My Review: 22-Minute Hard Corps

Well… I did it!  I completed 22-Minute Hard Corps!  While I’ve been posting in here somewhat regularly regarding my progress and the workouts, I also wanted to do a final summary of thoughts on the program as a whole.

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A happy girl finished with 22-Minute Hard Corps!

The Basics:  For those who are just now reading my blog, 22-Minute Hard Corps is an eight-week military-style bootcamp at-home fitness program developed by celebrity trainer Tony Horton.  Workouts are only 22 minutes, and they’re a mix of cardio and resistance training DVDs.

What did I love about this program?  I loved that it was only 22 minutes long.  This is one of the shortest workouts out there produced by Beachbody (with 10-Minute Trainer and Focus T25 being similarly short).  Having done many at-home fitness programs, I believe that 22-Minute Hard Corps is easily the most efficient workouts you can get for the time you’re spending exercising.  I also love Tony Horton.  He’s an awesome trainer.  I loved that the moves were not normally complicated.  The branding is also awesome.  It honors veterans and the military by using real military veterans in the workouts, it’s filmed in all sorts of military-themed locations, and the bootcamp-style seems pretty authentic.

What did I not like about the program?  The workouts can get repetitive.  With only three cardio and three resistance workouts over the course of eight weeks (nine weeks if you do the optional Hell Week), I was starting to get bored near the end of the 2 months.  Plus, many of the moves are similar.  For example, there is some variation of a burpee in every cardio workout AND some of the resistance ones as well.  Going into this program, I LOVED burpees, really I did.  But Hard Corps made me never want to see one again.  😛 There are also two core/abs workouts, but you do the same moves in both workouts, you’re just increasing the number of repetitions.  You also do the core workout every other day, with your cardio workouts, so the core workouts got a little repetitive too.

Was it hard?  Sometimes, yes.  I’m a graduate of many of Beachbody’s toughest programs, like Insanity and P90X, and Hard Corps kicked my ass at times.  Cardio 2 is one of THE hardest workouts out there, primarily due to the gorilla crawls and the way they’re incorporated into the larger workout.  Your legs are toast at the end.  I found all of the workouts doable, but challenging, and I got ridiculously sweaty in the mere 22 minutes.  Here’s a peek at each of the moves from Cardio 2, which I contend is one of the hardest workouts Beachbody has made:

Can anyone do this program?  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say no.  I know that Beachbody probably likes for all of their programs to be workable for people of all fitness levels and there IS a modifier for all of the moves, but without totally modifying some of the moves into completely different moves, I don’t think Hard Corps is for everyone.  Some of these moves are VERY hard on your joints.  I consider myself to be a pretty fit person, and I woke up one day after Resistance 3 and my knees were in severe pain from mountain squats.  There are many moves in this program that put a lot of strain on your knees, elbows, and joints.  It is very important that you’re doing these moves on a comfortable, cushioned surface.  Get a mat.  So, if you have issues with those types of moves, there is something else out there for you.  Let’s chat if you need some recommendations.  Here are the mountain squats that messed with my knees:

I will also note that I experienced a bit of lower back pain during this program, which is NOT normal for me.  I would randomly pull a lower back muscle and need to modify for a day or two until it improved.  That had never happened to me during another workout program before.  I think it was because I wasn’t warmed up enough before jumping into the workouts, as the warm-ups are very short.  I found that the pain happened more during the resistance workouts, so I started warming up before all of the resistance workouts with the Cold Start (10-minute warm-up) and I never had back issues again.  So, I would definitely recommend incorporating the Cold Start warm-up as much as possible.  It’ll make your workouts 10 minutes longer, but it’s worth it.

What is Hell Week?  Did you do it?  Yes, I did.  I didn’t come so far to crap out at the end!  If you haven’t had enough after eight weeks of 22-Minute Hard Corps, you can choose to complete the optional Hell Week at the end.  The Hell Week includes 2-3 workouts a day, so 44-54 minutes of workouts a day, rather than just 22 minutes.  It is very hard, and you’re wasted at the end of each day, but it’s amazing.  I felt very challenged during Hell Week.  Here’s the Hell Week calendar:

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Hell Week Challenge

Did you follow the nutrition plan?  No.  I’m generally pretty healthy with my diet.  I drink Shakeology everyday.  I’m also a weekday clean-eating vegan.  On the weekends, I’ll do some calorie splurges and enjoy some cocktails, but no, I did not really change my diet at all for this program.

