Luxe + Well Diary: Welcome To Paradise - Part II



By Thursday our lovely guests were ready for a slower day in paradise.

With a later start, the ladies enjoyed their first meal of their all day vegan menu from our fantastic partners, Saucha Conscious Living.

Breakfast of ice-cold Kombucha, chia pudding and locally grown fruit went down a storm before more one-on-one sessions with Nadine, island shopping tours with Sophie and a yummy smoothie pit stop at Jessie's Juice Bar in Camana Bay. Sadly due to bad weather, we weren't able to visit Stingray City by boat, but that didn't stop us enjoying another day in paradise!

After stopping in at some of Cayman's bests shopping spots like those at Camana BayPure Art, Kirk Freeport, Funky Monkey and more, it was time for some vegan snacks like spirulina spiced popcorn, organic artisan sourdough bread with fresh avocado, carrot cake energy bites and chocolate chip balls from Saucha!

The afternoon was well spent experiencing the luxury of in-house spa treatments. Thanks to the wonderful ladies at Perfectly Pampered Cayman, our guests enjoyed a complimentary facial or massage from the beauty of their villa. 

Our dinner at the villa provided by Saucha Conscious Living included a vegan take on "Taco Tuesday"- a family style meal that included spicy walnut "taco" meat loaded with superfoods kale and moringa, served with brown rice and black bean salad and a citrus cilantro vinaigrette, salsa and guacamole. The vegan day was ended on a delicious sweet note of coffee and salted caramel cheesecake! Sadly it didn't hang around long enough to be photographed!



After a relaxing day on Thursday, it was time to get back to it with a morning workout with Coach Chris from CrossFit 7Mile Strength & Conditioning on Friday morning. The ladies worked through flexibility assessments and the basics of squatting and deadlifting before a light workout. 

Another delicious smoothie was supplied by Cayman Breakfast Club with an incredible red pepper and goats cheese frittata provided by the fantastic Bay Market

Nadine hosted more of her inspiring one-one-one sessions whilst the other ladies wanted another trip back to Pure Art - you really can't have too many trips to this fabulous souvenir shop! For our lunch and learn session, our ladies had a Q&A session led by Nadine whilst enjoying another healthy and delicious delivery from the amazing team at Bay Market which included baked salmon with a crushed kale and quinoa salad. 

An afternoon of downtime at the beautiful Point of View villa was much needed after a long and busy week of growth, challenges and breakthroughs in the safety and security of this luxury home.  With this in mind, we arranged a beautiful family style Greek inspired dinner provided by Bay Market.   


 The final full day started off with another work out, this time with Coach Brett from CrossFit 7 Mile Strength & Conditioning, where the ladies completed an hour long work out and left still smiling!

With a yummy breakfast to follow of apple pie quinoa bars provided by Bay Market, Nadine shared her final seminar on overeating, binge eating and compulsions. 

The afternoon was spend enjoying some final excursions around the island with pitstops at Camana Bay and Smith Cove!

To end our very first Luxe + Well retreat on a serious high, our guests enjoyed a beautiful three course meal prepared by the amazing duo that is Brussels Sprouts

This delicious and locally sourced dinner at the villa started with an appetizer of freshly caught snapper citrus ceviche roll with crispy corn tortilla and chorizo oil. For the mains we enjoyed grilled local Mahi Mahi with almond pesto mash potato, garlic roasted cherry tomato, crispy asparagus and fresh pineapple salsa. To finish off our last Dessert of grilled, roasted local rum fruit, home-made mango-banana sorbet, coco flakes and toasted almonds


With inspiration at an all time high, the final morning was spent with an extra beachside workout with Brett from CrossFit 7 Mile Strength & Conditioning - the ladies just couldn't get enough! With it being their last ever workout with Brett, and after lots of sweating in the sun, the ladies managed to talk Brett into a topless photo - only fair right?!  

To cement this truly special week together, we enjoyed some individual and group photos where there were laughs, hugs and even some tears as we bid each other farewell after an a transformational week together in the Cayman Islands!

With the help of some truly incredible partners, our wonderful guests were able to relax in paradise, experience some delicious Cayman food, learn yoga, get their sweat on and nourish their mind, body and soul. 

