, one thing leads to another and there are fixes required, dry wall needed, electrical work etc.  Oh, and don’t forget fresh paint!  So, I’m happy to report that I have a new and improved training space!  Who is it for?  All of you, of course!  With winter approaching and knowing that Tuesday night classes are busy, I needed to have more space for you guys.  So, the removal of the pool table was a blessing in disguise because of the chain reaction that happened, which allowed me to improve the space.

So, if you scroll through the photos, you’ll see the before and after pictures.  It’s still a work in progress and there’s always room for improvement, but I think you’ll find that the space feels more open and breathable. I’m excited to share this with you guys and am excited about what the Lord is doing in my business in helping me to help all of you!  

See you in class soon!






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MMB – Don’t Let Inflammation Getcha Down!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you were all able to get outside and do something active over the weekend!  Thanks for your understanding in allowing me to miss Boot Camp on Saturday and take a trip with my boys on their Boy Scout camp out to the Lava Beds in Lassen.  It was an amazing weekend!  These caves are brilliant examples of the earth’s unleashed power!  So, you know that monkey crawl exercise we do in Boot Camp?  Well, let’s just say it was put into good use!  Yup, there was a lot of monkey crawls, bear crawls, duck walks, scaling, traversing, and climbing jagged rocks!  It was glorious 🙂  Here are a couple of pictures:



Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday!  If you’d like to sign up for classes on Tuesday, please text or e-mail me.  Classes are 60 min 5:45pm to 6:45pm, 30 min 6:55pm to 7:25pm, and 30 min 7:35pm to 8:05pm. 
  2. Cardio Fusion – Normal class times on Thursday 5:45pm to 6:45pm & 6:55pm to 7:25pm
  3. 6-Week Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge begins on September 29th!  It’s that time of year again!  Let’s kick off the fall season with a good Challenge that will motivate and inspire you to push a little harder, eat clean, and learn more about nutrition.  Let’s shake things up and lose a couple of inches as we head into the fall.  After all, you want to feel good in those jeans right? 
  4. September Nutrition Knowledge Contest – You still have until 9/30 to learn those nutrition facts!  Research the six nutrients:  water, carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  Learn something, write it down, and enter the drawing for your chance to win a class card. 


Thought for the week:  Don’t Let Inflammation Getcha Down!


I think many of us are walking around in a state of inflammation and don’t even realize it.  With our American lifestyle and S.A.D. diet (Standard American Diet), it doesn’t take a genius long to figure out there is a direct correlation between our lifestyle and chronic diseases.  Diseases often stem from a state of inflammation in the body, so this is why it’s important to recognize the symptoms and do something about if you have them!  Be aware of how you look and feel and ask yourself if you have any of the following symptoms in the article below from  The article I’ve attached is from a naturopathic physician and is a quick read giving you some information about what inflammation does to our bodies and what symptoms we should be looking for. 

Also, I’ve attached the acidic-alkaline chart so you can review the feeds that are calming and inflammatory.  Knowledge is power, so the more you aware, the more you can make healthy decisions on a daily basis that will reduce inflammation and limit disease.

See you soon!




10 Signs You Have Chronic Inflammation

Kellyann Petrucci, ND, a leading naturopathic physician and nutritionist, is an inflammation expert. This week, we’re sharing Dr. Petrucci’s expertise in a series on fighting inflammation for optimal health.

Typically, it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re experiencing acute inflammation. If you scrape your knee, your skin will turn red and hot. If you catch a cold, your runny nose and fever will tell the whole world that you’re inflamed. So acute inflammation is a natural, healthy process that helps your body heal.

But chronic inflammation is a whole different story. Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system gets set permanently to “on.” As a result, it constantly releases a flood of damaging chemicals that could sicken your cells. It’s like a forest fire that never goes out.

Recent research suggests that chronic inflammation is associated with many modern diseases, including obesity and heart disease. In addition, chronic inflammation could make you feel tired and “washed out.”

Your doctor can measure your level of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, to indicate whether chronic inflammation might be wreaking havoc on your body. But there are also a few clues your body might be telling you.

How to spot the signs of chronic inflammation:

Chronic inflammation can reveal itself in a variety of way, but these 10 signs are the most common in my experience.

1. You have a “spare tire” around your waist.

Fat cells in the abdomen churn out inflammatory chemicals—and the more belly fat you have, the more of these chemicals they create. In fact, cardiovascular medicine expert Peter Libby, MD, calls belly fat a “hotbed” of inflammation.

2. You have high blood glucose levels.

High blood sugar increases the numbers of inflammatory cytokines circulating in your blood. It also increases your levels of destructive molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are pro-inflammatory.

3. You have digestive problems like gas, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation.

These can stem from a sick, inflamed, overly permeable gut—and a leaky gut that allows toxins to escape into your bloodstream is one of the leading cause of chronic, body-wide inflammation.

4. You’re tired all the time.

Inflamed cells are sick cells, and they can’t produce the energy you need to feel refreshed and invigorated. As a result, you feel fatigued even when you first get out of bed—and by afternoon, you’re exhausted.

5. You have skin problems like eczema or psoriasis, or your skin is red and blotchy.

This could be an external sign of internal fire. (This is why there’s a powerful link between psoriasis and inflammatory conditions that manifest internally, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.)

6. You have allergies.

If you’re always battling watery eyes and a runny nose, you could be chronically inflamed.

7. Your face is puffy, or you have puffy bags under your eyes.

This is a common sign of internal inflammation.

8. You have gum disease.

This is another outward clue of internal inflammation.

9. You’re depressed, anxious, or suffering from “brain fog.”

Inflammation could affect your brain chemistry, causing changes in how you think and feel.

10. If you’re a man, you have erectile dysfunction.

Chronic inflammation could be a cause of this problem.

How to heal chronic inflammation:

If you have any of these signs pointing to chronic inflammation, here’s the good news: You can start taking control by changing your lifestyle.

Begin by cutting out highly inflammatory foods like sugar and grains out of your diet and eating more lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. I recommend drinking gut-healing bone broth every day for a huge dose of anti-inflammatory power. Exercise daily, get enough sleep, and de-stress yourself with mindfulness meditation. Lower your body’s burden of toxic chemicals, and you’ll turn down the flame another notch.

This is a problem you can start solving right now with a simple prescription: a smarter, healthier lifestyle.

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MMB – Nutrition & Fitness Challenge is Coming!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and have been moving and eating clean!  I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written a blog, so thanks for your patience!  Our internet was down all last week, but thankfully we had a technician come out on Saturday and fixed everything for us – yeah!

So, how’s the routine coming along?  I know there are quite a few of you, who have been traveling or have had some job changes, so I hope you are still able to carve out time for your work outs and self care!  Fall can be an interesting time of transition as new school and sports schedules are created and there is an adjustment period that can seem a little overwhelming and stressful at times.  Do you know the best way to handle stress?  Yup, work out hard with friends! 

If you haven’t had the chance to make it to class in the past few weeks, I’d love to hear from you!  Let me know how I can be a support and encourage you.  For those of you who have been coming out on a regular basis, I love seeing your commitment and progress as you increase your strength and endurance.  This stuff really does work!  It just takes doing it with commitment and consistency 🙂

A note about class length – Have you been coming to my 30 minute classes for sometime and are feeling like you may want more, but the idea of a 60 minute class is daunting?  If so, I want to encourage you to come to my 60 minute class and try pushing yourself to do 45 minutes.  Just let me know at the beginning of class that you want to try 45 minutes and I’ll let you know when we’ve reached 45 minutes.  You can begin your cool down and stretching at that point.  Do this for a few weeks until you feel like you can go the distance with the 60 minute class.  Sound good? 


Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday!  If you’d like to sign up for classes on Tuesday, please text or e-mail me.  Classes are 60 min 5:45pm to 6:45pm, 30 min 6:55pm to 7:25pm, and 30 min 7:35pm to 8:05pm. 
  2. Cardio Fusion – Normal class time on Thursday 5:45pm to 6:45pm & 6:55pm to 7:25pm
  3. Special Boot Camp Friday, September 21st at 8am at Jen’s Studio!
  4. NO Boot Camp on Saturday, September 22nd!  I’ll be away for the weekend camping with the Boy Scouts at Lava Tubes in Lassen.  If you’d like to have Boot Camp, I’m planning a special Boot Camp on Friday from 8am to 9am at my home.  You are welcome to come for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or the entire 60 minutes!  Please let me know if you’d like to attend.
  5. 6-Week Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge begins on September 29th!  It’s that time of year again!  Let’s kick off the fall season with a good Challenge that will motivate and inspire you to push a little harder, eat clean, and learn more about nutrition.  Let’s shake things up and lose a couple of inches as we head into the fall.  After all, you want to feel good in those jeans right? 
  6. September Nutrition Knowledge Contest – You still have a couple of weeks remaining to learn those nutrition facts!  Research the six nutrients:  water, carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  Learn something, write it down, and enter the drawing for your chance to win a class card. 

Thought for the week:  Why Should We Do a Challenge?


O.k. so what’s the point in doing these Challenges every year?  As humans, we are creatures of habit and we like our routines because they are comfortable.  This is especially true when it comes to fitness.  Have you ever noticed that when you do the same fitness routine for a while that it becomes easier and you aren’t having to labor as much? 

If you aren’t paying close attention, that same routine with the same reps and intensity will not be as effective as it was months ago.  Our bodies are pretty amazing in how they can adapt to change and stabilize within a fairly short amount of time.  You can recognize if your work out has become too redundant if your heart rate is not increasing as much or the same weights that you were lifting aren’t making you break a sweat or labor with difficulty.  This is because your body is not requiring your heart to work as hard to get the oxygen and blood flow needed to the rest of the body to perform the exercises required. 

So what’s the point?  What’s wrong with routine?  Well, there isn’t anything wrong with routine, up to a certain point.  In fitness, we call this periodization training which is defined as: “Periodization is a form of resistance training that may be defined as strategic implementation of specific training phases.  These training phases are based upon increasing and decreasing both volume (which is reps times sets) and intensity (which is the load or percentage of 1RM) when designing a training program.”

So, if we aren’t tweaking the above mentioned formula every few weeks, we aren’t working as effectively and efficiently as we should.  And this friends, is why we need Challenges!  Challenges are intended to be about six weeks long, where you are pushed harder mentally and physically.  The idea behind them is to break up patterns and tax your energy systems greater so that your body will have a reset in giving you a boost in your metabolism, fat burn, and caloric expenditure. 

This all sounds good to me!  So, let’s invite some friends and come out on Saturday, September 29th to get weighed and measured.  Let’s shake things up in our fitness and have some fun learning about nutrition and working it hard so we can feel and look amazing heading into fall! 


See you soon!



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MMB – Let’s Be Students of Nutrition

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had an awesome three day weekend!  Wasn’t it wonderful?  I’d love to hear about all of the things you did with your friends and family!  I had one client this morning who told me all about her family adventures to Monterey, where they went bike riding together along the ocean, visited the aquarium, and then on Sunday, went to Angel Island for some great hiking!  Now, that’s an awesome family weekend of moving and making memories together! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday Night – Come out and join us for a combination of cardio, resistance, core, and fitness fun!  If you’d like to sign up, please e-mail or text me 925-699-7725.  There are still some spots open at 5:45pm (60 min.), 6:55pm (30 min.), and 7:35pm (30 min.)  See you tonight!
  2. September Nutrition Challenge Prep Month – The Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge is starting on Saturday, September 29th.  This Challenge will be a little different because there will be nutrition questions mixed in with the Challenge to find out who knows their nutrition the best! In order to prepare for this Challenge, the month of September will be all about learning more about nutrition.  I encourage you to research more about the six nutrients; water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  For every fact you learn, write down what you’ve learned on a card and enter into the Nutrition Facts Box.  At the end of September, I’ll draw a card and award the winner with a free class card!  Knowledge is power and I can’t think of a more important topic to learn about than how to take care of your body through nutrition.  It was Hippocrates that said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” O.k……sounds good to me!  In a culture consumed with pharmaceuticals as a way to treat our illnesses, let’s live radically different than the average American and take our nutritious seriously so that we can feel energized, healthy, and free of disease!  Who is with me?!

Thought for the week: Let’s Be Students of Nutrition


I know that ignorance is bliss, but we can’t afford to be ignorant in the areas of nutrition.  As our American culture continues to be pummeled and stricken by a host of diseases, we must pause and ask the question, “Are the prescription medications being administered by our medical doctors working to cure us?”  I think the proof is in the numbers and the answer is NO!  Americans are downing statin drugs like they are candy, but aren’t changing their lifestyles.  It doesn’t work like that folks!  In order to prevent disease, you have to change from the inside out, and that begins on a cellular level where you are nurturing your cells and are giving them the nutrients that they need.  The warrior bugs within our gut are there to protect us, but sadly, they have become a wounded and downtrodden army that is barely holding their line of defense because the are not given the rations they need to stand strong against enemy forces – namely, sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods!

Well, knowledge is power, so I am embarking on a journey to learn more about nutrition and would love for all of you to come along with me!  Start researching about the six nutrients, which are:  water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.  Do some simple internet searches from credible sources and learn some facts about why we need to be eating foods that are high in nutrients!  Here are some example questions you can look up:

  1.  Why is water important for our bodies?  How much water do we need to drink?  Is drinking water out of plastic bottles bad? 
  2. What are complex carbohydrates?  When is the best time of day to eat carbs?  Is there such a thing as bad carbs?  Why do we need carbohydrates?
  3. Why is protein important?  What does it do in our bodies?  How much is too much protein?  Do we need to eat animal protein?   Is there protein in plants?
  4. What is the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats?  Which fats lead to heat disease?  How much fat should we be eating every day?  What does fat do for us? 
  5. Can I get all of my vitamins from a supplement?   What are the best sources of Vitamin A?  K?  B complex?  D?  Etc.  What is the difference between water soluble and fat soluble vitamins?  Why do we need Vitamin C every day? 
  6. What are minerals anyway?  Are they inorganic or organic?  Why do we need them?  What are best sources of foods to get minerals? 

A couple of things:  I don’t expect you to spend a ton of time on this stuff, unless you want to!  I know we are all pressed for time, but you can learn a ton of facts in about 5 minutes!  Jot down some facts on the nutrition box cards and enter them every time you come in for class!  I’ll draw a winner at the end of the month and reward someone with a class card! 

My hope is that you will increase your nutrition awareness in a month and will be better informed to buy and prepare foods that will feed your cells from the inside out.  Let’s increase our defense system located in our gut by eating foods that are high in nutrients that will nourish our gut health and not destroy it.  Remember, about 80% of our immune system is located in our gut.  If we want to avoid disease, it begins with gut health.  Let’s say NO to sugar, salt, msg, transfats, refined carbs, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners and colors.  Say Yes to foods that are grown in the ground or come from plants.  Look for an assortment of rainbow colored foods, and I don’t mean Skittles! LOL!  Veggies, fruits, green leafy varieties, sprouted seeds, nuts, beans – these are the things that will nourish your body and help you feel amazing and ready to take on life!

See you in class soon!




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MMB – Aches and Pains are Trying to Tell You Something

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and had the opportunity to get outside and move!  The weather has been cooler lately, so it’s been perfect fitness weather, especially in the mornings!  Thanks to everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  Remember, the keys to fitness success are commitment and consistency.  I applaud all of you, who are carving out time for your work outs and are making the sacrifices to become healthier!  Keep up the great work!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday Night – Come out and join us for a combination of cardio, resistance, core, and fitness fun!  If you’d like to sign up, please e-mail or text me 925-699-7725.  There are still some spots open at 5:45pm (60 min.), 6:55pm (30 min.), and 7:35pm (30 min.)  See you tomorrow night!
  2. September Nutrition Challenge Prep Month – The Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge is starting on Saturday, September 29th.  This Challenge will be a little different because there will be nutrition questions mixed in with the Challenge to find out who knows their nutrition the best! In order to prepare for this Challenge, the month of September will be all about learning more about nutrition.  I encourage you to research more about the six nutrients; water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  For every fact you learn, write down what you’ve learned on a card and enter into the Nutrition Facts Box.  At the end of September, I’ll draw a card and award the winner with a free class card!  Knowledge is power and I can’t think of a more important topic to learn about than how to take care of your body through nutrition.  It was Hippocrates that said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” O.k……sounds good to me!  In a culture consumed with pharmaceuticals as a way to treat our illnesses, let’s live radically different than the average American and take our nutritious seriously so that we can feel energized, healthy, and free of disease!  Who is with me?!

Thought for the week:  Aches and Pains are Telling You Something


I have been thinking a lot about aches and pains lately.  As a trainer, I try to help people all the time with areas in their bodies that are causing them pain and help them through corrective exercise therapies, foam rolling, and core training. 

I’ve also noticed a trend in the way we think.  In general, we have a mindset that says, “Well, I’m getting older, so it’s normal to have aches and pains and I’m just gonna deal with it.”  Raise your hand if you agree with that statement?  You know, the truth is that aches and pains are there because our body is trying to tell us something. 

If you have been suffering from aches and pains lately, do you know why?  Sure, we can throw Advil at it to provide temporary relief, but that’s like putting a Band-Aid on a boo boo.  But, I would ask, “Why do you have pain?”  This is a loaded question and it takes some detective work to figure it out.  Here are some ideas and questions to consider:

  1.  Is your pain constant or intermittent?  Do you hurt more after you walk or sit down?  Have you had a recent fall or car accident?  Do you suffer from headaches?  Neck, back, or hip pain?  So, basically, where is your pain targeted?
  2. Have you been evaluated by a chiropractor or physical therapist?  Often times, being subluxated where you vertebrae are out of alignment, can cause a whole host of problems, leading to neck, back, hip, and knee pain.  A good chiropractor can be a tremendous help in getting to the source of your pain and providing long lasting relief.
  3. In your fitness routine, are you focused on core and flexibility training?  The entire purpose of core training is spinal stabilization.  If your core is weak, you are vulnerable to hurting due to postural distortion.  How’s your posture looking?
  4. Do you have arthritis?  Are you taking supplements to help?
  5. Do you have pain digesting?  Are you a lover of gluten and dairy?  Perhaps it’s time to try a nutrition plan like Whole 30, as an elimination diet to find out if there are certain foods that are causing you pain and discomfort.  The only way to find out is to remove them and then add them in after 30 days.
  6. Are you drinking enough water?  Are you sleeping enough at night?  Do you have a way to manage your stress?  Stress in itself can cause a variety of illnesses and disease.  If you aren’t sleeping at night because your mind is racing and you are stressed, then your body is in a constant state of fight or flight and your body is not restoring and repairing at night like it should be.  We will always feel like we are behind the eight ball and dragging.

If you are suffering from aches and pains that have you scratching your head, try to do some detective work and find out why.  Of course, it’s always a good idea to visit your medical doctor to get a blood panel and examination to rule out major disease, but there are plenty of minor problems that cause us aches and pains that can be treated with altering your lifestyle with increased exercise and solid and clean nutrition. You are your best advocate and I encourage you to dig deeper and don’t just settle by living in pain because you think there aren’t any answers for you.  There’s always hope and it’s never too late!

See you in class soon!





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MMB – Two Kinds of Pain

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and had an awesome weekend!  I know many of you are going through transitions and are adjusting to the new school schedule.  Hang in there!  Routine and getting back into your groove is right around the corner!  I’m in the same boat too as I’m getting my home school hat back on and getting the boys going again.  Like anything in life, the first couple of weeks into a new routine takes patience and perseverance.  We can do it!

Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  Classes are at 5:45pm to 6:45pm, 6:55pm to 7:25pm, and 7:35pm to 8:05pm.  If you’d like to join us for a great work out, please text or e-mail 925-699-7725.

2)  Cardio Fusion is a normal schedule this week on Thursday with two classes:  5:45pm to 6:45pm and 6:55pm to 7:25pm. 


Thought for the week:  Two Kinds of Pain


Have you ever asked yourself why do we do all of this hard fitness stuff all of the time?  I mean, it’s so much easier to not do it, right?  It takes time out of your schedule, it requires getting uncomfortable with sweating, pain, and heavy breathing!  There are a million other things we could be doing with our time, right? 

Well, here’s the thing – we can’t avoid pain.  What Jen?  It’s true.  We can’t avoid pain.  We are either going to experience pain from the work out with the symptoms I just explained, or we are going to experience pain from a sedentary lifestyle that will ultimately lead to a variety of diseases causing pain. 

Have you ever spent time with someone who is older and deconditioned?  They hurt!  It’s hard for them to move, they are stiff, and every little thing requires great effort.  They often have pain in their neck, back, hips, or knees.  They are usually on some kind of medication and are living with all of the side effects that come along with the drugs.  Pain ages us faster.  It also makes us more negative because it’s hard to be positive when you are hurting all the time.

So, as a question to ponder considering an older person who hurts, what physical state do you think they would be in if they had stayed active throughout their life with weight bearing exercises, core, and cardio training?  I’m not saying things would be perfect, but I can guarantee you they would be in less pain or zero pain.

While it’s true that carving out time to exercise can be inconvenient and difficult, imagine what your life would look like without it?  Think about how hard it is coming back from a period of vacation and getting back into your fitness routine?  It’s tough right?  Well, imagine if you just stopped moving and never thought about exercising?  Now add 10, 15, or 20 years of this?  Wow guys, it’s not a pretty picture. 

When we stop moving, our world shrinks and we start living less and less.  Moving is living.  We move less, we live less.  Make sense? 

I always try to strike a balance between both motivating and inspiring you guys, but also being truthful and direct.  I don’t like to sugar coat truths because that’s not real life.  If we know and understand that we can’t avoid pain, then we have a choice to make, which is to move or not to move. 

I hope you guys can wrap your brain around the truth of how important it is to carve out time to move and take care of your mind and your body.  In order to live our very best and fulfill out life’s potential, we need to have mobility, flexibility, a strong heart, muscles, ligaments, and bones.  This doesn’t just happen!  We need to be proactive in our fitness, not reactive. 

If you’ve been feeling a little too comfortable lately and have veered off the fitness track, I strongly encourage you to refocus your goals and how you want to look and feel!  Try to picture your life down the road a few years and in pain from not moving.  Yuck!  You are worth the effort and so are the people you love and care about!

I look forward to seeing you in training or classes this week so we can move and live vibrantly together!  Reach out to a friend this week who might need some encouragement to get moving again!  We all get stuck from time to time, so maybe what they need is a caring friend to reach out 🙂


See you soon,




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MMB – Routine is Back in the Air!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and had the opportunity to get out and move!  Did anyone try the work out posted on last week’s blog?  I’d love to hear how it went for you!  I had a wonderful weekend away with my family enjoying the Arnold area.  It was really good to unplug for a few days before the busyness of school and sports kicks back in! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core on Tuesday at Jen’s Studio:  It’s time for our mid-week work out!  If you’d like to join in class tomorrow, please text or e-mail me.  I have room for one more at 6:55pm, but have a few openings at 5:45pm and 7:35pm.  My cel is 925-699-7725  See you tomorrow night!


  1. Cardio Fusion is CX this Thursday.  This is my last summer hoorah with the boys and we are going to the Beach Boardwalk for the afternoon/evening for their birthdays.  However, if any of you would be interested in a Cardio Fusion class at my home studio, I could offer a small group class at 7:00am?  This would be open for both 30 minute and 60 minute clients.  Please let me know if you have interest and I’d be happy to train you guys on Thursday morning.


  1. Next Running Boot Camp is this Sunday, August 19th at 7am!  Come join in the running fun and get some strength and core drills in too!  Please let me know if you’d like to join us. 


One of the Cardio Core Crew’s on Tuesday Night!


Thought for the week:  Routine is Back in the Air!

While there might be some moaning and groaning in your house because your kids have to go back to school, it’s actually a really good thing for everyone.  Summer is both wonderful and awful all at the same time.  Let me explain myself.  Summer is wonderful because there’s a more relaxed pace without the same sense of urgency in the school year.  There’s the opportunity to stay up later, sleep in, hang out with friends more, and eat yummy treats like popsicles, ice cream, and backyard bbq treats!  Here’s the awful part – because we don’t have the same routine with a greater sense of urgency to get things accomplished, we start to slack off on our health and wellness goals.  Tell me I’m wrong?!  I’ve heard from many of you as you’ve come back from vacation say, “Oh gosh Jen, I SO need this work out!”  Well my friends, you are in good company because many of you are experiencing the same feelings. 

The good news is that now that the kids are back in school, you are ALL kind of back in school – if that makes sense.  When the whole family is back in routine and  order, it’s a trickle down effect and everyone benefits from the sense of purpose and urgency that goes into every day.  Before summer, if you used to work out at night or run on the weekends and those things have gone astray, fear not!  It is time to rise up, get your phone calendar out, and plug those fitness appointments back into your life and commitment.  You will find that you are not alone and you’ll feel encouraged reconnecting with fitness friends, who are in the same boat, and want to jump start their fitness and nutrition commitments again! 

