Mixed Food Container Counts

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“How do I count this food?” is by far the most often question I get asked by my 21 Day Fix challengers.  They’re so hungry for success (pun intended) that they want to do everything right: nail those container counts down to the crumb, make sure they’re doing workouts in the proper order, drinking Shakeology, and so on.

In an ideal 21 Day Fix world, how to measure food would be clear-cut, but some of the best recipes have a myriad of ingredients.  They’re healthy, contain Fix-approved foods, but seem impossible to know how to count.  I will tell you my strategy to measure mixed foods, as well as my coaching philosophy.

Learn to Fly

I want to give my challengers the tools to not just learn how to figure out container counts on their own but work towards a sustainable healthy lifestyle.   Instead of holding their hands all the way through their weight loss journey, I want to teach them to fly.  As a coach, this means teaching them to listen to your their body’s cues, the effects of macronutrients and how to select the best foods for them whether they’re on the 21 Day Fix foods list or not.

Keep in mind that this is a lifestyle.   The 21 Day Fix does a great job of teaching you the basics of clean eating, but you also have to live a little.  I’m not saying you should cheat a lot with your containers and foods you eat, because if you do you won’t see results, but rather don’t get worked up if you eat something that isn’t on the list or don’t nail the exact container.  Part of learning how to live within the parameters of clean eating long-term is a valuable lesson too.

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Serving Sizes

One of the reasons I don’t list container counts on all my recipes is simply that serving sizes vary according to how much of it you eat.  This may sound like a no-brainer, so let me explain.  I am a big proponent of eating according to your body’s cues.  If I’m hungry, I may eat more than when I’m not.  Some lunches I may eat half a green container, other days a container and a half.   If I tell you a serving size is one green container and that doesn’t fill you up, I have done a disservice.  Or, conversely, the same principle applies if you are eating more than you need to. I want my challengers to listen to their bodies.  I tell them to eat only when hungry, and stop when they’re satisfied.

It’s in The Book

Most of the questions my challengers ask are already covered in the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan book.  Be sure to read the book from cover to cover before you start.   Eventually the information inside will become second nature to you, but read it first so you know what information is already there.   Refer back to it frequently.  Not sure how to count things?  Pages 70-71 is KEY to understanding how to measure mixed foods and things not on the list.  This guideline was derived from those pages.


  • If possible, measure your foods in the containers before you mix and/or combine them.  If you’re making a salad, for example, measure the greens in the green container, seeds in the orange, dressing as teaspoons, and so on.  Then, divide the total container count by the number of servings your dish yields.   This is the easiest, most accurate way to count mixed foods.
  • According to the 21 Day Fix Mixed Food guide, most mixed foods are measured in the green container, regardless of whether or not it contains green container foods.  This equals one serving.  HOWEVER – This is only used to measure.  It does not necessarily mean you check off the green container.
  • Make note of the different types of foods your mixed food contains (red, blue, and so on).
  • If your mixed food contains flour/grain/starchy foods such as pasta or breads count TWO yellows instead of one.
  • Use mixed foods/container counts listed on 71 as as reference.  If what you are eating contains similar food groups, cross off corresponding containers.
  • It is acceptable to check off half or third of a container on your tally sheet

Clean Eating Turkey LasagnaEXAMPLES:

Let’s say you’re eating turkey lasagna.  Use your green container to measure your serving.  The main components of the dish are pasta (yellow), meat (red), and cheese (blue).  Cross off two yellows, one red and one blue.  Do not cross off a green container.

Next, let’s use red quinoa salad as an example.  Use your green container to measure your serving.  The main components of the dish are quinoa, chickpeas, and veggies.  This time, check off two yellow (for the quinoa and chickpeas), one orange for the dressing.  I consider the veggies in here a “freebie” and wouldn’t cross off a green.  Also, the feta in the salad is so minimal I wouldn’t count that either.

Bottom line, understand the process and use common sense.

Other Tools to Use

I highly recommend the Fooducate App to my challengers.  Its a great tool to use for analyzing nutrition, but also makes it easy to judge the food’s “healthy” quotient by giving it a letter grade from A to F.  For foods that are not on the 21 Day Fix foods list, anything with an A or A- rating (in my opinion) should also be on the “approved” list.  For example, greens like kelp, watercress and Swiss chard are not listed in the book, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them.  Sometimes a little common sense (along with a little research) is all you need to put into practice.

