<< see days 4-6!

21 Day Fix | Days 7-9

Days 7-9 were easier than days 4-6, food-wise. I feel like I am finally getting the hang of eating like a healthy person 24/7. Which makes me feel incredibly confident.

I felt so great that I finally weighed myself on day 8 and took body progress pictures on day 9.

But you won’t get to see the pictures until my 21 Day Fix is over. 🙂


Day 7

On day 7, I felt exhausted. Crappy sleep + HABIT OVERHAUL + Husband is leaving tomorrow = really, really difficult workouts.


Day 7 exercise = before coffee/food (wondering if I should drink coffee first from now on…), I did exactly 30 minutes of my Core Rhythms: Merengue Mania video. EXACTLY THIRTY MINUTES. I turned on the little video timer so I could see when I hit 30 minutes. When I did, I stopped the DVD and dropped to the floor.
This workout is normally VERY doable. The problem was me. My arms and quads were screaming NO! every 3 minutes. And not because they were SORE. Because they were TIRED. My whole body is. I had to pause this video multiple times to cool down. I even opened my slider and let the freezing Michigan air in. Exhaustion takes a serious toll on exercise stamina. But I did thirty minutes! 


I didn’t eat my usual egg for breakfast because I was busy blogging (surprise, surprise…).

In fact, I didn’t eat anything until 11:30AM.


I know I keep talking about it, but Husband is leaving tomorrow. I’m having a really hard time with it. I was fine at first, but as the days tick away, I’m slowly unraveling.


I had to remind Boss 2 that I’d be late to work on the 5th because I’m bringing Husband to the airport for boot camp.

I had to work up the nerve to talk to Boss 2. Because I am kind of a wobbly soul right now when it comes to Husband. And talking/thinking about him sends me tumbling down into a quivering rabbit hole. My emotions are coursing through me at huge, record speeds right now.

I walked into Boss 2’s office, and my whole spine just pricked with emotion. Fear, sadness, emotional bubbles were clamoring up my throat.


I said, “Hey, I just wanted to remind you that I’ll be in late tomorrow.”

Boss 2 said, “Oh, okay.”

I clenched my fists and said in a tight, high-pitched voice, “I’m taking Husband to the airport for boot camp, and I shouldn’t be in any later than 11AM.”

Boss 2 said, “Oh, all right. Thanks for letting me know.”


He specifically avoided my eyes the whole time I was in there. Because I was just OOZING about-to-cry-ness


I mean, my chin starting doing that weird shaky thing before I got my second sentence out. And my throat was squeezing up.

I was like one of those balloon animals you give to a child who promptly grabs the thing by its neck and squeezes until it explodes.


Thankfully, I fled before anything embarrassing happened to my eyeballs.

But I had to take a few deep breaths when I returned to my desk.

I’m usually not one of those overly gushy girls, either. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Well, those days are gone.


I fear I am falling apart.
Help me.


Anyway, tonight Husband and I are going to order Outback Steakhouse.

That is his FAVORITE.

And I did a little 21 Day Fix + Outback Steakhouse research to determine what I could order.


Lots of people on the Fix order steak. I wanted chicken.

I found “Coach Bob’s” post about 21 Day Fix cheat meals, and he says that, if you’re trying to lose weight, focus on ordering foods that have the fewest calories.

Hey, that’s me!


So, I surfed Outback Steakhouse’s online menu, and I came up with this menu item for dinner: Grilled Chicken on the Barbie.

This is how Outback describes this meal:

“Seasoned and wood-fire grilled chicken breast with our signature BBQ sauce and served with fresh seasonal mixed veggies.”


Because I am on the Fix, I am going to ask for no extra seasoning or sauce to be added to the chicken. I am also going to ask for no extra seasoning or sauce to be added to the vegetables (butter is usually added).


I’ll have to portion out my chicken and vegetables, of course, but I am VERY EXCITED to have Outback Steakhouse for dinner.

Heck, I might even have a little piece of their bread (as a yellow).


What I ate on Day 7:

  • (salad)
    • 1 container of kale + 1 container of chopped green pepper and cherry tomatoes = 2 green
    • 1 container of sunflower seed kernels = 1 orange
    • chunks of cubed chicken breast = 1/2 red
  • 6 almonds = 1/2 blue
  • Greek yogurt = 1 red
  • 1 container of Outback Steakhouse chicken breast (no seasoning, no BBQ sauce) = 1 red
  • 1 container of Outback Steakhouse mixed grilled veggies (no butter, no seasoning) = 1 green
  • 1/2″ slice of Outback Steakhouse bread (no butter) = 1 yellow
  • 1 apple = 1.5 purple
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter = 1 teaspoon


Day 7 totals:

2.5 red (of 4)
3 green
1 yellow (of 2)
1.5 purple (of 2)
1/2 blue (of 1)
1 orange
2 teaspoons oil (assuming Outback Steakhouse slipped some oil into my food, plus the peanut butter)


I didn’t eat all of my foods because I was WAITING for Outback Steakhouse and I wanted to be starving when I dove into it.
I wanted to cheat again with the peanut butter, but I wasn’t even hungry when I had the first spoonful, so I told myself NO.


