Buckwheat Dutch Baby with Strawberries + Mint

Buckwheat Dutch Baby with Strawberries + Mint

This indulgent-yet-healthy pancake is made with one of our favorite gluten-free flours. Buckwheat has an earthy flavor and is high in both protein and minerals, including magnesium to help sore muscles relax. To top it off, the strawberries and coconut cream taste so good, you’ll think you’re eating dessert.

Recipe courtesy of Ashley Marti, Chef, Food Stylist, and Founder of Local Haven.


INGREDIENTS:

Pancake:

3 Tbs. buckwheat flour

3 Tbs. of alternative flour (all-purpose, almond flour or whole wheat flour, etc.)

3 Tbs. of coconut oil (option to substitute ghee or butter)

2 eggs, beaten

1 Tbs. honey or maple syrup

1/2 c. milk (almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, etc.)

1/8 tsp. fine sea salt

Optional: for additional flavor, add ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, almond extract or vanilla extract to taste.


Toppings:

1 c. strawberries, thinly sliced

1 can coconut milk, chilled

1/4 c. fresh mint

Honey or maple syrup to taste


INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, milk, eggs, and honey or maple syrup. Don’t overmix; it’s okay if there are a few lumps. Place the coconut oil into the cast iron skillet and place in the oven until the oil is liquified. Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the pan, letting the oil disperse. Pour in the batter and place the skillet back in the oven. Bake for about 16-18 minutes until the pancake browns and the edges have lifted. Remove from the oven.

To make the coconut whipped cream, scoop out the coconut fat (the white part, leaving behind the liquid). Place in a small bowl and whip with a whisk or use a hand immersion blender. *Optional add-ins: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.

Top pancake with coconut whipped cream, strawberries and mint. Cut into slices and serve.

#b365 May Tip: Give Generously

#b365 May Tip: Give Generously

In April, our #b365 focus was all about taking care of YOU. This next month, we want to help you keep that going—but we’re inviting you to take it a little deeper. How? By giving generously. Read on for 7 meaningful—and free!—things you can do to give generously and make a real difference in people’s lives.

  1. Be present.
    Are you connecting with your friends and family members in a meaningful way? Are you listening to them and giving them your undivided attention? It’s so easy to go through the motions and get sidetracked by thoughts, text messages, or Instagram. Instead, challenge yourself to be focused on the present moment. Taking a more mindful  approach to your interactions will not only be more supportive for the person you’re with, but also make your experience more enjoyable because you’re not
    multitasking.

  2. Send a handwritten note.
    What’s better than getting a handwritten letter in the mail? And yet, when was the last time you wrote one? Instead of sending an email or text message, take out some paper and your favorite pen and handwrite a note to someone special in your life.

  3. Reach out to someone who might be lonely.
    Do you have a friend going through a breakup? What about an elderly neighbor who you see every morning? These people may or may not be lonely, but what do you have to lose by reaching out to them? You might just be the thing that turns their day around—or, at the very least, you get to connect with someone new.

  4. Help out at work.
    Could you take on a task that isn’t technically part of your job description? Could you be a sounding board for a team member as they hash out an idea that’s not fully baked? Working in partnership and stepping up for your co-workers doesn’t just benefit them. It’s a defining quality of leadership, and it will make both you and your team stronger.

  5. Volunteer.
    Think about how your natural skills and talents might be helpful to local nonprofits or community-driven organizations. Could you mentor a child who needs help with reading skills or help domestic-violence victims prep for job interviews by reviewing their resumes? If you’re an animal lover, what about volunteering at the Humane Society? Once you start looking, you’ll find that there are many ways to give back to our communities.

  6. Donate.
    If volunteering your time isn’t doable with your busy schedule, consider donating to an organization. It doesn’t take much to make a big impact. For example, when you give as little as $5 to our nonprofit partner
    Every Mother Counts, you cover the cost of transportation to a nearby hospital for an expecting mama in Uganda. For $50, you can pay for prenatal, childbirth, nutrition, and breastfeeding education for two at-risk mothers in the United States! There are so many incredible organizations out there that could use your support. Think about the causes that are most important to you, and take action.

  7. Say thank you.
    We know you have good manners—this isn’t about that. It’s about wanting other people to know that you value them. A simple and sincere “thank you” can be incredibly powerful, especially if the person you’re thanking isn’t expecting it. Maybe it’s thanking the person who stands next to you in barre3 every week, for bringing their energy and helping you push yourself in class. Or maybe you let your mother-in-law know how grateful you are for the thoughtful meals she cooks for your family. We are surrounded by people who are forces of positivity in our lives. This month, take the time to let them know that you appreciate them.


