When Erica approached me to do this challenge (and blog about it) I had a healthy amount of skepticism. Mainly because, well, it’s a very busy time of year for vacations, and day drinking, and other things that don’t always vibe well with a workout and diet plan. BUT I agreed, knowing I’d go through this with some cheats, so let’s just get those out of the way right now, shall we?
Confession is good for the soul
I REGRET NOTHING
So, yeah, it would be factually inaccurate to say I’ve been following the 21 Day Fix to the letter (and I’ll be in Florida for the last week, so there’s that). However, even with all of the above, I’ve already lost four pounds!
Ok, this is a more accurate (read, honest) workout face
This is possible because, as with most things, following something to the letter isn’t the only way to make it more effective. Yes, I may have had a couple more cocktails than the program calls for – and the occasional truffle potato chip. But overall, my eating habits cleaned up quite drastically from before the program:
Look at the food in this picture. Ice cream, pasta, arroz con pollo. And a three pack of wine.
Now here’s a snapshot from this week. Lots of green, leafy, fresh, vegetable laden dishes, and a no sugar added watermelon cooler.
That’s the funny thing about working out and eating right. It really doesn’t take much to get good results! And much of getting good results is making healthy choices. Our dinner at Carbone’s last week is a great example of this. I was a bit nervous about it, as I associate Italian places with pasta and really didn’t want to go off the deep end, as far as sticking to the eating plan. But not only was I able to find an entree that was very healthy, it was also, by far, the most satisfying and delicious menu option for me:
Truly a win win!
Another meal I was worried about (and shouldn’t have been) Taste of Hartford at Trumbull Kitchen. I ate all the peppered sea scallops, the watercress, and a small bite of the sticky rice. Perfectly satisfying and quite healthy.
It also helps if, like me, you happen to love working out. I just really do (sorry). So, although I am not physically strong enough to follow the seven workouts per week – I average five days – two of those days are heavier work outs than the program calls for- such as a half hour of running and then cardio. Or a power yoga class. Again, it’s a matter of fixing bad habits, not reinventing your entire fitness and eating routine.
Also very useful, along with the eating plan and exercise DVDs (which I am going to be so happy to have this winter when it gets dark outside early and it’s too nasty to drive to the gym) there are these really delicious and healthy nutrient dense shakes in the 21 day fix:
Vanilla shake with ice and orange juice
Chocolate with kale, blueberries, and coffee. Weird combo I know but it tastes delicious. Also, a nice photobomb from P!
I come from a family of health freaks, and unfortunately I don’t always follow the good habits I learned as a kid, such as taking in plenty of vitamins. These shakes are laden with dense nutrition – I can tell from my energy levels and skin tone – so it’s not just a meal replacement, it’s also a very healthy helping of things your body wants and needs to function at peak proficiency!
One more big, helpful factor for me: my CSA with the Garlic Farm! Having a guaranteed portion of delicious, fresh, organic and GMO free vegetables per week is just awesome, and P really enjoys picking up the veggies, so it’s been a great experience so far:
Eat more kale. No seriously, do it
Kale jokes, courtesy of Bagels to Broccoli! Ok, I’ll stop now
One other healthy habit I’m really enjoying about the 21 day fix is the water bar:
Infused water is delicious, healthy, and very easy to do. My favorite combo is blueberries and basil. I’ve found I can start an infusion at work and leave it at my desk for several days (covered), topping up as needed, and it is delightful. It’s very important to stay hydrated when dieting, as well as in the hot summer months, and all of this is especially true for me, as I’m anemic (another reason I’m not overly focused on calorie control). I’m finding throughout this program that I am gaining healthy habits which I will certainly keep once the fix is over – the shakes, the healthier options, the water bar, the cardio boosts – it’s all going to be part of my daily routine as well as a more intensive program for the next ten days or so. And I think that’s the most important thing: when you learn to be healthy, it becomes a natural part of who you are, leading to confidence, energy, and a boosted self esteem. Modifications are important based on lifestyle and also history – I used to have an eating disorder so you won’t see me weighing in more than twice during this process – but overall, each tiny win on the road to being healthy leads to a happier life – and just maybe – a hotter bod. 🙂