Have you heard of the 21 day fix by Beachbody? It is the latest all the rage diet but actually has its roots in clean eating and getting healthy.
The idea is that you eat a limited number of servings of each type of food groups; vegetables, fruits, proteins, carbs, healthy fats, oils, etc. based on your weight and your goal (weight loss or maintenance). There are different colors that signify each food group and the allotted amounts for each. Typically it is recommended in conjunction with specific workouts and shakeology protein shakes, but just following the plan for weight loss is a great way to train your body to eat what is good for you and eat clean as well as practice portion control. There is a list of approved foods, you can eat pretty much anything that’s not processed and you can have very little dairy.
After Madeline was born, I lost the baby weight fast thanks to breastfeeding and the fact that I was really careful about weight gain during my pregnancy. So while I was down to below my pre-pregnancy weight, I still wasn’t at a weight I was happy with. I was overweight when I got pregnant and am hoping to lose another 35-40 lbs. before Mike returns from bootcamp which is 14 weeks long. This will gave me enough time to do three rounds of the 21 Day Fix!
It was harder to follow this plan than I thought. One of the hardest parts is that you’re only allowed to have 2- 8 oz. cups of coffee a day and no creamer! I stuck to the limit but I used coconut milk creamer – I just counted it like a serving of coconut. So here’s what my day looks like, for weight loss that I can eat: 5 servings of vegetables, 3 servings of fruit, 5 servings of protein, 4 servings of carbs, 1 servings of healthy fat, 1 serving of seeds and dressings, 5 teaspoons of oils and nut butters and 14 cups of water. I find the hardest part is to eat all of my vegetables and not overeat on carbs (I too, like Oprah, LOVE bread). I also have a hard time getting all my protein in. I’m learning to sneak greek yogurt into things like peanut butter to make a yummy fruit dip or salad dressing to bulk up my protein intake.
What I was most concerned about when starting this weight loss routine was my milk supply. I had done some research prior to starting this and found a lot of people who notice a large dip in their supply when they start this plan. I am pretty sure it’s because of the protein shakes. I am going with a modified plan and following it up by counting calories. I am trying to stay around 1,400 calories a day, at the suggestion of my best friend and nutritionist, Beth, to account for the extra I need to produce milk. Because of this, I am over conscious about eating foods that boost milk supply. For example, I eat oatmeal for breakfast with strawberries every day – oatmeal is a known milk boosting food. Even though 1 cup of cooked oatmeal is 2 carbs – it’s worth it to ensure I can continue to feed Madeline, especially because she is growing like a weed and certainly seems to have gotten Mommy’s appetite!
I found as I went through I needed to come up with healthy recipes to try. There are tons on Pinterest of course, but I also ended up tweaking some and making a few of my own. One that really made sense to me was a healthy take on nachos. Now, I LOVE nachos. I mean seriously, I could eat them everyday, and used to! Here’s my 21 day fix version made with sweet potatoes as chips, refried beans, salsa, cheese, fresh tomato and avocado. Delicious!! (You could even add greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a serving of protein if you felt so inclined!)
Another thing I discovered is how much I really like spaghetti squash, or really any kind of stuffed vegetable. We eat a lot of stuffed vegetables in this house, but they’re so easy and versatile. We’ve done Creamy Chicken and Red Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, Portobello Mushroom Cap Pizzas, Broccoli and Mushroom Spaghetti Squash Casserole, but my favorite and the easy go to is Turkey Stuffed Peppers. Instead of just stuffing them with brown rice, turkey meat and tomato mixture, I pack as many veggies in as I can, usually adding mushrooms and spinach. Spinach is an amazing food because it’s super healthy and cooks down so you barely even notice you’ve added it to your foods! Serve any of these stuffed veggies with a side salad and you have a delicious, filling and veggie packed meal!
When I started the 21 Day Fix I wanted to see what I could lose more than just weight. It’s possible to have off the scale victories as well so I not only stepped on the scale but I also took my measurements. At the beginning of the first round my measurements were:
After one round here’s where I was at! Even though my total inches went up (I’m not sure how that’s calculated) I was able to not only lose 12.2 lbs in three weeks (which i’m psyched about!) but also 5 inches from my waistline. I can definitely tell it already makes a huge difference in the size pants I am wearing – I’m out of my maternity jeans and back in regular pants! That’s a big win for me at three months postpartum.
What I love most about this though is how great I feel. I can tell that not only am I losing weight and changing my shape, but I’m eating better. This is forcing me to try new foods and eat vegetables. It’s making a huge difference not only for me, but for Madeline. Now my milk is packed with super healthy nutrients that she needs and is helping me be the role model I want and need to be for my daughter to learn healthy eating habits!