Fit Traveler

Find Your Peak with Wellness Expert Nora Tobin

When it comes to personal well-being, “Fitness, food and lifestyle are things that should really be enjoyed. They don’t have to be a chore,” says health and wellness consultant Nora Tobin.

Tobin’s philosophy of fulfillment was honed as she traveled the world–from the snow-capped mountains of Lake Tahoe to the warm beaches of Sumbawa, Indonesia.

Now she’s partnered with JW Marriott to take what she’s learned and is sharing it with others through a series of Peak by JW Featuring Nora Tobin Retreats.

The retreats include daily yoga and fitness classes led by Tobin, well-being workshops, individual nutrition and fitness counseling, customized culinary experiences and local excursions.

“JW and I share the same holistic approach to well-being–one that focuses on mind-body balance,” Tobin told Marriott TRAVELER when we caught up with her at the first retreat at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. “That’s what these retreats are all about. They bring together the fundamental parts of well-being. There are fitness, nutrition and mindfulness components that we’ve made practical and accessible to everyone, even those with a busy work schedule.”

Fitness, food and lifestyle are things that should really be enjoyed. They don't have to be a chore.

Nora Tobin

Tobin says that guests of the retreat will indulge in four perfectly curated days of inspiring workshops, expertly crafted workouts and nutritious cuisine to help them reach their personal peaks.

“That could be different for everyone,” she says. “To be able to provide a series of retreats, videos and programming that allows participants to thrive no matter what their health goals was a very important foundation for us.”

Tobin’s fitness journey started in Northern California.

“I grew up in South Lake Tahoe; my parents were avid skiers and mountaineers, and they took us out for all kinds of adventures,” she says.

That love for the outdoors followed Tobin down south to Santa Barbara where she worked as an ocean lifeguard and received her advanced certifications in helicopter rescue, cliff rescue and scuba diving.

Following shortly thereafter she picked up her performance enhancement specialist and nutrition specialist credentials as well as a standard CPT.


Nora Tobin
With JW Marriott, Nora Tobin has created a series of retreats, videos and programming that allows participants to thrive. (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott)

I spend very little time at the gym. I try to mix it up with different outdoor sports.

Nora Tobin

You’ve said your ideology is rooted in fulfillment. What exactly does that mean?

I take that idea of fulfillment and apply it to each part of the program. It’s all about how we can break down actionable things that you can incorporate into your life that are sustainable but also simple and easy to do. So whether that’s lowering stress, improving sleep or simply bettering your overall mood I’ve created bite-sized steps that create this sustainable success over time.

When did yoga come into the mix?

I got really into yoga when I took a year off between high school and college to travel and work. I went to Thailand and received my certifications there. I spent quite a while studying under different teachers. I brought what I had learned from the east and combined it with western philosophy and melded the two.

It just made sense to not only get those positive mental benefits from yoga but to also incorporate some core conditioning. So with one combined session you’ll be able to get the benefits of both.

Can you give us an example of something that’s done or taught differently in Thailand than here in the U.S.?

In Thailand it’s about slowing down. That doesn’t necessarily mean your practice, though. You can have high energy and powerful sessions, but the idea is to slow down your mind. Become present in your body, your well-being in that moment.

Do you have a favorite routine that you know will help you out anywhere?

Yes! If I don’t have a lot of time I do ten sun salutations that will reenergize my body, calm my mind, and get me ready for whatever is coming next.

What’s the first thing you do in a new destination?

The very first thing I do is explore the destination. If it’s a coastal place I immediately find the ocean and jump in. If it’s a mountain town I find a way up to the mountains. If it’s a city I walk around and get lost or try to find the thing that makes the place unique. I try to find that first outdoorsy thing I can do; it’s beneficial for my brain.

Home for you is Santa Barbara. Do you have any favorite places you like to workout that’s not the gym?

I actually spend very little time at the gym. My favorite place in Santa Barbara is East Beach. I love to mix it up with different outdoor sports and play volleyball about three or four times a week. I’ll also jump on a stand up paddle board to get a nice core workout. We have beautiful mountains in Santa Barbara so I’ll head up there to get in a hike. Once I find a quiet spot I’ll usually do some kind of yoga flow.

Tips for eating healthy while traveling. Go!

I think it can be overwhelming to stick to a routine while on the road, especially the routine you keep at home. I also am a big proponent of enjoying the foods in a new place. So I always stick to an eight-hour eating window. It’s designed so that you eat within an eight-hour period of time.

So for example you only eat within 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., or 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. And what’s happening in that time is you’re igniting your fat burning power, so you’re able to burn fat efficiently. That way you can get away with eating more of what you want.

Another thing I do is pack raw nuts and protein powder that I can add to any smoothie or water. That will be my base and something I can rely on no matter where I am.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

That’s hard! I would say Playa Grande in Costa Rica, or Sumbawa, which is in Indonesia. The surf breaks there are amazing!

What’s next for you? Where can people find out more about you?

Our next big move is to launch the other retreat locations. We have Austin, Marco Island, Cabo and Desert Ridge to look forward to. People can visit the JW Marriott website to learn all about each retreat, where they are and what we’re going to be doing on each one.

People can also find me on my website, That’s where the Kale, Cardio and Cocktails book is being sold, which are included with all the retreats. I’m also on Instagram @noratobin. That’s where I provide daily informative and inspirational tips and strategies to incorporate into your daily life, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

With a shared holistic approach to wellness, JW Marriott and Nora Tobin have partnered to bring you mind-body balance at these truly intimate retreats designed to help you reach your personal goals. Please visit Peak by JW Featuring Nora Tobin Retreats to learn more!