Let’s Do The Twist!

Benefits_oftwists_Blog.jpg

Every barre3 class includes a twist (or 20). We’re crazy about the whole-body benefits of twists—here are three reasons why:

1. They whittle your waistline. Twists are one of the best ways to fire your obliques, the muscles that run along the sides of your waist. Strengthening the obliques not only gives you a toned, defined waistline, it also improves your balance and posture.

2. They’re great for your insides. Twists massage your inner muscles and organs, essentially wringing out toxins while bringing in a rush of fresh oxygen and nutrients. This helps your organs function properly and can even help regulate digestion.

3. They’ve got your back. Many of us spend the day slumping at a computer, slouching behind the steering wheel, or standing with our shoulders drooping forward. All of these habits can lead to back pain and severely limit the flexibility of your spine. Twists stretch and strengthen the back muscles, creating healthy mobility and tons of functional strength for everyday activities.

At barre3, we understand that the human spine is meant to move, and not just forwards and backwards. Tasks like picking up a child, getting out of a car or playing a quick game of tennis all require rotational strength and flexibility in your spine. The twists that we incorporate into our workouts are designed to help you move with grace and comfort no matter what your day brings.

Note: If you’ve got chronic back pain, working through a back injury, or if you’re pregnant, be sure to let your instructor know before class. They’ll be happy to offer some gentle modifications that are just right for your body.

You’re Invited: barre3 In-Studio Spring Challenge

B3_SpringChallenge_Introduction.png

My team of studio owners and I are so excited to help you break plateaus, re-energize, and reach your fitness goals with our new and improved Spring Challenge! This doable four-week program features energizing workouts, a guided nutrition plan, and more support than ever before. With just a little extra preparation and effort, you’ll get incredible results and feel amazing. Are you ready? Read on for details.

**If you don’t have a studio near you yet, don’t fret! You can follow along with us by changing the four in-studio classes a week to four 60-minute online workouts.**

Here’s how it works:

What: Take four in-studio classes + two online workouts per week while following our satisfying, guided nutrition program.

When: The challenge officially starts May 5th and ends June 1st, but sign up begins now.

Get Started: To join, all you have to do is purchase the barre3 Challenge Kit for $30. Your kit includes access to exclusive weekly online lectures featuring live Q&A sessions with me and functional nutritionist Andrea Nakayama. You’ll also get a barre3 Challenge Field Guide to record your progress, weekly emails from me to keep you on track, nourishing recipes, and online workouts. It’s everything you need and more to succeed.

What’s Next: On Wednesday 4/30, I’ll send you an email with some preparation tips so you can kick this challenge off right. Also, be sure to tune in to the first live weekly lecture Thursday 5/1 at 4pm PST to learn how to set yourself up for success during the Challenge. (If you can’t make it, don’t worry—we’ll email you a recording of the lecture afterwards.)

Questions? I know you have loads of them, and I’m happy to answer them all. Join me for a live Facebook Chat on 4/24 at 4pm PST. I can’t wait to connect with you!

Are you up for the Challenge? (Of course you are!) Sign up and experience the benefits of committing to a regular barre3 practice and eating whole foods. Let’s do this!

Get Started.

Studio Owner Spotlight: Amy Leclerc

b3_StudioOwnerSpotlight-AmyLeclerc_Blog

The barre3 West Village studio is opening late Spring! And today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to the woman who’s making it happen along with my husband and I, Amy Leclerc. Amy has been with me since the early days of barre3 (she’s my VP of Sales + Marketing) and now I’m honored to partner with her as we open our first studio in New York City.

Amy is one of the healthiest and most inspiring women I know. She’s a fierce and thoughtful leader, a mentor to many of my core team members, and a hands-on Mom. Her positive energy is contagious—if you ever meet her, you’ll immediately know what I mean. We recently caught up with Amy and asked her to share her barre3 story and describe how her definition of being healthy has changed over the years. Here’s Amy in her own words.Blog_HeartBreaker.jpg

I discovered barre3 one day when I was walking in Portland’s Pearl District – just a few months after Sadie and her husband Chris opened their flagship studio. I tried one class, and I was hooked! I vividly remember sitting in the lobby after class thinking “I don’t know how, when, or where, but I’m going to do something with barre3 someday.”

I immediately felt at home at barre3, and I looked for any excuse to spend more time at the studio. The instructors were so warm, welcoming, and encouraging (not to mention super fit!). Having just moved from New York City to Portland, I felt like I had found my people at barre3.

After months of taking classes, I basically begged Sadie to let me become an instructor. Somehow I found myself on the schedule teaching a ton of classes—and loving every single second. I used to tell people, “Your house could be on fire, but when you’re teaching, your focus turns 100% to your clients. It’s an amazing feeling.” After three months of teaching, Chris Lincoln shared his long-term vision for growing barre3 and he asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. I literally couldn’t believe I was sitting there having someone describe my ideal career. Four years later, here I am! I have my dream job.

