Day 11 of 21

017c64048d7f774ddb1350726ff4b011946f157de7Today was super exciting for two reasons: my hot pink bathing suit from J Crew arrived three days early, and it was Lower Fix Extreme (I LOVE leg day)! As you can see from my photo above i woke up pretty hungry, in fact I dove into my toast before I remembered to take a photo! I swapped my planned morning and afternoon snack so that my Shakeology would keep my cravings and hunger levels low. Lower Fix Extreme was the workout of the day, and it felt amazing to be back to working out with my husband.

0162c99a5763abf76c50b7e8eaa353417ce1137c72Breakfast:

  • Whole Grain Sprouted Toast
  • Two Scrambled Eggs
  • Strawberries

Snack 1:

  • Strawberry Shakeology and Frozen Mixed Berries

Lunch:

  • Chicken Balsamic Salad

Snack 2:

  • Pear
  • Shakeology Bar

011f3188e36b086e4859fd6886006fc6868e14eb83Dinner: David cooked dinner tonight; my legs were so shot after the workout that I didn’t think I could stand to make dinner! Thank goodness David’s leg were in good enough shape that he could stand to make dinner while I took a recovery bubble bath. We added extra black beans to the recipe to make it a full yellow container per serving. This is one of the best turkey chili recipes we have made on the fix!

  • Chili (Recipe from the 21 Day Fix Extreme Book)

Workout: If you haven’t figured it out yet, today was Lower Fix Extreme!!!! I think this stems from my years as a softball player and track and field thrower (javelin, shot put and discus), but leg workouts have always been my strength. I always had chunky thighs growing up, but the best part about the Beachbody workouts is I finally have the toned legs I have always desired. To be honest they may not look slim to you, but to me they are strong and perfect! I have lost a total of 4 1/2 inches from each of my thighs, since starting my weight01ed12fa43b3dcffde7e602f25c8d9c9b45cea7d3b loss journey. I can wear skinny jeans and shorts and my thighs don’t get that nasty rash from rubbing anymore. To me that makes the 30 minutes of pain on leg day worth every rep! If you read my last review of lower fix, the exercises are a minute long with 30 seconds of a slow weighted rep followed by jumping from the same position without the weights. Several times I had to shake my legs out during the jumps, but then I was able to finish the 30 seconds of jumping. I was able to make it through the entire workout without pausing or skipping any reps. Our golden loves it when we are jumping during our workouts, she likes to stand up on her hind legs and participate! I tried to put her in a down stay, but she was amped up and wanted to play. By my fitbit HR calculation, we burned 280 calories in 30 minutes, and our turkey chili was well earned.

Chocolate Pudding (21 Day Fix Approved)

01b944b2064eae6da1fec154b9b2ee4edecb883b30 So anyone that knows me, knows I have a major major sweet tooth! Chocolate may be my biggest downfall while eating healthy, so Chocolate Shakeology was a huge breakthrough for me when I started BeachBody workouts. I bought a bag on a whim with my PiYo and decided hey why not, it’s only a couple of bucks more than the program by itself, and if I hate it I can return it and get my money back! I owe my ability to stick to my eating plan to that chocolate shake every afternoon, so when I saw a recipe for Shakeology Pudding in my extreme book, I knew I had to give it a try!

(This post was Inspired by the 21 Day Fix Extreme found on page 72 in Shakeology recipes section)

Ingredients:0143ea87b38d64463d4d94ce7978ac3af166081d03

  • 1 1/2 Scoops Chocolate Shakeology (You could use another whey based protein powder, but I won’t promise it will be as tasty!!)
  • 1 Ripe Banana (cut in 1 inch chunks)
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Separate into 4 bowls and cover and refrigerate for one hour (this is the hardest part, allowing the pudding to sit without being tempted to break into the fridge and shovel it down!)
  3. Enjoy!

If you have never tried Shakeology before it is a wonderful dense and nutritious meal replacement shake. It is full of fiber and probiotics to keep you full and reduce your cravings for sweets. My favorite benefit of drinking Shakeology daily is it keeps my energy levels up and has helped me to reduce my caffeine dependency! Drinking my daily shake and using 30 minute workouts I have lost over 35 pounds and never felt deprived.

