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.
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:
- Run 1 lap around the buildng
- 20 push-ups & 20 Burpee push-ups
- 20 MB Slams & 20 MB Rotational Slams
- Running Pyramid – starting at 1 (light run) to 5 (sprint) and back down to 1.
- 20 Renegade Rows with a push-up, jump into a bicep press, and overhead press.
- 4 – 2 X2 Sprints and Stair drills
- 20 MB Tricep push-ups & 20 MB Burpee Tricep push-ups
- 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:
- 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!
- Next Running Boot Camp is on Sunday, October 8th at 7am.
- 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.
- 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!!
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:
- Cardio Core is at Jen’s Home Studio on Tuesdays.
- 5:45pm – 1 opening 6:55pm – full 7:35pm – 2 openings
- Please contact me via text if you’d like to sign up for a session! 925-699-7725
- Running Boot Camp is this coming Sunday at 7am at Jen’s house! Get a 5k distance in with strength and core drills!
- 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?
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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:
- 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.
- Fall Movement Mania begins on Saturday, September 23rd! More details to come!
- 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
1/2 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.