Warning: Unpopular opinion shared below. 

At the end of last year, I decided to cancel my Beachbody Coach account. After toying with the idea for a while, I had a few revelations that culminated in one huge Eureka moment before my 29th birthday: it just wasn’t bringing me joy. And like Marie Kondo says, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart.” I feel like this is true with material objects AND every other aspect of life.

I’ve completed so many fitness programs and so, so many reviews, but at a point, I feel like it just gets old. You drop pounds, you gain them again. You restrict your diet, then you add in cheat days, and finally, life just becomes one big feast. At this point, I should look and feel like a fitness competitor (insert laughing so hard I’m crying emoji). But instead, like many other loyal Beachbody groupies, I’m right where I started, ready to “begin again” with the next program launch.


The beginning of LIIFT4.

While I’ve loved programs like Shift Shop and LIIFT4, I could only complete them so many times before they just got…well…stale. So, after four years of Beachbody, I’ve decided to bid adieu to coaching and BOD. Don’t get me wrong, $99 a year is a great price for what you get – if you use it.

In the last few weeks, I’ve tried classes from Sweat by Kayla Itsines, AKT (Kelly Ripa’s trainer), Jillian Michaels, and BodyBoss. While good, none of them are really worth the $20+ a month, in my opinion.


Calorie burn from a Body Step workout.

This year, I’ve decided to DIY my own fitness plan, incorporating all of my favorite things – dance, HIIT, strength training, and biking. Stay tuned for future posts on what that looks like and how you can create your own!


New gym equipment coming soon!!

Get ready to prove yourself!

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. I will receive a commission if you purchase from Beachbody via my links. Please do not feel obligated to do so!

SHIFT SHOP is my jam. Every time I complete the program I feel great – stronger, lighter, and more energized. In fact, I just completed another round yesterday and I can’t stop checking out my muscles! For the first time, my before pics for LIIFT4 are gonna be the after photos I’ve only imagined.

Chris Downing

Of course I was super excited to learn that Chris Downing (the program creator) is launching FOUR new workouts to help take your results to another level. It’s not a completely new program, but rather an addition to the original.

There’s a Prep Week with 15-minute Quick Shift workouts that give you an idea of what to expect in the coming weeks. Then, two Proving Grounds workouts that will score your starting and ending performance. Each week, you’ll challenge yourself to be better than last. It always feels impossible at first, but you’ll be amazed how strong you’ll feel after just three weeks.

What, exactly, is SHIFT SHOP?

A 21-day program with six working days and either a stretch or rest day on Sunday. Since it’s such a short program, you work hard from beginning to end. If you get the Deluxe package, you get a few additional workouts to help you burn more calories and get fit faster. Most challengers will save these for round two. I just did four straight weeks of SHIFT SHOP, ending with the 50 minute Super Shift workouts.

The Trainer

In Action

Chris Downing – a Beachbody Super Trainer who has trained both amateur and pro athletes, including individuals at all different fitness levels. He pushes you to do your best and give it your all. An amazing motivational coach – he will have you laughing your behind off (literally).

To learn more about the original program, check out my previous post.

Bottom Line: I can’t wait to test my strength. Workouts officially launch on October 22 – and I’m sure they will be just as good, if not better, than the original SHIFT SHOP workouts. Challenge packs and accessories go on sale today! Visit teambeachbody.com for more info.

Prove Yourself

I know you know, but I have to say it anyway…always consult your doctor before beginning an intense exercise, fitness, and/or diet program.

Visit teambeachbody.com for more information on programs or sign up for Beachbody On Demand to try SHIFT SHOP!

Count containers, not calories

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. No additional cost to you!

If counting calories drives you nuts, you’re not alone. As hard as I try to log my food on my Fitbit – or even in a journal – I just can’t keep up with it.

That’s why I love Beachbody’s Portion Fix Containers. They make it effortless to plan and keep track of meals, so you can enjoy your food without having to do the math.

The Containers

container breakdowns

Photo courtesy of Beachbody, LLC

The Plans

The plans stretch from A-F depending on your caloric needs, which are determined by a simple formula. Once you find your plan, you won’t have to do any calorie counting. If it’s on the list of approved items and fits in your container (with the lid closed) – you can eat it!


Breakfast (or a snack) made easy!

It sounds basic because it is. I can’t tell you how much time this simple system has saved me. Most of the Beachbody programs use these containers, but even if you’re not into fitness, you can still use them to eat the right amounts and better your health.

