Tone It Up – Guest Post

Today’s guest post comes from Rachael, who I have been in contact to because of Foodie Pen Pals – you can see our exchange here.    We sent several emails back and forth and once I discovered she was a part of the Tone It Up Team I had so many questions for her!  She’s done me a favor by writing a little bit about it to share with all of you!

Hello The Little Spoon Blog readers!  I’m Rachael, I blog at Ready to Get Sweaty , and I’m so excited to post here today while Katie is relaxing and soaking up the sun.  I “met” Katie through Foodie Penpals (isn’t it just the greatest) and through our correspondence found out that she too loves Tone It Up (TIU).

What is Tone It Up?

First off, Karena and Katrina (K&K) are both certified personal trainers and nutrition coaches.  While they refer to their Nutrition Plan as a diet, the members (including myself) think of it as more of a lifestyle change.  The full TIU Nutrition Plan is $149, which I know is a bit pricy for most people – myself included.  Although, I must say that some of my favorite aspects of the TIU plan are completely FREE.  Yes, I said FREE!!!   And these are what I want to share with you today.

Fitness Tips

Booty call – If you Google “Tone It Up” one of the first things to pop up is the phrase ‘Booty Call.’  This isn’t your typical ‘booty call,’ I promise ;).  On the plan K&K challenge members to set their alarms for 30 minutes earlier than usual, put on sneakers and get their heart rate up to about 110-120 beats per minute.  This can be anything from a brisk walk, jog, low impact kickboxing DVD, toning moves, or even a high intensity interval training workout (HIIT) – seriously ANYTHING!  Science shows that people who exercise first thing in the AM burn a higher percentage of fat and are more likely to eat better the rest of the day.  I love BOOTY CALLS and for an extra burst of motivation I wake up to this saying everyday…

Go on now set your alarm, you know you want to!

Toning – If you couldn’t tell from the name TIU is all about TONING.  Weight training is amazing for women who want muscle tone for a number of reasons: (1) it increases your daily metabolism, (2) prevents injury and pain, and (3) increases muscle tone.  K&K post a new toning video every Tuesday (Tone It Up Tuesday) on their YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/toneitupcom/).  Each video also comes with a printable routine, so you could even take it to the gym with you.  I often find myself incorporating many of these videos into my daily workouts whether I want to focus on arms, abs, legs or just a full body workout.  I mean who wouldn’t want to do a workout with a tile like “She sells sea shells by the seashore” or “COWABUNGA”.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)HIIT workouts have become a popular way to lose weight and a great way to improve speed and endurance. They consist of bursts of high intensity activity combined with short periods of lower intensity.  HIIT routines offer a lot of variety and you get an effective workout in about half the time.  Google “HIIT” and you will find a number of jogging, walking, and even cardio routines you could do at home.  There are various levels of HIIT workouts, so be sure you find something you are comfortable with.  Also, be sure you are not over exercising.  HIIT workouts shouldn’t be done every day.  I typically do them 2-3 times a week.  My favorite at home HIIT workout is actually from the TIU Beachbabe DVD.  It is 15 minutes of intense cardio (burpees, squat jumps, etc) mixed with toning moves.  If you don’t have the DVD and don’t want to spend the money on it here are some other HIIT routines:

-       5 minute warm up.  8-12 intervals of 30 seconds sprinting and 60 seconds jogging / running at a normal pace.  5 minute cool down.

-       5 minute warm up.  3 minutes at level 7; 2 minutes at level 4 – repeat 8 times total.  5 minute cool down.

-       5 minute warm up. 60 seconds at level 8; 2 minutes at level 2 – repeat 8 times total.  5 minute cool down.

Nutrition Tips

Protein pancake – One secret weapon on the plan is the protein pancake.  This pancake is low carb, low fat, and seriously delish!  I eat a version of it almost every day (no lie!).  Give it a try, you won’t regret it.  Although I should warm you, flipping it does take practice :-).

Water – We all know that staying hydrated throughout the day is extremely important.  On the TIU plan K&K stress the importance of drinking 1/2 your body weight in water throughout the day.  That means if you weigh 150 pounds you better be drinking 75 ounces of water a day.  You don’t just have to drink water, feel free to substitute it with some Zico coconut water – the TIU girls love their Zico – as well as Kombucha.  I never tried coconut water before starting the TIU plan and now I’m addicted.  If you haven’t tried chocolate Zico yet – go out and buy it right now!  You will thank me later, I promise! You can also try putting fresh fruit in your water (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) to naturally flavor it or even mint leaves with stevia.

Lean, Clean and Green – Another secret weapon on the plan is eating lean, clean and green.  This means no heavy white starches, large portions of cheeses, chemicals (i.e., fake sugars) or fried foods.  This does mean tons of veggies, fruit, non-processed foods, nuts/seeds and desserts.  Yes, I said desserts.  Healthy doesn’t mean depriving yourself.  For example, one of my favorite after dinner treats is an apple sprinkled with cinnamon and stevia and then microwaved for about 30 seconds.  I also like blending frozen bananas or fruit with frozen ice cubes made of almond milk and greek yogurt – it’s a great summer treat.  Some of my favorite Tone It Up recipes are:

-       Garbanzo Bean Patties

-       Peanut Butter Balls

-       Turkey Chili – I substitute the turkey with meatless crumbles

Community

One thing I love about TIU is that you don’t need to purchase the plan to be a part of the community. With the TIU community you get to take advantage of the encouragement you get from the community members.  The team is full of supportive individuals (mostly women) that all have the same goals of becoming healthy or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  You can also connect with other TIU members and nonmembers online through Twitter and Facebook.  The ability to connect with others that share the same goals has been a HUGE part of my success over the past few months.  It helps you realize that you aren’t alone in your goal to be a healthier, happier you!  There are also a number of groups that plan meet-ups for workouts.  For example, a bunch of TIU girls in Boston are getting together next month for a private yoga session – we call ourselves the Bostoned GroupJ.  I’ve met a bunch of great girls through TIU that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Also, if you go to the TIU webpage you can sign up to receive a newsletter which includes free weekly check-ins from K&K, free workout routines every Tuesday, free healthy recipes, and much more.

Well that about sums up my favorite FREE parts of TIU.  If you have any questions about the plan please feel free to e-mail me at readytogetsweaty[at]gmail[dot]com.  Thanks you again Katie for letting me guest post.

Xo – Rachael

I’ve followed Karina, Katrina and Tenley (Bachelor fans anyone?  I was a HUGE fan of her) who all follow the plan.  So many times I have thought about purchasing the gfree TIU plan but just haven’t committed to it yet.  After Rachael’s post I’m just that much closer to buying it!

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