Met Bar – Back Bay – by guest blogger Kathryn DeFilippo

This is our first post by a guest blogger and we are thrilled that it’s our friend Kathryn DeFilippo! Kathryn is the true definition of beauty and brains. She is a Senior Investment Associate at Northern Trust and a bubbly blonde who we love. She is very active, in addition to yoga, Kathryn enjoys running and horseback riding.  She also (like us) LOVES food, and friends.

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She will be training this Summer for a 21 mile run in October in the Grand Canyon with her family to celebrate her dad’s 60th birthday (how cool is that)?!  She is studying for the CFA exam and has been hitting the books hard, so was very ready for a Sunday evening yoga class and din.  We had a great time and we welcome her to join us Starving Yogis whenever she’d like! Here is what Kathryn has to say about the Met Bar in Back Bay!

After class at Back Bay Yoga, we headed over to Met Bar on Newbury for some bites and drinks.  I highly recommend the avocado toast topped with burrata and chili flakes as a starter – very yummy and not too heavy (we would have taken a photo of it for this blog post but our stomachs got the better of us and we quickly devoured it, forgetting to take a photo until we had already eaten the last crumb)!  For dinner, the Green Guru salad was quite tasty with a combo of kale, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, broccoli and greek-goddess dressing. 

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All of the salads come in healthy portions and paired well with chicken or salmon (Jen opted for the Back Bay Chopped salad which featured cheese, bacon, avocado, italian vinaigrette and she added grilled salmon), which she paired with a crisp grapefruit cocktail.  For a better atmosphere, I would recommend seating on the outside patio, or in the main dining room, as the downstairs bar is quite loud and the service can be slow. 

Thanks to Jen and Andrea for hosting me as this week’s guest!  Cheers to great yoga, great food and great friends!

The Met – Back Bay 

279 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 267-0451

http://metbackbay.com/

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Back Bay Yoga – Vinyasa Flow with Jess – by guest blogger Kathryn DeFilippo

This is our first post by a guest blogger and we are thrilled that it’s our friend Kathryn DeFilippo! Kathryn is the true definition of beauty and brains. She is a Senior Investment Associate at Northern Trust and a bubbly blonde who we love. She is very active, in addition to yoga, Kathryn enjoys running and horseback riding.  

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She will be training this Summer for a 21 mile run in October in the Grand Canyon with her family to celebrate her dad’s 60th birthday (how cool is that)?!  She is studying for the CFA exam and has been hitting the books hard, so was very ready for a Sunday evening yoga class and din.  We had a great time and we welcome her to join us Starving Yogis whenever she’d like! Here is what Kathryn has to say about Back Bay Yoga!

This write up is about the 6pm Sunday evening Vinyasa Flow class with Jess.

As an aspiring yogi, I was thrilled and honored to be a Starving Yogi guest this week.

We started the evening by meeting at Back Bay Yoga for the 6:00pm Vinyasa Flow class with Jess.

Back Bay Yoga studio is a lovely space on Boylston where you are welcomed by a very nice staff of fellow yogis.   The studio itself is spacious and comfortable with a nice combination of bright décor and natural light from the windows over looking Boylston Street.

The instructor, Jess Ray, is a true yogi, and she made the 90-minute class feel like a total mental and physical cleanse.  I enjoyed the flow of Jess’ sequences throughout the class.  It was a great mix of instructed flow, as well as some time to explore our own comfort and challenges in exercises like inversions (which I need more practice doing!).  She also introduced a handful of new hip-opener poses that felt awesome after a long workweek!  We also got to horse around a bit after class and Jess helped direct us into this cool 3-person downward dog pose, the first photo is our “take 1” pic and the second photo is our “take 5” version…not too shabby!

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There is a cute boutique in the lobby area with yogi apparel essentials (I was tempted to do some shopping!), and a nice clean locker-room perfect for a quick change after class before dinner, where we headed to the Met Bar Back Bay (a short walk from the studio).

I would highly recommend this class, as the $15  (drop in price) is well worth the cost – I can’t wait to go back!