We are so grateful to all everyone who showed us #Caymankind in putting together Cayman's first luxury wellness retreat. A special thanks must go to each and every one of our ten wonderful guests for believing in Luxe + Well, investing in themselves and making our first retreat such a huge success!

Love from Nadine & Sophie 


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Luxe + Well Diary: Welcome To Paradise - Part I



The day has finally arrived - our 10 lovely guests touch down for the very first Luxe + Well retreat!

We are so pleased to welcome Meghan, Sue, Jaime, Tina, Rhonda, Marci, Aimee, Suzanne, Joanne and Anita - ten wonderful ladies visiting from various parts of Canada, to enjoy a very special vacation with Luxe + Well here in Grand Cayman!

All of the ladies arrive happy and well, sadly two of their bags do not, instead, choosing to vacation in St Lucia and never making it to Cayman.

*Insert borrowed clothing and some over-priced Cayman shopping to the rescue! *


Each one of the fabulous ladies is currently a client of Nadine's, working through their own journey into wellness, and it was so special to have them all come together for the very first Luxe + Well retreat. 

After a quick tour to see the George Town harbor and their first exciting peek at our bright blue Caribbean waters, the guests arrived at their gorgeous new home - Point of View.  This incredible, beach-front, luxury vacation rental located in South Sound was courtesy of our fantastic partners, Luxury Cayman Villas, who have over 19 uber-luxurious short-let properties in their portfolio. In the words of our guests "the photos just don't do it justice!"


Settling into the villa, the ladies helped themselves to some cold and delicious kombucha (courtesy of Saucha Conscious Living) before excitedly opening their jam-packed Camana Bay gift bags which included:

a Camana Bay water bottle, stylish cap and notepad

a hat from Sand Angels, yoga towel and hair ties from Activ Angels

a cute t-shirt from Island Companies,

Magazines from Books & Books

Beauty products from Le Visage

Hair products from Eclipze Hair & Spa

and some Cayman sea salt to take home!

Our platinum sponsors Camana Bay and Luxury Cayman Villas really pulled out all the stops. The women were so amazed and grateful their new treats. As they toured their Luxury Cayman Villas home there were actual tears of joy and a tangible air of gratitude for all that was on offer.

It felt electric!


After settling in, we hosted a quick team meeting to introduce each other to the group and learn about each guest's reasons for attending this Luxe + Well retreat.

Reasons included:

"I love working with Nadine and want to learn more whilst relaxing in the Caribbean!"

"My job is really stressful and I find it hard to maintain work-life balance. I really need this break!"

"I'm doing this for me!" 

It felt great to hear the passion and excitement first hand from our wonderful guests. 

After some relaxation and a quick dip in the beautiful pool it was time for dinner prepared by good friend and incredibly talented chef, Joe Hughes of the Kimpton Seafire Ave/Avecita restaurant, and his beautiful wife and sous chef for the evening, Sarah!

First up was a taste of local cuisine with a modern twist - oxtail croquettes followed by the freshest of snapper ceviche served with pomegranate and cilantro!

Mains included Best Dressed Chicken cooked sous-vide, roasted and then served over polenta with sides of roasted baby potatoes and basil, and heirloom tomato with roasted red onion, chives and croutons and tenderly cooked cod served over cannellini beans with jet black squid ink for drama - delicious and a real talking point!

To top off this delicious feast, we enjoyed a dessert of white chocolate mousse, meringue, raspberries and hazelnuts with a glass of 365 red wine thanks to Camana Bay.

After a full day of traveling, delicious food and great company - it was early to bed for all! A hot herbal tea from Tea Time In Cayman set us all up for a good nights sleep.



After an early night, the fitness kicked off bright and early with the first workout of Luxe + Well retreat led by Nadine at 7am! After many years away from teaching a class, I think the ladies thought they'd get off lightly......not here!

A quick warm up run to the famous flip-flop tree set the tone followed by a variety of circuits including: walking lunges, hip openers, tip toes and heels, baby makers, scorpions, supermans, squats, pushups, mountain climbers, jump lunges, dips, planks and step ups! 

