Wellness retreats are trending. And for good reason. A radical act of self-love, it's the ultimate gift to set aside time and focus for your personal evolvement and growth. From a wellness retreat in Cabo San Lucas with a sacred cacao breathing ceremony to urban retreats in major cities that offer a haven from your busy life - it's time to get away to relax, reset, and rejuvenate.
Put Cayman Rejuvenate on your wellness list. Hosted at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, for three wellness-packed days, you're in the care of leading-edge health and fitness experts on Seven Mile Beach, voted one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
Cayman Rejuvenate delivered life-changing programming, fearless fun, mindful cuisine, inspiring new friends, soul support, and feeling utterly pampered. This was exactly what I needed to reboot my mind-body-soul connection.
I arrived solo for some quality "me-time" and flowed freely in and out of myth-busting talks, holistic cooking demos, healthy cocktail soirees, and butt-burning fitness classes. In-between sessions, I floated in the Carribean's turquoise water as any leftover stress melted away. What I experienced was a priceless return to self-love.
Day One, Intention
After checking into my plush ocean-view room, I blissed out on the balcony with a gratitude meditation and set my intention: surrender to change. Then I headed to the ballroom to hear Goop’s go-to functional medicine expert Dr. Will Cole "geek out" about inflammation. His mindblowing science-based talk revealed how to identify our "zone of false wellness.” So we can achieve our true state of health and change our genetic expression by reducing CRP and inflammation triggers.
After his talk, I chatted with Dr. Cole as he signed his book The Inflammation Spectrum on the ballroom balcony. The moon shined over the ocean as I sipped a mindful mocktail and mixed with other guests connecting over our passion for wellness and learning.
That night I dined at Andiamo with water views and ate the best gluten-free vegan pizza, well... ever. For dessert, two scoops of creamy dairy-free chocolate gelato satisfied my sweet tooth. Yet soon it was time to retire to my room for a balcony bedtime meditation under the stars. As I cozied under the soft bed sheets and slipped off to sleep, one word circled my mind. Grateful.
Day Two, Letting Go
The next morning I ventured to Jessie's Juice Bar at Camana Bay for a nourishing wholesome breakfast. I noshed on superfood mini muffins, baked eggs, and one of their deliciously famous cold-brew coffees with a pinch of sea salt.
Back at the Harbour Club Pool, AK! Body's Amanda Kloots was gearing up for water aerobics. A former Broadway dancer, she delivered a fun low impact workout that equally balanced muscle groups. It felt amazing to get back into my body and challenge myself with a hard but satisfying workout. I pushed past the point I wanted to stop and discovered just how far I could go.
Next was Train Your Brain: Get Your Thoughts in Shape with Infinite Mindcare. Our facilitator led us through a game-changing discovery process on how to identify, challenge, and redirect negative thoughts. Almost instantly, it was clear where I had given myself over to destructive "all or nothing" thinking and over-personalized events. But, forget the past. Moving forward, I know what to do instead.
All this mind-body work made me seriously hungry for the Ketotarian Q&A lunch with Dr. Will Cole hosted at SEVEN. The restaurant's talented chefs prepared a divine lunch using his (mostly) plant-based principles to get all the fat-burning benefits of ketosis - without consuming large amounts of meat or dairy. I learned how burning fat versus sugar also supports better brain function and all-day energy.
After lunch, I popped to the beach for a relaxing swim in clear aquamarine water and relaxed. The only work I did was on my tan. That was before Simone de La Rue’s Dance Cardio class. Fitness expert to the stars, de la Rue is committed to putting the joy back into exercise. I won’t pretend that I even remotely kept up with de La Rue, nor rocked her fun dance routine. But I had a smile on my sweaty face as I shook my bootie, let go of self-judgment, and danced like "no one is watching".
After a blissed-out sunset meditation, I joined my growing girl-tribe in the ballroom excited to hear F-Factor founder Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD speak about healthy weight management without compromising lifestyle. She drove home the message that short term actions (goodbye, fad diets) don’t create long-term results. And how most women (myself included) are missing the required daily dose of fiber for an optimal metabolic rate. Fiber is the keystone that unlocks an easier way to maintain a healthy weight without adding exercise or eating less.
Day Three, Renewal
I woke up feeling fresh and light-hearted. I had the perfect balance of solitude and the company of inspiring men and women. I loved the flow of breezing in and out of events that inspired me.
After a green juice breakfast, I went to the beach shack for a sailing lesson. True confession: twenty years ago, I learned to single sail a catamaran. But I hadn't sailed in years and I was nervous to try again. To captain a boat alone seemed daunting. After my sailing refresher, I made enough mistakes for the beach team to pay me a visit on a jet ski. Then a sudden sunshower buffed up the wind. But in one victorious moment, it all came back as I trimmed the sail and heard the sweet hum of the hull. A rush of confidence filled me. The voice inside that whispers I can do it roars a little louder now.
I wasn't at the helm but a group of us sailed to Stingray City, a protected marine interaction reserve. I was the first to jump into the chest-deep sapphire water and waded out onto a shallow sandbar where stingrays glided past. Often, three or more stingrays softly brushed up against me. What a thrill to be one with nature! And safely. The Ritz-Carlton Ambassadors of the Environment, a program developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau, helps protect and harmlessly experience the natural wonders of Grand Cayman.
The close of Cayman Rejuvenate was a fun interactive sunset photo session with yoga Instagram sensation Riva G. She generously shared her tips to capture gorgeous yoga poses and how to edit them to bring our best. With the sun dropping, I reflected on all that I had learned when a feeling bubbled up that I hadn't felt in a while. Satisfaction. With who I am. Not from the outside in. But from the inside out. Connection. Renewal. Confidence. Support. Letting others take care of me. It was just the kind of magic I needed.
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