Don’t Forget About YOU

As you’re giving generously to your community and the people you love, remember to also give generously to yourself and your barre3 practice. Schedule your workouts. Fuel your body with whole foods. Connect with the people in your life who fill you up. Because think about it: If you aren’t carving out time for things that are nourishing, bring you joy, and help you hit the reset button, you won’t have energy to support other people.

To help you stay on track, we’ll be giving you tons of inspiration. Get ready for more blog and social content than ever before. Expect an article on how to get the most out of Carousel Horse, a can’t-miss gluten-free pancake recipe, and lots of inspiring stories from real people in our community.

And pssst! We’ve also got some really exciting announcements coming your way in the next few weeks. Hint: You’ll be able to take your barre3 practice absolutely anywhere this summer.

So, are you ready to go all in and give generously in May? Let us know your plans in the comments below.

 

The 2016 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

This Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up some amazing gifts in every price range that we think special moms, moms-to-be, and other motherish figures in your life will love. From beauty treats to keepsake jewelry to wellness finds, here’s what we’re giving (and hoping to get!) this year.

The 2016 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

1. Rose Water from Root Foot

A quick spritz of this hydrating mist helps restore skin’s radiance after workouts or travel.

2. Love & Lemons Cookbook

This incredible cookbook from Austin food blogger Jeanine Donofrio features over 100 vegetarian (and totally craveable) recipes.

3. Kokedama Kit

Sometimes called string gardens, these plants thrive indoors and are easy to care for.

4. Salt & Sundry Sydney Hale Lemon Shandy Candle

DC 14th Street studio owner Alicia Sokol told us about these amazing hand-poured candles. This is her favorite fragrance to keep it fresh.

5. Saturday, Tea & barre3 Tank

This super-flattering tank celebrates a few of mom’s favorite things.

6. Honeycomb Tray from Wolfum

Start her Mother’s Day off right with our Spring Herb Frittata served on this colorful tray.

7. Amongst the Waves Perfume

Sadie’s signature fragrance is a beachy mix of tropical florals and clean musk. Added bonus: 5% of proceeds go towards supporting our favorite non-profit, Every Mother Counts.

8. Haiti Babi Signature Blanket + Hat 

This is a gift with a meaningful story. Haiti Babi trains moms to knit and crochet, empowering them to earn a living, provide for their children, and keep their families together.

9. Alo Moto Legging

These glossy black leggings bring edgy attitude to her workout.

10. Deadia Ridge Cuff Bracelet

The simple geometric lines of this cuff bracelet make it an instant classic.

11. Fujifilm Smartphone Printer

This clever device lets mom print up sweet pics of her kids straight from any smartphone.

12. Portable Bluetooth Speaker

When she fires up a barre3 Anywhere workout through these speakers, it’ll be just like bringing the studio home. The sound quality is incredible!

13. MZ Wallace Bag

Our limited-edition tote will take mom from the studio to work and beyond.

14. Staub Oval Coquette

This beautiful enamel-coated cookware takes mom’s cooking to the next level. It’s a splurge, but she’ll have it—and use it—forever.

15. Caitlin Wilson Design Kismet Rug

Portland designer Caitlin Wilson’s stunning creations are worth every penny.
What gifts are you planning to give this year? Tell us in the comments below!

Five Questions To Help You Get Financially Healthier

 

Five Questions To Help You Get Financially Healthier

This journaling exercise is not going to help you save for retirement, get out of debt, or show you how to tighten up your budget so you can finally take that dream vacation. What it will do is help you understand your approach to finances a little bit better so you can work towards a healthier, more balanced relationship with money.

And why is that important? Because how we spend and view money affects our overall health. Whether we like it or not, money can influence how we feel about ourselves, and it can impact our relationships with our loved ones. It can be a source of stress in our lives or give us confidence and make us feel successful.

Are you ready to get started? Read through each question and jot down your answers:

1. What’s your first memory about money?
In
Money: A Love Story author Kate Northrup encourages you to look back into your childhood to remember your first money memories. Do you see any connection between your memories and how they inform your actions today? For example, Did your parents complain about money? Refuse to talk about it? Spend it with abandon? Use it as a way to show love? Understanding the formative years of your financial life is a huge eye opener—and the first step to creating a new story.

