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P90X on a Budget: Phase Two Downloadable Menu Plan

So, I started round two of P90X today. I have to confess something: I thought since I’d already gone through the program once that the second time around would be a piece of cake.

Well, I forgot that I took a two-week break from exercising. And apparently I’m not in quite as good of shape as I thought I was.

Or my body forgot how to exercise. Or something.

At any rate, I could hardly make it through the warm-up (I even ended up lying down for about 30 seconds because I was so winded!). My get up and go had gotten up and gone.

But then, after a pathetic warm-up where I felt like a total exercise failure, it was like my body remembered, “Oh, yes, P90X! I remember this! Bring it!” Because once I started in with the push-ups and pull-ups, I just floated through all of it and then did Ab Ripper X and then I even considered hopping on the elliptical for a little while, too. But I nixed that idea because I was out of time.

I’m pumped! I’ve missed the rush that comes from exercising and I’m ready to knock this second round out of the park. Of course, I might be taking all that back after I puff and pant my way through Plyo tomorrow. 🙂

Download the Phase Two Menu Plan

I got smart this time around and am completely skipping the Phase One Menu Plan as I don’t have fat I need to burn and know that my body needs the extra carbs. So, I put together a menu plan for Phase Two which you can access here.

Please keep in mind that this is my own rendition of the P90X diet. It’s not perfectly in line with everything they say to eat, but it’s what I’ve found seems to be a good balance of carbs and protein for me at this intense level of exercise.

I’m only doing a six-day menu because I take Sundays off from exercising and am not as strict with the diet that day, either. Though I still try to eat pretty balanced and healthfully so as not to completely ruin the efforts from the rest of the week!

If you missed it when I posted it before, you can download the Phase One Menu Plan here.

The children eat somewhat similar meals, with some variation since they don’t particularly care for lots of salads and definitely aren’t consuming the level of protein I am!

My husband is eating very similar to me for breakfasts, snacks and dinners. And then he usually buys his lunch, as he’s often on the road throughout the day (he has his own law firm and does a lot of traffic court work in small-town courts in our state).

Anyone else doing P90X or another intense workout plan right now? I’d love to hear how it’s going for you!

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  • I lost over 40 lbs a few years back doing The Firm (transfirmer edition). I was actually thinking earlier today I need to start it up again! Maybe I’ll dust it off (um..literally), tomorrow!

    • Carrie P says:

      @Heather@Family Friendly Frugality, I LOVE LOVE the Firm! I have two sets and I got mine out a week ago! I just love how toned up I get and the aerobic stuff is so fun I think. I wish I had a workout buddy again but these days I just don’t. With a 3 and 1 yr old that wouold be tough. Maybe they will get crazy and join me but I am afraid my youngest will climb my steps! Best wishes and go for it! You have encoutraged me;o)

      • Carrie P says:

        @Carrie P, haah I mean ‘encouraged’ :o)

      • Another Carrie P says:

        @Carrie P, I would say definitely try to exercise even with the little ones around. I did this with my now 10 year old when she was that age and I believe that it played a part in her being a good dancer now. She had her own steps and would try her best to follow the instructor (this lead to many laughs (silently, of course) for me when watching her). As for the 1 year old, I would say by all means let him/her climb on the step especially if it will be on carpet, not on hard wood/tile. You could even put the couch pillows around it to help break any tumbles (I’m not the kind of mother that frets each time one of mine gets hurt so I had no problem with mine being on a stepper). A few days of this exploration might be all that’s needed before the thrill wears off for the 1 year old and then you can exercise in peace.

        Side note – if this is Carrie Perez again, we ‘talked’ a few weeks ago about both being Carrie P. If you don’t have a problem with it, then from now on, I’ll be Carrie P #2 – that’s what I was in high school when my best friend was Carrie #1 and I was Carrie #2.

  • Alison says:

    Good luck with phase 2, Crystal. I love exercising and live for that rush of endorphins. Building muscle and increasing your strength and endurance is the best thing you can do for your body. I’m not doing P90x, but I am training for a marathon and also weight lift a couple times a week, which keeps me pretty busy.
    Hooray for strong women!

