Earlier this month, I kicked off my morning in an airplane hangar in Santa Monica, surrounded by hundreds of women inspired to wake up early to do the same and laughing my way through one of the best butt-kicking workouts of my life. Even if you haven't yet taken one of their classes, you'll likely recognize Tone It Up founders Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott—two dynamic women who've created their own fitness empire—from their social media presence to their insane following. That morning, their total body workout was live-streamed to followers around the world as part of a beauty and wellness day with Kohl's to launch the Love Your Body Series.
When we caught up with Dawn and Scott right after the intense sweat sesh, we had to ask them what food they eat to fuel them through their demanding demonstrations and busy days as businesswomen. "It always changes, but it's kind of the same," admits Dawn of their day-to-day diet. The most refreshing part of their eating plan—besides the fact that their go-to recipes are relatively straightforward and the ingredients are familiar, wholesome foods you want to be adding to your grocery cart anyway—is that nothing about it was restrictive. Instead of making hard rules about cutting out certain things or creating limits, Dawn and Scott emphasized having healthy foods on hand for well-rounded meals and snacks to tide them over (and even satisfy their sweet tooth) on the go.
"Breakfast is either a protein pancake, so we use our Tone It Up Protein ($24), egg whites, cinnamon, and a little almond milk and banana mashed up in there," explains Dawn. "Or I like egg whites with tons of veggies on it."
Assorted vegetables for the eggs
"In between breakfast and lunch we definitely need a snack," Scott chimes in. "We'll do an apple with almond butter or something."
"For lunch, we'll either do wraps, a nice big old salad, or sandwiches—Ezekiel bread is really good."
"We're usually on the go in the afternoon, so hummus and vegetables, Tone It Up bar, juice, or a smoothie—maybe a little chocolate," lists Scott. "I actually always have chocolate in the afternoon. Always." Dawn adds, "yeah, she has a sweet tooth."
Assorted vegetables to dip
Tone It Up Protein Bar ($8)
"Recently my favorite has been a Tone It Up tray bake," says Dawn. "You just have tons of veggies, some kind of lean protein, I'll do red onions, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, and broccoli or cauliflower. I'll put it on a tray in the oven with tons of seasonings. I'm loving smoked paprika, especially in the wintertime. Lots of garlic cloves." Scott loves the tray bakes too, but when she's craving something different, she turns to her husband's cooking. "My husband will make this big pot of tomato sauce—he'll add mushrooms, ground turkey, spinach, and peppers, and you can add any vegetables and then you let it simmer. The longer you let it simmer the better."
"And then dessert. We usually have either a glass of wine or I'll have another little piece of chocolate," confesses Scott. "You don't eat dessert?" she asks Dawn, who jokes she'll have dessert wine. "I'll make doughnuts out of our chocolate protein and then have a little chocolate doughnut," continues Scott. "Or coconut macaroons—I'm obsessed with sweets."
Tone It Up Plant-Based Protein Powder ($24)