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Cooking With Tess! Raw Pad Thai (Vegan and GF)

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At Barre Body Studio we believe in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Along with exercising, drinking lots of water and getting enough sleep, eating well is vital to your well-being. So all summer long we'll be sharing our BBS Instructors' favourite, nutritious recipes in a blog series called 'Cooking With!' Today we're sharing Tess's delicious, gluten-free and vegan raw pad thai, perfect for the sizzling hot weather when you don't want to heat up your house while cooking! Scroll down for the recipe!

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1 zucchini, spiralized or julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1/4 of a head of purple lettuce, chopped into thin slices
1 red pepper, julienned
4 green onions, chopped
150 grams of rice noodles
1/2 cup of frozen edamame beans
1/2 cup of raw, unsalted cashews (optional)

For the sauce:

1/4 cup of peanut butter
1 1/2 limes, juiced
2 tbsp. soya sauce (can sub sesame oil if you have a soy allergy)
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp. agave syrup
2 tbsp. water
2 cloves chopped garlic
1" x 2" chunk of ginger, grated


1. Toast the cashews at 350F for 6 minutes or until golden. Chop them up.
2. Thaw the edamame beans.
3. Boil the rice noodles for 5 mins, drain them.
4. Combine the vegetables and rice noodles.
5. Add the sauce.
6. Garnish with cashew nuts and green onions.

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Voila! Enjoy!


BBS Hall of Fame: Jan


Meet Jan - a school principal, friendly face, and barre Superstar with well over 500 classes under her belt! Jan began her journey at BBS YEG because she was looking to make herself more physically fit, but ended up developing more confidence and finding a second home in the BBS YEG Tribe. Barre has also helped Jan recover after surgery, and has made her fall in love with a good clam shell series! To learn more about this awesome woman, keep reading!

Why do you barre so hard?

I barre so hard because it feels so good.  I love the variety, I love how good I feel afterwards, and I love the results. I’ve never once gone to a class and thought afterwards “I wish I hadn’t gone today!”

How has barre impacted you?

It has increased my confidence. It’s given me shape that I didn’t have before.  I come to the BBS and it feels like a second home. I started coming to Barre right after my first marriage ended and it gave me a wonderful outlet for all I was feeling.

How did you get introduced to barre?

My massage therapist commented on my “flat Irish a**” (he was joking, because that’s exactly what he has) and I realized I needed to get some shape! His wife comes to Barre so he told me I would love it and he was right!

What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

The people!  When I had surgery a couple years ago I was worried that I would get out of the habit of coming by.  I talked with Elissa and Megan and asked them to touch base with me a couple weeks after my surgery to keep me accountable and it worked! I love that when I come to class I see familiar faces and that we are truly a community.

Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

I’m a principal of a big school so I walk a lot.  I treadmill 4 times a week for an hour.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

5 years ago I lost 55 pounds; barre has helped me to keep it off!

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?

I love spa days: facials, pedicure, body wrap, massage!


What is your favourite quote?

I have 2:

“Be the change you want to see in the world” - Ghandi

“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle” -Plato

What is your favourite book/movie/TV show of all time?

My favourite movie is Out of Africa.  It’s beautiful and I like the story of a strong woman making her way in a difficult world!  The Robert Redford hair washing scene is pretty great too! 

What is your favourite barre move?

Definitely the clam shell because I can really feel it work!



Barre Beats May 2018


Spring is in full swing and as the weather heats up outside, we are sweating it out in the studio with these great tracks our instructors are currently playing in their classes. Check them out below if you're looking for some major music inspiration!

Bum Bum Tam Tam - MC Fioti, Future, J Balvin, Stefflon Don & Juan Magan 

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk (Haadrin Remix)

Cola - Cemelphat & Elderbrook

Secret Stash (The Him Remix) - Mike Mago & Dragonette

Working For It - Zhu, Skrillex & They

These Days (Alphalove Remix) - Rudimental ft. Jess Glyn & Macklemore

IDGAF - Dua Lipa

Nice For What - Drake

Body - Loud Luxury 

On My Way - Tobtok

No Tears Left to Cry - Ariana Grande 

Do U Feel Like Moving - Mohombi

Came Here For Love - Sigala & Ella Eyre

 One Kiss - Calvin Harris & Dua Lip

Familiar - Liam Payne & J Balving





A Delicious Guacamole Recipe For Cinco de Mayo!


