Xtend Barre Training

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! This past weekend I trained to become an Xtend Barre instructor in Brooklyn, New York! Xtend Barre is a really fast-paced high-energy workout that combines dance, Pilates, and weight training to help sculpt, shape, strengthen, and tone your body!

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This is really not just a workout for women either – men struggle through this class, even men who are strong or who are already professional dancers! At the training I attended, there was actually a male dancer from the Martha Graham dance company training with us, and he claims Xtend Barre is one of the most challenging workouts he has ever done. **If you don’t know Martha Graham’s technique, just know Graham dancers are 150% muscle, and if he says Xtend Barre is hard – believe it!**

I’ve been practicing and adding Xtend Barre consistently to my workout regimen for the last month and a half, and the results have been fast! My body is the most toned, strong, and lean it has ever been.Β  I’ve gained about 5 lbs of muscle within the last two months from switching up my workouts, and adding weight training (not including the weight sculpting you do in Xtend). I’m so excited to be on this journey to becoming an Xtend Barre Instructor. For the last part of the training, all that’s left to do is plan my test-out class, and film a test class for my trainer to review so I can officially start teaching!

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My body never looked like this until I found Xtend Barre – and the toning and definition has been really fast!

I really enjoyed myself learning the Xtend Barre technique this weekend, pushing my body to new limits, and meeting new people. Our trainer was also amazing, and I am really fortunate I was able to train under her direction and knowledge.

There is so much to do, and only 17 days left until my first day of work at the American Dance Festival!Β I can’t believe everything is wrapping up and coming full-steam ahead so quickly! It is all so exciting and exhausting in the best possible way!

I will definitely keep you all updated on my Xtend training, and can’t wait to share this career expansion into the fitness industry with you!

Have you ever tried Xtend Barre? Let me know if you have, or if you include barre fitness training into your workout regimen. I’d love to know your thoughts on it!

xoxo

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Citrus, Ginger, Coconut Water – Spring Thirst Quencher

Hello everyone!

Lately, I’ve been switching a lot of my cooking products/products I eat to coconut-derived products. For example, I’ve switched my milk to unsweetened coconut-almond milk; instead of olive oil, I use organic coconut oil; and instead of bringing regular water to rehearsals and teaching, I’ve been making this coconut ginger citrus water instead! I want to share this recipe because it has changed the way I hydrate, and I’ve only been experimenting with it for a week!

When I dance a lot/exercise a lot, sometimes regular water (room temperature or cold) becomes hard to swallow. That’s not a metaphor – I mean for me personally water becomes really hard to swallow because it just doesn’t cut it with no electrolytes or anything to replenish the salts I lose through sweat. I’ve never been a fan of Gatorade unless I have a bad cold! I just can’t tolerate the sugar when I am burning energy because it leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

Coconut water has A TON of natural electrolytes and salts you need to replenish your body, without artificial colors, flavors, or added sugar and syrups. Although coconut water plain is just as good for you, it is an acquired taste. When sweating, plain coconut water may not be the best option to drink because it’s a bit bitter, thick, and salty. This citrus and ginger coconut water quencher is sure to provide a better, more palatable flavor, and yummy hydration for everyday drinking.

This is not my original recipe, however, you can get creative and add as much or as little as you want! I found the original recipe here: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/coconut-water-benefits/.

What you’ll need:

  • All natural coconut water (**I’ve used Vita Coco and Goya Coconut Water**).
    • Usually I use the regular 2-cup servings in the box you can get at the supermarket. Pictured is a larger coconut water, which may be more economical if you’re making this drink frequently.
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Regular filtered water
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Lime
  • Honey (if you want a little sweetness!)
  • A blender or NutriBullet

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What to do:

  1. Add 1.5 – 2 cups of coconut water to your blender
  2. Add 0.5 – 1.5 cups of regular filtered water to your blender (depending on how concentrated you would like the coconut water to be)
  3. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  4. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  5. Grate the ginger root and add 1/4 teaspoon or more of ginger to your mix (add more or less to taste)
  6. Optional Step: Add 1 tablespoon or more of honey for sweetness
  7. Blend!!
  8. Taste test, and adjust whatever more or less of whatever it may need. Or if you are satisfied, move on to the next step!
  9. Transfer to a refrigerator safe container, and chill. Serve cold!

