Meet Lean Girl Jen Porto. Originally from California, Jen grew up as an active kid playing every sport you can imagine: volleyball, basketball, softball, and soccer. “I did every sport and tried it at least once. I was always a fit kid, but I was never skinny. And then probably once I got to high school I really started thinking about body type and I also wasn’t playing as many of the sports,” says Jen. Like many of us in high school, Jen became more aware of her body and what her peers were saying about other girls and their figures. Fortunately, Jen grew up in a health-conscious family that encouraged her to eat healthy and exercise. Her mom is still one of her biggest supporters and they plan on running a half-marathon together in March.
I met Jen at Slim & Strong, the monthly boot camp program taught by trainer, nutritionist, and also founder of Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp Ariane Hundt. Slim & Strong combines strength training, resistance training, cardio and it’s non stop. “She keeps you moving constantly,” Jen says of Ariane. “You burn a ton of calories. It’s a great work out because you work out everything from your legs, arms, back, legs and abs. You also work muscles that you didn’t even know existed! Obliques- I knew they were there but I didn’t actually know what it was like to work them!”
While Jen is committed to working out, she works out six times a week, she realizes that diet is just as important. “Ariane teaches us that diet is 80% of the equation. My body responds the best when I also feed it the right things” says Jen. She concentrates on eating lean proteins and vegetables at every meal and recognizes that she isn’t really creative with her meals and eats the same thing all the time. Her go to meal? Chicken and vegetable stir fry. In the last few months, Jen has made an effort cut out processed foods and sugar, especially in her coffee. “I never realized how much sugar was in everything. I used to get migraines frequently and I could never figure out why and Ariane suggested that I cut out sugar,” recalls Jen, “and then a month later I realized that I hadn’t had a migraine in a while. I haven’t had a migraine since.”
Jen is our first “Lean Girl Rocks” feature because of her commitment to her body and wellness. I met Jen at Slim & Strong, it was her second and my first month. Her positive outlook and encouraging personality helped me (and others) stay focused on eating right, working out, keeping a food journal, and not getting discouraged. When Jen works out, she does it with incredible intensity and focus it’s no wonder she is a Lean Girl. She’s consistently pushing herself, whether it’s working out a little longer or using a heavier weight, and does so without complaining or whining.
Get to Know Jen
Age: 25, soon to be 26
Favorite Cheat Meal: Pizza
Least Favorite Exercise: “Running on the treadmill.”
Favorite Exercise: “Kickboxing! It’s a great cardio workout and lets you get out some aggression.”
Favorite Body Part: “My arms because they are defined and I can see the hard work I put in.”
Tip for All Lean Girls: “Do what you like. Whether it’s with food or exercise you have to do what works for you. If someone tells you it’s really good to eat chicken but you hate chicken don’t force yourself. If you do, in the long run you won’t stick with things. Same goes with exercise. If you hate the treadmill than find other forms of cardio. The best way to follow any program is take what you learn but make it work so it’s something you can continue for more than a month or two because these are ultimately lifestyle changes.”