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Kendra's Tips for Putting Together Healthy Meals

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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!

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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!

 

 

 

 


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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. 

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Ingredients:

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

 

DIRECTIONS:

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.

 

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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


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#WomanCrushWednesday Instructor Spotlight: Claire

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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!

 

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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. 

 

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Barre Favs: What We're Reading!


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Are you almost finished your summer reading list and not sure which book to pick up next?  Don't worry. Today our barre instructors are giving you lots of recommendations that will satisfy every type of bookworm!

Hunger by Roxanne Gay -  Charlotte, Claire and Emily

Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl - Charlotte and Michelle

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman - Lindsey

The Boston Girl: A Novel by Anita Diamant - Christy

Hidden by S.A. Watt - Christy

Girl, Wash Your Face By Rachel Hollis - Claire

Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems (trilogy) by Kevin Kwan - Kendra

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - Hannah

Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson - Kirsten

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling - Hannah and Kirsten

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson - Jill

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero - Marie

This Is Me by Chrissy Metz - Marie

Hey Ladies! The Story of  8 Best Friends, 1 Year and Way, Way Too Many Emails By Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll - Tess

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica - Tess

 


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Healing With Barre: Lauren's Journey

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This guest blog post was written by Lauren Chow.

“Reject the sense of injury, and injury itself disappears” (Marcus Aurelius). If you let an injury define you, your sense of self can be lost. This is my story on how barre has allowed me to become stronger and above my injury so that I don’t have to let it define me.

I think the worst part about my injury is that I had no control over the situation and it was now something that was a part of me. Six years ago back home in Saskatoon on April 12, 2012 (at I kid you not, the stroke of midnight making it Friday the 13th), I was the passenger in a car accident where the vehicle was rear ended, and totalled. I can remember the spinning and thinking we were going to roll. The velocity of the collision went through my body to the point where my tied up sneakers were no longer on my feet. I remember the injuries from hitting my head and knee, and not being able to sit up on my own for days after. I sought out continual care for months following the accident of weekly physiotherapy and massage, but the injury still had such control over my life. While my continual care helped relieve any immediate strain, I still didn’t feel like I was getting any better.

Fast forward a few months, I had just moved to Edmonton and had to figure out how to continue my care in a new city. A co-worker had recommended a massage therapist at a facility near the UofA that specializes in chiropractic care and massage therapy. After a few treatments with her, I trusted her recommendation to begin chiropractic care. I saw immediate benefits from this type of therapy. Combined with massage and the exercises they had given me, I was feeling like I was in control of my injury and my body once again! Although, some activities were still limited for me. I’ve always loved the game of golf, but the twisting nature of that sport would leave me injured, and I’d have to seek out immediate care after a game, and limited how much I played.

I’ve always been interested in physical activity and knew the benefits to staying active, especially for body maintenance and to help reduce the effects of any injury. In terms of workout classes and programs, the closest thing I found enjoyable was Zumba, but sometimes the movements would cause my muscles to pinch and I’d be away from any activity for weeks. I would stay away from things like pilates and yoga because the movements were sometimes too hard on me, and I didn’t feel strong enough to participate in those classes. I was taking a few kinesiology courses at the time and was able to build my own workout program for the gym. Well… I can certainly tell you that I did not have the motivation or the confidence to be there. I saw the benefits of going continually, but I would always get bored of the exercises and would spend more time curating workout playlists than actually working out.

 

