Featured, Travel, Travel Tips

How to Slim Down for Vacation

March 14, 2014


And I say that fully aware that I’m in this picture, but if you ate tree bark and air cookies for 3 months you’d give yourself a round of applause too! I wish I could say we all naturally have high metabolism but in reality, it took some serious work for many of us to get here. The youngest person in this lineup is 29, the oldest is 40 (and runs marathons) and there are several mothers in the crew. So yeah – no excuses!

Since several people have been asking about our workout plan, I figured I’d share a few of my own tips and then introduce you to our  trainer!



  1. Track your Food – I chose Weight Watchers because I need structure (i.e. I love food too much freestyle a diet) but My Fitness Pal and other free apps are great too! Tracking your food keeps you accountable and puts that Big Mac in perspective.
  2. Embrace Weight Training – Don’t feel like you’ll look like Vera de Milo if you pick up a dumbbell. Lifting weights definitely accelerated my results and the cool part is muscle burns fat while you’re sleeping. How awesome is that! It’s like the laziest workout ever!
  3. Challenge Yourself– I absolutely hate running and hate mornings even more, but this year I embraced both by not only waking up at 6 to go to the gym, but also running several miles before work. And at first my body was all like “Oh HELL naw, what are we doing? What time is it? My shins are on fire! Why me lawd!” But then I actually started to enjoy it, got my mile down from 12:30 to 11:09, and am now on a mission to get to 10 minute mile by summer!


WorkoutwithcoachcassSo that’s the quick and dirty on what I did on my own, but if you’re serious about getting fit, I suggest working with a trainer and nutrition specialist. Luckily we had a trainer in our crew, Coach Cass, who was absolutely amazing, sending us meal plans, new exercises to try each day, and overall motivation for the entire 3 month period. Follow her on Instagram (@coachcassfit) and Facebook (Wellness With Coach Cass) for for fun daily workouts you can do from home, wellness tips, motivation and overall encouragement.

If you think you’ll end up scrolling through her posts in bed with a 2-piece meal and need some face time to get motivated, head to one of her classes in New York City or online via Trainerly.



So, Cass before folks think you’re naturally fit with some insane metabolism, tell me a bit about your personal weight loss story.

Coach Cass TransformationSo I’ve always been a “thickems” but no one remembers me as Cass from college being 10 pants sizes and 50 lbs. heavier. I’ve always played sports and danced from birth but I ate pretty crazy. I was addicted to sugar. I was the girl who put sugar in my frosted flakes and even my spaghetti!

Long story short, my sister has lupus and was given 2 wks to live. My mother healed her right in front of my eyes within a 2 month time period through juicing ( just veggies ). I was like wow, time to change your life around Cass. No more trash in your body. Slowly but surely as I started to change my diet, my weight started coming down, my migrane headaches went away and so did my “roll on the floor” period cramps. I was once a size 13/14 and came down to a size 2/3 not through any crash diet or liposuction. Just by changing my eating habits and intensifying my workouts.

Do you have a lot of clients preparing for vacations and weddings? How do you train people who have a deadline for their fitness goals?

Yes, a lot of clients usually use vacation or wedding deadlines as their daily motivation to meet their goals. The majority of the time these events are a few months away so I have them set shorter goals so that their 3 to 6 month goal seems more attainable. For example, for someone who absolutely hates running we start off with a power walk, then a jog, then eventually a run and set a new time for them to beat each week. Same with strength training –  we start small then increase as the client gets better.

What’s the biggest mistake you find people make when trying to slim down?

  1. People try and starve themselves. This not only slows metabolism but also drains energy levels. You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right. You should be eating 5-6 times a day.
  2. People try to do the same workout and see different results.  Some people tell me, “Coach Cass I run 5 miles all the time, or I do 100 crunches or jumping jacks everyday,” and I congratulate them and let them know that it’s time to intensify that workout. If you do that ALL the time you will continue to see the same results because your body is in maintenance mode. You have to let it know that you’re trying to change it. Tracey’s example of her incorporating running and weight training in her workout routine was a great example of this.
  3. People try and meet their goal with ONLY exercise adjustments. You MUST adjust your diet or else you’ll never truly see the results you want to see.

We all know when it’s vacation/bikini time the first place we think about is our tummies. Any specific exercises or dietary changes you recommend to tighten up these areas?

Some of the best exercises for achieving a  flatter stomach include:
Knees In and Out, Reverse Crunches, Ball Crunches, Log Roll, Ab Tuck, The Crab Ab Workout, Side Crunches, V Crunches, Chin Up Crunches, Hanging Leg Raise and Hanging Knee Raises just to name a few. Here’s a demo video to help you get started.

I would incorporate these into your workout daily. I had the carnival crew do 4 sets of 25 as a daily addition to whatever the workout of the day was. Incorporate push-ups as well so you don’t leave out your arms. (watch demo)

Here are a few additional videos to help tighten up that bikini body:


  1. Stay away from junk food like chips, cake and pastries, and avoid cheese, beef, pork, fried food and late night carbs.
  2. Drink water instead of juice because juice has a lot of added sugar and unwanted calories.  Also try to decrease your alcohol intake because you waste calories every time you drink and those calories go directly to your stomach most of the time.
  3. Eat lots of lean protein (like beans and nuts, fish, chicken, turkey, lamb), fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads and grains.

Click here to download a full nutrition & fitness guide from Coach Cass!

Any final suggestions for ladies looking to slim down for vacation or carnival season?

I can’t stress enough, “Do what you’ve never done to see what you’ve never seen.” It all starts with your mindset. I can give you a million tips but if you haven’t made up your mind to be committed and do what you need to do to get to where you need to be, it wont happen. You can do it! I will be your biggest cheerleader! Seeing people meet and exceed their goals literally makes my heart smile.


So that’s it folks! If you have specific questions for me or Cass please enter them below in the comments section, and if you’d like to work with Cass, or simply be inspired by her healthy lifestyle, check out the links below to start your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

Wellness With Coach Cass


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  • Reply How to Plan a Last-Minute Trip to Carnival - Brooklyn Travel Addict October 29, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    […] Put it down, pick up your gym bag, and start a consistent regimen of cardio and clean eating. Here’s a quick guide to get you started. While you don’t really need to look like Beyonce, you definitely need get […]

  • Reply vivean corrian January 21, 2016 at 10:37 am

    You ent say nothing as yet, it seems like you all has an age limit, I am 59 and very proud of my body and what I achieve every day I live in Arima, I do 3 aerobics class and a light wights class and a booth camp class between Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 9:45 am . and Monday to Friday from 5:pm to 6:30pm I do heavy wights and cross fit at Iron Masters on Green st Arima so what is it about 29 and 40?????????

    • Reply Tracey January 31, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      No age limit at carnival Vivean! Or in life for that matter! I hope to still be fit and energetic at 59 (and maybe still going to Trinidad every once in a while!) Keep up the good work!

  • Reply Lauren February 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    *cries into my bag of chips*

    • Reply Rae February 6, 2016 at 8:57 am


      I cried after I read no cheese.

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