Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: January 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Coping With Depression and Postpartum Depression

I talked a little about this yesterday for my Love Yourself Fit post but I wanted to go even further. Sometimes as moms we hide behind our smiles, or our kids, and just push our feelings deep down inside of us so that it seems that everything is ok, when really we are struggling to keep the house running efficiently, or just keeping things looking like everything is ok.

It wasn't until I had my miscarriage in 2015 that I started to see a counselor to help me with my depression. But I have had depression for years. I just never talked about it. Never told others around me, and certainly didn't see a therapist for that. I didn't think it was necessary. I thought it was taboo. But you guys, mental health is just as important as physical health. And I have learned so much from my counselor. Learning my breaking points, or those points where I need to back off, before I get to a breaking point so that I don't have a "ginger snap." as we call them in our house.

Example: I learned that I can't handle certain situations that I have little control over. Like the general sacrament or mass meeting with our church. It is so difficult for me knowing that my kids are not going to listen, that I am going to be chasing Collin up the isle as he runs away from me, and knowing that we just end up in the foyer because someone always gets put in time out.

Example: I haven't been able to run since the miscarriage. I still get very anxious. I still get very nervous. I still want to cry just thinking about training. I almost can't move when I try to think about making plans on just going out for a run. Even writing about it...makes me time to move on.

Even kids. For years we tried to have kids. It took us 9 years to be blessed with Mason. Now with 3 young kids, and the stress and strains that they bring, the tugging and being pulled and called out to in 3 directions and especially the crying from all 3 at once is enough to make me have to put Elyse in a safe place and leave the room for a beat to get my mental strength back. And this is a HUGE reason why I am so protective of my daily mommy quiet time. I need my space from the kids to be a better mom. I need my exercise to get those endorphins flowing to be a more attentive mom. I need to work on me every day to be the best mom that I can be for my amazing children!
Being a mom is hard! Being a woman is HARD! If you have multiple times in your day or week that you just feel ugh. And you just feel more sad, depressed, or especially thinking or wanting to cause harm to yourself or those around you. I highly encourage you to seek out a counselor or therapist. It is not negative. It is not taboo. You are not messed up or crazy for seeing them. It is helpful to talk things through with someone. It is helpful to learn different coping techniques to deal with stresses in your life. It is helpful to just be heard sometimes. Just remember no one is perfect. PPD is actually way more common than we know, mostly because it isn't talked about and women are suffering in silence. We all have stuff we deal with internally. Don't think that you have to handle it all on your own. Get help, talk to your doctor first. They might prescribe medication for you, they might not. They more than likely will suggest you to see out a therapists or counselor or even a support group. Attend these even for a little while so that you can get help. So that you can learn to cope, because there is no cure for PPD or depression. It is just learning to cope.


1. Reach out to people- As much as you don't want to someone daily. Call your best friend on the phone. Talk to your husband. Talk to family. Get support from those around you.

2. Do things that make you feel good- even when you don't feel like it. Exercise is my go to. I have said it before and I will say it again, it is my daily therapy. I need it to work on me to be healthier. But I also compose music, or practice songs, read books and I love cooking.

3. Move around more during the day- Don't sit for more than an hour. Be up on the go. Don't plant yourself in front of the tv all day long. As easy as it is to "escape" into the tv or even video games (The Sims 4 for me!) Get up and walk around. Move around. Don't be stuck.

4. Get Some Sun Light- Get out and get some sun light. I know it is hard in the winter time or if you live in an area that doesn't get much sun, but even just being outdoors is healing to the soul.

5. Get Grounded- One of my favorite things I like to do is actually go outside barefoot and just stand in my grass, close my eyes and just feel grounded. Take in some deep breaths and imagine you are planted into the ground. This can also be achieved by just digging your hands in some soil, if you have some inside the house because it is too cold or hot out.

6. Challenging negative thoughts- Anytime you have a negative thought pop into your mind, turn it around and make it a positive. "I can't handle all the crying..." can turn into, "my baby wants and needs me. She loves me and this is how she shows me."

7. For moms with PPD: Mommy Free Time- Take some time each day where you don't have the stress of the kids, household chores, and just take some time for you. That can be reading a book, taking a bath, watching your favorite show (catching up on your favorite show), exercise, even just getting someone you trust to watch the kids and getting out of the house. And if you can get out of the house with your partner sans kids, even better! The two of you will need some time alone too.

