A 4th of July Menu You Can Feel GOOD About

B3-4th-July-Roundup-Meals-2016-MAG-v2One of our favorite things about the 4th of July is that it falls right in the middle of summer—meaning all the amazing, perfectly ripe produce can take center stage in everything from apps to desserts. Whether you’re hosting the neighborhood or bringing a side dish to a picnic, our round-up of July 4th-worthy dishes will have you covered.

 

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers, from Love and Lemons. It’s not the 4th of July without a delicious burger, and this one is our current favorite. We like to pile ours high with healthy extras, like garden-fresh lettuce, mashed avocado, and slices of heirloom tomatoes.

 

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Avocado Aioli, from With Food + Love. Crispy and satisfying, with the most delicious aioli for dipping—these fries make the perfect accompaniment to the burgers above!

 

barre3 Watermelon and Quinoa salad. Watermelon is the quintessential summer treat, and we love how this salad pairs it with quinoa for a bit of added protein.

 

Grilled Peach + Apricot Salad from Food 52. If you’ve never grilled your stone fruit, this salad is going to make you a convert! The kale adds a nice dose of nutrients, and the feta and prosciutto round out the flavors perfectly.

 

Zucchini Noodles w/ Garlicky Kale Pesto from Lee From America. This is such a healthy,  delicious way to enjoy “noodles,” and using kale as the base for the pesto is a great way to boost the vitamin content.

 

Zesty Corn Salad from The Crunchy Radish. When you’re craving fresh corn but want something with a little more interesting than corn on the cob, this fresh and simple salad is your answer.

 

Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates, and Balsamic Reduction from Local Haven. Ashley Marti develops recipes for barre3, and this is one of our current favorites. We especially love how the sweetness of the dates plays off the bacon flavor!

 

Basic Balsamic Marinade. When you want to celebrate your favorite summer veggies, just line them up on skewers, drizzle them with this marinade, and grill for a few minutes. This marinade also works well with your favorite meats.

 

Rosemary Lemonade from Weekly Greens. Alicia Sokol, owner of barre3 DC 14th Street, created our absolute favorite way to stay hydrated for the Fourth with this lemonade. We like to replace the sugar with honey—it adds plenty of sweetness, and it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Stir it in little by little, tasting along the way until you reach your ideal level of sweetness.

 

Bliss Bites from A Couple Cooks. These easy little cookies are no bake, so they’re especially perfect if it’s hot outside and you don’t want to turn your oven on.

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Cupcakes from Rachel Mansfield. Topped with summer-ripe strawberries, these cupcakes make for a fun, festive finish to your July 4th celebration.

What are your favorite healthy Fourth of July recipes? Share in the comments below!

11 Books To Boost Your Productivity + Make You A Better Leader

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Summer may be the perfect time for beach reads, but it’s also high season for a personal project. Whether you’re looking to improve your presentation skills, gain smart, authentic leadership skills, or balance your life, we’ve got you covered.

 

Leaders Eat Last
Leaders Eat Last—Simon Sinek

Plenty of books out there promise to make you a better leader. This one, though, actually details what makes a good leader, since anybody—regardless of title or rank—can rise to the occasion. You’ll learn dozens of ways to inspire those around you to reach their full potential. Sprinkled throughout the advice, too, Simon Sinek shares anecdotes about the military, banking industry, and more, to illustrate each point. One tactic: Building a healthy environment for everyone, called a circle of safety. In other words, creating a culture where everybody matters, and each member of the team is trusted, respected, and autonomous.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media.
Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media.—Aliza Licht

Reading this book—a refreshingly modern take on professional success—is like chatting with a smart, savvy mentor over lunch. Part work-memoir, part business self-help tome, it’s by one of the first PR executives to embrace the power of social media. Consider, for instance, Aliza Licht’s stance on personal use of social media platforms. She once witnessed a co-worker pass on a qualified job candidate because of a questionable photo that person had shared. Our general rule of thumb? If a photo or post doesn’t elevate you as a leader, don’t share it. Licht raises the bar on that: “If you wouldn’t feel comfortable running a full-page ad of your tweet in The New York Times,” she writes, “don’t post it.”

