Kicking off the 2015 Bikini Series!

This year will be my FIFTH Tone It Up Bikini Series…wow. Just letting that sink in for a second. 

It’s been such an incredible journey to get to this place. From doing planks and lunges in our work hallway, to traveling to hang with K&K as their first Bikini Series winner, to getting married with some of my favorite girls by my side, to spending an amazing weekend in the California sunshine at the TIU Retreat, to starting our own local adventure right here in Charm City with BMOREtoned

katekatebear tone it up then and now

This week kicks off an amazing eight Tone It Up Bikini Series program. I’ve tried to get myself as prepared as I can be…hitting the farmers market/grocery for healthy eats, stocking the fridge with prepped meals, lining up my journal/datebook and much more. I’m naturally inspired to join the series – I love the workouts, the new recipes and, of course, feeling healthier/more confident! BUT nothing could have inspired me more than the amazing women I met on Sunday at our BMOREtoned meetup! What an incredible morning – we worked out, we tried amazing treats, we shopped local and we made new friends! Such an inspiration!

BMOREtoned TIUmeetup

Today, we’ve been challenged to write out our intentions and goals. First, I’m really hoping to spread the inspiration of fitness through BMOREtoned. I’m hoping to take on more classes – I teach Surfset now but I’m hoping start teaching Body Barre too! I want to stick to the meal plan too – the last time I really concentrated on eating well I honestly never felt better! I want to focus on being present in my everyday life. Lastly, I want to incorporate more yoga into my regular week!

katekatebear tone it up goals

If you’re not a TIU member, I definitely recommend checking them out! Karena and Katrina are two of the most amazing women I’ve ever met AND they’re not the only people you get when you join the team – you get all of us! All of us teammates who are here to support and love and struggle sometimes along with you! :)

HERE WE GO! Best of luck to everyone who’s participating in the plan! 

[Inspiration] Tone It Up poem

As you probably know, I’ve been a Tone It Up girl for a while. Ok, a LONG, long time. It’s been a crazy, amazing journey over these four years…I’ve gotten to know Katrina and Karena, expanded my “family” to include thousands and thousands of women who have joined the TIU Team and, of course, learned and grown to love myself!

TIUretreat team moment Tone It Up isn’t just about getting fit and working out. It’s not just about adding more kale and healthy foods to your diet. It’s a lifestyle. It’s about finding the things you love about yourself, the things that make you happy and the things that help you push happiness and positivity out into the world…

At the TIU Retreat this past year, the ladies asked us to close our eyes and hold hands. In the sand, 300 inspiring women held hands and closed their eyes as K&K read a poem aloud. We all cried and smiled and were grateful for each other. Yep. It was beautiful. Thing is, the ladies made us promise to not tell anyone – they had grand plans for this poem. I’ve had to keep the secret…until now!

I’m so thrilled to share these words. They are moving, inspiring and lovely. ♡

tone it up poem | sunshine & the bear

Ok, they didn’t say the 28 days part, but the rest! 

This is now words that will be in the girls’ new BOOK – Fit, Fierce & Fabulous! The book will be a 28 Day program that encompasses the Tone It Up lifestyle. The program incorporates new workouts, TIU knockout nutrition tips, as well as daily mental and spiritual challenges to transform your mind and body. K&K will share our heart-felt stories of how fitness helped them overcome life’s obstacles to live their lives to the fullest.

I’m so so proud of the ladies! It’s going to be great.

You can preorder the book here! :)

 

[Recipe] Mini Egg White Frittatas!

When do you have time to make a healthy, well balanced breakfast? If you’re like me, you laughed at that question and quickly answered “basically never.”

In the morning, I’m typically always on the go. Whether it’s to/from the gym, taking the dog for a run, meeting media or rushing out the door to work, there isn’t a ton of time. I can rarely whip up some fresh, tasty protein pancakes or even a quick egg white omelet. I’m always trying to pre-make breakfasts that last over time, so I can grab them on the go.

SUPER easy mini egg white frittatas | sunshine & the bear Through my TIU Love Your Body challenge, I’ve been trying to to work on organizing ahead of time. Planning (meal prep especially), helps me focus my energy on other things in the moment – workouts, work, etc. It’s also more affordable! And often healthier! There’s always a temptation to go out and with that come pricey, unhealthy options.

