it’s a zoo

Hi friends <3 Hows the day going so far? Thank you for your awesome comments on the banana pudding post! Let me know if you try it 🙂 I may need to make another batch since ours lasted less than 24 hours…. Also, thank you again for your wonderful comments on the Pilot’s fini flight. It was so weird to be at the zoo today and see A-10s fly overhead, and not wonder if he was flying. 

Breakfast was a return of an old classic:

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(protein oats! 1/2 cup oats cooked in 1 cup water. Stirred 1/2 scoop Raw Fit vanilla protein in when it was finished cooking, along with cinnamon, almond milk, berries and topped with a hefty blob of sunflower butter)

and then we set off to the zoo. The weather was way too beautiful to stay inside, and I figured it would be fun to use our annual pass one last time.


Obviously, I have no insight into how the animals feel while they’re at the zoo, but I think they probably could benefit from larger enclosures. It’s important to me to become more educated about the pros and cons of zoos and similar institutions. For example, the conservation efforts are significant, especially regarding endangered species. (I saw Blackfish quite a few months ago, and while I know the film is biased, I don’t feel comfortable going back to Sea World.)

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Today, Liv said, “The monkey wants to get out.” It broke my heart that even at such a young age, she understood that it wasn’t the monkey’s natural habitat. Caitlin wrote an incredible post weighing the pros and cons, and it’s something that I’ll certainly consider as we explore new options as a family. I’m sure there are lots of good options in SD too, so if you know of any that you personally love, please feel free to shout it out!


(The peacocks were free to roam the entire facility.. and then we saw a family walk through the entrance gate out into the nearby park. They busted outta there!)

Dinner tonight will use up some of the things we have on hand:

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(chicken, cooking in the slow cooker. I’ll shred it and add mixed veggies, coconut milk, sriracha, Tamari, garlic, salt, pepper and a drizzle of honey, then serve it over rice noodles. I’ll let you know how it works out… it will either be delicious or a disaster 😉 )

Off to get in a short strength workout before Zumba.

Enjoy the rest of your day!


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  1. Haley on March 26, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    The San Diego Zoo is great and the annual pass is DIRT CHEAP for San Diego residents….

    • Haley on March 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      And I believe gives you access to the safari park as well…

  2. Sana on March 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    The San Diego zoo is amazing! So huge and so many different animals. They also have a lot of feelings and really knowledgable staff. Plus, majority of the animals are in large exhibits so it might not be as bad as a smaller zoo. I think Olivia would love the San Diego zoo!

  3. Melissa on March 26, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I am a huge animal activist and actually posted about blackfish on your blog awhile back. I’m so excited you have decided not to return there. Yes, the movie is biased, but that doesn’t change the sad facts.

    I 100% recommend the San Diego Safari Park (previously called the wild animal park) – it has threatened species of all types – definitely do the tram ride and cheetah run. Liv will love it. The SD zoo is better than most, but only the safari park provides realistic environments.

  4. Jackie on March 26, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I bet your dinner will taste great!

  5. Christine@ Apple of My Eye on March 26, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Aww Liv looks SO cute with her peppy hairdo and dress!

    In my hometown, we actually have TONS of peacocks roaming the streets and backyards. They actually can get a bit annoying since they poop and “scream” there peacock calls all day haha! I grew up being able to feed them, though, from our backward so that was a cool experience!

  6. Ashley @ Brocblog on March 26, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I seriously want to go to the San DIego zoo! I live in LA and have still never been to san diego. I need to get out more.

  7. Briana on March 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    The San Diego Safari Park!! Great conservation happening and just a little more of a natural habitat, while being able to do research and learn from the animals! Your little girl will love it and the excursions you can do while at the park are out of this world! Nothing like it! I got to pet a rhino, giraffe, and many more!

  8. emma @ be mom strong on March 26, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    My daughter is currently obsessed with peacocks because of a Sesame Street she watched recently!

  9. Lauren on March 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    I will never again attend sea world. Blackfish is not the only documentary about it. There is also the Cove which talks about the wild animals captured and sold to marine parks.

