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Raise your virtual hand if one of your New Year’s resolutions for like, every single year of your life thus far has been to live a healthier lifestyle in some way, shape, or form. Me too!

About a year and a half ago, I found my self-esteem hitting an all-time low as my weight hit an all-time high. My first instinct? To sign up for a health retreat, one that would hit the reset button on my body, mind, and soul. My current destination of Thailand is a popular destination for spiritual-style fat camps, and it’s easy to see why – I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting for kick-starting a healthy lifestyle.

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

Yoga on Koh Tao

Yoga on Koh Tao

But that particular slice of paradise comes at quite a price. A popular health retreat in Chiang Mai, including food, accommodation, massages, and group training will set you back 218,000 baht for a month – that’s a cool $6,000USD! A similar retreat in Phuket goes for 125,000 baht, or $3,500USD.

While I’m sure those are fabulous programs that provide fantastic results for their customers, that just wasn’t a splurge I was willing nor able to make at that moment. In the same boat? Don’t let it stop you. I figured if I couldn’t afford an official health bootcamp on my travels, I could find a destination where I could self-style my own.

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

And so I decided to create my own, on the little Thai island I call home: Koh Tao. This post is a compilation of notes, journals, and experiences from over a year of experimenting here in Thailand.

Now, I just want to throw in a reminder here that despite my loyal viewership of Grey’s Anatomy, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nutritionist and I’m not a fitness expert. I’m just a girl hungry for a healthier lifestyle. And these are just my stories of trying to find it on Koh Tao, and some ideas for how you could build your own DIY health retreat at home or anywhere else you choose to travel to.

Trapeze Koh Tao

My Goals

In late October of 2015, I kick-started a new workout plan after a period of falling off the fitness wagon. I work best with specific monthly and/or weekly goals. Here’s a sample of a list of monthly goals, or a general roadmap to my DIY health retreat!

Keep a food log every single day to stay accountable to myself

Get my sweat on 25+ times, ideally including 12 gym sessions, 8 yoga sessions, and 4-6 other activities

Drink 2.5L of water per day (three full bottles full)

Get two massages per week

Use only positive self talk

Continue to educate myself on living a healthy lifestyle

You’ll notice that generally none of my goals involved cutting something out of my life, rather on trying to positively add to it. That said, in the past I wasn’t a proponent of axing specific foods or food groups, but ever since completing an incredibly rewarding Diet Coke Cleanse that finally broke my addiction to the most beautiful beverage ever invented (perhaps a topic for a full other post!) I do occasionally experiment with cutting out anything that I’m obsessing over, like candies and desserts, to remind myself that I can live without it.

Hiking on Koh Tao

I also try to avoid making specific goals for numbers I’d like to see on the scale. While I admit that there is a certain number that I seem ever-obsessed with, I’m trying to focus more on the long road it takes to feel fit, confident and strong than setting an arbitrary weight at which I’ll feel I’ve achieved it.

Tracking

For me, tracking is an essential part of meeting my goals. For years I’ve tracked my spending daily in order to meet my financial goals, and in the last eighteen months, I’ve begun tracking my health, too.

I have a cute calendar expressly for tracking my eating and exercising and I try to fill it in religiously every night. In the monthly view section, I fill in my workouts and notate the days I meet my water goals (so important for this former serial dehydrator). In the weekly section, I write down every single thing I eat and drink. Each week I reflect on how the week went, and tweak my goals slightly (swap ciders for vodka sodas, focus on not over-ordering when eating out, etc.)

I Love Salad Koh Tao

This is all about being accountable to myself. No longer can I snarf up three servings of Goldfish and conveniently forget that little snack when I order up a sugary shake an hour later. It also allows me to catch myself before I fall into bad patterns — like realizing I didn’t get any veggies all day, or realizing I’ve been struggling to meet my water goals all week — and course correct for the next day or week.

And for my workout tracking – it’s fun! I created little symbols for my different workouts just for laughs and I love seeing how little white space I can leave at the end of the month by filling the whole page with sweat sessions.

