Tag Archives: 21 Day Fix

{21 Day Fix} Memorial Day Recipe Inspiration

21 Day Fix Memorial Day

The unofficial kick off to summer is this weekend and I bet many of you are right smack in the middle of a round of 21 Day Fix!

No need to worry, starve yourself all day in an attempt to save your containers for the BBQ (we all know this doesn’t work anyway…you just mess up your metabolism and end up over eating so please….do not even attempt to do it.) or say f*uck it and throw your goals out the window. With a little planning, you can stay within your containers and enjoy flavorful meals without guilt!

Check out my 21 Day Fix Memorial Day Recipe Inspirations below and stay on track this weekend.

Kebab Collage

Kebabs: The possibilities are endless with kebabs and they are perfect for the 21 Day Fix program. All you need to do is choose a lean protein, some fresh vegetables and a seasoning combination. Then just need to marinade before being threaded onto a skewer and grilled to perfection! Simple, right?!

The problem I think most people have is that they over think this program. I have some many clients come to me and say “I don’t know what to eat.” or “I wish the book had more recipes. I’m lost!” I felt the same way until I took a deep breathe and stop freaking out. The book is full of everything you need, especially for kebabs. Check out your red container list, green container list and then check out the seasoning blend recipes as well as the dressing recipes provided. Those dressing can make a kick-ass marinade for your protein! You just have to think outside of the box little.

For those of you who prefer step-by-step recipes, here are some delicious looking ones I’ve found on-line. They do not have 21 Day Fix breakdowns and you may need to change the oil type that is used to be “fix friendly” but they are all a great source of inspiration. Just break out your containers and have some fun with them.

Chipotle Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Cream Sauce: (Pictured on the left above) You will need to substitute the oil and brown sugar is not on the plan, but you can omit it without harm. Measure out the chicken using your red container before threading to create a single portion. The dipping sauce containers Greek yogurt & avocado and I would most likely just count it as a blue containers, but use your judgement as you make it. {Click here for the recipe}

Fajita Chicken Kebabs: (Pictured second from left above) You will need to substitute the oil in this recipe as well, everything else is plan approved. I recommend using your containers to measure out your protein and veggies before skewering them, to ensure portion size. This recipe should work out to be 1 red container and 1 green container per serving. Alter veggie amounts if needed. {Click here for the recipe}

Grilled Jerk Shrimp with Pineapple Kebabs: (Pictured second from the right above): This recipe has a few ingredients that are not on the plan but the amounts are so small I say go for it and enjoy, because in the grand scheme of what you could be eating…this is much better! As with the other recipes, measure your protein and your fruit for portioning before threading. Shrimp counts as a red container and pineapple is a purple. {Click here for the recipe.}

Chimichurri Beef Kabobs: (Pictured far right above.) Everything in this recipe is plan approved! The recipe is from the Whole30 cookbook that I just received for my birthday and I’ve been dying to try it. Just be sure to use your containers to measure your protein and veggies before you thread them to ensure portion size.

Ingredients:
For the kabobs:
1 lb lean steak (sirloin, strip, flank), cut into 1-inch dice
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds

For the chimichurri:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to prevent them from burning.

2. Make the chimichurri: Combine the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, and shallot in a food processor and mix on low speed. Drizzle in the olive oil while mixing; the dressing will begin to emulsify. Add the cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper and continue to mix on low until the dressing is uniform in texture and the herbs are chopped quite small.

3. Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag or nonreactive bowl with a lid. Cover the steak with enough chimichurri (about 1 cup) to coat thoroughly. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and marinate the steak in the refrigerator for 1 to 8 hours; more is better, especially for tougher cuts. (Feel free to leave your steak marinating overnight, or start your dinner prep in the morning before work.)

4. Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the grill to high heat (500°F). (See below if you don’t have a grill.)

5. Remove the steak from the marinade; discard the marinade. Prepare the kabobs by threading the steak, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini onto soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers, alternating meat and vegetables. You should be able to make about 6 skewers.

