Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My 21 Day Fix


Back in April, after traveling for a few weeks and being out of my workout routine I needed to whip myself back into shape for the upcoming summer months. A couple of my colleagues had success with the 21 Day Fix so I decided to give it a try. I really liked it and am on my second round again. My friends and family have asked me about it so I thought I would share my experience here.



The program is a series of daily 30 minute DVD workouts and a meal plan with containers to measure out daily proportions of food groups (ex.  red container = protein, green = veggies, purple = fruit, etc.). I lost about 7 pounds and several inches after 3 weeks. Overall my clothes fit better and I saw a significant difference in my skin from ditching all the processed foods and upping my water intake.

Initially I was really confused with the meal planning and containers. While I was waiting for my package to arrive in the mail I did some research on Pinterest and downloaded an Excel template to start planning. After my research and reading the manual it all made sense. I ditched my spreadsheet in a few days and just needed to make sure I had a thorough grocery list. It's all about planning in advance!


Rather than ordering Shakeology, which is highly encouraged by the program and in the DVDs as a meal replacement, I bought Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake. You can find the single serve portions to give it a try before buying a tub and the cost per serving is less. This page compares the products. I'm not an expert, but I would say they are very comparable. I  have this for breakfast or post workout.... even when I'm not on the Fix.

Here are some of my typical meals and how they are color coded.
Breakfast
2 eggs and whole grain toast (1 red, 1 yellow)
Vega All-In-One Nutritional Shake with almond milk, 1/2 banana (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 purple)
Greek yogurt with fruit (1 red, 1 purple)
Lunch
Cottage cheese with fruit, whole grain crackers (1 red, 1 purple, 1 yellow)
Cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, whole grain crackers (1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow)
Grilled chicken or sliced turkey, baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, balsamic vinegar (1 red, 2 green)
Grilled chicken, baby spinach, strawberries, crumbled goat cheese, balsamic vinegar (1 red, 1 green, 1 purple)
Snacks
Raw mixed nuts and Craisins (1 blue, 1 orange)
Small apple (1 purple)
Dinner
Sauteed chicken, peppers, onions w/ Mrs. Dash Fiesta seasoning, topped with a little Greek yogurt (2 red, 1 or 2 greens)
Grilled chicken, roasted veggies w/ Mrs. Dash Chicken seasoning (2 red, 1 or 2 greens)
Salmon, roasted veggies with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herbs seasoning (2 red, 1 or 2 greens)
2 eggs, turkey bacon, mixed greens, asparagus (2 red, 2 greens)

...LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER!



Mrs. Dash is my salt-free saving grace.


This dish was adapted from this Self recipe to be 21 Day Fix approved.

So, what's hard about this program?

Alcohol: The 21 Day Fix allows for you to substitute a carb for a glass of wine but I cut out alcohol completely. This is the hardest part of the fix given my weekends generally revolve around food and booze.
Traveling: I traveled for 2/3 weekends the first time I did the fix and didn't have the chance to do the workouts at some points. I planned in advance and doubled up on workouts earlier in the week or supplemented with a class at my gym.
Restaurants: I am able to tweak meals to fit into the plan. I primarily order salads with a protein, no cheese and balsamic vinegar. (I need to go back to Ward 8 in Boston - everyone else's meals looked so darn good compared to my stripped down salad!)
Avocado, Nuts, Cheese: These are all grouped in the same category so you are limited.
Chips: I LOVE chips and Chex Mix. Ditching these snacks was hard at first since there is an endless supply in my office.
Temptation: You will be tempted to cheat "just one time" multiple times. By everyone. Good luck!
DVDs: They do get monotonous.

This time around, I've been doing more research on Fix-approved meals to add some variety. I'm all about switching up my workout routine... if you are too then I would give this a try.

Anyone else out there try the 21 Day Fix?

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6 comments

  1. 7 pounds in 21 days is really good and you did it the healthy way!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been going back and forth about trying this but wanted to know how realistic it is and how much I would be sacrificing or things I wouldn't be allowed. Congrats on your weight loss- that is amazing! Have a great weekend!

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  3. Weird question but what type of crackers did you get/find out what ones are fix approved?

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  4. The guide says "Crackers, whole grain, 8 small crackers" - I bought the Whole Foods 365 and Back to Nature brand whole grain crackers. I would just check the label and have no more of 1 serving size. Hope that helps and good luck with the Fix! :)

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  5. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was confused by the meal plan at first. (Well I still am). My challenge group coach keeps saying "read the manual, it'll make sense." I did, and it didn't. Is the vega subbing for shakeo the same count? (i.e.: 1 for 1?) Shakeo doesn't sit well on my stomach and I've used vega for years.

    Health and fitness have been at the forefront of my life for many years but "life" fell apart a bit last year, and some health problems have caused me to gain a bit of weight. Since I am youngish with heart disease, dropping body fat is a NEED for me!

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    Replies
    1. I'm not an expert.. but here is some info from my experience and research. 1 serving of Shakeology equals 1 protein (red) serving..similarly any protein powder serving (such as Vega) would count the same per their guide. Shakeology and Vega All in One have other nutritional components in addition to the protein that separate them from straight protein powder.
      One of the things I like about this eating plan is you don't need to be exact. The important part is that you are getting enough protein so whatever way works best for you. The plan will help you control portions. For me, it's cheese!
      I found it really helpful to write all my meals down in advance for the first week to make sure I was on track each day with all the container portions. Good luck!

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