Top 7 Advantages of the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan & Steps to Succeed at It

The 21 Day Fix meal plan is one of the most vital parts of the popular BeachBody fitness program. The meal plans implement nutritious foods and portion control. Many have followed the 21-day fix and shared impressive goals. Just with any fitness or healthy eating regime, it is important to follow the restrictions.

a salad and meat sandwich

We have put together some of the important steps to creating a successful 21 Day Fix meal plan. With so many healthy advantages, the 21 Day Fix meal plan is a great place to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Whether you want to reach a weight loss goal or simply learn to eat healthier, this is a great opportunity to implement into your daily life.

How to Succeed at the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan

It is very important to eat clean and exercise portion control while on the 21 Day Fix. To make sure you will succeed from the very beginning, you should create an easy-to-follow meal plan. By prepping your meals ahead of time, you will have no excuse not to follow the program when hunger strikes.

Many BeachBody coaches recommend creating a food planning journal. This will help you log the foods that you eat and calculate calories and nutrition facts. You will want to stay in your recommended calorie range each day, and it can be hard to keep track without logging your consumed calories.

The meal plan calls for a strict schedule of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and snack. By eating smaller portions at meals and snacking on healthy tidbits throughout the day, your body will get the right amount to fuel yourself through the day.

Make sure you are eating clean and avoiding ingredients such as sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. There are several resources that offer clean eating recipes and snack ideas. No need to sacrifice flavor and variety, the possibilities are endless.

Top 7 Advantages of the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan

#1. Cut Out Processed Foods

a lot of processed foods on a table

While on Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix meal plan, you can eat a wide variety of foods. However, process foods are on the no-no list. This is a great opportunity to learn to enjoy clean eating. By eliminating process foods out of your diet, you will experience several health benefits.

Followers of the program have reported weight loss, higher energy levels, clearer skin, sharper memory skills and more. Our bodies were meant to consume natural, clean foods. This meal plan will help you realize what type of fuel your body really needs.

#2. Use Up Leftovers

The great thing about meal planning is being able to incorporate past day’s meal ingredients. For example, use the leftover lettuce and veggies from yesterday’s salad to make a quick and easy midday snack for the next day.

Several Beachbody coaches recommend using leftover protein. Cook up an extra serving at chicken for dinner, and you will have a pre-made lunch the next day! Not only will this free up valuable fridge space, but it will also help reduce your food costs.

#3. Discover New Foods

two casseroles of food

The 21 Day Fix offers you the opportunity to try new foods or learn to love new flavors. Perhaps you are not the biggest fan of vegetables or lean protein? There are several clean eating recipes that utilize these ingredients. Their preparation or seasonings options could create a flavor that you absolutely love.

#4. No Fuss Meals

How many times have you or your family spent way too much time deciding what to eat for dinner? Or how many times have you come home from work way too tired to eat? By meal planning and preparing ahead of time, meals become completely fuss free. Most of the plan’s recipes call for no or minimal preparation. Basically, you can grab your prepared container and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal.

#5. Lose Weight

two healthy meals

Whether you want to achieve a goal weight or simply tone up trouble areas, diet is the best way to start. By implementing healthy eating choices and following the 21 Day Fix meal plan, your metabolism will begin to speed up, and your body will begin to repair the damage of unhealthy eating.

Also, a healthy diet will prepare your body for a fitness regime. While on the 21-day fix, you will realize you have more energy to get through a great workout session!

#6. More Energy

Healthy eating can be the answer to revitalizing those energy levels. If you suffer from feeling sluggish or tired, even after sleeping, a diet change could be just what your body needs. A healthy diet and fitness regime is recommended by many health experts. Give your body the fuel it is meant to have by cutting out processed foods and following this program.

#7. Easy to Follow

There is a reason that so many people choose to follow this Beachbody program. With your signup, a Beachbody coach will be assigned to you. They can offer you helpful advice and tips to reach your goals. Beachbody has made the 21 Day Fix as easy as possible to follow.

With shopping lists, recipe ideas and meal plans, you will be set up for success. The program even comes with a set of color-coded containers to help you control portions and make sure you are getting enough of each healthy food group!

