Exciting News!

I am so excited to announce something new and exciting for the blog! I have had many conversations recently with different people about their fitness lifestyle, what they do to stay fit, how they eat clean and their personal success stories and tips. So I thought it would be super fun to share other gals stories with my readers!

So here it is- I will have a super awesome, exciting and dedicated featured “Fit Gal” each week who will provide you with their story and answer a few questions I have for them. These gals are super sweet, fitness fanatics, and I am positive you will love them! You will learn different paths to success, how others are working toward their goals and learn how you can relate to their fitness lifestyle as you may be on the same journey.

I believe that we are all on the same path here and working together, sharing struggles, as well as success stories is what our community should be all about. We can all benefit from each other in one way or another.

If you would like to be a featured “Fit Gal” here on Fitness and the City, please email me at jenna.pardini@gmail.com and we can get you on here as well. I would love to have you! You don’t have to be a fitness model or bikini competitor, just someone who is on our same journey to bettering your life through health and fitness.

Stayed tuned for our very first Fit Gal…she is a very close friend of mine and I can’t wait to introduce her to you!

xo, Jenna

Balance

I hope everyone has been having a fabulous week! I have been busy rooting on our San Francisco Giants as they play game 2 tonight in the world series!! I am beyond excited and it is amazing to watch how this city comes together for our team. Anyways, I wanted to talk a bit about balance, as we try our best to balance things out in our lives. Especially in regards to fitness it has been a bit of a struggle for me to come up with a work, gym, and social life balance. In a perfect world I could fit everything in…work all day, come home, workout then be with friends, my family, my boyfriend and have time to blog, shop etc etc…uh, yeah maybe in my dreams! As of right now, my head has been drowning in all things fitness and that is what I love, but other aspects have been suffering. I don’t have time to go out with friends all the time, I don’t have time to post every night as I would LOVE to. So this is where I am needing to sit back and figure out how I am going to come to terms with the fact that everything will not get done. There is not one thing that will get 100% of my attention, as my passion comes from so many different branches.

How do I have time in my busy life to hit the gym, yoga class, run and eat clean? Sounds simple, I make time. Reality: not that simple! I have learned to make it a lifestyle that it isn’t a second thought anymore. But it has gotten easier with time. I prepare my meals to bring to work with me. I plan out my workout schedule each week around other activities. If I have an after work event, I usually plan to squeeze in a workout within the work day. If I know I can make it to the gym after work, I head there right after without a thought about skipping or sitting on the couch. This may seem a little crazy, but I swear you can do it as well. There are always some rest days, as I cannot let myself get down about those. When there is a will there is a way.

I think one of the most important things while living a ‘fit’ lifestyle is finding the right support system. It will be incredibly hard to eat the correct foods or stay on a strict regime if you are not surrounding yourself with people who will support you 100%. Working together with someone who shares the same views about fitness will enable you more than you could imagine. I am so lucky to have a boyfriend who eats what I eat, and works out as much as I do. We share the same values and views of why health and fitness is so important and that makes a world of difference. Push each other to get your butt to the gym, and don’t let your partner buy crap that will sit in your fridge and taunt you to eat it! Even if they are not on your same page, influence them as much as possible. Spread the word of fitness and help better others lives in that way. Make sense? Find friends that share your same passion and push each other to stay motivated. Make it fun! Stay focused, stay positive and keep moving forward. 🙂

I’m wondering, do you share the same struggles, of work life, fitness life and social life balance? I would love for you to share with us!

With my Nike marathon past me, I am planning to keep up running as much as possible. I decided to do a 5k turkey trot here in the city! Nothing like a good run before a large Thanksgiving meal! Find the details here.

***Also, I have something really special coming up in the near future for Fitness and the City… stay tuned, I am so excited!***

Take care, and GO GIANTS!! 🙂

Staying Active in the Office

Sitting at a desk 8-5 can be hard on your body, let me tell ya. Making sure that your posture is correct is a must, but I’ve been also thinking about ways to stay active on the job. Unfortunately, I don’t have my own office where I can bust out the hand weights once in a while, which would be great. A lot of studies have come out regarding health risks for those who work in an office environment, so that has got me thinking. What are some ways to keep active on the job?