6. Grill the kabobs directly over high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium (or move the kabobs to indirect heat) and brush with 1/2 cup of the remaining chimichurri. Grill to desired doneness, 12 to 15 minutes. (The easiest way to check is to remove one of the kabobs from the heat and cut into the meat, checking for color.) Serve the kabobs with extra chimichurri sauce for dipping; any leftover sauce can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or frozen in ice cube trays for up to 6 months.

If you don’t have a grill, you have two other options for the kabobs. First, buy a grill plate for your stove and follow the same directions — it’s just like a barbecue, minus the mosquitoes. Or, you can broil and then bake the skewers: Preheat the oven to broil (or 500°F) and place the skewers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil the kabobs for 3 minutes, then flip the skewers and broil for another 3 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and brush the skewers with chimichurri. Bake to desired doneness, 12 to 15 minutes.

For more kebab recipes, check out my new Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest!

Salad Collage

Salads: They are a staple at summer BBQ’s. Cool, refreshing and packed with nutrition. Whenever you attend a gathering, scope these out first or offer to bring one with you so you know there will be at least one “safe” side dish option that isn’t full of mayo and fat.

Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad: (Pictured left above) This salad is so colorful and refreshing looking. All of the ingredients are “Fix Friendly” and each serving works out to be about 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green and 1 orange. {Click here for the recipe.}

Spinach and Berry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette: (Pictured second from left above) This recipe is patriotic with the red and blue berries plus it’s straight from Beachbody so they took the container guess work out of things! 1 Green, 1/2 Purple, 1 Orange. {Click here for the recipe}

Cucumber Salad: (Pictured second from the right above) This simple and refreshing summer salad is the perfect addition to a BBQ when doing the 21 Day Fix. All of the ingredients are “Fix Friendly” and only count as 1 green container! {Click here for the recipe}

Greek Salad: (Pictured one the far right above) Here’s another colorful addition for your next cook out. This version is low in calories, high in flavor and brought to us by Beachbody, so once again, the container counts are already done for us! Container counts: 1.5 green and 1 orange. {Click here for the recipe}

For more salads and other side dish recipes, check out my new Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest!

Sweet Collage
Sweets: Let’s face it…it’s just not a party or gathering without them! The trick to staying on track is avoiding the cupcakes, cakes, brownies and other highly processed, sugary treats.

Fresh fruit is your friend in these situations and thankfully, since it’s warm out, there is typically some sort of fruit platter at most gatherings. Just like with the salads, you can always offer to bring some as your contribution if you know you have a killer sweet tooth and will be tempted by the other goodies that may be on display.

Grilled Fruit: (Not pictured) Pineapple, peaches and nectarines are all super yummy when grilled. Top them with a drizzle of honey or team them up with some greek yogurt for a grown-up treat! Container count: 1 purple (1 red if teaming it up with Greek yogurt)

American Flag Toast Flags: (Pictured on the left above) Have some fun with your breakfast and show your patriotism! This recipe uses cream cheese as the base but I honestly think they would be yummier with some natural peanut butter or just whole fruit jelly! Make sure you use whole grain bread and you’ll want to stick to one flag as your portion or you’ll be out of yellow containers for the day! Using a waffle or one of my Healthy Pancakes as a base is another good idea! Container counts: 1 yellow, 1 tsp, 1 purple.

Watermelon Pops: (Pictured second from left above) Simple, inexpensive and refreshing. Watermelon is the poster fruit of summer and you can’t go wrong with serving these! Container count: 1 purple.

Fruit Salad: (Pictured second from right above) Another simple and refreshing treat that won’t leave you on a sugar high. The fruit salad pictured above will take a little more time, but it’s the perfect addition to a Memorial Day or Fourth of July gathering and you only need a star shapes cookie cutter to create this conversation piece. Toss in some blue berries and viola! Container count: 1 purple

Star Spangled Fruit Pops: (Pictured far right above) Okay, so this one is for the over achiever but I couldn’t resist including it. Kids would definitely get a kick of them and your guests would truly be impressed. We’re always trying to get our kids to eat healthier, so why not make fruit as fun as the icing covered cupcakes?! {Click here for instructions on how to make these.}

For more dessert recipes and inspiration, check out my new Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest!

