<< see days 7-9!

21 Day Fix | Days 10-12

Buckle yourself in for a rollercoaster ride, because days 10-12 were CRAZY. Lots of recipes and a little bit of sobbing characterize these past few days.

I’ll leave it at that.

 

Day 10

I woke up with ZERO intentions of working out and somehow found myself sweating through a video half an hour later.

How does that happen?

Habits are habits, and working out is turning into one of mine. THANK YOU, 21 DAY FIX!

 

Day 10 exercise = Even though she tried to kill me yesterday, I gave Autumn another chance and did her 30-minute Upper Fix video. This one was WAY MORE DOABLE than that blasted cardio one. It was very tough, though, and I fear that tomorrow, I’ll be unable to use my arms. And ABS! Holy hanna, that woman can work a core!

 

I forgot to eat breakfast. Because I was writing Husband a letter. I don’t have his address, yet, but I can still write to him.

I wrote him a letter because I had just finished folding up the last of his laundry that’s cycling out of the hamper, and it made me a little sad. Goodbye, boxers.

 

So, my letter-writing distracted me and I skipped right out the door with zero breakfast in my belly.

Which stinks because I really wanted to make pancakes.

 

It’s just…I’m having a really hard time with this pancake thing.

 

Pancakes use up 1 yellow, and even though I scarcely get TWO yellows in, I’m RELUCTANT to knock one out first thing in the morning.

 

BUT, pancakes and waffles are a part of who I am, so I’ll have to introduce them sooner or later. This weekend, perhaps!

Yes, this weekend.

 

I’ve been hunting for a pancake recipe that incorporates 1/2 a container of Greek yogurt AND 1 egg (to get 1 full red in at breakfast). I WILL find it. So, stay tuned!

 

I started to eat my salad at 9:45AM. Because I forgot to eat breakfast. Oops. Looks like I’m going home on lunch and filling my lunch pail back up!

 

What I ate on Day 10:

  • (salad)
    • 1 container of spinach/kale + 1 container of mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, diced orange bell pepper, and halved cherry tomatoes = 2 green
    • shredded chicken breast = 1/2 red
  • 1/2 container of Greek yogurt = 1/2 red
  • 1 container of green grapes = 1 purple
  • 10 pistachios = 1/2 blue
  • 1 hard-boiled egg = 1/2 red
  • 21 Day Fix-approved pancakes (I followed Running With Spoons’ recipe, which I discuss below) = 1 red, 1 purple, 1 yellow
  • 1 container of green bell pepper, cut into strips = 1 green
  • 1/2 container of hummus = 1/2 blue
  • 2 21 Day Fix Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies! = 1/2 yellow

 

Day 10 totals:

2.5 red (of 4)
3 green
1.5 yellow (of 2)
2 purple
1 blue
0 orange (of 1)
2 teaspoons oil (accounting for hummus and leftover Outback Steakhouse chicken)

 

I didn’t eat all my foods because look! Look how many foods I ate today! Almost all of them! See, I’m not starving myself! 😉

I received a few concerned comments regarding my Days 7-9 post about how I’m maybe not eating enough. I assure you that I am NOT starving. In fact, I’m usually stuffed around 7PM every night.

 

So, about day 10’s food.

 

Brussels sprouts: I add them to my salads because they make any salad/meal insurmountably more hearty and delicious. I roasted these puppies on day 9 (my quick how-to is listed in my Days 4-6 post).

Look how pretty they are!

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #brusselssprouts

 

BEFORE I CONTINUE WITH FOOD UPDATES…
I MUST TELL YOU ABOUT A BIG THING THAT HAPPENED ON DAY 10.

I was scrolling through the #21dayfix Instagram feed this morning when I received a message from a woman named Brittany. She messaged me to thank me for following her. How cute is that? I didn’t even know you could message people on Instagram!

The reason I followed Brittany is because many of her Instagram photos are 21 Day Fix-related. She followed me back for the same reason. So, naturally, our Instagram chat quickly turned into a chat about how we LOVE the 21 Day Fix and how crazy the results are, yadda yadda (put two 21 Day Fixers in the same room and they’ll never run out of things to talk about).

As the conversation continued, I started to get an inkling, from the way she was talking about the Fix, that Brittany might be a Beachbody Coach. So I asked her.

And she said yes, she was!

 

AH-HA!

 

It wasn’t as dramatic as that. She wasn’t trying to sell me anything. She was just asking if I had support groups or a Coach.

 

Anyway, Brittany offered to let me join her private Facebook group, which has tons and tons of Fixers working toward goals, enduring challenges, and posting their recipes and progress pictures.

And she said I could join for FREE…

 

But is anything in life really free, though? Especially from a Beachbody Coach?

Well, in this case, yes.

 

So, since I had yet to join ANY sort of diet group, I said ABSOLUTELY! Sign me up.