Also, please…please..don’t beat yourself up.  If you’ve put on a few pounds and are off track, don’t punish yourself with a bunch of negative.  Today is a new day and you can decide to change at any given moment.  Make today that moment!  Recommit to self care and carving out time for work outs and clean eating.  You want to look and feel your best right?  You need energy to take on all of your responsibilities and projects right?  O.k. then, focus on those things and just DO the work outs!  You’ll feel so much better about yourself and will tap back into that momentum that will catapult you to the next level!  Let’s do this things together friends! 

See you in class soon!


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MMB – Navigating Through the Waters of Summer

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope your August is off to a great start!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  There are some new faces in the crowd too, so keep spreading the “Jen Allan Fitness” love out there!  Please take a couple of minutes to ready announcements about upcoming class changes.

Announcements and Reminders:

Another Season of Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club comes to a close!  Thanks again to everyone who was able to make it out to my Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club classes throughout the summer!  I thoroughly enjoyed spending Monday mornings with you guys and hope the kids had fun too! Let’s do it again next summer!



  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday Night:  If you haven’t tried my Cardio Core classes on Tuesday night, I encourage you to come and check them out!  I offer three classes – 5:45pm to 6:45pm is my one hour class ideal for intermediate to advanced exercisers.  I have two thirty minute classes, one at 6:55pm and 7:35pm, and these classes are ideal for beginners to intermediates.  This is small group training at my home studio and emphasizes a variety of core, balance, and whole body strength training.  Of course, there are plenty of cardio bursts to enjoy along the way too!  Classes can be modified for low impact or ramped up to high impact, depending on your fitness level.  These classes are by sign up, so please let me know if you’d like to come out and join us tomorrow night! 


  1. No Boot Camp this Saturday, BUT……there will be Boot Camp on Friday morning at 8:30am at my home studio!  Class will be from 8:30am to 9:30am.  If you would prefer a 30 minute class, please try to come at 8:30am to warm up with the group.  Work hard, have fun, and then you can stretch at 9:00am! Let’s kick off our Friday right as we head into the weekend with a good dose of Boot Camp fun!


  1. NO Cardio Fusion on Thursday, August 16th! 


  1. Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, August 19th at 7am!  Mark your calendar for an awesome morning of running drills, strength and core!  Beginners are welcomed!


Thought for the week:  Navigating Through the Waters of Summer!

Can you smell change in the air?  Back to school is right around the corner and most kids are starting back up next Monday.  It’s always hard saying good-bye to the summer routine because it’s filled with late nights, movies, beach time, vacations, yummy bbq’s, swimming with friends, and a sense of leisure and freedom in how you spend your time.  As much as we all love and appreciate the break from our normal routines, it’s probably a good thing that summer will be coming to a close.  What have you noticed about your fitness routine and nutrition these past several weeks?  One of my dear clients told me this morning that “when you play, you pay!”  I think that is so true and YES, we need to play and YES, we  need to be off the leash every now and then.  It’s healthy and good for us to enjoy vacation time and a changed up routine from the normal grind.  However….it’s my job as your trainer and friend to remind you that play time is almost over!  I know, I know, it’s not what you want to hear.  I hear some rumblings out there like this….”Ah gee mom, I don’t want to go back to school!”  This one too – “Ah gee Jen, I don’t want to go back to my work out routine and eat salad every day.”  LOL! 

Well friends, I get it.  However, every day can’t be a party!  Off the leash is fun for a little while, but then it catches up to us and we need to reign things back in.  You want to feel good right?  You want to feel energized and not sluggish or bogged down from heavy food laced with sodium, saturated fats, and refined carbs!  If you are coming off from vacation right now, I encourage you to get refocused on your goals and enter your work out routines into your calendar and head to the store and stock up on fresh veggies, fruits, and clean foods that will nourish your body and energize you.

If you’ve enjoyed yourself with a few cocktails, then it’s time for your lemon detox water!  Do your liver, kidneys, and colon a favor by having a “reset” in your body and flush out the toxins.  Drink lots of water throughout the day too! 

I know it’s hard getting back into routine and clean nutrition and the first few work outs back will be tough, but think about how you want to feel and what it takes to be healthy and fight against disease?  Focus on the people in your life who need you to be healthy?  They are worth fighting for and so are you friends!


A Work Out For You!  If you aren’t able to make Boot Camp this Friday morning at 8:30am, give this Boot Camp Work Out a try!


Challenge for Saturday, August 11th

Equipment needed:  a medium and heavy set of dumb bells and a watch to time yourself.  Set of cones or markers.  You’ll also need a place to jog and run, so your street or park would be ideal. Set up everything before hand so you are ready to go!

5 Minute Warm-up:  If needed, foam roll tight areas first, especially calves, hips, and glutes.  Do dynamic stretches for 5 minutes:  rotations, straight leg kicks, runner’s stretches, lateral reaches, back stretches, inch worms, and 1 set of 20 push-ups.

Circuit #1:   

Jump ropes for 30 sec, plank hold for 30 sec.  Power Jacks for 30 sec., 20 push-ups.

Squat w/dumb bell OH presses – 20 x’s, then do a 30 sec. jog, 20 sec. run, & 10 sec. sprint for 4 rounds (on street or at park)

Repeat squats & OH presses 20x’s.

Repeat 30,20,10 in street.

Circuit #2:   

Grab heavy dumb bells and do alternating lunges 20x’s.  (You can use a Bosu or curb if you would like to add challenge) Then, hold lunge position and bend over with a flat back, do posterior delt flys with dumb bells 10x’s on each leg. 

Set up cones in street about 50-60 feet apart and do:  high knees and kick butts 2x’s, lateral shuffles 2x’s, cariocas 2x’s, and gorilla runs 2x’s.

Repeat alternating lunges and posterior delt flys. 

Repeat Cardio Circuit.

Circuit #3:

Grab medium dumb bells and do single leg balance with dumb bell front raises, 10x’s on each side = 20 reps.

Do 40 sec. squats w/ 20 sec. rest, then 30 sec. fast squats w/15 sec. rest, then 20 sec. of power squat jumps w/10 sec. rest. 

Grab medium dumb bells and do lateral lunges with dumb bell front raises 20x’s.

Repeat 40 sec. squats, 30 sec. fast squats, and 20 sec. power squat jump sequence.

Circuit #4:

Grab heavy dumb bells and do sumo squats w/bicep curls 20x’s

Do 4 jog sprints in the street about 100 feet in distance. 

Repeat sumo squats and bicep curls.

Repeat jog sprints.

Circuit #5:

Place dumb bells on the ground and do tri-cep push-ups 20x’s

Then do tri-cep push-ups and add burpee jump ups 20x’s

Between cones, do 2 lateral shuffles then squat thrust, then 2 lateral shuffles and squat thrusts.  Keep going back and forth between cones for 1 minute.

Repeat tri-cep  push-ups and burpee sequence.

Repeat lateral shuffles and squat thrusts for 1 minute.

Cool down with static stretches:  calve stretches, hip flexor stretches, quad stretches, back stretches and foam rolling if needed.


Note:  For a shorter work out, skip the repeats and it should take about 20-25 minutes.  Add the repeats and it should take about 40-45 minutes.

For a less intense work that is low impact, skip the jumping, burpees, and sprinting. 

Make sure to eat a small something about 30 minutes before this work out and stay hydrated throughout work out.

If you are feeling nauseated, dizzy, or light headed, please stop and rest.

Have fun guys and let me know how you did!



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MMB – 10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Good morning everyone!

I hope you had an awesome weekend and are enjoying your summer with your family and friends.  I know many of you are on vacation, so make the most of it and enjoy every minute!  Try to get out and move as much as possible so you can better manage those extra “vacation” calories that might sneak in!  You’ll feel better when you return back to your routine if you have stayed active during your vacation and focus on eating fruits and vegetables!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Today is the last Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club!  Come out and join us at 9:30am or 10:00am!  It’s been a blast this summer and a huge thank you to all of the moms and kids who have made it out this summer.  I have thoroughly enjoyed kicking off our Monday mornings together by having fun moving and grooving!
  2. Cardio Core Tuesday night at Jen’s Studio – Please let me know if you’d like to sign up for a 5:45pm, 6:55pm, or 7:35pm class!  Let’s get our mid-week work out in together and keep momentum going!
  3. Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, August 19th at 7am!  Come out and join me for some running drills combined with whole body strength and core!  For beginners and intermediates!

Thought for the week:  10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Every day we have fork in the road moments to either choose a path to increase our health or decrease our health.  All of us our created uniquely with our body type and composition.  Some of us have a slower metabolism and some a higher one.  However, there are things we can all do to help increase our resting metabolic rate, which is the  number of calories we burn while resting.  If you have a minute, check out this article I found with some great tips on how to increase your metabolism. These ideas will give you plenty of fork in the road choices that you can choose throughout the day.  Many of you are already doing these things, but perhaps there are a few areas you can increase?  Take a look and see what you can improve upon.

10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism (Backed by Science)

Sourced from Healthline – written by Helen West, RD


Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.

These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning.

However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn.

The higher it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off.

Having a high metabolism can also give you energy and make you feel better.

Here are 10 easy ways to increase your metabolism.

1. Eat Plenty of Protein at Every Meal

Eating food can increase your metabolism for a few hours.

This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

Protein causes the largest rise in TEF. It increases your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats (1).

Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

One small study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet (9).

Eating more protein can also reduce the drop in metabolism often associated with losing fat. This is because it reduces muscle loss, which is a common side effect of dieting (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

Summary Eating more protein can boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories. It can also help you eat less.
2. Drink More Cold Water

People who drink water instead of sugary drinks are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off (16, 17, 18, 19, 20).

This is because sugary drinks contain calories, so replacing them with water automatically reduces your calorie intake.

However, drinking water may also temporarily speed up your metabolism (18, 21).

Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10–30% for about an hour (22, 23).

This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature (21, 24).

Water can also help fill you up. Studies show that drinking water a half an hour before you eat can help you eat less (25, 26, 27).

One study of overweight adults found that those who drank half a liter of water before their meals lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t (19).

Summary Water can help you lose weight and keep it off. It increases your metabolism and helps fill you up before meals.
3. Do a High-Intensity Workout

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves quick and very intense bursts of activity.

It can help you burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate, even after your workout has finished (28, 29, 30, 31).

This effect is believed to be greater for HIIT than for other types of exercise. What’s more, HIIT has also been shown to help you burn fat (32, 33, 34).

One study in overweight young men found that 12 weeks of high-intensity exercise reduced fat mass by 4.4 pounds (2 kg) and belly fat by 17% (35).

Summary Mixing up your exercise routine, and adding in a few high-intensity workouts, can boost your metabolism and help you burn fat.
4. Lift Heavy Things

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, and building muscle can help increase your metabolism (36, 37, 38, 39).

This means you will burn more calories each day, even at rest (40).

Lifting weights will also help you retain muscle and combat the drop in metabolism that can occur during weight loss (41, 42, 43, 44).

In one study, 48 overweight women were placed on a diet of 800 calories per day, along with either no exercise, aerobic exercise or resistance training (45).

After the diet, the women who did the resistance training maintained their muscle mass, metabolism and strength. The others lost weight, but also lost muscle mass and experienced a decrease in metabolism (45).

Summary Lifting weights is important for building and retaining muscle. Higher amounts of muscle will result in a higher metabolism.
5. Stand up More

Sitting too much is bad for your health (46).

Some health commentators have even dubbed it “the new smoking.” This is partly because long periods of sitting burn fewer calories and can lead to weight gain (47).

In fact, compared to sitting, an afternoon of standing up at work can burn an extra 174 calories (48).

If you have a desk job, try standing up for short periods to break up the length of time you spend sitting down. You can also invest in a standing desk (49, 50, 51, 52).

Summary Sitting for a long time burns few calories and is bad for your health. Try to stand up regularly or invest in a standing desk.
6. Drink Green Tea or Oolong Tea

Green tea and oolong tea have been shown to increase metabolism by 4–5% (53, 54, 55).

These teas help convert some of the fat stored in your body into free fatty acids, which may increase fat burning by 10–17% (56).

As they are low in calories, drinking these teas may be good for both weight loss and weight maintenance (57, 58, 59).

It’s thought their metabolism-boosting properties may help prevent the dreaded weight loss plateau that occurs due to a decrease in metabolism.

However, some studies find that these teas do not affect metabolism. Therefore, their effect may be small or only apply to some people (60, 61).

Summary Drinking green tea or oolong tea may increase your metabolism. These teas may also help you lose weight and keep it off.
7. Eat Spicy Foods

Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can boost your metabolism (62, 63, 64).

However, many people can’t tolerate these spices at the doses required to have a significant effect (65).

One study of capsaicin, at acceptable doses, predicted that eating peppers would burn around 10 additional calories per meal. Over 6.5 years, this could account for 1 pound (0.5 kg) of weight loss for an average-weight male (66).

Alone, the effects of adding spices to your food may be quite small. However, it may lead to a slight advantage when combined with other metabolism-boosting strategies (67).

Summary Eating spicy food could be beneficial for boosting your metabolism and help you maintain a healthy weight.
8. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Lack of sleep is linked to a major increase in the risk of obesity (68, 69).

This may partly be caused by the negative effects of sleep deprivation on metabolism (70).

Lack of sleep has also been linked to increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which are both linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (70, 71, 72, 73).

It’s also been shown to boost the hunger hormone ghrelin and decrease the fullness hormone leptin (74, 75, 76).

This could explain why many people who are sleep-deprived feel hungry and struggle to lose weight.

Summary Lack of sleep can decrease the number of calories you burn, change the way you process sugar and disrupt your appetite-regulating hormones.
9. Drink Coffee

Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3–11%. Like green tea, it also promotes fat burning (77, 78, 79).

However, this seems to affect lean people more. In one study, coffee increased fat burning by 29% for lean women, but only 10% for obese women (80).

Coffee’s effects on metabolism and fat burning may also contribute to successful weight loss and maintenance (77, 81).

Summary Drinking coffee can significantly increase your metabolism and help you lose weight.
10. Replace Cooking Fats With Coconut Oil

Unlike other saturated fats, coconut oil is relatively high in medium-chain fats.

Medium-chain fats can increase your metabolism more than the long-chain fats found in foods like butter (82, 83, 84, 85, 86).

In one study, researchers found that medium-chain fats increased metabolism by 12% compared to long-chain fats, which raised it by just 4% (87).

Due to the unique fatty acid profile of coconut oil, replacing some of your other cooking fats with it may have modest benefits for weight loss (88, 89).

Summary Replacing other cooking fats with coconut oil may help boost your metabolism slightly.
The Bottom Line

Making small lifestyle changes and incorporating these tips into your routine can increase your metabolism.

Having a higher metabolism can help you lose weight and keep it off, while also giving you more energy.

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MMB – Thanks to an Amazing Group of People!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had an awesome weekend and found time to move and eat nutrient dense and delicious food!  I know many of you are on vacation right now, so I hope you are enjoying your time away with your family and friends.  I know vacation time can be tough to stay consistent with work outs, but think creatively in how you can weave in movement.  Think about opportunities for biking, hiking, and running on the beach as examples.  Try to choose your treats wisely and don’t get into the habit of eating sweat treats in the morning or at lunch.  Load up on the good stuff and move every day to earn your treats!  I’ve heard from a few of you who are away on vacation right now and there is definitely a theme among you to get back to normal routine and clean eating! LOL!  I totally get it.  Vacation is wonderful but hard too!  For that matter, the same can be said about summer – it’s wonderful and hard!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Last two Kid Fits and Moms’ Fit Club are this morning and next Monday, July 30th!  Come out and celebrate summer by getting you and your kids to move and have fun!  Come join us at 9:30am for Kid Fit or 10:00am for Moms’ Fit Club!  Creekside Park in Pleasanton 5601 W. Las Positas Blvd.

Thought for the week:  Thanks to an Amazing Group of People! (More Photos Below!)


This past Saturday was my 9th business bbq celebration at my house.  A huge thank you to everyone who was able to make it out and join in the fun!  Thank you for bringing all of your delicious dishes to share and enjoy!  It was wonderful meeting and visiting with all of the spouses.  After all, there are times when I see all of you more than my husband, so it was great to connect with all of you!  There’s something very unique about all of us coming together and I think it’s our collective determination and commitment to strive towards optimal health.  I’m so proud of all of you for putting the hard work in week after week. 

Yes, there are ups and downs and times throughout the year when travel or work schedules impact our consistency or times when we are ill and need to to recover.  There are also times when we are going through a season of care taking or dealing with the loss of a loved one.  All of these things are part of the landscape of our lives and are real to deal with. 

However, if we can stay connected to one another and do the best we can to stay active during these harder times, the routine and commitment will ramp up when the time is right to focus more on training.  If you are in a season of difficulty and are finding that it’s hard to stay consistent, give yourself space and permission to breathe.  Maybe all you have time for is a quick 5-10 minutes of some stretching and core work?  Then, if that’s what you’ve got, give it all you’ve got!  When you have more mental clarity and space to ramp things up, then go for it!

The key is to stay active and moving with commitment and consistency because that’s who you are and what you do.  To not move feels wrong.  Fall is coming, but summer is a good time to reflect.   I want to encourage you to ponder on where you are right now with your fitness and nutrition goals.  Do you need to tweak some things?  Are you off track?  Use this time to imagine the kind of life that you want to live and how you want to look and feel.  Grab hold of those images and keep them present in your mind.  Then, I encourage you to be proactive and not reactive.  Take the action steps that will lead you to your goals so you can live optimally and fully.  I can guarantee you that exercising on a regular basis and eating clean, nutrient dense foods will help you get to where you want to go.

Together we can do great things.

Love ya!


Check out more photos from the BBQ!!


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MMB – An Awesome Veggie Burger a Carnivore will Love!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are enjoying your summer to its fullest potential!  Are you enjoying the beautiful and bright mornings?  Are you eating lots of summer fruits and veggies?  Make the most of the season and focus on thankfulness and your blessings!  Great job to everyone who has been staying consistent by coming to classes this past week!  I know summer is filled with all kinds of distractions that are different from the rest of the year, so any time you can carve out for work outs is awesome! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Kid  Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is happening now!  Join us at 9:30am for Kid Fit and 10:00am for Moms’ Fit Club at Creekside Park in Pleasanton – 5601  W. Las Positas Blvd.  Let’s kick off our summer Mondays with fitness to start our week right.  Kid Fit is ideally for 1st through 6th grade.  If you have teens or dads, invite them along to try out the Moms’ Fit Club for a killer work out! Workouts will be scaled up, or scaled down for your fitness level!  Last class will be on Monday, July 30th.  Text me if you have questions or want to join.  925-699-7725.
  2. Moms’ Fit Club 2018

    Summer Kid Fit 2018

    3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, July 22ndat 7am.  Run a 5k distance combined with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!

    4)  Jen’s 9th Business Celebration BBQ is happening this Saturday!  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since Jen Allan Fitness launched!  Please mark Saturday, July 21st on your calendar for my 9th business celebration!  Time – 5:30pm to 8:30pmish.  Jen’s house!  See me for details!


Thought for the week:  An awesome veggie burger a carnivore will love!

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I’ve mentioned quite a few times that my son Ryan is a carnivore and loves all things meat related.  The more meat…the better.  And, knowing me like you do, you realize that there is going to be conflict in my home given the fact that we are an 80% vegetarian household!!  Truth be told – we had a small steak on Saturday night as a special celebration because my family has been away from each other for about two weeks due to camps and activities.  Needless to say, Ryan was very happy on Saturday night!  However, Sunday night was back to veggie eating, but I still wanted to capture the enjoyment of a treat food on a beautiful night.  So, I tweaked my veggie burger recipe and my son Ryan was thrilled!  I’d love to share with you the exact recipe so you can try this for your family.  It was a huge thumbs up from the whole family!


Mama Jen’s Veggie Burgers


2 cans of low sodium black beans drained and rinsed

2 cups of chopped Crimini mushrooms

1 medium yellow onion chopped fine

2 garlic cloves

1 egg

1/4 cup of ground almonds

1/8 cup of tomato sauce

1 T of oregano

1 T of basil

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

coconut oil

Burger condiments of choice & bun is optional



Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium size bowl, smash black beans with your fork until beans form a paste.  Add in all other ingredients and mix with your fork until combined.  Mixture should be moist but able to hold together.  Prepare baking sheet with a little coconut oil and rub over pan.  Take a handful of mixture and press into your hands just as you would do with beef patties.  Patties should be the size of your palm.  Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. 

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MMB – Monday is the most important day to work out!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and are enjoying your summer!  How’s it going for all of you out there?  How are your work outs coming along?  What about clean eating?  In regard to nutrition, summer can be a challenging season because of all of the bbq gatherings we attend.  It’s super easy to take in a ton of calories at a bbq, especially the wrong kind of calories such as saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, food with high sodium and sugar!  If you are walking into your Monday feeling sluggish because of the food you ate over the weekend, it’s time to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Do you remember the lemon detox water with lemon, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and cayenne?  Yup, that’s the one!  I would encourage you down a big glass of this and help your digestive system calm down and reduce inflammation.  I know, it tastes kind of nasty, but do it anyone because it’s super good for you! LOL!  I’m not teaching this coming Thursday and Saturday because I’ll be away with the boy scout troop that my son belongs to.  If you scroll all the way down, I’ve written up a work out that you can use for Thursday night’s Cardio Fusion.  If you add in intervals of running, then you can also have a boot camp option for Saturday as well!  Be creative and mix things up!  If you are sweating up a storm and your muscles are bulging by the end, then you know you worked it hard!  You can do it!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Kid  Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is happening now!  Join us at 9:30am for Kid Fit and 10:00am for Moms’ Fit Club at Creekside Park in Pleasanton – 5601  W. Las Positas Blvd.  Let’s kick off our summer Mondays with fitness to start our week right.  Kid Fit is ideally for 1st through 6th grade.  If you have teens or dads, invite them along to try out the Moms’ Fit Club for a killer work out! Workouts will be scaled up, or scaled down for your fitness level!  Last class will be on Monday, July 30th.  Text me if you have questions or want to join.  925-699-7725.
  2. Moms’ Fit Club 2018

    Summer Kid Fit 2018

    3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, July 22ndat 7am.  Run a 5k distance combined with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!

    4)  Jen’s 9th Business Celebration BBQ!  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since Jen Allan Fitness launched!  Please mark Saturday, July 21st on your calendar for my 9th business celebration!  Time – 5:30pm to 8:30pmish.  Jen’s house!  See me for details!

    6)  NOTE:  There will be NO Cardio Fusion on Thursday, July 12th or Boot Camp on Saturday, July 14th. 


Thought for the week:  Monday morning is the most important work out day.

I was thinking about why Monday is the most important work out day of the week, and I think it’s because it sets the tone for the rest of the week.  Usually, most of us take in more calories and bigger eating over the weekend, so kicking off our Monday with a good work out is the best way to jump start your metabolism and get things going in your body.  But more importantly, I think the mental aspect is just as powerful because a good work out gets your thinking straight about your goals and how you want to live and feel.  When we carve out time for a work out on Monday morning, we are proving to ourselves that we CAN be disciplined and CAN overcome those feelings of not wanting to move.  It’s true that there are always more important things that come up that prevent us from moving and that will continue to be the case.  So, how will you fight off those distractions and carve out time for your work out?   I have a few ideas for you:

  1.  Make the decision on Sunday night that you will move on Monday.  If this thought does not enter your mind at all, you will be more likely to blow it off on Monday due to all of those distractions that crop up.  Set your alarm for an earlier time and set out your work out clothes.  If you are more of an afternoon/evening work out person, make sure you enter into your calendar your planned work out so that you are committing to it and have it scheduled in your calendar.
  2. Tell someone you know or love what your intentions are.  Don’t keep your workout goals a secret.  When we share them, we own them.  There’s something powerful that happens when we vocalize our goals.  We can’t hide anymore if we’ve shared with someone what our intentions are because we don’t want to seem like a slug or a quitter right? LOL!
  3. Commitment and consistency are a powerful combination.  When we create a pattern and routine in our life, we are more bound to those actions because they become part of our woven fabric of who we are.  Also, when we have laid down a pattern, it’s much harder to break it and when we do, we feel like there’s something wrong.  This drive is what keeps us going with commitment and consistency. 
  4. If you are off track, get on track.  Readjust your thinking and attitude and focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t do.  If it’s been a while since you’ve been consistent with your work outs, don’t aim for the killer 60 minute session.  Try 20 or 30 minutes instead and get your mojo back before you start adding in increased time and intensity.  Don’t worry, those things will come again but you need to own it first and that means making it part of your mental and physical routine with commitment and consistency.
  5. If you need a jump start to help you get on track, then please reach out!  I’m here for you guys and you might need some one on one attention in a few personal training sessions.  That’s o.k. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure or aren’t capable.  Sometimes we get off track and we need some help to be reminded of why we are fighting!

