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Spring Clean Yourself!

Jena Chopson

Hello Spring!  Hello gorgeous weather, blooming flowers, 🌺 longer days and nights, campfires and… bathing suit season!! 😳

We all have our routines when it comes to Spring cleaning - which is defined, btw, as ‘A thorough cleaning of a house or room, undertaken in Spring.’ 

Does your body also need a cleaning? Imagine the way the window feels after the Winter grime is washed away it has an amazing clear view of the outside again…if windows had feelings (which they do!).  THAT is how you will feel if you make an effort to do some internal Spring cleaning of your own. 

Here are some foods to start with:

Apples.  They help eliminate toxic build up and cleanse the intestines.

Avocados. They detoxify the liver of synthetic chemicals.

Beets. They purify the liver.

Blueberries. They block toxins to the brain.

Cabbage. It cleanses the digestive track.

Cranberries. They cleanse the urinary tract.

Garlic. It helps cleanse the intestines of harmful parasites.

Grapefruit. It cleans the blood.

Lemon. It helps cleanse the intestines.

Seaweed. It cleanses the body of heavy metals.

(And there’s so many more!)

Here’s your Spring challenge from me - Do a quick google search for a list of natural food detoxifiers and add ONE to every single day in May!  You CAN and WILL feel better by focusing on foods that are working inside your body to get the crap out! 

 

Cheers to Spring, and feeling GREAT!

Jena 


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I started my workout program and I've GAINED weight! Help!

Jena Chopson

Has this ever happened to you before? 

Odds are if you have ever embarked upon a new, relatively more intense workout program, this has happened to you. 

What does it mean? Does it mean the workout program doesn't work? Does it mean you're doing something wrong? 

I see this happen sometimes with my clients during the first week or two of their program. 

The good news is, it's actually quite common, and here's why: 

1.) Inflammation

Exercise-induced inflammation is extremely common, especially with higher intensity programs like Insanity, P90X, or the 21 Day Fix Extreme. 

When many people begin these program, they see a temporary increase in the scale. Notice I didn't exactly say weight gain. With the help of celebrity personal trainer Chalene Johnson, let me help explain: 

"When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to “protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens, the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen due to fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.

Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated, become discouraged and quit!"

Who mostly becomes discouraged by this? Yep, you guessed it--us WOMEN. They key here is knowledge of the science, as explained above. Expect that this will happen, but don't let it discourage you. Know that this is just a temporary gain on the scale, it's normal, and to keep going! 

2.) Dial in your expectations 

I see this one ALL the time. I've even seen this to some extremes. When women don't drop 21 pounds in 21 days, they resort to crazy (and unhealthy) cleanses, fasts, and other unhealthy ways to drop said pounds FAST. After all, if it's not happening fast, it must not be working, right? 

WRONG. For some reason, even though it took us months, and even YEARS to land us in the body we're currently in, we think we can reverse that in a matter of days. 

It simply isn't true. Losing weight, gaining muscle, and becoming healthy is a process. It takes time + consistency to reach those goals. Patience and diligence is key. Trust the process and keep going! 

3.) Muscle is more dense than fat. 

You ever hear the phrase, "Muscle weighs more than fat?" Well, of course, we know that phrase verbatim isn't exactly true. A pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat. A pound IS a pound, after all! 

But I believe what people are TRYING to get across, is that muscle is more dense than fat. Simply meaning that it's more concentrated. Therefore, it's going to take more muscle mass (and thus more pounds of it) to equal the same amount of mass as 1 pound of fat. 

Confused? Let's look at this image to help us out. 

Clearly, as you can see, these both weigh the same, but the fat takes up more SPACE. 

This illustration is exactly why us health & fitness coaches recommend taking MEASUREMENTS just as often as you are weighing yourself, because, frankly, the scale can be a liar. You can be packing on more muscle and becoming LEANER whilst not seeing any movement on the scale. 

Before photos and measurements will help you to be able to see this picture more clearly. I highly recommend it! 

4.) You're eating too many calories 

I put this one last because if you are truly following your workouts and your meal plan as you should be and the scale isn't moving, it is very likely due to the bullet points above. 

BUT, I've also seen many instances where my clients aren't being truly honest or aware of what they're eating. 

If you aren't tracking your nutrition intake, you should be (at least in the beginning). You need to get an idea of what you're taking in nutritionally on a typical day. Oftentimes, this surprises people. 