The ladies quickly learnt that Cayman is HOT...even at 7am, and after 45 minutes of an intense first workout they were ready to unwind during their private dockside yoga class with the gorgeous Rachel Whitfield of Bliss Cayman

Relaxed, rested and with new intentions set, the group enjoyed delicious breakfast smoothies courtesy of Cayman Breakfast Club and some truly scrummy tropical overnight oats provided by Bay Market


After a morning of relaxing at the beautiful villa, Nadine hosted her first lunch and learn seminar on Mind-Body Nutrition where we learnt the fundamentals behind why you eat the way you do. 

Lunch was provided by Bay Market and included the most delicious "Glory Bowl" which included sweet chili chicken, brown rice, grated carrot and beetroot, almonds, fresh spinach and light lemon dressing. It was incredible and easily one of the most popular meals of the retreat! 

For the afternoon, some of our guests had their one-on-one private session with Nadine whilst Sophie took the rest of the group to enjoy a swim and walk along picture-perfect Seven Mile Beach. 

Monday's dinner was enjoyed at Abacus thanks to the fantastic spread put on by Chef Will. The menu replicated Nadine's restaurant takeover with the meals are designed by Nadine and Chef Will. It was a night to show how you can go to a restaurant and eat out without the guilt by choosing lighter and healthier dishes that still taste great.

We showed our guests how to enjoy marinated conch as well as kale and watermelon salad, fresh snapper or organic chicken breast and local vegetable sides, finished with a trio of delicious and healthy desserts inspired by Nadine's recipes! 



Day three of our retreat was started with another great beachside workout with Nadine before some incredible sweet potato frittatas provided by Bay Market. 

Next up was an incredibile experience - a paddleboard yoga class with Kiristen of Vitamin Sea Cayman.  If you haven't tried paddleboarding with Kiristen, we cannot recommend it enough! Our ladies loved the experience of being out on the crystal clear waters of Seven Mile Beach, doing some yoga moves and falling into the sea (voluntarily and involuntarily!)

Click here to see an amazing video of our paddleboard yoga class! 

After another yummy Bay Market lunch at the villa and an afternoon spent chilling out, it was time for a cooking class with Maureen "Mo" Cubbon and the team at Bon Vivant at Camana Bay! 

Mo curated a wonderful evening of food that was equally delicious as it was healthy! The dinner included: Appetizers of Mediterranean quinoa salad and grilled fruit with ricotta, honey and fig balsamic drizzle. Mains of tasting plates including prosciutto and asparagus stuffed chicken, braised coconut chicken curry over brown rice, healthful chicken parmesan and beef roulade served with chimi churri sauce. Dessert combo of lemon and chocolate raw tarts finished us off nicely!

Nadine gave Maureen a list of what the ladies were wanting to learn by interviewing all of the ladies before they came. The focus was on what they wanted to learn that night and it was set around how to cook for family or guests and not have to feel like you have fallen off track with your healthy eating goals but still make tasty dishes that friends or family would like!

Mo taught us the importance of focusing on the quality of ingredients, particularly in things like olive oil and meats and to remove the unnecessary additives by swapping out ingredients like soy sauce for coconut aminos and white flour for gluten free flour! It was a pleasure to learn from such an inspiring woman and all of us left well fed and very inspired to get back in the kitchen and cook! 


Day Four started nice and early with a beachside workout with Coach Chris from 7 Mile Strength and Fitness ... let's just say Chris was pretty popular with the ladies! 

After getting a sweat on and having some fun too (who knew tic tack toe could be a workout?!) the women enjoyed an hour long kundalini yoga session with Janelle from Bliss Yoga Cayman - it really was bliss! 

Green 2 Go smoothies and carrot cake baked oatmeal, another delicious breakfast from Bay Market, was a much needed nourishment after a busy morning! 

Relaxation time by the pool was followed by a powerful lunch and learn on the topic of "Body Image & Writing Our Story". Bay Market pulled out all the stops again with a delicious and healthy burrito bowl - a must try dish! 

