When we go running or are otherwise out and about, it is not uncommon for people to ask if we are twins. Sometimes we have fun saying yes but even when we tell the truth it is ironic to think about how even though we are 3.5 years apart in age, we really are like twins in many aspects. We both share a passion for exercise (running in particular), love devouring hoards of vegan food, and tend to know what each other is thinking, even if we don’t express it aloud. We’ve even joked that if we had a cooking show no one would really know what was going on because we don’t need to vocalize what we want each other to do.
For us, this blog is about sharing tasty food recipes, healthy living, meeting new friends and staying in contact with each other. Feel free to ask questions, offer input and share stories because we’d love to hear them!
But first, a little about each of us:
I never actually realized that I am a ‘health freak’ until Elysia pointed it out to me. Sure, I knew that what I like to eat is mostly healthy and that doing so, as well as working out, makes me feel my best. However, I never really thought that much about it until she said something. In college and before, I thought that I was living a healthy lifestyle but looking back now, I realize that my choices during those years weren’t the best and I definitely didn’t earn my ‘health freak’ status until becoming a vegetarian and later a vegan, as well as adding a lot more fitness to my life. In fact, after studying abroad in Australia my junior year of college (where I drank a lot of beer without working out much), I was about 40 pounds heavier than I am right now.
Upon returning to the U.S. I took a nutrition class which made me think more about the food that I was consuming. I also read ‘Skinny Bitch’ around that time and it, along with other articles, books and films, changed how I ate. Films like Food, Inc. definitely solidified my decision, as well as my love for animals. I never really thought about the connection between the hamburger that I was consuming and the living animal that it came from. Once I consciously considered the source of my food, I realized that my actions and what I perceived myself to believe, were in opposition of each other.
What else can I say about me? Well I graduated from the College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University in May of 2009 with a BA in Psychology and set off to volunteer for AmeriCorps in Charleston, West Virginia. My year at Covenant House was both rewarding and challenging and left me with some great friends and experiences overall. To anyone who is thinking about volunteering for AmeriCorps, I highly recommend it. I grew a lot as a person and learned from some of the most intelligent and creative people who I have ever met.
While in WV, I also taught spinning classes and started training to run much longer distances than I had ever thought possible. I played rugby, footy (while in Australia) and IM volleyball in college but never enjoyed the running part of it all. I ran the Charleston Distance run that fall and started training for my first marathon which took place back in Minnesota once I returned. The Twin Cities Marathon was great! There is so much crowd support and the course was fantastic. I am currently training for marathon number two, which will be in Omaha at the end of the month. I would love to someday be able to say that I ran a marathon in each state, but that is quite a ways off! I used to hate running but once I started I quickly became addicted and love it now. I also have found a love for Hot Yoga and am pretty much up to trying any new fitness experience.
Aside from eating and working out (well..what else really is there to talk about? 😉 ), I currently working as a Manager at the Running Room. We sell running shoes, apparel and accessories and I get to talk about running all day with customers who come in. We have run clubs and clinics to teach people how to run distances from just starting out, to marathon training. I also am teaching cycling classes at Torque Studio Cycle in Woodbury. Come take a class! It’s a lot of fun from beginning riders to the advanced alike.
Since becoming vegan I have learned so much more about food and what it can provide you, and have gotten much more creative in the kitchen because of it! I hope we can provide you with some great stories, recipes, running tips and inspiration.
My name is Elysia and I am addicted to vegetables (insert your supportive “welcome Elysia” here.) I became vegan about four years ago at the start my senior year of high school. I would like to at least partially credit my non-meat lifestyle to the book, “Skinny Bitch” where Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin’s less than passive take on eating meat really made me think. I decided that I no longer would participate in the carnivorous snacking on living beings that have rights and emotions just like you and I.
Since becoming vegan not only has my passion for animal rights grown exponentially, but I have also learned there are many other benefits associated with veganism. Seeing as many of you reading our lovely blog are probably vegans or vegetarians yourself, I will refrain from hopping on my soapbox for the next hour or so, unless of course you would like me to! Which in that case I will warm up my calf muscles, take a leap up there, and inform you of the awesome powers you could hold by adopting the vegan lifestyle. And no I am not insane, these powers I speak of are not of the supernatural but instead, you can have control over your own heart health, weight, emotional well-being, and not to mention Mother Nature will thank you!
Enough on that, for now at least! Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of what makes me, well, me. First a little bit of background info, I am currently a senior in college and my major is, wait for it, Dietetics! Big shocker there, huh? After graduating I hope to take my nutritional knowledge and either market the benefits of being vegan or I would enjoy working in a health club as a Registered Dietitian.
Aside from my love for animals and the environment I also really enjoy running! In high school I was in volleyball and track but only considered myself a sprinter and hurdler. If you would have told me I would be on my way to completing a marathon in four years I would have thought you were nuts! But, lo and behold I have now completed my first full marathon and several half marathons. Running is such a great way to get away from the stress of life and escape your responsibilities for a few hours. It has also provided me with a few funny stories that I will happily pass along as they occur!
So before this turns into a novel, which it is quickly becoming, I would like to talk about a few of my favorites. PEANUT BUTTER =) I would have to say aside from chocolate, this is my favorite food ever. To be specific I absolutely looovvee “White Chocolate Wonderful” peanut butter from All Natural Peanut Butter & Co. I could literally eat an entire jar then try my hardest to lick the rest off of the container itself. A few of my favorite non-sweet items would have to be Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Tempeh Reuben’s which will absolutely make an appearance on our blog.
Anyway, I hope we did a good job of getting you excited for recipes and posts to come, as there will be many! Since I am currently very busy with school and waitressing, Charissa will be doing the majority of the posting for a while, but I will definitely try to post as much as time allows!