Ideally I would love to be taking more progress photos and recording my measurements as well, but I seem to avoid those tasks pretty successfully on a regular basis. My true test of progress? A favorite pair of shorts that haven’t fit in a long time. When those slip on again, I’ll be ready to celebrate.

• Cost: $15 for a calendar •

Eating

Having healthy, nutritious and restricted meals provided for you is probably the number one benefit to an actual health retreat. Admittedly, I’m eating a little less strictly in my self-styled version than I would in a “real” one – but I’m okay with that. It’s helping me find healthier ways to live that can be applied to real life, and not just live within the confines of a health resort.

The past year has opened my eyes in many ways. Overall, I’ve become a drastically less picky eater over the years. But now I’m also experimenting with a more plant-based diet than I’ve ever eaten before, I’m ordering more carefully when I eat out (which is often) and I’m even discovering new foods – I ordered tofu for the first time in my life, and actually enjoyed it it.

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

Again, I haven’t really cut anything out, though I have focused on eating a protein, vegetable and fruit heavy diet with less reliance on carbs. For example, I eat Thai stir fries and curries often but I no longer order white rice. That said, I have noticed that my afternoon and evening workouts are much easier when I have a lunch that includes a whole wheat wrap or a bit of black rice, so I’m certainly not banning the bottom of the food pyramid.

Heading to Koh Tao for a DIY health retreat of your own? Head to these three locations, the source of the vast majority of my meals:

• Living Juices: Koh Tao’s original green juicer. While I’ve yet to advance to drinking kale, I do go for an occasional ginger carrot juice when my immune system needs a boost and often use one of their a chia seed, oats and banana packed smoothies, the Good Morning Koh Tao, as a filling breakfast. Another fabulous option are the Living Bowls, smoothie bowls made from all-natural goodness. Delish!

For lunch, I often grab a Superfood Salad (all kinds of amazing greens and veggies topped with coconut oil, hummus and/or quinoa chia seed bread, yum!) or if I’m looking for a snack, the Sticks and Dip (sliced and diced veggies with homemade hummus).

Living Juices Koh Tao

Living Juices Koh Tao

• Fitness Café: A health-centric eatery attached to Koh Tao Gym & Fitness. I’m a regular here for the Frozen Berry Nut Crunch (fresh Greek yogurt with berries and almonds) or the Superfood Porridge (with milk, banana, apple, goji, flax, chia seeds and honey) for breakfast, or the chicken quinoa feta salad or chicken avocado on tomato garlic wrap for lunch. Grab a 10% off loyalty card.

• Vegetabowl: A vegetarian lunch and dinner spot building beautiful salad bowls with different themes. My favorite is the Mexican Bowl, which featured black beans that fill me up with protein, but have recently branched out to ordering their tofu-packed versions as well, like the Japanese Bowl – also including edamame, bean spouts, and mango.

Koh Tao Vegetabowl

Koh Tao Vegetabowl

Here’s an example of one of the days from my daily food diary, and the cost:

Breakfast: Frozen berry crunch from Fitness Café (110B)
Jasmine Green Tea

Lunch: Morning Glory & Chicken Stir Fry from Thai restaurant (120B)
Carrot Orange Ginger Juice from Living Juices (150B)

Snack: Banana (5B)
Ginger tea (Free with massage)

Dinner: Mexican Bowl from Vegetabowl (240B)
Soda water (12B)

Water: 2.5L Water (Free!)

This glorious day of food and drink cost 637 baht (actually cheaper since I have discount cards and local prices at many of these places, but that would be the walk in cost). That comes to about $18USD.

This was an expensive day, and often I have cheaper ones by swapping a meal for an apple and peanut butter or organic, GMO-free rice thins (a great find on the island imported from Australia) spread with peanut butter and mango. In general though, eating a healthy and plant-heavy diet in Thailand will cost a lot more than grabbing a Pad Thai on the street.

