Pure Barre Platform

Pure Barre Platform finally arrived at Pure Barre Wellesley this past week, so I quickly signed up for the first official class. I have been very anxious and excited for Platform since it has a large cardio component, something that is missing from a regular Pure Barre workout.

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Let me just say…Platform is on a VERY different level than a normal Pure Barre class; and is actually totally different and pretty much incomparable…

The class is high intensity and cardio based but still incorporates the same toning techniques as Pure Barre does. It has what are called “cardio bursts’ that occur throughout class during the warm up, thigh sprints, seat work and even ab work! These bursts are big and fast movements thatt make your heart rate quickly sky rocket. My favorite cardio burst are the jumps that occur during seat work – you have the opportunity to fly for a few seconds by jumping off the platform while holding onto the bar (I am sure some of you have seen the videos).

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The technique of the class is focused on much bigger movements than the small contractions used during a Pure Barre class – this is hard to adjust to at first, but it is what allows you to keep your heart rate up throughout the class; burning calories and fat more rapidly! The class flew by with its upbeat tempo and “double time” sprints that caused my thighs to burn like never before. Class ended and I was dripping in sweat and feeling a new kind of Pure Barre high.

I cannot say enough great things about this class and can’t wait for everyone to try it. You do not have to be super coordinated to succeed in this class; all the movements are simple and easy to pick up on quickly! So check out the schedule at your local Pure Barre as these classes pop up in 2016!

Exploring New Studios: BFX Fusion

Looking to get your butt kicked – in the best way possible? Head over to BFX Studio for a workout that can’t be beat. BFX Studio hosts a wide range of classes as well as personal and group training sessions. This Back Bay studio is state of the art and gorgeous; it has everything you could need before or after class in its large and spacious locker rooms equipped with showers.

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I had the privilege of attending a Saturday morning 9am BFX Fusion class this month. This class is a mix of spinning and strength training. Studio Director, Rob Wood, led our early morning class – pushing us to our limits. We rotated between the bike and the floor three separate times. Each bike session consisted of different sprint intervals or hill intervals. The floor sessions used a mix of TRX suspensions and 30 and 15lb sandbags to work our arms, legs and core. Each floor session had three to four exercises where we did as many of each as possible in the given time slot.

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Music blasting and lots of motivational yelling from Rob got us through class and 60 minutes later, drenched in sweat, my sister and I walked out of class ready to take on Saturday – maybe after a quick nap ; ) I would definitely recommend this class and studio to anyone! I am excited to get back to try more of their classes very soon.

Easy & Healthy Snack Recipe

Snacks are always one of the biggest struggles for people who try to eat healthy and/or are looking to lose weight. Here is an easy and very satisfying snack that can also be used as an appetizer with friends & family. This recipe contains two of my favorite foods that have amazing nutritional value; beets & sweet potatoes.

Health Benefits of Beets:

1. FULL of vitamins & minerals: high in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium just to name a few.

2. Detoxifying: contain betalin pigments which break down toxins in your blood and liver.

3. Anti-Inflammatory: contain a nutrient called betaine which helps protects cells from environmental stress, help fight inflammation, and protect internal organs.

4. Lower your blood pressure (literally, instantly): the occurring nitrates in beets are converted into nitric oxide when digested which helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:

1. Fat free, low sodium and much lower in calories than a white potato

2. Great source of fiber and work well to aid in digestion problems.

3. Packed with vitamins & minerals: Large source of potassium, magnesium, iron, vitmains A, B6 and C just to name a few.

4. Great source of beta beta carotene and other carotenoids. These help strengthen eyesight and boost our immunity to disease. They are also known to help fight off cancer as well as protect us from the effects of aging.

5. Great source of natural sugars. These sugars are released slowly into the body during digestion which allows the body to have a great balanced energy and work to regulate blood sugar levels.

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Beet & Sweet Potato Chips

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Peel your beets and sweet potatoes to remove skin if you wish
  • Using a mandolin or a sharp knife cut the beets and sweet potatoes into small slices
    • Sometimes it is easier to boil your beets/sweet potatoes for a few minutes to soften them before cutting if you do not have good utensils
  • Spray a lined baking sheet with coconut or olive oil and place each slice down with as little overlapping as possible
  • Re-spray the tops of the vegetables with coconut or olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder, rosemary, and a little sea salt over the slices
  • Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until crispy. You may want to switch to broil for the last few minutes to get them extra crunchy.

You can eat these chips by themselves, use them to make nachos, or add a side dip of mashed avocado or guacamole to enjoy them with 🙂

5 Easy Ways to Immediately Improve your Health

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  • Drink water
    • I know everyone says this but do you ever take action? Make it a daily assignment to refill that water bottle every couple of hours. Hydration is essential to good health, better digestion, clearer skin and mental clarity. If water seems boring try adding some cut up lemon or cucumber to add flavor. Lemon water has even more amazing health benefits and is especially great to have first thing every morning. It boosts your metabolism and aids with digestion all day long.

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      via anthropologie.com
  • Get serious sleep; I am talking about at least 8-9 hours every night
    • We all are guilty of staying up late watching our favorite show or turning over the next page of a book we are drawn to, but putting sleep as a main priority will show serious health benefits. Even better; studies show that if you turn off all technology one hour before bed you sleep better and get more out of your sleep (I am still working on this one).4_6
  • Move your body daily
    • Physical Activity is so important to your health. Physical activity does not mean you have to spend an hour at the gym each day. Moving your body can be a few laps around the office every few hours, it can be taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or it can be a gentle yoga class. Any movement of the body is better than none!

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      via wholefoods.com
  • Eat foods that are found on the perimeter of a grocery store
    • This is the easiest way to think about eating for good health. A grocery store is set up with the fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and whole grains on the perimeter. All of your processed food is what sits in the aisles. Do your best to increase the percentage of food you buy to come from the perimeter.FullSizeRender (1)
  • Do one thing a day that makes you happy or smile
    • This tool is my favorite. In this day and age we are SO busy and constantly stressed we forget about ourselves sometimes. Happiness and love are so important to your health and making an effort to do one thing a day that you love and makes you smile will make your days and weeks so much better. It can be something as simple as taking an extra minute or two to enjoy your breakfast in the morning, stopping on the way home to get a new nail polish or some flowers, or pouring yourself that glass of red with dinner.