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I was in this constant cycle of trying to work out here and there, seeking care when things flared up, and believed this was how I was to take care of myself now. I had been introduced to barre by my sister, Kendra who by this time had begun working the front desk at the studio. My first barre class had my legs feeling like jelly. It made me realize I did not have much body awareness, and I knew I had to take modifications and breaks. While I very much enjoyed the atmosphere of the studio, I mistakenly felt I wasn’t strong enough to participate in this type of exercise. Still in my cycle of ups and downs, Holland Plaza had just opened their doors, and Kendra had told me the studio was looking to hire someone for the front desk. I knew of the amazing community that existed at Barre Body Studio and knew I shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to be a part of it. Soon after being inspired by listening to classes happening while working the front, taking my first few classes with Erin and Lindsey, I was hooked. I saw the strength my body could have, I saw the empowerment of being in a group fitness setting, and I saw my own improvement. I was more in tune with what my body was capable of instead of what my limitations might be.  After a few months of barre, I didn’t have to limit my movements as much, I didn’t have to book a chiro appointment the day after a round of golf. I was strong, I was empowered, and I no longer had to think about my injury before saying yes to a certain activity. The one class I must make note of is the Bangin’ Backside class. I knew the class had a higher intensity than the Fit class, so I always opted for the Fit classes until I felt I could increase intensity. My injuries mainly exist in my lower and upper back muscles, so when I finally signed up for a Backside class, I saw huge improvements in my practice and in my body. This class allowed me to focus on the supporting muscles I needed to work to help maintain my strength. It was in this class that I was able to strengthen my mind-body connection and become so aware of what my body was doing external to my core. This is why Bangin’ Backside is my favourite class to teach. It is where I became in tune with barre, found my strength, and am able to reject the sense of my injuries. Yes, there are still days when my back flares up, but I no longer let that defeat me. I engage in the proper self care of either treatment, rest, maybe a stretch and core class, or taking the modifications in class. I don’t know where I’d be without Barre Body Studio, but because of barre, I am not limited or defined by any injury that may befall me.


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styling@mariezydek.com

Cooking With Erin! Easy Lentil Quesadillas

 

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Today we continue our Cooking With! series with Erin's delicious and filling lentil quesadillas. These are super high in protein and iron, which will give you lots of energy later on to tackle those cardio bursts in class!

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Ingredients:

For the sauce:

1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes

1/2 a yellow onion

1/2 cup of carrots

1/2 cup of yellow pepper

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp oil

For the quesadilla:

1 cup uncooked lentils, rinsed

1 cup uncooked quinoa (or brown rice)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

8 (or more) flour tortillas

3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese or mozarella

a few tbsp of butter (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Sauce: Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until mostly smooth.

2. Filling: Place the quinoa (or rice), lentils, sauce and broth in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-7 hours until soft. OR. like Erin did here, cook in a big pot on the stove, on medium heat, for about 40 minutes.

3. Assemble: Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Layer the following: tortilla, 1/4 cup of cheese, 1/2 cup filling, 1/4 cup of cheese, tortilla. Spread the outsides of the tortillas with butter and fry on each side for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes. Cut and serve with your choice of topping. (Erin likes sour cream.)

 

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 This recipe is baby approved!

For Tess's Raw Pad Thai recipe, click here.

For Charlotte's Super Green Smoothie Bowl, click here.

And for Erika's Watermelon Salad click here.


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Barre Beats July 2018

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We are in the midst of July and along with enjoying the sunny days, warm weather and trips to the lake we are loving these summer jams our instructors have been playing in class and in their cars! Below are the songs you'll definitely want to add to your summer soundtrack!

I Like It - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin

Born to be Yours - Kyogo & Imagine Dragons

Back to You - Selena Gomez

When We Were Young - Lost Kings ft. Norma Jean Martine

SoulMate - Justin Timberlake

One Kiss - Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa

Inhale - Duke Dumont

Move to Miami - Enrique Iglesias ft, Pitbull

Post Malone - Psycho ft. Ty Dolla $ign

Your Love - David Guetta & Showtek

Meant to Be - Baby Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line

High Hopes - Panic at the Disco

Girls - Rita Ora ft. Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX 


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Cooking With Erika! A Flavorful Watermelon Salad

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Looking for a cool and savory summer appetizer that will satisfy all of your taste buds? Well look no further! Today we're continuing our "Cooking With!" series with Erika's Flavorful Watermelon Salad!

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You will need fresh mint for this recipe. Erika got it from her very own garden but you can get it at the grocery store as well.

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INGREDIENTS

- 1 small, seedless watermelon
- A small container of feta cheese, or goats milk feta
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh mint
- 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar glaze OR you can make balsamic vinaigrette by combining 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and whisking together
- Salt and pepper to taste 

DIRECTIONS

1. Chop up the watermelon into cubes and place in bowl
2. Chop up the feta cheese into cubes and add to bowl
3. Rinse and clean the mint leaves
4. With scissors or a knife, cut up the mint leaves, add to the rest of the ingredients
5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
6. Pour the balsamic glaze on top
7.  Mix well

***Feel free to add more salt and pepper and/or more balsamic glaze, to your liking.

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If you're wondering if it tastes as good as it looks IT DOES!!

