This Project Manager Has a Jam-Packed Fitness and Social Calendar
When she's not working at Thomas Jefferson University, Jordan Price bounces between boutique gyms and "foodie" media events throughout Philly.
Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one Philadelphian to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email [email protected].
Who I am: Jordan Price (@foodsweatnbeers), 32
Where I live: Fishtown
What I do: I literally, just this week, started working as a project manager at Thomas Jefferson University. I’m also a freelance writer focusing primarily on health, fitness, and food trends around Philly, and serve on the national board of my fraternity, St. Anthony Hall.
What role healthy living plays in my life: In May 2009, a few weeks after graduating college, I broke my foot and started a desk job — a dangerous combination, it turned out, considering it was much easier to drive through a fast-food window than it was to cook on crutches. Inspired by my mother, I tried Weight Watchers 10 months later, changing my diet and walking to the store instead of driving. I eventually joined a gym and never looked back.
Since then, I’ve always kind of kept track of my fitness and eating, through my own personal blog, freelancing and, more recently, Instagram. Speaking of, I’ll occasionally get invited to media previews and events (with a smorgasbord of delicious food and drinks), so I try to balance some of my more decadent evenings with exercise and meal prep with my fiancé. (Spoiler alert: This is a BIG event week for me.) Most other weeks, if I know I’m going out at night, I try to get some sort of workout in before work or during my lunch break. That said, I also do my best to “ball on a budget,” which to me means taking advantage of any and all deals, free classes, pop-up workouts and discounts I can find. And, luckily, Philly is a city where fitness can be fairly affordable.
Health memberships (and what they cost): City Fitness — $40 every two weeks (all locations).
7 a.m. — I wake up 20 minutes before my alarm, which is still an hour later than I used to have to wake up for my old job. So now I get to enjoy a pot of tea, pack my lunch and get some writing in before catching the train. I walk out of the apartment at 8:15 a.m., catch the Market-Frankford Line (MFL), and can’t believe it when I walk through the office doors 25 minutes later (my previous commute took 80 to 90 minutes — oof!).
8:40 a.m. — My office has complimentary coffee (which I don’t drink) and tea (which I drink a lot of), so my first morning is off to a strong start of mandatory orientation and Earl Grey. I was so excited this morning I couldn’t eat, but luckily I packed a Clif Bar to munch on.
12:30 p.m. — I finally surface from onboarding for some lunch. I spent yesterday evening cooking beef, broccoli, and brown rice — nothing fancy, but I toss that along with some spinach and hot sauce — for a quick lunch and a 15-minute stroll down the block. It’s absolutely incredible how much joy I’m getting out of just walking outdoors in the middle of a weekday. I’m still hungry, so I eat the apple I brought that’s supposed to be a snack for later. That’s a problem for future Jordan.
3 p.m. — Meetings and trainings have kept me glued to my desk for the past two hours, but I root around my backpack for a snack and unearth some random bag of mixed nuts from an event a few weeks ago. Score.
5:15 p.m. — I leave the office and make my way over to Reading Terminal Market to grab a side for dinner. Shishito peppers are only $1.99 for an entire bag, so I grab that and some quinoa, both from Iovine Brothers Produce ($6.88).
5:45 p.m. — I meet my fiancé in Fishtown, look at a house for sale, and hand off the goods for dinner because I’m headed to the gym.
6:30 p.m. — City Fitness Fishtown features a bunch of Les Mills programming, and I signed up for a KILLER BodyCombat class I never used to be able to attend with my old schedule. I love Les Mills classes specifically because they’re consistent. If you’ve taken one, you know how to take the next. Makes for less time picking up the moves and more time working. Plus, the instructor, Kelly, is one of the best I’ve ever had. Fifty minutes later, I’m sweaty and headed home.
8 p.m. — We normally eat dinner on the earlier side, but since I didn’t make it home until 7:30 p.m., a late dinner it is. After a quick shower, we divide and conquer the menu — whipping up two plates of steak, blistered shishito peppers, and homemade potato salad — dine at the table, then make our way to the couch for some relaxing Netflix show about serial killers.
8:30 p.m. — In need of something sweet, I poke around the freezer looking for ice cream before giving up and grabbing a Zego Just Fruit bar. Only kinda tasty, but it was easy, scratched the itch, and was enough for the night.