Did you use any supplements?  Yes.  I used Energize, which is a preworkout energy drink.  It’s all natural – no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives, and NO FILLERS.  It’s vastly superior to every other preworkout drink on the market, including my old preworkout drink – Energy and Endurance.  My cardiovascular endurance really improved during the program and I could push a lot harder and longer through my workouts, and I attribute some of that to Energize.

What kind of results did you get?  Honestly, being in pretty decent shape already, I didn’t lose a ton of weight.  I wasn’t really trying to lose weight, though, just trying to push my body to do something new and outside my comfort zone.  I lost around 5 pounds, but I did improve drastically with my muscular endurance on some of the moves, like the gorilla crawls.  The first time that I did Cardio 2, I could maybe do half of the gorilla crawls.  By Hell Week, I could do all of them.  I also could barely do pump jumpers (from Resistance 3) when I started, but could perform them no problem by the end.

Would you do it again?  I’m a Team Beachbody coach, so I hate saying this,  but I’m going to be honest here… No, probably not.  I might do some of the workouts here and there, but I’m not really interested in doing the program start to finish again.  It was a little too repetitive to me.  BUT I’m very glad that I did it, as I feel like I did get a lot out of it, and that it did wonders for my muscular endurance and really helped chisel my abs, but there are other programs out there that I’d rather do first.  Sorry, Tony!  I still love you!

I’m interested in this or maybe some other program, but I need some support and accountability.  Where can I get that?  It just so happens that I am online health and fitness coach!  I’d love to help hold you accountable with 22-Minute Hard Corps or some other program!  I can plug you into one of my accountability groups, which are free when you purchase a program through me!

Where can I reach you?  You can message me on Facebook or email me at distilledjill@gmail.com.

What comes next for you?  I’m on day 2 of the Master’s Hammer and Chisel!  So far, it’s awesome!  Check back here for more on that.  🙂

 

Day 1 of 22-Minute Hard Corps

In case you’ve been wondering, yes, I’m still here.  I lost 10 pounds on a second round of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset in February-March 2016!  I’ve been plugging along, doing my at-home fitness workouts everyday, drinking my Shakeology, and serving others as a coach.  I’ve lost 60 pounds since I started my journey with Beachbody after graduating from law school in 2010.  I even wore a bikini for the first time in my life last month!  I never had the confidence to do that before, and it’s all thanks to these programs and products.

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Wearing a bikini for the first time!

What’s next?  Today, I started Tony Horton’s new program called 22-Minute Hard Corps.  It’s an eight-week bootcamp/military-style workout program that’s super short!  Only 22 minutes a day!  I’ve actually been lucky to do 22-Minute Hard Corps LIVE with Tony 3 times in the past month.  We worked out together on a cruise that I went on through Beachbody (the one where I wore that bikini for the first time!) and when he came to DC earlier this month.

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Hanging out with Tony Horton in DC earlier this month!

Today, I pushed play on Cardio 1 and Core 1.  I’ve done Cardio 1 a couple of times now.  It was the sneak peek of the workout available on Beachbody On Demand.  I love the simplicity of the moves.  The format for Cardio 1 is three rounds of seven moves (T- Jacks, Bear Crawls, Lateral Shuffle, Forward Lunge Twist, Basic Burpee, A-Skips, and Run Lunge Squats) with 22-second breaks in between each round, and a Bonus Round of 22 Bear Crawls and 22 Burpees.  No equipment needed for Cardio 1.  Day 1 also involves an optional Core 1 workout, which was a lot of fun!  (Yes, I’m crazy and find some workouts FUN.)  And it’s seriously SHORT.  Like, 9 minutes short!  For Core 1, Tony has you rolling around on the floor for a couple of moves, which makes you feel a little silly and smile, which helps push the workout along.  There were some new abs/core moves introduced that I had never done before, even after having completed most Beachbody programs.

The verdict?  I definitely got sweaty and fatigued during the 22 minutes!  See:

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Sweaty selfie from 22-Minute Hard Corps!

Nutrition-wise, I probably won’t be following the 22-Minute Hard Corps nutrition plan precisely.  I’ve really gotten into a groove with my nutrition and know what works for my body at this point.  I’m a weekday vegan, and give myself some latitude over the weekend to enjoy some top-notch treat (or cheat) meals.  it works for me.  My meals today included Vegan Chocolate Shakeology for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch (with quinoa, beans, sunflower seeds, tofu, peppers, carrots, and a little olive oil and vinegar).  I had an apple as a mid-afternoon snack (I eat an apple a day like a big DORK).  Dinner is TBD!

