This Local Yoga Teacher Stays Focused with Meditation and Baking
A week in the life of Bri Rifkin, yoga teacher at WillPower Live and Balanced Planet Yoga.
Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in the greater Philadelphia area. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one area resident to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email [email protected].
Who I am: Bri Rifkin (@brifffff), 28
Where I live: Fishtown
What role healthy living plays in my life: Wow, how much time do we have here Honestly, healthy living is how I live my life willingly. I spend (spent?) my fair share of time in various gyms and studios. There’s no workout I won’t try at least once. I also understand how important it is to fuel your body with nutritious foods; however, my love of baking reminds me that living a balanced life is the ultimate goal.
Health memberships (and what they cost): All are paused now, but my memberships are at Life Time ($105 per month) and City Fitness ($70 per month). I also am a regular at Grit Fitness and Performance ($60 for every one-on-one private training session). Because I am a teacher, I am able to take free classes at WillPower and Balanced Planet Yoga. During quarantine, I have been taking advantage of Peloton’s free 90-day
Grocery haul for the week: $243 — Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and Costco
6:45 a.m. — My body naturally wakes up, but I’m feeling a little under the weather. I decide to snooze a bit more since my first work call isn’t scheduled until 3 p.m.
8:30 a.m. — I guess my body really did need more rest! I pick up my phone, browse my astrology apps, check my calendar for the day, and hop out of bed. My daily morning routine is exactly the same each day: brush my teeth, put on my skincare concoction of the day, get dressed, make my bed, then meditate for five minutes.
9:30 a.m. — I venture in the kitchen to bake banana bread for my mom. My roommate comes in and chats with me as I channel my inner Smitten Kitchen. Her ultimate banana bread recipe never disappoints.
10:30 a.m. — I normally don’t eat until around noon, but I’m feeling a bit nauseous, so I decide to eat now. I make protein waffles drizzled with sugar-free syrup, scrambled eggs topped with a slice of vegan cheese, and vegan breakfast sausage.
11:30 a.m. — I finish up with a few work things and start a project: operation organize the pantry. From top to bottom, I make it my mission to make things look better than they are now. Mission accomplished.
1 p.m. — It’s time for me to get some fresh air. I started this challenge on Strava 26 days ago to run or walk each letter of the alphabet. Today is the last day, so I completed my Z, and then continue to walk. I venture to Penn Treaty Park and sit in the sun for a bit. I end up being out for nearly two hours. Listening to a podcast and FaceTiming with a few friends really passes the time! Time to rush home for that work call.
3 p.m. — I have calls for work until about 5 p.m. I don’t have time for a proper lunch, so I have some Greek yogurt and I mix in cottage cheese for extra protein.
5:30 p.m. — Really light work day today, so I head into the kitchen to make dinner. I. AM. STARVING. A poke bowl is on the menu tonight. I roast the shrimp in ginger and garlic, and prep all the veggies. The art is in the assembly, and I’m still fine tuning that skill.
7 p.m. — My sweet friend Jenny is teaching a virtual yin yoga class that I love. It is such a great class to incorporate and highly suggest you try one if you haven’t!
9 p.m. — Feeling a little snack attack, so I eat a Bowmar Nutrition protein bar, and catch up on an episode of The Voice.
10:30 p.m. — I journal every single day, as it’s a way for me to do a literal brain dump of the day. I find I sleep more soundly when I journal. I’ll be calling it a day after I complete my entry.
Daily total: $0
7:30 a.m. — Wake up and do the normal routine: astrology check, skin care, making the bed, meditation.
8:30 a.m. — Full intention to go out for a run, but my car insurance calls me. I got into an accident a few days ago, and I’ve been dealing with the back-and-forth between agents and adjusters.
9:30 a.m. — Finally set out on that run! I head to Old City, and then walk around a bit and call my mom.
10:30 a.m. — I arrive back home to a pile of lululemon packages that I ordered last week. I have no self control these days, although some were gifts! I decide to organize a couple cabinets today before I sit down to start my work day.
11:30 a.m. — I make myself a cup of tea and log on to work.
1:15 p.m. — I wrap up with work and still haven’t eaten, so I grab a protein bar and a rice cake to give me enough fuel to do a workout. I settle on two Peloton classes: a 30-minute full body class and a 20-minute body weight only class. My roommate even jumped in for a bit!
2:15 p.m. — I decide to clean up the living room, which also serves as our makeshift gym. I guess that makes it my cool down?
3 p.m. — I make a light lunch, throwing together leftover shrimp and roasted Brussels sprouts. I top it with some sugar-free barbecue sauce and put it all on a salad of romaine, olives, and some vegan cheese.
5 p.m. — My roomie and I decide dinner is going to feature some Mexican dishes tonight. I make the pastry for low-carb baked churros, prep ingredients for homemade margs, and make some guacamole. I add fresh ginger to the guac, which was definitely the right move.
7:30 p.m. — We were going to order out, but decided to just grab some grilled salmon from Whole Foods instead ($12).
10:30 p.m. — Crawling into bed to journal, then fall asleep.
Daily total: $12
8:30 a.m. — Up and at em’. I feel very rushed this morning, and don’t get to meditate before I start my day. Bummer.
