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Adding A New Job Title…

I’m adding a new job title to my repertoire…personal chef! (This is not an April Fool’s joke!) The job title list for me now includes blogger, author, personal trainer, yoga teacher, group exercise instructor, CrossFit coach, marketing and communications manager and personal chef. After all, I am a gemini and we’re said to be “jacks of all trades.”

Here’s how the new gig went down…knowing my love for cooking, one of my fellow trainers at the gym asked if I might be interested in preparing weekly meals for one of his clients who was busy and needed help with home cooking and healthy eating. I’m going to have a big opening in my schedule once I turn in my final book draft next month (side note…I turned in the first draft today!!!!!!!!!!!!) so I said yes!


Cooking was the passion that made me start blogging 6 years ago with my first recipe blog, Bakin’ and Eggs. As I’ve shared before, my dad is an extremely talented self-taught chef and he’s been my inspiration for learning to cook and loving the kitchen. I used to play in the kitchen ALL THE TIME (baking and cooking projects galore) but I’ve gotten out of the habit since I’ve been so focused on career development. Yes, I still enjoy cooking at home after a long day but there’s not a lot of time to play and try new recipes. I’m super excited about this opportunity to give me an outlet for that.

The way this is going to work is that I’ll be doing all of the shopping and prepping meals for the week every Monday. I started this Monday! I did most of the shopping at Trader Joes with a few miscellaneous items from Harris Teeter. Here’s a list of what I prepared:

– 4 ready to go smoothie packs for the freezer
– 2 lunch salads topped with flank steak
– A big batch of spicy black bean soup
– Snacks including hummus, apples, strawberries, bars, etc.
– Four dinners + some leftover portions

Here are the visuals!


Island Pork Tenderloin with roasted butternut squash and roasted brussels sprouts.


Balsamic chicken with brown rice and broccolini.


Flank steak with roasted potatoes and asparagus.


Tequila lime chicken with brown rice and cilantro lime broccoli slaw.


Salads with romaine, feta, tomatoes, red peppers, pecans, flank steak and balsamic vinaigrette.


Here’s the stocked fridge with all of my notes on what everything is. It was an AWESOME six hours of work. I was totally in the zone and focused. I was totally checked out and didn’t even think about social media, blogs, work, etc.


And the best thing about it? I had this handsome fellow to keep me company through it all. Sweet boy!

I’m so excited about this new opportunity and can’t wait to share recipes and experiences with all of you!

{ 56 comments… add one }
  • heidi April 1, 2014, 9:57 pm

    Super exciting – good for you!! 🙂

  • Katie April 1, 2014, 9:59 pm

    Wow! I would love to be able to do something like this for myself each week. Can’t wait to see more tips about how you do it! Especially the pre-portioned smoothie bags. 🙂

  • Kiki April 1, 2014, 10:00 pm

    I just had a feeling the book was just the first of many great things coming your way! So great to be able to do what you love for a living. Congrats!

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 4:59 pm

      aw, thanks kiki! 🙂

  • Sarah April 1, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Congrats! Sounds like a grey gig and a great fit for you! I look forward to hearing more! What weight did you use for the thrusters for Crossfit 14.5? I have seen both 65-lbs and 45-lbs suggested but not sure which one is the ‘official’ suggested for women. Thanks!

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 5:00 pm

      65# and it was TOUGH! that’s the RX for females. 45# might be the masters weight.

  • Amber April 1, 2014, 10:12 pm

    That is so so cool Jen!!! I would totally be willing to pay a fee for you to MEAL PLAN for me for a week even though you couldn’t actually prepare it since I’m across the country. Maybe a way to expand this online?? 🙂

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 5:00 pm

      great idea amber! let me see how this goes and give it some thought. i have a lot swirling around right now in the realm of online services! 🙂

  • Cheri @ Overactive Blogger April 1, 2014, 10:26 pm

    How cool! That is so so awesome!

