All posts by Orla

The benefits of vitamin D

What are the benefits of vitamin D?

Perhaps the most vital benefits of vitamin D is the regulation of absorption of calcium and phosphorus,  which in turn facilitates normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is also paramount for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, and many recent studies also correlate an improved resistance against certain diseases.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
  • Getting sick often
  • Fatigue and feeling tired constantly
  • Back or bone pain
  • Depression
  • Impaired healing of cuts and other wounds
  • Bone Loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscular pain
How do you treat low vitamin d levels?

The objective is to regulate vitamin D levels to relieve the kinds of symptoms mentioned above and to  decrease the risk of fractures, infections and other adverse health outcomes. To prevent vitamin D deficiency, experts  recommend that infants and children receive at least 400 IU per day from both diet and supplement intake.

What foods are high in vitamin D?
  • Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon (Try get salmon from reputable distributers or local fish mongers in Ireland)
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals (soy really affects my hormonal profile so make sure to keep a food diary!)
  • Beef liver (I’m not a fan at all!)
  • Cheese (only on pizza for me oops!)
  • Egg yolks (yum!)
  • Supplement wise you cannot go wrong with these bad boys– they taste so good too!

Lazy leg and bum exercises

Sitting around on a lazy weekend day when it’s a little chiller outside can mean your gym membership takes the back seat. If you’re looking for some simple to do lazy leg and bum exercises look no further!

Give my lazy leg and bum exercise  program a go:

10 x squat jumps in and out

10 x squat heel raises

10 x sumo squats

10 x sumo squats up to tippy toes

10 x kickbacks each leg

10 x lunges each leg

10 x reverse lunges each leg

Rest for 45-60 secs and repeat x 3 or 4!

The best thing about these lazy leg and bum exercises is that they can be done anywhere- your bedroom, your hotel room, the living room or outside (perhaps when the weather is a little better outside).

These are often my go-to Sunday morning leg day (you can find others here)to get the heart racing and to justify a spontaneous visit to town ending in spicy chicken ramen or something smothered in Nutella. Shhh!



Best Fitness & Health Retreats

So I got quite a few emails and DM’s about what fitness retreat I’d recommend but believe it or not to date, I have never been on a purpose fitness  retreat or healthy holiday per say. Typically when we go away we will stay in an air b’n’b near a good crossfit gym as my other half loves olympic weightlifting. But we’ve never gone on a planned retreat.

In fact my first fitness retreat is coming up this February with the guys at The Edge:Clontarf (caveat here is my boyfriend is on of the owners for those who may not know- you can read my review here!). Anywho, the reason I’m writing about these retreats is so many of you have asked me what I’d recommend so rather than pull a list of what I’d recommend (as I have yet to sample!) I’ve pulled together fitness retreats that look super cool, are affordable and are something I’d genuinely consider. These are in no particular order and are not sponsored or in any way affiliated (though help me GOD I wish they were haha!).

The  Edge: Retreat

This is taking place in the first weekend of February in the picturesque setting of Avon Ri, Blessington, Co. Wicklow. The goal for this weekend training and fitness retreat is to offer the perfect blend of challenging training sessions, mindfulness yoga and tailored nutrition. I’m actually attending this so am SUPER excited as this is where I train (The Edge: Clontarf) and I know it’ll be challenging but worthwhile. All accommodation, classes, food etc is included and the price is 495. 

The Salty Pelican

So this is in typically warmer climes and takes place in Cascais on the coast of Portugal. You can fly into Lisbon and away you go. I like this idea of combining SUP with yoga as I’m kind of awful at both but have it in my head that with a good spray tan and the right temperature everything will resemble a Roxy ad and i can quit my day job and live in a cabin on the coastal waters of Cascais. For the meantime I am seriously considering this as a week’s break with my travel bestie this summer! A week’s accommodation and all classes and buffet brekkie each morning is about750 though their site is a little confusing and fiddly on mobile! But do factor in flights when you’re booking- perhaps take advantage of the flash sales Ryanair and Aer Lingus often thrown down!

New Horizon Escapes

These lads call themselves the world’s best fitness escapes which sounds pretty damn impressive in my mind! The setting for this kind of fitness retreat is basically a ream of far-flung sexy white sanded destinations teamed with well-known fitness bloggers and influencers around the world (but to be fair they are very clued in and the reviews are super!). You can chose from Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Phillipines, Kenya and the Maldives and they have a full list of dates, prices and instructors who will be leading each program. Prices are for single and double rooms/shared rooms so be sure to check that out- The options I looked at were around 2500/ for a week all inclusive but they look UBER fancy and well worth the indulgence if you have the moulah! Flights are separate of course and I’d recommend using skyscanner to see what your total cost would be before booking.


Award-winning and body transformational are what comes to mind with the folks at 38DegreesNorth, who offer high-end fitness and health retreats in Marbella and Ibiza. With capped numbers of 10 and 14 depending on your chosen location, you can expect a tough but fair results driven week. I looked at a random week in March and it was about €2,000 without flights but you can knock off another 500 quid if you were ready and prepared to go off season. These guys welcome reviews from the likes of Conde Nast, Vogue and National Geographic so sounds like you will be in very good hands! They also have some free online training videos which are super handy. And if you enjoy those you may also like these.

Molly McKeever Yoga Retreat

I’ve had the honour of attending some of Molly’s yoga classes when I used to work in the IFSC in Dublin near her little gem of zen that is her studio. She has also turned her hand to bespoke yoga retreats in her second home in Crete which looks like the most wonderful way to well and truly recharge and focus on number 1. The week offers fresh food,local hikes, yoga yoga and more yoga! What’s great about Molly is her ability to teach a group class but make it feel so personal to each attendee so if that’s anything to go by, this retreat will be one of those unforgettable ”to me from me’ kind of pressies that you will cherish forever. Prices are from 799 but do make sure to check out flights to Chania before you book.

Chalong, Thailand

So the idea of going to Thailand for a fitness retreat may seem like a total indulgence BUT this can actually end up costing a lot less if you plan the way I normally plan a holiday. So, although this isn’t a retreat as such it’s very easy form what I have researched to find accommodation (Prices are about 200 USD to stay in a two-person villa for a week!) and classes start at about 8USD. The gyms that are popping up in most forums and reviews are Titan Fitness and Unit 27. Both offer training camps with discounts for the longer you stay too so worth considering if you plan a month or two in Thailand!

Do you guys have any favourite go-to health and fitness retreats?

Do tell