Tag Archives: philadelphia

Philadelphia and this soda tax

Hi Folks!

For everyone in Philadelphia, we know about the Soda Tax. It’s been a HUGE issue lately and everyone has an opinion. The new mayor, Mayor Kenney, proposed a 3 cent per oz tax on all sugar sweetened beverages. So that would include sodas, juices, hugs (quarter water or sugar water), sport drinks (Powerade/Gatorade.)


Bottling companies are vehemently against it. They spent millions and millions of dollars in false advertisement and other ways to discourage Philly residents and city council from approving and having favorable opinions.   As a public health person, as a physical activity person, as someone who has grown up in Philly and currently works in the public school system, as someone who lives with a corner store across the street and a park that’s half usable down the block, I 100% was and still am in favor of this tax.   The monies from the soda tax are going towards many things- the biggest is pre-kindergarten, look at the picture above!

At the same time, City Councilwoman Renyolds Brown proposed a “container tax.” Unlike the sugar sweetened beverage tax (soda tax), the container tax would tax EVERY beverage except milk. So this would include everything in the soda tax plus drinks like water, 100% fruit juice and healthy options.

Why are people so vehemently opposed to the soda tax? People are claiming it’s a regressive tax which means it will target and impact low-income individuals more.  Others are wary of where the money raised will REALLY go.  Will the money be used correctly?



So, what do I think?

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Traveling, Fellowshipping & Learning

So it’s been a while .. right? Right. Here is what’s been up. In late June I applied for a fellowship through the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The topic this year was youth development and in my application, I wrote about my work using sports as a means to bring individuals together & what I plan to do in the future using sports/physical activity to create conversations and bridge differences. Below has more information about UNAoC, visit the site & check ’em out. They have a ton of programs.

The UNAOC aims to improve understanding and cooperation among nations and peoples across cultures and to reduce polarization at local and global levels. It helps develop more inclusive societies, in which diversity is experienced as an asset.

Boat trip on the Nile

Boat trip on the Nile

I found out I was a recipient in late August, and on October 15 I was on my way to Morocco. My cohort consisted of 12 “emerging leaders”- we joked around non-stop with that phrase, and we all came from various countries in Europe and North America (EUNA.) I visited Rabat, Cairo, Doha and Sarajevo. I could go on & on about those 2 weeks, but I will do my best to summarize in the next 2 paragraphs.

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My Story

I have quite an uninteresting story on why I am the way I am and how I got into fitness and health.  Let me take you back to my youth:

Young J

As a little girl, I played tennis and did various other sports, but tennis was always my number one. Fast forward to high school– I played tennis all four years, did indoor track 2 years and outdoor track for 3. Also, I started running with a traveling club team during the summers. All during this time I was eating a whole bunch, not really bad, but not really healthy. My nickname for my track club team was “Salad” because when we went to fast food places I only got salad. It was too many decisions and I never ate out when I was younger. So yea, my name was Salad. At college I gained weight yall, I gained my freshman 15-20 lbs and it was in my cheeks…. BOTH SETS OF CHEEKS! Moving on, I did intramural and club tennis at Rutgers. I really enjoyed club until they told me they wanted me on the traveling team and their first match was in Wisconsin. Ummmm no thank you, my load is way to packed to be traveling..nah I’m good. 2009-2011 I worked with our football team as a student athletic trainer In the training room and a little bit on the field. I really wanted to…. no yall don’t understand—

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Hey Yall!

I’ve been struggling for months going back and forth on doing a fitness bootcamp. I’ve had soo many obstacles, but some how here I am… Chester’s Let’s Move! and The Tenth Muse Fitness Plus are partnering to bring you bootcamp! A good, fun, intense hour of  free fitness!



  • Memorial Park, CHESTER PA
  • In the field
  • W.7th st and Engle Street


  • Every Saturday from July 6th -August 3rd
  • 7:30am-8:30am

What to bring:

  • Yoga Mat
  • Water
  • Post workout Snack

How Much

  • however, Donations are accepted 😀

15 well now about 12 spots are open for the 6th! Comment /email or contact me to save your spot or if you have any questions!