  • Replace your chair with a fitness ball. I would love to do this! When you have no choice but to sit you can get in a mini workout this way. With a ball you’re forced to use your core muscles to keep you upright, rather than slouching over as you would in a chair. Another reason why I would love my own office. 🙂
  • Burn calories while you commute to work. Are you able to walk or ride a bike to work? If you are close enough, stop being lazy and do so! In my case, I am forced to take the bus, but walking to a farther bus stop would get the calories burning a bit.
  • Book a walking meeting. Instead of ordering food while meeting around a conference room table, take a walk outside with your coworkers. This can also boost your mood and may even encourage more creativity.
  • Stop IMing and get up and walk over to your coworkers desk. If you are in a huge office as I am, I tend to pick up the phone or IM a coworker with a question or concern. Instead I should be walking over to their desk and taking the stairs over the elevator. This is much more productive! And yes, I have been guilty of taking the elevators up and down one floor. 🙂
  • Hit the gym at lunchtime. This is my fav! If I am able to get out for lunch or an hour break, I head right over to the gym for a quick workout. Follow your sweat sesh with a healthy meal that you can eat at your desk while you get back to work. This also helps me to clear my head, feel better about the afternoon and able to tackle the tasks that come to my desk.
  • For those of you more fortunate, you can even stash some exercise equipment under your desk and whip out some bicep curls or other easy movements. May seem a little silly, but I have seen this done! Stretching at your desk is also a great way to break up the energy a bit and make your body feel a whole lot better throughout the day.
  • Also, since we are talking about keeping healthy in our offices, another little tip that I have been doing a lot lately, is bringing my own lunch! I was notorious for grabbing lunch out every work day, but in fact ordering a salad can still bump up the calories. It’s best to know exactly what ingredients are in the food your eating, and making your own lunch is the best way to do so. On Monday’s I try to cook my own chicken and veggie or brown rice and put them in containers for the next couple of days. This way my lunch is ready to go. I also bring in my own greek yogurt each morning, so I am sure to feed my body with the best energy boosting foods it needs.

Thoughts? Do you work in an office environment where you have the ability to administer these types of activities? We need to make more people aware that sitting at a desk all day is terrible for your body and health and there are ways to help this!

I have also added a new page to the blog! It’s called “Workout Log”. I will be keeping track of my daily workouts here, as I think it’s important to keep track of my daily routine as well as have everything in one place and accessible to others.

Do you keep a workout log? If so, do you use a particular program or jot it down on paper?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! xo,J

NWM Recap

I apologize for the delay, but I have been so insanely tired lately my days have consisted of work, eat, sleep and repeat. This weekend was one of the best experiences of my life and I wanted to share with you how wonderful marathons can be, especially since Nike puts on a darn good show. So here’s how it all went down.

After months of training I get major butterflies starting about the week before. The runs are slowly declining and all I can think about it the big day. I ran a couple of 3 milers last week to make sure I was prepared, but also to be sure my body was not sore in any way. I started carbo loading the day before, where I had plain pasta and some wheat bread for dinner. Plenty of rest was key, as that was quite the challenge because of the excitement of the next day.

5am wake-up call, and not too happy about that. But got up excited and ready to go. Eating breakfast is important and setting my stuff out the night before made it easy to get out the door. I don’t take much with me, just my iPhone with music, armband and gu-gel (2 packs full of energy). I loaded up on coffee and light breakfast and we were out the door. Getting dropped off at the start line was easy peasy but anticipating the start was getting me quite anxious!

Then we were off. The excitement of the whole experience kind of takes you away and before I knew it I was at the finish line. It was shocking to me that I didn’t need to stop one bit to rest, I was so in the zone that my speed continued to amaze me. Training definitely pays off, so if you are running a half or full marathon, the more you train the easier it is! I never think I have trained enough, and always seem to doubt myself but reality sets in when you are on the course.

