WIAW: What I Ate Wednesday

I’ve been swamped with work and haven’t had much time to think about good stuff in the kitchen or shopping (but I wish)! I had a great labor day weekend at the beach and I’ve been eating some really delicious stuff lately, so I thought today would be the perfect day to share.

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Cotton Candy Grapes: Holy moly! I’ve heard about these the past couple seasons, but haven’t found them in the store until this year! They taste just like Blue Cotton Candy! GUILT FREE!

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Perfect Fit Protein Blueberry Pancakes: So if you take the new Perfect Fit Protein and use it in the traditional pancake recipe…IT TASTES LIKE A REAL, AMAZING PANCAKE. I’ve been obsessed. The new PFP concoction is just amazing.

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My Go-To Healthy Dinner: Just quick cook up some chicken, asparagus, and quinoa. Nothing fancy, but delicious and healthy.

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Oreo Donut: While at the beach my fiance was kind enough to make a donut and coffee run while I actually ran. I had this oreo donut, warm and fresh from the oven. DA BOMB! Except now I’ve been craving donuts all week…

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Fruit Smoothie: I enjoy trying various mixtures of fruits in smoothies…I really enjoyed this mornings smoothie. 1 scoop PFP, 1 cup coconut water, 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, and 5-6 ice cubes. Delicious!

Did you try any new recipes or foods this week? Let me know!

❤ L

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Weekly Meal Plan

Last week I went totally on the fly with my meals…and it was awful. Our weekend was just so busy that we were too tired to meal plan and grocery shop…and that just doesn’t work out when you are trying to eat healthy!

I made sure I got my act together this week, and it I planned and prepped everything way more than I ever have!

I can’t share most of the recipes because they are for TIU Nutrition Plan members (I will star * these), but here is a peek at what I am eating this week:

Breakfasts
Breakfast wrap: Egg whites, bell pepper, roma tomato and some Mrs. Dash in a whole grain low cal wrap with a dollop of guacamole

Perfect Fit Protein Pancakes* (this recipe is actually widely shared)

Lunches
I struggle with finding a lunch that satisfies my cravings and keeps me full. I kept it simple this week and just made a whoooole bunch of Power Packed Quinoa Bowls*

Dinners
Lemon Garlic Chicken* and Steamed Broccoli

Turkey burger topped with Sabra Mango Peach Salsa (so yummy!) with sauteed zucchini

Chicken with asaparagus and quinoa

Ground chicken fajita bowls – just sautee some bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno; brown some ground chicken with taco/mexican seasonings; serve in a bowl topped with salsa and guacamole (for more protein add beans/quinoa)

Chicken with Cucumber Salsa* and steam green beans

Snacks
I’m sticking to fruit and green tea this week! Mostly grapes (I finally found cotton candy grapes!) apples, and bananas with Steaz zero calorie teas and Yogi green tea. I am also likely to have a couple squares of dark chocolate and a glass of wine here and there.

Planning my meals usually isn’t the problem…it’s the PREP! The past couple weeks I have found myself just NOT wanting to make dinner when I got home from work. I just wanted to lay on the couch and have the food appear in front of me. Not good! That leads to many nights of pizza and french fries. So last night I cut up all the veggies I would need for the week, trimmed the chicken, prepped my lunches, and put everything in separate bags so that I could just grab and go all week. It was a lot of work but it already paid off tonight when I just had to grab the chicken from the fridge, dump it in a baking dish, bake and eat! No cutting/prepping necessary!

What are you planning to eat this week? Are you trying any new recipes? Let me know!

❤ L

Tone It Up Tuesday!

Good Morning!

I am back in full force! My board exam is over and I can get back to real life! And with real life comes my diet and fitness plan. I have mentioned once or twice already that I go through many fitness phases and enjoy doing different things, and currently consider myself a “Tone It Up Girl” (aka TIU). In the TIU world, Tuesday is “Tone It Up Tuesday”, so I figured today was the perfect day to share my experience with TIU and introduce you to K&K if you have never come across them before.

Tone It Up was started by Karena and Katrina, two fitness lovers in California. They have extensive fitness and training backgrounds, and one day decided to start posting fitness videos on Youtube. The videos became successful and now TIU is a full-fledged lifestyle program. Yes – lifestyle. That is what draws me to TIU so much. It is not a diet program. Karena and Katrina don’t tell you that you need to lose weight, and their program doesn’t promise it. Their number 1 goal is to make you feel confident and radiant, and they give you the tools to do it. The other great things about TIU is that it can be totally free of cost or you can make purchases to support the business and enhance your experience.

I could babble about this all day, so I will break my experience down into small sections to keep it concise. But, for the best and most information, go straight to the source!

Disclaimer: I am writing this post of my own accord. I am not being paid and all opinions are my own.

How did I discover TIU and when did I start?