See you in class on Tuesday only this week!  I am gone Thursday through Saturday!

Here is a work out you guys can use for Thursday’s Cardio Fusion.  You’ll need a medicine ball or dumb bell.  Don’t forget the tunes!  Pick something that will inspire you!

Cardio Fusion Work Out. 

  1.  5 minute “Jen” warm up with dynamic stretches.
  2. Do 30 med ball swings, then 30 lateral lunges and circular rotation over your head.  Do 20 med ball push-up passes.
  3. Do 20 Jacks, then 20 Jack Squats, then 20 Jack Burpees.
  4. Repeat #2.
  5. Do 20 Burpees, then 20 Burpee/push-ups.
  6. Do 20 single leg balance med ball rows, then switch and do other side.  Hold a chair pose with ball for 20-30 seconds.
  7. Do mountain climbers for 30 seconds, followed by plank jacks for 30 seconds.  Do 20 push-ups.
  8. Repeat #6.
  9. Do cardio circuit for 2 minutes:  high knees/butt kicks, lateral shuffles, cariocas
  10. Do sumo squats and bicep med ball pulses 10 reps on each side – two times through.  Do 20 tricep med ball push-ups.
  11. Do 20 med ball burpees then hold med ball plank for 30 seconds.  Repeat.
  12. Repeat #10.
  13. Core work:  Do Floor bridge hold for 30 seconds, side planks for 30 seconds, Iron man hold for 30 seconds, single leg balance hold for 30 seconds.
  14. Static stretches for 5 minutes.

Done.  Good job!!!



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MMB – Jump Start Monday

Hi Everyone,

Happy 4th of July week!  It’s hard to believe it’s already July!  Where has the time gone?  How are you guys feeling out there?  How’s clean eating going?  Are you working out on a regular basis?  If you are finding that you’ve slipped in these areas, you are not alone!  There’s something about summer that puts us in a “chill” mode and we operate in a much more relaxed mode.  Don’t get me wrong, we all need down time, but do we need 8 weeks of downtime?  If you are behind in your work outs or haven’t been eating as clean as you know you should, let’s have a jump start Monday and get realigned with our goals! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Kid  Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is happening now!  Join us at 9:30am for Kid Fit and 10:00am for Moms’ Fit Club at Creekside Park in Pleasanton – 5601  W. Las Positas Blvd.  Let’s kick off our summer Mondays with fitness to start our week right.  Kid Fit is ideally for 1st through 6th grade.  If you have teens or dads, invite them along to try out the Moms’ Fit Club for a killer work out! Workouts will be scaled up, or scaled down for your fitness level!  Text me if you have questions or want to join.  925-699-7725.
  2. Moms’ Fit Club 2018

    Summer Kid Fit 2018

    3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, July 22ndat 7am.  Run a 5k distance combined with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!

    4)  Jen’s 9th Business Celebration BBQ!  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since Jen Allan Fitness launched!  Please mark Saturday, July 21st on your calendar for my 9th business celebration!  Time – 5:30pm to 8:30pmish.  Jen’s house!  See me for details!

    6)  NOTE:  There will be NO Cardio Fusion on Thursday, July 12th or Boot Camp on Saturday, July 14th. 


Thought for the week:  Monday Jump Start

If you are walking into this Monday morning and are feeling like you are in a funk, don’t panic!  We all have ups and downs, distractions and disappointments, but the good news is that we can have a reset!  The best day of the week to have a reset is Monday because I believe that Monday sets the tone for the entire week.  If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, don’t decide that today is the day where you are going to give yourself a killer one hour work out!  How about a 20-30 minute work out instead?  Your tissue will be happy that you gave great effort in 20-30 minutes.  Remember, our connective tissue needs ramp up time and if you haven’t been working out with intensity lately, you’ve got to ease back in when starting up again.  So, have a mindset for a reset and don’t kill yourself getting back into it. 

Once you’ve had a couple of weeks under your belt where you’ve been consistent with 30 minute work outs, then you can start increasing FIT – frequency, intensity, and time.  With every work out that you complete, you increase your positive thinking, confidence, and practice the skill of not quitting!  The other factor that’s important is to share your success with someone in your life.  If you just finished a difficult work out, share that with someone you care about or a fellow work out buddy.  Fitness buddies are so important!  I can’t imagine going through my fitness life without buddies to share it with!  Who else would get why we do what we do?  I mean honestly, most people think we are kind of nuts for carving out so much time to exercise and green things like green juice! 

We need each other people!  So, if you are in a funk this morning, find your way to your running shoes and fitness clothes, and put them on!  Do what you can do in the moment you’ve been given.  Don’t think about yesterday and don’t think about tomorrow.  Own today and give it your best shot.  After all, you are worth the reset! 

See you in class soon!



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MMB – Not Quitting is a Skill

Good afternoon everyone!

I hope your summer is off to a great start!  My summer Monday routine is a bit more packed than the rest of the year.  I have early morning training, followed by prep and teaching Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club, and now I have kids over at the house for a swim play date (they are eating lunch at the moment).  So, I hope you’ll understand why my blogs are coming out later 🙂

So, how’s your summer going so far?  How is your work out routine going?  I hope you guys are able to push through the crazy schedules that summer can offer and stay consistent with your work outs and eating clean!  Are you guys logging your greens and veggies?  I had posted this challenge for the month of June and would love to hear how it’s going for you guys.  Next Saturday, I’m holding a recipe contest after the 2nd boot camp.  Please bring your favorite seasonal veggie or greens dish and let’s taste test for a contest!  The winner will receive a free class card.  This will also be the day to turn in your logs if you’ve been keeping track. 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Kid  Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is happening now!  Join us at 9:30am for Kid Fit and 10:00am for Moms’ Fit Club at Creekside Park in Pleasanton – 5601  W. Las Positas Blvd.  Let’s kick off our summer Mondays with fitness to start our week right.  Kid Fit is ideally for 1st through 6th grade.  If you have teens or dads, invite them along to try out the Moms’ Fit Club for a killer work out! Workouts will be scaled up, or scaled down for your fitness level!  Text me if you have questions or want to join.  925-699-7725.
  2. Moms’ Fit Club 2018

    Summer Kid Fit 2018

    3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, July 1st at 7am.  Run a 5k distance combined with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!

    4)  June Veggie Challenge!  It’s time for another veggie challenge and recipe contest!  For the month of June, log all of your veggie intake.  1 cup of greens = 1 serving.  For liquid, 8oz = 1 serving.  You can eat salad, steam veggies, roast or bbq veggies, drink green juice or eat them raw!  Make sure to log all of your servings!  On Saturday, June 30th, we’ll have another recipe contest and exchange.  Winner receives a free class card!  Start working on those veggie recipes now! 

    5)  Jen’s 9th Business Celebration BBQ!  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since Jen Allan Fitness launched!  Please mark Saturday, July 21st on your calendar for my 9th business celebration!  Time – 5:30pm to 8:30pmish.  Jen’s house!  See me for details!

    6)  NOTE:  There will be NO Cardio Fusion on Thursday, July 12th or Boot Camp on Saturday, July 14th. 

7)  Support Bernadette Calvos’ jewelry business to help women rebuild their lives!  This Saturday after boot camp, Bernadette Calvo will bring some of her sample jewelry pieces for your to check out.  Bernadette can tell you more about her business as an independent consultant and how supporting this business will help other women. 

Thought for the week:  Not Quitting is a Skill



As I push myself through my own work outs and help dozens of other people every week push through their work outs too, I’ve realized something.  Not Quitting is a skill that needs to be practiced often.  If you stop and think about the very nature of exercising, the comfort side of our brain tells us that we are nuts for wanting to push ourselves through pain and discomfort.  The common sense side of our brain tells us that exercise is an important way to stay healthy and strong.  It kind of reminds me of the movie, Inside Out,  where we have these cartoon like characters representing each of our emotions at the command center – our brain.  Can you imagine a scene where we are about to get ready for exercise and “disgust” kicks in and says, “Why on earth would you waste your time lifting weights and sweating – uggh gross.”  Then, Joy would step in and say, “Guys, this is awesome!  Jen will be strong and she’ll feel good on the inside and out!”  I also think there is a lazy emotion character that would try to convince us that laying on the couch is the best way to pass the time!  I think there needs to be a Studio C skit about this!

In any case, we have a whole host of emotions that kick in when we take time to exercise and they are mostly communicative in our head when we are at the hardest part of our work outs.  When more effort is required and you are really laboring in the exercise, this is when we are most vulnerable.  How easy is it to back off and quit?  It’s very easy!  But, what would happen if every time we were challenged to push hard we backed off and quit?  I truly believe that what we do in our fitness translates into other areas of our lives.  If we are used to practicing the skill of not quitting, we will be more successful in our relationships, such as not quitting when marriage gets tough.  What about on the job?  Are there days when we are sick of it and we want to quit?  You betcha.  I believe if you are more fit, you’ll be more fit mentally too and will endure the more challenging moments at your job or with a boss.

However, if we practice the skill of not quitting in fitness, like a muscle, we will be more conditioned to take on the hard stuff and not collapse under pressure.  You have probably heard me say before that the storms of life are forming over the sea and we aren’t sure when they are going to hit land fall.  The more fit we are, the better we are able to handle the tough stuff when it happens.  Think about it.  When we begin a boot camp class, we know that we are going to be challenged, experience some pain and discomfort, sweat a lot, and feel fatigued.  When it’s all over, how do you feel then?  Inspired?  Excited that you survived?  More confident?  You practiced the skill of not quitting and as a result, you will reap the rewards of that skill in other areas of your life.

The same can also be said of practicing the skill of quitting.  If you quit in your fitness all the time and back off when it gets hard, how will you respond in life when life gets hard?  I would argue that there is a correlation between your attitude and drive in fitness and how you handle challenging life situations.  Would you agree?

So friends, there are many reasons why I push you guys in personal training or in class.  You might think it’s only because I want to give you a good work out, but it goes deeper than that.  I hope you ponder about the skill of not quitting and realize that when I push you guys hard, I’m trying to help you build your endurance in your “not quitting” muscle that will help you in all other areas of your life.  I know this stuff is hard, but if you put the hard work in, you’ll look back over your life and realize how much better you were able to handle the difficult stuff because you didn’t quit in your fitness.


See you in class soon!




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MMB – Grab N Go Green Juice

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend and celebrated Father’s Day in one way or another.  I was sitting in church on Sunday and was listening to our worship pastor talk about Father’s Day and how good it is for us to show our appreciation for all of those fathers out there and to thank them for all they do for their families. 

However, I was also happy to hear him address those people in the audience, who may be hurting on Father’s Day, because Father’s Day is not always joy filled for all people.  Maybe you are one of those people, who had a less than exemplary father, or are mourning the loss of your father because he passed when you were young? Or maybe you are estranged from your father and are longing for a closer relationship?

The good news is that there is a God, who is our heavenly father, and can heal us of our wounds, hurts, and disappointments.  If this is you today, I encourage you to give God a chance and lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross.  You might be amazed at how liberating it is to let go of pain that is hung around your neck like a ball and chain.  You know I’m a work out girl and love good nutrition, but you can exercise yourself into the ground or eat a strict vegan diet and it won’t take away the pain of broken relationships or the pain of a loved one who has passed. Ask the Lord for help and invite Him into the inner depths of your heart to be transformed from the inside out and to truly find freedom!  Give God a try.  What do you have to lose?

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Kid  Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is happening now!  Join us at 9:30am for Kid Fit and 10:00am for Moms’ Fit Club at Creekside Park in Pleasanton – 5601  W. Las Positas Blvd.  Let’s kick off our summer Mondays with fitness to start our week right.  Kid Fit is ideally for 1st through 6th grade.  If you have teens or dads, invite them along to try out the Moms’ Fit Club for a killer work out! Workouts will be scaled up, or scaled down for your fitness level!  Text me if you have questions or want to join.  925-699-7725.
  2. Moms’ Fit Club 2018

    Summer Kid Fit 2018

    3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, July 1st at 7am.  Run a 5k distance combined with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!

    4)  June Veggie Challenge!  It’s time for another veggie challenge and recipe contest!  For the month of June, log all of your veggie intake.  1 cup of greens = 1 serving.  For liquid, 8oz = 1 serving.  You can eat salad, steam veggies, roast or bbq veggies, drink green juice or eat them raw!  Make sure to log all of your servings!  On Saturday, June 30th, we’ll have another recipe contest and exchange.  Winner receives a free class card!  Start working on those veggie recipes now! 

    5)  Jen’s 9th Business Celebration BBQ!  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since Jen Allan Fitness launched!  Please mark Saturday, July 21st on your calendar for my 9th business celebration!  Time – 5:30pm to 8:30pmish.  Jen’s house!  See me for details!

    6)  NOTE:  There will be NO Cardio Fusion on Thursday, July 12th or Boot Camp on Saturday, July 14th. 

Thought for the week:  Grab N Go Green Juice

Juicing can be a pain in the butt.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely fantastic and just about the best thing you can put into your body.  However, it takes a ton of produce, can be cost prohibitive, takes time, and is very messy.  If you find that you are skipping out on drinking green juice because of any of those reasons, don’t despair!  There are other ways to drink green juice that are more convenient and will still allow you to gain the benefits of juicing!

I was at Costco over the weekend and was very pleased to see that Suja is offering their Uber Greens juice for $12.99 per case with six bottles!  That’s just a little over $2 per bottle!  I’ve been buying green juice from Trader Joe’s and spending $4 per bottle, which can add up with a family of four! 

I like the fact that this recipe of green juice only has 5 grams of sugar and is 40 calories for the 10.5 fl. oz.  bottle.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the Trader Joe’s blend and $4 is actually fairly decent for the cost of a bottle of green juice.  When I was in New York, grab n go green juices were about $8.50 per bottle!  However, it’s a pretty good deal to find a 6 pack for $12.99 with a great juice blend!

So, if you can make your way out to Costco, look for the cases of Suja in the refrigerated section along with the Kombucha.  It would be a great idea to pick up both!  Be kind to your gut because it’s the only one you have!


See you in class soon!


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MMB – 1/2 the Year Check-In

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling refreshed and energized!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  I know some of you are breathing a sigh of relief as your end of year school commitments are behind you and you can enjoy an easier pace of summer!  I would encourage you to carve out some time for self care and get back on track with good nutrition, sleep, solid work outs, and taking in positive vibes! 

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MMB-Let’s Keep it Going!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  Are you enjoying the beautiful weather?!  I hope so!  This is the time of year to get outside and get moving and grooving!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  I know this is a super busy time of year with year end activities wrapping up in sports and school, so any time you can carve out for your fitness time is huge! 

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MMB – Summer is in the Air!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had an amazing Memorial Day Weekend and had a great time with your family and friends!  Great job to everyone who came out to classes this past week.  I know this is a crazy, busy time of year with year end school and sports events.  So, I know when you come out and make it to class, that you are striving towards your health and pushing through the challenges of a busy schedule.  Some of you even came out for Running Boot Camp yesterday, so bravo for Memorial Day fitness!

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MMB – Spring Fitness Challenge is Over!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend!  Great effort by everyone who attended classes this past week.  Thanks to everyone for being flexible on Tuesday and Thursday nights due to the baseball “flex” schedule LOL!  Depending on how baseball goes tonight, I’ll let you all know if Tuesday or Thursday’s classes will be altered.

The Spring Fitness Challenge for 2018 is a wrap!  I know I threw some tough timed challenge courses at you guys, but you rose to the top and pushed through physically difficult moments.  For those of you who attended on a regular basis, how do you feel now?  Do you feel stronger?  Can you tell that your stamina has improved?  As a trainer, it’s always very rewarding for me when I have the privilege to train you and can see the results.  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out on a regular basis!

For the fitness tests, here are a few of the highlights:

1 minute push-up test: 

1st place – Joanne Vieira – 69

2nd place – Ken Vieira – 55

3rd place – Dave Thompson – 44

1 minute sit up test:

1st place – Cliff Donnelly 36 on week #1 and 40 on week #6

2nd place – Kathleen Jacobs 29

3rd place – Ken Vieira & Heather Thompson 26

1 minute frog jumps:

1st place – Marcey Donnelly 29 on week #1 and 38 on week #6 (most improved)

2nd place – Joanne Vieira 55

3rd place – Ken Vieira 45


Weight & Measurement Challenge:

1st place – Christina Mantha lost 7 lbs & 1% point in body fat Wins 4 Class Card!

2nd place – Christy Stevens lost 5 lbs & 2% points in body fat & 3 inches around hips

3rd place – Cliff Donnelly lost 4 lbs 1.5% points in body fat & 1 inch lost around waist and hips


Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Memorial Day Running Boot Camp is on Monday, May 28th at 8am!  Mark your calendars now.

2) Cardio Core on Tuesday night – 5:45 (room for 3 more), 6:55 (room for 3 more), 7:35 (room for 3 more)  Please text or e-mail me if you’d like to join in.  Stay tuned if there is a class time change too due to baseball playoffs.

3) Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is starting on Monday, June 4th!  Mark your calendars for some summer fitness with you and your kids!  1st through 6th grade PE is at 9:30am to 10:00am & Moms’ Fit Club (men and teens are welcomed) is 10:00am to 10:30am!  Classes are held at Creekside Park in Pleasanton.  Bring some friends along and let’s get moving and grooving this summer! See flyer below!

Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club Flyers!

Summer Kid Fit 2018

Moms’ Fit Club 2018


See you in classes soon!




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MMB – Green Hope in New York!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope all of you mothers out there had an awesome Mother’s Day and feel celebrated and appreciated!  As many of you know, I was away this weekend in New York City, so I wasn’t around to teach boot camp.  How did Saturday go for you guys?  Did anyone try the boot camp challenge from my blog?  I want to give a special shout out to Joanne and Ken Vieira because they did the entire boot camp in about 55 minutes!  Lynnda Phillbrook also gave it a shot and completed one cycle of the boot camp in about 29 minutes.  Way to go Joanne, Ken, and Lynnda!  Did anyone else try?  I’d love to hear about it!

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MMB – A “Challenge” Work Out For Home!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  This past Saturday was the 5th Spring Fitness Challenge and you guys rocked it out there!  There were eight stations that made up a killer circuit and included; monster band squat and presses, slamming med balls and oblique throws, Dynamax wall balls, burpees w/ med ball tricep push-ups, Renegade Rowing, Russian Twists and lots of running!  You guys were dripping with sweat and gave it your all by the end! 

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MMB – Kid Fit & Moms’ Fit Club!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  This past Saturday was the 4th Spring Fitness Challenge and you guys rocked it!  There were a variety of difficult stations you had to conquer including; stairs and sandbags, renegade rows w/push-ups, curls and presses, Jen Jolts (50 jacks, 40 jump ropes, 30 jump squats, 20 push-ups, and 10 mountain climbers), obstacle course w/walking planks & push-ups, leaping, jumping, agility ladder drills, and cardio drills.  Oh….and jog/sprints and lots of running!  Challenges are just that….they are challenging and meant to push and motivate you to the next level!  You guys are rocking it and I’m super proud of you!

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MMB – Why Detox?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  Have you stepped outside yet?  Oh my goodness, it’s like a summer morning out there!  After I write this blog, I’m going to head out with the boys and get some morning fitness in to kick off the day!  I hope you find time to get out and move today too!

This past Saturday was the 3rd Spring Fitness Challenge and it was all about “The 500” & “The 300”!  I bet you are wondering what those are? I’m glad you asked!  The 500 is made up of five training circuits that include 100 exercises each.  For example, a block might be 25 push-ups, 25 jump squats, 25 burpees, and 25 star jacks.  These blocks are meant to be multi-muscle group firing, which means that you are using your entire body to complete each set of exercises.  Low impact exercises are also shown so that everyone can participate at their own ability. 

Once a block has been completed, the boot camper must run for two minutes. After the run, the boot camper takes on the next block until all five blocks and five runs are completed and the boot camper has conquered The 500! 

For my 30 minute boot camps, reps are reduced to 15 per exercise so that the format can fit within a 30-minute boot camp and thus, The 300 is the goal!  Either way, The 500 & The 300 are guaranteed to maximize your effort by building muscle, training fast twitch muscle fibers, utilizing and taxing the core, and weaving in burst training to burn calories and shed fat!  Woo hoo!  That’s exciting fitness and it’s why we gather together on Saturday mornings to kick off the weekend!  If you haven’t tried one of these formats, don’t wait any longer.  Come join us!

Here are the winners from Saturday:

7am The 500:

1st place – Christina Mantha with a 17:40.

2nd place – Joanne Vieira with a 19:52.

3rd place – Lisa Dillon with a 20:34.


8:05am The 300:

1st place – Cliff Donnelly with a 17:21

2nd place – Debbie Robison with a 17:54.

3rd place – Heather Thompson with a 18:05.


Congratulations to all of the boot campers who showed up and put the hard work in.  You are all winners in my book! 


1st place winner of The 500 – Christina Mantha!!   Way to go Christina!!


1st place winner of The 300 – Cliff Donnelly!  Way to go Cliff!!


Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Cardio Core on Tuesday at Jen’s Studio:  There are (2) spots open at 5:45pm, (3) spots open at 6:55pm, and (3) spots open at 7:35pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up for this fun filled class on a Tuesday night!

2)  Spring Fitness Challenge – We are 1/2 way through The Challenge!  If you weighed in, how are you doing with your nutrition?  You might want to weigh yourself at home and check in.  If the scale hasn’t moved, it might be time to shake something up.  How are your portion sizes?  Are you eating too much at night?  Snacking on empty calorie snacks?  Are you drinking enough water?  Think through some of these things and be honest with yourself.  I’d be happy to do a 20 minute check in with Jen to help you with this. 

3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, May 6th at 7am.  Mark your calendars for another Running Boot Camp!  Class is 60 minutes and starts from my house.  Drop in cost is $15.

4)  Cardio Fusion is at VBC this week.  Bring your kettle bells!


Thought for the week:  Why detox?

Many of us have heard of detoxing, but why should we do it and how should we do it?  This list from might help:

1. Remove toxins from the body.

Long-term exposure to toxins (environmental pollutants, cancer-causing chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial waste) affects our metabolism, behavior, immune system, and leads to disease. They are stored in tissues and cells throughout the body, including the brain, often for years – yikes!

2. Prevent chronic disease.

Environmental toxins are responsible for many cancers, neurological diseases, heart disease, strokes… you name it. Our bodies do have a built-in detox function to deal with these dangers, but those systems are constantly overloaded! Detoxing assists and improves what our bodies are trying to do naturally.

3. Enhance immune system function.

A compromised immune system makes us vulnerable to colds and flus, affecting our quality of life and productivity. Regular detoxing helps strengthen immune system functioning and fights off infection.

4. Lose weight.

Toxins affect the body’s natural ability to burn fat, leading to weight gain. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure are directly linked to weight issues. Detoxing rids the body of toxins stored in fat cells and increases metabolism.

5. Slow premature aging.

Detoxing rids the body of free radicals and heavy metals partially responsible for aging. Detoxing helps to increase nutrient absorption, including antioxidants and vitamins that help fight oxidative stress.

6. Improve quality of life.

Simply put, our bodies don’t function very well when they’re loaded with toxins. We may have joint pain, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and lack of energy. Depression may be eased and memory may be improved as a result of detoxification!

7. Increase energy.

You will have more mental, physical, and emotional energy after detoxing. People tend to sleep better and need less of it.

8. Improve skin quality.

Diet and environmental toxins undeniably affect skin. Detoxing improves acne, and strengthens hair and nails, and gives us a natural, healthy glow.

9. Mental and emotional clarity.

When the body’s systems are aligned, a shift also occurs with our mental and emotional states. We can deal with more when we’re clear and grounded. We can make better decisions, analyze accurately, and see things differently.

10. Restore balance to our body’s systems.

Our digestive, nervous, and hormonal systems were designed to work together to achieve optimum health. This is what our bodies want to do! When we overload them with toxins and unhealthy foods, these systems don’t work as well as they should and we get sick.

Detoxing brings balance back and helps our systems function properly again.


So, what are some ways we can detox? 

Check out this list from  Happy detoxing!

Our bodies can become overwhelmed due to the volume of toxins exposed in its environment by way of water (fluoride and other chemicals), air (chemical trails, pollution and other toxins), food (chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients etc.), pharmaceuticals and other drugs.

True healing requires a detoxification of both the mind and the body. Below are 10 ways you can help your body detoxify naturally so it can flush out some of the everyday toxins to which it’s exposed:

1. Start the day with a glass of spring water and the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.

This helps flush out the toxins and alkalizes the body. Alternatively, you can add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of spring water. Hippocrates treated his patients with apple cider vinegar. He found it was a powerful cleansing and healing elixir, a naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria, for a healthier, stronger, and longer life.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to continue flushing out the toxins.

