This Month Win a Mission Knit Long Sleeve Shirt from Royal Robbins

by Beth Whitman (September 1st, 2015)

Royal Robbins Mission Knit Long Sleeve

Congratulations to Mary J. from La Quinta, CA, a new subscriber to the Wanderlust and Lipstick Newsletter, for winning this month’s prize!


There’s the moment when you get a new piece of clothing. You know, that moment when you get a little buzz from the purchase. Then there’s the moment when you get a new piece of clothing like the Mission Knit Long Sleeve Shirt from Royal Robbins. A top so soft and comfortable that all sorts of neurons start firing.

That’s what happened for me when this top arrived. And then I wished for a cool front to come in so I could start wearing the shirt as soon as possible.

Like a new pair of fuzzy socks, this is a shirt that’s so comfortable you don’t even know you’re wearing it. Though the material is thin, it’s just that cozy.

The acrylic/rayon/wool blend is an alternative to Merino wool with the same warmth. It’s also wrinkle resistant, which means this will get packed into my luggage on my next cool weather trip.

I love the asymmetrical crew neck (it’s difficult to see it in this photo) and the diagonal seam in the front. Though this is considered a tunic, I found that it doesn’t come down as far as you might think based on this photo. In other words, it’s not something you’d necessarily wear with a pair of leggings.

This is available in Charcoal (pictured above), Cosmic Blue and Merlot.

About Royal Robbins

Royal Robbins produces practical outdoor travel clothing that utilizes performance fabrics, making their clothes not only comfortable but excellent for packing and for adventure activities.

Wanna win your own Mission Knit Long Sleeve Shirt?

Mission Knit LS Shirt_MerlotDuring the month of September, you can enter to win a Mission Knit Long Sleeve Shirt from Royal Robbins. One winner will be chosen on October 1, 2015.


1) Sign up for the Wanderlust and Lipstick newsletter. This goes out just once a month and your information is never shared.

2) Sign up for the RSS email feed (see the “subscribe me” box in the upper right) to receive an email each time I post to this blog (usually no more than 3x per week).

3) NEW for 2015! If you’re already a newsletter and RSS email feed subscriber, leave a comment below and let me know where you would wear your Mission Knit Shirt from Royal Robbins. I’ll then include you in the random drawing.

If you’re new to the site or this blog, do all three and you’ll have three chances to win!

Oh, and get some good karma by forwarding this to friends whom you think might like to enter to win their own Mission Knit Shirt from Royal Robbins.

Value: $65

The Deets
This contest closes at 11:59 pm PST on September 30, 2015 and the lucky winner will be chosen on October 1, 2015. Royal Robbins will ship to the U.S. only for this contest (sorry!).

The winner will have three days to respond before another winner is chosen.

Be Bold,


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

Disclosure: Royal Robbins provided the Mission Knit shirt to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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Papua New Guinea Mt. Hagen Singsing 2015

by Beth Whitman (August 31st, 2015)

Papua New Guinea Paiya Mini Singsing

Whenever I return from Papua New Guinea, I’m quite literally speechless.

While on our tour to PNG, we attend no less than two different singsings (festivals) over three days and during that time we see about 100 tribes from around this half-island nation. Each tribe wears traditional festival outfits that distinguish them from other villages. These outfits might be worn during times of war, marriage or other celebrations.

Within a tribe, individuals dress in accordance with their tribe, with the paint on their faces and bodies all looking pretty much the same as those in their clan. In addition to their body art, their dancing mimics the vast array of birds found in the in the wild throughout PNG. And just as male birds are more vibrantly colored than females, the men dress more vibrantly than the women.

Papua New Guinea Paiya Man

There is a lot of pride that goes into the donning of the makeup and outfits. They may not always look friendly or inviting but, trust me, they are quite happy to have their photos taken. As a matter of fact, they are bit disappointed if you DON’T take their photo.

Papua New Guinea Paiya Singsing

Prior to the singsings, both the men and women spend hours in the morning peering into a tiny mirror to get their face and body paint just right. Someone helps with their hair and feathers when necessary.

We always arrive at the showgrounds at least two or three hours in advance of the singsing to see them applying their makeup. This is usually the most fascinating part of the day as it gives us a chance to mingle with the groups before they start performing.

Our 2016 Mt. Hagen Show Tour is already sold out (although we *might* have space for one woman if she’s willing to share a room) but you can let us know if you’re interested in joining us and we can put you on the waiting list for the 2016 tour or future trips to PNG.

Be Bold,


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Best Things to Do in London

by Beth Whitman (July 31st, 2015)

Big BenIn June, Jon and I took off for London to experience as much of the city as we could in about eight days. That seems like a long time to be in a city, right? But there was so much to do, that we still had things on our list that went unexperienced. (Bwaaaaa – a reason to return!)

