Body Beast Meal Prep for the 2,200–2,399 Calorie Level

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If you’ve just completed Body Beast’s Bulk and Build phases and you followed the meal plan correctly, you should be seeing some pretty significant mass gains.

Now it’s time the get shredded with the Beast Phase of the program, where the goal is to reduce body-fat percentage while maintaining muscle mass.

This is achieved by drastically reducing the amount of carbs and increasing the percentage of your calories coming from protein sources.

 

Why Do I Have to Cut Carbs?

With this plan, you’re still allowed some carbs and fruit to maintain those gains you’ve earned from months of intense training.

However, the reduction of carbs and proper meal timing are necessary if you want to look shredded and really show off your results. This is because your body will not burn stored fat if there’s a constant supply of glucose in the blood to burn for energy, so you must make sure you eat at the right time for maximum results.

This phase of the diet plan may take a bit more discipline, since you’re consuming less calories and carbs, but discipline is part of creating healthy habits.

So, a quick tip for cutting is to time your carbs strategically: Avoid eating your carbs (yellow containers) before your workout.

Try to stick with protein (red), vegetables (green), and healthy fats (blue) for your pre-workout meals and snacks. This ensures that there isn’t excess sugar in your blood so you maximize fat loss during your workout.

 

Tips to Save Time During Meal Prep

  1. Write out your plan for the week before you go to the store to save you time and money. (The grocery list for this meal prep is below.)
  2. Cook everything in bulk. (I try to bake as many things as possible at the same time.)
  3. Make sure you have enough containers and refrigerator space to accommodate such a big prep. You can’t go wrong with reusable, BPA-free meal prep containers and mason jars as storage containers.

You’ll need to fill the following portion-control containers every day during this phase of the Body Beast diet, but adjust the numbers to fit your caloric needs.

(Not sure what level you should be at? Take a look at your printed copy of the Book of Beast or in the Body Beast program materials on Beachbody On Demand.)

  • 4 Green containers (vegetables)
  • 3 Purple containers (fruit)
  • 9 Red containers (protein)
  • 3 Yellow containers (carbs)
  • 1 Blue container (healthy fats)
  • 1 Orange container (seeds/dressings)
  • 2 tsp. (teaspoons of oil)

 

Beast (Cutting) Phase Meal Plan Example Day

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Breakfast (½ Green, 1 Purple, 2 Red, 1 Blue, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 4 slices turkey bacon
  • 8 egg whites
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 cup grapefruit
  • 12 almonds
  • ½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Snack 1 (1 Purple, 1 Yellow , ½ Orange):

  • ½ cup cooked steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
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Lunch (1½ Green, 1½ Red, 1 Yellow, ½ Orange, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 6 oz. cubed chicken
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp salad dressing

Snack 2 (1 Purple, 1 Red):

  • 1 serving Shakeology
  • 1 cup strawberries

Snack 3 (1 Red, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 2 whole hard- or medium-boiled eggs

Dinner (1 Green, 1½ Red, 1 Yellow, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 6 oz. beef or bison steak
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup zucchini or broccoli
  • ½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
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Snack 4 (1 Red):

  • Protein shake

Snack 5 (1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Free Food):

  • ¾ Greek Yogurt, plain unsweetened 2%
  • 1 cup red bell pepper
  • Cinnamon

 

Quick Tips for Preparing Food

Chicken Breast

Season the chicken breast, place in a pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees Farenheit.

Bison or Beef Steak

Broil: Place in a pan under the broiler for 7 to 9 minutes on each side.

Grill: Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes, then turn steak over and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare, or 5 to 7 minutes for medium.

Vegetables

When sautéing, cook on low to medium heat so as to not cook nutrients out of vegetables. For maximum nutrients, steam your veggies.

 

Beast Phase Grocery List

  • 20 slices turkey bacon
  • 23 oz. steak (bison or beef)
  • 23 oz. chicken breast
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 40 egg whites
  • 5 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 5 cups grapefruit
  • 5 large tomatoes
  • 5 cups blackberries
  • Spinach, enough to make 5 cups of lightly sautéed spinach
  • 3 cups zucchini
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 5 large red bell peppers
  • 1 pack steel-cut oatmeal
  • 2.5 cups black beans
  • 1 bag chia seeds
  • 36 almonds
  • 16 cashews
  • 1 pack quinoa
  • 1 bottle olive oil

Matcha Latte Shakeology

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You’ve probably seen the matcha lattes (also called green tea lattes since matcha is made from the powdered leaves of green tea) at coffee houses, and that’s cool because matcha definitely has benefits, but unfortunately most use sugary syrups and flavorings, or add sugar to their matcha powder. Instead of a sugar-laced latte, we recommend trying this version made with Shakeology.

Our version of a matcha latte starts with Vanilla Shakeology (which now includes matcha!), and then we add additional matcha powder for flavor and color. You’ll find a little matcha goes a long way! So consider using your leftover matcha powder for making other cold/hot beverages like this Matcha Pink Drink or even baking with it as with this Green Tea Ice Cream.

When heating up matcha, be aware that it can get bitter quite easily. So when making tea or other hot beverages, try to avoid using scalding hot water, which can cause the powder to taste bitter.

