Light Miso Soup

     Light Miso Soup with Rice

      ImageImage Courtesy of Google Images

      5 cups of water

·        ½ cup julienned carrots

·        ½ cup sliced celery

·        ½ cup small broccoli florets

·        2 tbsp white miso or barley miso

·        1 cup cooked brown or white rice

·        ½ cup chopped scallions (optional)

1.      In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 6-8 minutes. Add the broccoli after 6 minutes and cook for 4-6 minutes more, or until all of the vegetables are well cooked.

2.      Dilute the miso in 1 cup of the broth and return the diluted miso to the saucepan. Reduce heat to simmer. Stir in the rice and scallions and cook for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Variation: Use cooked dried noodles instead of rice.

By balancedmotionblog Posted in Recipes

My journey to becoming an Ashtanga Yoga Teacher

By Bailey Urso

I started doing yoga in my last year of my undergraduate degree when I was struggling with weight and anxiety issues.  A close friend had been bugging me to try hot yoga.  I had never been one to enjoy exercising but I decided to give it a go. We accidentally ended up at a 90 minute advanced hot yoga class and  I spent a good 75% of the class lying in savasana (corpse pose) while sweat was pouring out of places I didn’t even know possible.  Though this would be considered a disastrous first experience, the amazing thing was, the minute I stepped out of that studio, I felt incredible.  I felt lighter, happier, and more in tune with myself than I have ever felt before.  The next day I was back at that studio, making sure to take a 60 minute beginner course this time.  That year, there was hardly a day I missed a class.  I gained control over my weight and it helped me deal with my anxiety.  Since then, there has yet to be a problem that yoga has not been able to help with.  Which makes sense that, just under a year ago, when I was unhappy with where I was in my life – job, relationships, etc., I again turned to yoga.  Since I have always been one to say “go big or go home,” I decided to look into Teacher Training Programs in India. I found a few that intrigued me and after careful consideration and a lot of research, I decided to apply to the Himalaya Yoga Valley for their Ashtanga teacher training course in Goa.  I had a lot to do to prepare for this, as I was just getting over some issues with my back, but between my physiotherapist and the amazing staff at Balanced Motion, I was able to prepare myself for the month long intensive training program.

Every day in India I woke up in my hut at 6am.  I would jump in the ice cold shower, and head to the shala.  The shala was a beautiful place.  It consisted of 8 stone pillars and a roof.  Different coloured bug nets wrapped around the outside, and curtains were available to help shelter ourselves from some of the sun. The floor was a soft bamboo, and all around us was the sounds of cows, pigs, birds, men at work and the Indian Ocean.  We began our day at 6:30, with chanting, meditation and pranyama (breathing exercises).  Afterwards, we were served tea and fruit.  From 8-10 was our morning Ashtanga yoga practice, and then we had breakfast.  Each morning, we were in silence until 11am, which meant that, unless we had a question for our teachers, we were not to talk, but to be mindful of our movements and our thoughts.  At first this was hard, but near the end, it was a blessing.  It is actually still weird for me now to talk over breakfast.  After breakfast, we would have a lecture on any number of topics – anatomy, philosophy, ayurveda, sequencing, ethics, business, etc.  We would get a two hour break for lunch, to either catch up on studies, or go to the beach. At 3pm would have another lecture, and then a final yoga class, ending our day between 6:30 and 7pm.  We would all go to our respective huts to shower. Then we would meet up for dinner and tell stories, ask questions, and just enjoy each others’ presence.  I have never in my life met a group of people that were so accepting and so loving.  This was our schedule every day.  Saturdays we generally finished early and Sunday we had a day to ourselves, though most of us would beg our teacher, Lalit, to teach us another class anyways.

Every day felt like a week, but not in a bad way.   I was just learning and experiencing so much, that the days felt so long, and yet it all ended so quickly. We started to teach each other well into the second week of our training, so by the end of the month, we were all very confident and talented teachers.  My body and mind was challenged in ways I never thought possible, and I have come out stronger because of it.  I am appreciative of every moment, be it good or bad, that I have had on this journey and know I am a better person for it.

