The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 46 - August 31, 2011


Soccer season kicks up at Center

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

WestEdge Soccer Academy Director Paul Hayward gives instruction
to young Anna Maria Island Community Center soccer campers.
Hayward is the director of soccer operations for the Center's
new after-school program. PHOTO/SCOTT DELL

Soccer season is back and kicking at the Community Center. Last week, budding young players, of all ages, participated in a three night camp to get themselves ready for the upcoming season. Ex-professional soccer player Paul Hayward ran the camp this year. He brought a vast knowledge of the game and an enthusiasm to teach these youngsters to love soccer.

Hayward said, "A key point I personally believe in is making kids feel important. Once they feel important in anything, they grow up and feel confident. Confidence builds a unique passion and then passion thrives!"

Hayward definitely has a passion for the game and has been playing and coaching for more than 40 years. He was assisted this year by the Center's Program Supervisor Lindsey Weaver, who played colligate soccer and coached woman's soccer for Warner University.

WestEdge Soccer Academy

Hayward is the director of soccer operations for the Anna Maria Island Community Center's new after-school program. Every day after school, elementary and middle school kids can get professional soccer instruction. Hayward uses unique drills and new teaching methods to inspire these kids.

He said, "I'm teaching them to be creative with the ball. At these ages they should be trying new things and experimenting with what their own individual strengths are. Creativity is important even in the pros and helps a player stand out."

The new WestEdge Academies motto is "W.E. inspire kids," and Hayward is doing just that.

AMICC fall soccer league:

The Community Center's fall soccer league is holding tryouts for boys and girls ages 4 to 17 all this week. Everyone who signs up gets placed on a team, and tryouts are to help with parity of the teams. Coming off the largest soccer season ever, 30 teams last year, there are high expectations for another fun season.

Tryout time schedule:

Playing age determined by child's age of Aug. 24.

Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 30t, at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m.

Making ends meet in a hurricane and beyond

As a former anchor/reporter in Miami and elsewhere, I know that for whatever meteorological reasons, hurricanes threaten Florida more before, during and after Labor Day. As a cooking instructor focused on preparing healthy foods on a budget, besides the incredible health benefits my students often experience, this time of year I hear, "Wow, this is great hurricane food!"

If daily news stories are to be believed, you can't eat healthfully and inexpensively. The media tell us that eating a nutritious diet costs big bucks. Fortunately, these doomsayers are wrong. I set out to write a book that would blow that myth out of the water. I love showing in writing and cooking demonstrations how you can eat really well for a lot less than you think.

Before becoming a cooking teacher and chef, I spent 18 years doing investigative reporting on television. Then I became a financial consultant at the now defunct Smith Barney. I left Wall Street in 2003 to join my husband in his successful media-consulting business and began teaching cooking classes. What started out as a little passion – teaching people how easy it is to prepare delicious, healthful, inexpensive meals at home – became a full-fledged, concurrent second career.

A lot of what I learned as a reporter and financial consultant has made its way into my book and writings. For example, most people fear outliving their savings, if they have any. Most people think that buying fast food is the least expensive way to eat, but a simple investigation of the facts reveals just how wrong that is.

At today's prices, your average fast food meal would cost, say, $5. That might even be conservative, but humor me. Let's figure $2 for a large box of fries and $3 for a whopping big burger with cheese. If you want a drink, you may need to hold the cheese. OK, breakfast may cost less, dinner may cost more. Still, in all, over the course of a year, a regimen of fast food would break down as follows:

• $5 per meal x three meals per day = $15 per day;

• $15 per day x 365 days = $5,475 per year.

Now, take that year and multiply it by the average 30 years in retirement (that's what they told us to say at Smith Barney), and you've got a significant amount of change needed just to eat supposedly cheap fast food.

• $5,475 x 30 years retirement = $164,000.

The calculations show that even in just one year, one person would pay $5,475 (that's more than $450 each month) for so-called cheap food. On my plan, you can eat three great-tasting, nutritious meals for less than the cost of just one of these fast food meals. And you'll be trimmer and healthier for it. Six dollars a day is the average amount for food stamps, or SNAP, as it is now called.

These days I eat a naturally lean, whole-grain, plant-based diet. No dairy, no eggs, no meats. I've never felt or looked better – or saved more money at the store. If you're wondering why I started eating a vegan whole-foods diet, it's simple: I wanted to cheat death.

Doctors had long told me the handwriting was on the wall. My aunt died of breast cancer in our home when I was five. I almost died of a colon blockage the year my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. When my mom and second sister got breast cancer and I started facing the fact that every member of my family faced something life threatening, mostly heart disease and diabetes – I began reading as if my life depended on it.

Many doctors told me I had to do things drastically differently than my family members. As the youngest child, I learned very well by observation what not to do. And I started changing my diet. Today, as the mother of three girls, I still worry about our genetic odds. But even genetic illness requires a trigger, and genetics do not dictate our destinies. There is much we can do to beat the odds.

Hurricane foods simply are beans, grains and greens, with fruits for desserts. Now that my book is out and thriving, I'll start posting recipes. Stay safe!

You can follow Island resident Ellen Jaffe Jones on her Facebook page and keep up with her just released 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, contact Ellen at or 941-704-1025.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper