Progress with MyFitnessPal

Hello my fit friends! I apologize for my lack of posts, as I have been quite busy this week. I also don’t want to post just because…I would rather have something important and beneficial to say. 🙂 This week I decided to be extra strict in regards to my eating habits and exercise, with it being post Thanksgiving and all. I want to test my body and see what it is truly capable of. I have been successful thus far, eating super clean, no cheat meals, and hitting the gym 4/4 times this week. I have to say, I am quite proud! With a little ambition, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!  I wanted to share a bit below about what is going on for me in my fitness world.

me

{progress pic above}

I started using MyFitnessPal, which is an app you can download on your phone. It is super cool, and I have been very diligent about using. If you havent heard of it, with this app you enter your food and workout logs each day, as it counts calories and calculates how much more you should be consuming to stay at a certain weight, or whatever your goals may be. You can either search for the food, or scan it, which is awesome! It is SO important to track your progress when you have a certain goal in mind. If you are trying to lose weight, this is KEY! If you are like me and trying to gain muscle and track protein intake this is also a great tool. Needless to say, I am loving it so far and has helped me immensely to stay on track. You can also find me and follow my records, username: FitnessandtheCity.

 

photo

While eating extremely clean, I found myself to be eating the same thing over and over again. I usually start with Nonfat greek yogurt in the morning, and at least one of my meals consist of chicken and brown rice or veggies. I need to spice it up a bit, and will be searching for new recipes. Stay tuned! What are your go-to meals?

shrimp

{Here was a delicious meal that I came up with. Organic brown rice from Trader Joes, asparagus and shrimp. I’m no cook in the kitchen but this was tasty! }

Stay tuned, I have a new Fitness and the City Fit Gal coming up! Her name is Cassie and she is truly inspiring! She is a cosmetology student who has made the commitment to a healthy lifestyle. I can’t wait to introduce her!

{If you would like to be featured on my blog as a Fit Gal, please email me at Jenna.pardini@gmail.com }

Happy weekend everyone! With the gloomy weather (at least here in San Francisco), I know how much comfort food and being lazy can take over you mind and body! Try to stay on track with your goals. Positive energy = positive results! 🙂

Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Ok, so this seems to be the topic of the season, right? Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, and it seems to be on trend to splurge during the Holidays. But why do we feel the need to gain weight and eat more than needed? Why can’t we make it a healthier holiday while still giving thanks and enjoying the company of friends and family? Lets try to be guilt free as much as possible! Exercise more than usual, put your mind to it and enjoy the season free of guilt.

Here are some tips that have come to mind as we approach Thanksgiving:

1.  Get active! There are tons of organized runs going on during this time of year. Get registered to run or walk a 5k even if you are not a runner. Burn off those extra calories, both before and after meals. Take a walk, increase your steps, lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and also the day of the feast. Make fitness a family adventure which you can all enjoy together.

2. Eat breakfast the day of. While it may make sense to save calories for the big meal, eating a small meal in the morning gives you more control over your appetite later in the day.

3. Lighten up the feast, with less fat, sugar and calories. This is easier if you are the one in the kitchen, but fat-free chicken broth, sugar substitutes, and less butter are just a few ways to make the meal a little less indulging.

4. Portions, portions, portions! Use portion control people! “If you’re hoping to keep this Thanksgiving from turning into another gut-busting affair, that’s what your plate should look like: a serving of turkey no larger than a deck of playing cards and half a cup each of two starches. (A half-cup is about the size of a computer mouse.) And that’s being generous…But Americans generally are clueless when it comes to proper portions, and on Thursday most will belly up instead to platters piled high with more calories and fat than an average person should eat all day.” Did you know that Americans are eating about 200 more calories per day than they did during the 1970s? Visualize your stomach; it’s about the size of two fists. If the food on your plate wont fit, cut back. To read more about portion control, click here.

5. Slow your roll and eat early. Enjoy your meal by eating it slower, which also gives you more time to digest and realize how full you actually are. Also, eat your meal on the early side, so you have time to digest before bed, or maybe even take a walk afterwards to get that metabolism moving.

Thanksgiving is a time to focus on family and friends, socializing and spending quality time together. It’s not all about the food! Although, it sure is delicious don’t focus on the meal, rather focus on those wonderful people you are surrounded by. Oh and one last very important thing, be realistic. Shift from a focus of weight loss to weight maintenance. You will be ahead of the game with a heavy mindset and can ultimately avoid gaining weight over the holidays if you put your mind to it!