After more one-on-ones with Nadine and an afternoon touring the island with Sophie, it was time to head to Camana Bay to enjoy the Flavor Tour

A welcome glass of vino was enjoyed at West Indies Wine Company before the first stop at Mizu for miso soup with tofu, soba noodle, snow peas and spring onion with a lychee saketini. The newly established Indian restaurant, Pani, was the amazing second course of Malabar snapper with coconut rice and curry leaves with a calcutta cooler cocktail. Filling up now we moved onto Abacus for the third course of roasted chicken and cous cous salad served with beets, local tomatoes and pumpkin accompanied by a cold glass of Chardonnay. The final course was at the ever-delicious Gelato & Co for a scoop of gelato or sorbet before ending at The King's Head for a nightcap!

What a feast! 

All this fun and we're only at the halfway point of our week long Luxe + Well retreat! 

Stay tuned for part II of our Luxe + Well diary! 

Inside Fitness Magazine Recommends Luxe + Well

What could possibly be better than spending a week in the Caribbean?

Spending a week on a wellness retreat in the Cayman Islands - the only vacation you won't need a vacation from! 

Inside Fitness recently wrote about the growing trend of wellness retreats and featured our very own, Luxe + Well retreat! 

Here's a snippet on why you need to consider vacationing with Luxe + Well:

"Wellness is in the forefront of everything these days and it’s growing rapidly. With all of us working longer hours, receiving less vacations, and under more stress than ever, wellness retreats are the latest way to restore balance and health in your life.

The goal from any wellness retreat should always be to come home feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to improve your life and show up as the best version of you. And we think the Luxe + Well retreat has the balance just right." - says Inside Fitness Magazine. 

To read the full article click here. 


"I'll be happy when I'm skinny"

How many times have you heard yourself say this?  Or maybe even a friend or family member?

It would solve all of life's issues, right?


How many times have you thought that if you were to lose just 15 more pounds you:

  • would finally be able to relax
  • would be happy
  • would like your job more
  • People would find you more attractive
  • would know what you wanted in life
  • would find your purpose
  • would get more attention from guys
  • your relationship would get better

And the list goes on………

So then, you lose the weight.

Those jeans you have had hanging in the closet now button up.

That dress fits perfectly.

And that bikini you were so afraid to put on, fits.

BUT, then this crazy thing happened… look in the mirror and still pick yourself apart.  Just when you thought getting skinny would make all of your worries go away, you cant help but think why your spouse still isn’t attracted to you?  You still cannot find a guy.  Your job didn’t get better.  You aren’t getting any attention you thought you would, or maybe you are, but its for the wrong reasons.  And you still cant find your purpose in life.


Because you still don't accept yourself and feel comfortable in your own body.

Life does not get better when you get skinnier.

Here is what is really happening.

The statement of ‘I just want to lose 15 more pounds’ is really just another way for us to not deal with the present (or past).  We use it as an excuse, an excuse for everything else we don’t want to face in our lives.  The deep rooted issue.

We think that weight is what makes us miserable and we convince ourselves that if we lose the weight this magical new life will appear but when we get there, nothing changed, because………nothing changed.

Don’t get me wrong here.  Yes, losing weight will make you feel good because you can become more active and you can move around easier.  Clothes are not as tight and you aren’t lugging around that extra weight on your body.

But you are still you. 

You still have the same life problems, you still have the same insecurities and relationship issues.

So, what happens now that you have lost all this weight and are STILL unhappy?  If you do not realize the truth, you will begin to mindless eat, gain it back and start the vicious cycle all over again.

The best thing that you can do for yourself is recognize and acknowledge the deep rooted issue.  I am sure some of you are thinking to yourselves, “I don’t actually know what that issue is or where to begin”, well, you’re in luck, because this is where I come in.

My job as a coach is not to just provide training and nutrition programs.  My job is to help coach you from all areas in your life.  It’s a domino effect and if you cannot figure out what is going on inside, you will never be able to achieve your goals from the outside.

On our Luxe + Well wellness retreat I will be leading daily lunch and learn seminars on the psychology behind eating to get to the bottom of why you're not seeing the results you want. I'll also be arranging for one on one time with every guest so that we can delve into the issues personal to your wellness journey, without needing to share to an entire group. 

Sophie and I want to ensure you leave this retreat feeling rested, re-engerised and inspired to change your life for the better for the long term. We hope you'll join us. Click here to book now

~ Nadine 

How To Avoid Binge Eating on Vacation

Do you have a habit of eating well during the week but binge all weekend?

Or do you eat well most of the time but then binge once you get on vacation?