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self To Your Biggest Challenges
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self To Your Biggest Challenges—Amy Cuddy

After the author’s incredibly inspiring TED talk on body language (it’s the second-most viewed talk in TED’s history), she began hearing from men and women across the globe whose lives had been changed by Cuddy’s research. And in her book, she shares how we can all apply that research to go after our goals. For one, she found that when someone strikes a powerful pose—for instance, standing like Wonder Woman before a presentation—the act actually alters his or her brain chemistry, upping testosterone and lowering cortisol. She shares tons of tricks, too, for making small adjustments in your life to build toward a confident, powerful presence, from setting alarms on your phone to check your posture to scheduling walking meetings. The down-to-earth book is loaded with practical advice, and always reiterates Cuddy’s no-nonsense mantra for fighting impostor syndrome: She doesn’t champion faking it ‘til you make it. Her attitude? Fake it ‘til you become it.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder—Arianna Huffington

After achieving ultimate success on paper, Arianna Huffington suddenly collapsed. She worried about an underlying medical issue, but learned she’d simply worn herself too thin, working long hours and not getting enough sleep; she was suffering from exhaustion. For her, it was the ultimate a-ha moment. So take it from a wildly successful business woman: You’ll experience a higher level of success when you live a balanced life. How do we thrive? Instead of focusing on money and power, Huffington champions her “third metric” by which we can measure success. Her story helps us go deeper and build a rewarding, well-rounded existence, through mindfulness, pursuing our passions, giving back, taking time to unplug—and getting plenty of sleep. And Huffington speaks from experience.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business—Charles Duhigg

After reading this book, which delves into the science behind habit formation, you’ll never look at behavior (yours or a loved one’s) in the same way. Ultimately, everything we do is a result of habits: what we eat, if we spend or save, how often we exercise. And by breaking down the author’s “habit loop”—made up of a cue, a routine, and a reward—we can actually change habits over time. Read: We can reprogram our brains to develop new routines. The author  also writes about the importance of community, which we’ve found to be so true at barre3, in our studios and virtually: “For a habit to stay changed, people must believe change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group,” he writes. “Your odds of success go up dramatically when you commit to changing as part of a group. Belief is essential, and it grows out of a communal experience.”

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas In Just Five Days
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas In Just Five Days—Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz

From three partners at Google Ventures, this step-by-step guide walks readers through the authors’ tried-and-true method for attacking a professional challenge through a so-called sprint. Rather than stewing over a problem or product for a matter of weeks (while also multi-tasking on a number of other projects), they advocate for a 5-day workshop of sorts, bringing together smart people from throughout a company and focusing exclusively on one thing. The informative how-to is intertwined with case studies of Silicon Valley start-ups who’ve gone through a sprint, all with incredible results.

Good to Great
Good to Great—James Collins

This classic is a must-read for anyone who’s interested in the inner-workings of healthy, successful companies—the ones that make make the leap from good to great. James Collins extensively studied the practices that great companies held dear, and he distills their shared ideologies, cultures, and more. A little more jargon-y than the others on this list, Good to Great nonetheless makes plenty of points that help readers succeed outside the conference room, such as instituting a culture of disciple and focusing on “one big idea” (notice a theme?).

Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals
Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals—Brian Tracy

It’s a notion we all feel, at one point or another: We spend too much of our time focusing on things we don’t love, and not enough time doing the things that feel truly satisfying. With chapters on business, family, finances, fitness, and more, this book takes a 360-degree look at how we can apply the writer’s Focal Point Process to each and every day. One quick way to frame that process? When most people are asked what they’d do if they learned they had six months to live, the answer’s typically spending time with family, or spending time on activities that are rewarding. Tracy pushes readers further, to live our best life by imagining that we’ll live another 100 years but also will die within 24 hours. “Holding these two thoughts simultaneously,” he writes, “gives you clarity and calmness in the present moment.”