As you can see, there are a lot of healthy and flavorful ways to stay on track with the 21 Day Fix this summer.

I didn’t even touch grilled chicken or burgers! Both are absolutely allowed and the possibilities are endless with them too. The key to not getting bored with all of this is to experiment with seasoning. Seasoning is a free food on the program which means it is your best friend!

Be sure to check out the  Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest for more recipe inspiration. I already have some chicken and burger recipes on there that I didn’t include in this post and I’ll be adding to it regularly from now on.

Do you have a favorite 21 Day Fix Friendly recipe for BBQ gatherings? If so, please share it below! You know I love trying new things.

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Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers {21 Day Fix Friendly}

SantaFe stuffed peppers
Why yes, this is another recipe with Mexican flavors. I can’t help it. I’m obsessed.

There is just something so satisfying about healthy Mexican dishes. I don’t know if it is the bold flavors, the balance between those flavors or the bright rainbow of colors that you end up with on your plate. Plus it’s an excuse to eat avocado, right?!

I am a big fan of stuffed peppers, especially since starting The 21 Day Fix. It’s just a great way to get that extra green container in, plus peppers are pretty darn inexpensive, especially as the summer approaches.

The other night, I set out to make a stuffed pepper recipe from The Whole30 book I received for my birthday, but I forgot an ingredient so I decided to hop on Pinterest and see what caught my eye and these Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers were the winner. I used a recipe from For The Love of Dessert as my base and changed things up a little.

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These peppers were packed with flavor and really hit the spot! I topped mine with some shredded mozzarella, but pepper-jack would be a great choice too. You could even skip the cheese and top them with  some of the guacamole I shared with you yesterday. {Click here to get the recipe}

If you’d like to speed up the cooking process on these, you could pop the pepper halves into the oven while your filling is cooking, to soften up, then fill, bake and top with cheese 5 minutes before they’re ready.

Looking for a healthier taco seasoning option? Make your own! I love the recipe for Clean Eating Taco Seasoning over on The Gracious Pantry. {Click here to view it.}

I promise my next post will NOT feature food with a Mexican theme. I’ve been dreaming about Memorial Day BBQ food, so I’m pretty sure that will be next!

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Loaded Sweet Potato Skin

Loaded Sweet Potato BannerQuick. Simple. Easy.

Those are 3 traits I look for in my lunch items and this recipe for Loaded Sweet Potato fits all three….plus it’s 21 Day Fix friendly!

I had picked up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, as part of my meal prep on Sunday. I shredded it up and tossed the dark and white meat into a container to use for lunches during the week. I know, chicken breast is considered the almighty of healthy meats, but I’m a fan of dark meat. It’s moist and has more flavor to me, so I mix it all together to get the best of both worlds.

While searching for new recipes to try, I found this one for Sweet Potato Skins with Chicken and Spinach, which I really wanted to try. I ended up using it as inspiration because a) I didn’t feel like making the whole recipe and b) I like to be a culinary rebel at times.

(Truth is, I was just lazy and didn’t want to look up the recipe so I tried to remember it as best I could and winged it.)

This lunch came together in under 10 minutes and we ridiculously yummy!

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The key to simplicity with this recipe is having the cooked chicken on hand. Rotisserie chickens are a really great meal prep item to have on hand, or you could roast one up yourself when they go on sale at the grocery store. They can be used in chicken salad, quesadillas, quick and easy taco’s, wraps and on pizza.

They’re a blank slate and are just begging for a little creativity and seasoning!

Do you use rotisserie chickens or pre-cook chicken to have on hand for quick and simple meals? If so, what is your favorite way to prepare them?

