The Tone Up Challenge.

As you may know from a little while ago, I tried to do a ‘Tone up challenge’, however, my will power and general determinition let me down. So, I am going to try it again, but this time I will be doing everything; Food, exercise and general change of lifestyle. I have decided that I am going to cut carbs out of my diet for at least 3 weeks. If I find this easy, I may slowly bring in some elements, but will try to keep the really bad carbs out for good! I feel sluggish (some of you may be able to relate to this) and I’ve had enough. I will also be trying to fit in as much exercise as possible. I don’t have an awful lot to do at the moment (except reading) so I am going to try and work out as much and as cheaply as I can :)

On this page, there will be recipes, tips, tricks and general guidance from me and, well, anyone that wants to join in. I think it could be fun, helping each other and supporting each other along the way. I hope that you will find this useful and that it will either inspire you, or make you feel like you want to join in! If you are, all you have to do is keep an eye on this page, for any news bits and pieces. I am going to try and post most days, as it isn’t for too long, and it’s sort of like a little project for me :)

So, good luck everyone!

Peace and love, Polly May xx

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Food plan.

  • You are allowed one treat every week (or you can save these up and go out for a meal). One meal out = 2 weeks treats.
  • Exercise to be fitted in where possible. (Sit up’s, Walking, Jogging etc.)
  • Eat as many fresh fruit and vegetables as possible.
  • For the first week or so, drink as much water as possible. Choose WATER, if there is a choice!

Bad foods:

  • White bread;
  • Fizzy drinks;
  • Fruit juice;
  • Candy;
  • Sweets;
  • Cakes;
  • White rice;
  • White potatoes;
  • Chips;
  • White pasta.

Good foods:

  • Fresh fruit. Best ones are: Strawberries, apricots and raspberries;
  • Non-starchy vegetables (steamed);
  • Whole grain foods (brown rice/bread/pasta etc.);
  • Yogurt;
  • Cheese;
  • Milk;
  • Whole grain cereals.

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What’s in your trolley?

So, if you’re a bit stuck on what you can or can’t have, here is a little post to help you. This is my shopping trolley from yesterday! As you can see, I bought brown rice, lasagne sheets, pasta, bread and tortilla wraps. I then thought I needed something to account for the bits that normally go with my lunch. So I bought; fruit flakes, cereal bars and ‘Sunbites’ that are wholegrain crisps! (The sweet chilli ones are actually really nice!)

I had also been to the market before shopping (Blue bags) and bought loads of strawberries, oranges, grapes, nectarines, apricots and sweet corn! All for £5! Absolute bargain. I know fast food is supposed to be more convenient and a lot cheaper than the healthy option, but no one can argue with that!

For lunch, I made some rather tasty wraps with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, chicken slices and tomato ketchup. They would be perfect if you had to make lunches to take to work/uni/college as they would stay fresh all day long. They, also, went down a treat. I also had dinner at home (when I was going to go out for dinner) before going to the cinema. For dinner I had; Beef meatballs with wholegrain pasta with orange pepper and onions. It was gorgeous. Day 1 has been pretty successful. I hope yours has gone as well.

Good luck!!!

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Good ideas for breakfast are:

  • Egg and soldiers! (I had this for breakfast this morning haha!) It is super feeling. The only down-side is that it takes a little while, so it’s difficult to prepare in a rush before work etc.
  • Fruit is also a good breakfast idea. It would feel you up, and as you should be eating as much fruit and salad and vegetables as you can, it can’t hurt can it?
  • Cereal bars – these are a good breakfast option if you are in a rush, but do be careful with some brands, as they are quite sneaky and put a ridiculous amount of sugar in them. Just have a look on the box before you get them :)

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Finding it hard to make brown rice exciting??

