My 21 Day Fix Review

On June 1, 2014 I started the 21 Day Fix. Autumn Calabrese is completely amazing and I fell in love with this program.  I love the variations each day. It was nice not to do the same work out over and over.

Each Sunday, my daughter would help me with the meal prep for the week.  I would fill each of the containers, put that food into baggies marked with what color coded container they went with, then put it all in a plastic shoebox in my refrigerator.

Every night, I came home from work and no matter how tired I was I would push play and work out.  The key to any program is making sure to push play.  At the beginning you may not feel like it, you may think I am too tired, too sore, too whatever.  But at the end there is the “post workout high” and I always felt great.

When I started my first round I made sure to be in a challenge group.  I joined my coach Amanda’s group, June 21 Day Fixers.  The women were incredible.  They were so inspiring and every time that I even thought for a moment that I did not want to continue, I would read one of their posts and then push play.

My biggest problem in the past has always been finishing what I start.  I did finish this program and I sent my results to Beach Body.  They sent me a great tshirt which I wear with pride because I know that I didn’t buy this, I EARNED it!

This is my truly amazing coach Amanda Smith, and of course me wearing my new 21 Day Fix tshirt.  Love it!!!!

In 21 days I lost 6.8 lbs and 12.9 inches.  I was truly amazed.  This program was super easy, a lot of fun and I really do love the containers.

I did learn an lesson and that was the importance of taking photos.  Your goodbye photos (before photos) and then your hello photos (after photos).  One of the ladies in the group I am in came up with goodbye photos.  I truly love that. So from now on I am going to use that terminology.

Anyhow, make sure that you take your photos, and measurements so that you can see your progress when you finish any program that you do.

The 21 Day Fix is amazing and I did 2 rounds of it.  If you have any questions or would like help to start your journey, message me, I would love to help.

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Vegetable Egg Cups – 21 Day Fix Approved

Vegetable Egg Cups - 21 Day Fix Approved

  • Servings: 6, 2 each
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day right?! It fuels our body and sets the tone for our day, I cant stress enough how important it is to give your body healthy nutritious food at breakfast. This is one of my go-to recipes, because it is SO easy to prep ahead of time and takes no time to heat up when your’e ready to eat. My Vegetable Egg Cups from FixAte are perfect for meal preppers and are really really tasty.


CONTAINER EQUIVALENTS (per serving): 1 RED
Credit: Autumn Calabrese

Ingredients


Nonstick cooking spray
12 large eggs
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper- to taste * optional
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 medium bell pepper- finely chopped
2 green onions- thinly sliced
12 TBS homemade salsa (pico de gallo style with NO added sugar!)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F
  2. Lightly coat a twelve-cup muffin tin with spray.
  3. Place eggs in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, and green onions; mix well.
  5. Evenly pour egg mixture into muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of cups comes out clean.
  7. Top each egg cup with 1 TBS homemade salsa.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 156
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 372 mg
Sodium: 228 mg
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 13 g

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Are You Struggling?

Are you struggling with what to eat? Let’s be real for a moment.  I know a lot of people and I mean a lot, who say they exercise every day but they can’t figure out why they haven’t started toning up.  They still have their belly flab.  I will admit that I was just like them.

So, now my first question to them is what are you eating?  It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what you are doing for workouts, if you are not watching what you put in your mouth, you will not see the results that you want to see.

Just because you (or me), workout hard and are sweating like you just stepped out of the shower, doesn’t mean that you get to have a giant piece of chocolate cake.  Do you really think you will get trim and toned that way?  No!

So, what do I have to do?  I work out hard every day.  That doesn’t mean going for a leisurely stroll, that means breaking a sweat, getting your heart rate up.  Ok?  Check.  Next step, I log.  I log everything that I do,  I log everything that I eat and I log everything that I drink.  Drink?  Yes, drink!  Drinks can be a downfall if you are not careful.  Just because something says it is a diet soda does not mean it is good for you.

Ok, so maybe you are not sure what is good for you and what is not.  Let’s face it, there have been a lot of fad diets saying no carbs, no fat, tons of protein, eat all the bacon you want etc.

Send me a message and let’s talk.  I spent so much time struggling with my nutrition that it boggles the mind. Now, I have simplified it and between my logging, meal plans and prep, plus my containers, life is much easier for me.  I am starting to get the lasting results that I want, and all because I changed how I viewed what was in my kitchen and my workouts.

