Fit Feminist Blog

Andrea Header

Easy Buffalo Chicken

healthy buffalo chicken recipeIf I find a healthy recipe that tastes great and requires almost NO effort, you better believe I’m gonna share it with you!

I’m all about NOT making things from scratch if I can find a healthy ready-made option.  This store-bought sauce is sooo good.

cindys kitchen buffalo wing sauce

I even served it to my kids as salad dressing this week and they loved it.  I’m sure I’ll find lots more great uses for it.  I’d like to try using it to stir-fry some veggies.  For now, here’s one recipe that turned out well:

Easy Buffalo Chicken:

  • Place a package of boneless chicken breasts or thighs in the slow cooker, cover with buffalo sauce (I used 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle), set on low for 4-8 hours, depending on your slow cooker. (Chicken breasts tend to come out a bit drier in the slow cooker than chicken thighs)
  • When done, the chicken should shred easily with two forks
  • Serve over reheated frozen rice or quinoa, along with
  • Reheated frozen broccoli or other vegetables of your choice
  • Boom. Done.

trader joes organic frozen brown riceI like this frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s, but I also sometimes use the frozen quinoa from whole foods.  You can just remove from the plastic, put in a bowl, and microwave to reheat.

quinoa

organic frozen broccoliVoilà! Hope you enjoy!

 

Summer was Made for Topless Road Trips

jeep loveHave you met this lovely lady?  (The partially-topless one behind me.)

Last week Jason and I took her on vacation!  We didn’t have the kids so we felt this called for a getaway.  At the start of the week, I felt I had too much on my plate to go just yet, so I put in some looong days on Monday and Tuesday and woke up Wednesday ready to go… somewhere.

We are often last-minute vacation planners, and I must say, in my experience, it is NOT cheaper to travel this way.  Flights to anywhere were looking pricey.  We considered the Maine coast, but the weather forecast was gray and rainy.

We ended up deciding on Vermont.  The sun was shining.  We took the top off the Jeep, and began the gorgeous drive.   I have to say the ride was so lovely, we almost didn’t need a destination.

 

swimsuit flannel(I am loving this swimsuit from ASOS – they come in bra sizes you guys! And this flannel from H&M.)

We ended up spending the first night in a little farmhouse B&B waaay off the grid.  The kind of rural location where there are SO many more stars than you could ever see in the city.  I stood out in the dirt road with my head tilted back just staring and staring up at them.

There wasn’t a single sound but crickets and the frogs in the nearby pond.  I couldn’t capture the stars with a camera, but I could capture the sounds of the evening, so I took a little video that I later posted to Instagram, below, just so you could hear it.

This led to a discussion about WHY do we not have a way to record and share smells when we are so fancy about sharing images and sound?  I would have loved to store up the smell of summer night in the country.

vermont waterfallsterling pond smugglers notch The next day we set off on the road again.  We saw beautiful things, met nice people, and spent a night in Stowe.  We hiked up to this pond, at the summit of a mountain.

jasonI played a bit with a new camera lens.  And we hit the road again.vermont farm house

montreal old montreal

We spent the last two days at a hotel in Old Montreal.  I LOVE this city!

Somewhere between Vermont and Montreal, I got sick of lugging my fancy camera around and only snapped lazy iPhone pictures from that point on.  (But I did post a couple photos from my last visit over here!)

We ate lots of great food, visited an art museum and spent many hours just walking around the city exploring.

Although we could have stayed another day, I felt ready to come home on Sunday, and we did.  It’s been a busy week back home with the kids and the studios.  I would be lying if I said it doesn’t get stressful!  Vacations are essential.

P.S. You can come on vacation with me, Jason, and both of my kids this fall.  Is that weird?  Who cares!  Lindsey James, Amy Sinclair and I are leading a yoga, barre and aerial yoga retreat to the beautiful island of St. Croix this November!  It is surprisingly affordable, and there’s even a few days left to get Early Bird pricing.  Significant others are welcome, and don’t worry — no one will force them to do yoga or barre if they’d prefer to just hang out by the pool.  To join the fun, visit our Barre & Soul Workshops and Retreats page.

 

Here’s An Easy Way to Spend Less Time Sitting on Your Butt

Want to stop sitting on your butt all day? Me too!

I’m spending more and more time doing executive-type tasks and less time teaching in the studio these days, so I’m going out of my way to make sure I’m not just sitting around.

After doing a bit of research on ergonomic desk/seating options, I became convinced that other forms of alternative seating — like kneeling chairs and stability ball chairs — aren’t terribly effective.

I decided to give a stand-up desk a try.

stand up desk from ikea

I have to say I have noticeably fewer aches and pains when I spend the workday here instead of seated in a chair!

I was able to find everything I needed for my desk at IKEA, and it came to around $165 all together.

ikea cart

I used the GERTON Adjustable Legs. At $30 a piece, they were a bit pricier than the other models available, but worth it since they were the only ones with a max height of 42″ instead of the other legs, which max out around 35″.

I’m a little over 5’6″ and I find it most comfortable to adjust the legs a couple inches lower than the max.

For the top, I used the white LINNMON top, which sells for $45.  It’s over 78″ long and perfect for two people to use side by side when needed.

I still find that when I’m using a laptop while standing it feels better to raise the computer up on top of a couple yoga blocks so I don’t have my chin on my chest all day.  When I sit, it feels better to take the laptop off the blocks.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m not 100% thrilled with the quality of the legs.  One of them broke when we were tightening it to the desk top so I’ll have to trek back to IKEA to return it at some point.  In the meantime, we used an L-bracket to secure that corner of the desk to the wall so that I could start using it right away.

metal adjustable stool

In case I want to sit, I can tuck an adjustable stool under the desk.  I got this metal stool for $50 at Homegoods.

