JENSPIRATION

Jenspiration provides inspiration, personal training and health coaching services to people who want to look, feel, and be their best in fun and convenient ways. West Des Moines, IA.

Merry Fitmas

Thinking about some fun gifts to give your fitness minded friends (or to add to your wish list?) Check out my top picks for gifts under $30.  

Keto What?

Even personal trainers & health coaches need a reboot. Over the past few months, I'd been feeling low levels of energy, higher levels of anxiety, and blase about my fitness routine. I knew that I needed to change something and turn it on it's head.

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Celebrating 9 years of entrepreneurship!

This week marks 9 years that I've been self-employed! And, on this date exactly 9 years ago, I launched my first website for my company, which was then known as Patina Esprit Wellness!

Time has both flown and at the same time feels like it has been nearly a decade. 

Becoming an entrepreneur was a HUGE step for me. I launched my business in 2007; but it took me just over a year to take the big step of being self-employed. 

There were a lot of factors that came into play. I was afraid to leave the security that my job brought me. I was fearful that by turning in my resignation that I'd disappoint my boss who was like a second dad to me. I was afraid of failing. 

During that year that I launched from doing health coaching as a side gig and deciding it was "GO" time, I spent many hours hemming and hawing over how I was going to make it work. Rehearsing in my head and writing drafts of what I was going to tell my boss and how.  And, in the end, it just came down to me saying what I was going to do. Yes, it was hard, and scary. But, it was something that my heart told me that I needed to do.

I am so extremely grateful for all of the people that I've been fortunate enough to work with on this journey. From the staff at the IA SBDC who helped me craft my business plan, to my ABWA sisters who helped me grow in my confidence, to all of my clients who have given me the opportunity to work with them on their health and well-being journeys; and most importantly, to my husband, Gary, for believing in me and being my sounding board. 

As I started digging in and doing the work, my business has definitely changed over the course of the past 9 years. I thought I would primarily be coaching and personal training. Yet, at least half of my business has been consulting to non-profits. Everyday I get the opportunity to do new things, to challenge my strengths and weaknesses. I know my business will always continue to evolve. And, that's the great thing about being an entrepreneur is that flexibility to define what it is and how I do it.

 I've failed and I've learned and I've had to dig deep. Always listening to that little voice within that is anchored in my "why". I adore working with people! I delight in helping others reach their goals, and do the things they didn't believe possible! I enjoy traveling and speaking about health and wellness! 

So, cheers to 10 years, 3 different states, 2 business names, and to my mission of helping people become their best, most thriving selves!  I. Am. Grateful. 

 

Motivation

I frequently get asked the question about how much I workout; along with the comment about how working out and energy must just come super easy to me. 

The truth is, just like you, some days I'm more motivated than others. There are days where my body is craving activity. I get the tingles and "ants in my pants" feeling and just need to MOVE! And, then there are days where I have to give myself a pep talk and promise myself some type of reward for getting up off the couch. 

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Sparkle!

Just because the 4th is over, doesn't mean the glow is gone! Keep your sparkle going strong by staying hydrated.  I know, I know, we often hear about the importance of staying hydrated; but it's the truth! Quenching your cells with H2O not only is a great way to recover from the holiday weekend, it helps your body in SO many ways! Here are my top 5 reasons that I love water!  And a way for you to calculate how much water you need! 

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Are You In Integrity with Your Beliefs Around Food?

This weekend, I heard a powerful Hay House World Summit Interview with Ocean Robbins, and it got me FIRED UP!

I've always been an animal aficionado and a meat eater. I support vegetarians and vegans, but in all honesty, that's not currently a lifestyle that I personally want to pursue. Bacon is my love language, and I very much enjoy steak once a week. 

I know that horrendous stories abound about our food production, in the way that animals are raised and treated; and I've felt at odds - loving animals and detesting animal cruelty; yet appreciating buying chicken in bulk at Costco. 

