Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Make SMART Goals for 2016

Be SMART when you are making your goals for the new year or really any time. Take the time to really sit down using this SMART formula to help you really focus on what you want to accomplish for this year.

S- Specific- Be super specific when making your goals. Write down what you really want to accomplish, not just the overall goal but if you want to lose 20 pounds then write it down, instead of just "lose weight".

M- Measurable- How are you going to measure your success? Do you have an app that you can put your info in and the app will keep track for you? Make a spread sheet or have some sort of way you can track and measure how you are progressing. (lose 20 pounds by using a scale and using my iHealth app on my phone.)

A- Attainable- Be realistic in your goals. 100 pounds in 2 months is not going to happen. Make real smart goals based on what you know you are capable of, and maybe push yourself just a little bit. Also don't under value yourself either. And how are you going to do it, being specific again. (lose 20 pounds by March 31st by eating clean, exercising 6 days a week and allowing myself 1 meal a week that is an indulgent meal.)

R- Relevant- Is is worthwhile? Does it fit in with your overall long term plans? (Double my daily page views on my blog by June 2016.) Find your why on why you want to accomplish it and make it worthwhile. This will help you stick with it more when you are having a hard time!

T- Timely- Your goal or objective should have a time limit! That is going to drive you everyday to work harder, and smarter on your goal. A goal without a deadline is just a dream!

And lastly, it doesn't go with SMART but WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL! WRITE IT DOWN! If you don't then it will not happen. Write it down, place it in a place you see everyday. And strive each day to move yourself in the direction that will help to obtain that goal!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

January 30 Day Plank-A-Day Challenge

It's another month and the holidays are NOW BEHIND US! Time to get busy! I thought it was the right time to do a 30 day Plank A Day challenge! Sounds great right?!?

Planks, oh planks! They kill me every time. Why? Because it is a full body exercise. It uses your whole mind and body to do them. Yes, mind! For me it is a mind over matter issue. If I just turn off my brain and keep it from thinking about how much my legs and core are shaking then I could just hang on a little bit longer. Let's engage our cores, and push our heels back and hold a strong plank. 

Here are the different level of planks you can do: Start as a level one and then you can progress from there as you get more comfortable and strong! 

Side Plank variations:

Each day that you participate, take a picture and post it on your Facebook and/or Instagram account with #PLANKADAY #SunKissedBecky #CTDG so I follow along your journey too! 

So let's go ladies! let's work our abs off! And get a strong core which will help us with all of our other daily things we do!

And, of course, be sure to like our FACEBOOK page and follow us on PINTEREST for motivation, clean eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Success in 2016: Plan Your Day

Hello New Year, in just a few days! Are you making your new year resolution list yet? I am still working on mine. But here is one that is on my list. To plan out my day and make sure that I have balance between my family, work, and everyday life stuff. Sadly when you say yes to one thing, you have to say no to something else. Like, if I say yes to working out, then I am saying no to sleeping in. Get it? 
Pick one day a week that you sit down and plan out your schedule, every hour of every day of the week. I am serious! 

1) Family always comes first so start with that. Schedule in any doctor appoints, kid drop offs and pickups, or any other family appointments that you have for the week, oh yeah and church activities.

2) Schedule in your workout just like a doctor appointment. It really is that important for me that I schedule it in secondary in my life. 
3) Next I schedule in my work time. Teaching and coaching. My goal in 2016 is to stick to my schedule. Do what I have to do in the time allotted. I have been crossing over way too much and that is not ok for me and my family. I will no longer sacrifice my family time. I have to become more efficient in my actual work time! 

4) Lastly I schedule my me time. I personally need some alone time for me to just unwind from my activities. I can usually get 30-45 minutes of this a day. I use this for reading or just turning off my brain. 

Here is how to stick with your schedule: 

Turn the sound off on my phone
Set alarms or timers for how long to do something
Close my laptop and put it away
Mute the notifications on Facebook
Only open the window you need to work in right now
Keep yourself focused on the goal in mind
Work from a to do list

Starting today you can plan to make 2016 more successful with these tips! Be sure to follow me on FACEBOOK and PINTEREST for more daily motivation and support!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas From The Allen's!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas! I am late on getting our Christmas Cards out for the year to all my friends and family and you are my friends too, so I wanted to share it here so you can see it. I am so thankful for you watching my journey. That you are following me and I hope getting some good health, fitness and life tips. I really appreciate you always coming back! I am so excited for 2016 and the amazing things that are going to happen next year.

Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your day and make it healthy!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Last Minute Gifts For Your Fitness Loving Friends

It's Christmas Eve and you are still looking for something for your fitness loving friends. Well, here are a few places that have great, low priced stuff, perfect for those stocking stuffers!


Old Navy is seriously one of my favorite places to shop for low priced active wear and they are having a massive sale on their site (just looked last night) 20% off everything, even stuff on sale. Tanks are averaging between $8 and $14. Graphic motivational tanks are a must!


Target has some great C9 Champion stuff, but they are a little pricier. Looking at about $15-20 on avg. there. Check out this cute pull over for just $30!

Another option would be to enroll your friend, spouse or loved one as a VIP member with Fabletics. Every month you can choose a new outfit for the same price. Very affordable clothing. I have gotten many workout clothing from here and love the styles. Very hip and trendy. Super convenient because they send out recommended outfits to you at the first of the month based on your style profile and you can shop at home and you have 5 days to decide if you are going to get anything or not! Super easy. And they get a new outfit every month.

With access to TONS of full workout programs (P90X Programs, Brazil Butt Lift, Insanity and many, many, more) included in your quarterly membership fees it is the gift that GIVES A TON! Plus sneak peeks to new workout programs being released and a discount to Beachbody products including Shakeology. But most importantly, you get me as your coach and motivator to help you set your goals and reach them. You will get access to all of my exclusive tools that have helped me lose weight and helped me to stay motivated and keeping on point!

If you have any questions about any of these please let me know! I hope you all have a happy and healthy Christmas! 

For more motivation, tips and support be sure to follow me over at FACEBOOK and PINTEREST

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Staying Healthy For Christmas with Shakeology

I am so loving this Christmas so far! I made it a goal to drink Shakeology every day this month. I have missed 2 days this month, but still, this is the first Christmas in YEARS that I am NOT sick with a cold or flu or just feeling run down or lack of energy. In fact no one in my family is sick! This is why I drink it everyday. To keep me healthy and happy AND it has totally done that for me! I have invested in my health and wellness and I have not looked back since the day I started enjoying my first shake! 

Why is it helping me feel so great? There are 70 superfoods packed in just 1 scoop. All those superfoods contain the vitamins and minerals that my body needs to stay healthy. Check out this list! 

  • Adaptogen Supernutrients that may support strong immune function, help the body cope with environmental stress, and naturally help increase energy
  • Antioxidant Supernutrients that protect the body from free radicals and prevent cellular damage
  • Vitamin and Mineral Supernutrients that help your cells make energy, build and repair muscles,  and support energy production
  • Protein and Amino Acid Supernutrients that build muscle, reduce hunger and food cravings, help keep blood sugar steady
  • Phytonutrient Supernutrients that support healthy aging and vitality
  • Probiotics Supernutrients that promote healthy digestion and healthy colon function
  • Prebiotics Supernutrients that help probiotics grow and thrive, and strengthen the system
  • Digestive enzyme Supernutrients that help your body break down food to assimilate nutrients better
Check out this AWESOME festive recipe

Want more info? CLICK HERE to read more about it and order if you are ready to give your body the best for 2016! Next health and fitness support group begins Jan 4! Let's kick off 2016 with a BANG! 

Want more info?  And did you know that you can get 25% off all future Shakeology orders? Comment below, or email me! Excited to hear from you! 

Be sure to follow me over at FACEBOOK and PINTEREST for more inspiration and motivation.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Guilt Free Holiday Season- Best Tips

Be Prepared this Christmas! Here are my best tips to help you stay on track and avoid feeling guilty after the holiday! 

Remember Your Why: 

You embarked on this healthy journey for a reason. You do not need to indulge for weeks on end and then feel miserable. You and your body deserve more than that! You have willpower and a goal, remember that and don’t give in to temptation after temptation! 

Plan Your Treats! 

We are not here to tell you to deprive yourself. This is a lifestyle and in life we have treats! It is totally ok! What is not ok is to have treat after treat until you feel miserable and defeated. Plan out your treats and stick to your plan. For example, I plan to stay on track and then enjoy my Thanksgiving meal, dessert and all, guilt free. After, I will jump right back on track! 

Is it Worth it? 

Treats have consequences. Salty, sugary, and fatty foods are seriously addicting and leave us craving more. Often, this means falling far from our goals so think to yourself, “Is this really worth it or do my goals mean more to me?” Yes, that fried gooeyness may taste good for a moment, but what does it do for you in the the long run? 

Move Your Body! 

