Personal Blog


    April 22, 2021

    This Spring Fever Total Body Barre Workout can be done anywhere you have a ledge or some support for balance. You’ll need a mat, light hand weights (Suzanne is using 2 pounds) and a stopwatch or stopwatch app on your smartphone.

    This post was originally live on FitFluential but I brought it back here because 1) when I was in my reverse diet the past 10 months and was not allowed to do cardio or crazy intense training– I started doing barre workouts again and remembered how much I LOVE THEM and 2) Suzanne Bowen creates KILLER WORKOUTS- I strongly recommend checking out her DVDS and online streaming. She will have you begging for mercy while you chisel your entire body!

    Total Body Barre Workout

    Warm up for five minutes before beginning this routine.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    Holding onto something sturdy for balance with light weight in the left hand, extend left leg forward keeping right knee soft and hips square. Take left arm straight back behind rib cage as you feel triceps contract. This is the start move.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    On inhale, hinge at the hips, bend left leg and move torso to face down as you reach left leg back straight, left arm forward. Exhale and return to start move. Do this one minute.

    Make it easier: Decrease range of motion, hand weight size, or duration.

    Make it harder: Increase to 90 seconds and with each move pause and pulse arm and leg 10 times.

    Troubleshoot: Don’t lock out the standing knee. Make sure the leg that is moving is straight. When you hinge to move the leg back behind, bend knee and then press it back.

    Works: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Shoulders and Triceps.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    From the last rep of Up and Back above, hold that hinge. Bend elbow and face palm to the back keeping arm in line with shoulder. Bend left knee and point toes. Lift right heel. Pulse left knee and elbow up in small tiny moves for one minute.

    Make it easier: Drop right heel down, drop off weight and stay more upright.

    Make it harder: Hinge more parallel to the floor, dip down a little lower in right knee, and increase duration to 90 seconds.

    Troubleshoot: Keep hips square, right knee soft, and core tight so you don’t move lower back at all.

    Works: Glutes, Hamstrings, Calves, Rear Deltoid, Lower Back.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    Holding support with right hand and weight in left arm which is down in front of hips, step out into a wide plié position and raise heels up.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    Stand up keeping heels up and raise left arm to shoulder height. Move down and up slowly within this full range of motion. Repeat this for 60 seconds.

    Make it easier: Keep heels down, decrease duration.

    Make it harder: At the end of the 60 seconds, keep arm lifted, bend knees to lowest point, and pulse for 30 more seconds.

    Troubleshoot: Make sure knees and feet are tracking by making sure not to turn feet out too much. With heels up, make sure the weight is on the big and second toes and less on the pinky toes. Keep heels below knees.

    Works: Quads, Inner Thighs, Calves, and Middle Deltoids.

    Turn around and repeat the first three exercises on the other side.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    On mat, bring hands below shoulders and knees underneath hips. Place weight behind the front knee securing it so it doesn’t fall out. Tuck back toes under and lift knee off mat as you raise front shape of leg up. Keep core tight and pulse front leg up for 60 seconds.

    Make it easier: Keep back knee down on the mat and/or do not use weight behind the knee.

    Make it harder: Move front knee in a full range of motion (all the way down and all the way back up) for 30 seconds then pulse at the top for 30 seconds.

    Works: Shoulders, Arms, Chest, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Abs, and Lower Back.

    Troubleshoot: Keep everything in the upper body lifted and engaged. Do not let neck or lower back sag. Core should be lifted so movement is not in the lower back but in the leg lifting.

    Repeat on the other side.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    Lie face up on mat, draw legs up keeping them as straight as possible and feel abs lift. Raise shoulder carriage and keep head in line with spine, gaze up and ahead. Inhale. On exhale, lower front leg down and back leg to chest keeping legs straight. Inhale and on exhale change legs. Repeat for one minute.

    Make it easier: Lower shoulder carriage and head down to the mat. Keep knees soft or slightly bent and decrease range of motion of the legs.

    Make it harder: Speed up the leg motions while maintaining control and stability through the core.

