21 Day Fix Planning Tools

Recently I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for my 21 Day Fix planning tools. I didn’t share them on here right away because I wanted to test them and see if they needed to be tweaked at all. I’m happy to say the the people in my accountability group all found them to be very helpful and no one had any changes to them!

Below, you will find a weekly meal planner, shopping list and a worksheet that will help you to plan your week and stay on track with the program! As I’ve mentioned in my 21  Day Fix posts, planning is KEY with this program. If you don’t take the time to plan out your meals, grocery shop ahead of time and meal prep, you will find yourself scrambling for meals and most likely going off plan.

21 Day Fix Planning ToolsI used the above planning tools along with these Printable Tally Sheets, which I found on Pinterest. You can either print out 3 to get you through the 21 days or you can laminate the sheet (or slip it into a clear sheet protector) and use a dry erase marker to mark off your containers and then wipe it clean for the following week.

Another great tool some of used was using the Reminders app on the iPhone to create a tracking system. Here is a great tutorial I found on Pinterest for how to set it up and use it. It really came in handy for the times I was out and about.

This may seem like a lot of tools for a 21 day program, but they all come in really handy and help to keep you on track and organized. My entire test group loved these tools and said that they made the process of planning a lot easier.

If you have any questions on how to use them, please feel free to contact me!

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Body Beast ….Whatever It Takes!

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It feels like I just settled in to the 21 Day Fix but it’s over, which means the start of a new program for me! When I started 21 Day Fix in June, I made a deal with Mike that if he joined me for the 3 weeks, I would join him for a round of Body Beast. He kept his end of the deal (with great results) and I’m keeping mine!

In all honesty, I love weight lifting. I would much rather lift weights than do cardio. I feel more accomplished, stronger and like I’m doing something with purpose when I lift. I don’t know…it just makes me happy!

Now, for those of you who have never heard of Body Beast, it’s a 90 day Beachbody program (no surprise there…I adore their workouts and have been doing them for 5 years now) that combines weight lifting workouts, groundbreaking nutrition, and supplementation, all in one neat little package. This program does require a vast collection of dumbbells, a bench and a bar with weight plates but there are limited equipment options that use a stability ball with dumbbells in place of the bench and bar. You’ll also need a pull-up bar or resistance bands.

  • Body Beast includes 12 different cutting-edge workouts that fuse the best of old-school resistance training with a new breakthrough in sports science called Dynamic Set Training.
  • Increases in resistance, power, tempo, and volume lead to greater muscle gain and fast results.
  •  The Body Beast Eating Plan helps you increase in size, maintain new muscle growth, and cut up to be in competition shape.
  • Four new extreme supplements specifically designed to enhance growth and performance. (optional)

The Base Kit for Body Beast includes 12 workouts plus a FREE bonus disc called Lucky 7 when you order through one of the links here. This kit will take you through the 3 phases of Beast which are Build, Bulk and Beast. There is also a Challenge Pack option for this program that includes all of the Body Beast Supplements. I am only using the Hardcore Base Shake and Fuel Shot. Mike has added the Super Suma along with those and decided not to add any M.A.X. Creatine for this round.

In my opinion, one of the best aspects of this program is The Book of Beast, which is the program/nutrition guide. It is packed with information and will give you such a great understanding about fueling your body correctly to get the results you want! It also has some of the best recipes I’ve tried with a Beachbody program. I’ve shared the recipes for Sagi’s Signature Turkey Meatballs, Power Protein Balls and Beast Chili before, but there are so many others, including this Body Beast Power Turkey Meatloaf.

Body Beast Power Turkey Meatloaf
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds of lean ground turkey meat
  2. 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used GF oats that I slightly pulsed in the blender)
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  4. ground black pepper to taste
  5. 1 cup of all-natural salsa (whatever you like with chips)
  6. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  7. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  8. fresh chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine the ground turkey, salsa, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, sea salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Form into the shape of a loaf and place in a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  4. Bake on the center rake of the oven for 60-70 minutes until no longer pink in the middle.
  5. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 8 equal pieces.
Notes
  1. Tip: Sagi says that leftovers freeze well, so even if you are doing this program alone, don't be afraid to make a whole batch and freeze the extra slices.
Get Fit With Nikki http://www.getfitwithnikki.com/
 I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this recipe. I honestly didn’t even want to make it, since I associate meatloaf was colder weather, but I’m really glad I gave it a shot!