Feel Free to “Cheat”

Not sticking to the plan 100% is not necessarily a bad thing.  If your body is craving protein, you can and should eat that extra red container.  Whether a turnip or beet is a yellow or green doesn’t really matter.  Eat it.  It’s good for you.   In my opinion, there shouldn’t be a limit on greens.  The first thing I’d advise dropping to get over a plateau is a yellow.  If you are stuffed every day and not dropping weight, go down a calorie bracket.  Knowing when and how to shake up the plan is a good thing.  My point is this:  Your body intuitively knows what it needs.  Listen to it.

Use Common Sense

Keep this in mind:  Success with the program does not always mean following it to a T.  For my challengers, it means using the 21 Day Fix as a guideline to re-learn healthy habits and instill lifelong changes, and maintaining those changes.   I’d rather have them learn about food and nutrition, experiment on their own, and follow the 80/20 rule (following the plan 80% of the time, 20% winging it).   It’s much easier to figure out and maintain long-term.


21 Day fix Tips

You’re on the 21 Day Fix and not seeing results.  What’s going on?  It could be simply that you’re not giving your body enough time to adjust to your new lifestyle change.  Some of my challengers see their biggest results after their second or third round, not their first.  However, there are some tips I do have to keep you headed in the right direction:

“I’m Not Losing Weight!”

First of all, don’t weigh yourself the first week.  This is important.  Let me repeat: DO NOT STEP ON THE SCALE THE FIRST WEEK.  If I had my way, challengers would only weigh in once every 2-3 weeks.  Short-term fluctuations are not only demoralizing, they’re usually not an accurate measure of progress.  Now, go read this post:  Why you should ignore your weight.

Also, take a long hard look at a few things:

  • Your expectations.  It’s unrealistic to expect a 15-lb. weight loss in three weeks if you’re close to your goal weight, already working out, etc.  My challengers who have big weight loss during the Fix are usually the ones who start with the most weight to lose.
  • Are you giving the program 100% effort?  Are you sticking to the program, drinking your Shakeology, and giving your workouts your all (if they’re easy for you, you NEED to increase your weights or move up to 21 Day Fix Extreme).

“I’m Not Hungry!”

You do not have to eat all of your containers if you’re legitimately full.  I always want my challengers to eat according to their body’s cues and signals.  However, I’d rather have you leave out a yellow container than a green.  If you’re not getting all your greens in, try blending spinach or kale into your Shakeology.  Your body needs the nutrients, especially while working out.

“I’m Always Hungry!”

If you are hungry, eat.  Simple.  Again, this is part of eating according to your body’s cues.  It could be that you are trying to maintain a lower calorie bracket than you should.  Try adding a red first, as protein can help curb hunger.    Also, in my opinion, you can never have too many veggies.  Add greens.  Are you drinking your Shakeology?  That also helps curb cravings.

“What if I’m breastfeeding?”

Breastfeeding mothers should go up a calorie bracket since they require approximately 500 extra calories per day to maintain their milk supply.  However, they should always consult their doctor or OB/GYN before starting any diet or exercise program.

“What if I am exercising more than normal?”

If you do doubles for the ENTIRE 21 days of the program then you should use the formula on page 76 of the 21 Day Fix Guide book that accounts for harder/longer workouts. This will put you in the appropriate calorie bracket. If you are only doing doubles for the last 3 days or the last week you should not need to adjust the calorie bracket.

Other 21 Day Fix Tips and Modifications:

  • Try eliminating dairy.
  • Eat the foods at the top of the 21 Day Fix Foods List.  These foods provide the biggest nutritional bang for their buck, so to speak.  Are you eating too many foods at the bottom of the list?  Adjust accordingly.
  • Make sure you are not eating anything, especially carbs, 3 hours before going to sleep.
  • Try limiting whole wheat products, substituting other whole grains like quinoa, barley, and brown rice.  Wheat can cause blood sugar to spike and leave you feeling hungry.
  • If you suffer from late-night cravings, make sure you are eating enough throughout the day.  Many of my challengers use their Shakeology as an after-dinner snack to avoid giving in to night time temptations.