Thank you so much for the support and your interest in this blog!  If you haven’t already please make sure to check out Darlene Caron Fitness where you can find more recipes, fitness tips, motivation and information on upcoming Health and Fitness Challenge groups that I offer.

Make sure to check back often as I will be adding more of my favorite recipes daily.

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Foods to Avoid If You Have Hypothyroidism

I am finding out that there is so much that I do not know about my thyroid condition.  I have hypothyroidism, I was diagnosed about 5 years ago and I am supposed to take Levothyroxine daily for it.  My problem is that with my new insurance I had to find a new doctor, so I have not had any of my medication for months.  My doctor’s appointment isn’t for another month. So I have been doing some research to find out all that I can about this, what I should eat etc.

I have found that there are certain foods that I should be avoiding or limiting. I am still researching this, so please don’t take my word for it. Verify it!

One of them is soy.   I don’t think that will be a problem unless there is hidden soy in the food that I am eating.  I guess I will need to check that out.

I eat a lot of veggies but found that people with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy.  I love broccoli and brussel sprouts so this one may be a little more of a challenge. If you cook these veggies than it can reduce the effect that they have on the thyroid gland.  So I need to make sure to limit myself to no more than 5 ounces a day.  I can do that.  I admit this kind of confuses me so I have a lot of research to do.  Broccoli and cauliflower has selenium in it, which is good for your thyroid.  So I guess in moderation it is ok.  LIke I said I am still learning about this.  🙂

I have found that people with thyroid issues should limit their intake of gluten.  Apparently gluten can irritate your small intestine which can interfere with the absorption of your thyroid medicine.  Wow, I have been taking meds for my thyroid for many years and I have never been told that.  If you are going to continue eating gluten, then make sure to take your meds a couple of hours before you eat anything with gluten in it.

Did you know that fatty foods can interfere with your thyroid’s ability to produce hormone? Some professionals recommend that you don’t eat fried food and reduce the amount of fat you eat from butter, mayo, margarine and fatty cuts of meat.

Your metabolism is slowed down because of the hypothyroidism.  That makes it easy to put on the weight, and from experience I can tell you that it is so difficult to lose it because of the slow metabolism.  So of course, that means reducing or avoiding sugary foods, they have lots of calories and no nutritional value.  I think it is time for me to cut bahypothyroidismck on my sugar intake.

Did you know that people with an underactive thyroid have an increased risk for high blood pressure? Too much sodium from processed foods can increase that risk. So you should read the nutrition label to find food that is low in sodium.

I always thought that getting a lot of fiber was good for me. Little did I know that if you get to much it can complicate my hypothyroidism treatment. You should only get 25-30 mg each day. The amounts of fiber from whole grains, veggies, fruits, beans and legumes that are above that level can affect the digestive system and interfere with medication absorption.  Wow, another one that I have to start thinking about more.

I wasn’t very happy to find that caffeine has been found to block thyroid medication absorption. I used to take my meds with my morning coffee.  Not a great idea. People who have taken their meds with their coffee have been shown to have uncontrollable thyroid levels. So you should only take your meds with water. And it is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes AFTER you take your meds before you have a cup of coffee.foods-to-avoid-hypothyroidism

I don’t know about you but I know I have some homework to work on.  I need to cut back on my sugar intake.  If it is more than 5g per serving I am going to cut it out. I need to look into cutting back or cutting out gluten from my diet.  I’m not sure where to begin with this so I really need to start researching. AND as much as I hate to think about doing this, I think it is time to cut out coffee again or at least cut back on how much I drink each day.  Oh my so many changes, but it’s going to be all about the baby steps with this one.  Trying to make too many changes at once would just be setting myself up for failure and I truly don’t want that.  Even small changes will be a help right?   A work in progress.

I have so much research to do. 🙂

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Emotional Eating and Still Lost 24.5 inches

A little over two years ago I started this crazy journey.  I can say that there have been some rough times but for the most part I have truly enjoyed it.

I wanted to share this to show that the scale isn’t always my friend.  I am an emotional eater and the last months have been hard on my body lol.


Last June, my youngest son graduated from high school and signed up to join the US Army. We are very proud of him, but needless to say we still worry.  In October, my husband and I went to Ft Benning Georgia with my daughter and my son’s girlfriend to watch him graduate BCT (basic combat training).  We enjoyed the time that we were able to spend with him but it was too short.