The good news is it's totally "normal" but also totally "curable". Here Nadine shares her years of experience and her own lifestyle tips on how to maintain healthy eating whilst on vacation, on the weekend and for the rest of your life! 

"My job as a coach is to help all of my clients find their own balance and I commit to living the lifestyle myself. 

So many clients ask how to manage eating on vacation when you are not in control of your own food. Far too often I see individuals stress about how to be 'perfect', and if they can't be perfect then all hell breaks loose and they get down on themselves, consider themselves a failure (again) and just eat everything in sight (**insert: start extreme diet when you get back home**).

Here are a few things to consider when when going on vacation to help ease some stress:

Sub out flour.

Sauces thickened with flour, breads, cakes, deep fried's a great way to help you save the binge, digest your food easier, avoid high calories and a major gut ache. There a many options, including desserts you can find to feel you are not depriving yourself or make a big impact on the scale. 

Check Your Sodium.

This I have found pretty hard to avoid when traveling and it often leaves you feeling 'watery' and bloated. Remember, water flushes water. Reduce water retention by drinking more. THIS is where it can get you on the scale. 

Remember the Impact of the Scale.

Now, I mention the scale because after working with clients for the past 10 years, I'm not stupid, they are going to weigh themselves when they get home. No matter how much anyone preaches to stay off the scale the majority of people use it and it can greatly ruin their headspace after a great vacation. Rather than just tell you to avoid the scale, my goal is to help you understand how something as little as extra sodium in food, drinking less water, sitting in the heat and flying can easily make a scale go up. 

These are just a few things I have found effective for my clients in order to truly enjoy their vacation".

On our October Luxe and Well Retreat, we'll be discussing these topics and teaching you new approaches to find your balance. Come join us this October 22-29 for our all female health and wellness retreat. Spaces are filling up, with only 6 lefts. Book now here

Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle

Put the Cookie Down!

Now that I got your on:

I read this tonight and wanted to share it.

"Deprivation Always Backfires:

Cookies are bad. Bad cookies. Don’t eat the cookies. Okay, now what are you thinking about? Exactly. “When we restrict ourselves from eating certain foods, we are giving those foods more power, not less,” We become so obsessed with not eating them that we can’t help but eventually give in. And when we do, we eat as many as we can. The result: You feel guilty and are even more obsessed with foods you "shouldn't" eat. It’s a destructive cycle."

This is one of the reasons why I coach based on macros and allow clients the option to include various foods such as these in their program, IF they want to.  I do however believe that it all comes down to a mindset and including just a cookie here and there is still very tough for some to do because they know they will not just stop at one.  To not restrict or deprive is only going to better the situation in the end but one also needs to learn that if you do not stop at just one, you cannot sabotage yourself the next day for falling off track.  One of the worst mindsets that you can develop is thinking that "it's ok, I will just do extra cardio or cut my calories tomorrow".  My advice always to clients is that you carry on the next day just as you would.  For some, that mindset will start to change in that you are now realizing that you cannot do anything to try and "reverse" what you have done and that you will (for lack of better words) pay the price for what you did.  There is so much more to a meal plan and it starts with having the right support around you and learning to trust yourself.

5 Excuses That Don't Burn Calories

Excuses are for the birds. You don't have to spend 2 hours at the gym everyday, but you should have the motivation to do something active. If you're getting ready to give any of these excuses just remember– they don't burn calories.

Excuse #1. I'm just too tired

This excuse is tired! We all have hectic days, a list of to-dos and very little time to just relax. But an hour or even 20 minutes of some activity is better than nothing at all. Sometimes you just need to suck it up and move.

Excuse #2. I'll start on Monday

For most people, this excuse begins with an 'all or nothing' approach to their diet and fitness. They go strong for one week, restrict everything, go to the gym for 3 hours-7 days a week, then respond with excessively unhealthy behavior.  Make health and fitness part of your lifestyle, not only when they are convenient. That consistency helps you deal with mild ups and downs without completely losing it.

Excuse #3. I hate the gym

The gym isn’t for everyone BUT luckily there are so many other options out there to stay active. Outdoor sports, yoga classes, at-home can still enjoy a fit lifestyle without a gym pass. Find your own fitness and do what makes you happy.