  • The menu looks delicious!! I am using low carb plan and I alter it a little bit to reduce some of the fats. I did not get the results I expected from the first round of p90x because i slacked on the meal planning. doing much better now! less carbs, more protein.. smarter choices. GOOD LUCK & BRING IT!

  • wendy hughes says:

    I have a copy of the p90x and I have no motivation to use anything. I recently moved from AZ to Fl and don’t workout at all. I am going to try your menu plan and see if I can do this work out

  • Michelle says:

    I am also doing P90X…actually a P90X/Turbo Fire hybrid! Isn’t it funny how we think we can jump right back into and it’s going to be easy schmeesy?! lol I can say that I am definitely feeling MUCH stronger this time around and it’s been since April when I did it last. I took some time out for a round of Insanity and Turbo Fire.

    Keep BRINGING IT!! 🙂

  • Windy says:

    Hi Crystal! My husband and I have both done the P90x program. It’s great! We LOVED the Island Tenderloin Pork Chops on a bed of Greens! The spice rub and marinade are easy and our kids like it too! It’s in the meal plan book. Way to go finishing phase 1! I was so thrilled with the results and also thrilled that my metabolism got kicked into high gear! I was still toning and losing weight months after finishing the 90 days!! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      I’m actually on Round 2 of the whole program (finished all three phases in October!). But I’m skipping Phase 1 of the diet plan since I crashed on it the last time around. We’ll see if jumping in with Phase 2 from the beginning works better. Time will tell!

      So glad to hear well you enjoyed P90X!

  • michelle says:

    Did p90x over the summer, then had my gallbladder out and can’t wait to start it again. I can tell a huge difference in the way I look and feel since I’ve not been able to exercise. Thanks for putting your meal plan up.

  • Brandy says:

    What kind of recovery drink do you use?

  • Chris says:

    Beachbody workouts are the best! I’m doing ChaLEAN Extreme, and have done Turbo Jam in the past. I haven’t tried P90x yet, but I have several friends who swear by it. I signed up to be a coach so I can get the products at a discount–that’s how excited I’ve gotten over EXERCISE! (Never would have thought that….) I’m not here to spam, but if anyone is considering buying any Beachbody products anyway, check out my page. I would love to help you pick a workout and coach you through it!

  • Jennifer says:

    Hey Crystal, thanks so much for posting all this great P90X info. You inspired me to start the program, and I am now on Phase 3 of my first cycle. I feel amazing! I am planning on doing a second cycle starting in Jan. Can you please post the recipe for how you cook the barley? I am looking for some healthy sides dishes. We are getting burned out on brown rice 🙂

  • Julie says:

    I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the P90X program. One guy I know really doubled in size (all muscle)! I’m training for a half marathon coming up in about a month, but maybe in January I’ll start up the P90X 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Btw…Crystal, I just realized that I never congratulated you on continuing on the P90X…that’s so awesome! I think it’s so important to remember yourself in between your husband, work, and kids 🙂 One question, though….I’m reading the P90X website, and it says that you need a pull-up bar. Where do you put a pull-up bar in your house? Thanks!

      • Celena says:

        @Julie, There are some pull-up bars that fit in your doorway, no hardware or anything needed. They brace against the inside and outside of the door jamb. I’m not sure if that’s what Crystal uses, but that’s what my husband uses. Doesn’t damage the wall or door at all.

      • Bobbi says:

        @Julie, you can get the pullup bars that set in your doorway at Walmart for around $20 or $25

      • Crystal says:

        Our pull-up bar is in our extra bedroom (we have an over-the-door bar) that is currently my “work-out room” since we don’t have any furniture for the bedroom (we have to get a couch for our bare basement family room before we think about saving for extra bedroom furniture!). It’s working out well right now!

  • Oh yay! I’ve been waiting on a P90X update 🙂 Glad you are enjoying it so much.

    I am using the P90X workouts right now, but mixing things up a little. I am not doing YogaX because it hurts my bad wrists. I’m also using Turbo Fire for my cardio days. That is really FUN. I like it a lot.