Summing It Up

Today could be the first day to a new you! By taking advantage of these tips, you can reach your health and fitness goals. Many people have seen great success with the 21 Day Fix. Now is the time for you to join that statistic. Have you ever tried to the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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Top 7 Best Savings Account Options You Can Access Online

It is extremely important to be prepared for any emergency financial issue that may arise. From an unforeseen medical expense to a sudden job loss, having a savings account is vital. With the emergence of many online banks, it has become more convenient and fuss-free to open a savings account than ever. Being able to access your account online is a great benefit, but not all accounts are created equal.

a yellow piggy bank on coins

How to Find the Best Savings Account for You

When looking for the best online saving account for yourself, there are a few factors you should keep in mind. Financial experts recommend choosing a high interest yielding account that offers low or no balance requirements and no account maintenance fees. High-interest rates mean more money in your pocket.

Whether you make periodic large deposits or add a little at every pay period, high-interest rates will help raise your balance and multiply your funds. With a national average APY of .06 percent, our picks for the best online savings accounts exceed this average with attractive percentages as high as 1 percent. Basically, high interest yielding accounts give you a little extra bonus to your balance.

While several banks will require you to keep a certain balance or risk being subjected to fees, we believe that you shouldn’t have restrictions. After all, it is your account and your money. Pick an account that will allow you to have whatever balance suits you. Also, no one likes being subjected to pesky hidden fees. Find an account that is completely open when it comes to several fee possibilities.

With literally hundreds of banking options available on the Internet, we waded through the offers to find the best savings account options. The following seven online savings account offer great benefits, customer service, and security.

Top 7 Savings Account Options You Can Access Online

a credit card detail

1. Barclays

A Barclays online savings account has many great perks that make it attractive to users. It offers a starting one percent APY. Not only that, but its rates are ranked about twelve times better than the national average. Their best savings account is convenient and flexible.

You don’t need to have a minimum balance, and Barclays promises no hidden fees. One of the most attractive features of a Barclays account is that you can link directly to a different pre-existing bank account.

2. MySavingsDirect

MySavingsDirect has a much smaller following than these other big bank names. As an online division of New York-based Emigrant Bank, MySavingsDirect offers a basic savings account with big perks. A high-interest savings account comes along with a low 1 percent APY. They also promise that users won’t have to deal with any pesky requirements or hidden fees. Plus, you can easily transfer money by linking the account up to a preexisting account.

3. Discover Bank

Discover Bank’s saving account do have the requirement that you make a deposit of at least $500. However, this deposit will earn you some pretty great perks, such as a super low 0.95 percent APY. After your initial deposit, you will not be subjected to any balance requirement or hidden maintenance fees. You have the convenient freedom to access your money almost anywhere. Discover has more than 60,000 ATM location across the nation.

4. Ally

You may have seen Ally’s commercials about their impressive saving account perks. Ally offers one percent APY, no hidden fees and no balance requirements on every account. As an online banker, Ally ranks as one of the best saving selection account options when it comes to customer service. Ally allows you to link a number of banking accounts to your Ally savings account, which gives you maximum control over your money.

5. Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank is known for having the best savings account options with high-interest yield and some impressive benefits. Their 1.05 APY is better than many of their competitors. Like many of the other banks on this list, Synchrony does not have a minimum balance requirement.

However, if your balance drops below $30, you will be subjected to a $5 monthly fee. Despite this small fee, there are plenty of other perks to outweigh it. Long time account holders earn travel discounts, identity protection and more.

6. Salem Five Direct

Salem Five Direct is another online division of a larger banking branch, Salem Five Cents Savings Bank. Their best savings account comes with an attractive 1.10 percent APY and also offers a lower APY percentage checking account that you can link together. With free ATM withdrawals, no account minimums or hidden fees, this is a great online savings account options. To start, all you will need is at least $100 as a beginning deposit.

7. Capital One

Almost everyone has heard of Capital One. This large name is a leader in the banking and credit industry. With such a high reputation, the company also offers one of the best savings account options. You can rest assured that your money is being protected by one of the leading banks in the nation.

With an 1 percent APY and a promise of no hidden fees or balance requirements, Capital One is a great choice for an online savings account. Capital One and all of these banking institutions are backed by FDIC-insured banks with legitimate reputations.

Let’s Recap

Find the best savings account for you and your finances. Look for convenient and attractive benefits, like online access, high-interest rates, minimal balance requirements and lack of pesky fees. By opening an online savings account, you can gain a financial peace of mind by building a valuable safety net.

