My 21 Day Fix Review (After 29 Days)

I wrote the following review on Amazon after completing one round and eight days of a second round of the 21 Day Fix. I am however still doing the plan and am now on day eight of round 3!! In the coming days I plan on writing much more about the 21 Day Fix including tips, tricks, recipes and I’ll also be going more in-depth with my comparison to my time doing Weight Watchers – so make sure to check back!

21 day fix closer every day t shirt

My Review:

I LOVE this program. However, it worked for me so that has a lot to do with it:-) What I mean is – the nutrition plan, portion control, and exercises were totally doable for me – but when telling a friend about the nutrition plan she said if she had to pay that much attention to her portions etc she’d be a total mess and just super anxious all of the time – so I definitely think it has a lot to do with your personality.

That being said, if you feel you can follow a plan, plan out your food ahead of time, eat every 2-3 hours, and comfortably eat from all of the food groups then this program might just be for you.

Last Fall I did weight watchers for like 5 months and thought that was “the way to go” because it was a plan I could follow. What I didn’t realize is that while I was losing weight with WW, I wasn’t necessarily eating healthy – I was just counting points that were comprised of the junk food I liked to eat. On this plan, you actually learn proper nutrition – to eat from all of the food groups, making sure your body is getting the proper nutrition for weight loss and optimal health. That’s a plan I can continue long-term.

I’m writing this having already completed one round of 21 days. I actually did not weigh or measure myself before I started because I’m much more motivated by non-scale victories (how I feel, how my clothes feel, etc) versus what a number on the scale tells me. I can tell you that after 21 days I felt stronger, leaner, healthier, and more ready than ever to continue following a healthy eating lifestyle – because that’s what the 21 day fix really is – it’s a way of eating, a healthy eating lifestyle – not a diet. Never at one point did I feel restricted or starving (again that’s just me, everyone is different) but I drank 80+ oz of water/day, spread out my proteins throughout the day, got all of my veggies… and really for the first time in my life felt like I was eating to fuel my body; not feed my face.

In my humble opinion, the 30 minute workouts are just icing on the cake (sorry to mention cake). The meal plan alone is worth every penny of the $70 or $80 that you spend (if you purchase without Shakeology). I do really enjoy the workouts however [well most of them!] The format is 60 seconds of work with 15-20 seconds of rest between each – by the time you start to feel like you really can’t do an exercise anymore, that exercise is done and you’re on to the next. I also really appreciate that there’s a participant in each workout who shows you modifications you can do in case you aren’t *yet* strong enough or flexible enough.

While this is called the “21 day” fix… I plan on continuing this program for the foreseeable future. When my first round ended I immediately started a new round the next day so now I’m on day 8 of round 2… as I said though, I don’t really see this as something I have to do – something I’m dreading – or something I’m just trying to get through – I really just see this as a new way to live – eating healthy and exercising.

If you are thinking about buying this or have already purchased it – make sure you run some searches on Facebook for 21 Day Fix groups – there are great groups for motivation/support, and recipe ideas! Also check out Instagram – that has been a HUGE source of support and motivation for me. Hashtags to follow are #21DayFix and #21DayFixApproved.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions I might be able to answer!

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Free Yourself from Diet Cheats and Treats Forever

I love what the 21 Day Fix plan has taught me about portion control and eating healthy and I love how great I feel getting proper nutrition….so much so that after following the plan for 36 days now I really enjoy making healthy choices and my body doesn’t even crave junk [too much] anymore.

However I love me some pizza (I know, I know, there are “healthy” versions or I could make it myself, but I’m talking good ol’ from-the-local-pizza-shop pizza) but I hate the fact that in diet terms it’s either referred to as a “cheat” or a “treat” (even though I don’t consider the 21 Day Fix a diet…they still use the word “treat” in the meal plan book referring to the “unhealthy foods” (my only beef with the program)).

cheat meal or treat meal
The word “cheat” has such a negative connotation, often leading to negative self-talk and a downward spiral of beating oneself up about “making poor choices” and “not being able to stick with the plan”… on the other hand while the word “treat” has a much more positive connotation I’m not a dog so I don’t really want to feel like I’m rewarding myself with food.

If I want to have a piece of pizza, I’m going to have a piece of pizza. And you know what I’m going to call it? Pizza. I’m going to have a slice or two and carry on with the rest of my life. For me right now that means embracing a healthy lifestyle, working out and feeling good.

