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Tag: plant-based

Bring the Family Closer by Running Across the Country

IMG_6001That’s us! Summer 2017 will be the most exciting one to date, as my husband and I will run 3,000+ miles from Boston to the Oregon Coast. It’s a feat that I have been dreaming about for years, high school is probably the first time the thought crossed my mind. However, the timing was never quite right. The timing still may not be right, but we are going to do it anyway.  My gut has been telling me to take the Oregon Trail – Rt. 20. It starts in Boston (where we are from) and ends in Oregon (where we live). There will be some additional navigating to avoid super busy roads, stay in the country, and to possibly avoid a ferry or not. Running across the country completions has been recorded by 252 people so far. So, we are definitely not the only ones but it’s an adventure that we just don’t want to wait any longer to do.

Not only do we want to run across the country, but we also want to share our “loves” along the way too. I dream of teaching fitness classes and juicing demos and my husband dreams of sharing his hardware hacking skills to kids along the way. Even though an audience for health & tech hangouts will be few and far between, there will be opportunities to share our work. Between blog posts, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube we will keep everyone informed on our progress and when the next health & tech hangout will be.

Coming along for the ride will be our two boys and my parents. Our boys love running and riding their bikes. My husband and I met running. As parents, we are so busy during the school year that we really want to dedicate some time to us as a family – a running family adventure seems like the perfect way. Being a fitness professional, my goal is to inspire wellness. My husband is an electrical engineer/hardware hacker who wants to inspire his community, both young and old, to wellness. So, this family adventure feels right. Every thread of my body screams for this adventure. We just need to do it right, for all of us.


  • Route: Southern or Northern? East or West? Leaning towards Rt. 20
  • Days of Journey: hoping to complete between 90-120 days
  • Mode of transportation/housing other than feet – tour bus
  • Travelers: My husband and I, two kids, and my parents
  • Have all technology ready to promote our health & tech hangouts
  • List of supplies:
    • shoes
    • juicer
    • Vitamix
    • Vega
    • Orgain Meal Replacement drink or something like it
    • Places to buy and how to keep fresh fruit and veggies
    • Bulk Nuts & Seeds
    • other food
    • water
    • clothes
    • sunscreen
    • baby wipes
    • bikes
    • Necessities for the kids
    • fun activities planned for the kids
    • ASTC Museum Membership (Children’s Museums)
    • Sponsors?
    • Media?
    • Tools to document journey


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How Kombucha Saved Me


I am pretty sure that Kombucha has saved me from an adult life of alcoholism. I’ve never been a big drinker, maybe a bit in college, but not after. I actually broke up with my college boyfriend because he drank too much. I married a man who is straight-edge and has never had a drink in his life. Addiction runs strong and passionately through half of my family. From smoking, pain medication, alcohol you name it, it’s in there. My addiction is running and just exercise in general. It’s healthy, but definitely an addiction nonetheless. Knowing and understanding addiction has always made me a bit on the cautious side when it comes to alcohol.

Drinking used to be fun and light-hearted in social situations, but in the last couple of years I’ve noticed a change in its effects on my personality. One drink and I’m in a bad mood and snarky to my husband. The days following one drink, I’m cranky and lethargic. The sad part, is that I didn’t even realize that it was happening until the last time – this past New Year’s Eve. Leading up to that night, I had many nights when I craved a hard cider. It was a craving that was more intense than the pregnancy cravings I had with both boys combined. A few days into the New Year, I expressed my feelings to my husband and being the straight-edge guy he is, was psyched to have a teammate in this particular corner.

Being gluten-free (due to celiac disease) is easy. Being plant-based is fun and easy. Being an adult who doesn’t drink alcohol is… well, I imagine it will be hard. I haven’t actually had to defend my “no thanks, I’m good” position yet.

However, a few months ago I started drinking Kombucha. Before I had my boys I loved it, but it’s not recommended for pregnant or nursing moms so I gave it up – no biggie. When my alcohol revelation popped up, I remembered how I loved Kombucha. One night, I craved a hard cider and instead I bought a Kombucha. The tasty bubbliness eliminated any craving I had and so my new, healthier addiction began. I can now visualize myself enjoying a good brew of Kombucha at our 4th of July block party, instead of a hard cider or other form of alcohol.

Honestly, I’ve seen the negative effects of alcohol too many times and I’m sure others have seen more than I have. But to experience those negative effects on top of witnessing the effects in others, is enough to give it up all together.

So, my kids exhaust me at times, my work is too much sometimes, my husband works a lot, but it’s nothing that a little yoga, mediation, and Kombucha can’t fix.

Peace. Plants. Love. Kombucha.

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Springtime Brings…

Everything is a bloom from your soul to the flowers. What better time to put some races down in the calendar and some plant-based recipes to your shopping list.

Two days ago, I watched Lauren Wallace come out of, what seems, nowhere and demolish the field in the 1000m National Indoor Track & Field Championships at Reggie Lewis in Rixbury, MA. She obviously was a contender, but she led, fell behind, and then came from behind with fierce passion. What a beautiful race! If you want to be inspired check her out here: Lauren Wallace 1000m

At the same track meet one of my favorite competitors, Shannon Rowbury, stepped onto the track with “Shocking Pink” lipstick. In honor of her “super tough but always positive” grandmother who dressed up for important events, Rowbury embodied a women of confidence, beauty, and a mission. The mile was hers in 4:34.30 and said to Runners World afterwards, “Races are pretty special occasions – I only race maybe 20 times a year – so I might as well get dressed up for them. When you decide to put a hot pink lipstick on, you better bring your A game.”