Studio Information:

Back Bay Yoga

364 Boylston Street, 2nd Floor

Boston, MA 02116

617-375-YOGA (9642)

http://www.backbayyoga.com/

Thanks to Jen and Andrea for hosting me as this week’s guest!  Cheers to great yoga, great food and great friends! 

The Starving Yogis hit the Lululemon Window

We met the lovely and talented Lisa at her 10am Sunday Warm Gentle Flow class at Inner Strength Studio in West Roxbury back in the Fall. In chatting with her after class we told her all about our Starving Yogis blog. Lisa also worked at Lululemon in Natick and mentioned our blog to her co-workers and reached out to us to see if we would like to do a “window workout” in the store’s window. The rest is history! We lined up a date in early February and started creating a flow that incorporated a solid traditional base of poses, mixed in with some creative partner poses. We started up a Pinterest board to pin our pose ideas to, being mindful of poses that a certain member of the Starving Yogis is a tad limited in her yoga bag of tricks due to preggohood.

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We crafted a pretty comprehensive and fun flow and were ready to rock it out on our mats (followed promptly by food intake of course).

Saturday February 7th rolled around and we made our way out to the Natick Collection for the window workout. But before we hit the road, we each had a sizeable plate of leftover takeout Indian food for lunch…probably not the wisest thing to eat less than 2 hours before doing an hour yoga flow in a small enclosed space, but hey, they don’t call us “Starving” for nothing.

We arrived, met the Lulu staff (all super nice girls and fellow yoginis) and started up. We had a lot of fun with it while also getting a good workout in (as indicative of our water breaks throughout). We had lots of passerbys stop and watch, many snapping pics of us, groups of adorable kids standing outside the window imitating (well trying to anyways) the poses we were doing, along with some friends and family that swung by as well. We wore matching Lululemon tops, the Run Swiftly Tech Racer Backs.  Andrea’s pants were Wonder Unders Full-on Luxtreme; and Jen wore the Ebb To Street Pant

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After an hour, we wrapped things up and headed on over to the California Pizza Kitchen in the mall, where we enjoyed a fab meal    and replenished our energy stores for our next sweat sesh.

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We had a blast and what a great way to spend a wintery February Saturday afternoon.

 

 

Milton Yoga – Heated Power Vinyasa with Matt

This write up is about the 1:00pm Heated Power Vinyasa class with Matt.

Studio: This is one of Starving Yogi’s favorite studios.  It’s quaint, conveniently located, and offers a wide variety of class types and times.  The studio itself is very simple – small welcome area and a standing desk flanked by two studios and two bathrooms (key for changing into dry clothes, splashing some body spray and making an acceptable sweat bun with your hair before heading out to dinner).

The classrooms themselves are just as simple. The heated vinyasa class takes place in a room with nice wood floors, muted red walls, and minimal decoration that is truly relaxing. There are also windows in the front and back of the room (don’t fret over being window art – you cannot see into the studio from the street!). While seemingly not all that common in a lot of heated studios, having some natural sunlight can really brighten up your practice (pun intended).

As for other amenities, there is bottled water on hand for $1 if you forget to pack your own and a mat rental option for $3. They do not have an in-store boutique, so make sure you pack dry clothes for dinner afterwards.

Class: (This write up is about the Heated Power Vinyasa class with Matt on Mondays at 1pm)

Temperature: 90-95 degrees

Humidity: 60%

Duration: 1 hour

As the preggo one of the two Starving Yogis, I have been opting for the “less heated” classes (i.e. those that keep to 98 degrees and below). I recently tried out Monday’s 1pm Heated Power Vinyasa class taught by Matt Rutkowski.

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This class was a beautiful flow. Matt has great knowledge of human anatomy which as a personal trainer I can appreciate.   His flow was fluid and a perfect dichotomous balance of relaxation and breathwork mixed with a rigorous physical challenge for the body. He offered up some excellent modifications and alternative options for me in my “Preggo condition” and brought me over a variety of props including bolsters and blocks. As I progress in my pregnancy, certain poses are just physically impossible to get into any longer, i.e. side crow, and even child’s pose is starting to feel uncomfortable, not to mention poses to avoid altogether in the third trimester, like deep twists, anything that requires you to lie on your stomach, inversions, deep backbends and anything that requires you to lie on your back on on your right side for an extended amount of time, (Phew… that was a mouthful…what a list!) so modifications are always welcome and much appreciated!

