Esperanza Resort Recap {Part 2}

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Day 2 at Esperanza started bright and early with a bootcamp workout on the beach right by the ocean.

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Raphael was our fearless leader and instructor for the 60-minute class. He had all sorts of exercise equipment as well as towels and bottles of water for us.

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And we were ready to get our sweat on!

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Raphael had us doing all sorts of plyometric exercises on the sand, which, of course, made them so much harder. The unstable surface challenged our bodies and really made us work. I was definitely huffing and puffing and feeling the burn! Jump squats on the sand? Whoa. Wicked hard.

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Post-workout with Susi from FitSugar, Kimi from the Esperanza PR team, Sarah, and Amiee, who is a freelance writer for all sorts of amazing travel, health, and lifestyle publications.


After our workout, we all headed to breakfast at Cocina del Mar where we snagged a table right by the ocean. It was such a gorgeous morning, and I felt great after a sweaty workout. I also loved being able to whale watch from our table. Really! It was so cool. We saw at least a couple of different whales while eating breakfast. Esperanza even provides guests with binoculars, so you can whale watch from your room because whales so frequently visits the waters off the coast of the resort.

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The menu at Cocina del Mar was really great and offered all sorts of healthy and nutritious options as well as clearly-labeled, diet-specific dishes.

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I started the meal with a glass of delicious fresh green juice. (Now that I’m out of my first trimester, green juice is appetizing again. I had no interest in it when I was battling morning sickness. Isn’t it kind of strange that something so nutritious was not at all appealing to me?)

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To start, I ordered the fresh fruit plate, which came with a couple of pieces of pound cake on the side. The fruit was outstanding: so fresh, so flavorful, so juicy!

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For my entree, I ordered the egg white frittata with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, grilled asparagus, basil, and mozzarella. I also ordered a side of chicken sausage because it just sounded so interesting. The homemade patties were made with ginger, basil, and a hint of maple syrup. Mmm… both dishes were so delicious!

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Everyone lingered after breakfast, so I ordered some peppermint tea to enjoy while we all chatted.

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After breakfast, I headed back to my room, showered up, and got ready for a special cooking class with Chef Gonzalo. This one was set up specifically for our media group, but Esperanza offers a ton of cooking classes, some of which are complimentary. You can even customize your cooking experience for a group or based on your taste preferences or diet restrictions that you may have. Basically, there are a lot of different cooking opportunities at Esperanza.

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Chef Gonzalo has the most interesting culinary background. Listen to this… he was raised in Argentina, he was trained at a Swiss and German cooking school, and he now works at a resort in Mexico that caters to a 90% American clientele. How’s that for diverse? Needless to say, Chef Gonzalo’s cooking is definitely something special!

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Chef Gonzalo prepared 3 recipes for us:

  • A green smoothie made with romaine lettuce, celery, pears, apples, lemon, banana, spinach, and fresh parsley and cilantro from the herb garden at Esperanza.
  • A summery vegan salad made with tomatoes, tomatillos, strawberries, fennel, lime, and various fresh herbs.
  • Local seared scallops with a roasted corn puree, which he made in 3 minutes, broccoli, red onion, quinoa, and cinnamon.

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The smoothie was really interesting and definitely something I want to recreate at home. It wasn’t sweet like your typical green smoothie, but it wasn’t like green juice either. I guess it was somewhere in the middle and almost tasted like a cold green soup.

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It was really delicious, and I definitely think the fresh herbs added a little something-something to it. Mental note: add fresh herbs to smoothies and juice.

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The vegan salad was also really interesting, especially the combination of ingredients and flavors. I would have never paired them together myself, but they definitely worked together!

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The flavors of this dish were sweet, salty, and sour all at the same time, and they definitely had my taste buds guessing!

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The scallop dish was my favorite of the bunch. It was just so unique, and it seemed so easy to make, like maybe even I could make it myself. Chef Gonzalo prepared the entire dish in maybe 10 minutes.

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So yum!

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After the cooking class, we had a couple of hours of free time, so we all headed to the pool to relax. (Well, I sort of relaxed. Truthfully, I was not totally comfortable sporting a bikini in public, but the pool area wasn’t very crowded, which definitely eased my worries. Hey, I am still getting used to my new body!)

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Chilling by the pool definitely meant cocktails! I ordered a virgin blended margarita with salt, which was excellent. And I really didn’t miss the booze. Ok, maybe I did… just a little.


I also ordered some chips, guacamole, and salsa to munch on. Guacamole = love.

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A little while later, it was time for our complimentary spa appointments. (I know, rough life, right?)

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The spa was absolutely gorgeous inside with all sorts of nooks and crannies where you could totally relax and unwind. There were a number of soaking pools (both hot and cold), outdoor showers, and a few different lounge areas.


I enjoyed a 60-minute massage, which was so, so, so wonderful. It was easily one of the best massages I’ve ever had because it was a nice mix of relaxation and working out knots and other tightness. I love when there’s a balance like that.

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There are 14 separate and very private treatment rooms at the spa, each of which included an outdoor shower, so you could freshen up (and walk around naked) after your spa service.

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After my treatment, I was led out into one of the lounge areas where I read a magazine and relaxed.

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I also enjoyed an “aguas frescas” (Spanish for “fresh waters”) made with guava, peppermint, and lime and a vegetable plate with spices. Snacks after a massage? I was in heaven.