Day 5 of 21

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Day 5 was another office day. This requires me to prep all of my food the night before, due to having to leave the house by 5:20 am. Since I was attending an offsite conference, I knew I needed a shake to keep me nice and full for the four hours of data analysis lecture (I struggle with being hungry when I’m bored and let me tell you these meetings are anything but exciting….).  I was full all day but my legs were still quiet sore from Lower Fix Extreme. While I had the energy I needed for Cardio Fix Extreme, I struggled with having the power I needed from my legs for the more explosive jumps.

Breakfast: IMG_7806 Due to having to travel across the city to the location of the meeting, I knew I had to eat an early breakfast. I hate eating my breakfast right at 6am because that means I have to wait 3 hours until my shake. I decided on a piece of peanut butter toast, which tends to keep me pretty full (I needed to use up both of my teaspoons for the day, hence the large quantity of peanut butter slathered on my whole grain sprouted toast). I also had two of the mini vegetable egg cups (see Recipe section) drowned in my favorite hot sauce. It was 2 degrees when I left for the office, so I liked the idea of hot sauce to warm me back up before having to brave the cold again for my meeting.

Snack 1: Repeated from yesterday, Double Berry Shakeology and an Orange (I prepped the berries and ice the night before in a ziplock bag to IMG_7809so I could make the shake faster early in the morning.  I poured this plus the Shakeology and water into the blender and save myself several minutes of finding a purple container, measuring fruit, and fighting with our ancient ice trays). The cup in my photo is the shaker cup that comes with the plan. It is huge! I love that I can fit my larger shakes in this cup or transport a large amount of water to work with me (D.C. public water is so gross, so if you plan on visiting, bring a lot of water or you will end up paying a large amount for bottled water).

Lunch: I talked my coworkers out of lunch out after the meeting so that I could stick to the 21 Day Fix Extreme. I am not saying you can’t go out to eat on the 21 Day Fix Extreme (there are great salads, soups, or lean proteins available at a lot of restaurants today) but my coworkers wanted to eat at places that served pizza only or sushi (for some reason the sushi place they picked didn’t have sashimi, which would work quiet well on this plan). I had my quick meal of a sweet potato, baked chicken, and broccoli. I added freshly ground cinnamon to my sweet potato to jazz it up. My mom introduced me to a cinnamon mill the last time I was home and I’m in love with freshly ground cinnamon. You can find them at your local grocery store, and you use so much less cinnamon using this method.

Snack 2: Almonds and an Orange (I can’t wait to get to the grocery store tomorrow to get more fruit variety!)

Dinner: Leftover fajitas (see Day 4 for Recipe). I think the fajitas are even better day 2, it gives the spices more time to soak into the vegetables and chicken. Today I skipped the salsa and taco dip and added a little hot sauce for flavor and freshly diced tomatoes.

Workout: Cardio Fix Extreme is 4 rounds, 2 exercises each round with a 30 second cardio interval in between, as in the other workouts you repeat each round one time. The workout is 32 minutes IMG_7831long including the warm-up and cool-down. This workout does not use the resistance band, but does use both your light and heavy weights. During the warm-up I could feel all of the work from yesterday’s Lower Fix Extreme. Each round has two one minutes exercises, by about 30 seconds on the weighted leg exercises I had begun to struggle with muscle fatigue, but I was not about to give up! While the weighted exercises pushed you, the cardio intervals were quiet simple moves (run in place, basic jumping jacks, etc.), which allowed you to focus on increasing your heart rate. There were two moves in this workout that I was happy she included a modifier: Jack Press Jumps (an explosive jumping jack with a press at the top while you were in the air) and Clean Lunge Jump (from a squatted position jumping into a back lunge, while performing a clean with your light weight). My legs were so tired from the day before that I didn’t feel I could perform these exercises with correct form. I used the modifier for the full minute, but my goal is to do 30 seconds of these exercises without modifying next Friday and by the final week complete them without modifying! I have no idea why, but our golden retriever loves cardio workouts! She will bring us her toys, dance around, roll on the couch and wag her tail. By the end of the workout we were covered in sweat and had tired herself out from all of the excitement. She fell asleep upside down on the couch while I was reheating leftovers for dinner. While my legs are completely dead between Lower Fix Extreme and Cardio Fix Extreme, I am so proud of what David and I have accomplished over the past 5 days. We have stuck to the plan and we are already feeling and seeing results.