I love that the TIU team has posted the idea of this CRAZY EASY recipe for a delicious, lasting, pre-makable breakfast…mini egg white frittatas!

WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?! They are a serious no-brainer. You can add your own favorite frittata ingredients, but check out my basic recipe below:

Mini egg white frittatas
Author: 
Cuisine: breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 mini frittatas
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 C egg whites
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • ½ C mushrooms (chopped)
  • non-stick spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a cupcake pan with your non-stick spray, making sure to get inside the full cups.
  3. Add your chopped ingredients to each cup. Remember, you can make them however you want - so be creative and make each one different!
  4. Pour in egg whites and fill each cup (leaving approx. ⅛" space to the top of the pan).
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove pan and let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

If you want to make the breakfast even more exciting (who doesn’t?), you can add some turkey bacon and/or avocado to your frittata! To add turkey bacon, place one strip into the pan cup first, then all the other ingredients. Top with fresh chopped avocado for healthy fats!

These will be my new favorite prepped breakfast meals, but I’d love to stock up other options! What are your favorites?

[Recipe] Easy Slow Cooker Soup

warming slim down soup | sunshine & the bear I can’t begin to explain how exciting it was to come back home after a long day at work and an evening at the gym to a warm dinner…because this morning I made prepared the easiest meal ever: the Tone It Up Warming Slimdown Soup!

It has all kinds of great, healthy ingredients: carrots, parsnips, scallions, etc. and delicious rosemary and thyme herbs to make it so amazingly perfect for a cold night! It warms your insides. If you want to add turkey or chicken, you can – but it’s also delicious just as a vegetable soup! Personally, I like broth-heavy soups, so I added more liquids.

You throw everything in the slow cooker and boom, dinner is warm and ready when you get home! WHY don’t we use our slow cooker more?! I had to share!

[Recipe] Easy Slow Cooker Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 parsnips (peeled & thinly sliced)
  • 1 C carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 1½ C portabello mushrooms (chopped)
  • ⅔ C scallions (chopped)
  • 3-4 C low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 C water
  • 1 T fresh thyme (stems removed)
  • 1 T fresh rosemary (stems removed)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t hot sauce
  • S+P
  • 1 C white chicken/turkey meat (cooked and shredded) - optional
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker.
  2. Set on high for 6 hours.
  3. Enjoy!

 

I challenge you, 2015!

Like many, I LOVE fitness challenges because they help encourage me to get up and out the door. Honestly, I feel like most of the time my BMOREtoned gals or Tone It Up community work as my alarm clock, coach and cheerleader!

Being January (the time when everyone is looking to make changes) there are lots of fun fitness challenges popping up – my friend Jami did a great Challenge Roundup over on BMOREtoned!

tone-it-up-love-your-body-series-100-by-v-day-100 I’ve done it for a few years and I’m excited to do the Tone It Up Love Your Body challenge again this year. It’s always a great way to get new workouts, try new healthy recipes and all-over just love yourself more! This challenge lasts for 6 weeks (ending with Valentine’s Day) and has daily/weekly challenges to help you stay engaged. Also, we have an overall goal of completely 100 miles (run/walk/bike/etc.) by the end. Running isn’t my strong suit, so I love this because it pushes me to get out there!

I’ve decided to go-big-or-go-home this year…and I’m doing two challenges! I’m also joining the Map My Fitness Workout Games! For the games, you are challenged to log or record at least 30 workouts, each 20 minutes or longer, until February 8! I typically use Map My Fitness for running – by having my phone on me while I’m running, I can find out my approximate pace, distance and elevation. This challenge will definitely push me to run more, but there’s also an opportunity to log my strength training workouts with them. It’s a great way to keep track of what I’m doing. This fits in perfectly with my TIU challenge because I can log those workouts too. I’ve backlogged a few from December, and I’m looking forward to keeping track of my workouts over the next month!

mapymyfitness workout games | sunshine & the bear

The new year presents an awesome opportunity. Fitness challenges present the perfect chance for me/you/anyone to get out there do it!

Who wants to join me?!