We graduated on Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.  There were celebrations and fireworks everywhere we went.  It was the perfect ending to an amazing month. Once I landed back in Canada, I realized that a new journey had started.  Now I get to pass my knowledge and experience of Ashtanga yoga to the people I meet, and inspire them, the way my yoga teachers have inspired me.  I am grateful to all the people who have helped me get here: my parents and the rest of my family, my friends, as well as the lovely ladies of Balanced Motion.  You have all given me so much support and love and I am forever grateful.



Mandrem Beach, North Goa, India


Thai Chicken Salad    

Image(image courtesy of Google Images)



·        Peanut Dressing

·        ½ cup peanut butter

·        ½ cup boiling water

·        2 tbsp soy sauce

·        ½ tsp dry mustard

·        2 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

·        2 large crushed garlic cloves

·        1 tsp crushed red pepper

·        ¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander (optional)


·        4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or 4 pieces cooked chicken

·        2 tsp vegetable or peanut oil

·        1 large carrot

·        1 large sweet red pepper

·        Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·        1 tsp dark sesame or peanut oil

·        1-2 tbsp water

·        1 cup bean sprouts (optional)

·        2 green onions

·        1 orange

·        1 head Boston or other leaf lettuce

1.      Measure all dressing ingredients into a bowl. Stir until evenly mixed. Cover and let stand at room temperature until ready to use. Refrigerated, sauce will keep for 1 week.

2.      Remove thin tender fillets from backs of chicken breasts. Place breasts and fillets between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Flatten slightly with back of a heavy frying pan or rolling pin. Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan set over medium heat. Add chicken to pan. Sauté until chicken feels springy, about 5-7 minutes per side. Meanwhile, peel carrot and seed red pepper. Slice into very thin julienne strips. Remove chicken from pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until cool.

3.      Heat sesame oil in same pan. Add julienned vegetables, and toss to coat with hot oil. Add 1-2 tbsp water to create steam. Stir-fry until vegetables are hot but still very crisp, about 1 minute. Turn onto a plate to cool. (chicken and julienned vegetables can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

4.      Mix bean sprouts with cool julienned vegetables. Diagonally slice green onions into thin pieces. Cut peel and membrane from orange, then slice into ¼ inch thick slices. Cut chicken into ½ inch wide strips and toss with vegetables.

5.      Tear lettuce into bite size pieces and scatter over serving plates. Arrange vegetables, chicken and green onions on top. Stir dressing and drizzle over salads. Top with orange slices and sprinkle with additional coriander, if you wish.

Recipe of the Week: Thai Chicken Salad

By balancedmotionblog Posted in Recipes

PILATES: The Ideal Cross-Training Practice for Dancers and Skaters

PILATES: The Ideal Cross-Training Practice for Dancers and Skaters

By Lisa Goddard BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Instructor, Co-owner of Balanced Motion Pilates and Yoga

So here we are into September. For many school-aged dancers and skaters, this month heralds getting back into regular lessons. Many people don’t realize that Pilates is a great cross training tool for dancing and skating. It is wonderful for increasing stability and flexibility for your best form on the ice or stage.

It is natural that a growing body will experience some tightness in fascia and muscles while bones lengthen.  Cross-training with Pilates is a great way to keep an active youngster or teenager injury free.  In addition, Pilates is excellent Post-Physiotherapy rehabilitation when returning to dance or skating following an injury.

Pilates trains your body to develop long, lean, muscles, stretched fascia, mobile yet stable joints, and a better sense of how to move using your core. All of this helps with the meticulous postural alignment, exceptional dynamic balance skills and coordination that is required of dancers and skaters.

So, all you dancers and skaters. Think about adding a Pilates lesson or class to your cross-training program.

