Recently, I was invited to an event, hosted by Gina Obeng, celebrating the one year anniversary since she began her healthy meal delivery service, an extension to her healthy website, Just Geen. Gina cooks from fresh in her kitchen in Barking on Sunday mornings and delivers the food in the afternoon. As a qualified personal trainer and with the assistance of a nutritionist, Gina knows the right foods to fuel your body for whatever outcome the client wants, such as weight loss or even weight gain! Also a probation officer, busy Gina knows how to handle tough situations and challenges.
In creating her website, Gina was inspired by a turbulent experience in her life so she decided to focus her energy on becoming healthy. Her website, Just Geen, allows followers to sign-up to her meal plan and even hire her as a personal trainer, as well as follow her own healthy journey. She blogs about her fitness experiences and has several social media platforms as inspiration for her followers. When I saw that she had been to Barry’s Bootcamp, I knew that we were going to be friends! That place is awesome and not just for their ‘Fuel Bar’; their Friday night DJ session is a must!
Hosted in one of the trendy railway arches on Geffrye Street in Hoxton, I arrived early to Gina’s celebratory event and was fortunate enough to sit down with Gina and ask her a few questions about her company.
What do you love most about your job?
I live by the ethos, ‘health and fitness is a journey rather than a destination’ and I believe that journeys like this do not need to be walked alone. So I love the fact that I am in a position to walk with people alongside their journey and help them to change.
How do you juggle your life?
For me, it’s about managing your time well. When I stopped doing things that didn’t matter, I found that I had more time to focus on what was really important. Although, I do feel I could spend a bit less time on social media 🙂
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I would say finding a work/life balance. My family and friends all feel I work too hard and don’t rest enough. However, I’m so in love with what I do that it doesn’t even feel like work.
Would you stop being a probation officer to be a full time chef?
100%. This is definitely one of my future goals. I’m just waiting for the right time to make that transition, but it is definitely approaching soon.
You mentioned that you would love to open a restaurant. What type of restaurant would you open?
Well, the idea is to have a healthy restaurant inspired by Afro-Caribbean ingredients. My menu would focus on providing my customers with the healthier alternative.
What is your inspiration for cooking?
I was raised in a household where every Saturday morning before you left the house to do anything, you had to cook for the family, so cooking has always been in me. I also find it quite therapeutic and love when people tell me they enjoy my food.
What has been your most successful recipe?
I would say my plantain lasagne has been a big hit. It’s actually one of my favourite dishes to cook and eat as I am obsessed with plantain.
Have there been any kitchen disasters?
On one occasion, I mis-counted my orders and actually ran out of food. Luckily, I still had enough time to quickly go and buy some more, but it was all very stressful.
What was the worst thing that you have cooked?
I’ve tried to make homemade granola before but i didn’t get the texture right and it just burnt in the oven.
What is your favourite form of exercise?
High Intensity Interval Training. I get bored really easily, so I need something that literally shocks my system and keeps me out of my comfort zone.
Not wanting to monopolise Gina’s evening, I decided to enjoy the music that was being played by a funky DJ, mingle with her guests and try her food. Having stuck to being a vegetarian since Veganuary finished, I was able to sample a few options and only admire the rest. The almond milk, spinach, strawberry and banana smoothie was delicious! Surprisingly, the spinach is disguised well in this recipe, despite the green colour! This recipe could definitely be used to get children to eat their greens… The spicy quinoa was also a hit. This dish is so flexible and can be served as an alternative to rice or potatoes, for something different.
Sadly though, I missed out on trying the waffle with chicken, the mini burgers, the mini salmon burgers and the lasagne with plantain. They all looked delicious and I am looking forward to trying the vegetarian alternatives soon. Gina has told me that she is going to expand her recipes to include both vegetarian and vegan options. Recently, she participated in a vegan one-month challenge and loved it, so fingers crossed for some awesome recipes to come…
Gina certainly is an inspiration. She is able to embrace her passion for cooking and inspire her followers to lead a healthy and active life. When I asked her, “What’s harder, being a probation officer or losing weight?” Gina simply smiled and nodded whilst declaring, “I just love food”!
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*Health Advice: Consult with your doctor before beginning any new food and exercise program.