Thursday, December 31, 2015

My 2015 Transformation with the 21 Day Fix

2015 was quite a year for me - so many changes for the better, and I owe a lot of that to the 21 Day Fix and Autumn Calabrese!  She gave me the tools I needed to focus my efforts and really kick start myself into becoming a woman truly comfortable and content in her own skin.

*Results may vary

I have always wanted to be thin, fit and happy with what I see - who doesn't? And I have definitely enjoyed plenty of my life that way - I was lucky that it came naturally when I was young. I also lost a lot of weight when I got married, and when I was between jobs - but I always had some kind of extra push. This year was the time I decided it was time to do it simply because I wanted (and needed) to. 

 I had tried to get myself back in gear repeatedly with very little results, so I never kept up with it long. Then one day I saw the 21 Day Fix infomercial. 

Yep, I was suckered in by an infomercial. But it looked doable! Exercise is never something I've enjoyed, but I can suck it up for 30 minutes. And the food plan looked flexible enough to work easily with my needs for a strictly gluten-free diet, and also not too radical - it's a good balance of protein, carbs, and produce, with a few treats available to keep it livable. So I took the plunge and officially began my first round June 15, 2015. At that time, I told myself I could do anything for 21 days. 

Next thing I knew, I was hooked. This was a plan that worked - I was actually seeing results! On top of that, I felt amazing. Between all the clean eating, Shakeology and exercise I was finally hitting all of the things I needed to make it happen. And I finally felt in control of my food.  You really can't exercise off a bad diet. 

In just a few short months, not only have I gotten myself to the point where I truly love my body for what it looks like, I'm also crazy impressed with what it can do. Those workouts are so effective in building strength and endurance! I regularly pushed myself to modify less and go up in weights, and it felt so good. By November, I was ready to take it to the next level with 21 Day Fix Extreme, and now I'm gearing up to try out the Master's Hammer & Chisel on Monday!  If you had told me in June I'd be attempting an advanced program in January I would have laughed. And yet here I am, at least ready to try.

On top of that, this program has upped my mental game considerably. I have the energy to do more than just what I have to, and it's paying off! I became a Beachbody coach, initially to help me afford my new Shakeology habit, but it has really started to open up possibilities for having my own business to provide extra income. On top of that, my performance at work improved and I was recruited for a new position at my company!  And thanks to my new healthy choices, I feel absolutely ready to take it on and succeed in 2016.  Confidence truly is priceless.

So what are you waiting for?  See what the 21 Day Fix can do for you!  Reach out to me on Facebook or at - I can help guide you along the way.  You've got nothing to lose but self doubt!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

21 Day Fix: Where to Begin

So you've made the decision to kick start your transformation with the 21 Day Fix. Great choice! You now have all the tools you need to achieve your healthy goals - the eating guide, the workouts, and can't forget the Shakeology - and you just have to follow it. Easy, right?

Then you open that box and start reading over your new plan, and suddenly it starts to seem a bit overwhelming. You get the workouts, the containers, and the lists of foods you can eat all laid out for you in a clear and simple way, but translating that into action can be challenging.

The good news for you is that I've been through it, and I can help! I've been following the plan with great success since June, and it has completely changed the way I treat and view my body. I even became a Beachbody coach because I loved it so much and wanted to share with others.

 The 21 Day Fix is designed to fit easily into your busy lifestyle, but it does take some planning to really succeed and get the results you want. So where do you start?

First of all, give yourself at least a few days, ideally a full week, to prepare. This is a major life change for most people - it takes some forethought! You want to have your equipment, food, and plan all in place before you begin so you can hit the ground running on day one.

Think about where you can do the workouts - you'll need a room with at least enough space to lay flat and spread your arms out (I have plenty of space on my 6x8 rug).  I recommend having some kind of padded surface as well if it's not a carpeted area - I put a thick nonslip carpet pad under the rug on my tile floor.  And if you don't have a ceiling fan in the room, I'd invest in a portable one!

In that area you'll also need a way to play the routines - if you just have the program, you'll need a TV and DVD player.  If you subscribe to Beachbody on Demand, you can stream the workouts from a variety of sources, including anywhere you have a web browser.

There is a resistance band modifier on all of the weights workouts on the 21 Day Fix, so technically that's all you need, but I really recommend using free weights.  I've used the band when traveling and it's doable, but kind of complicated and awkward.  The lighter weights are very inexpensive and easy to find.    I started with 3 and 5 pound weights - I was not necessarily a stranger to exercise, but it had been awhile since I'd done anything more strenuous than yoga.  Err on the side of lighter/no weights though if it's been awhile - that initial few days of sore is tough if you go too hard.  Plenty of time to work your way up as it gets easier!

You'll also want a yoga mat for the pilates and yoga days, and either a cushioned mat or a beach towel for extra padding for your hands/knees for the floor moves - really necessary to protect your skin if you're on carpeting.

Make sure you have comfortable workout clothes - I usually wear running shorts and lightweight workout tanks for the most mobility.  I switch out for yoga pants on the yoga and pilates days.  For the shoes, cross trainers are your best bet since there are a lot of lateral moves (I absolutely love my Asics Gel-Fit Sanas, super lightweight and flexible!).  Also good to have a water bottle and some extra hand towels for all that sweat you'll be pouring :)

Start thinking about what you're going to eat.  You only have to work out for 30 minutes a day.  You have to sustain yourself throughout the rest of it!  Without planning, it's easy to quickly derail on the food - and that is the key to seeing results on this plan.  Contrary to many hopes, you can't exercise off a bad diet.

