Gratitude for Good Weather and More

The weather has been amazing the past few weeks. My old reporter-anchor memories came reeling back as I looked at the radar images in most of the states above Florida. A reminder that I don’t work for the Chamber of Commerce. But for those who live in warm climes, I bet you’re as glad as I am to be right here in Paradise.

I have never seen such a large splotch of pink on a radar map. It had nothing to do with breast cancer and everything to do with massive ice storms. And some snow behind it for good measure.

I was reminded how much I don’t miss working in Des Moines where I spent 18 long torturous months when I first started my 18 years of TV news. That’s why when a job offer came up to work as a primetime anchor in Salt Lake City, or “just” a lowly reporter in Miami, I didn’t hesitate for a second.

That worked out for a lot of reasons mainly because I would meet my husband who shares with me our love of Florida. And one just can’t help but love Florida even more looking at the weather radar map.

It seems everywhere with this week people were talking about it. From the half marathon I did last week, to the 10K (6.1 miles) on Sunday– everybody was so grateful. The opening pre-race comments included, “Thank your lucky stars and moons you’re here.”

If you happen to be reading this from someplace other than Florida, and bad weather has you thinking about visiting here soon, just do it!

paleobookIf you’re going to be here in February, you could plan them around my Thursday cooking classes. They will be at the Anna Maria Island Community Center on all four Thursdays February starting at noon. The cooking series called, “A Taste of Vegan,” will feature recipes from my books. I just found out that one of our local stores, “Fresh Market,” will be providing the food for the recipes I’ll be cooking for the classes. Many authors find they don’t have enough time to teach cooking classes. I taught cooking classes as a trained instructor for Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine’s The Cancer Project for 6 years before my first book came out. Then I found I just didn’t have the time to meet the required number of classes per year. Given that I live in a very snowbird, seasonal community that triples in size between January and April, and that the class schedule was regulated, our audiences at the community center and YMCA wanted new recipes. Now that I’m teaching cooking classes on my own, I can vary the menu as much as my creativity will allow. Since the February classes are in the middle of prime tourist season, I’m inviting attendees to stay for an immersion weekend following each class, if enough people let me know they’re interested. I’ll post the schedule and menu soon. Reservations must be made with the Anna Maria Island Community Center to hold your spot.

If you have always been curious about what it’s like to eat vegan food this will be your chance. The classes are incredibly cheap. I am charging enough to hopefully the food expenses and the fee that goes to the community center for turning on the lights and washing the floor which as you can imagine, is pretty nasty after a cooking class.

So be sure if you want space in the class to make a reservation with the community center. You can alos find out more about my classes and on another page of this website.

A couple of milestones to report.

The title of my third book was announced by my publisher…. “Paleo Vegan.”

I was surprised since I live in the fitness world, that so many people don’t know about the Paleo concepts that have swept the country and Amazon the last few years. Basically, Paleo is healthier version of high protein diets of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It eliminates dairy and is based on the concept of what our ancestors ate in Paleolithic times. I always ask that question of my audiences, “What did our ancestors eat? What did Mother Nature intend?” Unlike some of the Paleo authors, I don’t believe that we were more hunters than gatherers. The concept goes back to the Paleolithic time from 10,000 to about 1.5 million years ago. But since there weren’t any cameras then, no one really knows for sure what humans were eating. Buffalo and other wildlife didn’t come strolling into the backyard very often. And they weren’t easy to catch and lasso when they did.

trophyThe other milestone was that I placed in my 62nd 5K race or longer since 2006. I got my 4th Senior Grand Masters award at the Suncoast Striders Heritage Harbour 10K in Bradenton… not just the usual 5-year age group award, but the 10-year category from 60-69 as well.

The only other female older than me, won the Veteran Grand Masters award. Sandra Webber, who as it turns out, told me a few races ago when we paced each other, that she too, eats vegan (nothing with a mother or face). Many athletes find that a vegan diet enhances performance and speeds in recovery. Gotta run!


Ellen Jaffe Jones is a certified personal trainer, running coach and vegan lifestyle coach. She is the author of “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day,” “Kitchen Divided,” and can be reached at for availability.—From the Anna Maria Island Sun