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How To Eat Without Deprivation, Be Slim Without Effort, And Be On Honeymoon Without Mr. Right. A True Story

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I’m a solo travel expert, solopreneur and founder of Wanderful Company, a labour of love inspired by 19 glorious years of non-stop traveling alone. 

Equipped with nothing more than a suitcase, a one-way ticket and an incessant desire to be happy, I’ve gone from one solo travel adventure to the next for almost one third of my life to countries including Argentina, Brazil, Italy and France.
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How to eat without deprivation? I’m sure you must be thinking how is this possible. Is this just a fad she’s come up with? Has she been on the wine and lost the plot? Lol! Is there a catch?

Well, my wanderful friend, the answer is no! There’s no catch and you’re reading my words without even a tiny glass of wine anywhere near my lips, lol. Trust me when I say you can have it all. And, I’ve proven it so you don’t have to.

Before diving in with the detail, I want to emphasize that this happened to me without giving it ANY attention. Importantly, that’s the most interesting point of all. If we effort in anything, it can take a long time for things to happen. And when we don’t care, and forget things, it often happens quickly.

Get ready to be surprised, you CAN do this too!

slim woman on a hammock

Firstly, I want to add some context on lifestyle which will add more meaning to this post. Above all, emotion is behind everything we are looking for and once you figure that out, the rest falls into place.

How to eat without deprivation and have what I want? Absolutely!

We all have our likes and dislikes about our bodies and how we want to look. We cannot open a magazine these days without a ‘you should eat this, you shouldn’t eat that’ bombarding us from all corners of the planet. The ‘matcha and green juicing promo crews’ are hard at it these days popping up from the ground like meerkats on speed. While the ‘goji berry and avocado squad’ have retired to ‘they’ve had enough for now’ status just as ‘team dark chocolate’ is working on a comeback campaign.

It’s a wonder women can find anything to eat if they happen to believe the hype. And all along, some of us luckily KNOW you can eat anything you want as long as you view food as pleasure and not pain.

If you look closely at Italians, food is a huge part of their culture, and let’s face it, they eat a LOT and weight issues simply don’t exist. Food is a pure unadulterated pleasure that they choose to savor in each and every moment.

one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if not has dined well

virginia wolf

Having grown up in the ’70s and ’80s when everyone ate and drank what they wanted, people stayed slim. One thing was evident, people were generally happy. That also meant happy TV, happy magazines, and happy chat among friends.

And then along came a new media. Suddenly the commercial giants had us in the palm of their hands. FOOD! Gotcha! Our new Achilles heel. Low fat had entered the mindset of the masses and the games had begun.

Those who can eat without deprivation

One group bucks this nutty food nonsense trend. Amusingly, they pay no attention to media nor having such bombardment in the first place. They are Italians and to them, food is life itself.

This was also the case with the centenarians of Sardinia. Scientists have been fascinated for years by this adorable bunch of Italian oldies. They have defied the ‘what you should eat police’ by gorging their way through life on enough meat, cheese, pasta, and wine to make even James Bond cry.

Well, it’s no surprise at all, they have balance. They know how to eat without deprivation. Food means 3-hour lunches munching homegrown produce with loved ones, wine is made lovingly by locals who care for the land like a newborn baby, exercise is walking to their vegetable plots to water their basil plants and excitement is the local village hottie speeding around on his vespa.

They take in the simple pleasures of life, and by that, I mean ‘eat drink and be merry’ folks! And that stunning view of the Med does a fair bit to banish any ‘anti-aging skin cream squad’.

Amusingly, they’re just not interested in Beyonce millions, closet and no 1 dance hits or JLO’s stunning makeup, abs, and new love interest. And they don’t need nor want millions of USD.

They have their lovely views, their lemon trees, their freshly picked tomatoes, their homemade chutneys, their cute pastel-toned houses, their community, their hobbies, and the obligatory Italian village hottie! And he would make even the boldest of lady centenarians blush at his fine physical form as he winks at her from across the deli counter making his pistachio cannolis. Its charm with a capital C.

And who needs a Netflix subscription when va-va-vooming around the kitchen to Volare. Why not be figuring out the next gastronomic jewel of the day.

Italian man in his garden
ex village hottie
Italian man in his bakery
village hottie

I’m far from being a centenarian. What I do share with these lovely peeps is my appreciation of Italian charm, the incredible food they live for, and the simple things they do on a daily basis.

Well, it’s so easy to see how happiness brings them healthy bodies and minds. Joy can come from the most unexpected of places. It doesn’t need a team of international intellectually challenged scientists to descend on their island to explain it. It’s there for the world to see and for those who wish to experience it. (I’ve been spoon-fed by a few village hotties in my time lol)!

This simple life ideology is at the basis of my own story and how I lost weight and toned up without any effort at all. Happily, it eventually freed me from the media and the grasp they can hold.

When it all began to change

In 2009, I decided to travel alone to South America fulfilling a lifelong dream. Through miraculous timing and my stars aligning, I was hooked from the get-go.

I’d find myself thinking wow, is this real, am I in a dream? Am I really here living this? How can it feel this good? I felt as if I was in heaven the moment I arrived in South America, and literally couldn’t stop smiling.

Here was me on a new adventure and feeling more alive in a way I’ve never felt before. And I was a totally new me and I knew it. It was all to be discovered with no rush to do anything quickly. I had one thing on my side, time!

