Recipe: Spicy Vegan Buddha Bowl

Weeknight dinners that can be made in under 30 minutes are my favorite. Healthy, filling meals? Awesome. Vegan? Even better! Since my wedding is in less than 6 months, I’ve been searching the internet looking for the best, tried and true healthy recipes so I can make them in a pinch and know I’ll enjoy it. I think I found the perfect meal!

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I stumbled upon Well and Full’s Vegan Buddha Bowl and couldn’t wait to give it a try. I love ALL of the ingredients and it’s a super balanced plate – with fluffy quinoa, spicy chickpeas, avocado, plenty of greens, and a red pepper sauce which I was pleasantly surprised with. I put my own spin on things but followed the recipe for the most part. I also doubled her original suggestions so I could take the leftovers in for lunch for the rest of the week! The below serves 4 🙂

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  • Starch:
    • 2 cups drained and rinsed quinoa
    • 4 cups of water
  • Protein:
    • 2 cans (30 ounces) of cooked chickpeas
    • 2 tbs of olive oil
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp red pepper
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Dressing:
    • 1 red bell pepper with ribs and seeds demoved
    • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbs lemon juice (or, juice from 1 lemon)
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 3/4 cup of cilantro, pressed
  • Fat:
    • 2 avocados (half of one avocado per bowl)
    • Chia seeds for garnish
  • Greens:
    • I used spring mix, but any dark leafy greens would be good!


1. Begin cooking quinoa according to instructions. You are to use 2 parts water for 1 part quinoa. Bring water to boil, pour in quinoa, bring to simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat and make sure to let the quinoa sit until all water is absorbed.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine chickpeas, oil, and seasoning. Mix until all are well coated. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread chickpeas evenly on the surface. Bake chickpeas for 14-18 minutes depending on how crunchy you would like them.

3. For the dressing, add all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. I used my Magic Bullet and puree’d it on medium for about 20 seconds.

4. Assemble! Cut avocado according to preference and add 1/4 of the quinoa and chickpeas. Add greens and cut avocado. Garnish with chia seeds and top with the red pepper dressing. Voila! You vegan chef you.

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Class Review: Barry’s Bootcamp

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Barry’s Bootcamp is by far one of, if not the, most intense and intimidating classes to step foot into. I had been hearing about Barry’s for quite some time and never knew what the hype was all about. When I was finally able to squeeze in to a class via Classpass I jumped at the opportunity. I knew I was going to get a good workout in, but the question was…could I survive?!

You start off by entering the studio and checking in. From there, an employee will let you know what numbered treadmill you’re on. Towels are provided as well as a separate juice bar (which costs extra). Most of my classmates were extremely good looking and fit, which was a little intimidating, but there were average looking people as well. I immediately felt welcomed by the instructor.

Depending on the size of the class, you’ll either start off on a treadmill or the floor. In this particular class I started on the treadmill. The treadmills are padded as such that it really helps reduce the pressure typically felt on a normal treadmill or road. For approximately 12 minutes we rotated between a jog (5-7 mph), a run (7-9 mph), and a sprint (8.5+ mph). This is usually much faster than I would run on my own, but oddly enough I felt like I could keep up. Sure, my heart rate was going insane, but it was almost like I caught runners high and didn’t want to give up. During the 28 minutes of total treadmill time, I ran 3 miles, which is much higher than my average!

After the first round, we switched onto the floor. On Wednesdays, it is always Chest, Back, and Abs, so for 12 minutes we worked on those. Most exercises used a bench and a set of weights. Most are basic moves that I would know without an instructor (such as burpees, chest presses, ab bikes), but the speed and weights the instructors coordinate really makes for an effective workout.

We went through 2 more rounds, one on the treadmill and one on the floor, using different speeds and inclines as well as an all new workout routine on the floor. By the end of class I was absolutely dripping with sweat and took the 2 minute stretching period to regain my strength.

Overall, the class is extremely challenging but very rewarding at the end of it. Even though everything is guided by the instructor, it is easy to tone it down a notch and go at your own pace. Instructors can be friendly, but it really depends on who you get. For the most part, you need to have a general sense of your form as the instructors will rarely come over and correct you. For that reason, this workout should only be taken by people who have a solid knowledge base. Otherwise, I completely recommend this workout and would have a full time membership if I could afford it!


Duration: :60
Calories: 614
Average HR: 86%
Max HR: 105%

*Photo courtesy of Barry’s Bootcamp Instagram

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Workout: 30 Minute Run/Row Cardio

Only have 30 minutes to spare but want to get an intense cardio workout in and burn 300+ calories? The below is my go-to. The 30 minutes honestly FLY by, and that’s saying a lot from a person who usually despises cardio. All you’ll need is a treadmill and indoor rowing machine, which most gyms typically have.

