Fit Gal: Jessica!

 

Periodically featuring amazing women on a quest for health and fitness is my favorite part of Fitness & the City. I have met some amazing gals through blogging, and Jessica is one of them. She is an excellent writer, is absolutely hilarious, and just so happens to be a health and fitness enthusiast as well. All of which can be found on her blog: Wonder Whats Next. So allow me to introduce her to you, Fit Gal Jessica.

PicMonkey Collage

Tell us about yourself and your fitness lifestyle.
I’m a 20-something post-grad trying to figure out how to be a “grown up” and everything that comes along with that. I grew up being very active. I was part of the “go play outside” generation, so I did! I also played sports and cheered in high school. I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Pizza at midnight? You bet. After going to college I was no longer obligated to stay in shape and I let that fall by the wayside. However, I continued eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted! One day it just clicked with me that my weight and my health had gotten completely out of hand and it was time to take control of it. I slowly began working toward living a healthier lifestyle and I haven’t looked back.

 

What are your fitness goals and how are you working towards them?
Originally, my goal was to lose about 20 pounds. Well, I did that and then some and now I’m working to maintain that by setting new goals. I want to lean out and someday I want abs! I’m a sucker for cardio, but I’ve recently began to incorporate more weight training. Because of that I haven’t seen the number on the scale go down very much, but I have noticed areas of my body looking more toned and my clothes fitting a little looser. 🙂

 

Do you “eat clean”?
I eat as clean as I can. I’m a girl on a budget, so sometimes that’s tough. I try to keep the processed stuff out of my diet and always read my labels. If I’m not sure what it’s my food it, I won’t eat it or I’ll put in the research to find out what it is. I incorporate as many fruits and vegetables and lean proteins as I can! I’m also a distributor for a health and fitness supplement company, so I have a lot of shakes and things of that nature to keep me on track when life gets busy.

 

In what ways do you stay active?
I love group fitness! Turbo Kick, R.I.P.P.E.D., Body Pump, I love it all! There’s something about having a room full of people that silently motivates me and always pushes me to do better. I always find myself competing with the person next to me. One of my goals is to run a half marathon, so I’m trying to incorporate more running to help me reach that goal.

 

What inspires you to live this lifestyle?
My family! There have been a lot of health related changes over recent years and that was a wake-up call for me. This is the only body I’m ever going to have and I need to take care of it so I can be around for my family now and the family of my own I will (hopefully!) have someday. Aside from my family as a whole, my mom is a huge inspiration for me. We have taken this journey together for the most part and we are always motivating each other to do better. I’m also doing this for myself. By losing weight and getting stronger I gained so much confidence. I don’t ever want to lose that, so every day I get out there and bust my butt and try to be better than I was the day before.

Thank you Jessica for your inspiration!

Be sure to head over to her blog: wonderwhatsnextblog.blogspot.com

Lots of love to you all, Jenna

pomegranate benefits

pom

Lately I’ve had a newfound obsession with pomegranates! Although they are messy and tedious to eat, you can also buy just the seeds in a convenient container. I have been finding myself going back for more every time I am at the market, so I decided to do a little research in lieu of my fascination.  Here’s some interesting findings:

  • Pomegranate is the most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
  • Lowers risk of cancer, especially prostate and breast
  • Lowers cholesterol and risk of heart disease
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps control your weight
  • May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis

As an original native of Persia, Persians believed Eve actually ate a pomegranate instead of an apple in the Garden of Eden. Ancient Egyptians buried their dead with pomegranates because they believed it offered eternal life. It is also believed to be a symbol of good luck according to Greeks and Chinese. Sorry to get “historical” on you, but I find all of this so interesting!

Many studies show that pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranates and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. This is one fruit that you can’t afford to exclude from your diet! Eat up peeps!

Try this nutritious smoothie and let me know what you think:

smoothie

 Have a great week and thanks for reading!

(sources: drfuhrman.comGlobal Healing Center)

Clean Eating: put simply

 

I have been getting a ton of questions regarding the basics. “What is clean eating?” “How can I eat clean?” I know I use that phrase a lot, so lets back it up a bit and get down to the basics.

So what’s the hype around “eating clean?” I am no expert, but I have done my fair share of research and experimentation with this subject. My body is a constant experiment and what you put in it is SO important to your health and well-being. So, put simply, clean eating is just a way to talk about what you are eating. This is not a diet or a short-term thing, but more of a lifestyle. This way of eating incorporates un-processed foods, with no chemicals. Food that is at it’s natural state, without going through a factory. This means eating your fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins rather than pre-packaged, processed or fast foods. In all reality, there are no fitness goals that can be achieved without it. Without a clean diet, exercise can be mostly ineffective. (eek!)