9 p.m. — We enjoy some more Netflix as I putter around the apartment and get some writing done. I can’t leave dishes dirty overnight, so I scrub everything and leave the pans out to dry, pack my bag for tomorrow, and cook up an “egg bake.” You know those little egg frittatas people make in muffin tins? Well, this lazy girl’s version is an egg bake where you just scramble a few eggs and toss in any leftovers — in my case, some broccoli from meal prep, a few pepperoni I had leftover from a charcuterie party, and some country mustard for flavor. The whole “Clif Bar for breakfast” thing left me wanting today, and I’d rather just start my day off with some protein and veggies.
10:45 p.m. — Time for bed.
Daily total: $6.88
6:20 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I’m up and out of bed. No time for tea this morning, as I’m signed up for a 7:15 a.m. workout class in Center City.
6:30 a.m. — OMG NO I’M NOT! I’M SIGNED UP FOR A 7 A.M. WORKOUT CLASS! I sprint out the door, so glad I packed the night before, and race to RippedPHL. This class was zero dollars since I received it through Yelp Philly’s Fit Club. I also received credits for at least four other studios, making the value of simply signing up online (aka three seconds of effort) probably over $100.
6:59 a.m. — I walk through the door moments before class to realize I actually signed up for a 7 a.m. class… on Wednesday. Good news: They switch me into this one, so I hop on a bench for a full body workout. We alternate between floor exercises and running on the treadmill, and the 45-minute class leaves me gasping for breath.
7:45 a.m. — I have to skip the post-workout stretch (don’t hate me, trainers!) to nab one of the glorious showers. I love that RippedPHL has luxurious products in their showers. I feel oh-so-boujee post-shower and, with my new office six blocks away, it’s a fast walk.
8:15 a.m. — This is incredible. I exercised, showered, and got to the office in the time it used to take me to commute one way. Let’s get productive.
9 a.m. — I remember that egg bake I made last night and microwave some of it for breakfast. Much better meal than yesterday’s.
11:45 a.m. — I help my new coworkers schlep some cups and plates across the street for a forum they’re hosting. Oh dear, they’re serving pizza. Forget my meal-prepped bowl waiting for me back at the office. I’m having a slice of pepperoni.
1:15 p.m. — Back at the office and plugging away. More online training.
3 p.m. — I ditch my afternoon snack and have two ginger chews because hormones. BE GONE, CRAMPS! I also have a fan-girl moment when I see online that a NYC-based trainer I’ve been following is coming to Philly in October for a class. I don’t hesitate, nab a spot, and tell my friends to get in on it ($28.10).
4:45 p.m. — I leave the office to meet a buddy and make my way over to Chatayee Thai before a double-header of events. This doesn’t happen all the time, but this evening we’ve got a networking happy hour at Attico followed by an Alimentari‘s open house. My friend orders some spring rolls, and I try a bite of one, but hold off knowing more food is on the way.
5:10 p.m. — Arrive at Attico. There’s networking, lots of salty snacks, and an open bar. That said, I decided earlier that (knowing the week I’ve got ahead of me) I’d skip the booze tonight. I grab a seltzer water and nosh on a pretzel nugget and some house-made potato chips with smoked ranch dip. Recognizing this is a prelude to the main event (and knowing my own love for all things Di Bruno Brothers) I forgo the other goodies and focus on making some connections. This event was free for invited guests, so no money spent!
6 p.m. — We are terrible at “leaving” events, but finally wrap up the hugs, the card-swapping, and the “let’s get lunch!”es to walk to our next event.
6:15 p.m. — We walk into Alimentari and are immediately greeted with warm bowls of cacio e pepe and bite-sized squares of pizza. I plan on trying it all.
6:30 p.m. — We greet some industry friends, thank our generous hosts, and find our friends at a table to set down our stuff. And then, I go in: black lava cashews, cheeses, cured meats, mini versions of pastas and salads, arancini, some perfectly cooked branzino, and I end the night with two bomboloni (mini fried doughnuts with hazelnut spread — get them if you go!) Am I full? Absolutely. Do I feel stuffed to the point of sickness? Nah. I make a point to mix in at least one glass of water between every plate, which slows my roll a bit, and spend a lot of time getting up to talk to folks ($5).
8:05 p.m. — In full-on bomboloni bliss, I make my way to the train and walk in the door about 25 minutes later.
