All Posts By

Nicole Riga

Recipe of the Week-Butternut Squash Soup

By | recipe

Hi Flexfam, Niki here. Happy February! It’s so cold out! Today, I pulled up the weather for the week and thought I had accidentally pulled up my homeland- which some of you know is Alaska. You know what this Alaskan eats when it gets cold? Comfort food. The key is to make something that won’t make you regret it later. I found the original butternut soup recipe on Tera’s Kitchen, which I’ve talked about before. (Here’s a link for $40 off). This is my very favorite soup recipe because it is completely dairy free. A lot of creamy soups use heavy cream to get their consistency and it never fails to make me feel sick. I’d rather get my dairy in grilled cheese sandwich form (which, coincidentally, is what I make with this soup recipe). So- on to the soup!

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves: 2 for dinner (bowl) or 4 for lunch (cup).                Time to table: 25 minutes                  Calories: 490

  • .5 ounce vegetable stock concentrate
  • 1/c cup sliced apples (skin on)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 medium onion, sliced (or 2 oz)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt & pepper
  1. Prep the ingredients. Whisk together the stock concentrate with 2 cups of hot water. Slice your apple.
  2. Cook the soup- heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add squash, onion, and apple slices. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add stock, 1/4 tsp each thyme, coriander, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.
  4. Blend. Transfer to a blender (we use a vitamix on the soup setting) and process until smooth.

pro tip- add toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds for a tasty protein kick.

If I’m making soup dinner, I’ll sometimes add mini grilled cheese sliders to this to keep the other half of Flex happy (Bryan’s not a just-soup-for-dinner kinda guy). You can put any leftover apple slices in your sandwiches for some added crunch!

Recipe of the week: Honey Mustard Chicken Salads

By | recipe

We eat a lottttt of salads over here. Like… a lot. Salads are versitile, they’re a great way to sneak a bunch of veggies into your daily diet and they travel well (just put your dressing in a separate container). What’s not to love? They get a bad rap, but if you’re branching out of the lettuce-tomatoes-croutons-ranch salad trap, there’s a million variations to keep things interesting. One of our favorite tricks is to mix in a few surprises- maybe even something you wouldn’t let yourself eat normally so that you’re now excited to eat this giant bowl of green stuff. Case in point? Today’s recipe has bacon in it! Not into bacon? Skip it or replace it with something that makes you happy. You can find the original recipe HERE. We made a few edits because we thought it was too sweet.

Prep Time      Cook Time           Total Time
 10 mins             15 mins                  25 mins

Here’s our take!

Dressing / Marinade:
  • Roughly 1/6 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons smooth and mild Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar), (OPTIONAL — to cut through the sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt to season
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
For Salad:
  • 1/4 cup diced bacon
  • 4 cups Romaine lettuce leaves , washed
  • 1 cup sliced grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
Instructions
  1. Whisk marinade / dressing ingredients together to combine. Pour half the marinade into a shallow dish to marinade the chicken fillets for an hour if time allows (we skipped this step and just put it on the last 2 minutes of cooking – {no time!} and it still turned out great). Refrigerate the reserved untouched marinade to use as a dressing.
  2. Heat a nonstick pan (or grill pan or skillet) over medium heat with about a teaspoon of oil and sear / grill chicken fillets on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through. (Grill in batches to prevent excess water being released.) Once chicken is cooked, set aside and allow to rest.
  3. Wipe pan over with paper towel and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove to paper towels and dry off excess oil.
  4. Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with leaves, tomatoes, avocado slices, corn and chicken.
  5. Whisk 2 tablespoons of water into the remaining untouched marinade / dressing and drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and season with a tiny bit of salt and cracked pepper (optional).

Voila! Speedy, delicious salad that makes a great lunch or dinner. Send us a message if you make it and let us know what you think!