Mike and I are almost done with week one and I am really enjoying lifting again. I am as sore as anything and I might have posted this today on Instagram…

Body Beast…but I really am enjoying it and feeling the changes in my muscles already.

I know I have been a little bit of slacker here the past week, but I hope to post a Fourth of July weekend recap as well as a post of how to Eat Like A Beast soon!

Any ladies out there complete Body Beast of currently doing Body Beast? If so, I would love to know if you are using the supplements and what your thoughts are on the program.

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21 Day Fix …Final Results

21 Day FixWow…I’m a slacker! I finished 21 Day Fix almost 2 weeks ago and I haven’t posted about it. Without further delay, here are my thoughts and final results for the 21 Day Fix.

Week three was a lot of fun but I’m not going to lie, it left me very tired. I opted to ramp things up by following the doubles schedule that came with the program. Each morning I did my secondary workout and then at night, I did the regular scheduled workout with Mike. Doing doubles definitely kicked my metabolism into overdrive and in all honesty, I think I should have upped my carb intake to fuel myself better through them. I followed the recommendation in the book that you can have extra green containers if you are still hungry, but I think my body needed that carb. That could be the carb junkie in me speaking, but I didn’t want to go against the “rules” since this was my first time doing the program. Doing doubles was rough on the shoulders but my core strength definitely improved that week. I recommend the doubles option in the third week. Just make sure you watch your form! Fatigue can cause injury if you don’t watch your alignment and no one wants to get injured.

My final weigh-in showed that I was down 1 pound for the week, .5 inches in my waist and .5 inches in my hips. I’m also up .5 inches of muscle in each thigh.

Overall for this program, I lost the most weight the week prior to the official start date, while becoming familiar with the containers. Including that week, I lost a total of 6lbs. I didn’t have measurements for that week prior, so my inches lost are 6 total for the course of the 3 weeks. I can see a clear difference in my waist, booty and I developed some nice shoulder tone (which I expected since she hammers them daily). My core feels a lot tighter thanks to doing Pilates multiple times during doubles week and my cravings and energy are both in much better places.

This program is definitely a game changer for your nutrition! My diet was pretty clean but my portions were all off. My carb intake was way too high and my protein portions were way too small. I also indulged in way too much avocado! Even healthy foods can cause weight gain if you eat too much of them…sigh. 21 Day Fix is an awesome way to dial in your eating habits, learn what healthy portion sizes are and start a new habit of working out daily. It’s a program I will definitely do again and those containers will be moving forward with me as Mike and I take on Body Beast for the next 90 Days!

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I Selected a Workout, Now What?

now whatGetting excited about starting a new workout program is natural. You hear about a new program a friend is starting, see someones results or can’t sleep at night, catch an infomercial and decide “I’m going to that!”. These are common beginnings for many people who decide to start a new workout program, but what happens when your program arrives, it’s time to show up for that workout class or day 1 of training rolls around? 

This is a list of workout tips that have worked not only for myself, but for the people I’ve helped to get started on their fitness journeys:

NUTRITION IS KEY: All of the exercise in the world cannot undo a bad diet. If you purchased a new workout program that comes with a nutrition, like the ones I follow, make sure you read, understand and follow the eating plan. If you are beginning a program that doesn’t come with a nutrition guide, become familiar with Clean Eating. You’re only cheating yourself if you don’t make your nutrition a priority.

FOLLOW THE PROGRAM AS LAID OUT: If you purchased a complete program, chances are it came with a workout calendar. This calendar is your friend and has been laid out to get your maximum results. It’s common to not feel like doing a specific workout on a specific day, but don’t go off program and pick a workout to suit your mood. Doing this works against your goals and doesn’t help you to break out of your comfort zone and form new habits. These programs will give you results if you follow them as laid out.