Day 1 of 22-Minute Hard Corps is history!

PS – Over the past year, I’ve converted this from a blog to more of a website.  However, I’d like to keep content in the blog fresh and regular, so I’m going to try to post regularly.

PPS – Need some coaching? Motivation to start or continue your health, fitness, or wellness journey?  Send me at email at distilledjill@gmail or find me on Facebook!  My services are FREE when you buy Shakeology, a workout program, or BOTH through me.

From Prix Fixe to 21-Day Fix Extreme (and Vegan!)

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my calories. My favorite kinds of meals are found at fancy restaurants, where I can order a prix fixe menu with multiple courses and wine or cocktail pairings carefully curated to each of the courses. That is my heaven. I thrive in that environment. Give me foie gras, fondue, charcuterie, and any other French word that sounds like a heart attack on a plate, and I’ll wash it down with a martini, Malbec, and Amaro.

Luckily, I’ve learned to confine that type of diet almost exclusively to the weekends, and now I focus on being a 100% clean-eating vegan during the week.  It helps me focus, get better sleep, and feel happier, which all helps with the 9-to-5 universe. Going all out on the weekends definitely keeps the week in perspective and gives me a great outlet on Friday evening.

So what happens when the weekend splurging ends? What happens when bottomless mimosa brunches get replaced with a strict 21-day regimen of carefully calculated meals?  What happens when this city dweller, who thrives on trying new restaurants and cocktails, gasp! goes on a diet?  Specifically, I’m talking about the 21-Day Fix Extreme.

Now, I’m no stranger to diet and exercise programs. Last year, I did the 21-day inner body tune up known as the Beachbody Ultimate Reset. It helped me bust through a weight-loss plateau and really helped transform my perspective on what I put in my body. During the Reset, you are mostly eating vegan and you’re encouraged NOT to exercise, since your body needs to focus on detoxing rather than repairing muscle. That program was wonderful, but I wanted to try something different this year.

The 21-Day Fix Extreme caught my eye. Why? After doing the super-intense Reset, I figured I could do this Fix for 21 days (I can really do anything for 21 days!), it was super cold outside (so bar/restaurant-hopping is less appealing), and I really wanted to see what would happen to me if I really dialed in my nutrition AND exercised according to the program for 21 days.

So, what is the 21-Day Fix Extreme?

The 21-Day Fix Extreme is a diet and exercise program.

Exercise:  You get seven “extreme” 30-minute workouts, one for each day of the week— so your mind never gets bored, and your body never adapts. The workouts feature a unique blend of steady-state aerobics, resistance training, and explosive power moves that target every muscle in the body—to help you get shredded fast.

Diet: For your nutrition, you practice portion control and eat ONLY clean foods (unlike the original 21-Day Fix, which allows its participants the occasional chocolate or glass of wine). No treats. No cheats. No excuses. The program comes with a set of color-coded containers. Each container corresponds to a different type of food group. For example, red is for protein, and green is for vegetables. You do a simple equation to figure out how many of each container you can eat in one day. You spread out the containers throughout the course of the day as you like.

Here is a short video on the 21-Day Fix Extreme.

Promotional Materials: 21-Day Fix Extreme

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What did you eat on the 21-Day Fix Extreme?

Based on a simple calculation based on my weight, age, and other factors, I could have the following each day:

  • 3 green containers (vegetables)
  • 2 purple containers (fruit)
  • 4 red containers (protein)
  • 2 yellow containers (carbs)
  • 1 blue container (healthy fats)
  • 1 orange container (nuts/seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons (oils)

In order to make the program even HARDER, you’ll never guess what I did. That’s right – I made it vegan. On the 21-Day Fix Extreme, the only vegan protein options are tofu and tempeh (and some powders). Luckily for me, I like both.

Breakfast: For breakfast every day, I had chocolate vegan Shakeology (1 red). This is something that I have for breakfast every day anyway; however, I had to make it with water rather than almond/coconut milk, which is what I usually use.  I got one fruit serving in during breakfast by adding 1/2 banana to the Shakeology.  Since vegan protein options are restricted for the 21-Day Fix Extreme, I used two different types of plant-based protein powders to help me get my 4 red containers.  For the second week of the program, I added some pea protein to my morning shake, and in the third week I used hemp protein.  The Shakeology did a great job keeping me full until lunch time, especially with the added protein.

