Olukai Momi Shoes ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (July 15th, 2015)

Olukai Momi ShoesI love Hawaii. And I love a lot of things that connect me with the islands. Including Olukai.

Enter…the Olukai Momi shoes.

Any shoe that I can easily slip on and off gets major points from me. I think if I had it my way (maybe when I move to Hawaii – ha ha!), I would walk around barefoot all of the time. But short of that, having slip on/off shoes is nearly as good.

With record-breaking temps and stretches of days where the temperatures have been in the 80’s (unusual for Seattle,), these have often been sitting by my door just waiting for me to slip them on when I head out.

But I also got to wear these a lot while I was on my culinary tours to New Orleans and Santa Fe in May and June. So, they’ve had a fair bit of testing, I’d say.

In addition to the ease in which I can get in and out of these, the style of the Momi is just too cute to pass up with the perforated pattern throughout the upper. There’s just enough stiffness in that upper that I feel like they will hold up for a long time BUT they are supple enough to make them soft against my foot. (Side note: even when they were brand new, I never got any blisters or rubs from these–which can happen when I wear shoes for the first time.)

The footbed is anatomically contoured to provide arch support. Not something I normally need but it’s appreciated in these.

While I do love these shoes, I have to admit that I found my feet to get a bit tired in them after wearing them all day. I think that contoured footbed also makes them a bit hard. Not a lot. But a little. In other words, these are great for about a half day but I had a hard time wearing them touring around a city for a whole day.

The Momis come in four colors: Black, Clay, Coral and Dolphin. Size is true to fit.

Available on Amazon for under $100.

Be Bold,


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Disclosure: Olukai provided these shoes to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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How to Lose Weight on Vacation

by Beth Whitman (July 13th, 2015)

how to lose weight on vacationI started noticing a trend with myself over the past couple of years.

I was losing weight when I traveled. Not a lot, but at least a couple of pounds. And it at beats the alternative of gaining weight!

That is so antithetical to what you would think. But it’s true. I know this because I weigh myself nearly every day and keep track of my weight on my iPhone calendar. I’ve done this for years.

I think my mini-obsession started when my weight creeped up after I took one particularly filling trip to Kauai. It was a culinary press trip and our group of journalists ate and sampled our way across the island. I put on a few pounds during that trip. And then I had a hard time taking it off.

Those pounds eventually came off after a lot of exercise, but I told myself I would never eat my way through a trip again and put those pounds back on. That’s been part of my motivation to keep fit ever since.

You Don’t Have to Deprive Yourself While on Vacation

I’ve received a lot of emails over the years from people who’ve said they admire my commitment to staying fit, even while I travel. One friend (in the travel industry) told me she was going to start exercising in a couple of months, after she had put some trips behind her. She wanted to sample all the food she could during her travels and didn’t want to limit herself.

That’s a fair point. But I would argue that watching what you eat doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself and miss out on cultural experiences. It just means you have to eat less and, ideally, make time for exercise.

What you’ll find is that if you eat well and partake in just a moderate amount of exercise, you’ll feel better and therefore have more energy to enjoy your destination. Here’s what I do:


First, I exercise, in one form or another, every day, or as near to every day as I can. For example, when I was in London last month, I ran every day that wasn’t a travel day. Normally I would take one rest day during the week but I used my flying days as my rest days.

Jon doesn’t run but he weight trains and uses a stationary bike for cardio so I would accompany him to the hotel’s gym on occasion. Yes. On some days I worked out twice (once running, once weight training at the gym). Add to that all the walking we did each day and I ended up with days like this:



That’s more than 30,000 steps in one day according to my FitBit!

But exercising isn’t enough.

I Watch What I Eat.

Since beginning my P90X workout sessions, I’ve become pretty tuned in to fueling my body for getting the most out of my workouts. I’d say this is common for most people even remotely interested in getting fit. You start to realize that eating half a pizza for dinner is going to affect the next morning’s workout. Because you want to improve upon your workout sessions, you then start eating better the night before and discover that your next workout improves.

