Tasty Tuesday: Ricotta Strawberry Toast

What is a girl to do when she only has half a Purple serving of strawberries and the granola (which was half full a day ago) has mysteriously disappeared from the kitchen? 

Break out the Ezekial Bread! Seriously, if you e never tried this bread, it’s dense, delicious, and nutritious! It also lives in the freezer, which obviously matches with my love of all things that can be frozen. So, FYI: Don’t look for it in the bread aisle. It will be in the frozen foods. 
Quick post workout breakfast this morning was: 
1 slice Ezekial Bread, toasted (1 yellow)
1/2 red container of skim Ricotta cheese
1/2 purple container of strawberries, sliced. 
Add coffee, of course. 

21 Day Fix Versus Fix Extreme


What’s the difference?

The 21 Day Fix and the 21 Day Fix Extreme are two separate programs. However, they have several similarities. Let’s start out with listing what’s the same to get that out of the way:

Similarities:

– Containers: You can use the same set of color-coded containers that you used on the 21 Day Fix. 
– Eating Plan: The number of containers of each category that you eat per day does not HAVE to change. You will have some more ‘extreme’ options if you wish to push it to the max, but it’s not a requirement. I’ll explain the options later. 
– Time: It still follows the 30 minutes per day plan. Again, you have some options about doubling up workouts to push yourself, but it’s not required. If you’re pressed for time, the Extreme is still a good choice for you.
– Trainer: You still get Autumn. She developed both programs and leads both. 
– Workout Structure: I loved the rounds that Autumn uses in the original Fix, so I was pleased that the concept of rounds follows through in the Extreme. Maybe it’s just me, but rounds seem to break up the workout into manageable chunks so I don’t get too frustrated or overwhelmed if I’m struggling. 
– Modifier: There is still a modifier available for the Extreme, BUT… (I’ll elaborate in differences). 
So, if you liked the workouts and the diet for 21 Day Fix, you’ll be pleased that the Extreme is not terribly different. BUT, it IS a different program…

Differences:

– Food Lists: The food lists are more restrictive. Autumn wants you to eat super clean on the Extreme version. Wine, chocolate, and some healthy ‘treats’ were allowed on the regular Fix. NOT on the Extreme. 
– Countdown to Competition: There is an OPTIONAL alternative meal plan included in the Extreme. It is basically the carb-depletion, bikini-ready plan that Autumn herself will use to prep in the immediate lead up to a competition or photo shoot. It is NOT a sustainable diet. Let me say that again. It is NOT a sustainable diet like the regular Fix and even the Extreme plans. Autumn has a sample calendar to show you how to cycle the diet with the Extreme plan. It’s not meant to be used every single day for all 21 days. Most importantly, though, you do NOT have to use it at all if you don’t want to.
Time Out: I want to give you my personal take on the C2C plan.  It isn’t for everyone. I became a raging carb-craving witch by the end of my first day on it. Not good for the stability of the Osborne household. While I’m glad I have the plan and have the option of using it if I’m prepping for some sort of event, I ultimately decided to stick to the Extreme plan. I want extreme results, but the regular balance of containers has been working beautifully for me for weeks now. Why mess with success? To give myself the push I wanted, I opted instead to drop down a calorie level but keeping the same general balance of containers. Everyone should TRY the C2C, if you’re interested, but don’t feel obligated to keep going with it if it hinders your performance (or your personality, like me). 

– Workouts: The intensity level of the Extreme has been dialed up MAJORLY. There are almost NO moves that are focused on one muscle group. Everything is meant to engage multiple muscles groups. There’s a plyo workout that is a regular part of the rotation (instead of just a bonus workout like the Fix). It’s a lot of jumping. If you are looking for a low impact variation, you may have to swap it out for another one of the workouts. There are actually ‘jumps’ in several of the workouts, but the modifier often accounts for that. 
– Modifier: There is still a modifier available, BUT even the modification moves are a significant raise in intensity level. For example, when doing something in a plank position, the regular Fix modifier is often on her knees. In the Extreme, I don’t think she’s EVER on her knees. She may just not be doing the move in the fullest range of motion, but she’s still doing it. With weights. 
To sum up with a handy little chart:

Which one should you choose?

You do not have to do the regular 21 Day Fix before doing the Extreme. It is highly advised that you have a base level of fitness before attempting the Extreme. If you’ve done another one of the Beachbody programs recently, or go to regular fitness classes, you can probably handle the Extreme straight away. But you may not want to. It’s a personal choice. 
I want to make VERY clear that this does NOT mean the regular 21 Day Fix is for beginners. Or that it won’t be a good, challenging workout for people who are more athletic or have already been working out. Unless you’re a professional athlete or bodybuilder, you can benefit from this program. Before I started my first 21 Day Fix, I was running half marathons on a monthly basis, running other races almost every week, doing jiu jitsu at least 2 times per week, and playing around with some yoga. Even with all of that base activity level, I got amazing results from the regular Fix and never felt like any of it was “easy.” I tried the Extreme version from there, and it is really challenging. In fact, I’m not sure that I was really ready for some of it. It’s intense. 
If you’ve got a few pounds weighing you down and are looking for a quick way so see some results and launch a sustainable workout/eating lifestyle, I would suggest the original Fix. It’s flexible, sustainable, fun, and a GREAT way to drop up to 15 lbs in 21 days without starving yourself, injuring yourself, or destroying your metabolism. 
If you’re looking for an intense workout challenge after having completed the regular program a time or two, or are just an intense kind of person who already has a higher base level of fitness, you might try the Extreme. The eating plan, while stricter, is still sustainable, but the workouts will push you to new limits that you may not have known you had in you. 
The good news is no matter which one you choose (or if you choose both), you’re going to have great results! 