I’ve always been Plan A for all the programs, but in week 3 of 80 Day Obsession, I noticed I was frequently hungry in the afternoon and evening. I decided to bump myself to Plan B and feel so much better. I’m allowed 4 veggies, 4 proteins, 3 fruits, 3 carbs, 1 healthy fat, 1 oil/seeds, and four teaspoons. That ends up being a shit ton of food – enough to sustain me through the 400+ calorie burns I’ve been experiencing with 80 Day.

The Cookbook


The Fixate cookbook is a fabulous edition Beachbody’s line of products. It was created by Autumn Calabrese – Beachbody super trainer, with a mile long list of credentials. I love it because each recipe already has the container counts listed. The only way it would get easier is if she came to your house and cooked all your meals! Hey, I wouldn’t mind that. Would you?

If you want more great recipes, you can also check out the Fixate cooking show, where Autumn and her brother Bobby team up to deliver all the healthy goodness.

The bottom line: If I were to recommend only one product from Beachbody’s nutrition line, this would be it. Affordable. Useful. Effective. What more can you ask for?


Photo courtesy of Beachbody, LLC

Click here for a video breakdown of the the entire container system.

An obsession is coming 

Photo property of Beachbody, LLC

This January, Autumn Calabrese is back with a new Beachbody fitness program. You know her – celebrity fitness trainer and creator of 21 Day Fix, Country Heat, and the cooking show Fixate, to name a few.

80-Day Obsession – a program designed to sculpt your abs and booty.

When the news first broke at the beginning of the month, I was less than thrilled. An 80-day program? That’s like a lifetime. I quickly dismissed the idea and went back to Letting Shi(f)t Go.

Then I thought about it. In the scheme of things, 80 days is not very long. It’s less than three months – the probationary period before benefits kick in at a new job, the first trimester of pregnancy, a quarter of a year. In fact, several other Beachbody programs run longer. In other words, it’s doable.

I thought about chunking the program into four 20-day cycles and how each new cycle would be an opportunity to take before and after photos, reset the mind, and begin anew. It would be good to challenge myself to make a BIG commitment, and to show others that even with a full-time job, a family, and a few freelance jobs on the side, it’s still totally possible to work on yourself. Now I’m actually excited for it to begin!

What I know

  • The program lasts 80 days (duh) and will begin in January
  • New workouts are released every Monday-Friday
  • High-intensity workouts build on previous ones – no repeats
  • Times vary from 45-60 minutes a day (much like in Core de Force)
  • It follows the container system, with precise guidelines of when to eat what
  • There will be tacos!


So maybe you aren’t in the mindset to fully commit right now. It’s going to be an extreme 80 days. Luckily, you still have about four months to get your mind and body ready for it. Start by completing some of Autumn’s other programs – 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, and Hammer & Chisel.

Before you say “Oh, hell no!” I encourage you to believe in yourself. Before you think you can’t commit to 80 days, see my idea for breaking it down (above). Before you say that 45-60 minutes a day is just unreasonable, remember that a one-hour workout is just 4% of your day. It might take some rearranging of your schedule (I wake up at 5 am to get my workout in before I go to my day job), but it’s definitely worth it. Your body (and your mind) will thank you.

Always remember – nothing is impossible.

Fire up your workouts


I could begin and end my review with one sentence: Energize is liquid gold. Seriously, if you’re looking for a pre-workout that’s going to give you a boost and help you power through every tough workout, look no further.

Beachbody’s Performance line was designed to help you go faster, harder, and stronger so you can get the results you want and crush those goals.

Energize has been scientifically shown to:*

  • Improve performance
  • Increase energy & endurance
  • Sharpen focus & reaction time


Energize is lemon flavored, and to me it tastes like summertime lemonade – yum! There are only 10 calories and 4g of carbs per serving. Just mix with water, shake, and chug!

Beta-alanine – buffers muscle acid buildup, slowing down muscle fatigue.

Green Tea – helps improve reaction time & enhance energy.

Quercetin – helps improve performance & recovery.

The Tingles

A few people have reported a tingling sensation after drinking. If this happens to you, don’t be alarmed! Thank the low-dose of caffeine from the green tea for this – it means it’s working. If you’re a regular coffee drinker or you consume other forms of caffeine (like Monster), you probably won’t even notice.

