Our Ambassadors

Our best assets are the people we work with. At Retreats Unlimited, we work with some of the best instructors and coaches in the world. Take a look at some of the people who lead our retreats and you’ll understand why we’re so good at what we do!

JJ Virgin

Celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin teaches clients how to eliminate food and carb intolerances and master their mindset so they can transform their health and their lives. JJ is the author of four New York Times bestsellers: The Virgin Diet, The Virgin Diet Cook- book, JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet, and JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook. Her newest title, Miracle Mindset, shows warrior moms how to be strong, positive leaders for their fami- lies, while exploring the inspirational lessons JJ learned as she fought for her own son’s life.

Counting calories and hours on the treadmill will never achieve the lasting results that help you look and feel your best. That’s why JJ specializes in weight loss resistance related to food intolerances and sugar addiction. She has helped hundreds of thousands of people finally lose the weight and feel better fast with her groundbreaking diet and mindset pro- grams. She shows people how to eliminate weight gain, fatigue, and pain related to food intolerances, as well as shift from being sugar burners to fat burners. She also teaches how to build a strong, positive mindset so that your health and life goals are always within reach.

JJ is a prominent TV and print media personality, including co-starring on TLC’s Freaky Eaters. JJ regularly speaks at major integrative medical and consumer conferences, hav- ing shared the stage with Jack Canfield, Suzanne Somers, John Gray, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Brendon Burchard. She appears regularly in the media, including PBS, Dr. Oz, Rachael Ray, the TODAY Show, Dr. Phil, and Access Hollywood. JJ hosts the popular JJ Virgin Lifestyle Show podcast and regularly writes for Huffington Post, Rodale Wellness, Mind Body Green and other major blogs and magazines.

JJ has provided nutrition and training programs for a wide variety of famous faces, including CEOs, athletes, and celebrities like Gene Simmons, Ben Stiller, Taj George, Jeanne Tripple- horn, Nicole Eggert, Tracie Thoms, and “Superman” Brandon Routh.

JJ is a board-certified Nutrition Specialist, board-certified in Holistic Nutrition, and a Cer- tified Nutrition and Fitness Specialist. She has completed over 40 graduate and doctoral courses and continues to learn every day to keep her audience up-to-date on the latest science. JJ is also a business coach and founded the premier health entrepreneur event and community, The Mindshare Summit.

Devon Combs

Devon Combs, “The Horse Listener and the Cowgirl of the Wellness Industry” and Founder of Beyond the Arena, has taught over a thousand women how to live unbridled lives by connecting to their intuition through working with horses.

Utilizing the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method, Devon assists women who are searching for healing unresolved issues and creating fulfilling futures.
A lifelong horsewoman with a charismatic and down-to-earth attitude, Devon experienced the healing power of horses firsthand. Her intelligent, empathic work with others grew directly out of her own journey through bulimia and depression, where at the crossroads, equine therapy saved her life. It opened the door to her life’s work of connecting others to horses for healing and spiritual renewal.

Devon has been featured in COWGIRL Magazine, FOX News Radio, and is a contributing author in the Amazon best-selling book, “Speaking Your Truth: Courageous Stories from Inspiring Women.” To learn more about Devon and the healing power of horses, enjoy www.beyondthearena.com.

Dina Ivas

Dina wasn’t always a “yogi.”  As a former competitive gymnast, she’s been naturally drawn to creative movement since childhood.  In an effort to share her enthusiasm for fitness, Dina became certified in Group Exercise through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America in 2002.  After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Communications, she moved to NYC to pursue a corporate career.  She taught boot camp and body sculpting to keep her passion for health and fitness alive, but the pressures of big city life and working in a small cubicle left Dina feeling totally unbalanced. It was then that she discovered yoga.

