Posted by: saramcglothlin | June 21, 2012

Balance + Barre

Before barre class this evening,  someone asked our instructor how many classes it takes to notice a difference in your body.  She said it usually takes  8-10 classes; I just did my 7th and I can honestly say that I have already noticed a difference.  My arms are more toned, my legs more shapely, and the mental benefits after a long day at work is a huge bonus.  The woman then asked what else others did in addition to barre in terms of fitness…for those of you who are unfamiliar:

“[barre] uses Pilates, ballet, yoga, and strength training into a high energy, core-strengthening, workout that isolates our most targeted muscle groups.” Source:

It is a lot of muscle contracting and ab work.  That being said, for someone who used to be a cardio-fiend, it’s definitely changed the way I view “working out.”  Ever since I started house sitting, running and using the elliptical at the gym has taken the back seat in order to take Minty  on an hour-long walk in the morning.  At first this worried me, because as I have posted before, starting my day with an intense, cardio-oriented workout is an important part of my day.  While mental clarity is the main driver behind my habit, I would be lying if I said keeping calories in check had nothing to do with it.  But at the end of the day, it’s how I stay happy, healthy, and in shape with having a desk job.  It has been refreshing to discover that I am eating the same foods and living the same lifestyle, but I have given my body a break and enjoying my morning strolls with a side of barre from time-to-time.  I have been going about 2-4 times per week, and I can already tell that my body is changing in ways I never noticed with running and free weights.

What is your favorite workout?  Is there just one, or a combination of exercises?

On that note…


Morning walk with Minty + Barre class after work (you saw that coming, right?)


Before grabbing a green juice at ET’s yesterday, I went to go pick up some more Barney Butter Packets.  As soon as I enter the nut butter aisle, I am a kid in a candy store; I couldn’t resist picking up a jar of an old favorite

OO with 1/4 c quinoa, 1/4 c oats, 1/2 c soy milk, 1 T chia, cinnamon, banana, blob of sunflower seed butter

Boy oh boy I’ve missed sunflower seed butter!  I haven’t had it in a couple of years (thanks to my love affair with almond butter), but it’s back!


Same old salad, but this time I chopped up ET’s emerald sesame kale (EVOO, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame seeds)

The kale salad made it so flavorful, I didn’t need any dressing.

Afternoon Snacks

Rest of a Date Heart Thrive cookie, Barney Butter, dark chocolate square

2 hours later, a Babybel cheese round (original = so much more satisfying than the lite version)

I wanted a pre-barre snack after work, but the green juice yesterday did not quite keep me full.  In fact my stomach was growling as I was walking in, so let’s just say I was starving when the class ended.  I whipped up something on the fly today that I thought would work:

Soy milk with 1 scoop brown rice protein powder (shaken, not stirred), apple

Muuuch better.  What is your favorite pre-work-out (no-fail) snack??

I had some time to kill before barre, so I flipped through an issue of Cooking Light to get some inspiration for dinner.  A recipe for Arugula, sun-dried tomato, & white bean quesadillas caught my eye:

But, I had fish tacos the two previous nights, so I wasn’t really in the mood for quesadillas per se, but the flavors I could do.  It called for cream cheese spread mixed with the sun-dried tomatoes as the base, which sounded like something I wanted to experiment with.  And I had what I needed already right there in my kitchen.  So I improvised a bit…

Arugula with tilapia (left over from last night), avocado, sweet potato, dollop of cream cheese-sun dried tomato spread

  • Arugula
  • Fish of choice (or chicken)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 small baked sweet potato
  • 1 T of cream cheese (I used Organic Valle Neufchatel cheese spread)
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp EVOO

Combine cream cheese spread, sun-dried tomatoes, and EVOO in a small bowl and mix well.  Assemble all ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy!

I topped off the meal with a small ramekin of frozen strawberries/ raspberries and a square of dark chocolate + quinoa

Dark chocolate twice = a good day.  Happy almost Friday!



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