Saturday, August 15, 2015

21 Day Fix Meal Planning Tips

Today I want to talk meal planning for the 21 Day Fix. I think that this is one of the hardest areas of the program - and one of the most necessary. Planning really makes it possible, as the containers can be a tricky balance. It's not easy, especially at first, to figure out how to divide it all up. But as I got used to the routine, it became easier, and I've got some tips to help you out!

 

* Find a meal plan template that works for your style. I am a computer geek, so I made a spreadsheet. There are some great printables out there if you're more the handwriting type - Pinterest is full of them!

* Start by filling out your meal plan with anything you repeat regularly, like Shakeology for breakfast.

* Go for the dinners next - this is likely the area you will want to have the most variety, especially if you eat with others, so this will make sure you account for those containers right away.

* Plan some dinners that have leftovers and work those into the lunches - I like to vary my weekday lunches between leftover meals to reheat and green salads with chicken or other leftover proteins.

* After that, look at the containers you have left and fill in the remaining as your snacks or breakfast.

It made my life a lot easier to have a fair amount of repetition in the breakfast and snacks after all that other meal planning effort. My go-to's are Shakeology, fresh fruit/raw veggies, Boar's Head low sodium deli turkey, and peanut butter with crackers or a slice of bread. Anything portable and easy to prep/pack for work!

If you want some ideas for recipes, check out my recent blog posts for some that I've come up with - the Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Zucchini is especially popular! Pinterest is also a fantastic resource for some 21 Day Fix food inspiration, and of course Autumn's new Fixate cookbook is full of great 21 day fix approved recipes!

What have you found that works for you?

 

 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Join Me & Thousands Doing the Labor Day Fix!

Are you ready for a jump start to a healthy, fit lifestyle to round out your summer? Well, so are thousands of others! I'd love to see you join me for Labor Day Fix, which is going to be a truly epic round of the 21 Day Fix with guidance and motivation from Autumn Calabrese herself! It officially starts August 17th, prep starts this week.




I've been participating in the Facebook group and it's full of people on the same journey I am, giving encouragement, asking questions, sharing experiences. Autumn's going to be handing out lots of prizes, and if anyone is interested in joining me I'll do a separate private group with my own help and prizes! Just comment below or get in touch at jennifl@beachbodycoach.com.




Why do I find this program so great? It's the whole package! It tackles portion control, salt & sugar, proper balance of food groups, all in a simple container system. No calorie counting! Then it adds workouts that not only easily fit into your day at a mere 30 minutes, they are highly effective and easily adaptable to a wide variety of fitness levels.


I have seen all sizes and ages doing this program and they all love it. One thing that really stands out is people's comments that they have tried other programs and they were just too hard/caused injury, but not this one. It's 7 workouts, balanced between weights, cardio and stretch. And minimal equipment - all you really need is a resistance band and mat, although I use dumbbells instead of the band. They are set up as rounds of short bursts with short rests, and it goes quickly. The yoga workout is also among the best I've found on DVD, perfect mix of flow and static poses.


I've personally had many positive changes with the 21 Day Fix Challenge - check out my round 2 results! And that doesn't even scratch the surface on the improvements I've experienced. I really would love to be your coach and help you change your game.


You still have time to start with us on the 17th! Order your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack today - amazing deal, you get the program for just $10 when you try Shakeology, which is a great way to round out your nutrition and help with carb and sweet cravings. Even if it's not here on time, you get immediate free access to Beachbody on Demand for 30 days, where the whole program will be available - eating plan PDFs and all the workouts to stream. And I will be here for you to help plan and answer any questions. No excuses!! Who's with me?



 

 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

One-Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken

Every now and again I come across a combination that I just love.  Balsamic and honey might just be my new favorite!  This meal is a great one for a simple weeknight meal - one pan, minimal fuss, delicious results.


One-Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Directions

Mix together the Italian dressing, balsamic vinegar, raw honey and crushed red pepper flakes to make the sauce.  For the raw honey, I recommend putting it in the microwave for a bit to help it combine more easily - use low power, or a soften setting if you have one.  

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the olive oil.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in skillet - about 3-4 minutes per side.  After they are browned, add half of the sauce to the skillet, reserving the other half for later.  Coat the chicken in it, then remove the chicken to a plate, leaving sauce in pan.

While the chicken is cooking, partially cook the green beans in the microwave - I usually do about 2 minutes in my amazing silicone steam cooker (obsessed).  I add this step because I find green beans take awhile to cook, and the balsamic sauce reduces down quickly.

Add the green beans to the skillet and finish cooking them through, coating them in the sauce.  Remove them to the plate with the chicken.  

Add the remaining sauce to the skillet and stir constantly for a minute to let it thicken.  Add the chicken and green beans back to the skillet, and add the tomatoes.  Toss it all together and serve.

21 Day Fix Containers (per serving)
  • 1 Red
  • 2 Green
  • 1 Orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon
                            

Thursday, July 30, 2015

21 Day Fix: Round 2 Results

So I made it 2 rounds of the 21 Day Fix, back to back!  There were some cheats, particularly since during round one we celebrated the 4th of July, and during round two we took a brief vacation up to St. Augustine.  But I still made healthier choices on both those occasions, and while I had some other cheats on the diet, I definitely stuck to the workout plan and kept pushing myself.

And guess what?  I really saw results this time!  Last time I saw good ones but I felt like I did not look very different.  After round two, I could really tell a difference in my before and after photos.  I actually lost the same number of pounds/inches each round.  Keep on going for a peek at my results!



