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Filtering by Tag: jena chopson fitness coaching

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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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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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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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 


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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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