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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!



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


Cooking With Erin! Easy Lentil Quesadillas



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!




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)



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.)













 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.


Cooking With Erika! A Flavorful Watermelon Salad


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!


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.



- 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 


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.










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.




Cooking With Charlotte! Super Green Smoothie Bowl (Vegan)


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!






- 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


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


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






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!


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





Barre Menu: Green Smoothie Bowl

BarreMenu - Green Smoothie Bowl

Put a twist on your typical breakfast smoothie by eating it out of a bowl topped with extra goodness!
Just blend up your favorite smoothie ingredients and top with a mix of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds or granola.

The topping combinations are endless! This is the perfect breakfast to keep you feeling cool and
refreshed on those hot summer days.

2-3 kale leaves
½ cup green grapes
½ avocado
½ banana
1-2 cups ice cubes
¼- ½ cup almond milk (substitute any milk)

Remaining ½ banana sliced
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds

Addition optional topping
Chopped nuts
Hemp seeds
Sunflower seeds
Hemp seeds
Dried coconut

Recipe provided by Food.Fitness.Function

Barre Body Studio - Edmonton

Barre Menu: Energy Bars

This is one of our favourite grab and go snacks when we are running out the door on the way to barre! We found this gem @ Paleo Grubs, you can find the original link to this recipe and others by clicking here! Store bought energy bars can certainly get pricey, so why not try to make your own! The best thing about this recipe is that they are super easy to make and the perfect healthy option for that sweet tooth of yours. These bars are gluten free and can be made vegan by substituting the chocolate chips for raw cacao nibs. YUM!
  1. 1 cup almonds
  2. 1 cup dried cranberries
  3. 1 cup pitted dates
  4. 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  5. 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything up. Then blend continuously until the ingredients have broken down and start to clump together into a ball.
  2. Using a spatula to scrape down the sides, turn out the mixture onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Press into an even square and chill, wrapped, for at least an hour. Cut into desired size of bars, wrapping each bar in plastic wrap to store in the fridge.
Enjoy! Barre Body Studio - Edmonton


Barre Menu: Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps

You all know how the saying goes, "it's the best thing since sliced bread." I think that we can all agree that while bread, pasta and all things carbs are delicious, we tend to incorporate too many bread products into our diet each day. We may start our day with toast, have a sandwich for lunch and then have a side of garlic bread for dinner, not to mention the carb heavy snacks. Try skipping the “bread” for one meal by substituting a healthy alternative like crunchy lettuce. We promise you won’t be missing the wrap for this recipe.

Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wrap
Serves 1

  • 4 oz. chicken breast
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ onion, chopped  
  • ½ pepper, sliced
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head lettuce (butter, romaine, iceberg)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. water

Optional Toppings: hot sauce, avocado, salsa

Heat ½ tbsp. olive oil in each of two non-stick pans over medium heat. Place the chicken in one pan and cover with a lid. Cook chicken, flipping occasionally until juices run clear, 8-12 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and slice in pieces. Once chicken is cooking place onions, peppers and mushrooms in second pan and sauté for 6-9 minutes. Add cooked chicken to vegetable mixture and season with paprika, garlic, cayenne, cumin, chili powder and sea salt. Pour water into pan and mix thoroughly. Continue heating until most of the water has evaporated. Serve atop lettuce and enjoy.