Matcha Latte Shakeology

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup ice
1 scoop Vanilla Vegan Shakeology
1 tsp. unsweetened matcha powder

Preparation:
1. Place almond milk, ice, Shakeology, and matcha powder in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Tip: Make sure the matcha powder you use is unsweetened and does not contain other additives.

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Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 221
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 476 mg
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 17 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Protein
1 Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1½ Carb
1 Protein

Body Beast Portions
½ Starch
1 Protein Liquid
1 Balanced Liquid

Fix Portions
1 Red
1 tsp

Beachbody Results: Ann Lost 109 Pounds and Won $2,000!

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Ann Christison, age 41, lost 109 lbs with a variety of Beachbody fitness programsand Shakeology. She entered her results into The Beachbody Challenge® and won $2,000!

Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?
Prior to beginning Beachbody programs, I was very insecure about my body and not confident in most of my interactions and personal relationships as a result of that. I also worried too much about what other’s thought of my words or actions which lead to me often feeling depressed (most of this was probably just in my head… but that is how I felt a lot of the time). Before using Beachbody products and programs I was also frequently tired throughout the day and then just plain exhausted after a full day of work and family activities after. I was not an active person at all. I did not enjoy any type of activity that required any kind of physical exertion and usually avoided it. I found myself choosing to be inactive which was resulting in me missing out on experiences with my children.

What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
Initially, my family (my husband and children) inspired me because I wanted to be a more present and active participant in my kids lives. In the approximate few years leading up to me beginning the program there were some health problems that I observed in my family. My Grandmother had passed away (being bed ridden due to obesity the last 3 years of her life), my mother was recovering from breast cancer, and then my mother ultimately decided to have weight loss surgery. These things really motivated me to take the step to change my lifestyle. I decided I was not going to be in the same boat in 20-40 years if I could help it. As I began and saw my successes, I saw that I could achieve more and really change my life which kept me going and pushing to the next level.

What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody® help you overcome that challenge?
Food! My greatest challenge by far was food. I had been obese most of my life (since about 20), so no I had never really attempted an approach to nutrition of clean eating and whole foods. When I learned about this and observed others who had already made that lifestyle change seeing significant results I thought maybe if I can do this I really can make some major changes to my body, but I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to stick with that nutrition plan as I had been making unhealthy eating choices for most of my life. It was tough in the beginning, but I was committed and determined to be successful. Autumn’s simple and easy to use method of containers and portion control with the 21 Day Fix program was exactly what I needed to learn to eat healthy when I really never had before. I learned that the longer I stayed the course and the more opportunities that arose which I just said, “no” to bad choices the easier it became to actually change my lifestyle with respect to food.

What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
This challenge submission reflects my FOCUS T25 results. I particularly liked FOCUS T25 for leaning me out and working on building endurance and working on strength and agility in a way I had not yet accomplished with previous programs. This was my third program and I liked all of the previous ones for different reasons; 21 Day Fix for the variety in different types of workouts, but still working all body parts and a great gateway program for someone who is starting their fitness journey as many of the moves throughout the workouts are condusive to working up to the full minute, proper form, or higher amount of weights and because there is such a variety you can stick with it for many rounds as many people may need to when starting out (I did 9 rounds before using others). I enjoyed 21 Day Fix EXTREME for a step up and intense challenge with cardio strength training.

Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?
I have completely transformed my body. I not only look extremely different, but feel extremely different. I am so much more fit and choose to live an active lifestyle now. I see food as fuel for my body now and eat with a purpose and plan everyday. I am most proud of how I have changed my priorities not just with food, but with putting myself first when I need to (which is something we often lose sight of as mothers) like my workout time which is uninterrupted “me time” set aside every day. Learning that I deserve to put myself first sometimes and take the time to take care of myself has been a great lesson for me in this process!

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How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
I am much more active now. I choose to spend family time in the out of doors on hikes or kayaking instead of sit at home and watch a movie. My life has also really changed in how I see my body as well as how I view my relationships with others. I feel that I am much more positive in how I see life and interact with others not letting the little things or stuff that really doesn’t need to take priority get to me. I have been able to stop and just enjoy the moment with my family/children more instead of always staying busy with whatever project I was currently working on at work or in my home life. Most importantly I have learned to put myself first sometimes.

How did participating in a Challenge Group help you reach your goals? How did your group support you and keep you accountable?
Challenge Groups have been an awesome form of support and motivation for me. I have participated in 4 different Biggest Slim Down Challenges and three Diet Bets. I think I am addicted to the support these groups bring! Seeing other’s successes as well as having a place where I can post about my own journey and fitness/nutrition related activity helps to keep me accountable and focused on my goals. I always see a bigger change in my body weather it be weight or shape when I am in a challenge group because I am so much more motivated to stay on point 100% of the time with my nutrition. I also love the ideas I get from groups regarding food tips and recipes or new workouts to try.

How did your Team Beachbody® Coach support you on your journey?
I have multiple coaches Chelsea Humphries, Darcy Peterson Zlockzewski, and Kali Slusser all on the same team which have contributed to my success. Our team has provided me an incredible amount of support along my journey. They have all been there encouraging me every step of the way, answering questions I had or helping me with BB related things such as what program and why I might want to try that one next, giving me tips with grocery shopping and meal prep in the beginning, letting me know about upcoming challenges and encouraging me to participate, as well as helping to support me in adding customers of my own. Additionally, our team has a private Facebook page which provides a frequent source of motivation for me to stay focused on my goals. Looking at the page along with my Challenge Group pages will often help me in moments of weakness to just say no to a bad food choice or hit buy on a new workout program I have been intimidated by.

