21 Day Fix – Thoughts on Day 12

I have a number of friends who’ve had very good results with the Beachbody 21 Day Fix program. Now, you know exercise and physical activity is really not my thing, and my love of bacon and cheese prevents me from dieting, but I’d gotten to the point where I was avoiding wearing some types of clothing, and I only liked being photographed from certain angles, so I figured I would give it a shot. There were lots of impressive before and after photos, so I figured if I lost just 5 lbs. I’d be happy. I’m on day 12 right now, and have already surpassed that goal! Plus, I’ve definitely noticed physical changes already! Like, I put on jeans the other day and they just slid right up and buttoned shut :o)

The program consists of three weeks of healthy eating, plus a daily 30 minute workout. Of course I know what’s good to eat, but the trick is that you get color coded containers in varying sizes that help you control your portions. That visualization is really helpful! You also get a booklet that explains the eating plan and gives lists of what you can eat and recipe ideas, but honestly I was so overwhelmed the first couple days. I actually planned my daily meals a few days before starting the program, but once I started, I ended up shifting things around. Again, being visual, I created a color coded Google Sheet where I could list out my daily meals and snacks, and tally up the number of containers at the end of each day.

The workouts are really not horrible, even for someone like me who does not do stuff like this. All you need for any of them are two sizes of hand weights and a yoga mat. Or you could use a resistance band instead of weights, and they have someone in each video to demonstrate how to do that. Each of the daily workouts focuses on a different area: total body, upper, lower, cardio, pilates (probably my favorite), “Dirty 30” (surprisingly my second favorite), and yoga. There’s also a bonus plyo DVD which makes my knees sore just thinking about it. And an extra 10 minute abs workout you can add on to any of the other days. I just get up and do them first thing in the morning, and then I’m done for the day. There is a lovely woman named Kat who appears in every workout and demonstrates the alternate moves, if you’re not quite ready to go full force with all the moves yet.

For me, the eating really hasn’t been a challenge. I already cook and prepare a lot of our food, and besides my generous use of cheese, I already am making a lot of vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Although we eat out a lot as well, it’s not like we’re having fast food every day (or very often at all). So the difference is really just portion size, and making sure I get the right proportion of veggies and protein vs. fruit, carbs, fat, etc. I’m actually making a lot of the same recipes I would have made before, just the portion is different, or maybe I’m swapping white rice for cauliflower “rice.” So the menu isn’t a problem for me. It’s really all about planning and making sure you have those ingredients prepped and that you know what you’re going to be eating that week. Some people prepare a week’s worth of meals in advance, and I just can’t do that – I don’t want to eat the same thing every day, nor do I want to be eating 5 day old leftovers by Friday. But I will generally prepare enough of a meal to split into 2-3 portions and have for a couple meals.

If you’re going to eat out, there’s even equivalents in the eating plan book for things like pizza, sushi, and burritos. (I haven’t had to do it yet, but the next time I go out to lunch with my coworkers, I have my Qdoba burrito bowl order all planned out!) If you need alcohol to have a good time, you can replace one serving of carbs with one glass of wine three days a week.

Challenges: At the end of week 1, I got hit with a wicked cold. I had to pause the next couple workouts a few times because I couldn’t breathe or had to take a coughing break, but I never missed a day. That same weekend, we got a blizzard with over 2 feet of snow. Everyone on Facebook was posting pictures of the comfort foods they were making while they were snowed in: chili, cookies, etc. I was stuck in the house with my vegetables and didn’t really feel like eating a salad. I did end up making a veggie fried rice with cauliflower rice which actually was pretty good. And the next week I got ingredients to make a 21DF friendly veggie and turkey chili.

So overall, my totally unbiased review is that the program is worth it and I am definitely pleased with the results so far. You can do multiple “rounds,” but I think after my 21 days are up I’m going to take a little break at least from doing it 100%. I will probably continue the workouts, and the lessons I’ve learned just about how to visualize portions will definitely stick with me. Stay tuned, because I also want to do an in-depth review of some of my favorite participants in the videos ;o)

“High Among the Clouds”

Several years ago, GG turned me on to this cool band from Israel, Project RnL. They have a lot of great YouTube videos and are really just musically amazing. The singer is incredible, and their keyboardist/bandleader does a lot of neat stuff aided by the computer. GG of course is blown away by the guitar player. They didn’t have an album or anything, but we pulled the audio off all the videos we could find and have listened to them for a while.

