By Alexis Cheney – @akcheney
When millennials think of Jane Fonda they picture her leading a workout in spandex or playing the devilish mother in “Monster-in-Law.” But her legacy stretches beyond her fitness know-how and chick flick classics.
Fonda has been a political activist for decades. She protested the Vietnam War in Vietnam where photographers captured her straddling a Vietnamese anti-war cannon while talking with Vietnamese soldiers, causing much controversy among Americans.
Fonda discussed the event and her trip to Vietnam on her blog: “It is certainly painful for me that I, who had spent so much time talking to soldiers, trying to help soldiers and veterans, helping the anti-war movement to not blame the soldiers, now would be seen as being against our soldiers!”
Her activism didn’t stop after the 1970s though. Recently, she spoke at the People’s Climate March in California to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will compromise the safety of the groundwater for those living on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
Fonda also helped to establish the the Women’s Media Center in 2005, an organization that works with the media to “ensure women’s stories are told and women’s voices are heard.” They monitor the media for sexism while feeding the outlets female-empowering content and promoting female experts.
In short – Jane Fonda is an inspiring badass and I could use a little of her spirit and attitude in my everyday life – so I adopted some of her lifestyle habits. I can truthfully say that these Fonda-esque behaviors are a surefire way to boost one’s physical and political activity.
- Eat Fresh
Fondaism – “I try not to have sugars. I try to eat fresh foods. I try to eat something dark green and dark purple, and a variety of colours, every day. I don’t go to bed without having something dark green, dark purple, red, orange, or yellow.”
Full Disclosure: There is no way I can cut out dark chocolate from my life. That being said, eating less sugar and more vegetables (such as those pictured here) does amplify the natural deliciousness of healthy foods. Unlike a glazed chocolate donut, these foods gave me lasting energy and did not leave me feeling bloated or guilty.
- Shop Full
Fondaism – “Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Eat an apple or another healthy snack prior to going to the grocery store.”
I ate an apple before grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. My total was only $35 dollars!
- Exercise 20 mins a day
Fonda’s advice for staying fit? Exercising at least 20 minutes a day with any form of exercise that floats our boats. So, naturally, to live like Jane Fonda, I had to do her workout video. I found this one on YouTube from back in the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdbjM0nZClw. My roommate had a good laugh watching me attempt to follow along – and at everyone’s leg warmers.
- Stand Up for What you Believe In
Take a stand for your political causes like this young lady did at the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. I had been hoping to get more involved with the environmental issues within my neighborhood, so I participated in and wrote about my neighborhood’s BioBlitz, a survey of its parks’ natural resources.
- Make a Productive Mark on the Media