“I’ve been dieting three days, shouldn’t I be skinny already?” “Wow, those portion containers are small!” Random thoughts during my Whole30 + Beachbody 21 day fix hybrid regimen.

Everyone I’ve seen on Whole30 posts pictures of tasty looking healthy food. And at the end of 30 days their skin really does glow and they say how great they feel. So even though it’s no dairy, no alcohol, no pasta, no flour, no lots of ingredients you can’t pronounce that seem to be in everything, no bread, no butter, no rice or quinoa, no sugar, and so on – I thought I’d try again. Last time I was on it, I lasted three days. Surely I could do better this time.

It’s all about eating whole, not processed, foods. And getting you off the sugar dragon. So most fruits and veggies, meat, fish and some nuts are allowed. You just have to be careful how you season and cook them. You need to shop and prep for meals ahead of time since so many things you have in your fridge are off limits. Breakfast is a tough meal because you get tired of eggs pretty fast and eating meat that early is turn-off (for me at least).

I did get to employ my quick egg trick though. You crack an egg into a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 30 seconds. Then voila! You have an egg over medium. I added some dill and sea salt to it.

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I also got to take advantage of fresh heirloom tomatoes and avocados. Whole30 does allow balsamic vinegar without added sulfites (it can have natural sulfites). So I added a dash of balsamic and a sprinkle of sea salt again. Because you aren’t eating sodium-laden processed foods, you do have to make sure you are getting some sodium in your diet still.

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The first few days I was constantly hungry, even though I was eating a lot. That tempered out after a few days. And I thought about using my 21 day fix containers for portion control.

The different colors represent specific food groups. For example, the purple container is for fruit and green is for veggies. You’re allowed three portions a day for the fruit and four for vegetables. They’re both bigger containers because the food is not high calorie and healthier, making larger portions okay. 21 day fix also has an app to help you track what you eat.

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I’m lazy about food diaries and portion counts, so I ended up not using them. Although I did think about how tiny the orange containers for seeds and oils were and tried not to go crazy eating cashews. You get tired of cooking on Whole30 too, so any easy snack is easy to overeat. I lost two pounds in the first week, even without being vigilant about food intake. You are not supposed to weigh yourself at all during the 30 days. But I couldn’t help myself.

I did use the 21 day fix 30 minute exercise videos. They’re great! If you are in a huge rush you can do the three minute warm-up and about 15 minutes of the work-out, then do the warm-up again later in the day and finish the last 15 minutes. Exercises look easy, but there’s always a tougher move that you will feel the next day.

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If you do decide to try the 21 day fix, my friend, Colette Vaigl, is an amazing Beachbody coach. She is constantly hosting Facebook accountability groups with healthy recipes, fitness and nutrition advice and encouraging support. And coaches do this work for free. You just pick them on the Beachbody site when you order your 21 day fix videos, etc. so they get some credit for their work.

I did fall off Whole30 at nine days. In that short time, I noticed that my allergies got better, the puffiness in my face toned down and I had a lot more energy. So I am definitely incorporating Whole30 guidelines into my life as part of an 80/20 diet plan.

The diet’s strictness forces you to be conscious of your food choices. I always look at labels now to watch out for added sugar and garbage. And if you follow it correctly (which I didn’t), after the 30 days are up you slowly reintroduce forbidden foods back into your diet. That helps you realize what foods trigger bad reactions in your body.

I will try Whole30 again, just not right away :). I went from three to nine days this time, which was triple the days I made it on my first Whole30 attempt. So I’m gonna count that as a win.

Good health is a step-by-step journey. I wish you much success on yours!

And, yeah, wouldn’t it be great if we could diet for three days, or even just do the 21 day fix, and be skinny again! I guess it’s 3x3x3x3x3x3x3x3 – until it becomes a lifestyle.

Find Your Exit Buddy

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The journey to wellness can be a wild ride, filled with twists, turns, diversions, and bumps, which impact your ability to maintain focus and to keep making those day to day choices that support your goal. This is the truth for any type of goal; personal, health, or business.

However, it’s the choices you make throughout the day that you need to keep consistent in order to make progress. You may get so lost in your sight of the prize, that you don’t develop the daily habits you must do to get there. That is what happened with me time and time again when I attempted to begin a healthier routine, be it with nutrition or exercise.

I knew it was going to be different when I figured out that I needed an “exit buddy.” I attached a short video clip from the movie “Finding Nemo.” It is the part where Dorry and Marlin have to go through the “swirling vortex of doom” to reach their goal of making it to Sydney in order to search for Nemo. They were both terrified, but they had each other for that crazy ride, and they ended up getting through it side by side.

Finding your exit buddy is an important key to success. You need to have someone supporting you, who is working on a similar goal, that you report to on a regular basis for that crucial day to day accountability. They are there to give advice, provide motivation, give support on those difficult days, and keep you moving forward on your journey.

Is is possible to reach your goal without an exit buddy? Sure, but it is going to be a much, much more difficult process. If you don’t remain true and consistent with the process, then the chances of getting where you want to be go way down! You need to fall in love with the process, not the end result!

This is where people fall down in achieving their goals. They are so focused on the end result, that the little steps you need to follow to get there (like I mentioned last week) get brushed aside. You become frustrated because you have a couple of good days, followed by a bad day, then a good day, and then two more bad days. Pretty soon, fed up with the lack of progress, you regress back to the old patterns that don’t support you, and the goal is abandoned.¬†Your exit buddy is going to keep you on the path, so that you make those daily needed choices and do the behaviors and habits you know have to happen to make progress!