At the end of the day, weight loss is all about calories in and calories out. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Please note that this doesn't mean you will be healthy. I've been a shining example in my past on how eating less and burning off excessive calories doesn't exactly equate to health. 

Getting the RIGHT calories in, along with a healthy relationship with exercise is really the sweet spot (no pun intended). If you eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods and exercise consistently, you will likely gain muscle mass and lose fat. 

----------------

No matter where you're at on your fitness journey, just know that I'm here to help! If you are struggling and need help getting all of this right, I'm only a simple message away. 

To your health, 

xoxo

Jena


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Vegan Cookie Dough

Jena Chopson

Promise you won't get mad at me? 

I kinda just threw this one together. You know when it's approximately 2 in the afternoon and you're craving something not-so-great for you? I happened to be scrolling my facebook newsfeed and BAM. There it was. Cookie dough. 

It was all over. I had to have it. So I started scouring recipes online and I ended up blending several different recipes together to create my own little concoction. 

I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is, I know all the ingredients I used. The bad news is, the AMOUNT that I used isn't going to be exact...so be willing to work with me a little bit here ;) But hey, this creates a bit of adventure with your cookie dough, right? 

FYI--This crazy thing I'm calling a "recipe" below serves about 1. So bump it up if you are feeding more than one mouth :) 

Ingredients: 

1/2 can of garbanzo beans
1/4 cup Oat Flour (or old fashioned oats) 
2-3 Tbsp Peanut butter or nut butter of your choosing
1/3 Banana
1 packet Stevia
Vanilla Extract
Cashew Milk (I had unsweetened vanilla on hand)
Honey and/or maple syrup
Chocolate chips 

The random method I used: 

1.) I placed the can of garbanzo beans in a colander and rinsed them thoroughly in the sink
2.) Next, I placed about half the can of garbanzo beans in my Ninja Blender.
3.) I then added approximately 4 tablespoons (or about 1/4 cup) of oat flour and blended it thoroughly in the blender. 
4.) I then added at least 2Tbsp of peanut butter---you can add more or less to your taste, then I added 1 packet of stevia, a few drops of vanilla extract, about 2-3 Tbsp of cashew milk, a drizzle of honey to taste, and about 1/3 of a banana because I wanted creamy consistency. 
5.) I then blended that very well for a smooth consistency. Blend to your liking--but if I'm eating "cookie dough," I want it fluffy and smooth! 
6.) I then topped with chocolate chips. To keep this vegan, you can use Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips, which are delicious. 

Don't get too caught up in the amounts. Just start throwing ingredients in a blender until it looks right to you. I've made probably a dozen variations of this recipe in the past (you can add or subtract so many different ingredients to make this equally delicious), and they almost always turn out amazing! This does give you a very subtle banana flavor, so if that isn't your jam you can always leave that out and add more cashew milk or sub something plain like a few Tbsp of plain greek yogurt for that smoother consistency.

I'm clearly not claiming to be a chef anytime soon, but I can say that this was delicious and it totally fulfilled my craving for cookie dough--at a much healthier "cost."

 

Let me know what you thought about it in the comments! Enjoy.

XoXo,

Jena  


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How to be the light

Jena Chopson

Is it just me or does social media seem a bit dark these days? Between political hate, people constantly judging others, and some using social media as an outlet to make themselves feel better……one of the coolest creations of the 21st century is sometimes seemingly becoming one of the worst. 

So I figured I’d take a few minutes to talk about how to be the “light” you want to see in your newsfeed.  And trust me….I know you already KNOW these things.  I believe we are all inherently good people. But if the law of attraction is true (and I believe it is) we can easily begin to tumble down the slippery slope of social media negativity—sometimes, without even realizing it. 

Be the light rule #1: Make someone’s day. 

This may seem super cliche….even cheesy. But every day I log on, I aim to make at LEAST one person’s day (I typically shoot for around 5). Whether it’s commenting on someone’s post that they look beautiful or sending them a private message telling them how much you love how they show up in the world….aim to share the love. Think of it like a pay it forward initiative. Bonus: This one has a “bounce-back” effect. It’ll totally make your day, too. 

Be the light rule #2: Keep Scrolling. 

See a post that makes your blood boil? Keep scrolling

Here’s the thing. Our first, most animalistic instinct when we see something we don't believe in (and are repulsed by) is to fight back. Resist the urge. You aren’t going to change that person’s mind. People on social media have already formed their own morals, ethics, religions, and opinions. All that will happen by commenting on that post and responding in a knee-jerk fashion is someone will inevitably get hurt. 

