21 Day Fix: Half Way

I am halfway there and feeling fairly accomplished!   Here’s the deal though accomplishment is definitely in the eye of the beholder.  I can’t won’t reveal specifics like inches or weight loss here.  It’s just not what I’m about. And to be honest most might measure my progress in that arena as minimal. But what I can tell you is that I am accomplishing my goals.

I’m working out daily. Taking care of myself.

I’m trying new things with food.  Trying new recipes and adjusting to new flavors.

My kids are interested in what I’m doing.  They are my little workout buddies (“helpers”) and trying new foods alongside me.

I have grossly reduced my refined sugar, salt, caffeine, carbohydrates, and overall junk food intake. Yahoooo!!!

I’m drinking more water. Meaning I’m drinking only water.

The caffeine headaches have gone away.

I would say I’m sleeping better, and definitely feeling better all around.

Here are some images from my journey…  you will  find my halfway point “tips” at the end of this post.

Thankfully since the first couple workouts they have gotten a little bit easier and I find myself doing fewer and fewer modifications.  Reminding myself that I have to continue to take on new challenges. WIN!

This became a go to breakfast fairly quickly. Fruit, eggs, toast and a glass of water. I often try to get some tea in as well.   ( One day I had to quit my work out because of an overwhelming caffeine headache – those are nearly gone now and I would dub that day as the lowest point so far… )

What I like about this breakfast is that it hits the protein (red) , fruit (purple),   nut butter (tsp),  and carbohydrate (yellow)  containers. Meaning I see a lot of variety here.

This nice weather has been super inspiring and made it easy to keep up the work outs-although they are hot.  I personally like to sweat because I know I am making progress.

I have also found a way to make this work in situations where my husband makes dinner… I’m at his friend’s house… Or I’m away from home. (Stay tuned for a separate post about the 21 day fix while camping.)  Pictured above was a delicious meal that my husband made for all of us. It was a day I was totally wiped out and he made just a few alterations for my portion of the dinner. I’m grateful for a partner who’s been sensitive to this little adventure I’m on.

Plus while I want my children to be healthy and make healthy choices I also don’t really want my kiddos to have  skewed view of what our bodies look like and should be like. I am realistic and I’m a real woman and I want my kids to know that. Therefore I don’t want them to see me doing major binge diets or all consuming programs. I want them to see this as a lifestyle and therefore I try not to make too big of a deal out of it if my dinner is slightly different. Overall I want our dinners and meals to look the same.

Leaving out bread or at least the top of the bread in a sandwich has reduced my carbohydrate intake a lot.   You see here a cabbage salad with  tomatoes and a slight drizzle of balsamic accompanied with some ham and mustard.   The other an open face turkey bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.

Smoothies have become a wonderful go to for me. Not only do they hit a bunch of different categories, but I can easily hide spinach or other veggies in them and they taste yummy too.

This has quickly become a favorite. One green (1cup) of spinach, one red (2/3cup) of Greek yogurt, one purple (1cup) of blueberries/strawberries/frozen banana. I have sometimes added some cinnamon and or nutmeg. And if really necessary I have added a slight bit of raw honey if I’ve had a serious sweet craving –  but an even better choice I have found is to sub out the Greek yogurt for my shakeology chocolate powder and add a bit of water.   It fulfills the craving for sweets and is packed full of all kinds of vitamins and proteins from the shakeology.  I think I’d like to try the café latte, vanilla, or strawberry shakeology powder for some variety. I’m on the hunt now for a way to sample them without committing to a full bag.

I will note additionally that I am usually not into protein powders and rarely find something that is “healthy” as an additive to my diet or smoothies that I felt like actually tastes good. But, I found several ways that I like the chocolate shakeology. WIN!

Several mornings I changed up the hard-boiled eggs for fried eggs and found it felt a little bit more like breakfast. The hard-boiled are great for me when I’m on the go and super busy with the boys, but it felt like more of a treat to have a cooked egg. Eating breakfast might be the biggest change for me yet, along with eating more frequently so that I don’t get as hungry.

