Written on June 20, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge fan of St. Tropez self-tanning products. This obsession started at a young age when I read about the amazing bronz-ability of their self-tanner in a magazine and begged my mom to buy me a starter kit on eBay (!). Ever since, I’ve been hooked. Their spray tan formula is one of the best, drying in just 60 seconds! (You can find salons that use it here). I often turn to the Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse ($32, ulta.com) for weddings. It’s so easy to apply and the color develops into a rich brown tone, never orange. But lately, I’ve fallen in love with the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Lotion ($30, ulta.com). Usually, I apply this after I shower to give my naturally pale skin a healthy glow all summer. But I also use it to prolong the results of a spray tan. I usually get sprayed before a beach vacation but after several days of swimming, showering and shaving, my color starts to fade and I don’t want to bother with a full self-tanning routine (I’m on vacation, after all!). So I stash this in my bag and apply it everyday as my body lotion. Not only does it keep my color looking fresh and my skin radiant, it also hydrates for a baby soft feel. Forget the bronze, that’s gold medal level to me!
Written on May 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Full disclosure: I fall off the clean-eating wagon when I travel. Between the lack of healthy options at the airport, food chains and room service (eek) plus my mental shift to the “I’m on vacation!” mind-set, I go from feeling great pre-trip to indulging and bloating up after just one day. And when it comes to keeping up with my daily sweat sessions, I always feel torn when I’m at the gym in the middle of paradise. I feel like I should be exploring, sightseeing or relaxing. The pressure of trying to maintain my good habits when I’m out of my typical environment ends up stressing me out, which is the exact opposite of what a vacation should do. Recently, I stumbled upon a stress-free solution: a vacay that supports a healthy and active lifestyle without missing the fun that goes along with getting away on a Celebrity Cruise.
I recently took one of the company’s Reflection cruises to the Caribbean (tough job, I know). I had never been on a cruise ship before so I had no idea what to expect, but I was impressed. A Celebrity Cruise is a fit girl’s dream. There are several different packages available but their AquaClass caters to a healthy lifestyle. Here, the highlights:
I assumed the rooms would be tiny with bunk beds. I blame it on watching Titanic too many times. But the spacious room—301 square feet—was almost the size of my entire New York City apartment and it included a 79-square foot veranda, perfect for getting fresh air and admiring the breathtaking views. It was exactly like a room in a luxury hotel. In fact, there were times I forgot I was on a ship! The AquaClass staterooms offer spa elements to help you relax, feel comfortable and stay focused on your goals.
In AquaClass, you get exclusive access to and priority seating at the specialty restaurant, Blu, which features “clean cuisine” (inspired by light dishes of the Mediterranean which change nightly) and complimentary breakfast each day. You also get a daily delivery of ice, bottled water, tea and fruit. Plus, like other guests, you have access to the main buffet. Now—buffets can sometimes be a nightmare, but this one had many healthy (not to mention yummy!) options.
No matter which class you are in, every guest gets access to the fitness center on board. This is essential for days when you are at sea. I went everyday and loved it! Instead of being stuck in a basement gym, the 12th story gym featured cardio machines facing floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked expansive and gorgeous views of the endless ocean and each port. This makes a “dreadmill” workout a whole lot less dreadful. Once docked, you also have the option (for a small additional cost) of touring certain destinations through different shore excursions. These vary from mild to strenuous effort and include fun activities like walking tours, snorkeling and swimming, bike adventures and zip lining. These activities offer ways to get in some fitness and enjoy your destination at the same time.
As an AquaClass benefit, you receive a personal spa concierge to arrange spa treatments. Celebrity Cruises feature Canyon Ranch Spa Club, one of the world’s leading health and wellness brands, on 10 of their ships. Because I worked out everyday, I booked a massage (bonus: they were offering a discounted price during my stay!) to help ease muscle soreness. When I tell you this massage changed my life, I am not exaggerating. It was amazing! In addition, you get unlimited, complimentary access to the Persian Gardens, which is a relaxation room on board so you can chill out whenever you’d like. If your goal is to get healthier on the trip, you can also opt for various fitness-related services including a basic fitness assessment, an exercise prescription or an exercise program for weight loss for a small additional cost.
Bottom line: This was the first trip I’ve ever went on where I came back feeling lighter, fitter and healthier than before I left. So if you’re someone looking for a way to stay focused on your fitness while enjoying an amazing vacay, this getaway is for you. For more info., head to the Celebrity Cruises website here. For other fit vacation ideas and to get inspired to have your healthiest summer yet, pick up a copy of our July/August issue on stands this June!
Written on August 23, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
I’ve traveled all over the map this summer, from Texas to the Jersey Shore, Bermuda and San Diego. While prepping for these sunny destinations, the number one product on my to-pack list has been SPF. I am fair-skinned with an irrational fear of aging so I’ve tried dozens of formulas in search of one that not only adequately protects my skin, but also feels and smells good, too. You need to want to put this stuff on every 80 minutes. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon Sun Bum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion ($16, trustthebum.com). It’s non-greasy texture is so light, I have no problem slathering it all over my face and body—no need for two options. The subtle coconut scent has just a hint of banana so it smells like a vacation in a bottle, but won’t clear out the entire tiki bar when you walk in. I plan on using mine this fall to remind me of my relaxing summer days spent exploring new places.
Written on May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
While the majority of New Yorkers are getting a little cranky due to the 90-degree temps, I’m loving the recent heat wave. Though it does make me wish I was jetting off to a tropical island in the middle of nowhere. And while no such vacation exists on my summer calendar (wah!), I made my own quiet little escape—in my shower. It’s not as glamorous, I know, but I grabbed Softsoap’s Limited Edition Maui Coconut Splash Moisturizing Body Wash ($3, drugstores) from the beauty closet and scrubbed up after the gym. The formula is luxurious with a rich, hydrating lather, but the scent is what’ll really get you. The bright floral notes mixed with a hint of sweet coconut intoxicate you like your favorite fruity, umbrella-on-the-side cocktail. This might sound a bit dramatic, but seriously, the experience is so relaxing it might just be enough to hold me over until I can finally get to that white-sanded slice of paradise.
Written on May 24, 2013 at 9:43 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Even though the forecast is looking a bit dismal for the holiday weekend for us New Yorkers (meh!), I’m still looking forward to enjoying some time outdoors—protected, of course, because yes, you can get rays even when it’s cloudy outside. So whether you’re headed somewhere sunny or just planning a staycation this weekend, one of the best things to have on hand is this convenient travel kit from StriVectin. The Sun Kit and Eye Bundle ($59, strivectin.com) holds an Age Protect Sunscreen SPF 30, Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks and Wrinkles and Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles housed in a cute little orange pouch. Plus, it includes a UV indicator bracelet, which alerts you when you’ve been in the sun too long and serves as a reminder to reapply sunscreen. Speaking of sun protection, if you’d like to help contribute to The Skin Cancer Foundation, head over to the StriVectin Be the Face of Safe Sun app to submit your profile picture to be included in their mosaic. For every picture submitted, StriVectin will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Once they receive all 10,000 pictures to complete the mosaic, they will share the interactive design as a fun, inspirational way to continue to spread awareness of skin cancer.