Rework
Rework—Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Get ready to stop talking and start working. This book is an all-time favorite of barre3 founders Sadie and Chris Lincoln; they loved the message so much, they gifted Rework to their entire team of studio owners. The message: You don’t need plenty of the things most business books swear by—outside investors, an office, or to morph into a workaholic. What you do need? To toss out the rules, plan less, and focus on you and your own business (not the competition).

Rework
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence—Daniel Goleman

Some people wish for an extra hour—or a few!—a day to get things done. Turns out, the scarcest resource in our over-saturated world isn’t time, it’s attention. Daniel Coleman, a psychologist and journalist, has tackled the topic in his latest book, which shows how people who excel in their daily lives have found focus in a variety of ways (mindfulness, meditation, solid preparation, and more), because ultimately, a killer attention span is like a muscle. You have to use it and flex ti to build more. Beware: If you don’t yet meditate, this read will absolutely inspire you to start.

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results—Gary Keller

Unitasking

is so in right now, and we love it. This book falls right in line, outlining how focusing on one thing at a time all but guarantees better results, because we’ve all been there: Too bogged down in our day-to-day to work on the thing that really matters to us. Gary Keller’s universally loved how-to walks through ways anyone can cut through the clutter in a world where we’re constantly bombarded by choices, activities, and information. One thing at a time, one workout at a time, one week at a time—that’s a rationale we can get behind.

What inspirational books have you cracked open lately?

Why Strong Lats Are Key to a Strong Core and Balanced Body

B3-Lats-Traps-MAG“Squeeze the muscles right under your armpits.”

“Open your chest, drop your rib cage toward your pelvis, and engage your back.”

Do you recognize these cues from class? They’re all about helping you engage your lats, the unsung heros of the core. Your lats are gateways to other key muscles, and they’re major players in reducing tension and stress in the neck and shoulders.

Your Lats—and The Muscles They Work With—Defined

1. Lats – Officially called latissimi dorsi, your lats are two wing-shaped muscles that help you move your arms and support your posture and spine. They start at the top of your humerus, extend underneath your armpits, and wrap around toward your spine and down your back.

2. Serratus muscle – This is the muscle that supports the shoulder blade when you lift your arm up or push yourself off the ground (think Plank position).

3. Trapezius muscle – Your traps support shoulder-blade movement, and they’re broken up into three parts: upper, mid, and lower traps. Most people focus on the upper traps because that’s where tension and stress are trapped. The lower and mid traps are often neglected, so they tend to be weaker. The visual below shows your lats, serratus, and trapezius, and how all three are connected.

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Why It’s Important to Strengthen Your Lats
In addition to supporting arm movement, your lats are an essential part of your entire core—and the core is the foundation of a balanced, aligned body. If your lat muscles are weak, other muscles will be forced to pick up the extra work and will eventually become overstressed, cramped, and inflamed. This results in tension in our necks and shoulders.

So What’s the Solution?
One of the easiest ways to turn on your lats is to engage the muscles underneath your armpits. Try finding the connection and firing your muscles before you move. For example, connect with your lats before you go down into a push-up, before you hold All Fours, and before you move your arms over your head or pull your elbows down and in during Combo Work. This will help you engage them so they can do their job properly.
You can also strengthen your lats by dropping your ribs. If your ribs are popping up and forward, your lats can’t do their job correctly, and other muscles will have to take over. Here’s a side-by-side visual showing popped ribs and properly positioned ribs.

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Lats can be easy to neglect. They’re not the visual show-stoppers biceps or quads are, and they don’t get as much buzz as powerhouses like the core or glutes. But they’re a hugely important part of how our bodies function, so keeping them strong is key. Strong, stable lats make it possible for the rest of your core to function properly—and that’s the first step to having a strong, balanced body.

If you have questions or find that you’re having a hard time connecting with your lats, be sure to talk to your barre3 instructor in the studio or ask an online instructor in the live comment section below each weekly workout. They’ll help you understand exactly where your lats are and how to find the connection with them. We’re here to help you!