During his interview, Ocean said something so simply profound, it gave me goosebumps. Essentially, he gave permission to those of us who are animal lovers and meat eaters to be BOTH; not and/or's. I LOVE and/or's! 

And, he gave some very practical tips on how to make decisions that are more in alignment with your personal values.

1. Cage-free and free-range do not equal animals that have lived a happy life. Look for foods that are labeled pasture-raised. 

2. Better yet, go out and personally meet the farmer of where you'll be purchasing your meat/eggs from. That way you get to experience first hand the conditions in which your food is raised. 

3. Join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) - that way  you're eating locally, seasonally, and free of pesticides. 

Prior to moving to AZ, we ate a lot more grass-fed, farmers' market and CSA-bought products....and, admittedly, have just gotten more lazy in the quest for convenience. But, that's changing right now! We're researching all of the great local options and will be purchasing only pasture-raised meat and egg products. And, joining a CSA and making trips to the farmers' market part of our regular schedule. 

It doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, shopping locally and at farmers' markets and CSA's is often more cost-effective. And, you don't have to be to one extreme or the either. Every choice you make creates change! 

How can you begin to make choices (not just food related) that are more in alignment with how you want to feel, what you want to be, do, and have? What's one step that you can take today to move towards being more in integrity with your values? 

Shamanic Healing Ceremony

This past weekend, I had a shamanic healing session in my hometown of Taos, NM to help me raise my vibration and up my well-being!

I believe that our health and well-being is multi-faceted - mind. body. spirit. One of the ways that I've found to help boost my overall feeling of happiness is to partake in energy clearings, whether they be sound vibration healings, working with energy healers, or yogic workshops.

I saw Shaman Sandra Chestnutt with Earth Walk Medicine for the second time in person. I'd seen her once before a couple of years ago, and with divine timing, she had reached out to me to get my updated email address and since I was going to be in Taos, I just knew it was kismet that I could make time to do an in-person shamanic ceremony while there! 

Over the past several months, I've been more stressed out than usual with workload and deadlines, and really needing to practice what I preach in terms of making time for my own well-being and creating balance. I felt an immense desire to recharge my heart and soul, to hit the reset button. 

The healing session is "a peaceful and gentle hands-on technique of removing (extracting) intrusions and filling/infusing back the Sacred Medicine (spiritual medicine) that restores vitality. Using ritual that invites collaboration with the compassionate ancestors of the spirit realm, sacred protocols, tools and medicine ways of ancient traditions are used." (Read more from Sandra's page here). 

What was super special about this session is that Sandra's now located right near where my grandparents lived, and where I spent a majority of my childhood. Being near their land, along with the views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and the sage was the perfect setting for allowing myself to align and receive the benefit of the session. 

I was there for 2.5 hours, and left feeling a sense of peace and rejuvenation. I had confirmation of what I need to do in moving forward into greater empowerment.

Whether it's time outdoors, a dedicated meditation practice, going to a healing session, or doing a long-loved activity that you haven't made for in a while. Tune into and honor yourself by allowing healing and alignment to take place. 

Goat Yoga!

This past weekend, my sister and I took a goat yoga class! Yep, you read that right! GOAT YOGA!

Oh my goodness!!! It was SO much fun! 

This past winter, I had seen posts featuring goat yoga, and was like, "WHAT?!" I was fascinated! And, my sister Amy, LOVES LOVES LOVES goats! So, I knew we HAD to do it! 

When we were kids (ha! See what I did there :) ) we had two goats; but that was before I knew yoga existed and I never imagined having one as a workout partner! 

AZ Goat Yoga classes have been selling out since they started them! So, I was relieved when we were able to nab our spots for the Saturday morning class. We arrived early so we could get a good spot. And, joined about 100 other goat yoga enthusiasts :) There were about 30 goats ranging in size and age and dress. Some of them were casual in t-shirts, some were whimsical in butterfly wings, others wore glittery headbands, and some wore tutus; and others were more formal in sweater vests and button up shirts :) There was one billy goat, who was the daddy of all the baby goats and he wore a t shirt AND a hat! It was hilarious because even before class started, a goat in a glittery tutu jumped on top of Amy as she was kneeling down! Her day was instantly made! 

