Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen

Friday, July 21, 2017

Easy Smoothies For Kids

It's been a very busy month! But one that has been so eventful. We are at the point where my pickiest eater is finally seeing the value in eating healthy whole foods over sugary sweets.
I made this amazing Kit Kat and M&M cake for his birthday, he just turned 6, and he said that it had too much sugar in it. TOO MUCH SUGAR! What 6 year old says that?!? Well, apparently mine. But the reason why, is that I have really tried hard to cut back on the amount of sugar these kids are getting. So along with Mason finally realizing that it is okay to eat things in moderation I will say that he is so excited to try out the new daily smoothie for kids. Some are calling it the Shakeology for kids. Daily Sunshine is NOW AVAILABLE! 

How important is your kids health to you? This is a game changer to help end the childhood obesity epidemic. 

I am so excited for this you guys! Collin, my 3 year old, will drink half my Shakeology if I let him, but because he doesn't drink all of it, he isn't getting all the benefits that Shakeology has to offer. How would you feel about an healthy shake for your kids, that is actually good for them and has real ingredients that you can pronounce and know what they are! Ingredients that help to fill in the gaps that they are missing in their limited nutrition intake. Daily Sunshine is pediatrician approved and is made with organic fruits and vegetables, organic pea protein, and healthy fats, and has 3 grams of fiber, probiotics vitamins C & E, calcium, and vitamin D. It's gluten free, soy free, dairy free and GMO free. Available in 2 flavors: Strawberry Banana and Chocolate. Just add water and shake, and it is ready to go! I just ordered ours LAST NIGHT and the kids can't wait to get them, especially my pickiest eater, Mason, who generally eats, Kosher hot dogs, cereal, pb&jelly sandwiches, pizza but only cheese, and grapes. Heaven forbid I put veggies anywhere near him. HE FREAKS OUT! But even he is excited and asking me every day, since I told him about it, when it will arrive!
Curious about Daily Sunshine? 

ORDER A SAMPLER! Click here to check it out!
Or get a full 30 day supply!
Questions? Send me a message on FACEBOOK or email me and let's chat about it!

And guess what, the same 30 day, bottom of the bag guarantee is on Daily Sunshine just like Shakeology. If you get to the bottom of the 30 day bag and don't like it, then you can get your money back!

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, July 19, 2017

Happy 6th Birthday Mason

 My oldest and aspiring blackbelt leader turned 6 years old yesterday. Kid is getting so big. I remember everyone telling me when he was first born that the time was going to go by so quickly and IT DID! I don't think he is big enough to do some things sometimes, like the big water slides, but he is. It is time that I start accepting that my baby is now a big boy!

Mason just got his new belt. He is officially a white belt with Superior Martial Arts
For Mason's birthday we celebrated early by going to a local water park. Massanutten. THE BOYS HAD A BLAST! They were running all over the place all over the main melt down structure. Even Collin was going on the bigger kid slides. No one could tell him no. (he does need to learn to wait his turn though) Elyse and I chilled in the baby 1 ft deep pool and watched Mason and Collin have fun and daddy try and keep up! At the end of the day, Mace and I went down the super big kid body slides and tube slides. Again, me internally freaking out because he wasn't big enough. "what if he fell out!" But we both were screaming, laughing and I think it was one of the best times we have had! Makes us so excited for our upcoming Disney trip! 
For Mason's birthday we set up a slip n slide by H2OGO! Double Water Slide Bestway! It is perfect for our big hill out back and the boys had a BLAST! 

I found this Kit Kat and M&M cake design, months ago on Pinterest, and he wanted it! It is all he has been talking about for months. So to finally see it, in real life, he was excited. But...dude only took a couple bites and decided that "it has too much sugar!" All that work for 2 bites from the birthday boy. I am pretty happy though that he realized that it was a sugar overload which means I am doing something right with teaching him things in moderation! Elyse sure enjoyed it though! 

To make the cake it is pretty self explanatory. Make your favorite cake, whatever flavor. Mason decided on Chocolate cake, with confetti frosting between the layers and chocolate frosting. Once cake is frosted place the Kit Kats around the edge and fill with mini M&M's. I made 2 8x8 cakes, cut each in half to make a 4 layer cake. And it took 38 Kit Kat's to circle the cake and 1 bag of mini M&M's. Don't need big pieces of it as it is super rich! 