Is Ordering Takeout Really Easier Than Cooking?

Picture it: It’s 12:15pm, you’re at your desk at work, and you feel your stomach start to grumble. Or, it’s 6:15pm, you just walked in the door, and you remember you have no food in the fridge. All of a sudden, you realize how hungry you are. In both scenarios, it’s tempting to pick up the phone and order takeout. But is that really a faster path to meal time than preparing a healthy recipe?

We wanted to find out, so we asked two barre3 interns, Amanda Askari and Candace Molatore, to put the two approaches to the test. For three days, they compared ordering takeout from a local restaurant with making a barre3 recipe. Takeout orders were placed when cooking began, but to keep things fair, the cooking calculation was adjusted to include the time they spent shopping for ingredients.

Let’s hear from Amanda and Candace about what they discovered!

 

Day 1: DIY Salad vs. To-Go Salad

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After gathering all of the ingredients for our DIY Salads, we called in our to-go salad orders at a restaurant near the barre3 office. Chopping all of the veggies took some time, but with everything right in front of us, it was a fairly quick prep. Altogether, with shopping and prep time, the salad took 39 minutes (19 minutes for shopping, 20 minutes of prep). By the time we waited for our takeout salads to be made, walked there to pick them up, then walked back to the office, the to-go salads clocked in at 44 minutes. The DIY Salad was 5 minutes faster—and as an added bonus, we had some produce left over for a future meal.

 

Day 2: White Bean & Kale Soup vs. Thai-Food Delivery

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Shopping for ingredients on day two took roughly the same amount of time as on day one (19 minutes), but this recipe took significantly longer to make. Once our soup ingredients were in front of us, we placed the call for Thai delivery. The woman at the restaurant said our food would be to us in 30 minutes. There’s not much to making the White Bean & Kale Soup besides mixing the ingredients in a pot. Once everything was in, we just had to wait for it to simmer. The soup was ready just as our Thai food arrived, but with shopping time included, the recipe took about 20 minutes longer than the takeout. It’s worth noting, though, that the soup produced several meals worth of leftovers, so in the long-run, it was actually a time saver.

 

Day 3:  Summer Tacos vs. Pizza Delivery

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Taco ingredients in hand, we called in our pizza order. Within 10 minutes, we already had the chicken diced and ready to go into the pan. While the chicken was cooking, we chopped the pico ingredients. A slightly under-ripe mango cost us some time, but all told, preparing this recipe (including shopping time) took 47 minutes. It was also a huge hit in the barre3 office! So, where was our pizza? After the tacos were sitting happily in our stomachs for about an hour, we called the pizza restaurant for an update. They told us that our pizza wasn’t even on its way yet! It finally arrived at 2:08pm, almost two hours after we finished our Summer Tacos. The pizza place was obviously a little backed up on the day we ordered, but even with their average 1-hour delivery time, the Summer Tacos still would have been faster.

 

The Verdict

Although our day-two takeout meal was a little faster than our handmade recipe, cooking for ourselves was the ultimate victor. On two out of the three days, the recipe was quicker than the takeout, but more importantly—and this was true on all three days—it was more rewarding.

We learned how to make three healthy meals that we will definitely use again. We figured out how to find the right ingredients quickly and apply the leftovers to future recipes. Maybe most rewarding of all, we got to experience the camaraderie that happens around food—when our recipes yielded more than we expected, we were able to gather around a table and share them with our coworkers.

Are you feeling inspired to get cooking? Check out our library of barre3 recipes, including a bunch of barre3 Anywhere summer recipes!

Cultivate Healthy Social Media Habits

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Do you ever feel a bit of anxiety when you haven’t checked Instagram for a few hours? Or maybe you occasionally scroll through your Facebook feed while you’re sipping a cup of tea with friends, missing out on a real-life connection in favor of a virtual one. While keeping in touch on social media enriches our days, it’s easy to take things too far. But there’s no need to drop them entirely—these platforms absolutely have a place in our lives, and they even have the potential to be powerful motivators that inspire a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips for making sure social media is a positive force in your life.  