21 Day Fix review

21 Day Fix Review

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So what comes with The 21 Day Fix:

21 Day Fix Eating Plan

abbysilerfitness.com, 21 day fix, lose weight, clean eating, diet, home workouts

A simple eating plan where you don’t have to worry about counting ounces, cups, and calories.
You get seven color-coded containers that are different sizes for measuring green = veggies, purple = fruits, red = protein, yellow = carbs, blue = healthy fats, orange = seeds/dressing, teaspoon = oils.
You figure out your calorie level, which is based on your weight. There are four different calorie levels and each involves a different number of containers. I was in the 1,200-1,499 calorie range and was supposed to eat 3 servings of veggies, 2 servings of fruit, 4 servings of protein, 2 servings of carbs, 1 serving of healthy fats, 1 serving of seeds/dressing and 2 teaspoons of oil/nut butter per day.
You’re encouraged to drink plenty of water, but you can still have coffee and tea.
There’s room for treats like wine, oatmeal cookies, trail mix and chocolate as well. <— woot woot! Fair warning on this one, for wine the portion size is 4 oz a.k.a 2 sips. :)

The book includes a list of food ideas for each container and a few basic recipes.

For even more amazing recipes Autumn’s new cookbook FIXATE is amazing!

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21 Day Fix Workout DVDS:

Total Body Cardio Fix — Includes moves that keep your heart rate up and your muscles engaged.
Upper Fix — Targeted resistance training helps to shape your chest, back, shoulders, arms, and abs.
Lower Fix — Firms and tone your entire lower body (glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves) while you blast fat and burn calories.
Pilates Fix — Strengthens your core, elongates your muscles, and firms your hips and thighs.
Cardio Fix — Gets your heart pumping and your body moving with body weight movements like jumping jacks and burpees.
Dirty 30 — 4 rounds, 8 exercises.
Yoga Fix — Active rest workout that helps to improve balance, flexibility, and strength.

It also comes with a few extra bonuses like the 3 day quick fix eating plan — Autumn’s secret weapon for losing weight fast before a competition or photo shoot. My package also included the Plyo Fix workout DVD — a tough but awesome workout.

Click Here To get Your 21 day fix!

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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Bored Easily

Okay I changed things….if you have followed me for any amount of time you now know that I get bored easily. That actually might be an understatement actually. My husband always jokes with me….oh look a tree…yeah that’s what he will say to me because my train of thought and focus changes so frequently. Hey, I am who I am and I definitely keep things interesting that’s for sure. I can also go off on rambling tangents…probably have noticed that about me as well. Okay, back on point….

Where was I?

Oh yeah, I get bored easily. Well, it has happened again. I was absolutely loving body beast. I have been getting amazing results and starting to really see the definition come in. BUT…my sister is doing the 21 day fix right now. I was also wanting to really zero in on my nutrition and just decided now was a good time to refocus. So, as of Monday I’m doing another round of 21 day fix….and here is the thing, I’m counting on everyone else to keep me on track and focused for the next 21 days. I’m doing this…start to finish :).

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My awesome planner with 21 day fix stickers!

I still need to take my before pictures and measurements other than weight and body fat so those will be posted either later or I will wait until I’m done with this round (or the next one) to post the difference. If you haven’t noticed yet I don’t have any before/after pictures of me up really yet. I know I should, it is just something I’m not ready to do yet. First, I’m still on my journey, I’m not where I want to be or even close for that matter. BUT soon my friends, soon I will get there and post transformation pictures!

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Okay back to the point again….:) see I get off track and bored easily!!! That’s why I’m loving beachbody on demand so much (granted body beast and 21 day fix aren’t included unless you buy the dvd’s). You get to pick which program you want and what workout what day etc. The challenge du jour is amazing too. Each day the people at beachbody “prescribe” a workout for the day jumping around and sampling all the different programs!

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Fix approved lunch!

Wow….eventually I will finish this post! If you don’t follow me on instagram yet you should! abby.siler.fitness is my name. I regularly post lunch ideas that are all fixed approved as well as other tips and workout bonuses as well as some of my random life in there! You should definitely check it out!