9:15 a.m. — I hop on Zoom to teach a virtual yoga class for Balanced Planet Yoga. I try to sneak in a five-minute meditation while I wait for the students to log on.
10:45 a.m. — I ended up doing the entire yoga class as I taught, so my body feels nice and stretched. I head out for my morning walk while catching up with friends and my mom over the phone.
12 p.m. — My work calls begin. Still not quite hungry, but I have a low-carb wrap with some vegan cheese and microwave it to make a mini quesadilla.
1:30 p.m. — Quick lunch break between calls. I sauté zucchini and mushrooms with a little garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I whip up an egg white omelet to top the veggies and add some “harissa and everything but the elote” seasoning from Trader Joe’s. I finish off the dish with some leftover guac and a little plain Greek yogurt.
3 p.m. — I wrap up with the workday, and the roomie and I workout. Two Peloton 30-minute full body workouts.
4 p.m. — Wow, those were SO TOUGH. But it definitely felt good to move!
4:30 p.m. — I get off the phone with my brother. I have to drop off my rental car tomorrow and he is going to drive me back home. I decide to make him cookies to repay him. As I’m in the kitchen, I prep some veggies, bake up tofu that I had pressing during my workout, and I make tuna salad to keep in the fridge for easy lunches.
7 p.m. — After my FaceTime ab workout with a friend, I make dinner. I toss romaine in a bowl, seaweed salad that I bought, some roasted asparagus, and baked tofu. I dress it with liquid coconut aminos from Trader Joe’s. Delish.
8 p.m. — Time for some banana cream pie Halo Top and The Voice.
10 p.m. — Journal and lights out!
Daily total: $75
3:30 a.m. — I wake up super hungry, and I can’t fall back asleep. I walk into the kitchen and top a plain rice cake with peanut butter. I eat it standing over the sink and head back to bed hoping I get back to bed!
6:45 a.m. — A much more acceptable time to wake up. I have plenty of time to check the horoscopes, do the skincare routine, and meditate.
8:30 a.m. — I head out for a walk. I end up getting in six miles, thanks to my FaceTime calls with my coworker and friend.
11 a.m. — The roomie signed up for a 14-day free trial for The Class with Taryn Toomey, so I take that with her.
12 p.m. — First work call of the day, so I prep with a Bowmar protein bar. I end up taking this Zoom meeting on our rooftop because it is so nice out!
1:30 p.m. — A break in calls means time to make a quick lunch! I have tuna salad and some random veggies I threw together to make a salad.
3:45 p.m. — Finish working and snack on a Greek yogurt mixed with cottage cheese.
4 pm. — Out the door to run a couple errands in New Jersey, including dropping off the rental car. My brother meets me there, and he drives me back to Philly. I give him the homemade cookies to thank him, which he enjoyed!
6 p.m. — I’m super hungry. I sauté some veggies and throw in some seasonings. I add the leftover tofu from the day before, top it with BBQ sauce, and call it dinner. I have a small bowl of cereal as my dessert. Who else agrees cereal is the best no matter what time of day it is?!
8:30 p.m. — Still hungry, so I make a protein shake and have a few handfuls of dry cereal all while watching reality TV, my guilty pleasure.
10 p.m. — Journal a bit then off to bed.
Daily total: $0
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6:45 a.m. — Wake up so refreshed!
7:30 a.m. — Meditation complete. I throw on my running shoes to get in four miles before my work call.
8:30 a.m. — Quick face watch and an outfit change and I’m ready for my work call!
11 a.m. — Finish work, and end up in the kitchen meal prepping roasted veggies and riced cauliflower stir fry while catching up with my family on the phone.
12:15 p.m. — Time to eat! I make a repeat from the week: sautéd veggies topped with an egg white omelet, plus the last of the ginger guacamole and a little Greek yogurt.
1 p.m. — Open all the windows, blast some music and go to town cleaning. Music makes everything better honestly. After the cleaning spree, I walk to UPS to get a notary to sign a paper for my car insurance.
2 p.m. — I’m feeling up for a workout of some sort. I log into Peloton and do a couple strength classes.
3:30 p.m. — Showered and ready for some food. I decide on some Greek yogurt (I eat a lot of it) mixed with peanut butter and an RXBAR. I curl up on the couch and dive deep into the book, How Yoga Works by Michael Roach.
5:30 p.m. — Take a break from reading about yoga to actually do yoga. I hop on a virtual class taught by my friend and one of the studio owners of Balanced Planet Yoga. What a great class, as always.
6:30 p.m. — I’m hungry and super grateful I already prepped food to eat! I heat up the cauliflower fried rice I made earlier today. I add seitan to it for additional protein as well as roasted asparagus. While it’s heating up, I snack on some already made seaweed salad that I bought from Costco. Finish off dinner with a few spoonfuls of Halo Top right out of the pint.
8:30 p.m. — I make a protein shake, and sit down with my roomie to watch old episodes of Vanderpump Rules.
10 p.m. — Small bowl of cereal because I need a snack.
11 p.m. — Journal/podcast/bed.
Daily total: $0
Money spent: $330
Workouts completed: 11
Classes taught: One