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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deeelishhh

This month I received an package from Hilary that is best described as deeelishhh!  Seriously, I knew as soon as I saw that package that I was in for a treat!  I mean come on – look at this box!

am I right?!

Inside I found plenty of goodies.

Fully cooked brown rice, flattened Banana, fruit and veggie bar, gfree sesame bar with date syrup, tea, mints, sea salt potato chips, spicy pumpkin seeds, oatmeal and last but most defiantly not least dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts.

My absolute favorites were the pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, chips and the hazelnut chocolate… duh. You know me..

didn’t take me more then 30 seconds to break into the chocolate…

Seriously, it was so good.  I even shared some with my momma, I had to spread the wealth.

Thank you so much Hilary for such a great package.  I’m totally bummed I won’t be getting another one next month!  I’m jealous of who ever is the lucky pen pal to get her package!

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Head over to Rachael’s blog to take a peek into the package I put together for her!

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As always, it’s time for some details about the Foodie PenPals program. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions. -You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination! -You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!) -Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. -Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for July, please fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!
*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!

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a welcome back

Well hi there! I am currently en route to MICHIGAN!!!! Probably my favorite trip that I look forward to each year!  For the past couple of years (minus last year) I have been joining Marc and his mom and dad to head up north to Marc’s aunt and uncle cottage on Elk Lake.   For those of you who don’t know the area, it’s close to Traverse City and Lake Michigan.  It is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

This vacation could not have come at a better time.  I’ve been super busy at work – as many of you have pointed out to me that my blog posts were slacking – sorry!  I’m really looking forward to days that involve morning workouts, family games, great food, epic tubing crashes, crystal clear Caribbean blue water, family (technically not my family but it sure as heck feels like it), water sports, my slr camera, sunshine and reading my books.  Wish you all were here!  Don’t worry – I’ll be sharing pictures during the week!  If you are interested, you can take a sneak peak at past posts from my old blog – whoa what a throw back!

I’ve even got a few surprises in store for this week.  Not only for up north, but for the blog too!  I’ll be in sporadically to post pictures, write updates and to say hi… but I’ve also got a few friends stopping by!  I hope you enjoy this week as much as I do.  It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful 4th of July :-)

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Chocolate Delight

The Lean Green Bean

This month I received an package from Robyn that is best described as chocolate delight!

After our initial contact, Robyn emailed me ..”I definitely stuck to your requests for chocolate, peanut butter and sweet things and focused a bit more on the quality of the products than the quantity.” Boy was she right!

I dug right into a one chocolate covered gummy bear and sampled some toffee too. Spot on Robyn!. Thanks to my 50 day challenge (which is going great by the way) I’ve had to resist my cravings for sweets BIG time.

Overall, this was a great 3rd Foodie PenPals package and I look forward to next months! If you are at all interested in what I sent out, stop on over to Amy’s blog!!

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And now it’s time for some details about the Foodie PenPals program. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions. -You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination! -You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!) -Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. -Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for June, please click here to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th!
*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!

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Expanding Waistline

If there is anything I’ve realized, it’s that Sarah and I know how to make eachother laugh.  Proof?  See Below.

On my lunch break I head home and make some food and frequently browse blogs.  Thanks to Twitter I stumbled upon Kristin’s Blog.  Pretty quickly I noticed her reference her Protein Cookie Dough concoction and I knew I had to make it.  Perfect timing, I had about 10 minutes left on lunch and all of the necessary ingredients.   Sure enough, this happened.  ( I made a few slight changes)

my version of protein cookie dough

I was planning on adding chunks of dark chocolate, but after tasting a little bit I figured it stood well enough on it’s own and I didn’t need anything extra!   I poked around Kristin’s blog a little more and came across similar creations that I am sure I will be making in the future… STUFT Dark Chocolate Sauce, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip, STUFT Fro Yogurt, Pumpkin Protein Dough, Dark Chocolate Frosting, Chia Cookie Dough Dip and Peanut Butter Protein Goo.   Alright.  I really need to stop looking at desserts.  My waist is getting bigger just thinking about it all!  Oh the possibilities.

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Quarter Mile Workout

Thank you Lindsay for posting your Quarter Mile Workout the other day!  I was able to get out to the track this morning and give this workout a go.  I was able to keep an 8 minute mile pace on the track (thank goodness for easy splits!) and I was most definitely working up a sweat!  I love getting up early and heading to the track with my mom.  It helps that I can use the jog to the track as my warm up, the school is just around the corner from my house!  Perks of living close to your elementary/middle/high school – sleeping in just that much more during my school days and quick walking over right as the bell rang.  Easy peasy!