8:30 p.m. — I unpack my bag from the day, change into pajamas, and spend the next 30 minutes on Instagram, tagging the restaurant, sharing some content, checking out what I’ve missed. I rarely post content a la minute at events like this, though I do record and photograph a lot of it. I prefer to enjoy the events, and then have time to add commentary, tags, and descriptions of dishes later.
9 p.m. — It’s a haze of Netflix and packing my bag for the next day. Luckily, my leftovers are still at the office waiting, but I toss some hummus and an apple in for snacks and spreads.
10:30 p.m. — I’m still buzzing from the event but get into bed and eventually fall asleep.
Daily total: $33.10
6:46 a.m. — That’s a normal alarm time, right? I get ready for the day with the soundtrack to Hamilton playing in my headphones. I’ve got another media event tonight, followed by the Hamilton performance at Forrest Theatre, so I’m loading my bag with a change of clothes for a mid-day sweat session. I’m out the door by 7:20 a.m.
7:45 a.m. — In the office a bit earlier today, and I think I’d prefer to get in closer to 7:30 a.m. on days without morning fitness. I’m definitely more of a morning person, and it’s so nice to get an hour or two of work in before the bulk of my coworkers arrive.
9:20 a.m. — How did I forget to eat until just now? I blame that fifth pizza bite last night. Egg bake in the microwave, and we’re back in action.
10:30 a.m. — My manager takes me on a walk through Jefferson’s campus to show me a few spots I’ll be frequenting. I tell her about the glory of Middle Child. We both learn something, and it’s great to stroll a few blocks in the middle day and meet my new coworkers.
12:30 p.m. — As per my recommendation, the team heads over to Middle Child for lunch, but I stick to my desk and eat my leftovers while I continue reading through some required training documents. I can’t stop listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and am pumped for tonight’s show!
2:30 p.m. — I run over to City Fitness East Market where I hop on the treadmill, shower, and am back at my desk in 50 minutes.
5:30 p.m. — I scamper out of the office to meet my fiancé for an evening out! First stop: Rosy’s Taco Bar.
5:45 p.m. — Rosy’s is releasing a few larger-sized dishes (instead of JUST tacos), and we were invited to sample them, along with the restaurant’s seasonal cocktail menu. I enjoy two of the “Hot Autumn” tequila cocktails, made with hibiscus, lime, and cinnamon. Tastes great! We also enjoy some samples of fajitas, guac, and nachos. We are feeling fueled and ready for Hamilton!
7:30 p.m. — We walk into Forrest Theatre a few minutes before curtains, and spend the next three hours riveted by the show. I cry quite a few times. It’s spectacular.
10:45 p.m. — My adrenaline is sky high when we board the train home, and I can’t even think about sleep. So I don’t, at least not until 45 minutes later when I crash very, very hard.
Daily total: $0
6:23 a.m. — That alarm goes off WAY too soon, but it’s time to make moves. I’ve got a class at Unite Fitness with three friends, and accountability is no joke. I’m out the door by 6:35 a.m., having packed my bag the night before with all my excess energy.
7:05 a.m. — I arrive at Unite Fitness’ East location with enough time to stretch out and catch-up with my buddies before class.
7:15 a.m. — Unite class with Reyna Munves aka “Reyna the Traina.” She’s a notoriously tough coach who never lets you slack off. Hitting serious speed on the bike? Push the resistance. Making lifting look easy? Go heavier. I love that.
8:25 a.m. — I run over to City Fitness to shower, which is just down the block and on the way to my office. Unite only has one women’s shower, and I never have the patience to wait.
8:45 a.m. — I’m in the office, my tea is steeping, and I’ve got my first set of meetings this morning! I’m starting to feel like part of the team and am reading anything I can get my hands on to prepare.
9:25 a.m. — I eat the last of the egg bake, along with some avocado. At this point, the egg bake is just meh, but the avo is flawless.
11:40 a.m. — I didn’t bring a lunch to work today, so I fish out a $15 credit for Sweetgreen from my backpack (a gift from an event a while back I’d been saving for dire times). I peruse the new fall menu items, settle on the ratatouille bowl, and order for a 12:30 p.m. pickup.
12:22 p.m. — I get to Sweetgreen, bypass the line, and grab my salad and Spindrift. I’m back in the office not even 10 minutes later and am chowing down soon after. The bowl is excellent, and it all only cost me $0.66 of my own money!
