Chai-Spiced Chia Parfait


When you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, these chai-spiced chia parfaits are the perfect easy option. The topping tastes like apple pie, and the pudding beneath has the most luxurious creamy texture. It also has plenty of nourishment thanks to the chia seeds, which are a complete source of protein, a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and high in filling fiber. Make sure you start the pudding the night before so the seeds have time to soak.


¼ cup chia seeds

1 cup unsweetened a
lmond milk

4 tsp. pure maple syrup

1 large apple, cored and cut into ¼-inch cubes

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground ginger

Pinch of ground cardamom

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ cup slivered almonds


1. In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds, almond milk and 3 teaspoons of the maple syrup. Stir well, and then divide into two small bowls or glass mason jars. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next morning, in a small bowl, combine the chopped apple, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and vanilla extract. Taste the apples and adjust the spices if needed. Remove the pudding from the refrigerator and divide it between two small bowls or glass mason jars . Divide the spiced apples between the bowls and top with the slivered almonds. Drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of maple syrup and serve.

To get access to more delicious, seasonal recipes curated by Sadie Lincoln and her team of chefs, join barre3 Online.

The Underwear That’s Changing Women’s Lives (and not just because of the amazing fit)

Title: The Underwear That’s Changing Women’s Lives (and not just because of the amazing fit)

Wondering why we’re selling underwear in our studios and online? While it’s super comfortable and ideal for your barre3 practice, it’s so much more than that. The underwear is made by Empowered By You, a company that gives 20% of its proceeds to microloans that help impoverished women launch businesses. We recently sat down with the company’s founder, Renata Black. Read our interview* with her below to learn how she went from orphan to humanitarian and entrepreneur.

barre3: You were orphaned as a toddler and, after being raised by an aunt in Miami, moved back to your native Colombia. How did this experience shape your path?

Renata: Going to Colombia was truly the most defining moment of my life—it paved the way for how and why I live my life. Because I’m so conscious that I’m adopted, I don’t take anything for granted. I could easily have been one of those kids I saw living in a box, and that kind of perspective shifts how you live. I realized that I’m fortunate and that I need to make the best use of my life. It’s not just about enjoying and consuming, it’s about giving back.

barre3: You were only 15 years old when you made the trip. How did you make the decision to go?

Renata: At 15 realized my mother wasn’t my mother—she had blond hair and blue eyes, and I was Hispanic. I was growing up in Miami, but I wasn’t born in the United States. I wasn’t really fitting in anywhere. I needed to find my identity, so I dropped out of high school and went to Colombia and totally immersed myself in the culture. I traveled all around, lived on an oil rig, walked the jungles of Colombia by myself with the guerillas right there. Looking back, I see that I was fearless—I’m much more cautious now! But I also learned my culture, my roots. I needed to know who I was, and I needed to be in Colombia to do that.

barre3: After coming back to the States and majoring in journalism and psychology at UNC, you set off for a trip around the world—a trip that ultimately inspired you to create Empowered By You. What did you learn during this journey?

Renata: I did a lot of humanitarian work that year, and I went to India to do relief work for the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. We were helping a group of women, and a woman said to me, “I don’t want your money. I want you to teach me how to make it myself. Will you?”

That moment was a huge paradigm shift for me. I suddenly understood that I was watching these women become dependent on our aid. Our efforts were hurting them instead of helping them. I realized that in order to truly make a difference, we needed to help them help themselves. I started doing research and learned about microfinance—basically giving very small loans to groups to enable them do work that will help lift them out of poverty—and went to Bangladesh to study under Mohammad Yunus [Nobel Peace Prize winner and pioneer of microfinance]. I then went back to India to put what I’d learned into action. I actually found the same woman who had asked me to teach her how to make her own money, and we gathered 800 women and formed my original microfinance group. The picture below is from 2005, when I sat in on one of their bi-weekly meetings.

The Underwear That’s Changing Women’s Lives (and not just because of the amazing fit)

barre3: How did you decide to make lingerie the focus of your microfinance business?

Renata: The women in India wore saris every day, and they’d tell me they felt sorry for American women because we feel like we have to show cleavage and wear short skirts to attract attention. I never thought of it that way—I’m Colombian and I grew up in Miami, I like everything short and tight! But when I came back to the U.S. I was watching a Victoria’s Secret show and I realized that lingerie was being used as a tool to objectify women through sexuality. I wanted to turn the tables and make lingerie a tool of empowerment instead of one of seduction. That’s how Empowered By You was born. When women buy our lingerie, they’re contributing to loans that help empower women in need.

barre3: Looking back, what has been the most surprising aspect of this whole journey?

