Wild animals

While I was shaking my booty with a room full of hooting and hollering women + live drummers (not a bad way to wake up!)

the Pilot took Liv to see the animals.

Tom and liv

We have annual zoo passes and figured we should start using them more, especially since the zoo opens early (to beat the heat) and it’s a great place to walk around. Liv is to the point now where she can look and really see the animals, so it’s fun to watch her reactions.

They also opened a HUGE new elephant habitat:


and the Pilot took a lot of amazing photos. My favorites are always the otters and the giraffes 🙂


After the zoo, they headed over to the madre’s where she cooked up a huge feast for my brothers, the Pilot and my stepdad. Blueberry muffins, corned beef hash + eggs, toast, potatoes with peppers and onions, orange juice and horchata. 

I wish I could have been there! Instead I was dancing, teaching cardio/weights and buff booty, then back home to see the Pilot, sleeping Liv and my own wild animal:

Me and bell2 


Salad beast4

A salad beast with strawberries, turkey, cashews, basil and balsamic dressing

+ some aloe drink mixed with sparkling water.

This is my newest kick:


I’ve always enjoyed it, but recently started drinking aloe more consistently. Aloe is extremely hydrating (great for skin and hair), beneficial if you’re active, and I love these drinks from Trader Joe’s. I’ll mix half with sparkling water (it’s too sweet otherwise) and it’s a refreezing summer drink. You can read about the benefits of aloe here.

Time to pack up afternoon snacks and head back for Zumba, assist bootcamp and then family dinner to celebrate Meggy’s birthday.

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!



Zumba song of the day: 

 These girls teach in Jacksonville, FL! If we were headed to our usual beach vacay spot this summer, I’d totally take their class.

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  1. Sana on June 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I will totally have to grab the aloe drink from Tj’s!

  2. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on June 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I’m so jealous! Our zoo doesn’t have elephants or giraffes (it’s obviously too cold during the winter months). We’re going to Disney World next month and staying at the animal kingdom lodge and I am crazy excited about seeing a real live giraffe!!

    • Chantal on June 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      lol, I just got really excited for you because my sis and I went to Disney World a few months ago for the Princess 1/2 Marathon and kept going back to eat at the Animal Kingdom Lodge because it was soooo gorgeous (and had giraffes, lol)!!! Have an amazing time!!!

  3. Ramani on June 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Awww Liv and the animals = amazing. I wish I lived closer so I could baby sit!! 🙂

    Gina, why are you wearing your heart rate monitor watch? To track your burn in all the classes you teach per day?

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      yep, i always like to keep track when i have an intense day of teaching. sometimes i need to eat an extra 1200 calories or so

  4. Keri on June 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I will have to pick up some Aloe juice next time I make a TJ’s run! That salad looks super refreshing!

  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks on June 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    A friend of ours in Aruba harvests and bottles aloe, fresh daily. And sells it…for everything from a drink to applying to your skin. I can’t get down with the taste but I love it on my skin 🙂

  6. Hanna on June 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    How do you like your macbook pro? I just got one…and it’s def taking some getting used to…

  7. Ali on June 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    MAN! Zumba just looks like the biggest partay ever! <3

  8. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on June 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    aww i bet she loved seeing all the animals! what a good dad:) thanks for sharing! and aloe vera rocks! i drink it every day…it’s so good for you! chlorophyll too!

  9. sara on June 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Where do they teach in Jacksonville?

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Just Fitness 8206 Philips Hwy Jacksonville FL 32256

  10. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy on June 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    That does look like a fun Zumba class! That’s nice that you’re able to teach so many classes! I’d love to become Zumba certified, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to get much use out of it since the gyms near me are pretty small. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, though!

  11. Kailey on June 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve seen the aloe drinks a lot lately and have wanted to try them but all I can think of is putting aloe vera gel all over sunburns, and it no longer seems appetizing, ha. Now that I know it’s good stuff, I might have to give it a try! Is there a different texture to it?

    Making the Caprese Chicken for tomorrow’s dinner! 🙂

  12. Lea on June 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    What is that drink sweetened with? I’ve had straight aloe vera juice before and it is not tasty!

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      sugar! and you’re right, by itself… phew

  13. Laura on June 2, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Elephants are always one of my fav since I’m a huge Bama fan, and the Birmingham zoo has a good elephant area. I always like the sea lions bc they play around alot. I love fruit in my salads like strawberries, blueberries, apples, and mango!

  14. Jess on June 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Aloe juice is my favorite! So refreshing!!!

  15. Brittany on June 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    SUCH A CUTE PIC OF U AND LIVI! she is so beautiful what a lucky momma. I have always been curious how many blog visits do you get a day?? I feel like your following has been growing and growing!

  16. kari on June 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    The Zumba class looks like fun. Your Madre is such a great cook!

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      madre is amazing:)

  17. Alyssa on June 3, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Hi, I know you are still breastfeeding Livi and wanted to mention that my lactation consultant recommended no aloe as it’s known to be harmful and even lower supply while breastfeeding. I’m no expert and I’ve only been breastfeeding for a little less than two months but I thought it would be good to pass along the information. I know you research the items you take in and probably have gotten the ok. Love your blog! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      thank you, alyssa!
      my midwife said it was fine if i’m having half a bottle a day, but that’s good to keep in mind. i’ll be sure to nix it if my supply drops

  18. Sarah @ Licorice and Olives on June 3, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Is that a polar HRM? How do you find it? I just got one and it is so motivating!

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      yes- i love it! i’ve trained with one for the past 4 years or so

  19. Steffany on June 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I love drinking aloe after a workout, yummm (:

  20. Eucalya on June 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I just love all the food you share with us, everything seems delicious!

  21. Victoria @ The Pursuit of Hippieness on June 3, 2012 at 10:35 am

    LOVE aloe. It’s also great for the digestive system!!
    When I worked on a sustainable farm in the Virgin Islands a couple years ago, we got to harvest aloe leaves and try eating them- I gotta say, there’s a reason why those bottles are sweetened so much! But it was great to smear on our skin for sunburns 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      it’s AWESOME for cuts and sunburns

  22. mary on June 3, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I love aloe for skin but never heard of drinking it. I wonder if I could just use some from the back yard plant in smoothies?

    • Fitnessista on June 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      totally- that’s what we did at 105degrees

  23. Holly on June 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Hey Gina!!! 😀
    I’m totally NOT trying to be one of ‘those’ readers..;) But I just wanted to let you know about the aloe vera juice- I was actually drinking it (mixed with cranberry juice, or another kind of juice because drinking it alone was just not good- tasted like leather- yuck!) for my Crohn’s disease, but when I told my Gastro about it, he was like do NOT drink that! Apparently it can actually cause some problems in your GI tract, like creating open sores, etc. Just an fyi- it could definitely be different depending on the type of aloe vera juice, etc…just wanted to let you know what I knew about it! Hope all is well!! Xo

  24. Amy on June 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Love aloe for heart burn! I was excited yesterday when I found an aloe plant for $7!! They’re hard to find here in Texas.

  25. Stephanie on June 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Gina~ What kind of stroller do you have? My Sister is expecting her first and we are doing lots of stroller research for her. She has had her eye on a Inglesina..but not sure if/which infant car seats are compatible! It seems you have done your research too when it comes to accessories/carriers! Any info is appreciated!!

    • Fitnessista on June 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      hey girl, we have the orbit baby travel system. it’s super safe, green and easy to use- all things that were important to us

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