I don't even know where I got this recipe from, all I can tell you is I've been making this guacamole dip for years and it's been a hit at every party I've served it at. So much so that people will text me the next day and ask for the ingredients. (It's that good!) This guac is quick and easy to make and a great snack to refuel with after a sweaty barre class! Here's what you'll need:


- 3 ripe avocados 

- 1 roma tomato 

- 2 tbsp. white onion

- 1 clove of garlic

- 1/2 tsp kosher salt

- 1/2 tsp ground cumin

- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

- 1 squeezed lime

- cilantro is optional

Mash together and enjoy with tortilla chips!


photo via Raw Food Solution





Proper Stretching Technique Series #5: Barre Body Side Stretch


Today we're continuing our Proper Stretching Technique Series with the Barre Body Side Stretch, which targets the inner leg muscles and the side body. There's always an incorrect and correct way to perform any barre stretch so scroll down to make sure your form is on point!






The above variation gives you a deeper stretch

Stretching properly in (and out) of class is extremely important so if you have any questions about this exercise or any others please ask a Barre Instructor!


BBS Hall of Fame: Jordan


Meet Jordan - a man who has been coming to barre hard with us since before we were even open! Jordan started coming to class when we held our very first boys at the barre class back in 2013, and has been coming to us ever since. He began his barre journey by discovering the benefits of ballet as an adult, and joined us not long after. Whoever said barre was just for women, right?! Keep reading to find out more about Jordan and his barre journey.

Why do you barre so hard?

I barre for the other benefits in my life. I didn’t take good care of my body when it was new, so I have lots of aches to deal with, but I still like to stay active in my work and my play. Barre helps me with my flexibility, core strength, balance, and proprioception to maximize my performance in other sports. Except for the morning after class, I feel much better for my time at Barre. I started because I wanted to be in better shape and feel stronger. I keep on because the variety of exercises we do during the class: strength training, stretching, weights works out all the muscles in my body. I really enjoy how Barre is a near-perfect mix of yoga, Pilates, ballet training, strength training, balance, and endurance.


How has barre impacted you? 

For most of my life, exercise and active living weren’t things I did – they were just things that happened to me. Work was physical, and I’ve always been involved in sports or activities that kept me moving. As I aged, work became more sedentary and I had to put more effort into staying active. By spending time at the Barre, I’ve regained some core strength and flexibility, and I’ve found a fun, positive, and supportive group of people to train with.  


How did you get introduced to barre? 

My sister-in-law was a ballet teacher, and she convinced me to take her adult beginner ballet classes. It was fun, and it helped with my flexibility and strength, so I stayed in the class until she moved to Toronto.  When trying to find another ballet class, classes were either way too serious, or the teachers looked at me and announced that the classes were full.  I stumbled onto Barre Body Studio while trying to find a ballet class that would take me.  


What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

Mostly, it’s because I have fun. The instructors are motivating and entertaining, the music’s good, and in every class I can challenge myself to work a little harder. Even if I come in tired or sore, the instructors bring the energy to pick me up and get me sweating. I see the benefits of regular attendance through strength and stamina, and keeping my body looking good caters to my vanity.


Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

My main activity is skiing. I teach skiing and snowboarding for fun, and I plan my winters around making time to ski. The best trips, back country touring, don’t involve ski lifts; instead we glue climbing skins to our skis so we can climb mountains and ski down. Since we aren’t lucky enough to have winter all year, I round out my activities with cycling, horseback riding, walking my dog, and windsurfing.


Tell us something we don’t know about you?

For many years, I was a farrier. I took care of horses’ feet, which included trimming their toe nails, making and applying shoes, and managing conformation or lameness problems.  It spins off into the hobbies of blacksmithing and anvil collecting.


What is your favourite way to treat yourself? 

There’s something magical about springtime ski touring in a secluded valley in the mountains. Climbing a mountain on a cool but sunny day, without a sound other than the slipping of skins on snow and clicking of boots on skis – not even the birds sing up there – taking in the majesty of the peaks surrounding the group, and finding that perfect slope with light, soft snow to play in for the ski down. Repeat that all day, and finish it with a beer while soaking in the afternoon sun… 


What is your favourite barre move?