After all, I’m constantly scrolling through Pinterest “21 Day Fix Results” pictures for motivation, so I might as well interact with some REAL people.

 

So, she added me to the group! For free!

 

Then, she wanted to sign me up for Beachbody.

 

And I was like wait a minute.

I KNEW there would be a catch.

 

But the problem was that she had already reeled me in. She was so nice and forthcoming and helpful that I felt like I owed it to her to at least give her a chance.

 

So I said, “Will I have to pay anything, ever, if I sign up?”

And she said, “Nope! Never. It’s just an account for buying 21 Day Fix/Beachbody things in the future, if you want. If you do, you’ll just be buying them through me. But you don’t have to buy anything, ever.”

And I said, “Okay!” And promptly gave her all my information.

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Brooke! You fool! She sucked you right in! Don’t you realize that how these pyramid schemes work?!

And I just want to tell you that YES, I DO realize that Brittany is just doing her job.

But you know what? I didn’t have to pay a cent. FOR FREE, she added me to a group of hundreds of Fixers working toward the same goals as me. FOR FREE. Brittany sought me out on Instagram, started telling me all about her Facebook group, added me, gave me a BUNCH of information on how to interact with the group, and PLUS, she asked me a bunch of questions about how I liked the program and what my goals were.

 

If you didn’t know this, the best way to get people to like you is by asking those people questions about THEMSELVES. Why? Because everyone loves to talk about themselves. We are our favorite conversation topic. So, naturally, we LOVE people who bring US up in conversation.

We’re all a bunch of narcissists just running around pretending to be Mother Teresas!

 

So, yeah, I was really liking Brittany. And even as I watched her spin a glittery web all around me, I still wanted in.

And if any Beachbody Coach deserves my patronage, it’s HER. She spent her whole morning helping me! I mean, come on!

 

PLUS, Brittany posted the cutest message in the private Facebook group that welcomed me and introduced me to everyone. She posted my picture, too, with cute little fireworks all over it.

If I wasn’t already flying happy in the sky, I was then!

It was seriously so exciting. There I was, a brand new member to a 21 Day Fix group! People JUST LIKE ME!

SO excited.

If you want to be knowingly wooed by Brittany, talk to her, ask her questions, or join her team, you can do so hereBrittany is intelligent, helpful, eager to assist, and intuitive, which makes her My Favorite Person of the Week and a stellar Beachbody Coach.

 

And I just need to say that the reason I’m talking about her and linking to her profile is BECAUSE I CAN. Not because I’m getting any monies or SHE’S getting any monies or any of that business. No one is paying anyone any monies.
Nor do I have any intentions of becoming a Beachbody Coach.

But Brittany is good, so she deserves more patrons.

 

And I had the best day yesterday because of my NEW 21 DAY FIX FACEBOOK GROUP!!!

I LOVE THIS GROUP.

I spent all morning scrolling through the group’s pictures and liking everything I saw. Literally, I was clicking “like” on everything.

 

Brittany told me that I could join the challenge they’re doing right now even though they’re on day 11. The challenge is more complicated than this, but I do know that it involves working out every day and then posting a “sweaty selfie” to the group’s board. Sweaty selfies (and a bunch of other things) earn you points that add up toward winning a prize of some sort.

 

NOT SURE if I’ll do that. Because I am extremely unattractive post-workout. And because I’m doing my own workout regimen, remember?

Though that regimen IS transforming into a daily thing, I’m starting to realize.

 

So, now that I have a new family, I get to see all of their recipe posts, workout posts, and inspirational posts in my Facebook feed. Which I LOVE, because these people are my people. I’m completely interested in everything they have to say, because it’s everything I’m talking/thinking about, too!

 

Enough about Beachbody!

 

BACK TO THE FOOD UPDATES!

 

I ate my Greek yogurt with green grapes mixed in, which tasted like candy in my mouth! AMAZING treat, that was.

 

Then I downed all 10 of my pistachios, which were so nutty and wholesome and rich with pistachio flavor.

 

Then I headed home on my lunch break to get more food because I was all out.

At home, I ate a hard-boiled egg and watched Worst Cooks in America. Because I am trying to improve my cooking skills, and Netflix has tons of great shows for that.

 

While on lunch, I mixed up the cookie dough for 21 Day Fix Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies I’m going to bake tonight.

 

Don’t forgetI have a 21 Day Fix Pinterest board filled with 21 Day Fix recipes I’m dying to try. 

 

The recipe comes from Udderly Fit. Click on the pink recipe title link above for the full ingredient list and instructions (I followed the recipe precisely, so I’m not going to list it here).

 

For the cookie dough, I had to make my own almond flour because I don’t have any on hand. And I’m not going to buy it if I can make it at home. Come on! I’m frugal, remember?

 

How to make almond flour: grind up almonds in your blender.