Lunch: I had pretty much the same lunch every day mostly for the sake of ease and convenience.  I made a salad of the following:

  • 1 green = spinach
  • 1 green = 1/3 onion, 1/3 red bell pepper, 1/3 tomato, and/or a little carrot
  • 1 red = tofu
  • 1 yellow = quinoa
  • 1 orange = raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Freebies: balsamic vinegar, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, cilantro

Snack: I had an apple (1 fruit) as a snack every day between lunch and dinner.

Dinner:  Though I had the same breakfast, lunch, and snack every day, dinner was something that I tried to mix up regularly.  I’ll tell you about some of my favorite vegan dinner options.  Though these are vegan, they can be easily made nonvegan by replacing the protein with an animal-based protein (e.g., chicken).

Here’s some dinner recipes I came up with:

Guacamole Tofu

  • 1 red = tofu
  • 1 blue = 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1 green = 1/3 tomato, 1/3 onion, 1/3 peppers (jalapeno, red bell)
  • 1 yellow = black beans
  • 1 teaspoon = olive oil
  • Freebies: pink Himalayan salt, red cayenne pepper, fresh-squeezed lime juice, cilantro, garlic

I essentially made guacamole with the avocado, veggies, and black beans, cilantro, seasoning, and lime juice; cooked the tofu with garlic and oil; and then topped it with the guacamole.

A Typical Day on the 21-Day Fix Extreme

collage of meals

Roasted Tofu, Asparagus, Baked Sweet Potato

  • 1 red = tofu (I mixed it up with a flavored “savory” tofu)
  • 1 green = asparagus
  • 1 yellow = small sweet potato
  • 1 blue = avocado
  • 1 teaspoon = olive oil
  • Freebies: Garlic

I baked the sweet potato; roasted the tofu with asparagus (tossed in olive oil with cloves of garlic); and added avocado before serving. The avocado reminded me of a butter substitute for the sweet potato. It was delicious!

Dinner of Tofu, Asparagus, Sweet Potato

Dinner of tofu SP asp avo

Indian-Style Tofu Curry

  • 1 red = tofu
  • 1 green = 1/2 tomato sauce, 1/4 onion, 1/4 spinach or broccoli
  • 1 blue = coconut milk
  • 1 yellow = 1/2 quinoa or brown rice; 1/2 garbanzo beans
  • 1 teaspoon = coconut oil
  • Freebies: garlic, red cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander seed, fresh grated ginger

This was my absolute favorite invention from the 21-Day Fix Extreme, and I continue to eat this regularly for dinner even after the program ended! I heated the coconut oil, added the garlic, onion, and about 1 teaspoon of each freebie spice (except ginger, which I added near the end). Then I added the tofu and coated with the spices. If I were doing broccoli, I added that with the garbanzo beans. I added the tomato sauces and coconut milk, and let it cook. Near the end, I stirred in the quinoa and spinach. I used either broccoli or spinach depending on which I had on hand.

Indian-Style Tofu Curry

indian tofu

What were the workouts like on the 21-Day Fix Extreme?

The program includes a different workout for each day of the week – each only 30 minutes long and each with a modifier:

  • Sunday: Yoga Fix Extreme – I am not a big fan of yoga, but I really liked this efficient yoga workout.  It is probably about 1/2 vinyasa sun salutations and 1/2 balance postures. There were people modifying to make it both easier AND harder in the video. The one guy in the video is really amazing – doing headstands and arm balances, but Autumn does NOT do some of the super crazy poses, so rest assured. This is a yoga workout that can be done by almost anyone.
  • Monday: Plyo Fix Extreme – Mostly jumping moves with weights. A great workout to get your heart-rate up.
  • Tuesday: Upper Fix Extreme – A series of upper body moves, mostly done with dumb bells, but also with a resistance band.  I am not normally a big of resistance bands in workouts, but I really enjoyed the moves that used the band, as I feel like it helped me target underutilized muscles.
  • Wednesday: Pilates Fix Extreme – Like yoga, pilates isn’t really my thing, BUT I thought pilates using the resistance band was a lot of fun!  I wasn’t really out of breath at all during this workout, but I did definitely started sweating near the end.
  • Thursday: Lower Fix Extreme – A great lower body workout, also uses both weights and the resistance bands.
  • Friday: Cardio Fix Extreme – Great cardio workout that utilizes weights.
  • Saturday: Dirty 30 Fix Extreme – A total body workout that uses weights. I really loved this one.