Inspired by how yoga made her feel empowered, strong and centered, Dina signed up for the teacher training program at Sonic Yoga, and became a Registered Yoga Teacher in 2010.  She currently leads classes at America’s #1 health club chain Equinox Fitness Clubs, The Yoga Room, and the Brooklyn Athletic Club.  She’s been featured in Shape, Lucky, Om Yoga Magazine, Yoga Journal Italia and is a top trending teacher on RateYourBurn.  Dina is a contributing writer for online educational resource Teachasana, proudly co-led the inaugural 200-hour Teacher Training at Anthea Yoga, and serves as a mentor for new yoga teachers getting started on their path.

Dina’s mission is to make yoga fun and accessible to everyone!  She specializes in working with beginners, and strives to inspire students to explore on their mat without judgement.  Her teaching philosophy is simple: “Breathe. Play. Grow.”  Aware of how many people struggle to find time to fit yoga into their routine, Dina started an initiative to bring yoga to corporate offices and has been fortunate to offer her services to multiple companies including: New Balance, Columbia University, King & Spalding Law Firm and Kate Spade.

Mark Harari

Fitness Expert Mark Harari, owner of Pulse Fitness Studio in Sherman Oaks, CA, creator of PulseTread® app for iPhone, and celebrity trainer, has been changing bodies and changing lives for over 15 years.

 

 

Growing up in Dallas, Texas, fitness and athletics have always been a part of Mark’s life.  After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Mark moved to Los Angles to combine his passions for fitness and business into one.  Pulse Fitness Studio launched in 2007, and it was immediately hailed as the “Best Fitness Studio in Los Angles” by Fox LA.  Mark’s unique concepts for fitness training have been highlighted on shows such as Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood LIVE, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, E! Entertainment, and several workout/makeover shows.  In addition, Mark has been a contributing editor for Fitness Magazine, and has been featured with many of his celebrity clients in People Magazine, Shape, US WeeklyOK! Magazine and several other publications, and was named one of “Tinseltown’s Top Trainers” by Shape Magazine.

Sarah Fragoso

Eight years ago a new lifestyle emerged for Sarah that created much needed positive momentum. After struggling with numerous health issues preceding the birth of her 3rd child, Sarah finally regained her health through ancestral eating and exercise and began to share her journey with others via the Internet when she started her blog and brand, Everyday Paleo. Sarah was the first woman to blog about living an ancestral lifestyle and became on overnight Internet sensation, reaching millions around the globe with her inspiring message and delicious recipes. Sarah has since become an International Best Selling Author of five cookbooks and has had the opportunity to cook with and learn from amazing chefs, from Michelin Star restaurateurs in Italy to cooking school chefs in Thailand.

Her focus is paying it forward, hoping to help others experience the positive changes that she and her family experience everyday. Sarah now blogs exclusively at SarahFragoso.com, communicates through a thriving social media platform, and conducts consistently sold-out nationwide seminars and world-wide retreats. She also co-owns a local gym with her husband John, JS Strength & Conditioning. For the last 6 years, Sarah has also been a top ten iTunes podcaster with her current new podcast hit, Better Everyday With Sarah & Dr Brooke, ranking at number 2 in Alternative Health on the very first day of it’s release.

Rebecca Kordecki

Rebecca Kordecki, creator of Booty Slide and the owner of RK FIT, has enjoyed a robust 20-year career as a Personal Trainer, Fitness Expert, Corporate Wellness Advocate and Speaker. She has had a hand in shaping up some of Hollywood’s finest celebrities and athletes as well as helping to keep their bodies ready for action both on and off the playing fields.

Rebecca’s own athletic background and passion for the industry has led her to various areas of the fitness and wellness industry, including being a Ms. Galaxy Title holder, health & fitness Company Ambassador, fitness model, and wellness radio show host.

Rebecca has been featured on “The Today Show”, “EXTRA”, and has been written up in periodicals such as Vogue, The New York Times, Hamptons, InStyle, Shape, TimeOut NY and Daily Candy amongst others.

 

Tosca Reno

Tosca Reno is a New York Times best selling author, founder of the Eat-Clean Diet® health revolution, health and wellness expert, transformation coach, motivational speaker, Star of a Gemini Award Winning reality TV show, physique competitor, and mother of 4.