Husband and I ordered Outback Curbside Takeaway so we could spend more time together at home on his last night here.


This is what my delicious meal looked like when I opened it:

My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #healthyoutbacksteakhouse


I immediately began dicing my chicken and vegetables and measuring them in their respective containers.

A little over half of the chicken breast = 1 red container.

Almost all of the veggies = 1 green container

I was surprised by how much of my meal fit into my 2 containers. I thought I’d have less than half of the chicken breast and maybe a quarter of the vegetables. Nope!


My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #healthyoutbacksteakhouse


I saved ALL my carbs for Outback Steakhouse. Though my slice was only 1/2″ thick, I figured the bread wasn’t 21 Day Fix-approved (so it was safer to have just that one carb for the day).


The 21 Day Fix recommends measuring and then dumping the foods onto a real plate so you can get used to seeing what sized portions you should be eating.


Here are my portions “dumped” onto an 8.5″ plate (I measured it):

My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #healthyoutbacksteakhouse


The vegetables were PERFECTLY steamed, and the carrots were nice and sweet (amazing how taste buds adjust to detecting sweetness when they’re not exposed to refined sugar all the time).

The chicken was cooked perfectly. The crispy grill marks had the most flavor (probably passed on through residual juices of other grilled meats).

My meal didn’t smell as amazing as Husband’s New York strip and gooey mac and cheese, but it was still incredibly delicious.

And the warm bread was SOOOOO good. Carbs nomnom.


I ate a full apple after dinner, which stuffed me to the brim, and the peanut butter teaspoon topped me off for the night.


Day 8

Goodbye To Husband Day. I got a workout in.


Day 8 exercise = AFTER COFFEE (which, I’ve decided, is key to having workout energy), I did exactly 30 minutes of my 47-minute Firm video: Total Body Time Crunch. This is one of my toughest workout videos for two reasons: the cardio is intense, and I use 10-lb. dumbbells during the weight-lifting segments. I stopped at 30 minutes because Husband woke up which meant it was time to get ready to leave. (The workout was VERY challenging, as always, and I was tomato-faced and gasping for air at the end. But I had energy to leap and lift, so workout = success.)


So. Husband.

Today, on day 8, I saw him off to boot camp and OCS.
He’ll be gone for six months.


I took a picture of him sitting on the couch this morning so I could remember what he looks like in the apartment. Then I started to cry.

I cried when I hugged him goodbye at the airport, too.

I surprised him by handing him some letters I had written him over the past week, and he surprised me back by handing me one, too.

I haven’t read it yet, because I’m at work and I don’t want to turn into a mushy mess in front of my coworkers.


He’s going to call me when he lands in Georgia.

I just LOVE him. It breaks my heart to watch him go. But it fills my heart, too, feeling this sadness. I have so much love for him. He is a permanent part of me. And I cherish my life with him.

All of my love for him is present on day 8, which makes my sadness a little more bearable.
I really just want to climb into a dark closet and stay there for the rest of the day, though.


What will life be like without him? I don’t want to think about it.

So, instead of thinking about it, I will spend the evening cleaning my apartment and making Anja’s Chia Crispbreads.


I’ve made her crispbreads before, and they are PHENOMENAL. I think I might make some hummus to go along with them. If I have time/energy. I am kind of worn out from this morning.

I’ve talked about my simple hummus recipe before. Hummus is so easy to make! I just stumbled upon PureWow’s 5 Easy Hummus Recipes, though, and I’m thinking about buying some tahini.

I also want to make Amy’s Homemade Wheat Thins sometime soon. I’ve been wanting to make those for a LONG time.


You’re allowed to eat crackers on the 21 day fix, but I just haven’t had time to buy them/make them.


8 small wholegrain crackers = 1 yellow container.


OH I JUST stumbled across this 21 Day Fix Approved Foods List (in a PDF form), so for anyone that doesn’t have the guidebook, you can find everything you’re allowed to eat per container in that link!


P.S. Guess what?


I weighed myself this morning.




Guess how much I thought I lost?


5 lbs.