Lamb and Food Prep

This week’s lunch is brought to you by the letter ‘L’. As in LAMB.

Lean red meat is on the protein list. If you have never tried lamb as a lean red meat, you’re really missing something. It goes on sale regularly at my local WinnDixie, I think because people don’t know how to cook it or are intimidated by the idea.

Grill it, or cook under the broiler. Basically treat it like a steak. I like to smear a little olive oil and herbs de Provence on mine before cooking. I get the cheaper shoulder blade cuts (and they still taste awesome). They tend to be a little smaller too, so they are perfect portions! And they freeze and thaw well. Because I freeze everything. 
Add some carrots and broccoli that I steamed in the microwave with a little chicken broth, aaaaaaand LUNCH! 
I tried to go on the competition plan but have decided to reserve it for true necessity. Carb depletion + running + jiu jitsu + the Fix Extreme workout = NOT pretty. The regular Fix balanced diet has been working beautifully for me, so why mess with success? So, new tactic: I had bumped up a calorie level to compensate for my extra activity. This last week, to finish out strong, I’m bumping back down to the lower level. I’m hoping that keeping the same balance but dropping the overall calories just a bit will shred this last little bit. I’m SO close! 

Crockpot Flank Steak and Peppers

Here’s another crockpot, freezer-friendly meal for ya. Seeing a pattern here? 
Flank steak is very lean, so it’s a good way to get a red meat craving out of the way without caving into a cheeseburger. 
You’ll need…

– 1 Flank Steak, whatever size suits you, fresh or frozen. Mine was a solid block of meat ice. 
– Red and Green bell peppers, sliced
– Onion, sliced
– 21 Day Fix All-Purpose Seasoning
Throw the sliced peppers and onion in the bottom of your crockpot. Rub a good bit of the seasoning on your fresh or frozen flank steak. Plop it on top of the veggies. Close the lid. Seriously. That’s it. I recommend 6+ hours on low. 
When done, shred. It will fall apart. Couple options from here. Eat like a pot roast. (1 red and 1/2 or 1 full green depending on the amount of veg you threw in.) It’s delicious on it’s own. Throw it on a pita (1 yellow) and top with mozzarella (1 blue). Toast under the broiler for a minute to get the cheese all bubbly. Voila! Philly cheese steak. There’s probably a lot of other things you could so with it too. Be creative! 
You can always eat it for leftovers with random veggies and some hummus like me. 

Asian Chicken and Quinoa ‘Fried Rice’

It’s a FREEZER MEAL! So you can make ahead! The Asian Chicken sauce isn’t %100 21 Day Fix as it has some soy sauce and honey in it. BUT, it’s not like you’re drinking the stuff. It’s a light coating. 

The whole meal: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green

Asian Chicken:

– Pack of drumsticks, drummettes, wings, thighs, breasts (whatever is on SALE)
– 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/2 tsp ginger
– couple squirts of Sriracha or hot sauce (tailor to your tastes)
– 1/8-1/4 cup honey (again, to your tastes)


Mix the sauce. Put the chicken in a freezer bag and pour the sauce over it. Mush it around the get the chicken coated, and FREEZE.
When you’re ready to eat it, be it that week or 3 months later, pry the frozen chicken lump out of the plastic bag (just cut the bag) and plop into the crockpot. 4-5 hours on low, 2-3 hours on high. If I’m around and paying attention, I will open the crockpot sometime in the middle and turn the chicken over, just to make sure each side gets some good cooking time in the sauce.
Optional: Put the chicken in a casserole dish and pour the juice/sauce over it. Then place it under a high broiler for a few minutes, flipping so each side gets a little crispy. But you don’t have to do this. It’s just super yummy and takes 5 minutes tops.
Pair with a yellow container of Quinoa Fried Rice…

Quinoa Fried Rice (like fried rice, but with quinoa)


So this recipe is not real specific. Sorry if that makaes any of you OCD people really freak out. It’s more art than science. 
– Carrots, chopped
– Frozen peas, thawed out a bit
– Cooked quinoa (follow the instructions on the package and use chicken broth instead of water to make a taste a little more…substantial)
– A beaten egg or two 
– Soy sauce or teriyaki 
Saute the carrots until a little soft. Then throw in the peas to get them good and hot. Add the cooked quinoa. Make a hole in the center of the mixture and pour in the beaten egg. Stir it around to scramble the egg. Mix with a little soy sauce or teriyaki. 

Add a green container of steamed veggies to the meal, out of the bag if you’re lazy like me.

the beginning

I’m shoving this little baby birdie out of the nest. I became a Beachbody Coach a few weeks ago, and it’s time to launch this blog. It’s going to be constantly under construction, so please excuse the mess as I learn how all of this works.