Meal Plan Week One – 21 Day Fix and FFF Groups!

Today wasn’t just about the SAINTS game, (yep, I’m a Louisiana mama – Black and Gold forever) – but it was game time for the Ballance household today!

After mistakenly missing our 9AM service this morning (whoops), we pushed our church service plans to 10:45 AM service and instead I went to work on our meal plan for this week at the kitchen table… while watching the clock (had to make sure we didn’t miss the second service, too LOL).  After service, we headed to the grocery store with our meal plan in hand.  Now we are sitting next to each other in the bed, extra pillows stuffed behind our heads, with my blog. Fixate, and recipes at the ready….uploading to our online challenge groups and feeling so much more prepared for the week!  I noticed how, with the past week being an “off time” between 21 Day groups, we got in the habit of sneaking in a little extra carbs here, a few extra treats there…. Although we generally eat clean (following the 21 Day Fix eating plan as a guide), with a treat/cheat meal once a week, I realized we had overloaded the “extras” this time….  including a burgers and fries run – with sodas LOL!  Not to blow it out of proportion — we really do live and eat in moderation — but I can definitely feel the difference in my bloated belly! WOW!  Looking back, I can see where I fell into old habits…. definitely skimped on the greens, healthy fats, AND the water the last few days.  And my energy WAS NOT UP for my workouts.  I told Donald I could tell I was draggin’ because I had had too many processed simple carbs vs complex whole food carbs ….it just makes my head foggy in the mornings, and my arms and feet sluggish in the evenings (our usual workout time)!  So, I am personally committed to getting back to the game plan that WORKS BEST for my body (& mind) – WITH a positive attitude about it, too (despite the Saints loss today *sigh*).  We have a solid plan in place that not only gets dinners and lunches back on track for US, but for our children, too!

Creating a meal plan is easy with our library of Beachbody program eating guides ...plus the new Fixate cookbook!
Creating a meal plan is easy with our library of Beachbody program eating guides …plus the new Fixate cookbook!

I’m starting Round 3 week 1 of my 21 Day Faith, Food & Fitness group, plus our team has a second 21 Day FIX group starting tomorrow, and I’m super pumped about their results and about continuing to share my personal struggles and victories with them!   (Scroll down to bottom of page OR Apply for my next upcoming challenge group here)

So I have my meal plan TYPED OUT and color coded for 21 Day Fix style eating… And tonight/tomorrow will be our time to precook much of our food (we’ll make egg cups & muffins tonight to grab and go for breakfasts or snacks, he’ll boil a batch of eggs before heading out for work, I’ll brown some meat and chop/saute/roast some veggies while kids are at school).

I chose some new dishes for us to try from the Fixate cookbook and decided in honor of Fall to try her Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese, plus a recipe for Eggplant Turkey Burgers to please the husband’s palate.  You can check out the Fixate cookbook here (you don’t have to be following the fix to enjoy these recipes).

I am also already looking ahead into next week’s meal plans… thinking about rotating in some crockpot recipes I haven’t done in awhile, like this one here.

I always feel better when I have a plan in place, don’t you?  The eating guides and cookbooks make it so much easier to plan meals for the family, and I absolutely prefer having a daily menu for us to follow vs “winging it” from one night to the next.  Honestly — we don’t ALWAYS stick to it without fail.  It’s more like a guide for the week. We sometimes flip flop days or meals from AM to PM (I enjoy breakfast for dinner some nights heehee), and sometimes we choose a quick salad and Shakeo instead of a cooked meal.  But I take comfort in knowing we stocked the pantry and fridge and fruit bowls with tons of healthy options, and we can make wise decisions for our health because we know what the general game plan is.  We have a dry erase board (which doubles as a chore chart for the kids), plus a magnet on the side of the fridge, where I’ll post lunch & dinner plans for the whole fam to know…. the plan in its entirety is saved in my Google Drive — shared to my hubby’s Drive for us to both stay on track.  He’s on a 1500-1799 calorie bracket; I’m currently on a 1200-1499 calorie bracket, so I adjust mine accordingly.

