Archive for the ‘My life’


picture-1Hey, guys. Check out the piece I did for Women’s Health November 2009 issue, on newsstands now. 


Feel beastly when you’re pre-period? Pinpoint your symptoms, then follow our advice for fast relief. 
BY Jenna Bergen 

Go with the flow? For many of us, that’s a lot easier said than done. Roughly 80 percent of women report dealing with at least mild premenstrual symptoms. But killer cramps, belly bloat, and mood swings straight out of a Lifetime movie don’t have to rule your cycle. Whether PMS is a mild nuisance or a monthly torment, here’s how to get your life back. 

Continue Reading →

EARLY-MORNING INSPIRATION: One More Reason to Work Out Before Work

img00202-1On most weekday mornings, I’m up by 5 a.m. so I can squeeze my workout into my way-too-full workday (okay, sometimes I hit the snooze until 5:05 a.m., and then sometimes, if I feel really, really tired, I’ll hit it a second time until 5:08 a.m.— I’ll take any extra minute of pillow time I can get). I know, I picture all of you anti-morning people grimacing at the mere thought of such an early gym call—I get the same face from about three-quarters of the people who find out I’m up before the sun rises most months out of the year —and I understand their thoughts on why it sounds crazy.

It’s not easy to get up. I never, ever (very rarely, anyway), hop out of bed ready to go. I usually pad, bleary-eyed to the bathroom, brush my teeth, blindly search for some form of a t-shirt and workout pants, and usually waste a good five minutes trying to find a sports bra that’s not in my laundry basket already. Continue Reading →

YBFB REVIEW: “… filled with brilliant ideas and strategies for how women can keep their bodies healthy fit, and safe from BFB’s destructive eating habits.”

blog023It never ceases to amaze me when I find out that someone new has picked up YBFB and connected with it and found it useful. So the other day when this writeup by Kaydeelynn from her blog The Last Ten popped up on my BlackBerry, I was, of course, smiling the rest of the afternoon and more excited than ever to get into my kitchen and try out a new turkey chili recipe (more on that soon!). She had lots of sweet things to say, and you can check out her thoughts on why YBFB got the thumbs up below. (My favorite line, because I think it sums up why you can embrace your makeup-loving, “tries on seven different outfits before choosing your favorite sundress anyway” side while still being super-smart, has to be: “Truly educational and truly girly. I highly recommend it.” Thanks, Kaydeelynn! So happy you liked it! Xoxo! Continue Reading →

Bugles: One Snack That’s Bad Enough to Blacklist

picture-1Okay, there are very few foods that I will put on my will-not-eat list. Blacklisting foods isn’t necessary, realistic, or very fun at all, as you can pretty much enjoy your fave not-so-healthy foods if you have a serving or so and workout and eat well the rest of the time. But I have found a food that isn’t worth the energy it takes to chew: Bugles.

Why you ask? Let me tell you. When my brother—who is currently relocating to Philly for a new job and is staying at my place until he finds his own—plopped down on my couch with a bag of Bugles two nights ago, I was curious. Okay, okay, I was secretly happy. I hadn’t seen Bugles since back in the days of, I don’t know, elementary school, and totally was too happy to snag one from him. But once I popped it in my mouth, it wasn’t the happy flashback to childhood snacking I thought it would be. It was so greasy and fat-filled that I had to flip the bag over and check out the nutritional stats ASAP.

There are EIGHT GRAMS OF SATURATED FAT in a single serving of Bugles. Eight grams! Of saturated fat! That’s 40 percent of the daily allowance for a 2,000-calorie diet and one more gram of saturated fat than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder! And this is the kind of fat that clogs up arteries and can lead to a host of horrible things, including heart disease.

Of course, upon telling my grows-muscles-in-his-sleep brother, his response was the reason why he’ll make some lucky girl the perfect BFB: “Yeah,” he said, smiling, tossing a few more Bugles back for good measure. “It’s like eating fried corn filled with air.” Ha. Isn’t that lovely?

