Healthy living

One thing my husband and I always take time for is fitness. If you want to live a long and healthy life traveling in your home on wheels, you have to make time for healthy eating and exercise. I know, I know, people are always harping on diet and exercise, but I am not going to do that. All I’m going to do is just tell everyone how we do it. You will be stronger, feel more alive and you can theoretically decrease the money you spend on going to the doctor for health related issues that could be avoided by making good food choices and getting outside for a little exercise.

My husband and I love to run, bike and hike. We don’t like to run on treadmills, BORING! We make sure to run 4 or 5 times a week. from 3 to 4 miles at a time. We have run 5 half marathons, some 5Ks and a 10K. I have done 3 triathlons, but only the running and biking. I am not a swimmer! I’m the one out there gurgling and sinking in the water. But if you’re not a runner there is hiking, going for a walk and riding your bike.

I also like to do weights to keep tone. I thought that was going to be impossible when we moved into our trailer. But it’s not! I found some adjustable weights at Wal Mart, of course Wal Mart has everything!! They adjust from 5 to 25 lbs that way you can increase your weight as you get stronger without having all these dumbbells stuffed into every corner of your RV. I also have a roll up workout mat that tucks neatly into a drawer.

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Hand weights stored easily in a lower cabinet.

Hand weights stored easily in a lower cabinet.

Now on the subject of eating healthy, I am not at all an organic health freak. We eat lean meats like 96/4 or 93/7 hamburger meat, skinless boneless chicken, fish, turkey sausage and center cut bacon. We make sure we get our veggies and fruit in everyday. We buy fresh and frozen vegetables, they have a fresher taste than canned veggies. For breakfast we usually will eat oatmeal with dried or fresh fruit added and toast. We also like egg whites and wheat pancakes. At least once a week we have a “grand slam” breakfast of over easy eggs, with fresh potato hash browns, turkey sausage or center cut bacon and toast. We love our grand slam breakfasts! I make sure I have dessert every evening, oh yeah!! I have a recipe for banana bread and I add dark chocolate chips. So good! Dark chocolate candy bars are very good too! Oh and sugar-free pudding mixed with either 1% or skim milk will quench a sweet tooth.

We can’t be good everyday though, that is impossible, for us anyway. So Friday night, which we lovingly call fat Friday, is our “cheat night”. Then, we will eat what we have  been craving. For example; cheeseburgers, chicken strips, Mexican food and so on. My favorite part of fat Friday is the desert!! I’ll eat the sweets I have been craving like ice cream, cake, brownies, etc.

My husband and I count our calories everyday except for our Friday night splurges. There are different apps out there to help you keep track of your calories. The one we use is Myfitnesspal.com. It will help guide you through getting set up on how many lbs you want to lose or if you want to maintain your weight, and suggest how many calories a day you should eat. It has a database of foods and you can enter exercises and it will tell you how many calories you have burned. You can also add your own exercise and put in how many calories you have burned if you wear a heart rate monitors, like I do. You should check out the site! We have been using it for about 4 years. Hope this inspires you to live a more healthy and happy life!

Sharon.

 

 

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Home Improvements

Since getting to Texas, our home state, we have taken time to make some improvements to our home. It’s an 07 Jayco Eagle travel trailer so it’s hardly new anymore. It has held up very well considering it’s not your typical fulltimer RVers rig and so far we have no plans to replace it. Some of the “improvements” were really repairs and some were just to improve livability.

Our Shurflo Smart Sensor 5.7 pump gave it up after less than a year in use the other night. After doing some research, I learned this model has been very problematic and is no longer produced. On a good note, Shurflo/Pentair seems to have excellent customer service. I contacted them by email and told them of the problem and soon received a response from Kevin McLean. He gave me an address to send the label only from the old pump and told me he’d replace it with the new 4 GPM model 4048-153-E75. I received it today, only about a week or so after contacting them and it was an easy exact replacement. Anyway, a problem was made as easy and as pleasant as possible by Kevin and Shurflo/Pentair.

We also replaced our queen size mattress with a new Sealy. We had an excellent mattress we used in our bedroom in our house before we sold it. But it was full length and when our bedroom slide came in, the foot of the mattress was pressed so hard against the dresser on the opposite wall, I was afraid it may cause structural issues. I had no idea Sealy makes mattresses in RV sizes without special order until we went shopping. I was expecting long wait for a custom-made mattress and a high price tag. I was pleasantly surprised not to have either. It was money we didn’t want to spend but it came out better than expected.

Our trailer came with the traditional booth setup dining area. It was fine when we were just taking camping trips, but when we moved into the trailer it wasn’t functional anymore. We needed a place for meals that could also function as a work station and have ample storage. Here is what we came up with.

Here it is in mid-construction

Here it is in mid-construction

And completion...