A few weeks into life there, I found myself feeling the happiest I’d ever been. Being a curious person at the best of times, I spend my days walking miles and miles exploring one cute café to the next and taking in the sights, sounds and smells. It was exhilarating. My eyes were taking in so much that I couldn’t process it all at the start. I’d find myself in a haze, just wow wow wowing from one street to the next and being seduced by the charm of the people and the food they lovingly make. I began to feel I was ‘home’.

in the silence of love, you will find the spark of life


As a result of my newfound happy place, a lot of things began changing. I’d often walk 10 hours and more and not be in the least bit tired. I’d find myself stopping each day to eat in cute cafes and have a lot of sweet cakes. Honestly, I ate a TON of it and amusingly lost weight.

I had completely fallen in love with South America and was eating what I wanted without any restrictions. I most importantly I hadn’t even realized what my mind and body were doing. Without a care in the world, I’d be dancing in nightclubs until 6 am strutting my Travolta moves just to wake up at 7 am and do it all again. And not one second of tiredness to boot. It had totally gone!

When you’re distracted and most importantly having a lot of fun, the body actually resets itself without ANY effort.

To prove my point, think of someone who falls in love and suddenly loses weight looking younger and more energetic. Most likely a few weeks ago, they were tired, bored, and unhappy with a few kilos too many. Suddenly Mr. Right turns up along with butterflies somersaulting around the tummy like they’re on a showdown with Simone Biles.

You also see this when you go on vacation. In day-to-day life, you can often feel flat like a pink bunny running out on the Duracell campaign. But just as vacation mode sets in, you feel like 10 pink bunnies as you head to the airport. The only thing that changes is what you’re focused on.

Slim without dieting? Toned too? Hell yeah!

I’ve never believed in fads and view food as my friend with moderation and balance. When you’re high on life, unsurprisingly, that hungry feeling just goes away.

When you begin focusing intentionally on happy emotions, you will eventually be free to eat anything. I’ve maintained the same weight for more than 30 years now on this basis.

Toning came easily to me in South America with life predominantly outdoors and walking meant long days in flip-flops. It became a habit. What I now know is living in such levels of happiness had caused me to lose weight and tone with no effort, no deprivation, and no gym! A happy mind is a happy body. Pure and simple.

woman sunbathing in a bikini at the beach

I swear there must be men sitting in an office coming up with fads every few months to keep us in food frenzies.

Think of a woman who eats a cookie and ‘believes’ it’s bad. She is effectively telling her brain ‘I am about to eat something bad for me’. Is it any wonder the brain sends the body into fight mode? Whereas if you say ‘ I am about to eat this cookie which gives me a lot of pleasure. And pleasure is a fabulous emotion and therefore this cookie I choose to eat and enjoy, then the brain is then more chilled out about food.  

Once I figured this out, it changed my eating habits. I’m a size 38 European and take note I was a 40 when I was taking in the nonsense those magazines had me believe. It would bring tears to your eyes if you saw what I eat now. LOL.

On a little side note, the same magazines never stop on anti-aging (a new blog post coming up on this). Personally, I took the decision to stop putting anything on my skin once I understood mindset. Now, my skin is literally the best it’s been in years and my wrinkles have all but gone away. No joke! You cannot look young when you’re focused on being old. It defies the mind.

And honeymoon? Too damn right!

Honeymoon you may be asking? How can you feel that way for years? There is only one way to feel it, go to South America, make memories, and cash in the memory chips for years. PS if you go, you’ll never come back the same person, that’s for sure. Ha!

I fell in love with the people and the passion they ooze. One of the most fascinating times I experienced was the first day I ever set foot in the city. Firstly, I was walking to the city center and my jaw just dropped to the ground when I saw how stunning the people are. It was like being in a Vogue photoshoot and you just can’t stop smiling at those Argentines. They are seductive by nature and masters of it too. A look says so much in a few seconds and they know the power of the unspoken. I of course am very wise and take it with a pinch of salt. But I cannot deny it just makes you feel good.

In addition, imagine you’re working in an office and a new employee comes in who just happens to look like Jason Statham. Well, he would surely elevate the mood of the whole office wouldn’t he?! Lol. Well, you can now imagine my happy dilemma. I was surrounded by Jasoneque Latinos and office life had taken on a whole new meaning. Lol. 

Lastly, my solo travel there was the honeymoon, still is the honeymoon, and always will be the honeymoon. I feel blessed that destiny took me to where I felt I belonged. Solo travel had been the vehicle that took me to what I’d been looking for my entire life. It allowed me to find all that I wanted, do what I wanted and feel the passion in the way I wanted. And it helped me realize that happiness is the natural default that frees us from the bondage of social conditioning and pressures.

In conclusion, how do you stay slim? Eat for pleasure, drink for pleasure and stay close to honeymoon mood! Food is a gift! And so too is a village hottie lol!

If you are asking ‘how do I now start traveling alone?’ and want more on how to plan your very first solo travel adventure you deserve, please click on Solo Travel Masterclass here. I share my 15 years of experience and the mindset to thrive.

If You Like This Post, Also Check Out:

Traveling Alone: Top Tips From A Solo Travel Expert

Is Solo Travel Lonely? No. Here’s Why

A Few ‘Wanderful’ Links…

Sardinia – The Secret of Longevity?

The Secret Behind Why The People Of Sardinia Live So Long

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hi, i'm kirsteen

Your new BFF & Travel Coach.

I'm an ex-Corporate girl who gave up a very successful career in the UK for a dream life traveling alone. Why solo? To do what I wanted,  where I wanted, and when I wanted. That was 15 years ago when I left with nothing more than a suitcase and an incessant desire to be happy. I've never looked back...


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