If you are ever looking for a good and fairly short workout (24 ish minutes) give this one a try!  You can do it at a track, on the treadmill or a mapped distance!  Let me know how it goes!!

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Recent Snap Shots

Spinach and Cheese Egg White Omelet with Gfree bread and PB2

#bicepday #mayfitchallenge #day23

First Moonflower of the season!

My gag gift has arrived. Too bad it’s 7 months early!

If you follow me on Instagram (@krbrown4) you’ve seen these images pop up over the past few days…  if not, here are a few of my recent photos!   Follow me on Instagram!  I love browsing through pictures when I have the opportunity to!

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

I cannot tell you how much I love these little bites of heaven.  My friend Ally sent me a link to He and She Eat Clean I’ve been hooked on making recipes ‘cleaner’.  Which makes me feel a little less guilty about eating a ‘cookie’.

After that website discovery I did a little more research and found these gems…Riia’s Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles – I changed up her recipe a little and here is what I came up with..

 2/3 cup raw almonds

1/3 cup rolled oats

3 tbsp agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla extract

crushed up dark chocolate to taste

In a food processor, blend almonds and oats until they reach a flour texture.  Add in agave nectar, extract and chunks of dark chocolate.  Roll into little balls, refrigerate and enjoy!

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Bachelorette Recap Week 1

Initial reactions from the introductions and before the rose ceremony…

Kalon – He looks like such a hipster to me.  And of course he comes in on the helicopter. Take your hand out of your pocket and actually hug her.  Not too much of a fan.

Ryan – previous pro football player who currently works with children.  Oh and he has an ADORABLE dog.  Yes.  – His note/sign was so funny.  I’m so nervous/You are so beautiful.

Tony – Fitness passion and father who married young.  “what has two thumbs and is going to marry Emily” – him”  – a glass slipper dude, really?  But actually Emily seemed to like it.

Lerone – It cracks me up when big macho guys have little dogs.  Proportion distortion.

David – The singer songwriter who sang a song about true love — the only words were ‘Emily’ over and over and over. — who starts their conversation ‘who actually chose charlotte?’

Charlie – He looks like a big meat head at first but then you find out that he had a severe tramatic brain injury – and then he has a bull dog.  – He came in after dancin’ Stevie and he goes “I hope you don’t expect me to do that”

Jef – yup, with one f.  He seems really young.  CEO of a bottled water company that donates a bottle for everyone purchased.  He actually reminds me of Chet from MTV.  Anyone else?

Arie – Race car driver – wouldn’t that remind Emily of her late fiance?  That could bring up some painful memories.  I like that he is concerned about her feelings about his profession.  I’m starting to like him.

Sean – I honestly don’t know what he did or said.  I just realized this was empty.

Jackson – got down on one knee right away, that might scare me a little…

Kyle – every girl wants to hear a guy say she is stunning, nice opening line Ky.

Joe – whoa, you have allot of energy, let’s hope it’s nerves

Chris – bobble heads?  and then playing with them?  I would have been so awkward, Emily handled that well.

Aaron – “im a high school biology teacher but i’m here to make chemisty with you” <– cute

Allesandro – an awkward double kiss and then he spoke in another language, which was cool.  Also, they both were talking at the same time – which is one of my pet peeves.

Stevie – whoa, hello dance moves, calm down buddy

Randy – who the heck dresses up as an old lady and then has trouble getting the dress off.  Awkward.

Nate – she really thinks he is cute

Brent – cute idea with the name tag.  Not sure about the opening line of “I have 6 kids”…

John ‘Wolf’ – I’m intrigued why they call him wolf

Travis – what is with the egg? Is he going to carry this around all season?  I totally see the guys smashing that thing.

Michael – cut your hair, I am not a fan

Jean-Paul – why are guys so awkward when they hug sometimes?

Alejandro – hello another foreign tounge

Doug – the first impression rose winner.  Great call on reading her a note from your son.

 

First group of guys to go…Lerone, Randy, Brent, Jean-Paul, Jackson and David.  Can’t say I’m sad to see any of them going home.

 

I really like Doug, Kyle, Arie, Charlie and Ryan.  Let’s see where next week takes us!

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The Walk of a Master

Well it’s official folks.  My sister Kristen graduated today with her master’s degree!  I tricked her into thinking that I wouldn’t be able to take off of work (which in reality I just went in early/skipped lunch/stayed late) for a few days to make up for the hours!  The things I do for you Kree ;-)

Here are a few of my favorite shots — consider this an entire post dedicated to you seester!

and by far my favorite photo…

On a more serious note, I want to give my sister a big congratulations – I can’t tell you how many times I heard her say she had to do homework or write a paper and I know that she made allot of sacrifices and that allot of hard work went into her degree.  Way to go Kree, we are all so proud of you!

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