The cheer stations were wonderful, and people with signs rooting you on the whole way was fantastic.This is such a mental game. “Mind over muscle” was the best quote I heard that day. I found myself pushing to run faster and also thinking about what was waiting for me at the finish line. Besides that little blue Tiffany’s box, it just so happened that it was my boyfriend and I’s anniversary. I honestly kept telling myself “He is at the finish line, the faster you get there the faster you get to celebrate (and stop running!)” Remember, it’s all a mind game!

Luckily I made it across the finish line feeling great, below are my stats:

Name Residence Bib # Time Chip Pace Category Cat. Place 5km
Split
10km
Split
15km
Split
 JENNA PARDINI SAN FRANCISCO, CA, US
4483
02:09:26
02:04:57
9:33
F25-29
463/3861
 00:28:51 00:58:41 01:30:32  

My advice to you if you are training or want to train for a half or full marathon: you can do it! Anyone can do it! It is such a wonderful accomplishment to come across the finish line and know that you worked so hard to get there. Time does not matter, its you versus you. You can do anything you set your mind to and if that is running a marathon than get to training. Start running a couple of miles and work your way up to long distance. You have to start somewhere and no one starts running 13.1 miles after your first week. My first NWM was last year and it was tough for me! I had never ran an organized run before in my life. It was not easy, let me tell you. But there were other people there that shared the same journey. The more races you do, the faster and more comfortable you get. Next time I want to push myself for a better time, and even better after that. It will be a continuous challenge for me, but challenging yourself is so important and something I am very passionate about.

Nike puts on such an awesome event. The pre-race expo was fabulous with lots of fun stuff going on in Union Square. They then have music, and stretching instructors to get you going pre-race and the finish line party is so much fun. Not to mention you are running for an awesome cause and everyone is thrilled to be a part of it.  I think I am still on a little high from all of the excitement! So my suggestion: put your Nikes on and just do it!!

{ If you have any marathon training questions, please feel free to ask. I am happy to help you a much as possible. :)}

Pumpkin Benefits and Recipes

With Halloween right around the corner I am obsessing over everything pumpkin right now! I went to Trader Joe’s a couple of days ago and picked up a ton of pumpkin goodies. Pumpkin butter, pumpkin spice latte mix and a couple of cute mini pumpkins just for decoration. I couldn’t resist researching to see what the health benefits of pumpkin are, and here is what I found.

Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and rich in disease fighting nutrients such as:

  • Alpha-carotene: healthy vision & proper immune function, can also slow aging.
  • Beta-carotene: can reverse skin damage & act as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Fiber: one-half cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, protects the body against heart disease, control blood sugar levels, promote healthy digestion, and plays a role in weight loss.
  • Vitamin C: boost immunity, reduces risk of high blood pressure and heart disease and regulates cholesterol levels.
  • Vitamin E: promotes healthy skin and protecting from sun damage.
  • Potassium: aids in balancing fluid levels in the body, promotes strong bones, necessary for energy production and helps control blood pressure.
  • Magnesium: aids the body in hundreds of functions, including promoting a healthy immune system, contributing to bone strength and normalizing heart function.

Pumpkin seeds also contain essential vitamins and minerals and are a good source of vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and are excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Did you also know that canned pumpkin is also just as nutritious as fresh? This is all awesome news to me, and I am so ready to start making pumpkin soups, muffins, breads, smoothies as well as eating pumpkin seeds alone.

I came across a couple of recipes that I wanted to share. They all look amazing, but here are my favs: (click on the link to see the recipe)

{for more amazing skinny recipes visit skinnytaste.com; credits: suite101.com}

Speaking of Halloween, are you all planning on getting into the spirit and dressing up in costume? If so, please share! Have a great week everyone!

Your Daily Total Body Workout

Here it is folks! I have designed a quick total body workout for each day of the week. I have had a lot of questions regarding what type of exercises to do at home with handweights, so this is what I came up with. This is a quick workout, and with that being said I recommend you to go through each movement with power and with as much energy as possible to burn the most calories. It is also important to use more than 2 pound handweights! (yes, I’m talking to you mom ;)) I have 12 and 15 pounders at home, which make it more challenging and way more affective.

