Photo credit: Taraleigh Davis https://taraleighdavis.wordpress.com/
When I started looking into the 21 Day Fix, I was hesitant to spend the money on the program. I had bought several others and even purchased a ridiculously expensive treadmill trying to do things that had worked for others because I was desperate to make a change and honestly I had just lost faith that anything was going to work for me. From that state of mind, I found the 21 Day Fix used and started using it without the containers, doing the best I could to follow the nutrition plan. I know I wasn't doing it perfectly but it was enough that I DID have results at the end of the first round!
Knowing I could to do better, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the program with the containers and the Shakeology. With the containers, I was much better about sticking to my plan and tracking as well and it showed!
What I learned over the next few weeks of really studying the nutrition plan and my results was life changing for me! My overall take away was that, though I was eating healthy carbs for the most part, I was eating entirely too many. I had some sort of carb with every meal and often more as snacks. Whole wheat toast at breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, potatoes with dinner, tortilla chips and salsa as a snack ect. On top of that, I'm not a big protein fan so I was barely eating any and the ones I was eating, like beans, count as carbs on the 21 Day Fix plan! I had this layer of flesh around my midsection that I couldn't get rid of no matter what I did but when I made the slight alterations, trimming down on the carbs and seriously upping my protein intake to my diet, the fat melted away and for the first time EVER I started seeing real muscle tone!!
Therefore, the first important lesson I learned from the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan was that it is important to have the correct balance of each food category. Eating healthy food in and of itself will not give you the results you are seeking unless you eat the proper amounts!
The second thing I learned was that in using the container system to measure and then plate my food, I was being taught what a portion of each container looks like on a plate and over time its gotten to the point that even eating a restaurant, I am able to visualize how much of what I have been served should be eaten and how much should be left on the plate or taken home for later.
In the beginning, I was concerned because I couldn't imagine a world in which I didn't have toast with my eggs. And I took one look at that yellow container and I knew I would never be able to stick to that small portion of pasta. It became clear that I was going to have to be very strategic about my food intake and so I started making lists.
The first list I recommend making is a list of your minimum requirements in relation to food. I would spend some time thinking about what's nonnegotiable to you. Personally, I need hot meals, as few salads as possible, minimize the amount of meat I have to eat, variety of fruits, and so on. I have friend who is doing the program with me right now who laughed at my list because she prefers cold meals and wants to avoid cooking at all costs. I can eat the same foods day in and day out but my husband needs a serious variety to stay on this plan. The nutrition plan still works for all of us, but we had to figure out how to make it sustainable for us as individuals within the boundaries of the plan.
I realized that there are certain foods that I just cant eat without craving other foods. For instance, I had to switch from fried eggs over easy to scrambled ( my second favorite) because I can't eat over easy eggs without toast, but I found it very easy to eat scrambled eggs without toast and I also found it very easy to mix yummy veggies in with scrambled eggs! Win-Win!
I also found that I need a carb for lunch. I do not feel content at lunch without something substantial and so I learned to plan that into my lunches so I don't get tempted to eat sugar and snacky food in the afternoon. I also strategically put my Shakeology between the hours of 2-4 pm because that is when I crave sweets. Anyway, you get the idea! Study yourself, your patterns, and your cravings and make adjustments accordingly!
Next I made individual lists for each container of foods that I thought my family could live with long term. This doesn't mean I don't mix it up ever but it does mean filling my weekly grocery cart with things that aren't going to go straight into the trash because my husband and kids won't eat it. Mine look like this:
Green Veggie container:
Bell Peppers ( occasionally)
These are the veggies that my family will eat without objection and that I can depend on to plan meals around. We add new ones in from time to time to test and try but this is our standard veggie menu.
Purple Fruit container:
Apples all varieties
Canteloupe ( occasionally)
Watermelon ( occasionally)
Red Protein Container:
Deli Lunch Meat ( Boars head)
Fish ( Mahi Mahi, Grouper, Salmon)
Since I am not a big meat eater, I have upped my protein every day by eating eggs every morning, canned tuna and veggie burgers help break up my lunches, one of my proteins is Shakeology everyday which is very helpful, and then I can have fish several times a week as well so I have really managed to cut down on eating meat while still staying in the boundaries of the nutrition plan.
The Magic Golden Carb Container:
Whole wheat bun/bread
Quinoa ( occasionally)
Couscous ( occasionally)
Pancakes, whole grain, (occasionally)
Tortilla, whole wheat
Tortilla, corn 2 small
I'll explain why it's magical in a minute! I was most surprised by my container choices here. Since I am on the lowest calorie bracket of the 21 Day Fix plan, I only get two servings of carbs a day. It was like looking at a budget for the first time! I was forced to make decisions that would help me stay on this plan long term and I was surprised at what I chose. My usual suspects for carbs were English muffins, toast, bagels, Tortilla chips, potatoes, but on this plan, you get half an English muffin, half a bagel, one slice of toast, just a few chips, or half a potato. I found that I was more satisfied by a pita than half an English muffin, and I was able to enjoy one serving of wild rice more than I was half a potato. I enjoyed a wheat wrap with my lunch more than half a wheat bagel at breakfast. So as you are making your lists, really think about what will be more enjoyable to you rather than drifting to healthier versions of what you have always eaten. You may find it stretches your calorie budget further to choose some other options!
And now for the magical part! You can trade in one of your yellow containers 3 times a week for treats! Chocolate, wine, fruit juice, and a variety of other assorted treats listed in the plan! This is real life training! You want to learn to enjoy things in moderation. You can't live in a bubble where you never eat a slice of pizza or have a cupcake at a birthday party. If you try to live off a super strict diet long term, most people will crash and burn and it will look something like this!
The 21 Day Fix nutrition plan gives you enough leeway to enjoy your life and learn restraint. As simple as it all is, I am still blown away by the effectiveness! It's a game changer, people!
Blue Healthy Fats Container:
Cheeses ( Parmesan,Feta,Cheddar)
I know a lot of people adore this container but I find it's the one I most often have left over if I am not careful. I adore avocados but I have a hard time eating only a quarter of one! The cheese does absolutely make some of my favorite meals though and so I am deeply grateful for the blue container!
21 Day Fix approved dressings
I am not a big fan of seeds so we mostly use this one for olives or salad dressing
As you sit down to evaluate what is important to you and what will work for your family also keep in mind that you can alter dishes that you have always served to make them 21 Day Fix approved. I make a modified version of my Mama's jambalaya that keeps me on the straight and narrow! Don't toss everything out the window, see what you can do to create healthier versions of your favorite meals! Here are some of mine! It's been so encouraging to learn that you can stick to a nutrition plan and still LOVE the food you're eating!
The 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack is on sale at it's lowest price this month and I am offering a $15 target gift card to the first 5 people to sign up by July 13th for my next challenge group! If you are ready to take control of your weight, nutrition, and over all health, join us this month! If you'd like more info you can email me at AubreyK916@gmail.com or comment below!
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.