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Motivation

Filtering by Tag: healthy recipes

Red hot news!

Jena Chopson

Valentine's day is full of red hearts, red roses, red candies, and red faces.. why stop there?

Eat by color!   Here are a few Valentine's Day approved reasons to increase the red in your diet... 

BEETS

Boost your stamina!  If you want to make it through your next workout, or high-intensity excursion in the bedroom, eat some beets!  People who eat beets prior to physical activity are able to continue 15 percent longer!

STRAWBERRIES

Good circulation is crucial for physical activity in men and women, and great news (!) strawberries are the answer! They are rich in antioxidants that benefit your heart and arteries! (And bonus, they're full of vitamin C, which, in combination with antioxidants, has been linked to higher sperm counts in men.)

WATERMELON

Watermelon is high in Lycopene, which rivals Viagra in its ability to relax blood vessels and improve circulation. This provides a natural enhancement for revving up your sex drive.

RED PEPPERS

The hotter they are the better! Red peppers increase your metabolism and stimulate endorphins.  This gets the blood flowing to all of the essential areas:)

Not so interested in the romantic benefits of RED?  Here are reasons to throw some other 'reds' into the mix!

  • Red Bell Peppers contain high amounts of Vitamin C, providing nearly 300% of your daily intake.
  • Cherries can have a better result for treating pain and inflammation than Aspirin.
  • Cranberries help rid the urinary tract of E. Coli bacteria.
  • Pomegranates are packed with potassium and Vitamin C and are said to help reduce your risk for breast and prostate cancer.
  • Tomatoes are packed with vital nutrients and may be powerful in protecting you from a wide variety of cancers.

Eating well, in any color, is important to your overall health and well-being.  Although red is in the air today, remember to incorporate a wide variety of the color wheel into your diet for ultimate health!

Some RED recipes for you to try:

--> Healthy. Red. Velvet. Cupcakes. Let that sink in for a minute: Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

--> Finish off a romantic dinner (or breakfast in bed!) with chocolate-dipped strawberries that will melt your valentine’s heart:  Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

-->Get the health benefits of beets AND carrots in this delicious side dish: Honey-Roasted Carrots and Beets

-->Pinterest perfect fruit pizza right here: Watermelon Fruit Pizza

-->Tomato soup and grilled cheese? Yes please: Healthy Tomato Soup

-->Shake up your snack game, or make any sandwich more interesting, with a super-flavorful twist on hummus: White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Enjoy!! 

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.

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  


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.

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 


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.

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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