Member Spotlight – Crystal S.

Member Spotlight – Crystal S.

WellBarre Pilates is featuring Crystal this month because we are so incredibly proud of her and she exemplifies just what can happen when Pilates becomes part of your routine.

Crystal started doing private training due to a common hip injury, creating an imbalance in the pelvis, impacting her leg alignment, and causing lower back and hip pain.  She came to the studio frustrated because she believed that her injury would limit her activity and fitness level.  As an avid exerciser and kickboxer, she believed that her limitations would mean that she would never return to an optimal level of fitness, or the level of conditioning that she had enjoyed for many years.  Crystal embraced Pilates, but almost as a last resort.  She was not sure that Pilates would resonate and she had been of the mindset of “no pain no gain” that has been promoted for many years in the fitness industry.  Here is what Crystal had to say about her new love of Pilates: “Like most people, I have tried almost every type of exercise under the sun and was really into kickboxing. A hip injury put me out of commission for almost a year and needless to say my kickboxing days were over. Once I was able to exercise again, My doctors and physical therapists suggested I try something that focused on overall strengthening & conditioning with low impact to the body. Of course this sounded awfully boring to me but I decided to give it a go and chose Pilates because my PT sang its praises and stated that I would not find it boring and might be shocked by the results.”

Her biggest obstacle was her mindset

At first, I think my own preconceived notions about exercise was one of the biggest challenges to overcome because I had been trained for so many years to believe that unless I was out of breathe, dripping with sweat, sore and physically exhausted after a workout, it was a waste of time.  Once I met Leslie and was introduced to the world of Pilates, I realized I couldn’t have been more wrong! Leslie and her team not only made me feel welcome but introduced Pilates in a way that I felt I was not only strengthening and nourishing my body but my mind as well. In the weeks that I worked with her I became stronger and more flexible, mind, body & soul. I not only shed my ill conceived notions on exercise but also  came to a new understanding of what it means to be strong & healthy inside and out. I was glad that I set aside my own ill conceived ideas on Pilates and walked through those doors and said hi to Leslie and the reformer. Not only do I get a great, fun workout in (the reformer is like an adult jungle gym) but I have also learned techniques for mind-body focus such as better breathing, focusing on valuing & using my core as my powerhouse and I am seeing muscle tone in places I did not before but most importantly I have an overall better relationship & appreciation for not only my body but the human body and all it can do!”

And the results..

Crystal was in pain the first day she came in for a session and was deconditioned from chronic pain.  Within the first 3 weeks, muscle memory kicked in and she has rapidly regained strength.  She works hard on her form and learning all that she can about each exercise and it shows! Currently she has done about 7 weeks of private training and she has regained flexibility and looks and feels amazing…it doesn’t get any better than this!  Crystal loves the results and reports a sharp decrease in the hip pain that used to plague her on a daily basis.

Cyrstal summed up her experience with Pilates with the following:

“So thankful and yes…Well Barre Pilates is my new best friend!:)

Happy Annivesary WellBarre Pilates!

Dear Studio Members,

As the studio reaches it’s one-year anniversary, I want to take the time tor reach out to our members. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have landed, quite “accidentally” in the Stoneham Community. Many of you know that we opened only briefly in Melrose. Moving-out of our newly built studio space abruptly, following significant obstacles when the building was sold within our first 4-months…quite trying to say the least! But now that we have made it to the one-year mark, I feel that it was a lucky accident that brought us to the community.

I love our small corner of the universe, filled with radiant, determined and strong women who come through our doors each day. I can’t begin to express to you what a privilege it is to get to know all of you and be part of not just your journey into Pilates fitness, but sometimes into intangible emotional and psychological shifts that happen when you commit to your health through a regular mind-body practice. I am awed by your passion and commitment to make important changes, even when they aren’t easy. It’s inspiring to see clients find new joy through movement and through reconnecting with the body. I often have the privilege of seeing our membership and class community learning to let go of the judgments they carry about their bodies, shifting toward a kinder and more sparkling view of themselves to embrace exactly where they are in that moment. As a teacher, I often think that’s where the magic happens and transformation begins.