This is such an important time to get your body moving! Do not start slacking off in your workout routine. Working out gives you endorphins and a clean mind to make good decisions. Schedule it in! Make it a priority! If you are traveling, take your DVD’s with you or get some good use out of your walking shoes. Be proud of the choices you are making, don’t be embarrassed to show off your movies in front of family. Wake up early and get it done! You will feel a million times better if you stay on track. Remember, we want to go into 2016 feeling incredible and confident in our bodies, not stuck starting over for another year in a row!

Be sure to follow me over on FACEBOOK for more daily motivation and inspiration! See you over there! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Start This Week With The Decision To Try

Yeah, Christmas is Friday. And the last thing on your mind is probably getting in your workout or ditching the sweets and goodies. Here is the thing though guys. Spend the next 4 days eating as clean as possible and be sure to get in 30 minutes of some exercise in every day so that you can enjoy your Christmas and not feel guilty about eating yummy food, filling up your plate, and going back for seconds. 

Last year at this time. I didn't care what I ate. I had already gained weight since Thanksgiving. I was feeling sluggish. Gave up on Running. Gave up on myself. I didn't really care. I just wanted to enjoy the holiday and not deny myself what I know I like. But I felt awful. I had more to lose after the holidays and I was heavier than I had ever been not pregnant. Then I found out I was pregnant. Starting my pregnancy so heavy it scared me. 

This year I am taking care of myself. I know I am worth it to take care of myself. To give my body good foods that make me feel healthy. No more excuses. I am taking care of me and it is the best feeling in the world!

Who is going to join me for the next 4 days? Come on over to my Facebook page and if you want to join my 4 days of Fitmas Challenge, click here to join! Reindeer games begin tomorrow along with the crockpot exchange! Who knows you might even enjoy it so much that you are going to make a change in your life that lasts longer than the next 4 days. But all you have to do is TRY! You can do this. You are worth it. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Reduce Holiday Stress With Exercise

It is the last weekend before Christmas. Many of us are going to be out and about today getting the last things we need for a spectacular Christmas! In the midst of running around, take time to get your workout in during the day. It will help tone down the surrounding stressors.

30 minute walk
30 minute run
Strength Training
21 Day Fix Workout Routines
Hammer and Chisel (ordering mine this week!)
Just do something! 

The best way to reduce stress is by sticking to your health and fitness routine. We often drop our exercise program during the holidays because we're so busy with errands and to-do lists when, in actuality, we need more exercise than ever.

It is more important than ever to schedule in your calendar, just as an errand or doctor's visit would be scheduled.

When you take the time to take care of yourself, you're ensuring that you'll have the energy and peace of mind to get all your tasks done efficiently and timely. Besides that, exercise releases those feel good endorphins and who can't use a little of that this time of year?

Comment below with what time or a picture of your scheduled workout time for this week!

Even Santa is getting his workouts in to haul all those presents around! ;)
wink emoticon

Friday, December 18, 2015

4 Days of Fitmas

YEA! It is time for the 4 Days Of Fitmas! Join me in my FREE health and fitness support group! Are you ready to have fun and enjoy your Christmas guilt free? Holiday Survival guide and recipes included along with fun Reindeer Games to play! Oh, and for an even bigger party, we are including a Crockpot Recipe Exchange!

If everyone in the group shared just 3 of their favorite healthy crockpot recipes then we would have over 75 new recipes to choose from!

Click to fill out the application and join us!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Season Have You Feeling Overwhelmed?

How many of you have or are currently feeling OVERWHELMED with the holiday season. This is the first year ever that I have not had my Christmas decorations all up the day after thanksgiving. I just haven't been able to. I am finally just taking my time, not stressing and just trying to do a little at a time. I am done feeling overwhelmed with things in my life. And really overwhelmed just means that there are too many things going on, at the same time. I don't want to be stressed. I don't want to feel inadequate. I don't want to just lose my marbles this holiday season. And it has actually been quite freeing. Matt just asked me last night, "When can we have the dinning room cleaned up?" I said, "I'm not done decorating yet." "Babe, it is Dec 16..." I just gave him my "shut up I will get to it when I am good and ready to" stare. I love him. But I also know that I have to take care of me. And I just don't want a whole lot of stress and drama in my life right now!

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your workout, your eating, fitting all this into your life during the holidays. Sit down and take a look at everything that is going on in your life. Have you agreed to go to not 1 but 3 cookie exchanges or holiday parties this season? Are you having guests over and feel overwhelmed with the idea of cleaning your house? Are you running out of time to get everything perfect for Christmas?
If you are feeling overwhelmed with workouts, think about what you have going into your workouts. The Time you are working out. Or look at your schedule. Find a time that works for you because when you start to doubt yourself with workouts excuses come flying in and it is hard to say no to them and easy to stop!

It is ok to say "no" to holiday parties. I did. I backed out of two at the last minute because I just couldn't do it. 

My house will be as clean as I can get it before my parents get here. Thankfully Matt is picking up the slack more to help me but I just don't have the energy to do it all anymore.
Christmas will never be perfect. I still might not get all the decorations up. But I will have a rocking Christmas because I will see my boys faces and excitement they have towards everything they are getting from us and family. It is ok to put your family first and maybe back off on some things to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Do what you can. You do not have to be perfect. You just need to enjoy life, live it and make memories! And heck if you decide to ditch the ornaments on your Christmas tree, you might even remember that more than the year you decked your house out with a million lights! Keep it simple. Keep it smart!
You are in charge of your life and how it is. Don't let the season be the reason to give up on you. You are worth more than that and the season is worth more than a few decorations or parties. It doesn't have to be perfect, it is about making memories. Remember the season and remember your why!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

7 Reasons To Drink More Water

    1. WATER, WATER, And MORE WATER! Growing up in Arizona it was practically branded in our heads to drink lots of water. Especially when exercising outside. The risk for heat stroke and exhaustion was HUGE. But I know I still didn't drink enough water growing up. And often nowadays, too many people are not drinking enough water. Think about your day. Do you start your day off first thing with a glass of water, or coffee? (right when you wake up, drink 12 oz of water to get your system hydrated and waking up!) 

  1. So here are 7 reason why to add at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day to your daily life. 

    1. 1) Weight loss- Water is one of the best tools for weight loss, first of all because it often replaces high-calorie drinks like soda and juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn’t have any calories. But it’s also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, no sugar. Drink plenty to help your weight-loss regimen. 
  • 2) Heart healthy- Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.

  • 3) Energy- Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired — even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated — and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.

  • 4) Headache cure- Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, often when we have headaches it’s simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.

  • 5) Healthy skin- Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. It won’t happen overnight, of course, but just a week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have good effects on your skin. And I notice that my lips aren't as chapped when I am drinking water regularly. 

  • 6) Digestive problems- Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).

  • 7) Cleansing- Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body. Add a little fresh squeeze lemon in your water to help. 

And I hear all the time, "I don't like the taste of water. It is too bland. Too boring." Well, then add some fresh or frozen fruit to it and let it sit for a couple of hours or over night. It will help NATURALLY flavor water. No squeeze bottles, or powder to flavor water, Even though those only have 5 calories, they sure have a lot of extra "stuff" you don't need in your body. Stick with natural whole foods! 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How Do You Know If You Have A Gluten Allergy

Well, I think my battle with gluten is finally over. This past weekend I went out with some gals. I had a great weekend and ate out. I thought I made some smart choices. Didn't get anything too crazy, (like I would have years ago) but I am day 2 into tummy troubles, and bloating. It is not fun.

Here is what I ate:

Saturday lunch- Jerk Chicken quesadillas with mango salsa, I ate 2 of the 4 slices.
Saturday Dinner-Club Pita with side of grilled veggies- had ham in it and that might be where most of my problem is combined with the gluten.
Sunday Breakfast-vegan cinnamon rolls
Sunday Lunch-Chicken Kabobs, salad, rice, and 1.5 slices of Naan. (I ate the whole thing. It was amazing!)

My problem,  I ate some sort of gluten at every meal. And it was just too much for my body to handle and be able to process. I think I got the message body! Ease up on the gluten. And save it, if I really have to have it, for special occasions. But not on a regular basis. :( So sad. But it will be a good thing in the end for my body because I just function better when I reduce the amount of gluten I eat on a daily basis.
How do you know if you have a gluten intolerance? 

First step, you can talk to your doctor about getting tested. But there are some signs to watch out for and if you feel like you have these signs you can talk with your doctor.
  • Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.
  • Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
  • Inflammation or swelling in your joins, fingers, knees and hips
  • dizziness or a feeling of being off balance
  • Bumps or "Chicken skin" on the back of your arms
Gluten is in so many things these days even down to being in some extracts. It is so hard to completely eliminate it from your every day life, unless you have Celiacs Disease where you HAVE TO CUT IT OUT. One of the best ways to help figure out if you do have a gluten allergy is to eliminate as much gluten from your diet as possible. Don't eat processed foods, boxed foods, pre-packaged meals, freezer meals. And eat whole fruits and grains. Oatmeal, over toast in the morning. Quinoa, rice or zoodles instead of pasta. Eating plenty of veggies and fruits that have fiber in them to help your body be regular. 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here to join my private online community where you get info, tips, support and encouragement + a free gift with tips to help you get started with the right mindset for healthier nutrition choices TODAY!