BLT
Add 3 Tblspn bottled bacon bits, 1/2 cup diced tomato and 1 cup finely chopped lettuce.
Add to nutritional info – 14 cal, .7g fat, 42.3 mg sod, 1.6g carb, .3g fib per serve

LEMON PEPPER
Add 3 tsp grated lemon peel, 3 Tblspn lemon juice, 2 tsp chopped dill or parsley and a grind or two of black pepper.
Add to nutritional info – 3.6 cal, .8 mg sod, 1.1g carb, .2g fib per serve

TEX-MEX
Add 2 Tblspn canned jalapenos, 1/2 cup corn kernals, 1/2 cup sliced scallions (green onions) and 2 Tblspn fat free sour cream
Add to nutritional info – 25.8 cal, 1.1g fat, 6.4mg sod, 3.8g carb, .7g fib

FRUITY NUT
Add 1/2 cup currants, raisins or snipped dried apricots, 1/4 cup flaked toasted coconut and 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Add to nutritional info – 106.7 cal, 5.5g fat, 4.3mg sod, 14.7g carb, 1.1g fib

PEAS & CHEESE
Add 1 cup thawed frozen baby peas, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and 2 tsp low fat butter
Add to nutritional info – 70.4 cal, 3.8g fat, 250mg sod, 4.6g carb, 1.5g fib.

CREAMY GARLIC
Add 1/2 cup garlic-herb cheese spread and 1/4 cup bottled diced pimientos (or chopped red bell peppers)
Add to nutritional info – 89 cal, 6.5g fat, 501mg sod, 2.7g carb, 0 fib

CRUNCHY ASIAN
Add 1/2 cup sliced scallions (green onions), 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews and 3 Tblspn Teriyaki sauce (Low sodium teriyaki sce will reduce the sodium content)
Add to nutritional info – 63.7 cal, 2.9g fat, 1042mg sod, 8.5g carb, .6g fib.

Information taken from: www.sparkrecipes.com

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New dinner ideas!

So, I had my first meal out last night which was my treat for the week and I can honestly say I have never been so uncomfortable! My body has possibly adapted to this ‘no carbs’ malachy, as I has a mexican wrap and that is what happened! Haha! I am so tempted to not eat bad carbs, and just cut them out of my diet completely.

Anyway, onto more helpful things! If you feel like you are getting a bit same-y with your dinners; try visiting some ‘low/no carbs recipes websites’. They have lots of brilliant ideas and things that you kind of forget you are allowed to eat. I thought, to make it easier for all of you, I would put some of my favourites up here for you all:

Hope this has been helpful :)

Good luck!!!

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Zumba dance off!!

As some of you may know, I am a bit of a lover of dance, and it’s a great way to exercise! I absolutely love Zumba and aerobics and think that I am definitely going to try and fit it back into my routine. I went to Zumba classes as part of this year’s resolutions and I went up until I went on holiday in mid-July. I think that it is a great way to release some endorphins, but you definitely have to go with someone. It’s not fun to laugh at yourself if you are on your own and others are maybe taking it all a little bit too seriously. It’s supposed to be fun after all.

So, try having a look around your local leisure centres and seeing what sort of dance classes they do. Grab a few friends and you’re off and running! Its heaps of fun, and it used to be lovely to have a fixed weekly catch up with my friend too! You are burning calories and toning up and you don’t even realise :) Always a bonus!

Good luck!!! (This was my favourite routine ever! I used to go into proper dancer mode! Haha!)

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Graze box!

I just went to graze.com and then follow the sign up suggestions. It was super easy and then you just go through the hundreds of snacks and rate them as try/like/love/bin. You can also tick a ‘send soon’ box, which I did on a few of them.

Then, I opened it (Ahhhhhhhhhh!!)!! As you can see, you get 4 little boxes of goodies. Mine were: Very Nori-sh (Japanese crackers with seaweed); Bonnie Wee oatcakes (Oatcakes with a caramalised onion maramalade); Hot Cross Yum (Orange sultanas, Honey Almonds, and sponge pieces), and Strawberry Milkshake (Strawberries, banana, and white chocolate buttons!). I can honestly say that I am excited about all of them! Ahhhhh!!

Good luck!!!

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14 thoughts on “The Tone Up Challenge.