How did a Beachbody Supplement or Nutritional Product or Program (such as Shakeology® or Beachbody Ultimate Reset®) support your transformation? What are the greatest benefits you gained? Did you see benefits to your energy, sleep, mood/mental clarity, digestion/regularity?
I have drank Shakeology since day one of this journey 22 months ago. I absolutely love it! It has helped me greatly in different ways. In the beginning Shakeology probably helped me most because I was able to blend 2-3 servings of fruit and veggies in it which helped me hit my intake for the day (now the amount of those different foods my body needs are much less, so I only put 1 serving of fruit in now). Along the way there have been times on those couple days between shipments when I craved Shakeology so badly as it helps curb cravings throughout the day. Now I feel that Shakeology helps me most because it is a source of such dense nutrition. I find again on those days between shipments I am much hungrier (not for bad choices, because it is much easier for me to say no now- but for food period because I didn’t have that dense nutrition to start my day). I have much more energy now and feel like I can be more focused throughout my day at work and with my family.2

Tell us about your experience with Beachbody On Demand. If applicable, how has it helped you achieve your goals?
I recently started using BOD with the release of all access. I absolutely love it! It is so awesome having all of the programs available at my fingertips to choose from and a much bigger variety of workout programs and nutrition guides available for completing full programs as I usually do. I will be moving into Body Beast soon and this is one program that I do not own and probably would not have bought as I have been very intimidated by the nutrition component, and I believe this is going to give me the sculpted body I am still looking for. The Fixate cooking show is also inspiring me with meal prep and cooking healthy for my whole family instead of just me.

Peppermint Patty Shakeology

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Refreshing peppermint, creamy vanilla, and craveable chocolate come together in this smoothie version of a Peppermint Patty. The classic candy is a favorite of mint-lovers, but is loaded with sugar, corn syrup, and artificial flavor. This Peppermint Patty smoothie? Even though it tastes like a dessert, it boasts 18 grams of protein to fuel your day.

This recipe uses two flavors of Shakeology, so it’s perfect for people have the Shakeology 7-Day Sampler Pack or Barista Combo Pack! It can also be made with either Chocolate or Vanilla Shakeology with delicious results.

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Peppermint Patty Shakeology

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup ice
½ scoop Chocolate Shakeology
½ scoop Vanilla Shakeology
½ tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 tsp. shaved dark chocolate
Fresh mint leaves (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place almond milk, ice, Shakeology, and extract in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.
2. Garnish with chocolate and mint leaves (if desired).

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Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 213
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Sodium: 360 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 18 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Protein
1 Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1 Protein
1½ Carb

Body Beast Portions
½ Starch
1 Protein Liquid
2 Balanced Liquid

Portion Fix Containers
1 Red
1 tsp.

Orange Creamsicle Shakeology

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Orange creamsicles. Who doesn't love them? This recipe is my one of my absolute favourites.

Here's a tip: If you buy orange juice, but don’t plan to drink it all at once (we hope not!), try freezing the unused portion in an ice cube tray. Once they’re frozen, transfer the orange juice cubes to a plastic bag and store them in your freezer. One well of an ice cube tray usually holds about one fluid ounce, so when you’re thirsty for an Orange Creamsicle Shakeology, just pop four orange juice ice cubes (that equals half a cup) into the blender, along with the ice.

Orange Creamsicle Shakeology

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 smoothie

Ingredients:
½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or low-fat milk)
½ cup 100% orange juice
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup ice

Preparation:
1. Place almond milk, orange juice, Shakeology, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

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Tips to Keep Your Leftovers from Spoiling

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Managing lots of leftovers can be a struggle. Trying to finish everything before it goes bad can sometimes seem like a gustatory juggling act that inevitably falls back down to earth when that succulent steak you grilled to perfection over the weekend transforms into a slimy smelly piece of meat a few days later. And when holiday season rolls around with its mounds and mounds of delicious home-cooked food piled on the table, keeping on top of leftovers before they become compost material can get annoying and frustrating. Following a few simple food safety rules can make your extra food last longer and keep your grocery bill down.

I style myself as a bit of a food safety expert since I work from home and normally make up a batch of protein on the weekend — slow cooker pork, roast chicken — and then keep it to mix into meals for the rest of the week along with some carbs — wild rice, sweet potatoes — and a few sides of veggies like steamed broccoli and chopped greens. But what’s essential to keeping on top of all of this food is, one, make sure you are eating it consistently, and then knowing how to store it, and when it’s time to throw it into the compost bin or trash.

Why Does Food Go Bad?

When food spoils, it’s usually because bacteria — like Staphylococcus, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter — starts feasting on it after it cools down to temperatures that can support bug life. If the food is not sealed and put away in either in the fridge or freezer, the bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels or create toxins that can cause illness when ingested.

Exposure to oxygen — which helps microorganisms grow, encourages enzymes in the food to react faster, and make fats, or lipids, in the food smell and taste funny, like oil going rancid — is another factor effecting food’s longevity. Water and light are also culprits in spoiling food — water by giving microorganisms like mold and bacteria the moisture they need to rapidly colonize the food, and light by degrading the structure of the food by breaking down nutrients and pigments.