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Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancake Banner
Obsessed.

It’s a word you could probably use to describe me when it comes to pancakes. As I’ve mentioned before, I eat them almost every morning and I’m not ashamed of it.

Yesterday, I woke up and saw that we forgot to run the dishwasher. Not thinking, I popped in a detergent tablet and hit start before realizing my griddle pan and both Ninja cups, as well as the blade where in there. That meant no pancakes for breakfast and I almost cried.

I carried on with my coffee and a bowl of banana oatmeal topped with strawberries but it just wasn’t the same.

When lunchtime rolled around, I was still thinking about pancakes (it really is an obsession) but I also wanted something savory. I look in the fridge at what my option where and decided to experiment.

With 3 simple ingredients and my pancake making tools, these 21 Day Fix friendly, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes were born!

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato (the flesh from 1 medium-small cooked sweet potato)
  • 2 eggs
  • nonstick spray for cooking
  • Optional Seasonings
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • I used cajun seasoning in mine to keep them savory instead of sweet

DIRECTIONS:

  • Blend or whisk together your eggs, sweet potato and spices (I used my Ninja smoothie cup to quickly blend it and make a nice smooth batter).
  • Pour 1/4 cup servings onto a hot griddle and cook for 3-5 minutes per side.

These yielded a much thicker batter than what I am used to, so I had to spoon them into the pan. I probably could have thinned it out a little with some water, but the texture of the final product was spot on.

For those of you doing 21 Day Fix these count as 1 Yellow, 1 Red and if you top it like a veggie like I did, 1 Green.

After digging through my spices, I opted to use some Cajun seasoning in my batter. I then topped them with 1 cup of baby spinach, which I wilted on the griddle as the pancakes were cooking and a drizzle of Sriracha.

I plan on trying these with cinnamon and maple this week, as well as some other variations over the next few weeks. I’ll report back with what works.

Have you ever tried a savory pancakes before? What flavor combinations do you think would work well?

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Shakeology Ice Cream

Chocolate Shakeology PB Ice Cream

Ice cream. Once upon a time it was my favorite thing to eat. Then I realized a lot of the bloating and digestive issues I had were because of dairy issues and I had to break off our relationship.

Sigh…

Then, one day while grocery shopping I found Lactaid ice cream and we were reunited and happy together.

Yay!

That is until the 21 Day Fix came along and broke us up again.

Boo.

Since I started the 21 Day Fix Extreme a week ago, I was missing that sweet treat that I typically craved in the evening. Giving up those “treats” is tough, especially when they were already healthy. Yes, I could have my Shakeology at night and I did a few times, but it just wasn’t what I was craving. I wanted ice cream!

{Fun Fact: I tend to crave ice cream when it’s cold out. I’m totally weird, I know.}

Tonight I remembered a while back I had experimented with ice cream and decided to try making it with my Shakeology!

The result was yumtastic and it’s simple to do. I decided to try a Chocolate Peanut Butter Shakeology Ice Cream, but I have plenty of ideas for other flavors.

 1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp natural PB
1 cup of ice

Blend it all together, freeze until it firms up and enjoy!

This totally satisfied my ice cream craving with zero guilt whatsoever!

It also fit my container counts which made it even better. This tallies up as 1 RED, 4tsps (add less peanut butter if you don’t have that many available) and 1/2  YELLOW since I only used 8 ozs of unsweetened almond milk.

You could absolutely turn this into flavor Shakeology you normally like to blend up. If you are not following the 6pm no yellow, no purple container rule (which I kinda broke by using almond milk, but I was afraid this would turn out like a sorbet with just water) you could use a frozen banana in this so it will be creamier.

Some flavors I plan to try:
All of the Girl Scout Cookie flavors I posted the other day. (This is basically the Tagalongs flavor)
Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana
Mocha Fudge (add strong coffee and a splash of almond milk)

Currently I only have chocolate on hand and you could use any protein powder for this. There are some great flavors on the market too, like cake Batter, Fudge Brownie, Mint Chip and Cinnamon Roll, which would make flavoring even easier!