Don’t have time to hit the gym? Looking for a quick workout to do with your handweights after an afternoon jog? Keep up with this routine each day of the week and you will see results! I am doing this also, and will keep you posted on what I am up to on my facebook page.

Are you more of an advanced fitness fanatic? Do this same workout with compound movements. I have tried to incorporate these as much as possible, but if you see that the movement calls for a leg exercise, add-on an arm movement and visa versa. An example of a compound exercise is a lunge with a bicep curl. These are my fav! It only makes sense to get the most out of the time you have, so hit as many muscle groups as possible.

 

{Sorry that the font is a little off, but its the content that counts!} Please let me know if you are unfamiliar with any of these movements and I will send you a picture. Also, I am thinking about doing an exercise a day on my facebook page to help some get a better idea of what correct form looks like. Pictures are sometimes better than words. Thoughts?

I hope this quick, living room workout, will jumpstart you on the fitness path that you desire! Best of luck to you and please let me know if you are keeping up and seeing results!

❤ Jenna

Clean Eating Grocery List

Ok, so it’s that time of the week again. Time to do a little grocery shopping this evening. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not my favorite thing in the world, but now that I am watching what I pick up at the store, I am SO much more interested. Remember, eating clean is a must, and if you buy the right foods you will eat the right foods. Abs are made in the kitchen people. 🙂

Below I wanted to share what is on my full shopping list which I usually print out and bring with me to keep me on track, and not wandering off into the junk food sections!

Protein Options

  • Eggs
  • Boneless/skinless chicken breasts (I pick up every time!)
  • Lean ground turkey
  • Canned tuna (in water always)
  • Plain nonfat cottage cheese
  • Plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • Non fat cheese sticks
  • Salmon

Veggie Options

  • Brocoli
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Kale (need to start eating more of this!)
  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichoke
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber

Fruit

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries (huge fan of berries as you can tell!)
  • Tomatoes (some can say it’s a veggie, some fruit, who knows!)
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon (if in season)

Complex Carb Options

  • Low carb/low sugar cereal
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Sweet potato

Healthy Fat Options

  • Natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Avocado

Beverages

  • Water! (If you don’t have a brita or water filter)
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Green tea
  • Coffee

Condiments

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Salsa
  • Cinnamon
  • Zero calorie sweetener
  • Pepper
  • Salt

I also tend to pick up multi vitamins and protein powder (usually Muscle Milk).

Other helpful tips

  • Try to stay away from the alcohol! I sometimes will give in and buy a bottle of wine, but alcohol promotes fat storage- more details about that later.
  • Dont go on an empty stomach!
  • Just because its says low-fat doesn’t mean it is healthy!

One thing that I have learned is that eating healthy absolutely does not have to be expensive. Stores like Trader Joes have all of this food available at low prices. Please don’t ever think that it will cost a fortune to eat clean, because you can always stick to minimum requirements or look for coupons for these items. If you stick to this list, cut out as much junk food and minimally eat out, you will see results. I have witnessed this first hand. I do have cheat meals so don’t get me wrong, I am only human (and also a HUGE chocoholic and full Italian who loves my pasta) but I try my very hardest to stick to this list as much as possible.

I may also be leaving a few things out, some I may not like or others I just don’t know about, so please don’t be shy to leave me a comment and give other suggestions!

Thank you for reading! I hope this clean eating list will help you to choose all of the right options that work for you as they have worked for me!

xo, Jenna

 

Cardio Playlist

“What are some good power songs for cardio sessions?” I’ve been getting this question often, so I have put together a few songs that are on my workout playlist at the moment. {You can click on the songs to view in the iTunes store.}

I’m also a huge fan of Pandora, pretty much any DJ or house music station and I’m running for the hills. Check these out:

  • Swedish House Mafia
  • Kaskade
  • Armin Van Buuren
  • Gabriel and Dresden
  • Eric Prydz
  • Ferry Corsten
  • Calvin Harris
  • Benny Benassi
  • Avicii

I think it’s safe to say that I am going through a house music phase. They are all so upbeat and keep me going. I plan to keep a running list going, so stay tuned for more playlist updates! 🙂

I am always in need of more options and new genres! What are some of your favorites that I should add to the list?