Controlling temperature is the final key to keeping your foods from spoiling as a cold enough environment will stop or slow the growth of bacteria — food should be kept out of the so-called “Danger Zone” of 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F, which is the range bacteria thrive in. Never leave food out for more than two hours during most of the year as the temperature will quickly adjust to whatever it feels like in the room — cut that back to one hour in the summer when temps can get above 90 degrees F.

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What Can I Do to Keep Food From Spoiling so Quickly?

If you can control these three factors — air, water, light, and temperature — you will be able to maximize your leftovers life, saving you money and time spent cooking new dishes to replace your rotten and smelly food. Food waste in the U.S. is a huge problem, with the Environmental Protection Agency estimating that we threw away over 38 million tons of food in 2014, with only five percent going to a composting program. Food spoilage takes up 21 percent of municipal solid waste and about one third of that is fruit and veggies, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

First off, to protect the food — and your family — invest in some good quality re-sealable containers like the Glasslock products, which latch tight, are easy to reopen, have glass bottoms that won’t hold odors or stains, and is safe for the oven, freezer, or microwave. Beachbody’s Portion-Control Containers are another way to store your food while keeping tabs on your food portions. These high quality plastic containers are BPA and DEHP-free, dishwasher and microwave safe. Another tip is to write on the lid of the container with a dry erase marker to record the date and time you put the food into the fridge or freezer.

Next, make sure your refrigerator and freezer are operating at the right temperature — the fridge should be at or below 40 degrees F and 0 degrees F for the freezer. Buy a special thermometer designed for either appliance, put it inside and check frequently so you know for sure that your food is well out of the danger zone. And remember that just because your food is in a properly cold fridge, it won’t keep it from eventually spoiling, that’s the job of the freezer. Don’t pack your fridge tight — food needs the cold air to circulate around it to keep it cool — and make sure you clean it out regularly to prevent old, rotten food from spreading bacteria.

What is the Shelf Life of Foods?

When safely put away in the freezer or fridge at the right temps, foods will last longer, but there are varying ranges of time that affect every food’s ability to last. Here’s a handy chart pulled from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that can help give you a general idea of how long common foods will last.

What are Some Holiday Leftover Strategies?

The holidays can offer extra challenges for the frugal leftover lover as the sheer amount of food you bring home (or cook at your house) can overwhelm even the most dedicated fridge denizen. Here are some quick tips to keep you safe and satiated this holiday season.

• Try to eat up most of leftover food in your fridge the week before the big day so you have extra room to pack in all of those delicious dishes you couldn’t quite devour.

• If going to someone else’s house for your meal, bring along a cooler with cold packs so your food will survive the trip home without warming up enough to make it into the danger zone.

• Take out any stuffing from your turkey once the meal is finished. Refrigerate both the turkey meat and the stuffing separately, and make sure to put all food leftover in the fridge within 2 hours.

• Again, a good general rule is to keep food in the fridge for only 3 to 4 days, or put the bulk of it in the freezer so you can thaw it out and enjoy it later. Investing in a vacuum sealer can help dramatically extend the life of your holiday delicacies.

Peanut Butter Cookie Shakeology

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Can’t resist a plate of peanut butter cookies? Instead, sip this good-for-you Vanilla Shakeology blended with almond milk, Graham crackers, and lots of peanut butter. This Peanut Butter Cookie Shakeology puts all of the flavor of decadent, nutty cookies into your smoothie so you can indulge without guilt. Try cashew or almond butter for a milder flavor, or sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving. Make it a chocolate peanut butter cookie — yes, we went there — with Chocolate Shakeology.

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Peanut Butter Cookie Shakeology

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Smoothie Ingredients:

– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

– 1 cup ice– 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology

– 1 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter

– 1 pinch sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

– 1 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs (reserve a small amount for garnish)

Instructions:

1) Place almond milk, ice, Shakeology, peanut butter, salt, and graham cracker crumbs in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

2) Garnish with remaining graham cracker crumbs. 

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Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 287
Total Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 589 mg
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 21 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Fat
1 Protein
½ Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1 Carb
1 Protein
2 Fat

Body Beast Portions
2 Fat
1 Protein Liquid
2 Balanced Liquid

Portion Fix Containers
1 Red
4 tsp.

The Picky Eater’s Guide to Losing Weight

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Picky eaters, you know who you are: You’re that kid who had “Mommie Dearest”-level standoffs over everything from “this tastes gross/weird/wet” to “omg the green beans are TOUCHING my noodles!”

Now you’re an adult and you want to drop some pounds. But that means you need to dial in your diet and finally face the foods that make your palate pucker.

Or maybe not?

Whole, unprocessed foods like lean proteins, veggies and fruit, and whole grains help form the foundation of a balanced, healthy diet, but pickings can get slim if your taste buds don’t mesh with the foods that can help you lose weight.

Luckily, there are ways to get around your picky palate and expand your food horizons. But first, let’s take a quick look and see how it all started.

 

Picky Eaters May Be Born, Not Made

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Picky eating is most often associated with stubborn kids who won’t eat their veggies or try something new.

