Tallahassee Vegetarian Community, aka TalVeg, is hosting the inaugural vegetarian festival in Tallahassee, The North Florida VegFest!
Having visited numerous vegetarian festivals, I am always impressed by the coordination that has to happen to bring one of these events to fruition. It’s a daunting task by any measure. So, naturally, my curiosity led me to speak with Julie Sutton, who is one of the many people who have put their heads together and volunteered their time and intellectual resources to make this event happen. And it is happening, this coming weekend, April 4th, at Cascade Park in downtown Tallahassee, Florida! Beginning at 11am, the event will last until 3pm. The weather promises light rain in the morning, drying off just in time to grace Tallahassee’s inaugural vegetarian festival with perfect 70 degree temperatures. It seems the gods are smiling!
Sponsored by Tallahassee Democrat (Platinum), Whole Foods and A Well-Fed World (Gold) and VegFund (Silver), this event will feature a stellar list of speakers who will present different aspects of a plant-based lifestyle from healthy eating to the humane issues of protecting our vulnerable animal friends. Presentations and cooking demonstrations will run throughout the day. Many of the speakers have authored books on their respective subjects and will man a book-signing tent between presentations, where books signed by their authors can be purchased for yourself or as gifts for loved ones. There will be children’s activities as well. You can check out the program schedule at this link.
And what would a vegetarian festival be without good food? Food vendors galore will be present at the festival, serving up healthy plant-based fare that will satisfy the most finicky palate. There is plenty to choose from. Restaurants making an appearance (in alphabetical order) are: Black Dog Café, Decent Pizza, Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine, Reggae Shack Café, Soul Vegetarian, and Sweet Pea Café.
Other vendors include animal rescue organizations, green and sustainable markets, a book publishing company, services including health, nutrition and exercise, energy balance practitioners, farm to table programs, artisan vegan cheeses, essential oils, and even an abstract artist. There will be something for everyone at this eclectic health-centric happening. If you’ve never visited a vegetarian festival, you’re in for a real treat.
If you are anywhere near the Tallahassee area, it will be worth your while to stop in between 11am and 3pm to check out what’s going on in downtown’s Cascade park. Ink it in on your calendars; it’s an annual event you’ll not want miss!
Most of us have heard of vegan icon, T. Colin Campbell, author of the controversial book The China Study, which has awakened a nation to the perils of a diet rich in animal protein. In virtually every plant-based venue, be it a vegan pot-luck, a lecture hall or a vegetarian festival, someone (more than likely several someones) will have a story about how reading The China Study was a pivotal point in their decisions to rid themselves of animal dietary products forever, embrace the restorative power of plants, and in the process have turned their flagging health around completely. The story is so commonplace it has become practically banal. We have flocked to his lectures, have attended his seminars and enrolled in his plant-based nutrition program offered by Cornell University. We follow him like star-struck groupies hoping he’ll see our raised hands in the audience and respond to our fevered appeals, “Dr. Campbell, Dr. Campbell…” LeAnne just calls him “Dad,” and commands his undivided attention.
Yesterday, in a crowded conference room at Whole Foods, in Charlotte, North Carolina, LeAnne Campbell regaled us with stories of raising her children on a plant-based diet, following her father’s guidelines. LeAnne’s expertise is in education, and it shows. She engaged the room not only by sharing her own travails but by eliciting experiences from attendees of how they were able to overcome the obstacles of raising children on a plant-based diet when the school systems of our country, our medical professionals, and our sports coaches just didn’t get it.
As is often the case, Campbell found herself preaching to the choir. Most of us were already dedicated vegans, ever thirsting for more information, something to give us a slight edge over our previous understanding of plant-based nutrition. We want validation that the choices we’ve made for ourselves are consistent with the growing body of scientific evidence that a plant-based diet is the optimal choice for humans of all shapes and sizes.
LeAnne’s area is food; how to make it so delicious that everyone enjoys it. She talks about how teaching children to cook awakens their imagination and she explains that “Children will always eat what they cook themselves.” She tells how one day she and her children prepared a dish that didn’t turn out so well. Nevertheless, they all ate some of it, evaluated it and came to the consensus together that “… it was just awful!” Campbell goes on to explain, “If I had made it, they wouldn’t have even made the attempt. They would have taken one bite and refused to eat anymore. But since they made it, they tried it, then tried it again and finally agreed that this dish just wasn’t going to work.”
