An Unbiased PiYo and Shakeology Review ‚Äď Week 7

Truth. Read and repeat.

Truth. Read and repeat.

I am not being compensated for this review. My goal is to provide real information about my experience with the PiYo and 21 Day Fix programs as an independent fitness instructor trying something new.  I will be checking in weekly and posting my results at the bottom of each entry. For previous reviews, check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Weeks 4-5 and Week 6.

Week¬†7/8 , the light is at the end of the tunnel, but it’s easy to get a bit lax. This week I lost more weight than usual (a plus!) but also had a few indulgences due to being at work functions and having no healthy food options. The workouts were the same, rotating the tougher “Drench” workout with “Buns,” “Sculpt” and “Core.”¬† But I did find a way to shake it up…

The Workouts:

If you order PiYo through a Beachbody Coach you get a free additional DVD for each program. For Piyo I got “Hardcore on the Floor.” This is a DVD focuses on moves on the mat and really does challenge you. You can rotate it in by replacing the normal “Core” with this one. I was excited to get a bit of variety into the rotation and work some other muscles. Like past reviews, I decided to write down a breakdown as I went through it…so here it goes.

“Hardcore on the Floor”

33 minute workout with a 3 minute warm up.

A free additional workout for ordering through a coach

A free additional workout for ordering through a coach

The warm up reviews the basics we’ve learned with more of an emphasis on the core. Then it’s onto Beast¬†pose, one of my biggest challenges. This workout introduces more advanced versions of Beast, some of which I was not winning at but for those who may be going through the program for a second or third time will likely be advanced enough to need these.

Next are V-sits, variations of this classic move and then integrating them with crunches! Wow, it burns so good. Then we return to the PiYo pedals and rolls, a personal favorite.

Side planks with crunches, Beast and Roman oblique twists follow. All reviews of moves learned in previous PiYo workouts.

Then it’s time to go facedown on the mat with down dog variations, elbow planks and an inch worm-like move. This becomes a flow routine with planks, triceps push ups and down dog.

The workout closes with back extensions and a quick cool down.

For a freebie, this DVD was really nice! It wasn’t as challenging as “Drench” or “Strength Intervals” but it was really fun to take the basic poses and learn advanced varieties. Plus it’s great to always add in something news, I’m glad¬†I got this bonus through my coach.

Overall:¬† The workouts got a little easier this week, not sure if it’s because I have been doing them¬†repeatedly or if it’s because my endurance and strength has improved. Probably a combo of both, although I’ve gained significant muscle gain. Over this past week I noticed that I didn’t need to stop the DVDs as often for water or a break, so my endurance is definitely up which is awesome. I’m still challenged, even on week 7, so this workout program has really impressed me.

Week 7 Meal Prep

Week 7 Meal Prep

The Meal Plan:

This week was a combo. I cooked more and had successful meal planning. I made homemade mushroom barley soup, TVP tacos with black beans, etc. Some days I knocked it out of the park. Others I was proud and justified treating myself due to how much I’d accomplished. So there was a day when I had extra carbs because I was at a work event for 8 hours with no options and another¬†when I had two servings of wine instead of one. The days that I had pizza or extra wine I just made sure to eat very light and healthy the rest of the day to balance it or work harder the next day.

Overall: This week taught me that I need to stay consistent. My meal planning is strong, but I can see myself falling into old habits once the program is over. I am learning to be a bit more balanced, pick my meals thoughtfully and make sure that indulgences are occasional and paired with lighter meals and a walk or tougher workout.

Shakeology: Still a Shakeology addict! I’ve spent most of the week sipping on my Pumpkin Spice Shakeology recipe. While I love the variety pack, I think the Chocolate Shakeology will be what I always gravitate towards since I have such a sweet tooth!

With the power of Pinterest I found another yummy Shakeology treat, a Cookies and Cream recipe that is downright decadent without the calories of a typical dessert.  See the photo below for the recipe.

Yuuuuummmm

Yuuuuummmm

Overall: Beyond seeing the effects of Shakeology as a low-calorie meal replacement and¬†good source of protein, I’m seeing the impact on my external appearance, my nails and hair are growing faster and stronger. It’s almost annoying to have to keep doing my highlights but I’m glad to see proof of some positive changes to my health. I’ve stopped taking vitamins as it has a ton of nutrients and I don’t want to overdo it. I don’t do a unique recipe like the above every day, but when I use it as a late night snack or on the weekends to keep it from getting¬†monotonous.