I have two exit buddies who have been supporting me on my wellness journey. The first one is my husband, Mike. I will be forever grateful for his presence and willingness to fully embrace a lifestyle of greater wellness, and follow this journey right by my side. As he saw the changes I was making in my nutrition and fitness habits, he also accepted them and joined me in this process. He has lost 55 pounds in the last year, and I am so proud of him! He is there to support our new lifestyle every single day!

He will cut up the lemons to put in our water, be excited about grilling more vegetables, and happily try my new healthier recipes. He takes care of getting the kids out of bed and ready so I can exercise in the morning. He does this willingly, happily, and without complaint. I have supported him the same way. It works. We work together, so we can keep moving forward on our health journey.

My second exit buddy is a driven, kind and amazing individual who introduced me to following the lifestyle I am now so passionate about. She became not only my fitness and nutrition coach, but my wellness cheerleader who showed up for me every day to keep me focused and on track. All this support was given freely and willingly. Cherise Goodrich inspired me to become that exit buddy for others looking to improve their wellness by taking control of their fitness and health. I will be forever grateful to you as well, Cherise! I love showing up and providing that kind, motivating support and accountability that is going to help others stay true to the process of achieving wellness.

So, my advice this week is to find that person or group who will be your exit buddy. No matter what your goal is, that person or group will get you through the daily grind (face it, some days are a complete grind!), making those needed little choices and doing those daily behaviors and habits that will keep you moving forward! You can do it! Just find your exit buddy!

My Bone Broth Experiment – Week 2, Day 12, Diet 1 (Fast one day a week diet)

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After reading about bone broth, I had to check it out! So I found a slow cooker recipe, bought some bones and vegetables and gave it a shot.

As I sipped my first cup I thought about how my hair would glisten, my skin would glow and my joints would be free of any crotchety pain. I just needed to drink bone broth as my afternoon pick-me-up instead of coffee, every day.

It says it needs 8-24 hours for the bone marrow to seep into the broth, but I couldn’t wait! I wanted one before bedtime so dug in about 2 hours into the cooking time. This cup was still watery, and since I didn’t strain the solids out yet, it was more of a soup still. Not bad.

In the morning I had another cup after straining it through a fine mesh sieve. The broth was now rich and greasy. It was my fasting day so I thought I’d start it off with the broth, a cup supposedly has between 34-70 calories, depending on what web site you checked out. I drenched some on my dog Sady’s food too.

After I drank it, my stomach immediately began to hurt, which I guess is okay because it was a fast day. I really didn’t want to eat until late afternoon after that. I put some of the broth in the refrigerator and froze the rest.

But now when I think about the broth, I’m not sure I can stomach it again. The greasy richness might be too much. So – no broth solution for me! At least not on a daily basis.

Weigh-in was 180.8 so holding steady, but the fast one day a week diet is not exactly dropping those pounds off either. Earlier in the week, I made the mistake of thinking these cute little baggies of dark chocolate covered almonds couldn’t be more than 250 calories tops.

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Turns out they were 410 calories. Oy vey! Tried to compensate for that by eating these kelp noodles. The whole package is less than 40 calories.

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I added some garlic spicy sauce to it – but they pretty much taste like stiff pieces of nothing. I’ll try cooking them next time – maybe even in the bone broth. But these are not something I’ll eat on a regular basis.

So – since the weight loss is sluggish – I’m going to amp it up by overlapping the last week of the fast one day a week with the Beach Body 21 day fit program. I obviously need more caloric accountability on my non-fast days to stay on track.

And we’ll have a guest blogger, Colette Salmon Vaigl, joining us for several weeks with nutrition advice too! She’s lost weight and kept it off by permanently changing her eating and exercise habits.

Fit2Fat2Fit by Drew Manning (Book Review)

Looked through this book while eating nachos. Healthy-ish nachos (as far as nachos go) and reading passages in this book inspired me to only eat half of them. That’s pretty much as good as it gets for my dieting.

The second line in the title is “The Unexpected Lessons From Gaining and Losing 75 LBS On Purpose.” I think that Drew could’ve just mentioned that he gained 75 lbs on purpose, not that he lost it on purpose. ‘Cause let’s face it – losing 75 pounds without purposely trying is a rare occurrence.

If you flip through the pages fast there’s a little man in the corner who starts out fit, gets fatter and then fit again so you can decide whether you want to read about fit or fat Drew. This book was originally a blog so you could follow his progress (or regress) on a daily basis.

Being a hyper-fit personal trainer Drew didn’t sympathize much with his overweight clients. He didn’t understand their sugar withdrawals or caffeine headaches when they had to give up soda (or pop as we say in the Midwest). He couldn’t grasp how they gasped and even vomited so easily when he pushed them to the limit.

This experiment changes that. Once he puts on the weight and his energy level plummets, Drew realizes physically, viscerally, how his clients must feel when they come to him. Drew gets lazy. His wife gets annoyed. She obviously misses his hot body because both of them go on and on about how this experiment changed their relationship. You can skip through all that fast.

The recipes sound good though (going to try the caramelized onion glazed salmon) and it’s an easy read. Worth checking out if you want to learn more about how to combine different forms of exercise to avoid plateaus and how to eat a well balanced meal. It’s basic and sometimes long-winded on the personal whining, but not a bad place to start.

RECOMMENDATION: Take out from the library, then decide if you want to buy for the recipes and step-by-step exercise descriptions.