Final Thoughts on the 7 Day Body Blast

My life feels less chaotic now that I’m not trying to squeeze in teaching and taking a barre3 class, a full-time job and planning meals to a tee in a 24-hour day. But it was a great kick in the rear while it lasted! It reminded me that planning ahead is important and going into the studio for a class always feels good after a tough day. I’m still feeling great and will continue to use a lot of the 7 Day Body Blast recipes. They were that good.

It was great connecting with the other instructors and clients on ways to overcome and deal with challenges. We shared our struggles and what we loved about our days, in addition to swapping recipes.

After seven days, my seven biggest realizations include:

  1. My unhealthy Saturday looked a lot like my non-body blasting healthy days.
  2. My husband and I both love kale. And butternut squash smoothies.
  3. The barre3 community is unbelievably supportive.
  4. My body can’t talk to me, so a migraine is its way of telling me to take it easy.
  5. Turning leftover vegetables into vegetable soup is a breeze.
  6. Planning and prepping meals on Sunday is the key to weekday success.
  7. This quote: “If you’re not willing to eat a vegetable, it’s not hunger. It’s a craving.”

I loved this challenge because it reinforced that I am in control of my body. We all are. How I look is mostly because of what I eat. I always knew this but it wasn’t until I turned to a completely clean and healthy diet that I realized how true it was. Your body is ultimately made in the kitchen, not the gym. I give credit to 75 percent of Pinterest users for that quote, by the way.

I documented this journey to serve as a reminder that I’m strong and in control, and so I have something to return to when I want to do the challenge again. If you’re embarking on your own body blast journey, I’d love to hear about it!

And as promised, here is my meal plan and an easy-to-print grocery list:

7 Day Body Blast – Day 6 & 7

The weekend, which is usually where my healthy-eating mishaps take place, indeed brought some challenges. The weekdays are easy: I get up, go to work, come home, go to bed. While there are meetings, socializing and teaching mixed in, my eating schedule rarely changes. The weekends are a different story.

I drank a smoothie and went to an early morning barre3 class on Saturday. One of my husbands college roommates was in town so we met up with him and a few others for lunch at Moe’s Southwest Grill. I ate half of my burrito bowl, which was filled with tofu and a ton of vegetables, in addition to some chips and salsa (yikes!) Rob and I had dinner reservations at G. Michael’s in German Village so I had already set myself up for Body Blast failure. I had a glass of wine and a crab cake for dinner… and I don’t regret one bit of it. It was delicious! While this place is a bit pricey, it’s definitely worth it for a special occasion splurge.

On Sunday I reeled it in with a smoothie and teaching a full 10 a.m. barre3 class. Did I mention that’s my favorite way to start the day? I made some amazing vegetable soup for lunch with leftover veggies (see below). I sauteed onions, carrots, celery and garlic in coconut oil then threw it into a huge pot with vegetable stock, kale, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and corn. So good! For dinner I had rice and vegetable stir fry.



And there you have it. The barre3 7-Day Body Blast is complete, with only a few bumps along the way. Tomorrow I’m going to do a little reflection and upload my grocery list from the past week.

I’ll be coming back to these posts more than a few times throughout the year when I feel myself slipping back into old habits. Or maybe before my summer vacation to Ocean Isle? I’m thinking June 30 might be the perfect time for round two!

7 Day Body Blast – Day 5

Happy Friday! I have a lot to be thankful for today- first and foremost, my health. My headache is mostly gone and I’m back in the swing of things. I have a date with the ladies tonight and I’m glad I feel well enough to be excited about it. I’m going to squeeze in an extra workout tomorrow for my missed day yesterday. I’m sticking with today as my planned “off” workout day.

For breakfast I made a DIY smoothie, consisting of almond milk, flax seed, frozen cherries, 1/4 of a frozen banana, frozen mango and spinach. My lunch is leftover Sweet Potato and Cauliflower puree and a small side spinach salad with almonds and dressing via the Arugula Orange salad. In case you were wondering what coconut milk, water, sweet potatoes, onions and cauliflower look like when boiling, this is it:

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato
Innocent enough, right? WRONG. This mixture and I had quite the kitchen catastrophe on Wednesday night. If any of you use a small hand-held blender (I can’t be the only one…) be sure to let the mixture cool before blending. I did not and ended up with the top of my Hamilton Beach blender blown off and a blast of hot sweet potato to the face. If you ask Rob, this is a typical kitchen mishap for me as I have a tendency to spill anything and everything. But if I can help just one person avoid this disaster then sharing it is for the best!

