This is the first article in a four part series about my experience in the My Fit Foods 21 Day Challenge. Be sure to read about the Recap from Week One, the Recap from Week Two and the Recap from Week Three.
You may have noticed a lot of folks in your office microwaving lunches in small black containers with clear lids. You’ve probably observed that the food always looks fresh, is never frozen, and smells delicious. This happened to me, and after noticing coworkers eating these tasty looking meals I discovered that they bought them at My Fit Foods.
Mario Mendias, a former Marine and personal trainer, started My Fit Foods in Houston, TX because he believed that 80% of health and fitness results are directly correlated to the fuel that you place in your body. Mendias noticed that many of his clients would not listen to him because they did not have the time to prepare a healthy meal or the ability to consistently do so.
To solve this problem Mendias began making meals in his apartment. My Fit Foods was born.
All the meals that My Fit Foods create are made with “active foods” that include all natural/non-processed ingredients, lean meats, “good” carbohydrates, heart healthy fats, variety of fruits and vegetables, no preservatives and healthy sodium ranges.
Having enjoyed a few meals from My Fit Foods, my girlfriend and I decided to try their 21 Day Challenge which we began on Sunday, September 11th. I have decided to write a series of unbiased articles about my experience to give you an idea of what it will be like.
I think I should be clear about my goals and why I am doing the challenge. First, I wanted to break my habit of constantly eating out. While I don’t think that eating out is necessarily bad, it morphed from a fun, occasional treat to a gluttonous every day, multiple times a day occurrence.
With breakfast tacos in the morning, burgers at lunch, and a nice dinner out at night, I would sometimes go weeks without eating a vegetable that wasn’t covered with cheese. Seriously. I knew that My Fit Foods would get me in the habit of taking my breakfast and lunch to work and I hope that I can carry this habit forward.
Second, I wanted to train my body to eat a little healthier. Right now, healthy foods are not even appealing to me. I mean, I like chicken, fish, and vegetables, but they are not even on my radar; I am too busy ordering something with cheese or gravy to take notice to the other options on the menu. I am hoping that this experience will let me realize that healthy food tastes good too
Before you get started with the 21 Day Challenge, you meet up with an advisor who gives you information about the program. We met Wynne the Wednesday before we started our challenge because my girlfriend and I were going out of town and wanted to eat whatever we wanted at the baseball game (on a side note, the garlic fries are amazing at the Ballpark in Arlington).
Wynne was extremely friendly and walked us through the 21 Day program which is divided into five different sections: Fuel, Cleanse, Protect, Strength, and Rejuvenate.
She spent the most time on the Fuel section as this is what My Fit Foods really tries to address. While My Fit Foods does not have a restriction on carbs, one of the core tenets of the 21 Day Challenge is to eat foods that are low on the Glycemic Index (GI). This means that you are eating “good” carbs that break down slowly and release glucose gradually into your bloodstream so that you don’t spike.
High GI foods include potatoes, doughnuts and white bread, all those things that I love to eat. For the next 21 days I will eat foods like corn tortillas, sweet potatoes, parboiled rice, quinoa, spinach, and tomatoes. Can’t say I’m too thrilled at this point in time.
Additionally, the program stresses that you eat three meals and two snacks a day that span three hours between each feeding. Wynne said that this is an attempt to train your body to know when it is going to eat so that you are less hungry and quickly processing those smaller meals instead of storing them.
On the 21 Day Challenge, they ask that you don’t drink regular or artificially sweetened sodas (yikes), alcohol (ouch!) or coffee (NO!) and instead substitute with water and green tea (this was the only caffeine allowed). To be honest, this was probably the toughest part of the challenge for me. While giving up sodas isn’t a problem, a lot of my social interactions occur over drinks and I like to do my entrepreneurial things out of a coffee shop. At any rate, I plan on sticking to it.
Wynne also told us that we are given one “cheat” meal a week where we can go eat anything we want. There were a couple of caveats: (1) you still can’t drink alcohol or caffeine and (2) it should be a reasonable sized portion. There goes my plan to knock out an order of King Kong Nachos.
The Cleanse portion of the talk revolved around talking about your liver and the importance of drinking a lot of water. This was something else that is going to be difficult because I very rarely drink fluids (unless they are made from tequila or hops). I am supposed to drink 80+ ounces of water a day which will be a challenge in itself.
Additionally, they suggest this My Fit Foods cocktail made of cranberry juice, lemons, B12, and apple cider vinegar. I’m a little skeptical of these types of things, but since it is more or less normal ingredients I plan on trying it.
I was not looking forward to the Protect section because I saw a list of supplements. I think that supplements are the number one thing that turns me off from diet programs, GNC stores, and personal trainers. I don’t know, it just has never seemed right to me to take all these crazy things.
The My Fit Foods supplements, however, seem to be names that you recognize like: lemon juice, B12, fiber, fish oil, cinnamon, green tea, vitamin C. There were only a few that were weird, and Wynne didn’t try to push them on me so I was happy.
The Strength and Rejuvenate sections can basically be summed up by the following: Exercise 30 minutes a day, three days a week and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Fairly standard stuff.
Wynne then asked my girlfriend and I all about our likes and dislikes on food. I shied away from a couple of things including hard boiled eggs (I can’t stand them) and fish (if you are not aware, microwaving fish in the office microwave is NOT COOL). My girlfriend ended up getting the smaller sizes of food and I decided on getting medium portions for breakfast and lunch along with a large portion for dinner.
Over all I had a great experience and was looking forward to starting the 21 Day Challenge on Sunday September 11th. I look forward to giving a recap after each week where I update you on what I liked and disliked along with my weight (I am starting at 195.4 pounds) and how much I lose. If you come across me and I am in a bad mood, just remember I haven’t had a cup of coffee in quite a while.
My girlfriend and I were both so excited after talking with Wynne that we promptly headed over to Pericos to celebrate with Tex Mex and margaritas.
Wait a minute. No Pericos and margaritas for 21 days?
Man, this is going to be tough…