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  • 25 HACKS FOR HEALTHY TRAVEL SNACKS: NAVIGATING THE AIRPORT FOOD DESERT

    As your trusted luxury travel and wellness consultant, I am constantly on the go, I've learned that airports can feel like deserts for healthy food options. Amid the hustle and bustle of travel, it’s easy to succumb to the convenience of fast food or sugary snacks, which can send your blood glucose levels on an unwant ed rollercoaster ride. But with a little preparation, you can maintain your metabolic health and avoid the pitfalls of airport eating. Traveling is demanding on your body. The combination of jet lag, poor sleep, and stress can lead to increased cravings for high-carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods. This can create a vicious cycle where convenience foods cause your blood glucose to spike and crash, leaving you feeling even more sluggish.   Here’s the good news: You can eat better while traveling with a bit of planning. Let me share with you some healthy travel snacks and real-food options that are both airport security-friendly and beneficial for maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Best Healthy Travel Snacks to Prep at Home 1. Chopped Salad: Before you head out, raid your crisper for sturdy vegetables like kale, carrots, and cabbage. Chop everything up and toss it with toasted pumpkin seeds and a bit of your favorite no-added-sugar dressing. If you’re dressing on the side, just ensure it's in a travel-friendly container. 2. Beet Chips: For a sweet, earthy snack, try beet chips. You can make them at home by thinly slicing beets, tossing them with a little olive oil and salt, and baking until crispy. They’re packed with fiber and vitamins.   3.  Protein Pancake Sandwiches: Make a batch of protein pancakes and let them cool. Spread almond butter between two pancakes and add slices of banana or a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sandwich that’s filling and easy to eat on the go.   4. Veggie Nori Rolls: Fill nori sheets (seaweed) with a mixture of cooked quinoa, sliced vegetables, and a splash of tamari sauce. Roll them up and slice into bite-sized pieces. These are great for a light, hydrating snack that's also rich in minerals.   5.  Baked Apple Chips: Slice apples thinly, sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon, and bake until crisp. These chips are naturally sweet and a great source of fiber.   6. Homemade Jerky: Make your own beef or turkey jerky without the added sugars and preservatives found in many store-bought varieties. Marinate thin slices of meat in a mix of soy sauce, Worcestershire, and smoked paprika, then dry them in an oven at a low temperature.   7.  Sweet Potato Brownies: Prepare brownies using mashed sweet potatoes as the base to add nutrients, natural sweetness, and moisture without the need for added sugar or fat. They’re a tasty way to sneak in some extra vegetables.   8.  Chia Pudding Packs: Mix chia seeds with almond milk and vanilla extract and let it sit overnight. Scoop into small jars and top with berries for a boost of antioxidants. This pudding can be a creamy and satisfying snack or breakfast option.   9.  Stuffed Dates: Pit dates and fill them with nut butter or a mixture of cream cheese and herbs for a sweet and savory snack. Dates are energy-dense and help keep hunger at bay.   10. Savory Muffins: Bake muffins using ingredients like spinach, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes. These can be a great savory option that’s easy to pack and won’t spike your blood sugar.   11.  Frozen Yogurt Drops: Drop dots of Greek yogurt mixed with honey or pureed fruit onto a sheet pan and freeze. Once frozen, pack them in an insulated container for a cool, protein-rich snack.   12.  Vegetable Sticks with Hummus: Slice some crunchy veggies like bell peppers or cucumbers and pair them with a small container of hummus. Remember, keep the hummus under 3.4 ounces to comply with TSA rules.   13. Celery and Peanut Butter: This classic snack can be a great travel companion. Spread some sugar-free peanut butter on celery sticks, and for a little kick, sprinkle with cayenne pepper.   14. Homemade Snack Bars: Instead of reaching for sugar-laden bars at the airport, make your own at home with nuts, seeds, and a bit of natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.   15. Grain-Free Granola: Create a mix of nuts and seeds, maybe a few coconut flakes for that hint of sweetness, avoiding refined carbs and supporting your metabolic health.   16. Easy Deviled Eggs: Top halved hard-boiled eggs with a smear of mayonnaise and your favorite spices. If you're worried about the smell on the plane, plain boiled eggs are a smell-free alternative.   17. Tuna Salad on Seed Crackers: Whip up some homemade flaxseed crackers as a base for tuna or chicken salad. The soluble fiber in flax can help prevent travel-related digestive issues.   18. Salmon Cucumber Boats: Combine smoked salmon and cream cheese, and spoon the mixture into halved, seedless cucumbers. Garnish with chives for a touch of elegance. No Prep Required: Healthy Travel Snacks You Can Buy and Bring to the Airport 19. Olive Packets: A small pack of olives is not only easy to carry but also filled with healthy fats and antioxidants, perfect for a quick snack.   20. Trail Mix: Choose a trail mix with nuts and coconut flakes instead of sugary dried fruits. Look for those labeled as "keto" for lower sugar options.   21. Nut Butter Packets: These are great for a quick dose of healthy fats and protein. Just watch out for added sugars.   23. Epic Brand Meat Bars: These bars are clean, lean, and low in sugar, offering a substantial protein boost.   24. Whole Fruit: Opt for fruits like oranges, strawberries, or blackberries. They’re less likely to spike your glucose levels, especially when paired with nut butter.   25. Roasted Edamame or Chickpeas: These snacks are rich in protein and fiber, making them an excellent choice for travel. Available in convenient, single-serving packs, they come in various flavors to keep your taste buds entertained. If You Must Buy Food From an Airport Store Sometimes, despite best efforts, you might find yourself needing to purchase food at the airport. Here are some healthier choices: Nuts : Opt for a raw mixed variety. Avoid flavored ones as they may contain added sugars. Greek Yogurt:  Many airport stores carry single-serving containers of Greek yogurt. It’s a great source of protein and can be found plain or with fruit. Avoid versions with added sugars; instead, opt for plain yogurt and add fresh fruit or nuts if available. Fresh Fruit Cups : Many airport kiosks and coffee shops offer cups of freshly cut fruit. These are excellent for a quick, hydrating snack that provides natural sugars, fiber, and a variety of vitamins. Pre-made Salads:  Many airport food outlets offer a range of salads. Opt for salads with lots of vegetables, some lean protein like chicken or fish, and a vinaigrette on the side rather than creamy dressings. Ensure it’s freshly made to get the best nutrients and flavor. Vegetable and Hummus Packs:  Some stores sell small packs containing raw vegetables like carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes, along with a small pot of hummus. This is a healthy snack that is high in fiber and protein, helping you feel satisfied during your journey. Dark Chocolate:  Choose bars that are 80% cocoa or higher to minimize sugar content. Hard-Boiled Eggs : Often found in grab-and-go sections, they're a great protein source. String Cheese:  Typically found near children’s snacks, these are convenient and low in carbs. By planning ahead and choosing wisely, you can maintain your health regimen and enjoy your travels without compromising on nutrition. Whether you prepare snacks at home or opt for smart choices at the airport, keeping your blood sugar stable while traveling is both achievable and essential. Safe travels and happy snacking!   With warmth and wellness,   Lauren