8: Make time for your spouse- One of the hardest things about dealing with depression is our inner fuse is run very low and often times we snap at those we love. It is so easy to do, but can be so hurtful to your partner because they might not fully understand what you are going through. Make sure you spend some quality time with your spouse, talking, or reconnecting and remembering why you fell in love in the first place. Even if you have to schedule it in. Just make time for them.

And TALK ABOUT IT publicly! The negative stigma behind mental health needs to STOP. In a way if you are seeking help you are better than most around you because you are growing, learning, and working on you to better yourself. You are not being stagnant. You are moving forward in a healthy manner. So good for you! Tell people how much your sessions are helping you. Tell people how you have changed for the better. Share it because, it is not negative. It is another way that you are reaching your goals to a happier, healthier lifestyle, both inside and out.

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!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Love Yourself Fit

I am so excited for my Exclusive group in February! I'm sharing my exclusive ebook in the group only to go along with the group theme of Love Yourself Fit. 

Love Yourself Fit: 7 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself Fit e-Book.

I have struggled with depression, self confidence, low self esteem and low self love for years! It wasn't until I became a coach, started reading self help books or personal development books and got counseling, that I really started to tackle these inner battles I have with myself. And I am still living with these everyday. I just had to learn to love myself more, respect my feelings and emotions and be mindful of things that give me anxiety or when I am feeling unusually sad.

In the process of working on my physically and reading personal development I finally started to love myself more. I started gaining confidence, (well, I do post pretty much everything online now) So's time to pay it forward. My Love Yourself Fit has tips on how to learn to love yourself fit through building your self confidence, self love, happiness, joy, self respect, forgiveness and positive body image. I know you have heard it: how you feel about yourself on the inside is reflected on the outside! Truly taking your journey of health and fitness to the next level and making your results a true lifestyle change.
Only available with my February group when you order the Beachbody on Demand All Access Annual Pass Bundle and truly have the potential to reach your max results, because you are combining daily exercise, with superfood dense nutrition, and learning correct portion sizes to eat for your body. Or the Annual Beachbody On Demand Membership Pass to just get access to the workouts. Only available through me as your coach. Must not be working with another Team Beachbody Coach.

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!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Losing Weight: Strive For Progress... Not Perfection

If losing weight were easy...EVERYONE WOULD BE DOING IT and I would be out of a job! Seriously! We all know this because we would have lost the weight YEARS ago! All you have to do it just try to get your workouts in and eat right. To make progress you just have to do it. Eat 80/20 so that you allow yourself to still have a treat every now and then and not feel guilty for it. and if you can't exercise 7 days a week Aim for Monday- Friday. Some exercise is better than none! You don't have to be perfect you just have to make progress!

All too often I hear about people going in 100% to their workouts and eating, which is GREAT! But it isn't sustainable for the long term. Why? Because life happens. And often when life happens we fall off the wagon, then if we were pushing really hard and fast and 100% we feel guilty for falling off the wagon, then binge eating happens or a huge break from workouts happen. Then more guilt. The frustration. Then just giving up. Then the cycle begins again. Go in 100% for a short time, fall off, guilt and so forth. IT'S TIME TO CHANGE HOW WE APPROACH LOSING WEIGHT AND THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT TO MAKE THIS TRULY WORK AND BE A LIFELONG CHANGE! It's ok to go 80/20. It's ok to have a candy bar occasionally, or dessert or pasta! It's ok to miss a workout occasionally.  This is about a lifestyle change. A CHANGE FOR LIFE! Which takes TIME. Strive for progress not perfection.

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!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

COMPLETE Collection of Shakeology Ingredients

I talk about Shakeology ALL THE TIME. Why?  Because I love it so much. I started drinking Shakeology July of 2014. My second son was just 2 months old. We also were in the process of putting our first house (other house) up for sale as our tenant stopped paying rent and was evicted. So we were paying 2 mortgages, I wasn't teaching any lessons and we were literally living off of savings to help pay the other mortgage and other bills. It was so stressful and not fun. friend Janet knew I wanted to get back into shape, and be a healthy mom. She suggested Shakeology and gave me a sample to try.

To be honest I didn't like it at first. And I told my friend Janet. But I wanted to get a workout program anyways to do at home because I wasn't going to be making it to the gym any time soon and ended up getting the workout and Shakeology combined to give it a try. She coached me to add in some ingredients to help with the taste and make adjustments to the liquid amounts from 8 oz to 12 oz of milk. When I did that and made my Chocolate Shakeology with peanut butter and 1/2 a cup of ice to get a nice thick shake. I LOVED IT! It took me 3 days to find my perfect recipe (you can view my entire recipe collection here). And within 2 weeks of drinking Shakeology I was not craving fast foods, junk foods, sweets or treats. They just didn't appeal to me, at all! And that is when I knew Shakeology was PRICELESS! I honestly didn't care how much it cost me because I finally found the one thing I needed, something to make my cravings manageable or GONE and it did just that.