There are so many benefits to eating clean, as I have said a million times I’m sure. But I am so passionate about this stuff and can’t stress the importance enough. I have been an avid gym-goer for quite some time, but I wasnt putting the right things into my body, therefore I saw no results. I was “working out to eat”, I guess you could say. To see results, you MUST eat clean, energize your body with the right foods, which will in turn set you up for success. Sorry if this is information you are already aware of, but many are unaware, as was I a year or so ago. Set yourself up for success and eat clean!

“It’s not about finding the right diet, but adopting the right lifestyle.”

To get you started here are some basic foods groups which play a big act in this lifestyle:

  • Protein Sources: chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, greek yogurt, protein powder
  • Whole Grains– whole grain breads, ezekial bread, whole grain oats, brown rice, quinoa
  • Veggies– brocoli, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, pretty much any plants!
  • Fruits– visit this site to learn more about what fruits are low in sugar
  • Healthy Fats– nut butters, avocado, almonds
  • Sugar– Have you heard that saying “eat less sugar, you’re sweet enough already”? Enough said. 🙂

Food is a big ticket to health. If you eat like garbage you will feel like garbage. Does this seem a bit overwhelming? There is a lot of information out there and I’m sure it’s a lot to take in. But keep it simple. Take baby steps. Don’t go from one extreme to the other. This is a learning process for everyone, including fitness models and competitors! I am still learning a ton of different things on a daily basis. However, it so is important to know, that one thing may work for some, but not for others. Each of us is different, and you should find the right thing for you. It’s a constant journey and we are in this together! Most importantly, have fun with it! (Can you tell via my Facebook and IG that I am having a ball experimenting with new foods?)

Here are some tips to get you started:

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To read more visit my favorite site for information: bodybuilding.com

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading! xo

in the spirit

vday

In the spirit of Valentines day, (my favorite holiday) I am dying to share what made our day so special! Some of you may despise this “love” day, others swoon, but I’m a romantic so I couldn’t help myself! I spent the evening with my love.  He has been so supportive with my fitness passions, life and journeys, I can’t thank him enough. Jeff, you are the most amazing spirit and I am so lucky to call you my best friend, boyfriend and true love. I am a big believer that a girl should receive flowers and love everyday of the year, and he makes this happen! Spoiled and very lucky I am!  And can’t forget my Dad…he always has and always will be my #1 Valentine. 🙂

Here is a recap of a few special moments:methe dress (from Asos, on sale!)

flowers

The beautiful roses and phenomenal food at Fleur de Lys in San Francisco. A Hubert Keller Restaurant, this place is 5 star, and the food IS all that it’s cracked up to be!

fruit

Among other wonderful gifts, I decided to make this cute fruit bowl, instead of your average heart chocolates. Thank you Pinterest for this idea! Corny, I know…but he loved it! Did I tell you, that I am giving up chocolate, cheese and alcohol for Lent?! Yes, you heard that right! I am giving up ALL 3…they are my biggest weakness and I decided to do it big this year for a healthier 2013! Wish me luck. 🙂

pants

My brand new Nike pants that he surprised me with! Can you tell that we LOVE health and fitness?! Can’t wait to hit the gym with these babies today!

saying

Leaving you with this cute little saying that I found via Instagram. 🙂

 I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine’s Day and thanks for reading!

Garlic Shrimp Stew Recipe

This recipe is to die for! My mom found it in Runners World Magazine, and we both gave it a shot. Needless to say, it is a keeper. Shrimp is full of protein and selenium, a mineral that aids in recovery. Perfect recipe post exercise.

shrimp

I posted this picture on the Facebook page and Instagram, which led to many questions so here is the full recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp (I used 1 bag of frozen shrimp from Trader Joes)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf, broken into pieces
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 15 ounce cans white beans, drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil and pimenton. Add shrimp to skillet; sauté 1 to 2 minutes; add half the garlic the last few seconds of cooking. Spoon shrimp into a bowl and set aside. Return skillet to heat; add 2 tablespoons oil, pepper flakes, bay leaf, and remaining garlic. Cook till garlic is golden, a few seconds. Add tomatoes; cook till most of the liquid evaporates, 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook till tomato mixture darkens. Add beans and broth; simmer till it’s a thick stew, 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and parsley; cook till heated through. Drizzle with remaining oil. Serves 4.

You can also experiment with any seafood you like, it doesn’t have to be shrimp! I would imagine it would taste phenomenal with chicken as well. This recipe is full of flavor, a little spice, so simple and a perfect meal post exercise.

Calories per serving: 436; Carbs: 37 G; Fiber: 9 G; Protein: 35 G; Fat: 17 G

Enjoy!