In Pilates you will get:
1. Flat, firm abs without doing strenuous sit-ups or crunches
2. Defined, steel buns
3. Lean, sculpted legs and thighs as well as strong ankles
4.Toned and trimmed arms without heavy weights or mind-numbing repetitions
5. Dramatic improvement in posture, poise, and flexibility
6. More balance in the body to reduce the risk of injury
7. Increased stamina and endurance through proper breathing techniques

Aren’t these all things dancers and skaters want to improve, maintain or gain?

If you want to find out more about cross-training for dancing and skating at Balanced Motion Pilates and Yoga click here. We might just have the service for.

Midlife Nutrition Balancing Act

By Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor

It feels like recently I’ve heard a lot about a certain birthday that is upcoming for me…and gratefully I have been blessed with great friends who more oft than not say “No way. Really?  I never would have guessed” or (the in some ways dreaded comment) “You look really good for your age.”  But as I approach this milestone birthday I find myself reflecting on whether it will change anything in my universe. Maybe it’s more about the stage of life than the age at this point?

One thing that has become more apparent to me in the past few years is how true that saying is “You are what you eat.”  Hormonal changes in mid-life make the balancing act of health and vitality trickier without a doubt. That is why I am so excited that we are able to bring Michelle Weir, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, to Balanced Motion Pilates and Yoga to give a workshop on this topic. Her workshop titled Midlife Nutrition: Balancing Your Hormones Through Food is on September 28th 11:00 am-12:30 pm.

Regarding what foods to choose as we enter our 40’s and 50’s these are a few issues she intends to educate us on:

·       Carbohydrates: Friend or Foe? Are you addicted to sugar or carbs? A stable blood sugar is crucial for weight loss, to reduce cravings and keep smiling!

·       Protein:  Quality vs. Quantity, we eat either too much or too little… what about soy products and breast cancer?

·       Fats:  All fats are not created equal. Did you know that fat and cholesterol are the basis of our sex hormones…?

·       Water:  Are we drinking enough?  20% of the population goes without and suffers the ill consequences

In addition, Michelle plans to discuss The Gut-Hormone Connection (particularly focusing on the hormones estrogen and progesterone), The Stress Connection, Nurturing Your Brain, and The Top Five Supporting Supplements As You Age.

If you are interested in learning more about Michelle’s workshop click here.  If you want to learn more about Michelle check out her website   I feel this workshop will really help all of us midlifers demystify our diet so that we can get the most out of today and move forward in balance and vitality. I hope you can join us!!

Roasted Vegetable & Orzo Salad

orzoOrzo is a small variety of pasta shaped like a grain of rice or barley. Its yellow colours look terrific with vegetables.


  • ·        3 thin zucchini cut into ½ inch slices
  • ·        4 sweet peppers (preferably mix of red, green, yellow, and orange) cut into chunks
  • ·        2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • ·        1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • ·        3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ·        4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ·        1 tsp. each dried oregano and thyme
  • ·        1 tsp. salt
  • ·        1 pint cherry tomatoes, each cut in half


  • ·        1 ¾ cups orzo
  • ·        1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • ·        8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • ·        ½ cup olive oil
  • ·        ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ·        ½ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped
  • ·        Salt and pepper
  1.    Preheat oven to 400 Farenheit
  2.    Divide vegetables between 2 baking sheets.
  3.    Whisk oil with garlic, oregano, thyme and salt.
  4.   Drizzle over vegetables and toss.
  5.    Roast 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6.    Add cherry tomatoes and continue to roast until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  7.   Set vegetables aside to cool.
  8. Meanwhile cook orzo in a large pot of boiling salted water just until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain very well and place in a serving bowl. Gently combine orzo with roasted vegetables, green onions and feta cheese. Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice, and toss with orzo mixture and herbs. Taste and add salt and pepper.
By balancedmotionblog Posted in Recipes

Plank Grilled Salmon


The woody flavor that cedar imparts to salmon is nothing short of sensational. To prepare four fillets, use one piece of well-soaked cedar, about 8×10 x3/4 inches (20x25x2cm)

  •  4 Salmon Fillets. Each about 6 oz and about 1 inch thick
  •  4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Roasted Garlic Flavoured Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Finely chopped:
  • Shallots or Red Onion
  • Coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • Coarsely crushed pink peppercorns (optional)
  •  Fresh Dill Springs
  •   Lemon, cut in half
  • Coarse Salt

1.     Soak overnight in water a plank of cedar large enough to hold 4 salmon fillets, roughly 8x 10 inches. Weight down with one or two cans of food to keep wood submerged.