Happiest of happy birthdays to my big boy Mason! I am so excited to see what this next year brings for him! 
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, July 18, 2017

Plus Size Fitness Newbies: 10 Tips To Get Started Right

There are times when I introduce myself as a health and fitness coach or let people know I am studying for my personal training certification, I get that nasty little voice in the back of my head saying, "I bet they are thinking, how can she be a fitness expert when she isn't even fit herself?" Well, you are right, I'm not skinny, lean, toned, ripped, or however people classify "fitness experts". I am a plus size woman smack dab in the middle of her journey, and I have felt that I need to help others just like me reach their goals too. So, I became a coach, and started training to be that expert. And guess what? I'm not the only plus size gal to do so!

Plus size is defined by clothing sizes, not by how physically strong someone is or what their endurance levels are. I am literally working my ass off to reach my goals to be lean, toned and strong and at a healthy fat percentage. But not skinny. I don't want to be skinny. I want to be strong! But these insecurities of not being good enough in the physique department I have had for awhile. It held me back for years from going to a gym or truly feeling comfortable at a gym. Wearing shorts in public.

So here are my tips if you are just getting started with your fitness or getting back into fitness after some time away and you body is not where you wish it were. Basically, on how you can over come fitness related insecurities.
1) Start With Something Fun
If you love dancing, DANCE! Sign up for a dance class, do Zumba, or Country Heat. Dance! When you are enjoying your workout, it won't feel like work and the time will fly by. Don't start with running if you don't like it just because XYZ lost a ton of weight when she started running. Do something that you enjoy. Don't know what you enjoy to do? Try a bunch of different things. MMA, Cross Fit, Dancing, strength training, cycling, get a personal trainer. There are tons out there that you can do that don't involve walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical for hours every week (unless you really like walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical). Or interested in having unlimited access to over 600 workouts and growing? SEND ME AN EMAIL and let's chat!
2) Don't Fall Back Into A Crutch Workout Routine
Years ago you were able to walk on the treadmill or elliptical and were able to maintain. So what do you do when you start going back to the gym? Start with the treadmill and or elliptical. I did that you guys! Because it was safe. Because it was what I was used to. Because I could watch TV! There are so many different types of exercises you can do now that will challenge you, that will help your bones get stronger, that will help your heart function better, that will help your body shape literally change. Don't start back in with your comfortable crutch workout routine. Try new things! (see above for ideas of other types of workouts)

3) Invest In A Good Bra
You don't have to invest in cute exercise clothing but you need to invest in a good sports bra. Especially if you are just back into working out, your size may have changed, or your old bra might be a little too worn down. Invest in a new bra to help keep you comfortable. I honestly love the new cute, strappy back bras. But they might not be good on runs, and sometimes I have to double up on them if I am doing plyometrics. So check the intensity meter on the bra before you buy. A cute one with medium intensity would be this Queenie Ke Strappy Back Energy Sports bra.

4) Exercise Clothing
I said above that you don't have to invest in cute exercise clothing, but you might want to buy a few key pieces to get you started. When I uncomfortable exercising in a guy, I wore a XL cotton shirt and exercise shorts with cotton undies. It was so hot and uncomfortable, but heaven forbid I wear a tank top and actually feel comfortable temperature wise at the gym. It wasn't until I decided, it's a gym who cares, that I started to wear tanks and then started to invest in new clothing to exercise in. Wear what you are comfortable in. But don't feel like you have to suffer in cotton shirts and undies or sleeved shirts and long pants when it is 105 inside and outside of the gym. There are so many cute and amazing affordable clothing out there now. And when you wear something cute you feel better too, and your whole experience just get better. I personally wear capris and longer shorts. Helps with chaffing issues. And eventually, you will need some good shoes too, especially if you are running. I personally love my Brooks running shoes and use them for my workouts right now until I find a pair of cross training shoes I love!