Day 4 of 21

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The ever dreaded Lower Fix Extreme Day! Today was my first day back in the office after my snow day and a day of telework. It was so sad when I went to grab my laptop and Zoey was already in the basement wagging her tail and hopping into her normal telework position. But I’m so lucky to have a job that lets me spend more time with my dogs and husband, so I can’t really complain! I’ve upped my container bracket from 21 Day Fix and didn’t realize how much my lunch box would be pushed to the limit. The seams on my lunchbox have split! If anyone has a great suggestion for a larger insulated lunchbox, I would be more than grateful if you commented below. Breakfast, lunch and my two snacks packed, I headed back to work in the office. All of the hunger and crankiness from yesterday was gone; I’m starting to think that was my bodies response to cutting out the sugar from the weekend of binging. While the workout kicked my butt, literally, I loved how strong it made my legs and butt feel, of course I struggled to get up the stairs to make dinner, but I will look forward to this workout next week.

Breakfast:IMG_7779

  • Mini Vegetable Egg Cups (see my recipe page)
  • Whole Grain Sprouted Toast
  • One Purple Container of Strawberries

I had a very busy morning back at work filled with meetings and phone conferences. This breakfast kept me full until it was time for my mid-morning snack. I ate it as three smaller meals, since I didn’t have a free time to just sit and eat. During 21 Day Fix Extreme I want to focus on mindful eating. The idea is that if you are watching TV, checking email or having a conversation and not paying attention to what you are tasting than you will feel less satisfied and ultimately less full. Have you ever grabbed a piece of fruit while checking email only to look down and realize you ate the entire piece and feel unsatisfied? That is mindless eating! So when I eat in the office I try to take 5 minutes to really just enjoy what I am eating. It seems to be working, and I find that I really appreciate the sweetness of fruit more than when i was just popping strawberries in my mouth one after another.

Snack 1: Shakeology Bar and an orange. Unfortunately I had to eat this during our morning teleconference, but I was still full from breakfast, so didn’t actually feel the need for a snack like I do on most days.

Lunch: My typical quick clean meal of baked chicken, a sweet potato, and broccoli. I was running way behind when I was packing lunch this morning, the coffee grinder was not cooperating…so I abandoned my more ambitious plan of a loaded sweet potato for a repeat meal. In the past I would have caved and just grabbed Chipotle or Subway out with coworkers but I’m determined to follow this plan for 21 days to see how my abs improve.IMG_7781

Snack 2: Double Berry Shakeology (my bag of strawberry arrived!!!)

  • 1 Scoop Strawberry Shakeology
  • 1 Purple Frozen Raspberries
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 10 Oz of Water
  • 2-4 Ice Cubes

I was super excited that my shake actually fit in my new shaker cup. Apparently I make monster sized shakes, because no one else in my group has this problem….I took my shakeology to my afternoon meeting, and since I was just sitting in for a second opinion I got to sit back and really enjoy it. This recipe by BeachBody is delicious (I added the cinnamon because I am a cinnamon fanatic) and it will be one of my regulars this month.

IMG_7799Dinner: Fajitas!