  • SOUTHALL FARM AND INN, FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE

    Exit Broadway to Find a Hidden Gem at Southall Farm and Inn As the founder of Well Inspired Travels, a boutique luxury wellness travel agency, I have had the privilege of curating unforgettable experiences for my clients around the globe. Today I want to share our visit to Southall Farm and Inn, nestled in the plush countryside of Franklin, Tennessee. Escape the craziness in Nashville on Broadway and come with me on a journey to the peaceful countryside at Southall Farm and Inn. Arrival and First Impressions From the moment we arrived at Southall Farm and Inn, we were enveloped in a sense of peace and luxury. The sprawling estate, encompassing over 325 acres of pristine land, exuded an air of understated elegance. The rustic charm of the farmhouse-style architecture, coupled with the lush greenery and rolling hills, immediately set the tone for a restorative escape. We were warmly greeted by the attentive staff, who ensured that every aspect of our stay was seamlessly coordinated. As we made our way to our accommodations, we couldn't help but admire the meticulous attention to detail evident in every corner of the property. From the carefully curated artwork adorning the walls to the cozy furnishings and inviting fireplace, our room exuded a sense of cozy sophistication. Spa and Wellness Experiences One of the highlights of our stay at Southall Farm and Inn was indulging in the array of spa and wellness offerings available on-site. The Spa at Southall provided a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation, with a comprehensive menu of treatments designed to nourish the body, mind, and spirit.   Chris and I opted for a couples massage, and from the moment we entered the treatment room, we knew we were in for a truly pampering experience. The skilled therapists expertly tailored the massage to our individual needs, using a combination of techniques to release tension and promote deep relaxation. As we emerged from our treatment feeling blissfully rejuvenated and ready for more adventure at the farm,   In addition to traditional spa services, Southall Farm and Inn also offered a variety of unique wellness experiences designed to enhance overall well-being. From guided meditation sessions amidst the tranquil beauty of nature to invigorating yoga classes held in the open air, there was no shortage of opportunities to nurture body, mind, and soul. Outdoor Pursuits and Fitness Offerings For those seeking adventure and activity, Southall Farm and Inn offered a plethora of outdoor pursuits to suit every interest. From horseback riding (my personal favorite activity, Chris not so much) along scenic trails to fly fishing in the pristine waters of the Harpeth River, there was no shortage of opportunities to connect with nature and explore the great outdoors. Chris, as a former pro athlete and avid fitness enthusiast, was particularly impressed by the state-of-the-art fitness center located on the property. Equipped with top-of-the-line cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as dedicated yoga and Pilates studios, the fitness center provided the perfect setting for maintaining their wellness routines while away from home.   Culinary Delights No luxury getaway would be complete without indulging in exquisite culinary creations, and Southall Farm and Inn certainly delivered on that front. The property boasted several dining options, each offering a unique culinary experience showcasing locally sourced ingredients and artisanal flavors. Our evenings were spent savoring farm-to-table cuisine at The Barn, a charming restaurant housed in a beautifully restored barn overlooking the beautiful countryside. From delicate seafood dishes to hearty comfort food classics, every meal was a celebration of the region's rich culinary heritage. Recommendation and Conclusion Our stay at Southall Farm and Inn was nothing short of extraordinary, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to our discerning Well Inspired Travels followers and clients. From the impeccable hospitality and luxurious accommodations to the array of wellness offerings and outdoor activities, every aspect of our experience surpassed our expectations. Southall Farm and Inn provides the perfect setting for couples seeking a romantic escape, friends in search of adventure and relaxation, or individuals looking to reconnect with themselves amidst the beauty of nature. Whether you're seeking restoration in the spa, exhilaration in the great outdoors, or culinary delights that tantalize the taste buds, Southall Farm and Inn offers an unparalleled retreat for all interests. As a luxury wellness travel advisor, I am confident that Southall Farm and Inn will continue to delight and inspire our clients, providing them with memories to cherish for a lifetime. I look forward to sharing this hidden gem with our Well Inspired Travels community, and I have no doubt that it will become a beloved destination.   With warmth and wellness,   Lauren

  • THE POWER OF MORNING MANTRAS AND TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION: A SHINING PATH TO WELLNESS AND FULFILLMENT

    As the sun shines on the start of a new day, I embrace the morning light with a heart full of gratitud e link gratitude blog here and a m ind poised for centering and calming my thoughts for the day. My journey starting at the young age of 6 years old in the wellness and travel space, has been nothing short of transformative, guided by a deep passion for enhancing women’s wellness through immersive travel experiences. As a wellness travel advisor, consultant, health coach and a proud graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) , I’ve had the privilege of marrying my expertise in wellness with the unique joys of travel to create truly enriching experiences for those who seek them. At Well Inspired Travels, our mission is to elevate your wellness insight, allowing you to maximize your life’s potential through holistic healing practices and unforgettable journeys. Our core values of Knowledge, Wellbeing, Authenticity, and Humility are the cornerstones of every endeavor we undertake, ensuring that your journey with us is not just a trip but a transformative experience. Today, I want to share with you the profound impact that daily morning mantras have on my practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) , a cornerstone of my wellness routine. This deeply personal practice has not only shaped my journey but has also been a source of strength, clarity, and peace in the ever-evolving tapestry of life. The Essence of Morning Mantras Each morning, as I settle into the silence of dawn, I remind myself of the power held within my daily mantras. These are not just words; they are affirmations that guide me, teach me, and remind me of the endless possibilities that life offers. They are the whispers of my soul, seeking to align my inner world with the outer universe, fostering a sense of harmony, purpose, and connection. Why Morning Mantras Matter in Transcendental Meditation In the practice of Transcendental Meditation, the mind transcends the mundane, reaching a state of pure consciousness. It is in this sacred space that my morning mantras find their true power, embedding themselves in the deepest layers of my being, influencing my thoughts, actions, and reactions throughout the day. Celebrating Growth and Resilience: “I’m incredibly proud of how far I’ve come on this journey.” This mantra reminds me that every step, every stumble, has been a part of a larger, beautiful journey of growth and self-discovery. In the stillness of meditation, this affirmation strengthens my resilience, encouraging me to embrace every new challenge with open arms. Cultivating Inner Peace: “Inner peace is non-negotiable; it’s become my compass.” As I repeat these words, I reaffirm my commitment to maintaining my inner peace, allowing it to guide my decisions and interactions. This mantra is a promise to myself to remain centered, regardless of the chaos that may swirl around me. Valuing Relationships and Authenticity: From cherishing family and friends to embracing authenticity, my mantras reinforce the importance of genuine connections and staying true to myself. They remind me that in the end, the authenticity of our lives and relationships is what truly enriches us. Learning Through Failure and Setting Boundaries: Acknowledging failure as a teacher and setting strong personal boundaries are principles I live by. These affirmations, woven into my meditation, empower me to face failures with grace and assert my needs with confidence, providing me with a sense of self-respect and resilience. Living with Gratitude and Humility: “Gratitude fills my heart for all that I have on every level.” This simple yet profound mantra fills me with a sense of abundance and humility, grounding me in the present and opening my heart to the beauty of life. Prioritizing Wellbeing: As I meditate, affirmations focusing on health, mental focus, and self-care serve as reminders of my commitment to my overall wellbeing. They guide me to make choices that nurture my body, mind, and spirit, ensuring that I am at my best for myself and those around me. Forgiveness, Kindness, and Trusting My Intuition: These mantras guide me to live with an open heart, to forgive, to be kind, and to trust my intuition. They remind me that my inner voice is a powerful guide, leading me towards my truth and purpose. The Transformative Power of Morning Mantras As I conclude my 20 minutes of meditation each morning, these mantras continue to resonate within me, shaping my thoughts, influencing my actions, and guiding my interactions with the world. They are a constant reminder of my journey, my values, and my aspirations, anchoring me in the present while inspiring me to reach for new challenges that the day will present, good and bad. In sharing this personal aspect of my TM practice, I hope to inspire you to find your own set of morning mantras that resonate with you. Keep shining and keep inspiring!   In warmth and wellness,   Lauren