5) Don't Put Off What You Want To Do Because Of Your Weight
Just because you aren't at your goal weight doesn't mean you can't start a brand new at home program or go to a gym. Or be in a yoga class. Or do cross fit. Pole dancing. Belly dancing. Or whatever you want to do. Don't say, "when I get to my goal weight, then I can go..." or don't get in the habit of saying, "if only I could lose weight I could..." Your body knows what you are saying and those phrases are full of deep negativity. You have to change your mindset to reach your goals. Use this a a brand new step in your journey. A new adventure. One that is going to be totally different than all the times before because you can see the changes. Because you have free online support and motivation to help keep you going when the times get tough! Do what you want to do now, as you are now. You don't have to be a certain size to do any workout. All you have to do is just start doing that workout.
6) Don't Compare Yourself To Anyone
This goes along with #5 because honestly it is so easy to do this at the gym. When you see another plus size lady running on the treadmill, comfortably and you are dying at 2.5 speed, you start to compare. (BEEN THERE DONE THAT, many times!) Or seeing another woman in the "guys section" ripped and lifting major weights. It can be really intimidating to go over there and lift weights. You are where you are in your journey. And they are where they are in their journey. And for all you know, they could have started right where you are at. You never know where someone is in their journey. Don't think that you will never get there because you can. You just have to be consistent with the gym, and eating right and over time it will happen!
7) Be Sure To Always Warm Up, Cool Down and Stretch
Something that is easily forgotten when you just want to be done. Make sure you take a quick 5 minute warm up and cool down before and after every workout. Just on the treadmill, or around the track. Nothing too strenuous. Even before you go into a class. Get in a quick warm up so that you are ready to go before their warm up, sometimes those warm ups are like the start of the workout. It is just go-go-go! And stretch at the end too! This will help to avoid injuries. And if you are sore from the previous day it will help to loosen up those sore muscles so that you can torture, I mean work them again! Don't just finish and run to do something else. Take the time to stretch out your legs, back, arms so that you don't get too sore. Think of it as helping your body lengthen out into lean long muscles because that is what you are doing. You are helping your muscles relax out so they don't cramp up on you.

8) Weight Loss Shouldn't Be Your Only Goal
As easy as it is to exercise because you want to lose weight. It is just like the term "diet." It won't last. When the scale doesn't go down, or it goes up (as it often does in the beginning as the muscles are getting stronger and fat loss hasn't started yet) you can get frustrated and call it quits. But don't do that. Sure, the scale might not be moving, but think about all the other benefits you are doing for your body with exercise and healthy eating. Strengthening your heart, bones, muscles. Lubricating your joints so you don't hurt as much. Getting endorphins pumped into your body helping you feel happier. Body shape literally changing. Glowing from the inside out because your organs are working better, being more efficient because you are feeding your body what it needs and hydrating. The list goes on and on. When things get tough and you feel like quitting, just remember this is more than just losing weight. You are setting an example to your kids. You are being an inspiration to your friends or co-workers. You are showing people that being consistent with something in life is possible.
9) Celebrate EVERY Moment and Accomplishment No Matter How Big Or Small
Celebrate the fact you went to the gym 3 days, 4 days, 5 days in a row. Celebrate that you pants feel looser. Non Scale Victory as we like to call them. Celebrate how well you are feeling. Celebrate any time you drop 10 pounds, or a dress size. The key to celebrating is how you celebrate it. Don't use food as your way to celebrate, which is what we often equate celebrating to. Find something else to do to celebrate. Some people put money in a jar for every pound lost and when they hit X pounds lost they have enough money to buy a new outfit. Or purse. Or a trip. Celebrate with telling your friends your accomplishments, because they are watching your story. You are helping to inspire them to get off their butts and get moving too! Celebrate with new gym equipment at home. A Bosu ball. New free weights. Get a mani, or pedi! Anything way you can celebrate without it focusing on food. Don't get me wrong, you can still celebrate with foods, but make it for a really big goal. Like 50 pound loss. Or hitting your goal weight, or birthdays, holidays. And just stick with food type celebrations as a holiday.
Losing weight is the hardest thing you will ever do and it will take TIME. There are going to be times where you question yourself and think what you are doing is crazy. There are going to be times where you workouts sucks. There are going to be times where you don't have the energy or motivation to do it. But...BE CONSISTENT! Make a goal to exercise at home or go to the gym no matter what 3 times a week. No ifs, ands or butts about it. Every week. Make it a goal. That way you are still doing something for your body with ample rest time in between. But darn well try to exercise more often if you can. Aiming for 4-6 days a week is great! Again finding something you love will help out so much in the motivation department. Just be consistent with your exercising. With your healthy eating. With doing what you know you should do and you will make changes to your body. You will reach your goals. And the only thing that will determine how fast or slow you make it to those goals is you and how hard you work for them!