It will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long – it is SOO good!). It is best served chilled, and over ice. You can add fresh lemon and lime wedges, or more grated ginger to the top for garnish if you are planning to serve this to dinner guests/friends. You can blend it with ice and make a healthy, quenching, slushy, or even add tequila if it is Taco Tuesday and you’re feeling like you want a healthy twist on a margarita!

I’ve found this recipe to be delicious with a little more lemon and lime, a little extra water (not too much though), and a little extra ginger. I’ve also found it to be delicious with, or without honey! I will definitely be making this a lot while I am attending the American Dance Festival, and will be making this for all of the shows I have coming up! (I’m performing in my first full-length ballet – Midsummer Night’s Dream – in June).

What’s your favorite way to hydrate? If you try this recipe, or have another coconut water recipe, please share it in the comments! I would love to try it!

Xoxo

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Vegan, Delicious Steel Cut Oats Recipe

Hi everyone!

I’ve been trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, including changing what I am putting into my body. A healthy gut is essential for a healthy mindset, and I’ve been playing around with different recipes and types of food to sustain me. A few weeks ago, I decided to try to cook steel cut oats as an alternative to my usual go-to flattened rolled oats. I found an awesome recipe on Cookie+Kate on how to cook steel cut oats, so here is the recipe and what I did!

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Fun Fact: Did you know steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled, flattened oats because the oat grain itself is cut in half? Thus, it is thicker and pointier than a flattened oat, and takes longer to cook thoroughly. Both types of oats derive from the same groat grain, however, flattened “quick” oats are more processed which is why the health food community prefers steel cut oats, as they are less processed!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup milk of choice: almond milk, cow’s milk, coconut milk, etc. (**I USED UNSWEETENED COCONUT ALMOND MILK**)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or unsalted butter (**I USED COCONUT OIL**)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt (**I USED HIMILAYAN PINK SALT**)
  • Any toppings you want! Fruits, nuts, seeds, syrup, honey, etc.

DIRECTIONS

Add the water and milk to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a skillet, melt the coconut oil and add the steel cut oats. Toast the oats for 2 to 5 minutes until they are fragrant. (I personally toasted mine for 7 min as I let my liquid mixture heat. I was not disappointed, and the oats smelled incredible).

Once the oats are toasted and the liquid mixture is simmering, add the oats to the liquid. Reduce heat slightly to prevent scorching, and cook for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture should be thick. After 20 min, add the salt, and continue to cook and simmer for an additional 10 minutes (give or take depending on preference, or if you’ve doubled the recipe). Make sure to stir a few more times during the last 10 minutes.

Once the time is up, remove it from heat, transfer to a bowl, and get creative with toppings!

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For my bowl, I added two teaspoons of light brown sugar, a tablespoon and a half of organic maple syrup, frozen strawberries (that thawed on the hot cereal and were super sweet!), sliced banana, unsweetened coconut flakes, and flax seeds!

This recipe yields a lot of product, so make sure to let the oats cool completely in a covered pot before putting in a covered tuperware and storing in the refriegerator. If you don’t let them cool completely before storing them, they could form a layer of discoloration on the top of the oats. This is normal and is not bad for you, however, it may look unappetizing, and then you’ll have to scrape off the discolored part before reheating or eating cold. So to save yourself the trouble, and cover them and let them cool!

I also ate some left over the next morning and served them as cold oats. It was delicious! This recipe takes some patience, but the leftovers are great for busy mornings after! Also, toasting the oats beforehand gives them such a better flavor and creamier texture! It really is worth the extra few minutes!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and give it a try! How do you like your oats? Let me know in the comments below!

Xoxo

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Marshalls Haul & Try-On

Hello internet loves!

Yesterday was Saturday, and I officially deemed yesterday, “Treat Yourself Saturday”! I’ve been going through a rough time, and I decided to go to Marshalls and try to find some new sneakers, and new clothes for my summer at the American Dance Festival! Here are some of the awesome clothes/shoes I found while I shopped! πŸ™‚
SKECHERS KNIT AIR-COOLED MEMORY FOAM SNEAKERS

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These sneakers are ADORABLE. I love that they don’t have laces, yet they are snug and supportive of my ankle and foot. They are light weight, and would be great for treadmill running, exercise, and everyday running to and from my different jobs/rehearsals.
DANSKIN LEGGINGS