Excuse #4. Eating healthy is expensive

Yes, eating healthy is pricier than eating off the dollar menu. But is anything more important than your health in the grand scheme of things?  Feeding your body good, nutrient dense food helps you maintain your wellness. To me, a dollar spent for something healthy is well worth it. Focus on the true value, buy in-season and pull back on other less important items when necessary.

Excuse #5. I'm not seeing progress, so I might as well give up

Our bodies are amazing at adapting to our surroundings. Therefore, we are genetically wired to plateau. It isn't a signal to stop, it's a signal to keep going! Try new things, challenge yourself, and you'll get through that stagnation.

How To Find A Fitness Plan That Gets Results

It doesn’t matter if you are a fitness fanatic, business professional, stay at home mom or university student—you should feel your best, every single day. But there is no one size fits all approach to fitness. Many people start an exercise program and quit after only a few weeks due to the simple fact that they just haven’t found a program that is the right fit for them.

If you’ve been blaming yourself for falling in and out of workout programs, stop now! Use these tips to find the right program for YOU.

1. Identify your goals

Goals are critical for success in every aspect of life, but especially in fitness. They allow you to think about the future and hold yourself accountable as you move ahead. Get specific with your goals and don’t leave anything out. The more detail you have, the better!  

2. Be realistic

Set goals that you can realistically achieve. Consider your time constraints and what you are willing to give up. If you know that it will be easier for you to work out at home rather than at a gym, commit to working out at home. Happiness is key to your success in a good program. Your exercise program should reduce stress not create more of it. 

3. Consider your lifestyle

Consider YOUR 100%. Maybe for you it’s committing to the gym 3 days a week. Your 100% is all you can do, don't compare yourself to others. Accept that everyone is different and what works for one person won't work for the other. Do you and cut yourself some slack!

4. Research coaches

We all need a little guidance sometimes, which is why it can help tremendously to have a fitness coach or mentor to help you along the way. Any coach won’t do. Find a coach that will understand your goals, and build a program that is suited for you. A coach that has worked with similar clients or that has a lifestyle comparable to yours will work best.

5. Choose activities that you enjoy

The best results come from a program that allows you to have fun, feel rejuvenated and learn about yourself. It’s not about how many crunches you can complete or how long you can run. You have nothing to prove to anyone – just have fun and enjoy what works for you.

6. Is it right for your activity level and health?

The fitness program you choose should be appropriate for your current health and fitness levels. Always make sure you have the clear from your doctor and make sure your coach is aware when making your program!

What are some tips you have for finding a solid workout program?

Train Smarter, Not Harder

Let’s face it, we have all been there – that tropical vacation we have been planning for months is now days away and we haven’t been as diligent with our diet or training. We find ourselves looking for a quick fix to shedding those unwanted pounds, but quick fixes are just that and rarely lead to long term solutions which often lead to women in worse off metabolic situations than before.

My job as a coach is to educate my clients on living a fit and healthy lifestyle so they never feel panicked when it comes to an upcoming vacation or other event. So I ask you this… do you want to lose quick weight and gain it all back (plus more)? Or do you want to learn how to take the weight off slowly and keep it off forever? If you are a forever kind of girl then read on.

To begin, start early. It takes three weeks for a habit to form but in order to build a strong foundation; you want to start much earlier than that. The longer you practice healthy habits, the stronger and easier they will become, helping you to stay on track while on holidays as well. The last thing you want is to revert to your old ways while on vacation, gaining back the weight and feeling emotional and self-conscious. I advise anyone to dedicate at least 12-16 weeks to get yourself into a good frame of mind and on your way to achieving your desired results.

Set realistic goals. How much time do you have available to commit to achieving your goal with 100% effort? There is no right or wrong answer. If you can only commit to three training sessions each week, do so with complete focus during that time. The same goes for your diet.  Once you are able to set your goals, write them down, post them on the fridge or your bathroom mirror so you can see them daily as a constant reminder. Commit to those goals and set that time aside for yourself.