Shakeology is $130 which for us is a huge investment, but when I started looking into the ingredients and understanding why my cravings went away I was blown away by how awesome Shakeology really was. And it truly has been an investment in health and wellness! Any questions about Shakeology and deciding which flavor to get? Send me an EMAIL! Let's CHAT! INTERESTED IN GETTING SHAKEOLOGY for yourself? CLICK HERE to order!

So if you are curious about what really is in Shakeology or if it is just too good to be true. Check out all the details on Shakeology for each flavor below! You can click on the picture for a large view.



INTERESTED IN GETTING SHAKEOLOGY? CLICK HERE to order! Want to pair it with a workout too like I did when I started? Check out the ALL ACCESS PASS BUNDLE where you get access to EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT ever created, plus all bonus and upgraded content. Access to each workouts nutrition, workout calendar, FAQs. Plus you will even get access to any new workout that is released in the year. PLUS you will be part of my EXCLUSIVE group with daily motivation, support and accountability to help you stay on track to reach your goals!

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!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

21 Day Fix Approved South-Western Style Egg Cups

A lot of people have a hard time getting in breakfast everyday. I used to be one of them, but now I can not go without my breakfast. And I honestly eat the same thing every day. 2-3 eggs over medium, 1/2 cup oatmeal with flaxseed, half an apple and a big cup of water. But let's jazz it up a bit and try something new


These are easy, and you can make a bunch of them and freeze them for later.
South-western Style Egg Cups
2 egg cups per serving

Non-stick cooking spray (I love using the coconut oil spray from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
12 Large eggs (2 cups)
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
4 medium jalapeños, seeds and veins removed (to take away the heat), chopped
1 cup black beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup finely chopped spinach
3/4 cup finely chopped bell peppers
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degree F
2. Place 18 muffin cup liners in muffin pans (need 2 trays) and spray with non-stick cooking spray. set aside.
3. Combine almond milk,  eggs, jalapeños, beans, spinach, bell peppers and cheese( if using) in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to blend. Set aside.
4. Evenly pour egg mixture into prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and eggs are set.
6. Sprinkle with cheese, and place in oven for about 1 minute to melt cheese.
7. Enjoy!

21 Day Fix Containers: 1 red, 1 green, 1/2 yellow, 1/2 blue, if using cheese

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, January 24, 2017

How You Really Lose Weight

Shared this message in my EXCLUSIVE GROUP! How many of you think of exercise as the ONLY WAY to lose weight? To change your lifestyle you must first chance how you think of food and exercise! So many people believe that they must exercise to lose weight but that really isn't true. Exercise is GREAT and we do need it. But to truly lose weight, you MUST change what you are eating! 

Food is the way to lose weight. Not exercise. Exercise is to help define, lean and strengthen your body. 

Yes, exercise allows you to burn calories and we know that you must burn 3500 calories to lose 1 pound. But most of us don't count calories every single day. Or live a calorie in calorie out lifestyle. You have to REALIZE that you can not OUT-EXERCISE A BAD DIET! If you learn to eat the right kinds of foods, the right portion of foods then you will lose weight.

Exercise is what allows you to be stronger, defined and lean and really shows off the work of what you have been eating! And it is important.
Too often I hear people kicking butt in their workouts. Getting them in daily and that they want to change. But they don't make the changes necessary to what they are eating to make a big difference. Yes they lose a little weight and some inches but to get the results you really want...start with what you are eating!

I did that for years! Even with my personal trainer. He kicked my butt in the gym, and I worked so hard. I only lost inches but didn't lose any weight. And it was so frustrating. But I honestly didn't change what I was eating enough to make a difference. When I finally did change what I ate, tracked it and kept a food log, the weight literally fell off of me! If you want to lose weight start with what you are eating! Every time! 

Need help with where to start??? Send me an EMAIL. Let's chat about your goals and get you started! I would love to help you achieve your goals!

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!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tips For Traveling With A Baby

This past weekend Elyse and I traveled to Utah for my grandfather's funeral. It was a last minute trip, and a very short trip. We left Friday evening at 6:10pm. Arrived in Utah at 11pm local time (so 1am our time). Funeral and family time was the next day. Then flew out of Utah at 6:10am on Sunday morning.

