Two Simple Hacks for Healthier Travels

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James and I are sitting in Lance right now in our remote camping spot high atop Gifford Pinchot National Forest.


I’m watching the gnomes (AKA James) make whole grain pancakes with fresh raspberries for our breakfast. I’m pretty sure this is the most remote spot we’ve ever camped. I feel like I’m in the rainforest, and if I look carefully I might see a monkey or sloth high up in the trees just like when we were in Costa Rica. Took us a couple hours to get here…climbing crazy steep grades with sharp switchbacks . No kidding…two hours of climbs and turns. Well worth it in the end.


I don’t normally eat pancakes for breakfast, so I’m looking forward to these. Something about being on an RV trip, we like to switch things up. That’s the whole appeal of traveling anyways, right? Keeping life interesting, changing up our environment and normal routines…

And THAT’S why it’s so easy to fall off the fitness wagon when traveling. We get that I-Can-Do-Whatever attitude when we hit the road, and allow ourselves way too much slack justifying it with “well it’s temporary, just until trip’s over”. I get it. Even as a fitness pro I battle that mindset myself. Here are two big ways I keep the Vacation Mode Mindset under control.

The “One and Done” Rule:

Think of this rule as allowing you one cheat a day. So, you stop at a roadside orchard stand and the caramel apples are calling your name. Have it, savor it, put a photo of it on your Instagram (by the way, hashtag #thefitrv on your trip pics so I can see!!!). Now you’re cut off till tomorrow. The rest of your meals and snacks on the trip are healthful and reasonably portioned affairs, because YOU are a responsible person and a fit RVer. Me, I usually save my One and Done for my fave Matcha Tea Coconut Milk Latte from Starbucks. Yummo. Except I don’t see a Starbucks up here anywhere. This could be a problem.



Amp Up Your Exercise Pre-Trip:

Have you ever heard of the Principle of Periodization? It’s a training strategy where you continue to build your fitness, let’s say over a period of 8 weeks, increasing your training intensity as you progress, so that your fitness peaks at the very end. Then, you take a week (or so) of recovery before starting all over again. James and I use that all the time before our trips. When we know we’ve got an upcoming trip, we amp up our workouts so that we find ourselves in a “recovery” phase during the trip. Think of it sort of like stocking up on your fitness before hitting the road. That way, there’s some wiggle room and you can still maintain your current fitness levels.


So there you have it. Two simple ways you can keep your RV travels healthed-up and FitRV-approved.  And now, my pancakes are done and our bikes are getting lonely. Can’t wait to hit the trails and look for those monkeys…

Safe and healthy travels, everyone! See you in Pomona!


After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    12 thoughts on “Two Simple Hacks for Healthier Travels

    1. laura crowley

      Love these tips, especially the work out build up. I tend to let the “gym” activities go when on vacation. This solves that problem. Now where do you find these great biking trails? Tried to find biking trails on our last trip and ended up on an expert trail. Immediately bailed.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        LOL, Laura! Yeah, it’s REALLY hard to find trails for beginners when you’re unfamiliar with an area. James and I gravitate to like Gordon suggested (thanks for all those suggestions, Gordon!), but even the green trails on that website are usually geared for bikers with good levels of technical and endurance skills. MTB websites are usually run by MTBers who have a skewed sense of green, LOL! We like to contact local bike shops when we know we’re headed to a specific area. They’re the best resources for where to ride!

    2. Ted

      That’s a lot of effort to hide out and make pancakes.

      My current obsession is finding some place that makes Vietnamese Ca Phe Trung (egg coffee). It’s strong coffee with a frothy layer of egg mixed with condensed milk and has been described as drinking “liquid tiramisu” (Curse you Anthony Bourdain!).

      Fortunately I haven’t found one yet and have not dropped to the floor in a sugary torpor requiring statin transfusions to stand upright again.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        It WAS a lot of effort! But it wasn’t just pancakes. We had just stopped at a fish market and had local fresh tuna for grilling, too. But yeah two days of no cellphones and Starbucks withdrawals…it was awesome, but we were ready. One of my favorite lunch spots back in Salt Lake City is a Vietnamese joint, Oh Mai. If you ever get to SLC I’ll be terribly disappointed if you don’t go there (get the S5). You’ve got me wondering if they have the egg coffee! Will have to investigate once I’m back home! (or maybe it’s best if they don’t?!?!)

    3. leia

      Just what I needed to read (<—-would underline that if I could). We went to Kauai for 20 days in July/August and I'm still fighting the weight that I gained. Three or four very stubborn pounds. Bad, bad, bad. Fortunately, the weather is cooling off here so we can be outside more and get back to being more active.

      Your location looks amazing. I just did a google image search for Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Beautiful! But I did see some scary cougar photos (the four-legged kind) so be careful!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Well Leia I win. On our honeymoon cruise many years ago I GAINED 8 pounds!!! I only had to do that once before deciding that would never happen again. And yeah wow, there were lots of cougar warnings at Gifford Pinchot…weirdly they seem to be the theme of our trip! We were up in British Columbia before that and had cougar warnings on the trails. We’re now back in civilization at Fort Stevens State Park, and guess what. There are little paper signs freshly tacked on the trails warning about a cougar sighting. Weirdness!!!

    4. Tsippi

      This is such an inspirational post that I hate asking a mundane question, but I’ll embarrass myself anyway: Do you carry a griddle with you? Is there a trick to cooking pancakes when rv’ing in a Class B?

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Oh Tsippi I’m so glad you asked! We’ve recently started traveling with this countertop electric Cuisinart grill and griddle combo:
        We don’t carry a traditional grill anymore and don’t miss it at all. Just tonight grilled shrimp and pineapple outside on it (omg grilled pineapple…yummo) & clean-up is easy-breezy. James made those pancakes inside using the griddle plates. Such a versatile contraption!


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