2. If you were unexpectedly gifted a check for $1,000, would you save it, spend it, or do a combination of both?
Do you consider that check “free fun money” and treat yourself to an online shopping spree? Is it a chance to pay off student loans a little faster? Does it go towards a downpayment on a home? Getting real with yourself here can help you better understand your thought patterns and behaviors when it comes to money.

3. What does money represent to you?
The answer to this question can be drastically different person to person. For some, money is love (“Of course I’m treating you to dinner—please let me do this for you!”). For others, it’s time (“I pay for a house cleaner so I have more time to spend doing other things I’m passionate about). Some see it as freedom (“If I save money, I’ll have options and not be forced to take a job I’m not interested in.”), while other see it as safety (“Having enough money lets me take care of my family”). Understanding what money represents to you can shed some light on where you might be vulnerable when it comes to spending. It can also help you navigate financial conversations with others. For example, if you see money as love, but your partner sees it as freedom, you two will come to the conversation with different points of view. Seeking to understand each other will help you find middle ground.

4. Do you make yourself a priority?
This doesn’t sound like a money-related question, but according to Northrup, valuing yourself has everything to do with financial health. She explains that when we don’t value ourselves, we’re more likely to spend carelessly, with little regard for taking care of our future selves. But when we love and value ourselves, we understand that taking care of our finances is a form of taking care of ourselves.

5. Do you strive for wealth or wellth?
We’re inspired by the movement mindbodygreen Founder Jason Wachob has ignited with his book
Wellth. For Jason, living a “rich” life is not about acquiring more and more money, it’s about living “an existence in which happiness is attainable, health is paramount, and daily living is about abundance. It’s a life in which work is purposeful; friendships are deep and plentiful; and there’s a daily sense of richness or overflowing joy.” When these become your touchstones, you’re on the path to a more fulfilled, satisfying life. Money matters, but only as a means to achieve wellth.

Now that you’ve finished the exercise, take stock. Did any of the questions spark epiphanies? Did your answers feel like “aha” moments? Did you see areas where a new approach might help improve your relationship with money? Thinking about money isn’t always easy, but it’s a step in the right direction to help you cultivate a healthier and more balanced relationship with it. Because financial happiness isn’t about having lots of money, it’s about feeling in control of what you do have.

Balance Your Life

Balance Your Life

Work smarter, not harder. You’ve heard us say it during class, but this mantra applies to life beyond your barre3 workout, too. So many of us live in a constant state of overwhelm, never quite tackling our mile-long to-do lists and feeling like we’re in a perpetual time famine (“If I only had one more hour, I’d…”). It doesn’t have to be that way! Today we’re sharing eight super-effective ways to get organized and streamline your life so you can spend more time doing the things that matter the most.

  1. Lose the Clutter.

There’s a reason the world is obsessed with Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It WORKS. Her approach is both simple and revolutionary: Get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy. Whereas other decluttering methods have you buying storage boxes and creating file systems, this one gives you permission to let go of anything unnecessary and keep only the things you cherish. It’s a valuable lesson in living deliberately rather than excessively, and it brings an incredible sense of calm to your life.   

  1. Go Paperless.

Stacks of paper don’t just create clutter, they also create stress. Set up your banking and health insurance so you can get statements via email. Toss your pile of physical magazines and subscribe to the digital versions instead. And give your mailbox a makeover by opting out of junk mail lists—no more circulars, catalogs, or credit card offers to deal with.

  1. Automate.

Setting up online bill-pay is a great place to start. You can also automate your schedule by creating standing appointments for things like friend dates and workouts. Maybe you run with your neighbor every Wednesday, or you meet your mom for a barre3 class on Thursdays. Get it on the calendar! And what about your other to-dos? Do you go to the pet store once a month to get more cat food? Set up a subscription order on Amazon so the food is sent directly to your home. Also, many charities and nonprofits like the amazing Every Mother Counts will allow you to schedule giving by setting up monthly donations.

  1. Create systems.

Think of the areas in your life that make you feel scattered and inefficient, and create systems to take control of them. Do you find yourself running to the store for dinner ingredients several times a week? Create a weekly meal plan and a master grocery list, and shop once a week. Do you get home too late to make healthy dinners on weeknights? Set aside a couple of hours on Sunday to make a big batch of food so you have easy meals all week. When it comes to your work life, consider using a management app Omnifocus—a favorite at the barre3 Home Office. As our Tech Director Peter Marks puts it, “it allows me to quickly and efficiently capture my thoughts and make important notes during meetings without distracting me from the larger task I’m focusing on.”