    I much prefer safari drive troughs. You get to drive through them and the animals have free range of hundreds of acres. You should try to find one of those in your area!! I know the have one in California, but I can’t remember what area.

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      i also saw the cove a few years ago. it’s the only movie i’ve seen that made me physically ill :/

  10. Abby on March 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Gina,
    Unrelated but I am getting ready to move to San Diego too and was wondering if you had any advice on realtors to work with for a rental? We are looking to move to the Carlsbad area!

  11. Suman on March 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    The san diego zoo is AMAZING, and while I’m also not an expert, I do know that they do a lot for panda conservation.

    I actually haven’t seen either of those documentaries, but my real problem with the whole thing was Sea World’s response. They made a comment about how the public shouldn’t be biased by “activist hype”, but the way they used the word “activist” made it seem like it was a dirty, insulting word.

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      i was turned off by their response, too. the sponsored Facebook posts were extremely defensive and (in my opinion) in poor taste.

  12. Yaara Leve on March 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I also feel really uncomfortable at zoos. The animals look so bored and lonely. It’s difficult for me too. PS–I love those shorts! They look so cute on you. Are they Citizen of Humanity brand? I love that brand and they are similar.

  13. Yaara Leve on March 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Also–sorry to be a bother–I think there’s something wonky going on with the blog on a mobile device. When I tried to comment on my iPhone earlier–I received an error message saying my ip address was blocked–not sure what that means–just wanted to give you a heads up. It works fine on my computer though. Thanks!

  14. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on March 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Looks like a fun day! I haven’t been to a zoo in FOREVER! 🙂

  15. sarah on March 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I like animals more than people- (i’m a nurse- I can say this) and watched the black fish movie with a heavy heart. I didn’t want to, but felt like I needed to see it. I’m not sure what my long term outlook is going to be regarding this- although I can say confidently that I will never support any circus… so of course after watching it I was ready to go burn down sea world…. and then my husband reminded me that while a lot of the practices ARE wrong and the captivity can be unacceptable, zoos and places like sea world can provide education about animals and possibly help us understand them in a way that we would never get to otherwise. they also SAY they rescue injured animals. I just hope that the way animals are treated will continue to get better. we have a huge responsibility to the animals to treat them humanely and fairly. the brevard zoo in Florida is a really neat place,but I feel awful for the monkeys/jaguar etc. who look sad and lonely. they have coyotes that pace incredibly fast in their little 100 foot enclosure- so pitiful.

  16. Jess on March 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    San Diego Zoo and wild animal park are fantastic and do lots of work with zoos internationally to educate and protect endangered species. They are part of international breeding programs to increase genetic diversity amongst endangered populations in and out of captivity. So whilst the animals may not have as much room or freedom in SD Zoo as they would in the wild, in my mimd the work that they do for these animals globally outweighs that.

  17. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on March 27, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I don’t know much about zoos and how the animals fare at them, but the San Diego Zoo is amazing! You guys will love it. They have the Wild Animal Park too. And you’ll have Lego Land! You guys will be so close to so much cool stuff!

    Oh, and every time I see Livi’s adorable ponytail getting longer and longer, I die from the cuteness. 🙂

  18. Kelli on March 27, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Definitely go to the Wild Animal Park! The animals are in natural habitats, with acres and acres to roam in. You’ll love it. I really don’t even like the SD Zoo, as the animals are still caged up, but the Park is so great… The train ride through the park is so fun!

  19. Ari@The Diva Dish on March 27, 2014 at 2:30 am

    I loved living in San Diego and I’m so bummed we moved. We had a pass to the zoo, sea world, and lego land. We had something to do almost every day! I haven’t seen blackfish, I’m kind of scared to, so I can’t say whether or not I agree with the movie because I don’t know too much about it. But I did love taking my girls there because they were able to see sea animals and learn about them up close. I remember going there as a kid and loved seeing that wild life up close. BUT I also feel bad that they aren’t in their natural habitat. I’m torn! I should watch the movie, maybe soon! 🙂

    Either way there is so much fun stuff in SD :)!