The end.

 

It’s that easy.

Careful, though.

If you grind for too long, the heat from your blender blades cutting through all those nuts will heat up your flour, which will quickly turn your almond meal into almond butter.

Which you can make at home the exact same way you make almond flour + more blending.

 

These things are so simple!

 

Here’s my almond flour, slightly over-blended and thus clumping up against the sides of my blender.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #almondflour

 

The aroma of blended almonds is intoxicating.

 

If you’re wondering which blender I own (which you should be wondering because I did DAYS OF RESEARCH to narrow it down to MY blender beauty), I own the KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender in watermelon. This thing is POWERFUL and significantly cheaper than a Vitamix, which are the 2 reasons I chose it. Plus, its reviews are phenomenal.

Did you know? My blender and my food processor are both watermelon.

Because life is too short to not have matching kitchen electronics.

(You’ll see my food processor in my upcoming hummus recipe post!)

 

So, anyway, on lunch, I mixed up the cookie dough, plopped it in my fridge, and eagerly awaited my return home so I could BAKE those puppies.

Here it is, all mixed up.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pumpkin #chocolatechips

 

Also, you know what I decided on lunch?

 

That I was going to make pancakes for dinner.

After I baked those cookies, of course.

 

When I got home, I preheated my oven, retrieved a cookie sheet and a tablespoon cookie scoop, and got to scooping.

One problem.

The recipe says it makes 18 cookies. It also says to scoop out tablespoon-sized cookies.

 

I’m calling BS, because I used a tablespoon cookie scooper, and I scooped out 40 cookies.

 

Also, I accidentally got some dough on my finger. Which means I accidentally tasted it. And it was so delicious that I decided I would only put chocolate chips on some of them and leave the rest plain.

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pumpkin #chocolatechips

 

The SMELL of these things baking in the oven OMG you’re welcome apartment neighbors.
And also I’m sorry apartment neighbors about all of the Brussels sprouts.

 

Here’s the chocolate chip version, all baked up! Before baking, I put one chocolate chip on a cookie at a time until the whole 1/3 cup was gone.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pumpkin #chocolatechips

 

The original recipe for 21 Day Fix Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies says that 2 cookies (of the 18) = 1 yellow.

Since I made TWICE that amount, I figured that 4 cookies = 1 yellow. But I plopped two into a yellow container just to be sure.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pumpkin #chocolatechips

And after that extremely scientific and highly controlled experiment, I’ve determined that yes, four cookies = 1 yellow.

 

ABOUT THE BAKE: These cookies were browned around the edges, but they are definitely not “hard” or “firm” in the way a regular cookie is, once baked. They’re “doughy” on the inside. Since there are no eggs in the batter, this is fine. BUT you should still keep them in your fridge so they stay firm AND so the pumpkin doesn’t go rancid sitting out on your counter.

I made pumpkin brownies once and left them on my counter and they went BAD in a few days. Like, they started to smell. I was not expecting that!

 

I ate two cookies (one with chocolate and one without) because they are actually quite filling and satisfying.

What to do about calculating the chocolate chips?

Well, technically, a teaspoon of chocolate chips is a yellow substitute on the 21 Day Fix.

But, you know what?

Whatever.

That’s how scientific I’m getting with calculating these cookies.

I’m ignoring the chocolate chips in regard to my daily calculations.

 

 

NOW, FOR THE PANCAKES.

These pancakes were so good. I mean, they were SO SO good.

I highly recommend making them.

I’m terribly sorry to my Instagram followers for teasing you with the picture and withholding the recipe until today. I just can’t help myself, sometimes! 😉

 

As I mentioned above, I followed Running With Spoons’ recipe for the pancake batter.

EXCEPT I used a full egg (not just the white), and I didn’t need any almond milk to thin out my batter (probably because I used a full egg).

 

So, here’s my recipe (loosely adapted from Running With Spoons’):

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 c. frozen mixed berries (or fresh)

 

Instructions: Throw everything (except the berries) in a blender, puree it to smithereens, and let it sit and bubble for a few minutes.

The berries will be warmed in the pancake pan after the pancakes are cooked and removed from it. Warm, juicy berries are your 21 Day Fix-approved pancake topping!

 

Here’s the batter, all blended up.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

 

Now, I had done a LOT of pancake research to obtain this perfect recipe, and somewhere along the line, SOMEONE said, “make sure your pan is very hot.”

So, I turned it on medium-high. Because I’ve never made these pancakes before, and I carried that HIGH HEAT knowledge with me to this recipe. Even though Running With Spoons’ recipe does not say ANYWHERE to make sure your pan is super hot.

 

Anyway, I poured the pancakes in my pan and waited.

I was baking my cookies at the same time here, and I had just put the non-chocolate-chip cookies into the oven.

 

Suddenly, I smelled something burning.

