I help frustrated women over 40 lose weight, gain strength, & lean out so they can feel confident, consistently motivated, and beautiful in her own skin.
Jenn Labonte is a full-time Marketing Director, certified Personal Trainer, certified Group Fitness Instructor, certified Boot Camp Instructor and Peloton enthusiast. She lives in Ormond Beach with her husband and son, Jacob, age 15 (daughter Lexi, age 19, is attending Kennesaw State). For more fitness and health tips, exercise plans, uplifting accountability and healthy living motivation, follow @JENNLABFIT on Instagram and Facebook.
This post has been compensated by Sunbeam. All opinions are mine alone.
After 40, like it or not, pain has become part of who I am. I’ve had to recreate and reinvent a lot of the things I used to do. I let it hold me back for several years. Although I no longer let it win, I still know it’s in charge. I’ve learned to play along and listen when it yells. Rest, recover and rethink relief!
Sunbeam is the proud sponsor of U.S. Pain Foundation’s 2021 Pain Awareness Month Initiative. In honor of their support of this initiative as well as what they do for my relief nearly every single day, there is no better time than now to share how I personally treat my shoulder pain.
I spend a lot of time in my home gym both training clients virtually and squeezing in my own workouts. I always follow any workout with a series of stretching and mobility exercises like the ones in the video. Incorporating these with GoHeat™ USB Powered Heating Pad keeps me active and pain free. And the portable, USB powered capability is perfect so I can use it while I’m working or even in between clients.
The U.S. Pain Foundations is a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower, educate, connect and advocate for individuals living with daily pain. While there is rarely a single solution to pain or a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s important to keep working towards finding a solution that works for you.
Just because you’re strong enough to handle the pain…doesn’t mean you deserve it. #loveyourselffirst
The biggest obstacle I hear from the people I coach is that they “just don’t have time.” People are SO busy today with work, families, managing a house, and the million other things that come up.
So it’s too often that they find themselves grabbing food for convenience – food that not only doesn’t serve their bodies but that also ends up negatively impacting the family and their waistlines. This leads to further guilt and a vicious cycle begins.
It breaks my heart to see these smart, hard-working, and deserving people go down the rabbit hole of convenience because they just don’t know another way. So, I’m here to help!
Check out my strategies for healthy, fast, and convenient dinners (or whichever meal you choose!):
You make it:
1. Pre-cook proteins, pre-wash and chop veggies. You can do this 1-2 times a week depending on time. I’m a fan of the Sunday Ritual, where you prep and portion for the entire week. How to do this: Simply grill or bake enough protein to sustain dinner each week. You can prep the veggies to be prepared on the spot in the evening before dinner or in advance like the protein. Heck, throw it all on the grill!
2. Purchase pre-chopped veggies. If to the first point you were thinking…”Yeah, but the part I HATE is washing and chopping!” Pretty much every grocery store sells vegetables that are ready to throw in a pan, in the oven, or on a grill. It’ll typically cost you a little bit more, but it’s worth it if this is what it takes to make the right choice.
3. The 10 minute, minimal effort meal. This is one of my favorite strategies! It’s as simple as this: Rotisserie chicken, steam in a bag veggies, and wrapped microwavable sweet potato. Serve the chicken, grab 1-2 cups of veggies for your plate out of the bag (season if you like), and eat half the potato with a pat of grassfed butter. And you’ve got leftovers!
4. Crock Pot meals. It doesn’t get much easier than throwing a bunch of ingredients in a crock pot in the morning then coming home to a fully prepared meal (and a house that smells awesome). Also requires minimal clean up! This is definitely easy to make in large portions, so you’ve got leftovers!
Still not quite going to work? Here are my GRAB AND GO strategies!
5. Hit the hot bar. Have a grocery store like Whole Foods nearby? Chances are they have an awesome hot bar!
6. Healthy take-out. This is easier to find than you think. I love Asian restaurants for this because you can almost always find grilled protein and order it with a side of vegetables. You’ll typically be able to get a few servings out of it too, so you’ve got lunch for the next day!
Believe me, I am all about convenience when it comes to food, so I always suggest making more than you need so you’ve got left overs!
And when, I cook, I keep it SUPER SIMPLE! Check out one of my go-to’s with this Beef Stir Fry:
1lb ground beef 1 medium onion 1 large bell pepper (any color) 1 tbsp coconut oil salt & pepper to taste
Heat a sauté pan to medium high. Add coconut oil and let it melt. Add the onion and let it start to turn translucent. Add the bell peppers. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and cook to desired temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I usually throw this in a bowl and eat it as is. This makes about 3-4 servings for me. You can also serve this with about a half cup of quinoa! How is easy is that!? Under 15 minutes!
