Friday, March 11, 2016

My 3 Day Quick Fix Results

I recently completed the 21 Day Fix 3 Day Quick Fix meal plan, and I lived to tell about it! This is celebrity trainer and creator of the 21 Day Fix program Autumn Calabrese's "secret weapon" in prepping for bikini competitions and photo shoots.

Not by coincidence, the three days I selected to follow the Quick Fix meal plan were the last three days of my eight-week PiYo workout program and right before Andi and I departed for a lovely kid-free vacation in Nicaragua. My goal was to finish PiYo strong and look damn good on the beach!

The 21 Day Fix 3-Day Quick Fix meal plan is simple really, but also strict. Meals each day are set as follows:

Meal 1: steel cut oats, egg whites, 1 tsp. extra virgin coconut oil
Meal 2: grilled chicken, steamed sweet potato
Meal 3: steamed fish, steamed vegetable
Meal 4: grilled chicken, steamed vegetable, 1 tsp. e.v. coconut oil
Meal 5: steamed fish, steamed vegetable, 1 tsp. e.v. coconut oil
Meal 6: ground extra-lean turkey, steamed vegetable, 1 tsp. e.v. coconut oil 

Seems easy enough, right?

There are a few rules: Seasonings are allowed to flavor foods, as well as lemons, limes and vinegars ... but no salt. Oatmeal can be flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg or stevia zero-calorie sweetener. The program recommends consuming broccoli, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, bell peppers or cucumbers as vegetables sources and drinking at least one gallon of water per day (132oz.). Coffee and hot tea are permitted, but the use of creamers and sweeteners is not. 

Prepping meals ahead of time was the key to following this meal plan. On Saturday (one day prior to my 3 Day Quick Fix start date), I made three servings of steel cut oats, baked six chicken breasts and purchased frozen fish fillets, sweet potatoes and enough broccoli, asparagus and zucchini for 12 meals. I also mixed together three different spice combinations from the 21 Day Fix guidebook -- an all-purpose seasoning mix, Southwest seasoning mix and a Mediterranean seasoning mix (omitting salt from each recipe) to use in flavoring the food.

So, how'd it go? Here's a run-down of my daily meals:

Day 1 -- Sunday, March 6

Meal 1: (8:00am) Steel cut oats with a sprinkle of cinnamon, egg whites with southwest seasoning, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 8oz. coffee

While the rest of my family and our lake cabin guests enjoyed a colorful vegetable frittata dish and turkey bacon for breakfast, I dined on oatmeal and egg whites ... or on Turkish prison food, as Andi was cute to point out. I'll be quite honest, my breakfast tasted the way it looked -- bland. Thank goodness for coffee to add some flavor to my taste buds!

Meal 2: (10:30am) Baked chicken breast with southwest seasoning, steamed sweet potato with cinnamon

My body's internal clock is accustomed to eating a mid-morning snack, so I was hungry for this meal. On a typical day, I'd have likely reached for an apple but a grilled chicken breast with a sweet potato did the trick. Yum!

Meal 3: (12:15pm) Steamed tilapia, seasoned with Mediterranean seasoning and baked in a foil packet, with asparagus and lemon

Have I mentioned how much I dislike fish? It's, um, not my favorite. I choked down the 4oz. fillet for the good of the program. The asparagus was tasty with a nice, lemony flavor.

Meal 4: (2:00pm) Grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli, 1 tsp. coconut oil

This meal followed an intense 45-minute workout, and I was thankful for it! It came together quickly with a microwavable steamed bag of broccoli and re-heated chicken breast. I felt satisfied afterwards, but definitely missed my usual post-workout Shakeology protein drink.

Meal 5: (4:00pm) Steamed tilapia, steamed broccoli, 1 tsp. coconut oil

I resisted the urge to eat the pre-packaged treats my kids enjoyed during our family Ranger ride at the lake cabin, and was happy to have a meal ready to eat upon our return. The fish wasn't so bad this time. I squeezed a generous amount of lemon over the fish and the broccoli to give it more flavor.

Meal 6: (6:00pm) Turkey with sauteed butternut squash, mushrooms and spinach, 1 tsp. coconut oil

Okay, so this meal wasn't completely on plan. Andi and I had fresh-prepared Origin meals in the refrigerator and I didn't want them to go to waste. Since the meal was Paleo, I didn't feel too guilty eating it.

Water intake = 144oz.

Thoughts? - Day 1
I didn't feel sluggish or starved like others stated in many of the 3 Day Quick Fix reviews I'd read prior to starting the eating plan. I did think twice (x 10!) about mindlessly throwing back a handful of the kids' breakfast cereal, small pieces of fruit or a graham cracker while preparing meals and snacks for my family throughout the day. Those little "extras" add up to more than I realize, I'm sure.

Drinking extra virgin coconut oil wasn't a big deal for me. I warmed up a teaspoon of the oil in the microwave for a few seconds to liquify it before consuming. It didn't taste like anything, really.

Oh my goodness, was it important to be close to a restroom! I'm a big water drinker (typically 90-120oz. /day) so I knew I wouldn't have a problem downing the recommended 132oz. I'm not sure what the difference was in Day 1 of this program over the usual -- the streamlined meal plan? the coconut oil? -- that worked to efficiently flush toxins from my body, but I urinated at least 20 times the first day of the Quick Fix. Crazy!