    I love the strength P90X gives me. I encourage any woman who is not doing so, to add some form of weight training to their workout schedule. It is so good for giving you a real boost and the muscle it builds helps you burn extra calories all day long.

    Glad to see you taking a good break between rounds. Even if it did lead to some difficulty 🙂

  • Carrie P says:

    Crystal, This post could not have come at a better time! I was just thinking ALL day how I need a good menu plan to follow that would be higher protein and support me in getting full-on back into my workout regimen. I got my Firm DVDs out again last week and have been thinking, “How am I going to do this with a 3 and 1 yr old in the house? I know there is a way. God works in ways we never can imagine. Thank you so much for sharing! This really is just what I needed.

  • Niki says:

    For your chocolate banana peanut butter shake- how much of each do you put in? Or is it a ready made mix?

  • Carrie says:

    Wait a minute, you have an elliptical? Surely you would have blogged about such a major purchase? Or did someone give it to you?

    I like those things, but I’m not gonna buy one because my mom bought one and once she’s totally sick of it and wants it out of her sight, I figure I’ll swoop in and buy it from her 😉

  • Traci says:

    I’m doing Insanity right now, but am looking to start P90X. I’m hoping that P90X maybe, (maybe) won’t be as hard since I’ve been doing Insanity. Thanks so much for posting the meal plans. Will definetely follow.


  • Alyssa P says:

    Thanks for the update on your P90X. I started exactly 90 days before the end of the year. I am hoping that I can go through the holidays healthy, strong and start the new year off with a bang (instead of trying to get going after all those holiday goodies). Your meal plan has really helped me because I am kind of in the same boat as you, where I don’t need to lose weight I am just trying to get fit and strong. I started P90X during the summer but got to discouraged because it was wiping me out. Now I am not trying to follow their meal plans as much but eat healthy balanced meals that work for me. I do agree with Stacy above that it is killing my wrist and today I woke up with a swollen knee from who knows what since I didn’t workout yesterday. But knowing that there are so many others out there doing this workout sure encourages me to keep going!

  • Andrea says:

    Way to go! I started Zumba back in late September, and I LOVE it. I should say, I just love getting out of the house 4-5 times a week with a good friend for “us” time. It’s really helped the overall mood, but I have to admit, even as much as I love to work out and exercise, P90X really intimidates me. And the food…I need carbs or I’m evil. Seriously. Do you get sick of the same ol’, same ol’ for food?

  • Ashley says:

    So, I watched the infomercial (spelling??? lol) on this today and it made me really want to try it. I just had our 2nd child 5 1/2 weeks ago and while I’ve pretty much lost all my weight from #2, I’m still carrying around 15 #’s from #1. Before having #1 I was 100 lbs and very slim, high metabolism, high energy, dance team in high school, loved physical activity! So before my (normally extremely uplifting and supportive) husband left for work today I asked him what he thought about P90X and his response was ” Oh you couldn’t do it. I’ve heard it’s really intense. We got winded just doing those dvd’s you already have.” I was floored. I didn’t even know what to say. My husband is such a godly man that his response to my question totally threw me for a loop. I feel so awful that he thinks that I am not strong enough in mind and body to do this. It just makes me plain mad and hurts me to the core. As a woman how are all of you doing on the p90x workout plan? I really could use some encouragement and positivity! And don’t worry I’ll be praying about this situation with my husband and then when the time is right confronting him about it.

    • Angela says:

      @Ashley, The workouts are intense. The first time that I completed P90X, I could barely make it through the workouts. I started with 4# weights and have worked my way up to 8# weights for many of the exercises. I started with being able to only do 10 or 12 push-ups, but have gotten to the point where I am able to do up to 30 of some of the push-ups (others I’m still only at 18 or so).

      I don’t have a pull-up bar and improvise/substitute for those exercises. Otherwise, all you need is a set of hand weights and an hour or so per day.