How are you planning to practice these tips this coming season?

Enjoy the season and stay fit,

Jenna

 {Sources: MSNBC.com, WebMD.com}

 

pvBody and NatureBox

Happy Thanksgiving week! As we know, with the holiday comes about many challenges regarding health and fitness. Plan to do your best this week so you can reward with a nice large meal with family and friends on Thursday!

I am VERY excited to share with you a couple of new fitness related websites that I found. I think you will LOVE them! These business plans are phenomenal and such great ideas for those fitness fanatics like myself.

The first is pv.body.com. (Thank you Christie for sending this to me!!) If you love buying workout clothes as much as I do, this is the site for you! For just $39.95 a month, they will send you a workout top and bottom which is chosen according to your style. You take the quiz to determine your needs, an outfit a month is chosen and sent to you free of delivery charge. I am SO curious to see how this works, as I love workout clothes more than anything!

http://www.pvbody.com

I have also recently signed up for Nature Box. (Sorry mom to spoil my Christmas present!) I just couldn’t resist. This is a monthly membership deal as well, where for a small cost, they will send you a box full of healthy snacks. Other than hearing many great things about this company, here is a quick read that convinced me to sign up:

Discover a Healthier You: NatureBox helps you eat healthier without needing to change your eating habits. We focus on snacks because that’s the easiest habit to change. Do you know that the average American eats almost 25% of their calories from snacking? In fact, snacking is the leading cause of childhood obesity. NatureBox helps you get more out of your day without wasting calories on the bad stuff.

Food  You Can Trust: Every NatureBox item is carefully sourced and nutritionist approved. Everything inside your NatureBox will be guilt free so that you can feel great about what you’re eating. You can trust that our products will be made from the most wholesome ingredients and will be minimally processed, if at all.

Together We Give: For every NatureBox sent out, together we’re helping to feed the hungry. NatureBox donates one meal for every box to feed the over 14 million children in America who go hungry. We believe in doing good and eating well.

www.naturebox.com

 

Who says you can’t spoil yourself once in a while? Have a wonderful week everyone! Be sure to check out these businesses for yourself and thank you for reading!

xo, Jenna

Fit Gal: Amber!

Hey all! I think its time for another Fit Gal! I would love to introduce you to Amber. A certain facebook posting got my attention and I knew I had to get her on Fitness and the City. Here is how it went: “Happy 1 year of healthy living to me! November 1, 2011 I decided to start living a healthy lifestyle (eating clean & exercising.) I’m not posting this for complements, but because someone’s posts like this inspired me to get off my ass. So if this helps just one person get motivated then I’m happy! If I can do it so can you.” So what do you think about that for inspiring?! Here she is…

Fit Gal: Amber

1. Tell us about yourself and your “fitness lifestyle” and journey.

I am 23 years old born and raised in Northern California. I recently graduated from Sonoma State University and live in Santa Rosa. Since I was little I have always been an active person. I played soccer for 14 years, ran cross country and worked out pretty routinely. I have always fluctuated in weight. I would lose weight and then put it right back on. College was some of my heaviest years because I wasn’t taking care of myself. Poor eating, too much drinking and not enough sleep. In November 2011, after looking at pictures of myself, I realized I needed to make a lifestyle change, and not just a quick fix but a forever one. I decided to start eating right and exercising. And I did just that. I did not use any diet program or pay for any personal training. I just used the simple formula of food in moderation and small portions, and at the gym cardio and weights. I also trained and ran my first ½ marathon and in June. Training for a run was great because I had a long term goal of running the 13.1 miles but also had the short term goals of making sure I ran each week. Which is a lot like my journey to where I am today because I believe a huge part of my success is setting small goals that work towards a bigger goal. I started my journey weighting 182 lbs. and I am currently 152. I am nowhere near done working towards my goal weight and my journey will never be over because fitness is a lifestyle and I plan to keep it in my life forever!

2. What are your goals and how are you working for them?

My next goal is to run a full marathon before I turn 24! Also, get down to my goal weight.

3. Do you “eat clean”?

I try my best to eat clean, but there are days that I totally blow it. What has helped me be successful is planning ahead. Making weekly schedules of what I’m going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I don’t prepare I give in to the “bad foods.” I also don’t cut anything out cold turkey. I believe eating the things I enjoy most (ice cream) in moderation is what has helped me be successful for this long and not go back to putting on weight. I also accept the days I don’t eat clean and reminding myself that tomorrow is a fresh start. I pay close attention to labels and how much hidden sugars are in items, those can get you!