Renata: That people don’t buy products because of causes, they buy it bc it’s a kick-ass product. You can have the best mission in the world, but if your product isn’t fantastic, it won’t sell. That’s why from the get-go we knew we had to make our lingerie the absolute best.

barre3: How do you find empowerment in your life?

Renata: When I need to get back to basics, I love reading women’s stories about how our company has affected them. It might be a letter from intern, feedback on product, or a story about a woman whose life we’ve changed with a loan. I keep these stories in a folder so I can read them anytime. It lifts me up to know that our product touches so many people on so many levels.

barre3: What’s a breakdown to breakthrough moment you’ve had?

Renata: Three years ago I got divorced, and that was really hard for me. I always put my career first, and my husband took a backseat. My breakthrough was realizing that I needed to pay as much attention to my relationships as I did to work. I had to lose something incredible in order to see that, but I’m so grateful that it helped me evolve. I’m such a better person and I have such better balance now.

barre3: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Renata: I absolutely love the barre3 concept of work smarter not harder, and I wish I had embraced it earlier. When I was younger I definitely subscribed to the whole “no pain no gain,” “you have to push to the max to get results” mentality, but now I see that living that way doesn’t help you work toward balance at all.

barre3: What legacy would you wish to leave behind?

Renata: That I created a business that fueled the empowerment of women.

Grab a pair of Renata’s do-gooder underwear, and let us know how you like it. We’re so proud to team up with her and to support women beyond our studio walls.  

* Footnote: You may know Renata from her Huffington Post blog Paradigm Shifters, a series of interviews that focus on how successful people have turned weaknesses into strengths (check out Sadie’s debut here). We had so much fun turning tables and interviewing her in the same vein.

A Skewed Definition of Health and Beauty

While I’ve known for a long time that most images of models or fitness experts have been Photoshopped, I didn’t realize how drastic—and potentially damaging—these routine “fixes” were until I saw my own body transformed for a publicity shot.

Who’s That Girl?

I was so excited to go to this particular photo shoot. I’d seen many other successful fitness professionals go to big shoots like the one I was about to attend, so I felt like I was doing the right thing for barre3 and for my career. You can imagine my surprise when I got a look at the finished product and saw that I didn’t look like myself at all. Behold the photo:

A Skewed Definition of Health and Beauty

They slimmed me here and padded me out there. They smoothed out my wrinkles, fixed my hair, and even changed my eye color! I looked like a wax figure. My own mother didn’t recognize me when she saw the photo.

I was flooded with emotions when I saw the image. Aside from the retouched picture looking creepy and downright ridiculous, the overarching message that I wasn’t good enough “as is” was more powerful than anything. Am I too old? Are my eyes too small? Is my natural body not enough? Here’s a photo of the real me:

A Skewed Definition of Health and Beauty

Then I got angry. First at myself. Why did I allow this to happen? Why did I trust other people to represent me and what my company stands for? Even before they Photoshopped me, I let myself down. Why didn’t I question why I had to stand in such an awkward and demoralizing way? Most of all, I felt dishonest. The image didn’t represent me or what I stand for.

I often say that barre3 is about feeling really good in your own skin, so the fact that they literally changed my skin made my heart sink. I felt like a complete fraud: to my friends, family, team and most importantly all the clients who look to me as their teacher. I care how people who don’t know me see me as well. I care because this image represents everything I’m fighting against in the fitness industry.

A Skewed Definition of “Health” and “Beauty”

The fitness industry has come up with a very specific — and unrealistic — image of what health and beauty look like. Every time it puts this “perfect” and manipulated body out there as inspiration, we’re set up to fail. My entire professional career and lifestyle is centered around being healthy, and yet even my real body wasn’t considered marketable. What message does that send? Instead of exercising to be healthy or to feel good, the message is that we’re supposed to exercise to look like someone else. The problem is, if your goal is to look like someone else, you’ll never be successful.

Add to that the liberal use of Photoshop to “perfect” these experts’ bodies, and this false ideal of beauty and health isn’t just unrealistic, it’s dangerous. This is not what beauty is, and it’s not what healthy is — and being attached to this ideal makes it nearly impossible to be happy. People risk injury and depletion by pushing their bodies too far and depriving themselves of food just to achieve a “perfect” body. By aspiring to this “healthy” ideal, people often make themselves completely unhealthy.

Where Do We Go From Here?

It’s been encouraging to see the recent backlash to this unrealistic ideal of fitness and beauty. Darling, one of my favorite magazines, has a strict policy against Photoshopping women’s faces and bodies. And even more mainstream, the Today Show aired a popular Love Your Selfie series, which explored our culture’s obsession with body image and aging. As I was writing this article, a friend shared a video of author Cheryl Strayed telling a very similar story as mine about being Photoshopped in a Vogue article about her book Wild. She even compared her altered image the way I did as “an unrecognizable wax doll.” She described her transformation as being “ugly.” I agree with Strayed, and I’m not alone. In many ways, the world seems to be waking up to the fact that real is beautiful.

Still, it’s a complicated issue, I struggle with it as much as anyone. I love the way a good Instagram filter can brighten a face or blur things just enough, and I have seen Photoshopped pictures of myself that I like. But my work is not to put on a face for anyone, because that’s not what I value. My power is not in how I look; it’s in my wisdom, my words and my education.

It’s a constant practice to shift my mindset from external perfection to health and well-being. I’m bombarded every day with an image of what fitness is supposed to look like, and it’s a challenge not to succumb to it. My team helps keep me focused. Before every photo shoot, we hold hands and remind each other that our purpose is wisdom, not perfection.

So now, I invite you to hold my hand, too. Let’s do this together. Instead of exercising for external reasons, let’s exercise to feel good, have energy, and learn about ourselves. Instead of striving for hard bodies, let’s strive for wise bodies. Let’s embrace our health, not someone else’s ideal. And let’s remember that wrinkles are not the enemy. It’s a great privilege to age, so why not celebrate the laugh lines? The most beautiful older people I know are also the most natural, the happiest, and the most confident in their own skin.

As someone who runs a fitness brand, I’m committed to showing real people in photos for barre3, whether for promotional materials or on our blog. We want the images we promote to match our motto: honor your truth. And what should you hold up as your healthy ideal? Your own body. It’s great to learn from the experts, but don’t aspire to be them (and certainly not the fake version of them). I encourage you to exercise and eat well to achieve your best self — not someone else’s — both in body and mind.

I’ll be right there with you, beautiful wrinkles and all.

barre3 Book Club: The Fringe Hours

barre3 Book Club: The Fringe Hours

When a bunch of clients started raving about Jessica Turner’s book The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, we knew we had to get our hands on a copy. What an eye opener! Turner challenges the notion that free time has to come in big chunks, and instead encourages us to take advantage of our fringe hours, pockets of spare time you can find throughout the day. Check out our five biggest takeaways from her book below.

1. Track Your Time. The first step to finding your fringe hours is logging what you actually do (rather than what you intend to do) during your days. Trust us, you’ll be amazed when you see your day on paper. We not only found our fringe hours but also saw areas in our day where we could be operating much more efficiently—which then created even more fringe time.

2. Drop The Guilt. Have you ever found that you have no trouble dropping everything when your friends or family need help, but you feel guilty taking even a little time to nurture yourself? Guilt can be one of the biggest barriers we face when it comes to investing in ourselves. We learned from Turner that the first step to eliminating guilt is simply recognizing it, and then giving yourself permission to practice self-care.

3. Ask for Help. We all know having an exercise partner can help keep us accountable when it comes to working out. The same principle applies to self-care. Tell your spouse or a friend “I need to take better care of myself. Will you help me make me time each week?”

4. Delegate. Many of us feel we should do everything ourselves, but that’s exactly the kind of thinking that keeps us running from morning to night without stopping for air. Instead, identify areas where you can delegate, and then force yourself to let go. For example, Turner found that getting help with some house-cleaning responsibilities frees her up to spend time with her family or do other things she enjoys on the weekends. And delegating doesn’t have to cost money. Assign projects at work to the eager new intern, enlist your spouse to be in charge of some of the weeknight meals, recruit your kids to feed and walk the dog—the possibilities are endless.

5. Practice Balance, Not Perfection. This one is one of the most important barre3 tenets, but even we need to be reminded of it now and then. Think of balance as a practice, not a goal. We can take steps to be more intentional with our time and the choices we make. We can be better about saying no, and when we do overcommit, we can learn from the experience

Once you’ve found your fringe hours, the next question is how to use them. This is sometimes easier said than done—especially for people who haven’t taken time for themselves for years. If you’re stuck, try Turner’s idea: “Start with thinking about your childhood. Did you love to read, be outside, play a sport? It’s likely that you’d still enjoy these pastimes, or a different version of them, as an adult.”