  • 1 Red of Chicken (cooked with the smokey southwest seasoning)
  • 1 Green of Bell Peppers and Onions (sauteed in 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil and then tossed with the chicken and seasoning)
  • 2 Corn Tortillas (6 inch)
  • 2 Tablespoons hot salsa (Ok, I admit that this is a little break from the book, she calls for pico de gallo…I couldn’t find any at the store that didn’t look gross so I did cheat a little…)
  • Dab of Greek Yogurt mixed with the leftover smokey southwest seasoning

As you can see I had a fajita fan club…I was trying to take a photo of Zoey begging for my fajita and next thing I know she is off that pillow with her face stuck in the fajita. She had a salsa beard, but was quiet satisfied with her piece of stolen chicken….She needs a haircut, bad, so that I can see when she is evilly glaring at my dinner! Fajitas are probably my favorite dinner on 21 Day Fix. I think it is because they remind me of the fajita kits from the grocery store that my mom used to make when I was a kid, especially after softball gaIMG_7792mes when we didn’t get home at our usual time.

Workout: Lower Fix Extreme uses weights and the resistance band with squats, lunges, and jumps to make your legs scream! The workout runs 33:51 including the warm-up and cool-down. There are four rounds, with two exercises that are repeated one time per round. While this workout was extremely demanding, I found Autumn to be very inspiring at just the moment I felt like quitting! Several of the exercises started with squats or lunges with your heavy weights for the first thirty seconds and then switched to the same motion as a jump. I loved this combination of weights and jumps to really get a deep burn in the muscle you were working. It also forced you to focus on keeping your core engaged and work on your form so that when you put down the weights and began the jump you were already using perfect form and reduced risk of injury. I struggled with the Back Lunge – Plyo move, which was a weighted backwards lunge for the first 30 seconds and then a jump from the lunge position, but the girl in IMG_7801the pink sports bras was using an athletic movement with her arms that no one else was using that really helped me to get off the ground from that position. My favorite move was the side lunge into a leg lift, this explosive movement really made my inner thigh (a problem spot for me) burn. By the end of the workout I had burned 268 calories according the my Fitbit Charge HR and was drenched in sweat. Lower Fix Extreme is my favorite leg workout I have tried by Beachbody (my completed programs include: PiYo, T25 (Alpha, Beta and Gamma), P90, and 21 Day Fix). I finished my night with a tsp of peanut butter and made the dogs their own spoon of peanut butter so that I could eat mine in peace. Since they are not on the fix they got to enjoy a lot more than a single tsp between the two of them..although Zoey is starting to pack on a little winter weight and we may need to develop the 21 Day Fix dog version sooner than anticipated!

Day 3 of 21

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Today I really struggled with hunger, I’m not sure if it was due to being home for 5 days in a row, or if I didn’t space my meals and snacks correctly. The good news is that I stuck to the plan, the bad news was I was quite cranky! If you’re wondering why there is a swimsuit in my collage today, its my goal suit for the end of the program and I just ordered it from J.Crew!!!! I was searching for a second bathing suit for the cruise and my cousin told me it was time to enjoy all of my hard work and buy something more age appropriate! You’ll also notice a lot of repeated food from day 2. Since we’re essentially a one income family, I try to cook in bulk for two reasons: to save money when grocery shopping and to reduce the number of times I’m in the IMG_7778kitchen cooking after work.

Breakfast:

  • Whole Grain Sprouted Bread (Rudis Organic Bakery: my husband found this at our local organic store and the quinoa provides a great crunch when you toast it)
  • Vegetable Egg Cups (Recipe provided under breakfast)
  • Orange (Cara Cara from Costco, these oranges are amazing right now!)

Snack 1: Shakeology Bar and I’ll let you guess the fruit…..(Orange…..grrrrr stupid bananas are still green 5 days post purchase)

IMG_7725Lunch: Repeat from yesterday….

  • Baked Chicken with salt free Garlic and Herb Seasoning from McCormicks
  • Baked Sweet Potato
  • Broccoli (note the extra cute Zoey toofers being flashed at me for a bite of chicken!)