As I said above, I’m looking forward to girls night. We’re heading downtown to see SPANK!, a parody play of 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve heard great reviews and can’t wait for a night of laughs. I thought I’d be tempted by a glass of wine but seeing as I still have an inkling of a headache, that temptation has disappeared. The world works in mysterious ways!

7 Day Body Blast – Day 4

Today took quite the unexpected turn. I woke up to get ready for work and just as I finished blow drying my hair my minor “sinus headache” resulted in a wave of nausea. A full-blown migraine soon followed.

It’s now well into the evening and I’m still couch-ridden. Thanks to my food prep, I was able to stick very close to the meal plan despite the slight setback. Plus it was nice to not cook and try to find food when I was feeling so sick.

I had a Green Colada smoothie for a not-so-glamorous breakfast in bed and Sweet Potato and Cauliflower purée for lunch. Rob brought home Indian food for dinner since I still couldn’t move, and I only snuck a tiny piece of naan with my aloo gobi! THAT is an accomplishment.

I am lucky to work with a wonderful team both at my full-time job and at barre3. I was able to take the time to rest and heal myself with no worries, something I know not to take for granted.

Lesson for today? Know your limits- when to push yourself and when to take a step back. I can’t wait for a new tomorrow!

7 Day Body Blast – Day 3

I felt a little lighter as I bounced out of bed this morning. I hopped on the scale to see if I was just imagining things (after all, it was only 5 a.m. so it was quite possible I was still half-asleep). Much to my surprise, I weighed a full two pounds less than I did on Monday morning. Why does this excite me? Because I can officially say that you can look at my driver’s license and not call me a liar!

While I was always so close, I haven’t actually hit my “license” weight since I literally got my license.  Losing weight isn’t a huge concern of mine, but it’s comforting to know that by feeding my body the right kinds of food, my weight regulates and falls to where it ideally should be. I’m more concerned with the overall muscle tone and strength of my body, so the two pound weight-loss wasn’t a huge deal for me. But I’d be fibbing if I said it wasn’t a little bit of extra motivation!

I started the day by teaching a 6 a.m. barre3 class. I love early morning classes. This is the time I would regularly go as a client and it sets my mood for the entire day. Strength, balance and a feeling of calm. I’ll be heading into the studio again later this evening to get my actual workout in with Whitney. Isn’t it just lovely?

Studio 2

Onto my meals for the day. I had two energy bites and the dreaded morning elixir before teaching. Before work I made myself a Butternut Squash and Cherries smoothie to go. I had a lot of leftover ingredients and it was delicious, so why not have it two days in a row? I pretended to be a master chef and made it without looking at the recipe. My first go around was way too watery. But the best thing about smoothies? If the taste is off, just throw it back in the blender, add a few more ingredients (cherries and another date), blend and voila! Good as new.

For lunch I went to Market 65 for a salad. This place is one of my favorites. All of their ingredients are local and you watch as they cut the fresh veggies for you. I watched them scoop out an avocado for me. This isn’t a chain but if you work in the downtown Columbus-area I highly recommend checking it out. Today my salad consisted of a romaine/spinach mix, avocado, garbanzo beans, black beans, corn and lemon juice/olive oil as the dressing.


I felt a little light-headed yesterday halfway through the afternoon so in case that happens again, I bought a Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost Smoothie to keep on-hand. For dinner I’m going to be boring again and eat the last of my White Bean and Kale soup. I promise to branch out a little bit more tomorrow. I’ve heard good things about the Sneaky Greens smoothie and the Gingered Carrot soup so maybe those will be added to the menu.

If you have any awesome recipes for smoothies, soups or salads, send them my way. Otherwise, have a happy first day of spring!

7 Day Body Blast – Day 2

One day down, six to go! My salad last night turned out amazing despite the fact I forgot to buy fennel. If you recall, the salad was a Salmon & FENNEL Salad. Needless to say, I was nervous the taste would be completely off. It was still fantastic to my surprise and awe. I can say this because my trooper-of-a-husband, who has been eating everything I’m eating, completely agreed. His report on everything I’ve made? So far, so good!

I started off today with a body blast elixir (I still don’t enjoy it, but Rob actually does!) and a Butternut Squash & Cherries smoothie. The smoothie was amazing. Instead of the raw almond butter, I used natural peanut butter. It’s also worth noting that when you freeze a banana, peel and cut in half first. Last night I prepped lunch and chopped everything but the avocado for my Arugula Orange salad. I had leftover White Bean & Kale soup so I’ll be eating that for dinner.