Have you found your fringe hours? And if so, how do you like to spend them? Let us know in the comments below!

Studio Owner Spotlight: Brittany Morse

Studio Owner Spotlight: Brittany Morse

Meet Brittany Morse, owner of barre3 Allentown. Today, this former dancer explains how barre3 gave her a sense of community when she needed it most. Here’s Brittany in her own words:


I’ve been dancing ever since I was three years old. After college, I performed on a cruise ship and with a contemporary jazz company. I even trained in aerial arts for a while. Eventually, I started choreographing and became a full-time dance teacher.

Then in 2011, my husband got a job in Oklahoma City. I was a little hesitant about relocating to a place where I had no family or friends—in fact, I kind of went kicking and screaming. Then one day, I drove by a barre3 studio and thought I’d give it a try. The minute I walked into the studio, I knew I had found my community. Everyone was so warm and inviting.

I had no idea what to expect from that first class. I showed up with my dance bag, ballet slippers, a yoga mat—I was ready for anything!  I loved the way the workout felt and how the postures supported my dance background. After a few months of classes, I was ready to take it to the next level and headed to Portland for instructor training.

Fast forward a year or so. I had given birth to my daughter Vivian and we had moved again to Allentown, PA. With no barre3 studio nearby, I was commuting an hour each way to teach in Morristown, NJ. Even though it was totally worth it, it was tough to make the drive with my baby. So my husband and I had a long talk and decided it was time to bring barre3 to the Lehigh Valley. We opened the studio 5 months ago and I’m still floating!

As a studio owner, my clients inspire me every single day. They dive into everything with so much enthusiasm, like the barre3 Challenge we had last June. They took so many classes that we actually ran out of stickers for our tracker board! As a result, they saw some incredible transformations. So did I—not only is my body more toned, it’s motivated me to continue making smart choices all summer long and even into the rest of the year. That means sticking with loads of veggies, lean grass-fed meats and healthy fats. I no longer count calories and instead focus on whole foods that nourish my body.

Nutrition is a big part of my barre3 lifestyle outside the studio. I’ve recently gone gluten free, and there are tons of great barre3 recipes to support this way of eating. Right now, my family is loving the quinoa bowls—they’re a real go-to for us. Our favorite is the Turkey and Kale bowl with Coconut Sauce, which I found on the mobile app. I like how they constantly refresh the recipes to feature fresh, seasonal ingredients. And I love bringing the recipes to gatherings and hearing “this can’t be healthy—it is SO good!”.

This Fall, Vivian will be attending preschool so I’m starting to strategize about how to pack healthy lunches and snacks for her. I always recommend sticking with local whole foods—I’ll be taking advantage of fresh summer produce for as long as possible! She loves the Blueberry Ginger Smoothie, and she already prefers kale chips over potato chips.

Barre3 has truly become a family affair for us. My husband Adam is a regular in the studio and truly my teammate. The strength that he gains from barre3 makes such a difference in his other athletic activities—he’ll be the first to tell you that barre3 is definitely for men. Vivian comes to work with me all the time, where she’s surrounded by a community of really wonderful individuals. And I can say that I’m in much better shape than I ever was when I was dancing professionally.

I’ve loved every aspect of my barre3 journey, starting from that very first day when I stepped into the studio feeling unsure of what to expect. We’ve all been that new client at some point, and my goal is to make everyone who walks in feel as welcome as I did.  

Are you dreaming of owning a barre3 studio? Learn more about becoming an owner by filling out the form.

Beyond the Barre: Make It Your Own

Beyond the Barre: Make It Your Own

When Allison Beam became a barre3 instructor, her husband, Jason, figured it would just be her thing. Read on to find out why he changed his mind and how barre3 has opened him up to a whole new approach to exercise. Here’s Jason in his own words:


When my wife, Allison, became an instructor for barre3, I didn’t jump in right away. I thought it was great that she loved it, but I assumed it was primarily for women. I had my own things—jogging, basketball, golf—and I thought of barre3 as Allison’s thing.

Then about a year and a half ago my back started bothering me quite a bit. I’d always had on and off back issues, but this was different. I was in so much pain that I was barely able to play a round of golf—and anyone who knows Allison knows I married into a golfing family, so not playing isn’t really an option. I needed to find something to help me heal and rebuild my strength, so I decided to give barre3 a shot. I knew to get any real results I couldn’t just do it sporadically, so I committed to a regular practice: I’d do barre3 two to three times a week for a month.