• Cost: $500 per month for healthy nutritious meals •

Exercise

There’s nothing I love more than getting my sweat on! Here’s a few workouts I’ve experimented with here on Koh Tao:

• Yoga: Yoga has changed my life! Sadly I practice a lot less of it now that Grounded, my local studio on Sairee Beach, has closed their location that was literally next door to my apartment, and Ocean Sound has taken a hiatus from offering workshops. That said, I make it to Ocean Sound classes once or twice a week, and I occasionally practice at home using the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel, a great option for those who don’t have a studio nearby or are on limited budgets.

Ocean Sound Yoga Koh Tao

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

• Gym: Last year I finally tried the insta-famous 12 week BBG Program, a PDF or app-based workout you can do anywhere. Its founder Kayla Itsines is a social media celebrity, and the before-and-afters from real users posted to instagram are what inspired me to start. While I do these workouts at the gym, they are light on equipment and could be modified to do just about anywhere with body weight. The program calls for three gym sessions a week, each focusing on legs, arms and abs, or abs and cardio.

Recently I’ve been hitting the gym again and haven’t been feeling motivated to start a new round of BBG, so I just search Pinterest for the body area I want to exercise and the amount of time I have (ie. twenty minute arm workout) and pin a workout from there! On Koh Tao, I purchase twelve-pack gym sessions from Koh Tao Gym and Fitness.

• Other: In the past year I’ve logged sessions of trapeze, paddleboarding, muay thai, hiking, scuba diving, and crossfit. Anything that gets my heart rate up – and bonus points if it involves exploring this beautiful island!

Trapeze Koh Tao

Koh Tao Trapeze

Trapeze Koh Tao

By purchasing class packs for yoga and the gym, I’m able to make them very affordable. Hiking and practicing yoga at home are also free! See more pricing information and Koh Tao workout inspiration in this post.

• Cost: $150 per month •

Positive Thoughts

Last year, at an intensive vinyasa workshop, our instructor was discussing the yamas of yoga, and piqued my interest when she brought up animas, or non-violence. We discussed that animas can be interpreted more broadly than just “don’t hit people.” It also means to practice non-violence towards yourself – to use positive language when you talk about your body, and to treat yourself the way you’d treat your closest friends.

Koh Tao Paddleboarding

This hit home because it’s something I’ve been musing a lot on lately. I’ve been struggling greatly with feeling comfortable in my skin, and when I go to the gym and look in the mirror and start to feel negative thoughts creeping out, I remind myself to work out not because I hate my body and wish I had someone else’s instead, because I love my body and I’m grateful for all the adventures it takes me on — and I want to treat it with respect in return.

• Cost: Free! • 

Water

After a life of dehydration, in the past year I finally feel like I know what being properly watered feels like. And dang, is it gorgeous! I make the ambitious goal of chugging three bottles full per day, which amounts to 2.5L or 10 cups (so a bit above the standard recommended 8).

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

Wondering how I can drink water out of the tap in Thailand? Read this post on personal filtration devices — I also recently invested in this filtered water pitcher for my house. It’s amazing what a difference this makes in my day! Drinking water has never been easier and I feel more full, have more energy and get less headaches.

• Cost: Thanks to the products mentioned above, $0 per month •

Massage

I’ve always felt strongly that massage was a critically important part of health, and finally TIME.com went and provided me with the perfect pull quote to prove it:

The results are fairly clear that massage boosts your serotonin by as much as 30 percent. Massage also decreases stress hormones and raises dopamine levels, which helps you create new good habits… Massage reduces pain because the oxytocin system activates painkilling endorphins. Massage also improves sleep and reduces fatigue by increasing serotonin and dopamine and decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.

Here in Koh Tao, twice weekly massages are a luxury I can easily afford. Typically I go for one full hour Thai or oil massage (300-400 baht or $9-12 USD) and one half-hour reflexology session (200-250 baht or $6-7 USD).

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

Yoga on Koh Tao

Yoga on Koh Tao

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

I realize that isn’t possible in most parts of the world. When I’m in the US and my body is aching for a treatment, I scour Groupon for deals or trade with friends – in the past, I took a one-day massage course in Chiang Mai and I still like to bust out those moves.