Water is Donald’s personal goal for this week.  He has yet to build himself up to the half your body weight in ounces rule.   Honestly, I don’t know how he can function with less than 50oz a day in his line of work each day…. How much water I get in a day really does affect my own mental clarity, hunger level, and digestion.  And I’ve noticed the same for our kids!!  We enforce a “water first” rule in our home… a full glass of water BEFORE the choice of juice or milk… and we started at a young age diluting their juices with water – half and half.  When the juice intake rises, so do their sugar cravings… it’s unbelievable sometimes!!

focused energy boost close up 4

My personal goal this week is not eating refined sugar or extra yellow containers (breads, pastas, rice) this week!  I tend to fall into the carb-loading, refined sugar & chocolate trap and…. once I start it is EXTREMELY hard to stop myself the next day, and then the next, and the next….  I am relying on focused prayer & positive confessions for a healthy appetite (I really do crave more veggies when I successfully keep the carbs in check and keep the veggie/fruits/lean protein/healthy fats levels UP where they’re supposed to be)!  Also the accountability of a fellow Fixer and Challenger friend, plus my hubby!  My second goal will be to dial back on my coffee — it has crept up slowly to 3 cups a day again — not because I NEED the pick me up (except on the carb-loaded days, of course), but because I REALLY LIKE the taste of coffee. I have a tendency to crave ACIDIC foods, too, but my stomach can’t always handle it in the longterm.  For now, I’m committed to brewing no more than 2 cups worth and/or substituting 1 cup coffee with a Focused Energy Boost into my Shakeo or iced coffee in the mornings or lunch time  (for when the extra “pick-me-up” IS needed) — and to rely on my Energize as my all-natural pre workout for evening workouts, when I may feel too flat for making it through some of the more extreme workouts on the agenda.

Stepping AWAY from the EXTRA carbs this week!
Stepping AWAY from the EXTRA carbs this week!

So, this week follow my Facebook Page, facebook.com/angelballance, where I am going to share our weekly journey, my no sugar added, whole foods, and coffee choices, plus our water intake!  Feel free to post and share your tips, too!  I’d love to hear what you do to reduce sugar and increase water in your family’s meals!

Resist old eating habits that drag you down, and find creative ways to embrace healthier ones that strengthen & empower you!
Resist old eating habits that drag you down, and find creative ways to embrace healthier ones that strengthen & empower you!

So, TOMORROW is GAME ON!!

Workouts have been ABSOLUTELY my favorite time of day with Donald, and we’ve been utilizing the new feature service Beachbody on Demand Online Workouts to choose from some of our favorites(like PiYo. P90X3, and 21 Day Fix Extreme) and mix in some fat-burning workouts NEW to us (such as Insanity Assylum, Max 30, and TurboFire).  In the past 3 weeks my endurance is improving, my legs are more building muscle again, and I can feel more strength returning to my core… I sense my metabolism shifting for the better, my and I can actually see my arms toning up again!

My favorite part of day is working out with this guy!
My favorite time  of day!

I’m really focused on working my booty and legs this round for more definition, and I do want to keep PiYo in the mix for flexibility as well as no impact alternatives to burning fat.  Donald and I both are regularly visiting our new, recently-discovered chiropractor (it took forever to find one we loved in Texas) in order to help our bodies heal up some previous injuries and get our spines back to healthy alignment happiness!  We’re serious about pursuing health and fitness, and believe our spine health is a vital part of the larger picture of health inside/out.  Not to mention pure FUNCTIONALITY NEEDED to successfully blast through our more intense workouts from 21 Day Fix Extreme, TurboFire, X3, and hello, Max 30!!

Take a break from the weights and go for no impact every now and then.
Take a break from the weights and go for no impact every now and then.
If you have considered doing PiYo, but haven’t yet, … I must say I highly recommend it (see my 8 week results here)!  8 weeks of low or no impact (but still high intensity fat burn, strengthening, toning, and flexibility) did wonders for my body coming out of previous back/arm/hip injuries, and needing something to do that could build up endurance and muscle strength while still allowing my body to heal.  I have come to terms with the fact that this is my one body, gifted from our Creator to live this one life, I need to do everything in my power to take care of it so I can be here as long as possible and still enjoy living the day to day adventures with my kids, too.  As I get older, I want to still be able to stand upright and move freely, so I believe it is important we create the habits now, not later.  Is your body telling you it needs help?!

Make time for YOU to get healthy and stay healthy.  There are so many workouts for just 30 minutes a day — totally doable even in the busiest of “full-time mom days”… and the continuity of getting it in will give you the confidence and the faith to keep it up, make a lifestyle you can feel great about passing on to your kids’ kids…. along with possibly the best level of health and nutrition you’ve ever experienced to keep up with the busy demands of your EVERY-day LIFE.

21 Day Meal Plan Week One
21 Day Meal Plan Week One

It’s GAME TIME!!  Let’s make the next 21 Days count!!   Hope you have a healthy, joyful, active week!!

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