LeAnne Campbell is author of two cookbooks, The China Study Cookbook and The China Study All-Star Collection, based on the exhaustive research of her father, as exemplified in “The China Study.” In her books you’ll discover a wealth of information and scores of hearty, delicious recipes to satisfy the most finicky eater. Plant food is good food, there’s no better way to say it. LeAnne makes a distinction between being vegan and adopting a whole foods plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. “You can have a very unhealthy vegan diet,” she says. “Lots of vegans eat nothing but processed foods and wonder why they are not getting healthier.” Campbell suggests staying away from processed foods and added oils, and limiting sugar and salt. Instead she recommends a diet of whole foods, as close to their natural state as possible, with minimal processing, such as beans, grains, and colorful fruits and vegetables.
Campbell also shared tips on shopping, how to create a menu and a proper shopping list so we do not purchase more than we will actually use in the coming week. This has been a habit she has passed on to her grown son, who is now in the position of having to prepare his own food on a tight budget. We discussed the cost of food and she fended questions on how one can afford to buy organic produce, eschewing pesticide-laden conventional produce and of course, those that have been genetically modified. One of the members of the audience, vegan fitness coach, Shabaka Amen, addressed this issue. “I tell my clients, if you don’t mind spending money on alcohol, you shouldn’t mind spending money on good food! It’s a lot cheaper than spending money on doctors. Being sick is expensive.” Amen to that Amen!
So, what’s next for LeAnne Campbell? She invites us to join her and her father, T. Colin Campbell, for a total health experience in the Dominican Republic, October 15-22. There you will learn from a host of scientists who will discuss why a whole foods plant-based lifestyle is the best diet for the prevention of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and protection of your bones, kidneys and eyes. The event is held in a 4-star all-inclusive resort and will include many perks. For more information visit their website,GlobalRoots, or email Leanne for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (919) 768-2836. Perhaps we’ll see you there!
Tallahassee Florida Celebrates First Annual North Florida VegFest April 4th In Cascade Park Downtown Tallahassee!
by CD Davidson-Hiers
Julie Sutton and I first met at 101 Restaurant in downtown Tallahassee. I had been put in contact with her as the coordinator for Tallahassee’s premiering VegFest, happening the weekend of April 4th. Julie, along with many other members of the Vegfest committee, were there that night as a social outing, a friendly gathering of vegans and vegetarians alike. The first questions asked were: how long have you been a vegan, and why did you switch?
Oftentimes, the vegan diet is stigmatized by the American public, so speaking with fellow vegans and vegetarians was a rewarding experience, merely in the openness of the conversation at the table. There were often nods, not of approval per se, but of “I’ve been there too, honey,” when talking about learning how to transition between differing diets.
This year’s VegFest will be Tallahassee’s first VegFestival, hosted at the beautiful location of downtown Cascades Park. “We’ve spent almost a year planning for the VegFest and it has taken a lot of persistence and dedication from the volunteers on the planning committee,” Julie Sutton wrote me in an email when I asked her what the preparations for the upcoming event entailed. “We started planning the event last spring and most of the promoting has been done through social media and by posting flyers around town.” Julie and the volunteers for the VegFest also took to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to spread awareness for the event. They were surprised by how quickly the group began to gain a support base. “Honestly, I think the event sells itself. I think people are hungry for an event like this is our area. VegFests are very popular around the country and I think people are becoming more aware of them.”
But what exactly is a VegFest? Well, it’s not what I immediately thought of, which entails a series of vegetables being trotted out for examination. And here I add to the stereotype of the plant-based interests. No, a VegFest is much like a Music Fest, where artists of the genre get together to draw the attention of their fans to one specific location. This location then becomes the area of celebration of an idea, or, in this case, a lifestyle.
There will be hosted speakers at the event who come bearing their knowledge, their passions, and their books. These speakers, these artists (to reflect back to the previous comparison), will be presenting their work, research, and experience with a plant-based lifestyle. I asked Julie how the group managed to gather enough attention to attract these speakers for the event.
“Danielle Bussone saw our event on Facebook and reached out to us right away to offer to speak at our VegFest. It’s obvious how passionate she is to spread her story of health to travel from Virginia to be here. We reached out to Ellen Jaffe Jones to ask her to be a speaker. She was willing to drive from South Florida to be here. Her bestselling books will be available for sale at the VegFest.” Two other speakers, Lee Sackett and Dr. Freddy Kaye, will also be in attendance at the festival.
And, of course, there will be food. Come for the food. “ We reached out to two local chefs, Jill Welch and Cynthia Cowen, and invited them to do cooking demonstrations,” Julie informed me. Information is always supplemented by a full belly, and what a way to connect with the people in the community: by sharing a meal.