4. In what ways do you stay active?

To stay active I take a boot camp class on Wednesday and Saturdays. I try to get to the gym Monday- Friday and do cardio every day and free weights every other day. I also love running so signing up for races always keeps me busy with training.

5. What inspires you to live this lifestyle?

Living this lifestyle has brought so many great things to my life. I have met new people through working out, I have a lot of energy and I just feel SO good about myself. What inspires me to live this lifestyle is to show people that it’s possible. It just takes the drive and determination in yourself to get moving. No one else is going to get you off the couch but yourself. Healthy is happy 🙂

Thank you so much for sharing with us Amber! Your positivity and desire to help others is awesome! I know I feel motivated by your determination and success! 🙂 

{If you would like to be a part of this Fit Gal project, please comment or send me a note. I would love to have you!}

xo,Jenna

5 Favorite Things

Here are a few of my favorite things at the moment. First off, how cute are these cheetah print Nikes? If anyone knows where I can purchase these, please let me know. Green tea has been an essential lately to get me through the latter half of a long workday. I have also been experimenting in the kitchen with different ways to prepare kale. Simply delicious. Fall foliage and the wonderful smell of rain are also at the top of my list as the holiday season is quickly approaching.  Happy weekend everyone!

NYC Marathon & Hurricane Sandy

 

Hi friends! I hope everyone is having a great week! I have just returned from my first trip to NYC and coincidentally it was right after Hurricane Sandy. I wanted to share a bit of my experience with you all, as this is one for the history books! My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this disaster. The reason for my visit was through my job, as Diamond Foods sponsors the NYC marathon. I would rather not get into the controversial side of things as many were appalled when they found out that the marathon would still be taking place. Rather, I would like to speak about how the runners came together to help those in need.

When I first found out about Sandy, we heard that the marathon was still on and we would be flying out to NYC. I knew it would be a rather interesting trip, as we had no idea if our hotel had power or if the city was in shambles. So we proceeded and got there safely. My first thought was how in the world could they proceed after such a disaster. My second, we are going to do this thing to raise money and help the state as they are in much need. Then the news hit that it was cancelled and there would be no marathon this year after lots of training and preparation. Of course many were let down, but we really had to focus on the relief efforts at hand, as the state had never seen such a disaster. My heart truly goes out to those who lost so much. After watching the news and seeing it first hand, it really hits home and our first question was how we could help. I am proud to say that Diamond Foods donated over 70,000 units of product to the relief efforts and it has been said that the marathon has donated a significant amount of money as well. If you would like to donate to the Hurricane Sandy Relief, please do so here.

To my surprise when we decided to take a Sunday stroll through Central Park, we came across this amazing sight. Runners uniting and thousands of participants running through the park, cheering, chanting and doing it on their own. It was an amazing sight to see! No resources needed, just runners doing what they do best as they support the city. It was then that I realized that all runners are a part of such an amazing community as they were determined to make a difference and come together as a group to conquer this difficult time. They are truly unstoppable and their efforts are much appreciated as many had volunteered later that day. GO RUNNERS, we are so proud!!

For more information about the NYC Marathon, click here.

For a great article from Active.com click here.

xo, Jenna

The Very First Fit Gal: Chelsea!

Ok everyone, here it is! The launch of something new on my sight. As I have mentioned in the last post, I want to feature a “Fit Gal” every so often so we can learn about others journeys and feel motivated in that sense. She will totally inspire you, as she has even gotten me more motivated to really commit to a healthy lifestyle. She happens to be one of my very best friends, whose friendship means the world to me. When I saw these pictures of her, I was in awe of how amazing she looks! Check her out for yourself, find inspiration, and learn about how others work towards their goals. So here she is!