And just so you know, I have journeyed with you in my personal challenges…and physical ones too…but what fuels my own determination to keep going is the energy that you bring each and every day. It’s through that very energy th

pilates in stoneham ma

at we continue to reinvent ourselves, writing and re-writing our own personal stories.

With gratitude we enter our second-year in the Stoneham Community. Our commitment, as always, will be to support, celebrate and continue challenge you. Your potential is truly limitless. “The Body Achieves What the Mind Believes” ~ Annonymous

As a thank you to our members and to celebrate our One-Year Anniversary we will offer Free Teaser Tuesday Classes on the following Tuesdays:
Tuesday, June 12th
9 am Reformer; 5 pm Reformer for Absolute Beginners
Tuesday, June 19th – refreshments will be available after all classes and evening cocktail after pm classes
6:30 am Reformer
7 pm Jumpboard – light snacks will be offered and glass of bubbly following Tuesday evening classes

You Really Are What You Eat…Why You Can’t Exercise Away a Poor Diet

You really are what you eat…

Conventional approaches to diet and exercise have conditioned us to believe in calories-in vs. calorie-out, and that all calories are created equal. “The myth that you can out-run a bad diet partially stems from conventional calories-in-calories-out thinking,” says JJ Virgin, certified nutrition specialist and author of the Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook. “People become overweight because they eat too much and exercise too little, the theory goes, so to lose weight they should reduce calories and increase exercise.”
So many factors affect the body’s ability to utilize calories and fat storage, and the ability to convert quality calories into fuel for energy and for working-out. Hormones play a critical factor in this. As a Pilates instructor who works primarily with women, I have noticed that many women feel sensitivity around the issue of hormones, as if it is an indicator of an aging body or signals menopause. However, hormones drive the bus throughout the entirety of our lives, and we are merely in one phase or another, continually changing as there is literally no such thing as a consistency with hormone levels throughout our lifespan.
“Thinking of your body as a bank where you just cash in and check out calories neglects the fact your hormones matter most for lasting fat loss,” Virgin says. “What you eat signals hormones to store or burn fat, boost or crash metabolism, and build or break down muscle.”

So Why Can’t You Exercise Off Last Night’s Binge?

1) All Calories Are Not Created Equal….It’s not all about the number on the package…

Many people believe that calories from a high-sugar content snack will be burned off at the same rate as a high-quality protein, or sugar source from fruit or vegetables, as they are conditioned to think in terms of calories. “Sugar is the key player driving up insulin levels,” Virgin says. The result: It gets stored as fat. Whereas a leafy vegetable such as spinach would trigger other hormones like glucagon, “insulin’s sister hormone that releases fat to burn for energy.” When it comes to calories think of nutrient dense calories vs. low-calorie meals. It’s all about the quality of the calories and how well our body functions as a result of the food consumed.

So why isn’t it about calorie content? Our bodies process healthy and unhealthy foods very differently. That is, 500 calories of chocolate and 500 calories of vegetables will have different effects on our bodies, which is why calorie counting often doesn’t work as we’re focusing on calories not nutrients.

2) Exercise increases your appetite and you naturally eat more.

When you eat more low nutrient, highly-processed foods following your workouts, it will slow your metabolism and your body will fight to maintain it’s current weight….processed sugar really is the enemy here! By choosing poor foods, that are highly processed, contain refined sugars, or gluten-containing foods, you are inclined to eat more of the same types of calories that are creating the phenomenon that maintains your weight, and causes you to gain weight. However, fill your diet with foods that regulate insulin, combined with exercise,  and you will lose weight, even if you eat the calories back that you have burned during intense exercise.  Consuming high-quality, nutrient dense calories, that do not spike blood-sugar and will help regulate hormones, leads to weight loss.