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After my time at the spa, I headed back to my room to freshen up for dinner, which was a special event that the resorts hosts every week:

Mexicanisimo: Every Thursday we feature an authentic Mexican fiesta on our oceanfront patio highlighting foods from various regions of Mexico with live music & a dazzling firework display. An outdoor marketplace is also available, selling souvenirs, jewelry and other crafts by local vendors.”

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There’s an extra cost for this event ($65 per person), but it’s totally worth it.

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The food is served buffet-style, so you can help yourself as many times as you’d like.

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There are also fireworks!

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And live music! And, honestly, it’s just a fun and lively atmosphere, so it would be a nice night out.

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We had such a nice group of women. We had so much fun together!

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Round 1:

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Round 2:

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Dessert round:

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All in all, I absolutely loved my time at Esperanza. What an incredible place! It was definitely one of the nicest (maybe even the nicest) resort I have ever stayed at. Everything from the accommodations and food to the activities and service were all amazing.

And, of course, with any top-notch resort like this, there is a price. Staying at Esperanza is not cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. Certain times of year, like right now during the holiday season, are more expensive than others, but the rates are a lot more affordable in the summer months, say if you’re planning a honeymoon or special anniversary celebration. (I already told Mal that I want to visit for our 10-year anniversary!) Esperanza is really something special, and I am so thrilled (and thankful!) that I had the opportunity to experience it.



  1. When I was in grad school, one thing we learned was that it is really, really common for women early in pregnancy to have aversions to more greens, veggies, and fruits (“wild” foods) – it’s your body’s way of preventing you from eating food that may have more pesticides or other things that may be harmful to the baby’s development. That’s why generally, the most appealing foods to first trimester women are very bland! 🙂

    1. @Kaitlyn:
      Totally not trying to be rude, but why would your body naturally do something to prevent you from eating pesticides which do not naturally occur? I think it’s really just that high levels of estrogen from pregnancy make you nauseous, and when you’re nauseous, bland foods are more appealing because they’re less likely to make you feel sick than high fiber/acidic foods. Heck, a lot of people wouldn’t find a green smoothie appealing even when they aren’t pregnant 😉

      1. @Megan: I don’t think its about pesticides per se. I think a lot of women have veggie and meat aversions bc of the higher risk of food bourne illness with these foods (that is what my OB told me anyway). 🙂

      2. @Megan: Yes, I was incorrect in saying pesticides, so I apologize for that. I think the idea is that veggies and animals proteins (amongst other foods) are more likely pass on food bourne illness, and while we as adults may be able to handle small doses of those germs, they could seriously impact the growth and development (specifically the neurological development) of a tiny tiny fetus.

    2. @Kaitlyn:

      I don’t think it’s pesticides but i do know some researches believe there is a link between aversions and the body protecting itself from potentially harmful ingestion. I know personally, all forms of alcohol sounding so disgusting and even smelling the fumes made me nauseous. Also, coffee didn’t sound good. i don’t think morning sickness is the same as aversions-I think you just are nauseous and some foods sound better than others during the nausea.

  2. WOW that’s some expensive breakfast!!! Hope that was the best egg sandwich on earth 😉 I love exercising on the beach! I went went Christian’s family to the Oregon coast 2 years ago and we went on a 5 mile run on the beach. Even though we ran on packed, wet sand it was still so much harder than running on the road!

  3. WOW, I’m in absolute awe. Since I read this post I’ve been day dreaming about frolicking in the sand in Mexico with a cocktail in hand! BTW I’m sure you still look great in a bathing suit, but like you said it’ll take some time to get used to!

  4. I can’t get over how gorgeous the Esperanza Report looks! The views and the food all look incredible. I have heard that greens make a lot of women well, green, during the first few months of pregnancy. I’m happy that you’re able to be back at the green juices again 🙂

  5. This place looks like a dream! I went on a group vacation to the DR last spring, and while it was super fun with all my friends, the place was way too cheap and all 9 of us ended up sick at one point during the trip. I’d so much rather spend more money for amazing food and nice details at an upscale place like this!

  6. awhhhhh this so reminds me of our honeymoon. we didn’t go to esperanza, but our resort was so similar. the spa was THE best i’ve ever been to.

  7. That smoothie sounds exactly like the one from Kimberly Snyder’s book. You can google “glowing green smoothie” and find the recipe for it!

  8. Tina, I thought you might enjoy this post on the Esperanza Resort from Kimberly Snyder, who introduced that smoothie to their staff.

  9. My first Trimester with my 3rd daughter I couldn’t eat anything but dry bagels and smartfood popcorn! I couldn’t even drink plain water, it turned my stomach. I had to drink sparkling waters with maybe a little splash of cranberry. I have three girls and I definitely had “morning” sickness with all of them but it was in varying degrees…strange, right?
    My last pregnancy was definitely the worst sickness but yet the smoothest pregnancy I had!
    Best of luck to you Tina..I wish you the smoothest, carefree pregnancy!!

  10. Tina…I loved reading this recap! Esperanza is such a wonderful resort. You have made me want to go back and enjoy a Cabo Green by the pool.

  11. Spent today doing some last minute Christmas shopping and decided to treat myself to something, too. What did I get? Your book! 🙂

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