      If you know someone that has it, ask if you can borrow a disc to check it out. Then, if you decide to get it, you can usually find a good deal on Amazon or a used copy on eBay or Craig’s List.

    • sam russell says:

      of course you can do it! He was just saying that to see if you can prove him wrong! I did it after baby#2 than got pg again and couldn’t do it. Started 6 weeks after #3. It takes a bit to build up, but like Tony says, just keep moving. It is a time commitment, an hour a day. I push fast forward alot because Tony talks alot. You definitely get results!

    • Kim says:

      I am in the middle of phase 2, p90x program right now. I dont do the dvd’s everyday because I still have a gym membership and refuse to give it up. Phase one left me totally exhausted the first two weeks, but I managed to get through. Not well, just got by. By week 3 and 4 I was feeling lighter and stronger. I made a real commitment to it and have since lost almost 10 pounds.

      Before this p90x start I was a gym nut….spin classes, weight training and cardio classes 5-6 x’s a week. The p90x workouts were fun, but somewhat “weak” dare I say that? (Yoga X is the hardest thing I have EVER done!) But I would just skip the stuff that would hurt…and do extra of the other exercises. Some of the angled push-ups hurt…some of them felt good.

      Everyone has a limit we just have to want it for ourselves, focus and push all negativity aside, while pushing our limits. Phase 2 is much harder because the carbs are allowed and I am feeling guilty every time I eat them. Besides that my three kids have loaded the house with Halloween candy and its very hard!

  • Angela says:

    Do you purchase their recovery drink or make your own? I have always used the assorted items on the market as my protein drinks (EAS Myoplex, Ensure Protein, Boost High Protein, SlimFast) following my workout, but am trying to understand how they relate to their recovery drink. I wondered what you were doing.

    • @Angela, The workouts are crazy – you just have to keep doing them. I actually really like how they are structured because there is lots of opportunity for rest. And the strength videos, you just do as many as you possibly can, and over time you build up. I never use a recovery drink. I think it’s some perfect combination of protein vs carbs that helps your muscles heal faster. I have heard that chocolate milk or orange juice comes pretty close to a great recovery drink (and cheap!)

  • Ericka Lewis says:

    I am on Spark People (a free website to track food and exercise, etc if you’ve never heard of it) and read an article that it only takes 2 weeks for your muscles to start losing strength if you haven’t exercised them, which is probably why you found it so hard. Just something to keep in mind–although I know it’s hard to keep things up with little ones around!

  • Anne says:

    I have lost 61 pounds by eating Clean. I have 45 to go. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Eating Clean is a way of eating I can do the rest of my life.

    Now, I just started adding exercise in. Which I am pretty excited about. LOL

  • Bette P. says:

    After reading your post on Sunday about starting P90X, I decided to join you. I purchased P90X almost 2 years ago and I did it faithfully for a long time. But put it a way for a while to do other things. But I’ve been thinking about it and then you posted that you were starting. I though – what a great time to start again November 1st! Who doesn’t need the extra exercise during Thanksgiving and Christmas. God bless with your next endeavor of exercise. Thank you for posting it 🙂

  • Joy Yelton says:

    I’m in a little different situation then most of you know, being I am 34 weeks pregnant today! However, I am posting to keep those who are reading this and pregnant, a reminder that it is a great time to exercise! I am keeping track of my workouts on my blog - under the pregnancy workout log category. We don’t have to just be limited to a little bit of “gentle movements” during pregnancy. We need muscle to deliver these babes of ours! Yes, you do have to be smart and follow certain safety guidelines–but other than that, I encourage you to give it your all!
    And, what a treat to realize after giving birth, that you are not “starting from scratch”, but you have muscle definition already that you can build further on. I have been loving Cathe Friedrich’s Low Impact and weight lifting workouts (I’ve been doing her workouts for 5 years now!), as well as Leisa Hart’s FitMama workout. Bless all you moms and mom’s to be that are doing the best thing for your body…moving!


