I Put My Hand Upon Your Hip, When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

Recipes by our in-house ‘Mother Earth,’ Hope Parks.


What do 11am and 3pm have in common (aside from not being in barre class, obvi)? MUNCHIES!  They hit hard, especially late in the afternoon!  Snacks are easily a downfall in the healthiest diet – either to find healthful ones we actually like, or to not eat them entirely.  Skipping them, causes the metabolism to crash, aka, turning the fat burning furnace off = not cool!  Veggies are an obvious healthful option, but dips and dressings are often loaded with nasty fats and preservatives.  Here are two yummy, protein packed options to try.  Best part?  They are easy to tweak til your taste buds smile.


2 cups chickpeas* (Soak them overnight.  Pour off the soaking water and add 6 cups fresh water.  Boil til tender, apx. 1 – 1 1/2 hrs uncovered.  Add more water if needed.)

1/3 cup tahini paste

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp olive oil

2-3 cloves of garlic

Juice of 2 small lemons

Salt to taste

Finish with olive oil, lemon & fresh parsley.

Spicy Chipotle Hummus (thanks to Jill at Lululemon Athletica Knoxville) Cut the lemon juice to 1 lemon and add 2-3 chipotle peppers and 1-2Tbs of the adobo sauce in which they are packed.

*You can use canned chickpeas if you’re in a crunch, but soaking dry ones makes it taste so much better. It sounds fussy, but put them on to soak either at night or in the morning, then put them on to boil while your cooking dinner.  You can drain them and store in the fridge until you are ready to make the hummus.  They also freeze well if you make a big batch.

 Not So Hidden Valley Ranch Dip

1 container greek yogurt

1 Tbsp sour cream

2 Tbsp each your favorite fresh herbs. I used dill, parsley and chives this time.

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp agave

2 Tbsp finely crumbled feta

Taste as you go and add garlic, agave nectar, salt, pepper etc, to your preference.

What to do with your leftover herbs?  Toss with olive oil and red potatoes to roast, try a new salad dressing recipe? Let us know!

Tuck And Roll – Our Favorite Barre Beats


We get lots of questions and comments about our playlists here at Neighborhood Barre. Where do we get the music? How do we pick the songs? Who sings… (fill in the blank)?

Truth be told, it takes a lot of thought to put together the ‘perfect’ barre mix; and lucky for us, we know the right people. Our wonderfully creative client, Jon Stevens, supplies us with mixes at least once a month. This gives us an extensive library of music that is not necessarily ‘popular’, which is good for you, because then you won’t hear “..and tuck, tuck, tuck..” in your head every time you turn on the radio. We time all of the playlists the same as far as the songs picked for the warm-up, thigh set, seat set, etc.; and we try to keep the music up-beat and motivating, while also popping in those tunes that make you want to tap your foot and sing along. What are our favorite barre beats from now and past playlists?

1. Must Land Running – Stepdad

2. Never Gonna Leave Me – SIa

3. Push It – Salt-N-Peppa

4. Got What You Wanted – Hanson

5. Tricky – Run D.M.C.

6. Something Like This – Scissor Sisters

7. Humdrum Town – Theophilus London

8. Life On TV – Kid Sister

9. Promises – Nero

10. Electric Feel – MGMT

Something Grippie, Something Food, Something Neon, & Some Tunes… What’s In My Gym Bag?

Katy Branstetter
Owner, Neighborhood Barre

We are frequently asked about gym bag essentials here at Neighborhood Barre, so we’ve decided to open our bags and share with you our ‘must haves’ for a barre girl on the go.  Here is a break down of my favorite things, including my top 5 MUST HAVE products. What do we all need? HYDRATION! You hear Hope say it after every class, “water, water, water!” and boy is she right! Water is an essential for every workout and I keep plenty of it on hand in my bag, in my car, and in my purse. I also make sure to pack little snacks to keep up my energy level. I usually pack fruit – bananas, strawberries, or grapes – but I always keep a reserve of cliff bars in my bag! Right now I’m really into the Kids Z Bars and the Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel (yum!). My grippie socks are also always readily available… I keep at least a pair or two in my bag at all times. Even if I don’t wear them every day, I like to have the option in case I feel a little slippery. If you read my last post you know I like to fix hair – braids, buns, twists, what have you – and I’m usually prepared. I keep a stash of pony tail holders (satin around the wrist, tiny neon in my bag), headbands, and bobbie pins. Also, I live and die by MY WATCH.  Not only was it a gift from a good friend when I first opened the studio, it’s fabulously neon, and I use in EVERY CLASS. For demo classes and privates, I keep a portable speaker in my bag. I love the little Philips fold up speaker! It’s small enough not to crowd my bag, but loud enough to use almost anywhere! Lastly, I’m trying to convince myself to do more cardio in my free time (what’s that??). I find that keeping my shorts and shoes with me alleviates any excuses that might arise when the opportunity does come. And drum roll please for my TOP 5!!!

1.  Rainwater Farm CLEAN MIST Spray – It is so refreshing after a hot and sweaty workout! Just give a little shake and a little spritz and you are set to go from the studio to the street, smelling great and feeling refreshed! Our barre-ers must agree, because we have a hard time keeping it on the shelves!

2.  Aveda Hairspray –  Love this stuff. It goes with me everywhere. Keep your fly-aways at bay and give a little scrunch and lift to post-workout hair. Not much needs to be said, except that it is THE BEST thing I’ve ever put on my hair.

3.  Christian Dior Blackout Mascara – I’m a mascara junkie… I love it almost as much as hairspray. The Blackout is by far my favorite, and it has been for years.

4.  MAC Paint Pot – I don’t wear a lot of makeup unless I’m going out, but the paint pot is great for eyelids and cheek bones on days when your complexion looks a little flat. I have it in Rubenesque, which is a bronze shimmer.

5.  Bare Minerals Brush On Sunscreen – This is a great product if you spend any time exercising outdoors. It’s a brush-on SPF 30 powder with light makeup coverage. I like the powder because it doesn’t tend to run down your face when you sweat like some cream sunscreens. A good on-the-go product!