The Other Side of Meal Prep: Meal Planning

This week I’ve been very focused on ways to improve my willpower when it comes to eating right. For instance, my writing group meets at a restaurant with very few healthy options. I don’t like to complain too much, because the restaurant lets us meet for up to 5 hours, every week, and they don’t charge us, and they don’t make us purchase food from them either. It’s a nice quiet area with spectacular views of Mount Baker. Since the restaurant doesn’t allow outside food, I have one of two choices. I can eat right before I go to group and right after group, or I can buy something to eat there. Continue reading The Other Side of Meal Prep: Meal Planning

Meal Prep Saves Lives

Meal Prep Saves Lives.

Well, it saves forests. And saving forests saves lives- animals who live and depend on forests, and even us mighty humans. Without trees, we would literally not be able to breathe, so trees and the forests are kind of a big deal. Continue reading Meal Prep Saves Lives

ZooFat to ZooFit

I felt I had a lot in common with Drew Manning. Well, I wasn’t a personal trainer who couldn’t figure out why my clients didn’t get it. But I was a zookeeper who couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to convey conservation messages to zoo visitors. Continue reading ZooFat to ZooFit

Kayaking: An Experiment in Conservation Fitness

This past weekend was very much a Conservation Fitness weekend. Bowling for Rhinos on Saturday. Sloth Army on Sunday morning. Then to round it out, Chris and I tried out kayaking in the afternoon.

We’ve tried kayaking before. We’ve done kayaking on Whidbey Island before. It was years ago, and we were considering getting kayaks to go on adventures around Washington. So we decided to rent a couple and try it out. Only, we tested out kayaking on one of the worst days to do so- 4th of July weekend, in the afternoon, on an incredibly windy day.

That time did not go well for us.

But that was before. Nowadays, I know the owner of Whidbey Kayaking Company. She’s part of my Sloth Army. I must have told her a dozen times I would come by and do some kayaking. For whatever reason, I figured this time, I’d follow through.

My husband and I showed up at the marina ready for a cool day on the water. It was not a cool day, though. It was a gloriously warm day.  Typically I am not the biggest fan of the sun, but paddling out in the Puget Sound, which is a refreshing 50 degrees right now, I was willing to tolerate it for the occasion.

May is whale watching season. The grey whales are out and about, and I was hoping to catch sight of one. Unfortunately, they had been spotted earlier in the morning, and lightning was not likely to strike twice. It didn’t. But we did observe a curious seal pup checking us out. And we even saw a group of seals hanging out together. It was an odd sight, since seals are more or less solitary.

Throughout the two hours we were on the water, our guide (my friend, the owner), pointed out tons of interesting aspects I didn’t know about Whidbey and some animals. I’m not much of a bird-nerd, although I’m not opposed to learning more. So when Krista shared how murrelets (a smallish water bird in the Pacific Northwest) were indicator species, along with pigeon guillemots, I was intrigued.

If you want to know how an ecosystem is holding up, you can take a look at key species in the environment. Thriving birds indicates a somewhat healthy food web.

Wow, the day was tacking up to be fun, fitness oriented, AND educational!

While kayaking is considered something of a leisure activity, I definitely got a workout in. Krista showed us proper technique for paddling, which if you do right, should work your core more than your arms. After two hours, my obliques and abs were shouting loud and clear “WE HAVE BEEN WORKED OUT!”

It was a beautiful day, and we were glad to have taken Krista up on her offer to join her. It made up for our first kayaking experience, but more than just having a good day, it was connected to my philosophy of Experiencing Nature.

With Conservation Fitness, I strongly urge each of us to explore the outdoors, to experience nature. It can be a hike, a walk in a park, or visiting a zoo. But I think the best way to experience nature is in your element, being active, and gaining a better appreciation for the natural world.

My element is water. I am so at home with water. The ocean calls me every time I go near her. But I don’t spend as much time as I’d like in the water. Swimming and other water activities are not as common in Washington year round as other regions. But kayaking. Wow, that was an experience. Still isn’t something I can do day in and day out, but it definitely is something I consider part of my Sacred Space. It’s something I will try to do again, as well. Maybe as a reward for completing certain tasks.

After kayaking, I was thoroughly exhausted. It was a wonderfully productive weekend, and I look forward to more adventures with conservation fitness.

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 30- Creativity 101

If anyone were to ask me what is the best website for learning and growing our mind, body, and yes, even our soul, I would recommend Brian Johnson’s Optimize. He discusses everything to live the best version of yourself, from health and fitness to meditation to being your most creative self. I have learned a lot from his Philosopher’s Notes and his Master Classes. Most of what he teaches is in complete flow with ZooFit.  Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 30- Creativity 101

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 29-The Summer Job

Working on my books has been a great experience. I set my own hours, which is great in theory, but in practice I need improvement. I’ve gotten lazier and lazier about waking up, getting started, and staying motivated. My writing has gotten a little better, and I’ve really developed ZooFit, but I am feeling a little bored with depression creeping up in the background.  Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 29-The Summer Job

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 28- Laughter, the Best Medicine

Okay, I’m not gonna lie, I’m cheating with my post today. Not that I didn’t do anything ZooFit related, because I did- worked on homemade BOSU design and cooked a great Whole30 meal with zucchini (preparing for zucchini season with tried and tested recipes). But that’s not what I really want to write about.  Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 28- Laughter, the Best Medicine

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 27- Least Reinforcing Scenario

Today I presented a class on Creativity for my writing group. While listening to the section on dealing with “trolls”, I was reminded of a powerful lesson I learned as a zookeeper in dealing with setbacks. To be truly successful and to maintain a positive mindset, you must deal with setbacks and mistakes with only a positive approach. In animal training, we typically use the Least Reinforcing Scenario. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 27- Least Reinforcing Scenario