Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How I Lowered My Cholesterol Levels

8 years ago, I was given the news that my cholesterol was high, and combine that with being over weight my chances of getting pregnant weren't looking that good. And having a healthy pregnancy, more than likely not. That is when I decided to make a change to my lifestyle. So that I could have the family I wished and hoped for for so long. Last week, I got to compare my current lifestyle to my previous and the results are AMAZING! Keep reading to see how I reduced my cholesterol by 53 points!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional, these are the things that I did that positively affected my cholesterol levels. Be sure to speak with your medical professional about what you can do if you have any questions.

Eat more veggies-
#1 thing. FILL your plate with veggies. Americans don't eat enough vegetables in general. Because they are bland, gross, too healthy, or remind us too much of missing out on something. I will be the first to admit that I really don't like salads. Why, because it reminds me of dieting. If I can sneak my veggies in another way, I will do it. Like I add a huge handful of spinach to my daily shake, even though the shake is equivalent to eating about 6 servings of salad. But I do it so that it is one less salad that I "have" to eat. But even then, I still try to add a salad, or veggies to my plate for lunch and dinner and making sure that it is at least 2 cups worth every time.

Eat less processed foods-
I don't buy microwave meals anymore. I rarely buy frozen meals, entrees, or even pasta for that matter. I go as far as making cakes from scratch to avoid eating processed or over processed foods.  Shop the perimeter of the store. Avoid the inner isles as much as you can. I buy sugar that hasn't been processed as much so it is courser in texture and also not stark white. I buy bleach free flour that sometimes I have to sift to lighten it up a little. hasn't been processed too much and that is what I care about.

Eat whole fruits, foods and veggies-
I eat whole eggs, I try to limit to 2 at a time, max of 3 if I am increasing my protein. But I eat the whole damn egg. We eat full fat butter, and drink whole milk in the house too. No fat free, 0 fat or reduced fat foods. It goes back to over processed foods. Healthy fat is good for you, not bad. And as long as you are eating in the right portions, that is what matters and how this all works. I'm not saying go eat 2 dozen scrambled eggs, bacon and a stack of 10 pancakes in one sitting. Know your portions and you can still enjoy your eggs, turkey bacon and a pancake or 2 without feeling guilty or over stuffed later.

Read the ingredients-
Read the ingredients in the foods you are buying to know exactly what you are putting into your body. Only buy the foods that you know how to pronounce or actually know what it is on the ingredients list. Next time you are at the store, go look at the Breyer's ice cream. Compare natural vanilla flavor to the snickers flavor and let me know what you find. Which one do you really think you should get???

Exercise often-
At least 3-4 days a week. Exercise not only helps the way we look and strength in our body, but it helps your heart pump more efficiently. It helps loosen up your joints. It helps with your mental clarity and stamina. (dealing with the stressors of 3 kids!) Exercise helps you age better. Helps you have less aches and pains as you age. Helps your body react faster. Move better. Exercise is not a punishment. It is a way to help you be better. I wish I knew this when I was younger. Stop thinking of exercise as the enemy, it's not. It is your ally. Sweets, treats, junk food, candy, over buttered popcorn, those are your enemies and they are trying to tear you down. Change how you think, make the change and your body will change.

Remember slow and steady wins the race. Small changes over time lead to huge results. You might not think that cutting out pop daily would help, but for me, that was just the starting point!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free daily advice, support, motivand encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Are you following my INSTAGRAM yet? Check out my stories and feed to see how I fit a healthy lifestyle into my busy mom life! 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Weight Loss Help: When The Scale Doesn't Go Down

Have you been working out super hard, eating rabbit food, cutting out all sugars, exercising daily and still the scale doesn't go down, or maybe it went up? clothes are fitting so much better. I have more energy. I feel smaller. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I just finished phase 1 of my Learn To Be Obsessed Challenge and I didn't lose a single pound. I actually gained 2 pounds. BUT! (and that's a big but!) I don't use the scale as the only way to track my progress. I go off of how I feel both inside and out. Strength and energy wise. I track my measurements. I take pictures. I use a fat loss monitor. In 21 days I gained 2 pounds. but I lost .8% body fat. So, I gained muscle and loss fat. YEAH BABY! And most women, will lose inches before they will lose actual poundage.
There could also be another reason why the scale hasn't gone down. You could be coming up on your cycle. You might have had a heavy meal. Haven't had a bowel movement in a couple days. Dehydrated. Your goal should be to exercise daily (at least 3-4 times a week but try for as many days as you can with healthy activities) And eating more of the right kinds of foods and less of the ones we know we shouldn't be eating. Start with eating more veggies. Swap out bread and pasta for oatmeal, lentils and quinoa. Or zoodles if you have to have pasta! You body wants you to be healthy. It just takes time for it to realize, "oh, hey, you are trying to help me!"