Develop the right mindset. For us to believe anything is worth our time it must offer something tangible to our daily lives and as a coach it is a priority of mine to facilitate this with every one of my clients. Women are 30% more likely to continue working towards a fitness goal if they are conscious of, and connected to their emotions, allowing them to more quickly recognize the short-term benefits. For example, all of my clients are asked to diarize how they feel each day. This helps them to see that although one 30-minute run won’t shed 10 lbs, but it can help them achieve a calmer and happier state of mind.  In the end, leading to a feeling of accomplishment.

An important factor to note here is stress. For most of us, it is a common part of life, whether it be from work, family, or relationships. Stress has a negative impact on weight loss and can actually cause us to gain instead of lose. As tension levels rise, cortisol levels increase and this leads to unwanted fat accumulating in the belly area. Training and dieting are their own form of stress, making it critical to ensuring that both your intentions are set and goals are realistic.

Plan ahead. Don’t stop all of your hard work just because the vacation has arrived, keep to a set plan to ensure you aren’t back where you started once you arrive home. Do your research, is there a fitness facility at your hotel or resort, or one nearby? Are there activities or group classes offered? The same goes for food. Check out the menus in advance. If you are staying at a condo, stock up on healthy snacks and fresh produce from the local grocery store. Set your plan and stick to it.

Ultimately you get out of your body what you put into it and without a proper nutrition plan you will never achieve the most effective results. Like the age old adage says, you can’t out-train a bad diet.

To help you prepare I have compiled my top six bikini ready nutrition tips:

  1. Eat three meals and 2-3 snacks per day. It is very important to be consistent with your meals, eating every 2.5-3 hours will help to keep your metabolism firing.
  2. Each meal should include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fibrous vegetables, healthy fats and antioxidant rich fruit. It is best to keep a nutrient rich diet so that your body remains used to the food you are consuming once you arrive at your vacation locale.
  3. Keep your water intake high. Water flushes water from your system, therefore, the more water you drink the less water you will retain.
  4. Limit your sodium. Packaged and processed foods containing high levels of sodium will contribute to unwanted water retention, making you feel heavy and bloated.
  5. Consume a good quality probiotic and multivitamin daily. Probiotics are also great to have while traveling as they keep the gastrointestinal tract free from unwanted bugs that might result when eating different foods in foreign lands.
  6. Eliminate heavy sauces, fruit juices and syrups – these are high in unwanted hidden calories.

Although it sounds simple, and it is - it takes mental effort and dedication, but most of all, it takes having trust in yourself. Trusting your mind to recognize the short-term emotional gains before your body reveals its long-term physical changes. There is no secret exercise to a better body, and there is no magic pill to a better diet. But with the right intentions, the proper planning, managing your stress and by setting realistic goals – everyone can have the bikini body they desire. Yes, even you.

5 Tips for Overcoming a Weight Loss Set Back


You’re 100% dedicated to your weight loss goals. You eat right, exercise, and you feel better than you’ve ever felt before. Then all of a sudden life takes over. Personal problems, injury, illness, and unplanned responsibilities cause your progress to come to a screeching halt.

Setbacks are inevitable, but they don’t have to break you. With a little self-confidence, you can turn things around.

1. Ask yourself ‘why’? The problem with minor setbacks is that far too often they cause a major downward spiral. Before it goes too far, determine the underlying cause. You may not have control over what is happening around you, but you can prevent things from getting worse, or from making the same mistake next time.

2. Make sure your expectations are realistic. We’re all trying to balance demanding jobs, family, and social lives. When one of these things is off, making it to the gym or maintaining a healthy diet becomes more about scheduling and prioritizing. It’s important to assess your lifestyle and customize your approach.

3. Be patient. If you’ve experienced a setback, the worst thing you can do is rush to make up for lost time. Guilt from skipping the gym and overindulging often leads to excessive amounts of cardio and extreme dieting. Trust me when I say, doing this will only backfire. Make small, positive changes and you’ll gain momentum once again.

4. Don't quit. Setbacks are acceptable, but quitting isn't. Learn from your mistakes, push through the tough times, and you'll emerge even stronger and more confident than before.

5. Let it go. There is no benefit to beating yourself up over a setback. Learn from it and continue on the journey. It’s called a journey for a reason.

When the unexpected happens, are you ready to deal with it?

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Photography: James Patrick Photography

MUA: Amanda Borboa

Apparel: Lorna Jane