  • THE POWER OF MASTERING A 4-7-8 BREATHWORK PRACTICE

    As a passionate wellness consultant finding joy in sharing wellness offerings and immersive travel experiences, I'm thrilled to share with you one of my favorite practices that has truly transformed my life (from embracing the fears of cold immersion therapy contrast therapy blog  to handling the everyday stressors of life): the 4-7-8 breathwork technique. This simple yet profoundly effective method has been a game-changer for me, and I believe it can do wonders for you too.   Picture this: You're amidst the peaceful beauty of a lush tropical paradise or perhaps nestled in the cozy luxury of a mountainside retreat. Your surroundings exude tranquility, but your mind is still racing with the stresses of everyday life. This is where the magic of 4-7-8 breathwork comes in.  I look at it as one the most POWERFUL tools I have in my toolbelt next to my practice of TM Transcendental Meditation!   What is 4-7-8 Breathwork? At its core, 4-7-8 breathwork is a powerful relaxation technique that involves a specific breathing pattern aimed at calming the mind and body almost instantly. Developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, this technique is grounded in ancient yogic practices and has been hailed for its ability to alleviate stress, anxiety, and even aid in better sleep. The Benefits of 4-7-8 Breathwork: Stress Relief: In today's fast-paced world, stress seems to be an inevitable part of life. But with 4-7-8 breathwork, you have a simple yet potent tool to combat stress anytime, anywhere. By regulating your breath, you activate the body's relaxation response, easing tension and promoting a sense of calm. Anxiety Management : Anxiety can often feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to control you. Through consistent practice of 4-7-8 breathwork, you can dial down those anxious thoughts and find peace within yourself. This technique acts as a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system (you know I love to tap into that parasympathetic nervous system!!!), helping you navigate through life's challenges with greater ease. Improved Sleep Quality: Are sleepless nights taking a toll on your overall wellbeing? Say goodbye to tossing and turning with 4-7-8 breathwork. By slowing down your breathing and quieting the mind, you pave the way for deep, restorative sleep. Incorporate this practice into your bedtime routine PM HABIT STACK BLOG, and pr epare to drift off into dreamland effortlessly. Enhanced Focus and Clarity: Feeling scattered and unfocused? Take a breather—literally. 4-7-8 breathwork acts as a reset button for the mind, sharpening your focus and enhancing mental clarity. Whether you're tackling a challenging task or seeking inspiration, a few rounds of this technique can help you tap into your inner reservoir of wisdom. How to Practice 4-7-8 Breathwork: Now that you understand the incredible benefits of 4-7-8 breathwork, let's dive into how to do it. Follow these simple steps to start your journey towards inner peace and wellbeing:   Find a Comfortable Position: Whether you're seated or lying down, make sure you're in a comfortable position where you can fully relax. Place the Tip of Your Tongue: Lightly touch the roof of your mouth with the tip of your tongue, just behind your front teeth. Inhale Deeply: Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4 seconds. Feel your abdomen expand as you fill your lungs with air. Hold Your Breath: Once you've inhaled fully, hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds. Allow yourself to experience the stillness within. Exhale Completely: Now, exhale forcefully through your mouth, making a whooshing sound, for a count of 8 seconds. Feel the tension release from your body with each exhale. Repeat: Continue this cycle for a total of 4 breaths, or as many times as feels comfortable for you. With each breath, let go of any lingering stress or tension. Remember, consistency  is key when it comes to reaping the full benefits of 4-7-8 breathwork. Set aside a few minutes each day to practice this technique, and watch as it transforms your wellbeing from the inside out.   Incorporating 4-7-8 Breathwork into Your Travel Experience: As travelers, we have the incredible opportunity to infuse our journeys with wellness practices like 4-7-8 breathwork. Whether you're setting out on a rejuvenating spa retreat or exploring a new destination, prioritize your well-being every step of the way.   During your travels, carve out moments of stillness and mindfulness to indulge in this breathwork practice. Whether it's while watching the sunrise (morning sun blog) over the ocean or unwinding in your peaceful hotel room, let 4-7-8 breathwork be your companion on the path to total relaxation.   As I conclude, my fellow seekers of wellness (freaks like me that want to be  SUPER well !) and adventure, I invite you to embrace the transformative power of 4-7-8 breathwork on your journey towards a more meaningful and fulfilling life. As you navigate the ups and downs of life's ever-changing landscape, may this practice serve as your anchor, grounding you in the present moment and guiding you towards inner peace.   At Well Inspired Travels, we are committed to empowering you to elevate your wellness and explore travel experiences that nourish your body, mind, and soul. Join us on this journey of self-discovery and let's cultivate a life filled with joy, abundance, and wellbeing together.   With love and light,   Lauren

  • THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF CONTRAST THERAPY: FIRE AND ICE, A DEEP DIVE INTO INFRARED SAUNA AND COLD PLUNGE

    In our continuous quest for wellness and fulfillment, we often encounter practices that promise transformation. As your trusted wellness consultant, and founder of Well Inspired Travels, my journey in the realms of wellness and luxury travel is not merely about discovering these practices but about integrating them into a lifestyle that elevates every aspect of our being. It's about sharing this journey with a community of women who are as passionate about wellness as they are about enriching their lives through travel and holistic practices. One such transformative practice that has profoundly impacted my life, and which I am eager to share with you, is contrast therapy through the use o f an infrared sauna followed by a cold plunge. This ritual, rooted in ancient wellness traditions and validated by modern science, offers a plethora of benefits that cater to both mind and body, embodying our core values of Knowledge, Wellbeing, Authenticity, and Humility. Contrast therapy has been woven into m y daily habit stacks.   The Infrared Sauna: A Warm Path to Detoxification and Relaxation The journey begins in the gentle embrace of the infrared sauna. Unlike traditional saunas, which heat the air to elevate the room's temperature, infrared saunas use infrared lamps to directly warm your body. I also like to habit stack with turning on the red lights in the infrared sauna to achieve some red-light therapy, allows max optimization. This direct form of heat penetration allows for a deeper detoxification process, effectively mobilizing toxins from fat cells and facilitating their elimination through sweat. Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna Detoxification: By deeply penetrating the skin, infrared saunas encourage a more profound sweat, expelling toxins and contributing to optimal health. Relaxation and Stress Reduction: The warmth of the sauna relaxes muscles, eases pain, and reduces stress by lowering cortisol levels and increasing the production of endorphins. Improved Circulation: The heat causes blood vessels to dilate, improving circulation and aiding in muscle recovery, which is particularly beneficial for those with chronic pain or arthritis. Skin Purification: Infrared sauna therapy helps purify the skin by eliminating toxins from pores and increasing circulation, resulting in clearer, softer, and healthier-looking skin. Personal Experience and Insights Spending 20 minut es (most days practicing my TM transcendental meditation ) in the infrared sauna at 150 degrees is more than a routine; it's a ritual that prepares my body and mind for the day ahead. It's a time for reflection, a pause that allows me to connect with myself deeply, promoting not only physical but also mental and emotional well-being.   The Cold Plunge: An Invigorating Contrast Emerging from the warmth of the sauna, the cold plunge awaits. This practice involves immersing oneself in cold water immediately after the sauna, creating a stark contrast that stimulates the body's natural healing mechanisms. To say I am OBSESSED with our cold tub would be an understatement!  Sidenote, please join me for my weekly Chill & Chat sessions ! Pro Tips from Lauren Before I dive into the realm of mastering cold immersion for women, it's not just about experiencing the physical sensations; it's about harnessing the power of contrast therapy for optimal well-being. Through my journey, I've discovered invaluable insights that I'm eager to share with you. One crucial tip I've found is to integrate breathwork, such as the 4-7-8 technique ( rea d my blog here ), into your routine to regulate breathing and manage stress—a tool that has proven invaluable in navigating life's pressures. Additionally, I advocate for finding your personal "goldilocks zone" when it comes to cold immersion—experimenting with frequency, duration, and temperature to discover what works best for you. Drawing from my own experiences and insights gleaned from wearables like WHOOP and the LEVELS HEALTH app , I've learned the importance of mindful moderation, cautioning against excessive cold plunging to avoid undue stress on the body. I learned early on in my practice by watching my HRV numbers to be careful of doing the cold plunge every day, it was too much hormetic stress (good / healthy stress) for my system. Always remember the concept of too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!  Through this biohacking experiment for me, finding my "happy place to chill- goldilocks zone" is every other day  for 6-8 minutes at 38-39 degrees has been a game-changer, optimizing my well-being without overwhelming my system.    Furthermore, I'm passionate about making wellness accessible to all, regardless of financial constraints. That's why I offer suggestions for cost-friendly alternatives to traditional infrared saunas and cold tubs. Whether it's DIY methods or joining health clubs with accessible facilities, there are plenty of options to explore. By democratizing access to these transformative practices, I aim to empower individuals from all walks of life to prioritize their well-being. My inclusive approach reflects a deep understanding of the diverse needs and aspirations within the wellness community. Here is a list of a few ideas: Cold Shower Therapy DIY Ice Bath Portable Steam Tent Hot Towel Sauna Warming Herbs and Essential Oils Cooling Gel Packs Frozen Towel Wraps Room Temperature Contrast Showers Outdoor Cold Water Immersion (e.g., backyard pool or natural body of water) DIY Sauna Blanket or Sauna Wrap   Health Benefits of the Cold Plunge Enhanced Immune System: Regular cold exposure has been shown to increase white blood cell count, boosting the immune system. Improved Circulation: Alternating between hot and cold temperatures improves vascular circulation, enhancing blood flow to vital organs and aiding in the removal of toxins. Reduced Inflammation: Cold plunges help reduce muscle inflammation and pain, making it an excellent recovery tool for athletes and those with chronic pain (I have witnessed this firsthand with my hubby and the healing benefits after he played 20 years in the NHL and enduring 16 surgeries!  UNREAL!  Game changer, no pun intended😉) Mental Resilience: The act of entering cold water not only builds physical resilience but also strengthens mental fortitude, enhancing mood and providing a sense of invigoration. Personal Experience and Insights The transition from the sauna's embrace to the cold plunge's shock is a moment of pure awakening. The cold plunge, set at 38 degrees, is not merely a test of endurance but a testament to the body's incredible adaptability and strength (I speak a lot about the parallels of this in everyday life throughout my Chill & Chats ). T his practice has taught me the power of presence, the importance of embracing discomfort for growth, and the powerful impact of nature's elements on our well-being.   Integrating Contrast Therapy into Your Wellness Routine Adopting this contrast therapy into your daily or weekly routine can transform your approach to health and wellness. It's about more than just physical health; it's a healing practice that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit. Starting Your Journey Begin with an open mind and a commitment to explore the boundaries of your comfort zone. Whether you have access to a sauna and cold plunge at a local spa or incorporate these practices in your home, the key is consistency and mindfulness.    Building a Ritual Create a ritual around your contrast therapy practice. Dedicate time before and after for reflection and meditation, focusing on the sensations and emotions that arise. This is not just a physical practice but a spiritual journey that connects you with your inner strength and resilience.   The Journey The transformative power of contrast therapy is not just in the physical act but in the mindfulness and intention we bring to it. It's a journey that demands patience, courage, and an open heart, as we explore the depths of our physical and emotional resilience.   Conclusion: Embracing the Path to Wellbeing As we navigate the complex landscapes of wellness and fulfillment, it becomes clear that the most profound transformations come from practices that challenge us, that push us beyond our perceived limits, and that invite us to explore the intricate connections between our physical, mental, and emotional selves. The practice of contrast therapy through infrared sauna and cold plunge is one such path—a path that has not only enriched my life but also offered countless women a new perspective on wellness and inner strength. In sharing this journey with you, my hope is to inspire a deeper exploration of your own wellness practices, to encourage a curiosity about the natural world and our place within it, and to foster a community of women who support and uplift each other in their quests for health, happiness, and fulfillment. At Well Inspired Travels, we are more than just a travel and wellness company; we are a movement towards a more mindful, healthy, and inspired life.   As you contemplate incorporating contrast therapy into your wellness routine, remember that the journey is as personal as it is universal. What works for one may not work for another, and the beauty of this journey is in discovering what resonates with your body, your mind, and your spirit.   Let this practice be a gateway to a deeper understanding of yourself, a tool for transformation that transcends the physical and touches the essence of who you are. Embrace the warmth, welcome the cold, and revel in the journey of contrast therapy as a celebration of life, resilience, and the endless possibilities that await when we dare to explore the limits of our comfort and beyond.   In closing, I invite you to join us on this journey of discovery and transformation. Together, let's explore the world, uncover the secrets of wellness, and craft lives filled with purpose, joy, and unparalleled wellbeing. Welcome to Well Inspired Travels, where every journey is a step towards a more inspired life.   With warmth (and a side of chill) and wellness, Lauren

