But do I really practice what I, er, write? Absolutely.
I crave physical activity as much as I do chocolate (Endangered Species, to be exact – love that it has Hoosier roots, too!). My favorite activity? Anything that involves snow (and the more snow, the better!), especially cross country skiing, which may explain why I’m hooked on Nordic walking
. It’s based on Nordic skiing, sans the snow, so I can do it year-round. I’ve won five Nordic walking world championships (two marathons and three half-marathons) and at one time, even held six world records and was ranked #1 woman in the world. Several of my records still hold.
Exercise is only part of the equation, though, and diet is equally, if not more, important. That’s why I follow a plant-only diet and vegan lifestyle. I’m certified in plant-based nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and am a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy. I’ve been a vegan mentor with PETA and currently mentor through Vegan Outreach (request a mentor here). I’m also an ambassador for ABillionVeg (sign up at abillionveg.com to review vegan food/products for free using my code KARENASP; for every review you post, you get $1 that you can donate to animal sanctuaries and eco-focused organizations).
I’ve even served as a board member for Uplands PEAK (people, earth and animals living in kinship) Sanctuary in Freedom, Ind. It’s Indiana’s first sanctuary for farmed animals.
By the way, I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and literature from Miami University in Ohio and a master’s degree in literature from Indiana University. I’m a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Society of American Travel Writers and hold certifications from the American Council on Exercise as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, both of which I’ve used to train clients and teach everything from step to Spinning. I also recently became certified in TRX, one of my favorite pieces of home gym equipment.
Just one more thing at the request of my “staff” who begged me to add this: I share an office (where I use a standing desk over 90% of the time – seriously!) with Toby, a Maine Coon rescue, and a golden/lab mix I fostered for several months before adopting, Barney. I also volunteer at Humane Fort Wayne (through which I fostered my first dog Macy, a paralyzed pittie mix), and am a fervent animal rights advocate. Quoting George Bernard Shaw, “Animals are my friends … and I don’t eat my friends.”