Wow! It has been exactly one year today since I made the switch to a strict vegan diet and I have never felt healthier (both physically and mentally).  What better way to celebrate than with a healthy treat!  The first thing that usually comes to mind for me when I think “treat” is chocolate (I guess that is where my daughter gets it from).  I decided to make one of my yummy smoothies.  Since I love orange chocolate I decided to blend up the following: 

1 cup fresh orange juice
1 banana
2 heaping tablespoons of raw cacao powder

You can add anything else to liven this sucker up, but I was going for simplicity.

So simple, yet so decadent!


One of the reasons I love running early in the morning is for that quiet, calmness of the start of the day (and by early I mean somewhere between 5:00 and 6:30).  Everything is so peaceful and you are able to enjoy wildlife (deer, rabbits, water fowl, turtles, and oh yes my favourite – skunks) like you could not on a busy trail later in the day.  You also do not have to worry about running down a busy street while having every second or third car honking or playing chicken with you.

When I was out for my long run early this past Saturday morning, there was a group of people up ahead who had a beautiful Weimaraner on a leash.  For some of you who know me really well, this is my absolute favourite kind of dog and if I ever were to own one, this is the type of dog I would have.  Well, to my surprise as I approached the group of 3 (two of which appeared to still be in their pajama’s) they turned and asked me if I wanted her as they had just found her wandering around their yard!  The thought quickly ran through my head that it would be so amazing to have a dog who would be more than willing to get up at the crack of dawn or before and run with me.  Unfortunately she had a collar with tags so I knew that her owner would not be too far away and if they were not already looking they would be once they woke up at a more reasonable hour.  Oh well I thought, someday, and continued on.

Fast forward two days to this morning.  I was out again at the crack of dawn and for some reason on this day I was wishing that one of my running partners were with me.  I am being completely honest with you when I say that at that particular moment a robin swooped down and started running along the road beside me.  No kidding at all, he kept pace with me (which really wasn’t that fast as I was not fully awake yet) for 45 seconds!  It may sound kind of silly but this completely made my day and after he flew on I continued smiling for the remainder of my run.

For those of you who are contemplating starting a running or walking program to help you continue on your journey to health but are unsure if you want to do it without a running partner (or animal friend), there are plenty of running groups out there that you can join.  As a running clinic instructor I know first hand how welcoming members of these groups are and even though each member may have different running goals, what they have in common is that everyone is looking for some good company and that extra motivation to keep moving forward.  You really do not have to look far for one of these amazing groups.  Check out your local running store or community centre for details.  You will be glad you did!

Enjoy your run!


Who is your ideal running partner?