Whether you are saving for a certain goal or building emergency funds, you need a savings account. Do you have experience with an online savings account? We would love to hear about your experience. Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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Top 7 Meals Under $10 to Prepare for Your Kids

You could cut costs by 50% or more when you learn how to prepare inexpensive meals from home. It’s all about finding the right recipes and developing the right habits for saving money on grocery shopping and cooking. Time is also a factor in how expensive a meal is, so you must also consider how long it takes to cook a meal.

some spring rolls on a white plate

With so many recipes online, it can feel overwhelming to find the best recipes that are not only inexpensive and easy to make but are approved of by your kids. The extra money you save by following the tips listed below and adapting to cooking meals under $10 can deposit in a family travel fund, your retirement account, or your child’s education fund.

How to Prepare Meals Under $10

If you’re in charge of the budget or cooking for your family, then you’re probably trying to find ways to cut costs to save money. How much you spend on food is one of the areas you can drastically cut costs. Cooking food at home is cheaper than eating out.

Using an example from Cheapism.com, a classic roasted chicken dinner with vegetables costs $16 tip included at a restaurant. Without the tip, it would be about $13, but tipping is customary in America. When you cook a classic roasted chicken dinner at home, the cost is $6.41. That’s more than half the price that you would pay at a restaurant.

You can save even more money on meals by collecting a list of the best inexpensive recipes. There are many delicious meals you can cook for less than 10 dollars. And they are often quick and easy to prepare as well.

There are some good habits you should develop to assist in preparing meals under $10. One of the habits you should develop is planning meals ahead of time. When you go to the store knowing exactly what you need, you won’t overspend. Going to the store without a list results in buying more than necessary. Another good money saving habit is to cook based on what’s in season.

Produce is cheaper when it’s in season. A trick to make cuts of lower quality meat taste better when you buy them is to use them in crock pot recipes. The slow cooker will make the meat turn out more tender and flavorful.

Top 7 Meals Under $10 to Prepare for Your Family

1. Cambell’s Orange Picante Chicken

One of the most delicious meals under $10 that you can make is Cambell’s Orange Picante Chicken. The ingredients you’ll need are boneless chicken breast, Pace Picante sauce, orange marmalade, garlic cloves, and rice. Of course, you’ll also need vegetable oil for cooking the chicken, but you probably always have cooking oil on hand.

2. Huevos Mexicanos

A good, healthy breakfast, Huevos Mexicanos is eggs with cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese. You could also use Huevos Mexicanos as a filling for pita pockets or corn tortillas. Some toppings you may want to try on this meal are hot sauce, black pepper, avocado, and salsa.

3. Chicken Alfredo

a pasta and chicken alfredo dish

Chicken Alfredo is a pasta dish that many people enjoy. You can make it under $10 with chicken breast, linguine, mushrooms, frozen mixed vegetables, milk, and a jar of Alfredo-style pasta sauce. Angel hair pasta can substitute linguine to cook the meal faster. The jar of Alfredo sauce also saves you time and money on preparing the sauce. A small variation you can try for extra flavor is cooking the chicken with lemon paper and seasoning salt.

4. Meatloaf

You can make this classic American dinner for less than $10. Pair it with mashed potatoes and green peas for a full, delicious, and inexpensive dinner. Another vegetable that goes well with meatloaf is cooked carrots. All you need for cooking the meatloaf is lean ground beef, onion, eggs, tomato sauce, and oats.

Most meatloaf recipes use breadcrumbs, but oats can be used as a substitute. You may also add green pepper to this recipe if you like green peppers in your meatloaf.

5. BBQ Pork Sandwich

two medium-sized burgers

One of the easiest meals under $10 that you can make is BBQ pork sandwiches. You can prepare BBQ pork sandwiches with pork loin, hamburger buns, and BBQ sauce. Experiment with different BBQ sauces to find your favorite combination. To cook the pork, cut it in half and place it in the crock pot with BBQ sauce. Cook it on low for approximately six hours in the crock pot.

6. Nutty Tofu

Nutty Tofu is a protein-rich meal that’s cheap and easy to cook. The ingredients needed for this recipe are firm tofu, linguine, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, broccoli, and peanuts. If you like Thai cuisine, then you’ll probably love Nutty Tofu. It has that characteristic peanut taste.

7. Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions

A cheap Southwestern-style dinner you can cook is maple-chili glazed pork medallions with southwestern calico corn on the side. It is easy and quick to prepare, only taking 20 minutes. You’ll need lean tenderloin pork, vinegar, apple cider, maple syrup, chili powder, salt, ground chipotle chili, and canola oil to cook Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions.

Bottom Line

Cooking meals isn’t as expensive, difficult, or time-consuming as some think it is. Keep a recipe book of all the inexpensive meals your family gives good ratings on and always go to the grocery store with a list of what you need. Don’t buy things that aren’t on the grocery list.