There will be tents, tables, and chairs set up at the park, as well as microphones and speakers. The event will be held April 4th from 11am until 3pm. Come one, come all, and enjoy the secret art of vegan food, which, actually, is not much of a secret after all.
Fourteen years ago Rich and I moved to Butler, Tennessee, a small burg tucked away in the mountains of Appalachia with a population of less than 800. The best place to eat closed down years ago. It was a gas station/restaurant where, from a row of booths sandwiched between the gas pumps in the front and the garage in the rear of the store, one could enjoy a chili dog and at the same time shop for spark plugs or tampons while breathing in oil and gas fumes. A lot has changed since we first arrived. Now vegans, we would not longer consider eating a chili dog and the restaurants that served them are long gone. There is neither a grocery store nor a gas station in the area.
So imagine our disbelief when a colleague told me of an outstanding Italian restaurant in Doe Valley, not ten minutes from Butler proper. Of course we made a bee-line to LA CUCINA Italian Kitchen to check out this rumor for ourselves. Owner/chef, Matteo Torri, a native of Milano, Italy has created a cozy haven with first class cuisine smack dab in the middle of nowhere.
A little white house right off highway 67 between Butler and Mountain City, it was almost surreal to find some of the best Italian food we’ve eaten in ages. There are several plant-based options and Matteo is perfectly willing to whip up something special at a moment’s notice in a spotlessly clean open kitchen.
Slices of fresh house-made Italian ciabatta or focaccia bread are served with several dipping sauces including extra virgin olive oil with a pool of balsamic vinegar, and salsa verde — an incredible herb sauce made with blend of fresh parsley, garlic, vinegar and oil. There was a cheese sauce, as well as a dish of parmesan which, like good vegans, we pushed aside in favor of a spicy green chutney made from tomatillos, hot peppers and fresh herbs that was absolutely spectacular. This is a special dish prepared by Matteo’s wife Graciela, a native of Ecuador. Graciela doesn’t participate in the daily operation of the restaurant but she was behind the charming decor of LA CUCINA, helps to create recipes, and is responsible for many of the small tasks that go unseen and largely unappreciated.
The service is provided by Janie, who reminds me a lot of country singer Dolly Parten. She and her daughter, Sissy, remind us with their warm southern drawls that we have not actually been transported to Italy. They wrap their guests in a blanket of good old southern hospitality where everyone is made to feel right at home.
One thing to keep in mind is that LA CUCINA Italian Kitchen is a cash or local check only establishment. To keep operating expenses down and prices affordable in these volatile economic times, Matteo does not accept credit cards.
On the day we arrived, there were no vegan appetizers so we opted for a fresh house salad. Matteo has developed relationships with local farmers who use organic farming practices, and it shows. The salad is comprised of several types of lettuces, olives imported from Italy, fresh red and green onions and huge chunks of fruity Mr. Stripey tomatoes, a local favorite. There is no way to get this kind of flavor from conventionally grown produce. The vinaigrette is a simple combination of vinegar and a high-quality olive oil. The same applies to the Tuscan soup, bursting with flavors of fresh herbs and gently cooked vegetables and legumes. Incredible!
Rich ordered Orecchiette, “little ears” or small pasta shells tossed in garlic and olive oil with fresh asparagus and shiitake mushrooms. Delicately understated, the flavor of the vegetables dominate the plate leaving a hint of garlic lingering on the tongue. The pastas served at LA CUCINA are Italian imports as well as the olives, olive oil and tomatoes.
It’s polar opposite, I had the puttanesca, a luscious plate of linguini tossed with roasted tomatoes, black olives, capers, green onions and fresh basil sautéed in olive oil. Perfect in every detail, the sauce was so flavorful I had to order more bread to clean the plate.
A favorite at LA CUCINA is Matteo’s Ravioloni & Truffle Porcini, porcini mushrooms and Italian truffles sautéed in a butter-sage sauce. It is vegetarian, not vegan, there is a little ricotta cheese in the stuffing. You can have it prepared in olive oil-sage rather than the butter sauce.
Another dish, which is a dish Matteo grew up eating in his home, is the Linguine Al Pomodoro — linguine tossed in a simple tomato basil sauce.
For dessert we were presented with a refreshing raspberry sorbetto with lemon mint. It tasted like fresh raspberries and was the perfect finish for a delightful meal.