The workouts are extreme, but they’re not impossible.  I love Shaun T and his Insanity workouts – those are my “soul mate” workouts – but the 21-Day Fix Extreme is NOTHING like Insanity, which is definitely extreme, intense, difficult, not for beginners, and sometimes complicated.  The 21-Day Fix Extreme can be done by beginners, especially if you modify.  The moves are NOT complicated.  They are pretty basic, tried and true moves, sometimes tweaked to help burn more calories.  You’ll see a lot of simple moves, like lunges, squats, and shoulder presses.  Autumn is not trying to reinvent the wheel.  She is kind of the opposite of Shaun T in that you might not be able to do Shaun’s plyo pushups the first couple of times you do his workout, but you work to get there.  Autumn only has 21 days with you, so she is going to give you moves that you CAN do to be as efficient with your time as she can be.  They’re simple and effective moves that you can make harder by adding heavier weights or putting more into it (i.e., jumping higher).

So, what kind of results did you get doing the 21-Day Fix Extreme?

Okay. I HATE HATE HATE sharing my before-and-after pictures. BUT I took them so I could get my free 21-Day Fix Extreme t-shirt and enter the Beachbody Challenge and perhaps win some cash prizes!  So, since I took my pics anyway, I might as well share them with my readers.

Before-And-After: 21-Day Fix Extreme

before and after collageAs you can see, I lost almost 9 pounds total doing the 21-Day Fix Extreme. On a short 5’2″ girl like me, that’s quite a bit! And I can assure you that was not all water weight, as I have a fancy scale that measures water, and my water levels stayed pretty constant throughout the program (actually, they increased a little, see below). I am most proud of the definition that I got in my abs! (Right?! You can totally see that!)  I was honestly VERY surprised that I got such great results, as I feel like I have done much harder workout programs and have seen LESS results.  I think that the simplicity of the program allowed me to really focus on pushing harder, lifting heavier, and having proper form.

Weight: -8.8 pounds

Fat: -2.4%

Water: +2.3%

Muscle: +1.4%

Would you do the 21-Day Fix Extreme again?

Yes, absolutely!  It is hard for me to find 21 days to block off on my schedule because, as I mentioned, I like to do a lot and often have food/drink-related events on my weekend agenda, but i would definitely do this again if I can find the time.  It would be great to do leading up to a vacation or special event.  It really helped me break through a plateau and helped teach me better portion control.

How do I order the 21-Day Fix Extreme? 

Go here to order the challenge pack, which comes with Shakeology (i.e., one of your meals throughout the 21 days, which is really a huge time and prep saver).  Alternatively, you can order the base kit here, though the challenge pack is really the better deal.

How can I know that I will succeed if I do the 21-Day Fix Extreme?

As with any health and fitness program, you get out of it what you put in. No one is going to do the program for you. You can’t expect to see results if you don’t do the work. BUT I can offer you my free coaching services to help you get through the program just as I did! I can help you stay accountable to meet your health, fitness, and wellness goals. Please go here to sign up for a free Team Beachbody account.  I will become connected with you as your coach, and I will contact you to learn more about your goals and talk to you about how to get started.

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Day 1 of 3-Day Refresh

I’m no stranger to cleanses.  Four months ago, I completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, which is a 21-day total body tune-up.  It rocked my world, changed my outlook on what I put in my body, and now I’ve come to conquer the newest cleanse that Beachbody has to offer – the 3-Day Refresh (3DR).

Some Background

Beachbody was inspired to do a 3-Day Refresh when they saw a coach had essentially made their own 3-day Shakeology cleanse.  It consisted of 3 days of Shakeology for breakfast and lunch, a dinner salad with a lean protein (like chicken, fish, or tofu), and green tea.  Well, Beachbody got word of this cleanse, saw that there was a market for a 3-day quick fix (rather than the pretty intense Ultimate Reset), but saw that they could improve upon the Shakeology cleanse.  How?  By adding more protein and fiber to keep you feeling full (I remember getting a little exhausted and irritable on the Shakeology cleanse) and giving you better food options to provide you with a more complete vision of nutrition.  Beachbody wanted to make a fast, clean, and healthy way to drop a few pounds quickly, break free of bad habits, jump start a new clean-eating diet or fitness regimen.  In walked the 3-Day Refresh.