 

Hmm, I said. I looked up at the ceiling. No smoke, so that was good. I’ve DEFINITELY smoked out my kitchen before. And if I had only looked UP that one time when I was burning the hell out of those sweet potato chips, I would have realized that my apartment was filled with smoke. And I would have realized this before my fire alarm started going off AND THEN WOULDN’T STOP UNTIL I RIPPED IT OFF THE WALL.

 

Anyway, no smoke signal looming above my head in my apartment.

So I figured it must be coming from the oven.

OH NO! – I brain-screamed. Maybe a cookie rolled off the cookie sheet and is currently smoldering in the fiery pits of my oven!

I yanked the oven door open and peered underneath the pan.

Nothing.

Hmm.

 

So then I looked at my burner. You know, the one currently heating my pancakes.

I looked around the flames, around the base of the flames, all around the area for a fallen food remnant that would have been black and charred by now.

Nothing!

Oh well, I said, and skipped away.

 

But the smell was still there.

 

My pancakes looked like they were ready to flip, so I flipped the first one and immediately solved the Mystery of the Burning Smell.

 

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

 

 

What was I thinking turning that burner up so high?

And then inspecting literally every potential source of the burning smell EXCEPT my effing pancakes?

Sometimes, I get so excited in my kitchen that I just burn things to a crisp!

 

Since I buy everything in bulk, I had enough ingredients to START OVER. So, that’s what I did. Usually, I’m not turned off by a burnt pancake or burnt toast (I know what that sounds like, but NO, I don’t burn everything). But these babies were charred and I waited all day for them, so I was willing to wait a little longer for perfect pancakes.

So I measured, poured, and blended all over again. I also turned the heat down to medium-LOW.

 

And, I got these jaded-yet-golden-brown pillows of cinnamon heaven.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

 

Because the pancakes used 1/4 c. of applesauce, I knew I could use 3/4 c. berries on top.

Since I have so many frozen berries in my freezer, I thought I’d go with frozen berries and warm them in the pan to make them juicy and sweet, like slightly tart syrup.

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

 

Roast away, little piggies!

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

 

I then dumped them in an aesthetically pleasing manner on top of my perfectly stacked cakes.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

 

OOOO so good.

 

Look at this picture. This is the most beautiful picture I’ve ever taken in my life. I think I’ll share it on Instagram even though I said I wouldn’t double-dip. Yup, it’s going on Instagram!

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

 

I don’t even know how I managed to snap it like that. I’m NOT a photographer, obviously.

 

Since I’m not a photographer, do you want to see how these pancakes really looked when I ate them? 😉

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #pancakes #greekyogurt

Smoke and mirrors, I tell you!

 

Why, yes, that little red-streak-murder-scene on the upper right hand corner of my plate DID come from a rogue berry who leapt from the plate and rolled all over my brand new futon. 

Don’t worry, I got his stupid giggling juices out.

Because I know you are so worried about the wellbeing of my furniture.

Also, you can use leapt OR leaped in a sentence. They are interchangeable. I just checked.

You can also use wellbeing or well-being. All’s fair in the Grammar Nazi world!

 

 

Those pancakes were so satisfying. They didn’t have any sweetness added to them, but they TASTED SWEET. I think it was the cinnamon.

And they perfectly add up to 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 purple! SO EASY for 21 Day Fixers. And for pancake lovers. And for the whole world. And for my future babies.

 

Half an hour later, I was hankering for something, so I sliced up a green bell pepper and filled my blue container halfway with hummus (I had already eaten 1/2 a blue with my pistachios). DELICIOUS snack.

And, of course, I had 2 cookies after my hummus snack. They were delicious, but I’m eager to try them once they’re chilled. I might even freeze them!

 

Day 11

I didn’t work out this morning.

Because I was tired and SORE EVERYWHERE and also because I had a lot of blog updating to do from day 10’s recipes!

 

But…since I joined my new 21 Day Fix Facebook group yesterday, and I’m watching everyone post their Sweaty Selfies, I decided that I will work out AFTER work so I can post one, too.

Yay!

 

Not-so-yay = I go on call tonight.

My office’s “on call” is not what you’d typically think of when you think of “on call work.” Typically, on call work is being available should the phone ring and/or should you need to assist someone.

My office’s on call work requires bringing a laptop and cell phone home with you after work and working for the rest of the night, every night.

But, we get paid for it now, which wasn’t the case a few months ago.

 

PLUS I get to leave the office at 4PM instead of 5PM!

It’s like a whole extra hour of FREEDOM, and there are few things I love more than NOT being in the office.

 

I’ll use that hour of freedom to work out. Probably not with Autumn, because she is making it really hard to walk/sit/eat/breathe.

I’m looking forward to my workout, though, because I am starting to CRAVE workouts again.

Do you know how good that feels? Years ago, I would crave them every day. And I forgot how that feels. UGH it feels so good!

