NEW Official 21 Day Fix Vegan Food List!

I'm so excited to announce that Beachbody has released a brand new Vegan 21 Day Fix Meal Plan for Beachbody Club members, including new modifications and a new food list.  I can't wait to try it out!  If you have a Club membership, just log in and go to Beachbody On Demand.  In your member library, just click on the 21 Day Fix, then to the right of the workout listing you'll see your plan materials.

For a FREE 30 day trial of the Club and Beachbody On Demand, where you have access to hundreds of free streaming Beachbody workouts like TurboFire, Insanity P90X, free sneak peeks of new programs, and more, just click here, or ask YOUR coach to hook you up!

Here are some details about the new vegan plan!  (Contact your coach or myself to get access to the full plan.)
From Autumn:  The 21 Day Fix Vegan Eating Plan removes all animal products from the food lists—and we’ve made some big changes to the red and yellow containers. Red containers are still home to complete proteins, but now they also house beans and other legumes. Yellow has been split into two groups. Yellow A contains whole grains. Yellow B contains tubers and more processed grains (pastas and breads).

Notes:
• The 21 Day Fix Vegan Eating Plan is slightly lower in protein and higher in carbs than the regular 21 Day Fix Eating Plan, but that’s okay. It’s equally as healthy and the extra fiber will still give you a weight-loss advantage.
• As healthy as they can be, vegan diets can be low in vitamins B12 and D, so it’s important to take a quality multivitamin such as ActiVit®.  [Note from Amanda:  Nearly ALL people are deficient in one or both of these, so I totally recommend supplementation, especially if you tend to feel sluggish at times - it makes a huge difference!  I love Garden of Life Raw D3 and Garden of Life Organic B-12 Spray - both available on Amazon.]
• Ideally, it’s preferable to get most or all of your yellow portions from Yellow A. Yellow B is there because people generally love bread, so we didn’t want to completely deprive you. Just remember that if you skip a Yellow B, make up for it by eating a Yellow A.

I created this list to help you plan out your meals and it's printable as well.  Enjoy!

NOTE:  This container list is compatible with the NEW vegan eating plan - not the one in the 21 Day Fix guide you already have.  If you have questions on how to get the new plan, and how it works, etc - just reach out to me on Facebook!

What do you eat? My vegan day.

I have had many people ask me about this since I talked about going plant-based, so I wanted to share what I typically eat in a day.  I have found the lifestyle to be really easy to follow, and I am never hungry.  Overall, if it comes from a plant, I eat it!

Every Day Guidelines

  • I try to eat at least one raw meal per day, meaning, I don't cook my food.  This is to ensure that I am getting the maximum amount of nutrients from all sources.
  • I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full.  I pay very close attention to my hunger cues and signals that I am done eating.
  • I eat very few processed foods.  This helps me avoid refined sugars and bad oils.
  • I drink water throughout the day.
  • I limit the amount of "fake meat" and soy products.  They are highly processed, and too much soy can interfere with hormone levels.  I do occasionally eat tempeh, which is fermented soy and healthier than tofu, etc.

My Typical Day of Food

First Thing

I drink at least 16 oz of water with lemon, sometimes with cinnamon added (I am not ready for cayenne yet) to aid my liver in detoxing.

 

Breakfast

One of the following:

  • Oatmeal made with almond and/or coconut milk and banana with a little pure maple syrup.
  • Fruit with some coconut meat.
  • Green smoothie - I do these a couple times a week but not every day because it can get pricey!  There are some great recipes on Oh She Glows.

Lunch

My raw meal usually.  So I would have a big salad with some nuts or chickpeas, homemade dressing (some recipes on Pinterest) or Simply Dressed Lemon Vinaigrette if store bought.  Otherwise I'll have a small salad or veggies and hummus, with a side of soup or leftovers from the night before.

 

Dinner

This is where I get to experiment because I haven't been vegan for long!  I have a lot of recipes in my guide from The Ultimate Reset that are of course vegan, so I do utilize those, but I also love checking out websites and trying new dishes.