OMGosh! I’ve been DYING for a pair of Danskins ever since Jenna Dewan Tatum became a spokesperson for them (lame I know, BUT I love her, soo…). As a teenager, I bought Danskin shorts and yoga pants from Wal-Mart, but the Danskin line in Wal-Mart is not the same as the leggings you get from the online store, and these are the ones from the online store! They are high-waisted and long in length which fit my legs so nicely! The compression and shaping are great, and they are not see-through at all. I LOVE them! They also make the booty look good, so that is not a bad feature either πŸ™‚
CROCHET 90-DEGREE BY REFLEX ATHLETIC CAPRI

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Please ignore the stains on the mirror, they are paint and not makeup or anything. Just paint spots that won’t come off!

These are so cool, I had to buy them! Not only do they fit well, and are not see-through, they have this super cool design on them that is super unique. I’ve never seen athletic leggings like this before, and I had to have them. They were super affordable, too which makes it even better!
ACTIVE USA CROCHET BLUE OFF-THE-SHOULDER TOP

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I really need to update my actual wardrobe. As you can see, I buy a lot of athletic clothes, and a lot of my “normal” clothes I also use for class and rehearsal. I need more blouses for going out and looking like I’m not coming from the gym, so my best friend picked out this top for me. It is such a beautiful shade of blue, and the off-the-shoulder silhouette is very summery and flattering.

I’m so excited to wear all of these beautiful clothes and shoes! πŸ™‚ Marshalls is great for finding great style deals, and for buying cute and lasting athletic clothing that doesn’t break the bank. Marshalls also always has great deals on Skechers if you want comfortable athletic shoes at an affordable price tag!

Talk to you guys soon, xoxo

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How to Self-Remedy for Auditions When You’re Feeling Under the Weather

Happy Sunday everybody!

I have not felt well the last few days, and I had an audition this morning so I had to take some affirmative action to try to make myself feel better beforehand. Today I want to share some home remedies I follow to help myself feel audition-ready, even when I don’t feel like I can be. Here are some ways to take care of yourself and your health before an important audition or even an important performance.
1. Vitamin C

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Vitamin c is essential for your immune system! Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, it takes a large dose of vitamin c to have too much. However, always follow the instructions when taking vitamins! Anyway, when I’m not feeling great, I blast my body with vitamin c to try to give my immune system a boost to kick the under-the-weather feelings. Vitamin c tablets, orange juice, grapefruit juice, and citrus fruits are great ways to get your daily intake of vitamin c.
2. Zinc

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Dissolvable zinc tablets like Zicam are great for blasting your body with zinc. Zicam is supposed to be taken right when you start feeling lousy, and a lot of the time, they help kick a cold before it starts. Just be careful with the dissolvable tablets – they stain your teeth!
3. Kombucha teakombucha green tea

I was introduced to Yogi Kombucha Green Tea by a manager when I worked at the mall and came in sick one day, and she went to the store to buy me some tea bags. The healing and active ingredients in kombucha are great for your immune system, and for providing your body with antioxidants it needs to fight illnesses. I’ve had this Yogi brand hot tea, other brands of bottled “iced” kombucha tea, and homemade kombucha tea my uncle has made. It is a great way to remedy yourself at home! Plus, it’s pretty yummy!
4. Quality Sleep

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When I’m not feeling well, I sleep a lot! And I’m not usually a napper, so when I feel the need to nap I know something is off. Quality, uninterrupted sleep is essential for your body to heal and repair itself. Try to sleep for 7 hours or more the night before an important audition or performance day so you’re awake, refreshed, and at least a little more energized than you otherwise would be if you were up late watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram.
5. Hydration

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WATER WATER WATER! I know drinking enough water throughout the day is annoying and surprisingly hard to do for many people (including myself), but staying hydrated will make you feel so much better! Most headaches and muscle aches are caused or exacerbated by dehydration, so staying hydrated will not only keep your body hydration at a healthy level, but also relieve muscular tension caused by dehydration.

I am by no means a doctor, nor do I know much about herbal medicine, and I am not claiming to know anything! However, those are my top 5 home remedies that I know work for me to help me kick the signs of a cold before it has the chance to start. These remedies are helpful during audition and performance season if you are in a pinch for time and need to feel better quick.

Let me know your favorite home remedies below! I’d love to read about your favorite self-care tips!

xoxo

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