Matteo and Graciela moved to this area three years ago and have made this little village of Doe Valley their home. The restaurant closes down for the months of January and February when the couple returns to Italy to stock up on many of the special ingredients Matteo uses to prepare his signature dishes at LA CUCINA Italian Kitchen.
With winter’s ravages behind us, LA CUICINA is open once again, and come Wednesday, Rich and I will be waiting in the parking lot for the doors to fly open, to be greeted by Matteo’s welcoming smile, and the aromas of authentic Italian cooking ushering in the spring. It promises to be a great season!
by Kate Strong
Nutrition is a key building block for everyone. We really are what we eat!
In the past, when I ate more processed foods, such as bought patties, pasta, potato chips, biscuits etc. I noticed my energy levels varied quite dramatically: initially I felt a buzz from the processed food and full of energy. My thoughts, however, jumped around and quite scattered. Shortly afterwards, maybe 30-90 minutes later, I’d feel sluggish, tired and unmotivated. I’d also start feeling hungry again.
My old food was filling me, but not fulfilling me.
Today, with better knowledge and understanding how food can work with, or against, your body, I eat only plant-based wholefoods that are rich in all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and energy I require to maintain my active lifestyle.
As an endurance athlete, the weeks leading to an Ironman triathlon, I am training upwards of 30 hours a week. I do not want to lose energy from eating hollow foods.
The vast majority of ‘sport’ fuels available in stores and on-line are high in refined sugar and are highly processed. Most athletes struggle to consume, and rarely enjoy, these products, be it in the form of gels, bars or liquid powder.
I personally find that after 2-3 hours of training, or competing, and relying on these processed ‘sports foods’, I start to feel nauseous, my mouth feels dry and I struggle to continue eating more of the same even though I know I will run out of energy if I stop eating.
This got me thinking: There has to be an alternate and healthier way to meet my energy requirements. Upon seeking advice from plant-based cyclist, she recommended me to read the book Thrive by Brendan Brazier. Brendan is an ex-professional Ironman triathlete and has been 100% fuelled by plants since the age of 15.
This inspired me to have the confident to start playing in the kitchen with the intention to create a palatable high-fuel alternative for my multiple-hour sessions.
Below is my favorite recipe for a bar that I use during my competitions:
Sweet Sesame Snack
150g almond meal
150g sesame seed
75g chia seed
75g agave nectare
50g tahini (unhulled)
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
Roll out ingredients and cut into bite-size squares (you can roll them into balls if preferred)
Place in air-tight container in fridge for 2-3 hours until firm
To hold my food on my bicycle, I use a bag strapped to the frame, as shown in the picture.
by Kate Strong, World Champion, Long-distance Women’s Triathlon
The Importance Of A Great S-T-R-E-T-C-H Routine
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going – Jim Ryun
I am a sucker for books, not downloaded content from iTunes or on your kindle, but the real paper variety. I love visiting independent bookshops and scrolling through the titles randomly selecting my next companion for my trips, to sit loyally on my bedside table and sneak into my handbag whilst out dining alone. I adore the smell of a new book as I turn the first page and the feeling of a well-loved book where the stains and marks on the pages are as completing a story as the content.
I digress… I’m losing myself in another passion!
What never ceases to amaze me is the number of self-help books available in the book stores. It seems almost daily there is a new author and title promising great transformation in just 30-days. The area of your life promised to change varies wildly; from weight management, career, relationship with your partner or children… Whatever complication in life, there is a book to assist.
What drew my attention to these books, is the vast majority of their content speaks of one commonality: they all focus of a set period of time to break an old habit and introduce a new and hopefully better one.
This got me thinking about what actions I wanted to create as second nature that would enrich my life. Could I add a task to my daily routine that would benefit me?
Currently, I wake up, check social media on my phone (terrible, I know!), shower, brush my teeth and get dressed almost on auto-pilot; why not add a 10-minute task that will benefit my body to this routine? Social media is checked automatically, and I have only had an on-line presence for 3 years, so there must have been a day without this sub-conscious action…
One area I know I lack the willpower to complete regularly is stretching. The jury is still out whether your muscles greatly benefits from stretching. Some articles state that dynamic stretching is required, or stretching after exercise because the muscles are warm, or static stretching 15 minutes prior to exercise… the variables are endless. It is easy to get lost in the research and justify doing nothing!
I personally feel a benefit from stretching. I do feel more flexible and when I stretch regularly, I notice an improvement in overall flexibility, which might reduce the possibility of sustaining an injury. Using this motivation, I have created a 10-minute stretching routine that I can do pretty much anywhere and don’t require any equipment.