Ask yourself: Is this a moment to post—or protect?
Nothing will pull you out of a special meal, meaningful conversation, or particularly magical moment like trying to nail the perfect Instagram shot. As you’re experiencing something that feels worth remembering, don’t hesitate to snap a quick photo (that’s the beauty of having a high-tech camera at our fingertips, right?). But don’t ponder the ideal crop and filter and upload it in that moment. A celebratory brunch with your friends, taking your daughter to her first sporting event or show, passing a milestone with your significant other—these are all slices in time that, in our view, might deserve to be held close. If you aren’t sure whether or not you’d like to post the image, just wait. After a few hours, you’ll likely have a gut feeling about keeping that moment private or making it public.

Give FOMO the boot.
We’ve all been there: Obsessing over an event we missed, drooling over photos of a coworker’s beach vacation, even feeling a tinge of jealousy for a friend’s perfect-looking family or adorable new puppy. It’s easy to forget that what we see on social media isn’t real life—it’s a highly curated version. We don’t see the 30 unfocused frames it took to snap that playful pup, or the next minute, when he began chewing a pair of brand-new sneakers. To maintain a healthy relationship with social media, we tend to follow this policy: If you begin to feel envious or down, walk away. Take a deep breath and force yourself to close your computer or put down your phone for a few hours. Crack open a book. Call a loved one. Fire up a barre3 online workout. Bake our Almond Power Cookies. In other words, when you sense that social media isn’t bringing positivity to you life, it’s time for a break.

Follow people who truly inspire you.
Have you ever done an audit of your circles on social media? It never hurts to comb through your feed and let go of anything that’s not adding value. In fact, it’s liberating. Unfollow the people and brands that aren’t nourishing you (for example, an infuriating politician) and restock your feed with friends, leaders, and smart brands that fill you up, mentally and emotionally. Here are a few of our favorites:

@darling magazine never retouches the women they photograph and feature (even their staff photos are makeup-free!)

@airbnb, our team’s favorite way to travel when we visit barre3 studios in other cities, delivers a healthy dose of wanderlust that’s actually attainable

@andreabemis reminds us to eat whole foods, straight from the farm

@caitlinwilsondesign, a barre3 client, shows how anybody can make their home a happy, fun, and healthy retreat

Learn to lean on your community.
Everybody here at barre3—from founder Sadie Lincoln to the instructors at your local studio—is rooting for you. We’ve got your back, because we firmly believe that being healthy isn’t all on you. Virtually and in real life, surround yourself with mini-spheres of influence that support an active, well-rounded lifestyle. Connect with people who are doing the same, and cheer each other on. Looking for a little motivation? Search #b365 and #barre3anywhere on Instagram.

Schedule time, sans devices.
And we don’t mean pencil it into your calendar, the way we like to plan workouts a week at a time. Try setting up an easy-to-remember routine that’ll help cut down on screen time and free up stretches, instead, for things that matter. Sadie Lincoln, for instance, makes it a rule to keep her phone and laptop out of her bedroom. This way, she’s not tempted to check email, scan the news, or mindlessly scroll through Instagram before bed or right when she wakes up. You could configure a parking space for your devices, or try another approach, like designating time (say, Sunday afternoons) to unplug. When you distance yourself from technology, even for a few fleeting moments each week, you might be surprised what else you suddenly have time for.

As a culture, we’re always on, and almost always plugged in. How do you make sure that you’re using social media in a way that brings you joy—and not the opposite? In the comments below, tell us your tips for using Instagram, Facebook, and more, in the healthiest and most enriching way possible.

Replacing Perfection with Progress

B3_ProgressPerfection_MAGAre you hard on yourself when something you do—or something about your body—isn’t 100% flawless? As a recovering perfectionist, I can relate. But here’s the thing—when I think about the people I love the most, is it because they’re perfect? Absolutely not. It’s because they’re unique and joyful and living full, healthy lives. Perfection is boring, a dead end. Progress is alive and full of potential. It means we’re always learning, and that’s more rewarding than picture-perfect abs will ever be.

