Tone It Up - Bikini Series

While the official start date for Summer 2015 may be June 21st, the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend, is only six weeks away. So unless you have a tropical vacation coming up in the next month (jealous), this means you'll be strutting your bikini bod along the beach in just a month and a half. If that thought just terrified you, don't freak out just yet. The lovely ladies of Tone It Up have just the fix for you.

Karina and Katrina of the popular web series and fitness program Tone It Up have launched their 2015 Bikini Series program just in time for swimsuit season. You may recognize them from their show on ???, but these women are about much more than having fun on the beach. Karina and Katrina have dedicated themselves to creating fun and effective workouts specifically designed for female bodies. Each workout comes with a printable cheat sheet and a video to show you the moves. For the past few years, the Tone It Up babes have been releasing their 8-week Bikini Series programs before the start of the summer to help ladies feel better about stripping out of their cozy winter staples.

In addition to the free workout routines (did I mention they were free? score!), Tone It Up offers members a community where women can find running buddies to keep them motivated and a nutrition plan with hundreds of recipes. However, the best part is the emphasis that Karina and Katrina put on loving your body, no matter the size. Of course they encourage you to eat healthy and take care of your body, but it is all in the name of love. Every body is a bikini body - just stick it in a bikini.

To join Karina and Katrina in their preparation for summer fun and receive weekly emails with detailed workout plans you'll need to sign up on their website. Then get ready to start on Monday. Summer 2015 here we come!

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No Recipe Required

Getting up in the morning in time to cook a true breakfast isn't always easy for night owls. This can mean heading down an unhealthy path of bagels and granola bars five days a week and a real blow to your bank account. Luckily, thanks to Food52 there are a number of easy make-ahead breakfasts that won't mean giving up those extra 20 minutes in the morning. My favorite doesn't even have a recipe.

In addition to the chia puddings, no-bake breakfast bars, and egg frittatas suggested by Food52, they also have a simple plan for preparing delicious, healthy, and filling smoothies if you really like to save time and eat on the go. They've broken down all the elements of a great smoothie making it easy to pick and choose from the ingredients you love to create your own breakfast blend.

image via Refinery29 + Food52

image via Refinery29 + Food52

1. Pack in the Greens
One or two cups of greens is perfect for sneaking in some vegetable servings without sacrificing taste. If you're a fan of the green stuff, try adding in heartier greens like chard or kale. If you're trying to pretend those veggies aren't really in there then pick something milder like spinach for a sweeter taste, or arugula for a bright, peppery flavor.

2. Bring on the Frozen Fruit
To avoid watering your smoothie down too much, opt for frozen fruit instead of water or juices. Bananas work best if you're looking for a really thick milkshake texture but can overpower other fruit flavors. It's helpful to think of your favorite tropical cocktails when picking fruits to mix and match, like pineapples and mangos or strawberries and blueberries. One cup of fruit per smoothie should add just the right amount of sweetness.

3. Go Nuts
If you're concerned about staying full until lunch time, one tablespoon of nut butter is a great ingredient to add. Nuts are packed with protein and healthy fats and will help keep you just as full as that bagel you're so used to. Like bananas, peanut butter offers a strong flavor while almond butter is a more subtle way to add protein without compromising taste.

4. Straws vs. Spoons
We've covered what it takes to make your smoothie nice and thick but we still want it to be eatable without requiring a spoon. This is where picking the right liquid comes in handy. Milk is a great option for added calcium and vitamins, with almond milk providing a lighter taste than regular milk. Coconut water is chock full of electrolytes if you're looking to rehydrate after that morning run, as is organ juice. One cup should do the trick. If you've added too much liquid, try thickening your smoothie with yogurt.

Now that you have the elements all laid out for you, don't be afraid to get creative. Try swapping avocado for yogurt or pomegranate juice for oj. Add in some chia seeds, sweet potatoes, protein powder, or cardamom. The possibilities are endless. So go get tasting ladies and gents! Let me know your favorites below.

image via Refinery29 + Food52

image via Refinery29 + Food52

article information via Refinery29 + Food52