Full disclosure: I didn’t think the workout was going to be masculine enough given that one of the props is a ballet barre. But within minutes, I realized barre3 was the real deal. Let’s just say I was humbled by Power Leg, and Carousel Horse brought me to my edge (it still does!). By the end of the first week I already saw benefits like increased strength, better flexibility, and a huge boost in energy. By the end of the month my back issues were completely gone. In fact, I haven’t had a single problem with back pain since then, and I owe that entirely to barre3.

While the relief from back pain was what first got me hooked, what keeps me going back to barre3 is that it’s such a perfect fit for me and my lifestyle. I see myself as a fairly typical guy. I balance a job, a family, and a house, so I only have so much spare time. Being a Portlander I like to enjoy some craft beer every now and then, but I also want to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about myself. So the question becomes, what will that source of exercise and enjoyment be for me?

I know it’s not realistic to think I’m going to be able to jog and play basketball as much as I did when I was 25. And I’ve never been a weight-room guy—pumping iron in a gym gets boring fast. I know yoga and Pilates are great for your body, but I prefer something more high-energy. Add an upbeat playlist and I’m all in.

Barre3 turned out to be my answer. Instead of leaving me run down, it gives me tons of energy and helps me build functional strength. It’s helped me build long, lean muscles and more flexibility than I’ve ever had—both key for improving my golf game. And while it offers some of the same benefits yoga and Pilates do, it also gives me cardio.

But my favorite aspect of barre3? That you’re part of a community but you’re not competing with anyone. As a man, this felt totally foreign to me at first since pretty much every male-dominated athletic activity is predicated on competition. In sports, you’re playing to win, and in a weight room everyone is trying to outdo one another. But after my first couple of barre3 classes I realized no one is there to judge anyone. No one is looking at you, and no one is critiquing you. The only competition is with myself. How long can I hold that pose? Can I go down one more inch? Add one more pound of weights? The instructors are always reminding us to Make It Your Own, and every time I push myself—or when I modify a move—that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I’ve made barre3 my own in another way, too: It isn’t just Allison’s thing anymore. I go to the studio three times a week now, and when I’m on vacation I do barre3 Online. (I’m even in a barre3 video!) Sometimes Allison will do private classes for our extended family when we’re all traveling together. We’re always eating barre3 recipes at home, and our kids know the poses. Barre3 is Allison’s thing, it’s our family’s thing, and, I’m proud to say, now it’s my thing, too.

You Glow Mama Package to Support Every Mother Counts

You Glow Mama Package to Support Every Mother Counts

If you’re a mama-to-be, barre3 is a safe, effective way to stay fit during your pregnancy and beyond. We’re here to help keep you glowing strong with a new prenatal kit designed specifically for our online community. The You Glow, Mama package includes:

  • 9 months of unlimited access to barre3 Online
  • An exclusive Every Mother Counts onesie
  • A signature barre3 canvas clutch
  • Glow Prenatal DVD
  • A barre3 Core Ball


…all for just $99. As an added bonus, 10% of the proceeds will benefit our friends at Every Mother Counts. This incredible non-profit is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother around the world. To learn more about their amazing work, visit

To purchase the You Glow, Mama kit, just head to our online store. Then fire it up and get your glow on! We’re so excited for your pregnancy and are here for you every step of the way.

If you’d prefer to take studio classes during your pregnancy, the Welcome Back, Mama Package is perfect for you! Check it out at you local studio. Learn more about it here.

Join the barre3 Basics Workshop

Join the barre3 Basics Workshop

Am I doing carousel horse right? How do I personalize this pose for my body? We’ll answer all those questions and more at our new barre3 Basics Workshop. Whether you’re new to barre3 or looking to take your practice deeper, this two-hour intensive will teach you the principals of proper alignment and help you connect with your body more than ever before.

During the workshop, your studio owner will break down our most common postures and show you a full range of modifications so that you can make them your own. You’ll come away from the experience with a deeper understanding of our postures and how barre3 can offer you long-term results.

To sign up for a barre3 Basics Workshop, check with your local studio for schedule and pricing information. We’re keeping the class sizes small so we can give you plenty of individual attention, so be sure to register soon.

As you’ve probably heard us say before, you are your own best teacher. This workshop is a great way to put that idea into action by learning to be a better teacher to yourself every time you’re at the studio. Hope to see you there!