Reno started her career at an age when most would consider retiring, earning her first Oxygen cover at 43, after losing 84 pounds and healing herself. She has competed in numerous physique contests and endurance events. The founder of the Eat Clean® series that kicked off a food revolution by the same name, Reno has sold millions of copies, in several languages. She has helped millions lose weight and become well, thanks to Eating Clean®. Once 204 pounds and officially obese, Reno has maintained this using the Eat Clean Diet® method.Reno is best seen live, where she rivets the audience with her gut-wrenching authenticity and powerful storytelling. She loves life, and is a tenacious woman who has endured intense personal loss including the passing of her son and her husband. Reno is a force.Reno is an expert health and wellness advisor for Canfitpro where she speaks, lectures and conducts wellness seminars and online education programs.

Specialties:The psychology of overweight, motivation, inspiration, nutrition, exercise and one on one coaching.

Author, speaker, educator and media veteran.

Katie Bressack

A lover of smoothies, chocolate and avocados, Katie Bressack works with her clients to implement simple, healthy choices that make a lasting impact on men​’s​ and women’s health. Katie attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is Board Certified by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners (AADP). She has furthered her education through the Institute of The Psychology of Eating​, ​and trained with Dr. Sara Gottfried​ and Nicole Jardim. Katie is also a Registered Yoga Instructor.

Katie specializes in healthy weight loss, pre-natal nutrition, hormone balancing as well as stress reduction. With Katie’s support, the woman she counsels lose weight, eat healthier, maintain a balanced mood, prepare for pregnancy, increase energy levels, and live a healthier and more vibrant life.

She has also supported businesses through corporate wellness programs for six years in New York City and Los Angeles, partnering with companies such as Mattel, Digitas, Karl Storz, Publicis Modem and Prodege amongst others. Katie previously worked in digital advertising and print journalism before pursuing a career in nutrition and wellness. ​She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dog​, P​iper. When Katie is not health coaching​,​ you can find her on her yoga mat, watching movies, walking on the beach, hiking and ​spending time with friends. You can learn more about Katie here www.katiebressack.com and feel inspired to live a healthier life by following her on Instagram @katiebressack

Michelle Steinke-Baumgard & Keith Baumgard

Michelle Steinke-Baumgard is an author for HarperCollins, speaker, fitness coach, mother and a re-married widow. After losing her husband Mitch in 2009, she turned to exercise as an outlet for grief and a way to handle stress. Michelle found it so powerful that she eventually quit her corporate VP job to become a fitness coach. Since then Michelle has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, contributed to articles for Prevention Magazine, The Huffington Post, and countless other media outlets. 

 

In addition to her virtual training business, Michelle recently launched her own nonprofit, Live the List focused on helping widows and widowers complete bucket list dreams to honor their late spouse while moving boldly into their future. Michelle’s overarching goal is to help people live a full, fit and intentional life beyond life’s hardest moments.

Keith Baumgard is the Co-Founder of My1FitLife, and Live the List Nonprofit. Fitness has been a life-long passion of his, starting from a young age. Keith’s degree is in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine allowing him to extensively learn and study the anatomy and physiology of the body, specifically the muscular system. Having a background in this allows him to continually develop unique and effective exercise programs. He started his career as a personal trainer right out of college and continue to work with clients still today. In 2004 he lost his best friend in a plane crash and realized how important exercise and fitness is in helping with the grieving process. His greatest reward is seeing others achieve their goals and live up to their full potential. 

Bonnie & Steve Pfiester

Steve had the awesome opportunity to co-host and trainer on ABC’s weight-loss reality show Fat March and on VH1’s Bridal Bootcamp. Steve continues work on camera as trainer for Bodylastics and LiveExercise TV, channel now available on Roku, leading live online workouts in kenpo, plyometrics, sports conditioning, and other exercise techniques.

While Steve transforms bodies, Bonnie offers the support, education, and encouragement that clients need to get the most out of their training. A fitness model and columnist whose work has appeared in a variety of national and local publications, she was once named Club Solutions magazine’s Most Fit Health Club Professional.