    Troubleshoot: This move requires flexibility in the hamstrings (i.e. back of the legs) and it also requires strength in the abdominal muscles. If you feel strain in your neck, try pulling in the abs more. If your neck is still straining, lower head and shoulders down to the mat but stay very connected to your core. Once you build the strength, attempt to lift the upper torso and head back up. Also, try not to tuck chin to chest but instead keep head in line with spine.

    Works: Abdominal Wall, and Hip Flexors. Stretches Hamstrings.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    Lying face up on mat, bring knees together and feet apart keeping feet close to hips. Lift heels. Holding hand weights bring arms straight above chest with palms facing knees. Inhale.

    Total Body Barre Workout

    On exhale, press hips up and lower arms down to the sides of shoulders. Inhale as you lower hips and lift arms. Repeat this move for one minute.

    Make it easier: Rather than creating the mermaid shape with legs, keep legs parallel and hips distance and keep heels down.

    Make it harder: At the end of the minute, keep hips up and lower and lift the arms for an additional 3o seconds.

    Troubleshoot: It’s tempting to lift the lower body so high that the upper back begins to leave the mat. Avoid this by keeping upper back in contact with the mat. While it will move some, you don’t want to have the pressure on your neck. Also, when you’re lifting your heels to create the mermaid shape, make sure not to turn your ankles out too much. In barre exercises, always consider alignment.

    Works: Chest, Lower Back, Inner Thighs and Glutes.

    If you love this workout check out Suzanne Bowen Fitness where I offer over 200 workouts including barre, interval, mat and stretching as well as custom workout plans, fitness challenges and a food guide to help you achieve all of your goals!

    My Favorite Suzanne DVDS:

    1. The Barre Amped Total Body Set (NEW) CLICK HERE
    2. Barre Amped Bootcamp CLICK HERE
    3. Barre Amped Cardio Fat Burn CLICK HERE
    4. Barre Amped Fire Extreme Sculpt CLICK HERE
    5. Barre Amped CLICK HERE

    About Suzanne Bowen

    (From her online bio) Suzanne Bowen put 16 years of heart, soul, and sweat into creating Suzanne Bowen Fitness (SBF), a compilation of all the training she received, and given, over the years. Her mission is to help you build a foundation from which you can become not perfect, but your best, every day.

    I used to be obsessed with being thin. I chased perfection. If I ate something I wasn’t supposed to, I had to run to the gym to burn off the calories.”

    SBF is a simple formula that brings the form, focus, and precision Suzanne learned from the Lotte Berk Method into a balanced, full-body workout encompassing strength, cardio & flexibility.

    Suzanne At-a-Glance
    Suzanne is the creator of BarreAmped, an internationally taught barre technique recognized as one of the best by Fitness Magazine and Natural Health Magazine
    Suzanne is also the creator of numerous top-selling fitness DVDs and online streaming barre and cardio classes
    Suzanne does extensive training with posture and prenatal specialists, including her friend, Julie Wiebe, PT, to stay up to date on the latest scientific data as it relates to fitness

    When I got married, I thought I had to be perfect for my husband to love me. Once I figured out he loved me for who I was, faults and all, it was a step toward freedom.”

    “Your best, not perfection.”
    Too many women say, “If I lose 30 pounds, I’ll wear that dress!” or “If I lose 5 pounds, I can find a boyfriend.” I used to be one of them!

    SBF is for women who want to be excellent, but don’t want to get stuck on that endless treadmill chasing perfection.

    When I got pregnant with our first child, I lost the body I had worked so hard on. Having children gave me incredible freedom and that’s when I learned life really is about pursuing authenticity, not perfection.”

    No matter where you are physically, the SBF method pushes each person individually. I have workouts ranging from 10 mins to over an hour, so there’s an effective workout for everyone! I want SBF to meet people where they are. It’s not always easy to get to the gym. Whether it’s on your iPhone, iPad or in your living room, I want SBF to be there to help you become your best you on your schedule and on your budget!

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  • Healthy Taco Recipes You’ll Find Yourself CRAVING Every Week. I Promise!

    Taco Tuesday Will Be a Regular Thing In Your House After Trying These Healthy Taco Recipes.

    healthy taco recipe

    These Healthy Taco Recipes Will Become Your Newest Obsessions. I Can Promise You That.