  • CHILL & CHAT: MY PERSONAL APPROACH TO COLD IMMERSION THERAPY

    Hey there, welcome to Chill & Chat! I'm Lauren, your trusted luxury wellness consultant and I'm thrilled to take you on a journey through the invigorating world of cold immersion therapy. But before we dive in (pun intended), let's talk about some essential things you should know.   Safety First: Consult Your Doctor Cold immersion therapy can be incredible, but it's not something to jump into without a bit of caution. Especially for us ladies, too many days in a row of icy dips can mess with our hormones and HPA axis. Trust me, I've been there. Always consult with your doctor before you start dunking yourself in freezing water. It's crucial to ensure your body is ready for such a shock.   Personalization is Key We're all unique and “bioindividual”, something I learned from my time at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition . What works for me might not work for you, and that's totally okay. It's all about finding your own sweet spot, your own "just right for me." My Routine: The Perfect Chill Balance Infrared Sauna Before the Cold Plunge One of my preferred routines is spending 20 minutes in an infrared sauna at 150 degrees Fahrenheit before taking the cold plunge. This preps my body by raising my core temperature and loosening my muscles. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to start sweating out toxins.   Cold Plunge: Timing and Temperature When I do the cold plunge, I aim for a maximum of 6-8 minutes per session. I prefer doing this in the morning before my strength training session. The water in my cold tub is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This sharp contrast from the sauna to the cold plunge is rejuvenating and wakes up my entire system.   Contrast Therapy Frequency I try to do contr ast therapy every other day. Doing it daily is too much for my system, and I can see the effects on my WHOOP HRV numbers, Levels Health App , and my delicate hormonal balance. This balance is crucial for maintaining overall well-being and avoiding unnecessary stress on my body.   Breathwork: The 4-7-8 Pattern One of my top tips for conquering the cold tub is mastering your breath. I swear by the 4-7-8 breathwork pattern . It helps me switch from that 'fight or flight' sympathetic nervous system mode to a “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system state. Plus, once you've got your breath under control, you can take on anything life throws your way for the rest of the day!  Lots more to come on this in my “Chill and Chats”!   Protecting Your Extremities Keeping those toes and fingers warm is crucial. I'm all for increasing my brown fat and boosting circulation, just not at the expense of my extremities. That's where protective booties and gloves  come i n handy. Trust me, they're worth the investment!   Benefits of Cold Immersion Therapy Boosts Mood and Reduces Stress Cold water therapy has a remarkable effect on mental well-being. When you step into cold water, your body releases endorphins, those delightful neurochemicals that act as natural mood elevators and pain relievers. This flood of endorphins can lift your spirits and ease feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress.   Cold water immersion also activates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to an increase in the production of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that helps stabilize mood. This double whammy of endorphins and norepinephrine can leave you feeling calmer and more resilient in the face of everyday stressors.   Supports Weight Loss and Metabolism If you're looking to shed some pounds or support your metabolism, cold water therapy might be just what you need. By activating brown adipose tissue (BAT), cold water therapy revs up calorie burning and promotes weight loss. And for us ladies dealing with hormonal fluctuations, cold water therapy can help regulate metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.   Enhances Immune Function A robust immune system is crucial for overall health, and cold water therapy can give it a significant boost. Immersing yourself in cold water stimulates the production of immune cells, strengthening your body's defense against infections and pathogens. Plus, reducing inflammation through cold water therapy can further support immune function and keep you feeling your best.   Improves Skin and Hair Health Cold water tightens the skin by constricting blood vessels, reducing puffiness, and giving you a radiant glow. For your hair, cold water promotes circulation in the scalp, leading to healthier hair growth and a shinier mane. Start by rinsing your face and hair with cold water after cleansing for that refreshing boost. Personal Pro Tips and Hacks Budget-Friendly Cold Therapy Not having a fancy cold tub? No problem! I'm here to help you source or get creative with hacks and ideas that won't break the bank. From DIY solutions to simple tricks, there's something for everyone. For instance, a large container or bathtub filled with ice water can work wonders. There are many ways to incorporate cold immersion therapy into your routine without a hefty price tag, and I'm excited to share these tips with you. Whether it's finding the right products or suggesting clever alternatives, I've got you covered.   Routine and Consistency Consistency is key for long-lasting benefits. Incorporate cold immersion therapy into your routine, but always listen to your body. Too much too soon can lead to negative effects, so find your balance and stick to it. Final Thoughts Cold immersion therapy offers a plethora of benefits for women's health, from boosting mood and supporting weight loss to enhancing immune function and improving skin and hair health. But remember, every woman is unique. Find your "just right for me" balance, listen to your body, and always consult with your doctor before starting any new health practice.   With a mindful approach and some personal tips and tricks, cold water therapy can become a transformative part of your wellness routine. Join me next time for another Chill & Chat session, where we'll explore even more ways to embrace the chill. Until then, stay cool, stay curious, and keep on chilling!   With warmth and wellness,   Lauren