But a person’s food preferences may be genetically preset: In a 2007 study, the long-standing debate of “nurture versus nature” was applied to picky eating. For some foods, particularly produce and protein, children simply showed an innate like or dislike.

Kids are also born with palates that tend to be more sensitive to bitter and sweet flavorsthan adults, so what you may have hated as a child (boo, spinach!), you may love as an adult (hello, spinach and broccoli strata!).

Then again, some picky kids simply grow into picky adults. The journal Appetite reports that adult who are picky eaters have the same taste sensitivity that they had as picky kids: Picky-eating adults described sweet and bitter flavor profiles as more intense than non-picky eaters.

(Fun fact: You’re in good company, picky eaters. Carl Daikeler, Beachbody’s CEO and co-founder, does not like vegetables. Solution? His wife Isabelle and nutritionist Darin Olien created Shakeology so Carl would eat his greens.)

Bad memories can steer you away from certain foods, too: “Often times, picky eaters are remembering past likes or dislikes about certain foods that they haven’t even tasted in 10 years,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., founder of BZ Nutrition.

But that doesn’t mean you have to choke down those carrots or hold your nose while you shovel greens in your mouth. Here are 10 ways to work with what you’ve got.

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8 Tips to Help Picky Eaters Eat Healthier and Lose Weight

1. Translate your favorites into something else

“You’re already eating more foods than you think you are, so try to deconstruct your favorite meals and see what other foods you can be eating from that,” says Zeitlin.

“For example, if you always get your burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, then guess what, you like lettuce and tomatoes, [which] you can add into a salad, or you can grill those tomatoes as a side dish, or create a stir fry with tomatoes, onions, and a lean cut of meat.”

2. “Retrain” your taste buds

If you’ve said “pass” on certain foods for a long time, you might be in for a surprise. “Tastes change over time, so it is important to revisit foods every so often,” recommends Zeitlin.

If you find you’re still not a fan of specific flavors, even decades later, all hope is not lost. Try cutting out many sugary/salty/fatty processed foods for a few weeks and you may be able to retrain your taste buds to recognize the natural sweetness in foods like fruit, instead of the “hypersweet” version in processed foods.

3. Take baby steps

Instead of changing everything you eat all at once, start with small changes. Instead of a side of potato chips, try a veggie-filled pasta salad instead.

Or try a different way of cooking your food: Instead of frying, try baking or grilling. “Small changes can lead to big changes but feel less overwhelming at the time,” says Zeitlin.

Remember that just as baby steps take a longer time for a child to get from point A to point B, so does making small changes with your eating. However, if you stick with it, you can gain speed and make progress.

“One of my clients was eating fast food for every meal before we met,” says Stephanie Jensen, Certified Personal Chef of La Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Worried her client would never make the switch to a healthier plate, Jensen started simple, using ingredients the client was familiar with and branching out with new items slowly and occasionally.

She also paired new ingredients with old favorites to help make meals more palatable. “Five years later, I’m still cooking for [this client],” she says.

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4. Rethink your go-to meals

If Taco Tuesdays are your jam, keep the Mexican theme dinner, but give the ingredients a facelift by using lettuce wraps in place of taco shells and swapping plain Greek yogurt for sour cream.

“A picky eater could be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals they are not getting by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein,” says Zeitlin. “Looking for ways to sneak more vegetables into your meal is a great way to get more vitamins and minerals and expand your taste palate at the same time.”

A few swaps to try:

  • Lighten up classic mac and cheese by pureeing butternut squash or carrots to mix into the cheese sauce.
  • Trade carb-heavy white rice for cauliflower rice instead. Chop the florets very finely until it resembles rice or use a food processor. “You can then use the cauliflower just like rice — stir fry in some sesame oil and add cooked protein and veggies, or heat in a skillet and add a healthy jarred marinara sauce and some dried herbs and spices,” Jensen says. “Cauliflower rice can also be cooked quickly in a sauté pan with olive oil and fresh garlic. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs and you have a quick and healthy side dish in minutes.”
  • Instead of regular potatoes, Jensen recommends sweet potato or zucchini “fries.” “Cut vegetables into sticks, toss with olive oil and paprika, and roast on a baking pan over parchment paper at 425 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes or until crispy.”
  • Instead of prepackaged spice blends, salad dressings, or marinades, make your own at home. They’re easy to throw together, healthier, and less expensive than store-bought varieties.
  • Mix fresh fruit with plain yogurt and a touch of honey for a less-sugary version of the pre-flavored yogurt cups.
  • Swap in “zoodles” in your next pasta dish, or shred spaghetti squash. But if veggie noodles are a step too far, try simply swapping out half of your regular white pasta for a bean pasta or a whole-grain quinoa or wheat pasta.

5. Order something different when eating out

Cooking with new ingredients can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure how something is supposed to taste. Leave your first bite to the professionals when ordering meals incorporating new-to-you ingredients such as quinoa, Brussels sprouts, or eggplant.

“It might take some trial and error, but in the end you may find a whole new list of ingredients that you can put into your meal rotation,” says Jensen.

6. Get cooking

The good news is you don’t have to be a master chef to master new flavors. “There is no rule that says everything must be cooked,” says Jensen, who suggests trying new produce ingredients in their raw states first. “Raw fruits and veggies come in all shapes and sizes and can make a quick snack or accompaniment to any meal.”