    Who doesn’t love TACOS? Do you think you can’t have tacos because there aren’t any healthy taco recipes out there? Think again? Honestly– I think Mexican food is one of the easiest to hack and make healthier and still taste DELICIOUS. My husband and I have played around in the kitchen and made up several healthy taco recipes that are now staples in our monthly routines. In fact I’d say we are obsessed.

    In this blog post, you’ll find all these healthy taco recipes plus tips on how to mix and match additional ingredients to make them more or less spicy or add your own twists with different proteins/veggies etc.

    I have 3 healthy taco recipes for you in this post and each of these healthy taco recipes is less than 600 calories per serving and can be easily customized for food intolerances or flavor preferences. Further– when I make these — my man LOVES them and he’s not necessarily TRYING to make “healthy taco recipes” he just wants “YUMMY TACO RECIPES” LOL — they deliver!!


    One of the things we all know is of utmost importance in losing weight– watching what we eat. Watching how much we eat. We know that in order to lose fat– you gotta “diet” to some degree. And it’s very easy if you don’t count calories, read labels or measure your food- or if you eat out a lot — to overeat BIG TIME– even on “healthy” foods. 

    Read that again. You can be working out regularly and eating HEALTHY FOODS and — you can gain weight. Or just not lose weight. It actually happens to more people more often than you think. In fact, one of the women I have recently stumbled on on YouTube- “High Carb Hannah” shares her story regularly about how she went Vegan and gained 40lbs- she was eating mostly fruit and a lot of it. 

    Am I saying to avoid fruit? Nope. But- too much of anything can equal weight gain. For me, dieting is more about focusing on making great tasting meals with VOLUME FOODS— ideally a lot of vegetables and yes fruits– and protein– and from High Carb Hannah I learned how you can eat more food by cooking creatively and using less HEALTHY FATS (READ THIS POST to learn more about why you need to watch the healthy fats if you are trying to lose weight.) So, if you need to watch the calories you consume — make the calories you ARE consuming ENJOYABLE– delicious (yes it’s possible) and full of nutrition– give yourself a lot of bang for the buck. 

    Let me share some examples of what I’m talking about above. 

    First– how can you gain weight or be unable to lose weight eating “healthy” foods– 

    1) If you eat out a lot and choose healthy options but aren’t aware of the calories- based on my experience, the AVERAGE “healthy” sandwich at a fast food or fast casual dining restaurant is 700-850 calories. For a sandwich!! Not counting chips/apples on the side. If you are like me and when I started my caloric deficit number was 1600- that’s more than half my calories in one meal- one sandwich! 

    2) If you eat out- most sit down restaurant salads- even with grilled chicken or shrimp etc. can be upwards of 1200-2000 calories. Yup. You could exceed your daily caloric intake in one meal with a salad. 

    3) Sushi restaurants are EASY when ordering rolls with mystery sauces and fried fish- to get your calories up FAST. You do a few high calorie chef special rolls and maybe some spring rolls and a couple fortune cookies- easy 1500 calories in one meal. 

    4) Lots of folks going vegan or vegetarian go overboard on pasta/breads/fruits and gain a ton of weight. 

    5) Going to Starbucks a lot? Your AVERAGE very conservative latte/cappuccino is 200 calories– that’s conservative. Many people get a coffee drink 2-3x a day. That can be an extra 600-1000 calories you aren’t counting up. 

    READ THIS POST as well for some information on how CAN EAT OUT on a regular basis and avoid these traps but still enjoy your food. 

    Why you want to make your meals DELICIOUS and FILLING– focus on volume foods vs. convenience foods and lots of “fake” carbs”

    1) If you eat a meal – for example- one of my favorite “diet foods” is (seriously) Lean Cuisine Spinach Pizza. One Pizza is 360 calories and it’s DELISH. I’m obsessed. But I can EASILY EAT 2 OF THEM. Read that again. I can eat 2 and barely be full. Does it have protein? Sure. But it’s light fluffy bread crust (probably why I like it) . I can eat 2- and I Have to convince myself mentally to only do one…..but 45 minutes later I am HANGRY.

    2) Compare that option to a protein bar- many people think they can diet by having a protein bar for lunch vs. lunch. Same concept. You won’t be full. You’ll eat a lot of sugar. It’s not a meal. 