  • ONE&ONLY MANDARINA, PUNTA MITA, MEXICO

    Greetings, wellness seekers and luxury travel enthusiasts! Today, I’m thrilled to take you on a journey to one of the most breathtaking destinations: One&Only Mandarina in Punta Mita, Mexico. Nestled between the lush tropical rainforest and the pristine white-sand beaches of Riviera Nayarit, this resort is a sanctuary for the soul, a place where wellness and luxury intertwine seamlessly.   Arrival at One&Only Mandarina From the moment we arrived at One&Only Mandarina, it was clear that this was no ordinary resort. The resort is designed to harmonize with its natural surroundings, creating a sense of immersion in the untouched beauty of the area. As we drove through the winding pathways flanked by towering trees and vibrant foliage, the air was filled with the heady scent of tropical blooms and the distant sound of crashing waves. Our home for the stay was a stunning treehouse villa, perched high in the canopy with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. These villas are a marvel of eco-conscious design, blending seamlessly into the landscape while offering every modern comfort. The indoor-outdoor living experience here is unparalleled, with floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to expansive terraces, private plunge pools, and serene lounging areas. It’s the perfect setting for both relaxation and inspiration. Immersive Wellness Experiences One&Only Mandarina is a haven for wellness enthusiasts, offering a range of transformative experiences designed to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. As someone who integrates wellness practices into every aspect of my life, I was excited to explore what the resort had to offer.   The One&Only Spa The spa at One&Only Mandarina is a sanctuary within a sanctuary. Nestled in a volcanic rock garden, the spa draws on ancient healing traditions and the unique energy of the surrounding environment. I started my wellness journey with a traditional Temazcal “sweat lodge” ceremony, a therapeutic ritual that uses heat, herbs, and chanting to purify the body and mind. Guided by a skilled curandera, the ceremony was both intense and deeply cleansing, leaving me with a profound sense of renewal.   Next, I indulged in one of the spa’s signature treatments, a massage that incorporated native ingredients and techniques to soothe and invigorate. The spa uses all-natural, chemical-free products, ensuring that every treatment is as nourishing for the skin as it is for the soul. It was a truly holistic experience, one that left me feeling balanced and revitalized.   Tailored Wellness Itineraries One&Only Mandarina offers bespoke wellness itineraries tailored to individual needs. Whether you’re seeking mindfulness, physical rejuvenation, or spiritual growth, the expert practitioners at the resort craft personalized journeys that encompass various wellness modalities. During my stay, I followed a four-day itinerary that included yoga, meditation, and breathwork sessions designed to enhance mental clarity and emotional well-being.   Each morning began with a yoga session overlooking the ocean, the gentle sound of the waves providing a soothing backdrop to our practice. The afternoons were reserved for guided meditation and breathwork, helping to cultivate a sense of inner peace and focus. These sessions were complemented by nutritious, locally-sourced meals that nourished the body and delighted the senses.   Adventures in Nature Beyond its wellness offerings, One&Only Mandarina is a playground for adventure enthusiasts. The resort’s unique location provides access to a variety of outdoor activities that allow guests to connect with the natural world in meaningful ways. Horseback Riding and Polo For horse lovers (like me), the Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club is a dream come true. The club offers exhilarating coastal trails, riding lessons, and even polo training. During our stay, we had the opportunity to watch a thrilling polo match, enjoying al fresco drinks and dining as we cheered on the players. It was a glamorous and exhilarating experience that highlighted the resort’s dedication to providing unique and memorable activities.   Exploring the Rainforest One of the most magical aspects of One&Only Mandarina is its proximity to the lush tropical rainforest. Guided nature walks and jungle treks are available for those who wish to explore this vibrant ecosystem. We set off on a hike to La Abuela, the revered 500-year-old Grandmother tree, a majestic symbol of the area’s rich natural heritage. Along the way, our knowledgeable guide shared insights into the local flora and fauna, deepening our appreciation for this incredible environment.   Ocean Adventures Of course, no trip to One&Only Mandarina would be complete without experiencing the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. The resort offers a variety of water-based activities, from surfing and snorkeling to sailing and fishing. We spent a blissful afternoon kayaking along the coastline, marveling at the clarity of the water and the abundance of marine life. It was a perfect way to reconnect with nature and enjoy the invigorating energy of the ocean. Culinary Delights One&Only Mandarina is a paradise for food lovers, with a culinary program that celebrates the rich flavors and traditions of Mexico. The resort’s restaurants are helmed by world-renowned chefs who are passionate about using locally-sourced ingredients to create innovative and delicious dishes. Dining at Carao Carao, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers a dining experience that is both sophisticated and authentic. We were excited to experience the Mexican celebrity chef Enrique Olvera, Carao features a menu that showcases the best of Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist. From the moment we sat down, we were treated to a feast for the senses. The dishes were beautifully presented and bursting with flavor, each one a testament to the chef’s creativity and skill.   One of the highlights was the tasting menu, which took us on a culinary journey through Mexico’s diverse regions. Each course was paired with carefully selected wines, enhancing the flavors and creating a truly memorable dining experience. It was a perfect blend of tradition and innovation, a celebration of Mexico’s rich culinary heritage. Farm-to-Table Freshness In addition to Carao, the resort offers several other dining options, each with its own unique ambiance and menu. A standout was the farm-to-table restaurant, where we enjoyed meals crafted from ingredients grown in the resort’s own organic garden. The emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced produce was evident in every bite, from the vibrant salads to the succulent grilled fish. Dining here was not just about nourishment; it was about connecting with the land and the people who cultivate it. Cultural Immersion One&Only Mandarina is deeply rooted in the local culture, offering guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the traditions and heritage of the region. From art and music to spiritual practices, the resort provides a rich cultural tapestry that enhances the overall experience.   Meet the Curandera One of the most unique and enriching experiences was meeting Linda Mariscal, one of the resort’s curanderas, or traditional healers. Linda shared her knowledge of indigenous plants, herbs, and healing practices, guiding us through immersive rituals and spiritual ceremonies. Her wisdom and gentle presence were deeply inspiring, offering a glimpse into the rich spiritual traditions of Mexico.   Art and Craftsmanship The resort also showcases the work of local artisans and craftsmen, with beautifully crafted pieces displayed throughout the property. From handwoven textiles to intricately carved wooden sculptures, these artworks reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region. We had the opportunity to meet some of the artisans and learn about their craft, gaining a deeper appreciation for the skill and creativity that goes into each piece.   Family-Friendly Activities While One&Only Mandarina is a haven for adults seeking relaxation and adventure, it’s also an ideal destination for families. The resort offers a range of activities designed to engage and entertain children of all ages, making it a perfect choice for a family vacation.   KidsOnly Program The Kids Only program provides a variety of fun and educational activities for young guests. From nature walks and wildlife encounters to arts and crafts, the program is designed to inspire curiosity and creativity. Children can explore the butterfly farm, where they learned about the life cycle of butterflies and even had the chance to release newly-emerged butterflies into the wild.   Family Adventures For families seeking adventure, the resort offers a range of activities that can be enjoyed together. We spent a memorable day hiking to La Abuela and surfing the waves at nearby Sayulita. In the evenings, we gathered around a campfire under the stars, sharing stories and roasting marshmallows. It was a perfect blend of adventure and bonding, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Conclusion: A Transformative Experience Our stay at One&Only Mandarina was nothing short of transformative. The resort’s dedication to wellness, luxury, and cultural immersion provided a deeply enriching experience that touched every aspect of our lives. From the stunning natural surroundings to the thoughtfully curated wellness programs and the exquisite culinary offerings, every detail was designed to nurture and inspire. As I reflect on our time at One&Only Mandarina, I am reminded of the importance of connecting with nature, embracing new experiences, and prioritizing our well-being. This journey was not just a vacation; it was a rejuvenation of the mind, body, and spirit. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with you and hope that it inspires you to experience your own journey of wellness and discovery.   Whether you are seeking relaxation, adventure, or a deeper connection to the world around you, One&Only Mandarina offers a sanctuary where you can find it all. I invite you to explore this incredible destination and discover the magic for yourself. Until next time, stay well and travel inspired!   With warmth and wellness,   Lauren

  • SOLAZ RESORT IN LOS CABOS, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR

    Discovering Solaz: A Dream Destination for Luxury Travel Hello, travel enthusiasts! As the founder of Well Inspired Travels, I'm here to be your trusted guide to the world’s most luxurious destinations. Today, I’m thrilled to share our recent visit to the breathtaking Solaz Resort in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur. This remarkable destination is more than just a resort; it's an experience that perfectly blends luxury, culture, and nature. Solaz Resort: Where Luxury Meets the Soul of Baja Our adventure at Solaz began the moment we arrived and were greeted by the incredibly warm and inviting staff, the stunning architecture that seamlessly integrates with the natural beauty of Baja California Sur. Solaz, a member of the prestigious Luxury Collection brand by Marriott International, is a true haven that celebrates the contrasts of the region: sparkling ocean meets arid desert, and modern opulence meets raw nature. Unparalleled Dining Experiences One of the highlights of our sit visit was the culinary journey through Solaz's diverse dining options. The resort boasts seven on-site restaurants, each offering a unique taste of local and international cuisine: Al Pairo: Known for its fresh seafood and exquisite ocean views, Al Pairo offers a fine dining experience that highlights the flavors of Baja California. Mako: This beachside grill serves up mouthwatering dishes with a focus on local ingredients and a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Cascabel: A vibrant restaurant that brings the bold flavors of Mexican cuisine to life, perfect for a lively dinner with friends. Oryx: A sophisticated dining venue where guests can enjoy a fusion of global cuisines, expertly prepared by top chefs. Espiral: For those who enjoy fine wines and gourmet dishes, Espiral offers an unforgettable dining experience with its extensive wine list and elegant ambiance. Arroyo: This charming eatery offers a farm-to-table experience, showcasing fresh, seasonal ingredients in every dish. La Cava: A private dining space where guests can enjoy exclusive tastings and pairings, perfect for special occasions. World-Class Amenities and Wellness Offerings Solaz is more than just a place to stay; it's a destination designed to rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit. The resort's amenities are second to none, providing guests with everything they need for a luxurious and relaxing stay: Ojo de Liebre Spa: Named after the famous lagoon, this spa offers a variety of treatments inspired by the healing properties of the sea. From massages to facials, every service is designed to provide ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. Fitness Center: The state-of-the-art fitness center offers a range of classes, including yoga, Pilates, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Whether you're looking to maintain your routine or try something new, the fitness center has something for everyone. Pickleball and Tennis Courts: For those who enjoy staying active, Solaz offers well-maintained pickleball and tennis courts, perfect for a friendly match or a serious game. Infinity Pools: The resort features multiple infinity pools with breathtaking views of the ocean, providing the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun. Unique Experiences at Solaz What truly sets Solaz apart are the unique experiences that immerse guests in the culture and beauty of Baja California Sur: On-Site Museum: The resort houses its own museum, showcasing the history and culture of the region. It’s a fascinating journey through time, offering insights into the area's rich heritage. Adventure and Exploration: Solaz offers a variety of activities for adventure seekers, including guided hikes, snorkeling, and whale-watching tours. The knowledgeable concierge team can arrange personalized experiences tailored to your interests. Cultural Experiences: Guests can participate in local cooking classes, art workshops, and traditional music performances, providing a deeper connection to the culture of Baja California. A Perfect Destination for Well Inspired Travels Clients We’re beyond excited to announce that we’re planning a 100-person group trip to Solaz in the coming months. The resort’s blend of luxury, personalized service, and stunning natural beauty makes it a perfect fit for our Well Inspired Travels clients. We loved Solaz so much that we’re already planning a return trip with our own family! Final Thoughts Our visit to Solaz Resort was nothing short of spectacular. It’s a destination that truly embodies the essence of luxury travel. Whether you're looking to relax, explore, or indulge, Solaz offers an experience like no other. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I can’t wait to help you discover your own paradise with Well Inspired Travels. Stay tuned for more adventures! With warmth and wellness, Lauren

  • HARNESSING WELLNESS AND EMPOWERMENT: WHY WHOOP IS A WOMAN'S BEST FRIEND

    Greetings, empowered women and fellow adventurers! Lauren Pronger here, sharing a personal beacon of wellness that has profoundly enriched my life and I believe, can do the same for yours. As the proud founder of Well Inspired Travels and a passionate advocate for women's wellness, I've been on a continuous quest to discover tools and practices that not only enhance our lives but also empower us to take control of our health and wellbeing. It's with immense excitement and a sense of sisterhood that I feel the need to write about why the WHOOP strap has become my ultimate ally in this journey—a journey I proudly began as a member since 2020. Why WHOOP Speaks to Women In the realm of wearable technology, WHOOP distinguishes itself by honing in on the pillars of recovery, strain, and sleep—elements that are crucial yet often undervalued in our daily lives. For us women, balancing the many aspects of our lives while striving to maintain our health and wellness can be a formidable challenge. Here's how WHOOP has become an indispensable part of my life, and why I believe every woman can benefit from its insights. Mastery Over Recovery: Understanding our body’s recovery is not just about physical wellness; it’s about embracing our inner strength every day. WHOOP’s recovery score, which integrates heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate, and sleep performance, empowers us to listen to our bodies. It encourages us to push forward when we're strong and to rest when we need it, ensuring we’re always at our best, both physically and emotionally. Personalized Strain Insights: As women, we naturally excel at juggling various roles and responsibilities. WHOOP's strain monitoring gives us a scientific backing to understand how these daily stresses affect us and guides us in managing our energy, ensuring we don't overextend ourselves. Revolutionizing Sleep: Sleep is our body’s time to heal and rejuvenate. WHOOP's sophisticated sleep tracking offers us insights into our sleep patterns, helping us to improve our sleep quality. This is particularly beneficial for women, as our sleep needs can vary greatly due to hormonal changes, making personalized sleep recommendations invaluable. Tailored Training Intensity: Finding the right balance in our fitness routines is crucial. WHOOP aids in identifying the optimal intensity for workouts, allowing us to achieve our fitness goals while respecting our bodies’ need for rest and recovery. Uncomplicated and Long-lasting: WHOOP’s extended battery life and seamless design mean it fits effortlessly into our lives, offering continuous insights without the hassle of daily charging or obtrusive design—perfect for the woman on the go. A Community of Supportive Women: The WHOOP community is a space where women can connect, share their journeys, and inspire each other. It’s a platform for encouragement, competition, and camaraderie among like-minded individuals. Continuous Growth and Learning: WHOOP's dedication to incorporating the latest research ensures we are always equipped with cutting-edge insights into our health and wellbeing, empowering us to make informed decisions about our lifestyles. A Protector Against Overtraining: For women, the risk of overtraining can be particularly concerning due to the potential impact on our hormonal balance. WHOOP’s insights help safeguard against this, promoting a healthier approach to fitness and activity. A Journal for Self-Reflection: WHOOP’s journaling feature allows us to track how our lifestyle choices—like diet, stress, and exercise—impact our overall wellbeing, fostering a deeper self-awareness and mindfulness about our health. Since joining WHOOP in 2020, I have not only seen remarkable improvements in my physical health but have also experienced a profound empowerment in understanding and listening to my body. WHOOP transcends being a mere device; it embodies a companion in our shared journey towards wellness optimization and self-discovery. To my fellow women travelers and wellness seekers, WHOOP is more than just a tool; it’s a testament to our commitment to ourselves, a pledge to honor our bodies and minds with the understanding and care they deserve. Let’s continue to inspire and uplift each other, embracing the power within us to lead lives of wellness, adventure, and fulfillment. Let’s WHOOP IT UP! With warmth and wellness, Lauren