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip

By | Blog, recipe

This may be the most popular “healthy dessert” recipe we’ve ever tried. It’s from our favorite healthy sweet blogger, Chocolate Covered Katie, but we’ll admit it, we tried it rather skeptically. Turns out we were wrong to be nervous. In fact, we were blown away by how good this is.  It’s hard to wrap your head around this snack if you know you’re eating beans, because we would have absolutely sworn it was cookie dough. So what did we do? We didn’t tell anyone what was in it- we just asked our wonderful flexfam to try it and tell us what they thought. The verdict? Cookie Dough. That’s a healthy dessert for the win. When the Idahoan “meat and potato” half of Flex is pretty-pleasing that we make this for him to take to work for lunch, you know it’s passed the sweets test. Here’s our take on it below. Check out the original here.

 

  • 1 can white beans  (drained, rinsed, and air dried very well)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda (makes it taste like cookies and helps with the beans)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (If you use peanut butter, it will have a slight pb cookie dough taste)
  • up to 1/4 cup almond milk, only if needed
  • Sweetener of choice – (we used 2/3 cup brown sugar because it tastes the most like cookie dough- if you want this to be healthier, start with a few tablespoons of brown sugar, honey or agave and work your way up. Sugar free? Sub 1 1/4 cup pitted dates and use 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp vanilla instead- also good, just not as similar to dough)
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2-3 tbsp oats and ground flaxseed

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor, and process until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips. Make sure it’s well blended and then refrigerate. We serve with graham crackers and apple slices (or a spoon…)

 

Limitless New Year 2018

By | Announcement, Event

It’s that time of year. Time for the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions!

But what if, instead of a resolution that was forgotten in 3 weeks, you learned how to put yourself first to make and stick to SMART goals. We don’t believe fitness is a resolution; it’s a lifestyle and we’re here to show you how to achieve that. Whether you’re a life-long mover feeling bored of the same-old routine, or you’re brand new to fitness altogether, we’re here for you.

Come try out Flex Fusion during our FREE Limitless New Year and see what we’re about. We’ll have free barre, bootcamp, TRX, and yoga classes including  Barre 101 and Yoga Basics to start from square one like a pro. Sign up for Meditation and goal setting workshops and stay for free 5-minute chair massages and a popup brow bar so you can start your year off with your best grippy-socked foot forward. Juice samples and fun, healthy snacks will also be provided.

To top it off, our biggest specials of the year will be going on all weekend with your second month free with the purchase of a new annual membership plus take home a free water bottle or gym bag as your new membership perk! Noticing a trend? The whole event is free, focused on you, and will help you start the new year on a positive note.

We’re here to support you, no matter what your fitness and wellness goals. Try something new. You might surprise yourself! This fills up every year, so sign up for Saturday HERE , and Sunday the 14th HERE  just search for Sat & Sun!

 

Can’t wait to meet you!

Why Don’t We Have Long Term Class Packs?

By | Blog

Here’s the next question we hear the most often, “Why don’t you have 30 class packages anymore?” It’s not because we’re a) mean or b) trying to trick you. It’s actually because overwhelmingly, long-term class packages are not helpful for the client- they’re just a cash source for the studio. We hear you over there, “that can’t be true!” but come with us on this little journey.

On day one, you buy a 30 class package after deciding to commit to you and your health twice a week. Great! You spend between $400-$525 (We just pulled those from other nearby studios) for a large package with a 6-month exp. and are so stoked to achieve your fitness goals. Month 1 you come 6 times, it’s looking good so far, not too far off your target. Month 2 is busy, so you only make it 4 times but that’s okay. Month 3,4 and 5 fly by and you come twice total. Month 6 is expiration month, so you come 10 times in 3 weeks and then ask to extend your class package so that you don’t lose the rest of your package, but gyms and studios are actually counting on you not using those classes because you’ve already paid.

