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.

Bri Rifkin, yoga teacher at WillPower Live and Balanced Planet Yoga. / Photograph by Bri Rifkin.

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

Who I am: Bri Rifkin (@brifffff), 28

Where I live: Fishtown

What I do: I am the assistant manager at the lululemon in Marlton, NJ. I also teach yoga at WillPower Live and Balanced Planet Yoga.

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


Rifkin’s homemade banana bread. / Photograph by Bri Rifkin.

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


Rifkin tries to begin every morning with a mini meditation sesh. / Photograph by Bri Rifkin.

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


Rifkin’s homemade cookies to give to her brother. / Photograph by Bri Rifkin.

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.

5:30 p.m. — Showered and on the couch reading. I snack on a Quest Hero protein bar, and order a few things from The Vitamin Shoppe ($75).

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


Rifkin’s barbecue tofu and veggie dinner bowl. / Photograph by Bri Rifkin.

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

Weekly totals

Money spent: $330
Workouts completed: 11
Classes taught: One

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