Salmon & Fennel Salad, Butternut Squash & Cherries Smoothie, Arugula Orange Salad, White Bean & Kale Soup

I packed my workout clothes and all of my food and headed into work for the day. I’ll be going directly to a studio class with Katy at 5:45 p.m. and I teach class at 7 p.m. I’m excited to head in and hear how everyone is doing. I’m also looking forward to feedback and more recipe suggestions!

I teach tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and can hopefully get a good night’s rest tonight. I had some trouble sleeping last night, but I think that was due to the fact that a rambunctious kitten wouldn’t leave me alone. But seriously- how can I be mad at that face?


7 Day Body Blast – Day 1

Today marks day one of my barre3 7 Day Body Blast. This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. After completing the 28 to Great challenge in February, my body and the way I think about food changed. While I considered myself a healthy eater before, I experimented a ton in the kitchen, using honey and dates as sweeteners, kale as lettuce in salads and spinach/dairy-free smoothies. While I didn’t (and didn’t intend to) drop a lot of weight, I’ve gotten compliments on looking leaner and more toned.

The 7 Day Body Blast is simple. You eat a smoothie for breakfast, soup for lunch and a salad for dinner while completing two 10 minute workouts and a 40-60 minute workout 6/7 days. Recipes are on the barre3 blog along with workout suggestions. I know my body and therefore intend to slightly modify this challenge and make it my own. For example, I get light-headed if I’m not eating every 3 hours. I have almonds and a Larabar as my hunger stabilizers. Otherwise, I’m sticking to it!

I kicked off today with half of a morning elixir before heading to a studio class at 6 a.m. As much as I tried to love this water/lemon/apple cider vinegar mixture, I have to say it was the most awful thing I’ve ever tasted. Some folks swear by it though, so I’m going to quite literally chug my way through the rest of the week. I also had my Larabar on the way to the studio. After a great class, I got home and ready for work, then made an Energy Smoothie to take on-the-go. I was hesitant at first, but after chilling it in the refrigerator for an hour it was amazing! The disgusting brown color is due to the fact I added in some very delicious frozen blueberries.

Yesterday, I made a batch of White Bean and Kale soup to take for lunch. I added some red pepper flakes for spice, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Result? One of my top 5 favorite soups ever.
KaleandWhiteBeanSoupFor dinner, I’m making Salmon & Fennel salad. I intend to do 20 minutes of barre3 online tonight and prepare my smoothie and lunch for tomorrow.

I must admit, after looking at the recipes, I was afraid and a little overwhelmed. Not only because of some “new” ingredients but because I thought making a grocery list and finding the time to make it all would be impossible! But as I found out during the 28 to Great challenge, a little planning goes a long way. Later this week I’ll share my grocery list and meal plan in an easy-to-print PDF document in case you feel like embarking on your own body blast.

I can’t wait to share some new recipes on day two. Wish me luck on tomorrow’s elixir…

Be a Good One

BeAGoodOneI love this quote because it’s universal. It applies as much to me as it does to anyone. It’s a reminder that we all have a place in the world- we’re all on the same team, trying to better ourselves while bettering the things around us.

Be good (morally) and be good (skillfully), no matter “what” you are.

Engagement vs. Existence – March Resolution

I had such a fun time with my February resolution. I’ll be sharing some new restaurants and coffee shops I discovered in addition to healthy recipes in my next post! Right  now I want to focus on getting in the right mindset for March.

This month’s resolution is simple: to engage more with the world around me.  A lot of people, including myself, go through their day-to-day activities without much thought. Getting dressed, going to work, studying, cooking dinner, watching TV, social commitments. It’s all so routine.

I want to learn to be grateful for each moment and appreciate those around me. My action steps for this month include:

  1. Making the effort to call more friends and family members just to say hello.
    We’ll shoot for two each weekend. I hate talking on the phone, but it’s an important part of keeping any healthy long distance relationship going. I still don’t understand WHY this is so hard for me.
  2. Skyping with at least three friends this month.
    Who wants to volunteer?
  3. Looking people in the eye on the street.
    Smiling at them. Making small talk while waiting in line. At worst, I’ll become the creepy, talkative girl in the elevator. At best, I’ll brighten someone’s day a little.
  4. Mystery date night-ing with Rob.
    I have to give my friend Sara and her boyfriend, Michael, credit for this one. It’s such a good idea I’m implementing it. Rob and I will take a turn making secret date plans for each other. 
  5. Finding some peace in the outdoors.
    When it’s above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, of course. I spend so much time in front of a computer during the day that I need to get out more. Even if it’s just for a five minute walk around the block. I’ll really see what nature has to offer me!

Although simple, this short list will give me some places to focus. I often neglect friends that mean so much to me for absolutely no reason. I’m excited to get started and do more than just simply exist in the world around me.