21 Day Fix Transformation Story

Since I’ve started the 21 Day Fix program several people have asked me why I’m on a diet if I’m not fat.  That’s because it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.  And while I wasn’t fat, I certainly wasn’t healthy.

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Before Beachbody

Before I started my Beachbody journey, I felt pretty good about how my body looked.  I was what most people would consider thin.  I could have been more toned, but I was thin.  However, the way my body felt was a completely different matter.  I was struggling with several. seemingly unrelated health problems.  I had three different digestive issues.  My lips had been painfully chapped for months and no balm or ointment gave any relief.  The skin all over my body was so dry it was flaking off similar to if I had been sunburned despite the fact that I put lotion on several times a day.  Also, despite sleeping upwards of nine hours a night, I was chronically fatigued.  Every evening I counted down the minutes to what I could convince myself was a reasonable bedtime, sometimes as early as 8 pm.

Why I Decided to Start Making Healthy Choices

What inspired me to change my eating and fitness habits was the idea of becoming pregnant.  (No.  I am not pregnant.)  A lot of our friends are having children and my husband and I began discussing children.  Before we even started going down that route, I knew that I had to make serious changes in my diet, and I was not exercising at all.  It never occurred to me that my health issues could be diet related.

Why I Chose the 21 Day Fix

For months I had been watching my high school friends post about the 21 Day Fix on Facebook.  With a PhD in engineering, I had a strong science background.  The fad diets in which one deprived oneself of certain nutrients never seemed like a logical way to become healthy.  The 21 Day Fix, however, made a lot of sense.  Eating balanced meals using the entire food pyramid and exercising at home for 30 minutes a day appealed to me.  When one of my friends invited me to a free five day sneak peak challenge, I was hooked!

I chose the 21 Day Fix program because it included a detailed nutrition and exercise program.  Because I was looking to improve in both areas, it was a great fit.  I had seen people I know transform and thrive on the program.  This meant much more to me than seeing a commercial on television.  I was very satisfied with my choice.  I found the nutrition plan to be very flexible.  I could make nutritious meals with proper portion sizes that both my husband and myself found delicious.  I could also exercise on my schedule in my own home whenever I had time, whether that was 4:30 am or right before I went to bed.  I found the exercise program to be challenging for a variety of fitness levels with various modifiers to make exercises easier or more difficult.  I felt that was important so that the workout can grow more challenging as the participant becomes stronger.

My Transformation

My results were not apparent from the scale alone.  I actually gained weight during the 21 day program!  However, I was putting on muscle.  My scale give body fat percentages; therefore, even though I gained 2.0 lbs, I actually gained 3.4 lbs of muscle and lost 1.4 lbs of fat.  I also lost 1.5 in around my waist and 0.5 around my hips and became much more toned.  While the physically viewable achievements were fantastic, I am most proud of the change in my health.  All of my health issues disappeared.  The symptoms from all of the digestive issues subsided within the first week.  The very first day I was drinking the appropriate amount of water, my lips quit burning.  A few days later they had begun to heal and my skin quit flaking.  I also felt a huge difference in my energy level.  I do not spend my entire day looking forward to the minute I can crawl into bed.  I actually look forward to working out now!  I can’t wait to see how I continue to improve in the future!

Beachbody Coaching

I felt so strongly about the changes in my energy levels and health that I wanted to help others with the same achievements.  I signed up to start coaching with Beachbody.  If you have any questions about 21 Day Fix, I would love to answer them.  Contact me on this website or check out my Beachbody coaching website here.

Needle Felted Cat

I couple of months ago I decided to needle felt our cat.  Well not actually stick needles in our cat.  I wanted to make a needle felted replica of our cat.  I had made a couple of simple needle felted projects, but I really wanted to try to make an animal.  I had seen gorgeous projects on Etsy and was dying to try my hand at it.  I started with a pipe cleaner frame and just reform added wool fiber until I had the shape and colors I desired.  I loved how this turned out!  The pictures really tell the story.

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Difficulty:  Difficult

Time Required:  6 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

21 Day Fix Approved Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle (Gluten-Free)

I developed quite a liking for brownie brittle before starting the 21 Day Fix and was really craving it today.  I decided to run by the grocery to pick up supplies and try to make my own clean, Fix-approved version.  This is what I came up with, and it was great!  You also can’t beat 70 calories per serving!

