About a year and a half ago I went from working from home back to a full-time office job. It was a tough transition for both myself and my beastie. Going from choosing my own schedule and work times, with 2-hour mid-day hikes with Roxie (my chocolate lab) to sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day was tough. I found myself snacking more on poor food choices and exercising less.
My healthy eating habits at home turned into convenience snacking on things like cookies, sugary granola bars and instant oatmeal packets for breakfast. My 2-hour hikes with Roxie turned into quick sub-hour, flat walks at the end of my work day. It was a challenging transition and I found myself leaving my healthy habits behind in exchange for the commute into the office. I started to feel lazy and cooking easy nutrition-poor meals or ordering in to save time. I felt gross.
How I Learned About Eating Clean
My 2016 New Year’s resolution was to eat clean and healthy, cut down on the wine, and get fit. I joined a 12-week Lifestyle Challenge at my local gym to kickstart these new healthy habits. I was looking forward to the program, but was also a bit anxious about the hard work it was going to take to find my healthy self again. But once I got started, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get back into it!
Not having had any concept of the caloric value of anything, the program taught me about what was good and what was bad about my food choices. It taught me about high-value calories and empty calories. With a calorie limit of 1200 calories at the time, I just didn’t see the value of eating a 330 calorie bagel, only to be hungry again in a half hour, so I started choosing better, more valuable food options. But once I had grasped the concept of caloric value, I was not a fan of the calorie counting, which was a requirement of this particular lifestyle challenge. The app was a great teaching tool, but eventually entering every little thing I ate and drank into an iPhone app was time consuming, tedious and annoying.
Count Colors, Not Calories!
What I LOVE about the Beachbody program is that there is NO CALORIE COUNTING! Yay!! Now, instead of counting calories, I count colors! Beachbody uses color-coded portioning containers. Each food group has its own color and depending on your fitness goals and daily caloric target, you are assigned a certain number of each container that you should eat everyday to reach your goals. Easy!
- Red: protein
- Green: vegetables
- Purple: fruit
- Yellow: carbs
- Blue: healthy fats
- Orange: nuts, seeds, oils & dressings
At first this freaked me out, because when I looked at the containers it didn’t look like it was going to be enough food and felt like I was going to be hungry all the time. But once I got started with my first 21-Day Challenge, I found it difficult to eat all of my assigned containers in a day! Now THIS is a system I can get on board with! No counting. No reading the packages for portion size. No wasting time entering food into an iPhone app! Just good plain healthy portioned food! YES!
The program also provides an eating plan with lists of healthy food choices in each color coded food group, which has made meal planning and shopping for ingredients so much easier than my usual, “I’ll just go to the grocery store and see what I find” method.
Clean Eating + Fitness + Shakeology = Success!
This clean eating meal plan combined with 30 minutes of exercise a day, plus my daily dose of dense nutrition with Shakeology has made a huge difference for the better in my health, fitness and overall daily life.
If you’re interested in learning more about this meal portioning system, getting fit and dropping weight, I’d love to have you join my next monthly health and fitness challenge! Simply APPLY HERE.