I really think that round one was my key to getting my mindset and habits back on track - as they say, it takes 21 days to make a habit, and that was something I could definitely tell.  It was easier to get out of bed in the mornings to work out (partly because I was less sore, but also because I was used to it).  I found it easier to do the workouts and keep up, and even keep pushing, so that part got fun.  And this time I really saw a difference in my body as well as my strength.  In this final week, I upped my light/heavy weights from 5 lbs and 8 lbs to 8 lbs and 10 lbs!  I surprised myself, actually, and can't wait to see what I can keep doing.



I kept up with the Shakeology - I'm not sure I'm ever going to give that up.  I enjoy it, it's really good for me, it helps with cravings, makes me feel great, and it's chocolate.  'Nuff said.  #shakeologyforlife



I am looking forward to my journey as a Beachbody coach, and the community of amazing people that I have found to motivate, inspire, and share with.  I really, really hope that my experience, results and desire to help you achieve your goals will inspire you to join up with me as your coach and join the 21 Day Fix challenge!!  I'm going to be participating in my coach's challenge group starting up Monday, and will start recruiting for my own groups after that.  Would love to have you - I promise it will change your game completely if you are up for it!

So as promised...results!  

I never thought I'd be one of those people who is all, I lost so many inches in so few weeks!  Or post before and after pictures of myself publicly.  Eep.  But here I am, proof positive and proud enough to do it.  Overall I lost 12 inches and 8 lbs - a full 2.5 inches from my waist and 3.5 from hips!  These photos don't even show how nicely this program has started to shape my legs too.  Autumn Calabrese totally knows what she's doing.

I would still like to keep moving forward and trim down more, but it's really exciting to see such a difference.  I know a lot of people would probably like to see miracle results in just 21 days, but...it takes time.  I still think 6 weeks is a ridiculously short amount of time to see this much progress, I've never had these kinds of results before.  You never know until you try!








Sunday, July 26, 2015

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp

We took a mini vacation to St. Augustine this week and ended up coming home with a pound of fresh shrimp and some snapper.  We were debating shrimp ideas when my husband suggested something crispy but healthy, and these baked coconut shrimp were the end result.

They were really easy to put together, we breaded them shake and bake style in a plastic baggie and tossed them in the oven for a few minutes, then served them up with a bottled fruit sauce.




Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, 21-25 count
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs (I use Aleia brand)
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut (I use Let's Do Organic brand)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
Prepare shrimp by peeling/deveining.  Combine coconut and panko breadcrumbs with salt and pepper to taste in a gallon-size plastic storage bag.

Take the egg white and cornstarch and whip vigorously together until it starts to get foamy.  Toss the shrimp in the egg, then put in the bag and toss to coat.

Lay shrimp out on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy - I used convection, so mine went at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  They may need a higher heat in a regular oven.

I served ours up with Tropical Pepper Co's Mango Coconut sauce, which I've found at a variety of grocery stores.  Fresh and easy.

21 Day Fix Container Equivalents per serving (about 6 shrimp)
  • 1 red
  • 1/2 yellow 
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 purple (dipping sauce - not 1/2 the container's worth of sauce, but this is how I counted it)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Simple Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers

I made this stuffed pepper last week when my husband was away - it was so quick and simple, I had to share the recipe!  Easy to portion for one or many.  Very delicious, and of course 21 Day Fix approved!



Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 red container (3/4 cup) lean ground turkey 
  • 1/2 yellow container (1/4 cup) cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
  • 1 blue container  (1/3 cup) shredded cheese, divided
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Seasonings to taste
Directions

Preheat toaster oven to 400 degrees 

Heat a small skillet over medium heat.  Brown turkey and add seasonings as desired - I kept it simple with a roasted garlic and herb mix, salt and pepper.  

While turkey is browning, prep your pepper - cut the top off, then use your knife to separate the ribs to remove the center seeds.

After turkey is cooked, stir in the rice and most of the shredded cheddar.  Add turkey mixture to bell pepper and top with remaining cheese.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes, shorter if you like crisp peppers.  The longer you let it go, the more of a roasted pepper texture you will get (my preference).

Container Equivalent:
  • 1 Green
  • 1 Red
  • 1 Blue
  • 1/2 Yellow

Saturday, July 18, 2015

From Self Intervention to Reinvention


If you've followed me lately, you might have noticed my posts have a new theme. 



When I started the 21 Day Fix Challenge it was like an intervention to get me back on track.  As it turns out, I have been loving the program so much and have seen such amazing results, both physically and mentally, that I feel like it's turned into a reinvention. I am motivated to get sweaty daily and feel fitter than I have in years.  I have fallen in love with Shakeology, my daily dose of healthy nutrition. I have found kindred spirits who love to share their experiences and progress in the Beachbody community

In fact, I have had such a great experience that I decided to take on a larger role in Team Beachbody and have officially signed up to be a coach!  

                                      

I am so excited to be a part of such an amazing group of people that will both allow me to help others and get my own motivation to keep working hard to stay fit, instead of falling back into bad habits. 

So what does that mean for my blog? You'll see some cosmetic changes here and on my other blog social media profiles, but I'm still going to post delicious gluten free recipes...they will just be a little healthier. And I'm going to start sharing more of my fitness journey, my experience with the 21 Day Fix, and my own life. So still Spoonful, just a little more Jenni thrown in :)

I hope that you all stick around with me on my journey, and I really hope I can help inspire and motivate anyone who follows Spoonful at a Time with healthy thoughts, foods and fitness.

And if you want to join up with me as your Beachbody coach, I'd love to help you on your journey too.  Just go to the website below and click Join - it's free!  I'll be doing challenge groups for the 21 Day Fix soon, and I'd love to have you.

www.beachbodycoach.com/JenniFL
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