One of my favorite go to snacks has been low-fat cottage cheese with grape tomatoes. And I will admit that these green beans look better than they taste. I am still missing some of that salty factor in my cooking and haven’t quite found a way to get the same flavors without it. But I’m learning to like more natural flavors and definitely will not need to go back to using so much salt.

On this day we were headed out on our camping trip, read more about that here, and the boys were going to grab some kind of to-go dinner. I needed something that would fill me up and so I turned to shakeology in a very hearty smoothie. It did just the trick and I was able to drink the whole thing, which for me is a big deal.   This smoothie was half an apple, one cup of spinach, some berries for added sweetness, a bit of water, and half a scoop of chocolate shakeology. (Green, purple, and 2 reds!)

We got home from camping and the boys were going to have tacos. I just asked Ben to use some of the southwestern seasoning I mixed up from the 21 day fix seasoning recipe – instead of regular taco seasoning- he put it on just my portion. And instead of wrapping it in a tortilla I made it as a taco salad. So much food on this plate I truly thought I would not finish but I devoured it. It was one carbohydrate, two vegetables, one protein  and if I had had cottage cheese on hand it probably would’ve been an additional half protein because I would’ve use that to sort of “dress it.” It was delicious!

This was my cheeseburger at a family barbecue. We picked up some vegetable skewers on the way there just to make sure I would have some extra veggies to eat if I needed them and sure enough they came in handy. The kebabs were a great side to this elk and beef patty. I chose lettuce instead of a bun and dressed it with tomatoes and fresh onions. Turned out to be two proteins (red), one healthy fat (blue), and two vegetables (green).  Plus a slice of watermelon that was probably half a fruit serving (purple).

After the first two days of total soreness it’s become more manageable to do the workouts every day. And I am feeling proud and motivated to do them daily. Again it’s totally helping to have some friends who are on a similar program as we swap photos back-and-forth when we complete our workouts.  It has served as great accountability.

This was some chicken breast I had cooked with the 21 day fix southwestern seasoning – on a bed of lettuce with some beans and corn, tomatoes and fresh onions. It’s satisfied two veggies (green), one carbohydrate (yellow), and one protein (red). I topped with a little bit of Greek yogurt that I seasoned with the Greek yogurt ranch seasoning from the packet. This might be a little bit of a cheat, but I found that in order to get a higher number of veggies in  I have to have some sort of compromise. I have had such luck with the seasoning I need to try the suggested “dressing” recipes too – maybe I could get in more veggies in salad form that way.

This one might be a favorite yet. I am a big fan of chicken salad so I use some leftover Southwestern chicken that I already had diced and cooked with the approved 21 day fix seasoning recipe. I used cottage cheese where I would’ve typically put in mayonnaise and included celery, apples, onions, and grapes and threw in a bit of white pepper. It turned out to be one and a half protein (red), half a fruit (purple) and half a veggies (green) but then with the additional lettuce for wraps it became one and a half veggies (green).  Flavorful and filling.

As a halfway point reward I picked up some workout clothes on clearance and I’m very pleased because I’m feeling more equipped to work out. With those purchases I also ended up getting some small and large hand weights as the workout routine calls for them and I was literally using cans of beans. 🙂 Pleased that I’ve had a need for them and have found myself often choosing the larger of the two hand weights. Plus I feel like equipping myself in the workout clothing department encourages me to keep the working out going.

These last two exercise photos were from yesterday. And I chose to do two 1/2 hour workouts instead of the typical one because they were focused on just upper and just lower bodies. Normally with the 21 day fix they only ask for one work out a day but I’ve been one video behind since the full day of camping where I missed a work out. The nice thing was the upper body (above) really worked my muscles, but did not get me sweating. I was  glad when I was done with the lower body (below) workout that I had really broken a sweat. I felt accomplished and now I’m officially caught up.

