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Tone It Up: Balanced and Beautiful: 5-Day Reset for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit by Katrina Scott & Karena Dawn, HarperOne, US $27.99, Pp 256, July 2018, ISBN 978-0062843487

Several years ago, it was a Friday night at the gym where Katrina was working as a personal trainer. Karena always came there to read and work out on the exercise bike. Both of them were new to Manhattan Beach, California. Both of them were looking for a new girlfriend. It was natural that Katrina introduced herself to Karena and complimented her that her body was very flexible. Then Katrina asked her if she did yoga. This is how their friendship started and they started doing yoga together. As they came closer to each other, they realized that both of them shared the same passion and vision of fitness and they wanted each and every woman share a similar passion around the world. So with just the two of them, a video camera on a tripod, and determination in hand, ‘Tone It Up’ (a fitness and lifestyle community for women based on friendship, motivation, and inspiration) was born.

In Tone It Up, they share their story and secrets so that everybody can benefit from their experience. ‘Tone It Up’ had a very humble beginning. The two friends started it by recording cooking segments and workout videos on the beach and posted them on ToneItUp.com. In Tone It Up, they write, “Knowing that this lifestyle was just as much an emotional journey as a physical one helped us stay focused on our goals and remain clear on our mission for women.” Tone It Up is divided into five chapters covering the first five days — ‘Refresh,’ ‘Motivate,’ ‘Inspire,’ ‘Energize,’ and ‘Relax.’ Each day of the journey includes everything you need.

Each chapter also provides the right recipes for the day. The first chapter provides healthy recipes such as ‘L&K Cleanse Smoothie’ to refresh and ‘Avocado Lentil Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing.’ The delicious recipes in the second chapter range from ‘Blueberry Chia Muffins’ to ‘Tiu Tray Bake.’ The third chapter offers scrumptious recipes like ‘Sexy Spring Rolls with Miso Dressing’ and ‘Turquoise Bowl.’ On the fourth day, you have several great choices such as ‘Nacho Average Nachos’ and ‘Spicy Grapefruit Margarita.’ On the last day, you have a number of mouth-watering recipes to choose from such as ‘Pink Chocolate Donuts’ and ‘Avocado Peanut Butter Brownies.’

Explaining the idea behind ‘Tone It Up,’ they write, “what if we told you that you were already balanced and beautiful? What if we told you that all your strengths are already within the depths of your heart? You already have the foundation and the drive. A breakthrough occurs when you realize that what you’ve been looking for has been within your reach all along. We’re not here to tell you to be inspired, to feel motivated, or to find balance; we are here to be your mirror, or show you that you already embody all of those attributes.” They ask their readers to visualize who they want to be — their most beautiful, grounded, and authentic self. They write, “Who is she? From this moment moving forward, we want you to take every action, every single day, to emulate her. Every decision you make, every move you make, and every word you speak is with the intent to be her. Soon enough, you will radiate all the beauty you imagine and empower the women around you to do the same for themselves – and that right there is powerful.”

Tone It Up is not an ordinary recipe book, it is a lifestyle book. Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn tell us how we can begin a new healthy lifestyle and enjoy life without sacrificing much. The focus of the Tone It Up is you – the reader. As you read it, you will feel empowered and encouraged to adopt a lifestyle that is aimed at empowering women. Although Tone It Up is targeted at women, men would benefit from this as much as women. If nothing else, it is a great source of many irresistible, mouth-watering, and healthy recipes.

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