Janina Olschewski is starting Chengdu’s Green Monday campaign and is the K2 Fit Chengdu team captain. Here’s how she spends her weekends in the city.

Janina is moving into her third year in Chengdu, after coming here for her masters in 2014. Like many of us she has a love-hate relationship with the city. She loves the people, the food, local culture and the vibrant community, but hates the grey polluted winters and the scarcity of eligible men (she tells says with a grin).

After co-founding events company Ur-Turn in 2014, she has now moved towards a healthier lifestyle; starting China’s South West Green Monday initiative and becoming Captain of the K2fit Chengdu http://www.chengdu-expat.com/events/chengdu/17-03-17-k2-fit-ultimate-challenge/pandas.

Friday

Everyday I get up early and walk my Golden Retriever puppy Bailey. I adopted him after finding him abandoned outside an apartment building.

After our walk, I try to get a good workout in, which is based on the K2Fit program. It’s a 10-week fitness challenge run by Canadian coach Kara down in Guangzhou. The online program provides you with workout and healthy eating plans that can be adapted to your personal needs and goals and you’re supported by a great WeChat community.

Janina flexing her K2 muscles at  BActive Friday training.

I did the program last fall and it has transformed my life. Not only did I lose 6kg, but I have changed the way I think about workouts, food and health. The next season starts this coming Monday! The Chengdu K2fit team has grown (I’ve even lured some of the Chengdu-Expat staff on board) and I’m psyched to be the captain. Chengdu challengers will be supported with healthy food by partners like Good Good Mexican Grill, Healthy Gourmet, The Range and InFit Granola. Let’s rock this! No more excuses!

Janina and some of the Chengdu challengers at The Range

On Friday evenings, I like to meet friends for dinner. Chinese restaurants that can bring lots of people together on one table and make things renao [热闹 lively]  like ChaiHuoJi in Hongpailou, are my favorites. After enjoying local food, I prefer foreign style nightlife, so I’ll head over to Revolucion for a drink or two (and if you’re lucky, you can see me dancing on the bar).

Janina spotted at Revolucion

Saturday

I like to start the day with some healthy cooking. I’m a relative beginner to cooking, mainly because eating out in Chengdu is super convenient and cheap, but Green Mondayand K2Fit have inspired me to eat better and greener. On Saturdays, I spend a couple of hours working on my Green Monday campaign, which means contacting school and restaurant partners, planning Green Monday cooking workshops and food crawls.

Janina promoting Green Monday at a SHIFT event.

My Green Monday journey ironically started whilst eating a whole roasted goat. We were chatting about the problems of today’s meat production and different initiatives so together with WFA (Welfare for Animals) I started Green Monday in Chengdu. I loved how accessible and doable it is, especially for meat lovers. I believe that knowledge is the first step to eventual change in the community and educating the young generation about the meat industry and how damaging it is to the environment together with our school partners, like Balboa International Academy, is very important.

People pledging to cut meat out on Mondays

In the afternoon or evening, I hit up a Sinostage dance class. Now I understand that dance is so much more than physical movement and the Sinostage teachers are great at inspiring students to find their own personalities in the choreography. They are some of the best dancers in China and for good reason!

Sunday

My Sundays are normally reserved for my puppy and we spend some time learning new tricks or going to the dog park on Ziwei Donglu. The dog park is a great place to hang out with like-minded responsible pet owners like Hyo (Second Hand Second Story), Pernille (King Sizzle Sausages), Amber (The Little Bakery) and Dani (BActive). Having a dog in Chengdu can be very challenging, from daily walks in crowded streets, basic obedience training to finding safe and enclosed parks to let your dog run freely.

Janina at the dog park

Bailey is definitely one of the higher energy, more challenging kind of dogs to have in a big city. But I never regret having adopted him, that sort of unconditional companionship can give his owner is irreplaceable (my couch on the other hand will have to be replaced…).

The handsome Bailey. Favourite food: Janina’s Couch

The rest of my Sundays I spend preparing for all the exciting things Chengdu has to offer for me the coming week. This Sunday, I’ll be stocking up on healthy foods just in time for K2fit to start off on Monday. I’ll also meet up with Erik (SHIFT, Startup Grind) and Dieter (Chengdu Beer, Beer Nest) to plan the upcoming Pub Crawl.

 

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