We lost a great person this week. I was very sad to hear that Allen Stern, author of Let's Talk Fitness, has passed away. I didn't know Allen half as well as I would have liked to. We were internet friends, blog buddies who got to know each other through tweets, pins, and G+ threads. Though we lived in the same city, we actually never met in person. We did, however, spend one memorable evening cooking together over G+ hangouts. He was a trip, cracking jokes, whipping out amazing kitchen gadgets, and slaying his fellow cook-off competitors with a giant plate of raw zuchinni pasta. I'm sad that we won't have the chance to become better friends, even sadder to think that the world has lost such a powerful positive force.
Though Allen's history on the internet is much bigger than just one blog, Let's Talk Fitness was the basis of our relationship, and represented the Allen that I knew. The blog followed his journey toward better health, chronicling his discovery of vegetables, fruits, and exercise as he lost more than one hundred pounds. Along the way, he shared recipes for smoothies, juices, snacks, and meals. Let's Talk Fitness cultivated a great following, which was clearly the result of an impressive effort on Allen's part. The photos were always beautiful. The recipes always sounded appealing and approachable.
Allen struck me as an incredibly friendly and outgoing person, always willing to help, answer questions, and cheer his readers on. He made a real effort to connect with people. Although the internet is supposed to be all about connections, I found Allen's level of friendliness to be a rare and charming thing. I wasn't alone. Every story or blog post I read on Allen's passing is flooded with comments from people whose lives Allen touched.
Allen had a masterful handle on social media, through which he spread his message. To me, Allen's message sounded like "I changed my life with fruits and vegetables, and so can you." It was a powerful message, and an important one. Just look at the feedback on Allen's famous Apple Snack recipe. That gives you a hint as to how many people Allen reached through Let's Talk Fitness. He shared his passion, his challenges, and his discoveries, and in doing so, encouraged so many people to eat better. I looked up to Allen for that, and will continue to find inspiration in his accomplishments when I remember him.
In Allen's honor, I'd like to ask a favor of each and every person who reads this blog post. Please visit Allen's blog, pick out a green smoothie recipe, and give it a try. Raise a frosty glass of green smoothie to his memory. You'll be glad you did.
This was one of the last things that Allen shared on his Let's Talk Fitness Facebook page. It's just the sort of thing that he would share every day, and it is so relevant to his story. Allen made a huge change in his life, and insisted that if he could do it, so could we. These kind of reminders from Allen will be sorely missed.