Exploring New Studios: The Barre

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My second studio stop in MN was at The Barre Studio in Wayzata. This is one of the only barre studios close to my new home, so I was anxious to test it out and see how it compares to Pure Barre (my workout of choice for the past three years). I signed up for the 9am Open Barre class last Sunday. Before I get into the class itself, I have to talk about the gorgeous studio and its unbelievable location. The Barre Studio is located in downtown Wayzata, right across the street to Lake Minnetonka. The studio is two stories; the first consists of the locker room and bathroom and the second level is where you can find the lobby, a small play area for daycare and the studio room. When you walk into the studio room for the first time you may gasp as the front wall is floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake! I gravitated right to the front row so my barre spot could be looking out the window entire time; talk about relaxing! Okay okay now onto the class…

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The class itself reminded me SO much of a Pure Barre class. It was broken up into a warm up, thigh sprints, seat work and abs just as a Pure Barre class is structured. All the thigh and seat work were the same moves (water ski, knee dancing, etc.). The Barre Studio had a very different warm up incorporating a lot more push ups and ab work which challenges you right from the beginning of class. The ab sequence at the end of class was also a lot different; the sequence used weights to give you an extra challenge. The music was much softer in nature than a Pure Barre playlist but there was consistent instructor encouragement during every exercise. I truly enjoyed the class and felt that it was very challenging. I am very happy to have found a good local barre class 🙂

For anyone local who hasn’t checked out The Barre Studio, I highly recommend you do soon! There is also a second location in Edina, MN.

Five Causes of Cravings

Cravings…. 90% of the time cravings are for foods that maybe aren’t the healthiest or foods you don’t really need because you actually aren’t hungry (but can’t realize that). Today I am sharing with you five common causes of cravings so you can become more aware and mindful of when, what and how you consume food.

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Water

Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced.

Lack of Nutrients

If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.

Hormonal

When women experience menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.

De-Evolution

When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.

Lack of Primary Food

Remember a week or so back I introduced you all to the term, primary food? It’s back again.. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food.

Exploring New Studios: Surge Cycling

I am excited to bring back my exploring new studio posts now that I have the twin cities to explore! My first stop was at a spin studio very close to my new home called, Surge Cycling in Maple Grove, MN. Surge Cycling also has a second location in St. Louis Park, MN a little closer to Minneapolis for those living in the cities.

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My fiance, Justin and I were eager to get a good workout after too many days of moving chaos, so we searched around for a good spin class and ended up signing up for the 6 am Surge Jolt class at Surge Cycling. When we arrived the amazing instructor, Sarah, welcomed us, gave us a quick tour, and then showed us inside the studio room to get us set up on the bikes. Surge uses the new Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle bikes, which I had never experienced before.  The bikes use magnetic resistance, offering a very smooth, quiet and effective ride. The class was 45 minutes long, filled with hill intervals and sprints, making for a very sweaty start to the day. The Surge studio goes basically dark and then the room quickly fills with colored lights  guiding the pace while the music gets loud and keeps you on beat.

Justin and I left drenched in sweat and were very excited to find such a great spin studio so close by! Surge definitely sets the bar high as I start exploring my way through the Twin Cities..

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stay tuned for more reviews and in the meantime check out Surge’s website for more information and their class schedule: http://surgecycling.com/

Diet Less & Live More

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It is officially fall! Fall is typically a time when most people get organized, back into routines, and create some new health goals. Today I am sharing ten tips to kick start your journey that doesn’t require dieting or counting calories; who wants to do that anyways?!

These tips focus on YOU, how you feel, and just simply making some smarter choices when it comes to food. Now remember, the biggest tip to cleaning up your eating habits is to aim for 90% clean food and 10% “cheat/unclean” food, but be happy if 80/20 is how it turns out some weeks too! You have to enjoy the little things in life, including some tailgating food and pumpkin beer with friends.

  1. Feed your soul with primary food. What is primary food? Primary food is your friends and family, physical activity, spirituality, and a satisfying caree. All of these things in life give you energy, think of them as food. A lack of primary food creates over-reliance on secondary, edible food.
  2. Drink water. Most people are chronically dehydrated and don’t even realize. Many people often mistake thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry between meals, drink a glass of water before giving into any cravings.
  3. Eat mainly plant-based diet. Plant foods are typically lower in fat and calories and higher in filling fiber than meat, dairy, and processed foods, while providing loads of essential nutrients.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables!!
  4. Chew your food well. Digestion actually begins in the mouth; by thoroughly chewing your food, your body will better digest all of its important nutrients. This mindfulness will also allow you to slow down your eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that it is full so by eating slower you might feel satisfied with less food.
  5. Eat real food. Avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup or a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. These foods are highly processed which means they are lacking the nutrients your body needs; essentially they are empty calories.
  6. Eat breakfast. Skipping meals causes your blood sugar levels to peak and dip, affecting your energy and moods. It can also cause overeating later on because you’re so hungry.
  7. Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV. Get away from the computer. Sit down and savor the food you are eating with no distractions!!
  8. Get moving. Do any type of physical activity every day. Find movement or exercise you enjoy.
  9. Sleep, rest and relax. When you are sleep-deprived or stressed, your body will crave energy, causing cravings for sugary snacks and caffeine as an energy boost.
  10. Schedule fun time. Boredom and stress can lead to overeating; in order to avoid this make sure to take time to laugh and participate in activities that make you happy.

content via IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition)