Back From the Almost Dead
We all get the same 24 hours in a day. Frankly, blogging is right up there with learning how to meditate, which I am now being forced to do. Yes, I know. They’re both really good to do. But I’d sooner watch paint dry than do either of them. Time is our most precious commodity, and if I’m going to chain myself to a chair, there’d better be some benefit. I’ve had the experience of taking an hour to write, post and then see only a few people read and/or like it. I see this with others who I know have a large following elsewhere. When I can spend a lot less time creating and posting on other platforms like Instagram, Facebook or You Tube, blogging has always felt like a colossal waste of time.
As an author of 6 books that gets me invites speaking at vegfests all over, I have a wild travel and work schedule I love. Along with trying to maintain training as a nationally ranked sprinter and frequent age group winner of local 5K races almost every weekend, I’m pretty maxed out. I got a gold medal at the National Senior Games in my age group in the 4×100 meters 2 months ago, and placed 10th in the US in the 1500 and 800 meters. I won’t bore you with the amount and kind of training and time it takes to do that.
As I’m fond of saying, and even branded it, #runningismyactivism. 😉 Why? Because every time I’m on the podium placing in my age group after the race, wearing my neon yellow “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” running tank top, (which I usually shed before or during the race to deal with Florida heat and humidity), by default my protein-rich muscles and vegan message shirt are in a whole lot of other photos and spread all over social media. The other winners in my age group share to their peeps both on and off social media, and the race site may have thousands of others searching endlessly to find their mug on the race websites and social media. So the message gets out there far and wide that vegans get plenty of protein, energy, stamina, and recovery to do it all over again. It’s just that simple.
This may be the most long-winded excuse to say why I haven’t been blogging, oh, I don’t know, in years! But more and more peeps say I should revisit it, and that I should use that ability to crank out words like a never-ending oil spill in the nearby Gulf of Mexico. And it is because I care about the environment and the legacy that we are leaving to the next generation that motivates me to do one more thing, if possible, to try to bring as many people to the vegan table before it is too late. Some say it already is. If you’re a student of science, it’s hard to look at all the “facts” out there and put on a happy face. But I have three daughters. And even if you don’t have children (which may be a really good thing considering what the next generation is going to have to do to deal with the train wreck heading their way), doing the right thing is so important.
Have You Been Called a Cult Member?
While my family of origin thought I was a cult member/black sheep for my healthy lifestyle choices, especially the vegan part of it, I have four cousins who have gone vegan after I got woke. They grew up seeing the same preventable suffering in our family…the breast cancer that struck my mom, aunt and both sisters (we became part of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene studies), and the heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers that got them too. Some had all of those diseases and more! As the youngest in my family, I was deprived of their closeness from their medical absences, but had a lifetime to figure out what I didn’t want to suffer from, to the extent I could control it.
I have long chats with one of my dear cousins who went vegan and has been a close friend since childhood. During his trips from hundreds of miles away to our home, we talked till all hours of the night when we were kids. There was no social media back then, but to this day, it’s almost never a short convo when talk about the issues of the day. He has reminded me that we come from a family where money was not at all important but sticking to core values, ethics and morals was key. While our relatives were so sick, so much so that my cousin’s father dropped dead of a heart attack at 57, many of them spent their adult lives in public service and volunteer work, despite a rich and active family and business life. They supported each other and we all had plenty of time to see that living life with passion and purpose creates no finer paycheck.
The Time is Now
If you haven’t already, I hope that you find your passion and purpose especially as it relates to answering that elusive reason for living. The animals and the planet need us more than ever. Figuring out how you serve that purpose as an activist in your own way and enjoy what life has to offer in the meantime, despite the mayhem around us, remains the challenge of our lives.
I’ll close with asking your forgiveness for not blogging. I have close to two dozen social media pages I admin between Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and my website. Blogging, like meditation (doing the latter these days to try to reduce my stress levels) are now enjoying a comeback in my life, and I promise to do better.
Let me know what you think, and any topics or questions you’d like me to explore. I haven’t lost my reporter’s righteous indignation and investigative prowess. My books have allowed me to put that University of Missouri School of Journalism degree to good use. It is indeed, a degree that keeps on giving. Many of us graduates, after spending decades in TV news, feared life beyond the glamour and lights of newsrooms. But I work harder and enjoy this “work” now, more than ever did then. And getting 2 Emmys and watching some crooks go to jail after my stories was pretty rewarding.
The animals can’t offer their thanks. But part of maturity is recognizing you don’t need an award or even a pat on the back to know that you are part of the solution and making a difference. Go for it!
I am committed to being vegan, but it is not easy in my area (Daytona Beach area). Like you, I am a senior runner (although not at your level) I have no family, friends or coworkers who are vegan. I was recently reading about the Liberation Pledge about vegans refusing to eat with people if animals were being eaten at the same table. If I did that, I would only eat alone. It is not easy, but will keep “fighting the fight”. At least I can continue to get inspiration from you and others on social media. Keep up the good work!
Thank you so much for the kind words, Cathy! I know it is difficult to go this way alone. I would encourage you to check out local meet-up groups if you have not. There are several in our area that are active and plan get-togethers at restaurants and beaches just to have that social connection. All the best to you!
Thanks, Ellen, for taking the time and effort to blog… we all need encouragement. When you share your travel/event experiences with us, it boosts our resolve to ‘keep on keepin’ on’! And, like you, every day when we get up, and look in the mirror, and are mindful of all the many health benefits we are reaping from our lifestyle, we are thankful for coaches like you!
Appreciate the kind words, Susan! The more I see how much is needed to get the word out, the more I’m inspired to do it. Corporate interests really control the messages and who sees them. So all any of us can do is to continue to try to lead by example. I’m in a class right now where I’m the only person without a stent or a by-pass. Everyone who has stuck with the class for 6 weeks has seen phenomenal results, and they’re all SO angry that doctors didn’t given them the information about a whole foods plant-based diet before now. We have so much work to do…every one of us! Thanks again!
Thank you for your awesome continuing work to spread the vegan message. You are making a difference!
Hi Ellen, I read your testimonial in Dr. Goldner’s latest book, ‘Good-bye Auto-immune disease’. Thank you for that inspiration! A burning question I have for you…I cannot find any info on long time vegan women and bio-identical hormone replacement. Have you any thoughts on this? Thank you!
Hi Shelly…Given that I’m only a certified personal trainer and certified running coach, and not a doctor, or healthcare professional of any kind, I really don’t have any experience on that, nor am I qualified to have an opinion. Probably be best to check in with one of the many vegan doctors.
Thank you for your impressive blog. It was very helpful. I am so happy I came across this.
Sorry, I did not get an email notification this comment had posted. Thanks so much for the kind words and glad to hear it’s been helpful!
Hi Ellen, I just bought, and read Dr. Goldner’s book Goodbye autoimmune. Very interesting. I am 73 years old and have had rheumatoid arthritis for 26 years.
I am vegan but do eat marinated, smoked tofu, some vegan cheese and wheat and gluten free bread. Bars made from dates, cashews ,.coconut .
I so want to be free from the dreadful inflammation and pain of a terrible flare I am having. I cannot, find , in the Dr’s book the recovery diet she, refers to . Ok, I get the high greens and high raw. But what exactly does 75% of greens mean please?
What is the exact weight we need to put in the smoothie. I have a 2 litre vitamix.
What amount of raw veg are we required to eat? Do we eat these veggies with a homemade dip? No salt, oil or sugar. Are we only supposed to eat an all raw diet for 6 weeks or are we supposed to eat a cooked vegan meal at some point?
Does her first book, Goodbye Lupus outline the required way to eat, needed for recovery or not?
I think the Dr. Is brilliant and obviously very kind to offer all she does. I know that the opportunity to join her and her husband’s 6 week recovery course is available but I certainly cannot afford the cost of it.
Lastly is your book on vegan fitness a realistic book for someone of my age to work with cardio and weights, as I cannot, get on the floor. I really would appreciate your input.
Hi Barbara…Thanks for your questions and so sorry you are going through so much suffering. Her first and second books go into great detail about the protocol, which is what I followed. Since I’m not a doctor or a registered dietician, I have to be careful about recommending any specific way of eating for a specific condition. Yes, the first book goes into detail. The second book is just the recipes. I don’t vary much when I make my smoothies though…especially since kale is such a powerhouse. I can share with you what I did, and what still do. I grind my flax or chia seeds fresh every day…was doing 1/2 cup, now 1/4-1/2 cup in the Vitamix. Then stuff the blender with greens…usually kale…all the way up to the top squished down. Then add 2 frozen bananas, a pear (helps to neutralize the bitterness if there is any from the kale), and whatever plant milk and/or water I have on hand. I used to drink all that every day. Now that the symptoms are gone, I spread that out over 2 days. And if I miss a day or two, generally, the symptoms don’t come back. Hope that helps!
Hi again Ellen,
Thankyou for sharing your smoothie recipe. Appreciate that?
I am still, sorry about this, confused as to if, apart from the smoothies, the 6 week recovery diet is also to only eat raw 100% as well, as the smoothies.
I don’t have an issue with that. I would just love to know what, we are expected to eat as well as the smoothies.
Eat raw salads with carrots, beets, cucumber, celery. Honestly, I have read, and reread her book goodbye autoimmune Ellen, and I cannot find this information.
Of course, I know that she runs a 6 week course called rapid recovery, with her husband.
I applaud both of them for doing so. I am not, in a position to have the sort of budget to be part of that. Maybe, that is, the only way to discover the whole, complete and precise, details of her healing regime.
If that is the case then I need to just do the smoothies and eat raw salads and hope that brings relief. Thankyou for your time. Stay well and happy.
Kind regards Barbara