MAKE YOUR WORKOUTS A PRIORITY: Treat your workouts as if they were an appointment. Block out time in your schedule and show up everyday. You wouldn’t dream of laying on the couch and watching TV if you had a doctors appointment, would you? Don’t treat your workouts as an option…you have to work for the results. You’ll also feel better and have more energy once you complete them. The sense of accomplishment that comes from doing a daily workout is a powerful and will carry over into other daily tasks you do.

FIND YOUR WHY: Your reason for ordering, deciding to start or committing to a workout program is important. You should write down the top 3 reasons why you decided to start. After you write them down, put them somewhere visible…on the fridge, the snack cabinet, next to your computer or on the bathroom mirror…put them in a place where you will see them multiple times a day so they act as a reminder. Changing the way you think plays a big role in fitness success.

TRACK YOUR TRANSFORMATION: Taking “before” photos as well as measurements are super important. As a society we put way too much stock into the number on the scale. That number doesn’t tell the whole story of what’s going on during your transformation. There may be a week were the scale stays the same but you lose inches in your waist, hips and thighs because you are building lean muscle. If you don’t have that extra way of tracking, you may get frustrated and give up all because the scale showed you a big old zero, meanwhile your body did change and you didn’t know it because you didn’t take 5 minutes to measure. As for photos, I know the before may be embarrassing, but they are only for your reference and looking at the “before” and “after” side by side can be truly eye opening.

GET SUPPORT: Surrounding yourself with supportive people is very important when you take on a lifestyle change. Negativity is all around us and we have enough self doubt in the beginning, we don’t need outside voices telling us that we can’t do something because they are afraid to. People who begin a new program with me as their coach are always placed in an accountability group with people who are just starting out so they can motivate each other, ask questions and see that they are not alone in their ups and downs. Being around like-minded, positive people is a key component to successfully completely a fitness program.

 Follow these tips to start your journey off on the right foot. There will be ups and downs, challenges and road blocks, but if you stay focused on your “why” and have a good support team around you, the sky is the limit and you will amaze yourself at what you can accomplish when you truly set your mind on a goal.

If you’ve been wanting to start a new fitness routine but have been unsure as to where to start or need support, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear what your goals are and help you get started.

Do you have a tried and true tip to share with beginners? If so share it below!

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You Can Socialize While on the 21 Day Fix…Who Knew?!

This past weekend I was invited to a Paint and Sip party at my friend, and fellow accountability partners house. If you are not familiar with what a Paint and Sip party is, it’s an evening of wine, cocktails, finger foods, laughter and trying to replicate a photo of a painting, chosen by the party hostess. (Note: My hostess chose the hardest option because she liked the colors….thanks Corine)

I was excited to give this a go since I have always had a love of drawing and art. I was however a bit nervous about the food and drink at the event since I am doing the 21 Day Fix right now. The bright side of the situation is that the party hostess is also doing the program with me, so we were able to chat about food options and what would fit in.

Before I continue, let’s take care of a few myths about being healthy:

  • We don’t lock ourselves in the house to avoid temptation.
  • We eat foods other than lettuce, carrots and spinach.
  • Healthy food doesn’t mean bland, flavorless and gross. 
  • We aren’t perfect and we don’t instantly gain back all of our weight if we eat a cookie.
  • We can enjoy alcohol and treats, in moderation.
  • We also like to have fun and enjoy a night out.

I have been to plenty of parties, weddings, bbq’s and the like over the 5 years that I’ve been working on being healthy, so I know how to make smart choices, I just wasn’t sure to plan my entire day around this event while on the 21 Day Fix. Looking back at it now, I made a bigger deal about it than I needed to. If you look at the items you’re allowed to have while on the plan, there isn’t much that is off limits and worst case, you need to go low carb for the day so you can trade in a yellow container for a treat or an alcoholic drink.

When thinking about typical party fare, there is almost always salsa, a veggie tray, hummus, fruit, some type of cold cut platter and in the summer there is always a grilled protein option. All of these fit into the program. In this case, the get together was late in the evening, so I already had dinner. I saved a veggie (green container), fruit (purple container) and healthy fat (blue container). I also happened to be short on protein  (red container) for the day, because as I mentioned yesterday, I had my son’s end of year party up at his school, so I knew I had plenty of options.

