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Motivation

Filtering by Tag: healthy eating

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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Your post superbowl game plan

Jena Chopson

Does your post superbowl party body have you feeling a little like this? 

If so, you aren't alone. The average American eats more than an entire day's worth of calories during the Superbowl party alone. 

So it's no surprise that we all wake up on Monday morning feeling a little....blah. 

I always say that these things can be a one time fling or they can become your "thing." The choice is up to you, but these events can quickly create a slippery slope without you even realizing it. 

Here are my top 5 tips to making sure your Superbowl party was truly just a one-time thing and to helping you get back on track with your health & fitness goals:

1.)  You need a system. 

And by system, I don't just mean a "gym membership." 

Let me explain. Goal setting 101 is creating something that is specific and measurable. Simply paying $40 a month to have access to a gym isn't specific, and it isn't measurable....unless you're talking about the measurable amount of money you're throwing out the window each month ;)

Okay, I kid, I kid. Perhaps you are actually going to the gym. But do you have a PLAN? If you have determined that you are a "gym person," then what is your plan? Do you simply walk into the doors and gravitate towards whatever machine is calling your name that day? If so, you might need to put a little more time & effort into your system. 

How will you get the most out of your membership? Is there a class you can attend consistently? Can you design your own plan doing your own research on utilizing strength training 2-3 times per week and cardio sessions 2-3 times per week? Would a personal trainer help you out? 

I can't tell you what's best for you, only YOU know what's best for you. I just want to make sure you have a plan. Because mindlessly hopping on an elliptical while you text your best friend about margaritas for 30 minutes a few days a week isn't going to cut it ;) 

Coach tip: If you want a system that gives you a full workout schedule and a personal trainer without the steep personal trainer prices, you should definitely check out Beachbody On Demand to see if it would be a good fit for you. You can take this to your gym using your smartphone and use their equipment to get the results you want. Plan + trainer + workout schedule = problem solved. 

2.) Throw out the leftovers

Do you really need that leftover jalapeno popper dip? What about all those bags of chips? 

The answer: No. You don't. 

If you absolutely loathe the thought of throwing away perfectly good food, then offer to "donate" your leftovers to a neighbor or a friend or simply bring the leftovers to work to share. Very few people turn down free food ;) 

3.) Bring IN the good stuff

I know you were JUST at the grocery store this weekend stocking up on party foods, but it's time to head back and stock up on the good stuff. 

Load up your cart with fresh fruits, vegetables, & lean meats. Avoid all things that come in a bag or a package. 

It definitely isn't rocket-science. We all know what to do here. 

Sometimes you just have to rip it off like a band-aid. Ridding your house of the junk and stocking it back up with healthy foods leaves you with no option but to have healthy foods on hand when those cravings start calling. 

4.) Consider a jump start

These aren't for everyone, but whenever I feel like I am in a true "rut" with my nutrition, I always turn to a short cleanse to get me back on track.

No, I'm not talking about the crazy juicing cleanses your mom used to do. And I'm not talking about the cleanses that leave you BFFs with your bathroom for a week, either!

I'm talking about a short 3-5 day challenge with a focus on really clean eating.

There's literally hundreds of these out there. Do your homework and find what is best for you.

You could even create your own, researching a vegetarian or vegan 3 to 5-day meal plan that focuses on tons of fruits, veggies, and vegetarian protein sources for a short amount of time to allow your body to naturally detox and get back on track with healthy eating.

My personal favorite is the 3-Day Refresh.  It's only 3 days and it focuses on eating fruits, veggies, and healthy fats, along with vegetarian protein sources. I typically will easily drop 5 lbs of bloat in these 3 days and feel like a new, rejuvenated version of myself when I wake up on day 4.

5.) Grab a friend

Accountability really is the spice of life. I believe that every journey is not only more fun & enjoyable but more successful when you have a friend alongside you. 

Your health & fitness journey is no different. 

Find a friend who shares common goals with you in regards to health & fitness and help keep each other accountable. This can be face to face accountability in the form of "meet me at the gym at 6am!" or it can be virtual accountability in the form of "I better see you post a sweaty selfie on facebook or text me that gym selfie by 7am tomorrow!" Both are equally effective. 

If your friends aren't picking up what you're throwing down, I'd be more than happy to provide you with that support & accountability and mentor you through your journey. And I do it for free. Simply fill out this form so that I can get to know you a little better and I'll reach out. 

 

Don't let the post Superbowl BLAHs get the best of you! Create a plan ASAP using these 5 tips to get yourself back on track and regain control of your health. Remember, Spring is just around the corner (fist bump)! 

Xoxo,

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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My response to "I'm not really doing the meal plan."

Jena Chopson

As a coach, I hear this phrase more often than not. And if I had $1 for every time I heard it, I wouldn't need to go back to work tomorrow ;) 

Are you ready for a dose of honesty today? 

My response to that is: "Then you're really not going to get results." 

Okay, let me take a step back. If anyone gets the struggle, it's me. I am literally the poster child for the phrase "You can't out-exercise a bad diet." Over the years I have been downright loyal to my workouts, exercising consistently 5-7 days a week for years. Workouts I do NOT miss. My nutrition on the other hand? Let's just say consistency isn't quite the word I would use to describe it. 

I've successfully completed SEVERAL workout programs. With some I have gotten great results, and with others, I have gotten MINIMAL results. What gives? Was it the workout program? NO. Was it because I didn't go hard enough? HELL NO! So what was the game changer? Duh....FOOD. 

I have made excuse after excuse as to why I don't follow proper nutrition like I should. Do any of these sound familiar? 

"I don't like to meal prep."

"I don't have time to meal prep."