When you are ready to turn up (or on) the heat, “get creative with spices (not salt!),” suggests Zeitlin. “Adding spices to your vegetables, salad dressings, fish, meat, or chicken can switch up the flavor profile while still keeping things lean and healthy.”

“Many times eating a vegetable cooked versus raw changes the taste profile,” says Zeitlin. “So if you don’t like raw broccoli, you may love roasted broccoli. Don’t discount the food until you have tried it a few ways!”

 

7. Get inspired by social media

If it’s true that people eat with their eyes first, then a scroll through Pinterest or foodie Instagram accounts can make you very hungry, and possibly more adventurous:

  • @autumncalabrese: Creator of 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese shares yummy meal pics as well as bonus exercises and motivation to keep you moving toward your goals.
  • @bobbycalabrese11: Chef brother to Autumn and co-host of FIXATE, Bobby Calabrese’s Insta feed is a feast for the eyes.

8. Find a foodie friend

Not sure what kind of new foods you might like? Ask a foodie friend to be your guide. “The buddy system works in the gym as well as the kitchen,” says Zeitlin.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full meal, order shared plates or family-style meals. Or steal a bite from your pal’s plate for a tiny taste test.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t get discouraged and don’t stop trying new ways to enjoy healthy food.

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Chocolate Mint Shakeology

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If you love that middle of the night mocha-from the place that shall not be named-then you’ll totally dig our version with about half the calories and more than three times the protein.

So the next time you crave something sweet, just saunter over to that pantry and reach for a little Cafe Latte Shakeology, some unsweetened cocoa powder, and a little pure mint extract (you can find this in the baking aisle of your grocery store). Our Mint Chocolate Smoothie uses the aforementioned ingredients and a little unsweetened almond milk, but you could use milk or any dairy-free milk substitute. This will, of course, change the nutrition info a bit.

So, go on, treat yourself to some minty mocha goodness!

 

Chocolate Mint Shakeology

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 shake

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup ice
1 scoop Café Latte Shakeology
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp pure mint extract

Preparation:
1. Place almond milk, ice, Shakeology, cocoa powder, and extract in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

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Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 236
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 371 mg
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 19 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1½ Protein
1 Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1 Protein
1½ Carb

Body Beast Portions
½ Starch
1 Protein Liquid
2 Balanced Liquids

Portion Fix Containers
1 Red
1 tsp.

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Cooking for One? Try These 7 Money and Time-Saving Tips

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Let’s be frank: Cooking for one can be challenging.

And it’s not just single folks who face this issue. If you’re trying to eat healthy and the family wants to stick with their old standbys, you’ve probably tried to figure out how to eat healthy, feed your family, and stay on budget.

Here are some tips and tricks that will make going it alone on your healthy journey a bit easier.

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7 Tips for Grocery Shopping When Cooking for One

Hit the store twice a week
Kudos to you for doing Sunday meal prep. But if your life is such that once the week gets started, plans change, things come up after work, and most of those meals go to waste, considering going to the grocery twice or three times a week instead of doing one big trip.

By hitting up the market more often, you can more readily consider what you have left on hand that still needs to be used like that leftover takeout chicken and the asparagus that you bought on the last trip.

Save on salads
Instead of buying greens and salad toppings individually, it is often cheaper to purchase small portions of pre-made salads at the salad bar, points out Lisa Lee Freeman, savings expert for the coupon app Flipp. Be smart about it though: Since you pay by the pound at the salad bar, skip heavy-but-cheap toppings, like cucumbers. Buy those separately and add when you prep.

Buy dry goods in bulk
“The secret to shopping smart is know how long things last, and figuring out what you can and cannot buy in bulk,” says Freeman. You can freeze extra portions of chicken or turkey and store nonperishable food—like dry beans or grain—in your pantry.

Opt frozen over fresh…
Good news: Frozen fruits and vegetables are close to just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, according to a study in American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. They’re a great choice if you’re cooking for one since they don’t spoil as quickly as fresh produce and who doesn’t love frozen berries in their smoothie?

 And freeze everything
Use your freezer for everything that may spoil, from bread and meat to leftovers. Doing so will make sure you always make sure to have a few single-serve frozen meals on hand for when you need a meal in a pinch. Chilis and soups are some meals that freeze well, but so are healthy chicken enchiladas and egg cups!

Reach for canned fish
While canned fruits and veggies aren’t as nutritious (put down that can of peaches in syrup), canned fish is OK. “Buying fresh fish is always ideal, but canned light tuna and canned wild salmon are great options when buying fresh isn’t possible,” says Chelsea Fuchs, New York-based R.D. Canned tuna and salmon are great sandwich and salad toppings. “Look for light canned tuna packed in water… and when it comes to salmon, look for the wild variety because it is a terrific source of omega-3 fats and vitamin D.”

Look at your bigger picture shopping list
“Most foods go on sale in cycles of about three to four months, as well as during seasonal changes and holidays,” says Freeman. “Instead of buying the same stuff on your shopping list week after week, figure out what you can buy every few months and store. Then go for it when it’s on sale.”