• Cost: I budgeted $80 per month for massages •

Education

Being in Koh Tao, I don’t have access to any formal education opportunities as far as nutrition and wellness. But I knew this would be an important part of my progress, so I crowdsourced books and documentaries on the subjects with a Facebook post asking friends for their recommendation. Here’s what I’ve downloaded as a result.

Watching

• Fed Up: Absolutely eye-opening — you won’t go food shopping the same way ever again!

• Food Inc.: The classic film on food in America.

• Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: Emotional and moving account of one man’s struggle to change school lunch programs.

• Food Matters / Hungry for Change / The Sugar Film: Still need to watch!

Reading

• What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul: This has been my favorite health-related read ever. It’s all about refocusing your perspective so that you crave the things that are good for you, instead of fetishizing those that are bad.

• In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto: So excited to dig into this infamous book on our culture’s complicated relationship with food.

• Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us: My little sister loved this — I’m almost afraid to read it (I love salt, sugar, and fat!). But I do love being angry at major corporations, so there’s that!

• Eat. Nourish. Glow.: A recent recommendation I’m looking forward to digging into.

• Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life: My older sister recommended this as a way to help incorporate more plant-based nutrients into my diet, which I’m interested in for ethical and environmental reasons (though I don’t plan to give up meat entirely.)

Also

Attending yoga workshops, watching free TED talks on fitness and nutrition, and talking to friends and family about their experiences with health and nutrition.

The beauty of the fact that so many travelers have a laptop or iPad or a Kindle or even a smartphone means you can educate yourself anywhere you decide to do a DIY health retreat. Some documentaries are free or available on Netflix, but if not cost about $5 to rent. Books were generally around $10 on Kindle.

• Cost: I budgeted $50 for books and movies •

. . . . . . .

Trapeze Koh Tao

Now, there’s one element here that simply can’t be ignored: dealing with distractions! If I was sequestered away at an all-inclusive health spa, I certainly wouldn’t have the temptation to drink with my friends or order a pizza from my favorite italian restaurant… both of which I do here on Koh Tao, since I’ve been living here on and off for years. Ideally, I’d love to try creating a DIY health retreat in a destination where I’d have a few less diversions.

In total, here’s what you could spend for a month long self-styled health retreat. To make the comparison fair, I’ve also included a sample monthly rent on a past, fairly luxurious apartment of mine that included all my bills and weekly cleaning.

 Rent: $420

 Tracking: $15

 Food: $500

 Exercise: $150

 Massages: $80

 Education: $50 

— Total: $1,215

As you can see, that’s quite a significant savings over the $3,500 Phuket version of the $6,000 retreat in Chiang Mai. Would I still love to hit one of those up someday and see what kind of physical transformation they might bring? Hell yes. But for now, I’m working with what time and funds I’ve got.

Koh Tao Fitness Retreat

I’m not saying I’ve got it all figured out — far from it! But I am trying to constantly guide myself towards a slightly healthier lifestyle, wherever in the world I may be. I have to admit, I’m currently in a bit of a slump where I’m feeling frustrated with my progress and I hope that publishing this, and starting a conversation with you all in the comments, will motivate me out of my funk. So let’s chat health and fitness!

What steps would you take for a DIY health retreat?

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Creating a DIY Health Retreat in Koh Tao, Thailand

Creating a DIY Health Retreat in Koh Tao, Thailand

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32 Comments...
  • Ijana Loss
    April 15 2017

    I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time! I’m an avid CrossFitter so admittedly it would be less of a kickstart and more of a health continuation, but like everyone I’m still not as far as I’d like to be on the healthy living spectrum and I’d love to try out things like yoga and eating more plants and other stuff that typically happens on health retreats. Koh Tao seems like a pretty good place to do something like that!

    • Alex
      April 18 2017

      And Koh Tao does have a Crossfit gym! Come on over and check it out 😉

  • Marni
    April 15 2017

    Awesome post! It is definitely harder to do in more expensive areas of the world, I think, but there are even small steps you can take towards a healthier lifestyle. I particularly like your point about looking at yourself in a positive light; it’s a great reminder for something I don’t do often enough either.
    Marni recently posted..Lessons I Learned From my First 10 Countries

    • Alex
      April 18 2017

      And best of all… it’s free!

