“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.

It’s Time to Find Your “Why”

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I’ve been lucky enough to know Stacy for over 25 years now! We met in college, where her outgoing personality and sense of adventure drew this shy, introverted girl out of her shell! I am so happy Stacy invited me on her blog to share a little of my story as a guest blogger this month. We ALL have a story to tell, and each of us has value to add to another by sharing a bit of ourselves, scar tissue and all.

My wellness journey has not been a linear experience, hence the term “journey.” It’s like this for just about every typical person out there, I think. We go through stages in our health. In my twenties, I’d go on and off the path, ranging from complete vegetarian and regular exerciser, to being a couch potato and developing a daily McDonald’s chocolate shake habit (not proud to admit that).

Stress and life events can have a huge impact on the decisions we make about  how we choose to nourish ourselves, mind, body, and spirit. In March of 2015, I had devoted the previous 5 years to having a family and raising our kids. I have a six year old daughter and a four year old son. March is the big birthday month in my house. Both my kids were born in that month (2 years and 3 days apart). My birthday is in March, too. My husband and I were just coming out of a three year stretch of horrible sleep, and less than stellar eating (My chocolate shake habit morphed into an M&M habit) and I realized that something had to change.

I knew that I needed a lifestyle shift. It went way beyond wanting to drop a few pounds. If weight loss is the only motivation you are using in making a shift to a healthier lifestyle, then you are doomed to fail! I did some serious soul searching, and dug deep to the root of the real WHY I wanted to do this. My personal Why centers around the fact that I am an “older” parent. I had my daughter on the cusp of 40, and my son on the cusp of 42. I want to be active in their lives as they grow up. I want to be there to share in the major milestones they will experience going through childhood into becoming independent adults. I don’t want to be mistaken as their grandmother in the stands at their high school graduation! Really, I want to be fully present, and a viable contributing member to my family and society in general for years and years to come. See what I mean by digging deep?

To make permanent changes to a way of living that embraces wellness, you gotta have your why, and it’s gotta be deep enough to keep you going on those days when all you want to do is lie in bed and watch reruns of Law and Order instead of exercising, or when you know it’d be so easy to make a pass through the drive-through rather than take the time to prepare a healthy meal with the produce you bought with the best of intentions, that is starting to go bad in your fridge because you’re too damn tired and unmotivated to cook.

My first suggestion to you is to look deep inside and ask yourself why you want to begin your journey of wellness. Why do you want to commit to healthier eating, to making movement and fitness part of your regular life? When you uncover these reasons, write them down. Reflect on them. Your why has to be big enough to sustain your desire to change, rather than keep the status quo, which isn’t serving you. Your wellness journey MUST begin with your WHY. Once you have your why, then you can start considering the how…