Faves from the Reset:

  • Roasted Root Medley
  • Veggie Stir Fry
  • Quinoa Salad
  • Pinto Beans (with taco fixins)

 

Websites for recipes:

 

If I am not feeling like cooking from a recipe or I don't have everything I need for it, I will just come up with something on the fly.  It's pretty easy because any veggie based side you typically make can be used as a main dish, or make a couple sides and call it dinner!  I've done things like a stir fry using whatever I have on hand, dumping that on some quinoa, or the other night I made a bag of frozen Alexia sautee baby red potatoes and dumped that over some steamed broccoli.  Really, if it sounds good together, it probably is!  You don't need a fancy recipe or a bunch of exotic ingredients.  If you have some frozen veggies and rice and some Braggs aminos and sesame oil, you have a dish!  You can also do beans and rice - just season them up well, or there are convenience foods like quinoa burgers, etc. in your grocer's freezer section.  Brown rice pasta is also a hit here - add a jar of marinara (read your labels and find a good one) and you're done.  Or keep it super simple and make a wrap (I use gluten free ones) out of veggies and hummus and a little avocado.  Overall, I find this way of eating more convenient because there is no meat to thaw and prepare, and no slaving over the stove unless you want to!  The possibilities are endless.

Snacks

I tend to nibble on veggies and fruits mainly, sometimes nuts or seeds.  Hummus is a great thing to eat with veggies or rice crackers.  You can also do some kind of nut butter with a rice cake or gluten free bread or an apple.  Avocado is great smashed onto things like crackers with a little salt - or use homemade guac!  Steer clear of junk of course - just because it's vegan (I'm looking at you, Oreos) doesn't mean it's healthy!  If you need a little something sweet, make a smoothie, or use this great recipe for Peanut Butter Balls - yum (you can use any nut/seed butter)!!

Hopefully this helps you see what I eat in a day, and maybe prompt you to try a couple vegan days each week!  Your body will thank you, and you'll probably find some new things you like that you can add to your regular menu!

Why I ditched Paleo for a vegan lifestyle

Recently, I posted the following on my Facebook page:

Shhhh... I have a secret... Putting it on Facebook won't spoil it, will it lol?? Anyway, some of you know that I have been doing Paleo eating for a while now, and that one of the things I like about it is that it stresses whole foods, things found in nature, no processed crap, etc. It also specifies no grains and no legumes, for a number of reasons. It's helped me pinpoint my food sensitivities, which is primarily gluten, and that alone has changed my life and the way I eat. I have learned a ton!

Soooo... I've been thinking a lot lately about my health, my family's health, and what we need to eat to properly fuel our bodies. I thought back to a time when my husband and I were a little more fit and healthy, and there was no doubt. It was during and right after The Ultimate Reset, a program Beachbody has that cleanses toxins from your body, and has you adopt a vegan lifestyle during the 21 days, in order to put your body in a less acidic and inflamed state. I can honestly say I've never felt more alive, aware, and just HEALTHY than I did when we were eating this way. So like I said, I was thinking about this... and I wondered, why did I stop? Why did I go back to my old lifestyle, a lifestyle that was not only hard for me to maintain, but also one that took a lot of enjoyment out of eating? I was constantly measuring out "carbs" and trying to eat enough good fats, and worrying about where my meat came from. So the simple solution is going to be just that - to keep it simple!

I've decided to adopt a plant based lifestyle that will not only give me every bit of nutrition I need, but will also help me to enjoy food again! And I won't have to worry about what's in the animal products I feed my family. I feel an immense weight lifted already. I've done this before, and I know I can do it again and thrive. Sure, I know I will slip up, and I go have about 25 days worth of regular ShakeO to finish off, but then that order is getting switched to vegan.  Starting today, we are making the transition to plant-based food, and I couldn't be happier about it!

