I never ever get political here on the blog but today I feel like I have to say something. I do have an important message so I would appreciate your attention, but if you’re just here for the food and fitness feel free to skip down to the bottom of this post.

I’m deeply saddened by this election. By what it represents. I’m white and therefore privileged, but I am also a woman, and I have experienced Trump-like mistreatment and misogyny. I grew up in my happy California bubble so all the hatred was hard for me to imagine, but living in St. Louis has opened my eyes. I’m sad to live in a country where I’m afraid to be a women, where my friends get called unspeakable things, where classmates worry about being deported. While I generally am an optimistic person, this is one realm where I just can’t be. I can’t say that despite this all we need to come together and it’s all going to be okay in 4 years, because what amount of damage can be done, ideals can become ingrained in 4 years?

But that’s not actually what I want to talk about today. Regardless of your political views, I encourage you to consider the following message.


This is Kali, St. Louis Zoo’s heart and soul. He’s been in St. Louis for a year now. He was rescued from Alaska as a cub in the wild after his mother was killed (legally) by a hunter. The hunter hadn’t realized the polar bear was female until it was too late, and then tracked her prints back to the den to find Kali.

Today while doing my observations on Kali, the zookeeper was doing a video call with a class of elementary school children in Point Lay, Alaska, the place where Kali came from. His name is the native name for that area. Many of the children in the class had seen Kali in Alaska when he was still a tiny cub (he’s 1200 pounds now!) and were so excited to see how big he’s gotten!


Kali is by far the most awe-inspiring animal we have. Everyone who comes to see him is amazed by his incredible size, and charmed by his boyish playfulness. He’s the biggest ham.

I don’t want to come back to St. Louis a few years down the line and see that Kali is the last wild-born polar bear alive.

It is finally well accepted that climate change is real. Climate change is the biggest threat to polar bears in the wild today. The warming temperatures reduce the amount of sea ice, which reduces polar bears’ ability to catch prey. (source)

Polar bears are dying out.

I think polar bears have sort of become the poster child for preventing global warming because they’re “cute.” After spending hours and hours a week with one for 3 months now, I can attest that they are truly amazing creatures, and we really do need to protect them.


Out of our new president-elects first 100 days plan, I am incredibly disturbed by “cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.”

The utter disrespect for climate change, and the lack of drive to prevent it from advancing is extremely discouraging. We simply cannot afford to not address it. (Insert comment about Florida voting itself underwater….)

Among many of the reasons to feel a little hopeless, this the future of climate change is weighing especially heavily on my heart, after spending the past few months with Kali.


I promise I won’t fill this space with too much political commentary, so I’m going to move on to a more normal post.


Guys, I finally found fall in Missouri. A week before I retreat back to California….I had an awesome and chilly 3 mile run this morning. I love daylights savings time for these mornings; there is far less risk of death by tripping over a crack. The run went surprisingly well despite the concern that I was going to get frostbite on my hands…gloves. Gloves would have been a good idea…


For breakfast, I was both trying to clean out the pantry and craving something warm, so I made some maple oatmeal. I actually really liked this one; it only had like 7g of sugar? Until I topped it with pumpkin butter! I also cooked in about half a serving of egg whites for a little protein.


I bought a winter coat earlier in the season expecting to get a lot more use out of it. I finally decided to break it out today (even though I definitely didn’t need it) and it feels like a giant hug.

Me: “I got this awesome new coat. It even has this removable lining that you can wear alone or with the coat and—”

Coworker: “Aurora, most of us have seen a winter coat before….”


Seriously though, my new coat is the coziest thing ever.

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(from trying it on in the store)

My little t-devils were absolutely adorable today. I could not get a good picture to save my life, but Yindi was running around like a madwoman with newspaper in her mouth.


For lunch, I had some canned vegetable soup with fat free cheddar (decent for putting in soup because it doesn’t dissolve) and glutton crackers.


For snack, I had a bar. These things are growing on me.

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After work, I ended up going to an event that I didn’t know about until my roommate texted me. She worked at the Endangered Wolf Center, and they were screening “Red Wolf Revival” followed by a panel discussion. I didn’t have time to go home before, but I did have time to grab a quick dinner at Subway. Chopped salad with carved turkey, provolone, tomato, olives, spinach, oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper. Plus some baked Lays on the side because I feel like they scream Subway.


Plus a piece of chocolate.


At the event, they served popcorn so I served myself to some buttered popcorn and some white cheddar. Plus a beer on the side.

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The event was very thought provoking and felt very timely given my thoughts on the election and conservation. I’m not going to go into a ton of details because it’s not my area of expertise, but the takeaway is that there are less than 50 red wolves left in the wild. They are native to America, and conservationists are working to rebuild their population. They are not very harmful to people (they’re about 50 pounds and scared of humans), but despite lack of education about them a lot are being killed.

On the way home, I (hands-free!) talked to my mom on the phone about everything I’ve been thinking about this past week. What it means for the country. For me.

I needed a snack when I got home. I made some microwave egg whites with American cheese, and started to have some pumpkin cereal when I realized I had lemon blueberry bread in the freezer (a baby piece!)

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Plus a piece of chocolate.


I wish you all the best this week!

3 comments on “The Aftermath

  1. Pingback: When You Feel Like a Potato | Fitness is Sweet

  2. Brittany

    I rarely comment on the blogs I read, but I feel compelled to tell you that I have had similar feelings after this election. I am especially glad that you brought up climate change. It is so important and I wish that it had been talked about more throughout the election. A few days out and I am still kind of in a state of disbelief, but starting to feel less, as you described, potato-like.

    1. astottler Post author

      I agree, I wish it had been discussed more. I know a lot of people who work with endangered species, and they are especially concerned about the future of these animals both in terms of climate change and in terms of conservation policy!

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