I asked Husband how much he thought I lost. But I confused him by telling him that “the number is less than I thought.”
Forgive me. It was early.


So he also guessed 5 lbs. When he wanted to guess MORE than 5 lbs. But I confused him with my crappy wording. What I should have said is, “the number on the scale is LOWER than I thought it would be.”


Because it WAS.



Guess how much weight I’ve lost over the past eight days?



12 lbs!




12 lbs!!


I said, “Now, I’m only 6 lbs. from my goal weight!”


But, actually, I realized that the “goal weight” I set at the beginning of my Fix wasn’t right.

I want to weigh what I weighed at my FITTEST. Not the weight I maintained for a year or so after I was at my fittest.

I want to be back to my thinnest. Which I did maintain for a few years!


Anyway, what I am trying to say is that, as of day 8, I am TEN POUNDS AWAY FROM MY GOAL WEIGHT.




You want to know what is pretty great about today?

I’m wearing a pair of jeans that are usually cutting into my hips and TIGHT all over.


They’re like parachute pants. Baggy and saggy in the thighs. The waist and butt areas of the jeans are now comfortable, and the legs are baggy baggy baggy.


That, my friend, is SUCCESS.


And it makes me feel better about sticking with the 21 Day Fix.
And about saying goodbye to Husband.


What I ate on Day 8:

  • 1 egg cooked in a nonstick pan + pepper = 1/2 red
  • (salad)
    • 1 container of kale + spinach and halved cherry tomatoes = 2 green
    • chunks of cubed chicken breast = 1/2 red
  • Greek yogurt = 1 red
  • 1/2 of an orange = 1/2 purple
  • 1 container of precooked shrimp (covered in chili powder and pepper) = 1 red
  • 1 container asparagus, sautéed-in-lemon-juice and diced = 1 green
  • chia crispbread crackers (see how to make them here!) = 1 yellow
  • 1 container of homemade hummus = 1 blue
  • 1 container of green grapes (YUM) = 1 purple


Day 8 totals:

3 red (of 4)
3 green
1 yellow (of 2)
1.5 purple (of 2)
1 blue
0 orange (of 1)
1 teaspoon oil (from the hummus/chia crackers) (of 2)


I didn’t eat all of my foods because I was FULL, and I was quite busy yesterday. Staying busy is a wonderful way to maintain your 21 Day Fix stamina, remember?


I was able to text Husband ALL DAY on day 8. He was stuck at the Atlanta airport waiting for the National Guard liaison to pick him (and a bunch of other recruits) up and shuttle them all on a 1.5-2 hour bus ride to basic training.

It felt so good to be able to talk to him. It made the day tolerable and softened the blow of his leaving.

I also spent the evening shopping for food and distracting myself from the emptiness of my apartment by cooking up a STORM.

Recipe mania on Perks of Interest!


I made homemade hummus and Anja’s Chia Crispbreads!



I posted my step-by-step how-to for Homemade Chia Crackers yesterday. Check it out!



Both the hummus and the crackers turned out fantastically.


I know I say this every time, but THIS batch of hummus was by far my best batch, yet.


I am posting the recipe for my homemade hummus SOON, so make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it!


Before I got to cooking, I went to Aldi’s. And let me tell you how EXCITED I WAS BY WHAT I FOUND. I was so excited, I had to take pictures. Blame it on my new Instagram obsession.
P.S. make sure you’re following me (@perksofinterest) for 21 Day Fix picture updates!


Now, I’ve been going to Aldi’s for a long time. And never have they EVER had unsalted cashews.





I died and went to Aldi’s heaven. That store just keeps getting better for us healthy-living folk.


Here is lineup #1 of my 21 Day Fix-approved Aldi’s finds:

My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #aldis

Aldi’s has everything you need for the 21 Day Fix. I LOVE ALDI’S.


Applesauce is for Banana Pancakes or Chocolate Peanut Butter Black Bean Brownies.

Rolled oats is for Oatmeal Energy Clusters or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Maybe I’ll use my cashews to make Autumn’s Cashew and Oat Hotcakes.


Did you know? I have a 21 Day Fix Pinterest board where I pin every single delicious 21 Day Fix-approved recipe that I want to try! Make sure you check it out for some clever dessert ideas.


Here is lineup #2 of my 21 Day Fix-approved Aldi’s finds:

My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #aldis


I know what you’re thinking: how on earth will Brooke eat all that food?

By ONLY eating this food. That’s how.
(It is kind of a lot, though, isn’t it…)


For dinner, I rinsed and de-tailed some precooked shrimp, COVERED them in chili powder and pepper, and devoured them. I also sautéed some asparagus in lemon juice. Both were incredible.


