Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

I found this online today and let me tell you! This is going to be going on up in our house tomorrow night! Yep! Not sure if I can find blood oranges but can't go wrong with navel oranges, right!

  • 1 bulb garlic, end cut to expose the cloves
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • 1 cup wild-and-brown rice blend, such as Whole Foods brand, or make your own blend from bulk bins at market (1 part wild rice to 4 parts brown rice)
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups chicken stock 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, 3 stems, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper* 
  • Salt and pepper* 
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 6 slices
  • 3 4- to 6-inch skewers, soaked in water 
  • 2 lemons, halved 
  • 1 blood orange or navel orange, halved 
  • Baby kale or arugula, a few handfuls to garnish 
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Place garlic bulb on a piece of foil, drizzle with
    EVOO and wrap tightly. Roast 40 minutes or so until cloves are soft and
    light golden in color. Cool to handle then squish cloves from skins into a
    bowl and mash into a paste.
    Place 1 cup rice blend and 2 1/4 cups stock in a pot with 1 tablespoon
    olive oil. Whisk in garlic paste and add rosemary, salt and pepper.
    Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 30 minutes,
    stirring occasionally, turn off heat and let stand 10-15 minutes. Fluff
    with fork and add the pine nuts. If rice gets a little dry before it’s fully
    cooked, add another 1/4 cup stock.
    Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare an outdoor grill. 
    Slice the chicken breast thinly, working across the breast, into large
    medallions. Lightly pound to make the medallions thinner. Dress
    with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with red pepper and liberally
    with salt and black pepper or use your favorite seasoning blend. Secure
    the onion slices on the bamboo skewers. 
    Grill the chicken about 2 minutes on each side and remove medallions
    to platter.  Grill onions until marked and tender, 7-8 minutes. Grill
    cut citrus until charred and well-marked, about 4 minutes. Douse the
    chicken with grilled citrus juices and let stand for about 15 minutes
    and up to 1 hour.
    Serve a bed of rice in shallow bowl and top with grilled onion rings
    and chicken medallions. Top with a few leaves of arugula or baby kale.      
- See more at:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Morning Workouts! HA!

So I said a couple months ago that I was going to try to workout early in the morning. That hasn't really happened yet, but soon or later I am going to have to make that transition. Here are some ways to help get us to stop hitting the snooze button and get up and out the door!

1) Prep The Night Before- I already do this now. When I have my training group on Saturday mornings I put all my clothing out, including my socks so that I don't have to think about it in the morning. I can just get up, get dressed and get out the door.

2) Get A Morning Buddy- If you have a friend getting up at the same time as you, that you are going to meet, you are more likely to get up and get going! Or if you aren't meeting them send a message to them saying, "I'm up are you!" Make it a game. If you sleep in X amount of times you owe them a breakfast or something.

3) Don't start cold turkey!- Let's say you wake up at 7am everyday. Don't try to wake up at 4:30am tomorrow. Trust me, it won't happen! Try for 6:30am for a week or 2 to get used to it. And then go a little earlier gradually!

4) Make it a routine- And stick with it. Don't do this for one week then decide something else then try to go back. If you make this move you must stick to it!

5) Have a good reason to get up!- You need to have that motivation to get up or else you will hit snooze every morning. If this is the only time that you can go running out on the street before it gets too hot, or the kids wake up, do it! 

Be patient and give yourself time to adjust to your new schedule! And you too can be an early morning workout person!

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!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

10 Miler Training Plan

I am in a local training group for my upcoming race, so a lot of the guess work for my training is already taken care of for me. I was given a handout with how many miles to run on X day and I'm golden. The training calls for weekly runs on Monday, Wednesdays and starting next week adding Thursday runs as well, then the long run with the group on Saturday mornings. Sounds easy.

My goals for the race though are I want to go into it strong. There are a lot of hills. That's Charlottesville for ya! So I am making sure to do strength training this time around. I did not do any strength training at all for the Princess half I trained for. Plus adding in yoga to keep me limber and stretched. ENTER PIYO! I am going to be doing a PiYo routine at least once a week to get the lower body strength training and stretching that I need. As you know buns, and core are my fav workouts in that series and I will be doing lower define too. Still debating on the rotation. Those workouts will be earlier in the week. As far away from the long run as possible!

