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xoxo, Kerri O.


A Day At The Zoo

If you've ever wondered where to go when you visit Colorado Springs, I have several suggestions for you. The first being: The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! It was recently named a TripAdvisor Top 10 Zoo and is absolutely a Colorado must-see.


The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a family favorite and was stop 1 on our Fit Family Road Trip. What is more perfect for a trip focused on keeping it fit and active than a zoo on the side of a mountain?



From cmzoo.org:

Mission
A leader in conservation, captive breeding, and animal care, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo connects people with wildlife and wild places through experiences that inspire action.
Vision
Every kid. Every time. Goosebumps!
History
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926 by philanthropist Spencer Penrose to house his growing collection of exotic animals. In 1938, after substantial development, Mr. Penrose incorporated Cheyenne Mountain Zoo as a non-profit public trust for the people of Colorado Springs.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Today
Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s ONLY mountain zoo, offers a new experience every time and transforms visitors from passive viewers to active participants. Through comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts, and truly fantastic animal experiences, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is able to touch the lives of our guests more than ever before. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s hope to help visitors fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 224 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just nine operating without government support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, and donations for funding.
Terrain
The elevation at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo rises from 6,800 feet above sea level at the front gate to nearly 7,000 feet at Asian Highlands and Rocky Mountain Wild. 
Animals 
800+, representing over 200 species, more than 30 of which are endangered.

Highlights of our visit
We had some behind the scenes access.
The zoo has a new addition. A baby giraffe born just last week!
One word: adorable.
Mom and baby.
Feeding the giraffe is our favorite part of visiting this zoo!
If you're worried about the recent Colorado wildfires and smoke being an issue: don't be. The zoo was not affected by the fires and smoke is not a problem. In fact, look at this beautiful clear sky:
My boys wanted to head straight for all things creepy, crawly, and slimy. Frogs, snakes, and lizards, oh my!
The Komodo Dragon was a huge hit.

He didn't appear near as excited to see us as we were to see him.


The otters were on of my favorite things to see.
The Budgie Buddies
I love their vision! "Every kid. Every time. Goosebumps." So awesome, and I'd say they're doing a good job!

 I love that this zoo is so interactive. You can feed the giraffe, feed the chickens, feed the budgie buddies, ride the carousel, take a pony ride, play in My Big Backyard, and more! This is so much more than just a walk-through zoo. My kids were captivated the entire visit. 


Whether you live in Colorado like us, or you're coming to visit, definitely add this to your list of places to see!



Disclaimer: We received media passes to visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. As always opinions are 100% honest and my own.

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KETO Cocktails: The Lemon Drop

I love a good glass of red wine now and then, I mean it's practically a health food, right? ;) But sometimes I just want a cocktail. I'm all for moderation and having a drink now and then, but I'm just not down with the calorie, carb, and sugar counts of some of my favorites. Seriously, have you ever looked them up? Eek. So, I've set to work at converting my favorite cocktail recipes to be more keto diet friendly!

The first cocktail recipe I'm tackling is the lemon drop. I used to love these, but haven't had one in years because of the sugar in them. In my early twenties I had a friend who used to make them for me all the time. We would have a shaker full of these, a good dinner, and a chick flick on a weeknight, it was kind of bliss. Her recipe called for so. much. SUGAR though! Looking back I think she may have used a wee bit more sugar than most, but they were really good.



I think my keto-ized recipe comes pretty dang close to those delicious memories! It'…

KETO Hot Cocoa Pancakes

OK, I know I've been on quite the low carb pancake tangent lately, but THESE! Seriously, these are yummtastic. Yummazing? Ya, they're really good. They just might be my favorite recipe I've ever done. Ever. OK, that might be my paleo apple crisp recipe, but that's not low carb...ooo, I wonder if I could tweak that low carb...

That would be brilliant!

You know, bloggers area always talking seo this and seo that (seo stands for search engine optimization if you're not a blogger) and I'm just over here yammering. I'm pretty sure when google's spider crawlers (anyone shiver at that word picture? eesh) get to FitViews they just think, "Yeesh, move along. Nothing to see here." Ha ha ha!

Anyway, pancakes. KETO Hot Cocoa Low Carb Pancakes no less. So good. 


As I've mentioned before I'm back to low carb (keto actually) and developing new recipes to make it easier to stick with. I find I just plain feel great when I eat ketogenic, and I definitely h…

30 Easy Prep and Pack Whole30 Lunch Recipes

The Whole30Program is amazing. I highly recommend it. Every time I've done a Whole 30 I have felt AMAZING by the end. It's a very empowering experience. It is not however an easy one. Mostly because the food prep can take much more time if you're used to grab and go options. A little planning ahead and you can definitely make it through the 30 days.

When it comes to Whole30 lunches, 3 things worked best for me:


Quick and easy salads.Prepping food on Sunday.Cooking too much at dinner and eating leftovers for lunch the next day.
I thought I'd share 30 of the awesome Whole30 lunch recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and a few from me!). I've included all three options I listed above. Some quick and easy salads, some to prep an entire recipe on the weekend and then portion them for lunches that week, and some to be cooked for dinner and the leftovers packed for lunch the next day. Play around and see what works best for you.

This list of 30 Whole30 Lunch Reci…

Keto Paleo Friendly Coffee Creamer Recipe

Going keto paleo has me missing one thing: the organic grass-fed half-and-half I'd been having in my coffee. Since going paleo over a year ago I've searched and searched and just never found anything else I love in my coffee. I'd just about given up on a keto paleo-friendly coffee creamer!

I was almost to resign myself to black coffee forever, but then I decided to resort again to trying to make my own. This version is simple and quite delicious. Not only is it keto paleo, but Whole30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox friendly as well.




