Frequent Flyer: Sahra Esmonde-White of Essentrics

Celebrity trainer Sahra Esmonde-White shares how she stays in shape on the road, her travel-beauty regime and favourite place to get away.


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and fit physique is all in a day’s work for Sahra Esmonde-White, co-founder and owner of Essentrics. Based in Montreal, Essentrics is a company that produces fitness TV shows and DVDs for a unique workout called EssentricsTM. As an entrepreneur, Sahra finds herself wearing many hats, one of which includes being a personal trainer for some high-profile clients including Toronto actress Sarah Gadon, UK model/actress/entrepreneur Lily Cole and the Montreal Canadiens. With a celebrity clientele who can be found on movie sets around the world, it’s not unusual for Sahra to jump on the next plane in order to help them stay in the best shape possible on set.

“I’m equally as passionate about business as I am about the importance of a healthy balanced lifestyle,” explains Sahra. “I try to take part in all aspects of EssentricsTM in terms of brand building and physically teaching it to relay my passion for healthy living to others.”

Staying healthy while travelling can be a challenge to say the least, so we were excited to chat with Sahra to find out how she stays healthy on the go, some of her travel-beauty essentials and the city that she says has the best pastries in the world.

What about your job takes you on the road?

I often go on the road to visit my clients on their movie sets. I was most recently in Belfast, Northern Ireland on the set of Sarah Gadons’s film Dracula, followed by one of our EssentricsTM fitness holidays at Silver Sands Jamaica.

Do you carry-on or check your bag?

I prefer to check my bag. It’s better for my shoulders if I don’t lift heavy bags.

What luggage do you use?

I love my Lululemon bag for my workouts and for traveling.

You’ll never find me travelling without ________.

You’ll never find me travelling without my silk eye mask (from Gee Beauty) and earplugs – a good night’s sleep is very important to me. Fitness clothes I can’t travel without: British fashion fitness brand Lucas Hugh; they’re a signature look for me and I love their unique mesh bodysuits and hot pink leggings. They make quite a statement!

Travel & Style’s Pick: elizabethW Bouquet Sleep Mask, $22,

Beauty product you can’t travel without?

My job is to help others feel and look healthy, vibrant and youthful at any age! With all of my traveling, I can sometimes feel tired so it’s important to me that both my skin and my body feel and look vibrant. Flights and jet lag can take their toll, so I have a routine to re-energize my skin which includes: Dermalogica multivitamin thermafoliant scrub, Clarins HydraQuench mask, SkinCeuticals C-E Ferulic serum and Dermalogica super rich repair cream.

App you love using on the road.

I use Happy Cow to help me find healthy restaurants and shops wherever I am.

Favourite hotel?

I recently stayed at the Sofitel in Washington, DC – I could see the White House lawns and the So Bed is heavenly. Also the Ashford Castle in Ireland where I stayed with my mom a few years ago.

Hotel amenity you can’t live without?

A decent room service menu! I believe that health comes from a good consistent regimen of fitness and quality food. Many top hotels offer rich foods with 5-star menus, but they aren’t actually healthy. So far, The Royal York in Toronto has impressed me the most with their room service.

Biggest travel pet peeve?

Cancelled flights!

Best meal on your last trip/ever. Where and what did you have?

The desserts in Budapest. I was on the set of World Without End with actors Sarah Gadon and Tatiana Maslany. Tatiana and I both have a sweet tooth and we would often sneak off to Dunapark Café for the most delicious decadent desserts. In all my travels, I still think Budapest has the best coffee shops and pastries in the world.

On-flight entertainment — what are your currently reading/listening to/watching?

I’m always reading several books at once – currently Eleven Rings by Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson and re-reading the Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell. In terms of listening –Essentrics classes are very music-focused and combine pop, classical, rock, and rhythms. I am constantly listening to new artists and discovering great oldies for my classes. A sampling would include Sam Cooke, Miguel, Agnes Obel, and some classical piano by Ludovico Einaudi.

Tell us what your airplane style is.

My airplane style is comfortable, but chic. I tend to pack light, which means my heaviest pieces are worn on the plane. My boots are La Canadienne, my favorite sweater from an old BCBG collection, black J Brand jeans and a wool Filippa K coat.

How do you stay healthy while travelling?

I feel my best when I keep a consistent diet. Before leaving Montreal, I stop by Aux Vivres to pick up a healthy take-out meal for my flight. I do quite a bit of research on the restaurants and juice bars in the area I am traveling to so that I’m guaranteed consistency in my food. As for exercise, even if I’m not working with someone else, I always do at least 30-minutes of Essentrics in my room – this makes me feel good and keeps me energized!

Destination you travel to most — give us an insider scoop on a resto/bar/shop we must visit.

Over the last few years it has been London, UK. If you’re interested in natural products and the history of what plants and herbs can do for your heath, I highly recommend the Chelsea Physic Gardens where you can get a history lesson on the ancient uses of plants, and then eat in the gardens!

Most memorable souvenir?

Knowledge that you pick up in various cultures is the best souvenir. I love learning about the local use of herbs and spices as natural remedies. As a hobby I’ve developed a natural apothecary at my grandmother’s home garden.

Tell us about your last vacation.

A weekend holiday at Spa Eastman, about an hour outside of Montreal. It’s an all-inclusive spa resort that offers healthy food, thermal baths and peaceful surroundings. I love it so much that I began holding EssentricsTM Weekend retreats at Eastman so others could experience it. It’s a perfect place to kick-start any fitness and health goals.

Next trip I’m taking is to __________with plans of _________.

Next trip I’m taking to is to Manchester, UK where I will be staying with Lily Cole for 3 weeks. She has been cast as Helen of Troy in an upcoming play and we will spend a few weeks doing EssentricsTM and eating healthy foods so she is in tiptop shape for her new role.

You’d be surprised to learn when I travel I _________.

You’d be surprised to learn when I travel I actually do my own workout DVDs in the hotel. Even though I could teach myself, I prefer to follow along and give my mind a rest.

Best part about coming home?

Best part of coming home is getting back to my studio and office. We are a close team of 13 girls and genuinely enjoy each other’s company and inspire each other to do good things every day.