Don't give up. Don't get frustrated with what the scale is telling you. Because that just measures your mass and the effect gravity has on it. It doesn't define your worth or show you the whole picture. Remember...small changes lead to huge results. Hang in there.

Not sure where to start in your weight loss journey? Join me in my current challenge to help you start with the right program that will fit your busy lifestyle, get great nutrition every day and learn the right amount of food you should be eating daily. Plus 1:1 support from ME! It all start with you getting your year membership to unlimited streaming access over 600 workouts for variety to keep you motivated and your first month supply of my favorite, cravings crushing drink! CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO ORDER and I will reach out to you within 24 hours!

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, October 20, 2017

Getting Your Healthy Checked Out

Since June, I have felt "off". I knew something was up with me. Not only did I stop losing weight, but I started to gain. I started going through more bouts of depression. I lost my sex drive. I lost my excitement to exercise and started making excuses. And after I had my appendicitis Matt and I decided it was time to get a primary care physician (for the first time in 8 years) and get our health checked out.

After talking to my new doctor, I told her that I wanted to have a hormone test done because I didn't feel right and just wanted to confirm that my PCOS had come back. I know my body pretty well you guys. I can tell when things are up. But when my cycle starts going super long, which this is the first time in 8 years that it did that, with the fatigue, depression, weight gain (even though I was exercising regularly) and huge carb cravings come back.

So...i just got my blood work results back (6 vials of blood and 3 days later I still have a bruise!)...I'm healthy as a horse and vitamin level is great (thank you Shakeology), thyroid is great, blood count is great, glucose level is great! I even have good cholesterol. And by the way...8 years ago, I was tested and my cholesterol was 53 points higher. I have actually lowered my cholesterol because of my healthier lifestyle.
I do have a hormone imbalance though, which is what we expected since I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 20 years old. And to help with the symptoms of PCOS is to lose weight...But my hormone imbalance makes it difficult to lose weight. So I'll be talking to my doc on what she suggests to help me lose weight without having to take medications and such.

1 other Area to actually work on, my triglycerides level was high. Since I am not pre-diabetic (they were actually really good levels!) And I'm not taking meds it is an indicator of obesity, too much fat around midsection and/or too high of a carb diet. So...just proof that I need to continue on my health journey and stay laser focused on my nutrition. I have made huge improvements to my overall health but there are still areas of improvement.

If you feel like you are off, or not sure. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR! Get your blood work done to see what is going on inside of you. You might be surprised by the results or you might find something that you have to work on. You never know until you get the results! 

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, October 18, 2017

Weight Loss Help: Tips To Stay Motivated

It's easier said than done...Ever heard that one before? It is so easier to say, "I'm going to lose weight." than for it to actually happen right. But...2 things to put into practice is to believe that you can lose weight because belief in something is empowering and realizing that it will not happen over night. It can be so frustrating to go try and lose weight and not lose weight, or lose weight then stall. But...keep on trying. Look at the whole picture.
  • Take monthly pictures to track your progress.
  • Don't weigh yourself daily.
  • Take your measurements once a month.
  • Track your fat % and aim to lower that monthly.
  • Journal your feelings. What you are going through.
  • Don't get discouraged if you gain weight in the beginning especially if you are weight training.
  • Eat healthy and clean most of the time 
  • Have a burger, or chocolate or ice cream or whatever you need to stay sane though... (notice that it isn't and, it's an or you have to decide what you are going to indulge in.) 
  • Enjoy the process. And remember how strong you are mentally and physically. Losing weight is not for the weak. It takes a strong, determined and focused mind set.

So...what can you do today to help you realize how amazing you are doing at your journey?

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free daily advice, support, motivand encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Are you following my INSTAGRAM yet? Check out my stories and feed to see how I fit a healthy lifestyle into my busy mom life! 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fido Fitness: Pets Need Exercise Too!

