The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 8 - December 5, 2012


NFL Flag Football is back

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Dalton Guthrie running the ball for his Jets team last year
during the AMICC Youth Flag Football. Jaclyn Schlossberg
sweeps down the sideline for her team last year in
the AMICC Youth Flag Football.

The Anna Maria Island Community Center is officially kicking off its winter NFL Flag Football program this week with the annual tryouts and draft. Boys and girls age 5 to 17 and men and women ages 18 and up can still sign up to be part of this fun co-ed league.

For the first time ever, the Center is adding a 30-year-old and over co-ed league. The increasing popularity of the league’s participants have asked for this change and it will now happen. Adults 18 through 29 and 30 and over will be selected into two different leagues now depending on their age and by their own choice. Participants over 30 can still play in the younger age group if they wish.

The leagues are comprised of teams of eight, and everyone who registers is placed onto a team. Tryouts are for parity, so the Center and its volunteer coaches can make the teams as equal as possible. The league is recreational and emphasizes having fun, learning the game and mandatory playing time for all participants.

Games will be played Monday through Saturday on the Community Center’s fields. Registration fee is $75 for members and will include an NFL style jersey.

There is still time to get involved in the fastest growing sport on the Island, but you must register before the tryout to be placed onto a team. For more information, call Troy Shonk at 941-778-1908, ext 9205. Tryout times and drafts are as follows:

Try Out Date and Time

5-7-year-olds, Monday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m.
8-10-year-olds, Friday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m.
11-13-year-olds, Monday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.
14-17-year-olds, Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
18-29-year-olds and 30 and up, Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.


More reasons to go vegan

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my fav reasons to go vegan: 1. It saves money 2. It reduces pain and suffering for all animals 3. It’s great for the environment and 4. Many people including yours truly, report improved health and reversal of many diseases from heart, diabetes and even cancer.

There are so many reasons to go vegan, entire books have been written on just this. One of my favorites: “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows.” When you think about it, considering pigs have been considered by many to have higher IQs than dogs, just the title alone of this book gets you thinking.

After eating vegan (nothing with a face or a mom) for the better part of 32 years to dodge breast cancer that got my mom, aunt and both sisters, a growing body of evidence, anecdotes and doctors who are not afraid of anyone or any corporation echo some of my favorite reasons.

1. It enhances athletic performance. Many athletes have embraced eating vegan to improve endurance in all kinds of sports. Ultra marathoner Scott Jurek and triathlete Brendan Brazier have popularized this idea, and many professional athletes have followed suit.

Personally, I’ve eaten this way most of the past 32 years and just placed in my 29th 5 or 10K race since 2008. Unlike my other aging competitors, I have no arthritis from inflammation caused in joints by meat. I ran my first marathon two years ago and felt like I could keep going…from the feet up. I often joke that I win in my age group just because I show up.

2. It’s beautiful and colorful. It’s important to eat a variety of colors – the colors of the rainbow – to get all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need. If you do that, you don’t need to buy expensive supplements. If you don’t like a particular vegetable or fruit, there are about 90 others to try that are gorgeous in color. In the animal kingdom, not so much. It’s pretty much brown, brown and brown.

3. It’s creative and never boring! One of the reasons there are so many vegan cookbook authors now, (thank you Bill Clinton for giving us all a boost when you decided to go vegan to try to avoid a third bypass surgery and lost weight like many people do) is because there are so many different varieties of grains, vegetables and fruits that the combinations play out in spectacular recipes. Many grains are available to us now such as protein-packed quinoa.

4. It teaches a compassionate way of life in an increasingly crazy and nonsensical world. As our lives become more complex and income classes become more separated, the connection with animals and nature takes us all back to some kind of common ground.

5. When you think about it, all mammals besides us give up needing their mother’s milk after weaning. And humans only started consuming other species’ milk about 5000 years before the days of the Bible and the land of milk and honey.

Gazillions of years before that, it was never part of our diet. So evolutionarily speaking, if you believe in that, drinking milk from another species is unnecessary. Nature provided just fine for us after weaning. Not to mention the explosion of lactose intolerance reported nationwide.

The Chicago Tribune reported this week that the Chicago School District pays an average of 23 cents per carton, or about $92,000 a day for 400,000 half-pints, much of it funded by taxpayers whose money goes down the drain with any discarded milk. Minority children have very high levels of lactose intolerance.

As pressure grows for us to evaluate carefully how are tax dollars are spent, many believe that federal and local programs like this would be fine to eliminate. It might actually be a good thing and ironically, improve the health of our children.

While doing research for my book, I found one study that showed our health nationally was better during the Great Depression and during World War II when we didn’t have access to meat and dairy. Heart disease rates when down too. Go figure. Wink. Wink.

Hey, I’m just the messenger. This report focuses on world populations and the demand on our water supply. It takes so much more water to raise meat protein than plant protein.

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.

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