Friday, December 11, 2015

December AB Challenge Variation

Want to change it up again with more ab workouts for this month! Check out this workout routine! Lose those love handles or upper muffin as I call it!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Celebrate The Little Victories

Celebrate the little victories which are leading you to HUGE RESULTS! This is why it is so important to take a monthly picture and measurements because the scale is a BIG FAT LIAR! The other day I went into Kohl's because I needed jeans. BADLY! I have been wearing my maternity jeans because, well, they weren't worn in the inner thigh. They still fit, but the pair I have left have been falling off my hips and hanging too low and most of my shirts weren't long enough to cover the nude colored belly elastic thingy that covers your whole belly (do you know what I'm talking about?)

Anyhew, I am going out this weekend for a girls weekend and didn't want to sport maternity jeans. I automatically went to plus sized area. And grabbed a curvy bootcut. Totally thought I picked up an 18 because there is no way I can fit in a 16. I put them on and it was tight. I ain't gonna lie. And I had muffin top from my upper belly area, above my belly button. I hate that area by the way! I sat in the dressing room freaking out, because a) I have been working my rear end off to get fit. Even Matt said my butt was literally smaller! b) I didn't want to still be pushing out of an 18. 

After a few minutes of wallowing in my sadness I looked at the tag and it said 16! WHAT! My sadness went to AMAZEMENT! I not only was able to pull up a 16 past my thighs, I was able to zip and button them without much difficulty. Just my upper bell hanging out a bit. I can not believe it! 

At some point in your journey you will have a killer awesome moment just like that, that makes all the sweat, tears and squashing those pesky excuses totally worth it! 

Are you following me on Facebook or Pinterest yet? WHY NOT! Head on over and get daily motivation! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Next Adventure!

I am a researcher. I try to find as much info about something before I decide to do it. From everything I have read: "workouts are easy to follow, modifier, well thought" out all those things are great but, well, I found this momma of 3 who was part of the test group for the exact same workout program I want to do next month. 20 pounds, SHE LOST 20 pounds!!! Yeah, I'm doing it.

Easy workout schedule to follow, nutrition help, daily dose of nutrition, included with the program, daily motivation and support straight from me. I have 3 slots available to join me and start the new year right. January 4 and this goes down, along with my weight and inches! 

Are you in? Send me an email or CLICK HERE and fill out the form to let me know you are interested! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Standing Ab Workout

Since December is Ab month I wanted to share this awesome STANDING AB ROUTINE! Not all abs are defined doing crunches on the floor. Actually one of my favorite core routines I have ever done is in PiYo and almost all the moves are standing positions! And boy howdy does it work your body!

Check out these workouts to try and add a variation to your December challenge!

Are you following me on FACEBOOK yet? Check me out!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Why To Eat Your Breakfast

Eat your breakfast every single day. Do not skip a good breakfast! It is too important to skip. So the word breakfast means to break your fast. You have been sleeping all night (hopefully) and haven't had any water or food and your last meal might have been around 6pm the night before. First things first, drink some water right upon waking up. Just have a cup of water right next to you and get it into your system. Then after you take care of your morning business get downstairs and have a good breakfast!
 What happens when you SKIP BREAKFAST:

It keeps your blood sugar low. When you eat breakfast it helps to regulate your insulin levels and keeps you from storing excess fat because your body goes into starvation mode and starts to hold on to all the food you eat!

It slows your metabolism. Your body is waiting for food to wake it up to get working. Skipping breakfast makes your body sluggish in waking up and getting started.
More prone to stress or feeling stressed in the day.

More likely to make up the missed meal with fast foods or binge eating. Your body is craving those calories that you miss. And you are more likely to just splurge later in the day because you are so much more hungry!
Drink your Shakeology for breakfast. It is a great way to start your day! I get a little jolt of energy after I have mine personally. Or if you save your Shakeology for later in the day, have a couple eggs and/or oatmeal or a healthy breakfast. If I am saving my Shakeology for lunch then I personally love having an egg scramble. 2 eggs with onion and bell peppers. With a side of gluten free toast or 1/4 cup of oatmeal with flaxseed and half an apple. Super easy and super delicious! 

Comment below what you had for breakfast TODAY!
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