21 Day Fix {my results, tips, and tricks}

09 September 2015

The first time I saw something about the 21 Day Fix I was deep in the throes of a glutinous pregnancy with Bosco and was intrigued but not intrigued enough to put down my glazed donut and look into it any further. I'd like to blame the move and having the house on the market for a taxing (joke alert, folks) three weeks but for whatever reason (excuses for trimesters) I just really ate whatever I/"the baby" fancied with Bosco. It was fine and really fun and my saint of an OB never said anything about the double digit gains between appointments but then came the baby and I felt like crap. I did two Whole30s at the beginning of my pregnancy which really helped to curb my morning sickness but I think I sort of made up for lost carby time in the latter half of the gestational period.

So, fast forward to about a month ago when I got an email from a resident's wife (hi Chelsea!) who has four very small children and a husband who not only works crazy hours but works those hours at an AWAY rotation. Like ... out of the town. For weeks at a time. Which made me feel like I was a real infant in the face of Simon's residency hours because at the very least he would get to come home at the end of his shifts. She wasn't pitchy at all but told me about the 21 Day Fix and how much she loved it and I figured if she could hack it while essentially single parenting ... my excuse well was dry. So, I did it.

I'm not going to explain it all in detail but the general gist (and you can read more here!) is that you eat a set amount of different food groups each day which sounds terrible and tedious and who has the time? Luckily, many had gone before me so I scoured Pinterest for meal plans and tailored them to my preferences and soon was able to just eyeball the portions and it really wasn't tedious or terrible at ALL.

Loosely the containers stand for:
Green (largest) - veggies
Purple (next size down) - fruit
Red (next size down) - protein
Yellow (next size down) - healthy carbs
Blue (next size - you get it) - healthy fats (cheese, avocado, nuts)
Orange - dressings, oil, and seeds

Also, there are daily workouts (30 minutes each) that accompany the food plan and while I'm slowly coming out of my SUPER-out-of-shape slump ... I could handle them just fine.

So, I have to confess that I probably did more of an elementary edition of the 21 Day Fix but it was really doable and I was never ever counting the days until I was finished nor was I wishing I hadn't committed.

If you're wanting to follow in my footsteps ... here's what I recommend for maximum success

Simon's hands. And Simon's meal that he made. Grace food photography skills are getting better by the day.

1. do a whole30 first ... kidding. mostly! But, if you've done a Whole30 then you'll find the meal plan to be really easy because there's the glorious "yellow container" which gives a little complex carb wiggle room (think: beans, brown rice, quinoa, wine, whole wheat tortillas, etc) and really helped me to not even be tempted to cheat because I already felt like the yellow container WAS cheating. But, no - you don't need to do a Whole30 first but do enjoy that yellow container!

2. it's okay to eat frozen ... a lot of people might disagree with me here but I'm guilty of chowing down on (formerly) frozen veggies because I'm not a fresh veggie connoisseur and while in a perfect world I'd have the correct produce at my fingertips every hour of every day ... sometimes it doesn't happen. I get a big thing of spinach or kale from Costco and divide it up and freeze it and toss it into my Shakeology too.

3. drink dinner ... while Shakeology isn't a must of the program it was really key for me because I made it for my dinner which filled me up and I was good with water for the rest of the night.

(this is about 1/4 of a shake - Julia likes to have one of her own for dessert) Chelsea told me she loved Chocolate Vegan and I did too (although - not vegan, no plans to be one)

I know the morning might be the best time for a lot of people to have a quick and filling meal on hand especially if you work out of the house and need something super snappy but I usually make a grip of soft boiled eggs for me and the kids that don't hate eggs and I'm good.

brown rice/quinoa mix (the microwaveable bag kind hashtag judge me), soft boiled egg, and sugar snap peas for an afternoon snack.

4. double dip during the workouts ... this might technically be frowned upon but I was WAY more motivated to get my workout in if I watched something on my laptop at the same time. I don't want put anyone in a situation where they might be tempted to sin BUT ...

... I understand if your jelly radars are going wild right about now with that big screen. Anyway, Bachelor in Paradise was my poison of choice.

On the days I went to barre class I sometimes skipped especially if Bosco was having a super fussy evening and there were a couple days that I opted to push the kids a few miles in the triple jogger just to get out of the house ... I don't advocate skipping but life happens. I'm still nursing Bosco (although not exclusively - I wish! and yes, I've tried allll the tricks, thanks) and didn't find that my supply dipped at all and as pathetic as you might think it is - this is the longest I've ever been able to nurse one of the kids which is a supply feat for bad cow Grace. I can't say if your supply will suffer if you're exclusively nursing - because I'm not you or an expert.

frozen kale, frozen fruit, plain greek yogurt, hidden non-frozen banana, and water ... party in a pitcher

Anyway, were there days that I didn't get all my vegetables in? Yes. Did I probably go over my fruit intake on occasion? Yep. Did I eat that slice of Dominos pizza because I didn't want to be the weirdo in the crowd that politely declined? Of course. Did I count iceberg lettuce as a vegetable? Totally. Did I do EVERY single modification the workouts offered? Y-E-S. And I'm sure there are some venials I'm forgetting but overall I stuck with it and refused to obsess over results but ultimately I lost seven pounds and seven inches and am out of all but one pair of my maternity jeans. I'm going for another round starting on September 14th and was part of an awesome Facebook group that was so encouraging and offered great tips because everyone is in the same busy + overwhelmed boat these days. You can get the whole package here and unless you know a coach personally and want to go with them ... I know Chelsea would appreciate if you kept her id# (646894) checked so that she can be your drill sergeant of a coach. Joke. She really is the best and answered all my annoying email questions really fast. Lightning fast. She's not paying me to say this ... I'm just a big fan of the program. I need structure and rules to jolt me out of my sedentary state and bad habits and this was perfect because it didn't feel impossible.