In the beginning it was Sadie, Chris, and I sitting at their dining room table, sketching the franchise model and strategizing how to grow the company. Just a few years later, we have 70 locations-globally! I am still in awe of how quickly our business model has caught on. We hear from hundreds of people every month who are interested in bringing barre3 to their own community, and it’s so rewarding when it comes to fruition. With the barre3 network we’ve built, I feel like I have families all over the country!

I gave my 20’s to New York City. Emotionally, it is where I grew up. I had a career in magazine publishing where I worked my butt off selling advertising. People thought I was crazy because I would literally walk the entire length of Manhattan for exercise and was often popping into lunchtime yoga classes when my co-workers were hitting up sample sales. I was always striving for balance in a city that can make that really challenging. I know firsthand, New Yorkers need barre3! City-dwellers are easily run ragged— they work hard, play hard, and live in an environment that’s overtly competitive. People are so driven in New York and often get caught in thinking you need to sacrifice and compensate in order to achieve. Barre3 brings such a fresh approach to fitness and whole-body health, that I know it’s going to have a huge impact on our clients there. I can’t wait to witness those transformations.

Aside from barre3, I’m a big walker, and I run. I take other group exercise classes when I have the time like spinning, yoga, and a dance class called Cardio Funk. I chase my toddler around. I’m always moving, whether it’s walking around while I’m on conference calls or doing squats when I brush my teeth. It all adds up.

I’m constantly learning new ways to be healthy since I joined the barre3 team. This has been equal parts exciting and humbling for me. Prior to joining the team, I considered myself a really healthy person. I eat really clean and exercise often. Over the years (thanks to my work with barre3), I’ve realized that being healthy is so much more than what you put in your body and how many calories you burn. Health is everything from how you sleep, to how you connect with friends and family, to how you nourish your body, to how you move throughout the day. Being healthy isn’t about checking off a few things on your to do list—it’s a practice all 24 hours of the day. That’s why I believe in barre3, and why I’m so honored to be a part of this amazing company. New York, here we come!

Spring Salad with Mint Vinaigrette + Feta

b3_RecipeSpotlight-April_PeaSalad_Blog.jpg
We’re celebrating Spring with this simple green salad. Tender peas, crisp radishes and luscious avocado mix it up to create a dish that’s both light and nourishing. We’re betting you’ll love it as much as we do—let us know how you like it in the comments below!

Spring Peas and Radishes with Mint Vinaigrette and Feta

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons fresh lemon Juice

1/2 teaspoons dijon style mustard

1 teaspoons honey

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cups green peas, blanched (if fresh) or thawed if frozen

1 small bunch of radishes, sliced into thin rounds

1 small avocado, cut into 1/4 inch chunks

4 cups spring greens (a combination of arugula, spinach, kale, and turnip greens)

1/2 of a red onion, diced

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Fine sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, honey, and mint in a food processor or immersion blender.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the motor is still running. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. If using fresh peas, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for about 60-90 seconds. Drain them and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry with a towel.

3. In a large bowl combine the spring greens with avocado, radishes, onion, and peas. Drizzle with dressing. Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle with feta cheese (if using) and a dash of salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

barre3 Book Club: Gone Girl

B3_BookClub_BLOG_March2014_BOoption2.jpg
Confession: I haven’t read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn yet, but my girlfriends tell me it’s the perfect guilty-pleasure beach read. My core team member Kait Hurley agrees. Kait read it on a recent trip, and she reports that her five-hour flight flew by because she was completely enthralled by the book’s thrilling plot. I asked Kait to share some of her thoughts about the book, (don’t worry, no spoilers!). Read on to hear why Kait thinks Gone Girl deserves a place in your beach tote.

You know how you can love and hate a posture like Carousel Horse at the same time? You love it because it shapes your lower body and creates long, lean muscles…but you hate it because it burns like crazy? That’s how I felt about Gone Girl. I loved it because I was hooked immediately and the plot left me guessing until the very end. But I hated some of the choices the main characters made—while this emotional tug-of-war was maddening at times, it also made for a great read.

Flynn is a brilliant crime writer who crafts a riveting, twisted, story about a happy marriage gone terribly sour. In the early years of marriage, Amy (the gone girl) and Nick (her husband) were (seemingly) thriving in New York City. When the perfect facade starts to crumble, they leave their picture-perfect lives in the City for Nick’s hometown in North Carthage, Missouri. To find out what happens next, you’ll just have to read the book.