You look at your fitness goals 6 months later and you are exactly where you were on day one. That’s not what Flex is about. Believe us, it was a tough call to cancel a big ticket item- But coming 1x a month is not going to help our flexfam, it’s just selling a promise we can’t keep. We built Flex to help people actually achieve their fitness goals with support and encouragement. That’s why our memberships are the least expensive in the area and its why we no longer sell large class packs. If you want to work out twice a week, we are so here for it! Grab a silver membership for $125 a month and commit to yourself and your goals. Need to suspend for vacation? We’ve got you. Need a little flexibility? Email us. Flex is designed with you in mind from the second you walk in the door to the moment you sign the 250 barre and beyond. Not sure? We even have month to month options. Remember, it’s only 4% of your day- We promise you are worth that commitment and we’re doing everything in our power to get you there.

Why do we sacrifice ourselves first?

By | Blog
Hi Flexfam,
Let’s get real for a second…I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few days and I want to share it with you. So SO sooo often, the first thing a new client says is, “oh, I just don’t have time to workout, but I don’t like how I look!” It’s this self-fulfilling prophecy and reinforcing feedback loop that makes sure you never make time for yourself. Why, when we get a little busier, the first thing we sacrifice is our own health and wellness? You are literally telling yourself that everything else you have to do that day for everyone else is more important than you! It’s so disheartening as a fitness teacher to watch our clients put themselves on the back burner day in and day out. With a little bit of consistency, we can help you stick to your health goals, but we can’t do it alone. We can spend hours planning the perfect class with the best music, but if you don’t commit to yourself? We might as well teach from a script (ack!). There’s a reason airplanes tell you to put your own mask on first. Take 3% of your day (just 3!) and make it to that 45-minute class. We’re not even talking the physical benefits here. When you workout regularly, your blood pressure goes down, your quality of sleep improves, your immune system gets stronger and your stress level better regulates itself. You’re likely already in an unlimited membership, so make it a point this week to get 1 more star than you think you can. Go sign up for your next week’s classes in advance and make an appointment with yourself. We’re here to help with the stickers, the challenges, the community and the support. But the first step? That one’s on you <3
Read more HERE

Time To Fly-Arm Balance Workshop Oct. 7th

By | Event

On October 7th from 2pm- 5pm Flex Fusion Studios will be hosting an arm balance workshop with Breathe & Flow. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a beginner, this workshop will help you develop a mindful arm balance practice. In this workshop, we’ll start with a fun flow to build heat and connect with the breath, followed by a step-by-step tutorial on the mechanics, anatomy, and kinesiology of the most common non-inverted arm balances as well as wrist exercises to release stress and promote a healthy foundation on the hands. This is a practical workshop so pack your mat and water and get ready to fly!

 

Lock in your spot for class HERE. Space is super limited!

Flex to End

By | Announcement

Flex 

Flex to End Breast Cancer- Saturday, October 14th from 9-12

Why I am Making Strides

Two years ago, I was about to embark on the biggest endeavor of my life- opening my own business- when I received a phone call from my mom. We speak multiple times a day, so this in itself was not strange, but the tone of her voice was strained and she asked if I was home and if my husband was nearby. I remember every word of that call. I remember crumbling to the floor when she told me that she had been diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer and clinging to the phone when she called me by our secret nickname and promised to fight like hell. You don’t go back from something like that- it never goes away. As we hung up and my husband held me together on the kitchen floor, I shook from the realization that my mother, my best friend, my role model, my support system, was in the fight of her life and there were no guarantees.

She did fight like hell. She embodied strength, resilience, and sheer determination and I am so lucky to be able to type that she still does. My mom received her last chemotherapy treatment in June and is currently, wonderfully, cancer free. It was a horrid fight and the sacrifices she had to make are unbelievable, but she is here today and I will be forever thankful for the donations that were given before that phone call -before it was my mom.

Ten years ago, my mom’s strain of breast cancer was fatal, but thanks to fundraising efforts like this one, she and thousands like her have a chance. People say that you don’t care until it comes knocking at your door, and perhaps that is true. But I hope that we can spare other women- daughters and mothers- from the pain that breast cancer causes, both the physical and the emotional. Maybe when I have to make that phone call, which I almost undoubtedly will thanks to bad genes and a predisposing genetic mutation, it will be less devastating.

I know I will make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer. I know that by raising funds and walking in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event, I can help save lives from breast cancer.