Yes, I had been eating Paleo for a while, but could never stick with it.  It was so restrictive on carbs that I was slowly losing my excitement regarding food.  This caused me to only want to binge MORE because I was being so strict.  I was obsessing over the carbs in fruit, nuts, etc. - things that we know are healthy.  I was trying to cram a ton of protein and (good) fat into my diet to fit the guidelines.  It was just too much, and it didn't feel natural or in tune with what I intuitively felt was the right way to eat.  I am grateful to have had the experience with Paleo eating though, because it did help me to cut out processed foods and start making everything from scratch!  Discovering my gluten sensitivity was also huge.

Why go vegan?

Well, as I said before above, I kept thinking of my time on the Reset, and how good I felt.  My mind was clear, my stomach shrunk, I slept better, and the weight just fell off effortlessly!  The Reset was an actual "detox" program with supplements, but vegan eating during the 21 days was highly emphasized, the purpose of which was to reduce inflammation in the body and to assist with the detox process.  Yes, the calories were more limited in order to make the cleanse more effective, but I still felt very satisfied overall, and very much in control.  It's hard to explain - I just felt good, like my body was functioning the way it should.

I started reading books about being vegan, and scoured lots of blogs and websites.  Things just started to click for me.  One of the main pitfalls I had always recognized in Paleo eating was the emphasis on high quality meats, eggs, and dairy - grass fed beef, free range chickens/eggs, pastured butter, etc.  These were things that were not readily available to my family at a reasonable cost, so I was fairly sure I wasn't getting all of the benefits of eating this way.  That led to a lot of guilt and worry over what I was putting in my body.  I bought organic produce and dairy when I could, but I knew I was "doing it wrong" as far as meat goes.  So one day, randomly, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube about someone who had been vegan but then went back to animal products and gained a bunch of weight.  It was just a silly video for entertainment purposes, but it did get me thinking.  That video led to me watching and reading more about the lifestyle, and it made a lot of sense - the way our bodies are made, what we were meant to eat, etc.  I also picked up the book, Skinny Bitch, a somewhat controversial manual for getting "skinny".  And I learned later, what the authors really mean is healthy and lean - skinny is just a buzzword and a way to sell more books, and they full admit it!  ;)  Say what you will about the foul language and "tough love" approach by the authors; this book opened my eyes.

In addition to the many health benefits of removing animal products from my diet, the book goes in depth into how meat is processed, how the animals are cared for, and what types of EXTRA things are actually in our meat and dairy besides the meat and dairy - and it's not pretty.  Without going into too much detail, I will say that the vast majority of the animals in conventional factory farms are so sick that they need to be given antibiotics to make it to slaughter.  So you are likely eating very sick or very medicated animal meat/dairy, or both.  I know what you're thinking - here she goes on a rant about animal rights...  No, I realize that many people aren't bothered by the treatment of animals, etc.  But if you are curious, have a look at Skinny Bitch, or check out the movie "Earthlings" on YouTube.  You may change your mind.  But enough about that!  I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer here.  ;)

 

After I did some research , I decided that I would commit to eating a vegan diet.  No meat, no eggs, no dairy or any animal products of any kind.  I also do not eat gluten due to my sensitivity.  That means lots of reading labels, lots of cooking, and lots of shopping for produce!  I have virtually eliminated processed foods, other than some rice crackers now and then, etc.  The structure of my day varies, but usually I have oatmeal and fruit or a green smoothie for breakfast, a raw lunch consisting of salad and possibly a complex carb or nuts, and dinner is my main meal that consists of a complex carb and veggies, something like a stir-fry or hearty soup, etc.  I generally do not eat "fake meat" products except for fermented soy like tempeh.  This is better for you than tofu, which is highly processed and often GMO.  Do your research!  ;)  For snacks I eat fruit (by itself), rice crackers with nut butter or hummus, a vegan Shakeology, or veggies with hummus.  The simpler the better.  I make a lot of things ahead of time, like my rice/quinoa/sweet potatoes for carbs, and soups to have on hand in a pinch.  Basically, if it's a veggie or came from a plant, I can eat it.  I do not count calories or carbs.  I just have fun with my food!  More about how my day is structured and my meals in my next post...