Challenge Group Quote ChangeCoach and Challenge Group:

I’ve been more active with the challenge group this week, especially since I wasn’t checking in as frequently last week. It really has kept me focused on my health and accountable for my fitness. I’ve added more frequent walks so I could check in and say “Yes, I met and exceeded my goals today!” I shared meal prep photos and was happy to have a group of like-minded people to share my success, and in the case of days with too many carbs, my struggles.

Overall: I said it from the start and I will again, the challenge groups are one of the best assets to the Beachbody programs. You can buy all the health food and workout plans in the world, but if you lack motivation or accountability you won’t do them. While I’m a motivated person, on the days I felt like skipping I had my group to think about and it has made the possible difference between making it from day one to week seven.

Well I teased it at the beginning so here it is, my week seven results!

RESULTS:

1.4 lb. down for 13 lbs. lost in 7 weeks.  I’ve experienced significant muscle toning and gain too.

NSVs (non scale victories): I had the courage and newfound body confidence to model for a drawing club in a bikini after over a year of them asking me to do it. My husband said, in typical guy fashion, “I don’t know how to say this, but your but looks incredible. Not that it looked bad before, but it looks great now.” Hey, I’ll take it! ūüôā

Tune in for a review of week eight next week. Thanks for stopping by for my unbiased Piyo and Shakeology review!

Previous Entries:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3.

Weeks 4-5

Week 6

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An Unbiased PiYo and Shakeology Review ‚Äď Week 6

Somehow I still don't look like her by week 6, LOL

Somehow I still don’t look like her by week 6, LOL

I am not a Beachbody coach. I am not being compensated for this review. My goal is to provide real information about my experience with the PiYo and 21 Day Fix programs as an independent fitness instructor trying something new.  I will be checking in weekly and posting my results at the bottom of each entry. For previous reviews, check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Weeks 4-5.

Week 6 and I am back to a normal (non-vacation or wedding) routine again and seeing the changes. I weighed myself the first day of this week and got bummed because it looked like I had gained weight, but turns out it must have been water retention because I was lighter than ever, and received more compliments than the past few weeks, by the end of week 6.

The Workouts:

There were no new workouts this week, so this section will be short. What I will say is that this week is more challenging as it rotates Drench in more frequently and my muscles felt it! I haven’t felt like I needed the rest day until this week and I sure took it!

I noticed that my endurance has increased, moves that seemed impossible or I couldn’t do all the reps of I was finishing. There were still a few I needed to max out for a minute and then join in again, or take a water break after, but for the most part I was nailing the moves. I even did all the burpees! And I hate burpees.

Sweat was brought back and I have missed it! Sweat is a great routine, mix it with Sculpt and Drench and it’s been a killer week for my body in the best way possible.

Overall:¬† No more easy workouts! Now just the challenging Drench, Sculpt, Core, etc. I felt burning in my arms and muscles hurt that hadn’t before.¬†BUT I also felt stronger, did more advanced versions¬†and had more endurance so I know the plan is working.

Week 6 was one of the first weeks I felt super accomplished and ready to challenge the workouts. I think maybe after 42+ days of doing it, it has become a routine and that pushed me forward.

The Meal Plan:

Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet Salad with herb vinaigrette

Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet Salad with herb vinaigrette

I lost my mojo a bit this week with meal planning. I did a lot of planning on the fly or the night before, so I don’t have a great group photo like I have before, unfortunately. I did branch out into some new areas; I made and froze veggie egg cups for quick protein, I¬†roasted beets and added them to a salad with feta and herb vinaigrette (my own DIY version of this recipe)¬†and I whipped up a lettuce wrap with sliced veggies, quinoa and crushed walnuts.¬†So huzzah for new ideas on the go!

This was also¬†the week of discovering as much as I thought I had a handle on this, there were some areas I didn’t. A big one was my discovery that even though I have been eating Greek yogurt, it has been the wrong kind! What? Apparently on the 21 Day Fix you can ONLY have plain and mix in your own fruit or guilt free flavorings (lemon juice, spices, etc.). What a bummer to discover that while I thought I was making good decisions with my Chobani, I was not following the plan. You can still eat flavored Greek yogurts or even fro-yo, but it has to be considered one of your three weekly treats and no yogurt will replace my wine!

