Eating Out on the 21 Day Fix

Friends have invited you out for dinner. You don’t feel like cooking. You need a night away from the kids.

There’s a bunch of reasons why you might need or want to eat out of the house while doing the 21 Day Fix, but when you try to find a place with healthy options, you get overwhelmed quickly. What are you allowed to eat?

I’ve eaten at a handful of restaurants over both rounds of the 21 Day Fix that I’ve done. Some restaurants are helpful and list the calories right on their menu (thanks, Panera!). Others you have to do some digging.

In a perfect world, every restaurant would point out what their healthy options are and what is in all of them. This is not a perfect world. Unfortunately, eating out on this plan takes a bit of research ahead of time, but it is doable with the power of Google.

First thing is to find the website of the restaurant you are considering. Then dig through their website for their nutrition facts. If they don’t have a list of nutrition facts, I don’t even bother going.

Once you find this list, go down the list of entrees (ideally you want this to be a red container) until you see something that is relatively low in calories. I usually look for something in the 200-400 range without sides. Then check the sides to make sure they have veggies (green container) you like and that they don’t do anything crazy to them and jack up their calorie count. If you have a yellow container left for the day, you can work that in too.

Examples from restaurants I’ve eaten at!

Chili’s
6 oz classic sirloin with a side of steamed broccoli: one red, one green, 340 calories.
21dayfix-chilis

Olive Garden
Rosemary chicken with a side of asparagus: one red, one green, less than 540 calories.
21dayfix-olivegarden
I think this includes the mashed potatoes it comes with, but I subbed them for asparagus.

Panera
Whole ancient grain, arugula, and chicken salad – minus slaw, plus spinach: one red, one green, one purple, one orange (vinaigrette), maybe a blue, 390 calories.
21dayfix-panera
I subbed the cabbage slaw in this salad for the healthier (and yummier, in my opinion) spinach. The original calorie count for this salad is 420 calories, but Panera lets you customize their menu and see the accurate calories right on their website!

O’Charley’s
Bruschetta chicken with a side of asparagus: one red, one green, 400 calories.
21dayfix-ocharleys

Ruby Tuesday
Petite sirloin with broccoli and zucchini: one red, two greens, 354 calories.
21dayfix-rubytuesday

What healthy options have you found at restaurants?

Week of 11/16/15 – 11/22/15: 21 Day Fix Round 2, Week 1

week of 11/16 - 11/22

Monday: Cardio Fix
Tuesday: Upper Fix
Wednesday: Lower Fix and 3.5 mile walk
Thursday: Pilates Fix
Friday: Cardio Fix
Saturday: Dirty 30
Sunday: Yoga Fix and 7.1 mile run (12:34 min/mi avg pace)

Because we are going to be spending a few days in December in swimwear, Jonathan and I decided to do a round of 21 Day Fix beforehand. This, of course, is my second time doing it, but it is his first. There’s definitely been new challenges and stuff that’s been easier when involving a second person in this madness!

I was planning on taking most of the week off from running anyway, since I was trying to get that pain in my left calf to go away. That worked out well since I was incredibly sore from all the 21 Day Fix workouts for most of the week.

As far as menu planning goes, it wasn’t too terrible. We did planning and a lot of cooking on Sunday before we started. Since we somehow fell into the same calorie bracket (which was weird to both of us), we were mostly eating the same things throughout the week with just a few differences based on our individual likes and dislikes: I was drinking Shakeology with spinach every morning while he ate egg veggie muffins. He ate black beans whenever I ate black-eyed peas. He ate blueberries, and I ate grapes. We let him eat a couple little extras here and there, like some almonds as a snack in the afternoon, just to give him a few extra calories but not enough to be in the next bracket.

21 day fix week 1 meal plan

That was our meal plan for the week. Friday looks questionable because we weren’t sure where we would be eating out for lunch with our respective coworkers. I ended up having a small sirloin with zucchini and broccoli at Ruby Tuesday’s. My coworkers got to hear me contemplate things like, “Does this look like one or two cups of veggies to you?”

It was definitely easier having Jonathan doing the program with me this time since we could help motivate each other and spend time together doing the workouts. It was also super helpful to have an additional chef in the kitchen on meal prep day!

Things are looking good so far… I’m already down 6 pounds! (I may have weighed in initially right after stuffing myself with dinner…)

However, my one run this week did not go so well. I don’t know if it’s due to the restricted amount of calories/carbs I’ve been consuming, but I started feeling weak five miles into what I hoped to be a 12-13 miler, and I had to stop completely at mile seven and practically crawl my way down the greenway. I was seriously iffy on if I’d even be able to make it the two miles back to my car. After I got home and ate, I felt mostly fine, so I’m guessing that’s what it was. I will make sure to not follow the diet the day before the half!!

On a better note, my calf didn’t bother me at all on the run. It was a little sore the next morning, but not too bad.