I also put a nice soft rug beneath the desk and I’m most comfortable standing barefoot.

I’m so glad I now have the option to work standing up!  Now if only I can figure out how to drive like this??  😉

Have you ever tried a stand-up desk? How does it work for you?

Living the Dream. Weeping into a Mop Bucket like Cinderella. Same Thing, Right?

Well, it’s been exactly one month since the last time I posted, in the final days leading up to the opening of Barre & Soul Harvard Square.  Those next days were a blur of dirty hands, takeout food, and little sleep, as we hustled to get the studio open.

It would NOT have been possible without the generosity and hard work of some amazing people I’m lucky to have in my life, including my friends, kids, partner, the Barre & Soul staff, their parents (I’m not kidding) and more.  THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this happen!

help from friends

Fortunately, everything went perfectly and I also looked really good the whole time.

JUST KIDDING!  At 1AM the night before we opened, I was leaning over a mop in the middle of the yoga studio LITERALLY SOBBING LIKE A CHILD.   Bummer I didn’t manage to get a selfie, but it looked something like this:

sobbing child

(photo by jill greenberg)

We did manage to open, and the studio looks stunning. I especially love how it looks at night.

harvard square barre studio

yoga studio harvard square

There’s still a lot of decorating I want to do, like in the lobby (below),  but the details are coming together.

barre and soul hsq nightstring lights

barre studio harvard square

Classes are in full swing, and I’m working on the finishing touches.

ikea cart

(How crazy is that magnetic conveyor belt that lowers your cart down to the parking lot at IKEA?)

teal piano

Update: this piano still needs to happen. Anyone have a lead on a used one in or near Cambridge?

ogunquit

I’ve managed to sneak away for a few days here and there over the past month to visit my hometown of Ogunquit, Maine. I love it here. So so much.

Roof deck

Portsmouth NH Barre Studio

I also got to stop into the beautiful Portsmouth studio, which is lovely and I don’t visit enough.  Its 1 year anniversary is TODAY!

Elise Birthday

Speaking of birthdays, Elise turned 9!  She’s been doing gymnastics camp, had a friend visit from out-of-town for a week, sprained her ankle, made lots of messes, (cleaned up a small percentage of them), has been keeping me busy, and is generally a very sweet and adorable child…  We went shopping and found a few great back-to-school items I hope to share soon.  Now she and Roman are both on vacation and Jason and I are without kids for the next week or so… I’m hoping we might make a little getaway, at least for a few days!

goldie yoga

(A photo of my good side, obviously.)

Something I’ve really been wanting to share… I took a fantastic weekend yoga immersion with Goldie Graham the weekend after the Harvard Square studio opened.  The topic was sequencing and hands-on assists, and if you’re a yoga teacher, I would highly recommend it.  Goldie has a very genuine, plain-spoken way about her and a true passion for yoga that really comes through and that I found inspiring.

On the one hand, signing up for a weekend of anything was probably a crazy idea at such a busy time, but then again it was probably the only thing that could have gotten me to slow down.  On both Saturday and Sunday of that weekend, we practiced for about 90 minutes, which gave me the opportunity to hear what the wise little voice inside of me had to say.

First and foremost, I realized that I have worked hard, accomplished much, and need to chill the f*ck out and appreciate it!

I was also reminded of how important it is for a yoga teacher to maintain her own practice — Goldie mentioned that she practices 5-6 days a week! — and how little I’ve been doing that for myself.

I know, but had maybe forgotten, that I can do ANYTHING, but I can’t do EVERYTHING.

Ironically, the workshop that I took to keep my teaching inspired, ended up inspiring me to cut back on teaching for a while.

I am choosing to take some time to do the things I am MOST excited about right now, the things that nourish me creatively and make me feel self-expressed.  Right now, that’s writing my blog and creating the most beautiful yoga and barre communities ever through Barre & Soul — planning amazing programming and events, continuing to build and foster the dream team and to beautify our spaces.

I’m grateful that weekend gave me the pause to notice what I need and to get more of it!  I’m happy to be back to the blog and grateful to you for reading!

Till next time!

Andrea

self

 

 

This post is written in semi-delirium as we sprint to the finish line of opening day for Barre & Soul Harvard Square!  I thought I would check in with a quick photo-heavy update on what’s been happening, as well as share a little something you might find valuable.  First, the update:

Scout Cambridge

Thanks Scout Cambridge for the mention! So we didn’t open on the 13th as planned, but we will be open on Monday, July 20th, 2015!  That’s in about 4 days.

The studio is coming along beautifully, and Jason, our wonderful designer Samantha, and I have been all hands on deck making the final preparations.

Yoga Studio Harvard SquareThis never gets old…red rum

barre harvard square The first barre is up, and it works!teal piano

(Side note, Samantha had a brilliant idea that I’d love to try – finding an old piano and painting it teal for the yoga room.  If anyone has an old piano with a decent sound, please let me know!)barre studio harvard square

We even put this nice young man to work.  He wouldn’t smile for me, but I actually think he enjoyed this job.  Speaking of which, Roman is doing his first ever summer job!  Not washing windows, he’s a camp counselor.  I’m a proud mama!Harvard Square Barre Studio

My first sighting of the studio after dark stopped me in my tracks.  I can’t believe this is happening!

Yoga Teacher Training Boston

I also just want to mention how proud I am of our 2015 Yoga Teacher Training graduates in Melrose!

OK, so with all this excitement, do you wonder how the hell I get it all done?  Good!  Because I’d like to share with you My Top 4 Tips for Doing It All.

Doing It All

All you need to do is subscribe to the Fit Feminist Blog mailing list here, and I’ll email you a copy.

Subscribe to this blog via email!

* indicates required



Thanks for reading, and  I’ll see you in Harvard Square!