I have been plant-based for almost 4 full days and I have lost 3.5 pounds.  I feel lighter, my pants are loose, I am sleeping like a baby, and I have amazing mental clarity.  I have NO stomach problems, bloating, gas, etc. that I used to have with eating animal products.  I feel fantastic!  Will I eat this way forever?  Hopefully so!  But I know I will have setbacks just like anything we do in life that is important to us.  I know it's a process, and I am sticking with it to the best of my ability.  Luckily, so far it's been a breeze.  I am having so much fun, and I definitely feel like this is the best choice for me right now!

How I started getting over my food issues, by getting over myself...

I've always been an all or nothing kind of gal, especially when it comes to my eating habits.  It seems as though I either do REALLY well with nutrition, or I fall completely off the wagon and go balls-to-the-wall crazy on some carbs with a side of Moscato.  My brain tells me logically that not only are my weight loss goals important and dependent on eating healthy,  but my body actually FEELS better when it's not running on Ben & Jerry's and tortilla chips.  For real.

I understand it on an intellectual level, so what do I do when I decide I am going to get back on track?  I resign myself to eat nothing but 100% clean and healthy foods with no extra sugar and no carbs after noon and not too many starchy veggies and no legumes or corn or grains or creamer in my coffee and not too much fruit and DEFINITELY no juice or treats or anything like that, and omigod, do you know how many carbs are in this carrot???  I could go on...

I realized I had a problem with this after a recent mini-binge that involved pizza and chocolate for approximately 3 full days.  Yes, 3 days.  My husband suggested we order out, I agreed because I was tired and didn't feel like cooking, and wham - I was triggered, and I started to slide.  One meal of pizza led to leftovers and carb withdrawal and just generally eating whatever felt right at the moment.  A common problem that a lot of us have is that we think that if we can't eat perfectly, we might as well just give it up for today, and get back at it tomorrow.  We slip up and think, fresh start on Monday!  Now where did I put those cookies?  And the terrible double whammy?  The fact that you then feel so crappy about what you just did that you indulge in some comfort food.  Why not, right?  Poor me, I just have no willpower!  Well, that's not really accurate...

What really happens is that, willpower aside, you continue to slip up because food now has a hold on you.  Physiologically, that can be hard to overcome.  Once you've gone "all or nothing" and really started to treat your body like a garbage can for three days, it's hard to come back because your body is now in a state of craving carbs and sugar.  It's a proven phenomenon.  It's not in your head.  (Well, actually it IS in your head, but it's not something you can easily control.)    The solution is to pull yourself up and basically start detoxing again, start to fill your body with good things so there is less room for the bad - and that is another post in itself!

So once you are back on track, how do you make sure you don't get caught in the downward spiral again?  This is the part where I get over myself.  I finally accepted the fact that I am not going to be able to nail every macro every single day.  I am not going to be able to eliminate sugar completely from my diet.  I am not going to be able to forgo a piece of fruit as a snack in the evening because it has a few too many carbs.  The "rules" that I set up for myself have to be able to bend sometimes for my own sanity.  I CAN say that I eat clean and not follow it to the letter 100% of the time.  Saying no to refined sugars, that I can do.  I can limit my dairy consumption to a little grass-fed organic cheese each week.  I can avoid gluten like the plague, especially pasta because it makes me look preggers.  I can handle the big stuff, but I have to learn how to not beat myself up over having a little too much homemade trail mix.  For goodness sake, when did I become so obsessed that I get down on myself over dried fruit?!

Trying to stick to rigid guidelines every single day with no leeway is a recipe for disaster for an all or nothing person.  Tell me I've made a bad choice and in my mind, I have failed for the day!  So it's critical that I ease up a bit and realize that I am still eating healthy, I am still making progress, and one bad day is not going to ruin things.  What good is being hardcore strict when one bad choice sends you spiraling out of control?  I have to find my happy medium, so that my lifestyle MORE than makes up for a little splurge now and then - so I know that my "worth it" treat is just a blip on the radar of a week of awesome choices.  It's a work in progress, but I know I'll get there!

Why am I not losing weight?