What interested me most about Gone Girl was that the struggles between Amy and Nick (like loneliness, money troubles and insecurity) are things that could affect any couple. Their problems start small and quickly spiral into a matter of life and death. Now, I’m not saying that our problems will turn deadly if we don’t deal with them. But if ever there was an example of why we should nourish healthy relationships, this book is it.

If you haven’t read Gone Girl yet and you’re looking for something fun and entertaining, I encourage you to give it a try. Warning: It’s a serious page-turner, so you may find yourself staying up later than you meant to. (It’s worth it!).

Everyone in the Home Office had a different opinion of the book—we’d love to hear yours. Let us know what you thought of Gone Girl in the comments below.

Studio Owner Spotlight: Jackie Edlund

b3_StudioSpotlight_Edlund_Blog2.jpg

If you live near Las Vegas, I’m officially jealous because it means you get to hang out with barre3 Henderson studio owner Jackie Edlund more than I do. Jackie is our March “it-girl”, and I’m so excited for you to meet her!

Jackie’s personality, smile, and energy is contagious—to see what I mean, just visit her studio. Her classes are awesome, and they feel like a 60-minute party. You’ll shake and laugh throughout the entire hour. To put it simply, Jackie shines.

I recently sat down to catch up with Jackie. Read on to learn how this mother of four finds balance, and how barre3 has taken her outside of her comfort zone in the best possible way. Here’s Jackie in her own words:

I’ve always been a major athlete. I played sports all through high school and college. During college, I added yoga to my routine. While I loved it, it was too slow, and I had hard time shutting my mind down. Enter barre3. After my first class, I knew I had finally found my perfect workout—something high energy, efficient, with amazing music.

I started out as a client at barre3 Seattle. Owners Heather Kass and Anna McEvers welcomed me into their community, and their studio quickly became my second home. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom, and connecting with other moms was just as important to me as getting a killer workout (it can be isolating to stay at home with kids all day). Coming to barre3 was the best part of my day—even my kids loved coming to child care.

After several years in the Seattle area, I moved to Henderson, Nevada be closer to my family. I didn’t want to leave barre3, so I decided to take it with me. I knew that I needed barre3 to feel happy and balanced, and it was exciting to bring that positive energy and supportive community to Nevada.

Barre3 is a family affair. Opening a studio has helped bring my family closer together. On any given day, I see one family member in class (my mom, my sister-in-law, my brother, my partner Ian). It feels amazing to be able to help my loved ones take better care of themselves.

I’m so inspired by my team. I couldn’t be more proud of them. I’m super lucky to have such passionate, caring instructors. I have these moments once in a while during class that make me teary (happy tears!). There’s nothing better than watching my instructors grow and evolve.

The clients at Henderson give me strength. It’s incredible to watch them gain confidence as they get stronger. I pour my heart into them. We have such an amazing connection. If one person has disappeared for a few days, we call them to make sure they’re ok.

My friends and family comment that I seem more balanced and happier than ever. My secret is that I schedule in time for exercise, time to make nourishing meals, and time to connect with others. I’m a planner, and every Sunday I write out my calendar for the week ahead. I schedule every barre3 class, time to hike and run, time to be with my mom, time for emails, time for calls, time for friends. It helps me stay organized! I take things an hour at a time.

Once I do barre3, I can do the rest of the day better. As a mom to four children, I need to have a lot of energy. Barre3 helps me get through the demands of the day and feel more balanced and focused.

My favorite recipe is the Maple-Pecan Crusted Salmon. It’s a maple bar on salmon. It is so good. The kids love it. It has enough sweetness to it that they devour it.

I love being a mom, and I love being a business owner. And it’s because of barre3. Being a studio owner has exceeded my wildest dreams. It’s the perfect balance of doing something fun, exciting, energizing, and challenging. The best part is that I’m still able to be a mom to my four children.

Barre3 has empowered me to live outside my comfort zone. I’ve learned how to connect with my body on a deep level and push myself to the point where I shake uncontrollably in class. Outside of class, I’m always thinking about how I can live bigger and brighter. I ask myself every day “How can I make a difference for others?” Barre3 has transformed my life in such a healthy, positive way. I know this is only the start. There are more good things to come!

Stay connected with Jackie and her studio in Henderson through Facebook. If you’re in the area, schedule a class now!

Protect Your Skin from Spring Break Burn

Social_SkinProtection_March2014_Blog.jpg

Here in Portland we had Snowpocalypse. Back east, they suffered through the Polar Vortex. It’s been a rough winter everywhere, which is why we’re so excited to hear about all the Spring Break getaways our clients are planning. (We’ve got a few planned for ourselves, too!)