Fit Gal: Chelsea

1. Tell us about yourself and your fitness lifestyle and journey.

I have always loved being active and have played sports, and have generally ate a healthy balanced diet. However, drinking and a social lifestyle has always kept me from being lean and having my “dream” body. Drinking leads to additional calories you don’t notice, and late night pizza that you definitely don’t need. Also, it makes it hard to stay motivated in the gym. So to jump start my fitness kick, I cut out drinking.  This made me feel fresh when going to the gym to ensure I had a good workout, and it nixed late night bad food binges. I immediately leaned down, roughly about 7lbs of fat. I was back down to my body size that I had before moving to San Francisco and discovering that there is something social going on every night of the week. However, I wanted to have the body of my “dreams”, so I decided to make a few more drastic changes and some hard work to make sure I could get there. My diet changed to included no more sugars, a lot less carbs and living off of mainly veggies and lean protein. My workouts are different every day to make sure I do not get accustomed to any exercise and plateau (I think of it as always trying to “surprise” my body to keep seeing results). But most importantly, I started a food diary. I use the iPhone app MyFitnessPal. It is so simple and quick to use, and has every food under the sun. I started making sure I put everything in there all the way down to the tablespoon of soy milk in my coffee. It was a HUGE surprise how many calories you eat in a day. Since it gets harder to trim that last little bit of fat off you once you are lean, it becomes 100% important to track your diet. Losing weight (fat weight) is simply math/science, so I needed to figure out exactly how many calories my body needs in a day (basal metabolic rate – BMR) you can look up calculators online for the equation. I aim for about 1400 calories a day on the days that I am working out. On the days that I take off (I am only doing one day a week of rest right now) I eat around 1200-1400 calories. Once I do not want to lose anymore fat, I will up my caloric intake to around 1800 on the days I work out to maintain my weight. This was the best information that I picked up – your diet is what is going to give you the canvas to paint your hard work with your workouts – drop the fat and your abs, shoulders, etc will easily and beautifully show through and display your hard work and discipline.

2. What are your goals and how are you working for them?

I am pretty darn close to all my goals right now, so my new goal is to maintain. However, initially, I wanted to get down to a certain weight because that was my ‘skinny’ goal weight. I reached that goal early on, however what I didn’t realize is muscle SERIOUSLY does weigh more than fat. I had to get rid of the scale and start judging how I look and feel in the mirror and with my clothes. Right now I have been consistently about 5lbs heavier than my lightest weight, but am thinner, have very little fat and have crazy ab definition (that’s what I’m most proud of). This has been hard for me, because I think girls are very reliant on the scale to justify “skinniness” and “fitness”. Absolutely untrue. I have never been more fit and I weigh more now than I did about 2 months ago. That’s because of the awesome lean muscle I’ve built an toned. Right now my fitness goals are to tone down my last little “problem” areas and still maintain this level of fitness. The only way I can keep up a high level of fitness is by not being black and white with anything. I can let myself have a night of drinking and eat what I want, but I make sure the gym and my diet the next few days is better than usual. Going cold turkey will probably end badly with getting burnt out. I still wanna go to weddings and parties and have champagne and cake, but need to balance that with my new fit lifestyle… And champagne and cake doesn’t need to happen every night. I’ll save it for special occasions.

3. Do you “eat clean”?

I have always eaten rather “clean”, meaning I was never a big fan of processes foods. So in a way, yes I do eat clean. I eat more strictly clean now, meaning no more diet Cokes and I’m more focused on making sure the food I’m refueling with is balanced and healthy. But again, moderation and balance is the key… But when you are working out, and working out hard, your body craves healthier food so it’s pretty easy to choose veggies and chicken over processed foods. Additionally, I’ve always chosen to eat clean because a lot of processed foods freak me out and gross me out with how they are made (or what we don’t know of how they are made) and the potential health risks with regards to cancer etc. of eating them.

4. In what ways do you stay active?

The gym is my main form of fitness. However I do pepper in walking and stairs whenever I can (and count that as working out). At the gym I always do some form of cardio and mix it up every day. Erging, stairs, running, elliptical… I like intervals more than a steady long cardio sesh. I can get a better workout in with 15 mins of intense intervals on the erg than 45 mins at a level 7 on the treadmill. Again, you need to “surprise” your body to keep seeing results. Your body will quickly get used to the same cardio day in day out and will plateau. If I can’t get in the gym, totally fine – I can go for a run anywhere, do lunges, push ups, dips, crunches, plank etc anywhere.

5. What inspires you to live this lifestyle?

I like the way I feel. I love the way I look. Going shopping is so much fun, everything looks good on a fit body. I love how strong I am. And the compliments are awesome. I like seeing how I can push myself. The type of discipline it takes to keep a fit body takes a lot of dedication, which we all owe ourselves a healthy body, it does everything for us. Also, I know I am still very young (25), but I want to develop good habits now while it’s still easy, so I can potentially help and prevent issues when I’m older.

Isn’t she amazing? I just love her to death and find her so inspiring. Thank you so much Chels for taking part in my blog!

If you would like to join me here on my page as a Fit Gal, please email me, I would love to have you!  jenna.pardini@gmail.com 🙂