This might be my new favorite way to drink my chocolate shakeology –  but it definitely is more of a “treat.”  I thought it caused me to go over in the healthy fats department because I chose to use unsweetened chocolate almond milk, but just found out that if unsweetened  almond milk really is more of a freebie. I’m super excited about that as it really helps make a tasty (superfood packed) treat when combined with about 1 cup of ice, and half a scoop of chocolate shakeology and a teaspoon of peanut butter.  It was super tasty especially as it started to melt and was almost reminiscent of a malt or shake. ( notice I did say almost.)

Last night’s dinner lead to one of my tips for this post which is to cook your veggies alongside your protein/meat because it cuts down on your need to use oils and adds flavor.   Here I cooked my sliced onions and asparagus alongside two nitrate free chicken/Apple/artichoke sausages  and it really added some flavor.

I have really taken a liking to sparkling water with lemon or lime juice and found that it feels like a real treat. It has often accompanied my lunch and dinner.  And certainly is helping me get in more ounces of water every day. WIN!

Another place that I’m totally enjoying lime juice is on diced fruit. I found that it makes the fruit sweeter and feels more like a treat. This was a late night snack while my husband was out of town. 🙂 I needed a little pick me up treat.

But it was so yummy I decided to have it for breakfast too. Some mornings I have had a smoothie with a red (2/3 cup) of Greek yogurt (protein) as part of my breakfast, but I actually prefer the egg route for breakfast because you can easily have a smoothie as a snack later in the day, but the eggs just make breakfast feel more delicious.

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So here’s the lowdown – the 21 day fix is a lot about food. But also about the working out.

This pairing of the two components is exactly why I chose it for my first experimentation with this type of program.

The food takes some forethought and I do find myself thinking a lot about it. But… Since I have found some things that I like it makes it easier.

Plus experimenting is fun. There are lots of ways to look up recipes through Instagram and Pinterest these days and I’m excited to try a few I have found. There is one for a dessert that I’m going to try today, also I have Ramen recipe that I’m dying to try. Pho Vietnamese noodle soup will be my first meal after the 21 day fix. I think technically I could make it fit within the confines of my a lot allotted carbohydrates, but I think it’s better as a sort of “prize” at the end of this.  (Although at this point I don’t think the “end” will be the actual end. I’m considering doing a second round before the start of fall.)

With this particular program I like that when my friends served us a special Indonesian dinner because he just got back from traveling there, or my parents decided they wanted to go out together to eat at a Mexican place, or even that while we were camping I was able to make this meal plan work. To me that’s a sign of a good program. WIN!

tips

  1.  Cook veggies alongside your protein so they have more flavor.
  2.  After using the portion cups provided put the food on your plate so you get used to seeing the quantity you are eating.
  3.  Use lemon and lime in your water, on fruit, or really just about anywhere to make food more flavorful.
  4.  The 21 day fix application for my phone has been a huge help. It’s free and really easy to use. Not to mention motivating.
  5.   When you own the program yourself it comes with a booklet that includes everything you need to know including how many calories/helpings you should consume in a day. But here are the  portion sizes I have been referring to.  Portion sizes are as follows:
    21 Day Fix Container Sizes (approx.)
    Green – 1 C. (8 oz.)
    Purple – 1 C. (8 oz.)
    Red – 2/3 C. (5 oz.)
    Yellow – 1/2 C. (4 oz.)
    Blue – 1/4 C. (2 oz.)
    Orange – 2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) 
    image
  6. Use the 21 day fix seasoning recipes – I speak from experience they’re great. A tip for myself – make some of their approved dressings as well. I think it might make eating veggies/salad easier.
  7.  Use an accountability partner for working out.   It’s OK to get yourself some weights or workout clothes if you don’t have them. It honestly has helped me be more motivated.
  8.  Plan ahead whenever possible. And use leftovers.   This helps you stay on track and in budget.

 

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