Tone It Up: 2014 Bikini Series!

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Happy Monday!

For once, it is a happy Monday for me! Today is the first day of the Tone It Up Bikini Series! As many of you know, I bought the plan last summer, after the bikini series ended. So this will be my first time participating in the challenge. It lasts for 8 weeks, leading up to the first day of summer!

I absolutely love the TIU girls and the plan, so it will not be hard for me to stick with this challenge. I’ll also be participating in a 21 Day Fix challenge group. So I’ll have double the motivation! I’ll be posting weekly about the challenges and my progress along the way.

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If you haven’t already, head over to their blog and sign up to also join in on the fun! They email you a great Starter Pack that is loaded with recipes and a grocery list to help you plan your meals throughout the challenge. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?! How awesome is that?

They will have a new blog post each day to help motivate you and give you daily challenges. It’s fun to play along with their challenges and post them to your social media sites using the hashtags they provide in order to win prizes! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get fit and fabulous for the summer!

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My goal for this challenge is to finally accomplish the 100 By Summer goal. I started the Love Your Body series back in February and unfortunately did not meet my 100 By V-Day goal. If you are unfamiliar with this, they explain everything HERE.

Each Sunday, they post a NEW weekly fitness schedule to follow. It’s suepr fun to follow along with the members. I mainly use Instagram for my posts and check out everyone else’s posts. It’s motivating and keeps you accountable. I’ll be creating a spreadsheet to help me track my progress along the way. I’m going to be a busy girl! For those of you who ARE participating, feel free to comment on my posts, follow me on IG, or simply email me and we can bounce ideas back and forth and keep each other motivated! I love interacting with new fitness friends.

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Their first challenge was to create your summer list. So that’s exactly what I did and while I was writing down each idea, my heart was pumping faster and faster due to the excitement. I have so many great plans for this summer to make it one of the best summers yet! I’ll also be doing a lot of wedding planning which also gets me super pumped. Summer is one of my favorite seasons and I can’t wait to share it with my friends, family, and fiance! So here is my list:

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What are some of your plans for the summer? Comment and let me know! I hope everyone reading this will join in on the fun so we can get in the best shape for summer time!

xo Brittny

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Tone It Up: 5 Day Slim Down Review

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As many of you know, this week I started the 5 Day Slim Down by Tone It Up. If you are unfamiliar with who the tone it up girls are, they are two girls who are best friends that started a fitness and health program together. They have workout videos on YouTube, a blog where they post weekly routines and recipes, an app where you can check in daily, and a community page where a bunch of girls get on like Facebook and check in with one another and support each other. Check out their site for more: www.toneitup.com

Two weeks ago, I purchased their regular nutrition plan after reading many reviews. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole book yet, since it is 184 pages, but from what I’ve read so far I can tell this is something that will inspire and change me. I’ve already gained so much knowledge and a better understanding of what eating healthy really means. Included in the plan are quick slim down plans to help you get started on your health journey. So a group of 30 girls and myself started the 5 Day Slim Down plan together. We checked in daily of our workouts and recipes via Instagram, Twitter, and the TIU site.

Here is what a typical day requires:

  • M1: Bombshell Spell (a drink that wakes you up & cleans you out)
  • AM Workout: Choose a 30 minute workout of cardio (walking, yoga, HIIT workout…)
  • M2: Breakfast (you choose from a list of what you want to eat)
  • M3: One Piece (this is a piece of fruit you eat between breakfast & lunch)
  • M4: Bikini Wrap (you choose from a list of healthy wraps as your lunch)
  • M5: 3:30-4 PM: Juice of Smoothie (this is to reenergize you before your PM workout)
  • PM Workout: Do a 30 minute workout of anything you choose.
  • M6: Dinner (choose from a selection of healthy dinner options)
  • One Piece: Eat another piece of fruit if needed as a snack

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Day 1: I started my morning with a drink called a Bombshell Spell… this is a drink that you drink every morning before or with your breakfast. It’s made up of pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, and honey. It helps to give you a natural energy boost, cleans out your system, and gives you a glow. I have a hard time waking up in the morning before work, so I was really surprised at how I felt after drinking this. I felt wide awake and so clean. I thought this was caused only by my mere excitement to try this slim down, so I waited to see how I felt during the rest of the week.

day 1

For my AM workout, I did the Beach Babe HIIT the Beach II. This was one of the workouts on their new fitness DVD (which I also ordered last week…) It was a killer! Unfortunately, it was a little too much for me to handle in the morning before work since I’m not used to waking up that early. But it woke me up and kept me energized all day long. I didn’t go to work that morning since I didn’t feel the greatest, so I did a few chores and then made some waffles with all natural syrup and fresh cut strawberries. This helped replenish me and kept me full until my snack. For my snack, I had 1 whole banana. I also drank a ton of water to help keep me hydrated after such an intense workout.

1 lunch

For lunch, I made the Simple Spicy Mustard Wrap from the nutrition plan. It was sooo good! I never liked the taste of mustard, but it tasted great with this salad which was made up of collards, gluten free chicken, red onion, and a spicy mustard dressing. I drank a Shakeology shake for my smoothie, since I can’t go one day without having one.