Dr. Brooke Kalanick

A licensed Naturopathic Doctor (ND), Dr. Brooke attended Seattle, Washington’s Bastyr University, where she earned a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and Masters in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Dr. Brooke takes a balanced approach to health, using both conventional and alternative therapies. Metabolic nutrition, fat loss resistance, and fitness remain her area of focus and in her Manhattan clinic she primarily treats women with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism and PCOS – as well as other female hormone imbalances.

With these women she works to reset their hormones, their heads, and their habits, so they can finally feel at home in their bodies.

Mark and Michele Sherwood

Mark Sherwood, Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and Michele L. Neil-Sherwood, Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), have a full-time wellness-based medical practice in Tulsa, OK called the Functional Medical Institute where they adopt a whole person approach, which is outcome based looking at each individual’s unique needs. Their aim is to obtain the highest level of function while maintaining total health (physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually) through a multi-disciplinary collaborative approach. The couple host Living It TV, a weekly television program airing regionally in the Midwest US.

 

Drs. Mark and Michele co-authored Amazon #1 best-selling book, The Quest for Wellness. Their second book is nearing completion. They have been seen on national TV, been quoted on CNN and are regular contributors to the Huffington Post.

Dr. Mark is a 24-year retired veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, where he logged a decade of courageous service on the department’s SWAT Team. He is also a former Oklahoma state and regional bodybuilding champion, and ex-professional baseball player. Dr. Mark’s passion for wellness motivated him to develop several wellness-based courses, which he teaches to law enforcement professionals, corporations, and churches throughout U.S. and worldwide. He firmly believes that “each person has an awesome destiny and purpose in life, which can be revealed only through the pursuit of total wellness.” Mark is a motivational speaker whose presentations are sought by audiences nationwide. His passion and experience for total wellness make him a versatile role model for people of all ages.

Dr. Michele is double board certified (internal medicine and sports medicine) and has been certified and trained through Cenegenics, BioTE Medical, Metagenics, Helm’s Medical Institute, A4M, and AMMG. She specializes the following medical services: Age Management Medicine, Naturopathic and Functional Medicine, Acupuncture, First Line Therapy, Lifestyle Coaching, Prolotherapy, and soft tissue modalities of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy. She has an extensive fitness and athletic background: Martial Arts (brown belt- Judo, Black belt Tae-Kwon-Do), Strength Training/Bodybuilding (multiple state and national titles), Russian Kettlebell System (RKC Certified, CK-FMS Certified, Primal Move Certified) and Iyengar Yoga Methods.

The couple understands the importance of nutrition, medical food & supplementation, exercise prescription, rest, stress management, hormone balance and the functional movement.

 

 

 

Catherine Roscoe Barr

Catherine Roscoe Barr, BSc Neuroscience, is founder of The Life Delicious, a global wellness coaching practice with luxury retreats from Vancouver Island to London, England and private clients worldwide via Skype. Catherine is a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor and coach practitioner, and writes about fitness, food and travel for numerous publications including Montecristo, Canadian Living, WestJet Magazine, BC Business and BC Living. Before settling on the West Coast she lived in Sydney, Toronto, Oregon, Montana, and practically everywhere in Alberta. She can be found jogging with her adorable dog, dining with her fabulous husband or voraciously reading anywhere comfy.

Natalie Hodson

I was married (ironically, my husband and I met in the weight room in college) and we were expecting our first baby.  I gained around 60 lbs with baby #1, and although I was so happy after he was born to have this beautiful little boy, I remember just looking in the mirror and feeling like the person I saw in the mirror was not the person I felt like I should be.  I decided to train for a marathon (read here about my very first marathon story) and was able to lose quite a bit of the weight that way, but I still didn’t have the muscle tone and definition I had always wanted.  I started doing a little bit more research and learned about clean eating and lifting weights through my friend Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer.  I completely changed my workout routine by doing limited cardio, lifting heavy weights, and I slowly started making changes to my diet.  I was shocked at the great results I saw, and was hooked.  Fast forward a few more years, I was pregnant with baby #2 and this time I gained 70 lbs!  I was 218 lbs when I delivered her (you can read the full birth story here).  Luckily this time I knew the basics of weight training and how to eat properly to lose the weight.  I lost about a pound a week incorporating my training and nutrition philosophies and was back to my pre-pregnancy size by the time the baby was 10 months old.