#baaamaste

#baaamaste

We gathered in a circle and were led through about 15 minutes of stretching as a couple of the leaders tempted the goats with treats to walk around, over and through the circle! The goats romped around and they were SO darn cute and funny that we naturally got a great ab workout too! 

After a bit of stretching, the rest of the class is left to whatever tom foolery you'd like with the goats in terms of practicing a yoga pose with a goat! 

It was tons of fun and a great way to laugh and completely get lost in the moment! If you're a fan of animals and fun, I'd definitely recommend it! 

 

Sedona Musings

Earlier this week, I tuned into my feelings and asked myself "What do I need?" I felt a strong sensation of needing to be grounded. And, Sedona immediately popped into my head. Sedona is one of those absolutely magical places that each time you're there, you feel magical and enchanted. It's about 2.5 hours away from where I live; and being that I didn't have any screen work to do, I decided to hop in my car and take a road trip. To take the time to connect with nature, to meditate, to journal and let the Universe guide me to decisions for my personal and professional growth.

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to change your perspective. A spot of intuition guided me this AM to make the road trip; and I'm so glad I did! What have you followed your intuition on recently? 💭🌀🏜#vortex #wellbeing #airportvortex #redrocks #health #healthcoaching#personalgrowth #growth #personaldevelopment #az #followyourintuition#intuition #spiritjunkie

Boost Your Joy!

Our health is more than just feeling physically fit. If you're feeling run down, anxious, depressed, less than shining, it definitely impacts well-being at all levels. I saw this image and it made me pause & ponder: 

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Take 5 minutes to sit down with a notebook and write down your responses. Make a promise to yourself to increase your fun factor a little bit each day! 

How are you bringing play, laughter, and joy into your world? 

  • What sounds fun for you to do today? Go out and do it! 
  • What/who makes you laugh?  Go spend time belly laughing! 
  • When is the last time you felt joy? What can you do to spark it?

Fore!!!

I've not picked up a golf club in at least 10 years.....and that probably includes Putt-Putt. :) 

I "played" golf for my high school's varsity team...only because they needed another girl to make the team whole; and my dad had played golf in high school with the coach, so the coach relentlessly recruited me to play. I didn't have anything better to do, so I said OK. Thinking in the back of my mind that maybe I'd like ride the bench, or something...for awhile at least! I definitely didn't expect to be put on the game immediately. I only had a few days of practice before my first match/tournament(?) and, suffice it to say, it was a disaster. It was truly the most challenging thing I've ever participated in mentally and physically. I left the course bawling and humiliated. 

Since then, I've "real golfed" one time. I love mini-golf; but haven't played in ages. So, over Thanksgiving, when my brother in law, who's an avid golfer kept bringing up Top Golf as being something fun to try, I wasn't chomping at the bit to go. He's super hard to shop for, so for Christmas, I knew that he'd enjoy going to Top Golf, and that we'd need something to do for a fun activity, so I got him a gift card. 

Turns out, it was THE most fun I've had in months! Oh my gosh, it was amazing! Granted, I was super sore the next two days. But, those two hours of golfing was such a great workout and full of laughs. I realized that I'm actually better than I thought I would be, and it sparked in me a desire to go out and hit some golf balls. 

What's something that you've not done in a long time (or EVER), that you're willing to try?  Who knows, you might surprise yourself and find (or rekindle) a love, meet new people, and get a great workout! 

 

 

 

Happy Global Running Day!

I LOVE that most days are tied to some #hashtaghholiday to celebrate! Everyday's a day to celebrate; and it's super fun when there are more reasons than you may have thought! Today's celebration is Global Running Day!