2. Drink a freshly made vegetable juice daily.

Include lots of greens such as kale, spinach and cilantro. I love to start my day with a juice made with apples, carrot, lemon, ginger, turmeric, beetroot, kale and cilantro. When the seasons change, some of my ingredients will also change.

3. Eliminate toxic oils from your diet.

Toxic oils can include vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and canola oil. Substitute with good oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, hemp oil and flaxseed oil. Hemp oil, for example, is a great source of omega-3s, -6s, and -9s.

4. Drink green tea and herbal teas such as dandelion, nettles etc.

These teas help the body detoxify and clear out toxins.

5. Eat more raw fruits, herbs and vegetables.

Fruit, vegetables and herbs contain enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption.

6. Minimize or eliminate white sugar intake.

Also avoid substitutes that contain toxic artificial sweeteners, and opt for natural versions such as stevia, honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, molasses, or maple syrup.

7. Minimize or eliminate white flour and white breads.

White flour is like adding glue in the body, and it overworks the digestive system. It can cause digestive disorders, and it can make it difficult to have normal bowel movements.

Substitute white flour for other flours such as spelt flour, kamut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or cornmeal. Switch from white bread to whole grain bread.

8. Take a probiotic supplement.

You can also eat foods that contain live cultures, such as cultured vegetables, Greek yogurt, or kefir. The beneficial bacteria kill harmful bacteria and yeasts and help to heal the lining of the intestines.

9. Eat legumes and less meat, fish and poultry.

Legumes are a great source of protein and the fiber in beans helps keep the bowels eliminating properly.

10. Breath deeply, walk, smile, laugh, be happy and remove toxic people out of your life.

Find the positive in every day and move your body. This will all help to reduce stress and the stress chemicals in your body.

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MMB – Do You Supinate or Pronate?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  First of all, excellent effort by everyone who attended boot camp on Saturday and Running Boot Camp on Sunday!  It was a big weekend of fitness – yahoo!  It was also the 2nd Spring Fitness Challenge and once again, you guys rose to the challenge and put in the sweat effort and gave it 110%.  I’m very proud of how hard all of you have been working and know that the seeds you are sowing into your health will produce an abundance crop of vibrant living! 

For this past Saturday, I incorporated a military style timed obstacle course that included:  sprinting, jumping, leaping, crawling, tubing resisted push-ups, burpees, & med ball slams.  Wowza!  Tough stuff!  The 60 minute crew had an additional challenge with a 90 second run after each cycle of the obstacle course was completed.  Here are the rankings:

7am crew:

1st place – Kim Mehr  – 5 1/4 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.

2nd place – Ken Vieira – 4 1/2 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.

3rd place – Joanne Vieira, Lynnda Philbrook, Kathy Schalin – 4 1/4 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.


8:05am crew:

1st place – Genis Hamilton – 6 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes. note:  This was Genis’ first time at boot camp! Awesome job!

2nd place – Heather Thompson, Christy Stevens, Kathleen Jacobs – 4 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes.

3rd place – Marcey Donnelly, Cliff Donnelly, Debbie Robison, Erin Campbell – 3 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes.


Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday – 5:45pm is full.  6:55pm (3 spots available), 7:35pm (2 spots available)  Please e-mail or text me to sign up.  See you Tuesday at my home studio!


  1. Cardio Fusion is CX for this Thursday.  I am cancelling class because I’ll be enjoying a birthday dinner out with my hubby!  The weather should be beautiful, so I encourage you to get outside and find a park to do a version of jogging/running boot camp and incorporate body weight training with squats, lunges, push-ups and bench step ups.  Think 3 minutes of cardio, and then 3 minutes of strength and core.  You can do it!  Let’s keep the momentum going!


  1. Summer Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club are around the corner!  Once again, I’ll be offering a morning fitness program at Creekside Park in Pleasanton beginning on Monday, June 4th at 9am.  Traditionally, I have taught a Kid Fit program for 1st through 5th grade.  If you have a middle schooler in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, please let me know if you would be interested in a fitness program for middle schoolers.  If there is enough interest, I will be offering a Kid Fit program for 1st through 5th, and another for 6th – 8th, and Moms’ Fit Club too!  These classes will incorporate cardio, strength, core, and lots of drills and games for the kids that will keep them engaged and exercising too!  I can’t wait to teach your kids!


  1. Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, May 6th at 7am.  Mark your calendars for the next Running Boot Camp!  Class is 60 minutes long and meets at Jen’s house.  Beginners are welcomed!


Thought for the week:  Do You Supinate or Pronate? 

Probably one of the major areas I address in personal training is the issue of supination or pronation.  It’s no fun having pain in and around your ankles, knees, or hips.  If you are suffering from in any of these areas, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your symptoms and carve out some time to foam roll, stretch, and strengthen properly to help correct the program.  Dr. Josh Axe always has a variety of helpful articles and advice in many areas of health.  He’s an avid runner and triathlete too, so he knows his stuff.  Check out this article he put together on how to identify if you supinate or pronate.  The wear patterns on your shoes will give you information about if you supinate or pronate.  It’s a long article, but I think the information is very straight foward and helpful.  Let me know your thoughts and if you need help in these areas.

See you soon!


Do You Suffer from Excess Supination? Warning Signs & Remedies for This Running Problem

Supination - Dr. Axe

Both supination and pronation are terms used to describe the rolling motion of the heels and feet during the body’s gait cycle, which takes place as we run or walk. Supination describes the rolling outward motion of the foot, therefore oversupinators don’t roll their root inward enough. Excess supination is also called “underpronation” — since supination is the opposite of pronation of the foot (rolling inward). (1) Both oversupination and overpronation put too much stress on the underneath or outside edges of the foot, often leading to leg pains.

For most adults, too little supination is usually more of a problem than too much, but oversupinating the foot can also lead to complications. Who tends to struggle with supination problems most often? Runners with high arches (the opposite of “flat feet” or collapsed arches) and tight Achilles tendons tend to be underpronators/supinators. (2)

Some of the aches and pains associated with supination abnormalities include: rolling or spraining the ankle, developing “hammertoes” (clawed toes), Achilles tendinitis, running injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome affecting the knees, along with general instability and weakness. 

The reason underpronation (or someone with excess supination) causes such an array of problems is that the muscles in the legs and feet become trained to push the foot away from the ground with mostly the outer toes/pinky toes. Considering these are generally weak areas of the feet, they tend to bear more weight and pressure than they can handle, sometimes causing scar tissue to form. Other overuse-injuries can occur, too. You can see why it’s not just the feet that are impacted by supination or related postural problems — but rather these can contribute to muscular compensations that wind up affecting the entire body. 

What Is Supination?

Supination (underpronation) is the insufficient inward rolling of the foot after landing on the ground.  Compared to those with “normal,” healthy posture of the lower body, those with oversupination roll the foot outward too much (less than 15 percent of an inward roll when landing). This causes the ankle and only a small portion of the outer toes to absorb shock when the foot hits the ground, often triggering pain in the ankle, foot and lower leg. (3)

As the body moves, in order to accept weight onto one leg and propel forward, a shift in weight must occur at the feet, knees and hips. A natural amount of supination occurs during the push-off phase when propelling forward. Supination helps the heel lift away from the ground which brings the forefoot and toes down to land in a way that moves the body. However too much supination contributes to common running injuries due to instability in the ankles. Weak ankles set the scene for postural problems, as well, like too much pressure applied to susceptible areas of the lower legs and higher risk for spraining. (4)

Supination - Dr. Axe

Preserving proper alignment through the midline of the body, all the way from the head to the toes — by keeping the feet symmetrical and rolling them properly — is crucial for learning normal weight transference which protects the whole body, including the spine.

Causes & Symptoms of Supination Problems

Some of the reasons that people develop abnormalities related to pronation, supination, dorsiflexion and other motions of the feet or legs include:

  • Genetics (genetics affect the length of the legs, width of the feet, stability of the ankles and curvature of the foot’s arches, for example)
  • Walking on flat, hard surfaces (rather than natural terrain)
  • Wearing worn-out shoes, or those that are unsupportive
  • Muscular compensations due to poor posture in the legs, sacrum and spine
  • Old injuries, including ankles sprains, stress fractures in the legs or tendon tears, which can leave scar tissue behind that causes instability
  • Poor form when running or exercising
  • Overuse, including exercising too much or standing for long periods
  • Limited range of motion and stiffness due to aging
  • Loose ligaments or loss of cartilage in the joints of the feet or ankles (such as those of the subtalar joint)
  • In some cases, leg discrepancy (legs are different lengths)
  • Weakness in the ankles or lower body from too little activity (a sedentary lifestyle)

Here are some common signs that you’re likely an over-supinator (underpronator): (5)

  • Frequent ankle sprains
  • Pain underneath the feet (in the ball of the foot) or pain often in the ankles
  • Clawed toes/hammertoes
  • Throbbing or weakness gets worse when running, walking, exercising or standing for a long time
  • Dysfunctional musculoskeletal problems in the ankles, calves, outer thighs or knees
  • Swelling in the ankle, foot or heel. Sometimes the toes are affected as well and develop calluses or bunions
  • Loss of functionality and reduced range of motion in the lower body

Supination vs. Dorsiflexion

  • Supination and dorsiflexion are terms related to motion and stability of the feet and ankles (they can sometimes also be applied to other body parts that bend back, like the hands).
  • Deviations (abnormal amounts) of ankle supination or dorsiflexion are usually used to describe form and postural problems that cause common running injuries when the foot strikes the ground. These can include injuries like: plantar fasciitis or shin splints, runner’s knee, heel spurs, and Achilles tendon pains, among others.
  • While supination describes the outward rolling motion of the foot, dorsiflexion describes the bending backward of the foot. Dorsiflexion decreases the angle between the foot and the ankle; in other words it means the toes are lifting up and away from the ground, toward the ankle/body. (6)
  • Proper dorsiflexion is also needed to bring the knees over the ankles, such as when bending over, squatting or jumping forward.
  • Abnormal dorsiflexion, or backward flexion of the foot, is a common problem related to not only running injuries but those caused during other sports/exercises. Proper mobility of the ankle is crucial for allowing the body to propel forward, especially when jumping, sprinting or running quickly.
  • Without enough ankle dorsiflexion, it’s also hard to sustain proper form when performing resistance training using the knees, such as squatting or lifting weights. The torso can’t remain vertical due to stiffness in the ankles (too little dorsiflexion), therefore you can’t keep a neutral spine. The knees can also cave in, which adds stress to the back.
  • On the other hand, too much dorsiflexion is also problematic. Stability is equally important in the ankles, because too much motion due to weakness in the muscles and joints of the feet can contribute to ankle rolling or spraining, along with symptoms of runner’s knee.

Conventional Treatments for Supination Problems (Underpronation)

If your orthopedic, physical therapist, trainer or another doctor sees signs of abnormal supination or dorsiflexion in your feet, they will likely recommend improving your form and wearing more supportive shoes with inserts. Changing your sneakers/shoes when exercising is usually the first step, which makes orthotics even more effective. 

Orthotic inserts used in sneakers or shoes consist of arch support and sometimes a lifted heel to control the rolling-forward motion of the foot. They can take pressure off the small toes, and help stabilize the ankle. This is beneficial for protecting the knees and back during movements such as running or lifting weights. Consider using orthotics if your doctor thinks they might be helpful for improving comfort during standing for long periods, for low back pain relief or for reducing heel pain. In the case that pain becomes very bad, you may also want to take an anti-inflammatory medication temporarily (such as over-the-counter ibuprofen) to decrease swelling and tissue/joint inflammation in the feet or ankles. (Of course, adding in anti-inflammatory foods and natural painkillers are options, too.)

Depending on how severe your supination problem is, your doctor might also recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy can “reteach” your muscles and joints how to distribute your weight in a healthier way, starting from your feet upward, allowing you to sustain proper form all the way through your sacrum, pelvis and spine.

5 Natural Ways to Create Proper Supination

1. Fix Your Form

Here are some tips for helping you to correct your stance, which is the groundwork for learning proper running/walking form. Proper form and posture through the spine are especially important when adding extra pressure or weight to the feet, such as when you’re lifting weights or sprinting very fast.

  • When running or walking fast, aim to lower the feet with a soft landing. Some try to image “running on eggshells” or attempting to run on water. Remain light on your feet instead of pounding the feet too hard onto the ground.
  • Focus on landing closer to your midfoot, rather than at the back of the heel. Try to land with a mostly flat foot, attempting to avoid too much curving of the toes inward or outward, or landing too much to the side of the foot).
  • Slightly increase your cadence and potentially shorten your stride to keep proper form in the feet and legs.
  • Run with upright posture through your back and stay relaxed.

2. Stretch to Loosen Tight Muscles (Including the Ankles)

Supinators should do extra stretching for the calves, hamstrings, quads, and iliotibial band (basically the whole leg). Gently stretching/mobilizing muscles in the legs helps break up adhesions and allows you to sustain proper form more easily. (7) Stretching the ankles can also improve dorsiflexion, or ankle mobility/stability. Studies have found that people with reccurent ankle sprains can benefit significantly from performing weight-bearing exercises and stretches of the ankles/low body. (8)

Many soft tissue therapists and physical therapists recommend starting any activity by massaging sore feet, loosening the ankles and stretching tight calves. And since weak, stiff ankles are often one of the major contributing factors that cause supination problems, you can also add some of these leg stretches to your regular workouts:

  • Use a foam roller on the floor, positioning your body on top so the roller is under your calves, then moving back and forth gently. You can practice the same on the back or sides of the calves too. Roll the area and hold tender spots for 30 to 60 seconds, repeating up to five times every day. This should be done right before stretching.
  • Try massaging the fascia (soft tissue) in the underpart of the feet with a tennis ball under the foot, as you roll around while applying mild pressure.
  • Get into pushup position, then walk your feet forward slightly to come onto the balls of your feet (holding an upside down “V” with your body). Lift the heels away from the ground as you balance on the balls of your feet, then lower them back down again. Repeat about 10 times, more than once a day if you’d like.
  • As you lay on your back, lift the legs in the air and flex the ankles back and forth. Or make small circles (turning toes towards your body and away). Repeat for several minutes.
  • Place your toes up against a wall, tilting the toes back towards the body. This releases the ankles and opens up the calves.
  • Use a resistance band (also known as exercise band) wrapped around the ankle to gently pump and improve ankle flexibility. (9)
  • Do basic heel raises by raising and lowering your heels and toes to the ground, then back up. Do 10 to 15 at a time. Try using a step if you’d like.
  • Sitting up on one shin, bend the opposite knee and slowly bring the knee past the ankle, rocking the knee back and forth to improve dorsiflexion.
  • Stand with straight legs and bend forward from the waist to touch the floor or shins. This helps stretch the hamstrings. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. You can also keep your legs wide apart with toes facing outward slightly to loosen the inner leg and hamstrings.

3. Strengthen The Leg Muscles For More Support

Strength-building leg exercises to help reduce muscular weakness in the ankles and calves include:

  • Squats — All types of squats require proper mobility and stability in the ankles (dorsiflexion) but also increase strength in just about every part of the legs. Try basic squats, or squatting while lifting weight overhead. Keep the tailbone tucked and core tight to protect the back.
  • Lunges — Side lunges, lunge dips or lunge twists.
  • Crab crawls — Bend your knees and bring your hands behind you, squatting down in front of your arms. Use your hands on the ground to help you stretch the ankles back and forth to increase range of motion. You can stay in this position while stretching the heels and toes.
  • Calf raises — Perform gentle calf raises by lifting your heel off the floor, then reversing and lifting/pointing the toes toward the ceiling. Make sure you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds, three times per leg.
  • Doing any type of burst-training, HIIT workouts or sprints (good for the whole lower body)

4. Wear the Right Shoes (Not Worn-Out Sneakers!)

Podiatrists usually recommend more flexible, lightweight sneakers for underpronators, especially those who spend lots of time on their feet (including runners or those who do lots of brisk walking). Lightweight shoes can withstand more motion of the ankle while still supporting the feet, especially those with flexible inner edges. For people with wobbly, weak ankles, higher-top sneakers that stabilize the ankles might be a better choice.

Signs of underpronation/supination will show up in your sneakers or shoes, usually causing the outer edge of the shoe to become flimsy more quickly. Replace your sneakers regularly, especially if you exercise or run often. To see if you’re due for a new pair, place your shoes down on a flat surface and look for the outer edge to tilt outward. In addition to wearing the right shoes, consider using some of these inserts:

  • Orthotic inserts
  • Inserts to lift the heels (deep heel cups)
  • Lateral insoles that stop foot rolling

You may also want to consider easing into barefoot running — a phenomena growing in popularity amongst those with recoccurent running injuries. Running barefoot may seem even riskier than wearing the wrong sneakers, but it actually helps the feet learn proper form more easily, builds strength throughout the ankles and feet, and helps increase natural range of motion (supination and dorsiflexion).

5.  Begin Exercise Gradually & Rest to Prevent Injuries

If you’re new to more vigorous types of exercising — such as running, hiking or walking uphill — or spending more time on your feet, try to keep these tips in mind:

  • Aways warm up with a dynamic stretch (described above). Loosening the ankles and calves is most important.
  • Set a goal to practice consistently, but give yourself rest in between to avoid adding too much stress to connective tissue. If your feet, ankle or leg muscles become too fatigued or swollen, you’ll be more likely to develop scar tissue and fall into improper form.
  • Incorporate burst training and cross-train using different exercises to strengthen all over, instead of only certain leg muscles.
  • Choose the right sneakers and shoes. (I can’t stress this enough.)
  • Watch out for uneven or hard surfaces that may be making your form and foot pain worse.
  • Listen to your body. Take time off if pain worsens and spreads up the legs.
  • After workouts, icing, massaging your calves and feet, plus foam rolling are simple ways to recover and help prevent swelling and tightness.

Precautions When Treating Supination

If foot/ankle pain gets worse and lasts for more than several days, or you find that the exercises above don’t help prevent ankle rolling, talk to a doctor about correcting your stance with orthotics. Always be careful when beginning any new exercise program, watch out for signs of inflammation and overuse and consider seeing a therapist who specializes in soft tissue therapies if supination/dorsiflexion is an ongoing problem.

Final Thoughts on Supination

  • Supination and pronation are terms used to describe the rolling motion of the heels and feet as we run or walk forward. Supination describes the rolling outward motion of the foot, while pronation describes the rolling inward. Excess supination is also called “underpronation,” a less common problem compared to overpronation.
  • Signs and symptoms of oversupinating include ankle, leg or heel pain; frequent rolling/spraining of the ankles, calf weakness and tightness, reduced range of motion when exercising or lifting weights and loss of functionality.
  • Natural ways to improve supination include exercising and stretching the ankles, calves and lower body; wearing proper shoes/sneakers; using proper shoe inserts (orthotics); and correcting your form when running.


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MMB – 6-Week Spring Fitness Challenge has Begun!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had an amazing weekend and are beginning your week feeling energized and refreshed.  I just came back from the Arnold area and had a mini vacation with the family.  We are so fortunate to live so close to the Sierra Foothills where there is so much raw natural beauty to take in!  We visited the Big Trees National Park to see the Giant Sequoias and take a nice family hike together.  There was so much water from the rain!  It was lovely to see and hear all of the spontaneous streams that were created from all of the rainfall.  It’s good to unplug and get away friends!

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MMB- It’s Spring Break!

Good morning everyone!  I know many of you are on spring break this week and will be away celebrating with your families and taking trips.  Make the most of the time you have and make sure you get outside and move together!  Whether it’s running, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, or swimming, make sure you do something to move your body.  Don’t forget your core work and get those planks, floor bridges, v-sits, and push-ups in!

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MMB – Greens Recipe Contest – Winner & Recipes!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had an awesome weekend and are finding ways to move and groove out there! Excellent effort by everyone who attended classes this past week!  Those of you who are coming to classes on a regular basis are really starting to shine out there with your increased strength, stamina, balance, and endurance!  As a trainer, it’s so exciting to watch you guys progress and grow in your health and fitness journey!  Keep up the great work and know that the best is yet to come!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is Tomorrow night at Jen’s Studio!  Please text me if you’d like to sign up for class tomorrow night!
  2. March Greens Contest is ending this Saturday, March 31st!  Bring your logs filled out with all of your servings of greens and let’s find out who the biggest greenie is!  The winner receives a class card!
  3. Running Boot Camp has been moved to Sunday, April 15th at 7am instead of Sunday, April 8th.  Please make note of this change.


Greens Recipe Contest Results:

 The Greens Recipe Contest was held after the 2nd boot camp on Saturday, where boot campers brought greens inspired dishes from home to be judged.  All of the dishes were delicious and all worthy of praise!  Christi Stevenson’s Fennel Soup with Spinach and Spicy Sausage was the winner! 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the greens recipe contest and put effort into bringing delicious dishes!  It was a fun way to have some fitness fellowship together and enjoy some yummy food!


Here are some photos of the dishes that were brought:

Christi Stevenson’s Fennel Soup with Spinach and Spicy Sausage – top left (Winner of the contest and $25 gift card to Trader Joe’s!)

Kathleen Jacobs’ Garlic-Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds – top right

Jen Allan’s spring mix with roasted beets and carrots – middle left

Erin Campbell’s Spicy Green Hummus – middle right

Heather Thompson’s zucchini fritters – bottom left

The recipes from the contest can be found below so please print them and experiment with your greens!



Recipes from Contest:

Fennel Soup with Spinach and Spicy Sausage



  • 1 pound spicy ground pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel trimmed, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets about 1 head of cauliflower or 3 cups cauliflower rice
  • 3 stalks celery coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 5 ounces fresh (or frozen) baby spinach leaves


  1. Brown the spicy sausage over medium heat in a large heavy pot, stirring/flipping occasionally until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the fat. Drain any of the remaining sausage fat from the skillet.

  2. Heat the olive oil in the same pot of medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and black pepper, continuing cooking another minute, then add the celery, fennel, and cauliflower florets. Let the vegetables continue to sweat, stirring occasionally, another 6-7 minutes. Stir a little bit of the chicken stock into the vegetables, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the chicken stock, bring to a bowl, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

  3. Let the soup cool briefly, add the paprika, then carefully transfer the soup to a high-speed blender in batches and blend until fully smooth.


    4. To serve from a single pot, add the soup back to the original pot and stir in the spinach and cooked spicy sausage. To serve individual bowls, place a handful of spinach leaves at the bottom of each bowl, ladle two scoops of soup on top, and decorate with a scattering of the pork sausage.


    Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds – from Genius Kitchen

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F (If you’re cooking other things you can use a slightly lower temperature, just increase the time a little.).
    2. Trim ends from green beans. If using thin, long beans, cut in half crosswise into pieces about 2 inches long. Peel and cut shallots and garlic, then place with beans in plastic bowl. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and use a wooden spoon to toss until beans, shallots, and garlic are well coated with oil.
    3. Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil, then arrange the vegetables in a single layer. (I like to cover the pan with foil, then spray the foil for even easier clean-up.) Roast 12-15 minutes for thin beans, or slightly longer for regular beans, until beans are slightly shriveled, and shallots and garlic are lightly browned.
    4. While beans cook, toss together chopped parsley, chopped almonds and lemon zest. When beans are done, toss hot beans with parsley/lemon/almond mixture and serve immediately.

    Spicy Green Hummus Recipe

    Author Notes: Spicy Green Hummus: Easy & healthy recipe adds a little kick to the classic! With chick peas, tahini, jalapeno, lemon, olive oil, garlic, & herbs.Holly

    Serves 10

    • 1/4 cup tahini
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
    • 1/4 cup rough chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/4 cup rough chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds & stems removed, chopped
    • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 15 ounces can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
    • 2 green onions, chopped (optional for garnish)
    1. Add the tahini and lemon juice to food processor and process for about 1 minute. Use a plastic spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
    2. Add olive oil, parsley, cilantro, jalapenos, onion, garlic and salt. Process for about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
    3. Add the chickpeas and process until the hummus has a thick and smooth texture… normally 1 or 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl a few times while processing.
    4. If hummus is too thick, run the food processor while slowly adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water, until it reaches the desired consistency.
    5. Transfer the hummus into a small serving bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on top and sprinkle with additional chopped herbs and green onions.
    6. Store hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.


    Baked Zucchini Fritters {Gluten-Free, Keto, Clean Eating}

    These baked zucchini fritters are a tasty, easy way to eat your veggies and compliment the tangy goat cheese so well.


    • 1 large zucchini shredded (about 2 cups; no need to peel the zucchini; just cut the ends off and shred with a box grater)
    • 3 oz soft goat cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp Real Salt
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    2. Combine the zucchini and Real Salt together and set aside.

