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Motivation

Filtering by Tag: Inspiration

What's LUCK got to do with it?

Jena Chopson

Chances are you know a ‘skinny girl’ that can put down a pizza, potato chips, and soda....and not gain an ounce of weight.  And perhaps you have another friend that claims to gain weight simply by looking at a donut. 

Skinny girl says she’s ‘lucky’ to have a fast metabolism.  What’s the truth in this statement?

Simply put, metabolism is defined as how quickly you burn calories and fat, and/or how fast your body converts food to energy.  

And yes, genetics plays a role. BUT, that isn’t the only factor that contributes to your metabolic speed.  

 

Age: As we get older, our metabolism slows down.  In fact, after 40 it drops by 5% each decade.

Gender: Men typically have faster metabolisms than women.

Diet:  What you eat, don’t eat, and when you eat affects your metabolism.

Activity level: The more active you are, the faster your metabolism.

 

Here’s where the ‘luck’ kicks in: GENETICS.  As unfair as it may seem, some people are just quicker calorie burners than others.

But you don’t need to settle, here are a few ways to rev it up!

-Exercise. Combine cardio with strength training to enhance your metabolic rate.

-Eat properly, and at the right time.  Three meals a day, always eat breakfast.

-Caffeine can jolt your metabolism 5-8% in a day.

-Eat 25g of fiber per day.

-Water. Drink your recommended daily intake.  

-Protein can boost calorie burn after a meal by as much as 35%.

Remember this: just because the skinny girl can eat the pizza, chips, and soda and not gain weight does not mean she’s healthy.  Health is a way of life, not an appearance.  

Best of luck in your metabolic journey!

 

Jena


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Four-ingredient squash parfait.

Jena Chopson

I love easy recipes. 

I love it even more when easy recipes taste this good. 

Sweet tooth, anyone? Read on....

It tastes better than it looks...if that's even possible. 

This recipe is super easy if you have everything on hand. I had leftover butternut squash that I cooked up yesterday, so this was literally as simple as mixing stuff in a bowl then scooping it out and layering it into this glass. 

But if you don't already have cooked squash on hand that's been hanging out in the fridge overnight (I mean, why wouldn't you?), then here's the recipe for this gem. 

Don't forget to let me know if this was appealing to your taste buds by sharing this out to your friends or commenting on this post on social.

What you'll need:

1 butternut squash
Liquid stevia (or packets work, too) 
1 serving of plain greek yogurt
Cinnamon
Carmel, Maple, or Vanilla extracts (optional) 
Honey or maple syrup (optional) 

To cook the squash: 

Cut off top 1/2". Cut lengthwise in half. Scoop out seeds. Place halves face down in a baking dish with 1/4" water. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. When done, peel off the skin or scoop out the squash. Place squash in mixing bowl. Add 1-2 TBSP of cinnamon (or to taste), a 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (or 1-2 packets as desired), and 1 tsp caramel extract (or choose your flavor here, optional). Mix with electric hand mixer so it's like a fluff or mashed potato like.  

Side note: Butternut squash tastes amazingly sweet all on its own. Adding in extra stevia might be too much. Try it first by itself with a dash of cinnamon to see if you even need the stevia. If you're like me, you probably don't. This squash is the bomb dot com, baby.

You can, of course, eat the squash right away, but if you want to make the parfait, let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. 

For the greek yogurt: 

Place 1 serving (typically 2/3 cup) in a bowl. Add water while stirring to create desired consistency (I prefer a thinner consistency, greek yogurt is a little too thick for my liking. If you like it as is, then skip this step and carry on, you greek yogurt lovin' warrior). Add 1-2 stevia packets or liquid stevia to desired taste. Add in flavor extract of choice, if desired. I mixed in a few drops of maple extract. Blend well in the bowl. 

Side note: If you are new to plain greek yogurt, you may find that you need to add in a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to make it more desirable to your taste buds. I'll give you the green light here, but just don't get carried away, mmmkay? 

Once you have your refrigerated squash and greek yogurt mixture, simply layer them on top of each other at your heart's content. Voila! Heaven in your mouth. 

Now you can tell all your friends you eat dessert for breakfast AND stay on track with your goals.

Cheers,

Jena 

 

Special shoutout to Kevin Butz who showed me the squash ways and gave me several squash recipes. You da man, Kevin! 

If you're a 21-day fix meal plan follower, this recipe counts as 1 green (measured as 2/3 cup), and 1 red. Can we cheers again to that? 


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The person in your corner

Jena Chopson

Yesterday after a long 13ish hour shift at work, I sat down and had a great phone conversation with a dear friend of mine.

We started talking about my decision to do the Huff 50K and she asked about how many miles that was. "About 32ish," I said. Without hesitation and with what sounded like the utmost confidence in the world, she replied, "You can totally do that." And then she went on to justify why.

I hope each and every one of you has someone like that in your life who can always be in your corner with unwavering faith. This woman has always believed in me and given me confidence when I have had doubts.

Behind every successful person, I firmly believe there's an entourage of amazing people who love, support, and believe in them unconditionally. Do me a favor: Next time you talk to one of those people, thank them. We are so much better & can accomplish so much more because of them.