This simple shift in thinking from perfection to progress was ground-breaking for me, and I think it could be ground-breaking for you too. Read on for five of my favorite tips to switch your focus for a happier, healthier body and mind:

Take it one week at a time. Instead of setting lofty long-term goals (which, let’s face it, are practically impossible to achieve), think no further than the next seven days. This brings us out of the abstract and into the moment, which helps us set attainable goals and stick to them. I’m so attached to the power of one week that it inspired me to launch our new barre3 Online, which gives clients a new streamable workout and simple meal plan at the beginning of each week.  

Expand your definition of healthy. When it comes to whole-body health, exercise is only part of the equation. Along with planning your workouts, also think about how you’ll fuel your body with healthy foods and how you’ll nourish your mind by connecting with loved ones anywhere.

Keep a journal. Each night of the week, jot down some quick notes on what you did that day and how you’re feeling. How did today’s exercise and eating plan work for you? Were you able to connect with people? How might you adjust your plan for next week? Journaling helps us live in the present and gain perspective on our priorities.

Shift your focus inward. Instead of obsessing over how you want to look in your swimsuit this year, think of how you want your body to feel. Strong? Confident? Energized? These intangibles, not a magazine-cover body, are the things that give us true joy.

Find the joy. There’s nothing like a rigid goal to take the fun out of exercise. When I told myself I had to work out a certain amount of time every day, it felt like a chore. But when I realized that for me, the joy in exercise comes from connecting with myself and the people around me, suddenly I began to crave it. Try letting go of the numbers and focusing on moving in a way that brings you joy instead.
Do I ever find myself being pulled back to my former perfectionist ways? Sure. But when I do, I take a deep breath and remember to be kind to myself. That’s what real progress is—cutting yourself a break and having the perspective to know that we’re all flawed in a wonderful way.

How Posture Can Improve Your Mood

How Posture Can Improve Your Mood

Robyn Downs is a barre3 client and Founder of Real Food Whole Life, a blog dedicated to helping others live healthy and happy lives. Below, she talks about how postural changes can help us tap into the power of the mind-body connection.

You know that moment. You’re in class, holding a powerful pose like Crescent Lunge or Primary Posture. You stand strong, feet grounded, chest bright, heart open. You’re breathing big—you feel like you can take on the world.

For awhile, I attributed this rush of happy endorphins, strength, and confidence to the fact that I was surrounded by great people at the studio and doing something good for my body. Recently, however, I learned there’s more to it.

The Science of Power Posing

By now, you’ve probably heard about the mind-body connection, the idea that our emotions affect our physical health. But did you know that the equation also works in reverse, that the state of our physical body influences how we feel emotionally?  

A great example of this is power posing, which social psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses in her awesome TED talk. Cuddy explains how standing in positions of confidence, even when you don’t feel confident, causes positive chemical changes in the brain. Expansive postures can actually change our minds and moods.

When I learned about power posing, something clicked. I immediately made the connection with barre3 postures. Primary Posture, Plank at the bar, Crescent Lunge—these are all power poses! In fact, the entire barre3 flow is made up of freeing body positions that build strength.

What’s more, barre3 poses help to counteract the slumping we do in daily life, which research also suggests can impact our overall happiness and wellbeing. The slouching we do in our cars, at our computers, and on our phones can negatively impact on our mood, making us feel more depressed, and less resilient to emotional stress.

Power Your Mood With Posture

It’s pretty incredible to realize that the way we use our bodies has the power to change not just our moods but our actual brain chemistry. Whether it’s through a barre3 class or simply standing tall with your feet firmly rooted to the ground, your abs engaged, hands on your hips, your chest open, remember that you can rely on your body to help you through emotionally challenging moments.

Next time you’re about to have a difficult conversation, or you’re gearing up for a big presentation or meeting at work, let your body lead the way. An adjustment in posture can empower you in the moment and help strengthen your confidence so that you feel unstoppable for the rest of the day.