But before you park it on that beach towel, a gentle word of caution: overexposure to the sun can have some serious consequences, like premature aging and even skin cancer. That’s why it’s so important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays—especially in climates where the sun is more intense. Here are a few tips to help prevent the Spring Break burn:

Don’t Tan Before Your Trip. Many people hit the tanning bed to develop a “base tan” for their big trip. But not only does this fail to offer much protection (at most an SPF of four), you’re also damaging your skin. The bottom line is that any tan, whether it’s from the sun or a tanning bed, is evidence of sun damage.

Use Your Head. Wide-brimmed or floppy hats (think J.Lo) help keep the sun off your face and neck, where skin cancer is more likely to occur. If you wear a baseball hat, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your ears (we speak from experience!).

Protect Your Pout. When it comes to sun protection, lips often get left out. Regular sunscreen for your skin may be irritating on the lip area, so buy a lip balm with an SPF of 30 and reapply it every two hours just like your sunscreen. Speaking of which…

Wear the Right Sunscreen. Time to retire that Banana Boat SPF 2 that’s been kicking around in the cupboard and graduate to more serious stuff. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and check the label to make sure that it offers protection from both UVB and UVA rays. If you’re wary of chemicals, try a mineral-based sunscreen, which contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Whatever you choose, plan on reapplying every two hours; more often if you’ve been swimming.

Take Cover. We’re seeing tons of cute tops and bikini cover-ups that have UV protection built right in to the fabric. Throw one in your tote when you’re headed to the beach, then throw it on again when it’s time for sunset cocktails on the terrace!

You work hard to keep your body healthy, so don’t put your skin at risk. (It’s your body’s largest organ, after all!). Just use a little common sense, and most importantly, have the best trip ever. We’ll see you back at the barre!

Featured on Cameron Diaz’s Body Book Website

b3_blog_TheBodyBook_MRCH2014_online_Blog.jpg

In her new book, Cameron Diaz reveals that she’s the queen of the short, efficient workout. When her team reached out and asked Sadie to share one of her most efficient 10-minute kitchen workouts, we were thrilled. Learn more about the benefits of 10-minute workouts, and check out one of our favorite total-body workouts that you can do anywhere, anytime! Check it out»

Veggie Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

b3_VeggiBowl_Blog.jpg

My team and I can’t get enough of Jenna Beaugh’s delicious, simple veggie bowl. Make this for dinner tonight, and save the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Side note: My favorite part of this recipe is how easy it is to make. My second favorite part is that Jenna shows us what to do with the beet greens (Anyone else wonder sometimes how they should use those up?). Read on for step-by-step directions from the chef herself. Here’s Jenna from the blog Eat, Live, Run.

Blog_HeartBreaker.jpg

I love making big brown rice and veggie bowls like this for a healthy delicious lunch! They are light, energizing and a great way to fit in a big serving of vegetables midday. I always feel great after eating a lunch like this—ready to conquer whatever the afternoon may hold!

For this bowl, I chose to roast some of my very favorite seasonal vegetables. We’ve got beets, carrots and asparagus in here, and don’t forget about the beet greens! They taste great and are a wonderful source of vitamins and nutrients. Beets are members of the chard family and you can just chop up the greens and sauté quickly like you would any other leafy green.

The dressing is what makes the bowl, though, in my opinion. The lemon tahini dressing is quickly whipped up with a little garlic and adds tons of flavor and creaminess to the dish. You’ll want to make extra because it doubles as a great dip for raw veggies!

I’ve added the option here of topping the bowls with beans for a healthy protein boost. You can use whatever beans you like and/or have on hand. Chickpeas or kidney beans would be a great addition.

Veggie Bowls with Lemon Tahini Dressing

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 2″ pieces

6 small beets, sliced + the greens

20 asparagus, sliced into 2″ pieces

2 cups beans, optional

2 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon

1/2 cup tahini {sesame seed paste}

¼ cup warm water

2 cloves garlic, minced

optional proteins: grilled chicken or chickpeas

Directions:

1. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil with a pinch of salt then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400º. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.

3. Drizzle olive oil over the sliced beets, carrots and asparagus. Roughly chop the beet greens and then set them aside for right now.

4. Place the beets and carrots on one sheet tray and the asparagus on the other sheet tray. Place both in oven—roast the tray with the beets and carrots for 20 minutes and the tray with the asparagus for 10-15 minutes.

5. While the veggies are roasting, make the dressing. Whisk together all dressing ingredients (lemon juice, tahini, warm water, and garlic) until you have a smooth and slightly runny dressing. Set aside.

6. Heat a small splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped beet greens and sauté for 4 minutes, until wilted. Season with salt to taste.

7. To assemble, divide the rice among two bowls. Top with beet greens, carrots, asparagus and beets. Drizzle with dressing.

8. Optional to add grilled chicken or chickpeas on top as an extra protein source.

Let us know in the comments below how you like it!