Happy Monday! This past weekend was a blast! S’ birthday was on Sunday, so this past weekend I planned a series of surprises for him!
On Friday night, he unwrapped a box that had a note in it. The note told him to pack his bags for an overnight trip.. and that’s it 🙂 On Saturday morning, we went to our car to hit the road when he saw two of our besties – Hayden and Taryn – who were joining in on the festivities! From there, he was blindly led to Allgash Brewery in Maine. He loves brewery tours and Allgash makes sour beers which are his favorite. Here two of our other besties surprised him – Ev and Shan!! The tour was super fun. For the rest of the weekend, we all hung out in the Old Port with other surprises along the way, like lobster tacos on the pier at Portland Lobster Co., dinner at The Corner Room [where we celebrated getting engaged tow years ago!!] and then we bar hopped all night! We are so lucky to have such genuine, amazing friends in our lives. The whole weekend was a blast and I loved celebrating my amazing husband.
Now we are on to a fresh week, right?! Most people hate Monday’s, but I actually really enjoy them. Maybe it’s the optimist in me or maybe I’m just a little crazy hehe. I find that Monday’s are a fresh start and clean slate to conquer our goals!
Today is an extra exciting Monday because the Tone It Up Bikini Series starts! I’ve been a Tone It Up member since 2013 [before I even started my blog!]. I actually partnered with TIU earlier this year to complete their Love Your Body challenge and if you follow along on Instagram, you probably remember all my daily check in via Instagram stories.
One of my top questions through that experience and my four years of blogging has been about the TIU membership so today I’m diving into Tone It Up in general, membership benefits, my fitness/health background and also provide details on their latest challenge that kicks off today- the Bikini Series! I am going to talk through how we can do this Bikini Series challenge together at the end of the post and my personal goals 🙂 So let’s start!
WHAT IS TONE IT UP?
Tone It Up is a fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle brand owned by two gorgeous and inspiring trainers, Karena and Katrina. They offer resources to women across the world including nutritional plans, work out routines and healthy recipes, in order to fuel our bodies with nutrient-packed, yummy foods, get our bodies moving and in turn, see maximum results in our bodies. They also offer nutritional supplements like protein powder, protein bars and work out gear like weights and medicine balls too. Their nutritional plans provide insights and guidelines to incorporate into your life to lead a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, rather than a binge diet like many other programs out there. It’s not a diet.. it’s an educated, healthy lifestyle.
WHAT’S MY EXPERIENCE WITH TONE IT UP?
I found K&K in 2012 via Pinterest! After using their free recipes and work outs for a few months, I felt like I was missing a puzzle piece when it came to nutrition so after discussing with S, I decided to invest and become a Tone It Up Nutritional Plan member in 2013. Over the past five years, I have learned so much about my body and how to fuel it via their program.
I’m often asked by readers if the TIU plan is just a whole lotta recipes, which is a huge N-O. There are hundreds and hundreds of recipes included [both free and members only], but the main benefit of the paid plan is learning about nutrition and how to really fuel your body to boost metabolism and burn fat.. so if this is of interest to you, I highly suggest it! They used to include their work outs via the plan as well, but that has since transitioned to their mobile app, YouTube [I use these two methods to work out] and DVDs [I don’t own any of these FYI as I hate major repeated work outs. I like switching it up or else I dread it].
I have used their nutritional guidelines ever since joining in 2013 and also enjoy doing rounds of Whole30 [which is a more intense version of TIU’s guidelines that allows for a body detox.. very similar to their 7 day slim down]. I feel my best when following Tone It Up’s plan, but removing dairy, ‘healthy’ sugars like honey and no “cheats” like baked goods. When I have one baked good or ‘healthy’ cheat, I just snowball so that’s just me understanding my mind and body! Everyone is different. After I get two months of 100% whole, clean eating under my belt, I reintroduce foods and allow moderation as I kicked the habits and don’t crave so them after having one as a treat.
I also followed the plan leading up to my wedding and absolutely confident, beautiful and healthy for my wedding day. You can read all about my bridal fitness routine here.
HOW MUCH DOES TONE IT UP COST AND WHAT DO YOU NEED?