    3. Beat the egg and goat cheese together until smooth.

    4. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper to the egg and cheese mixture and mix well.

    5. Remove all the excess water from the zucchini (place the zucchini in a thin dish towel or kitchen towel and squeeze out the water).

    6. Add zucchini to the egg and cheese mixture and combine well.

    7. Spoon out 8 equal size amounts of the mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or Silpat.

    8. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, and flip the fritters over.

    9. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.


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MMB – The Best Processed Snack Foods?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had an awesome weekend and enjoyed some St. Patrick’s Day festivities out there….maybe green juice or smoothies? Brussel sprouts?  Cabbage? 🙂 LOL!  Well, if you really enjoyed yourself, that’s o.k. and you are allowed every now and then.   However, today is a new day and it’s time to hydrate and get back to clean eating and allow your body to detox, restore, and recover.  Remember the lemon detox water with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper?  Yup, that’s the one and I recommend making up this concoction and downing it today!

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MMB – Embrace Your Greens!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had an awesome weekend!  Did you get out and enjoy the sunshine yesterday?  Take advantage of the sunshine when you can and soak in that Vitamin D!

Excellent effort to everyone who was able to come out for Boot Camp on Saturday morning!  You guys worked it hard and I know I threw some challenging moves at you, but you persevered and conquered it! 

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MMB – Benefits of Burst Training

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Did any of you go up to the snow?  How was it?  If you did, I hope you had a blast and felt strong and capable out there on the slopes!  After all, that’s what fitness is all about – being able to do the things you love to do because you can!  So, keep up the great effort in your work outs and keep the momentum going! 

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MMB – Iceberg Illusion

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend and are feeling energized this morning.  I loved the excellent effort that everyone gave this past week in work outs!  Let’s keep the momentum going by focusing on commitment and consistency because these two things equal change! 

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MMB – Fit For Change Challenge is a Wrap!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a great weekend!  I’m sending my blog out early because I’m going to be leaving early tomorrow to go hiking Mt. Diablo with the boy scouts!  That sounds like fun huh!?  Yesterday morning was the last Fit For Change Challenge and it was so obvious that you guys have been working hard these past few weeks!  I felt like a proud mama as I was busy measuring and weighing all of you, because you all shrunk!  All I have to say is FANTASTIC job everyone!  Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication these past six weeks for laser focusing in on clean eating and consistent work outs.  Does it work?  You betcha and the proof is in the numbers because everyone, who I measured, reduced.  Wowza! 

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MMB – What Energizes You?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I know many of you enjoyed a three day weekend, so I hope you had a fabulous time getting away with your family and doing something fun!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  This past Saturday was the 5th Fit For Change Challenge, and while it was a smaller crew, you guys brought your best and worked it hard! 

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MMB – With weather like this….

Good morning everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend and celebrated this marvelous weather!  Great work to everyone who came to the 4th Fit For Change Challenge on Saturday!  For this Challenge, it was all about drills, skills, and running!  There were six stations that encompassed a variety of whole body strength, core, and agility exercises, followed by a 1-2 minute run.  You guys rocked it and are continuing to improve week over week!  Let’s keep the momentum going!

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MMB – Jen’s Baseball Stretching Video

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and are healthy walking into your Monday.  Wow! Has January been a tough month?!  Raise your hand out there if either you’ve been sick or have known someone who has been sick?  Yup, just about everyone raised their hand!  The weather is suppose to start warming up this week, so it will be great to enjoy some of that California sunshine and lift our spirits up! 

This past Saturday was the 3rd Fit For Change Challenge and you guys worked it hard!  For this Challenge, there were six stations that featured whole body resistance and core  drills:  Bosu squats w/dumb bell over head presses, stair drills carrying sand bags, walking lunges w/tubing flys and burpee combos, Bosu and med ball Russian twists into stand and presses, squats w/tubing bicep curls and tricep kickbacks, and stability ball wall squats followed by stability ball tricep push-ups.  After every station, the boot camper had to go through the obstacle course 2 x’s, which of course was a full body work out all on it’s own!  Lots of crawling, jumping, leaping, and agility fun! The Boot Campers who showed up on Saturday worked it super hard and made it through with smiles on their faces!  LOL!  Great work everyone!

Here are the timed rankings from Saturday:

7am crew:

Ken Vieira – 42:00 min.

Lynnda Philbrook – 42:49

Joanne Vieira – 43:10


8:05am crew:

Kathleen Jacobs – 24:38

Christy Stevens – 24:45

Heather Thompson – 25:05

Erin Campbell – 25:10

Kathy Schalin – 26:00


Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday:  There is 1 spot open at 5:45pm.  At the moment, the other classes are full, but you are welcome to go on a wait list and check in with me the day of.

2)  Fit for Change Challenge – 1/2 way through!  If you weighed in, you might want to check the scale again and see how you are doing.  If your weigh hasn’t changed, you need to make some adjustments.  Here are some things to think about:  Portion sizes?  Not eating late at night?  Too many empty carbs?  Skipping breakfast?  Not working out hard enough?  Not sleeping well?

3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, February 4th at 11am.  Meet me at my house for some running fun along with strength and core drills!


Thought for the week:  It’s Baseball Season!

If you hang out with me during the baseball season, you may hear me grumbling under my breath as I walk by some of the teams on the field.  Why?  There are some coaches who believe that just throwing the ball to warm-up and diving right into baseball drills will suffice for preparing the boys’ bodies to play.  Well, that’s not the best approach.

The rotator cuff shoulder muscles and tendons in particular, take a while to get blood flow and oxygen into those areas.  Due to the nature of baseball, with a ton of overhead power throwing, it’s super important to properly warm-up those young shoulder muscles with dynamic stretches in order to avoid injury. 

The other areas that are very important to warm up are the hips.  Baseball is also all about the hips!  Hips and hip flexors, need to opened up and stretched out in order to avoid injury. 

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a little league baseball stretching guide and have recently completed it.  Also, this past weekend, my husband Bob shot a video of me demonstrating some of these stretches.  

If you have a son or daughter, who plays little league or softball, and you’d like to incorporate more stretches at home or with the team, please feel free to share these documents!  You can also pass along my info to your coaches and let them know I teach boot camps and strength and core conditioning classes.  I hope these guides give you additional ideas about how you can prepare your son or daughter for baseball or soft ball, either at practice or on game days.  I’d love any feedback you may have too!

Let’s go play baseball!


Little League Baseball Stretching Guide



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MMB – It’s Now or Never

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend and are fighting off those cold and flu bugs out there!  A bug found me and it went straight into my lungs, bronchia and vocal chords, causing coughing fits and missed sleep.   So, guess who didn’t have a voice this week!  It’s hard being a trainer without a good Boot Camp voice!  LOL!  I’m definitely on the mend and just need a little TLC and lots of herbal teas with honey.  Can you relate?  Anyone else caught a bug like this?  Ugh, there are some tough bugs out there, but we will not give up!  Let’s keep eating those berries every day, get enough sleep, avoid sugar like the plague, and cram as many greens down your throat that you can stand! 

This past Saturday was the 2nd Fit For Change Challenge and it was an awesome turn out!  Thanks to everyone who made it out and gave 110%!  This was a timed challenge with eight stations offering a variety of whole body strength and core drills, followed by a run after each station.  It was hard!  It was challenging!  You conquered it! 

Here are the top winners from Saturday’s Challenge:


1st  Joanne Vieira – 15:56 min. 

2nd  Lynnda Philbrook – 15:58 min.

3rd  Ken Vieira – 16:20 min.



1st Kathy Schalin 14:55 min.

2nd Dave Thompson 15:11 min.

3rd Kathleen Jacobs  15:44 min.

Awesome job guys!  Proud of the effort and love to see how you are progressing in your fitness and getting stronger and faster! 


  1.  Fit for Change Challenge  – now through February 17th!  Come join us on Saturday mornings for either a 30 or 60 minute timed challenge that will work your entire body, leave you sweaty, and begging for more!   Bring a friend and join in a friendly and competitive environment.  You can do this!
  2. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night.  If you are interested in coming out on Tuesday night, please contact me as there are a few spots open.
  3. Next Running Boot Camps is Sunday, February 4th at 11am!  Mark your calendars! 


Thought for the week:  It’s Now or Never! 


Sometimes I think we are too free spirited about our health and wellness goals.  Imagine if your job tracked your health and wellness goals and your performance was tied to your salary.  Would you be motivated to do well?  You betcha!  For motivation, how about thinking of your health goals as either extending or reducing years onto your life, based on your level of health right now?  If you knew you could add ten years onto your life by being having a healthy weight with a good BMI and body fat %, limiting sugar, fat, and salt, meat, and dairy….would you do it?  Everything we do every day, is either moving us in the direction of healthy living or diseased living.  What side of the fence are you on?  What is it going to take to make you take your health seriously and put the hard work in so that you can live better, longer, and happier? 

If you don’t start taking action now, then when will you?  Will it take a stroke or a heart attack to get your attention?  Boy guys, I’m telling you, I am more motivated than ever to preach this message because I have been surrounded with loved ones in my family, who have suffered recent strokes or heart attacks, and can see quite clearly it’s been due to a combination of stress and poor diet.  Why does it take a major health event to get our attention focused on action?  Sadly, I’ve also seen quite a few people come out alive on the other end of a stroke or heart attack and be in “game on” mode for about a year.  Guess what happens?  After a while, they have followed back into their old habits and have either put the weight back on or are just as stressed out.  I’m not saying this stuff is easy at all.  It’s quite the contrary actually.  Living well is like a part-time job with full-time benefits. 

Please don’t allow yourself to be a statistic.  If you know you are at risk, don’t wait until it’s too late.  Take a good hard look at your diet and ask yourself, “What is my diet mostly made up of?” or “How many days a week am I exercising with solid exertion and sweat equity?”  Only you know, in the still quite voice that lies deep within you, if you are really trying your best to live well.  If you are falling short, then never fear, because you are about six months away from transforming your health?!  Yup, if you work hard for about six months,  you can drastically turn around your health and reduce those dangerous blood panel markers down to normal levels, such as your cholesterol.  It can happen and you can do it!  It’s not too late for you! 

Some of you reading this might be going through incredible challenges in your life right now and there is just zero time right now to give your health your best.  I totally get that and I feel for your emotional pain and suffering.  But as in all things, life comes in chapters and thankfully, one chapter leads into another that is a completely different theme and part of the story!  Isn’t that good news!  The one thing in life that is constant is change.  So, hang in there.  Pray hard to the Lord because He is faithful and will guide your path if you let Him.  After all, it’s now or never! 

I love you guys!

See you in class soon,


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MMB – January = Mental Toughness

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a marvelous day in whatever you are doing.  Some of you may have the holiday off for MLK Day, and some of you may be working, but I hope you are feeling refreshed and ready to go in kicking off the week!  This past Saturday was the beginning of the 6-Week Fit For Change Challenge.  Due to the holiday weekend, it was lightly attended, but the fitness crew that came out brought their warrior best and fought hard!  Obstacle courses are all the fitness rage right now.  Why?  Because they work and it’s a fun and efficient way to burn up hundreds of calories, build strength, stamina, and build muscle all from the same work out!  For the next five weeks, every Saturday you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a timed obstacle course competition that will challenge you to your core.  Lisa Dillon, who is a regular in my classes, commented after this 30 minute boot camp, “This was the toughest 30 minute work out I’ve ever experienced,” as she said with a big smile on her face and sweat dripping off her brow!  If you are a beginner level, please don’t fret because I can tone down the exercises and make them more low impact.  Whatever your fitness level is, I promise I can craft a work out that will be just right for you!

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MMB – Health and Wellness are Verbs in Disguise!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are walking into your Monday morning with a renewed and refreshed spirit that is ready to take on January!  This is the month that requires a little extra of everything:  motivation, inspiration, a positive attitude, and being purposeful in healthy living.  While we may not have the freezing and blizzard like conditions that our friends on the east coast are experiencing right now,  we still experience dark and rainy mornings that make it difficult to want to get out of bed and start the day.  This is the moment you shake hands with your goals.  Health and wellness doesn’t just happen.  They sound like nouns, but I would argue that they are verbs in disguise!  Being healthy isn’t really a thing, because in order to be healthy, you must do!  In order to eat healthy, you must go to the store, buy nutrient dense food, bring it home, and then DO something with it.  Again, it’s all in the action of doing.  You cannot think your way into fitness.  You must actually put the work in and get your heart rate up and sweat.  Yup, it’s all of the uncomfortable stuff that is painful at times that transforms us into being fit and healthy people.  So, as we are all walking into our first week back, with all of our regular commitments, let’s stay focused on the actions of health and wellness because we want the adjectives of health and wellness such as; fit, vibrant, energized, capable, positive, happy, confident, and charismatic!

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MMB – Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year to you!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed bringing in the New Year!  Can you believe it’s 2018?!  Now is the time to start thinking about what you want 2018 to look like.  How did your 2018 wrap up?  Were you happy with your accomplishments personally and professionally?  Did you grow?  Were you challenged?  As we begin the New Year, let’s strategize how we can embrace health and wellness together.  I can tell you it’s not about a diet and it’s not about a work out.  Wellness is much more than a temporary goal or quick work out.  What’s your mindset like?  Did you know that everything you do throughout the day is either guiding you towards health or disease?  Now is the time to evaluate your behaviors and habits and search for the areas of your life that are hurting your potential to live the best life you can.  This is what we’ll be focusing on in 2018!  Are you ready?  Let’s do this thing!  Happy New Year!

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MMB – Merry Christmas!

Hi Everyone,

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting down to write this blog in a bit of disbelief that tomorrow is Christmas.  Since I’m hosting Christmas dinner, like all of you, I have a ton of things to do today to prepare for Christmas.  Somehow and some way, we always make the “magic” happen because that’s what parents do!  With all the distractions of the “busy work”,  my mind is also pondering the birth of our Savior and the unimaginable sacrifice that our Lord made for us.  To imagine that God came to us as a vulnerable baby 2,000 years ago, is an overwhelming thought to take in.  Yet, this is what happened and it’s because of His birth that we celebrate Christmas.  In my heart, I sincerely want to extend a very Merry Christmas to you, and pray that you too can take in the miracle of His birth and the hope that only He can give us. 


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MMB – Wrapping Up 2017

Hi Everyone,

The countdown is on and there is only one week left before Christmas!  Yikes!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and made holiday memories with your family and friends.  Thanks to everyone, who made it out to classes this past week, and special apologies go out to the crew who came on Thursday night – you know who you are LOL!  As I’ve been saying, this time of year is super tough to stay motivated and consistent with work outs, so if you are off pace and feeling a bit blue about it, set new goals for this week and carve out time today to start  moving again.  Even if it’s only 20 minutes of something, that’s better than 20 minutes of nothing!  Be very mindful about what you are eating too.  Over the years and especially at holiday time, I’ve noticed a correlation between an increase in sugar intake and the blues.  The more sugar I eat, the more depressed I feel.  So guess what goes out the window?  Yup, the motivation to move – so the more sugar you eat, the less you move, the worse you feel, and so therefore, the more sugar you eat!  Do you see how this spiral effect is so lethal and destructive?  Trust me, you don’t want to walk into January feeling miserable about the way you look and feel.  Pretend it’s January now and limit sugar intake, increase water and veggie intake, and move as much as you can! 

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MMB – How’s Your Gut Health?

Good morning everyone,

Can you believe we are in the middle of December?  Is your schedule bursting with a multitude of activities?  Are you finding it difficult to find balance with nutrition, exercise, and sleep?  Well, you are not alone friends!  As a trainer, it’s my job to keep reminding you to carve out time for self care so that you don’t get sick, burned out, or depressed.  This is why it is so important to tap into a community of like minded people, who want to take their health to a higher level, and encourage one another to keep charging ahead with healthy eating, consistent work outs, and positive attitudes.  Is it easy? No!  But thankfully, life comes one day at a time and we have many fork in the road moments to make good choices. 

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MMB – To Veggie or Not? That is the Question.

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling great walking into your Monday morning!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  I like the momentum out there and it’s been great seeing some “old” familiar faces!  I was particularly jazzed after Boot Camp on Saturday because you guys are the best!  I love watching how all of you check in with one another and are genuinely interested in how the other person is doing.  When someone comes to class and it’s been a while since they’ve attended, they are always approached with hugs and warm greetings.  This makes my heart smile like nothing else.  For those of you who are attending my 7am boot camp, you know that I’ve been allowing my boys to join in.  They are still on trial with this and as long as they can prove they have the maturity and physical capability for class, then they are welcome to come.  I’ve been teaching them that they are “ambassadors” of Jen Allan Fitness, so know that there’s a lot of teaching going on behind the scenes! 

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MMB – Healthy Holiday Choices

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday week and weekend and took some time off to be with friends and family.  I’m super proud of everyone who was able to keep moving during the holiday and especially for those of you who made it out to either Thanksgiving Boot Camp or Saturday Boot Camp.  I had asked for feedback from some of you about how you felt after you exercised and if it changed your perspective walking into Thanksgiving. The answers I received back varied, but everyone agreed that they were more energized and were more cautious about the foods that they chose to eat because they were more mindful about what was going into their mouths.  Bravo guys!  This just proves that you can enjoy yourself on a holiday, especially if you prepare on the front end with increased work outs and mental preparation.  Also, I can’t emphasize portion control enough!  Yes, you can enjoy a small piece of pie, but if you eat a large slice and then go back for seconds, that’s when we are in trouble.  Balance, moderation, and mindfulness are the tools of the season!  Let’s launch into this holiday season with thankful hearts, gratitude for our blessings, and celebrating our health with mobility and clean eating! 


Thanksgiving Boot Camp Photos!






Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday:  There is currently 1 opening at 5:45pm.  Please let me know if you are interested.  If you want to sign up for the coming weeks, please contact me so I can put your name on the list. 

2)  Cardio Fusion will be at Valley Bible Church Thursday.  Class times 6:15pm and 7:20pm.

3)  Christmas Boot Camp and Brunch – Saturday, December 23rd.  There will be one boot camp from 7am to 8am, followed by a catered brunch by Jen to celebrate another year of fitness together!  Kids are welcome too.

Thought for the week:  Healthy Holiday Choices

This is the time of year when temptation is all around us.  Every corner we turn, we are greeted by the aromas of sugary sweetness found in cookies, pastries, cinnamon rolls, and syrupy coffee drinks.  Many of us are catching up with old friends, who are visiting from out of town, and so we find ourselves eating out more often and consuming double or triple the calories.  Continuing with this holiday lifestyle, fast forward to the beginning of January and it’s no wonder that we are miserable and signing up for gym memberships like it’s our last chance for redemption. 

So, how do we handle this?  For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a foodie girl.  I love to cook, bake, and entertain and yes, food is love!  Nothing makes me happier than making a delicious meal and watching loved ones thoroughly enjoy themselves.  What makes me even happier is knowing that I am choosing healthy ingredients and creating dishes that are nutrient dense and satisfying. 

During the holidays, you can still totally enjoy the tastes of the season without packing on the pounds.  Here are some common sense approaches that I want to share with you. 

1)  Buffet table – When facing the daunting task of choosing your lunch or dinner form a buffet, think salad and veggies first.  Load up on these items first before going for the starchy or meat options.  Because of the dense amount of fiber found in plant based options, you’ll be less likely to load up on large amounts of carbs or heavy meats filled with saturated fat.  Choose water instead of soda and forget the piece of complimentary bread that comes with your salad.  Avoid anything that looks “glistening” because it is probably loaded with fats such as butter or oil.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  If you do choose to add pasta, rice, or potatoes, go small.  If you are eating out, these foods are going to have extra salt, fats, potential msg, and are loaded with extra calories. 

2)  Holiday choices – Choose yams over potatoes.  Choose brown or wild rice over white rice.  Choose lean turkey meat over roast beef or prime rib.  Choose pumpkin pie over pecan or cream pies.  Ditch the roll and save the calories for a small piece of dessert.  Eat foods that are truly special to you and skip the ones you feel mediocre about.  Mediocre calories aren’t worth it.

3) Salads can be a healthy God send or a wicked fat trap.  All salad is not created equal.  Don’t hate me, but avoid these things:  cream style dressings, croutons, bacon bits, shredded cheese,  salads that have already been tossed with dressing, any fried things such as chicken or wonton sticks.  Add a variety of chopped veggies, lettuces, spinach, edamame, chopped herbs, beans, seeds, lentils, avocado, and a sprinkling of salad dressing. 

4)  Watch those coffee or tea drinks!  This is another area we have to be very careful.  Going to StarBucks or Peet’s coffee has become a national past time as it is a wonderful place to conduct business, meet up with a friend, or go for an afternoon pick me up.  If you are going to order a sweetened coffee or tea, ask for lightly sweetened or only one pump of the syrup, such as a mocha with 1 pump instead of 3.  Better yet, order a regular coffee and add a sprinkling of cocoa powder and sugar at the counter.  You’ll still get the taste of a treat without all of the added sugar and fat. 

5) Don’t slack on your work outs!  If you know you are going to be taking in more calories for an upcoming holiday event, then balance out the equation and carve out time for hard work outs beforehand.  This will make such a difference in how you look and feel.  Keep your metabolism revved up and active so you can manage the extra calories with success.

6) Don’t make a habit of staying up late every night.  Proper sleep equals cellular repair and if you are in a constant state of sleep deprivation, then your body can linger in stress, inflammation, fatigue, and sluggishness, ultimately leading to weight gain and disease.  Hit the hay earlier, rather than later!  You’ll be happy that you did.

7) Fridge stock up.  Make sure you are carving out time to go to the store and have fresh ingredients on hand to make home made meals and snacks.  We are far more tempted to eat sugary treats when we aren’t fueled up on the healthy stuff.   Make  sure you are eating fresh fruits and veggies every day.  I know it sounds simple, but have you noticed how much we need to be reminded about this??  It’s because the pleasure part of our brain seeks out savory and sweets.  The idea of a carrot or cucumber can’t really compete unless you train your taste buds  to eat them on a regular basis so that you begin to crave fruits and veggies.  This is the path to living disease free. 

Let’s make this an awesome holiday season where we are focused on our health, blessings, and wellness!  You can do it!   Together, we can do great things!



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MMB – A Killer Home Work Out for You!

Hi Everyone,

 Can you believe that Thanksgiving is Thursday?  This week will launch the holiday craziness with crowded malls, congested streets, and overflowing waiting lines for restaurants, Starbucks, and ATM’s.  I can hardly wait!  Do you sense my sarcasm?  Well, we all take what we want from the season and I will choose to grab onto thankfulness and watch my kids in wonder as they craft their Christmas lists, make Star Wars Christmas cookies, watch Elf, and go out at night to drive through neighborhoods filled with amazing displays of Christmas lights and decorations.  Of course, the most important aspect we’ll be focusing on is the birth of our savior and can’t wait to attend the Christmas Eve service at our church, Valley Bible Church this year.  You are all welcome to come and join us if you don’t already have plans for Christmas Eve!  See me for details if you are interested. 🙂

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MMB – Yes, the Holidays are Around the Corner!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are walking into your Monday morning feeling refreshed and invigorated.  Glancing down at the calendar, I can’t believe it’s November 13th, can you?  Where has this year gone?  Well, I can officially start reminding you guys on a daily basis that yes, the holidays are here, and it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to manage the holidays without gaining weight and feeling miserable.  You can probably guess that it has something to do with exercising regularly, watching excess sugar intake, increasing greens and veggies, and getting proper rest?  Yup, this is a good list to start with but I’ll have some additional tips for you below, so keep reading!

Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday.  There is one spot open for each of the time slots at 5:45pm, 6:55pm, and 7:35pm.  Please let me know if you’d like to join us!

2)  Cardio Fusion will be at Jen’s studio this week because VBC is utilizing the multi-purpose room.  There will be three classes for sign up just like the Cardio Core format at 5:45pm, 6:55pm, and 7:35pm.  If you are interested in a Cardio Fusion class at Jen’s studio, please contact Jen!

3)  Thanksgiving Morning Boot Camp!  Come get a killer work out in on Thanksgiving morning so you can enjoy the rest of your day with special dishes and treats.  Classes will be at 7am and 8:05am.

4)  The Annual Christmas Boot Camp & Brunch!  Mark Saturday, December 23rd down because you’ll attend Boot Camp and then enjoy a Christmas Brunch directly afterwards.  Come and enjoy Mama Jen’s special breakfast strata, homemade muffins, a fruit salad, Peet’s coffee, and special time to fellowship with our fitness friends! 

5)  New!  20-Minute Check-in with Jen!  Need some nutritional advice?  Want weigh in accountability and measuring?  Need some extra stretching or strengthening tips?  You can meet with Jen for 20 minutes to fine tune the things that are road blocks to your health and wellness goals.  Cost is $25. 


Thought for the week:  Managing the Holidays is Achievable!