  • elizabeth April 1, 2014, 10:31 pm

    I’ve heard you can make very good money doing this, my friend said her sister makes over 100,000/yr cooking meals for one family. Are you doing all the cooking at the clients house or doing it at home and then delivering a couple times a week?

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 5:01 pm

      cooking in the client’s home due to the licensing and inspection that come with cooking out of your own home!

  • hillary | nutrition nut on the run April 1, 2014, 10:32 pm

    This sounds super fun, but aren’t you already SOOOO busy? Whenever you do day in the life posts, you seem UBER busy?

    Do you mind sharing how/if you will market your personal chef services and how you figured out the pricing/cost?

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 5:02 pm

      hey hilary –

      i am busy but i’ve kept my monday’s pretty clear and have a chunk of time free from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. this is when i’ll do the cooking for this client. i do not plan on taking on any other clients at this point. i’m only doing this for the one client because it’s something i enjoy. not going to become a business for me anytime soon. i have way too many other things going on!

  • LeeAnna Perry April 1, 2014, 10:35 pm

    This is awesome!!!

  • Jojo @ RunFastEatLots April 1, 2014, 10:51 pm

    Sweet! I love cooking as well, and would gladly get paid for it!

  • Rebekah {aCricketSang} April 1, 2014, 10:57 pm

    Congrats! And I should follow this and start preparing more lunches for the week.

  • Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves April 1, 2014, 11:04 pm

    That is so awesome!! Looking forward to following you on this new journey!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun April 1, 2014, 11:05 pm

    Wow what an awesome opportunity! You are a busy woman! 🙂

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 5:03 pm

      yes! not planning on expanding this. only the one client! 🙂

  • Samantha @ The Faithful Runner April 2, 2014, 12:28 am

    Congrats! So proud of you:) you’re doing great things. And that food looks delicious.

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 5:03 pm

      thanks samantha! 🙂

  • Claudia April 2, 2014, 12:38 am

    Wow, that is so cool! Congratulations and best of luck with the new venture. :o)

  • Lynette April 2, 2014, 12:45 am

    Great idea. When are you sharing the recipes?? Smoothie freezer bags is a must know. I buy stuff for the smoothie then my mornings run short and I take the less time consuming option.

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 5:04 pm

      i won’t for this first round of cooking. there was just TOO much going on with getting through the first time to stop and take a lot of pics for sharing recipes. hopefully i can start in the next week or two.

  • Tina April 2, 2014, 1:50 am

    That is so, so cool! Congrats and good luck! 🙂

  • Amanda Bee April 2, 2014, 6:07 am

    That’s so cool! Some day, when you have your system down, I’d love to see how you cook everything up.

  • Jacquelyn B April 2, 2014, 6:39 am

    I just started doing the same thing for a client of mine too! It is so amazing how this can really change someone’s life and help them be so much healthier!

  • lindsay April 2, 2014, 6:55 am

    congrats!! you’d be the best personal chef! way to go woman! and i so remember bakin’ and eggs!!! where i first “met” you

  • Julie @ Coastal Runner Girl April 2, 2014, 7:35 am

    That’s awesome!!! Congrats! I don’t know how you manage so many jobs…. I can barely focus on my 9-5 job 😉

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 4:57 pm

      haha! i just do several things part-time and i LOVE it! keeps my days interesting and me diversified so i can support myself no matter what. 🙂

  • Lauren April 2, 2014, 8:37 am

    Congrats Jen – I bet that is super fun and actually is quite relaxing! I know I feel so relaxed when I cook 🙂

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 4:57 pm

      totally relaxing and enjoyable!

  • Parita @ myinnershakti April 2, 2014, 9:08 am

    Congrats, Jen! Excited to read about where this takes you!

  • Brittany @ Proteinandpumps April 2, 2014, 9:31 am

    How exciting — congratulations!

  • Amy April 2, 2014, 9:41 am

    I thought Sullie was a girl?