It Works

The proof is in the pudding. On average, I would say I burn about 10% more calories when I drink Energize prior to working out. Below you can see the same workout (SHIFT SHOP – Speed 25) completed around the same time of day. The only difference? One time I drank Energize, the other I didn’t! IMG_20170720_164823_672000The Bottom Line: I recommend this to everyone. If you want results, Energize will give you the boost you need. It doesn’t get anymore real than that. Plus, it tastes great!

Energize is available in packets of 10 or a 40-serving tub.**



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your doctor before trying any new supplement.

**Visit teambeachbody.com for current pricing.




Refresh Yourself

Beachbody advertises the 3-Day Refresh as a quick way to lose a few pounds or kickstart new habits.  For me, it was a combination of both:  an attempt to break through my weight loss plateau and recommit to healthier eating.

I did A LOT of research on the program before I bought it.  I read every Beachbody ad and blog post I could find, reviews on Amazon and Beachbody.com, asked friends who tried it, and turned to Pinterest for guidance and support.  Some had amazing results with 9-10 pounds of fat blasted off, some didn’t have any loss at all, and some gained it back and then some within weeks after.  I knew that I would just have to make the investment and try it for myself.  At the very worst, if it didn’t work I would get my money back (less shipping and handling).  How could I not?

I’ll first explain everything I can about the program and follow it up with a 100% unbiased review of my experience.  Let’s go!

Cost (does not include S&H):

  • Program with Shakeology – $69.95; Coach Price -$52.46
  • Program without Shakeology – $59.95; Coach Price – $52.46
  • Program with 30-Day Shakeology Supply – $140.00

A few things to consider:

  • The duration of the program is 3 days, as the name implies. But I’m going to suggest that you budget for 4. Why? Because you need one day to read through your booklet, plan your meals, get your groceries, and prep. Remember, a good plan will almost always lead to success.
  • Unlike other fitness programs, Beachbody recommends starting the 3-Day on a Friday so you have at least 2 full days without work, school, or other distractions. I’m going to suggest NOT doing it on the weekend. It’s really hard to stay committed to the program when you are used to going out or eating out on the weekends. 3 days during the week = no big deal.
  • You CAN workout while doing the 3-Day (Mild to Moderate), but you will most likely be tired ALL day.
  • The program is 3 full days without meat and dairy.
  • You can use any flavor Shakeology, but for maximum results, Beachbody recommends using one of the vegan flavors (Chocolate or Tropical Strawberry).
  • You will be drinking A LOT of filtered water – get yourself 4-5 gallons (1 gallon a day plus additional for shakes and fiber sweep).

The Day Before

  • Read the booklet twice or three times, if it helps – familiarize yourself with the program
  • Choose your snacks, lunches, and dinners
  • Get your groceries
  • Meal prep for the 3 days
  • Weigh yourself and take measurements before bed

Days 1-3

  • Start your day with a cold glass of water (8-10oz)
  • Drink half of your weight in water throughout the day (e.g. if you are 126lbs, you will need to drink 63oz of water)
  • Drink your vegan Shakeology with 10oz of water and ice (optional) and eat a piece of fruit (fruit can also be blended with your shake)
  • Mid-Morning – drink Fiber Sweep with 8oz very cold water (it will mix better)
  • Lunch – Vanilla Fresh Shake, fruit, veggie & healthy fat
  • Afternoon Snack – veggie & healthy fat
  • Dinner – Vanilla Fresh Shake & Dinner Recipe Option

Here’s where I started:

First, I would describe my body type as semi-petite.  I’m 5’4” and weigh around 126 pounds (I put on a few pounds of muscle [I hope] with Hammer & Chisel).  I’ve never been fat; the highest I’ve ever been was in high school – 138.  But my ideal number is around 115, which I can’t seem to touch again.  The “stubborn” weight I have is in my love handles and thighs.  I hate them.  I’ll blame it on my Italian great grandma, who I never met, but was told passed on her “LaRegina Hips” to every unfortunate gal that came after her.

Here’s what I ate:

I kept it simple this first time – same menu for all three days (this was also budget friendly).