  • "STRONG IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL": UNVEILING THE POWER OF STRENGTH TRAINING FOR WOMEN

    Hello to all the inspiring women in our Well Inspired Travels community, This is Lauren Pronger, your personal wellness consultant and guide on a journey towards a life filled with vibrant health, deep wellness, and unforgettable travel experiences. Today, I'm sharing a piece of my world that has become a cornerstone of my wellness regime - strength training. You might wonder, why emphasize strength training? It's because, for me, this is not just about physical fitness; it's about building a foundation of strength that empowers every aspect of our lives. And here's why I believe every woman should embrace this empowering practice. The Non-Negotiable: Lifting Heavy Each morning when  I start on my strength training sessions, it's more than a workout. It's a commitment to our longevity, to optimizing our health, and to setting an example for our children and the community we've built around Well Inspired Travels. Here's why lifting heavy is non-negotiable for me: The Amazing Benefits for Longevity and Overall Health Increased Bone Density: As we age, our bone density declines, especially in women post-menopause. Strength training is proven to not only slow down this process but in some cases, even reverse it. Metabolic Boost: Lifting heavy increases muscle mass, which in turn boosts your metabolism. A higher metabolism means your body burns more calories, even at rest, which is essential for weight management and overall health. Improved Mental Health: The mental health benefits of strength training are vast. It can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, boost self-esteem, and provide a sense of achievement. Enhanced Functional Fitness: Everyday activities become easier and less injury-prone when your body is strong. Whether it's lifting groceries or playing with your kids, strength translates into a more vibrant, active life. Hormonal Balance: Strength training helps in balancing hormones that are crucial for women's health. It aids in regulating insulin, leptin, and ghrelin levels, which are essential for managing hunger, energy usage, and fat storage. Shoutout to Dr. Gabrielle Lyon and "Forever Strong" In our quest for optimizing women's health through strength, I've found invaluable insights in the work of my friend, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. Her new book, Forever Strong, is a treasure trove of knowledge on the importance of muscle-centric medicine. Dr. Lyon's approach aligns perfectly with our values at Well Inspired Travels, emphasizing the role of muscle in achieving and maintaining optimal health, longevity, and vitality. Her book is a must-read for every woman seeking to empower herself through wellness. Integrating Strength Training into Your Wellness Journey Embracing strength training doesn't mean letting go of other forms of exercise you love. It's about incorporating a practice that enhances your ability to enjoy life's adventures to the fullest. Here's how you can start: Begin with Guidance: If you're new to lifting, consider working with a personal trainer or joining a class. It's crucial to learn proper form to avoid injury. Set Realistic Goals: Start small and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Remember, it's a journey, not a race. Listen to Your Body: Rest and recovery are just as important as the workouts themselves. Ensure you're giving your body the time it needs to heal and grow stronger. Embrace the Community: Join our Well Inspired Travels community or find a local group of women who are on the same path. There's immense power in shared journeys. In closing, I invite you to reflect on the role strength plays in your life. It's not just about physical capabilities; it's about cultivating an inner resilience that prepares you for life's challenges and adventures. Lifting heavy, for me, is a metaphor for life - we lift our community and our spirits, striving always for a state of wellness that encompasses body, mind, and soul. Here's to embracing strength in all its forms! With warmth and wellness, Lauren

  • WELCOME TO “CHILL & CHATS” WITH LAUREN PRONGER

    Hey, friends! I’m beyond excited to introduce you to our new weekly series, “Chill & Chats.” This has been brewing in my heart and mind for quite some time, and I can’t wait to dive into these sessions with all of you. Every week, we’re going to meet up, get real, and explore some deep topics—all while I’m sitting in a 40-degree cold tub. Yes, you heard that right! We’ll be literally and figuratively chilling as we chat about the ups and downs of life. Why a Cold Tub? You might be wondering, “Why on earth is she doing this in a cold tub?” Well, there’s something incredibly powerful about facing discomfort head-on. Sitting in that icy water is a metaphor for life’s challenges. It’s about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, pushing through fears, and emerging stronger on the other side. Just as the cold tub tests my physical limits, our discussions will explore the emotional and mental challenges we all face. Together, we’ll learn to navigate these waters and find the rewards in overcoming whatever life throws our way. Facing Our Fears Fear is a universal experience. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or fear of not being enough, we all have our own battles. In our “Chill & Chats,” we’ll unpack these fears, understand where they come from, and share strategies to conquer them. By opening up about our vulnerabilities, we can lift each other up and find strength in our shared experiences. Strengths and Struggles Life is a beautiful mix of highs and lows. We’ll talk about our struggles and how they shape us, but we’ll also celebrate our strengths and victories. It’s in recognizing both sides that we can truly grow. These chats will be a safe space to share your triumphs and trials, knowing that you’re not alone. Marriage, Parenting, and Relationships Relationships are at the core of our lives. Whether it’s marriage, parenting, friendships, or family dynamics, we’ll delve into the joys and challenges of connecting with others. I’ll share insights from my own experiences, and I look forward to hearing your stories as well. Together, we can learn how to nurture these relationships and navigate the tough times with grace and love. Wellness: Mind, Body, and Spirit As you know, wellness is my passion. Optimizing our mind, body, and spirit is key to living a fulfilling life. We’ll explore holistic wellness practices that can help you feel your best at any age. From meditation and nutrition to fitness and self-care, we’ll cover it all. These sessions will empower you to take charge of your health and well-being. Travel: Broadening Horizons Travel has the power to transform us. It opens our eyes to new cultures, ideas, and ways of living. We’ll share travel tips, dream destinations, and the lessons learned from exploring the world. Whether you’re an avid traveler or planning your first big trip, these chats will inspire you to broaden your horizons and embrace the adventure. Goals, Dreams, and Desires What are your goals? What dreams light you up? We’ll talk about how to set and achieve your aspirations, one step at a time. No dream is too big or too small. By supporting each other, we can turn our desires into reality. I believe that with passion and perseverance, anything is possible. Sharing Tears and Laughter Life is full of emotions. We’ll laugh together, we’ll cry together, and we’ll support each other through it all. This journey is about authenticity and connection. By sharing our true selves, we create a community where everyone feels seen and heard. A Special and Magical Experience I have a feeling in my core that “Chill & Chats” is going to be something truly special. It’s my calling and purpose to be your supporter and cheerleader in life. This series lights me up, and I hope it will do the same for you. I believe that my dad is watching over me, pushing me to share these gifts and imperfections, and just be myself. This is about finding fulfillment in what we love and embracing our passions. Embrace the Chill, Embrace the Thrill As we dive into (no pun intended) this journey together, I want you to remember our sign-off: “Embrace the chill and embrace the thrill in life.” It’s a reminder to face challenges head-on, find joy in the journey, and live life to the fullest. I can’t wait to chill out with you each week, share our stories, and grow together. So, get ready for some cold, honest, and heartfelt conversations. Here’s to embracing the chill and finding the thrill in every moment. See you soon in our first “Chill & Chats” session! With warmth (after the chill) and wellness, Lauren