  • I just started Round 2-ish of P90X last night too! First time I made it through week 6 and then – well, stuff came up. I’ve actually been doing chest & back weekly for a while now, because every week I intend to start, do day 1, then stop. But this time I’m committed! So the push-ups and pull-ups didn’t feel too bad, but Ab Ripper was a total killer. I did all the moved, but wanted to cry. I know today is Plyo, which I can’t stand, so I am doing a 3 mile run over lunch. I am blogging my work outs in a log on Good luck!

  • Renee says:

    Crystal and everyone,

    Where did you get your P90X. I have never found one I could afford. Also,is there 1 set for men and 1 for women or do they do the same? My husband and I would both like to do it. Do we use the same set?

  • Deborah says:

    My husband bought P90X for us about a month ago. I am very intimidated by it. I really want to start it but don’t know if I can keep up and do the diet also. I’m going to look at your diet plan and see if it can work for me. I walk 3 times a week for exercise but I know it isn’t enough. I just need some toning really. Maybe lose 5 lbs. You are very encouraging. Keep up the great work.

  • Sarah D says:

    I am in week 11 of P90X round 2! I am loving it even more this time because I’m eating right this time. I’ve lost 11 lbs!!! I cannot begin to imagine losing this weight. I did it the first time and quit after week 10 🙁 This time I’m eating right and losing it and toning up. It isn’t easy, but I just “Press Play” and “Bring It!” My 3 kids are doing it occasionally with me as well. I love seeing my 2 year old daughter lifting those 2lb weights and saying, “Look momma, I strong!” I have basically the same things for breakfast and lunch daily , so dinner is usually hard. This menu will be a help. Thank you for all you do!! God bless!

  • Hilde says:

    @Chris…hey I’m a coach too and I love Beachbody products and being a coach!! For everybody else…have you tried BB’s new product called Shakeology? One of THE best, healthiest meals in a glass.

    I think it’s fantastic that you are doing P90X!! Keep it up and best of luck!

    • Chris says:

      Hey Hilde! Yep, I do love Shakeology. I’m also a gastric bypass patient, so I’m a little afraid to use a whole serving at once–the carb/sugar count is a little higher than I generally have in one protein shake. I like to mix a half serving with either some greek yogurt, or some plain whey protein. It’s also a great way to spread out the cost a little. That’s actually one of the reasons I became a coach–can’t beat the discount! Have you tried the Greenberry flavor? I haven’t been brave enough yet. It’s so….GREEN! Love the chocolate though. Nice to meet you!!!

  • laura says:

    It’s great to hear that there are lots of women taking care of their bodies, even when the office atmosphere says we don’t.
    I am training with a group called Team Adreniline in Richmond, VA. They are intense. We haven’t used any equiptment and we meet in the parkinglot at work. I have lost inches already and we’ve only done 5 out of 14 weeks so far. Exciting stuff!

  • Charity says:

    As a 5 months pregnant mommy to be (with #4), would you say the workouts would be too intense for me? I walk a great distance daily, but I was wanting to do a bit more this pregnancy. I have found with my last three deliveries that my time spent excercising while pregnant helped greatly with endurance through labor and delivery (I go all natural, no meds).

  • Nikki says:

    I was so excited when I noticed you were doing P90x. I have done it, but have yet to complete a full round. I have decided to start from the begining like this is my first time doing it. So it sounds like I will be on the same schedule you are, as long as the rest of this week goes as planned. I was supposed to start yesterday and then we had unexpected things happen in our schedule.
    I have 5 children that I homeschool and the older ones are very active in sports during the evening time. So I am still trying to find out the best time to “fit” it into my schedule. I have always tried to workout one way or the other and I really like this program. What time of day works for you? (Excited about your time management post too.) I can do early if it isn’t too intense (like plyo).

  • Rachel B says:

    Hi Crystal,
    We (hubby and i) did plyo today and i thought of you!
    Good luck!

  • Krysta says:

    Of course I love your site for the savings, but I REALLY enjoy hearing about your time management and current diet/fitness plans. It is inspirational. Keep up the good work!

  • Jessica W. says:

    Has anyone tried the Mommy wants her body back exercise DVD/ routine and what were your results?

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