Hello lovely readers of this blog!
I need to figure out how to attach photo’s to these blogs to make them more exciting to read, but for now I’ll just tell you all about what I’ve been experiencing so far!
We are staying in these beautiful villa’s just up from the beach with a gorgeous infinity pool, although we have barely had time to lay by the pool so far! Every day starts with a 7am workout with Tanya Poppet- who is the trainer behind the instagram “Achieving Balance”; she’s wonderful! The workouts are usually a combination of HIIT training, body weight, TRX and Sandbags. We did a (horrible) beach session yesterday where we got down and dirty in the sand and did resistance band sprints, planking challenges, and partner work. Boxing was so much fun, I had no idea how challenging it was- especially learning the combinations! I can’t wait to try some more boxing when I get home. Most of you probably saw my stair session post. That was by the far the hardest I’ve probably ever pushed myself- especially in 30+ degree heat! We had 10 minutes to get up (and down) the stairs as many times as possible. 5 minute break, and then repeat. The record was 6 & 6 rounds. I made it to the TOP 6 times on the first round, but you have to make it down again so that only counted as 5. I’m determined to come back to those stairs one day and beat myself! We had the BEST yoga class of my life yesterday with Ali Dixon (instagram: ali_dix) it was a slow flow and seriously… laying underneath the palm trees in the grass and feeling a slight breeze after 2 killer workouts that day and just getting into that meditative state was one of the most blissful moments of the retreat. Today we did a Crossfit style AMRAP workout with (more) stairs, and squats, skipping etc. This one felt particularly brutal with how sore my calves are.. I can hardly walk.
Yesterday we did a tree top heights obstacle course. I definitely challenged some fears.. although I was the only person that had to be “saved” and taken down from the course! Haha. It was so hard! It was a variation of ziplines, climbing, swinging like tarzan, and balancing tight rope walks 10-20m above the ground. I did the second hardest one, but only made it halfway through (after the tarzan swing) decided I would rather keep my feet on solid ground thank you very much!! I have a pretty funny video of everyone trying to get me to jump and do the swing.
When we aren’t working out, we are eating the amazing health food that’s served up on the retreat, or getting massages, laying by the pool, surfing or relaxing on the beach. I can’t believe how amazing the food is! The Chef that cooks all our meals for us is so GOOD. We usually have a dragon fruit & banana smoothie bowl for breakfast with toppings like shredded coconut, raw cashews, and pumpkin seeds with scrambled eggs, or an amazing date/coconut/chia pudding. This morning was healthy pancakes with hazelnut spread. There’s always platters of fresh fruit; papaya, pineapple, watermelon and strawberries as well. Lunches have been amazing quinoa, black bean salads, we had wraps yesterday with this homemade mango salsa and chicken, dinner last night was coconut encrusted cod with pineapple salsa, and red quinoa. We’ve also had some amazing coconut curry rice with satay chicken. The food is so fresh and beautiful and I’ve never felt so amazing! It definitely makes me wish I was a celebrity that could have all my food cooked for me- it’s so easy to eat incredibly healthy when it’s all made for you and tastes sooo delicious.
We also spent the afternoon at the Four Seasons the other day, we hung out at their pool and had the best dinner I’ve ever had in my entire life. The food just kept coming for hours and it was so delicious, I wish I took pictures but I was too busy enjoying it! There was chicken kimchi, amazing tuna sesame seaweed bowls, fresh cod with this delicious sauce, giant prawns, chicken, pork belly, crab and avocado salads, 0rganic green salad with pureed avocado sauce… Oh my god it was just heavenly!
It’s actually new for me to actually enjoy food. For so long food for me was something that was either restricted, or binged on; never just enjoyed.
I’m getting used to eating without any distractions (no phone or e-mailing or instagram etc) just the company of amazing people. I definitely need to incorporate this much more at home. Listening to my body has been a lot easier here without all the distractions of daily life. I find it shocking actually how not hungry I am. It’s surprising with two workouts a day that I’m completely satisfied with 3 meals, just eating till satisfied (most of the time haha). I’m just craving fresh juices and fruit most of the time, last night was my first chocolate craving and I had a piece of zucchini brownie and some coconut date ball from another retreater and felt great. I can’t wait to come home and incorporate tons of fresh food, juices, and get into the kitchen more. For so long I just cooked because I had to, but now the idea of creating healthy delicious meals is so exciting to me. I haven’t had a single bit of sugar since I’ve been here and it’s the best I’ve ever felt. I need to steal all the recipes from the chef so I can create them for you guys when I get back home!
Today we are heading to a beach club (first day we are only having one workout.. all of us are so sore and tired) and hanging out by the pool and having some drinks. I LOVE that this retreat has been centred around fitness, relaxation with the occasional few drinks thrown in. The whole idea of “balance” is definitely noticed here- the workouts paired with still having time to recoup is doing wonders for me mentally. I just sat by the pool yesterday evening before a massage and wrote in my journal and felt so at peace. I would love for everyone to find that peace everyday in their busy every day lives. It’s so unbelievably important to put your happiness at the top of your priority list. I am so grateful that I decided to do this retreat, I feel as though its going to completely change the course of my career and really inspire me to help even more people when I come home.
I love how everyone here is as into fitness as I am! I found it hilarious that when we were sitting down at the sunset the other night having a margarita- we were discussing the benefits of tabata training and intervals. Almost everyone here came on their own- everyone is so inspiring and hearing their stories of how we all came to be on this same retreat is so interesting. We are all obsessed with trying out all the health cafe’s, getting to every single workout, and supporting each other during each one. It’s an amazing atmosphere.
I can’t say enough good things about my time here, I am going to continue writing from paradise (I’ve started my book!) and finding ways to bring this retreat home to you guys. I’m thinking possibly some weekend retreats filled with workouts, yoga, meditation, massages, and amazing health food. Keeping it down to a weekend will keep it affordable and do-able! I already have a yoga instructor and masseuse in mind.. 😉
Miss everyone back home bunches, can’t wait to get back to teaching bootcamps!!!