  • Kendal
    April 15 2017

    Ahh health & fitness…the two topics which no one can ever seem to agree on.

    I’ve finally realized what works best is what works best for me and me only. All of our bodies are different, therefore requiring different things, and we all have different goals. Realizing this completely changed by attitude towards my fitness routine.

    I must admit that I choked a laugh when I read your positive thoughts section. Alex, you are body goals. I cannot count the times I’ve been jealous of your body. But you touched on something I, too, have struggled with — body positivity. Slowly I’m loving my body for the opportunities and adventures it gives me instead of hating it for what it is not and can never be. Shouldn’t the good be enough?

    Finally, I remember watching Jamie Oliver’s film in school. I packed my lunch every day after and even wrote my graduating thesis comparing school lunch programs around the world — all inspired by Jamie’s film. He is my go-to on all things food and nutrition.
    Kendal recently posted..World War II: Russia’s Story

    • Alex
      April 18 2017

      Absolutely, everyone is different. Whenever a trainer/nutritionist/whoever tells me something that is an “absolute must” or “absolute fact,” I take it with a grain of salt as I’m sure there’s another equally qualified expert who feels just as strongly in another direction. That said, I’ll always listen intently as I love hearing different mindsets and perspectives on health and fitness!

      And regarding body positivity, if there’s one thing being surrounded by thin friends, many of whom either could be or are actually literally models has taught me, it’s that no body type corners the market on insecurities. Gaining ten or fifteen pounds may seem like nothing to someone who has gained a hundred pounds, but not feeling comfortable in your own skin is a terrible feeling regardless of the scale. Like you said, we are all different.

  • Jill
    April 15 2017

    This is a great post, and so relatable–I think most of us have had body and fitness struggles at some point in our lives. Growing up, I was allergic to fitness and naturally thin, so it was a shock when I went to college, started eating a ton of junk and suddenly gained weight. Then, thanks to a form of hormonal birth control that made me crave bad foods like never before, things got even worse. It wasn’t until I moved somewhere sunnier and healthier that things started to click…suddenly being healthy didn’t mean slogging to the gym in the rain, it meant a fun bike ride to work! And eating healthy didn’t mean I could never go out, it meant I could just hit the smoothie place down the road! And as you say, positivity’s been key: it’s not about getting ripped, I remind myself, but about being happy and healthy. Hang in there–I, for one, think you always look amazing!

    • Alex
      April 18 2017

      Love this, Jill — and thank you! I agree, my love of being outdoors goes hand-in-hand with my love of fitness. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good group fitness class when I’m back in the States (LONG LIVE CLASSPASS) but nothing beats a sunset hike up my favorite hill or an hour of paddleboarding out in the sun.

  • Cate
    April 15 2017

    I have tried doing a fitness weekend at least many times- but all those smoothies can get pretty pricey in the states! I also have really wanted to change my body for awhile, and in the fall I was on a good track, running and doing yoga and I was on a Mediterranean diet which I loved and it totally changed me but I fell off the wagon around Thanksgiving (um…..Pie?) This has inspired me to try again, and I just want you to know Alex that you have a beautiful body and figure and have nothing to worry about!
    Cate recently posted..A Love Letter to the Sea

    • Alex
      April 18 2017

      Thanks Cate, you’re too kind! Unfortunately I think my vanity sometimes gets in the way of authenticity in this case — I delete the vast majority of photos that are ever taken of myself, and any that might reveal the ten pounds I’ve gained are the first to get axed! Which I suppose is a very natural human thing to do, wanting to present the best version of yourself — but probably makes you guys think I’m crazy when I say I’ve gained weight, ha ha.