Easy Protein Ball Recipe

protein balls

This is the easiest no bake “baking” ever! So delicious and the perfect snack! Thank you Megan Trafton – I heart muscle for sharing this recipe! So here you have it… PROTEIN BALLS:

Ingredients:

  • whey protein (I used both vanilla and chocolate)
  • oats
  • water

Yep……thats it! Um, can you say easy? Oh, and not to mention, the fewer the ingredients the fewer the calories. Perfecto!

Step one: Blend the oats and protein in a blender to get a fine consistency. I used a 50/50 ratio and that seemed to taste great.

Step two: put the blended oats and protein in a bowl and dribble a little water into the bowl. It is tough to get the right amount of water, but be sure to start off with only a drip and add more as you need. The purpose of the water is to get the mixture to stick in a ball, but if you use too much water it will be a sticky mess! Trust me, it is hard to get the right consistency so start with very little water.

Step three: roll the dough in a circular motion with your hands to form a ball. I then rolled it in more protein powder to stop them from sticking to each other. This takes patience, but the results are worth it.

Step four: Refrigerate and enjoy!

And that’s all there is to it! I love bringing these to work to munch on every so often. They are the perfect protein snack and often curve my craving for sweets.

Be sure to check out Fit & Fierce on Facebook for more recipes, motivation and fitness tips!

Another great Facebook page for some fitness inspiration, is Megan Trafton-I heart muscle. Go check her out!

Have a great weekend! -Jenna

Fit Gal: Tiffany!

 Tiffany and I frequently see each other at the gym and she is such an inspiration that I had to get her on the blog! She just got Zumba certified and is working to become a personal trainer! Ah, I love this girl! Here she is….

tiffany

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

I grew up in San Diego which is a very fit and active city.  I tried many sports in elementary & middle school but running was always my favorite.  In high school I ran track, Cross Country and played Soccer for the school and a competitive Soccer team.  I went on to play College Soccer for Sonoma State University.  After I graduated college I continued to play soccer for Club Soccer teams and started to compete in half marathons.  I currently play for the SF nighthawks (a women’s Soccer team in the city) and I am hoping to sign up for a couple of new races starting in the New Year.  Staying fit is very important to me and I always make time to incorporate some fitness into my schedule.

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

I have a lot of fitness goals that I am hoping to accomplish by this year.  I just signed up for my first full marathon in March so I am hoping to get less than 4 hours for my time.  Physically, I would like to be a little bit leaner and not have so much mass.  I have always had a really athletic build because I felt I needed it for soccer.  I feel like I could be just as strong without having so much mass.   I am going to start taking Pilate’s classes and I am trying to be more disciplined with my eating regimen. My ultimate goal is to become a Personal Trainer by the end of 2013.  

3. Do you “eat clean”?

I am lucky that I grew up in a home with a very health conscious family.  I grew up always eating fresh fruit and vegetables and we were not big “meat eaters.” About 7 years ago I decided to become a vegetarian and I have noticed a big change since that time.  I try not to eat any junk food and very careful of what I am putting into my body.  I don’t drink soda and rarely eat fast food.  I make sure to take certain vitamins to make up for the lack of dairy & protein in my diet.  I feel better when I eat healthy and I definitely see the difference.

4. In what ways do you stay active? 

I like to work out 6 days a week and rest on the 7th day.  I adapted this workout schedule from soccer practice schedule in College and it just works for me. I just got my Zumba certification and I am very excited to begin teaching some classes.  I try to switch up my workouts a lot so that I don’t get bored.  I alternate between running outside, yoga, classes at the gym and soccer practice/games.  When I am at the gym I usually do 45 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of weights.  I can honestly say that I LOVE to work out and always make it a priority.

5. What inspires you to live this lifestyle? 

I love to live this lifestyle because it makes me happy.  After I get done with a workout my skin has a healthy glow and I just feel so much better!

Thank you so much for sharing your story Tiffany! I am positive you will inspire many by your active lifestyle. Good luck with your marathon, teaching, coaching and all of your goals! See ya at the gym. =)

If you are interested to be a Fit Gal along with Tiffany, feel free to contact me! I would love to have you.

xo,Jenna

Super Bowl Clean Eats

Happy almost Super Bowl Sunday!!! The 49’rs are in it to win it! Woohoo! Luckily, a friend of ours is having a party with tons of delicious food. But what is there for me and other healthy eaters to feast on? I’m sure it won’t be healthy in the least bit, so I compiled some clean eating appetizer recipes to accompany a Niners win. 😉 (Hopefully I didn’t jinx it!!)

For more wonderfully clean recipes visit my friends at:

superbowl

1. Chips and Guacamole 2. Baked Turkey Burgers 3. Baked Kale Chips 4. Spinach Dip 5. Spicy Buffalo Wings 6. (not pictured) but another fave Skinny Layered Pizza Dip

xo,Jenna