 

I haven’t noticed any new body changes or any new how-my-pants-fit differences, so nothing to note there. I feel like I look the same as I did three days ago when I weighed myself and took pictures. But, I know I’m making progress, because I crave workouts AND I’m not nearly as sore as I THINK I’m going to be in the morning after killer workouts, which means I’m getting in shape! Though I am SORE, AUTUMN, I PROMISE.

 

You know what I have noticed, though?

I’ve noticed that I can function REALLY WELL on less sleep.

Before the Fix, if I didn’t get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, I was a lethargic zombie at work the next day.

Now, I can get around 7 hours and feel way better than I USED to feel with MORE sleep.

And that is one of my favorite changes from this diet so far. I have energy.

 

21 DAY FIX SELF-REFLECTION MOMENT

I had a hard time admitting that I had a problem, at first. I considered myself “still healthy” and “still one of those girls who is pretty fit” and “not someone who has a snacking problem.” I was THAT person who was specifically not facing her problem and pretending she didn’t have one, even though it was obvious that she had one.

The food I was eating made me feel crappy and tired all the time. And I was rarely working out. And I was eating SO MUCH FOOD. I was eating more and more food every day. Like, compulsively. I told Sister that, had I not been intermittently working out, I would have ballooned up MUCH MORE than I did, for how much food I was eating.

And that whole time, I was living in Excuse City. I could have given you a million reasons (lots of them legitimate) for why I wasn’t exercising and/or why I was eating my body weight in chocolate every night.

 

It has taken this diet to show me that I wasn’t at ALL the kind of person I told myself I was. The kind of person I WANT to be. The kind of person I used to be. A fit, healthy person who looks good and feels even better than she looks.

 

I know all of this sounds like those clichéd testimonials of people who try the Fix and love it, or of people who try any diet and love it. But those people say those things because they really feel that way. It’s true, all the hype. You really do see results all the time on this diet, which makes you want to tell everyone how great it is. I truly feel better, and all the changes I’ve had to make are easy changes. Hard at first, but easy to maintain, which makes them LONG LASTING.

Which is exactly what every single person on ANY diet is hoping for.

 

I hated the 21 Day Fix at first, but now I can’t live without it. Because it’s turning me into ME again. The me I used to be. My favorite version of me. My very best self.

 

And it’s thrilling.

 

Moving on!

 

I worked out with Autumn. What is it about her that makes her so scary yet so inviting? I keep going back even though I want to run away from her!

 

Day 11 exercise = I did Autumn’s Lower Fix workout video. And then I spent the rest of the evening penguining around my apartment. I was MAKING FACES during this one. Like, caveman, grunting, I-am-in-pain, are-my-quads-breaking? faces. This one was difficult, but not impossible. And definitely easier than that wretched cardio one. However, if Autumn keeps making me do planks, I’m not going to have any elbow skin left.

 

What I ate on Day 11:

  • 1/2 a grapefruit = 1 purple
  • (salad)
    • 1 container of spinach/kale + 1 container of Brussels sprouts, diced orange bell pepper, and diced mushrooms = 2 green
    • chunks of cubed chicken breast = 1/2 red
    • squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 hard-boiled egg = 1/2 red
  • 1 container of Greek yogurt = 1 red
  • 1 container of green grapes, raspberries, and blackberries = 1 purple
  • nachos! (see my days 7-9 post for recipe) = 1 yellow, 3/4 red, 1 green
  • 2 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies = 1/2 yellow
  • 1/2 container of my homemade hummus (I’m posting this recipe TOMORROW!) = 1/2 blue
  • a few hand grabbies of my incredibly delicious homemade granola (recipe below) and 1 homemade chia cracker = 1/2 yellow

 

Day 11 totals:

2.75 red (of 4)
3 green
2 yellow
2 purple
1/2 blue (0f 1)
0 orange (of 1)
2 teaspoons oil (Brussels sprouts + taco meat + hummus ~ all estimates here)

 

I didn’t eat all of my proteins because I wasn’t hungry enough for the shrimp I kept thinking about last night.

I didn’t eat my orange because, ever since I stopped putting sunflower seeds in my salad, I’ve been missing my oranges. I am going to change this tomorrow.

I didn’t eat a full blue because I was feeling a little desperately snacky last night, and I was trying to hold off on eating ALL of my containers so that I could snack on something late at night if on call work kept me up late.

 

Refrigerated pumpkin cookies are more tasty than room temperature pumpkin cookies. Next step: in the freezer. Can’t wait to try them that way, tonight!

 

My nachos were, again, amazing. I love crushed red pepper flakes. Nom nom spicy food.

 

My granola was life changing.

 

I shared the recipe on my Instagram day 11 night, where I also mentioned that the whole “granola-making experience” was a hodgepodge. I threw lots of leftover things into the mix.