I heard about TIU through a few classmates of mine in early 2014. I started off by doing the workouts on their website because their annual “Bikini Series” challenge was going on. I LOVED the workouts and I felt so good doing them. Once the series was over, I stopped doing the workouts so much because I got busy with school and working out fell to the side. In February 2015 I decided that I wanted to go full force and purchased the nutrition plan and 2 of their DVDs. I have been hooked ever since and have not had a break!

How much does TIU cost?

One of the best things about TIU is that it can be totally FREE if you want it to be! K&K post a weekly workout schedule every Sunday. If you follow pinterest and instagram close enough, you can get an idea of the kinds of foods that are in the nutrition plan and basically create your own eating style. If you do choose to purchase the nutrition plan, it is $150 ONE time. That’s right. No monthly fee, no annual fee. LIFETIME membership. There are different versions of the plan (regular, vegan, gluten free), but the plan basically consists of eating guidelines and recipes. Every so often (it seems like once or twice a year), they put out small updates of the plan that have some new recipes (like I said, no extra fee). The workout DVDs cost somewhere between $35-$45, I forget exactly, but to me they were well worth the money because I use them ALL THE TIME.

Ultimately, I would recommend you try out the free stuff and see how much you love it before making any purchases. It’s only worth the money if you know you will use it and love it!

What are the workouts like?

The biggest reason I have stuck to TIU is because the workouts VARY…and the girls make them fun. They have cardio routines (treadmill, elliptical, bike, yoga, HIIT) and toning routines to hit every muscle in your body. K&K create a weekly schedule so that you don’t over-train a certain part of your body, they make sure you rest your legs every now and then and focus on your arms, etc. This takes the guess work out of the routine. I just wake up and go (or click play)! In general, each day will consist of cardio (recommended in the morning) and toning (recommended in the afternoon). Workout times range from 5 to 60 minutes, depending on what you’re doing!

What is the Nutrition Plan like?

My one hassle with the nutrition plan is it is LONG! Which is a good thing because there are plenty of guidelines and variety. It does not lay out each meal, day by day (except for the Bikini Program part of it). They are guidelines of what to eat and when, and then recipes to help get you there. The recipes are marked for which meal they are appropriate for. It is all fresh, lean food. Mostly chicken and seafood, lots of fruit, veggies, and nuts. I love the plan because it is basic nutrition. It doesn’t count calories (although I still try to – and with the daily 5 meals I usually end up between 1500-1900 calories), and it focuses on fueling your body appropriately. The other thing I like is that it doesn’t deprive you. You consistently eat throughout the day, and they demand you have treats! Wine, chocolate, etc – all in moderation of course.

Do I have to follow every little thing they say to be successful?

Not at all! Although the plan spells out everything you SHOULD be doing – the first thing it says is that you have to do what’s best for YOU. If you don’t want to do the scheduled workout that day – do something else. If you have another healthy meal you want – go for it. The whole plan is just guidelines, and it encourages you to try new things and share them with the community.

Have I lost weight?

Let me put it this way – when I stick to the plan, I lose weight. When I go out and celebrate (aka almost weekly or more this summer), eat too much ice cream, or spend all afternoon snacking…I don’t lose weight. I’m getting ready to go wedding gown shopping next month so I’m at the point where I’m trying to string enough “good” days together to lose some considerable weight (like more than the 3 lbs I keep losing and putting back on). And although I haven’t exercised enough self control with food to actually lose weight, I am so much more toned. My thighs and booty have smoothed and lifted, and my arm and ab muscles are way more defined. It will be crazy to see how they look if (WHEN!) I really start sticking to the plan.

It sounds like a diet and exercise program, where does the lifestyle come in?

Like I said earlier, Karena and Katrina don’t focus on losing weight at all. They feature members who have lost weight, yes, but they also feature members who have added muscle and perhaps even gained weight because of it. They also like to focus on being happy and radiant and really LIVING your life. They constantly talk about making the most of each day and doing your best and doing what you love. They talk about challenging yourself and trying new things and living in the moment. Once you adopt that, you’re living the TIU Lifestyle. Every week in the workout schedule you will find little challenges the incorporate the TIU Lifestyle – recipes for a dessert, have a glass of wine, plan a girls night, plan a weekend getaway, take a bubble bath, wear a new color lipstick – you get the gist.

What is my favorite thing about TIU?

My favorite thing about TIU is the COMMUNITY. Karena and Katrina are very active on social media and encourage all of the members to be as well. There are forums on the website, but the instagram community is massive. So many women posting about their day and so many more liking, commenting, and supporting each other. I have met some great ladies through TIU, and have connected with many more who aren’t in my area.

There you have it! You can check out the whole TIU community at the website, on youtube, or check out #toneitup on instagram! You can follow my TIU journey on instagram @ldoltiu if you would like!

For a look at a workout, here is what I’ll be doing at the gym this morning. It may look easy because walking is involved, but the incline is KILLER!