Give it a try and let me know how you like it!
P.S. If you are struggling with finding foods for weight loss and need support, strategy and mindset to help you put it all together then I invite you to schedule a personal, 30-minute discovery call with me and let’s make change happen!
Working from home most days is awesome! However, keeping my mind focused with all the distractions can definitely be challenging! Not to brag or anything but, I can forget what I’m doing what I’m doing while I’m doing it!
I know a lot of you are with me in working from home, so here are my top 5 tips to keeping my mind and memory sharp:
Take breaks. Breaking up your day between tasks allows your mind to rest, change gears and become even sharper than before.
2. Discover your peak hours. If you have the ability to pick your hours, figure out what times are your most productive and schedule the crucial discussions or work in those moments.
3. Support healthy cognitive function with “Mind your Memory” from Natural Wellbeing. These veg caps help maintain healthy memory function, protect brain health and promote mental clarity and focus. I’ve shared a few of their products with you but, this is one of my favorites.
4. Walk. Research shows a walk can reset your brain and re-energize it to be stronger throughout the day. It also helps prevent physical fatigue, particularly if you spend 8 hours or more sitting at the job. It doesn’t have to be outside, either: A walk around your office environment can help jog your mind, too.
5. Practice Mindfulness. Research shows those that practice mindful meditation see improvement in concentration, focus and stay on task longer. This can mean learning how to meditate, but it can also be as simple as trying a quick and easy breathing exercise.
Do you work from home? Try these tips this week and let me know how it helps!
P.S. Visit Natural Wellbeing HERE and use code JENNLABFIT15 to save 15% on all products.
Starchy carbs get so much attention when it comes to nutrition conversations because they are the biggest double-edged sword our bodies have to deal with. On one hand, all of our energy in the body comes from glucose molecules (carbs in their basic sugar form) but on the other, our bodies weren’t designed to be surrounded by so many readily available carbs.
So when our body does get an onslaught of starchy carbs (usually from refined sugars in all of our indulgence foods or simple carbs found in anything baked with flour), it handles them by releasing insulin. Insulin is responsible for a lot of important functions in the body, but by design, it is a storage hormone. So instead of signaling our body to burn fat, our bodies actually get the signal to store fat whenever we eat a lot of starchy carbs.
This is why you can expect to make the biggest dent in your weight loss if you begin to control starchy carbs with every meal.
Where are Carbs Found?
Carbs are found in a lot of different foods but in general you can view them in this distinction:
FIBROUS VS. STARCHY
Fibrous Carb Rich Foods that Help with Fat Loss:
Raw or lightly cooked vegetables
Beans and legumes
Some fruits (mostly berries)
Starchy Carbs that Work Against Fat Loss:
All candies, jelly and jams
Sodas, fruit juices, fruit drinks
Pudding, custards and other sweets
Processed refined grains like flour or white rice
Bread and pasta made with any refined flour
Cakes, cookies and other sweet bakery products
What Do We Mean by “Controlling” Starchy Carbs?
First, notice that the emphasis is not on eliminating carbs but rather on controlling them. Our brains tend to be resistant to restriction, so we want to add the right foods to crowd out the foods that aren’t serving our interests.
In addition, “controlling” carbs also acknowledges that it’s not realistic to avoid all of the foods in the “Against Fat Loss” carb lists. We all like to indulge, so it’s important to learn how to enjoy those foods without affecting your waist line.
In this context you, can think of carb control as substitutional. The goal is to substitute as many of the “against fat loss” carbs with “help with fat loss” carbs.
So in order to achieve the above, you will be required to practice one (or both) of these strategies throughout your day to control carbs:
Substitute the carbs not working for you with more quality carbs
Fill more of your plate with protein or crowd it out with more veggies (as they are technically a carb as well)
Shift from more processed foods to less processed foods
Shift from breads and white rice to Ezekiel bread and brown rice
Swap pastas for quinoa
Potatoes to sweet potatoes (or any root vegetable)
2. Eat your “Against Fat Loss” carbs after a workout
The intense workouts I design are designed to drain your muscles of as much sugar as possible. Thus, right after a workout, your body is keener on storing any incoming sugars (i.e. carbs) into your muscles instead of into fat. Thus, if you still wish to indulge in pastas, pizzas, breads, sweets etc. feel free to do so ONLY after your workouts. You can even think of it as a way of “earning your indulgence carbs.” This should not be done daily, however. But a few times per week is ok. 🙂
And don’t forget your portions!