I kept telling myself that I was on vacation so I would eat what I wanted to with my family.  After all, this was the first vacation I had gone on with my husband since 1990!  I kept telling myself that I would hit it hard when I got home. That didn’t happen.

Before we had left I had been having some medical issues. At the end of October I was told that I would need to see a specialist for my carpal tunnel and ulna nerve damage in both wrists.  I was also told that another specialist would need to be seen because I have a pelvic organ prolapse.  Needless to say I have been stressed and very worried about working out with the organ prolapse.  The only thing that I hit hard was the food.    I ate ALOT of my stress and gained back some of my weight.

I have since then decided that I would not be a victim of my circumstances.  I am scheduled for my first surgery on December 20th.  I could continue to stress over it, but I am counting my blessings instead.  My son is coming home from Ft Sam Houston in Texas for his HBL for two weeks.  We pick him up at the airport on December 21st.  So I will be on a short term leave from work at the same time he will be home.  WIN WIN!
The point of this is to say that even though I have gained back some weight, I have still lost 24.5 inches.  My clothes are smaller and fit much better in the waist.  I would think that anyone could see the difference from my very first photo and now today’s.

The moral of the story.  Don’t think that the scale is your friend, because usually it isn’t.  If you are like me and step on it almost every day, then you can get upset about what your so called bestie has to say. For me this causes a vicious cycle where I get upset that I am gaining weight and eat more >>>convince myself to get off my lazy butt and get busy working out>>>lose weight>>>feel happy and proud of myself>>>something stresses me out, like jumping on the scale or life happens>>>then I eat again.  Like I said a vicious cycle.

then-and-now

I have found that stepping on the scale is an emotional roller coaster for me, and let me just say that when you eat your emotions, well that is one roller coaster ride I don’t want to get on.  Instead, I take photos, I take measurements and I log everything.  This is how I keep track of my journey.  AND when I do get discouraged I just take a look at my before and now photos and I keep going.

If you are starting your journey or are even in the middle of one, then I URGE you to take photos ( you DON’T have to post them on FB, you don’t have to share them with anyone but yourself) and also take your measurements.  If your not sure how to take them, message me, I can walk you through it or even send a video.  I am more than willing to help.

You won’t regret using measurements and photos to measure your progress, I can promise you that.

Need help or just want to chat, send me a message. 🙂

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Caramel Apple Shakeology

Caramel Apple Shakeology

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Print

Once the cool weather hits, it is time for treats made with apples, pumpkin and salted caramel. This has become a new favorite for me.

I don’t eat a lot of applesauce, so when I open a new jar for a recipe like this shake, I freeze the rest in ice cube trays to make apple sauce ice cubes to add to my Shakeology smoothies. Place two tablespoons of applesauce into each well of the ice cube tray and freeze. Once they’re frozen solid, empty the tray into a plastic bag. Two cubes equals about ¼ cup.

Caramel extract has the same buttery, burnt-sugar flavor of real caramel, without any of the guilt. It’s a game changer for your sweet tooth. Look for it at Walmart, in the baking aisle of your supermarket (hint: it’s near the vanilla extract), or buy it online.

Credit: Team Beachbody

Ingredients


–1 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1 cup ice
-1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
-½ cup unsweetened applesauce
-1 tsp. pure caramel extract

Directions

  1. Place almond milk, ice, Shakeology, applesauce, and extract in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

nutritionaldata-caramelappleshakeology

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Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

  • Servings: 6 servings , about 1 cup each
  • Time: prep 15 mins, cook 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Corn chowder is usually made with cream and butter—and is filled with fat and calories. We created this lighter version that is every bit as tasty. I doubled this recipe so that I could have left overs for lunch the next day.


Credit: Team Beachbody

Ingredients

-1 TBSP olive oil
-1/2 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
-2 TBSP finely chopped onion
-2 TBSP finely chopped green bell pepper
-1 (10 oz) finely chopped green bell pepper
-1 medium potato (red, white rose, or Yukon gold), peeled, cubed
-3 cups low-fat milk, divided use
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp paprika
-Ground white pepper (to taste; optional)
-2 TBSP whole wheat flour
-2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add celery, onion, and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add corn, potato, 2½ cups milk, salt, paprika, and pepper (if desired). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until potatoes are tender-crisp.

Combine ½ cup milk and flour in a small bowl; whisk to blend.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the corn mixture; cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until soup thickens.

Serve garnished with parsley.

Corn chowder nutrition facts and meal plan portions

Enjoy!


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