The ten stretches focus on the main muscles used in swimming, cycling and running; which covers your whole body pretty much!
The key is to carry out these stretches daily for 30-days and instill this activity as routine; something I complete without thinking and with minimal effort.
Are you going to take up the 30-day stretching challenge with me? Please let me know how you did!
by CD Davidson-Hiers
Ukrainian East Village is situated off 2nd Avenue in New York City, down a starched white hallway and around a corner to the left. On the right is a sign leading to the bathrooms down a set of stairs where the air sits cool, anticipating. The double doors to the restaurant are wood, which open into a room that, true to its name, is similar to a small village where diners can enjoy food as close to the Ukrainian original as possible.
We waited for a moment before being escorted to a table where we were handed menus full of options: pierogis, kasha varnishkes, blintzes, and nalysnykys. We referred to wikipedia more than once to determine the ingredients of the Ukrainian staples. Though this restaurant did not have any listed vegan meals, there were a couple vegetarian options that the chef, on Christmas Day when the restaurant was slam-packed full of festivity-seekers, was more than happy to tailor to suit our vegan requirements.
Danielle ordered the Ukrainian borscht, served warm, with beets, carrots, red kidney beans, and very little oil. I had a taste of the soup and wished I had a larger stomach to justify ordering a second round. I ate the vegetable soup which had its own flavorful taste, but lacked the heartiness of the borscht. The vegetables in my soup were primarily green, topped with a sprinkle of dill in a warm vegetable broth. It was a filling first course that went well with the bread served.
There were two types of bread served in a bread basket. One was reminiscent of sweet French bread, but was light and fluffy with a brown exterior. The other type was more of a darker, wheat color with a sharper taste. Both went very well with the soups.
The meals were of a variety. The carnivores in our group catered to their meat palate by ordering pierogis stuffed with meat and a ruben with fries. The vegan meals were delicious and tailored to our dietary needs, as we had told the waitress that we followed certain dairy and meat restrictions. The kitchen was more than willing to cater to our needs, customizing their vegetarian meals so that the food did not include butter, milk, or cheese. Danielle ordered mushroom and rice stuffed cabbages that I followed suit in requesting. We also asked that the mushroom sauce over the cabbages be replaced by a tomato sauce so we avoided the dairy cream. It was served with kasha (made from buckwheat and tasting slightly of black-eyed peas) that was a substitution for the mashed potatoes the meal usually comes with. Rich ate a potato patty stuffed with cabbage and carrots (or, perhaps, sweet potatoes) with a lightly breaded, lightly seared outside. The patty was the best meal of all the things we ordered, and I’m tempted to go back for several more to take home.
This place was a life-saver. We had been trekking through the streets of New York City searching for a certain restaurant called Veselka that had been recommended by a family we had met earlier on the ferry over from Staten Island. They raved about the food Veselka served, but when we arrived, the cook informed us that they had no food lacking in dairy or meat products. Turned away and hungry, we found the sign for Ukrainian East Village and followed the arrows inside.
Though we could not offer a 100 percent guarantee that none of the foods there were prepared with dairy, we took the waitress’s word for it, could not detect flavors of animal products in our food, and none of us suffered the after-effects of ingesting animal products.
Here is the video of how to make Paper Masala Dosa from Dosa Garden in Staten Island. We hope to have the full recipe posted soon.
How To Speed Up Recovery
by Kate Strong, World Champion, Long-distance Women’s Triathlon
It is many athletes’ dream to win every race they enter. Unfortunately, there are many stories where sportspeople lose their way and turn to illegal enhancers to gain that extra edge over their competitors and a higher possibility of winning.
Personally, I feel any person who turns to illegal drugs to win is missing the point of why we compete in the first place.
Yes, it is great to earn a podium position, but the primary drive to compete should be to better ourselves not to amass gold medals. In every race I enter, I am competing to be the best I can be and if that merits a podium finish then great; it’s the icing on the vegan cake! If not, then at least I know that I delivered my A-game and there just so happened to be someone better out there on the day. Entering a race knowing I’ve cheated defeats the objective of competing and why I am on this sporting journey. In essence, I would see the victory as hollow as I would have cheated myself first and foremost.
In saying that, I am constantly striving to improve myself and discover the most effective (and legal) way of achieving that small edge over my competitors by assessing my daily physical, mental and nutritional routine.