3-Day Refresh Kit

3DR Kit

The 3-Day Refresh kit includes a program guide with recipes, lists of acceptable food options, and 3 days worth of the Vanilla Fresh shake (high-protein, hunger-satisfying shake), Fiber Sweep (digestive health drink), and Shakeology (daily dose of dense nutrition shake).

Having completed the Ultimate Reset not too long ago and acing it with flying colors, I thought how hard could the 3-Day Refresh really be?  This is my story.

Day 1 – Morning

The format for the 3 days is essentially the same.  First thing that you do upon waking is drink 8-10 ounces of filtered water to help get your system going.  For folks familiar with the Ultimate Reset, I’d like to point out a difference here.  Unlike the Ultimate Reset, where you are only permitted to drink distilled water, during the 3DR you can have filtered.  So, if you have a Brita, for example, you’re good.

Then I worked out.  I probably worked out more than I should have.  The program guide for the 3DR says that you should only engage in “mild to moderate exercise” so that your body can use your energy more effectively to help clean up your system without needing to repair muscle.  Well, so what if I consider Core Cardio and Balance from Insanity “moderate” exercise? To each their own, right?

For breakfast, I had Chocolate Vegan Shakeology like I do every morning.  But instead of blending it with almond milk, a banana, and peanut butter, I had to just stick with 1/2 banana and 1 1/4 cups of water.

Then it felt like a long morning.  Drinking tea is optional during the 3DR, and I decided to have a cup, which you can have at least 1 hour after breakfast.  You’re not supposed to have caffeine, but green tea is permitted if necessary.  I had some decaf herbal detox lemongrass tea.

An hour after the mid-morning tea, you can have the Fiber Sweep.  Fiber Sweep contains soluble and insoluble fibers from whole-ground flax, chia, and psyllium seed husks to naturally and gently eliminate waste from the digestive system while supporting healthy intestinal flora.  You mix a packet of the Fiber Sweep with 1 cup of filtered water and drink it.  For those who have done the Ultimate Reset, this drink is similar to the Detox supplement from week 2, but it tastes less lemony, is a bit less gritty, a little thicker, and goes down a bit easier than Detox.  After taking my Fiber Sweep, I was counting down the minutes to lunch.  In other words, I was getting hungry.  In the future, so I can eat lunch earlier, I might skip the morning tea.

Day 1 – Afternoon

Lunch includes one Vanilla Fresh shake and then actual food!  Yes, this is only a short cleanse, but you do get to eat real food on it, unlike some other cleanses, where you drown yourself in high-sugar, low-protein juices.  Vanilla Fresh is a high-protein shake (contains 20 grams of protein) to satisfy hunger and deliver essential nutrition needed for healthy weight loss. Since I was in the office at lunch time, stranded without a blender, I shook up the Vanilla Fresh powder in 1 1/4 cups of filtered water.  It wasn’t bad, even with room-temperature water, prepared through a shaker cup.  It tasted similar to vanilla Shakeology, though a bit thicker.

For lunch, you get to exercise some creativity when it comes to the recipe.  You are instructed to have 1 serving of fruit (which you can blend into your Vanilla Fresh if you’re lucky to have a blender around or just eat by itself), 1 serving of vegetables, and 1 serving of healthy fat.  There are lists for each of these categories (fruits, veggies, fats) that show the item (e.g., blueberries) and its corresponding serving (e.g., 2/3 cup).

Last night, I decided to prepare a salad utilizing each the fruit, veggie, and fat.  For the sake of variety, I split the veggie serving in half.  So, I had 1/2 serving of spinach, 1/2 serving of cucumber, 1 serving of strawberries, and 1 serving of olive oil.  I also added some flavors from the list of “Guilt-Free Flavorings” included in the program guide, including Himalayan pink salt, basil, and red wine vinegar.

Day 1 Lunch

Day 1 Lunch

At least 1 hour after lunch, you have an afternoon snack.  Lunch held me over about 2 hours and 40 minutes before I went for the snack. I probably could’ve held out longer, but I wanted the veggie crunch!  Again, the afternoon snack is another exercise in creativity.  You are instructed to have 1 serving from the vegetable list and 1 serving from the healthy fats list.  Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of this one, but I again split the vegetables for variety and had 1/2 serving of red bell pepper, 1/2 serving of carrots, and 2 tablespoons (i.e., 1 serving) of hummus.  I added Himalayan pink salt and ground cayenne pepper to flavor it.  An hour after this, I can also choose to have tea if I want, but I didn’t have any today.