  1. Prioritize.

Most of us are overly ambitious about our to-do lists, which leaves us feeling like failures when we don’t finish every task on them. Instead, be realistic and strategic. Ask yourself, What do I really need to get done right now? Then tackle the things that will really move the needle or bring you the most joy. Many of us at the barre3 office avoid scheduling meetings in the a.m. so we’ll have the morning to focus on our most important projects. It’s a simple fix that has a huge impact. This kind of prioritizing goes for your personal life, too. When you try to spend a little time with everyone, you can end up spreading yourself too thin. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. Lingering over dinner with a close friend for a few hours  is going to fill you up more than making a quick appearance at three different gatherings.

  1. Delegate.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. Start with family. Can your mom pick up the kids one day a week? Can your roommate take on breakfast duty? And if you can make it work financially, you may want to consider hiring someone to clean your house, or opt for pick up/drop off service for your dry cleaning. When we’re really crunched for time, we like to have groceries delivered using Instacart. While delegating can cost more money, it will also save you valuable time.

  1. Learn to say no.

Saying no gives you more time to say yes to the things you’re passionate about. If you get a request to do something that doesn’t truly support or inspire you, just say no—and don’t feel guilty about it. At barre3, we call this “flexing your ‘no’ muscle.” Don’t be afraid to give yours a workout!

  1. Bunch your tasks.

When you group several similar tasks together, you get them done much faster. Return all your phone calls, one after the other. Answer those emails, one after the other. Barre3 Founder Sadie Lincoln carves out two-hour chunks of time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for administrative work. “Instead of dealing with my inbox all day every day, group tasking allows me to tackle it far more efficiently. We all have different systems, but that was a game changer for me.”

Turning these tips into habits won’t happen overnight—just like practicing balance, streamlining is a process. But stick with it, and you’ll be rewarded with the most precious resource of all—time.

 
Are there any habits that you’ve found helpful in streamlining your own life? Share them below!

How Does barre3 Power Your Glutes and Balance Your Body

 

How Does barre3 Power Your Glutes and Balance Your Body

We all want a firm, lifted butt. But a toned backside comes with some major benefits that go way beyond looks. Why are strong glutes so important? And how can barre3 help you strengthen them? Read on for the answers.

Your Glute Muscles Defined

When we say “glutes,” we’re referring to three distinct muscles, as shown on this diagram:

How Does barre3 Power Your Glutes and Balance Your Body

Gluteus Maximus. This is the largest muscle in your glutes and the true workhorse of your glutes. We call it the Power Muscle for good reason—not only does it drive big moves like squatting and jumping, it also helps with more functional moves like standing up out of a chair.

Gluteus Medius. This important muscle covers the area on the side and back of your pelvis. It helps rotate your legs inwards and outwards and also helps you balance on one leg by stabilizing your hips.

Gluteus Minimus. This is the smallest muscle of your glutes, but it still plays an important role. It’s responsible for rotating the leg inward and works together with the Gluteus Medius to help stabilize your hips.

Why It’s Important to Strengthen Your Glutes

Your glutes work to balance and stabilize your entire body—so when they’re weak, your entire body suffers. Long periods of sitting at your desk or in the car cause your backside to turn off and stop firing as efficiently as it should. That leads to imbalances in the body, which in turn can cause injuries. Typical issues for weak glutes include pain in your hips, low back, and knees. You’re also more likely to experience sciatic nerve pain, IT-band syndrome, and more.

When your glutes are strong, they help carry the load when you’re walking, running, getting up out of your chair, and hiking uneven terrain. They also help you stand taller by keeping your pelvis properly aligned. Put simply, whatever you want your body to do, a strong, balanced backside can help you do it better.

So What’s the Solution?

Do Barre3. Our classes always feature a Seat Work section that specifically targets your back body, working the glutes and the surrounding muscles from all angles. But because every barre3 workout is all about building body balance, your glutes are engaged throughout class—during Leg Work, Combo Work, Core Work, and beyond. By the end of the class, you’ve worked all 360 degrees of your glutes.

Go Slow. Working your glutes takes an incredible amount of focus. Master Trainer Heidi Waltermire says, “During your workout, slow down the movement so you can focus on activating your glutes. If you don’t feel your glutes working, momentum has probably taken over, which means muscles other than the glutes are performing the action.”