Have you ever turned your Shakeology or other protein into ice cream? If so, what flavor combo did you use?

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Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Smoothies

Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Smoothies
It’s that time of year! The Girl Scout mafia is out pedaling their sweet treats that none of us can resist. You know, the ones that come in colorful boxes that seem to get smaller each year but the price gets higher?

Yes, I know I sound bitter…it’s how an addict sounds when they’re trying to resist temptation.

At this current time in my life, I have to avoid these tempting morsels because I am doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme and there is no container for them. Wouldn’t it be great if the color of the box the cookie came in dictated which container you could count these sweet delights as?

  • Tagalongs in Red
  • Samoa’s in Purple
  • Thin Mint’s in Green

A girl can dream, right?

Sadly, that is not the case and I have 2.5 weeks until I can shove my face full have a taste of my favorites.

Until then, I will satisfy my cravings for them with these Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Smoothies using Shakeology!

Tagalongs Shakeology

Samoa Shakeology

Thin Mint Shakeology
These recipes have really been satisfying my Girl Scout cookie cravings without feeling guilty.

I truly have the worlds biggest sweet tooth, which is why I love Shakeology so much. It truly helps me to keep it under control, while getting lots of the nutrients I would be missing if I was just shoveling cookies into my face all day.

If you don’t use Shakeology, these recipes can absolutely be made with any protein power…not just Shakeology. The flavor will vary based on the brand you use, so you may have to adjust things a little.

Want to bump up the nutritional value of these even more? Add a handful of baby spinach to them. It won’t alter the taste but it will up the goodness!

I know there are a lot more Girl Scout flavors but these are the only ones I’ve messed with. Honestly, these are the only Girl Scout cookies I really like, so I haven’t tried to mess with the others.

If you have any healthy shake recipes for any cookie flavors not shown here, please share them in the comments!

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National Pancake Day – My Favorite!

National Pancake Day Banner
If you follow me on Instagram, you KNOW I love me some pancakes. I eat them almost everyday and I like to experiment with them.

Since today is National Pancake Day, I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you. All of these are based off of my Healthy Pancake recipe, but I’ve included a variation to that below for those of you can’t have or don’t like bananas. Enjoy!

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Get creative with this recipe! Here are some things I’ve added to mine:

  • Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life if you have dairy issues like me)
  • Cinnamon Swirl (I mix cinnamon with some Stevia and vanilla extract, then swirl in once they’re in the pan)
  • Chopped almond or pecans
  • Blueberries

Allergic to bananas or just not a fan of them? Try this recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Using a ninja or blender, blend all of the ingredients together.
  2. Preheat a griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Spray with some coconut oil.
  3. Pour batter into pan to form pancakes (about 1/4 cup per cake)
  4. Cook until small bubbles appear, then carefully flip and cook for a few more minutes until done.
  5. Top with pure maple syrup and 1/2 cup fruit of choice.
Apple Pancakes

I topped these with sliced apple that I sauteed in a little coconut oil and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Need to up your veggie game?

Add spinach to your batter! It doesn’t alter the flavor of your pancakes, naturally turns them green and adds a punch of nutrients to your breakfast. You already add spinach to your smoothies, so why not add them to your pancakes?!

These would also be perfect with St. Patrick’s Day coming up! (Need a recipe for an awesome corned beef? Check out this post)

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Use the Healthy Pancake recipe from above and add one packed cup of baby spinach to the mix before blending.

We all know peanut-butter and banana are BFF’s, right?! I’m not sure why I didn’t think to follow Elvis’ lead sooner and turn this combo into a pancake, but I did this morning and it was AH-MAZING!