Nutritional Benefits of Pineapple

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Is there any fruit that’s more “summer” than than pineapple? Ok, ok, strawberries do give them pretty good competition. But, no matter what your favorite summer fruit is, it’s hard to to deny that whether you’re eating pineapples straight, grilling them up, or throwing them into a salad (or a smoothie!), the golden, tropical fruits scream summer. They’re good for you, too. Raw pineapple chunks provide manganese, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and copper.

Pineapples are delicious, sweet, pinecone-shaped plants grown most often in tropical countries like Thailand, Brazil, the Philippines, and Mexico. In the U.S., they only grown in one state: Hawaii. And, despite their name, pineapples are not related to apples at all. They actually look more like agave or yucca.

When are pineapples in season?

You’ll find pineapples year-round in most grocery stores, but their peak season runs from late spring to early fall. Unless you live in Hawaii or one of the countries mentioned above, it’s unlikely that you’ll find any at your local farmers market.

How do I choose a good pineapple?

A pineapple’s crown — the green leaves — should be bright green in color and the pineapple should be heavy for its size. A fully ripened pineapple offers a sweet fragrance and will be fairly firm to the touch. Avoid pineapples with bruises, soft spots, and dry leaves.

How do I store pineapples?

Pineapples can be kept at room temperature for up to five days, but they should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from heat. Store cut pineapple in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator, and it should stay fresh for about a week.

How do you cut a pineapple?

You could buy pre-cut pineapple in cans or fresh at the store, but cutting your own pineapple isn’t hard. In fact, we bet you could do have the whole pineapple prepped in less than 2 minutes.

Getting past the spiky exterior is the first step, and that can be tricky. First, chop off the crown and the base of the pineapple. Then, go around the edges and slice off the exterior. Cut the pineapple into quarters and then slice down the middle of each quartered section to remove the core. From there, slice the pineapple lengthwise and then turn and slice into chunks. If you’re doing the 21 Day Fix or any other program that uses the Portion Control Containers, pineapple can be found on purple Potion Fix Container list.

 

What are some healthy pineapple recipes?

While Pineapple is a seriously sweet snack that’s easy to enjoy on its own, you can also add it to a homemade salsa for a sweeter flavor, or use it as a topping for fish, poultry, or lean cuts of beef. Here are some recipes to try:

  • Healthy Sweet and Sour Pork
  • Pineapple Shakeology
  • Crunchy Spicy Shredded Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
  • Vanilla Shakeology Macadamia Nut Pineapple Balls

Pineapple Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 cup, chunks or 1 purple Portion Control Container

Calories: 83
Total Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 22 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 16 g
Protein: 1 g
Vitamin C: 131% DV
Manganese: 76% DV
Folate: 7% DV
Magnesium: 5% DV
Copper: 9% DV

Pineapple Mango Shakeology Smoothie

Pineapple Mango Shakeology Smoothie

There’s no better time to blend up a pineapple mango smoothie, than when those fruits are in peak season (i.e. now). They pop up in abundance at local markets this time of year, but it can be tricky work figuring out if you’re picking one that’s ripe and juicy.

Make This No-Cook 21 Day Fix Meal Prep in About an Hour!

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When it gets warm, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven! That’s where this no-cook 21 Day Fix meal prep comes in. While it’s designed specifically for anyone doing the 21 Day Fix and eating between 1200 and 1500 calories, it’s great for anyone looking for a healthy meal prep. If you need more calories, increase the portions or add a snack like one of these.

So, go ahead, give your oven the week off! Keep reading for your 21 Day Fix Meal Prep step-by-step instructions and grocery list.

 

Your Healthy 21 Day Fix Meal Prep for the Next Five Days

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BREAKFASTS

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tropical Overnight Oats: ½ cup raw oats, 2 tsp. chia seeds, 1 cup kefir (or Greek yogurt), ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1 medium kiwi, ½ cup strawberries (1 purple, 1 red, 2 yellow, ½ orange)

Tuesday, Thursday
2 Hard-Boiled eggs, 1 Cup Watermelon (1 red, 1 purple)

SNACKS

Shakeology Smoothie: 1 packet Shakeology, water, and ice (1 red)

Apple with 1 tsp. Peanut Butter (1 purple, 1 tsp.)

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LUNCHES

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Cobb Salad with Deli Turkey and Hard-Boiled Eggs: 3 slices deli turkey, 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 Tbsp. green onions, 2 Tbsp. diced tomatoes, 1¼ cups romaine lettuce, 2 Tbsp. Healthier Ranch Dressing (1½ green, 1 red, ½ orange)

Tuesday, Thursday
Tuna Antipasto Salad: ½ cup chickpeas, ¾ cup tuna, ¼ cup red bell pepper, ½ lemon (juiced), ¼ cup chopped parsley, 1 tsp. olive oil, 2 cups spring lettuce mix (2½ green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 tsp.)

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DINNERS

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Chicken Burrito Bowls: ¾ cup shredded rotisserie chicken, ½ cup cauliflower rice, ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce, ¼ cup chopped tomato, ¼ cup chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 Tbsp. sliced jalapeño, ¼ medium avocado, 1 tsp. olive oil (1½ green, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 tsp.)