Keto Paleo Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer
Ingredients
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(the kind in the carton just won't do it)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Vietnamese Organic
1 teaspoon Organic Pure Vanilla for 100% Whole30 compliant swap for vanilla powder
2 teaspoons raw local honey or Organic Maple Syrup (optional, leave out for KETO, Whole30, or 21DSD)





Directions
Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Store in the refrigerator (the cinnamon tends to set…

KETO Sweet Cinnamon Pancakes

I'm completely obsessed with keto pancakes lately. Oh, you've caught on to that? Well, these Sweet Cinnamon Low Carb Pancakes are a seriously tasty addition. They're a quick and super easy breakfast option.  Whether you're getting bored on your egg fast or just a low carb or keto style eater these are for you! With only 4 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE, they'll fit nicely into your plan.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 340 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double the batch if hubby wants some too. It easily doubles or triples or quadruples...to feed however many you'd like. I love to make a giant batch on Sunday and have them ready for the week. Just reheat in the microwave and go.



Low Carb Sweet Cinnamon PancakesFor this recipe you'll need:
A mixing bowl (I like to use a large glass measuring cup to easily pour the batter in the skillet), a hand mixermeasuring spoons

Jillian Michaels BodyShred Full Review

I have to say my two months of BodyShred flew by! It seems like I just started yesterday. Ah, time flies while you're having fun. Right? OK, in this full review post, I hope to give you a good overview of exactly what the BodyShred program is as well as my thoughts and opinions on the program. So, is Jillian Michaels BodyShred hype or help? Let's chat...

Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is Jillian's latest total-package fitness program. This set includes:


What's in the box:BodyShred Fitness Guide
BodyShred Meal Plan
BodyShred Rotational Calendar
BodyShred "Let Them See You Sweat" Workout Towel
DVDs-
     8 - Shred Style Circuit Workouts
       1. Launch
       2. Rise
       3. Amplify
       4. Escalate
       5. Conquer
       6. Triumph 
       7. Zenith
       8. Apex
     2 - Straight Cardio Workouts
       1. Fire Up
       2. Ignite
    Plus, bonus workout Opus and a disc on the cast and teaching the moves. So, a total of 12 DVDs are included in this set.


The BodyShred Workouts

Paleo Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

It's just not the holidays for me without a Starbucks peppermint mocha (or white chocolate peppermint mocha, mmm). I generally splurge once or twice during the holiday season with the real thing. Since going keto, however, I'm not sure if I will. Sometimes the sugar just isn't worth it!


Problem is I like them, miss them, and would really enjoy them all season long!
So..... I decided I wanted to tackle the peppermint mocha and come up with a KETO Paleo-friendly version. With this simple recipe, I can have a peppermint mocha anytime.


Not only is this recipe Keto Paleo, but it's also Whole30, gluten-free, vegan, primal, and 100% junk-free.



KETO Paleo Peppermint Mocha RecipeIngredients:
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(Regular, NOT light. Seriously, ew.)
1/3 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
2 to 3 Tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (Optional, leave out for keto or Whole30.)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint Extract(Depending how pepperminty you like it. I do 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspo…

Paleo Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Since going Paleo my family has fallen even more in love with our grill. Paleo and grilling just work well together. The past couple of years I've even been stepping outside my grilling comfort zone more and more. Grilling things I'd never thought to have grilled before and trying new flavor combinations. I have to say I'm pretty thrilled with the results of most of my flavor experiments. 

In the past I'd never have thought to grill fruit, but it's amazing. Grilling fruit and adding it to traditionally savory dishes? Brilliant.

Oh yes, and? New rule: every burger recipe for the rest of forever must contain grilled pineapple. OK, maybe more of a guideline. It's a seriously delicious combination though.

This Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger is always a crowd-pleaser at my house. It's not only Paleo, but Whole30, glutenfree, lower carb, and clean eating friendly. I promise you won't miss the bun! 

Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger Recipe Ingredients
2 lbs Lean Grass-…

Easy Paleo Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This Easy Paleo Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe was sponsored by Puritan's Pride.
Growing up the only encounter I had with sweet potatoes was at Thanksgiving dinner. I hesitate to even call them sweet potatoes though. They were more like sugar coated sugar, with a side of sugar. Seriously!
The recipe was to coat a baking dish in margarine, add diced sweet potatoes, top with more margarine and a healthy heaping of brown sugar. Bake. And then? At the end you top the whole thing with a bag of marshmallows and bake again.
Blech! Needless to say I was never fond of sweet potatoes.
When I first went paleo I decided to reacquaint myself with sweet potatoes. They’re a great paleo-friendly carb source. I must confess the thought made me shudder, but I persevered. I tried them simple. Baked. I was so shocked. They're so good!
Now, I love sweet potatoes. They’re a go-to side dish for family dinners. Not only are they delicious, but they’re good for us and easy to make. The funny thing about sweet…

KETO Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Pancakes

In the past, I went back and forth with low carb. It seemed like I feel better when eating lower carb and I definitely had good progress with weight loss when I ate that way, but it can be a challenge to stick with. Well, I'm completely committed to keto now and finding new ways to stick with it!

Ways such as keto pancakes. Say what-what? Yes. Low carb pumpkin pancakes no less. And? They're pretty darned yummy...

Whether you're seriously bored with your egg fast or just a low carb or keto style eater these Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Pancakes are for you! With only 5 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE they'll fit nicely into your plan. They're a quick and super easy breakfast option. Plus, yes, they're delicious! And oh so appropriate for pumpkin spice season. Oh, who am I kidding, I eat them year-round.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 345 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double …