Photo by Elizabeth Sattelberger

My Must-Have Summer Gear

 

I’m excited to share a roundup of my summer essentials with all of you! Here are some of my favorite things that I’ll be carrying with me all summer long:

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1. Juice Beauty Sport sunscreen

This is my favorite sunscreen because it’s affordable and made of soothing ingredients like organic jojoba, coconut, and aloe. Since it’s water-resistant, it’s a great option if you’re hiking or taking your barre3 practice outside. I’m not the only one who loves this sunscreen! It has a major following with our barre3 studio owners—many of them are now selling it in their studios.

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear

2. Coola Liplux lip balm

To protect my lips, I use this SPF 30 lip balm from Coola. The raspberry and avocado fruit butters they use feel so good. Bonus: It’s water-resistant, with a refreshing peppermint-vanilla scent.

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear

3. The Beach People round beach towel

This is the coolest beach towel ever! It’s so comfortable, with plenty of room to spread out. I love it for hanging in the sun with girlfriends or a good book.

 

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4. Insulated barre3 water bottle

Hydration is key, especially when you’re spending time in the sun. This insulated bottle keeps my water ice cold all day.

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear

5. Summer Skin Your Endless Summer Wrap

This wrap is incredibly versatile. It’s also easy to pack and super lightweight. I drape it over my shoulders when I’m eating lunch in the sun, chilling by the pool, or watching my daughter play soccer or my son enjoy his latest obsession—bouldering!

 

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6. Oliver Peoples Isabel Marant Matt sunglasses

These are the only sunglasses I have ever LOVED. They are definitely expensive, but they don’t give me a headache. Plus, I have high cheekbones and they don’t bump on them like most other glasses do.

 

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7. Betsy’s Best Bar None bars

These are my go-to whole-food bars. They’re 100% organic and do not contain any GMO ingredients. They’re a perfect snack to throw in your summer beach tote. Betsy’s has a bunch of good flavors, but I keep going back to the cinnamon cardamom.

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear

8. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera

This compact camera is really fun for summer. It prints mini polaroids that pop out photo-booth style. I got one for an RV trip my family is taking this month. We’re going to build a collage of images by pinning them up around the RV as we travel. This camera is also another great way to capture your #barre3anywhere moments.

 

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9. barre3 Core Ball

I always throw a core ball in my bag before I hit the pool. When I’m going with friends or kids, I bring extra. The kids end up playing with it for hours. They’re easy to deflate, so simple to travel with. When you’re ready to bust out some barre3 moves, just blow it up ¾ of the way and go!

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear-08

10. Shinola Detroit journal

I love having a journal with me so I can capture thoughts on-the-go. My friend and barre3’s VP of Franchising, Amy Leclerc, got me this great Shinola journal for my birthday last year. The bright orange color makes it a perfect summer accessory.

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear-10

11. Caravan Pacific Modern Hair Tie

This cute hair tie from Caravan Pacific is great for keeping my stubborn hair out of my face. Plus, it’s easy to find when digging through my bag!

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear-12

12. Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion spray

This surf spray gives my hair a bit of texture even when I am nowhere near the beach!

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear-11

13. MZ Wallace tote bag

This durable tote bag pretty much works for any situation. I bring it everywhere, from barre3 classes and the office to my kids’ sports events and even camping.

 

My Must-Have Summer Gear-13

14. Powerbeats wireless headphones

I am unstoppable now that I have these. My barre3 workouts and favorite podcasts literally move with me wherever I go—in airports, to the park, trips to the the pool, and definitely on my family RV trip!

 

What are your summer essentials? Let me know in the comments below!  

Why One Week Is All You Need To Crush Your Fitness Goals

 

Why One Week Is All You Need To Crush Your Fitness Goals

Think back to the last time you set a long-term goal. If you’re like most people, you did great for the first week, so-so for the second, and you fizzled by the third. Week four — if you hadn’t abandoned your goal by then — was probably more about getting back on the wagon than steadfastly continuing on your originally scripted path.