Sometimes while we are in our own health and fitness journey we forget about a very near and dear part of our family. I'm not talking about the kids but our 4 legged kids too! Our pets! This post is inspired by Fido Fitness campaign to help you get fit with your four legged friends!
I grew up with yellow labs, and when Matt and I were first married we added Archer to the family. Fun facts: Archer was half pug half beagle. Making him a Puggle. We got him prior to his breed becoming a popular "designer breed". He was born on our wedding day was named after Jonathan Archer in Enterprise (our favorite show that we watched together). Sadly, beloved 4 legged kid, Archer passed away a year and a half ago at 13 and a half years old. After his exciting puppy days most of the time we found him just chillin' on our couch passed out, or trying to hide from the kids. We did our best to exercise with him because he became overweight around 8 years old as his metabolism started to slow down and he didn't want to go on walks as much. Plus, if you dog was anything like Archer, they LOVE human food! Archer always found ways to get extra food, from the kids throwing it on the ground to getting extra treats. But we had to do some serious exercise with him to help him maintain his weight as he got older.
Of course walks were recommended as the "exercise of choice" by our vet, but there are so many other exercises that dogs can do and that are fun, not just for them but for the whole family! Most dogs need between 30 minutes and 2 hours of active exercise a day depending on the size, breed and overall health. Like a Chihuahua will not need as much active exercise as labrador retrievers, which is a hunting breed. They want to run! If you are unsure how much exercise your dog needs, contact your vet just to be on the safe side, but start with a walk and see how your dog does. Remember, tongue out, ears back and wagging tail are all good signs that your dog is enjoying their walk. If they start to drag behind you panting excessively or are stopping frequently (besides peeing on every mailbox!) you might want to start with less time on the walk and then build up the more you go. Just like with your own journey. You can't expect your dog to go from 0 activity to walking 2+ miles right away. They need to adapt to it too!
Exercise Activities for the whole family! 

Active Fetch
Throw the ball for your pet and have your kids chase your dog! It helps the dog go faster and your kids will enjoy the running too. And don't just stand there waiting for the ball to come back, do some pushups, squats or lunges. You can have your kids join you and see how many squats or lunges it takes for your dog to bring it back to you guys!

There is actually some yoga classes with and for dogs. You can just do a search for Doga Classes Near Me to look into any local classes. Or, just let your dog chill with you while you do some yoga!

Interval Running: 
One thing we did with Archer was have him do some running with his walking. You can do interval training with them. Run from one mail box to the next, then walk for 2, then run for one and so forth. Not only is it good training for your dog, but you too, and it could help to discourage them from marking their territory on EVERY SINGLE MAIL BOX! It gets them active and engaged in the walk! Again, if you are doing interval training, you will not need to go on as long of a walk as they will tire out more quickly from the increased activity. But the more they do it the more used to it they will get. Start small, and work your way up.

Have your dog take a dip in the pool too. It's best to visit a lake or find a puppy friendly pool, unless you have one yourself. Not only does it take pressure off of their joints but it is a great cardio workout for them too.

Too hot or cold outside for your pet to walk safely?

The pads on dogs feet are pretty hardy, but...Black asphalt in the summer can burn their feed, and they can get cold paws too. Make sure to always have your pets safety in mind while helping them be healthy. Either invest in booties, or shoes for them to help them or find other ways to exercise them indoors.

Indoor Walking:
Have a treadmill? You can encourage them to take a walk on the treadmill. They might just like it. What we did in our house is play hide and seek. I would hide and Archer would seek me, and sometimes it would time him some time, and he would be running all over the house trying to find me. Just whistle to let them know you are still in an area where they can find you.

Also you can play chase in the house. Chase your dog, or have them chase you. Gets you running and them too.

Have a dog that likes to follow you? Walk or run up and down the stairs multiple times in a row. Archer would follow me everywhere I would go, especially when I was pregnant. I would walk up and down the stairs and he would do it right along with me, huffing and puffing the whole way.

In the end, make exercise fun for not only you but your dogs too. Be excited about walks and they will be. Plus they love having that bonding time with their human friends. I would give anything to be able to have Archer sitting at my feet and giving him big hugs right now, but he is watching over us now. Love those dogs for as long as you can, and help them feel and look their best too by living a healthy and active life with them!
Oh...and want to check out some cute Pet Inspired workout clothing? Check out Barks & Burpees for some of the cutest mom dog apparel ever!

Check out some of the awesome info you can get over at Be sure to check them out for more info on your dogs breed to help you better understand what they need to be their best!

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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