Well, even if he won’t blacklist them, it’s one less of his snacks that are now laying around the apartment that will be tempting me! I’d rather go have a burger!

WEIGH IN: What’s the worst nutritional sticker shock you’ve had lately?? I want to know!


SHOP SMART: 5 Ways to Up Your Buy-Local IQ

38603_article1Hey, guys! I’m also the health and fitness editor at Philadelphia magazine, and I love, love, love our health and wellness newsletter, Healthy Life. It’s packed with such great stuff that I’ve decided to start sharing things whenever I think they can help out you and your darling BFB! So here’s the first re-post. Even though it has a Philly slant, the basic ideas are still really useful and should help you when you’re out at those local stands this season! Happy summer eating!

Shop Smart: 5 Ways to Up Your Buy-Local IQ
Liz Solms, owner of Sweet Pea Nourishment, shares her local shopping secrets and tells us how to make sure “local” produce is legit
By Jenna Bergen

You’ve long heard the buying local buzz, but it can be much easier to do in theory than in real life, where the Acmes and Whole Foods of the world make one-stop shopping entirely too easy. And even worse, sometimes what you buy at a farmstand that appears to be local, actually isn’t. So we chatted with Liz Solms, owner of Sweet Pea Nourishment — a Philly catering company that only uses local ingredients — to get the lowdown. Continue Reading →

YBFB REVIEW: “Loved this book and was immediately inspired to live healthier … Highly recommended for all women, whether you have a better half or no.”

picture-6I can’t tell you how happy I was to find this review by Eva G. on her blog, Knowledge Is Cool. It toally made my day! While writing YBFB, I can’t tell you how much I hoped people would relate to the book, and how much I wanted to find a way to talk about diet and fitness that would inspire women and couples to eat well and be well, without hitting any of the extremes. It’s about having fun, loving life, and making choices that make you feel good without overanalyzing food or, God forbid, “going on a diet!” But, anyway, Eva says it much better than me, so check out her thoughts below. Thank you so much, Eva! You totaly made my day! Xoxo!

Your Big Fat Boyfriend: by Jenna Bergen
The reason I picked up this book was because since I had quit smoking, I started gaining quite a bit of weight. Though it appears I have started to get my weight under control, I still wanted to discover ways to make healthy eating and exercise a sustainable part of my life. Surprisingly, this book might be the ONLY reference I’ll need. It was fantastic and one of my luckiest book picks ever. It was such a fulfilling read, no pun intended.

Normally I’d never sit down to read A) A self-help book or B) a diet book, but the weight gain from quitting smoking created the need to reach out. But wait – this is NOT a diet book, though it is a self-help title. The author, Jenna Bergen, does a great job of providing a ton of helpful, practical advise in a little, one-sitting book. Topics include ways to add nutrition to your diet, ways to get your boyfriend interested in different foods, calculating your dietary needs and getting exercise out of everyday, fun activities. Not once was Bergen preachy or bitchy. (I tried the “Bitch in the Kitch” series and wanted to gouge my eyes out.)

Also, it’s important to note that my boyfriend is not big and fat, quite the contrary. He is very lean, eats very well, and is in good shape. The book made me really introspective and I realized I was the Big Fat Boyfriend (BFB). I realized it was not HIM eating a ton of pizza with ranch dressing. Nor did he make me eat that enormous bacon, cheeseburger. He’s also not the one keeping me in bed when I should be up and at ’em, working out. You get the drift. This book is not about boyfriend bashing. I found the author really found a way to connect real life and the choices we have to make when part of a relationship.

Bergen keeps it really fun, lighthearted and simple all while inspiring you to eat better and get your but moving. Plus, I literally laughed out loud a couple of times. The writing is good, very to the point and Bergen wastes few words on rhetoric. It’s not the “starve yourself” option or the cut carb option or all the other diet-like crap that’s out there. It’s about identifying your specific problems, whether they be about eating or exercise, and taking specific, easy steps to make the change.

Loved this book and was immediately inspired to live healthier than I have been. Highly recommended for all women, whether you have a better half or no.


