Great to meet you and thanks for taking time to learn about me. So I’ve had the writing bug in me ever since I was a kid, as I was born a bookworm and word lover (Boggle has always been my favorite game!). Now that I’m all grown up, I write about fitness, health, nutrition, travel and animals for numerous leading national  print (and online) publications.

Magazines aren’t my only focus, though. In 2012, St. Martin’s published my first book, Understanding Your Food Allergies and Intolerances, which I co-authored with two Harvard physicians. My second book, Anti-Aging Hacks, was recently published by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Order it now!

A few more interesting tidbits:
  • For eight years each, I was a contributing editor for Woman’s Day and fitness columnist for Allure. Regular gigs now include handling companion animal content for Better Homes & Gardens and being a contributing writer for VegNews. I’m also a senior fellow for Sentient Media, which means I can be an even bigger voice for farmed animals.
  • My work — a feature in Dr. Oz the Good Life, another in Prevention and new in 2020, an O the Oprah Magazine feature – has won three prestigious Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence Awards from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
  • My career-related travels have allowed me to do some pretty cool things like … skydive from 15,000 feet over the Swiss Alps (I had such a blast that I would do it again! find my video on my Instagram feed), complete two 10Ks on the same day on two different continents (Australia and North America – thanks, Nike!), tandem paraglide off the top of Rendezvous Mountain in Jackson Hole, harvest grapes at a vineyard in Italy, swim with penguins and sea lions in the wild in the Galapagos, hike into Machu Picchu, do yoga on the world’s largest observation wheel in Las Vegas, drive a real race car solo on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and cruise to places like Russia, Estonia, Norway, Portugal, Alaska, and the Danube and Rhine Rivers.
  • I’ve been a panelist, speaker, even a judge for various organizations and events, including the Public Relations Society of America; American Spa Magazine’s Women in Wellness Awards; the National Publicity Summit; and the Global Wellness Summit.
  • I’ve also been honored to be a guest on many talk shows and podcasts (I love talking about healthy living!). Examples include:  SHEVega Talks (listen to my interview here), Longevity Power Summit (catch my interview here), Talk Vegan (catch my interview on Apple here), United Intentions’ Good Intentions show (catch my interview with host Tim Ray about healthy life hacks here), Just Ask David radio show (listen to my show about getting physical here), Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy (in which I dish on Nordic walking and more here), Delicious Living Magazine’s webinars (get the scoop on how good sleep can help you thrive here), and WebMD’s Health Now podcast (I chatted about my sleep divorce here). Two of the stand-outs? Being a guest on Chef AJ Live’s show, which just aired in March 2021 (watch on YouTube here)  and Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan podcast (find the replay here).
  • I was a finalist in PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Over 50 contest in 2019. Although I didn’t snag the win, I was honored to have been selected a finalist in this international contest — besides, it was a great way to own turning 50!
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 (I’m certified in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University) and vegan lifestyle. In fact, I helped organize and run the first Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest in 2018 and am currently a vegan mentor with PETA (request a mentor here) and Vegan Outreach (request a mentor here). I’m also an ambassador for ABillionVeg (sign up at to review vegan food/products for free using my code KARENASP; for every review you post, you get $1 and when you accrue $10, you can donate it to animal sanctuaries and eco-focused organizations), Meatless Monday ambassador and member of the Switch4Good coalition, a group of athletes and influencers working to encourage people to ditch dairy for a healthier life. During its 2019 #PlantMilkChallenge, I was honored to be a mentor.

I’ve also 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 (the real Miami, mind you) 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 sassy but sweet golden retriever named Jessie. I was hoping Jessie would have a future as a therapy dog like my first golden Katie, but she’s proving to be forever young at heart. I also volunteer at the Allen County SPCA (note to fitness-minded animal lovers: volunteering as a dog walker is a fun way to rack up steps) through which I’m now fostering my first dog, a handicapped pittie mix named Macy; have a certification through Fear Free Shelters; and am a fervent animal rights advocate. Quoting George Bernard Shaw, “Animals are my friends … and I don’t eat my friends.”