Summertime & the Living is Easy

Manatee_BeachMy husband and I love the Island in the summer. We venture out to restaurants and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle as the snowbirds allegedly enjoy their northern climes. Although, if any of you have friends or relatives up North and have been tracking this for decades like I have, you know that for the past few weeks, the temperatures here are 20 degrees cooler here than in the upper 49!

To watch the news, you would think that all of Colorado was burning. I was a little concerned as my book tour continued to be speaking and doing book signings at Colorado’s VegFest in Golden, just outside Denver. The nearest fire was 100 miles away, and with the rain I brought, the remaining big fires were doused.

The week before, I had spoken at five Whole Foods in four days in the Miami area. Before that, I was the headline speaker at vegetarian festivals in New Orleans, Hartford, New York, Boston, Seattle, Toronto and many more. My book came out just over a year ago, and what a year it has been. If you had told me two years ago that I would be doing this, I wouldn’t have believed you.

In Denver, as is usually the case, my publisher took me to the finest vegetarian restaurants. I posted photos of what I ate on my book facebook page, and immediately 10 people chimed in saying that was their favorite restaurant in Denver too. Later, I posted the question on my facebook page, “What is your most favorite vegan (nothing made with animals) movie that you would recommend to a friend who is thinking about making changes?” Within an hour I had 100 responses. I’m still getting responses.

It seems I’m getting as many inquiries these days about social media as I am about my book, personal training and coaching. While in Denver, my “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” facebook page topped 10,000 fans. In one year. That, I’m told, is huge.

I continue to run with the Suncoast Striders and Manatee High Cross Country runs. You would think it’s too hot to run. Many runners take the summer off or slow down. I’ve signed up for the Halloween Halfathon (half marathon) at St. Pete Beach.

Recently, my hubby sent me a story in the New York Times he thought I’d be interested reading called, “My Vegan Marathon.” When I saw the headline, I said, “Cool! Finally, maybe someone is planning a marathon with vegan food afterwards.” There is nothing worse post-race than seeing the dairy-industry funded, free chocolate milk cartons being given out. I’ve written that there’s no money in broccoli, and the “fluid milk” industry as it is called by the USDA, has organized seminars for coaches titled “Marketing chocolate milk to kids…the ideal recovery drink.” Gag. But as I read the article, I see that it is written by blogger Christine Frietchen who started by saying she was very disappointed with her New York Marathon times, so she decided to train eating a vegan diet. I’m reading along and almost fall off the chair. She wrote, “I met Ellen Jaffe Jones, a vegan running coach who at age 59 still runs eight-minute miles. When I asked her about meatless marathon training, she said, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing — lots of beans and whole grains.’” Christine went on, “I ran my next marathon with an improvement of more than an hour from my time nearly a decade ago…I felt great running a marathon fueled by a vegan diet.”

Holy guacamole. I traced Christine down on facebook and because she hadn’t identified herself as a reporter, I only vaguely remembered meeting her at New York’s VegFest. I loved the shoutout, and as a result, I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people who found me to ask me to coach them online…as a personal trainer and/or a running coach. With Skype and facetime, I can demonstrate proper form and they can show me what they are doing. I can correct form or offer ideas as if I was right there with them. Some clients just prefer e-mail and/or phone coaching. You’ll find me on the beach most mornings coaching several non-cyber personal training clients in Couch to 5K programs. No one eats full-time vegan, but they all are very curious.

You can follow Island resident Ellen Jaffe Jones on her Facebook page and keep up with her book:,“Eat Vegan on $4 a Day,” or her website: She is also a nationally certified personal trainer and running coach. For training in a gym or private hire in person or online, contact Ellen at