Day 1 – Evening

For dinner, it’s another Vanilla Fresh shake.  You also are provided a list of dinner recipes (most if not all of them are recipes from the Ultimate Reset, so yippie! low learning curve for me!).  You can also add an optional cup of organic vegetable broth with 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs.  I chose to have the veggie broth with cilantro.

For my meal, I chose one of my absolute favorite meals from the Ultimate Reset that was included in the 3DR recipe book – the carrot-seaweed medley!  In the 4 months since my Ultimate Reset ended, I had to have made this recipe for dinner at least a dozen times – carrots, edamame, arame seaweed!  (Don’t worry, not all of the 3DR recipes are as exotic as this one!)  The recipe is not identical to the Ultimate Reset book, but it’s pretty close.  The 3DR recipe does not contain Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, for example, and the cook time is actually less, which is a bonus.  For tonight’s carrot-seaweed medley, I actually ran out of red bell pepper after making tomorrow’s afternoon snack, so I substituted jalapenos for a nice spicy kick!

Day 1 Dinner

Day 1 Dinner

It’s been probably an hour since dinner ended and that meal really hit me.  Between the Vanilla Fresh shake (200 calories, mind you), the carrot-seaweed medley, and that big cup of veggie broth, I’m actually pretty stuffed.  One obvious difference between the 3DR and the Ultimate Reset is that I actually felt like I ate more food on the Reset and the portions were bigger.  With the 3DR, you are consuming so many shakes and getting so many calories that way that you are actually eating less food.  I probably prefer eating the calories rather than drinking so many of them, but at least drinking them is less time-consuming.  Read some of my old posts about how much time I spent in the grocery store, on food prep, and cooking during the Ultimate Reset, and you’ll see what I mean.

You can also choose to end your evening with some optional tea.  I just might.

Post-Reset Check-In

I completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset 17 days ago.  Today’s post is to provide an update on how my life is progressing post-Reset.

Body Stats

My weight has been pretty constant since the Reset ended.  I’ve been gaining and losing 1 pound.  I’ve lost a little bit of fat, and gained a little bit of muscle.  So, on average, I’m around where I ended on the last day of the Reset, which is great!

Exercise

One of the things that I missed during the Reset was my morning workout routine.  During the Reset, you are not supposed to workout at all, with the exception of some light exercise like walking, yoga, and tai chi.  Before the Reset, I did a variety of high-intensity exercise programs, like Insanity.  During the Reset, I did yoga and Insanity recovery workouts – nothing too intense.

When the Reset ends, there is a transition plan that you are supposed to follow.  As part of this transition plan, you are supposed to only workout to 50% of your maximum ability for the first week following the Reset, then give it 100% thereafter.  After the Reset, I started doing some Jillian Michaels workouts that were pretty easy to me before the Reset (the 30 Day Shred workouts).  These workouts were shockingly more difficult that I remembered, and I even got sore from them!  I was definitely out of the groove after not working out for 21 days.

I started Focus T25 the 6th day after the Reset ended.  These workouts also had not been all too hard for me before the Reset, but they were really challenging for me after the Reset.  This was a good thing!  Though, it was definitely frustrating to see how unacclimated my body had become to working out.  I took is slow, definitely giving more than 50%, but not quite 100%, and in time, began pushing myself harder and harder.

I’ll be starting week three of Focus T25 on Monday, and I feel like I’m back into the groove now.  I’m “nailing” those workouts, and it feels great!

Food and Drink

I’ve been following the transition plan post-Reset.  I described this in my last blog post.  Basically, it’s doing the Reset in reverse minus the supplements (though I did order the Maintenance Kit, which includes Optimize and Alkalinize, which I have been taking).  When you complete the Reset, you had been eating only fruits and vegetables for a week.  The first week after the Reset, I slowly started reintroducing  grains and legumes into my diet.  I stopped following the Reset Guidebook.  Instead, I started having a Vegan Chocolate Shakeology for breakfast every morning.  For lunch, I built a salad from my office cafeteria’s salad bar (full of good things like raw spinach, carrots, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, green peppers, onions, oil and vinegar).  For dinner, I would make us a recipe from the Ultimate Reset book, or we would go out and order something that conforms to our diets.  Le Pain Quotidien was actually pretty wonderful for this.