Combining tips on preparing cheap meals with the actual recipes will deliver the best results in saving money on cooking for your family. The seven budget-friendly meals under $10 listed above are recipes that kids tend to enjoy. They are a good starting point for you in preparing quick, easy, and inexpensive meals for your family.

Which of these recipes are you excited to try? Do you know of any other good meals to prepare for kids that are under ten bucks? Let us know in the comments below.

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The Best Finance Apps for When You Want to Save Money

Saving is hard! Most of us have probably thought this at least once in our lives. More frustratingly is when you do save up a nice sum of money, and then an emergency depletes all of your savings. You’re back to square one and feel demotivated on top of that. Fortunately, there are hundreds of great finance apps that you can use to save money more easily without forgetting to make a transfer or struggling to determine how much to add to your savings account. They take the difficulty out of saving; you’ll no longer find it challenging.

a woman using a smartphone

How to Make Use of the Best Finance Apps

Apps aren’t useful if you download them and never use them again after a month. They only take up unnecessary space on your phone. A finance app will only help you save money if you consistently utilize it. To find a money saving app that you’ll use, first think about what you plan on using it for and what’s important in an app for you. You know that you plan on using it for saving money, but do you have a specific goal like an upcoming vacation? Or do you just know that saving is something you should be doing?

We recommend that you define saving goals before downloading one of these apps so that you have something to work toward and can feel the sense of accomplishment when you reach your savings goal for something important to you. According to a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, people are more likely to succeed when they write down specific goals

After you have your financial goals written down, write what features you want in a finance app. Do you want to find one with a community? Perhaps you would like something with gamification. Or do you need a simplistic app that doesn’t take much effort? This will help you narrow down your options, so you only download the best finance apps most likely to help you save money and stick to it.

5 of the Best Finance Apps to Try When You Want to Save Money

dollar bills rolls

1. Mint

Mint, available on both iOS and Android, is one of the best finance apps that analyzes your spending. It is good for giving you a big picture perspective on your finances too. It features bill reminders, budgeting tools, and credit score tracking to help you manage your spending wisely.

To use Mint, you must give the app read access to your bank accounts. This concerns and deters some people, but it’s safe to use. Mint is only granted the ability to read the accounts; it is incapable of moving money from them. If your Mint account was hacked, your money would be safe.

2. Qapital

This money saving app operates based on an IFTTT (If This Then That) principle. You set up rules for yourself to save money. When one of the rules is triggered, the app automatically saves money for you. For example, you can set up Qapital to round up the cost of coffee when you order at Starbucks and send the extra change to your savings account. Others have also used this app to send leftover money in an area of the budget to their savings accounts at the end of the month.

This helps you resist the urge to spend money you have leftover after covering essential expenses. Qapital was originally only available on iOS but can now be used on Android too.

3. Acorns

Acorns is a micro-investing app that rounds up your purchases and invests the spare change into a diversified portfolio. Investing money is just as important as saving, and Acorns helps people who are new to investing get their feet wet. Many people have the misconception that you need large amounts of money to start investing, but there are many ways to get started with just a little bit of money.

The Acorns app is just one example of your options in micro-investing. Acorns is free to download, but once you start investing with the app, it costs $1 per month for accounts that are $5,000 and under. Accounts over $5,000 are charged an annual 0.25% fee.

Different from the typical money saving app, Digit sends you a text message each day informing you of your checking account balance. Based on an analysis of your spending habits, Digit will also automatically transfer money you have to spare into your savings account every 2-3 days. The amount it can transfer to your savings varies from $0.05 to $150. You can also have Digit text you each day how much your balance changed within the past two days.

The app provides a feature that will let you know why your balance changed. It will list all of your debits from the previous day. Digit is an excellent app for monitoring your checking account on a daily basis without having to sign in, something that deters most people from doing daily financial check-ins.

Bottom Line

Using the right finance app can help you save money. The simple act of monitoring your spending and checking account balance will help you save money. You will be more conscious of spending money. However, you shouldn’t stop there, or you won’t save as much as you possibly could. It’s important to intentionally save money. One of the best finance apps listed above is a good way to stick with saving money. Acorns not only helps you save money but grow your money too. What was once $5 could turn into $10.

Try one of these finance apps, and let us know how you like it. Did it help you save money? How much money did you save after a certain period? What are the best finance apps in your opinion? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

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