Hilton Aruba Wellness Travel Hotel Review

Hilton Aruba Wellness Travel Hotel Review

I was lucky enough to be able to experience some of the wellness offerings at Hilton Aruba, one of the 10 hotel resorts that Hilton has to offer in the Caribbean. It was my first visit to Aruba and although I didn’t have much time to plan for this trip there were plenty of things to do on the hotel property and in the surrounding area that gave me a chance to explore and fulfill all the areas of my personal wellness journey that’s important to me.

What type of exercise works best for you?

What type of exercise works best for you?

so much of society and media tells us what we need to do in order to be healthier and be more fit. It seems like every other fitness account on Instagram is creating some sort of 4, 8, or 12 workout plan and when the buzz starts to develop around it everyone jumps on the train. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for the hustle of making passive income, but I do often wonder what do programs like these teach us as a society as a whole. With so much of today’s messaging around health centered around some sort of workout program, I can’t help but wonder do these programs truly help in creating a stronger, healthier, more empowered intuitive individual, or does one just fall into a greater challenge of trying to develop a workout routine that works for their lifestyle. 

Embracing Your Body, Embracing Movement with lululemon

My thoughts on Embracing Your Body…

Lately I’ve been finding myself in conversations surrounding self acceptance and body positivity and what that all really boils down to. It’s lead to such amazing and interesting conversations. There’s either a strong sentiment of empowerment or a hidden whisper of complacency and I feel like it can dance on a very thin line, if we allow it to. The hardest struggle that women face these days is knowing and whole heartedly accepting that they can very well love their bodies no matter what shape its in and empower themselves to change their lives should they choose to. Self acceptance is truly about having the freedom to love yourself how you want to love yourself. 

Body positivity can ebb and flow. One day you might feel 100% in love with yourself and the next you might not be having the best conversations with yourself. I want you to know that’s OK! Give yourself a whole lot of grace, self forgiveness, and let go of the restrictive mindset that’s keeping you from moving forward. You’ve got all that you need within yourself. 

What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.
— Rupi Kaur

Thoughts on Embracing Movement: 

Have you ever once had this dogmatic conversation with yourself around what it means or looks like to be “fit”? For years I had this perspective on what it meant to be “fit”, but always desired to have some sort of healthy and active lifestyle. Reframing the conversation with myself has been a day to day challenge, but one that I always feel empowered to overcome. 

These days I’ve had the challenge of finding what forms of movement I enjoy between yoga, high intensity circuit training, or weightlifting. The challenge is partially due to making sure that I don’t injury my shoulder any further, which that in itself has given me more of a mental workout than anything. Just like how body positivity can ebb and flow from day to day, so does that inner strength when you feel like you were your most optimal condition at one point and are no longer that due to unfortunate circumstances. After having some moments of what I like to refer to as fitness commitment issues I’ve come to really learn that although I like circuit training programs like BBG, I much prefer lifting weights and getting out doors on a track for some sprints and plyometric training. It’s just the way my body loves to embrace movement. For the past few months I’ve resisted it because I felt like I was getting bored, but after spending a two weeks to get back into the swing of things I realized its just my jam. 

lululemon invited me in for a personalized fit session to try their brand new Enlite Bra, specifically designed for high impact workouts. Perfect for my love for plyometrics and sprints. The personalized fit session was such a treat to experience when shopping for the right sports bra because just like any bra you want to make sure that its comfortable and is everything you need for the type of workout you love. 

I love this bra because it comes in conforms perfectly to your shape and body, streamlined without bulk fabrics or hardware, and the fabric is just like butter the skin making it comfortable for all day wear. My favorite part is that it offers the high support without the feeling of compressing the girls which can leave you feeling like you're suffocating. 

My other lululemon loves: 

This post was sponsored by lululemon, however all thoughts are 100% my own. 

photography by Encarnacion Photography

Small Changes to Make in 2017 That Can Impact Your Health For A Lifetime

The New Year always brings forth second chances and new goals to reach in order to better our lives. I’m a goal oriented person and I hate to admit this but a little Type A when it comes to lists, organizing my planner, and notebooks to set me up for success. However, I wasn’t always this way. When I started my career as a people manager at VSCO, I knew that the best way to juggle and manage all my quarterly and yearly goals was to break down the list into small digestible victories that would lead me to accomplishing my bigger goal. This was really helpful in making it not feel as daunting and I did the same when it came to my fitness. 

When I started my fitness journey I said to myself I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself in my 30s. As ambiguous as this goal was, the challenge was that this particular goal had no form of measurement. In some ways not having a way to measure this was the most motivating aspect of the process. Each small win felt like a huge victory. As my 12 week program turned into 3 years of a consistent lifestyle I realized that it wasn’t about making big changes, but making small shifts that helped form new habits. 

Here’s 10 Small Changes that you can make to impact your health in a large way:

  1. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. When you sleep your body is in a resting state and a little inflamed due to lack of movement while getting a good night’s rest. Drinking water first thing in the morning will help lubricate your lymphatic system which will kick start your body’s ability to drain the toxins from your body. I like to keep a S’well Bottle on a bedside table so that first thing in the morning I can have a nice swig of cold water to hydrate the body.
  2. Add protein into your breakfast. Protein is a great macronutrients to help support weight loss and maintenance. Adding egg whites or whole eggs to your breakfast in the morning can help keep the body satiated throughout the day. You can also get a healthy source of protein from Greek Yogurt. For those who are vegan, try a tofu scramble like this simple one from Minimalist Baker.
  3. Cook smarter, not harder.  Once you get into the groove of cooking healthier, get creative. I like to cook once and eat twice. For example I prepare a large batch of brown rice or quinoa and use it for some of my lunches for the week, dinners for the family, or even a savory breakfast bowl. I often do the same with my proteins and prep a batch that I can use both in my prepped meals and dinners for the family. 
  4. Sleep in your workout clothes, clean ones of course. This sounds silly, but sleeping in my set of workout clothes gets me prepared for that early morning workout. There’s no excuse for me to have to change out of pajamas while its cold and dark. I just grab my jacket, put on my shoes, and go!
  5. Start your day with your hype jams. I have a “Get Lifted” playlist that I use to get me in the mood for my day especially when I wake up in a funky mood. Some of the songs on my playlist include “Love on Top” by Beyonce. 
  6. Start a morning ritual like making coffee or fresh juice at home instead of running to your local coffee shop. I started to make our coffee again at home and there’s something about slowing down the morning with a nice ritual that helps calms the nerves and center your energy. 
  7. Use at least one weekend day a month to go on an outdoor adventure. Your biggest source of energy can be found from the elements such as sun and fresh air. Getting outdoors is not only good for the soul, but you get your intake of Vitamin D and fresh oxygen for the lungs. 
  8. Detox the pantry. When I first started my fitness journey, I got rid of all the unhealthy kids and adult snacks in the pantry and replaced items with granola, whole wheat crackers, and nuts. Sometimes as a parent you find yourself mindlessly snacking on kids snacks, so it was important for me to detox the house from those items. This helped to break the habit of mindless snacking.
  9. Pack healthy snacks like raw almonds, granola, or seasonal fruit with you to work or while running errands. Bringing healthy and wholesome nutrition helps to keep you away from convenience foods like candy bars and chips which are packed with refined sugars, high sodium content, and empty calories. You’ll start to notice how much more energy you have throughout the day when you’ve made small changes like this to your snacks.
  10. Switch up your workout routine or even your gym. Our bodies are incredible machines. It can regulate body temperature to stay at a steady 98.6 and can even heal itself when its sick. Since our bodies are so adaptable sometimes we plateau with our fitness progress. Switching up your routine after 12 weeks can help break this plateau and changing your gym environment can help stimulate dwindling motivation.
Muse Exhale Bra  by Albion Fit   Muse Leggings  by Albion Fit

Muse Exhale Bra by Albion Fit

Muse Leggings by Albion Fit

Most people who run into me, lovingly tease me for always checking into a new gym or trying a new workout class. To some it looks like commitment issues, for me I like keeping my surroundings fresh. Most fitness studios will offer you a free first class or have really great rates for new sign ups.  For one week, January 2-6th, you can join Anytime Fitness for a $1 and a get free consultation to help you jump start your fitness goals. Find the location nearest you here.

Thank you Albion FIt for sending for the new activewear.

Jacket: Black Bomber Jacket // other option

Leggings: Muse Leggings by Albion Fit // other option

Sports bra: Muse Exhale Bra by Albion Fit// other option

Shoes: adidas Women's Ultra Boost Uncaged Running Shoes  // other option

Anytime Fitness provided me with compensation in exchange for this sponsored blog post. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Kick Starting 2017 In a Healthy and Balanced Way

This tail end of the year I’ve been working on trying to define what fitness means to me. Since day 1 it has always been to become a healthier version of myself in my 30s. But as I continued on my fitness journey, I evolved. My intention stayed the same but I picked up little goals along the way. I competed in my first NPC Bikini Competition and continued to train for 2 years for a few more. 2016 was the first year I didn’t have the goal to step on stage for another competition. As I look back now at all the training I did for these competitions I realized how out of balance my life would be to try to commit to a sport like that in 2017. During my years of training for competitions I didn’t have the time or the energy to try out different workout classes because of the intensity of focus needed for the training. So in 2017, one of my goals is to have fun trying new fitness classes and trying different ways to move my body.

I’m partnering up with Barre3 to help kick start some of these goals I have in 2017.  Starting January 9th, barre3 is starting a 4 week guided program called B3 ALL IN,  that I’m excited to join. As you know I’m currently enrolled at Institute of Integrative Nutrition and was stoked to see Dr. Frank Lipman, one of the doctors who is part of my curriculum, played a key role in developing the program. The B3 ALL IN Handbook is FREE for all studio members and B3 Online subscribers and you have access to the Digital Community Board guided by some of the industry’s top wellness experts.

I spent some time yesterday during the afternoon digging through the handbook and was happy to see that the program is not a bootcamp or another crash diet, a concern I have when learning about any type of “program” that is put out there in the heath and fitness community. B3 ALL IN’s goal is to help inspire people to live a healthy, strong, and balanced life. 

To join me in B3 ALL IN, you can buy a barre3 Online Plus subscription or join a barre3 studio near you and if you head to any of the Bay Area locations let me know, I'd love to come join you!

My  BBG Sisters  joined me for some barre3:  @fitleelou ,  @jenbonifacio ,  @diapersnbbg . Thanks ladies for driving the distance to join me for some sweat and shakes. 

My BBG Sisters joined me for some barre3: @fitleelou, @jenbonifacio, @diapersnbbg. Thanks ladies for driving the distance to join me for some sweat and shakes. 

barre3 Willow Glen location in San Jose, CA  which also includes day care, if you need to bring your kiddies in during your sweat session.

barre3 Willow Glen location in San Jose, CA which also includes day care, if you need to bring your kiddies in during your sweat session.

As someone who loves to primarily weight train as their exercise this is going to be a fun challenge for me. In weight training or body building a lot of the focus is on the larger muscle groups while the smaller stabilizer muscles are often neglected. I’m excited to feel the difference in my body as I round out my regular training with barre.