Today’s menu: hamburger, real potatoes(!!!), apple, whole wheat buns
Can you spot the TWO whole foods that I ate for lunch today? I ate real potatoes and an apple! I cannot believe it. I almost feel out of my chair when I saw that the potatoes had PEELS! Amazing to me…. They were great!! (Peels have the nutritive properties
To anyone in power reading this — THANK YOU!
I can’t help looking at the meat and thinking “Food, Inc” thoughts, but I ate it anyway….with a lot of ketchup!
I wonder if this blog is having an effect? It seems remarkable that there have been many little changes for the better in the lunches this fall. I notice and appreciate every one.
A reader wrote to me and told me that she was inspired to start writing a blog because of this blog. I was touched! I enjoy blogging and if you feel like it could be something fun for you to do, you should go for it. Then she said that part of her inspiration was that I was upfront about being new to blogging.
I should tell you that I have a personal blog that I started about six years ago. My most consistent readers were my mother, my sister, and the friend who introduced me to the concept of a blog. I wrote about lots of personal stuff under an alias (some things never change, eh?). Oddly never about food, but about my family, my work, my life. I was lucky if I got 10 pageviews a week. But that was fine with me: I was not writing for anyone but myself and my family & friends. So technically I was not brand new to blogging when I started Fed Up With Lunch. I knew about the power of blogs because I had my own personal blog.
So just so it’s clear, Fed Up With Lunch didn’t come out of a vacuum. But the decision to blog my journey eating school lunch every day was basically made on a whim. Late in 2009 I thought about other people doing yearlong projects (mostly the 365 photo blogs
) and I liked that idea, but wanted something a little more meaningful than just random photos of my life. I thought about my work and my students and this idea literally just came to me. POP! Fed Up With Lunch was born. (I’m actually not religious, but I gotta wonder about a higher power…)
Going back to 2004 when a friend told me about her blog, I thought it was great. Every day I checked her blog to see what she was thinking about and doing. She suggested I start my own personal blog so I did. Weirdly, she ended up stopping blogging two years later, but I found it to be a great outlet for me and kept it up until I had a baby and then I only blogged about once a month.
I have NEVER been into writing journals, but I loved buying cute little notebooks and trying to write in them. It started around 3rd grade, when my family moved cross-country (one of the bigger moves) and I wanted to document the trip. I had a small, Mary Cassatt or Degas pink bound book and while I sat in the back of my parents’ station wagon, I would note things that I saw on the trip. Some journal entries were as long as a few sentences, but there was a lot of “cute farm house, exit 93 in Nebraska” (primitive tweets!). My intent was to go back one day and visit the cool spots that whizzed by me. Kids can’t control very much especially kids who move a lot and that was my way of hanging on to the neat things I saw.
A couple years later I found that journal and I was so embarrassed by how “little kid” it was. “Oh my god, what was I trying to write! My handwriting was terrible. You are sooo dumb!” I was critical of myself and vowed not to write anything again. Of course I wrote a lot of things (mostly about boys) that would appear in the first two to three pages of blank books that were abandoned only to be found later by an older, wiser me who couldn’t believe how stupid I used to be.
The worst criticism I ever gave myself was after I read an eighth grade journal in high school. I had been gaga over a boy in eighth grade. I mean, crazy-out-of-my-mind about this boy who was actually quite mean to me (It turns out he was gay! Poor thing probably was just trying to get away from me. My “gaydar” still sucks by the way) Middle school is basically a terrible time for everyone and I moved twice if you can imagine!
Anyway, I just tore into myself when I read my little scribbles about my unrequited love. “You were so silly and just stupid.” I may have even thrown it away because I don’t have clue where that journal went. Anyway, I basically didn’t keep a journal after that. It’s really a shame how hard we can be on ourselves.
Thankfully that friend introduced me to blogging. I found the experience to be very different than writing in a journal. The pros to blogging are that it’s much easier to see how you change over time, it’s easy to share, it’s searchable, and it’s fun to do something online. The big con for me was that I missed writing by hand. I have distinctive handwriting and I like to write things by hand (that’s why I have always been a letter writer). It sounds vain to say I like my handwriting, but it’s true. I also like to read something written by my loved ones in their own handwriting. Everyone in my life has handwriting that suits them. For example, my husband has deliberate printing and never does cursive, which suits him perfectly as he is a logical, mathematical thinker. I just like looking at words written by my husband or my mother or my sister. They could write the phonebook and I’d enjoy it.
Well, that was a tangent!
Tips on starting a blog
1) Decide what you want out of a blog — personal, political, food, cooking, issue-based (adoption, infertility, etc) There are zillions of great blogs out there. I love following people’s journeys.
2) Start it up without telling too many people — I started up my personal blog and emailed the URL to my entire address book. A few months later I realized that I wanted to talk about people who had received the link by email. Don’t make that newbie mistake! Start blogging with a small audience and widen slowly.
3) Don’t worry about posting daily — I’m only posting this much because of being in the middle of this amazing project.
4) Consider micro-blogging if blogging is too much of a time commitment — Tumblr and Twitter are great!
5) Choose wisely — Blogger (blogspot) is a great platform if you, like me, don’t know that you are doing. WordPress is another option but I think you have to be a little more savvy with plug-ins for designs, etc. Blogger takes care of the “behind the scenes” stuff.
Any other tips that I’ve forgotten?