The second week, we started to add tempeh and sprouted grain breads into our diets.  We also started to increase the amount of grains and beans that we consumed.  Sprouted grain breads are essentially Ezekiel breads.   These breads use only sprouted organic live grains, unlike the bread that we normally have, which are, I guess, dead.  Ezediel bread is pretty good!  I started making a sandwich of Ezekiel bread, guacamole, smokey tempeh, cucumbers, spinach, sprouts, onions, tomatoes, and red pepper.  It’s pretty awesome.

Post-Reset Sandwich

Sandwich

I really loved tempeh during the Reset, so I was very happy to finally have it back!

Now, I’m 3 weeks after the Reset.  According to the transition plan, you can now begin reintroducing non-Vegan Shakeology (Yes! Greenberry, I have missed you!) and some animal proteins, like eggs and yogurt.  When I had my first hard-boiled egg, I had been completed VEGAN (not just vegetarian) for a full month.  Next week, is when all of the fun is supposed to begin – sugar, soda, coffee, alcohol, chicken, and fish.

Well… halfway through week three post-Reset, it’s my husband’s birthday.  So, we’re going to start all of that week four stuff a couple of days earlier, and I have no problem with that.  We’ve been really good for over a month.  I know that not everyone who does the Reset really follows the transition plan afterward, so I think I’m ahead of the game right now.

Yesterday, my husband and I went to (what was) the first certified-organic restaurant in the country and had dinner to celebrate his birthday.  This seemed very much in the spirit of the Reset.  We had fish, wine, and refined sugar a couple of days early.  We had an avocado-crab appetizer, which was amazing.  I had scallops and vegetable risotto for dinner, and my husband had halibut and vegetables for dinner.  We split a small chocolate cake and a bottle of wine.  Let me just say that alcohol really hit me.  Normally, my husband and I could drink a bottle of wine easily, no problem.  I was feeling the alcohol effects after the first glass!  That’s crazy!

Today, on his actually birthday, we had a very nice brunch.  I ate completely vegetarian – an appetizer of various dips (parsley, beets, and tzatziki); a carrot-ginger soup; eggs with mushrooms, a salad, and potatoes; and split a slice of walnut cake with my husband for his birthday.  Everything was amazing.  I also had a couple of wonderful cocktails – one make of vodka, Greek yogurt, honey, lemon, and rosemary.

Alcohol Epiphany:  I’ve changed my general attitude toward alcohol as a result of the Reset.  This is important.  Being sober for 30+ days sucked, but it was helpful in that it made me realize that alcohol is an accessory, it’s not an entree.  I’ve come to the conclusion that if I am going to waste calories on alcohol, that alcohol had better be AMAZING.  I’m talking fancy hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer, and fine wine.  I’m not sure I’m going to drink crappy alcohol (e.g., PBR) with the sole intention of getting drunk anymore.  If I’m going to drink, it better be something decent.

Meat Epiphany:  I’m thinking the same way about meat as well.  While I was never much of a fast-food (e.g., McDonald’s) type of person pre-Reset, it demonstrates my point.  If I’m going to eat meat, I don’t think it’s going to be a McDonald’s hamburger; it’s going to be grass-fed filet mignon or kobe beef.  I’m not interested in putting garbage into my body.

Reactions:  As you start to reintroduce new foods, you are supposed to listen to your body to ensure that you’re not experiencing any bloating, gas, skin, or sinus problems, which could indicate a sensitivity or allergy to the newly introduced food.  Until recently, I haven’t really experienced anything like that.  I’ve been having some minor digestive discomfort over these birthday celebrations, which could really be attributable to anything, so after this weekend, I will be sure to get back into the clean-eating groove.  It’s good to note that, this morning, after drinking wine, I did not feel wrecked.  I was really worried about how alcohol would affect me.  So far, so good.

My FREE Reset T-Shirt Arrived!

Cropped

Reminder

The Reset is ON SALE for a couple of more days – until the end of March.  Buy it here and start your journey!  This is truly an amazing life-changing experience that I would recommend for anyone who thinks has it in them to do it.  It is very rewarding, but it is far from easy.  If you’re looking to start the Reset, I am happy to help coach you through the process.  Please comment below.