21 Day Fix LIVE Week 6

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ANOTHER PROGRAM COMPLETE!

I celebrate this every single time. No, it does not mean the work is done, but it means I stuck to something and completed it to the best of my abilities, even with little stumbles along the way.

I kicked off this last week of 21 Day Fix Extreme with my birthday! Monday was my 28th birthday. I actually stayed pretty on top of my Ultimate Portion Fix meal plan. We made roasted rack of lamb, brussels sprouts, and rainbow cabbage slaw for a fancy dinner. This meal was inspired by an Insta post by @leemariekitchen who is a Plant Paradox GENIUS. She subscribes to a lot of similar food beliefs as I do. (But beliefs is a weird way to put it… science. She believes in science, like me :P) and cooks up a bunch of grain-free, sugar-free, low-lectin, plant-based, gut-friendly AWESOMENESS.

Anyhow, it WAS my birthday, so I had a few gluten-free vanilla cupcakes that I made over the weekend. Sooo good. Get my recipe for those here. There weren’t a ton of sugary offerings available to me on my birthday, which I was glad for. I guess that’s because I turned 28 and not 6. I did have a whole bag of Jolly Ranchers that I intended on giving one of my classes, but their behavior did not warrant earning treats, sooo I returned the bag of candy to Wegmans #meanteacher #sorrynotsorry

The one time this week when I could have possibly been tempted to go way off meal plan was Friday night when I was working the snack stand at a concert at school (fundraising for the class of 2022, woot woot!). I bought a tonnnnn of candy and junk food, but instead of buying from myself for dinner, I ate the salad that I meal prepped. And I honestly felt okay with that. My thing is if I have one, I don’t stop. And I become like a middle schooler and buy like four bags of candy and eat it all. But if I don’t have any, I’m ok. But it’s taken a long time for me to come to this realization.

The workouts went pretty great this week, too. For the most part. Autumn definitely upped the ante with some of the moves and the weights, but I kept up. Don’t get me wrong, I still modified a bunch. But I was able to do a lot more than I could the week previously. Like push-ups. I could do a BUNCH on my toes. That was awesome.

I did have one rough workout. Tuesday morning was tough. I felt super emotional and PMS-y and while sometimes a good workout can cure that, I had a hard time getting through this one. I was a bit weepy the whole time, hence the photo of my weights and not my face. It happens. But as you can see, the photos don’t stop. I didn’t quit or give up. After 37 days?? How could I?

Now here come the results. And to be honest, I almost did not take these photos. Because I did not think I had any results. Because the number on the scale said the same damn thing it did when I started these 42+ days. This really felt like a sucker punch to the gut. All the hard work and no change???

For whatever reason, I decided to take after pics and measurements anyways. I’m glad I did because it helped me to see the non-scale victories I had actually achieved! Not only did I lose two inches off my thighs, I got some serious muscle definition!! These before & after photos totally turned my mood around and served as a good reminder to me to always remember that health is about so much more than the scale.

I am positive. I am strong. I am in charge. And I’m ready to take on my next challenge… a new round of 80 Day Obsession!

21 Day Fix LIVE Week 5

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I have to say, I really LOVE 21 Day Fix Extreme. I can tell that I am working HARD in these workouts. I always sweat a lot and feel that tiredness in my muscles afterwards. (You know, that good kind where you just have to tell your friends, “Oh man, I did a TOUGH workout today!”)

I am loving the progressions in this program. Just like with the regular 21 Day Fix, the Extreme workouts build upon each other each week. So we up our weights, add more static holds, do reps all on the same side, all to challenge our muscles more and confuse our brains and bodies to make them WERK. Switching things up on yourself are so important for growth so you don’t hit a plateau.