On the strength side of things I watched Jerem Bodyworkout on TRX Training perform a super crazy strength exercise that made my muscles hot. The very next day I had to give myself a killer bodyweight workout.

If those three don’t inspire you just a little to get some goals in the books, let me know.

Food! What we out into our bodies is what we are and how we sustain ourselves. I’ve coem across two apps that have helped me make recipes that are appealing and not super duper hard, because I am not the best cook or recipe-follower. FOK (Forks Over Knives) has some of my favorite recipes and Yummky has also been helpful to me. Both are apps and are very user-friendly. My favorite podcast host, Rich Roll, is coming out with a cookbook in April, which I know will revolutionize my kitchen and meal preparation, so be in the lookout for that.

With all of these awesome things to propel us into spring, how could we not feel good and smell the roses! Enjoy your spring and be your best!



Walk the walk, right?

Keely is signed up for the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon in July and the Portland Trail Series this spring. She also recently took over the coaching position at The Portland Waldorf School to inspire everything running in a group of some awesome kids. Plant-based nutriton is still her way and she too will be purchasing Rich Roll’s book next month! Your turn!

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5 Thoughts For Celiacs

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, so I get the frustration. But, I’m writing because I’ve read one too many posts about people feeling bad for themselves for having celiac disease. It can definitely be a bummer at times, but what can we do to not make it feel that way?

  • Be strong: don’t give in to temptations. Your health isn’t worth the crappy calories in that typical American diet dish anyway.
  • Be confident: who cares what anyone thinks. If you walk into a situation without a single care about having to eat a certain way, no one else will care either. Adapt the attitude that you’ve made the choice to follow a gluten-free diet, because you did. Yes, it’s been recommended by a doctor due to having celiac disease, but ultimately you made the choice to take care of your body.
  • Be Proud: do you know how many people are prescribed a certain diet, whether they are diabetic, have heart disease, etc… and ignore those sugesstions, paying a price for it later? A LOT! Be proud knowing that what you are putting into your body, is not damaging your condition further.
  • Be a Vegan: You don’t have to literally be a vegan, but that attitiude that we plant-based foodies have is indisputable. We’ve definitely gotten some criticisim for going plant-based, but in the end all data shows that plants do absolutely no harm to the body and actually protects against various cancers, diabetes, and heart disease, unlike dairy & meat products. Adapt that same attititude for being a Celiac. Data proves that maintaining a completely gluten-free diet heals the intestine and eliminates symptoms. Why would you do anything different?
  • Be Empowered: Take control of this gift to bring health to your body. Own it. The minute you take ownership and dive into making your body your temple, is when everything else will fall right into place.

Here is a picture of my latest and favorite recipe. I’m plant-powered so, this was made only with plants. Organic, Gluten-Free & Plant-Based Pizza: Chickpea crust made with chickpeas and a little millet flour, and spices. Toppings: homemade tomato sauce, homemade pesto, red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, olives, squash. People who loved it: my husband, my 6 year-old and my almost 3 year-old, and ME!



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People are amazing. Most of us have this inherent gift or love for something at a young age. For me, it was/is people. In 4th grade, my teacher, Mrs. Sullivan asked us to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. What a big question, one of which haunted me for years. I had no idea what I was going to do with my love for people, so I said I would be an Occupational Therapist. I have a cousin with cerebral palsy and I thoroughly enjoyed her therapists, so I thought that maybe it was for me too.

Despite that looming question and my love of helping people I was able to somehow, over the years, mold my two loves into this wonderful career of teaching fitness and wellness to people of all ages and abilities. It brings me so much joy.

Technology has assisted me in “meeting” new people, ones that are utterly inspiring. Often times I wish I could reach through the podcast I’m listening to and shake his/her hand. As of late, my attention is focused on Bryant Terry. Rich Roll recently interviewed him on his podcast and I was entranced by his voice and knowledge regarding food. It wasn’t so much that he is a vegan with amazing cookbooks, it’s his expertise and ambition to bring plant knowledge to everyone and inspire communities to cook together and bring the goodness of home & community gardens to their kitchens, plates, and tummies. This idea of community cooking intrigued me and I immediately wanted to start something. Being new to Portland, we’ve only become good friends with one family, the Pluhar-Daniels Family. So what did I do? I suggested a family dinner, where we cook and eat together.

veggie sushi

Our first dinner together, we made veggie sushi and our little guys made their own pizza. It became a plant-based meal for the adults and vegetarian meal for the kids. The kids seemed slightly more interested in the sushi rolls than their pizza, so next time we will make more of it for everyone!

In the future, we hope to have one afternoon a week dedicated to preparing, chopping, and cooking meals for the week! But, for now, we will stick to the family dinners and hopefully graduate soon. 🙂

What do you love about people and has anyone inspired you recently to do something?

-Keely Grand


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