I knew I wanted to be a writer, much to the chagrin of my practical-minded parents, when I was a kid. Consider these highlights from my early “career”:

  • I became an editor in junior high, assigning myself lengthy reports as summer projects. (Any wonder why my family called me a word nerd? Still do, by the way.)
  • In sixth grade, I won the county spelling bee. (Okay, so the trophy was nice, but the $100 prize was even sweeter.)
  • Four years later, I submitted my first novel to a young adult novel competition. Moral of this story? Always shelve your first novel.

Now that I’m all grown up, I write about fitness, health, nutrition, travel and pets for leading national publications.

You’ll find me in the pages (and on the covers!) of dozens of magazines like AAA magazines, All About Beer, Cooking Light, Cosmopolitan, Delta Sky, Eating Well, Family Circle, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Health, Martha Stewart Living, O the Oprah Magazine, Organic Life, Prevention, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Redbook, Runner’s World, SELF, Shape, USA Today (and its magazines)Weight Watchers, Women’s Health and Yoga Journal. I recently ended an eight-year stint as contributing editor for Woman’s Day and in the past, served as Allure’s fitness columnist (also eight years, perhaps my lucky number?) and the Fit Tools columnist for Better Homes and Gardens

For the second year in a row, my work — this time a feature for Prevention — has won a prestigious Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In 2017, I was honored to receive this same award for a feature I wrote for Dr. Oz the Good Life.

My big news? My second book, Anti-Aging Hacks, will be published  by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Although it doesn’t publish until January 1, 2019, you can pre-order it here now!

Magazines, though, aren’t my only focus. In 2012, St. Martin’s published my first book, Understanding Your Food Allergies and Intolerances, which I co-authored with two Harvard physicians. (Check it out on I’ve also spoken and served on panels for various events, including the Public Relations Society of America’s annual conference; the National Publicity Summit; talk shows like the Just Ask David radio show (listen here), Jonathan Bailor’s SANE Show, and Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy; Delicious Living Magazine’s webinars; and the Global Wellness Summit. And tune in on January 23, 2019,  3p Eastern when I’m a guest on Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan podcast – I’m beyond the moon excited to be on my favorite podcast and honored to have been asked to be on this anti-aging show with Chef Mark Reinfeld of Vegan Fusion!

But do I really practice what I write? Absolutely.

I crave physical activity as much as I do, well, 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!), 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.

In 2007, I won the women’s division of the Marathon Distance Nordic Walking World Championship in Portland, Ore. (By the way, I came in second overall, only four minutes behind the men’s winner, an Olympic racewalker who competed in the 2008 Olympics. How cool is that?). I then repeated in 2008 to become not only the women’s winner but also the overall world champ and world record holder in marathon distance for Nordic walking (women)! In October 2012, I secured three more world records by winning the inaugural Nordic walking half marathon in Portland and repeated my win in 2015. Today, I hold two (it used to be six!) world records in the sport, including two for marathon distance, and am the #1 woman in the world in all-time rankings! And while I repeated my win in the Portland Marathon in 2016, I was no match for Mother Nature, who decided to send buckets of rain and wind. Rain and poles don’t mix, which is why I can’t even claim a PR in this one, but I did enhance a valuable life skill: Perseverance! Trust me when I say I thought about quitting on the course many times!

I’m also a cross country ski fanatic, yogi, kayaking and hiking enthusiast, cyclist (who’s pedaled for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training), triathlete, former competitive tennis player, pianist, birder, craft beer lover and travel zealot. My travels, in fact, have taken me all over the world and allowed me to do some pretty cool things like … 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 in Italy, swim with penguins and sea lions in the wild in the Galapagos, hike into Machu Picchu and drive a real race car solo on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

By the way, I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and literature from Miami University in Ohio (the real Miami, of course) 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’ve also earned Cornell University’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certification led by the esteemed Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, and am working to spread the message that whole-food, plant-based eating rocks, something I’m now doing with Forks Over Knives. I’m also a mentor with Jewish Veg (confession: I’m not Jewish, but I’m well versed in plants!), and you can click here to request a mentor for free. As an aside, a huge thank you to Sharon Palmer, the plant-powered dietitian, who recently featured me on her blog. Check out my interview (and snag one of my favorite recipes).

I’m also a Zenbassador for Sweet Earth Natural Foods (I’m addicted to the Kyoto and Curry Tiger burritos), an influencer for Hubba in health and wellness, pets, and sports and outdoors, and an influencer. I’ve even combined my love for plants and beer by serving on organizing committee for the inaugural Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Festscheduled for October 6, 2018. Stay tuned for updates (and if you’re a speaker or veg-friendly company who’s interested in participating, please get in touch!).

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 fantastic way to rack up steps — and am a strong advocate of plant-only eating, the vegan lifestyle and animal rights. Quoting George Bernard Shaw, “Animals are my friends … and I don’t eat my friends.”