Day 2 -- Monday, March 7

Meal 1: (7:00am) Steel cut oats with a sprinkle of cinnamon and stevia, egg whites with southwest seasoning, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 6oz. coffee

I seasoned my steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon and added stevia which made all the difference in the world in terms of flavor! I also heavily seasoned my morning egg whites with the southwest blend I'd prepared, which also helped to amp up the flavor of this meal. I'd clocked an early morning workout, so breakfast hit the spot on Day 2. Two thumbs up!

Meal 2: (10:30am) Baked chicken breast with southwest seasoning, steamed sweet potato with cinnamon

The kids and I drove 1 1/2 hours from our Wisconsin lake cabin to the Twin Cities on this morning, and I opted to wait and eat meal #2 upon arrival home. This was a mistake on my part because I was super hungry by the time we got there. I only had a few minutes to heat up my meal and eat it on the go as we rushed to the kids' gymnastics class. The food itself tasted great (especially since my stomach was growling!), but it wasn't the most convenient thing to eat in the car.

Meal 3: (12:30pm) Broiled pollack, seasoned with Mediterranean seasoning, steamed asparagus with Ms. Dash seasoning and lemon

Goodness, I thought the tilapia on Day 1 was bad. Blech! This meal was my least favorite. I gagged down the fish as quickly as I could and promptly brushed my teeth afterwards.

Meal 4: (3:30pm) Grilled chicken breast with all-purpose seasoning and steamed broccoli, 1 tsp. coconut oil

I lost track of time, and consumed this meal later than I would've liked. By the time I ate, I was in a bit of a panic I was so hungry. Meal prep to the rescue! I re-heated a chicken breast and microwaved a steamer bag of broccoli and had Meal #4 ready to go in under five minutes.

Meal 5: (4:00pm) Steamed pollack, steamed broccoli, 1 tsp. coconut oil

Yuck! More fish. I mixed bits of fish with each broccoli bite to mask the taste. It helped ... a little bit.

Meal 6: (7:00pm) Pan-fried turkey burger seasoned with southwest seasoning, asparagus, 1 tsp. coconut oil

I'm not 100% sure a turkey burger could be classified as ground turkey as per the meal plan, but I had some frozen burgers that needed to be used so this fit the bill. I would have also preferred to grill the turkey burger, but we were out of propane so cooking in a skillet had to do.

I was pleasantly surprised by this meal, and it was a nice change from chicken and fish. Paired with a side of steamed asparagus, I called meal #6 a win!

Water intake = 180oz.

Thoughts? - Day 2
First and foremost, I noticed a big difference in the way my stomach looked on Day 2 -- flat and toned; precisely the results I was hoping for!

Otherwise, my thoughts concluding Day 2 could be summed in one word ... boredom. Having food prepped and ready to re-heat made meal time easy, but I definitely didn't enjoy the food I was consuming. I developed a new appreciation for the wonderful foods I am fortunate to eat on a daily basis. I started to crave toast with peanut butter and my favorite crispy coconut chips. Hot tea helped add some flavor to my palette, but my enthusiasm for the meal plan was wearing thin.

Interestingly, I consumed more water on Day 2 and used the restroom less often. Perhaps most of the toxins were flushed from my system on Day 1?

Day 3 - Tuesday, March 8 

Guess what? I threw in the towel. Bah! I know, I know ...

I consider myself a fairly dedicated person, but I just couldn't do it any more. On the morning of Day 3, I finished the last workout of my PiYo program and weighed myself for the final result. I was down three pounds since Saturday (wahoo!) and down 0.8 pounds since I began the PiYo program in early January 2016. I felt satisfied with my results and quite honestly, I felt ravenous. I desperately wanted to eat a breakfast with fruit and peanut butter toast, so that's what I did. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of my peanut butter toast and bowl of plain Greek yogurt with mixed berries, homemade granola and a drizzle of honey.

Yes I quit the 3 Day Challenge a day early, but I'm also pleased with the results I achieved in two days of strictly adhering to this plan. I will admit that once the doors opened to "regular eating" again, I desperately wanted to devour bowls full of fresh fruit and bread, so I had to check myself a little bit. A "normal" day of meals doesn't mean I can eat anything and everything! In retrospect, I think that's what makes the standard 21 Day Fix program so great -- I never feel like I'm missing out on foods I enjoy. I eat a well-balanced menu of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats which is the perfect lifestyle choice for me.

Now, I'm off to the beach! Let's hope my bikini-ready body sticks around until I get there! 

Finally, would I do the 21 Day Fix 3 Day Quick Fix again? Absolutely. It was a great way to get myself beach-ready and finish my workout program at my best.


  1. I threw in the towel long ago on eating well and my body shows it. I don't think I would have the will power to do that food challenge. But then seeing your results makes me want to actually try anything again. It's good to see someone succeeding in healthy eating and exercise and realize it is possible.

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  3. I appreciate your honesty, I am on day three and I do not feel very well. My workout suffered tremendously this morning which I'm assuming is from lack of carbs. But we will see how the rest of the day goes. I cannot wait to eat real food tomorrow, LOL.