Eat Good Fat, Get Fit

I’ve been reading quite a few books helping me in my quest to find a perfect Eating Green model. So far, I’m finding that a little more difficult than I anticipated. My research and experience is showing there is no “perfect model”, but taking a little from each program and expert I discover. Continue reading Eat Good Fat, Get Fit

Meal Prep: It’s What’s For Dinner

If someone were to ask me for my number one recommendation for eating healthy and having the largest positive impact on the planet, I would deeply consider telling them about Meal Prepping. Continue reading Meal Prep: It’s What’s For Dinner

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 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

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 25- The Creation of ZooFit

How did ZooFit become ZooFit? Why do I call it ZooFit? It’s story time, folks. Who doesn’t love a good origin story?  Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 25- The Creation of ZooFit

30 Days oF ZooFit: Day 24- Modify, Scale, Do What You Can

Over the weekend, while in Las Vegas, I did something to my neck. Slept on it wrong, didn’t gamble enough, whiplash from spending so much on booze and books at the auction. Who knows?

What I do know are two things. One, it hurts to jostle my neck around. Two, I still can do a workout. Continue reading 30 Days oF ZooFit: Day 24- Modify, Scale, Do What You Can

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 20- Watoto’s Rumble

I’ve often wondered how it would feel for someone to love me so much, they peed whenever they saw me.

This was how Bamboo, a fifty-year old Asian elephant, greeted her best friend, retired zookeeper Chuck, whenever he visited. She would squeal with excitement, and when she couldn’t contain herself anymore, Bamboo would relieve herself. It was a sight to see. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 20- Watoto’s Rumble

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 18- Setting Myself Up for a Successful Writer’s Conference

Tonight, I am traveling to Las Vegas for a writer’s conference. This is my first writer’s conference, but not my first professional conference, or my first conference in Las Vegas either. Las Vegas may not be my first choice for a vacation, but I’m not going to look at sights for this trip. In fact, because I’m not much of a lemur or lizard (I don’t bask in the sun), I doubt I’ll step outside the conference rooms. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 18- Setting Myself Up for a Successful Writer’s Conference