I would say that 80% of what I eat/drink, is a very conscious choice and that I think about the results of it. (The other 20% is just pure indulgence.) Food is supposed to give you energy, not take it away. But just think about how you feel after most meals. We’ve come to accept that we want to take a nap after eating. But that is not normal! It’s not how our bodies should be operating.

When I eat something and want to take a nap afterward, I make a mental note and don’t eat it that food again (or I still eat it and accept the fact that I’m going to suffer the consequences). Example? Waffles. Love ‘em, but they are a snooze-waiting-to-happen for me.

Salad London

During that London trip, in addition to exercising often, we also sought out healthy eating choices and ate at some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the city.

This was a salad from The Whole Life Cafe in Convent Garden. I also had a smoothie and some raw (meaning not cooked/baked) crackers with hummus. Simply delicious it was!

I Don’t Snack

I think the biggest factor that has allowed me to drop weight when I travel is that I don’t snack between meals like I do at home. I enjoy my breakfast/lunch/dinner and keep myself busy throughout the day, not even thinking about eating between meals. At home that would be an apple with peanut butter (approximately 300 calories), a handful of mixed nuts (anywhere from 160 – 250 calories) or a protein bar (about 200 calories).

These little snacks can really add up during a week’s vacation.

Peer Pressure

I’m really fortunate that I have a significant other who not only supports what I do, he takes a very active role himself in working out and eating well. Although Jon doesn’t shy away from eating an entire chocolate bar in one sitting (something I just can’t do), he also has been known to eat kale salads for breakfast (also something I just can’t do).

The times I eat the least healthy are when I’m in social situations and want to participate in the fun. I admit it’s really hard to curb my desire to eat a lot (and often unhealthy foods) when socializing. But even then I try to make a conscious choice and know that I’ll suffer the consequences which means 1) I either have a slow run the next morning if I don’t eat well or 2) feel a bit removed from the group because I’m eating something completely different than everyone else.

Feeling Good!

Once you start becoming more aware of how food and exercise affect you, you’ll want to start feeling good more often, especially when you’re on vacation! Who wants to sleep through the afternoon when there are sights to be seen?

It’s a process. And I’m constantly working on increasing that 80% of conscious decision-making about my food to 90%. And then hopefully 100%. Maybe one day I’ll eat kale for breakfast. For now, it’s one step at a time…

Be Bold,


Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Photo credit:
Yoga woman – Benjamin J. DeLong via Flickr

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AVEX Brazos Water Bottle ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (July 8th, 2015)

Avex Brazos water bottleI know it’s a good product when I receive a free one to review and then buy another one because I like it so much.

That’s what happened when I got turned on to the AVEX Brazos Water Bottle water bottle with an autoseal top.

I hadn’t heard of these folks prior to stopping by their booth at the Outdoor Retailer Show in January. Sadly, they are just not as widely distributed as other water bottle companies. But, in my humble opinion, they are far superior (ya hear that REI?).

What led me to their booth and my need for a new water bottle was when my other one (NOT an AVEX) leaked out into my backpack and…drumrolll…fried my laptop. Yes, dumb move on my part for having a water bottle that could potentially leak inside my backpack with my laptop. But we all do dumb things sometimes, right? (By the way, my laptop was saved by amazing techs at my local Apple repair store.)

Anyway, I no longer keep a filled water bottle in my backpack but if I did, it could be the AVEX because these bottles are completely spill-proof.

My go-to AVEX is the Brazos (without a straw).

I like it because I can carry it in one hand (like walking through the airport while pulling a carry-on bag), depress a button, take a sip and it will autoseal once I’ve let go of the button. And it autoseals tight so it will not spill, even if I turn it upside down.

There’s a cover that flips over the top of the drinking spout to keep out dirt and a detachable handle that you can use to clip on to a bag.

Of course it’s 100% BPA free and it’s even dishwasher safe (important when you’re trying to keep the mouthpiece area free from germs after several uses).

The Brazos comes in 25 and 32 ounce versions and a wide variety of colors. Available on Amazon for about $15.

By the way, after getting my Brazos, Jon wanted one. So now we have two in the house. Different colors of course so we’re not fighting over whose is whose.

Be Bold,


Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Disclosure: AVEX provided this water bottle to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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