Interview with Jen Comas Keck: Her fitness journey and a cookie dough recipe you don’t want to miss

I am beyond thrilled to have one of my friends sisters here on my site today. Jen Comas Keck is a gorgeous woman, inside and out, who is passionate about fitness in so many ways. She’s sharing a bit of her story with us today. 
Jen, give us a brief overview of your fitness background… when you got started and most importantly, what kept you interested?
I was never active growing up. As a matter of fact, I was quite lazy. My sedentary lifestyle oozed over into my teenage years, where I failed junior high gym class. Twice! I was eating fast food, soda pop, and junk food galore. When I was about 16 years old, my weight hit it’s all time highest and my boyfriend looked me in the eyes and said, “You know, you are getting pretty fat.” I was devastated, humiliated, and heart broken. 
I cried for 3 days straight. On the fourth day, I put an end to the pity party and got mad. I went to my mom and begged her for a membership to the gym, in which she obliged. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I began taking aerobics classes. I’d go back to the gym at night when it was really slow and I’d go into the weight room and try to figure out the machines. 
A few years later, my brother became interested in body building and I started lifting with him. Fitness became a passion for me, with group fitness classes at the forefront. Fast forward a few years later and I got certified to teach group fitness classes (Spin, yoga, pilates, Body Pump, kickbox, etc) and I loved it. I lived for it! I discovered that motivating others and helping other people get healthy and gain confidence was my purpose in life. At that point I obtained my certification for personal training through NASM, and quit my day job to teach classes and train clients full time. A year or so later, I participated in my first Figure show and my love for lifting weights really started to shine. It was around that time that I started to become interested in power lifting and a more serious style of weight training.
I’ve been on this extremely multifaceted fitness journey of mine for 16 years now, and I’ve always set goals for myself. Whether it was to get certified to teach a new class, get stronger, etc, my goals are what have kept me going and kept me growing as an individual. I feel that it’s crucial for me to set an outstanding example for others so I make sure to “walk the walk”. My training is consistent and my diet is squeaky clean 95% of the time. I want to prove to people that it is not only doable, but it’s enjoyable and rewarding!
How many days a week do you workout?
I currently weight train 3 – 4 days a week, with other light cardio and yoga thrown in on the off days.
What’s a typical workout for you?
I always start with a dynamic warm-up and mobility work. Then I move on to the main lift that I’m focusing on, whether it is dead lift, squat, or bench. After that, I’ll move on to some accessory work, and then finish with some Energy Systems Work which are short intense intervals. I’m currently trying something a bit different, and my coach has me doing some upper body and some lower body during each training session. We are hoping this higher volume approach aids in hypertrophy and enables me to get a bit leaner, while maintaining my strength.
Top 5 Exercises…
Dead lift – the dead lift is absolutely the most bang for your buck in terms of overall strength building.
Bulgarian Split squats – these take a ton of stabilization, and can really fry your legs and buns.
Chin-ups – because a girl that can do chins is awesome.
Hill sprints – safer than regular sprints and nothing will improve your conditioning quicker or blast fat faster.
Push-up – great for upper body and core strength. Just make sure you squeeze your butt cheeks and lead with your chest towards the ground.
Best nutritional advice for the person who’s just starting out.
Substitute water and unsweetened tea for all other beverages, and incorporate green veggies into each and every meal.
Best nutritional advice for the person who eats pretty good most of the time but just needs the extra tweak.
Eat a lean source of protein at every meal. Consume fruits and starchy carbohydrates immediately before and after strenuous activity only. Eat fats in place of carbs at all of your other meals.
What would you say to encourage someone who’s never really exercised before, but is ready to take the first step?
To enjoy the journey and the process. To have fun with it – experiment with a lot of healthy recipes and different forms of exercise. The most important thing that will keep you on track is to find things that you love!
And Jen, I know you’re the “recipe queen”… so grace us with one of your favorite “healthy” recipes!!

Cookie Dough Sundae
This treat is amazing and best of all, it’s gluten-free and it can be lactose-free (depending on which protein powder you select).
First we will make the cookie dough balls, then we will make the “ice cream”.
Cookie Dough Ball Ingredients
These taste just like cookie dough! They are so easy to make and your kids will love these, too! You can just eat these by themselves if you’d like to.

  • 1 TBSP melted coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter will work)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Tiny little splash of cold water if it needs more liquid.

Squish everything together and mold into 10 small balls.
Nutritional Facts per ball:

  • Protein: 4.7 grams
  • Carb: 9.9 grams
  • Fat: 4.7 grams
  • Calories: 117

You can get creative and add dried fruit, shredded coconut, nuts, or whatever you want to these.

Next, we will make our “ice cream”.
Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream”



You will need two bananas that have been peeled, sliced into big pieces, and frozen. Take the frozen banana pieces out of the freezer, throw them into your food processor (a blender will work, too) and turn that baby on. Once the frozen banana is all smashed up, scoop it into a bowl or a cup and crumble a few cookie dough balls on to the top.

Done! It’s that easy. A quick and healthy treat that is absolutely amazing!

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To continue to follow Jen’s journey, you can find her at JenComasKeck.com. She’s also one of my (six) partners in crime in the Girls Gone Strong movement.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Julia Ladewski

About Julia Ladewski

2 Responses to “Interview with Jen Comas Keck: Her fitness journey and a cookie dough recipe you don’t want to miss”

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  1. Jen says:

    Do you recommend a good protein powder? I’ve tried a couple and the flavor is horrible. Some recipes I’m sure I’d love if I had a good chocolate protein powder.

    • Julia Ladewski Julia Ladewski says:

      Personally, I like Nitrean+ chocolate by At Large Nutrition. I’ve also just used a generic whey concentrate from ProteinFactory.com

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