So, who wants to join me for a 21 day fix challenge group where we all support one another and keep each other on track!? I will be your coach and help you every step of the way! Lets do this! Sign up below if you want to join in on the fun!

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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21 Day fix is on Sale!!

Ahhh I’m so happy/bummed at the same time! One of my favorite programs is on sale right now! The 21 day fix is an amazing program and gets amazing results! It makes nutrition so simple and easy and the workouts are short and effective. What’s even better? Right now the 21 day fix is on sale!!! So that is why I am happy…..Why am I bummed? The sale ends tomorrow……wah wah! I want to repeat the good though….the 21 day fix is on sale!

Why is this sale so amazing? well…..

21 day fix, shakeology, on sale, hurry offer ends July 31! http://www.teambeachbody.com/checkout/-/bbcheckout/challengepack/21-day-fix?referringRepId=432950

let me break it down for you. If you buy a month of shakeology you will get the 21 day fix for $10. You buy your healthiest meal of the day for a month and get a workout program plus a fail-proof nutrition guidelines for $10. Click Here to watch a video and learn more about the 21 day fix! I am starting a 21 day challenge group soon for all of my new participants that purchase this program! It is an amazing deal!

Oh and even more, you not only will get a support team helping you with your journey and me as your coach. You will/can also get 30 days free of the club membership which includes hundreds of workouts that you can stream! That means you can try out some of the other programs and see what other one you might fall in love with as well!!

But remember….the sale ends tomorrow…..hurry, Hurry, HURRY!!!!

P.S. if you want more information on Shakeology and why it is so amazing….go HERE. Words cannot describe how much I love this stuff.



One more time….21 day fix is on sale but it ends tomorrow July 31st! Click HERE to order!!!!

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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Healthy Poppyseed Chicken Casserole

Oh my goodness you guys! This is so tasty! I’m always looking for good, healthy, chicken casseroles that are freezer friendly! If you have been following me at all on instagram or on here you know I like to do a little bit of meal prep on the weekend (like one recipe) to divide up and put in the freezer to add to the stock pile for lunches for me and my husband. This weekend I decided to try something new and add a new recipe to the rotation. I found it on Dashing Dish and absolutely love it!

Chicken Poppyseed casserole.
Chicken poppyseed casserole.

Healthy Poppyseed Chicken Casserole
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6
  • 13 oz cooked Boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 3½ cups)
  • ½ cup Unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup Chicken broth
  • 1 tbs Cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbs cold water 3
  • ½ tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Onion powder
  • ½ tsp Pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 pkt Stevia
  • 1.5 tbs Poppyseeds (to taste)
  • 1¼ cup Plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 lb green beans ( or veggie of choice)
  • Topping:
  • ⅛ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  1. To a mediumpot, add milk and chicken broth. Turn heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Once milk reaches boil, turn heat down to medium low.
  2. Whisk in dissolved cornstarch, and the rest of the seasonings. Continue to whisk until mixture starts to thicken up.
  3. Turn off heat, and let cool for a few minutes before adding the yogurt. Add poppyseeds, parmesan cheese and greek yogurt to the pot and whisk to combine. (Mixture should be fairly thick and creamy).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray.
  5. Mix sauce, chicken and green beans in a separate bowl to combine and transfer to prepared dish.
  6. Top with topping mixture.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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Clean Meal Planning

Hello all of the beautiful people out there! Today is Friday which means it is meal planning day in my house! I only work a half day on Fridays so this is the day that works best for me to get organized and ready for the next week. With planning the next week on a Friday I am able to use the weekend to prep anything that I might need done ahead of time for the week as well as get my shopping in. It is also the day that I get my Bountiful Basket every other week and therefore I can plan my week around the produce I get from there! Remember that the key to success is to plan ahead! Failure to plan is Planning to fail!! Okay off my soap-box.  I base all of my (most since I follow the 80/20 rule) food off of this awesome little powerhouse of a book. tosca-reno-eat-clean-diet

If you are unfamiliar with the principles behind clean eating do some research. The basic jist is this…eat less processed food and more fresh food. Sounds like a good plan right? I try to eat 3 meals with 2 snacks each day. I am for 6 servings of fruits/veggies, 6 servings of protein, and 3-4 servings of complex carbs. I count some fruits and veggies as my complex carb like sweet potatoes and bananas. If you want more details I highly recommend Tosca’s book! I also love her “just the rules” book as well!