  • Dominique
    April 16 2017

    Good for you!! I keep trying to live a healthier lifestyle but it’s not really catching on… All I can do is to not beat myself up over it and to continue trying 🙂
    Dominique recently posted..Doha – A Long Transit

    • Alex
      April 18 2017

      Indeed! Self-loathing is a dangerous cycle — and it never leads anywhere good!

  • This is so fun! Can we do all these things when I finally come visit you 😉

    P.S. Glad to see you’re practicing your acro as you know you won’t be escaping it at Roo this year!
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..The Spice Island 101: Planning a Trip to Grenada

    • Alex
      April 18 2017

      Duhhhhh! I can’t wait for them to release a more detailed schedule!

  • Becky
    April 18 2017

    Great post (I’m all for DIY health retreats!) The main form of exercise that I do while traveling (and at home) is ashtanga yoga – it’s a set series of postures that you can do anywhere and since it’s a set series you don’t need an instructor. It takes some self-discipline to actually practice alone, but it’s an amazing full-body workout!

    • Alex
      April 19 2017

      I actually would like to give ashtanga a real go. So far my yoga practice has mainly been vinyasa, hatha, and yin — but I love trying new things! I’ve done a few bikram classes and they haven’t really been for me…

  • Katelyn
    April 19 2017

    I’m doing something similar to this in Bali next month. I looked into yoga retreats and holy cow are they expensive! $500 USD for a three retreat. No thanks! I much like the DIY route anyway 🙂
    Katelyn recently posted..On the Beer Trail From Charlotte to Asheville

    • Alex
      April 20 2017

      Nice! Bali is the PERFECT place for a DIY Health Retreat!

  • Laura
    April 20 2017

    Hi Alex I can’t believe the foods you eat now. I also don’t know how you did those yoga poses. You look great ?so don’t be so hard on yourself. Love ya

    • Alex
      April 21 2017

      Thanks Laur! To be fair, that tofu is the ONLY tofu I’ve liked though. So don’t worry, I haven’t gone too wild 😛

  • Amy
    April 20 2017

    This was great! I have been toying with the idea of doing something similar in Bali for 30 days. Wonder what the cost comparison would be. Maybe I’ll try and record and share my results!

    • Alex
      April 21 2017

      Please do Amy! I’d love to read it!

  • becky hutner
    April 20 2017

    WELL DONE ON KICKING THE DC, Girl! As a former addict, I know the allures of the fizzy brown liquid all too well. Luckily a mixture of environmentalism, vanity and concern for my health helped me say farewell in 2011.

    Holistic health including nutrition & fitness are amongst my greatest passions so I’d love to see more of these posts! If you don’t already listen to “Ultimate Health Podcast,” I highly recommend it! (just so happens to be started by a pal from Hebrew school of all things) Keep up the good work you. It goes without saying you always LOOK amazing but I know it’s all about how we feel.

    PS — Dying to try acroyoga. When oh when!

    • Alex
      April 21 2017

      Ooooo Becky now I want to hear more about your DC kicking journey. Do you drink it at all anymore? I still do occasionally — HOW BEAUTIFUL IT FEELS to be able to just “occasionally” have one! But at the moment I’m sitting here trying to remember when the last time was and I think it was perhaps my post-Songkran hangover, so about a week. For someone who used to go through 2-3 a day (embarrassing) it’s wild to think about. When you say environmentalism do you mean the can recycling or something else?

      And thanks for the podcast rec! I’ve started enjoying some solo hiking lately and listening to podcasts while I do it… will check it out.

      • becky hutner
        April 23 2017

        Aaah, Alex! So much to say in such a little comment box. I am hugely ashamed to admit I was a 1-2 BOTTLE a day drinker. I think they were 500ml? So ya, that’s part of your environment question answered. I’ve reached my single use plastic quota FOR LIFE. But as I’m sure you can relate, the addiction is sooo specific. I would actually refuse DC in a can or even poured from a larger bottle. It had to be personal sized, in plastic and I had a little ritual around going out to get it. I didn’t stock them because a) I didn’t want to make it too easy on myself and b) Perhaps I always hoped I’d wake up one day and not need one?

