About Bender

“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 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 eatingbender@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading!

{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

1 andrea May 5, 2008 at 2:07 am

Pretty photo!!!!
I’m a sophomore studying business and I’d also LOVE to combine it with health/nutrition… somehow, haha. good luck with this blog! it looks great so far :))


2 Jenn May 18, 2008 at 7:10 pm

andrea ~ thank you! we must try to figure out how to combine them – if i think of something i will definitely pass it your way 😉


3 ashley June 15, 2008 at 9:30 pm

I’m a second-semester senior in public relations; so if you girls figure out good opportunities to combine the two, let me know! And quick! :)


4 comadreconleche June 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm

are you from arizona? (i saw the 480 number on the salad carton from the pizza place, i swear i’m not creepy!) i’m in arizona right now and i graduated last year with a journalism degree and a minor in business. i dabbled in pr also and now i’m trying to get a media job… i think the best way to incorporate your passion for food and nutrition is to keep up with your blog because as far as i know there are no nutrition beats at any newspapers or tv stations but maybe we could start a trend…


5 Jenn June 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Karla ~ Yes! My family moved to Arizona recently :) It sounds like you and I are a lot alike education and career-wise. Let me know how your job search is going — I’m looking at AZ after I finish school! We should definitely start a nutrition beat trend!


6 Foodie July 16, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Hi Jenn,

Love your blog and the blueberry header!

I just started my own blog and linked yours on my blogroll. Please come check it out when you get a chance!


7 Jenn July 17, 2008 at 6:22 am

Foodie ~ Thanks :) I will check out your blog now and add it to my blogroll!


8 totaltransformation July 18, 2008 at 10:08 am

“My family nickname is Bender. It has been since I was a little girl, and I have no idea why. My mom loves odd nicknames!”

Perhaps she went to the future and watched an episode of Futurama?


9 Jenn July 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm

totaltransformation ~ I didn’t realize that my mom was clairvoyant – that opens up a world of new possibilities 😉


10 Rose July 25, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Jenn – I never mentioned this to you, but I wanted to let you know that I graduated with a Journalism degree, and I’m now working in PR (as you know from my blog!)… I am so curious to see how you make out with incorporating nutrition into your writing! Please keep us posted!


11 Jenn July 26, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Rose ~ Go journalism! I will let you know how the job search goes once it officially begins. Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)


12 Erin July 27, 2008 at 3:09 pm

This is a really fun blog! Keep it up! 😀
~Erin @ “Vegan & the City”


13 Jenn July 28, 2008 at 6:22 am

Erin ~ Thank you! I’m glad you like it :)


14 Lara November 2, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Oh man–your quote at the top about eating dinner like a pauper–I tend to eat the opposite way! I just can’t help it! I love big dinners :(Thanks for the “Food for Thought,” though!


15 eatingbender November 2, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Lara ~ No worries, I definitely eat my fair share of big dinners :) It’s more of a “guideline” than a strict rule for me to follow!!


16 Kelsey November 13, 2008 at 12:37 pm


I just discovered your blog by way of ZestyCook by way of Kath. It’s great! I am a reader from Chicago (re: the de-lurkification). Looks like you might be an NU student? I am a former/current NU student as well. Thanks for all the great ideas!



17 eatingbender November 13, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Kelsey ~ Thanks so much for reading! So are you in grad school at NU now? It’s so nice to see some fellow NU people on my blog :)


18 Kelsey November 18, 2008 at 4:32 pm

I’m getting my science prereqs done at SCS (the night school), so I can apply for PA masters programs. My undergrad was in theatre.


19 CaSaundra December 3, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Hey Bender! I absolutely love your blog!! I was just wondering how in the world do you get people to follow your blog?! I have recently started up my own and wondered how you got some blog traffic flowing?! Any tips,hints,etc.? Thanks so much!!