So next time you have a meal that may not be the healthiest or most nutritious, call it just what it is, it doesn’t need a label, acknowledge how you feel before and how you feel after and keep on keepin’ on with wherever you are in your journey. Don’t let a dumb term control how you feel. You are in control.

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Win $500 in Reebok’s Fall Fitness Giveaway

I’m back! It’s been a crazy busy few months but I’m finally back in action here on the blog – I thought I’d kick things off with a good ol’ fashioned giveaway!

$500 reebook gift card giveaway

What is better than getting the perfect Reebok workout gear to help you and your family stay fit this Fall? How about getting it for free?!? Enter to win the Reebok Fall Fitness Giveaway where both you and I can each win $500 in Reebok gift cards!

To Enter ► Check out Reebok.com from now through 8/31, pick out your favorite fitness item (apparel, shoes, accessories, and more) and post a link to that item in the comments section below. 

Reebok will announce their winner on 9/2, and if we win, I’ll announce who my winner is on 9/3! Thanks Reebok for making staying fit fun! *Open to US Residents Only

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Baltimore’s First Fashion Truck Event

Who’s ready for a Fashion Truck Rally?!?

Boulevard of Chic (BOC) is Baltimore’s first and only fashion truck rally and shopping event, featuring a variety of mobile boutiques and vendors from Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. BOC is about more than shopping; it’s a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit that has created a national trend in mobile retail. The mission is to bring savvy entrepreneurs and artists together with fashion-forward consumers to promote the “Shop Local” trend.

boulevard of chic baltimore's fashion truck rallyAmong participating mobile boutiques are Side Dish jewelry truck and Street Boutique fashion truck. BOC is also very proud to announce its premier photography sponsor, The Umbrella Syndicate.

Gina Geppi, “Baltimore Bachelorette” and host of WKHZ’s Gina Geppi’s Social Scene, will MC the event.

Make it a day with the girls, get your shop on and support local businesses. Experience a variety of mobile boutiques, fashion retailers, food, beauty products and services.

  • Saturday, April 26, 2014
  • 12:00 pm-6:00 pm (General Public)
  • 1132 Key Highway Baltimore, MD 21230 (Next to the American Visionary Art Museum)
directions to boulevard of chic in baltimore

<click map for directions>

For a sneak peek of featured fashions trucks & vendors and for more information visit the Boulevard of Chic website!

Help spread the word —>

blvd of chic fashion truck rally baltimore

Hope to see you there!

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Yasso is Yum-o

I’m always on the look out for new and tasty ways to eat healthy. When I was approached to try out Yasso I jumped at the opportunity!

yasso

Low cal… check! Good amount of protein… check! Natural ingredients… check! Yummy… double check! My grocery store only had the raspberry and coconut flavors (as you can see I opted for raspberry) but I’m very much looking forward to hitting another grocery store or two soon on the hunt for some of the other flavors.

yasso flavors

I’m envisioning my freezer stocked with these bad boys! I’ve had one for dessert every night for the past three nights and it definitely hits the spot. I like that it takes longer to eat than dipping into a cup of yogurt.

On a geeky note, I also have to mention that I really appreciate their packaging and their evident willingness and eagerness to engage with their consumers.

yasso frozen greek yogurt

I’m also a sucker for a company that gives back to the community. According to the Yasso website, they support a number of charities and are very involved in helping in any way they can. They even have a donation request form! That’s very refreshing to see when so many companies now days have a “while we’d love to help we can’t possible help everyone so [basically] please don’t ask” policy. Not Yasso!

When you have a couple of minutes I’d suggest taking some time to visit their website, read their story, and check out some of the impressive press and awards they’ve received.

yasso press

I’m definitely on the Yasso bandwagon! Have you tried Yasso? Will you? What flavors look good to you?

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Reebok Online Outlet Sale: 15% Off All Items

reebok online outlet now openSpring is a time to clean out the closets and upgrade the gear, so the latest announcement from Reebok couldn’t be more timely! Today is the launch of the Reebok Online Outlet! And to celebrate, from today through Saturday (3/27 – 3/29) everything on Reebok Online Outlet is 15% off! To get the deal, just go to reebok.com/outlet, select your merchandise, then add OUTLET15 at checkout. Now you’re closet is clean, your gear is upgraded and you have a few extra dollars in your pocket!