Do the deep, cleansing breaths at the end of class count? There are some variations on sideline series that I like, targeting the glute med, obliques, and the outer leg. Chair always feels like I’m becoming a better person. 4th position plies build character…


BBS Hall of Fame: Tiina


Meet Tiina -  a relatively new  barre babe whose goal was to complete 63 classes before her 63rd birthday, and guess what? She did it! Tiina’s drive is not only shown in accomplishing her goal, but also in her story. Tiina has had some pretty major obstacles in her fitness journey, and wants to share with others that fitness, and barre more specifically, has helped her recovery immensely. Keep reading to learn more about this month’s Hall of Fame inductee!

Why do you barre so hard?

 I started because I wanted to be in better shape and feel stronger. I keep on because the variety of exercises we do during the class: strength training, stretching, weights works out all the muscles in my body. I really enjoy how Barre is a near-perfect mix of yoga, pilates, ballet training, strength training, balance, and endurance.


How has barre impacted you? 

I have some minor nerve damage to my left leg from a previous back surgery and three-and-a-half years ago I had surgery to have my right knee replaced; Barre has become the next stage of my healing and recovery. Also the instructors are truly amazing as they accommodate my limitations by taking the time to correct my position and show me alternative ways to achieve the same workout.


How did you get introduced to barre? 

My colleague at work, Christalene Lay, is my inspiration and really encouraged me to try it out. 


What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

I set myself small goals to reach, so it is attainable, then set more. I love how I feel stronger each time I come and I really notice month-by-month how much strength I've gained and how much more coordinated I am. Just this feeling of personal physical accomplishment keeps me wanting more. Because of Barre I can do many activities longer than I could before without tiring or getting sore, so I can freely romp and play with my Grandlings longer, go on longer hikes, and shovel lots more snow.


Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

 I go birding a lot with my husband so that is great hiking in all seasons, and in the summer I love to garden. This coming summer, because I feel stronger and my balance is better, I'm going to go back to biking that I used to do a lot, before my knee replacement surgery. 


Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I have four wonderful grown children and four amazing grandchildren, my Grandlings who light up my life and my heart.


What is your favourite way to treat yourself? 

Curling up with a glass of wine or beer, a good book, a fuzzy blanket, and a cuddly cat. 


What is your favourite quote? 

      My simple religion is love, respect for others, honesty.   -His Holiness the Dalai Lama

     We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace. - Michael Franti 


Proper Stretching Technique Series #4: Runners Lunge


Today we're continuing our Proper Stretching Technique Series with the Runners Lunge. We perform this stretch at the beginning of every barre class in our warm up and sometimes at the end of class. It's an effective way to stretch the hip flexors and open up the hips. As with every exercise there is a wrong way and a right way to execute Runners Lunge.



MODIFICATION: If you have tight hips and/or cannot reach the floor with your hands, place your hands on your knee instead and keep your spine straight.

As always, if you have any questions about Runners Lunge or any other stretch please ask an instructor!


#WomanCrushWednesday: Anu


Although she's only been working at BBS as a Brand Manager and Front Desk Administrator since September 2017, it feels like Anu has been part of our barre family forever! She is so warm and welcoming to our clients and staff and her fearless attitude inspires us all, which is why she's our #WCW!

Why do you barre so hard?

I barre so hard because I have always had a hate-hate relationship with working out. I grew up dancing, playing soccer, basketball, swimming, and then at the age of 11 I injured my knee and had to quit everything. I was never any good at the sports, but I didn’t want to give up dance because I loved doing it so I kept doing that. Once I began university I had to let go of that too because I no longer had time. During university I dreaded the idea of going to the gym and I would force myself to do at home workouts in my parent’s basement a couple times a week, but I never saw any progress, and self-motivation did not work for me. Back in August I took my first barre class and immediately loved the energy, music, style, and everything about the class. I loved that I was able to feel like I was in a dance class again and that the burn was so good. I remember hurting for five days straight after that class and thinking to myself, yes! I finally found something that I like to do!

How has barre impacted you?

Barre has completely changed how I view fitness. Before starting at BBS I always thought that doing fitness classes or going to a gym was not something that I could do because I’m not the smallest person, so I was in constant fear of being judged due to my own lack of self-confidence. Barre and BBS YEG has made me fearless when it comes to fitness. It has allowed me to be unafraid to do and try new things, and prove to myself that I can and will succeed in whatever I choose to do.

How did you get introduced to barre?

