Lisa is a L.E.A.N Traveler!


Staying Fit and Lean

Recently I was interviewed for L.E.A.N. Traveler about staying fit while traveling. I lost sixty pounds from when I first met George to when we got married!

Here is part of the L.E.A.N. Traveler interview:

What are your top three tips for staying lean while traveling?My top three tips for staying lean while traveling are:

  1.  Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Take a snack or have a piece of fruit in the afternoon so you can say “NO!” to the breadbasket.
  2. Walk everywhere you can. I personally lost weight while traveling in Asia for a year because we walked all the time.
  3.  Portion control: if you are traveling with someone, share a entrée since portion size in the USA has gone haywire and restaurants serve enormous quantities of food.

What is your name and occupation?

Lisa Niver Rajna, Science Teacher and World Traveler

How often do you travel and how long have you been a frequent traveler?

I travel during all school breaks (2 weeks in December, 2 weeks in April and 6 weeks in the summer and some long weekends like Thanksgiving and Memorial Day). I have been a teacher for 13 years but in between I traveled 100% for Princess Cruises working onboard as youth counselor and Assistant Cruise Director like Julie McCoy. I worked on cruise ships for seven years so I have been a frequent traveler almost since leaving college or my entire working life.

Staying lean while traveling can be a challenge. What are your top challenges to maintaining your weight while traveling?

The top challenges to maintaining my weight are the hot bread at a restaurant, which they bring to the table at my hungriest moment. If it is not in my house, I can avoid it but when I am ravenous and waiting, that breadbasket feels like being tempted by the devil. Another challenge is the dessert tray, once I see it, I do want to eat it. Again if it is not on my radar, I don’t feel deprived but having to say no to chocolate is a challenge.

What are your top three tips for staying lean while traveling?

My top three tips for staying lean while traveling are (1) don’t let yourself get too hungry: take a snack or have a piece of fruit in the afternoon so I can say “NO!” to the breadbasket. (2) walk everywhere you can. I lost weight while traveling in Asia for a year because we walked all the time. (3) portion control: if you are traveling with someone, share a entrée as portion size in the USA has gone haywire and restaurants serve enormous portions. 

How do you ensure you fit in exercise when traveling?

To maintain my weight loss (I lost 60 pounds), I walk 2.2 miles each way to work. While I am traveling my day revolves around healthy activities like hiking, walking or something else with exercise. On a recent trip to Bahia de Kino, Mexico, one day our big outing involved hiking and another day kayaking around Alcatraz Island.

How do your healthy travel habits differ from when you are at home?

At home, my exercise and eating are routine parts of my day. I bring lunch from home and I know what I will eat. While traveling, I choose to include healthy living in my day. I choose to walk, to eat healthy to be outside. It is easy to pick unhealthy foods and give in to temptation while away but I know I will enjoy my time more if I take care of myself inside and out!

Anything else you would like to add?

I have loved traveling since I went on a high school teen tour, and now I am fortunate to travel with my husband. George has been a huge part of my weight loss success. With his help, I stay on track as a LEAN traveler!

Look for photos to come in the March 26 glossy magazine: First for Women!

Our YouTube channel went over 10,000 views! Which of our 35 videos is your favorite?
The most recent one Exploring Penghu Islands in Taiwan or Taipei with over 3300 views?

There is always more on our website:

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

2 responses to “Lisa is a L.E.A.N Traveler!

  1. Wow, that's amazing. Not having known you except as your fit and healthy self, I can't even imagine you with 60 pounds. I can't wait to return to Asia where I'll walk everywhere and have normal sized portions (and have to lose 30 or so pounds).

    Thanks for the tips & I'll look for the publication too.


  2. Doris,
    Thanks so much for your comments! It is hard for me to believe that I gained so much weight but I am happy that I lost it!

    Good luck with your move! I cannot wait to hear more about your next adventures in Asia!


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