“But I want to create debate. Challenge their thought. Create change.” That’s totally cool. And I get it. But STOP first. Write out a response. Then sit on it for 24 hours. If you still want to make that same reply tomorrow…then post it. Odds are, the response you choose to make 24 hours later will be vastly different than that initial response. Probably much kinder, too ;) 

Be the light rule #3: Talk about at least one JOY per day. 

So many people use social media to vent or talk about what’s going wrong in their day. 

But what’s going right in your life right now? What are you most grateful for? What made you smile that day? 

Start making a point to share at least one thing that filled you with joy that day and you’ll find yourself surrounded by people who do the same. 

Be the light rule #4: Remove the triggers. 

Why do you still have those people in your newsfeed that you know ALWAYS trigger you in some negative way? Hide them. Unfollow them. Remove the triggers. 

Even if the account you’re following ISN’T negative. What? Hang with me here. Let’s say it’s an IG account for a popular bikini brand that regularly showcases models in bikinis. Nothing negative about that, right? But perhaps this triggers insecurity or feelings of low self-worth in you. WHY are you following that account? Delete. Buh-bye. 

Sometimes it really isn’t them. It’s you. Or vice versa. Either way…if it’s throwing shade onto your life—REMOVE it! 

Be the light rule #5: Make time to be blissfully “unplugged.”

Even people like me who love social media and use social media for business need to make “unplugged” time a priority. 

It’s 2017, and most of us are undeniably addicted to our phones. There are some crazy stats out there that say something like most people check their phone several times per minute. I begrudgingly admit that there are some days I am probably one of those statistics. 

To keep ourselves centered and focused, and making sure we are being PRESENT in the moment (and present to what’s most important to us), I think it’s crucial that we set “unplugged” time without cell phones at least a few hours each day. 

 

Just like anything, this takes practice, time, & consistency. You won’t see a change in your social media overnight but I guarantee if you put some of these into practice, you might find that your social media is a happier place to be. 

XoXo,

Jena 


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Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

Jena Chopson

Do your resolutions look a little bit like "Blah blah blah....and Girl Scout Cookies?" You're not alone. Read on to find out why most resolutions don't work and what the surprising solution is. 

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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.

Get Outside This Winter! You Burn Calories Shivering ;)

Jena Chopson

Welcome to the midst of WINTER!  Some love it, some hate it - some get the blues, and some get stoked about shreddin’ the gnar! Here’s the scoop - wanting to change the weather is like wanting your avocado to laugh after you tell it a joke. It's not gonna happen. (But who doesn’t love Avocados, right?! #BestFoodEver)

Embrace the cold (NOW!), or you’ll be missing out on some incredible health benefits.

For example:

Did you know that you can burn 100 calories in 15 minutes of shivering?  And not only do you burn calories via your muscles, an additional hormone is released that allows fat stores to burn calories also. (double bonus!)

Ok--so I'm not recommending that you stand outside naked in 20-degree weather and shiver to burn calories ;) But did you know.....

Downhill skiing/snowboarding can burn over 200 calories per 30 minutes. And believe it or not, cross country skiing gets you 100 MORE calories burned per half hour than downhill skiing! 

Not a skier/snowboarder?  Go sledding!  On a mid-size hill you can burn the same amount of calories sledding as downhill skiing!

Even moderate ice skating can burn over 100 calories in 30 minutes.

Ok ok.. so it’s not always EASY… Need some more motivation?

(YES!) Your body works harder to warm itself in the cold temps - thus, more calories burned than in other seasons.

(YES!) Your heart works harder too, which means you’ll be better conditioned when Spring arrives.

(YES!) The days are shorter, and darker - which means you need to take in the daylight when it’s available - getting outside reduces stress and will dramatically improve your mood.

(YES!) It’s called ‘fresh air’ for a reason - taking it in reduces your chance of catching the nasty bugs!

(YES!) You’ll sleep better!

(YES!) It builds your ‘balance’ muscles that snow and ice can trigger, as opposed to exercising outside normal conditions.

Bottom line - you’re not doing yourself any favors by becoming a Winter hermit. Positivity will take you a long way.  Simply saying ‘I love Winter’ can change your outlook.  If needed, you can start with this: “I don’t mind Winter.”

Thanks for reading! 

 

~Jena

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” - Fred Devito

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” - Albert Camus

 

FOR THE LOCALS:


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