My friend and BBS Tribe member Madi Corry introduced me! I came home from traveling in July and was looking for something to do to fill my time, being jobless at the time haha. Madi mentioned one day over coffee that she goes to barre 2-4 times per week, so I decided to join her for one of Megan’s classes and the burn was so good that I have been coming to class ever since!

What keeps you motivated and coming back to class?

The strength I now feel in my body is unreal! I keep coming back because I feel so much healthier and happier now and I can see and feel my muscles growing again, which I love. I also find that I never get bored of coming to class and each class is a new challenge. Some days are harder than others but feeling that burn is addicting!

I keep coming back too because of all of the amazing women and men (barretenders and clients) that I have become friends with who motivate me to keep pushing myself in class.



What does it mean to you to be a part of the BBS Tribe?

To me it means that I have a safe place where nothing but love and encouragement is shared for one another. If I am having an off day I know that going to class or coming to work will immediately turn that around. Seeing everyone’s smiling faces always brings a huge smile to mine!

Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

I usually go to spin once a week, and boxing 1-2 times per week. Sometimes I take SOAR classes as well.

Tell us 3 things we don’t know about you.

1. My second job is with CBC Edmonton as an ambassador, so if you’re ever out and about at a CBC sponsored event you will most likely see me handing out swag!

2. I’m a bit of a foodie, and I LOVE brunch. My Instagram stories are definitely proof, because I’m one of those people that won’t let you eat your food until I’ve taken a picture of it haha. I love to cook and bake too though, and spend my free time doing that when I’m not at barre of course ;)

3. I love traveling! A year ago I was in Australia and spent five months traveling Australia, South East Asia, and New Zealand. I’ve been to 22 countries so far!

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?

This is so cliché, but honestly a bath, lots of bubbles, wine, and Netflix on my laptop. Ouu and a good face mask!

What is your favourite book, movie and TV show of all time?

Book: To be honest I never really loved to read, and university made me hate it even more, but recently I read The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur and related a lot to it. I definitely recommend it; it hits you right in the feelings for sure.

Movie: The Devil Wears Prada. I love Meryl Streep, and it’s just such an iconic movie.

TV Show: This one’s hard but I’m really into Jane the Virgin, The Mindy Project, and Grey’s Anatomy. I have to be in the right mood to watch Grey’s though because I know I’ll end up crying during EVERY. EPISODE.

Do you have a favourite quote?

I’m not sure if this counts, but I like to live my life by the saying “everything happens for a reason,” something I repeat to myself daily.


Woah, Baby! An Interview With Elissa


If you've been coming to Elissa's classes lately you may have noticed her beautiful expanding belly! We can confirm she is definitely pregnant and expecting a baby with her husband in May! We chatted with Elissa about how she's been feeling, what it's like to teach while carrying a human, how to exercise safely at the barre while pregnant and more.

How far along are you now?

28 weeks, just starting my third trimester. Baby is due May 23rd.

How have you been feeling?

I have been feeling pretty good throughout the entire pregnancy. Just tired! But I don’t think that is going to change for the next 18 years.

What were your 1st and 2nd trimesters like? How is your 3rd trimester going so far?

I must admit, I have been pretty lucky so far with my pregnancy. I had very little-to-no nausea my first trimester. I was just constantly hungry! The hunger has not changed much throughout the pregnancy! I just find myself being able to eat less at each meal, which has me snacking a lot throughout the day.  I did experience the increased urination and did have to get up every night during my first trimester to use the bathroom, but that has settled down during my second trimester. Now that I am entering my third trimester I assume I will be up nightly using the bathroom again. I also didn't experience the emotional mood swings that can happen during pregnancy. I don’t hate my hubby (yet lol) and I didn’t have any emotional crying experiences. Which means I also didn’t put too much stock behind “baby brain”. But entering my third trimester, baby brain has hit full force! It’s a real thing, I swear! I am sure a few of our members and staff will experience my baby brain moments.

Any cravings or aversions to certain foods?

I had no severe food aversions during my first trimester. Since I didn’t have any food aversions I also didn’t really experience any weird cravings. No pickles and ice cream for me. I might have a little more of a sweet tooth, but I don’t keep a lot of sweets in the house so when the “cravings” hit, I am way too lazy to go out and buy something most times. I did find an angel food cake in my cupboard one night and decided to bake that at 9 PM when I was feeling something sweet. I had to put it outside in the winter so it would cool quickly so I could eat it before midnight.

Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?

Nope, we are keeping it a surprise. Team Green!