Snack 2: Vanilla Cherry Shakeology

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  • 1 Purple Frozen Cherries
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 10 oz of Water

Dinner: Taco Salad (I swear the meat gets better on day 2 after the seasoning has time to really soak into the turkey)

  • Red Container Ground Turkey with Smokey Southwest Seasoning
  • Green Container Spinach
  • Green Container Chopped Onions and Tomato
  • Orange Container of Lime Basil Vinaigrette
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Zoey and her dragon are ready for Pilates 🙂

Workout: I think David came up with the perfect summary of Pilates Fix Extreme, “50 Shades of Banding”! This workout used a resistance band for the entire 30 minutes. It took me a minute to even figure out how she had wrapped the band around her feet, after that some hilarity ensued as we tried to flip ourselves over without losing the band off our feet. I would suggest having the pause button handy for this workout, and making sure you have a mirror or camera that you can observe your form with. Pilates is about form and if you are not following the moves correctly, than you will not get the most out of your workout. By about minute 13 my core was burning! I said I wanted a six pack and this is the workout that’s going to get me there! All of the moves are performed on the floor and it’s important to really focus on your breathing. I enjoyed this workout, but it was definitely not my husband’s cup of tea. His band kept snapping out of the handle and he kept cursing Autumn….I think I may have to workout on Wednesdays by myself IMG_7761 for the next two weeks….My biggest complaint was that my wrists were sore by the end of the workout, I think I will take her suggestion to switch my grip during the moves. I was also feeling all of the arm work from yesterday’s Upper Extreme Fix workout. I may be going crazy, or I am just super hopeful but I think I can see changes in my abs and arms after only 3 days. I’ll post updated pictures and results on Sunday to see what you think.

Day 2 of 21

IMG_7724Snow Day!!! Who else had a wonderful day off from work or school yesterday? Waking up to my job and my husbands school being closed for the day was a great surprise. I spent my day out in the snow playing with the dogs and in the kitchen cooking up the remainder of my meals for the work week. We fit in our workout in the early afternoon. I had a great day 2, no hunger, I could tell my body is almost completely over last week’s sickness, and the dogs had a blast digging and rolling in our 8 inches of D.C. snow.

Breakfast:IMG_7678 If you saw my recipe post from yesterday, you might have already seen a sneak peek of my breakfast from day 2. I typically try to fit one of my three carbs in the morning meal; my husband was making oatmeal so I asked him to make a little extra for me. Since it was prepared using water and was just a plain oatmeal, I added cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt (free) to give the oatmeal a little more flavor. You might have noticed at this point that we are eating a lot of oranges….unfortunately my husband and I both bought a huge bag on the same day without realizing it, so in order to not waste them, my purple containers will not have a lot of variety the next couple of days! The last thing on my plate, those little green muffin shaped objects, are the mini vegetable egg cups from the 21 Day Fix Extreme book. If I have learned one thing from my husband since we’ve been married, it’s to mess with a recipe. He never follows a recipe exactly, which can drive me insane, but has also IMG_7667led to some awesome discoveries. I changed the spicing and the onion used from the book and these egg cups were delicious! It was such a nice change from the normal plain jane dippy eggs that I tend to make on my days off. There barely even needed hot sauce, which is a huge feat in my household. Usually my husband pours hot sauce on everything egg related, since he isn’t a huge egg fan. I do have one big suggestion from the books original recipe, USE MUFFIN LINERS, this pan was a nightmare to clean as I don’t like to use PAM or other non-olive oil based sprays. Unfortunately the olive oil mister didn’t cut it on this recipe. After breakfast we took the dogs out into the snow to play and chase snowballs. Half of the time Lexi was trying to rip off Zoey’s coat. I don’t think Lexi appreciates Zoey’s fine taste in fashion or the fact that her sister benefits from being a double coated golden retriever! By the end of the hour both were covered in snow balls and it was time to come inside and dry them off!IMG_7673 I think my favorite part was that Zoey had formed a pretty impressive snow beard! I can’t wait for her groom next weekend… you can’t even see her eyes when I try to take photos of her at this point.

Snack 1: This was a repeat of yesterday’s morning snack. A Shakeology bar, which I swear gets better every day from sitting in the fridge, and an orange. Something about sitting in the fridge another day made the bars denser, and more nutty tasting. I think they would pair great with a banana for a mid morning snack, but my bananas are still super green three days after I bought them, so I’ll have to wait to test this theory.