Fresh Baked Vegetable Egg Cups for Freezing

Fresh Baked Vegetable Egg Cups for Freezing

I also let my husband talk me into going to the movies for the first time since starting the plan. The popcorn smelled sooooooo good. I told him I would only eat half a cup and consider it a treat/my oils, but I barely ate that much. It just isn’t as good as I remembered. And it was so darn salty! I think maybe this plan has helped me taste what is BAD in bad food.

So while I¬†kept to the plan, but wasn’t as great as I have been at pre-prepping my meals. Luckily, I always have a large amount of healthy food on hand and I keep measuring cups and spoons from the Dollar Tree at my desk so I could still portion my snacks at the office.

Overall: Food temptations were strong, meal planning was weak but I still stuck to the plan overall. My goal is to commit more time to planning this week to have less night before or on-the-go panics on what I can eat.

Shakeology:

I admit, I was a Shakeology skeptic and now here I am wondering what I flavor I¬†am going to order for Month 3. I am still loving the variety of flavors, this week’s favorite has been vanilla because it is an excellent base flavor I can add to – see my newest, fall-themed creation below. Many fruits and spices¬†taste better in the vanilla vs. the chocolate as it’s a milder flavor that doesn’t overwhelm them.

The days I didn’t have fresh fruits or spices ready, I fell back on my chocolate and strawberry flavors. I have yet to make a great recipe for the strawberry one, but it’s coming I’m sure!

Let me introduce you to my latest and greatest creation: The Pumpkin Spice Shakeology.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Shakeology created by Miranda

Pumpkin Spice Latte Shakeology created by Miranda

With fall here, I have been craving some Starbucks PSL like the white girl I am and this idea came to me as a healthier option. It’s super easy, all you need is¬†2 ingredients plus water¬†for a fall taste that packs a protein punch!

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop or packet Vanilla Shakeology
  • 1/2 cup Tazo Pumpkin Chai tea mix (available at Target and most grocery stores)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup water to dilute tea mix (more water for less strong pumpkin spice taste)
  • 4-6 cubes of ice
  • Optional: cinnamon to garnish the top and add a little spice

Throw all ingredients into your bender and mix on high for 30 seconds to a minute. It’s the healthiest pumpkin spice shake I’ve ever heard of!

210 calories if you measure it out exactly per the above and about 52 mgs of caffeine.

Overall: I’m still drinking Shakeology daily and I seriously love it. I expected to be bored or not like it, but that’s not the case. It has become an essential part of my morning routine and it gives me energy and keeps me full from 7:30 a.m. to around 11 or so, so it’s become my breakfast meal replacement. Do I think it is a miracle in a glass? No. Do I think it’s insanely healthy and gives me more nutrients than I would likely consume daily? Yes. And for now that paired with the meal replacement and energy is¬†good enough for me.

Coach and Challenge Group:

Beachbody Challenge Groups

Beachbody Challenge Groups

I got added into another challenge group this week by my coach. YAY! But unfortunately I slacked more than usual, so boo on me. The girls did inspire me to post more often and take some photos, so it wasn’t a total loss. I even was asked to write a daily question/challenge for them since I am a fitness nut/always online. That was fun. It gave me a mini taste of what my coach does daily.

Full disclosure, the past two weeks I have been thinking that I could¬†probably rock it as a¬†coach. I am not committed yet, but it’s a consideration. I’ve had two people directly ask me how I am losing weight, tell me I was an “inspiration” to them, etc. and it seems like a waste if I just start to refer them to other people if they want advice from ME. I am not going to decide until my program ends and I finish blogging my review¬†in two weeks, just to stay unbiased and make sure it is right for me.

Overall: The challenge groups are what YOU put into them, so if you suck at posting, you probably won’t have a great time. But if you interact with the other women and stay consistent, it can be a great way to stay reliable, get some recipes and inspiration from others and be entered for fun prizes.

WEEKS 6 RESULTS:

1.2 lb. down for 11.6 lbs. lost in 42 days.  I’ve experienced significant muscle toning and gain too.

NSVs: Received¬†three “you look thinner!” compliments in one workday, looked at myself in my lingerie and liked what I saw for the first time in months.

Tune in for a review of week four next week. Thanks for stopping by for my unbiased Piyo and Shakeology review!

Previous Entries:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3.

Weeks 4-5