Who is that person for you?


SIGN UP TO GET JENA'S MOTIVATION, DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX! Subscribe to the Inspired By Jena Mailing List and receive regular fitness communications that include recipes, exercise tips, featured Beachbody® products, and motivational stories from Beachbody Coach Jena Chopson and others just like you.

My name is Jena and I struggle with veggies.

Jena Chopson

Veggies. They take you back to the days of you staring at those greens on your plate with a face mixed with disgust and agony while the voice of your mother echoes in the background, “Eat your veggies, or no dessert for you!”

The truth is, even as an adult, I struggle to get my veggies in each day. I’d wager to say I’m not alone, right? For me, it’s not even that I don’t like veggies. I do. But I’m a woman of convenience, and to me, veggies just aren’t convenient.  Yes I’ll do the occasional raw carrots with hummus, or whip together a delicious salad, but after awhile, it all gets boring and well, why can’t veggies be as fun to grab and go like apples, bananas, and berries?

That’s why lately I am LOVING smoothies. Doesn’t the thought of a smoothie just invite you in? Maybe it’s my inner California hippie talking, but I love the thought of bringing a bunch of raw fruits and vegetables together for one harmonious blend of healthy deliciousness in a glass.

All you need is a nice blender (I LOVE my Ninja), some fresh produce, and a clear, beautiful glass (because let’s be honest, smoothies shine in mason jars and gorgeous glassware), and about 3-5 minutes of your time and WHAM—You have what might be your healthiest meal or snack of the day that includes VEGGIES.

If you’re on the veggie struggle bus like me, I invite you to give these a whirl. Your body will thank you for it.

This recipe eases you in with only 1 cup of spinach, but rest assured there’s plenty of other recipes out there with more servings of veggies.

Berry Beautiful (Can you tell I made this up?)
(Serves 1)

-1 cup spinach

-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or cashew, or your base of choice)

-1/2 cup blueberries

-1/2 cup raspberries

-1 banana

-1 tbsp all natural peanut butter (or your nut butter of choice)

-1 tbsp ground flax seed

Blend spinach and almond milk first until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Enjoy!

Until next time, fit friends.

XOXO

Jena

 


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After the PR

Jena Chopson

Yesterday I ran the half-marathon at the Indianapolis Monumental half and achieved a 6-minute PR. If any of you are familiar with running, you know what kind of feat this is (I took nearly 30 seconds per mile off my pace). 

This did not happen overnight. This was the culmination of years of effort and work. I have been running off and on since high school, but more "seriously" since 2010. Even though I have been at it for 5 years, it wasn't until this summer when I realized something I should have known a long time ago: If I wanted to hit my goals, I needed to find a coach. 

As a health & fitness coach I often told myself I didn't need a coach. I could figure it out, right? It turns out, even the "experts" need coaches, too. The more research I did on successful people, the more I came to find that each and every one of them had coaches for different areas of their lives. It became clear that if I wanted to hit big running goals, then I needed a coach, too. 

So I approached someone who I felt would be a great fit for me as a running coach. Enter: Michael Scott (Look him up--Run Nerds Rock on Facebook. He is THE best). I told him I wanted to PR my half marathon at Indy Monumental in November.  He said let's do it.  After filling out a questionnaire on my running history, he drew up a training plan for me which I followed nearly to a T. In addition to a custom training plan, he provided the extra accountability and support that I definitely needed. 

Even though I had all the tools, I still wasn't perfect. I missed a couple of training runs. I had days where I felt like I failed miserably, and I had days where I felt like I nailed it. There were days when I didn't want to get out of bed and run 14 miles. There were days when I REALLY did not want to come home after clinical or a 12 hour shift and do a tempo run or a half-marathon paced run. 

But I made a commitment. I made this big goal for myself, and damnit, I wasn't going to let my excuses get in my way. So I stuck to the training plan, even when I didn't want to. 

This is what happens when you truly commit to something. When you check your excuses at the door and really go all in, you WILL achieve your goals. 

It won't be perfect. There will be days where you feel like a failure. But I promise, if you TRUST THE PROCESS and keep your heart set on your goals, you WILL achieve them. Yesterday felt amazing. I went into the race expecting to be gasping for breath the entire race, and I was surprised to feel 100% prepared. Yesterday I felt AMAZING. I crushed my goal pace for the majority of the race.  The training and the coaching PAID. OFF. The late nights, the pain, the early mornings, the moments of tears....they all PAID. OFF. 

I want you to know that I am here for you. I want you to achieve your goals. If you are struggling, reach out to me. If you need help with something, I am here.

As for me? I'm just getting started. The best thing about achieving something you never thought you could do is the realization that you can accomplish even MORE.  We were all made for God-sized dreams and I'm never going to stop chasing them. How about you? <3 

 



SIGN UP TO GET JENA'S MOTIVATION, DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX! Subscribe to the Inspired By Jena Mailing List and receive regular fitness communications that include recipes, exercise tips, featured Beachbody® products, and motivational stories from Beachbody Coach Jena Chopson and others just like you.