Taste of travel: Juiced in La Romana

Charlene Peters

While many a traveler seeks a vacation spot that incorporates wellness, it’s not often you can find an all-inclusive that offers a program with directed exercise inside and outside of the pool, as well as offering a separate healthy food station. You can have your vacation, and eat well and exercise, too, thanks to the new EcoWellness program at the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach & Palace Resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic.

A vista of cows, donkeys and stray dogs and cats add to the visual entertainment along the long drive from the Santo Domingo airport to Viva Wyndham Dominicus, where the dish on health and wellness is only part of the puzzle in leading a holistic lifestyle. Sun, sand and glorious gardens envelope you with the peace and relaxation you’ve been craving, and as far as caloric intake is concerned, if you head to the EcoWellness buffet instead of the usual port of call (a low additional cost), you’ll leave your vacation with less carry-on baggage in your tummy. No fried plantains here, nor bread or dessert, but lots of fresh vegetables, steamed vegetables and proteins that are rationed out by use of a specially-designed plate that illustrates where and how much of the plate is designated for raw, cooked vegetables and protein. The plate is pretty big, and you can eat as much as you want, even with a glass of wine if you wish. You’ll be satiated, for sure, but on sautéed white fish, calamari, broccoli, carrots and salad — all deliciously prepared.

Once you sign on to this program, you’ll weigh in on just how much damage needs to be repaired; a bone density, fat percentage and weight evaluation will take place before you place one foot at the Boot Camp, led by Gali, a former physical therapist who knows how to teach a class properly. The exercise you’ll get twice each day won’t hurt to tone you, and, fortunately, the second exercise class is held in the pool, so you won’t feel those worked over muscles — at least until the next morning. Until then, in between meals and workouts, the sun awaits for some serious relaxation.

As part of the Eco Wellness program, juice breaks offer nutritious benefits in delicious combinations of local fruit and vegetable concoctions. These juices are made to fill you with nutrients to set you on the path to the new you. Here are a few of my favorites to share. Mix in a Vita-mixer or blender and enjoy!


Aqua Fresh

1 carrot

1 cucumber

1 tomato

1/2 melon (cantaloupe or watermelon)


Natural Paradise

1/4 pineapple

1 cucumber

3 spears broccoli

1/4 lemon