For Tess's Raw Pad Thai recipe, click here.

For Charlotte's Super Green Smoothie Bowl, click here.

 

 


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BBS Hall Of Fame: Resa

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Meet Resa - a lady whose sense of humour keeps us smiling at our studios, and who just can't help but to be herself. Resa has over 125 classes under her belt, and has overcome some major hurdles in terms of her physical health, always returning back to us at BBS. Keep reading to learn more about this bad-ass babe!

Why do you barre so hard?
At first it was driven by vanity. I was in my late 40's, in menopause, and the changes were coming fast and furious...my skin was melting off like a waterfall, and I grew an impressive udder seemingly overnight. I started Barre and I saw improvements, some in just weeks. I felt really good, proactive, and strong; I loved the community I was tapping into, and it was the first form of fitness I have bonded with successfully. Later, barre became about my health; I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and had a hysterectomy within 4 months of each other. Being a barre babe already, helped my recovery from surgery go smoother, helped with pelvic floor recovery, and has improved core function and balance to hopefully help me avoid future falls so I can rock this whole aging thing on my own two feet. Also, I get to legitimately wear lulu sausage casing and feel sassy with all the other gorgeous women in my classes. They inspire me: all ages, all types, all stages of life. Don't get me started on the barre tenders... wonderful, passionate, compassionate cheerleaders. Everyone needs one in their court. <3
 
How has barre impacted you? 
Barre was a game changer. It has improved my balance, strength, flexibility, bum (I have flat bum phobia)... and an unforeseen bonus was that I have actually made some wonderful friends there. Barre has enhanced my body awareness, inspired me to eat better, and to strive for the best me possible. I now walk up to total strangers and complement their bums, backs... efforts... where else can you do that without a restraining order slapped on you? For real!
 
How did you get introduced to barre? 
A lovely woman that I work with, April, goes... I asked her what she does to get so disgustingly fit, and she dragged me to my first class. 
 
What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre? 
The gains I have achieved... my health... touching my bum and giggling... the ladies I see there, my favourite barre tenders (you know who you are), the encouragement I receive, and sweating to music without the pain and humiliation of "jazzercise"!
 
Other than barre, what other activities do you do? 
I have added weight training into the mix for bone density, and take the stairs at work (500-700 a day). I also love dancing but this usually means I am in my kitchen terrorizing my family with my hot moves.
 
Tell us something we don't know about you?
I am older than dust, have 4 children, and am addicted to high-end skin care and cosmetics. Also, I still have all my own teeth! 
 
What is your favourite way to treat yourself? 
I avoid all household responsibilities, and unknowingly purchase the same shade of lipstick over and over again thinking it's different. I know I can't be the only one who does this...
 
What is your favourite quote?
"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product" ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen" ~ BrenéBrown
"I don't give a damn about my bad reputation" ~ Joan Jett
 
What is your favourite book/movie/TV show of all time?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
 
What is your favourite barre move?
Okay... don't hate me, but I actually love side-lines, and glute-bridges using the bar :D


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Cooking With Charlotte! Super Green Smoothie Bowl (Vegan)

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We are continuing our "Cooking With!" series with Charlotte's delicious, nutritious, super healthy, super easy, SUPER Green Smoothie Bowl! This recipe is perfect for breakfast or even a little pick-me-up/fill-me-up snack post barre class!

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INGREDIENTS:

SMOOTHIE BASE

- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup frozen mangos
- 1 scoop of greens superfood powder (their are many different types and brands, sold in the health food sections of grocery stores)
- 1/2 cup coconut water w/ pineapple 
- OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2-5 ice cubes if you'd like to thicken the base

ON TOP

- 1 handful of blueberries
- 1 handful of grapes
- 2 sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup of granola
- 1/2 banana 

DIRECTIONS

1. Blend the smoothie base ingredients in a blender
2. Pour into a bowl
3. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on top 

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Enjoy!


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