20 eatingbender December 3, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Kelsey ~ Very cool! Nice to “meet” you :)

CaSaundra ~ Thanks! My best advice for getting readers is to start commenting on other people’s blogs and make sure that when you do you include a link back to your own (like you did in your comment to me). It’s the best way to get your name out there! I’ve also heard that coming up with titles that use key words that are popular Google searches can also help, although I’ve never specifically made an effort to do that because I like coming up with corny titles! Good luck with the new blog!


21 Ryan December 12, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I found your blog when I linked through for the VitaMix contest (thanks for that by the way!). I love it and will definitely keep reading! Check out mine if you get some time :)


22 eatingbender December 12, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Ryan ~ Thanks for reading! I am glad that you enjoy the blog and best of luck in the contest :)


23 Tanya December 28, 2008 at 9:32 am

Hello, love your blog! where do you get your cute coffee mugs from?


24 eatingbender December 28, 2008 at 10:30 am

Tanya ~ Thanks! I got the mugs from the grocery store, actually. The brand is “Joyce Shelton,” and unfortunately the company doesn’t appear to have a website of their own. If you Google the name, a bunch of mugs come up on eBay, etc. I wish they would get a site already! But I hope that helps.


25 Katie January 16, 2009 at 10:25 am

I just discovered your blog this week and I love it! I can relate to a lot of the things you said about really trying to listen to your body and about getting stuck in a food rut. I look forward to reading more posts.


26 eatingbender January 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Katie ~ I’m really glad that you can relate to some of the things I talk about! Thank you so much for reading :) You rock!


27 Tram Le January 30, 2009 at 2:28 am

You don’t have to worry about a shortage of expert nutrition advice in Chicago – you’re in the home of the American Dietetic Association and tons of Registered Dietitians :) Great blog!



28 Lindsay S January 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm

This has to be the most brilliant “nutrition” website ever! My boyfriend and i have been looking at nutrition blogs recently in hopes to get tips on a healthier lifestyle. he tends to prefer the ny times and similar but i find them to be BORING. your site is upbeat and fun. in one word ingenious! i love your site and will definately be spreading the word… truth be told, i am not even sure how i got here i just stumbled across it and fell in love! Kudos to you, you are a rock star!!


29 eatingbender February 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

Tram Le ~ I didn’t realize that! Thank you for letting me know :)

Lindsay S ~ Aw, you’re too sweet! Thank you so much for your kind comment :) I’m glad that you and your boyfriend are getting into nutrition! You are a rock star, too 😉


30 Julie February 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Awesome blog! I’m definitely gonna start reading it frequently :) Good luck on everything in writing and such! I just started my own blog too


Not like yours yet..but hopefully some day!


31 Jenn (eating bender) March 31, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Julie ~ Thank you so much – best of luck with your blog! I love the name of it :)


32 Erin February 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I’m a senior in college and will be getting my master’s in Health Communication – a great way to combine writing, creativity, and health!


33 Jenn (eating bender) March 31, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Erin ~ Awesome! Best of luck with that :)


34 angiesappetite May 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Cool blog- Just found it- congratulations on the good news! I just got married last year, and it was a blast! Can’t wait to keep reading!!


35 Jenn (eating bender) July 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm

angiesappetite ~ Thanks! I’m looking forward to starting the planning process :)


36 mariah May 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm

i dig your ‘philosphoy’ about eating/exercising and life in general! keep up the healthy style!


37 Jenn (eating bender) July 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

mariah ~ Thanks :) I appreciate the feedback!


38 roseyrebecca July 27, 2009 at 9:54 am

I love your blog!! I just found it and am adding it to my google reader and blogroll right now!!



39 Jenn (eating bender) July 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm

roseyrebecca ~ Thanks so much for visiting! I’ll have to check yours out :)


40 Emily July 30, 2009 at 7:18 am

I love your blog! I’ve been a lurker for quite some time now, but the other day I decided to take the plunge and start my own blog! I love all of your super cool creations!
If you want check me out at http://balanceislovely.wordpress.com


41 Jenn (eating bender) September 18, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Emily ~ Hi there! After months of being a slacker, I tried to check out your blog but it’s not up anymore :( So sorry that it took me so long – thanks for everything you said!