"I don't want to spend my weekends off in the kitchen cooking all day." 

"I am super active, so I don't really need to worry about what I eat." 

"I can just wing it."

"I hate being told what to eat." 

"I don't want to cook different things for me and my family." 

"Let's face it, I just really like food."

The list goes on and on and on and on......

But if I'm truly being honest, those are genuinely all excuses. The excuses we create can even sometimes sound noble. I'm sure some of my excuses have., too. But what it REALLY comes down to whether you want to admit it or not is this: It's just not that important to you. 

We make time for what is truly important to us. We will move mountains for what REALLY matters to us. If we aren't putting time and effort into our health & nutrition, it isn't because of ANY excuse. It is because it just doesn't rank that high on the totem pole of priorities.  

This past week I have made the DECISION that nutrition IS hella important to me. What has taken place since that simple decision has been nothing short of incredible:

I've made time to make healthy meals. 

I've meal prepped (and I didn't die). 

I've been cognizant of what I have shoved in my face. 

I've created dinner solutions that don't involve me making a separate meal for Doug. I make ONE meal that works for BOTH of us (it's very possible, people). 

And the RESULT? 

Well for starters, amazing food like this: 

Spicy burgers made with local, lean ground beef

Strawberries with Greek Yogurt

Taco salad with lean turkey burger

But more importantly than pretty food pictures, I just FEEL better. It's amazing how well your body responds to FUELING it with better stuff: 

You sleep better.

Your head feels clearer. 

The bloat goes away. 

Digestion improves. 

And if you have it, the excess weight falls off. 

It's day FOUR of committing to this new journey and the excess weight is already starting to fall off for me. I'm already feeling so much better, especially after eating nothing but junk last week. 

What's more is it REALLY ISN'T THAT HARD. Especially with the systems I have in place for me. These systems have made it so much easier than I imagined. I think we create these mountains in our heads about things when really, at the end of the day, that's all they are---made up things in our heads! 

So I am challenging YOU. If you have made the commitment to start MOVING more, then don't sabotage yourself and all your hard work by putting junk in your body every day. Go ALL IN and start treating the one and only body you have to live in with a little respect. Mmmmkay? 

And as always, if nutrition is something you need HELP with, then I have some tools for you that can help (they are certainly helping me!). I would love to mentor you and walk with you on this journey towards better health.  If you want to chat more, comment on this post or head on over to the CONTACT section and reach out. 

Cheers! 

Sparkling Water with Lime

 

XOXO,

Jena 

 


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When you don't see eye to eye....

Jena Chopson

I get a lot of questions about what to do when you have an "unsupportive spouse" when it comes to your health & fitness journey, or when it comes to your new business. 

Although Doug is doing a workout program with me now, it most definitely has not always been this way. Allow me to show you a picture of what our workout partnership has looked like for 99% of the time we have been together: 

Doug sitting in our front yard propped up with a Miller Lite while I race my 5K. 

Doug sitting in our front yard propped up with a Miller Lite while I race my 5K. 

This is a topic I get really passionate about. Allow me to share a little bit of my story....

I've always been into health and fitness my entire life. Don't make fun of me--I literally have memories of running around the playground at recess as a young child with the GOAL to work up a sweat. Not exactly what most little girls aim to achieve at recess, right? 

Even though I haven't always been healthy (you can read more about that here), being athletic, active, and conscientious about my health has always been a huge passion of mine.  So of course as opposites tend to attract, I wind up marrying a man who basically has zero interest in all of the aforementioned topics. ZERO. 

Let's be honest. I married him this way. I knew the man I was marrying going into this whole thing. Still, I would be lying if I said it didn't sting a little bit every time I headed out for a run, or downstairs to do my workout, alone

This great divide became all the more apparent when I started a business as a health and fitness coach. I'm not going to say he was unsupportive, because to me that means he was basically doing everything in his power to make sure I didn't succeed. He was more, shall I say, standoffish. "Do whatever you want babe, but I think it's all ridiculous." That was a better way to describe it. And even though that's better than being completely unsupportive, it still sucked.  This was a HUGE deal to me and a HUGE passion of mine, and something I was really excited about....and he just wasn't excited.  

So what did I do? You might think I came up with some elaborate plan to bring him over to the "dark side," right? Well, you'd be wrong. You see, you can't change other people. Even when that person happens to be your spouse. The only thing you can do is better yourself and aim to become a better person, spouse, individual, whatever and continue to set the example along the way. 

I had no idea if Doug would ever develop an interest in his own health and fitness, but I always knew that he would have to come to terms with that on his own. If you're in the health & fitness space, you know as well as I do that we cannot force anyone to want to change, they have to want it for themselves first. 

I asked Doug about a week ago, "What was it that finally made you commit to your health?" And he basically responded with, "I was tired of being the fat kid. And I knew it would only bring us closer. So I went all in." That's the Doug version of saying what we hear all too often from people who finally hit their breaking point and are ready to make a change: Enough is enough. Something has to change. 

The key point here is this: If I had given up on him, on myself, on the journey....then he might never have come to these terms. If you feel like you have an "unsupportive" spouse, if you feel like your significant other will never make his or her health a priority, if you feel like you are alone--Don't. Give. Up. 

Stay consistent. Stick with it. Continue to work on and develop yourself. Pray for him or her, for your relationships. And who knows? You may one day be taking sweaty selfies with your spouse after crushing a workout---together. 

Post workout sweaty selfie...aka everything to me <3 

Post workout sweaty selfie...aka everything to me <3 

Relate to this story at all and want to chat more? Feel free to reach out to me, I'd love to talk. 

Xoxo, 

Jena 


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.