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, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

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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