Running is an amazing way to clear your head, to get fit (all you need are your shoes) and you're off! There are often two bands of people, those who love to run and those who loathe it! I completely understand. I have a love/loathe relationship with running each year. I'm currently in the LOVE phase! 

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Jumping on the Bone Broth Bandwagon

This week, I've started a bone broth regimen. I've heard a lot about its benefits; and this weekend, two things happened that really got me into gear for jumping on the bone broth bandwagon!

I listened to an interview with a nutritionist who piqued my interest by emphasizing how amazing bone broth is for healing from the core (literally your gut) all the way throughout your body from your gut to your joints and skin; and emotionally and mentally. AND, for the first time in my life, I've been feeling tenderness in my knee joints. Ain't nobody got time for that! 
 
The benefits of bone broth are that it's chock full of nutrients that heal your body improve digestion, increase the amount of collagen and amino acids that protect and enhance your bones, joints, and cartilage. And, Grandma wasn't just making chicken soup for the heck of it! There are studies showing both the physical AND emotional healing power of soups! 

Let me preface this by saying, I am a meat eater; BUTI detest bones. That's been my biggest reason for not yet trying bone broth. Seriously, they gross me out! And, my husband what a doll) cuts out all bones from food before serving it so I don't gag at their sight. So, he's been the broth master.

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For our first broth batch, we started out very basic. Filling a crock pot with bone marrow bones, water, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (it helps break down the bones so that the gelatin and collagen can be released). We simmered them for 14 hours for our first batch. He strained the broth (using a coffee filter) to remove the fat and any meat; and we got about a pint of broth. 

He then put the bones back in the crockpot and repeated the process; so our second batch of bones simmered for about 24 hours. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavorful it is.

The nutritionist in the interview I mentioned, advocated for giving bone broth a try for a minimum of 4 weeks. So, that's what we're doing! It's a great way to start the day by having 8 oz of broth! I'll keep y'all posted! 

Note that broths that are sold in the store like you buy in the carton to add flavor to your foods are primarily rushed through the boiling process; and have additional sodium and MSG. So, you aren't getting the same benefit if you're using the regular ol' store bought broths. They DO sell specific bone broth that's the nutrient dense kind that you would get if you made your own; but they're a little pricey. But, ready to go - just heat and serve! 

Here are links to a couple of recipes, including a meat version; (by the way, I LOVE Nom Nom Paleo and use a lot of her recipes) and a vegan version for broth! 

 

 

Hey, Sugar!

Hey, Sugar!

Nutrition can be confusing. Food packaging, differing opinions that seem to flip flop on what's good for us one week and not the next. Grocery shopping! Food labels! Ahhhhhh!!!

For many years, I struggled with food. Meticulously logging my calories, giving up "bad foods" only to binge on them later. It weighed me down mentally & physically. I've been free from that mindset for a decade now; and the independence is glorious! Part of that journey was stopping labeling foods as "good" or "bad". 

I've heard many people recently start to label fruit as "bad" because of its sugar; and it makes me take a step back. Because I'm a believer in getting in as many fruits and veggies as possible. Fruits do have sugars in them; and if you're diabetic, then, having too much fruit can be detrimental. 

And, sugars sometimes cause inflammation, so you might have to be mindful of the amount of fruit you eat. So, what does that look like?  The chart below shows the sugar and carb contents of different fruits. Keep in mind that the carb count includes total carbs which equal sugars, starches and fibers.

There aren't good and bad foods. There are only foods to have more of; and foods to have less of :D Eat what makes you feel like  your best! Eat to nourish yourself! And, keep in mind, what that looks like for you, might be different from what it looks like for someone else; and can and does change over the years. 

CHALLENGE
See how you can cut down on any extra sugars this week. 

What are some lower sugar options that you can swap out? 

GET FIT, HAVE FUN AND BE FABULOUS.