Sit Less, Move More. Sitting is one of the worst things you can do for your glutes, so incorporate movement throughout your day with short walks, barre3 Online 10-minute workouts, or a quick run. Even if you just have a few minutes, stand up and bust out 20 Sumo Squats or do a glute-intensive yoga move like Warrior III. These frequent bursts of activity will remind your glutes that they have a job to do, and they’ll become stronger and more responsive as a result.

To sum it up, a toned, lifted butt is great, but what strong glutes do for your body is even more exciting. If you have any questions about how you can find better body balance and strengthen your backside, our team is here for you. For the next seven days, our Master Trainers are manning the comment thread below. Fire away! And you can always talk to your instructors in studio, too.

DIY Bath Bombs

DIY Bath Bombs

We’ve always loved treating post-workout muscles to a good long soak in the tub—but lately we’ve been taking our baths next-level with the addition of bath bombs. Have you seen them? When you drop them in the tub, they explode with a fizzy blend of essential oils and healthy minerals.

We’re so into bath bombs that we recently devoted a whole afternoon to making our own! Today we’re sharing the recipe, courtesy of our friends at Workshop – PDX

INGREDIENTS:

Dry:

2 1/2 Tbs. baking soda

4 tsp. cornstarch

4 tsp. Epsom salt

4 tsp. citric acid

a dash or two of sea salt

Wet:

1 Tbs. water

1 1/2 tsp. oil

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. fragrance or essential oil

2-3 drops food coloring

dried flowers or herbs (like chamomile or lavender)

ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES:

You’ll need molds to shape your bath bombs, which can be found on Amazon or etsy. For this project, we used small molds like these. You can also use silicone cupcake pans (just fill them up, freeze and pop out).

DIRECTIONS:

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to remove clumps. Slowly add in each wet ingredient and whisk again. The mixture will expand slightly and should clump in your hand like damp sand.

Using a spoon or your fingers, fill one half of the bath bomb mold with the mixture, but don’t pack. Set down and repeat with other mold. If mixture keeps expanding, just wipe the excess away from the edges. If it seems dry, dab your fingers in the water and rub in the center top of one side of the bomb to create a glue.  

Combine both sides of the mold together to create a round sphere. Then remove the top half of the mold and set the bath bomb (with bottom half still attached) on a tray with the exposed side facing up. Allow to dry for at least an hour before gently tapping your bath bombs out of the molds. Allow to dry a minimum of 6-8 hours before using in the bath.  

TIPS:

  • If your mixture is too powdery/dry add more water.
  • If it’s too wet add more Epsom salt.
  • To speed up the drying process before handling, pop in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.


Try whipping up a few extras to give as gifts, or rally
your culture of good health for a fun DIY evening of bath bombing. And be sure to share your favorite scent combos in the comments below—you just might inspire our next batch!

Roasted Chicken With Braised Spring Vegetables

Roasted Chicken With Braised Spring Vegetables

We love this juicy chicken combined with fresh spring veggies. The fennel, garlic, and lemon not only add loads of flavor, they also fight inflammation and support healthy digestion. Besides being light and totally satisfying, this recipe also makes plenty of leftovers to enjoy the next day.   
 

Recipe courtesy of Kirsten McCormick, Nutritionist, Chef, and Founder of Running with Forks.

INGREDIENTS

8 chicken pieces (thighs, legs and breasts)

1 Tbs. coconut oil

2 Tbs. olive oil

6-8 radishes, halved

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and quartered

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and chopped

12-15 stalks asparagus, roughly chopped

1 handful green beans, trimmed

1 handful sugar snap peas, diagonally sliced

1 small bunch of spring or green onions, trimmed and halved lengthwise

juice of half a lemon


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

2. Season chicken pieces with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

3. Heat coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy oven-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add chicken pieces to pan, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and cook an additional 10 minutes.

4. Turn chicken over and continue cooking until juices run clear and skin is crisp, about 5 more minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a large deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add radishes, cut side down and cook until browned on all sides, tossing occasionally. Remove from pan and set aside. Add fennel and garlic and sauté until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add zucchini, asparagus, green beans and snap peas, tossing occasionally until beginning to brown, about 2-4 minutes. Add green onions, lemon juice and ¼ cup chicken broth and season with sea salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Return radishes to pan and season again if desired.

6. Serve chicken with spring vegetables and top with fresh cut herbs.
For more easy and delicious recipes, subscribe to barre3 Online.