It’s not your fault. Long-term goals fix their sights rigidly on the future, but we live in the present — and the present is full of surprises. This is especially true for the summer months. With vacations, social gatherings, and kids’ ever-changing schedules, our lives in the summer are constantly in flux — and that makes it impossible to rely on routine to keep us on track.

So what’s the answer to setting goals we’ll actually achieve? It’s both simple and revolutionary: Think one week at a time. In more than 25 years of studying human behavior, I’ve found that the people who approach challenges this way are the happiest and most successful. That’s why I launched the new barre3 Online, which provides a new workout and nutrition plan each week — and doesn’t look a day beyond. Judging from the amazingly positive feedback our clients have been giving us, it’s clear that we’re onto something big.

This summer, I invite you to apply the one-week-at-a-time approach to your health and fitness goals. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is — and how effective (you can accomplish so much in one week!). Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. If you don’t plan it, then it won’t happen.

Set aside a specific time to sit down and look at the week ahead. What are your main activities? Will you be traveling? Is your calendar packed with events? With all of that in mind, schedule 10 minutes to move every single day. Now look again: Which days can you go longer? Can you fit in a 30-minute workout one day? A 60-minute? Can you supplement a 10-minute workout with an energy-boosting walk later in the day? Think in terms of how exercising and eating well can fit into your life, not about how you can make your life revolve around them. It’s about planning healthy and happy into your life: If you don’t plan it, then it won’t happen.

2. Align around your priorities. Now share them.

Every Sunday, my family and I sit down and go through our calendars and our priorities for the week. This not only gets us all on the same page, but it also helps us support each other in our goals. For example, I’ve been meditating twice a day recently. When I let my family know this is a priority for me, they can help me make it happen by giving me the time and space I need to do it—and by keeping me accountable when I’m tempted to skip a meditation session.

3. Weight your physical activity toward the beginning of the week.

One of my barre3 Online clients’ shared her mantra “Never miss a Monday.” I love this because it gets to a truth about human nature: We’re driven by momentum. The longer we wait to start something, the harder it is. But if we start strong, kicking off Monday with a burner of a workout and nutritious eating, we begin the week feeling great and we’re more likely to stay on track for the rest of the week. Our new barre3 weekly online plans launch every Monday for this reason!

4. Look at the week as a whole, not each individual day.

Let’s face it, there are going to be days when we’re not exactly pillars of good health. That’s OK. Rather than fall down a shame spiral after spending a day lounging by the pool or overindulging at your neighbor’s cookout, accept the slip and start fresh the next day. Your week as a whole will still be full of exercise and healthy eating, and that’s what counts (especially if you kick it off with a strong Monday)!

5. Pick three recipes to make at home.

Yes, there are seven days in the week, but summertime isn’t about spending hours in the kitchen. Pick three healthy recipes, double them, and rely on leftovers. And let the season do the work for you by taking full advantage of summer’s bounty. Fill your plate with garden-fresh greens, colorful veggies, and the amazing array of berries bursting with flavor. And don’t be rigid. Allow yourself that glass of rosé or that campfire s’more—just make sure you have a balance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber in every meal and snack.  My favorite granola is a go-to in my house.

6. Be nimble.

One of the best things about working in one-week increments is that it allows you to adjust your activity to your current needs. As women, we change hormonally each week. Some weeks we’re bursting with energy and crave intense exercise sessions, other weeks we’re depleted and need to move in ways that replenish our energy. Adjusting our goals one week at a time gives us the opportunity to plan our exercise and eating accordingly so we can nourish our bodies in the best possible way.

7. Connect — both with yourself and with others.

Take time to reflect and connect how your chosen exercise and eating plan makes you feel. There is great power in learning about how your choices influence how you feel in your body. Use this information to plan your week ahead!

If you need a little help with this, I encourage you to check out the new barre3 Online and join our barre3 Anywhere summer challenge. I’m so excited for you to discover the power of one week!

What fitness goals do you want to set for yourself this summer?