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Smoothie King Veggie Blends + Giveaway

Well my friends, Smoothie King has gone and done it again! Perhaps you read in a previous post about my current love affair with the Firm & Burn smoothie…. now they’ve come out with smoothies that have veggies! Now you can eat your kale, and drink it, too!

The new Veggie Blends come in three flavor varieties: Apple Kiwi Kale, Berry Carrot Dream, and Carrot Kale Dream. Each 20 oz. smoothie is less than 300 calories and provides your daily serving of vitamin-rich veggies!

smoothie king veggie blend smoothies

While I don’t yet have any kiddos myself, I’d imagine these smoothies would be a great option for busy moms on the go trying to sneak in some daily vitamins and nutrients to their little ones’ diets.

Today I tried my first one – I got the Carrot Kale Dream because I was looking for a little protein kick. Despite the name, the predominant flavor was orange – so again, definitely something you could get your kids to drink if they are “opposed” to veggies (as long as they don’t see the name!)

smoothie king veggie blends carrot kale dream

I will definitely get the Carrot Kale Dream again, but really looking forward to trying out the other two first.  Any way I can work veggies into my own diet in a quick, convenient way is definitely a win with me.

Besides loving their smoothies, I’m also totally digging the Smoothie King, “My Smoothie” App. (This replaces the old stamp cards.) With the app you can check-in and scan your personalized bar code to earn points towards rewards. The app also helps you find locations, learn about new products, get coupons, and more. I find it very handy!

smoothie king my smoothie app

In addition to providing me with a gift card to try out the new Veggie Blends, Smoothie King has been generous enough to give me five $10 gift cards to give away to my readers!! Woohoo!! Please keep scrolling down and use the Rafflecopter widget to enter.

Excited to try out one of the new Veggie Blends but don’t want to wait to see if you’re a winner? Sign up to receive Smoothie King emails and receive a coupon to get one for just $1.99!

Oh I almost forgot! Smoothie King is having a sweeps promotion of their own as part of their Veggie Blends launch… you can enter on Smoothie King’s Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win a Trek Bike, Nike Fuel Band, or Nike gift card.

To enter on Facebook:

1) Like the Smoothie King page. Then comment on the Veggie Blends promotional Image and mention three friends you think need a more delicious way to get their veggies.

 

To enter on Twitter:

1) Follow @SmoothieKing and then retweet their Veggie Blends promotional image and mention three friends you think need a more delicious way to get their veggies.

My giveaway ends 4/2 at 11:59pm ET, Smoothie King’s sweeps ends 4/6.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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StitchFix Review: Hand-picked Style Delivered to Your Door Every Month

A few things about me:

1. I love shopping.

2. I especially love shopping for clothing/accessories.

3. I hate dressing rooms. (Seriously think about it… who’s what touched that last?)

4. I don’t like making decisions.

5. Although I think I’m getting better at it lately, I’m generally horrible at putting together cute outfits.

6. I’m horrible at returning things. If they don’t fit, or I don’t like the style they’ll probably just end up back in the bag in the corner of my spare bedroom.

If you found yourself nodding along in that, “uh huh, uh huh, yep me, too” sort of way… keep reading to learn about StitchFix.

First I’d like you to know that I did not receive any StitchFix products for review purposes nor was I approached by StitchFix to write a review. I’ve been a member for a few months so I decided it was time to fill my readers in on my experience.

What exactly is StitchFix? Here’s my 140 character summary:

It really is as simple as it sounds. You create an account, fill out a style profile (which also includes selecting your budget), and a personal stylist selects 5 items to send to you each month based on your preferences. They really go out of their way to try to get to know your style, too. Instead of only relying on the answers to your style profile questions, they also ask for links to your Pinterest Style board and your LinkedIn account to try to get to know your style even better!