  • Breakfast: Chocolate Vegan Shakeology with filtered water & 6 strawberries and ½ kiwi (on the side)
  • Lunch: Vanilla Fresh Shake & Salad (½ pear, 2tbsp avocado, 1 baby cucumber, ½ tomato, juice of ½ lime, Himalayan salt)
  • Afternoon Snack: 1 baby cucumber, ½ tomato, ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dinner: Veggie Stir Fry (½ cup sliced red pepper, ½ cup sliced carrots, ½ cup green beans, ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil, ½ clove garlic, ½ tsp grated ginger, and a sprinkle of sea salt)

Here’s how I felt:

Day 1

  • I was really hungry after doing my morning work out because I didn’t eat a big dinner the night before. But after I got to work and drank my shake/ate my fruit, I was feeling better.
  • I was so scared about the Fiber Sweep because I’ve heard very negative things. It wasn’t bad – at all! It has a light citrus flavor and is a bit on the thick side – kind of like a watery, gritty Jell-O. Totally drinkable (at least 3 times)! [Note: I did feel a bit nauseous a few minutes after drinking it, but that subsided fairly quickly.]
  • At 11:30am I started to feel hungry so drank more water and was able to make it until 12pm (barely!). The Vanilla Fresh is actually pretty tasty. I usually don’t like anything vanilla flavored, outside of ice cream and coffee. Pretty smooth and also drinkable. I wish you could purchase this vegan flavor on its own.
  • I had my afternoon snack around 2:30pm. I tried to hold out until 3pm, but it wasn’t happening.
  • When I came home around 5pm I started to get really busy so I wouldn’t think about eating.  I held out until 7pm, at which time I ate my stir fry and drank my shake. Yum! I have to say, those veggies are going to become a staple in my dinner menu – but maybe with some chicken and rice!
  • At about 9:30pm I was ravenous. It was like I hadn’t eaten in days! I drank some more water and pushed through. After I finally fell asleep I had terrible and crazy dreams for most of the night.

Day 2

  • Ah Saturday. I slept in a bit (figured that would help with the hunger) and woke up around 9 to make my shake.
  • It was easier to down the fiber on Day 2 – not that was hard the first day, but I didn’t dread it. And it didn’t make me feel sick!
  • Lunch was HARD because I took a trip to Danbury and wolfed down my salad / shake in the car before going to the mall and watching my boyfriend down a Philly cheesesteak with fries.
  • The drive back was better and I ate my afternoon snack when I got home. Decided to go grocery shopping on a “full” stomach. I prep for the coming week EVERY weekend so I couldn’t take a break from that. It actually wasn’t bad. I bought healthy food and snacks and (mostly) stuck to my list.
  • I was able to hold out on dinner until 8pm and then watched a movie and went to bed. Solid Day 2.

Day 3

  • Home stretch! Well, I woke up not wanting to eat. This is an absolute FIRST for me. I decided to pack my breakfast and go thrift shopping. I drove around a bit and was finally hungry at 11am. This messed up my schedule a bit and is another reason why I am against doing the 3-Day on the weekend:  I have a more rigid weekday schedule. 
  • Lunch was great – I really cherished it. And I also did my meal prepping for the week while I was “full.” Made some egg salad, meatballs, corn casserole, shredded chicken, dark chocolate sea salt scones, and skinny cannoli dip! Portioned out my fruit and veggies. All set!
  • I ate my snack mid-baking. I wasn’t really hungry, but I was a bit tempted to take a spoonful of egg salad!
  • I told my boyfriend I would make him a meatball parm sandwich for dinner and said it without crying. Success! I heated up my veggies and doused them in chili powder (I love spicy). Staying strong until the very end. TONIGHT!!!

Here’s my final opinion:

All that being said, I lost 1.3 pounds and 2 inches.  I wanted to be able to give you a drumroll and say that everyone MUST buy this Refresh, but I can’t.  What I CAN say though, is that this is a great way to jumpstart healthy eating and learn how to portion control.  Because I already do both fairly well, I didn’t physically see that much of a difference.  I did, however, feel better – most likely due to the absence of dairy (I’m lactose intolerant).

I learned that I can be more creative with my veggies and I plan on using the recipes in the future.  I also learned that I need to add more exercise into my routine to balance out the calories I will intake AFTER the refresh – I don’t want to undo my little progress.  Actually, I want to see more.  It’s all about balance. 

But, just because the 3-Day Refresh didn’t really work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  Our bodies are different, we eat different foods, and our activity levels vary too.

If you’re interested in giving the 3-Day a try and you need help, I’m your girl! I’m 100% committed to supporting and mentoring people to dining their healthy center, hence my blog! I can work one on one with you, and answer any questions you might have along the way. Please reach out if you feel that my guidance may just be the thing to push you to success and we can start to chat about it!

Remember that 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. What have you got to lose?