The 21 Day Fix diet and workout regimen has become incredibly popular, even ranking as one of the most searched diets on Google in 2015.
Although the idea of carefully portioned out meals isn’t new, many people find the way this regimen is more successful thanks to the use of color-coded containers.
When the 21 Day Fix is followed properly you will see results but sometimes dieting, of any kind, can become monotonous. While it’s good to have some staples, if you only eat the same foods day in and day out you are going to become bored.
You’ll be more likely to cheat on your diet or feel less satisfied with your meals. Not to mention that variety is extremely important for overall health. Lunch is a great meal to experiment with.
If you’re just starting the 21 Day Fix or have been on it for a little while already, consider some of these ideas to really level up your lunches.
Mason Jar Salads
Mason jar salads are a great way to make a typical salad more fun and easy to take with you to school or work. You can either get a large mason jar and put in all of the ingredients or just put the lettuce into the jar and take along your toppings in your 21 Day containers.
For a really beautiful and easy salad, layer everything. Put the appropriate amount of dressing on the bottom, followed by thicker vegetables that won’t soak up the dressing. On top you will put your lettuce so it is protected from the dressing and won’t become wilted.
As a tip, if you use a large enough jar you can simply shake it up to coat the salad in the dressing. Either it right from the jar or pour it into a larger bowl.
If you need some ideas for 21 Day Fix-friendly jar salads, check these out:
Lettuce wrapsare a great way to reduce carbs and get more veggies into your diet. They are easy to make and the ingredients you can put in them are only limited to your imagination, making them perfect for the 21 Day Fix.
The most common meat protein for a lettuce wrap on this diet is lean ground turkey. Ground turkey has a reputation for being bland compared to ground beef but this recipe will have your mouth watering.
- Turkey Taco Lettuce Wrap ( 1 green, 1 red and ½ blue)
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- ¾ cup seasoned & browned ground turkey
- A large leaf of crisp romaine lettuce
- ½ cup of halved or diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
It’s a good idea to buy a pound or a couple pounds of ground turkey so you can prepare your meals ahead of time. Brown it with a little olive oil, some diced onions and minced garlic. Either season it all or just leave it plain to season it before eating.
Focus on Vegetarian Lunches
Some people just aren’t fans of vegetables and it can be tricky for them to get enough into their diet. The 21 Day Fix is perfect for helping diehard carnivores eat more vegetables but it can still be tempting to want to make meat-heavy dishes.
A great way of improving your overall health is to make a certain number of lunches through the week purely vegetarian. This might seem daunting at first but it’s an excellent way of developing better eating habits after the 21 days is over. With all things considered, it isn’t too much of a hassle to at least focus solely on vegetables for one meal a day.
Don’t forget that a vegetarian lunch doesn’t have to be a salad. Remember, variety is important, so don’t just limit yourself to staples. Switch out your typical veggie meal for something fun like this Italian Bean Burger.
If you are already vegetarian or vegan and are apprehensive about meat-free food options, don’t worry! This diet is very vegan-friendly. You can check out a 21 Day Vegan Eating Plan here.
Plan Ahead with Leftovers
One dieting hack a busy person can do to greatly improve their chances of completing the full 21 Day Fix is to plan ahead for using leftovers. Making food ahead of time is a great idea and simplifies the whole process. You will also be less likely to deviate from the diet. After all, if the meal is already cooked or just needs to be put together, you really don’t have an excuse to eat something else.
The example above about the ground turkey is an example. If you already have to brown the turkey, you might as well buy enough for a couple meals so all you need to do is put your meal together. You can do the same with chicken and other proteins. Purposely making enough for leftovers is going to save you a lot of time.
Saving leftovers veggies works well but skip saving leftover salad or anything that has a dressing that will make it soggy or wilted.
Get Out Your Crock Pot
Another time-saving tip for the 21 Day Fix is to use a crock pot. Usually a crock pot is saved for dinners but it can work fine for certain lunches. Just turn it on first thing in the morning if you are an early riser or turn it on before bed, then you can just pack up your lunch portion in the morning before work.
Crock pots make meal prep insanely easy and there are actually quite a few 21 Day Fix-specific recipes out there, like these. Don’t forget that you don’t have to completely abandon your old favorite recipes. Just use the containers to ensure you are eating the right size portions and take a peek at your 21 Day Fix approved foods list to make sure you’re on the right track.
A crock pot also makes it easy to to prepare meals ahead of time. If you really like a particular recipe make a larger batch and either refrigerate or freeze it for future lunches.
Experiment with Foreign Cuisine
Similarly to switching up lunches for vegetarian meals, another way to expand your tastes and experiment with foreign cuisine. It is useful for expanding the variety of foods you eat, allows you to experiment and get creative, and it can even be educational if a particularly intriguing dish inspires you to learn more about another culture. Learning to make your favorite takeout is a good skill to have as well.
Here are some tasty recipes to try:
- Beef and Broccoli tir Fry (1 green, 1 red, ½ yellow)
- Chicken Tikka Massala (1 red, ½ green, 1 teaspoon)
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (1 green, 1 yellow, 1 blue)
- Pad Thai Zucchini Noodles (1 red, 1 ¼ green, 1 orange, 2 teaspoons)
- Greek Chicken Pita (1 green, 1 ½ yellow, 1 red, ½ blue/orange)
- Thai Coconut Curry (1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow)
Don’t be afraid to try new things!
The 21 Day Fix has proven to be an excellent jumpstart for those who want to improve their health. Diet is a major part of a lifestyle change and since this program focuses on whole foods, it is going to help you develop healthier eating habits. Remember to keep variety in your diet and try out some of these lunch ideas.
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.