3) Certain Foods Promote Fat Burning others Promote Fat Storage

Certain foods promote fat storage, such as highly-processed foods. Other foods can help you lose fat. When you eat foods that are high in protein, they provide something called a thermic effect. The thermic effect of food plays a role in stimulating your metabolism, so you actually burn calories to digest and absorb it. Sugars have a very low thermic effect, while proteins and healthy fats have much higher thermic effects. The thermic effect of food is the energy required for digestion, absorption, and disposal of ingested nutrients. Its magnitude depends on the composition of the food consumed:
• Carbohydrates: 5 to 15% of the energy consumed.
• Protein: 20 to 35%
• Fats: at most 5 to 15=

Here are examples of low-quality, junk-food and the time it takes to burn-off calories consumed…it’s much more than you think…

It’s not all about calorie content. Our bodies process healthy and unhealthy foods very differently. That is, 500 calories of chocolate and 500 calories of vegetables will have different effects on our bodies, which is why calorie counting often doesn’t work as we’re focusing on calories not nutrients.


If a chocolate bar is the only thing you indulge in for the entire day, you could probably work it off easily through some light cleaning for an hour, or a nice 45-minute walk outside. But if it’s just another drop in the bad-diet bucket, watch out.
Cleaning: 1 hour, 6 minutes
Walking: 46 minutes
Push-ups: 23 minutes
Running: 19 minutes

Like the Snickers, one bag of M&M’s likely won’t destroy your entire diet, but you’ll still need to put aside almost an hour of light activity to burn it off.
Cleaning: 1 hour, 9 minutes
Walking: 48 minutes
Push-ups: 24 minutes
Running: 20 minutes

And let’s not forget about coffee and specialty drinks…
Cleaning: 2 hours
Walking: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Push-ups: 42 minutes
Running: 35 minutes


For more information on healthy eating choices, proper meal-planning for optimal energy and weight-loss contact the studio.  Health Coaching is one of the many ways the studio supports clients in having a healthy mind, body and lifestyle. Health coaching may be conducted on as needed basis or as part of an on-going health and weight-loss program.

Pilates Barre Fusion, the Perfect Pairing

Pilates Barre Fusion, the Perfect Pairing

Clients often question the rationale behind fusing Barre and Pilates workouts.  Often clients will say they want to “just do Pilates” as they are not sure they see the benefit of doing both.  Many people feel that barre is strictly for ballet-trained dancers. We have attempted to answer the question about why Pilates Barre Fusion makes the perfect pairing.

Both Pilates and Barre workouts keep to the same basic structure of form, breathe and healthy alignment.  Like Pilates, barre work emphasizes micro-movements that train slow-twitch muscle fiber. Training slow-twitch muscle fiber through exercises that feature sustained isometric contractions with little-to-no joint movement, keep the slow-twitch muscle fibers under contraction for an extended period of time. This can help improve their ability to utilize oxygen to produce energy. Examples include the front plank, the side plank and the single-leg balance. Slow twitch muscle fibers are smaller, generate less force and have a smaller growth potential than the fast twitch muscle fibers. However, these fibers are extremely resistant to fatigue. Slow-twitch muscle fibers use oxygen to

barre classes in stoneham

help create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the chemical that actually fuels muscle contractions. The more slow twitch muscle fibers you build, the more fat you burn and the more long, lean muscle tone you see. Movements or exercises that require muscular endurance use more slow twitch fibers than fast.

Workouts at the barre focus on pelvic positioning, core strength, stability, balance and flexibility.  Movements performed are often shifted from one side of the body to the other.  Isometric movement to stabilize the body while performing a barre exercise help strengthen the body.  For example, often the “standing leg” at the barre works twice as hard as the leg in the air.  Arabesque and leg lifts are a perfect example of the standing leg emphasis while performing the movement. Balance is achieved by lifting away from the floor and pulling up in the standing leg, while the core muscles help stabilize the pelvis.

Barre is  terrific cross-training for Pilates Reformer as it translates many of the exercises and shifts them to a standing position…and can be likened to a standing Pilates-type workout, although not entirely.  Combination workouts are a great way to continually challenge the body for maximum results.  Want to try a Reformer Barre Fusion class, or Jumpboard with Mixed Pilates Mat? Sign up available online.


Girl Up with WP!