  1. Love this! I’m cutting out pasta for a little while, because I really eat far too much of it and I feel really tired and bloated and sluggish all the time. Today is a week of no pasta, and I feel really ‘well’, no more pasta babies! Yay!!
    Wanted to add to your diet plan that a really good substitute for rice is cauliflower rice. Super easy, as well – Grate up about twice as much cauliflower as you think you need (maybe… 4/5 big florets per person?) and put it in the microwave in a bowl, covered, for 5 mins, stir, then blast for another 5 mins. :)
    xx

  2. Thanks! Yeah, it’s crazy, but I feel so much better already. Like a lot less bloated etc. I had wholegrain/brown pasta last night, and I think I actually prefer it to normal pasta :)
    I will be trying the cauliflower rice soon! :)
    xx

  3. from white to brown… me gets it nw :p
    but i was wondering my weight is 51- 53 and height is 5’7…. do i need it coz the only thing that irritates me is my lower tummy…how do i get rid of it???

  4. Yeah it’s really easy and it works!
    Try working out your BMI online, (http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx) but I don’t think you need to lose weight. If you are a bit self-conscious about your lower tummy, side crunches can be really good exercise and they’re really easy to fit into your day :) If it’s more of a bloated feeling, try eating more superfoods like berries and nuts. (They will give you more energy too!)
    Hope this helps :)

  5. This is a brilliant idea! Last Friday myself, my mum and my boyfriend all made the decision to swap to a healthier lifestyle of eating better and more exercise. So far all is going well but I agree that it is difficult to find plenty of recipes…especially when you have a teenage brother who only wants to eat chips, burgers and pizza and he NEVER puts weight on! My mum currently has to cook one meal for us and another for my dad and brother! I can’t believe how small the changes actually are that you have to make such as white to brown and biscuits to fruit (I blogged today about my amazing Graze box that is getting me through the mid-afternoon snacks http://hannahackroyd.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/graze-box-free-box-offer/ ) I have found that another great way to cut down on the amount of red meat I eat is to switch to veggie sausages etc. which means that I don’t feel like I am missing out on eating the same as the family but it is much healthier!

    1. Thanks! I wanted to do something sensible, but something that would work, so thought I would try it out!! Have a look on sparkrecipes, they have some really good ones! You could also try and make homemade pizza using wholemeal flour for the dough? Then just be good with the toppings! Haha! I have never tried a graze box, but know people that have. Definitely going to give them a go! :) It’s really good that you’re finding alternatives so that you’re not eating too differently to the rest of your family. Thank you so much for your tips and tricks and let me know how you get on. Good luck!!! :)

  6. Graze is awesome! :-) …I tried the cutting carbs with something called Ducan diet, lost lots …and then got really frustrated and hungry and put it all on again. … it’s not realistic. Small changes long-term work best, but for me, what works best at the moment, is not attributing too much value to food, not constantly thinking about it and exercising more. I’m not saying I’ve produced results like the stars, but I work in an office and hardly get to do any exercise at all, so it’s definitely something that helps to a considerable degree if things around you don’t change. Motivation, however, changes a lot. For me, I’m motivating myself in my blog as well. Followers and comments really help a great deal to stick with what you’re doing. Perhaps when my deadline’s over on my current blog and I’m off the language learning, I’ll try the same thing with exercising.

    1. I haven’t been doing the Tone Up Challenge for a little while as I wanted to try out other ideas. I definitely think that besides eating well exercise is the biggest thing that can help you. I have been trying to cut down on ‘naughty foods’, but doing a little more exercise and it seems to be working. Even little things like walking rather than driving to the shops. I am slightly luckier as I am a teacher and will be running around like a headless chicken come next week, but I can imagine that it would be really difficult to find time when working in an office. Good luck with your weight loss and don’t let it take over, you should still have the odd treat and enjoy yourself :) x

      1. Thank you! I actually don’t take the weight loss seriously anymore. I used to be obese, so having lost about 30 kg, I’m now fairly normal and tend to treat myself a good few times. I’m nost just trying not to go anywhere near that obesity thing again, if I can help it, so it is an issue to keep the weight down. But I’m not obsessed and that helps me a lot, because at the moment, I actually have a life, rather than thinking about every calorie. :-) My main focus is therefore currently on other issues, such as my blog. I wish I could be running around more in my job though.

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