The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 11 - December 28, 2011


NFL Flag Football Preview

The Anna Maria Island Community Center last week formed 23 youth NFL Flag Football teams. More than 175 boys and girls, ages five to 16, showed up for the two-day draft process. The players were put through a new format of tryouts similar to what the NFL Combine uses to assess the college athletes entering the draft. The children and volunteer coaches seemed to really enjoy the 40-yard dash times. In football, speed kills and the coaches used these times frequently in deciding their next draft pick.

The teams will be practicing hard for the rest of December. After the children return from winter break, official games will begin. The season starts off with a kick-off season dinner donated by the Beach Bistro & Eat Here on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Regular season games will begin on Friday, Jan. 6.

This is how the leagues stack up: In division I, (13- to 16-year-olds), there are six teams; in division II, (10- to 12-year-olds), there are seven teams; in division III, (8- to 10-year-olds), there are six teams; and in the Instructional league, (5- to 7-year-olds), there are four teams.

Adult flag football tryouts are Thursday, Dec. 15. New this season is anyone who has not played in the league before must try out or they will not be placed on a team. There are currently over 100 players anxiously awaiting the formation of this league.

By Thursday night's draft, the Center will probably be forming 14 to 18 teams for this highly anticipated league. Uniforms for the adults will be handed out at the Wednesday, Jan. 4 dinner and the season games begin on Thursday, Jan. 5.

Resolving to resolve in the New Year

Over the past seven months I have been interviewed hundreds of times while out promoting my new book. What's changed the most since my 18 years in broadcasting ended, or so I thought in 1998, is radio. You could argue it's all changed – print and television as well. The TV station I spent many years at as an investigative reporter and then as a morning anchor in St. Louis, like many stations, no longer does news.

What's changed the most in radio is that everyone and anyone can be a radio station. The Internet makes all of this completely possible and easy.

I cannot say enough great things about my publisher, Book Publishing Company. My husband, my perpetual clipping service, sends me links to stories he reads about the desperate state of publishing and how authors rarely, if ever, go on book tours. It's just too expensive for the publisher, the author and it doesn't often pay off unless your book is a #1 seller.

Fortunately, my book has been my publisher's #1 since it left the presses. My publisher called this week to tell me the schedule of large vegetarian festivals for 2012 if I was agreeable (are you kidding?!), Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago twice – once for Vegan Mania and another for Veggie Fest – Portland, San Francisco and the biggie in New York City.

I've heard from other authors that their publishers often don't promote them. As a result of my broadcasting background and my "pipes" (broadcast lingo for a decent voice), I often get asked back for repeat interviews. One of them was by a doctor who does a daily show called "Dr. Don" on several stations in resort communities in Arizona. Our last show was titled, "New Year's Resolutions."

As we started talking, Dr. Don said he didn't believe in New Year's resolutions. I said that, yes, it is true, you have to have a lifestyle change to accomplish true change to lose weight or whatever the item in your life it is that you want to resolve.

Yet, it is human nature to sin, with tempting foods that rear their beautiful heads during holidays. Holidays permeate most religions this time of year, as a part of our ancestors' needing help coping with the darkening days of winter. The lights, food and festivities are all part of altering our crabby mood that increases with decreasing sunlight.

Research has shown that most weight gains happen during this time, although the weight is typically not more than 5 pounds. However, these 5 pounds represent the toughest kinds of weight to remove.

It is this constant lifelong yo-yo struggle with human nature that prompts fitness clubs like the one I work at as a personal trainer to offer special deals on memberships and training now. Many online websites and social media sites offer jump- start programs.

So in the spirit of the season, Vitamin Sea Health Foods asked me to do a book signing all day, Monday, Jan. 2, to offer you some free information or advice jump-starting your program or your life. As an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified trainer, I can go over with you some of your goals for the New Year and work with you designing a fitness program that would be appropriate for your needs.

Although my book is not designed as a weight loss book, many readers have said they have used it that way. I can point out the section in the book that can help with your weight loss goals. By best success was a 120-pound weight loss.

So if you want some free advice on how to identify and stick to that New Year's resolution, find me at Vitamin Sea next to Walgreens on Jan. 2. You may remember I did lots of free personal training sessions on the beach last year. No time for that this year, sorry, but I can help you design a program if you stop by. Resolutions can include anything.

While at the Christmas buffet at Manatee Beach (awesome job guys! Though next year, hope for more vegan options other than corn), I resolved to get to the beach at least weekly. How quickly we forget we live in paradise. It can be that simple.

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: www.vegcoach.com. She is also a nationally certified personal trainer and running coach. For training in a gym or private hire, contact Ellen at ejones@vegcoach.com or 941-704-1025.

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