And completion…

And another

And another

We constructed it out of oak and maple that was left over from building cabinets for my parents house about 11 years ago. The middle doors are covered with antique ceiling tins for a unique look. We bought the Formica covering the top and made an oak trim to line the edges of the top. Behind the doors is our trash can on one side(it used to sit out or under the table and was always in the way.). On the other side is an area to keep our fire safe, some extra blankets, and some small hand weights of Sharon’s. The large middle area holds Sharon’s camera equipment and her photo printer. We use a couple of bar stools that we had in storage(we have an 8′ by 8′ storage building at my parents) to sit in front of it. You can still see the outline from the old dinette in the carpet, but I think it looks pretty good for amateurs.

Brian

 

 

 

 

Keeping it Simple… and Helping Out

I’m talking about life of course. It’s been about 19 months since we started living in our travel trailer and we’re just getting started. So far, it’s been a little different from what we might have guessed it would be, but it’s also been better than we imagined. I still don’t miss anything material that we sold or gave away in our attempt to simplify and spend more quality time together.

Of course, the traveling is our favorite part. But we can’t be on the move all the time. Besides, anticipation is part of what makes it exciting. To us, one of the advantages of living the way we do is being able to spend all the time we want to in one place. Or, as little time as we choose. Parking our home here in west Texas at my parents for these few months has been something that would have never been possible in our previous “normal” lives. When Sharon and I talked of changing our lives before selling our home, one thing we both thought of was that we would be able to spend more time with family now. We chose to come here to be with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas without time constraints. And let me say, it’s been the most enjoyable holiday season that I can remember, even though it’s west Texas in winter. Yes, it can get very cold here, and very windy!

Another thing that we weren’t able to do before, at least not to the extent we can now, was help out family and friends. We arrived here in October and have done many projects for my parents to help make their lives easier. I’ve always wanted to help take care of them like they did for me. We have been able to put in hours that would not have been possible when we were working our regular full-time jobs. We’ve had time to help some friends put new siding on their house since we’ve been here. And, we can hook up and move on whenever we get ready.

Because we got rid of our debt and we keep our expenses low, we are able to make our living working temporary jobs and pursuing our dreams. We make some of our income, hopefully all of our income soon, from Sharon’s photography and my writing. I published my first novel, Indian Paintbrush, to Amazon last March. I’m working on another now. It would have been very difficult for us dedicate the time to these things in our old lives.

We are currently working on a website dedicated to this wonderful way of life. I’m not sure exactly when we’ll get it up and running, but I’d guess within the next 2 or 3 months. Yes, there are many websites up already, many of them great. Some of them helped convince us that this is truly what we wanted and I feel in debt to the folks who publish them, especially Howard at RV Dreams. He and Linda offer a wealth of information. Another great source and one of my favorite blogs, is Becky at Interstellar Orchard. She is a young full-timer living in a Casita travel trailer. My belief is that every full-time RVer lives this life in their own way and I think we’ll be able to show a slant to this life style that is unique. Maybe we’ll give someone the incentive and confidence to go after the life they really want, be that in an RV or otherwise.

Brian.

Playing around at Caprock Canyon State Park, Texas

Playing around at Caprock Canyon State Park, Texas

My first entry…

This is my first time doing a blog entry, so I’m apologizing from the get go. I’ll hopefully get better as I do more. Keep your fingers crossed for me! We live full time in our RV and travel the country. We finished our summer job as camp hosts in Leavenworth, Washington a couple of months ago. It was beautiful there! We loved all the mountains, trees and rivers. We did a lot of hiking, running and biking. We also did some wine drinking. Let me tell you, they have beautiful wineries. We also spent many days in a pub that had outside seating with grape vines growing in every corner. They served beer that was brewed in a local brewery. That’s what Brian drank. Myself, I like my wine.

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Brian enjoying local brew.

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Enjoying a glass!

Anyway, we are now spending our winter months with Brian’s parents in west Texas. Let me just say I love my in-laws! They are the sweetest people and my MIL is the silliest person!! While were here, we are helping them with some small projects around their property. I guess I shouldn’t say “small”, they are actually quite large projects. The one were working on now is building a carport that is 24 feet by 60 feet. Its all metal too. No wood in this monster. Brian does all the welding. I am not a welder so I do all of the leg work and help move the metal into place. Which I learned today is called purlin, if anyone is interested. Hopefully we should be done with this project in 2 weeks. We’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks so far.

This is what the carport looks like so far.

Our next big plan is to take a trip through east Texas for about a week. We’re then headed to Fredericksburg, Texas and staying for a month. We love Fredericksburg!! It is a old German community that has many beautiful wineries and a local brewery (of course our favorite past time). It also has many wonderful restaurants, so we have to make sure we keep up with our running! There are also many photo opportunities in that area.

We will be talking about many different things here in the future; such as running, hiking, biking, staying fit and living and traveling full time in an RV.

Till next time!

Sharon