It was such a short trip and I was concerned about flying with a baby so small. Mason's first flight, he was 9 months old. Collin, he was 5 months. Elyse, 3 months. Here are some tips to help you feel a little more comfortable traveling with your little one.
1) Feed during take off and landing. Each flight I actually didn't feed Elyse until that little "ding, ding" happened overhead. That meant, Elyse was SCREAMING at me to feed her from when we sat down in our seat and for a good 10 minutes of loading and taxi time. And I am sure she scared the CRAP out of every passenger on the plane around us. Don't feel bad about this. My thought process was, let her scream now and then once we get going she will sleep! And it worked!

2) Don't feel bad about nursing your baby. 2 out of the 4 flights, I actually had a seat between me and the other passenger, or even the whole row to myself. That was nice. But the other 2 flights, I was next to at least one person. My last flight. I was sandwiched between two older males. And I personally don't cover to nurse. It is uncomfortable for the baby and I like being able to see her. Next to the men I did put a blanket over my shoulder to create a barrier for privacy to cover any "side boob" but that was it. I tried to be as modest as possible. Let your neighbors know that a nursing mom and leave it at that. You can always ask the flight attendants for a window seat if you want and they can ask if a passenger is willing to trade. I asked for the last flight because I knew I had a middle seat and was told another seat prior to boarding but that seat was actually taken and I didn't care at that point. Don't feel ashamed for having to nurse your baby or feel required to cover to nurse. You have a right to feed in public any way you choose. 

3) DO NOT APOLOGIZE or feel guilty for having your baby on the plane. You and your baby have every right to be on that plane flight as anyone else. Keep in mind that the travel time is only just a fraction of why people are on that flight anyways. It is just for a few hours. People can suck it up!
4) Crying and/or fussiness happens. Just like adults. No one likes to feel confined for long periods of time. Babies are just the same. Staring at the back of a chair or a small area is no fun for anyone. Get creative. I use the sun to refract light through my right and made "sparkles" for Elyse to enjoy! She loved it! Try to entertain as best as you can.

5) Don't get frustrated, because when you get frustrated your baby will feed off of your emotions which can cause them to get more upset. Again, travel time is just a short amount of time for the real reason why you are traveling.
6) Get up and walk around. If you are on a long flight. It is ok to get up and walk down the aisle. Especially if the baby is fussy, this might be the way to calm them down. Change of scenery for the baby might be what they need.

7) Depending on the length of your trip try to stick to your baby's schedule. If you are going on a longer trip. Keep your baby on their schedule, but in the new time zone. So if baby usually naps at 11:30am, do the nap at 11:30 per the time zone you are in. If it is a short trip like ours was. Don't. I let her sleep when she could. She was quite popular with family and got to meet a lot of them. And she put on a beautiful smile for everyone. She was awake more than she usually is. Today already, she is sleeping a lot to recover.

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!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Love Yourself Fit

This month I opened up my EXCLUSIVE health and fitness support group to ANYONE that wanted to join and get that support and motivation they needed to stick with their resolution. Now it is time to turn up the dial and kick it into overdrive. My group will go back to being exclusive to continuing customers only beginning in February. And I INVITE YOU to join us!

Did you know that the Beachbody On Demand Annual All Access Pass not only gives you unlimited streaming to EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT ever created by Beachbody, but also all the nutrition guides, recipes, calendars and to the exclusive BOD content PLUS access to any new workout released? For just $99! And when you get the Beachbody On Demand All Access Annual Membership you also get lifetime access to my group. So you get access to me and all my tools that I have created to HELP YOU SUCCEED!
February's group is going to be focused on Self Love. We are going to learn Love Ourselves Fit! For years I did not love myself. I would cringe when I looked in the mirror, or avoid the mirror if I could. I would tear myself down by nit picking any part of my body that I thought was awful (too many stretch marks, big butt, big belly, my calves can't even fit in knee high boots!) Destructive. negative, self loathing that is so harmful to us mentally. 