The above portion is for women. Just double it for men!
I hope this gives you a better understanding of what carbs truly are and how they work in the body!
Have questions? Email me at email@example.com or message me at JennLabFit on Instgram or Facebook, and ask away!
This post has been compensated by Sunbeam. All opinions are mine alone.
We have all heard the phrase “no pain, no gain” in one form or another. And yes, some pain and soreness is great for the body and expected as muscles continuously break down, rebuild and grow stronger. But too much pain may be your body’s indicator that something is terribly wrong.
As we welcome the beautiful summer months, travel and family vacations we begin to put this phrase to the test. With the stresses of packing, long, cramped travel accommodations by car or plane and moving suitcases it’s not uncommon to start your vacation with unwelcomed pain.
To start, I always pack my Sunbeam GoHeat™ portable heating pad! Especially during long trips, pain relief goes where you go! There’s no way I’m letting that hold me back from my summer fun! Whether it’s back pain, knee pain, neck pain or shoulder pain…I’m covered.
The flexible and portable GoHeat™ pad stays in place with a removable, adjustable strap for hands-free use and is machine washable making it the perfect addition to my vacation! Even though I bring for myself, my husband is notorious for asking to borrow it as well!
This year we are staying a bit closer to home and driving a few hours to the beach. Even though I live only a few blocks from the beach, every beach is special and I can’t wait to sit back and relax!
When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, consistency is key. And there are so many benefits to breaking a sweat that are worth setting aside some time to train while traveling, including more energy and improved mood.
That’s why I rounded up some of our top equipment-free, minimal-space travel workouts to help you make it happen no matter where you are. Plus, squeezing in a quick workout or two during your trip can make it easier to get back in the swing of things after you’ve unpacked your suitcases.
So whether you’re on the road for work, fun, or visiting family, here are four travel-friendly, stress-free workouts to try.
If I ask about your diet, you naturally think about food, right?
But what if we include all kinds of things we consume every day? What does our “diet” look like for our emotions, our brains, or our social lives?
Consider each of these categories, what you consume, how it affects you – and where you can make some positive changes.
Physical. This means exercising and eating right. Simple exercise tip: Don’t neglect resistance training. And try this month to eat more whole foods and less processed.
Emotional. Take time every day to focus on the simple act of breathing, even if it’s just for a few minutes. And limit time spent scrolling social media – it just makes you anxious anyway!
Intellectual. Always be feeding your brain with a book (an actual book, not on a screen). And did you know that by sugary drinks contribute to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia? So do your brain a favor and drink water or tea, instead.
Social. Nurture friendships that are good for you. End those that are not. Sounds brutal, but you don’t need to consume someone’s negativity if that’s all your getting from them.
Spiritual. Say thank you for today, every day. And say goodbye to yesterday. If we fill our souls with regret, we’re poisoning the present and the future. Let it go.
Environmental. Go to places and situations that make you happy, and avoid those that stress you out. “No” is a complete sentence!
Remember, you are what you eat. But you’re also what you read, believe, tell yourself, do with other people, and put into the world.
Life is a banquet. Here’s to making positive choices.
P.S. I got you covered with the “physical category!” Join my Fitness Rediscovered app for new launch pricing at only $20/month and a 7-day FREE trial.
Today’s workout possible because of Adaptogenic Stress Relief! Instead of caffeine, these capsules by Natural Wellbeing contain a powerful blend of organic adaptogen herbs and mushrooms designed to strengthen your body’s resilience to stress! It’s a subtle feeling but, I can literally feel calm and balance being restored.
Summer is near! Ready to tighten, tone and burn that fat with this Total Body Bodyweight Burner? Here’s a bit from my soon to be released, FITNESS REDISCOVERED fitness app. Get the full workout on the app on June 1st!
One tip for today’s workout: to get the full benefit of each exercise, complete the entire movement before returning to starting point (ie. lift that leg as high as you safely can, lower yourself into the tricep push-up as close to the ground as possible). If it’s burning…it’s working!
Losing weight isn’t always as simple as changing our eating habits and moving more. Without a doubt, there is a psychological component to weight loss.
Our weight can be a part of our identity, and the thought of changing those parts of us can be scary and uncomfortable.
Feeling these emotions and fears is quite common. The issue arises when we are not conscious that we have them. It’s easier to move past these mental roadblocks and continue making healthy lifestyle changes when we are aware of them. That way, we can put things into place that help to deal with these feelings, rather than allowing them to halt our progress.
Why am I scared of losing weight?