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. (total) nuts (mine were chopped cashews and slivered almonds)
  • 1/8 c. peanuts (this was a guess, I just tossed in the remainder of my container)
  • 1/8 c. sunflower seeds (again, I just sprinkled these on top, so, another measurement guess)
  • 2 T. hemp seeds (another toss-in!)
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 3 T. coconut oil
  • 2-3 T. honey

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients (everything BUT the oil and honey) right into a rimmed baking sheet. Use the biggest baking sheet you’ve got. A thinner layer of granola will toast more quickly, but if you have a thicker layer in a smaller pan, don’t worry. You’ll just have to toast and stir a little longer.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and honey in the microwave. I measured the coconut oil but not the honey, which I just drizzled in. It was around 2-3 T., though. My granola does NOT taste sweet at all, but that’s how I like it. If you prefer sweeter granola, I’ve heard of some people adding applesauce, sugar, more honey, brown sugar, etc. But I wanted low sugar, low salt, good old fashioned toasted granola, so I kept the unhealthy stuff to a minimum.
  4. Pour the melted honey and oil over your dry oat-nut-seed mixture. Stir with a spatula or just use your hands (hands work better). The more you stir, the more evenly coated your granola pieces will be, so mush, mush, mush that granola with your paws.
  5. Spread it out into an even layer in your pan.
  6. Insert pan into preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Pull out and stir the granola.
  7. Put the granola back in the oven. Repeat this process of pulling and stirring, pulling and stirring, until you have a nice golden pan of granola. It’s important to stir it every so often, because you don’t want to burn your nuts!
  8. Once you think it’s golden enough, take it out and taste some. Is it mind-blowingly delicious? Good! That means it’s done.

 

Homemade granola is SO EASY to make and so cheap, too. AND, you know EXACTLY what’s going into it when you make it at home.

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #granola #healthy #lowsugar

 

I added a sprinkle of salt because none of my nuts were salted. If you add salted nuts, cut back on the salt-sprinkling.

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #granola #healthy #lowsugar

 

I couldn’t help myself from snacking on some of this granola. It was only a few finger pinches, I swear!

Homemade granola is so good. You MUST make it. It tastes NOTHING like store-bought granola. It’s not sweet. It’s wholesome, nutty, and comforting.

This granola is COMFORT FOOD.

Make some!

 

Day 12

On day 12, my legs weren’t even that sore despite the fact that I had to vault myself off the futon and roll to my bedroom last night.

First thing in the morning, I brewed a pot of ultra-strong coffee and made myself a delicious waffle breakfast using a recipe I completely made up on the spot.

 

1 waffle = 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 red, and 1/2 purple.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow container (or 1/2 c.) of quick oats
  • 1 orange container of flax/chia/coconut mixture (or just flax meal, shredded coconut, or chia seeds)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Dump everything into your food processor/blender and blend up.
  3. Dump blended mixture into waffle iron and cook until waffle is firm.
  4. Top with diced, cooked apples (recipe below), and syrup, if you wish.

 

Here’s the flax/chia/coconut mixture I have. I bought it from Sam’s a LONG time ago (haven’t shopped for it since, so I don’t know if Sam’s still sells it). It’s perfect for an orange container, because its three ingredients are orange-container-specific! If you don’t have this mixture, don’t worry. Just add flax meal or chia seeds or unsweetened coconut flakes (or a mixture of them).

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #waffles #healthy #breakfast

 

Here’s my waffle, all cooked up! I love this waffle because I get 1 FULL red out of it, which is wonderful, because I struggle to get all my reds in. I think I cooked the waffle a little too long, though, because it was definitely hard on the outside…

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #waffles #healthy #breakfast

So hard it broke apart. Oops!

 

Now, for the apples.

Diced cooked apples = 1 apple + cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.

Dice up the apple into tiny cubes, throw the cubes into a little pot, and cover the cubes with as much spice as you like. Cook until the apples are tender.

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #waffles #healthy #breakfast #apples

So steamy.

 

I filled a purple container with all of my cooked apple pieces to see how much I had. It was a little less than full.

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #waffles #healthy #breakfast #apples

Steamy apples make for blurry pictures.

 

I saved half of the apples for something else, and tossed the other half onto my waffle. I then sprinkled a little extra cinnamon on top.

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #waffles #healthy #breakfast #apples

 

When I took a bite and my mouth turned into the bone-dry Sahara, I decided to add 1 t. of syrup. You’re allowed to have a few teaspoons of syrup and honey every day on the 21 Day Fix. If you don’t want to add syrup, don’t!

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #waffles #healthy #breakfast #apples

 

The syrup moistened (and SWEETENED) my waffle right up! Nom nom.

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #homemade #waffles #healthy #breakfast #apples

 

It was so filling that it took me an hour to eat it. (While blogging, cleaning, working, and getting ready for my workout in the same hour, of course.)