You've got your portion ratios and a list of foods, but that's all it is - numbers and foods.  You've got to make meals of that!  Unless you live alone, you probably have to think about other people's needs and wants as well for at least some of those meals.  If you're eating something entirely different from your family, it's not going to be easy to stick with.  Look at the food list, and note down items you use in family meals and snacks already.  It'll be easier when you stick to what's familiar, especially at first.

Hit up Pinterest for recipes and meal plan ideas - there are so many out there!  Autumn also has a fantastic cookbook, Fixate, that makes it really simple to find family-friendly recipes and translate them into containers.

Finally, start working on your meal plan - check out my post for some tips!  I like to plan the entire week ahead of time so I can shop and prep over the weekend.  It takes the pressure off during the week, you are setting yourself up for success, and it saves a ton of time.  Seriously.  I can't stress this planning thing enough!

Another element to planning is when.  Schedule your workouts just like appointments so that you don't miss them.  For me, this time is first thing in the morning, because getting up earlier is my way of adding the time I need to my day.  I also am notorious for blowing it off after work.  But maybe you're an evening person instead because your mornings are crazy.  Figure out what time works for you, and plan it.  It's just 30 minutes!

Also think about when you'll do things like meal prep and shopping - for me, I like to plan on Saturdays, and shop and do some prep on Sundays and some each evening - for more tips, check out my meal prepping post.

I promise, you CAN do this!  It's such a great way to turn around your eating and exercise habits for the better in a way that fits into your life.  If you want more personal help and guidance getting started, I can help with that too - just get in touch at or head on over to my Facebook page.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Are You Ready for the 21 Day Fix?

It’s almost that time.  The time when everyone wakes up from their holiday celebrations and indulgences and realizes that the party has to stop sometime.  The time where all of the media that constantly surrounds us suddenly goes from displaying every indulgent treat imaginable to clean and healthy food, new exercise gear, and lose pounds fast fitness tips.  I welcome it - it’s about to be a fresh new year, and a great chance for a fresh new you!

I’m going to be starting a new round January 4th with a laser focus on my nutrition, as that is easily where I see about 90% of my results.  The workouts are fantastic, and a great way to keep your metabolism humming, your mood up, and sculpt those muscles – but when you add in the clean, balanced eating plan that’s where the magic starts to happen!

That is why the 21 Day Fix program was the key for me.  In the past I’d start a workout regimen and give up after seeing barely any results over the course of a few months despite logging long hours at the gym.  I thought I was making healthier eating choices, but I still wasn’t balancing them correctly and eating too much of the wrong things. 

This program not only gives you condensed 30-minute workouts that can be adapted to all levels and get you in and out quickly in the comfort of your own home, it also provides an eating plan that uses a simple color-based method of balancing your food choices so that you are feeding your body for optimal nutrition and fat burning.  Add in the month’s supply of Shakeology that comes with the challenge pack and all its amazing benefits, and you’re well on your way towards jump starting your own healthy lifestyle! 

Now, Autumn Calabrese will give you the plan, but I think that to really succeed you also need some guidance - and that is where I come in.  I’ve done these programs for over 6 months now, graduating from 21 Day Fix to the 21 Day Fix Extreme program, and I want to help you!  I have the experience with it and the connections in the Beachbody coaching world to answer your questions, provide tips and ideas for success, personal encouragement and motivation in my online challenge group starting Jan 4th.  If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Facebook or via email at

Also check back throughout the week as I post more about my transformation story and my tips for successful preparation for the 21 Day Fix program!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Simple & Delicious: Roasted Kale

So I've been a kale fan for awhile, but it doesn't come into the meal plan all that regularly since lately I seem to tend towards roasted vegetables that require little effort and cleanup. That is before I have now figured out how to roast kale in a way that I actually like it.

I had tried kale chips in the past and was not a fan. When it gets really crispy crunchy, it almost dissolves in your mouth and I really could not get behind that. But last night I started thinking about the idea of getting it to a partially crispy state, so it still had some of that greens texture, while also getting that nice flavor from browning that makes roasted vegetables so irresistible.

Not only did it work really well, bonus that it was super quick, simple and even delicious left over!

Roasted Kale
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 (I did mine on convection roast at 350).

Remove tough stems from kale and coarsely chop. Toss kale in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet in foil. Spread kale out on the baking sheet (it's ok that it will not be in a single layer - it will shrink as it cooks).

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until leaves just start to brown.

I ate mine with a side of roasted spaghetti squash and chopped chicken, and it was really delicious! 21 Day Fix container equivalent of the above pictured plate - 2 green, 1 red, 1 teaspoon

I only ate about half of what I roasted last night, so I stored the rest in the fridge overnight and took it to work today for a hearty twist on my usual lunch salad. It was surprisingly really delicious cold, too! It even retained a little of the crispy texture.

I served it up with chopped chicken, quinoa, sliced almonds and balsamic vinaigrette. It is definitely going to be making an appearance many, many times in future lunch boxes! 21 Day Fix container equivalent - 1 red, 1 yellow, 2 green, 1 orange, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 blue

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