Speaking of plateaus, I finally pushed through my weight loss plateau! This week, the pounds started coming off. Maybe I was hitting the right level of exercise or maybe I was eating the right combo of foods, but this week had me feeling stronger, leaner, and healthier. I told you last week how I was experiencing crazy bloating. I brought dairy back into my diet this week (it’s not the culprit), but eliminated spinach. I don’t think that’s what’s doing it, either. I’ve been having spinach in my shakes for YEARS and if that is what’s causing it, then something must’ve flipped a switch in my body overnight. I’ve been keeping a running list of what I eat when I feel bloated and I think I found what it is…. rice. I had rice twice this week and both times I had crazy bloating. I’m going to switch to quinoa next week and see what that does. I did some googling and didn’t find many people that had food sensitivities to rice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true for me!

It was a lot of go-go-go this week. I had after school stuff nearly every afternoon, which required meal prep! I’ve gotten to the point where I can meal prep pretty quickly and efficiently. I also have enough basics and staples in my house to put together simple, cheap, healthy meals in a pinch. (Don’t forget, though, it’s taken me years to get to this point. Remember not to compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!)

It was Sawyer’s birthday this week, so we went out to an awesome fancy dinner at The York in downtown Syracuse. We got $1 oysters (the best happy hour deal ever) and also a bone marrow appetizer. We never had bone marrow before, but it was SO GOOD. Can you make that at home? I’m sure you can. I’ll find out.

Over the weekend, we participated in our neighborhood’s annual garage sale. I wanted to show you all how I like to take my coffee (because weekends are for slowly sipping cups of coffee): I use Four Sigmatic coffee packets (for those mushroom benefits) with Onnit MCT oil and monkfruit sweetener. SO GOOD. Want to try some mushroom coffee? Get $10 off your first order here!

Next week is MY birthday… I’ll give you the lowdown on how it went in my next (and final) blog post for 21DF/X!

 
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21 Day Fix LIVE Week 4

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IT’S TIME TO GET EXTREME.

21 Day Fix Extreme, that is!

This week was the first week of 21DFX and, yeah, it’s definitely a little harder than the regular 21 Day Fix. But what I like about this “real time” version that they’re doing vs. the OG program is that they graduate you through the weeks to slightly more advanced moves. So Week 1 of 21DFX is a little bit less intense than the original workouts, but the intention is to build up your strength and stamina gradually, which I am grateful for.

I modify A LOT in these workouts. I am so grateful for the modifier Kat. She is RIGHT next to Autumn up in front, demoing all of the modifications. I need these modifications! Sometimes, I just can’t do the full minute of an intense cardio interval or do all of the push-ups (my wrists bother me). But I don’t quit - I do the modification. If you feel like you’re not in shape enough to do “21 Day Fix EXTREME”, don’t worry. You definitely can do it with the modifications and still get a great workout in. If you are still stressed about it, try the regular real time 21 Day Fix workouts first and work your way up.

My favorite part of the workouts this week was that MY HUSBAND DID YOGA FIX EXTREME WITH ME SUNDAY NIGHT <3 Yoga was totally the fix for my #sundayscaries. Though he didn’t snap a #swelfie with me, I know that it helped calm his anticipatory workweek anxieties, too.

Nutrition was pretty good this week! We continued to experiment with #meatlessmonday and made fix-approved enchiladas from FIXATE (the cooking show that you automatically get access to with your workout subscription!), but subbed out the chicken for tempeh. I’ve never had tempeh before.. it actually wasn’t bad. I preferred the Quorn from the week before, though!

I had about 15 students perform solos at the NYSSMA solo festival in Ithaca on Saturday and I packed a ton of awesome, healthy snacks to get me through the day. Although they were selling fruit at the event (it is Ithaca, after all!), they mostly had pizza and chips and things for sale. It wasn’t my first time at this particular festival site, though, so I knew what to expect!

 
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We had a co-ed baby shower to go to Saturday evening, which was Cinco de Mayo themed. I avoided the appetizers (because I KNOW MYSELF and “just one” turns into 80 billion) and then helped myself to the taco bar. I just went with a taco salad/burrito bowl thing, skipping the tortilla shells. I also skipped out on the alcohol. One, because I’m not sure I like myself when drinking (I’ve written about this before) and two, because I was so FREAKING tired from the long day with my students, that I couldn’t imagine adding alcohol to the mix.

