Sunday, March 20, 2016

21 Day Fix | My Results

I just finished my second round of the 21 Day Fix and I wanted to share some of my experience. Read more about what the 21 Day Fix is here.  My first round went from Feb 1st - 21st, I then took a week "off" but still used the principles and continued to work out regularly, and then my second round was Feb 29th - March 20th.  I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the program and provide some insight on what it's like to participate. 

Does it work? 

In a word, YES. I actually think my stomach has shrunk in size so I don't get hungry nearly as often and I don't eat as much as I used to. I also have never heard my stomach growl or felt hungry while on this program except for the first day when my body was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing to it. I've mentioned before that you get to eat a lot of food on this program - so much so that I could rarely eat my entire allocation of food each day.  I think the program teaches you what kinds of food will fuel your body (clean eating, whole foods with no added sugar) and you focus on veggies and fruits as opposed to cheese, nuts, carbs etc. You can also eat out while on this program and have wine but you have to give up some carbs (which is totally worth it). I've counted calories for years and haven't had much success -- this program is VERY easy to follow once you learn all the various food groups and how much of each food group you can have each day. You just have to figure out what works for you and be consistent. 

I will admit that it's hard to fit in a workout every single day, especially when you are traveling. But, anything is do-able for 3 weeks. You just have to change your mindset. 

What results did I achieve? 

I lost 7 lbs (likely more, but I also gained some muscle) and several inches off my stomach. I didn't take any other measurements but I'm sure that I lost inches on my arms and legs as well. I can do a plank for more than 30 seconds (which I could not do before), I can do 5 push ups before I have to go to my knees (baby steps) and my endurance has also increased. At the start of each workout, we do this 3 minute warmup including high knees and jumping jacks and I remember after the first time I did it, I was so gassed. Now it's a breeze. I feel so much stronger too and I love how it feels after I finish a workout. There is nothing like it!  

Would I recommend it?

Yes! I feel like this program has really changed my life for the better.  Before starting the program, I generally ate healthy.  It's not like I ate a bunch of fast food and huge portion sizes, but I do think that I ate a lot of carbs and never really felt full.  I also ate mindlessly. That's why I had to eat so often, because I was filling my body with empty calories. Now, I choose healthier snacks and I don't need to eat as much  or as often as I did before. 

What now? 

I will continue to use the principles and do the workouts. While on the program, you are supposed to work out 7 days a week, with Sunday being a 'rest day', but you still do Yoga for 30 minutes.  I think realistically going forward, I will work out 3-4 days a week and continue to do cardio and weight lifting.  We didn't used to work out on the weekends but now I am thinking that I will work out at least one weekend day since it's hard for me to work out consistently before/after work during the week. Again, deciding what works for you is the most important part. Because only you can do the work. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I would be happy to answer them! Also, I did take before and after photos which I would be happy to share with you, I just didn't feel like I wanted to plaster them all over the internet for all to see. 


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Around Town | Red Clay Ciderworks

I was invited to a tour and cider tasting event at Red Clay Ciderworks (RCC, for short) a few weeks ago.  A tour and free tasting 4 minutes away from our apartment? See, it really wasn't that hard to convince me. Jake and I have said for years that it would be so cool if we had a neighborhood bar to go to during the week, or on the weekend where you are a regular. Like, Cheers -- everyone know your name, you run into friends there, etc but then life happened and we barely have enough time to eat dinner together and get a work out in before it's time for bed and to do it all over again.  Sometimes adulting isn't as fun as you thought it would be when you were a kid, wishing you could grow up faster.  Case in point, we cannot sleep in and stay in our pajamas all day. The bills have to be paid and work has to get done. 

But -- on the off chance we do have some free time on the weekend, you might find us at Red Clay Ciderworks. Let me explain.  I have never been a beer drinker. Ok.. scratch that, in college, I did drink my share of disgustingly cheap beer. But, once I grew up and discovered wine, my beer drinking days were over.  Jake prefers beer over wine and even has a pipe dream to open up a beer shop with his brother one of these days. But... cider is the perfect in-between for both of us. RCC has so many different options - they have a sweet cider for me and a more hoppy cider for him. It's basically like a match made in heaven. So, without further ado, onto some photos from the tasting and tour of their shop.

Making cider seems like making wine in some ways, but beer in other ways. They "brew" the cider in these gigantic tanks using local apples from North Carolina. 

All packed up and ready to head out to various restaurants in the Charlotte area -- including Seoul Food -- which I have been dying to try!

A few of the various options on tap. I love that the Charlotte brewery scene is so collaborative and not competitive. They all serve each other's stuff. Very cool!

As I mentioned in my Instagram post, my favorite cider was Cherry Bobbin Trolls which is made with tart cherries from Michigan. A close second was the Southend Sweet which is sweeter than your usual cider but not too sweet.  I definitely cannot wait to go back and try some new flavors. I love that everything is seasonal (+ local) too.  Hooray for RCC!

Red Clay Ciderworks is located just South of South End (see what I did there?!) at 245 Clanton Road in Charlotte, NC.