A few general baselines before you get started. Try to be at a 10 minute per mile pace or better. Each 100 meters on the rower should be :30 seconds or below. Push yourself, but know your limits! The above is to make sure you get this done within 30 minutes. An easy way to think about this is each round will equal 6. As the treadmill gets easier, the rower will seem more difficult.

Run 0.5 miles – Row 100 meters
Run 0.4 miles – Row 200 meters
Run 0.3 miles – Row 300 meters
Run 0.2 miles – Row 400 meters
Run 0.1 miles – Row 500 meters

I love using the rower because it targets your full body and can be an excellent workout. If you’ve never used a rowing machine before, be sure to review the below chart. Form is everything! The better your form, the better your workout will be.


*Image Courtesy of RowScience*

Sit on the machine, hook your feet in, and slide all the way up, legs straight with a slight bend in the knee. Grab the handle using an overhand grip. Pull the handle with you as you slide to the end of the machine. Use your legs to propel you and your arms to finish off the movement.

Duration: 30 minutes
Calories: 311
Average HR: 89%
Max HR: 101%

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Class Review: 9 Round

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After driving by this place several times and finally seeing it on Classpass, I decided to give it a shot. I had always been terribly uncoordinated in typical kickboxing classes, so I was a little nervous walking into it.

I signed up for a morning class and was shocked walking in to an empty gym, minus the instructor, Scott. I was greeted immediately and asked to fill out a form. After, I was given a pair of loaner boxing gloves and got a run down of the workout.

Just like the name tells you, there are 9 rounds of workouts, each lasting 3 minutes. The last 30 seconds you are encouraged to push yourself a little bit harder. Between exercises you are told to do a basic exercise move such as a plank, squats, burpees, “fun” runs, etc. Each round is a different exercise, the first round being cardio (typically jump rope) to get your heart rate up. Second is typically weights, then the gloves come on for rounds 3-7. Exercises vary, examples include combos of jabs, hooks, and kicks. Round 5 is typically free style, and often the instructor puts on a pair of punch mitts and gives you combos to practice. Round 8 is a speed bag, which was extremely hard to get used to at first, but provided 3 minutes of practice and a bit of a break. The last round consists of ab work.

One of my favorite parts of this workout is that there are no class times. So, if you sign up for a 9:30AM class and you are running late, you aren’t missing anything. You can essentially jump in every 3 minutes. This provides great flexibility for those with crazy schedules (isn’t that all of us?!) Overall, the 30 minutes flew by, and at the end I was wanting more. It’s a different workout every day, so I can’t imagine ever getting bored of this workout. The only thing I wish was that it was longer!


Duration: :30
Calories: 288
Average HR: 81%
Max HR: 99%

*Photo courtesy of 9 Round Orlando Instagram

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Class Review: The Bar Method

bar method

After my dentist appointment in Winter Park, FL, I decided it’d be a perfect time to try a studio I’d heard about in passing but was just never in the area to try it out. Perfect opportunity! I signed up for the 9:30AM Mixed Level class with Trish immediately following my dentist appointment.

I was promptly greeted by about four girls behind the counter, including the instructor. They approached me with smiles and knew my name right away. This came off as both attentive but a little bit intimidating. They proceeded to show me the lockers, which all had locks and keys you could take into the studio with you. They then showed me the studio and grabbed my two sets of weights – 2lbs and 3lbs – and let me take a spot in the carpeted studio. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia when I finally realized this studio space looked extremely similar to that of any Pure Barre around the country. I had no idea the workout would be almost identical.

The instructor, Trish, started out by welcoming me in front of the entire class. I am not one to get easily embarrassed but I could see how this could be for some. We started out doing some light cardio to get our heart rates up then went straight into arms. Although the weights were light, the moves were intense. From there we moved to the bar and worked on legs, followed by “seat” – essentially a trouble area for most women where your butt means your legs. After that was abs and an extensive stretch.

Throughout the class, Trish would “warn” me of difficult moves to come and verbally applaud me if I was doing something satisfactory. She would also come over to my often, correcting my form and making sure it was 100% accurate before moving on to the next student. I definitely felt like I was well taken care of, and can see that continuing through all classes to come.

Overall, this workout was a great way to switch things up in my routine. Although my muscles definitely got a workout, I wouldn’t say this is something that would scorch a ton of calories or change your body in a short amount of time. I can definitely see myself mixing this class into my routine once a week.


Duration: 1:00 hour
Calories: 238
Average HR: 56%
Max HR: 85%

*Photo courtesy of The Bar Method Winter Park Facebook

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