Wedding Day Coming Up? Strive for Balance, Not Perfection

 

 

Wedding Day Coming Up? Strive for Balance, Not Perfection

Like so many brides, when Jill Kurrle got engaged she immediately decided she needed to lose weight to look her best for her wedding day. Then she started taking classes at barre3 Los Altos and her entire outlook shifted. Read on to find out how she went from focusing on looking great on one day to being healthy for her whole life. Here’s Jill in her own words.

Are you prepping for a big event—maybe a wedding, maybe a reunion, maybe a beach vacation—and putting your body through the ringer to be “perfect” for it? Crash dieting, intense sessions with a personal trainer, obsessively checking your fitness tracker to make sure you hit your daily goals, all with one deadline in mind?

It can be so tempting to overwork your body to get fast results, but what happens after the event is over? When there are no more dress fittings, no more concerns about the photographs that will be displayed on your mantle forever, no more beach time in a bikini, what happens then? Many people breathe a sigh of relief, drop their strict regimen, and then go to another extreme of letting go and indulging in foods that don’t nourish their bodies—which is just as unhealthy.

So what’s the alternative? Instead of having tunnel vision toward one single event, what if we broadened our lens to see the bigger picture: shifting our focus from one day of looking great to a life of feeling our best. That’s what barre3 taught me.

A year ago, I was staring my August wedding in the face, thinking, “I have to lose 20 pounds!” I wasn’t even unhappy with my body, but like every bride, I wanted to make sure I looked my best when I walked down that aisle. A friend recommended barre3, and to be honest, I was skeptical. I’m a marathon runner, so I exercise for free all the time. Paying for gyms (or any type of exercise) felt wasteful to me. But I figured I’d just do it for three months to get wedding-ready, and then I’d go back to my normal routine. I’m a big morning person, so I told myself “OK, anytime I’m home and not traveling for work, I will commit to going to the 6 a.m. class.” In other words, like so many brides, I was doing this all with singular focus: my wedding day.

I stuck to my plan, and even did barre3 while I was traveling—in the studio if there was one nearby, online in my hotel room if not. Almost without my even realizing it, my perspective changed during those months before the big day. Barre3 went from being something I was doing for my wedding to being something I was doing for myself. Anyone who has ever gotten married knows how intense it can be to plan a wedding. Going to barre3 became my time to focus on me—not the flowers, not the seating charts, not the guests—just my own well-being, both mentally and physically. At the same time, my focus on a goal weight disappeared. Instead, I shifted my perspective and didn’t watch the scale. I stopped worrying about being the perfect version of the bride and just focused on how I wanted to feel in my dress and on that day. Letting go like that is so unlike my personality, but barre3 helped me get there—and it felt amazing.

We live in the Bay area, but our wedding was in San Diego. I went there two weeks before the big day for final wedding prep, and I had the weirdest feeling, like something was missing. Then it dawned on me: It was barre3. I missed that calmness I get from doing a class and that sense of support I got from being in the studio. I went to class at the UTC/La Jolla studio, and it was like pressing the reset button. Immediately I felt great again.

My last fitting for my dress was the day before my wedding, and you know what? I loved what I saw. I hadn’t crash dieted—in fact, I hadn’t dieted at all—I had just focused on eating healthy and keeping up my barre3 practice. I was never hungry and never felt deprived. And standing there looking in the mirror with my wedding dress on, I was so happy and so confident.

When I got back from my honeymoon, I couldn’t wait to get back to the Los Altos studio. I still go every day at 6 a.m., and if it’s possible, I love barre3 even more now than I did before my wedding. Now there’s no deadline, no looming dress fitting, no honeymoon-in-a-bikini to think about it. It’s just me, giving myself an hour each day to better myself.

And that’s why I don’t see this as a story about my wedding. It’s a story about my life. Yes, I started barre3 to get in shape for the big day, but what I got was so much more important than that. I learned to make myself a priority, not just so I could feel good on one day of my life, but so I could be my best self every day. If I could offer one piece of advice—to brides, but also to everyone—it would be to commit to yourself today. Don’t wait for a big event to give you a reason. You are the reason, and you’re worth it.

The Washington Post Features barre3 Recipes

The Washington Post Features barre3 Recipes

Our user-friendly recipe index was featured on the washingtonpost.com! Barre3 DC 14th Street client Aliza Norcross told the Post, “It’s not about counting calories, but finding balance.” We couldn’t agree more.

Have you checked out our recipes yet? With tons of nourishing, easy-to-make, seasonal breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options, you’re sure to find something that’s just right for you. Read more. LINK TO THE POST.