1 dinner

After my shake, I felt energized enough to do my second workout. I did the Hula Booty workout to help tone me up. I was definitely feeling the soreness the next morning! It’s been a while since I started toning workouts again. For dinner, my cousin Haily came down to watch some movies with me and the girls. So I made my dinner up quick which was a Portobello mushroom cap and 2 scoops of quinoa. Then, I added some balsamic vinaigrette which gave it amazing flavor. Definitely one of my new favorite recipes!

Thoughts: I loved the meals for day 1 and felt really clean and light. I felt a little hungry, but that’s because I’m used to eating a ton of food and not watching my portions. I also wasn’t thrilled about working out twice in a day, but again, I haven’t been working out as much lately and was feeling lazy.

day 2

Day 2: I woke up and drank my bombshell drink and then headed off to work. I missed my morning workout, but I figured I could just double up for my PM workout. For my breakfast, I made some Kashi cereal. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was still good. Personally I thought it was too dry. This was the vanilla option… I forget the name of it. For my Tankini, I had some juice and then water. I had a small bowl of fresh strawberries as my mid-morning snack. No sugar added for once! I had another spicy mustard wrap for my lunch since I made extra the day before. I made another shake as my mid-afternoon snack to boost me into pulling off a double workout.

4th

I added their new Fourth of July circuit to my PM workout. This had me on my butt! I almost gave up the idea of doing a second workout, but I wanted to actually stick out the program since it is only for 5 days. So I did the HIIT workout again to help burn some calories that I didn’t in the morning. After doing this workout, I felt even more energized and decided to do the Sunkissed Abs routine since it wasn’t that long. I skipped the warm up and got right to it. It wasn’t too intense, but I could feel the burn.

day 2 dinner

When I went grocery shopping for this, I was skeptical in buying Brussels Sprouts. I never ate them before and wasn’t sure I would be a big fan of them. But I bought them anyways since the recipe sounded good. My boyfriend came down when I was cooking and I made him try one of them first. He instantly loved it and it got me excited to try it. I added seasonings, minced garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. I was addicted. I couldn’t believe how good this tasted! He kept trying to steal them while I turned my back. Everyone loved them… now I’m a huge BS fan! After dinner, Nate and I hung out with the family for awhile before calling it a night.

Thoughts: I was full, satisfied, and felt amazing. I am so used to eating so much for dinner that I couldn’t believe 2 cups of a veggie would fill me up. I wasn’t even hungry after dinner, so I skipped the snack. Bring on day 3!

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Day 3: Woke up earlier than I normally do and had my morning Bombshell drink. I did some light yoga stretching in the morning since I was feeling a little sore from all of the toning exercises I’ve been doing. I got ready for work, packed my lunch bag full of goodies, and headed off to work. I made some waffles for my breakfast with honey. So yummy! I enjoyed an iced coffee as well since it was a little hot in the office. I made a PB&J sandwich on wheat bread for lunch since the wraps I had weren’t good. Whoops! (Note to self: check expiration dates on items before starting a slim down…)

My mid-afternoon snack was a vanilla shakeo… wait, vanilla? Yes! My order of Vanilla Shakeology finally arrived the day before. I was so anxious to finally try the new flavor. I made a simple recipe and mixed it with ice + almond milk. It was amazing. Vanilla is my favorite flavor and reminds me of the summer. So this was just what I needed after a long day. Once I got home, my boyfriend came down and we got ready and went to church with my family. After church, we stopped at the grocery store and Nate bought me some wheat wraps. This made me happy because I wanted to try the PB&J on the wrap itself. Unfortunately, an emergency came up and I couldn’t do my PM workout or even make my coach call with my BB team. I was bummed out, but it happens. I knew in order to make it up, I would have to do a two hour workout on Thursday. Once we got home, I made some shrimp and rice for dinner.

Thoughts: Woke up feeling great, went to bed bummed out… that’s life!

day 4

Day 4: I was sooo tired whenever I woke up since I managed getting 4 hours of sleep. I was not in the greatest of moods, but I had my BS drink and went about my morning. I was running late so I missed my booty call workout again. This just simply meant more workout time whenever I got home. I was fine with this notion since I was a little stressed. Working out is the best stress reliever in the world & people take it for granted! Breakfast was more waffles since they were easy to grab in the morning. I made a quick PB&J wrap for my lunch and ran out the door.. literally.

I loved eating the PB&J wrap probably more than any lunch I’ve had yet. I was so shocked that something so small could keep me full until my mid-afternoon snack. I’ve had it in my head for soooo long that I need to eat this amount of food in order to feel full. I’ve been  wrong for so long and now I understand what foods to mix together in order to keep you full and satisfied. I’ll be making these wraps at least twice a week for my lunch. After work, I went to Walmart and picked up some groceries since I’ve been running low. I finally picked up some coconut water since I kept seeing the other girls posting about it. I’ve read that coconut water is an all natural and healthy way to help you hydrate after intense workouts. It’s also low in calories and tastes surprisingly good.