Fast forward to last week. I subscribe to e-mail alerts on upcoming concerts based on bands I like. Usually I just delete these because the results are totally random, but last week I opened one and saw that Project RnL would be playing not only in the US, but on the east coast! But it was a Tuesday night, two hours away, the show was pretty early, and GG usually has to stay at work late. I figured it would never work out, but sent him the info and he was game. He said even if he was running late, there’d probably be an opening band or something we could miss. So we got tickets, luckily the blizzard had already come and gone, and it’s one of GG’s less busy weeks at work so he was able to get out at a reasonable time, grab me, and get on the road to north Jersey!

The show started at 7:30 and we walked in at about 7:35. It was very quiet, and the venue was not what I expected. It was just sparse tables in a room with very cool decor, and a stage decorated like a circus sideshow. The crowd seemed to be mostly middle aged male prog rock fans, but there were a couple ladies sprinkled in. There was no opening act, it was a full night with Project RnL! It was just really quiet and intimate, and when the band took the stage, it was a personal performance to a crowd who really wanted to be there and sat quietly. My ideal viewing experience!

They opened with Twisted Truth and Moves Like Jagger, played for about two hours straight, closed with Slim Shady (which was really amazing and funny live), and came back for a quick encore featuring Avenger. They played every original and cover song of theirs that we could think of, except one ;o) I also loved Bad News Jitterbug, which I hadn’t heard before, but they did this cool thing where every band member ended up beating on a drum at one point, and it was very impressive live! They do a lot of technical computer stuff with their backing tracks and pre-recorded harmonies, and besides one minor hiccup, all went smoothly :o)




After the show, we were able to meet all band members but the drummer. And they are all super nice! They seemed flattered that we trekked up from Philly to see them, but we were equally excited that they were in the US at all! The singer, Ray, shared that they were planning a US tour in a few months, so we will definitely keep our eyes out and hope they play somewhere closer to Philly! (He was asking us about what other cities are north and south of us; when he asked what was west, GG and I were both like, “Nothing.”)



In addition, we ended up sitting next to Ron Bumblefoot Thal, former guitarist of Guns N Roses, who chatted music and guitar gear with GG during and after the show! (He was super nice, like really really nice and friendly!)



PS: Thank You Scientist, whose t-shirt GG is wearing above, is local to the area and we thought they might be at the show. Bumblefoot actually teaches the guitar player! He was texting them, but he had their own rehearsal until 10PM and couldn’t come!!!

PPS: According to their web site, RnL stands for “Rock n LOL,” referring to the humor in their approach to music. However, when GG asked what it stood for, keyboardist/co-founder Eyal said the definition changed every time, and that day it was “resonant nearby laughter” :o)

My Fourth Stitch Fix

Just about two years after the first one, I’ve decided to give Stitch Fix another try! A group I’m in on Facebook has really been raving about SF and similar services, and I figured they’ve had some time to get their act together since the last time I tried them, so I’d give them a shot. I asked for two things: longer tops I could wear with leggings (possibly with lace or crochet), and a poncho with any length sleeves. Well … No modeling photos, because I’m lazy, but here are the results:

Market & Spruce “Chaimbers Cowl Neck Knit Top” – $48
This is a loose, 3/4 sleeve gray sweater with a small cowl neck that seems to hang pretty nicely. It fits well, although it doesn’t really have coverage for leggings. It’s a nice soft knit, but do I need yet another 3/4 sleeve gray sweater? Do I $50 need it? Sigh, I’ll probably keep it.


photo

RD Style “Honay Cowl Neck Poncho Pullover Sweater” – $78
This poncho is crazy. I know I asked for any length sleeve, but this is literally a knit bag with 3 holes for your head and arms. And a kangaroo pocket. Hope you like keeping your arms at your sides, because you can’t raise them! It’s just sloppy looking, even the yarn it’s knit from looks disorganized. Return.


photo

19 Cooper “Clemency Split Neck Tunic” – $68
Well I asked for a tunic, so… This one actually has kind of a neat black and white pattern that only slightly hurts my eyes. It is so long though! I guess I should specify in my style profile that I am like 90% legs and 10% torso. It really looked redonk on me, and also I hate tab sleeves. Return.


photo

Loveappella “Febe Crochet Detail Knit Top” – $48
This is a stretchy short-sleeved black top with crochet running from the neck down the sleeves, and a split shoulder. I loved it the moment I put it on, despite the fact that it also isn’t really long enough to wear with leggings! And I probably wouldn’t bother wearing it in cold weather, because that pretty lace will get covered up. I could definitely wear it out in the summer, though! Keep!


photo

Rune “Porter Legging” – $38
I did not ask for leggings. I asked for things I could wear with leggings. What is this?? (I couldn’t even pull them over my hips, anyway.) Return.


photo