For upper body strength I will be doing 21 day fix and possibly PiYo. But have thought about adding in P90X too. (mainly for core though)

I also want to increase my speed. That means less walking breaks and just a faster run in general. With previous trainings I ran around a 4.5 speed on the treadmill with walking between a 3.8-4.0. I avg to a 14:30 min/mile.

This time I want my running to be in the 5.0-5.5 range, and minimal walking breaks. The cool thing about my training group is that on Saturdays we will be running on parts of the actual course so my body will be used to the hills by race time. But I know I can do the 5.0-5.5 speed because I have done it before. I just have to find that groove and stick to it! Goal under 2 hours and 15 min  for the 10 miler. (I think that is realistic. I would love under 2 hours but I have to be honest and real!)

So weekly my training plan will look like this!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

So Easy?

Why is it so hard to stay healthy and to eat well? Why is it so easy to gain weight? Do you ever ask yourselves these questions? I do. All. The. Time. I wish it wasn't so easy to gain weight that it was just something that happened to stay the same weight and never gain no matter what we ate. But it is easy. And it is so hard to take off the weight!

I look at my now 5 month old. He isn't active, well he is for 5 months, but he doesn't run around like his crazy older brother. Collin has rolls for days. And it is ok for him to be pudgy and have rolls and heaven knows that I love those rolls. But he is a prime example to what happens to us. In the 5 months he has bulked up to be the Michelin Man of babies, (there are babies out there that have way more rolls by the way.)

Or the Wall-e effect. At the end of the movie you see what happens to the humans. They are all in the floating chairs and no one walks. They lose muscle mass, and fat overtakes their bodies. And it takes strong hard work to get their bodies healthy again.

This is what happens to our bodies. If we just gorge on food we will gain weight. Our bodies need activity in general. That is why we have 2 legs to move us around and strong arms to lift things. Our bodies crave to move. As hard as it is to be active our bodies actually really like it.

So why is it so hard to stay healthy and eat well? Well, cause it just is. This is just one of those things that we face on this earth is to learn how to take care of our bodies so that they function to the best of their ability. It is sad but true. It takes daily work to eat healthy and to stay healthy. Time to stop making excuses and just deal with it. It is hard work. But the benefits to being healthy are ENDLESS! I want to be here for my kids! I want to be able to travel the world after my kids leave the house and explore this amazing world. Go off the beaten path as it were and enjoy life as long as I can. I want to be an example for my kids that being healthy is a way of life. I don't want them to have to work as hard as I have had to do or deal with the lower self confidence that you have as a kid with being overweight. I want to enjoy life!

~This post was my mental kick in the face I need to keep eating right and not falling off the wagon and eat things I want to eat!~

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014

Happy Halloween from the Allen Family! I hope everyone had a safe and happy halloween and that all your kids made out like bandits in the candy department! We had a fun evening of frolic and tantrums, as I am sure that most parents experienced during the evening.

We started the evening with a visit from one of my students. His family took our family pictures which turned out pretty good. PS Don't stare too long at my WHITE legs, they might BLIND YOU! HAHA! (The draw back to being a fair skinned red head!)

Then we went around the neighborhood to trick or treat with our neighbors across the street. Mason made out pretty well.

We ended up stopping to chat with our newest neighbors. She happens to be a red head, blogger, mommy of 2 and a Team Beachbody coach too! That was pretty cool. I really look forward to getting to know her more.

Mason went to play at his friends house for about 45 min while Matt passed our candy and I went to chat. Collin had passed out in his costume and was napping inside.

Then Mason came back and wanted to help pass out Halloween candy. It was a fun and long night. I love halloween. It is pretty cool to see it from my son's perspective too. He learned that he had to say "trick or treat" to get candy so he was running around yelling "TRICK OR TREAT!" and when he was helping hand out handfuls of candy and as the other kids left he yelled at them, "WE HAVE MORE CANDY!" It was really cute! That was our night.
~I rounded up to 60 squats. Not as many as I thought I would do, that is for sure.~
 ~My little parrot at our church's trunk or treat~

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