PB Pancakes

I used the Healthy Pancake recipe from above and add 2 teaspoons of peanut butter to the mix before blending. (Use any nut-butter you like). Top with sliced banana and some pure maple syrup. Want more PB? Drizzle some melted peanut butter over these instead of syrup. Prefer a PB&J flavor? Add sliced strawberries or grapes on top.

As you can see, pancakes can be versatile. I especially love them because I can fill so many of my container needs while one the 21 Day Fix with them. (You didn’t think I just woke up and decided to add spinach to pancakes, did you?! There are a lot of green containers to fill…you have to get creative!)

Do you have a favorite pancake flavor combo that I didn’t mention here? If so, please share it in the comments below so I can give it a try!

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Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew {21 Day Fix Extreme}

Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
The first thing I do when I get a new program is to dive into the nutrition guide and see what recipes they have to offer. I’m a total nerd when it comes to meal planning and I love cooking, so new recipes truly excite me. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m always posting photos of what I’m eating or meal prepping. Food has always been a passion of mine and I’ve finally found a healthy way to use that passion. Whoop! Whoop!

I was very happy when I cracked open the eating plan for 21 Day Fix Extreme and saw the recipes that were included …even if some of them were borrowed from Body Beast and tweaked a little. The lack of recipes is the one thing that I think was lacking from the 21 Day Fix. I absolutely LOVE that program and but it definitely needed recipes, especially because so many people who are starting it are beginners who need inspiration, direction and simplicity. Thankfully there are TONS of recipes on Pinterest with the container counts and it’s one of the reasons why I share what I try on this blog. I want to make planning for this program as simple as possible!

The newest recipe I tried from this program is the Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew …it’s simple, tasty and a great item for your weekly meal prep!

Just chop up all of your ingredients, follow the direction and let it do it’s thing while you prep some Egg Muffins for breakfast, measure out your carrots and hummus for snack or make some Turkey Meatloaf for quick a quick and healthy dinner.

hearty beef and butternut squash stew prep

Tell me the colors of this dish don’t have you drooling. I dare you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds raw lean beef stew meat, boneless, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium organic beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add beef; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beef is brown.
  3. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, salt, pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 40 minutes.
  6. Add squash; cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 12 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and beef is fork tender.
  7. Remove bay leaf; serve topped with parsley.

CONTAINERS: 1 red 1 green

This stew was awesome as is, but would be even better if you have a yellow container available for potato, rice or a slice of bread….something to soak up all of the tasty liquid and fill you up a tiny bit longer. I found myself getting hungry a little before the 2 hour mark, but that could just be me. My body always performs better when it has a truly balanced meal, which means adding some carbs.

Listen to you body and adjust things as you go. However, make sure you know the difference between your body truly needing that carb and your brain just thinking it needs it. There is a difference and if you struggle with emotional eating at all, I highly recommend a book called “Life is Hard, Food is Easy” by Linda Spangle. It was a very informative read that address our thought process when it comes to food and how we tie our emotions into it.

If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, especially if you tweak it all.

As always, I have new accountability groups starting every few weeks for 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. If you have been wanting to try them and have questions about them, I’d be more than happy to answer them for you and help you see if it would be a good fit for YOUR lifestyle.

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Meal Planning 101

meal planning 101b
Last week I shared some tips on meal prep 101, but looking back, I really should have started here, with meal planning 101. You really can’t prep without a plan, right?

This Monday, I am starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme with an amazing group of people. The focus for this week was on making a meal plan, so that we could take time this weekend to meal prep and be ready to tackle week one of the program.

Meal planning can seem like a challenge on its own, add in a bunch of color coded containers like you do with the 21 Day Fix programs and your head might exploded at first glance. I promise you, it’s not as difficult at you may think it is. You just need to keep it simple, especially for the first week and be repetitive with your meals. This doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing for every meal, everyday, however that’s kinda what I do and it works for me.