 

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Is this class for me?

I would recommend this class for all levels, the modifications offered are great and you can take it at your own pace in a comfortable heat range. Highly recommend! When checking out the class, tell them the Starving Yogis sent you and that you would like a cookie upon completion of class 😉

Tips:

Lot and street parking is a breeze.

Price Point: $18 per class

 

Studio Information:

Milton Yoga

12 Brush Hill Rd.

Milton, MA 02186

(781) 534-9642

http://www.miltonyoga.com/MiltonYoga.php 

 

Inner Strength Studio – West Roxbury

Class: Warm Gentle Flow with Lisa

This is Starving Yogi’s first review of Inner Strength despite it being one of our regular stops for getting our sweat on… a lot of sweat on.  We decided to try the Warm Gentle Flow as the lower heat (80-85 degrees) was more suitable for the Starving Yogi baby on board.  For those who like it hot, like really hot, Inner Strength flows not designated otherwise are typically in triple digit temperatures.

The studio itself has just completed a renovation to create a second studio for specialty classes and teacher training, in addition to the large heated studio already in place.  There’s a small welcome area with snacks (Power cookies – delish…) and some gear (mostly mats and towels).  Once you enter past the reception desk there is a changing area with 3 changing rooms, 2 bathrooms, lockers with keys and a wall of cubbies.

The Warm Gentle Flow was a great class.  For starters, while this starving yogi enjoys the challenge of high temperatures, there is something much more “enjoyable” about a warm flow.  Do not be offended, heat seekers – we love the heat – but every once in a while it’s nice to be able to enjoy relaxing into a pose without sweat dripping into your eyes or, my personal favorite, up your nose in a nice Humble Warrior…  This class allowed us a little more time to reflect on our practice and alignment, which is always a great thing to indulge now and then.

Our instructor, Lisa, was great.  I always think it’s a challenge to teach an “all level” class without leaving someone disappointed, but Lisa provided various substitutions that enabled everyone to make the best choice for their practice.  I also appreciated that she took the time to encourage us to take some of the easier options.  I personally am a chaturanga addict (totally helps my crossfit push-ups, bro), but a slower version – lowering fully to the ground, with a sphinx pose as opposed to an up dog and a pause at table top en-route to down dog – was extremely relaxing for my lower back and shoulders.  Even though “yoga isn’t a competition” is repeated all the time it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that if you’re not pushing yourself to your limit, it’s not a good workout… which is not true.  I thought this class was a great opportunity to relax and stretch and really focus on my poses and body as opposed to powering through from start to finish.  Note:  This is not to say the class wasn’t hard…  it was!  but this is most certainly a class that allows you to choose your own adventure – with the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor – to get the most out what you’re feeling that day.

So is this class for me?  Yup – this is a perfect class to check out no matter what your experience.

What else?  Parking…  There is plenty of it… but wow is the little strip mall sketchy.  Embrace the chaos, find your zen…  =)

Studio Information:

Inner Strength Studios

1524 Veterans of Foreign Wars Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132

Ph: (617) 477-3315

Legal C Bar – Legacy Place, Dedham

The Starving Yogis frequent Legal C Bar at Legacy Place in Dedham very regularly so we figured we should share with y’all why we love it so much and take you on a tour along our most recent visit.

If you’ve never been to a C Bar, the menu is different than the regular Legals. But is just as tasty.

The service is consistent and reliable and we love the spacious feel and décor of the restaurant.

In addition to the regular bar where you can dine, there is also a food bar that directly peers into the kitchen to the chefs cooking up their magic. There is traditional dining room seating AND we would highly recommend asking for a table in the upstairs balcony level. It’s intimate in this space while being able to have a sweet bird’s-eye view of all your fellow diners below you on the main level.