        When it was time to finally FINALLY quit, I went cold turkey. Now that I think about it, I was actually in a similar situation to you where I was looking to shed the 10-15 pounds that had been slowly creeping up on me. Nothing was working so my Mom suggested the South Beach diet. This is something else I’m ashamed to admit because there’s a lot in the diet that doesn’t jive with me now BUT 6 years later, I do practice my own tailored version of it. Anyway, part of the protocol is eliminating caffeine for 2 weeks which meant bye bye DC. I’d already been wanting to kick it for various other reasons (my dentist was always scaring me with the potential of eroded tooth enamel — do you realise what a thin, delicate layer of white we have on our teeth?) so I felt ready, but it was NOT easy. Probably the most trying aspect of the diet. But I am pleased to say that A) The diet was a complete success & I’ve kept the weight off to this day (for the most part. Health in the land of pints & pies is a new challenge…). B) I didn’t go back to Diet Coke.

        For the first year, I’d very occasionally have a secret one (again with the ritual. I couldn’t be a normal person and order it from the fountain at hungover brunch. Had to go it alone to a seedy corner store and guzzle it while my boyfriend was at work). After that, it faded away. It’s probably been 4 years since I had my last sip and I never crave it or think about it. Until now!!

        Back to the environmental aspect…in addition to the plastic waste (for those who don’t know, most plastic doesn’t get recycled even though it’s technically recyclable. And even so, it’s better not to use at all than to recycle which requires resources), there’s the issue of supporting a corporate multi-national focused on short-term profits vs. the health & safety of its customers & future of the planet. Such a giant topic but basically, soda production involves a lot of chemicals, mostly untested and while I don’t know stats, almost all industrial processes are highly polluting & resource intensive (water, land etc). As much as possible, I try to give my money to small, local and / or sustainable businesses who have way more accountability and transparency.

        I know it’s much more difficult to be choosy about sourcing when traveling. Hell, it can be difficult in a major city! I guess the best we can do is keep educating ourselves and making those small changes that add up to something big for our health and the future of our precious little world? Let’s hope.

        • Alex
          April 23 2017

          This was so interesting to read, thank you Becky! I will link to your comment in my upcoming post, if you don’t mind.

          I feel you, I was a 2-3 can a day drinker (let’s be real… it was three.) Even better out of a fountain! I went cold turkey at first too though I never intended to make it permanent so I do still have the occasional one. Maybe once a week? I love some of the environmental points you brought up which I frankly hadn’t even considered. Thank you for making me think about them!

          • becky hutner
            April 24 2017

            Yes feel free to link. I could ramble on & on about these topics…haven’t even touched on the dangers of aspartame & artificial sweeteners and how taxing it is on our system to overload it with things we were never meant to ingest! But I will stop the doom & gloom here & save it for the next health post 🙂

          • Alex
            April 25 2017

            Haha, definitely chime in on that one!

  • Elizabeth Trudel
    April 21 2017

    I feel you with the slump! I majorly injured my knee in January and haven’t been able to move much in the past 3 months… You can look up toneitup.com they have daily free workouts and sometimes it’s only little elastic bands or paper plates/towels, super easy to do at home.

    • Alex
      April 23 2017

      Funny you mention them, I actually stayed right next to the Tone It Up girls in Jamaica and saw them doing some filming! I’ve been meaning to check out their workouts ever since… thanks for the reminder!

  • Joanne the crazy lady
    June 6 2017

    I am told often by my daughters that I need to stop drinking soft drink as in Pepsi Max or Coke Zero and drink more water, I am not a fan of water at this stage of my life when I was younger I drank more water and who knows what the future will bring but right now I am not into water.

    I do exercise every day for between 60-80 minutes which is better then I did a year ago back then I did 0 minutes a day.
    Joanne the crazy lady recently posted..Kiriwina Island

    • Alex
      June 8 2017

      Wow that’s a lot! I take a lot of classes that are 50-60 minutes but a full 80 minutes is a big investment — I’m impressed 🙂 Actually working out is what makes me drink a ton of water! I get SO thirsty when I run around!

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