YOGALATES Community Class Supports Girl Up

Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, supports the empowerment of girls everywhere. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has funded UN programs that promote the health, safety, education, and leadership of girls in developing countries and built a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates .Youth leaders, representing more than 850 Girl Up Clubs in 66 countries, stand up, speak up, and rise up to support the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl. Learn more at

Let’s support girls everywhere, to help their voices be heard!  Help us reach our fundraising goal!


Fire Up Your Fitness for 30 Days…Join the Challenge

Fire up your fitness routine for 30-days of Fitness.

May 1-31, 2018

Join the challenge by taking 5 Classes per week to include:

2 Cardio Jumpboard & 1 Pilates BarreBootcamp weekly with Kristen or

3 Cardio Jumpboard Classes out of 5 Group Classes weekly.

We will be mixing it up and taking it outside.  Get your sweat on Summer is coming…no excuses! Are you in!? Clients who complete the challenge are entered to win great studio prizes to be announced!!

Brain fog, weight gain…fatigue? 4 Reasons to go Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Zone

4 Reasons to go Gluten Free

Gluten Free Foods
Gluten Free Foods

Gluten-free products are more available than ever.  But if you don’t have celiac disease why go gluten-free? The answer is chronic inflammation linked to autoimmune diseases. More recently, medical experts have begun to acknowledge the possible connection between gluten and non-pathologic joint pain—joint pain that is not explained by disease. A growing body of research supports this idea. Many consider gluten toxic to the body.  When you cut out gluten, you are cutting out gluten-containing products such as bread, bread products, baked goods, pasta, breakfast cereal, crackers, pretzels and grain products.

Here are 4 reasons to go Gluten-Free

  • Gluten can trigger chronic inflammation throughout the body if you’re sensitive or allergic to it.
  • Weight loss – most high gluten containing foods are highly processed, have high-sugar content, and are often found in packaged food. These foods are unhealthy providing an abundance of empty calories. Giving these up are a sure-fire way to lose weight.
  • Brain fog, headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle aches.  Recent studies have shown that gluten-sensitivity can cause a host of symptoms that are easily mistaken for hormone imbalances or chronic illness.
  • Gluten containing foods are highly-addictive. Gluten instigates the production of a substance called exorphins that can have an addictive effect. Gluten triggers leptin resistance, which causes overeating. Leptin is a hormone that sends signals to the brain that you’re full, preventing you from overeating.  When leptin-resistance happens in the body, our signal to stop eating becomes faulty.

High Gluten Foods
Durum flour
Graham flour

Gluten containing products

Beer, breads, cakes and pies, candies, cereals, crackers crouton, French fries, gravies, imitation meat or seafood, pasta, matzo crackers, processed luncheon meats, salad dressings, sauces, including soy sauce, seasoned rice mixes, seasoned snack foods such as potato chips, vegetables in sauce

Would you like to join our list to receive Wellbarre Pilates Body in the Kitchen for weekly tips, recipes, nutrition help and motivation?  

The Slimming Effects of Reducing Sugar and Processed Foods

Interested in the Slimming Effects of Reducing Sugar and Eliminating Processed Foods?

Sugar is implicated in disease, obesity, chronic health issues and packing on the extra hard-to-lose ten pounds.

Part of the problem is that sugar is hidden in virtually all packaged and processed foods, including so-called healthy snacks and low-fat options.  Many energy bars are loaded with sugar, actually making them closer to candy bars. The same holds true for many cereals, yogurts and breads. A single cup of plain yogurt typically has about seven grams of sugar in the form of lactose, a naturally occurring sugar found in dairy. A fruit flavored variety of the same yogurt, on the other hand, may contain as many as 19 grams of sugar. That means 12 of those 19 grams is added sugar and lacking any nutritional benefit. This equates to eating a small cup of plain yogurt with a bowl of Frosted Corn Flakes or 3 added teaspoons of sugar dumped on top.

In fact, 74% of all packaged food products available in the supermarket have added sugar.  Sugar is finding its way onto our plates and into our bodies in volumes that humans have never experienced before and the amount with which we consume sugar has reached toxic levels.