There are many personal reasons why someone might be scared to lose weight, and most of these fit under the theme of being scared of success. Although this sounds odd, it is not always the success per se that people fear, but the changes that come alongside it.
I created a poll in my stories last week asking your thoughts on this subject and which of these fears you experienced. Fear of failure was overwhelmingly the biggest fear so we will tackle that one first.
1) Fear of failure
Changing your habits is not easy, and losing weight the healthy way takes commitment and time. For this reason, many people worry about losing motivation and ‘falling off the wagon’, which can be followed by feelings of guilt and resistance to making changes in the first place. On top of this, some may fear weight gain after losing weight.
Example fear: I have a holiday and some social events coming up, so there is no point starting now, I will never be able to stick to my plan.
Example solution: There will never be a perfect time to start making changes, life will always get in the way if you let it! Start with one small change then add on slowly.
2) Fear of losing the comfort of food
We often use food for more than nutrients. Food can be social as well as emotional. Many people use food as a comfort when they are feeling sad, stressed, or anxious. It can be scary to think about losing this form of comfort or distraction and having to replace it with something else.
Example fear: Not being able to comfort eat chocolate or pizza when you have had an exhausting day at work and an argument with a family member.
Example solution: You should still continue to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. To avoid binging though, think about other things you can put into place to comfort or distract yourself and prepare for this situation. For example, taking the dog for a walk or buying a journal to write in.
Special note: I created today’s blog post after talking to many women about their fears when it comes to losing weight and specifically those dealing with symptoms from perimenopause or menopause. Many women turn to comfort foods when they are frustrated with situations they can not control. I wanted to quickly share a new find from Functional Chocolate called the Vanilla Crème Brûlée Hot Chocolate Bar. It’s formulated specifically for women experiencing menopause and is clinically shown to reduce hot flashes, fatigue and joint aches, while promoting healthy mood balance, focus, bone density, and energy levels!
3) Fear of embarrassment
A common fear about starting on a weight loss journey is feeling embarrassed. This embarrassment can be of anything, from saying no to cake at a birthday party, to exercising in public.
Example fear: Feeling embarrassed about joining a gym for the first time and not knowing what to do when you get there.
Example solution: Consider an exercise class where there is clear instruction, and everyone is doing the same thing, or follow a home-based program.
4) Fear of missing out
A big concern for many people is that making lifestyle changes means missing out on food and drinks they love or saying no to social events.
Example fear: Feeling worried about giving up social activities you love in order to join a weight loss program.
Example solution: Consider joining a program that does not focus on restriction and depleting calories and instead takes a multi-prong approach to improve your health (e.g. nutrition, exercise, and mindset).
5) Fear of relationships changing
Making big changes to your lifestyle could affect relationships with those closest to you. Perhaps you are worried about friends or family not fully supporting your decisions, or your progress affecting them in some way.
Example fear: You usually watch TV with your partner and eat sugary snacks, and you worry that declining the snacks might make them feel awkward or guilty about their choices.
Example solution: Communicate your weight loss goals and the lifestyle changes you are trying to make to your partner. Make sure you stock up on healthy alternatives to sugary snacks so you can still enjoy this time together without straying from your plan.
Having a fear of failure is common. We all experience it to some degree.
There will never be a perfect time to start making changes, so the best way to approach things is to start small.
Tackle one fear or issue at a time (e.g. joining a gym or reducing evening snacking), otherwise, it can be overwhelming.
Comfort can be found in things other than food, such as walking, having a bath, or writing in a journal.
Remember that weight loss is not a magic fix to other aspects of your life, for example, aiming for a promotion at work.
This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx, all opinions are my own.
As a fitness trainer, wellness enthusiast and someone with just an overall desire to simply feel good, I appreciate quality products that help me reach my goals! Let me introduce you to five brands that help me reach my happy place!
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Prebiotic Shots – Ginger Turmeric
I enjoy starting my day with a dose of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar! Typically we have the giant bottle of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar on our kitchen counter as most of our family starts their day with this. However, these prebiotic shots are perfect to take with me on the go!
Each organic, ready-to-sip shot blends one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with honey and anti-inflammatory spices for an instant prebiotic boost. It’s so easy to cleanse and re-balance with this ready-to-sip, wellness on the go!
Want to save? Visit bragg.com and enter BRAGG20 at checkout to get 20% off your order!
Intensive Foot Repair and Multi-Purpose Nail Repair from Kerasal
Being very active and on my feet a good part of the day, my feet take a beating! This is actually a once in a lifetime occurrence that I’m sharing a picture of my feet! This is literally less than 24 hours apart. Amazing results!