1 p.m. — I eat an apple, carefully dodging other snacks in my office. Tonight’s the Best of Philly Soirée and I want to arrive hungry. There are seemingly an infinite number of Philly restaurants sampling dishes, and after that sweat session this morning, I’m sure I’ll be ravenous.
4:50 p.m. — I hustle home trying to beat the rain, do not succeed, and arrive at my apartment drenched because I couldn’t find my umbrella. I toss some clothes in the wash to prepare for a trip this weekend for my Fraternity’s Leadership Conference.
5:50 p.m. — Showered and partially packed, I head out the door to Center City for Best of Philly in Dilworth Park. I am (characteristically) early, and find myself watching as Gritty storms out of the party (don’t worry, he came back). As a big Gritty fan, this certainly kicked off the night on a high note.
6:35 p.m. — My friends and I roll into the soirée and formulate a plan of attack. We opt to go for the food first. This event is definitely one of excess, and I’ll admit, we really feasted. We hit the dance floor, and despite the drizzling rain for much of the night, had a great time. ($110).
9 p.m. — The rain finally wins, and we make our way home. Unfortunately, the train runs a little less frequently at night, so the trip back always takes a bit longer, but we crack jokes about the Gritty appearance, relive some of our dance moves, and make it back within a half hour.
9:40 p.m. — I try to pack efficiently, but with a few last-minute supply requests, I’m overwhelmed by the thought of getting all my belongings to the office and to 30th Street Station for a rental car on my own, so I finagle my departure time to later Friday. I’d planned to leave straight from work and arrive in time for dinner, but with the impending closure of the Schuylkill Expressway, that sounds like a nightmare. I make some tuna salad for work tomorrow, set aside some veggies and tortillas, and feel good about this decision.
10:45 p.m. — I get into bed, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack to lull me to sleep.
Daily Total: $110.66
6:15 a.m. — My alarm goes off and, I’ll admit, I’m struggling. Yes, we had drinks last night, but it’s more the entire week of new job, double events some nights, and basically no real rest. I have a tendency to overestimate my energy reserve, and sometimes, if I’ve had a busy week, I just retreat to my apartment all weekend. I don’t have that luxury this time, but today’s early arrival to the office means an earlier departure, plus some time to myself before throwing myself into the fray of a conference.
7:15 a.m. — I’m settled in at work, and the first cup of Earl Grey has been consumed. It’s ON, as I finally start learning more details about a few of the projects I’ll be supporting.
9:30 a.m. — I make a “wrap” — aka I spread some jalapeño and cilantro hummus on a tortilla and toss in some spinach and tomatoes. I hope this gets me through the jam-packed morning I have ahead of me.
1 p.m. — Time for a lunch break. Most of the office has left for the very last summer Friday, so it’s quiet in the kitchen. I take my second tortilla, toss in some spinach and tuna salad, and nibble some baby carrots, grape tomatoes, hummus, Wheat Thins, and animal crackers on the side. It’s a very snack-y lunch, but it fills me.
3:45 p.m. — I leave the office, hop on the MFL, and make my way to 30th Street Station to get my rental car for the weekend.
4 p.m. — I get to 30th Street to rent my car, and it takes me 40 minutes to drive the four miles back to Fishtown. Nothing is more frustrating than moving at a snail’s pace and this snail is none too pleased being on 676, even for a moment.
4:45 p.m. — I crash for a quick power nap. There’s a 2.5-hour drive ahead of me and I’d be a little nervous driving as sleepy as I am.
5:40 p.m. — I wake up, load up the car, and have a quick dinner of a piece of Lost Bread toast, a fried egg, some blistered shishito peppers, cheese, and meats leftover from a charcuterie party we hosted.
6:50 p.m. — Time to hit the road. My fraternity’s leadership conference is being hosted at an outdoor center seemingly in the middle of nowhere this weekend. It kicks off the school year full of visits. Tonight, we’ve got a little over 30 undergrads meeting us. The drive is largely uneventful but very dark and spooky. I listen to podcasts and try to mentally prepare myself for a weekend sleeping in bunk beds in a cabin in North Jersey.
9 p.m. — I’ve finally arrived, only to realize there is zero service on site, with the exception of a single building by the entrance. So, I guess this is a forced sign-off, but hey, Sweat Diaries, it’s been real.
Daily total: $0
Money spent: $150.64
Workouts completed: 4
Events attended: 6
Gritty run-ins: 1
Cups of tea consumed: I lost count sometime after 20