At the checkout line, a woman recognizes me and says, “It was your food and fitness column that made me go vegan! You’re the columnist from the Anna Maria Island Sun!” “No more,” I laughed. “They replaced me with a fishing column.” You can find my “Feasting on Fitness” column in the sports section of the archives.
4 years of writing the vegan column for free, and I suppose some of the fish restaurants and fitness studios who were advertisers had enough and complained. Frankly, when the publisher asked if I would do the column, I persisted, “Are you sure you want me to write a vegan column in a community where people ride around with bumper stickers that say, ‘I kill fish?'” I was assured he wanted his readers to be educated. He would often tell me how much my columns changed his life.
And then in the e-mail right after he said he was “firing” me “to do something different,” he wrote, “We could really use someone with your excellent writing skills to cover feature stories.” “Thanks, but no thanks,” I said. “Been there done that in 1975 in Columbia, Missouri where I got my j-school degree. In case you hadn’t noticed in the two books I wrote that I gave you, and all those columns, I kinda want to spend the rest of my life writing about the incredible benefits to humans and all animals by living a vegan lifestyle.” I knew a couple of weeks ago when he asked me if there was a difference between vegan and vegetarian that this would not have a good outcome.
I had always written the column thinking I would just use it for my blog and newsletter. But the truth is, it took me up to six hours a week to write and edit the column to the required 750 words. With all that I’m doing, I never had the time I needed to blog. Things work out for the best…I’m eager to “pay myself first,” as we used to say when I was a financial consultant. I’ll be using that time wisely here. I will attempt to put every relevant column here. The columns will live on here!
My cooking classes continue in the second week at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
Last week, the classes went so well, the community center asked if I would continue every Thursday through Easter. This Thursday, I’ll cook you lunch at noon with 3 of my recipes showing where I get my protein to do all that I do. Be sure tocall them to reserve your spot.
All I do includes getting my 65th 5K running race award this past weekend by placing first in my age group.
At races, they announce your age group, of course, when you receive the award. A woman came up to me afterwards reaching for my hair and stopped short of touching it, saying, “You are not 64 (that’s the oldest in the 60-64 age group).” “Nope, I’m 61,” I said. “But your skin,” she continued. “You have no wrinkles. No way you are 61! Must be that vegan diet.” Wish I had a dime every time I hear that. I always respond the same say, “Yup.” I smiled and waited for the questions. Another seed planted hopefully.
Finally, yes, I placed in another 5K race last Saturday. Yup, two weeks after running a marathon, and the week after that I placed second in my age group at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA 5K. The weekend before the marathon, I placed 1st in my age group at the Manatee County YMCA 5K at the count fairgrounds. That was a hoot, as you can see by the award pix.
And Paleo Vegan goes to press Friday…in time for the big Natural Health Expo West at the Annaheim Convention Center.
Gotta get ready for my cooking classes…Gotta run.