My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #aldis

Shrimp, just waiting for chili powder.


I had a purple container of green grapes yesterday. Those grapes were BURSTING with sweetness. Seriously, I felt like I was actually eating DESSERT. 21 Day Fix WIN!


I wasn’t even hungry, but I really wanted to try my chia crackers with my homemade hummus, so I counted out 8 crackers (8 wholegrain crackers = 1 yellow) and 1 blue container of hummus.


That snack STUFFED me to the brim. And it was so, so good.

The crazy thing is that my belly was FULL FULL FULL, and I had eaten LESS than I was supposed to on day 8.

Because whole foods are filling.

Gosh, I love the 21 Day Fix. I’m beginning to understand why everyone is so obsessed with it.


Day 9


It’s me, Brooke.

Except I’m not me, because I’m writing to you from the GRAVE.

You see, I tried one of Autumn Calabrese’s 30-minute workouts this morning (she’s the founder of 21 Day Fix), and I died halfway through.


Day 9 exercise = post-coffee-and-breakfast, I decided I’d try one of the 21 Day Fix DVD workouts. The kit my mom gave me came with lots of videos, which I had been avoiding. Well, today I decided to try the Total Body Cardio Fix. Because it was the first one in the case. So why not? I said.
How naive of me. That video KICKED MY ASS. Swear = necessary! I mean, holy crap! I had to pause it during the 20-second breaks at LEAST three times to catch my breath. However, the only moves I had to slightly modify were those godawful ski jump things with the lunch switches and weights, so I was happy about that. And I was proud of myself for getting through it! MAN, that Autumn is relentless.


A little note on my workouts: I’ve been setting my alarm for 5:15AM every day. BEST DECISION I’VE EVER MADE. This gives me plenty of time to WAKE UP and drink my coffee before I start leaping around my living room.

Plus, I go on call for work, soon, and I’m going to have to wake up at 5AM for that every day, anyway, so this is actually a perfect transition!

I’ve talked about how to become a morning person before, and waking up early is BY FAR the best way to make that happen.



At first, I wasn’t even going to work out on day 9 because my inner thighs and glutes were killing me from day 8’s workout , but I was feeling really good after my half-grapefruit and coffee this morning. So I went for it.

And now, hours later, I actually feel phenomenal!

Thanks, Autumn! You beautiful devil woman.


I went shopping on day 8, which means day 9 foods were VERY EXCITING!

The 21 Day Fix lifestyle is getting brighter and brighter as the days pass.


Also, I took body progress pictures this morning! Yup! That means I AM going to share with you my BEFORE pictures. I wasn’t so eager to do this at first, but I am seeing such phenomenal RESULTS that I simply cannot keep them to myself.


I packed blackberries and raspberries in my lunch on day 9. Those are like CANDY. I planned to drop them into my Greek yogurt.


As I was packing my blue container full of 20 pistachios (which equal 1 blue), I realized that I wouldn’t be able to have hummus on day 9. That was unacceptable because my hummus is bomb.
So, what did I do? I took 10 pistachios out of the blue container so I could have 1/2 a blue container of hummus tonight!


Who would have thought that healthy food substituting could be so much fun?


On day 8, I hard-boiled some eggs (because I was sick of eating nonstick-pan-eggs for breakfast).
I tossed one into my lunch.

I had the cutest, most joyful lunch on day 9.


What I ate on Day 9:

  • 1/2 of a grapefruit (for breakfast) = 1 purple
  • (salad)
    • 1 container of kale + 1 container of green pepper, mushrooms, and 1 diced cherry tomato = 2 green
  • 1 hard-boiled egg = 1/2 red
  • Greek yogurt = 1 red
  • 1 container of raspberries and blackberries = 1 purple
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla = 1 yellow
  • 1 container of chopped kale + diced cherry tomatoes + a drizzle of homemade enchilada sauce (see my enchilada sauce recipe in my Days 1-3 post) = 1 green
  • 1 container of taco meat (made with my homemade taco seasoning recipe) = 1 red


Day 9 totals:

2.5 red (of 4)
3 green
1 yellow (of 2)
2 purple
0 blue (of 1)
0 orange (of 1)
1 teaspoon oil (accounting for any fat I couldn’t drain out of ground beef) (of 2)


I didn’t eat all of my food because I waited way too long to eat my lunch (see below), which meant I wasn’t starving at dinner. Also, nachos are FILLING!


So, here’s how the new-foods-because-I-went-shopping day tasted.


Breakfast’s grapefruit was delicious. I seriously recommend eating grapefruit first thing in the morning. My taste buds know zero refined sugar, now, which means fruits taste like DELICACIES.