When making my meal plan, I tend to rotate with 2 different breakfasts and 2 different lunches. This gives a little variety without killing my grocery budget AND it allows you to meal prep so you’ll be all ready to just heat & eat when meal time rolls around. Start by making a list of your favorites:

Breakfast Favorites:
Egg Muffins
Healthy Pancakes
Shakeology
2 Scrambled Eggs with veggies

Lunch Favorites:
Turkey Chili
Asian Meatballs
Fajitas (the recipe in the eating plan is the same)
Shakeology
Leftovers from Dinner

Snacks:
Veggies with Hummus
Veggies with guacamole
Lettuce Roll-Ups
Apples with peanut butter
Banana Roll-Ups

I personally cannot have dairy but these are also great snacks:
Greek Yogurt with fruit or nuts
Cottage Cheese with fruit or nuts
Nitrate-Free deli meat with cheese rolled up

Dinner is where I like to add variety. We always have something different for dinner each night, so I like to start my meal plan by filling in each nights dinner first. I calculate how many of each container I’ll be using, mark it on the sheet and remove those colored containers from my daily allotment.

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Check out my 21 Day Fix Planning Tools to make meal planning easier.

Dinner Tips:
Plan a Balanced Meal
Make sure you have at least 1 green and 1 red included
If you’re doing the Fat Burning plan on 21 Day Fix Extreme, make sure you have dinner BEFORE 6pm if there is a yellow or purple included.

Once you have your dinners filled in across the week, you’re ready to fill in the rest of the sheet. If you’ll be using leftovers for lunch at all, fill those in next, since you already have your containers figured out. If you will not be using leftovers, I like to fill in my Shakeology next. If you only like your Shakeology prepared a certain way, make sure you include whatever you like to add and subtract those containers from daily allotment.

photo 2Example: Shakeology with water, banana and PB = 1 red, 1 purple and 2 tsp

If you are not as picky about what you mix with your Shakeology, leave it open for now so you can use up any stray containers that might be left over.

Once you have those items filled in, I like to fill in what I plan on meal prepping for lunch. I typically have the same meal for 3-4 days, but I’ll change it up a little depending on my containers for the day.

photo 3

Example: Monday is Turkey Chili w/ sweet potato and a fruit, Tuesday is Turkey Chili w/sweet potato, shredded lettuce & chopped tomato + fruit and Wednesday is Turkey Chili w/sweet potato, avocado and fruit. They are small variations to use up different containers and make each meal a little different. You could use rice or quinoa instead of sweet potato to change things up if you prefer. It’s up to what you have on hand and what you feel like making.

Fill in the rest of your lunches using a similar container count as you did for your other ones. This will keep your days pretty even and make adding breakfast easy for you.

Next, fill in breakfast and subtract those containers from your allotment.

photo 4

Finally, you’ll want to add in your snacks and add any leftover containers to existing meals or Shakeology recipe.

Sometimes you get creative in this process. I added a cup of baby spinach to my Healthy Pancake recipe one morning because I need to fit a green container in and I didn’t want to eat pancakes with a side of spinach. I figured if I could add baby spinach to smoothies and like them, why not try adding some to my pancake batter?! They ended up being delicious and they would have made Dr. Seuss proud!

photo 5

As you see, meal planning can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make it. The first week you do it, I highly recommend being repetitive with your meals. It will eliminate some of the stress and help you to adjust to everything. It will also make meal prep a lot easier!

You may have noticed that my meal plan is split up differently than the sheets I have shared in my 21 Day Fix Extreme Planning Tools. That’s because I really wanted to follow the Fat Burner plan, but I know how hectic weekend can be around here and eating every 2 hours would be very difficult. Yes, I know this is only for 21 days and I could make it work, but I view this as a lifestyle. I am also being a realist and by looking at my schedule for the next weeks, there is no way I could make the Fat Burner plan work on the weekends right now, and that’s okay.

Being able to foresee obstacles and coming up with a plan for them is how you achieve long term success. I’m not cheating on the program, I’m simply following a different style of meal planning for those 2 days of the week. The Energy Balance plan gives me more room to play and that’s exactly what I need in order to be successful with this.