 

If you want to use all of the apple chunks, just count them as a full purple (instead of 1/2).

 

I think syrup is necessary for this waffle if you go the apple route. If you go the juice berry route (like with day 10’s pancakes), then syrup won’t be necessary.

 

I had to bill out a few loads for work before I could get my day 12 sweat on. I was a little nervous for day 12’s sweat session, because I wanted to do Autumn’s Pilates Fix video, and never in my life have I done Pilates nor do I have any idea what is involved. Ab work, I think? I don’t know. My abs are mostly healed from when Autumn destroyed them during arm day (I know, arm day!), so I’m going for it.

 

Day 12 exercise = I did Autumn’s Pilates Fix workout video. Turns out, Pilates is more about consistent breathing through various total-body exercises. Abs, arms, legs, butt…you focus on each body part for a short period of time. My favorite thing about this video is that nothing is repeated. You only have to suffer through things once! However, Autumn made me do more planks. And I was literally bleeding from my right elbow all over my carpet. Gross!

 

My 21 Day Fix | Days 10-12 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #fitnessgoals #planks #battlewounds

No, I am NOT ashamed of my cat t-shirt. Cat t-shirt for all the world to see! Those are all the cats of Greece, you know. My grandma bought it for me about a decade ago. Still my favorite t-shirt!

 

Oh yeah, we’re back to exercise.

Day 12 exercise continued = the Pilates video was good, but I just didn’t SWEAT enough, you know? And I’m just sore all over these days, so I’m pretty sure my butt hurt not from day 12 Pilates but from day 11 leg day. So, I did my 23-minute Zumba Rush video. I love it. It’s quick and it definitely gets the sweat glands working! I know, it’s gross. Well, I’m gross!

 

So, after my workouts, I was sufficiently tuckered out and could sit around and work all day without feeling guilty.

I am getting stronger, folks. My elbow may have bled today, but those planks were just a little bit easier than yesterday’s. Woo hoo!

Before I go any further, it’s best to just go ahead and lay out ALL THE FOOD I ATE YESTERDAY.

A LOT OF FOOD.

 

What I ate on Day 12:

  • 1 homemade waffle topped with cooked, diced apple = 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange1/2 purple
  • 1 container of shrimp + chili powder + pepper = 1 red
  • 1/2 a container of asparagus sautéed and seasoned with paprika and ground ginger (YUM) = 1/2 green
  • 1 container of Greek yogurt and 1/2 container of homemade granola = 1 red, 1/2 yellow 
  • 1/2 a container of green grapes, raspberries, blackberries = 1/2 purple
  • (salad)
    • 1 container of spinach/kale + 1 container of Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms = 2 1/2 green
    • chunks of cubed chicken breast = 1 red
  • a few slices of banana = 1/2 purple
  • 1/2 a container of green grapes = 1/2 purple
  • 2 pumpkin cookies = 1/2 yellow
  • 20 pistachios = 1 blue
  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter = 2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 a container of homemade granola = 1/2 yellow

 

Day 12 totals:

4 red
3 green
2.5 yellow (of 2)
2 purple
1 blue
1 orange
2 teaspoons (peanut butter)

 

I ate all of my foods (and then some) because:

  • I was home all day (working), so I was thisclose to my kitchen all day.
  • I did 2 workouts this morning.
  • I was bored.
  • I was tired.
  • I really, really wanted the other half of that container of granola.
  • I was riding an emotional rollercoaster.

 

Once all of my waffle-making and workouts were over, I hit a lull…

 

The first lull I’ve hit since Husband left.

 

I had nothing to do. Nothing to clean. Nothing to make. And I had to stop eating all the day’s food before I ran out of containers at 2PM!

 

I flipped through Netflix. I watched 2 minutes of about 6 different shows. I searched through all of Netflix’s recommendations. I watched the beginnings of some of those. I kept searching. I found Mad Men and clicked on it, because everyone loves it so it must be good.

But not even 30 seconds of Mad Men sucked my brain in.

So I paused Mad Men and stared at the wall. I could think of nothing to do. Netflix wasn’t entertaining me. Not even The Office, which I can re-watch again and again without growing tired of it.

 

My eyes drifted from the wall to the letter sitting on my kitchen table.

 

Husband’s letter.

 

The one he handed me when I hugged him goodbye at the airport.

 

I stared at the letter for a few seconds before hoisting myself off the futon and striding toward it.

You see, I hadn’t opened the letter yet.

I carried it with me in my coat pocket. To work. To the grocery store. To home again.

But I never opened it.

 

Because I was waiting.

For a day when I really, really needed it.

Or when I felt strong enough to read it. Whichever came first.

 

Day 12 was that day.