Andrea and I had just finished up a morning Sunday yoga class at Inner Strength, a few minutes down the road, and then headed on down to C Bar for some lunch. We always get the warm rolls (complementary of course) and we ask for butter with our rolls instead of the white bean spread that comes with it (don’t get us wrong, we like the bean concoction, but we LOVE us some good ole fashion butter). We are obsessed with the bang bang cauliflower appetizer, and sometimes share that (think cauliflower that has the flavor of kung pao chicken). On this occasion we opted for clam chowder. Andrea went with a cup of the regular chowder and I opted for the light version. Both are delish, uh and duh… the regular creamy version is tastier.

Now onto our entrees, I ordered the linguini and clams (it has little bacon bits chopped up and tossed harmoniously with the pasta and clams). It was one of the tastiest linguini and clams I’ve ever had. Linguini and clams is one of my all time favorite dishes. This one was light, tasting hints of white wine, olive oil and butter, but lightly tossed, not soaked thoroughly into every surface of the noodles! Parsley and crushed red pepper flakes are sprinkled throughout. This dish is FULL of garlic, so just be prepared, you may not want to smooch your honey for the next 24 hours!

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Andrea went for her usual selection (which is often times mine as well), Grilled salmon (she opted for the flavorful Cajun style seasoning), garlicky spinach and sweet potato mash. You can’t go wrong with this winning combo. The only thing we would suggest is to ask for your fish to be cooked “well”, we have ordered it “medium” a couple of times and there has been uncooked sections of the fillet.

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Our go to for dessert are the bon bons, which you order individually. We typically order two each. The flavors to choose from are strawberry, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. The outer shell is milk chocolate. These are the perfect size for a little something sweet post dinner and are little bites of heaven.  They pair wonderfully with a glass of red wine.

 

Tips:

  • Parking can be a little bit of a pain – if it’s a busy night you might want to head for the garage

 

Location:

Legal C Bar

736 Legacy Place

Dedham, MA 02026

(781) 234-6500

http://www.legalseafoods.com/restaurants/dedham-legal-c-bar-br-legacy-place

Rox Diner – West Roxbury

Starving Yogis decided to change it up this week and check out a morning class at Starr Yoga in Roslindale followed by breakfast down the road at the Rox Diner. The diner is located in downtown West Roxbury (address below). Parking is street parking but we didn’t have trouble finding a spot right outside.

The first thing you may notice about the Rox Diner is the line, and if you don’t notice a line, it’s your lucky day (or maybe it’s 7 AM, which is less lucky… but whatever). Like most great diners, there are only 8 or 9 tables crammed together… but unlike most great diners, the breakfast bar area is really small. Our advice is to wait for a table. The line moves pretty quickly so don’t be discouraged!

My first question when someone tells me about a new restaurant is usually “what’s it like?” My first question about a diner is always “How’s the bacon” because let’s be honest, my diner goal is generally focused on how quickly I can sit down and how quickly bacon will be delivered to me. The ambiance in Rox Diner appears to be a lesser priority, but given the quality of the food and how quickly it arrives, you won’t have much time to focus on the walls and seating.

So… let’s get back to the bacon… the farm raised, all natural bacon. Rox Diner buys locally when available (including bread from a local bakery), sources organic produce and, for those New Englanders who take it seriously (and I know there are a lot of you), the maple syrup is from Vermont. Jen opted for a special of strawberry and banana coconut encrusted stuffed French toast dusted with cinnamon amazingness ($10)

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while Andrea went for everything on the menu with The Rox (literally everything on the menu – 2 eggs, bacon, home fries and a small side of French Toast – $13.50). Both meals arrived quickly and disappeared just as fast.

Notes:

-You’d think Andrea would have learned by now, but a diner isn’t the best place for ice coffee – stick with the hot stuff in a white mug.

-For those of you a little further away from West Roxbury, there is a new Rox Diner in Newtonville.

 

Location:

1881 Center Street

West Roxbury, MA 02132

617-327-1909

www.roxdiner.com