It wasn't until I finally started to love myself. Learn to love myself. That I saw the good in me. And turned all my negative thoughts into positive ones. My stretch marks tell a story, my butt is amazing! my belly carried 3 babies full term, my calves are strong and I rock booties! I want to help you see you for as you are. Your beauty. Your inner light. And let it SHINE! Because you are beautiful. You are unique. There is no one like you on this earth. 
If you are ready to start your journey filled with love, friendship, kindness and still work hard to eat right every day, and exercise and get your "me time" in everyday, then I WANT YOU in my group! I am rocking my weight loss transformation right now and I want you to join me and REACH YOUR GOALS! Send me an EMAIL, and let me know you are ready to join me. I have a goal, that I said yesterday in my goal board, to help at least 50 women start their journey, work with them on their journey and see what they can achieve over this year. Are you ready to join me yet? 

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!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Goal Setting

HELLO 2017! Man, 2016 was a rough year for Hollywood. For me, not so bad. We had a surprise pregnancy. I was able to maintain a healthy and fit pregnancy. Delivered a very healthy and beautiful baby girl and then started my weight loss journey with a BANG! So for me, yeah, 2016 was pretty amazing!

What can I do to make 2017 even better? Well, I have plans. I have lots of plans! I have goals, HUGE GOALS! And I can't wait to share them with you. A lot of them have to do with this blog and the direction I want to take my journey to.

For the first time, I have actually made a goal boar. I have had these goals stewing in the back of my head for the past few months actually. So I already knew what I wanted to achieve for this year. I even came up with my own timeline on when I was going to do things, how I was going to accomplish them and so forth.

Some big goals for me:
1) Rebranding my blog. Getting a professional logo made with other social media content to use to make my blog more professional and cohesive. Rolling out in the spring.

2) Getting my Personal Training Certification. This is HUGE for me! I originally thought about it in 2010. Then over the past year, I have been deciding when I was going to do it. That is this summer.

3) Lowering my body fat %. GOAL: 24% BF. I started in November at 41%. And honestly I don't know if 24% is doable while nursing but I really want to be much lower in my BF%. That means building muscle to burn my fat. And really watching what I eat. And in 2 months I have lost 1 percent. Slow and steady. Goal: November.

4) Professional Fitness Photos. I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THIS! This is my reward for reaching my BF% Goal. WHY NOT?!? When I get my body healthy, why not show it off. So I am really looking forward to those! Timeline. November.

5) Getting out of credit card debt, staying out of debt and building our savings. Plus saving for 2 BIG trips. One this summer to New Orleans for the Beachbody coach summit and beach for Mason's birthday. And saving to take the family to Disney World in a year from now! I really want to run the Dopey. and still debating but...I will be running one race next year at least. First we have to get out of debt which is scheduled to be by March. Then we start saving for New Orleans, then Disney.

Couple of things when you are setting goals is to follow the SMART system. When you do you are more likely to achieve your goals because you are making a plan. Check out the SMART Goal making below!

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!

What are you big goals for this year? Drop them in the comments below! 

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!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Homemade German Chocolate Cake

For my husband's birthday I make him a german chocolate cake from scratch. It is a tradition that his mom started when he was younger and one that I continued and have continued for the last 14 years. I will say that the main killer ingredient that has to be made homemade, in my humble opinion, is the frosting. Yeah, the canned variety is great, but I have found that I LOVE the homemade frosting so much more! So regardless if I use a box for the cake, because some years I just haven't had the time or the willpower to make a homemade chocolate cake, I will always make the frosting by hand.

This year I did something different though. I didn't have any evaporated milk on hand. I thought I did but when I got home. I didn't. And I could have gone to the store to get it, but after researching how easy it was to make, although a little time consuming, I knew I could do it myself. Plus, one thing I learned is that the shelf life on the canned evaporated milk is YEARS! However, homemade evap milk is only a day or two, in the fridge, only. It made me think...what the heck makes the canned version last so long? I get it. It is sealed in a can but still, it didn't sit right with me for whatever reason yesterday so...I made the evaporated milk myself! Yes, I am crazy but, when I indulge in foods, I want them to be AMAZING and still as healthy and clean (no preservatives) as possible.

WAIT!!! I thought I came here for healthy eating and not junk food...Well, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. Or at least allowing yourself to still have indulgences. I firmly believe in eating clean and healthy 80% of the time and allow myself to enjoy other types of foods, that I don't eat very often 20% of the time.

Foods I eat less of / less often: sweets, treats like ice cream, cake, doughnuts, even pasta with cream sauce.

Foods I eat more of / more often: veggies, fruit, brown rice, lean protein, oatmeal.

Foods I avoid: processed foods, preservative laden foods.