Sugar and processed fructose varieties wreak havoc on the liver which has a very limited capacity to metabolize these ingredients. The average adult can safely metabolize up to six teaspoons of added sugar per day. Frighteningly, the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. That’s almost four times the recommended limit.

Sugar in the end is stored as extra fat in the body.  Not to mention that a diet abundant in sugar may create insulin-resistance particularly in women over forty, making weight loss extremely difficult.

Research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions confirms that sugar is a primary dietary factor driving chronic disease development.

Scientific studies have linked excessive fructose consumption to about 78 different diseases and chronic health problems, including but not limited to:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dementia
  • Cancer

The choices we make from day to day can have a big impact on our overall health.


  • First, trash anything that is not real food. Put aside pre-packaged processed goods, unless it’s whole food, with only a few real ingredients. “Food items should have less than five ingredients, and only things you recognize,” says Dr. Mark Hyman. If you see ingredients that compromise health or that you can’t pronounce or understand – THROW IN THE TRASH
  • Second, dump sweetened drinks like fruit juices, diet sodas, and sports drinks. Cutting out these beverages will save yourself another 15-20 teaspoons of added sugars per serving. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER TO HYDRATE


  1. Raise the level of serotonin, a.k.a. the “happiness hormone,” in your body through REGULAR EXERCISE LIKE PILATES OR YOGA
  2. Prepare a shopping list ahead of time and menu-planning is key. When your hungry and you haven’t planned ahead you will likely reach for unhealthy snacks because they are plentiful and available.
  3. REDUCE stress through Meditation, walking or practicing mindfulness. Learning to implement mindfulness, unplugging from electronics and being present in the moment can help reduce the effects

Ready to get healthy together?

Start the 14- DAY CLEANSE AND RESET starting Sunday, Jan 28th.  Follow on Facebook Group for menu planning, prep and shopping lists.

Are you looking to slim your waist, increase energy levels and improve health?  Combine the 14-Day Cleanse Reset with 3 cardio workouts per week such as Pilates Cardio Jumpboard.  Sign up for class and the challenge…share your results on private forum FB page.

Let’s do it!

Reformer Exercises Used for Knee Rehabilitation

Pilates can be used to rehabilitate knee injuries.

Pilates is an excellent choice to improve knee misalignment, injury and dysfunction associated with overuse. Knee injuries are among the most common orthopedic injuries. Causes associated with injuries of the knee can range from direct trauma to overuse that eventually deteriorates the joint. Repetitive movements through daily movement, or sports can cause misalignment that can lead to accelerated wearing of the joint. Knee structures most prone to wear are the articular cartilages of the femur and patella and the shock absorbing medial and lateral menisci. The degradation of joint tissues leads to intra-articular deformities that cause  clicking, grinding, and joint locking. Gone unchecked, these changes in the joint will eventually lead to pain and dysfunction.

Examples of Pilates Reformer Exercises Used for Knee Rehabilitation:

  • “The Footwork” is the perfect series of exercises for improving strength and alignment for the whole of the lower body; from the feet to the hips.
  • Side lying movements target the abductors and lateral hip whilst performing knee flexion and extension. Tower and Mat work are perfect for working on targeting abductors and lateral hip movements.
  • “Feet in Straps” – These exercises are excellent for strengthening and stretching adductors (inner thighs) and hamstrings as well as hip flexors.
  • Bridging on the Reformer is extremely effective in strengthening the gluteal muscles and the hamstrings as well as stabilizing the back of the knee.



Resolution Healthy Meals 2018

Want to get healthy in 2018?  The key is preparation and planning ahead.  One great way to do this is by using a slow cooker.  Many meals can be prepared hours before or the evening before. Just leave your crock pot on and go…you will come home to a nutritious hot-meal that doesn’t blow your caloric intake and meets your nutritional needs to keep your immune system healthy all winter long.Looking for healthy slow cooker meals? Try this super fast, easy and delicious black bean slow cooker meal.


nonstick cooking spray

1 medium onion

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp. dried cumin

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1 can (15 oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained

6 large, green bell peppers tops removed

1 cup shredded Monteray Jack Cheese

1 cup Salsa

1/2 cup low fat sour cream

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