At the end of this week, I finally started to break through my plateau a bit. I’ve been feeling super bloated lately and the scale has been kind of high for me. I think I have a food insensitivity. After Monday, I tried to cut out dairy. It did seem to help, and tbh, I didn’t miss cheese all that much. Would I have said that a year or two ago? Hell no! But as I’ve continued on this journey, I’ve learned that it’s ok to give up certain foods for a bit in the name of health (see my 80 Day Obsession journal, hahaha). Next week, I’ll add it back in and try cutting out something else. I read that spinach can mess with your gut a bit. I’m also trying to eat a lot more probiotic and prebiotic foods to help coax my gut into a healthier state. I’ll keep you posted!

 
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Break Week

Break Week!
 

Ok, so technically this program does not contain a break week. 21 Day Fix & 21 Day Fix Extreme are two separate programs, and Beachbody decided to put a week in between finishing 21DF and rolling out 21DFX. However, I am kind of treating this all like one long seven-week program, so I thought I’d just put out a short post about what I did during this break time.

I decided to do Autumn’s “A Little Obsessed” for my workouts. This is a short series of five workouts that are thirty minutes long each. I purposefully chose to stick with Autumn for this week - I personally find her really motivating and I wanted to keep seeing her in my workouts! I also liked that the workout lengths were the same as 21DF/X. And I was familiar with the moves, since the 5-day program is meant to be an intro to 80 Day Obsession, which I’ve already completed a few rounds of. (Here is my journal from Round 1!) I did the workouts from Tuesday-Saturday, which gave me Sunday off as a much-needed rest day - Saturday’s leg day KILLED, haha.

If you read the text in the fourth photo above, you’ll notice I didn’t actually do Day 4 Cardio Core from the program. That Thursday, I woke up a little late and was having a hard time dragging myself out of bed and downstairs to my living room to workout. I eventually did get up with 20 minutes left to workout. I could’ve said “screw it” and done nothing at all. Which I totally would’ve chosen in the past. Instead, I decided to do a 20-minute Transform :20 workout! THIS is why Beachbody On-Demand is so awesome. Because I can make my workouts fit my life, rather than trying to fit my life into a gym schedule. There is even a sorting feature on the On-Demand site that lets you select how much time you are looking to work out and then generates a list of available workout content! If you want to try a free 14-day trial of this subscription and check out all of the content, just go here!

I still meal planned & prepped for the week using the Ultimate Portion Fix guidelines. I left the weekend somewhat loosey-goosey in my planning, because on Saturday we were planning to go wine tasting on Seneca Lake with some college friends in town and Sunday we were going to go have Orthodox Easter dinner with Sawyer’s family. I still tried to make decent-ish choices on those days, though! I focused on fuel foods, but also had some fun foods. I had an amazing salad at the Beef and Brew in Geneva, NY and had amazing Middle Eastern food at Easter dinner.

One of my OG recipes,   Dill Tuna Cakes

One of my OG recipes, Dill Tuna Cakes

My latest coffee obsession, Mushroom Coffee Latte Mix from Four Sigmatic. Click   here   to get $10 off!

My latest coffee obsession, Mushroom Coffee Latte Mix from Four Sigmatic. Click here to get $10 off!

Stuffed cabbage! I don’t know how to spell the Arabic word!

Stuffed cabbage! I don’t know how to spell the Arabic word!

While my nutrition was fairly on point this week, I was dealing with MASSIVE bloating all week long. Like, looking five months pregnant twenty minutes after eating. I am going to play with eliminating certain foods in the next couple of weeks to see what the culprit it. First, I’ll try eliminating dairy: it’s an obvious suspect, and something many people are sensitive too. But I love cheeseeeee. Let’s see.

 
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21 Day Fix LIVE Week 3

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And just like that, another program is done! The end of week 3 means the end of the 21 Day Fix! Well, at least this round. Autumn said that this week would be even harder and she definitely delivered. There were more holds and plyometric moves worked into each workout. I pushed myself hard on these, too (especially when I had my preworkout, which was every day except for the weekend when I forgot to pack my travel sticks!!).