Do work!

Do work!

Get There.

My CrossFit Experience

CrossFit ManayunkA few months ago Living Social had a deal for CrossFit Manayunk. I was like well, it’s $39 && it was 81% savings. I think getting this will be a win all around. The deal expires on the 24th, so I redeemed it on the 18th.  You have to go to an introductory class called, OnRamp before participating in their weekly classes. In this 3 hr class they go through the common movements and exercises that are given. We did kettlebell activities, wall balls, slam balls, Olympic lifts such as… clean & jerk, push press, split jerk. All those exercises were fine, I went through them and was hella confident, now, when we got to the kipping pullups, my life forever change. I went from cloud nine to 6 feet under. I WAS HORRIBLE! My whole entire upper body failed me. Like JORDAN WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY UPPER BODY STRENGTH!? I used the resistance band for additional assistance, but no, that didn’t even help. At that moment I realized, I’m not fit, I got  sad and discouraged, but then we had to do our workout : 8 MIN AMRAP  (As many reps/round as possible)  It was difficult, but I think I handled it quite well. In 8 minutes our class had to do: 5 burpees/ 5 slam balls/ 5 situps/5 air squats.  It doesn’t seem like much right? Well it was. You try it. You do those 4 exercises for 8 minutes && try to go your fastest without compromising form.   I promise yall I wasn’t sore until 3:30am. (why was I up that late? Partying..that’s besides the point) When I got home, my whole body, yall don’t understand, My ENTIRE BODY from my calves up to my traps were yelling at me!   What was especially achy was my back- lats, rhomboids, traps, erector spinae, the rotator cuff muscles. All back muscles were sore… oh and might I add that they still are! Lower body recovered quite quickly so I’m happy about that.

I watch CrossFit games all the time on ESPN, but I still was unsure what to expect for the class and after leaving, I really don’t know how to feel. I mean I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days. I like it- the concept and variety that crossFit represents. I guess my issues would be, breaking in and being able to get some friends, it seems like everybody has their place. Another issue would be injury, with the Olympic lifts and with the weight and intensity, what if I get injured? Now that I write them out, they don’t seem like reasons not to continue, but  those 2 issues are important. With the Living Social deal I get 2 weeks to participate in any class, but I won’t just because my schedule doesn’t allow it, but they offer open gym hours on Sunday So I’ll participate in that this Sunday, just to get more familiar with the equipment and lifting. I think adding CrossFit would be great to my workout schedule, maybe one day or possibly two, I wouldn’t want this to be my only workout. I know CrossFit has variety, but I like variety outside of a specific program. Also, I would really have to look into the weights I use so I don’t get the bulky, I’m swole look.

Overall, I’m happy I got this experience; it’s definitely one I won’t forget. Maybe when I go down south I’ll try it again to see if I can add it into my workout routines. I was reminded that I can improve what I’m doing fitness-wise to be a fitter person. A lot of respect goes to the crossfitters. They are very fit- endurance, speed and power. Strength & cardio.

Pre workout meal–> Oatmeal Smoothie

  • 1/4 cup of oatmeal
  • 8 oz of almond milk
  • banana
  • Scoop of weight protein
  • Ice Cubes (optional)
  1. Blend in blender until smooth.
  2. Drink & enjoy

Post Workout Quick Meal–> Egg Sammie

  • 2 eggs
  • Flat bread
  • Avocado
  • cheese
  • 2 button Mushrooms
  1. Cut and saute your mushroom
  2. If you have room in the same pot, cook your eggs over hard. If not, just wait a bit!
  3. Place mushroom on top of eggs, if you want add some cheese.
  4. Lightly toast bread and add avocado as a spread.
  5. Place eggs in bread & enjoy.

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Going Vertical is Fun

Saturday I went indoor rock climbing. I loved it. Boom post done.

