by Jenn (eating bender) on August 26, 2011

Thank you.

Yesterday’s post and the incredible comments that followed — you should definitely check them out if you haven’t already — helped me realize three important things:

  1. Passionate posts can only be written by passionate people. Otherwise, content seems forced.
  2. We read blogs because of the writer(s) behind them more so than the subject matter. Although the subject matter may be what attracts us in the first place, the writing style and personal stories are what keep us coming back.
  3. People are going to choose whether to read my blog or not read my blog no matter how hard I try to please them. I’m much better off writing about what makes me happy than trying to make others happy because ultimately it will be more authentic and more expressive of who I am.

I feel like I had a refresher course on why I blog, and it was needed! Looking forward, I am incredibly excited about the direction Eating Bender is headed. In the coming weeks, you can still expect to see plenty of posts about food, recipes, restaurant reviews and everything else you’ve grown accustomed to, but with a little bit of the below sprinkled in between:

  • Writing. Kate. A. brought up a great suggestion on writing. My plan is to focus more on the personal aspects – my novel writing journey thus far, how I’ve generated story ideas, writer’s block (I could write a novel on this alone), etc. – more so than the technical, generic topics.
  • Book Reviews. I read so many books! Most of them, however, are not food related, which is why I’ve been hesitant to do reviews on here. But now I don’t see why that should stop me. After all, many of you are a part of the Food Blogger Book Club, so I know you’re readers, too!
  • Workout Reports. I’ve done a few of these already on my Workouts page, but I’d love to start discussing more of what I do for exercise and try new things out for the blog. Especially now that my favorite outdoor exercise season is approaching!
  • Miscellaneous. Sometimes, posts won’t fall into any of these categories. Maybe I’ll be writing about ideas for Karen’s Bobby’s birthday, which is coming up in a few weeks. Or perhaps the recent news and adventures in the world of my two businesses, which always keep me on my toes. Now that I no longer have the fear of appearing too random and unfocused if I’m not mentioning food, there are no limitations.

I can’t wait to jump in! Yesterday afternoon I officially changed the tagline of my blog. Yes – it’s the little things. 😉 For the past three and a half years, Eating Bender has embodied “a lifelong healthy eating spree.” I think the new tagline is much more appropriate for the direction I’ve taken.

“A Voracious Appetite For Food, Writing & Life”

I also thought it was about time to update my “About” page. I believe the last time it was updated was the summer of 2009, when I was a fresh graduate and ready to tackle the corporate world. Below is what will now appear when you visit the page. A reintroduction, if you will.


“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”  ~Anaïs Nin

Since I was a little girl, my family nickname has been Bender. I do not know why or how this nickname came to be, but I do know it originated from my mom, who has always loved calling her children by the wackiest and most nonsensical names imaginable. I also know that it has managed to endure for more than twenty years. It’s safe to say it’s here to stay!

When I created Eating Bender back in March of 2008, I realized that the word bender also signifies a spree, and so the idea of creating a blog dedicated to “a lifelong healthy living spree” was born. Bonus points for being able to use it as a pun! (The longer you stick around, the more you’ll realize that my love of puns extends far beyond the word bender.)

More than three years later, Bender has become an even bigger part of who I am. It has also been expanded to include my entire family. Papa Bender is infamous in the kitchen. Mama Bender is an up and coming culinary sensation.

And Baby Bender is the world’s best brother. Although perhaps “baby” doesn’t really apply anymore…

No matter how tall he gets, he will always be my baby brother. The video in this post shows why.

The most recent addition to my family is my husband, Bobby. We’ve been dating since our junior year of high school back in 2003, and were married on October 16, 2010. You can find more about all things wedding here.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the “Bender” clan, here’s a bit more about my personal journey!

My Background

I graduated from Northwestern University in June 2009 with a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in business institutions. The first eight months of my professional career were spent at a large public relations agency in Chicago, where I learned the ins and outs of the communications business and grew to realize that agency life was not the best fit for me personally. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world, especially because it introduced me to my future business partner, Jill. In February 2010, we quit our stable, corporate jobs to start our first business, POP! Social Media.