We started our planning by buying the DK Eyewitness Guide to London. I love these guides because they are photographically-rich and that helps me decide what I want to see (and likely why there were so many things on our wish list for London).

For the first part of the trip, we worked with our friends at Expedia who arranged our hotel stay with an Expedia +VIP Access property. (By the way, +VIP Access gets you some nice little perks such as late checkout and a welcome drink). We stayed at the Mondrian London which sits on the Thames River, though you don’t know that when you first enter the lobby. It isn’t until you walk through the building to the restaurants and bar that you realize the hotel is located on the waterfront with beautiful views and with restaurants and popular sights very close by.


For our first day, we chose to take a day trip out to Bath and Stonehenge with Premium Tours. Jon and I sat in the upper portion of a double-decker bus and had amazing views of the countryside as we made our way to Stonehenge.

Boy, there’s nothing like going to a place that has loomed large in your imagination for years, and then experiencing it firsthand. No, we weren’t there for sunrise or sunset and no, this wasn’t a private tour. But that didn’t take away from the magical experience we had of walking around these stones.

Roman Baths

From Stonehenge, we drove onward to the village of Bath, where the preserved Roman Baths are located. Nope, we didn’t jump in. But we had plenty of time to tour both the Baths as well as the town itself (adorable!).

Back in London, we took the Highlights of London Walking Tour with City Wonders Limited. With an awesome (and funny) guide, we walked the city for a couple of hours and got schooled on the highlights.

Downing Street

I love to walk a city on my own, but there were lots of little things that were pointed out to us that I would have definitely missed if I didn’t have a knowledgeable guide. Sights like Downing Street, which sits pretty unceremoniously off a busy street. In other words, this was nothing like 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

High Tea St.Ermins

At the end of the tour, we had English tea at St. Ermin’s Hotel. It was the highlight of the tour, for sure, but not just because of the treats and delicious tea. It was a chance for us to sit down with our guide and ask all sorts of questions about London and what it’s like to live in the city.

Paul A Young Chocolates

On Day 3, we took a Chocolate Walking Tour with Celebrity Tours. Oh my gosh. There was so much chocolate (no complaints!). During the 2.5 hour tour, we sampled chocolates from about a half dozen of London’s best chocolate shops including at least two samples at each stop. (Side note – at some point, you just have to stop sampling and start putting those little chocolates away in a bag for later consumption.)

Because it was a walking tour and because we had another excellent guide, we got to learn a lot more about the city and visit areas that weren’t included on the Highlights tour. We stopped at famed department store Fortnum & Mason and walked through a number of arcades (mini malls with specialty shops–including more chocolate).

My favorite was Paul A. Young Chocolates. Everything looked delish but my favorite was Sea Salted Caramel. (Another side note – my mouth is watering just thinking about these.)

London Shard

Later in the week, we took the Hop-on Hop-off bus with City Sightseeing. Buses stopped at specific locations every 10 – 20 minutes so we were able to jump on, go visit a sight (such as The Shard, above, or Harrods) and then get back on to continue out guided sightseeing tour.

Beth Jon Hop on Hop off Bus

I’ve become hooked on hop-on hop-off buses and if there’s one thing you do in London, do this. The bus travels around the city enough that it gives you a great overview and you’re able to see a lot of sights if you choose to jump off at the many stops. On a nice day, sit on the upper deck!

So…we saw a lot. Ate a lot. Walked a lot. But I left London feeling like I could return in a heartbeat and spend another eight (or 16!) days there.

Be Bold,


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Ahnu Serena Sandal ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (July 29th, 2015)

Ahnu Serena sandalsSummer has been glorious in Seattle and, as a result, there have been lots of opportunities for me to wear my Ahnu Serena sandals.

Adorable, right?

But not only are these great to have in Seattle’s warm weather, they are lightweight and small enough to pack away for any warm weather destination.

With travel to Bali and Java coming up in September and Hawaii in December, it looks like I’ll have many more chances to wear these throughout this year. YAY!

So…besides their total cuteness, what makes me love these:

  • With a soft leather upper, I was able to slip them on and, from Day One, never got any blisters.
  • The back has some elastic in it which makes them easy to slip on (the button is simply for show).
  • The footbed is a soft microsuede and it’s contoured to provide comfort and support for my arches. Though I don’t generally have problems with my arches, I appreciate this as it makes it easier to spend all day in them.
  • While they do get smashed up a bit in my luggage, they spring back to life easily enough and don’t look any worse for wear once they’re on my feet.
  • They are really lighweight – perfect for packing in my carry-on luggage.

These look great with a pair of shorts, pants or a dress so they help limit the number of shoes I have to pack.

Also, there’s pretty stitching on both the leather uppers and the footbed.