I ended up having some grilled chicken strips with pineapple salsa, a little bit of hummus and guacamole with veggies and I had two sips of the cocktail that was being made because it had Angry Orchard in it and I was intrigued, but I didn’t count two sips as a yellow…that’s just silly.

21 Day Fix Approved Snack and painting

A cocktail, some 21 Day Fix approved snacks and my assignment for the night

Once I had my snack situation all settled, the reality that it’s been years since I’ve painted set in and I became grateful that I ended up with the seat in the back, where no one could see what I was doing.

The instructor was very nice and gave us tips on setting up our canvas, how to sketch key items, a little lesson on perspective when drawing and how to mix the paints to achieve the different looks in the photo. The hardest part for me was working with acrylic paint on canvas because it doesn’t blend like oil paints and dried super fast. 

To me the most enjoyable part was chatting with the other ladies at my table, laughing at our mistakes and realizing that I am not the only person who is way too hard on themselves. We woman really need to learn how to lighten up, we put so much pressure on ourselves.

Finished product with original

Finished product along with original.

Paint and Sip

Group photo of everyone with their master piece.

Overall I had an awesome time, even if I was exhausted by the time we were done. I’m trying to convince my husband to attend a Date Night one with me, but he’s resisting so far.

How do you handle events and parties while on the 21 Day Fix or just while being healthy? Do you try your best to stick to your goals or do you say screw it and have a full on cheat day?

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21 Day Fix – Week 2 Complete!

Talk about a fast moving program…wow! I honestly can’t believe I am in my last week of the 21 Day Fix already.

Coming off of week one, I felt ready when we entered week two. A lot of the guess work was taken out and I figured out how to space my meals and what snacks worked best for me. I used my meal calendar from week one as a guide, set up my menu for week two and prepped as much stuff as I could. There were a few days where I needed to change things up, but I felt confident in doing that since I had a week under my belt already…because one week of doing this makes me a pro, of course.

During week 1, while doing Cardio Fix, I noticed the blackboard in the background of workouts that has a motivational quote on it. The quote matched what Autumn was saying to keep us motivated and I thought that was cool. As I entered week 2, I became aware of this board in all of the workouts and how the quote changed in each one. I thought this was a very cool and subtle detail…not to be outdone of course by the Shakeology bar and t-shirts everywhere..haha! (But seriously Shakeology is good stuff…don’t sleep on it!)

21 Day Fix Still

1 Day At A Time…1 Pound At A Time

I ran into a few challenges during week 2, but it was nothing awful. Friday I had my sons end of year party at school, which of course was right smack in the middle of lunch time. That day I opted to workout before having breakfast, which is something I am not usually a fan of. I actually loathe it, but I wasn’t starving and I knew it made sense to have a later breakfast so I wouldn’t be hangry while helping with his class. Thankfully I also thought ahead and blended up some Shakeology to pour it into my shaker cup before heading over to the school. The class mom provided Wendy’s for all of the kids and of course she ordered extra and when the kids didn’t want anymore, she offered it to us. I have only had fast food like that a handful of time in the past few years, which is something I am very proud of. However, if I was hangry I don’t know if I would be able to resist a cheeseburger…this is why planning is so important!

21 Day Fix Motivation

My second challenge was also on Friday. I was invited to a Paint & Sip party (more on that in my next post) so I wasn’t 100% sure as to which containers to keep free to use there. The good thing was the hostess is in my accountability group, so I knew there would be something I could eat…score! The other  issue I faced for this event was whether or not I wanted to give up one of my yellow containers for a beer. I ended up only having a sip of a cocktail that was served and I’m not counting a sip as an entire yellow.

Overall I felt great in week two. The workouts seemed to go smoother, I felt stronger and planning my meals was second nature. I also had my husband on board 100% which was nice, because he was a little resistant to the containers in week one.

My numbers aren’t jaw dropping at all, but that doesn’t bother me because I feel amazing and I’ve managed to get my nutrition under control, which is why I’m doing the program. I lost 1 pound and my measurements all stayed the same. My  husband on the other hand, lost 2 pounds and a total of 7 inches and the ladies in my accountability group are all kicking ass and taking names, which makes me happy!

For week 3 I’ve opted to follow the doubles schedule along with one of my accountability partners. I haven’t decided if I’ll do the 3 Day Quick or not, I think that will be a last minute decision for me.