  • SHA WELLNESS CLINIC, CANCUN, MEXICO

    The Ultimate Wellness Retreat: Our Transformational Journey at SHA Wellness Mexico Welcome, dear readers! As your trusted luxury wellness consultant and founder of Well Inspired Travels, I’m thrilled to share with you our extraordinary experience at SHA Wellness Mexico. This sanctuary of wellness exceeded our expectations, providing a deeply immersive and diagnostic journey that transformed our minds, bodies, and spirits. Join me as I recount our four-day adventure, filled with deep insights of our bioindividual systems, growth, knowledge, and relaxation, at this world-class wellness retreat. Before I dive into our incredible 4 days at SHA, I would like to take a moment to share more about SHA's Mission and Values.  What sets SHA Wellness Mexico apart is their holistic approach to health, which seamlessly blends the latest advances in scientific medicine with the most effective natural therapies. Their mission is to help individuals achieve and maintain an optimal state of health through a unique integrative method. SHA's values emphasize the importance of balanced nutrition, preventive health, and healthy aging. Their promise is to transform lives by offering the best results in the shortest possible time while providing the knowledge needed to maintain these optimal health standards. The dedication to excellence is evident in every aspect of their programs, making SHA a leader in healthcare and wellness.  So here we go on a glimpse of our 4 magical days at SHA Wellness Mexico…. Day 1: Arrival and Initial Diagnosis The moment Chris and I arrived at SHA Wellness Mexico, we were captivated by the serene beauty of the surroundings, truly an architectural masterpiece. Our accommodations, the impressive Oceanfront Deluxe suite, offered breathtaking views of the ocean, instantly setting the tone for our wellness journey. Advanced Preventive Diagnosis: Our first day began with an Advanced Preventive Diagnosis. This comprehensive assessment included a body composition analysis, 3D body scanner, measurement of vital signs, cognitive domain test, and an analysis of cardiovascular and nervous system activity. It was fascinating to see the detailed insights into our current health status. The technology and expertise at SHA are truly cutting-edge, ensuring that every aspect of our health was meticulously evaluated. General Health Exam: Following the preventive diagnostics, we underwent a thorough General Health Exam. This examination ensured that the programs we would follow were tailored to our specific health needs. The professionalism and attentiveness of the medical team were reassuring, giving us confidence in the personalized plans they designed for us. Dinner: SHA Menu Option: The day concluded with a delightful dinner, where we enjoyed the "SHA menu" option. The cuisine at SHA is crafted to be both delicious and nutritious, focusing on promoting health and well-being. The absence of sugar, coffee, and alcohol in our meals was a welcome detox for both Chris and me. The flavors were incredibly rich and satisfying, to the extent that we scarcely missed our typical indulgences (bearing in mind my 80/20 rule). Not only was the dining experience a sensory delight, with each dish as visually stunning as it was delectable, but it also served as a profound lesson on how nourishing food can be thoroughly enjoyable. Day 2: Fitness and Therapeutic Treatments Energized and eager to start the day, we began with a series of activities designed to invigorate both body and mind. Morning Workout: We crushed an early morning workout at SHA's state-of-the-art gym. The facilities were top-notch, providing everything we needed for an effective and intense strength training workout. The equipment was impressive to say the very least and well-maintained. The environment was motivating and uplifting overlooking the gorgeous ocean views. General Medical Consultation: Post-workout, we attended a General Medical Consultation to review our diagnostic results and refine our personalized wellness plans. The consultation was detailed and informative, offering us a clear understanding of our health and the steps we needed to take to improve it. As you know, I am always looking to level up my health…”I am the well that wants to be SUPER well”! Healthy Nutrition Consultation: The next stop was a Healthy Nutrition Consultation. Here, we received a personalized diet plan tailored to our health goals. The nutrition expert provided us with practical tips and delicious recipes to incorporate into our daily routine. As a proud graduate of IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition) it was enlightening to further my knowledge about the profound impact of nutrition on our overall well-being with the nutritionist on staff.  I did share Lauren’s 12 Ingredient Power Protein Milkshake with her! Lunch: Our healthy lunch was another highlight, emphasizing the importance of nutrition in overall wellness. The meal was not only wholesome but also incredibly flavorful, showcasing the best of what healthy eating can offer. The ingredients were fresh and the dishes were creatively prepared, making each bite a delight. Hydroenergetic Detox Cure: In the afternoon, we experienced a Hydroenergetic Detox Cure. This treatment combined hydroaromatherapy, fitomudtherapy, and hydrojet sessions to detoxify and revitalize our bodies. The sensation of being enveloped in therapeutic waters was deeply relaxing and rejuvenating. It was a perfect way to cleanse our systems and recharge our energy. This is a MUST to experience!  It was definitely a highlight for me! Agenda Planning: A brief session of agenda planning followed, ensuring our upcoming days were perfectly organized for maximum benefit and enjoyment. The staff was incredibly helpful and attentive, making sure that every detail was taken care of. Bespoke Facial: I indulged in bespoke facials tailored to my skin type and needs. The treatments left my skin feeling refreshed and glowing. The use of high-quality products and expert techniques made this a luxurious and effective experience. Couples Sound Therapy with Tibetan Bowls: The day ended with a unique and deeply relaxing couples sound therapy session using Tibetan bowls. The soothing vibrations and harmonics of the bowls created a zen atmosphere, easing us into a peaceful state of mind. This experience was not only relaxing but also spiritually enriching, allowing us to connect on a deeper level. Dinner and Bed: Another delectable dinner followed, rounding off a day filled with enriching experiences. By bedtime, we felt a profound sense of relaxation and well-being. The combination of physical activity, therapeutic treatments, and nourishing food made this day truly transformative. Day 3: Holistic Wellness and Relaxation Our third day at SHA Wellness Mexico was a blend of physical activity, knowledge, and relaxation. Morning Workout: We started the day with another solid workout, pushing our limits and embracing the endorphin rush. The variety of equipment and the inspiring environment made each session enjoyable and effective. Cooking Class: A cooking class followed, where we learned to prepare nutritious and delicious meals under the guidance of SHA's expert chefs. This hands-on experience was both educational and insightful, providing us with valuable skills to take home. We learned how to make dishes that are not only healthy but also incredibly tasty. Initial Consultation on Revitalizing Medicine: The initial consultation on revitalizing medicine was very informative on many levels. We discussed various treatments and therapies aimed at enhancing our energy levels and overall vitality. The knowledge and expertise of the medical staff were impressive, and they provided us with actionable insights and recommendations. Integrated Bioenergy Assessment: Next, we underwent an Integrated Bioenergy Assessment, which used electromagnetic evaluation to provide deeper insights into our energy levels and bodily functions. This assessment was eye-opening, revealing areas where we could improve our energy flow and overall health. Lunch: A nutritious lunch provided the perfect break, reinforcing the importance of balanced nutrition in our wellness journey. Each meal at SHA was a testament to the fact that healthy food can be incredibly delicious and satisfying. Beach Time: We took some time to relax on the beach, soaking up the sun and absorbing much-needed vitamin D. The peaceful environment and stunning views were truly therapeutic. The sound of the waves and the warmth of the sun created a perfect setting for even deeper relaxation and reflection. Functional Assessment Training: The afternoon included a functional assessment training session at the gym. This personalized workout focused on optimizing our physical performance and addressing any specific needs. The trainers were knowledgeable and supportive, helping us to achieve our fitness goals. Acupuncture Session: An acupuncture session followed, helping to balance our energy and promote healing. The expertise of the practitioners at SHA ensured a comfortable and effective experience. The session left us feeling relaxed and revitalized, highlighting the power of traditional healing practices. SHA Detox Therapy and Presotherapy: We then experienced the SHA Detox Therapy and Presotherapy, both designed to enhance detoxification and improve circulation. These treatments left us feeling lighter and more energized. The combination of therapies was effective in promoting overall wellness and vitality. Sunset Yoga Session: Chris and I concluded the day with a sunset yoga session overlooking the stunning landscapes and horizon. The combination of physical postures, breathing exercises, and the serene environment created a deeply meditative experience. We also had a little fun experimenting with some challenging couple’s yoga poses!  The beauty of the setting and the tranquility of the practice made this a highlight of our stay.  It was a memorable experience we will always remember and killer photos to cherish! Dinner and Bed: Dinner was, as always, a delightful affair, followed by a restful night's sleep. The consistent quality of the meals and the peaceful ambiance of the SHAmadi restaurant made each meal a memorable experience. Day 4: Final Day and Reflections Our final day at SHA Wellness Mexico was a mix of reflection and final treatments. Breakfast and Workout: We enjoyed a healthy breakfast followed by a workout, setting a positive tone for the day. The variety and quality of the breakfast options were impressive, providing us with the energy we needed for the day's activities and our departure. GAH Intravenous Ozonetherapy Session: Our stay concluded with a GAH Intravenous Ozonetherapy session. This innovative treatment was designed to enhance our body's oxygen levels, promoting overall health and vitality. The session was a perfect end to our wellness journey, leaving us feeling refreshed, hydrated and invigorated before flying home. Departure: As we prepared to leave, I humorously remarked to Chris that he would have to pull me out of SHA by my toenails. The entire experience had been so transformative that we were reluctant to leave, and maybe pull out my toenails😉 Reflections and Lasting Impact Since our return, we have both noticed significant positive changes. I have embraced matcha tea in the mornings, mixed with my favorite, 5mg of creatine, and I have given up coffee entirely. This small change has led to remarkable improvements in my energy levels and overall well-being. For me, the impact has been equally profound. My WHOOP HRV numbers, sleep quality, and LEVELS CGM feedback have all improved since cutting out coffee. The experience at SHA Wellness Mexico has shown us that small changes can have a big impact on health. We are already planning our next visit, hoping to stay longer and dive deeper into the wealth of knowledge and treatments available at this exceptional wellness retreat. Conclusion: The Path to Optimal Wellness Our journey at SHA Wellness Mexico was nothing short of life-changing. The combination of advanced medical diagnostics, personalized nutrition, and holistic therapies provided us with a comprehensive approach to health and wellness. The attention to detail, the expertise of the staff, and the peaceful environment made this a truly transformative experience. For anyone looking to optimize their health, rejuvenate their body, and embrace a holistic approach to well-being, SHA Wellness Mexico is the place to be. The retreat offers a unique and cutting-edge approach to wellness that is both life changing and enjoyable. We highly recommend it to anyone seeking to enhance their health and well-being. We can't wait to return and continue our journey towards optimal health. If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to reach out. There is so much to learn and experience at this incredible wellness property, and we are here to help you on your path to wellness. Thank you for joining us on this journey. We hope our experience inspires you to take steps towards your own health and well-being. Until next time, stay well and keep exploring the possibilities of a healthier, happier life. With warmth and wellness, Lauren

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