    3) Conversely- when you creatively make a big-ass-bowl or a Taco with a ton of protein and veggies- that meal, with maybe slightly more calories will keep you full for HOURS. Big difference in your daily experience when you are full and satisfied vs. having a growling stomach all day. 

    So let’s look at some of me and my man’s FAVORITE dinners (or of course you can make these for lunches too) – I mean these are FILLING and DELICIOUS and MACRO FRIENDLY – perfect for your next Taco Tuesday. I promise, once you make these, you’ll make them again and again and again.

    Those Healthy Taco Recipes You've Been Asking For!!

    healthy ground turkey taco recipes

    We just made this one last night. This is more of a “Taco in a Bowl” recipe- but you can take the same food situation above and slap it in a crunchy taco or a flour tortilla (or if you are like me and are avoiding gluten, we use Siete Tortillas almost exclusively– my doctor wants me avoiding gluten and now that I am keto I’m all about it– plus I cannot do corn tortillas myself or I break out in bad bumps on my neck. Get some Siete Tortillas in bulk on Amazon and- you’re welcome) and there you go. This is such a great combination of flavors= and I came about this, with my man, because I always enjoy a lot of hot food on top of a salad- crunchy romaine ideally. I also love how our favorite Mexican place will combine sweet and savory and use mango or peach in with the tomatoes/onions/peppers — then you add some heat and tang- from jalapeno and maybe cilantro or other herbs– bam. You’ve got a taste explosion. You’ll see in these recipes there is always a combo of hot and cold, sweet and savory, protein and vegetables etc. 

    Here’s my “Recipe”:
    Take one package of ground turkey- lean or super lean. Add to a skillet and cook through. We are currently using this cookware from Our Place and truth be told- they sent it to us to test out and we are OBSESSED. Truly obsessed!  This is non-stick cookware that’s not going to make you die like SOME OTHER COMPANIES- that’s right, it’s non-toxic. And it works like a BOSS. I’m not exaggerating- we love our cast iron pans for things like steak but we use this for everything. In fact- truth- just last night as we made this my man said “we need to buy this entire cookware line” . I cannot tell you how easy it is to clean and it’s just so dreamy. I love the cover and that you can rest the spoon that comes with on the pan handle! Brilliant. Below is a photo of this artistic piece of cookware. GET YOU SOME! (Click the photo to purchase)


    After you have cooked the ground turkey- add a packet of taco seasoning. Then I add a can of Ro-Tel. Then I add in 2 oz of extra sharp grated cheddar. Mix it all up so it’s melted and gooey. Turn heat down low to keep warm. 

    healthy taco recipes chicken

    Next up my man makes his rice- OMG so amazing. We use Jasmine Rice. He chops up garlic and jalapeno and sautes for a few minutes in a little bit of olive oil (watch your fats! click here to read why) then add the rice, saute that for a bit- add chicken broth and your preferred seasonings- we use oregano and cumin- bring to a boil, cover, cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and cover with cilantro and let sit. You have no idea how good this is. No he doesn’t measure the above ingredients- follow the instructions on the rice. Next up- now that the rice is cooked and the turkey mix is cooked- you can cook up a can of organic black beans in a pan– season with garlic salt and cumin- and then get ready to layer away! Start with chopped romaine lettuce in a big bowl. 

    healthy taco recipes with ground turkey

    Add the rice (measure it out, I suggest if you are counting calories/macros) and then the beans (1/2 cup each is a good portion), then top with turkey mixture. 

    Then add your toppings: I add cilantro, chopped mango, chopped red onion or green onion and then this epic hot sauce: Yellowbird Serrano Sauce. OMG OBSESSED. I also top this with avocado– measured. This whole taco salad below is likely around 400 calories (I measured the whole recipe divided into 4 parts and each was 481 calories but I actually had a smaller portion so I’d say I was closer to 400) If you wrapped this in 2 separate flour tortillas you’d add more carbs and about 200 calories. Still not bad at all. 

    You can also substitute shredded chicken here- cook in the instant pot and then warm up on the stove with spices and cheese and Ro-Tel. You can also do grass fed beef! Other great toppings- chopped up peppers, tomatoes, a sweet salsa etc. 