But seriously yall, it was sooooooooooooooooo fun! It’s a small, hidden place in Philly Called Go Vertical right off the river front( Penn’s Landing.) It was the first time I went rock climbing officially, and I say officially because yall know I was the type of kid who climbed over furniture, on trees, on people– fell down, cut myself..you see who I was. Anyways, It was really fun and it was a workout!–like a complete total body workout. As much physically as it was, it was also mental. I say this because you have to be strategic in regards to your footing and which rock to grab next. Sometimes it’s really easy, but other courses are more difficult. The package I got was for 3 courses varying in difficulty, all fairly easy but you could see how it could get tricky and much more difficult.

Not to toot my own own but *beep beep* yall I was pretty frickin awesome. My instructor Mike (WHO IS ALSO A PASTRY & CULINARY ARTIST!!!!! 😀 ) was in total disbelief that I was a first-timer. He really encouraged me to come back and take an official class. I was interested in common injuries (the trainer in me smh) and he explained that there are few injuries especially in an indoor facility. I was like Oh. My. Guudness.  Me? Rock climbing???  After I completed the third course and he asked me again if I was interested in signing up.. haha. Ever since then, I’ve been thinking like NON-STOP about it. I read this month’s Women’s Health Mag  on my commute to work and it was an article about this lady who started rock climbing. I’m on the train like “God is this you!?”  So yea, I’ve been thinking about it.  My level of “oh you better do it because you already did it”… is on Tamar (see pic above).

do it. do it. do it.

Let me also say. I am not afraid of heights. I love being up high and looking down. If you are, I still suggest that you try it and just start low and raise uuuup!

As you can see. I really enjoyed it. I guess I should stress that it is whole, every muscle even your brain, work out experience, but you should try it and then you’ll feel what I mean. Next, a Citibank Card commercial climbing up rocks in no mans land. HA!

Get There.

Why Do You Run?

Seriously yall…why?

BGR Thursday 5:30am meetup

Yesterday morning I went for my weekly 3 mile run. One of the group leaders asked if I was participating in the 10k/Half-Marathon taking place in Trenton (NJ) next month. I told her probably not and she proceeded to tell me how great it would be since BGR is planning to ” take Trenton over” and all of the perks that have been given to BGR. I am sooo sure it’s gonna be awesome. Already over 100+ of the Philly group has signed up and they are pumped about it on facebook. I told her I would think about it and seriously consider it. As I went off on my 3 miles I had a few thoughts milling around in my head: 1- Could I do 6.2 miles? 2-Why am I so opposed to running races? 3- why is running so popular?

1- Yes of course I could do 6.2 miles. I did 5 miles accidentally on Labor Day and I wasn’t dying when I was moving or overly sore the next day. I would pump up my training. 4 miles to start then creep my way up to 4.5, 5, 5.5 and then six miles. that .2 just gotta be heart and soul. (Mind you I’m making up this plan while  running.)  So yea I could accomplish the 10k task.

2- I run for the cardio/aerobic aspect. I like varying my workouts and  this is such a welcome switch from the strength workouts I do.  Would I get any sort of self fulfillment out of completing a race? Naw man. Maybe if I was to win a tennis tournament yes, but a race no…no. Running now is so different from my track days.  I participate in 2 races a year- I run a 5k in Dec. at Rutgers…it’ll be my 5th year, it’s an annual thing and I won’t stop this one unless I’m out the Tri-State area. The second is a 4.5 mile walk/run sponsored by my church. Those are only 2 I participate in.  I’m thinking of a breast cancer event for the upcoming year, but I’m not sure. I’m not opposed to running for “bling”- medals,  I’m just not interested.

3- I have NO IDEA why running is so popular I’m asking yall!! In the last couple of years running, especially in women, has had succch a surge. I’m honestly baffled because running is soo hard on your joint and your body can really suffer. You run on cement (the worst surface) and it does long term harm to your body. I know you can get in shape and feel mentally better and blah blah all that trust me I know. But what about the side effects? What about possible long term damage?

Why I run: 1. Cardio. 2. Clear my mind/self- talk 3. Habit

Why do YOU run? Is it a thrill? A sense of pride or accomplishment when done a race? Let me know, maybe my mind will be less narrow.