Kerasal is a leading and rapidly growing brand in footcare. Whether you are looking for an at-home pedicure solution for dry, cracked feet or looking to tackle tough toenail problems caused by a variety of issues, Kerasal has you covered.
Kerasal Intensive Foot Repairis an exfoliating moisturizer that hydrates + moisturizes dry feet while exfoliating away dead skin. With visible results in just 1 Day” (or overnight) I am always amazed how much of a difference it makes! It’s clinically proven to loosen hard, dry skin and it does just that!
Kerasal Multi-Purpose Nail Repair is the #1 Doctor Recommended Brand to improve the appearance of nails damaged by a variety of conditions. Kerasal’s patented formula helps improve nail appearance by reducing discoloration and thickness, smoothing the surface, and hydrating brittle nails.
It’s effective, clear formula penetrates the nail to restore a healthy appearance. Visible improvements can be seen after just one week! Whether it is Nail Fungus damage, Nail Psoriasis, Aging Nails, or Gel Manicure Damaged Nails , Kerasal Multi-Purpose Nail Repair can help improve the appearance!
All-In-One and Sensitive Skin Liquid Bandage from New Skin
New Skin All-In-One Liquid Bandage works where bandages can’t! Normal adhesive bandages get in the way when I workout outside especially. New Skin provides all-in-one protection, including infection prevention, is 100% waterproof and helps heal cuts! It also kills 99.9% of germs and provides a flexible seal to work even in the hardest to cover places.
New Skin Sensitive Skin Liquid Bandageis the first and only hypoallergenic liquid bandage. Traditional bandages cause irritation, discomfort and redness, especially to those with sensitive skin. Sensitive Skin increases with aging, medications or diabetes and we now have a pain-free application and removal option!
After many days of sweating it out, a good face scrub is on the schedule! Tree Hut’s Sugar Face Scrubs are made with 100% natural exfoliants to gently, yet effectively buff away dry skin and impurities that can lead to a dull complexion.
They feature four different awesome smelling scents to help hydrate, brighten, purify and nourish skin:
The very best part is that Tree Hut’s Sugar Face Scrub line is paraben and cruelty free, vegan. They also don’t contain formaldehyde donors and are made in the USA.
Beef Sticks from CHOMPS
I’m always searching for a healthy snack, especially when I’m on the go! Chomps uses the highest-quality proteins including grass-fed and finished beef and free-range turkey. I love that their products are certified paleo, Whole30 approved, keto certified, and allergy-friendly.
Although the grass fed beef sticks are my favorite, they also come in:
beef jerky sticks
sugar free meat sticks
beef snack sticks
grass fed beef sticks
Chomps products contain no added sugar and are free from GMOs, gluten, soy, dairy, added nitrates or nitrites, MSG, artificial preservatives or coloring, and artificial sweeteners. Best of all THEY TASTE GREAT!
Want to save? Use code BABBLE20 at checkout to save 20% on chomps.com
If you’re thinking socks are NOT a good gift then you haven’t tried Bombas yet! They are the softest, most comfortable socks and perfect for running, walking or high impact workouts. Plus they have so many fun colors and patterns. They offer 100% money back guarantee and a 20% discount on your first order.
Got a protein shake loving mom? Ice Shaker’s sturdy leak proof BPA free pop top is easy to open while still being secure enough to close and shake. The best part is the 26oz double wall vacuum insulated bottle will hold ice for over 30 hours in a 75 degree room when filled with just ice, and the 36oz will hold ice for well over 40 hours!
I fill mine with my post-workout protein shake and leave it in my car cup holder. It’s still nice and cold when I’m all done.
I’ve yet to meet anyone that doesn’t love Hoka shoes for running and/or walking. Designed with plush comfort and a responsive feel, they provide a smooth and balanced ride. They are absolutely my favorite running shoes and support my feet like no other!
Most moms are very busy and always on the go! We often struggle with getting all our meals and snacks in, especially quality foods! You don’t want to mess with a hangry mom! My personal snacking secret is Protein Power Ball.
Absolutely delicious, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, soy-free and made with plant protein. Perfect on the go!
Subscribe and save or click here to save 20% now on a single order.
There is nothing like a brand new pair of quality leggings! Trust me! It’s hard to pick a favorite brand so I’m sharing some of my top favorites. I can promise the quality, fit and design of all of these brands is on point.
Most ladies struggle with finding the perfect headband to wear during workouts. They slip off, their too tight, too loose or just not cute! I’m a huge fan of Maven Thread headbands! Their headbands come in multiple patterns, sizes and most can be adjusted.
P.S. Check out their gym bags too as another awesome idea!