    Healthy Fish Tacos Recipe- Option One with Blackened Tilapia

    Y’all- these are soooo good. And so fast and easy to make. We are– you guessed it- obsessed. My man and I every time we make them are like OMG THESE ARE SO GOOD!! So easy- 
    So, tilapia is not an ideal fish but get over it – sometimes you go fast and easy. Get some tilapia filets and my man will season them with Emeril’s Blackening Seasoning and cook them in that Our Place pan- easy peasy. Then, he will toast up the tortillas (he does corn, I do flour or – will try some gluten free ones in the future. My experience is that gluten free are higher calories so what gives…I go for flour) so they are crunchy and delish– again, here’s where you watch your oil. He uses olive oil. I will spray the pan with Pam or Avocado spray. I need to watch my calories and fat intake more than him so I do that. While he’s doing the tilapia and tortillas- I chop up:
    avocado- add SALT after you chop up your avocado they are so much more flavorful trust me!
    pre-made cole slaw — but only the cabbage not the dressing
    We then just make our own tacos- I lay the tortilla down and cover the bottom with this avocado crema sauce we just discovered (measure it!!) or this is another sauce we just found and love– you can try this one too: spicy chipotle mayo. MMMM. Then I add the cole slaw then I add tilapia then avocado and mango then sprinkle with cilantro and top with the Yellowbird Serrano Sauce.  
    ENJOY. You’ll be obsessed.

    The Latest Addition: Healthy Mahi Mahi Tacos Recipe. OMG

    healthy shrimp taco recipes

    I’m a little embarrassed that I don’t have fancy blogger photos of this meal- but we are making this again probably tomorrow LOL I’m not joking- so I’ll take some then. I had “street tacos” at our favorite Mexican restaurant Tiago’s- and it was sooooo good I had to try and copy. So I looked up on their menu what was in it and we re-created it– it’s essentially:
    Mahi-Mahi– you can buy in fish taco chunks at the grocery store- brilliant!
    Steve cooked them up with olive oil and fresh basil and garlic and oregano- it was to die for.
    Cheddar- sharp cheddar cheese
    Chipotle Mayo
    As you can see– we did the same thing. Cooked the tortillas (I use Pam not olive oil)- I spread the measured chipotle mayo on the bottom- add cheddar (measured) and then the cole slaw mix, then the fish, then avocado and mango and fresh cilantro. HEAVEN! HEAVEN. You can have 2 of these as prepared like that for about 500 calories. 
    This is healthy living. There are so many combos and tastes to mix up it’s awesome- and each meal is a great mix of protein/carbs/minimal fats. As long as you don’t “wing it” with throwing all these ingredients together and eating a TON — you can be pleasantly full with a wonderful delish experience and — stay on track with your diet plans. 

    BUENO. What recipe are you going to make first?? Do tell! And share your ideas with me too! 

    Update: You Must Try Egglife Tortillas. OMG.

    I think I randomly discovered these bad boys when ordering from Amazon Prime Now and OMG thank God I ordered them. We still love Siete but these…..I can’t describe it- they are more supple, they are more tortilla-ish to me. More flexible. 25 calories each. If I could buy in bulk like in boxes of a hundred I would. Order however you can, they are the bomb.

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  • My Daily Makeup Routine: VIDEO TUTORIAL.

    How I do my makeup every day- and what products are my absolute favorites.

    Ladies you have been asking me to do a makeup tutorial for a long time so here it is. This is a video “tutorial” below of how I do my makeup every day. Truthfully it usually takes me no more than 15-20 minutes max. Easy peasy. I learned about all the products from my favorite makeup ladies on youtube- I encourage you to follow some of your favorites but be ready to become addicted and start spending $500 every time you visit your local Ulta store. Seriously. 
    My next beauty post will be on SKINCARE– so let me know what questions you have for that one!! 

    All my favorite makeup products are here

    Makeup Tutorial Video

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    * indicates required
    Email Format


    Note: this blog contains affiliate links that allow you to find the items mentioned in this post and support this channel at no cost to you. While this channel may earn minimal sums when a viewer uses the links provided, the view is in NO WAY obligated to use these links. Thank you for your support.