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I got a variety of different flavors and brands. I’m not a huge fan of the Vita Coco water, but I really enjoyed the Zico flavors. So I think I’ll be sticking with that brand.

day 4 wo

Once I got home, it was time to get my workout on. I completed Beach Barre workout from the BB DVD along with their Stars & Stripes workout. It took me about 30 minutes to complete that circuit, I was feeling better and felt the stress melt off of me. I needed to do at least 1 more hour of working out, so I popped in some Turbo Fire. By 6:30, I was laying on my floor exhausted. After about 5 minutes, I peeled myself off the floor, got a shower, and started making my dinner. I chose the North Shore Garlic Shrimp recipe from the plan with 2 small scoops of quinoa. The shrimp was made with garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and other ingredients. By far the best shrimp I’ve ever ate. Have I mentioned how much I am LOVING the nutrition meals? After dinner, I relaxed with the family and then went to sleep. I didn’t want to miss by booty call workout in the morning.

P.S., a “booty call” workout is what the TIU girls say. It’s an alarm on the app where they wake you up in the morning to get you awake to get your workout on. Pretty cute…

Thoughts: I felt accomplished and really proud that I caught up on my workouts. I felt flat & toned. I went to bed well rested and ready to go strong on my last day.

day 5

Day 5 – final day! My booty call went off at 5:00 am. I woke up, ran upstairs, drank my drink and got my workout clothes on. I did some Turbo Fire before I got ready for work. Once I was ready, I checked my phone and saw that the girls from TIU liked a few of my photos on IG. This completely made me whole day. They’ve quickly become two of my biggest role models and inspirations… just what I needed!

For breakfast, I made a bowl of Kashi cereal. This time, I tried the granola kind instead of the graham cracker vanilla stuff.. this was much better. I love granola cereal, so I’ll be sticking with this kind. It tasted so light and clean. For lunch, I made another spicy mustard wrap since I had to use up the ingredients before they went bad.

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My mid-afternoon snack was a vanilla chai shakeo. Whenever I was at walmart on Thursday, I picked up the Bolthouse vanilla chai drink and wanted to mix it into my shake. It was incredible. I love vanilla chai lattes, so I was amazed at how good this tasted being compared to like Starbucks or restaurant styled drinks. I think this is probably one of the best shakes I’ve ever had in my life. After work, I went home and did my workouts. Dinner was the roasted Brussels sprouts recipe since I needed to eat them up before they went bad as well. No complaining from me! Loved them.

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Once I finished my dinner, I sat down at the table and filled in the rest of my progress chart. It felt so good filling in each square. The goal behind this slim down was to complete everything. I am a super organized person, so this felt great filling everything in and seeing that I finally accomplished something. Consistency is a huge problem with me, I get excited about something and then get bored with it. Well, if you are trying to lose weight and get toned, consistency is a MUST HAVE. This plan has brought fun back into my life and taught me ways to keep it interesting and fun. Now I have the knowledge to switch up my routines so I don’t get bored and to treat every week like a slim down…

Thoughts: I felt beyond happy. I actually accomplished something and stuck with a plan. I feel smart because I learned new tricks & tips. I was excited to wake up on Saturday morning and see my results.

To see the other girl’s check ins & results, go to Twitter or Instagram & search the hashtag #summer5DSD – so inspiring and can’t believe how many check-ins we got!

RESULTS DAY: I woke up earlier than normal on a Saturday. I couldn’t sleep in, not because I was anxious but because I had an amazing sleep and felt so energized in the morning. I looked at myself in the mirror and couldn’t believe how flat in my tummy I looked. My skin was glowing. I felt light and clean outside & inside. I ran upstairs and hopped on the scale and saw I was down 3.7 pounds. JUST IN 5 DAYS! The shocking part was that I actually ate a lot of food. I didn’t starve myself. I didn’t deprive myself of anything. I was satisfied with every single meal I had. This made me smile from ear to ear.

today

I ordered their Perfect Fit Protein powder when I bought the nutrition plan. It’s an all natural/vegan brown rice powder to make pancakes, muffins, baked goods, and waffles instead of using fattening mixtures. I tried their pancake recipe and wow. I was amazed at how good they turned out. You mix the protein powder, egg whites, mashed banana, almond milk, cinnamon, and then top it off with honey or syrup + fruit. Don’t they look fantastic?

After my breakfast, I made a BS drink before doing some chores around the house. Then I ran down to the post office to mail out my customers shakeo sample packets. I’m hoping they love the new flavor as much as I do.

If you are interested in trying the new flavor, comment or message me and I will be more than happy to mail you a free sample! Check out more info at www.myshakeology.com/BKEllis (if the link doesn’t work, it’s because word press sometimes disables opening links… just copy & paste it into your url bar.)

Stay tuned this week for more updates!

xo Brittny

UPDATE: Check out my new Tone It Up Nutrition Plan Review!