Tuesday, Thursday
Avocado Shrimp Rolls: ¾ cup pre-cooked shrimp, ¼ medium avocado, 1 tsp. mustard, freshly ground pepper, ½ lemon (juiced), pinch of paprika, 2 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut, ½ cup romaine lettuce, 1 small whole wheat bun (½ green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 blue)

 

How to Make This Easy 21 Day Fix Meal Prep

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  1. Prep the vegetables and herbs. Rinse romaine lettuce, allow to air dry, and chop 6¼ cups. Rinse spring lettuce mix and allow to air dry. Remove the skin from one red onion and dice into small pieces. Rinse, deseed, and dice ½ cup red bell pepper. Rinse and chop 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. tomato. Rinse and dice ⅜ cup (6 Tbsp.) green onion. Rinse and loosely chop ½ cup parsley. Rinse and loosely chop ⅜ cup (6 Tbsp.) cilantro. Rinse, deseed, and slice 3 Tbsp. jalapeño. Store any unused vegetables for future use.
  2. Prep the Healthier Ranch Dressing for the Cobb Salad. In a food processor, combine 2 Tbsp. dried parsley, 2 tsp. dried onion flakes, 2 tsp. onion powder, 2 tsp. garlic powder, 1½ tsp. dried dill, 1½ tsp. dried cloves, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. ground black pepper; pulse until well mixed. Add 1 Tbsp. seasoning to ⅓ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt and ⅓ cup low-fat buttermilk; mix until well combined. Pour 2 Tbsp. dressing into 3 small containers. Store extra seasoning mix in the pantry and extra dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for future use.
  3. Make the Cobb Salad in 3 large storage containers. To each container, add 1¼ cup chopped romaine lettuce, 2 Tbsp. diced green onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped tomato, 3 slices deli turkey, and 1 hard boiled egg.
  4. Make the Tuna Antipasto Salad in 2 large storage containers. Open and drain the chickpeas and 2 cans of tuna. To each container, add 2 cups spring lettuce mix, ½ cup chickpeas, ¾ cup tuna, ¼ cup red bell pepper, and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Store the lettuce on top of the tuna salad to keep from getting soggy. When ready to eat, drizzle salad with juice from ½ lemon and 1 tsp. olive oil.
  5. Prep the Avocado Shrimp Rolls. Stir together 2 tsp. mustard, juice from 1 lemon, large pinch paprika, and ground black pepper, to taste; divide dressing between 2 containers and store. Chop the pre-cooked shrimp into large pieces; divide between 2 containers with ¾ cup shrimp going into each container. When ready to eat, dice ¼ ripe avocado and store remaining in an air-tight container for future use. In a small bowl, toss diced avocado with ¾ cup pre-cooked shrimp and 1 container of dressing. Fill 1 small whole wheat bun with ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce, shrimp mixture, and top with 2 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut.
  6. Prep the Chicken Burrito Bowls. Microwave frozen cauliflower rice per package instructions. Meanwhile, debone the rotisserie chicken and shred the meat. Once cauliflower rice is warm and chicken is shredded, assemble the burrito bowls. To 3 large storage containers, add ½ cup cauliflower rice, ¾ cup shredded rotisserie chicken, ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce, ¼ cup chopped tomato, ¼ cup chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, and 1 Tbsp. sliced jalapeño. When ready to eat, top each salad with ¼ diced avocado and 1 tsp. olive oil.
  7. Make the Tropical Overnight Oats. Slice 3 kiwi in half and use a spoon to separate the fruit from the skin; dice kiwi and set aside. Rinse and slice 1½ cups strawberries. In a large bowl, combine 1½ cups old-fashioned oats, 6 tsp. chia seeds, 3 cups kefir (or Greek yogurt), 1½ tsp. vanilla extract, 3 diced kiwi, and 1½ cups strawberries. Mix until well combined; divide mixture between 3 storage containers and refrigerate.
  8. Prep Watermelon and Egg breakfast. Cut 2 cups watermelon into bite-sized pieces. Divide between 2 storage containers. Serve with 2 hard-boiled eggs.
  9. Prep the Apple with Peanut Butter snack. Portion 1 tsp. peanut butter into 5 storage containers. Serve with medium apple.
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Your 21 Day Fix Meal Prep Grocery List:

Fruit
3 medium kiwi
1 1/2 cups strawberries
2 cups watermelon
5 medium apples
2 lemons

Vegetables
1 bunch green onions
1 large tomato
6 1/4 cups romaine lettuce (about 1 large head)
1 small red bell pepper
1 bunch parsley
4 cups spring lettuce mix
12 oz. package cauliflower rice, frozen
1 medium red onion
1 bunch cilantro
1 large jalapeño
2 medium avocados

Dry and Canned Goods
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
15 oz. can chickpeas
2 (5 oz.) cans tuna, packed in water
2 small whole wheat buns

Protein
3 cups (24 oz.) plain kefir (or an additional 24 oz. plain 2% Greek yogurt)
7 hard boiled eggs
1/3 cup (2.7 oz.) plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/3 cup (2.7 oz.) low-fat buttermilk
1 package sliced deli turkey (9 slices)
1 rotisserie chicken
6 oz. pre-cooked shrimp

Pantry
6 tsp. chia seeds
vanilla extract
5 packets Shakeology
5 Tbsp. peanut butter
dried parsley
dried onion flakes
onion powder
garlic powder
dried dill
dried cloves
salt
black pepper
olive oil
mustard
paprika
4 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut

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