42 Meg July 30, 2009 at 9:07 am

I just stumbled upong your blog and look forward to reading more!


43 Erika August 10, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Great Blog! I am definitely adding it to my list!


44 blueberrymuffins August 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Hi! wow as I new blogger I am impressed with your blog and your views on eating and food. I can’t wait to read more :)!


45 Natalie September 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I love your philosophy! Your blog is so cute!


46 JHunt September 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Fun blog…I’m excited to follow along. :)
-Jessica @ http://howsweet.wordpress.com/


47 carascravings September 28, 2009 at 4:59 am

I just came across your blog and am so glad that I did!
Looks like you have lots of fun recipes to share.
I look forward to reading more :)


48 schacalieu October 26, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Just wanted to let you know that I stumbled upon your blog and really like it!! I hope you don’t mind that I add you to my blogroll. My blog is http://www.2bahealthyfit.com, stop by sometime!


49 poverty_dieter November 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I like what you say about paying attention to your body’s needs and following them intuitively. I totally agree! Your blog is great, and I hope it gets wide exposure. Our society needs voices like yours right now. Thanks!


50 Julie @savvyeats December 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm

I was *this close* to going to Northwestern, and we would have been there at the same time!

On the other hand, then I wouldn’t have met my fiance at UW-Madison…

But I did really like the Northwestern campus when I visited–so pretty!


51 Jenn (eating bender) December 23, 2009 at 9:44 am

Julie ~ Ha! That would have been so amazing! However, I do have to agree that meeting your fiance must take priority in this case. Hopefully we can still meet sometime!


52 feerlessfood January 12, 2010 at 12:10 am

Hey, great Blog! Just wanted to let you know!


53 Jenn (eating bender) January 13, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Thank you! :)


54 feerlessfood January 21, 2010 at 12:28 am

Hey Jenn,
I love your blog and was wondering if you would be cool with me adding to my blog roll? I was also wondering how I could get on yours? Thanks and I look forward to your next post!


55 Jamie Walker February 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm

cute nickname. I have some strange ones in my family: sasquatch and Rosebud. How I got both, I have no idea!


56 Ameena February 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Just found your blog…very cute nickname! Very good recipes. I will be back often. :)


57 Shanna, like Banana June 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Hi Jenn! Just came across your blog and wanted to say hi to a fellow Northwestern Alum 😉 I graduated in 2002 and desperately miss Chicago, but Cali isn’t half bad.
Have a great day!


58 Jenn (eating bender) June 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Hi Shanna! It’s always nice to see a fellow NU alum who has a food blog! I’m sure that Cali isn’t half bad 😉 But if you ever do make it back to Chicago, we’ll have to get together! I see you’re a wedding consultant, too – mine is officially four months away today. Time is flying!

Talk to you soon! Thanks for saying hi :)



59 Shanna, like Banana June 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Congrats on your upcoming wedding! It will be fabulous and wonderful :)


60 Jessica July 26, 2010 at 10:35 am

Hi Jenn,

I’m a huge fan of your blog (especially the name) and find myself spending way too much time here than I should when I have work to do–there’s so much interesting stuff to read! Like you, I tend to eat the same things everyday and really enjoy your recipes (especially when I actually end up making them!) Anyways, after writing an ebook about losing weight after college called ‘Cute and Skinny’ and reading yours and other great healthy eating/living blogs, I’ve been inspired to start my own! Keep up the great work, Jenn!



61 Jenn (eating bender) July 31, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hi Jessica!

Thank you so much for the sweet comment. Congratulations on your e-book – that is phenomenal news! I’m going to check out your blog now. Look forward to reading and keeping in touch!



62 Erika July 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Great blog! I just found it but I am looking forward to reading some more. (You may be getting a chain of comments from me as I look through it.) 😉


63 Jenn (eating bender) July 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

Thank you, Erika! You are very sweet. :)


64 ReadersHeaven September 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

Hi, nice to meet you !