Can you smell it in the air?  Can you see them on the counter?  Yup, it’s the aromas of pumpkin spice lattes, ginger snap cookies, peppermint chocolates, and colorful sugary delights around every corner you turn. What’s a person to do with all of this temptation?!  Well, first of all, don’t panic. 

As a trainer I always say, I don’t worry so much about what you do from Thanksgiving to Christmas, it’s what you do from Christmas to Thanksgiving that I mostly care about.  Capiche? 

If you are a person who is in the habit of moving on a regular basis and eating a well balanced diet throughout the year, then a few delectable treats consumed over the coming weeks should be enjoyed and celebrated.  Life is all about balance and if you’ve been working hard and eating clean, it’s o.k. to enjoy a few treats of the season. 

When do we get in trouble?  Well, if we treat everyday as a holiday and begin indulging on excess sugar, refined carbs, sodium enriched foods, and consuming more sugary drinks and alcohol, then we are going to get into trouble.  These foods are addictive and if you aren’t careful, you’ll start craving sugar every day and the pounds will start to pack on and you’ll start feeling like the Grinch has stole your Christmas. 

I attended a fitness conference two weekends ago and there is new research out about sugar and how it affects the body.  Do you know what sugar acts like in your body?  An antibiotic!  Essentially, a diet high in sugar does the exact same thing to your gut flora as an antibiotic….it kills them.  Many Americans are sick in this country with a whole host of problems because of imbalanced flora in the gut and a weakened immune system.  Have you ever wondered why we have so many food allergies and sensitivities to gluten?  Many of these problems start in the gut because we aren’t consuming enough pre-biotic and pro-biotic foods. 

I found a pretty cool article from featuring holiday nutrition tips from nutrition experts around the country.  I found it to be a fascinating and enlightening read and I thought I’d pass it along.  They all have tidbits of wisdom to share about managing the holidays and I hope you’ll be inspired by something you read that will help you stay focused and disciplined during this tempting time of the year. 

Have  great week and see you in class soon!



The One Thing Top Nutrition Experts Do to Stay Healthy During the Holidays by Charlotte Anderson. 

Sourced from


Pecan pie! Honey-glazed ham! Candy cane truffles! Holiday food can inspire anxiety or ecstasy—or both—depending on your mind-set. Here’s the good news: The average weight gain for the holiday season is just one pound. Now for the bad: While that might not sound like much, research shows we don’t lose it, and that one pound adds up year after year. And the news is worse for people who are already overweight, who add about five extra holiday pounds each year.

Sweet treats and rich meals can be landmines for health-conscious people, yet no one wants to feel deprived during the hap- hap-iest season of all. No need to fear—there are sensible ways to navigate this territory. And who better to show you how to do it than healthy eating experts themselves? We asked the country’s top nutritionists and dietitians to tell us the single rule they follow to make it through the season without overdoing it or stressing so much that they miss out on the festive fun.

Lindsey Joe, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

My one rule: Eat what you love, leave what you like.

Instead of piling your plate a mile high with things that don’t really tantalize your taste buds (fruit cake, we’re looking at you!), pick only the foods that give you true enjoyment. If something doesn’t make you swoon, leave it on the sideline.

Erica Giovinazzo, R.D., Head Coach and Nutritionist at Brick CrossFit and ​BodyChange Dietitian

My one rule: Keep your treats to one day a week.

The biggest mistake people make at the holidays is making Thanksgiving a four-day feast instead of a one-day indulgence. Then the holiday parties come, and all of a sudden you’re giving yourself an excuse to have treats nearly every day. Rather than letting your holiday feast roll into pie for breakfast, limit your splurges to one event per week.

Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., CEO of NY Nutrition Group

My one rule: Nix the guilt.

Feeling guilty after eating foods you don’t usually allow yourself to eat can breed more unhealthy behaviors. So abandon those negative voices in your head, give yourself permission to enjoy the indulgence guilt-free, and then remember to get back on track with your normal eating routine the very next day.

Justin Robinson, Registered Dietitian

My one rule: Don’t eat something just because it’s holiday food.

Listen to your body; most people eat particular foods like pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or down cups of eggnog at a Christmas party because “that’s what we do during the holidays.” Noshing without thinking about what you’re putting into your body and why makes you ignore your internal cues of hunger and satiety. Do you really even like pumpkin pie or eggnog? Or if you could have any treat, would you choose your favorite ice cream or hot cocoa instead? Just because it’s limited doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

Deborah Orlick Levy, R.D., Carrington Farms Health and Nutrition Consultant

My one rule: Eat low to high (when it comes to calories).

Start with a broth-based soup or salad, then move on to lean protein, and by the time you reach those triple-fudge brownies, a few bites will be all you need to feel satisfied.

Teresa LaMasters, M.D., Weight-Loss Specialist at UnityPoint Clinic, Des Moines

My one rule: Alternate your bubbly with sparkling water.

On average most adults consume almost 100 calories a day from alcoholic beverages. Since avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether may be hard during this time of merriment, alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a zero-calorie sparkler can help you avoid pouring on the pounds. Plus sparkling water keeps things festive, and, bonus, you’ll avoid entering the hangover zone, a not-so-happy holiday tradition.

Ashley Koff, R.D. for Earthbound Farm

My one rule: Balance acid with alkaline.

Holiday foods are full of “acid formers” like sugar, alcohol, and meat, so make sure you balance all those rich foods with plenty of “alkaline formers” like lemons and organic greens. While not all nutrition experts agree with the alkalinity theory, which says that eating too much of some types of foods can upset the pH balance in the body, it does make sense to balance out your heavier dishes with plenty of greens.

Hannah Disterdick, R.D., Wellness Specialist for One to One Personal Physician Network

My one rule: Bring the punch.

Offer to bring the party punch, then “upgrade” your traditional recipe with natural sweeteners like stevia or 100% fruit juice. To go even healthier, ditch the booze and replace it with club soda for a sparkling mocktail. Although they might miss the buzz, no one will miss the extra calories, and you’ll be comfortable knowing there’s at least one light drink so you can skip the eggnog.

Jessica Setnick, R.D., Senior Fellow at Remuda Ranch at the Meadows, International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians

My one rule: Make holiday treats year-round.

Prevent some of that “last-chance eating” by promising to make your mom’s pumpkin pie in February or your favorite green bean casserole in July. Knowing it will be available again means you won’t feel the urge to “go for broke” and overeat it now.

Adrienne Raimo, RD, and Founder & Director of One Bite Wellness

My one rule: Veg-out on veggies.

Try swapping light pureed cauliflower for carb-heavy mashed potatoes and add side dishes with more vegetables, like ratatouille, to bolster the nutritional value of the meal and keep you satiated so you don’t overeat. Bonus: All that extra fiber will help keep you regular, even if you do overindulge a bit on the cheese platter.

Valerie Orsoni, Nutrition expert, founder of LeBootCamp

My one rule: Don’t be fooled by the “health halo.”

File this under sad-but-true: You can gain weight even if you eat healthy. You can overdo it with the veggies and dip or creamy asparagus soup, just like you can with ice cream—except with the ice cream at least you know it’s an indulgence. So make sure you’re not eating something based solely on its health-food aura and keep an eye on your portion sizes.

Ana Goldseker, CNE, Director of Nutrition for Nava Health and Vitality Centers

My one rule: Go to social gatherings to gather (not to eat).

You go to family gatherings, work parties, and other social events to see your friends and loved ones—so see them! Use these times to socialize and be present rather than rummaging for holiday treats. A good idea is to “pre-eat” something with protein and vegetables to stabilize your blood sugar so you can keep your focus where it belongs: on present company.

JJ Virgin, author of three New York Times bestsellers, including JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet

My one rule: Bring out the skinny jeans.

Elastic waistbands, “relaxed fit” sweaters, and other loose clothing are practically an engraved invitation to overeat. Leave those roomy pants in the back of the closet. Instead, bring out the bandage dresses, skinny jeans, slim-fit suit, or nipped-in blazer—whatever ensemble makes you feel sleek and slim. Not only will you look hot, your outfit will offer subtle reinforcement to keep you from getting seconds (or thirds) on those peppermint bark cookies.

Alissa Rumsey, R.D., Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

My one rule: Just say no… to food pushers.

Whether it’s Grandma’s caramel cake or your best friend’s first attempt at a holiday roast, often you may feel forced to eat certain foods simply because people keep offering them to you. Put on a genuine smile, politely decline, and then offer a compliment. “Oh, Emily, these truffles look amazing, and you’re so thoughtful to make them for me! I’m too full to enjoy them right now, but could I take a couple home?” They’ll feel loved and you won’t feel pressured to show your affection through busting a gut.

Lindsay Martin, R.D., Nutritionist for Hilton Head Health

My one rule: Rock the bed-head.

Between holiday traveling, work schedules, and all that shopping, it can be easy to skimp on sleep in order to get your to-do list done, but getting a consistent six to nine hours of sleep every night helps regulate hormones, promotes recovery from workouts, and prevents daily fatigue—plus it keeps you from face-planting directly into your mom’s apple pie. There’s really no such thing as “catching up” on sleep, so the key is consistency . Bonus: The bed-head tousled look is totally in right now!

Megan Roosevelt, R.D., Founder of Healthy Grocery Girl

My one rule: Be a snack smuggler.

Traveling, shopping, and running errands during the holidays can lead to fast food, skipping meals, or surrendering to the siren call of Cinnabon. To keep your appetite in check, never leave home without a snack. Choose options made with real ingredients to truly energize and nourish your body. Check out our suggestions for on-the-go high-protein snacks.

Lisa Reed, C.S.C.S., Personal Trainer

My one rule: Burn the bird.

No, we’re not telling you to intentionally char your holiday dinner (although that’s one way to save calories). Rather, try a post-feast interval workout like Reed’s “burn the bird” sweat-fest: Have everyone start in a single file line down the sidewalk. Begin moving, with the person in the front of the line setting the pace—you can run, sprint, or walk. Then have the person in the back of the line move to the front of the line and set a new pace. Repeat until you have either reached 30 minutes or completed 2 miles. Consider this a new form of family bonding. Go ahead and high-five the line as you run past, treat your team to a full on sprint, or goof off and perform lunges down the line to the front.

Edwina Clark, Registered Dietitian

My one rule: Don’t “save up” calories.

Fasting before a big meal can backfire worse than posting a Justin Bieber fan video on YouTube. Low blood sugar from hunger increases cortisol levels, which leads to cravings for fatty, salty, and sugary foods. Instead of saving up for the big meal, nibble on healthy snacks like raw veggies, nuts, and fruit throughout the day to avoid a full-blown gorgefest where no crumb is left behind.

Andrea Szebeni, R.D., Nutritionist for the Lighthouse Recovery Institute

My one rule: Detox your taste buds.

Over time we adapt to eating “hyperpalatable” foods that are high fat, high salt, or high sugar (or all three). By eating these foods regularly, we erode the ability of our taste buds to appreciate subtler flavors, and we train them that a hit of fat/salt/sugar is normal. The good news is that you can reset taste buds by cutting out processed foods for just one week. Then when you do indulge in a treat, you’ll be able to appreciate all the flavors and be sated with just a few bites. You may even find that processed foods you used to love don’t even appeal anymore.

Lauren Harris-Pincus, R.D.N., of Nutrition Starring You

My one rule: Three bites and good night.

Stick to the three-bite rule for desserts: The first bite is the best, the last the grand finale, and every bite in between is the same. In three bites, you get the full dessert experience, so really focus on savoring those three and you’re less likely to overindulge.

Simone Gloger, R.D., Head Nutritionist for The Dukan Diet

My one rule: Trim the trimmings.

It turns out that most traditional holiday dishes are really not that unhealthy—think lean turkey, roasted vegetables, nuts—but adding in all the additional trimmings to the dishes are what make the calories soar into the stratosphere. Simply eliminate extras such as gravy, cream sauces, butter, and crust on pies, and you’ll axe loads of unnecessary calories and fat.

Anne Ricci, R.D., Founder of Anne’s Healthy Kitchen

My one rule: Eat mindfully.

It sounds silly, but lots of people don’t even realize when they’re eating. Taking the time to choose food you really want to eat and then actively focusing on enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each bite will naturally help you slow down and stop when you’re full.

Kristy Del Coro, R.D., Senior Culinary Nutritionist of SPE Certified

My one rule: Eat a good breakfast.

Your mom was right: Eating a healthy breakfast sets the tone for the entire day. If you start your day off with a doughnut or leftover pie, you can trigger a relentless sweet tooth the rest of the day. Don’t skip breakfast either, as that will leave you dragging through your morning and more likely to overeat later because you’re starving. Your best bet? Start with something that has lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and some healthy fat to give you energy and keep you satisfied until your next meal. Del Coro’s favorite: An omelet made with one egg and two to three egg whites; easy-to-cook veggies like spinach, mushrooms, or sautéed onions; fresh herbs if you have them; and a touch of grated Parmesan cheese. Add fresh fruit and whole-grain toast to really round out the meal.

Maggie Moon, R.D., Author of the Elimination Diet Workbook, owner Everyday Healthy Eating

My one rule: Eat seasonally.

Summer gets all the credit for tasty fruits and bountiful veggies, but winter has its superstars too. Feast on gorgeous seasonal fruits like pomegranates, mandarin oranges, and red grapefruit. Not only are they at peak season for optimal quality and flavor, they’re packed with nutrients. Pistachios, chestnuts, and walnuts also make special appearances around the holidays, so feel free to eat a handful or two before hitting the buffet. These nuts are packed with satiating fiber and healthy fats to help keep your appetite from going rogue.

Anika Christ, R.D., Senior Manager of Life Time Weight Loss at Life Time Fitness, Inc.

My one rule: Use the “fork trick.”

One of the biggest pitfalls of holiday eating is not being able to tell when you’re full and no longer truly enjoying the food you’re eating. To help you answer this question, try the “fork trick”: Once you take a bite of food, place your fork down on the plate, and let go of the fork. Chew your food, swallow, and then pick up your fork again. The key to this trick is actually letting go of the fork. This will remind you to slow down, enjoy your food, and converse with friends and family. By eating more slowly, you’ll be more in touch with your body’s satiety signals.

Michael Wood, C.S.C.S., Founder of Sports Performance Group

My one rule: Watch out for sneaky sugar.

Sure, you know that pumpkin pie with whipped cream or chocolate lava cake is a sugar-bomb, but the sweet stuff hides in innocuous places like sauces, seasonings, and processed foods. Suss out sneaky sugars and eliminate the ones you won’t miss, like the barbecue dipping sauce or the packaged crackers, to keep your blood sugar and weight stable. Wood says women should aim to stay under 100 calories per day from sugar while men should stick to 150 calories or less.

Ashley Pettit, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Fitness Chef, and Personal Trainer

My one rule: Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water.

It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, leading to mindless snacking that never satiates. To make sure you’re staying hydrated, drink half your body weight in water. So if you weigh 140 pounds, aim for 70 ounces of water over the course of the day. For added detoxification, try adding ginger or lemon.




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MMB – Functional Fitness Tidbits

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend and are feeling energized as you walk into your work week.  Sometimes we begin our Monday hearing about news over the weekend that is hard to fathom and I’m feeling that way right now.  If you’ve tuned into the news, then you know about the mass shooting in Texas yesterday at a Baptist Church.  I won’t go into the details here, but I wanted to begin this blog by recognizing our humanity and compassion in a moment like this when you hear something that steals your breath away.  So, we hear horrific news, we take it in, and then we pray and ask God to extend his mercy and compassion to the families who lost loved ones.  But alas, we must persevere and press on as we begin our week and focus on an attitude of gratefulness, thankfulness, and our abundant blessings.  So, let’s do that 🙂

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MMB – Fall Movement Mania Results!

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are feeling energized and ready for the week!  A huge thank-you to everyone who came out on Saturday to participate in the trio of Halloween Boo Camp, the last Fall Movement Mania, and the canned food and Santa Rosa fire victim drives!  Wow, you guys were amazing with your positive energy, generosity, time commitment, and effort that you poured out into all of these endeavors!  Thank you again so much!

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MMB – Are You a Mindless Eating Machine?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are all doing well and have been moving and eating clean out there!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  Keep up the great work guys and you will see the fruit of your labor in every day life as you get stronger and more capable! 

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MMB – A Way to Help Out Fire Victims

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and have been staying active out there.  Because of the the poor air quality in the bay area, I know we’ve had to come up with more creative ways to get our work outs in.  The winds should be changing this week and will hopefully clear out the smoke so we can safely exercise outside.  In regard to the Sonoma and Napa fires, I heard a news report say that the firefighters are hopeful the fires should be mostly contained by this Friday.  Wouldn’t that be marvelous?! 

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Praying for Safety During Fire Evacuations

Hi Everyone,

Now that it’s daylight and if you’ve smelled the air, you know there is something wrong because of all of the smoke.  I’ve been very preoccupied this morning with the news of the fires in Santa Rosa and Napa and can’t believe all of the devastation that’s going on right now!

I would like to ask for prayers for my cousin Jessica, who lives in Santa Rosa.  I just found out that she had to evacuate her home and all of her animals.  Jessica is a wildlife expert and caregiver at Safari West in Santa Rosa and is trying to evacuate all of the animals this morning.  As you can imagine, this is a daunting task and I can only imagine how challenging this is for the staff right now.  Of course, we need prays for all of the people who are in harms way and in danger of the fire.  I saw on the news that an entire mobile home park was destroyed.

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MMB – Moving is Living

Good morning everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope that as you are reading this blog you are feeling refreshed from your weekend.  The weather is beautiful this time of year and a good reminder of why we live in California and pay the real estate prices that we do!  LOL!  This past Saturday was our 2nd  Fall Movement Mania and it was awesome logging so many of your exercise minutes into miles.  You guys are off to a great start, so let’s keep the momentum going and finding new ways to squeeze in exercise minutes every day!  I want to see those maps filled up by the end of the six weeks and find out who traveled the farthest! 

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MMB – Parental Nutritional Ignorance = Child Abuse

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend and celebrated by moving!  Speaking of moving, the Fall Movement Mania kicked off this past Saturday!  For the next six weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to exercise in a variety of different ways.  With every minute of exercise you log, you’ll earn 1 mile per minute.  So, if you exercise for 200 minutes by next Saturday, you’ll earn 200 miles to travel on your own personal map!  Imagine the places we can go….  Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, disclaimer alert ( this vacation is in your imagination 🙂 )  Someday, Jen Allan Fitness will have amazing funds to award a magnificent vacation, but for now, ladies and gentleman, we’ll have to use our imaginations! So, start tracking those exercise minutes and mix up how you are moving.  The only rules are that whatever it is you are doing, you must have your heart rate up and be sweating.  A casual walk with a girl friend and chit chatting doesn’t really count…sorry! 

Every Saturday there will be a timed challenge for everyone to participate in and I’ll announce the winners on the Monday morning blog.  This past Saturday’s challenge was the following:

60 minute class:

  1. Run 1 lap around the buildng
  2. 20 push-ups & 20 Burpee push-ups
  3. 20 MB Slams & 20 MB Rotational Slams
  4. Running Pyramid – starting at 1 (light run) to 5 (sprint) and back down to 1.
  5. 20 Renegade Rows with a push-up, jump into a bicep press, and overhead press.
  6. 4 – 2 X2 Sprints and Stair drills
  7. 20 MB Tricep push-ups & 20 MB Burpee Tricep push-ups
  8. 20 DB Dead lifts & 20 Single leg warrior rows both left and right

30 minute class:

  • Run 1 lap around the buildng
  • 20 push-ups & 10 Burpee push-ups
  • 10 MB Slams & 10 MB Rotational Slams
  • Running Pyramid – starting at 1 (light run) to 5 (sprint) and back down to 1.
  • 10 Renegade Rows with a push-up, jump into a bicep press, and overhead press.
  • 4 – 2 X2 Sprints and Stair drills
  • 10 MB Tricep push-ups & 10 MB Burpee Tricep push-ups
  • 10 DB Dead lifts & 10 Single leg warrior rows both left and right

Top winner for 60 minute class – Christi Stevenson 28:22

Top three winners for 30 minute class are:  Heather Thompson 16:23, Dave Thompson 16:40, and Erin Campbell 17:50

Way to go guys!  Keep up the great work and let’s get those exercise minutes logged this week! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  6 week Fall Movement Mania is happening now through October 28th!  It’s not too late to join.  You can see me during the week to get weighed and measured and start tracking your exercise minutes this week to record on Saturday!  Bring a friend and shake things up!
  2. Next Running Boot Camp is on Sunday, October 8th at 7am. 
  3. Cardio Core for this Tuesday night is full.  If you’d like to attend, you are welcome to check in with me during the afternoon to find out if there have been any cancellations.  You can also contact me to sign up for the next two weeks for October 3rd or 10th. 
  4. Remember Leah and John Borges?  For those of you who are my regulars, you might remember Leah and John Borges, who used to attend my evening classes together.  They ended up moving to Discovery Bay, so they aren’t able to come to my classes anymore.  However, you might recall that John had announced that he was going to start training for a Triathlon?   Well, this was about a year ago and I ran into John and Leah yesterday and found out that John had just completed his Triathlon yesterday in Santa Cruz!  Here is a picture of John riding his bike in the 24 mile race!  John only started exercising about a year and a half ago.  Before that, he was very sedentary and out of shape.  Based on a decision he made to change, he was able to complete this race of a 1 mile ocean swim, 24 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile run!  Way to go John!  We are proud of you!


Thought for the week:  Parental Nutritional Ignorance = Child Abuse

My husband and I don’t get out much.  In fact, if truth be told, we are kind of boring and enjoy our simple routines of home cooked meals, family time watching concerts, or bbqing and hanging out in our backyard with family and friends. Because Bob and I are both self-employed, it’s hard for us to get away and have any type of extended vacation, so we typically try to enjoy “staycations” where we are close to home and make the most of the time we have in a weekend.

This past weekend was a special one for our family because it marked the 5th year anniversary of our son Andrew’s open heart surgery at UCSF.  Andrew’s heart is now healthy and strong and thanks to the amazing surgeons and nursing staff at UCSF, he’ll have a bright future ahead of him where he can do anything physically he chooses to do!  We praise God for this!

So, we had an amazing “vacation”  weekend and truly celebrated as a family.  One of the fun events we attended over the weekend was the A’s game on Saturday night where they had a special Star Wars fireworks, which by the way, if you have never seen the fireworks at the Oakland Coliseum, they are spectacular and are better than Disneyland – if you can believe that!

One of the interesting things to do at any large sporting arena is to people watch.  It didn’t take my boys very long to figure out the trends at the Coliseum.  They watched a parade of people march by with tray after tray of loaded up hot dogs, nachos with dripping cheese, sodas spilling over the trays, and lots of sweet treats such as cotton candy and churros being consumed with gusto and speed. 

As you might imagine, this is not how my family rolls.  So, we had many interesting conversations about the observations we witnessed in terms of eating behaviors and choices.  As I reflect on what I watched in front of me the entire night, I am both saddened and horrified at what I observed, but I feel that I MUST share this with you to shed the light on what is happening in our country in regard to the path to obesity. 

First off, in sharing this story, I mean absolutely no disrespect to the mother whom I will speak of.  I don’t know anything about her, except what I saw in regard to how she eats and how she was feeding her daughter.  I am truly saddened for the state of health this woman is currently in.

At a ballgame, it’s hard to ignore things around you because you are surrounded by people in close proximity.  You hear their comments, biases, and yes, observe their eating and drinking habits. 

There was a young mother in front of me, probably around the age of 28, and she was about 150 pounds overweight.  She had a one year old with her, who was about as adorable as they come with her little bow in her hair, and was decked out in her little outfit for the day embracing all of her cuteness.  What wasn’t so cute, was watching her mom feed her.  I wish I was making the following observation, but I’m not. 

At the beginning of the game, the mom brought out a huge bag of nacho cheese flavored Doritos and was dipping the chips into the Frito Lay cheese sauce and handing them to her daughter one by one.  A little while later, she brought out a zip lock bag of pretzels and let her daughter have some of those.  Later in the game, the Skittles candies came out and she fed her daughter a handful of Skittles.  I noticed there was a woman sitting close to this mother, who was munching on blueberries, and offered a handful of blueberries to the little girl.  So, thankfully, the little girl had something decent to eat. 

Of course, after all of the sodium this little girl consumed, she’d be thirsty right?  Yup, she was, so the mom brought out a Capri Sun and handed it to her.  The mom was drinking a huge container of soda and was also eating all of the snack foods too.  During the entire course of the game, this little one year old ate nothing but processed food filled with preservatives, MSG, artificial flavorings and colorings, multiple forms of sugar, and void of any nutrients. 