Drew Manning

My Name is Drew Manning, and I’ve always had a passion for fitness. From an early age I got into sports and before I knew it, it became an addiction. I expanded my knowledge in college, learning the science behind athletics and nutrition. My love for health and fitness and my newfound understanding of the academics behind it inspired me to become a NASM certified fitness trainer. At first it was a simple side job, but the connection I felt with my clients and their success quickly transformed it into something MORE…Especially when I learned of the difficulties some clients had with losing weight and getting fit. I actually had clients QUITTING on me because of the difficult fitness routines I had put them through. Sometimes I would work them until they were literally sick, dizzy, and unable to continue. As I said before, my clients’ well-being is my utmost concern, so you could imagine my anguish when I witnessed them feeling like they had failed. I decided it was my job to learn more…As a PROFESSIONAL, I believe that it is my responsibility to be the expert, and I was willing to go to ANY LENGTHS to become that person that people could TRUST. I decided to become the foremost authority on what it meant to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle…

Alyson Charles – “Rockstar Shaman”

Internationally renowned television host, speaker and healer, Alyson Charles aka “RockStar Shaman” went from being a national champion athlete, #1-rated hip-hop morning show host and national daytime television talk show host to aligning with her calling as a shaman after a traumatic moment provided her awakening.

 

Since then, her ability to share ancient sacred knowledge and divine energy and be a powerful catalyst for change has her named a “Top Meditation” by Oprah, the cover story on Marie Claire Magazine, resident shaman for “Best Health Site” Well and Good Magazine, providing a monthly energy forecast and working with top celebrities, CEOs and renowned global brands like The New York Times, The Four Seasons, HBO, National Geographic Channel, Forbes, Art Basel, SAKS, ABC Radio, ELLE, SELF and others.

Lauren Griffith & Chef V

Fitness and wellness expert Lauren Griffith is best known for her high-energy fitness classes, boot camps and instructor training programs. Lauren continues to create fitness and yoga programs to motivate and inspire her clients, including her newest creation Agility Barre®. Born in Northern California, Griffith’s passion for fitness originates from her childhood playing team sports and later began teaching group fitness classes at the age of 18 while attending college at Washington State. After her studies, she went on to teach a wide variety of fitness and mind-body classes and continue her passion for helping others. Griffith now resides in San Diego with her husband Jeff, daughter Haley and son Hunter.

Chef V- Veronica Wheat founded Chef V in 2010, providing private wellness chef services to clients in the San Diego area. Today, Chef V is a national player in the organic food delivery industry.Veronica is a passionate chef, a certified nutritional therapist, member of the board of the California  Certified Organic Foundation (CCOF) and a volunteer for Southern California charities.

And Veronica practices what she preaches. Not much of a breakfast person, Veronica waits until she’s hungry and then has 16 oz of Green Drink, which holds her perfectly until lunch. Don’t tell anyone but Veronica looooves French Fries. “They are my vice,” she says, adding, “Yes, I am human, too!” But Veronica stays on track by doing lots of yoga and hiking and going for walks with her dog and husband, Brandon.

Kristen McGee

Kristin McGee is a nationally recognized celebrity yoga and Pilates teacher, speaker, mompreneur, and author of Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch, and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You(HarperCollins January 17, 2017). Considered a pioneer in the yoga movement, Kristin began her career as yoga teacher in the nineties after graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. 

Her unparalleled knowledge of fitness and health has established Kristin as a sought-after yoga and Pilates trainer with a continuous roster of high profile celebrities including LeAnn Rimes Cibrian, Emilia Clarke, Tina Fey, Bethenny Frankel, Savannah Guthrie, Steve Martin, and Christine Taylor Stiller. Her appeal has always been that she makes fitness fun, cool, and accessible to students of all ages and stages.

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