  20. Runner Girl Eats on March 27, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I feel torn about zoos but I think that understanding the animals and using them as an educational resource is important. I hate going to zoos with small enclosures though. Miami has a great zoo if you are ever on this side of the county 🙂

  21. Cara's Healthy Cravings on March 27, 2014 at 7:20 am

    So how did your slow cooker experiment turn out?

    • Fitnessista on March 27, 2014 at 11:19 am

      it was SO GOOD! the chicken was done when i left for zumba, so tom put everything together. it was amazing!

      • Caras healthy cravings on March 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm

        Awesome! I love it when a random dinner can have surprisingly good results!

  22. Livi on March 27, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I can’t believe it’s shorts weather there! So jealous!

  23. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on March 27, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I love the zoo too, but you do feel a little tug at your heart for the animals.

  24. Beks on March 27, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Our zoo in Omaha is amazing. They’ve really revamped it over the last 20 years, creating large habitats for the gorillas, we have a jungle, aquarium, desert dome. They keep working on improving it to make it more habitable for all the animals they have there, plus education is always at the forefront. I love my zoo.

    We have peacocks hanging out all over, too, and once, I was driving home from work (We live about 20 minutes away from the zoo), and while I’m used to seeing wild turkeys all over the woods where I live, one day, I saw a bright blue peacock hanging out with them, wishing IT were a turkey, too! I’ve never seen a peacock that far outside the zoo before!

  25. Erin Motz on March 27, 2014 at 11:03 am

    oh gosh, what Liv said… heart breaking! i just watched blackfish last night by chance and am right there with you. as a florida girl, i grew up going to seaworld during that time and find it amazing that they’ve gone to such lengths to prioritize a bottom line over lives lost. i stumbled on this website where you can see which zoos and aquariums are accredited and supposedly keep the animal’s welfare as top priority. maybe san diego’s is on there!

    • Fitnessista on March 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      awesome- thank you for sharing that, friend 🙂 xo

  26. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on March 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I’m really torn on how to feel about zoos and aquariums. I love the ones where you can tell the passion the keepers have for the animals, and where they provide rehabilitation for animals. The Mystic aquarium in New England is amazing for that.

  27. Alex @ Kenzie Life on March 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I was just at the San Diego zoo on Monday and I really loved it. On the one hand, zoos are not an animal’s natural habitat, but for some endangered species, I think it’s their best option. I like that the SD zoo participates in breeding programs to help ‘replenish’ members of endangered species and try to reintroduce them into the wild. I’d rather see an animal in the zoo for a finite period of time and eventually (hopefully) be reintroduced into their natural environment instead of seeing the species die out. It’s not ideal, but it might be all we have in some cases. At the SD zoo, I liked the Safari animals, like the Jaguars and elephants. The bears were the most fun though, they were play fighting with each other and it was really cute to watch. Of course the Pandas are really popular, but they just sit there and sleep so I didn’t find them that exciting (though they were beautiful). Oh and the honey badger. It was fun to see that one 😉

  28. Tracy on March 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Do you prefer Raw Fit to Sun Warrior? Or are you just switching it up?

    We love the SD zoo! It kinda ruins any other zoos you visit though since it’s so amazing!

    • Fitnessista on March 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      they taste pretty similar. i just got the raw fit because it was on sale at the BX

  29. Courtney @ Harness Your Energy on March 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve been meaning to visit the SD zoo! I’m just waiting for a day when my adventure partner is home to go with me! I’ve been wanting to watch BlackFish, but I’m not one for “gore” & a few people said I may not be able to watch a few parts. I’ve had some pretty good discussions about the topic though & love your take on researching the topic first.

  30. Larissa on March 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I work with little kiddos and the Ruben h fleet science center in balboa park is a huge hit–actually one Tuesday night of the month (I don’t remember which week 1st or 3rd I always work too late eventhough it’s right by us, boo!) certain museums in the park are free to check out. Also hubs and I have annual passes to the Birtch Aquarium, it’s a little small but it’s fun to check out then go into la jolla village for lunch or brunch! There is so much fun stuff you will love it here!

  31. Jen on April 7, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I remember the San Diego Zoo being amazing, and I got the feeling the animals were treated well. I share your conflicting feelings over visiting zoos.

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