There is a monthly subscription fee of $20 to have your StitchFix put together and shipped to you. However, if you decide to keep items from the shipment, your $20 will be applied towards your purchase.

stitchfix box

Once your shipment of five items arrives you have three days to decide if/what you’d like to keep from your shipment. If you decide to keep all five items, you receive 25% off the total amount.

stitchfix shipment

Included with your shipment is a personalized note from your stylist explaining why the enclosed items were hand-selected for you plus styling tips for each piece.

stitchfix personal note

stitchfix styling tips

My favorite part is that your shipment comes with a pre-paid return envelope so whatever you decide not to keep gets slipped right into the envelope and can go right in your own mailbox to get picked up by the mailman. There’s no requesting envelopes or dropping shipments off anywhere… it’s SO easy!

stitchfix return envelope

stitchfix in mailbox

Once you decide what you are keeping and what you are going to return, the only thing left to do is log into your StitchFix account, leave feedback for your shipment and checkout. The feedback part is key. This month was my fourth shipment and I can definitely tell that they have been paying attention to my feedback to make sure each new shipment aligns with my style/preferences as closely as possible.

This month I decided to keep two of the five items. That doesn’t mean that the system failed and that I did not like the majority of the items – it means that I really, really loved the two that I chose to keep and really just didn’t “need” the other three. I did not sign up for StitchFix with the intention that I would ever keep all five items sent to me. I signed up to be introduced to some new styles, get styling suggestions, and for the convenience of trying on clothes in the privacy of my own home with the added benefit of seeing how the pieces look with clothing/accessories already in my wardrobe.

Here’s what was in my shipment this month:

stitchfix Wisteria Wave Detail Knit Tank

Wisteria Wave Detail Knit Tank – $48

stitchfix Ruthie Cross-Front Side-Ruched Top

Ruthie Cross-Front Side-Ruched Top – $48

stitchfix tiller sailboat sweater

Tiller Sailboat Sweater – $68

stitchfix abrianna longsleeve knit cardigan

KEPT!! —> Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan – $48

stitchfix tiffany lightweight tribal print infinity scarf

KEPT!! –> Tiffany Lightweight Tribal Print Infinity Scarf – $32

I kept the Longsleeve Knit Cardigan and the Tribal Print Infinity Scarf! I’ve worn the scarf twice already and have gotten compliments each time!

what i kept and wore from stitchfix

Necklace – Chloe + Isabel Pearl + Crystal Drops Long Necklace
Scarf – Tiffany Lightweight Tribal Print Infinity Scarf from StitchFix
Sweater – Abrainna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan from StitchFix

 

———-> Get Your Style Fix Now! <———

 

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Look Good, Feel Good Spring Giveaway

Spring Into Fitness

Spring is upon us which means having to show some more skin, leading to an increased, if not urgent desire to look better and feel better in our bodies.

I’m in this boat with you. The idea of wearing shorts makes my skin crawl and I much prefer a cozy sweater to a tank top… but when good ol’ Mother Nature turns up the heat, jeans and a sweater are no longer the best wardrobe choices.

Instead of dreading this year’s sundress weather, I’ve decided to take action. I’m going to be proactive, grab the bull by the horns…. you get the idea. No matter how much I love cookies and beer (not necessarily together – well sometimes!) they aren’t going to help me feel comfortable and confident in a bikini.

So what can I/will I do? Sure there’s the whole consume less calories than you burn idea…. but is it really that simple?If it was, I’m pretty there would no longer be a whole table at Barnes and Noble dedicated to the latest and greatest diet fad. So what’s the deal? Should we eat less carbs and more protein? Should we only eat 600 calories two days a week? Should we reduce food to a point system? The answer is that it depends. Everyone’s bodies are different and everyone’s bodies react to different things in different ways. So is there a right way or dare I say it, an “easy” way to lose weight? If you ask me, the answer is no. It’s hard work and quite frankly it just sucks. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. (Oh look we just reached the point in the story where the name of the blog makes sense!)

Anyhoo good news…. the debbie downer part is over! I’ve yo-yo dieted for years, losing about 30 lbs each time only to gain it back within the same year. Why? Is it because I’m lazy? Because I have no willpower? Do I have some deep-seeded psychological issues causing me to self-sabotage? While all of those ideas may be contributing factors, I think a big part of it is that I’ve never actually stopped to think about, or learn about the “why” and “how” of all of this.

Trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup are bad. Got it. You should avoid the freezer section of the grocery store and only shop the perimeter. (Guess except for when the frozen food section is on the perimeter.) Fruits and veggies are good… check. Drink lots of water. Roger that.