General rule of thumb is to have an indulgent meal a week, or every other week, or once a month. It depends on how you want to think about it so that you can still enjoy life and avoid having major binge episodes. Think about it, in the past when you denied yourself having treats or whatnot, the diet didn't last long and often would end in a binge episode. Since I am not on a diet, but a lifestyle change, I need to allow myself those treats so that I don't deprive myself of the things that my mind wants or those fun meals with my family. My goal, to usually have an indulgent meal once a month for a birthday, Valentine's day. Holiday, family get together. If you can use those days as the day that you indulge and enjoy foods you don't have very often you are more likely to succeed and reach your healthy natural weight. Healthy living is not about depriving yourself. It is about creating healthy habits!



1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup coco powder plus 1 tablespoons more for pans
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs (or 3 large eggs) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans. Spray with cooking spray then dust the pans with coco powder. shaking it all over the pans to coat.
Sift flour, sugar, coco, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. mix on low speed until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
with mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined. Scape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean
Cool in pans.
Frost as desired.


12 ounces of homemade evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups (6 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) pecans

In a large pot combine evaporated milk, brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil.
Once at a boil remove from heat.
Add salt, coconut and pecans and stir
once evenly coated, transfer to a medium bowl and let cool before frosting.

makes 12 ounces (equal to 1 can) of evaporated milk

30 ounces whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring milk to a simmer, stirring frequently (do not let boil, because it will boil over very quickly and make a HUGE mess)

Once simmering lower temperature to medium low heat and now the waiting begins. Stir with a spatula every 5 minutes for about 40 minutes to break up the skim on the top to allow the milk to steam / evaporate the water in the milk and also to help avoid burning the milk on the bottom of the pan. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with every pass.

Using a strainer over your measuring cup, be sure to strain the milk before use. You may have to measure a couple times to make sure you have the desired amount of 12 ounces.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Fit Family Couples Workout

The other day I actually talked my husband into joining me for my workout. Poor guy, had just finished pulling the night shift watching over Collin who was in the hospital for 7 days, and also had some of the same sickness that Collin had. So he wasn't 100%. But he craves to workout as much as I do. Check out some of the fun we had in our workout!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

RSV Symptoms & Awareness

If you have been following me on Facebook you know that my middle child got super sick just after Christmas. When he gets a bad cold he has always been wheezy a little, and it really takes a toll on him, but 4 days after Christmas he just started to get sick. And right away he became super snuggly with me (I don't mind that at all!) By the next morning he was really wheezing and was having difficulty breathing. His shoulders were rising quite a bit with each breath and you could just see it in his face he was struggling. Also Elyse was starting to get sick too. So I called the pediatrician right away. I always get scared having such a young baby during the bad cold and flu season.
Day 1: Pediatrician office
Day 1: Just after being admitted

When we arrived to the office, our doctor asses both Collin and Elyse (Mason already had the crud and was over it. We call him Patient 0). Elyse was showing signs of being sick but wasn't wheezing. Collin on the other hand, we ended up doing 3 breathing treatments in office for Collin to help his breathing. After the 3rd treatment the amount of oxygen he was getting was actually getting worse, they wanted him above 92 and he had dropped down to 87 and we were sent straight into the hospital to get him admitted. Once there he got tested for RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is a severe respiratory infection.
Day 2
New Years Eve: Day 2

We spent 7 days, doing breathing treatments, keeping him on oxygen, 104 degree fevers, a chest x-ray, 2 blood draws and antibiotics trying to figure out what this was. The main thing was he was sick with a really, really, really bad cold that can lead to pneumonia, and they did find some stuff in his lungs on the x-rays so he was put on antibiotics. But the one thing that was keeping us there the longest was his pulse oxygen levels. He would dip as low as 81 (Again the prime number they wanted was above 92) It was scary. He acted like he was fine most of the time, unless his temperature spiked, which it did a lot! The main thing is when your mommy brain goes off that "my kid isn't right!" GET YOUR KID TO THE DOCTOR! I was going to wait a day before I took Collin but just something in my head said, "NOPE GO NOW!" And we did. It was the first time I had a truly very sick child and I hope we don't have to go through that again.
Day 3

Rapid breathing
Effort To breath
Extreme Fatigue
Change of color to skin due to lack of oxygen
Day 4
Day 5

Good hand washing is key to help contain the spreading of germs. But that can be difficult when an older sibling brings them home from school. (Patient 0). If you do have a sick child or sibling try to isolate them from your other kids to avoid the transfer of the sickness. RSV is highly contagious. We were in isolation for 6 of the 7 days we were there.
Day 6
Day 7
8pm on day 7- Collin is getting discharged! 

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!
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