Crazy? Yes. But was it worth it? I’d do it again a million times over. If you’re interested in learning more about our entrepreneurial adventures, you can check out my other blog, Pursuing Our Passion.

I’ve been very fortunate that my work has allowed me to combine three of my biggest passions – food, health and writing – into a career. Our clients to date have all had a health and wellness focus, and we are thrilled to work with them.

Over the past year, we have also been hard at work on launching a second business aimed at helping people find happiness (and, subsequently, healthiness) in their jobs. That company is called DreamChamps, and we would love for you to join the revolution.

My Blog

My philosophy about eating and exercise is simple: both are needed to live a satisfying and gratifying life. I am constantly working to listen to my body and eat intuitively, and I work hard to develop new fitness goals so that working out never gets boring!

This blog was created out of a passion for food, nutrition and wellness. It is meant to serve as a place where I can share pieces of my life with you, ranging from food and restaurant reviews to meals, recipes and – when I’m not hungry – fitness and general life ponderings. When I’m not running two businesses, I am working on my first novel. Needless to say, I like to keep myself busy, and I look forward to sharing more on all of these topics with you!

My goal is to create a gathering of people who can look to each other for answers and advice on anything and everything, whether it be the best way to prepare risotto or the newest bestseller on bookshelves. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading!


I will continue updating this page in the coming weeks as the blog evolves. Again, I can’t thank you enough for your feedback this week. It means a lot that you took the time to comment and, even if you’re just a silent reader, that you take the time to read my blog.

Hope that you have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!


1 Jill Felska August 26, 2011 at 11:43 am

Congrats hun – I’m so glad you followed your instincts and went in this new direction! You can absolutely count on keeping me as a reader! 😉

2 Jenn (eating bender) August 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

Thank YOU for the never ending support! :)

3 Erica August 26, 2011 at 11:50 am

yayyyy! I’m so glad you’re going to be sharing more of your life/interests with us! As I said in the comments previously, you know I’ll be here reading!!

4 Jenn (eating bender) August 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Thank you, Erica! Please know that I truly look forward to each and every comment from you. I’m so glad that blogging connected us. Your support means the world to me!

5 Megan (Braise The Roof) August 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Be honest- do you only read my blog because my blog name is a pun, too? 😉 Can’t wait to see what kind of great content you come up with next!

6 Jenn (eating bender) August 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm

This just made me laugh out loud. When you first emailed me before HLS 2010 – which I just re-read in the archives of my inbox, by the way – I remember thinking your blog name was amazing. But I really read because of things like this: 😉

7 Mom August 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

This is exciting! Thank goodness “the fedge”, “fedginal”, didn’t stick heh? 😉

8 Jenn (eating bender) August 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Haha! I know you made those up in the 80s but you may not want to look them up on Urban Dictionary now… :) I love you and your oddball nicknames!

9 Erin August 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Way to go, girl. Sticking around as long as you post – no matter what :) I’m here for YOU

10 Jenn (eating bender) August 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

And I heart you. :) Thank you for the support, as always. The feeling is mutual!

11 Lindsey @ SoundEats August 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Love this. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, too. If we aren’t having fun with our blogs, how can anyone else? Also – I’ve been trying to remind myself that my title of my blog really is just a label…and if I always say I don’t subscribe to any one label (in terms of things like vegetarian, carnivore, vegan, etc.), then why do I feel the need to be confined by the “label” of my blog? It’s MY blog and I can do what I want with it! That’s the beauty of it! :) Miss you, friend, and excited to see where these changes take you. :)

12 Jenn (eating bender) August 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

Lindsey! I miss you, too! You are spot on with all of these points – I’m excited to see where you might go with this idea, as well. We really need to catch up sometime soon. I’m glad that things seem to be going well from what I read on your blog and hope you have an exciting semester ahead of you. Let’s plan a phone date or g-chat!