This week also coincided with my April break off from school and ended in Easter weekend. Vacations and holidays are times when I struggle with my health journey. Not with the workouts - as you can see in the carousel above, I did all of my workouts, even in the hotel gym when I was traveling. That’s why I love the Beachbody On-Demand app - I can workout from anywhere. All I did was connect my bluetooth headphones, open the app, & press play and I was good to go.

But what I struggle with on vacations and holidays is nutrition. And I won’t lie, I definitely struggled this week. I wrote out a meal plan, but it was very loose and I barely looked at it. It was filled with unknowns, as I was meeting friends and family for drinks and meals at several points throughout the week. I experimented with some more items from the farmer’s market, including lion’s mane mushroom “crab” cakes and roasted artichokes. There were days (like actual Easter) where I abstained from drinking. I meal prepped snacks and water from travel. But I also had days where I said, “screw it, whatever,” and just binged and/or ordered whatever I wanted.

I’ll admit, I was not in a great headspace at the end of week 3 and felt somewhat dejected about my lack of healthy progress. But I made a few “before & after” photos to remind myself that I HAVE come so far and that I should be proud of every effort I’m making.

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This is all to show you that I am indeed human and do struggle with healthy eating like so many people do! My challengers and I are all in this together, working through every single day. If any of what I’ve written resonates with you and you think you’d like to be in my Team Reach Higher challenge group, please apply! You never know if you don’t try. Even if this is 2025 and you’re reading a realllllyyyyy old blog post, I’m certain I will still be coaching others in some way or another. Reach out to me and we can figure out how we can work together!

What happens next? Well, there is a little break week during which I plan on doing the five 30-minute “A Little Obsessed” workouts and THEN on Monday 4/29, 21 Day Fix Extreme will be released! And that is what I’m jumping into next. From there? Who knows. My teammate Mel said she is going to start 80 Day Obsession after that. I have half a mind to do it again, full out. It’s 13 weeks long, and that would carry me through (and over) the 9 weeks until Morning Meltdown 100 is released. But we’ll see!

 
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21 Day Fix LIVE Week 2

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Hahahahahaha, so literally HOURS after I posted about these awesome live workouts, Beachbody decided that they weren’t going to continue doing live workouts at 9 AM PST with the rest of the program anymore. I guess there were a lot of connectivity issues. Being an east coaster, I never tried doing them live, so the change doesn’t bother me. Now they just make sure to post the next day’s workout by 8 PM PST the previous night. Either way, the workouts are still new!

This was week 2 of the 21 Day Fix, which means we are 2/3 of the way through with the program! But what I LOVED about this week, which makes it different than the OG program, is that they switched up a few things. For starters, the order of the workouts changed. That kept both my body (and my mind!) guessing. In addition, they amped up the workouts. Like the Lower Fix (leg day) workouts started to incorporate 10-second holds with weights. And Pilates Fix incorporated the resistance loops from 80 Day Obsession. I sent gifts of new loops to my challengers doing this program with me <3

Nutrition-wise, the week went really well! I meal prepped a really awesome salad for lunches from The Longevity Paradox by Dr. Stephen Gundry. It was kale, radicchio, walnuts, dried cranberries, blue cheese, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Don’t worry, I am still going through the Ultimate Portion Fix certification program, but I am not married to one single nutritional plan! But I like to find recipes and meals that overlap different nutritional systems. My salad totally fit into UPF!

 
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Anyways, Dr. Gundry advocates for eating less animal protein and lectin-free foods. As a result of the information I learned from the book, I am trying #meatlessmondays. This past Monday we made curried lentils with kale & coconut milk, which my friend showed me after a great discussion in my free Facebook group Reasons to Reach about the beneficial properties of turmeric. We added Quorn to ours (a mushroom-based meat substitute) to bulk up the dish a bit. It was really good! So were the leftovers.