You can honestly pay as much or as little as you want if you’re resourceful and conscious.
For myself, I purchased the nutrition plan [years ago so it was cheaper than now, but still worth the rate it’s being sold at] and also use the app [daily moves are free, but to attend Studio TIU classes you need to pay]. The nutrition plan currently runs $150 and the app is $13 a month or $83 in bulk yearly. You can use the free resources for work outs and recipes until you decide it’s time to invest in the nutrition plan or mobile app.
For work out gear I have, two set of weights [2 and 6 pounds], a yoga mat, booty bands, medicine ball and protein powder. You do not need to buy TIU branded weights and yoga mats, so that’s an area you can save on for sure. Most my gear is from TJ Maxx.
I also have never got caught up in the gimichy bundles.. I don’t need $15 TIU socks or a $50 tank top. One thing they sell that I do highly suggest is their protein powder though. It’s organic, vegan, tasts awesome, around five ingredients that you can actually understand without Googling them and it’s easy to digest since it’s made from pea protein and not whey. I’ve tried other vegan/pea proteins and nothing I’ve found compares. I really encourage you to go read the label of your protein powder.. more than likely there are a huge list of ingredients you can’t understand or the protein source is from dairy.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE TIU MEMBERSHIP?
When you purchase the nutritional plan, you receive:
1. The Nutrition Plan
The staple plan is available in regular, gluten free, vegetarian, gf vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan versions to meet really any dietary need.
At the beginning on the nutrition plan, they cover TIU nutrition basics – when to eat, when to work out, why you should eat specific foods and how to structure your meals for optimal fat burn and metabolism boost. They also deep dive into WHY they provide these guidelines and the science behind them.
There is also a section on superfoods to incorporate into your meals, tips for increasing water in take and what it means to eat a complete protein [one area that was SO insightful for me!]. Having all this information laid out in one spot, in one cohesive ‘full story’ manner was and still is very helpful for me to this day. Whenever I feel like I’m not feeling my best and am not eating the healthiest, I revisit my plan. I always learn something new, even after reading it SO many times over the years, because there is so much great information in there.
K&K guide you in eating five small meals a day that are lean, clean and green. I like to think of it as three meals [breakfast, lunch, dinner] and two snacks [around 3PM and then a healthy treat after dinner or I skip the fifth]. for me. You’re eating whole foods and learn how to make them super yummy, rather than relying on anything processed!
You also have a huge array of hundreds and hundreds of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads, smoothies, juices, desserts and snacks. Each recipe within the plan is also labeled for which meal you should eat it for [M1-M5], which is really helpful in learning what foods to each when during the day. Multiple times a year, K&K release extension plants [noted below], that have even more recipes so they are always releasing new meals for us to create. Do note that a lot of their “healthy desserts” require their protein. I know some girls can find that unappealing since it’s something you need to purchase.
Overall, with being a TIU member, you learn so much about nutrition, your body and how to fuel it and it’s much more than just recipes.
2. All Extension Plans
K&K release new content and recipes multiple times a year for members only. For example for the 2018 Bikini Series, I just received a 190 page plan extension that has exclusive recipes and content for the challenge and summer! While they offer a lot of content for free, members receive 10X what you find via Google or YouTube.
You’ll receive all their past challenge nutritional guides for Frisky Fall, Holiday Hustle, Bikini Body, Summer Sizzle, Love Your Body as well as their Bridal Edition, the 7 Day Slim Down, 5 Day Detox, 31 Day Challenge, entire recipe guide and their 8 Week Guide. That’s not even all of them! LOTS of guide.. LOTS of recipes.. LOTS of content!
The cool thing is that when you sign up, you get each one they’ve ever released! This may be overwhelming, but just start with the staple plan mentioned above an then take your time working through the others.
3.Weekly TIU Members Only Emails
The members-only emails go out weekly with encouragement from K&K, even more recipes and content.