2.      Preheat grill to high

3.      Rub 4 salmon fillets all over with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Roasted Garlic Flavored Olive Oil. Top Salmon with a light sprinkling of finely chopped shallots or red onion and coarsely chopped black and pink peppercorns (if desired)

4.      Top each fillet with a few sprigs of dill and squeeze lemon juice over all.

5.      Place plank on grill and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Heat with cover down for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the top of the plank is nearly dry (indicating that it is VERY hot).

6.      Caution, keep spray bottle nearby to douse flames in the event that wood starts to burn.

7.      Place salmon fillets on top of cedar. If you have two burners on your grill, turn one off and place salmon on that side; alternatively , if you have one burner, turn the heat to lowest setting.

8.      Cook salmon with cover down for about 10-12 minutes or just until cooked nearly all the way through.

9.      Squeeze a little lemon over salmon and serve.

By balancedmotionblog Posted in Recipes

Environmental Fashion By Anna Reid



Clothes…we need em’ we want em’ we buy em’. This rings true for most of us (hey even nudists need to clothe every once and awhile!) Some of us are more interested in the fashion side of clothing in comparison to just throwing something on because you don’t want to go outside naked. In either case do we ever really stop to think if our clothes are making any impact other than looking fabulous and not naked? The answer more often than not, I imagine, would be no. Why would we? It is more about does it look good? Does it feel good? And can I afford it? This is my thought process anytime I go shopping. Recently though I came across a homegrown (Canadian) brand of clothing that is stylish AND is making a positive impact on the environment.

I was first introduced to this company when I was watching an episode of Dragons Den. Two young men from Saskatchewan wanted the Dragons to invest in their apparel company. What was so different about their company? For every article of clothing sold they would plant 10 trees. The company’s name……Ten Tree Apparel. Such a simple concept, but so interesting and unique. I have bought a sweater from this company and let me tell you it is so comfy! It instantly became a favorite in my closet. I definitely will be making further purchases. I honestly did feel good about buying it knowing that I was contributing, even if in a small way, to something that was going to help our environment. I had more questions though (how do they manufacture the clothing does it negate the good the 10 trees will do?) I found this article online and it answered questions that I had and ones I hadn’t thought of yet. Check it out at

You can buy Ten Tree Apparel locally (New Liskeard) at North Country (that’s where I bought my first piece) or you can go online to

Because caring about the environment is the bee’s knees!!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Smoothie and/or Latte

Allergens: Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

This smoothie is creamy and light (and warm if you choose the alternate directions J). Not only will it add extra fiber to your day, but having pumpkin in the morning will keep you fuller, longer!mg_6379


1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk or coconut milk
½ cup Canned Pumpkin
½ Frozen or ripe banana
1 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (gluten free)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
vegan coconut whipped topping

*I used 2 tbsp honey and omitted the vanilla in this batch (optional)


  1.  Place all ingredients in a blender (except whipped topping)
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour into your favorite glass and place a couple tablespoons of coconut whipped cream on top.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you’d like!

Alternate Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into blender (except whipped topping)
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour into sauce pan and warm until almost boiling
  4. Pour into mugs with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon
  5. Serve warm

Or for you caffeine lovers out there try the following:

 imagesPumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan)
makes 2 cups


1 cup almond milk
1 cup hot brewed coffee
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or stevia to taste
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth and cream!

By balancedmotionblog Posted in Recipes