 
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Next week, I am off on April break and will try to spend some time relaxing (I am not good at relaxing…) but I will also be getting my final week of 21 Day Fix done! I aim to complete my UPF certification, too. As far as fun things go, I want to decorate my house more! We finally put up this lovely wall collage of our wedding vows and it really brings me happiness. I hope to add more personal touches like this to our home!

(P.S. Sarah Heppell is an AMAZING wedding photographer! <3)

 
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21 Day Fix LIVE Week 1

 
 

It’s back, y’all.

 
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21 DAY FIX!

I am so flippin’ excited about this. If you didn’t know, the 21 Day Fix was the program that REALLY kicked off my health journey. I had been sometimes going to the gym/trying to eat healthier in the years prior, but I wasn’t really seeing any results. After completing a few rounds of this program, I saw my first SIGNIFICANT weight loss. It was awesome. You can read more about this here.

People like to comment on the name of the program all the time: “Yeah, sure… 21 days and I’m fixed!” *insert their eye roll here* My husband in particular loves to poke fun at it. He will it a salad and look at me and say, “Rach, I’m FIXED!!” But that is not what the program title is supposed to mean. The idea of the program is that is takes 21 days to build a habit (this is a belief that has been debunked, scientists believe it actually takes any where from two to eight months, but you get the idea). In this time that you are building your habit, you are establishing a daily 30-minute workout routine and you are also “fixing” the portion sizes you eat. NOT starving yourself, eating certain random foods, or whatever. Truly looking at the meal you were going to make anyways and measuring the portions.

Maybe you noticed that I wrote above about seeing weight loss “after completing a few rounds”. This is true. It took more than one round. But it was all about building that habit, that lifestyle, which I have been striving towards these past almost three years now.

So Rachel… this is an old program? Why are you journaling about it now as if it were new?

Well, it is new again! Beachbody is in the process of filming brand new 30-minute videos for each day in the program. In the original program, there were seven videos:

  1. Total Body Cardio Fix

  2. Upper Fix

  3. Lower Fix

  4. Pilates Fix

  5. Cardio Fix

  6. Dirty Thirty

  7. Yoga Fix

And so each Monday for the three weeks, you would do video number 1. And each of the three Tuesdays, you would do video number 2. And so on. But, as this is something like their most popular program ever, Beachbody wanted to redo this program to be in the style of their more recent programs, where every single workout is something fresh. There are a few reasons for this. One, you don’t have to hear the same joke or pun every week. Two, the trainer (Autumn) can tweak the moves each week to help you progress and push yourself more.

But Beachbody has gone one step further and they are producing this program LIVE. Which means, not only is each day a brand new workout, but each day’s workout is being filmed and streamed raw and unedited at 9 AM PST. Which I think is so baller. Unfortunately for us east coasters, we are typically at work around noon. And if you like to work out in the morning before work, which I do, you can’t be on the same day. So there are many of us east coasters a day behind. But that’s ok :)

You may have also noticed that there are six weeks allocated for the journal. That’s because after 21 Day Fix is completed, Autumn and her cast are going to launch right into 21 Day Fix EXTREME, which is another level up. I am going to be continuing on with them!

But this program is not just fitness alone. A HUGE part of it (in fact, most of it) is centered on Autumn’s Ultimate Portion Fix, which is her meal plan. Like I mentioned above, it is not about eliminating those foods you love like pastas, sweets, and wine, but rather about understanding how much of that you should have per week. And, on the other hand, it is about how much more of things like vegetables and water you should be getting per day. Now, this system has been around since the original days of 21 Day Fix. But what I am loving about this relaunch is that there is a whole video series (7 modules) that you get access to. These videos teach you not only how to use this program, but they also help you to dig deep and truly understand your driving cause for wanting to make a healthier change. Once you unearth that, you have the golden key you need to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Does the new 21 Day Fix sound like something you’d be interested in? Maybe you’re looking to finally start your health journey, or perhaps you just feel like you’re stuck on a plateau and want to try something new? If that’s the case, please contact me here so that we can figure out if this program suits your needs. If it does, and you and I are a good match, I would be happy to coach you to reach your goals!

 
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