The Ahnu Serenas come in a wide range of colors including Eggplant (pictured), Black, Brick Dust, Agave Green, Chocolate Chip and Colony Blue.

Available on Amazon for a variety of prices depending on color.

Be Bold,


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

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

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Tips for Opting Out at the Airport

by Beth Whitman (July 28th, 2015)

Body ScannerWith the exception of two times, I opt out of going through the millimeter wave scanners at airports in the U.S. Those two times were both when I was at an airport for a layover and had to leave the terminal and re-enter but had a tight connection and didn’t feel like I had time to opt out.

It’s a personal choice I make based on my doubts about whether these scanners are safe. I accept the sometimes unpleasant consequences as a result, which is usually nothing more than an aggressive pat down by a cranky TSA agent–but even that doesn’t happen very often.

A friend who knows my preference for opting out recently asked me for tips for opting out. That got me to thinking about how I handle these situations.

Related posts: ABC’s of TSA Pre✓has  and ABC’s of Global Entry

First, I’ll admit up front that it can be an unpleasant experience to be patted down by a TSA agent. Especially when it’s in front of everyone at the airport. But I think it is equally as unpleasant for the TSA agent. So I try to have some compassion. I try.

1) As nicely as I can, I let the TSA agent, the one who is ushering people through the millimeter wave scanner, know that I’m opting out. At that point, he or she yells out, “Female assist.”

I then wait for a female TSA agent to come escort me through a gate, passing the body scanner. During this time, I always keep an eye on my items that have gone through the x-ray machine. I have a slight concern that someone may decide to pick up my laptop but more so I’m concerned about the way items get jammed together after going through the x-ray and how easily my things (specifically my laptop) could get dumped on the floor.

2) I always ask the agent how she’s doing and if she’s having a good day. If it’s early morning I might make small talk about how early she has to come in to work. In other words, I try to break the ice, knowing that she probably wants to do a pat down less than I want one.

When Jon opts out (which is also most of the time), he quips to the agent that he’ll try not to laugh (as if they’re tickling him). Again, nice ice breaker to let them know he’s not being hostile about the circumstances.

Dont Touch My Junk3) The agent will ask if you’d like a private screening. I’ve learned to decline this because it means she will have to find a second available female for the screening and this just takes too long. So I opt for the public screening. Choosing this option makes me hopeful that they won’t be as aggressive about the pat down. In reality, I don’t know if it matters because I’ve had some pretty aggressive female assists even when opting for a public screening.

4) The agent will then describe the process and how she’s going to pat me down, including using the back of her hand (although according the ACLU site, this is no longer required) to touch under my breasts.

She’ll lift up my shirt or ask me to lift it up so she can stick her fingers around the perimeter of my waist to check for… explosives?

5) She’ll also check up and down my legs, up my inner thighs and, if I’ve got an aggressive agent, she’ll remind me who’s in charge by going as high as my groin. This has only happened to me three times but each one was quite memorable (the two most recent times I reported to the ACLU).

6) Once the patdown is complete, she’ll swab her latex gloves and run the sample through a machine to check for explosive(?) residue.

Usually the machine beeps OK and I’m on my way.

On my most recent trip to upstate New York, I had a crazy stupid experience at Sea-Tac. I had TSA Pre✓ so I was able to simply walk through the metal detector. I didn’t have to take off my shoes or remove my laptop or liquids from my carry-on bag.

Easy peasy, no?


As I walked through the metal detector I got randomly selected for additional screening. This meant they wanted me to go through the millimeter wave scanner. So, I opted out.

I went through the regular pat down. But instead of the machine clearing me of explosives, the machine went off and I had to have even further screening, meaning that many of the items in my carry-on bags had to be removed so the TSA agent could check not only my electronics (which I could understand) but also my shoes.

Really? Like the shoe bomber? What about my underwear?

Beth Whitman Opt outMy TSA agent was really nice but I was not a happy camper. What should have been a relatively easy walk through security with TSA Pre✓ turned into a 20-minute ordeal.

Some people have suggested that I just get over my concern about going through the millimeter wave scanner. Suck it up, Beth. After all, these are used to protect us all.

But I have the ability to opt out. So why would I go through a machine that is known to cause DNA damage, even if the alternative is the possibility of an unpleasant pat down?

Yes, the technology in these machines has been found to cause DNA damage.

Just think of that next time you’re at the airport. And have some more compassion for those TSA agents because those poor folks are exposed to those damaging scans throughout their work day.