None of these ideas should shock you, they aren’t new concepts, but have you ever stopped to think about what’s really going on within our bodies that has lead to these overarching recommendations? Do you know why saturated fat is bad? Do you know what macronutrients are and why they’re so important? Do you really understand the science behind why we must  drink our daily recommended amount of water? If you do. Great! But I don’t… or at least I didn’t, but I’m learning and it’s REALLY helping me put a new perspective on making healthier food choices without struggling to resist temptations.

Tell someone not to do something or that they shouldn’t do it and what happens? It’s all they can think about, right? We all have that inner rebel that lives inside of us that’s just dying to bust out, yell, “Screw You!” and stick it to the man. That’s what happens when we go on diets – or even when we say we’re not dieting but are just going to “eat healthy”. The cookies and pizza don’t go away…. they just lurk on the sidelines taunting our subconscious – and even if you are able to put up a good fight for a few months, it’s not a sustainable way to live (at least not for me.) But the cycle ends here.

Recently I saw an interview with Cameron Diaz and she was talking about her new book, “The Body Book“. She stressed specifically that it is not a diet book. Instead, the book addresses the “why” and “how” of this whole business. Hearing her interview made me realize I had never actually really thought about why I need to get a certain amount of fiber and why I should eat brown rice instead of white rice. I had always just conceded to these ideas, assuming that since other people had done the research, I should just go along with their findings. So my interest was peaked and I bought the book.

Holy cow. While I’m only 25% into the book, I have got to tell you my entire perspective on eating has changed. Instead of just knowing that I shouldn’t eat a whole bag of Oreos, now I know why I shouldn’t. Instead of knowing that I’m suppose to drink eight glasses of water per day, now I understand exactly why it’s so important. This sheds a whole new light on things. Now instead of begrudging the fact that I should choose carrots over carrot cake, I actually understand the impact that these choices have on my well-being.

I know when I eat healthier I feel better but there’s just something more motivating (to me at least) about truly understanding exactly why eating healthy makes me feel so much better. It’s actually quite empowering to know that I can choose my own destiny. By providing myself with the proper nutrition I know that my skin will look better, I’ll feel more alert, and will be a generally happier person.

I’ve read A LOT of diet/exercise/healthy eating books and while all have had very valuable insights in their own rights, this is the first book I’ve read that’s really gotten down to the nitty-gritty of it all.

Again, I’m only 25% of the way through the book, but I’ve already begun seeing the junk food that I loved and that my inner rebel craved in a whole new light. Instead of focusing on the deliciousness and the temporary satisfaction it would bring me to down that bag of Skittles, it’s as if I’m suddenly turned off by these former temptations because I now understand exactly what they’re doing to me and my body. Now my once beloved junk food is not welcome. It is the enemy.

I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the book and I hope you will pick up a copy as well.

I’d love to go all Oprah here and give everyone who reads this a copy of the book, but well…. ya know. I can however give one away… and that’s just what I’m going to do.

I’ve teamed up with other bloggers for a “fitness blog hop giveaway”. Here’s how it works – you can enter my giveaway below and then you’ll find links to all of the other particpating blogs that you can “hop” to, to enter their giveaways! Pretty cool, huh?

In addition to “The Body Book“, one winner will also receive a $25 Athleta Gift Card and a Chloe + Isabel Heirloom Pearl Necklace… because as the title of this post suggests, we don’t just want to feel good – we want to look good, too! And I want to help!

ak un-sugarcoated fitness blog hop giveaway

My giveaway (and all of the others) runs from March 14th – March 30th. All of the blogs participating have different giveaway prizes although they are all fitness-related. So what are you waiting for?! Enter below then hop on!

You must be 18 years or older to enter and reside in the US (this may not be the same for all participating blogs.)

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click through to each of the blogs below to enter their #fitnessgiveawayhop giveaways!

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Athleta Fanatics Rejoice! Up to 50% OFF at Zulily

I really shouldn’t be posting about this…. but I know it’s better for my wallet if I do! Beginning at 9am ET today (3/12/14), Athleta gear (my absolute favorite fitness apparel brand) will be on sale for up to 50% off on Zulily!! You better act fast, or else I’ll buy it all:-) Oh, and come back to the blog on Friday to enter my “Look Good, Feel Good” giveaway for a prize pack that includes a $25 Athleta gift card (because I love it so much)! Did I mention that?

Ready, set…. shop Athleta on Zulily!

athleta sale up to 50 percent off on zulily

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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