4. Exclusive Product Discounts
During the year, members often get first access or exclusive item discounts on protein powder, apparel and more
MY FEELINGS ON THE MEMBER-ONLY NUTRITION PLAN
While K&K offer many free resources, the primary benefit for myself is the full circle nutrition and meal structure. I needed information from A-Z on how to fuel my body. I also needed the guidance and information in one place to understand. That’s just how I learn. I will feel overwhelmed and have 1000 questions if I don’t have the materials suppled from beginning to end.
So you learn from point A to point Z about fueling your body, boosting metabolism and eating clean. While they do share tid bits of nutritional information online, their members plan has information not on the web and is so much more thorough and extensive.
From the plan, I understand when to what certain foods to increase fat burn. I understand what superfoods to add into my smoothies to stay full longer. I understand I also have hundreds [maybe even thousands between all their plan extensions honestly] of recipes to recreate. I’ve often been asked if I just sue the plan for recipes and that’s a no!
The main benefit of the plan is digging into nutrition [which foods have what vitamins, nutrients, benefits etc] and how to structure your meals [what foods to eat at certain times of the day and how to balance meals for optimum nutrients, etc]. The latter is their secret sauce! You don’t deprive yourself of anything, but instead you eat certain foods at certain times of day to optimize your metabolism and fat burn.
I have learned so much about eating lean, clean and green from K&K through the Tone It Up Nutritional Plan and cannot suggest the program enough.
WHAT IS THE TONE IT UP BIKINI SERIES?
The Bikini Series is an eight week fitness challenge to get you in shape for summah! Whether you want to loose weight, tone up for your wedding, gain muscle, slim your waist line or learn to fuel your body with whole foods – you will want to check it out! You can click here to sign up. It’s free to join and you will receive a starter pack that includes details on the challenge, 3 slimming recipes and K&K’s #1 tip for success! Every Tuesday, there will be a free work out released and you can access the daily moves within the TIU mobile app.
For each of the Tone It Up challenges, they offer a weekly schedule on what to eat for each meal, each day. Since I have the nutrition plan, I don’t follow the meal by meal plan. I understand what I need to eat and when, so I just follow the plan guidelines, but this is a great tool for people that are just beginning with TIU or enjoy a really structure plan.
I’ll be following the Bikini Series program this Spring so let me know in the comments if you;re joining too!
MY GOALS FOR THE 2018 BIKINI SERIES
Other than of course following the plan guidelines, I have a couple other goals for myself below.
– Complete daily moves each and every day for eight weeks.
I followed through with this this for the entire Love Your Body challenge this winter and felt amazing and super toned! I usually get these done while watching TV at night or as my booty call [TIU verbiage for morning work out].
– Log 100 running miles over the next eight weeks.
S and I run a lot so this would be easy, but their old challenges always had a 100 mile running goal so I’m old school and still like to add this!
-Drink 80 ounces of water a day.
I use a 32 ounce water bottle and my water reminder app with my Apple watch to get this in!
-No complex carbs, processed sugar or dairy AT ALL
If you really follow the plan, there is very, ver, veryy limited of all the above. I feel my best when I don’t eat these so I will be removing them for eight weeks. I’ve done this before and can do it again! Dairy makes my stomach extremely upset, carbs make my super bloated and I easily get addicted to sugar. It’s easy for me to avoid carbs and dairy, but sugar is my down fall. I’ve also been eating to much ice cream lately, lol. So bye bye to them! I’m also not baking any of the TIU “treats” even though they are technically approved. While they are healthier version of bad treats, I want to focus on craving/eating whole foods from Mother Nature, not baked goods. When you ditch all the above, fruit tastes like candy 🙂
If you’ve never ditched these food groups, I really encourage you to follow the TIU guidelines and limit them [or ditch them!!!]. Ditching them for the first time two years ago was eye opening. I didn’t have a single belly ache, post-meal bloat or.. We grow up thinking that these feelings are normal and just get used to them. But once you ditch these food groups, your eyes are opened and it really is life changing! I quickly saw that I felt AMAZING, didn’t carry water weight, never had belly aches, easily digested foods and stopped eating lazy by relying on anything processed [5+ ingredients].
I’d love to hear your experience with Tone It Up below or any questions you have! Are you joining me in the 2018 Bikini Series challenge?! Xo Mindy
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