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 4:55 pm

      sullie is a girl! this is my clients dog. i’m prepping all the food in his kitchen. i have to from a legal standpoint!

  • Claire @ Keeping Up With Claire April 2, 2014, 9:55 am

    Congrats! How fun! I feel like healthy eating is always the hardest part for clients to really get down – they can get in the gym (especially with a PT after them! 😉 ) but can be a little scared of tackling healthy eating and can be downright intimidated by preparing healthy meals for themselves. That’s such a great way to help and so fun for you!

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 4:55 pm

      yes, it can be frustrating when clients are doing all the work they need to do in the gym but are not supporting it with good nutrition! i want them to see results! i always try to brainstorm and talk to them about food ideas and how to make small changes that will make big impacts!

  • Amanda April 2, 2014, 10:29 am

    Is that picture taken at Louisiana Lagniappe in Destin? That is one of our favorite places to eat in Destin. 😉
    The new title sounds very exciting, I know first hand that the hardest part about maintaining a healthy lifestyle is making time to prepare and pack healthy meals. Congrats on all the new adventures !

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 4:54 pm

      yes, it is! it’s been a family favorite of ours for over 20 years! 🙂

  • Laura April 2, 2014, 11:32 am

    That is really neat. I would LOVE to hire someone to do this for me. Would you mind emailing or commenting how much you charge for this service? Trying to get a ballpark figure to see if it’s worth it or not. I’ve looked into other services.

    You should have my email from the comments.. if not, let me know. Thanks!

  • allie@sweetpotatobites April 2, 2014, 11:44 am

    That’s awesome! I hope you post some of the recipes 🙂

  • Angie April 2, 2014, 12:08 pm

    I would love to do this for my own family! How do you keep the salads from wilting and the already roasted vegetables from getting soggy in the fridge when they aren’t eaten for a few days? Do you give instructions on reheating or do they just zap in the microwave?

  • Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} April 2, 2014, 1:05 pm

    This sounds awesome! Good for you! Every thing looks great!

  • Nicky April 2, 2014, 4:17 pm

    I always wanted to do this – but don’t you have to have a certification in food safety and a kitchen inspection to operate a commercial (i.e., one you make money from) kitchen? How did you go about this?

    • Jen April 2, 2014, 4:51 pm

      i’m acting as a “private chef” and not a caterer so the regulations are not as strict. i prepare all of the meals in the client’s home and not in my kitchen so i do not have to get it inspected or licensed.

      “One key difference between personal chefs and caterers is that a personal chef cannot deliver cooked food to his client. He must prepare and cook the food in the client’s kitchen. If the food is delivered to the client, the personal chef must also obtain a caterer’s license, as well as have his kitchen inspected and approved by the health department.”

  • sara April 2, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Wish I liked cooking I just don’t! Try to often though. Just had to comment that dogs face melts my heart! So sweet

  • She Rocks Fitness April 2, 2014, 7:53 pm

    All of that food looks AWESOME! You go girl and LOVE watching all that you are accomplishing in 2014…Big Hugs…XOXO…And that dog…precious!

  • Shauna April 3, 2014, 11:16 am

    Please tell me where you bought your dog bed. My poor husky/lab is starting to have joint issues, and I would love to buy one for him to make getting in and out of bed a bit easier.

    • Jen April 3, 2014, 11:24 am

      this wasn’t my dog’s bed. it was at my clients house. i’ll try to remember to look for you. i’m sorry to hear about your pup 🙁

      • Shauna April 3, 2014, 10:52 pm

        Thanks for the quick reply :). If you do happen to find out I would love to know so I can buy the same one. Glucosamine does wonders for achy joints in dogs in case Sullie ever runs into the same issue!

  • Chris April 4, 2014, 6:25 pm

    This is great – congrats on the new venture! I would also love to hear more about the smoothie prep. I never thought of keeping this stuff frozen to make it quicker

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