P.S. – If you’re traveling internationally, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be given the chance to opt out in other countries. I tried it in Australia and they all but laughed at me. I’ve heard similar stories from people going through security in other countries. I guess we are the land of the free. :-)

Be Bold,


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Photo credit:
Body Scanner – Andrew Pilloud via Flickr
Don’t Touch – Charles Fettinger via Flickr

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Why Travel Insurance is Important

by Beth Whitman (July 27th, 2015)

Allianz Travel InsuranceThis post is sponsored by Allianz Travel Insurance. I’m happy to be working with these folks as it gives me an opportunity to talk about the importance of travel insurance for everyone.

For years I’ve carried a policy that covers me for emergency needs during my international travels. Fortunately, I’ve never had to use it. But I’ve heard many stories from people who’ve either had insurance and it saved them from being out of pocket a lot of money or, they haven’t had it, had to cancel a trip and they lost all the money spent on their tour/travel as a result.

Most people don’t realize that an emergency evacuation from a remote destination can cost you upwards of $60,000 dollars. Yep. That’s an amount that would put pretty much anyone into bankruptcy. Definitely something you’d want to avoid.

I have heard numerous stories about and from people who’ve been injured in such places at Timbuktu, Easter Island and Cuba. Destinations where the healthcare is less than stellar. In these cases, they had to be emergency air-lifted out in order to get back home for care. Neither easy nor cheap.

It was a friend of mine, Jo, who was hurt in Timbuktu. She spent days in a hospital there before being flown to London for treatment and then home to Seattle for additional care. She nearly lost part of her leg in the process due to an infection she acquired at the hospital in Mali. It was Jo who told me that her medical expenses were more than $60,000 but that, luckily, they were covered under her insurance policy.

This information isn’t meant to scare you. It’s simply a word of caution that you should always be prepared, especially if you’re traveling to remote regions (which I do relatively frequently).

In addition to having evacuation insurance, you should consider a trip insurance policy. This is going to cover you in the case of an emergency that would prohibit you from leaving on your trip or something that would interrupt your trip mid-travel. An example is having a sick family member you’d have to stay home with or go home to take care of.

A couple of years ago, there was a gentleman who joined us for our tour to Papua New Guinea. PNG is not a cheap destination. This man, I’ll call him George, joined the tour and made his final payment 60 days prior to departure so that we could wire money to our contracted hotels, restaurants and guides well before our arrival.

Unfortunately, George had a bicycle accident less than two weeks prior to the tour date. Among other things, he broke his leg and was unable to travel.

Luckily, George had travel insurance and was able to get refunded not only for the land costs he paid to WanderTours but also his flights to PNG. George was super lucky. His travel insurance was not cheap but it paid him back about 18X what he paid for it.

As another example, a woman recently had to cancel on one of our Vietnam and Cambodia tours because she had the flu and knew it was going to take her at least two weeks to recover. She cancelled at the last minute, did not have insurance and was out all of the money she had paid for the tour and her flights.

She was good-natured about it, saying that the cost of the trip was still cheaper than all of the times she traveled but didn’t pay for insurance. She felt that overall she had still saved money. Perhaps true but I do hope she gets insurance next time.


I traveled for years as a backpacker with little money. I prided myself on being able to find super cheap hotel, transportation and food deals. And I mean deals. Though it was many years ago, there were times when I stayed in Bangkok hotels for $2/night and in a private cabin in Ubud, Bali for $2.75/night (including breakfast!).

During these times, I would never have considered paying for travel insurance. A short-term policy might have cost a month’s worth of hotels, after all.

But now that I’m a bit older and much wiser, and have heard stories of other people’s misfortunes, I don’t ever travel without insurance. It’s just not worth the risk.

Be Bold,


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Icebreaker Cool-Lite Spark Shorts ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (July 22nd, 2015)

Icebreaker Spark ShortsI couldn’t have anticipated at the beginning of this summer that these Icebreaker Cool-Lite Spark Shorts would get so much use in such a short amount of time. Meant for warm weather, I’ve been wearing these often during my runs in Seattle because of our record-breaking temps. (No complaints, I’m loving it!)

The material is an ultralight recycled Polyester outer with a Tencil/Nylon/merino liner that keeps everything cool and breathable. Yeup, I’m still sweating, but at least these don’t stick to my backside and legs when I do.

In terms of the fit, there’s a drawstring inside of that wide waistband that helps provide a snug fit.

My favorite feature is the back stash pocket where I can keep either a Gu gel packet, my car Icebreaker Sparks Pocketkey or hotel room key. I don’t know how people run in shorts that don’t have a little stash pocket like this!

These are great for traveling because they scrunch down quite small. I can literally squeeze them into a running shoe to save on space and they weigh next to nothing.

Because I’m doing the Honolulu Marathon in December, I can’t take a break from running, even when I’m traveling. So, you can bet these are coming to Bali and Java with me this fall. (Now I just gotta work on my tan and shedding some belly weight so I can look like this photo!)

Available on Amazon at various prices depending on size.

Be Bold,


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

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

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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,


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

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,


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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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