I definitely felt overwhelmed when I was preparing to do the program. I talked to my sister several times to ask questions/freak out a bit and she really helped calm me down. Then, I figured there was no better way to learn 100% clean eating and portion size than jumping right in. I caught on pretty quickly and made note of what helped me prepare and stay on track. Keep reading for my tips!
Read all the materials in your box - There isn't a whole lot to go over, but it's important to cover everything in the eating plan book. It's full of everything you need to know and understand before you start: from calculating your caloric intake and container information to the approved shopping list, helpful tips, recipes and more. I had to read it several times just to let everything sink it - especially the process for calculating Shakeology portions into each day.
Download/print out eating plan templates for each week - Trust me, you'll want them to keep track of the containers you need each day, and how many you actually consume. There's also a spot to record how many glasses of water you drink daily. Everything is all in 1 place - and easy to navigate.
Download the free template I used here.
Designate a folder/notebook to keep resources in - I'm the type of person that needs to have important papers and other items with me for a project all in one place.. whether it's work-related or a 3 week clean eating program. (OCD? Maybe.) I highly recommend getting a folder to keep everything together. I have a folder full of recipes I've printed out, a clean eating grocery list and the above templates for each week. I use the notebook as a daily journal and to write down meals. I carried those items with me every day to work and events, updating and recording meals as I eat.
Next time, I might have to buy this cute 21DFX journal.
Hang up your workout schedule and other inspiration where you can see it - I'm also a big visual learner so if I don't see it, I forget it's there and it gets lost. Before I even started the plan, I grabbed some washi tape and decorated my refrigerator with the daily workout schedule, Shakeology recipes and other inspiration/photos. It's so much easier to reference everything there - especially as you're cooking and planning your daily shake.
Shop for groceries ahead of starting the plan - A day or two before I started, I went grocery shopping (with my folder and meal plan book obvi) and bought everything I needed to get started. It can be so easy to feel overwhelmed but the lists provided a break down of each colored container with the foods that go in each. All the work is done for you!
You can download my clean eating list here!
Plan Plan Plan - One of the biggest lessons I learned: PLAN your meals as far in advance as possible. I usually planned my meals 2-3 days ahead of time. It saves you time especially if you're packing food for work the morning of (which I did several times). If you're like me and get recipe happy, I recommend making only about 2 new recipes each week to rotate through. This way, you are keeping it simple but still trying new meals. (Ex: the first week, I made an oatmeal recipe as well as a turkey lettuce wrap recipe.)
Meal Prep Smart - You're probably thinking 2 recipes.. that's it?! Not really. During my meal prep, in addition to making 2 new recipes, I also made chicken, whole grain pasta and other items in bulk to make different meal combinations. Making dinner when I get home from work was as easy as simply heating everything up.
Get started meal prepping with my original post here.
Bonus: Use Pinterest. I made a #21DFX board dedicated to recipes and other inspiration and it's been a big help - I wish I would've done it sooner! Follow along for all the goodies. (Seriously, even #21DFX approved desserts!)
I plan on doing the program again in the future and I'll definitely be using these tips again. Hopefully if you're looking to start the program, or go through it again, you'll find these helpful too! In the meantime, I'll be sharing much more about my experience, what I learned about my eating habits and my favorite recipes so stay tuned!
Update: There is now a 21 Day Fix/21 Day Fix Extreme app for your phone! You can track your nutrition and workout plan as well as add colored containers for each meal while seeing what portions you have left. How easy is that?! Download the app here!