Guys, my heart sank.  I don’t mean to be a pessimist or judgemental, but based on the size of the mom and what they were eating, one has to assume they are eating these types of food at home too. It’s easy to see the path that this precious, innocent little girl will be on for her entire life.  Imagine what is happening to her brain consuming all of these foods?  How are her taste buds being shaped?  With every bite or drink that little girl consumed, she was being trained to take in pleasure.  How is she going to react when she meets a vegetable or green leafy?  How can plants replace the excitement of a Dorito chip? 

This is why child hood obesity is on the rise and diseases such as Type II Diabetes are baffling doctors because they’ve never had to treat so many ten year olds who are now insulin dependent.  While we enjoyed the A’s game and time together as a family, I also took in the realization that this little girl would most likely grow up to be very unhealthy and will repeat the pattern, so I was sad too.  Of course, you never know, and I hope and pray that she’ll choose differently in her life at some point because CHANGE can happen for any of us at any time. 

As I mentioned before, this was a vacation weekend for my family, so my boys wanted to celebrate by having a slurpee.  They only get a slurpee once or twice a year, so it’s a big deal when they get one.  I thought you’d also like to see a couple pictures of my boys consuming their slurpees and the reactions their brains had!

If you made it this far in the blog, thanks for listening guys!  Let’s inspire our families to eat healthy and nutritious foods, because after all, they deserve the best and it starts with your leadership in your home. 

The boys and I munching on Kale Chips at the Boardwalk!! 

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MMB – Avoiding Pattern Overload

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend and are feeling energized out there!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to Boot Camp on Saturday and Running Boot Camp on Sunday!  Wow, that was a double whammy of fitness that made my trainer heart happy!  The hint of fall is in the air and the weather will be cooler this week, so it’s a perfect time to put on those running shoes and get an early morning run in or after work to re-energize yourself and de-stress!  You can do it!


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MMB – A Moment to Pause and Reflect

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  How are you all doing out there!?  Great effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Now that September is rolling along, I hope that you and your family have settled back into routine and are able to focus on consistency with healthy meals and work outs.  Routine is our friend and our guide because routine allows us to go into autopilot mode and not stress about getting up early for a work out, because it’s normal to do it!  Or, doing meal prep at night so that you have healthy snack and meal choices for the following day.  If you are in the routine of carving out time for things that matter, then eating nutritious food and exercising is just part of who you are and what you do.  Make sense?  After all, you are worth if friend, and so are the people who you care about. 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Home Studio on Tuesdays.  
    1. 5:45pm – 1 opening      6:55pm – full    7:35pm – 2 openings
      1. Please contact me via text if you’d like to sign up for a session!  925-699-7725
  2. Running Boot Camp is this coming Sunday at 7am at Jen’s house!  Get a 5k distance in with strength and core drills!
  3. Fall Movement Mania begins on Saturday, September 23rd! 

Thought for the week:  A Moment to Pause and Reflect


Like many of you, my heart is aching for the millions of people who are suffering the effects of Hurricane Irma in Florida over the last couple of days.  It’s hard to fathom the plethora of challenges surrounding every nuance in the state.  Millions of people are without power and the storm surge continues to wreak havoc on thousands of structures.  Thankfully, we have organizations such as FEMA, which have plans in place for such disasters and are working night and day to rescue people and provide for their needs.  Of course, donations are still greatly needed and there are a variety of ways to pick up the phone and help in that way.  Perhaps the most important thing that we can do is to pray and to ask God for protection over the people and emergency response teams who are putting their own lives at risk to save others. 

Also on this Monday morning, I spent a few minutes listening into the 9/11 tributes and memorials and was reminded about the horrors of that time and could see so plainly how many people are still devastated and affected by the pain of losing their loved ones. 

O.k. so intense stuff right now right?  It’s heavy stuff to take in, but it’s also a good reminder of how fragile and precious life is.  My whole point in drawing our attentions to these two topics this morning is a couple of things:  1) pray for those who are suffering and are in need because we serve a God who listens to our prayers 2) Be aware of your abundant blessings and don’t take them for granted.

So, in knowing that our lives are precious and that every day is a gift, what can we do today that will take care of your body and mind?

  1.  Attitude check – Come on admit, do you have any stinking thinking going on?  If so, why?  What are the thoughts that are consuming you and why?  When we are negative, it affects everything – our body language, voice, demeanor, confidence,  and yes, exercise and eating!  Ever hear of emotional eating?  Oh boy, negative thinking has a direct link to indulgences because we end up with a defeatist attitude and think, “what the hell, it’s only one more cookie and I deserve it because I’ve had a bad day.”  See what I mean…dangerous!  Turn your thoughts around by taking your eyes off yourself and focusing on how to bless other people.  Negativity often comes when our thoughts are consumed with ourselves – how we’ve been wronged by someone, or we aren’t good enough, or we are a failure etc..  Instead, think, how can I bless someone today?  Reach out to a stranger and say Hi!  Tell a checker they are doing a great job and you appreciate the help.  Not only will this uplift the spirits of someone else, but guess what, it will make you feel better too!  Positive words are powerful stuff!  Try it!


  1. Storms of life – I’ve always said that the storms of life are always out there hovering over the ocean and we don’t know when they are going to hit land and come crashing into our lives.  Hurricane Harvey is a literal example right now isn’t it?  While we have no way of knowing when we are going to get hit by hard stuff, we can control the the things that go into our mind and body on a daily basis.  For example, when we are more fit and are exercising on a regular basis, we have a constant flow of positive endorphins in our body that help us manage stress and negativity.  Exercising is also amazing for releasing stress, so when we are under stress, exercise is an important tool to help us manage hard times.  I also acknowledge that it’s during these times that we aren’t very motivated to exercise, especially if we are under emotional stress, but if you can be mindful enough to carve out time to start by walking, that’s a good start.


  1. Don’t be a mindless eating machine!  When we are under stress, we often eat to soothe ourselves.  The problem is that it’s temporary and the minute we’ve stopped, we usually feel worse because of the types of foods we’ve taken in.  Think about it, we usually don’t binge on celery stalks or carrots when we are blue or angry!  That’s how we know it’s not true hunger.  No, it’s the good stuff like carbs, chocolate, cookies, alcohol etc.  that we crave.  It might feel good temporarily, but these habits can lead to devastating results such as  diseases like Diabetes.  So, stop and think before you eat, especially if you are upset, depressed, or angry.  Instead of reaching for the goodies in the cabinet, put on your running shoes instead and get out of the house for a brisk walk.  You’ll feel better and will have fought off a temptation triumphantly! 

Life is precious guys.  Make the most of what you have and appreciate what you’ve been given in life.  We all only have one life and I urge you to eat well, exercise well, love well, serve well, and life to your fullest potential because you are worth it!

See you soon!



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MMB – The marvelous, mouth watering, bean burger!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend and are feeling great out there!  It certainly was a hot weekend and felt more like we were in the mid-west or east, than in California.  Thankfully, it will start cooling down and returning back to normal. 🙂

Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  Let’s keep this fitness train moving forward and aiming towards consistency and commitment.  It’s only with this combination that you can truly be successful, and you can’t have one without the other!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is Tonight at Jen’s house.  I currently have two openings at 5:45pm for the hour long class and three openings at 7:35pm for the thirty minute class.  Please text me if you want to sign up for tonight.
  2. Fall Movement Mania begins on Saturday, September 23rd!  More details to come!
  3. Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, September 17th.  TBD

Thought for the week:  The marvelous, mouth watering bean burger!

Just recently, I have discovered the bean and veggie burger in my kitchen.  Now, I’ve known about this wonderful veggie concoction of stuff smooshed together to make a burger patty, but I’ve never actually made one!!  So, I’ve been thinking quite a bit that I feel like an idiot because there’s nothing new about veggie and bean burgers and they’ve been around for a long time, yet I’ve never made one.  What is wrong with me?  This stuff is right up my alley and I use all of these ingredients all the time! 

So, there’s no looking back right?  What’s in the past is in the past and there’s only looking forward.  As you know, I am always trying to find recipes that promote more of a plant based lifestyle because the bottom line is it’s healthier for us in the long run.  I’m not saying you can’t enjoy animal protein, but it’s the green stuff and veggies that we should mostly be consuming. 

If you are looking for something new to make for lunch or dinner, these veggie and bean burgers are awesome and I’ve been having fun making them!  Now, just like in all foods, you can gourmet them up by adding all kinds of lethal ingredients such as mayo, ketchup, and cheese, or you can enjoy them by themselves, on top of a bed of lettuce, or purchase a small think bun around 100 calories to give you that burger feel. 

The bottom line is that they are loaded with protein, fiber, good carbs, a variety of vitamins and minerals, and will leave you feeling very satisfied.  My son Ryan, who admits that he’s a carnivore, loved these burgers and can’t wait for the next round!

If you are like me and  have never gotten around to making a veggie/bean burger, it’s time to try something new for your family and discover an awesome new recipe that is plant based and delicious!


2 cans of low sodium beans drained:  use either black beans, kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, or combinations

1 egg

1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

1 cup of crimini mushrooms chopped

1/2 cup of red bell pepper chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

1/2 cup of bread crumbs – I used gluten free bread

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1 tsp of ground cumin

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

dash or two of hot sauce

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Saute pan or iron skillet

Extra:  2-3 yellow onions sauteed separately to add to the top of your burger.

Bun choice – this is up to you, but be careful of the big fluffy buns because they cost about 200 to 250 calories and are tons of extra carbs and sugar!

Other ingredients to play around with:  mashed yams, diced jalapenos, green chilis, chopped spinach, finely grated carrot and zuccini, Italian seasonings, Indian seasonings like curry, and roasted corn


Directions:  In a medium size bowl, smash beans with a fork until they are mushed up and sticky together.  Add all ingredients and mix well.  Mixture should be dense and sticky.  Make patties with your hands and set aside on a plate.  Note that the burgers will not shrink down like a typical beef patty. 

Heat up skillet with a little coconut oil to medium high heat.  Add burgers and cook about 4 minutes.  Flip carefully and cook another 4-5 minutes.  You can add a lid or tinfoil to cook faster.  Serve and enjoy! These are also great make aheads and enjoy for lunch or dinner the following day.

Note:  You can use the grill for these burgers, but it’s recommended that you place them on a sheet of tin foil because they don’t hold up well like a beef patty.

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MMB – Why Good Sleep is Important!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had an awesome weekend and were able to get outside and move!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Let’s keep the momentum going with consistent work outs and clean eating! 


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MMB – History of the Burpee!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you and Solar Eclipse Day!  Although, with this fog in the Tri-Valley at the moment, I’m not sure we’ll be able to see it! LOL!  Now that school is back in session, it’s been really great reconnecting with many of you in class again and helping you get back into routine!  Yeah for routine!  Come on, admit it….you guys really miss a regular schedule of work outs right?  You know you do, that’s why you are coming back to class.  You want to feel energized, capable, confident, and know that you are taking care of your mind and your body! 


  1. Next Running Boot Camp is this coming Sunday, August 27th at 7am!  Join us for a 5k distance as we go around the sports park incorporating a variety of body weight training strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!
  2. Cardio Core reminder is at Jen’s House, not VBC!  It’s by sign up only, so please contact me if you want to join in the fun on a Tuesday.  I currently have one spot open at 7:35pm for tomorrow night, but you are welcome to sign up for the following week if you want to reserve your spot!
  3. Fall Movement Mania is coming on Saturday, September 23rd!  The Fall Fitness Challenge is being replaced with the Fall Movement Mania and will incorporate new movement contests and drills!  Stay tuned for more details.

Thought for the week:  History of the Burpee

For those of you who train with me on a regular basis, you know one of the exercise we’ll be doing often is the burpee! I love burpees!  Why?  Because they are so darn effective!  The burpee is  the creme de la creme of body weight training exercises, because it takes care of the cardiovascular system utilizing HIIT, as well as working practically every muscle group in your body.  It’s easy to regress the exercise for beginners or progress it for more advanced exercises.  Once you have a decent level of conditioning in your body, then you can have fun with the burpee and perform all kinds of combinations and drills!  Think burpee/push-up/tuck jumps or burpee/spiderman plank/lateral burpees! 

I love body weight training because it’s functional, which means it helps us in how we move on a daily basis, and can be done anywhere.  Is it hard?  Absolutely!  This is why it’s critical that we get this type of training into our routine – because we need it and it’s highly effective!

But, what about the history of the burpee?  What about the name and how it all started?  I came across this article on Dr. Josh Axe’s site and wanted to share more information about the burpee so that you can better appreciate and understand the exercise. 

Check out this article below from Dr. Josh Axe:

Burpees: The Single Best Exercise Ever?

Burpees - Dr. Axe

If you were to ask me what exercise I would perform if given only one option, it would undoubtedly be the burpee. Burpees hits almost every muscle group while providing the aerobic and endurance benefits. It even helps strengthen the core. (It is important to note, though, the person has to be in proper shape to start off as this complex exercise can lead to injury if the exerciser isn’t ready for it.)

To be clear, this exercise is not an easy one. In fact, some people make breaking world burpee records a priority. On May 17, 2014, in Greenwood, South Carolina,  a gentleman by the name of Cameron Dorn broke two burpee world records. He performed 5,657 within a 12-hour period. He also completed the most burpees in a 24-hour period, finishing with a whopping 10,105. Another world record was achieved on October 21, 2013, in Portland, Oregon, by Lloyd Weema. He broke the burpee world record for the most chest to ground burpees performed in 72 hours with 9,480.

The burpee, also known as a squat thrust, is a full body exercise that incorporates four steps. The basic burpee is called a four-count burpee and starts in a standing position. From there, follow these four steps:

Count 1: Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
Count 2: Kick your feet back, placing your body into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended.
Count 3: Jump your feet back into the squat position.
Count 4: Jump up from the squat position.

Often, the burpee is performed as a six-count bodyweight exercise where a push up and an explosive jump is added to the mix, making this love/hate exercise even harder. The burpee is using so much energy that it is easy to get fatigued very quickly. This is one of the reasons that it is often incorporated into a challenge of some sort such as the 100 burpee workout. The fatigue happens very quickly due to the full body movements and, in some cases, up to three jumps not to mention the push up if you decide to add that.

Spartan Races require participants to do 30 burpees in a row if they choose to skip an obstacle– clearly a form of punishment that goes to show just how tough the exercise is! The Spartan Races are not the only ones that use the burpee as a form of punishment. The popular Cross-Fit gyms require a number of burpees to be performed for anyone arriving to class late. (1)


Let’s get into the history of the burpee. A physiologist named Royal H. Burpee developed the burpee in the 1930s by using it as a fitness test. He used the test as part of his doctoral thesis in applied physiology from Columbia University in 1940. It became popular when the United States Armed Services used it as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits during World World II. It allowed the military to quickly review agility, coordination and strength. (2)  

We learned more of this through Mr. Burpee’s granddaughter, Burpee Dluginski, who has shared that her grandfather was a “fitness fanatic before the famous Jack Lalanne.” What was important to Burpee was to be able to measure the fitness level of everyday people. Around 1939, the invention and the official test of the burpee began with members of the YMCA in the Bronx, which is where Burpee worked.

Burpees - Dr. Axe

Burpee’s granddaughter says that the official movement has become known as a squat thrust, a four-count burpee, a front-leaning rest and a military burpee. The test was applied by measuring the heart rate of the subjects before and after four burpees were performed so that he could determine how efficient the heart was at pumping blood. This measurement was a good indication of fitness level and apparently so good that the military used it as a fitness test. Initially, the test was for 20 seconds, later moving to one minute with 41 being considered excellent while 27 was considered a poor fitness level. (34)

5 Reasons to Do Burpees

1. Burpees Are a Full-Body Workout

As I noted above, if you told me I had to choose only one exercise, I would definitely choose the burpee. Most exercises work on specific muscles or muscle groups; whereas, the burpee pretty much works it all. You can even modify it to ensure full body work. For example, when in the plank position, throw in a tricep pushup and you are now including the triceps while working legs, core and other upper body muscles!

2. Burpees Add Strength
Let’s face it, burpees are tough and often fall into the the dreaded exercise category. You love the results, but they are so hard, that getting through 10 of them is enough of a challenge for most. The thing to keep in mind is that just like anything else, practice offers more. At first, doing even 3 burpees may be as far as you can go, but if you stay with it, you will be able to do way more because you will get stronger. Those 3 burpees can turn into 43 in no time!

A recent study reported the evaluation of active women and their aerobic fitness and muscular endurance when performing whole-body weight high intensity training to include burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or squat thrusts as compared to specific single interval exercises such as leg presses. The data indicated that although improvements in cardiovascular fitness and strength are evident by both endurance and low volume interval-style training, “whole-body aerobic-resistance training imparted addition benefit in the form of improved skeletal muscle endurance.”  (5)

3. Burpees Can Be Done Almost Anywhere
What I love about burpees is that I can take them with me wherever I go! There is no need for any additional equipment beyond body weight. That makes them the perfect exercise to do almost anywhere, so you have no excuse to keep up with your fitness, even when traveling.

A study of Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets investigated how the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) impacted fitness levels. Twenty-six college-aged participants completed 4 weeks of exercise training in just 3 days. This consisted of 60 minutes of general physical training such as whole-body calisthenics, incorporating “all-out” burpees. The results showed sustained fitness even though the duration of the calisthenics was short. An exercise program that includes HIIT may be the best way to maintain fitness without access to equipment. (6)

4. Burpees Build Definition

Burpees are working arms, chest, butt, hamstrings, quadriceps and a ton of core. With all that work, it is impossible to avoid getting a more defined and toned physique. Proper form is key; however, you need to take your time while performing the exercise to make sure you avoid injury and reap the benefits of this amazing all-in-one exercise. Once you have mastered it, you can start to challenge yourself with increased speed.

5. Burpees Increase Endurance

There’s nothing like 10 burpees in a row to get your heart pounding. A study showed that cardiovascular benefits were gained with calisthenics as compared to cycling indicating that both are beneficial in building endurance and cardiovascular strength. This happens because you are working numerous muscle groups all at one time. The demand for oxygen increases with this work. Over time, you will be able to perform more of them because you your body will have the ability to use this oxygen more efficiently. This is when speed combined with perfect form come into play making you stronger and more efficient at performing the burpee. This work will offer benefits to other fitness endeavors too. (78) 

Burpee Workouts

There are many ways to do a burpee workout. Have you heard of the Burpee Mile? This is where you do a burpee with a broad jump for the distance of a mile. There is the popular 100 Burpee Challenge that may intrigue you. Not ready for that? How about trying one of my burpee workouts and work your way towards your next challenge! (9

Even though the burpee may sound intimidating, it is really simple. Here are the basic instructions for performing the classic burpee.

  1. Start by positioning yourself in a standing position.
  2. Then, drop down into a squat position placing your hands on the ground.
  3. Next, extend your feet back in one quick motion resulting in the front plank position.
  4. Return to the squat position in one quick movement.
  5.  Jump straight into the air as high as possible.

    Now that you know the move, practice it a couple of times to make sure you have good form. Keep the abs tight. If jumping is too much right now, just stand upright instead. Also, instead of jumping the legs out to the plank position, you can walk them out to the position. Once you are stronger, you will be able to perform the exercise consecutively based on the instructions of the workout. If you need a break, take 10 to 15 seconds, then resume. Over time, you will be able to do more at a faster pace.

Basic Burpee Workout — Beginner

Perform 3 sets of 6 burpees with 30 second rest between each set.

Burpee Workout With Push Up — Advanced

Perform 5 sets of 10 burpees with a 45 second rest between each set, but add a pushup when in plank position.

Challenge: Add 2 push-ups with a side knee tuck! To do this, once you are in plank position, perform a push up. As you go down, bring your right knee to your right elbow. Repeat on the left side. Then, resume the burpee. This one is tough, but offers amazing core benefits. 

Burpee Workout with Push Up and High Knee Tuck Jump —Advanced

Perform the burpee as prescribed above, but when you stand up to do the jump, explode into a high knee tuck jump. To do this, as you explode upward into the jump, tuck the knees and try gently slapping your knees as a reminder to brings the knees up as high as you can.

Burpee Circuit Superset Workout

Similar to burst training and some of my Burst Fit workouts, you will perform 4 sets of 4 exercises for one minute each with a 10 second rest between each exercise, and a one minute rest between each set. Do as many as you can during the interval.

Exercise 1: Mountain Climbers

Get in plank position and move the feet forwards and backwards, one at a time, in a fluid movement. Do not touch toes to the ground with the forward foot. Keep abs tight.

Exercise 2: Jumping Jacks

This is the classic jumping jack that you have known since childhood. Simply stand with feet hip distance apart. Arms at your sides. Jump feet out to the sides while taking your arms out the side and up above your head.

Exercise 3: Burpees

Start by positioning yourself in a standing position. Then, drop down into a squat position placing your hands on the ground. Next, extend your feet back in one quick motion resulting in the front plank position. Return to the squat position in one quick movement. Jump straight into the air as high as possible. You can add the push-up and/or the high knee tuck jump as described above for a bigger challenge.

Exercise 4: Squats 

Start with feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Keep the upper body as upright as possible during this exercise. Go down into a squat as if sitting in a chair. Try to go down until the quads are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Burpee Precautions

If you are suffering from pack pain and find yourself seeking back pain relief, you may want to avoid doing the burpees. While if performed correctly, it should not cause problems, it is an exercise that uses most of the body. Additionally, if you suffer from vertigo, this exercise may be difficult to perform. And again, it’s best to work with a fitness professional, at least at the beginning, to make sure your form is correct and you’re not exercising with muscle imbalances. This can also lead to injury.

Final Thoughts on Burpees

Regardless of your fitness level, you can work your way up to performing the burpee as part of your workout and strength building. It is the perfect exercise to build muscles and endurance and can go with you just about anywhere.


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MMB – Back to school, back to routine!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and found time to move and enjoy the beautiful weather!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  I know quite a few of you are wrapping up your vacations for the summer and are ready to get back into a regular work out routine.  What else is happening this week?  Back to school!  This is good news because it means the entire family will be back in routine. 

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Class Changes – Please Read!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday to you!  I hope your week has been a good one and you are moving and eating clean.  I know many of you are now back from vacation and are eager to get moving and back to routine, so let’s do it!

I wanted to write a special blog and get it out to you as soon as possible so that you know about upcoming changes to my classes beginning next week.

Valley Bible Church has been very gracious and flexible with me as I’ve taught my group exercise classes there for the last eight years.  The church is changing out flooring and carpeting and they’ve now designated the Seminar One room as a “meetings only” room, which means that they really don’t want a group of sweaty people in there and want to keep it more sanitary – so I totally get it, especially when you consider the type of sweat coming out of a Jen Allan Fitness experience, right! LOL!

Thursdays: The good news is that the MPR (multi-purpose room) is still available on Thursday nights, but not Tuesday nights.  So, I am switching my Cardio Fusion class to Thursday nights in the MPR, instead of Tuesday nights.  There are a few reasons for this, but the style of Cardio Fusion, along with the equipment used, is more conducive to the flooring that’s in the MPR.  The timing will be the same with a 6:15pm to 7:15pm one -hour class and a 2nd 30-minute class from 7:20pm to 7:50pm.

Boot Camp:  Boot Camp will still remain on Saturdays at VBC with the 7am to 8am one-hour class and the 2nd 30- minute class from 8:05am to 8:35am, so that’s great too!

The Change: The change will occur on Tuesdays because Cardio Core will now be held at my house in my personal training studio.  The style and approach for this class will feel more like a small group with personal training because I will only be training four people at a time.  This will allow me to really be hands on with you guys in watching your form and challenging you more individually, as opposed to a larger group ex setting where’s there’s a little more room to hide, capiche?  Because the nature of Cardio Core is to laser focus in on ab and back work, you’ll be able to use different tools in my studio that will help increase your core strength and balance in a more personal approach. 

Here are the new class times:

5:45pm to 6:45pm 60 minute class

6:55pm to 7:25pm 30 minute class

7:35pm to 8:05pm 30 minute class

Three classes: Offering three classes will allow me to accommodate up to 12 people every Tuesday.  Whereas my other two classes are drop-in style, sign-ups for Cardio Core will act like a personal training session where you need to sign up for a training spot.  Payment for Cardio Core will be the same as all of my other classes utilizing the pre-paid card, except that my 24 hour cancellation policy applies, so if you cancel the night before or the day of, I’ll need to charge you for the class on your pre-paid card. 