Have you done the 3 Day Quick Fix? I would love to know if you think it is worth adding or if I should save it for another time.

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My New BFF…Coconut Oil

Coconut OilI first heard of coconut oil a few years ago when my husband was trying to replicate his beloved movie theater popcorn. We bought some and it was used only making popcorn…and I don’t mean the healthy kind.

A little over a year ago, I began learning more about the Paleo style of eating and noticed that many of the recipes called for coconut oil instead of olive oil or other conventional oils. Around that same time, a friend of mine said that she recently began using coconut oil as a hair mask and I had to try it. Obviously curiosity took over and I tried using coconut oil in these new ways. I was instantly hooked and coconut oil has quickly become my go-to item for many different uses. As a matter of fact, I have three jars of it in my house at all times…1 in the kitchen for cooking, 1 in the bathroom and 1 in the bedroom for moisturizing and health & beauty purposes.

Ways I Use Coconut Oil
Cooking – I have been using coconut oil instead of olive oil when cooking for almost a year now. Coconut oil is able to tolerate high heats very well, so I’ve been using it in when I stir-fry or saute vegetables. It’s also great for baking and can be substituted in a 1 to 1 ratio. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it is cholesterol free and trans-fatty acid free and has actually been shown to help lower cholesterol levels due to its ability to stimulate thyroid function.

Skin Care – NJ winters tend to leave my skin dull, dry and scaly, but not anymore! I started using coconut as a moisturizer and my skin is now silky smooth. I began by applying a small amount of coconut oil to my skin after my showers, but now I even use it in place of shaving cream. You can also use it as a facial moisturizer. It may feel a little greasy at first, but the skin quickly absorbs it and leaves your skin looking refreshed and glowing. Coconut oil has even been shown to help with skin issues such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.

First Aid – Speaking of applying it to skin, I recently found out that coconut oil helps to repair skin that has been cut, scraped or bruised. I noticed it on myself as a side effect of using it daily and after a little reading, found out that it forms a barrier that keeps dirt, bacteria and viruses out of wounds. It also speeds up the healing process and can help bruises heal faster. I was skeptical when I read that it can help reduce the visibility of varicose veins but I tried it and guess what…it works!

Hair Care – As I mentioned above, a friend of mine told me that she used coconut oil as a hair mask, so I had to give it a try. I warn you…it gets messy, but it’s totally worth it. I applied the coconut oil to my hair liberally and gathered my hair on top of my head so I could apply a shower cap (trust me, you want to use the shower cap. I tried it without and was running down my face and neck. Gross). I left it on for about an hour and then shampooed as normal. My hair instantly felt soft and smooth and my curls were more manageable. I’ve also noticed I don’t have issues with flaky scalp or dandruff anymore, which is a nice bonus!

Oral Health – While I’ve seen pins about brushing your teeth with coconut, I have not tried that. What I have tried is “oil pulling” which  involves rinsing (swishing) approximately one tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spitting it into the trash before rinsing your mouth out with water. As the oil hits your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as if they are being pulled out by a powerful magnet, then bacteria hiding in the gums and in pores within the teeth are sucked out of their hiding places and held firmly in the solution. The oil needs to be swished until it turns a milky white which means it is full of bacteria. It takes a little getting used to and you may need to start with a smaller amount of oil and work your way up. Just make sure you spit the oil into the trash and not the sink or toilet. Coconut oil turns hard at certain temperatures so it can clog drains. You also want to make sure you don’t swallow any of the oil since it is full of bacteria. People that “oil pull” claim that it helps to whiten their teeth, reduces halitosis, relieve gum and tooth sensitivity and reduce gingivitis. I began trying it when I heard it can help to alleviate jaw pain and it’s worked!

Digestion – The saturated fat in coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties that help control parasites and fungi that can cause indigestion and other digestion issues. The fat in coconut oil also helps to aid in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Coconut oil has also been shown to improve your metabolism and thyroid function, while increasing your energy levels.

These are only a few of the many uses for it…and as you can see it’s pretty damn versatile!

Do you use coconut oil in your daily life? Have a use for it that is not listed above…please share cause I’d love to hear how you use it!

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