Tone It Up Nutrition Plan Review / My Pulmonary Embolism Story

I purchased the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan in October after thinking about it long and hard for about a year. I'd been following Karena and Katrina for a couple years on their website, YouTube channel and the TIU community. Their YouTube channel is full of free videos on workouts, recipes, grocery hauls, hair tips, and so much more. 

I hesitated only because it's kind of expensive at $150. The good news is you pay once and you never have any other costs to stay a member. You're a member for life and receive updates forever. 

A little background of me before going in to my personal pros and cons of the plan: 

Before getting married and having a baby I was a hard party girl. I was drinking, smoking and never working out. I would party too hard, sleep all day and eat nothing but crap. I was thin but not at all in shape. I was what you'd call skinny-fat. 

When I got pregnant I gave everything up of course. No more smoking, no more drinking and I started eating slightly healthier. Being pregnant came with a sugar tooth that I never had before so I indulged in cupcakes like nobody's business.

I gave birth in July to a very healthy, happy, beautiful baby girl. I was told I was anemic and was put on iron pills. I took the pills for a few weeks then quit. 

Due to our work/lifestyle we are on the road a lot especially in the summer. In September we drove to Oklahoma and back (roughly 16 hours.) During our time in Oklahoma I was drinking beer and occasionally smoking again- not good! 

October 4th, 2013 I woke up in excruciating pain. It was a pain I've never had before, it truly felt like I had several broken ribs. Something was off. Something just wasn't right. I made an appointment to be seen at the clinic and they gave me an appointment of 3pm, this was at 7am. By 9am the pain intensified, I couldn't walk, I couldn't pick up my almost 3-month old anymore so I called the clinic back saying I needed to come in sooner. They got me in for 10am so I headed out immediately. While waiting in the lobby for almost half an hour I started crying because the pain was unbearable. They hadn't called my name yet so I walked back without a nurse calling my name first. I cried in the hallway saying I needed help. A nurse took me back and said I needed to get to the ER immediately. I took her advice and drove myself to the ER calling my husband on the way. They admitted me right away and began tests. After blood tests, an ultrasound, an EKG and finally a CT scan they found that I had blood clots in both lungs. I was told this is called a Pulmonary Embolism and they would need to keep me overnight to monitor me. It would be the first night away from my new baby so I broke down and cried.

I couldn't walk, I couldn't hold my baby, I couldn't even put my hair in a pony tail on my own. The nurses had to do everything for me. 

While I'm still being monitored once a week with INR testing and seeing a specialist next month to see what caused my PE, I know what caused it - a mix of pregnancy with the road trip and smoking. 

I stopped smoking again immediately. I was so close to death and my daughter and husband NEED me. It's time to stop being selfish and childish. 

After I was released from the hospital and got my strength back I decided that was it- I need to make a change. I need to be healthy. 

I need to be healthy - not "skinny"

I purchased TIU and haven't looked back. This is not a diet plan. Diets are temporary fixes that you eventually quit once you lose your 5 pounds (mostly water weight) then gain back, diet, gain back, etc. This is a LIFESTYLE change. 

I eat clean.

That's what I do.

Look at their bodies: 

Seriously who WOULDN'T want to look like that!?

They promote health, love, wellness, and happiness. This isn't a quick fix. It's a supportive community of women who share their goals, slip ups, and successes with each other. 


1. One time fee. No monthly membership. There are other optional items you can purchase but they're not necessary. Personally I purchase their Perfect Fit Protein Powder in both Vanilla and Chocolate (Vanilla is my favorite) and their protein bars. 
2. The PDF has TONS of recipes
3. There's a quick start guide
4. The 7-Day Slim Down and 5-Day Slim Down are included.
5. Print outs like the grocery list, daily food log, measurement charts and more
6. Includes a workout guide but I haven't looked at it. I prefer their videos because I need to actually see someone doing the moves rather than just guessing how it's done. 
7. I love the Meta-D
8. Members only community access when you buy the plan. It's nice to have a community of gals who actually put the time and money into the plan that you can talk to and ask questions with. Sometimes a lot of open communities will have a lot of people thinking 'I'm doing this!' then 2 days later they never come back again and you have to weed through the thousands of posts from people asking what clean-eating is.      Click Here for a wonderful website on clean eating and the basics. I love love love the blog 'The Gracious Pantry'. 
9. You're not counting calories or points. I've tried every diet plan on earth and hated that I would be limited. It would be 6pm and it's "Shit I ate all my calories/points/portions for the day and I'm STARVING!" With TIU you monitor portions but there is no set NUMBER you eat a day, there's 5 meals you eat with scientific reasonings behind what and why you eat them (Note: I cannot explain what and why as there are rules when you purchase the plan and I'm not about to pay a large fine for blogging what they've worked so hard at.) 

