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 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
Meal 5: steamed fish, steamed vegetable, 1 tsp. e.v. coconut
Meal 6: ground extra-lean turkey, steamed vegetable, 1 tsp. e.v.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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