Do you have any names picked out?

Since we don’t know the gender we have too many names picked out. We have a big list of names that we keep adding to, but don’t seem to be able to narrow down. We are getting closer to a girl's name but every time we revisit the boys list we scratch them all out and start again. Hopefully we can pick a name soon!


What do you love about being pregnant? What do you dislike?

I must admit that even though I have had a very positive experience during this pregnancy I can’t say that I have “loved” being pregnant. I am extremely grateful and blessed for being able to experience a healthy pregnancy! But it is hard to experience all the changes your body has to go through. Whether you are experiencing the pregnancy symptoms that are constantly changing week to week or the physical changes happening to your body. Sometimes it’s the silly changes that can be annoying like growing hair in places you never grew hair before. My hubby found a 1 inch hair growing on my back….. haha. Bring on the tweezers! The hardest thing I find about being pregnant is learning about your physical limitations, which keep changing as you get farther along. I took for granted that I could run up a flight of stairs or carry 10 heavy shopping bags in from the car, because I didn’t want to do a second trip. Now walking across a room causes me to be out of breath and I have to be conscious of things I maybe shouldn’t be doing as much or pushing as hard. I have to continually learn what my body can handle and not to overdo it. Each week is a new learning curve. Oh, and I miss having margaritas!

How long do you plan on teaching until, before your baby is born?

Fingers crossed, I hope to teach for a long as I can until my due date. I still feel good while teaching my classes, so hopefully I can keep it up. I plan to start cutting back on my schedule a bit towards the end of March and April so I am not teaching as many classes.

Do you have a birth plan?

My plan is to go in open minded. I don’t want to make a set plan and then be disappointed if my birth experience doesn’t go according to my plan. I will be as prepared as possible, but hope to just go with the flow.

Is Barre safe to do during pregnancy?

With the consent from your doctor I think barre class is a great type of exercise while pregnant! With only some slight modifications you can continue barre through most of your pregnancy. Since we have been getting so many questions lately and since we have so many pregnant mamas-to-be in our classes we are hosting a Pre-Natal Workshop on Saturday March 17 at 11 AM at our Whitemud Crossing location. Come chat about exercise modifications you can do in class and get a sweat on at the same time, as we run you through a class!

Any advice to moms-to-be or new moms re: exercising at the barre?

The biggest thing is: listen to your body. What may feel okay before you got pregnant will not feel the same while pregnant or after baby. Sometimes even day-to-day might not feel the same depending on how baby is positioned. It is important to stay active while pregnant and post pregnancy but it is unrealistic to be at the same level you were before you got pregnant. Growing or recovering from baby takes a lot of energy and we need to respect our bodies. Doing modifications and taking breaks when needed are good for us! We don’t need to be doing high impact to work our cardiovascular system and we don’t need to be doing ab exercises that burn to keep us toned. Core exercises are extremely important during and after baby (notice how I said core and not ab exercises) but it's more about maintaining a strong core for function vs. looking good. It is important to work the entire core, focusing on the deeper transverse abdominals, pelvic floor, obliques, back muscles and even the glutes. These help keep our core stable and can reduce pregnancy pains. We need to do core exercises that promote stability and strength but we don’t need to be aggressive with the exercises we choose or do them until they “burn”.  There are many great core exercises that can be done while pregnant that may not feel extremely difficult but are very good exercises for function and support. Don’t be scared to ask the instructor for modifications. Or don’t feel self-conscious if the exercise does not feel right for you and you choose to do a different exercise. Do what feels best for you! 


What has it been like teaching while pregnant? Have you had to slow down in class?

I have enjoyed teaching while pregnant. It’s a great excuse to keep me active! I find I may be doing a little more hands-on correcting them and demonstrating but I have always been “handsy” in class so I don’t think it has changed too much. I keep checking with clients to make sure they are getting a good workout in, and some have told me that I have gotten even meaner with my classes during my pregnancy, haha. I guess since I maybe can’t work as hard, I make sure they do! The hardest part of teaching is doing the cardio sections, I get out of breath so quickly. But luckily I just demonstrate the low impact options and continue to make the rest of the class work harder.

Are you planning on taking a bit of a break before and after the baby?

My plan is to take a small break after baby arrives. Since I am due in May I plan to take the summer off and just enjoy my baby. After that, I will see how I feel. I may start teaching a class or two a week or maybe I will just be a participant for a while. We'll see!

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