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, July 17, 2017

Plus Size Fitness: Modified Core Exercises

No shame in modifying your workouts when starting your workout journey, coming back from an injury or after taking a break from regular exercise.

Pin for later! 
Check out these modifications for these 3 core exercises! 

Do as many as of each of these exercises in 1 minute. Rest for 2-3 minutes then try one more set!

Push Ups:
Renegade Rows: 
Alternate lifting weights from left to right.

Plank Walks: 
start in a modified plank position with hands close together
Step right hand out to the side then bring back to center
Step left hand to the left side then back to center
Then do the right again, then left and so forth.
Interested in working with me as your virtual coach or joining my team to help motivate and inspire others like I do? EMAIL ME or private message me over at my Facebook page and let's chat! And don't forget to join my FREE Online community to give you that daily motivation, tips, and support to help you reach your goals and score a free copy of my clean eating guide! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Working Out Is Your New Personal Therapy Session

The #1 thing I hear from people, moms especially, is "I don't know how you do it [find time to workout] with kids at home." That's the thing; I don't really have time to workout at home. I don't. I'm busy just like anyone else. I just took Collin upstairs for time out because he didn't like hearing me say no to something so he decided to be vindictive and get back at me by taking a plastic knife to my piano. (that S&*t don't fly in my house!) 

I am a busy mom with crazy kids at home, but if I don't workout, I AM THE ONE THAT WILL GO CRAZY! I have learned how to make my workouts sessions like my daily therapy session to stay sane. No joke you guys. When I was going to a therapist for my miscarriage, I made it a point to exercise and felt so much better mentally than the days that I didn't exercise. 
How do you make your workout into a personal therapy session? 

1) Set aside some time for you. MAKE TIME in your life for you. If that means 30 minute nap time. Quiet time. Time out. Whatever you call it. Do it. My kids are in their quiet time spaces when I do mine. They are in a safe location so that I can turn my brain off for them and focus on what I am doing.

2) Focus on the workout and what the trainer is saying. Most trainers are motivating. They will say something that will just hit you right in the heart. Use that phrase as your drive to help you get through the next 30 minutes or however long you have left. The other day it was: YOU HAVE SO MUCH MORE IN YOU! He was so flipping right! I DID! The workout was getting harder, and I was getting tired. So I started to just go through the motions, but motions aren't going to get me results! So I pushed and finished strong you guys! 

3) Allow yourself to think about you and how you are feeling during the workout. Sounds weird but it is true. Don't be making your grocery list as you are doing pushups. Don't be thinking about what you have to do after the workout is done, think about you in that moment. How you are feeling. How your body feels. How far you have come. What you will feel like when you reach your goals. We start going through the motions or quite when we stop focusing on what we want. 

4) Take pride in what you just accomplished at the end of the workout. Give yourself a mental high five for rocking your workout. Think about you struggles you overcame or a move that was hard but you tried it anyways, and were able to do 1, 3, or 5 of them. You are amazing and strong. 

5) BE CONSISTENT! Don't just do this one day a week, be consistent and do this MOST DAYS, and especially the days that you feel run down or down on yourself. ( I want to say weaker mentally, just having a harder time coping with things going on around you, but I don't know if that is the right term but it kind of is) The more that you exercise, the more consistent you get with it the more it will help you. The more that you will want it for this reason. Our bodies and mind need exercise you guys. There is a reason why our body is flooded with endorphins after we exercise. We need it! 

So...who is getting in their personal therapy session today? What are you going to do? 
Interested in working with me as your virtual coach or joining my team to help motivate and inspire others like I do? EMAIL ME or private message me over at my Facebook page and let's chat! And don't forget to join my FREE Online community to give you that daily motivation, tips, and support to help you reach your goals and score a free copy of my clean eating guide! 
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