Here is what next week’s meals look like for me. I workout at 5:30 every morning so my pre-workout snack is the first meal and then I have my “big” breakfast after my workout. Keep in mind that it is ideal to eat every 2-3 hours to keep you metabolism up!

 2-17-15 meal plan

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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21 day fix EXTREME

Who is excited about 21 day fix extreme! I know I am! It is coming soon and you have a chance to win it for FREE! What do you have to do to win it for free you ask? Just sign up by following THIS link. That’s it. You will get a notification when the program is ready for purchase and be entered into win a copy of your very own! How easy is that? So what is 21 day fix extreme you ask? Well it is the all new program from trainer Autumn Calabrese.


What is 21 Day Fix EXTREME?
• A 21-day program that features simple portion control, clean eating, and extreme 30-minute workouts.
• The portion-control containers take all the guesswork out of how much you should eat.
• The Eating Plan will tell you exactly what to eat and when—and how to eat cleaner than ever.
• This is how you get seriously shredded in 21 days.

What are the unique benefits?
• No other program has you eating this well and working this hard. It’s going to take guts, intensity, and drive. But it’s only 21 days.
• The 30-minute workouts are extreme. They combine steady-state aerobics, resistance training, and explosive power moves that target every muscle in the body—to help you get shredded in a short amount of time.
• Seven workouts; one for every day of the week so your mind never gets bored and your body never adapts.
• For your nutrition, you’ll not only be practicing portion control—you’ll be eating ONLY clean foods. No treats. No cheats. No excuses.
• Autumn has included her own competition nutrition plan, which she uses to get stage-ready and ripped in 21 days

Who is the target audience?
Women and men who:
• Are impatient to get serious results.
• Don’t want to make longtime commitments or have tried and failed at longer, more complicated diet plans.
• Are serious with a “No BS” attitude toward workouts and nutrition.
• Have a dramatic short-term weight-loss deadline, or need a final push to achieve the hardbody they’ve always wanted.
• Don’t have much weight to lose, but want to get shredded and have defined abs.

• Don’t want to count calories, weigh their food, or follow complicated recipes.
• 21 Day Fix graduates who want to take their workouts to the next level, and get seriously shredded.
• Graduates from other programs who want to get in the best shape of their lives and stay that way.

PLUS if you order through me HERE, you  will also get a FREE bonus workout—The Fix Challenge
(a $19.95 value).

If you are interested in joining my next challenge group to help you with your journey through the 21 day fix extreme then fill out the form below! For more information on what a challenge group is click HERE!

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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Start the week right

I believe that a workout on Monday is the most important workout of the week. I’m not saying that I always enjoy my Monday morning workout because let’s face it, when that 5:00 am alarm goes off it means the weekend is officially over and I need to get my butt out of bed and start this week. I don’t always accomplish getting my Monday workout in. In fact, I fail to workout on Monday more than I succeed probably but hey, I’m human. I am not perfect. I may be a health and fitness coach but I struggle to get my workout in too. I come up with excuse after excuse to not do it but in the end the only way to see change is consistency.


Today marked the official 2nd day of my  first round of the 21 day fix. Yesterday didn’t go as well as planned, again I’m human and I gave in to going to Jimmy John’s with the husband and having my sandwich with bread and a bag of Jalapeno chips. What I “should” have done was have it as an unwich and then just stolen a few of the hubby’s chips. Eh, oh well. Time to forget about it and move on! Starting today I’m going to post pictures of what I eat for the next 20 days or so. Since I’m getting started later than originally planned on this (oops). I am not going to do the full 21 days per se the first round since obviously the best holiday is in less than 21 days! Is anyone else as excited for Halloween as I am?!? But I do plan on doing 2’ish rounds of the 21 day fix before November 22 when my family leaves for MEXICO! Hello beaches and swimsuit season all over again. Hope you all have a wonderful day! I will update this post this evening with my awesome food pictures :). At the end of each week I also plan on posting the week’s meal plan for anyone that wants help with what to eat on the 21 day fix! Happy Monday and don’t forget your most important workout!download


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