I was first introduced to Jenny Gaither in 2012 by my cousin Karen, who lives in New York, and sings the praises of the uplifting experience that is a SoulCycle class. Jenny was a very popular instructor in New York, and when the news broke that she would be returning to her roots (aka California) to open up Northern California’s first SoulCycle outlets, I was ecstatic. From day one, I became a JG-devotee, attending her 6am “Rooster” classes, which (like all of her classes) are full of inspirational mantras, positive energy, butt-kicking sprints, and Beyoncé. Lots and lots of Beyoncé.
Not only is Jenny a fitness dynamo, she also founded (and is the CEO of) the MOVEMEANT Foundation, a non-profit organization targeted at helping women of all shapes, sizes, and ages, appreciate their bodies and their abilities to move. Today I’m talking fitness and (what else?) food with Jenny – and getting the lowdown on her organization and the upcoming event I’m participating in!
Give me a quick rundown of the Movemeant Foundation and the upcoming Dare to Bare Event!
Movemeant Foundation’s mission is simple: to empower young women across the country to use movement—running, dancing, biking and more—as a form of self expression that enables them to emotionally and psychologically connect to their bodies. They learn self-esteem, build positive body image and begin to uncover the best version of themselves.
With our flagship fundraising campaign, Dare to Bare, our objective is to show women what really matters—that are looks are just one piece of our incredible being. We focus on the other parts of ourselves that make us feel whole and unstoppable—our physical ability to move, sweat and dance.
We are kicking off our six-month Dare to Bare campaign in San Francisco with an inspiring, family-friendly outdoor, charity fitness festival— where we’re bringing together the city’s hottest fitness classes to empower women to find self-confidence through movement and self-acceptance in a sports bra. Join us on Saturday, May 16th in the Marina Green for a day full of sweat and fun. All proceeds from Dare to Bare go towards Movemeant’s financial grant program, providing young women with mentorship, leadership, and opportunities to move, when they did not have the chance to do so. For more information visit www.movemeantfoundation.com.
With the Dare to Bare event coming up, what would you advise participants to eat beforehand?
At Dare to Bare SF you will be inspired to move! So, prepare like you would for any other workout class. I suggest eating one hour before your scheduled class so you have time to digest. If you forget to eat, we are providing healthy snacks and beverages, such as Bare Snacks and KIND bars. It’s best to eat something light that will provide you with usable fuel so you can perform your best. Foods I eat before one of my SoulCycle classes are oats, bananas, green juices, eggs, dairy-free coconut yogurt, or a bowl full of greens.
What is your favorite type of food/dish to eat for refueling after a workout?
A protein-packed smoothie. I am always experimenting with the ingredients I throw into my smoothies but my staples are almond butter, almond or coconut milk, and some sort of leafy greens.
If I opened your fridge right now, what would I find?
All green everything! It’s my goal to eat more vegetables with each meal. I also live in the Bay Area, I have to take advantage of the amazing local produce!
Reveal your favorite indulgent recipe?
PIZZA. Check out one of my favorite paleo-friendly pizza recipes below.
Paleo pizza recipe
½ cup coconut flour;
1 cup almond meal;
1 tsp baking powder;
2 tsp garlic powder;
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil;
½ cup coconut milk
A few tbsp tomato pesto or of your favorite tomato sauce;
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped;
3 artichoke hearts, chopped;
8 button mushrooms, sliced;
1 tbsp coconut oil, for cooking;
50g-100g good quality cooked ham, shaved (amount depends on your preference).
(For the rest of the recipe, visit Paleo Leap!)
And finally…your adult beverage of choice?
My adult beverage of choice is a Moscow mule. And a copper cup is required!
To keep up with MOVEMEANT Foundation, sign up for their email updates and see their website here. To find out Jenny’s SoulCycle teaching schedule, visit here. And to donate to my fundraising page for the Dare to Bare event, click here!