I believe that one day breast cancer will never steal another year from anyone’s life. Making Strides is not only my opportunity to join my community to fight back against breast cancer, but it is also a way to inspire hope by raising funds and awareness to help those facing the disease. That’s why I’m walking.

Every day, the American Cancer Society helps people take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer or find it early when it is easiest to treat. They provide free information and services when and where people need it throughout their journey to get well. They are investing in groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer, and are working to ensure access to mammograms for women who need them.

I have signed up to walk and fundraise with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and I will be volunteering my time and my studio to host our second annual Flex to End Breast Cancer event on October 14th. We will be providing donation based classes, a wonderful silent auction and (of course) snacks and drinks, plus we’ll be raffling off three free months and other great prizes!

Together, we can make strides to end breast cancer. We’ll see you in class.

Back To FLEX

By | Event
It’s back to school season! You’ve had a crazy few months running everyone all over the place, but now it’s time to think about YOU and get back to FLEX!
 
Remember those fitness goals you set a few months ago? We all let our health slip a bit thanks to summer treats {yes, even us}. But as the kids settle back into their routine and you start to find your rhythm, don’t forget to pencil your health and wellness back in.
 
Dust off those goals and bring them to us on September 9th and 10th. We’ll have FREE 45-minute sample classes, first-month free membership specials, juice tasting and amazing door prizes like a free 3-month membership. What do you have to lose?!
 
These classes fill up every single time, so sign yourself and your workout buddy up for a free spot and get your seat to class. Choose from classes like Intro to Yoga, Barre Basics, TRfleX, TRXYoga, Barre, Boot camp, Flex and Flow Yoga and Yoga Sculpt. The options are limitless and so are you!
Run over to our mind body for Saturday or Sunday’s classes to save your spots- 6 of the classes are already full so don’t wait! We’ll see you in class.

Having a hard time with TIME?

By | Blog

We know May is one of the hardest months for fitness industry wide, but don’t forget to make time for you! Studio Owner, Niki has a few ways to help:

  1. Starting June 1, our Children’s classes will be for all ages and will be restructured as active childcare. We’ll still have a teacher leading creative movement, but kiddos will also be able to color, read, or play instead. For our youngest flexfam, tiny tots are welcome, if there are any issues (potty breaks, etc., we’ll come grab you from class and let you know!
  2. Try a 6am or 710 pm class that’s outside of normal work hours in order to squeeze in a little me time? Fun fact- people who work out before 8am are more likely to stick to their fitness routine longer than those who work out later in the day!
  3. Try scheduling your classes in advance– Choose the 2,3,4, (etc) classes that fit with your schedule, sign up and put them on your calendar so that everyone and everything else takes a backseat to your health. I challenge you to take 2 minutes and pick your classes for the rest of the week or even the rest of the month and sign up to hold your spot. Our members who plan their classes out a month in advance almost never miss a workout because it’s already an expected part of their day!
  4. Did you notice that we’ve shortened our bootcamp and TRX classes while simultaneously amping them up to help you burn 400-800 calories in just 45 minutes so you can get on with your day? Start your week off with Monday 6am bootcamp- only 45 minutes long and you’ll be burning calories all day long!
  5. Finally, We know that Silicon Valley is ridiculously busy. As someone who works between 12-16 hours a day, I 110% understand how hard it is to carve out any tiny bit of time that isn’t completely required for your day. But don’t forget about you, whether that’s a class at Flex or grabbing lunch in the park instead of at your desk. I read recently in an article of Entrepreneur Magazine that people who take an hour out of their day to workout are actually more productive, more creative, and overall report feeling happier than those who don’t. So no matter if it’s at Flex or at Starbucks, treat yourself to a little somethin’ special this week because you deserve it.Please shoot me an email if you need a little boost this week. I am more than happy to set you up with an accountability buddy, talk with you to carve out your best schedule slots, or describe a class you may not have tried yet like our new Dance Fusion and TRfleX classes. You can sign up for classes Here.