Believe it or not, converting recipes to 21 Day Fix container equivalents isn’t an exact science, but it is totally possible to do! This is honestly one of the MOST common questions I get asked by my challengers is “how do I count the containers for this recipe?”
So first things first, this is a LIFESTYLE plan not just a diet so we want to FOCUS on making this adaptable to the real world, and reality is not everything comes out perfectly portioned! My challengers and I focus on making the nutrition plan a guideline. We use it to learn portion control, and balance our meals better, but reality is we follow the 80/20 rule (80% of the time use your containers, 20% of the time just try to eat as best you can in the situation) and still see awesome results!
You don’t have to stick to the plan 100% of the time. If you are just plain full, stop eating. If you’re hungry and need more, fill up on veggies and a little extra protein. If you find you are starving and need more protein or vegetables, then eat them!
Reality is, not every meal is always going to be a carb (yellow container,) a protein (red container,) and a veggie (green container.) So how do you figure out container equivalents for your favorite recipes?
First things first, LOOK in the book1! The guidebook answers so many questions you may have so ready through it fully! I find pages 70-71 super helpful for understanding the container counts for mixed foods.
When possible, try to measure out your foods before you mix them together. For example, with a salad, I’d measure out my greens first using the green container, the dressing with teaspoons, the nuts with a blue, fruit with a yellow and protein with a red. Once you measure you can mix together and serve. To figure portions, you’d just divide the total container count by the number of servings your salad makes. This is the most accurate way to count mixed foods.
The other thing I do is make note of the different kinds of foods in the recipe. For example, if I’m making zucchini boats, I’m using a green for Zucchini, a red for ground turkey, blue for cheese, etc…
You can also use the mixed foods guideline on page 71 of the guidebook as a point of reference. If what you are eating is similar, then cross of the corresponding containers.