1. On-the-Go Protein
Traveling for so long in countries where the level of “gluten-free awareness” was suspect, we needed to bring our own snacks. We know we can find “crisps” and fruit most places, so it was protein we needed. We brought a lot of two different types, and they were perfect! This allowed us to save money because we skipped lunch nearly every day by eating breakfast and dinner with just protein + some other snack (like Gelato!) during the day.
First, RX Bars, which are snack bars made with only dates, nuts, egg whites, dried fruit and spices. These are a favorite for the boys and were the first to disappear. We love how transparent they are with their ingredients and their devotion to clean, simple products. Plus, the carbs from fruit add a nice balance for when you’re walking and want more than just meat.
And we brought the most of Chomp sticks, a jerky stick that we’ve come to really love. They come in many flavors – but we brought 3: the original, paprika flavor, plus two AIP friendly flavors, Italian and Sea Salt, for Finn and Stacy. They’re tasty, portable and quick to eat on the go. Every time the boys claimed hunger pains, we were able to stave off whining with these.
2. Safer Sunscreen
No matter where your vacation takes you, if it’s cloudy or sunny, or you want color on your skin – you need sunscreen. We’ve got two podcasts on the topic (Part 1, Ep 301, and Part 2, Ep 302 of The Paleo View) here. For us, we kept Beautycounter’s Countersun in our backpack in each city. The boys prefer the Stick for their face, neck and shoulders – and it works best because the minerals that block the sun’s rays are stabilized and evenly distributed in the stick (vs. lotion or spray which needs to be shaken and then rubbed in but are better for body application).
I wore my beloved Beautycounter Dew Skin daily, and never had to reapply any sunscreen. I swear by this product… and am excited to announce something AMAZING with is on May 1st. Are you on my Safer Skincare e-mail list to get the news?!
3. Amazon Prime Wardrobe
Amazon Prime Wardrobe new service is going to be our family’s new favorite thing. We were short on time before the trip, but the boys all needed new shoes, a nice outfit for “formal night” on the cruise ship, and rain jackets. Amazon to the rescue! What’s great is that a box arrives, and you have over a week to decide if you want to keep the items before you’re charged. You select what to keep and what to return, and put it on your doorstep. Magic!
Some of Stacy’s personal favorites from my Prime Wardrobe selections:
- New Balance Cruz walking shoes. I tried on no less than eight types and sizes of shoes from the Prime Wardrobe, and these are by far the most comfortable walking shoes I’ve ever worn. They slide on like socks and are like walking on air. Several people on social media saw my share about these, bought them, and have already reporting loving them too. I just bought a 2nd pair! I got Faded Copper (rose gold pink) and Arctic Fox (heathered purple) colors.
- The long-sleeve swim shirt (set) under $25. I love the form fitted-ness of this shirt with cups! I needed something for the pool deck on the cruise ship that would accomodate the cold air my boys insisted wasn’t too cold to swim in, and this was it. There’s also a 2nd for paddle boarding and water aerobics, too!
- Rainjacket, and this is the one I chose because it also zips up from the bottom. Beware pick-pockets – put your shirt UNDER your jacket with this convenient jacket that comes in 19 colors up to a size 3x. It rained in Europe. A lot. We knew it was the rainy season, so we all got rain jackets for the first time in our lives, and it was absolutely the right decision! They also served as light wind jackets for all our cool days walking around, plus they were lightweight to pack.
4. Dry Shampoo
I’ve been on the hunt for a safer dry shampoo for years. And while Hask Charcoal Spray is by NO means “clean” it is better than most. Using purifying charcoal as one of it’s ingredients, it is aluminium free with no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, or artificial colors. As I’ve mentioned before, sprays that you inhale are more readily absorbed and important to be clean for health.
When in a pinch and your alternative is a cruise ship shower that’s the size of your doll house’s bathroom, this dry shampoo was a saving grace for me. It elongated my hair washings to every 3-4 days. And while there is ‘fragrance’ in the ingredient list, after trying nearly a dozen brands, this is the only one that doesn’t have an overwhelming scent. It also doesn’t have a white cast on the hair! It won Allure’s Best of Beauty award, which tells you it’s legit and not just me. Plus, two large cannisters are $15 on Amazon!
The other dry shampoo I’m liking is Innersense Organic Refresh liquid to powder dry shampoo. Since this works more like a mousse I find it great for people with curls or a wave – or that just want body to their hair. This would not work for someone who got a straight blowout, but it’s even cleaner than the Hask. At $28 it’s not inexpensive, but half the price of some other brands I’ve tried. You will need to wash your hands after because the liquid really does turn to powder; it’s super cool!
5. Good Book(s)
Matt has been reading paper books again after finding that he missed it a lot. On vacation, he brought one and tore through it so fast he had to find an English language bookstore to refresh! Here’s what he says about what’s he’s been reading:
Cixin Liu is probably the most prominent Chinese science fiction author alive and for good reason. This book was a treat to read, giving insight into Chinese culture while delivering an engaging story. It starts with a mystery or two, teaches you some history, gives you a math problem that’ll tickle your brain, then ends up with a couple twists that are earned and surprising. This book earned the Hugo the year it was released in English and definitely earned it.
I was avoiding China Mieville for a while, thinking that I would find him too difficult to read for pleasure, but I was certainly mistaken. Embassytown is a book full of fun ideas to chew on with a great story to propel it through. If you’re interested in ways that knowledge, language and brain function interact, Embassytown explores it in the most thought-provoking way I’ve ever read. On top of that, world building is a Mieville strength and he doesn’t let you down here.
Vox was an interesting discovery for me, as it is a UK bestseller but doesn’t seem to have made as much of an impact in the US.Many have compared it to The Handmaid’s Tale, as it’s a dystopian novel about the suppression of women as well. In this one, women have had their voices literally taken by use of a hard limit of 100 words a day. I’m quite excited to dig further into this one!