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Updates All-Around: Career & The Usual Stuff

It’s been a really good week. I recently stepped out of my role as general manager of the gym and into a position where I provide marketing, website, communications and social media support on a more part-time basis. This frees me up to spend more time teaching, training and writing while still allowing me to be involved in the growth and success of the gym in the areas that I can offer the most help and expertise. We recently announced that we are opening a third location in south Charlotte and as a result of this expansion roles were reorganized so that our management team can run efficiently and productively.

I feel like I just got a big breath of fresh air. I get to focus on all the things that I am passionate about and that excite me the most…marketing, social media, blogging, building and maintaining websites, teaching, coaching, training, writing…while managing my own time and schedule. I left my job in advertising so that I could do all of those things I just listed. I am thrilled and re-energized to get back to them. I learned so much during my 18 months serving as manager of Metro and I feel incredibly grateful for the experience and everything it taught me but I am relieved to step out of the day-to-day.

So thus the reason for the home office I showed you a couple of weeks ago! 🙂

I have a lot more I want to share around the career transitions but I need to think on it a bit more before I can put it into words. Stay tuned! I love sharing my career journey with you all. I get tons of questions about it. Actually, I was thinking about setting up a call or google hangout or something for those of you who want to talk about career transitions so that I can share how that worked for me and you can ask questions. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get that scheduled.

Okay, here’s what I’ve been up to the last few days. Food, workouts, life, etc.


I made the most delicious apple cinnamon oatmeal on Thursday for breakfast (after back to back clients at 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. so early!!!!). I sauteed apples in a small saucepan with cinnamon, brown sugar and coconut oil and then added oats, chia seeds, dried cranberries, a pinch of salt, coconut milk and water and let it do it’s thing on low for about 10 minutes. So good.


Breakfast this morning was a toast with nut butter and honey and a smoothie with mango, pineapple, greek yogurt, coconut milk, chia seeds and banana. One of my yoga friends makes her own nut butter and shared some. It’s an awesome blend of several different nuts and she adds a good bit of sea salt. So I love to add the honey for a salty and sweet combo.


I made this salad for lunch Wednesday and loved the combo. Spinach, pecans, smoked salmon, grape tomatoes, brie, avocado, salt, pepper and a drizzle of basil olive oil and 25 year aged balsamic.


I ate this salad while sitting in on a meeting about an upcoming food event that raises money for the Urban Ministry Center here in Charlotte. (Hopefully my new schedule will provide more time to pursue volunteer and civic opportunities). I had my weekly Metro Management meeting after this lunch and then taught BodyPump.


BodyPump kicked my butt something serious! That class always challenges me and my class got a killer workout in last night. I inadvertently put together several different releases that featured extra long and challenging squat, back and hamstrings and shoulder tracks. We did 32 push ups in the shoulders and I don’t even know how many clean and presses and rows in the back track. We were all feeling it! I was so ready for dinner when I got home and went straight to work preparing it. I had this chicken, shaved brussels and butternut idea in my head and it turned out better than I imagined.


This meal looks like it could have been time consuming but it wasn’t at all! The key to tasty food is seasoning. I preheated the oven to 400 and preheated a cast iron skillet on the stovetop. I seasoned the butternut squash with coconut oil, cinnamon and ground red pepper and spread it on a baking sheet to roast. I rubbed the chicken with mixed up basil seasoning, lemon pepper, salt and pepper. Be generous with the seasoning. You want a good crust when you sear. I stuck the squash in the oven to cook and seared the chicken on both sides in the cast iron skillet with some olive oil. I transferred the skillet to the oven with the squash to finish cooking.

While the chicken and squash were cooking, I prepared the brussels sprouts. Trader Joe’s sells pre-shredded brussels sprouts which is much less time consuming than doing it yourself. If you haven’t tried shredded brussels, you must! I sauteed baby portobello mushrooms and then added a clove of garlic and the brussels sprouts. I gave them a sprinkle of salt and some lemon pepper. I let them cook in the skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes before adding half a cup of water and a squeeze of lemon juice and covering it to finish cooking over low heat. I stirred in some shredded gouda at the end for a cheesy, lemony mix. I loved it!