Week of 11/9/15 – 11/15/15: Mt. Juliet Half Training

week of 11/9 to 11/15

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 3 miles (11:09 average pace)
Wednesday: 3.4 miles (10:35 average pace)
Thursday: rest day
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 3 miles (12:10 average pace)
Sunday: 3 miles (12:59 average pace)

After my 11 miler last week, I started to have a sort of weird inkling of pain in my left calf. It didn’t hurt while running, but if I moved my leg in a certain way, a mild pain would shoot up my leg to my hip.

On Tuesday’s run, it didn’t really bother me. This was my first treadmill run of the season, which gave me some shin splints when I started, but they went away, and I felt mostly fine for the rest of the run. Wednesday’s run with East Nasty went really well.

On Saturday, I wasn’t feeling great. My leg felt about the same, but I was coming down with a cold (thanks, Jonathan) and was maybe a little hungover from my birthday party the night before. So I took it slow and didn’t push. Yet when I was done, I was limping.

As Saturday went on, my leg started to feel better and I was able to walk normally again. I went back and forth on if I should rest or do my long run on Sunday. Ultimately I decided to go for it, but just take it easy.

It was the hardest ever.

It felt like 50 pound weights were attached to each leg. I was only doing 2:1 intervals, but it was everything I could do to make it through each 2 minutes of running. While walking I felt fine, but running was absolute torture. I called it quits at three miles and figured it would benefit me more to rest than to push myself through 12 torturous miles and end up in more pain.

So that’s where I am right now. I’m going to take a few days (maybe all the way up till the weekend, we’ll see) and RICE my left leg until it feels better. There’s still several weeks before the half, so I think early intervention will mean that I should still be able to run it.

Just couldn’t make it all year without hurting myself, could I?

Race Report: Wicked Wine Run Nashville – August 29, 2015

Amanda and I had had our eye on this fun run for over a year. When they finally announced a Nashville date, we were in! They offer two distances: a 5k run where you get a glass of wine at the end or a 1k walk where you get to taste several different wines on the course. We decided to do both, of course!

The event was held at Tap Root Farms down in Franklin. There was a line of traffic leading up to parking and I was afraid I was cutting it close, so I jumped out of the car to let Jonathan finish parking while I went to find Amanda who was waiting in line for me at packet pickup.

Thankfully, packet pickup went quickly, we met back up with Jonathan, who set up a lawn chair and bought a bottle of wine to enjoy while we were on the 5k course.

The email they sent out stated the following, “The course is a TRAIL COURSE. IT IS NOT on a road/paved surface. It is a hiking trail, so expect terrain that is more typical of hiking instead of a typical road 5K. There are a few roots, rocks and foot-bridges.” A fair warning to anyone that may do this in the future: they made this trail quite possibly the morning of the run. No one had ever run on it before; it was fresh. That means there were not “a few roots [and] rocks”, the entire course was roots and rocks and things that will trip you. It was not a normal running trail (or hiking trail, for that matter). It was basically impossible to run. Don’t expect to.

wicked wine run nashville

The grass portions weren’t bad, just crowded.

We ran as much as we possibly could, but the trail was narrow and nearly everyone was walking, so even when there wasn’t a ton of stuff on the ground, there were people in the way. But this was a fun run and not timed, so it’s not like it super mattered, unless you were just counting on it being your run for the day.

wicked wine run nashville

I think they tried to spray paint some of the things that might trip you.

We finally came through the finish (after about an hour!) and got our glass of wine. Yes, you do actually get a real glass, which was pretty nice.

wicked wine run

We totally thought they didn’t get a picture of us, but apparently they did.

After drinking some more wine with Jonathan, it was finally time to line back up for the 1k walk. I’m writing this race report waaaay too long after the event to actually remember what types of wine they had out on the course, but we did get another keepsake glass at the finish of the walk as well.

wicked wine run nashville

Yay, wine!

We stuck around for a bit, finished off another bottle of wine and got some food at one of the food trucks that was around.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad event, just as long as you are expecting to not run the majority of the time. 🙂 I will leave you with this short video I shot of the trail (sorry that it’s vertical!!):

Week of 11/2/15 – 11/8/15: Mt Juliet Half Training

week of 11/2 to 11/8

This week went okay. I actually got in four days of running, which I haven’t done since…May? June? It’s been awhile. I’m abstaining from any tough workouts, like speedwork, tempos, or hill repeats until after this half is over. I know I’m not in as good of shape as I was in the spring and I don’t want to push too hard. My main goal is just to get through the distance and build up my base to make training for my spring races much easier!

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 2 miles (11:02 avg pace)
Wednesday: 3.4 miles (11:31 avg pace)
Thursday: rest day
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 3 miles (10:52 avg pace)
Sunday: 11 miles (11:20 avg pace)

I went back to 2:1 intervals for my long run this week, since the 3:1.5 were a disaster the week before. I also ate one gel (a caffeinated raspberry Huma) at mile six, which I think helped, although the last two miles were quite torturous, mainly because they were uphill.

Less than a month before the half!