So you've worked out faithfully for weeks, counted calories but are making sure to eat enough healthy foods, and are getting lots of sleep. You step on the scale hoping for the ultimate validation - maybe a few pounds in exchange for your sweat and toil. But no! Not only are you not losing weight, but you may even be UP a few pounds! Is this normal? Are you doing something wrong? Read on - our favorite fitness instructor, Chalene Johnson, has some words of wisdom from her blog:

Probably the most common question I get when I release a new exercise program is, “Help! I’m gaining weight! Am I doing something wrong?” This is a common phenomenon with any new exercise program, Turbo Kick, Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Hustle, you name it! It’s especially common (and temporary) with intense strength training programs like ChaLEAN Extreme or Tony Horton’s P90X.
The motivation to start a new exercise program is almost always to lose weight. However, what most personal trainers know and most at-home exercisers do not, is that a new exercise program often can cause an immediate (and temporary) increase on the scale. (Notice I didn’t say weight gain! I’ll explain.) This common increase in the scale is also the reason why perhaps millions of people start and then quickly quit their resolution to get fit.
The temporary weight gain explained:
When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to
“protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.
This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen with fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.
Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated in those first couple of weeks become discouraged and quit!
When I worked with a group of 70 test participants during the development stages of ChaLEAN Extreme, this happened. Who was the most upset and discouraged? You guessed it… the women! I’m happy to report absolutely for every single woman (and man) in our group, the weight increase was temporary and never lasted more than 2 weeks before they started to see a major drop in the scale. However, these people had the advantage of working with someone who was able to explain to them why this was happening and assure them the weight would come off if they stuck to the nutrition plan and stayed true to the program.
For those of you who are following the ChaLEAN Extreme phase plan, keep in mind that when you start each phase, your body will be “in shock” again. Don’t be surprised or discouraged if you experience a temporary gain on the scale the first week of each phase.


My own personal example of this is running 10K’s. I don’t do it very often, maybe 1 or 2x a year. Even though I run on a regular basis, when you run a race you push much harder. It’s natural for me to be “insanely” sore the next day. It’s also very common for me to see the scale jump 4 pounds the next day from forcing fluids post race and the resulting DOMS. Even though I know the cause of it, it’s still a bummer. We’re all human and hard work should mean “results”. Hard work equals results, but our bodies are amazing machines and they know how to protect us from hurting ourselves. Soreness forces you to give those muscles a break :) Ultimately you will lose the weight and you will change your metabolism in the process.
The key is understanding that this is a normal and temporary and stick with the program!!

When to be concerned:
If you experience a significant weight gain (exceeding 5 pounds) which does not begin to decrease rapidly after the second week, guess what it is??? I’ll give you one hint… you put it in your mouth and chew it. You know it! You’re food (or calorie laden beverages). Newsflash friends.. exercise doesn’t make you gain weight. Consuming more food than you burn makes you gain weight!
So if after two weeks you are not losing weight, have gained weight that’s not coming off, it’s time to take a close and honest look at your food intake. It’s time to find out what you’re burning in calories each day. Have your RMR or BMR tested. This can be done for less than $50 and the information is invaluable. It takes out the guess work. Google “hydrostatic body fat testing _______ ” and insert the name of the big city you’re closest too. Companies that do HBFT also do BMR testing. Knowledge is king.
I’m gaining weight, but I’m sure it’s muscle:
Possibly, but if you’re following ChaLEAN Extreme correctly, you should be losing fat and gaining muscle and the fat loss should be much more substantial than the rate at which you can physically put on muscle. This is even true for the guys.
Of the 70 plus people in my test group, every single one of them lost body fat and gained muscle and not one of them gained weight. I believe the average weight loss after 4 months was 28 pounds with many people losing 40 plus pounds. Even the men, who as you can see put on a lot of muscle, were seeing huge drops in the scale. We tested their muscle composition at the beginning and at the end and 100% of the participants maintained or gained muscle while achieving substantial weight loss. That’s the key to keeping weight off long term, i.e. muscle. Muscle burns fat. But you’ve heard me say that before.
Moral of the story:
Be patient young grass hopper. You’ll be lean and mean in no time!

Source:  https://www.turbokick.com/wblog/?p=709