Fitness Friday: @BarreFitness Challenge Week Three


For the next 3 months I’m blogging about my adventure to complete the 36 classes in 90 challenge put on by and in partnership with Barre Fitness!
Hopefully you’ll join me and be motivated to get fit! I’ll be sharing recipes, exercises, class and workshop ideas, and more.And *BONUS* if when I complete the challenge and go to 36 classes, I get to give away TWO 2-Week Trial passes to Barre Fitness to some lucky VIA readers!
So encourage me on twitter follow the challenge hashtag: #BBFC and I’ll see you at the Barre!

As promised this week’s post is about smoothies…GREEN SMOOTHIES to be specific.

Back during week one when I got sick, the lovely ladies at Barre Fitness tweeted at me that I should make some Green Go-Go juice…following the link I found myself at my first green smoothie recipe. I’d like to tell you that the one pictured above/my first attempt was delicious, but I got the green-to-fruit balance wrong and it was horrible. Nevertheless, I tried it again and had MUCH more success and was officially hooked.

Green Go-Go Juice (click for recipe)- by Alyssa at Nourished:

Then, something else wonderful happened…while tweeting Barre back about my success, BeCoconut (a Vancouver company) and I started chatting and they sent me over some coconut water to use in my smoothies! How awesome is that?

Coconut water is a great alternative to sugary sports drinks and perfect for pre and post-barre.  It’s natural and hydrating, loaded with tons of nutrients and stocked full of electrolytes. I realized that most every recipe that calls for you to add water, you can add coconut water and make it that much better for you!

Here’s a bit about BeCoconut Water – it is 100% pure, with no added sugar and not from concentrate.  It is the only coconut water that has superfruit infused coconut water – using only 100% pure fruit juices with no added sugar or water. AND it is fat free, cholesterol free and gluten free.

There are 3 flavoured options as you can see above, Mango (which has: Vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-9, C, E and K and a range of essential minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. -and is a great source of fibre), Pomegranate (rich in natural antioxidants and anti-viral properties, vitamin A, C and E, as well as folic acid, – AND three times the antioxidants as wine or green tea) and Aloe Vera (aloevera juice is a powerhouse of vitamins, loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, Folic Acid and Niacin).

So for the first smoothie with my new source of coconut water, the BeCoconut team also gave me a recipe!

Spinach, kale, cucumber, frozen berries and Be Pomegranate Coconut Water – I eyeballed the amounts, knowing from my first smoothie experience that you wanted lots of greens, but to make sure it didn’t taste like pureed salad. and it turned out great:

I threw in a banana for good measure because the BarreFitness girls suggested chopping them up and freezing them that way – frozen fruits will give the smoothie a bit more of a slushy consistency (and sweeten it naturally)!

Left: BeCoconut Berry Smoothie —- Right:  Paula Deen “Good Morning Green Smoothie” (click for recipe)

So for my 3rd smoothie I bought a ton of frozen fruit from No Frills (it was on sale for $4 a bag, pretty good!) and made another green-coloured one. If you check out Barre Fitness’ Pinterest account they have a section on Smoothies & Juices, from which I got most the of the recipes I’m going to tell you about.

This one was great. I found it impossible to locate frozen pineapple, so I put it on my to-do like to buy some fresh and then cut them up and freeze them too!

“A Green Smoothie That Doesn’t Taste Like Grass!” (click for recipe) – Lauren Conrad

This was probably the prettiest smoothie I made, definitely one of the easiest and my favourite green coloured one.

This one called for Chia Seeds, which meant a trip to Whole Foods – here are some of the (crazy!) facts and benefits of such a tiny little thing. I’m hooked and put them in every smoothie I make now, even if it doesn’t call for it, just because I can!

Preet’s Special Smoothie (click for recipe)- YYoga

This smoothie required my first foray into making my own Sprouted Almond Milk! (it tells you how in the recipe) This took a bit of prep, soaking the almonds overnight, but the end result was delicious. I had enough for a smoothie, and a bit extra that I stashed in a mason jar for later. – This obviously isn’t a GREEN smoothie, but it was nice to mix it up in the middle of the week, and use my veggies in a stir-fry instead!

Oh, and the recipe called for Hemp Seeds, which I also picked up at Whole Foods (their bulk section is great!)

Be Green Smoothie (click for recipe)- BeCoconut

BeCoconut has a bunch of recipes on their website as well and I pulled the Be Green one up for this particular morning’s smoothie. It’s similar to some of the other green veggie based recipes, plus their Coconut Water (I used the Aloe Vera one) – and it was neatly placed in this Greyjoy glass that I got from the media screening of the first episode of season 3 of Game Of Thrones. Which was awesome…much like this smoothie.

Tropical Green Smoothie (click for recipe)- 52 Kitchen Adventures

So at this point in the week, my bag of spinach was starting to not look so hot, and in my adventures on the internet I came across a post saying you should blend it and freeze it at that point in an ice cube tray, so that a: it wont go bad, and b: perfect dividers for making smoothies with! So I did, blending it with pure/plain coconut water and it worked PERFECTLY!

This particular smoothie recipe was realllllllly good. The main difference being that it had (plain, Greek) yogurt in it, so it came out really rich and smooth – and tasted amazing. It was probably my 2nd favourite recipe.

Power Protein Smoothie (click for recipe)- Whole Living

Back to berries for a change, and this recipe called for tofu as well. It was definitely tasty, but I missed having the greens in there too!

Raspberry Avocado Smoothie (click for recipe)- Eating Well

When I told people that I was starting to make smoothies, everyone had a suggestion for ingredients, one of which was avocado (I’m still looking for a recipe with beets -if you have one, tweet it at me!). I LOVE avocado milkshakes, so I went looking for a recipe that had some in there. Luckily I also had local BC raspberries, frozen in my freezer from last summer too, and it made a perfect combination!

Green Smoothie [Cups] (click for recipe) – Muffin Tin Mania

Finally Day 10 of the smoothie experiment (ie today) arrived and I took my last recipe from a site that suggests blending the smoothie and freezing it in a muffin tin, this way you can just toss the cups into the blending in the morning and BOOM, smoothie.

I like the idea of having these on hand if I’m out of veggies and don’t have the resources to make a smoothie, but I’d prefer to use fresh ingredients if I could!

Either way this one, like the others, was great, and I put it in my to-go container and drank it on the way to Barre Classic today!

Thanks to Barre Fitness for introducing me to this, AND to Be Coconut for the coconut water (I’m officially hooked, which is just fine because they deliver cases to your house if you live in Vancouver!)

My Findings:

It might take some practice to get a balance between green and fruit, but it’s well worth it. I’m TERRIBLE at breakfast and am not hungry until close to lunch, but a liquid breaky full of veggies, fruit and vitamins is exactly what I need for my early morning Barre classes, and/or afterward too for a boost of energy.

I’d recommend playing around with what you have in the fridge (KALE!!!) until you find what you like, and you too might end up addicted, like I am now. (It really is spreading, my neighbour bought a blender after I gave her a smoothie I made!).

Happy Blending!   — I’ll be back next week outlining some of the great workshops that Barre just announced… You can sign up for them online right now. And if you, like myself, are doing the Barre Body Fitness Challenge – you get a special promo (3 classes for $30). I’m excited for Ballet 101!