The Big Fat Truth: Stop treating it like the dirty F-word. Here’s why you need fat to lose weight, improve your mood and boost your immune system

picture-3Hey, guys! Check out the story I did for FITNESS magazine, on page 142 of the June issue. I love the magazine and was so thrilled when they asked me to do a story all about … you guessed it, fat! (Fittingly enough, the title is “The Big Fat Truth,” which, after the title of my book, made me laugh! The words “Big Fat” must be magnetically drawn to me, and I couldn’t be happier!)

I had the chance to talk with some amazingly smart women (including Dr. Barbara Roberts, who spoke to us about the differences in guys’ and girls’ hearts back in February!), all of whom cut through the haze of confusion on everything from exactly how much fat you need and why you gotta make sure you get it to why we crave fat and just exactly what all these fact cells we’re carrying around do (and it’s way more than bother you when you’re bathing-suit shopping, I promise! We need these little guys!)

But the story really got me thinking about fat and my own relationship to it, and would love to hear from you guys! How do you view fat? Of course, there is obviously more than one kind: we have dietary fat, the kind in our foods, and then we have the accumulation of extra calories, which ends up stored as fat on our awesome, awe-inspiring bodies (although we don’t always think about them that way, do we?). So tell what you think of one or the other or both! Do you make sure to get your monos?? Have you decided to wear a bikini this summer, flat abs be dammed? Let me know! xoxo – J

Oxygen Magazine Reviews Your Big Fat Boyfriend

oxygenmag_website“Heeyyy, Miss Jennnn-aahhh, how you doin’?” My favorite Spinning instructor is beaming down at me as I do my best to finish off a round of leg raises on the incline bench. It’s only 6:35 a.m. on a Monday and Broderick, who’s just finished teaching class, has more energy than a certain sunglass-wearing pink bunny.

“Good,” I say, letting the medicine ball fall from feet. I sit up and can’t help but smile back. I only joined LA Fitness a few months ago and still can’t get over how quickly I made new gym friends.

“How’s your book doing?” Asks the man who personally started handing out my business card the day he found out my book hit shelves. “Jennifer said she just read about it in another magazine.”

“She did?”

“Yeah, she called me over the weekend, and said ‘Is that Jenna?’ and I said ‘Yep, that’s her. You’d be surprised how nice she cleans up.'”

“Do you know what magazine?” I ask, trying not to be hurt by the confirmation that my just-rolled-out-of-bed, shoved-my-hair-under-a-hat, I’m-wearing-a-ratty-tee-that-I’ve-had-since-high-school look is so un-glamorous that fellow gym-goers would actually question if I had the ability to put words on a page. Continue Reading →

Diet Downfall: My Big Fat … Brother

cheetos_crunchy_cheese_flavored_snacks“You know you want one.”

The bright orange, crunchy corn sticks of my youth are jostling against each other as my brother shakes a Cheetos bag inches from my face. He’s down for an interview and taking up my futon for the night. I love having him over and rarely get the chance to see him so I’m nothing short of thrilled to be curled up in my PJs on one sofa while he’s sprawled out in a Phillies shirt on the futon next to my roommate, all three of us laughing and tearing apart Paula’s reactions on American Idol.

He shakes the package again. ” C’mon,” he says. “You know you want one.”

I wrinkle my nose. It’s almost 10 p.m. and I’ve already been talked into a slice of sausage and green pepper pizza. (“You need pizza. When’s the last time you had pizza?”)

The strangely appetizing smell of fake cheese is too good to pass up. I reach into the bag and feel the cheese powder immediately stick to my fingers. Yum. They are good … in a totally fake way. Satisfied, my brother angles the bag to Em. She sighs and takes a few.

“You should call me Your Big Fat Brother,” he cracks up, enjoying his joke. “I’m sure you don’t have someone here every night offering you girls junk food.”

Thirty minutes later, I crawl into bed knowing I enjoyed the Cheetos, but that I won’t need to revist them again for awhile—or, at least not until my brother makes it down the Turnpike again. If only I could grow muscles in my sleep like he does. Some people get all the genes.