I might slip in my before and after photos when the post isn't at the top of the blog because I'm a chicken. We'll see!

Okay, I won't say happy hump day because apparently a lot of people hate that but happy plain old Wednesday to you instead.


  1. I just finished round 2 of 21 Day Fix! I'm so glad you're writing about it, because I love it too! Do you have any spectacular recipes you can share with a sister?

  2. Love love love 21 day fix. I follow it loosely, because... Pizza... But it's so super easy and I never felt hungry or felt the need to cheat. It's been great for me because I will eat bread and pasta with a side of cheese every meal, every day... And with this I do tons better at getting balanced meals without feeling like I'll stab someone because I. Need. Carbs. I've seen great results using the meal plan alone, though I'm hoping to add in the workouts soon.

  3. you may have just convinced me to pull the trigger on this. I've been on the fence because I'm cheap and just want the lbs to melt away while I sleep... le sigh.

    fist bump for still nursing! When my supply drops I hate trying to figure out when baby's getting enough/when she'll need more formula and I hate having to dump the leftovers.

  4. i love that ricebowl -- for a snack? even better!
    maybe i should do shakeology??? i start my second round on 9/20. what do u think? will you do shakeology again on your round 2?

    well.... im still on the program but failing miserably food wise. blame ice cream cake for my sebastian's bday.

    1. I didn't want to pay the ridiculous amount for Shakeology so I Googled alternatives that are cheaper and have more protein and there are tons! I buy nature's bounty from Walgreens and it's $16 a tub. Right now it's buy one get one free! It keeps me full from 8 am to noon!

    2. Yes to Shakeology!!

      And I think an ice cream cake cheat is allowed :)

    3. Good idea, Claire I'll check Walgreens out.
      And sorry Grace - I checked a couple days ago and missed your reply. Hmmmmm......

  5. There is no working out without television watching. IPad comes with me to the garage for cycling, and tv is on while I use the iPad for other workouts. Bachelor/ette/in paradise are usually on for me too.

  6. I just finished my first round of the 21 Day Extreme. I LOVED this article - you're hilarious. Did I follow it to a T, nope. Do I feel guilty? Nope. I changed habits, I learned, I evolved. Most importantly I learned about appropriate portion control and why I wasn't losing weight prior to this. I lost 9lbs and 16.5 inches. I will definitely do the entire program again but perhaps after my first half marathon in October.

  7. Did you find that it is safe to use shakeology while nursing? I've heard mixed thoughts...generally very positive but I've heard it can drop supply? I'm exclusively nursing my 7 week old. I have about 10-15lbs to go, though I know that it takes time! I am really looking for something healthy to fill me up.

    1. It didn't hurt my supply but I'm sure everyone is different!!

  8. Okay, so you realize that I scrolled all the way to the bottom for your before and afters (well, not scrolled...read), and then all the way back and up and down again. I was that disappointed. Because I was totally waiting for the chance to be THAT annoying girl who says, "You TOTALLY didn't need to lose anything in the first place!"

    Well, aren't you motivated to post those pictures *now*? See: Abbie's tips on how to not get people to do what she wants.

    Anyhoo, it was fun reading this because I did a clean-eating (10 days only) challenge back in the spring to get rid of some baby weight and then am doing it again now with a bunch of readers who joined in, PLUS drinking a gallon of water a day (gulp! literally).

    Because, you know, you asked for my life story.

  9. Ok. You did it. You inspired me. I have the last 7-10 pounds of 16 month old baby I haven't lost because I simply haven't done anything TO lose them. I'm going to do this! (And I'm so proud of you on the nursing front! A fed baby is a happy baby and you're doing great. No guilt! It's amazing you could nurse at all given all the transition after he was born!)

  10. just started it this week...glad to hear your results!!

  11. I follow this gal on instagram and she's a beach body coach and I'm even interested in the losing weight part or the body builder abs or anything, but I love following her because she is SO positive and inspirational, and everything I read from her, I'm like "hey, I want to feel that way!!" So I've been curious about this whole shakeology thing...but it's so pricey! I know that's a good thing, it means it's good quality, but I doubt I can fit that in with my grocery budget, for now at least. In the mean time I am going to try to eliminate the majority of the sugar/carbs I eat because sometimes I feel like I'm a 300 lb person walking around, I have no energy. I am so tempted by this now!!! Thank you so much for sharing, it's so good to hear other peoples reviews. I appreciate it!

    x. Morgan

  12. What flavors of Shakeology are good?

  13. I'm about to do my second round of whole 30 (maaaaybe just whole15 this time, hehe) and I'm 16 weeks pregnant with #3 (first round was in June - found out about the baby on day 15 but was able to finish up). So glad to hear you successfully did 2 rounds while pregnant - any tips for it? I just really crave carbs. And "just eat a sweet potato" doesn't cut it - ugh. But definitely want back on the wagon because I totally fell off in July and August. Thanks for posting about this too, maybe post baby I could give this a try (have heard ShakeO isn't good for pregnant moms - any truth to that?)

  14. Do before and after photos--they're the best part!

  15. I love 21 Day Fix! Except for leg day. Every Wesnesday I suck it up, though.



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