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Kendra's Tips for Putting Together Healthy Meals

taco tuck

Today's guest post was written by Kendra Chow, one of our barre instructors and a registered dietitian.

Although it may seem like it should be simple, eating healthily can be quite tricky. As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve worked with many people who know the health goals they want to achieve, but find it difficult to figure out how to get there. I find that simple guides are often a great way to help you get started on working towards achieving a health goal.

Whether you’re paying more close attention to the types of nutrients you’re eating, are working on weight management, or simply want to eat more healthfully, these are three of my favourite guidelines that give you a great place to start. I’ll use my Mexican Rice Bowl With Beef recipe as an example of how to put these tips to use!



1. Follow the Healthy Plate model for easy-to-measure portion sizes.

The healthy plate model is an easy way to measure portion sizes of each food group. By using it, you make sure that you’re getting a variety of nutrients in a healthy amount. When putting together your meal, make sure that your plate is:

-   ½ Vegetables (and fruit)

-   ¼ Protein (meat, meat alternatives)

-   ¼ Whole grains (rice, pasta, etc.)

Dairy products can make up a side portion of your meal (i.e.: a bit of yogurt, or a glass of milk).

This method is easy to use when making up your plate and can even be used at social outings (like BBQs or buffets), where this can sometimes be more difficult. The Mexican Rice Bowl recipe is a great starting place to practice these proportions, with its mix of vegetables, legumes, meat, rice, and a bit of dairy and healthy fats. And remember: the size of the plate matters! Try to aim for a plate that is at most 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter; bowls will be a bit smaller because of their depth.

2. Eat a variety of food types at meals and snacks.

To give you enough fuel for your day, aim to eat foods from a few food groups (vegetables and fruits; grain products; milk and alternatives; meat and alternatives) in each of your meals and snacks. This will help keep you feeling full, add variety to the types of nutrients that you eat, and provide you with enough energy to get through your day (and barre class!).

Aim for 3-4 food groups at meals, and 2-3 food groups for snacks. For example, this rice bowl has all four food groups, and is great for a meal. A snack with two food groups could be apple slices and a bit of nut butter; make it 3 with a glass of milk (or alternative) as a side!

 3. Eat colourful meals.

One of my favourite nutrition principles comes from Japan, where it’s believed the more colourful the meal, the more nourishing it is. This makes sense: different types of nutrients present themselves in different colours in nature. So… think bright! Eat meals with a variety of colours to get your best mix of nutrients. For example, this rice bowl offers a splendor of colours—many other meals can be made to provide the same. Colourful meals are also more visually appealing, making them all the more satisfying. Yum!

4.  Most importantly, take time to enjoy your food. You’ll feel more nourished, mindful, and satisfied when you do.

Happy eating, folks!






Cooking With Kendra! Mexican Rice Bowl With Beef

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Today we continue our "Cooking With!" series with a registered dietitian! Kendra, who is also one of our barre instructors is sharing her recipe for her Mexican Rice Bowl With Beef, a delicious dish that is healthily proportioned and packed full of nutrients! This recipe makes a large portion, and is great for preparing ahead of time for quick-to-assemble lunches and dinners. 




yield: 6-8 SERVINGS

1 lb extra lean ground beef (can sub ground turkey or veggie ground round if preferred)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp  onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 cup salsa


For the rice bowls:

2 cups cooked brown rice

sliced avocado (optional)

shredded lettuce optional

chopped tomato

plain Greek yogurt (0% or other)

hot sauce (optional)

extra salsa



1. Add your extra-lean ground beef to your pan, and break up into small bits to cook evenly. You can remove extra fat in your pan with a spoon.

2. As your beef is browning, add your bell pepper, onion and spices. Continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes until veggies are softened and the beef is cooked through.

3. Add black beans and salsa to your pan, and gently stir to combine. Turn off heat.

4. Build your rice bowls by adding a bit of brown rice to your bowl, and then then top with beef and black bean mixture. Add toppings of your choice such as avocado, Greek yogurt, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, and/or hot sauce.







Stay tuned for an upcoming post where Kendra will be sharing her registered dietitian tips for healthy meals! And for more more delicious and nutritious recipes, click below!

Tess's Raw Pad Thai 

Charlotte's Super Green Smoothie Bowl

Erika's Watermelon Salad 

Erin's Easy Lentil Quesadillas


#WomanCrushWednesday Instructor Spotlight: Claire


Claire is one of our newer barre instructors whose smile can light up any room and whose voice is so calming in class you don't want her to stop talking! She loves challenging and pushing her students in an encouraging and positive way and this is why Claire is our #WomanCrushWednesday! 

How did you get introduced to barre?

I had driven by Whitemud Crossing hundreds of times and mentioned to my Dad that I was interested in giving barre a try. He surprised me with a gift card a few weeks later! (Thanks Dad!)

Why do you barre so hard?

I grew up being very involved in organized team sports but once I stopped playing volleyball it was difficult for me to find something I loved doing to stay active on my own. I hadn’t found a workout or activity that made me feel like coming back until I found Barre Body Studio. The energy of the studio, staff, and clients is contagious and addicting! I saw the changes in my body start a few weeks into coming to class regularly and I was hooked! What do you mean a workout exists that’s fun, challenging, and gives you results? Count me in!

What keeps you motivated and inspired?

I’m inspired by the people I surround myself with. I believe that having a strong “tribe” of women to encourage you, discuss ideas with, and celebrate successes with is priceless.

Favourite barre series?

Blue band squats because when you wake up the next day (or a couple days later) and you’re still sore, you know they’re working!




What is the best “side effect” you have noticed from doing barre?

I’ve experienced back pain as a result of a car accident I was in at 16 and barre is the first physical activity I’ve done that hasn’t aggravated it. It’s amazing that through strengthening my core at barre I’ve been able to virtually eliminate a struggle I’d been dealing with for 10 years.  

What do you love about being an instructor?

I love seeing clients getting stronger and challenging themselves more and more each class. Whether it’s sinking lower in a second position or chair, getting their fire feet a tad bit faster, or holding a plank for a couple seconds longer – those are the little wins that I’m SO lucky to share with them.

What other exercise(s) or fitness routines do you participate in?

I’ve recently started running and love Moksha Yoga.

What is your occupation?

I’m the Supply Chain Coordinator for an Ingredient Supplier specializing in Sports Nutrition.

Favourite guilty pleasure?

Red wine and truffle popcorn.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I was born and raised in Edmonton but moved to Ottawa for university without knowing a single person there. Although it was scary at first, it lead me to some of my closest friends and I’m so grateful I took that leap of faith!

Favourite quote?

Humankind. Be both.