I find that breakfast is one of the hardest meals of the day. It’s the way to get your day started off on the right foot but it is so easy to make the wrong choices. I often end up just wanting bacon and eggs which is not the healthiest choice. If you’re starting your morning with a workout, a healthy, fast breakfast becomes even more important. This Cranberry Mango Granola makes that healthy breakfast so easy. Create a Yogurt Parfait with protein packed Greek yogurt and top with your favourite fruit and you’ve got a nutritious, energy loaded breakfast. Does it get any better, friends?

I’ve tried really hard to be a “gym person”; running on the treadmill, trying classes, the whole nine yards, but it just wasn’t me. After years spent as a competitive figure skater, I missed the challenge, coordination and artistry that came with skating. I began taking ballet classes as my exercise regime. Ballet is an amazing way to express yourself plus it strengthens, lengthens and tones muscles. Here’s the thing about ballet classes, you often won’t get the cardio workout your body needs. That’s where my new favourite, and the go-to workout for many women comes in – Ballet Barre based workouts. It’s a workout that links classical dance training, strength training and pilates.

Last week, I tried an amazing Cardio Barre class at Barre Beautiful – a new barre workout boutique at Yonge and Eglinton in mid-town Toronto. Holy, was this class amazing – I am completely addicted. My class was taught by the amazing Marvin Vergara, who was so knowledgeable and encouraging – I highly recommend taking any of his classes. The Barre Beautiful workout is an intense 35 or 55 minute workout that challenges stability, balance and muscular endurance while promoting good posture.

Can I just say that this was the best workout I’ve done in ages? I thought my ballet classes were hard, but this took it to a whole new, amazing level.  I can’t wait to go back. Plus the studio is absolutely gorgeous – talk about a healthy workout environment. They offer a ton of classes a day, so you’ll definitely be able to to fit it into your busy schedule. And for those of you out there with kids – complementary child minding services? Yes please!

I love to eat my Cranberry Mango Granola for breakfast before a barre workout, or just to start off the day on the right foot.

Cranberry Mango Granola
Recipe by Lou

Ingredients

3 cups whole toasted oats (toast in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.)
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconuted
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup flax meal or flax seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of chopped dried mango
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup almond butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine toasted oats, sliced almonds, shredded coconut, chia seeds, flax, dried cranberries, dried mango and cinnamon.

In in small pot, bring apple juice, apple sauce, almond butter, honey, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to a boil.

Remove from heat and mix into the dry ingredients.

Press granola out onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn down heat to 200 and bake for another two hours.

Remove from oven and crumble. Store in an airtight container.

If you’re looking for more Breakfast for Barre Workouts inspiration check out:

Mini Breakfast Quiche
Homemade Granola
Living Lou’s Omelet
Pumpkin Spiced Granola

And my “Breakfast IdeasPinterest Board:

What’s your favourite healthy breakfast? Give this Cranberry Mango Granola a try.

– Lou

Disclaimer: I was invited to try a complementary class at Barre Beautiful. The choice to post about my experience and opinions is completely my own.

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