It seems the main difference between professional athletes and us ‘regular competitors’ isn’t necessarily the number of hours they train weekly, but the amount of time they can spend resting. It seems that winners don’t train more; they rest more.
By reviewing my lifestyle and comparing it to the lifestyle of a professional, I’ve highlighted four main areas that I can apply to allow my body to recover quicker after a hard day training.
By soaking our legs in ice water, or cool water with Epson salts, for 10-15 minutes increases blood flow to our legs activating muscle repair quicker than doing nothing at all. If I’m near the ocean, I cheat and use a local salt bath: the ocean!
2. Sleep or Rest
Our body repairs itself during sleep. If your lifestyle doesn’t permit sneaky afternoon siestas or regular early nights, the next best thing is to reduce the amount of physical activity you carry out during the day: rest or sit down more, walk slower and avoid doing more sport.
3. Stretch or Recovery Training
After a workout, our muscles contract and restrict blood flow which, in turn, reduces the speed of recovery for our body. After a workout, I follow a quick stretching routine that covers the main muscles I use during triathlon. If I am unable to stretch due to time limitations, I ensure within 24 hours, I carry out light recovery training in the same sport the next day.
What we eat within 30 minutes after exercise is of paramount importance. Eating a high protein meal or snack in this 30-minute window stimulates muscle regrowth and repair.
To put into action the above, I have to get organized. Leaving preparation to last-minute invariable meant I either carry out everything too late, or not bother as I’m too tired.
The key is planning. Every Monday, I sit down and write my shopping list. That same evening I bulk-cook and portion the food to ensure it is sufficient for all my training sessions that week.
For sustenance, I created some delicious vegan recipes for a quick and easy protein fix including chia seeds, quinoa, salad or beans. These are available at Strong Kate!
Until next time… Enjoy!
Getting Fit 2015! We Are Never Too Old To Become The Persons We Were Always Meant To Be. Take The Challenge – It’s Time For Change!
I was healthy until I wasn’t. When a surgeon inadvertently severed a crucial part of my anatomy during a procedure he assured me he could “do in his sleep,” my life plummeted into an abyss of illness and infirmity. For six years I was on a roller coaster of pain, medications, multiple surgeries, complications, and near-death experiences. Thanks to discovering plant-based nutrition I was able to give my body the nutritional support it needed, which allowed me to hang on until a final procedure, performed by a talented group of surgeons from Florida Hospital in Orlando, repaired the problem. Finally I am able to live a normal life. While not entirely pain free, I am at a point where my life is manageable and I no longer need antibiotics just to stay alive.
After years of relative inactivity and with my 60th birthday come and gone, I am looking forward to doing things I could never dream of six years ago, when I needed help from my 94-year old friend just to shop for groceries! With my 61st birthday only two weeks away I thought, “What better way to celebrate the new year than to run a marathon!” Then my better judgement stepped in and scolded, “Baby steps, Danielle, baby steps!” OK, then, a half-marathon.
Inspired by VOAA’s new writer, CD Davidson-Hiers, a fit and sassy 20-year old triathlete with a wealth of knowledge about training to prevent injury, and our own Kate Strong, 2014 World-Champion Long-Distance Triathlete, I have decided to give it my best shot! With ever-game husband, Rich, and my two beloved monsters, Coal and Phoenix, at my side and our friend Dave Corman coming to train with us periodically, we are signing up for the Roanoke half-marathon on March 1st! According to some running manuals we are exploring, we have just enough time to train safely if we begin right away!
There are some caveats to this plan. My legs have atrophied to an alarming extent and I have some physical obstacles to overcome. I have a rod in my leg from a ski injury 15 years ago, in which I also compromised the cartilage in my right foot. I am hoping with gentle training, my foot and leg will hold up. Also, before we begin the program outlined in the manual, we have to already be capable of running 3 miles. So… I have until Sunday, January 11th, to get up to three miles or I have to scale back my goal to complete a 10K run, rather than the 13.1 mile half-marathon. It’s all good! Baby steps, Danielle, baby steps! If my foot fails entirely, we’ll switch to swimming and biking. There is always something we can do!
Join me in a commitment to make 2015 our healthiest year ever! Let’s turn back the clock on aging. We never know when our lives will be snatched away from us so let’s grab all the joy and love and radiant health our bodies and souls will allow while we are still on this amazing ride called life! Let 2015 be the year we prove that age is just a number; that we are still capable of running, dancing, swimming, and having fun in bodies created for expressing boundless energy, enthusiasm and joy. What the heck are we waiting for! Let’s DO IT!