1. Initial cost can be expensive to get going. I had to do a few grocery hauls before I had the standard items in my fridge/pantry. Things like grape seed oil, flax seed, apple cider vinegar weren't in my pantry so I had to have a rather spend initial grocery haul. Now I can walk out of Trader Joe's each week around $50
2. Lots of cooking- I'm not a pro at but I'm getting better. I'm not just not-a-pro but I seriously SUCK at cooking. If it's complicated I'll ruin it. Even if it's not complicated- I'll ruin it. 
3. Not a lot of husband/kid-friendly meals. We eat breakfast, lunch and snacks separate just because I'm an early bird and he's more of a night owl but we always have dinner together. DO (Daddy O) is getting used to my "weird" eating and even enjoying the new items but it took him some getting used to. This is a guy who loves his beer and nachos (well come on who doesn't?) 
4. This is only a con for me but I'm limited to the number of greens, specifically Vitamin-K that I can have due to my Coumadin. Vitamin K will directly affect your INR level which blah blah science boring. Anyway this is a very Lean, Clean and GREEN nutrition plan which for me I need to find non-green veggies to substitute that aren't too starchy (not easy.) 

Overall I'd recommend this to someone who wants to make a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. Someone who is dedicated. Someone who likes to cook. Someone who isn't looking JUST to lose weight (you absolutely will with the plan) but who wants to get fit and healthy. 

So what's SMD drinking these days? 

Water :) Half my body weight in ounces every single day. 

My TIU nutrition plan

Follow me on my TIU specific twitter at:


  1. Thanks for sharing! I've been researching Tone it Up Nutritional Program all day! I am so sick of trying diet after diet, and this has been on my list for years to try. So, I'm taking the plunge!

    1. I think you're going to love it Lauren. I certainly do. Join the community as well, it's very supportive and informative.

  2. This is amazing that I stumbled across this. On Feb 1st (after a few days of intense pain), I found out that I had three blood clots in my left leg, one of them that was incredibly severe! I wasn't able to walk and had to withdraw from my semester because of all the time that I missed from class. I am now three months into this process and have rediscovered my love for Tone It Up and I've been participating in the Bikini Series. I've been going back and forth about purchasing it because I figured that Vitamin K would be an issue. Thanks for your review!!

    1. Becca, I'm so glad you found it when you did. I definitely remember the pain, it was so so severe. I am now off all meds as of April so I can have all the greens I want again. It was tough having to keep track of your Vitamin K intake as to not mess your INR up too much. Hopefully you're done with Coumadin/warfarin soon!

  3. This is such a great post! I have been stalking TIU for about 3 years now. It is so inviting, and it looks like a great way to kick start your healthy lifestyle. I have been hesitant for the past 3 years because of the hefty $150 initial cost. What if I purchase, and it doesn't work out for me (Questions like this run through my mind everday when I am on their website.) Now that I have a little more cash, I think I might give it a try. Your review really helped. You were honest.

    I just have one question: What if I am not trying to lose weight? I am 126 pounds and really skinny. I actually want to gain a little weight and maintain it by toning and building muscle. Does the plan focus mostly on losing weight? If so, maybe this isn't for me.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Shamira,

      Each recipe shows which stage of the plan that meal falls under. The 3 stages are:
      1. Slim Down (for weight loss)
      2. Tone Up (When you've reached your goal weight but still in the 'toning' stage)
      3. Maintain (More relaxed recipes when you've reached your goals. Also great for healthy splurges while following the plan during all stages. )

      Karena and Katrina obviously don't need to lose any weight so I would assume they follow the Tone Up or Maintain recipes themselves. I hope that helps!

  4. Hey teri! I am just curious if the plans tells you things that are NOT clean. common condiments like mustard, bbq sauce or if it's not on the list do we just not eat it? I have been debating buying the plan for a while. I am getting married now and need to be eating better, I live in a small town where healthy eating out generally isn't an options. If you can give me any input I would appreciate it. Thanks, Caitlin

    1. You can find or make almost anything clean. They do not give specific brands on which mustard or BBQ sauce to use but you can look on the labels to know if you can have it or not. I like Annie's Naturals which you can find at your local grocery store or Target or Trader Joe brands.
      A good rule of thumb is: if you can't pronounce or find the ingredient in the produce section then it isn't clean. If it takes a factory to make the product, your body will need to act like a factory to break it down.

  5. Thank you for this honest and funny review. I have been considering the TIU nutrition plan but wasn't sure if it was something I could maintain since I'm not used to food prepping or clean eating. I mean, I love brussel sprouts, but how many can one eat. Your review has been very helpful!

  6. What if you already eat clean and gave recipe books.... Is it still worth it?

  7. Can you send it to me at i really love the tiu girls, but in my country we cant buy things from the USA, only if you have a credit card, and me being a university student how barely gets to pay my studies (thanks to a really controlled budget) is practically impossible for me to ask for a credit card :( i'm from santiago de Chile from the Universidad de Chile Faculty of economics and business
    pretty pretty please! :'C i want to have a good lifestyle and some help from the beach babes (obviously once i work and can actually afford it i would totally buy it since you become part of the tiu team too!)

  8. Can you send it to me at i really love the tiu girls, but in my country we cant buy things from the USA, only if you have a credit card, and me being a university student how barely gets to pay my studies (thanks to a really controlled budget) is practically impossible for me to ask for a credit card :( i'm from santiago de Chile from the Universidad de Chile Faculty of economics and business
    pretty pretty please! :'C i want to have a good lifestyle and some help from the beach babes (obviously once i work and can actually afford it i would totally buy it since you become part of the tiu team too!)

    1. Sorry but you need to pay for the plan. I cannot email it to anyone.


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