I actually didn’t eat any of my lunch until 1:30PM. Because I was so busy BLOGGING.


AHHHH I LOVE BLOGGING. So much. It’s impossible to put into words how much LOVE I have for this blog and for you.


My lettuce/mushroom/green pepper/cherry tomato salad was okay. Chicken usually flavors my salads up. No chicken today.


I ate my egg at 3:15PM, which was so good. Gobbled it up!


I held off on my Greek yogurt, because I knew it was going to be DELICIOUS with all those blackberries and raspberries.


Fruit in Greek yogurt turns Greek yogurt into a straight up dessert.


I didn’t eat my pistachios because I was full from my Greek yogurt and I wanted to save them for later.


I’m noticing that I tend to save my more “delicious” foods for nighttime. This is a tactic I’ve subconsciously (well, now I’m conscious of it) developed. I struggle the MOST with my eating habits at nighttime. So, if I save the good stuff (i.e. pistachios) for nighttime, I have more things I can stuff in my mouth to satisfy any cravings.


When I got home, I realized that I didn’t want to eat the shrimp and Brussels sprouts I had planned on eating. Instead, I wanted nachos.


So, this is how I made 21 Day Fix-approved nachos.

I took one whole wheat tortilla and cut it into “chips.” I placed those chips in a pan over medium-low heat. I wanted to HARDEN them into chips. It worked!

My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #nachos

As they cool, they harden right up!


Then, I defrosted some precooked taco meat I had in the freezer. I make tacos using my AMAZING homemade taco seasoning. It’s SO GOOD. Seriously, try it.
And, it’s healthy, so my tacos are always guilt-free.

So, too, were my nachos!


I began to fill a red container with the meat, but it was starting to look like a LOT of meat (I don’t usually eat a lot of meat on my tacos). So I stopped a little short of “full container.”

I also diced up some kale and stuffed it into a green, leaving a little room at the top so I could add diced tomatoes and a little enchilada sauce to my nachos.


My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #nachos



My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #nachos

SO MUCH MEAT. You need your protein on the 21 Day Fix, though, so I went for it.


I could have added cheese, but I didn’t. 


Which seemed like a CARDINAL SIN to one of my Instagram followers. 😉

But, you see, I rarely add cheese to my tacos because I can never taste it! There are too many other flavors competing for my taste buds. And if I can’t taste the cheese, I’m sure as heck not swallowing the calories.


Anyway, I topped the meat with enchilada sauce, microwaved the chips/meat/sauce for thirty seconds, and then topped the nachos with my diced kale and tomatoes + a few solid sprinkles of crush red pepper flakes.


Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to share pictures HERE that I was already sharing on Instagram, but I’m breaking the rule just this once because my nachos were WAY TOO PRETTY to ONLY share on my Instagram


My 21 Day Fix | Days 7-9 - Perksofinterest.com #21dayfix #nachos


If you can believe it, they TASTED even better than they LOOKED.


Those glorious nachos were the best meal I’ve had YET on the Fix.

And they filled me right up! AND they’re 21 Day Fix approved!

My taste buds thought they were on a hiatus from the diet, but they certainly were not.

Silly taste buds.

I saved a few berries from lunch and popped those in my mouth after dinner. PERFECT DESSERT.


I admit, I was hankering for chocolate and peanut butter, but I was too lazy to make any healthy cookies.


But tomorrow, on day 10, I AM going to make healthy cookies. I am going to make 21 Day Fix Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipe calls for almond flour, which I don’t have, so I’m just going to grind up some blanched almonds in my blender and make my own!

I’ll take pictures of the cookies for you, of course.


P.S. I got my “last phone call” from Husband at 7:30PM last night. The call lasted 4 minutes. He’s at processing, which is where all the soldiers are “processed” for boot camp (they get haircuts, shots, uniforms, socks, etc.). He could stay at processing anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Husband said processing is zero fun, because there is a LOT of standing and minimal sleeping. I should get his address (for letter writing) in about a week or so, he said. I tried to clarify when, but he had to promptly hang up because a Drill Sergeant was shouting at them that time was up.


It was heart-fluttery to hear from him. And heart breaking when he said, “I don’t know when I’m going to be able to talk to you again,” at the end.

Sending the love of your life away for six months is a sobering and sad thing to do.

But he’s away from everyone he knows, so he’s having a much harder time than me.

Plus, he’s following his dreams, and that is one of the qualities I love MOST about him.

So I will blog (and eat) my heart out and wait for him to return.



See you in a few days. 🙂

see days 10-12! >>


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