65 Jenn (eating bender) February 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

Nice to meet you, too! :)


66 Hilda January 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Great blog!


67 Jenn (eating bender) February 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

Thanks, Hilda!


68 Jill February 9, 2011 at 10:01 am

I stumbled upon your blog while looking for some healthy resources. I’m not sure photos of beer, ice cream and ricotta and chocolate chip-filled fried brioches will provide much inspiration, however! Maybe you should re-categorize yourself as a food blogger rather than health and wellness? This is just a thought and observation from a non-blogger.


69 Jenn (eating bender) February 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

Thanks for the feedback, Jill! While I respect your opinion, I’m going to have to politely disagree. I’ve never claimed to be a “health and wellness blogger.” I’m just a girl who loves food – and strives to balance eating healthy, whole foods while managing to enjoy a bit of the not-so-good-for you stuff, too. I’ve never claimed to be perfect at this balance, and since I don’t blog what I eat every day, it may appear sometimes that I’m eating more “beer and junk” than not.

But just because my most recent posts include beer, ice cream and dessert does not mean I am not focused on living my healthiest and best life. I come from the mindset that no food is off limits and I hope that comes through in what I share with my readers.

My above mission states that this blog 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.”

I think I have achieved this and am not looking to put myself into any one category. But I very much appreciate your insight and thank you for stopping by!



70 Jill February 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I guess I just misunderstood the phrase “This blog was created out of a passion for food, nutrition and wellness.”

Not the first time things have been misinterpreted on the internet!


71 Jenn (eating bender) February 9, 2011 at 6:42 pm

No worries! That line is definitely true – it’s why I started writing in the first place three years ago. :) But I certainly can see your point of view and appreciate the feedback – truly!


72 amanda (tomboy that wears makeup) April 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Love you blog!!! You totally rock! Happy Easter darling. Keep spreading the love.


73 Jenn (eating bender) April 26, 2011 at 7:48 am

Thank you so much, Amanda!! I’m so glad you enjoyed my blog. Looking forward to reading yours – the name alone is awesome. :)


74 Kristina December 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I love your blog concept! I just graduated in 2010 and went kind of along the same path as you into marketing. I love writing and have gotten really into baking. Look forward to keeping up with your posts!!


75 Jenn (eating bender) December 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Thank you, Kristina! So cool that you have taken a similar path. I look forward to checking out your blog, too! :)


76 ohshineon January 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm

You are such a driven and inspiring little lady… I totally respect that. Your philosophy on food, life, wellness, and balance are definitely summed up in a perfect little package that I agree with 100 percent. I can’t wait to read through all your recipes. Book-marking :)



77 Jenn (eating bender) January 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thank you so much for the huge compliment, Katie — you made my night when I read it. :) I’m so glad you are enjoying my blog so far and can’t wait to check out yours now, as well!


78 Wendi March 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Hey girl! From one fellow Cheesehead to another, I had to stop by and show some love! Speaking of love, I LOVE your blog hun and can’t wait to read more :)
Wendi recently posted..Opening Day CountdownMy Profile


79 Jenn (eating bender) March 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

YAY Cheeseheads! Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hi, Wendi. I can’t wait to check out your blog now, as well! Go Pack. :)


80 Katie H. July 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your fitness and nutrition tips. You’ve inspired me to try some new things in my own life, and I really appreciate it. You can read more about the award in my latest post here: http://fitbuttfabulous.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/who-me/

Thanks for being inspirational!


81 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Wow, thank you so much, Katie! I am truly honored. You made my weekend with your kind words about me and my blog. Seriously…thank you, thank you, thank you! :)


82 Katie November 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

Fun blog! And your wedding pics are gorgeous! :)


83 Jenn (eating bender) November 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Thank you, Katie – I’m so excited you stopped by! Can’t wait to check out your blog, too. :)


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85 Sara August 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Love the blog. I have a similar passion for a healthy lifestyle with nutrition and fitness and love finding others with the same ideals. Also love finding other blogs I can share exercises from and try their recipes! Keep it up!



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