On the workout front, I’ve had two great yoga practices the last two days. Today I took my friend Kacy’s class. It ends with a 15 minute meditation during which I completely relaxed and drifted in and out of sleep. It was pretty awesome.


I’ll leave you with a look at the furry one who has been doing what she does best…looking super cute! 🙂

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Melissa November 8, 2013, 3:23 pm

    Hey Jen– I would love to hear more about your career transition! A Google hangout would be a great idea!

  • Elise @ 9toFit.com November 8, 2013, 3:56 pm

    Congrats I’m so happy for you and would love to hear more about it

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 8, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Congratulations on the happy career changes! Its good to hear you are happy with how everything is turning out, best of luck 🙂 I would love to join in on a Google hangout and hear more! And that dinner combo is so perfect, YUM! 🙂

  • ErikaMC November 8, 2013, 4:01 pm

    Sounds like things are really going in the right direction for you – that’s awesome! Congratulations.

    How do you take pictures of yourself doing poses?
    Who’s wearing those funky/cool/awesome purple boots??

    • Jen November 8, 2013, 6:25 pm

      i recruit friends/other teachers to take them!

      those boots are pretty sweet, huh? it’s actually a guy wearing them!

  • Linda November 8, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Congratulations! Your career transition sounds perfect for you! Would love to talk to you about your experience getting certified in personal training. I’m studying for my exam through ACSM. I went to a 3 day workshop with them in September and unfortunately had to take a break from my studying. I’ve been out of school a long time and I’m finding it a real challenge to learn and retain the information! Any tips??
    Also, I love your chicken, butternut squash and brussel sprouts…we do the same kind of dinners! I’m definitely trying the cinnamon and red pepper combination!

    • Lori November 8, 2013, 6:21 pm

      Hi Linda — I actually just passed the ACSM exam last week (and I’ve been out of school a while, too!). Feel free to email me (lamorrow2001@yahoo.com) and I’ll be glad to share some study tips as well as links to some forums I found helpful.

      • Jen November 8, 2013, 6:23 pm

        lori – you’re so kind! thanks for offering that to linda! congrats on passing your exam.

  • She Rocks Fitness November 8, 2013, 4:39 pm

    I LOVE when I have days that I can work from home! With the doors and windows open; Kala sleeping on her bed next to me; preparing my meals; and wearing whatever I want…it’s pretty much awesomeness. Glad you feel that some weight has been lifted. Looking forward to what else lies ahead. Have a great weekend!

  • Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate November 8, 2013, 8:49 pm

    Your new role and its flexibility sounds so great! It is always rewarding to find yourself exactly where you imagined yourself after taking a big career risk. I’m excited to see what is ahead!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun November 8, 2013, 11:51 pm

    Your puppy is adorable and puts such a smile on my face 🙂 I am traveling right now and missing mine like CRAZY!

    I really need to get back into yoga and make it more a part of my routine – I NEVER regret it but for some reason it is always one of the first things that gets put on the back burner when I get busy!

  • Molly @mollysmusingz November 9, 2013, 8:06 am

    Good for you! I was recently in the same position and went from managing a yoga studio to only teaching now. I feel like my classes have gotten better and more inspired and I am more excited to teach- good luck!! 🙂

  • Ashley @ Power, Love, and Self Discipline November 9, 2013, 9:05 am

    I would love to hear more about your career transition.

  • kristy November 9, 2013, 12:27 pm

    definitely interested in hearing what you have to say about a career transition into the fitness industry. this is my goal post-baby — to grow my part time run coach business more and use my PT certification. keep me posted!

  • heidi November 10, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Congrats to you!! I would love to hear more about the transition, great idea!

  • Holly November 11, 2013, 9:31 pm

    Congrats on the new transition Jen. Sounds awesome!

  • Jessica November 11, 2013, 9:57 pm

    That’s awesome that your career keeps evolving as you grow, happy for you! I’d be interested to hear about your transition as well 🙂

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