13 Melissa @ TryingToHeal August 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Everything looks great lady! I love the new slogan to the blog and really, I would love anything you’d write about because it’s probably something I’d want to write about too. And who says our blog has to always be about food? I’ve always wanted to do more nature stuff on the blog but I always get harassed about it so I’ve kept it off…one day, one day.

14 Jenn (eating bender) August 27, 2011 at 10:01 am

I still can’t believe you get harassed about that — so unfair because it’s such a huge part of who you are! We need to chat more about this and figure out ways to make it work. :) Thank you for the continued support. I’m so lucky to have you!

15 bakebooks August 27, 2011 at 12:06 am

Wow…so I am so glad I found you…amazing. Just read your last post – and you literally are reading my mind. I love to write. Love. I am FASCINATED that you are writing a novel – and in awe. it is my dream – but I am so intimated and unfocused I never start. A) I don’t believe I can/am capable/would ever accomplish anything OR get published in a long shot; B) lack of time; C) simply not good enough D) …how would I even get published; and E) my blog sucks ;)…I feel so lost in my blog too…and yet, I’m always drawn to blogging – and just writing…i just don’t know what i want to focus on. Health? Fiction? Non-fiction?

What are your writing goals and what are you writing about? I think you should blog about anything your heart desires! You are inspiring! :)

16 Jenn (eating bender) August 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

I’m so glad you found my blog! It’s always so cool to find others who share the dream of writing a novel. :) I fully understand the intimidation that comes along with it. Trust me, there have been plenty of days where I’ve wanted so badly to put words onto a page, but didn’t because I was too afraid that they wouldn’t be good enough. In fact, I had at least a couple of those days this week! If I’ve learned anything about the process so far, it’s that it’s long, tedious and emotionally gut wrenching. I’ve read from countless successful authors that the first draft is always the absolute hardest thing you will ever do as a writer. But if we can summon the resolve to push through, then the sense of accomplishment will be worth it. :)

I can’t wait to write more on these topics in the coming weeks! To give you some background now, my goal is to write fiction and my ideal readers would be women of any age who are building successful careers and/or have dreams to do so (whether in the office, as entrepreneurs…the sky is the limit). Basically, I’m writing about the dynamic going on between younger and older generations in the workplace today. It sounds kind of boring when I put it that way, but hopefully the content of the book itself will help explain why it’s “readable.” :) I’ll definitely do a post more focused on these questions and appreciate you asking them!

Last but not least, I want you to absolutely throw out that list of A, B, C, D, and E. First of all, I checked out your blog and think it’s great! I love the post you wrote with the Steve Jobs quote. So poignant, and I look forward to reading more from you. As for those other letters in your comment, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to address them from my own personal perspective (because trust me, I’ve had the same list!) in a future post. Let me know if that would be OK with you!

Again, so excited you found my blog. Thanks for the comment and I look forward to getting to know you better!

17 Karla August 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Love, love, love everything about this, Jenn! Eating Bender should be everything you desire, and you know you’ll have tons of voracious readers for anything that makes you happy :) The new tagline is just perfect and I can’t wait to read all of your upcoming posts!

18 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Thank you for the support, as always, Karla! I’m so glad you like the word “voracious” as much as I do. :)

19 Janiek August 28, 2011 at 7:42 am

About that bookclub, you should def. consider reading Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney E Martin. I found it to be an absolute mindblowing book. You can find my review on my blog if curious. But seriously, read it! And just so you know, I really don’t care what you write about, as long as you write it with passion. I love your blog!

20 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Thank you so much for the book recommendations, Janiek! I will definitely check out the review on your blog. And I truly appreciate your thoughts on my content, as well. You rock! :)

21 shannon August 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

i didn’t get a chance to comment on your last post, but i agree whole-heartedly with the important things to remember AND your new direction :) can’t wait to read what’s to come!

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