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Servings:  6

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats (make sure the container says gluten-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cups baking stevia or 3 tablespoons stevia
  • 2 tablespoons unsweeted cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon caramel extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon miniature chocolate chips

21 Day Fix Containers (per single serving):

  • 1/2 yellow (oats)
  • All other ingredients less than 1/4 of a container

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  3. Put all ingredients except for salt and chocolate chips in blender (oats, baking powder, stevia, cocoa powder, applesauce, vanilla, caramel extract, almond milk, egg whites, and paprika)
  4. Blend ingredients until fully mixed with no large oat pieces (will be very runny)
  5. Pour batter into middle of prepared baking sheet
  6. Use a spoon or spatula to spread batter as thin as possible
  7. Sprinkle top of batter with salt and chocolate chips
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and pick up paper by corners transferring baked brittle to countertop to cool
  10. After cooling for 2-5 minutes, the brittle should be cool enough to touch and easy to tear into bite-size pieces; you will notice that at this point the brittle is a soft, chewy consistency (because of the nature of the oat/applesauce base, the brittle will not get super crunchy)
  11. Optional:  While you are tearing your brittle into pieces, increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees
  12. Optional:  Place the parchment paper back onto the baking sheet and spread brittle pieces evenly on top
  13. Optional:  Continue baking for 5-10 minute intervals checking the “crunchiness” of the brittle until it is the consistency you desire; the edges will begin to curl as the brittle hardens

Nutritional Information:  Calories 70, Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 115 mg, Potassium 68.4 mg, Carbs 13.5g, Protein 3.7 g, Vitamin A 5.2%, Vitamin C 0.1%, Calcium 0.2%, Iron 5.2%

If you have any questions about 21 Day Fix, I would love to answer them.  Feel free to contact me in the comments below.  Check out my story here.

Pumpkin, Gingerbread, Chocolate Waffles (Gluten-Free)

I really wanted 21 Day Fix approved waffles or pancakes this morning but didn’t have all of the ingredients for any of my existing recipes.  I decided to experiment with what I did have, and the outcome was delicious!

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Servings:  2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1.5 tablespoons unsweet cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • chocolate chips (a few)
  • Honey or maple syrup for topping

21 Day Fix Containers (per single serving):

  • 1 yellow (oats)
  • 1 red (eggs, egg whites, yogurt)
  • 1/4 green (there’s so little pumpkin you don’t really have to count it unless you really want to…)
  • teaspoons (depends on how much honey/syrup you use)

Directions:

  1. Turn on your waffle iron and allow it to preheat
  2. Add all ingredients except chocolate chips and honey/maple syrup to blender (oats, eggs, pumpkin, cocoa powder, Greek yogurt, vanilla, salt, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and nutmeg)
  3. Blend ingredients until fully mixed with no large oat pieces
  4. Separate batter into two equal amounts (I like to measure it in two measuring cups)
  5. Pour 1/2 of the batter into your iron; depending on the iron size, it may not fill the entire iron
  6. Put a few chocolate chips on top of batter and close iron
  7. Cook waffle according to your waffle iron instructions
  8. Repeat cooking process with second waffle

Nutritional Information (without topping):  Calories 310, Fat 9.8 g, Cholesterol 211 mg, Sodium 726 mg, Potassium 207 mg, Carbs 38.4 g, Protein 17.8 g, Vitamin A 4.9%, Vitamin C 0.4%, Calcium 8.0%, Iron 20.6%

If you have any questions about 21 Day Fix, I would love to answer them.  Feel free to contact me in the comments below.  Check out my story here.

Appalachian Trail Plaque

As I mentioned in my Appalachian Trail Koozie post, for Secret Santa at work, I drew a colleague who had recently hiked the entire Appalachian Trail (AT).  I was looking for a cool AT themed gift. I found some really cool signs/plaques on Etsy, but they were outside of the Secret Santa budget. I decided to make my own. I bought a wooden plaque from Michaels. I then made my own stain by putting some old steel bolts in vinegar overnight. (I had seen the idea on Pinterest.) It brushed on clear, but turned the wood a nice vintage-like brown/grey. Using PowerPoint, I designed a hiker on a trail. Using the same method I used for my wedding signs, I transferred the design to the plaque. It turned out great, and he loved it!  

 

 Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 2 Movies

Overall Experience: Excellent

Purple and Gold Multiplicity

I decided to knit a Multiplicity purse for my sister since I loved mine so much. (See my posts about Multiplicity 1 and Multiplicity 2 for the others I made.) I chose a royal purple and mustard yellow, a play on her school colors of purple and gold. The only thing I didn’t like about mine is that it didn’t close. I knit button holes into the main pocket this time and loved the product!



Difficulty: Moderate

Time Required: 12 Movies

Overall Experience: Excellent