A note on children.  While I love all of your children and they are all very well behaved, I am not a licensed daycare and it’s a risk and liability to have your kids hang out in my house unsupervised.  In my personal training studio, there is a small area with a counter and stools.  Your kids are welcomed to come hang out at the counter and play on their devices.  This way, they are within your eyesight and as long as they are non-disruptive, they are welcome to hang out.  If the weather is decent, they can also hang out in front of the house, so long as you know where they are and can have eye contact with them.  I can probably have up to 4 kids in the garage.  They can also hang out in your car, but that would be up to you and independent from my business.  Does all that make sense?  I hope so!  Let me know if you have questions about this part.  I want to do all I can to make your work outs happen and understand there are times we have our kids with us. 🙂

Sign-ups:  You are welcome to e-mail or text me which spot you would prefer.  After thinking through sign-ups, I don’t want to take more than two weeks at a time for sign-ups because let’s face it, life changes and stuff happens!  I’ll have a sign-up list that I’ll carry with me during my Thursday and Saturday classes, so you can sign up there.  If something comes up and you know that you won’t be able to make it to class, please let me know as soon as possible so I can give someone else the opportunity to attend. 

Hot Weather:  While my gym temperature is usually decent year round, there are those days where it’s too hot to work out in my studio.  On those days where it’s obviously going to be too hot, I will offer Cardio Core early in the morning starting at 6am and will reach out to let you know in advance.

Sign-ups as of 8/11 for next Tuesday, August 15th:

5:45pm to 6:45pm:  Debbie V, Ken V, Christi S, Lynnda P = full

6:55pm to 7:25pm:  Heather T, Erin C = room for 2 more

7:35pm to 8:05pm: Bernie C, Peter C = room for 2 more

My address:  4738 McHenry Gate Way in Pleasanton

A final thought:  Change is good.  Change allows for shake-up and growth and I believe that the Lord is guiding me on this path to help me be a more effective trainer and to work more efficiently with my time.  I know that for quite a few of you, I am your gym and I super appreciate this!  And because of this, I want to make sure that if I’m seeing you 2-3 times a week, I want to make sure that you are getting what you need in terms of cardio, core, strength, agility, and balance training.  Each of my three class formats are designed to compliment one another, so you can feel confident that if you attend my three classes, you’ll be getting exactly what you need to stay fit and healthy. 

Please know and understand that I appreciate all of you immensely and can’t imagine not “doing life” together as we do in our fitness community.  I am here to serve you guys and help inspire and motivate you to be the very best person you are called to be in life!  This requires mobility, strength, and stamina!  Yahoo!  Together, we can do great things, so let’s get to it.  Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.  If you want to sign up for Cardio Core next week, please text me or e-mail me at 925-699-7725.

See ya soon!




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MMB- How’s it going?

Good morning everyone,

Happy Tuesday to you!  My word press site was having problems yesterday, so I wasn’t able to get my blog out.  Today is a new day though and so far all is well in the technology arena!  Truth be told, sometimes it’s operator error!  Those of you who know me get this right? LOL!

So, I truly want to know how you guys are doing out there?  This has been an interesting summer for me as a trainer because I’ve noticed a higher level of distractions and a general feeling of “out of control” schedules for many of you.  During a typical summer, gym attendance shrinks because people are on vacations and are busier “doing” life with their families with schedules all over the place.  I totally get this, and as a trainer, I expect attendance to go down in the summer months. 

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MMB – Summer Check In and Reminders

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend and are thoroughly enjoying your summer!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Many of you have stayed consistent with your work outs during the summer and I can see the fruit in your lives ! Can you feel it?  Many of you are looking very strong out there and I can see that you are energized and motivated.  Keep it going!  It’s tough to stay committed during the summer when there are so many different schedule changes and activities.  Proud of you guys!

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MMB – Another Year Together!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had an amazing weekend and are enjoying your summer by moving and eating clean!  This past Saturday was our usual Boot Camp classes in the morning.  Kudos to all of you die hard fitness clients who have been making it to summer classes these past few weeks!  Who knew that summer time proves to be one of the most difficult seasons to stay on task with regular work outs!?  It seems like this would be the time of year when it’s the easiest to stay consistent with long, bright days and warm temperatures, but it actually makes it more difficult, especially with vacations and varying kid’s activities and schedule changes.  So, I get it!  Come back when you can and don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t been consistent.  After all, today is a new day isn’t it!  🙂

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MMB – Benefits of Lemon Water

Hi Everyone,

I hope your summer is going well and you are feeling great out there!  How is your summer going?  Are you enjoying the warm and bright days?  I hope you are finding time to stay active and are eating many summer fruits and vegetables!  If you’ve been off track lately, no worries friend!  Today is a great today to start up again and take care of your mind and body.  If it’s been a couple of weeks or longer since your last work out, ease in do what you can in 20-30 minutes.  Then, do it again in another day or so until you have your habit back of working out 3-5 times a week.  There is no beating yourself up allowed!  There is only acknowledging where you are and making a decision to move forward and not focus on the past.  Cool?

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MMB – Happy 4th!

Hi Everyone,

Summer is in full swing!  I hope you are all feeling great out there and have been moving and eating clean!  I know many of you are on vacation this time of the year, so remember to find ways to stay active and continue with your resistance and core training.  Get creative and inspire the entire family to move too.  Maybe have a push-up contest with mom or dad?  Do a long jump competition on the lawn and measure who can jump the farthest.  If you are around the pool, play pool basketball and see who can dunk the most goals!  If you are all out for a walk or jog, do plank holds on benches or tricep dips.  Create a timed obstacle course on the playground and take turns going through it.  Whatever you do, don’t be a summer slug!  LOL!

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MMB – 30 Min. Circuit Work Out

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling great out there!  I know many of you are on vacation right now, so I hope you are enjoying your time with family and doing some fun stuff!  Hopefully, you guys are finding time to move and are staying on track the best you can!  If you are doing some cool stuff out there like hiking or biking, text me a picture and I can post on the blog!

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MMB – Summer entitlement?

Good morning everyone,

Oh man, is it heating up out there!  How are you all doing with this heat?  Are you guys drinking enough water out there?  Hydration, hydration, hydration my friends!  Try coconut water if you’ve been out there sweating a lot!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  I know that summertime brings on new schedules, vacations, and a different kind of juggle than the rest of the year, so do your best to keep up your work outs and consistency. 

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MMB – What’s a Move In?

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling great out there!  Did you have the chance to work out over the weekend?  Did anyone do the Boot Camp I forwarded to you?  Did you do something else? Hike?  Bike?  Run?  Let me know because I’d love to hear how you guys were moving! 

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MMB – Fork in the Road Moments

Good morning everyone,

I bet some of you are shaking your head in disbelief right now that you’ve made it through the past week and weekend!  What a crazy time of the year with end of the year school activities and events, graduations, hosting family, and trying to keep your head on straight!  Well, pat yourself on the back and take a deep breath because you made it!  I’m not a mind reader, but I venture to guess that many of you had to temporarily suspend your usual routines of fitness, nutrition, and wellness in the past few weeks.  Am I right?  That’s totally o.k. and it’s part of the ebb and flow of life and the milestone events that make our lives meaningful.  However, the party is over now and it’s time to get back to the business of living well and healthy!

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MMB – Deprivation = Failure

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Thanks so much for your flexibility these over these past couple of weeks as I moved classes around for baseball playoffs.  This week classes will go back to the normal schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday’s at Valley Bible Church.

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MMB – Wanna Live Longer and Healthier?

Good Morning everyone,

Did you know summer started this weekend?  Well, maybe not according to the calendar, but it sure felt like August out there!  Excellent effort to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week! Some of you attended back to back classes in the mid-week on Wednesday and Thursday nights!  Now that’s dedication!

This past Saturday marked the end of the Spring Fitness Challenge and I wanted to thank everyone for working so hard and putting in the effort.  I will post the results within the next day or two so you can find out how well you did for the fitness tests and weight loss.  Stay tuned for results!

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MMB – One Day to Wellness

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and had a fabulous weekend celebrating all of those special moms out there!  Excellent work by everyone who was able to make it out to class this past week.  I know it was an altered schedule with classes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so thanks for all of your flexibility! 

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MMB – Goal Check In

Good morning everyone,

I hope your Monday is off to a great start so far!  It’s hard to believe we are already in the month of May!  How are you feeling out there?  Are you feeling good in your skin?  Are you feeling energized and positive?  I know this can be a super busy time of year for people as end of the school year activities and summer planning kick into gear.  Make sure you are still carving out time for your work outs, good nutrition, and self care.  If you are a bit off track right now and are feeling overwhelmed, take a look at your calendar and revisit your goals and see what has goon awry.  What has squeezed into your calendar that has replaced the time you were committing to your health?  Are you saying “yes” to too many things when you should be saying “no” a little more often?  If so, don’t fret, but take a deep breath and start prioritizing the things that make you centered and more balanced. 

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MMB – Checklist Check-in

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and enjoyed the warm weather and beautiful sunshine!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week and weekend.  For those of you who are coming frequently and consistently, it’s exciting to watch your strength, endurance, and confident rise!  See, this fitness stuff is worth it right? Yes, it is! 

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MMB – Las Vegas Fitness & Nutrition Survival Guide

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and were able to get out an move!  As you know, I wasn’t able to teach Boot Camp on Saturday because my hubby took me away for the weekend 🙂  Before I tell you all about that, I’d love to know who was able to do the Boot Camp Homework on Saturday?  So far, I’ve heard from Lynnda Philbrook, Joanne Vieira, and Ken Vieira.  Anyone else?  Lynnda took a selfie during the middle of the work out to try and show me how much sweat was dripping off of her nose! LOL! 

What was it like trying to do a hard Boot Camp by yourself?  Did you make it all the way through?  Did you push yourself as hard?  I’d love to know, so please give me a shout out if you did the work out and tell me what it was like for you!  Well done crew!  I know it wasn’t the same as working out together on a Saturday morning, but hopefully you felt my “Jen” presence with you in the write up 🙂

The PPIE Run was yesterday in Pleasanton and I know there were a few of you out there who participated.  How did you guys do?  Hopefully you had a great time and felt encouraged running out there with your families.  Marcey and Cliff Donnelly, Nancy Bircher, along with their families made it out to the run, as well as Wendy McHugh and Andrea Hasty and friends.  Excellent job you guys!  Way to go in carving out time to walk/jog/run on a Sunday for a good cause!

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MMB – Boot Camp Homework for 4/22

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter and celebrated with your friends and family over the weekend.  I’m happy to report that I’m feeling 100% better and am looking forward to see you all in class this coming week!  A big thank you  to all of my clients for your patience last week as I had to cancel all of my personal training and class sessions.  My boys and I had a nasty virus and I’m very thankful it’s over and done with!  Now, let’s get back to training! 

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MMB – Moms’ Fit Club & Kid Fit

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are feeling great as you are kicking off your week.  I know many of you have been away on vacation during spring break, so I hope you had a fabulous time!  It looks like many of you were out skiing and hiking, so that’s awesome!  For those of you who were local and were able to make it out to class, you guys rocked it!  We’ve been doing Sgt. Ken’s obstacle course work outs on Saturdays for the Spring Fitness Challenge, so you don’t want to miss out!  It’s amazing how hard you can work with just using your own body weight!  I think there’s a message there – less is more!  I think we over complicate our fitness.  Keep it simple and work your guts out! 

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MMB – March Liquid Greens Winner

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had a fantastic weekend and enjoyed the beautiful warm weather!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  I know this time of year can be particularly busy with sports activities, school commitments, year end school planning, and now spring break!  Remember, moving is who we are and what we do, so no matter what your week looks like or what activities you are engaged in, find ways to move around what you are doing.  A hint – it helps if you wear your fitness clothes so you are always ready for a spontaneous sweat session!  LOL!

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MMB – An Inspiring Weekend

Good  morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Did you guys miss me?  I sure missed you guys!  Did you do the Boot Camp work out I posted?  I know quite a few of you did the work out because you texted me photos and videos!  Way to go Lynnda Philbrook, Paula and Jason Allen, Joanne and Ken Vieira, Erin and Brian Campbell, and Kim Mehr.  Did I miss anyone?  Let me know if you did the work out and how it went!  Excellent effort everyone!  I love seeing that moving is part of who you guys are and what you do!  Way to make it happen – woot!

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MMB – Boot Camp Homework

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  Did you have an awesome weekend?  I hope you are walking into your Monday rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to take life on!  Excellent work by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  This past weekend was special because it was the St. Patrick’s Day Boot Camp on Saturday and Running Boot Camp on Sunday!  Joanne Vieira, Ken Vieira, and Paula Allen deserve special recognition for making it out to both!  Way to go guys! 

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MMB – It’s Time to Set Goals

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and were able to get out and celebrate the glorious weather and beautiful warm sunshine!  Can you believe it’s already mid-March?  Remember, March is a green month.  Think St. Patrick’s Day, green juice, green smoothies, veggies, salads, awesome right?! 

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MMB – What to eat in spring?

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and had the chance to get out and move!  Excellent job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  Let’s keep up the momentum and commitment to eating clean and working out with purpose.  Have I mentioned that summer time bodies are made in March?  LOL! 

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MMB-Spring is in the Air

Good morning everyone,

Happy Monday to you! I hope you are all feeling great walking into your Monday! Last week was an excellent week for classes with lots of great energy and effort from everyone who was able to make it out! Let’s keep the momentum going with losing weight and reducing inches!

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MMB – President’s Day

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday and President’s Day to you!  I hope you are finding some time this weekend to do some fun things with your family and enjoy a Monday off!  My family and I just came back from the Arnold area and I couldn’t believe how much rain was coming down hard for hours.  We went sledding by Bear Valley on Sunday and the snow was thick at the top of the mountain with snow walls 8 feet high!   But, below 6,000 feet it was pouring rain non-stop.  As we were coming home, there were spontaneous streams flowing out of the mountain everywhere, along with swollen streams rising along the roads.  It was kinda scary and I’m happy to be safely at home.  If you are traveling out there today, drive safely and slowly! 

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MMB – Negative Thinking Is Your Enemy

Good morning everyone,

O.k. raise your hand if you feel totally inspired, refreshed, and energized by all of the sunshine this weekend? Me too!  I hope you had the opportunity to get outside over the weekend and soak up some Vitamin D!  I know many of you went up to the mountains over the weekend, so I hope you made it safely and avoided the mudslide on Highway 50!  Yikes, crazy stuff going on up there!  For those of you who made it, I pray that you had a marvelous time skiing or snowboarding with your friends and family.  How are your legs feeling this morning?  For those of you who attend my classes on a regular basis, you should be feeling good this morning and not very sore because your legs are conditioned thanks to all of the work we do on the Bosu with squats and lunges.  Hooray for squats and lunges!

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MMB – January Detox Winners

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and were able to get outside and move! Fantastic job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week! Many of you are getting stronger and some have moved up from the 30-minute class to the 60-minute class! Woo hoo! It’s so exciting to watch many of you become stronger, more capable, and confident. It’s a journey though right? Did it happen overnight? NO! It takes time guys. There is no easy, quick fix. But, with commitment and consistency, great things can happen over time, agree?

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MMB – Benefits of Lean Muscle

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend with spring-like weather and were able to get outside and move!  Excellent effort to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Many of you have stayed committed to moving this past month and it shows!  You guys are looking strong out there and are staying consistent during a tough time of year when it’s hard to stay motivated.  Keep up the great work everyone!

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MMB – Attitude of Gratitude

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and are feeling refreshed and ready for your week!  Excellent job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  I know that this can be a very challenging time of the year to stay motivated in your work outs, especially because of all of the rainy and cold days, but many of you are persevering and staying focused with commitment and consistency.  I applaud you guys! 

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MMB – This health stuff is hard

January 16, 17

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend and were able to go outside and celebrate the sunshine and much needed break from the rain!

This past Saturday was the kick off of the 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge and the Army was the featured branch of the military. For those of you who were able to make it out, you guys made awesome soldiers and worked it hard in your squads! Hoorah!

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MMB January = Detox

Good morning everyone,

    I hope you all had a fabulous New Year’s with your friends and family!  Excellent effort to everyone  who was able to make it out to classes the past week.  Many of you have really been taking your work outs and clean eating seriously and it shows!  The holidays can wreak havoc on our mind and body as sugary goodness goes in and bloat, weight gain and grumpiness comes out!  However, if you’ve been moving and have made a conscious decision to avoid most of the holiday treats,  you should be feeling pretty good as you are reading this blog!

 I’m super excited about my new website.  Garrett Stevenson, who is the designer who built the site, did an amazing job and I’m very grateful for his expertise and guidance.  I hope you’ll find the new site to be more intuitive, user friendly, and helpful as you pursue your goals in health, fitness, and nutrition!  I’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions too!

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MMB – Monday is Moving Day!

Good morning everyone,

    I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and were able to unplug for a couple of days and take in the magic of the season!  Monday is moving day, and no, I don’t mean we are moving out of a house!  I’m talking about moving your bodies!

    I’ve always believed that Mondays are the most important work out day of the entire week, especially the day after a holiday!  When we work out on a Monday, it sets the tone for the entire week in getting your head right and focused on moving and eating clean.

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MMB -Time for Reflection

Good morning everyone,

    Can you believe Christmas is this week?! Yikes!  I want to applaud everyone who has been able to make it out to classes this past week.  I know it’s really hard this time of year to stay consistent, but stay focused on your goals and how you want to feel.  I was chatting with my good friend Marcey Donnelly the other day, who is a regular in class, and she shared with me truthfully that she always dreads coming to class because she knows how hard she’s going to work, but she is always 100% glad she came afterwards.   She also shared a funny story with me that the other night when it was raining and she didn’t feel like coming to class, she flipped a coin and called out heads.  Well, heads meant coming to class!  Again, it was tough getting out the door, but she did it and was very happy she did.  Yeah for heads!  We can all relate right?

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MMB – Holiday Health Tips

Good morning everyone,

How are you all doing?  We are almost half way through December, can you believe it? I hope and pray that you are taking time to “pause” and reflect on the meaning of the season and not be carried away into the sea of retail never land and Grinch grumpiness!  If you are tail spinning in that direction, go get your running shoes on quickly and head out the door for a good run! There’s nothing like a good run to sweat some stress out, agree?

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MMB – Is it time for a liver detox?

Good morning everyone,

I hope your December is off to a fabulous start and you are getting into the Christmas spirit!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  Yes, I know it’s darker and colder, so an extra round of applauds for making the effort to stay on track with your work outs!  It’s this time of year we need extra encouragement to keep each other accountable.  During this time of year, the tendency is to hunker down and get cozy with yummy things to eat and drink!  Beware friends and be on guard for a shift in behavior!  Let’s stay focused on moving and continuing to eat clean!

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MMB – The holidays are here!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend and aren’t too tired from all of the holiday shopping!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  It was a joy to work out with you and sweat together so we can manage the holidays!

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MMB – Thankfulness & Turkey Laughs!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well out there and have been moving and eating clean!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it to classes this past week.  As I’ve been saying for the last couple of weeks, the holidays are amongst us and every work out counts!  Let’s walk into this holiday season with a renewed commitment and effort in eating nutrient dense foods along with intense work outs that make you sweat, burn up hundreds of calories, and shed fat!  If you put the work in, then you can some holiday treats without guilt or regret.

For this week, I’ll have Cardio Fusion as usual on Tuesday night, so we’ll have the chance to get a good mid-week exertion together.  On Thursday, don’t even think about sleeping in!  Let’s recruit family and friends to come out to Valley Bible at either 7am or 8:05am for a fun filled fitness morning before the big meal!  You won’t be sorry and you’ll feel great the rest of the day!  Please spread the word and let’s have a huge gathering for Thanksgiving Boot Camp 2016!!

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MMB – Changes for 2017

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are enjoying this beautiful warm weather right now.  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  It is so exciting for me to watch so many of you get leaner, stronger, and more confident!  When you carve out time for your health in getting frequent intense work outs in along with clean, purposeful eating, transformation is the result!

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MMB – Do you have leaky gut?

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend!  This is why we live in California right? LOL!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  As I’ve been saying in class lately, every work out counts because the holidays are almost here!  Let’s stay super committed to carving out time for our workouts and eating as clean as possible.  Sugar addictions often rise after Halloween, so let’s focus on eating our greens, salads, vegetable soups, probiotic rich foods, increasing our water intake, and avoiding processed foods and refined carbohydrates!  Let’s walk into the holidays feeling great instead of bloated, fatigued, depressed, and worn down.  Amen?!

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MMB – Halloween Boo Camp Photos

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  This past Saturday was the annual Halloween “Boo” Camp and it was a great turn out!  A hearty thanks to everyone who made it out and put effort into dressing up and having fun with the holiday!  Also, thanks for participating in the canned food drive for Valley Bible’s Food Pantry.  Your contributions will help bless families in need this holiday season!

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MMB – Fall Challenge Results 2016

Good afternoon everyone,

    I hope you are doing well and feeling good out there!  Sorry it’s taken me a while to get this blog post out.  My son Andrew had oral surgery today, so my schedule was all topsy turvy! Everything went very well in the surgery, so we are thankful to God for that!

    This past Saturday was the last Fall Fitness Challenge!  I hope you guys enjoyed the format and felt challenge and encouraged at the same time!  It’s healthy and inspiring to change up the fitness format every few months and try new things to shake up patterns!  I’m proud of everyone who was able to make it out and give it their best effort!  Here are the winners for the different fitness test categories.  Congratulations Gang!  Way to push hard!

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MMB – Exercise Boots Your Metabolism

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling good out there!  This past Saturday was the 5th Fall Fitness Challenge and you guys were rockin’ it out there!  I love the effort and it’s been so rewarding watching all of you guys get stronger week to week.  This coming Saturday is the last Challenge, so let’s make it the best yet!  For those of you who weighed in, please arrive a few minutes early so I can measure you again or stay a few minutes afterwards.

I will tally up all of your fitness tests and let you know how you did!  Let’s see who will be the biggest reducers with the most weight and inches lost!  It will be fun to find out who improved their 3/4 mile run time the most or who was the fastest!  Who performed the most push-ups, rows, sit-ups, and fast squats?  Inspiring fitness minds are anxious to find out so let’s make this Saturday a great turn with big effort!  Eat lean and clean this week and stay focused on moving and making smart nutritional choices!

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MMB – Fall Flavors can be lethal

Hi Everyone,

    Happy October to you!  How are you all doing this fine Monday morning?  Did you all have the chance to move and get outside over the weekend?  Those of you who were able to make it out to Boot Camp worked it hard and did really well in your fitness tests for the Challenge!  I can tell you guys are taking this seriously by the marvelous sounds of grunts and groans, quivering muscles with the last rep, and a lovely shade of red across your face as you are giving it all you’ve got!

Is it hard?  Yes.  Are you worth it?  Yes!  3-5 days a week you guys should be working it hard with sweat dripping off your face and feeling the burn of hard effort in resistance training for the entire body.  If you are putting this type of effort in and are being a good boy or girl in your nutrition with smaller portions and avoiding processed foods with refined flours and sugars, I promise transformation is around the corner for you!  Keep up the good work guys!  I’m proud of you!

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MMB – Nutrition Tips to Stay on Track

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all feeling good out there and found time to move over the weekend in spite of the heat!  Excellent job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  Keep the momentum going with commitment and consistency, and you’ll see transformation happening soon!

This Saturday was the second Fall Fitness Challenge and I loved watching all of you work really hard in your fitness tests!  Keep putting the work in during the week with specific exercises such as running, push-ups, sit-ups, inverted rows, squatting, and overall strength and core training.  When Saturday rolls around, you’ll be able to improve in your speed and reps from week to week and will see marked improvement in every category!

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MMB – Take the Challenge Seriously

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had an excellent weekend and enjoyed the warm sunshine!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  Now that it’s fall and there’s more of a regular schedule, it’s been wonderful reconnecting with old familiar faces in class!  Now the trick is to keep it going right?!  Remember, commitment + consistency=change!

This past Saturday was the kick off of the Fall Fitness Challenge.  For those of you who were able to  make it out – did you feel challenged?!  Fitness tests are fun right?! LOL! And of course they were followed by a team challenge with cardio, core, and resistance skills to work the whole body!  Woo hoo!  Burning up hundreds of calories and shedding fat is what it’s all about!

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MMB – Fall Fitness Challenge Starts!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling good out there!  I’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks due to Labor Day, but I’m back at it today!  Excellent effort by everyone who has been coming to classes the past couple of weeks!  It’s been awesome seeing some new faces, especially during the 30 minute classes!  I’ve also noticed an exciting trend of husbands and wives coming to classes together.  Woo hoo!  That is so fantastic to see!  Have you noticed when we are on the same page as our spouses stuff gets done?!  I can’t wait to see the potential for some of you who are new and coming to class with your spouse!  Keep it up guys and incorporate clean eating together!  Change and transformation is coming, I promise!

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Thought for the week: Taking the Challenge Seriously

So, you came to the Challenge and weighed and you are all set to lose weight…….now what!!?

First of all, don’t panic or freak out.  It took a while to put the weight on and it will take a while to get the weight off.  The good news is that you are mindful of your situation and you are ready to do something about it.  This is the most important part!  If you aren’t ready mentally, then you aren’t ready to change.

Here are some tips for the next few weeks to help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals:

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