21-Day-Fix-Weekly-Meal-Planner

For more 21 Day Fix Extreme Meal Planning sheets, CLICK HERE.

I hope this Meal Planning 101 post has helped you with your meal plan concerns. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them below and I’ll answer them as best I can.

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21 Day Fix EXTREME Planning Tools

21 Day Fix Planning Tools
The 21 Day Fix quickly became one of my favorite Beachbody programs thanks to it’s focus on nutrition and those super easy to use, color coded containers. Team that up with the fact that the workouts were all beginner friendly and offered a modifier and you have a winning program designed to get anyone started off right!

Click here to learn more about 21 Day Fix.

However, now it’s time to kick things up a notch and get seriously shredded with 21 Day Fix EXTREME!

Celebrity trainer and national bikini competitor Autumn Calabrese is back with her simple eating and has teamed it up with extreme fitness, to help people get shredded and shed off those final pounds.  Here is what I know about 21 Day Fix EXTREME:

  • This is NOT a beginner program
  • 3 different meal plan options to choose from (Energy Balancer, Fat Burner and Countdown to Competition)
  • 7 brand-new, intense workouts
  • Workouts are all 30 minutes in length
  • Color coded containers to eliminate calorie counting and guessing
  • All of the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts include weights or a band (the workouts were designed to be used with the pink band from Beachbody)
  • There will be a modifier, but if you are new fitness, you should start with the original 21 Day Fix.

The containers are the same as in the original 21 Day Fix but depending on which calorie calculation you fall into, your container amounts might be different. This is designed to give you EXTREME results based on your daily activity level as well as your personal goals for the program. This program also takes away the treats that were allowed in 21 Day Fix and it has a much cleaner food list (no more waffles and english muffins – but it’s only 21 days…you can do it!).

If you have never done a fitness program before (any Beachbody program or other gym activity other than just walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical)  it is highly suggested that you start with the 21 Day Fix and then move to the 21 Day Fix EXTREME.

My program just arrived yesterday and I couldn’t wait to crack open the new guide books to see what this new program was all about.

I was happy to see that there are a lot recipes in the Eating Plan this time around. That was my biggest gripe with the first program…lots of foods on the lists and a sample meal plan, but the recipes were very basic and boring to me. I was also happy to see variations of recipes I’ve already been using in there like Turkey Chili, Turkey Meatloaf and Egg Muffins.

The other change I really liked was the calorie calculation. There are now options to choose what kind of lifestyle you lead (sendentary, moderate or active) so there is no longer a “one size fits all” aspect to this. The other plus to me is that there are 3 different meal plan options depending on what your goals are for the program. You can now choose from 3 different options:

  1. The Energy Balancer: This one is similar to the original Fix meal plan. You plan out your breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as two snacks. The goal is to eat every 2-3 hours and use a variety of containers during your main 3 meals and fill in with leftover containers for your snacks.
  2. The Fat Burner: This plan spreads your eating out across 6 meals, so you eat roughly ever 2 hours. However, you need to make sure you finish your purple and yellow containers before 6pm.
  3. Countdown to Competition: This is the strictest of the plans. You’ll spread your eating into 8 meals, roughly 2 hours apart. You’ll follow the Countdown to Competition plan for 2 days, then the Extreme plan for 1, routing throughout the entire 21 days.

As soon as I saw all of these choices, I KNEW I needed to design some new 21 Day Fix Extreme Planning Tools!

21 DFX Planning Tools

Click to Print

These planners can still be used in conjunction with the 21 Day Fix Planning Tools I posted about when I first started the program. I believe the Tally Sheets that I link to will still work, if they do not, I’ll design some new ones and add them to this post once I take a closer look at things.

If you’ve ever considered trying the 21 Day Fix or if you think you’re ready to tackle 21 Day Fix Extreme, I have an accountability group starting on March 2nd and I’d love to speak to with you!

 

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