Lunch: My original plan for my lunch was to have a repeat of my dinner from day 1 (cilantro lime chicken on a bell pepper) but when I realized that was what my husband was eating across the couch… it didn’t really work out the way I expected… at least he was inspired by my dinner yesterday, he really enjoyed the combination of chicken, and finished off the last of the tortilla from last week. So I threw some chicken breasts in the oven (450 degrees for twenty minutes, flip after ten) after seasoning them with McCormick’s garlic and herb salt free seasoning and a little sea salt. I also baked some sweet potatoes to have on hand for the week. I like having these two items in my fridge because sometimes I’m ambitious with what I’m going to cook after a workout and I’m dragging my butt up the stairs wondering what I’m thinking. This way I can grab some chicken, a sweet potato, and throw a vegetable on the side for a quick yellow, red, and green dinner. I’m not going to include a photo since it just looks like a boring clean eating meal. Believe me, it isn’t the most exciting thing in the world but it has saved me multiple times from caving and ordering pizza or getting takeout.

IMG_7685Snack 2: Chocolate Covered Cherry Shakeology

  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1 Purple Frozen Cherries
  • 12 Oz Water
  • 3-4 Ice Cubes (depending on how thick you like it)

I had seen this recipe from several friends on Facebook and was anxious to give it a try. It didn’t disappoint on that delicious chocolate milkshake flavor. I think the hardest difference between the 21 Day Fix and the 21 Day Fix Extreme for me to deal with is the lack of a chocolate treat yellow. Thank goodness for chocolate Shakeology to satisfy that afternoon craving and give me the boost of energy that I needed for Upper Extreme Fix.

Dinner: Taco salad! Over the next 21 days you will see a lot of Mexican inspired dishes. I am not sure it has to do IMG_7695with my husband’s love affair with all things hot sauce, but we eat a lot of Mexican and Tex Mex food (tacos, fajitas, quinoa taco bake, stuffed Mexican peppers, enchiladas). This meal was super simple to prepare. I browned a pound of lean ground turkey with the smokey southwest seasoning found in the 21 Day Fix Extreme booklet. I also whipped up the Basil Lime Vinaigrette from the back of the book to use instead of salsa (I was in the mood to be experimental and had an orange container left for the day). Boy am I glad I tried something new tonight, that dressing paired with the taco seasoned meat was so refreshing! I will admit that I reduced the amount of olive oil called for the in the book by an entire tablespoon. I added a green of freshly chopped onion and tomato to the meat, put them on top of salad greens, and added dressing for a dinner that totaled 2 greens, 1 red, and 1 orange.

Workout: Tuesday is Upper Fix Extreme and we decided to tackle this workout right before cooking dinner. This workout consisted of 3 rounds with 4 exercises per round. The workout was technically 33 minutes, I was aIMG_7690 math major in college, so when the times aren’t exact it bothers me, but hey the workout was fantastic so I’ll let it slide. Each move was a minute long, you started with your heavy weight for the first thirty seconds and then reduced to your lighter weight for the last 30 seconds of the move. I just completed T25 and I was super excited that I made it through an entire minute of pushups!! The good news is there is only one pushup move for the entire upper body workout, which I really appreciated. This workout made my arms burn and turn into jello! I enjoyed the workout so much that I was actually surprised and sad when she said we were on our last move for the day! My favorite part of the workout is she really works your triceps which is one of the main areas on my arms that could use some work. Autumn does a great job of explaining the form of each move and exactly which muscle the move is working. The move I struggled with the most was the military press, I loved her tip to use your knees to get you that little extra umph to push through the last couple of reps instead of sacrificing form. I had an extraIMG_7702 tsp left for the day so I thought I would enjoy a nice peanut butter spoon after my workout, but my dogs had other ideas…I have never seen them beg so hard in their lives! The good news is they were tired from all of the playing in the snow and slept for our workout for the second day in a row. I have a feeling on day three I won’t be so lucky! I’m really looking forward to day three tomorrow because the workout is Pilates Extreme and as we end the night my legs are finally recovered from Plyo Extreme.