 

The envelope trembled in my hands as I opened it and retrieved the letter. I drank Husband’s words in. I marveled at his sloppy handwriting. I tried to envision him sitting at the counter writing to me while I was at work.

It was so incredibly sincere, his letter, so heartfelt, and just so Husbandly sweet. I want to cry sometimes when he tells me how he feels about me. Because it makes me feel too fortunate, too lucky to have him. Like I am just too blessed to bear.

And I teared up a bit when I finished reading the letter.

Then I taped it to my cupboard so I can always see his words. So he’s always here with me. All day long, he’ll be here, now. He’s right in our kitchen, right near me.

 

Then, I walked a few circles around my apartment. Wiped off a counter. Tucked some shoes away.

I grabbed my phone to tell the Facebook world how lonely I was feeling. Because I was feeling so deeply, darkly, starkly lonely. And I just needed the world to know. I just needed to give the loneliness away, to share some of it, to throw it out there so I didn’t have to keep it in here, with me, on my own.

 

It was as though my whirlwind of busyness throughout the week had drifted to a stop, and suddenly, I was surrounded by my absent Husband. It just rushed up from all around me, swarming my chest and swelling like a collar around my neck.

 

And I just started to cry. All by myself, in my apartment, I stood in the middle of my living room and cried into my palms.

For a few seconds, only, I just let the grief wash over me.

 

When I lowered my palms, the heaviness was still there, but it was more distant, like a cloak I’d pushed behind me into a cape.

 

So I decided to write Husband another letter.

 

It’s impossible to explain love, isn’t it? It just seems so slightly out of reach whenever you want to grasp at it with words so you can spill them into the ears of the person you so desperately want to tell.
Love eludes words. That’s why so many paintings, songs, drawings, dances, films, shows, quips, moments, seasons are symbolic of love. It has no one face. It has a million faces.
And we each see those million faces and recognize them as love. Because we don’t have an alternative to compare them to. A definite “yes, this is love” from which to judge whether roses draped in the crook of an arm at a grocery store is actually love.

 

Words to describe my love to Husband befell me, so I drew a picture of my love for him, instead. It was the very center of my heart, the very center of my spirit, exploding out all around. Intricate patterns snaking toward the edges of the paper, with bubbles and dancing figures leaping from the middle. Everything emanated from that red center of love.

 

And I told him that the picture is how I feel about him. The picture is how he makes me feel.

 

Like fantastically exploding star dust that races and leaps and trickles infinitely from my very core.

He makes me feel that way toward him and toward the world. Like an ever-bursting sunbeam.

 

And after I drew him the picture and tucked it away with the letters I have yet to send, the storm in my soul settled down. The winds softened and the rain slowed and everything felt like tranquil earth inside me soaking up the delicate tears of the sky.

And I felt much, much better.

 

 

And then I had a frozen pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, which tasted like velvety pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream, and my soul drank it up like a warm, cozy blanket.

 

Absolutely, without a doubt, freeze your pumpkin cookies.

Because they are life saving and soul-soothing in a way that refrigerated pumpkin cookies are not.

…though I’d let them soften a bit, as they do harden right up on the freezer. Or, just gnaw on it like me and embrace your animality.

 

There. Now you know what happened to my heart on the sunny afternoon of day 12.

 

Later on, I mixed up my salad and wolfed that down.

I mushed a few slices of banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter and ate that.

Then, I filled half a purple with green grapes and ate those. This batch of grapes is just top-notch.

Then, I ate my pistachios.

Then, I ate my second teaspoon of peanut butter.

Then, I ate the other half of my container of granola. Because I was just having a rough day. And I know it’s a cardinal WRONGDOING to self-soothe with food, but I hadn’t self-soothed with food in 11 days, and on Day 12, I just needed it. And I know that you’re allowed to eat an extra green if you work out for more than 30 minutes a day. It wasn’t a green, I know. But it’s not like I crashed and burned, okay? Okay?!

Okay, I’m sorry I cheated.

I knew I’d have to come clean about it. But it was worth it. My butt size shrinking a little more slowly than I’d like was WORTH THAT 1/4 C. OF GRANOLA.

 

Eventually, I stopped eating because I was out of food. And I was STUFFED. And it was only 6PM. But I knew I was going to be out of food at 6PM when I went for the granola.

*sigh* Rough day.

 

Tomorrow I’m going to post my Homemade Spinach and Red Pepper Hummus recipe, so stay tuned!

I’m also going to post my 21 Day Fix Motivation page, where I really want to hear your opinion and insight! I’ve listed some of the things I tell myself/do to stay motivated on my fitness journey, but I really want to hear from you on what keeps you going, too. Fitness is WAY EASIER to maintain when you have others to inspire/be inspired by. So, please, inspire me! I obviously need it.

 

Subscribe below so you don’t miss out on either post!

 

Until next time… ♥

see days 13-15! >>

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